Well, I now have one week’s worth of school work under my belt. Boy, I forgot how much work you have to do. I am learning so much. I’m taking 3 classes and they keep me on my toes, along with Gabby. I got an e-mail from my school saying they would transfer 4-classes = 16 credits, and I needed 96 for my degree. Starting out with the 16 is great. Boy, I was doing the happy dance all over the place. The 4 classes were the hardest for me, two of which were Composition 1 &2. Writing is not my strongest area, term papers are not like writing here. The Lord answered prayers again, thank you Lord and thank you all for praying. But don’t worry, I still get to practice writing those term papers. I have three due this Saturday. I printed off a ream of paper, on how to write a term paper as it’s been 12 plus years. As soon as I get these three wrote , I’ll be fine and breath a little easier.
This week at school has made me leave my comfort zone more than once. Most times I took a step with shaky knees, and others with a lot of prayer. That comfort zone of ours is a nice place, the only thing is, you don’t grow much there. I believe it’s just a resting place. And I really like it there. 🙂 But I want and need more in my life, so I have step out. The Lord must have big things planned for me as I have not been able to stay in that comfort zone of mine much this year. And that at times has been scary. Like most people I want to grow, but I don’t want to leave my comfort zone to do so. So I’m taking steps of faith, one day at a time.
The girls have been a great help this passed week, fixing dinner and cleaning house, letting me study, etc. As I try and fit my schooling into the day, along with everything else. Thank you girls. 🙂
My truck is on it’s last leg. I no longer take it to town, just a corner store that is less than a mile away. That way when it dies, I’ll be close to home and the auto repair shop. So I have been borrowing a car and shop for two weeks worth at a time. So please pray that I’ll sell the tractor, so I can buy a small car. My neighbors have been great. ( another step out of my comfort zone) You don’t see having a car as being in a comfort zone, well hopefully you will never find out it is. Sometimes being an independent person has it’s draw backs. (yet another lesson I’m learning). Boy, it’s great I enjoy learning new thing, or this year would of really, really been hard on me.
Gabby is 3 weeks old today. She is such a joy to have in the house. Tasha is a great mommy ,too. Gabby is getting her fill of love, while she gives us her smiles and funny faces.
The youth group came out for two days, last week. Oh what a wonderful blessing they were. My yard got mowed, weed eated, garden weeded, some things moved around. What a blessing the Lord sent. As the yard was getting high, and first week of school, He was watching out for us yet again, Thank you Lord.
There are blessings in everyday, you just have to find/look for them, they are not all big blessing. And at times the smallest blessing are really the biggest.
Well it’s time to hit the books. I pray you all find at least one blessing today.
Most of these have to do with Canning Potatoes post. This post is the most read/looked up/searched for post on this blog. Which to me is a little funny as I have canned potatoes for 10 plus years. Now more and more people are canning more than just jellies and vegs.
Tanya: love your web site…I too am into canning and have gotten a friend of mine into it but she came across a problem that I have never had so wondering if you have…She canned potatoes and at least half of them the lid actually popped up..later when they cooled off they went back down but left wrinkles in the lid..do you think they are safe and has this ever happened to you…thanks for any help are suggestions///
Sometimes this happens to me too, at least one time a canning season. I think it’s the lids (weak). If the jars have sealed, they are still good. But I do use those with the wrinkled tops first. If they didn’t seal put in the icebox and use as soon as you can.
Katye Birdsong: Becky, Do you have a recipe for canning peppers? chili and banana peppers?
No, I don’t. I usually freeze mine.
Oscar: Good afternoon Ms. Becky I hope you and your family are well. I would like to can the makings of a potato soup/stew. Can potatoes be canned along with other vegetables such as onions and carrots….or beef?
Take care. O.W.
Yes, you can can potatoes with all you listed above. But I have found it easier here at our home to can them all by them selves, as you can do more with them not mixed. When I make Beef stew- in a pot put a jar of: potatoes, carrots, beef(meat), and any thing else you like in there, cook to warm up and eat. But if you want to mix them look in a canning book and see which takes the longest and can for that time for mixed things. This goes for all things you mix to can, use the longest time. Hope this helps, if not let me know and I’ll try again. ok
Yvon: Becky, I just got a pressure canner and was very eager to try it. Mom has done her veggies all her life in a water bath but thought I would do the safer thing and get a pressure canner. I just tried to can to qts of potato for my first try. One didn’t seal so I thought I would taste them. I’m a potato lover and I have to say I have never tasted worse potatoes in my life. They almost had a burnt taste without being burnt or over cooked. What did I do wrong. I followed the Bernadin book. It’s early June and used old potatoes, could that be the problem? Thanks Yvon, a newbie at canning.
