You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

jan-31-egg

David put down fresh straw in the chicken coop and this is what I found when I opened the back door.  The ladies seem to like the new straw and 5 of today’s 6 eggs were on the floor!  Guess I’d better get out there and put new straw in the nest boxes – they are safer for the eggs.

I love the fresh eggs.  They are such a lovely warm brown and they taste so very good.

jan-30-sadie

Why do my silly dogs lie like this?  Both of them do it to any vertical furniture surface, though not to walls, I’ve noticed.  The couch, the back of the couch, the ottoman, the sideboard here, the comfy chair, all are fair game to become belly rests.

jan-29-face-off

When the malaise of illness strikes, the photos have to come to you.  Cat on lap, dog wanting to eat cat.  Works for me.  Sadie and Hobie having a face off.  Do not, gentle reader, worry about Hobie.  Half the time he is stalking the dogs, much to their dismay.

jan-28-road

A little fuzzy due to light and movement, but I liked how it captured the light as I drove home from grocery-getting.  This is my cold white world just now.  Deer were very active!

Sadie ended up with porcupine quills in her snout.  Didn’t get a chance to photograph *that* as she started pawing at them.  Getting them out hurts and takes a bit.

jan-27-apple-butter

Today I made 5 1/2 pints of apple butter.  During my visit to California, I bought some commercial apple butter, the kind with that name that has to be good.  It wasn’t.  It was sour and bitter and I couldn’t eat it.  I was giving it a fair try, even though the ingredients were high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar and apples (so not what I’ll normally tolerate, but I couldn’t bring any of my own apple butter along and I can’t eat cream of wheat without apple butter).  That  jar went into the trash.  *This* apple butter is sweet and spicy and has no icky high fructose corn syrup in it.  No sugar, either, as it is sweetened by apples and honey (which I bought locally at the farmer’s market and is good enough to eat plain – it has a rich amber color and a lovely taste).

I figured my cost and it’s about a dollar a jar.  That’s using Honeycrisp apples, too.  I used 3 Honeycrisp, a couple Gala, a couple Fuji and a Red Delicious.  The apple cider was the fresh kind in the produce department.  Even using the best ingredients I could, it cost less than half what the commercial apple butter cost.  Plus, it made my house smell divine.

jan-26-feet1

Not the best picture ever, but it touches my heart in a silly way.  Those are David’s feet this morning, while he was still in bed.  They were poking out of the blankets.  The bed, though, is in a dark space and I didn’t want to use the flash.  I utilized the ISO function of my camera and tweaked the levels a bit in photoshop.  That’s why it’s a little grainy.   It suits my purpose, though, which is to document a bit of my days, every day.

jan-25-sadie-smile

In which Sadie smiles, sort of.  Catching this is proving elusive.  I think much of the problem is that I usually give the command with my right hand, but that’s needed to push the shutter.

This is a case of rewarding the dog for something it already does.  Sadie would often show her teeth when getting a treat.  So now I tell her beforehand and then reward.   She is taking it a little far and snatching treats now, so we’re working on that.

Completely unrelated to this, today I learned just how protective skin is.  I have a small slit in the fold of my first knuckle joint on my right hand.  A splinter approximately 1/2″ long slid right into that wee slit (caused by dry, cold conditions) and I didn’t even notice at first.  Then it was hard to bend my finger and I certainly noticed that flare of pain when I tried.  Had there not been the slit, there would have been no splinter.  Also, removing a splinter from the right hand with the left – difficult.  Two instances today of “should be working on that ambidexterity!”

Remember Day 5? Those little nubbins of growth from my 75% off after- Christmas paperwhite bulbs?  David reported them growing while I was gone.  The morning I was to return, he told me they were ready to bloom.  When we got home that night, they were blooming.  My home is redolent with the scent of paperwhites.  Sometimes it’s a little cloying, but overall, I love it.  I only wish they had waited a little longer to do their thing.  I was counting on them for February!  They’ll be gone in a few days.  This morning they had already flopped over.  Right now they are standing with the help of a bamboo skewer and a piece of ribbon.

jan-24-paperwhites

jan-23-potholders

First there are the three potholders I have made.  During my visit my mom and I began making these from a potholder book.  We tweaked them a little to make them thicker.  There are 5 increasingly larger circles (2″ – 7″), what was to be the backing (another 7″ circle in white), a 6″ terry cloth circle, a 6″ cotton batting circle, then a 7″ print circle that is the backing (prettier that way).  They are stitched together with embroidery floss in various colors.  I used contrasting colors on the front two.  The red one in back has a bright coral, which matches the backing fabric.  I am very pleased with these as they are colorful (always important to me) and they actually work well.  Now I have protection from the heat and a place to set down hot dishes. Picking the colors was fun.  I have 5 more to stitch up.  Moms has a nice little fabric stash going and we couldn’t stop at just one or two!  No doubt I will be digging into my own stash to make more…

Creativity has to happen in my kitchen, as I don’t (yet) have a “real” stove.  I make culinary magic with the aid of a single plug-in burner and a toaster oven.   While visiting I got to use a “real” oven and oh, how I want one.   It won’t be too terribly long now – sometime this year.  Since I’ve been doing this for 3 1/2 years now, I think I can wait a bit longer.

Picture number two is “Phoebe, get the door”, take 4.  She’s fast and it took me that many takes to catch her in action.  It is the best thing I ever taught a dog to do (other than housetraining, of course).  I no longer have to get up when the dogs come in (they are very good at opening the door, as it doesn’t always catch well) because I just have to say “Phoebe, get the door” and she runs over and punches it closed.  She did it four times in a row for me that time with nary a complaint. It’s also handy when bringing in groceries.   Sadie knows how to push open a door that opens away from her – just put the nose in and shove.  But Phoebe can close a door that opens towards her.  I’ve tried teaching Sadie, but she isn’t getting it.  I have, however, taught her to show her teeth on command.  Go figure.

jan-23-phoebe

It’s snowing today.  I’m organizing my kitchen (reorganizing in some instances – my man just spent 2 weeks unsupervised there…) and preparing to make carne asada tacos and fresh chips and salsa.  Oh, yum!

Well-meaning (I hope) lawmakers created a law to make sure toys coming from China were lead- and phthalate-free.  Unfortunately, the way they worded it would make small scale toy makers (like me!) selling toys for kids under 12 test all their materials as well.  Folks are making them aware, and there is general uproar.  I figured I’d pass the info along as well…