Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Storm Advisory

We haven't had much in the way of winter storms so far this season.  Boy is that getting ready to change. The WeatherMan  is calling for blizzard conditions here in the next few hours.  4-8 inches of snow with highs in the low teens. Oh, I forgot to mention the sleet didn't I?  Nothing like ice covered roads mixed with folks who can't drive on DRY roads!  Thank goodness we are all prepared and don't have a reason to get out in all that mess.  So it looks like I will get to see my first blizzard up close and personal.  STOP LAUGHING!!  This is big stuff for this ol' Texas gal. My very first Blizzard!  Of course they are saying this may be one for the record books.  Figures doesn't it!
     Check it out - This is what "they" are calling for.
     They are telling everyone to get ready for this storm. It may just make it into the record books.   It looks like its going to be a doozy. (ever wonder where that word came from?)  I hope you got your shopping done and are ready to stay home for a few days.  I sure wouldn't want to have to get out in this kind of weather because I didn't have something that I could have been prepared for. You don't want to get caught with your pants down. (so to speak)  Make a list and check it twice, because tomorrow there will be lots of ice!!  :D

      Seriously though, you might want to run through your checklist.  Do you have enough food put back to last until the roads clear again?  Do you have water stored just in case the pipes burst or freeze?  Is your heating covered?  For  example, do you have enough propane, wood, or whatever you use?  If you heat with electricity, do you have an alternate source of heat?  Do you have alternate lighting in case you loose electricity? How about batteries for your flashlights and radio?  Have you wrapped your outside pipes?  And be sure not to forget the animals. Even though they have fur they need some sort of shelter from the cold too. 
     This is a really good time to make sure all your proverbial ducks are in a row.  I know I have probably left out some things here but the point is that you have made sure you are as ready as you can get.
    I did make a trip to Braums and picked up some milk.   We have done up all the dishes and the laundry. Mrs M made a big pot of beans just in case we have to resort to using the camp  stove. That way we only have to heat them up. Besides, her order for some sort of beans came in and she wanted to cook some. I think she said they were called piquinto beans. We also baked a couple of loaves (well 4 actually)of bread.  Hmmm, what else did we do.... Oh, the oil lamps have to be filled and the globes needed to be washed.  I think that's about it. 

     The only reason I shared this stuff with you all is because I wanted to show you something.  If you are prepared in advance for a possible emergency then when the time comes there is very little left to be done. It is a good feeling.
If you have already prepared for these type things then right now you are sitting back and just waiting for the storm to come on through.  This is the reason we prep. If it gets bad we don't have to worry nearly as much as someone who hasn't taken the time and effort to prepare. Heck, even the government suggests you have emergency supplies to cover you for 3 days.  Around here I think we are as ready as we can be.  And honestly it feels good to know that. 
                    ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dehydrating Is Fun

I really love dehydrating foods.  It is an easy solution  for storing many things in your long term storage.  Fruits and vegetables don't take up as much room and it is also extremely easy to do.  Folks have been drying foods for centuries.  It doesn't take much equipment and the foods, when dried, can be stored easily and take very little space. 
You can dehydrate most vegetables.  There are of course exceptions to every rule, but generally most will do well when dried.
   You will need some method of drying your vegetables, something to cut them with and some method of blanching some of your vegetables.  All that means is that you need a dryer, a knife and a big pot of boiling water!
    People ask what kind of dehydrators they should look for.  Two of the most popular are the Excalibur and the Nesco American Harvester.  The Excalibur is an excellent dehydrator and what I call the "Caddy" (as in Cadillac) of dryers. It is also one of the most expensive ones on the market.  The folks I know who own them wouldn't trade them for the world.  A really nice dehydrator with nine large trays.  The fan is located in the back of the dehydrator and blows air evenly ACROSS the foods.
    The Nesco American Harvester is a great dehydrator. The cost is less than half of the Excalibur.  It is the one that I own.  I love mine and it does a wonderful job.  It is an expandable dehydrator. What that means is that you can add up to 12 trays or use as few as one.  The fan on the Nesco is at the top of the dryer and blows air down and back up the trays.  It has "vents" in the sides that also help to circulate the air. 
Either of these dehydrators are an excellent choice. The one thing you want in a dryer is to make sure that it has a thermostat.  Some come with timers but in my opinion they are unnecessary.
   Another dehydrator to consider is a solar dehydrator.  You can buy these already constructed or build one yourself.  There are many plans out there on the internet for building  one yourself.  You may just have things laying around the house that can be turned into a solar dryer.  You could even make a "redneck" dehydrator by using a car in the summertime.  Sounds funny I know, but it can and does work!  Like I said, just do an internet search and you will come up with tons of different ways to make your own dehydrator. 
    As I said earlier, you can dehydrate almost any vegetable and lots of different fruits. Once your garden starts producing ( You do have a garden started right?) you can dry all those vegetables rather than using up your freezer space. 
I'll be doing some more posts on dehydrating in the future.  But if you are looking for more information there are many places on the net.  One of the best is Dehydrate2Store.  Tammy is a dehydrating "guru" and there is much that you can learn from her videos. 
                 ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...~~~

