Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Just wanting to wish everyone a wonderful holiday and a happy new year.  May 2009 be everything you want it to be.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Catching UP

It has been a while since I have posted.  Very busy and very sick the last couple of weeks.  I have been so tired all I want to do sleep.  We have been back and forth  to pick up my dear daughter from school twice in the last month.  She comes home again next week for her winter break.  

On November 29 my son, Ian, proposed to his girlfriend of almost three years.  She said yes and they are planning a July 2010 wedding.  It will be here before we know it.  They are hoping he will be done college by then.

Our stove died last month so a new one was purchased and the plumber came to install the plumbing to move the washing machine.  We also finished the privacy fence around our patio and got all of the outside Christmas decorations up.  All of the decorations are up inside also.  

This week I have had six doctor appts.  Yes six. I am so glad that that is all over with.  I need to go back to the eye doctor in two weeks for a special test and in one month to my general doctor to check some new meds he gave me.  Just ordered my angel food ministry box online today.  I debated whether to get it this month but I wanted the  fruit and veggie box so I did order it actually two regular boxes.  Pickup is Dec 13.  If you have not looked into this program you should.  The boxes are a good deal and they usually have a min of three additional boxes that you can chose from.  For $30 it is a week worth of food for a family of four.  Not bad really.

Going to close for now.  Will write sooner than last time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Planning for Next Year

How many of you start planning for next year in November and December? I mean gardens, canning,etc.   I am in the process of looking at what grew well this year and what didn't.  Also we are looking at planting fruit trees and fruit bushes.  Do others of you do this?  I am also trying to figure out how much we use in a year.  Such as toilet paper, shampoo, dish soap, etc.  I would love to have some input on these topics.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

Ok,  got it down for this week.  Payday is Friday.  Today I only needed eggs and some fruit.  

Monday, October 27 - taco soup
Tuesday, October 28 - chicken
Wednesday, October 29 - pork chops
Thursday, October 30 - fish
Friday, October 31 - eat out
Saturday, November 1 - chicken enchiladas
Sunday, November 2 - baked spaghetti

This is all from my deep freeze and storage.  I hope everyone has a blessed day.
This is my dd  Rachel keeping the son of a friend busy.  He loved tackling her during her party.  I just thought I would share this with everyone.

ODE TO ME



 
Ode to My Mother
 
Every morning I wake up
And I think about your smile.
You are my encourager.
Day after day,
Week after week,
Year after year,
You put up with me.
And not that I am not there,
I seem lost.
You have given me a foundation
That I can stand proud upon.
You give me hope
That someday I can be
Whatever I want to be.
You are always there for me.
Even if I am acting extremely
Mean to you,
You are always there.
I wish that I
Could always be there
For you.
Because you were
And are always there
For me.
You are my light at the end
Of the tunnel.
You help me see the good in the bad.
You have shaped me
Into who I am today.
Thank you for everything
That you have done for me.
I Love You!
 
 
My darling daughter, whose picture is above, wrote this for me.  I cried when I read it and she says that she really means it.  I thought I would share it here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fiber Festival

Tomorrow, my bf Susan and I are going to the Cannonsburg Fiber Festival held the last Saturday of October every year.  It is here in Murfreesboro, TN and last year we had a blast.  There are spinners and weavers, knitters, crocheters and farmers with their sheep, goats and long haired rabbits.  Of course, all kinds of good food also.  Susan and I both have a drop spindle but she would like to purchase another one.  We have top whirls and I think she wants a bottom whirl.   While we are there her fiancee is going to help my dh with a job or two around the house and hopefully look at dh's truck so he will leave me the car every so often again. ~smile~  I can't wait.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

Ok, I am excited that everything is already in the house.  Only had to buy fresh stuff and paper towels this week.

Monday, October 20 - chili
Tuesday, October 21 - pork chops, boiled potatoes, veggie
Wednesday, October 22 - chicken, peas and a veggie
Thursday, October 23 - Turkey sausage, boiled potatoes and a veggie
Friday, October 24 - Salmon, peas and a veggie
Saturday, October 25 - taco soup
Sunday, October 26 - baked spaghetti

I hope everyone has a blessed week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Menus for October 13-18

A little late.  Here they are though.

Monday - Canadian Thanksgiving =  turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, carrots,                                        homemade relishes and pickles
Tuesday - pizza
Wednesday - leftovers from Monday
Thursday - Salmon, boiled new potatoes and snow peas
Friday - turkey noodle soup and grilled cheese
Saturday - dh's birthday - eat out somewhere

Short but sweet. Have a blessed week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

One more Photo

Just thought I would add a photo of dd, Rachel and her boyfriend, Nick.  Aren't they cute.

Photos

This is my darling daughter helping me by cutting onions for the salsa. Isn't she cute. ~smile~
The above are my cookbook shelves that I had to take the cookbooks off so I would have somewhere to put my jars.  This is pickles, beans, relishes, pickled beets, salsa and tomato products.
Above is in my kitchen where I have dill pickles and strawberry jam.  These are only  part of it.  I have not taken pictures of the rest of it yet.








Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Road Trip

Yeah !!!!  It is finally here - my road trip.  My bff Susan and I are going to east Tennessee to stitch until Friday.  We stitch - needlepoint, cross stitch, knit - and never get enough time once school starts (she's a teacher).  Susan is on fall break and I had to go to east Tennessee to pick up dd so we took both and combined it.  Actually it was my dh's idea --love him for it.  So, off to a b&b we go to stitch Christmas presents for two days+.  I am taking two needlepoint and two cross stitch projects to work on - can't decide which one to start right now. lol  I have spent more time trying to figure out what to take them packing my clothes.  ~smile~

I will be back on Saturday or Sunday once I get back and recover.  lol  See you then.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

I know I have not been on alot.  Life has been going full speed recently.  Here is my menu for this week.  I will be gone Wednesday-Friday.  

