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Current temperature at our house … 84. A high of 97 is predicted for this afternoon. Good times.

On the agenda for today:

  • Eat Ice Cream
  • Go to Recycle Center
  • Eat Ice Cream
  • Put Together Wool Bundles
  • Eat Ice Cream
  • Work on Pottery Project
  • Eat Ice Cream

It’s going to be a busy day. 😉 Have a good one, and try and stay cool.

 Mavis & Lucy

Stories, Recipes and General Nonsense From this Past Week

This Month’s Free Kindle Books for Prime Members * During the month of July Prime Members can choose 2 Kindle Books for Free! Go HERE for the full selection.

Movie Suggestions for the Weekend

  • Following Seas {It’s included with Prime!} The HH and I watched this last night and we both really enjoyed it.

Ebook Suggestions

A Few Amazon Deals

Subscribe and Save Deals

Home & Garden

Kids Stuff

Looking for a homemade chocolate ice cream recipe? This is the one! Get the recipe HERE.

Have a Wonderful Weekend! Mavis

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest news by signing up for my newsletter HERE, or by following One Hundred Dollars a Month on Facebook, or Instagram.

The post One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 7/20/19 appeared first on One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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I like produce. I like to grow it. I like to eat it. I like to create recipes with it. I’m also kind of a nerd and like to get to know my produce. I like learning new or fun tidbits of info about the produce I’m growing/eating/baking. If you’re a weirdo like me then buckle up for this new series as I dive into a plethora of produce facts and share them with you. Here we go:

1. According to legend, raspberries were originally white. The nymph Ida pricked her finger while picking berries for the crying infant Jupiter, and raspberries have since been tinged red with her blood.

2. Makes the botanical name of the raspberry, Rubus idaeus, make a lot more sense. Rubus means “red,” and idaeus means “belonging to Ida.”

3. A raspberry is made up of many tiny bead-like fruits called “drupelets” clustered around a center core. Each drupelet contains one seed, and an average raspberry has 100 to 120 seeds. {Who knew?}

4. Raspberries are either red, purple, gold or black in color. Golden raspberries are a bit sweeter than the other varieties.

5. An old myth about raspberries originates in Germany and claims there are magical qualities of raspberries. It was believed that to tame a bewitched horse, one would have to tie a wild raspberry twig around the horse’s body.

6. It has been suggested that drinking raspberry leaf tea shortens the second stage of labor. {Oh please!}

7. Unlike many other fruits, unripe raspberries do not ripen after they are picked. If you want a ripe raspberry, you need to be patient!

8. The main difference between raspberries and blackberries is that raspberries have a hollow core in the middle while blackberries do not.

9. In the US, about 90% of all raspberries sold come from Washington, California and Oregon.

10. Blackberries are not the same as “black raspberries.” Blackberries have a “core” that stays in the fruit when it is picked, and, unlike black raspberry canes which grow upright, blackberry canes are long and trailing.

Had you heard any of those fun facts before? Do you have any of your own to add? Is there a particular produce item you want to know more about? I take requests!

Grow on,
~ Mavis

Recipe for a Simple Red Raspberry Pie

The post 10 Fun Facts About Raspberries! appeared first on One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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Last week on our way up the the Lake Winnipesaukee area, the HH and I stopped off at a place called Beans and Greens Farmstand. I thought it was going to be a little place to buy a few pints of strawberries. Boy were we in for a surprise when we pulled into the parking lot.

Oodles of flowers, baked goods, refrigerated cases filled with local products and farm fresh fruits and vegetables. WOWZA! To say we had hit the jackpot was a HUGE understatement.

We ordered a sandwich from the deli and ate out on one of the picnic tables they had sprawled on on the grass.

Check out the cucumber trellis made from old sticks!

And that bean teepee. The used bird netting on the sides to help the beans climb. {Clever!}

Beans and Greens Farmstand in Gilford, New Hampshire. It has EVERYTHING! Plants, fresh vegetables, farm animals, homemade PIES, and the surrounding area is gorgeous. You should go there!

