Monday, November 30, 2009
What, was it just too much trouble to clean out the filter in the front of the dryer with the door open?
So Col. Dimmwitty says, "I know! I'll put the lint filter on top. It'll be a long, curved filter, so it's sure to spread small particles of lint as it is pulled out, insuring an even coating of fine, lint-y dust on every surface in the laundry room. Eureka!"
Someone kick that guy in the nose for me, ok?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I've always loved the parade. I never really get to sit down and watch it, of course, usually being tied up in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner. But still, it was nice to have in the background and I could sneak a peek in between whipping potatoes and frosting cakes.
The rabbit ears only got us one channel, and it had to be CBS. Not great for parade watching, let me tell ya. Exactly WHY do they think we find the commentators so enthralling? They are telling us all about the parade, which is happening way in the background on a tiny portion of the screen. What the heck? I really don't care to see 'on the street' interviews of parade watchers, since I'm trying to watch the friggin' parade myself!! Seriously, CBS, take a hint and can the talking heads, ok?
This year, no rabbit ears would help due to the big digital changeover. But my mom, bless her wonderful heart, taped the parade for us! I think two channel's worth, and not CBS! She brought it with her to dinner and we watched it as I finished up dinner preparations. Thanks, Mom!!
So I got my parade fix, and even have it on tape for future watching. Hubby says we'll just play the same parade every year. lol
By the way, did anyone catch Cyndi Lauper on the parade route? Oh my gosh does she just look amazing or what? I don't think she's aged a day since the 80's! (Of course Little Sis had to ask, "Who's Cyndi Lauper?"! lol)
Friday, November 27, 2009
Are you depressed?
Do you have trouble sleeping??
Are you suffering from anxiety?
Do you harbor a lack of self-esteem?
Then try new HOMESTEADING !!
Yes, that's right! HOMESTEADING is a technological breakthrough! Top scientists have worked night and day and now new HOMESTEADING is available to you!>
You'll enjoy gourmet meals prepared from 100% natural ingredients: planted, tended, harvested, and prepared all by yourself!
Battle fierce beasts as they vie for the fruit of your labor!
Frolic by a bonfire on a summer night or autumn evening! (Warning: If alcohol is consumed, singed eyebrows may result.)
To avoid winter's piercing cold, you'll revel in the harvest of firewood in the fall: cutting down dead trees, cutting them up, hauling them to a convenient area and splitting and stacking the resulting fuel.
Bask in the warm glow of a fire produced by your very own hands. Feel that sense of self-esteem returning!
Anxiety and depression are things of the past! No longer do you have time or energy to wallow in self-pity! Sleepless night? GONE!! You'll fall into bed every single night, dead dog tired, and sleep like the dead!!
Side effects may include: strains, sprains, bruises, pains, and occasional bouts of Tourette's.
Use of HOMESTEADING may result in dangerous overconfidence and rare moments of stupidity, such as battling a pack of coyotes with a machete.
Satisfaction Guaranteed! If not 100% satisfied: take your whiny ass back to the city and STFU!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The only sad part was that only one of my little ones was here. Biggest Brother and family couldn't make it due to an attack of some sort of crud/virus. We missed them, but were grateful for their thoughtfulness, as we really don't want any crud. The other two babies are off in far away places, and we miss them.
This was my first wild turkey, and I've wanted one for ages. I was a little worried it would be tough and dry, but it wasn't. It was delicious. And filling. You know, that's one thing that strikes me about game and homegrown meat: it just doesn't take much to fill you up.
Dinner went well. It was fun. The mess is already cleaned up, dishes are done, leftovers refrigerated, and all of the furniture back in its proper place. I'm not even tired. That truly is a first.
Little Sis made a lovely blueberry pie, all by herself. I'm so proud!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
But today, out of the blue, I looked around and thought, "What a cozy little home we have." I realized that, at some point, this place in the woods went from being 'our remodeling nightmare' and 'the money pit'...to home.
No longer is it just a place to keep our stuff while we make it liveable. Funny how it happened without my realizing it. Sure, it's what we've been striving for all along, but to one day look around and see that something has been accomplished, even though I've often felt like we were running in place...it's pretty amazing.
Things aren't always as tidy as I'd like them to be, but now that we have more space, that's improving. (Everyone thinks it's a bit odd - my use of the word 'tidy'. But I like it. It's exactly what I want our home to be: not just clean, as in no dirt, but tidy. A place for everything, and everything in its place.)
I'm happy here. Content. More so than I have ever been. Having friends and family over; homecooked meals; a warm, glowing fire in the woodstove...
...there's no place like home.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The painting is finally done. What took so long? you ask. Well, Big Sis' room was covered in graffiti and Nightmare Before Christmas murals. It took more than two coats of paint, dontcha know. Yeah, I could've used Kilz ...or mustard gas...but I can't take the fumes.
