Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No Resolutions; Continuing Growth

There's a lot of talk this time of year about resolutions. I am not one that usually makes resolutions. This year has been nothing but change for us here at 3Beeze. Lifestyle changes. Those are the kinds of things I think of when it's time for resolutions. My strength of faith, my courage and core have been put to the test over the last year and a half. I learned a lot about myself and about living life.  So rather then one or two things I could put my finger on to resolve to change, its more a whole package thing for me. Growing my faith, standing firm on the strength that I have, not only on the surface but the deep down inner strength that stands firm at my core,  pushing aside doubt and allowing my courage to remain solidly on the surface. Not trying to make a difference in the lives of others but living my life in such a way that it makes a difference in others lives. Seeing things as they are, not how I think they should be. Noticing the small details in the life around me and not being so busy that all I see is the big picture. Life has so many things to share with us. To keep moving forward and being thankful for my blessings, even the ones that don't seem so much like blessings at the time.  


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Keeping Traditions

     Keeping traditions. I find myself doing this a lot. Most of the things that make good sense around here come from the knowledge and activities from the past. One of these traditions I find myself doing often is sewing. I come from a family of seamstress'. Both my Aunts on my Mom's side are accomplished seamstress'. As well as my Mom. My Mom is always up to making something. She makes a lot of her own clothes as well as clogging outfits for her clogging team. She is constantly sewing. When she isn't sewing clothes she is making something creative. Usually for my niece, like costumes or doll clothes. When my Sister and I were small I remember my Mom sewing for our Christmas gifts. She made us pj's, new dresses for Christmas eve church service, dolls, doll clothes, quilts. She was always sewing something then and has continued to do so through the years. She even took on making my wedding gown. No easy task, I assure you. A treasure in it's own right. In keeping traditions I found myself doing what I know my Mom did so many years ago when I was little, spending hours with her sewing machine, except now it's me. Sewing up some love and giving it as gift treasures. Oh and by the way, I am sure that my Mom is still spending hours  with her sewing machine. That I think will never change. 
The quilt I am making for my son for Christmas. Born from a comment he made while we were talking about how we were going to have a light Christmas this year in gifts and instead enjoy being with each other. He told me that all he wanted from me for Christmas was a box with my love wrapped up inside. The quilt was the best way I could think of to give him my love in a box.

Here the quilt is almost finished. Hand finishing the binding to the back is all that is left to do and it will be complete.

A pillowcase for my niece. A tradition that began when she was a little one. She loves the cases. I make a few for her each Christmas and on her Birthday. 

She has quite the collection now. I always have fun making them and I know she really diggs using them . Never too many cases right? ;)

Matching pj's for my niece and her extra special stuffed rabbit. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Never Ending To Do's

Outside preparations. On going it seems. Or never ending is a better way to put it. It seems that I have been trying to wrap things up outside since September. Every time I think I am close to the end - the end seems to move farther away. I have been trying my hardest to get things complete before the bad weather sets in. I did manage to get some of these things done in some really beautiful weather. One of those things was the cleaning out and resealing of the gutters and their joints. No pictures of this, cause well, gutters are not that interesting and who wants to see dirty gutters. I know I didn't.
Stain. It could be a spot of something mysterious from who knows where on your favorite shirt of pair of jeans but in this instance it's wood stain. You can see in this picture how dry the wood is for the fence of the coop. The front and one top plank on the side of the fence have been stained. The bottom two planks along the side have not yet had the stain applied. The difference was amazing. 

Once again stain. We treat the coop with stain about this time every year. Whether it needs it or not. Clearly, as you can see by the picture it is in desperate need of a good staining. The right side around the window has newly applied stain. The rest hasn't yet been done. 

What a difference stain can make. The coop has a new coat of stain all the way around. Protected against the elements for another year. The clucks may not notice or care but I do. Now when I look out my kitchen window I smile at what a beautiful coop the Lady Clucks have. 

I moved all of the plants in from the patio to the mud room. They are quite happy there and have gifted me with some new blooms. 
Last week was a busy week for us here. All of that busyness tumbled right over into the weekend. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You

The words thank you do not convey the depth of our gratitude for those who have given so much of themselves for this country we call home. We have many family members and friends who have served and are currently serving in our great nations military. We here at 3Beeze Homestead hold great pride and are humbly honored to call these people friends, fathers, uncles, aunt, cousin, grand fathers and great grandmother.                                                                                                         

Weekend Recap

    We have had one busy end to October and start of November. I can not believe that we are nearing the end of this year. With birthdays and holidays around the corner we have a busy next few months ahead as well. Note to self-don't forget to stop and smell the coffee.  We had lots of to do's this weekend and only managed to check a few off of our list. (We didn't have a list. But you know what I mean.) 
I love Geraniums. I remember my mom always having them when I was a kid. Hers were pink. So each summer I go out and get my Geraniums. Red ones. Love the red. Each year when we get the freezing temps I lose them. The leaves get all sucked up looking and brown. This year I intend to keep these little pretties alive in our mudroom/laundry room. No sense in wasting these happy, colorful bits of summer. You all know how much I love summer. 

