Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The apples they hate me

I didn't get to the apples on Monday like I said I would. Some other more pressing stuff happened. But I did get up early on Tuesday and got started on them. I heated up the sauce and started the water. Got everything ready for the first 7 quarts. Got them into the water. I get 3 jars in and I hear a pop. I look and don't see anything floating. I add 2 more jars and I hear another pop. Now I start lifting the jars to see what is going on. You guessed it 2 of the jars lost their bottoms. So the water is all yucky with apple sauce but I went on to can up 10 1/2 quarts of sauce. They are sitting on the counter waiting to be washed and put in the basement.  I think more went into the garbage then I canned up this year. Recap: a whole crook pot of apple butter and the 2 quarts of sauce. I think it bothers me so much because I had to do it by hand. I cored and cooked then put through the hand cranked food mill (last year doing that). Lots of hard work wasted. But enough of that. I was able to get a ton of apple pie filling and jars of sauce. I guess that is what I need to focus on.

Picky monster comes home from school yesterday and tells me that before the science test the teacher called some of the s.ed kids to leave the room to get the test read to them. Picky was not one of those kids. But she was given a s.ed test. She is dyslexic. She can do it, it just takes forever. So I called the school and of course school had only been out for 20 minutes but there was no one to answer the phone. I leave a message and they call back this morning. And of course I have the wrong teacher....... I get transferred to the right person and I explain the issue. She tells me that it will be taken care of. She also tells me that Picky is due for her 3 year testing. She says that she feels that the testing is a waste right now, as Picky is still benefiting from the program. I tell her I agree because if Picky were to be tested right now and hit the borderline then she would be pulled out of s.ed and put in general education. Right now she is at a 5th grade level in 8th grade. She would never be able to keep up. Grim and I talked about it and we agree that if that were to be the case then I would be pulling her and mouthy out and homeschooling them. Picky so that she didn't feel behind and mouthy just because she couldn't stand letting her sister be home all day everyday while she had to deal with her arch nemesis.... LOL! Long story, one day I'll write about that.

Today has not been the greatest of days. We dropped off forms to be filled out by Grims doctor's office. We even have to pay $10 for each form. And this is a regular occurrence, each appointment we have forms. Each time we seem to have problems getting them filled out. We went in last Friday to see if they were ready. I was told that they took 7-10 days and it was only the 7th day. So today is the 10th day. I called about an hour and half ago. They can't find the forms.... Go figure! I already paid for them to be filled out and I told them that if the one form isn't filled out my husbands job is going to fire him. Which is the god's honest truth. They now after 6 months of me sending them everything they required are threatening us with if the forms aren't received by October 6th my husband will be terminated. Even though they have a note from the doctor that Grim will have surgery on October 11th. AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Is it really to much to ask that people do the job they are paid to do?!? So here I sit waiting for the doctor's office to call me back. I'm only going to give them another hour then I'm heading up to the office. Cause I think it is one of the out of sight out of mind things!

Gotta Run,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jammie Day

Band monster and I had a wonderful time at the salon yesterday. Just a bit of history. I am a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl. I have gone in the past and had my hair cut and a full set of nails done. I understand a salon setting. This was Band monsters first time. We arrived on time. Unfortunately, the hairdresser was still with another customer. So we waited. But it was worth the wait. The girl was great! Band monsters hair was gorgeous. Then we had to wait for the nail tech. And again well worth the wait. She did the manicure first then the pedicure. She even waxed Band's eyebrows.... LOL! I almost fell out of the chair, when I saw the look on her face.... It really was priceless! Baptism by fire!!! All I can say is that she was so grown up and pretty. She had a blast at homecoming with all her friends. She is so looking forward to next year! I guess I need to start saving now.... LOL!

I would like to thank everyone for stopping by yesterday for the blog party! It was a ton of fun! And because I really did enjoy doing it I am going to be doing another one..... It is a Tea Party under the Halloween Moon. It sounds like so much fun. So I am inviting anyone who would like to attend to attend!

Frosted Petunias Tea Party Under A Halloween Moon

I finally got all the apples processed. I even wasted a crockpot full of apple butter because it just didn't cook right. I was so tired when I started it, I didn't plug it in. Then in the morning I found it unplugged and plugged it in. Then it cooked for to long. So what a friggin waste of time! I have 4 gallon bags in the fridge with apple sauce in the fridge. Tomorrow I will be making the carmel apple butter. And putting up the rest as sauce. So then all I have left is the potatoes. Grim bought me a french fry maker. One of the industrial ones. So what I am going to do is peel and then make them into fries then cut them up to can. Once they are done I think I am going to get a bushel of beans to can up.... Maybe, I don't know. I still have to pull out the garden. I was going to do that today. But to tired. I have a pork butt in the oven to make pulled pork out of. I also made brownies and the bread is baking as I type.

