Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Snow Globe Pictures

Mt Spokane was out today
    We had more snow yesterday. We got about 10 inches. It's really pretty outside, but really frigid. Neither dog wants to go out, but the cold is hardest on Chip, the wimpy poodle. I'm crocheting him booties. Chip always wanders to far out and it hurts his feet to walk back to the house. I've been sending him out on the leash, so he can only go about 13 feet from the house.
   We are suppose to be really cold this weekend. It's a good weekend to stay home, but we need to make a quick trip into Deer Park and then we'll just stay home.
   I'm finally feeling almost normal again. being sick over Christmas is no fun, but then again, being sick anytime is no fun.
   I hope everyone has a safe New Year and 2011 is good to everyone.

We had sun today, but no warmth


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All's Well Up Here

   The last few weeks, we have been having 2 different flocks of male turkeys come through and eat who knows what. We can tell they are two different flocks by their size. One group is obviously older since they are much bigger. They look like they would stand about knee high on us. The other flock is smaller and not nearly as heavy. It just dawned on me that we have the male turkeys in the fall and winter and the females in the spring and summer. Beats me why, but I'm sure there is a reason for it. Of course, during turkey hunting season we don't see any. I guess maybe they aren't quite as stupid as I thought.
   Yesterday morning, when Tim was going to work, he saw about 100 deer all in one field, grazing. We usually don't see that many together at one time. They weren't that far from here, either. We have our usual deer and they are comfortable enough to bed down about 50 feet from the front door. Jake and Chip don't faze them, and lately the deer don't faze Jake or Chip, either.
   We also have a pair of woodpeckers that are around a lot. They start out at the compost pile and end up at the tree we have the squirrel feeder on. (The turkeys also like the same spots.) Too bad, the squirrels don't like it. Anyway, we know when we see one of the woodpeckers, the other is close by. I'm pretty sure they are the metal peckers we have on the roof. Right now, I see a few finches in that tree. It's a very popular tree. Wouldn't you know it, every time I get my camera, they all magically disappear.
   Chip has become a storm watcher. He goes from window to window checking out the storm. I'm still pretty sure Chip is nuts. The other night, he spent the evening growling at the second hand on the clock on the wall. I held him up so he could see what it was, and he really checked it out, so I thought that would be the end of it. The clock has been in the same spot since we moved in and he's never done it before, and he hasn't done it again. Tim and I have joked that he sees ghosts.
   We still think it would be nice if a moose or an elk wandered by. Life is slow and quiet up here, just the way we like it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm Back

   I'm back. I got back Sunday, Dec 19. Writing this reminds me of one of those "What I did over summer vacation" papers we had to write at the beginning of every school year.
   It was snowing when I left Spokane. I was disappointed I didn't set off the metal detectors at any of the airports. No pat downs or body scans, which was fine. I didn't get lost. I could have used the mobility assistance Amy said I needed, when I left Spokane, but I didn't. I did use it leaving CA. It's a good thing I did since the gate  I was suppose to leave at was changed 3 times in Seattle. I did feel kind of funny getting pushed around in a wheelchair and riding in their golf cart. I got a lot of stares.
   Danny took me to Kingman, AZ to see Alyssa, David and the 3 grandsons. I had a good, but short visit. Alix kept me awake all night long, talking. Too bad, I couldn't understand most of it. Every time Danny or I picked up a camera, he was saying "sheese". We made him say different types of cheese before we took his picture and then we had him say "eggnog". Eggnog got really big smiles.
   Micheal wanted me to help him put stickers on his calendar. I put them on the right holidays, but not the right direction. Micheal had to take them off and put them on the right way. Micheal was fun to watch when Danny, Alyssa and I tried to play Mario Brothers on the wii. He jumped and moved live you were suppose to move the game controller. There's nothing like being shown up by a 5 year old.  Danny gave me a wii so I can practice. When we left, Micheal told me "See you in a long time." Too bad we live so far away.
   Nathan decided I was OK. He didn't scream when he saw me. He is a very cute baby, even if he is my grandson. Some of his favorite things to do are bother his brothers and "help" with the puzzles and play in the new diapers. I bet Alyssa wishes he'd learn how to change his diapers. Nathan has to do things earlier than Micheal and Alix did just to keep up with them. Once all 3 boys are off and running, Alyssa is going to have fun. They are a cute bunch of boys. Also, I was able to see that Nathan really does have hair, it's just really light. Nathan has the prettiest blue eyes.
   Michaela was finally born on Dec 16, 4 days late. She weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and was 21 inches long. She has A LOT of black hair and pretty blue eyes. I hope her eyes stay blue.
   Of course, there were the trips to Walmart in both AZ and CA. What's a trip with out Walmart? I also went to Kmart and Michael's. Amy and Daniel gave me a Magic 8 Ball. I've wanted one of those since I was a kid. Now, I'll know all the answers to life's questions.
   Amy and Daniel took me to Mission Inn in Riverside CA to see all the Christmas decorations. I thought if we walked Amy a lot, she'd have the baby. Nope, but Daniel did get tired.

Santa's reindeer
The only kind of snowmen you see in Riverside CA, but they are a cute family.
Some of the numerous Christmas decorations.
More of the decorated Mission Inn.
More of the picture above.
Decorated palm trees. The red lights were really multicolored, but my camera thought they should be red.
A horse drawn Cinderella carriage.
   When I left Spokane, I saw white out the window. I couldn't believe the brown air in CA. I thought it was bad when Tim and I ran away.
   It rained most of the time I was in sunny So. CA because we all know it never rains in Southern CA, it just pours. I was drenched just walking from the parking lot into the airport. It was snowing when I landed at the Spokane airport, no big surprise there. I had a very good time, but am glad to be back home.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane

   Tomorrow, I leave on my trip. My very first trip, all by myself. I have packed and repacked and repacked again. I decided it was too much work to walk with a cane and carry a duffel bag, so I decided to check a  bag instead, and since I'm going to check the bag, I'm using a bigger one and I can fit all of Michaela's baby stuff in it and things for Alyssa, too, when I go to Arizona. The polar teddy bear is going in my carry on backpack along with a book, mp3 player, and other things to keep me occupied. I'll probably be seated by someone who wants to talk, which would be ok.
   Even though my flight is supposed to leave at 11:30AM, I have to get up at 5:30AM to get ready and for the drive in the snow and ice and slush to the airport.
   I have the dogs' things ready to go, since they are going to my mother-in-laws house while I'm gone. It wouldn't be fair to keep them in the house all day while Tim is at work.
   Reading the weather forecast for sunny So. CA, I will be hot. The temperatures are suppose to be anywhere from the low 70's to the low 80's. I am leaving a place with snow, rain, ice and freezing temperatures. I'm bringing sandals. I'd bring shorts, but I wouldn't want to scare all those tanned Californians by my Washington white legs.
   I'll let you know how everything goes when I get back. I can do this. I'm a big kid now.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Green Chicken Enchiladas - No The Chicken Isn't Green

   I make green chicken enchiladas a lot because we like them and I have a quick and easy way to make them. I hope you like them as much as we do. I know the name of them just really wants you to go and make them, doesn't it? Who in their right mind wants to eat green chicken? Yuck! It's the sauce that's green.
   I stopped rolling the enchiladas years ago, and now just layer everything in the pan. It all gets mixed up anyway, and it's much quicker this way. I'm getting lazy in my old age.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pleasantly Surprised

