Sunday, December 22, 2013

"tis the season



Christmas is here!  OK well maybe not quite but close enough that everything is at that crazy state of making sure everything you wanted to have done by Christmas is in fact done. 

I know the blog has been neglected the last couple of weeks, but well its Christmas and things just got too busy to write about being organized.  With the holiday out of the way next week I will (for real this time) get my weekly posts back in order. 

I will be working on Christmas day but have set aside lots of time on other days to celebrate the birth of Christ (after all no one really knows when he was born but we celebrate his life anyhow don't we so the specific day isn't whats important) Tuesday with the family & a week or so after the first of the year a weekend with some friends.  It is going to great and I can not wait to see everyone and just enjoy the time I am allowed to spend with them.

Thank you all for reading my blog, I hope you're not terribly inconvenienced by my not writing about organizing, if you are I am sorry. It will be back. 

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.

And in the midst of paper flying and squeals of joy over the latest greatest gadget remember why we celebrate the season. It really isn't a commercial holiday.  God did send his Son to earth as a gift to us all.  I hope you feel His blessing this week.

Have a great day and a blessed Christmas week!

always
tammyc



PS  If this post offends you, well I'm sorry.  I am a Christian and I celebrate the birth of Christ.  Not a the commercial holiday our government would like me to celebrate.

Thank you have a good day.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Organize organize organize! (Are you tired of that word yet?)

I can tell you that some times during the week I think to myself that no one wants to read what I have to say about organizing.  Why would they, my house and life is far from a nice neat organized life.  But then I take a look at my stats and there are readers.  I'm not sure where they all come from or why but that is enough to make me want to keep going.  After all when I started I did warn that this was a 52 week process right.
Well I will admit that this past week when I didn't post I went a head and read the next weeks section.  And what I realized is that I kinda combined week 3 and week 4 together without really knowing.  But I wanted to post about week 4 and not skip it just in case those of you reading are working along with me. So this week I will touch on week four and week five in the same post and that way we'll all be on the same page again.  And I promise no more skipping weeks from now on ;)
OK well maybe...if the weeks seem to go together I may combine them but we'll see how the book progresses.
 
Week 3 & 4 kind of just went well together I think that's why I ended up combining them without really knowing that is what I was doing.  Week 3 was organize your schedule and week 4 was organize your cleaning schedule.   During my week 3 I came across a note pad at work and had to go to Staples (not a plug, just mentioning where I got the fun pad of paper) to purchase some of my own (and some for a friend)
The note pad is a project sheet.  I love it because it allows me to assign a project to my girls or to myself with a section for a list of tasks to complete and a section for notes and such.  I went out and picked up some of these awesome note pads for myself and a dear friend.  My girls have mixed feelings about HATE the project pages but so far I love them and we are getting stuff done around the house.  
A few tips for week 4 organize your cleaning schedule are:
·make a list of all the chores that need to be done around the house
·spend 15 minutes every night before bed picking up one room of the house (get the kids involved for added rooms to be done)
·clean one room or do one chore every day.  This will keep you from having to waste a weekend day doing house work.

A few of these fit into week 3 organize your schedule so you could see how it was hard to keep them separate. :)

 We are starting the next section of our book "organize your papers"
Week 5~ organize your personal information.
The first question in this weeks section asks "could you easily locate your family's birth certificates is you had to? Social security cards and such personal information?  A few years ago I would have said "yes, well maybe...let me look in this file box or that envelope." Without a whole lot of luck.  But surprisingly enough everyone grows up eventually.  And so did we.  A few years ago we bought a safe.  OK well its a gun safe for all the guns and such that hubs uses for his hunting hobby. But its a good size safe and we can store all our important personal information in. It's fire proof and has plenty of room for all those birth certificates, passports, shot records for the girls and all that sort of stuff. There is even room to place confiscated items like teenagers cell phones and such when they get grounded from their things.  But anyway lets get back on track.  Those papers and documents need to be where you can get to them if there were ever an emergency. Can you find yours?

Tips for week five "organize your personal information"
·if you store copies of these things on the computer,  don't forget to back it up on a disk or external hard drive.
There are websites and software that help you store and track your family's health history. 
·formulate a budget for your finances.  And include your spouse and/or children in this process.  The more they know the more they can help you if you need it.
·create a household inventory list.  And keep it up to date when you make new purchases.
·request a free credit report.  Be certain no one has tried stealing your identity.


Whew...that was a long post huh.  I wanted to catch up with you all and this was the best way I knew.  Holler at me and let me know if you want or need more information about weeks 4 and/or 5.  I only skimmed the top of them here.  *****If you're still reading along about the organize book and would like one of the project note pads, comment below (please add email so I can contact you).  I will mail one to a randomly selected commenter*****  ☺

Next week be on the look out for "organize your finances" (heaven knows I need tons of help here)
Can't wait to see what it's all about.

Thanks for hanging with me, its crazy but its fun
Have a great week.

Always
tammyc

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!


Today I would be posting week four of my "Organize Now" challenge but seeing that tomorrow is Thanksgiving I thought it would be nice to have a little break to spend time with family and friends.  And it will be good to let weeks one through three really sink in.  So if you're cooking today I hope all your dishes turn out wonderful and if you get to relax and have fun enjoy it to its fullest.  If you are one of those who has to spend your day at work (police, fire & ambulance) and anyone else that has to work thank you for your hard work and maybe your family will save you some food. 

Have a great holiday weekend, don't get trampled while out Friday trying to get the best deals.
See you all back here Tuesday for week four!

Always
tammyc

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A schedule...ain't no body got time for that! (week 3 of organize now)

Well we are making time for making sure we have a good workable schedule.  No more missed appointments or missed fun.  Schedule everything and start making time for you to enjoy life.
 
This week may be harder for some than it is for others.  For me because I work outside the home it is a little easier for me to stick to a schedule.   I know that no matter what I schedule it can not be on a Wednesday at noon.  I work every Wednesday from 6 in the morning until 6 in the evening and it is like that every Thursday & every other Friday, Saturday & Sunday as well.  This schedule seems a bit hard for my family and friends to grasp sometimes but for me it is set in my mind and the rest of my life just kinda falls into place around it.  I hate that pretty much everything we do revolves around work but we're grown ups trying to raise a couple of kids so I guess that is our job.  Now this week may be harder for my dear friend following along with me as she is a stay at home mom with kids that all go different directions so her week will be much harder to get in order than mine. But that's why we are working through this book together. So we can make changes where we need them most. 

