Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Month: November 2015 (page 1 of 2)

Bye Bye Ghost, Pumpkins and Assorted Paper Products






I normally commence with the removing of old material in my files at the beginning of the new year but I decided since it was frightfully cold with widow makers (tree limbs falling) and ice falling from above I decided to do it today. It is a insidious project I do once a year to prevent too much paper. My files is not too bad so it took an hour to take care of. Okaym I will be truthful. I lost a card and could not find it. I knew it was on the bottom of a file somewhere. Sure enough it seemed to reappear in the correct file I had looked in yesterday but not finding. It was hiding somehow. I found it and now took care of the files early too. The pile of paper will make good file starters which makes cleaning my files in December a good idea.

I  had begun putting away my fall items. I wanted to fit them into one tote but could not. It ended up being a great time to go through the two totes and get rid of items I was not using. I stopped using the Halloween decor a couple of years ago. In the almost 15 years of living here we have never had any trick- or -treaters. Not One! In the pile went a light up jack o lantern, a small witch wreath I made, a bow couple of bowls, CD and a few other decor items. That make another 10 items or so in the too much stuff pile. I have been behind in getting rid of stuff so I should be on track again.



Today I canned some whole berry cranberry sauce. I had some  Cranberry Sauce- jellied in the pantry. It is really easy to prepare and you make it using the water bath method so you do not do any pressure cooking a t all. It making jelly and preserves except you want the Cranberry Jelly thicker. The first recipe will take one and part of a second 12 oz bag. The Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce uses two 12 oz. bags. Sometimes when canning you do not get the amount in the recipe. This is usually the result of cooking the sauce beyond the minimal gel point. You can see I only got 4 canned pints. It ended up being 4 1/2 pints and I did not can the 1/2 jar.

This was not grown in my garden but someday I am going to try growing high bush cranberries. They are not a true cranberry  but are an excellent substitute for cranberries. Make sure you plant the true North American species,  Viburnum opulus var. americana because the European varieties are too bitter.


Cranberry Sauce Jellied

1 1/4 cups cranberries

1 3/4 cups water

2 cups sugar


Wash cranberries, drain. Combine cranberries and water in a saucepan. Boil until skins burst.Press mixture through a sieve or food mill. Add sugar to cranberry pulp and juice. Boil mixture almost to jelling point. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, Adjust two piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Yield 2 pints


Cranberry Sauce- Whole Berry

8 cups cranberries

4 cups water

4 cups sugar

Wash cranberries, drain. Combine sugar and water in a large sauce pot. Boil 5 minutes. Add cranberries. Continue boiling without stirring until skins burst. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars. leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust two piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner

Yield: 6 pints.




Experiment That Went Horribly Wrong









I was taking a class online with edX which has nice course if you have the time. They are not always the full course offered at the Universities but you will learn a lot. I had a nutrients test with this class and it went horribly wrong.  The plants without nutrients (only water) did better the fertilized ones. I was not able to complete the courses because of time constraints. You need a few hours of time each week since they are college courses. They suggest at least 3 but I find it is more like 6-10 per class.

I will not need these soda pop pots since I have plenty of pots ready for next year plantings. I go a whole bunch of pot on sale this fall for starting seedings. They go knocked over when I lifted them up making a big mess 🙁

While I had the camera out I decided to take pictures of some of my pets.





Why Do We Hold On To Stuff? We Do Not Need It. Really!




It is quite amazing finding stuff I am not sure why I hung on to. I used to have an office at a place I worked and in that office I had certificates. It was the thing to do in that place and time. I still have some still in frames but I think it is time to remove them from the frame and put them into a book since they might be useful sometime. The frames can go.

At one time I did a lot of  ceramic  art and made a few objects. I still have this leaf that I have no need for.

I also like doing needle art, mainly needlepoint, and this cross stitch has a story attached to it.  At on time I tired of military wifes complaining about the base (post) we were at. I just felt you make the best of where you are at especially being a military spouse. Complaining will not make the place the same as “home” so find reason you like the place that “home” does hot have. Heck, my “home” did not have 100 percent humility so I got free saunas at the base in Florida.  “Home” did not have the four season in one day as other places I lived. “home at two. “Home” did not have tornadoes but “Home was blessed with earthquakes. Anyway, I came across this cross stitch that someone must have the same feelings.  I stitched it and had it at my entrance for years.  Some did not find humor in it.

