Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Where's the Bear? #7

Here's what I'm planning on doing today:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Candied Bacon

Along the lines of new traditions, JP found a recipe for Candied Bacon that he wanted us to try.

It was a simple recipe, actually.  First you lay out the strips of thick cut bacon on a cookie sheet, and cover them with a brown sugar and spice mixture.


Next you bake them in a 250* oven for 2 hours.


Once it is cooled, you can sample your, sweet and salty, meaty, crispy treat.


Bon appetite!

The Great Trifle Tragedy of 2014

I decided to try a traditional English Trifle for dessert this year...something new, which might become THE new tradition for Christmas.

I had 6 lovely individual trifles ready, but on the way to the refrigerator, I bumped the edge of the tray.  Four out of six tipped out, and one completely smashed (the one made in JP's great-grandmother's glass.)

From here on out, this shall be known as the Great Trifle Tragedy of 2014.

I managed to salvage some of the trifles, and they were quite delicious.  I don't think that this will become the new Christmas tradition on Poplar Ridge, however. 

Just a trifle, really...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Where's the Bear? #6

The winning caption for the last picture is:  "Oops!  I think I just squeezed the Charmin!"

Here is the new picture for the week!



Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Checklist #2

We are a mere day and a half away from Christmas Vacation, and the Big Day itself is looming ever nearer!  We are slowly but surely getting things squared away and ready to celebrate!

The Christmas cards finally arrived, and I have written our yearly letter (carefully fitting it on the front side of one page only!).  About half of them have been sent out, and I am working on the rest.

Check.

All of the gifts have been wrapped.

Check.

The girls and I baked Christmas cookies today, and delivered a basket full to my parents.

Check.

We even took the afternoon off yesterday, and went to watch "Mary Poppins - the Musical".  Afterwards we stopped at our favorite Indian restaurant for take out.  It was a lot of fun!

The dog still needs a bath and a haircut (can't see her eyes any longer...that's the cue.)  The girls' room needs to be swept and dusted.  There is a washer full of clothes that need started and a basketful that need to folded.  I just found out that my brother and family will be celebrating with us too (hooray!)  There is no end of things to do, but Christmas is coming, and we are READY!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Where's the Bear? #5

The caption for last week's picture is:

"Just chillin'"

Here is a new picture for this week!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Indoor Activities

We had another dreary weekend, so we all chose indoor activities.

JP scanned about 400 old slides in to the computer.

I did laundry and played board games with the girls.

J & L used the entire dining room table to build a maze for their hex bugs.

video

In other news, I went to work today for the first time in about 2 1/2 months!  I found this note on my computer when I arrived. 


I actually never dreamed that I would someday be working in the same practice as my husband.  I hope that I was helpful today, and didn't slow down anyone.  It seemed to go very smoothly, and as I was leaving, the nurse told me to "come again!" 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

This weekend, I dug out a handful of discs containing slides that my Dad scanned and saved for me about 10 years ago.  I found a bunch of wonderful photos, and thought I would share a few of them here!

This is my Mom & I sledding in Idaho - look at our
dog, Beatrice, tearing down the hill in front of us!

I love this photo!  I would guess I'm about 4 or 5,
which would make my little brother 2 or 3.  This
is in Boise, Idaho.

This is my Uncle V, visiting Idaho from Pennsylvania.  He
 is absolutely flying down this hill!  Ironically, he was
 killed several years after this when the small plane
 that he was flying crashed.


And here I am, aged 7 1/2, visiting Crater Lake,
 OR with my family.  L was just a year older
 than me when she visited this past summer!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Our Town

I came home from an outing this afternoon feeling warm and fuzzy because I love our little town so much!  For all of its bad points (including drilling and mining going on all around us), there is so much positive here!

The school system here is quite good. The elementary school, in fact, is the 2nd largest in the state, and the PTA works tirelessly to bring quality experiences to the kids.  I had the opportunity today to visit the local Vo-Tech school as well.  Every year the culinary students prepare a huge holiday buffet that is open to the public.  My mother and I waited in line for over an hour to sample the fare.  The highlights for me were the cheesy seafood grits, the corned beef brisket, and the bananas foster over ice cream with candied pecans and whipped cream.  It was interesting to chat with the people sitting nearby, and to see the culinary program in action, but I don't think that I'm up to standing in line for 1 and quarter hours again next year.

