Monday, August 31, 2009

"vital" records?

ok. so I don't know if this makes me feel good, or just scared. I went on my birthday (8/28) to DMV because my license was due. Granted I knew I needed my birth certificate so I knew I needed to just have a temp license until then. Ok, no problem. This was last friday. (got the temp, I'm good to go! I'll go in and get my new license the end of this month.) Knowing that I needed my birth certificate, I had ordered it on thursday when we had gotten paid so that I had it to go back in with.

to complete the process of ordering my birth certificate i went to vital statistics, and ordered it. you do it all online, you enter your name at birth, your birthdate, your parents full names (mother's maiden name of course), where you were born and your mailing address. To check that you are really you, then you print off a form you fill out, enclude a copy of your current license (or passport, picture id is what they recquest) and then you fax it to them. once they receive your fax, they mail you your birth certificate.

As you all know we live out in the boonies of the world. this means, no fax machine. So, I have it all ready to go in my bag for when we go into town this week. I'll fax it when i go in, then it'll take 2 business days for me to get my certificate... Well... That's the process and the plan anyway.

Today, when I went down to get the mail there was my birth certificate! I never faxed off the verification . So based on just the information that they received online from me (and my $32.50 which is paid for off a credit card you enter on the site) they decided that I was who I said I was and shipped it. I gotta admit... I don't know if I am comfortable with that. I could have said I was anyone and if I had the information then I would have gotten the birth certificate and stolen their id. On the other hand... It sure made it easy for me! lol.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another cheap meal - lunch

drain one can of each:

garbonzo beans
kidney beans
pinto beans
(small can) beet slices

put it all in a bowl, and drizzle with creamy balsalmic dressing.
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 cup shredded cheese

mix all together... Eat.

Cheap, cheap, cheap dinner

Baked rotini with hamburger! yummm

3/4 lb whole wheat rotini, boiled as per package directions, then drained
1 can (12 ounces) spaghetti sauce, whatever flavor
splash of balsalmic vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp thyme
cheddar cheese, about 1/2 lb
1 lb hamburger browned and drained

mix it all together except about 1/2 the cheese. put all into a 9x9 baking dish. sprinkle left over cheese over the top. bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is all melty and bubbly and starting to brown just a little.

Yummy! Serve with homemade bread. lol.

For me this was CHEAP to make. I just had to pay for the spices, and the vinegar, everything else I received in my commodity box.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

poor piggies...

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I am behind on posting dinners. So here are the ones from the last few nights so that you can oooh and ahhh over them... (ok, maybe not so much, but maybe it'll spark some thought!)

Wednesday night dinner was simple, but filling...

1/2 head of cabbage chopped up
1/4 lb of bulk ground sausage browned
5 small/medium carrots chopped up
1 medium onion
dash olive oil
2 tbsp butter
lemon pepper
1 can chicken broth

put everything in a pan with a lid and slip it into a 350 F degree oven until the cabbage and carrots are tender. Serve with a nice homemade bread. yumm! Hubby ate seconds, and would have had thirds if there had been enough. I still have enough cabbage that I think I'll do this again today. But I don't have any carrots left so I'll heat canned carrots on the side and then just put some of those in it once it's done cooking.

Then Dinner last night was baked pasta.

1 lb of ground beef, browned
3/4 lb of whole wheat rotini, cooked and drained
1 regular can of spaghetti sauce
2 tbsp balsalmic vinegar
2 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 lb cheese, grated

cook the pasta, and brown the hamburger, combine everything except the cheese in a pan. I tossed 1 handful of the cheese INTO the pasta mix, just to distribute the cheese throughout. Pour all of this into a baking pan. For me, it fit into a 9" square cake pan. Top with remaining cheese, and then bake until the cheese starts to brown on the top.

Again, serve with a nice homemade bread and some garlic butter.

TADA! Dinners!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Updo for the day

I just REALLY, REALLY wanted my hair out of the way today. I had seen this video on youtube by a poster who calls herself pursebuzz...

And I really liked the updo/"don't worry about it" style that she showed.

So, using a scarf that my beloved mother in law sent me, I went to work!


I think I got my bun higher than hers today.. . But it still looks kind of cute and gets my hair out of my way for a day of errands, and housework.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bread of Life....

I have been baking a lot of bread lately, 6 loaves this week,and maybe another 3 will have to be made on Sunday. It's nice though, as it saves us about $1.50 per loaf that I make instead of we buy. Unfortunately I have ran into the problem of crumbles. It just doesn't stick together as I like. I went researching on the net and found that either, I need to change flour, or I have been adding too much flour. So, I'll cut back on the flour next time I make bread and see how that works for me. I use all purpose flour for my bread making. Bread flour is a little pricier to purchase and I get the all purpose flour in my commodities boxes. I have some gluten here (I just have to find where I packed it!) and maybe I'll try adding a little to the bread to see if that helps too. But not both changes at once of course. lol.

Yesterdays loaves I added 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal to. Same texture after baking as the rest, but I know the oatmeal added some healthy goodness to the bread. That batch is also my last batch with molasses for a while. I am now officially out of molasses. Not bad for not having bought any in a year. lol. I did go digging and found a can of Steen's Cane Syrup in my canned goods. I had bought it for making worcestershire but never did try making it, so I think I'll use this in the next batch of bread and see how it comes out. I'm kind of excited about using the cane syrup, it's supposed to be really good. I am anticipating it being a bit like molasses, except sweeter. I'll let you all know.

I am doing breakfast for dinner tonight. I have some sausage, and some eggs, and I'll do them up and make tortillas and we'll have breakfast burritos for dinner. I will probably add some refried beans to it too. A good source of fiber and some vitamins. Lol. I keep making all these things with flour and I may have to actually buy some. I have about 50 lbs of flour in long term storage, but I hate to break into that unless I absolutely have to.

We need to work harder on stocking up stuff for this winter. Since the major stores are all 50 miles away over a mountain pass, and it snows on that pass over 2 feet at a time I have to be ready to not go to town. There are 2 convienence stores here in our little town, but they carry a limited supply of anything that is not chips, pop or beer. lol.

I REALLY need to get a freezer. Since we have the generator I am not so worried about loosing power over the winter storm season and loosing everything. I just need to be sure that our gas cans are full at all times during the cold weather. That's not too hard to do, our local gas station is about 6 blocks away or so. If I get a freezer, then I can stock up on frozen meat, cheese and such to really help it so we don't have to go to town as often. if it's not one thing it's another right?

ok, I have to get ready to do another load of laundry (by hand of course!) so I am outta here!

Be looking for pictures in the next few days.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another "lazy" day

We have decided we are going to stay home today too. This will give us a chance to unpack some more, as well as conserve some gas. We have $50.00 on us and that has to last until around the 27th when hubby gets his next disability check. Since there is plenty of food in the house, this makes the ongoing large expense, gas. We wouldn't have had this much except my beloved mother in law sent us birthday money, and I got a small reimbursal from medical expenses. I am not complaining at all about our financial situation right now, we have no other bills due until after the 1st of the month. Now that we are living back in town, we don't have to run once every 14 days or so to get propane and gas either. It all comes in a bill once a month called "electric bill". lol. Plans for today include unpacking, and getting directions to Hubby's appointment in town tomorrow. I really don't want to have to go back in this soon, we were just in there on Thursday, but if you have to, then you have to!

Found a pretty good website that I've been purusing. She has a lot of good info there, and she also has videos up at youtube. Just be careful with some of her info. In a few of her videos she uses, and suggests you use, hot water from the tap to cook with. This is dangerous. Older home may still have pipes that are soldered with lead solder, and sediment in the water heater could make you sick. So, other than boiling your own water either on the stove, or in the microwave, her stuff is all good.

We watched Wall*E yesterday. It's an older movie, but it was very, very cute. B&L (Big & Large) stores were the main thing in it and it cracked me up. B&L = Walmart? lol. If you haven't seen it, rent it and give it a look. It's cute, cute, cute! A lot of adult humor such as poking fun at America and it's people who sit on their rumps and drink/eat fast food and dress in the latest fad fashions. No nasty language or sex or anything like that. Just some stuff younger kids wouldn't get.

Anyway, I have 7 totes in my craft room all screaming to be emptied, so I'm off for a bit!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Life the Universe and Everything

What a soggy, soggy world I woke up to today. lol. After a few weeks of 90+ weather it's a nice turn around... Of course it raises the question as to whether or not we will be able to get up to the mobile to get another load today. My car is a front wheel drive, but it is not a 4x4 so if it's too slick, I won't be able to get up there. lol. Maybe I'll just stay here at home today.