Tomorrow I need to wash off all the carrot and apple pie filliing jars. Then lable and put in the basement. I need to spend some time down there doing laundry and pulling out more jars to empty out. The canning that I need to do in the morning will be done before I work bingo. So while I'm canning I can wash out the other jars. I know that doesn't really make sense but I get it... LOL! One of these days the freezers will become a priority. I was able to get a lot of the stuff out of the freezer dried. There is still a lot that needs to be done. It is down to the mid 50's and 46 tonight. The garden is on it's last leg. I guess I keep hoping for an indian summer. I know wishful thinking. So there will soon be green tomatoes on every flat surface!

Gotta Run,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blog Party

Welcome to my blog and to the party! Since the book of shadows plays such a huge part in the movie and in the book, I thought I would share mine! Its nothing fancy and it isn't even hand written. One day I might have time once the monsters are grown. And if not I'm ok with that also! Some of it is in order and some is not. I find that I am better off being this way. That way I don't start to take myself to seriously!


 Here is the cover I drew it myself.

These have all been just random pages out of my BOS! Not as nice as Jaz's BOS straight from the movie, but then again mine is kewl!

Gotta Run,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Merry Mabon

Did you get to dance under the Mabon Full Moon? I didn't either... But I told band monster while she was out on the practice field to dance under the light of the full moon and give thanks. She said she had a blast doing it. All the other kids thought she was just a little weird dancing around.... LOL! I did give thanks to the powers that be for all of our good fortune as well as some of our bad. Because without the bad then you would never realize the good. And really we have a ton to be thankful for this year!

I haven't felt good the past couple of days. Just a little head cold. Still not great but better. I got around to de-seeding one of the sunflowers. It was easy work. I still have four more todo. I didn't cook anything special. With Band monster having practice, Grim had a meeting, there was no use.

I was able to get on the bicycle tonight. I did two different sessions of 30 minutes each. Just over 13 miles. Woo Hoo! It makes up for not doing anything yesterday. Plus, it was supper easy. I got a new game for the computer. Its Plants -vs- Zombies! This is the kewlest game ever!!! Each 30 minute session just flew by. If this keeps up I will be able to do an hour every day. Just to be able to play this game. LOL!

Of course those damn apples are still haunting me. I am going to get up in the morning, peel and cook them down. For I say it will happen so I hope that it does.... This really sucks! Do you ever seem to hit a wall when it comes to canning. I was going along great then bam! You don't want to do any more. I think its just cause I have so much to do over the next week. I got myself into this blog party which I need to get pictures and the blog written, the canning needs to be done, homecoming (hair, mani, pedi), bowling, fundraising for bowling, buying a sax, legion riders poker run, house cleaning, going to the show to see resident evil part?, getting forms from doc, faxing said forms out, getting school parents jacket set up, blah, blah, blah!!! And most of this happens before Sunday. The never ending list of stuff that needs to be done at some point.

Gotta Run,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yeasty kind of day

The weather has finally changed to all its fall splendor. It is very cool, rainy and gray! So what's a gal to do, make bread of course. I have enough dough rising for 2 very loverly loaves of french bread. This is our favorite bread recipe. It has a chewy crust and soft inside. The butter just fills the bubbles.... Yes, I'm making myself hungry. That is what happens when I skip breakfast. So that will be done in a couple of hours.

Grim is getting all the stuff ready for us to bottle the Skull Splitter beer. It would have been done but this beer needed to be secondary fermented. Lots of fancy talk for, we need to wait longer... LOL! We did get the Scottish Ale bottled yesterday. Both beers will be ready for the holiday season. I have a nut brown that I have been waiting to try once the weather changed. With a nut brown you need a hearty meal for it to go with. It isn't your run of the mill hamburger beer. One of these days I will document the beer experience.

I even got some more of the apples done. Only half ~ of a half bushel. I got 11 jars of apple pie filling. One of the jars in first canner load popped its top. The lid and the ring came off. So I really only got 10 quarts to put on the shelf. I was so pissed. I understand when a jar breaks, but for the lid and ring to come off..... Ok, I'm done, plus it's not like I don't still have a ton of apples to process. I think I will make one more batch of pie filling and then I will use up the apples with carmel apple butter. It was a huge hit last year. And I'm already getting requests for more this year!!!

I need to go get more dishes done. Wash all the pie filling jars, cause they are sticky. And I need to label all of the carrots... No still haven't gotten them in the basement.... I know bad canner.... LOL!

