Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It couldn't last forever

The canning hiatis that is. I had gotten pears to eat myself healthy. But in this heat they started heading south really quick. So something had to be done. I found a great recipe at Diggin' the Dirt for Vanilla Pear Butter. I cooked it down last night and put it in the fridge because I was going to can it today. Well, of course the powers that be had other ideas for me.

A check came in! Yeah!!! Got the bill that had to be paid today paid!!!! Then Grim and I went on the hunt for corn. We have had very bad luck with finding good corn at a decent price. But the Fate's they did a smile on me. I found 4 dozen boxes for $9. I bought 2 as not having done corn before I was unsure of the amount I would get. Is this not the most beautiful corn you have ever seen.... LOL! Grim helped me shucking it. And the littlest monsters took the greens and silk to the compost. Gotta keep them involved.

I had both types of corn cobbers. I tried both of the corn cobbers and in my humble opinion they both sucked. So I did what any woman would do. I pulled out the mandoline, set it to the highest setting and away I went. Normally, I use filleting gloves when I use the mandoline. I couldn't find them so I thought I would just be careful. Everything went well until the last 8 ears. I slipped and sliced into my finger. Sorry no pictures of that. Not so that your not grossed out but so that I'm not. LOL!

That's alot of corn!
I have 7 quarts in the pressure canner, 7 in the prep area and a whole pot in the fridge for tomorrow. Grim and I were already talking about going back and getting 2 more boxes for me for the weekend. Yep, you guess it. We eat a ton of corn! Plus, by waiting till the weekend all this corn and the pear butter will be done.

This was suppose to be a cute post with an update on Fluffy! It has gotten really big. Here it is from the side!
Here is the close up

And even I didn't know we had a magic bunny.... It was trying to make itself dissappear!


Gotta Run,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Where has the time gone

Summer is quickly making its exit, but it isn't going without a fight. It has been in the 90's all week. We went to the Ren fest over the weekend. I was going to dress the part but I had put the costume in one of those space bags and the bodice shrunk.... So while we there I had to purchase a bigger one. Grim got himself a kilt. Now we need to make all of the rest of the outfit. He could have got family colors but went with the Black Watch colors of Ireland! Blues and Blacks. I had pictures... But apparantly I can't be trusted with a camera. I deleted all the picture off the camera....I am a ditz at times.

I have lost 2.6 pounds. I have been trying to cut down on the portion sizes. And today I did 20 sit-ups. And I will be starting Leslie Sansone Walk at Home: 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk, today. Grim also wants to go for a bicycle ride tonight. I need to loose this weight. I hate being fat. I am 5'8" and 207 pounds. I'm not rolly polly. But I do really resemble an apple with stick limbs and a head. I know what a visual... LOL!
I am at a stand still with canning. No corn or peaches. Our pay got all screwed up because the damn doctors office that we pay $10 per form didn't bother to fill out the forms. We need them to get paid. So when Grim gave them grief about it we finally got them. But it was like 2 weeks behind and so the pay is 2 weeks behind. Once this all get squared away then I will get back to canning.

But since I have all this free time. I was finally able to get the living room cleaned up. It took all day and the dusting didn't get done. But all the extra junk that was in the room either has been tossed or relocated. Which was a good thing. Grim had to get up early to take picky monster to orientation. And of course I had a panic attack, so I slept out on the couch as to not keep him up. I'm fine now, but when I have them it feels like I'm having a heart attack. When they first started years ago I thought I was dying. But now when it happens, it annoys me and I get though it. They don't happen as much as they use to. For that I'm very thankful. 

Gotta Walk,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Taking a Break

Today I slept in..... I could have slept longer but I knew I would never sleep tonight. And I guess I slept to long as it was. I didn't can anything today. I still have half a stockpot with tomatoe puree waiting to be made in to spaghetti sauce. I will get to it tomorrow.

Grim and I went looking to price carpet for the living room. We found a nice eco friendly product from Mohawk. It is called Everstrand. It is made out of plastic water bottles. They are recycling tons of plastic to make this product. And it was cheaper then some of the traditional carpets. So when the time comes we will be heading back to Lowe's to get it.

