Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done. Galatians 6:4

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pictures... Pictures.. I have LOADS of pictures... but I didn't want to do a million randoms ones today.. so today.. you get a lesson in making Bread and Butter Pickles! My garden is pumping out so much food.. a bit faster than what we can eat and I don't want it to go to waste.. in ONE day I picked 6lbs of cukes! Sorry Larry Boy.... I love ya!! I really do... but I'm turning you into pickles!!

Here are a picture of a couple of my cucumbers!

Next.. I used this Pampered Chef Crinkle Cutter.. I borrowed this from a friend.. my thoughts... ?? I'm not rushing out anytime soon to buy one.. I felt it was to big.. and not quite sharp enough.. I had to keep pulling my pieces apart.. time consuming if you ask me.. if I found one at a yardsale for cheap.. I *might* think about it... but it's not on my NEEDED list.. that's for sure..

It makes your cucumbers look like this...

But in the end.. it really didn't matter... oh well.. live and learn!!
So after you cut these all up.. you need to grab these and cut them up...

After all the cukes and the onion and garlic is cut they are to be mixed up with salt ( recipe will follow!)

Here's the mix.. now you have to ice it for 3 hours.. and YES you can leave it on the counter...

Your Cast of spices....

You're going to add this to your sugar....

And then you're going to add your vinegar!

Oh.. ONLY if ONLY you could smell it at this point.. WOWZAS!! it's quite powerful!
After your boil.. you'll add your well drained cukes...

And cook a bit...
Once they are cooked you will start putting them in your canning jars ( remember the supplies for the strawberry Jam.. same supplies!!)

Before the water bath......

And after!!! See.. the crinkle cut mabob... ehhh.. waste of my time.. but hey.. it doesn't hurt to try.. right?? lol lol....

My final product!!

I add them to my jars for Christmas gifts!! that is if I can keep the kids and others out of them...

Bread and Butter Pickles
Recipe from the Book of "preserving the harvest" by Carol W. Costenbader

Boiling-water bath canner; seven 1-pint jars

6lbs of medium sized cucumbers, scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 1/2 cups ( about 1lb) peeled and sliced small white onions
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup salt
Ice cubes
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 TBSP yellow mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp celery seeds
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 cups distilled white vinegar

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers, onions, and garlic. Add the salt and mix thoroughly. Cover with the ice cubes. Let stand for 3 hours

2) Rinse well, thoroughly drain the mixture, and remove the garlic cloves.

3) Combine the sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric; stir in the vinegar and heat to boiling in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the drained cucumber mixture and heat for 5 minutes.

4) Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1.2 inch of headspace. Cap and seal.

5) Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water-bath canner.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I GOT IT!!! and Now I have buyers remorse... ever had that?

Well.. let's just say.. I didn't go and buy it myself... I couldn't swallow the price... and hubby was getting upset with me.. so he decided yesterday to pack up all the kids and take a "ride"... He gave me a chance to catch up on housework.. something I desperately needed to do.. and came home with THIS... which is 2xs BETTER than the one I really wanted... and 50% MORE than the one I wanted...

This beauty is a perfect fit into my hands... and the best part.. I have three lenses for it! My other two lenses from my 35mm fit perfectly on it... It has rained here all day.. so I didn't get to go out and take pics.. but I did take a few inside ones.. and was VERY PLEASED!! We made sure we got the 4 year service plan that covers ANYTHING that goes wrong.. even if I drop it!

So be prepared!! Take Cover..!! I will have pictures galore ( if that's possible.. since I have a picture for every post now!!)!

And thank you for all your kind words in telling me to get it!! If it weren't for hubby I'd still be hmming and wondering if I should!! He's the BEST!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My kids and I were watching the show "UNWRAPPED" about two weeks ago.. and as we were watching a little blip came on about the "Longest Candy Counter in the World"..surely I'm thinking this store would be in the midwest or even further away.. but we were WRONG!! this little store sets in a little NH town called... none other than.. Littleton! It's name CHUTTERS.
So we planned when our fresh air son got here we would scoot over and check the store out... well.. our actually "scoot" is about an hour and 45 minutes... and the funny part... where we live we have to drive completely through VT to get there!

So it's true.. they have a TON and I mean A TON of candy... However... I wasn't thrilled with the price per/lb and when you tell 6 kids to grab a bag and a glove and get what they want... well... they grab gloves and get what they want.. the end cost... to me.. was NOT impressive! But I know in my heart that we will probably never purposefully take this journey again! Not because the store was horrible.. but because there really isn't anything else surrounding it!

Here is the beginning

Here's a look down the LONG shelf.. now in order for this to be a worlds record.. the shelf has to be ONE piece of wood.. it can not be joined counters!! That's ONE big tree!!