Afterwards, I drove toward home, but stopped in the downtown area to look in a couple of stores.  These range from antiques, to a boutique which sells $83 Miss Me jeans for kids, to local pottery.  I chatted for a few minutes with the owner of the artisan shop who took a landscaping class with me a few years ago.  Finally I stopped at the bank, where a flautist and harpist were playing in the lobby.  Parking downtown is much more pleasant with the back up camera on my new Subaru!

We just finished a pleasant family dinner, where we laughed and told stories.  J went to the city today with the 6th grade chorus to see A Musical Christmas Carol.  There are brownies in the oven, and we  are settling in to watch "It's a Wonderful Life."

A pleasant weekend to you all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Where's the Bear? #4

The winner of last week's caption contest was Paul S:  "If I want to get in shape for Christmas, I'm just going to have to grin and BEAR it!"

The winner of the special edition 1st day of Deer Season caption is:  "Fear the BEAR!"

Here is the picture for this week:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Checklist #1

This year, for the first time in several years, I am actually feeling somewhat excited about the Christmas season!  Perhaps this phenomenon has something to do with the fact that I am not feeling stressed out by work and activities at the moment.  Doesn't matter why, I'm going to run with it!

Over the weekend, we got the Christmas tree dusted off and set up, and decorations up too.

Check

Kali loves lying under it for some reason!

 
We planned to go to Light Up Night in town and the Christmas parade over the weekend, but it was cold and rainy, so we stayed home and watched Christmas movies instead.

Check

I think that all of the Christmas gifts (and Birthday gifts for L) have been ordered, and many have already arrived!

Check

We attended J's Holiday Choral Concert last night.  The kids did a great job!

Check

In the meantime, I've taken advantage of the mild, dry days after last week's monsoon to do some last minute gardening outside.  I spent another 3 hours at the Library and got their flower beds ready for winter - looks so much better.  I weeded the strawberries in the garden, cleaned up all the leaves, and mulched a few of the beds.  It's getting there!


And this year I even remembered to deer proof my little evergreen shrubs!

 
Now it's time to make dinner for the troops!

T out.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Where's the Bear? #3

The winning caption for last week is:  "Caution:  BEARly awake!"

Here's the new picture for this week.  Captions must be in by next Wednesday AM for this one!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Where's the Bear? #2

In honor of the first day of Deer Hunting in PA, I'm putting up a new picture of J's giant bear.

 
I was out in the tree house myself this morning, wearing orange.  It was raining and cool, but not unpleasant to be out there, watching the chickens and cats.  There were 2 large flocks of robins scattered over the grass, cocking their heads and doing their robin-y thing.  Too bad this wasn't a sign of pending Spring, but merely hungry robins, who haven't made their way Southward yet.

No sign of any deer, however, for a solid two hours. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Where's the Bear? #1

After re-visiting the old blog of a friend this Spring, J has wanted to commit blatant plagiarism and do a contest where we post a picture and ask for your ideas for a funny, witty or snarky caption to go along with it.  She and her sister posed myriads of Playmobile people and animals and snapped photos all summer, intended for just such a contest.

After the giant bear arrived at J's birthday party last weekend, however, we have had a difficult time finding the right spot to keep a bear over 5 feet tall!  Consequently, it has been moved around to various unlikely and absurd locations, and I started snapping photos of my own.

Thus is born our plagiarized  Create a Caption Contest!  Please enter as many captions as you feel compelled to write.  Next Wednesday, J and I will pick a winner.  The prize will be a photo of the giant bear sent straight to your smart phone for your viewing and sharing pleasure!

Because I have had a hard time getting going this morning, we'll start with this photo:


Ready...set...GO!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Party!!

J celebrated her 12th birthday with 5 of her school friends on Friday evening.  She requested build-your-own mini pizzas for dinner and cupcakes for dessert.

The girls played something loud and rambunctious downstairs (that I was too much of a chicken to peek in on), Apples-to-Apples, a Jeopardy style game that she made up, and then watched several movies.  The got to bed quite late, but also got up late and played another loud and rambunctious game downstairs.  I think they had a lot of fun!


J seemed surprised that she received many of the items on her carefully crafted Birthday Wish List!  One thing she was given that she didn't request was an enormous teddy bear, almost 6 feet tall and big around as a tree.  We have been having problems finding a good place to keep it...more on that later!

The temperature yesterday got up to the upper 60's.  We took advantage of the sunshine and harvested the remainder of the root crops in the garden:  carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes.  I would say everything was quite productive!


