Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Celebration and seeds!

      We had a very exciting weekend this past weekend! The girls came for a visit, and we celebrated my in-laws 50th. wedding anniversary! The celebration was a surprise to the happy couple, and boy, were they surprised! Everything turned out very nice, and we got to visit with family members we don't get to see very often.

      I also started the rest of the tomato and eggplant seeds. I see no growth yet from the other seeds, but it takes 7-14 days for germination. I really should have started them sooner so they'll be bigger going into the ground! I just hope they germinate! I also need to get outside and do the work mentioned before on the raised beds! Today it isn't raining, but the wind is quite gusty! It's rained a lot here and been windy and cold, so I couldn't get anything done outside. I hope to do something today since the temps are supposed to be in the mid-50's. Then it's supposed to turn cold with possible snow flurries this weekend. The weather usually changes before then, so we'll see.

      My co-op order should be here by this weekend and I'm so excited to see what all I get! I kept adding to the order since January, so it will be quite a few items. Some weeks I have grocery money left over, so I save that and will pay for the order with the savings. I haven't been able to save any grocery money in the past two weeks, since it seems prices just keep going up! The order will help with that since buying in bulk is cheaper, and I'll save money in the long run. I've really been trying to be more frugal with food and have had very little to give to the dogs. They wait every morning for me to throw out something, but I only have a few crumbs for them. Good for us, bad for the dogs. They have their dog food, so they're not starving!

      Hope the weather is nice where you live! Just be thankful for moisture instead of drought! Have a good week! Blessings from Bama!

Layla and Yasmine love to swing!

Layla isn't afraid to let Delilah eat from her hand!

Yasmine is feeding Daisey from a cup.

So young and in love!

These photos hold many memories for the happy couple!

The wedding day. The two photos above are passport photos. They met and married in Germany!
The lovely cake.

The surprised couple and their son.

These glasses are too cute!

A framed puzzle put together by their daughter in only two days. Helen has visited the castle in Germany before.

The rest of the seeds I wanted to start.

A keeper recipe for baked chicken Parmesan!

Friday, February 22, 2013

I finished the job!

      How good it does feel to finally have the two empty beds filled with dirt and ready to plant! I got it done just before the rain set in! I don't care for these dreary, cloudy, rainy days; and I appreciate the sun so much more after days like this! At least we're not under fifteen inches of snow! I don't know what I'd do if we were! Go out and make snow angels, for one! I love the snow and think it is so pretty, but after a long winter of it, I guess it does get old. At least I can be inside and get inside tasks accomplished. The girls are coming tomorrow, so I've got a day to get ready for them. I missed them last weekend, so I'm looking forward to them being here.

      I got some of my seeds started! That's another plus for being inside! I ran out of t-labels, so I didn't plant the rest. I will go to WM this weekend and pick up some while I'm there. I don't like to make special trips just for one or two things. I'm so excited to see the first seedlings appear, but it probably won't be for 7-14 days!

      The weather is affecting the hens laying! Today I only got one egg! So much for cream brulee! It takes four large egg yolks! It's that, or no eggs for breakfast in the morning. I like eggs for breakfast, so I may have to buy some eggs for the cream brulee. I'm surprised I have any eggs! Nine hens just don't add up to one egg! How are ya'lls hens doing?

      I'm curious to see what next week's weather brings. I have other jobs in the raised beds that need to be done. They won't be as extensive as removing and replacing dirt, although that is what I'd like to do. I'm just going to skim off the top layer and replace it with manure and leaves. Hopefully, that will break down into nice compost for future veggies. I would also like to plant some early spring veggies. I will think on that and let you know next week. Hope ya'll have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!

This was a new dish I tried this week: cheese and bean stuffed burritos with taco seasoned meat sauce on top.

Filling the cells with seed starting mix.

The finished bed, yay!

Peppers planted.

I need to skim off the top and put in some good stuff.

This bed still has garlic and some beets. When I harvest them, I'll skim off the topsoil and replace it with manure and leaves. The bed above it has some turnips, so when I harvest them, I'll do the same.

Next day, I planted tomato seeds.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Smoothie or Lemon Meringue Pie?

      I think I'll have both! My brother brought a couple of lemons from Mobile the last time he was home, so I finally got around to using one of them. They are the biggest lemons I've ever seen! They are more like a grapefruit or very large navel orange in comparison. They don't taste like a traditional lemon, though, so I'm thinking Meyer lemon. I wish I had a Meyer lemon to compare the taste. Maybe the store will have one this week so I can compare. This was my first meringue, since I usually don't like the taste of meringue. This meringue doesn't taste like other meringues, so I think I'll like it. The texture of meringues kind of bother me as well, but since the flavor is better, I can deal with the texture. In fact, I think this is my first 'from scratch' lemon meringue pie! I used the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I'm sure there's one on the web if one would like to Google it. I didn't make the crust, or I would still be making the pie right now. I keep a store bought frozen pie crust in the freezer. Maybe one day I'll make my own pie crust!

      Since I worked so hard last week hauling dirt with the wheel-barrow, I gave my back a break over the weekend and today! In fact, my upper back muscles were so sore I couldn't have worked them If I wanted to! It's been a beautiful day out with the temps in the lower 60's, so it was very hard for me NOT to do that sort of work! Thus, the pie!

      Hopefully by my next post, I will have planted my seeds! I won't to go and do that right now, but I must make dinner! Do the dishes ever get caught up? How about the laundry, dusting, and bathrooms? It seems like I never get all the things done I need to in a day! Like the guy on Andy Griffith,  tomorrow is the best day to do anything! I will be busy tomorrow! Have a nice week! Blessings from Bama!

Are these Meyer lemons?

My first 'from scratch' lemon meringue pie!

Which would you choose? I think I know!

I made hand sanitizer! Thanks to Brown Thumb Mama!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Did you Spread a Little Love on Valentine's Day?

      I did! At least to my animals, hubby and son! I didn't see anyone else, but I sent them messages. It was a back-breaking, body-wrenching, work-out day for me! I finally finished the raised bed I was working on! All of those trips with the wheel-barrow full of dirt, and the goats butting me and climbing on me too! But I went right back at it today! This time it was the chickens! Every time I go to the gate with the wheel-barrow, they all flock there as if they want out. First, one got out. I thought I would not get to her before Rubi did, but thankfully Rubi stayed on the porch. I got the chicken in and moved on. I came back with another load, and another chicken got out! She stayed out forever, it seemed! I just knew Rubi would get her, but alas, she stayed on the porch. I finally got the hen in and came in to write this post. That was exhausting! I still have to go out for another load before dark. I may have enough daylight for two loads, but I doubt it. 

      I'll be so glad when this bed is finished! I've decided that I'm not going to removed the dirt in the other beds; I'm just going to get the top soil off and replace it with manure and leaves. It is full of weeds, so removing this top layer will get most of them, and the composted manure and leaves will hopefully smother out the rest. I'll just be glad when I'm done! I am using this for my workout this week since it is one! I was working out with Jackie Warner on a dvd, but this is the same! I like this better since I'm outside. Today's temp is 59, but tomorrow the high is only supposed to be 40 with strong gusty winds. I doubt I'll be working outside in that! That's why I'm trying to get as much done now. 

      Have ya'll started your seeds indoors yet? I should have already done that, but I haven't. Tomorrow will be a good day for that if I have to stay inside. We had a nice Valentine's  dinner last night at home! I didn't want to wait in long lines at a restaurant and  wished I'd cooked instead. That's what usually happens. Ya'll have a great weekend! Blessings from Bama!

I baked the brownies in this pan, that's why they are in the shape they're in.

They fell because I took them out of the oven to check for doneness. They weren't done, so I put them in for more time. Taking them out is what caused them to fall.

The manicotti turned out better than some restaurants! I used my homemade Italian sausage and homemade sauce.

I think the geese are so pretty!

Here's the boys with Rubi! They're loosing some of that extra weight they were carrying.

Samson and Java.

The innocent hens!

I need more dirt!

You can see Java's blue eyes here.

I just finished this bed.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Sure do Enjoy My Everyday Life!

      I have been so busy doing, that I haven't taken the time to write, lately! I know all of you are the same way, always busy! I learn so much from ya'll, so keep up the good work! I tried out a new bread recipe from a book I've had for a couple years, and it turned out so good! Of course, the dough was made in my bread machine! I'm always looking for good bread recipes to make in the bread machine. I plan on making Skylar some orange rolls later in the week for his Valentine gift. He says that he probably won't like them as well as the kind in the tube! Ha! That's what he thinks! The dough will be made in the bread machine, of course. 

      I am making brownies as I type this. Can you tell that I love to cook and bake? I am going to make chocolate cream brulee for Randy for Valentine's Day. I can't eat much of this sweet stuff, since I've cut back on my sugar consumption, a couple of years ago. I'll eat my share, though. I used to not like bitter-sweet chocolate, but now it tastes sweet to me! I like the Ghirardelli's 72% chocolate. I eat a little of that every day.

      We are having such a rainy Spring! We had thunderstorms yesterday, and while we were sitting in the local Mexican restaurant, the lights went out! It was only for a short time, thank goodness! It was probably the same storms that brought tornadoes through Mississippi. We looked around for a safe place while we were there, just in case! It didn't last long, so we enjoyed our meal! I have to call it Spring, since it's not very cold. The temps have been mostly in the 50's the past week or so. I worked on the garden beds two days, only getting one bed half-way filled with dirt and manure. The rain is holding me up. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, and possibly Wednesday, as well! I'm thankful for the rain, since we've experienced drought these past couple of years! I hope to at least get my seeds started inside this week! I'll let ya'll know in the next post! Thanks for reading! Blessings from Bama!

Rubi still lays in her 'baby bed'! She made all of this mess! We can't keep the porch clean!

Crock-pot soap in the making. It turned out good, even though I used too much olive oil.

The bread I mentioned earlier. The dough was made in the bread machine. I spread the cheese and peppers over it, then rolled it up jelly roll style.

I almost cried when I saw this bread!

The book the recipe came from.

Before it went into the oven.

The bees are really enjoying the mild temps!

It's half-way since this photo. Notice the black dirt. It's worth the hard work.

I think I did cry when I tasted this bread! That I could make something taste this good! I was awed!

I got to visit with all my girls this past weekend with Yasmine and Winterlynn spending the night.

Yasmine fell at school and had to get three stiches right below her eyebrow. She such a brave girl and didn't cry!

Layla is eating some bread.

Riley is always so serious-looking!

I can't believe they all looked at the camera and smiled!

Oh no, uncle Ran, did you fall too?

The soap I made in the crock-pot. I need to use it too clean up this mess!

Well, how do you like my henna hair and cut, my vegetable based make-up and my whiter teeth?

I bought the wreath at the thrift store and the roses from Wal-Mart. It's now hanging on the inside of the front door.