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Showing posts from October, 2011

October's Preparedness and November's Goals

Today's post is a summary of what I have done for preparedness in October and what I plan to accomplish in November. I will be linking this post to Homestead Revival's Preparedness Challenge! Head on over and check it out! So much to learn about!

Food Storage
1. Canned pear sauce, pear butter, and potatoes
2. Froze tomatoes - I should have canned them, but I didn't have time!!! Oh well.
3. Made a temporary root celler. 
4. Bought several more canning jars and lids to have on hand to can with.
5. Added several more canned goods to the pantry/food storage as well as flour, sugar, and rolled oats. I also bought a 10# can of whole wheat flour and a 10# can of freeze-dried peaches from Emergency Essentials. I have yet to try either of these, but I love the shelf life they have!

I have been stocking up on the canned goods by shopping the loss leaders at our local grocery stores, Hy-Vee and Fareway, as well as shopping at Aldi's. As always, read the labels to make sure you ar…

Sometimes we all need a little help...

I have gotten some feedback from readers on my lack of posts on single parenting. I can understand that. Single parenting is not something I can write easily about. Or keep my opinions to myself on. And I am kind of opinionated.

Single parenting is not easy. I am finding it to be easier now that I have a rhythm and a routine. We have a schedule and I have to roll with the surprises (oh, you have this going on?!?!) and the disappointments.

I would not be anywhere this easy going about single parenting if I did not have help. Unfortunately, their father is not much in the picture anymore. He pops up from time to time and he pays child support because the state hunts him down and garnishs it. He does not take the kids for the weekend and he does not live very close to them anymore. I do not depend on him for anything.

His parents, though, are fabulous! They help so much. They take the kids a couple weekends a month when their schedule permits and help me with shuttling kids around. Som…

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Sorry about the lack of blog posts! I swear I have adult ADD sometimes. I can't focus on one thing and no one thought is truly completed! Maybe I should put the blame where it belongs, on myself and being too busy!

Anyway, here are the random thoughts I have running through my mind. You are being warned: They are very random!

Thought #1
Michelle Bachmann, please just withdraw from the presidential race. It is pretty clear you are getting desperate and you have no original ideas. 
Thought #2
I have no desire to be married at this time. Yet, marriage and weddings have been on my mind a lot lately. A lot of well-meaning people have been dropping some not-so-subtle hints that I should be getting married. Again, I say, I have no real desire to be married at this time. When I do decide to be married, it will be because I wanted to be with someone who wants to be married and understands what marriage truly is. Until then, please keep praying. 
Thought #3
I am certain we are heading towards …

Weekly Update and Weekend Plans

It has been really quiet at our house this last week. That might be due to the fact that I caught a cold. Not just any cold, but a "how close can I get to bronchitis" cold. I didn't really need that to happen. Why? Because that makes me think that getting the new license plates on my daughter's car look like a real accomplishment! Yikes!

I have goals for this weekend. I am really hoping for decent weather so my goals will get accomplished!

I am excited because I will have my crew home all weekend. That crew does know and is already protesting that they will all be helping me clean up the garden on Saturday. Many hands make light work! I really need to get the garden cleaned up so I can till through it once and get my garlic planted.

I also need to get the expandable foam out and get some holes plugged on the house. This should not be a big deal. I also need to get the garage holes done too so the birds do not think they are permanent and welcome guests in the garage…

Menu Plan for October 17 - 30

Here is the menu plan for the next two weeks. I am winging it for this time around because this kind of snuck up on me - just like my cold did!

Monday - Find Your Own Night
Tuesday - Chicken Fajitas
Wednesday - Spaghetti
Thursday - Chicken Tacos (Crock Pot)
Friday - Chipped Beef on Toast
Saturday lunch - Pancakes & Bacon
Saturday supper - Steak & Potatoes on the grill
Sunday lunch - Shredded Chicken Sandwiches **New Recipe

Monday - Chicken Loaf & Rice
Tuesday - Kids Choice
Wednesday - Pork Chops & Potatoes
Thursday - Asian Chicken & Rice
Friday - Sunday: I will be gone this weekend! Kids will be at Grandma's house!

Nothing fancy for these next two weeks. Most of these are recipes that are regulars at our house and have been made time and time again. If you are interested in any of these meals and want the recipes, I will be more than happy to post them or show you how I make them.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Time To Get Serious

Time to get serious about my spending and tighten down the hatches. And maybe, just maybe, if I tell you all about this I will have to be more accountable for myself.

First of all:

DID YOU KNOW THAT WE ONLY HAVE 72 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS?!?!


If that wasn't enough to inspire panic in my (and possibly your) heart, I have another problem. Until next spring, I have a $165 a month car payment. Add to that, a raise in car insurance of $50 a month. Yikes!!!

My monthly available income has been severely reduced. Not good when I have Paige's birthday and Christmas coming. The good things in my favor is that Paige's birthday shopping is done, the Christmas stockings for each kid is almost done (girls are done, Dane just needs a few more things), and I have started Christmas shopping.

