Monday, August 31, 2009

Get Back Up!

I found this on Tony Robbins site this morning. Have the tissues handy, it's the best 5 minutes I spent today so far.

Now go out and do great things! :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm Channeling Martha Stewart Again

On Friday, I made 2 loaves of Amish Friendship Bread from a starter given to me by QH's sister. I have 4 starters in gallon size zip bags fermenting on top of my cupboard. I plan to give some of the starters away, and keep a few to make more bread. I hope to send some to my handsome son who is in the Navy and stationed in Virginia who is also homesick.

Yesterday, I stood in the kitchen running vegetables through my food processor and hunting for my jar rings and jar lids I haven't laid my eyes on for over 2 years now. I did zero (0) canning last year and I am paying the price for it this year. No salsa, no canned tomatoes, no jelly or apple butter in the store room. Not good. I have to replenish my stash so we can eat well this winter. I took the Romas and Jalepenos from my garden, mixed them with red onion, green peppers, garlic, and some seasonings and ended up with 9 quarts and a pint of homemade salsa. Next on the list is canned tomatoes and anything else I think we can use and eat this winter.

Today, QH and I spent the afternoon picking crabapples from the tree out in front of his folks place. The apples nearest to the ground were ruby red and ready and we picked almost two 5 gallon buckets full. Those will be just the beginning. The tree is loaded this year to the point the branches are hanging low to the ground. Those highest up will be ready this week, so we will be pickin' and a grinnin' next weekend.

The juice from those apples make the prettiest jelly. It has a nice pinkish-amber hue to it and it tastes like honey. We are looking for blackberry juice to mix with it. His Mom mixed them half-and-half one year and the jelly that resulted was heavenly. We plan to make a few different flavors, and of course, we are trying the slow cooker apple butter recipe.

Martha Stewart is channeling through me again. There was a change in the weather. It cooled down and I feel that little tickle I get when fall is close to coming. I've seen some changing of the leaves (most of it is due to lack of rain this year), but I've seen it and it's usually that sign that brings my favorite season into my experience.

Geese are gathering, the flowers are starting to fade, and I can actually smell, yes, smell, the season coming (or are those cheese curds from the Minnesota State Fair?). No matter. It's the time to prepare and lay in stocks of food and fuel and other provisions for the coming winter. I'm going to enjoy the season as much as I can, and if you see me smiling, know it's because I feel such a sense of accomplishment.

Nothing makes you feel more accomplished than a storeroom full of canned goods you made yourself. It's also a sign that we are not as bad off as we think. If you have a stash, then you have a sense of security, and in these economic times, I'll take any sense of security I can!

It does involve work. Standing in a hot, steamy kitchen with pots boiling and peelings clogging my sink is not exactly fun, but when you see what you get as a result of that hard work, it's completely worth it. Not only that, there is not doubt about what is in those jars. You put the ingredients in and mix them up and seal them up, so if the jar doesn't seal, you don't eat it. No national recalls, and the ingredients are for the most part, organic.

And for that most of all, it's completely worth all the peeling, sweating, boiling, steaming and cooking. When you hear that "pop" when your jars seal, it brings a sense of pride to my heart. I feel it totally validates what I do. And it tastes like summer in the coldest part of winter.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Choices Meant For Kings Is Released

My dear friend and fellow writer, Sandy Lender, has announced that the second book in the Choices Trilogy is officially released. If you haven't read "Choices Meant for Gods" yet, run, don't walk and get a copy fast and read it even faster. The second book picks up where the last one left off and you don't want to skip a beat with this one.

So please, go to and get your copy today. You can get the e-book for $3.99 and if you go now to her publisher's website, you will get a 25% discount on the hardcover book.

It's a page turner and I don't usually read fantasy fiction, but this world she created just sucks you right in and once you start reading, you can't put it down.

So, give yourself a little escape today. Go to and buy "Choices Meant for Kings" right now!

Thanks and happy reading!

Laura :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lessons From Aunt Keener

Here are some of the things I learned from my Aunt Keener:

1. Family is number one. Especially, your kids.
2. Good coffee is simple: good coffee, and good water. Don't settle for anything less.
3. Surround yourself with lots of green and growing things. (The picture above is from her garden.) And watch the birds.
4. When you get the blues, do the "Happy Dance".
5. The Sesame Street song, "My name is Fred. They call me Fred. When I get up I put a hat upon my head. My name is Fred."
6. Tomato macaroni and fried potatoes is a meal fit for a king.
7. One man's trash is another man's treasure at the dump grounds.
8. Give lots of hugs.
9. Go to the doctor, even if you don't want to know what's really wrong with you.
10. Tell everyone you love them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Aunt Keener

Her given name was Colleen, but to all of us, she was Aunt Keener. I don't quite remember which child gave her that name, but it stuck.

She passed away this weekend from a sudden heart attack. I couldn't believe the news, and I know when I walk into her house, I will be trying to hear her voice. I still have a hard time with that since QH's father, George, passed away in January.

My heart goes out to her children, Rick, Jim, and Casey, and her grandchildren, and her husband, Al. There will be a lot of tears and a lot of hugs in the next few days. The funeral is in Garrison, North Dakota. It's going to be a long trip, but I wish we were getting together for a more happy occasion.

I'm mostly worried about my Dad. Both of his sisters are gone now. He's the oldest of five, and it's got to be hard on him.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a great day, and hug those you love, and tell them you love them. You just never know.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Websites Are Up

Yes, the websites are up, finally!

You can check them out here: the website for Crawford Writing & Marketing, my personal website, for Recession Rescue, my project to help you save money, save time, and save your sanity in this economic chaos.

And... for Legalized Extortion, my project to expose how the government extorts money from the people they are supposed to serve by changing the laws to suit them, not us.

The picture at the top is a beautiful butterfly that visited me yesterday. My garden is growing by leaps and bounds and soon canning season will begin. I wanted to get things up and running so I can concentrate on that when the time comes and let everything else kind of run on autopilot.

Now, to get the books done, and get some things up to make some money from this. One step at a time. :)