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Morning Funnies

The sun is shining here and it is supposed to be close to 70 today! Gonna be a gorgeous day here in the south.  I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.  Here's a little something to help start your day off with a good laugh.  I'm off to play in the sunshine. Have a wonderful day!! 


Come on, who in the world doesn't love a good laugh on a Saturday morning?  
                           ~~~ Hey... I'm Just Sayin' ...~~~

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Have You Checked out The Survival Blog?

On Monday I suggested you might want to check out some of the sites I've got listed. I follow a ton of folks and enjoy them all. Today I want to bring one to your attention you just may have missed.  I've been reading The Survivalist Blog for a long time.  If you haven't run across it before, here's your chance!

 M.D. Creekmore is an interesting guy.  He has been living off grid on what he calls junk land (for some reason this ranks him pretty high for me!)  for quite some time now.   He tells you exactly how you could do the same thing .  He has written several articles on this subject alone.  Lots of information about homesteading can be found there as well as gardening, guns, food storage, medicine and all things preparedness.  The Survivalist Blog covers just about anything you might have questions about, and some you wouldn't even think of asking! 

One of my personal favorites is a weekly column he writes called  "What DID You Do To Prep This Week".   I absolutely LOVE this one!  I'm one of those people  who like to read what other folks are doing to prepare.  I guess I might be considered a voyeur when it comes to seeing what other preppers are up to.  It's great to know that there are lots and lots of other people trying to do the same things as I am.   I've picked up some really good tips and ideas there.

Right now Mr Creekmore  has a contest going on for anyone who has a blog, website, Facebook, or some other public medium. The winner will received an All Purpose Custom Knife from Sharp's Sadlery.  Is this thing a beauty or what?  This knife is sweet and really really needs to come and live with me! ( Really, I swear it whispered to me!)  So while you're out there surfing the net and looking for some good reading and prepping information you really need to stop by and check out The Survivalist Blog.  I promise you won't be disappointed!
                            ~~~ Hey I'm Just Sayin ... ~~~

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Blogs

Mondays always seem to be really busy in the blog-o-sphere.  So if you are looking for some great reading and some excellent blogs, look to your left under "Great Reading"  and click on one of them. I seriously doubt you will be disappointed. 

                     ~~~ Hey I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Breadmaking Day

    We are melting! The snow here has almost all melted.  That's just fine though because all the water we can get is appreciated. It was a really dry year last year and so we are still having to play catch up.  I know that I'm not the only one who has been paying attention to the strange weather we have been having for at least the last couple of years.Along with the blights and bugs we have had severe droughts, record-breaking winters and hotter than normal summers.All seem to be becoming the new "normal".  All this combines to make a real nightmare for the growing of foods around the country. 
    OK, with that being said, there is still no excuse not to be thinking about what you are going to be growing come spring.  Have you got your list started?  Got your garden space figured out yet?  Have you got the seeds you will need yet?   Get busy folks!  

    Yesterday Mrs M and myself got in the kitchen and whipped up some bread. We were just a few slices away from being out.

