Thursday, March 31, 2011

my birthday was great!!

i got so many well wishes and presents (i'm having a present right now....wonderful coffee)..... bernie and i had a good time
i scored 5 vaseline green depression glass sherbet cups for 10......for ALL 5
yup......2.00 each!.... (most depression glass sherbet cups are about 10.00 up), now this picture doesn't do the color justice, but if you know anything about depression glass, you'll know that bright yellow glowing green i am talking about.....and i am so not a green person..... maybe it's the protracted winter, and missing my garden but i am so liking this green now....
the lady who helped me said....she's a collector of green depression glass and didn't see these.....if i didn't take them she was....i took them
how could i not take them? she too wants to go shopping with me, cause she says i have 'good eye' that's being said a lot lately....but i do love a good bargain, and i think giving new life to old stuff is a good thing too

the other thing we did was go to look at sheds and such.... the 'salespeople' at the shed place couldn't be bothered with us....but we had a good time looking at the sheds and wondering if we could just get one to plop down out back......really at some of the prices it pays to have them just deliver it
we got me a birthday cake at shoprite in town...it was seriously BAD..... ewwwwwwww
they didn't have cannoli cake so we got an 'italian' rum cake....NOTHING like what italians call italian rum cake....at least nothing i grew up with
but all in all i really did have a blast

today it's raining..... tonight is supposed to be 5-10'' of heavy wet snow... and just to make sure we don't forget who is in charge..... ice and sleet as well!
yes mother nature we realize you are having hormonal issues
we still love you dearly

in our travels yesterday at the antique mall, we found SEVERAL sets of decent china (services for 12 too!) at less then 60.00 per SET.....not place setting .....PER SET/SERVICE for 12!!!
really it doesn't pay a lot of the time to buy new....when so much used/vintage stuff is around.
it's a shame too that these sets have almost never been used...seriously, if you folks saw what i saw yesterday.....there is so very much around.
it would be cheaper to buy those sets for an event like anniversary or wedding, it would be less then renting!!!
every table could have a different set!
i also saw so many things that i owned personally with amazing price tags on them!
a small bootonware bowl mom had that i have now.....28.00 (they are crazy as mom didn't even pay a quarter for it-she got it at the factory, a set of three sizes in cherry ) we used it to mix up pancake batter in! we just used it sunday for that.
i'll think of mom and home and continue to use it.

now today, i am continueing half ass spring cleaning..... and putting stuff up sorta
since we don't have ONE CLOSET,.........not one in this house
i am trying to find spots for all the trappings of modern life, plus the full pantry of vintage life...editing stuff out..... etc....
this is a very small house but a lot goes on in it.....my studio... a full and complete pantry, the tools of preserving food, making soap, making art...... our personal stuff like books and clothing.... oye....i need a good closet.....i mean it! that's why we were looking at sheds... i figure.... ok we'll have a closet....but outside or along the back..... that way we rotate seasonally!
since i doubt we can afford a kitchen and an addition this year..... i am just hoping to afford a midrange kitchen remodel!......
but a shed......now that we can afford....and boy did we like what we saw.
(actually if we got a decent sized shed, we could have half as a closet and half as a shop for bernie and his lawn mower/snow blower etc....which means more room in the duck room for DUCKS!)
so everyone .... (donald are you still around? email me ok, flicka you too)
i have to start my day..it's late now
i hope yous all have a wonderful day....and remember tomorrow is KITCHEN measuring day
oye
til next time
vi

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

oh wow!!!!

i got so many happy birthdays!! i used to hate my birthday, but now i am kinda really liking it!!!!
bernie stayed home, he got me a card......it's a very very pretty one with gardening pictures and a birdhouse on it
we're getting measured to find out about a kitchen which i am hoping will happen this year (and counter tops)
the sun is shining!!! (although it's cold out)
and while i'd hoped we'd clean today...... it looks like we're going out to do something
what i don't know though
it's too early for the annual easter budgie trip (we need two boys this time)
too early for the garden center or herb farm run.......... and too cold
i don't dare go to the bookstore (you all haven't seen how many books i have)
or the yarn store
maybe we'll go to the other antique mall in town
although there is a used book store and luncheon place down in easton that looked pretty cool..........
ahem
we'll see

up next, the holden shawlette pictures. nice huh? free pattern on ravelry...... sock yarn..... wow... i like variegated sock yarn, but since thaddeaus peabody has decided to eat all my hand knits (with socks being his absolute favorite) i decided not to give him more fiber in his diet...... can you blame me?
so i got all this sock yarn......pretty pretty sock yarn, just begging me to knit it.... enter shawlettes..... which i swear were invented by other sock knitters who now have 97 billion pairs of socks and live in places like florida......(they got that book about knitting triangular shawls and there was no stopping them then) this is one of the better patterns. there are a few others i found that worked well but for most variegated yarns ......some sort of feather and fan derivative seems to be the best. So this holden was worn........a LOT....... i love  the colors too, matches my purple winter coats
there may be another one in my future... i wish i had more of this yarn which i can't remember what it was....i would make a hat to match......maybe trim on mittens as well........ i really need to start matching hats to scarves since i ALWAYS wear a hat .........even now i got one on.......
so i thought you folks would like to see the holden (you can thank susan.......she reminded me.......i still owe animals pictures but at least you got some knitting pictures.....no?)

right now bernie and i are having a discussion about what we're going to do today...looks like it's going to be the antique mall........ since i am not much of a movie person...(now i wish he'd taken the week off no?)
maybe the amish shed store or the 3 season room store?
hahahahaha
i am hoping this year is truly the year of the kitchen and home improvement......
well everybody, i think we're off now
(ok we're always off...but you know)
ttyl
vi

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

the natives are restless (and hungry today)

and it's cold!
i told bernie not to start the stove as i was going to come down and clean it....which i did
but not until the cats came up and bounced all over me......
'getting UP mom???'
(that would be thaddeaus)
'ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmoooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm' (that's calpurrnia)
'mommy, you ok?' (that's fawn)
 and everyone is pointing to their open mouths and obviously empty and STARVING for ten years bellies.
as i type thaddeaus is sitting on the back of my chair and tapping my head occasionally ***hey mom, remember me....?***......... not for them any dried kibble in a bowl.....they spurn that! (ok fawn is forcing herself to take a few bites of the kibble as i type)
meanwhile i am trying to wake up enough to clean up the cat puke that someone left thoughtfully in one of the fancy feast bowls........on the shelf.....oye
and i am trying to make the woodstove warm us up enough so i can think a bit beyond 'SHIT IT'S COLD'

now bernie and i have been discussing what to do tomorrow for my birthday.... we would ordinarily do the bookstore, craft store, pet store circle... (you know,....some of the important stuffs)
and i got a flyer in the email for 33% off or so on borders.......
so i kicked around the website a bit

(and thaddeaus just moved to the arm of my chair as obviously tapping my head wasn't working for him....maybe grabbing my mouse arm will?*** nope he's going for the 'stick my face in mom's ear and eyeball move***)

and i would like to know.....when we have been reduced to THIS?
we live in the most amazing country in the world, in the most amazing magical times......
even with a lot of us out of work and worried.....we still have opportunities that a lot of the world couldn't even begin to dream about.
and since i too am guilty of kevetching about stuff......
i am going to remind me right now
 a medieval peasant slept on a straw pallet on the floor...... could not read nor write. and lived a LONG hard working life cause of the hard work, and healthy diet..unless a bad accident (like a stray arrow from some stupid asshole's power struggle) or the plague got them ......simplified yes but still.........
two hundred years ago, the average person usually ate the same boring thing over and over.... standing up a lot of the time.....their lives were hard work, and a LOT dirtier then we realize...... sanitation wasn't like it is now. most folks today haven't ever smelled an outhouse..or a leach field that needs to be ......ahem, 'take care of '
let alone pigs
in my parents childhood (dad would have been 100 this year) illness was a serious mortal problem..... no antibotics so folks died of things that we cure routinely today
i would have been dead long ago as i tend to go septic..... and DID at 17
childbirth deaths, childHOOD deaths.....

