Monday, April 30, 2012

Falling down the rabbit hole

Alice in Wonderland
Figuratively speaking! I apologize for my erratic posts of late. I am on a deadline to get my life back on track. I am preparing to go back to school.
The white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland
I feel very much like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Always in hurry. Always chafing under time restraints. Always late...for something. 

I have so many things (tasks, responsibilities,, demands) I am trying to balance. My daily chores, my budget, the needs and request from everyone on my time, managing my push to be more self sufficient (which includes learning sewing/ quilting, canning and expanding my garden), the never-ending home improvements (which are necessary to reduce our utility consumption), all the paperwork, applications and testing for school (so that I can have new career)  and somewhere admist the chaos carving  time for me.

"Which road do I take?" (Alice)
"Where do you want to go?" (Cheshire Cat)
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then, said the cat, it doesn't matter.”
“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

When you think about it Alice in Wonderland seems to be a good narrative for my life. Bored  and complacent (my previous job), I fall down the rabbit hole (becoming unemployed) encounter various unusual creatures in Wonderland (all the governmental agencies I must deal with) as I go on a most unusual journey on a river of tears, some days I feel small and some days I feel big. I have already endured the vexing and annoying conversations of the Cheshire cat (embodied by the know-it-alls) engaged in battle with the Queen of Hearts (those that have attempted to cut me down and belittle me) and now I would like to believe I have made way out of the rabbit hole, awoken from my dark fantasy to emerge stronger and self assured.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.” 
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

I think I finally have the puzzle complete, have regained my sense of self and have climbed out of the rabbit hole. 

“I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. ” 
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland



Friday, April 27, 2012

Foodie Frugal Friday #9

Welcome to Foodie Frugal Friday #9! Fridays are my "day off" from my blog. Every Friday I will feature some recipes from across the web and blog-land.

OH-EM-GEE! I am dying. From hunger. Ok I am not REALLY dying from starvation, I mean I don't live in 3rd world country where that is a reality for so many. I am being overly dramatic. But I am HUNGRY!! I am dieting...AND IT SUCKS!! I want carbs. omg so many carbs. Sweet delicious carbs....siiiggghhh


Seriously in the 1500's I would have been worshiped for my rubenesque beauty.

So yeah, definitely craving comfort food! Here are some links to some super delicious foods! I just did the links because if I looked at anymore pics --I swear I would eat the entire contents of my fridge-- my bottom jaw would unhinge and I'd be all predator/alien style on it. And no one wants to see that.

And FYI--I hate all you skinny bitches . Maybe it is just the hunger talking trash....Viva La Fatty!



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's not my forever green house

...but it will do! I had talked about it (ever so briefly) here and here

This is what I REALLY want
IMG_6199
http://jenniferchilds.typepad.com/my_weblog/
Or this
sbgreenhouse.com
Or this
geodesic-greenhouse-online.com
Or this
underglassusa.com
Well you get the ideal. I REALLY, REALLY want a forever kind of greenhouse.

Siiiggghhhh......

Lots of parts. And instructions with tiny print--yay! (Sarcasm  intended)

All kinds of connectors imprinted with little tiny letters

The walls are going up
 The hubbs is well over 6ft tall and he can stand under the peak with hunching or ducking. SO no problem for a Shorty McShorty-Short like me!
Not to shabby! 

Of course I totally had to red-neck-tify by adding zip ties. Haha! I zip tied all the shelves in place to keep them from moving and it actually makes the frame more rigid. Maybe I will toss down some weed-block cloth and pea gravel to make it more permanent. Also my old "mini" greenhouse the cover had gotten ripped bit it fits in the back of this perfectly! Plenty of room for my seedlings.  All total there are 9 shelves including the little gh. I sure do love me some shelves, lol. Just ask the hubbs. Or read the about me. It'll do.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award #2

 

Recently Patsy from  Pattycakes Cooking nominated me for The Versatile Blog Award. Thank you so much Patsy giving me the thumbs up on my blog. I really appreciate the shout out.

This is how this award works:


  1. Thank the people who gave you this award
  2. Include a link to their blog.
  3. Nominate bloggers for the award. (Some rules say 7, some say 15) I went with 7!
  4. Tell seven things about yourself.

Nominations

  1. Bargain-ista- Karen offers fashionista tips on a budget!
  2. My Turn (For Us)-Evelyn is recently retired and gonna be travelling in a 5th wheel. We should be so lucky!
  3. Budget Friendly Decorating-Sarah offers budget friendly hints, tips and crafts for the home
  4. Something Nice and Pretty-Rondell is a self professed decorating addict.
  5. Bless My Nest-Claire is a creative cozy nester
  6. Caution! Reality Check!-Morgan's blog is a coming of age story as she transitions from her 20's to her 30's
  7. Swede Dreamer--Angie is passionate about vintage finds

My 7 things

  1. I am pseudo retired (that's a nice way of saying I'm unemployed)
  2. I am about to make a career change and go back to college
  3. Since I will no longer be a chemist , I wonder if I need to change my AOL email because it has the word chemist in it?
  4. Since I have had so much free time, I made a bucket list
  5. So far I have managed to cross off 2  things-canning and quilting!
  6. I really want to do some travelling across the US
  7. Planes, trains and automobiles? No planes, I am not a fan. (Funny because when I was 17 I wanted to be a stewardess!) Travelling by train could be cool. But I really want to get a vintage Airstream trailer. That would be the way to travel!
Ok that was kinda more than 7 things. But I'm wordy. And nerdy.  Happy blogging y'all!






Monday, April 23, 2012

Funky and Frugal Finds #10

Funky and Frugal Finds Monday #10

Me and  my daughter hit the GW in Loveland on Sunday. It was crowded and boy oh boy was everything picked over. I wasn't sure we would find anything worthwhile. But I did manage to find a few things...