We used the old standby recipe for the Rustic Italian Bread.  I absolutely love this recipe because it is so versatile. I am constantly amazed at all the different types of breads we can make from it.  Just a change in the liquid and the "fat" used (butter/lard etc) and the possibilities seem to be endless.  This time we made the basic recipe and then split the dough into two loaves. 
The first one we just let rise and followed the directions.
With the other half of the dough we made foccia (sp) bread.  What you do is lightly grease your pan.  We used the cooking sheet.Then press out the dough to cover the entire pan. 

Make some "dents" in the bread.
    Drizzle olive oil over the top.   Sprinkle some kosher salt over the top.  Let the dough rise again. 
 Pop it in the oven and wait..... Here is what you come out with!!  

Mrs M made a smallish pot of her delicious Vegetable Beef Soup and served it up with the foccia bread.  For dessert,  Pineapple Upside Down Cake fresh out of the oven.

  It came out really well.  Too bad we didn't have cherries to put in the pineapple holes.  To be honest though I would have hated opening a jar of cherries for the 7-8 needed to "pretty it up".  Honestly though it really didn't matter!  As I write this there is one piece left.  A testament to the goodness!

                    ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Friday, January 21, 2011

Best Peach Cobbler

     Well I am sooo psyched!  We got some snow!  Not a bunch really, about 3 inches. I went... I played... I took some pictures... It can melt now!!!  LOL   It amazes me how pretty it makes the neighborhood.  Now I know alot of you are probably laughing at me for being so excited about something you have to deal with for months at a time.I truly feel for you but you have to remember that I'm a Texas girl.  Raised up on the Gulf Coast we didn't see much snow.  Well, to be honest we didn't see ANY snow.  The newness of it has not worn off of it for me, yet. 

    Living in this part of the country works out too. Mrs M was telling me that it usually only snows 3-4 times a year here and then melts off after a few days.  As little as I like cold weather, that sounds pretty good to me.  To actually have four seasons is pretty cool in my books. Any more winter than this though.... uhhh not for me thank you very much!  I love my new long johns but I don't want to have to wear them more than I do now!

     I still owe you all several recipes that I promised to post so I thought today I would post one of them  for you.  One of my very favorite recipe sites EVER has to be  Allrecipies.Com  I can sit and surf this site for hours and hours. There are a couple of reasons why I like it.  First, It has hundreds and hundreds of good recipes.  Secondly, It has a feature you can use to pull up recipes based on what you have on hand. Just type in the ingredients you have or want to use and hit the button.  Up pops all sorts of things.  The third thing is that the recipes all have user reviews.  This comes in really handy for me.  I like to see what others have done to "add" to the recipes. 
 This is the yummy and oh so easy Peach Cobbler that Mars made me for my birthday.  Even with all the other sweets sitting around this cobbler disappeared Fast.
 Best Peach Cobbler
1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) In a large bowl, combine sliced peaches with juice, 2 tablespoons melted butter, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Dissolve cornstarch in water, then stir into peach mixture; set aside.
2. In another bowl, combine milk, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until smooth - mixture will be thin.
3. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a 9x13 inch pan. Pour batter over melted butter. Spoon peaches over batter. Sprinkle top with additional cinnamon and nutmeg.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until knife inserted comes out clean.

Try it with a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream and ohh my goodness!!!  Enjoy!
                              ~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...~~~

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Planning for Cool Weather Crops

    While Mrs M and Bud were in Tulsa last week they picked up a new tiller! It's a beauty for sure....    Last year they loaned their garden tiller to their son so he could do some work in his garden. They have been talking about investing in a smaller one that  would be easier for Bud to handle.  His back is really bad so  the bigger one tends to try and beat him up a bit. Their grandson was awesome and delivered it to them on Saturday!  It's funny how you can look at something like a tiller and see a thing of beauty.  A shiny red Troy-bilt!  It IS that pretty.

     Of course now a little more garden space is planned. This year, bigger IS better.  We've gotta get all that dang bermuda grass out though... lots of work and I'm sure it's going to be a never-ending task this summer. Especially with it being the first time anything other than grass has been grown on it. Mars and Mrs M have been talking.  After looking over the results from the soil sample they know what has to be done to the dirt now.   She sent him down to the feed store to pick up some cotton seed meal for the garden and he's got it tilled in now.  The compost pile is out there resting and soon will be turned into the soil.

     Since  Mars got the heater going it's quite comfy in the greenhouse. I can't believe that the jalapeno peppers are still hanging in there after being dug up and potted this fall.   There are still a few peppers on them too.  They are starting to sprout some new leaves so I'm curious to see if they hang on and start producing again this spring.  We are also still eating fresh green onions.  Mrs M has this big "clump" that she taught me to "pick out" with a chop stick and replant. That way there are always green onions growing.

    We started some Roma tomato's a couple of days ago.  I've had the seeds just laying around for probably 3-4 years now.  I don't know if they will germinate or not but by gosh we are gonna find out!!   They don't actually get to go out into the garden until the middle of April but that's only about 11 weeks away.  Hopefully we will have some nice starters to go out there!!

    I've been reading up on gardening in this part of the country.  I think that most every state has an agricultural extension office that can help with all sorts of questions you might have.  Look them up.  They are in business for you.  Around here its about time for starting some of the plants.  Come the middle of February we can start planting out in the garden.  I feel like starting a count-down! 

    Guys, seriously, if you haven't already started growing your own vegetables I really would like to know why.  With food costs going thru the roof and even the main stream media talking about coming food shortages you have no excuse not to try.  I know I've said it over and over but ANYONE can grow at least some of their foods.   How about incorporating some vegetables into your flower bed this year?  Heck if it were me I would probably just rip  it out and plant stuff but that's another story. Plant some lettuce or some Swiss chard in there with your flowers.  There are some beautiful varieties that would be a nice addition to your yard. As a matter of fact there are lots of vegetables that make pretty plants.  And the best part is... you can eat them.   See, no excuses!

    Even if you were to only plant a tomato plant and some lettuce, you would have the start of some really nice salads for months to come. Besides, you don't really want to only read about how wonderful everything tastes do you?   ;o) 
   I will probably bore everyone to death because lots of garden posts and recipes will be sure to be found here over the next several months. Stay tuned... or better yet.... start planning and planting!
                  ~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Monday, January 17, 2011

An Extraordinary Day

I have to tell you that I am usually one of those people that doesn't get all excited about things like holidays or birthdays.  They come and they go without much fanfare for the most part. And so when my birthday rolled around on Friday, I really didn't give it much thought.  I have to say now, looking back, that it was one of the best birthdays I have had in many years.  I woke up and the very first thing I heard was "Happy Birthday, I Love You".  You tell me, is there any better way to start a day?  

One of the things that Mars has done for my birthday every year is to bake me a pie.  I am not much of a "cake" person.  I like cake, don't get me wrong,  but I would so much rather have a pie for the most part. Over the years he has made all sorts.  Pecan, peach, apple,and even lemon meringue. The year he baked the lemon meringue it was so good that it was gone in less than an hour.  I am NOT kidding.  We inhaled it!  Since we were having company later that evening he had to bake us another one.  Now that was some kinda pie!  This year he decided to make a peach cobbler, using some of the peaches I had canned a couple of years ago.  It came out great!  I'll post the recipe soon.  Its one of those that is really easy to make and takes very little time to whip up.  Oh, and did I mention.... It was really really good.

I got a call from my Mom, wishing me a happy birthday. It was great to talk with her even though our connection was really bad. Hey, what can I say... Skype is really cheap inexpensive and I still technically have a phone. The call kept getting dropped so if you want to be technical, she called me 5-6 times!!  LOL I don't care... we had a good chat!

My friend Half-Pint from the prepper's chat room sent me beautiful scarf which arrived the day before my birthday.  Check out my last post about that.  Come to find out that it was sent as a Christmas present, but due to the wonders of the postal system it was timed with absolute perfection and arrived just in time for my birthday!

