Sunday, May 20, 2018

Homemade Funnel Cakes

A fair time favorite of ours is funnel cake.  We can't go to the fair or a festival without ordering one.  Who says that they have to be limited to the fair?  A couple times a year I will make a homemade version.  It makes my family happy plus we avoid the long lines and especially the expense.  

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbs. sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg

Whisk together.  Pour into a squeezable bottle.  Many use the mustard and ketchup bottles from the dollar store.  Being the thrifty person that I am, I pulled an old ketchup bottle from the recycle bin to wash and use.  

Heat about an inch of oil in a medium sauce to 375*.   Squeeze into hot oil in a swirl pattern.  Once the bottom browns flip and brown the other side.  Drain on a paper towel and serve with your favorite topping.  

We prefer powdered sugar, but  some other popular toppings are ice cream and a strawberry or blueberry sauce.  No matter your choice of topping I know you'll enjoy this treat!

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Monday, May 14, 2018

In the Garden

First off, let me say, that I know I haven't been a good blogger lately.  I don't know if it's busyness, laziness, or lack of interest.  Maybe a combination of all.  I have loved this space for a long, long time and I'm not quite sure I'm ready to let it go yet.  So bear with me as I go through this season.

As I previously said the weather has turned.  That means that we have entered my favorite season of all.... gardening season!  The garden is planted and so are the flowers.  Let me give you a tour of my favorite spaces.

I was super happy to see my lilac bloom this year.  I wasn't sure it would happen since many spring plants didn't.  I guess the wet and cold early spring didn't affect them.  Yeah! 
My dad came over to till the garden and Megan and I got busy.  
We planted green beans, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, and bell peppers.  My mouth is watering already! 
I also have all of the annuals planted.  Megan took this close up.  She captured the beauty perfectly. 
One of my favorite things is the hanging basket plopped into the bucket we salvaged from my grandparents farm in Virginia.  
Have you seen the drop in planters?  I found them at Home Depot and love the variety. 
My mom and I found a new to us greenhouse this year.  I purchased two of these gorgeous baskets.  Not only are they beautiful, but for a basket this size they were inexpensive.  I enjoy finding new local places to support. 
All of the plants I put into this planter last year came back up.  Yes! I can't wait for the clematis to bloom. Although I don't want to rush the season. 
There are two window boxes on the west side of the garage.  
A couple of years ago we had to cut out part of the sidewalk that runs along the garage.  It made a perfect spot to plant flowers.  
I always plant impatiens in the window boxes out front.  
For Mother's Day Chuck and Megan gave me the gift of labor.  Together we trimmed bushes, planted flowers, pulled weeds, and the Chuck went to get fresh mulch for all of the flower beds.  The labor of love is one of the best gifts!
Since I took this picture the peonies are about the burst.  I can't wait to cut a bouquet for my table. I just need to remember to shake the ants off. Ha!
After years of the east side of our home looking horrible we added this bed last year.  I like the simplicity of it. 
Several years ago Chuck got this bell from a cousin of mine.  We have been trying to decide where to put it.  I suggested we mount it on the clothesline.  That made Chuck happy as he didn't have to dig a hole for a new post.  Plus there isn't another thing to mow around. Win, win!
I've been spending most of my days outside.  I enjoy this time of year where there is grass to mow, flowers to tend, and I wait patiently for the garden to produce.  

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Around My Home

After the coldest, wettest April in 35 years the weather had finally turned. I am one happy girl! My first lined dried items were our sheets.  There is nothing like sleeping on bedding that has been kissed by the sun. 
In March we had a dead tree removed.  To cut the expense we had them to leave a large portion of the tree.  We might have asked ourselves a time or two while we were cleaning up what we were thinking!  The last load was taken away this week.  Chuck has a buddy that took most of it. 
We had a hard time getting anyone to give us estimates.  We weren't happy with the tree company.  Chuck built our fence and is kind of partial to it.  He asked the guys several times if he should remove more panels.  They said no even after he let them know he wouldn't be happy if they hit the fence.  

I bet you can guess what happened.  Yup. they hit the fence.  Thankfully it went between the two post and only damaged one panel.  I spent time painting one side of the pickets.  
Chuck got them installed.  Notice how the pickets aren't even?  We have a very uneven yard.  Once the pickets were up Chuck cut the signature swoop and now you can't tell how up and down our yard is.  
Hopefully I will get the rest of the pickets painted this week.  

For the second year a Carolina Wren family is nesting on our back porch.  It is fun to watch them fly in and out taking care of their new babies. 
The change in the weather makes Megan a very happy girl.  She has a great imagination and loves being outside.  Her latest thing is mixing dirt and water.  When the mud seems like too much I keep reminding myself that soon she will outgrow this type of play.  Please, not too soon!
It felt sooooo good to get my hands in the dirt.  If things go as planned I hope to have the main garden in by the weekend.  
I have most of my goodies ready to go.  
I'm going to run out in the morning and get some dirt so I can plant the impatiences in my window boxes.  