The last object is a jar filled with sand holding lollipops  made  a long time ago by Dear Daughter  #2.  It is just taking up space and I really never liked it but felt guilt about removing it. Time to go now.

Books And More Book and Small Lei


Books and Stuff

Today I tried to go through my PaperBack Swap to delete the books that have sat in a box. The site will not let me delete the books that have not been swapped out and have sat in the box for a year. So I sent a message and hopefully will have the problem resolved. Then I will be able to get them ready for a box to get rid of.

The lei was hanging in car and will go since I am not using it anymore.

Broken and Forgotten – Too Much Stuff

Worn out belt. jacket with broken zipper and a unused box.

Worn out belt. jacket with broken zipper and an unused box.


I was not able to make a post the other day but that did not keep me from finding stuff that I do not need. In the guest/sewing/craft room I found a broken belt. Not sure anyone want or needs it. They may have saved if for the buckle so something. I also found an old check box. I write so few checks anymore. Today I found this old jacket that has a broken zipper in the other cabinet. Let’s face it I am not going to fix it anytime soon. I will just buy another jacket. It is a nice warm fleece and really too bad the zipper was not the same quality as the rest of the jacket.

Heck, Why Not? Too Much Stuff



While I was going down to the basement to add item to our emergency supplies I looked for anything I have not used for a long time. To my surprise I found this candle that really looks like it has been chewed on by a critter. Do I have another invasion of a packrat. I hope not. Anyway the top looks neat I think but the bottom is really uneven on one side.




I also notice an old plastic storage container that I stopped using after I went to mostly glass. Another item I know I have not used in a long time and maybe never is a Quiché pan. Do you remember the Quiché phase in the 80’s? I somehow got three of these and use the other two on a rack for serving cookies and other items.



A Few Simple Ways to Reduce Food Waste




In the United States we waste a lot of food but food gets wasted almost everywhere because of storage issues to the consumer waste. According the to the United Nations roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption goes to waste every year. That is a lot of food. You can’t control all food waste but there are some ways where you can avoid wasting so much food.


  • Plan you meals. Make a meal plan and try to stick to it. If you know you will go out or will not be able to cook at certain times of the week then plan for those days too. There are a lot of sites that have meal plans you can prepare. I use the  Now You’re Cooking! Recipe Software. It is a good database the is not too expensive.  Many time I just make a plan on a piece of paper and then make a shopping list. I have some meal plans my web site you might find useful. Many of them are easy and not too expensive. 



  • Better Home Storage. I started using containers after finding too many food products infested with insects. I found out that those pantry moths can eat through paper and the thin plastic many items are purchased in so I started preventing that from happening. I prefer using glass and use a lot of gallon canning jars but do use plastic at times. Items stored this way last longer before spoilage. 


  • Try to keep track of what you have on hand. I keep a freezer and fridge magic marker boards. This especially helps when you have items you do not use often. 


food bank

  • Give to Food Banks . If you have some canned food that is still within the best by date then you can give them to food banks and other places that will take them. These places may not have the means to store perishable items so It is best to give canned.  






  • Learn to Preserve. Learn to can, dry, and properly freeze items to prevent spoilage.






  • Feed your animals or give to other with animals. If you have some not so fresh items your animals will still enjoy them. 



  • Compost. If all else fails and sometimes even the best of us have food go bad make a compost pile or find someone who does. Some of the communities gardens will take in items for compost.



TOO Much Stuff -In the Car



Today was a beautiful day. A little more wind than I like but the temperature is lower 70’s. It is a really nice day to go take pictures and I might do so in a little while. Before doing some grooming on my donkeys I decided it was a good day to clean out the car. So today Too Much Stuff is from my car. We live on a gravel road so it tends to get dusty inside and out very quickly. I also decided to clean out the cubby and was surprized of all the stuff pack in there. Mostly from someone using the car at one time. I was very surprized to find three broken claw type hair clips. and seven hair bands. I aslo found a bunch of key rings that I had for a project at one time. The rings will go into my crafts area which is another place that needs cleaning out.  So now I have a bag that goes into the trash. The fur is my cat checking out the bag.

Bathroom Redo with Stuff I Had


Since I change the breakfast nook area and had some STUFF without a home I decided to change the bathroom decor. I went from a sort of Victorian style to more of a craftsman’s style to fit the decor home. Not totally convinced I like all that I have arranged but I REALLY wanted to get rid of the angel and dusty faux plant. The crystal plate, crystal tea candle holder and little animals I were also so done with.  Now if only I can get Mr. Gadget to move the meds.






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