Friday, December 25, 2009

I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL DAY!!!

Open lots of gifts, eat lots of food and enjoy lots of good times..make memories!

Oh oh..PS:
Check out the new 'LOOK-A-LIKE" at the bottom of the page!! You'll love it.
See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Well if you've kept up...

With the main blog "Sagewood Farm" then you know we've been kinda busy around here..specially with a NEW BABY!! Woohoo! Daughter gave birth on Dec 17th to an almost 9lb baby girl and we are thrilled. It's made for a busy month, what with traveling and new births and Christmas..and well you get the drift.

In the meantime..here's a little idea for all those lovely holiday smells we love to smell but can never get to stay around long.

I have one little pot..a small saucepan really that I use for this ONLY. You can use a regular saucepan that you always use..but I need every pot and pan I have to prepare big holiday meals..so go thrifting or yardsale'ing it and find a small saucepan for this purpose only.

Everyone has oranges or tangerines or even grapefruit for the Christmas season it seems. I'm sure if you look in your spice cabinet you'll find cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Any one or maybe all of the above right? RIGHT!

So take your little saucepan and peel that orange (or whatever citrus fruit you have on hand). Toss the peels in the saucepan and now run to the spice cabinet. I prefer to use cinnamon and nutmeg, but you pick the two or three that you like best and add 1 teaspoon of each one to the peels. Now fill the little saucepan 1/2 way with water. Stick this concoction on the back burner of your stove ..preferably the one your oven 'vents' on. (if you have a fireplace insert, you can sit it on top of that too!)
Turn on the burner and bring the mixture to a simmer...add more water if you need to to keep it at 1/2 full. Once it begins to simmer, turn it down to low and let it sit there..all day. Check it often and refill with water as it evaporates.

Your house will smell FABULOUS all day long! Turn it off at night of course and remember to add water the next day and start over again! You can keep this running for about 3 or 4 days before you'll need to 'refresh' it with all new stuff and start over again!

Every time I do this people walk in and ask me "What are you bakin' it smells wonderful!" ..little do they know! LOL

Now..you can always opt to do the 'new fangled' way of making your house smell by using scented candles and such..but hey, why not try and old fashioned 'air freshener' once in a while.

Things you can add to this or do differently to 'spice' it up and make it different are:
Apple peels
Pumpkin pie spice
cinnamon sticks
whole cloves
bay leaves
Vanilla flavoring (or any flavoring..orange, peppermint even maple!)

The possibilities are limitless ..and only curtailed by your imagination, so let it run wild and create your own 'house scent' designed for the season your in!

A Christmas Cake...

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe for everyone or taken any pictures of the things I've made...so shoot me. :)

I have been busy with traveling to NY and then came home to the birth of a new Grandbaby (a girl) within a week or so. In between that I've been scrambling for Christmas gifts, getting interviewed for a job (that I've waited and hoped for for almost a year) and just the general every day stuff. HOWEVER..all that said I do have a cake recipe for you to try this Christmas season.
It's fattening, decadent and totally delish!

Ready for it? Here ya go..

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

3 sticks of butter, softened
1 pkg (8 oz.) Cream cheese, softened
3 Cups Sugar
6 eggs
3 Cups flour (self rising)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Line the bottom of a tube pan with wax paper and coat lightly with butter. (I use a brush) Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add sugar and beat till light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Begin adding flour 1/2 a cup at a time, beating after each addition till all 3 cups are incorporated.
Bake on center rack of oven 1 1/2 hours.
Cool and remove from pan.

Additions you can do:
1. Sprinkle the top with sifted powdered sugar, serve.

2. Heat up to 2 Cups of strawberry jam, adding 1/2 C. (or more if needed) apple juice to make a hot sauce. Sever over cake slices.

3. Melt 2 bars of your favorite chocolate, add 1/2 C. heavy cream, drizzle on top of slices.

Or do it like I do..and just EAT IT like it is! YUM!!!

ENJOY!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Well..she has arrived!

Announcing the arrival of Grandbaby #3.... Lillian Ayla.
She was born Dec 17, 2009 at 10:04 pm and weighed 8 pounds and 13 oz. Check out her page here : Lillians Page ..,.,She's a little chunk of a thing and definitely has little cherub cheeks!

