Monday, October 3, 2011

The end of a season

Summer's official over! There was even a forcast for frost the other night. That meant it was time to pull in anything that the frost might damage.....for us it was basil and some other herbs.  Our basil grew like a weed this summer!! We brought the herbs in, tied them in bunches and hung them from the wooden valance in front of the kitchen windows
How pretty is that?!?!? All the big bundles are basil, the little ones are lemon balm, parsley, and summer savory. I'm looking forward to having all these to cook with this winter. I know it won't be as good as fresh, but I think it's going to be better than storebought

Here is my first foray into fall baking.....frosted pumpkin cookies. They were SOOO good. I took some to a friend and sent the rest to work with Brad, otherwise I would probably have been able to eat most of the batch myself.

I used a little different frosting. It's more caramely

6 Tbsp Butter
8 Tbsp Milk
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Put butter, milk and brown sugar in a pan and heat until all sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture cool in the pan. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar.

I dipped the warm cookies into the frosting and then let them cool on a cookie sheet. They are such a wonderful pumpkiny sweet cinnamony bite of cakey goodness.

If you decide to make these....the cookies don't spread much....seriously! They puffed up a bit, but that was the only change in shape. If you like perfectly shaped cookies, make sure they look that way going into the oven.

Happy Fall Ya'll!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Changes on the Horizon

There are big changes coming soon for us. I'm not ready to tell everyone what's going on just yet, but they are happy changes and no I'm not pregnant (scary how I knew that's what some of you were thinking, huh?)
There are things going on that I can tell you about. The dogs are doing great. My Christmas craft list is started and seems to be growing every day. The garden is about done for the year so we'll be pulling plants and tilling the ground very soon. Our plants this year were gorgeous....however, we didn't get all that much fruit off of them. I keep hoping we get this gardening thing really figured out soon.

Anyway. I'll be posting more details about our coming changes soon. Be sure to check back

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Evidently I'm bad at this...

Obviously keeping up with my blog is not something that I'm great at. Let's see if I can get you caught up on our lives pretty quick....

We were told that my car needed the engine we decided to just replace the car since we're still making payments. Soooo....I got a NEW car!! Yay! I can't tell you how wonderful a 10 year warranty makes me feel!

Our house "flooded" again. Basically we had water seeping in through the south wall of our house. I guess that's one of the dangers of living in a basement.....We didn't lose anything, no one was hurt, but what a pain! See the bedroom that had water in it is actually our storage room, so there was a ton of stuff to move and dry underneath.

Let's see....what else....lots of work. OH!....the exciting news....We are going on vacation!!! A real, honest to goodness vacation! Our first since our honeymoon, 7 years ago. We are going to the Outer Banks, for a whole week. I can feel the tension start to disolve every time I look at this picture
This is the view from the backyard of the rental wonderful will that be?!?! I can't wait to watch the sunset over the sound!

I will hopefully have some more interesting things to share soon. Oh, did I mention that this year I'm going to be an aunty again? If I didn't I should have. My sister is expecting another boy in June, and Brad's brother is expecting their first baby in August...we actually find out today if we're having a niece or nephew. I also have a cousin expecting this there should be baby crafts to show off!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Icy Lessons

As you know we had an ice storm last week. We lost electricty Monday and finally got it back Thursday night....what a long week. It wasn't all bad though....I learned a lot and we made some memories that are going to last us a long time.

Some of the things we learned:
A generator is your best friend when the power goes out

However, you really should make sure the battery is charged (ours wasn't) that you have gas (we didn't) and that the wiring in the house is setup so that you can actually plug the generator into the house (ours isn't). So instead we jumped the battery with the truck, ventured out to get gas and see/help some family along the way, and ran extension cords into the house.

You can cook potatoes on a radiator heater....if you can leave them long guess would be 3-4 hours

 When you don't have time to let them cook....chop them up
 add some ham, onion, broth and spices and make soup
If you're wondering, yes that is a turkey fryer in our kitchen....seriously! It's just a propane burner, hooked to a small bottle (like for a grill). You would be amazed how much heat that puts out! We got the house all the way to 60 degrees with it. A word of NOT leave unattended! This is a serious open flame!
We huddled around it like a couple of hobo's but it kept the chill also made some killer roasted marshmallows!

