Middle Aged Mamaw

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And the Walls Came Tumbling Down........

Posted by Donna on May 8, 2012 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Hope you all haven't forgotten about me.  As I have stated before,  it is a busy time here in the spring.  I have some of my garden in and my baby chicks have been taken from the brooder to the coop.  It is amazing how fast those little chicks have grown.  They look like gawky teenagers right now.  They have part of their bodies covered in feathers and part still in the fuzz they were born with.  Just a hideous looking mess right now, but I know very soon they will be all feathered out and beautiful! 

 

As you can probably tell from the title of this post, I have had a few disruptives things going on.  Honestly, it has felt like everything we have touched around here has either blown up, fallen apart, or just been plain difficult to deal with.  It seems every time I pray for the Lord to help me be more like HIM, pressure - ized situations arise to see how that is working out for me.  I am ashamed to say, not so well.  I guess I best start from the beginning.

 

My husband hasn't taken more than a few hours vacation in the last 5 years and his boss said he needed to take at least a week off.  Of course the minute that it was decided he would take a vacation, lightning struck our well and we were without water.  I mean none.  No washing laundry, no going to the toilet, no doing dishes, nothing.......but that is not all.  It struck my dishwasher and my computer as well. No big deal.  All these things can be replaced.  Except for one problem, the lightning struck the well pump and fused it to the well itself so we had to dig a NEW well.  Let me tell you that is big bucks.....trying not to think about that.:/

 

My poor hubby watching the well diggers

 

These things were just the beginning of the problems we encountered for this week of "vacation" my poor husband decided to take. Our backhoe that he used to dig for our new well, broke down.  So my hubby goes to get our wagon and tractor and got 2 flat tires on the wagon that just happened to be loaded down with rocks..  Then we got a flat tire on our other tractor.  Our very nice neighbor loaned us his tractor and his tractor died at the very back of our property.   (As you can tell, it has been a really fun and exciting vacation so far.)  I take the generator down to my husband to try and jump of the tractor and a torrential down pour comes falling from the sky.   Keep in mind the sun was shining prior to this deluge. But since we don't have water it was a nice little bath.  Wish I had my shampoo and conditioner with me......ughhh

 

 We did finally get  the well running except when we use the washing machine, then it dies. As of this writing we have 1 dead backhoe, 1 dead tractor, 1 flat tire and1 dead dishwasher...... Ughhh I could cry, well actually I have cried, many times.  .  We did get the computer fixed...Yipeee.  Would you like me to go on with this disastrous vacation?   I really, really want to but I don't want to depress what few readers I have.  Do you know what bible verse came to me during this lovely week? 

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18

King James Version (KJV)

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Wow!  Everything you mean I have to give thanks for all this?  Yep.  For some apparent reason this was the Lord's will for me this week.  Can't say I understand it.  But I can tell you the Lord is good and His will his perfect.  Am I tired?  Yep.  Am I glad the week is over?  Yep.  Can I give thanks?  Well  like I said......I have not been as Christlike as I would like to be, but I am working on it.  I can say I am thankful that God loves me enough to keep working on me and sending these situations to refine me.  I am thankful that he loves me when I am not what I ought to be.  I am thankful that he loves me at all. 

 I am linking today with The Modest Mom. 

 

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Life on the (mini) Farm

Posted by Donna on April 12, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I know I haven't been posting much lately, but spring time is a busy time here on our little mini farm.  We are getting ready for planting the garden, greasing all the mowers, changing belts and blades and a multitude of other activities letting us know that winter is over and spring has arrived.  I  have a few things in the ground already, lettuce, onions, radishes, spinach and carrots, but the main part of the garden can't be planted for a few weeks here in Ohio.  Still there is plenty to do.  The question is where do I start???

 

Even though we already have much to do here on our little farm, my husband and I have decided we need to be less dependent on the grocery store and more dependent on our strong backs (ok mine not so strong) and most importantly dependent on the Lord.  We have always grown a large garden and I can everything possible,  but we felt we could do more. 

 

Our goal is to grow or raise the majority of what we eat.  right now we are in the process of building a chicken coop so we can have our own farm fresh eggs.  I can't wait.  I want to get a couple Golden Comets, a few Rhode Island Reds and a couple of Ameraucana chickens (these guys lay blue, green and pink eggs) .  I knew the kids would love to find these pretty, pastel eggs.  I have to be honest, it would be fun for me too.  :)

 

Chicken coop in progress.

