Monday, October 31, 2011


There, I feel better already.

Today is a Mawmaw is driving me insane day.

Anytime I do anything she'd never consider doing (which is pretty much ANYTHING) I get to hear a completely made up cautionary story trying to talk me out of it.  Most of the time they are spread out enough I don't want to scream, but these have all been in the last three days:

She can't believe I mow our yard.  She knows someone who cut their foot open with a push mower like that.  Her other version of this is that she knew someone who killed someone else by a rock coming out of the mower and hitting them in the head.  Never mind the fact that we never have anyone outside when we mow..she still tells the story.  If you ask who it was she either says she can't remember their name or she stammers and hem haws and then makes one up on the spot.  Tell her it's a different one from the last time she told that story and watch her get mad.

She can't believe I use a weed eater.  She knows someone who cut their ankle open using one.

She can't believe we keep gas in a gas can.  She knew someone who kept some in their garage and it blew up.

She can't believe I use a pressure canner.  She knew someone who was using one and it blew up.

She can't believe I ferment cabbage to make sauerkraut.  She knew someone who did and it blew up.

(see a theme here?)

She can't believe I rewire electrical switches, she knew someone who did and electrocuted themselves.

She can't believe I cut up meat, she knew someone who cut their finger off.

About two minutes ago she was staring at me while I'm working on the baby blankets and told me she can't believe I use a sewing machine, she knew someone who sewed right through their finger!

I think she 'knew' a lot of accident prone idiots, huh?!?!?!

Stuff around the house

Conversation with youngest just now:

Youngest:  Look, a fly!  Shoo!  Shoo!
Me (singing badly):  Shoo fly, don't bother me.  Shoo fly, don't bother me!
Youngest:  But it IS bothering ME, Mom!!!!!!

Conversation with Mawmaw:

Me:  I'm going to go wash my hair.
Mawmaw:  I need to wash mine but I'm not going to wet it now. It's too cold, I'll have to wait until it warms up.
Me:  ?????  So she's not going to wash her hair until next June???

(For the record, it's a beautiful day outside, too! We're about 10 degrees higher than we should be for this time of year.)

In respect to the husband:

He's lucky I love him so much.   lol

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Black walnuts in progress

When we lived in KY (years ago) someone ran an ad in the newspaper that you could come pick up all of the black walnuts that you wanted, for free, off of their property.

We, having no idea what we were in for, drove out there and filled up bag after bag after bag.

Are you laughing yet?

We'd never dealt with them before and had NO IDEA how much of a pain in the  , um, CHALLENGING, they were.  I'm sad to say, the vast majority of them went to waste after we gave some away and then gave up.  The few I did get open, well, I wasn't impressed with their taste.  That's because I didn't know you were supposed to let them dry two weeks after you husk them!  Sort of really important, that part!  lol

Well, I'm back for round two.  I've asked hubby to bring me some when he sees them while hunting.  So, every hunting trip has resulted in me getting a pocket or hat full of them and I finally had a bucket full.

This time I think I'm better prepared.  So, you take the whole thing and smack it with a hammer.  One good whack cracked all of them.  Then, using gloved hands, you peel the husk off and throw it away.  (Note, I've heard and read they are poisonous for animals, so be careful.)  You are left with the nut (the black blob on the right).

This is what they do to your gloves.  Or your hands, if you don't use gloves.  :)

Per the experts around here (ie: the lady who runs the big red barn feed store) you put them in a bucket of water and agitate them to get the junk off of them.  Dump the water and repeat.

and repeat

and repeat

You want to get most of the junk off of them and for the water to not look like strong tea.
Keep repeating.  I was going to tell you how many times I did this, but to be honest, I stopped counting when the number got depressing.

Once they are pretty well cleaned (you don't have to get every speck off) you spread them out so they can dry.  They need to dry for two weeks, she tells me, before you can attempt to crack them and get the nut meats out.

I'll take more pictures and let you know how that goes when we get to that time!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The 'box' tomatoes

Here are the tomatoes I got out of the boxes this week.  I used some for a pasta dish I fixed for the teacher appreciation lunch (pictures below).  Not sure what I'm going to do with the rest of them yet.  

I used the tri-colored pasta, sorry no picture of it cooking.  I have to forget at least one picture, right?  lol
I added bell pepper from the garden.