Sunday, October 5 - fellowship meal at church
Monday, October 6 - smoked turkey, sweet potatoes and green beans
Tuesday, October 7 - salmon, fried potatoes, veggies
Wednesday, October 8 - chili
Thursday, October 9 - hot dogs
Friday, October 10 - pizza
Saturday, October 11 - zesty chicken with orzo, snow peas

I am leaving chili on Wednesday so dh can take leftovers for lunch Thursday and Friday.  Ds works Wednesday night (and he is not fond of chili).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In Memory Of....

James B. "Jimmy" Palmer
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James B. "Jimmy" Palmer, age 68, of Murfreesboro, died Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. He was a native of Wilson County, but lived most of his life in Murfreesboro.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Thursday at Woodfin Memorial Chapel. Bro. John King, Bro. Ben Austin, Bro. Julian Goodpasture, and the Rev. B. E. Palmer will officiate. Interment will be in Roselawn Memorial Gardens.

He is survived by his wife: Linda Lee Palmer, mother: Dora Bryan Palmer of Murfreesboro, daughters: Laura (Ben) Robinson, Holly (Neil) Hughes, both of Murfreesboro, and Ashley (Brian) Hall of Nashville, two brothers: Bill (Glenda) Palmer of Murfreesboro, Bob (Susan) Palmer of Smithville, one sister: Peggy (Dickie) Thomas of Murfreesboro, grandchildren: Maggie, Emily, and Jared Robinson, and Joey Hughes.

Mr. Palmer was preceded in death by his father: James H. Palmer. He was a member of Stones River Church of Christ and had been associated with Palmer Wholesale Foods for 44 years. Mr. Palmer was a 1958 graduate of Central High School, 1961 graduate of Freed Hardeman College, and a 1962 graduate of Harding College. Memorials may be made to the Susan G. Komen Foundation or Center for Breast Health at MTMC. Elders of Stones River Church of Christ will be Pallbearers. 

Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m Wednesday at Woodfin Memorial Chapel. 615-893-5151. www.woodfinchapel.com

wow, I have not had two deaths in a row before.  Jimmy was a very special man to our family.  A source of encouragement to my children and a spiritual leader to us all.  Jimmy you will be deeply missed.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stretching Your Food Budget

Now, I don't claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination.  However, I have seen more then my fair share of lean months.  Back when dh worked at a private school his paycheck would only cover the mortgage, the car insurance and the life insurance.  I had to make everything else and if I had been sick or one of the children sick then my paycheck would be short.  In recent memory, I have had to feed four adults (my children are 19 and 21 now) on $50 a week.  Like everyone else, who has been to the supermarket recently, I have been concerned up the steady climb of prices and the smaller packaging attached to those price tags.  Most women, through choice or necessity, work outside the home now and don't have time for "cooking from scratch".  At church on Sunday I heard, "well of course you can do that (I don't remember what now) you stay home all day."  Now I am a SAHM due to my disability and in that I do have more time than some folks but there are things that everyone can do to save at the grocery store.

Some of these may be to simple for most of you but there might be someone who has not thought of it so please bear with me:

1.  Shop the outer rim of the grocery store.  This is where the healthiest foods are found.  Your vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat, bread.  Those food with more chemical additives are found in the middle.  
2.  Remember portion size.  We, as Americans, have lost track of what a true portion size really is.  This will save you money at the grocery store.  
3.  Buy family packs of meat when on sale and divide when you get home into meal size portions.
4.  Discover soups, stews and casseroles again.  A little bit of meat goes a long way in these.  Many soups are hardy enough for a meal.
5.  If you have teenagers or young adults, aka bottomless pits, serve starches with your meals to fill them up.  I try to have rice, potatoes, rolls or bread with every meal.
6.  Limit waste.  Sounds easy but I understand how things can be forgotten.  I have a CORD meal every week.  Clean Out Refrigerator Day.  Most of the time this is lunch or it is recreated into dinner.
7.  When you find a great sale -- stock up !!!!  I get what I think I will need in the next month or so.  I try to keep a little bit of money aside each week for this.
8.  Find out when they mark down meat and veggies.  If you are at work during this time see if there is a friend who could check for you and herself at that time.  I almost never pay full price for meat.
9.  If you have time use coupons.  I only use coupons on things I would normally buy.  Not all things are a good deal just because you have a coupon.  Especially if it just sits in the cupboard.

These are some things that I can think of right now.  I hope you find them helpful.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Okay, our weather is finally going to feel like fall after today so I just changed the menu I had planned a bit.  Time for more soups.  Yeah !!!!!  I love fall.

Sunday, September 28 - flounder, asparagus, potatoes
Monday, September 29 - veggie lasagna
Tuesday, September 30 - potato soup with sausage
Wednesday, October 1 - taco soup
Thursday, October 2 - spaghetti
Friday, October 3 - shake and bake chicken, potatoes and veggie
Saturday, October 4 - chili

Breakfasts will consist of cereal, oatmeal or muffins.  I only have less than a dozen eggs left and payday is Friday.  Lunches will be sandwiches, leftovers or tuna.  Monday I am going out for lunch with ds' girlfriend's mother.


Friday, September 26, 2008

A Camping He will Go....

This weekend my dh and four of his friends are going camping.  Of course, the camp site they choose is next to a golf course.  ~smile~  Well, it was my responsibility to make sure no one starves this weekend so I thought I would share my menu for the guys.
Friday night - they decided to eat out
Saturday morning - eggs, bacon, orange juice
Saturday lunch (after golf) - hamburgers, corn on the cob, pear crisp (homemade)
Saturday dinner - teriayki chicken, veggie packets for the grill, any leftover pear crisp
Sunday morning - french toast, bacon and orange juice
Sunday lunch - sandwiches, chips

For beverages they have case of water and a gallon of sweet tea.  It came to $40 counting plates, napkins, plastic ware, condiments, etc.  Note bad I thought.  Dh was impressed.  Hopefully the other guys will give dh some money to help out.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In Memory Of....