I even made dinner tonight. I bought cube steaks and fried them with onion and mushrooms. Then I took a can of cream of mushroom soup and a half a can of milk, added it to the pan. Then put everything over pasta! Yummm! Grim and the littlest monters had sloppy joes! Yep, we tend to be very diverse in our eating habits.

Tonight I started on chainmail. I am making it for a friend, it's part of his costume for the upcoming ren fest! He is going to be a Knightly Jestor!?! Grim and the little monster are the only ones not going to be dressed up. I will be wearing my period authentic wenching outfit and the oldest monster will be wearing my Irish serving wench outfit. Picky monster going to be wearing a halloween outfit to make herself look like a fling of sorts. This will be the first time in years that we have been able to go. Usually we just don't have the time. But with Grim still off work. We might as well go and do while we have the opprotunity.

Then I think on Sunday we will take a ride to the country and get corn on the cob and possibly a bushel of peaches..... Did you hear that? It was the house groaning.... LOL! Since this has been the year of new things, why not try canning corn and peach pie filling. I have had the clear jel just been waiting to use it. I might as well get this stuff done as school starts on September 7th. Blech.....I hate, hate, hate school. But it does get them out of the house for a few hours. I just like having my free time with the monsters. Actually, I feel the same way about school now as I did when I was a kid..... LOL! I guess somethings never change.

Plus, bingo starts back up again soon. I know as much as I complain about it. It really does come in handy as what I make goes into her band account to help pay for expenses. I paid for band camp this year by working the bingo. Next week will be my last meeting as President of our Auxiliary for the Legion. Hopefully, we will get enough people to show up to hold an election. If not I will have to turn in our Charter. I hate to have to do it but participation has been nill.

Gotta Run,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Almost done

I sliced up the bushel of cucumbers. With them I made 38 1/2 quarts of pickles. This time around I used pickle crisp. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are crunchy. I can hope!

The bushel of tomatoes has been cooked down and half of it made 6 pints of ketchup. I am shocked and amazed each time I make some thing new. Not that I doubt my abilities but really who would think that this city girl for all of her adult life and part of her childhood would be making ketchup. And not only that but I even had the family commenting on that it even looked like ketchup.... LOL! The rest of the tomatoe puree is in the fridge waiting to be made into spaghetti sauce. All of the peppers I bought have been dehydrated.

I bought a 5 pound can of tomatoe paste. Why you ask? I am going to make taco sauce. My family pours it on anything resembling Mexican food. Almost like a ketchup. So I got the brilliant idea to make it from scratch..... LOL! I keep thinking wait'll they get a load of me.... to funny!

Mind you I was able to get out to the garden today. There are eggplant, peppers of all kinds, last of the beets, a couple of tomatoes (damn rabbits), that all need my attention. Oh, and the tiny ears of popcorn! Almost forgot them.

Ahhhhhh, summer! I was a really good thing that I went in the garden today, or else I would have been very late in harvesting my sunflowers. I was able to a picture of one of the three that were ready.

Tonight is the full moon.... The corn moon, also known as the barley moon! It couldn't come at a better time, as this is my moon the One that makes me feel like harvesting and putting food by for the winter. It is the moon that represents the changing of time.... not the seasons but of time. Days growing shorter, school starting, and the hint of autumn in the air that makes you want to be the ant not the grasshopper. This is my favorite time. It is still warm enough to do what ever and still be able to sleep at night. Sorry no pictures of the moon as it is overcast here. I remember being on the farm when I was a kid, haying. This was the moon that helped guide our way back to the farm and the barn. That is when I learned to drive a tractor, hay and almost lost my leg to the elevator. But those were good times great even. Nostalgia, ain't it great!

Gotta Run,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mental Condition?!?

Really like I don't have enough todo! I go and buy another bushel of tomatoes and a bushel of pickles. While I was at the farmers market I was even looking at the peaches. I mean really what is wrong with me. I can't seem to stop with all of this insanity. The temps are up again and I am back in the hot kitchen canning up a storm.

