Friday, October 26, 2012

The smell of apples is in the air again!

      I have some cooking on the stove as I write, and it smells so good in here! I have the windows opened, so the breeze is carrying the smell throughout the house! I finished with the apples, and with the peels and cores, I made some vinegar. No waste here!

      The sun is shining and the temp is heating up for another eighty degree day! I painted the arbor over the sidewalk yesterday and got myself a suntan! I thought it would be a sunburn, since that's what it felt like at the time! The weather is supposed to get much cooler tomorrow and for the most part of next week. I'll probably freeze until I acclimate to it! I sure hope the hubs gets the lines run for the new unit he installed in our bedroom! That's the coldest room in the house! He is trying out some units that he's installed at other places that are supposed to be highly energy efficient! Each section of the house will have a unit with a thermostat that we can control. He decided to do this since he found mold in our previous unit and duct work. I could actually smell it when I stood over a vent or passing by the return! Our son has been under the house with his Dad to help remove the old stuff. Even though it's only been installed for about seven years! He's never like the old system anyway, so now I'm glad he has a good excuse to change it out. As with the rest of our house, it is a work in progress.

      I finally got the hubs to get my fall wreath down from the attic! He had to be up there anyway so he kindly brought it down. I didn't put up decorations like last year because I'm just not 'into' it! I've been so busy with things! In fact, I can't believe November is so close! That means Thanksgiving will be here soon! Oh well, we always have the same food and the only thing I prepare a day or two in advance is the dressing. Unless I make a marinated slaw or salad. I can't believe I'm thinking about that right now! Got to go stir my apples! Have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!

It takes a little apple cider vinegar to make a little apple cider vinegar!

There was enough peels and cores to get two quarts of apple cider vinegar.

Can you smell this?

I'm still drinking my smoothies and green or black tea every day for lunch. It holds me over o.k. til dinner. Sometimes, I do have to have something crunchy and salty before dinner, though. I can tell a little difference in the way my pants are fitting. Slowly but surely, I'll get this weight off!

The new unit over our bed. See the unfinished ceiling above? The windows aren't finished either.

Happy Fall Ya'll! (The door needs a coat of paint!)

One of the pumpkins got eaten by large roaches! The pumpkin must be sweeter than the others! I didn't know they would do that!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Is it warm in your neck of the woods today?

      It sure is here! One could pop out into a sweat just walking around outside for very long! Fall weather here is fickle! One day it's warm, the next day it may be much cooler! You never know!

      What do you do when you have a 'scape goat?' Well, the hubs read on the web to tape a piece of PVC pipe to their horns. He did and it worked for a day! When I went outside earlier, one side was hanging on one horn, so I pulled it off. She tried to go through the fence again as I watched, but didn't make it. I'm hoping she'll get just a little bigger so she can't squeeze through! Delilah doesn't try, just feisty Daisey!

      I finished the applesauce and had ten half-pint jars. That will be enough for us I think. We don't eat applesauce, so I'll probably use it in recipes for oil replacement. I would like to get more apples before they're all gone so I can dehydrate some or make apple pie filling. I have about 3 or so pounds to do something with, but I was going to make some more fried pies. Maybe tomorrow? I also want to do something with three cucumbers. They are the pickling kind so I want to make bread and butter pickles. I'll probably get 2 pints from them. I can do that tomorrow also? Maybe the next day. I got a call from the u-pick farm saying they have more canning tomatoes, but I said no. I hope I don't change my mind! Are ya'll still putting up? I hope to get out some Fall decorations tomorrow too, or it will be Thanksgiving before I know it! Thanks for reading! Blessings from Bama!

Ten half-pints of applesauce.

The PVC on Daisey's horns.

She looks like a longhorn!

A glimpse of how bright the sun is shining on the house!

Another beautiful rose!

Too bad we don't like pesto! We are blessed with basil!

This grill was purchased for much cheaper than one part on the Primo (grill on right damaged earlier in year by straight line winds) would cost! It works better for me! I can lift the lid without straining!

Daisey and Delilah! Daisey is covered with beggar-lice!

The warm weather keeps the Keria blooming.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Making applesauce!

      I just got through putting ten pounds of apples through the apple peeler, corer, slicer! They are on the stove cooking down to what I hope will be a delicious applesauce! Can you believe that I've never made applesauce? Well, it's true, today is my first time. It's almost like making apple butter. I'm using the recipe in the Ball Blue Book for applesauce and I'm canning it in half pint jars. I don't think we'll eat much at a time so that way it won't get old. 