we don't have a lot of that today..... we still have accidents, yes and we have cancers and world events..... but our lives are so far removed from the simple daily  struggle to survive.
i guess this is me saying......gee i have to stop and remember, how good i do have it
even though there are things like my kitchen from hell that drive me nuts
i have a roof!
i have food
i have warm clothes and good shoes (no closets but i got clothes ........all over the place !!!)
i have a new mattress.......(although climbing onto the bed at night is monumental since with the new mattress it's higher then my hips are!)
i am surrounded by amazing little beings that love me (bernie included)
that willingly come over to be petted and kissed ....... all different species! how cool is that?
i have wonderful friends...... some come and go but still they are wonderful while they are here (i think of it now like classrooms, some folks change their majors and focus )
i have bernie......who even though there are times when i want to crack up his skull to see the two squirrels fighting over the acorn (cause he sometimes says something so impossibly ridiculous as to make me sure there aren't brains in there) and then follows THAT up with something so remarkable insightful that my head just spins.....or something so thoughtful that i am just totally blown away

i am thinking that really..... whoever had that whole 'gratitude, count your blessings' idea was on the money...
i don't think wealth or more 'things' make us happier......
i think realizing just how much we do have that is tailored by the universe JUST FOR US, is the most amazing thing
how even the challenges put before us are so totally OUR OWN that there can be no doubt that there is order and purpose and a plan bigger then we are
and although i at times suspect that some of the events in my life are the blooper reel for the universe's holiday party.......
occasionally i get to step back in awe and see the merest hint that there is a REASON for it all.......even if i can't quite grasp what it is

ok tomorrow..... come on and get here!!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

two more days and bernie's home!!!!

for a day off.
we're still trying to decide what to do for my birthday
we've decided to do the actual celebrating next weekend........which is between both our birthdays........we decided to repeat our anniversary dinner as it was so good
i do have to say, chores get done so much faster with his help, and i don't do evil things to my shoulders or back when he carries water buckets down the hill for me
i can't wait until the hose is back out there.
he did make a comment 'where did all this mud come from,? it's cold out'
after i stopped laughing
and retrieved my muck boot from the mud that had it caught........
i explained to him that
1) he's not spending enough time here and in the yard
2) it's sucking mud season........ it's always like this, at this time of year
that's how you know it's spring!
he wasn't impressed
although he did laugh at the ducks running through the mud on tippy toes, frantically beating their wings to keep the rest of their feet out of the mud
yes i know
i have weird ducks

yesterday we had a pretty calm day, we made breaded chicken thighs for the week (package of 12, he'll eat two for each meal, me one--- so that's two suppers and two lunches) so it works out to a dollar a meal..... (although i can do better if i want to)
i've told you guys before about my 'coating' for oven fried stuff, but i'll repeat it

1part cornbread homemade and dried out in the oven (or cornbread stuffing like pepperidge farm)
1part shredded wheat
1part old fashioned oats

grind this all up into 'crumbs'
then we usually add:
garlic powder
onion powder
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
parsley flakes dried
mix it all up very well- and we store it in either canning jars in the fridge or zip locks. and we use it EVERYWHERE breadcrumbs are called for. so it is a coating for chicken, porkchops, etc. plus i add it along with pureed veggies to meat loaf, meat balls, meat stuffing in peppers or cabbage leaves, sprinkled on au gratin topping.......see EVERYWHERE!!!!
not only is it more interesting but it's also got a lot more fiber and i think nutrition.

and we bake anything coated with this in the oven..... with olive oil in the pan, flip it half way through cooking

yesterday also, fawn caught a mouse..... i told her to kill it while she had it but no...she had to call the others.......who ignored her.......so she dropped the mouse.
then caught it again and started with the calling of the kittens......needless to say the mouse got away.....no worse for wear but possibly a bit damp

next month i am ordering fresh mouse bait
i also need to get vanilla beans too, and quart sized vacuum bags for the summer.
next month i absolutely must make the appointment for the last two surgeries..... yup i am sorta procrastinating huh?.......well damn wouldn't you?
i still have the two surgeries to go and then the routine three month cleanings
oye

i think i would feel better if one thing got started already.......no?
if a load of wood was in and stacked
or
the new storm was hung (and the front door painted)
SOMETHING
although we did the rain curb on the driveway...but the snow plow came and took part away again  (we need to put huge boulders) but the basement is still flooded
and i want the pens finished so the chickens can also go out.

right now i'm waiting for coffee
it's about done. it's getting light out but looks cold...not quite rosey fingered dawn yet,-i want to recheck the paint chips on the front door again.......
i ruled out almost everything except one blue and one purple
but they both still are not quite right
i really do love that english plum on the door now.....but it is dark and maybe it's time for a change no?
my childhood home always had a wedgewood blue door...... the last few times we painted the house i mixed the wedgewood blue myself.
but that color doesn't work on this house at all.......nor does it suit me
the blue i was looking at is like a caribbean ocean blue in the sun........ that seems to be ok
and a red/lilac/purple
i may actually have to try them one after another and see which is ok......good thing they sell them tiny sample pots of paint
i'll know when the color is just right.....it sort of clicks inside me......and i feel hugged
does that sound as weird to you as it does to me?
well what do you want from an artist?
ok folks coffee is ready
have a wonderful day

vi

Sunday, March 27, 2011

what no snow? is mother nature ok?

cause we were supposed to....
then we weren't supposed to..... what's up with that?
well i am glad there is no snow
now onto the weekend.........
we shopped for storm doors.... we settled on one that is almond, has polished brass hardware (yes i know i'm out of date but i like it) is a full view......and is 297.98 (+6% sales tax so it's 315.86)
we can get a 10% tax energy credit........ when did storm doors get so expensive?
but i really want a storm door on the front now, for various reasons that have to do with cold/frost/winter and also for mold on the front door and being able to paint etc.
we'll be ordering it i think in two weeks
while we were looking at storm doors we also made an appointment with them to come measure for a kitchen......
and guess what? it's not going to be no 2K........ we're talking more ........a fair amount more.
oye
so i am most likely going to have to talk to the bank anyway for the balance....
oye again
but i need a kitchen......i am more then willing to compromise on the doors *but not the guts of the cabinets* and the counter tops feeling that i can replace the counters and do something interesting with the doors at a latter date.
(or paint them all cream and glaze them with that sort of golden/brownish/dirty glaze i do on doll bases and the mini carousel horses i used to make)
 we also picked up paint colors for the front door
bernie wants to ditch my favorite beautiful beloved english dusty plum......
so i got samples of various yellows, periwinkles, purple/violet/lilac/lavenders
and a pear green
i don't know how that ended up there as i really hate green for the most part but it's pretty yellow so that may be it
really though at this point, i should pick colors that look good with the seasonal mildew on the front door........
i am hoping the storm door alleviates some of that
and under the category of 'wanting it all'
the color needs to work with seasons too......the plum works with all holidays and seasons
i am thinking that the yellows may not
possible the blues either
which really does leave the purple family
and i suspect that the colors i brought home are too bright, (in other words my beloved clear pastels) that due to the oranges of the bricks etc...... i may need something grayed a bit...plus we are going to paint the trim that almond/cream
which sounds boring as hell but believe me with all that's going on visually with the front of the house due to the stone........ it's wonderful and welcome.
all the trim and the gable siding is that EXACT same color.....for a reason.
but the door needs to be different.
actually a bright raspberry like in the living room would probably work pretty well if we can get the mold under control.... or maybe a glazed over raspberry?

