Monday, August 31, 2009

Call me the Queen

Today I diced my body weight in fruit. So I decided to try my hand at Apple Butter. I have never even had apple butter before. I don't even know how to eat apple butter. I just know it is apple and cinnamon and that was enough to convince me. I made crockpot apple butter. Once again my house smelled glorious. Puts the Walmart Apples and Cinnamon liquid potpourri to shame.

So this is almost the end result. I mashed it up and then canned it. I taste tested it. Not bad. Don't know what I'll do with it but, ok. It's in the canner now.

I also made the most yummy strawberry lemonade concentrate. These are pint jars. I was dreaming of popping one of these bad boys open come January and adding 2 pints of water to it and being in Winter heaven. I had to think fast of something to do with the big ole container of strawberries that were about to rot in my fridge.
This is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving freaks me out a little. The problem is Thanksgiving is not afraid of anything. Thanksgiving pokes her or his head through the fence and pecks my Rottweiler. Thanksgiving isn't real bright. Thanksgiving might become Labor Day if it doesn't quit pecking the big mean dog.
I thought I would rap tonight up with an action shot. When Sarge comes home after along day of work, the man cub, his number one fan always gets so excited! Daddy, can we play swords? Even though Sarge has been at work for 13 hours and got up at 4 he sits there and defends himself from jabs and kicks and hurls insults at the man cub. "Come fight me Jedi Scum!" he yells at the man cub who chuckles and runs at Sarge full force. I offer to be Queen Ami dali or what ever her name is because she has rad clothes, but no one listens.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Looking for Inspiration

The heat is unbearable and I have nothing more to live for. I'm tired of always producing, I need some pampering, some "me" time. I swear that is what is going through the minds of my chickens. This is all the eggs we got this week. My chickens need a motivational speaker, some prayer, maybe even some depression medication. I have 10 girls who lay, this is depressing. Pass the medication.

On a very happy note, my insane addiction continues! Juner, brought me two bags of home grown grapes. Beautiful! I let the kids gorge on them for a few days then for the first time ever, I juiced grapes, the old fashion way, with cheesecloth. No fancy juicer for this chick!

They look like the pretty, dark berries the show on the Welch's commercials. Oh man, they are tasty!

I put them in that fancy shmancy food processor and chopped them all up, I was amazed how dark the juice is. The aroma was wonderful.

Here is what the juice looked like. Such a pretty color and very tasty.

It ended up making some seriously beautiful deep dark purple jelly. Hopefully the man cub will appreciate grape jelly like he does raspberry jam.

Above I would like to show you the largest haul I have had from my tomatoes plants to date. What am I going to do with this many tomatoes? I just decided to give them to the chickens. They looooove tomatoes. They thanked me.

This is what happens when its 107 degrees and the school bus is over heating so the driver turns on the heater. Poor baby. Sarge put him right by the A/C vent to try to cool him off. Fall where are you? I love you, I need you back!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Legal Huffing

I married the best man ever. He bought me 25 pounds of sugar because I'm a canning fien. I need an intervention. He feeds my addiction, making him an enabler. Sarge, welcome to my sick obsession that will be nuts for a while then I'll forget all about it, because I am the most ADD woman ever.

Remember all those oranges? Five of those bad boys made me 8 jars of this scrumdidleyishous (yup, I murdered that one)sticky mess of yummyness. The smell of this is simply divine! I just keep my face in the pot and take it all in. It's like a white trash facial.

I remember my Dad eating Smuckers orange marmelade on his toast every morning. It smelled yummy but for some reason I never remember eating it. Maybe I was just into huffing then too.

So pretty I just have to keep looking at it. The raspberry kool aid jam didn't set, errr. So I re-cooked it and all is well. I'm not doing that one again. I will make a ton more marmalade though, just so I can huff the fumes.

On a side note-- at Walmart this evening I was buying Brace Face some school supplies and she was unable to purchase Washable Crayola Markers. Must be over 18. They are washable for Pete's Sake, tag all you want with the crayolas, stay away from the spray paint! Ha, imagine getting carded for crayola markers?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What a lame day