Have an AWESOME Thursday everyone,

~Mavis

245 Intervale Rd
Gilford, NH 03249

The post Beans & Greens Farm in Gilford, New Hampshire appeared first on One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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I LOVE me some homemade pickles. Crisp, tangy and delicious, I can down a jar all by myself in no time flat. But going through the whole canning process can be cumbersome and time consuming sometimes, and with a hot and humid summer like this, who has extra time in the jam packed summer to hang out over the stove? Not me. That’s why I love this super duper easy pickle recipe. Did I mention it’s simple?!

Ingredients

4 cups cucumber spears {you can slice pickling cucumbers if you’d prefer that over spears!}
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 garlic cloves, whole
2 heads fresh dill

Directions

Combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring well.  Once mixture boils, remove from heat and let cool completely.

Place cucumbers, garlic and dill in a large glass or plastic container. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over the cucumber mixture. Cover and chill in the fridge for 3-4 days.  You can then transfer them to jars, if you prefer, or just keep them in the bowl.

See what I mean? Easy peasy!

~Mavis

The post Simple Refrigerator Dill Pickles appeared first on One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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If you’ve ever grown herbs, you know that they grow quickly and continue to grow and grow and grow. And if you’ve ever tasted the difference between homemade and store-bought dried herbs, you know how worth it is it to pluck your herb harvest and get it dried.

Store-bought herbs are almost bland in comparison. I’ll use them in a pinch, but if I can cut and dry my own, I’m going to every chance I get! Here are 5 easy ways you can dry herbs. Just choose your favorite and get to drying!

Before you get started, you need to harvest your herbs. During the height of growing season, I usually snip of the entire stem to encourage the plant to keep producing.  Then, I slide my thumb and pointer finger along the stem, forcing the leaves into a bowl.

Give them a good rinse and spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with a paper towel. You need to give them a rinse, but want to make sure they aren’t wet when you begin the drying process. Now pick your method.

In a Dehydrator: My post on Harvesting and Drying Herbs from the Garden goes into more detail on dehydrating them using a dehydrator, but it’s pretty dang simple! Lowest possible setting and then 1-4 hours, checking after each hour to see if they are dried.

In the Oven: The oven method or cookie sheet method requires only a cookie sheet and whatever herbs your little heart desires.  Spread your herbs out over the cookie sheet {they can overlap}. Turn your oven onto the lowest possible temp and place the cookie sheet in the oven for 2-3 hours.

Hanging in Bunches: I’d only recommend this method if you like in a dry climate because sometimes the bundles retain too much moisture and you get mold before they are dry. But if you want to try this method, you can clip the stems and bundle them with a rubber band or twine, then hang them upside down in a place that is warm and dry.

In the Microwave: Place a single layer of herbs on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with another paper towel. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Check to see if herbs are dry. If not, return tot he microwave for 30-second intervals until herbs are dry {this can take up to 10 minutes, depending on the herb!}.

Air Dry: In the summer months, I love to use the sun and hot weather.  I lay them out flat on a cookie sheet or even my dehydrator racks and set them outside to dry.  I like this method because they dry pretty slowly, which I think retains their flavor better {but that might be all in my head!}.


Now what do you do with all those dried herbs? Me, I prefer to pull out my coffee grinder and pulse small batches them.  If you are drying multiple types of herbs, you want to make sure that in between each type of herb, you clean your coffee grinder, just so that the flavors don’t co-mingle.

I put the dried and lightly pulsed herbs into small mason jars and then store them in the pantry or cupboard.  They will store for about a year, and the flavor is so much more intense than anything you can get in a store!

Do you grow and dry your herbs?  If so, what is your preferred method?

~Mavis

The post 5 Different Ways to Dry Herbs appeared first on One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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Yesterday was such a lovely day. Lucy and I were able to play outside in the yard and didn’t get a single bug bite. Even though the temps were still hovering around the mid 80 mark, there was a nice breeze and the humidity that we’ve been having lately just wasn’t there.

