Saturday, September 29, 2012

Clothes Pin Bag

I went with a friend to Blackfoot yesterday to pick up some flour.  While there, we did a little shopping.  One of our stops was at their local D.I. where I picked up a nice, little girls denim jacket.
Yes, to begin with, this jacket had sleeves in it but I cut them out because I had something in mind for this jacket other than a jacket.  And yes, my frugal friend was un-easy with the fact I was going to cut up this little jacket for my personal use………….but, cut it, I did.  Can you see what my vision of the little jacket is?
Now it is all sewn around the arms and bottom…….look at what a useful item it turned into.  A clothes line bag to hold all my clothes pins.  I’ve recently hung an ice cream bucket from my waist to hold the clothes pins.  Awkward!  About a month ago, my dryer broke, forcing me to hang my clothes outside…..which I can’t figure out why I didn’t do this years ago (well, I did do it years ago when I lived in a different house).  The clothes dry really fast without using any electricity. 
I’d forgotten how nice it was to hang my clothes outside in the fresh air…….well, on some days we have fresh air.  With all the fires in our state we have quite a bit of smoke in the air most days.  But today is a great day for hanging clothes without any smoke.
I made a clothes line of sorts by running  three lines from our gate to a fence post.  The only problem is I don’t get the lines tight enough and they sag quite a bit…..and the moving gate doesn’t help much.
I got my idea for this clothes pin bag from this site.  And to my frugal friend, who I know follows my blog…….all I need to do, if ever needed, is pull a few stitches out and my little clothes line bag will once again be a nice denim jacket………minus the sleeves…..ah, a denim vest!

UPDATE.......My bag was just a tad bit big so I took it in on the sides and a few inches off the bottom to make it smaller.  I like it much better this way.  Easier to get to the clothes pins.  And, I did not cut any of the material!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall Beginnings In Mackay

There is still a lot of green around the valley but as I headed towards the Mine Hill this afternoon, I saw hints here and there that Fall was definitely in the making.  Here is a bunch of pretty greenery, mixed with reds, clinging to an old wooden fence as I headed towards the Mine Hill.
When I got to the Mine Hill Bridge, which is one of my favorite places to take pictures, there was more evidence that Summer is coming to an end.  Still a bit more time before all evidence of Summer is gone but for now, the mixture of green with fall colors is beautiful.
As I headed for home and not far from the bridge, I noticed some wild daisy’s growing along the side of the road, with hardly a trace of Fall peeking through.  But, I know it’s coming and I can’t wait.  Fall is my most favorite time of the year.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


My daughter, Amber, and her husband, Corey, came up this weekend.  It was another canning day for us.  They brought up some pint bottles and we went to work on bottling corn.  When all was said and done, we ended up with 36 pints.  My daughter hasn't ever canned before so it was a new experience for her.  I think it was exciting for her to hear the lids on the bottles popping when they were sealing.  Ping, ping, ping....what a sound of accomplishment.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bottled Peaches

Two bushels, 48 quart jars, and 13 hours, gives me 48 quarts of bottled peaches - Yeah!  I got a late start so I didn't get finished until after midnight but oh, in my minds eye, I can see it now....peaches and toast.  There's nothing better for a quick breakfast or a snack, than hot buttered toast with a bowl of peaches.  DELISH!

Here's how my day started out.......I purchased 4 boxes of peaches, which is equal to 2 bushels.  I got them last weekend but they were too green so I had to wait a week for them to get ripe enough to bottle.

Then into the sink they went for a good washing to get all the dirt and peach fuzz off.  Some had a few bruises here and there but nothing a good old paring knife couldn't take care of.

This is my processing set up......I put my big pot of boiling water on the back left burner.  When the peaches are all washed, I dunk them in the boiling water for approximately 60 seconds, put them in my sink full of cold water and the skins slip right off.  Sure beats peeling them all by hand with a knife.  Then I have the right, sugar syrup...bottom left, and finally my steamer on the lower right.  Modern conveniences....WoNdErFuL!

This is my first batch out of the steamer, 7 quarts in all.  Looks like golden sunlight, bottled.  Can you see my red tomatoes in the background.  I have them sitting on a cookie sheet.  They sure taste a lot better than tomatoes I buy in the store during the off season.  Let's hear it for gardens.

Ouch.....speaking of gardens, my husband just came in the house and said that the deer got into our garden last night and ruined a lot of produce, including our new apple trees we just planted this spring. Sad!.................Just ran out and took a few pictures of the garden.  About the only thing they didn't bother was the corn and spinach.  The sad part is the apple trees but the bright side is that it is the middle of September and I'm sure the garden wouldn't last much longer anyways.

