Green Acres in the City ~ Join us a begin the journey in search for a simpler life...

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Listen to your Mom!

I won't share the pictures with this post and you will thank me in the end. I am 38 and I do try to be independent or as Mr. Miller says stubborn. Whichever adjective you choose I should have listened to my mom. Yesterday we were doing the family birthday for my sister, Erika, at Mimi's and I was helping her in the kitchen. We were grilling burgers and I made a great chopped salad with the harvest from the Inaugural Garden. Mr. Miller, Mimi and Randy were talking in the kitchen and I said I would slice the tomatoes. I asked Mimi where here mandolin was, yes the same mandolin that I have used for 7 years and sold when I was doing the Pampered Chef gig, she pointed and said don't forget the guard. I responded with I don't use it and I don't ever have an issue. Do you see where this is going? Yep, you guessed I tried to slice the tip of my thumb off with the tomato. Can you say "OUCH!" Here is a snippet of the confusion that followed:

ME: Crap now I've done it!

MIMI: You didn't!

MR. MILLER: Maeghan! What did she tell you to use?

ME: I need a band aid and a towel

ERIKA: Do we need to go to Minor Med?

ME: NO! Just let Mr. Miller fix it! (Needless to say I think he can fix any boo-boo, and I had both him and Mom there)

Yes, my thumb is still attached. It is very sore. My sister Nurse Kristin came after she got done at hospital and assessed the damage. "Yep, you cut it girl. Get the neo-sporin and keep it cover for a few days. I'll send my bill!" God she is blunt! Love her for that. She did kiss the band aid though.

Moral of the story:

  1. Listen to your Mom
  2. Use the guard when using the mandolin
  3. Don't carry conversation on with your big brother when working with sharp objects!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oooh Lovely Ladies...

Aren't they lovely ladies? This is my view out my dining room window. Doesn't God's handy work amaze you? I absolutely love sunflowers. My neighbor Stacy and I have decided to line our shared fence line with them next year. Mr. Miller and Mr. Wood have some work ahead of them to get it ready!

"Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw it was good. " Genesis 1:11-12

It is good indeed!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

German Bean and Sausage Soup

OK so it is a dreary day! Misting rain, gray and fall like so I felt it was a good soup recipe day. A couple of weeks ago I talked about this soup on my Facebook page and everyone wanted the recipe so here it is! We enjoyed it with a glass of Chardonnay and GF cornbread courtesy of (she is amazing check her out!)

German Bean and Sausage Soup

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 C onion
1 Cup carrots, chopped
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp dried parsley and majoram leaves
1 Cup potatoe, peeled and cubed
1 2/3 Cups Beef Stock
1 package Turkey Kielbasa, cut into slices
15 oz can Beans, I usually used kidney or pinto
1 Cup peas
You could also add 1 can of Green Beans

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Saute' onion 4-5 min or until tender. Add carrots and next 4 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add Broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add sausage and beans. Cook until thoroughly heated.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Little Red Book

I have a serious problem, I love recipes! I can't help myself. I randomly buy cookbooks, tear out recipes from Magazines and oh the the Internet don't even get me started. Mr. Miller has been ever so patient over the years with this obsession of mine. Well he should he definitely eats well because of it. I finally reached my breaking point enough of the clutter. I mean seriously how many boxes of cookbooks does one need? I decided to weed through them before the last garage sale and keep only the ones I use, this was not easy but it was time for an intervention. I next decided to sort the stack of clippings and printed off recipes. Mr. Miller had the idea of putting them in a binder with sheet protectors. This was a process, but I am so pleased with the results. Now things are so much easier when looking for things to cook!

The Red Book in its place of honor. Right next to the Lutheran Church cook book,the good old Better Homes and Gardens and of course Paula Deen (I love her, but that is another story!) .

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Savoring Summer Weekends

We have had an amazing weekend here weather wise. Almost no humidity and in the 70's and 80's. We had a weekend full of patio work, brotherly love, family and good friend visits and bountiful harvest from the garden. Here are a few of the pictures of the blessed weekend that we had.

I love our shade trees. Henry loves the gentle rustle of the leaves.

Henry's diapers on the line.

