Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This is Garrett, he is four months old, loves to be hugged on by everybody, and though he is being raised an OSU Cowboy, he tolerates all sports affiliations.
We were going to bring him some WVU products, but thought his parents might not be so tolerant.
This is FabHub NOT napping in the middle of the afternoon.
He Claims to have been watching TV, but that eye looks closed to me.
This is a project that I started better than two years ago. There is a blog post from 2007 that talks about my progress toward finishing it. I told my sister to give me six months warning if we were going to need it since I probably would need that much time to finish needle work. I finished it last night at about midnight while we waited for Garrett and family to arrive at Mom's. HEY, it is done! Sort of anyway. It still needs to be washed, ironed, and attached as the cover to the scrapbook that will hold many, many pictures of the newest, cutest - my nephew Garrett.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
A few weeks ago we thought this was a lot of snow.
Turns out we were wrong.
This is a lot of snow.
Now it is Sunday night. School is closed tomorrow. Main roads are probably clear enough for me to get to work. Darn.
That is a lot of snow.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
It made really good syrup for the pancakes though!
Saturday, October 03, 2009
The plant that this watermelon came from didn't even have many flowers on it, and none of them amounted to anything - or so I thought.
FabHub found this watermelon just sitting out there doing nothing but growing. He let it grow until there was a threat of frost made him go out and pick it.
It didn't have much color or flavor, but it wasn't bad.
After my last Upside Down Apple Pecan pie adventure I decided to buy some real pie apples and try another pie and maybe a few canned apple recipes.
I made a normal pie last night (Friday 2 Oct) while FabHub was chaperoning a school dance. It ended up getting eaten by FabHub and the crew working on his brothers porch roof today.
The second pie is described below and the other recipe I decided to make is in the jars in this picture.
It is called Apple Pie Jam. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like it may be best used warmed up and on top of pancakes, waffles, ice cream or something like that. I was probably supposed to chop up the apples more than I did, but it looks interesting.
I think I messed up the first batch. I was supposed to boil the Sure-Jell and then add the sugar, but I added everything at once.
The second batch looks thicker, but since everything floated - well apples, sugar, and cinnamon it can't be bad.
The second upside down pie got the special treatment. I decided to not use a Jif pie crust mix like usual since they don't seem to stretch far enough anymore.
These are the apples that went into the pie. Two Galas, two Macintosh, and two Jonagold. A nice mix of sweet and tart. Next to them is the peeler waiting to attack.
The only problem with that peeler is that it is really messy to use on the counter top like that. I need a different set up that lets the peels go straight into a bowl or something. Back on the Minnesota farm I remember the apple peeler was clamped to the side of the table and the peels fell straight into a 5 gallon bucket. The pigs got all of those I think. I put these into a freezer bag until I have a big bunch so that I can make apple jelly with them.
After the apples are mixed with sugar and cinnamon they go in the crust. The 'bottom' crust is put on top. This is the worst pie crust sealing job in the world.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The last bit of summer has us fixing up the pantry and adding some jars to it. FabHub had planted a Concord Grape vine for his Grandmother when she was living here.
Earlier this summer when he checked those grape is looked like they had blighted. There was nothing but shriveled up fruit on it.
Then a few weeks ago he walked past the vines and they were loaded with fruit. Well, loaded enough to make up a few jars of jelly.
We really didn't need this much jelly, but we didn't have the right set up to make wine this year either. Maybe next time.
In other canning adventures, since my tomatoes blighted due to all the rain this year we didn't have to fool with them, so I got an idea about canning some potatoes. Lots of times I get home from work a little late and don't have time to make them the "right" way, so I end up not making them at all. We share a potato patch with my brother-in-law and our part is waaaaayyy to many potates for us to not eat them, which led to us giving the canned potato a try.I asked around to see if anyone had done it before and found out the in-laws don't like frying the canned potatoes or using them in a potato salad. After thinking about that for a bit it made sense. Because they are basically stored in water the starches will come out of the potato and cloud the water. I figure that when you use the potato without the starchy water the flavor would be changed. When I cooked a test batch I dumped the whole jar in the pot and added another quart of water. They cooked up pretty nicely and there were no complaints. They are a bit "stickier" than regular mashed potatoes, but still real. Since then I have read were some Internet people really liked the canned potatoes fried. So I don't know, maybe we will try that too. I could slice some up and can them that way, just to see what happens. It isn't like we will run out.
Events around the house include our work on remodeling the basement. Since we practically live down here it is about time we did some work to it. Right now the walls are painted block, there is a drop ceiling, and we heat the house entirely with a wood stove. That is not as primitive as it sounds, just really cheap way to have heat - most of the time anyway.
Part of the remodel is insulating the walls and putting up green board drywall to help keep out some of the creeping cool that comes through the blocks. That creeping cool is nice in the summer, but lets the house chill up too quickly in the winter. And in November, just in time for a 12.1% increase in our electric bill, thanks Electric Company, we are also installing a heat pump that will back up the wood stove. We plan on setting it at about 55 degrees in the winter and hope to keep the chill out when the wood stove cools off. Reworking the lights and furniture in the family room end of the basement will make the whole area better all around. The floors will get something done too, but we haven't figured that part out yet.
