Sunday, September 21, 2014

A "cute" break...

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Hubby took this photo of our niece's puppy and a cat on his phone the other morning. I thought it was so cute, even though the quality of the photo leaves a bit to be desired. Maybe one of these years we will be able to get a phone that actually takes GOOD photo's...but I won't hold my breath! LOL

Loved this one even so, so thought I'd share it for a "cute" break from the canning/wedding posts I've had lately! ;-))

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Chaos

Crowder State Park...looking for the best place for wedding photos I snapped this photo of the lake.

Life seems to be in chaos right now...time is slipping away, and we are so busy between the wedding and canning that I'm looking for that peaceful life we used to lead...till our niece moved in with us temporarily...which is turning into a bit longer than temporary it seems.  I love her to death...but kinda miss that boring laid back life we lead before she interrupted our peaceful existence.  LOL

*sigh*

Oh well...God has his plan, and I'm trying to trust him and enjoy the time we have with our niece as much as I can...even if I do get exhausted sometimes by the drama that seems to come with having her here.

We drove around looking for the perfect spot to go for some wedding photos the other day and this was one of our favorite spots!

We went to pay for the wedding venue the other day, and then drove around looking for the best place to go for wedding photos after the ceremony.  We found the perfect spot...on a bridge by the water.  It will be even more perfect if there is GOOD fall color by the wedding!

Course, I'm a little worried about being able to get good photos.  Between being out of practice, and my camera being old I sure hope I manage to get something decent on the big day.  It seems to have some strange pixels these days...and I STILL can't afford to get a new camera, so I'm still using my first dslr that I love...but it's just not the new ones I'd LIKE to have.  LOL  I so want one that will take movies too...but that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now.  Thankfully Abbie isn't real picky...but sadly I am, and will sure be disappointed if I can't get some good ones for her.

Abbie working on the mints for her wedding!  I've made a bunch of mints for at least three different weddings over the years, and each time Abbie got in on helping me...I guess it's fitting that we finally made them together for HER wedding.  :-))

We do have the mints made and in the freezer now...and are working on the cake. This week should see it in the freezer, and hopefully some practicing going on with frosting and cake decorating tips. LOL Before we made the mints, we went looking for new molds for making cream cheese mints cause I didn't have a heart shape and Abbie kinda wanted one but it seems that cream cheese mints are "out of style" or something, cause we couldn't find any molds in the stores and when we asked they acted like we were stupid for wanting them. LOL

 Oops, I guess I'm a bit behind the times as usual. ROFL

 That's ok, I still love the mints, even if they are not "in" at the moment. I've made them several times over the years, and each time (somehow) Abbie seemed to get in on helping to make them, so it's only fair that we finally make them together for HER wedding...even IF they are not in style.

If this wedding goes off without a hitch...I'll be somewhat surprised, but you know, it's the screw ups that make the day memorable, so thats ok.  Course, in the drama that surrounds us at times now, the wedding was canceled for a very short time...then was back on, so I guess nothing will really surprise me at this point. I can't say I will be sad for it all to be over...I want life to slow down a little bit again, so I can savor the fall color when it shows up and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

Hopefully we can enjoy a peaceful fall, once the wedding is over...and maybe even, if we are lucky....get back to normal around here!  Is it even possible?!  LOL  Time will tell!

This week we have a couple dr appointments to go to, which means I won't be around to help my Mom with her tomatoes since she plans on doing more on one of the days we will be gone, but will have to get a couple bushel of apples into our freezer, between cleaning and making sure we get more done for the wedding.  I also need to decide if I actually want to BUY a few tomatoes so I can make a little more pizza sauce and maybe diced tomato's before we get a frost and the tomato's come to a stop.  I wouldn't hesitate...but I'm afraid we won't have time, so haven't decided what to do yet.

I just finished up getting some beef broth canned, cause we butchered a problem steer last week...a bit earlier than planned but it worked out good so that's ok.  I cut up almost 4 gallons of meat into cubes and turned it into corned beef and then canned it and WOW, it really turned out GOOD!! LOVE it!!  I had made it twice before with a roast, and baked it in the oven, but this time I wanted more so decided to do it this way, so it was ready to grab when we wanted some.  It really makes great corned beef hash with my home canned potatoes too!  ;-))

That's just a few of the things I've been up to the last few weeks.  No time to update most of the time, but decided to get an update in here since Abbie is gone for the weekend and I had a little time.  Course my "quick" update, turned into a short book but what else is new!  LOL    :-))

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Exciting Times!

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We've been canning up a storm here, but we've also been planning a wedding!!! Our niece is getting married, and since she is living here for now, I'm getting in on the fun!

I never thought I'd be in on planning a wedding this much since we weren't blessed with kids, but since Abbie lost her Mom this summer and is living here, I get to enjoy the fun planning and shopping trips her Mom should have been in on. She told me earlier today she didn't think she could have gotten married this fall, without our emotional support, because she misses her Mom and couldn't do the shopping trips by herself since that's something a mother and daughter usually does together. I totally understand that, cause it was fun shopping with my Mom when we did MY wedding shopping all those years ago.

