Saturday, August 31, 2013

Coin Collecting

Barber Dime and Indian Head Penny

Way back, when I was still at home, I found these coins while cleaning out the insides of an old piano. My father let me keep them. I have kept them in a little glass box along with other old coins and coins from other counties that my husband has collected.

I have always known that they are not worth much because, for one thing, they are not that rare. However, I have enjoyed showing them to children who are always fascinated to see such old coins. Truthfully, they fascinate me as well.

Neither coin has a mint mark.

Some interesting information on these coins…

Mintage for Circulation: 80,717,011

The value of an Indian Penny ranges from $1 to $1.50 for common dates in worn condition.

Indian Head Cents - All struck at the Philadelphia Mint except 1908 S and 1909 S

In 1908 and 1909, the mint in San Francisco produced Indian Pennies and put an "S" mintmark on the reverse under the wreath. Both dates are rare and valuable, more so the 1909-S with a value of $392 in Good condition.

The next big standout date is the 1877. Every collector of Indian Pennies would like the 1877 in their collection and knows its value. 1877 Indian head penny value is the highest of all Indian pennies. Considered the key to the series, value and demand is greater for an 1877 than any other Indian penny…Worth $600 and up even when heavily worn, it is a popular date with collectors.

Mintage for Circulation: 19,760,000

Your Barber dime value is $1.75 to $2.53 for a common date coin in heavily worn "Good" condition. If your coin is better preserved the value increases to $13 and higher in "Extremely Fine" condition.
Dimes where produced in four locations throughout the county in 1909.
The most commonly found 1909 Barber dime was produced at the Philadelphia mint, using no mintmark.
Locate all mint marks on the reverse under the wreath.
The one you are hoping to find is the San Francisco coin, with the "S" mintmark. Check the coin values chart, $6 in Good condition rising quickly to over $125 in Extremely Fine condition.
The 1909 with the "D" mintmark, indicating the Denver mint, is a close second in value, $94 in Extremely Fine condition.
The third possible mintmark, an "O" indicates the New Orleans mint and a 1909-O is a $50 coin in Extremely Fine condition.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Something Is Not Right

There is only one thing about my garden that I don't like...the hidden creatures within.

Today was the first time one glared at me from the flower garden.
I usually send my boys out to pick the produce. 
When I must do it myself, I pray that these things do not touch me. 
Oh how they make me shudder!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In My Garden

Everyday of summer I have my morning coffee at the pool, by the garden.

My husband grows a selection of flowers and vegetables in our small garden.
I love this spot.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Little Bird Homes

Over the last few years, I bought these birdhouses and asked my daughter to paint them for me. The blue one was the first, then the gray, and last the colorful tropical one. My favorite was the blue because it has so much detail in the construction. But my daughter has done a nice job of adding her own details to the simpler designs. The tropical one looked like a church, but I did not want a church, so I broke off the steeple.

Little birds have actually made their homes in these little houses right on our front porch! The bottom two photos are of the houses hanging on the vines enclosing our front sitting area.

The blue house, which is the oldest, has been home to a bird several years in a row (don’t know if it is the say bird), and a little bird built her nest in the gray house this spring. The tropical house in new, but I will hang it near the others and see if we have any birds interested in moving in.

You might notice that the little blue house is bursting at the seams and falling apart. It has lost one of its front pillars. My husband was about to toss it last year, but I saved it.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Lazy Afternoon in August

Lizzy made this delicious little lunch for us - served with V8 Juice.
We enjoyed it while watching reruns of Good Luck Charlie.

The evening brought us a spectacular sunset.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Conquering the Woodpile

It is that time of the year, when in preparation for cozy winter days and nights, 
we buy and stack our winter's supply of firewood.

Here you see, our stackers, our heavy lifters,
and if you take a carefully look,
you will also see one small spectator.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Homemade Plum Butter...From Tree to Table

This morning I sent my boys to the back yard 
to pick me a basket of plums for my plum butter.

My Ingredients:
12 cups plums (approximately)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Split plums in half, remove pits, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Do not peel. Place in a 6 quart nonreactive saucepan, and add 1 cup water and the sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until fruit is very soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, puree fruit and liquid in a blender or food processor.
Rinse saucepan and return puree to pan along with allspice and cinnamon (or your choice of spices). Cook over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until thick enough to spread, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in airtight container.
Source: Recipe adapted from: Nutmeg Nanny
NOTE: If you don't process in a water bath, the butter can be kept refrigerated for up to three weeks or frozen for up to one year.  Canning instructions. I personally like this site: How to Make Plum Jam - Easily!
• 1 pound plums = 6 to 8 two-inch whole plums
• 1 pound plums = 2-1/2 cups sliced plums
• 1 pound plums = 2 cups cooked plums

Making Plum Butter
Add water and sugar.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until fruit is very soft, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, puree fruit and liquid in a blender.

Cook puree, with added allspice, over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, 
until thick enough to spread, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. 

 Enjoy fresh homemade plum butter!
I was planning on making plum jam, but then someone gave me a jar of fig butter this year. Something I read on the side of the jar of fig butter changed my mind. It said that what makes spread butter, not jam, is when it contains more fruit than sugar. I have always loved apple butter. I never knew there were other fruit butters.

It amazes me how little sugar is used in fruit butters, compared to jams. Jam uses three to four more cups of sugar than fruit, while butters us only 1 ¼ cup sugar for around eight or nine cups of fruit! Plus, butter is easier to make than jam, and no pectin is needed. Although I still love plum jam, I am stuck on plum butter for now.


Flowers From the Garden

Bill grows flowers in the garden.
He cut these for my table.
He is such a gem!

This lovely Saturday morning, I am making plum butter.
I will post that later.

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Enjoying the Simple Life at Home