So the first step of the project is the walls. We started in the pantry by removing every thing and putting up some poly foam on the walls. We didn't add the dry wall in here though. Then we painted the shelves and put them back in the room. Next is figuring out what needs to get stored in this room and what of the "stuff" that was here needs to disappear. So far I have put back in the rest of last year's tomatoes - one reason this year's blight didn't bother me. The remaining green beans, new grape jelly, potatoes, and pork jars - yes, home canned pork. And yes, that is what I thought too the first time I saw it. Turns out to be tasty and a good idea. Anyway, I also added in my Sam's club overstock and all my picnic supplies. Progress will be gradual until we get the heat pump installed and then it should get really messy around here. I am sure to share pictures as we go.
When my mom came back from visiting her new grandson, Garrett and his parents (hi Kim and Steve), she brought me some apples that she had picked up somewhere. They weren't pie apples, but I used them in a pie anyway. Mom has also supplied me very nicely with Georgia Pecans, so I found a recipe called Upside Down Apple Pecan Pie in order to use both of them.
Very tasty. I will use pie apples next time though. The ones I used were to soft and kind of let the pie sink in.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
This is a metal flower outside of one of the stores nearby. Seems simple to make. Just have to find the right materials.
There is more to see in Mom's neighborhood, but I have posted most of those things in previous posts. There is the pig on the roof of the BBQ place and the double cannon by the court house. We didn't go back to those, been there done that. We did go see the new Harry Potter movie - the first day time showing in the theater.
My review - The movie left me hanging at the end just like the book did plus they skipped a bunch of stuff. I hope you read it before seeing the movie or some things probably didn't make sense.
On our way out of town on our way home we stopped at Jittery Joe's to pick up a coffee to go.
We used to go here for our Internet fix while at Mom's, but now we have wireless at her house so we still get Joe's coffee, but spend less time.
Some amazing and fun things that we saw along I85 start with this secure but crazy load.Not exactly sure this is legal, but it was sure worth the picture. That is a small SUV pulling a converted double axeled flatbed of some sort. It didn't look right even if it was legal.
Then I finally caught our favorite billboard in a picture.
There are about five Donate Your Boat signs along the road. Kind of hard to catch in the wild though. They were sneaking up on me along the edge of the road.
Then finally after 21 days, 15 states, two countries, and 4,000 miles we were back home again.
Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
What we found in our yard was just as Wild and Wonderful.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Some of you know that I live in the woods of West Virginia. FabHub and I have owned this piece of dirt since 1993. In all that time we have not had a Real street address. I posted previously that road signs showed up one day. Well, one day a short while ago I added a number on the house. When you order something online the shipping address needs a number to go along with that road name. So we made one up.
It just so happens to match our PO Box number. We tested out the address when my uncle sent me a package. It worked just fine!
We got access to a bunch of acres for the cows to graze on so that allowed us to add a couple of head to the herd. I like Red Angus, so Billy surprised me one day and said lets go to the market and see what is available. This is my new heifer, her name is Apple. I picked her out from a small group of mixed up girls that were there that day. She is beautiful - as heifers go anyway.
There was another red cow at that market. She was about 2 months pregnant and a little wild to say the least. She came into the show ring and ran all the men out. Good cow! With that attitude not too many people were willing to bid on her, Billy jumped on the chance and bought her.
She didn't show so much white from the show ring stands. She is here now though and for very good reasons her name is Raspberry. I am not really claiming her until we see what kind of calf she has. If it is a good calf and she is a good mom, she might stay. If not, we will at least get our money back when we sell the two of them next year.
This is my other Red Angus. Her name is Cherry. She has good black babies who have helped pay for a few things around the farm.
She lost her calf this year though. We don't know why for sure. Could have been a lot of things. We got a new bull that is a Gelbvieh/Angus actually called a Balancer because of the crossbreeding. Because Cherry lost her calf she is the first one who should be having one of his calves. We are looking forward to the delivery in January I think.
Now, all this cow talk about the different kinds we have running around here might have you wondering why I talk about the differences.
Here you see Raspberry, Cherry, and one of FabHub's cows. Raspberry doesn't quite fit in with the crowd out here. We also have no idea what type of bull she was bred to. She might have a Holstein calf for all we know. I will share when the mystery is solved.
Apple on the other hand, fits in pretty well with her new crowd.
The girls are all about the same size spending their growing days away from the bull for a while yet.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
As a recap, on July 11th we were visiting in Missouri. July 12th and 13th were supposed to be spent working our way home with the original plan including going by way of Kentucky. That change when due to a request by my mom after traveling to Ohio, Ontaria, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri - we were now headed to Georgia. That meant adding Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia to our trip. Try that one on your odometer for size.
Then FabHub says, how long would it take to go through Louisiana on our way?
I said, LOUISIANA?
He said, well, I have never been there and if it isn’t too far out of the way…
I said, HA! Yes it is out of the way!
So – on July 12th we headed down the road. Did you know you can follow US 65 from Iowa all the way to Louisiana? It is a very nice drive with a lot of it updated to four-lane highway.
We also saw this Toad Suck Daze mural.
The next day we decided to drive until we had to stop or got to Mom’s.
Breakfast (early), Lunch (9am), Dinner (12), Lunch (3pm), Supper (late), Snack (after dark)
It seems to be the same in northern Louisiana – a man in the diner told a boy to finish his dinner so they could get going. The boy really looked like his day had gone on way to long already. We all forget as kids how easy we have it in school until it is summer time and the work needs to get done.
According to a plaque at the site, this bronze replica, one-fifth the size of the Statue of Liberty, was commissioned by Frank Park Samford as the symbol for the company he founded, Liberty National Life Insurance Company. The statue was cast in Sommerville Haut Marine, France, in 1956 and was placed atop Liberty National's home office building in downtown Birmingham and then moved to its present location and dedicated on July 4, 1989.
She does take a beautiful picture.