Friday, August 30, 2013

Blog Friends Stopped by for a Visit

How fun!  My blog friends Bill and Karen who now live in Kentucky were on a road trip to Arizona and then to California-so since Missouri is on their way too they stopped in for a visit this morning.

I am on the left in purple-then Karen's sister-in the back, then Karen, and in front is her husband Bill. We had a nice long visit this morning over coffee. Was hoping to make them a nice meal-but they got in late last night in Lebanon, Mo so they stopped by in the morning.

Karen and I have been online blog "sisters" for many years now-was so nice to finally be able to meet up. Karen helped me sew up the quilt blocks for the love quilt I had made back in February for our blog sister Pat-Sea nymph (who sadly passed from her fight with cancer)  Blogging and meeting good friends is such an awesome experience for me and very rewarding.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Making and Canning up Salsa This Morning

The guys were able to pick me up a box of what the Amish call canners for $10.00. They are not a roma or Italian plum but they do seem real meaty. I had froze most of my bell and jalapeno peppers already but I was able to pick a few fresh this morning-so I may need to raid the freezer for more peppers-which I don't like doing. Should have just enough onions.

A couple years ago I had found an excellent canning recipe for salsa-for the acid it uses lime juice instead of the usual vinegar-so when you go to use a jar-it does taste like salsa-I love it!

Here is my recipe: (copied from a canning post here in 2011)

Canning Kathy's Salsa
This is the best I have made so far-love the lime juice in this instead of the vinegar the recipe is a keeper!!

I just was not happy with my salsa last year, it was a recipe I had used before but I just wasn't happy with the results. I didn't like the vinegar taste in it, and last year the tomatoes had no flavor-which was a big part of it too.

I searched online for another recipe, and found this one-uses lime juice instead of the vinegar-so much better tasting (note have to put an acid in each jar when canning salsa by water bath method)

I will post the actual recipe with my changes

4 quarts of diced plum tomatoes-seeds removed, I like to leave the skins on if nice

3 large onions red are good--I used yellow onions
2 heads of garlic--I used 2 large cloves of garlic
1 /2 pound jalapeno chiles
3 large mild green chiles peppers I used 1/2 pound of the hot banana peppers and I used 1 very large green bell pepper

3/4 cups minced cilantro I used 1/2 cup dried cilantro--really liked this
1/8 cup cumin seed ground--this was new for me to add in salsa but I liked it
3 ounces tomato paste--this was new for me too, but I liked this in here-gave depth of flavor to the tomatoes
per pint jar add 3 tablespoons lime juice

Prepare the tomatoes-diced, and then place in strainer over a pot while you prepare rest of ingredients. I didn't get that much liquid in this batch of plums, and I actually needed to add the juice back in as it was too dry-so this depends on how juicy your tomatoes are

Then chop or dice up rest of veggies add all to the pot. add in rest of ingredients and bring to a boil, I let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Have ready your water bath canner, jars and lids, follow home canning procedures.

As you fill each jar-add first the lime juice, and then when I took the tool to get the bubbles out I stirred it a bit.

Process in canner for 20 minutes, you will have two batches.

I am really really happy with the results of this recipe-loved the cilantro and cumin and I especially loved the lime juice.

Update: This recipe gave me 11 pints of salsa-I used my vintage wide mouth short & fat pint jars that I love for this recipe. and I always can up a few regular pint jars for Mr L too. He usually gives me the jars back for a refill-but I don't take chances on my favorite jars-lol  In the next day or two (once more of the tomatoes ripen up) I will make up one more batch, mostly in half pint jars when we want just a little salsa.

Just a note-I love having my labels on my page, but I became aware how much it slows down loading my page. So instead I found the gadget search this blog-so you can still find things like my recipes, canning, my projects etc. I also discovered I don't need to have all my go to blogs listed on my page-so I just listed 10 and at the bottom you can expand to see all-so that helped too for faster loading of my page.

The sun is rising here-which I can now see every  morning threw my bay window off to the far right-while I sit at the computer now love that!

Have an awesome new day

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sweet Brined Pickles out of the Canner

These are one of my favorite pickles to make, they remind me of my Grandmother too. (I see the reflection of the towel is in the glass of the pickles-lol-no my pickles are not pink. lol)

My Grandma always made large batches of the sweet gherkins-they take two weeks to make and she grew those little bitty cucumbers for this recipe. This year I decided to grow those long Japanese cucumbers cause they are always crisp and crunchy-and I am glad  I did as they are working out well for these brined pickles along with bread and butter pickles. With all the rain we got earlier-they are still producing.

