Photo: Great grandparents at their farm in Blandinsville, IL, with five of their six children .. my grandpa was yet a twinkle in grandma's eye. Stable boy and governess also pictured. Hodges farm, circa 1903-4

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Time Team - America's Birthplace

I have enjoyed watching the 'Time Team' (a British TV series) ... they have an episode on Jamestown.

At one time in my genealogical search, I had found a line leading to Jamestown, but my son Nathan sat down at my computer to play a silly game and closed the link.  Oh well, maybe one day I'll rediscover the lead.  Our family does have colonial relatives from Virginia ... so it's not too far fetched.

If you like history shows, take a peek at this episode.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Historical Docu-Drama

... set between 1785 through 1812 in the state of Maine, USA.  A Midwife's Tale, ..."this intimate history illuminates the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier.'  Pulitzer Prize Winning Book available through Amazon (here) or, perhaps your local library.  

If you like early American history, read the book and/or watch the American Experience movie version available on DVD format from Netflix and full movie version on YouTube.

Blessings on your Sunday.

Mrs. Mac

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Fermented Pickles

My favorite fermented pickle recipe.  I use my own pickling spice blend, but follow the recipe.  Fresh grape leaves can be used instead of horseradish leaves with the same results.

Of late, the cucumbers are not too abundantly producing, so I read a tip to spray a light sugar water mixture around the flowers to help attract pollinators.  Will try as pollination seems to be a problem of late.

When I don't have sufficient cukes to ferment, I buy this yummy-licious brand from the market - available year round.  They also make a mean fermented sauerkraut!

Pickles, pickles, pickles!

"On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally's cellar."
Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

These Happy Golden Years ...

Retirement .. well, the hubby is retired, I'm a forever homemaker, honing my skills each day and learning new old ways to prepare nutritious meals with what is on hand, gardening, volunteering around the community, helping out nurturing our grandchildren when needed.

Retirement is not for the faint of heart.  It's also not sitting around from morning til night in a rocking chair.  We are always on the go whether at home or in the community.

Planning ahead for retirement can be done.  Retiring debt free is a blessing but takes many years of strategy, going without in the present to assure the means later on.

Many today are living for today and spending like there is no tomorrow.  We are not guaranteed our tomorrows, but it is best to plan for the future than to get there and be in a panic filled with worry.

How are you planning for life after career?

"There is actually no such thing as retirement .. you just put on a different hat and redirect yourself."
Mrs. Mac

Debt Free Living/Dave Ramsey

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Slimmer Pickings

Twenty months ago I joined Weight Watchers (WW) with a friend.  I had wanted to join for a long time but was reluctant and tried not to focus on the extra baggage gained in my 40s and 50s.  A year ago June I met my goal weight (actually ten pounds below goal) and have kept off 40 pounds going from a  size 12 to a size 6 (USA size).  Believe me .. this is a 'feel good' size and in my younger days would probably have been about a size 9 back in the 70s.  The fashion industry has padded the egos of American women by adjusting the bigger sizes down a notch or two in number only.

To aid in the slimming process AND develop strength during/after the weight loss I began exercising to the PBS show Classical Stretch; doing the 22 minute routine five days a week.  This is a gentle workout to help with balance, toning, and aging. 

Today is weigh in day for July to keep my free 'lifetime' membership with WW.    Free WW and free exercise show ... both good things! 
Mr. & Mrs. Mac

Guide to keeping weight off:

  • Use a smaller size plate
  • Don't take seconds
  • Eliminate sugary drinks
  • Limit snacks
  • Eat more vegetables & fruit
  • Limit starchy foods
I have not tracked my food through the WW app on my phone for two months; will probably be up two pounds so will be back to tracking this coming week.  

Feeling better in my 60s ~ priceless!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Hello Summer!

Don't let the green grass fool you in the picture taken this morning at sunrise.  Smoky skies have been hanging around for a few weeks.  Things are drying up around here and elsewhere in the west.  Devastating fires covering many western states have turned into infernos.  Oldest son has been fighting fires for several months.  First in Arizona .. and now a little closer to home in Southern Idaho.

I've been filling up the hummingbird feeders almost daily ... poor little birds are swarming looking for a drink.

A trip to Sandpoint to pick up our annual chicken order for the freezer.  I don't think there is a bird under 7 pounds and many of them are close to 10 pounds.  We ordered from a different farm this year and I was so surprised to see how BIG these birds are!  Good thing I have a dedicated freezer just for chicken.  
Filling up the winter pantry.
Chicken Stock
Our sour cherry tree produced quite a bit of fruit this year and we picked it before the birds devoured our treasure!  Pie filling in the freezer ... and brandied cherries 'maturing' in the basement pantry ..oh, YUM!
Brandied Cherries

The ever labor intensive homemade Boston Baked Beans ... it's a once a year endeavor that I'm always happy to have completed.  
Boston Baked Beans

What's up in your neck of the woods?

My Other Name ...


