Friday, August 16, 2019

All The B's...

What a good week.. lots of highs...and a couple of lows. The good news is.. Hubbys work have worked out who will be covering his someone is coming to see him on Tuesday. The sooner the better now.. as Hubby just wants it over and done with . He's planning to be back in work a couple of days after surgery.. Yes..well...we shall see. I know theres no one else to do his job.. but they will just have to manage. I keep reminding him that his middle name isnt Superman

Living To Tell The Story

So this weeks Fridays Fave Five...are not really favourites...except perhaps the first two But seeing as Susannes blog is called Living to Tell the Story...this is my story this week

Not even rain and bad weather can stop this girl. I just love her wonderment in everything she does... even the simple things like making bubbles. She is a joy

Bouncing Baby
I cant get over how big this lad is getting.. He is such a happy chap. It wont be long till hes walking. This boy make my heart jump too


As you may know... Im a food prepper..and Im always looking for bargains to put in my food storage. I allow approx $5 a week to add to my pantry. I seriously dropped lucky this week at Walmart...and I almost missed it. Their Progresso soup was down to 25c a can for some flavours. Usually they are $1.68..and in the Stater Bros... over $2.50. Thats a lot for a can of soup The Campbells soup were 50c and I use them as a quick sauce for chicken or pork in recipes. And theTaco mix and marinades were less than half price at 40c a pack.. Everything had dates well into 2021. So for less than $5 I got all this..a massive saving and a welcome addition for the future

Living in California is great... but some of the insects here are so different to what Im used to in the Uk, Im yet to see a spider... but its not unusual to see cockroaches (ugh)..water beetles... and this morning I had a cricket in my kitchen. Also.. the mosquitoes seem to love this Welsh girl. One got me on the leg... little B... Its now very itchy... blistered and a little painful. Anyone have an idea how to ease it. Calamine lotion and neosporin isnt quite cutting it... Apologies for the 57 year old

Brown Water
What if you woke up one morning, started to run your bath...and this is what you saw.. Disgusting brown water!.. was coming for every tap in the house... hot and cold. And ... it lasted for two days. Apparently.. "they" had been working on water pipes..and rust and sediment were being flushed through. We were told it was safe to drink..bathe..brush our teeth..but not to run the washing machine. But..nooo thank you. Its just gross...and you never know what it can do to you. Thats why Im grateful to my food storage and the bottled water we have been buying. We used if to the coffee wash dishes..and brush our teeth. I coped with strip washes.. and my hair dosnt have to be washed every day. This time "my lamps were filled" (Matt 25:3)

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Frangipani..and Strawberry Bread

This was the first Thursday morning in quite a while that I have been able to go walking...and I made the most of it. I walked just over six miles... but it really got too hot towards the end. The old knee was just pulling..aching or pain. I really hope this means its ok now.. but I will be very careful not to pull it again....Stretch and Stengthen Exercises be darned!! (yes thats how I damaged it)
It wont be long and it will be Autumn.. so Im making the most of all the summer flowers that are still in bloom. I especially love these... that are everywhere right now. Plumeria...also known as Frangipani... not to be confused with Frangipane.. the sweet cake and pastry filling made from almonds...

And talking of cakes... (how smooth was that

I mentioned to a friend that  I had strawberries and blueberries in my freezer.. so she gave me a recipe to try. It turned out really nice...not too sweet.. just as we like it. Thank you Miss Gloria

Strawberry and Blueberry Bread

2 cups fresh strawberries
3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  • Butter and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.
  • Slice strawberries and place in medium-sized bowl. 
  • Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside
  • Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl
  • Mix well. 
  • Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. 
  • Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. 
  • Stir in blueberries
  • Divide batter into pans.
  • Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes (test each loaf separately). Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. 
  • Turn loaves out of pans, and allow to cool before slicing.
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Wednesday Medley...

Today Im joining Wednesday Medley hosted by Terri over at Your Friend from Florida.
The questions usually start with the National Day and follow on from there. 
There are no rules and there is no obligation....just a bit of fun.

Today's National Day is VJ Day celebrating the Victory over Japan in WWII
Here are Terri's questions and my answers...

1.  I'm sure many kids today have no idea what V-J Day is all about.  Did you have a loved one who fought in WWII?
Uncle Frankie
My Uncle Frankie served in the UK RAF (Royal Air Force)during the war.. I remember the stories he used to tell both funny and sad. I also lost two uncles. Uncle George was a Sgt in the RAF and was shot down and killed over Prussia aged 22. He left a pregnant wife and is buried in Hanover War Cemetery, Germany. Uncle Frank Dobbins was a Sgt in the Anti-Tank Regiment of the Royal Artillery and was killed in North Africa also aged 31. He left a wife and young son..and is buried in Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery, Algeria

2.  The iconic sculpture from the famous photograph of  "The Unconditional Surrender" has been defaced recently because of the #metoo movement. I know we can get very political about this subject, but just keeping it in the spirit for which it was created, what are your thoughts?
I hate to see defacing of any kind.. so I don't like this. I know this sculpture was based on an iconic photograph taken at the end of the war. I don't think many of us know what it is like to live through the fear..pain and loss of a war.... and the joy and relief when it ends. It was a different time..emotions were running high...and no one really knows what was going on in this couples heads I have my own views on the whole Metoo movement.. but I think I will keep them to myself
3.  Terri's grandson, Tristan, loved playing a game called "Axis & Allies".  It was quite complicated, took up the entire dining room table, and was not something Terri wanted to play (Grandpa understood it and played though).  Can you name three Axis countries and five of the many Allies
 I should know this as I studied WWII in High School. I am fascinated by the past..hence the the genealogy.. and wishing I lived in a different decade. I know the main Axis powers were Germany ..Japan and Italy. Allies included the UK.. the US.. Canada ..France and Australia
4.  Terri was surprised to learn that most historians agree that WWII began when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Others say it started when Japan invaded Manchuria on September 18, 1931. And some scholars suggest WWII is actually a continuation of WWI, with a break in between.  Have you ever visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii or any other WWII memorials around the world?
Achiet-le-Grand Cemetery
I would love to visit Pearl Harbour.. maybe one day. When I was a part of my school studies.. we went on a trip to France, Belgium and Holland. Seeing the battlefields, cemeteries and war memorials affected me deeply.. especially the visit to Anne Franks house. I was also privileged to visit  Achiet-le-Grand Cemetery where my great great uncle Edwin Hampson was buried after he was killed in the First World War. It was very moving. Nazism and all  its atrocities should never be allowed to happen again

5.  Calvin Graham was only 12 years old during WWII when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He won a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart before the Navy found out how old he was.  (God bless him.) Terri doesn't know any 12-year old today who could qualify or get away with something like that.  Times are so very different now but (in the US) we do have ROTC in high schools.  Do you know anyone who started in ROTC and went on to enlist in one of the services?
12 years old.. is very very young. What a remarkable achievements...but if I was his mum..I would very proud..and very very cross. I had to Google ROAC as we dont have it in the UK. But there are Army..Sea and Air Cadets that 10-18 year olds can join...not run by schools.. that follow the Military principals 
6.  Please tell us something about your week so far.

Its been a quiet week so far. Its given me a chance to go walking every morning.. and stitch in the afternoon. Right now.. Im finishing some Christmas aprons
Those were great questions
Now Im going to enjoy reading other peoples answers

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Diet! What Diet?

An extra post for today and Im joining Toni over at Tuesday 4 Meme... for a quick fun Q&A about my favourite subject... Food

 Here are her questions... and my answers..

1.   Favorite Cake:
Cheesecake... or is that a dessert..
but just like I had for my birthday last year

2.   Favorite Cookie:

Lemon Crinkle... 
I make them a lot and Im surprised they make it to the storage tin

3.   Favorite Pie:

I find it hard to choose between Apple and Cherry...
using my aunties recipe...
but both have to be served with good old fashioned British custard

4.   Favorite Candy:

Cadburys Flake..
but I cant get it here in the US so my daughter sends me supplies

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Medical Matters...

Thank you for your good wishes for Hubby and his surgery...which hasn't happened yet. I think I should give a bit of a back story as I seem to have omitted it

It started...I guess.. about two years ago. Hubby... being stubborn... tried to lift a 70lb metal beam by himself and he felt something give in his groin. At the time he reported it to his boss... but because it didn't bother him he didn't pursue it.Recently has been aggravating him..and had become swollen.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago.. he had to go for a routine colonoscopy and endoscopy. The results showed that he has two ulcers and a hernia that is pushing up under his diaphragm. But for some reason he didn't mention the swollen I did
The doctor had completely missed it...but when he saw it.. he was concerned. He said the Hubby had another hernia..and when he coughed the bowel was pushing through. He said that there was a possibility it could become strangulated.. which would mean emergency surgery..and maybe a  colostomy

Some other results hadn't come back so he wanted us back yesterday.. and he wanted a surgeon in place.. either one he recommended or one through Hubby's work. The problem is.. recently Hubby's company has changed hands.. so there is a bit of discussion who will cover his insurance and workers comp.. The old or new company. If he goes with the doctors choice..the company may get a bit uppity.. so we are now just waiting (for me..anxiously)

Dr Kim accepted this... but he had the other test results to discuss. On a good note...there is no cancer. appears.. that Hubby has a bacteria in his stomach that makes him susceptible to ulcers. He may have had it for years..maybe since childhood as it takes a long time for symptoms to show itself... but once in your stomach it eats away at the lining...which causes the ulcers. Its pretty common..about 2/3 of the worlds population have it.. many with no ill effects. Hubby seems to be one of the unlucky ones... and if untreated could lead to stomach cancer. So all his other ulcer pills have to stop and he has to start an intensive 10 day medication routine.

