Friday, July 29, 2011

A Few Veggies From the Garden Today

Our little garden has not done well this year with the very hot weather, and my soaker hose sprung a leak. The plants are twisted around it, so there is no removing it this season. Something new this year - green peppers, and they have done well. I'll be planting this again next year.

Some years are more prolific than others, but the garden always offers up something.

Paper Roll Art

BĂșhos y un gato(Owls and a Cat)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Contact with Soil Can be Beneficial

HT to Tea at Trianon.

"...A strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, has been found to trigger the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. And on top of that, this little bacterium has been found to improve cognitive function and possibly even treat cancer and other diseases. Which means that contact with soil, through gardening or other means, is beneficial. How did this discovery come about? "

Read more here.

No wonder gardening makes me happy!

Easy Butterless Pie Crust

I made apple pie last night and used this recipe for the crust. It was so good with my filling made from our early season garden apples. I like a sweeter crust, so I changed the recipe by adding a handful of sugar and a bit more oil for workability. The subtle taste of salt in the crust is a delicious contrast with the sweet filling, and the extra sugar added to the crust recipe. I'd keep the salt despite reviews which suggest otherwise.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Open Wallet, Flying Dollars

When one thing wears out and breaks, more is sure to follow. My computer has meet the end of the road. I still have a big clunky HP PC, purchased about seven years ago. My old printer is shot as well. So I've ordered an Asus Mini-PC(Acer AspireRevo AR3700-U3002 Slim and Compact Desktop) and a HP Deskjet 3000 Printer. I can't wait to get them set up.

On a whim, I looked into prepaid wifi service. Last time I checked it was just at the cusp of being developed, and I have discovered that now it's readily available; the selection of service providers and coverage continues to grow. I went with T-mobile(good coverage in our area) prepaid high speed wireless service . I chose 30 days for $30.00(no contract). We already use T-mobile for our prepaid cell phones. By canceling our land line, we'll actually be spending less than we are now with dial-up which is $12.00 a month and phone service which runs about $30.00 a month. Our dial-up service has been relatively good, and it's been very reliable; however, it has limited us to web surfing and very slow downloads. If the prepaid wifi works out for us, we'll be saving about $120.00 per year.

I'm hopeful that all of these changes will be a good fit for us. And I think we got some good deals, but I always wish that things would last longer - technology marches on. Computer replacements tend to be a surprise expense, especially if you tend to use them up and squeeze out every last nanobyte.

One Step Tile, Stone, and Grout Cleaner & Resealer

A salesperson at Ace Hardware recommended TileLab's One Step Cleaner & Resealer for my tile floors in the bathrooms. Our tile work is relatively new, and I wanted to keep the grout looking new. In the past, I've used bleach or bleach based products and a stiff brush on grout, but this product is much easier. I looked up the toxicity, and it's made with non-hazardous materials(low VOCs). All I had to do was spray it on and wipe up. It was easy on my hands as well. This was a great find and really delivers.

Amazon carries it, but unfortunately, there is no free shipping. Amazon customer reviews are five out of five stars for performance. This product may be available at the big box stores. I know the Ace and True Value hardware stores carry it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Children's Summer Ebook Reading: Classic Tales and Old-Fashioned Stories

Young Folks Treasury, 1909.

Free and in public domain, short and long children's old fashioned stories and classics with color illustrations. I like these free public domain Project Gutenberg books because you have the option of copying and pasting only the stories that you want to print. There are a good number of download options as well: Kindle, EPUB, HTML, etc.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Making Coffee in a Cast Iron Pot

A month ago my glass coffee pot broke from my electric coffee maker. I thought about purchasing a new one, but I am trying to do more with less. I like to maximize my space on the counters. The next morning in desperation for coffee, I tried making coffee in my cast iron tea kettle, and it was very good! With a little experimentation, I discovered that the grounds sink to the bottom when the water is left to come to a rolling boil, taken off the heat immediately, and then left to sit for a minute or two. I don't even need to strain the grounds. The tea pot is well seasoned, so clean up is very easy, just a rinse and quick scrub.

I cook two cups of coffee with half a pot of water and two heaping spoons of grounds. So easy! And I've got more counter space now, not to mention no glass coffee pot and coffee maker to clean.

About Me

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: