Sunday, September 30, 2012

Here I Am!! :-)

This is my FIRST post of the weekend!! 
Well, I haven't been doing very much, and I'm bogged down with what I did do....! :-P
You aren't going to believe it, but there's another problem with my cabinet.....Brian cut the board wrong by 2 inches, and now we need another you hear that?  We need a whole other board because of 2 inches....ARGGGGG!!!!  LOL  I just can't get this cabinet finished!  And in all fairness, Brian didn't really cut the board wrong as much as I measured wrong again, and we ended up needing that last piece of wood that unfortunately wasn't long enough....! :-P
And we got SO CLOSE, and it looks SO GREAT.....

Pay NO attention to the mess around, oh, and the horrid white plastic floor! :-P  (Someday we'll get that covered by gorgeous ceramic tile....!)  See how good it looks in the last picture?  Oh, I so much wanted to get that door on! :-D  The picture just above this one shows the cabinet door leaning on the cabinet!  When it's done, I'll show a close-up of the staining and the little chipped parts of the boards that I saved and used on it, to make it look older! :-D  I love the parts of wood boards that most people would cut off!! Hahaha!  I can't help it - they look so perfect to me....I've got to have them on my wood creations!

THEN....I tried to work on my little house....I got as far as sanding where I put wood putty to smooth it out.....
.....but I ran smack into my nemesis -- PAINT COLORS!  What should I pick???  I still don't know! :-P
Here is the picture of my other buildings again....
Those are the colors I've used already, now I have NO idea what color I want it to be!  I'm leaning toward a dark tan, or the colonial red I got a sample of a few weeks ago.  But since I wasn't sure, I didn't get it painted! LOL

Now, I want to show you a picture of one of my favorite cookbooks.....
This book has THE BEST recipes, some I remember my (yankee!) Nana making when I was little!!  This week I'm going to make a pear bread - sooo delicious! - and some pear-cranberry relish!  I want to try that on Thanksgiving!  I'll be sure to share the recipes when I make them!! :-D

So a new week is beginning....I need a LIST of things I want to do....

1. make pear bread
2. paint little house
3. paint island (remember that?!)
4. make pear-cranberry relish
5. finish painting/distressing living room cabinet
6. try antiquing glaze on one wall...???
7. OH!  I also want to set up my window candle lights!  I want to start putting them out in the beginning of October, instead of only at Christmas -- they are so cozy looking, we should be enjoying them more!

There they are -- those are my plans for the week!  I could do all, or none!! Haha!

I am really loving this little puppy, she is SO SWEET!!  I have still been putting notices out there (with no responses so far), but I'm not sure if I can part with her anymore....!  I guess the wish I was trying not to make has come true.....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Just CAN'T Get Back to My Normal Routine!!!!

I can't seem to get focused around here!! :-P (<remember THAT face...??? LOL)
I've only managed to do one or two things a day because I'm so distracted.....I think it's probably from the little puppy we have now!  She's SO cute and GOOD, but it's really like having a toddler around here!! LOL  I have to puppy-proof everything! :-D  She's doing perfectly with house-training, but that's because we take her outside to pee every half-hour or so, unless she's sleeping.  She also loves to show her happiness by biting me, not hard - she really only puts her mouth on me, but she will bit the hem of my dress (yes, I DO wear dresses sometimes! LOL) or my pants and then I'm dragging her for a few steps!  Can you picture that....??!  Haha!  I have to stop and take a moment to pet her and say "hi" so she'll stop!! 
And everything I do she wants to be a part of, especially in the kitchen!  Like I said, VERY distracting!! :-D

Today, it was quiet for about 15 minutes....too quiet!  So I started looking around for where the puppy was and found her taking a nap..... my basket full of blankets!! :-D  TOO CUTE!!!

I did get some things accomplished -- I made my final batch of salsa with the last tomatoes from the garden.....

Yum yum yum!!  I have so many tomato products canned, just like I was dreaming about last spring! :-D
I wish I had more vegetables canned or frozen, but this was such a strange, unproductive garden year....and I'm not the only person to notice that -- I've read online that many other people have had trouble with their gardens this year.  I think it's because of the warm winter we had down here -- NONE of my spring veggies did well!  I definitely have big plans for next spring's garden!!! :-D

