Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simply Me's Shopping Place

As you can see I've made a store here online.  I really hate shopping in real stores and if I can find it online, I will (I only wish I could do the same with shoes!!).  The items I add to this store are either things I want myself or things I've bought myself.  If I've bought it and added it to this store then I really like it, I would never lead you all astray, and if I want it, at some point I will order it:-)

I hope you can find something useful there, something that will strike your fancy and yell at you "You Need ME!!"  As time goes on I'll add more and more stuff, so check back often and see what I've added and/or changed.

Happy shopping!!

Laughing at Myself

This morning, on the way into work, instead of listening to my usual audio book or audio lecture series, I tuned into music.  The ipod, after being charged last night, turned itself to music and rather than try to drive and find my place in the book I had started, I just left it as it was. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

UPDATE: Homemade Applesauce

At the end of last month I wrote about homemade applesauce.  Today I made some.  I bought some apples from the store's discount rack, they were spotted and not perfect, so I got a good price and the bonus was most were organic.  If you've read any of my blogs about cooking you know I don't do precise measuring much, but it usually works well, but I generally followed the recipe.

I quartered the apples, cut out the seeds and the core, and pealed them and then cut them in half again when I put them in the crockpot.  I added about 3 small fingerfuls (as opposed to handfuls) of brown sugar and about 3 table spoons of lemon juice I had squeezed a few months before for use in cleaning liquids.



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Today's Smile

My major smile didn't come to me until I got home from work tonight.  Not that I didn't find my morning smile, a beautiful golden glow from the morning sun on the trees and across the pastures along with watching the birds catching bugs in the morning sky.  It really doesn't take too much to make me smile especially where nature is concerned.

When I got home tonight, like most nights, my girls are waiting for me at the door, usually making all kinds of noise.  Cally has a "woo woo" kind of bark that just makes you smile when you hear it.  My husband said he fed them early because they wouldn't leave him alone while he was cooking some stuff for his lunches.  So we went ahead and went outside, I was hoping they would do their thing,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Drive to Work

My drive to work is generally 35-40 min long, 25 miles one way, about 7 miles of that being city miles.  The first 7 miles is on a little 2-lane paved road to the 4-lane highway into the city.  As I'm driving into work this morning about 3 miles from home, there's a thin and wispy fog above the road, looking like I'm just below the surface of water, rippled like someone dropped a pebble on a pond and I was looking up from underneath the surface.  Was very cool to look at, not something you see very often, nothing I've seen anyway.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Moon

This morning when I woke up it was still dark outside, but the moon was shining through the broken clouds allowing enough silvery light to see the trees at the back of the yard.  I laid in bed for a while watching the sky, the stars shining and then disappearing as the clouds went by and the light from the moon danced off the trees and the grass.  Finally, the girls and I decide it's time to get up, me for work and them because they want to go outside and search for toads and such, and with any luck, go potty too.

It's about 5:45 at this point and I drag on my socks and pants and head for my shoes, the girls running in circles around me, excited to go out and run around a bit.  After grabbing my coat and a small flash light we head outside.  They immediately run to the "toad place".  They have a designated area where they always

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bake Sale Tomorrow and the Rest of my Friday

Tomorrow we have a bake sale for a local charity at work.  The person in charge called me a few weeks ago and asked if I would help and I agreed.  After the first part of this week, I'm wondering what on earth I was thinking, one thing after another happening, wearing me out more and more and making me very happy tomorrow is Friday.

Wednesday was Bosses Day and we celebrated by all employees bringing food for everyone, ranging from breakfast to lunch to snacks and now, 2 days later, having to come up with something again.  I'm not a terribly creative person, although I try.  I chose muffins, blueberry muffins, using the dehydrated blueberries I prepared earlier this year.  I searched online and found a recipe that looked really good, not low fat by any means, but they are, at least, organic.  I probably should never use a new recipe for a bake sale, but I can

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Do You Ever Just Want to be Alone

Do you ever just want to be alone, in a quiet place, for just a few days?  I know I do.  There's no specific reason, wanting to listen to no one's thoughts but my own and feeling the need to be still.  My life isn't particularly stressful right now, my family is going along nicely without me, work is steady, and my husband (for the moment) seems pretty happy.  I just feel the need to be alone, to take long walks, to read books, to watch the stars, and not feel the need to talk if I don't want to.  I enjoy the company of my little girls, Cally & Kimber, they are the perfect company, looking at me like they are trying to understand or most likely, because they want a cookie or scratched, nothing more serious than that, but always eyes full of love.

