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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Frugal Bugle, Pt. 1

Hello from the foothills!

I'm concerned about wasting anything that I could use for another purpose. And I'm really concerned about paying the high dollars for cleaners that aren't even safe for us to breathe or handle. So, I've done some research and found homemade cleaners are actually easy to make. A few months back I read about a homemade cleaner that could be made with white vinegar and thinly pared orange peels. I love the scent of orange oil so I gave it a try.

I've put the peels of 5 or 6 oranges in this quart jar with enough vinegar to cover them well and set it aside to steep for 2-3 weeks. It starts to smell very nice after just 1 week.
The idea for this cleaner is from the blogger at Just Like My Nan Made.

When the cleaner is ready pour it into a spray bottle and spritz it onto a dust cloth or mop as you clean.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October Medley

Hope you're havin' a great fall, y'all! The weather has been really nice here in the foothills for a couple of months now. As a matter-o'-fact all our plants are doing better than back in the summer. This pineapple sage in my herb bed has gone wild. It's the first time I've grown this plant, and it really does smell like pineapples, but a tea made from it is reminiscent of weeds, for sure....bleah
These are my newest gal chickens. At the time I took this picture they were shyin' away from a li'l commotion in the chicken coop....
A swarm of three-band Italian honey bees showed up one afternoon and stayed around for several hours. There was a queen bee in the center there attached to the roof of the coop, and her subjects and were following wherever she decided to take up residence. They were gone by evening and nobody got stung so no harm. We've kept bees before so we weren't too surprised by them.
I knew when I ran across this pattern that I'd be makin' one for Goodman. He says it's toasty warm and will make workin' around the place warmer in the winter. The hat is Wool-Ease in avocado, and the beard is a strand of  gray Wool-Ease and a strand of eyelash fun fur.
These flower and leaf washcloths were loads of fun to knit...reminds me of all the flower power stuff back in the '70s. ;)
The blue potholder I showed you a few posts back was so much fun I had to make another one.
I'll leave you with a picture from our fall garden - brussel sprouts. I think I like fall gardening way better than summer. The bugs aren't nearly as thick and neither are the weeds.
See you in a week or two or three or four, y'all - the Good Lord willin'. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple Orchard Tour

One of our favorite places to visit in the fall of the year is Kyle Carver Orchard in Cosby, TN. It's a beautiful spot in the mountains and there's a restaurant where you can refresh yourself once you arrive. The food is really quite good, too. I had chicken and dumplin's again this year. 

This was our view from our table in the Applehouse Restaurant. Notice the horses grazin' between rows of apple trees. Gorgeous.

 After lunch we browsed the market.

 You can buy apples in 1/2 peck bags, by the peck, half-bushel or......

 or by the bushel.

 Shelves are lined with jugs of flavored ciders....

 Locally made jams of all flavors.....

 There's fresh produce to choose from, too.

 Pumpkins are in abundance in all shapes.

 Indian corn for decorating....

 Aren't theses gourds adorable.

 Mums for potting or planting in your yard.

 And fresh-squeezed apple cider processed on the premises.

I bought a 1/2 bushel of red delicious apples and a small bag each of these beauties for cookin'. From left to right are Pinova, Candy Crisp and Arkansas Black. They're all cookin' apples. We had fried apples at breakfast this mornin' good.
ETA:  They are similar to what you get at a restaurant like Cracker Barrel, only better when homemade. ;)

Fried Apples
4-5 large apples (Golden Delicious are best)
4 T. butter
sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Peel and slice the apples. Melt butter in skillet on medium heat and add apples. Fry until tender.  Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Hope you're having a wonderful autumn. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Favorite Things

Our favorite time of year.  Leaves are beginning to turn color...
And we're makin' fried pies from fruit gathered here on the farm...
On the knitting front I made another round of fingerless mitts from the pattern I mentioned last time. Find it here.
This crochet potholder makes me smile. Another free pattern you can try here.
Now, I think I'll go check on our hot cocoa supply for the winter. ;)
Have a great weekend, Y'all!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


 I don't know when I've been so glad to see the end of summer. Yes, we're  baskin' in cooler temperatures and downright chilly nights here in the foothills, now....thank the Lord. Isn't this blue black swallow-tail butterfly just darlin'. (I think they ought to mention the blue on it, just sayin'.)
I've been knitting a few pairs of fingerless mitts using this free pattern. Lime green, two-at-a-time on one long circular.
As soon as the green ones were finished I cast on for a purple pair...
and finished them in a few days...what color will she do next,  I hear you ask. Stay tuned to see 'cause I'm still stuck on this pattern. It's easy and quick. ;)
Just exactly how chilly has it been in the foothills? This chili.

Have a wonderfully cool and chilly week, Y'all!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's Been Afoot in August

 Hello from the hazy hills of Tennessee.
 While the butterflies danced on the zinnias..
 Our yellow watermelons ripened, and a few were consumed under the cover of night, lol. We think it was a raccoon.

 I started this crocheted shawl.

 And managed to make a successful batch of sauerkraut. The first try ended in the composter. Sigh. All is not perfect in the foothills y'all.
I finished the shawl just yesterday and blocked it overnight.
Our summer garden is just about finished. These cayenne peppers are just a fraction of what we've gathered and strung up to dry. While some other plants failed, they were abundant. I think that pretty much sums up what our summer has been like - heat in abundance.
Till next time, hope yours is way cooler. ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Jewelweed*, pictured here in a photo from the internet, is truly a gem of a weed. It grows in damp places, often near poison ivy. Youngest brought a bag full of jewelweed with her last time she was here for a visit. We dried it and put it in oil to steep for a month to release it's poison ivy fighting properties. A wash or salve or soap made with it will help lessen the effects of poison ivy on the skin.

Goodman gets poison ivy every year whether he is careful about staying away from it or not so we have tried lots of remedies including an elixir made with poison ivy. A small-town drugstore in a neighboring town sells the elixir made with a small amount of poison ivy to build immunity, and Goodman takes that, which helps tremendously, but he still gets a blister now and then, so I'm going to use the oil for a poison ivy soap as soon as it's ready.

We're getting lots of produce from the garden including cantaloupes. 

I finished the socks for Goodman. I used Lion Brand Amazing yarn.

Life is just a bouquet of zinnias here in the foothills. ;)  Have a great week, Y'all.
*Jewelweed is poisonous if ingested.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jooo Lye Sho Iz Haht

Greetings, Y'all! We've been in a heatwave like none I can ever remember. I hope you're staying cool. I've been busy preserving produce from the garden and enjoyin' the flowers, too. A Queen Sophia marigold.

A bluebird on the back fence line.

This is sweet woodruff, one of the herbs I like to grow in my li'l herb bed that is right outside the kitchen,

 I grew sage this year in lieu of buyin' it at the grocery store. In this uncertain economy we're making an effort to grow as much as we can and not have to buy. I hope you're doing the same. Are you making your own laundry detergent yet? It makes me very happy to wash a load of clothes for about .02 cents a load. :)

 I've been growing echinacea for several years. I plan to make my own capsules for immunity this year.

Just by-the-by, there was a bad car crash in front of our house this week, and one of the folks involved was airlifted to one of the local hospitals. They landed in our front pasture to pick up the patient, who is in stable condition now, thank the Lord. (I have to say it was kinda nifty to see the helicopter land in our field.)

No knitting lately as we're busy from dawn to dusk with other things that must be done now. Hope to visit with you again soon.