See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Here we are....

Just a few short days away from 'the big day'...are you ready??

Don't even ask if I'm ready..cuz *I* won't like the answer!!
All I can say is, I've got my decorations up. That's good isn't it?? Shopping?? what shopping? HA!

With 9 days left, I guess I better get something started huh? NAH!! Christmas will come and go whether I'm ready or not!
I will say I'm baking cookies today. Yep, that's my contribution..cookies.

We are all on pins and needles waiting for the newest addition to the family to arrive. She's due on Christmas day so it won't be long now!

Your newest weekly fail is at the bottom of the page. Since I'm an original Virginia girl, I couldn't resist this one. Hope you enjoy!

See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Monday, December 7, 2009

Well, it's the beginning

Of another wonderful wintery week! (spell check says 'wintery' is wrong..it's wintry, but Dictionary.com says it's either..so there!)

As promised, your new 'FAIL' is at the bottom of the page. Mind you, I had read this before, but when I found it and read it again, I just about pee'd my pants from laughing so hard. So do yourself a favor, start your week with a smile and a giggle or two and go read it! Just scroll down you'll see it!

Christmas is just around the corner..are you ready? I'm no where near it! It's funny how that goes ..you have a WHOLE YEAR, you know it's coming it happens at the same time every year, but it seems to sneak up on you every time!..why is that I wonder?
I must get better organized for next year! (I say that every year!)
Now, for the good and the bad...

Good news to share..I've got a job interview on Tuesday..I'm pretty excited about that. I've waited a year for this one! I've got my fingers crossed! (cross yours too!)

Bad news: Sam, the black cat that we have has disappeared. He's been gone for several weeks now so I'm pretty sure he's not coming back. Not that I believe someone has him, but maybe one of the wild creatures (to include logging trucks and hunters!) we have out here got him or something to that effect. We'll keep our eyes out of course, but it's been an awfully long time already.

Have a festive and productive week!

See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Thursday, December 3, 2009

As you can see

There have been no posts for two weeks! WOW! But if you've read the main Sagewood Farm page, then you know I've been on a Thanksgiving vacation of sorts. All the way to upstate NY!

I missed the snow (dang it) but I did get to celebrate my granddaughter Ciannons first birthday!

Now that the vacation is over, I guess that means..back to the more normal routine. Although, I'm hoping that a job I applied for comes through, which means my entire routine will change! I do hope I get the job however. Keep your fingers crossed!

SO here it is, Thursday morning (really EARLY by the way..can't sleep) and we've missed several 'One thing Mondays'..but that's ok..never was written in stone!

I'll be off to visit the girlchild and hubby along with Squishy tomorrow then back to 'decorating'! It usually takes me two or three days to get it all done. So tell me, share with me..how much do you do?, how long does it take you to get it done? and when do you start? Do you like classic simple decorations? or are you an out and out blinger? Do you do a lot or a little? Tell me your Christmas decorating scheme..share!!

I've always been a late decorator. I'm afraid I'll get sick of it if it's up too long. It usually takes me 2 or 3 days to get it all up and 'fixed' the way I want it. (Heck..who am I kidding..sometimes I rearrange it till the day I start taking it down!) I love the old fashioned simple look. Greenery on the shelves and around the candles. A bowl of 'stuff' like balls and pine cones for the table (maybe even a studded orange or two) old fashioned looking stockings hung in various places about the house and heck, I even have a lighted village that I put out (one that is missing lots of pieces cuz I haven't painted them yet..sad ain't I?)

I've got much to do before the holiday is upon us. More gifts to make and all of them to wrap of course. Dinner to plan and almost all the decorating to finish! WHEW..a lot to do huh?

Guess I'll get busy with that after I get home tomorrow.
So..get busy, decorate, it's the season!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm BACK!!

That's scary isn't it?

