Thursday, September 26, 2013

and yet another turkey breast-tis the season

i roasted one last weekend, we feasted the bones are in the stock pot
i found another one ....which is defrosting and it will be roasted, cubed and refrozen cooked.
it's bones too will end up in the stock pot
i feel very secure with a lot of stock in the freezer or in jars on the shelf
the leaves are falling real change of color lately, just brown and down

we had a fire one night, i should bring in wood and start small ones for the chill of the morning.
i'm painting a polish spring goddess right now

finishing up a test knit for pinkhairgirl (on rav)

mostly i am thinking of cooking ahead for fall so i can then concentrate on painting and getting the paintings registered and sent to manufactures
i would dearly love to see my crows on garden flags
and some of my other work on tableware
among other products

today bernie is at a managers meeting so he won't be home until early tomorrow morning, it was better time wise with the traffic to stay down there.
i'll miss him

but i am as always...busy so it won't be too bad

ok i have to run -- i plan on eating breakfast before 1pm today

Sunday, September 22, 2013

flattened by a steam roller?

tell me that it's so?
cause there is NO other excuse to feel like this today

ok so i didn't sleep (thank you sudafed)
and i hurt from top to bottom (thank you fibro)
no wonder yesterday bernie just put the ducks out without waking me up
i never heard him come in, or go in and out with the ducks...i never heard the water run
i guess i was the dead yesterday and today...i am the walking dead

yesterday we got to town, we got the sale on shredded cheeses.. less then 2.00 a pound so we got like 15 pounds. it's all tucked up in the freezers now. between that and how late bernie slept, i didn't roast our little turkey so that is today

now it rained overnight, which we knew cause we put laundry on the line to dry....
as our putting laundry on the line seems to be the equivalent of cloud seeding or something
we hang laundry and boom! rain........... never seems to fail lately!

i told him that maybe he needed to rethink the cleaning of the chimney which means going up on the roof
but he thinks it's going to be ok
he just told me that we need to use the stove shortly so it needs to be cleaned
i think we also need to get the front chimney and the furnace done too
as back up
plus i am thinking of the eco blocks for the woodstove for deep winter

now watch, bernie is going to be home this winter, so it's going to be super mild, and barely break 30 degrees
with no snow

so anyway, today is sort of muted, through a haze of yawns and painful muscles......
i hope for a real nights sleep tonight (i'll take allergy meds and sleep until tuesday)
not much after making a turkey dinner is going to get done by me
maybe some painting if my hands are shakey

and thanks to vicki ...... the comments are working again
(they still are moderated though)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

and winter preparations continued

first off thank you so much vicki for emailing me about what you make for supper and also about having trouble posting on the blog.
i'm going to look into the problem

today i am going to roast a turkey for freezer meals.......
i am specifically trying hard to put cooked 'tv dinner' meals away so i get more painting time during good light
right now i am using the best light cooking
so i am trying to tweek my day a bit
and part of what i am trying to tweek it with is meals ready to go out of the freezer

and also some different stuff then what we've been eating lately
so anyway to that end.... i got a good deal on pork steak at giants,
i am going to go back for more and make some meals with them for the freezer-
i am thinking pork stew, breaded, and maybe saurkraut apple?
cubed for sweet/sour (although that isn't strictly made ahead and freeze)

i am also hoping for that chicken breast to go on the big stock up sale so i can get the 120# and then i am pretty much done for winter food (potatoes are not ready yet, i called the farm)

i also just switched bernie's calling plan on his cell, as he uses it less then 4 minutes a day 6 days a week....
he doesn't need unlimited...... he barely needs 100 minutes
so he's switched to 500
and i am still resisting getting a cell as what do i need it for?
who calls me?
who do i call?
if i go anywhere i am either with bernie or ........... i can take his cell if i need it (but again who am i going to call?)
besides i like the idea of not having a 'leash' and i think of cells as sort of leashes.......from what i saw of them
who wants to be reachable at all times?

