Sunday, September 28, 2008

My fall decorating

Our little town has a scarecrow contest every year and this is my entry. I decided to put a farm girl up in the wagon seat with my pumpkins from the garden. She's wearing my pants and shirt, dh boots, dd hat and a braided wig I got a couple Halloweens ago. You can't really see the pitchfork leaning on her right shoulder. The cornstalks came from my garden also. My scarecrow appears rather well-endowed although I didn't blow up the balloons very big at all. Oh, well.

DH thinks I should put a face on her, but I'm not very good with faces. The next time we get down to Boise we'll pick up a Happy Halloween kind of banner and hang it from the front hoop over the scarecrow.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Canning week fiasco

The light is actually too bright but there are 4 buckets of red apples and 2 boxes of green apples. What was I thinking?!

The cherry plums (cherums) from my tree in the back yard.

Saturday, I processed half the green apples as apple slices. No problem. Then, I set to work to juice the plums and make jelly on Sunday. They juiced beautifully in my steam juicer but my first attempt at jelly with my canning book recipe was a total failure. Monday night after work, I try the pectin recipe from the box of pectin. Another total failure. I've only used up one gallon of the juice I got and still have another gallon. And what was I going to do with all this syrup I just ended up with? Well, one more shot. Tuesday night I dumped all of the non-pectin syrup into a pot and added Chillover powder and that did the trick. Still not quite jelly, but it is spreadable now instead of pourable! So, I did one more batch on Wednesday with Chillover powder and then just canned the rest of the juice as juice. I don't think I'll try jelly-making again. It's just too tricky. I don't like having to re-work things.

Thursday meeting so I had no time to can after work. I get a phone call telling me the peaches I ordered are in. Oh, man, I still have all those apples to do! Friday night I finished off the green apples. Today I got up at 5:30 to pouring rain. In a way, I was glad it was raining so I could stay home and can. I got on line for a bit while drinking my tea then set to work cutting up the apples for apple butter. One bucket down. I started running them through my blender and we got a major power surge and it blew up my blender! Sparks and smoke and man did it stink! I had to light candles to get rid of the smell, ugh. I had to borrow another blender so I could finish what I started. I didn't have a sieve to do it by hand. My neighbor had a food processor. Ok, that'll work. I got it home and the power went out completely. Waiting... After a half hour it came back on and I finished the apples for apple butter and had the pot on the stove. I started cutting up another bucket-full for applesauce and the power cut out again. Waiting...This was at 8:30. I continued to slice up the apples and got another bucket down but still no power.

I started sorting fabric and cutting out oven mitts, sweeping, mopping, playing with the dogs and wandering around looking for something else to do that didn't require power. Couldn't do laundry, couldn't iron, couldn't vaccuum, couldn't go on line to chat and it was still raining cats and dogs with lightning. Bugger, I was bored. Normally, I love it when the power is off but this time I was just annoyed.

The sun came out at 1:30 and power was finally restored at 2pm. I just put the last 6 jars in the canner and I'm about to make dinner. The last two buckets of apples will just have to wait until tomorrow along with the peaches. I'm pooped. If it hadn't been for the power outage, I could have had all the apples done this morning and started on the peaches this afternoon. There are still plums down the street that I need to get (they make the best plum butter). I sure hope tomorrow is better, but I can see more storm clouds moving in as I type this and there's the thunder...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cody's got a girlfriend!

We have been looking for quite some time for a mate for Cody. Hubby wouldn't even hear of getting him fixed until he got a pup from him. Well, we finally found Tashi; a beautiful little red and white border collie with a wonderful disposition. The owner dropped her off today and she'll spend the next 5 days with us and hopefully Cody will become a daddy. We get the pick of the litter. So far, they get along great, but Tashi is not an easy gal. Cody is not going to get anywhere on the first date!

Girlie Girl is not at all happy about another girl in the house and we have to keep her separated from them. Thankfully, this is only for 5 days.

Cody's mom was a red and white, too. So, while there is no guarantee and the red gene is considered recessive, we're still hoping for a red and white male. Wish us luck!

This picture is kind of dark. But that's Tashi on the left and Cody on the right.

Tashi by herself. She minds very well.

Cody and Tashi sitting on command. She's such a tiny little thing but she's 2 1/2 years old. Cody is only 3 1/2 now. He's all excited about her being here, but still doesn't quite know what to do with her!

Farmgirls in the family

We just got some old photos from the family and I just loved these so much, I want to share them with you all.

This is my hubby's mom. She's gone now, but I thought this was a very farmgirl-like photo of her.

This is my hubby's grandma. Now there's a busy farmgirl!