Mushroom and Bud had to go to the Big City for the day.  Both had doctors to see and some errands to run.  That left Mars and myself  "home alone"  for the day.  He puttered around in the greenhouse for awhile. The gas heater that Mrs M has set up out there hadn't been working properly and so he installed a part that Bud had picked up a couple of days ago.  Then cleaned out the jets and found a big spider web "nest".  I'm happy to say that it is working just like it should be now!!  It is so nice to have a greenhouse to putter around in.  Mrs M has graciously given some rein to do whatever "floats your boat" in there.  He planted a bit more lettuce and the last of the cauliflower seed the other day. I need to find some more as well as some cabbage.

I did some laundry, surfed the net and puttered around most of the day. I really like days like that. No big chores or serious things to take care of.  I also attempted to make some fudge.  That little experience deserves its very own post so I'll get back with you on that one!  

Mrs M and Bud got home late in the afternoon.  Before she got back to the house she called and asked Mars to start a fire in the grill. You should have seen how big my eyes got when I saw what they had brought home.  Fixings for a dinner fit for a king. (or in this case Queen) I wish I had taken pictures of it all.  Mrs M brought home some rib-eyes steaks that I swear were at least two inches thick.  And they also bought me a wonderful chocolate cake with German Chocolate icing!  I was and still am quite taken aback at the generosity and the thoughtfulness of one of the best birthday dinners a girl could wish for.  Rib-eyes steaks grilled to perfection (thanks hunny) and a ginormous baked potato with all the fixings. Top it off with Birthday cake and Ice Cream. Oh, and don't forget the scrumptious Peach Cobbler. I must tell you that it touched my heart to have so many blessings in one day.

Pretty cool, yes?  Well it got even better. The reason I say that is that even my internet friends got in on it all.  One of the best friends I have ever known (via the internet) also sent me a present and her best wishes.  Felinae, of  Tales From the Scratching Post got together with Mrs M and sent me a pair of really nice ladies long johns.  Top and bottoms in the perfect size no less! And a warm woolen pair of socks.  They know I can't handle the cold and came up with the perfect gift!  ( Fel, I seriously almost cried when I opened the box.  Thank you so very much.) Such a thoughtful gift, knowing how me and winter tend NOT to get along. 

To top it all off... I received tons and tons of birthday wishes from all my FaceBook friends.  Again, I almost cried with happiness from all the well wishes from all of you.
Like I said, I think I had one of the best birthdays I have ever had.  I didn't even freak out over the rapidness of the years speeding by me!

Again I would like to say to each and everyone of you ... Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.  It was a wonderful day.

                   ~~~ Hey... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Friday, January 14, 2011

Seed Starting and Hand-Knit Scarf

Today has been a really good day. Look what came in the mail!!  I got the most wonderful surprise today.  A package came in the mail from across the pond. It was mailed last month and arrived today.  Can you believe it took almost exactly a month to get here?  Wow!  My friend Half-Pint from the prepper chat room sent me a beautiful hand-knitted scarf for my birthday!  (grrrrr  they keep coming faster and faster) Thank you so very very much.  I just love it. He is my inspiration for getting better at knitting.  Mushroom taught him on line!  I figure if he can do it like that, then I have no excuse not to be able to since I have a teacher right here!!
I am already really tired of winter. I can't imagine what it is like to have to live farther north.  Hats off to all of you who have to deal with all that snow and ice. Listening to the weather yesterday I learned that we are now officially in "the dead of winter". Apparently the dead of winter is from the 10th of January to the 10th of February.  Joy Joy!  This time of year is hard on me.  I don't like being stuck indoors, I HATE  can't stand the cold. My body doesn't like it either! I know, I know.  Suck it up and deal with it!  It can't be over soon enough for me.  Ok, I'm done with the fussing for now. 
I've been looking for things to keep myself occupied while waiting for spring. The seed catalog's are coming in almost daily now. I love looking through them. In addition to listing the seeds, many of them toss in all sorts of interesting information.Great reading for "throne" times.  I also found a great garden growing guide for our area. According to it, it is finally time (within the next couple of weeks) to start planting some of the seeds!! Once more I will try my hand at growing herbs.  Heck, I'm going to keep trying until I get it right!!

I need to get some more cauliflower seed so we can get them started.  We had just a few cauliflower and broccoli seeds left and Mars started them a couple of days ago. I'm interested in seeing how it will do. The guide says the time is right to be able to start the cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage from seed now.  I'm SO excited!!.  It means that the countdown to the end of winter can be started now!  It won't be much longer till we can start lots more stuff.  YaY!