Today I finally canned up 6 half-pints of Zesty Watermelon Jelly. I have one pot of homegrown tomatoes cooked down and need to be pureed. I have a sink full of more homegrown tomatoes that need to be cleaned and cooked, then pureed. Last night I cubed up 6 eggplant from the garden and got them in the freezer. I have 10 green peppers chopped and drying in the dehydrator. There are 6 more green and 9 yellow that are waiting their turn for drying. I would have started on the pickles but I don't have enough vinegar so I have to run to the market.

Seriously, anyone else who cans do you find your self canning like a fool? I wonder if I am the only one.....LOL! Harvest is so short to get everything locally that this is why I tend to go overboard with it. Maybe in my next life I will be responsible for less lives. And with that not have to do so much..... Who am I kidding I love it.

Gotta Run,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not a lot

Not been a lot going on here lately. I have just been tired and it has been very hot. Now that it has started to cool down... High 80's! At least it isn't 100's any more. I have a ton of stuff that needs to be done. But I am just being to lazy to get any of it done. 

Band monster is doing fine at camp. She is calling me a couple times a day. There is lots of swimming and free time. The food isn't to bad she says! But I know she is wanting to come home. My monsters even say that they don't want to move out. So Grim and I need to find a place with lots of room so that they can live near us. I know it is kewl and kind of creepy all at the same time.... LOL!
I have decided to give a low glycemic index diet a try. Well, actually the whole family is going to do it. We are all overweight... I tried to get books from the library. But they were all checked out. So Grim and I went to Barnes & Noble, and I was able to get a couple of books on the subject. Just got them today so I haven't had time to read them. Hoping that it will do the trick to looseing the weight.

Grim and I went to see The Expendables. It was very good for a shoot em up movie! Plus, Jet Li and Sylvester Stallone were hot.... so that didn't hurt at all! LOL!!

Gotta Run,

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Seriously, what is this nation coming to! I personally feel that this is doing a great injustice to the victims and family of the 9/11 attack.

Gotta Go,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Seed Saving

Here is an onion flower from a set that I had planted last year. It didn't do anything last year but came up beautifully this year!

Here is the flower all dried out!

And here are all the seeds that I now have for planting next year. We love onions here so this is awesome for my first seed saving venture!!!
Gotta Run,

Never a boring day

Well, today was band monsters last day of pre-camp. She will be leaving on Sunday for a week at band camp. I have anxiety more then she does, I'm just better at hiding it. I still need to go and get her muchies, water and bug spray. We have everything else! After she is done with camp this year she will only have 2 more to go to before she graduates. Where has the time gone. Just yesterday she was a baby. Oh, well I digress!

Yesterday the little monsters had their last day of summer bowling. They both had a great time doing it this summer. The last day consisted of cosmic bowling and awards. Both of them got one! Woo Hoo! They are so competitive with each other. I went ahead and got them registered for fall. Then I took the plunge and signed up for a fun league on Tuesday mornings. I think that it will be a lot of fun. Plus, I got the schedule for the adult night classes that are being offered. I am going to be taking a sewing class. I really need to learn what I am suppose to be doing. LOL!
As I said in the last post I got a bushel of tomatoes in a moment of weakness. But when all was said and done I got 5 pints if BBQ sauce and 13 quarts of spaghetti sauce. Just got 9 quarts done tonight. I'm very happy with the amount that I got. Depending on what comes up I should only need one more bushel. I am going to see how the garden does before I go and buy any more. I still need to get 11 more quarts of spaghetti sauce. That is only 2 jars a month so it really isn't a lot for my family. I just hope that we don't want pasta more then that. Plus, I still want to make ketchup. Grim says that we are getting it for a good price at the store. I want to make it to see how it turns out. Does that sound weird? Anyways, what's a girl to do! The rest of the garden isn't doing so good, The heat has just been terrible and the plants are suffering for it. I really need to get out there and do some major cleaning. I just have been so damn busy. 

Still haven't got the living room cleaned up yet. It may stay that way until I have to clean for Thanksgiving! LOL! I have a reason other then all the canning and running around. I have been reading "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen. Oh, my is it a good book. It was a fast read and very funny. There are a few parts that had me guessing. I now am going to try and get everthing else she has written. I love her writting style. It really pulled me in.
At least all the dishes are done and the sink was scrubbed with steel wool to make it shine. Thats gotta count for something.