I still have to put the room back together, clean the windows, paper the ceiling, etc etc etc. But for now, I can at least put my paint brushes away and start putting the house back together.
The main living area has been dusted, vacuumed, mopped, etc...company coming tomorrow, which is kind of a big deal for us. The down side of being a family of hermits, I suppose.
So now I'm off to bed...visions of turkeys and pies to dance in my head...
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thanksgiving and painting are still the big news here. I'm almost done with the room..at least with the painting part. Papering the ceiling will have to wait; there's just no time before T-Day.
I'm excited about Thanksgiving. I'm glad we are having people here; otherwise I'd be pretty depressed due to Big Sis spending her first holiday away from home. She's not close enough, geographically, to make it home for any of the upcoming holidays. We miss you, Rainbow Brite!!
I plan to do some of the baking tomorrow. I can at least go ahead and bake the squash that I'll use in the pies. Wednesday will be chaos with a last minute run to the market and then a marathon of cooking. I'll be exhausted by the time Thanksgiving is over, but it'll be fun. Last year, I was baking well past midnight on Thanksgiving Eve, and Hubby and I were laughing, sipping wine, and dancing around to Adam Ant. It was just one of those fun times that I'll always remember, you know?
Ok...so it's not a great post...but it'll do. I'm off to paint and then do another post tonight!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Our menu...so far...is as follows:
2 turkeys: These are wild turkeys, which I'm pretty excited about, since it'll be the first ones I've ever had. They are hens, and on the small side, thus...cooking two of them.
Sweet potato casserole
Stuffing: I usually use the box stuff...I know!! I'm such a barbarian!! Anyhoo...I can't find a recipe that sounds good so I'm just making one up. But if you have a good recipe, feel free to post it here!
Mashed potatoes: yukon gold from our garden
Green beans: from the garden
Zucchini: you guessed it...garden
Corn: yet again...from the garden
Fresh baked bread
Pumpkin...actually Pink Banana Squash...Pie
and....what else? I am looking for something different to add...so far no ideas. Help!!
1 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
Mix all of the above ingredients well. Spoon into buttered baking dish (9x9).
In a separate bowl, mix topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
5 a.m.: Open one eye, look at clock. Tell myself to put the turkey in. Drift off again, mumbling about croutons...and how giblets have ruined humanity.
5:30 am: Smack that snooze bar...again!
Flash forward to 9 am: Senor Soliel stabs me in the brain through my eyelids. Look at clock, put glasses on, look at clock again, curse loudly while throwing covers onto hubby.
Grab shower while dusting. Fix hair while vacuuming. Realize the impossibility of my task. Open first bottle of wine. Look at clock: 10: 15 am.
Mission Impossible Theme begins now.
Frantically search for mop, having spilled wine while trying to stuff turkey and drink at the same time.
10:17 a.m.: finish bottle of wine and open second bottle
10:18 am: try to determine actual origin of this strange custom. Why do we feel the need to run around like rabid monkeys, eat until we can't keep our pants closed, and gather relatives in vast numbers? Pilgrims? I think not. Native Americans? Heck no, they knew better!!
Noon: sob hysterically as I spray fire extinguisher at crispy, black turkey.
2 pm: Family arrives to find me passed out and surrounded by empty wine bottles.
2: 03 pm: Family orders Chinese take out and pokes my unconscious body with chopsticks.
This message will now self destruct.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
- I've been working on Big Sis' vacated room, soon to be guest room/library. You'll never guess what I've been doing in there. Yep, chipping plaster off the friggin' ceiling! Why? Well, before the new roof was put on, the sky used to pee in that room. So the plaster coating over the other plaster coating (yeah, what gives?) is flaking off. Not all of it, of course, because that would make things simple. I'm taking down the loose stuff and then I'll paper the ceiling. My neck hurts already. ugh.
- I managed to get our Etsy page updated. Hubby makes the stuff, all I have to do is get it online. You'd think I could keep up.
- On Sunday, I split firewood and baked angel food cake, from scratch. At the same time.
- Today, I baked oatmeal cookies so Hubby would have freshly baked goodies for work. Then I hauled firewood (uphill, dontcha know). Someone tell him he's a lucky man.
- I love wine, but I hate whiners.
- I have two very spoiled chihuahuas. Don't look the type, do I? lol I do also own a large dobe mix with blue eyes.
- I don't really care for cats, so how come we have THREE?
- I refuse to eat organ meat. Gross gross gross. Liver? Um...pass!! Don't you know what that organ is for?? Ew!
- I love Asian food.
- I have the greatest husband in the whole wide world.
And now, I must go brush the plaster out of my hair, and fall into bed.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Wasn't I doing the same thing about this time last year?