   Wow! I'm pleasantly surprised. I started this blog out of boredom and so my family and friends can see what I'm up to since we moved up here. I see I have visitors from all over the world. I think that's great. Now, first thing every morning, I check to see where my visitors are from.  So does my mother. OK, I do this a few times a day.
   I do feel kind of bad that I lead a boring life. Since I have all of you visiting, I think something exciting should happen sometimes just to break the monotony.
   When I get back from my trip to sunny, warm So. CA, I will let you know how my first trip by myself ever went, as well as my experience with airport security. I really hope they enjoy the old, flabby body that they will see in the body scanners. I think that will be a truly scary sight for them, but I'm pretty sure they see a lot of that during the day.
   I need to add more recipes, but being the uncreative cook that I am, I just follow recipes and don't really come up with much of my own. I do change them after I cook them the first time. I will post more recipes since I've finally got the hang of it. If there is a way to put the current recipes first instead of at the end of the list, I haven't found it yet.
   Maybe, I'll even stop jumping from one subject to another, but my mind doesn't work that way. So here I'll jump again.
  When I'm gone, Tim says he's a big boy and can fend for himself. I'm sure he can, but I really wonder where I will find things in the kitchen after he puts them away. I guess I can think of it as a treasure hunt. I know I never did/do put his tools in the right place, so I guess it's only fair.
   Feel free to stop by often and thank you for stopping by. I'm going to have to get a map and mark where you visit from.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Snowiest November Since 1897

   Well, it's official. November was the snowiest month since 1897. Spokane International Airport is the official rain/snow measuring site, and they said we had 25.9 inches of snow this month.
   When we moved up to this area in 2006, we didn't have much snow, and residents here and in Rathdrum, ID, where we lived first, said they hadn't had much snow here for 7 years or so. They also said, it was time to start again.
   The winter of 2008-2009, we had about 123 inches at our house here in Elk. Last year, we had much less. The airport measurement was 13.7 inches. Big difference. We're off to a snowy start this year. I also slipped on ice and broke my arm and had to be surgically but back together again. That's why I'm not allowed out in the winter anymore.
   When I was 7, I was swinging upside down from one of our clothes line poles, flew off and hit a tree. My first broken bone. It was also a bad break. if I'm going to break something, I might as well do a good job of it. Anyway, a neighbor's son wanted to know if they screwed my arm back on. They didn't, but almost had to, so having screws in my arm the last time was kind of funny.
   On top of all this snow, we have had warmer temperatures above freezing, and rain. This makes for very icy conditions. I can see where Tim has cleared, about 3 inches of ice.
   Investing in a snow blower (snow thrower?) was a wise decision. The first winter we were in our house here, the snow was so bad, we had to hire a guy with a bulldozer do clear the driveway so we could get in and out. Before we hired him, Tim tried to clear off the very long driveway with the snow shovel. Last year, he didn't need the snow blower.
   Last night when Tim got home from work, it didn't look like he needed to get out there and clear snow. About 6:00PM, I looked out the window and broke the bad news to him. The snow was falling much harder and out he went. He came back in grumbling and said the snow blower was frozen. He got it working and spent 1 1/2 hours clearing. He was just so thrilled. Tim's been saying that people who have lived here all their lives, or many many years, can't believe the snow this year. Once again, it could be worse. It has snowed in July, or so I've heard. It has snowed in May or June since we've been up here. I would still rather have the snow than tornadoes or hurricanes.
   Since we can't afford to move, and have no intention of moving anyway, I guess we should get used to it.   We did want seasons other than brown. Maybe not so much white, but that's how it goes. Our first winter up here, the newscasters were complaining it looked like they were going to have a brown Christmas, since it hadn't snowed yet. We thought that was pretty funny since they had green grass still and we had just moved from the Mojave desert and we really know what a brown Christmas looks like.
   Since we have maybe 4 more months of this, guess what a lot of blogs will be about?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Poor Snowy Trees

   We've had 18 inches of snow so far, and are supposed to get another 7, or so, during the next couple of days. The snow is higher than Chip is tall, even though it has packed down and melted to 16 inches.
   The trees are very heavy with snow. I think they look sad, all droopy. Every once in a while, you see the snow slip from a branch and the snow fly off.
   It's happened. I knew it would. Tim is tired of clearing the 450 feet long driveway. He does say, though, if he didn't have to keep clearing, he wouldn't mind the snow. With the snow blower, he gets covered in snow flying out the thrower part.
   I'm not allowed out, but I did have my outing to Walmart yesterday to buy a few groceries and the all important dog food. Walmart wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but maybe that's because we waited until Sunday to go.
It was afternoon when this dark picture was taken.
   Next week I leave for my trip to sunny CA. I checked the temperatures for Riverside, and they will be in the 60's and 70's with lows in the 40's. I should check Kingman AZ, too, since I will be going there for a day.
   I'm not really looking forward to all the security at the airport, but I am curious to see if all the metal in my leg will set anything off. There is also my biggest fear in life, getting lost. Since I will be bringing, and using, my cane, Amy said I needed assistance, so they should see I don't get lost. I have a little more than an hour layover in Seattle to people watch. Now, if only Michaela cooperates.
   I wonder how much snow we will have when I get back? Since I just look at all the pretty snow from out large picture windows, I don't mind it. I've got a great view from my rocking chair, as I sit here and crochet, watch TV and generally waste time on the computer. I also have a great view from where my spinning wheels are in front of another large picture window an the other side of the house. Chip also thinks its a good view, since he spends a lot of time sitting on my spinning chair, looking at the world. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

We Really Do Live In A Snow Globe

   It's snowing in my snow globe world. It was a good day to stay home. Tim and I aren't Black Friday people, especially if we have to go out in 10 inches of snow. Can you imagine crazed bargain hunters and snowy and icy roads and parking lots? Not a good combination.
   So instead, I cooked the turkey bones and am making a big pot of turkey and rice soup. One day, I really should write down what I put in the soup so I can make it the way I like it more than once.
   Tim went and cleared the very long driveway and a spot for the dogs.  We're such exciting people.
   We went to my mother-in-laws house for Thanksgiving and came home with most of the food. Next, I have to do something with the ham bone.
   We took Jake and Chip over with us so they could  get used to  the house, since they will be staying there when I go to CA next month. They did pretty good. Chip didn't like the snow there, either. I guess he's not a cold weather poodle. I guess he'd better get used to it, since we have months more of this weather, and it's going to get worse before it gets better.
   And me, I'm just doing crafty, stuck in the house stuff. There are more towels again waiting to be folded. Some people are so lazy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's Frigid Outside

   It's downright frigid outside. The sun is shining, but it's colder when it shines. It's been snowing all day. The flakes are tiny, powdery flakes. We had blizzard conditions last night. Luckily, the power stayed on, even though it did flicker a few times.
   Poor Chip needs boots and a coat. Jake could use them, too. We do have dog boots. Jake has a pair, and we had a huge pair for Dixie. I guess when we find them, Jake can wear Dixie's since she's no longer with us, and Chip can wear Jake's. The only problem is the snow is deeper that the boots are high. I thought I'd have to go out and get Chip this morning because his poor little feet hurt so much to walk in this snow. Fluffy, wet snow doesn't seem to bother the dogs as much. I guess that's because it's actually warmer.
   Some crazy people moved up here because they wanted seasons. Makes you wonder about some people. This is suppose to be a very cold, wet winter. The heat pump is keeping the house comfortable. I'm not looking forward to the next electric bill. I really wish we had a wood burning stove. That's another thing on our list for when we win the lottery. Our electric blanket bit the dust, too, so now we can be crushed under the weight of all the blankets.
   I have plenty to keep me busy now that I'm stuck inside. I did lean as far as I could out the front and back doors and shoveled the snow off of the steps. Unfortunately, out the back door there is now a pile of snow at the base of the steps. I couldn't reach far enough out to take care of that problem.
   The potato soup mix is really good in this type of weather. I like croutons in mine, my parents put real bacon bits in theirs. I'll be keeping a supply on hand.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To Dehydrate Potatoes And A Couple Of Recipes Using Them