Gotta Run,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jammie Day

Now that Band is back into full swing, we have re-started Jammie day. This is the day when we finish up on chores that we got lax on during the week. So if we get them done quick then it is just a laying around kind of day. We all got up around 11am this morning. It felt very good to sleep in. I have been doing the T-tapp hoe downs and bicycling all week. I have done almost 30 miles. So my muscles need a break today.

Grim dropped Band monster off at practice yesterday. Then we putzed around the house until it was time to go bowling. Well, as things would have it just as we are walking out the door the phone rings. Band monster is hurt and we need to come right away. So we take the other two to Nana's house and she will take them to bowling. Grim and I head over and get Band monster. Access the damage and take her to urgent care. She has a blood blister under her nail and she sprained her finger. All this from slipping while putting on a knee brace and smashing her finger to the ground. So needless to say she missed practice and she was unable to attend the first competition. Darn....LOL!

There is laundry and dishes to be washed, beer bottleing needs to be done and apples need to be cut up and cooked into pie filling. So much for lazy jammie day... LOL!

Gotta Run,

Friday, September 17, 2010


You all know how much I love entering into these wonderful contests. Here is another great looking one!

Artistic Halloween Queens!


Another week down

Well, we still have the weekend to get through. But for the most part this week was really eventful. First I was suppose to work Bingo. My first day back since the begining of summer. I wasn't looking forward to it. So when I got there and the police were in the parking lot I thought someone had been pulled over. That wasn't the case at all, it was something way more serious. Needless, to say Bingo was cancled and the bomb squad had to show up. LOL! I was very happy to go home!

Band practice has been hectic, rainy and cold. So you can guess Band monster has not been in the best frame of mind. I think that she would quit if she didn't like the music so much. See she wants to be a vet, the music is more of a hobby for her. She is good but she just isn't passionate about it. She has her varsity jacket and her letter already. I think that things would be better for her if her section leaders were a little more mature. But that is just a mom's opinion. Tomorrow her day will begin on the practice field at 8:30 am and she won't get home from the competion until 11pm. Yes, they practice all day, then go off to a competition. DEDICATION! I didn't have that when I was in school. I smoked and drank! Ah, the good old days! LOL!

I still have a bushel and a half of apples and 50lbs of potatoes that need to be processed. Grim is going to buy me a french fry cutter. One of the restaraunt quality ones. That way I get through the potatoes and get them into jars. The apples need to be cleaned and cut up for more pie filling. Just have to get my butt in gear and do it. Maybe I will start tonight. ?!?

I have been riding my outside and inside bicycles. I have done over 20 miles this week. Plus I have been doing the T-tapp hoe downs. Even though I am not doing them very well I am doing them. You can see the video here.

And if this exercise doesn't work I think I will be signing up for weight watchers. I have heard good and bad about it. I just don't want to spend any more money to loose weight.

Gotta Run,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just another title

Being a Radical Homemaker is a concept by Shannon Hayes. You can find her website here. I happened to stumble on this site. I was intrigued. I looked for more on this idea of Radical Homemakers. I was able to find more at the Yes Shannon writes about the 10 easy steps for becoming a Radical Homemaker.

1. Commit to hanging your laundry - I have done this for the last 10 years. When we bought the house I had an electric dryer. The house unfortunately had a gas line. Since there were more important things to do with the money, I waited. Now it just seems ridiculous to spend the money to get the electric line run. We have a system.

2. Dedicate part of you lawn to vegetables - I did container gardening for a couple of years. Then last year Grim and I put in 12 - 4x4 raised beds. I have grown everything from broccoli to zucchini and a ton in between. We now have a grafted apple tree. It has 5 different types of apples. We also have grape vines, rhubarb and blueberries. I have even done potatoes in tires.

3. Get to know your neighbors - I know all but one of my immediate neighbors. We have all at one point or another lent a helping hand. The one neighbor that I don't know, well lets just say that I don't think I will be getting to know any time soon.... LOL!

4. Do you go to the Local Farmers Market before you go grocery shopping - I try to. But I don't go grocery shopping but once a month or less. So I tend to go to the farmers markets more then the big box stores. I visit a local dairy for my eggs and dairy products and I support a local butcher. Even though the meat travels to get here it is grass finished and the animals are treated more humanly. I know I should be eating meat from closer to home. But we all do what we must.

5. Spring clean to see what you don't need and then donate it - I think that the guys at the salvation army hide when they see me coming. I know that I shouldn't be buying the amount of stuff that I do but when I'm done with it, it goes to be recycled.

