Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hey Ya'll!

Well it's officially Fall here and the garden is about pooped out!  Alot like the rest of us too, huh?

I have alot of catching up to do on all my favorite blogs as well as around the house.  And since I'd rather catch up with you guys than do housework, figured I'd start here!

To get things in the spirit of the season and because it's therapeutic, I have been sewing away!

And since I promised a purse post, here is my latest one:

It's corduroy and I love it!  It's 'slouchy', like me! 

I didn't put a closure on the outside pocket, that way I can just toss my keys in or grab and go! 

Gonna have to find me some more corduroy and make a few for every outfit, which would mean like, ya know...something to go along with my PJ's :)!

Fall also ushers in a Milestone Birthday for my SIL Jen.  We totally side swiped her two weeks in advance for the Big 3-0!  Anything closer and she would have known!  Just a good old fashioned girls night and most importantly for her...no Screamin' Mimi's! 

In celebration too, she completed her first 5k run!  I personally think she is nuts, but hey...some people dig the run thing!  Good Job!!

Tomorrow should be fun too, we are going to a Fall Craft Show here!  Fall is the most awesome time for decorating as the colors go best with my house.  Love it!

And even though I say the garden is almost tuckered out, we still have lots of root crop that needs to come up and then of course pull all the old plants and get some good manure spread.  Nice thing about these tasks, we don't really have to get it done on a timeline.  Which is why I have been SUCH a slacker!

Man, I feel some good Chili coming too!  I love soup weather!  I plan to pressure can some even.  Never tried much along that line, but I intend to be fearless! 

Now I gotta go...time to read about a zillion of your posts this slacker has missed out on!  Oh, and get started on my next project too...

Isn't it cute???  The house doesn't really need to be cleaned, does it???

Sunday, September 19, 2010

She Made It Look Sew EZ!

Well, My Jenny Girl did a fine job amazing me this weekend. 

I thought I would throw her for a loop, cuz that's what I do best!
Hmm...What if???
So, I got all the fabric cut out for her and away we went! 

Now, normally I WILL put sharp pointy objects in her hand,
Gosh, this one was from about 4 years ago...kitchen looks so different now too!
But I thought the rotary cutter was a bit too treacherous.

We practiced on some muslin first.  She was real quick to pick up on needle up/needle down and knew exactly what to do when I told her to drop the foot.  She did an excellent job feeding and directing the fabric and her stitching was nearly as straight as could be!!  I was very impressed!

"We" only made two boo-boo's...BOTH of which were totally the instructor's fault.  Oops!

I was very proud of my little student and I think she was pretty happy too!

Can ya tell she done good???
I swore to her it was better than my first attempt and that I could prove it...
But you'll never see that here...Ugh, to be shown up by a smart-alec Jenny Girl, I tell ya!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Who Am I?

Today, I am not The Apple Pie Gal...

I am a Crab Apple!

Call it a rebound from a wonderful weekend or whatever you will, but I could just spit nails and slit throats.  Ever have one of those days?  I am usually pretty level, but not today.  No one is safe.

Maybe it's because the garden looks so bad or because the wind blew.

Aren't those the most pathetic looking tomato plants??
 What greeted me in a matter of being away 4 days, 31 pounds of tomatoes and alot of weeds...I left them.  No green beans!!  I had really been counting on more since we have had only about 1/3 of what we normally would.  Looks like I will be buying them this winter...which I HATE!

I did find about four of these however.  The first year I planted them, we had 25 or so.  We haven't had ANY Pie Pumpkins the past two years, so this at least makes me happy...briefly.

I think I need a beer.  Can you hear me growling???

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ahhh...To Be Human Again!

Well, we had a nice long weekend of ALL sewing.  Wait...we ate alot too!

My "Work" Area
My MIL took me on my first Sewing Retreat in Racine, Wisconsin at the wonderful Siena Retreat Center.  It's a "Nunnery".  And no, the roof didn't cave in on us!

Room Full of us!  Kriket -front and Center :)
I met so many wonderful ladies and we sewed until the morning hours!  I learned alot of really neat things and saw alot of really great gadgets, mostly from Kriket the Gadget Ho.  This girls got EVERYTHING!  And I want it all!  :)  What I loved most probably, was that everyone is so willing to help and support each other.  Such nice ladies, like being wrapped up in a big hug!!

Momma M...Isn't that a great photo???

I was really, really shocked that she took her shoes and socks off!!

Pig Pen's Aunt Kathy
The Retreat Center is located right on Lake Michigan and the views are wonderful!




By the end of the Retreat, I accomplished one whole Quilt Top and started on a scrappy Log Cabin.  I can't show you the Quilt Top, because it's for Pig Pen and it's a surprise.  But he caught wind that I was up to something.  Bummer!! 

The scrappy pieces are pretty ugly right now...  But I love scrappy quilts and it's a great way to burn off material that may otherwise go unloved!  Once they piece together, I just love'em though! 

So I only got 3 done...  don't laugh!  Ugly, ain't they?  (it's ok, you can be honest!)