My day in bullet points:
  • Got up at the butt crack of dawn to get kids to school. Know I know why I was so excited to have them out in the first place. In retrospect, not worth it to sleep in. Hopefully my sleep schedule will adjust sometime soon.
  • Sarge yelled at me to come outside (which gets on my nerves really bad) and I get a splinter the size of a two by four in the tender skin on the bottom of my foot. 12 hours later and it still hurts. Good news, got the splinter out and it was enough wood to heat the house this evening (I'm trying to have a sense of humor). I was having horrible flash back of my wedding when the bartender spent an hour pulling a 4x4 of wood out of my foot while I cried and all my guests left.
  • Made 2 more batches of jam with the raspberries I had left. It was a new recipe, kool-aid jam. Half the fruit and a package of kool-aid and water for the other half. I'm not convinced, yet.
  • Taco Tuesday got rave reviews.
  • I caught another mouse in my bedroom which really freaks me out. That's 2 so far this week. They must be on steroids because they were huge, OMG! Then I had to rant about how someone in this house was going to get the hantavirus or I'm going to get a nervous tick because mice are gross! I know I live in the country but they are dirty little creatures. I threw the mouse to the chickens and watched them play keep away for well over an hour. Chicken TV, nothing beats it.
  • I took a 2.5 hour nap because I feel like someone is cutting my uterus out with a spoon.
  • Found a library book I forgot to return. Ooops! I blame the kids, its always their fault.
Tomorrow will be better, I feel it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I have been paroled!

That's right, my sentence is over-- the kids are officially back in school, hallelujah! It's written like that because I had to get the correct spelling off and after I cut and pasted I thought it looked cool. HALLELUJAH is an understatement! I felt like walking in the man cub's class room and jumping on the little desks and shaking my booty in the oddest happy dance ever. My children are soooo going to need therapy! Here is the man cub's first day of school picture. I can't believe my baby is in 2nd grade (sob, siff).

He cracked me up! I turned the camera to take a vertical picture and he thought he needed to turn too. Funny kid! And yes, I did let him eat Cool Ranch Doritos for breakfast. I was trying to convince him to eat anything, something!

Brace face is not a morning person. I had to drive the man cub down the hill to walk him to his class so he would know what is going on so I didn't get to see Brace Face all ready for her first day so I took this instead. She didn't like me taking her picture much while she still had eye boogers. Notice that quilt, it was my first.

After the kids were gone Jazz and I resumed our regular scheduled programming. She had to find her morning sun, such a diva, and I had to sit on the couch like a zombie. I love that dog so much it hurts. I often in my demon voice say to people "Tell her she's pretty!" She gets lots of compliments that way. She likes when people tell her she's pretty.

Juner, Brace faces "other Dad" brought me a bunch of firewood and 2 bags of oranges. What a nice guy. He cut his thumb off a while back and hasn't been working so we have come to a wonderful agreement where we help each other out. He brings me oranges, grapes and firewood. I give share my turkeys, give him jam and be very understanding when money is tight. Win, win! I'm thinking hard about weather I want to juice them and can the juice or if I want to attempt marmalade again. Last time, my marmalade, which takes forever to make, never set. Errrr. Hate that.

Breaking news: After 3 months I have finally finished the picture wall. My "picture hanging block" is over. For the life of me I could not make this wall look decent. My couch was pulled out and only the pictures on the right were hung. I would work on it and then get frustrated and walk away in true ADD fashion. Now I need to straighten them all out and tack the corners down with picture mounting tape. Can I get a woohoo?

Lastly, I leave you with this thought. I could single handedly solve the whole lack of trees, save the rain forest problem. How you ask? Take the copy machines away from the school districts! My kids bring home so much paper! I must have signed 20 papers tonight, so ridiculous. The she have an email system and do the world a favor. I'm no tree hugger, Im just saying...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Sarge.

Today is the Sarges birthday. Yup, the old guy is..... hmmm, how old is he? 42! Oh my goodness! I remember thinking that was sooo old. I have once again become my mother (sigh). I am kind of sad that I am not at home celebrating with him. Have I mentioned that I absolutely love this man? It blows my mind how we have made it through such a rough time. We made it. I thought we were over, but you and I sarge, we beat the odds. I love your guts. I love how you allow me to be the ADD woman that I am. I love that you are funny and witty and charming. I love that you never complain about my clothes on the floor. I love how you and I can just look at each other and know. Muah! Happy Birthday! I'll make it up to you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The truth.

Because no one reads this I feel like I have the freedom to just gush my thoughts and all the things you would never tell anyone. Like how the man cub mouths off to me and stomps away and someone says "Where did the little man with horns go?" I have thought to myself "I dunno, theres more where he came from". Ama heard me say that under my breath one day and said "Wow, that's pretty cold". I hang my head in shame.

