Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Friday, May 30, 2008

On the home front:
Well, the boxed toilet is still in the dining room. Hmmmmm. I have pushed it to the side because I am too lazy to walk around it any more.

We got our flowers planted and then God very graciously watered them for us today. Harold's flower bed is filled with flowering kale. I fought him on that last year, but I have to admit that once they came in they were gorgeous. My area consists of 3 large barrels that the kids bought me for mother's day a few years ago. (I don't like to pull weeds, but barrels with impatiens are a no brainer.) That year all of the kids also made me cement garden stones. They look very nice in the front. Nina and Jamie have been getting me stone angels for the last few mother's days. They look great on the west side of the house. I am eagerly awaiting the putting up of the windmill with weathervane that Harold got me for Mother's Day.

We will be moving Anna to her new house this weekend. I am thrilled for her, of course, but I will miss having her so close by.

On the lowcarb front:
Still reading DANDR. I am looking forward to next week. We will be getting high speed internet and then I'll be able to watch Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Lowcarb youtube videos. I can access them at work, but not at home. I often stay after hours so I can watch one of his videos. They are very inspirational. If you are a lowcarber you probably already know about Jimmy, but if not, here is a link to his information.

I made a WONDERFUL cheesecake last night (Lowcarb of course).
This is my method:

4 eight ounce packages cream cheese
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup whipping cream or sour cream
1 cup splenda or equivalent sweetener
1/4 cup DaVinci raspberry sugar free syrup.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
I line the outside of a springform pan with foil.
I then set that in a larger pan (I use around stone cake pan form pampered chef)

Beat all ingredients except syrup until smooth. Stir in syrup and swirl into cream cheese mixture. Pour into springform pan. Add water to the outer pan. Bake for one hour at 300 degrees. Then turn oven down to 200 and bake for one more hour. Turn off the oven. I usually make my cheesecake at night and leave it in the oven all night. Last night I goofed up setting the oven so it stayed in the oven all night at 200 degress. It was fine. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't find my camera or I would take a picture. This method produces a beautiful cheesecake with no cracking!

I could not do lowcarb if I didn't have this decadent cheesecake.

On the business front:
Still plugging along with marketing and getting ourselves known. Not much new to report except that if you are thinking of putting up a website, I just love I spent a lot of money trying to find what I wanted. When I stumbled on DIYestore I almost cried. It was exaxtly what I was looking for. Well, I guess you live and you learn.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

On the home front:

The temps today are up a little from yesterday. The other night we had to put all of our plants in the garage because there were frost and freeze warnings out. Such is life in Michigan. Tonight, DH declares, we will plant our plants. It's probably a good time for me to take the Christmas garlands off of the front porch. (They have been home to a litter of baby kittens - honest) Also, the Christmas wreath should probably find its way to the burning barrel.

Speaking of burning, as some of you may know, our barn burned down on March 26th. I blogged about it in another blog and then switched hosts and lost the post.

The start

It gets scary here

We are getting ready to re-build. We will be putting up a tool shed. It's sad that a century old piece of history had to burn. The red barn is the icon of the American farm and the farm family. These old barns and the farm family are quickly disappearing. It's sad to see. This country was built on the principles of hard work and strong families. Progress can sure be a two edged sword.

On the business front:
I am anxiously awaiting summer vacation so I can get my workroom/dungeon in some kind of order. We are going to be featuring the electric heart-shaped grubbies for the wedding season.

I love the electric grubbies. I am one of those people who has a habit of forgetting to blow out candles. It is something I am working on, this forgetting thing that seems to have crept up on me. I have a small blueberry grubby in the bedroom and a small cinnamon one in the living room. Mmmmmmm.

On the Flylady front:
I didn't get any zone work done last night, but I DID get a lot of junk cleaned out of the refrigerator. I hadn't intended to do that last night, but I needed room for some stuff I had prepared and nowhere to put it because precious room was being taken up by stuff that had outlived its right to be there. In typical fashion I thought I had to do the entire fridge if I was going to do any of it. It's that "all or nothing" thing that I am working to overcome. So instead of not cleaning any of the fridge, I now have a half-cleaned fridge. For me it's all about breaking things down into small chunks. I focus much better on small chunks than on the whole big picture. It's the same thing with decluttering the body - which leads me to my next section -

On the lowcarb front:
To continue the "small chunk" theory - I am focusing only on the next five pounds. I actually have yet to hit the first 5 pound segment. I'm trying to decide what my reward will be.


On the lowcarb front:
Got on the treadmill at 9:30 this morning. Today was supposed to be a strength training day, but it was treadmill or nothing. I wanted to watch Biggest Loser. This morning's episode was from last season where the contestants went for a makeover with Tim Gunn. Very inspiring. And I burned 195 calories in the process.

While on the treadmill, I was also reading the late Dr. Atkins' book. I noticed something I hadn't seen before. He was citing some studies about the metabolic advantage of lowcarb. I had thought that turning the sticks purple meant you were good to go, but he said that 30 grams of carbs was the limit for ketosis/lipolysis. That probably can vary between individuals, but I think maybe the reason that I am not getting the appetite suppressing benefits is that my carbs are too high. So for this week, until Sunday, I am going to try and keep my carbs around 30 grams. As much as I hate to do it, I am going to have to give myself a free day on Sundays. That is family "go out for ice cream" day. Ya gotta live life. If I don't allow myself a free day - and I'm not saying it will be every week - then I will be much more prone to cheating. I need to work this in a way I can live with.

On the Flylady front:
This week we are in the living room. Last night I did two 15 minute intervals of cleaning. It basically consisted of picking up stray toys and putting my stuff away. The piano room is kind of an extension of the living room so I will be including that in my cleanup. I am slightly hampered by the toilet (new in the box) sitting smack dab in the dining room. I brilliantly dropped a room spray bottle into the toilet just as it was flushing. No, I did not do it on purpose, and no, it could not be retrieved. End result - new toilet for the front bathroom. Guess who gets to pay for it. Oh well, that's only fair. Ironically, the cabinet from which the offending bottle fell has to go bye bye because the new toilet is taller and the cabinet won't fit over it.

On the business front:
Started on the hundreds of Christmas stockings that we hope to sell this fall. I got 3 snowman stockings done. Humming Christmas carols while I work helps to get me in the mood - almost. I'm going to show Melisa how to sew them up and that will be a great timesaver for me and some good income for her if the stockings sell as well as I'm hoping.

I really need to get some oils measured and get some soap made. I am running low on several scents all of which happen to be my favorite. I am completely out of honey oats and milk. I also need to make a list of labels I need. Anna is in the process of moving so I won't be getting them any time soon, but at least I can get the list done and she can take her time making them. I am one who really likes to get as much as I can get done ahead of time.

My big project for the summer, aside from the Christmas stockings, is to get the basement (my workroom) into some kind of presentable shape. It's never going to be pretty - it's a basement - but the great thing about primitive, is that rustic is good. Our basement is nothing if not rustic.
Just organizing my supplies will be a big improvement. I just wish it didn't take on water after every heavy rain. I can't put down any kind of rug or carpet. In fact, I'm going to have to throw out the ones I have down there now because they got wet during the last water episode.

Tuesday - May 27

On the low carb front:
Tried Cleo's oopsie rolls with almond meal. Yumm. I tore one up into pieces and mixed it with sugar free pudding. Tasted exactly like an eclair!

The bloggers are still writing about Heidi Diaz and the Kimkins scandal. It is unfathomable to me how anyone could do that and still sleep at night. If her conscience isn't getting to her, I would think the threat of criminal prosecution would. I remember back in the day when she was on the lowcarb friends board. Even then I thought she was full of it, but little did I know how far it would go. In July it will have been a year since the Kimmer Fascination threads started. It will be interesting to see how long those continue. We are now at thread 18 and still going strong. I feel so bad for all of the people who were scammed by her. It's bad enough to be fighting such a tough battle but to be stabbed in the back by a fellow struggler makes it all the more painful.