It is best to pressure can most vegs, some are safe to hot water bath, but not many. Old potatoes are your problem for sure. I have at times used store bought potatoes on sale but they must be hard still, with no eye growth. Most times I can the potatoes out of the garden, dig up one day and can them the next. Good luck and let me know how it goes canning this year please.
Katye Birdsong: Becky, Have you ever thought of writing a book? Your website is so interesting! I’m sure it would sell! My husband came up with that idea.
Ok Lord, I get the hint. Katye you see, you and your husband are not the first to say that. My late husband being the first( 2 1/2 years ago.) and then other readers here. But that would be stepping out of my comfort zone. And second, I have not the faintest clue were to start, or how to put it in a book form. So for now you all get it free here. 🙂 But as this writing a book thing keeps come up all around me, I will look more into. But please pray for me in this area, that the Lord’s will be done, as this is why I started the blog here.
Tasha’s baby, Gabby, is now about 6 1/2 lbs as of today, and is due in under 3 weeks. We are ready and trying hard to wait on her. Tasha had an ultra sound today, the last one. Little Miss Gabby is head up and feet down. Please pray that she will turn the right way soon. Thank you for all your prayers for me and my family.
I’m doing good most days, more so than a month ago. Thank you Lord. I really miss my better half, a lot. And I’m learning to live again, one day at a time. I’m finding me. (Only moms and wives will understand this.) Some how we lose ourselves over the years. The girls are doing great. We are waiting for our blessing from above, Miss Gabby.
The farm is doing good. I have made bigger chicken pens. I need to make 2 more different pens. We are chicken sitting for about 8 weeks. Now that’s a true farm, chicken sitting (watching for a out of town friend). Really starting to miss the fresh cows milk. I have a few gallons in the freezer for when I get the withdraw shakes for fresh raw cow’s milk. 🙂 🙂
I have not found any new tips, hints, money savers lately. I only planted tomatoes and strawberries this year. Our food barn is full ( only 3 girls eating and no men, should last us way longer than a year), and it’s been a long time since I/we have enjoyed a summer, more than 10 years. So the girls and I are going to see what we can do besides hoe and weed all summer. I think Tommy knew this too, when he had me start stocking foods 3 years ago. But next year will be garden time again. This will be a easy summer for us because of Tommy’s insight.
Well I better go for now. Thank you all very much for reading my blog. May God bless you all. Have a great day.
First off, thank you all for your prayers. I am still kicking, just had a few bad days. (almost a pity party) Funny how easy it can sneak up on you. For a few days, I felt like I was in a black hole and could not get out, and at times did not want out. You all know how your mind can play games with you. But the sun has come back out and the black hole is gone. Thank you Lord. So I am going to try again and get this blog going with more posts.
I dropped my power bill by: turning off lights and use them only at night when it’s dark or work is being done, using the small night lights in hallway and bathrooms ( no need turning on all those lights when the night light works fine), now I do turn the bathroom light on to take a shower, the cow fence charger was taken down( it used power), unplugged the extra ice box, turned off the water heater during the day and off after showers, TV-VCR-computers etc are plugged into a power strip that turned off when not in use, no dryer (not using it to dry wash cloths like before about once a week, now I use homemade wash cloths and napkins so we are talking about almost 50 cloths to hang up.), do one load of dish in the dishwasher a day (no more- different glass every time you get a drink).
My gas stove is getting fixed this Thursday, no more store bread. It went out months ago, and I have been using the small toaster oven. But it’s not big enough for bread. And the bread prices keep going up and up along with everything else. It’s a bit of money to get it fix. But I also see it as saving more money as I will be able to cook more at home. Boy we sure do miss my oatmeal cookies. 🙂 I have saved up to get it fixed. And can’t wait to get it back in working order.