My daughter asked me awhile back to write an article on growing food in small places. I've been working on it and hope to finish it soon.  I'm kind of excited about it really.There is so much you can grow, even if you don't have much room to do it. One thing that I would suggest is to start rounding up some containers right now.  It is something you can be doing while you are waiting for it to get warm enough to start planting.  5 gallon buckets are good for many kinds of plants.  Hanging baskets and larger flower pots will work too. It's also a good time to start making a list of the things you would like to grow.   You would be amazed at what all you can plant in containers! 

                        ~~~ Hey ...  I'm Just Sayin'  ~~~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chocolate Pudding Cake

We got a little bit of snow over the weekend.  Not much by even my estimation but it WAS snow!  We are expecting some more over the next couple of days.  The fun part of it is that it has melted pretty quickly and hasn't been affecting traffic or travel.  Yet. 
It is supposed to be below freezing all week but I'm hoping for more sunny days than cloudy one. In the morning we are supposed to wake up to 9 degrees. That, my friends, is cold!   Even by most of your standards! Not that I've gotten out and gone anywhere but hey...ya never know.  

Mrs M and Bud have been babysitting their "grand=dogs" for the past week. Thank goodness they are well behaved.  So for a few days there we had 3 large and 1 small dog(s) in the house.  Interesting and at times pretty entertaining. The fur-babies almost outnumbered the people around here for awhile.  They are back home now and things are pretty much back to normal.  Holly did teach BB how to knock on the door while she was here visiting.  So now when the "ex-con" wants back in the house after breaking parole (yet again)  she just knocks before entering! She has been jumping the fence again and I'm pretty sure from the size of her tummy that she has found a new "people" friend. Dang if that dog is not getting FAT!

Last week Mrs M was asking Mars what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday.  He mumbled something which sounded kind of like he was saying that it didn't really matter.  Well, since he was mumbling and might have said he didn't care,I put my interpretation skills to work . What it sounded like to me just might have been chocolate cake. OK so as far as anyone could tell he wanted chocolate.  The more chocolate the better.  Oozing chocolaty  gooey cake.  Well, it just so happens that Mrs M remembered she had an old recipe that would work great.  So out came the books and the search was on for the chocolate cake that wonderful dreams are made of. She finally found what she was looking for online at under a heading of  Southern Food.  LOL we southerners sure do know our chocolate!!  And since there wasn't any of it left by lunchtime the next day, I am pleased to say we found what can certainly be called A WINNER!!!


1 cup flour
3/4 cup granulated Sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees.In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt.  With a fork, mix in milk, oil and vanilla.  Spread the batter evenly in a lightly b uttered 9" square baking pan.  Combine brown sugar and  1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle over the batter.  Slowly pour boiling hot water over the batter and brown sugar-cocoa mixture.  Bake chocolate pudding cake for 40 minutes.  Let chocolate pudding cake stand for 5 minutes. Spoon into dessert dishes or cut into squares.  Top chocolate pudding with ice cream or whipped topping.

The last sentence is VERY important!!  Of course that is just my opinion, but if you are going to have some of this decadent chocolaty  goodness you really don't want to forget the ice cream!

                  ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin'  ... ~~~

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dog Treats (DYI)

 Mrs M's (Mushrooms's) makes her own treats for her little dog.  While there are many products out there made from healthy ingredients, they are always expensive. The Dog Treats that aren't are usually by-products laden with dyes and chemicals.  MrsM  has been making her own dog treats for quite awhile now. They are really easy to make and alot less expensive per serving than the pre-packaged store bought varieties. ( As I sit here writing this I keep hearing that dang commercial in my head... Bacon Bacon Bacon  LOL ) 
There isn't much to making them and the ingredients are pretty straight-forward and easy to find. She makes two different types of treats. We have noticed that  her little dog really likes the ones made with hamburger better, but all dogs are different. Why not try them both and see which one your furbaby prefers. Just remember that  these are Treats not snacks!  Someone asked me if I would post how she makes them and so here ya go!