Yesterday we went to the big city. That was an ordeal in and of itself... But not nearly as big a deal as coming home! We go over a mountain summit coming home that is near 5000 Feet in elevation. And as we neared the top of this summit, there was torrential rain. It was to the point that it had washed mud and rocks over the road in 2 seperate places. Mind you this is far from a straight road. Most of this part of the road is 30 and 35 mile per hour and wicked, wicked curves. the higher we got the worse it got... THEN at one point there was marble size hail (thankfully it had already fallen and we weren't in the middle of it coming down!) that was on the road and next to the road and it was 2 inches deep. That was pretty scary driving with it on the road. I would rather have had snow. lol. It's been raining every since. Here at the house everything is all soggy this morning, and wet, including standing water on the road.

Hubby has just told me that we are rained out, the rest of moving is on rain delay. lol. Take a day he said, just to be sure we can get up the road to the property.

Ok, so I'll make some bread instead! Whoot. I used to have a bread maker. I loved it because it was so simple that my 6 year old niece could make bread in it. Toss in the ingredients, and turn it on and wait 3 hours. Tada! Bread. If you used a box mix it was even easier since you only had to measure the water and butter that went in. hehe. Lazy man's bread. but good. We used it as a luxury item since we would stand drooling at the bread machine for 3 hours while it worked and then devour the loaf in about 30 minutes. It didn't make a very big loaf, maybe 8 inches by 6 inches by 6 inches or so. But, when I moved, it went into storage and it's not here with me. Darn it. So, I went to work on making bread from scratch by hand. It's not hard either. I had done it before, just not recently. I used to do it as a teen every once in a while, but it wasn't something I was interested in then. Anyway, so I have been searching for a great bread recipe. I did one from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that was an english muffin recipe that you do as a loaf. It was ok... but was entirely too salty for me. Hubby liked it. Maybe I would have liked it better if I had toasted it. I also did an oatmeal loaf that was pretty good, but it was very crumbly. Crumbly bread sucks, because it's hard to put butter, jam or peanut butter on it. I like a nice dense bread that doesn't fall apart. So I continued my quest and found this recipe. It's from Carla Emery's book called "An Encyclopedia of Country Living, Old Fashioned Recipe Book". This is the original edition of her book, this Encyclopedia is now into the 10th Edition (revision) and continues to be wonderful through the 9th edition, which is the other one I have. Carla passed away while working on the 10th Edition, so I think it was finished by her family or editor or something... Anyway, here is the recipe.

Grossmamma Baum's Basic Yeast Bread
Grossmamma lives in Seattle, Washington. She has used this basic recipe for more years than most of us have lived. "Each time I make bread it is a little bit different. Use the basic, toss in raw peanuts, seasame seed, sunflower seed, dried fruit. Use honey, molasses instead of sugar. Each time you have a new taste and texture. I won a blue ribbon at the Western Washington Fair last year, but if they asked me for the reipe I could only give them the basic recipe and say I put in a little of this and that".

3 loaves
3 cups warm water
2 cakes yeast
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons salt
5 level tablespoons shortening
8 to 10 cups unsifted flour (usually much more)

4 loaves
4 cups warm water
2 cakes yeast
3/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons salt
7 level tablespoons shortening
8 to 10 cups unsifted flour

5 loaves
5 cups warm water
2 cakes yeast
1 cup sugar
5 teaspoons salt
8 level tablespoons shortening
8 to 10 cups unsifted flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water, add sugar, salt and shortening. Add flour until no more can be added. Dough should be elastic. Knead and place in warm place. Raise until double in size. Punch down and knead again - pinch into loaves. Let rise approximately 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Wipe lightly over top of loaves with oil or shortening after removing from pans.

OK, so, here is what I ended up doing. For the shortening I used butter in the first batch and shortening in the second batch. Both were very yummy. And I don't know if it's the altitude or the aridity of the area I live in, but I put between 5 and 6 cups of flour into each batch and it was perfect. There was no way I could have had the dough take in a full 8 to 10 cups of flour much less MORE than that. lol. I made both of these batches with sugar, but I think I'll make the batches today with molasses just to break it up a bit. I did the 3 loaf batch for both of my batches. It was loved by all who ate it. I ended up giving away 3 loaves total, and we ate 3 loaves. I also think I'll do some wheat flour in the mix this time too instead of just straight white flour. I have some gluten so for each cup of wheat flour I'll add 1 tablespoon of wheat gluten (can also use tapioca pudding mix if you have no gluten in the house).

The great thing about this is that it makes a great basic dough. you can make just about anything from this that you like. Pizza crust, cinnamon rolls, hot dog buns, hamburger buns... The possiblities are totally endless. I think that today when I make it I'll do a batch of cinnamon rolls too... hehe... hubby loves cinnamon rolls. Gotta admit that I think it's a grand idea to have some sweets in the house too. hehe.

ok, I am off to start my day. HUGS!