After driving from here (SC) to VA, two days in VA, then driving to upstate NY, 3 days in NY then driving back to VA, one day in VA, and finally driving home (SC) ..whew! That's a lot of driving, let me tellya!
As you can see I've updated the page to reflect the 'season'..hope you like it.
AHH YES...Something new has been added. As promised I will be featuring a 'FAIL' pic each week, so scroll to the bottom of the page to see a great one!
Now it's time to get out all the decorations and begin the process! I'll have most of my family with me for Christmas so this is exciting!! I've got to decorate, plan dinner still do some crafting and shopping..lots to do, must get busy!

See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Friday, November 20, 2009

Do you eat these??

Gotta love it!!!! :)

I'll try to feature these once a week..some of them are truly hilarious, others I'll have to be careful with...I do TRY to keep Sagewood clean..(sort of)
ENJOY!

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Epic Fails



See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cat's in the Cradle....maybe not



They aren't in the cradle, but Oreo is surely in the bird bath..you reckon she's waiting on something??


Of course, Sam is just hanging out next to all the plants, trying to hide. Wonder what he's waiting for?

We've been pretty busy down here on our little farm, preparing for the next years garden season. Hubby has been diligently working on the new garden space (we're expanding) and I've been working on Christmas gifts and doing a lot of 'heat padding' (ear infections are not nice!)

I'll be leaving the southern states this weekend for a much colder climate..I'm heading to upstate New York! Granddaughter Ciannon is having her FIRST birthday! I'm looking very forward to the trip and spending some time with the Son, Daughter in law and Ciannon of course. We'll be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with them. (Ciannons birthday just happens to fall on Thanksgiving this year) I hope it snows!!
In the meantime, I'll be worried silly over granddaughter number 2 who is 'on the way' and due very soon. (back here in the southern states!)
I'm not sure I'll be able to get another post in before I head out, so here's wishing everyone a BOUNTIFUL Thanksgiving....in all ways, family and food!

ENJOY!
See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

ONE THING MONDAYS!!

Yeah..I'm late..I know. Yesterday was well..sort of off for me. Don't ask me why, I have no clue. Matter of fact, the last week of my life has been off. Ear infections..cancelled doctors appointments..quilt guild meetings..you name it, it's just been an off week.

SO here we are again..let's pretend it's Monday. ONE THING MONDAY!

What shall we do today?

Since Christmas is just around the corner let's deal with that. Our ONE thing for today will be to get a present, no matter how you get it, I prefer making one, so make, buy, borrow, beg or steal one present. Box it, wrap it, put a tag on it and sit it aside. Get one present ready to give..period.

:)
How's that for something different!

ENJOY!!

Sage

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's Monday again..

And I never did get that picture posted did I?? Well, I will certainly try to get it done today!
But here it is ONE THING MONDAY again..so

Here's my one thing today:
Put away all "Halloween specific decorations and leave out all fall specific decorations.

(I'm late with doing this...can you tell?)

Won't you join me for 'One Thing Mondays'?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

GREENS!

LOOK AT THESE!!

WHOOOHOOOO!! I'll be 'puttin' up some greens today!

We picked up collards, mustard and turnips from a local farmer. He'd just picked them from his garden. They are SOOO pretty! YUM!
Guess what we'll be having for dinner??



See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's Just one thing Monday!!

Do you know what Mondays are around here??

I call them "Just one thing" days.
So here is our Just one thing Monday!

I've decided that my 'just one thing Monday' will be...............

ready...................
drum roll please..............................

Under the kitchen sink.
Yep..today my just one thing is cleaning out, clearing up and organizing under the kitchen sink.

Would you join me for 'Just one thing Monday"?

Tomorrow..we'll post pictures of before and after!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Today..it's chicken and dumplins



Yep, we're making chicken and dumplings for dinner today. It's the first day of Nov, it's cool and it's gonna get dark early...I need no other reason for chicken and dumplings! :)


So..remember that chicken we made and all those pan juices we had left over? That will be the beginning of our soup.


Measure out about 3 to 4 C of water into a big pot.
Add your leftover chicken, 2 tsp (more or less) chicken bullion (I use a powder) and the leftover pan juices, turn the heat on medium and let it simmer cook for about an hour.
Why do I do this if the chicken is already cooked?
To leach all the goodness from the bones and meat that I can for my soup base ..oh yes..ONE HOUR. :)
While that's going on. saute up some celery..this is two stalks. Nope..no onions. :) Didn't need it..trust me!
Time for some dumplings'
Now some call these dumplings, some call them slippery noodles but you know what *I* called these..PILLOWS! Yep, I didn't leave them long like a noodle and didn't do a round lump like a biscuit.. since I cut them into little bite size squares, they are pillows! So here's what I did.