I find I enjoy listening to my own mind, not listening to the radio or TV, traffic noise or other people, just my own thoughts, hearing what's coming from my mind and not from others.  Sometimes, I think, you hear others so much, what's your thoughts and what's others, become a blur.  I know people who need to be

Monday, October 14, 2013

Morning coffee

As I sit here at work drinking coffee at my desk this morning, I'm really wanting to be at home with my girls, in the sun, while it's still nice out with my coffee.  I get to do that so rarely, that it's really a treat when I can.



Living in the country is nice, but even so it's not as quiet as it could be and on Sunday mornings there is no traffic on the 2-lane that's only 1/2 mile from my house and it's very quiet.  You can sit and listen to the birds

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mother Earth Fair

Yesterday my husband and I went to the Mother Earth Fair in Lawrence.  We both had a great time.  They had a lot of exhibitors and a ton of scheduled speakers for everything from dirt to making cheese.  We weren't able to stay over night so we didn't listen to many of those, but did catch most of one about having bees, learning some good tidbits in the short time we listened.

First we just made a circle around the outside of the park to see what all was there.  We saw people selling cheese making kits, seed companies, animal education booths, lots of books, growing systems and a group selling gluten-free soda pop.  We even bought a bottle of root beer, my favorite, which was very good even though I rarely drink pop.

We came across a place selling soap stone items, among other things, which I thought was really cool.  Vermont Marble, Granite, Slate & Soapstone Company is the name of the place.  You can click their name and see their store. They were

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cally Girl

A few nights ago my husband had Cally on his lap giving her a tummy rub.  She absolutely LOVED IT!!!

Is that the cutest face you've ever seen?  No wonder those girls are spoiled rotten.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Making homemade dog food

I think in previous blogs I've explained what our girls mean to us…spoiled rotten and loved to death.  Part of that is I make their dog food.  We ran out of the last batch last evening, so they got fried eggs this morning with spinach.  I stopped at the store tonight to pick up what I needed to make their next batch tonight.  I knew it would take some time to make, so they got another 2 eggs with a bit of yogurt and rainbow chard.  Dark greens are good for all of us:-) 

One day I started listening to the dog food commercials,  then I started reading the labels of their food, just like I do my own food.  Reading the ingredients people food contains scared me, you can imagine what it was like reading the dog's food ingredients.  I decided at that point since I was trying to eat as much organic and natural foods as I could afford, I would  do the same for the girls.  I have a sign in my room that says "Dogs are children dressed in fur".  Yep, that's pretty much says it all.  You saw their pictures, they are adorable:-)

Here’s to ROOTS!

I found this article Here’s to ROOTS! on Day One Gear.com website.  Not only do they have some really good looking recipes and cooking suggestions for all kinds of root veggies, there's just some really good basic information about them.



I'm slowly learning that I like more and more foods as I try new things or things I hadn't had since I was a kid. I'm trying a lot of different things in my effort to eat organically and more healthy.  A lot of these veggies I knew I liked already, but still a few I haven't had the chance to try yet (or maybe the courage:)  It's not a big surprise that veggies taste better as an adult then they did as a kid.  Most of us didn't like our veggies as a kid.  I still have a long way go and a lot of new stuff to try but I'm guessing my menu in the future will only grow bigger and tastier.  Hope you enjoy this one too.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thunder and Lightning

I just watched probably the last thunderstorm of the season roll through.  A cold front behind it so it's relatively short.  As I sit here looking out the window I'm watching the lightning and listening to the thunder.  That's the best part of a storm.  It'll be gone before I go to bed, but I really enjoy laying in bed listening to the thunder.  It's so relaxing.  Problem is I will lay there for hours and listen and not go to sleep.  At least today it's a Friday and I don't have to leave the house until about 7:45 and I don't have to fix a lunch and all that work prep stuff.

I remember when I was a little girl and we heard that rolling thunder, my dad used to tell me that was the taters.  I'd ask him what taters and he told me God had dumped the tater wagon and that rolling sound was

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I want one of these!!!!

And a tree to put it in.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Not extremely healthy, but totally cool...and quite the nifty idea.

Bake fresh cinnamon roll waffles

These Lifehacks Will Change and Improve Your Life Forever

Growing Cilantro

I got this in an email from Mother Earth Living today.  I love to put fresh cilantro in my salads and my husband loves to make salsa out of it.  I think I'll plant a pot full.  Enjoy!!

Coriandrum Sativum: Growing Cilantro and Coriander

10/29/2010 9:55:19 AM
/uploadedImages/Blogs/HCardenas.jpgHeidi Cardenas is a freelance writer and gardener in Lake County, Illinois, with a background in human resources. She has written about gardening for various online venues and enjoys The Herb Companion’s valuable resources. 
Staples in the Mexican kitchen include beans, rice, cheese, tortillas, hot peppers, tomatoes and the herb cilantro. Although I don’t know how to cook Indian cuisine, coriander (seeds produced by cilantro) is a common spice used in Indian cooking, especially in curry. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), also known as Mexican parsley, has delicate, thin green leaves and stems that grow about two feet high.   
10/29 cilantro
Cilantro has delicate, thin green leaves and stems.
Photo by Heidi Cardenas 
The foliage has a distinct light herbal aroma when cut or crushed. The small white flowers produce multitudes of small, round brown seeds a little smaller than BB’s for a BB gun, that are easy to collect and save for planting the next crop.