So I trimmed all of the brown sucked up leaves off. To find that these plants still had some life left and not all was lost in the recent below freezing temps. Very happy about this. I had to replant them in some smaller pots in order to move them indoors. They seem quite happy in their new digs. Now all I have to do is not forget to water them.

We had some raking to do this weekend as well. We still have lots more to do. I managed to get the area around the coop and run raked out. The roof to the run raked off and the run raked and cleaned out. Now that the walnut tree has lost all of its leaves and the dang walnuts, it was safe to get in and get things all cleaned up with out the worry of being assaulted by walnuts falling from the tree. They hurt when they hit you. 

As you can see in this picture and the one above our ugly girl is finally getting some feathers back. She has been in a molt since February. I am happy to see signs of her getting her feathers back. Our other hens have been molting here and there but not with quite as much gusto as this Australorp. Our egg production has dropped off considerably the last months of summer and this past week we have been two days with not a single egg. We got one egg on Saturday and nothing again yesterday. These clucks better get laying. I need eggs!!!

In all of the activity this weekend, raking leaves, moving trailers, cleaning gutters and the clucks coop and run we managed to enjoy the outside and had some nice weather. While we were outside we let the clucks out to forage in the yard and piles of leaves. They can really do a number on a nice pile of leaves. Our Easter Egger rooster Little Bit was working hard at his rooster duties. We have a resident mama hawk who resides in the trees by the creek and guess what? She decided it was time to do some hunting. I heard her and kept an ear open to where her squawks were coming from. Most of her noise was coming from a distance but one was directly over head. I looked up and sure enough there she was. Looking to mark her target. I looked into the yard and saw that Little Bit had all of his ladies gathered underneath the big pine tree. He had heard her too. What a good boy.

I told the guys and we hurried to get the ladies into the safety of their covered run. Little Bit was quite happy with that and remained in the yard with us guarding his precious ladies. The lady clucks were quite happy to be in their run. Preening themselves in the sun after foraging in the yard. 
Not everything that we had intended to do this weekend got done but we did do some of it, as well as some things that we hadn't intended on doing. Most importantly we enjoyed each others company.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Fall is here. Lots and lots of colorful leaves. They wont stay for long. Gotta enjoy these beautiful leaves while we can.
Poplar trees.


Oak canopy.

Quaking Aspen.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weekend In A Nutshell

For a weekend with nothing planned we sure found a lot stuff to do. Most of it did need tending to. For starters my Husband and son winterized the boat and covered it and then drained all of the water out of the camp trailer. Those were things that were important to get accomplished. Husband mowed the lawn and we even did a bit of chicken watching and chatting with the neighbors over the fence. We even aquired some railroad ties from them that they were getting rid of. Not too shabby I think.
This is one of several loads of black walnuts we raked up and got rid of. I hate the way those things smell. Kind of a spicey pungent smell that got stuck in my nose. We are not fished yet with their removal as there are still more attached to the tree that will continue to fall over the next week or so. Oh and by the way, they hurt when they fall out of the tree and land on your head.

We took a few breaks to watch the clucks in the yard doing their scratching and hunting in the fresh cut grass. 

This is the old rabbit hutch we are borrowing from the neighbors to put the rooster in. After much conversation over the fence with the neighbors, the Husband and myself, we thought the lady clucks could use a break from the roosters,, eh em, shall we say "attentions". He won't leave the gals alone. He is really feeling his oats. Talk about above and beyond the call of duty. Hoping the break will help increase our egg production and give the poor gals a rest. 

Little Bit, the rooster enjoying the yard and his ladies.

