July 24, 1915

On this day in 1915, the SS Eastland listed and tipped over while tied to the dock in the Chicago River.

SS_Eastland

The ship had many issues prior to this tragic event which should have been enough to heed warning the ship was not safe.  844 people lost their lives yet very few people have ever heard of this disaster.

Here is a link to the history of this tragedy if you would like to read about it further.  SS Eastland

While it was such a tragedy, it is also part of our history.

EastlandKenosha eastland

Outdoor Shower

shower3

This side faces the house and the rest is covered in nature for privacy

When you live on a farm it pays to have an outdoor shower.  Ok, I admit we installed it after seeing the first Sex in the City movie where the neighbor had a beautiful……..outdoor shower!!  I forced the man of the house a few years back to see the movie with me and this is what came of it.  He installed a shower within the week.

This truly has been a saving grace during the spring/summer/fall with the kids.  They come in from playing in the woods, the frog pond, riding 4 wheelers and so on and they are covered in mud.  They know before they can step foot in the house they have to shower off.  Most of the time clothes and all!!

The adults in the house enjoy it under the moonlight.  There’s something to be said about taking an outdoor shower under the beautiful dark night sky with fireflies lighting up all around you and the beautiful stars overhead.

The sign has become a neighborhood saying.  A friend found this sign for us and hung it while we were gone.  It says Showers $1.00 To Watch $2.00  It still makes me laugh every year when I hang it up.  I purchased some beautiful tropical looking vines and bushes so even during the day it is private to the world only open facing the house.

We purchased a beautiful wooden arbor but it’s starting to peel now and next year we will have to replace it but it will be worth the work!! 

shower2

Showers $1.00 To Watch $2.00

Beauty

amazing

It’s majestic reflecting on the water with the pink hue.  This was the sunset from the boat tonight over Canada.  It was 87 degrees and humid.  Perfect night for a sunset swim and ride. 

Here is the progression of the sunset

photo 1-2photo-1 sunset tubephoto 3-2 photo 1-1  And two happy girls who were able to enjoy it on a summer night

So True!!!

whining

It seems like common sense to understand this, however I have found over and over again, it’s not for most people.  I have had to tell employees, friends, family, and my children this.  If you want to complain about how something is, bring a solution to the table!!!

You can complain for the rest of your life unless you figure out ways to change things when needed.

 

Homemade Chicken Salad

There are many ways to make chicken salad.  Tonight it was very humid and warm outside so I decided to use leftover chicken and make a plain chicken salad.  Picked a few of our homegrown Romaine lettuce leaves and some fresh rolls and dinner was done!!  I grow lettuce in planters all around the house.  Tonight I harvested some from the cute little deer planter by our side door.  Everyone does this don’t they???

photo

I used my small chopper to make a finer “less chunky” chicken salad. 

2 bone in chicken breasts, with the meat taken off and chopped

2 Tablespoons salad dressing/1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise

salt/pepper/garlic powder to taste

Optionals are unlimited for a fancier salad.  I have used raisins, craisins, walnuts, grapes, celery, onion, pecans, sunflower seeds etc.  You see you can add just about anything to this and it’s a fabulous lunch, dinner, snack, appetizer.

photo 4 photo 3 photo 2 photo 5 photo 1

Please send some positive thoughts, prayers, feelings, energy to one of our fellow bloggers, Of Kids and Cows, who is dealing with a very severe sickness with one of her children.  She can use all the strength of our blogging team to help her and her family as her daughter slowly recovers!!

Dilly Bean and Dill Pickles

first batch

I hit up a local farmers market today on my lunch break and they had a perfect selection of beans and small (perfect pickle size) cucumbers on sale. I am still waiting to harvest ours so I bought some.  I spent less than $5.00 and made 5 pint and 1 quart size jar of dill beans and dill pickles.  I canned them and they will sit now for about 2 months before we will open them as the longer they sit the stronger they!! 

Dilly Beans are a fabulous treat.  The bean flavor combined with the dill and garlic makes for a wonderful eating sensation.  My kids will eat at least one jar a month sometimes more if I let them.  I also can some for them to sell in their stand they set up in our yard. We sell pint jars for $5 and people buy them right up!!  That covers the cost of the ingredients and the jars with a little left to add to the “kids” fund.

Here is my recipe and pictures are at the end:

Dill Beans and Dill Pickles

2 cups Cider Vinegar

6 cups water

1/4 cup pickling salt

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

put all in a pot and bring to a boil.

Wash and cut the ends off the beans. Discard the ends. Then trim the beans to fit into your jars (I have used all sized jars it doesn’t matter if you want them long or to fit into a 6 oz jar).  DO NOT THROW OUT YOUR TRIMMINGS!!  You can put them in a freezer bag for soups or you can steam them for a dinner!!!

(you have to follow canning methods same as any other item you can)  If you don’t know how to can, please google it.  It’s so easy!!

Using the hot jars, stuff them with the beans/cucumbers making sure to rotate the jar so they are standing upright and not shoved in.  Stuff in 3 nice size sprigs of dill in between the beans/cucumber.

Using the funnel, ladle the hot brine in to cover the beans/cucumbers completely leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar.

Wipe the jar and place the hot lid on.  Place the ring around and tighten until just tight.  Process in a hot water bath (canning method) for 10 minutes.

The brine makes enough for about 5 pint size jars.  If you are worried about running out, make a double batch.  Whatever you don’t use, let it cool and store in a sealed container in the fridge until you are ready to can more.  You can reheat it or add it to the new batch you make.  I made a double batch as I will make another 5 jars of dilly beans when our beans are ready and I will make at least 8 more jars of pickles (sliced larger cucumber style) again when our cucumbers are ready. It’s stored in the fridge and I will add it to the next batch of brine I make when the time comes.

ingredientstrim to size scrapsbrine photo 4-2 tiltphoto 2-3 cukespickles beans

 

Potato Gardening in containers update

potatoes

My potatoes have been planted since May 9th in the containers (first time trying this).  These look small in the pictures but these containers are pretty large and now so heavy I can not move them anymore.  You can see they are filled to the top with soil and the pretty potato plants are healthy and strong.  Buried in that soil are hopefully about 25 lbs or more of Russet potatoes and New Red potatoes.  If the plants are any indication of how they are doing, you can see I should have a good yield!!

You start with a few seed potatoes and cover the vines with soil until you reach the top.  The pictures of how I started my containers as well as some updates are below:

Potato containers (first planted here) After a few weeks and having to add dirt to bury the vines as they grow (here)

I also planted carrots in containers and they are looking great.  I mixed gardening soil with sand in the containers and punched holes so the soil would drain as it would in the ground.  I have about 2 more weeks and I will begin harvesting them.

Carrots in containers (here)