Friday, August 29, 2008

So far...

After three solid days of canning, I am off to a good start!

I have made plum jam (13), plum butter (5), plum conserve (5), peach jam (17), peach salsa (6), zucchini pickles (10), zucchini marmalade (not shown-5), and dill pickles (5). Later today, I am going to finish my cinnamon watermelon pickles, made with watermelon rind- they are soaking in the fridge right now.

With the rest of the case of peaches I got last weekend, I am making a peach pie for dessert. And with the rest of the zucchini, I will make a nice side dish to go with dinner.

That's the thing about preserving, you just have to get to it when you have the stuff!

Heidi is trying out the bus system today. We live too close for her to take the school bus, but with a heavy backpack plus band stuff, the walk can be long for her. We got tickets last night and she walked to the bus stop this morning. As I didn't get a panicky call from her and classes are now well under way, I am assuming she made out alright.

We got a new composter this week, and once I finish putting the rest of the bricks under it, I can start using it, thank goodness! Strangely enough, composting supplies are not to be found locally, we had to order it from the internet. We would like a vegetable garden next year, and the compost will be very useful.

I must get to mopping and such, you can't imagine what a mess I have been making all week! lol

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More of the bounty!

I said I was going to become a canning fool, and so I am. I just need to hunt down more jars... for some reason, they aren't very easy to find around here. Weird, because there are so many farmer's markets and such, I can't be the only one interested in preserving things.

At the Farmer's Market on Saturday, we bought a case of peaches which I will turn into jam either tonight or tomorrow. I have picked more plums, but just cleaned them and took the stones out- they are in the freezer in bags right now. I have already made 13 jars of plum jam, 5 jars of plum butter, and 5 jars of plum compote out of the 15+ pounds of plums I picked over the weekend.

My very generous neighbors have been supplying me with copious amounts of zucchini; there are no less than 35 cups shredded in bags in the freezer right now. And there is still more- but I found a recipe for zucchini bread & butter pickles, and for zucchini marmalade. So as soon as I get my hot little hands on more jars, I am back to the canning.  Right now I am calling around to see where to buy them while my chocolate-chocolate chip zucchini bread bakes.

I love making jams and preserves; there is something very satisfying about the wonderful smells in the kitchen while I cook and the look of the sparkling jars down on my basement shelves!

Friday, August 22, 2008

My very own orchard!

It's been a fun-filled couple of days!

Yesterday we all went up to Boulder to see where Zach will be living for the next few months. The campus at CU is gorgeous and Boulder seems like a pretty nice place. The place was a zoo! After we dropped him off, 
we went to the Pedestrian Mall on Pearl Street. It has lots of cool little shops and we had a nice afternoon.

Last night when we were letting Feather out for her last time before be
d, she came back in- and she had been skunked! YUCK!! She spent the night in the Garden Room, which as of yet, really has nothing in it. This morning Rich and I gave her a bath in the backyard with peroxide, baking soda, and detergent. She still smells a little bit, but nothing compared to last night.

Rich was off today and so we went out for brunch. Afterward we ran a few errands. I wanted to get a canning pot and supplies as I am planning to use the crabapples on my tree back here to make apple butter and crabapple jelly.

Imagine my thrilled surprise when I discovered that the tree was not a crabapple tree, but a plum tree!!! WOW!!! So we have a cherry tree, a plum tree, two apple trees, and a crabapple tree. It sounds weird, I know, to not have known that before I went out to pick- but I hadn't looked too closely yet. I can see the tree from my kitchen window, but it isn't in the area of the backyard we are in too much.

I am going to need more jars! I am planning on becoming a canning fool- I have my very own orchard in my backyard!!! WOOO-HOOOO!!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rain, rain, go away

I bet Heidi wished it had come another day... poor girl got properly and thoroughly initiated into marching band today... man, oh, man, we are having rain like we haven't seen here yet!

The band sounded awesome, looked fantastic, and it was VERY exciting to see Heidi marching past in her uniform- even though it was pouring rain and we were also drenched and cold.

I am awaiting her phone call from the school to say she is back and ready to come home. I bet a hot bath and some yummy ho-cho will be just the ticket.

I think this season is going to be great fun watching Heidi perform. What a girl!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rain, computers, and school news

This is the first rainy day we have had since we moved here. Apparently this time of year, afternoon thunderstorms are very common, and we often do get clouds and thunder later in the day. Not often have we had any rain though. 

This morning when we got up, it was pouring rain. Boy, do we need it! I don't have any errands to run and it should be a quiet day. Great day to spend some time on my new iMac!

I haven't used a Mac in over twenty years and so have that bit of a learning curve to deal with, and as we are also running windows (on a virtual machine), I am trying to figure that out as well. That allows me to use all of my former programs which is fabulous!

The girls are both glad it is Friday. They want to get themselves organized before next week starts, now that they know better what to expect. 

Heidi has been moved up to Grade 11 French, as most kids here have only taken a year of French before entering high school, and Heidi has had five years. She loves the rest of her classes and seems to be settling in nicely. Tomorrow the marching band is playing in the Welcome Western Week in Littleton, and Heidi is nervous as she still doesn't really know how to put it all together (the marching and the playing by memory), but that is why they do this parade- straight marching and repeating one song throughout the march is a good way to learn apparently. I think it will all come together quickly for her once she does it. 

A guy Rich works with has two kids in the band, and he and his wife are in charge of the Pit Crew. Rich has signed up to help for some events. I have offered to help with uniform care; cleaning, mending, and such. Not that I know how to do alterations or anything, but if someone shows me what to do, I could probably do it. They are set for now, but they have my name and number and so I am sure someone will be calling at some point!

Chloe is also feeling better about things. She and Anna are starting to make more friends and they are doing homework together most days after school. Their schedule has them doing three days of gym, three days of art, and three days of music. In music class, they are teaching them how to play guitar! She is very pleased about that.

At Chloe's school, I have volunteered for library duty and for a group that makes and delivers meals to families in need. I haven't been contacted yet so I am not sure when I will start or what exactly I will be doing, but again- they have my information... lol

I am putting the borders on my Fun With 5" Squares table topper. I am hoping to have it done by the end of the weekend. Holly's quilt is ready to pin, and I will work on that next. I have the squares for Ben's rag quilt done, they just have to be assembled and fringed. I figure by the time I have them both finished, Holly will be in her new apartment and Ben should be in residence and I can send them each a care package.

Well, I must go and check if Chloe is ready for school and get on with my day. Happy day all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Made it through the first day of school!

The first day of school is done. All of the anticipation and anxiety much relieved.

Chloe and Anna are sticking together even though they aren't in the same class. Heidi is happy that today she can eat at the Band Geek table. lol

It sure has been a busy few days, and hopefully things will settle down a bit in the next couple of weeks. It is so weird though, it feels like it should be September!

I think we have tonight off! No band practice, no parents' meetings, no school things to attend to. What a nice change.

It is a lovely day and I am going to work in my garden this afternoon. Most of the roses are in-between blooming and I miss the colour. But I am busy planning for next year's landscaping and planting...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bighorn sheep, rabbits, and deer. Oh My!

Here I am on a sunny Monday morning, thinking over the great weekend we just had.

Heidi is the newest member of the Columbine Rebels Marching Band and even though school hasn't even started yet, they have been practicing for hours already.

As Heidi was at band practice all day Saturday, Rich and I took Chloe for a bike ride down along the Platte River. We biked 13.4 miles (21.6 km) altogether, and it was great. You can bike all the way into Denver on that path. Chloe is a great biker and so is Heidi, but these long rides seem to be over the limit for them at this point.

Sunday Rich and I went to Waterton Canyon again and biked to the dam and back, which is 12.8 miles (20.8 km), so we sure got our exercise this weekend!

While at the canyon, we saw a whole herd of bighorn sheep, some coming down the mountain and the rest right at the side of the road, grazing. I counted eleven of them and it was really something. They didn't seem too wary of all of us bikers and hikers, and everyone was respectful. We see a LOT of wildlife on our bike rides, no matter where we go- thus today's blog title! lol

This morning we are going out to get back-to-school haircuts and to buy a couple of items that we missed last week. 

Then I need to call the schools to get the girls student numbers; one of the great things about this school board is the Parent Portal- I can log in and see exactly what assignments they have due, what their grades are, and everything. We can also put money on their cards to buy lunches and stuff.

Today is the last day of vacation for the girls. They are both nervous and excited. Another new adventure is about to begin.

Monday, August 4, 2008

What's new?

It's the start of another week. Things are getting so busy, with the girls starting school next week. Yep, next week. Chloe is already registered but we have to pick up a folder at her school tomorrow, and we have an appointment to get Heidi registered tomorrow too. They are both eager to get started, they want to make friends and get lives of their own... lol

Do you LOVE that stained glass???? My BF Brenda made it for us as a wedding gift. Here it is, hanging in our dining room window. That is at the front of the house, the middle window and you can see it as you walk up the sidewalk. How happy!
She made me a mirror too, but I haven't hung it yet. We have hung very few things so far.

Let's see, what is new since last week? Oh, apparently the sharing of the laptop wasn't going so well, as Rich bought me a new iMac with a HUGE screen. I do love it, I must say! It has a lot of cool features. I don't know how to do everything on it yet, I haven't used a Mac in over twenty years... but it is all good!

My sewing furniture came in and so I have pinned my "Fun With 5" Squares" table topper that I made in Nellie Holmes' class last spring, it is ready to quilt. And I have cut out a bunch of postcard-sized pieces of Peltex. I can't find Fast2Fuse around here for love nor money. So Peltex and Wonder Under it is. It is lovely to have a space that I can leave the stuff out and go back to anytime I want. I will post a photo soon.

We went to see the movie "Mamma Mia" yesterday. My BF Brenda took me to see the play for my birthday back in 2004 in TO, and I loved it immensely. It was awesome. When the movie started, I thought I would hate it, it was sort of campy- but it was spoofy and goofy and I had fun watching it. And I kept thinking, Rich must REALLY love me to sit through this- he took me as a surprise, knowing I am an ABBA fan. He is not an ABBA fan, though he admits he really isn't familiar with their stuff. He will be... lol

I spent time at the dentist last week... not fun and not looking forward to going back, but it must be done. Yuck!

We are having company today and I have baked bread and made homemade ice cream. I don't want to do much else right now or I just know I will spill something on myself! Our first guests!

Template by