in flea news, i am going to reluctantly put the advantage on the cats.....
i'll be getting it next week
these last few fleas are stubbornly persistent and i really am not happy about it
the girls are both under 9 pounds and of course the boy is over 9 pounds
i just hope they are ok with it

in painting, i just started first washes on the newest painting..
i can't get away from blue pigments it seems lately
when this series is finished i want to do a series on the warmer end of the color wheel

in knitting i am test knitting for pinkie....i've had to tink back 374 stitches a row for 5 rows.....
now i think i am back to knitting forward again instead of backwards....
i hope so ....i am at the end of this shawlette ....just doing the lace work and since i couldn't finish the last one for her, i would love to finish this one it is for her book....
i can't wait to see her book ..which is knitting patterns and stories from her neck of the woods (south africa)

today, bernie got home, put the ducks out and then woke me up.....i'm so grateful, as i've been so tired lately- i guess it's the change of seasons.
i got a shower and got up
i had to take sinus meds again though
my head was killing me.....bernie said that it's supposed to rain so that could be why
i really miss him now that he's working graveyard but it's sure better then when he was working OTR
i hated that........
at least with this there is a schedule and we are adapting to it....slowly but surely

ok i have to go start chores for the day
take good care everyone and i'll try and fix the comment thingie

Thursday, September 19, 2013

fall weather in earnest....(we ain't kidding around now)

so this week i've made beef stew (sunday)
minestrone soup (i think tuesday or maybe it was monday?)
enchilada casserole (whatever day i didn't make minestrone)
and sausage and potatoes yesterday (which i believe was wen)

today is porkchops but i don't have apples or sauerkraut for it-
so i guess breaded maybe?

and i will say.. i am at a loss for suppers right now

i get like that sometimes, especially when i am a bit low on boneless skinless chicken breasts as i am at the moment.... (waiting for the big sale at the provisioners for the winter stock up)
if we had chicken breasts in the freezer life gets hugely easier....

chicken and dumplings
cordon bleu
breaded with sauce
breaded with cheese
stir fry
pot pie
chicken with creamy leek sauce (love that too)

we do eat a LOT of chicken, i suppose because over the years it's been so inexpensive and easy
we used to get chicken legs (thigh and drumstick-the whole leg) for .29 cents a pound, so i would get two hundred pounds....... we may grow pin feathers and cluck but i learned how to make my way with chicken
now the same chicken leg is normally about .79 a that's expensive to me

anyway, while waiting for the provisioner in allentown to get the boneless breasts in for under 1.70 a pound, i am trying to figure meals that bernie will eat
he hates beans (which i adore-being raised on them and all)
he hates chili.....for the bean reason
he isn't too fond of a lot of my favorite soups...... wanting mostly cream type soups
he does make an exception for minestrone though with the meatballs and raviolis in it
he won't eat barley (i also love barley) or chickpeas.... oye or lentils........or split peas (i've tried for years to get him to eat this stuff)

so a whole wonderful world of food is out of the question
lovely wonderful meals that are great for fall and winter, stuff i grew up on and adore to this day

so that leaves me with a dilemma as i wish to feed him healthy, seasonally and also with an eye to some frugality.

beef is not where near cheap......
anyway this is my search now...meals he'll eat that also satisfy me for the fall/winter thing

and i can put by so i can continue to work on getting these paintings done

any ideas? (from all 9 people who actually read me?)

Monday, September 16, 2013

i could still use a pep talk

but at least today i am slightly better
the wonders of decent sleep and no sinus headache

we examined the studio roof, as in....bernie went up and took pictures for me to look at
as i tried to climb the ladder but that knee i fell on in feb is STILL bad (it goes out on me suddenly - i fell down the stairs the other day because of that)

i called someone .....we'll be seeing our first estimate/opinion i think this week
i want the stove chimney examined as well

i got my winter supply of watercolor paper in- which is 15 full sheets, (even at 1/4 sheets that is a LOT of paintings 60- but if i get 6 out of each sheet, it will be 90)
i still have some left from spring when i ordered last, however this is the bright white paper not the traditional white ......

i started transferring the next layout and cursed myself for being lazy when i was working on this layout.
especially now that i can't find one of the reference photos i used for it
i SWEAR next year i am getting a drawing tablet and a new computer.
meanwhile i am working on getting the existing paintings all photographed for copyright registration
- i will continue to do this until i get enough done for the batch.
in weather news here, fall has finally arrived, it's been downright chilly. the cats aren't happy since it's not cold enough for their beloved woodstove and right now they aren't in the bedroom at night either
we seem to not be seeing fleas, but i am keeping up the spraying etc.

