Friday, September 27, 2013

A Walk On The Trail (Or Not)

A few days ago my husband and I decided to take a walk on our property to see if we could find the property stakes.  We used to have an easy to follow trail that took us all the way out to the river.  It has been a few years, so we thought we should take the loppers in case there were any overgrown branches that needed trimming.  As it turned out we needed more than loppers.  We needed heavy equipment to clear that trail.  We couldn't even find the trail, and when we did this is what we found.

There were downed trees and tall grass in every direction.  We even ended up in someone's backyard.  This was not what we intended.  We thought we would take a nice leisurely hike to the river possibly cutting a few branches along the way.

This is the only property stake we found.  It had almost impaled this large tree branch.  I guess we hadn't been out here for a long time because the limb had moss growing on it.  This limb came off a gigantic willow tree.  The tree is still alive but missing several branches.

It wasn't a total wasted trip.  We were able to see our house from a different angle and see a few sandhill cranes, but we never did make it to the river.


We finally gave up and went home.  The next day we went to the county survey office.  We wanted to see if there was a way to convert the numbers on our survey to GPS coordinates.  We thought if we could use our GPS, we could get close to the property line.  It was an old survey and they said there was not a formula and that we would have to find the property stakes or get a new survey.  I think we should just let it go and enjoy our land from the comfort of our deck.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Our Trip To The Recycling Center

This past summer we had our first and last garage sale in this location.  I believe it will be our last one ever.   They are way too much work. 

Whatever we didn't sell and was metal, we threw into a metal pile.  We had duct work from remodeling projects, golf clubs,  a fireplace screen, a lawn mower, a tire rim, door knobs and miscellaneous metal pieces. We also had andirons for the fireplace.  To trash them may have been a mistake.  I looked up how to spell andiron and saw they sell for $300.  Oops, but we couldn't sell them for $2.00. 

Our pickup truck loaded up with scrap metal.

This afternoon we loaded everything on the truck and drove over to the neighboring town of Berlin.  There is a recycling center there.  It is a recycling center for scrap metal, auto salvage, electronics recycling and other things like rechargeable batteries. 

We unloaded everything into a big bin, and it was taken off to be weighed.  We had 168 pounds of scrap metal.  That sounded like quite a lot, but when we cashed in it was worth $11.76.  Not a lot of money but it probably paid for the gas to get rid of the junk and the side of our driveway looks a lot better. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Decorated for Halloween After All

This year I had decided not to put out any Halloween decorations.  It's a lot of work and usually no one sees them except us.  We always buy candy in case any trick or treaters come to the door, but we have never had any in eleven years.  If our grand kids happen to come out, they have seen them many times.  Then yesterday we went to Oshkosh.  We were on a mission which I will discuss in a future blog.  This is a clue.

Since we were quite close to the St. Vincent de Paul store, we decided to stop in.  I have a few things that I always look for at those stores.  I pick up sugar and cream yarn whenever I see it.  That's the yarn I use in the dishcloths I knit.  I found two balls of the yarn for $.75 for both.  I look for my favorite Vidalia chopper, just in case mine breaks.  I broke it recently and luckily had a spare.   I look for certain books and anything else that catches my eye.  I've talked about other things I bought in previous blogs.  So yesterday as I was going through the holiday section, this Halloween decoration jumped into my cart.  I know I wasn't going to decorate this year, but I couldn't help myself.  I'm so glad I bought it.  I don't know where I will store it in the off season, but we will find room.

It is a Halloween house made out of grapevine and plywood.  It even lights up.

So because I set this new house up and had to dig out some other decorations,  I did a few more.  I realized that even tho no one may come to my house to see the decor, all of you can see it when you read this blog.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hamburger Stew

Yesterday I made this recipe.  I don't remember where I got it, but I think it was Taste of Home.  I really liked it.  I very seldom like what I make.  The men in this house like meat, potato, a vegetable and cottage cheese or applesauce.  I'm not fond of meat although this recipe has browned hamburger.  Often I just have a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of cereal instead of the meal I make for them.  There was even enough to have leftovers tonight.  I used the browned ground beef that I always have in the freezer, so it was very easy to make.

This is the Taste of Home photo.

It looks a little more appetizing than my leftovers.

Hamburger Stew

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cans of stewed tomatoes (I used one can of stewed and one can of diced tomatoes)
4 carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup of water
1/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 T. salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Cook beef and onions until no longer pink, drain
Add tomatoes, carrots, celery, potato, water, rice, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender.  Uncover and continue simmering until desired thickness.

This recipe can be doubled.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

No Lost Socks If You Pin Them Together

Since it's already been established from my previous blogs that we are a little nerdy, I wanted to share this little tip that has worked for us for 45 years.  First a little background.  My husband is super organized with his own personal belongings.  I learned early in our marriage that he likes to have his underwear folded in a certain way as well as his undershirts.  It isn't hard and then his dresser drawers are always neat and tidy.  He doesn't care if mine are a mess, thank goodness.  Ask our daughters, every day that he worked he would lay out his clothes the night before, and he would put his breakfast bowl (upside down), knife, spoon, glass, a banana and a box of cereal on the table.  It was a sad day when Post decided not to make Oat Flakes any longer.  He ate the same breakfast everyday for years.  All this was to save time in the morning and to leave for work stress free.

Since he retired the only thing from his routine that he still does is pin his socks.  People always complain that the washer or dryer eats their socks.  He has never once lost a sock.  I have, but I don't pin mine together.  I probably should, but this way the pinned socks are his and that makes it easy to separate his clean socks from my dads or mine.

Years ago I made this fancy little pin cushion out of a tuna can and lid. 

This pin cushion is where we keep the large safety pins.  We use the stainless steel or brass pins because they won't rust if they are in the wet socks for a while.  I try to keep the pin cushion in the closet, but it usually ends up on our bedroom dresser.  When he takes his socks off at night, he pins the two together before he throws them into the laundry basket.  Then in the morning when he gets dressed, he puts the pin in the pin cushion.  We wash and dry the socks attached with the safety pins and then there is no matching to do.  They just get put away.  It is so easy and there are no lost socks. 

The socks are pinned together at the toe.  It doesn't damage the sock at all.