Monday, November 26, 2012


I've been busy the past few days.  I've had some quality time in the sewing room.  I really need to finally finish Justine's quilt and I've got a secret project for K12 in the works as well.
I did finally finish up all the stuff for my ancient Handmade Pay it Forward challenge of January.  And it's not even December yet!  Must be success!  Of course, I'm having trouble with addresses.  I have three addresses and I've sent a message to a 4th (but haven't heard back).  However, I'm missing an email or way to contact Patty.  Your blogger profile isn't public.  So, Patty, send me an email with your address to fullfreezer (at) gmail (dot) com  so I can get your stuff in the mail.

Hope you are all having a good start to your week.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Yesterday was such a full day that I didn't have much computer time so I'm a day late with my Thankfulness.  But, since I try to find something everyday that I can be thankful I guess it doesn't matter too much.
We have so much to be thankful for here.  I have a happy, healthy family. We have a warm home, enough to eat and enough money left over to allow a few luxuries every now and then.
I'm thankful that my dear hubby and sons pitched in to clean the house on Wednesday while I was at work.  I15 did a grand job vacuuming!
I'm thankful that my baby girl, even though far away, was able to spend the holiday weekend with family out east.
I'm thankful that my parents are still with us and were able to come for dinner yesterday.  Mom baked the bread for the meal and brought pumpkin bars for dessert.
I'm thankful that my brother and sister-in-law came over for dinner- in spite of her pet allergies.  And they brought a fabulous butternut squash soup for the first course of dinner.
I'm thankful for good friends who consented to share the day with us.  Roger and Sharon (and Sharon's absolutely wonderful sweet potato pie) and Fred (who brought wine to share).
I'm thankful for lively conversation and many laughs.
I'm thankful that the cats decided that yesterday was NOT the day to decide to sleep on the dining room table!  And I'm thankful that the weather was nice enough yesterday (mid 60's!) that we could leave the dog outside during dinner and that he was well behaved!
I'm thankful that we have the means to provide a meal for our loved ones.
I'm thankful that I have a job that I love and wonderful co-workers.
I'm thankful that I am NOT shopping today!
And I'm thankful for all of you who come here to share our sometimes chaotic journey.

There is so much more,  but this is a good start.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Preparing for the feast

We're hosting Thanksgiving this year.  V and I and the two boys will be joined by my parents, my brother and sister-in-law and three of our friends. We will have 11 around the table tomorrow.  Justine is staying in Pennsylvania with V's sister.  Evidently she baked a pecan pie today for her contribution to the feast out there (I must have trained her well...)
I'm feeling good. The turkey is thawed in the fridge, the pumpkin spice bundt cake is baked, vegetables are chopped... even the good china has been pulled from the boxes in the hall closet!
I've got my plan of action for tomorrow morning. V and the boys spent the day cleaning today while I was at work so just a few more things need to be finished.

But before I go to make apple tarts for tomorrow I have one wish for all of you here in the US who celebrate with us:

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  In the midst of all the preparations, be sure to think of all we have to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rustic Apple Tart with Lavender Glaze

Sometime this weekend, while picking up magazines, I saw a recipe for a lavender glazed apple tart.  Thinking that it may be something fun to try for Thanksgiving I went back to look for the recipe.  Of course, I couldn't find it anywhere.  I began to think I had imagined it.  So I looked online.  Even my friend Google disappointed me.  I did manage to find a recipe for an apple pie with lavender glaze so I let my imagination loose and got inventive.
The result was definitely a success!
I didn't feel like crawling up on the step stool to get the tart pan from the waaaay high up cabinets so I made a rustic tart.  Ok, I'll admit, I used a premade, roll-out pie crust (I had picked up a couple to make Thanksgiving prep a little less hectic) but you could use your favorite. I put it on a baking sheet and layered apple slices around it- only a thin layer- it only took 2 apples.  This I sprinkled with sugar (sorry, didn't measure) and a couple tiny bits of butter.  I popped the whole thing into the oven and baked it at 400*F until it was golden and the apples were just beginning to caramelize.  Out of the oven I brushed the whole thing down with lavender syrup that I had made earlier.  THAT was what I wanted the recipe for... and it was SO easy.

Lavender glaze/syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup dried lavender blossoms (PLEASE be sure to use organic blossoms!!)
Put all these things into a small sauce pan and heat until the sugar is all dissolved.  I let mine come to a boil for a couple of minutes, then strain.  The syrup should last indefinitely in the fridge.  It only took a few tablespoons for the tart.

I do believe this will be making an appearance on the Thanksgiving table this year.  It was DELISH!  In fact, there isn't any left!


