Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Big plans abrewin'

  The next year if all goes as planned,  and we know how plans can be changed at a moments notice, will be very, very busy.  We have alot of plans that involve among other things, raising chickens, getting a new lab puppy, more remodeling, weeks of Bible study, a 45th anniversary, a major trip, a family reunion and a major project that is going to take David and me hours to complete.

    This major project has been growing in my mind ever since I thought of it.  It was a tiny project at first, but it has grown and grown like Topsy until I see me spending many days working on it through the coming year.  I am really excited about it and want to keep it a secret until the big reveal when it is all finished.  I have sworn David to secrecy as I don't want anyone to know what it is until it is completely done.  I haven't been this excited about a project for a long time and I get really excited when I have a project to do.  This is the mother of all projects and if I don't get it done, I will be so disappointed.  It's going to take time, energy, all the imagination within myself and the strength to "get 'er done." 

     I began working on it today and I am so impatient to get more supplies so I can continue working on it.

   Why am I doing all this?  Because I can, but mostly because I love projects, making plans,  seeing those plans come to fruition and enjoying the results. 

    Next year David and I will be celebrating 45 years of marriage.  In this day and age, that is a big accomplishment.  Anyone who makes it this far in a marriage and still loves their spouse is truly blessed, but it takes more than that.  It takes perserverance during the hard times, having a common vision for your lives together, but most important is having a faith in God who can mend all ills when you allow Him to.  David and I have certainly had our ups and downs.  There were and still are days when we could kill each other, but we both know we would be lost without the other.  We both feel the same way about just about everything.  Our faith has gotten us through deaths, family turmoil, breakups of marriages,  sicknesses, teen-agers(and yes, that is one of the biggest stresses on  some families, you who have teens know) and just plain bad days that we wish we never had had to live through.  Yet, I would go through it all again as long as I had David by my side.

   Anyway, we are throwing ourselves a party next summer since nobody else will and we are hoping to have alot of family members here we have not seen in years, cousins, nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces, brothers, sisters, friends and anyone else who would like to share it with us.  We will be having a pitch-in dinner with family and a party afterward with a cake in the shape of our house and ice cream.   We hope it will be a grand day.

   The day after we plan to take a nice vacation. Where, we haven't decided yet, but it will be somewhere we have never been before and we have been just about everywhere in the United States.

    So we will get the old house ready.  This old house will be 100 years old next year also.  I will be writing about this old house through the year.  What has gone within its walls, the history that has happened since it was built, and all the love that has gone into renovating it to make it a comfortable home for our family and now just for David and me.   We will be celebrating its birthday also, thus the house cake.  I have a friend who has made every cake for every special occasion through the years for our family so I am hoping she can make the cake I have envisioned.  I know she can.

   No pictures today.  I just had alot to say.  I really am excited about this project.  I will show you bits and pieces of it during the year, but you won't see the whole until it is finished.  The project is being done to celebrate this old house and its 100 years and to make it ready for the next 100 years.

   Here's to projects, things to look forward to, and long marriages.  Bye.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pink? Floyd? Two and other things

  I love pink.  I look at life through rose colored glasses most often although there have been times those glasses have been slightly smudged when things are going badly.  I still believe life is worth all the pain because without pain, we would never know what joy feels like.  I have alot to be joyful for in my life and I center myself on those things rather than the unhappy or bad things going on around me. 

  But this is not  showing you more pink things so here goes.......

   I am working on several quilts right now, but am concentrating on two of them because I really want to get them completed.  The first one is made up of several shades of pink and aqua and the blocks are twenty-four inches so it is going to gether quickly.  I only need to make nine blocks for this one.  This is one of the fabrics I am using.

   This is one of the finished blocks.  I am really loving making this quilt.

  The other quilt I am making has alot of pink in it also.  It has eleven embroidered blocks which will be surrounded by patchwork squares and basket blocks.  Here are a few more of the blocks I have completed embroidering.

  Notice the monogram at the bottom of this one?  KC. Who does that stand for?   Hmmmmmm.

  Love these jars of jams and jellies which is as close as I will ever get to making jars of jams and jellies.