 

No chickens yet, just this little monkey!

 

This year I also want to plant strawberries.  I am tired of paying the high prices for them at the local growers, although I know there is a lot of work that goes into growing and picking them and they deserve the prices they are getting, I just can't afford to pay it, so I am going to grow my own.  I have more sweat than money.  :/  I freeze a lot of strawberry jam and this just seemed the more practical way of doing it. 

 

We also have plans to raise our own pork and beef.  We used to raise steers all the time, but when the kids grew up we stopped.  Now we realize with all the grandkids, it just makes practical sense.  So, a hog and steer are next on the list.  I can't wait.  I love critters!

 

This year we also added another addition to the farm and his name is Harry!  Ok, so he is really more for fun, but........look how cute he is!

 

The little one is Harry, the big guy is my husband, Larry.  I know, I have heard all the jokes.  lol  Seriously, they are both sweet and no "I" didn't name the donkey!  The kids love him and he works actually like a guard "donkey"  to guard the other livestock.

We have also been picking up sticks that have fallen all over the yard  and burning brush.  Believe it or not, I have already mowed 3 times this spring.  Unbelievable!  I never mowed in March in all my life until this year.    We also had a big 45 foot Sycamore tree that was leaning way over our white fence and it had to come down.  It had a large whole all the way through the bottom and was just waiting to fall on our fence.  So, we dropped that big tree and it is waiting to be split for firewood.  That in itself is a blessing, as we heat our home with wood primarily.  Although we had a mild winter here in Ohio, our wood supply is just about gone. 

This spring has been a challenge  to keep our little fruit tree from freezing.  We had all that lovely warm weather in March and my peach and plum trees bloomed so early and now in April we have had 3-4 nights of deep freezes.  I am afraid my little peaches and plums are frozen off.  Only time will tell.  We tried, but there is only so much you can do.  I am afraid my canned peach pie filling and peach butter, will not be in the jars this summer.  That is just part of growing your own food.  You never know if it will be successful.  The wearther, bugs and a multitude of other things can challenge the outcome of your efforts.  Only the Lord knows and I trust Him with the end results.

As you can tell, we have been quite busy here this spring, but so rewarding.  I can't wait to see how my garden will grow this year.  It is always such a miracle to me to watch those tiny seeds we plant in the ground  turn into  a lovey, red tomato, or bushels of potatoes, rows of tall corn, and the joy of seeing my grandbabies pick a cucumber right out of the garden and eat it on the tire swing.  God is so good!

 

Proverbs 31:15-17

King James Version (KJV)

15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms

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March Madness

Posted by Donna on March 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Do things seem strange to you all this year?  It sure does to me.  Here in Ohio the middle two weeks of March have been in the 80's.  It is madness!  Our trees are in bloom, the wasps have come out, my allergies are overwhelming, for goodness sake I have green onions almost big enough to eat.  I have never in all my years mowed my grass in March.  What is going on?   I have decided it is March madness.

 

 

Redbud tree in my back yard.  At least a month ahead of time.

 

But could something else be at work here?  In Matthew 24 it gives a list of things to be on the look out for to let us know the end is near, but these things must take place first.  Now, I am not suggesting this wierd March weather is a sign of the times, but I am suggesting that it is just another reminder that things will not always be the same.  Things in this world are rapidly changing.  Changing faster than most of us can keep up with.  Good heavens a new IPAD comes out before people figure out how to work the first one.

 

Consider all the changes that have happened within my grandmother's life time.  We have gone from horse and buggy to landing on the moon, from the Pony Express to the World Wide Web, from the telegraph to the cell phone.  It is amazing how fast technology has advanced in such a short period of time. 

 

Daniel 12:4

King James Version (KJV)

4But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

 

Does this mean we have to be worried and afraid?  If we have been born again and are trusting Christ, we have nothing to fear.  We know this world is passing away and soon we will be with the one who died for us.  We as believers have something to look forward to.  Still we need to be paying attention. 

 

I know with the crazy weather, earth quakes in the news all the time and how many times have we heard about devastating tornadoes swallowing up town after town, it is easy to be frightened and to wonder what is all this madness?  Whether or not this March madness is a definite sign of the time, we should still keep watching and waiting without fear, but with much anticipation.  Even so come Lord Jesus! 

