Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Wonderful Day!!!

I had the most wonderful time at Mrs. Bashaw’s garden party today.  She is a friend (and garden expert) from our church.  All of the ladies from church were invited, and I think I counted about 14-15 of us.

First Mrs. Bashaw took us all on a tour around her garden and woods.  Her landscape is absolutely beautiful!

Then we all went inside for a potluck sort of lunch.  Yum!  We also sang some favorite songs together as we all sat around in a circle in the cozy little living room.  I enjoyed that immensely!!!! 

These ladies are so much fun.  I love each and every one of them.  We just about chattered and giggled our heads off (as girls tend to do sometimes J) and in general, had an awesome time of fellowship  together!

Joe's World

If you know Joe, you really know him.
If he starts talking, look out, because he almost never stops!
Here’s the first edition of “Joe’s World.”  I know I’ll have to do more of these, because he comes up with the silliest, cutest little things all the time. 

In part, this describes our dear little 4 year-old Joe.

In Joe’s World:

Shoes are always worn in the wrong feet
“Churches” mark the weeks (i.e. 1 church = 1 week, 2 churches = 2 weeks)
There is giggly nonstop chatter every day all day.
Things aren’t worse...they’re worser.
Pants are always put on backwards (and shirts too sometimes)
PB&J would be eaten for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 
You haven’t seen anything, you’ve sawn it. 
Snake hunting and catching is a daily affair.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Agenda 21

Sustainable Development.

It almost sounds nice….but it is very sister.  This is a good video explaining Agenda 21.  From what I see going on in the world right now, we are on a very swift path toward a “one world order” and “globalization,” and unless somebody does something about it, all sorts of creepy things are going to happen.  Kids are being educated in a very different way than what they used to be.  Did you catch that part with an excerpt from the math textbook? Disgusting!

It’s all about the earth now…she’s more important than human life.  Indoctrination.  That’s what these socialist/communists are counting on to get the next few generations to comply to their schemes with robot-like submission.  They’re smarter than we oftentimes give them credit for.  The people involved in this Sustainable Development stuff aren’t stupid, they have an evil agenda.  And I have to say they’re doing pretty good at accomplishing it. 

Garden update 8-29-11

Cherry tomatoes!

A big heirloom slicer of some variety.

I'm leaving some pods on the bean plants so that I can try saving the seeds.  I have a row of pinto beans I'll try to dry and save too. 

This sunflower must be over 10ft tall!

Some pretty gladiolas

Loads of tomatoes!

These are a funny-looking variety of paste tomato. 

Sugar pumpkins!

Walla-Walla Onion

A few more funny-looking tomatoes :-)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Garden Stuff

It’s been so much fun to be able to can with my own dill weed and garlic this year!  Now I just have to grow and dry cayenne peppers, make vinegar, and find a salt deposit somewhere on the property J

Unfortunately, to this point, my pepper plants have never really thrived or grown more than a foot and a half tall.  Maybe I just need to start them earlier in the season

This morning I harvested and canned about a 5 gallon bucket full of green beans.  They're producing like nuts!  I think they and the zucchini plants are having a contest. 
Hopefully I'll have enough pickles to start sweet pickles soon.
I spent part of the day yesterday trying to get my tomato plants under control.  I can't believe how full of tomatoes those things are.  If everything will ripen in time, I'd have to say this is the best year I've had by far...despite the crummy weather. 
Will post garden pictures soon!

Zucchini Bread

It cooks much faster if you make them into muffins.  I have noticed that oftentimes when baking a large-ish loaf of very moist bread, (like zucchini) it gets overcooked on the outside though the center of the bread is still doughy.  Muffins or mini loaves seem like a good way to go!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
3 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce
2 ¼ cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yesterday's Events. 8-25-11

It’s been an exciting couple of days.  Yesterday I went to babysit at the Dakers.  That’s ALWAYS interesting.  I spent 8 ½ hours there cleaning up grey paint all over the kitchen, bathroom, and Emily’s dress, cleaning red cool-aid off the carpet, telling Michelle to stop climbing on me and braiding my hair into knots, asking Emily to stop unloading everything in my purse, and occasionally begging for mercy at the end of a plastic shotgun. J Mrs. Daker didn’t seem surprised when I related to her the more serious events of the day.  Is that what it’s always like for her I wonder?  I suppose that’s just life with toddlers.  I kind of expect a 6 year old to know better than to paint all over the house though.  At least she didn’t chop all of Shelly’s hair off like she’s done numerous times.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re sweet (and most of the time well-behaved) kids…I guess yesterday they didn’t feel like being good. Ha.

Sweet Valerie went to help Mrs. Jerke clean house. She spent the whole time dusting each side of the blinds in her living room.  When Mr. Jerke brought her home, guess what she did?  Started cleaning the carpet in our living room.  Which is a HUGE job, and took her the rest of the day!  She’s amazing.  We were both pretty exhausted at the end of the day.  Both of us are going back to Mrs. Jerke’s today to do some more cleaning.  We’re glad to do it; Mrs. Jerke is so dear to us.  
That’s it for now folks!  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Ukulele!

