Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First time canning pickles

Kerr jars

Our garden is if full production mode. We have a ton of cucumbers and zucchini, maybe not quite a ton but a lot. A few hundred pounds I'm sure. I've been baking, shredding, and cooking everyday and barely making a dent. I need to pick up a new Grandma skill!

It's time I learned to pickle. Yesterday I followed the directions from the Kitchn . It was really easy. I found the whole process of canning a bit intimadating before getting started. Lots of "What
If" questions. What if the cans don't seal, what if they aren't good, what if I do it wrong. "What's ifs" be gone! I read the directions, check a few other sources to double check what I was unsure of and dove in. I can't wait for these babies to be ready. I'll admit I probably didn't choose the best cucumbers. I have pickers in the garden ready to go but used what was in the house already. I didn't use dill seeds or whole garlic cloves, I used what I had on hand. I will, however, order dill seeds for the next batch and a filler funnel.

I made a batch of fridge pickles from zucchini as well. We'll see what happens.

Do you can? What's your favorite technique, resources, recipes? I'm so eager to learn and try more!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Chickens at 20ish weeks

The girls are just about ready to start laying starting to lay! I have a feeling it's going to be a daily egg hunt! Almost all the girls spend most of the day outside. As soon as their door is opened they all jump out often before their ramp is up. I've learned not to fill their feeder and water before I want them out. Lesson learned! So far only 1 egg has been found on the ground. I think found is the operative word.

They officially are everywhere. First thing in the morning and right before bed is when they are at their most rascally. They've been on the road (there's about 10 cars a day in our road, 8 of which are people going to and coming home from work), in the neighbors' front, back yard and have been stuck in the neighbors barn. They've wandered into the garden, up onto the decks and into the barn. They spend most of their time under the our front deck. That's fine by me until Nature Baby wants to visit and crawls under with them. 

RIR Rooster

Ragnar and Faux-Roo continue to get along. Faux-roo is starting to crow, he sounds like a dying crow. Ragnar crows, but no one listens. From what I can tell he's crowing to call the girls, not to alert them of danger. Maybe they'll learn to listen. Maybe not. Ragnar is... frisky. If you know what I mean. I think he has hopped on each of the girls by now. Some don't seem to mind, others not so much.

Peepers is getting to be a bit more adventurous. She was just staying around the coop, now she comes by the house and was even hanging out with Cuckoo Chanel. Barred Simpson on the other hand is a homebody. She doesn't stray far from the coop, maybe she'll be a bit braver as she gets older. cautious  adventurer. She is also by far the most friendly. She walks right up to me, lets me pet her unlike her skittish flock mates. I'm starting to think there is something wrong with her. She has one cloudy eye. I could be a lot of things, she has no other symptoms so I'm not terribly worried. Maybe cataracts or Marek's. Who knows. She's mostly fine and I'll add some vitamins to their water.

I think I'm going to need to build the girls a run, not because of predators but because of the poop! Good gravy, it's everywhere. I'm sick to dealing with it already. If we had rain it wouldn't bother me so much but with our drought it's been too much. We had rain for the first time in 2 months and it did wonders for the poop! Maybe we will get some more. 

They are doing a great job of eating the weeds in the flower beds and digging up the plants while dust bathing.

The flock as met the neighbors dogs and cat. They had no fear of their dogs, the dogs had no aggression toward the chickens. Then the cat came over, the whole flock went running at her. She was terrified! Thats the end of the cat visits.

Honey went barreling through the door after the chickens, she didn't get any and hopefully put the fear of dog in 'em. We've been slowly introducing Honey to the chickens, she usually just watches them. Needless to say she pouted after that one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Garden update for July

Vegetable garden

It's been about a month since I've update you on the garden. We are in zucchini heaven (or hell depending how you look at it) I'm picking between 6-12 a day. This week I've shredded, portioned and froze 10 cups. I still need to chop and freeze the other 12 sitting on my counter. Everyday that it isn't 80 degrees plus I've been baking something with zucchini in it.

July Garden update

We have a ton of green tomatoes just waiting to ripen. We've eaten about 5 thus far. They are delicious! I can't wait to eat them!

There is going to be a ton of photos to follow, they aren't all pretty. You've been warned!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday motivation

Monday Motivation

It's raining! Glorious rain! We had a few light drizzles yesterday, not even enought for puddles to form. Today on the other hand I can't hear cars splashing on the road. There is puddles in the driveway! The grass is doing a happy dance! It's amazing how just a tiny bit of rain can perk everything up much better than a hose or sprinkler. I'm enjoying every second of it. This is the first measurable rain since May. May! That's way too long!