Dehydrated sliced and shredded potatoes
   I have been dehydrating our crop of potatoes lately, and have been asked about it. I dehydrated some last year, as well.
   Last year, I sliced the potatoes raw, blanched the slices for 5-6 minutes and soaked the slices in 1/4 tsp. Fruit Fresh per quart of water for a few minutes, and then put the slices as close as possible on the dehydrator trays.
   Since my dehydrator is an old DAK, it doesn't have any of the new fangled things like temerature control and a timer.  It just has an off and on switch. I have to rotate the trays, which gets old after a while, especially if I have to get up at night and rotate them.
   This year, I boiled the unpeeled potatoes whole until a bamboo skewer went through them with a little effort. I also made sure the potatoes where about the same size for more even cooking.
   Next, I put the whole, boiled potatoes in the fridge until the next day. I cut off the root end and sliced or shredded thm on my mandoline. Much easier than a knife. The skins came off as I went.
   I layed the slices on the trays as close as possible, in a single layer, and turned the dehydrator on. For the shredded potatoes, I put a layer of about 1/2" on the trays. Oh, before I forget, I have screens so the small stuff doesn't fall through the trays. Since I had to rotate the trays, I spread the shredded potatoes out as they dehydrated.
Scalloped Potatoes
   The potatoes rehydrated much better this way versus last years way. Also, if I removed the slices as they were done the color was better. The shredded potatoes will be used as hashbrowns. The slices are used to make Scalloped Potatoes like the boxed kind, and a Hamburger Helper kind. You can find the recipes on my recipe page. Of course, I had to make changes. You'll need to scroll down to find the recipes.
   These are also nice to have on hand.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Michaela's Bear

    I finally finished Michaela's bear. It's 15 inches tall. Since Michaela isn't even born yet, it might be bigger than she is. I even made it so it stands up by itself.
   Tim told me teddy bears are suppose to be brown, but I told him it was a polar bear. Yeah, I know, polar bears don't have blue eyes, but I thought I'd be different.
   I am going to make a bear for each grandchild, so I need to make 3 more. I wasn't sure if Micheal was too big for teddy bears since he's 5 now, so I had Alyssa (his mom) ask him if he liked bears. Micheal said no "because they get you dead." When she
asked him if he liked teddy bears, he said yes.
   Since the other grand kids are boys, I think I will make one tan with camo overalls and some hair on it's head. I haven't decided about the other 2, but one might be a panda bear. Since I don't care who gets which bear. I think I will wrap them and just let the boys pick one.
   There is no way I will have 3 finished before Christmas, since I haven't started on them yet. They will be "just because" bears.
   I saw on the National Weather Service site that next Monday night is suppose to get down to 5 and the high for Tuesday is suppose to be 18. There will be some snow thrown in there, too, so I'll have plenty of time to work on them.
   I also have 2 more hooded scarves to make for Myrna. One of these days, I plan on trying to make enough crocheted things to try to sell. I'm not having much luck lately.
   I bought some Smartglo crochet hooks. They glow in the dark. Supposedly they make crocheting dark yarns easier to see, and make it easier to crochet in dim light. They glow nice. I don't know about the rest. They did have some rough spots on them that I needed to sand down.
   I have been downloading a lot of old time radio shows off of the internet. I like listening to them. Right now, I am downloading  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I am trying to see how much music and radio shows I can put on my 16gb mp3 player. If that gets full, I can always put more on my 4gb mp3 player. What I really need to do is burn them to discs so I don't loose them and I can change the shows.
   I made 7 more half pints of cherry preserves today. I am getting better at it. I have enough cherries in the freezer for one more batch, so I think that is tomorrows project. I also have to make more potato soup mix. Tim is going through a lot of it.
   Oddly enough, I don't have any towels, or anything else, to fold, so I'm doing good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


These are slimy

The fog has lifted and the moon is just right, so I was able to upload pictures. I have more that are on my camera. I will put them on here later. I figured you can only stand so much excitement. I thought the photos turned out pretty good. I am putting 12 pictures up tonight, since there is nothing on TV to watch.

Looks like a pancake

This is my new wallpaper photo

Foggy Weather = Poor Internet Service

   It's been foggy up here lately, and it's playing havoc on my internet service. I have broadband, and apparently this year, it doesn't like foggy weather.
   Since Sunday, I have been trying to post pictures of some mushroom/toadstool pictures I took. We have many different looking ones growing all over the place. It would be nice to know if they are edible. I know the deer really like them, but since I don't know, I'm not going to eat them. I just thought it would be nice putting pictures of the up. Some of them are great pictures, even if I do say so myself.
   I also finished crocheting Michaela's bear, and was trying to put pictures of it up, as well. No luck there, either. I can take a hint.
   Hopefully, this doesn't mean I have to wait until spring and clear weather to post photos.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Potato Soup Mix

   I like to make mixes and keep them on hand for quick meals. I found this recipe for potato soup mix. Everyone who has tried it, likes it. Tim even has a jar full at work for a quick, filling warm up. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Monday, November 1, 2010

And The GE Man Says...

GE Self-Cleaning Radiant Range
   Since I'm new at canning, (this is the second year I have tried canning) and was going by web sites for information about canning, and what I could, and couldn't do, on a smooth glass top stove I was only using the boiling water bath method, because my instruction manual said it was ok to do it.
   After my Sage of The Green Tomato Sauce post, I thought I'd try and find out the answer to the pressure cooker/canner question.
   I called GE this morning, and talked to one of their experts. I asked him if I can use pressure cookers/canners on this model, and  after being put on hold and him researching the question, he said yes, and it also takes the burners about 26 seconds to cool down or heat up. So, now I know.
   I guess for next year, besides a freezer, and a bigger dehydrator, I also need a pressure canner. I just need to find out what is a good, inexpensive model. I also called and asked Amy if she used the pressure cooker I gave her, that my mom gave me. My mom gave it to me because it didn't work that well on electric stove top with the coils.
   Now that we all know the answer to this question, I'm going to get up and go make chocolate chip cookies.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chip And I Were Feeling Crafty

   Chip and I were feeling crafty today. Chip couldn't figure out how to spin. Sometimes, having paws isn't a good thing. Chip has figured out how to unwind the bobbins of yarn I had spun. I'm not very happy when he does that, so now, all bobbins with spun yarn on them, live on the loom.
   While Chip was trying to figure out how to spin, I was crocheting baby booties. I got the pattern out of the June 2010 Crochet World.
Booties about 3 1/2" long

Front view

Side view

   I even managed to fold that clothes basket full of towels. Too bad, I couldn't get the pictures side by side.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Saga Of The Green Tomato Sauce

9 pints and 7 quarts of green tomato sauce
   I finally got my camera and computer to cooperate and let me download pictures. I'll start with the green tomato sauce. As you know, I had 25 pounds of green tomatoes and I decided to make sauce out of them. I also had some zucchini and patty pan squash, so I added them to the sauce, as well.
   I had planned to put the sauce in the freezer, but we have a small freezer, and all the freezer bags wouldn't fit, so I canned it. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew you shouldn't water bath can tomato sauce that had zucchini in it, it should be pressure canned. We have a totally electric house so I have no pressure canner /cooker.
   I spent all day on the sauce, which looked like green enchilada sauce, and canned it well into the night. The next day, looking at my sauce, I got to worrying about the canning method. I researched it, and researched it some more, only to find I was right. Even though I cooked it and boiled the pints for 45 minutes and the quarts for 50 minutes, it was the wrong method. So, instead of risking botulism, I added it all to the compost pile. It also didn't smell very good. Oddly enough, the deer didn't touch it.
   I am new at this canning business, so it's all a learning experience anyway. Too bad I wasted all day doing it, but better safe than sorry. The tomatoes were so hard and green, they wouldn't have ripened up before spoiling, anyway, so I figure, except for the time, it was no great loss.
   Next year, I'm wondering if I can use propane and the base of Tim's yet unused turkey fryer, get a pressure canner and try that? No, I wouldn't be using the fryer part, just the base that you set it on. Then again, I did find an electric pressure cooker/canner. I think I will probably opt for the electric method.