now also while out, we found a sale on chicken thighs (.99 a pound so i got 6 pounds) i'm planning on breading them and oven baking them today, with a few extra for the week

bernie picked up some of my china yesterday......one more package is on it's way
i unpacked it sort of on the fly as we were going to put the ducks out and head out to town. i was amazed at that service for 4, it was extremely clear that the seller had lovingly packed that up...... carefully and completely secure...i swear that box could have survived an earthquake i think without a chip to the very delicate china cups
it's amazing...... i was in a haze of vintage china induced rapture. ( and anyone that loves china will more then know THAT feeling....)
i know
i owe yous all pictures
and i can't wait to get that living room cleaned and the china squared away so i can use it all.....(the table is covered with the results of my little gluttony  spree of birthday present shopping....but at least it's for the house no?)
i also realized, now i am going to have to plan meals around all the pieces so i get an excuse to use them all! ahem........ some stuff is small so that means much smaller portions (another plus with vintage china)
anyone have any ideas what i can use the cream soup bowls for (in addition to the obvious?) maybe some sort of appetizers

do you guys start with appetizers? i do a lot.......not every meal but definite often
i like spinach dip that's a good one
stuff mushrooms i've done too
cheese balls
i do sometimes use a salad as one

what makes a good appetizer? it should stave off the worst of your acute hunger i suppose but not enough to fill you up before the meal
i will be hitting the vintage cookbooks soon
(love vintage cookbooks...... pre-1960 is good.......pre 1950 is better.... war  years, depression, 1920's and back to about 1911......the older ones i think are too confusing but i have a few and anything that starts the chicken soup recipe with 'pick a plump former laying chicken')

***sorry i accidentally published this prematurely)
now bernie is taking wen off as it's my bd
i don't know what we are going to be doing but i am sure something will pop up interesting.
following that we'll most likely just spend the day together
maybe wandering around in town.......maybe just staying home.

bernie is in the kitchen making blueberry pancakes, i have some blueberries that i frozen and some i canned, he is using the canned ones.....
as the frozen package that's upstairs is measured for a pie
(not that i am good at piecrusts....mom was.....her lemon meringue was legendary)
but if i keep trying maybe maybe someday......?
although blueberry cheese cake sounds pretty good too don't you think?

anyway, that's sunday for you
i hope some of you guys post some appetizer ideas for everyone
ttyl
vi

Saturday, March 26, 2011

8.00 for a chandelier yup yup

vicky and i went to town yesterday, we had lunch at dunkin dounuts (they have sandwiches now)
and went to the 'antique' mall
first off the plate guy isn't there.....i was heart broken as i was so looking forward to the red transferware he had.
but i consoled myself with a chandelier....it's brass plated, it is BRAND FREEKEN NEW......it clearly has never been used or wired into a ceiling. and it was 8.00
so even if i paint it, add a line switch, and plug, then swag it....i am still so far ahead of the game!
i am going to put it over my drafting table i think!
now what color should i paint it?
cream? 'oiled bronze' (actually i don't like dark colors much) there are even 'mirror' spray paints....how cool is that?   maybe orange to go with my halloween inspired studio?  or how about decopage it with TOILE???? or old sheet music?   i mean for 8 bucks and it STILL works......
then i treated myself ( hey birthday month you are allowed) to two lefton ducklings..... the one with the open mouth reminded me so much of lilli, and the other one of phoebe. i just love their chubby baby cheeks.... i love chubby cheeks on a duck i swear...... aren't they cute? (those are pictures i got off the net, right now i can't take any of the ducks or chandelier, but i owe you all pictures)
i decided that next easter i get the lefton rabbits and the year after the chicks.... and i am going to use them as table decorations. i have a few little rabbits and things i have gotten over the years, not many but a few....one rabbit lives in the bathroom on the shelf. he has a broken ear but we just love him.....bernie got that one

so that was my huge shopping trip, we had a blast- we were laughing so hard as we talked, naturally the talk got around to poop, as it always does with people who keep animals and garden.......and FIBER cause not only are both of us knitters and spinners but also we are at that 'certain' age when fiber is our friend....
well you know things always get funny when bodily functions start to get discussed

we plan on doing this more often.

well today is sorta partly a big day, i got the notice that the china is at the po. bernie naturally is lingering over his tea.
i am trying to not bug him to go to the post office..... i've said something a few times though.......just mentioning that my packages are there.....
OHOHOHOHO
i made the BEST pork roast last night
wow it was wonderful...... jen had gotten me some rubs through her pampered chef thing..... one was citrus basil and i being at my wits end for something different, used it on the pork roast
wow
it really was good!
i was shocked!
she also picked me up a cookbook from tastes of home, that was on sale for 4.99 PLUS 15 % off and she had a free 5.00 off coupon so it's ok sorta, as she didn't spend any money on me
(i feel so bad when folks spend money on me)
i don't follow recipes but i do read them...... just to see how they are using ingredients and that.....most often i end up muttering 'they are crazy' but hahahahahaha
that's just me
i started to look through it last night, and i like all the pictures. it's in a three ring binder sort of thing that is pretty cool and reminds me of the old betty crocker red and white ones. i'll let you know what i think of the actual recipes......because stuff that says 'open a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a packet of onion soup mix' are not recipes in my opinion
and they aren't even food! unless of course it is your own home CANNED mushroom soup base, and your own home dried and powdered onion soup mix.
the commercial stuff is way too full of chemicals and too expensive to qualify

actually making your own 'convenience foods' are pretty easy if you are willing to do a bit of work but the good news is....you do the work once in a while......so you dry a bunch of veggies and make up some mix packs
or you can up a bunch of mushroom soup/gravy concentrate and then you're set for a year
i can't recommend doing stuff like that enough, as it saves money on food and utilities, plus it does in the end save time.... because with your own stuff you can throw a meal together FAST ....... and it's all homemade not full of crap and chemicals

ok bernie just left for the post office---------- i am so excited....
very shortly i will be opening birthday presents!!!!
i wonder, is it wrong to be so old and still be all excited over birthday presents?
i am so excited....i can't believe it

hahahahaha
oye

btw, thaddeaus peabody has kept his full coat on now ALL WINTER.....that is a first for him.
we attribute it to the olive oil in his daily meal- while he still looks like he came out of the dryer without a dryer sheet..... (he's a laperm what do you want? they all pretty much look that way) it's a FULL coat......even his little poochy belly.
i swear i love these little cats so much, thaddeaus sleeps in my arms pretty much every night, right between bernie and i.... fawn on my feet and calpurrnia on my knees...... i can't move but if they aren't there i don't usually sleep

here in pa, winter has apparently returned with a vengeance, no snow now supposedly this weekend but bitter temps, shit it's cold....... we are going through wood again. but seeings as it is the end of march already the wood should last through until may.  however NEXT year i want 12 cords in and stacked.
i am going to start getting them in as soon as there is no danger of snow...... we're going to have wood all over the place but i'll feel secure

ok folks enjoy the weekend
i hope it's warmer where you all are
vi

Friday, March 25, 2011

shit it's cold! part two

21 out there....... pretty chilly in here too.....about 65, and since i didn't trust bernie lighting the woodstove this morning (good thing too) i'm up, down here and stoking the stove.
today i am to go to lunch with vicky and then if we have time....shopping at peddler's village....... where i will most likely find the set of red transferware of my dreams....but not be able (again) to afford it
but as this is about the END of my birthday month.......maybe one or two wall plates can follow me home?
oh and we're to get more snow
i have to laugh because after YEARS of no snow winters, we get a normal one and even i am upset now
not hugely but a bit
in 1993/1994 we had the MOST snowy winter EVAH........so in may of 1994 we bought from troybilt, (back when they were made here BY troybilt) a snowthrower......7 year warranty ......so we used it like 2 times throughout the entire warranty.......
then in 2001, our furnace blew up (9 year old furnace...this house EATS THEM) we replaced it with a furnace that had a 5 year warranty, so winters were VERY MILD...........no snow naturally- ski resorts went bankrupt! (seriously)

