Saturday, May 18, 2013

Country Living - An Old Favorite

An Encyclopedia of Country Living 
by Carla Emery
copyright 1974

Can you tell from these pictures that this is a true old favorite?
I ordered this book when we lived in the outskirts of Houston, Texas (30 years ago) and were dreaming of a country life in the north.

We have used this book MANY times over the years.  We referred to the planting times regarding last frost, how deep to set the seed.    It is full of how to's, recipes, dreams, and life.
She has a newer copyright but to be honest it lost some of the 'personal touch' .  It is still full of all the information but the stories of her life, children, family, farm weren't there - it was too sanitized.  I love this copyright.  It is full of their dreams and as we too were dreaming of our 'country life' it sung a sirens song to my heart.  
We moved 30 years ago to the north west and we have loved it!
We live in a very rural area.  
When we first moved here I had to call  the post office for my address.  There weren't any road signs.  I explained where we lived (5 miles north, 2 west, 1/2 mile north and who our neighbors were...  
Oh she said you're RR1.  I guess since I had called they now had our name and could put that in their file for rural rout #1.   It worked the mail came.
We didn't have two nickles to rub together and the house was just small. And I mean small 2, bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, kitchen.  It did have an enclosed porch that housed our washer and dryer and the shelves for garden produce.
I had my grandmothers jars and her old water bath canner.  My pressure canner was purchased for $20.00 at a yard sale.  I took it to the extension office to have it checked and it was great so the canning began.
We grew a garden, canned everything we grew.  When people from church were finished picking-canning all they wanted from their gardens they would call and ask if I wanted to come and pick any additional crops.  Yep I did.  The boys and I would drive DH to work so I could have the van and we would head to the garden waiting to be cleaned up.
 One year we canned 300 quarts of green beans along with all the other bounty of the year.  I didn't have to can green beans again for two years.  
We had a little chest freezer that we had purchased second hand for $50.00. 
DH did extra jobs after his normal day job.  He built a porch in exchange for 1/2 a hog, went hunting and the freezer filled with meat.

Our big night was Saturday night when All Creatures Great and Small would come on PBS.  It was one of our 3 channels on TV.  We would pop popcorn and have some home canned grape juice over ice.  It was something we looked forward to all week.
It was a simple life - we didn't have much at all monetarily.  It truth we were very poor by normal standards but we were so rich in love.  We were rich in work and time spent together as a family.  We were rich in dreams.  That's more important than money any day.
I wish you richness in life.
May you be rich with the love of family and friends.
May you be rich with shared labors,
and rich with dreams.
a little bird

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring, spring glorious spring

Spring has sprung and so has the process of 'putting by'.  Our first honey harvest of the year was this week.  The fellows went down on Monday after work and then Tuesday evening we uncapped and extracted.  Wednesday night was filtering honey and wax, and tonight we got it all in jars...

The rhubarb is beautiful and so it is time to start harvesting.
 Our nephew loves rhubarb sauce so it must be put up for him.  I like to freeze it too for cakes, crisp, or pie.
How to can rhubarb HERE.
For freezing clean, drain, chop and pack dry into freezer containers or freezer bags.  That's all super easy and wonderfully tart addition to to many baked goods.

Happy day!
a little bird

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Doesn't this look wonderful!!  My DH asked me today what I would like for Mother's Day....  I wonder what he would say to a samovar.  I would want the classic style that you could burn coal or pine cones in.

What a GREAT way to have hot water when camping.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Busyness

It seems that spring has something going on every weekend.  So during the week after work we try and get the normal day-to-day chores done.  So the camper is cleaned and ready to have food loaded (Friday).  The laundry is done, folded, and put away (Monday).  The carpets still need to be vacuumed (hopefully Tuesday)...  But the busyness is welcome.  The sun is bright and shinning.  The air is warmed and pleasant.  The summer birds are back and singing their melodies to lighten the heart.

So I wish you a lovely and blessed spring.
a little bird

Vicks VapoRub Uses

  • I'm not sure if all of these are true but some make sense.

    Twelve Surprising Uses for Vicks VapoRub
    1. Decongest Your Chest
    ... The most common use of Vicks is to decongest your chest and throat area. When applied to the upper chest, it provides excellent relief of cough and congestion symptoms.

    2. On Your Tootsies
    Applying Vicks to your feet provides nighttime cough relief. Generously rub VapoRub all over your feet and cover them with socks. Your cough will subside.

    3. Achy Breaky Muscles
    Vicks relieves sore, overworked muscles. It increases circulation and provides almost instant aid. Use a generous portion and apply it over the aching area.

    4. Get Rid of Nasty Nail Fungus
    Rub VapoRub on your toenails if you suspect you have a fungus. Within days, the nail will turn dark—this means the Vicks is killing the fungus. As your toenail grows out, the dark part will grow off and you will have fungus-free feet. Keep applying the ointment over a period of two weeks to fully cleanse nail beds of any remaining bacteria.

    5. Stop Your Cat from Scratching
    To prevent Miss Kitty from ruining your doors, walls, and windows, apply a small amount of VapoRub to these areas. Cats detest the smell and will steer clear. Vicks can also be applied to your arms and legs if your kitty is prone to scratching you.

    6. Pet Pee-Pee Deterrent
    If your dog or cat is not yet potty trained, put an open bottle of Vicks on the area he or she likes to mark as their territory. The smell will discourage them from lifting their legs and wetting your rug.

    7. Headaches Be Gone
    Rub a small amount of Vicks VapoRub on your temples and forehead to help relieve headaches. The mentholated scent will release pressure in your head and instantly relieve pain.

    8. Humidify Your Sleep
    Vicks VapoRub can be used in special types of humidifiers and vaporizers. Ensure your humidifier has an aromatherapy compartment before using. The humidifier will circulate Vicks throughout the air and keep you breathing easy all night long.

    9. Paper Cuts and Splinters
    To prevent infection and speed up healing time, dab a small amount of Vicks on any small cut or splinter.

    10. Ticks and Bugs
    If you get bitten by a tick, apply Vicks immediately. The strong odor might help get the critter to release itself and stop bugging you.

    11. Reek-free Racehorses
    Professional racers smother VapoRub under the nostrils of racehorses on race day. The strong stench deters the stallions from the alluring odor of the female pony and keeps them focused on the race.

    12. Go Away Mosquitoes
    Apply small dabs of Vicks VapoRub to your skin and clothes and mosquitoes will steer clear. If you do get bitten, apply Vicks to the area and cover it with a Band-Aid to relieve itching.


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