Walking around outside (with the puppy), I noticed some wood in a burn pile that Brian's all the scrap wood that we can't use anymore, and eventually he will burn it all to ashes.  Of course, this year we keep seeing squirrels poking around it, and we just figured out that they are burying their nuts underneath the wood in the pile! LOL  How funny!!  So now we said there's no way that we can burn it until after the winter -- we don't want to destroy their winter nut stores!
ANYWAY, as I was saying, I was looking at the scrap wood pile because I just love wood, especially wood that has been weathered, and there were lots of pieces like that in there!  I saw one that looked perfect for something I could make......
Can you tell what that could be...?  I'll give you a hint: here's another angle.....
Does that look like anything to you??  This is actually after I cut the point off on the top left of this piece - I angled that left side down so I could make something out of it.....can you guess....?  :-D
I want to paint it and add it to my little collection.....
Remember my little houses? :-D  I could tell from the pile that that piece (with the left side point cut off) would make a perfect saltbox house to add to my collection of buildings!  I need another house - now I've got one!!  They are so easy to make, just a little paint and they are done, and they look so charming -- I love them!!! :-D

I've pulled out my crocheting projects....I can't decide what I want to work on!  I have an urge to start something NEW -- look at these pictures!!.....
LOVE this!!  I'd make it a different color though....maybe a grayish-brown!

I love those grays!!!

This is gorgeous!  I can totally see myself wearing this!! 

Ooooh!  Maybe some jewelry...??? :-D

OR....a table runner?  I LOVE the one on the right - that color is perfect!

Oh, it's so hard to choose!  They are all so inspiring!!  I guess I should finish my other projects first....but what fun is that??? LOL

So tonight is Thursday night -- yay!!  I love the weekends when we are all together!  And when Brian can work on my projects....keep an eye out for my finished cabinet....oh, yeah, it WILL get finished this weekend!!! ^-^

Monday, September 24, 2012

Holiday Punch!!!!

I had a GREAT day today!!! :-D

First, I finished my cabinet boards!  Yay!!  I stained the rest of them and painted a coat of urethane on them, it gives them the perfect finish.....
And look at this piece.....
I love that old looking edge!  I'll have to use that on some part of the cabinet, it's perfect!!
Now, at least, they are ready for the weekend -- I'll be able to get Brian to finish my cabinet!  YAY!! :-D

After that (and lunch), I made grape juice!!!  It's so fun because it's easy and so different.....who ever cans their own juice?? LOL  This smelled heavenly while it cooked, too!
I started with my grapes.....
These are just basic red grapes from the store.....I only buy them for juice when they are .99/lb or less because that's the only way that it's worth it, cost-wise. 
I also added Muscadine grapes, to enhance the yumminess......
They have such a unique flavor, they are perfect in juice! :-D
All the grapes go into a huge pot together, and then I fill it to the top with water.....
.....then I get it boiling.....
Once they soften from simmering, they float, isn't that funny!? :-D  This smells so good while it cooks!
After they cook for a while (45 minutes to an hour), I push them down and mash them as much as I can, breaking open the skins.....
The pulp doesn't float! :-D  I cook this for a little while longer (30-40 minutes)....I want to cook all the flavor out of those grapes!!
Once they are cooked enough, it's time to strain them -- I do it in two steps.....
I use a regular colander the first time, and I press all the liquid I can from the pulp!
Next, I use a strainer.....
I stir the smaller pulp around to get all the liquid out of it....then I'm left with my juice!!  People who like a very clear juice can strain it a third time, through cheesecloth, but I don't care about that - two strainings is enough for me!
I cook the juice again.....
I added 1 cup of sugar, and if you like it sweeter, you can add up to 2 cups for the best flavor -- any more and it's too sweet!
This time, I wanted to make a special drink for Thanksgiving or Christmas, so I added some flavorings....
.....some cinnamon sticks, and 3 tablespoons of rum flavoring! :-D  It smelled soooo yummy!!
I let it cook on low for awhile, maybe an hour, just to get the most flavor out of the cinnamon sticks.  Look at how they uncurl while cooking.....
Isn't that funny!
After the final cooking, I ladle the juice into jars and process it in the water canner!  Here is the first batch waiting for their lids.....
And here are all my pretty jars, cooling off.....
I think I'm going to call it Holiday Punch!!! :-D

So there you go....the simple steps to make your own juice!
Tomorrow, I want to do some baking -- I have a banana bread recipe, and maybe make some pear bread....if you haven't tried pear bread, you don't know what you are missing!

We still have the little puppy.....
Isn't that sweet?!!!  She has put on more weight, and is starting to look like she should!  And it's wonderful that she sleeps all night long - what a relief!  I couldn't have a dog around that kept me awake!!

I feel great about getting those things done today.....let's see what I get to tomorrow!!! ^-^

Sunday, September 23, 2012

AAAAHHHH!!! FALL Has Arrived! (and a puppy update)

FINALLY!!!!  :-D

I am sitting here with the windows open, and the first real cool front is blowing in!  I smell someone burning wood (woodstove??), I'm watching football, and it's about 60 degrees outside with a breeze....a chilly breeze! :-D  This is finally shifting me into a Fall mood!!  I've been trying hard to get there, but low 80s for high temps are really not going to do it -- maybe for people who live in Arizona or Texas....! LOL

I have the strongest urge to have my crocheting projects in my hands!  I'm not sure what I'll work on first, maybe finish one of my blanket-quilts....OR....I've been thinking of making myself a wool sweater for the winter! 

