Thursday, November 9, 2017

Downsizing

I haven't written anything lately.  We have been visiting our granddaughter and making some life decisions.  Our 57 acre farm is getting to be too much for us to maintain. It is time for us to downsize.

Lee still wants about 5 acres.  He has gotten used to not seeing any neighbors.  He also wants to be able yo build another shop so he can continue to work on vehicles.  And he wants to build this one to hold his cab-over diesel truck.

We thought about moving to California.  Our granddaughter is a powerful lure.  But it is so crowded and expensive and BROWN.  We have really come to love the green and seasons of Virginia.

We don't have to make any plans, yet.  Our realtor has told us it may take as much as two years to sell our house.  We just need to find the right buyer. This house really calls for a family with children.  The woods and the stream would be such a great play space.  The six stall barn and two pastures would be great for horses, alpacas or any other large animal that a family would have.

The shop would be perfect for a car lover.  It has a lift for repairs and room for three cars, in addition to the 2 1/2 car garage attached to the house.

It is hard to leave this place that we spent so much time building, but we are ready for the next chapter of our lives.

Our realtor is Dayna Patrick at Remax in Daleville.  She sent two photographers to take pictures inside and out.  The drone photographer came three times to get the right light.  There is even a virtual reality tour that is amazing.  The pictures are so fabulous we are worried we will have second thoughts about leaving such a beautiful home.  We will never live in a more beautiful home and in a more beautiful place.

Please check out the pictures and let me know what you think.




Saturday, August 12, 2017

Etsy Site


I am in the process of setting up an Etsy site to sell some of my baskets.  Slow internet and slow brain are making this an arduous process.  I even downloaded new photo editing software, but I need a child to teach me how to use it.

As of this time, I have three baskets listed.  I'll try to upload another one today or tomorrow. I also need to make more as I have a craft show coming up in October and I need to have a lot of stock for that.  I have sent 10 baskets to a friend in California and she will try to sell some at the craft fairs where she sells other items.

I have named the site SgfCreations.  I would have like to make it two words, but that is not allowed on Etsy.  Would you like to see my Etsy site?  I would love some input.  Go check it out and let me know what you think.  I need more photos on the site and will be working on that in the coming days.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blueberry Peach Dump Cake

I will admit to scrolling through Facebook.  The best thing about it, in my opinion, is the many different recipes.  I get bored with eating or making the same thing over and over.  This recipe I found on Tip Hero and, with some modifications, we had some last night. Obviously this makes enough for a family, so we will be enjoying it for some time to come.

A dump cake is one in which you assemble the cake in layers and don't spend time mixing.  After you get the ingredients together you dump them in and bake.  Easy, right?

Blueberry Peach Dump Cake

3/4 cup butter, plus more for the baking dish
flour, also for the baking dish
1 pound peeled and sliced peaches
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pint blueberries
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 box yellow cake mix OR use the following:
     1 1/4 cups flour
     3/4 cup sugar
     2 teaspoons baking powder
     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

   

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Butter a 9X13 baking dish.  Sprinkle it with about 1 Tablespoon of flour and shake it to distribute it evenly.  This will prevent the cobbler from sticking.  Set aside.

   

Place the peach slices in the dish and drizzle them with the lemon juice.  Add the blueberries.  Add the vanilla to the juice and pour over the fruit..  Sprinkle the sugar over the top.  

   

If you are making your own cake mix, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk to mix and dump over the fruit. If you are using a cake mix, then dump it over the fruit.  

   

Gently use a fork to spread out the flour mixture and then gently shake the dish to settle the cake mix among the fruit.  Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon.  Slice the butter into small pats and place on top.  Sprinkle the chopped nuts over everything and slide this into the oven.

   

Easy, right?

   

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.  The cake should be a golden brown and spring back when touched. I baked mine for 50 minutes.

   

Serve warm.  Even better, serve warm with ice cream!  

   

The buttery topping was crisp and delicious. the fruit was flavorful and the creaminess of the ice cream added a level of pleasure to this dessert.  Actually, for us, this was dinner.  We can no longer eat a full meal and then enjoy a dessert without feeling too full.  So we decided to do what they say and enjoy dessert first.  Or, in our case, only.

   

Friday, July 28, 2017

We Don't Own Cows

Sometimes after a big storm we find that a few cows have wondered up to our driveway.  Or up by the house.  We don't own cows.

This usually means a tree has fallen on the fence line up in the woods.  This allows the cows from the neighbor over the hill to wander from their property, through the woods to our grassy, green pastures. You know, the ones that look greener than their pastures.

