Monthly Archives: July 2011

New Ladies

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Meet one of our new ladies.  We have been blessed to receive 5 new hens and 1 rooster for free.  A family that lives across the Parkway from us purchased these chickens on Easter weekend.  That makes them about 1 month younger than ours.  They decided chickens were not for them.  They gave them to us with the coup.  We brought them to their new home today.  Julie will have to work on petting them up but I don’t think it will take her long.  We are going to increase the size of our fenced in area and then put them all together.  We think our older ladies like having a rooster around.  We received 6 eggs today and one of them was a double yoke.   We do not really want the rooster though.  We are thinking of giving him away.

It is HOT here.  Temperature is 95 degrees.  I’m not sure what the heat index is but it is definitely hot.  Enjoy your day, stay cool and God bless.

Blackberry Syrup

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So I finally got around to making the blackberry syrup this morning.  I used about 3/4 gal. of blackberries and got three pts of syrup.  Pretty good.  I’m not sure how it will turn out but it tasted really good when I sampled it.  I put the blackberries in the steam juicer.  This is what it looks like.

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This is a very handy piece of equipment.   We bought ours at our local Farmers Supply.  I’m not sure if they sell them at Wal-Mart or not but I know you can order them online.  You might even find them on Ebay.  The name brand of ours is “Back to Basics”.

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This is the bottom of the juicer.  You put 3 qts of water in this.

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This fits directly on the water container.  This catches the juice as it comes out of the fruit.

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You put the fruit or veggies in this basket.  It fits directly on top of the other container.  Then put the lid on.  You see in the first picture the tubing.  This is how you drain your juice into jars.  Put it on your stove and when it starts to steam, you start timing.  Different things need to steam for different times.  Blackberries steam for 60 min.  You can then use the juice for whatever you want to make.  The pulp that remains in the basket from your fruit or veggies is still usable too.  I will show you all another time what I do with the leftover pulp.

Here is the recipe I used for making the blackberry syrup.  I got it from the internet and it is very simple.  I hope it will be good.

4 cups blackberry juice, 4 cups sugar, 1 tsp. lemon peel.  Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 min.  Fill jars. (I used a strainer here as I did not want the lemon peel in the syrup)  Process 10 min. in water bath canner.

Enjoy your day and God bless.

Around the House

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I thought I would show you all a few pictures of around our house.  This picture is one of the old walnut trees that is in the yard.  The faithful horse you see has survived Julie and Grace and is now being enjoyed by grandchildren.

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This picture is looking out my dining room window.

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As you come down our driveway, this is one of the first things you see.  Hubby built the bench a few years ago.  The swing was one purchased from Wal-Mart.  When the cloth seats gave out, Hubby made a wood swing to hang on the frame.  Can you tell we love to sit outside here?

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This picture looks up into the field from the side yard.  You can see our grapevine and garden.  Well, I have a few more pictures but they will have to wait for another day.  Time for us to leave for church.  Tonight’s menu is meatloaf, mac & cheese, corn, rolls, cole slaw, cooked apples and watermelon.  Enjoy your day and God bless.

Peaches

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We have been working on peaches for a few days.  I think I mentioned that we saved the peelings and put them into the steam juicer.  Well, the above picture shows the 2 qts of juice we got from the peelings.  We had 2 gal. of peelings and got 2 1/2 qts of juice.  This will yield over a gal of peach juice.  YUM!  I definitely will do that again with our next batch of peaches. 

I picked about 1 gal. of blackberries this morning.  Pretty good for the first picking.  I am trying something new for us.  I am making blackberry syrup to use with pancakes, french toast, etc.  Have any of you ever made this?  It sounds good and sometimes I just want something different.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I have the blackberries on in the steam juicer now.  Julie and I went up to the cellar this morning and organized it.  I think “little green men” come along over the winter and just scatter all my canned goods.  Anyway, all is in order now and ready for the new cans to fill it up.  Grace worked inside doing household chores while Julie and I worked on the cellar.  Hubby worked on mowing the yard.  It has been a long time since he mowed.  It is just so hot and dry.  He thought it was starting to look a little wild. 

Well, time to check on the blackberries.  Enjoy your day and God bless.

Bee Sting

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My Grace was stung Tuesday with a bee.  This is what it looks like today.  It actually is getting better.  The swelling has gone down.  It must be our time for stings.  Hubby came home yesterday and he had gotten stung with a hornet.  It looked pretty rough this morning.  We have been putting alcohol on both his and Grace’s.   Does anyone know anything else to put on bee stings?

Not a long post right now.  We are still working with peaches.  We took a lunch break and I thought I would show you all Grace’s sting.  Enjoy your day and God bless.

Our First Egg

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Very exciting news here today.  We got our first egg!  I guess maybe we need to get out more, if just getting an egg gets us this excited.  But we think it is beautiful.

Well, we finally got the pink apples worked up today.  This is what they looked like when we cut them up.

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They are so pretty.  Remember last year, we purchased the steam juicer and the Roma sauce maker.  They have been so helpful already this year.  We just quartered the apples, no peeling necessary.  Put them in the steam juicer and let them cook.

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This is what the juice looks like.  Such a beautiful color.  We got 5 pts of juice.  The juice is concentrated.  For every pint you get a quart of juice. 

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Then after the apples cooked in the steam juicer we ran them through the sauce maker.  We got 6 pts of applesauce.  Thanks so much, Donna, for sharing these with us.    We are working on peaches now.  They are canning as I type.  We saved the peelings from the peaches.  We are going to put them in the steam juicer and make juice from them.  I like the fact that there is hardly any waste. 