TommieLynn’s male hamster got got last week. For three days he had freedom. Then this morning the female hamster was not in her cage when I woke up. Her and her 7 babies gone. I don’t mind telling you think twice and then think again before getting hamsters. Well her freedom did not last as long as his, only a few hours. Thank you Lord. And the kittens keep coming, now we are up to 14 kittens, 1 more cat due any day. Anyone need a great mouse cat, they are free. My cows were so much easier than these hamsters. LOL
It’s going on it’s second week of rain every day. Today it only rained this morning. My grass is almost knee high but it’s still to wet to mow and it’s supports to rain the rest of this week. So I have not even been able to do any garden work. My garden does not need to be that big this year as my food barn and freezers are still full. But we do need a few things. I am so thankful I started stocking up when Tommy told too, almost 2 years ago now.
The jobs are still very few in this area. More and more people losing jobs and homes. And more are having their power turned off. More are growing gardens, and more are trying new ways of doing things to stretch their money. At times it’s overwhelming to see the way this world is going. But I’m ready for home.
I have been making homemade popsicles out of kool-aid and juice, an quick snack. I have the cream in the freezer for homemade ice cream when it gets a little hotter. I am still stretching my meats at dinner, and having eggs at dinner as we have so many eggs. Sometimes just sandwiches. Trying very hard to buy less and less from the store, most of the time I do great. There are times when I do buy what I call extras/just because things. So far we are doing good. When KFC chicken sends out great deals with coupons on buckets of chickens, I get them and pack in meal size freezer bags. It a fast meal and better than the frozen box chicken. Does not happen often, but it’s a treat too. When we do go out to eat, we use coupons or no go. Have you all seen more then usual coupons coming out in the mail? Some are great deals. Right now here, KFC has a 2 piece meal deal out for $2.00. I know fast food is not good for you, but sometimes you just need to get out, a night off.
I need your help, ok. I have some many black ant hills in my yard it’s no long funny. Every other step, is a step into a ant hill and they are in my raised bed garden too. I have never seen so many. How can I get rid of them as they are now trying to come into the house??? They are breeding faster than rabbits and rats. HELP !!
I am still feeling my way through this new life, one day at a time, by God’s grace I/we will make it.
Well I’m still here. With spring in the air, and it calling me to come outside and enjoy it, I have. I got the yard mowed yesterday with the push mower, and my poor unused muscles are crying this morning. Hopefully after a few more times, I’ll be in shape again and not hurt. Winter muscles are slowly waking up and becoming summer muscles. I really need to learn to use the riding mower. It took all day to mow and that’s just the yard. I did not mow the pasture. All the fence lines are down from there, now just an opened field. Which TommieLynn loves, even if I am not going to mow it. The sunshine felt good and the yard looks nice. We really have a big yard, with hills, it’s not a nice flat yard.
I mulched a few things so as not to have to weed eat around them. I need to check into more mulch. Boy, does it look nice around plants and trees. I am itching to plant but know I need to wait until the end of April, first of May. So I am getting beds ready to plant. The first things to plant will be potatoes ( which I am trying in big planter tub) and green beans. I have offered my neighbors the big field to plant their crops, as I don’t need the big field for us three. They said ok , so hopefully they will use it. They have been out of work and have kids. And grew a small garden in their yard last year.
I finally got my power bill down by $50.00, I almost cried yesterday when bill came in. I did the happy dance and the girls thought I fell off my rocker. Oh,well. That’s a big drop for us, usually it’s only been $10 – $20 drop. I need to get the box fans out and cleaned. The house vents opened up and the fan put in the kitchen ceiling. But this can wait until the end of April. We can still get snow. But hopefully not.
One of my chickens is sitting, first one this year. Baby chicks on the way. I need to get the baby chicken pens ready, move some pens, and make some pens bigger. We are having a problem with stray dogs after my chickens. They have gotten two, and that’s two too many. So I have to run more fence around the pens. There is always something needing to be done here on the farm. (Even if it’s now a small farm). I can run fence but it’s still hard for me to get the T-posts in the ground with the T-post slammer(it weighs about 20lbs, and you have to pick it up over your head and slam it down many times on the T-post to get it in the ground, Tommy always did this.) Maybe I can find some muscle to help me. One good thing about living on a farm, you don’t have to pay to go to a gym for a work out. LOL
The girls are doing good. Tasha’s belly is getting better. TommieLynn is growing. We are trying to get ready for they baby. Moving things from one room to another, and thankfully throwing things away. TommieLynn can’t make up her mind: one minute she wants to be a tomboy and the next a young lady. Which at times bring a smile to my face. My youngest is growing up fast. One minute boys are yucky and the next she’s asking when she can date.