But now it's Big Sis' (aka Rainbow Brite's) room getting the makeover. Our little Rainbow has grown up and moved on to the big, wide world. I miss her like crazy and sorting out her room has been emotional chaos, not to mention the actual chaos she left behind. She took the opportunity to streamline her things, leaving behind what she didn't want...for mom to deal with.
Thanks, honey. I still love ya, though. ;)
The extra space will be nice, I suppose, as our house is cozy (read: teensy weensy). So here I am again, doing firewood on nice days, working on the room on rainy days. I'm hoping to concentrate on getting the room done this week, as it will free up space in other areas of the house that need more remodeling.
It's weird for me to go back and read last year's posts, when Little Sis moved on from fairies, pink, princesses and dolls to blue and horses. And now, here I am, preparing to paint over some very cool Nightmare Before Christmas murals. *sigh*
Of course, it looks like once again I'll be racing to finish things up before Thanksgiving.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
But WHY, with all the 473920000572727 holiday songs that have been recorded over the years, do they have to play the SAME dozen or so...all day...over...and over...and over...ad nauseam??
I really used to love Hall and Oates. But if I hear their version of Jingle Bell Rock one more time...
Oh dear gawd it's only mid November.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Today we cut wood...again. Hubby has been cutting down dead trees, nicely seasoned on the stump, cutting them up, and then Little Sis and I have been hauling them uphill in wheelbarrows. Remember the Country Wife Fitness Program? Yep, just like that, but minus the berries.
During today's wood cutting marathon, Hubby and I started discussing the fact that our woodlot is just about spent. In order to continue to live in the woods, we have to leave some of the woods. So...what to do? We have an oil furnace. If we heated solely with oil, we'd spend a fortune, which was why we switched to wood to start with. Wood is also a lot warmer. We will be filling up the tank for those days when we won't be home to stoke the fire, but only using it when necessary.
The solution? We are going to buy wood, starting next year. Seasoned, split, and delivered. My springtime job will more than cover the cost and free up a LOT of time. I'll have time to hike, and not behind a wheelbarrow of wood. I'll have time to quilt, harvest rosehips and make jam, or just sit without rushing and worrying about the wood.
Seasoned. Split. Delivered. Dare I hope??
Friday, November 13, 2009
I have discovered a few new blogs via the Nablowrimo site, and have even added a couple of them to my blogroll. There are some seriously witty and intelligent people out there! Be sure to check them out.
I am enjoying reading the daily blogs of those already on my blogroll. It's so nice to pop in and see a fresh post! I guess people feel the same about mine. I've noticed I get a lot of 'bouncing' hits when I haven't posted in a while. People just looking, seeing the same ol' post, and moving on.
Once the November challenge is over, I may try to stick with it. If not daily, at least a few times a week. Homesteading and working during the spring planting season leaves very little time, and even less energy, for blogging. But, on the other hand, those readers that stop by to learn about homesteading may enjoy a more first hand look at spring chaos. I guess I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.
Keep in mind, when you see those completely incoherent blog posts showing up around the end of May, that it's due to lack of sleep, and I haven't completely lost my marbles.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Letting go is hard, even when you know she's going to conquer the world.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I have no idea why this stuff is called Monkey Bread. Do Monkeys like it? Eat it? Fling it?
The basic recipe for the dough can be found here. I use that bread dough recipe for just about anything baked and yummy. lol
I made a loaf of bread, and since I only needed one, used the leftover dough to make this Pull Apart Monkey Bread.
Use one half of the bread dough recipe, unless you want a LOT of Monkey Bread. Let the dough rise once, then shape into small balls, dip in melted butter, and roll in a mix of cinnamon and sugar (the size pictured used 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon). Place dough balls in greased bunt or angel food cake pan (or any pan, for that matter). Drizzle any leftover butter/cinnamon/sugar over balls. Let rise. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Watch out for monkeys!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Shortly after we bought our place here in the deep, dark woods, we were working on the house after dark one night. It was one of those nights with no moon, where the dark seems to devour any light that comes its way.
I heard this strange noise in the distance, so I went outside to listen. I heard it clearly once I was outside. I had no idea what it was. I crept to the edge of the house to try to see what was making that sound. Then I heard it again, unbelievably close to me, as if whatever made the odd noise moved at the speed of light. Needless to say, I showed my chicken side and ran back into the house with a loud, "What the hell was that?!" So much for my tough chick routine.
After a lot of time digging around online, I found the sound. A fox. I never knew they did anything but yip and look cute.
Then, just last week, I heard a noise outside and thought something had somehow gotten into the henhouse. About halfway to the coop, I realize the noise is coming from down in the woods, near the fox den (we have at least three on our property). I did check on the chickens to make sure they were snug and safe, just in case, but I was pretty sure it was just a fox, carrying on a loud argument (at a safe distance) with the neighborhood dogs (which were barking like mad). Here's a cool youtube link I found, with video and sound. The sound we hear most often around here is the one at the beginning of the video (Vixen Barking).