Measure out 1 1/2 Cups self rising flour.
Add about 2 tablespoons of solid shortening (crisco, lard or even butter)
Mix it in with your fingers till it's crumbly and add milk. I didn't measure the milk, but it was about 1/2 C. Mix with a spoon and give it a good stir till it all mixes together and gets sticky. It'll look like this:

Then I put a small pile of flour on the counter, poured the dough mix onto it, sprinkled a little more flour on top and began kneading the flour in until the dough was not sticky. DO this as LITTLE as possible. The more you do it, the tougher the dumpling will be and who wants tough dumplings?
HINT: If you want drop dumplings, this is where you stop. No kneading, no rolling, just the sticky dough. You'll use a very small spoon and put spoonfulls of the dough into the boiling broth.
Let your dough rest for a few mins. While it's resting, strain out all the bones, and chicken and let it cool for a min. Add 1 to 2 more cups of water to replace what was lost. Add your celery, salt and pepper and taste your broth. I added a PINCH and I do mean a pinch of sage at this point. Taste it!! Add more of what you may think it needs.
Chicken soup with our without dumplings should have a 'light' taste. Not heavy and over spiced.
Clean the bones of all chicken and put the chicken chunks and pieces back into the broth.
Start bringing this up to a boil.
Let's get back to the dumplings
I rolled out the dough (very little) to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. How thick you roll it depends on what type of dumplin you want. Something like a thick noodle..do it like above. If you want it thicker..don't roll as much. It's pretty easy!

I used this handy little tool right here and cut the dough into squares. Remember, this dough will almost double in size and I wanted these 'bite' size, so I cut them about 2x2. (I said ABOUT..some came out smaller, some bigger..(shrug..it's all good!)
Start dropping the pillows into the boiling broth. (or spoonfulls of the sticky dough if you chose not to make pillows)


One or two at a time till they are all in. Stir. Cover and cook for 5 mins. When you uncover it, this is what you will have!
How cool is that??

ENJOY!!!

The time has come...

To go back in time!!
Fall..the only time you get to 'redo' an hour. Yep, it was fall back time, so here's your reminder, if you haven't set your clocks back now is the time to do it!

The sun will set faster today and the darkness will creep away earlier in the mornings and each of us will 'settle' into the winter of our lives. Personally, I'm a fall fan. I love the time change, the cooler weather, falling leaves and home fires burning.
Ahh, the cinnamon scents of fall, the spicy flavors of time as well as life. Before you know it we'll be celebrating the beginning of 2010. Scary almost isn't it?
Now, let me ask you, when you were a teenager did you ever imagine what life would be like in 2010?? WOW..is it different then what you imagined? Better? Worse??
(shrug) Life is funny isn't it?

There's one thing I do know, that no matter the year, people reminisce the days of their youth when the fall comes. Why is that I wonder? What is it about falling leaves, cooler temperatures and seasonal changes that make us remember the 'way back when' of our lives? Almost always we call them 'the good old days' too. Were they?
The bigger question may be are you making good memories for your families, children and grandchildren to reminisce on? (wink) Think about it.

Time to share..tell me about your favorite 'fall memories'.

Gotta love it!



See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Friday, October 30, 2009

I've got a major complaint!

Not too often do I rant on here, but today..it's rant time!

What's the subject you say?? CANDY CORN!

I can't find any. NONE!
Not one single piece of good old fashioned, yellow, orange and white candy corn!
Can someone please explain this? IS there a candy corn shortage? Why was I not informed of this?

Ohh sure, I've looked, been to all the local stores. They have candy corn.....it's what they call 'DESIGNER CANDY CORN"..(WTH?)
It's chocolate, it's caramel, it's multi flavored and NOT ONE piece is yellow, orange and white! It's brown, it's green, it's red.......dammit! Where is my candy corn?
The real stuff..the stuff that's normal...the stuff I'm used to.