Today the wind is howling up here on the Ridge.  I have plenty to do, but just returned from the Orthopedist, who injected my left thumb, where he says I have developed severe arthritis.  The procedure was quite painful, although pretty quick.  Right now it is aching and numb, and I'm feeling a bit queasy, so I thought I'd take it easy.

Poor Stella is feeling lonely and dejected since Kali is away getting groomed.  She tagged right along up into the tree house this morning, and kept me company while I got it clean as a whistle up there.  Kali should be home soon, and then all will be right with the world again.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pat on the Back

I seem to have won the admiration of some random truck driver when I was at the local potable water station this afternoon.  He approached me when I was filling up my water buffalo for the second time.  "Would you teach my wife to haul water?" he asked.  "It sure would help me out."

"No problem!" I told him, and then we lapsed into small talk about dry wells and dry summers until my buffalo was full.

I'm pretty proud of myself, actually.  I finally mastered the art of driving Ole Bessie (1989 Ford F150 = big, old and stick shift), and then jumped right into hauling around 1600 lbs of water in the back!

The temperature seems to have dropped while I was out there, and now I am chilled to the bone and the bed of the truck is slick with ice.  I have a nice cup of tea brewing.  Ahhh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blinded by Science

The Polar Vortex hit our corner of the world overnight.  Polar Vortices and myself are not on great terms.  It was they that made my January and February excruciating earlier this year.  I needed a way to make today more tolerable, so (at a friend's urging) I volunteered to help out at a program at the Elementary School.  A gentleman with a curled mustache, called "Mr. Will" brought a mobile Science Safari to the Gym.  2 other moms and myself helped "Mr. Will" show the kids how to do the various experiments.  It was a lot of fun, and the afternoon flew by.  Besides, it was nice and warm in the Gym!

This is me in the Bubble Tower!
Here I am with my new friend, Bucky.
I stopped on my way home to drop off my parent's mail at their house.  My dad has been doing more genealogical work since it's too cold to work outside.  He told me that he discovered an ancestor who lived in Germany over 1000 years ago, who was no less than royalty.  In fact, he was the King...but only after he murdered his father to take the throne.  Luckily he had some progeny before his cousin killed him in order to take the throne, otherwise I wouldn't be here today!  I had another ancestor in Germany who went swimming in the sea as a young woman, and happened to be impregnated by some sort of shape shifting sea monster.  (You can read the story & see a drawing of my 53rd great grandfather here!)

The girls are home, and avoiding homework at all costs.  In other words, it's a fairly typical night.  J managed to sprain her ankle on the way out of school this afternoon, so she has her foot propped up on pillows.  Both girls have been invited to be flower girls in their cousin's wedding this summer, so there is a lot of emotion flowing regarding that, as well J's birthday party this weekend, to which one of her friends is unable to come.

I need to go check the fire before I stick dinner in the oven.  I'm hoping that this Polar Vortex will not be hanging around much longer!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Flannel Sheets & Comfort Food

This weekend, I changed the sheets on our bed and put on the flannel sheets.  Ah...so cozy!

Comfort was the theme of our weekend, as 2 out of 4 of us have colds, and I seem to be right on the verge of getting something.

Friday evening, we had a visit from JP's sister and brother-in-law from Japan.  They are in the States for a few weeks, and stopped here on their way West.  They brought with them JP's old buddy, Spunky!  The comfort food for our foreign visitors was homemade pasta with home cooked sauce and meatballs, freshly baked bread, homemade pumpkin roll and homemade vanilla ice cream.  (Yes, I was in fact in the the kitchen all day!)


They had to travel on after our favorite Saturday morning breakfast of whole wheat pancakes with Poplar Ridge maple syrup, crispy bacon, and fresh eggs.

Last night we took my mother out to dinner to celebrate her birthday.  J baked a 2 layer cake and frosted it with cream cheese frosting that she also made, and we shared that with her and my dad this afternoon.

We lazed around on the sofa all afternoon, watching "The Sound of Music" (another Movie-cation flick), and drinking endless mugs of tea.

The comfort food  tonight was chicken and dumplings with more freshly baked bread.

I feel like turning in early, to snuggle in my cozy flannel sheets and read.

Eat, sleep, read and movies...not a bad way to spend a weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2014

We Had a Fantastic Weekend!