Gotta Run,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another busy day

Like I said the other day, about the Earth not spinning any more... Well, as it so happens it stopped for just a split second of time. And I had a momentarily lapse in judgment. I purchased a full bushel of roma tomatoes. Since this coming week is going to be crazy I decided to get started on cooking down the tomatoes. I got both of my stock pots on the stove cooking down. Then I took and put them through the food mill. I was going to freeze it until I had time to use it right. Then I get half the bushel done and realize that I don't have room in the freeze for all this stuff. So with part of it I made more bbq sauce. This time it turned out great. It really did cook down and it looks just like store bought. Plus, this time I also got 5 pint jars canned and 3/4 pint in the fridge. So it was more cost effective this time. With the other pot of tomatoe puree I am making spaghetti sauce. My house smells wonderful! With this batch and what I have left of the uncooked tomatoes I should only need maybe one more bushel to finish out the year! This is great as I thought I would need way more. Less work... WOO HOO! 

Grim has an older pickup truck that is starting to show it's age. The bottom of the doors are rusted. So we have been on a hunt for newer ones. He was able to find all for doors over the weekend. But when we drove out all but 1 was rusted in the same way that his are. The good news is that we got 1 new door. The paint is a different color, so when we get all 4 doors on he will be getting a paint job for the truck. Last year we did the front end work. So soon he will have almost a new truck...LOL! I got a surprise when I got in my car today. There was a great big spider that hitched a ride on the door we brought home. Needless to say the spider went on to meet his maker. It scared the begessous out of me.
I had to take band monster to precamp, then pick her up early so she could be at a preformace for WWII Vets. Then pick her up and take Grim to his frist PT session. Then take her back to precamp. Plus, help a friend get stuff moved. Man o Man this day is just super busy with running. 

The living room still needs to be cleaned. And with that said I am on the computer typing this... LOL! Just not enough time. But I did figure that if I were to get rid of the computers and the tv, I would be able to as much as our forefathers. Hmmmmm, that is just too much work.... and no play! And that won't work since I am on my new notebook right now. Can't let it go to waste... LOL! It doesn't have internet yet so right now I am using it as a word processor. Which is working out great considering that I am upstairs canning and typing. Before I couldn't be on the computer while canning because it was in the basement and I couldn't leave the stove. Now it I can do two things at once.

Gotta Run,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's almost a new week!?!

How is that possible? Where did this week go! I demand to know... LOL! We managed to get through the first week of pre-camp. She has 3 days of pre-camp this coming week and then off to band camp the following week. The the week after she comes home, the band will be preforming at on of the major state universities first football game. Band monsters' band was chosen to attend this event. Very kewl! Like I have said before from the begining of August to November we have no life other then band. It is very time consuming.

Grim has 6 more weeks off work, per the doctor. But he will be starting PT on Tuesday. This is a great thing, it means that he is getting better and one day may go back to work. For those of you who may not know Grim was involved in a motorcycle accident on March 31 of this year. Luckily, he was not seriously damaged. The accident has held him out of work because of his shoulder though. So we are going on 5 months of him being home. I am just thankful that he is alive. Because there was a huge possiblity that he could have been killed.

I was able to get the strawberries made into ?. It didn't jell right. Everytime I try to make strawberry jelly it doesn't jell. So we have another syrup. 10 half pints to be exact. It will be good on toast anyways. LOL! I also made up bbq sauce. To me it seemed like a lot of work for so little to show for it. I worked on it for almost 5 hours and only got 3 pints. But it tasted and smelled great, so I will be making it again. My tomatoes are coming in slow but sure. I don't think that I will get enough out of the garden to make everything that I want to make. There is a U-Pick farm that I can go and tomatoes at. Plus it is great fun to get the monsters out there to show them what it is like to be on a real farm doing real work. Next week I should be up to my shoulders in tomato. I love canning.