And..because it can be passed on through saliva.. I have to be tested too. Brilliant!

So thats the state of play right now. We need to get this surgery done asap.. but its just a waiting game. Until lifting.. no dirt biking... no exercise... and no kissing....

I guess the honeymoon is finally over 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday, August 12, 2019

Whats For Dinner~Meal Plan Monday

What a wonderful.. restful weekend that was. It was an opportunity to recharge the old batteries.. mentally, physically and spiritually. We had been invited to fellowship at a Pool Party on Saturday...but MrD was so exhausted when he got home from work.. he just slept for most of the day. After working 70 hours last week.. he deserved it. I was just happy to have him I read and stitched.. and watched a couple of black and white movies.. Isnt Penny Serenade a lovely film??

This week is a bit quieter. No Thursday Bible study til next month and no appointments for me. MrD has a doctors appointment about his surgery this afternoon.. and hopefully his insurance will be sorted and we will get a date. Hopefully he will be ok to go watch some bike trials on Saturday. Whatever happens.. this weeks usual.. is not set in stone and can be changed around. 

So today Im making Lasagne... one to eat and one to freeze, dehydrating cherry tomatoes(lovely in a pasta sauce) and chopping and freezing some turnips (ready for soups stews and delicious ponchmipe)

Before then... I'm off for a walk... and hope everyone has a fantastic week.

Weekly Plan - 12th August 2019
Spicy Chicken Stir Fry 

Tuesday              Crispy Mushroom Spinach and Avocado Quesadillas 

Wednesday         Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday            Boneless Barbeque Ribs, Baked Potato, Corn on the Cob

Lasagne, Garlic Bread, Salad

Saturday             Day with Hubby 

Slow Cooker Honey Chicken, Rice

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Sloowww Saturday....

For the first time in a while... we are having a chill day at home...
 No running around.. just feet up and relaxing...
although MrD is going for a bike ride before it gets too hot..
Me....I'm catching up on some reading...
I may not have a Homestead...yet..
But I can dream....and plan
Im also going to do a bit of stitching for the Etsy shop...
and maybe watch a movie with MrD later

Im grateful for days like this

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Friday, August 9, 2019

Everythings Coming Up .....Avacado.

Back in January..I told you about the little surprise I got while I was taking down the the Christmas decorations...

Just to recap I told how a couple of months earlier I was given three avocados from a friends garden. I had seen a clip on YouTube about growing plants from the stones. So I followed the instructions, stuck cocktail sticks into them, balanced them in water and put them in sunlight to see what happened. When I decorated for Christmas they didn't exactly go with the decor so I put them on top of the fridge ..out of the way. But then ...I decorated the fridge top..and the stones were hidden.. and...I forgot about them
Come to January 4th... when I was taking the decorations down.. I found them again. They were bone dry...but wow!! They had sprouted...well two out of three. The third had good roots...but hadn't sprouted.....and I'm afraid I lost him...
But just look at the other two. I potted them in small pots... and this week into bigger ones. They are coming on so well...and loving the California sunshine

Now I'm waiting to see if they will eventually produce fruit..
Apparently...that could take ten years...

I hope I will still be

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry

What a busy day... Up before sunrise for a 2 hour walk... 
Bible study in the park.. 
and an appointment this afternoon. 
I needed something quick and easy to prepare for dinner. This Chicken Curry fits the bill.
Its dairy-free, relatively low fat and hassle free, Its mild but full of flavour. All the ingredients except the chicken are pulverized to form a creamy sauce in the food processor and poured over the chicken. Simple! I didnt put coriander on  mine.. as Im not a fan

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry

2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, Cut Into Large Cubes
1 whole Onion, Peeled And Halved
2 cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 whole Small Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Quartered
1 can (156ml Can) Tomato Paste
1 can (about 400ml Can) Coconut Milk
1-½ teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoon Curry Powder
1 Tablespoon Garam Masala (Indian Spice Mix)
2 whole Dry Red Chili Peppers (optional For Extra Heat))
2 Tablespoons Water
1-½ Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 bunch Coriander (optional, For Decoration)

  • Place chicken cubes inside the slow cooker.
  • Place the rest of the ingredients (except chili peppers, cornstarch, water and coriander) in a food processor
  • Process together until the mix is smooth. 
  • Pour sauce mix on top of the chicken, mix well, 
  • Add hot peppers if using any, then close the lid. 
  • Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • An hour before serving, mix together water and cornstarch until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. 
  • Add to the chicken curry and mix well. 
  • Place the lid back on for the rest of the cooking time.
  • Serve on top of steaming white rice, eg jasmine or basmati 
  • Decorate with lots of chopped coriander.