This weekend has been zucchini fest! We have about 2 dozen both picked and ready to be picked. We had grilled, fries, chocolate zucchini bread. Today I'm going to shred and freeze some and maybeake some muffins. Scribs took some to work and I'll be heading over to the neighbors to share.

The berry field next door is in full harvest mode. I had no idea it was such a slow process with a machine (tractor? I'm not sure what it's called.) We were watching and the machine is pretty cool. If you've never seen one, it's really high (almost as high as a single story house) has spinning things that go on either side of the bush (they look like big turnstiles) and it goes maybe 2 miles an hour. The have gone over the same rows several times. The things I'm learning!

This week hopefully I can tackle mountain of zucchinis, get some chicken photos. I have an update ready just lacking photos, give the dog a bath (she is a stinky beast!) and maybe, just maybe get a good vacuuming in. I need to move everything in the play room and really get in there.

What are your goals this week?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wip Wednesday

I really haven't made much progress since last month, I'm disappointed to say. But who wants to knit at 8pm, when its 80 degrees inside, you've been up and going non-stop since 4 or 4:30, especially with worsted weight wool!
Rosie has arrived! Healthy and adorable! Even that wasn't motivation get get my hands moving.

Eli Dress Front

And then there's Michelle. That lady is a hardcore knitter. I'm starting to think she's a motivational-knitting-robot. Every time she updates her blog with something she's finished or working on I pick up my WIPS that day.

Eli Dress Back
I had some issues with follow this pattern, mainly because I've been tired and not paying attention. I did want any too-tired to think knitter does uses stitch makers to make sure I'm doing each section right. It's an amateur move but guess what it's prevented me from having to go back and count over and over again. Counting stitches in low light is not fun.


I only have 10 rows left of the Eli Dress, then finishing and blocking. I should be able to get it done this week, unless of course some disaster happens. I'd like to make another for Nature Baby, perhaps in a sport weight. I'll add it to my queue, it's already enormous!


Oh boy does this little lady need a good blocking!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday motivation

monday motivation

How was your weekend? It was hot! We were in the high 90s with no wind in the afternoons and lots of smoke from the wild fires. A few days ago it was just hazy, now it smells of smoke and looks like fog. I hope that all the hardworking fire fighters are safe and can get these blazes under control. The photo is of sunrise this morning, no edits just cropped. Doesn't it look like a foreign planet?
Our long weekend was pretty good. The kids played outside, we grilled, there was fireworks until around midnight. I got over my fear of grilling. I always feel like I have no control and everything turns out charred. Not this time! I grilled all weekend and didn't burn anything. Pat on the back for me!

This week won't be too warm, only mid-high 80s. We ordered an air conditioner for the kids, paid for 1 day shipping, obviously that didn't happen. It'll be here today. It'll be here tomorrow. Our upstairs was unbearably hot, almost 100 degrees at bed time. No wonder the kids are so grouchy! I'll get that ready to go when it gets here this afternoon tomorrow. I also have a little project in the laundry room I've started and will share when I'm finished.

What are you working on this week?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Birthday, America!

Today is my favorite holiday! Happy Birthday, America! I'm overwhelmingly proud to be living the (almost) American Dream. I say almost because I'm not yet a citizen. My children are (half) first generation Americans, Scribs is a proud patriot and we are very grateful to be living where we live today and everyday.

The eagle flies at dawn
Pretty spectacular!

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!
O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
Thank you Katharine Lee Bates for the lyrics that sums up the beautiful of our land. Where else can you have everything you could possible want in one country? 
We are so lucky to be living in a country where we can do, be, believe and say whatever we want. I'm so grateful for those who have fought to instill and protect those liberties many take for granted everyday. 
Today (and everyday) we fly our flag proudly and with care. We celebrate the freedoms that were fought and died for, and enjoy knowing that we are free to be and do whatever we want. I hope everyone has a joy filled, more importantly safe weekend, eating good food, watching fireworks and being with those you love. 
Happy Birthday America!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada day to my former homeland!

Time to celebrate my fellow Canucks, bust out the poutine, ketchup chips, double-doubles and Molson Canadians, drink a caesar, watch some hockey and quote Trailer Park boys.  
Sing that wacky bilingual national anthem, play some street hockey and pull out your hudson's bay blanket to hide your mickeys.

Let's not forget those handsome Canadian exports you outta know. (see what I did there?)

And these beautiful gals.

everyone's favorite vikings

and arguably the greatest Canadian ever.

Or these two.

Hug a beaver, play monopoly with your colourful (with a 'u') money, phone someone in another province, and say eh! Just for the heck of it. Eh.