Saturday, September 27, 2008

It Finally Happened!!!

Today is a red letter day, a day that will go down in the history books, a day that I will look back at with fond esteem. It is the day I beat James at chess! 

Don’t get me wrong, I have beaten him in chess before, but it wasn’t the same. Before, when I would win, I captured all his guys and I just had to pin down his king—which I ALWAYS need help with. Tonight was monumental because not only did I put him in checkmate but I completely caught him of guard. I said “checkmate” and his response was “no, wait, it’s not checkmate; I can get out of it.” And yet he couldn’t! James is now saying that he will not play chess with me ever again—I doubt that. Anyway, for 6 years I have been losing at chess and still playing. I guess it’s because “I is now a college student.” 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Canning: a new found passion!

I know that I am new to the game, but I absolutely love canning. I use to think it was old-fashioned and pointless--why can something when you can buy it? With our extremely large garden we have found ourselves not eating our tomatoes fast enough. So I made salsa, Yum!!! I would say that I made up a really fancy salsa, but really it is just the recipe in the Better Home and Garden Cookbook.  I love a good cookbook, especially one that makes me look good! Not only did I make salsa but I made some more crab apple jelly, as if I didn't already have enough.  So now I am looking to tackle something else, maybe I will can butternut squash soup. Who knows? Any pointers?

Monday, September 22, 2008

I feel the need, the need for Clean

It seems that when my house is messy my life seems more chaotic than it needs to be. The other day Lucy dumped out the itty bitty rubber bands for hair, and when I say dumped out I mean they were EVERYWHERE in our family room. I didn’t clean the room up right away because the rubber bands were mixed with toys dirty socks, pillows, blankets and snack rubbish. You know all those things that end up in the TV room. So today I finally cleaned the room. It is like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I have had a really stressful and crappy weekend and if I would of just cleaned up I think I would have felt tons better. I hope I can remember this for the next time I am stressing out. Do you stress out when your house is messy? Or am I just ranting?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's a Crop Party

So the picture isn't fabulous but I got it done. So On October 3rd I will not be blogging, but scrapbooking my heart out. Hope to see you there! 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Popcorn Balls

I just made the yummiest Halloween treat. I know that Halloween is a month and an half away but I got a craving. Theses popcorn balls are the perfect balance of sweet and salty plus they are super easy to make. Try them out, it's good. 


1 bag of microwave popcorn

Some candy corn and peanuts

6 tablespoons butter

5 cups miniature marshmallows



Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside.


Pop the popcorn in the microwave. Put popcorn in prepared pan. Add some candy corn and peanuts.


Melt butter In a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in marshmallows and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn and mix with spoon to coat evenly.


Let mixture cool slightly. Smear butter on your hands or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Mix popcorn with your hands so that it is evenly coated.


Form popcorn into 8-12 balls.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I’m very Self Reliant!

We got a GINORMAS crabapple crop this year. Last year the blossoms froze so we didn’t get any apples. But this year, look out! 

Lucy loved picking the apples!

We filled our five gallon bucket and only found three worms. 

I made six quarts of crab apple jelly.

 The picture doesn't do the color justice. It's a deep red but in the light it almost has an orange color to it, it's really pretty! I changed the recipe a bit, it’s more like spiced apple jelly.  The jelly tastes like Christmas- if Christmas has a flavor. The last time I made it I gave away most of it. Big mistake! So if you want to come over for homemade bread and jelly just give me a call.


Fresh crabapples
White Sugar
Cinnamon stick or Spice Sachet

1.    1.  Remove leaves and blossom ends from crabapples and rinse well. If you soak them in water the worms float right to the top. Place them in a large stainless steel or other non-reactive pot or saucepan. Add enough water to be able to see, but no so much that the crabapples are floating. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The apples should soften and change color. I like to boil them in an old pillowcase, because it will save you time later.

2.    2.  Strain the apples and juice through 2 or 3 layers of cheese cloth. Do not press. Discard pulp.

3.   3.   Pour one cup of juice to every one cup of sugar back into the pan. Bring to a simmer, and watch carefully because it could boil over. It happened TWICE to me. Skim off any foam that comes to the top. Add cinnamon stick or sachet. Continue cooking at a low boil until the temperature reaches 220 to 222 degrees F (108 to 110 C). Remove from heat.