I need to cut down the Christmas spending. Fortunately, I have gotten really good at this in the past years. First thing I realized was that my kids did not care if everything they got was brand new or us…

Prepping With Little to No Money

A big misconception in the prepper community and people looking from the outside is that prepping takes a lot of money. Yes, some of the bigger projects do take some money to do. If you are looking to be off-grid, eventually you are going to have to lay some money out for solar power, wind power, or whatever you choose to do.

But....

There is a lot you can do to prep that does not take money or very little money to do.

Shop Garage Sales - one of my personal favorites! I have been able to find tools, clothes, books, camping equipment, toys and so much more at garage sales. The danger of garage sales can be overpricing so be knowledgeable about what you are purchasing. The upside of garage sales is that most items can be haggled over!

Auctions - A lot can be said for auctions. I do not go to them very often, but when I do I usually find some really good deals. Just make sure you bring cash, know what you are willing to spend, and what the item retails for. Bidding at an auction can get out …

Indonesian Chicken with Green Beans

I have been asked to share this recipe and I am more than happy to do so. I got it from a iVillage food email in 2006 and am just getting around to trying it! If I get photos taken tonight, I will share those too!

Indonesian Chicken with Green Beans

Credit: Eater's Choice Low-Fat Cookbook by Ron Goor, PhD, MPH, and Nancy Goor

Servings: 8

Ingredients:
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed4 tablespoons olive oil10 cloves garlic, minced1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger1 small onion, chopped1 pound green beans, choppedJuice of 1 lime or lemon1 tablespoon soy sauce2 teaspoons brown sugar2 teaspoons turmeric1 teaspoon salt1/2 cup waterDirections: In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the chicken in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until cooked through. Set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the garlic, ginger and onion until soft. Add the green beans. Stir until the beans turn bright green. Add the lime (or lemon) juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, turmeric, sal…

Weekly Update/Preparedness At Our House

Not a whole lot got done at our house this last week. I wish we could have gotten more done! I did decide that I was going to combine these two posts, Preparedness Update and Weekly Update, because they are so closely intertwined! This blog is still getting tweaked, but someday I will get it organized in a good way.

Jordan's closet did get put up! Yeah! This was made much easier by having the right tools on hand. Do not underestimate having a good toolbox, hacksaw, and drill! I only needed to make one trip to Bomgaars to get a drill bit that would go through plaster and lathe. Thanks to Jim for his excellent advice there!

I also canned 4.5 pints of pear sauce yesterday. I can't wait until this winter when opening one of those jars will remind us of the good flavors of fall. I did not get to the potatoes or squash yet, but that is coming soon! The little kitten at our house thinks the small potatoes are great toys to chase around so those will get done sooner than later.

I have…

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

My family loves, loves, loves homemade chicken noodle soup! It is the perfect pick me up on cold winter days and a great soother of upset stomachs and colds. This is so easy to make!

This is my original recipe. I have adapted three different recipes and rarely make it the same twice. Also, feel free to double this recipe. If everyone is home, we have to double it! It also makes wonderful leftovers for work!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

2 small to medium carrots, sliced somewhat thinly
1 small onion or 1/2 medium onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
1 celery stalk, chopped or sliced thinly
1 Tbsp. butter
1.5 quarts chicken stock (I use my homemade stock)
1-2 cups chicken, chopped or shredded
1-2 cups egg noodles
seasonings to taste (I use seasoning salt with no MSG, Italian seasonings, or marjarom with salt & pepper)

Melt butter in your stockpot (5-6 qt.). Saute the vegetables in the butter over medium high heat until tender. Add the chicken stock and chicken. Bring to a gentle boil…

Menu Plan October 3 - 16

Here is my menu plan for the next two weeks. I am at a loss that I don't have any slow cooker meals planned, but as fall continues there will be.

Monday - Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup & Bread
Tuesday - Turkey Meatloaf & Potatoes (new recipe)
Wednesday - Chuckwagon Wraps & Salad
Thursday - Volleyball Game
Friday - Corn Casserole
Saturday noon - Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (new recipe)
Saturday supper - Tuna Noodle Casserole
Sunday noon - leftovers
Sunday supper - kid's choice

Monday - Indonesian Chicken with Green Beans & Rice (new recipe)
Tuesday - Volleyball Game
Wednesday - Baked Rigatoni
Thursday - Volleyball Game
Friday - Chicken Loaf & Rice
Saturday noon - Volleyball Tourney
Saturday supper - French Toast & Bacon
Sunday noon - leftovers
Sunday supper - kid's choice

I am trying new things. We needed to have one meal where the leftovers are going to get eaten. We have a little too much for me to eat for lunches during the week. I also thought…

Preparedness This Week

What got done this last week? Not much of anything if I think about this too hard, but some things got accomplished. I also apologize for the lack of pictures. I need to take more!

1. I expanded my food storage. I added to my food stores and decluttered some shelves in the basement to accommodate it. My goal over the winter is to finish cleaning out my basement and get new shelving up. I am opting for wooden shelves and I have noticed that the price of plywood is going through the roof! So I will be saving up for this.

2. I canned some more pear butter. This does not seem like a lot, but these kind of foods are nutritious and very mood-lifting in the winter! I also added some more quart and half-pint jars to have on hand. I also bought a canning kit with a jar lifter, lid lifter, and a funnel in the kit. I had been improvising before so these will be great!

3. I started reading How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times