Mushroom's Dog Treat Recipe # 1

# Look for a decent cheap cut of meat.
Chuck roast, shoulder roast, etc... It doesn't matter if it is tough meat or not. Actually, if it is tough then it will give your dog a bit more "chew".  You are looking for something as lean as can find because you will be drying it. The less fat in the meat, the more slowly it will go bad.
# Cut the meat in small thin strips.
Try to keep the strips as uniformly even as you can.  This way they will dry more evenly.
  Note: Ask your meat department if they will cut the meat for you. If they will do it for free then you have just saved yourself a bunch of time! Hey, if they say no, it didn't cost you a thing to ask.  You might be surprised at the things people will do for you if you just ask.
#Place meat strips on your dryer trays. Do not let the pieces touch.
# Dry meats at approximately 160 degrees for 12-14 hours in your dehydrator.  If you are using your oven, set it at the lowest temperature.  Make sure it is hard and dry all the way through and there is no oil or fat in it.
# Store it in a canning jar or whatever is handy for you.

Mushroom's Dog Treat Recipe #2 

(Hamburger treats)
# Look for hamburger on sale. As with the meat cuts, try to use the leanest meat you can afford. It will work with the higher fat content, but keep in mind that it will take longer to dry. It will also not keep as long as lean meats will.
# Place the hamburger on your tray and roll it out evenly on the tray.  It is going to start out as one big piece of meat.
# Dry at 165 degrees 18-20 hours or until it breaks when you check it. Remember, if it is still real greasy, keep drying it.
# Break hamburger into small chunks and store in a canning jar or something handy.

Here is a really easy recipe for Dog Biscuits.  My dog loves peanut butter.  Yours probably does too!!

Dog Snacks

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup oats
2 eggs.
Roll into small balls.  Or you can roll them out and use a cookie cutter to make shapes.
Bake at 325 degrees about 15 minutes or until crunchy

There are lots and lots of Dog Snacks,treats and even Dog Food Recipes out there that you can make yourself.  So just do a search and see what you can come up with.  Many of them can be made with your food storage.  There may come a day soon that you will be glad to have a way to make these for your furbaby.

                    ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pelosi and Pumpkin Spice Pudding

We are being blessed with some wonderful weather here. The weatherman tells us that we are going to have a few more days of sunshine and temperatures in the 50's.  Of course the long range forecast has some really cold weather moving in. Predictions of highs only reaching the low 20's.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr  Oh well, what the heck can I expect... it IS winter after all.

Do you have a special way that you celebrate birthdays?  I know there are lots of folks who will go all out for birthdays.  I'm of a mind that unless you are under the age of 12 you might just want to grow upf  and get over it!    Anyway,  we used to go out to a restaurant of the birthday persons choice.  These days though, Mars or I will fix the other one a nice dinner of favorite foods and a dessert of choice. 
I say dessert of choice because I don't particularly care for cake. I would rather have a pie most any day of the week. Mars has made me a Birthday Pie for years now.  The pie choice changes from year to year but the pie maker remains the same!  :o) 
Why do I bring this up you ask?  Because I have a big pie decision to make in the next week or so!!!  You can't be to careful about requests like this.  It requires a great deal of thought and I wouldn't want to make the wrong choice!

Did everyone get to see Pelosi reluctantly give up the gavel today?  Man, I am soooo glad that that wicked witch has been relieved of duty. Of course, not before she patted herself on the back for all her "good deeds" during the time she ran roughshod over the House.  I thought she was going to try and filibuster to keep that gavel for a few minutes there!  I just wonder if our new Speaker of the House, John Boehner,  will be able to back up the excellent speech he gave today.  I guess we will have to wait and see how that all works out.Trust me when I say I'm not holding my breath.