6. Start carrying reusable bags and use them all the time - I have a ton of them in the back of my car. That way I can just grab them on the way into the store. I find that it is easier to keep them in the car then having to find them in the house and and and. You all know the deal.

7. Choose a local food item and learn how to preserve it for the winter - I have been canning for 3 years now. And every year I try new things. The first year everything was new. The second year I made things like carmel apple butter and dilly beans. This year I made ketchup and BBQ sauce.

8. Get your family to spend more time at home, with the tv off - Since we do activities that are considered exercise, such as marching band and bowling, our at home time tends to be quite. Yes, the monsters do watch television, but they also play on the Wii. They read, play with play dough, do puzzles, play board games and listen to music so there is a lot of time when the tv just isn't on.

9. Cook for your family - I have to do this more then I would like. My youngest two monsters have adverse reactions to HFCS. So this leaves me to cook about 85% at home. The other 15% is for Mexican, Chinese and the occasional Pizza joint. All winter I make bread and goodies. My cupboards have less and less processed foods in them. And there are more and more basic ingredients taking there place. So with monsters learning how to cook it can be a challenge. Instead of opening a can or box, they have to measure and stir and taste test. LOL! This has been a learning lesson not only for them but also for me.

10. Focus on what you have and who your with. Don't worry about the "if onlys" - I can say for a great part of my life I was living for tomorrow. When we get out of the basement, the apartment, the trailer, the house to the farm, I will be happy. I will have the life that I want. Well, due to circumstances out and in my control the life I was living almost came to an abrupt end. Decision that needed to be made, were made and things that were doing harm had to be left in the past to be able to move forward. And that is what I did. I started making decisions and sticking to them. Now some of these things were trying to end a life long pack rat habit, quit smoking and be happy with the life that I had chosen. So I got rid of a ton of stuff, am now 3 1/2 years smoke free and I am very happy with the life that I have. I still struggle at times. But I think that it has a lot to do with perspective. If I choose to be happy then I will be happy. It might take time for it to work but it does eventually.

So I think I fall into the Radical Homemaker category. Things that I did just because have put me into a group that I wasn't even aware existed. LOL! Just like one morning I woke up and realized I was back in style, with my t-shirts and jeans.

Gotta Run,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where did the day go

This week has been busy, as the first week of school usually is. We have had band practice, bowling, and homecoming dress shopping. Toss in therapy, canning, beer making, vehical repairs and you can see why Sundays are suppose to be lazy, jammy day. So what do we do, you ask? We decide to go on a road trip.

We head out for an hour and a half drive from the highways to back roads to dirt roads. We are the hunt for chestnuts. We get out to the farm and speak to the owner. Unfortunately we are a couple of weeks early. To bad it looks like it would fun to pick chestnuts. So we will be going back out there in a couple of weeks. The monsters were a little dissappointed. The owner of the farm told us an apple orchard just down the road. So we went there and got the monsters some donuts and cider. I got a jar of sorgum. Not sure what it is but I thought I can use it some time. We then went to find a shoe store to find Band monster shoes for homecoming. See she has a size 13 foot. Trying to find her shoes is crazy. We will find something.

As far as canning is going I got 50 pounds of carrots done, peach pie filling and some apple made into apple pie filling. I was also able to get apples dehydrated. The monsters loved them. I think that I will powder them so that I can add it into things. Grim made a scotch ale that will be ready by Christmas. Tomorrow we will be making something that is called Skull Splitter.

Gotta Run,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Senate Bill 510

It has been brought to my attention by Mrs. Smith of Our Plain and Simple Life that a Senate Bill is up for vote here in the near future. It puts all of us into the line of fire. We will no longer be able to control what we eat. This is one of the most dangerous things I have seen a long time. Because I don't have the words to describe this I have provided a link below to a site that offers up what this bill entails.

Gotta Run,

Monday, September 6, 2010

I survived

(image from photobucket)

All of the corn is done for this year. I got a total of 41 quarts done. I know I said that the next big venture would be the carrots and potatoes, maybe beans. But I lied! There I said it I lied. More people should be honest like me... LOL! Instead of these staples that really are needed I went and got 2, let me say that again two bushels of McIntosh apples. They were only $15.50 for seconds per bushel. See why I couldn't pass them by. Oh, the wonderful goodies that I will make with these slightly imperfect gems! Ah, almost sets my heart to swoon! While I was at the orchard I also picked up a bottle of homemade Blackberry Vinegar. It sure sounds yummy, I just don't know what to do with it.