Remember how I said last weekend was unusually cool here.  Well, I can hardly remember that now.  It has been HOT all week.  I know not as hot as many of you but still hot.    Temperatures have been in the 90’s outside and about that hot inside our house.    I am so thankful to a blogger friend who gave me the idea of using a propane unit to do our canning on.  We put it on the front porch and it makes such a difference keeping the house a little cooler.  Most of the heat is out there not in the kitchen.  

Well, we better get busy doing some cleanup.  Enjoy your day and God bless.

Sunflowers

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I just love sunflowers.  I think they are so cheerful and fun.  These come up underneath the feeder and I think they add so much to the area.  The cats have played there so much though that a lot of them are drooping down to the ground.  They still look pretty though.

I have been kinda busy for the past few days.  As you all know, we went down to Jessica’s on Friday.  We had a great visit and enjoyed play time with the boys.  Then we went to pick the apples.  She didn’t have very many but we got what was on the tree.  I haven’t worked them up yet so no picture of pink applesauce.  On Saturday, we went to pick apples at Faye’s sisters house.  We ended up with about 4 bushel.  When we got home I started working on them.  I have told Faye all about our steam juicer and sauce maker.  She has been wanting to buy them for herself.  Sunday evening at church Gene (her husband) said he was going to buy them for her.  We met them yesterday morning in town at the Farmers Supply.  He bought the steam juicer, the sauce maker and a steam canner for her.  She was so excited.  We then went home with them and showed them how to operater their new equipment.  She had a 5 gal. bucket of apples to work up.  From that she got 2 qts of juice and 5 qts of applesauce.  It was a really fun day.  I really want one of those steam canners.  It takes my water bath canner about 1 hr. to start to boil.  The steam canner is ready in about 10-15 min.  Amazing.  We definitely would be saving on the amount of gas we use.    Hopefully, we will be able to get one soon.  Much faster and more economical.

I worked up some more of our apples yesterday evening after we came back from Faye’s house.  We will be working on them more today.  So far, we have 8 qts of applesauce and 4 qts of apple juice.   Grace has been taking some more pictures.  This is a picture of the sunset God gave us yesterday.

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I forgot to tell you ladies about the nice weekend we had.  Remember Thursday evening I said temperatures were cooling off.  Well, Friday and Saturday morning the temperature when we got up was 58 degrees.  Can you believe that?  Then Sunday and Monday morning it was 61 degrees.  The highs for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were only in the mid 70’s.  Wonderful!!  Thank you Lord!!  Yesterday, it started warming back up and today I think it will be back to normal but it certainly was wonderful to enjoy a few fall-like days in summer.  Enjoy your day and God bless.

Hummingbirds

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The hummingbirds are really enjoying the feeders.  We have this feeder at the old building and another one at the green swing.  I think hummers are so much fun to watch. 

Today, Hubby and I decided to put an outside faucet on the side of the new room.  When we built the new room we had to take the old outside faucet off.  Well, plumbing never seems to go as you think it will.  We run the pipe and got everything connected, turned the water back on and amazingly, no leaks.  Then we go outside, turn the faucet on and amazingly, no leaks.  Well, of course, we are patting ourselves on the back now thinking wow, that was easy.  Hubby turns the outside faucet off and guess what-it won’t turn off.  It was a brand new faucet so we’re not sure what was wrong with it.  Of course, we have no cut off valve in our collection of plumbing supplies so we have to shut the water off again, drive 30 minutes to the local hardware, get a cut off valve and a new outside faucet.   When we get home, he put the cut off valve on so we could turn the water back on.  He had to go look at a job possibility so the other faucet will have to wait.  He will have to take  the one that doesn’t work back out of the wall so he can put the other one in.  Hopefully this one will work. 

Well, that’s  our day.  Temperatures here today have been wonderful.  Low 80’s.  It is now almost 6:00 p.m. and the temperature is 75 degrees with a great breeze.  Thank you, Lord.  Tomorrow we will be going down to Jessica’s.  She has a doctors appointment.  We will be watching the boys and then going over to David’s mom’s to pick some apples.  Remember last year, she gave us those pink apples.  Well, they are ready to pick.  They make such pretty applesauce. 

Enjoy your day and God bless.

A Finished Shelf

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Hubby finished the shelf we have been working on this morning.  I couldn’t get a really good picture of it because the room is a little small but anyway all the stuff is up out of the floor and I even had room to move my bulk containers from the kitchen in there.  Doesn’t it look good? 

This week has been pretty hot here.  Not near as hot as some of you all but hot for us and HUMID!  I think that is what makes it seem so much hotter.   I think I hear my green swing calling my name.  Time for a little rest.  Enjoy your day and God bless.

Sunset

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When Dave & Jess were up for the weekend, we all went riding in the “bumpy” truck.  This is one of Daniel’s favorite things to do when he comes to our house.  It also is one of Grace’s favorite things to do.  She took this beautiful picture of the sunset. 

Yesterday, we went to a friend’s house.  Her sister has thornless blackberries and she had said we could come and pick.  We picked about 1 gal.  They are very easy to pick.  No thorns-I really like that.  We then went back to my friend’s house and had a cookout.  We had hamburgers, pinto beans, cole slaw and watermelon.  It was a really nice day.  We got 3 pints of blackberry juice and 4 pts of blackberry jam, plus saved back about a quart to eat. 

I have some aprons to deliver today, then we will be going over to the Horn’s for a visit.  After that, the girls have piano lessons.  I need to get one more apron made before we leave so I guess I better get busy.  Enjoy your day and God bless.