If anyone had told me a Sewing Retreat would make me feel human again, I probably would have denied it.  But, MAN!  I had no idea how much I really needed the break!  I think I had turned into a Dead Woman Canning!  I have been trying to keep up with what I have put up so far this year.  And a rough tally so far of various stuff "Put Up" is at...

Canned:
  • 110 Qts
  • 166 Pints
  • 83 Half Pints
Hangin' Around:
  • 157 Lbs. Honey
  • 105 Lbs. Onions
  • 3.5 Lbs. Sweet Potatoes
  • 20 Lbs. Irish Potatoes
Frozen:
  • 44 Pints
  • 4 Pies
  • 8 Qts
  • 2.25 Lbs. Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  • 6 Lbs. Peppers
That is just what I remembered to track, not counting what went straight into our bellies or to friends and family.  If anyone knows of a neat Gadget or Tracking program for this type of stuff, I'd really love to hear about it!!!

SO, I think it's only natural that I was entitled just a wee bit of a break.  The garden isn't done yet, but I didn't feel like walking out there today - or jumping back in the can. 

I am still in Euphoria.  Maybe tomorrow?  Yeah, yeah...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Serenity

My SIL struggles with Anxiety...it runs in the family.  Earlier today, when I read her post on Daily Dose of Davis, it screamed at me like a Banshee...

So I told her that I would help verse her a little on my theory...maybe it might help????

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

When I was a kid, my mom made us learn this.  Well, I don't think she knew what she was doing exactly.  She was married to my step-dad, who was an Alcoholic.  Now I dearly loved my step-dad, don't get me wrong.  But even thru that hardship, something good did come out of it.  Doesn't it always??  We went to Ala Teen.  This is the first thing they teach you, The Serenity Prayer.

If you REALLY read it, it can flow over to everything in your life.  I used to agonize over every-little-thing.  From work, household issues like hanging my pictures perfectly symmetrical or making list after list of things that needed to be done.  I think I had lists of other lists that I needed to make.

Let me tell you - it took years to break the ferocious crazy in my life.  I had alot of help from friends who laughed at me, friends who coached me and oh, friends who laughed at me.  Now, my family and friends would say I am fairly easy going.  At times, I have been accused of having a "Don't give a $hit attitude" even.  But it ISN'T that.  I choose my battles and try to win the war.  I let go...I believe God will never take me to a place He can not keep me.  Period.

And alternatively, when I am frustrated beyond belief and I simply want to throw in the towel or use it to strangle the world...I lean on what I inherited from my Dad's side of the family....HUMOR.  Yeah, I've been known to hide behind it and a become a Smart A$$ even...it saves me too.

So, Jen...in case you never studied this one either, here goes:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I cannot accept,
And the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people
I had to kill today because they pissed me off.
And also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on today
As they may be connected to the ass that I have to kiss tomorrow.


Help me to always give 100% at work... 12% on Monday, 23% on Tuesday,
40% on Wednesday, 20% on Thursday, and 5% on Friday.
And help me to remember...
When I'm having a really bad day,
And it seems that people are trying to piss me off,
That it takes 42 muscles to frown
And only 4 to extend my middle finger and tell them to bite me.
 

Intervention...Please!

I'm ready...

There are a few things I am tired of, yet thankful for:

Standing in my kitchen.  I'd rather be outside.
Barking Dog Trios
Canning, canning, canning!  I am sooo tired of these!

The fact that it is getting dark sooner!  That's a real bummer!  I love summer and the added daylight hours.

Things I really miss and am looking forward to:

Season Premiers, even though I only loosely follow them!

And this...

My sewing area is more of a catch all place right now.  :(  Shameful, isn't it?

But this week I am going to find the time to sort, dump, clean and PACK this baby up for my First EVER...sewing retreat!

It couldn't come at a better time!  I think I deserve the break!  My MIL is forcing the intervention upon me and well...it's not like I am opposed to it!  We have several projects we hope to get done and I am really, really looking forward sitting on my can as opposed to putting something in a can!

I got this bad-girl after working my butt off this past spring (seasonal job) and have hardly put any miles on it.  So I need to get better acquainted with it...soon!

Yippeeee!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Laboring Away...


Even though it was a long weekend, seems like there is still not enough time to get things done.  One thing that did squeak thru...The Coop!



Pig Pen and all his 'associates' really did a good job, and now it is all sided, under a new roof and ready for interior work.  That was his goal before winter, then he can take it slow.  Yeah, right!  Slow by definition to him is not the same as normal people!

He also made this, which of course Missy thought was for her.  Hope she enjoys it now, because she wont be any where near it come Spring!  So do you call this a doggie door or a chicken door?


2 Cats on a roof...Eric the Sharpshooter Eliminator and Pig Pen

And check out my MILs latest craze!  Isn't that the coolest doo-hickey ever?  I thought the fabric was pretty darn funny!


This was added to my collection this weekend too!  I can't wait to dog-ear and mark it all up!  I got over keeping my reference stuff all cute and tidy years ago!  Now I mark in them when needed.  I have too...or I forget everything!  No amount of brain exercises helps this gals memory so I will be making lots and lots of notes in here!  :)

What would Labor Day weekend be without a good picnic?  We ran up to Rancid Ryan and Meg's this weekend for just that.  I hadn't seen their new house yet and I gotta say I think I licked the kitchen walls, floors, drawers, doors...you get the picture!  It is an amazing house and I just loved it!  Did I tell you I liked the kitchen???