 

Luke 21:28And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

I pray that if you do not know the Lord

 Jesus Christ that you will pray, repent of your sins and believe the gospel.  God Bless!

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Puppy Dog Cake Tutorial

Posted by Donna on March 9, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (2)

I am going to begin my  blog today with a discIaimer.  I am by no means a professional cake decorator.  Just an average woman who likes to try new things.  I have always had an interest in cake decorating, but could never afford to take the class.  I just decided to try my hand at it and like I have said before, I am ok at lots of things, but not a master of anything.  :/ I began really trying to decorate cakes about a year and a half ago.  I mostly just make cakes for friends and family because I don't feel like I should charge  people for something they may not like.  It is hard to complain if you are getting something for free.  I would just die if I made a cake and someone hated it.......Seriously, I would cry.

 

So this is my way of enjoying my hobby and doing something  for someone I love.  So having said all that, try making this cake.   You will never know unless you try if you may be good at something and even if you are not good at it, it still may be fun!!

 

Today I am making a cake for my pastor's daughter.  She wanted a puppy cake and this is my attempt at it.  I tried to think of things that might make the general shape and came up with the idea of using my heart shaped pans (I picked these up at the local Salvation Army store for $1.99 for all 3 pans).  I know my cheapness is showing again.  ;)  I think this worked out really well.  See what you think!

 

1.  Bake your cake in 3 heart shaped pans that increase in size (small, medium and large).

 

2.  After your cakes have cooled, take your largest cake and turn the cake till the point of the heart is up. 

 

3.  Take your medium cake and cut it in half and place each half on the side of the largest heart.  This will make the ears.

 

4.  Then place your small heart (point end up) on top of the largest heart.  This will make the nose.

 

 

5.  Then crumb coat your cake or as Buddy says on Cake Boss, "dirty ice..."  Crumb coating is just a thin layer of icing to keep the crumbs sealed in.  I also use the icing at this point to "glue" the medium heart (ears) on and stick the small heart  (nose) on.   

 

 

6.  If you notice above, I took a tooth pick and drew where I wanted the eyes to go and spot for a small tuft of fur that I wanted a different color.

 

7.  Next I take tip #3 or 4 and outline the ears, nose, eyes and where the small tuft of hair in the middle is.  I outlined it with black icing.

 

8.  Then use the same tip to fill in the nose. Don't foget to put a few little freckles by this nose.  ;)

 

9.  I use a grass tip #233  to begin all the areas that I want to be white. It is really an easy technique.  Just slightly squeeze and gently pull at the same time.   I think it looks like fur....? 

 

 

10.  Do the same thing with the brown.  This is a pretty forgiving technique.  You can start any where.  After you are finished, take a good look over it and see if you missed any places and just fill in. 

 

11.  Don't forget to fill in his tongue.  I just made up a little tiny  bit of red icing and used an artist brush to fill in his tongue. 

 

The finished product.

 

Believe me I am not expert, but this is what I came up with and I think it is a cute little puppy.  Hope little Reagan likes it too.  Hope you all give this a try. 

 

Colossians 3:23

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

 

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Spring Plans

Posted by Donna on March 6, 2012 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you all have plans for spring?  I do.  My mind can't seem to focus on any one thing because there are so many things to do.  I have already done some painitng in my house (3 rooms, living room, dining room and kitchen).  While painting I decided to do my spring cleaning as well.  I know I told you before I think I have adult ADD or something because I can't seem to focus on one thing very long  a lovely symptom of menopause. ughhhh.....Anyway, we also put up log siding in our living room.  So I have a lot (it would seem) done already.  Right? 

 

Living Room Log Siding

The are the colors I painted my living room, dining room and kitchen.  What do you think?  I made my curtain valances from table cloths.  A very good way to save money....

 

In addition to all my inside things, I am anxious to get outside.  I really want to start on some new raised beds.  What do you think of these?  They are made from pallets.  I love anything I can make for free..:)

 

 

I plan on putting in strawberry plants this year and I have a list going of what all I want to plant.   We primarily put out potatoes, tomatoes, corn, beans cucumbers, melons, lettuce, spinach, radishes sometimes beets and cabbage.  This year I am going to try broccoli.   I am also going to make a trellis  or 2 out of pallets for cucumbers and melons.  Oh how I love seeing my garden grow and how God takes our efforts and turns it into a bountiful harvest.  It is always so amazing to me.  He is so good!

