Monday, June 30, 2008

Jelly Season

I love to cook and can. One of my favorite things to make is jelly.In my area crab apple trees are plentiful and most of the time you can get all you want for free.
Last week Elizabeth and I picked some crab apples and boiled them for their juice. I didn't have enough for jelly so this morning I picked more of them.Now I have almost 3 quarts of juice. Either this evening or tomorrow all this juice will be turned into crab apple jelly.

Completed Quilt Top

I have now completed the quilt top I have been working on for the past few weeks. The recipient preferred not to have dark browns or blues in the quilt so I had to re-make a couple of the blocks.All I lack is sandwiching it and the machine quilting. I love how this has turned out and I hope the recipient does too.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

In The Garden

Our peach trees are quit loaded with peaches; hopefully the birds and wasps will save us some.My tomatoes have been struggling quit a bit so I put some grass clipping around them. The clippings are really holding in the water so I am hoping this is what they needed.
I purchased some jalapeno pepper plants at the store earlier in the week. They didn’t look too good but after transplanting them I think they will do fine. I am planning to use them with the tomatoes for salsa.
I planted some wax beans but only a few came up. I was hoping to can them with the potatoes but I don’t think this is going to work out.
My cucumbers are struggling; this is the only one that has hung on. I have another one that recently came up but I don’t know if it will live
My potatoes are really growing but no signs of blooms yet. So far being in containers hasn't caused any problems yet.
This is a mulberry tree we have in the yard and this is the tree that shades my potatoes. The chickens really like scratching and pecking under it.
I hadn't intended to have a very big garden this year since I new I wouldn't have too much time to work in it; But last week I called a local produce farm and was shocked at how high the prices were. So, I have been slowly adding more plants as well as planting more seeds to my small garden.

Most of my garden items will have late starts but this should be fine; the first garden I ever planted was in July and it produced more food than we could eat.

Tragedy Has Struck

I found this chicken wing in the yard today. I suspect on of the little dogs had her for lunch. We will either have to tie him up or make a pen for him. This is such a big disappointment as I was hoping the little dogs would protect the chickens.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap

While reading the blog House of Krom I discovered a swap being organized over at the Doll Quilt Swap blog. I have read about this type of swap and it always looked like so much fun, so I signed up. This evening I completed the quilt and it is now ready to send to my swap partner.

Here is a peak at my quilt label; Once my swap partner has received her package I will post a photo of the completed doll quilt.I am very pleased with how my doll quilt came out and I hope my swap partner is pleased as well.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What A Mess

Elizabeth has too many toys! Her room is a pretty good size but it is so full of toys that sometimes I am not able to walk around. This evening we moved out a lot of her toys and books into the hallway so I could move her bed to another wall.It looks so much better, now if I can only convince her that having a lot of space is better than a lot of toys.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Newly Found Bargain

I have been wanting a push mower for some time but I didn't want to pay the price of a new one. Before we lost our Internet on Monday I saw an e-mail where someone had a push mower for sale; they were moving and couldn't bring it with them. The mower cost me $30 and has a grass catcher on the back. This grass catcher has turned out to be an added bonus as I can now put all the clippings in with the chickens.The chickens are having a great time scratching and eating all the clippings; not only is this great fun for them but they are eating less grain which makes it cheaper to feed them.

Quilt Along Block 9

We have been without Internet since Monday evening so I am just now posting quilt block number 9.It is so hard to be without Internet since I depend on it for so much.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Long Beautiful Hair

I love long beautiful hair. Elizabeth is 6 years old and has never had her hair length cut, only her bangs. Having long hair can be quit a job but I love working with it so I do not mind. Here is what her hair looks like right after it has been washed and air dried and brushed. I usually keep it braided unless we are going to church or special event.
Even after the braiding her hair is quilt long. Elizabeth is my "real baby doll" and I love playing with her hair!

Vintage Fun

Elizabeth saw an electric typewriter recently in a movie she was watching.The typewriter looked liked a lot of fun to her so we took out our old one and set it up for her to play with.
Now she has decided to be a writer.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Next Day

Well, the storm is now over and we managed to get some rain during the night.The view is once again clear.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Texas Sand Storm

Here are a few photos of a sand storm that is very common in West Texas. When the wind begins blowing it always looks like rain.
It is always disappointing when it ends up being sand that is blowing.
During the high winds tumble weeds begin showing up; this tumble weed is a very small one, usually they are much larger.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Quilt Along Block 8

I now have quilt block number 8 completed. My stack of completed blocks is really growing.
Only 4 blocks left to go before I can begin sewing them all together!

Monday, June 16, 2008

What’s for Dinner?

Today while in town I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some milk. I always check out the meat section to see if anything has been marked down and today I found small pork steaks that were 1 to 1.5 inch thick for $1 per pound, (these were $2.19 regular price).

I love to eat pork but I always run out of ideas for cooking it. The family loves Carne Guisada as well as grilled pork, but I wanted something different this time. After pondering throughout the day I decided to cook the pork steaks with rice like I sometimes do with chicken and it turned out great!

I began by seasoning with salt and pepper and then browning the pork steaks on each side. From here I put them in an oven proof dish, added 1-cup of rice, 2 ½ cups of water and covered the pan; Bake at 350-degrees for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
It was delicious!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Taking a Swim

This morning when I went out to feed and water the chickens I found this little guy swimming in the dog's water dish.He was having such a good time until I started snapping photos and then he decided it was time to move along.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Work on the Scrap Quilt

I have been cutting and sewing all day. The scrap quilt is coming along nicely.
I have cut 378 strips; the smallest strip is 2” x 4” and the largest strip is 4” x 18”.
The finished quilt block is 12.5”.
My sewing room mess is growing by the minute.
I am very pleased with how everything is fitting together.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Scrap Quilt in the Making

Here are a few photos of what it looks like when I am working on a Scrap Quilt.
Making a scrap quilt takes lots of scrap fabric….
A pattern or idea layout with estimated fabric cuts….
Fabric sorted into piles and counted out….
Into various widths and lengths....And the making of a sample block…

College Preparations

Jonathan and I have spent the last 3-days at New Student Orientation at The University of Texas Tech.He has signed up for his fall classes, all our paperwork is in order and now he is pretty much ready to go.
How exciting it must be to go to college and plan out your future!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Feeding the Chickens

Raising chickens can be expensive if you depend on your local feed store for your grains. We usually buy maize by the pickup load; the last time we did this we paid 5-cents per pound but I am expecting this price to be quit a bit higher this year since everything is going up. Our local feed store sells medicated chick feed for $11.50 per 50-pound bag. We have found buying this in the beginning well worth the cost because we have little to no sickness, which can result in loosing some of the chicks.
Once we begin with the second bag of food it is time to begin mixing this with a second grain, which in our case is maize. We have an old antique grinder that is mounted to a heavy board making the grinding part pretty easy.
The kids like using the grinder; it’s like a toy to them. By mixing half maize and half chick starter the chicks learn to like their new food.
Along with grain we are also introducing table scraps to them too. If the scraps are too big this too will be put through the grinder in order to make it easier for them to eat.
Taking care of the chicks is a lot of fun and we all enjoy watching them as they scratch and peck and jump and play.

Quilt Along Block 7

I have completed block 7 in the quilt along. I think this may turn out to be one of my favorite quilts!

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