I found these (olives in pouches!?!?!?) on sale for fifty cents, so I put two pouches worth in there after draining the brine they were in.

I also added the cut up tomatoes, two cucumbers, some sliced pepperonis that I had in the cabinet that I'd bought on sale earlier...

and some red onion and some Italian salad dressing.

I tossed it all with some pepper and a teeny bit of salt.

Then I sprinkled it with feta cheese.

I hope they enjoyed it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Laundry detergent update

Do you remember back on Sept. 20th when I had to make more laundry detergent?  Well, I wanted to give you an update on that.  I'm guessing now that Mawmaw was wasting way more detergent than I originally guessed.  I say that because I hid this batch. Yes, I did.  I am actually hiding laundry detergent in my own home, how sad is that?  lol.

I taped a piece of paper on the container and I've been marking every time I wash a load of clothes.  I won't give it away by telling you what number I'm on now, but I will say it's lasting longer than I thought it would (and than it has in the past, hence my suspicion) and I normally wash at least one load per day.

Even better news, a friend here in town called me the other day and asked me for the 'recipe' that I use to make my soap.  We've talked about it a few times before and she's finally decided to try it!  Yay!

Will let you know when the detergent is all gone what the final load count was!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This week is just crazy busy!

I haven't been home very much this week, sorry.  So far we've had three Scout things, two church things, three school volunteer things, helped a friend with something and, oh, I can't even remember what else because my brain is tired!  lol.

I checked the tomatoes in the boxes again and got some more out.  I used some in a pasta dish that was donated for the teachers.  I do have pictures of that for you, but I'll put them up tomorrow, just too tired tonight.  Sorry.

I'm down to just one box of wrapped tomatoes now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Feeding our feathered friends

I made a batch of suet the other day and I actually remembered to take some pictures, so I thought I'd share them with you.

I save up used grease whenever I have some left from cooking.  Bacon drippings, shortening, whatever you have left over.  You can save a bunch and make a big batch or save a bit and make small batches as you need it.

It's a great way to use up left over bits of stale stuff, too!

Ready?  OK.
Take your grease and melt it in a BIG pot.
No, not that one, the bigger one.  Trust me on this.

I forgot a picture of this, but I put a big spoonful of crunchy peanut butter in there and melt it in.  Then you add in any stale or left over bits of breads, cereals, crackers, etc.  I actually have a big ziploc bag in my freezer and anything that's getting stale or left over and I know won't be eaten (but would be good for suet) goes in there until I'm ready to make a batch.

This time I had one lone piece of cornbread to add. 

Some popcorn the kids got from the local hardware store but didn't eat before it went stale....

Throw in some birdseed....

A bit of cornmeal (or flour) for thickening....

Add some oats just because I know the birds like it and it helps thicken it....

Some stale cereal a friend saved for me.....
(Yes, it IS acceptable to ask your friends to save stale food for you!)

I also threw in a big handful of our sunflower seeds and a handful of raisins.
You want to add things until it gets really thick and hard to stir.

If you've bought suet you can save those plastic things and put your suet in there so it will automatically be the correct size.  I just pulled a few boxes out of the recycling pile and lined them with foil and spread it out in there.  Then I popped them in the freezer to harden up all the way then score them to cut them to the size I want.  I keep mine in the freezer here but if you have a place in your house that stays cool, you can keep them there.  

Trust me when I say your feathered friends will be VERY happy with your concoction, no matter what you throw in there!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Fun

The kids had a blast and the parents had a good time, too.  I didn't get a picture of all of them, but here are some of them.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Want to guess what we're going to be doing at our next Scout meeting?   :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Have you ever noticed

That when you bake bread everyone fights over the end pieces but if you have to buy a loaf of bread, no one wants to eat the end pieces at all?

Yeah, that's how impressively important the days' doings have been!

Did the the kids' room cleaned out, though.  I'm happy.  Them, not so much.  When Mom gets involved in the cleaning, lots of things go away.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's not an easy thing

I've known hubby's grandmother since I was a teen, but of course I only saw her every now and then during that time.  So while I've known her for a long time, I don't know her previous personal habits or preferences.  I only know what they have been since she moved in with us.