Katie Rose Martin
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Katie Rose Martin

Katie Rose Martin
Katie Rose Martin, age 18, of Murfreesboro and Rockvale, passed away Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008. 

She was a native and life-long resident of RutherfordCounty. Katie was a graduate of Riverdale High School and attended MTSU and Salon Professional Academy in Nashville. She was a member of the World Outreach Church.

Ms. Martin is survived by her parents, Robert and Debbie Lundeen Martin; two brothers Robert and Anthony Martin also of Murfreesboro; and grandparents, Hilda and Bob Molter, Robert Martin, and David Lundeen. She is preceded in death by her grandmother, Patricia Lundeen.

Funeral services for Ms. Martin will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, at Jennings and Ayers with Bro. Tony Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at Cothran Cemetery. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers. .

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008, at Jennings and Ayers 820 South Church Street Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130 (615) 893-2422 www.jenningsandayers.com

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Cothran Cemetery Trust Fund in care of Bill Freeman 125 Lamb Road Rockvale, Tn 37153.

Katie was a good friend of my daughter's.  They attended middle school together and then for high school went their separate ways but they kept in touch.  Rachel will not be able to be home for the visitation or the funeral so her father and I will be attending the visitation.  She will be missed.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Menus for Sept 21-27

Okay here is my next attempt at meal planning.

Sunday, September 21 - lunch:   sandwiches,  dinner:  spicy chicken with orzo
Monday, September 22 - sausage, potatoes and veggies
Tuesday, September 23 - veggie lasagna
Wednesday, September 24 - chicken stroganoff (I am determined to make this)
Thursday, September 25 - meatloaf, mashed potatoes and veggie
Friday, September 26 - mac and cheese and hot dogs or leftovers
Saturday, September 27 - attending a wedding will eat at reception

Dh goes out of town Friday night so it will just be ds and I so that is why we have a funky Friday night meal.  I need to plan a camping meal for dh and his friends.  Guess who got volunteered to plan the menu and get the food?  You guessed it -- ME !!  I have most if not all the food here at the house in my pantry and deep freeze but I don't know yet how many men I will be feeding.  I am to find out tonight.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Meal Planning

Sometimes I wonder why I try to plan our meals.  Something happens and half of it we don't even do and then I feel like I shopped in vain for those meals.  Tonight we are having chicken instead of salmon because I have tried to fix it twice this week already.  I was not excepting ds to be home and he will be so I needed to change what I fixed to accommodate the need for more food.    After canning all day (since 7 am) all I want to do is eat out.  We have to stop doing that.  We got dh's first regular paycheck for the new school year and it is lower than I was excepting.  Not good.  I spent yesterday redoing the budget.  It is a good thing I have alot of food in the house because all I could pull for food was $23 for the next two weeks.  Ugh !!!!!!!!!!!  sometimes dh vetoes what I had planned to cook and that is frustrating or the weather doesn't cooperate.  I know blame nature ~smile~.  I know I need sugar now.  I thought I had another 20 pounds but it is not there now so I need to buy some.  Canning pears uses alot of sugar even making very light syrup.  This weekend I am going to inventory the house and use what I have first.  Shop at home before the store is what I need to do the rest of the month.  Next payday is next month.

In Desparate Search of Jars....

...canning jars that is.  This week has finally seen the end of the pears.  I still have some put I am going to save them for eating.  I went out and found a case of pint jars on Wednesday but went back today and they had nothing but quarts.  I don't want quart jars right now.  So I looked high and low and have now used EVERY canning jar that I have in the house.  I even emptied the salsa in the fridge into a bowl to have that jar.  So today I have canned:  4 quarts, 19 pints, 12 jelly jars and 5 half pints of pears.  I have no jars left until we empty some more.

I thought I would list what I have processed from the harvest this summer:  
12 quarts and 1 pint of diced tomatoes
11 quarts and 13 pints of spaghetti sauce
2 quarts and 2 pints of beets
9 pints of tomato juice
6 pints of V8 juice
6 pints of sauerkraut
11 pints of applesauce
3 pints of zucchini relish
24 pints of dilled pickles
15 pints of bread and butter pickles
15 pints of pepper relish
53 pints of salsa (we have eaten or given away at least 30)
8 pints of peaches
11 half pints of pear sauce
13 half pints of strawberry jam
2 half pints of raspberry jam
18 quarts, 53 pints, 13 jelly jars and 5 half pints of pears
10 pkgs frozen corn on the cob
12 bags of sliced peppers
6 bags of frozen cauliflower
10 bags of sliced zucchini
12 bags of sliced summer squash

I still need to find some corn and make corn relish and I have found a recipe for apple pie filling that I would like to try also.  My pepper plants are starting to bloom again so I will have more peppers before they die this year.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Goals for the rest of September

This weekend I had been thinking that I need to set some goals for each month as I have seen other bloggers do. So even though the month is half way gone I thought I would set a couple of goals and then start with October.

1.  What is the purpose of this blog.  I know I want to share with friends and family that are far away with what is going on but I want it more than that.  I want to share how I am trying to whittle away our debt load so that someday my dear, hard working husband can retire.  So by the end of the month I want to have that purpose in place.
2.  Send smallest bill an extra $150.  That would be the loan we took out against our annuity.
3.  Pay all bills on time.  No late fees.
4.  Continue to work on stocking the pantry.  Leaner months are ahead and I want to make sure that we have food.
5.  Finish canning the pears and get some apples to can.