then in 05 we put in the woodstove.......that had i think a five year warranty on some parts and lifetime on others
it's just the last what? two years we've had some actual winter?
i attribute that to having to get wood in and ducks out

now as to the chili i was making yesterday...... apparently i had gotten a bad bag of beans ( say that a few times fast....... oh man) and after i cooked them..... i saw that at least one of the bags had livestock in it.....i thought they were ok when i picked them over.....although i had a lot of broken ones that i tossed
i rinsed them well and looked them over again.....
boiled them and drained them....... at which point i thought that the liquid was really darker then normal.......i should have realized then
but i didn't so filled the pot up and set it to simmer
at about 3pm i decided to look at the beans......put a few in a bowl and noticed something odd....like a tiny whitish cigar sorta
after i got sick to my stomach (no i didn't eat them ........i am pretty sure the chickens will like them)
i put the beans on the side to cool enough to feed to chickens
we had hot ham and cheese sandwitches dipped in eggies and fried until the cheese melted and the sandwitches were golden
so i have no easy leftovers today
which i had planned cause i am going out with vicky.....
oye
meanwhile i am still cleaning ...... i can't stand up in one place too long or i have issues with my legs.......bad ones
so i have to putter..... (i also can't sit too long.....i have to get up and down a LOT)
i did cobwebs upstairs (used my new 'cobweb but looks like a witches' broom on them....damn that thing is heavy) washed more slats on the mini blinds bernie nailed to the window..
took care of ducks and chickens, polished silver, swept the floor, stoked the woodstove, did endless dishes, started those damn beans, cuddled calpurrnia who was very clingy yesterday, (she was so upset until she got to sit on me for a bit)

oh and btw, this list is more for me then you all....i know i did more but can't remember what.
today i have to get the ducks out as early as i can, so i can take a shower to get ready to go

i also remembered that when i was younger, i used to do almost all the stuff in the house or apartment......paint, wallpaper, refinish the furniture, make the curtains etc...
i am going to have to start to return to all that........bernie doesn't really have time to paint so it looks like i have to do it
i hope he'll do the floors though-and help me move the big furniture
i'm still in the middle of having china on the table from the china closet (which is a corner cupboard that we don't have a corner for but i love too much to get rid of)
i am trying to figure out where to put it .........
this is the time when most of all i really feel how small this place is....when i tear it apart to clean or reorganize......the 'tear it apart' part is the killer here
there isn't any room to tear it apart
oye

well i think the stove is finally serious about waking up,.......and i need some coffee
i should post pictures of something for yous
but i didn't take the picture of the amazing blue sky yesterday......totally amazing shade of blue
so you'll all have to forgive me

oye
vi

Thursday, March 24, 2011

and more snow....and SUNDAY snow

and monday snow.....and mushy snow and squishy snow....
how many words for snow do the inuit have? over 100?
tell me about it

this morning i am again struggling with my woodstove, bernie said he couldn't get the stove to light. i came down to RED COALS...... ummm, did fairies come in the morning to spread magick hot coals in my cold, but really actually warm inside woodstove?
oye
meanwhile i got it packed with wood, so we should have liftoff soon......it's not actually icy in here but it's not real warm either.

one of the cats was sick last night, both ends.....upstairs in the hall and bathroom respectively.....i suspect calpurrnia as she was extra clingy yesterday (like i don't already have 3 velcro cats, and 6 velcro ducks, but only one velcro chicken out of 5 birds......)
so today their hot fancy feast is without olive oil

(and the heat is gradually getting diffused throughout the studio from the now cooking well woodstove)

i'm also having an issue with my printer, as it doesn't want to print individual pages- i thought that the whole printer was toasted until i tried a practice page then a single page out of a single page file
but it won't print a single page out of a MULTI page file..... temperamental printer!
oye............. oh man OYE

i think today is a chili day.....what do you guys thing? I have to soak the beans and boil them an hour for it but i think it's a chili day...
the meat is defrosted, i just really would have to do the beans.......as i am saving my home canned ones for emergencies.

ok i have to start my day now
you folks have a good one

vi

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

snow again? it's because of the 'mother nature' remark isn't it?

AND the plows dug up our curb we just replace........bernie did try and put it back but i think it's a gone-er
yesterday i washed the kitchen curtains ... then hung them on the line, they dried in about 10 minutes. 

***NOTE*** they are polyester sheers with maple leaves appliqued on them-use really hot water (if they are washable) and some dishWASHER liquid and soak them, then rinse them very well. the dishWASHER (as opposed to something like dawn which is dishwashING liquid- you want the stuff that goes in the machine) takes all the grease, and grime and yellowing OUT.

it took a while to get the ducks out as they were not cooperating. ok.........so when do the ducks all actually cooperate at the same time?
i don't know.... 
and remind me again? why do i love these little feathered dictators so much...... ever single one of which have the personality of either ms piggy (or on a good day-kermit the frog)???????????

i planted more, .....chard and spinach and mache........
did MORE dishes......(where do they all come from?)
and scratched my head about where to put the dishes from the china closet... deciding to probably put them in the OTHER china closet
then i got to thinking
i bet there are a lot of things i can clear out and sell.....
my spare crystal and glass
anything more then a set of 6-8 of dishes
(i heard back from replacements........so i'm hoping to start selling dishes as soon as i get the china barrels out)
i suppose i need to also (horrors.....oh my i am so not believing i am going to SAY THIS) need to CLEAR out the BOOKS......... shhhhhhh they may hear me, the poor things.....here i told them they had a home for LIFE.....
but it's true, i do have way too many...... i can get a dollar a book for them
but maybe some i can get more......

i also found out that three season rooms or even four season rooms aren't all that pricey.....under 5K
i wonder if they add value to the house or just are considered cheapo additions?
cause that would so add to our living space.......and i would so love a porch that we can be out in the rain on without worry.....i have visions of a porch with curtains on the windows too..................

now that the sun is coming up.......... i realized just how much snow we're getting.....gotten?
heavy wet sticky to everything snow. 
it's all over the place!

oops, sorry, i got a phone call and then got busy doing....... well busy stuff
i forgot about yous!
i am just going to finish up this last cup of coffee, and then start in with ducks/dishes/dirt
oye

thaddeaus peabody ( you all remember mr peabody right?-little fuzzy guy...smart as a whip and twice as bad) rattled a china plate to get me up this morning.....he WANTS his fancy feast RIGHT NOW thank you very much.......
he doesn't want to know mom is sleeping......how dare she! mr peabody hath spoken!!!!!
i love that boy but there are some days when i swear he's going to be a curly hat.

oh and the puffed millet is ok.... vicki i would not recommend it to your dh but i would to you.
i like it with hot milk and some sugar.

now today, i need some ideas for supper....i made bernie chicken and 'dressing' which up north here is also called stuffing...but it's not IN the bird it's UNDER the meat.
i don't know what i am going to make him tonight......all this food and i can't think!
oye
i'm in a rut, all i can think of is fresh salads..... piles of baby lettuce off the deck with fresh picked snowpeas, chopped hard boiled eggies, shredded cheddar, my home canned chicken, chopped olives, salad tomatoes, sometimes marinated pasta, a sprinkling of my sweet roasted red pepper sauce, and my homemade salad dressing