Can I just say that it's very hard to have to regularly go to someone and try to tell them nicely and without insulting them or hurting their feelings that they need to bathe.  Sigh.  I don't know if this is something that has come along with age with her or if she's always been this way, but I can tell you that it gets very old and after two plus years of doing it, you'd think that MAYBE she might begin to realize that she needs to take a bath every once in a while and that even though her sense of smell is diminished (had to have a doctor help prove this to her because she thought we were all over reacting about her perfume and lotion applications), the rest of us do NOT have that issue and our sense of smell is just fine....and people smell when they don't bathe.  I'm not super picky, right now she's bathing roughly once a week simply because I'm not up to having the argument (that it almost always turns into) more than that, but, really, it ought to be routine by now, if nothing else.  Before you ask, I'm right there when she gets in or out of the tub, so it's not because she's worried about falling in there alone.

Last night we got home from Scouts and she was in bed.  There were no dirty dishes in the kitchen.  I heard her coughing, so I knew she was awake (it was 7:30 pm) so I knocked on her door.  She knew what I was going to say, so she ignored me.  I opened the door and told her I heard her coughing, I knew she was awake and she needed to eat something.  She told me she did.  I asked her what.  She said 'a little bit of oatmeal.'  Mawmaw, there are no dirty dishes or pans in the kitchen, don't lie to me, get up and eat!  She came out of her room grumbling about me under her breathe, but she did eat.

The lies drive me batty.  Lies about eating, if she does eat, she lies about what she ate because left to her own devices she'll only eat sweets (she's diabetic), lies about us to strangers telling them how horrible she's treated and how we don't feed her good food, etc.  Takes things that belong to us and hides them in her room and, of course, lies about it when you ask.  Funny, the ladle was on the counter drying when I left the house with youngest kiddo, you were the ONLY ONE home and it's gone now that I'm back..........WHERE could it have gone, then????

It has not been a good day here with her so far.  Wish me some patience, will ya?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some more small batch canning

This is what I did with the tomatoes that got ripe (the ones I had wrapped in newspaper and put in boxes to ripen).  

It makes me want to make soup or stew just looking at them!  lol.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Something else with the jalapenos

Why not?  They are still making peppers, so we're still making up things to do with them!  lol

This time we took some pork breakfast sausage, cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder and mixed it all up.

We halved the peppers and stuffed them with the mixture.

Then they went on the grill in a foil packet.  I was trying to see if we could use this for a camp out that's coming up.

They would have looked better done in the oven and run under a broiler, but while camping that won't be an option, so I just did the foil pack.  They don't look that great, but they did taste good.  I did 19 peppers and there were none left.  That's a venison steak next to them on the plate.  Yum!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Think I'm going to make a doctor appt

I'm not a doctor person.  I'm blessed in that I rarely get sick with anything serious, so I usually go to the doctor about once a year for my annual 5000 mile tune up  check up and to get my allergy prescriptions renewed again.  Last year was an exception because I had a kidney stone.  Yay me.

Anyway, I'm due for my annual testing, so it's time, anyway, but I'm thinking something else is going on.  I'm just exhausted lately.  No energy, which is translating into no excitement for my volunteer stuff and a grumpy me.  I've always ran towards low iron, so I've been taking iron pills for literally years and years.  I've always been able to stay on top of it enough to still donate blood and pass my yearly exams, sometimes barely passing, but that's OK.  Lately, though, I'm just so tired.  I think maybe the iron pills aren't keeping my level up or something.

I don't sleep well when I do go to bed, so I'm sure that plays into it, too.  Hubby stays up later than I do and he tries to be quiet, but he always wakes me up coming to bed and it's not easy for me to fall right back asleep.  Then you add in his grandmother who gets up to go to the bathroom a couple of times during the night and she turns on all the lights that are on the way plus manages to somehow slam both her bedroom and the bathroom doors shut and I'm awake even more.  If any of the kids need anything, I'm the one up with them.

If we had any extra rooms in this house I'd seriously consider putting a bed in there just so I could sleep hopefully undisturbed at least every now and then, but there's no room here to do that.

So, I need to see what's going on.  It's ridiculous that by 5:30 in the evening I'm pretty much ready for bed.  Still have a million things to do, so can't GO to bed, but boy would I like to some days.

On that note......good night!

What do you call these?

This is yet another thing that's called something different here than what I grew up calling it back home.

What do you call these?

(Not my picture, got it from Google, although there are about 800 of these out in the yard but it's too dark to go take a picture right now.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Someone forgot to tell the plants that we are entering Fall

I have two jalapeno plants still in the garden and one bell pepper plant and they are all putting on new peppers like CRAZY.