So I have another batch started. These though; I will change them up a bit and add a piece of garlic clove along with a little hot red pepper flakes-sweet and a little hot is always tasty in pickles.

The recipe I follow is in the Ball canning book under brined pickles. I love the spices in their sweet gherkin recipe but I love the method better in their icicle pickle recipe-so I combine the two-

When I was out yesterday to pick up a few needed things-more sugar-lol for the hummers and the pickles, and I needed bottles of lime juice in case we get tomatoes to make salsa to can-I spotted a nifty tool for canning-I love it. I have missed place my tool for getting the bubbles out of the jar-they are made of plastic and I like them better than using a table knife.
   So looking for that-they had one that does that but on the other end of it-will also measure the head space-how much space to leave below the lid and the liquid contents. Nifty-this will be especially helpful to me for my pressure canner canning-cause I never get the full 1/2" head space-and that causes me to loose too much of the liquid when it is canned for long periods of time.

I found this photo it is the blue tool on the right

  That edge on the bottom is the spacer tool-mine was green and I was not happy at all that it was made in China-sigh-but I ended up buying it-which I really try hard not to support China

Yesterday at the resale shops I found a couple nifty silk ties for another dye project, also a silk blouse for fifty cents which I will use the same technique for-and a couple nice cotton tops for me to wear that were also fifty cents. However, I found a gorgeous yellow silk blouse that I wanted to overdye with the shibori technique-and it was not in my bag this morning when I was going threw things. I must have dropped it some how while shopping-that store is always crammed with items and very crowded-so that makes me sad-as I loved that color. oh well-have to be on the hunt again.

Can you believe that September is almost here? I just can not get my head around that at all. This summer has gone by so fast-with the unusual weather-and all that drama we went threw-I am still not over that for some reason-

Have an awesome day!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wow Progress Being Made on my Tissue Papered Walls

It is amazing how fast one can complete a task by working on it every day-even if it is just an hour or two. Even with my eyes bothering-I made myself work on this for at least an hour minimum each day since I started. 

So this was a long wall and now I am up to the door. Need to finish what you see down to the floor, and above the door, and along the other side of the door is a narrow piece of wall to do. From the photos I can see a couple a little spots I missed, so will go back in and cover those with the paper. (click on the photos to view larger) the second photo shows the hallway-which I am not starting on til the bathroom is completed.

Once dry, this gets another coat of kilnz and then I have one more wall to the right of this on the other end of wall that hooks up to my rock shower. I am really hoping I have just enough tissue paper to do that wall too, as Lowes is no longer carrying the tissue paper any more for this technique. 

After that the walls left to do are around the tub area and the back side of my rock shower-I will do those different-not sure exactly though-lol-the bottom half of the wall will have rocks. 

This bath room has been a long project-since the end of yahoo 360 days-yikes but I took this on as a work of art, and didn't worry about the time line. My rock shower was completed 2 years ago-now to get hubby to finish up what he needs to do-but you know how it goes-life stuff gets in the way, and making money too.

I did come up with an idea for the ceiling, so I can complete the walls with paints and stains first, and then do the ceiling. My neck and body won't be able to handle texturing and painting the ceiling so I think we will put some kind of metal  paneling up there-the kind found in farm milk buildings. It's cheap and the guys should be able to get it up there for me-despite all the cut outs-we will see how that develops next year.

Anyways I am pleased with the progress. 

Basil-How Do You Preserve Yours?

I have an abundance of gorgeous basil this year-do to all that rain we had gotton a couple weeks back.

In the past I either just popped it in fresh in the freezer, or I dry it for later use. However, allot of it does turn dark.

This year I did make  a nice batch of pesto and froze it in ice cube trays and then popped it out and stgored in freezer bags for later use. I did find a couple posts online that said they did chop it up in their processor with olive oil and then froze that way to keep the color. Here is a nice tutorial

But what if I don't want all of my basil processed in oil? How do you preserve your basil? thanks

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Art Sunday Rug Hooking

I decided to start posting and sharing my Art Sunday posts here again. This was started back in Yahoo 360 days, and Nemo continued it on Multiply and then on Blogster. I am working more and more on this being my primary blog and not posting so much on Blogster any more.

