Monday, August 31, 2009

For the fam

Not that Jonathan needs anything, but several people have asked what to get him for his birthday so I am making a list here, so we can all see it and I won't get confused...
To all of those who don't want to buy him presents...

what's wrong with you, seriously.

Just kidding...
I will make this short and sweet and we can get back to our regularly scheduled nonsense.

More wooden train tracks and trains (he has the basic set from IKEA-*sigh* I heart IKEA).
One of those cool red and yellow cars that you get in and drive around (available at most garage sales).
Little People (he has the farm, the ark, and the nativity... but he LOVES them all)
2T fall/winter clothes
Toys for the sandbox
a bike helmet

This, already is more than he needs.

Over and out.

Because it's late and I can't sleep

I am going to make a list of all the things I have done in the past week...
Hold onto your hats, it will seriously blow you away (which will sort of make having a hat unnecessary).

1. Blanched a bazillion tomatoes (ok just a jillion). super gross
2. Made homemade spaghetti sauce
3. Made salsa
4. Canned Salsa
5. Peeled five pounds of peaches
6. Made peach freezer jam
7. Made Blueberry freezer jam
8. Made (from scratch) 2 blueberry pies
9. Made four dozen Chocolate Chip Cookies
10. Loaded and unloaded a truck load of Firewood.
11. Vacuumed my windowsills (that was a first)--FYI-if any of you have super dirty screens (which I of course do not) and you don't want to pop them out and scrub them with a hose, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner, it makes a world of difference!
12 Wiped my kitchen counters a grand total of 1, 238 times.

On the list for tomorrow...
and maybe more peaches...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shoo Fly

Everette and I have been looking for some dry firewood all summer. Mostly it has been Everette telling me to look for some and me forgetting.

We acquired some wood from my dad when a gianormous storm knocked down a tree in his yard (we don't have any trees so we don't ever have to worry about that). But it was still pretty wet and smoky.

Everette found some people on craigslist selling firewood for $40 a pickup truckload, on Colfax.
We had forty bucks and we had a pick-up truck. It was a match made in heaven.
So Thursday we loaded ourselves into the truck and headed south. After first stopping at Dog N Suds for dinner. I begged Everette to have mercy and not to make me cook, after I was shackled all day to the kitchen. More on that later.

So filled, happily to the brim with root beer we struck out down US52. After some stellar navigating by me (hey-it's my blog, I write it like I see it), we arrived at the house.
The owner led us back into this pasture, where to our surprise, there were three horses.
The owner started to tell us all about his horses, but we quickly told him that we were ignorant in the ways of horses and his breath would be wasted. And we just wanted to know if they were related to Seabiscuit. When he said no, I was going to ask if they could talk like Mr. Ed, but the owner let out a big despondent sigh, so I decided to let it go.

We left Jonathan eating cheerios in his car seat with the windows rolled down, while I jumped in the back of the truck and started stacking the wood Everette dumped on the tailgate.
I forgot that my son is big ole scaredey cat when it comes to enourmous work animals.
He is terrified of the donkeys that live near our house. He cries when we go to the zoo to pet the llama. The only animal he isn't afraid of is the miniature donkey and the pygmy goats at the zoo. I assume because they are the exact same size as Max.

No sooner had I laid out the first layer of wood did Jonathan let out a loud shriek. Followed by sevearl other loud cries. We looked up to find a horse had wandered over near the window of the truck.
Everette ran around to get him out.
Knowing how long it takes my son to befriend strange animals I suggested he put him in the back of the truck with me.
Everette thought he could take him up to see the horse and then they would be bestest buddies.
While I have my doubts, this plan may have worked if not at that exact moment a GIANT horsefly landed on the horses back.
I am talking Gigantic. Like When Jeff Goldbloom turned into one in "THE FLY".
Yes, it was a human sized horsefly.
The horse, understandably started prancing around and bucking trying to get the fly off his back.
This of course escalated Jonathan's fear level from terror to nuclear fallout. I seriously started looking for things falling from the sky.
Unfortunately, the horse's prancing had positioned him between Everette with Jonathan and me in the truck. Trapping Everette and terrifying Jonathan even more.
This went on for several minutes until the fly found someone else to bother, and the owner could call the horse away.
The rest of the trip was uneventful as Jonathan was happy in the back of the truck with me, ironically, "neighing" at the horses.
Until we were trying to leave. The owner's wife was holding the gate open for us when all of a sudden the horses, led by Horsefly Hiney himself were right on our tail (ha). They were trying to slip out the gate with us.
So we had to stay there while the wife tried to shoo them away. Horses are not quite as good at being shooed as horseflies are apparently. The owner had to come over and pull the horses away.

We made it out, and even received a nice email from the lady, telling how much she appreciated our promptness (she may have been trying to smooth over the fact that she whacked our bumper with the gate while we were pulling out).

We do however have a 12 foot by 12 foot pile of firewood if anybody finds themselves in need.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Worse than Swine Flu

Botchulism is a disease that causes respiratory failure and paralysis, and a bunch of other unpleasant stuff. It isn't something I have ever really worried about. I had heard of it, but it wasn't too much of a threat to me or my loved ones.
But it has recently become a very real threat in my home. I am canning.
I thought about doing it last year, but never had the nerve. Today I mustered my courage and canned me some salsa.
I found a recipe I liked, did some research and canned me some salsa.
Sanitize jars and lids-check
Keep jars and lids warm until canning-- check
make sure recipe has lime juice to keep acidity high enough to prevent botulism--check

Of course after I put the first batch in the pot I read a website that said "Never use fresh lime juice, always bottled" Oops!