*** this is approximate*** feel free to vary with your taste
apple cider or wine vinegar
dried powdered- added in various amounts that seem to be good
sweet red pepper
celery
onion (we only dry vidalia onions)
garlic
carrot
then a few good grinds of pepper and a dash of salt
also add herbs fresh or dried-we like:
oregano
parsley
basil
lemon thyme
and shake it up well
i either stick it in the fridge for a few days or i nuke it and cool it..... 
before serving strain some of the muck out of it and add almost equal parts of good olive oil to the strained vinegar
some folks like some sugar but not us
shake HARD and drizzle over the top of the salad
if you have some good bread, cut it into cubes then  pan toast it or toast it first then cut it
there's your croutons
you can add other stuff like seeds etc.....bernie won't eat them although i love them
there you go
that's a summer supper salad.......and now i am drooling on myself.....
oh BOY am i drooling on myself
i could (and usually do) live on them most of the summer
and if you folks are going to grow your greens on the deck, make sure you have a deepish window box, and a light but fertile mix, and that they get enough WATER......
don't drown them but don't let them wilt from dry either
i grow mostly loose leaf lettuces and meslun....... so they are cut and come again
i grow both spring and summer varieties, but i try and make sure they have EARLY maturity
my favorites are red sails, speckled trout, and amish deer tongue
also mache....i LOVE mache 
purslane is good in a salad too as is baby chard
let me know if you folks decide to grow window box salads?
you could add an eatable flower to the mix too
nasturium
pansy
marigolds
there are others but these are good to start with
oh and slugs love greens, so maybe grow a duck too......ducks love slugs and turn them into eggies and manure...
hmm?


ok i'm off
vi



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

unhappy ducks on a snow day

they were so upset, and kept running back up the hill into the duck room.......so i was up and down the hill after them....who said ducks don't give you good exercise.....?
meanwhile spring cleaning continues....
i did however spend most of the day either running after errant ducks or washing dishes by hand,...now i actually like washing dishes, give me my gloves and i'm good to go.......
but i have to wear gloves or in about 5 minutes i am in misery with my hands. i think i'm allergic to the dishwashing liquid
so today i got to move some odds and ends around in the living/dining room
then if i can i need to reorganize and inventory the first of the two commercial pantry shelves. i need to do the canning pantry too but that may have to wait until warmer weather.......(they are in the basement so i like to do it when it's hot out....i stay cool that way)
meanwhile i am trying to get the woodstove to at least get enough of a fire for this morning, as it's still about 39 out but i am not getting draft

oh i tried the puffed millet this morning, it's good but it takes some getting used to.....it's a texture thing.

on sunday, we took the four new large planters out on the deck and started to set them up. i got one filled with potting soil so i planted chard in it.....i will also put some spinach in it for now..... followed by lettuces
the others will have a center plant of either a tomato, pepper or small patio cuc, and mix the other plantings with petunias and salad greens
i should put a potato plant in one but i don't want to have to keep filling it with dirt all season....not on the deck.

the snow is mostly melted off the roads etc. there is still a good amount of white on the 'grass'- i saw the garlic sprouts poking through it defiantly.
the ducks still won't be happy but they shouldn't be as UNHAPPY as yesterday.
although the girls will enjoy eating ice chips and snow.....they love that almost as much as worms!

i don't know what to make for supper tonight, last night was cream of tomato soup and egg salad sandwitches on toast .....it's a perfect meal for that kind of night.
i added an egg and shredded cheddar cheese to the tomato soup and then some milk or cream. i sorta cheated and used campbells.......as i need to can tomato soup this summer.
anyway i am not sure what i should make tonight.....
i wish i had lamb......
grilled lamb chops with a salad and rice pilaf sounds good but i don't have lamb
and it's so expensive in the stores for really bad tasting lamb.

i keep dreaming of my supper salads, so i really am not thinking in terms of regular suppers lately
i am also missing my home canned chicken breast.......we ran out of that too.
gees i need a good sale at the provisioner to stock up and can about 80 pounds

i am pleased (and warm) to announce i got the woodstove cooking good now....
i'm going to add a few big logs and call it a day when they burn down.
it's supposed to go up to 50-ish today... way too hot to get good draft
it makes me wonder how on earth a person could keep a wood cookstove going?
i still think we're going to get a duel fuel furnace eventually and ditch the oil furnace, it's a shame cause that one is brand new, maybe we'll sell it on craigslist?
but the more i think about it the more i think we need to get a duel fuel.
although i worry about when i'm even older and can't load it.
the big hoppers will go 72 hours per load but maybe in a couple years they will go a week?

anyway.......these are some of the things we're talking about this week around here....
on the way to making decisions and such....it takes us a while to talk about things, then research, then do for it
years sometimes
(except with that kitchen deal.... please......that is a thorn in my side)

ok everyone ttyl

Monday, March 21, 2011

ducks on snow

oops, first day of spring so of course it snowed here
so naturally also the woodstove is cooking away......
bernie didn't stoke it this morning
i did
i HAD planned on sleeping in.........however mr peabody had different ideas.
i caught him playing with my mom's china!
i heard the unmistakable clink of a teacup against a saucer......it woke me out of a sound sleep and sent me flying down the stairs
nothing was harmed
but i got to thinking......
mom's good china is a service of either 32, 28, 16 or 8 (i have no idea what the hell she was thinking) i am going to put together a service of 8 and sell off the rest
no one needs that much of one china
at the most i figure i will use the service for 8 (actually i KNOW i'll use for 6 and allow two more for possible breakage)
i already wrote to replacements and i am going to contact the other replacement services... i need the cupboard space, and i know mom didn't use all that china, and neither will i-but maybe someone else needs to complete their set?

meanwhile the ducks aren't too happy with mom nature today
no one WANTS to play in the heavy wet snow..... they WANT greens and worms.
kinda hard to find that under the snow....
today malcom and the little girls will go out into the two back pens
flastaff and the big girls will most likely stay near the house
or maybe i should put malcom up here and falstaff back there?
oye
i wish the winter day pens were MUCH closer to the house.

we had a nice weekend. all our meals were huge hits with bernie......
friday night was sausage heros in sweet pepper sauce (always good it seems, and one pot so great for fridays)
and since we still had hero rolls to use up
saturday we made cheese steaks on hero rolls using that leftover teriyaki beef pot roast, some freshly sauteed onions, and shredded extra sharp cheddar (out of this world!!!! really seriously good)
yesterday was ravioli and chicken with spinach in alfredo sauce
(i had time to slice the boneless chicken breasts very thin so it was very good)
and i made bernie some rice krispie treats....... hmmmmm i ate a good part of that
damn, i had a bad craving......i wonder why?
oh and i found some PUFFED MILLET! at the grocery store, which i can't wait to try i wonder if buckwheat could be puffed?
they also had puffed rice, (so everyone has that) puffed wheat and puffed CORN!
i'll pass on the corn though
i wonder if we could puff this stuff at home?

anyway in spite of the snow...... spring cleaning continues here
i didn't get to the paint store yet for trim paint for outside nor the inside paints but that will happen
we did decide on a storm door style for the front.....a 'full' view without a screen
in discussing the screen/no screen thing......i pointed out that i didn't want road dirt in the house during the summer....nor the exhausts..... so no screen it is
which means we may as well do a full view storm door
now to get one that fits our very oddly sized antique house......

we also again discussed additions etc..... the problem with some type of additions is that it would take away from the charm of this very charming little cottage ( i love cottages don't you guys?- you can keep the big over blown monster houses, nothing says home to me like a cottage)

anyway i have learned that we talk about something for like forever.......THEN we do it
so like it or not the kitchen is most likely going to happen soon and in stages.....
as we still may open that wall up into the dining room.....which i am reluctant to do if we can avoid it......as it's an original wall and i hate messing with original stuff.

i am thinking of looking into a three season room on the deck....which will do two things for us...increase the outside space and usage....PLUS work as a greenhouse!!! hahahaha
i want that greenhouse you know....but i need to be able to walk in and out without schlepping through snow sleet/rain...... THAT would work
brilliant idea i think.....no?
with screens for summer? ........ can you just see the sheer white porch curtains......
????
we spend almost all summer out on the deck as it is......