Little Bit isn't so little is he?  He wasn't really named cause he was little. It came from the comment we kept saying when we first brought the peeps home. You see he wasn't doing so good. Husband kept saying he just needs a little bit of time. We gave him electrolytes and kept a close eye on him. All he needed was just a little bit of time and some electrolytes and he was as good if not better then new. He grew into a big strong handsome roo.
So there you have it. Our weekend in a nutshell. With a little background on the rooster thrown in.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Grandma's Ham and Bean Soup

This has got to be the best soup. It is basic in its ingredients and prep and leaves you feeling full and is a great comfort soup. I remember this soup as a staple in our home as a child. It smelled so good when my Mom would make it and it always hit the spot. This is a recipe from my Grandmother. I am sure when she had this cooking on the stove it had the same effect on her household as it did my Mom's and now mine. 

My Grandmother's Ham and Bean Soup Recipe:

Pinto beans, northern white beans and kidney beans.
*Your choice on quantity.
Ham hock
14oz can of diced tomatoes
Seasonings to include: salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic and onion.

You can chose to soak the beans over night or do the quick soak method. I do the quick soak. I let my beans soak in a pot of water for an hour and then drain and rinse. Fill the pot back up with fresh water and place the beans back into the pot. I then boil the beans for a 1/2 hour and then add the ham hock and continue to boil for another 1/2 hour. At this point I pour the whole pot into my crockpot and turn on high. Season with salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic and onion. (Sometimes I do fresh onion and garlic chopped and then sauteed in olive oil and add the sauteed onion and garlic to the crockpot.) Keep in mind here that your seasoning amounts will depend on how big a batch of soup you are making.

Add 1) 14oz can of diced tomatoes with juice. This is good for 2 to 4 cups of beans. Again if you chose to do a larger batch then 2 to 4 cups of beans you might want to add another 14oz can of diced tomatoes.

You will also want to add a bit of water to the bean mixture if the mixture seems too thick. 

Cook time in crockpot is approx. 3 to 4 hours.

Beans and ham hock waiting to become soup.
That's it. Check your settings on your crockpot. I set mine on high and walk away.  

Bean Soup and Broccoli salad. Yum.

I have to tell you, the house smelled scrumptious when I walked in from being at work this afternoon. Soup was done and I threw together a tossed green salad and dinner was served. Thanks to my  Grandmother for a tried and true, timeless recipe once again. This is a tradition that we will continue here at our little homestead.                                                                                                                                                          Enjoy!!
Bat our cat was my supervisor today while I made soup.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering The Day

 I typically leave today as it is. 9-11. It, for me is a day to quietly reflect on and remember. But today in 2013 I feel the need to get my thoughts down on "paper". Being a child during the end of the Vietnam Conflict, as it was so carefully referred to then. I remember the sites of soldiers, tanks and fighting on the evening news. I remember mostly how ravaged and torn our soldiers looked and there was always a palpable heavy-ness in the air. I was pretty little then but still hold memories.                                                            Start 9-11-2001. Any normal day. I was preparing to head off to work. Having my cup of tea-as I was 7 months pregnant with our now almost 12 year old son, and couldn't drink coffee, living in our little mountain cabin waiting for a morning call from my Husband who was at his new job in another town that we were preparing to move to. Our little cabin had been on the market for just 4 days. My eagerly awaited phone call came in .... first words from my Husbands mouth were "Did you hear about the plane that hit the Twin Towers?" I had to assimilate what he said. "What are you talking about?" I questioned, not believing what he had said. He told me to turn on the news. I did. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing. I sat down with my Husband still on the line and watched in stunned silence......and then dumbfounded and not believing what I was seeing, blinking and realizing that I was in fact seeing yet another plane headed for the other Tower. I blurted into the phone - "There's another plane!!" It was my husbands turn to not believe his ears. In seeing the second plane, it was obvious this was no accident. That was really all we said. We hung up with each other. Not long afterwords my Sister called, stunned, scared, holding onto amazed disbelief at the events of the morning. How could this be happening?? Was the resounding question that remained answer-less. What do we do now? Was the next question that hung in the air. Watch and wait seemed to be the answer. We were so stunned at the events that I don't remember either of us saying much but knowing each other was on the other end of the line helped and maybe gave us some of the solid ground we were seeking. I did end up making 2 more calls before leaving for work that day. One to my Mother-in-law, who had no idea of the recent events of the morning. The other to my Mom. Did Daddy have to go? Because we knew there would be a call out for all Military personnel. My Dad had retired from his service in the Air Force just a few short weeks before this horrific chain of events. The answer was, that there had been no immediate call but that they didn't know for sure what was going to happen. So we watched and waited. The TV remained on 24-7 at home and at work. The days were surreal and dream-like. The day to day activities seemed unreal and mechanical and all of us hung onto any and every bit information we could gain from the news and otherwise. My Sister and I as well as my Mom waited anxiously for any news that the retirement papers for my Dad would be retracted-they weren't but we didn't have an answer in concrete for quite some time. I left my position in our little mountain town and went to live in our new town with my Husband about a month later. Our cabin still hadn't sold as the bottom to the real estate market and every other market had fallen
out. The anticipation and wonderment of the new life growing in my belly held my attentions constantly. I was excited and eager to meet my son but scared to bring him into a world that before 9-11 seemed almost predictable but now after that fateful day I could hold no promises for this little boy. As time does -it marched on and we were soon welcoming our son into this world. A most wonderful day. All of this in the midst of talk of military action in the middle east. Now my son can't get enough of the special documentary's that revolve around 9-11 and its events. That was my 9-11 day. (And a little after)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cream Cheese Berry Bar

