Mystery Photo 1-7-15 results

First of all, I have no idea Bruce how you can remember way back what Grandma Wurzer had, much less what it was! I’m telling you were spot on to what you guessed.

And contrary to what you all might be thinking, I’m only using this as a decorative piece in our house :)

Here was the clueDSCN9492a

And here is what it is. It was the portable wringer washer for washing clothes. DSCN9492

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And so it begins…

Daryl and I decided that we were going to go a month eating more healthy foods and also being more active. So today, November 12th it begins.

I got out my little seed corn notebook and started to take notes. One side of the paper was things that we agreed on that would be acceptable, and the other side? Well those were things we were going to try to stay away from. Now granted the side that had the ‘acceptable’ stuff was much longer than the other side, but hey.. who’s counting right? Some of the things that was on the acceptable side was a 20 ounce bottle of pop a day, popcorn in moderation, turtle soup (there’s a turtle soup supper coming up this weekend), beer, and stuff like that. Now on the other side there was ice cream, breakfast pizza in town, and candy. So today I had only one pop and I drank all my water that I was supposed to. I even ordered a new cup to keep me on track! DSCN9517The next thing to do was to go to the wellness center and get in 3 miles of running. I laughed because after I got done running, I noticed someone that I knew sitting on the side putting her shoes on. She looked really confused so I went over to talk to her. She said she didn’t know if that was me or not,  and I asked her why? Well she said that she saw someone with a bright red round face and just wasn’t sure. Yea, probably not a good look for me you think? After running I was off to the store to buy healthy foods. Now honestly, have you ever gone into the grocery store to just buy healthy foods? Let me just say it’s kind of a dumb idea. I’m just saying… So I’m looking around and spending way too much time talking to some ladies just looking at the lettuce display and then I venture off to see what else I can buy. After I picked up a couple of cans of beans and rice I decided to go by the Diet Coke and throw a couple in the cart , you know just in case. Now after all this, and unloading my small amount of groceries at home, I thought to myself, holy smokes I must have lost about 5 or 6 lbs today! I got out our scale and found that I gained two pounds. So much for this healthy crap. How many more days do we have to do this? Oh and did I mention that I still had a 9 x 13 pan of candy in the refrigerator? Just in case we need a sugar fix or something :) DSCN9518

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Just checking it out

Today’s post is the picture of the day.  We made a road trip down to visit William in his new apartment. IMG_2226

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Exchanging recipes

At work I’ve been exchanging recipes with one of my friends and it’s been pretty harmless – well until this new cake recipe that I got this past week. She said that she was having trouble with getting it to be like when her Mom made it and was wondering if she was doing something wrong. I told her that I’d give it a try and see if I could have it turn out. Now normally we’re not big cake eaters, but we would just have to take one for the team this time because I was going to give it try. So I got everything ready, and let’s just say it wasn’t just throwing stuff together, it was going to be a challenge. The reason that I liked the recipe and was excited for it was because it was like an old fashioned recipe. I mean you had to separate the egg yolks from the whites and had to boil water to add the cocoa, you know.. more than just dumping it into a bowl. Well I got the boiled water and cocoa cooling in the fridge and the eggs separated (7 eggs needed for the recipe)  and the egg whites all whipped up with some cream of tarter. Then the sugar and oil was mixed and flour and the rest of the dry ingredients all put in the bowl. Next came the cocoa mixture and by this time it was looking pretty good. But after folding in the egg whites the whole thing just kind of collapsed. Yup, I knew that this isn’t what it was supposed to look like. She said her Mom’s was like an angel food cake and just by looking at how my batter looked, well it wasn’t going to be anything like that! Too late now and into the oven it went. It had to bake for one hour and then at a higher temperature for 10 minutes. I was working on some candy that I needed for Sunday

Also on the plan for today

Also on the plan for today – Caramel Pecan Turtles

when all of a sudden you  started to smell burnt batter. You guessed it – out came the cake and it was put upside down on a pop bottle to cool.