I really need to clean the food barn out. So I know what I really need to plant this year. I know I will not be canning potatoes this year, unless we are blessed with a lot of them. I’m only planting about 10 lbs as I can’t run the tractor. I know I should plant more, but this first year without Tommy, I need to find out what I can do. And potatoes take the most work, and with everything else, well we’ll see. It feels so funny, strange not having Tommy here to work with me. It was our favorite time of year, us working together outside to feed our family. I am so glad he taught me all he did. I know I can do almost everything he did, almost. But he never taught me to run the tractor, which is really ok. I don’t think I’d use it if I knew how.
I made it through two of the hardest days without Tommy. Easter Sunday and the next day, Monday, which we would have been married 12 years. It was rough, but by God’s grace and mercy I made. Yesterday I got the book back that I had made from the entries from the Caring Bridge site for TommieLynn. It had great photos of Tommy in it. So she and I let some tears fall and enjoyed looking and remembering. Her favorite photo was of her with her daddy showing her how to shoot a gun. I have good days along with bad ones. The hardest thing on me is making decisions without him. We always talked thing out before doing anything. We have been to the grave site a few times, this is where TommieLynn really lets the tears fall. But she’s also the one who asks to go there.
How are you all doing?
What are you doing this year that you did not do last year?
Anyone planting a garden for the first time this year?
Anyone found a great money saving tips lately?
Well I had better start this day. Thank you all for your prayers and comments. They all help me get through my days and bring a smile to my face. God bless you all. Have a great day.
Shawn and Cindy came and got TommieLynn for the weekend, Friday night. TommieLynn was overly happy to spend the weekend with her brother. Thank you Shawn and Cindy. Tasha went to Carl’s for most of the weekend. So it was just Tommy and I. Oh, what a treat. It has been many years since we have had a weekend alone together.
I took him out to eat Saturday night to his favorite restaurant to get his favorite meal. The restaurant had 4 men walking around singing to those of us eating. The restaurant had candles and flowers on the table. It was a wonderful evening, which we both really enjoyed. Thank you Lord, for blessing our evening and time together. I did have to give Tommy a dose of morphine while we were there but he said he had a great time with a smile. When we got home he did put on his oxygen and rested with a full belly and a smile in his face. His smile on his face so very much blessed me. I have found that the smaller things bless my heart so much more now than ever before. Thank you Lord again for a wonderful evening.
It is now time to cut down my chickens. We have 25+ chickens. And their feed bill is getting to high. People are no longer buying eggs. So I am giving away 2-3 flats of eggs a week. Don’t get me wrong, I do not mind giving eggs away, but their feed bill is about $30 a week. We no longer eat a lot of eggs a week, maybe 1-2 dozen. So we are down sizing the chickens. More than like, we will give the extra chickens away, to those who need them for food. Tommy is no longer able to butcher them, and I just can’t bring myself to do it. Now I could if I had too, but right now I don’t have too. Thank you Lord . So we will get the chickens down to 8-12 hens and a rooster, that way we will still be able to bless others with some eggs without over spending on feed. The beef cow is getting fatter, and will go into the freezer hopeful by late spring/ early summer. And then all the pasture fences will come down.
Looking to spring: We will not have the big garden down in the field this year. The strawberry & tomato patch (were I have many raised beds and is fenced in) will be used again this year. And I have to fence in an area for potatoes and some corn, up closer to the house but away from the strawberry patch. So I have been scouting the yard for the right place to put it. It will not be real big as there is only 4 of us now. I will only plant 50 lbs. of potatoes instead of 200 lbs. We love potatoes. Our potatoes did not do very well last year, maybe a new spot will help. I have really missed our potatoes this winter. And just enough corn to eat fresh and a little to freeze, not 8 rows 150 ft. long. All other veg’s will go into the raised beds. So this will be our first year with a small garden.