 

Psalm 147:7-9

King James Version (KJV)

7Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

8Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

9He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry

 

Plus I am excited to get my chicken coops built  for the baby chicks that will be coming and getting pens set up for my little piggies.  My husband and I already raise a good deal of the produce we eat, but want to also raise a lot more of our meat.  We used to always raise beef cattle and plan on getting back into it.  I just think it is a good idea in the world we live in to be a little more self sustaining and less dependent on the local grocery store.  So getting my coop set up for my laying hens and pen for the pig are next on our agenda.  My very clever husband is already planning how and where  he is going to put everything. 

 

I love this one!

 

Well this is a small list of all the things I am hoping to get done in the next months ahead. I hate to think of what I will be doing this summer, painting the fence, canning, freezing, etc....I better not get to far a head of myself.  I pray you each have a list of things you are looking forward to this spring and above all be grateful to God who provides all.  The most important thing this spring is the reminder that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins has been raised from the dead and right now sitting at the right hand of the Father.  Praise the Lord!!

 

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Journey to Modesty Part 4 - Shoes

Posted by Donna on March 5, 2012 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Since I began this "series" on modesty, I have had some questions about the types of shoes I wear.  Let me tell you, this has been  very difficult  for me.  As I have previously stated, I have back issues (I have rods and screws in my lower back and neck), I have a lot of work to do around our mini farm (animals to tend, a huge garden, grass to mow and kids to tend to), so finding shoes that would allow me to be comfortable and able to do my work and not look frumpy was a challenge, but I have found a few pairs that have worked out really nicely. 

 

The first pair I found were Merrell Plaza bandeau.

 

Believe it or not I found mine on Ebay for $10. They are sporty yet dressy enought to wear with a skirt without looking frumpy.....I love these.  This encouraged me to check our other Merrell shoes and I found these:

 

Merrell Plaza Moc.  They are two toned and very comfortable and casual.  These are my default go to shoes.  In fact I have them on right now.  ;)  I found mine again on Ebay for $19.  Keep in mind Merrell shoes average in price at $85, so I considered this a real savings.  My next pair were these:

 

Merrell Plaze Glide. These are my second favorites.   I hate to be redundant, but again an Ebay find at $19.  Alot of stores have returns and I believe that is what I have been purchasing.  People buy them and for whatever reason return them and they can no longer sell them as new.  For me, I don't care.  I am getting new shoes at wonderful prices. 

 

And these litttle lovelies I purchase online at a store called 6pm.com  for $35 and free shipping.  I got them in a light denim blue also.  These will be my summer sneaker alternative. 

 

 

I hope this helps and gives you all some wonderful ideas.  You can find comfortable, good looking shoes at affordable price and still look stylish to boot!

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Husbands and Valentine's Day

Posted by Donna on February 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (2)

This Valentine's Day has come and gone and I just wonder how many women were disappointed that their husbands didn't live up to the husbands of their friends or the "fake" husbands on television?  While on facebook (which I have to limit my time on) I was reading other people's posts about what their husbands did for them on Valentine's Day.  At  first I was slightly miffed and then the green eyed monster started to rear its ugly head.  I felt those feelings well up inside that my husband surely didn't love me like those other husbands loved their wives.  He didn't buy me candy or flowers.  He didn't even give me a card.....

 

But then I immediately realized where those hateful thoughts were coming from.  The enemy is so sneaky.  He wants to kill, steal and destroy everything good in our lives, especially our marriages and families.  The old tempter failed to mention that my wonderful husband was putting up log siding in our living room for me, just so I could feel like I was living in a log cabin.  (I have always wanted to live in a cabin on a mountian in Kentucky  ;)).  He didn't have to do that.  That was how he was showing his love for me.  He isn't one of those lovey, dovey, kind of guys, he is a rough and tough, manly guy.  He DOES things to show his love.  If I hadn't stopped listening to that old tempter, I could have missed a major blessing that God had given me through my husband.

 

 

Larry and our grandson, Colten

John 10:10

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 

Let's be careful who we are listening to.  When that old tempter starts whispering in your ear that what God has given you isn't good enough, check it against the word of God.  Be grateful for those blessings no matter how small.  And let's all give thanks for those husbands who didn't do the traditional, but still give their love every day. 

