Monday, November 29, 2010
This appears to be on the 'up and up'; if I have this wrong, please let me know. Happy reading!
Friday, November 26, 2010
The Give Thanks garland was completed and draped across the piano - notice anything odd about it? While K15 was reviewing pictures on the camera, she noticed that I had spelled give wrong - in this picture is is GVie Thanks. LOL I corrected here and left the picture as is - real life humor.
The only item made ahead of time was the cranberry sauce; ours is a combination of different recipes:
- 1 - 12oz. bag of fresh cranberrys
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
The turkey finished thawing over night and went straight into the oven. With better planning, next year will have a brined bird in the oven. In addition to turkey and cranberry sauce, we also had mashed potatoes, & gravy, mashed maple sweet potatoes, green beans, fresh bread, cole slaw, and a slew of cranberries salads and various deserts. Ten people total were over to help eat all the food with containers leaving with various families when it was all said and done.
Some much needed rain is now falling, the cookstove is warming the kitchen and that turkey carcass is getting cook down into broth. Today looks like a recuperating day mingled with crafting. I hope your thanksgiving was as enjoyable as ours!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Our Sandwich Bread
2 cups warm water (110F)
1/2 cup agave nectar (honey or sugar is fine)
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup light vegetable oil (your preference)
4 cups all purpose white flour (we use organic white whole wheat, germ still in)
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the agave in the warm water, add yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam, about 10 minutes.
2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Work in 6 cups of flour. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Use a little more flour if needed. Place in well oiled bowl, and turn once to coat the entire surface of the dough with oil. Cover with a clean damp cotton cloth. Allow dough to rise until double in size., about an hour.
3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place into two well oiled 9x5 loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
4. Bake in a 350F oven for 25 minutes. When you thump the top of the bread it should sound hollow.
Monday, November 22, 2010
In other, closer-to-home news, the new floor is laid and mostly trimmed out, the front and last row of slate for the cook stove is down and 'grouted' with slip, and Ronnie put together these cool lights for the kitchen. I found a picture online (Pottery Barn) and he created the light with $30 in parts from Lowes. This is not a project I could do myself as I do not speak electricity. Computers, yes... electricity...no. The materials for the floor redo cost a total of $0. Yup, the best possible price. Everyone needs a Ronnie - someone who knows people, can acquire materials for nothing AND have the expertise to install for the same low price of $0. It is good to be loved, eh?
These little tea light holders are more my DIY speed. I've seen these beauties on several different blogger sites and thought, simple, easy, cute - I can do this. These jars are the stout little salsa jars with the labels soaked off. We do not eat that much salsa - I save jars and lids for later use and this is one of those 'later' uses. Often times, there is some leftover sticky residue from the label removal - baking soda paste and a scrubbie bring it right off. A skiff of white glue along the rim topped with heavy duty jute twin to hide the twist-on rims, 1/2C rice to hold the tea light and voila; recycled glass. Add some punched paper snow flakes and jingle bells for a little yuletide dress up.
This quick little tea light project and 'new' kitchen have me inspired to recycle other items I have lying around the house. And that, my dears, is material for a later post.
Friday, November 19, 2010
|Nathan Jurevicius (artist)|
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Now to the kitchen; several more pictures were taken, showing a reduced number of 'dust' particles, each with their own design, though no blatant numbers - not that my limited software shows. We did, though, discover that a corner of the original flooring had been cut out; Ronnie's super smeller says it smells something like an old wood fire - I wonder if, at one time, there had been a fire in the house that damaged this corner of the floor?? The rest of the oak appears to be intact. Yes, that black is coal dust; We talked about using new planks to fill in where the floor is missing and decided that may look a bit odd. He was able to acquire oak planking from a friend (she no longer needed/wanted) so we will overlay the newer planking on top of the original boards.
Needless to say, our kitchen is mostly out of commission except for the sink and cook stove. All surfaces hold pans, utensils, drawers, and food. Seeing everything laid out prompts me to give away some of the pans; many which have been replaced by cast iron. Donating to a local, charitable organization would be ideal though not available in my area. I called one of the local churches and as it turns out the Christmas Mother has received requests for pots, pans and such. She explained that if the funds are not available, these requests will not be met so if the items are in good shape, though used, they will give these to families that can/will use them. SCORE!
I have to say that 'peeling' back time, making discoveries about this house, brings me great happiness; to wonder at the lives this house has protected, the stories protected within it's walls. *sighs* Wish I were a house whisperer.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I never know what to expect when I get home on class nights. Last night found the kitchen dismantled; everything, including the electric stove, was in the living room. The plan is for one more round of slate around the cook stove with the remaining heart pine floors receiving a stripping (I hope).
