About Me

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Within the confines of this blog, you will find bits and pieces of the life and times of myself, my family and friend dear and near., far and wide, few and far between. You will find bits and pieces of my world, tho small to some, but huge to me. You will find everything from 'soup to nuts',; recipes, hobbies,crafts, gardenings,loves of my life, GrandLoves-a-Plenty, and even my pets... Sooo, if you can handle family life, enjoy the tour of my 'Stuffings'.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yes, I'll Come, but What's Up Now My Love?

They say, that with true love,you will follow him anywhere~~~~~so where are we off to this time, dear, and
what are these tools for? And are those pipe fittings and short pieces of pipe? What the~~~~~
You've got to be kidding, right? Yes, I understand. You have this uncontrollable urge to drill holes in our trees to see what comes out?
I've been eves-dropping on your chit-chat with my brother...so you are hungry for the taste of sap coffee? or pure maple syrup?
I see you jimmy-rigged some home-made taps when you just as easily could have waited until tomorrow when I go to the farm. I could have gotten you some ' real ' taps and the pails. Why, my love, must you always be so impatient? I'm wondering, is this what retirement is going to be like? I was in the middle of spring cleaning AND making your supper.

Yes, dear, I see the sap is dripping 110 drips a minute....and your point is?I'm just saying, MY point is, it's like having a hobby farm. If you're going to milk one cow, you might as well have a barn full because you have to stay home for one just like you would for 50. So, either tap trees and make maple syrup or don't tap at all. What's with only tapping 6, I say, six trees? And, what's with only one tap per tree? This is going to be a hoot. Do you remember the last time you did this ' small fry ' maple syruping? Do you remember how you walked away from the boil at the most crucial moment and you lost every drop of syrup?
Yes, but, that was when I was a drinking man and had to get another beer~~~~

So, just why did you say we are Not tapping the whole woods?
Because I only want 30 gallons. That's all we need to make a gallon of pure maple syrup. Besides, we do not have the set-up to do it big.

Ok, so tell me why you want to make your own maple syrup when we can go up the road and get it from Dave? (Dave is our nephew who makes maple syrup on a much larger scale, but still small-time.)

Because I want the Grandkids to see this and help gather so they know how to do it for themselves someday. Or say they made maple syrup with Grandpa and Grandma.

Well, now that's the best reason in the world to tap 6 trees. One more question~~~~and why didn't we just tap the trees in the yard?

Because maple trees grow in the woods. That's what I'm telling the kids.
I've never liked beer, but if I did, I'd have to tell ya..........
All in fun and the family~~~~~
to be continued! I will have to keep you updated on this little venture that Bill is on. I'm kidding him a lot but really am looking forward to doing this with our GrandLoves as much as he is. Maple Syrup time is exciting. I remember tapping, collecting, cooking, the whole process until it was poured over our pancakes along with a hot cup of maple sap coffee to top it off. What a great way to welcome spring.

Thanks for stopping and

Monday, March 28, 2011

What is it?, Super Supper

Have you figured it out yet? What is this first photo? It looks gelatinous to me. What is your guess~Bill and I have been trying to watch what we eat on occasion. Apparently, this time it was a little more ' watching.' The problem is, ' on occasion,' is not always a healthy option.
We Did have 1/4 meat and 3/4's veggies on our plates, however, and was it ever good! I marinated a cut of round steak in soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce, olive oil, garlic, onion powder and parsley after pounding the life out of the steak. Let it sit for a couple of hours, and oh so tender with flavor that was ' out of this world,' pan braised 6 min. on one side and 4 on the other for medium rare, on medium high heat. The sauteed veggies were overdone due to absent-mindedness. It happens. Next to the steak is a cranberry chutney of ground cranberries, finely diced orange, normally a handful of walnuts, but this time, pecans, sugar to taste and, Mercy! What a treat on the steak!
This time, dessert was a couple of hours later as we needed time to digest that great supper.
I made Angel Cake earlier in the afternoon, so we will call this dessert a Strawberry Angel Cake. The homemade whipped cream added just the right ' YUM' to an already delicious dessert.
I'd say we put quite the dent in the ' on occasion,' healthy eating. What did you have for supper/dinner?
(Sorry Jack. I know you and Sherry are so ready for some home cooking. I wish we could have had you at our table for this one. You are welcome to dine with us anytime as we visit away the hours. I still need to make amends to Sherry for that dry Cho. cake.:)
Thanks to all of you for stopping. Have a wonderful week. It's -5 below again this morning but promises of a heatwave of low 30's by this afternoon gives us hope. One of these days, our snow is going to melt into the ground and leave green grass, gardens waiting for plantings and planters to fill with bright colors. I cannot wait, tho I must.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Narrow Drive, Wide Sky, Signs, Leftovers

It's been a beautiful and productive weekend so far. I could bore you with all that was done, but instead, let's take a little drive down this narrow drive, topped off with blue skies. The clouds we will enjoy but disregard. Somewhere behind them, is a promise of more snow...no!
Is this a large coyote track or a small wolf lurking right next to the cabin as he came up from the creek, exploring these....
deer tracks and ...
a turkey trot!