Last week wasn't too bad. My priorities shifted a bit because Brittnie's fundraiser for FFA came in and we had to spend quite a bit of time delivering it all as we did not have room at our house for $1500 worth of frozen food items.  So the laundry room did not get started for reorganization this week.  But the girls and I spent quite a bit of time moving furniture and organizing the decorative items on the living room walls and that particular item has been on my to do list for quite some time (years really, we have just haphazardly hung stuff all over with no rhyme or reason)  but now it is starting to look like we actually live there and care what our walls are saying about us.  Its a work in progress.  And my public areas are the priority right now. We should be finished up with the living room and begin on the kitchen in the next day or two.  I'm really excited because its the little steps that are making the big jobs around the house not seem so unrealistic. 

This week's tips for organizing your schedule are:
• be realistic about what you can accomplish in one day
• avoid overwhelming tasks by breaking them up into small doable jobs. Instead of writing "clean the kitchen" break it down and write out each small job "wash dishes, clean off stove, wipe down cabinets...and so on" then feel that bit of extra motivation you get after each small job is completed :)
• keep a note pad beside your bed so you can jot down all the things that your brain keeps you awake telling you you need to do the next day (I am the worst about letting things I need to do tomorrow keep me up half the night worrying I'll forget them.  I'll be adding a note pad there tonight for sure)
• use one calendar for all your home and work(and everything in between) planning that way everything for everyone is in the same place and nothing gets missed. (I personally use the calender app on my android for this and it even has alarms for the important stuff)

Drop me a line in the comments section to let me know how you're doing if you too are working along with me.  I'd love to hear what you have to share.

Good luck with getting your schedule in order & organized during week three and if you have any questions feel free to holler at me at:
tlc33195@gmail.com

Have a great week everyone!
Always :)
tammyc

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lets whip those priorities into shape (week 2 of organize now)

Wow what a quick week.  Week one of my "lets get organized" kick seemed to have gone by pretty quick and easy.  I have a partner so to speak working along with me, she and I spent quite an afternoon searching for her a copy of the book so that she could have the check lists and journal pages that are in it for herself.  I feel like I will see this road to the end knowing that someone is so willing to keep me on track and accountable.  And it is a nice weekly reward to sit down have lunch and talk about our success and our failures.  Trust me I have failures especially when it comes to being organized.
I didn't really have to make too many changes this week as I already make sure I get plenty of sleep(with having a weird schedule and working some weekends every day seems like a work day at our house and we go to bed early every night).  I am constantly making little to do lists for me and every one else in the house. Most the time its chore lists for the girls.  I don't watch a ton of TV because I am more addicted to reading & the Internet than the television.  The one thing I need to work on most from week one is the elimination of clutter.  We are working on the laundry room first.  As that room seems to be a dumping ground of sorts, if something doesn't have a home it gets stashed in the laundry room until someone needs it.  I have a lot of work to do in this room.  It lacks proper storage solutions so I am working on getting and keeping laundry caught up so that I can toss out the things no one needs or uses.  This is where week one ended.  Not a bad start to my new adventure.

This week we are beginning week 2 organize your priorities. I feel like this is different for everyone so there is one thing you will have to ask yourself  "what's important to me, what do I want to accomplish?"  And then make a list of top ten things to do to help you work towards what it is that's important to you.  I want an organized less cluttered home I also want to remodel a few rooms in our house and can't do it until things are less stuffed with stuff.  I want the less cluttered revamped home so that I can spend more time entertaining my friends and family in a more comfortable, inviting home. So  I will continue working on the laundry room and which ever room comes to mind after that work on setting up more of my priorities and see what happens.
 
Hope you're joining me on this journey and if you are please feel free to share your progress, set backs and/goals here in the comments section. Or email me directly at tlc33195@gmail.com
I'd love to hear from you.
Have a great week
Always
tammyc

Thursday, November 7, 2013

And a new "baker" is born


Since my girls were big enough to pull a chair up to my side at the cabinet or the stove I have been showing them how to mix, measure, stir, chop (safely of course) and cook.  Val has always been pretty quick to pick up everything she could about cooking and has gotten so good at it that she spoils me often by cooking dinner several nights each week.  Up until now it has been like pulling teeth to get my Brittnie to do much of anything in the kitchen.  If I'd ask her to open a can of vegetables and warm them in the microwave she would almost kick and scream about how she hated cooking.  That's right. Up until today (last night as I didn't get this posted until now) while I was mixing ingredients for some pecan pies for her FFA pie auction did she willingly take over making the pies.  We were mixing and measuring and having a blast in the kitchen while making some pies and she even mixed up 2 dozen pumpkin breakfast muffins for her sale and plans to make some sugar cookies after school today.  While we were cleaning up the kitchen after making up all our goodies she stated that she did in fact love baking, but that she still hates cooking.  I am happy with this statement and it warms my heart to see her finally finding her place while in the kitchen.  Because like I told her that's all I started out liking about the kitchen.  And after baking and baking and growing that skill in the kitchen I finally learn to really cook and I know that if she keeps it up she'll also end up being a fantastic cook in time.  (I hope, otherwise whoever marries this girl better be able to cook or they will be diabetic before they get old from all the  sweets she will make them)  ;)
Have a great Thursday
Her first pecan pie turned out absolutly fabulous!
Always
tammyc

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Always a work in progress...

Do you ever have one of those days that seems as if you can't find anything even though you know you left it right there so you could pick it back up tomorrow?   Yeah, I'm having one of those days today.  Seems like no matter how hard I try I am never organized.  I'd like to be. Life seems to flow better when its organized and planned out.  I was reading one of the blogs I follow and she was talking about how she went about working towards being more organized.  And that the first thing she does every morning is make her bed as soon as she gets up.  Well I'd love to say that is the first thing I am going to implement but seeing that there is still a person in my bed when I get up in the mornings that will not really work at my house. I can try talking hubs into making the bed when he gets up but I'd have better luck bringing peace to the middle east ;)
Anyway at the end of the post I was reading she showed a picture of the book she found to be a huge helping tool in getting her home and life organized.  I thought to myself "hmm...I need to buy that book" and then I looked at it again and I realized "Hey! I have that book!"
Yep that's right I own the same tool that she used to organize her life.  Well why wasn't it working for me?  Yes right again, because I have not been actively working and using the weekly guide to my advantage is why it isn't working for me and my family. 
Question is how am I going to change things?  First thing I did was got the book out of the box it was in inside the closet and gave it a good dusting.  I've flipped through this book in the past when I first purchased it (about 5-6 years ago)  and I am not sure why I didn't follow through.  But anyway here I am on the blog asking each of you to join me in this crazy "get organized" road I really want to travel to the end.  I am posting so that maybe having a bit of accountability will keep me going and hopefully help others do the same thing. 
The book breaks things down into sections and then into weekly goals.  Maybe I should be starting this at the beginning of the new year that is coming quickly but I really don't want to wait. I want to start now. 
My schedule is kinda crazy and I feel like my week begins on Wednesday since that is my first work day of the week Tuesday always feels like Sunday.  I am starting this journey today, Tuesday and plan to post at least once every Tuesday and maybe mid way through the week to just touch base and let you all know how I'm doing.  I would love for you to join me and let me know how its going for you.
So...
~~~~~~~~~~
The first section is weeks 1-4 and called~~"organize yourself"
Week 1~~Organize your mind
Goals for this week are
get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep
•start your day by making a to do list
limit the amount of tv you watch
schedule time to exercise
keep a journal (even if you don't write in it every day)
schedule a two minute break 2-3 times a day to spend alone (time to just be)
take control of your time-set goals and break them down into doable daily tasks
eliminate energy drainers in your life: clutter, unhealthy relationships, unfinished projects and such.
~~~~~~~~~~
Seems easy enough right.  I hope so.  A few tips the book has near the end of this section is
◆to simplify your life and your thinking by cutting back on the amount of negative information and thoughts penetrate your mind. 
This I need to work on. Seems I always have more than my share of "stinking thinking" so this is something I really want to focus on for my life.
◆check with yourself before making decisions.  Take a deep breath, relax & listen to your inner voice. Then make a decision best for you.  Don't give in to the pressure of others.
Again something else I need to really work on.  And I do know someone else that has a hard time dealing with this as well. I have heard her mention this being a problem more than once o  our Monday/Tuesday meeting for lunch.  (Yes you know who you are so there is no need to call you out. But maybe we could share the book on those Monday meetings)   :)
I am super excited about starting to really get organized.  I hope I can finish the whole book and be able to declutter this house and just be happy at home :)
Hope you follow along and remind me to keep at it.  I am such a horrible procrastinator that I know before I even start I will want to put it off and start over again and again.
 
