The Happiness Tag


I have been chosen by the wonderful funny Mrs Cobbs to participate in the Happiness Tag. I have found out this means I need to share 5 things which make me happy. I am not quite sure how I am supposed to hold this down to only 5 things…..

While I am thinking of which 5 things I want to share with you; I invite you to go over to thecobwebemporium and have a great time meeting  my friend, Mrs. Cobbs. I guarantee you are in for a treat!

The last few days have been spent pondering what five things I would place on the list of things that make me happy.  Top on the list would have to be people. For me family is huge. I love nothing more than to have all my family in the same place at the same time. This can be any location……just so the bunch is together. There are also friends who are as close as family. These are the people who know me, know my flaws and still want to hang out with me anyway! You just gotta love those kind of people like they are family.

Another thing that makes me happy is sitting on our porch on a cool fall morning, drinking my cup of tea while my husband enjoys his morning cup of coffee. This morning as we sat there we could see our breath every time we took a swallow from our mugs. We also had the fun of watching a pair of deer playing in a large grassy area.  They reminded me of pups chasing each other in circles.

I am finding that gardening and preserving food also makes me happy. I am not sure if this is more of a contented feeling but it does translate into happiness when I see the shelves filling with produce. Seeing all those full jars makes all the hoeing weeds, swatting bugs and sore muscles worth while. There is just something so fulfilling about growing and preserving your own food and feeding your family with that same food.

Another satisfyingly happy thing is when Bible study season once again comes around. I get to hang out with women I don’t normally hang out with. We usually do a Beth Moore series each season. It is so rewarding to see someone else’s point of view and how they answered certain questions. I have learned so much from the different Beth Moore series and from the women who study with me.

I love when my husband decides we need to take a road trip. One of the funnest (is that actually a word?) road trips we have ever taken was only a day long. We went someplace in Minnesota to pick up a pair of tractor fenders that he had purchased on craigslist. We left early in the morning, packed our lemon sandwich crème cookies (these are a staple for traveling), and headed north. It was an incredibly hot day and the air conditioner did not work in our car. We made stops on the way home at little antique shops, Wal-Marts (to cool off), and anyplace else that looked interesting. We still laugh about how crazy hot it was but also how crazy fun it was.

So there we are: people, morning tea on the porch, gardening and preserving, Bible study and road trips are some items on my list. I could have included books (nothing like a good Ted Dekker or James Patterson book), crafting (of all kinds-stamping, knitting, crocheting etc.), a good movie, having a tea party with the grandkids, junking with my sister, going to the Lakes, aaaaahhhhhhh the list is really never ending!

I think what I am seeing as I write down my thoughts on what makes me happy is that relationships are what make me the happiest. They are such a blessing.

I now have to ask 5 other bloggers to let us know 5 things that make them happy. I do want them to know that if they are too busy or just would rather not take part that is no problem. There is no pressure because, Hey, I want it to make them happy to participate! I would love to nominate most of the blogs I read because they all make me happy but I am limited to 5.

The following are those I am nominating:

A Quiet and Peaceable Life – The pictures PeggyJoan puts on her blog make me very happy.

The Journey of a Million Miles – MariJo writes so honestly of her relationship with God and those around her.

The Vanilla Tulip – I love how Ashley gives young moms so many great words of advice. I am no longer a young mom (but I am a grandma) and I love how her family and her faith are what keep her centered.

Ruthie’s Crafting Corner – Ruthie has such a variety of things that she includes in her blog you are sure to find something to interest you!

Helberg Farm Stories – The Helberg sisters have a blog that talks about relationships and farming. For me this is a double win!

Just a reminder:  there is no pressure on those nominated to take part but should you choose to; this is what you are asked to do:  Tell your readers 5 things which make you happy.  This can be anything because everyone has a different list of things and that makes this really fun.  You are then asked to keep it going by picking 5 blogs to pass the Happiness Tag to.  You may go ahead and use the Happiness Tag graphic posted at the top as it was made by Mrs. Cobbs and she gave us the go-ahead to use it if we choose. She is good like that!!

Oh…..and one last thing…….have fun!!!!

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Abraham Lincoln




Canning Pizza Sauce

Pizza Sauce.JPG

The tomatoes are finally ripening in enough quantity that I can start canning them and turning them into sauces, soups, salsa, and juice. For the last little while I was only getting enough to just eat fresh.

Yesterday I spent the day turning my bucket of tomatoes into Pizza Sauce. I usually can enough of this stuff to last my husband and me through the entire year. I also can enough to last my kids through the entire year. It has long been a tradition at our house to have homemade pizza on Saturday night….so that means plenty of sauce needs to be canned.

I first had to dig out my canning paraphernalia…..the jars, the rings, lids, colander, canner etc……all those things that have been tucked away and just waiting for this season.

Canning Essentials.JPG

Most of these items have been accumulated over the years of my married life. I started out with a different colander as a new bride but soon discovered it did not work like my mom’s did and I really intensely disliked it. When a neighbor had a household auction I was thrilled to find one exactly like mom’s.

Through the years I have gone from pints to quarts (once children started arriving) and now back to pints (now that we are down to two again). My husband comments that I seem to be canning more produce now than I did when our boys were all living at home. I have a feeling he realizes that jars kind of disappear from the pantry when the kids come home to visit.

The Pizza Sauce recipe I always use came from my friend Betty, many, many years ago. It has become a family favorite and we are all very sad if it runs out during the year and we have to use store bought sauce.

Pizza Sauce
Fill: 10 qt. kettle 3/4 full of peeled, cut tomatoes (I do not peel mine)
4 cloves garlic
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup chopped onion
Simmer for approximately 2 hours until mushy.
Let stand for a time and skim off as much water as possible.
(At this point I run the above mixture through a blender and then a colander.
this is why I do not peel my tomatoes)
1/8 cup salt
1/8 cup parsley flakes
1 rounded tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon allspice
4 – 12 ounce cans tomato paste
Cook 2 – 3 hours, stirring often as it burns easily.
Put in jars and process.
Process 25 minutes (for pints) in a boiling water bath
NOTE:  This can also be frozen.

The pizza crust recipe I use is out of my old Betty Crocker cookbook…..the one that the back fell off of years ago.

Pizza Crust
1 cup hot water
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
let set till foamy looking
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Knead till blended and roll out on cookie sheet or baking stone.
Cover with sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice.

I now have my first batch of pizza sauce this season done and ready to go on the pantry shelves. I love being able to just go to my pantry for sauce when it is time to make the Saturday night pizza.

The smell of onions has left the kitchen, much to my husband’s relief. One last helpful hint:  If your family does not like the smell of certain foods such as onions or fish etc. while they are being prepared, I find using my diffuser with the essential oil blend Purification really helps for the smell.

Now that I have shared one of my families favorites I am wondering what are some of your families go to foods? And is there a dish that your family just figures you will make on a certain day? I am always on the look out  for new things to try. (I have to admit my meat and potatoes husband does find this scary.)

God gives all birds their food
but does not drop it into their nests.
Danish Proverb