Cameron's tool box to help Daddy.

My sunflowers starting to wake from their slumber.

A little love between brothers. I know I should enjoy this while it lasts.

Our harvest from Friday night.

Enjoying our first peach from our Fresh Connect KC delivery.

I want to thank all of my followers and readers for your support in reading my blog. I especially want to thank our parents, families, the girls(you know who you are) and Mr. Miller for believing in me. I crossed a milestone today with my 1000Th visit. Thank you and God Bless you all! May you all find your path that leads to your simpler life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Cobbler

As many of you know I am an avid blog stalker as well as blogger. I have my morning routine and it includes the blogs I stalk and hot coffee, this morning it is "Rolling Thunder" from PT's Coffee Company, which is perfect considering is has been storming all morning. (Let me tell you it made the drop off routine at the school quite interesting.) This a great dark latin american blend. I love Latin American coffees because they have just a hint of cocoa flavoring. Try it with a brownie and you will be hooked. Trust me I perfected the art of coffee pairings while I managed a Starbucks. I worked for Fred and Jeff at PT's a long time ago at their first Coffee house in Topeka (pre Starbucks career, they are partially responsible for my passionate love affair with that little bean). I LOVE these guys. They are amazing if you get a chance check them out at Yes I have a long time love affair for the bean.

So let's back on track, last week I visited Heather over at, she is an amazing gal, she had a post about a summer evening meal and they ended the night with this great Peach Cobbler. So I connected with her recipe and I used the Blackberries and Peaches that came in my Fresh Connect KC box. Let me just tell you this was sinfully good. I heated up the servings and put a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and WOW things should not be that good. Try this it is super easy and will please anyone. The other nice aspect is that you can use any fruit. I made again on Monday and used the rest of the Dark Bing Cherries that came in my combo box. Thank you, Thank you Heather for this recipe it has a sacred spot in the Red Binder!







Mix dry ingredients and butter in large bowl. This will be crumbly. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350. Take cake pan and line bottom with your fruit. Be careful not to over fill or you will have mess in bottom of oven. Spread topping over the top. Bake for 35 min or until golden brown and bubbly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"...they'd love to see him come and hate to see him go"

Today was a brave morning here at Green Acres, Cameron started kindergarten. He did great, Mama not so much. I am ever so grateful that Mr. Miller went along to hold my hand. OH, I held it together until I got out in the hallway with the rest of the first timers. You know the teachers have seen it all before because they kept saying "just keep walking straight ahead and you will be fine!" we all must have looked like blubbering idiots.

It is just like the lyric from Jimmy Buffett's song The Jolly Mon, "they'd love to see him come and hate to see him go". Yes, I will periodically be quoting Mr. Buffett. He is somewhat of a mentor in this house. As I said in my profile we are Parrotheads and we have been blessed with 2 Parakeets (Parrotheads in training). After all Mr. Buffett was a Catholic school boy and didn't turn out so bad. Yes, I know we are not Catholic but we are Episcopalian and that is Catholic Light just a 1/3 less guilt!

Ms. Tanner had darling little bags on the table for us Mama's and Daddy's. She put a brownie and a tea bag in so we could relax and some play dough and a poem on how together with her we will mold a happy, healthy child who loves to learn. I hated to see him go this morning but I also know that he is in a safe place and ready to start the next chapter of his book called "Life".

Does this guy look ready to learn or what?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Garden Pests!

OK so we all know that this is the inaugural year for the garden so that means it is a year of taking notes and learning exactly how to be an urban farmer. I spoke in an earlier post about the "tree rats" aka squirrels raiding my corn. Well they did it again! Not only the corn but tomatoes and carrots too! I went out back Saturday morning and I found a stripped cob and half eaten tomato in a patio chair. It is like they had a party on my nickel and didn't even invite me. The least they could do is clean up after themselves.

It is bad enough that I have an over zealous 5 year old that keeps picking green tomatoes and not quite ripe enough watermelon, but these pests are making me crazy. I mean seriously Mr. Miller is fastidious about keeping the feed trough out front full for them and the birds do they need to raid the food intended for my babies bellies?

