Friday, July 29, 2011

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

I bought some more cherries last weekend, and this week I made a big batch of cherry pie filling.

I ended up with more than I'd meant to, 8 quarts.  That'll be more than enough cherry pie for the year!  I'll be sure to save one for next Februrary to celebrate Washington's birthday!

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Glue Storage Tip

Lots of glues that have narrow precision type tips can end up completely ruined when the adhesive solidifies in the length of the tip.

I always keep my dull and bent pins on hand in a jar near my sewing table to use to solve this problem.  I store the glue bottles with a pin in the nozzle and the cover over that, to ensure that it'll stay open and unclogged.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

It's a fact of life (ha! See what I did there?) that not everything you try will turn out.

What I'm finally learning in the garden this year is that I've been seeing my food growing attempts as one big win or lose, but really, it's a lot of different small attempts that may succeed or fail independently.

I was feeling down cast at some gardening fails: the onions rotted from the inside out before I even pulled them, I have not been able to get a single bean plant to live, despite trying three varieties, those darn rabbits are causing all sorts of trouble, I was late transplanting the tomatoes a good 90% of the seedlings died afterward. I was seeing that all add up to one big statement, "The Garden is a Failure This Year."

In reality, I also have cucumbers growing like kudzu, and the first watermelons I have yet to be able to grow.  Hot peppers, bell peppers, egg plants and surviving tomatoes are thriving, and the carrots and potatoes were both moderate successes.  We ate more peas this spring than any other so far, and I've protected lots of sunflower seedlings into sunflower toddlers so far, and all is going well with them.

So when the garden never seems to be living up to your dreams... ;)

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Solutions

I don't have much working out to report, because my neck pain and cramping continued right through the week.  It finally loosened up over the weekend though, and I'm so glad to be able to turn my head again.  I'm really looking forward to getting a work out in this afternoon, after I get some other work done.

I'm making some healthy whole grain, real food snacks today.  I've done homemade Larabars, according to this recipe, and I'm planning some peanut butter granola and some power bars with oats and puffed brown rice as well.  I have the bad habit of not snacking, and then I get too hungry to think, so I either eat junk or I don't eat at all.

My two solutions to this are to really cut back on the junk we buy and to make sure there are easy to prep and eat snacks on hand.  I already don't buy most junk food, we don't keep chips, desserts, candy, snack crackers etc in the house, but I am a master of making junk food out of innocuous things, like graham crackers.  Eating the whole pack is not a serving!

And speaking of the real food/whole food thing, I think it's sad and indicitive of how too many people cook and eat that my go to calorie counter website automatically assumes that store bought canned cherry pie filling (made with HFCS, of course) is what I mean when I put in "cherries".  Really?  Since when are those not a fruit first?

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Am I the only one who leaves the newly canned things out on the counter for a day or two just because they look pretty?  And show off my industriousness?  hehehe

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Fruits

I've been working this week on cherries and peaches, since they're so inexpensive and in season right now.  I dried about 7 lbs of sweet cherries, which almost filled this two quart jar.

We also picked up a little more than a bushel of peaches.  These I dehydrated, froze and canned. We dried slices, puree (for roll ups), and shreds.  The shreds because my blender broke and I finished my dehydrator load with the salad shooter. I froze a gallon bag of peach quarters for throwing in smoothies, and canned five and a half quarts of slices in ultra light syrup.

I think I'll pick up some more cherries this weekend since they're still on sale.  I'd like to can some as pie filling and brandied cherries.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunflowers

I like to plant sunflowers and dry and save the heads for the chickens to have in the winter.  They produce a lot of high oil feed for a fairly inexpensive price, and they're entertainment too. I hang one just above their reach so they can jump and peck at it. One will jump and knock seeds out, and the others will all scramble.

I had to fence the new plantings because Damn Bunny has been snipping every seedling that comes up right off at the dirt.  Very frustrating!

I had three volunteer sunflowers come up in the middle of the yard this spring and I cut them and hung them up to dry last week. I will keep any useful volunteer, no matter how oddly placed in the yard it might be!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

So It's Come to This

Oh, my poor neglected blog, I do love you.  I just seem to have lost touch of how to show it.

I've been unhappy with my blogging (non)performance lately, and have come to an important decision regarding how to proceed.

I don't want to quit writing.  I love blogging, and I really enjoy reading blogs, and I hope that my blog can be enjoyable for other people too.  Not to mention, I use it as an actual log too, and I often look up my own tutorials, techniques, dates, and recipes.  It's helpful in my senility.

So, I don't want to keep haphazardly limping along, and I don't want to cut bait altogether, so this is my new plan: Theme Days!

I'll assign a certain theme to each day of the week and post about that theme.  I'm always more creative with restaints, and it'll be good to have a prompt of sorts for ideas.

So here's the schedule I've come up with:
Monday-Workout Log/Fitness/Health (this is uncommon content for my blog, but Ben and I have both wanted to lose weight, and I feel like it's time to start taking working out more seriously, since I've often felt this summer that I'm literally not strong enough to accomplish some of the things I want to get done)
Tuesday-Gardening/Building/Outdoors
Wednesday-Crafts/Sewing/Knitting, etc.
Thursday-Cooking/Baking/Canning/Recipes
Friday-Open  Probably a photo or quote.

The new schedule starts today!

So I'll start out with a whimper unfortunately, lol.  I have no working out to report today, since I can't move my head or shoulders without pain right now.  I have an inherit bad neck, and every once in a while, it'll just go wackadoo on me and cramp and spasm up.

I have been working out fairly regularly for the past three or four weeks now, though have not worked up to the duration that I'd like.  I've been doing twenty to thirty minute routines, and would ultimately like to be doing an hour at a time.

Also, I'm on the lookout for some work outs/activities that Ben and I can do together.  He doesn't like the things I enjoy, like wii fitness games (gold's gym dance, exerbeat, just dance) and dancing workout dvds.  And, though I don't mind using them, his preferred exercise is the treadmill and the exercise bike, and of course we can't do those at the same time.  I'd mostly just like to ad in an activity that we could enjoy together to get us up and moving, even if it's not strictly exercise.

Hope my readers will like the thought of a new schedule!  I'm looking forward to some structure to keep me accountable and give me inspiration!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

TCB

We headed to MI this past weekend to visit family. We timed our visit especially so we could attend the Elvis Festival in Ypsilanti. I so totally loves me some Elvis, so I was so excited I sewed coordinating shirts for Ben and myself.

I'll post more details of the sewing soon, but here's a detail self portrait for now. I did my hair in a faux rockabilly sort of style. Matching hair scarf, Rosie the Riveter style, pompador.  It was a lot of fun to get dressed up in a new way!

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Friday, July 01, 2011

In Honor of the Grand Old Fourth

Have a safe and happy weekend!

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