ok so now...... off i got to go to deal with irate ducks

and spring cleaning

Sunday, March 20, 2011

i was going to post about

early birthday presents
but decided not to
instead i am going to ask you folks about your garden.
bernie took down my seed starting area last winter and didn't get it put back together so i am really struggling at what i have space (window space) to start now.
this is also the FIRST YEAR EVER i got damping off!
i lost the pot of orient express eggplants!
i want a greenhouse...... i want a semi attached one i think
how do you folks do your seedlings?
as you've seen in previous years i normally use two florescent lights side by side which gives me a light space of about 2' wide by a bit over 4' long
i am wondering for next year if i should assemble a seed starting space in the basement for everything except pepper seedlings

i also found a lot of garlic coming along out in the garden that i thought we'd lost over the winter, as well as the multiplier onions and the walking onions.
(and a tick but that's another story)
i can't believe i am saying this but......we need some rain again....
not hard rain, just a few days of gentle misty sprinkling kind
so my plants will sprout

i am also realizing that the studio is due for a re-arranging......the computer needs to be much closer to where i draw, to keep the reference materials on the screen instead of having to print it out

oh yeah it's spring
i got spring fever
i am doing spring cleaning

even the animals have spring fever, amelia took a SHOWER under the drips from the small bath that bernie was holding in the air to rinse.....
yup they all got it bad
hahahahahaha

btw, amelia and prudence are real charactors....... especially that amelia....
i need to get some video for you guys
i wish i had gotten the shower on video cause i laughed so hard at her

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

spring peepers!!!!!!

YES!!!!!

we heard them today when the ducks and i were coming in for the night!!!!
spinach is sprouted... i planted some rhubarb CHARD......(36'' chard here we come, i hope)
hawks are out too so ducks are being closely held or followed
ms lilli and ms phoebe are still fighting some but not too badly really
although to hear phoebe tell it......lilli is killing her
i haven't seen blood so we're good

now to change the subject..... this month is my birthday month... i got me a present, one of a few i suppose.
a prefect little milk picture. it's not old, but it sure is pretty. good china is one of my guilty little pleasures... some folks watch soaps or read romance novels......i like china... teapots, good dishes etc......
i have my mom's china, and i think one set is my nonna's but that i'm not sure about...... one of my friends gave me her white china before she died...... i have some of my own, as well as some depression glass. for every day we have corelle, some of which is about 35 years old..... but i do love good china- so this was a HUGE treat for me.
i also collect plates with violets on them, (and red transferware) those i hang on the wall though
so you guys, ok now ..........spill....
what's your guilty pleasure?
***we do use the good stuff too, not as much as we used to but we do use it

now the days are actually getting warm so much so that i let the stove go out
it's giving me a hard time at night lighting it back up
the heat occasionally comes on when i don't get the woodstove going fast enough, because it's too warm to get draft, yet we still need a fire at night

the basement is drying out too...... colette however still refuses to stay in the chicken pen....... so i am feeding her outside of the pen
they aren't laying yet, and i realized that is because for them, it's still late winter
so we'll put the lights on for longer

i am looking forward to gardening/canning- i have to do inventory though.
i know we always need pickles and salsa and vinegared veggies
dried sweet peppers too
and of course frozen beans
i don't think i need cole slaw this year
but i do need to can chicken breast and dried beans
lots of both
i would like to can some elderberry juice as well as maybe apple or some other juice
i also need to investigate canning milk....i know it can be done
i need to do it
just to try
i can butter (always can unsalted butter......there is WAY too much salt in salted butter- water too)
i am thinking i need to can more things like apple pie filling too this year
and peaches....ohhhhhhhhh i am running low on spiced peaches (they are GOOD)

what's everyone's gardening/preserving plans for this season??
ok that stove is looking ready for more wood
so talk to me ok?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Legend of the Guardians

ok now first off, it's saturday night...this will post sunday morning.......

if you folks haven't seen the movie
go out to a redbox right now and rent it
the plot was ok
the good guys against all odds beat the crap out of the bad guys (think star wars with owls)
BUT
the animation......... OMG
the only two things that i was conscious of them getting not right (not wrong, just not right) was that the birds didn't preen nor did they settle their feathers after a flight etc.
BUT i swear i could see each tiny feather barb
each tiny eyefeather....
it was amazing
the backgrounds reminded me at times of turner paintings!
i loved it!
now i don't watch tv
and hate sitting still for a movie ( ok so i couldn't quite sit still for this one either, i kept stoking the stove)
but i actually put on my distance glasses and watched while tending the stove
i also commented to bernie that this was the ONE TIME, i really wished we had a better tv then the amillion year old 13 inch one we have that he occasionally watches his dvds and tapes on
bernie naturally loved it too....but then he loves any tv or movies (poor guy, he'd sit there totally enthralled for days and weeks if i let him......growing thin and dying but his eyes still glued to the flickering images.......and he married me? what ever was he thinking?)
he got himself some dvd called salt.....he's watching that now
*** don't feel too sorry for him though, he also builds models.....and is reading a ton of ww2 history since i ditched the cable ........we can't get signal without a dish or cable here.......soooooo no tv

i am most likely going to call it a night shortly and go up to read.

oh before i go, we cleaned the chicken pens and the duck room as well as the cellar
oye
the good news is that the flooding made for a LOT less dust
but the chicken pens were dry and they were dusty
however we got it done
bernie was a bit pissy (he gets blood sugar issues at times and then gets pissy... we feed him he's fine again) he wouldn't eat until we were finished.
we did take a break for me to pick malcom up and flip him on his back to inspect his talons... he needs cutting
bernie took that opportunity to pet his little head
he's a good boy that malcom..... as good a drake as falstaff...makes me realize how aggressive thumbprint really was.
i also got laundry hung out, plus on the inside line
and the cotton sliver came for making those animal dolls
i have to clear that work bench cause i really have been bugged by making animals in 18th C clothes
am i nuts?
and supper was teriyaki pot roast, pirogies and broccoli......yup it was diverse but pretty good
ok it was VERY good
the teriyaki was made with a few dried veggies
celery
sweet pepper
gingerroot
onion
garlic
some soy sauce
sugar
and cooking sherry (cause someone gave me a bottle of that)
i didn't measure as usual.....
but mixed it up.....plopped the meat in and threw it in the oven
bernie took his shower then i did
so he brought the ducks in
we're sore, tired and i hope we'll sleep good tonight
now tomorrow which for you will be ahem..... sunday morning
we're to have bagels for breakfast as he wants them
plus we are sorta out of eggs right now....everyone STOPPED laying
oye
i have to get the isinglass stuff to put the eggs up for the no laying times huh?

ok everyone.... ttyl

Saturday, March 12, 2011

a lull in the rain?

gee i hope so
or an end to the really bad endless rains
i found a leak that i know is coming from the front chimney
where it attaches to the house
i think it may be subsidence and that has me seriously worried


i do have spinach sprouted outside though.....
it's slow but it's started
the mesclun....... i can't even see the seeds!
but lettuces do that......they hide and wait......and wait
i usually think they aren't going to do anything and replant then find that EVERYTHING came up
i checked the back garden again and it looks like the chard just may have made it
so did the brussels sprouts but sadly......without sprouts

today we are going to clean the flooding up
i couldn't do it on my own as i just am in too much pain in my arms and shoulders
i think we have to find a way to regrade the front of the house
and also put in french drains or something

i told bernie we need to make the curb out front ourselves..... as the township won't ...all the water is coming down the road (on this side anyway) and draining down into our house and driveway
i think we need to curb down the driveway against the grass too!