I have lots of cooking to catch up on, too, cooking I was supposed to do last week, before I was distracted by puppies!! :-D
Oh, those puppies!  I was able to find a wonderful home for one of them -- it is a young family and they adore her.....that's exactly what I wanted for her!!  I haven't had much luck with the second puppy, although I'm being a little picky because she is so sweet and calm - I want her to go to a very loving family too!
She is definitely getting used to being here, though.....

She is SO sweet!!  She loves playing with my Puppy, too, and it's funny to see Puppy rolling around on the ground with her!  I just can't imagine someone throwing these little girls away like they were worthless!! :-(
Well, now it is all forgotten, they are safe and happy!! :-)

I am going to try and get back to my regular routine around here now.....I didn't get my cabinet built yet, because I never got all the staining done.  And I have canning to do, still, and some baking!  I LOVE baking in the Fall!! :-D  I don't think I have any reason to go anywhere all week, which will be perfect -- I love being stuck at home! LOL  I should definitely have some fun things to blog about this week (fun for me, anyway!) ^-^

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some GOOD NEWS, Maybe....!!

I have been reposting my ad for the puppies on Craigslist, because after 24 hours, it was TWO pages BACK!!  There are SO many unwanted dogs and cats.... :-(
Anyway, the GOOD news is that today I posted my little blurb again this morning, and then I posted it again at 4pm, and tonight I got three emails about them!!  I am waiting for the first woman to email me back telling me when she'd like to meet to see them, and then the second girl (a college student) wants to see the other one (or both if the first woman changes her mind)!  The third girl wants me to email her if they are available after that!!  So this may just work out nicely!!! :-D

The bad news (for me) is that.......I'm starting to get attached to them....!!  Oh no!!! LOL  I'll be ok, but I keep catching myself hoping that no one wants both of them!  Haha!!  Well, this is a consequence of rescuing and fostering helpless animals.....I've been through this every time I've done this!  I was supposed to find Puppy a home, too, after she was on the mend, but I just couldn't imagine it after how I had laid with her and cried in her face, telling her to hang on while she was dying on my floor.  She was my girl from then on!! :-D   I also know that I have to give away the ones that I can, because I'm sure there will always be more that need us, and we have to have room in case one can't be placed right away.

They are SO CUTE, though!  And they are doing great with being house-trained -- not ONE accident yet!  Even overnight!!  We do take them out regularly, and watch them for any sign of needing to go, but they voluntarily walk to the door everytime they have to go!  I'm really happy about that!
I did get puppy food this morning, and I also made some chicken broth to add to it -- that's my go-to formula for neglected, malnourished has cured many a sick tummy and I keep some of the fat in the broth, so their coats are very shiny and smooth now.  It's only plain broth, but it's amazing how quickly it works it's cure!! :-D

Also, they don't like to leave the house for long!  Even when they run around chasing eachother, they keep running back to the back steps wanting to get back in - it's so precious!!  We never leave them out in the yard alone, so they are doing that while we are out walking around the yard with them, and we don't have a fence either, but they still stay very close to the house! LOL 

I'm going to leave you with the cutest of them was playing with a squeaky ball on the back porch while I was making dinner, and the back door was open - she could hardly hold it in her mouth and I could hear the ball making all this noise, but suddenly it got quiet so I stepped over there to see what was going on, and I saw this......
Awwww!!!  I guess she suddenly got tired!! LOL  What a sweet little sleepy puppy!!! ^-^

Monday, September 17, 2012

No New Homes YET....!

And no one is looking for these puppies, still.  GOOD.  It wouldn't matter, I won't give them back.  But I've been watchful anyway, because if anyone does come down here to look for them, I will hide them in a back room! 
She found another comfy spot.....
I love this picture.....
My sweet Puppy has taken the roll of Big Sister (our two other dogs want nothing to do with them! LOL).....
The sweetest face.....
Wherever we sit, they rush right over to us and climb up to be next to us!!  SO SWEET! :-D

The other thing I am so grateful for is that they got here yesterday, because it poured most of the day today, and we could get up to 3 inches of rain before it all moves out tomorrow night.  BUT, after the rain moves out the temperatures are supposed to drop, possibly into the upper 40s (nighttime).....imagine if they were still over there -- they would get soaked and then cold.  I'm so relieved that they are here now!

