Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kettle Taco Party!

What can I say? Lots of people came. There was tons of killer food. We played pictionary and Mexican train. We drank lots of margaritas and cervesas. Much fun was had by all. Mary's already planning a Hawaiian luau for next year...


I know that Lily has already been featured lots on Mom's blog, but she's stayed with me quite a bit due to Mom's jet-setting and I found quite the collection of photos:

Here she is climbing all over Paula Schull after getting her nails trimmed...

Hanging out on Mom, getting in the way of knitting...

Nap time with Cleo...

Hanging out on my bed... cute, right? Wrong! She's an absolute MONSTER! I've had to fix a wall in the front room TWICE as a result of deep nail gouges under the window. Not to mention the number of times I've had to do laundry because of a messy trip to the cat box, followed by a stroll around my house! Oh, and don't forget the time she twined several balls of singles around the frontroom like a huge spider web.
DON'T LET THIS PICTURE FOOL YOU!!! Cause this is how she lulls you into complacency, then attacks your feet while you're sleeping!

Chickens and Home Improvement

After four months of careful rearing, I finally introduced the chicks to the big chickens in the coop. It was not exactly smooth sailing and I had to quarantine two that got henpecked pretty badly.
Here is the recovery pen complete with two victims. Thankfully, they both made a full recovery and have since established a tentative truce with Red and Blondie.

In an attempt to give the chicks a place to rest and keep out of the older chickens' way, I had Handyman Joe come over and build a roost and shelf. It worked great and kept the chicks off the coop floor in case my resident skunk got too interested...

Here's one of the chicks all grown up! While I was in Chicago in July, I got a text from Mom who was chicken-sitting. One of the chicks has started laying! I was so bummed, missing out on the first egg. It's like watching a video of your kid walking for the first time; just not the same as seeing it in person.
Here is the overachiever: Susan!

Her eggs are so tiny and cute and so GREEN! They're the perfect egg Mcmuffin size!

There's also been a lot of home improvement going on at my house. Handyman Joe's been over quite a bit, doing lots of little projects. One being a new screen door on the back porch! When Mom and I did canning, we realized that having both doors open created a very pleasant cross breeze and made the kitchen tolerable. The side effect was lots of flies in the house, which grosses me out! So, Joe and I bought a pretty wooden door and planed it to fit perfectly (since, of course, the door was not a standard size).

Joe also refurbished the pastry table that I got off of CL. It needed a little TLC, namely new drawer bottoms and cutting boards. Now, all I need to finish it up is a new granite top, then it will go in the kitchen!

And last, but not least, my killer deal of the week: a new greenhouse! A lady in Dallas is moving and didn't want to try and take this with her. It fits perfectly in a weird corner of the garden created by the chicken coop. For $400, I got the green house (which fit exactly on the trailer), steer manure, peat moss, a rug for the floor, and countless pots of all different sizes. So, I'm all set for next spring. Now, I need to run water lines from the front of the house for irrigation in back. One more project on an endless list...

We're Jammin'

Well, summer was very late in coming this year in Silverton. It rained and rained and rained, then suddenly, it was ninety degrees! Unfortunately, I missed the very small strawberry window, but got plenty of blueberries to make up for it!

Mom and I got together and made lots of delicious jam! Here are the blueberries grown on a farm about 5 miles away from my house. They became Blueberry Rhubarb and Blueberry Lime jam as well as dried blueberries for muffins and oatmeal.

My next door neighbor ("Biscuits and Gravy" Bob) has a blackberry bush in his backyard and we worked out a trade: jam for all the blackberries I can pick. What a deal! Here is Mom, seeding the raspberries and blackberries for a batch of Mixed Berry Jam.

Here is the beginning of Apricot jam: cooking to the "gelling point"!

Cherries that we pitted with my fancy pitting machine- best $20 I've ever spent. We canned them in a light syrup for cherry pies, Dad's favorite!

Here is Mom loading up my dehydrator with left over blueberries....

The day's haul: Bluebarb Jam, Apricot Jam, Mixed Berry Jam, Blueberry Lime Jam, and canned Cherries. Whew, what a day!

Jars of summer goodness waiting to be sent out to spinners at Christmas!