OK so maybe I am a little up in arms but I am working out a plan to keep them from the garden. Any ideas? Please share in the comment section if you know of any.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Cameron just love puzzles! We had Mimi with us last weekend and he knew he could talk her into countless hours doing puzzles. I knew it too since she used to do the same with me. Puzzles are actually one activity that Cameron can focus on. Cameron is an extremely active child. We are working with a Behaviorist for the ADHD. It is very important for him to remain busy with tasks. This helps him to focus all of that energy into something. He gets so pleased with himself when he finishes a task.

I hate to label him, so please understand that is not what I am doing. The ADHD is a part of our everyday life here. We accept it and understand that there will be good days and bad days. We tried the natural approach for 6 mos under the care and guidance of our very special Doctor. We came to the conclusion that it just was not working for us. We have since started using medications, now understand this is not for everyone but it is working for us. I now have child that can show affection, look me in the eye and actually have a conversation with. Cameron actually gets excited when people come over instead of running and hiding. The other part that is new to us is the fact that on some of the bad days it is just him being an obstinate 5 year old and not him being confused by his surroundings.

I often refer to raising a child with ADHD like that of doing a puzzle. Eventually the pieces will come together. Until that point we just live one day at a time and hope for the good days and know that the bad days are usually only few and far between.

Cameron loves anything John Deere. This is a good thing since we are a Deere family!

Mimi and Cameron congratulating each other on a job well done!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Look what I did...

I have recently decided to not have the diaper service anymore. Oh, don't worry we are still a cloth diapering family but I have decided to do this myself. I made 24 re usable wipes to use for our son, Henry. I bought a 6 pack of washcloths and used the scraps of flannel that I had left over from making some fitted diapers for him. I simply cut the washclothes into four 6 x 6 squares, cut flannel the same size with my rotary cutter, stitched right side face to face, turned out and top stitched. Voila! Diaper wipes that I can use over and over, no chemicals for under $5. Can't beat that!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

GF Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I made this amazing GF Chocolate Zucchini Cake on Sunday for Mr. Miller's family birthday dinner. Nobody could believe that is was Gluten Free. So moist! I found a recipe on line and did some tweaking so it could work for us. Try it, you won't be sorry. Plus another good way to use up some of that Zucchini population coming from the garden. Should freeze beautifully. Sorry did not make from scratch frosting. I did use cream cheese frosting though. My friend Joan has an amazing Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe I need to get it!

1 stick of butter, softened
1 tsp shortening
1 1/2 C + 3 tbsp sugar
2 jumbo eggs, if you use large add an extra egg yolk or white
1 C pureed fresh zucchini
1/2 C Rice Flour
1/2 C Soy Flour
1/2 C Tapioca Starch
1/4 C unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 C corn starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Bake in a greased and floured 8x8 square or round cake pan. 350 for 45-55 min. Remove from oven when pick comes out clean.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Do you ever just stop and ask "Why?" I find myself asking that question a lot lately. It started as you know with, "Why did I lose my job?" and lately it has been "Why didn't Mr. Miller get the promotion?" and "Why is the check engine light on in the Jetta?". I know that things happen for a reason and you should not ask "Why?" but I just can't help myself sometimes.

Family and friends have been telling me how happy I seem now that I am home and you know, it is true I am. Even with that ever looming question of "Why?". As I lay in bed last night long after my 3 boys had drifted to sleep, Wonder Mutt was snoring and Delani was asleep at my feet, I pulled out my devotional and started to read. I find great comfort these days in my little chats with the man upstairs. Now I am not an overly religious woman but I have a great deal of faith. Faith, that's the answer, that's it. I have faith that the right door will open and things will happen in the order they should. The Deacon reminds me that things happen when they should and how they should. Be patient and it will all work out. Mr. Miller and Mimi both reminded me of how it does no good to get upset or stressed out about it because it solves nothing. So here I am relying on the Faith that I have. As I was having my little epiphanies last night I came across this in my readings, "Faith is a desperate dive out of the sinking boat of human effort and a prayer that God will be there to pull us out of the water." ~Max Lucado. I also read this passage, "You have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it." Ephesians 2:8-9 Wow, talk about the post it notes from God.