(stomping off, still in search..mumblin') "designer candy corn, how ridiculous..why can't people just leave things alone"



See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Roasted Chicken and Scalloped Potatoes!

Ok..here it is..the roasted chicken and what I did.
H eat the oven to 350.
Salt and pepper inside and out. Drizzle olive oil over top, rub all over. Yeah, you're gonna get your hands dirty!
I cut up one clove of garlic into small slices and shoved it under the skin of the chicken. (Yeah..shoved)
Place in the roasting pan, , set your timer for 1 hour. :) Easy peasy!

Once you get your chicken in the oven start on your potatoes. Slice about 5 or 6 potatoes and one onion into thin slices.


Melt about 3 T butter in a large oven capable skillet (I used cast iron). Add salt and pepper. I use a big spoon, but I would guess it's about 1/4 C of self rising flour. Sprinkle flour into the melted butter. (HINT: This dish WILL take a good amount of salt)

Whisk it about, don't let it brown too much, you're making a white sauce. Some would call this bechamel sauce, some would call it white sauce, us country folk, just call it milk gravy!

I've added a bit of powdered chicken bullion in here too.
Now we're ready to add the milk. I've used 4 cups of milk, whisking the first two in. Pour and whisk at the same time. Once the first two cups of milk get incorporated and start to thicken, add the last two and whisk away till it starts to thicken.

TASTE IT!! Don't feed it to anyone until you've tasted it. It may need more salt, pepper or flavoring. Add some spices if you want, the option is yours. Make it spicy, make it Italian, make it however you want, but TASTE IT!

Now take those lovely sliced onions and potatoes and start slipping them into that hot gravy/sauce.

Get it all in there, and it'll look like this! Stir well making sure each slice is covered/coated in sauce.


Now, slip it into the oven beside the chicken. This process should not have taken much more then ohh 15 minutes or so. You should have about 45 mins or so left on your time, Go read a book, sew a seam or heck..write me a note!

Here's the done chicken, with all those lovely pan juices. DO NOT TOSS THOSE! I poured them over into a small container to safe for the next meal made with this very chicken. WHY in the world would you toss away flavor like that??..NO NO NO! Save it..we'll use it tomorrow!
When I took my chicken out, I added about ..ohh maybe 1/3 of a cup of grated Parmesan cheese to the top of my potatoes. This is not a necessity..it's just something I wanted to add. You could add anything you like, cheddar cheese, pepperoni diced up, bacon, green onions...or NOTHING..play with your food! (mom's not around to fuss!)

So...here ya go. Potatoes..scalloped Sage style!

Here's the completed dinner. I made some steamed broccoli and biscuits while I had all that time. I hope you enjoy!

Roasted chicken, scalloped potatoes, steamed broccoli, sliced tomatoes and biscuits. WHAT A MEAL!

SAGE

Day TWO..Keeping it REAL

As I promised yesterday, here is the 'AFTERMESS" of dinner. It's not pretty, but this is not as bad as I have seen it either!!
(this is most of it, there are a few more pans that just wouldn't fit in the picture!)
Let's go back to the laundry room for a minute. I have two cats. My cats are primarily outside, but they do come in on a pretty regular basis to eat, to nap in the window or even hide from the outside weather once in a while. Since they do come in to eat, and I do have dogs that love cat food, their food has to be 'up'. I've opted to put it on the dryer..like this................
Sure..see the rest of the stuff in my laundry room? The basket holds stuff like vacuum cleaner bags and rags for cleaning. Ohh look, there's a flashlight (right next to the door! how convenient!), lamp oil, hangers, extra shelf brackets..yep, all stuff that may need to be used or stored SOMEWHERE!..you tell me..where do you store yours? (I have VERY VERY FEW CLOSETS!)
See this towel?? It's there for a reason! Look closely..cats have dirt on their feet! I change it out once a week..but it saves me from getting dirt on the dryer!
KEEP IT REAL! Show me your dirt! Show me you're real! :) ENJOY!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ok..here's a few shots to..KEEP IT REAL!