I think those are realistic and doable.  I will let you know at the end of the month how I did.

Monday Menus for Sept 14-20

I have alot of food in the house so this week will be using some of what is in the fridge before it goes bad.  Payday is Friday.

Sunday - lunch:  ate out    dinner:  hot dogs (not healthy but it is what dh wanted)
Monday - spaghetti (just ds and I)
Tuesday - chicken stroganoff (new recipe - I will post if it is good)
Wednesday - veggie lasagna
Thursday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies
Friday - some sort of chicken dish
Saturday - new salmon dish

This week I need to come up with a camping menu for 6-8 men for the weekend of the 26th.  Not sure yet what I will do.  Need to talk to dh and how many meals and men. ~smile~  I don't mind doing it if I have the numbers.  My goal is to have it done by Friday when I go grocery shopping.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Could Jesus Be Elected President?

This morning at worship this was the question raised.  Think about it.......from what we know of Jesus and the way politics are done in this country now.....could he win?  The conclusion this morning was not likely.

Three points were given.  First of all...he had a few skeletons in His closet.  His family tree included foreigners, a lady of the night and assorted others who were not the best to have in ones family tree.  His own parents were peasants, but more importantly they were married when he was conceived.  Even the Pharisees made a comment once about he being born out of fornication. And lets look at the people he surrounded himself with.  Fishermen, tax collectors, uneducated definitely three strikes again Him.  The second point was.....He Advocated Change but not the kind they wanted.  What were the Israelites looking for - a king- someone who would overthrow the Romans.  This is not what Jesus came to do.  What did he offer?  Eternal life,  life with the Father.  They didn't understand what he was offering them was so much better than what they wanted.  The third point....He was a Victim not a Victor.  He was arrested and put to death.  He had the leaders of that day always questioning what he spoke about.  He knew how to handle the "press" of those days but he was never viewed as a winner.  When he was arrested they released a very wicked man instead of himself.  They "rulers" of that time feared him and his message.  So, would he be elected?  something to think about.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Menu Mondays: Sept 7-13

Okay I know that this is a little late on Monday but I got it done yesterday and I have been busy.  So here it is:

Sunday - lunch:  sloppy joes; dinner:  pizza
Monday - just me:  left over pizza
Tuesday - flounder, mashed potatoes and carrots
Wednesday - Chicken Stroganoff
Thursday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and carrots
Friday - Chicken stir-fry
Saturday - spaghetti

I might switch Friday and Saturday but we will see what the temps are like.  Got to work on emptying the deep freezer as dh wants to buy me an upright to replace what we have.  I have way to much stuff in it to fit in an upright.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pears Pears everywhere

This week I have been gifted with over 50 pounds of pears.  They are everywhere while I am working on getting caught up with the tomatoes.  I think I am just going to can them in very light syrup.  I hope I have enough jars ~smile~.  My bff only asked for some canned pears in return.  Wow!!!!!!  She said she had more also.  Love it !!!!!  Free is wonderful.  Hopefully I will get some pictures posted once I get started.  

Working on my grocery list for the next two weeks.  I have $125 to spend for three adults.  Four on Sundays.  I was also gifted with five pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts.  After I had bought forty pounds of it at an amazing sale I had found.  Hope to go grocery shopping tomorrow as I am attending a baby shower on Sunday.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Menu Mondays: Aug 31 through Sept 6

I am actually organized today and I have it ready.

August 31:  Lunch - ate out  Dinner - spaghetti and meatballs
September 1 - hamburgers on the grill, corn on the cob, grilled veggies
September 2 - Summer Squash and White Bean saute
September 3 - Chicken, boiled potatoes, green beans
September 4 - Tilapia, mashed potatoes, carrots
September 5 - Chicken stir-fry, rice
September 6 - Bean Burritos and spanish rice

Grand Plan for Christmas

Happy Labor Day !!!!!!!!

For those interested the Grand Plan for Christmas from organized.com started yesterday.  Here is the website:

http://organizedchristmas.com/holiday-grand-plan

I have followed this before and I had one of the most relaxed Christmas seasons ever.  This year it is time to follow it again.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Ian !!!!!!!!!!!!

Today my oldest is 21.  Where have the years gone?  Here he is pictured with his girlfriend.  I am so proud of the young man you have become.  Enjoy your day.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday already !!! Where did August go?

It seems like only yesterday that August started and now it is almost over.  Wow.  Rachel is adjusting very well to East Tn State and Ian is enjoying his classes at Middle Tn State.  

I got some of the best deals on school supplies at Target today.  They had 5 packs of 70 ct college rule notebooks for 35 cents.  Yes, you read 35 cents.  They had 3x5 notecards 100 ct for 32 cents and Bic Cristal pens for 62 cents.  Wow !!!!!!  I could not believe my luck.  I tried to get in touch with my dh the teacher but could not so I might be going back for the notebooks tomorrow as he has the students use these for journals.  They also had a 44 pound bag of Dog Chow for $18 which seemed like a good price and saved me from having to make another stop. ~smile~

I am working on my first care package for my away child.  She has discovered Easy Mac which I think is gross but she eats when she is up studying late and the cafeteria is closed.  Trying to find a good balance of healthy and junk.  Any ideas anyone?  I am all ears.  She forgot some clothes that she wants sent and the shelf for her refrigerator and I found the light bulbs she needs for her desk lamp.  Now I can't find a big enough box.