Anyhoo, I am far from a perfect Mother, I know. But my kids mean the world to me. I feel so blessed to have them. Right before I graduated (yaaaaa!!!) I had a very long talk with the new and improved Sarge and we talked about how it was so hard on everyone to have me gone all the time. He was angry and nasty to the kids because he was upset with me. I was angry and upset because home was so miserable and definitely not conducive to me getting the perfect grades I desired. Wedecided together that I would no pursue my nursing degree right now. We agreed if I wanted to go to nursing school I could do it in about 8 years when he retires. I had to quit trying to make an impossible situation work. So after thinking things through for a while I conjured up enough nerve to tell Sarge (he has 3 kids from his previous lapse in judgement, I have one from my previous lapse in judgement and we have one together) that I have wanted to have another baby for some time. I watch my kids everyday, not just watch them like don't kill yourself watch them. I watch them like Oh my goodness, they aren't little anymore, they are so grown up. And then it happens. My heart aches, I mean it hurts and I get sad. So when I told the Sarge I wanted more his first reaction was "Are you trying to kill me?". I understand that. I knew he would say that. So I told him I accept that and I'll leave it alone. I was not about to make him do something he didn't want to do. Then much to my surprise he came to me a few days later and said "Convince me." My reaction was um, no. If you don't want more I completely understand. He said "Convince me". I had a little bit of hope but I couldn't get too excited. One day in Game Stop by the mall, he looked at me and said "Yes." My knees went weak and my heart raced. The best part was I didn't force him, surprise him, or manipulate him. He came up with that yes, all on his own. I love the Sarge, he loves me too.

So here we are, we have been trying for 3 months and I have been on fertility meds for 2 months because I do not ovulate on my own. My thyroid sucks and that doesn't help either. Have I mentioned these meds make me insanely crazy? Hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain (which makes me more moody), crying. It's down right crazy. So this is the last month I am taking it, period. So every morning I pee on my little stick and weight for the little computer to tell me weather or not to seduce the Sarge. I used to obsess now I have have learned to let go. If God wants me to have a little set of lungs he will give me a little + sign. *Deep Breath* Letting go is not my strong point. Did I mention my heart is still aching?

Ok, enough of that! Last night when we met Ama for dinner I saw a roman soldier (centurions is what Sarge calls them) walk by the window of the restaurant. What the heck? So I gawked at him and thought he was just some freak. Nope, I stand corrected. He is a freaky man that dresses up like a roman soldier and makes balloon animals for kids. I was praying to God he wants the "Trojan man" and wasn't going to hand out condoms. I'm just saying.

On a another note of random weirdness I was driving home last night and in the middle of no where (I live in nowhere, I swear) I saw these two folding chairs set up n the side of the road. What were people just walking by and decided to set up some chairs and have a seat with a glass of sweet tea? I'm baffled.

To prove to you that California is indeed super ugly and to prove how far we live from any town here is a picture of behind the chairs. Notice how green it is and the lush trees, NOT. One day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

But I wasn't finished

This morning when I posted I was not finished talking yet. We had appointments to keep so I threw what I had up and left. So tree girl, who is tree girl because she is just about 5'10" and just turned 13 a few weeks ago. I call her tree girl because I am hoping she will be tall enough to prune my trees in going to have when we move. Now, I must call her brace face. She is so cute, smiling through the pain. I remember braces and spacers and all the insanity in created within me. I used to think about how to make it stop, rip them off with pliers, bite inanimate objects and hope it would make them break off. I remember trying to pry mine off with a pencil, no luck just broke the pencil and when the orthodontist asked me what happened to the bent up wires, I would innocently lift my arms and say "I dunno?". Luckily my orthodontist was so old he walked around with an AED already attached because he was going to drop dead any second.

On a much happier note, I recently finished my first irish chain quilt. Yyyyaaaa! I started this thing on a whim when the man cub was in kindergarten. It was for his teacher which I loved. I still had those delusional day dreams where I actually finished my projects in a reasonable amount of time, So one day I just grabbed the fabric I had the most of and started cutting, no pattern. For having no pattern I am pretty happy that it turned out as well as it did.

The next part, quilting it, is the part I hate the most. I don't know how to stipple and I don't want to send it out to be quilted and spend $125 to quilt it. I stitch the ditch which has worked for me in the past. I have stippled before but it wasn't that impressive. It's s skill I need to refine. I'll show the end result, if I ever finish it.

The above picture is my Aunt Mary (on the right) and my Mom, AKA Ama. Everyone calls her Ama even my BFF and the Sarge, so feel free to call her Ama as well. I thought you (funny, because no one reads this) all should know who Ama is. Ama is taking Brace Face, AKA tree girl for the weekend and taking her to see Phantom of the Opera. Im so jealous I want to stomp tree girl, who is like a foot taller than me, and yell "AMA Take me instead!!". But I won't because tree girl and Ama are tight and I should just let that be because it really is a blessing. On a side note, no fighting for the rest of the weekend!!! WooHoo!!! Remember that is only a huge deal because I just survived 2.5 months off of school in which the goal of my spawn was to see who could irritate, annoy, pester, insult each other more. Off to meet Ama at Rosa's Cantina in Old Town. If you haven't been to Rosa's you have not experienced the best Mexican food in So. Cal. Yuuuummmmmmmy.