Here's the end!
And candy in-between

All through the store my kids kept telling me I needed to buy this sign... I told them they were delusional and I had no idea WHY they would want me to get that sign!! Some how other's agreed with them.. I didn't buy it.. but maybe.. just maybe I'll make myself one!

Here's the gang at the end...!!

And since we had to ride all through VT to get home.. We made a pit stop at one of my VERY VERY favorite places in the whole wide world....

I love this place.. it's the only place that I'll pay for overpriced chocolate chips or flour or any baking supplies.. because it's King Arthur.. bad huh? So I bought some chocolate chip chunks.. and I will make some GREAT cookies with in the next couple of days!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Have you done this?
Have you wanted something sooooo bad...
That you have saved.. waited and saved some more....

And when the day comes that you can GET what your hearts has desired for so long...
What your fingers have ached to HOLD for years....in my case years!!
You get scared?

Are you making the right choice?
Am I taking away from my family... the family that is never neglected....
But .. what if there is that ONE time... that ONE IF.... If ONLY...
the money was needed elsewhere after my purchase.

I know God is in control and I need to lean all my "what if's" in HIS hands not mine... but I am human... really human...

Will I be buying it from the right place?
Will I be getting the best deal?
Will it break a week later?

Will it.. Will it... Will it???

I guess I'll never know til I take the plunge...

What I want?? might be pennies for some... and it might never be a second though for others... but you're talking to the woman who despises to buy new underwear when I'm in desperate need... I'd rather make sure I had money for grocery shopping.. ... yes.. I'm bad!! REALLY BAD!! and those that shop with me .. HATE IT!!

This is what I want.. this is what I have money for... and I'm scare! Plain and simple! I'm scared!

I'm a beginner... and I Love it! This is going to be a GREAT beginner SLR for me.. I already have a knock out Nikon Film Camera ( and I won't even tell you how long I waited and worked to buy that!! )... So to have TWO nice cameras... UGH.. It's killing me!!

What are some things you've had a hard time buying.. but your heart desired it more than anything...
Or do you just take the plunge and get what you want??

Help a Girl!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The day has come! I have waited ONE full year to see my little Love BUG! My Fresh Air Son!
I know his mom wouldn't have a problem with me sharing his name and stuff.. but for him.. I'm not going to share it! Just know that I love him dearly and with in an hour I will be able to give him a GREAT big hug! ( and I know he'll be taller than me this year.. sniff sniff)...

This is his 6th year with us! Our 10th year doing The Fresh Air Fund.. for all of you that have no idea what I'm talking about click on the Link and it will bring you right to their site! This will be the first year I won't be there to greet him off the bus... but he will understand! He is staying with us for a full month.. and a few days!! We already have our days planned out.. so I'm sure I'll have pictures to share later on!

But for now.. here's a few pics of him!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I have been blessed with this award on it's first time around the internet from the SWEETEST young lady!!

These are the rules:
1. The recipient must link back the the award's creator (http://www.thebabblingsofmere.blogspot.com/)
2. You must post these rules if you recieve the award.
3. You must chose 5 people to recieve the award after recieving it yourself
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (not necessarily at all times--we are all human)
2. Must love one another
3. Must make mistakes
4. Must learn from others
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world
6. Must love life
7. Must love kids

Gosh... the five bloggers that I would love to honor with this is...

1) My dear friend Shawnie from ONE HAPPY FAMILY! She has the most amazing smile.. and I LOVED her post where she cried.. and it showed her crying!! She's so beautiful and real!! and I LOVE that about her.. and her kids are beautiful and so photogetic!!

2) The mouth watering sensation Tanya from Sunday Baker... You have to peek at her blog to see what I mean. WOW!! I love to cook... and I love it when others do too and share what they are making!! her recipes are to die for... She always has a positive outlook on everything she blogs.. and the amazing post about her sister... gosh.. you have to read it..!! You'll fall in love!

3) My good friend Ronnie from Whatcha Do today. I know her more than what the blogging world allows.. I chat with her on a daily basis! He love for her family shines through everything she does... I think I might have found someone who just might be as crazy as me!!

4) Kaye! My life in pictures What can I say.. this gal has amazing pictures on her blog.. always of her handsome boys!! She is always out and about with them.. and I love that in a mom.. I wish I were more apt to jump up and just go somewhere!! Her blog inspires me to do that!

5)Krystyn at Really are you Serious. She's a pregnant mommy.. what could be more beautiful?? I enjoy reading her blog because she is FUNNY and not afraid to share some of her little mishaps! Plus her daughter is so cute to see everytime you pop on over there!! Check out her amazing photography!!

