Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Lost My Ballz!

Geesh!  Get your mind out of the dirt!  What the heck did ya think I meant?  So ok, I will let you off the hook in that I should have said, "I Lost My HERB Ballz!" 

Remember these guys? 

My Sister-in-Law gave them to me for Christmas and I was really excited for them and I love that they are for a good cause!  But I could only seem to find one, maybe two of them  :( 

The Basil, which I think is actually lemon basil from the scent.  I have never tried that, so I am super excited about it!

And then here is what I believe is left of one other...  Just clay, not real sure if it will do anything or not.
(The ground looks horrible, doesn't it?  It isn't really dry, just cracked from the river than ran thru in last weeks downpours.)
So it looks like I will go nab some plants from the store in hopes that they may even be on sale now!  See, there is a bright side to everything! 

Hey, at least I found my Ballz after all...and I still love them!  I think that if we had not had the crazy rain again this year and the complete take over of weeds because of it, they would have worked great!  I will give them another try next year in hopes that we wont have so wierd'a weather!  Have a great day guys!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Close Call

Mowing...again.  I get pretty engrossed when I mow.  It doesn't help my technique at all.  I recently started carrying my cell phone tucked safely away with "the girls".  I do this because I figure someone could sneak up on me and unless I had the shoot side of the mower pointed at them, well...ya never know!

So imagine my surprise when in deep concentration (aka...driving in reverse which is NOT my strong suit), out of the corner of my eye, I see "something".  I jerked my head and barely 10 feet from me...a DEER!  My first thought was "Holy Crap, it's gonna punch me!".  I think he knew that his cover was blown, so he looked me square in the face and turned and walked away.  My second thought, "Where is my damn camera when I need it?" and then thirdly, "Where is my real shooter when I need it?"  Just kidding!  I am not quite ready for that...especially at close range.

The cell phone photo wasn't worth it, so I can't share.  But it was really pretty cool!  Once I cleaned the crap from my drawers, that is!

So these are some photos from a few weeks ago of some other critters in our yard.  Nothing too exciting...


Turkey (waaay in the back)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Quality Time

The weekend was a huge blur...I finally killed the life form under my kitchen table.  But only because I have company coming over tonight! 

Saturday, I went to see my Uncle Skip.  He doesn't come to town often, so it was worth the trip to see him!  We got some quality time in...

That's my Dad in the chair and my Uncle on the floor. 
Go figure!  It must run in the family! 

Sunday we had a family bridal shower and it was a very nice visit.  I gave my Mother-in-Law and Grama-in-Law a ride home.  We stopped off at our house for kicks and in my infinite wisdom, and because I really wanted to show Pig Pen's Grama the hardworking bee's in the back yard...I drove her out there and promptly got my truck stuck in my own darn yard!  Idiot!  This is what the boys are for though, right?  We made it out with some help from them, but the yard doesn't look so good...OOPS!

The weather is supposed to be really nice this week, so hopefully I can kill off some more weeds in the garden.  I wish I could wiggle my nose and make them go away.  Pig Pen ad I cleaned out an entire golf cart dump full of them.  We didn't get done, because the skeeters were pretty hungry.  It's still pretty wet out there too.  But look at what is showing up! 

I am getting super antsy to get canning season well underway.  And of course, once it gets here, I will be half-dead in my tracks.

This is our Garden Gnome...

I double dog dare anyone to come near my garden for a snack!

Friday, June 25, 2010

What I Was C'n

So I spent alot of time outside yesterday...or at least I look a little like a red lobster anyway.  Here's what I was C'n:

Is it just me, or am I the only person on earth who can't mow in straight lines?  Does this happen to you???  Me thinks me needs a lesson in mowing! 

Hey, next time you mow -try this...go around the trees at least 7 times really, really fast!  It's fun and your neighbor's will think you are NUTS!  Especially if you scream "Weeeee!"  It's one of the things I love about mowing. 