    Love this little cake. 

  Love this cake too, but it's already been eaten so don't ask.

Sorta pink heirloom tomato.  This is one of the last ones.  I really have had alot of tomatoes this year, but I have had about all I can eat.  I know in the middle of the winter I will be wishing I had ones of these juicy morsels.

  I have been painting some things this week.  This is one of the things I have been painting.

  I have been doing a little painting for my daughter and son-in-law in their kitchen.  They are going to have a gorgeous house when they get all their remodeling done.  I would love to live in this house.  It is out in the woods and very private. 
   Bonnie, why are you licking your lips?  Do you smell the soup beans with smoked sausage and turkey cheddar sausage in it?  I know, I have been salivating about that all afternoon.  Gotta go make the cheddar bisquits to go along with it.   Bye.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pink? Floyd?

  My favorite color has always been pink.  I use to dress my daughter in pink until one day she told me she didn't like pink.  It crushed me.  She refused to wear pink and I don't think I have seen her in anything pink since she was very little. 

  Well, I still love pink and even though I don't wear alot of pink either, I have alot of pink around me.    Even though the garden is winding down to fall, it still has lots of pink flowers.  Here are a few.

         Pink hibiscus.   I have lots of these right now.

            Pink impatiens.  I am amazed they lived through the drought.  They need soooo much water and sometimes I would forget to water them for a day or two and they would look like they were dead.  They are doing great now with the cool nights and the rains we have had.

    Pink phlox.  Sometimes I even forget I have phlox and then suddenly they make an appearance and surprise me. 

  Pink sweet peas.  Wow, my pictures are so clear and crisp.  I am going to have to start taking pictures for National Geographic!

  Pink Cleome.  An old fashioned flower that I very seldom have to sow.  It is self-sowing and comes up every year.  It usually comes up near the pool and David does not like flowers too near his pool so sometimes I have to transplant them somewhere else because they do not know any better.  I absolutely love them.  I had some that crossed with another flower and were a pale lavender.  Usually they are just pink.  I think next year I will get some new seed to cross with the old ones. 

   Isn't this pink-tipped rose lovely?  The plant is in the back of my garden and for some reason I am always caught by surprise when this one blooms.  I just happened to walk back there to look at tomatoes and there was this beautiful rose just waiting for someone to notice.  It is so fragrant and the yellow and pink together is just wonderful.  I don't really like to grow roses because I don't like spraying and having to pay too much attention to a plant.  I planted two climbing roses and the poor things sometimes look really pitiful when all their leaves fall off because they have rust or mites, but they still produce roses every year.  David says that next year he will spray them  He likes to spray things with poisons and stuff.  I'm more the organic type. Plant, water and wait.  That's my idea of gardening.

    Pink Gerbera Daisy.  This is becoming one of my favorite flowers.  I over- wintered two of these and they have rewarded me with flower after flower.  They came out with these pink ones and I just love them.  If you can grow but one flower in a pot, get one of these and it will not disappoint.

  Pink zinnias.  I love them.  Just throw some seed in the ground and with a little water you have a nice showing of  flowers.  I have ordered these seeds by the pound from Wildseed Farms from Texas and I think next year I will again because I like alot of these so I can pick them and bring them into the house to enjoy.  Wildseed Farms sells all kind of flowers that you can order by the pound and they are alot cheaper than buying those little seed packets in the stores.  You get tons of seeds in a one pound bag.  Okay, that isn't right.  A one pound bag cannot hold a ton, but you do get tons of  flowers, it seems.

   My six foot pink flamigo holding a pot of pink geraniums.   Yes, I do have a six foot pink flamingo in my front yard. 

  Pink tongue.  Yes, Bonnie, you are a sweetie and I love you to pieces.  I was wondering how I could fit you into my pink blog and you did just great.  Will continue my pink blog next time, but it won't be flowers.  Have a pink glowing day. Bye.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fun From the Garden Patch

   I was sitting in the livingroom minding my own business today when David came walking in with his hands behind his back laughing like a hyena.  "You're really going to like this!" He said.  He kept laughing and I said, "Uh, okay. What do you have behind your back?"  He kept laughing.