So there are my final FIVE!! THANK YOU THANK YOU to the Babblings of MERE who designed this award and gave me one of the first ones!! She's such a sweetheart!! Someone's blog you don't want to miss!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I have a few minutes to share my weekends finding and treasures!! I didn't buy a lot... I'm trying to get my home ready for our OWN yardsale!! I have too much stuff and it really NEEDS to go!! I question.. am I storing my treasures here on earth?? In one of my devotions it asked us to look around our home... how much stuff do we have?? have we given away as much as we have been given?
Anyone that knows me.. knows that I'm NOT a materialistic person... and that shopping is NOT my #1 thing to do. However if I can get a "treasure" for much less than brand new... I'm excited!

So for everything I get.. I'm taking away too.. ( yes.. I even pared down my scrapbooking room!!!)

So these are my treasures...

NOW this was the SWEETEST deal for me... I was so excited.. and the lady I bought these from NEW that I appreciated them!! For all these pieces ( 7 of them) cost me $15! She gave me a $10 savings from what she had them priced at!! She told me to come back this summer.. she has more stuff to put out!!
See the GREEN blanket behind them.. I also go this.. it's SUPER heavy and King Size.. I bought this for $5.00 couldn't pass it up.. I'm going to use it as a throw on my couch.. MY couch is so comfy.. but.. it's getting old and HAS seen better days... Ü

I got this gravy boat... Pyrex as well.. for .25cents.. not my favorite color.. but when I do find one that I LOVE... I'll swap it out! couldn't beat the price though!!

My daughter found these for me.. 10/$1.00.. she was TICKLED!! and they match a few pieces that I already have!!

See these flowers...?? I'm a sucker for flowers... this past week I have walked my dog early in the morning.. ( to beat the heat) and as we were walking I noticed an edge of our park looked "walked" through.... so I peeked and I look and there were ALL these flowers just cut and thrown there... Who would TOSS flowers???? LOL LOL.. So shamelessly I picked them up.. put them in a mason jar.. and set them on the table!!

My Garden is BOOMING!!! These are my first two zucchini's... With plenty more to come!! Peas are almost ready.. and cucumbers are growing like mad as well!! It's been great to eat fresh eggs, and veggies lately... My hard work is STARTING to pay off!! How are your gardens doing?

Tomorrow I have to take the time and share an award I got.. and share it with some of you!!
Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ok.. I'll admit it.. I'm a book SNOB... yup... well.. maybe I'm more of a "publishing company" snob. I tend not to read books unless they are by a certain publishing company. I'm going to be honest... I don't like books with swears in them, murders, or sex. It doesn't intrigue me one bit. By checking the publishing company I know what books are safe for me to read.

I went to the library this week and picked up a book that looked interesting... you know the old saying don't judge a book by it's cover... well.. I do it all the time. I found this book. I was going to put it back on the shelf but I was glad I didn't.

It's actually only about 150 pages long but it's FULL of history... I love history that is no surprise.. but I'll be honest... I never knew OR didn't pay attention to the history of WASP--
Women Airforce Service Pilots.

In the 1940's during WWII a woman by the name of Jackie Cochran founded this group. These very few selected women were the FIRST women ever to fly American military Aircraft.

The Training all took place in Sweetwater TX... hence the name of the book. The girls were fed like Movie Stars..for some the first time in a long time due to war rationing. They wore MENS hand-me-downs for their Zoot Suits... so NONE ever fit the women properly.

The WASP had a mascot that they presented on their uniform that was drawn by non other Walt Disney himself. Walt intended to use Fifinella as a character in a movie he was thinking about "Gremlins" By Roahl Dahl.. but handed over the design to the women.

Here is a picture of a group of WASP and if you look closely you can see the patch on their "bomber" jackets.

Each woman had to already obtain a student pilots license.. Some obtained extra jobs in the factories so they could pay for them so they too could make more of a difference for our country.
If then they were selected by Miss. Cochran they could go to Sweetwater and train to be a WASP..many failed and were sent home.

In the book I'm reading.. of course it's based on fictional characters but it has many of the historical facts during this time. I know personally I could NEVER have done this.. so I think these women were VERY BRAVE!!

This is an EXCELLENT web-site to peek at and learn more about these women. If I'm understanding the site correctly 38 women lost their lives for our country during the war flying the aircrafts. WINGS ACROSS AMERICA is the site... It has games, facts, interviews, posters and more... I think I could spend all day looking through the site... but... daily duties call!! My tiny little history lesson for the day.. Ü I will be learning more that's for sure!

And just for more info.. this is the book I just finished reading!! It's book two to a series.. and it was GOOD!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happy Late 4th of July!

No one is home right now.. all is quiet here.. my daughter went to the Ocean and my hubby and son went to the movies... I was "instructed" to do what I wanted and NO housework... you know.. sometimes you can get the best stuff cleaned out with no other family members.

