Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot


 Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
On Sunday I was in the house and started hearing planes flying over my house. It's not unusual to hear planes but these sounded like fairly good size planes and they were coming one right after the other. Then there would be a 15 to 20 minute break and they would start coming again. I went out on my deck to see them. They were water tankers. They were flying over my house, heading to the Columbia River to fill up with water and fly over a fire that was on the other side of the river. This lasted all day long. It's been a tough fire season here. The sky has been very hazy with the smoke. As far as I know the fire is not fully contained yet, but hopefully it will be soon. Many campgrounds and trails have been closed because of them. 


















This week we also had a very tall tree taken down. It was a fir tree and had lightening damage from a couple years ago. After last winter when we lost so many trees we did not want to take a chance of this damaged tree coming down with another storm. The tree is about 80 to 100 feet tall and right in line with our house. So we hired a professional to come in and take it down. He's done other trees for us and we knew he could do this without damage to our home. And he did. He climbed the tree and took off all the limbs and then section by section he brought it down. We are definitely set for fire wood this winter. 

































































On My To-Do List
Today is going to be a grocery shopping day. I'll be home by afternoon and then it will be dinner preps and a few housekeeping chores.


Projects I'm Working On
As I'm regaining my strength my brain is coming up with a lot of projects to do. But as of yet, I'm slowly getting past simply keeping up on the home, cooking food and taking care of other small details.


Today's Weather
We've had several hot days but today will be much cooler

High 77  Low 61


The View from my Deck (or window)


















What I'm Reading
I finished Isaiah and started Jeremiah. I also finished To Kill a Mockingbird. I loved the book! It was so good. I was actually sad when it came to an end. But I usually am with each book I read. :) I've now started reading Dracula. A couple years ago I read Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I was reading them with my youngest son for his school. I enjoyed reading the real stories and so many books and movies are a take off of the original. I wanted to read Dracula and experience the original story. So far, I'm liking it.


What I'm Listening To
It's a quiet morning.  I hear my hubby making coffee and my clock ticking.


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Insurance, well specifically, car insurance. We've paid a lot over the years for it. We've had several children driving, we've had our vehicles. A van to transport a big family, an economy car for my hubby to commute, a truck to take care of farm responsibilities. Now that we are done with our children's cars and insurance we were down to just my hubby's car, our truck, and.. then last year we bought a new car. A small economical one. My husband has still been driving his own car. It was his baby, an '89 VW Jetta. As a mechanic he kept that car in amazing shape. It currently has over 450,000 miles on it. He just could not imagine not driving it anymore. Finally... he has retired his beloved Jetta and now commutes in our new car. Thus saving us the cost of one more car on the insurance policy. I believe this is the least we've paid for car insurance in MANY years. And we are doing just fine with one car (the truck is older and purely for farm purposes).


Fitness and Health for the Week
I had a few days over 4000/5000 steps and one day over 7500.. soon I hope to be back to those 10,000 steps!


That is all for this week! Hope you are having a great week. 


Monday, August 28, 2017

Menu Monday!














Hard to believe it's the last week of August. The month seemed to just fly by.

The temps are going back up this week into the high 90's, at least for a few days. So I think I'll do some easy meals.

Tonight is lasagna. I have one in the freezer so it won't take long to cook up. I'll serve it with French bread, salad and watermelon.

The rest of the week is looking like this:

Brats on the Grill
I'll bbq brats and serve them with coleslaw, macaroni salad and watermelon.


Grilled Chicken
I plan to marinate chicken thighs in Italian dressing overnight and cook them on the BBQ. I'll serve them with Ranch Beans (the link is to my recipe, and I'll be cutting the size down considerably and making them in my IP :), a big green salad, and fresh summer fruit (I'll figure out what fruit when I'm out grocery shopping).


Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
I'm going to try THIS recipe. I'll serve it rice and broccoli & carrots


That should do it for the week! 


Friday, August 25, 2017

Instant Pot or Crockpot Cuban Sandwiches



This week in "Friday in the Kitchen" I'll be sharing a yummy recipe that can be made in the Instant Pot or the Crockpot. 


Instant Pot or Crockpot Cuban Sandwiches
























This recipe is very good. I've made it a few times. The original recipe is a crockpot recipe. If you don't have an Instant Pot you can follow the crockpot instructions to make it.



I made just a couple easy changes to turn it into a pressure cooker recipe. Basically converting recipes is not difficult. You need to make sure there is at least a cup and a half of liquid in the recipe. Pressure cookers need liquid to come up to pressure.

Here is my IP (pressure cooker) version of the recipe:

I took about 3lbs of pork roast and put it in the IP. I sprinkled all the spices on top...




Then I took a cup of orange juice and added ¾ cup of water. 

 



















I poured the juice/water over it..





















I put the lid on the IP and set the timer to 50 minutes...




















When the time was up I shred the meat with 2 forks and made the sandwiches..




Cuban Pork Sandwiches

3 to 3 ½ lbs pork roast (shoulder/butt roasts work the best)
1T salt
2t cumin
2t oregano
1t pepper
¼ t red pepper flakes
2 to 3t granulated garlic
2T lime juice
1 cup orange juice
¾ cup water


To make the sandwiches you will need:

Sandwich rolls, hamburger buns, or whatever type of bread you prefer
Yellow mustard
Swiss cheese slices
Honey ham sliced lunch meat
Pickles
Onions

Put the roast and spices into the IP pot. In a small bowl combine the lime juice, orange juice and water. Pour over the meat.

Put the lid on, hit “Manual”, set the timer for 50 minutes. Turn the sealing know to “Seal”.

When the IP beeps and time is done. Let the pressure come down on its own (Natural Pressure Release – NPR).

Remove the lid when the pressure button has dropped. Shred the meat.

Assemble the sandwiches:

Stack pork roast, ham slices, and swiss cheese. If you would like you can put the sandwich under the broiler to melt the cheese.

On top of the cheese add mustard, pickles and onions.

Serve and enjoy




Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
WSS is much later then usual today. Yesterday hubby and I drove to Port Townsend Washington to visit his mother and her hubby. My sister in law was also there visiting so it was wonderful to be able to spend a little time with all of them. It's about a 4 ½ hour drive and we drove there and back in one day. So it's a lot of time on the road and we were in bed pretty late and slept in this morning. But it was worth the time and driving.

This last week was busy. Hubby and I went to our little county fair to just walk around and view all the fun things. I love our small town fair. It's in such a beautiful place. 




































I enjoyed looking at the sewing projects, the canning, the photos, the art work done by local people. So much talent in our community. 


















The animals were also fun to see.  Goats always have a warm spot in my heart and the cute chicken cracked me up....



























Over the weekend my daughter Sierra and her boyfriend were visiting us as well. They enjoyed time at the fair and then walked down to river to see the paddle boat that was docked...

















And finally, we took a selfie, but the wind was really blowing..  :) 

 


















On My To-Do List
Today I need to do a little housekeeping, and wash a few loads of laundry.

Other then that, I hope the clouds go away and it warms up so I get a little swim time in at my pond.




Projects I'm Working On
As the thoughts of fall are getting close my mind begins to think of fall time things I enjoy doing. I have a couple sewing projects I'd like to tackle. We will see if I can. I'm still dealing with vision issues so it's making things like sewing a bit more challenging.



Today's Weather
The weather report is saying it will be warm today. But if the clouds remain, I'm not sure it will get to the predicted temps.

Today's High 83, Low 59


The View from my Deck (or window)

















What I'm Reading
I'm still reading To Kill a Mockingbird and am almost done with the book of Isaiah.


What I'm Listening To
The sounds of my hubby outside cutting up firewood, my wind chime (it's a very windy day), and one of my cats meowing by the back door. He wants food, which I'll get him as soon as I'm done here.


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
I've shared the good deals I've found on Amazon but you do have to know your prices. I wanted some epsom salts and I was making an order but the least expensive bag I could find was $1.18 a pound (it was a 10lb bag). That still seemed high to me. While I was out shopping I found a bag of salts for .42 cents a pound. Much better deal.

On the other hand sometimes Amazon makes sense for the sake of convenience. I sent my grandson in California his first set of baby books (getting him started early on a love for books!). The time I would have spent shopping for all the books, packaging them up and mailing them down made Amazon shopping very worth it and in my mind frugal. Saved me time, gas, and shipping (I'm an Amazon Prime member so the shipping is free). He was very happy with this books.. 


























Fitness and Health for the Week
Walking when I can. Not that far, but my steps are improving on many days. And a little more swimming. I'm trying to get the swim time in before the weather cools and it's too cold to swim anymore.

Daily working on keeping our diet as healthy as possible. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies is always my goal.






Monday, August 21, 2017

Menu Monday!













Last week I had such a busy weekend that I totally forgot about Menu Monday.. Just slipped my mind completely! I think that is a first.

Today I would love to go grocery shopping but I think I will put it off for a day or two. Due to the eclipse, traffic in our area is at an all time high. We are not far from the point of totality and many people are driving through (from all directions) to get to the perfect spot to see it. We are not far from the Oregon border and it is estimated that there is about one million extra people coming through the area. For today, staying off the roads seems like a wise choice.

Tonight we are going to have Cuban Pork Sandwiches. I'm using a crockpot recipe and converting to the IP. I'll share if it turns out.


The rest of the week:

Chicken, Bacon, Tater Tot Casserole
We like the traditional tater tot casserole made with hamburger. But I saw THIS recipe and loved the twist to an old favorite. I'll serve it with a nice big green salad full of veggies and some summer fruit.