   Here is a bathtub full of 138 pounds of potatoes. I rinsed all the dirt off of them outside in the wheel barrow, and the only place I could think of to put them in once they were in the house, was the bathtub in the extra bathroom.
   They are out of the bathtub now, and I have dehydrated and frozen a lot of them. Now, I have them in a milk crate in the pantry and the small ones are in 2 boxes in the dining room and a stainless steel bowl on the kitchen counter.
   They are very good potatoes, but the small ones are not going to last very long, so those are the ones that are getting used first. 
   Tomorrow, or this weekend, I will tell you what I have been doing with the dehydrated potatoes and how I am freezing them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some Changes Made To My Blog

    Last night, I had a brilliant idea. Why don't I add a recipe section to my blog? Being the computer inept person that I am, I called Alyssa, my blog savvy daughter, and ask her how it was done. Many hours later, I added a recipe, home and about me page. It wasn't really hard. Who knows why it took me so long? Now, if only I could figure out how to get things posted to the right pages. I am disappointed comments can't be left on the recipe page, since I'd like to know what people think of them. I also don't know if it's possible to make a recipe archive. I think one of those would be nice, too.
   I will be adding more recipes soon. I hope you enjoy them. I am also thinking of adding a page for pictures I have taken. I know, I really need to add pictures to my posts to make them more interesting. I like looking at the pictures on the blogs I follow. Sometimes, the pictures don't want to get off my camera and onto the computer. Do you think it could be operator failure? I do, unless it's camera censorship. Maybe, even the recipe section will get photos. I really wouldn't be holding my breath on that one.
   Another thing I added is a weather widget so my readers can see how the weather is in my snow globe, if they are interested. I also added a page view counter with an accurate total of views. Tim and I were curious to see how many hits I've had. Now, we know. More than we had thought.
   As you can see, some people will do anything to get out of folding towels. I really have to fold them tomorrow since the clothes basket is really full and I keep walking to the laundry room to pull out dishrags and kitchen towels when I need clean ones.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This Winter's First Snow

   I saw snow on Mt. Spokane today. Well, briefly, I saw snow on Mt. Spokane. I can usually see Mt. Spokane from our windows, but, for the most part lately, it's hiding behind low clouds and fog. We even had a few tiny snow flakes this morning, but they didn't stick. Tim stuck the snow gauge in the ground, so I'm ready. I have plenty to keep me busy, and I'm really good at wasting lots of time on the internet.We are getting rained on right now. We have had almost nonstop rain since Sunday. Tomorrow looks like the only non rainy day for awhile.
   Poor Jake doesn't like getting his feet muddy, so getting him to go out is a battle. That dog must have a huge bladder. Chip, on the other hand, tromps through every puddle he sees. Last winter, since Chip was still a puppy, we didn't let him play in the snow much. I bet he'll have a blast in it this year. Jake used to like snow, but he's turning into an old man dog. Either that, or he got smarter. Both dogs like to eat snow off of the floor, and Chip really liked eating snow outside. So much so, that he forgot why he was outside.
   I finally finished putting up all the onions and corn. I have lots of carrots and potatoes left. I need to do something with most of the carrots before Dec. Our oldest daughter is having a baby and I will be in CA for the event, if the baby cooperates. This will be my first trip anywhere all by myself.
   I made chunky cinnamon apples and some chunky apple butter using pumpkin pie spice. Both turned out really good. I still have 7 apples left. I haven't decided what to do with them yet. I used Jonagold apples. I really like them. They are a very juicy, all purpose apple.
   Today, I made a chocolate cake that uses leftover mashed potatoes. It's pretty good. I have been making cherry cobbler lately with some of the cherries I have stashed away in the freezer. I have 3 gallon bags of cherries left. I thought I only had 2. I wonder why I don't seem to be loosing a lot of weight lately?
   I finally finished crocheting my sister-in-laws hats and scarves. Now, I need to finish a baby blanket and make 1 more bootie for the upcoming granddaughter. I'm slowly making progress. I'm also going to make Michaela a crocheted bunting doll. I really don't think she'll care if they aren't all done when she's born.
   I do have another load of towels in the clothes basket waiting for me to fold them. I bet you couldn't tell I don't like to fold towels. I don't know why. They aren't hard to fold. I guess I'm waiting for the clothes dryer that fold, hangs up and puts away clothes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Here A Jar, There A Jar, Everywhere A Jar Jar

   I bought more canning jars yesterday and then what did we go and do? We went and bought a bunch of apples for applesauce. It's not like I don't have anything else to can.
   Tim noticed that hanging out in the canning area in stores makes strangers talk to you. Tim grew up in CA where strangers don't tend to speak to each other, so it's new to him.  Anyway, as I was loading my shopping cart up with jars, a woman walked by and told me it would be over soon; meaning the canning. I'm beginning to have my doubts, especially when I go and buy more to do.
   The same woman past me as I was putting yarn in the cart. I told here canning was cutting into my crocheting. I never did get my summer clothes sewn, much less cut out. Maybe I'll magically loose wight over winter so I won't have to worry about the clothes I didn't make, not fitting. I can always hope. Unfortunately, I like to eat what I cook.
   When we were in the check out line getting everything rung up, talking about canning, of course, and I mentioned all the carrots in the fridge. An older man suggested I pickle them. I hadn't thought of that, but I think I will pickle our little finger length carrots. It's worth a try. Why not? I canned green tomato sauce. I got to thinking today, which can be a very dangerous thing, that I might need to get more jars. Again. The jars I bought yesterday were 25% off.
   It got down to 27 last night and that finished off the garden. Tim harvested corn today while I was off grocery shopping. Now, I have more to do. I have to figure out how to stuff everything in our small freezer.
   When we bought the house,( the appliances came with it), we thought it was a big fridge and freezer. It is if you've just lived in a 27 foot travel trailer for 2 years. It's not, once you put food in it.
   One of the reasons I went shopping today was to get the vacuum seal bags I forgot to get yesterday. Wouldn't you know it? I forgot them today, too. I even had them on my list. The same list I had yesterday that was in my pocket. I'm not going shopping tomorrow. I hope. I have clothes to was, those never ending towels to fold, along with more to wash, bread to bake, and make the weeks cookies for Tim's lunch. Wheat bread for sandwiches. I came across a recipe for peanut butter and honey bread I'm going to make, as well. Since I have my daily peanut butter and honey sandwiches, why not?
   As I was shopping in Walmart, grumbling about the steadily rising prices, I debated, sugar or no sugar. I figure I have about 20 pounds, so I'm good. Looking at the pickle instructions on the package of mix ( I cheat, since I'm new at pickles), I see it takes 7 cups of sugar. Then there is more sugar for more cherry preserves and cookies. I might even make apple butter. I really like apple cinnamon jelly, too, but I know I didn't buy that many apples. Yup, I should have put some in the shopping cart.
   Pretty soon winter will be here and I will have to stay in. By drs. and family orders, I'm not allowed out in the icy, snowy, slippery weather. I tend to slip and break something that has to be surgically repaired. I hope I'll have all my canning, done by then so I can catch up with my crocheting. Maybe, I'll get to my neglected spinning wheels and looms. Who knows? Maybe I'll even fold towels.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What Do You Do With 25 Pounds Of Green Tomatoes?