I also love to mow because no one dares come near me, or at least not on the 'shoot' side.  And I know how to point that thing!  Pig Pen is good at sharpening the blades though, so it's all good in the end. 

One thing I don't like about mowing...running over this:

After I mowed, I also was a C'n this :(

With all the rain we had the other night, 2.5 inches, the garden looks like a river ran thru it! 

I barely stepped in to right a tomato cage and sunk a few inches!

And I was C'n this....

Then THIS!

Why?  Why?  WHY??? they grow better than anything else?  It has been less than ONE week and they're baaaack!  This is our old Strawberry now Thistle now Weed patch!  I had to gingerly pull these buggars!  Because I knew what was lurking...

The Enemy!  Grab one of these and you will be screamin' "OUCH!"  Or some other explicitive at least.  But I am glad to report, that Snipping them before a heavy rain seems to have helped some!  For the thistles at least!  The other weeds are thriving!  Another reason I had to pull carefully...

Basil is up!!  This is one of my favorite herbs to grow! 

And of course here is how you know you worked outside on a nice summer day...all day.

The Four F's:

Filthy-Flip-Flop-Feet!  Kiss the mani and pedi Buh-Bye!  I hate feet! 

Now the question, What'd you C?  Or did you just A to B?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How to Blow an Aneurysm on Your Aunt

Hey...Aunt Bena!

I'm going Night-Night...just like this!

Don't worry though, Mom will be here in the morning!  HA!!!

The ABC's

We all know them.  But let's face it, we are usually too busy to even think about how simple they really are.  A long time ago, I saw a piece of framed art that said,

"Cleaning the house while the children are growing,
is like shoveling the path, while it's still snowing."

It spoke to me.  You all know we don't have children yet, but I still subscribe to this.  If we run around trying to get from A to B...what do we really C?

Take time to C

Enjoy the ones you love.  It could be the last.  Life is short, don't you know?  Just ask the person who recently lost a loved one, friend or a parent.  Like my step-sister, Kim.  Steve passed away last week.  Thank you for your prayers! 

Take the time.  Enjoy!  I have a new life form growing under my kitchen table...compliments of a hairy dog.  And as if on cue (no lie) my other dog just hurled in the corner.  I think I will clean that one up...  After that though, I think I will go outside and just C.

Life is beautiful, isn't it?  It doesn't have to be perfect...

Go ahead...Live like you were dying!
Compliments of Tim McGraw...hope you are thinking and singing in your heart!  READ the Lyrics...

He said: "I was in my early forties,
With a lot of life before me,
An' a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days,
Looking at the x-rays,
An' talking 'bout the options an' talkin’ ‘bout sweet time."
I asked him when it sank in,
That this might really be the real end?
How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?
Man whatcha do?

An' he said: "I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'."

He said "I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn’t.
An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all of a sudden goin' fishin’,
Wasn’t such an imposition,
And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.
Well, I finally read the Good Book,
And I took a good long hard look,
At what I'd do if I could do it all again,
And then:

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'."

Like tomorrow was a gift,
And you got eternity,
To think about what you’d do with it.
An' what did you do with it?
An' what can I do with it?
An' what would I do with it?

"Sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
And then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
And I watched Blue Eagle as it was flyin'."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cherry Pie Filling

If I never pit another Cherry again...I'll live.  But I don't think I will ever survive again with store bought Cherry Pie Filling.  So next year, I will call in the minions (aka Andrea, Jenny Girl and any one else I can sucker!)

The recipe I used for this filling is from  You can click the link for more details, or follow along:

Have EVERYTHING measured, jars, rims and lids hot, all the appropriate 'gitters' out, hot water bath at ready boil.

Bring a large pot of water to roiling boil.
Blanch cleaned, pitted cherries for exactly ONE minute after your boil returns.
Drain and return to pot and cover to keep warm.

Note:  Don't be an idiot like me...leave enough room in the pan for your cherries.  I made a mess!  Duh!