      The weather is very, very windy today! It's warm, though, but things are moving around on the porch so much it's scaring my little dog! I just hope the canopy doesn't get blown away! There's been several strong gusts that could have taken it down.

      The weather has caused the hens to lay again and I'm getting 4-6 eggs daily. I have an abundance of eggs and I saw a recipe for Gruyere puffs. I just don't know where in this town to find Gruyere cheese! I thought Aldi would have it since they carry a variety of cheeses during the holidays, but they don't have it. If we had a Publix, they probably have it. Guess I'll have to drive 50 minutes or so just to get some cheese! Well, I don't HAVE to make the puffs, I'd just like to. If I go to Birmingham, I don't usually go for just one item. I'll have a list. I'm really wanting to get more into herbal and aromatherapy type cures for common ailments, so the essential oils I can't find locally will have to be purchased at Whole Foods. I really like that store! I do have to budget when I go there because I could spend a ton! We budget anyway, so no worries. 

    I'm learning so much from reading ya'lls blogs and other's on the web! I appreciate you taking the time to post, and to read mine as well! I also appreciate the nice comments you leave! Have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!

Loving this apple, peeler, corer, slicer!
These are cooking down and you should smell the aroma!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another birthday!

      Our little boy turned 17 today! It seems like he should still be 5! Why do they have to grow up so fast? I'm sure you all ask the same questions! I am making his favorites today: pumpkin pie and stir fry chicken! That's what he requested, no cake, pie! That's easy enough for me! I am making the pie now and will have the stir fry done hopefully, before six. The reason I say hopefully, is because I am canning those tomatoes before they all rotten! I also have a dirty kitchen that has to be cleaned up first! So many things to do for only one person! I'll manage, though.

      We went to Ellijay, Georgia this past weekend to the apple festival. I have never seen the traffic like that! It grows more every year! We couldn't even get close to the festival, so we walked the town square. They have lots of vendors set up with apples, crafts and food, so we really didn't miss that much.  Plus, we didn't have to pay an entry fee! I think it cost $5-$7 to get in. My Mom and Dad went with Randy, Skylar, and me, so that would've been a lot of money spent, just to do what we could do for free! I really like going to the festival, though. When we went to the R&A Orchard to buy our apples, there were so many people inside, we couldn't even find a buggy! That's never happened before! You wouldn't know by all of this that the economy is not very good! I got a huge bag of apples for $10 that would've been $15 if I had bought the larger sized apples. We prefer the smaller apples for eating because one person can't eat one of those large apples; part of it goes to waste! I will be working on canning or dehydrating some of these apples later in the week. 

      I am also contemplating joining a CSA. The lady is supposed to call me back today and let me know. I hope to be able to obtain locally grown produce until my garden comes in next year. We'll see. Our weather is such a yo-yo! It's gotten very warm again, well, seventies with humidity so it feels like eighties! The temps may even get in the eighties this week, not sure, though. That's typical for the South this time of year. Hope ya'll are having a nice Autumn! Talk to you later this week! Blessings from Bama!

My vanilla beans came in the mail so I made some vanilla extract! It smells so good already! I plan on using some of it during Thanksgiving.

These two boxes were full. This is what I'm working on today.

Chopped peppers for the tomato relish.

Onions and peppers for the relish.

This old food processor that I got at a yard sale about ten years ago, for fifteen dollars, saved me so much time cutting all those peppers and onions.

The photo doesn't do this size of the pot justice! This is my water-bath canner, full of tomato relish! My tee shirt is down to my knees, but I'm up to my elbows in tomatoes!

Yasmine enjoying the slide!

She and Layla love to swing!

Winterlynn is growing so quickly!

I tried to get them to look at the camera!

Three little monkies!

Mom, Dad, and Randy. Skylar doesn't like to get his picture made.

See what I mean!

They look like the car was made for them!

North Georgia mountains viewed from R&A Orchards.

The very crowded store at R&A.

I had the hubs pull over so I could take this photo. That is so pretty!

Skylar and Oma, Randy's Mom. We ate at Kobe for Skylar's birthday.

Nanny, Poppa, and Skylar. My Dad is doing very well after his surgery this past summer!

Oma's birthday was the day before Skylar's so she celebrated as well! Dr. Seuss hat at Books-A-Million.

We got Skylar some new fog lights for his Jeep.

I wished you could smell this rose! It has a very strong old rose smell.