This time I wasn't freaked out by the noise. I knew it wasn't a brain eating zombie or anal probing alien, so I wasn't too worried. I've learned a lot of things, living here in the woods, that I never would've known if I'd stayed in the city. Identifying fox calls is just one of them. ;)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Today, for example, I had the joy of cleaning the zillion leaves from my gutters (WHAT is that smell??? Oh, it's me...after being splattered with the wet, muddy grossness under all the nice crunchy leaves in the gutter.).
Then I realized that my sweet little lodge style home too greatly resembles the set of Arachnophobia. yikes. So I spent and hour or so with a broom, knocking off spiders, webs, and egg sacks. **shudder**
You know what I really hate about spiders?? Spider poop!! It's that nasty, white, dribbly, bird poo looking stuff that runs down the side of my otherwise log colored (but not really log) home. You either have to spend hours scrubbing it off with a brush, hot water, and a good detergent (homemade Naptha laundry soap works well) or just paint over it. Every year I resolve to knock the spiders down on a weekly basis, but I always get busy doing other stuff, like gardening or firewood...or blogging. *blush*
On the plus side, the house now looks much tidier outside (Thanks, Luv, for cleaning out the shed!) and the weather was lovely...sunny and near 70! Almost unheard of for Ohio in November!
Tomorrow, another lovely day is forecast, along with a day of harvesting firewood. The fun never ends! ;)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
This soiree was followed up by a trip to Lehman's. *sigh of contentment* Who could ask for a better day? Oh, and to top it off, it's our anniversary. So...less blogging...more smooching! ;)
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
In past years, I didn't keep track of what I put up. I do know it was never quite enough. Last year I ran out of green beans before January! The horror of a greenbeanless winter!! augh!
This year is, in fact, the most we've ever put by. Our goal is to one day supply all of our own food, or at least the majority of it.
I think my garden would've done even better this year if I hadn't been working, but the economy...well...you know....it sucked.
- Green Beans: Froze 31 gallons and 16 quarts (HAHA!! I'll have green beans this winter for sure!!)
- Salsa: Tomatillo: 44 8 oz jars and 20 pints (Hubby LOVES this stuff and it'll be a miracle if it lasts till next harvest. Not all of the batches were made with the same variety of pepper, and the habanero variety is going fast, despite Hubby breaking out in a sweat while he eats and entire jar. Men.)
- Salsa: Tomato: 26 8 oz jars
- Pickles: Dill: 2 quarts and 7 pints. Pickled hot wax peppers: 5 pints. Pickled mild peppers: 7 pints and 7 quarts
- Zucchini: Froze 3 gallons and 65 quarts (That's what I wrote down, but I swear there's more since I have just about an entire freezer full of the stuff.)
- Corn: 25 quarts (The corn harvest just wasn't as good as it could've been if I'd been here to get it all put up on time.)
- Peppers: Froze 10 gallons of various hot peppers (habanero, hot lemon, chili, cayenne, ancho, hot wax, anaheim, hot cherry) and froze at least 3 gallons of mild peppers (somehow I forgot to write those down)
- Blackberry jam: 14 8oz jars
- Blackberries: froze an unknown amount (I didn't keep track as I picked them; I was too busy bleeding and picking brambles out of my skin.)
- Habanero jelly: 5 4oz jars (still not sure how we are going to like this, so it's a sample batch)
- Tomatoes: 7 pints italian, 33 pints tomato soup concentrate, 14 pints 'chili sauce' (tastes just like sloppy joe sauce, so we use it on ground venison for Sloppy Elliots), 14 pints hot sauce, and 64 quarts of plain crushed tomatoes.
- Apple Butter: 7 8oz jars and 2 pints (so far; I'm still working on apple butter)
We also have a lot of chickens (we hatched, raised, and butchered) in the freezer. I'm not sure how many. Then we have potatoes, onions, rutabaga and pink banana squash, all stored in crates in a cool area.
This of course doesn't include what we ate fresh, gave away, or fed to the chickens.
It really doesn't sound like a lot of food, but we managed to fill three chest freezers and two shelving units of canned goods. Oh, the items listed were canned unless it says frozen.
I guess we did ok, at least a lot better than previous years, but I feel we still have a long way to go.
Despite the fact that I'd have harvested a lot more if I hadn't been working, I'm glad I did have the seasonal job. That job allowed us to purchase two more chest freezers, more black plastic for the garden, and a LOT of canning jars, among other things. Not to mention it was a fun job and I learned a lot...I also got to play in the dirt. Best job ever. :)
And now...on to the firewood harvest!! **revs chainsaw**