Ingredients for Cherry Pie Filling

3 1/2 C blanched cherries
1/4 C plus 1 T ClearJel 
1 C Pure Cane Sugar
1 1/3 C Cold Water
2 T. Lemon Juice

After reading up on ClearJel on PickYourOwn's website, I was convinced that I needed to be safe and broke down and ordered some.  Couldn't find it in any local store!  I ordered from BarryFarmFoods and it came in the nick of time!  Phew!

In a sauce pan, combine the ClearJel, Sugar and Water.  Stir to combine and set burner on Medium/High.  It will look a little lumpy and milky at first.

Continue to stir until it gets thick and bubbly.  Now, about mid way thru, I noticed these odd clear lumps forming.  Not to fear!  It turned out great!

Once bubbly, add Lemon Juice and boil exactly one minute and stir constantly!

Off heat, fold in cherries gently until combined.

Funnel into Quart Jars and seal with hot rims and lids.  Remove air bubbles with rubber spatula.

Place in Hot Water Bath and boil gently for 30 Minutes. 

Remove with Jar gitter and place on safe surface.  Do not disturb -preferably for 24 hours. 

I had a little left over so here is what I did for dessert tonight:

Crumb Topping

1 stick butter
1/2 to 2/3 C Flour
4 T Oatmeal
1 t Cinnamon
2/3 C Sugar
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Combine or cut in all ingredients and sprinkle on top of pie filling.  Bake at 350 till crumb topping browns lightly.

This was really good!  If I had graham crackers, I would have cut back some flour and added graham cracker crumbs instead.  You can't really mess it up.  Don't be afraid to experiment.  I also sprinkled a little cinnamon sugar on top.  You can also freeze any extra for later use.

I hope you get a chance to try out homemade pie fillings someday!  It really is wonderful and will make a believer out of you. 

And of course, it comes with the standard warning...It brings on the beggars!  Shhh...give it a minute... they'll come!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What's a Bena in a Bucket?

What IS a Bena in a Bucket??

Here's how they do things..."Down on the Farm"

 It's my Aunt Bena...In a Bucket!  Of a Tractor!  Yup, that's how serious people pick their cherries!  She's a farm girl, born and raised!  She knows how to garden, can it, cook it!  And about a thousand things in between.  She NEVER stops and she makes me seem lazy!  If only I had half her energy!

Proud owner and operator of that tractor and bucket...
My Uncle Wally

Now, Uncle Wally isn't a man of many words.  If ya can sit down a spell, you will be laughing in no time! might take a bit.  He -  talks -  real -  slow,   kinda -  like -  this.  He's a farm-boy.  No need to rush!  Ain't gonna make the corn grow any faster if ya do!

Every year Aunt Bena, my Mom and I go on a girls trip.  It usually includes food and shopping.  We are always thinking of new things!  The Covered Bridge Festival in Indiana, Door County...we haven't decided what's on the agenda next.  But it is always fun and it makes for the best memories!  I wouldn't change a thing!

Here are the Short Shit's in Door County.
They make me feel tall!

If Pig Pen and I could be 'real' farmers, we would be!  I like to think of us as Aunt Bena and Uncle Wally just a couple of years behind with a lot less land and a lot less 'crop'.  And maybe talking a bit faster!  Aunt Bena and I agree, that living in the country is the best!  It's peaceful, no neighbors, yet everyone is close enough.  Here is her garden which butts up to one of the fields.  It truly is God's country!

And what would a farm be with out these...

or these...

or these...

Moo Cows!  We will be eating those there things soon enough!  Mmm-hmm! 

And if you are looking, you see beauty everywhere...just in the every day.

Well, I have a bunch more cherries to tend to now.  I have lots of work to do since I had helpers...Pig Pen and my most discerning food critic, my LITTLE brother, Tim.  He looks discerning, huh?  He pretty well stole all the height in the family.  That is ok though, gene pools get weaker down the line.  BAM!  Take that baby brother!

Next up on the blog - how to make canned cherry pie filling of course!

And now you know...What a Bena in a Bucket is!