Rug Hooking as Fiber Art
  I know this medium is considered more of a craft than an art form-but this can actually be quite involved. Hand dying the wool to get the right color pallette for one, and some of the fine detail work as well.

A little rug hooking history here
Joan Moshimer is an amazing artist-rug hooker-her gallery is here  when my Mom learned to hook in the 1960s she learned this style of rug hooking-dyeing her own colors and cutting the strips very very narrow

In comments below my friend Jim shared a link to rug hookers in his area 

this is a wonderful site with a blog, online classes and more.  
go  here   thank you Jim

Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy Friday Everyone

  All in all this was a pretty good Friday for me today.

I drove my new car for the first time this morning, and that went well. As Mitch had commented it will be like riding a bike-and actually it was for me on the way home.

I did have a problem figuring out the gas cap so when I was at the gas pump could not get it off at all-had Larry show me how went I got back home-and he thinks I may not be strong enough to do the push and turn thing-so I need to practice that-gotta be able to fill up with gas when I am in town-lol

My aching eyes are do to sinus pressure and allergies-and also my eye doctor thinks I am allergic to the preservatives that were in the eye drops that dilated my eyes. So he recommended picking up an eye lubricant drop with no preservatives-and one that is packaged in single doses- I picked that up today.

It is really hot here today-we just got too spoiled with those gorgeous cool days here. I put my whole chicken into the crock pot and not on the Weber grill as I had planned-so I could cook in the cool-it was a really big one so hoping it gets done in the next hour-or I am in trouble-lol
  I have a big bag of kale greens that I think I will saute up with red onions, and serve with corn.

After resting my eyes a bit, I worked a couple hours this afternoon on my tissue paper wall in the bathroom-it's looking good and I am 3/4 completed now. We decided on a cool way to do the ceiling-so I will be able to complete the wall project first in this room-and then we are going to nail up these metal panels that are used in barns I guess-much easier for me than straining my neck to texture it-so I am happy about that. I am going to keep plugging away on my walls til it is too cold to work in that room.

How has Your Friday been?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Good Morning Wednesday & Catch Up

Wow I see it has been awhile again since my last post. I really do love blogging and reading your posts-but life stuff has just gotton in the way this month.

We are back to normal hot and dry August weather this week-so I had to remind myself to water my veggies-last night I discovered they were bone dry. I got spoiled with that 10 day stretch of rain-we ended up getting at least 36" of rain during that time-that's allot of rain. The guys went trout fishing the other day and the river is still very high and the spring is still shooting up muddy water.

Mr P drove back last night-I guess the dog is doing better and he was really ill as well-stress has a way of making health issues come to the surface. Not sure what is happening about his wife-but we decided not to bring that up at the moment-he is wanting to get his cabin finished up and liveable-however when Mrs P left with all the drama that day-she cancelled  the electric-so that's a problem-he will need to start that process all over again-and can't dig with rain-and we will be running into the rain season again in September-but that's his problem and I am not going to concern myself with it.

Did you have a gorgeous full moon last night where you live? Ours was just stunning with no clouds in the sky.

I think I haven't mentioned the good news-we finally have a car to drive-happy dancing! My neighbor friend bought a brand new car, so we were able to buy her old one-its a mercury mountaineer 1999 but with very low mileage and well taken care of-so something I can drive too. I have not had anything to drive now for over 2 years so this may be a little scarey for me-as I got used to being a passenger and not a driver-but this is a big stress reliever for us. Living in the woods-one needs dependable transportation, so we are greatful this came along and we could afford it.

I have been playing a bit with my fabric paints on cotton, these use the sun to set the color, for my commissioned piece. I am getting closer to the colors I need, and am still working on the technique-but this is always fun to do. 

Well, I am off to work on my tissue paper walls

How have you all been??

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Autumn Weather in August

I think the rain is finally out of here for a few days at least. We are now left with gorgeous autumn type weather-highs in the 70s with no humidity and lows in the 50s. A refreshing treat here in August

Larry and I both felt kind of ill yesterday after all the "drama" but I think things will settle back into more normal now-hope so anyways.

Yesterday I went with my friend to get my hair trimmed, and I was long over do for a vision test and new glasses. Good thing I went in as I may have the beginning stages of glaucoma I am to go back in 3 months for a re check. He said the test results could be just out of the norm for me, so he is holding off on the drops til the re check. So that was something unexpected for me. my eyes are still not back to normal either this morning after being dilated-need to check on how long that takes-so my eyes still feel strained.

I will stay out of the sun til my eyes go back to normal, so will probably go back to my tissue paper walls today. 

We still have lots and lots of hummingbirds. For the last month now I have been filling up their feeders twice a day. I am now up to over 65 pounds of sugar-thats a record from the past-lol  There are always a dozen or more at the feeders all day long. We love to watch them though.They will begin their migration very soon now-so by mid september most will be traveling out of the ozarks.

Hope your week is going well

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Taste of Sunshine & Tissue Papered Walls

Saturday afternoon we actually had some sunshine-so was able to catch up with the laundry-and I had lots of sheets-so was able to dry those on the line. Walking out of the house and to the compost pile, or to the garden, or to the clothes line is still a major challenge here. Never heard the totals of rainfall here but two of the days we got 16 inches, and most of the other days (10 at least) we had 4 to 6 inches(each day)-so allot of rain for sure. So Mr. P one day decided to start closing some of the water line ditch-but I think he just made us a bigger mess cause things are just too wet.

Yesterday was a sunny day all day and actually got out of the 70s. I did a little weeding-but my garden is a mud hole right now. I have been working on prepping a wall in the bathroom-so got that done, and started the tissue paper technique yesterday afternoon. If you check my labels-check for tissue paper walls for what I did last summer.

I am including a few photos. There is "drama in the ozarks" here-major blow up with Mrs. P which I knew would eventually come, and sadly their dog got into something and became very ill. I suggested using one of our horse leads so she would not go deep into the woods and not go over to our neighbors with cattle and rusty old barbed wire fence, but they said they didn't need it.  I fear their pet may not recover-hope I am wrong about that. So that is very sad along with every thing else going on here.

We have more rain again coming in today and tomorrow-sigh-and then hopefully the rest of the week will be dry and sunny. Hope so as we have a major mess here-and I can't do anything outside without getting frustrated walking over muddy and sinking water line ditches.

The yellowing in some areas is from the wallpaper paste-don't know why it does that-but I will seal this wall with kilnz white paint so won't show.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Photos-Water in the Water Line

When the guys decided to open up the ditch for the water line-no one expected all this rain every day-going into the second week now. So once you start-gotta get it finished.

I took a few photos late yesterday, and early this morning-after the all night and early morning rains.

 This is all happening in the front of our house-calico kitty not too happy right now

    One of my Japanese cucumbers on fence-in the back is the little cabin
 This is their dog Charli-a female german shorthair
This morning-the ditch is flooded now

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rain Rain Please Go Away for a Bit

 My area of the ozarks is just getting soooo much rain-6 and 7 inches every day or every night-and is still in the forecast for the next 10 days or so.

We have the flash flood warnings here-which is normal with this amount of rain do to all the ups and downs in the landscape and all the rivers. Just 40 minutes drive from me though up Highway 44 is much worse than me-They got more rain than we did all day yesterday and then at 3 am it started again-so they got an emergency flash flood warning. Near Ft Leonard Wood they are flooded out of their homes, allot of house trailors are getting moved off their foundations, they now have a gas leek-I fear the reports will be much worse by tonight and may even be on the national news. Rescue crews were needing rescued as the rivers swelled and cut them off. So prayers to all involved in that area. News report here  This is a very early report so you could refresh the page or go to the home page for more information on what is happening.

We are just high enough from the Niangua river to not fear flooding where my home is-but the composition of the soil here-holds the water til we get a few dry days and then the rocks just take down the water-so we are really water logged now. The guys started digging the trench for the water line from our well house to our friends little home-so you can imagine the added "mess" here. This month and July are usually very very hot and dry-this year we are cooler with soooo much rain. I think mother nature is just making up from the last 2 1/2 years of severe drought conditions we had in this area; but really enough is enough-LOL sounds like what Europe went threw last summer.

Not sure what I will be doing with my time today-tomorrow my brined pickles will be ready to finish up and can. I may start on that long wall in the bathroom-the wall needs to be prepared before I can tissue paper it

Friday, August 2, 2013

Just Checking In

Good morning, Just wanted to post a note that I am ok-things are just really crazy here. Friends living in our living room right now-and that's where my computer is-so not getting online as much as I would like.
   Storms are also moving in today and will be here for a week they are saying-that sounds like allot of rain to me-so no dye days for me right now. sigh
  I will catch up with all when I can


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