We ate really, REALLY well during this ordeal....seriously...look at this breakfast!


I even figured out how to make coffee. Don't ask why this didn't occur to me sooner, but I just heated water on the burner and poured it over the grounds into the coffee pot

Then you just let the coffee pot do it's delicious beverage coming right up!

If you curious, no,  we were not able to keep food in our fridge. Instead we moved it all into coolers on the porch. We hoped the cooler would keep the cold food from freezing.....and it worked like a charm!
Everything from the small freezer was transfered to the great frozen outside also.

We also learned that playing games beats a lot of boredom...We played checkers, connect 4 and battleship....I put together a puzzle, Brad did some reading.

We also learned that a smaller area heats we curtained off the hallway so all we were heating was the kitchen and living room. That said, we had to have a place to sleep so the mattress from the guest room was pulled to the living room floor.
The dogs loved it!
It was actually great to have a couple days to hang out with no electronic distractions.
I learned, even more, about how amazing my husband is. He got out in the freezing cold and got the generator running, helped me cook, drove the awful roads to make sure we were taken care of and stopped to check on my family, including chipping ice at my grandparents, picked up one of my friends for work on Thursday, and helped get the house back in order when the power came back on. 

I learned what a great team we make....I wouldn't say that I want to go through another ice storm any time soon, but it wasn't that bad, and we did learn a lot.

ps...if you know Brad you might have noticed that I said we added onions to the soup....he even knew they were going in, in fact he sauted them while I got the potatoes ready. Amazing, I know!

Monday, February 7, 2011

What a week!

I will try to post more tomorrow, but I just wanted to say.....I'm SOOOO glad this past week is in the past! We spent from Monday till Thursday with no electricity, and since we're on a well, that means no water either. Our internet is BPL - Broadband over Power Lines - which was out until tonight. Our house phone was out for nearly 2 days during all this too.....I just can't express how glad I am to have all our modern amenities back.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do NOT try this at home

Seriously....I am NOT encouraging anyone else to try this, but I think I need to share what I did yesterday.

I cleaned a pan - stop rolling your eyes! This is scarier than it sounds....I cleaned a nonstick griddle with an SOS pad and a big hunk of steel wool scouring pouf thingy (sorry, I really don't know what it's called but it's made of soft-ish metal and you use it to scrub things that won't scratch easily)

I forgot to take a picture before I started, but I think you can imagine what the pan looked like.....See the black in the middle of the pan, the whole thing looked like that before I started. The pan was "clean" but the black build up from years of using cooking spray and too high of heat was really bugging me.

So I started scrubbing
I moved the pan to the counter beside the sink so I'd have a more solid surface...then I hit my head

If this cabinet didn't hold all my cups and glasses it would have been ripped off the wall after I hit my head on it...the 3rd time!! You would think I'd learn not to lift my head there, but NOOOO I just kept doing it...Ouch!!
I ended up using some BarKeeper's Friend - if you don't know what this is, you really need to check it out it's non-abrasive and helps keep my pans (the non-gunky ones) and sink shining!
I also grabbed an SOS pad for a little extra fine scrubbing.
Then, after about an hour of scrubbing this is what I got it down to
I HAD to stop scrubbing, not because of any harm to the pan....the non-stick coating actually still looks perfect, but my arms were on FIRE!!! That was a lot of scrubbing! I figure I'll have one more good session with the srubber and it should be back to nearly new.

I really would not recommend this method, but I was at the point I was going to throw the pan away if I couldn't get the black stuff off. If I had ruined it, it wouldn't have been a loss.....instead I saved one of my favorite pans. YAY!!! We can still have pancakes and quesadillas!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year = New Attitude

For nearly 6 years now, Brad and I have been trying to have a baby....we're still trying. Sometimes all our trying (and the disappointments that have come along with it) lead me to having a bad attitude. I've decided that this is the year it's going to change. I know it won't be easy but instead of the sorrow, disappointment and bitterness that can seem to infiltrate my attitude I'm going to strive for something better.

This year I want to be


OK these obviously reach farther than our infertility, but they are all attributes of the person I want to be. I hope that I am some of these things already....but I know that I have a long way to go.

I have a lot of fun posts and pictures to catch up on....sorry if this got a little heavy, but it's been weighing on me and I just wanted to share a little piece of my heart with ya'll.