Got to make salsa tonight and I have been invited to pick pears if it doesn't rain tomorrow.  I am all for free.  I am going to can them.  All she asks is that she gets some of the canned pears.  No problem.    Every have a blessed day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Menus and Recipe

Well I know that I normally post my menus on Monday but I wasn't organized so here they are today.  This week:

Sunday - ate out lunch, hamburgers dinner
Monday - just ds and I:  sausage and veggies
Tuesday - taco soup
Wednesday - chicken, potatoes and veggie (most likely carrots)
Thursday - salmon, potatoes and spring veggies
Friday - stuffed green peppers, mashed potatoes and grilled veggies
Saturday - Chicken stir fry (use up leftovers)

So tonight we are having taco soup.  The perfect thing for a rainy day.  Dh can take leftovers for lunches also ~smile~.  Everyone has their own  recipe for taco soup but I thought I would post mine.

Taco Soup

1 pound ground turkey or beef
1 can chili bean (I use white beans)
1 can kidney beans (I use pinto beans)
1 can whole kernel corn, with liquid
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 package taco seasoning mix

In a medium skillet brown meat.  Drain and set aside.  Place everything in a slow cooker including browned meat.  Mix to blend and cook on Low setting for eight hours.  
I will sometimes add onion and green peppers in with the meat to soften.  My family likes the added veggies.  Hope you enjoy it.  
On the same theme my family also enjoys this recipe.

Taco Pie

1 pound hamburger
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup water
6 oz can tomato sauce
8 oz package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 c crushed tortilla chips, divided
1 c sour cream
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger.  Add taco seasoning, water and tomato sauce.  Place crescent rolls in bottom of greased baking dish and flatten.  Crumble half of chips over rolls.  Pour meat mixture over rolls and crushed chips.  Smother with sour cream.  Add cheese.  Top with remaining chips.  Bake for 20 to 25 mins at 375 degrees.  Serve with favorite taco sauce or salsa.
This recipe is wonderful for using up stale tortilla chips.

Notice we love mexican food.  I love it because you can work little bits of this and that in dishes to use up all the little bits of this and that in our fridges.

With Rachel away at school it only changes the food budget a little bit because Ian is still home and his girlfriend eats with us on Sundays.  We still are starting to change the way we are eating.  With dh and I being diabetic and dh having a heart condition we need to make the changes.  Eating healthier is the new name of the game.



Friday, August 22, 2008

In My Home This Week

It has been a week since I have posted and alot has happened.  Here is what occurred in the past week:

1.  We got a new computer last Saturday.  Our old one would work when it wanted to and would freeze up at the least little thing.  We got a Mac this time and have been extremely happy with it.  It has taken a while to get use to it but I think this will be a happy relationship. ~smile~

2.  Got more salsa made.   Another 15 pints.  I sure hope we get rain soon.  Our tomato plants are not looking very good and I still want to can more.  Our peppers are suffering also.  Time to start thinking of fall crops in Tennessee.  Any ideas?

3.  You can only fit so many things in one room and our bedroom has been maxed out.  I tried to put the ironing board up and found it very cramped.  It is now back out in the living room until I get my craft room back.

4.  Talking about my craft room we have asked a couple of folks for quotes concerning moving our washer and dryer.  I hope to hear from them soon.  Can't wait to have everything back to "normal" again.  What ever normal is.

5.  I got a facebook page.  It is amazing how many people I know on it.  I have been able to get back in touch with some high school friends.  Boy does that feel good.

6.  I think colleges make financial aid hard intentionally.  Boy do I have headaches working with them.  Ian's is right but Rachel's is bouncing around and school starts on Monday, August 25.  There is enough there but one item is missing and they have different amounts today then yesterday.  I guess I will be calling again on Monday.

7.  We got Rachel moved to college on Wednesday and Thursday.  Her roommate moved in at the same time so it was a mad house.  We got her unpacked before we left.  We did forget things so a run to WalMart was in order.  Oh well.  It was the hardest thing leaving her there.  My baby my youngest on her own now in a semi structured environment six hours away.  Weepy was my word of the day on Thursday.

8.  Today has been laundry.  Boy can it add up fast.  General straightening also.  Time to make a new schedule, Ian starts school on Monday so fall timing is in order.  I wish the weather would think it was fall ~smile~.  I will be working on my housekeeping schedule to get me back on track.

9.  Am I the only one who is shocked by the price of college textbooks?  Having two in college really hurts the pocket book.  There financial aid doesn't kick in until the first day of school so books come out of pocket until then.  One used book was $88 !!!!!!  That is ridiculous.

10.  Time to take my diabetes seriously.  I am having alot of problems getting under control.  Been reading and trying to figure of the correct way to eat.  Dh needs it also.  Pray that I am successful.

Got to go.  God Bless.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Rachel !!!!!!!


Today my baby turns 19. Time sure goes fast. I hope you have a wonderful day sweet one. Here she is with her aunt Jackie at her graduation party. Next step : COLLEGE. You go girl. Love you lots.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In My Home This Past Week......

Boy have we been busy. I have had company and school has started for my dh. Here is what has happened this past week....

1. My brother in law from New Jersey has been visiting. I have not seen him in about four years so it was wonderful to see him. Next time I hope he brings his lovely wife. He left this morning to go back.

2. Last night we had a lovely couple from church for dinner to met Murph (dh's brother). We had a wonderful visit over hamburgers, potato salad, fresh green beans, homemade salsa and chips and carrot cake with ice cream for dessert. It was a wonderful casual meal among friends and family. I hope we can start to do that more often.

3. In my bible study I have been studying Proverbs 31:10-end. I long to be like that woman. It gives me encouragement when I read it and I notice something new each time I read it. This week I noticed verse 13 "She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands." The word I noticed was willingly. Not being forced or made to feel guilty into doing it but willingly almost enjoying to do it. As I seek to become the best wife and homemaker that I can be it is that willing attitude that will help me to fulfill that goal. I thought it was a wonderful thought. ~smile~

4. I am still canning away. In the last couple of days I have canned 15 pints of spaghetti sauce and 13 pints of salsa. I have another triple batch of salsa on the stove as we speak. Nothing speaks love than homecanned goods in the winter.