JP and worked our tails off this weekend.  We were exhausted and sore when we went to bed last night.  It was the good kind of exhaustion though, the kind that comes with knowledge of a job well done.

Friday evening, we moved the hens to their new abode while they were drowsy and roosting.  They seemed to tolerate the move without issues.  After we got their fencing up and stabilized on Saturday morning, we let them out to explore.

Sleepy hens trying to get their bearings
in the new place!
The roosts hinge up for easy cleaning underneath, and
we have easy access to both their area and the nests
 from a hallway.
These are the nest boxes...actually kitty litter
boxes that slide out for easy cleaning.  Look!
They know how to use it!
Here come the ladies after we opened up
their little door!
Here they are, exploring out doors!

JP boosted me up in the bucket of the tractor to finish staining the tree house.

He hooked up the electric to the chicken fencing while I hung out laundry.

He mowed the grass for one last time while I gathered more leaves for the garden and pulled out the rest of the chickens' old fencing.  Together we gathered up some huge piles of leaves that he mowed into a pile and spread them on the garden too.

For dinner, we had our favorite hearty beef stew and a crusty, chewy artisinal loaf of bread that John baked.  Along with the remainder of a bottle of wine that went into the stew, we had an enjoyable meal with the girls.

Yesterday we moved the remainder of the pile of cut wood from last year, and JP split some of it.  We also covered the coal bin with a tarp to keep it somewhat dry.

Our friends came over later, and we spent the afternoon drinking tea and chatting.

It was a lovely but busy weekend!

Today the girls are home because of Teacher In-Service.  Already we have been to the Orthodontist and I have been to a job interview, and have sausage in the pressure canner.  We have many other plans in the works for this afternoon, so I need to run along...hope you are all off to a good start to the week as well!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Volunteering

I have felt a bit overwhelmed this week - stretched a bit thin.  I have lots of outside projects to complete, and a dwindling number of decent days to do them in!  By this afternoon, although today was a truly awful day, I am feeling somewhat better.  I am making a dent in the To-Do list AND I was able to keep my calm and NOT YELL AT MY FAMILY even though today was super sucky.

Yay.

So, the tree house is mostly stained.  All of the railings and the stairs are finished, on all sides.  I was unable to reach some of the beams underneath, and still haven't decided if I am going to try to make that a priority yet this Fall, or wait until Spring.  The completed part looks great however, and is already working to shed water.  Yay.

 
The Chick-bit house is coming right along, although I haven't helped much with it this week.  We should be able to move the hens in by this weekend.  Yay.  I'll post pictures when they are moved in.

I spent a lot of time this week volunteering for a couple of very good causes.  I helped out at the PTA's Book Fair at the Elementary school one afternoon.  I restocked books, and helped several children make book selections that were within their financial means.

I spent this morning crawling around in the flower beds at our Public Library, weeding, dead-heading plants, trimming bushes, and in general cleaning out the beds.  I offered to do this at our last Board meeting when the Director wanted to hire someone to do it.  I enjoy gardening, but there is still a LOT to be done there...I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this one!

Good causes, enjoyable work...yay.

Now, we are finally getting the girls to bed (yay), and I can head there myself.  I'm exhausted.

Yay.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Pinch of This, a Bit of That...

It turned COLD over the weekend, to coordinate with the time change and the changing of the calendar page it seems.  We had freezing temperatures Saturday night and last night, and it seems odd to be getting the girls off to school in actual day light!

I did have the chance ahead of time to pick the final peppers, peas, tomatoes and cabbages in the garden, and to bring in a couple of potted plants.  J's tiny cauliflowers, planted back in May, are finally doing something, and L's little cabbages remain brussels sprout size, so I did cover their 8 foot bed to give them a bit longer to TRY.  The garden is looking sleepier, with only root crops yet to harvest:  carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes.


I also spent half the day on Friday gathering leaves for the garden.  I will say with my favorite poet, Robert Frost:

"I have been treading on leaves all day until I am autumn-tired.
God knows all the color and form of leaves I have trodden on and mired.
Perhaps I have put forth too much strength and been too fierce from fear.
I have safely trodden underfoot the leaves of another year."

JP managed to install our new induction cook top.  Hooray!  We were so spoiled by our last cooktop's quick heating and cooling, that I found it almost insuffferable to use the gas for only a week!