So, I posted them on Craigslist, I have my sisters in Massachusetts asking around, Brian is mentioning them at work, I posted a notice on a few homeschool group websites, too.....I even emailed a couple that I gave another of the neglected dogs to a few years ago (I still had their email saved!)....they said they would look around too!  There has GOT to be one or two people who want a dog somewhere out there, doesn't there??? LOL 

Tomorrow, I'm going to run out and pick up some puppy food for them.  We've been feeding them our regular dog food, but it would be better for them to have some made for puppies.  I want them to gain a little more weight, AND I don't want them to eat all the regular dog food! :-D

It's wonderful reading all the supportive comments!  I know we are doing the right thing, and it's a nice feeling to have a community behind you saying, "Of course that's what you do!" ^-^

Sunday, September 16, 2012

And Now for Something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT......

Well, we have a situation here......
Does anyone want a puppy???  LOL
It's such a long story.....for several years, we have struggled with our neighbors about how they treat animals.  My own sweet Puppy we rescued from near-death after she was left to die by them (she had a severe worm infestation - SO easy to cure).  They severely neglect their dogs, horses, chickens, goats -- they ALL end up dead.....WHY do they keep getting animals???  They lose interest in less than a year, they never buy enough food (I've watched them feed their dogs leftover plain noodles, instead of food), they don't allow any animals in to their houses (no matter what the weather), they never have fresh water available - if they even HAVE water out - they NEVER pet their dogs or puppies, when a dog dies over there (and they have) they leave the carcass out to rot or be eaten by other animals or the other dogs.....I have MORE I could say..... It is a heavy burden on my heart to see any animals over there.

So now these two little puppy girls have made their way over here, and when we pet them, they look at us and push against us like we are feeding them, as if being stroked and touched is like food to them, they look at us like they are grateful.....I'm sure they are.  So what do I do??  Sending them back over there is sentencing them to certain death or abandonment, after a long period of severe neglect and even mistreatment.  These little girls are so sweet - they have wonderful little personalities!  The one on the right above, you can see, is very submissive and quiet.  She couldn't decide if she wanted to stay with me to be petted or go eat the dog food I gave her -- I solved it by petting her while she ate the food.  After eating, she sat next to me on the grass where I was sitting and pressed herself into my leg, trembling while I stroked her back.  Heartbreaking.
The other one is more playful and a little smaller, and constantly comes back from chewing the rope toy I gave her to be petted again, I'm sure she's making sure the attention is still there for her.  She happily follows us wherever we go, and loved being part of the afternoon walk our other dogs had.  She also has a little underbite!  It's too cute!  Her nose is shorter than her sister's too.  They are about 4-5 months old.  These puppies have been over here ALL DAY (since lunch, and it's 10:30pm now), and not once have I heard anyone over there calling them, looking for them, checking to see where they are and if they are ok, NOT ONCE.....and that's because no one cares where they are, no one cares if they are lost or cold (or hot this summer), or wet or lonely.  These puppies are expected to fend for themselves, and Oh Well if they can't.....that's how another puppy from the same litter died last month - no one checked on her when she didn't come out with the other puppies and they found her dead a few days later, in a box (probably trying to get out of the brutal heat that we had then).

What to do......
They are sleeping on our back porch right now, one on the chair and one on the couch....probably the most comfortable place they have ever slept on in their lives - cushions instead of dirt and stones.

Here is a picture of my sweetest Puppy on the first night when she stumbled her way down here, near death, two years ago this month.....
I tried to feed her for 3 days until she couldn't lift her head off the floor, and I called my husband, sobbing and telling him if she didn't get to a vet soon, I was going to have to watch her die (we only had one car, and he was using it to get to his new job, after 2 years of unemployment) -- he told his boss there was a family emergency, and he came home for us to bring her to the most wonderful vet ever!  She had a severe hook worm infestation, and had 25% of her blood volume -- he told me he probably couldn't save her, but he would try.  After 4 days at the vet hospital and numerous blood transfusions and medicine, she was doing much better and came home with us!  Here she is taking a nap a few days after coming home, still pitifully thin, but eating plenty and getting better.....
And here is my sweetest girl now, looking at me with loving eyes.....
She's waiting for me to pet her! :-)  She never leaves my side, if she can help it - outside, inside, room to room, while we sleep.....if I call her or talk to her, she comes right up to me and sits, waiting, just like in this picture. :-)   They KNEW she was sick, they knew she would die without help....they left her outside to struggle with it alone and DIDN'T care.  I had seen her only once before, about a month earlier, and petted her, and told one of the boys over there that she needed to go to a vet because she wouldn't eat and I could see she was weak and thin.  She must have remembered me, because she showed up in my front yard, stumbling and panting, and collapsed on my front porch (that's when I took the first picture).  It took months for her to get to a healthy weight.  Heartbreaking.

What to do, what to do......
......what to do..... :-(