For the crust:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar...
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup soft butter

For the filling:
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
2 cups washed and dried blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper. Mix together all the crust ingredients until crumbly and press firmly into the bottom of the pan. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, 2 tablespoons of flour, and egg and mix until smooth. Pour over the crust. Sprinkle with the berries. Bake for about 35 minutes. Store in the refrigerator.
This is a recipe I found on a facebook page that does not link back to its origin. But had to try cause it was so simple and looked so yummy. Which, by the way it is. A must try!!! The crust is very similar to a crust recipe I already have from my Mom's stash of recipe's that we use for making fruit crisps and cobblers.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fresh Basic Italian Dressing

This has got to be some of the best dressing ever.  After looking for different ways at making this I decided to take the ingredients that in my opinion make up the essential Italian ingredients. This is hard for me to put into measurements because it all depends on how much of each of these ingredients you like the flavor of, being it more or less and then how big of a batch you will be making.
Here is a list of the ingredients and how I made our dressing:
I made a small batch.
3 cloves of minced garlic
Maybe 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar.
About 3 Tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar.
Approximately  1/2 to 3/4 cup of olive oil.
Black pepper, sweet basil and oregano added to the mix so that looks like the amount you would like to have.
*I made ours, as you can see in a small mason jar. I put all of ingredients in the jar and put the lid on and shook it up. Ready to pour on top of your salad.
I know this may not be the best list of measured ingredients but honestly I added ingredients on how every thing looked to me in the jar and by what we like. I suppose a good note would be that you would want half of your liquid to be olive oil to the other half being the rice wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar combined. The rest is dried seasoning and all depends on your taste preference.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Marinara Sauce

2 or 3 Fresh Medium Tomatoes chopped and put in blender.
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 of an onion
*Mince garlic and chop onion into smaller pieces then put into deep dish frying pan in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sautee the garlic and onion making sure not to burn it.
2 cups of chicken stock from bullion. Place 1 cup in pan with garlic and onion put the other cup in the blender with the chopped tomato.
1  6oz can of tomato paste. Add to blender.
1  14 oz can of diced tomatoes drain juice from can into pan and add 1/2 to 3/4 of diced tomatoes to blender. Put remaining diced tomatoes in pan.
*Puree the fresh chopped tomatoes, 1 cup of chicken stock from bullion and diced tomatoes then pour into pan.
Add 1 teaspoon each of sugar, salt, pepper and dried sweet basil.
Stir all ingredients together bringing to a low simmer. Simmer for 1/2 hour or until sauce thickens.
You can choose to add mushrooms for a mushroom marinara sauce.
We added meat balls to this sauce at a low simmer for 1 & 1/2 hours.
*Depending on the size of meat balls the simmer time may need to be increased. Our meat balls were about the size of a golf ball.
Meat balls in marinara sauce.

Dinner served with a fresh green salad.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Homemade Tomato Soup

Here is a soup that has bold thick flavor and is good for a light summer dinner or that warm-me-up from the cool crisp fall afternoon. Perfect with a grilled cheese sandwich or slices of avocado and cottage cheese on the side. Simply put, this soup says "Yum."

3 Large Cloves of Garlic sauteed in 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil. 
*We love garlic so even more garlic would be fine or less if you're not a garlic lover. The olive oil I pour out an amount that looks good to me so 3 Tablespoons is approximate. Less or more is fine too.*
2 to 3 medium size fresh tomatoes finely diced
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes 
1 14 oz or larger can of whole or halved tomatoes *squish these in your hand as you add them to your pan.
2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste. Keeping in mind that if you are using bullion for your stock it will have salt in it.  Taste before you salt. If you like pepper add some pepper too. 