     Then he brought this from behind his back.......

     The biggest cucumber I have ever seen!  I started laughing. 

       "It's this big," said Mickey.

  Since I had already checked the cucumber patch this morning and found one measly little cucumber, this caught me by surprise.  The one on top is the one I found.  The one on the bottom is Giganto.  How in the world did I miss this one?  I really need my eyes checked.

        To give you even better perspective, here is a bowl of tomatoes I picked this morning.  The cucumber looks like some mutant vegetable that landed in my garden.  Dave and I had a good laugh over this cucumber and I am sure David will enjoy it in his salads for the next few days.

        My garden keeps surprising me every day.  And making me laugh. Bye.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Doin' Corn

      When Daddy would come in on a hot summer's day and say, "we need to do corn,"  I knew that meant I would be spending the day in the hot kitchen helping Mom and Aunt Ruth  freeze sweet corn.
  My favorite part of doing corn was going into the field with Daddy and picking the corn.  Daddy planted lots of sweet corn every year and we always froze alot for the winter. One year we froze one hundred pints of sweet corn and Mom was so proud of that .  We put the corn in little plastic bags with twist ties and put those bags into freezer boxes.   I saw some of those boxes in an antique store recently. 

       Fast forward 50 some years later and I got up yesterday and said, "We need to do corn today." 

       This is a lesson on how to "do" corn.

  First, you send someone to get the corn in the field or in our case, to the market. Your husband would be nice, but if you don't have a husband, you could send a friend or other family member.  If you don't have any of those available, you go yourself which I have done before, but today David went and bought ten dozen ears of corn.  Five big sacksful.

     Then you start shucking the corn. While shucking it you decide you want another ten dozen ears of corn because you are having so much fun.  So your husband goes back to the market and buys ten dozen more ears of corn.  Five big sacksful.

            Meanwhile, you set up stations in your kitchen because you like to be organized.  This is the cooking station.

    You parboil the corn for about two or three minutes.

     This is the cooling station.  Once you parboil the corn, you plunge it in ice water to stop the cooking.  This also makes the corn easier to handle because it won't burn your hands.

      Then you drain the corn.  Doesn't this look good enough to eat?

 This is the cutting station.  Sometimes I cut the corn off with a knife, but sometimes I use that long gadget you can barely make out in my picture which is called a "corn cutter."  I thought whoever thought up that name was ingenious.  You slide the corn along it and it cuts the corn right off the cob. Makes more of a cream corn.  I mix my knife cut off corn and the corn cutter corn. 

     Then you package forty-five pints and two and a half quarts of corn and put it in the freezer and think about the winter days when you can go to the freezer and take out some corn and enjoy it with your meal.

       After you are done with the corn, you wash the countertops, the stove the refrigerator, the walls the cabinets and the floor because doing corn is a sticky, messy business.

        Then because it has been hours since breakfast, you make you and your husband hamburgers and get out a new jar of bread and butter pickles and when you open it the jar pops and a piece of the jar explodes out and pickle juice goes all over your clean counter and cabinet and floors and you just stand there looking at it and your husband comes in and says "What do we use to clean this up?' and  you start throwing towels at him and he mops up the floor.  Then you realize just how sticky pickle juice is and you know you are going to have to wash the floor again.  You eat your late afternoon lunch and then you wash the floor again.

       Then you sit in a chair for a long while and rest from all the work, but you know you would do it again because you have forty-five pints and two and a half quarts of sweet corn in your freezer.  You just hope the electricity never goes off for a long period of time or someone doesn't leave the freezer door ajar like has happened before and ruined your last sweet corn. 

   Belle and Bonnie watching with interest as David and I are shucking corn by the compost pile.   We had to put this fence up this year to keep them from digging up our vegetable garden.  Silly pups.  Just wish they had hands so they could have helped us shuck. That would look weird though, wouldn't it?  A real circus act.


   Here is a picture of the laughing man in the clouds I took last evening.  I think he was laughing at everything that happened to me today.  Here's to sweet corn and Daddy.  Bye