Life is good in the trailer hood!

Archive for the ‘Do It Yourself’ Category

Entering The Christmas Zone!

It’s that time again!

Believe in the Spirit of Christmas Printable

Gearing up for Christmas!

ūüôā

Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday have all passed without further ado! Now is the time to think about the reason for the season.

LOVE!

Brrr, baby it’s cold out there!¬† I need hot chocolate. (I love hot chocolate!)

Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream

Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a¬† quick¬† holiday idea for making gifts teachers, friends, etc. My kids love¬† this hot chocolate mix.¬† Adapted and tweaked from Grandma Dot’s recipe to…

Evie’s¬† Hot Chocolate Mix!

1 Р8  ounce jar cocoa powder

1 Р8 quart package  non fat dry milk (about 10 cups)

1 -16 ounce package sifted powdered sugar (about 3 -3/4 cups)

1 -10 ounce jar powdered non dairy creamer

Optional * pinch of cinnamon and whipped cream or marshmallows. I like to add a peppermint stick to my gifts!

My grandson, Justin doesn’t like cinnamon so I just add it to my cup!

~ In large bowl mix all ingredients except optional items. Store in airtight container. For one serving add about one fourth cup hot chocolate mix to one cup boiled water. Let cool before drinking!

Last year for teachers and friends, the grand kids and I did Rudolph Hot Chocolate Treats .

For over a year I have pinned these holiday ideas, and here’s the mother load! I thought maybe you would like to check out my Pinterest board full of Christmas ideas.

Many are do-it-yourself, easy decorations, crafts, and ornaments that will make your holiday brighter.

Enjoy and don’t forget to follow Evie’s Gardens here and on Facebook!

Thanks ~ Evie

Holiday’s Are Coming!

As a child I remember going to our grandparents’ home. My grandfather managed a dairy, his father owned Pippin’s dairy when he grew up.

Just a blast from the past I thought I would share!

My great grandparents on the Pippin/Sams Branches of our Family Tree.

Made me think back, then forward. Family memories rock. Period. No one has your family and your life time memories. They are tucked away somewhere in your mind,  just to jump back in there right at the holidays. I know, right?

I love to make memories with my grandchildren and my children!

Last year while at my daughter’s, I had a wonderful time with my grandchildren, Ashley and Cooper doing “random acts of¬† Christmas kindness“, which from now on, will be referred to as RACK.

From making cookies for the neighbors and the fire fighters to picking up trash in the neighbors yards, we did an act of kindness from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

It’s the beginning of the holiday season, and I am looking forward to some family and friends’ time!

Every year at this time when my Thanksgiving cactus blooms, I start thinking about the fun ahead.

Last year we had a blast making gingerbread houses with Brittnee and Kye, two more of my grands who were visiting from Oklahoma. The kids had fun, the left over Halloween candy is history, and we made some precious memories.

This year’s holiday season started off sad, with an unfortunate accident that took the life of my nephew. My sister in law’s sister passed away, and there is lots of sickness going around.

Our local VFW Post and our auxiliary make Thanksgiving dinner for our community who don’t have family, or can’t afford to make such a meal. We take donations to help cover the cost.

Mr. M and I usually contribute by pitching in where ever we can. It’s such a little thing to spend your time making peanut butter sandwiches for those in need. Then we feast on a meal that is blessed by many doing RACK. Oh, yeah!

Then Countdown to Christmas! Check out my Pinterest board for a fun, easy inexpensive Christmas craft to do with your kiddos for teachers’ gifts, or for party favors.

Hot chocolate, anyone?

The number of cakes in the jars for my troop and family Christmas gifts is increasing, if I can keep the man out of them! ūüėČ I am making extras to have for when company drops by! My favorite so far is the egg-less, milk-less chocolate cake!

Remember the reason.

Enjoy the season.

Give thanks.

And RACK on!

Cake In A Jar? Oh, Yeah!

For those of you who follow me, are kin to me, love me… (tee-hee), you know our Ladies Auxiliary is gearing up to send Christmas packages to our troops whom we have adopted.

You also know I have been making cakes, breads, and brownies in jars to send to our military for those care packages.

So yesterday I was thinking (yeah, I know, scary, huh?); wondering what I could do next, thinking back over all the yummy goodness I have baked and eaten in my lifetime.

I thought about the first time as a newly married (very young) wife when I invited my parents over to eat, making one of Dad’s favorite desserts, Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Hey, I can still remember – it hasn’t been that many years ago.

That got me to thinking, again… okay, stop laughing y’all.

How could I adapt that scrumptious dessert to a jar? Well, as you know, I had to try.

Just remember,¬† for those of you who are diabetic… don’t let your friends tempt you to eat the whole thing. (Christy Badgwell! ūüėČ

That red and white checkered book where I found the recipe was my first cookbook…¬† a wedding gift from my Aunt Nadine, purchased with S and H green stamps.

The recipe has been a favorite in our home since then.

I renamed this, but  recipe is adapted from the BHG  (somewhere around 1970.)

 

Pineapple Upside Down – Right Side Up Yummies!

1 – 20 ounce can of chunk pineapple (I am sure crushed would work as well, I had chunk.)

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup Crisco or shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thoroughly grease (I use a pastry brush) bottoms and sides of 5 wide mouth pint size canning jars. Don’t grease the top inch!

Drain pineapple, reserve juice. Add water to remaining  juice to make one cup liquid.

Melt butter in the microwave. Add brown sugar and two tablespoons of the reserved pineapple juice.

Drop pineapple chunks making a layer in bottom of  jar.  Divide the melted butter Рbrown sugar mixture between your five jars.  Save enough to swirl some on top! (Maraschino cherries, optional.)

Meanwhile… cream together shortening and sugar until light. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.

In another large bowl, mix dry ingredients, stirring with a whisk, (or sift ) until mixed. Add alternately with reserved pineapple juice.

Fill jars approximately half full with batter.

Divide remaining pineapples, drop on top.

Swirl remaining brown sugar and butter sauce on top of batter in each jar.

Sprinkle flaked coconut on top.

Wipe the top part of the jar down with a damp paper towel to make sure nothing hampers the sealing process.

Bake  at 350 for approximately 40 minutes. Oven temperatures vary, check with toothpick. When toothpick comes out clean, cake is done.

At this point you probably should send the men out of the kitchen or there won’t be anything left.

Put seals and rings on, tighten. When you hear the ping… it’s sealed.

Oh, yeah, leave one be…¬† forget the seal and ring. You have to sample it! And then you can crash from the sugar rush!

Put in your pantry, or send a jar to one of our military people… they will love it!

For more information on sending packages to the troops check this out!

Happy eating! ~ Evie

Water Features in the Garden!

My daughter’s Mirandy’s last chemo session was yesterday. Three days from now I will be flying back to Oklahoma… to my little homestead in the trailer-hood where it is time to begin working in the endless gardens. Maybe some day we will have time to fish at nearby Lake Eufaula!

Every season has its end and thank God… the dreary season of cancer is behind us, and spring is springing! So are the weeds in Evie’s Gardens!

I am impatient to get my hands dirty, and excited to see how things have evolved since I have been away for over four months. And thinking that thought, I wondered how much my fish in my water garden have grown.

No, this one isn’t mine, although that would be nice. This beautiful Koi pond belongs to The Water Garden, located in¬† Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Water Garden's Koi Pond

While we do have plans to build a pond,¬† for now I enjoy my fauna in a smaller, more humble body of water. Okay, it’s a stock tank!

Living in the country I tend to have critters to deal with in all my gardens. I always worry about wild animals like raccoons having my fish for dinner. I go to certain lengths to protect them, like using netting in the following picture.

Adding a water feature is easy to do, and makes for many enjoyable hours of  entertainment!  You can use a number of things to make your water garden unique such as this:

Old Water Pump Makes Great Addition to Yard!

A small container of¬† plants or a bubbling water fountain can bring a conversational focal point to your yard. It’s fascinating to watch fish play in your water garden while aquatic plants are fun to grow. Here are some plants to grow in the shade¬† in your water garden.

Here’s one that you can plant without a water garden! Although you can make a great glass of mint tea with it!

The crew at The Water Garden has lots of great information and products to help you with your aquatic plant care needs. They will even tell you how to plant and divide them! Check out their website out for products, plans, and advice for your water gardens!

For those of you who know me, you know, I like to eat! Many aquatic plants are used by humans as a food source. Here are some edibles that you might want to grow for your own consumption.  

More on this later. Until then, check out Wikipedia for a large list of edibles that grow in water!

Water features entrance young and old alike. You can begin by simply adding a container with water plants such as these!

It’s amazing to see plants happily thriving in water, when it is so easy to over water your indoor plants. If you are on a tight budget, start small, and build your water garden slowly. Even a small one is fun, and one day, who knows, maybe yours will be the best of all!

More on water gardens later. For now, I am going to enjoy some precious time with my favorite flower in my life’s garden, my rose, Mirandy before I fly away!

Of course, take precautions with children around water, and never leave a child unattended!

Thanks to The Water Garden, Lowe’s, and the Public Domain for sharing such great information and pictures with us!

Mint

When Jennifer was referred to me as to the person to go to about the herbs she wanted to grow, first, I told I would re-pin some pins from my boards.

Then, I thought I should write my post about it, and share it with more of you.

So here goes.

The first herb I want to share is Mentha, also known as mint. There are many types of mint from apple to wooly,¬† probably¬† a lot more that I don’t know about. It smells good, it is wonderful to cook with, and it’s good for your health!

Mint is very easily rooted, just top it off leaving about four leaves and a couple of leaf joints below that intact. Stick it in the ground, making sure the bottom leaf joints are buried. Keep moist and it will root. It will also root if you pull up a stem, strip most of the leaves and bury it sideways, shallow. Actually it can be very invasive, so be careful!