Get your journal out and start figuring out how to organize your mind!
 
This is going to be a hard road for me to travel and I may even lose readers (i only have about 11 so hopefully not too many leave) that don't think what I am writing applies to them.  This is something I am gonna have to deal with I feel I need some organizing and accountability these days.  Who knows, maybe I will gain even more readers who need this same sort of kick in the pants.  I'm ready...how about you?
 
Stop by and drop me a comment let me know when something hits home for you.  I would love to hear from you.
Have a great rest of the week
 
 
Always
tammyc
 
Ps.  I've been thinking of doing a give away soon. So keep checking back. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pumpkin breakfast muffins

Haven't posted in quite some time so I thought I would share with you a new breakfast treat I mixed up for my little family.   Scrolling through pinterest I am always looking for quick yet yummy meals and goodies for my family.  Tasting good is the most important thing in trying new recipes but for working moms quick is a very close second (well for this working mom anyway) 
A while ago I found a pin called pumpkin breakfast muffins.  They sounded pretty good and I do like pumpkin.  Val says she doesn't like pumpkin, I think she will like them because she always chows down on some pumpkin pie just like the rest of us so when she tries them and loves them I will bite my tongue and not say those 4 words to remind her I was right. (Who am I kidding I will so say "I told you so!" Because mom is always right, right?)
Anyway...
~~~~
Pumpkin breakfast muffins
one can of pumpkin pie filling
one box of yellow cake mix. 
Mix the two ingredients spoon into a muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350ยบ
(Do not follow cake mix instructions just use the dry mix and the can of pumpkin only)
~~~~
I know, I know...sounds to easy to be yummy but I promise they are so yummy.  And yes so easy.
I will be stocking up on some extra cans of pumpkin and a few extra boxes of cake mix so that we can have a quick and easy breakfast available anytime.
Try them and see how you like them and if you have time stop back by here and leave a comment to let me know how you rate them.
Have a great week. (I hope to be back sooner than I have been)
Always,
tammyc

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Crazy how we got here

 

These girls...though I haven't gotten to know Miss Josie as well as I knew her momma, I do know her well enough to know that she is one of the sweetest girls around.  She has been Valories friend forever just about.  Which isn't really a surprise to me as her momma and I were friends back in the day.  You know..."back in the day" that seems like only yesterday but really is more than 20 (maybe 30) years ago. 
I got the pleasure of hanging out with them this past Friday at the local High school football game (because that's what you do for fun in this sometimes too small town).  We probably did more chit chatting than we did watching the game. but it was fun.  Some how or another we got to talking about being in band (which my girls like to pick on me about being a band nerd) and I couldn't remember if Josie's mom finished school in band or if she quit after the first year.  For some reason I could not for the life of me remember that little tidbit (it's been right about 20 years since high school give me a break I'm getting old) 

Josie-wait my mom was in band?
me-Yes I just can't remember for how long
Josie-I'm pretty sure that is something she didn't want you to tell me
me-oops...yeah she was a band nerd too...

Then there were a few minutes of incredible laughter.  Just after half time the girls went to sit with Josie's parents.  I ran in to them again at the end of the game at which point Carrie says...

Carrie Jo-Why did you tell her I was in band?
me-yeah, she mentioned she never heard that and maybe mom didn't want her to know (followed by lots of laughing)
Carrie-they kicked me out for being to mean to and picking on,  you know...that one girl (who will remain nameless today because I'm not that mean).
me-oh my goodness I didn't know that.
More laughter on both parts as we visited about the past for a couple of minutes.  

I find that it is very comforting to know that even after all these years when we connect and see each other we still have stuff in common and things to talk about whether it be our kiddo (that are growing too fast) or the "good ol days" we are still old friends.  It's kind of cool too because when I think back...my parents and her parents were good friends as well.  

Makes me smile and be proud to be from this small town we live in.  Because everyone knowing everyone else sometimes has it's perks (sometimes not so much). And well 3rd generation friendship is definitely a perk.

Happy Sunday everyone


Always
tammyc


PS  I don't often post about my Valorie mostly because I think she is worried I post the most embarrassing stuff here, but really I don't do that.  She should know I save that sort of stuff for facebook, twitter and instagram.  So I hope she approves of this today.  

♥ you Val!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A desire to write

For quite some time now I have had (and never told anyone) this crazy urge to write.  (Don't laugh at me)  I know what you're thinking..."you write a blog and don't post very often so the urge must not be very bad" 
Well I know.  But sometimes I have a hard time posting filler or fluff.  I want to have something good to write about and I am aware that my idea of good and your idea of good differ greatly sometimes if not all the time, but still. I struggle to write on a regular basis because of the idea that it needs to be "good"
The idea to write a book has been in the back of my mind and on my heart for, well I really don't know how long. Most people don't know this about me because it isn't something I have been able to broadcast to just anyone.   For some reason I am always too worried about what people will think.  But seems like every time I do post a blog entry this one reader (yes it's my Nanny Fern) always texts me asking for a printed copy.  This got me to thinking..."what is she doing with all these copies? Making a book?"  Which is just silly because I just don't have confidence in myself enough to think people really want to read what I am writing.  But turns out they do.  Why? I haven't figured that out yet. But they do and well the idea that people want to read what I write has lit the fire under my desire to really do this book thing.  So here I am tossing ideas for titles around in my head and trying to figure our what exactly I feel the need to write a whole book about.
 