5. We are almost ready to move the washer and dryer into our "new" mud room and turn our present laundry room into a pantry. I am so excited about getting a pantry I can hardly stand it. When I start getting my disability this is one of the things we will be saving for. Right now I have canning jars everywhere around the kitchen and in my craft room. Dh wants everything in one place so he can find things.

6. Rachel got here laptop. Oh was this a joyous day. It is a graduation gift from her aunt and uncle and we knew it would be August when she received it. They waited until our tax free weekend to order it. Within five minutes she had her background up and things being installed. It is rarely out of her sight now. She has actually let me use it once or twice. Boy do I feel special. ~smile~

7. I am almost done with the second Christmas gift. I have most of the gifts planned out so now I am trying to pace myself to finish them in time. I love making homemade gifts for everyone. My sister in laws birthday is Christmas day also.

8. Rachel's 19th birthday is Friday and she has been hinting for a party. We just don't have the money but we have told her that her friends are welcome to come on Sunday when the youth group is here and we will celebrate then.

9. We have moved our computer. That is one reason why I haven't been on. It is now in our bedroom. We had to move all of the furniture though to make it fit. I used this opportunity to completely clean the room, to restaple under the box spring and dust and vacuum really good. I really enjoy the new setup and even with the computer table and everything else with it is in here it seems like we have more room. The computer had been in Ian's room and we really wanted to give him back his room. He is so happy.

10. Menu this week:
Sunday - eat out lunch, hamburgers for dinner
Monday - spaghetti with homemade sauce and meatballs
Tuesday - hamburgers, potato salad and green beans
Wednesday - chicken, potatoes and carrots
Thursday - stir fry and rice
Friday - tilapia, potatoes and carrots
Saturday - taco salad

11. I went to the doctor today and I am now using a cane and I have ordered special shoes. I am having trouble with my feet and I am experiencing balance issues. I had bloodwork done and we are trying a new pain med. Wish me luck as I am having alot of pain recently.

Can't think of anything else. I will be posting a little sooner than this time.
God Bless

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday Musings

This weekend was absolutely amazing. Beth Moore was something else. I am so glad that I took the time to go. Rachel really enjoyed it also. Her key phrase was "competently competent". Love it !!!!!!

Sunday I did pay for though as I spent most of the day in bed. So much pain. Was it worth it. Absolutely.

Today, I have been up since 6:45am working in the kitchen. I have got three batches of spaghetti sauce bubbling away, gotten 5.5 lbs of ground beef processed and almost done snapping beans for dilled beans. I will be canning the spaghetti sauce in quarts this time as the pints are just not enough. Dh likes a little spaghetti with his sauce ~smile~. Tomorrow I will make salsa with the two huge bowls of tomatoes that I have staring at me. Had to go to the store twice today as I forgot something the first time.

Please keep Ian in your prayers as he is trying to find a new part time job. He is actually losing money driving for Pizza Hut. He applied at seven different places this morning. He is trying to apply before all of the college students for MTSU arrive later this month.

David is sanding the storage room which will become the mud room once the washer and dryer are moved and then I will have a pantry where the washer and dryer are right now. I can't wait. So much work still to go though.

Well must go stir. God Bless.

Menus for August 3-9

Just got them done for the week. Nothing exciting but here they are:

Sunday, August 3 - lunch: hamburgers, coleslaw and potato salad
dinner: Pizza Hut
Monday, August 4 - chicken, potatoes and carrots
Tuesday, August 5 - sausage, potatoes, and carrots
Wednesday, August 6 - tilapia, corn and green beans
Thursday, August 7 - pork tenderloin with peach sauce, potatoes and broccoli
Friday, August 8 - chicken, peas and carrots or eat out (payday)
Saturday, August 9 - meatball subs

Hope everyone has a blessed day.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tax Free Weekend

Tomorrow starts our tax free weekend for school supplies. Rachel is in need of some items before she leaves for college. We start shopping around 6am. First will be Wal-Mart then Target. I need to be home by 9:30am to met my bff. If we don't find everything in the morning we will go again on Sunday. Saturday Rachel works all day. She still has two gift cards from graduation so that is why we are going there first. Hopefully she will be able to find what she needs.

I will post more tomorrow about the deals we find.

Monday, July 28, 2008

God is Good

Alot of you know that I have been waiting to hear about my disability that I applied for almost two years ago. Well on Friday, July 25 I found out that I will be receiving my disability. I cried and cried. We (my dh and I)had just been praying about it just days before. It will most likely be a couple of months before I start to see it but it is coming. ~Praise God~

My ds Ian has decided upon a major and is returning to college. He realized that to find a full time jobs in this economic climate you really need at least college. He will be majoring in Criminal Justice. He is really excited and is looking forward to starting school in about a month. Now he is trying to get a few more hours from work. He has been averaging about 12 hours a week and he definitely needs more. It is nice that he finally listened to his mother's wisdom ~smile~. He will be taking 13 hours in the fall and 12 in the spring. Summer session looks good too so he can get caught up.

My dd Rachel leaves for college on August 20 and the packing has begun. She met her roommate and she seems like a sweetheart. They are so much alike it is scary. Her birthday is the week before she leaves so she is hinting about some things she would love to receive. Ha Ha We are trying to figure out the best way of getting everything up there. It looks like I will be calling UHaul.

The garden is still producing alot of tomatoes. About every other day now I am making at least a triple batch of salsa which is 16 pints. Had to go and buy 50 pounds of onions from Sam's because I was going through so many. I have alot used all of the ones that we planted in the garden. The hot peppers I have had frozen in the deep freeze from last years harvest. They loved the hot weather we had last summer and we harvested a bunch.

Well on to salsa making, maybe or maybe I will stitch on the Christmas gift that I am working on.....decisions decisions.