How's that for an attention getting title, LOL!
I've been off for a few days and don't really feel like I've accomplished much of anything.  I keep flitting from one thing to another and never seem to finish anything.
We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year.  My parents are coming, my brother and SIL are coming as are 3 of our friends.  A grand total of 11 at the dinner table.  So, I've been plotting, planning and cleaning, as well as all the usual stuff I do.
I did manage to get a little sewing done but seriously need to finish my 'pay if forward' gifts and get them in the mail.
I also realize that I have been remiss in posting an Independence Days update.  Not as much going on this time of year but here goes a quickie:
Plant something-  hmm, it's been a while since I updated and I can't remember exactly when, but I planted another round of radishes in the greenhouse that are sprouting happily out there.
Harvest something- Lettuce, chard, kale, radishes and spinach from the greenhouse and a few eggs.  We've only got one hen laying now and she is only averaging about every other day.  sigh.  How I long for the egg glut of summer!  V has decided to have eggs for lunch and we will now have NO eggs in the house.  ACK!
Preserve something- Nothing really.
Waste not- The usual: composting, recycling, scraps to chickens.  Reusing some old 5 gallon buckets in the greenhouse- more about that later ;)
Want not- Only some cheap pasta for stocking up.  I'm counting my 'passive solar' project in the greenhouse in here.  I took two 5 gallon buckets (salvaged from drywall joint compound) wrapped them in black garbage bags, filled them with water and put them in the greenhouse.  I'm hoping that the water will heat up with the sun and then radiate heat at night.  Hopefully it will be enough to keep some of the tenderer things in the greenhouse going for a bit longer once it decides to get really cold.  It's all an experiment and the only sacrifice was a garbage bag so even if it doesn't work- not much lost.
Eat the food- broccoli from the freezer since the cold finally took its toll on the plants in the garden.  I'm  glad that we haven't spent that much at the grocery store in the last month or two.  We've been eating well out of pantry and freezers.  Not sure where to put this so I'll put it here.  The remodel on the pantry is nearly complete.  I painted yesterday.  And it looks so nice with everything sorted and organized.
Build Community- Nope.  I've been a homebody recently.  Although someone asked me about 'hosting' a chicken for them.  They would buy the chick and supply funds for feed if I supply them with eggs.
Skill up- Nothing. I really need to re-read sections of my 4 season gardening books....

So, you see, nothing much on the farmstead.  The Meyer Hatchery catalog arrived yesterday so I can dream of chicks for spring.

Friday, November 16, 2012


What?!!??  No more Twinkies??  Now what will we do during the zombie apocalypse??

Oh, wait, they aren't really food anyway.  Never mind....

I guess I'll be eating my usual fare.  Off to set up the heated base for the chicken waterer....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Too lovely to not share

For all of you who work with your hands and 'put by' food.  Something new for you.  And quite lovely.

Carrie Newcomer- The Work of Our Hands

Healthcare quiz

After all the angst over an anonymous poster on my blog wanting to pick a fight about healthcare reform, a friend forwarded something on to me.  A quiz to see how much you know about the new healthcare law.
You can take it here.  It's from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

In case you're curious, I got 9 out of 10 correct.  How did you do?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I'm going back to NOT allowing anonymous comments due to one obnoxious person who just won't let something drop and is becoming offensive to me.
It's my blog, my opinions.  If you don't like it. don't visit- but please, don't argue with me.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Simple pleasures

We just returned from K12's Jr High band concert.  For a bunch of 12-14 year olds, they were amazingly good.  The 8th grade band was recording this evening for an audition tape so they had to re-do a couple of songs. But I didn't even mind because they were that good. Sometimes it's nice to slow down and just enjoy the music.
It's the end of the trimester here so the boys don't have school tomorrow.  But I've got to go to work.  And I work Saturday.  blech.  I normally don't mind working the weekend but it is a home football game this weekend.  And I'll never know who thought it was a good idea to build the stadium right across the street from the hospital.  Traffic is awful and all the doors are on lock-down to keep the drunks out of the hospital.  sigh...  at least it's my last football Saturday until next year.

Otherwise, not much going on here.  The garden is put to bed for the winter, the chickens are molting, zombie fitness workouts continue and I need to find time to get into the sewing room. Soon... soon....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Red and Blue

The election is over.  The votes have been counted... well, mostly.  The decision has been made by the people.

Regardless of whether your guy won or lost there is a lot of work that needs to be done.  I've seen and heard calls for revolution.  For the 'red states' to secede from the union.  Really?  How is that going to help bring together this deeply divided nation?  That is exactly the kind of divisiveness we don't need right now.

We are in a mess.  Both sides can agree on that.  Now is the time to put aside our red/blue differences and start working together to fix things.  We need to stop focusing on being red or blue and focus on being American, doing what needs to be done for the good of the country and ourselves.

Do you hear that Washington??  TOGETHER!!  We the people hired/elected you to do a job.  Now put on your boots and get to it.  Stop letting your pettiness get in the way of doing what needs to be done.  We are on the verge of disaster because you couldn't play nice together... but now the people have spoken- so get to work.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A weekend of photos

It's been busy here... but laid back as well.  The pace has definitely slowed with the shortening days and it's rather nice.  Rather than bore you with all the details, I thought I'd share a few photos of the weekend.
I ran my first 5k race in a long, long time on Saturday morning.   I'll admit, I did walk some of it and finished in a pathetic time... but I got my old, out of shape body out there and did it!  Look out zombies!  I'm getting ready for you!
V was helpful and carved the jack-o-lanterns into chicken friendly pieces with his sword.  I love the action shot with the falling bit of pumpkin!
 Spaz, the Mighty Hunter, was successful at stopping an unwelcome intruder.

And a little light demolition occurred in the pantry.  When the addition was built onto the house, they blocked up the original basement staircase and built the pantry and a closet on the other side.  Unfortunately, they didn't remove the original door lintel.
 You can see the top shelf of the pantry right underneath what's left of the door frame.  It was virtually unusable for anything larger than 6 inches wide.  But, thanks to the sawz-all and my honey...
 The old door frame is gone
 and the top shelf is opened up.
 A bit of plaster work- still currently in progress.
 And the newly opened top shelf is perfectly sized for the water bath canner and the stock pots.  Yeah!! The next phase will be doors over the top three shelves to protect the jars from light.  I do have larger shelves in the basement where most of our food stocks are kept but these are the 'immediate use' jars near the kitchen.  On the bottom shelf are my jars of dried beans and grains.  And underneath are cabinets that V built in that house small appliances, bread, potatoes and the cleaning rags as well as 'the junk drawer'.
 The chard is doing well in the greenhouse.
As is the leaf lettuce.  I see salads in the near future.

I hope you all had a good weekend as well and that all those out east are beginning to get back to whatever normal you call yours.