Wee One arrived on his due date.  This grammy is in love all over again.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Reclaiming My Passion

Home-keeper at heart. The past few years I've been preoccupied with other stuff.  Getting back to my passion for all things of hearth and home is rejuvenating.  Like rediscovering a favorite comfy sweater tucked away for years in the bottom dresser drawer.

Today's goals: 

  • Putter in the garden purposely, not rushed
  • Make an awesome braised pork shoulder roast for dinner
  • Be attentive to the Mr.  Hang with him in the garage.  Conversing.
  • Read three chapters from a book mom gave me for Christmas in 2012, with her hand written inscription, " Merry Christmas, 2012, when I saw a little clip of this story, I knew it was meant for you.  Enjoy, Love and Hugs, Mom and Pops."  After reading the first few chapters of the book, A Dog Named Christmas, it is clear how much thought she put into the gift selection. 
  • Long soak in the tub tonight
  • Church service online.  
Today's inspiration comes from Tasha Tudor. 

"Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is. Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!"  Tasha Tudor

Friday, July 20, 2018

Preserving History

Image may contain: indoorBeing a member of the DAR, preserving history is a great past time.  Once a week I head to town to volunteer giving tours at our local museum.  It's a lovely place to hang out and meet new people.  In between patrons, I put on my apron and dust away cobwebs, mop the floor and spritz clean the glass display cases.  It's rewarding and sorta fun studying about the town's founding fathers/mothers and looking at all of the gadgets.  Many museums are struggling to stay open - I encourage you to support and take an interest in your area's history. 

Image may contain: table and indoor

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Expecting and Soon!

Mrs. Mac here.

Hello old blog and anyone still following the Thrifty Garden Home?
I'm thinking of resurrecting this site!

Social media, politics and the news have driven me to my wits end.  I know there is civility somewhere, so this will be my place to ponder.

If you are reading this and recall our past visits, please leave a short note.

We are expecting our fourth grandson!   Our youngest daughter, Ann, and her husband are due with their first child next week!  Image may contain: one or more people and indoor
TTFN (ta-ta-for-now),

Mrs. Mac

Friday, August 26, 2016

Purposely Going ....

... 'Old School' ....
(Made in the U.S.A.)

Sick and tired of crummy crackly VoIP phone service with wireless handset, we've gotten our land line back and opted for a wall phone, curly cord and all!  And I'm about to ditch my smart phone for a internet free flip phone.

Sick of the pull being 'tethered' to the www all the time.  Spacebook ...don't get me started, oy!  Oh .. and all of it's spying with advertisements for this or that when I search on google or Pinterest.

My absence in blog land has been mostly due to the vacuum sucking effect of being on Face Book; where there is boundless selfie action and TMI being shared.

There is more to life than snippets of this and that.

OK ..

Rant over!

Has anyone else fallen into this 'rabbit hole'?

In the mean time .. I am enjoying sitting on the front porch rocker sipping coffee each morning with hubby; spending time with the grandboys .. including the newest little feller that is a month old!  Visiting with my folks every few days .. enjoying their presence making up for many years of lost time due to time and distance apart.  The garden flowers .. new church fellowship ... RETIREMENT life tends to be busier than when hubby worked a full time job!

Nathan begins his last year of high school.   Ann is coming up on two years of marriage!  Patrick is off fighting wild fires in the Salmon Mountain range of Southern Idaho .. his third wild-land fire deployment this summer.  We have a very full and rewarding retirement life.

Enjoy each day that unfolds .. count your blessings!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Battle of Deep Creek

The Mr. and I, once again, trekked to see the Battle of Deep Creek Civil War Re-enactment near Spokane, WA.   Maybe next year we will take the evening lantern tour through the north and south encampments .. complete with ghost stories!  While the Mr. chatted with Mr. Lincoln and General Grant, I opted to hear a talk about the language of fans, parasols and gloves .. who knew?

Busy In The Garden

Summer arrived a few weeks early .. everything has bloomed and the garden is on its way.  Did I mention we're going to be grandparents once again?  Mid July .. oldest daughter .. so excited!!


Onions, herbs and lettuces

Sugar snap peas

Nasturtium, forget-me-not, baby's breath

Strawberries .. covered with bird netting



Clematis, cat mint, spirea, delphinium, fox glove 

New wood shed

Cannon, whiskey barrel filled with flowers, day lilies 

Fragrant peonies

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Waking Up From .....

.... Winter

Cabin fever.  Low sunlight.  Doldrums.

The earth is brown.  Garden landscape looks dead.  My insides are silently screaming to 'get out'.

Waiting for spring.  Changing gears.  Kayaking.  Bike rides.  Digging in the soil.  Planting.

The rhubarb is breaking ground.  Overwintered herbs are perking up.

It won't be long.

Welcome March!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Nathan stepped out in style last Friday!  He attend the Tim Tebow Foundation's Night to Shine Prom!  This was a huge-big deal for him ... the Mr. and I tagged along and had one of the best evenings ourselves shadowing from the sidelines.

All participants were crowned King or Queen

Dancing to the beat of the drum!

These two have been sweet on each other since early elementary school