 

Me and my sweetie!!

 

Aspiring Homaker

Posted by Donna on February 15, 2012 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Occasionally, I like to give a shout out to a web site or blog I find particularly useful or inspiring.  Today I have a very special blog I would like to share with you.  I came upon this blog because someone shared it with me and boy it has rapidly become a favorite.

 

When I first found this blog I was immediately taken with this young woman.  She is an african american young lady who aspires to live her life in a way that gives God the glory and respect and obedience to her parents.  With all the negative images we have of young people these days, this young lady quickly got my attention.

 

Not only is her blog beautiful with all the lovely pictures she takes of herself and her family, it is useful.  She describes her journey of homeschooling (she has now graduated), she describes her views on modesty, home making, gardening, cooking, homesteading, self-sufficiency, and it is all beautifully described and pictured within each post.

 

I was so hooked that it took me 3 evenings to go through each post. I am anxiously awaiting the next!  So now that I have you all completely intrigued this is the blog http://aspiring-homemaker.blogspot.com/

Aspiring Homemaker

 

I hope you will all check out this inspiring blog and let Mia know how much you love it!  God bless!!

 

Cheesy Potato Soup

Posted by Donna on February 9, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Today I thought I would share one of my favorite comfort foods/soups.  We are still in the middle of winter here in the  midwest, although, we have had an extremely mild winter this year.  While it is still chilly outside, I like to make warm, comforting soup.  Soup is a staple in our home.  It is something I can make generally pretty quickly and with items I have in my pantry.  My 31 year old son still asks when I am going to make the cheesy soup again?

 

This soup is a recipe I found in Country Woman magazine years ago when my babies were still small.  Other than the cheese, it is a pretty frugal recipe.  I usually save chunks of ham off the bone when we have a ham at a holiday and put them in the freezer  to use especially for this recipe and of course, ham and beans.  You can change your amounts of vegetables to your liking.  You can use canned veggies if you like, just eliminate the boiling of the veggies part of the recipe and add them to the milk/cheese mixture.

 

Cheesy Potato Soup

2 cups potatoes (I cut them in good sized chunks)

1/2 cup carrots chopped

1/4 cup celery chopped

1/2 medium onion chopped

water to cover veggies

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 stick butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups milk

1 cup ham chunks

 

Chop all of our veggies and add a enough water to cover the veggies.  Add salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.   Cook till tender.  While veggies are cooking in a separate large pot (I use a dutch oven) melt butter.  When butter is melted add flour and stir until flour and butter come together and slightly brown this is called a roux.  Then slowly whisk in your milk.  Next, add your cheese.  When melted, add your ham.  Keep stiring and keep your burner on a med/low heat.  When veggies are tender add them and the water you cooked them in into the milk/cheese/ham mixture and stir until it comes together.  Simmer on low for 10 minutes.  Serve.  I keep this on my stove on the lowest setting and as family comes in throughout the day they can help themselves to  a bowl of nice, warm, comforting soup!

 

I made this today!

I hope you enjoy this recip as much as my family does. 

 

Psalm 118:24

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it

 

Trouble on Every Side

Posted by Donna on February 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (2)

It seems as if there is trouble everywhere, in the home, in the schools, in churches, foreign countries, and our own country is  in more trouble than any of us care to think about.  It is easy to get discouraged, depressed and ready to throw in the towel.  We, who are Christians, know that we have hope in Christ, but do we really believe HE is willing and able to see us through our everyday troubles.

 

I know for myself, I really have to dig deep some days to not fall into a state of depression.  I literally have to talk myself out of it.  If I look only at my circumstances and not on the bigger picture I am sunk!  I am so glad there are bible verses that come to mind when I am headig down a dark road.  Like this one in:

 2 Corinthians 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair,

and

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

 

We have to get these verses and many, many others, not only in our heads but in our hearts.  We have to put them into a practical application of everyday life.  If not, this world and all its trouble will drag us down.  Then we won't be of any use to Christ. 

 

We were not meant to handle life on our own.  Our heavenly Father is always near.  He knows our hearts grow weary and afaid, he knows how weak our flesh is, how easily we forget we have a Helper. 

 

 

Call on him

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

 

Isn't that wonderful.  Doesn't that give your courage and strength to know that GOD is our refuge and strength?  I know in these days of trouble,  I am so grateful that our Lord is just a prayer away.


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