Personally, I love it as a ground cover, and I don’t care if it spreads. In fact, on any given day, you might see me tucking some in the ground, spreading that joy around!

Mint thrives in partially shaded, moist soil, but also does well in the sun.

If you don’t want it to spread, bury a twelve inch deep barrier of some sort in the ground between your plants and where you don’t want it to grow. Mint makes a great container plant.

I love to brush across it and spill the fragrance. I am particularly fond of chocolate, lemon, and pineapple mints. What am I saying? I love them all. Spearmint, peppermint, the works.

Basil is even related to the mint family, and just as easy to grow.

Most prefer using mint leaves fresh, but you can dry them also for teas, potpourri, and other uses.

I harvest mine by cutting the tops off with a pair of scissors when it gets taller than I want it. This makes it bushier and it seems to spread faster! Some say harvest twice a year, some say harvest throughout. I do it when it is convenient for me.

Grab sicssors and cut a handful of peppermint with stems and leaves. Bunch together and turn  the bundle upside down. Secure with a rubber band, or whatever you use. (I use clean pantyhose cut in one half inch circles from the legs of the pantyhose.)

Hang upside down to dry in a dry place. It doesn’t really matter where. Dry them over your kitchen sink, in the window, in the pantry… just so it’s a dry place. When¬† completely dry, store in a airtight container.

Here again, frugal me… I recycle Folger’s coffee cans.

Mint is repellent to many pesky insects. I keep it in my cupboards to repel mice. Some say ants don’t like it. On my DIY board there is instructions for making your own insect repellent using peppermint essential oil.

Here is a link for making your own essential oil with herbs. Sounds fun. Maybe when I get back home I will attempt this.

I do enjoy cooking with peppermint oil, and always have some drying for uses around the house. I love peppermint tea.

Come on over, I will make you a cuppa! I’ll even make you a peanut butter sandwich!

Wikipedia has quite a lot  about mint, so instead of repeating what they say I will link you in!

If you have any good tidbits about mint, please share in the comments.

So what do YOU want to know about next?

God bless you and have a great day!

Hi, It’s Just Me!

For those of you on Pinterest… just thought I would introduce myself and share a¬† few flowers in Evie’s Gardens! For those of you who read my blog… I¬† am back!

If you follow me on Pinterest, and wonder who I am and why I pin such diverse objects, let me introduce myself.¬† I’m Evelyn aka Evie. Passionate about life in general, I wear many hats. A gardener and crafter at heart, I incorporate both.

My yard and greenhouse are usually full of handmade, recycled, DIY objects. My many family members and my friends are the perks in my life. I enjoy making peanut butter sandwiches… aka… random acts of kindness.

I started this blog last year, then my computer crashed. My daughter was diagnosed with lymphoma and my husband was diagnosed with skin cancer. So… the blog was put on hold.

Unfortunately all of my Evie’s Gardens files were lost when my computer crashed. So I must start over. ūüė¶

Computer is fixed. Life goes on. (Still haven’t retrieved all my files, but we are working on that.)

My news years resolution was to embrace the life God has given me, to live it, love it, and laugh and enjoy it and definitely be thankful for it!

No worrying about what ifs, no dwelling on why I didn’t. To do what I am led, no questions asked!

This is  my granddaughter Ashley. I have challenged her to eat healthier.

We’re working on this! Click on the picture and see what Doctor Oz says about healthy foods!

ft

We are making healthy choices this year!

When cancer strikes your family you question your mortality. We have a challenge to eat healthier! We are doing this daily in the choices we make!

Oh, to have the energy this little guy has!

Let's get healthy!

If my grandson Cooper can hoola hoop, I can, too!

My daughter Mirandy received the results for her pet scan. Halfway through chemo, the cancer has shrunk in half! Yeah, I’m praising the Lord!

Team Mandy

 This is my daughter Mirandy (front row Рcenter), her family, my son and his family, and me!

This guy on the right is my husband. At this time I am staying with my daughter in IL while he remains at home in OK.

We are just a small part of Team Mandy. There are so many who support her through this battle in her life. We had t-shirts made as a gesture to show her we care, and they are proudly worn in Illinois, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas! Go Team Mandy!

Even though we are having some bumps in the road, life is not going to get us down! We are fighting like a hoot! (Mirandy, aka, Mandy’s nickname)

I Pinned This!

I tried out the aluminum foil ball for the dryer that is supposed to get rid of static electricity. It didn’t. If anyone else tried it and it worked, tell me what you did right and what I didn’t!

If you would like to follow me as I go through my life in Evie’s Gardens… jump on board.

I’m you will find something that interest you, whether it is gardening, spiritual, crafts, food, DIY, kids fun, or just some good humorous fun! Please get involved!

Glad you dropped by.

Today I just wanted to introduce myself.

Hope your day is blessed beyond belief! ~Evie

In remembrance of¬† MLK… ‚ÄúFaith is taking the first step, even when you don‚Äôt see the whole staircase.‚ÄĚ~Martin Luther King
%d bloggers like this: