Saturday, July 25, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about paring down and finding my stride.  I am still trying to find my stride, as I suspect I will be doing for the rest of my life, but I have begun the paring down.. with great enthusiasm, I might add!  I think I remember telling you we were going to have a yard sale to get rid of most of the "stuff".  We had to postpone it,  for about a week, because of the flooding rains just two days before we had planned to hold the sale!  It was crazy, all the rain we received in a matter of two hours!  

The rain filled the ditches and ponds to overflowing!  That ditch is in front of our place and it is a good three feet deep!  As you can see, the water was running over the sides and into the road on this side!  On the other side of the road, there is a creek and a pond both of which were out of the banks!  Fortunately, the flooding was gone as quickly as it came but the yard was standing in water, so no yard sale that weekend!

Ever wonder what ten years of your life looks like?  Have a yard sale and you will find out!  We had stuff everywhere!

 This is only one area!  The whole front yard was covered with everything from craft supplies to farm equipment!  It was a huge sale and we did exceptionally well in making some money!  I'm glad we made quite a bit but I am even more happy all that stuff is gone!  Good riddance!  Loved it at one time but it was weighing me down!

All the rain, we have received since April, has really made things grow!  It has gotten out of hand and I suspect my Mister will spend lots of time trying to get a handle on it.  I love it because it makes for good pictures but I know it has to go or we will be over run with snakes and mice.  I took a walk around the place and took advantage of the overgrown field and fence rows.

I don't know how I feel about finding leaves already turning colors!  

This is a Sumac bush and it is usually how I tell Fall is near.  I can't imagine why, in the heat of July, this thing is already showing the signs but if it means the weather is going to cool down and we're in for a good long autumn, then I'm all for red leaves!

Of course, I always have an animal or two, to photograph.  The barn cats, Fiona and Melvin, tend to like lounging on my Mister's 1964 project truck...or my little red car...but mostly the truck.  Betty Jean, my sweet little goat girl, is always ready to pose for me.  She needs a playmate.  I've been thinking about finding a good home, with lots of other goat girls, for her, but I just haven't gotten to that place just yet.  I love my animals but they do require a lot of work so I am slowly weaning myself away.  We only have Nemo(only one wing) and Pepper left from our flock of 20-something laying hens.  We've sold all the rest.  We only need about a half dozen eggs per week since it is just the two of us and neither of us can eat all the baked goods anymore.  

As I rounded the corner of the house, my Hummingbird friends were enjoying their evening meal so I quietly snapped this picture of one of them.  I love birdwatching and keep these feeders filled for the little guys.

I am not a native Oklahoman and it has taken me awhile to call it home.  There are many things I don't like about living here but I have to admit we have some of the most beautiful clouds and sunsets!  I've lived all over and this place is the best!

Grace & Peace.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Elementary School Soup

I first posted this on Granny's Square, in 2013, but have had recent requests for the recipe, so I thought I would post it here as well.  Yummy goodness on a fall evening!


Elementary School Soup

Every fall and winter, I make a very simple and filling soup, that I dubbed "Elementary School Soup".  My daughter, who is "allergic to vegetables" and is extremely picky, loves it.  My husband loves it.  So does my son.  Anytime company comes and I make "Elementary School Soup", they just go on and on about how good it is.  Even my son-in-love, who doesn't like anything (no, his name isn't Mikey) has eaten it and liked it enough to eat two bowls of it.  I always get the biggest kick out of the ooh's and ahh's!  Not that it gives me a big head or anything but I am amazed at how something so simple and easy to make, is gobbled up without complaint.  

I always make a large stock pot filled to the top, with the soup.  We all eat a bowl or two.  In any other home, there would be enough for leftovers or to put in the freezer.  Not in my house.  My, "allergic to veggies", daughter will show up and she will leave with what is left...every drop that is left.  She takes it to work with her and eats on it all day and if there is anything left, she takes it home and eats the rest of it for supper and snacks.  Now y'all need to understand that my pot holds forty quarts!  30 QUARTS!  She eats all but about a gallon and a half, of the soup.  LoL  She is skinny as a rail!  I don't know where she puts all that soup!  

So many times, I've been asked why it is called "Elementary School Soup".  Way back in the day... in my elementary school years, I attended Mt. Enterprise Elementary School in Mt. Enterprise, Texas.  Very small town and very small school.  Population of the town, in those days, was 385.  I doubt it is much bigger now.  At that school, we had lunch ladies who actually cooked the lunches.  There was none of those convenience foods and fast food kiosks, in those days.  You either ate what they cooked, brought your lunch, or did without.  Anyhow, once a week, we had vegetable soup, homemade cornbread, and made from scratch dessert.  I always looked forward to "soup day".  I loved that soup.  It was such a simple meal but to me it was the best!  

