Junk Box

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grubbing Firewood

Wow. Mom and Kim have bought this ranch called the Indian Creek Ranch. What an amazing, beautiful place it is. Teaming with plants and wildlife. Live water, venomous varmits, loads of firewood, mesquite that is, Hank would fit right in. We now have cattle, lots of them. Big, black, pregnant cows. One cow even had a little brown, bull calf, then she died. Seems like she may have been in labor during shipping and died from the stress, because she didn't want to have her calf on the trailer. So sad, and yet beautiful to watch an experienced mother die to bring her calf into this world, alive and healthy. He is precious. He takes 3, yes 3, bottles a day. He name is Bucky. Chase is attached.
The other cows have split up a little. Some have gone "down in the bottom" where the creek is. We think 2 of them may be close to having their babies, so they are looking for a safe spot. Some have congregated up near the house. They are having to figure out how to survive in the rough. A few leaders have emerged, #2 and #5, so we think these girls may have what it takes.

This last weekend also holds the record, first deer shot by Chase Steelman. It was a doe, 100-125 lbs.. The meat is put up in the freezer and the pelt is going to get processed as well as the skull. Chase will get a plaque in the den at the ranch house, with the skull. 5th deer shot at the Indian Creek Ranch, yeeeee haaaaaaaaawwwwww.

We are now talking about taking some faithful, elderly campers (RV's that is) out to the spot in the bush near where Chase shot the deer. Fixing them up and making an official Hunt Camp. No wildlife is safe in Hall County. Maybe, just maybe, I might post some pics.

Oh, and BTW, we grubbed a pick up bed load of firewood. The best we've ever seen, and Mama helped.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Poor Blog

So neglected. So ignored. So mistreated. Yet, every time I return, here you are. Waiting patiently for me to hit "new post" and babble on about something. I try, oh I really do try to have good blogging intentions. Someday, oh yes, someday I will be a consistent blogger. I guess until then, I will just continue to be random and sporadic.

Since my last post (last year) we have embarked on a couple of new adventures. One being, dirt bike racing. Yes, it is as dangerous as it sounds. I draw on the Lord for strength because I refuse to allow fear to cause me to stifle my child and what he is passionate about. We have tried all the team sports and nothing has invoked passion in him except for dirt bikes. So, be it.

So, today Chase had two very large, permanent teeth pulled. As we are just days away from top braces. He has to have two bottom teeth pulled as well. We decided to break it up so as not to be too painful and sore at one time. Pics to come when he is officially a "brace face." Chase, like many kiddos, is very excited about getting these braces on. Daddy and I know that the newness will wear off and he will despise them, just like the rest of us did. However, with the astronomical amount of money that the things cost, it is nice to have him excited about getting them on. There is just something about being a member of the middle class and taking care of my child's teeth. It is just part of it, which brings me to my next point........

Soooo, I get this from time to time. Compliments on my combination of cooking and tightwaddery, and yes, that is a word. Invented by me, Queen Tightwad. I will have you know that being a high maintenance tightwad is a lot of work. Anywho, back to business. With Chase having two gigantic teeth pulled this morning, I mean the roots were bigger than the teeth, YIKES, I (having had a bowl full of cooked chicken meat in the fridge) suggested homemade chicken soup. He, loving this soup so, quickly agreed that that would be great. This compels me to post my homemade (term used loosely) chicken soup recipe:
You will need 2 pots.
Boil 3 c. water in one pot, drop in 6 chicken broth cubes, a tbsp real butter, and 4 or 5 stems of thyme.Now, there is a trick to thyme, let me share. First of all, grow it. It is the easiest herb to grow. Snip a few sprigs off the plant with scissors. Once you've snipped off the stems, hold the stem by the little floret on the end. Press stem between pointer finger and thumb nail and pull it through, so as to strip the tiny little leaves off the stem. Flick the leaves into the soup.
In the other pot, prepare by package directions the pasta. I usually use rotini, but any shape will work, use whatever you have on hand. Once it is cooked, drain, return to pot and drizzle with olive oil.
Now, cut/chop cooked chicken and drop in soup.
Spoon a serving of pasta into a bowl and ladle soup over pasta. I keep the pasta and soup separate. It keeps the pasta from getting mooshy.
Since I buy the chicken cubes in bulk from Sam's, I can cook this meal in about 12 minutes for less than a dollar per person and my bunch loves it. We always have a green salad with it. Delish.
So there you go.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oh Man.