A text message conversation with Nanny went like this...

Looks like I may be writing this book after all. It may take me next to forever to finally settle on a title and subject matter. But when Nanny says just start writing.  You had better listen that's all I know.  I only wish I had the faith in myself that she has in me. 
Keep your eyes open for updates on this crazy adventure I am stepping into who knows how it will turn out.  But I'm sure it will be wild and crazy.

Have a fantastic Wednesday

Always
tammyc

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Just spend time with her

I can not even tell you how many times a week that phrase comes out of my mouth.  Brittnie, God bless her, she loves her horse and wants to ride every free minute she gets.  It has been quite a site to watch however this last month or so since school has started that she nearly has to chase the horse to be able to get a lead on her.
At dinner this night (one night a week or so ago) Britt says "I want to go out and ride but my dumb horse won't ever come to me anymore"  Now I know that horse isn't dumb and so does she but she had been so frustrated that she has been having to work so hard to catch her.  Anyway, I am not really sure why Ladybug has been so standoffish with her but a couple of things came to mind that night.  I threw out my thoughts to Britt...
1) maybe ladybug doesn't recognize you anymore.  I mean after all you only started having problems catching her after you colored your hair at the beginning of school.  For 7 years now she has been seeing a sweet little blond girl come out to hang with her now this loud dark hair chick keeps yelling at her to "come here!" (Britt colored her hair dark brown before school started--big change for her horse I think)
2)  All you ever do is go out catch her tack her out and ride. Then after you're tired of riding you un-tack brush for a minute and put her back out in the pasture with little to no thought about her until you are ready to feed and ride the next day.  So maybe she just wants to be loved on...Maybe just spend time with her so she doesn't have to work and get worn out.  You know like the old days when she wasn't broke to ride when you would just brush her and talk with her and love on her.  After a bit of thought Britt agreed that yeah, maybe mom was right and she would just love on her for a while.

I was sitting reading a book when Stephen went to check on her and said "you need to see this & get your camera"


This is what I found when I stepped outside.  That girl was sitting in a lawn chair in the middle of the hay pasture letting her horse eat the green grass while she just sat there picking the seeds off the tall blades of grass while talking to her, just hanging out.  Ladybug was on a lead but the rope wasn't tied to anything, they were just hanging out.  Rebuilding the relationship they have that seemed to have gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of life and stuff.  Reminding each other why they have the bond that they do.  This is truly what two best friends look like.  And no it does not matter at all that one is a thousand pound mare and the other a little buck 25 human girl.  This horse shares more secrets than any human friend will ever share with my Britt.  Because as much as my girls likes all her people friends not a single one of them can begin to compare to the friendship she has with this silly horse.



I got a few shots before Britt asked "Mom..stop taking pictures, but send me the good ones"  I told her I couldn't help it that she and ladybug were giving me the perfect picture of a girl and her horse.  I love these two and the bond they share.  Every little (and not so little) girl needs a horse to tell her secrets to.  We all have secrets we don't want to share.  Who do you share all your secrets with?

I know it has been quite some time since my last good post.  It seems we have been crazy busy the last few weeks.  Maybe it'll slow down a bit.  We'll see.

Have a great rest of the week.
Always,
tammyc


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Crazy couple of weeks

I know it seems like forever since I have posted anything.  It isn't because I haven't done anything, I have.  I just haven't slowed down long enough to blog about it.  Yes, yes I know I can blog from my cell but we have been busy enough that I haven't really given it a whole lot of thought.  Until that is I was looking at how many page views I had for the last two weeks and realized there will be no page views if there are no new posts. 

We have done all sorts of stuff the last couple of weeks.  Been on several short rides on the bike. Made a few projects, cooked some yummy (and a few not so yummy) dinners.  The girls and I went to Vintage Market Days and spent some time with Nanny, Cathy & Nikki.  And oddly enough I haven't even been taking tons of pictures like I usually do.  Oh well.

Stephen and I are waiting patiently for a mini vacation that will be coming up this next week.  Since this time last year he has wanted to go to Fayetteville for one of this area's biggest biker events.  "Bike's, BBQ & Blues"  I guess it's kind of a big deal in the biker world so we took a couple days off work next week so we can head over there for a long weekend.  It sounds like fun and well it has been since March since we had a vacation. (one we took off work for anyway) and well it's always nice to get away and not worry about all the stuff and people that make the normal day to day seem to suck the life out of you.  It's going to be nice to hang out with some friends and relax and spend some time taking rides all around that area of Arkansas.

I know this is a short one, but sometimes that's all there is :)

Have a great Saturday.

Always,
tammyc

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Confessions


In all the blogs I read all the moms present this perfect version of their lives.  I hate this.  No ones kitchen ever looks spotless after letting a bunch of toddlers finger paint with home made paint.  Who do they think they're kidding?  Life is not ever that neat and clean.  I am sorry if you all ever get that impression because my life gets messy and ugly.  With that in mind I feel the need to share it with you today.  A confession of sorts ☺

~It's Sunday.  I am still feeling extremely sleepy and a bit lazy but must be here at work.  I am typing this blog between helping medics sign drugs & stuff in and out for their day and setting up for the rest of my day.  I am positive I can hear my pillow still crying because I had to get up and leave ;)

~I like to sleep in.  And as I was heading to bed last night (early because I had to work) and complaining that I hate the long work week because I miss him...hubby informed me that he would stay home and sleep in with me on Monday as he gave me a good night kiss before returning to watch more TV.  I love the thought of sleeping in snuggled up next to him and can't wait to get to go home and get to sleep tonight so I can sleep in tomorrow.

~It's a holiday weekend, but with the work schedule I have I rarely ever remember holidays until I am pulling into the bank on a Monday (my normal day off) and looking around at the empty lot thinking "oh yeah...holidays.  I remember those"  Don't get me wrong.  I don't miss working there and getting holidays off because the schedule I work here I get 5 days in a row every other week off work.  I love this schedule. I just hate not remembering before I drive up there.

~I do read lots of other blogs.  Its what I do, like watching reality TV kind of.  and the one thing that I see in every one of them is how they seem to have all their shit together.  Just once I would like to feel like I have my shit together.  Is that too much to ask?

~I love being on the motorcycle with Stephen.  I get extremely grumpy when I haven't gotten to go.  Just a short ride to the lake is enough to make me happy again and I think he knows this because when I have been extra cranky he out of the blue offers to take me on a ride.  I do love that he knows me so well.

