Thursday, April 19, 2012


I know I've been scarce lately! I've been a tiny bit busy with school,Scouts,activities, driving Eldest to and from his job everyday,spring and the 1,439 things we all have to do!
Let's see how about a quick update from absent me?
We put in a raised bed in the "front" yard. It's about a 20 by 20 foot bit of lawn in front of our driveway,surrounded by pine trees to the back, our wood stack to the left and the back porch to the right.We had to put in a raised bed, because our ground is mostly pine roots mixed with packed clay and rocks,sprinkled with poison ivy, the only thing our ground will readily grow!
 I simply bought a raised bed kit and put it up. Then Hubby complained it was crooked and said he would straighten it out for me. Then I waited 2 weeks, got tired of waiting and dumped 12 yards of topsoil/compost in it. Hubby now looks at the raised bed every day and mentions how crooked it is. I pretend I can't hear him., but I laugh a tiny bit inside because I know it is slowly driving him mad. I'm that kind of thoughtful wife, you see.
Three days ago I planted half a dozen cucumbers and 3 mixed hot peppers. Mixed meaning they will be some sort of hot pepper, but I won't know what exactly until they begin to produce in a couple of months. Note to self: label seeds next time.
Then we had quarter sized hail, but miraculously, I believe everything will survive!
I have tomato starts waiting to be planted this weekend-10-15 of Roma, Brandywine,Supersweet, Cherokee Purple and a couple Black Krim, along with about a dozen more hot pepper mixes, Bell peppers, basil, dill, broccoli, and various herbs.
Beans will go in this weekend as well-about 20 bush beans and Kentucky Wonder, some Boston pickling cukes and more Straight Eight cukes.
I also have 3 blueberry bushes I hope survive the summer so I can replant them next spring-until then, they are hanging out on the back porch, attracting all sorts of flying creatures.
Raspberries, strawberries, and potatoes are coming in, along with 3 volunteer pumpkin plants growing in the compost pile.
If everything survives, I should have lots of delicious veggies this summer and hopefully enough to can, dry and make into jams, pickles and salsas! Yummy!
Youngest Boy is loving Scouts, and has been going to weekend camping trips once a month. I've been going along, both for his comfort and to help with driving the other Scouts, and because, well, I don't mind camping to much. Bugs, dirt, camp cooking, hiking and tent sleeping all seem to agree with me,plus the hikes are great, even if I feel every bit my age my the time we get home Sunday!
Eldest has gotten a part time job flipping burgers, so I get to haul him 40 minutes round trip twice a day until he gets his own car, which at this rate should be by the time he is 37.He is working towards his GED and Hubby is working with him on a budget. Hubby is a saint!
We are getting close to winding up our school year in a couple of months, and with the weather finally getting warmer, we will be getting out and doing some day hiking soon-Girl is looking forward to that! She really enjoys hiking and outdoors stuff, as long as she doesn't have to use a Port-A-Potty! That girl can hike for hours!
I will be back as soon as I can-I promise!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ten Things I Want To Tell Teenage Girls

Stolen Fronm Another blog, but So worth the reposting:

1. If you choose to wear shirts that show off your boobs, you will attract boys. To be more specific, you will attract the kind of boys that like to look down girls’ shirts. If you want to date a guy who likes to look at other girls’ boobs and chase skirts, then great job; keep it up. If you don’t want to date a guy who ogles at the breasts of other women, then maybe you should stop offering your own breasts up for the ogling. All attention is not equal. You think you want attention, but you don’t. You want respect. All attention is not equal.
2. Don’t go to the tanning bed. You’ll thank me when you go to your high school reunion and you look like you’ve been airbrushed and then photoshopped compared to the tanning bed train wrecks formerly known as classmates – well, at least next to the ones that haven’t died from skin cancer.

3. When you talk about your friends “anonymously” on Facebook, we know exactly who you’re talking about. People are smarter than you think they are. Stop posting passive-aggressive statuses about the myriad of ways your friends disappoint you.

4. Newsflash: the number of times you say “I hate drama” is a pretty good indicator of how much you love drama. Non-dramatic people don’t feel the need to discuss all the drama they didn’t start and aren’t involved in.
5. “Follow your heart” is probably the worst advice ever.
6. Never let a man make you feel weak or inferior because you are an emotional being. Emotion is good; it is nothing to be ashamed of. Emotion makes us better – so long as it remains in it’s proper place: subject to truth and reason.
7. Smoking is not cool.
8. Stop saying things like, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me.” First of all, that’s not true. And second of all, if it is true, you need a perspective shift. Your reputation matters – greatly. You should care what people think of you.

9. Don’t play coy or stupid or helpless to get attention. Don’t pretend something is too heavy so that a boy will carry it for you. Don’t play dumb to stroke someone’s ego. Don’t bat your eyelashes in exchange for attention and expect to be taken seriously, ever. You can’t have it both ways. Either you show the world that you have a brain and passions and skills, or you don’t. There are no damsels in distress managing corporations, running countries, or managing households. The minute you start batting eyelashes, eyelashes is all you’ve got.
10. You are beautiful. You are enough. The world we live in is twisted and broken and for your entire life you will be subjected to all kinds of lies that tell you that you are not enough. You are not thin enough. You are not tan enough. You are not smooth, soft, shiny, firm, tight, fit, silky, blonde, hairless enough. Your teeth are not white enough. Your legs are not long enough. Your clothes are not stylish enough. You are not educated enough. You don’t have enough experience. You are not creative enough.
There is a beauty industry, a fashion industry, a television industry, (and most unfortunately) a pornography industry: and all of these have unique ways of communicating to bright young women: you are not beautiful, sexy, smart or valuable enough.
You must have the clarity and common sense to know that none of that is true. None of it.
You were created for a purpose, exactly so. You have innate value. You are loved more than you could ever comprehend; it is mind-boggling how much you are adored. There has never been, and there will never be another you. Therefore, you have unique thoughts to offer the world. They are only yours, and we all lose out if you are too fearful to share them.

You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.A

Monday, April 2, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

This. You must try this. It is THE best syrup, according to the kids, who attempted to prove this point by drinking it directly from the bottle. They finally settled on chocolate milk, heavy on the chocolate, light on the milk. Then they flipped out for 1/2 an hour before the sugar coma hit.
None the less, I had a craving for something chocolaty tonight and this fit the bill perfectly. I didn't even wait for the syrup to cool, but poured it over ice cream like a hot fudge. It's not as sticky sweet as the commercial variety of chocolate syrup, which makes it perfect for ice cream topping, chocolate milk, or even added to your coffee. Plus it's only got 4 ingredients, all of which I can actually pronounce.
You could make it with raw sugar  or suconot, but I just used plain old white sugar this time around and it was heavenly!
Here is the recipe-give it a try and you'll thank me!

Homemade Chocolate syrup
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and heat to a full, rolling boil.
Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cocoa, a bit at a time, whisking well.
Pour syrup through a fine sieve, to get the remaining coca lumps out.
I pressed mine through with a spoon.
Add vanilla, whisk and let sit a few minutes to cool.
A film might form over the syrup as it cools-if it does, remove the film if you wish.
I just stirred it all up and it was fine.
I poured mine into a large honey "bear" shaped bottle, or you could simply use a mason jar with lid.
Chill and use just like commercial syrup.