Everything was just chilling out for awhile

Everything was just chilling out for awhile

It didn’t look so good, but I was way too much into the recipe to quite now! Now to make the frosting. It had milk and flour that you cooked on the stove first and then when that was cool you added it to a Crisco/sugar mixture. While the milk and flour stuff was cooling, I thought the cake looked a little funny in the pan. Yea.. the reason it looked funny was because it FELL out of the cake pan and onto the caramels. So not cool. I tried to put it back in the cake pan, but that was pretty much a very unsuccessful plan. So I got out some cookies racks and set it on there.  OK, now the final touches on the cake. I mixed the flour/milk mixture with the Crisco/sugar mixture and it tasted… absolutely TERRIBLE! It takes like lardy flour. And I had such high hopes for the frosting because my friend said that it was the best part of the cake. Right then and there I knew that I was in trouble. If this was the best part of the cake, wow were we in for a surprise! So I grabbed a couple of cans of bought frosting and frosted the cake up.

Well it looked good anyway!

Well it looked good anyway!

Now the big test, how did it taste? Not good. Really not good at all. I think if my friends Mom was alive she would have cried on how bad it turned out. The bottom of the cake had about a 1/2 inch of really hard batter that formed a crust and the rest was very very dry. The only good thing about the cake was the canned frosting. Needless to say, I’m not planning on sharing the recipe, but I must say that I did share the cake with the chickens :)

While I was messing around in the kitchen today, I had some time to try out another new recipe. This one was for… drum roll….. homemade deodorant. Yea, I bet you didn’t see that one coming now did you? Well, I decided to venture out and I had all the ingredients to do it,  so why not? The process is pretty simple. IMG_2213First put all your oils in a mason jar and into boiling water to melt.boilingThen add corn starch, baking soda, and some vitamin E into the oils and that’s it.

Melted oils

Melted oils

IMG_2216See, it’s pretty simple isn’t it? Now I’m going to give the old arm pits a trial run this week with my new concoction and then I’ll share the recipe with you later if it works. The only thing that I wish that I would have done differently is to use an old deodorant container to put it in. For now it’s still in the jar that I made it in. And even though that will work, I’m going to have to remember which jar has the deodorant and which container has the lip balm :)

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Blizzard Warnings out for Thursday

There was some talk this afternoon that we were under a Blizzard Warning for our area. What? That sounds a little crazy if you ask me – I mean it didn’t look that bad outside and a Blizzard Warning? Well usually they’re right, but in this case I was sure hoping that they were wrong. At least until we all got home from work. So as the day went on, it still wasn’t so bad out and that was how the day was – pretty uneventful as the weather goes. When I was going home, I did notice that the wind was picking up a little bit more and by the time I was pulling into the garage, well the snow was blowing around pretty good. It didn’t take long and then I realized why we were under a warning – holy smokes did it get windy! At one point I couldn’t even see the barn across the yard. Now this makes it kind of hard to get excited and dressed up to go outside, but I thought I better check on the animals and see how everyone is doing. As I was getting dressed – this is what the window in our laundry room looked like.DSCN9493 Now I was thinking to myself – well maybe Daryl might be coming home pretty soon and I should just stay in the house. This new plan sounded like a Great Idea!  After stalling way too long, I realized that he wasn’t coming home soon – so I put on about 4 layers and then the overalls went over the whole thing. I literally couldn’t even hardly walk! I’m thinking to myself why in the world would anyone go to a gym to get exercise? Just get dressed up for chores and walk through the snow drifts and  that would count for any amount of exercise that you needed to do for the day.  The first thing that I noticed was the really crazy sky. It wasn’t snowing anymore, but it was blowing so bad that you thought it was. You could literally see the stars about the wind blown snow. The last time I’ve ever seen the sky like this since was … well maybe never that I can remember.

The bottom part of the sky isn't mountains or anything, it's snow blowing around

The bottom part of the sky isn’t mountains or anything, it’s snow blowing around

Then off to check on the chickens. I brought a bunch of hay for their coop for them to lay on, but I’m guessing that they want to stay up high and together for the night. Now I would think being low and snuggle in would be the best (it works for me!) but this is how they spent their night. DSCN9504bAbout this time Daryl was just pulling into the yard and said that he had to stop about 4 times in a mile because of complete white outs. The first thing that he wanted to do now that he was home was to make sure that the water lines weren’t frozen in the milk house. Whew! nothing was frozen. Next thing? Crank up the heater and warm up the animals in the barn. Now the barn animals – dogs & cats, do snuggle up in the hay and straw unlike the chickens and I’m thinking that it’s a much smarter idea if you ask me! But when the heater goes on – well out come the cats and dogs. It’s just convenient that we also have chairs by it for us :) IMG_2207 I just laughed at Checkers the cat because after I took this one picture, she literally went around and looked inside the heater. I don’t understand why she didn’t know that it was going to be hot —-IMG_2203but we figured that she’ll be smelling the burnt cat hair for awhile.

