Monday, July 21, 2014

Survived

Thought I was going to die on Friday. The smoke from the fires in Washington made their way into our area and even tho it was breezy out, I was reminded painfully I am in one of the sensitive groups that need to be careful of the conditions. Ended up wearing a disposable filter mask just around the house since breathing started to get hard to do and was a bit painful.

Luckily the weather got better on Sunday in that it rained, so the air locally cleared and since it cooled down and rained elsewhere in the region, gave the fire fighters a bit of a break. Esp when the winds calmed down.

Been seeing the pictures out of Washington, YIKES! Luckily a number of aid groups are on hand to help people out, there are lots of people donating money and goods for the people who lost their homes and the Washington National Guard was on hand to help with the bigger fires.

In my quest to make extra money, I am currently putting together a gluten free cookbook with recipes I have come up with and adapted from my favorites. I will be selling it as an ebook and so far have about 18 recipes. I will be illustrating it with the pictures I have taken of the various recipes and will write a little bit about going gluten free and adding any tips and tricks I have discovered along the way. Not sure when it will be ready for publication, but I will let people know when it is available. I just now have to actually formalize a lot of my recipes. I tend to wing them most of the time now.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

I'M MELTING!!!!!!

Well, not quite, but I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad for air conditioning. Been a wee bit hot here lately. My tomatoes are loving it, I swear most of them are growing a good 6 inches every day. Now they just need to start producing 'maters and I will be very happy.

We will be having a cool down this weekend, so I can get a lot more puttering in and out of the house. Did commit yellowjacketcide last night, they had several nests at the front of the house over the steps onto the porch. Committed thistlecide this morning. A fair sized patch next to the road in front of the lawn. Poured quite a bit of vinegar on them and the heat today should finish them off.

We are glad we snow coated the roof last year, that has helped to keep the temps inside down a bit. Usually inside and outside matchup at some point, but it is usually staying 5-10 degrees cooler inside this year. Giving serious thought of painting the whole trailer with snow coat hehehehehe!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

New pets

Baldfaced hornets took up residence in my shed sometime in the last year:

Baldfaced hornets nest

Going to leave them alone for the time being. They aren't assholes like yellowjackets, tho they can be pretty vicious if they are bothered. Since I know they are there, hardly go into the shed and they have pretty much run the yellowjackets off we will see if we can co-exist.

If however they start causing trouble I will bug bomb the shed and have a cool nature made art piece for display purposes.

The small nest going up on my porch however will be taken care of. That one is WAY too close for comfort.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cool words to live by

SnapKnot
Courtesy of: SnapKnot

Nap time

Scrapper & Phoebe curled up on the new love seat:

nap time

WHOA!

Last day of June already!?!?!?!?!

Ah well, gotta get used to summers zipping by faster and faster. They used to be long, long days when I was a kid.

Puttered a bit this weekend. Cleared two drawers and winnowed my boxes o'stuff down quite a bit. The boxes that used to be under the bed are now in the office closet for storage. Still have to rotate tchotkes on the shelves in the living room. Will be putting my dolls from around the world up for a few months. Then my horse collection.

Tossed some dried pinto beans in the slow cooker Sat night. Since they were going to be slow cooked, didn't do a pre-soak. Just sorted and rinsed them. Added some dried onion and a small dried jalapeno and turned it on low. Sunday afternoon I pressure canned 4 qts of beans. I hope they came out okay. Only one "pinged" right away, I couldn't hang out as long as I would have liked to see if the other ones did also. The other 3 spent quite a bit of time still boiling once I pulled them out of the canner.

Problem I had was the timer somehow got turned off when I started the timed portion of the canning process. I know it was at least a half hour or more when I discovered the problem (we were more than half way thru Murder on the Orient Express with David Suchet), so I set the time for an hour and then took my time turning things off.

So fingers crossed.

Saturday we made stuffed burgers. Chopped up some bacon and added that to the beef and then stuffed them with cheese and mushrooms. Cooked up enough for 3 more meals. Just have to pull them from the freezer and re-heat in the microwave. Definitely working towards better meal planning again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Zooming along

1st off, new blog: Purple Ducky Designs & Photography on Wordpress. Finally decided I needed a blog dedicated solely to my shops, art and photography.

So June is almost over, another week to go. Been a not bad month. Been decluttering, we upgraded to a king bed with box springs this last weekend. Which meant we sold the pedestal, so no more under the bed storage as the new bed sits directly on the floor. Which did cause a new problem. Went to hop into bed when I came back from a middle of the night stroll and forgot the bed is now 1 1/2 feet lower than it used to be.

Needless to say, the end result was quite painful. Luckily I still have the crutches from my knee surgery a few years back, so now I am remembering why I hate crutches in the first place. But my right knee is getting a bit better, so I should be back on just the stick in a day or two.

Tomatoes are growing fast, can't wait to see flowers on them. My walking onions are going great guns again. Need to go thru and thin them. Dry the green and dry and powder the bulbs.

Successfully canned turkey stock. Borrowed a pressure canner from a friend and got 9 qts and 2 pints:

Turkey stock

used one of the pints in a chicken recipe the other night. Can't wait to get my own pressure canner and start canning up food to use over the winter. We are getting a 2nd deep freeze, a chest style, so we'll now have lots of room for bulk food storage (and with any luck a deer or two). Next skill is water bath canning, should be easier. I've lots of berries in the freezer to turn into jam. That canner I have, a small one, should be just the right size.

Been learning how to use my camera on other settings, got a wonderful one of Rum Tum:


I am loving the images I am getting now.





Saturday, June 14, 2014

Monday, June 02, 2014

Ahhhhhhhhh!

My summer is in full swing. I have my Fridays off and have been enjoying my 3 day weekends. Mostly puttering about the house and hanging out with friends. I've started opening up the house, it is so nice to sit and drink coffee on Saturday mornings and listen to the birds sing and feel the light breeze coming thru the windows.

Doing more decluttering, took a box of stuff to Hope Center and dropped a box of record albums off at the used record store to see if they want to buy any of them. We don't have a turntable anymore, to I saved a few of them, such as all my autographed albums and my Jesus Christ Superstar movie soundtrack. Also the 45 rpm of City of New Orleans by Arlo Guthrie that I had signed when he played in Moscow a number of years back.

Yesterday was pretty laid back. Not intentionally, but that is how it was. Slept in, went to a farewell BBQ for friends who are moving to California, took pictures of the ducks there:



had a fun time. Went home, crashed for a couple of hours and then next door for our neighbor's birthday BBQ. Spent the evening watching Pie in the Sky (we are into season 2 on Acorn.tv) and processing photos. Still have LOTS more photos to process.

My tomatoes are doing well, they love the spot I have them in. Will have to get more pics to show their progress.