Is it bigger than a breadbox? No-because it is a breadbox!  Can't you just picture this all cleaned up, painted and maybe stenciled. I have lots of ideals for this !
$5

This funky monkey pod bowl
$3 

A cute little metal bucket. This will be great as a planter!

$1
And this sweet little enameled metal tray. This will look adorable in my spare room!
$1
Anyone else have some funky or frugal finds you want to share?


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sown and Harvest #9

Welcome to my Sunday post dedicated to all things garden, landscape, and plant related.


Earth Day is on SundayApril 22, 2012! Happy Earth day!

Guess who got a composter? Yup this gal! My daughter bought it for me. I guess she got tired of my "Someday, maybe I will buy one. Or someday, maybe I will build one..." Whatever her reason, I am very excited to have it.
Um, what?

Oh yay, picture instructions and no words!
Ok not so bad. snap, snap
 
 
Bottom piece snapped in place last. It was kinda awkward
 
That's better
Hmmm, where to put this? About 20 feet from the garden. This will get 6-8 hrs of sun per day. Nice and hot to bake everything.
Weed block cloth and on top of an old pallet will ensure plenty of air circulation
I think I will plant some fountain grass  or put up a privacy panel because it looks kind of ugly sitting in the middle of the field.

Now, how do I start it?

Build up layers of material  that balance of carbon and nitrogen . 

Carbon material is dry, brown, woody plant material, straw, dried leaves, torn/ shredded newspaper, dry lawn clippings, sawdust, corncobs and stalks.

Nitrogen material is fresh, green, living plant material, fresh lawn clippings, green leaves, fruit and vegetable scraps, old potting soil (disease/ pest free) HERBIVORE animal manure/ guano (cow, pig, horse, chicken, sheep,
 goats, rabbit, Guinea Pig,  bats, and ducks), CLEAN eggshells, tea bags and coffee grounds.


  • Food with meat, dairy or oils
  • NO Pet feces (dog, cat or bird)
  • Diseased plants
  • Weeds gone to seed
  • Ash from charcoal or coal

Just say no. While many materials can be composted, there are some items that you should keep out of your home compost pile. Excluding foods with meat, dairy or oils will minimize odors and keep your pile from attracting scavengers like dogs and raccoons. Since compost is generally used for a soil amendment, you want to keep it free of plant diseases and unhealthy bacteria.

Add moisture and turn every 5 to 7 days. Turning as you add new layers. I am debating whether or not to add an innoculant to get it started...


I set up a couple of old coffee cans to collect kitchen scraps and can take them out every couple of days. These will work until I can get a nice ceramic kitchen composter. And I have separate (clean) garbage can that I only put weeds in. It is one of the dark green/black  plastic 35 gallon kind. I put the weeds in there, it sits in the sun and bakes the heck outta whatever is in there. Once I am sure everything in nice and crispy. I won't add to the composter but we do dump it in the woods near the creek bed. And I gotta tell ya' that is some of the best soil. It is so dark and rich it looks like a spoonful of chocolate cake!

Maybe next on the list is getting a worm compost station?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Glazed Carrots (Canning Boot Camp-Part 2)

Well, right after we finished making the strawberry jam we took a lunch break to eat. I wish I had taken a picture of the beautiful spread of food our instructor, Sonya, had set forth. Except I was to busy stuffing my face, haha. 

There was a nice selection of meats, cheeses, large globular grapes, HUGE strawberries, relishes, and pickles. OMG--let me tell you about the pickles. I swear I dreamed about them. It was food nirvana. Especially the watermelon rind pickles. I am not kidding when I say I heard an angelic choir and jar was illuminated by rays of light. They were that GOOD! 50-70 years ago fruit pickles were common place. Now you can find them is specialty stores, but at a premium price. Also there was brie, bread and a variety of jams. It was a foodies paradise! My tummy just growled--I'm hungry!
Watermelon Pickles

Cold Pack Canning

The second recipe we learned to can was glazed carrots using a cold pack method and a steam canner.


I didn't have a good photo on how to julienne the carrots-Here's a great tutorial
 Photography by Mark O'Meara

Making the syrup 

You need brown sugar, water and orange juice 
This would add nice  lil' sumim-sumim!


And since I messed up all my prep pictures I had to source images from the web--DOH!




And here is my "canned" glazed carrots

For specific canning directions:
http://pickyourown.org/canningcarrots.htm
http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2010/12/canning-recipe-glazed-carrots/

Friday, April 20, 2012

Foodie Frugal Friday #8

Welcome to Foodie Frugal Friday #8 ! Fridays are my "day off" from my blog. Every Friday I will feature some recipes from across the web and blog-land.


Here a great way to use all those zucchini!
Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe
Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Don't forget about the Zucchini blossoms!
Picture of Crispy Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Ricotta and Mint Recipe
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jamie-oliver/crispy-zucchini-flowers-stuffed-with-ricotta-and-mint-recipe/index.html
Chicken and Spinach Phyllo pastries--yum!
http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/smoked-chicken-and-spinach-filo-triangles
Oh my word! Sticky pork and radish noodle stir fry? Yes please!
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/586649/sticky-pork-and-radish-noodles
How about this little sweetie to end your meal?
Pink meringue cupcake with raspberry curd
Not sure what kind of wine to serve? Pick a  Rosé  because it possesses the characteristics of both red and white. Not overly sweet or dry, a Rosé has the ability to compliment a wide variety of foods.
http://www.wine.com/v6/Rose-Wine/wine/list.aspx?N=7155+126&Ns=p_Special_Price|0
Have nice weekend y'all!