i made our traditional 'first cold weather' meal yesterday, in the le creuset 4.5 quart soup pot, it's now our new fall tradition...... it's an event when it becomes cold enough to get that soup pot out, last year i made chicken and dumplins, this year a TO DIE FOR beef stew
i had bought a chuck roast from the butcher on saturday as a treat for us, just a small 2 pound one, but we only ate a tiny bit of i cubed it up fine added the reserved juices, and some broth i had in the fridge, a bunch of veggies and a very long, very low simmer
the potatoes thickened it perfectly and we had a wonderful meal
that is bernie's supper for tonight, and the leftover is my lunch for today
i'm going to make enchiladas for today's meal before he goes to work, with leftover chicken and some sauce i had made a while ago and frozen
i like them with veggies in them.......sooooooooo not traditional but i like them that way so we have them that way

now today, once bernie goes to sleep, i am going to put my paper away better, do the dishes, and the budgie cage. start supper and if i have more time after..... work on the paintings

i damaged one already in getting them ready to shoot-
i need to figure a more efficient process i think
i swear in my next studio i am getting flat files and doing all paper cutting on them....and they will be UP not only on wheels but the cutting part will be waist height so i don't break my back leaning over
(should i be clutching the dirt like scarlet ohara now? )
i could easily use the entire first floor of the house as a studio and still need space ...flat files are huge, but they really ARE the best solution to paper storage
i would get them now but

1) calpurrnia would probably piss on them (good thing that damn cat is cute )
2) i have no space for them
3) i can't decide if i want mayline c or wood......

i actually am planning on getting them second hand, they are often available on craigslist and ebay, and if i go with the mayline c, painting them red!
wood maybe i'll just stain and seal..... my biggest fear is getting them, filling them and calpurrnia (good thing she's cute) will back up and spray all over them.....
(she's getting better but this is the legacy from that jackass neighbor and his 10 un-neutered tom cats that are still running around here- any ideas about stopping calpie from spraying would be appreciated--- oh and natures miracle for extreme cat urine does work)

i actually have had to block of sections of the studio so calpie stays painting area is one part that is blocked off (that was my fault, i spilled the liquid maskoid that has ammonia in it)

so this is the state of the household at this point...
i still could use a pep talk...... but not as badly as i needed one the other day
not quite out of the woods on that yet

oh and bernie's discovered BBC documentaries on youtube! .......
he is watching part of one a week..... (he's only really got like 15 minutes at a time so that's why part of one a week)- and we still haven't gotten to the VW dealer to look at jetta diesels for him either yet.....soon though

til next time.....

Saturday, September 14, 2013

i could use a pep talk today

right at the moment i seem to have lost my mojo
partly because i am attempting to get the paintings ready to be photographed
partly cause i am just plain tired
partly cause bernie is exhausted and i am reacting to worry connected with him

we still have fleas...... no where nears as bad, one or two on the cats a day total
but there are still fleas

next week we're starting them on advantage and hoping that it doesn't kill them

anyway i lost my mojo..... i have a layout waiting but can't seem to get it together enough to paint
the paper is up, taped, and ready to go
my water buckets are all clean and filled
brushes are all cleaned and washed
and i am sitting here thinking.... maybe it would be better to forget this

(yes i know, and i also know this won't last- but for the moment.......)

it's turned cold finally, we are almost ready for winter
we still need to do the chimney/stove and get the potatoes and another load of wood
AND fix one part of the roof in the studio (there are three roofs over the studio, we need to fix the topmost one)

now last night i had insomnia so was up reading... from about 1am to about 4am or so
that maybe part of it
or it maybe the weather
or just the ebb and flow of life

but right now .....i sure could use a pep talk

Monday, September 09, 2013

thyroid meds are a good thing

and i got a renew for the next year!
the doc said 'just in case you don't get the insurance'
that is a huge weight off my mind!
but believe me when i tell you, it cost a LOT of money.....