The brown paper currently over the wood floors is roofing underlayment a.k.a. tar paper; or that is what it looks like. If that is the case, I understand why this was laid down under the vinyl squares (insulation and leveling); does not make the stripping any easier. Ideas? We'd rather not use chemicals as we are living in the house while this 'renovation' is going on and the chemical smell would be too much in a closed-up-for-winter house. I had an idea that 'hey, if this is paper, perhaps when wet it'll come up like wall paper'. Umm. No.
Oh, and did I mention, that we are having family over for Thanksgiving on Thursday? Thank goodness I do not have class next week and can help get the kitchen reassembled. Ronnie's Mom is going to come over to help clean on Wednesday. *whew*
Monday, November 15, 2010
Yesterday's visit with my Mom and Grandmother was enjoyable though we ended up dismantaling part of the garden fence to spread the horse poo while Mom and Grandmother watched. Bell, our Belarus tractor, is really to big for our garden and we do not have a plow for her so a friend of ours is bringing his smaller tractor to plow the garden thus incorporating said poo. If the weather holds up, this weekend we will go to the Homestead Stables and collect a load of poo for both our garden and the neighbors. Yup, the poop fairy is coming to visit the Ward House!
Our newest addition, the piano, continues to be a big hit. Suprisingly, it was easier to find a piano tuner than a piano teacher. Our friend, Debbie (a retired music teacher) said she taught students to learn how to read sheet music first, then move to the keyboard. This will be a challenge for Ronnie and I; nightly he sits at the piano, practicing scales and I sit and just begin stumbling through, hoping my fingers will remember what my head does not. On, and since I know you are wondering why not take lessons with Debbie? She no longer teaches 'cause menopause took away her patience. LOL
Saturday, November 13, 2010
*whew* It took several minutes for my heart rate to return to normal. I thought that my luck, at not having a close encounter with a snake, had run out.
We were also able to locate a piano tuner person, who charges $85 a visit. I was about to ask if that price sounded right and then realized, around here, it probably did not matter; its not like there are a lot to choose from.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Not an original from our family; a gift from my friend (thank you Heather!). She and her husband even loaded it up and brought it all the way to Hot Springs. This lovely lady is a Brewster New York Cabinet Grand, complete with original ivory keys and an amazing sound. Heather’s family is growing and this lady was sitting unused and occupying needed space. I was so excited to receive her that once installed in the living room, I ran next door to borrowed a hymnal from the neighbor. My Mom and Grandmother are coming to visit this Sunday and promised to bring additional sheet music then.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for the music lessons. I can remember not wanting to practice or go the lessons; something I look forward to as an adult. My hope is to take some refresher classes and, since Ronnie wants to learn, find him some beginner classes.
Other exciting news!
The Chargers won regional play this past Wednesday and Thursday and so will host the quarter final State playoffs here in Bath County. Whoo Hoo! Winning Tuesday places them Richmond on Friday for semi final State with Saturday being the finals. So exciting! I’ll keep you posted.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
|Picture courtesy of Julieree.blogspot.com|
I was looking for a pattern or something to make one of these... hmmm. Don't believe there is enough time to knit this together.
My plan, at the moment, is to work on the little truffle holders at the very top. However, I do have a slew of extra yarn and the second garland appears to just be knitted/crochet'd rectangles folded like an envelope. Has anyone made something like that before?
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
|Picture courtesy of |
My rant was about how none of the current politicians have the desire to make the unpopular though desperately needed decisions to turn the economy around. Who in their right mind would give up a cooshie income? Notice how I did not use the word 'job'? Career politicians, imho, do not have jobs; they have a guaranteed income as long as they do not loose their gift of gab. Anyway, as I ranting about how they do not want to have the uncomfortable discussions and make the hard but necessary choices and in mid rant I noticed Ronnie looking at me with that 'so why are you handling your own girls with kid gloves' look. I do not like that look; it oozes I-told-you-so, a bitter drink that a spoon of sugar does not sweeten.
He is right, though. Yes honey, it is in print for all to see - You are right. As a person I avoid conflict almost at all costs; I try to provide the understanding and leniency that was missing from my growing up years. There are times, though, when the blatant behavior gets to be too much (K15, make sure you turn out the light BEFORE I pull into the drive if you are going to pretend you are asleep). *sighs* Both girls will outgrow this attitude as they mature. Pretty sure I did (or like to think so).
Which brings me to, having the difficult/confrontational talks are necessary and important, especially for the future. When, how, and vocab are all important. You remember the sticks and stones idiom? Well words can and do harm the soul; be mindful. Once spoken, a word can NEVER be taken back. EVER.
In looking for the exact sticks-n-stones phrase heard several years ago (how words are ____ that harm the soul), I found this interesting article at epistleus. It contains some biblical references, so if that is not your thing, well, ignore the link.