A month and a day. Sheesh. So, I could go all into all the pathetic excuses about being busy, but the truth is I have thought of blogging several times and it just didn't materialize. So, now I am sitting in bed with my laptop, yes on my lap. (Whoever named these is downright a genius.) I am not feeling well. I am not sick, but I am not well. No fever, so not the "f" word. Just feel crappy.

Soooo, a lot has been happening in this joint over the past couple of weeks. Real estate is great. Right now working with some friends, doing the buying drill. Each deal is like a fingerprint, so different and intricate. One must love the real estate transaction to be able to do this job and thank you Jesus, I do love it. Ministry is of course, a blessing. We have the Hillside Canyon Twilight Hayride at our house tomorrow night. So, needless to say, the whole sick thing does not fit into my schedule for these next 72 hours. I am going to have to re-schedule being sick! JW did, however, get hurt at work on October 14th. This day will live on in infamy. He hit a sprocket (the gigantic gear that turns the tracks on a bull dozer) with a sledge hammer. A shard of steel broke off the sledge hammer and injected into his left leg just above his knee. It went straight through his quadricep, nicked his great sapheneous vein and was stopped by his femur bone. Yes, ouch. I have been on my face thanking Jesus much lately that A. he was in the shop so someone was there to call 911 as he held his thumb over the hole in his leg that was spurting blood, not out at some random feedyard after all the hands had gone home B. not 72 miles from pavement on some ranch in the northeast Panhandle C. had on all his safety equipment on (Cat is fanatical about this) and the faulty hammer belongs to the shop (so he isn't responsible for using tools that are old and not functioning properly) D. the shard did not puncture his femoral artery (he would have bled to death in a matter of minutes.) It is so stinking important not to whine about what did happen and praise Jesus for what didn't happen. So many doctors, nurses, and random folks have told us we are lucky. It had not a thing to do with luck, we believe in an all knowing, all loving, merciful, protective savior who is with my husband every second. He kept him safe and has healed him well.
We have laughed looking back at that evening. We have marveled at how God's presence is reflected in every second.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Typical Fall evening at Deer Ridge.

Well, my posting is getting a little more consistent. I have discovered that blogging is therapeutic in a way. I want to tell stories about life, get up on a soapbox, and share cool recipes that help other moms save money. I want to share exciting events and discoveries with whoever wants to look and listen. In July, we planted two native gardens on either side of our driveway. They are doing great and require very little water or maintenance. We tend to them about twice a month. Soooo, last night was a fairly typical evening at our house. JW got home at a decent hour. Things always just seem to go better when he gets home early. Chase's behavior is better and he is in a better mood when Daddy is home. So, we let Daddy decompress and then we do something together. I wanted to post some pics of what this looks like for us. Of course, Dixie has to be right in the middle of everyone. She's casing the scene, making sure everyone is safe, no strange dogs are going to get her family!! Sunday, we went to Lowes to get some mulch for these beds. We are contemplating using river pebbles. I will keep you posted on that. Anyway, we didn't leave with mulch, we left with mums, kale, pansies, and russian sage for the native beds. So, I did some fall containers, and I loooove them. I really like having a light colored house, totally different bedding plants and containers than I have planted for the last several years. I am looking for the perfect white pumpkin to set between these two. Also, I am happy to report, got my fall decorations up!! I just love fall decorations. They are so festive! They also signify the end of HOT, HOT, HEAT. Oh yah, that's a band, well anyway, you get the point. I love fall and I love decorating for fall. I like a little scary and a lot of pumpkins! I love black and what goes better with black than Halloween???

Monday, September 28, 2009

OK, here goes.