It finally came in the mail last Monday.  Learning to play the little thing has been very easy, and so much fun!  I can already play any song in the key of C and most in the key of G :-)  I can easily play I'll Fly Away, In the Sweet By and By, Life's Railway to Heaven, Someday My Ship will Sail, I saw the Light, Turn your Eyes Upon Jesus, When the Saints Go Marching In, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms...etc! 

 It's been a little tricky since I'm so used to the chords on the guitar...they are quite a bit different on the Uke.  And you can see in the picture below how different it is as far as size!
I really want to learn to read the notes so that I can become good at finger picking.  I love the sound of finger picking on the Ukulele.  This particular model is great quality and fairly inexpensive; if I decide I like it enough, I may try a concert series type of Uke.  This one is called a "banjo" or "soprano" Ukulele.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Garden Update 8-21-11

I think this jalapeno pepper is about done!  Now I just need the tomatoes to hurry up and ripen so I can make some salsa.

These giant sunflowers are so much fun!

This is a funny looking Gladiola.  It's the only flower bud on this plant that survived the 'late night snack' some deer had a couple nights ago.

This is what it should look like.

It's hard to see in the picture, but there are a bunch of sticks next to the pretty yellow gladiola...they used to have bright salmon and pink flowers on them.
Used to.

I SO want to wring that deer's skinny little neck.

I know that's not a real kind thing to say, but I've just about had it with those thieving, sneaky, plant devouring critters.   I don't think animals were included when the Bible said not to return evil for evil. lol

I love these perennial sunflowers!   

LOADS of tomatoes!

Oh yeah.  These are the fishies we caught on our pontoon boat trip on Friday.  They're pretty nice-sized trout.  Kyle's going to clean them here soon, and we will probably have them for dinner!


Today I canned the first dilly beans of the season.
I'd put a smiley face and an exclamation point on the end of that sentence if 2 of the 4 jars prepared today didn't break during processing and spill out all the beans in my canner. :-(
Oh well.  There'll be more beans soon. 

I should be able to make some sourdough bread with this starter tomorrow.  Yay! 

The other nice thing about being able to blur the background with my new camera, is that all of you guys don't have to see the piles of laundry, boxes, papers, and the general dis-order of our kitchen sometimes.  Funny thing is, often I don't realize just how messy things are until I start trying to take pictures...and struggling to positioning myself so that there will be the least amount of clutter visible in each shot. :-)

Frozen Pies

It’s been SO HOT up here these last few days!  It was over 90 here on the hill yesterday, and I have a feeling today will be just about as hot.  I’m not used to it at all!

But it isn’t raining, so I’m not going to complain.

Needless to say, I haven’t been all that excited about turning on the oven and baking food (and myself and the rest of the family) in the house.  So, I found a couple cool treats to make for these hot days ;-)

Lemon Icebox Pie

1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture into crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and mint leaves if desired.

*Suggestion.  Don’t go out and buy a prepared crust.  Simply mix together some crushed graham crackers, a little butter and sugar, press into pan and bake for a couple minutes.  Course, that just defeated your purpose of not turning on the oven.  ;-) Oh well.  It’s just for a couple minutes!   

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
¾ c. peanut butter
3 oz cream cheese
1 ¼ C. confectioner’s sugar
½ chocolate chips, melted
12 oz whipped topping (thawed)
Cookie crumb crust.

Mix all but the whipping cream together.  Fold in the whipped topping :-)
Refrigerate for 3 hours or more.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Couple of Fun Days!

I've had a blast babysitting for some friend the last couple of days.  I took Timmy and Joe up with me, which made for a total of 6 kids between the ages of 16mo. and 8years old.  What fun!  Despite what it might seem, it's actually easier to babysit a whole group of (well-behaved) kids than it is to babysit 1 or 2.  They all play amongst themselves and aren't fighting for my undivided attention as much.

Amy said they're going to Montana...and taking the chicken to the sale barn there ;-)

I'm not sure I ended up with a single picture in which everyone is looking and smiling at the camera. Oh well!

I can't believe how big Kimmy is getting!!!

Here we are terrorizing the chickens

Now we're "fishing" in the water tank

Shelly is always picking up flowers and rocks and berries :-)

Some pretty wildflowers Shelly gave me.

We picked some salmon berries and blackberries on our hikes.

Amy was certain we were on a deer trail.  I was...not so sure.  I didn't see any sort of a "trail."

This is probably one of my favorite pictures!  I love the barn in the background.

Here we are playing Hide-and-go-seek.

And "red-light-green-light"

I probably have 10 or more pictures of the kids all running through the fields.  I just love it!!!