Did I fail to take any pictures of the house?  Of course!  But we did go shopping!  I got pictures of that! 

What the heck are we doing???  Every year for Christmas Eve, we get together at Pig Pen's folks in our PJ's.  It's our thing!  We stumbled across Christmas PJ's and decided to try them on in the aisle.  Now the funny thing here...these girls don't have a hillbilly bone in their bodies but they sure acted like they did by doing this!  We decided to match this year...

Meg

Me

Jen

Jan

Goof Balls in other words!

Now I saved the best for last even though I couldn't figure out how to "flip" it for you...you'll get the idea.  If The Bonnie Hunt Show were still on, I would send this in for one of her "Feel Good Moments".  This is my nephew and Apple Dumplin', Blake.  Coached by his Momma, Jen.
video

Isn't that the cutest???

Friday, September 3, 2010

Peter Piper...

He really Peeves me off!

This is the fourth summer in a row that I have planted 'pickling' peppers of all sorts trying to duplicate these:

They go great with this:

I decided that after countless brine recipes and varieties of peppers taking up space in my garden, that if I couldn't get it right this year...
I would throw in the towel.

Yesterday as I was shelving more jars of exhaustion into the pantry, I could tell that something wasn't right. 

I sent in the hounds...

My nose that is.  I can sniff out just about anything good/bad/indifferent.

This was bad!  Heart sinking...OK, which jars didn't take???  What did I ruin???

Yup, these!  So much for packing the jars 'tight'.  Must have taken it to the extreme.

Burst right out of the jars, they did!
They smelled ... no other word to describe it ... like puke.

So I am sorry to say this - Pops, my pepper pickling days are over!  Peter Piper can pick on someone else!  I will buy you cases of them for Christmas!

Drum Roll Please!

Folks, we have a winner!

In case you can't see it clearly, it goes to Comment #8!

All you need to do is email me at TheApplePieGal@gmail.com

CSN Stores will email your $40.00 certificate directly to you!

A Big HUGE "Thank You!" to Eileen at CSN Stores for sponsoring this Give Away!

AND

Thanks to all my Bloggin' Buddies old and new!

I didn't respond to any comments for that post because I didn't want to mess up the counts for the number generator, but now I can say a few things in response to the chuckles you guys gave me!  Your 'funnies' are something I look forward to everyday!

Jan... yes we know you are a Ho Bag Bag Ho...my bad!
Rachael...thanks for coming out of the closet and going public with me ;) Ha!
Kelly...Welcome Aboard!  Hope you find something useful from time to time or at least a little humor for your day!
The Tesdall's...I think I owe you a huge "Congrats!" on that gorgeous baby girl and welcome to you here too!
Amy...you are a girl after my own heart...Mmmmm Coffee!!!
Gina...Wham!  Pow!  Splat!...hope your son looooves that Batman Stuff!  Congrats Girl, You are the Winner!
Jan...you are like lightening!
Chelsi...I think we need to hang out, No?  Get your fanny on a plane!  Bring Jackson! Oh and the hubs! :)
Peakview...I thought it said Peekaboo at first!  Ha!  Maybe that's why I couldn't see your blog, it was playing peekaboo too?  Looking forward to getting to know you!
Granny...No, really...what would you need one of those for???  I don't get it... ;) 
Thyme...yeah, gardening and canning might cost ya some gadgets at start up, but you will love it!  And I want a dehydrator too, but first...you must get a canner!!!! 
J2...You have some amazing Farmer's Market and other awesome photos on your blog!  Loved them!  Can't wait to see what else is up your sleeve!

Ok, Gina...you know what to do! 

Thanks all for playing along!  I wish I could give one to each and every one of you, I really do!




Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Worker Bees

Remember I said I tried to get some action shots at the hive and...Brave?  No.  Did I run?  Yes.

Heather...I did this for you so that you could see your honey, Rookie Rick, up close since you couldn't be here...you almost owed me BIG time!  :)

The camera doesn't have legs.....
video

I promise I wont be offended if you scroll fast thru the pictures, but I do think they are pretty cool, so here goes...




Here are the chickens...in the truck...and far, far away!



Ok...LLL is allergic to bee stings, so I can pardon him at least!
We set up an assembly line to bottle it all up.

Momma M wiping the bottles.

Aunt Kathy's Palmolive Hands...she soaks in it.

Uncle Darrell cleaning the jars.

Sue and Pig Pen filling them up!
Here are the pantry shelves before this harvest...and after.









Aunt Kathy and Momma M staged this one for us:


And then this just cracked me up, so I had to add it to the mix.

That's Al the Mole Hunter Neighbor Dude, outside Pig Pens Garage the day we harvested...on his golf cart like the guy from Home Improvement or something!  Hey, it's not McDonald's either!

And then I saved the best for last!  Pig Pen wouldn't let me show it before because he wanted to surprise all his family and friends (done!), so I get to show you how cute his little brain is finally!

Awe!!!