Virtues of Vinegar - Part 2



Yesterday I wrote a post about Vinegar and it's many uses.  Today I get an email from Mother Earth Living that has an article called Body & Soul: Herbal Vinegar for Skin and Hair.  What a coincidence.  I hope you enjoy the additional information.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Homemade Pop Tarts

I've never seen this before, but actually should have thought of it.  My son was a Pop Tart fanatic when he was a kid.  Still is, but his wife kind of controls his sugar intake.  Blessings to that girl:-)  Anyway I found this recipe for Homemade Pop Tarts while surfing around the internet.  I might have to try that for an upcoming bake sale and the Bosses Day celebration at work.  If you try it, let me know how it turns out.  And let me know of any other flavors you come up with.  I'm guessing there are dozens to choose from if you think about it long enough.


Celery and arthritis

For years my mom has taken Alfalfa for her arthritis.  So when I started having arthritic pain I started taking Alfalfa too.  Got to a point, though, that I was taking a lot of pills.  They are all vitamins or herbs, but still there were a lot of them.  Finally sometime this summer I stopped taking the alfalfa and the arthritic pain in my fingers didn't come back.  I was pretty excited about that although, wasn't real sure what was up.

I eat salads every day for lunch.  I make them every morning so they are fresh and I always put celery in them, cause I love the fresh flavor and the smell.  In the last month I didn't buy any celery for in my salad.  Not sure why, I guess I figured there was enough other stuff in there.  I also noticed my fingers began to hurt again.  I never put the two together.  Then in the last week or so, I read an article (and from where I really can't remember) that talked about celery being good for arthritis.  So (big light bulb) I got more celery and started adding it to my salads again.  Lo and behold, I notice today the pain in my fingers has stopped again.  Now, I can't say scientifically that the celery had anything to do with my joint pain, but what I can tell you is my fingers don't hurt anymore and for someone who types for a living, that's awesome.

Aren't they the cutest little guys or gals??!!!

Another Daily Cute from Grit Magazine.

The Virtues of Vinegar

When I was a kid I remember my mom using vinegar primarily to pickle stuff.....lots of different stuff.  Other than that, I don't remember seeing vinegar around much except the apple cider vinegar we used for the warm water, vinegar & honey mixture (found elsewhere in this blog).  But that was only if we didn't feel good.  And actually that tasted like warm apple cider and was pretty good.  But recently, actually after my grand-daughter was born, after we got the 2 little girls (puppies), and we ripped out the carpet in the living room and laid laminate floors, I decided I didn't want the chemicals in the house and started doing some research in alternative cleaning methods.  That's when I discovered Vinegar.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Free Webcast for Homesteading

In going through my emails I found out about this free webcast.  Looks like they have a number of subjects to choose from and it's all FREE.  They have subjects like passive solar greenhouses, organic growing, permaculture and bee-keeping among other things.  The Webcast runs 3 days, Oct. 1 - 3.  They run mostly in the evening so it shouldn't interfere with work too much.  You can register here and they will send you a schedule of the speakers and their subjects and then you can pick & choose which you prefer to listen to.  Lots of good stuff, I hope you enjoy it.

Grain from Scratch

I've always wanted to try making my own flour and oats.  My husband didn't think it would be worth it to try and plant and then harvest to get enough to use, but I wanted to try it any way.  Here is a page where someone did just that.  I think I'll try it anyway just for my own curiosity.  Especially if we are going to have animals, which I fully intend to do, I'd love to be able to feed them with home grown, ORGANIC, grains.  There is so much "stuff" being put on our foods these days, that frankly, I just don't trust it anymore.  I don't really believe they are putting stuff on our foods to actually hurt us, I just think they are doing it for profits and the unintended consequences haven't been realized yet.  I do believe these chemicals don't belong on our foods, at least not in the quantities they use and probably the quality too, as it's probably getting more potent all the time.  Just like the antibiotics I've seen in the news recently, if you use enough of them, what you are fighting against grows an immunity to it and you have to use stronger and stronger stuff each year.

If anyone else has had an occasion to use this method, let me know.  I'd love to hear how it turned out and what you may have done differently from the lady in this story.

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About Me

I'm a country girl working in the city (50 miles/day). I want to learn all I can about how to do for myself. My husband and I dream of a self-reliant homestead where we can live and work together, raising chickens, goats and rabbits, and growing and canning our own food.