   I've been pretty busy lately, so I've been slacking off with my blog. Our garden is the reason. I took pictures of thing to put on here, but wouldn't you know it? I can't get them off of the camera onto the computer. I'll have them up when I can get them.
   Back to the garden. It did really well, even with the deer helping themselves. I didn't weigh everything, but what I did weigh came to 329.25 pounds. That's:
138 pounds of potatoes
54 pounds of onions
27 pounds of carrots
38 pounds of cucumbers
29.75 pounds of zucchini
29 pounds of tomatoes
13.50 pounds of patty pan squash
2 bushels of spinach
25 pea pods
2 green beans
   Deer really like peas and green beans. We are still harvesting corn and my lima beans are still playing around.
   25 pounds of the tomatoes were green. They just didn't ripen anywhere this year and had to be harvested before the frost go to them. I looked for recipes for green tomatoes and found the usual fried green tomatoes. I was looking for sauce. I decided to cook them all, without seasoning, so I could use it for different things. I ended up with 9 pints and 7 quarts of green tomato sauce. It looks like green enchilada sauce. I also have 1 quart of red tomato sauce. I hope the green tomato sauce is edible and not a waste of time and effort.
   I spent 12 hours working on my 25 pounds of green tomatoes. I had planned on freezing it, but lack of freezer space, (we only have the small one on our side by side fridge), said I needed to can it. What a long day that was. I finished canning my last batch at 11:15PM.
   It was my idea to plant a lot of tomatoes, but I was thinking the harvesting would be staggered,  not an all at once thing, except for the few ripe tomatoes we had. Deer started helping themselves to the ripe tomatoes as the summer went on.
   I am freezing and dehydrating potatoes. This kind doesn't have a long shelf life, but I thought it would be longer than it is. It's not.
   Carrots are being dehydrated. I also dehydrated zucchini.
   I still have 3 gallon bags of cherries in the freezer. I had another one, but yesterday it became cherry cobbler.
   This weekend we might be getting a bunch of concord and wine grapes, along with some sprouts.
   I need to buy more jars this weekend. I thought I had enough when I first bought some, but I was wrong. This will be the third time I'm buying more. I need quarts and pints. I have enough 1/2 pints and 4-oz jars.
   Once again, I think it would have been nice to start this self sufficiency thing at a younger age, but it didn't work out that way. I don't mind dehydrating and canning, but it would have been much nicer if it didn't happen all at one time with everything.
   Chip says he's suffering from neglect because I haven't played with him as much lately. He started to sit up and beg when I walk by, and no one taught him how to do that. If that doesn't work, he throws himself on my feet and rolls around. I do add, he is very cute doing both these things, and he knows it, too.
   After seeing how well the garden did, for the most part, I don't know if Tim still wants a bigger garden next year. We do need deer fencing,a freezer and a bigger dehydrator for next year. I also think I need to be cloned a few times to keep up with everything.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Have A Hoppy Day

   Yesterday morning, I was standing in the doorway of the open backdoor in the laundry room, waiting for the dogs to stop goofing off and come when called, like well trained dogs, (Jake is, Chip isn't), and I saw this big brown thing come on in. I guess it figured it might as well, since the door was open.
   We've been having a big ugly brown bug problem, so I was all ready to go hunting for my shoes so I could step on it, when I noticed it hopped. It was a huge toad. It was probably able to fit on a nickle, with wiggle room. We normally have toads that are palm size, or bigger by the back door. Did it shrink in all of the rain we've had this year? It must really have wanted in the house because our backdoor is about 3 1/2 feet off the ground and it had to hop up the steps to get to the door.
   Could it have been a nice cooperative toad and stayed where I could have caught it, right there on the rug in front of the door? Nope! It had to hop behind a bunch of junk, uh, prized possessions.
   I finally got the well trained dogs in, and wouldn't you know it? They wanted to find the toad. It was after all, breakfast time.
   I rounded up the dogs and put them in the bedroom, and grumbled. I hadn't even had my first thing in the morning glass of chocolate milk, and now I had to clean the laundry room.
   I moved paint cans, dog food containers, and a small portable washing machine into the kitchen, since the laundry room is right off of the kitchen. There the toad was, sitting in the corner, laughing at me. I bent down to pick it up, hoping I didn't squish it, and it hopped away.
   After 2 attempts, I caught it. Who knew it was so hard to catch a huge toad in a laundry room? Of course, it couldn't be that easy. It hopped out of my hands twice, because I didn't want to hold it too tight.
   I got it outside and put it in the flower pot with my African Daisies, hoping it didn't beat me back into the house, since I left the door open to but it outside. After I was in the house, with the door closed, I noticed the toad had slimmed my hand. Who knew a tiny, (I mean huge), toad could hold so much toad slime?
   I but everything back into the laundry room neater than it was, let the dogs out of the bedroom and fed them. Jake and Chip still thought toad smelled better than dog food.
   By this time, I was having chocolate milk withdrawals. My morning was off to a hoppy start. I'm glad it was a toad that came visiting instead of a mouse or something. I still don't close the door while waiting for the dogs. Some people never learn.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Malware Virus Puts A Kink In Things

   My computer managed to get a malware virus. Who knows where from. Tim got my computer working, but I lost everything I had on it. It's slower now, too. Tim says he still needs to do things to it. He was told be people to just trash the computer because it would never work. It works. I have alot of computer catching up to do. Yes, that does include Facebook games.
   My parents are visiting, (and a nice visit it is), and they have 2 chihuahuas, Connie and Cash. Cash, the male, doesn't like Chip. All Chip wants to do is play. Even after minor skirmishes, Chip just doesn't learn and still wants to play. Jake is a good big brother dog. He keeps putting himself between cash and Chip. Jake isn't quite sure what to make of Connie and Cash, but his poodle is getting picked on. Jake's poodle, (Chip), is a pest, but he's the only one who can pick on him.
   We took my parents on a drive today that turned out longer than intended. They saw lots of trees. There happen to be a few of them up here. We also went to Cabelas and I had to look at dehydrators. I was thinking of the smaller Cabelas commercial dehydrator. It's bigger than I thought. I could get plenty in it. It might be too big, also finding a place for it. It was nice, though. Another thing to save my pennies for.
   I am sending home peach butter, cherry preserves, sweet pickles, Mexican hot chocolate mix, some of those never ending dehydrated onions, potato soup mix, scalloped potatoes and a beef potato mix, kind of like hamburger helper. They had a shoe box, but now they have a shoe box and a used priority mail box full. The jars are a little loose, so I'm crocheting dishrags to fill in the loose spots. No zucchini or cucumbers for them. Ok, the pickles were once cucumbers from our garden, but those don't count.
   Today, as we were coming up to our driveway after the drive, 2 young deer crossed the road coming out of our yard. They were probably eating tomatoes when we were gone.
   Tomorrow, I think we are going to Green Bluff. It's apple season. One day, I am going to make applesauce and apple butter. I haven't made an apple pie recently, either. Must be time for one, or more, apple pies.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hail To The Cucumber King