I pulled 19 jalapenos today!  I'm loving it.  I don't understand it, lol, but I love it!

How to tell Scouts live at your house

You run an errand and come back to find a dead fall trap in your parking spot.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Time to check on the sleeping tomatoes

I took some pictures so you could see how it's going.  They are actually getting ripe much quicker than I expected them to.  The last few days we've had a small heat wave and we've been about 10 degrees higher than normal for this time of year, so I think that might have something to do with it.

I'm happy to report, though, that it's working!  I took some pictures so you could see how even in the same 'package,' they don't all get ripe at the same time.  You just take out the ripe/almost ripe ones and rewrap the others and put them back in the box.

I ended up with enough to do a small batch of something, now I just have to decide what the something will be!  lol

Monday, October 10, 2011

Confused the satellite guy

I got a phone call from a satellite TV company.  It went like this:

Him:  I'm calling from XYZ, I want to ask you about your TV service and tell you about our offers.
Me:  I can save you some time.  We don't have cable or any other TV service and aren't going to get it.
Him:  ...........
Him:  You don't have cable?
Me:  No
Him:  You don't have satellite TV?
Me:  No
Him:  Why not?
Me:  Never turned it on when we moved years ago because we were too busy and no one missed it, so it's stayed off ever since.  It's been over three years now.
Him:  (I can picture him quickly scanning script looking for ANYTHING that might apply to me) So, what are your favorite TV shows?  What would you do if you wanted to watch a show that used to be your favorite?
Me:  I do have a few favorites.  I watch them online, for free.
Him:  Online?
Me:  Yes.
Him:  For free?
Me: Yes, everything I want to watch, I can watch online.
Him:  Well, we have packages starting at $24.99 per month that include the major networks plus extras.
Me:  That's $25 more a month than I pay now.  Why would I do that?
Him:  Thanks for your time.

That was actually fun to blow his mind that way.  Not that I like junk calls, but if they were all cable and satellite folks, it would at least raise my entertainment level around here!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Four and twenty black birds.....

Otherwise titled:

We have you surrounded!

The other morning the black birds descended on the area.  It was crazy.  This is the side yard.

Sorry the picture isn't too great, my camera kept trying to focus on the window screen.  All those black dots are birds.  They were in the side yard, back yard and front yard solid.  The other side of the house is the neighbor's driveway and I didn't get to check it before a car drove by and scared them off.

I was heading to get a picture of the front yard when the car drove by, so this is all I got a picture of:

It was pretty funny to see them all around the house like that.  Silly birds!

Oh! What do YOU do with turnips?

I forgot!  My friend gave me some turnips she had left at the end of the day yesterday (and some okra, but I know what I'm going to do with that!).  I don't think I've ever eaten a turnip.    ???????

She said I could slice them and batter them and fry them or she said I could boil them and combine them with some boiled potatoes and make a soup, which is what she usually does.  I'm guessing like a potato soup?



What do I do with these things?



I'm sure you'll be SO surprised to know that I forgot to take a picture of the jerky after it was done.  lol.  Here's one I took after it had been in the dehydrator for a couple of hours.  I tried a new marinade 'recipe' (meaning I made it up as I went along) and it turned out pretty good.  Next time I'll add more red pepper flakes, though.

There was a small local celebration going on here yesterday and a friend asked if she could set up stuff from her fruit/veggie stand in the yard to try and take advantage of the people coming and going to the event and I said yes because it would be fun to hang out with her for the day and I know they are having a pretty rough time financially right now, so hopefully she'd make some money.

Then I decided, well, if I'm going to be out there, anyway, I might as well throw some yard sale stuff in out there and see how it goes.  I got up early Saturday morning and gathered up some stuff and this guy was on of the things I put out there. He was left in the house by the previous tenants and the landlord said to do whatever we wanted with him.  He's about five feet tall and in the morning I kept turning around and wondering who was walking down the hall towards me.  lol   He was about the 5th thing that sold, too!  

In the end, I made about $60 and my friend sold over $100 worth of stuff, so not bad for a last minute thrown together thing and considering the only sign we had was the one in the yard.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Small batch canning

I put up five pints of tomatoes today to use for soups and stews this winter.

I have some jerky drying but will have to show you that after it's done.