 
JP and I stacked some wood for the outdoor wood burner, just in case we need to fire it up in the near future.  So far, we have enjoyed a warm blaze in the woodstove in our great room morning and evening to take the chill off.  The sunshine has warmed things enough during the day to let it expire.  One of these weekends will have to be full on cutting, splitting and stacking, so that we do NOT have to do it every weekend this winter like we did last year!

We did some baking this weekend too:  spiced pumpkin seeds, and French bread.  Both were delicious!

The Chick-bit house is coming along.  I finished the outside door, but still have the inside door to finish. 

 
We had a brief intermission this week while we tried to come to a consensus on the water storage unit.  We ended up getting back a rain barrel that we gave away some 5 or 6 years ago, and that got passed around a bit.  The price was right, and it fits the bill!  The plan is to have a contained water system for the chickens, something like this:


Photo by Stephanie Dayle
 


We had a sob-fest on Saturday night when we watched "The Fault in Our Stars."  It was very good, but as always, the book was better!  We rounded off the weekend with a nice dinner at my parents' house under the bright sunshine from their sky lights!

So...here goes another week.  The first order of business is sitting by the fire and deleting music from my phone until I find memory enough to install the iOS upgrade!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick-Or-Treat (Smell My Feet!)

For all of you peeps out there planning on doing the Halloween Trick-Or-Treat thing tonight, we've already been there, done that, all done folks!  For some crazy reason, our town does Trick-Or-Treat on the Thursday BEFORE Halloween, have for years.  Not only that, but the kids get a half day on that Thursday, so that they are ready by 4 PM at Go Time!  Now tell me, wouldn't it have been awesome to do Trick-Or-Treat TODAY on the actual Halloween day, and have a half day of school, and then the entire weekend in which to lay around eating candy?  I certainly think so!

In any case, it's done.  Yesterday I spent most of the day in L's classroom, helping with their party, and reading a book to the kids.  I picked up the girls from school so that we would have extra time to work on our pumpkins before candy time!

This year, J went for a French Monsieur, complete with moustache...ooh la la!  L tried different shapes and patterns on hers.  I went for more of a lantern effect.



L chose a Bollywood Dancer costume early on, but decided against it once she realized that her belly was showing (refused to wear a shirt under.)  Luckily, on my little outing with the Ladies a couple of weeks ago, I found a cute little colonial style dress at the Goodwill.  It fit her perfectly, and along with a hat made by Aunt C before our trip to Williamsburg a couple of years ago, it made a great costume!  J had her heart set on Pikachu, and froze out there in the trenches!

 

We had a good time, the girls slept well last night, but JP and I were so busy cleaning up multiple messes, that we forgot to raid the candy stashes once the girls were in bed.  Oh well, there's always tonight!
 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Die Job

Our major kitchen appliances are failing us right and left lately.  The ice maker on the refrigerator sprung a leak a couple of months ago, which lead to major buckling of the hard wood floor where the water sat for hours.  Although we repaired the leak, we could not get the ice maker working again.  We are getting by with ice made the old fashioned way - in trays, which is a pain in the patootie for our family that loves ice in our water bottles!

On Saturday morning, JP had just finished heating water on the cook top to make coffee.  He lifted up the tea kettle, and we saw sparks and heard a small explosion and the thing blew the circuit.  Once the circuit was turned back on, the cooktop read an error message, which lead us to the knowledge that we would be sinking around $500 into repairs...about half of the value of the cooktop...plus information that it would probably happen again.  We decided to replace the cooktop with a different brand.  Luckily, although our main cook top died, we still have our 2 back up gas burners that we can use until our new induction range arrives!

Yesterday it became obvious that something died in the closet in my bedroom.  I was hoping it was merely stinky shoes, but after fairly thorough investigation, that does not appear to be the case.  Now the stench is leaking into the bathroom, so the culprit must be in the wall between the two.  I've had the door and windows open all day, hoping to air out the place, and it is somewhat better.  Let's hope this is short lived!

This morning I got another section of the tree house railing stained.  It has been extremely blustery today, to the point that it actually blew the stain off my brush on several occasions!  Apparently it also blew my ponytail into wet stain too, a fact which I discovered in the shower several hours later.  2 shampoos and conditioner treatments later, it is still stiff and sticky feeling.  Now THAT'S a bad dye job!

There is still a lot of staining to do...I think I'll
need a ladder at some point!