Ok, here we go. When you walk into my back door, you walk into my laundry room.
Is it decorated?? some
Is it busy? ALL the time.
Is it USEFULL? You betchya

On the wall, here are our jackets, a rain coat, a headlamp (to put on your head, turn on and keep your hands free when you have to walk out on the little farm at night..we live in the boonies...it's dark our here!), a few leashes and looky looky..even binoculars.

Would you see this in a magazine? NO.




Here's the top of my washer. On the back I have things at hand that I use on the laundry.
Bleach, Laundry detergent (homemade by the way), fabric softener (homemade too) and stacked baskets that have blueing, powdered laundry detergent (homemade) a salt shaker full of baking soda, scrub brushes, toothbrush, and even a softer ball.

Is it pretty? Not really?
Is it useful? You betchya
Is it handy? YEP!

Would you see this in a magazine? NO. So tell me..where do they hide it? Better yet..WHY? Makes more work for yourself if you have to 'drag' it out to use it as often as I seem to! Laundry is an ever present EVIL around here! (VILE DEMON!)



I have grand babies..I have a deep freeze, chest type. It makes a GREAT place for the little ones to be able to use those magnetic letters and numbers.
Do they love it? You betchya
Is it handy and useful? YEP
Would you see this in a magazine? NADDA!
But you'll find it here at Mimi's house. Just the way I want it!



Here's a good shot. This what my kitchen looked like BEFORE I started making dinner!



Tune in tomorrow to see the 'aftermess' shot! LOL
Keep it real ladies and gents! We 'LIVE" in our house. It's clean, but it's surely surely lived in!

Sage..the Hedgewife

Keeping it real

OK, next week down here on our little acre I'm gonna 'keep it real'! I'm encouraging everyone to 'keep it real'. What do I mean by keeping it real?

Well, much as I would LIKE for my house to always look like it's ready for the President to walk in, it doesn't. This is a 'working house'.
We are in and out every day, tracking in dirt, leaves and what not. The dogs and cats are in and out tracking in whatever sticks to them.
We cook, we clean and we create, we put aside, we build..well, to put it mildly, we WORK around here. We don't live in a magazine picture.

I visit a lot of blogs that show the house all nicely decorated up and in pristine condition and that's great if that's what you want to spend your time doing, but honestly, we have much more going on then making sure the books are on the shelf straight!
Sooo I put out the challenge to all the bloggers out there who like 'life', especially 'farm' life and the dirt that goes with it. Show us the REAL stuff! (I may start as early as tomorrow..who knows!)

DISCLAIMER:
By no means am I saying that if your house is pristine that you have nothing better to do. Maybe that IS what you do, maybe it isn't. Great. Either way, around here, we get dirty. By no means am I saying my house is a mess. It isn't. I clean every day, but I SURELY don't do it every minute.

What's for dinner??

CHICKEN!!! Ok..no pics yet, but for today, I'll be cooking for 3 days!

Yep, this morning, I took a 'whole' chicken out of the freezer. I'll be oven roasting it tonight for dinner, mix it up about and creating something different with the leftovers for Friday's dinner and finally, on Sunday, we'll be boiling up the bones and random leftover meat for some soup!
(Yeah, I missed Saturday but we wont' be here for dinner on Saturday..got a Halloween party to attend so will be eating there!)

SO check back in for our 'roasting' time!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CHEESEDIP!

Ok..don't have a pic of this today, but thought I'd give you a recipe for our cheese dip.

Now, mind you we don't call this cheese dip, we call it something else..you really don't want to know what we call it, cuz it doesn't sound very appetizing, just know this..it's GOOD STUFF!!

Ready? Set? GO!!
This makes a LOT so use a big skillet......matter of fact, make it a LARGE Skillet!
Here's what you'll need:

1 lb hamburger
1/2 a large package Velveeta cut into 2" squares
1 small can green chillies
1 package taco seasoning mix (you can make your own if you prefer, just use cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and extra cilantro)
1 jalapeno
1/2 bell pepper
1 onion
1 medium can tomatoes (cut, stewed doesn't matter)
1 Reg sized can refried beans or spiced black beans * (optional)
1/2 C water (or more depends)
Salt
Small bunch of cilantro chopped.