~My girls make me crazy.  I know it seems harsh, but they are teenage girls and they're at this place in their lives that they think I know NOTHING!  They're pretty good for the most part and I love spending time with them.  But the last week or two they are being typical teen girls and I just want to lock them in their rooms until they are 30.  Because that's when we all (girls) realize mom knew what she was talking about after all right?

~I grew up with 2 very best friends who both moved away and I ended up meeting a 3rd best friend after meeting Stephen nearly 20 years ago.  I love them all like they are sisters God forgot to give me.  I hate that I don't see them as much as I would like.

~And I feel as if I have lost one of them almost completely.  I think about it everyday in one way or another.  I don't know what happened, or when it happened all I know is she never really calls anymore and we never talk.  When I ask what's going on or what can be done to fix things I get "idk...we're just busy with life I guess"    I don't get it.  I tell my self to stop worrying about it, but worry is what I do best.  Wish I didn't care so damn much.

~I am not homesick because we are home, they moved away, they chose to leave and I hate it.  I love the lake but hate they live an hour and a half away from me.  I miss my parents.  I feel guilty when I realize that I haven't called or seen them in a while but also think "they both have my number if they wanted to hear from me they could call me too"  or I think "well on one of their many trips to visit with other family 5 miles up the road they could shoot me a text an let me know they are near.  I would drop everything and go see them."

~I hate that everyone gives us so much crap for buying a new motorcycle.  Before we went down and got the new bike the only thing other than our house payment we had to pay was utilities. So I feel like if hubby wants to spend the money he works for every day on a new motorcycle then so be it.  He works hard and he deserves it.

~I really like the way he looks on his Harley (kinda has the bad ass biker look) so I really don't care what everyone is saying about the bike ;)

~I Love the summer time and am very sad that it is coming to an end.  I wish that summer lasted from March to October and we could have fall in November, then snow...lots and lots of snow from December 1st until January 31st and when we wake up on February 1st it would be gone and we could have one short month of spring the we get a long summer again.

~I miss "back in the day" when everyone in the family took vacation together by going to the lake all at the same time and everyone shared one spot and we all just had fun.  What happened to those days?

~In a parking lot I refuse to walk between two vans/suv's because I am worried someone will steal me-they would probably pay to give me back but still I don't like it.

~My brother and I don't get along like we should.  I hate this because I feel like the relationship between my nieces and myself suffers because of it.

~I am afraid of the dark.  Not really the dark but the idea of what could be lurking in the dark.  I must have a flashlight(porch or security light of some sort) when going outside in the dark.  And sadly I have passed this fear to my poor baby. (sorry Val)

~I love chocolate!  It doesn't really matter what you put chocolate on or in I want to try it.  OK not bugs or bacon but you get it.  I am a fat girl because I love chocolate (and hate exercise)

~If I post song lyrics on facebook as my status it's because they make me think of someone in my life if not myself.   So if you ever see that now you know.



OK Well I have so many things I could confess but will keep it short for now.


I love you all.
Have a great day, and enjoy your holiday tomorrow.

Always,
tammyc

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sweet little trinkets



Yesterday I was given these cool little brass looking (I don't know if they are really brass or not but they look like it)  I have been eyeing a project on my favorite website for some time now and well seeing that these were given to me I thought "no time like the present!"  I couldn't hardly contain my excitement while waiting for the hours to tick by until work was over and I could make a quick run to the craft store to see if they had a stamping kit and a few other items I would need to complete the project.
They did and I used the app on my phone to get the famous 40% off one regular priced item for the tools (I sent Britt through the line to use the coupon too).  I spent just under $25 on this project (not too bad in my book)  After closing down the previously mentioned store with my sweet Brittnie we stopped and grabbed a bite to eat and headed home to start on our crafts.  Turns out she is as bad as her momma when she gets an idea in her head...but that is a story for another day.
  
We got home and tore into our stuff the stamping kit looks simple enough.  You put the metal you want stamped on the small block of metal (to keep your table or cabinet from being torn up I guess) pull out the letters you are using one at a time so you can get them back in order fairly quickly.  Line it up making sure the letter will be facing the correct way after stamping. And the fun part (or nerve racking if you're worried you will mess up like me) Give it a nice firm hit with a hammer.  I used some huge thing my girl got out of dads shed, but a normal carpenters hammer should work fine.  I held the hammer close to the head as to have more control and not smash any fingers and to get a good firm hit on the stamp.  Repeat with all letters you have chosen for your project.  After stamping is all done I took a sharpie and just traced over each letter let it sit a second and dry then with a bit of rubbing alcohol wiped it clean.  It leaves just the right enough ink in the groves of the letters to really make them pop.
Mine says "lucky us" on the brass looking disk I got yesterday and the coins are what make this a super sweet girly mushy trinket because then on the penny of my hubby's birth year I stamped "Mr" on the penny with my birth year I stamped "Mrs" and the penny of the year we were married I stamped the "&" sign.  I think it is the cutest (sweetest) little homemade trinket.  
I have shown off my newest creation and have had several people offer to buy one with their dates so maybe I can make a couple dollars with this new tool of mine.  After all I have been looking and people are selling them on sites like Etsy.com for anywhere between $20-$40.  This is something people are paying for.  I wanted one for myself and will be making some as gifts as well.  So why not make a few extra to sell?  I'm also thinking give away...keep your eyes open, that will happen soon.




It's Friday and for most people the beginning of a nice 3 day holiday weekend (Yay for Labor Day!) So enjoy your extra day with your family and if you have time try to be creative it keeps the brain sharp, OK I don't know if it really keeps the brain sharp but how could it not?


 I am loving my new key chain and am just dying because I want to show it off but how can I show it off if it's stuck down inside my bag on my truck keys?  Hmmm...


My finished project!!  I ♥ it!!



 Have a great weekend!

Always,
tammyc



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What I'm working on Wednesday

I am so excited.  I can't even slow down long enough to form full sentences about this super fun idea that was given to me today.  So if this post makes sense when I'm finished it will probably be a miracle that's for sure. 
Anyway...This morning in a normal daily visit with one of the girls at work she gave me a super fantastic idea.  OK well maybe I am the only one that thinks it is a super fantastic idea but still I am excited and it seems like we are going to have a great turn out.  OK I know...I know...what is it already?  Right?  :)  A recipe swap party!!!
That's right a recipe swap party.  I have done a bit of foot work (text work really) to see if there would be very many ladies interested in attending one of these parties and turns out almost everyone was willing to participate.  So what does this mean exactly?  I am inviting several ladies over everyone is going to bring their favorite recipe (already prepared and ready to share) along with printed copies of the recipe they are sharing to pass out to all the ladies in attendance.  I am inviting work friends, family members and several friends both old and new.  I am excited for all the women in my life to get a chance to meet one another and share lots of yummy food and the thought of lots of new recipes to add to our kitchens sounds fabulous to me.  I can't wait for October to get here and see how it all turns out.  In the meantime I will be over at Pinterest finding lots of ideas for the party and let me just say I have already found a bunch more party ideas and told hubby this evening that he will have to start being gone more often so I can have the girls over for a different kind of party every couple of months.  To which his reply was "hmm"  My translation to that was "Sure honey whatever makes you happy"  That probably isn't what he meant but until he uses words that is how I am taking it.  :)
 
Like I said I have been on pinterest already so keep your eyes open for party ideas as the weeks slowly drift by and October finally makes its entrance. 
 