We moved a lot during my childhood and I attended many schools, all over the country, but none of them provided food like Mt. Enterprise Elementary.  And nobody ever made soup like that.  I decided, once I was old enough to cook, that I would figure out how to make that soup, myself.  I made a lot of soup trying to get it right!  I added lots of ingredients to the pot!  I tried everything I could think of but couldn't get it right.  One night, many years after I had began my search for the perfect recipe, I got side-tracked as I was making the soup.  I came back to the stove and couldn't remember where I had left off.  I remembered putting salt and pepper in but no other seasoning.  I tasted what I had in the pot and it was PERFECTION!  I had accidentally discovered the recipe for the soup of my school days!  

Mt. Enterprise was my favorite town, still is.  I still call it my home.  The school was my favorite school and that soup was my favorite soup.  I knew there wasn't a better name for my recipe than, "Elementary School Soup".

Elementary School Soup

     a pound or two of hamburger meat (more or less)
     a bag each of frozen corn, green beans, carrots, and english peas
     a couple of cans of diced tomatoes
     a couple of pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
     one large onion, skinned and roughly chopped
     salt and pepper to taste

     In a large pot, brown the hamburger meat and onions.  I like my onions browned...seriously browned.  Once the meat and onions are done, drain off the grease.  Don't rinse the meat because you will rinse the flavor out.  Put the meat back in the pot, add the potatoes and enough water to cover.  I usually put in enough water that there is a couple of inches above the meat and onions.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer until potatoes are about half way done.  Add the other veggies and diced tomatoes.  Continue to simmer until the veggies are done and the soup is a nice orange-y color.  Salt and pepper to taste.  

Serve with fresh cornbread.  Put a slice of American cheese on top of your bowl of soup.  It is even better that way.

That's it!  Simple, simple.  The secret is in using only salt and pepper and only one or two cans of tomatoes!  Nothing else needed! You can use fresh veggies or even canned ones.  When it gets cold outside, I put this on to cook in the morning and we eat on it, all day.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Times do change, don't they?  Thoughts change, feelings change, dreams change, and so is also true for blogging.  What once was a way of sharing about my daily ways of doing things old fashioned, is no longer relevant or how I want to do things, whether in every day life or here on this blog.  I have started a new blog for a new way of thinking and hopefully, in the future, a new way of living my every day life.  I will still be telling y'all about my grandbabies and my Mister.  Probably, my furbabies will get a cameo shot, from time to time, but gone will be the farm animals and gardening.  I'm moving on and I hope you will visit me here.

Times of Change  
Grace & Peace,
Mrs. G

Times of Change -- the beginning.

I turned 50 years old in 2013.  Since then, I have noticed many changes.  Yes, of course, there are physical changes.  That is a given, when a lady matures, but I have noticed other changes, as well.  All of my life, I have wanted, and have had, a country home with a little bit of land.  A few chickens, a small garden, and a clothesline.  As the years and months have passed, I find myself a bit discontent with all of that.  Our old house needs a lot of work...and I mean a lot!  I have lost interest in trying to do everything that needs to be done.  I simply don't care.  I no longer want to tend to our few farm animals...I am constantly hauling cold water during summer months and hot water in the winter, so they are staying well hydrated.  My body rebels with every bucketful!  It is a lot of work and I'm tired of working!  I want to enjoy and have fun!  I would still love to have a tiny little garden but since I can no longer physically take care of one... not to mention all the flippin' bugs around here eating everything in their path... the fun and benefits have gone out of gardening!  

A few years ago, I completely lost interest in crafting and haven't ever really gotten back into it.  I still crochet and sew a little but it is mostly on a "need to" basis.  I don't really enjoy it, however, I will do a little, here and there, so I can eventually teach my grand daughter. 

I think, after 52 years, I am in a "Time of Change".  I want to "start over", in a way.  I have gathered most everything that I own and will be having a yard sale.  I think my Mister is on the same thought pattern, so I hope he is "gathering", as well!  I want to have less stuff!  I've started feeling that it is weighing me down.  I need to rid myself and my home of all the clutter!  

Of course, there are things that will never change and I'm ok with those things, but I have a plan!  I want to move to a new home!  I want to go places without having to worry about things back at home!  I want to enjoy my Mister and my grands!  I don't want to be burdened by things I can't change!  

So...with that being said...I've started this new blog to share the changes, both those happening in my mind, body and soul, as well as the every day changes, I hope to make in the years to come!