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Simple Smiles

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life By Sheryl Simons The happier you are with the simple things, the easier it is to be happy. What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29, 2006
      The Simple Life
      By Sheryl Simons

      "The happier you are with the simple things, the easier it is to be

      "What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and
      the world remains and is immortal." ~~Albert Pine

      Take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never
      been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of
      happiness you'll never get back.

      * * *
      I don't know if you've noticed or not, but some of the trees
      in our area are beginning to change colors. They are beautiful.
      But before Labor day? Don't they know there's a rule? If the kids
      cannot return to school before Labor day, then the trees shouldn't
      be able to start changing color before then either! But, I guess
      they have their own timetable. Fall brings so many fun things! We
      get to cut a few loads of wood before winter, and the time in the
      woods really is fun, not too much work. It's good exercise and even
      if we work up a small sweat, it feels good. And there's the
      accomplishment of seeing the stacks of wood all piled up and ready
      for winter.
      There's canning and freezing. Knowing that a little work
      can bring free food for winter. Later there will be a few more
      jobs. Getting the plow on the 4X4, and putting things away for
      But, fall isn't even officially here! A lot of people
      complain about winter's approach, but the snow may be a month or
      more away. It's not too late for that last trip to the beach. Or
      that cook out on the weekends or a hayride. Just don't put it off
      any longer! Just enjoy the weather, what ever it brings, as much as
      you can. We can learn to love it, or let it beat us.
      * * *
      Fuel Decision???

      There are lots of reasons to burn alternative fuel. We
      don't live in town, so there is no natural gas connection. Until
      now, we've had fuel oil and wood. But mostly we burn wood. For
      one, when those trees fall in the woods, why just let them fall and
      rot? Sure it takes a few mornings in the woods, and a few hours of
      stacking to get it ready, but otherwise it's nearly free. If you
      have your own woods, or a good source, burning wood is probably the
      best alternative. If you have to buy wood, that's a different story
      altogether. You've lost the benefit of the fun exercise, and you
      are paying a big price. People with allergies must beware as well.
      Some people just cannot handle the dryness and air quality, no
      matter how minimal. But most of us will probably reach a point where
      burning wood is just not an option.
      Some people are burning corn. I think that's a pretty good
      alternative, it's renewable at the very least. But I've been told,
      it doesn't burn well on it's own. Corn likely uses more fuel to
      plant, harvest, shell, etc. than wood. The price seems to stay
      pretty steady, but corn will get harder to come by, with ethanol
      plants springing up. That may affect the price. Pellet stoves, while
      trendy, are possibly easier than the wood stove - fill the hopper
      once or twice a day. But then you are at the mercy of the pellet
      companies. We've seen pellets nearly double in price in the last
      two years alone! Ouch. Pellets must be kept completely dry. If a
      bag gets moisture into it, it's ruined. Also you cannot store
      pellets too long, or they revert back to the sawdust they started
      Also a bag of pellets is heavier than a piece of wood, so you
      actually have to handle more weight, rather than less.
      Whatever you burn, please let me know if you have some cheaper,
      easier ideas. There are all kinds of alternatives, including solar,
      which is probably the cleanest and best, but not the most reliable.
      I'd love to hear from you!
      * * *

      Applesauce Pancakes
      1 c flour
      2 T vegetable oil
      1 T sugar
      1 t cinnamon
      3 t baking powder
      toss in a pinch salt
      1/2 c milk
      1/2 c applesauce
      1 egg
      Beat egg, add remaining ingredients. You can add more milk if you
      like thinner pancakes. Heat griddle, pour on batter and cook until
      puffed and dry around the edges.
      Serve with real maple syrup!

      * * *

      Extending the Garden

      Don't let an early frost nip your garden. This time of year
      the garden is really coming on. Keep your tomatoes picked and you
      will get more. It's true, once the weather cools, hot weather
      loving plants don't do as well, but lots of plants are loving the
      cooler air. Broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and more just love
      a cooler environment. If you have a green house or coldframe, you
      can really extend the season. But even a few strategically placed
      old blankets on your `maters and peppers can keep them going through
      a few light frosts. So, don't let Jack Frost ruin your garden – not
      yet anyways!

      Please contact Sheryl with recipes, questions, comments and simple
      living ideas that work for you. Email: thesimple_life@...
      Join the online newsletter to print recipes and look up previous
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