So that's "What I'm working on this Wednesday"  stop by next week so see what's going on.
 
 
Thanks for reading
 
Happy hump day
(I see that silly camel from the commercial every time I hear or say that now)
 
 
Anyway, have a great week!
 
tammyc
 
 
 
 
 
 
  These are just a couple of the invitation ideas I found...






And some of the party favors I came across.  Can't wait to see what it will all be like when it is all put together!
Take a step out and try your own recipe swap party.  If you do (invite me I love to cook)  Send me pictures and stories.  I am sure it will be loads of fun!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tasty Tuesday

 
 
I love to cook.  Not only do I love to cook, I love to eat.  And I think that my all time favorite type of food is Italian food.  Well no, because Mexican food is right up there with it.  Anyway...I love cooking different kinds of Italian foods (sometimes I wish I had a maid to clean the kitchen after some meals).  A big thank you to who ever created every one's favorite website Pinterest.com because this site gives us all instant access to hundreds of thousands of recipes.  That is where I found tonight's dinner recipe : Tomato Basil Chicken.  Oh my goodness it was pretty amazing.  And honestly it probably has some super awesome name in Italian but that is what it was called on Pinterest.
 
I am always trying something new on my poor family, thankfully I was blessed with a not very picky eater of a hubby.  Not like my daddy who when we were growing up liked his meat & potatoes and corn for a veggie.  No Stephen will eat just about anything I put on the table (not cucumbers or bell peppers...or pineapple)  Ok well there is a few things he won't eat but the list is way shorter that dads was :)
 
I can always trust in Stephen to give me honest feed back on whether or not a meal is a repeat or not ever again.  And we've had our share of "not ever again"  :)  Tonight I got a definite repeat.
 
While sitting at the dinner table enjoying dinner Val asked Stephen what he thought of the home made cheese sticks she made to go along with moms new dish.  No kidding his words were (pardon his french)  "my ass those are home made"  We were cracking up.  Because yes they were.  Poor baby is as bad as her momma when it comes to recipes.  She didn't even have a recipe to follow.  Just pictures.  She used sticks of string cheese breaded them and baked them in the oven.  Not fried and let me just say they were so Yummy.
 
I am really starting to enjoy writing in the blog more often.  I hope you all are having fun reading and keeping up with the Corleys  ;)
 
Here is the recipe for the tomato basil chicken.  I never follow the rules exactly and I am sure I added more butter than I needed. But butter makes everything better.  Right?  This meal will have you grabbing your fork at the 30 minute mark, which is great news when you need to have a nice, hot meal on the table quickly. 
~~
Tomato Basil Chicken
 
Ingredients: (4 servings)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish
Directions:
Season chicken breasts with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to your skillet. This may seem like quite a bit, but it will form the base for the sauce. While waiting for the oil to heat up, go ahead and get your water going for the pasta. When the oil is HOT, add the chicken breasts. After about 4-5 minutes, the chicken breasts should be ready to turn. By the way, when did chicken breasts get SO HUGE?! You'll want to cook them on the second side another 4-5 minutes,or until the juices run clear when you pierce them with a small sharp knife. If you pounded yours out thinner, they will cook faster than this.
After the second side has been cooking for about 4 minutes, go ahead and add in the fresh tomatoes that you have chopped up. Next, add the fresh basil that you have chopped into ribbons, the cold butter, the minced garlic, and you will probably want to add some more kosher salt and black pepper to season the sauce. Now give it all a good stir so all those flavors will marry together.
When your chicken is "done," turn the sauce down on the lowest setting to keep it all warm until the pasta is cooked, which should be any minute now. At this point, if still waiting for the pasta, you can remove the cooked chicken to a cutting board, and after resting just a couple of minutes, cut the chicken into slices on the bias. Divide the pasta among individual bowls, and top each with half of a chicken breast, sliced into pieces, and equal portions of the tomato basil sauce. Top with more fresh basil and freshly grated Parmigiana reggiano cheese.
~~
 
Like I said I did change a couple of things, I used boneless skinless thighs instead of breasts and too much butter but I also got the go ahead for this to be a repeat dinner so it must have turned out ok :)
 
I got the recipe from a fellow blogger over at ( http://menumusings.blogspot.com/2013/04/tomato-basil-chicken.html) So if you have time take a click over and check out the stuff on that page.  Who knows you might find something yummy to make for yourself.
 
Thanks for reading today.  If you make this Tasty Tuesday meal holler back at me and let me know how you liked it. 
 
As always I love comments and would love to hear from you.  If you have a minute check out an ad or two.  I found a site for coupons while on here earlier and a page for free recipes all while clicking to see what ads are posting on my blog.
 
Have a great week everyone.
 
Always,
tammyc


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Weekend project

So I was picking through my head trying to find a story for you and well life has been pretty routine lately and I don't have a great story for you.  But...What I do have is a project.  That's right.  Every weekend I try to do at least one thing productive with it.  Well most the time anyway.  We spend quite a bit of time on the motorcycle (with good reason but that's a story for another time)

I like to post at least a couple pictures with each of my blog entries so I was flipping through my phone to see if I could find something to share with you all.  Turns out I have lots so I am going to have to figure out which order they should be shared.

I was thinking I would make this "weekend project" a frequent post.  For those of you that don't know I work every other weekend and when I do have a weekend it is 5 days long so sometimes I find myself doing more than one project per weekend.  Like the weekend I did this desk project I also made a mini ironing board.  So maybe this will help me to post a weekend project each Saturday.  We'll see  ;)

So that's the plan one weekend project every Saturday.  Not because I think you should rush out and make one of everything I make.  That would be silly.  Just to show you what I have found on pinterest and tried for myself.  If something I have done sparks you to create something for yourself well then that's awesome.

I found this pin on pinterest and I followed the link and it took me to a blog of a lady that sounded so much like myself.  She took an old computer desk that she wasn't using and turned it into a sewing cabinet.  WHAAAT???  I can so do that.

I love to sew (quilts anyway) and when I started sewing 10 years ago we lived in a much smaller house my girls were sharing a room and if there were more than 6 people in the house at one time it felt so tiny and confined.  But the one thing that tiny house had was an incredibly large laundry room that doubled as a sewing room as well.  There was enough room for a long table and my sewing machine and tub after Rubbermaid tub of fabric.  I loved sewing there because if I were working on something I could just stop turn off the machine and walk away only to return turn the machine back on and start right where I stopped.  Here we have room to move and breath and we genuinely like our home just fine.  Well I do for the most part.  It does have the smallest of small laundry rooms therefore no sewing area.  So for 7 years now if I wanted to sew I had to drag all my sewing stuff out from all the different places I had stashed it bring it to the kitchen on the dining room table.  Here I would sew until it was time to have dinner or some other meal and I would have to pack all the sewing stuff back up and put it away.  Eventually it just sat in tubs at the edge of the kitchen and I had almost stopped sewing all together.  Then it would somehow collect more stuff(not sewing stuff) and more stuff and it has been a complete eyesore for I don't know how long.  Then I found that pin and was sure this was just what I needed.   

<~~I found this desk at a yard sale with Stephanee one year for $25 bucks.  I thought it was great because it could hide the computer and all its mess.  Open it when we need it close it when we don't.  It worked like that for a while until the computer broke and we stopped using it.  The desk sat right inside the front door right by the coat rack and well the desk itself became a sort of coat rack(pile rather) a dumping ground for coats, jackets and hoodies. It was a piled up mess.  After seeing the pin I cleaned the desk out put all the coats and mess in the rooms of their owners, dusted this bad boy off and moved him into the spot that was once the pile of sewing stuff.
It looked so nice there instead of a pile.  I started sorting all my sewing supplies and making spots for all the different things I have.  So now everything is pretty much easy to find and use (no more buying something that I couldn't find because it was lost in the bottom of the tub)  Every thing has a spot and every thing's in it's spot. 


<~~The desk top where a computer monitor would sit is home to several different jars with lots of different notions in them, rotary cutters, thread, markers, pens and pencils.  An old envelope sorter is holding all my rulers up right where I can see them in one glance.





The shelves below (three of them)pull out.~~>  One is to pull out and place a sewing machine on while it is in use.  One is for my laptop because it was once a computer desk right?  ;)  and one is for a couple of sewing projects I am working on.  The very bottom is home to 2 of my 3 sewing machines a bag of old jeans I need to make into something and a basked for machine cords and foot peddles.



<~~
Both doors have cork board where I can pin small useful items so they will be handy and readily available.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And the shelves above~~>
they hold more thread, the tool kit for the machines and pattern books and a folder full of fun ideas to try.  And a work in progress.

 

The photos above shows an old computer desk that was going to be hauled off to the dump or out to the burn pile refreshed and given new life.  Yes it could stand a nice bright coat of paint to freshen it up a bit but because it has to live in my kitchen I figure I will wait until we redo our bedroom to paint it before it moves in there out of the way.  But for now it works and it doesn't look like a horrible mess.  While I working on something I still use the kitchen table as a cutting table because...well you kinda need a bunch of room for fabric sometimes.  But when it's time for dinner I can turn off the machine set it on the desk top, slide the shelf in and shut the doors.  Only to return pull the shelf out and get back to work.

This seems much easier now and I am super glad to have that pile of sewing stuff sorted as well as the pile of coats and jackets sorted and put away.  It makes things a little less messy in the crazy house where the mess sometimes has a life of its own and seems to grow out of control. 

That's my weekend project and if I never find anything useful on pinterest again (I'm sure I will) this has taught me to look around at everything.  Just because you bought something for one thing doesn't mean it can't be used as another.

Leave a comment, let me know what kind of weekend projects you have been working on.  Even if your weekend isn't the normal Friday, Saturday, Sunday.    I would love to hear what you're creating.

Have a fantastic weekend

always

tammyc

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to school!




Well here we are, that time of year yet again when moms all around are rejoicing to their children’s dismay. Um…most moms to most children’s dismay. I don’t know about at your house but here I was glad to have my girls for the summer even though it seems like every other week one of them were gone off doing something great and exciting without me. My girls are at an age that I do enjoy spending time with them. We’re silly we like a lot of the same shows on TV we like wondering through antique malls or the woods (whichever the day finds us) So for school to start back was a little bitter sweet for me. I would have time to finally do stuff around here and not feel like I need to keep them entertained but in the next breath I already miss having someone to talk to while I am here hanging out at home. But don’t worry, I will manage. I have several unfinished projects to work on. Maybe even drag some of them out of the unfinished project cemetery (out from under the couch) as Britt would call it. Maybe make and sell some of the ideas floating around in my head. My girls seem to be overjoyed to be back at school (not stuck with mom every day she’s off work) they get to see all their friends they missed through the summer. For Val it’s kind of more of the same…she is in the middle of high school (a junior) so it all seems pretty routine for her. But Britt on the other hand. Well she has started her high school adventure FRESHMAN YEAR.
I know my girls read this blog even if it isn’t the cool thing to do, they have both at different times made mention to something or another that I have written about. So with the thought that they may read this one as well I just want to address a few words to them.
To my girls (and yours) at the beginning of another year of school…
 It doesn’t matter who is right. It only matters who is in charge. Of course this does not apply when moral issues are at stake. But the fact is you are not going to like every teacher or coach. Some will make mistakes. Some will be unfair. Some might even be rude. None of this gives you the right to be disrespectful. If you buck a teacher the teacher will always win.
The most attractive girl in any room is the one with confidence. Stand up straight and know you are something special.
Never underestimate the impact of even the smallest act of kindness. For some your smile might be the only smile or attention they receive all day. Always be kind.
Some things are still personal. Boys (or anyone for that matter) don’t want to see you put on deodorant, pick your nose or hear about well you know that one week…
Learn to load the dishwasher properly. Ok that has nothing to do with school I would just love for you to learn this ;)
Don’t be hot. Be beautiful. Commodities are hot. Commodities are to be used and discarded. But if something is beautiful it is valued and treasured. You both are so very beautiful (and no I don’t get paid to say that) you truly are beautiful.

I wish I could say this was all you need to know about high school I am sure it isn’t. I am sure you wish this was all I have to say truth is it isn’t. There is so much more I will want to tell you over the next few years while you’re still living at home with your dad and me. Sometimes you won’t want to hear it, you’ll think I am old fashion or out of touch maybe even a nag, you will even want me to butt out and leave you alone.
Sorry. That will not happen. High school is great, but it is by no means the greatest time of your whole lives. It gets so much better. I am proud of you. I have faith in you. I love you. Make good choices and know that I am here for you no matter what.
Love,
Mom
To all my friends with little ones. Kiss them every day and have a blast with them while you can they grow entirely to fast and then they are in high school not really wanting kisses from momma any more.
Check back soon. I have lots of ideas for all this alone time I have encountered and will be posting all my crazy antics. I have added some ads to my blog and would love for you to take a minute of your day to maybe click them and see where they take you. It doesn't cost you anything but time.  and Please share my blog address with your friends, who knows they might like my silly stories :)  I love feed back. If you have an idea for a post or a comment about something I have posted in the past. Please feel free to let me hear them. Leave your comment in the comment section below. Or shoot me an email at:tlc33195@gmail.com I answer everything.
What will you do with your extra time now that school has started back up?
 