     It seems Tim is the cucumber king at work. I keep sending bags of them off with Tim to take to work for those who want them. I hear they vanish in no time. People ask when he is going to bring in more. One coworker told Tim no one was really interested in the cucumbers he's brought in in past years. I guess we are planting them next spring to make everyone happy. I must admit, they are much better than the ones you get from the store.
   Me, I'm suffering from laziness. I still have a refrigerator full of carrots to do something with, as well as those never ending onions. The potatoes are close to being ready to harvest, so that will be something else to do in my spare time.
   My parents are coming for a visit in the next couple of days, and I should straighten up some around here, but as they tell me, they are family, don't worry about it. I do need to vacuum and clean bathrooms. We even have someplace for them to sit this trip. Last trip, they had to bring their own chairs, since we hadn't been in the house that long and didn't have any furniture.
   Fall is in the air. Fall is my favorite season. It cools down, the colors are beautiful, and I like the way fall smells. Spring is my next favorite season, because it is starting to warm up and, once again, the colors are beautiful. Unfortunately, it's extremely muddy.
   I have been trying to stock up on food and books for winter. I heard it's suppose to be another bad one. Winter means I am stuck in the house so I don't slip and break myself again.
  In the mail the other day, we received a post card saying we were to be a Nielsen family. Yes, our TV viewing is exciting. We don't have cable, and I am the major TV watcher since I am home all the time, and I usually just watch a few shows. It seems most of the new shows I might watch will be on the same time as NCIS and NCIS will be the one I watch. I have watched The Gates and America's got talent. I'd like to know, since it's America's got Talent, why are 2 of the judges not American?
   Ah, well. Guess I should get up and get busy. I have to make it look like I've done something before Tim gets home from work. I do things while Tim is at work, it's just not really noticeable. I let the dogs out and in all day long. I waste time on the computer. I watch TV. I do some cleaning and wash clothes and most of them I even hang up and fold as they come out of the dryer. I'm still waiting on that dryer that folds and puts clothes on the hangers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Farmville For Real or 100 1/4 Pounds Of Veggies And Growing

   I have been very busy lately with everything from the garden. I know, people that have bigger gardens, maybe even smaller gardens, could be busier than I have been. So far, since August until now, we have harvested 100 1/4 pounds of produce. That doesn't include the odd tomato, ears of corn, few pea pods.
This is my second year of canning. So far, so good. I made cherry preserves, that turned out kind of thin, but they are good on my granola and waffles. I think I have that problem figured out. My big stainless steel pot isn't quite big enough, so I didn't let the cherries boil long enough after I added the liquid pectin. It was about ready to boil over, and that would have been a big mess that I didn't want to clean up, so, it's good, but thin, preserves.
   I'm pretty sure we don't need to plant any onions next spring. We still have some in the garden. I have a gallon bag full of small onions that the deer said we needed to harvest early. I have 1 quart jar of chopped dehydrated onions and 5 quarts of dehydrated onion rings. I have figured out the best way to slice the onions to dehydrate. I peel the onions and leave them whole with the root end still on. I use my handy dandy slicer and hold the root end when it gets to the part I usually toss anyway. My slices are nice and even this way.
To chop them, I put the dried rings in a stainless steel bowl and use my pastry cutter to chop them up. This method works great.
   We thought we were coming to an end with the zucchini, but they keep on coming. We haven't had very many patty pan squash, because the deer, or the porcupine that's around, find them quite good.
We have been harvesting some of the potatoes. They are very good. We had 2 big potatoes ( they are the more expensive white potatoes you get from the grocery store), that had brown spots in the middle. We read that was because they had too much water. They were very juicy potatoes. I used the good parts. They were good potatoes.
   I've dehydrated some the way you are suppose to, according to dehydrating sites and my dehydrating book, and the potatoes still turned brown. Good still, just not pretty. I ran across several sites the other day that said cook them whole until a bamboo skewer pushes through easily, yet the potato doesn't fall apart. Cool the in the fridge over night because you want the firm to slice or shred. Peel them and then slice or shred for hash browns. You can freeze them or dehydrate them this way and they aren't suppose to turn brown or black. If they do, you didn't cook them long enough. Anyway, this is the way I will try next.
The carrots are ready to harvest. It's odd that some of the ones Tim has pulled up are red and others are orange. The seeds came from the seed package. I guess next year, I should save the seed packets after I plant the seeds. I've just been tossing them when I used all the seeds. I figured I didn't need them.
The deer, or porcupine, are eating the tomatoes now, as well as eating the plants again. We still hope the weather stays warm enough for them. The tomatoes, not the critters.
   We have had 28 ears of corn. We cut most of the corn off of the cob and froze it in bags in 2 serving size portions.
   The watermelon has melons. Way more than we need.
   Our cucumbers just keep on coming. They are not pickling cucumbers, but, I made sweet pickles yesterday using them. 9 pints of them. It was the first time I've made them. I used a mix. I thought I did a pretty good job for a first attempt, but Tim came home from work and ask if I put too much juice in them. I packed the jars with the cucumber slices like the spice package said. When I got the out of the boiling water bath, the were floating, with a lot more room for slices. 9 seems to be the amount that I end up with. I always have one jar that doesn't seal, or is iffy. Tim tried a SWEET pickle this morning and said it tasted just like a DILL pickle. They had crunch to them. I have no idea what we are going to do with all these pickles since I don't like pickles. Next, I guess we ( I ) are making Kosher Dill Pickles with a mix. I wonder how many people we can pawn pickles onto?
   We have a porcupine. We kept finding these droppings, but didn't know from what kind of animal. I found, and bought, a book called Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains. When I was looking at the book before I bought it I found a picture of the porcupine, droppings and track. Good reason to buy it. Tim saw a huge porcupine here last year. Now, we really have to keep an eye on Chip if he goes out without his leash on. He'd decide he'd need to play with the porcupine. We think Jake is smart enough to stay away. He stops chasing things when he's told to. I hear some dogs don't learn about porcupines, even after more than one run in with them.
   I finally finished the last afghan my friend Terry hired me to make. Now, she has paid me to crochet animal slippers. She has another friend who is having a baby in January and says she wants me to make one for this one, also. Now, I am working on one of 2 hat, scarf, and mitten set for one of my sisters-in-law.
   As usual, I have clothes in the basket by the dryer to fold, and towels in the dryer waiting their turn.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Garden Predators

   Yesterday, I let the dogs out to do what dogs do, and Chip started to stare intently on the side of the house, and point like a good hunting dog should. The only thing is, is Chip is a miniature poodle. He didn't make any noise, just stared. Then he crept forward and then took off chasing something. He took off before I could see what he saw. What he saw was a flock of wild turkeys. Two or 3 hens and a good crop of pretty young turkeys.
   Chip chased them ,and most ran through the fence and into the field behind us. All of a sudden, Chip found the turkey he wanted. A big hen was what he wanted. As I'm trying to catch Chip, he is trying to get the turkey, and the turkey takes off in flight, almost hitting me in the head. Pretty funny. Chip chased the turkey until it landed in a tree. If he could of figure out how to climb the 45 foot tall pine tree, we might have had turkey for dinner instead of squash. Now, Chip is upset he has to go outside on the leash.
    Besides the deer problem, we have wild turkeys eating what they can reach. The really seem to be partial to the tomatoes. It would be nice if the ate more grasshoppers. Our garden feeds the wild animals, and us, well.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Italian Sausage Soup