Monday, November 08, 2010
|Vintage Mermaid ornament|
- A vintage mermaid ornament from Mermaiden Creations. This piece is even more lovely in person!
- Renaissance magic giveaway over at Runesoup (on its way). I have to say that this author, in his Slouching towards Bethlehem post has me rethinking some of my thoughts about Christ and the church. He will step on toes so this post is not for everyone.
Another wonderful giveaway is being sponsored by Little Blue Hen - a years subscription to the Vegetarian Times. With the price of everything, especially meat, going up, becoming more vegetarian is going to be the way to go - more healthy and cheaper especially since we grow so much of our own greens here.
After all that work, I ended up with 3 quarts of kraut (lost one to a broken jar), and 3 pints of apple butter. A quart of fresh applesauce went to Ronnie's mom so she could cook up some applebutter. Oh, and that recipe from Mrs. Simmons was an amazing success!! Not overly sweet, just right. I have a picture saved to the other machine, so it'll get posted tonite... maybe.
The girls are on their way home from visiting their dad and will have practice this morning and into the afternoon - all in preparation for regional play that begins this Wednesday. Please pray for all teams to have safe travel and no injuries. Remember, even the opposing team's players are someone's daughter; I'll pray for those daughters as I hope someone would pray for mine.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Saturday morning I seeded the clover and then lay down 3 bales of straw to keep the mud from becoming impossible. The afternoon and into the night was volleyball district playoffs at James River Highschool; our girls placed 2nd in Division 2. A16, even though she had 300 more assists than the first team selection, made 2nd team. – am I bitter?? eeh hem. Because our girls were 1st in the division, not winning district did not take them out of regional play – that occurs this Wednesday at East Montgomery. In this picture, #s 20 and 24 are mine (as if I own then or something). =)
Yes, we remembered to turn the clocks back an hour, which makes more sense. Why do we even have daylight savings time? Mountain time doesn’t participate, so why do we? Today Ronnie is installing electricity in the coop so we can use a heat lamp to keep the water from freezing and I am canning kraut, freezing carrots, making apple butter,and apple cobbler while playing sporadic games of plastic bottle with Odis. There is still so much I’d like to get done today (studying, cleaning, etc) and will do what I can. *sighs*
Is anyone else still canning or is it just me?
Friday, November 05, 2010
When Mrs. Simmons stopped by today, she left with me the following recipe - I cannot wait to get home to try it! Baked in the cook stove no doubt. =)
1 C flour
½ C sugar
Enough milk to make a thin batter (or as thick/thin as you want)
A touch of vanilla
2 ½ tsp baking powder
I enjoy talking to the older generation and learning about how cooking was done 'back in the day'. So much know how on how to make do and use what one has.
In the bottom of a baking dish, melt butter; 1 stick for a large pan (13x9) or ½ stick for a smaller pan. Pour the batter into the pan, add your fruit and seasonings (sugar, cinnamon, and a shake of allspice). Swirl together and bake in a preheated, 400˚ oven for 25-30 minutes. The top should be golden brown.
I feel blessed.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Happiness is a mind set and a choice; not always an easy choice, especially when there is more month at the end of the money. I choose to be happy.
Yes, I've been doing many reposts from various bloggers; posts that touch me, get me out of living in my head to living in the 'real world', posts that remind me of just how little time we have here.
Snow is on the schedule for the next few days and we were hoping to sow white clover seed in the garden and in the large dirt patch that stretches between the stacked wood pile and the coop (it is now a muddy swamp). I am torn on whether or not to go ahead and throw the seed and straw down and see what happens or just straw and wait 'til spring to seed. In case you are wondering, I did not buy this seed online but at the Farm & Fuel in Covington (40 minutes south) and paid 4.99/lb. Seed online looks to be running about 3.99 for a 1/4 lb. Ouchies!
Advise? I am in a zone 5/6.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Pat's Theory of Anyway as relayed by Sharon:
Monday, November 01, 2010
I'd also like to thank Rue for passing to me the Prolific Blogger award. To copy Rue, I too am thankful to those who pass along these goodies and acknowledgments which are often not passed along or mentioned in a timely manner. If you have not yet met Rue, be sure to visit her site!
Despite the Halloween festivities, we accomplished quite a bit at the house: finished splitting the furnace wood, split more cook stove wood & kindling, used Bella to dig out the topped layer of mulch she had in her garden (she requested) and placed it in the gully between our two properties. With all the digging and since Ronnie and I were both out in the yard, I decided to let all the hens out to wander about the freshly dug dirt - talk about happy hens! They stayed close and ate a slew of worms, grubs, and other insects. Getting them back into the run was no problem - a few good shakes of the grain bucket got 'em runnin!