I ran into the store for something yesterday and right there next to me at the check-out was a basket full of pumpkin spice Jello pudding. Like it had been there waiting on me to come and find it.  The sign on the basket.... 10/$1.00.  Now knowing how cheap I am and how much I love a good bargain and how I like to prep.... well.... I held my breath, dove into that basket head first,  and came back up with hardly a scratch, and 30 boxes of Pumpkin Jello Pudding. 
Yes, I said  30 boxes. Hey   Stop laughing!!  Actually, I think it was a pretty good deal. Ya never know when you might need something sweet!  Now I have stuff to make a pudding pie, maybe a pumpkin pudding cake or three, pumpkin spice puddings for delicious desserts uh , Pumpkin Spice Mousse... Uhhh....Please leave any and all  recipe ideas in the comment box below.  ;o)  Oh, and you just watch and see... it will be just my luck I end up with a Pumpkin Pudding Pie for my birthday this year!

.  Over at The Watchman  I was listening to one of the hosts (Cope Reynolds) who posted this great picture of an ingenious way to roast marshmallows!  I think I might try this one... what do ya think?  Might make a good topping for some of  that pumpkin spice pudding!

 If you get a chance, stop on over there and give him a listen.  His show is on from 11- 1 PM Central Time. There are some other great patriots over there as well,  so be sure to check them all out!
Oh, the picture at the top of the page was posted by him as well!!

                              ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin... ~~~

Monday, January 3, 2011

Catmans LitterBox

I just went over to my buddy Catman's place.  He has a great post up today. Don't be messing with old folks...  Check it out over at Catman's Litter Box.

                      ~~~ Hey... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~

Today's Ramblings

I talked with my grandmother over the holidays.  She is such a joy to me.  96 years young and one of the people I love most in this world.  She has taught me so much and continues to do so. These days she doesn't teach me things physically but still reaches into my mind and teaches me other things. Little things when she says them but huge in their importance. 

She and my granddad practically raised me and so I am closer than some folks are with their grandparents.  My grandfather passed away a few years ago and now she lives alone.  My dad comes over daily, right after lunch (she still calls it dinner).  She always makes a pot of coffee and they will sit for awhile. Sometimes they talk and other times they just sit, silently sipping coffee. After a couple of cups  Dad will mutter something about getting back to the house and he will head home.

  Gran doesn't get out much these days.  She gave up driving a couple of years after my grandfather died.  Said she was starting to scare herself and was sure if she was doing that... then others were bound to be scared of her!!   My aunt stops by every week and they head out to the local Wally World to do a little grocery shopping. She says it's mainly to get out of the house. The last time I talked to her she had picked up the stuff to make a coconut cake.  I remember those cakes. She used to make them for my granddad.  He just loved them.  These days a cake will last my grandmother quite awhile.  She still worries about getting fat so she eats smaller pieces and forces cake on my Dad to go with his daily coffee. 

She is starting to get hard of hearing. Phone conversations are getting harder for both of us.  I holler and she pretends to understand some of the things I'm saying.  I know that really bothers her but it doesn't bother her nearly as much as loosing her eyesight.  It is going slowly but it IS going.  She is a feisty lady and is fiercely independent.   She still gets along fine but is worried that her eyesight will become the reason she has to find other living arrangements.  I hope that never happens.  Anyway, she can't do many of the things she used to since her eyes have gotten so bad. 

She still gets out in the yard and tends to her flowers.  She still mows the yard  on her riding mower.  The garden is long gone. That was my grandfathers domain. Her's was the canning, cooking and freezing. That was a long time ago and something she used to enjoy. When I learned to can, she was proud that one of her grandkids understood the value of having food put away. She doesn't really know what a "prepper" is, but she does know the importance of being prepared.  "Things may get tough", she says, "And you will be ok if you have groceries in the house." 

One of the things that she misses alot is crocheting.  Her eyes have just gotten to bad to see the stitches anymore. She used to crochet all the time.  There were always at least one or two projects that she was working on at any given time.  She said it gave her hands something do to while her mind was racing around.
  She tried to teach me to crochet many times over the years,  but I never could seem to sit still long enough to actually learn more than a couple of simple stitches. 
So when I first told her that Mrs M was teaching me to knit, she was so excited. And even more excited when I told her I had made a hat and a scarf.  Woo Hoo  I have actually finished a couple of projects!!  When I first started learning to knit I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not.  Now I am pleased to say that I really enjoy it. My grandmother approves!
                        ~~~ Hey I'm Just Sayin ... ~~~