oh man.....this is making my brain hurt

ok i have to tell you something good about amazon.com.....i had ordered two bottle brushes and a few other things, enough for the free shipping.
the package arrived wednesday.....MINUS one of the bottle brushes
which was on the packing slip
so i called amazon's customer service number (it's an open secret...it's not on their website but you can find it by googling...(866) 216-1072---that's the one i used but there are others)
i spoke to a very pleasant man......who immediately sent me another brush, and also since my book was a bit crushed..... sent me a 5$ promotional certificate off my next order
the man was as good as his word and i got my brush yesterday!
and my certificate....which i used to pre-purchase harry potters deathly hallows part 1 for bernie

now ordinarily i am not a fan of big business.....and i do tend to like to support the small independents...
however lately i can't get to town much (as most of you realize, between the ice/snow/wood heat)
so mostly this comes to the door!
or the post office which bernie goes to weekly
***jen keeps threatening to kidnap me and drag me allover the valley shopping etc...... but so far i'm safe- i am a hermit and i sorta like it ......... i talk to her on the phone all the time... but why should i leave home when i have ALL THE COMFORTS OF HOME here.........plus DUCKS!

so that's my amazon story...
oh in HUGE news......i spoke to bernie's mom yesterday
what a nightmare to get through to her
the facility she's in may be good but they sure don't like to go out of their way for their clients.
we also found that the person that is saying he's her 'grandson' is really bernie's GODFATHER'S grandson
i have to speak to the girls about when should we get down there again.

bernie just left for the post office and the feed store
we are doing the basement today like i said
i am still waiting for my really old decrepit body to wake up---- i am about to get my third cup of coffee
cause my BODY is not awake....
*my mind is never really awake i think*

i've got the woodstove going to take the chill off but i'm going to let it die down.........and i intend on hanging laundry OUTSIDE today

oh as a weird aside
i found a dead brown caterpillar in the spinach planter yesterday......i didn't see it at first as it was on a leaf.. but i tossed it out over the deck rail.....
it was just......odd

in duck news......lilli was so busy being a bitch....to phoebe and squeaking at me....that PHOEBE got the VERY FIRST WORM of the season! go phoebe!!!!!
falstaff ignored his worm
so that worm lived to make wormy babies in the muck
it's official now
worms are out
it's spring

Friday, March 11, 2011

japan now?

i hope that it's not as bad as i have seen on the net
it looks horrible though
and i just feel so bad for the folks over there....
so many horrors of nature has been happening to us all lately....
i truly do believe that it's all from the earth's axis shifting
and while i could be way wrong, i think that the end of the world isn't near....
but life as we know it IS going to change
of that i am sure
life always changes......sometimes gradually sometimes fast
the past 100 years brought huge fast sweeping changes
i think the next hundred is going to as well......but i think it will be reversal change

i think we need to prepare as much as we can but really i think the BEST preparations is knowledge
know HOW to do things for yourself
know how to grow and store and cook your food
know how to live with less electricity, less oil, less waste

i wish that i could say i lived in an area that fostered community......
however i don't
i have had some of the worst neighbors EVER, since we've moved here
their attitudes are 'i got mine, who gives a shit about you'
and then they run down the 'outsiders'

oye
today, we're going to be dealing with some of the aftermath of the flooding
my basement and the back
mostly due to the excessive runoff from the road
we're planning on putting in our own asphalt curbing
as the township doesn't bother to repair it when the plows tear it all out
i am going to call the local hardware store and talk to them about it
we may have to have the driveway ends repaved with humps to limit the run off

the ducks won't be too happy nor will the chickens when i have to put everyone out back in the flooded big pen to clean out the cellar
i think i better wait for bernie to do that though
i hurt my elbow again doing water buckets and grain pans but i am going to put as many birds out today as i can....and try to do something about the worst of the wet in the house...i would rather not add bedding to the floors down there, but i may have to ....just to soak up the water
maybe i should get stall dry?
the chickens are elevated so their pen is dry but all around them isn't
i don't think that's good

anyway here's the pictures of the water from yesterday, i took them during a lull in the rain.... so they aren't showing how really bad it got but it's enough for you all to see
i am thinking.....i need to really get bernie on the stick to help me more somehow...he's not really been doing anything much lately

oye
til i dry out......

Thursday, March 10, 2011

4(0) days of rain? mother nature, you're freeken kidding right?

too wet to leave off a fire, too warm to really justify one
so we have a fire
i refuse to turn that furnace on......refuse
besides it's in the basement which is a bit flooded............ with just enough water to be annoying and not enough really to move us out.
the chickens aren't happy
the ducks won't be when they find out they all can't go out again today


yesterday all 6 ducks were out....... phoebe and lilli did NOT kill each other, much to everyone's surprise..... and now are sharing a crate that formerly was malcom's...... malcom is far from happy. 
***allow me to translate duck to english***
'WOMEN in my CRATE and i'm locked OUT of my OWN crate'????
'WTF up wit DAT'?


i am pretty sure the boy is going to be a TAD antsy today- but really that was the best i could do yesterday evening
i need at least 3 more crates...... but to be fair....he is sleeping between four females......... 
he can't exactly touch any of them, as the girls are all in crates.....but he is SLEEPING between them
hahahaahahahahaha
oh man.........


i wanted to tell you folks about how to make veggie powders.
i think that veggie powders are kinda cool
pretty thrifty
a sneaky way of getting folks to eat more fiber etc..
and taste good too


normally i do things like freeze the broccoli florets, and i'm left with stems
which i chop and dehydrate
then powder in a spice or coffee grinder (used only for veggies and spices)
here is the list of what i dry (HINT: i will dry anything at least once and try it)


asparagus (the tough woody snapped off part)
sweet peppers
onions
garlic (yes you can and them make your own garlic powder)
celery
mushrooms
broccoli
leeks
tomatoes
cabbage
cauliflower
carrots
potatoes
eggplant
zucchini
lemons
oranges
limes
apples
peaches
spinach
pumpkin


(ok so yes i do have fruit in there too) 


any of these can be powdered and added to stuff
some stuff is better powered as you need it like the sweet peppers
most is ok powdered ahead in small batches


i add different combinations to soups, meatloaf, casseroles, stews, dumplings, breads, gravy, sauces-


also i added veggie powders to things like crumb mixes for breading meats and veggies..........


and use the powdered veggies as rubs for things---
i've rubbed chicken breasts, porkchops and small roasts


last night i mixed up a bunch of powdered veggies and rubbed porkchops then saute' them in a skillet...... it turned out interesting, tasted good, was different... impressed bernie.......


another hint is
you can use powered veggies to make instant or not so instant soups
cream of asparagus?
cream of mushroom?


i even soak the powders in vinegar for dressings.....


ok so just so you all know....... it does help to use stuff you may want to compost or feed to the chickens.....


ps: and again some folks read once a week so we all may be reading this for a while.....***for folks (and you all know who you are) that are regulars here could you please click on the email thingie at the top and send your email to me if you don't mind

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

yup late today

i got up early as usual
but got busy early
the township were out trimming our trees.........we don't know why, as there aren't any wires on this side
nor were the trees growing over the road
but they are butchered now.
i was so pissed
maple sap running all over the place now
pine sap too
and we won't even talk about my poor shagbark hickory

i got all the ducks except falstaff out today....... if lilli and phoebe would stop trying to kill each other i could double them up in one of the pens and falstaff would be out
so since he wasn't out today
someone stays in tomorrow
most likely malcom
and falstaff goes out

meanwhile i put a new tablecloth on the table....... don't you all faint but it is a chalky spring green
however due to bernie........i have to cover everything with thick clear vinyl......(yes he ruins vinyl tablecloths too!)
i realized that i need a new piece of vinyl also.
i am slow with everything but something is getting done every day......today i also washed down the outside of the kitchen cabinets

i have this years rough list of projects that i would like to have happen
a storm door on the front it big on the list
more raised beds in the garden
finally getting the BIG duck pen up near the house finished
of course the kitchen (don't you all laugh at that...one year it will be done and i will be so shocked i will stop cooking!)
new patio doors in the studio and a roof over the porch so we can ditch the back door
(back stairs would be nice too huh?)
actually that's most of my big list
touch up repainting the inside of the house is on my list too
i am thinking if we can get half of this list done we'll be WAY ahead
i may have to hire some help.... at least for the kitchen and the deck roof/studio door

today was a productive day but no where near as productive as it should have been
however it was better then a day last month so as the light comes on the days get better huh?
i like productive days
they make me happy to be busy
right now i got supper on
chicken with creamy cheese sauce......rice and broccoli
bernie's home and is sort of overseeing the finishing as that foot i hurt LAST YEAR (remember that april fall?) is doing very poorly
guess i was on it walking up and down the hill a million times with the ducks, and it's unhappy right now
but my elbow is a lot better........as long as i remember not to lift logs and water buckets with that arm alone
oye
i need a big cart or wagon and a dog or goat to pull it
i wonder how much a rotty can pull? they are/were cart dogs right?
ok
supper is smelling good now and i have to go finish the sauce and plate it
have a nice night you folks

ps: for folks (and you all know who you are) that are regulars here could you please click on the email thingie at the top and send your email to me if you don't mind

Monday, March 07, 2011

now wait a minute, it snowed !!!! that isn't right is it?

after all i planted spinach and lettuce seeds
I JUST planted them yesterday!
i guess we got a bit of snow as bernie said he heard the plow trucks go by
i haven't looked yet.
i been hanging the last part of this load of laundry
and tending the stove which i missed yesterday as it was too warm to have the stove ON!

bernie made brownies for himself......they are now wrapped on a plate on the 'island' in the kitchen
no thaddeaus butts will be involved in bernie's baked treat this week

we had put the ducks out letting them run around a bit before we put them in the pens.
malcom was out for a while then he had to go in the basement for the day
i inspected the big pen and it's ok more or less
but muddy
while the ducks will enjoy it, the slope getting to that pen is not safe yet for humans
we spent a lazy day really
we had leftovers for lunch and BLT's for supper with bacon left over from breakfast
today i need to make soup from the turkey carcass and do some other supper things as well.
bernie got a little more rest since he's not been sleeping lately
i don't know if it's work related or what

phoebe passes a softshelled egg yesterday too
i thought that was what was going on
phoebe does that at least once a season usually when she starts laying
her mother used to as well- i would find shell less sacks of eggs laying around!
so far the baby girls haven't done that
everyone has oyster shell and granite sand so i don't know why they do that
and everyone i talked to said that poultry does that when they start up laying and when they close down for the season
phoebe is laying in a converted covered litter box......it's got hay in it now
she's happy with it as a nest box

my arm and shoulders are a bit better
but i really need to not do wood for a while
(or hay)

well i think i'll add another couple logs and see if i can't get more sleep
bernie kept me up too last night
maybe that was a good thing as i had some horrific nightmares
peoples eyes being poked out
and such......
i dreamt of war actually........ i dreamt i was watching a mash unit in the war who's personnel had all gone over into madness......
not the most pleasant huh?
and i dream in color and apparently also smells! so it really was a nightmare
it woke me up!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

lazy days are usually rainy

and it would seem........very warm!
it was over 60 today
all of the solid ice pack melted from the back door.......but the upper duck wading pond is still got the titanic iceburg in it
we'll wait a few more days and tip it

meanwhile i can't get the woodstove going which is rather lonely.
i am so used to looking over to my friendly little fire
but it won't get draft so no fire at the moment
i am hoping that the temps dip below 45 so maybe i can light it

today i planted mesclun greens and spinach out on the deck....it was POURING rain out.....bernie thought i was insane
i am
but the rain will give my baby seeds a good start
tomorrow i am hoping for chards
however the same rain that's helping my seeds is NOT helping my laundry.....which is hanging on the inside line, about as wet as when i hung it
but calpurrnia (little blue eyes) was overjoyed to try and catch the rain drops as they hit the bedroom window..... and trickled down
oh and the mouse that was living on the basement stairs......has been evicted
i posted notice and the mouse did leave so bernie pulled the nest....no babies
oye

i was given a BIG and very full bunch of amazing pussywillow on friday
its in a vase with a ribbon tied around it
it's opening up
it makes my heart sing when i see it
spring is most definitely on it's way
bernie told me we have pussywillow out back but i  haven't ever seen it
so i think he's just CONFUSED

i am anxiously awaiting the arrival of 1/2 a pound of cotton sliver......i am going to try to make some spun cotton easter ornaments
mostly rabbits i believe
i tried some pom poms out of wool and realized that i need them to be smaller, fuller and tighter.....
i will try again

in other weekend news
bernie made brownies but took them out of the pan, then piled them on a plate which he covered and left in the kitchen
TAKE THAT THADDEAUS ............you cake sitter YOU.
i'm telling yous.....the squirrels paid da boy

oh and have i mentioned i have spring fever..i want to paint and clean and buy wall plates and more china and vintage flatware
oye
where will it all end??????????
i don't know but i am pretty sure it will end after the involvement of the pastel ribbons
no?
of course it will!!!!!!
or when the garden wakes up for sure
til next time

Saturday, March 05, 2011

da bookstore

ahem....used bookstore!!!!
we had a good time
i got wonderful books on food, crafts, gardening, home repair, (even a knitting book i didn't have!) bernie got books on history, ww2, historical biographies......
we had a very good time, did i mention that?
oh boy
and it was 60 degrees to boot!
maybe NOW the ice will melt out back?
i walked the garden this morning, for the first time in MONTHS
a lot of the garlic did not make it
the transylvanian garlic looks like it sure didn't make it
and the garlic i got from the small garlic farm didn't either
only a few heads of my beloved music garlic made it
now also, the multiplier onions and the walking onions seems to be ok
brussels sprouts are still alive as is the kolrabi
and ironically some chard!
so i need to put in the spinach, lettuces etc.........
i am thinking i'll be ok with that now...no?
anyway, i didn't forget you all
just been sore and a bit busy

Thursday, March 03, 2011

dentist, almost friday and damn it's cold again!

12 degrees worth of cold again overnight.
but the woodstove was happy this morning so it's all ok right?

i also found a mouse nest on the shelf of the STAIRCASE going to the basement!
(really, how novel, a mouse you say?...imagine THAT! and in the country no less or what used to BE the country and is now suburban)
the cats are trying to catch this very cheeky mouse as i type.

today is a town day, as i have the dentist. so i'll do town type things, po, craft store...... and other things like that.
i need to mail jen's shawlette and a letter to bernie's mother (which i also need to type)
i need 22 gauge wire.... i would like more of them chenille chicks to make ornaments
and a few odds/ends

i am looking at the studio....or at least at my end of the studio.... it needs rearranging for productivity
i realized i need to get the computer more central to my work stations.
i use it as an electronic library, swipe file, typesetter, design wall......etc...
but going back and forth means i tend to get lost in the middle
so i am thinking i need to move the computer to the center somehow..... so i can just swivel my chair to use it ( and get less excersize then the constant get up and dodge cats, logs, furniture, to wander over)

i have a craving to make easter bunnies...in cotton and wool..
amoung other things
that's why i need 22 gauge wire......for armitures
i also need to move my seedlings on......and start some outside (cold hardy greens)

right now i am watching the light come up outside. it isn't exactly sunrise yet.... although the sky is rosy dawn..but the gold light of the sun won't be over the mountains for a while yet- however i can see out now

drinking my coffee in a glass this morning as while i did dishes yesterday, had even a totally empty sink...i found that this morning we have no clean mugs!
this is another of life's mysteries
this and WHY on earth mr peabody sat on a cake

i have to also say, in the interest of fairness......that ice and ASPIRIN are my new best friends.....who knew?

so really this post is about nothing.........
just daily life more or less
which is pretty comforting at times