See you soon.
tammyc

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pickled okra

It seems like all that I have been talking about on facebook for what feels like forever not.  Those of you that are friends with me on there I am sorry if you are burnt out on hearing about okra.  To be honest I am too.  It just turned into this huge undertaking that felt as if it might never end.  And not that it is all done I find myself wishing I had more because it turned out pretty darn good.
But don't take my word for it there have already been several jars eaten and even some given away(or stolen...I'm still a little fuzzy there)  :)
 
 
Let me go back and start at the beginning.  Last week on Thursday I got a text from Steph telling me that Conrad's had okra on sale, just $18 for half a bushel.  Oh I do love okra and I haven't made any pickled okra in a few years.  I wanted some.  She said she would drop it by the house later that night.  When she came to the house and walked into my kitchen and sat down this box of okra  (yep that one up there^^^)  I was thinking wow that's a lot of okra and asked if she was taking half of it seeing that I only paid for 1/2 a bushel.  She said no.  This is half a bushel.  I paid her the money I owed her and we visited a bit about her bee class (can't wait til she gets some honey) and she left.  That's when my brain really started working...I don't know what I am ever going to do with all that okra, pickle it, fry it, bake it, make stews with it.  Geez that a lot of okra.  And to top it off this is my work week.  How am I gonna find time to get it all put up?

So Friday came and all day the only thing I could think about at work was the box of okra sitting at home needing to be put up.  I was excited to get home and make some pickles.  Well when I got home of course Everyone had plans and well a motorcycle ride with the hubs sounded too fun so I put off making the okra.  I needed to go to the store for some more dill seed anyway so while out we could stop and get that and I had Saturday night to mess with okra. 
 
Saturday at work again all I could think about was pickling and I knew I couldn't keep putting it off. I wanted it done and so after work and after dinner Val helped me with a batch of okra.  She was more than a little help.  I love that she wants to learn all this stuff and enjoys cooking as much as she does.  The whole time we were boiling jars, measuring spices and stuffing jars. I got to share my memories of my grandma Hilton and her canning days.  Oh how doing this sort of stuff floods me with memories of her. 
I remember more than one summer getting to go with her to her best friend Patty's house to spend the day canning.  I really don't remember the recipes or much of the process.  I do remember how they would make jars and jars of beets, and tomato preserves and I remember how I watched her make those things thinking (and telling her) I would not eat those that's gross to put sugar in the tomatoes.  But I do also remember that those tomato  preserves were fantastic and I loved them.  I remember her running me out of the kitchen more than once for being under her feet while she was moving hot jars.  I learned very quickly that you could stay in the kitchen all day watching grandma can if you sat under the kitchen table and stayed out of the way.  I remember watching her like that for hours. 
 
Oh my look how easy I get off track.  Making okra with Val was so much fun.  We took lots of pictures and tweaked the recipe a bit to "make it our own, because that's what all good cooks do mom"
Every recipe I found said wait one week, or wait one month before opening jars except the recipe we used.  There were no restrictions and on Sunday Val and Stephen were about to go nuts waiting to "taste test" our first batch of okra.  Turns out they were damn good. 
 
I got home on Sunday from work and Stephen informed me that the okra was attracting a ton of gnats so to stop the gnats from taking over our house he cleared a shelf in the fridge and put the okra in there.  Turns out the fridge was way too cold for the okra and some of it was a bit frozen.  that makes it soggy and gross and not suitable for pickling or frying.  So After some very time consuming  sorting I ended up making 21 pint jars of pickled okra.  I got 2 & 1/2 pounds of chopped okra for frying (which a pound and a half was made at dinner Monday with Nikki, Andrew, Cathy & Kashly)
and the dear chickens that wonder my yard got their tummies full with the bad stuff so really nothing went to waste not even the gross soggy okra because the chickens loved the treat.
 
Oh and if any of you know how to make this  ~~~>
not happen to every jar please let me know.  I packed and packed and packed each and every jar as full as I possibly could and no matter how much I stuffed in the jar they still shrink up like crazy after cooking during the processing that it looks like there aren't enough in the jar.  UGH this makes me nuts.
 
 
Any way that is what is going on in m y world these days.  Ive been busy working and when I'm not working I've been canning.  I also made ten 8oz jars of grape jelly yesterday as well. 
 
Back in January i posted on facebook and here in my blog that if people commented on my post they would receive a home made gift from me...well some of you keep your eyes open cause you could be getting some of this stuff   :)
 
I know this isn't the coolest thing to do anymore.  people don't really spend time preserving and putting up food like they did back in the day. but this is not only a great way to spend time with your kids teaching them something your grandma showed you but it can save you money and you know exactly what you are putting in your food and into your family.  I like doing my part to feed my family safe healthy food, while saving a bit of money.  So if you're interested here is the recipe I used to make the okra
 
Pickled Okra
 
Ingredients
canning kit, including canner, jar lifter, and canning rack
7 (1-pt.) canning jars
3- pounds small fresh okra
7- small fresh green chili peppers
7- garlic cloves
7- teaspoons dill seeds
4- cups white vinegar
4- cups water
1/2- cup pickling salt
1/4- cup sugar
Instructions
1. Bring canner half-full with water to a boil; simmer. Meanwhile, place jars in a large stockpot with water to cover; bring to a boil, and simmer. Place bands and lids in a large saucepan with water to cover; bring to a boil, and simmer. Remove hot jars 1 at a time using jar lifter.

2. Pack okra into hot jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. Place 1 pepper, 1 garlic clove, and 1 tsp. dill seeds in each jar. Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and 4 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over okra, filling to 1/2 inch from top.

3. Wipe jar rims; cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands (snug but not too tight). Place jars in canning rack, and place in simmering water in canner. Add additional boiling water as needed to cover by 1 to 2 inches.

4. Bring water to a rolling boil; boil 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool jars in canner 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a cutting board; cool 12 to 24 hours. Test seals of jars by pressing center of each lid. If lids do not pop, jars are properly sealed. Store in a cool, dry place at room temperature up to 1 year.


The only thing I did differently was I put the spices and such in the bottom of the jar before the okra, not for any reason except I like the way it looks better this way. 

Thanks for reading my rambling today.  Let me know if you make your own pickled okra.  I would like to know how you feel about the recipe or if you have  your own to share, feel free to share it in the comment section below. 

Have a great week.  See you all here again soon.  This time I promise!

Love you all

tammyc