You could still hear the wind blowing outside, but most of the snow that was loose now found a new home, so it was just windy and cold outside by the time it was dark.IMG_2205 Did I say it was cold? Yea it was really cold. Time to go inside the house and turn on the fireplace. IMG_2197

 

The picture of the day is a selfie of Reno and I. That’s how it started out anyway until Kaiser photo bombed it!

It started out as a selfie of Reno and I.

Hanging out in the barn

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Mystery Photo 1-7-15

OK, this is a hard one so I’ll give you a 2 clues.

Clue # 1 : this is on something that was very common in the old days

Clue # 2 : I don’t know anyone else who has one of these in their house today

Can you guess what it is without investigating the brand name on it?
DSCN9492a

Posted in Wednesday's Challenge Photo | 2 Comments

Mystery Photo 12-31-14 results

OK, maybe it was easy for some of you guys so here is the clueDSCN9422a

and here is the answer. It’s not the best picture, but it was cold outside and I was in a hurry! DSCN9422

It was a fan that we use on the drying bin.  Good job Tess & Calen!

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OK, just one more thing about my soap

I know that you are getting pretty sick and tired of me talking about my soap – but I just want to say one more thing and then I won’t talk about it for awhile. I took the peppermint, lime, orange ‘Sunshine’ soap out of the mold tonight and holy cow does it smell. I know that peppermint is supposed to keep away spiders and bugs – so I’m thinking it’s going down in the cellar to mellow out just a little bit. Whew! So if you live in my neighborhood and notice a couple more spiders on your farm – we’ll I’m just saying , blame it on the soap! I’m also not sure that I like the ‘extra dried lemon peels’ in it. I think this will have to be something that I will have to see if I like it once I use the soap. But for now it might just seem a little excessive. I’m just saying..

Sunshine Soap when I took it out of the mold

Sunshine Soap when I took it out of the mold

The bars cut up

The bars cut up

The weather today was supposed to be really bad and for once I’m glad that the weatherman was wrong! We got a couple of inches of snow yesterday and today we were supposed to get 35 mph winds and a LOT of blowing snow. Well you can about imagine 35 mph winds and fluffy snow can’t you? It’s like your’e own personal snow globe or something. Well, it didn’t happen .. so yea!! I’m especially glad because William is getting things organized to head down to his apartment tomorrow for the next 8 months. I’m thinking after these last two weeks and now all the kids gone, well it’ll be pretty quiet in the house again. I know that I like the commotion much better! But I do have to say that I need to spend some time to organize the Christmas stuff better and get rid of about half of what I’ve got. I confess that I don’t have it all packaged away and because I only put out about half, why in the world am I keeping it all? So my goal is to get rid of some of the stuff that I never use. Honestly, I couldn’t even find this one big tote of Christmas stuff, and the only thing that I missed out of it was our nativity scene people and animals. I tried to fake it and just set out the Nativity scene, but it kinda looks bad with only straw in it and nothing else.  Well I talk pretty big, but I’ll see how good I do once I try to downsize.

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Bagged a good one!

I was walking through the living room when Daryl pulled into the yard tonight after work. Now no big deal right? Well, the truck caught my eye because I could see something in the back of it and realized that it was a knipco heater. I knew that he was having trouble with ours and talked about getting it fixed now for a couple of weeks. But the problem was because it’s been around the block a couple of times – well no one really works on them anymore. So the next step was that Daryl was researching the parts needed on line to see if he could order them or have the Implement store order them and then have it fixed. So when I saw Daryl pull into the yard tonight, my first thought is that it was our old one. Then I realized that it was a brand new one! It was sticking out of the back of the truck as if it was some kind of trophy. I’m not kidding you. It was like if you are a deer hunter and if you get a big buck with a huge rack, you just have to drive one more time through town. Yea, kind of like that. The only difference was that instead of some dead deer, he had bagged a bright new shiny knipco heater. Shazam!! So into the barn it goes and come to think of it, I haven’t seen Daryl, William, the dogs, or the cats much since :)

As for me? Well I’m staying in the house and making more soap. I took out the first ones that I made last night out of my handy dandy soap mold and it worked slicker than snot! And I think I even like the scent. I guess I’ll know more once it’s cured, but for now it’s not so bad.  DSCN9481 So then I thought to myself, maybe I should make another batch of something else?  So back to the drawing board I go and found a soap called ‘The Sunshine Soap’ It has Peppermint, Orange, and also Lime in it. It’s supposed to wake you up in the morning. It was a new recipe again, and I guess it’s the only way to learn which ones are good. So I also saw that you can add stuff in between the layers of the soap so I decided on adding some dried ground lemon peel. I think you’re only supposed to add a little, but a little more couldn’t hurt could it?