On the bright side, Dad and I finished putting up metal on the inside of the Chick-bit house.  The ceiling panels, into which we had to cut 6 holes for light fixtures, were a killer!  I'm currently sitting here with a heating pad on my shoulders, trying to recover!


It has turned out to be a rather laid back evening.  The girls are finishing up homework, and I should get some dinner fixed.  JP works late, so we will either watch a movie this evening, or carve our pumpkins.  Ah...no soccer practice tonight!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Post-Soccer

I have been waiting for this day since late August - the first day after soccer is all over with, when after school time will be carefree and not at all rushed.  The first day when we don't have a million things to do after school.  It didn't quite turn out all free and easy today, but the girls and I did enjoy a little walk outside in the sunshine, and J is still AWOL out there somewhere.

The girls played their last soccer games of the season yesterday afternoon.  We celebrated with lunch at Dairy Queen, complete with Blizzards!

We have been working hard toward getting the Chick-bit house ready to house at least chickens...rabbits will come later.  Since the days have been getting shorter, we are getting fewer eggs all the time.  I have gone from supplying a dozen a week to my parents and all the eggs we can use plus selling 3 or 4 dozen a week, to barely having enough for our family!  The 14 hens are only laying about 3-4 eggs daily.  Once we get them in a space where we can turn on lights, the production should increase significantly! 

On Saturday, JP and I finished insulating the entire structure, walls and ceiling.  I also finished painting the outside eaves.  Today, Dad and I put metal up on 2 out of 3 inside walls, and I put a second coat of paint on the second clean-out door and the outside door.

The inside of this door still needs some work!
We hope to get the last wall and the ceiling panels up tomorrow.  Once that is finished, Dad can start building the nest boxes and the inside wall to separate the chickens (Chick) from the rabbits (bits.)

After lunch, I spent about 45 minutes staining the railings in the tree house.  I have lots more to do, but hopefully I can finish it up tomorrow. 

I timed it so that I could come in to get a shower and leave in time to pick up J from school and get her to an emergency orthodontist appointment (her wires were tearing up the inside of her mouth) and then pick up L from piano lessons.

While I was in the shower, the dogs started barking.  Apparently the tri-axle load of logs had arrived.  I took the quickest shower ever, dried off slightly, threw on sweats and a sweatshirt and ran outside.  In those 8 minutes or so, they had managed to off load about half of a truck load of logs...in the wrong place!  I explained where I wanted the second load to go, and they told me they preferred cash for payment.  I managed to scrounge up the cash, finish dressing, grab a bag of Puff Corn for the girls' snack, and took off for town about 10 minutes later than I had hoped.

I didn't manage to remember L's piano books, so she didn't actually get her piano lesson tonight - it has been rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon.  J's mouth is feeling better.  We now have 2 loads of logs that need to be cut up before winter.  I actually had 15 minutes to sit down and blog.  I have a Library Board meeting tonight, so I need to get dinner made and the kids and myself fed in the next hour. 

Maybe tomorrow will be a carefree and easy after school time!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October Morning

O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
-Robert Frost







I walked in the woods with the dogs this morning.  We were all delighted by the adventure!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Canning (Or - I Spent All Day in the Kitchen)

The girls and I spent about an hour and a half in the garden on Saturday.  The Mexican Bean Beetles destroyed my Fall Horticulture Beans, so we pulled the plants, and after picking all of the beans off of them, bagged them in a trash bag to kill off off the remaining beetles.  We also picked a nice bowlful of Fall Sugar Snap Peas, a few tomatoes, and all of the Jalapeno Peppers.

I spent Sunday afternoon/evening shelling beans and slicing peppers on my mandolin.  Today was canning day.  I had 3 gallon bags of shelled beans in the deep freeze, so all together, I canned 13 quarts and 7 pints of beans.


 I also canned 17 1/2 pints of peppers.  JP will enjoy these on his tacos for the next year!


A Peck of Pickled Peppers

I did find an hour or so between rain showers to paint the Northern eaves of the Chick-bit House,  as well as a litter removal door, before I ran out of paint.

A second window, a door and a litter clean-out door have been added!
 
On Saturday evening, we went out with Mom & Dad for Indian food to celebrate JP's Birthday.  We came home for cake and ice cream...and candles and cards and singing.


J had another soccer game in the rain on Sunday afternoon.  The good news is, they finally won a game, 3-0!  L said she played in "some sprinkles", and they did not win their game.

Another weekend (and Monday) are gone. 

Still not bored!