   Summer seems to have taken a vacation the last couple of days. We even had a frost warning already. Luckily, frost didn't happen. The newscasters were telling people to cover their tomatoes. We did. Lately, especially with the crazy weather, people are really worried about the weather getting really cold before everything in their gardens are ready to pick. Us included. This week, we are only suppose to be in the 60's for our highs, and upper 30's to low 40's for our lows.
   I used up the last of the zucchini that was in the fridge last night. There is still more in the garden. I made Italian Sausage Soup and homemade garlic bread. The recipe for the soup makes a lot, so I don't need to fix dinner for a couple of days. That's ok with me. Maybe since the weather is cooler, I'll get to the cherry preserves.
   Anyway, here is the soup recipe: Italian Sausage Soup
   1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage-(I used bulk, sweet sausage)
   2 cloves garlic, minced or mashed-(of course ours isn't ready to pick, so I had to buy some)
   2 large onions, chopped-(out of the garden)
   1 large (about 28 oz.) Italian-style pear-shaped tomatoes-(would have used fresh out of the garden, but only 1 was ready)
   3 cans (14 oz. each) regular strength beef broth-(I used 4 cups of water and 4 tsp. beef bouillon)
   1 1/2 cups dry red wine or water-(used water since I didn't have wine)
   1/2 tsp. crumbled basil leaves
   3 tbsp. chopped parsley
   1 med. green pepper, chopped-(left out because I don't like them)
   2 med zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick-(out of the garden)
   3 cups uncooked bow-tie noodles or large shells (about 6 oz.)
   grated Parmesan cheese

   Make the day before: ( I didn't this time, but have in the past) in a 5 qt or larger (I'd go larger) Dutch oven, cook the sausage until lightly browned. Drain off any fat. Add garlic and onions: cook, stirring until limp. Stir in tomatoes, (including any liquid) breaking them with a spoon. Add broth, wine, or water, and basil.Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Cool, the chill. Later, remove any fat that is on top.
   The next day: add parsley,pepper,zucchini and noodles and bring to a boil and then simmer for about 25 minute or until noodles are tender. To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 8-10 servings.
   This makes a very hearty soup. I have a 6 quart Dutch oven, and it was very full. Since I didn't make this in 2 days, it will be better today. I think I will add carrots to the soup next time. I made homemade garlic bread to go with the soup. It was a good meal. I never have made it with wine. One day, I might.
   I think I've found a good batter recipe for fried zucchini. I also found a good oven baked zucchini recipe. My next zucchini meal will be lasagna. Instead of using noodles, I will slice the zucchini length wise, fairly thin. I still have some home grown spinach I will use in place of the meat. I use low fat cottage cheese, drained, instead of ricotta cheese. I make my own tomato/spaghetti sauce. I use lots of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top. Of course, we'll need garlic bread.
   I guess now it's time to get up and make the cookies for Tim's lunches. An applesauce cake or lemon poppy seed bread also sounds good.
   Oh, and tomorrow, I am sending cucumbers with Tim so people at work can have some.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Grasshoppers Are Here! Again!

   The grasshoppers have arrived. Walking through them is like the parting of the seas. Sitting here in my rocking chair, typing away, I hear them hit the windows. Jake and Chip are having a blast trying to catch them. I never noticed before that grasshoppers can hover. I thought it was a butterfly, until I got closer. So far, they have not destroyed the garden.
   I weighed the onions that had to be harvested early because the deer squished them. I also counted them. 204 onions and 18 pounds. I guess I have my work cut out for me. They are spread out on the dining room table on pans. Luckily, we don't use it for eating. There are still onions to be harvested later. We also got 1 Roma tomato. More will ripen all at the same time. I washed the lone tomato and put it in the freezer waiting for more.
   We have harvested some pappy pan squash. Tim and I had never had it before. I fixed some tonight. I cut it in chunks, mixed it with Italian Salad Dressing and then scooped them out and put them in a bag with Italian Style Bread Crumbs and shook them up. I spread them on an oiled cookie sheet and baked for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. I fixed them with our Shake-n-Bake pork chops. It was a good meal. We liked the patty pan squash. It's a good thing, since we will be having a lot of the as well.
   Yesterday, I fixed 7 stuffed zucchini. I cut them in half, so we have 14. I put the in the freezer for later eating. I still have 4 zucchini left in the fridge. I was going to make zucchini bread today, but I played in onions and crocheted more of the baby afghan. I am almost finished with it. I also re-potted some house plants that were terribly root bound.
   Friday is only suppose to get to 67 for a high. Everyone is hoping fall isn't on it's way.
   I wonder what I'm doing for fun tomorrow?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Onions, Onions, And More Onions

   Last evening, Tim and I harvested the last of the onions that the deer squished. I haven't weighed my produce box full yet, but I think there are at least 20-30 pounds of onions in it. I'll clean them up and weigh them later this week. Most of them are almost tennis ball size, with a good mixture of smaller ones. We still have at least 100-150 left that the deer haven't smashed down.
   I dehydrated 7 3/4 pounds Friday, and it came to 1 quart jar full. The house will smell like onions forever. I'm sure we will, too. Maybe, if I'm lucky, it will be a years worth of onions.
  Today, I plan on fixing stuffed zucchini boats to put in the freezer for later eating, if I stop playing around on the computer. I'm pretty sure there are more zucchini ready to be picked, too. We are going to be so sick of zucchini.
   I am pretty sure I will be making cherry preserves this week, too, since I need the room in our tiny freezer.
   The corn is coming along nicely, but not fast enough for Tim. He says he'll help be with shucking.
   The potatoes are doing great. We'll have them coming out our ears, too.
   The tomatoes are going to be ripe all at the same time, with my luck. I'll have corn and potatoes and tomatoes to deal with at the same time.
   The second batch of carrots is doing much better than the first batch. Too bad, I didn't save the seed packets or write the names down, so I'll know what not to plant next year. Live and learn.
   We discovered why the deer have been leaving the garden alone lately. They have discovered the peas. Peas must be really good. I got 5 pea pods off of them Saturday, and sad to say, that might be the whole pea harvest.
   I am about 3/4 of the way finished with the baby afghan for my friend, Terry. About the same with the one for Amy. I gave up on the sewing idea for awhile. Maybe when I'm stuck in the house during winter.
   My fingers are so sore from cracking. I really wish I could find something that works on them.
   Saturday, when I went into town, I noticed some of the undergrowth is starting to turn colors already. I could be because it's really dry, or, fall is coming really early. I'm not ready for fall, so I'll say it's because it's so dry.
   The dirt road in front of our house is a regular hunters freeway lately. It's bear and chukar season. Scary thought, hunters hunting for bear so close to our house. I have visions of a bear walking up the driveway, as I'm walking down.
   Well, I guess I'll get up and start the stuffed zucchini. After this movie is over.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Child Guard Pool Safety System