So maybe that’s why the skeeters and horse flies were pretty much non-existent. Maybe it has something to do with humidity. Who knows.

All I know is that I was finally able to get the herb garden weeded and mulched and so now when I walk out to the back patio everything looks as it should.

Linner yesterday consisted of peanut butter and Ritz crackers.

Earlier in the week though I did manage to put together one real dinner with the HH’s BBQ leftovers. And then it was pretty much all down hill from there.

Market Basket $6.28

$3.29 for a gallon of milk {the good stuff} and $2.99 for a melon. I remember when you could get a cantaloupe for a dollar!

I didn’t even bother to heat up the weenies and chicken.

I think I hit all the major food groups… Dairy, I’m sure there’s dairy in the Good N Plenty.

While we were out and about, the HH and I stopped off at the most spectacular garden center / farm stand on the planet earth {which I am going to tell you all about on Wednesday} and shared a chicken sandwich, some sort of bacon and ranch potato salad {the HH said he still preferred Frankin’s potato salad better} a giant pickle and I drank my first soda of the year Boylan Black Cherry {YUM!}.

I tried one of their Shirley Temple sodas last year and it was soooooo good. If you get a chance to buy a Boylan pure cane sugar soda, you should do it!!! They have a totally old school taste.

And then there was the family picnic. And since I think we all know I’ve had enough BBQ for the year, I pretty much stuck to the 7 layer dip and chips someone brought. 7 layer dip. What don’t I make that more often?

It was a weird week. Mostly picking bits out of the fridge and pantry. Oh well. 90 degree weather and no little kids to care for will do that to a girl.

Have a wonderful Monday everyone, stay cool.

~Mavis

P.S. The family party we attended… They had orange day lilies growing along their rock wall as well.

Total Spent on Groceries This Week $6.28

  • Total Spent on Groceries in July $188.19 {$106.36 on meat for stupid BBQ}
  • Total Spent on Groceries in June $259.12
  • Total Spent on Groceries in May $262.39 {More meat!}
  • Total Spent on Groceries in April $284.56 {My husband bought a smoker and a BUNCH of meat!}
  • Total Spent on Groceries in March $321.69
  • Total Spent on Groceries in February $220.92
  • Total Spent in January on Groceries $41.19
  • Total Spent So Far on Groceries in 2019 $1578.06

You can go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

The post How Much We Spent on Groceries and What We Ate – Week 28 of 52 appeared first on One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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My 22 Goals for 2019


Goal #1 — Spend More Time Doing What I Love

Keeping cool and sharing ice cream with Miss Lucy puggle.

Goal #2 — Garden, Garden, Garden

I’m happy to report that I am making progress on getting the garden weeded. I need to dig out my snow pants though so I can finish up the big vegetable plot and weed the raspberry patch.

The basil plants though…. Wowza! We should be swimming in it in about another week. I’m looking forward to making boatloads of pesto and stockpiling it in the freezer for this winter.

Goal #3 — Plant an Orchard {Calling it Quits on this one for this year.}

I think I’ll stick to citrus until I can get the bug situation figured out.

Goal #4 — Gussy Up the Potting Shed Done!

Goal #5 — Grow Enough Extra Vegetables, Eggs and Flowers to Earn $1500 at my little roadside vegetable stand.

If I can’t get the rest of the garden weeded, I’ll be lucky to hit $500. I had truly planned on setting up the veggie stand in late spring and selling fresh eggs, but we’ve been eating them all and I didn’t plant much in the way of salad greens this year so I’m kind of stuck waiting for the tomatoes to ripen and the pumpkins to grow. Oh well.

Goal #6 — Finish Every Single Unfinished Rug Hooking Project in My Pattern Bin + 10 Things from back Issues of Magazines/Books I’ve Been Meaning to Make. 