The only seeds/plants I have to buy this spring are: potatoes, tomatoes, onions sets. I have enough seeds for the other things we grow for about 3 years. Which is a great blessing. We were blessed last year with a really big box of seed packets: veg’s. , flowers, herbs seeds. Yes, not all of them will come up due to being last years seeds, but more than 80% will. So I just replant seeds that don’t come up, and have done so for years. Every fall when our feed store marks that years seeds to half price, I buy the seeds I need to plant the following spring. I save money on seeds. As the seeds get older the percentage of the ones that will come up goes down some. I have planted some seeds that were over 3 years old, and had a good crop.
As the girls and I will be doing all the yard work this year, I am looking for ways to cut back on as much as I can. One things I am going to do to cut down on weed eating is: put straw/mulch/hay around things and places that usually need to be weed eat-ed. I can get all the straw and hay from our feed store for free: I pick up the broken bales off the ground, there is always a lot. TommieLynn has been begging to use the push mower, oh little does she know what she’s asking for. She starts this year, we’ll see now long she’ll want to mow.
We have friends coming in this coming weekend, Scott and Ann. Then the following week, Tommy’s sister, Linda, is coming for a visit. He has not seen her in 6+ years. They both are really looking forward to this visit.
Well I am going to finish enjoying my quiet weekend. Hope you all have a great week.
Tommy has had a good weekend. He was up during the day and slept at nights. There was a few bouts with pain but the morphine helped. It was great having him up during the day. And he really enjoyed being up with us.
Tasha and Carl, helped me to get some more things out of the shop. We have until the 15th to get everything else out, almost done, maybe just one more trip. Thank you Carl for your help.
It has been a long time since we have had an easy and good weekend. Thank you Lord. Tommy was able to help me fix things and he got some other things done. Which made him feel useful.
The weather still does not know what it wants to do, one day cold and the next hot.
The girls are doing good. And Tasha’s belly is getting bigger. The farm is doing good.
Thank you Lord for all your blessings, love, and mercy.
I have not had a lot to say. ( alright now, no laughing) And I’m not sure what else needs to be posted on stocking foods and getting ready for the hard times ahead. I have been doing a lot of reading on the Internet, and checking on everyone. This site is still showing a lot of hits on stocking up and canning potatoes, etc.
I’m not liking what I hear on the News: more job loses, more people losing their homes, more companies lay off and closing down, and now the recall on peanut products. This mess will not be leaving us any time soon. So I’ll continue to keep a watch on our money, keep stocking, and keep looking for more ways to save money. And I’ll post any new finds I find out about.
Here we have seen good days and bad days but/and overly blessed. But we are still kicking hard. And we are thankful for grace and mercy for each day. This world is not our home. Tommy has good and bad days. And still loves his mp3 player. While he listened to it this morning, he found a loving message from Tommielynn. I did not even know she put it on there. But it brought a wonderful smile to Tommy’s face.
Tommielynn has stayed up late with Tommy a few nights, watching and helping him. I was informed by her that I needed my sleep and it was her alone time with her daddy. She has been a great help to me in helping with Tommy’s care. I am so very blessed to have a wonderful family.
With the weather not being the greatest(snow, rain), I admit I’ve been using the dryer for the clothes. In a way it’s been nice using it. (It does save some time, but also uses more power). Well I’ll use it as a treat for me. And it really only took the power bill up about $20, not bad for using it 4-5 times a week for about a month. This last week’s weather has been really different: one day is shorts, and the next layered clothes. No wonder I can’t get rid of this head cold.
Well I hope you all have a great day.
The News yesterday said we were in for a hard, long winter, with prices still going up, and all the floods and fires in the USA. All around here people are without jobs, and having a hard time making ends meet. More and more people are asking me what I do and how I do it. I tell most it’s about giving up things, (eating out, driving to town for no real reason, buying ready made meals, etc.). This is not a easy time for anyone here in the USA. People need to go back to helping each other and trading for what they need. We had family up last weekend, and we needed help cleaning up the yard and house. With no money to hire help, we asked friends to help. They too, have been out of work for months. So we traded meat and canned goods for their help. So everyone won. I liked too thank those good friends again for their help and their friendship, you guys mean a lot to us. Good friends are very hard to come by.
