Welcome! I'm happy and humbled you've stopped by.....Cozy up and follow along as I share my attempts at simple living with you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Foto Friday-Incredible, edible eggs

This spring, we got a new batch of hens, just ready for laying. 
They have been busy producing what seems like a ton of eggs.....Some days, we get as many 2 dozen! 

 The new girls have also been stirring up a little competition with the old girls.
While the old girls can't keep up with the new girls' production; they have been able to lay some very large, and very unique eggs.

The dark brown eggs in the front are from the
 new sex links. The LONG eggs in the back are from the old girls.
Its not unusual to find the long brown ones in my basket.
But one of my old leg horn hens left me one big white egg today!

Eating lots of eggs .....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Autumn Harvest Tour...a very long post!

I love Fall
It is definitely my favorite season.
I love the rich colors..
I love the smell of spicy desserts baking in the oven....
and I love the crispness in the air as summer's hot air just breezes on by.

Around here, signs of Autumn are everywhere.
They're outside...

..and they're inside....

...But it's  inside that you can really see

Signs of 
Come with me and take the 
Harvest Tour

We have stores of food for winter

In the basement, we have
Bins of both 
Homegrown White and Red potatoes...

...... boxes of onions we purchased at the local Co-op...
(We grew our own but they are not as big.  My theory is why skin 3 onions when I can skin just 1-RIGHT?!)

Our second fridge is housing refrigerator pickles..yum..... 

as well as some fermented sauerkraut.  (more on that in a later post)

the pantry is stocked..

Shelves are filled with all our favorite jellies, and sauces.
We're stocked up on pickled beets and tomato juice (used in cooking)...

All the herbs have been dried...

And most recently, 
I made some homemade vanilla so it will be ready in time for holiday baking.  You can learn more about that on this post from my cooking blog, Carlisle Cooks. Homemade vanilla is delish!  

I also canned about 2 dozen jars of grape juice using the easy method of making grape juice concentrate by placing grapes and sugar in jars and covering with hot water before canning them.  It was way easier than the traditional way of making juice.  However, next time I would either add more grapes or subtract some sugar. We'll see, the grapes may produce more flavor as time goes on.

In case you're wondering, when using this method, you just strain juice before drinking. 
add ginger ale and you have punch!

More than a dozen jars of sauerkraut were canned in addition to the 2 jars left un-canned that continue to ferment in the fridge.

Did I mention that the freezer was filled to the gills?....

Yep.  It's filled with soups and veggies, veggies for soups...like chopped onions, carrots and peppers.....even some cabbage wedges. There are pies, breads, cookies, cherry pie filling (my fav), peaches, strawberries and blueberries. The only problem is that I still have to make applesauce , apple pies.....

....and of course, freeze pumpkin (still in the garden) so we can have yummy treats, all winter long! Where will I put all that stuff??

I think there may be a turkey on the bottom of the freezer that may have to come out!

It's no wonder I haven't had time to blog!!

Much of the garden has been put to rest for this year.

Hubs planted barley for the winter where
the potatoes and corn once grew.
I have some fall crops yet to enjoy, like kale, kohlrabi, chard and turnips.  And just recently, I planted a variety of lettuces that like the cooler temps.  

Our sweet potatoes have yet to be raised (that will happen after frost) and the field corn must be picked and shelled for the girls this winter.  We do that a wheel barrow load at a time- in our free time..ha ha!

Just reflecting on this year's garden harvest makes me fill full.

And I'm not just talkin' about my belly.  

Gardening is a 
(a 4 letter word)

But its rewards way outweigh the work.
(I can say that now that the season is nearly over!)

God's goodness seems to fill every nook and cranny of our home!
We will be savoring the fruits of our labors (and his goodness) for months to come!

And isn't 
much better than 
Store bought??

Do you have a garden?...

BIG or little....
I'd love to hear about it!

Enjoying the harvest....
For everything there is a season,   a time for every activity under heaven......   A time to plant and a time to harvest..
Ecc 3

This post is linked to Barn Hop #80

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gratitude Journal Entry #9

Hey Blogger friends...
Listen up...
This is an important post!

September is Leukemia and Lymphoma
Awareness Month. 

And if you're reading this,
you know a leukemia SURVIVOR!

This week marks 9 years since my life was radically changed.
Nine years ago, I went to the doctor complaining of headaches.  I was over 40, homeschooling 2 teenagers and packing up all my worldly goods to trek 800 miles across the country to back "home."  I really just thought the headaches were "lifestyle" related.

I was getting headaches and feeling tired all the time, making it nearly impossible to complete all the tasks that needed finished.

So I went to the doctor to get something for the headaches, but what I got was not medicine, it was 2 pints of blood and a bone marrow test.  OUCH! 
I received the final diagnosis of
Acute Mylogenous Leukemia
just a week or so before the move home.  

