Saturday, August 28, 2010

August 28, 2010

Aaah, ethics.  I've been doing ethics homework on and off all day.  Between the deeper contemplations of whether or not morality is absolute or relative, I made a cake for Joe's niece.  This is not the one I made tonight, but it is identical.  I was just too pooped to take a picture.

I made this one for Maverick's birthday last year.

Joe got some tomatoes out of the garden today.  Maybe I can get a couple more and have enough to make another batch of spaghetti sauce or salsa tomorrow.

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010

It's my last weekend before school.  I'm excited about getting back into a routine but nervous about the course load.  The work is starting to get harder and more time and labor intensive.  I remember last semester... after the boys were down at 8:00 I'd be up till midnight or later reading and studying and wondering if I'm too old for all this!

One of my classes is an online class and the homework has been posted so I've been working on it for 3 days.  It's only 7 weeks long, so the quantity of homework in incredible.  I hope to have it all finished over the weekend so I can be a week ahead.  My classes this are Forensic Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, and an Ethics class. 

I've formed a new organization on campus, S.K.I.L.L., Students with the Knowledge and Intelligence for Life-long Learning.  It's been a TON of work, but I'm hoping for great things!

The garden has come to a screeching halt.  The purple hulls and the cukes are completely done.  Some of the corn has ripened but it's eat up with worms.  The green beans are blooming, but may dry up before they come in.  4 or 5 of my six foot tall tomato plants fell over.  The stakes broke off at the ground.  The plants didn't break, so I'm hoping they'll live.  I've yet to can any tomato juice this year.  That and pickles have always been a staple in the house.  Needless to say I'm keeping my fingers crossed for lots of tomatoes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is it deer season yet?

Joe is getting antsy, he's counting down the days.  A week from this Saturday...

Yay!  We'll have deer sausage and deer jerky and deer roast and .... oh I can't wait!

This little jewel posed for me.

The females don't mind having their pictures made.

I know this isn't very clear, but I wanted to show you how territorial the females are.  The one on the left not only chased away the one on the right, but bumped her.  They do that a lot!

It was a gorgeous day today.  After the boys got on the bus this morning, I went for a walk then came home and started burning brush on the big bank in the front.  I worked for 2 hours on that, then had to come in and do some housework and laundry.

My homework started tonight for my online class and my classes on campus start Monday.  I'm taking 15 hours a semester for the next 3 semesters then I'll start on my Master.  That's my plan... God willing and the creeks don't rise!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25, 2010

Dill Pickles
Who doesn't love a crisp, homemade dill pickle?  My boys eat them by the jar-full!  Unfortunately my long row of cukes didn't produce like I had hoped, but I did get several jars squirreled away.  And I must admit, I did cheat and use a mix once or twice.  But we all much prefer the homemade ones!

10 pounds of pickling cukes

5 cups white vinegar

13 cups water

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup pickling salt

fresh dill heads

Wash your cukes well and leave them in a sink of cold water.  Have your jars, lids, and rings hot.  Mix vinegar, sugar, water, and salt and bring to a simmer.  Add one large or two small dill heads to each jar.  Pack the jars with whole small cukes, or sliced large cukes.  Carefully fill the jars with the vinegar mix.  There's a product called pickle crisp that I've used this year, but can't really tell a difference with it.  I rarely put my pickles in a hot water bath because they normally seal themselves.  However, for safety reasons, it is recommended to put the jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. 
If you want, you can add whole garlic cloves or red peppers to the jars.  I've used this brine mix to pickle eggs, make squash pickles, and even pickled cauliflower!
Maverick loves his pickles....

Squash pickles, dill pickles, and salsa in the background

Pickled eggs

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010

I can't believe August is nearly gone.  The boys are back in the school routine and I start back next Monday.  I am NOT looking forward to it.  Here's a few pictures I snapped today.
Red Zinnia

Pink Zinnia

And here's Maverick getting shooting lessons.  I don't think he ever even came close to the target, but he didn't give up or get frustrated.  He just kept smiling!

Ready, aim....

My porch.  The frogs name is Rupert!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010

The temperatures today were slightly lower than the last few days.  I canned a couple of jars of cukes and combined in one jar -->cucumber, cauliflour, banana peppers, green grape tomatoes, and jalapeno peppers.  Unfortunately it didn't seal, so it's in the fridge.  I wanted to give it to dad, but looks like the next jar will be his.

Ranger and Maverick played together so good today!  They swam this afternoon and then took turns shooting the bb gun. 