Barb // August 8, 2008 at 10:27 am
I found your blog most helpful and I do agree with your husband. We are headed for some very hard times ahead. I would love to know how you heat your home and what part of the country that you live in? We may not have gas or electric heat in the future….and that is all I have. I have a wood stove that I have thinking about installing in case we lose our electricity.
Love your blog…..great info.
Barb asked in a comment about how we heat our home. Well we use gas, and live in GA, USA. With Tommy’s breathing wood heat would be hard. And our house has no where to put a stove. With our gas heater, it still works if the power goes out. If you all can get a wood stove, do so now. A friend told me yesterday, that the wood stove companies were not making as many this year due to high prices on everything. We know our heating bill will be up but right now we just will have to make due. No running around the house in shorts this winter. And we’ll wear our shoes in the house. I’ll being baking more this winter: breads, cakes, cookies, etc. Which will help heat the house.
Tommy and I were talking about the winter times coming just last night. We are trying our best to plan ahead as much as we can. With his disability check we get every month, we’ll pay the rent, power, phone, heating gas and have a little let. So we are blessed to be able to pay these bill as some can’t. Heating gas: we used 200lbs. a month last winter( running it on low) for about $100 a month, but the gas prices have jump here by $20 extra a 100lb tank.( last year a 100lb tank filled cost $50 and has jumped to $70 and winter is not here yet) We use two 100 lb tanks, and fill them as needed. I know most people have the big 250 lb + tanks in their back yard, but we have never had the money at one time to fill the big tanks. And we are really paying less per gallon than those filling the big tanks. Our biggest bill this winter will be our feed bill( cow’s milk and eggs) without feed we will not get the milk and eggs. Right now our feed bill is up $25-$30 a week($70 in feed week). But we get some much for the money: 21 gallons of milk, 80+ eggs, beef meat, chicken meat). So we are trying to find a way to pay the feed bill, as this bill is a must. And we know the feed prices we keep going up. Many farmers have sold all their stock due to high feed prices. I can do a lot with milk and eggs, so we really need them. We’ll just have to wait and take it one day at a time. And our food stores, I can make them last two years( just needing to buy flour, sugar, oil). We have learned to make due or just do without. Yes, there are a few things we would like to have, but that’s life. We still have fun, we eat very well compared to some who can only eat very little due to food and gas prices. We always look for things to be thankful for instead of wishing for what we don’t have. Take a really good look around you, look really close: You can find many things your family can be thankful for. And being thankful for everything will lighten your load, we all are really so blessed. We sometimes forget to count our blessings ( including me). And most of the time the smallest blessing mean the most.
It going to be a long, hard winter. And we all can make it one day at a time and helping each other along the way. I have learned so many new things since we got the Internet. I know I will not use it all daily but when it’s needed I’ll have the info. I have always prepared for the worse times and prayed for the best. The simple life has been good for us in more ways than one. It’s a working life( garden, and animal care, cooking from scratch, using less power and using God’s wind), but we have always had a roof over our head and food in our tummies. God has blessed us, we have always had all of our needs meet.
Tommy is doing ok. Yesterday, he was hurting in his hip bones. He rested most of the day. Friends brought us some dog cage panels yesterday ( an other answer to prayer, we needed them to make a jr. chicken pen, badly, and no money for new fencing, God sent them to us). So Tommy had a nice visit with him on the porch for a few hours (Tommy does not sit still well, thanks Scott). It has been getting really hot about noon and staying that way until dark. ( 92-95 in the house) Well winter will be here soon.
Our family weekend with so well. We all had a great time. Someone had given us a big, big roll of plastic, which my 11yr. turned into a homemade water slide. The kids had so much fun, and they were funny too.
Most of the weekend everyone was trying to get a photo of the humming birds coming to the feeder on the front porch. Even with everyone sitting on the porch they still came, but went as soon as someone tried to take a photo. Well they finally got a few Sunday evening.
I made homemade cinnamon rolls, but there was none left, oh well.
And I had my first S’ mores, and it was really good.
It was really a great week end. Thank you to all who came. Well I had better go and get this day started. Hope and pray you all have a great day. Becky