Baked Salmon
A simple and quick meal to make. I spoon Italian dressing over the salmon and bake it for about 15 minutes or so at 375. I'll serve it with either rice, pasta or French bread. I'll see what appeals to me when the time comes. I'll also had some cooked broccoli & carrots on the side.


Chinese Chicken Salad
I found THIS recipe while searching out easy and quick recipes for my daughter. I thought I'd give it a try. I'll serve it with some French bread and summer fruit.


BBQ
If I find some good deals on steak we'll have a bbq this week. If not, I have enough meals planned out to keep us fed.



That should do it for the week!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot


Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
It wasn't until I went to put this blog post out that I realized I totally forgot about Menu Monday.. :) that is what happens when you have a busy weekend with family and are exhausted.

The weather has cooled down nicely. We even had a brief shower a couple mornings ago. First rain in 55 days. The nights are cooling down and I'm thinking fall is not to far off.

The weekend was nice. My son Jake came out and he and Isaac worked on clearing the fence line where the goats are. It still had a lot of fallen trees on it and was a mess. They did a nice job and I was grateful for their help.

My daughter Sierra and her boyfriend Rex also came out. Rex helped the boys on the fence line and Sierra and I had a nice long visit, which I enjoyed so much. She is busy with her life so it's nice to get more then just a phone call of visiting in.

My favorite catalog arrived in the mail a few days ago. Not that I purchase a whole lot from IKEA, but I like looking through it and getting ideas. Especially ideas for storage. I'm currently trying to come up with some creative, nice looking storage ideas for the toys I have for my grandchildren.






On My To-Do List
Yesterday I caught up on laundry and did most of my housework. Today I just need to vacuum and do a few other little things.

Then hubby and I are going to go and walk around our little county fair. It is opening day. I always love to look at the quilts, baked goods, animals and more. Small town fairs are the best. Just simple and fun.

We are planning on having a hamburger bbq after we get home, so dinner will be easy peasy.


Projects I'm Working On
Soap is still on my list, but I have not made it yet. I'm feeling much better and know it will happen soon.

Another simple project I'm working on is a list of fast to put together meals for my daughter. She works, has a baby and coming home from work (or just ending work as she works a lot from home) and putting together dinner is a challenge. She eats healthy and does not use a much in the way of prepackaged foods. So, it is a little challenging. If anyone has any good ideas for me to pass on to her, let me know! :)



Today's Weather
Perfect weather for a walk through the county fair.

High, 81 Low, 57


The View from my Deck (or window)






What I'm Reading
I'm really enjoying the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm only about a third of the way through it.

I finished Ecclesiastes, and read Song of Solomon and am now reading Isaiah.


What I'm Listening To
It's a very quiet morning. My windows are open and there is a nice breeze blowing. I'm hearing my wind chimes and a few birds.



Something Frugal I've Done This Week
It's a repeat, but it's still frugal. :) It felt so nice to have the energy to clean my house and of course I used my orange vinegar. I LOVE the smell. It just makes my whole house smell so clean. I recently started a new batch of orange vinegar and added the peel of a lemon to it.



Fitness and Health for the Week
More swimming, more walking, and continued focus on my diet. With all the summer fruits available I've enjoyed cherries, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe.

That is all for this week!  I hope you all are having a great week.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot



Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
It seems the main goal for this last week has been to stay cool. Our temps soared over 100 degrees and the nights were not cooling off as much as I would have hoped. Our house heated up (we don't have air conditioning) but we survived and now it's starting to cool down a little. I have to say I would take all the heat and sunshine over snow, ice and freezing rain :), summer is my thing.

My daughter came again this week with the grandchildren to swim and cool off and visit.



On My To-Do List
I have a few junk piles that need some attention. I dislike clutter, but it still creeps up on me, and I'll deal with that.

Other then that, my to do list looks like this..
~sweep/mop kitchen floor
~do a couple loads of laundry
~clear out my fridge and see what leftovers we are having for dinner


Projects I'm Working On
I really need to make soap. I think by next week I'll be ready for that. A friend of mine who lives close by wants to learn how to make soap so I'll invite her over when I make it.

For this week, no new projects yet.


Today's Weather
Another warm one

Today's high, 95  low, 64


The View from my Deck (or window)

It's still pretty hazy out.  This is due to the wild fires in British Columbia.

 




















What I'm Reading
Finally back to reading. I finished Proverbs and am starting Ecclesiastes now. I've also started reading, To Kill a Mockingbird.


What I'm Listening To
A train going through the Gorge and fans in the house. 


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Found sales on a few items we use on a regular basis and stocked up on them. I'm pretty sure I have enough dish detergent to last me a couple years now.. ha, ha!! :)


Fitness and Health for the Week
More getting out and walking around my property and it's getting easier. I've also been swimming more in our pond. 

That's all for this week!