I picked up a rotisserie chicken while at Sam's Club this week.  After we ate a meal off of it I put it into the pot to make stock.  I will pick off the remaining meat (there is a ton still on it) and hope to make chicken & noodles and have enough to freeze for another meal.  
As always there is plenty to keep me busy around my home.

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Weekend Puttering

There was nothing on the calendar this weekend and it was heavenly! I feel like I've been on the go to much and this was a much needed break. I went to pick up a few groceries. I love to see others grocery hauls, so I thought I'd share what I purchased with you.
The items on the left are from Aldi and the things on the right from Meijer.  I spent a total of $47.66 ($19.16/Aldi and $28.50/Meijer.  I did really well at Meijer getting fresh items, boneless chicken breast, chicken drumsticks and milk.  Chuck and Megan were with me at Aldi and few extras made it into the cart.  *smile*  

I threw all the cold items into the frig and this mess greeted me in the morning. 
I don't know about you, but I don't feel very inspired when things aren't tidy, organized, and in their proper places.  I knew that taking care of this business would need to be a top priority.

The first thing I did was take things out of the refrigerator one shelf at a time.  I wiped the shelf off and then sorted the items.  I had things that needed to be washed and prepped.  I also had items that were almost past their prime.  Those items were set aside to go into the freezer. 

Once that was complete I tackled the items that needed washed and prepped.  
Once that was done the refrigerator was complete. 
Awe... much better. I then packaged up a few things for the freezer and wiped down the counters  
There were a few things still on the table from my shopping trip.  I took a few minutes to put them away.  I tend to take things out of packages and place into glass containers.  Not only does it look pretty, but prevents anything from getting into the containers.  
Next I went to the garage.  The items I had prepared for the freezer were added to the big freezer and then I needed to make room in the freezer above the garage frig.  I generally keep baking items in there.  I purchased 25 lbs of flour that had been in the freezer for a while.  I always do this as I want to kill anything that might turn into a creepy crawly.  *shudder*
This allowed me to make room for the 18 lbs of butter I had previously purchased on sale at Aldi.  
Then it was time to sit down with a glass of tea and work on the weekly menu.
One of the best ways to tighten the purse strings is in the kitchen.  As I mentioned last week we had to purchase a new furnace.  We also purchased a new air conditioner.  We debated and debated on doing this.  They offered us a great deal if we purchased both.  Since they were both the same age and we had the air conditioner repaired last summer we did both.  Our neighbor did the repair and said it most likely couldn't be repaired again.

It's a good thing we did as the installer said that one of the items needed to make the air cold was down to zero pounds.  This particular gas/liquid, whatever it was, isn't available any more.  So we would have had no air conditioning and would have been told we had to purchase a new unit this summer  Amazing how God looks out for us and meets our needs!

Anyway,  with making this large purchase we are really pinching pennies.  I found that when I have my food organized that I am more willing to jump into the kitchen and get something delicious and nutritious cooking.  This time spent in the kitchen will have a huge pay off.

I also tackled laundry.  I was able to get all of the laundry washed, ironed/folded, and put away.  A great feeling that will last until we get into our night clothes. *smile*
I also started my spring cleaning.  Megan helped me to wash down the laundry area. When we were done Chuck used the shop vac to vacuum the dust from behind the washer and dryer.  I then mopped and vacuumed the runner in front of the washer and dryer.  I love it when an area is spotless!

It's been crazy weather around here.  It's been cold with snow.  Then we had a warm day that caused flooding.  Now we're back to cold and I hear there could be some light snow overnight.

Now that I've started spring cleaning maybe Spring will actually come. Ha!  

I'm feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy a new week. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Monday, April 02, 2018

An Easter Glimpse

We took some time off of school the week before Easter. That enabled us to to a few fun things.
Megan slept over with her cousins and then the next day I meet up with them, at my parents, to color eggs. 
I had grand plans to make cupcakes for our Sunday gathering.  Things didn't go quite as planned.  In part due our furnace breaking Thursday evening.   We received the bad news on Friday that the control panel had been fried.  After looking at it we are thankful that we didn't have a fire.  They were suppose to install the new one on Saturday.  It was cancelled and it was installed today. Yeah!  
Anyway, I decided to show myself some grace and certainly needed less stress after Friday.  I purchased cupcakes from Sam's Club.  I changed out some of the butterflies for Peep bunnies.  The best part is that they tasted great and saved me a ton of additional aggravation. 

Sunday morning found us making our traditional breakfast of cinnamon biscuit bunnies.
We stopped for a quick picture before heading home.  
I needed to make a quick mac and cheese before it was time to hit the road again.  
This year we went my father-in-law's.  After dinner, eggs were hidden and then they were off!
We had a wonderful time celebrating our risen Savior.

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!