Monday, December 31, 2007

My Bread Machine

Quote for the day: The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water is indescribable in its evocations of innocence and delight. -M. F. K. Fisher
Here is my bread machine. Notice how I don't say my "New Bread Machine" I bought this little beauty this week while I was flea marketing with my sister Marta. The lady was selling it for a friend for $8.00. I talked her down to $5.00. She said she only used it twice. Looks like it to me but its a really old model a welbelt.

We turned it on to see if it would turn on, it did and it started turning the blade. I was happy took it home and cleaned it up. That night I made some wheat bread, it came out ok. I forgot that I should put warm water into the mix not cold to activate the yeast so it didnt rise very much.

Its been so long I forgot how to do breads. Today I went out and bought flour of all kinds. I am so excited. I am still going to get a brand new bread maker because I wouldnt leave this one alone for a long length of time. It does not have a time delay either. There is nothing like waking up to your automatic coffee maker and bread maker in the morning turning on by itself making fresh coffee and fresh bread at exactly the time you want it to be done.

Call us spoiled but its like having a private cook! I tried to order the bread maker at Walmart but they are out of stock darn them. So I have to wait meanwhile I will have fun with this old model even though it groans like its in pain it will still make me tons of bread and I have a old recipe book that came with it. I wouldnt have bought it without it, though I could have looked on line for it, I didnt want to bother.

I think I did a good frugal deal. If you find one make sure it has a recipe/instructions manual or unless you know where to get it at then you can buy it. Make sure you turn it on and see if the blade will move and it will get warm is my advice.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pecan Trees

Our first view and picture of the house when we went to go look at it 4yrs ago notice the 4-sale sign up front we fell in love at first sight.

I have decided to do a blog for my pecan trees since it seems I get a lot of hits for it on my website. I wanted to add a more personal touch.

The best place to get a pecan tree is from a local nursery. Becareful of the where the nursery got it from. If your in Texas you sure dont want a tree from another state because of the climate.
Pecan trees as stated on my website are very brittle and break off easily especially with strong winds. Does it mean you can't plant them if you have high winds "yes" you can. We have trees on our property over 60yrs old and we have winds up to 75'miles and they are still standing.

Here in Texas around Aug, Sept, we start to clean up our orchard for future crop that will fall in Oct/Nov/Dec. With the limbs and branches you can use them for your own use or sale them in the winter for fire wood.
I have a lot of people ask where do we sell them. Well around here we have a few local places that will buy them from you, just look in your phone book. We however have such a small acres of only 60 trees I sell them directly to the consumer. We get a better price this way.
The best thing you can do is open your orchard up to pickers and then sell it by the pound. Kids love to pick pecans, this saves you back breaking work and time. Make sure you have insurance on your place in case of accidents. Places you can contact, word of mouth friends, family, local homeschool groups, schools. I would recommend the HS first only because most of them will have their parents with them while in a school field trip there are only a few parents to watch all the kids.
The next thing you can do is pick and crack them youself. Wel pick them in the morning and before it gets dark each day during pecan season. If I dont then the squirrels and racoons get them that night.
A friend of mine said they didnt make much selling them like she thought so they did the next best thing and bought a pecan peeler machine and harvester and after harvested they bought a candy machine to coat the pecans in different yummy flavors. They then sold them at the county fairs each year. I am not sure they made even after buying all that equipment but I did hear they were doing well.
If your looking for a smaller model then those huge machines I would recommend the one I have the Kinetic electric. Its funny at first I was scared to put a pecan in it thinking it would smash my fingers, but after a while I was so fast at it other people seeing it for the first time think WOW.
is one of the places you can find it, its around $300 or less best look around for one.

Once cracked if any little pieces are left I give them to my chickens they just love them! or you can save the little pieces for pieces to sell too. The pecans shells can be used for compost under the flower bed or we toss them out in the field to help fertilize our fields.
Even old pecans are picked up and discarded for compost. I just love pecans trees and pecans every part of the tree can be of use. Its funny but my neighbor nubian goats across the street would bounce from one side of their field to the other on windy days I thought they were playing till I found out they were chasing our falling leaves when the wind blew to eat them. I thought it was so funny my own goats just love them too. For years I always wondered where the leaves went too each year.
Next year 2008 I am hoping to use the logs as a place for mushroom growing. I am doing research on it right now. So far I havent seen it done with them but I havent seen them say they can't use the pecan logs.
We usually have one good pecan season then another year its not so good so I wouldnt rely on it for a "only" income unless you plan to spray and put chemicals on it but who wants to buy those kind?.
The first year we had to spray, we contacted our local flyboy who does crops and had him spray our trees. We got the lowest dose we could find that wouldnt hurt our bees. Its been three years since then and we havent had much of the webworms like we did that first year.
Thats about it for now I might add things as I see them searching for them on my site.
Sam at the pecan ranch

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Day after Christmas Eve

This is my nephews sisterinlaws Michelle and Stephanie but since they are still so young they call me Aunt Sam ...My daughter is the far right in white they are showing off their bracelets my sister Marta made for them.