And YES, I lost my hair, 
a small price to pay to save your life.

And YES, it grew back.....

BLONDE!  (he he)

The point of this post has nothing to do with my hair ...
the number 1 reason for the post is, however.....

to spread awareness of this terrible disease, 
as well as other blood cancers.

For more information you can go to the LLS web page, here.

You can donate if you choose;)

My daughter, 
bless her heart, 
signed up for 
Team in Training 
several years ago and ran a triathlon
raising $1000.00 for the cause on my behalf!

My Number 2 reason for this post 
is to remind each of you, 
that if you know anyone who is suffering from cancer 
or from any other life threatening affliction...

to them! 

 Don't shy away because you're not sure what to say...
Don't keep from visiting them because you're not sure what to expect...


Because you may very well be the blessing they are in need of!

Believe me, when that loved one gets back on their feet,
they WILL remember those who stayed away...
And they Will also remember those who....

brought meals,
sent notes of encouragement,
made phone calls,
came to visit....
sat with them...
and PRAYED for them.

I was blessed beyond anything I could have imagined!

Blessings flowed from 
and even from Florida!

My church family in Wisconsin was incredible!
Family and friends in Pennsylvania rallied around me AND my family!
(their efforts would require a blog post all their own)
And the cards, calls and prayers from Florida were amazing!

For that my friends
I am thankful!

Monday, September 10, 2012

For the love of Turquoise

This summer, we took a little trip to O.C. MD. 
When we got there, we quickly discovered there was a car show called,
Cruisin' OC
going on that weekend.  
The cars had completely taken over town! 

 I must confess though, 
I'm a bit of a car enthusiast!

If you knew me, you would know that I'm crazy for 

Soo while our weekend was motor revvin' LOUD-
I totally enjoyed it! (at least for the first day)

Well, I fell in love with this beautiful 
California Mustang....and the color was luscious!

After seeing several old turquoise cars,
I looked at hubs and said,"I have to paint something turquoise!"

SO I decided on the laundry room.  Most our home is earthy, with the exception of the grandchildren's playroom.  

I didn't get a "before" picture.  
Forgive me, please!

But suffice it to say, my laundry room was very boring. It was antique white with a cutesy border like this..

... And it had endured several years 
of grown children using it.....
need I say more?!

So Here It Is......
my new
Vintage Laundry Room

These pictures make the paint look a bit periwinkle.  But trust me, it's not.  It's very turquoise-ee and cheery.

No makeover in this house is ever complete before a trip downtown for some junkin'!  I found some sa-weet junk to go with some of the stuff I already had.

 Check out those dresses on the wall...
They were my doll dresses when I was a child.
An elderly neighbor lady made me many of my dresses, and would also made a matching dress for my dolls with leftover fabric.  Cool huh?

Gotta love blue jars and blue insulators!

Do you iron?  Some people say they NEVER iron.  I don't iron anything that I deem unnecessary.  But I do iron..as needed.

 Love this old chair!

Brooms and mops discretely tucked behind the door.

I keep this handy tray beside the washer and dryer.  

I created it several years ago after seeing something similar on Martha Stewart.

I also keep a cheat sheet for stain removers,
and one for stain removing supplies.  

Do you make your own laundry detergent?  I have been making my own for years.  I have tried several recipes.  But I have settled on a recipe from MaryJane's Magazine.

I luv rag rugs!

And speaking of cleaning....

While I had the room cleared out for painting, I did some major cleaning, and cleaning out!

I used these tips for cleaning the inside of the washing machine.
It worked beautifully. (btw, I love this blog)

And  I purged all the stuff I didn't need in an attempt to keep things

Living Simply and Deliberately...
Enjoying a new clean and cheery
Vintage Laundry Room...

For more Martha Laundry room tips, click here.  But I'll warn you, it may make your head spin!!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Earlier this season, I decorated the front of the house with flowers.......

Two weeks ago, I snapped these pictures.......

This trumpet vine was so overgrown, it had become a nuisance. 

Hubbie wasn't too pleased about this!

One had to walk through the jungle
just to get through the doorway.

So I wacked down the trumpet vine, 
and today the porch is breathing much easier.

I am so amazed at the difference just a few months can make.

It's hard to visualize in the spring when you're planting those 
teeny little plants that they will soon become a beautiful burst of color!


As the season marches on, I've already had to replace a few things.  I found some flowering kale at the local Lowe's. 

 And I'm looking forward to adding some 
fall plants and pumpkins in the near future.

For now though, I'm gonna savor the last few days of summer.  (The weather guys are calling for cooler temps next week...can't wait for that!)

While I love Indian summer and fall, and look forward to it every year....
It's a reminder of what's to come!

I'm not as happy about the season that follows.
How about you?



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