(I took this picture on our last trip, a few weeks ago. This is taken on top of Mount Washington!)
Monday, August 2, 2010
(I took this picture on our last trip, a few weeks ago. This is taken on top of Mount Washington!)
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
My gracious mother gave us her Bissell steam cleaner that she can no longer use on her new carpet she has. Unbeknownst to her, the steam cleaner's tubes were clogged and it no longer worked. RNH and I took it to a vacuum shop to get it fixed. That cost $100. We got it home and cleaned half of our carpets before the dang thing broke again. Pissed, I decided it was nto worth trying to take back to the shop (it was under warranty, but I'm sure it broke for some other reason than why he had to fix it the first time.) So we've lived with nasty, nasty carpets for months.
Since we are having people come up to the house, RNH decided he wanted to try the "Rug Doctor" machine that you always see in the front of grocery stores. He came home with teh machine and a jug of cleaner for $38. I think the rental was for 24 hours.
That thing saved our lives. I highly recommend it! Our carpets look brand new. It was very easy to do, and no matter what kind of home steam cleaner you may have, this thing will do it better. Trust.
So now we can live our lives a bit better just because we don't have to see how nasty our carpets are on a regular basis. And our guests this weekend actually might not run back out the front door once they arrive!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
So far the menu includes: a keg of beer, orange mint juleps, mint mojitos (with fresh mint from the garden of course!), italian chicken, hot dogs, chips and garden fresh salsa, italian pretzels, black berry dream squares (like a cobbler- BEST. THING. EVER!), a flag cake, and a pound cake. There is more, I just can't think of it all at the moment. And obviously the most important stuff was listed first!
We will have tiny flags lining the walkway, mason jar luminaries with red, white and blue ribbon tied around the tops lining the path to the pond, fun star-shaped platters, star-shaped ice cubes, and everything red, white and blue. I can't wait!
I'm making an attempt to "fog" the yard because I know a lot of people aren't used to the amount of bugs we have (we live right above a swamp!) I bought a $9 bottle of this bug spray stuff that attaches to the end of your hose. I'm thinking I should have bought 2 bottles. Last time we had some people up, one of the girls got chiggers. I don't think she actually got them from my house (she went strawberry picking the next day), since I was sitting across the table from her, also wearing flip flops, and never got them. But either way, I don't want it to be a possibility. If everyone gets eaten up, I'm not gonna have any friends left! Haha!
I hope its fun, and I hope people actually show up! Otherwise it will be up to RNH and I to float the keg ourselves!!!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
One Adidas sandal
A few cat toys that I don't know he's gotten until I see them laying in the grass outside... stuck in his poo...
Countless paper towels, rolls of toilet paper and used Kleenex.
(There are a million other things I can't think of right now...)
Have you ever seen that TV show on Animal Planet where they talk about terrible animal problems and surgeries? There was a dog on there that ate an entire broom stick. That will be Drake one day... I'm still learning how to live a normal life and keep valuable things away from him. I guess it will always be a work in progress!
Here he is with his pack on, ready to go for a hike!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Speaking of that, RNH's grandma will be giving us a sprig of a rosebush that has been in the family for over 90 years! Her father gave it to her mother when they moved into their first home. They took the rose bush with them when they moved, and it has been with them ever since. I can't wait to plant it at our house!
Our trip was short, but it was very nice. RNH's grandpa means a lot to him and he seems to be deteriorating very quickly. I think he made some nice memories with this grandpa that he'll have with him the rest of his life. (It also helps when you have a crazy-picture-taker for a wife! I got a ton of good pictures of the two men-being-men. They'll look great as black & whites.) These will be memories to tresure!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
(My neighbor leaving on his tractor.)
Friday, April 30, 2010
The red potatoes we planted are coming up. I've never grown potatoes so it was really exciting to see them sprout with their velvet-y looking foliage. I can't wait to see them continue growing!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
RNH and only have chickens to let free range- maybe one day we'll have goats and pigs (if I could only talk him into it!!!) I don't have too many problems with the chickens standing on the hood of my car, but they do cause a bit of trouble...
My next door neighbor's grandson came to live with them for a bit. He is what some would call a thug-wannabe. He is about 14 years old and dresses with his pants down around his ankles. Anyways. He went complaining to his grandma one day about how Roo chased him. I will tell you, I would pay money to have seen that. Its not that I don't like the kid or anything- I've never spoken to him, but it is FUNNY!
She also told me that one day she heard some noise on her front stoop and opened up the front door to see all six chickens hanging out on her front door step. She told them to shoo and they did.
The chickens are also crossing the street. This makes me nervous because we live on a busy road and they're likely to get hit by car. I guess they've heard the joke, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" and they're trying to find the answer for themselves! Hardy har har!
Like I mentioned before, the chickens have found our newly planted apple trees to be a perfect spot for dust bathing. I'm afraid before too long they are going to expose the young plant's root ball and kill the tree. I'm going to need to monitor the situation. They also kick out all of the nicely placed mulch in the front beds that run along the front of our home. Not cool.
Roo has also found his favorite spot where he likes to crow. My deck. Right in front of my bedroom door. Of course, in the early morning. He also likes to leave huge globs of chicken poo on my deck, which then my Labrador likes to gobble up as soon as he walks out the door. And he'll surprise me with a huge, wet, sloppy kiss... and, well, you know where his mouth has been. YUCK!