So pretty, even if she's bowing her head.

Twenty-four pints of tomato relish.

The big bag of Fuji apples.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What a gorgeous day it is!

      The temps are only in the sixties, with a slight breeze, and wow, the angle of the sun catches the color of the leaves perfectly! I'm trying to 'gear it down' because I've been so busy all summer! It's hard for me to 'gear down', is it for you? I hope maybe tomorrow I'll be able to, but it's not likely. I've got some fall canning tomatoes to pick up at the local u-pick farm. They pick the vegetables, though. In the Spring, we get to pick the strawberries, that's why I call it a u-pick farm. I finally finished canning all of those potatoes that I got at Aldi's , .39 for a 5 pound bag! Yay! If I get those tomatoes tomorrow, I'll be making tomato jam my Dad loves! He's been talking about that ever since I gave him my last jar! So, I've got to make him some more!

      I was so into my soap-making in my last post, that I forgot to tell you about getting boneless, skinless chicken breasts at Aldi, for $1.69 a pound! I bought two packs, which were very large, and canned 13 pints of  chicken! That was my first time to can chicken, and it was the easiest canning I've done yet! I just packed the breasts into the hot jars, poured in boiling water, put the lids on, put them in the canner, and canned them for 1 hour and 15 minutes! Keeping the temp regulated was the hardest part, and that wasn't really hard. I will definitely be doing this again!

      I'm already thinking about my garden beds for next Spring! I may take out all of the dirt and start over! That will be a huge undertaking! It the hubs can borrow a tractor, he can move  some dirt up here from the woods. That will be the cheapest way! I'm not sure yet. We'll see how the weather does this fall and winter. I may just have to amend, amend and hope for the best! Hope ya'll are having a great Fall! Blessings from Bama!
13 pints of canned chicken breasts!

7 quarts of potatoes.

The leaves at the very top are changing; so pretty!

I love how the leaves are changing! There's still a lot of green, though.

These leaves didn't show up as well since I was facing the sun.

Five bars of soap curing on top of the freezer, in the garage.


Friday, October 5, 2012

I finally did it! I just made my first batch of soap!

      I was so nervous that I forgot to take pictures! The soap is in a box drying for twenty-four hours, but I can show you that. Tomorrow, I get to cut the bars. I am really excited to see how this soap turns out! I did a few things wrong, which I think was because I rushed. But, we learn from our mistakes! I will definitely be making soap again! I need to get some more essential oils, but I will utilize what I have until then. I don't want to smell lavender again for a long time! I'm sure it won't be that strong in the soap, but I'm tired of it for now. 

      Today is such a beautiful October day! The temps are in the lower eighies, so the ac is on. The wind is blowing just enough to ring the wind chimes; they sound so pretty! I hardly ever untie them because I hate to be awakened in the middle of the night to the loud sound of chimes ringing! The hubs especially doesn't like it because he's usually the one who has to get up and tie them back! Therefore, we need to see if it's going to be windy tonight! 

      I am doing better with my smoothie drinking. I found out that they don't have to have dairy and can still be smoothies. I like dairy, I'm just not using it in my smoothies. They consist of: spinach, carrots, celery, green apple, strawberries, blueberries, and sometimes grapes. I tried a tomato in there today and didn't like the flavor. Oh, I also add a scoop of non-dairy protein powder. I've been drinking them for breakfast, and they seem to hold me until about eleven, then I eat a handful of nuts. I love nuts, but I rarely ate them until now. They are very nutritious and seem to curb my appetite until I can eat lunch. Today for lunch I had scrambled eggs, some homemade pimiento cheese, and a biscuit with honey. I'm thinking about making calzones for dinner tonight.

      The hens are laying again, so I am getting about five eggs a day. I really should try an egg recipe tonight, but the guys like pizza on Friday. We'll see. I poured up the first pear vinegar but I should have waited. It was weak. I'm going to let the other vinegar steep for at least six months. That's what I read, the longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor. Kind of like wine, I guess. Hope ya'll are doing well! Have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!

Skylar loves to play with the goats. Look at all that goldenrod!

The young mechanic! He's done a lot of things to his Jeep!

That looks dificult!

He's painting something.

They were inside taking a Siesta!

The new fencing is large enough for their heads to fit through, but their bodies can't!

They are so funny!

The Tyson chicken just lays around now. She's gotten really big! She'll probably fall over dead one day!

Cheese? No, soap! I made a mess so I hope it turns out well!