UPDATE:  After the deer feasted on our garden, we did salvage enough cauliflower to get 13 pints.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hubby's Bottled Corn

Our garden really produced well, this year.  My husband decided to bottle some of the corn so he took off work on Tuesday (September 11, 2012) and got the job done.  I told him about a method I had seen on the Internet on how to get your corn off of the cob using a bundt pan.  He tried the method and said it worked really well.  It took 5 cuts around the cob to get all the corn off and it took 64 ears of corn to make 40 pints.  As I was looking on the Internet this morning on different ways to get corn off the cob, I came across this site.......too bad I hadn't seen it earlier.....this would have been right up his alley.  He's quite the handy man with tools.  This method would have been a lot more fun, too!  Just look at all his pretty corn.  Good job, hun!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cool Bull

I went visiting teaching this afternoon and when I got through, I decided to take a long route home just to see if there was anything out there worth taking a picture of.  Yep, there was.
I thought this was a beautiful picture......too bad it has power poles and lines in it.

This is a pretty cool bull..............or so I thought.
Upon closer observation, I noticed the calf sucking.  I'm one of these people that when I see horns, I think bull.  I can't believe how long it took me to notice the was the sucking sound that drew my attention.  When I was writing this, my husband was standing over my shoulder correcting what I was writing.  On the above picture, he corrected my telephone poles to power poles and on the cow, I put a baby nursing and he corrected me by saying a calf sucking.  Since he is a farmer and works for the power company..............I'll let him be right, this time.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Doe a Deer

This little doe was out our back door resting for a long time today.  I took some pictures of her laying under our crab apple tree around 1pm this afternoon.

She got up, took a stretch.

Reached up and ate some leaves off of the tree.

Ate something over by the peonies, walked around a bit then settled herself back down in the shade of the crab apple tree.

Canning Beets and Beans

Canning season is here.  I really do not like canning but I sure like the rewards.  Working over the sink washing, cutting, and doing all the necessary preparations to get your product ready for the bottles is very tiring on my feet and back.......and then, there's putting it in the bottles....etc, etc, etc.  But, but, but.............look at how I am rewarded when finished.  Nothing prettier than looking at the dark, deep purple of a bottle of pickled beets.  Canning gives me such a sense of pride and accomplishment when I'm all finished, stand back and look at all my bottles of produce, lined up neatly in a row.
This year, we (my husband was a big help) steam cooked our beets in potato baskets in a big metal gargae can.  Doing the process this way took very little time for our beets to cook.

When our beets were done cooking, all we needed to do was pull out the potato baskets, spray down the beets with cold water from the garden hose and start slipping of the skins.

In the past, I've always sliced my beets by hand but this year I used a Mandolin slicer which cut down my time considerably!

And, just let me tell you how handy this little gadget is.  Instead of trying to get my lids out of the hot water with a fork or whatever else seemed handy, I purchased this green, plastic handle with a magnet on the bottom that easily pulled the lids out for me.
Here my beets are......ready to do the water bath thingy, except, I don't water bath mine....I use a steamer process.  There is a shallow metal container on the bottom that you put water in, put on a flat top that is filled with holes, put on a dome cover, let the beets come up to heat and start steaming.  

I told you.  Look how pretty my beets are in all that dark, purple juice.  They almost look royal, standing there all straight, lined up in rows.
This year, my husband wanted to try canning in the pressure cooker, something we have never done before.  While I was putting the beets in bottles and canning them, he was outside, snapping beans.  After the beans were ready, he got out the books and started reading on how to use the pressure cooker for canning.  When all was said and done, it wasn't nearly as hard as I was expecting it to be.  Here are our beans as we were getting the lids and rings on in preparation for the pressure cooker.

This next picture says it all!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Where My Life Needs To Be

Yesterday, Evan and I left home at 7am so we could make the 9am session at the Idaho Falls Temple.  We try to make it to the Temple at least once a month.  There is such a calming peace within you when you attend the temple that I wished we didn't live so far away and could attend on a more regular basis.  But, with work and LIFE, it just doesn't seem to happen that way.  I guess being on a spiritual high at least once a month helps me to keep my life where it needs to be. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pile of Rocks Inspiration

I drove up the mine hill today after church just to look at a Pile of Rocks.  A pile of rocks, that truly inspire me.

Along the way, I just happened to see some, it's just a sage brush in the middle of nowhere but to me....................well!

I stopped off down at the bottom of the mine hill to look at the river.  I love to look at flowing water.  I would love to have a small fountain in my yard somewhere that I could just sit by and listen to the magic and maybe read a good book. 

I went to take another picture after this last one but my battery pack ran out.  I always have another spare with me but when I went to get it, panic...............NO BATTERY PACK....what was I thinking?  I decided to drive home with my eyes closed so I wouldn't be tempted to take any more pictures and miss that "picture of a life time" that I knew would be there just because I couldn't use my camera.  Well, I just half-closed my eyes stared straight ahead.  Made it home with no mishaps!