Anyways- we're going to have to stop the free-ranging very soon. We're working on coop and run plans. We've finally got the miter saw that RNH was coveting... now we just need the money for all of the wood! No more scrap-coop for these chickens, we're going to make a nice home for them to live in 24-7. I'll miss having them run after me when its feeding time, but I know they'll be much safer that way!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Over these past two years we've tried to make our home, "ours." The house was built in 1999 and had plain white walls with gold accents. RNH and I hate plain, and we hate gold. The plain part was easy to fix- I painted our entire house. The first half-year in our home RNH and I worked exact opposite shifts. That meant a ton of time by myself painting. I actually like painting interior walls and such, so it was fun. Now that 90% of our rooms have paint on the walls, I began tackling the gold accents. I hate them. This isn't like an antique gold or anything like that. It is straight gold. I started with the smallest room in our house, the master bath and began painting the trim, replacing the blinds and eventually the door knobs, with brushed nickle. I love it. The only problem with tackling the gold accents is that there are several door knobs in our house, and door knobs are surprisingly not cheap! I'm determined to do it, however. It just may take some time. So if you ever visit me and notice the mis-matched accents, just ignore them!
Anyways- short story made long... RNH and I had a huge gold chandelier in our living room. The room that we spend the most time in. The room that you first walk into when you enter our home. When I say huge, I mean HUGE. And its gold. You might see a chandelier like this in a million dollar home, however the home was probably built in the 1980's and the glass crystal parts are actually glass, instead of plastic like ours- and our home was nowhere near a million dollars. Oh, and the owners of such a chandelier would probably have paid to have someone clean the dang light piece over the past 12 years. Unlike our previous home owners. And of course I wasn't going to clean the nasty thing!
So our tax money arrived and RNH and I excitedly purchased a new ceiling fan to replace the ugly gaudy chandelier!!! I don't know if anyone can truly understand how great it felt to get rid of that ugly accent. It feels as good as buying a new car or something. It is absolutely WONDERFUL!
So we've lived in our home for 2 years now and we're finally getting things the way we want them. I guess they say that owning a home is always a work in progress and you'll never be done. At least we're one step closer! :)
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I started off by picking about 3 and a half quarts of dandelion flowers. Then I sat out on the deck for hours (it was a beautiful, relaxing day!) and I took out the center of the flower. The books says that the more of the green you remove, the less bitter-tasting the wine will be. I don't like bitter, so I took the time and took off 99% of the green stuff. When I ended up doing more research online for other recipes and such, I saw that most people leave the green bottoms on. This process was pretty time-consuming, so next year I might leave the green on!
Dandelions are such a beautiful flower! Our yard is FULL of them! Its almost embarrassing, but whatever! We were told by our neighbor that the previous home-owner had turned over the entire yard three different times in the 10 years that they had lived in the home. Each time they tried different grass seed. Each time, the dandelions came back. Instead of trying to kill them, I guess we decided to live with them- and use them!
As you can see, I took the time and took off a majority of the green leaves and flower bottoms.
I then placed all of the flower pieces into a plastic bucket. RNH had previously used this bucket to make wine with scuppernong grapes last year. Unfortunately we put it in the garage with the grape juice in it last year and completely forgot about it until it was too late. We ended up having a really nasty smelling grape vinegar on our hands instead... Yuck! I am keeping the bucket in the kitchen this time so I will constantly be reminded that it is there every time I trip on it!
I then poured 2 gallons of boiling water over the petals and let it soak for three days. Because of my work schedule, the petals soaked for about 4 days, but I think it will be okay- especially since I took the greens off. If the greens had been on, I'm assuming the bitterness will really have seeped out.
After 3 (or 4!) days, I put the petals and water back on the stove and let it boil again. I stirred in a bunch of sugar, I think 3 or so cups? It was sweet to taste. Almost too sweet. I hope I didn't ruin it!
After the sugar was dissolved, I took the rinds of two oranges and two lemons and put them in to simmer along with the rest of the mixture for an hour. After the hour was up, I poured the mixture back into the plastic bucket. I had to monitor the liquid until it cooled to 70-75F degrees, which took about an hour or so. Once it had cooled to that temperature, I poured active yeast over a piece of bread and laid the bread on top of the mixture and covered the bucket with the lid.
That sat for three days (actually I think 4!). After this I took wine bottles and put several golden raisins in the bottom of each one. I then strained out the bread and fruit and poured the wine over the raisins into the bottles. I made 4 bottles of wine. On the top of each bottle, I placed a balloon with a tiny hole. This will allow the gases to escape out of the bottle, without letting a lot of air into the wine. I didn't take pictures of this.
The bottles are now sitting in my closet going through their processes. I check on them every once and again. Once the balloons are mostly deflated, I will strain the liquid through a cheese cloth and it will go back into the wine bottles with a balloon on top until the yeast finishes. I will have to do this about 3 or 4 times I think. (I'm not to that point just yet!) Once the balloons don't inflate any more, I will cork the bottles and leave them in a cool dark place for a year before I can taste it. I'm not sure I'll be able to wait that long...!!!
In the meantime, I made a Boston Creme pie from scratch. It was in a Hershey's recipe book. I was disappointed at first because it wasn't that great. The recipe says to let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. But who can resist tasting it right after its put together?!?! The next day, once the entire pie had cooled.... SHOOO-WEEE! I can't tell you how good this thing was! It looks pretty and tastes even better! YUM!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Me about 3 months ago. My hair doesn't look that long because its pulled around and over my shoulders. Its much longer than this now. And stringy/wavy/gross. I can't wait to get rid of it all! :)