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.