So here it is my profound statement for the day and then I will get off of my philosophical soap box, I know that God will meet what I think my needs of today when it is supposed to happen. It may be today or tomorrow but it will happen. This is his plan and I am here to be a part of it. As Max Lucado says, "Grace for the Moment. The concerns of tomorrow will be met tomorrow. Provisions for next week will arrive next week. God meets the needs of the day, each day." OK, I hear you loud and clear. Keep the Faith and it will all be good!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My new creative sanctuary

Recently Mr. Miller made a work space for me. I love it! He always is trying to find better use of the space in our small but well loved home. We had a room in the basement that had originally been used years ago by former owners as their homeschooling room. It is a great area complete with a sink. Cameron has his desk in there too. We often work together in the afternoon while Henry naps. I will miss that time when Cameron starts school next week.

Here are a few pictures of my new place of employment. This is where my creative juices flow. Lots of ideas come to fruition in this room. Some good, some well lets just say they go back to the drawing board.

I love to have Cameron's artwork to look at while I create. Someday I will be able to add Henry's.

My beloved sewing machine. Unfortunately it is at the Doctor for the next 2 weeks. We are skipping stitches, but my friend Gretchen came to the rescue with loaning me hers. Thanks Gretty, I owe ya one!

My recycled wool sweaters and flannel stash. These will make great diapers and covers. I love being able to make Henry his diapers.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Urban Treasure Hunt

One of our favorite adventures is to go Thrifting or I refer to them as my "Urban Treasure Hunts". Last night we had some amazing finds. Yes, it was Friday night and most people go to dinner or a movie but I prefer loading the Urban Farm Truck and hitting a few of my favorite haunts. One of which is the DAV on Wornall in Waldo. Fabulous finds, great staff and good prices.

This obsession of mine started years ago in Topeka. Mimi and I went to a Flea Market and I fell in love with these vintage canning jars. Aren't they beautiful? I still stop in my tracks if I come across any.

Here are a few of my treasures:

Look at these Knitting Needles! I am wanting to learn to knit, but it is costly to get started. I found all of these and the 2Nd Chance Thrift Shop, which supports the City Union Mission, for $2.50. Hello, can you blame me for snagging these beauties. OH the fun I am going to have! My friend Debby at has graciously offered to teach me. I am so excited, I have also checked some books out at the library!

Wool sweaters, always on my list for the diaper covers. These were great finds at .99 cents a piece. I should be able to get 2-4 covers depending on the sizes I make from these.

Another sickness, is my fondness of Pampered Chef. I sold it for years so I know you are thinking what more could I possibly need in my collection. Mr. Miller found this down on a bottom shelf for under $8. The Large Stoneware Bar Pan! I love the one I already have and I had said recently I would love another but was not willing to pay full price. Thank you Lord for hearing one of my selfish prayers.

And last but not least is my newest addiction. Vintage Pyrex, yes the stuff we all thought we had to get rid of from our Grandmother's Auction, 1st apartments and the list goes on. I ask what was I thinking? I love these little numbers. I am always on the look out for these! I am not sure which is my favorite pattern yet, this one is from the Early American Collection. It will make a great little serving piece. So Deacon you ask about things to look for at the Auction in Valdosta any of these numbers would be great! Hint, Hint!

Thank you for letting me share my little adventure with you. I never know what I am going to come home with. Can you believe it an evening for the entire family for under $18 and that included ice cream cones!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Snappin' beans!

Cameron and I picked beans yesterday morning for dinner last night. Junior Mint, Cameron and I had a "bean snappin'" party! We sang several choruses of "Old MacDonald had a Farm". Yes, he knows every verse. We talked about Pops growing up on the farm in Newton. We had a great time! They were excellent, I slowed cooked them all day with Turkey Bacon, New Potatoes, Fresh Ground Pepper and Onion Powder. They made a nice addition to the Pork Loin Chops, GF Corn Bread and Cucumber Salad.

The Deacon and Pops were in town for the night and he loved fixing dinner for them. He was a big help. He even baked the Corn Bread with me. Could this lead to the next Food Network Star? Maybe if they had a children's version.