OK..brown your hamburger, onion and green pepper together. Add the green chillies, taco seasoning (or your own personal mix), tomatoes and one chopped up jalapeno (you can add more if you want it hot..HINT: If you want it real hot, put the seeds in, if you want it medium, take the seeds out) Add beans and water mix well and let this come to a simmer. (add more water if you need to) Add the cut up Velveeta and stir good. Turn the heat down and get all that cheese melted and mixed in with your meat. Add water if it's too thick.
Finally toss in the cilantro and give it a stir. Let it sit for about 5 mins, stir again.
Do the taste test. Does it need anything? Add salt, pepper, hot cayenne, red peppers, cumin more cilantro..whatever you think it needs.
HINT: This will thicken up as it sits on the heat, so you'll need to add water occasionally.

Enjoy with your favorite corn chip. I suggest the white corn chips, restaurant style! (you can even get them a little warm in the oven.
This dip can make a meal in itself if you have some burrito wrappers on the side! :)

This was one of our standards for Halloween. It has a slightly orangy-red color and well you can give it your own name, but you'll make it more then once a year I promise!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Past Halloweens

Down here on the farm, many many full moons ago we used to have annual Halloween parties. These were no ordinary 'parties' mind you. We usually started on a Friday and ran them for three days! (true fact)
We always picked the closest weekend to Halloween of course and set up began Friday, those who helped, partied. The big night was Saturday, costumes and all and final farewells and clean up was on Sunday. In the slide above you'll see just a few highlights from one of our past Halloween parties, setting up, singing and so on. Once it got dark and the party starting rolling, we usually didn't pull out the cameras (too much to black mail with you see).

I haven't done a Halloween party here in a long time (at least 4 or 5 years) but the ones we had were usually VERY memorable! Maybe someday, I'll do it again. Enjoy the past for now though!

See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage

Friday, October 23, 2009

Catching Time

I once heard it said, "If you want something done, give it to a busy person."

True statement, really.

Am I a busy person? Not always, but I have learned that 15 minutes can create lots of time slots in your day if you'll just use them. So..here are some ideas to help you out with that 'busy-ness' and getting things done, without even realizing your getting it done.

Are you a crafter?
How bout just needing to catch up on the housework?
Do you watch tv? Chat on the phone, stand in line? Here ya go.

While at home:
If you're a crafter and a tv watcher or movie lover here are some hints and tips:

If you have a specific area where you do your crafting, get all the 'big' stuff done in the time slot you've set aside ..such as 'cutting out a pattern, or sewing all of it up except for the 'hand work'. Then have yourself a big basket that sits by your 'tv watching' chair. Once a project has gotten to the point of the sit down and hand do the rest, toss it in the basket, with all the materials you'll need to finish it. (ziplock bags work great for this) This goes for ANY project you're doing. Hemming, stuffing, sewing up a stuffing seam, applique, cross-stitch, crocheting...(even cutting out a paper pattern) whatever.

I keep a very large basket by my chair. The things I always keep in the basket are:
All my embroidery thread, good scissors (small and large pair) pin cushion and extra pins. Needles, pencil and paper, a repositionable glue stick and sometimes even small pieces of material.

Hubby and I are avid M.A.S.H watchers, as well as a few night time shows and movies. We don't always watch them, but on most days we do.
When the shows are running, I'm sitting in my chair with basket at hand. I grab up the first project in the basket and work on it. Whether it's hand sewing or cutting out scraps for an applique or even charting out a cross-stitch design I work on it, while the show is on. For 30 minutes, I can 'listen' and not always have my eyes on the screen. In 30 minutes you can accomplish a lot on a project. TRUST ME! Imagine, 30 minutes every day, 5 days a week..wow! That's really a lot of time!