I will be going later this week to get the above mentioned items. That way maybe I can be done canning produce before the end of September. I really need to do that, as I still have to clean out the freezers. I went to start to do that today. But like the best laid plans, something else came up. We as a family cleaned out and up the entire basement. It only took a couple hours but really needed to be done before winter sets in for the long haul. See I have terrible allergies with dust and mold. Both of which are very present in the basement. I even had a mini asthma attack. It took awhile for the coughing and wheezing to stop. All better now and I can breath in the basement now... Yeah!

We took the monsters to the zoo on Sunday. We got a membership a couple of months ago but this is the first time this year we have had a chance to take the girls. They had a ton of fun. There is a whole new kids exibit that they get to do hands on things and a huge play area. Plus, the zoo is also implementing a lot of eco-inovations. The 2 press flush, the air driers in the bathrooms, LED lighting, solar and wind power. It was fasinating for the kids to see these things first hand. And of course there were several baby animals that they abosolutely loved. I had a great time in the garden section seeing how they had planted and what was growing. Of course I forgot my camera. Isn't it always the way, though.

The monsters are all having night before school starts jitters. The older two are both going to new schools and the little one doesn't want to leave me. I guess she just had to much fun at home with me this summer. All the clothes are laid out and showers were taken. Bangs were cut and backpacks packed. New school year here they come for better or worse only 9 months / 40 weeks, the countdown begins! And after the littlest one is safe and sound in class I will cry all the way home. I hate school!

Band monster hits me up today with I really want to go to homecoming. So she is going to ask her best guy friend if he wants to go with her as a friend. I think he will say yes. That means that we need to get our butts moving and get out and get her a dress and shoes. There are several places around here to look, hopefully, we can find something. My sewing skills are not that good and she is almost 6 foot tall so I can't just go to the thrift store to find the dress. That's ok, she is my baby and we will do what we have to.

Here I go again just rattleing about everything and nothing.

Gotta Run,

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The saga continues

I got all the corn done... 21 quarts only 1 didn't seal and I didn't catch it soon enough so I had to toss it. I got 12 - 4oz & 3 - 8oz jars of vanilla pear butter. Again one didn't seal but I caught that one in time. So yesterday we enjoyed vanilla pear butter on waffles. Yummmmm! Since all the work was done I took a two day break. I enjoyed it greatly! But once again I am back at it. Grim and I went and purchased 2 more bushels of corn yesterday. We got it all shucked and cobbed this mornining. I am typing to you all from the kitchen. I have the laptop set up on a tv tray. LOL! So that I can keep an eye on the pressure gauge. It is just a humorous sight to behold. This should give us enough corn for the year. I'm hoping, keeping fingers crossed. It will be almost one quart a week. So what this means is that I am going to have to can green beans again. The last time I canned them they were mushy, they tasted fine. I will have to find out what to do.

The next big venture is going to be carrots and potatoes. They just don't last in the basement, so they need to be canned. Fun, fun, fun..... I will buy a 50 pound bag of carrots and 100 pounds of potatoes. I guess this is the year that I invest in a couple more really good peelers. I can already hear the crying about not wanting to help...... I know I shouldn't cry in front of the monsters but whats a mom to do.... LOL!

School starts back this coming Tuesday. We tried to get everyone to sleep early but it just didn't happen. I haven't been sleeping well, dreams bad ones & dreams about my dad. But at least I know why I was dreaming like this. I got a facebook message last night that my estranged grandfather had a heart attack last Thursday (when the dreams started) and they just got around to letting me know last night. I'm not sure what I would have done if they would have let me know right away. Just like I'm not sure what I am suppose to do with this information. You know you make decisions and then a life time goes by and someone else wants to come back from the dead (basically) and change everything. Sorry about that. I guess I just needed to see it in black and white for it to start making sense.

And now for something completely different..... I went out to the garden yesterday thinking that the garden was pretty much done and ready to be put to bed for the winter (except for the garlic that will be planted in October). I go over to the beefsteaks and they are just green none have turned for fear of Bunnicula. So I decided that I would pick all the green ones. Then I head over to the roma's. They haven't done sh** so far this season. Well, this cool weather is what they like. They have set flowers and got small greens ones everywhere. So instead of ripping them out I was out there tying them up so the damn rabbit didn't get anymore as they turn. What truely weird weather we are having. I think we did better with the garden last year in the cold and rainy instead of hot and humid of this year.

We are having a ham today for dinner. It is very cool and damp today. So before I get the potatoes and carrots I will be canning ham and bean soup for the first time. It should be good. But anyways, I really need to get the freezers cleaned out. Grim is suppose to go hunting in November. So I have to get off my butt and get it done.....AHHHHHH! LOL! Well, tons to do!

Gotta Run,