Our wood burning stove has served us well for the 13 years we have had our home, providing the majority of our heat. Propane has increasingly become more expensive over the years so we have developed a routine. Our propane driven heater comes on for 2 hours only, every cold morning to quickly take the chill off the house. Simultaneously, we build a fire in our wood burning stove which keeps our home sufficiently warm for the rest of the day and through the evening. This routine has allowed us to get by with only needing 300 gallons of propane for the entire year. But……Read More →

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was able to spend 3 weeks in February down in Southern California helping my daughter-in-law with her post operative care. That also meant helping out with their 3 dogs. Buddy and his friends made sure I did not get bored. Let me introduce you to them. Sadie is the youngest, a lively year old miniature dachshund who loves to ride on your foot as you shuffle your way to the kitchen for morning coffee. She is quite affectionate and enjoys being picked up to be cuddled as she slathers you with “kisses”. Sadie is not troubled withRead More →

Some of you may have read my post on planting my plum tree. This is an update. It now has buds! This post is also about an experiment I tried in planting plum tree starts. A few days after I planted my plum tree, I left for California for 3 weeks to help my daughter-in-law through some tough surgery aftercare. Just before I left, I put two of the plum tree branches I had pruned from my plum tree, into a Mason jar filled with water and placed it on my kitchen window sill. It was just a let’s-wait-and-see-if-anything-happens kind of thing. When I gotRead More →

I first remember having cinnamon apples at my Mother-In-Law’s house. Husband worked nights at the time so the kids and I would walk down to her house on Sunday evenings for a shared light meal. She would bake any kind of unpeeled apples by coring them and setting them in a 9×13 in. baking dish with 1/2 in. of water in the bottom. What made the apples special was the cinnamon red hots (yep, lots of red food dye) she put in the cored hole of each apple. Shen then baked them at 350 degrees until easily pierced with a fork. When cooled, they wereRead More →

I dream about growing and canning my own home grown food. In my grown-up years, I’ve never owned or tended a fruit tree, yet here I am, obsessed with planting a small orchard. Oh, but the plums, apricots, peaches and apples I could put up! A few weeks ago, I planted some plum seeds and thought that would satisfy my orchard obsession. I guess not, because as I walked into Costco, and right there, right in front, was a whole display of five foot starter trees of all fruit varieties. I had read (or maybe I just told myself) that plum trees need to crossRead More →

When I lived in California 30 some years ago, there was an old widower, Mr. Dawson who lived across the street. He had a plum tree that seemed to produce a bumper crop every year as we would receive several large brown grocery bags of plums throughout the summer, every summer. These plums had a deep red flesh and were as sweet as candy. Sadly, I never asked him what variety they were as I have rarely come across them since my move to the northwest. Until that is, this past summer. Husband and I took a road trip down to visit Son Family RockRead More →

There are benefits to being a truck driver’s wife. Husband has brought home a variety of gifts from the venders he picks up from and delivers to on his truck runs. I have received boxes of chocolate, coffee beans, Jelly Bellies, whole salmon, flowers, and lugs of peaches and oranges, just to name a few. The other day, I received a lug of tomatoes. One of my readers had just sent me a comment about her wonderful experience in dehydrating seasoned tomato chips so I thought I would give it a whirl (thank you Merry Ann!). Slicing the tomatoes on a mandolin sounded easy, butRead More →

Husband has always had a “collection” of firearms, both rifle and hand guns. I have always been intimidated by them. I have occasionally been out shooting with Husband where he has hammered into me countless safety rules. Knowing all those safety rules, for some reason, did not make me less afraid. I wanted to get over my fear so way back in 2002, I took a lady’s hand gun class at a local gun range. The two things I remember most about the class: How important it is to know when you can fire your weapon and when you can’t. You just can’t shoot somebodyRead More →

Gonna wear a little “religion” on my sleeve here. No apologies. Jesus is the best gift I have ever received. So thankful he came to earth. Even more thankful he didn’t stay in that manager, but grew up then died for my sins. The best gift ever! Hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas! ArleneRead More →

Christmas is almost here! I wanted to talk about getting those Christmas boxes shipped off to family and friends. This post might be a little late for this year but hopefully not for next year. When considering shipping venders, I choose United Parcel Post. Here’s why. Since I live in a rural area, my situation may be different from city folk. My home sits on a paved, private road, a half mile from my mail box. I love living rural, but it does produce problems with mailing and shipping parcels. If a package does not fit in my mailbox, I get an orange slip thatRead More →