While out and about:
Keep a small bag packed and ready with a small project you're working on. For instance, I have many squares cut out for a scrap quilt. All the squares are cut already (from the tv time) and I have placed them in a ziplock bag and put them in the 'to go craft bag'. In that bag I also have, white thread, scissors, pencil and small 5" ruler and paper. (always keep paper and pencil handy just to jot down ideas you may see while your out on your adventures)
If I'm sitting at the doctors office, I'm sewing squares together. If I'm in the passenger seat, I'm sewing squares together (not everyone can do this due to motion sickness, but give it a try). How about sitting at DMV?
Sometimes we don't realize how much of our time is used while waiting on SOMEONE ELSE. Don't let ANYONE steal your time.
If your a crocheter, keep crochet stuff in your bag, even a small cross-stitch project, it doesn't matter..any small hand work can be kept in your 'on the go bag'. If you only work on for 15 minutes, that's ok..it was 15 minutes worth of work you put into it that wasn't in it earlier right?
Don't let others steal your time.

Use this basic idea to create many little slots of time for your crafts. You'll get lots of things done before you know it.

This method can work for helping clean up your house too.
We'll use the TV scenario again. You need to clean up from dinner, the kitchen is a mess but a special is coming on about Ancient Egypt that you wanted to see. It's ok. go turn on the tv..set yourself up (Dont' forget your hand basket) ..watch and work. WOW...commercial!! Get up and get started. Start cleaning up that kitchen (or whatever), set a 5 minute timer if you have to, but for 5 minutes work as fast as you can doing what you can. When the timer goes off, STOP..go back to your show and your hand work.
I bet you dollars to donuts when that show is over, your kitchen will be cleaned. If it isn't you probably only have a few more minutes worth of work left.
Didn't know you could do things like that did ya?

TV time is a GREAT time for folding laundry, or even prespotting your laundry. Get your prespotter ready, your basket of dirty clothes and go through each piece..spray where needed then during a commercial..toss them in to wash! How easy is that?

ON THE PHONE?? Do hand work or clean your house while your chatting away on the phone..you'll find that you can create LOTS of little time slots while on the phone..ESPECIALLY when you're on HOLD!

Don't let others steal your time!
USE IT!


Happy Crafting....I hope you can find 15 minutes of stolen time today to get something accomplished.
Have fun with it, make it a challenge, FIND the 15 minute slots. Create them..use them..just don't let anyone steal your time, not even yourself!

Sage

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yes, I have been crafting!

I know, I know..no posts in a long time. Many of you must think I've given up on the 'crafting' but I have not. Trust me.

As of recently here is what has been 'crafting' around at my house!
First off..I've made this



She stands about 24inches High, has bloomers, shoes and plenty of lace!!

The doll of course, is for my first Granddaughter, Ciannon Bailey (my wild Irish Rose!) who will be celebrating her first birthday this Thanksgiving. I'll be traveling to upstate NY with my sister to visit and celebrate the grand event. . So you know..I had to make her an Irish Miss, red hair, green eyes and even a tartan plaid dress. I hope she will have many years of enjoyment from her.

Christmas as we all know, is soon to follow so I'm trying to make her some Christmas gifts to take along on the trip.
Here's the beginnings of a few items.
While sitting at the doctors office and the hospital the other day (and a few hours at home) I made an appliqued flannel cat pillow front, and even cut out a second cat (in the opposite colors) to match and go onto the front of some PJ's I plan on making for Ciannon. I'll probably have these things finished up by the weekend. Then of course, I had to cut out a stuffed 'cat' pattern to go along with all the 'kitty' theme. We'll see what I come up with for those! :)


Here's the pattern I plan on using for the kitty cat..lower left hand corner. I plan on using the same pattern for the dog (lower right) to make for Brayden, grandson #1, who's now 1 1/2!!



Of course, in between and before all these things were put together, I made up some things just for randomness and fun. Thing such as these:
Stuffed kitties, just the right hand size for toddlers, a quilt square pillow, fall/halloween potpourri bags filled with all natural potpourri, a doll quilt and even some lip balm.
So see..it's not like I haven't been crafting..I just haven't been posting pics of all the stuff!
I'm sure if I think about it, there is even more things I've been doing but not taking pictures of and posting about. Oh yes..I know. I've made an appliqued pumpkin quilt square as well as cut out many many many 4inch squares for the new baby's arrival..due Dec. 25 no less.

I hope to post more pics as soon as I can..enjoy the crafts!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wanna see the new additions to the Farm??

FUZZY BUTTS!!


















See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage