Sunday, September 14, 2008

Our Sunday drive

We decided to take a little "drive" around after the bad weather and here are some pics of what we saw. Here is a tree blown over in a field...there were about 5 of them all in one area from the storm (leftover Ike).
We has a lot of rain in a short amount of time and there were several roads with water over them...this pic shows one...and the rain had stopped several hours by this time.
I took this pic as we were driving...I was happy it showed, cause we were actually moving quite fast. It was a beautiful site with the sun peaking through the clouds... When my dd was about 3 or 4 years old, and it had been raining...and we saw a similar view as this, she told me that "that was God peeking down from heaven, checking on us." Every time I see the suns rays shining through like this, it reminds me of that. It is funny what little kids say.
This big hornets nest was hanging from a limb over the road. We stopped to take a picture, but didn't stay long, lol. It was a big one, that is for sure, but we are not very close it it.
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Missouri Winds...Leftovers from Ike

Well, even thought we are in Missouri, we had some pretty strong straight line winds here from the left overs of hurrican Ike... No real damage to us at all, but grandma has a very large oak tree go over with the winds. The over saturation of the ground, from all of the excess rains didn't hurt the matter either. The pic is of my dd and dogs sitting on the "tree".
This is dd again, climbing up in the tree...
Here is a pic of the roots that were pulled up when the tree with can see the water on the quit raining many hours before this pic was taken...but the ground was just so saturated.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Muskrat minding his own business

We were out for a drive to pick up some apples from a small orchard about 25 miles away when we saw a busy muskrat on the side of the road, close to a pond...he was really cute. My dd said that he looks a lot like a beaver, but with a rats tail...
Cullen took the picture, but it was the only one we captured.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Peaches anyone?

I canned a few peaches this year and well here they are. The peaches that I used, were so juicy that I did not add anything to them...I just sliced them right into the jars, pressed them in and they made their own juice and all... It was amazing. I love to use these canned peaches for a peach cobbler, or peach cake when we are in the middle of winter and just craving some summer, yumm!
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We planted a couple of grape vines a couple of years ago. This is the very first year that we actually "harvested" any grapes and well, here they are. We only had about 2 cups of them, once they were cleaned and picked off the stems, but they were so good. I put them in the freezer to add to some other fruits to make a mixed jelly or jam for later.

We were just proud to have actually harvested our own grapes for the first time!!!!
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Apple Season Already Starting

I just love apples. We do have a couple of older apple trees and a few younger ones (that are not producing much in the fruit department yet). I pruned our two older ones last winter and they did not produce very many apples. We usually go to a nice little orchard that is about 25 miles away and get apples, wether we have them on our trees or not. We recently got 1 bushel of small apples (seconds) and 1 bushel of beautiful pears. They are just beautiful. Here is a pic of the apples (which are Jonathons)
I usually dehydrate them first...I cut the apple in quarters, cut out the seeds, then cut each quarter into 3 or 4 "slices". This pic is the apple slices floating in a "solution" of water, salt and lemon juice. It keeps the apples white and beautiful throught the dehydration process.
And here they are, the apples laying out on one of the dehydrator trays. I like to fill all nine trays and let them dry for a long time till they are very dry...most directions say leathery, but I dry mine more than that...till they are almost brittle. I place the dried apple slices in jars or containers that seal well after they are dry.
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A New Bosch and Tons of wonderful bread!

We make all of our own bread (no store bread at all)... I usually make it once a week or so and freeze some for "later"...
It really isn't a hard task, but it does take some time. I usually use my kitchen aid mixer and mix up a loaf at a time (i have the smallest kitchen aid out there, which I dearly love, but it will only mix 1 loaf at a time). As of late, I have started to use my "old" bread machine to mix a loaf of dough cause my kitchen aid seems to be somewhat "taxed" with the amount of bread dough I mix. The bread machine was pretty much the same, it only mixed on loaf at a time, I would take it out of the machine form it in a regular bread pan, let it rise, and then back it...and that has worked, but now the good ol' bread machine is not wanting to "keep up" with the load either... and so "MY HUSBAND BOUGHT ME A BOSCH COMPACT MIXER" I just cant believe it, it is so wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look at all my wonderful bread...and I did it in only a couple hours.
After I bake all my bread, I like to cut it all up so that we can use it when needed, insted of cutting it as we use it. (the kids hate cutting it and seem to always hack it up and have huge chunks and complain if I don't have it pre-cut) . Most people ask me how I cut my bread up so nicely and evenly and well, I am gonna tell you.... I do it with an electric knife. Most electric knives come with 2 sets of for meat and one for bread. Most people never use the bread blades, but I do... they work perfectly and make the job a snap. Make sure you have the bread blades, it makes the job much easier and your bread will not get smooshed either. Just cut the bread slowly working from one end to the other. I live to do it when the bread is still very warm. Most people say to wait till it is cool, but I disagree, cause when it is still very warm, it is all steamy and very moist, as you cut it, there are vertually no crumbs and mess, but if you wait till it is cool, it will crumb much more. Give it a try, it works great.
Here is a bit of a "different loaf"... It is fun, cause it just "tears" apart in the little sections, but looks pretty if you are having company or want to take it as a hostess gift. I do this my simply twising 2 or 3 long snake like pieces of dough together and placing it in a short pan so that it will expand width wise. It comes out perfect everytime.
This is one of my daughters favorites...just good ol' french bread that she can make garlic bread out of. I thing the girl could live off of garlic bread, lol.
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Monday, September 01, 2008

Couplets by Simone Stuart

Couplets are poem that have two lines that rhyme.
A couplet can have multiple paragraphs, as long as they are only two lines long.
The golden Buddha
The golden Buddha sits and stairs
Waiting fore some one who cares
Winter days
Winter days are coming fast
Summer days are in the past
The ring on my finger
A ring on my finger
Oh what a zinger
I cant be bitter
When I see it glitter
All day long I sing this song
What could possibly go wrong