My house still needs to be cleaned. I have been working on it little by little but there seems to be more important things to do. Went and hung out the other night with friends at our local hang out. Took the kids to bowl.... It was cosmic bowling....Fun was had by all. Plus, it was only $1 per game per person. Cheap fun, does it get any better. Exercise, fun and real potties! (As any mom of kids that are involved in anything, you can relate to why I seem fixated on real potties *big smile*!) Yeah, bowling!!! Back to the cleaning... I feel that if the living room is trashed then my life is chaotic and I don't like that. And guess what room is trashed?!? Any guesses...LOL!

So today if the world doesn't stop rotating then I will be cleaning the living room and making watermelon jelly. But then again I feel the gravitational pull changing, so you never know!

Gotta Run,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Day

Like usual there is a ton of stuff to do and so little time to accomplish it! But I have decided that I need to take time and only deal with what is important to me. That way I don't get all stressed out over what I can't control. Well, at least I'm going to try... LOL!

First I want to let you all in on a little secret. I am going to be participating in a blog party on the 25th of September! Anyone is welcome to join the theme is "Practical Magic" by Alice Hoffman, either the book or the movie. If you wish to be part of this wonderful event then just click on the invitation below!

Practical Magic Blog Party

The next thing is I was able to use up the quart of cherries that I had in the freezer. I made black forest topping. It made 9 half pint jars. When I use it I plan on making a dark chocolate layer cake and using it between the layers. Then topping it with a dark chocolate. almond whipped cream. Sorry no pictures of it. Don't worry though, I still have strawberries and watermelon to turn into jelly!

marching band Pictures, Images and Photos
Band season suddenly came upon us yesterday. A nasty message from a 16 year old been left on my phone. It was from a section leader wanted to be a show off and called to inform my band monster that if she didn't attend the next session she would be kicked out of the program. I had an appointment and she had to miss the first practice. So needless to say, I went in and spoke with the band director. He said that everything was fine and for us not to worry about the section leader. So it is officially Band season! 5 nights a week of running here and there.

Bowling Picture Pictures, Images and Photos

This year is going to be really fun as the two youngest are going to be bowling on Saturday mornings. I know what am I thinking. The youngest two need to be active in something as well. And it might as well be inside, with potties, food and seating! YEAH BOWLING!!

I've got a roast in the oven. My family was going to revolt if I didn't get back to cooking. They hate eating out and that is what we have been doing the past couple of days. I'm right there with them, my poor tummy wants real food. So there is the roast, carrots, fresh potatoes and onions from garden. We will also have corn and a lettuce and tomato salad. YUMMMM!

I have to go and get the stawberries and watermelon juiced up for the jelly!

Gotta Run,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Best layed plans

In my last post I told you all the things that I was going to be preserving this season. It seems like I just had to get started doing some other things first. Well, I guess that is why I always leave room for change! My mom, picky monster and I went berry picking. We were able to get Blackberries and raspberries. The blackberry bushes were taller then me and I am 5'9" and they had thorns that were huge. I have the scrapes and pickers to prove it. (Sorry I didn't think to take pictures of the boo boo's).
We got 4 quart of blackberries $3.99 each, and the raspberries were $3.50 a quart for 7 quarts. Mom got 12 half pints of blackberry jam and 5 pints of raspberry jam. I got 5 pints of blackberry jam, 5 pints of raspberry jam and 5 pints of Chocolate raspberry dessert topping.

Then I got on to cleaning out some of my freezers. I know I was suppose to have done this months ago. I still have more to get out but I did get out some of the pecans and made 3 half pints of praline syrup. Two bags of cranberries also needed to be used up. I got 5 half pints of jellied cranberries. 

When I was looking for other recipes, I came across two more that I can use up freezer stuff for. The first is Black Forest Topping using the bing cherries I froze months ago. I will be making strawberry jelly, also. This will be the first time I have made this type of jelly. Really, I don't know why I haven't made it before. But Grim will be very happy!
Grim was able to get the kitchen finished. Here is a before picture to remind you what it use to look like.

And here is the finished product.

We also changed out the counter, it is a multi-colored brown. The stems you see in the corner of the picture is all of the garlic. It is purple hard neck. I am hoping that I will be able to use some of these cloves to plant for next season.

 Lots still to do!

Gotta Run,