4.    4.  Pour the jelly into sterile small decorative jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process the jars in a hot water bath to seal.

For the Spice Sachet: I sewed a little pocket with some fabric scraps. I then put in about 1-2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, some ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and some pumpkin spice. (Basically whatever I could find in my spice cabinet.) I sewed up the pocket, making sure that the stitch was really tight. 

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Practice makes perfect!

This is my attempt at a “chain link fence.” Lucy’s hair is too fine to do it so I did Thomas’ friend, Malia’s hair. I am still a work in progress.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Problem Solved!

I have solved the crab problem. He no longer tries to get out of the fish tank, ‘cause he died. I am starting a foundation for the research of sudden fish death syndrome. All across the world, fish keepers struggle with the loss of fish and crustaceans for no apparent reason. With my new foundation, people can know why that 28 cent fish never stood a chance against a 4 year-olds feeding schedule. To contribute to my fishing foundation, contact your local bank and tell them you would like to donate to the Personal Fisheries of America Foundation, and then tell me what they do. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Slippery When Wet!

All this summer we really tried to be outside. I made it a goal that at least twice a week we would fill the pool up or walk down to the city pool. As a result we found that Lucy is a little fish, fearless when it comes to water and Thomas has yet to get a sun burn. Thomas was really funny, he didn't like being in the pool too much. He was really happy if he could just ride his bike all afternoon, with out the sprinklers on. I think these times really helped me keep my sanity in check. I made sure to take pictures at least once before the weather started to turn. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Crop Night Party!

I am in the process of planing a crop. A Crop is where we get together and scrapbook, eat, and get more ideas for our scrapbooks. I was thinking of having six crops in a year, every two months. I want to do it on Fridays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. or midnight. The first party would be October 3rd. I feel that to really make it worth the time we need to take the time. I was thinking that we have a table for each scraper or two to a round table. Also, if everyone brings a snack to share it won't make the time seem so long. At six when it starts there will be a short (20-30 minutes) instruction session about new techniques and then the rest of the night you can crop, scrapbook, look at books and magazines for ideas, work on any other project you are working on (sewing, cross-stitch, or homework) or you can just eat and visit. Talking and scrap-booking go hand in hand. So what do you think? Are you game? Any ideas? Should I have an R.S.V.P. to make set up easier? I need lots of input because I don't want to plan this thing and then end up being the only one who shows up.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I have a happy librarian!

Do you want to know how to make a librarian happy? (Or really anyone who likes to read.) James has a new favorite author, Bernard Cornwell. Well, for a very belated Valentine's Day present I sent the 5 books that James owns, and Mr. Cornwell signed them for free. All I did was pay the postage, it was really easy. So if a loved one has a book or author that they like, see if you can get them signed, it's not hard. You just have to make sure that the author is still alive, that is kind of essential.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Are you My Mother?

I am a little worried about this and would appreciate some input. Thomas has an imaginary friend, well not really a friend. He has an imaginary Mom. Her name is Memo and she lives in a yellow house very far away. Memo tucks Thomas into bed every night. I tell you what, if I ever catch Memo I am going to kick her trash. Both James and I tuck both the kids in every night, unless one of us is out (which is rare). Why would my son imagine another mother to tuck him in at night? I know kids are imaginative, and I am fine with that. But he could have imagined a pet, a friend, even a new dad. I am the one who gave him life, cleaned up diarrhea, caught throw up in my hands and rocked him when he cried. I don't deserve to be replaced, no fair. And to top it off, when Lucy wants something she always calls for James, 'cause he generally caves. What are my kids thinking? Am I really that hard nosed? "I'm cool, I'm hip!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Crab Quandry

I don't know what to do. I set up my fish tank again. This time I am trying something new, cold water fish. You know like koi and goldfish. Well, I also put in a fiddler crab. I have had those in my fish tank before and they never gave me a problem, until now! I have one in there and I can't keep him in the fish tank. Someday I am going to be playing with the kids on the floor and I am going to get a painful pinch in the tush. Ouch! So what do I do now? He's not big enough for crabs legs. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yoga Class

I love doing yoga, I love it so much that I even got my nieces (Dani and Anna) and nephew (Josh) to join me. I know it isn't the best picture but I thought it was pretty cute. Lucy even joined in on the action, but she was eating a cookie at the time.