Today is the day. I have gathered the necessary equipment and will be making my very own, homemade laundry soap. To me, questionable economic times aren't a bad thing. It has encouraged us to save more money and be creative. God has always taken care of us financially, so it is not out of worry, but rather preparation that I try this out. Maybe a little morbid curiosity and a lot of tightwad. If I can make a month's worth of laundry soap for $2.50 that smells fresh and clean AND works well, I am all over it!! I must give my friend, Lindsey, credit for this recipe. I used a different kind of soap and tweaked it a little, but it is basically her recipe.
So, it goes like this:
Boil 4 cups of water.
While waiting for water to boil, grate 1/2 of a bar of Zote pink laundry soap bar. Grate all the way to the "T." When you unwrap the bar, you will see what I mean.
Drop by handfuls into the boiling water. Reduce heat to med/high and stir. The soap will sort of ball up, mash balls with a spoon. It took right at 20 minutes for it to dissolve completely. The fragrance is clean and fresh. My whole house smells clean today.
While the Zote is melting, get a lidded container that will hold at least 4 gallons of liquid.
Put 3 gallons of hot water in the container. I used a small tote. Put 3/4 of a cup of "20 Mule Team Borax" in the warm water in the tote.(Now, I must confess, I keep Borax on hand and use to for many cleaning purposes. I will list them after the recipe.)
Next, put one cup of Arm & Hammer washing soda. I am anxious to do some research and see what other uses this stuff has. Some of the suggestions on the box were awesome! BTW, I got this at United in Canyon. Apparently, it can be tough to find.
Get a big spoon and stir the mixture in tote until the Borax and soda have dissolved.
Once the Zote has completely dissolved, pour it into the tote as well. Stir well, cover and let sit for 24 hours before using.
Some notes, I did a little research on the different types of bar soap to use and found several tips against heavily fragranced soap. Fels Naptha was also suggested along with Zote as good choices. I would have never bought this Zote, so it was an exciting little adventure. I will post my thoughts soon on how well it works. I almost doubled the recipe, but decided to be cautious just in case I want to tweak it a little more.
Borax Uses:
We recently used Borax to scrub garage floor. It is a wonderful scrubbing paste to use on delicate surfaces instead of Comet. It will get grime off of white fridge handles (learned this several years ago, still amazed by it, I had tried EVERYTHING to get those things clean.) I also put 1/2 cup in with a hot water load of whites, along with Clorox, it smells wonderful and gets the clothes whiter. It is also a great grout scrub. It will get grout white like it is brand new. I have had a few clients do this to get their houses ready to sell. Not that I am green obsessed, but not only are these ideas frugal, but they really cut down on waste. I actually had saved some old laundry soap bottles and am going to pour the detergent into them once it cures. Now you go try it! Happy washing!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blogging Mood

So, I've noticed that the mood to post is kind of like creativity. When it is here, it is here. When it is gone, it's gone. Nothing exciting to report. Hectic week. Working with a first time home buyer, which I really enjoy doing. Got an offer on one of my listings, God is so in control. Ministry is awesome. Small groups have kicked off for Hillside Canyon and new friends are abundant! I must say, a few times this last week I thought, OK, this is it, I am getting sick. I would just cast it out in the name of Jesus, go on with my business and by dang, I would feel better. Well, it happened again today! Came home, took and nap and healed in the name!! So, will try to post again soon. Ta ta for now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Sunday la la, la la la

I think the song was actually Monday Monday, but you get the point. Today was a really great day. With being the Preschool and Nursery Coordinator (man, that's long) for Hillside Canyon, we have to be there at 7:00 a.m. We usually don't get out until 1:00 or so. That may make it sound like Sundays are long, hard days, but actually, it goes by so fast. Every Sunday, we say, man it feels like we just got here. We absolutely love it. We had to walk through a little fire to get here, but we are really thankful to be on the other side. We have met so many great people right here in the town that we have lived in for a long time. Never would have known they existed. We both miss our old friends, but are grateful for new ones. Small group has taken on a whole new meaning for the Steelmans this past week. Thank you Jesus.

So, more house pics. This is actually the first dresser I painted. The doors are actually wrapping paper I got on clearance at Old Navy, of all places, for like .99. Couldn't believe it when I found if. I have several sheets left, but already have plans in my mind for them. I painted everything else on it. I am still not completely happy with the top, I am going to sand it at little. Anywho, there it is. There pics are, clearly, of our living room. It has taken me two years to get to this point and I still have big plans. I saw a color today that I considered for the entry hall, it was a deep orange, like pumpkin. I quickly thought, am I just liking this color because I am thrilled about fall, or do I really want an orange entry hall? Last week I was liking a shade of blue. So, clearly, little more consideration in order there. I painted the front bathroom and guestroom blue, so I was thinking, better layoff the blue. Don't want to blue myself into a corner. When I decorate, or make a color choice, I usually ponder it for quite some time. I really try to visualize what the color will look like on the walls. I also consider what color I am pondering for the adjacent rooms and how they will all coordinate. I have bought the paint for the hall and JW just hung a "new" chandelier in there on Friday. My mom had taken it down out of her house they just sold on Stromberg and it was an antiqued white, not my color, but I was glad to have it and knew I could spray paint it black. Satin finish, black spray paint is a decorating "cure all" for us. The color is "Mustard Gold," and is a deep, drama shade of yellow. (Deep and dramatic, me?? Noooo.) It could almost qualify for gold, but is hanging on by its fingernails to yellow. I will post pics when I get it finished. No time frame on that one. I like to have the paint ready when the mood hits. I also am an early morning painter. I need to have every thing ready to go, first thing in the morning. I get more done.
Unending Love, Amazing Grace