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

'Hearts Desire"...

I woke up to three more  sales on my Etsy shop..
this time they are off to Canada!
I enjoy designing and making these hearts...
and its sad to see them go cos I love them all
But Im grateful  that  someone likes them enough to buy them
and  they will be appreciated in their new home

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Why I Build a Prepper Pantry

I have been hearing a lot lately about people stepping up their food and water storage. There is a rumour that because of adverse weather conditions earlier this year... there will be a vegetable and grain shortage. I dont know if its true.. but with people showing pics of signs on empty shelves in  supermarkets.. like Kroger and Walmart...its something to keep in mind
I follow several homestead and prepping blogs and Youtube channels that give a good direction in what to store... what to grow and how to prepare it.  A few weeks ago someone actually laughed out loud when she found out that I have a prepper pantry where I store goods .. not just foods.. "just in case"
I haven't shared with many people what motivates me to store food, water, etc.... Or why I dehydrate freeze or can.. not even my kids. I know I could explain and some people would still not understand,  but I am okay with that. I will attempt to explain now.

Lets go back thirty years.. where as a young mum with a new baby.. and three young step children who we had at the then husband became unemployed.. He decided to go back to college and get an electrical qualifications so he could find better work. We were surviving on 50 pounds a week.. and if it wasn't for the generosity of my parents and the food boxes from my mother in law.. I dont think we would have made it. I learnt to budget..cook from scratch.. and even tho we lived in a flat (apartment) I grew lettuce,tomatoes, beans, potatoes etc in pots on the veranda.
Forward 10 years.. and with three children... the marriage crumbled. We were over our heads in debt.. through credit cards.. car loans.. expensive holidays we didnt need and bad business decisions. It devastated me.. basically because over the years I had budgeted, scrimped and never over spent. I was the way I was brought up. We lost the house..and for five months my three children and I lived with my parents in their "two up two down" til we got our own home. I got a part time job.. and juggled to pay the bills..and my share of the debts

I was solely responsible for my kids' needs. They depended on me for everything. Budgeting was essential. My fear was my children would go hungry. I learnt to shop wisely... always making cheap meal food plans, cooking from scratch and always making shopping lists of what was on sale or is season. It was amazing that at the end of the day you could buy bread, fruit, vegetables in supermarkets for pennies. So I had to learn food preservation...  And we did well
A couple of years later we moved into the countryside... living on the top of a steep hill.  I had a vegetable garden.. a small greenhouse and a few chickens.. Friends would give me apples ..pears and plums from their trees. We learnt to forage for berries and nuts....Hazels and chestnuts were in abundance. I began to store other things too... building up my stock of candles, batteries, medical supplies and fuel for our open fire. I remember someone scoffing one day because I got excited about a fallen tree. It was in the middle of summer.. but it filled my woodpile... and some.
This all came in handy that winter.. when we had one of the coldest winters..with deep snow ... and we were isolated. The roads were so bad... we couldnt get to stores... and fuel trucks couldnt make it up that steep hill. We were warm and fed... even when the power went out friend argues... you live in the city... there is a supermarket on every corner!. Well we saw how well people coped last week. We were in church...and just as the Pastor started to speak.. the power went out. No A/C...  but like a trooper he carried on with the light on his ipad...which luckily was fully charged. And it wasnt just was most of the area. You would have thought it was the end of the world. People left early... to go shopping would you believe. I was told that the lines in most supermarkets were huge
The power came on a few hours later... but can you imagine..........

I knew before then and I still hold this to me: forearmed is forewarned I keep enough food and necessities in the house for a couple of months.,, but I want more. I know with MrD's surgery coming up.. with time off work and a drop in our income that brings.. we will be just fine
You have to ask yourself... what would happen if your financial situation changed through illness or unemployment.  Could you survive without going to the store for a few weeks...or months? Could you even go a few days without popping to the supermarket for bread or milk?? If the power went out.. could you cook your food... or stay warm?

These questions could become the reality.

Be like Joseph in the Bible....During the seven years of abundant harvest, he stored when famine one went hungry
So.....why do I Prep?
Its simple.....It makes sense!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x