I finished 2 patterns from my pattern bin this past week {mini flowers basket pillows} and completed 2 other pillows plus 6 of my hooked rug flowers for my Etsy shop update on Friday. I’m getting close to the half way point on finishing the project from my pattern bin and that feels good. There are SO MANY new projects I want to work on…. so keeping true to the original plan is hard. 😉

I started the year off with:

  • 73 rugs in my pattern bin {now down to 41}
  • 183 hooked flowers {finished 126, now down to 57}
  • 10 “things” from back issues of magazines {finished 0}

Goal #7 — Create 12 New Rug Hooking Patterns {with at least half of them being large ones} DONE!

So far this year I’ve added 12 new rug hooking patterns and 13 beginner rug hooking kits to my Etsy shop and I’m hoping to add a few more before the year is over.

New rug hooking patterns I’ve created and added to My Etsy Shop this year:

Rug Hooking Kits

Goal #8 — Split and Stack 2 Cords of Wood for Next Winter 

Nothing yet.

Goal #9 — Do Something with the 5,002 Photos on My Phone

Down to 3941 photos.

Goal #10 –Lose the Muffin Top

Oddly enough I am down 6 pounds from the beginning of the year. Half of which I think was sweat from having to garden all bundled up the last few weeks. My pants still fit the same though… so maybe I’m shrinking. Because don’t you start to do that when you get older? Lose an inch or two of height?

Goal #11 — Run, Walk or Crawl a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon

I’m on turtle baby watch. Sorry Bob, I can’t do a marathon this week. Bummer.

Goal #12 — Read or Listen to 26 New Books {15 down, 11 to go}

Guess who hit the jackpot at the recycle center this week. Me!

I am waiting my turn on the library wait list for the following audio books:

Books I’ve Read or Listened to So Far This Year:

Goal #13 — Try 52 New Recipes.

18 down, 34 recipes to go.

Goal #14 — Clean Up 52 Old Recipes on the Blog

9 down, 44 to go. I’ll get crackin’ once fall {and cooler temps} come around.

Goal #15 — Fill 100 Canning Jars 41 down, 59 to go.

Still waiting for figs to hit the farm stands. Also, my favorite peach growers open their stand at the end of the month! have you ever tried a John Boy peach? They were my favorite last year.

So far this year I’ve I canned:

Goal #16 — Finish Furnishing Our House

Last week I picked up a free 6 board chest at the recycle center and we decided to use it as a tv stand. Now I just have a few more things to find. This week though The Girl came a long with me a snagged herself a set of dishes. 🙂 Now all she needs to find are some baking sheets and a few baking dishes and I think she has enough to fill a kitchen {if she ever decides to move out someday}.

Furniture pieces I’m still on the hunt for:

  • Coffee table for the family room
  • Console, cupboard or sideboard for the one and only tv in our house which is in the family room. I could totally live without a television, but my husband says the tv stays.
  • Long rectangular table for the craft room.
  • Table for the formal dining room.
  • 2 wing back chairs for the family room.
  • I’d also like to decorate the mantel in the keeping room as well as put up some sort of decoration above the other 3 2 fireplaces in the house. I’m not one for a lot of things on the walls, but it would be nice to throw up a little pilgrim bling on the plaster.

Goal #17 – 52 Dates with the HH {23 down, 29 to go}

The HH and I were up in the Lake Winnipesaukee area for a family event and while we were driving around in the area we stopped at 2 of the most amazing garden centers. I took oodles of pictures and am looking forward to sharing them with you next week.

Goal #18 — Take One Adult Education Class Done {I’ve taken 2!}

  1. I’m keeping the first class I took with my neighbor top secret for now
  2. Spoon Carving Class with Heather.

Looking in to taking class #3 with my neighbor!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goal #19 — Secret {for now} Holiday Project

The big reveal… Friday, September 13th, 2019.

Goal #20 — Create 12 Wowie Zowie Party Platters

4 down, 8 to go.