Menus for July 27-August 2

Got my menus done for this week. Went grocery shopping on Saturday. Here they are:

Sunday, July 27 - ate out for lunch, hamburgers for dinner
Monday, July 28 - salmon, boiled new potatoes and carrots
Tuesday, July 29 - chicken legs, corn and green beans
Wednesday, July 30 - meatball subs
Thursday, July 31 - tilapia, boiled new potatoes, carrots
Friday, August 1 - hamburgers and mac salad (Beth Moore event 5-9)
Saturday, August 2 - chicken, mac salad, carrots

Lunches will be BLT's, pulled pork or leftovers

hope you have a blessed day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tomatoes everywhere

I just realized that I have not posted since Monday. I have been very busy processing tomatoes and other produce. So far this week I have canned 10 pints of peaches, 6 pints of pepper relish and 12 pints and one half pint of salsa. On the stove right now I have a triple batch of salsa with enough tomatoes picked for another triple batch easy. I should get at least 18 pints from it. I am now out of all of the onions from our garden and our cilantro. I will have to start buying both of these now. I am eihter going to GFS to buy a 10 pound bag of onions or to Sam's. I am not sure how big a bag I can get at Sam's. I may go there first to see. Tomorrow is normally my grocery day but it might end up being Saturday because of scheduling and two cars for three drivers ~smile~. Tomorrow we (Rachel and I) see Rich in the morning, then my bff is coming over and we are going to stitch, then at 5:30 on a Friday I have a mammogram. Ugh. The only thing I have bought at the store this week is two granny smith apples for my pepper relish. I could not believe it but I paid $2.65 for two apples !!!!!!! Highway robbery. If I didn't need them for the relish I would have left them right there. Needless to say I am not making any more relish this summer. I have made 11 jars this summer and I still have some so we have lots anyway.

On the job front, Ian is still looking but now he is thinking of just returning to school. His advisor told him he has until the middle of next week to decide or it will be to late. Rachel is training her replacement at Pizza Hut. She still has three weeks left. She is now just a CSR instead of a server. She cut and highlighted her hair this week and it is really cute. It makes her look a little more grown up also.

I have been taking alot of pictures. I just have not used up the roll of film yet. As soon as I have I will post pictures of what I have been doing. I am trying to decide what crops to plant for a fall crop. With the price of everything we need to have a second crop. I have one pumpkin plant come up so far. I haven't seen any watermelons yet. My dh has been tieing up my tomato plants that keep falling over. They look so much better now.

Well I need to get going now.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recipes

I have had people ask me for my salsa recipe so I thought I would post it here.

Fresh Vegetable Salsa

7 cups chopped tomatoes, you can peel if you want but I don't
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
8 jalepeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 5.5oz can tomato paste
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring frequently so it doesn't burn. Using a hand blender or a regular blender, blend until smooth. Return a boil over low heat stirring frequently, until thickened about 30 minutes. Pour into hot jars and put in a water bath canner. Process for 20 minutes, remove lid of canner and wait 5 minutes before removing jars.

I hope you enjoy it. We love this salsa. If you don't like a smooth salsa then don't blend it.

Here is my recipe for Pepper Relish

Sweet and Sour Pepper Relish

4 cups finely chopped seeded green bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped seeded sweet banana peppers
3 cups chopped cored peeled tart apples, such as Granny Smith
2 cups chopped cabbage
2 tbsp salt
3 cups cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 red chili pepper, finely chopped

In a large bowl combing green peppers, banana peppers, apples, cabbage and salt. Cover and let stand in a cool place for 2 hours. Rinse with cool water and drain thoroughly. Using your hands, squeeze out excess liquid. In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and chili pepper. Briung to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to medium low added drained pepper mixture and boil gently and vegetables are heated through about 10 minutes. Ladle hot relish into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Place jars in a water bath canner and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes before removing jars. Cool before storing.

My family loves this recipe and we like it better than cucumber relish. This is no where near as sweet. Just what you need on hot dogs and hamburgers. I try to make 12 jars a year minimum. We have alot of banana peppers this year. Some batches I use more banana peppers than green bell peppers depending on what is ripe and it turns out just as good.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. God Bless.

Menus for July 20-26 and stocking up

I know that this actually started yesterday but oh well, better late than never. I don't have any food money left until Friday so this is from the freezer and the pantry.

Sunday July 20 - Sausage, fried potatoes and snow peas
Monday July 21 - chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots
Tuesday July 22 - tilapia, snowpeas and carrots
Wednesday July 23 - chicken stir fry
Thursday July 24 - salmon, mashed potatoes and broccoli
Friday July 25 - sloppy joes ? this is payday so I am not sure
Saturday July 26 - steak sandwiches with onions and peppers

Saturday I will do my food shopping so I wanted something easy. Saturdays meal is from my last Angel Food box back in June I think. Dh really enjoyed them the first time I got them.

I was talking with my bff last night and she asked whether I have had the urge to stock up recently. I had to laugh because I have had that urge for a couple of months now. I am wanting to get six months worth of the basics in the house. By basics I mean everything but fresh stuff. I have a couple of things at 3 months, flour, sugar, yeast, and oatmeal. But I have a long way to go. It doesn't help that my food budget has shrunk to $50 a week. We are eating out of the freezer alot. I wish I could use some of this money to stock things we use alot. I think of ketchup, mustard, toilet paper ~smile~, vegetables and fruit. I am canning from the garden and I hope to go the farmer's market for things that I did not plant. A friend brought me a peck of peaches and I am going to can all of them. Need to go and get some more ~smile~ I love peaches. I already have strawberries in the freezer. The basic, easiest way to stock up is to buy two of everything that you normally would buy. So last night I got canned mushrooms I needed one but I bought two. I label the top with a sharpie and make sure I rotate. First in first out that way things don't expire.

With prices going up on everything a pantry is the best idea of managing your food dollars. That way you can buy sales and eat sales. Even at $50 a week I try to use $10 for sales, to add to the pantry. We have stopped buying soda so that has enabled me to fed four adults on this amount. The other thing I do that helps is when someone offers me garden produce or food items that their families won't eat I take them. I have recently been given eight bags of instant mashed potatoes, 3 huge bags of oatmeal and 2 cans of pineapple juice. All these from one family whose MIL gets commodities and won't eat these items. My friends family will not eat them either but she knew my family would. What a wonderful windfall. God provides all of our needs though I feel like he expects you to manage your finances to the best of your ability. My goal is to be like the Proverbs 31 women. I like setting my goals high ~smile~.

All for now.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Been very busy and family update

I love summer's harvest. First comes the cucumbers and I canned 22 pints of dill pickles. Dill and cucumbers from our garden. Then we got zucchini and summer squash. After eating a ton I froze sliced bags for later. Then the banana peppers, green peppers and tomatoes start. I have made 5 pints of pepper relish and my first batch of salsa. I was trying to modify a recipe and I am not happy with the first batch but I have more than enough tomatoes to try again ~Smile~ I am trying to make it more like you get a the restaurants. Thick and smooth. This first batch had that but not enough kick for me. A friend picked up a peck of peaches yesterday for me so I will be canning peaches also. I love harvest time ~smile~. I will be going to the farmers market I hope on Tuesday to see what they have. I am wanting beans and corn. I would love some peas also. Yummy. We did not plant any of these so I need to find a good source. I am trying to preserve as much as I can for winter.

I have been sick though. Along with the summer harvest comes summer's heat. I get migranes from the heat. The last three weeks I have had headache after headache. Now to top it all of I have pink eye. Why not?!? I have no idea who I got it from. Kids seem to have avoided it so far. My fibro has been acting up also. Really hard to move around - not good when you need to can.

Ian has not been able to find a full time job yet. If you could remember him in your prayers I would appreciate it. He is really getting discouraged. Rachel leaves for college one month from today. Wow !!!!! This summer has really flown but she is sooo excited. I need to get alot of sewing done in the next month ~smile~ I would rather stitch but it must be done. We need to go through her clothes also. David goes back to work the first week of August. I think open house is August 4 or 5 and he wants his room done by then. Both kids have gone in on their days off to help him get ready. Still no word on my disability. I am getting discouraged but I have been told it could take another year.

I have decided after much prayer and consideration to stop selling Avon. I want to concentrate on other things now. I will be giving notice to my customers this week. I will most likely be putting in two more orders July 25 and August 8 and then that is it.

Well I must go ....I have spaghetti sauce on the stove top and I need to work on my menus for this week. God Bless.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Menus for this week

Well I got around to planning my menus. This is using what is already in the house. Yeah !!!!!

Monday June 30 - Chicken thighs baked and squash medley with cucumber and tomato salad
Tuesday July 1 - Pasta and salad
Wednesday July 2 - Boneless Pork Chops, fried potatoes and squash medley
Thursday July 3 - Chicken Legs, mashed potatoes and squash medley
Friday July 4 - visiting with friends at their house -- taking potato salad (I think)
Saturday July 5 - Ham, mashed potatoes and squash medley
Sunday July 6 - chicken stir fry and rice.

It seems like alot of squash medley and that is because that is what is being harvested from the garden right now. We are also getting cucumbers and our first tomatoes so I expect us to have those also. We are trying to eat from the garden but preserve also. I have recently canned 16 pints of dill pickles with cucumbers and dill from our garden.

God Bless you all.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Surgery and menus

David did go in for surgery yesterday. They put in a stint to relieve the pain he was having. They released him today only after they tried to kill him by almost giving him something he is allergic too. I wish they would check records before dispensing medication. He made me promise that I would not allow him to be taken there again.

So, we need to do some modification in the way we eat. This was his third time going in for a stint and it is time to be hard nosed and buckle down. The goal is to do it with the groceries that I already have in the house. I did go out and buy low sodium luncheon meat and cheese, milk and white wheat bread. I am on a self imposed pantry challenge so this hurt to buy the items but he wanted a sandwich and that is the kind of meat and cheese he can eat now. I had planned baked pasta for dinner but I think we are going to have boneless pork chops instead as it is just David and I. Our biggest problem is portion size. We love food. :) :) I will work on this more and post what I come up with. Any ideas on menu ideas for heart and diabetes? Would love to hear them.

Trudy

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Menus for this week

Meant to post this on Monday but the day got away from me.

Monday June 16 - beef roast, new potatoes, carrots, onions and orange peppers
Tuesday June 17 - boneless pork chops, mashed potatoes, veggies
Wednesday June 18 - chicken fajitas and spanish rice
Thursday June 19 - baked pasta and salad
Friday June 20 - smoked sausage, mashed potatoes and veggie
Saturday June 21 - homemade pizza
Sunday June 22 - ds is cooking

This may change if dh goes into the hospital. He is seeing his cardiologist this afternoon. He had tests run last week before we left for Johnson City, TN for dd's college oreintation.

I will be picking up a few things from the grocery store: decaf tea bags for iced tea, dishwasher soap, a pound of bulk sausage for a recipe I want to try next week, tomato paste and maybe some tortillas though I would love to try to make my own.

Picked more from the garden last night: summer squash, zucchini, a cucumber and our first green pepper. Yeah !!!!!!! As soon as I can figure out our digital camera I will try to post some pics.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

I want to wish all those father's out there Happy Father's Day. My husband received some cute cards from my children after lunch. They are both at work now. A nice leisurely day.

This is my second attempt at blogging. Hopefully I will do better with this attempt. I will write more later.