I do feel for her though...cause I know I can never "replace" her Mom, and I'd never try to. Hopefully I can help ease her through this sad yet happy time though!


Abbie is just having a small wedding, but we found the venue for it and it's beautiful! If all goes well, it will be an outside wedding, with the reception inside. If it's bad weather then, we can have the wedding right there where the reception will be...but we both are hoping for good weather, and hoping the fall color is popping really GOOD when the wedding date gets here in October!

With canning still in full swing...and the wedding to plan for, needless to say we are BUSY!  Money is tight for everyone, so we are trying to do this in a frugal manner too...but yet still give her as many nice memories as possible.  My hubby (who's Mom used to own a bakery...so he's had experience with making wedding cakes) will be in charge of the cake decorating.  It's been a few years since he's done that kind of thing though...so will need to do some practicing before he starts on the cake.  LOL  However, that will save some money, AND give her a nicer, larger cake for the money which is great.

I'm going to be the official photographer (poor girl!  LOL) so hopefully I can manage to get a few nice photos for her.  I'm so out of practice lately...so we will see.  I warned her she may not get anything GOOD...but she is ok with that, so I'll just do my best.  It's not like when our other niece got married...I wasn't going to deal with her Mother so I said I wasn't going to be the "official" photographer.  Besides...it's more fun that way for ME.  LOL  However...I know there is no money for a different photographer, so I will pray that God guides my hand and lets them turn out.  If it's nice weather so we can have the wedding outside, there will be a better chance that they WILL turn out, as my outside photos are usually better than the inside photos.  :-))

So anyway, cake is figured out...photographer is chosen *roll eyes*...venue is reserved...and invites are printed.  A little bit of shopping has been done...but still have lots to do as soon as we have the money together.  More plans will be made over the next little over a month, and cake and mints will be made in my humble kitchen.

Exciting times are certainly here!  Now you know what's been keeping me busy...not much extra computer time for me.  LOL  We will see if I can update at all before the wedding date gets here.  And yes...I realize I always have an excuse for not blogging lately!  *snicker*

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Canning Season is well under way!

We've done a BUNCH of canning the last few days...this is only PART of what we got canned up!

The first couple days this week wasn't to bad in the busy department...but then we got hit with lots to can, and we've been busy, busy, busy!!

We've canned 101 quarts of potatoes for Mom and I, 40 quarts of green beans (for our niece Abbie...cause DH and I can't stand the things...but since she loves them and I'm trying to teach her to can too, they got canned this week also) 48 pints of peaches and a few of the left over pickle relish we did last week. Today we are finishing up putting the last of the green beans through the canner...and doing a few more potatoes for Abbie. The photo is only part of what we canned. :-))

Praising God for the bounty we were blessed with this week!!  Love canning season, although this week was kinda brutal...I was tired but so far so good on my foot pain not flaring up so I'm extremely thankful to not be fighting that while getting the canning done.

Gotta get off here...just thought I'd do a quick update, since it's been awhile!  LOL  Life is Good...and we are blessed...and have a good start on our winter's food supply already!  :-))

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Belle turned 1 today!

Belle getting her
Peaches and Belle getting Belle's birthday cake!

Today, our sweet little singing troublemaker (Belle) turned one! She has sure added fun to this house...more trouble than we have had in some area's with our fur babies, but lots of love too which makes up for the trouble. LOL

She loves to play, sometimes it seems she is non stop playing...if she can't get someone to play with her, she finds something to play with. I see her tossing her toy's up in the air, flinging them around a lot and running to get them again. It's so cute, seeing her play by herself.

Belle eating her birthday cake!
Belle eating her Birthday cake. She sure looks like Autumn in this photo since her ears are back.

DH had to run to town today, so he went to the bakery and asked if they had a couple small cupcakes that weren't frosted so we could give our fur babies a special treat since it was Belle's very first birthday. (Peaches 4th is coming up at the end of the month...hard to believe we've had that special little sweetheart for almost 4 years already!)  They enjoyed their cake and it vanished quickly.

Belle has been entertaining us lately by singing.  We started watching Star Trek Deep Space 9 on netflix and when the intro music comes on, she will sometimes sing for us.  Even going so far as to throwing her head back and howling at times.  It's only during one spot in the music...and not near as long as I'd like it to be, but it's so FUNNY!!  LOL

I actually got her to sing with a youtube video I watched this morning, but didn't think to have my phone ready to capture it on video (since I didn't know she was going to do it)...it was longer that time, and would have been great to have a record of it.  LOL  I did get a decent one of her singing to the deep space 9 theme music...just haven't gotten it off my phone yet.  If I ever do, maybe I'll upload it and share it on here.  Anyway, she has sure been entertaining us with her singing lately.  She talks to us a lot too, when she wants something, not by barking, but with her strange little talking howl that she has.  It's priceless!