My instructions said to boil for 15 mins. Then I found another website that said cook for 30 mins when cold canning.
My instructions said take jars out of boiling water immediately and let cool in a draft free environment.
then I found another website that said let the jars cool in the water.
Botchulism here we come!
If no one hears from us for a few days this winter, call for help!
I made 7 half pint jars of salsa, very small batch, I know, but I figured i would keep it small for the first go around. Out of the 7 jars, only three sealed, so I have to reprocess the other four.
Who wants to come over for tacos?!?!?!

Here are the jars that didn't seal
here are the jars that did! Oh no! How will we tell them apart?
Earlier in the week I made some peach freezer jam. And I have some blueberries I was thinking of trying too!

In other news, Jonathan is just the most fun. He continues to be easy going, and more observational than exploratory. He definitely takes a moment to size up the situation before he decides to participate. Given enough time he will usually join in.
It is so fun to see him "playing" by himself. He loves his Little Peoples and his cars. I likes to carry them from one room to the other and line them up. Put them in the barn and take them out. Several times a day I enter a room to find this...
Our biggest problems currently are: 1. he is tall enough to reach nearly every counter.
2.He has developed a LOVE for ink pens. I came downstairs once to find him "decorating" my computer keyboard. 3. We just can't get him to stop feeding the dog. He is super sneaky about it!

Today he has a head full of snot and I tried to get a picture of him and he sneezed and this is what I got.
Sorry I couldn't resist.
Here's take two.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Delicious salad.

I just finished dinner, and I am avoiding the dishes, only temporarily.
But I made myself (and Everette) a delicious salad. In literally ten minutes (dressing too).
Unfortunately I didn't measure so the odds of duplicating is slim.
but here is how I did it.

I put a blob of dijon mustard in a bowl (I would say 1 heaping Tablespoon)
then a teaspoon of sugar.
Then 2 tablespoons of honey (I used orange blossom)
Then the juice of 1 1/2 lemons
then I drizzled olive oil until it "looked right"
Maybe 1/4 a cup?
Then I whisked it up real good.

Then I chopped up some romaine lettuce
1/2 a sweet pepper
1 small red onion
sunflower seeds
chopped almonds (roasted and salted)
a handful of craisins
1 braeburn apple (would be better with granny smith)

I tossed in most of the dressing and cracked some pepper.

Oh my goodness. I would have taken a picture but every time I put my fork down, Everette tried to eat off my plate. I had to guard it with my life.
I know what I am having for lunch tomorrow. and you should too!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Rite of Passage

This weekend we are spending with Everette's Family in Hilton Head South Carolina. We are having some quality family time.
We encountered a childhood rite of passage. Jonathan got his first bee sting.
We were at the pool and I was holding him facing out. Everette and I noticed a bee flying around and he managed to fly between Jonathan and me. Before we even knew what was happening the bee was caught in Jonathan's hair and he reached back too grab it, the bee stung his head.
Jonathan cried and it swelled a little, but after some benedryl, some Tylenol, a snack and a little nap, he seemed to be making a comeback.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

An Educational Moment

Having just finished dinner, I feel compelled to give you some life changing information.
I have a jillion things to do, but I have to stop and share with you. I am not making this up, I literally have a jillion things to do.
First I must apologize for any typos. My fingers are on fire. A friend, who will remain nameless (except to say her name might make you think she was a bottle of perfume in a mall kiosk. You KNOW I love you!), gave me two jalapeno peppers. And I stupidly cut them up with my bare hands to make salsa. They are the hottest jalapeno peppers ever. My hands are all tingly now.
Anyway, everybody is raving about the health benefits of olive oil these days. While I am not disputing them, I have to say, the recent limelight of olive oil has left an older more traditional cooking medium in the shadows.
That's right I am talking about butter.
Write these three ingredients down.

Vidalia onions.


They will change your life.
Olive oil is great, but I am telling you butter is better. You don't need much, just a tablespoon. You can could even go 50/50 butter and oil. But these three ingredients when combined are amazing.
They are a party in your mouth. But not a college party with kegs and beer pong.
More like a grown up dinner party, where you drink wine and discuss the state of the nation, the kind with two forks and cloth napkins.
You can throw any other vegetable in, but the onions will outshine them all.
Another tip, I recommend pressing your garlic, because the more you cut garlic before you cut it the more pungent it will be. If you are not a big fan of garlic chop them in big chunks or leave them whole. But seriously, press it, you won't be disappointed. And it is hard to get too much. I could cut six onions and eat them all myself. You can put them on burgers or brats or just shovel them into your mouth with a fork.
Make it tomorrow. I promise you won't regret it.
Don't forget the butter.
Your taste buds will thank you.
Excuse me while I soak my fingers in an ice bath (or maybe yogurt, I heard that works).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Croquet video

Croquet from Megan Mills on Vimeo.

At long last

So only six weeks later, I have posted the croquet pictures. All I have to say is... watch out Brad.
We're coming for ya!