meanwhile winter preparations continue.... leaves are coming down like crazy, which means the first frost isn't too far off
we need a few more cords of wood, 3 bags of potatoes, the 120# of chicken we get in for winter,
i think also, a bag of sand for the duck room doorway, for the ice during the bad part of the winter

now last winter little vicky taught me a trick which we will be using this winter....
MYLAR blankets to cover doors with....i have saved the blankets of course, and we will be covering the doors with them,  i am using the little 3-M clips to hold the blanket up....
i could use the little stationary store clampy thingies and one of the wire curtain rods from ikea (if i could get to an ikea)-- that would allow it to slide but the clip thingies will work too
last year i just taped it up at the top.... i was sort of in a hurry

now the other thing i wanted to do was window quilts, bev down in missouri made them for all her windows and they work great... i was a bit concerned that it would make it hugely dark in here and/or give us a problem with the combustion of the woodstove- maybe we should consider an outside air intake for the woodstove?

i want to bomb and spray the house one more time before we button up for the make sure that we ditch fleas
which btw, we are going to get the advantage for them this week
we dont' know what else to do...... we've done everything the vet said to do
we've called a few exterminators, two of them wanted us to have yearly contracts with them
one who specifically advertised that he treated fleas.....doesn't! ( i had a long conversation with him about it)
i've gotten a ton of different opinions on the fleas too- it makes my head spin......
meanwhile the cats are running around the house again and boy i did miss them.... they missed the house and sitting on us during the day
they line up to be petted by bernie in the morning
calpurrnia is still not using the litter box however..... the others are

in, i'm not
i am working on trying to get the paintings photographed however, which is not as simple as it would seem
also to this end i bought some CFL which are NOT cheap..... but have a daylight rating on the KELVIN scale of 5500K which is BRIGHT daylight.. they are used for SAD and also for photography
i suspect that i may be using them for SAD and not for photography although i did get them for take pictures
slowly i am getting the things i need to take these photos with- my goal is to have a standard set up (on the cheap) and take photos monthly then batch copyright them quarterly
i have meanwhile continued to search out agents, manufacturers and publishers who may be interested- recording their submission guidelines etc...

i am so hoping that life is more routine by october
(i also hope we've gotten bernie his new car by october......)

i will say one thing...... having gotten invaded by fleas is a nightmare but we ARE getting spring cleaning done because of it!

so life goes on......
i hope these cooler days find you all well


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

september already?

tomorrow i go to the doctor and lab to get my thyroid meds renewed.... and also i will be setting up some appointments for the endo when my insurance kicks in
meanwhile i have to pay out of pocket

meanwhile here at home we still have stragglers in the flea arena
damn i hate those things
we moved things out of my studio and moved stuff around then it rained and woke some up
i guess better up and sprayed then waiting but damn
anyway bernie opened up the studio by quite a lot- we had it sort of divided up into four areas with the woodstove sort of in the center.....
where i paint was relatively closed off, so that if i was painting and he was watching a dvd, it wouldn't bother me.
now that whole area is opened up to the center of the studio
the back area that we had my very large, long heavy workbench is also opened up
and the workbench is gone
the good news is that i got my cutting table out of there
which is a folding table so is great for not only sewing but if i need to do other things
i still need more bookcases though....i have stacks of books on the floor yet

we are still looking at cars for bernie, we aren't rushing into anything but we're looking

i am hoping to be back at painting by this week
the photographing of my work is going to be delayed for a bit
due to lack of equipment but i am hoping that is very temporary
meanwhile i am studying photography for dummie books
and lamenting ditching the photography classes at school
"famous last words- i will NEVER need photography or ceramics''

ok what else?
well i can't believe it's september feels so condense this year
i mean it was just yesterday that bernie was leaving for the OTR training....
then the driving job....due to the extreme irregularity of his hours we sort of were living in a fog
we are still sort of ........but slowly are getting used to his having actual weekends off

on to the ducks... today phoebe ate a mouse
it was a baby and i didn't notice it on the ground but phoebe sure did ......
one gulp
i'm telling you all
you have a mouse issue........ you want organic........turn a muscovy loose
no more mice

i followed her out of the duck room asking her 'what you got there phoebe'
then i saw a foot and part of the tail hanging out of her mouth

i got a mouse in the kitchen.....i am thinking of parking a duck in a diaper on the counter...
no more mouse then

well to all who celebrate jewish new year.... happy new year

may we all have understanding and peace the world over this coming year

take good care