After supper and the kitchen was all cleaned up, I decided to make William a cheesecake. For some reason I always forget that I don’t have to send tons of food with him when he leaves, but honestly it doesn’t hurt anything now does it?

Vanilla Cheesecake with cookie and pecan crust

Vanilla Cheesecake with cookie and pecan crust

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Just hanging out

When we woke up this morning and when I looked out the window – it looked like this. DSCN9452Now granted it could look worse right? So why in the world am I kind of complaining about it. Seriously I’m not trying to complain, but we’ve been so lucky this winter that it almost seems like we shouldn’t have any snow this year. But that’s pretty much an unrealistic dream and with hearing the upcoming weather forecast – I guess I better get used to this white stuff!

I got a message early this morning that the kids made it back OK. Kyle caught literally the last bus leaving the airport for the night and that was good. He has the next day off to get unpacked and catch up on his sleep. Even though he’s flown this trip multiple times, it still has to mess his sleep schedule up. Good thing he’s a kid!

Daryl spent the morning taking down the Christmas lights and garland off the front of the house and man does it look boring!! Now I don’t know why we think lights on a house or garland make the house (and farm!) look so much prettier, but it sure does. We were talking about this today and the question that came up was are we just conditioned to think it looks pretty? Well who cares right? It is a lot of work to put them up but it sure makes you smile and for me it brings back memories when I was growing up. When I was a kid we would literally take the branches off the evergreen trees that lined our grove and make our own garland. Now I just can’t believe that this was good for the trees, but maybe it was a way to keep all us kids quiet and busy so that’s why our parents never really cared! Not that we were loud and crazy.. but sometimes we were a little on the wild side and maybe just a little loud and crazy! Then we would hang the garland and all the big Christmas lights that are getting popular again around the outside of our picture window in the living room. We did this every year that I can remember as a kid and maybe that’s why hanging garland, hopefully from the nursery, just makes me smile.

As for me? Well, today after the Christmas tree was out of the house and a couple of pounds of beef jerky was in the dehydrator, I settled in to find a good soap recipe. William made me a new soap mold to put the raw soap in to cure, so I just had to find something to make!

My fancy new soap box

My fancy new soap mold

I also kind of made people take my soap over Christmas so I really did need to make more. Today’s recipe was using 4 different types of oils and then came the hard part- trying to figure out what fragrance to use.

The oils were all melted - the next step was figuring out the fragrance

The oils were all melted – the next step was figuring out the fragrance

The scent that the soap recipe called out I didn’t have, but I thought honestly how hard is it to pick out a good smell? Yea.. let’s just say about 1 hour later I finally just settled for something that was literally in one of my storage containers. Did you know that you’re supposed to have 3 levels of scents in a soap? Well, me either until today! The first level is the one that you smell first – OK, that’s a no brainer!, then the second one should be the strongest, and the last one is what you remember the soap to smell like. And what did I put in mine? Well, after doing that hour of research on what should go together and then loosing the website where it talks about the ‘levels’ – I just literally guessed and put in some Lemon as the 1st level and Ylang Ylang as the base. Is it right? I have no idea. But does is smell? You bet! The Lemon oil is to revitalize and uplift you, while the Ylang Ylang is supposed to be a stress relief along with lowering blood pressure and prevent wounds from infections and speeds up the healing process. Whatever! It’s what I used and it should be OK. Like I said the recipe was a new recipe and when I was making it, it seemed a little smaller batch. It did end up being about a half batch and that’s OK too. I’ll just cut it differently tomorrow when I un-mold it.

As for the rest of the night? Well I headed to town to pick up some groceries. Not only did we need some, but there’s a big storm brewing that is supposed to hit tomorrow night. Man I sure hope that it isn’t too bad and we don’t get snowed in!

The photo of the day is a really cool one! My brother called and said that he was out driving and noticed the moon dogs out tonight. So I grabbed my camera and headed out to snap a few pictures. Even though the ‘official’ full moon or the Wolf Moon, Old Moon or Moon After Yule isn’t until tomorrow night – this moon and the moon dogs look pretty awesome! Take a look

Moon dogs

Moon dogs

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