right now

right now

Apr 6, 2013

The last cold day...

I hope!  That is what is being promised...

Partly Cloudy
Current: Partly Cloudy
Wind: E at 7 mph
Humidity: 67%
52° | 43°
Partly Cloudy
63° | 50°
Partly Cloudy
77° | 54°
79° | 61°

I can't believe it, but this was just down the street from me, one year ago today.  

above and below photos from WVEC-tv

No fatalities, no serious injuries - it was a Good Friday miracle for sure!

With my hopes high of being outside working in the spring warmth tomorrow, today was my day to finish up some odds and ends.  I finally got my canning closet fairly squared away.  During the winter I seem to just shove empty jars in there willy nilly as they are used, not paying attention until it gets a little precarious when the door is opened!

I actually managed to toss out enough weird random stuff that was in there to empty out a shelf for my non-canning food storage stuff:  Food Saver, jar sealer, rolls of mylar and mylar bags, O2 absorbers - stuff like that.  Before I was digging behind jars for stuff all over the place!

I actually had the motivation to sew as well this afternoon since hubs and the boys were in the backyard (in the cold!).  Here is my new layout of my crafty bedroom.  Some of you may know that my bedroom also serves as an office and craft area so I have to be pretty creative.  This tall stainless cart solves all my fabric and scrapbooking needs (and is also why my seedlings have been demoted to floor status this year!).  I still have the "craft hallway" just on the other side of that door for all my knitting and sewing paraphernalia if you recall that.

See the white table in the upper photo?  It has two leaves that fold down so it tucks nicely when not in use so the interior door can be left open.  When it's time to sew a small project now, I can flip it up without wheeling it into another room as you can see below.  For big projects like quilting or pattern stuff I can wheel it into the other room and open up both leaves.  I wonder sometimes how the hubs feels about sleeping under a tower of fabric.  Me?  I'm totally cool with it - if you are a fabric junkie you'd sleep tight too!  Today's project was simple though... create Bermuda shorts from Finn's old high-water pants...all 6 pairs of them!

He is still young enough to think it's cool that mom can do that!


How's that for some mileage out of pants?  First they were Loch's, then Finn's, now they are Finn's shorts - ha!  Thank goodness for those side tabs kids pants have now since he outgrows the length way before the waist.  Now that I'm thinking of it, some of those pants were thrifted, so that's even more mileage!  They were all khaki-style ones kids would wear to church and nice places so I think that's why they stayed in such good shape.

I do have a mental list of at least 3 bed quilts and a few mini-quilts I really want to make, but this coming week I will just have to dream, since my presence is required in the garden!

Until then, I will use my library card to dream in the evenings!

Apr 5, 2013

Rush was right...

HA!  Made you look!  I was referring to his disbelief in global warming... what the heck, where is the sun?  Where are the spring temps? It's raining here and 50ยบ, the same as every day. Hmmmph.

I know that slamming you with photos is not the proper way to blog but I have simply lost my way and am trying to find something garden related to talk about but it's been too darn cold and wet to get anything done, so here comes the photos of everyday drudgery.

The annual murdering of the seedlings - this never gets easier, does it?

I have been very, very lax in my dinner-making responsibilities lately, and this week I am trying to accept the fact that I don't have as much time to cook as I used to and am trying to get my freezer stocked up again with ready to go meals.  These enchiladas are some of our favorite, they are perfect freezer meals.  I prefer the green enchilada sauce, but it's hard to find here except W@lmart, and we all know how much I enjoy shopping there...

Actually, I did get to Wally World the other day to pick up my new glasses and I saw something that just warmed my heart... the safest little girl in the world! 

I'm so glad neither of them were looking at my camera because I really respected the whole protective daddy/little girl/gun combo and would hate for them to be identified by me.  This guy already has prom night mapped out for sure.

 Although I prefer to be more covert, we can open carry here in Virginia and many do.  It's Virginia, after all...we love our rights, forefathers, and all that jazz and are often found with pocket constitutions on our person!  :)  Yes, it's all true.

In other news, Finnegan wears a fedora everywhere now.  Everywhere.

 Who do you think brought this gem of a test home last week?  

"They're/Their/There"... flawless!

He is my kid for sure.  I am the grammar girl, and this was a proud day for me and I know you are proud ma, you are the original grammar girl!  Yes, I can talk redneck and often do now, but you better believe I got me "my papers" saying I had a clear command of the English language first - that's right, I'm certifiable!

Loch aka "Smarty Pants"

Oh look, there's me... this was fun times.

(pause for effect)

It's really not as good a story as it could be, I was chasing Sprocket the Rocket to grab her so she wouldn't jump on guests that had come over and I ran into a doorknob.  A big, lever style doorknob.  I haven't been this bruised since hazing was legal in the Navy and I made rank many moons ago!  Lesson learned here is to not attempt to chase Australian Shepherds.  Especially ones named 'Sprocket the Rocket'.

Last night I fed my starter.

This morning I am greeted with this:

Sense a pattern here?  I'm afraid to get on the road at this point!

Today was another rainy and miserable day so I went ahead with more freezer meals, and since I obviously don't know how to measure how many beans to soak for one batch, I ended up making a doomsday batch along with some sourdough rolls to have for tonight.

 Considering the mess on the counter, I knew my starter was ready to go!

Chili made with 5,357,399 mixed beans :)

Tomatoes were definitely the stars of this batch - 4 quarts of stewed Brandywines and 4 pints of Brandywine tomato sauce went in.  I have been trying to go through my stash of remaining canning jars so I can get them cleaned and organized and ready for the season, which usually takes me by surprise every year how quickly it comes.

I have dried red chills and dried chipotle poblanos stored and sealed in canning jars with a FoodSaver so I just floated one of each on top of each batch and fished them out when the chili tasted just right for us.  

I had already eaten mine when I remembered I needed a photo... luckily Finicky Finnegan wasn't eating anything except bread so I did get a photo!

I really need to get a grip on this bean soaking thing... at least there is plenty in the freezer now!

These will probably disappear quickly though since the hubs works odd hours now and needs to take a couple of meals with him to work.  Hence the beans, I could never afford to make meat chili for this guy to eat at work!  The best chili I ever made was with elk and one other batch made with deer venison.  I am embarrassed to tell this story but what the heck...

One time we got a bunch of beautiful West Virginia whitetail venison from a friend.  Frozen, wrapped beautifully, lots of it...  but some was unlabeled.  I had a big slab thawed out and was yapping on the phone with a friend, not paying attention... I had hacked a backstrap halfway through with little stew meat chunks for my batch of chili before I realized what I had done.  In horror, I hung up the phone, managed to save 3 nice filets but ended up making chili with venison filet mignon!  Hubs is like, this is really good!  It took awhile to tell him what I had done.  I still cringe thinking about the carnage, the pure idiotic lack of respect for a cut of meat that day.  You better believe when we grilled those remaining filets with a nice butter and scallion sauce... we ate very, very slowly - and to this day they were the best steaks ever.

Great, now I'm all upset again thinking about it...