Child Guard Pool Safety System

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Child Guard System

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Harvesting Time Is Upon Us

   It looks like harvesting time for some things is upon us. First, before I go into that, I'll let you know how the zucchini from one of Tims' coworkers went. Tim wanted me to make zucchini bread for him to bring in, so I made 2 loaves on Monday, and Tim comes home from work only to inform me the guy is taking a 2 week vacation. It figures. It's ok, though. The zucchini bread tasted good, but it wasn't up to my usual standards. I even used my old standby recipe. Maybe I should have used the new recipe I found. Next loaves, since we'll have more zucchini. I did make the zucchini casserole with more of that zucchini. It was a big one.
   Anyway, some of our zucchini is ready to pick. I picked some Monday and dehydrated it. More is ready. Fried zucchini is good. I want to shred some and dehydrate it for later use. Tim wants to know what you do with dehydrated zucchini and I tell him the usual things I do with it. I have told Tim it lasts longer dehydrated.too. I reconstituted a slice last night to show Tim that it turns back into normal sliced zucchini. I found some recipes for pickled zucchini I think I will try.
   Thanks to the deer, again, we are harvesting some of the onions already. I am going to dehydrate a bunch of them, too. We go through a lot of onions. Since I am suppose to keep a log of how much the garden produces, I counted and weighed onions. 49 onions weighed 7 3/4 pounds. As I said, they were small onions, thanks to the deer.
   Some of the corn is getting some nice ears on them (it?). More to eat fresh, besides freeze ears and dehydrate kernels. I'm going to make jars of soup mix with some of the dehydrated veggies.
   We have one small Big Boy tomato just about ripe and another one a few days behind. Someone forgot to tell them that with a name like Big Boy, they should be big. I'm assuming we will have over 100 tomatoes ready all at one time, with more to follow. I've never dehydrated tomatoes, but I think I will give it a try. I've heard after you dehydrate them, you can grind them into powder and add it to things. I might give it a try.
   The deer are doing a good job of eating the peas. The carrots, 2 different varieties, are doing well. The potatoes are doing great. I'm sure they will be ready all at once, too. I do mention stagger the crops, but even when we do that, they all seem to need harvesting at the same time.
   Tim wants me to keep a log of how much we get from the garden so we'll know how much to plant next year. He wants to double the size of the garden. This way, we can have twice as many well fed orphan deer. At least we haven't had the sheep from behind us come over.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Lead Such A Boring Life

   We seem to be the hang out for orphaned deer. At least our garden is. They are very well fed orphans. One of them, there are 3, has decided the best place in all of our 5+ acres to lay is on the onions. Our acres are wooded, you would think it could find a better area. Of course, with the damp ground, the onions are probably cooler.
   We also have some palm size, and bigger, toads. They like under the front and back steps. Tim is relocating them into the garden. Who knows if they'll stay there.
   Tim got the riding lawn mower working. One of our next door neighbors had it for a long time in his locked shed, because he lost the keys to the door years ago. He told Tim he could have it, and try to get it working with the agreement he could use it when he wants. We really needed a riding lawn mower and the price was right. It's so dry here right now, it's a very dusty job cutting all our grass and dead wildflowers. Tim's decided to wait until it rains to hold down the dust before he continues.
   All the cherries are pitted and in the freezer for later when it's not so hot. I don't really want to can in the heat, even though I could turn on the AC.
   We have close to 100 tomatoes on the plants, with a few of the starting to turn red. The corn is getting ears, luckily, not all at once.
   Tomorrow, I am making zucchini bread from a zucchini a coworker of Tims'. It's so big, I am also going to make the dreaded, kids couldn't stand it, zucchini casserole
   To make it these days, I cut the zucchini into bite size pieces, add homemade spaghetti sauce, cooked bulk Italian sausage, about a pound of it. Mix it all together, top with mozzarella cheese and Italian style bread crumbs doted with butter and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. I think I'll have to make garlic bread to go with it. Our kids couldn't stand this when I tried feeding to to them as kids. They will tell you we always had it, but it was only a few times.
   I've made bread and oatmeal raisin cookies today and all the clothes are washed and even folded and put away. Now, if I could only figure out what to fix for dinner.
   I have only 1 more baby afghan to make for my friend. I finally put up the sewing machine yesterday. I really intend to sew in the near future.
   Probably the biggest news is I stopped playing Farmville on Facebook. I could never get to my farm or anyone else's and it kept freezing the computer up. I'm not going through FV withdrawals as much as I thought I would. One of these days, I'll decide if I'll continue playing Frontierville. I could just go outside and play frontierville for real.
   On another note, I am going to start exercising tomorrow. Really I am. Really. I'll let you know how that goes. Too bad, just thinking about exercise doesn't work like exercising. I'll have to take the exercise slow, since I'm in such terrible shape. I was going to get into good shape by the time I was 40. I am a lot older than that now, I guess I should start. I hear late is better than never.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Cherry Pitting I Will Go

   I have been busy pitting cherries. I bought an older German cherry pitter at a yard sale a couple of years ago. It was well used. I used it last year, and found it needed new rubber gaskets for the pitter and pits to go through. I was afraid I'd have to buy a new pitter, but, last week I found a place on ebay that was selling the gaskets for another brand, but they looked like the ones I needed, so, I orderd them. The came in 2 days and they do fit. Much cheaper than a new cherry pitter.
   The Black Jade Pie Cherries stained my fingers a nice black. This time around with all the Bing cherries, I wore those cheap plastic food server gloves. They made a big difference even if they are hot and too loose. Anyway, yesterday as I was pitting the last 4 pounds of cherries I discovered the cherries were so big, they wouldn't pit and wouldn't fall into the bowl. They were too big to fit through the hole the pitted cherries fall through. Most of the cherries pitted, but I knew a good portion didn't. I watch to see if the pits fall as I pit. When I was done, I cut each cherry in half to see if they were pitted or not. I don't care if they are whole cherries anyway, since they will be jam and need to be chopped anyway. I know that 4 pounds of cherries are 100% pitted. As I was finishing up cutting the cherries, I thought I probably should have done this with all of them. I know when you buy any cherry product, you need to watch out for pits. I made cherry milk shakes, ( could this be why I don't seem to be losing weight?) with frozen cherries I had bought to make smoothies before I bought all the cherries. The cherry milkshakes were very good, but there were pits. Tim found most of the pit chunks that the Vita-Mix chopped up. Every time I use the Vita-Mix, I think I should use it more often.
   The latest garden update is, it's doing really well. I guess the deer eating the tops of the tomatoes has kept the plants nice and compact, which is nice. We have lots tomatoes, which is good. I still might have to buy more. I will use the Vita-Mix when I am playing with the tomatoes.
   The potatoes are producing nicely, too. The corn has started getting ears, the assorted squash is squashing right along.
   The green beans and lima beans aren't doing as well as we had hoped. The lima beans had a severe deer problem and I don't know what the green bean problem is. What will Chip do with out his green beans?
   The onions we've had that the deer have pulled up were good. Tim is worried about deer spit on them and the wasting disease deer get. As far as I know, it's just a deer thing. Anyway, I wash the onions and peal them, since the are growing in steer and horse manure.
   Hmm, I wonder what key I hit to make the type look like this and how do I get it back to normal? Ah, I figured it out.
   I think, for fun tomorrow, Chip is getting a bath and a trim. His ears are going to get a good trimming down to ear shape. Seems big brother Jake like to pull Chip around by the ears and Chips whole head fits in Jake's mouth, so his ears are looking pretty ratty. I know why Velcro is a good name for poodles. Chip is collecting wildflower seeds whenever he's outside. I really hope Chip lets me cut his claws, too. I don't know why he doesn't let me anymore. I have never cut them so short I hurt Chip, but lately he won't have any of it.
   I am still working on baby afghans for friends of a friend. I haven't gotten anymore sewing done, but the sewing machine is out gathering dust, just in case. I think I should just but it up. The biggest news is I finally folded the towels. I'm making progress.