After finishing up the garlic add all ingredients to pan and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes then take 1/2 to 3/4 of soup in pan and place in blender and puree. Add this back to your pan and stir together. Place back on the heat and bring back up to a low simmer. At this point add 1/4 cup of cream or 2 large table spoons of sour cream. Stir in the cream or sour cream. Add a few dashes of sweet basil and stir in. 

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and your choice of freshly graded cheese. 

Monday, August 26, 2013


     It has been awhile since I have been able to be here on our blog. I hate to bump and go, which it seems is the only kind of time that I have had over the past year. I like to have time to spend while I am here on the blog so the opportunities for posting are not as often. So today I begin my post with catching up from  summer. We had visitors on and off most of the summer and did a small bit of traveling for family events. Kind of a strange eventful but uneventful summer. Bringing us to this week-the last week before school goes in session for us. Trying to get as much out of these last days as we can. Most importantly the easy quiet time spent enjoying each others company, being unhurried and able to keep our focus on what we are doing instead of having outside distractions keeping us from being fully attentive to each other. No work for my Husband, no school or sports for my son and no work for me in the afternoon. These times are few but needed and enjoyed so much. Quality time.                                                            

Saturday, June 1, 2013


 Neighbors. Some neighbors really get your hackles up and there are some you wonder about.  They do odd things and conduct themselves in a manner that makes you want to duck out of site if you happen to be in your yard at the same time they happen to be in theirs. My Husband and I have had our fair share of neighbors over the years. Many of them, even though we lived right next door or across the street, we never spoke to. Some of the places we lived we didn't have neighbors close by. These were some of our most favorite places, the ones with some acreage between them but these were also some of the places we had good neighbors. We currently live on about a half acre lot with the other homes in the neighborhood on a half acre lot as well. So we have close neighbors but not neighbors right on top of us. We are so lucky where we are right now to have the best neighbors we have ever had and if we ever moved we would be hard pressed to find neighbors such as these again. A once in a life time, if your lucky kind of thing. These people are the best. We share a common fence between our back yards and have a gate in that fence that leads into our perspective yards. If we get the burn pit going it isn't long before they come over and join us and there is always a good conversation over the fence We take care of each others chickens and dogs when one of us travels out of town. We share our raspberries with them and tell them to come pick anytime. My son really likes both of them and enjoys wandering through to visit with them. Once in a while we will even wake up together over coffee shared on one of our patios or at one of our coops.  We are so blessed with this couple that are our neighbors.                                                                                                         

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dads and Moms

 As I go through my cleaning regimen to ready our home for guests again. Seems like it's a re-run of last year at the same time. Last year it was friends and then a large family reunion and then my sister with her husband and my niece and then my mom and my aunt. Our home will not be hosting quite so many this year but we begin receiving our guests this year in just about a week. This year it is an early visit from my mom but with my dad in tow. I haven't seen my dad since 2010. We talk and text so there is quite a bit of contact but it is not the real deal. If you know what I mean. Planning on spending time, quality time with my dad and enjoying him. I miss him. But this past year I have really missed him and long to sit with him and visit. To smell his cologne, hold his gnarled, work damaged, strong hands, share some hugs, enjoy morning coffee cake with a steaming hot cuppa Joe, drink wine in the late afternoon warm sun.....the list goes on. There won't be enough time and it will go by too fast. Every moment will be a cherished moment, one that I will hold dear in my heart and put away to recollect after he has left for home. If you are lucky enough to have your dad and mom close enough to drive over and give them a hug or to enjoy a cuppa Joe or glass of wine or cup of tea, get over there!!! Don't take their closeness for granted. Enjoy them. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Clean and Wood Floors

Been doing lots of cleaning and gleaning through things around here. Have been doing spring cleaning and working mostly downstairs. It is nearly finished and then I will be moving upstairs to give some detailed cleaning to the blinds which are covered in thick dust, the floors a heavy mop and then move all of the furniture so the wood floors can be cleaned and treated. I love the wood floors and don't mind treating them. I treat them twice a year, once in preparation for the winter onslaught of water, mud and melting snow and then after winter in order to give them some TLC after the long winter. They shine so nicely and deeply after they have been treated. Our household is not easy on these old wood floors either. Between human foot traffic and the animals tracking dirt and mud and wet into the house, these wood floors are put through it hard. But they continue to withstand the use and continue to shine through it all. A few squeeks and creeks here and there but that just adds to their character and their story. After the wood floors are treated then I am done with the spring cleaning. Then I think it is on to taking an easy summer. 
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