This is my favorite picture for christmas my nephews children my great niece and nephew who is also Tom's and I's godson. Of course the boy to the right is my son Tommy.

Quote for the day: "Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." -Sir Winston Churchill

Ok so its official the day after Christmas Eve is finally over. Christmas day is our favorite time of the year where we just kick back and eat left overs and just veg! I took a long nap, I even dreamed of my mother. I cried myself awake because I knew I was dreaming but it was so good to see her even if it was a dream.

We watched pirates of the carribean which was sooo long. I watched a movie this afternoon with my sister Marta. Tomorrow will probably be the same for us after doing chores we are just going to Veg again. Tom is off for a week yah!

Not much to report but we have a new baby lamb I will try to take a picture of it tomorrow. Its pure black. I had a chicken got killed last night. The sheep rubbed their big rears on my coop door and opened it and the predator got in. Thank goodness it was an old hen but I have lost so many already :(

I felt like updating my website today didnt feel like writing, I should though so I can send in my article. I have the writers research block.

Well thats about it for now


Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Coke Cola Brownies

Quote for the day: "Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso."(Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick) -Proverb Anon
Yah thats my moms Coka Cola brownies yum. Yes you make it with good old coke/Soda. No I can't give anyone the recipe sorry sisters would beat me with a stick hahaha I have seen some versions of it on the web but nothing like my moms recipe.
I still remember fond memorys of my mom making for me for our football games. When I was a Junior in highschool we had to make something to contribute to the food stand. My mom would make these, they would sale it at the start for like 50cents but then they found out it was so good they would raise the price to a dollar! haha now that was a lot in the 80's
I have been enjoying my time making my moms recipes this year. I also made her sugar coated pecans. I am running out now so only have enough for baking and I am saving a bag or two for later on in the year when I may need them.
Not much more going on I am in washing dishes hell right now :( you know how it goes the never ending dishes they wont stop coming. Even with a new dishwasher there are sooo many pans especially when you bake, plus my husband does juicing every morning and I have to clean that darn juicer still sigh...oh well at least I got to come on here for a bit to check my emails and such.
Not sure if I am going to Sabinal in morning or not I suppose to make cookies still but its already 12am and I am sooo tired.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Toasty Warm

Quote for the day: Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras
Well the last few night's it got really cold out here, and BoBo our dog hates to be locked up in shed with the heat lamp. He wants to be on our front porch even if it means to freeze his little buns off.
Sooooo for his early Christmas present I bought him a soft bed and my dad put the heating lamp on our porch and he has been happy as lark since then. He has destroyed his last 3 beds he had but that was when he was a puppy. I caught him yesterday trying to drag it out and scolded him he drooped his head and hasnt touched it anymore other then lay in it like tonight.
We dont keep him in the house because he is an outdoor dog. He guards us that is his duty on the farm to guard at night then the rest of the day he sleeps :) He is a good dog our BoBo. He is a black mouth Cur if you dont know what that is its "Old Yeller" from the movie that breed.
No Old Yeller was not a golden lab he was a black mouth Cur
Well today was a busy day as usual. We were late for everything but seemed to schedule it all in and it didnt bother us. We went to the gym where Tommy played, I worked out and Miranda did her Tai Chi. Afterwards we dropped off tamales to my friend Christine and her mom who met us at the gym, then we went to Tommys speech appt.
We ate lunch late but that was ok because the lunch crowd was gone then we went to dollar tree where I got a few stuff for Christmas then we went to Walmart and spent at least an hour there :) we just love our Walmart. I let a woman who seemed in a hurry get in front of us in line, she looked so stressed and I was in such a good mood. She thanked me three times haha.
Got home just in time for chores and dinner. Dad is by himself tonight my sister spent the night at another sisters house. He is getting used to being by himself I think a little. Today was a good day for him he picked and peeled pecans. Tomorrow we will be home with him and the Thursday go to Sabinal to visit some aunts I think. It will be good to visit.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree

Quote for the day: Walk tall as the trees, live strong as the mountains, be gentle as the spring winds, keep the warmth of the summer sun in your heart, and the great spirit will always be with you.
Yes we finally got our Christmas tree up. I told my hubby to get a small one, well.....that didn't happen as you can see haha. Its sort of leaning as you can see but the kids and Tom were mighty proud of it. Its a douglas fir and it has tiny pine cones on it. Later the tree will become lovely compost.
Yes it is real. We would never get a fake tree yuk, phoey, yes my allergies are killing me but hey it smells good :)
It was fun to look at our ornament's that we have picked up from year after year. My daughter pretty much takes over decorating the tree. Tommy helps of course, I have to remind my daughter to leave an ornament alone if Tommy puts it in a place she dosent like. My son has a tendency to put the ornaments in a row like little soliders haha. Miranda can't stand it. So I know it bugs her and I tell her change it later when he is not looking just don't scold him for it encourage him instead.
I told her when she gets older she better not being scolding her kids, "NOT there!" I told her if it bugs her so much wait till they are not looking then move it. I told her if she kept nagging Tommy he will hate to decorate the tree.
Its been a long day I didnt get to vacumm, crack my pecans or make the coke cola brownies but I did clean both roasters from the tamales, put the tamales in the freezer, cleaned up the living room, washed and dryed 4 loads of clothes, took a walk, looked and found train set, cleaned the bucket that held the corn husks, made lunch, dinner for family and cleaned up the kitchen and now I am drinking tea writing this...not bad....I think :)
Tomorrow we go to town to take Tommy to his speech class, go to gym, lunch and Walmart of course to get a few things we need.
thats all folks

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tamale time

So it was Tamale time this year once again we ended up making around 42 doz , this was not a lot compared from previous years of around 80 doz plus. My niece and her boyfriend came on down to help along with my sisterinlaw and my friend Christine and her mother.

It was a bit scary making the tamales this year without my mother, but I am sure she would have been proud of us they came out pretty good and I am sure her guidance was with us all day long.

I have advanced from my masa spreading days, I was now in charge of getting the corn stalks and cleaning them this year and also putting in the meat. My niece also advanced from spreading the masa to the meat. Its a funny thing about us being advanced to another station in the tamale chain gang hehe

I am really tired today so this will be brief it’s been a long day and I am taking a break on cleaning to type this blog. We are almost done with all our activity’s for the month. I would like to go to my home town to deliver some tamales next week but it will be depend on how I am feeling. I would like to visit some of my older aunts who get really lonely during this time. Tomorrow Tom and the kids will go out and pick a Christmas tree it’s there thing they do together.

I am hoping my sister watch the kids next Saturday so I can go to the movies with Tom and do a little last min Christmas shopping. Of course my daughter can watch Tommy and we can do this in the morning but its nice to know if my sister is home along with my dad incase my kids need anything.

That’s about it for tonight. I sure miss my mom today.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

First day of my new Blog

Quote for the day: There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. -Erma Bombeck

Merry Christmas everyone. I am really excited about getting this started, I used to be on diaryland and while that was nice it didnt have these wonderful features that blogger has in its blogger.

I used to be on homeschool blogger too but I just didnt have homeschool stuff all the time to write about and I didnt feel I could write about other stuff on it. I know I could have but I felt guilty about it.

On here I will write about Homeschool stuff, Frugal stuff, and Farm and family life. I was happy to be able to call it Frugalcountrymom after my own website. I am trying to get it all combined but it will take me time.

This is the quiet time of our farm right now. Chicks are all young chickens now and are starting to lay tiny eggs. Hopefully soon they will be laying in the spring more eggs. My customers are eager for that especially since they have really stopped laying.

The last of the pecans are falling from the trees not much of a crop this year but enough to make the cookies. Sheep are ok all pregnant and ready to pop at our first cold front with rain, of course they have to wait for the ugliest day to deliver babys hahaha.

We have gone to one Christmas party, One Christmas Ball with my husbands company, "Chicago" the band was there those boys can sure ROCK! even for their age they played for over an hour and half WOW. We have did a Christmas cookie bake with our COOP and donated the cookies we made to the diasabled veterans hospital and their familys. They had just made a new facility here in San Antonio recently. Its to accomadate their familys too. I have noticed a increase of more soldiers here in SA from the war. I read an article once they are retiring here because of the facility being close and the cost of living being really good for them along with the climate.

They even have a program here that if they find a house they will come in for free and make it so that its suitable for wheel chair and bars and such. Great program. They told one solider find the house you want and dont worry about it we will fix it for you.

This weekend is our annual tamale time making. My husband will be doing it all himself for the first time. My mother was always in charge before. She had trained my husband for years to take over and now he is, he even admits he is nervous but really wants to do this in her honor.

I am going to really miss my mom during this time and especially my sisters who are not helping this year because of the memorys, they said maybe next year. I dont push it but I am really going to miss them this year. We have a lot of friends coming over to make it with us. Someday I hope to have our commerical kitchen to do it in sigh...

My car is back in the shop again, luckily we get our Christmas bonus to help pay off the labor charge on it. I love my mini van but boy it sure is a lemon. This year again we did a Christmas budget we didnt put nothing on the credit card. We still have $7000 left to pay off our tractor then we will be debt free. Its been difficult because my dishwasher was down for over a year and I asked for that for Christmas plus my Dryer went down so I asked for that too.

Things happen but at least we were able to pay cash for all that such a blessing. Our roof was recently fixed too, now we just got to fix the inside bathroom roof. The insurance thank goodness paid for that. Well thats about it for now on update on our family. Check back soon I will update some more as I get this blogger to my standards hehe.

Thanks for the read