Goal #21 — Visit 12 General Stores

7 down 5 to go.

We checked out the Squam Lake MarketPlace which is in Holderness, NH where On Golden Pond was filmed but the store was so crowded, taking pictures of the inside of the store would have been too intrusive, so I passed. I’d love to visit this area in the fall though. Squam..

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Hello Saturday!

On the agenda for today:

Try and stay cool. That’s it. My one and only goal for today.

Have a great weekend everyone,

 Mavis & Lucy

Stories, Recipes and General Nonsense From this Past Week

Small Business Saturday – 3 Things I Found on Etsy I Think Are Pretty Cool

A Movie Suggestions for the Weekend

Ebook Suggestions

A Few Amazon Deals

Subscribe and Save Deals

Home & Garden

Kids Stuff

Have a Wonderful Weekend! Mavis

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest news by signing up for my newsletter HERE, or by following One Hundred Dollars a Month on Facebook, or Instagram.

The post One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 7/13/19 appeared first on One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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Welcome to New England, where the bugs are so big, you’ll have to garden in a puffy coat just so you don’t go into anaphylactic shock.  Yes, yes it’s true, New England with it’s spectacular fall foliage could cast a spell on anyone, and you’re almost sure to have a white Christmas what with all the snowfall we get in these parts.

Spring is a pretty magical time too…

And then there’s summer.

With it’s bugs the size of a quarter, the weeds as tall as cornstalks and the humidity, oh the humidity. Folks, you don’t even need to bother taking a shower in the morning because you can just walk outside, soap yourself up and let mother nature take her course.

And anything with a vine will grow like mad, spreading its little tendrils to any and ALL surfaces.

One day you might even find yourself attempting to weed your garden at 5 am fully clothed and then give up and decide it would be better to just carpet the bare earth in cardboard.

You know, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

News Headline: Fully clothed woman gets bit 37 times in 42 minutes while pulling weeds. Precautions were taken and yet she was still attacked while weeding her pepper plants.

You can forget about the bears, the wild turkeys, the porcupines, and the snakes, it’s the mosquitoes you need to be aware of folks. Let this be a warning to you all. It’s a jungle out there.

And then there was a glimmer of hope.

The skies opened up and it rained. Hallelujah.

Bugs can’t fly in the rain.

The End.

~Mavis

The post Gardening in New England – Basically, Pray for Rain appeared first on One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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I’m sure you’ve seen people strolling the produce aisle, thumping, sniffing, squishing their produce all in an attempt to pick the perfect melon. Some of that nonsense is in vain, but some of it will help you on your way to the sweetest, juiciest melon you’ve ever tasted!

Color Clues: Look for a cantaloupe that is lighter in color. Beige is best. Avoid any that look too green. They aren’t quite ripe yet!

The Sweet Spot: Find the blossom end of the cantaloupe and gently press down. There should be some give, but it should not feel squishy. If there is no give, that means your cantaloupe is hard on the inside, and no one like a hard cantaloupe! If your thumb presses to easily into the fruit, chances are the melon is over-ripe. Put the puppy down.

Smelly is Best: This is the best indicator I use. Pick the fruit up and give it a sniff. If you smell nothing sweet, set it back down.  A ripe cantaloupe will smell slightly sweet. The sweetness should be faint. If it is overwhelming, the melon is too ripe and will likely be too soft on the inside. But a hint of that sweet cantaloupe smell lets you know the fruit on the inside is ripe and perfect!

And there you have my fail-proof method to choosing the most delicious cantaloupe EVER!

Now that you’ve picked the perfect melon, here is a fun way to use it:

How to Make an Edible Arrangement: These things are crazy expensive if you buy them, but they are really pretty easy to make. I walk you through step-by-step how to make one of your own. Not only do they look awesome, they taste delicious, too! {}

Have a great day everyone, enjoy the sunshine!

~Mavis

The post How to Pick the Perfect Cantaloupe appeared first on One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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