Joe did the harvest in the garden and I mowed.  I am SO READY FOR FALL!!!

These pictures were made last fall at Trunnells which is just down the road...



Ranger and Maverick


I can't believe how much they've grown since this time last year!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mustard Sauce Recipe

This recipe is my Grandmother's sister, my Aunt Bobbi.  It's easily adaptable, too.  I love it on grilled burgers or hot dogs.  It's great on white beans and I even dumped a jar of it in the crockpot and threw in some chicken for several hours.

Mustard Sauce

25-35 hot banana peppers

4-6 jalapeno peppers

6 cups sugar

1 quart yellow mustard

1 quart white vinegar

3 onions, chopped (use as much as you like)

1 tbsp. salt

Chop onions into small pieces. Wearing gloves, remove stems and seeds from all peppers and chop into small pieces. Add all ingredients together in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 30 minutes longer until peppers and onions are tender. Add ½ cup water and ½ cup flour together, along with a couple spoons of the hot mixture. Add to the pot and cook for 10 minutes longer. Have jars, lids and rings hot in boiling water. Fill jars and put in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, covered. This makes about 10 ½ pints. Remove and place on a dish towel. They usually all seal in approximately 30 minutes.

August 21, 2010

I've been sharing my cucumbers with the lady next door and in return she's keeping me in red tomatoes until mine come in.  After the rain we had today, I'm guessing everything in the garden will start rolling in.

Here's a few pictures of my hard work....

Spaghetti sauce and mustard sauce.

Pulled this little guy today.  It's one that I got from mom.  Someone told me to cut off the green to eat and replant the bulb. 

Saw this little bugger on my green beans.  It looks like something has laid some eggs on it.

Ranger and Maverick don't like it when I can the mustard sauce.  They say it stinks!  The spaghetti sauce turned out great.  Unfortunately it is a TON of work.  Just to give you an idea...
Boil tomatoes, drop in boiling water, peel.  Chop, put in blender until smooth.  Mix up ingredients to taste and cook down.  Put in hot jars and top with hot lids and rings.  Makes 5 pints.... only 5!!  Process in the canner for 40 minutes.

I sure hope after the rain we had this morning I have more tomatoes!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ranger's Party

X box 360 controller birthday cake
Birthday boy
What was I thinking???
Blow out the candles

Ranger requested an xbox cake and this is what I came up with.  All in all, the party was great!  The boys had a blast.

August 15, 2010 Summer Garden

I love my flutterbys
Tomato plants
I am getting impatient for this big one to turn red
Long row of cukes with a zinnia peeking around
Purple hull pea bloom
Frizzy corn hair.... hmmm, this is what mine looks like in the morning!
Zinnia bud
Green beans climbing

Thursday, August 12, 2010


August 12, 2010

Here's a few of Ranger's birthday pictures and the first day of school pictures.
First day of school and Maverick is sporting a new 'do

They are NOT ready to go back to school

Maverick and baby

Getting his first lesson

Cocking the gun... notice Maverick in the background

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


He doesn't know it yet, but he's having a mini-party after school, his real party is Friday night!  Pictures later............

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010

It's the boy's last night of freedom.  School starts tomorrow.  Ranger is really, really bummed out.  Maverick is anxious to see his friends.  I cut Joe, Ranger, and Maverick's hair today.  Maverick's ended up... um... rather short.  He's ok with it, though.

Ranger helped me maked me strawberry-blueberry freezer jam today.  We ended up with 5 pints.  I was given some peaches a few weeks ago and made peach and peach-blueberry freezer jam.  I made 7 pints of dill pickles yesterday.  I've got enough peppers to make close to 50 half pints of mustard relish, but can't bring myself to can when it's this hot.

Tomorrow is Ranger's 11th birthday.  I can't believe he'll be 11.  He's mad his birthday is on the first day of school.  We're planning a party on Friday night for a few of his friends.

I found a few of these guys munching on the dill and had to do some digging to find out what they were.  They are swallowtail caterpillars!  There were almost 15 of them.  Unfortunately I smooooooshed most of them before I found out what they were.  :-(

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3, 2010

Joe got called out for a month long job out of state.  He was there less than a week.  So frustrating.  They tell these guys that work will last a certain amount of time just to get them out there, then they drop the hours way down or lay them off. 

The boys made a new friend this week.  He lives down the road and they are all playing xbox.  They are sweaty and laughing and giggling and the rooms stinks of sour hair and little boys.  I love it. 

It was sickeningly hot today.  Dangerously hot.  It felt like trying to breathe underwater it was so humid.