  

Cows seem sort of like cats in this regard.  What's over there that might be more interesting than over here?

When our dog, RJ,  sees these cows he runs at them barking, hoping to chase them off.  He does this to the deer frequenting our property and they turn around and dash into the woods, with their white tails flapping behind them.  This is very satisfying.

Beef cows don't run from RJ.  He doesn't scare them in the least.  After all, they outweigh him by more than 1000 pounds. That's half a ton.  When he runs barking at them, they stare him down.   RJ stops stops barking and trots back to us. He doesn't act cowed by them, pun intentional.  He acts as though he has done his job and we can go about our business.

  

After a few of these visits, we got the name of the man behind us and now we call him to come and get them.  He doesn't try to chase them home, either.  He shakes a grain bucket and lures them home.

  

By this time the cows have had a grand adventure.  They got to sample some greener grass, they got to intimidate a dog and they got a mid day treat.  No wonder they love to visit us!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Should I Be Worried?

I heard RJ barking.  This is not unusual.  He barks at deer and other wildlife.  He barks at the various delivery trucks.  The drivers carry dog treats, so his barking is to remind us to let him out for a biscuit.

  

I looked for RJ and found him in the front yard.  He was looking up at the roof and barking away.  I went outside to see what was bothering him so much.

  

This is what I found.  Yes.  A buzzard.  He was just sitting on the roof, biding his time.

  

I guess I'll be dead soon.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Truck Bed

Semi trucks drive back and forth across the country every day. Most of them have a sleeper cab behind the driver's seat so that the trucker can pull over and sleep when needed.  Some are fancy with a TV and a refrigerator and some are quite simple.

The bed in the cab-over semi Lee recently bought is one of the simple ones.  Most likely this is because the whole cab lifts up to access the engine underneath and anything not locked down will fall forward.

Lee has been working on the truck, but I am no mechanic so I can't help with that.  I decided to help him refurbish the sleeping area.

  

First off, the mattress is disgusting.  There are unknown stains on it.  I'm hoping they are spilled Cokes.

  

But it has to go.

  

Every job on the interior of this truck starts with tossing the supplies up and then climbing inside.  Don't forget anything, because climbing in and out is a pain.

  

The platform the mattress sits on also needed help.  I cleaned it and gave it a fresh coat of paint.  I had to tie the seat belts up and off the platform.

  

I guess they are there so one guy can drive and another can sleep, but still have seat belts on so they don't fly through the windshield in an accident.  On the other hand, it could just be to secure the mattress when they lift the cab.  Who cares about the driver!

  

I had to buy a new, kind of pricey, non-standard size, mattress to replace the old mattress.  Because, ewww.  Then I had to buy similarly pricey sheets.  Good thing Lee had a birthday recently.  The refurbished sleeping area is my gift to him.

  

I'm storing the mattress in a guest room for the moment.  I worry about mice setting up housekeeping in it when we aren't really using the truck.  I bought sheets and a spread to use when Lee takes the truck to a cruise in or truck show.  I won't be sleeping in there.  The A/C  in the truck isn't currently working.  But it will look nice all tricked out.

My job is done.  What is taking Lee so long?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bruschetta

  

I have really enjoyed the bruschetta at a local restaurant called Tizzone's.  Recently I decided to make my own.  In addition to the usual ingredients, tomatoes, onions, ( I use the sweet Vidalia onions) green onions, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, I bought an avocado.

I found a nice baguette in the bakery section.  What I did not find in the produce section was basil.  I need to plant some, because our Kroger store is frequently out.  I bought some cilantro instead.  So my treat will be a combination of pico de gallo and bruschetta!

  

I chopped all the produce and mixed everything together with some salt and pepper.  I left it to meld the flavors and cut the baguette into diagonal slices.  These I toasted in the toaster oven and placed on a plate.

  

There is a trend now to make avocado toast.  I thought that would make a great addition to the meal.  I placed a wedge of avocado on each piece of toast and smashed it down with a fork.

  

Then I added the tomato mixture.

  

I cut up an orange and we had dinner ready for our al fresco dining on the screened porch in the back of our house.

  

This meal was a hit for both of us.  What I did not anticipate was that the avocado really enhanced the bruschetta.

  

It kept the vinegar and olive oil from making the toast soggy.  It also kept the tomatoes and onions from biting back on our rapidly aging stomachs!

  

It was a perfect summer meal.