On the business front:
We took a new and scary (for us anyway) plunge. We have taken out a 1/6 page ad in Country Sampler magazine advertising our Christmas Stockings. I haven't seen anything like them on any site or in the CS magazine. I go back and forth between fears that we will get no orders, to fears that we will be swamped with them. (Which really means that I will be swamped with them since I am the one that makes them. Oh well, you don't know till you try.

Yesterday I had some drop-ins who wanted to buy maple syrup, soap, and candles. Thank goodness they were extended family because I was still in my jammies. Very bad habit - please don't anyone tell Marla the Flylady.

On the Flylady front:
This week we are in the living room. It's good to have a focus because it is easy to become overwhelmed with everything I have to do. If I just look at the task in front of me, I do much better.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival

Here are pics from our booth at the 2007 Shepherd Maple Syrup festival. I forgot to bring the camera this year, but this year's booth looked pretty much the same.

Weigh-in May 25, 2008

On the lowcarb front:

Well, I'm down .4 pounds for the week. Not too bad, it wasn't a great week for staying the course. I had a couple days this week where I went off track. One of my habits when that happens is to head for everything I have been denying myself. I discovered this week that none of those foods is really all that great. All I really wanted was the one thing I ate. It wasn't necessary to scavenge the cupboards for anything else. This tells me that it "ain't about the food." Now, of course I know that - I've always known it. But it really hit home this week. It's the strange thing about these food issues. People with other illnesses don't do this kind of thing when they have a setback. But what I realized is that with other illnesses, it isn't the illness they use as a coping mechanism. Or maybe with psychological issues, that is exactly the case. Maybe that is what makes mental issues different from physical issues. I don't know, I'm still trying to figure it all out after 56 years.

I can remember using food as a coping mechanism when I was little. It was the only "power" I had as a kid. There was no way to deal with my mother's illness and all of the family stress it caused. So I ate - as a way of comforting myself, or filling a void, or whatever. Food was always there in a way that people weren't.

I believe that each of us is given a challenge in life that we are to battle. This is mine - it seems that it has always been mine. And as miserable as it has made me in my life, I wouldn't trade it for someone else's.

This and that - May 22, 2008

On the business front:
I have been testing our new simmer scents. I have not found a simmer pot that I like yet - they don't get the water hot enough. But, I have been using a small saucepan on the stove, bringing it to a boil and then turning the stove off. The kitchen smells wonderful. The anise stars in the orange/clove blend smell mmmmmmm.

On the lowcarb front
The other night I tried the Revoloopsie rolls that Cleochatra has been blogging about. I couldn't figure out how they were different from the Atkins version until I opened my eyes and actually read both recipes. I think the extra cream cheese makes these taste much less "eggy." I am loving them.

Someone on Cleo's blog mentioned trying them with almond flour. That will be next. I have a recipe for Cinnamon Cheese Danish (don't remember where this recipe came from) that I would like to tweak with a combo of Cleo's Oopsies and a change in baking time. Maybe this weekend.

Sugar Bush Ramblings

Well, another day another blog. I had a wonderful blog once upon a time, but switched hosting companies and it went poof.

Nothing much to write today. Investigating the ins and outs of forming a LLC. Trying to get the business off the ground, and generally just hangin' in there. Kind of a blah day - matches my blah mood. I think the end of the school year sets that off. Working in a school, there are bittersweet moments. On the one hand I count down the days to summer vacation and on the other hand I am counting the faces of the students who will graduate or move away.

Welcome to blog. Here you will find thoughts on various subjects - some business related - others just life related. You'll find helpful hints and information on our products - how they are made etc. Basically this will be a potpourri of stuff.
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