GO AWAY SNOW! I refuse to shovel you again!Meltdown is finally starting to occur. The logs are dripping off during the warmer days as they dry for next winters firewood.
Click on any of the pictures for a closer look of the meandering creek just below our log cabin. I LOVE to see water again instead of just snow and ice. I am so ready for spring, a warm spring.
Weird, but I thought these frozen ripples looked like fingers and toes...but I'm sure glad they aren't mine.
Pretty ice, in it's own right...I'm always amazed how the water runs a foot beneath the ice as it melts from the bottom up. That's what makes it so very dangerous to walk on during the melt-down., or is it the melt-up?
In any event, NO ice, is safe ice, during any thaw. Click on the picture below and you can see the boulder a foot below the ice as the water runs around it. Check out the scalloped edge on the ice...I rather like it.
Let's see if this huge burl actually becomes a bowl as I requested. I think this is one project I am going to have to produce on my own. It's a good thing I have my own sets of wood lathe tools. Now I have to learn how to use them. Burls make the most beautiful and interesting wooden bowls. Maybe, someday, I can show you what I'm talking about.
I got excited to see the tight buds on the wild raspberry brush. I just know that it won't be more than 2 months before we see leaves on those branches and berries. If only we can pick some before the bears find them. That will be in July, as I patiently wait.
Another hope for spring, is seeing the Wood Ducks returning. Hopefully, a pair will use this nest box by the creek. Time to start to throw a little enticing corn for them. They usually show up just as the ice is going out and the grass is peeking through. Along with them, come the Mallards, by the dozens. Let's hope at least a few of them stay to raise their families.
Speaking of the food trough, look what I made today...another jar of the best pickled eggs. I thank my nephew's wife for the recipe, handed down to her by her mother. I'd best ask for permission first, to pass this goodie down to you. If you're around in about 10 days, I'll give you a taste!
We had so many tomatoes, onions and olives left over from the birthday party sub sandwiches last week, that I had to use them up somehow. What better, than Homemade Chunky Tomato Soup. Oh my gracious, this was so good!
There were Still left-overs , so I whipped up a Homemade Tomato/Mushroom/Green Olive/Red Onion/Portabello Mushroom/Sausage/Hamburger/Garlic/Basil/Oregano Pizza topped with slices of Cheddar and Muenster Cheeses and shredded Romano, for supper. Now, THAT was a mouthful~~~and mmm mmm, so good!
No dessert tonight~no tummy room!

Hope you all enjoyed the ride and the food. Come again real soon! Maybe, I'll bake next time. I hear dark chocolate is good for my heart!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Patience, Patience

What do you do when you are so tired of 6 months of winter weather?It looked as though it was going to be a beautiful starry night, but ***
it was the beginning of a typical, nasty March storm. The snow was going every which direction, blowing and drifting, raining, warm spring weather. Ha! What a trick.

This morning, it is still coming down harder than ever, still blowing drifts in the driveways, roads, steps....we are having a March blizzard complete with slush and ice. Schools are closed, traffic is slow, weather daring us to just try to get to town. I chose to cancel an appointment in this mess.

Yes, that is snow and not just a blurred photo, of the wagon wheel on the barn. I see my star has even gotten blown off the wall.
The siding on the house is even lined with, (don't want to say it), ' that white stuff. '
When Bill and Andy stepped into the snow on the steps, it showed at least 8" blown into this corner. Did either of them grab the shovel? What do You think?
Even the birds are busy flitting from feeder to feeder, warming and filling themselves with breakfast. They are stuffing more seed than usual in the bark of the trees. Do they think this storm is going to last longer than the weatherman has predicted?
Just when we were all getting excited with the creek starting to open, the grass showing signs of spring, the rose bushes beginning to just barely unfold, like the pussy willows. We have learned not to get too anxious because, it never fails. We ALWAYS seem to get One Last Storm in March. Let's just hope it doesn't snow this much for the April, May, and June storms. I have seen snow on my birthday in the end of June.

We said we needed moisture, and God has come through once again.

Thanks for stopping by our cold northern climes. Stay warm and enjoy your sunshine if you are fortunate to live in gorgeous early spring locations. I will patiently wait for the month of June to plant my gardens.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I've Been Gifted

I've been given so many gifts. I'm not talking about this gorgeous cherub planter, given to me by my Little One, but more so, my daughter, herself. We have had our trials and tribulations, but we are the best of friends besides mother and daughter. Darcie is my first-born ' love,' who is amongst the center of my life full of loves. I'm not just blowing smoke, I love this girl and I'm proud to admit that. Thanks Little One.We are supposed to get pounded with another foot of snow and rain, so the cherub came inside. I do not want the basket to fill with snow, rain and ice, and then crack. Besides, I just love looking at the strength it takes to shoulder such a heavy basin as Little One, so named, is holding.

So, in her cowboy boots, PJ's and robe, out she goes at midnight, to ' Shoot the Moon.' Sat. night was the closest the moon would be to the earth for the next 4 years, and she just Had To get a shot. A professional equestrian photographer, by trade, it was refreshing to see her shoot something besides horses. She is awesome at her job, but WOW, you should have seen the shots she got of the moon and it's craters. WOW, WOW, WOW!Check out the honkin' lens on her camera. I know, I should have gotten more information on what she carries that lens on. Maybe she will fill us in.
As for my bitty Cannon, My night shot was of one of our wagons. I like this image all eerie looking. Is there something lurking in it? Can you even see it? Click on any of the pictures to bring the image closer.
It was after 1 a.m. in the morning, but we never let a visit go by without a game of Scrabble. Sooo, a Slush, Scrabble, Sleep, and in that order. We used to play competitively. Now, we get a lot of visiting in, and it the words come, all the better.

I do have so much. My time with our 4 boys is very special to me, but there is something about spending quality time with my daughter, that fills some void, somehow. It must be a mother/daughter thing.
Just before finally going to bed way after 2 a.m., I noticed the shadow on the cross over the dining room table. Those twisted spikes reminded me of all the sacrifice in life, to attain all that's right. We have God to thank for that and His Son. It pertains to every one of our lives, whether or not we see it. Have a great day and~~~


Monday, March 21, 2011

Super Saturday

A Super Saturday it was. If you are not into family celebrations, you will not want to partake in our Saturday full of fun. It was our GrandLove Sy's 8th Early Birthday Celebration. This was the first time he has had a 'big' party and was he happy. That's him, waving and adding trick rabbit ears to his cousin, Austin. Next to him is Christopher. Above him sits Maya and Dylon. Top step, ignoring the camera are Isaac and Ryan. Below him is Julie, holding Sy's baby brother Noah, and next to them is brother Ben. There were 2 more second cousins, bashful Bailey and shy Sean., not pictured. Bashful Bailey and shy Sean didn't want anything to do with a group picture, but they were amongst the 31 family party animals present.Sy wanted cupcakes instead of cake, so cupcakes we baked. There were 4 different kinds to choose from~~Choc. with choc. filling and icing, Lemon with lemon filling and icing, Dark Choc. with a peanut butter cup filling and peanut butter icing, and last, Loaded Choc.Chip with cho icing., all with Sprinkles, of course. I baked 80 cupcakes in all. There were 7 left at the end of the party....
Even one of his pet snakes kept slithering around.
The kids all gathered around to help him open gifts. He sure had fun and got so excited. " It's Just what I wanted.," was repeated over and over by one grateful little boy.
Sy has quite the imagination and is fascinated by anything scientific and magical. Mind Flex was on the top of the wish list.
Now he can levitate a ball, just like magic. " I can't wait to show Magic Jack., " he says. Great Aunt Mel asked if he knew what a Spanking Machine was. When he said no, she promised that we all would 'build' him one. He couldn't wait.What a lot of fun to watch and did he ever laugh all the way through the Spanking Machine of about a dozen Aunts and Uncles. It was so much fun that he wanted to do it again, saying, " That was SO COOL! "
Out to the garage they all marched to try to break into the pinata'.
S- wing, batter, batter, s-wing! Uncle Eric is at the other end of the rope, lifting and swinging SpongeBob the Pinata' to add to the giggles. SpongeBob seems to be heckling and Grandma O is not approving.
Finally, candy for my pocket, right Noah?
The kids all got a couple of whacks at the pinata'. Did they ever dive in for the fall-out of candies. Toothbrushes should have been handed out.
It sure did not take long for these little troopers to fall asleep. I wonder what they were dreaming?
Move over kids. Grandma is exhausted.
What a fun day it was. It was especially great to get some of the family together for a fun celebration. Birthdays and Anniversaries, Graduations and Weddings are always so much fun and add to the already, Great Memories.

It seems that every time I go to a funeral, which also was part of my past week, one of the things always mentioned, is the fact that the only time we see some of our family is at sad occasions. There are always the plans to get together for a 'fun time' instead. The sad thing is, it rarely happens. No one ever wants to commit to actually materializing the ' great idea. ' including myself. There was a time I would have jumped at the opportunity, and even volunteered to host an affair of fun.
Helping with the birthday party for my grandson was exhausting and all I actually did, was to bake cupcakes and do a daily cleaning of my house. I'm first to admit, that " I'm not as young, you think I am. ", or as willing.
My get up and go seems to have got up and went!

So, what do you say sisters, our cousin Dean has volunteered Mel's yard and Cher to host, for a cousin gathering. Sounds good to me. He can bring the food and drinks.

Thanks for stopping folks.
As I once read somewhere, my goal for the day is to do nothing, and so far, I'm right on schedule....well, except for blogging. Now I have a whole lot of catching up to do on your blogs.