So I decided to take a minute and blog! I really don't have an awful lot to say today so I decided to share my yardsale finds from yesterday ( and one from last week).. and my STAPLES deals! It's hard to believe in the beginning of July they are already doing school supply sales (remember we got out in late June..19th to be exact)

Last weekend.. believe it or not.. I bought a laptop for $40.00 . It is a Dell and it comes with a fan, powercord, and everything you need to run it... it works BEAUTIFULLY.. Now I have to take the time to get wireless.. ( I'm probably the last person on earth to do that!!). Funny thing I hmmd and hawwed.. about buying it.. cause you know... you're not so sure of the details... Well, out walks the principal of my daughters school... it belonged to his son.. so he guaranteed me that if didn't work... he would take it back!! I said SOLD!

I also go these pink pyrex bowls...

And a few vintage lines ( one behind them) that I was tickled about...

This week.. I got these items along with a few other things... ( like a sap bucket to plant flowers in and a few toys)

I love the snowman... he is pretty much brand new.. and I got him for $2.00. The white mixing bowls ( I'm a sucker for mixing bowls) were $3.00 for the pair... The basket with the liner was $1.00 and the little blue dish that MATCHES my dishes I bought last weekend was FREE! A gal came seconds before me and snatched a bowl that I didn't have... but it's all fair in the game of yard sailing!!

These bowls use to belong to a stand mixer I believe...

Here's what I got a Staples this morning.. hubby and I HAD to be two separate orders or they would jack the prices up... oh well...
I got 8 plastic note book holders
20 folders
4 packages of pencils
4 little Purel's


YUP.. $1.14!! Can't go wrong.. Now I'm waiting for each week to see what they put on "penny" sale! I like to stock up for the whole school year! ( I still have some left overs from last year.... )

Well.. I'm off to go and read! Enjoy the sun we have now.. Hope your weekend was GOOD!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

This weekend we went Strawberry Picking.... I love this time of year because the garden is in the ground, kids are out of school.. and lazy days can happen.... UNLESS you decided to CAN!
Christmas this year will more than likely be smaller than last year due to oil prices rising. So this year I am making Strawberry Jam for some Christmas Gifts ( If I can get it to last that long!)

I decided to show you a way to make strawberry Jam and can it! So today's post will probably be Picture heavy! So bare with me!! I'm an extremely visual person.. so If I missed something.. don't be afraid to ask!

First I take the strawberry's and hull them.. and then wash them up!

Then that handy dandy potato masher that you have stored on display because it's old and cute is now usable to mash up your strawberries ( recipe will follow)

One your Strawberries are mashed up.. you put them in a BIG pot

Then add your sugar and lemon juice

Here's where you patience and waiting begins.. you have to boil down the strawberry's and sugar.. and boil.. and boil.. and boil!!!

After some time you can "test" the Jam... The three glass plates that you have put in the freezer ( the recipe will tell you this).. Take one out and put a TBSP of the jam on it and put it back in the freezer.. If you run your finger down the plate and it runs with it.. it's not ready...

Go back to boiling.. and boiling... Now if you take out another plate and you do the same thing and your finger runs through it and it separates and doesn't go back to "sliding" down.. it's ready!! I am holding this plate straight up..( I made a little mess doing it.. sorry)

Now here is where you get to see what some of grandmother's tools were used for... and NO this is not a donut cutter!! This is a funnel that helps you keep all your contents nice and clean while guiding it into the jars.. ( Your jars should be STERILIZED and never re-use the CAP on the rings)

This handy dandy tool is used to put the jars in the water and take them out.. ( to much steam to show you the process) I water bathed them for about 15 minutes... when they are pulled out of the water you can hear the can tops just POP!!! After about 15 minutes if you touch the top and it bounces back.. it's not sealed properly and you can put it back in the water.. if it does NOT seal properly.. do NOT fear.. you can store this Jam in the fridge to be used right away!

The End result....



* 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
* 4 cups white sugar
* 1/4 cup lemon juice


1. In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process any unsealed jars in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate.

To test for jelling

Place three plates in a freezer... after about 10 minutes of boiling place a tsp of the liquid of the jam onto the cold plate. Return to freezer for a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate... if it doesn't try to run back together (if you can make a line through it with your finger) it's ready to be canned!

And I wanted to Show you how the Garden is GROWING!!! I picked the Romaine lettuce today and had a wonderful salad using the fresh eggs we gathered this morning!

These are peas!!

My Romaine lettuce

Our eggs and lettuce

More peas.. Aren't the flowers pretty!!

Again.. ANY questions.. ASK AWAY!! I'm always here to help!