All in all, it's been wonderful having Belle in our lives...it's always an adventure when you have fur babies!

Happy Birthday Sweet little Belle!!  :-))

Monday, July 07, 2014

A good weekend!

A cat my Dad gave us enjoying the beautiful day!

We had a good 4th of July weekend here on our hillbilly farm. We had some lazy times, and not so lazy times but all in all, it was fun!

The 4th saw us helping get some of Dad's Hay picked up out of his field, before rain came. It wasn't to hard, since it was only part of the field. With us all getting older, I think Dad is planning on doing small bits at a time, so it's not so hard to get done and into the barn. When we do a whole field at once it's a pain to get it all in the barn in one day.

That evening (of the 4th) Mom and Dad came over to our house for an evening of food and fun. We had supper together, then played games, then went out and sat in our front yard watching the neighbor's and people in the nearest town shot off their fireworks. It was actually a decent show, between the fireworks and the cats! LOL We have a kitten that was enjoying playing while we watched and the older cats hung around too...till it got dark enough and the fireworks started anyway.

Gotta love living on top of a hill...so we have a decent view to watch fireworks from! ;-))

It was an enjoyable evening and nice to spend time with my parents. We don't seem to do enough of that, even though we now live close to them. We keep busy and time runs away from us all I think! LOL

Abbie and I made some egg rolls to put in the freezer, instead of buying already made ones for a change.  It was so much nicer making these with help...I can do them by myself, but this is one of those times I'd rather have someone distracting me from the boring task of rolling them...not to mention helping to fry them.

Last week, before Abbie went to visit other family, we made some egg rolls. I've made them by myself before, but it was sure nicer having help this time. They were good too! We froze most of them though, to be eaten over the next month or so with stir fry.

I like cooking by myself, some things...like today I am trying a new supper dish, guess I was in the mood to cook since I was here by myself without distractions...but some things is just more fun to do with company around to distract you from the boredom of doing the same thing over and over again. LOL

I do tend to get more "creative" when I'm alone in the house...which could be why I've not really been in the mood to "cook" or try new things lately...with Abbie being around...however since she is still gone I took advantage of my "wanting" to cook by opening pintrest and choosing a new dish to try.  LOL  Love having company...but also love my alone time!

I really need to make cheese...I've not been making it much lately, and GOT to get back to it.  Was going to this morning, but once I got some things done and had time to I wasn't really in the mood too.  *sigh*  LOL

I did however get a batch of my Grandma's Lime pickles started!  Dad planted a bunch of cucumbers this year and they are just starting to produce.  They are really GOOD this year too...nice and crisp and juicy!  Loving eating them raw...and will enjoy getting some canned up too.  I'm planning on making several batches of lime pickles...then making some more dill relish...then...we will see what we do.  I have a feeling, if they produce well, Dad will have them coming out his ears, with the number of plants he said he planted...but that just means we can eat bunches of them raw too, which will be wonderful!  I do LOVE cucumbers!

Before we know it the tomatoes will be starting...can't wait for them either and am hoping we can come up with a bunch of them too!  I'm almost out of salsa, so really need to be making a bunch of that this year...we may have to buy some tomatoes from someone else though for some of that, depending on what Mom and Dad's do.

Nothing major going on here, just the usual stuff...including making butter several times a week, for the freezer, daily use and my Mom when she needs more.  Love having that butter coming in, even if I don't always want to take the time to get it made.  LOL  Least I'll have it this winter, if the cows dry up, although I still have a ways to go to have enough for that.  :-))

Anyway, hope everyone had a good holiday weekend!  Better get off here and finish supper!  ;-))

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kraut Pounder

I finally used the Kraut Pounder my Dad made me last fall...it worked WONDERFULLY!!  So much better than the meat tenderizer I tried using last year for lack of anything else to use...the cabbage got a LOT more jucy with this kraut pounder, and I didn't dent my metal bowl with the corner of the metal meat tenderizer.  LOL  LOVE IT!!

I finally got to use the Kraut Pounder this week, that my Dad made me last fall!! It worked wonderfully well! The cabbage juiced up a LOT more than any of the other cabbage I've used for sauerkraut has when I made it before, using a meat tenderizer to beat it. The metal meat tenderizer made a little juice...but not much, it was however good at denting my metal bowl...which this new wooden kraut pounder didn't do so I'm happy with it for that reason too!

It's so much easier to use...and also helped me pack the cabbage into jars, cause one end fits in my wide mouth jars (the other will fit in a narrow mouth...although I don't usually use the narrow mouth jars for this) and I can push down on the cabbage and fit a LOT of it in to a quart jar.

If you make sauerkraut or anything like that and have ever wondered if a Kraut Pounder is worth getting...let me just say, after using mine....YES!!!  It really does help!  :-))

Thank you for making it for me Daddy!!!  ;-))

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