Random Ramblings....

Be still my beating heart! This is the cutest little dog! I just want to lick her cheeks and eat her whole! I have one minor problem though, I have been calling her wiener. Yes, wiener. My kids even call her "wiener" or "the wiener". Wiener needs a name but I have nothing, nada, zilch.

You say just call her wiener no big deal. This is what the man cub said in a huge group of people while we were getting on the boat to come back from Catalina, "I can't wait to get home and play with the wiener". I instantly turned red and got dagger eyes from the Sarge. Sarge then told me you need to name that dog, while giving me the "you are so retarded" look.

So yesterday was a stay-at-home-and-get-something-done-day. I made jam and cooked some yummy stuff while talking with my BFF. The man cub rode the quad. Do you see where we live? We live in dirt. YUCK! It is so gross and so ugly. I dream of trees and green which is NOT in California.

Made a yummy turkey and I am going to try my hand at turkey pot-pies. Ummmmm, and I am debating between a big pot pie casserole or individual ones. I need to find a recipe for individual pot pies

I even made breakfast hotpockets. The kids devour them. AND it uses up our ton of eggs we get from the chickens. Hopefully I'll get it together enough to have these on hand so that when we are doing our morning rush the kids can just grab them and go. I HATE when my kids refuse to eat breakfast!

This is what is inside! Sausage, eggs and cheese all in a crescent roll. I use a can of crescent rolls and it makes 4. The can is more than I like to spend, need to find a good recipe for dough.

So today we are off to get our $800 bus passes. I can not get over $800 bus passes! Who can afford that.? I think the person who decided that needs an ass kickin. Then tree girl has a orthodontist appointment to get her spacers. Poor baby I remember the pain of having spacers. She has a radiant smile. Then tonight we are meeting Ama for dinner and she is taking Tree girl to see Phantom of the Opera. A weekend of no fighting, I just might pee myself.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I have no self-control

I couldn't help myself. It was almost like those little morsels of flavor explosion where calling me, beckoning me to come turn them into half of the ultimate PB&J. I HAD to make a batch before I went to bed. The man cub had a blast mashing them.

I finally found a canning set of tools to help save me from the many burns I incur while canning. These little tools make such a huge difference! I hate when my lids stick together, I have been known to seriously curse a lid up one side and down another when I can't get it out of the boiling water or they are stuck together.

I have decided I will not be go generous with my jam this year. My stash only lasted 5 months last year and when my man cub discovered we were out, he looked up at me with those big blues eyes and looked heartbroken. Yes, heartbroken over my jam. That is true satisfaction, making good food for my kids and knowing they love it.

On a side note I will be trying to figure out a way to make my jars of jam more visually appealing. I still need to label them but I have more to make today. Note to self, buy bigger pots. I was unsure if they would seal because my boiling water bath was not boiling hard enough. When those lids started snapping down, it was music to my ears.

How do you know you made jam you ask? That would be the mess I make while making it. Am I the only one whose kitchen looks like a bomb went off after the jam session?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Farewell Summer...

Today we did our annual end of summer trip to Oak Glen, nestled up in the mountains, to pick raspberries. It's tradition, it has to be done. We have been doing it for years and every year about 20 minutes in I think, "Hmmm, kinda hot why am I doing this?". Because it's a process Debbie. But it is a hot process and very time consuming. The end result will be so worth it and the kids enjoy the first 10 minutes, so its all good! So $64 dollars and some sack lunches we had a blast and the jam will be to die for-- so good you can eat it with a spoon right in the station after your Sgt. hands it to you (hee, hee...yes it happened).

There were berries galore! Berries for days and they were so yummmmy. One for my mouth, one for the bucket, one for my mouth, one for the bucket. Took my first hay ride ever from the little store to the raspberry patch.

As you can see I tend to get a bit involved and like to sit down as I'm frying in the sun doing manual labor. It just seemed more enjoyable to sit on the ground and pick from there. You can see the berries that hide under the leaves so much better when you are looking up at them.

It is taking all my willpower right now not to go in the kitchen and start making jam. But Im tired and have been trying to ready myself for when the kids go back to school next Monday. I have decided one dinner is done and the kitchen is cleaned up I should allow myself to rest between 8 and whenever I go to bed. I'm aiming for 10:30 but we all know how that goes. My body does its best work between 8 and 12 so I am trying to recondition myself.

Best thing to do after picking berries for a couple hours? Cool off in a sprinkler of course! This is what summer is all about!