Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grateful; today and with grace, each tomorrow.......

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love; family and plenty of the joys that only a slow-down in one's life, can bring......

We are expanding our busy backyard with our first voyage in the motorhome. We have all the fixings for a wonderful holiday dinner tonight and will be taking some time on Friday to scout out a possible home to make an offer on, wish us luck!


Thank you for visiting Such a busy Backyard, we appreciate it!
Terry and Melynda

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

1, 2. 3.....4



When we decided to plan for retirement, we had four important tasks on our list, and while we might of had a preference for the order in which they happened, in the end, just happening was the important thing to keep our eyes on.

1. Find, purchase and use a (smaller) motorhome for travel.

2. Refinance our main home for retrieval of equity, for a large down payment on said retirement home.

3. Sell house number two, which in our current sluggish market would most likely sell. Because the larger family home barely received enough showing to use up one hand......

4. Purchase home at the coast.

Here is the progress so far.......

In our driveway sits a wonderful, lightly used 22 foot motorhome. Cash purchase from savings. We will be having our Thanksgiving celebration at the coast, reservations have already been made!

Yesterday was a banner day. Final papers were signed for the refinance of our main home. And...

We received an offer on the house we have for sale!

Now we know that things can and do happen, but the phone call was so fun to receive! Plus there is another showing scheduled for today....

Maybe, just maybe, our plan is coming together!

And the journey continues.

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments!



Monday, November 9, 2015

The packing foreman....

The house is showing well and all we can do now is wait for a sale. However while we wait, we are packing the non-necessities like books, extra linens and just about anything else we do not need for everyday living. In this process we found we still have a lot of stuff (even after downsizing earlier this year!). We also have one house member that is either acting in the capacity of packing foremen or possibly making sure he is not left behind!


He is almost 13 years old and has moved a number of times through the years. He is also smart enough to know when something is "up" and there is a change in the winds. He has no idea that his comfort was one of the first things we thought of, and plans were made around keeping him safe and healthy. But I think he is going to like the coast, once we get there.....

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A make-shift canning rack for your water bath canner , making due with what you have

From the kitchen of, Our Sunday Cafe



The garden is winding down, but I did can 5 pints of diced tomatoes last night. There is chard to get processed for the freezer and a couple remaining acorn squash to pick before we retire the vines. I have raspberry juice to make into jelly, however it is safely stored in the freezer until I have a free afternoon later this fall or even in the winter, maybe right before Christmas.

I have had problems canning on my glass top stove and to be honest I want the next house to have a regular old fashioned electric range with coils. I won't mind, and my water bath canner will appreciate the simplicity of it also. But in the meanwhile I took the opportunity to take a few gadgets found around the house and makeshift a canning kettle that does not have the rippled bottom, which is the problem on the glass top stove.

You can use what you have available, here is a suggestion.


Here we are using jar rings, a steamer rack and paint sticks.


The jar rings give lift off the bottom of the pan.


Place the rack you are using over the rings, this rack is not perfect, but is what I have currently. A round cake cooling rack would be great.


Heavy duty poultry shears or equivalent will cut the wood easily. Lay the stick across the top of the pan and then cut short a bit so the stick slips easily into the pan.

This is an experiment in progress...I can tell that there is plenty of room to double up on the sticks. 

Load your canner with jars and slip a wooden piece between to keep the jars from traveling and bumping into each other during the processing time.




Lay the sticks in opposite directions and on each end wind the twine in the indent meant for your thumb when you stir paint. 

Cut the remaining sticks, using cotton twine double up the wooden pieces, by wrapping twine at each end and knotting firmly (several times, just in case.).

How about you, how have your improvised in your kitchen?

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Getting closer to the end of the plan....


While I have not written much here as of late, we have been very busy on our plans to sell our house and purchase another one at the coast for retirement. While we did put up our home for sale, alas it did not sell. Yes we are in a sluggish market and the house is beyond a starter home for first time home buyers, yet smaller than the larger homes that larger families want.

Since the upper end and the starter end are where our market is successful right now, we made a swap with our children. Let's sell the smaller starter home they have and they can take this larger home, that they have need of.....sometimes the answers are right there and not so easy to see. This weekend the second of the two houses is up for sale and open for showings.

We have continued our on-line looking and dreaming during all these change about happenings. And today we travel once again to the coast, so that at the very least, we can eliminate some on the list of possibilities. There is one house in particular that I have grown fond of and I have yet to view it in person, much less walk through the front door.

A turn of the century home, with in walking distance of the bay. In a quiet community, with oyster farming as the local economy. And while I don't eat oysters, I love the noise and the smell and the salty air of the bay. Not to mention the quiet busyness of life that makes one feel happy at home.

We have begun to pack, starting with the books. There are about 20-25 boxes of books, and we have yet to start on the cookbooks. We are preparing to pack our home up so that it can be moved out into the garage and or storage is there is need and the kids can move their belongings in, once the house sells. We shall house share until we get moved to the coast. And I will continue to house share during the week, until I can retire full time in about 2 years.

Wish us all luck, it is a big undertaking and so far has been quite the adventure!

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments!


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Old and new from far and wide, November 2015

Hello, we hope you weekend is going great on this first day in November. Take a look at what friends and other blogger are up to or have done in the past. So much information from older posts on just about every blog, today I am sharing these.....

Photo courtesy of Simply Homemaking.

Growing Jerusalem Artichokes, from Simply Homemaking. This plant will provide a constant source of tubers to enjoy year round.


Photos courtesy of Simply Homemaking 

Growing Luffa Sponges, from Simply Homemaking. Very easy and what a great shade plant for that quiet spot in the garden.

Photo courtesy of A Life Unprocessed

Update your light switch covers, from A Life Unprocessed. This would also be fun to make as gifts.

Image courtesy of DIY Natural

Growing different types of basil, from DIY natural. Basil is one of my favorite herbs, this should help me keep it going in the garden and hopefully wintered over in the house.

Photo courtesy of Homestead Revidal

Putting up a laundry line, from Homestead Revival. Line dried clothes smell the best!


If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends, if not, tell us! Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

Thank you for visiting such a busy backyard, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments!