Friday, August 19, 2011

Thought I should update on the puppy status

My baby grew really quickly! She is quite a girl so very sure of herself. She seems to explode with energy so I decided to register her name as Jo'Mel Spontaneous Combustion but around the house she is Ziva. If you watch NCIS you will know the character who reminds me a lot of my girl.

She is a terrible digger so I trained her to dig in a pot half full of dirt. She thinks this is some kind of sport lol.

She is quite a big girl now and stands just a little taller than her mom, Zoe. Don't think that because she is bigger that Zoe lets her get away with anything. Zoe still rules the house!

Daddy J just kinda sits back and lets things happen although it is not unusual for him and Ziva to have a round of rough housing.

We also have a new house guest. My roommate (for now) Diana just bought a new puppy. With 4 dogs and 1 very big cat running around, the house is always full of energy.

Of course we cannot forget the "Breakfast Gang". My girls feed me and the babies lots of yummy eggs :)

As you can see I am keeping myself rather busy lately and have actually begun a new blog. I have taken up the hobby of pottery and have challenged myself to make a piece a day for a full year. Feel free to stop by and check it out Kim

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our new baby

My sweet little papillon girl, Zoe had her first pup. She is a singleton and was very large! It seems that single pups get all the nutrition that a full litter would normally get and tend to get very large. The vet and techs all referred to her as the "giant" baby. She is 11 days old today and is pretty much an eating machine. Hopefully she will open her eyes soon and get a little personality. Zoe is an excellent mom :)


I purchased 6 chicks from TSC. They seem to be quite entertaining for the house pets. These pictures are weeks old already and the chicks are now feathered out. Seems I need to add some more recent pictures.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'm Back!

Major computer problems caused me to wait to post for awhile until I was able to get a new one. Just learning how to use it and what it can do but so far love it.

I told you I would let you know if I got some chickens...well I did. There are 6 little future food makers in a makeshift brooder in my family room. As soon as I get a chance, I will post pictures.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tomatoes & chickens

Getting ready for the summer bounty of tomatoes! First few have popped up in the seedling set up.

Now I am seriously looking at getting a couple of hens for some fresh eggs. Trying to make up my mind but I REALLY want a couple. I have been thinking it over since 2009 and may take the plunge this year. I will keep you updated if I actually go for it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time to get going again

I decided to get my little blog going again so here is my first post of where did the time go?

Today I put out a couple dozen containers of winter sown vegetables for the springs garden. Good to be thinking about spring again. This winter seems to be dragging on with consistent low temperatures.

Not really much gardening news to report for awhile but having fun sorting through seeds, doing some seed swaps and dreaming with the catalogs.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It has been a long time

I thought it was time to give you all an update into what life has thrown at me. As I mentioned before, my husband passed away in June. Since that time I have pretty much had to do a total renovation on my house. It all started when the roof started to leak. I was at work the day the roofers came to install the new roof. The material was delivered by a very large truck which they backed into the driveway. The driveway cracked so bad that it sloped toward the house and caused the basement to flood. So new roof and new driveway. During the hottest and most humid week of the summer, my air conditioner died. New furnace and air conditioner had to be installed. The hot water tank dropped the bottom off and flooded the basement. New hot water tank was installed. My drier died...well you know what came next. As I was scrubbing the wall in the shower, it fell off! Well since I plan on staying in this house for many more years, I decided to do a complete tear out and replacement of the bathroom. Since the kitchen cabinets were literally fall off the wall, I did the bath and kitchen together. When things finally started to settle down, on Friday I was sitting at a stop light when WHAM! I got rear ended! So today the car goes into the shop.

You know I decided a long time ago that life was too short to let these things get to me and have been working at just getting things fixed. I was getting a little down and decided to find a new hobby and love to keep my sanity and along came 'J'. He is the new love of my life and a very good distraction. We have been going to training and dog shows. He is now officially a UKC Champion and has a leg toward his Grand Champion. We have really met some wonderful people and have been having lots of fun. Some day soon, I hope to add a couple more dogs since he has been so wonderful!

Here we are on the day he Championed! He was incredible. On this weekend there were 4 shows in total. He won his class 4 times. He won best dog 4 times. He won best of winners 3 times. He won Best of Breed and a Group Second! For a 9 month old puppy, he did incredible and was able to champion in one weekend!

This past weekend we did a 5 show. We moved up to the champions class and had some pretty stiff competition. There were 5 dogs total. He took 1 Best of Champions, 3 Reserves, a Best of Breed and a Group 4th. He is doing amazing! When I purchased this dog it really wasn't for the purpose of doing conformation. I intended on getting into rally, obedience, and later agility. This is a very interesting twist and I have decided to continue on with the conformation for the next year to see if he can get his Grand Champion and with one leg already, I think he has a good shot at it.

I'll try to update more in coming months to let you know what life has to offer and I hope you will come back to visit me soon in My Little Corner of the World. Kim

(Champion photo by 4 paws imagery)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Putting up the beans

I thought I would share with you some of the beans I harvested today. After eating my fill for the day, I have been putting some of the beans into the freezer to enjoy during the winter. It takes just a little work but the reward of eating fresh, organic, homegrown beans is so worth it!

Here are the beans I had left to put into the freezer. I eat a LOT of beans while working out in the garden. I really like them raw and prefer to eat them this way while I can. The next best thing is the fresh, I mean REALLY fresh, frozen beans in the winter. I like to pick them and freeze them within a few hours.

The first thing I do is get a large pot lightlysalted water boiling. While the water is heating up, I also get a nice large pan of ice water ready. You need the ice water bath to stop the boiling process so the beans do not overcook. They will stay much firmer when frozen. This is a very important step!

Clean the beans and place in a colander and then plunge into the rapidly boiling water.

I cook them for only about 30-45 seconds and then IMMEDIATELY plunge into the ice water bath.

The beans will stay this beautifully green and fresh while frozen if you blanch them this way. I have kept beans frozen for over a year and had them look and taste this great.

The Foodsaver has been one of the bestinvestments I have ever made! I have had this one for 6-7 years and use it often. I have kept meat and vegetables for over a year in the freezer and have had no loss in color or flavor. I highlyrecommend them for putting up fruit, vegetables and meat for the freezer.

Today's harvest all ready to pop into the freezer.

Just in case you are curious, I use the Square Foot Method of growing my vegetables. The area I have for beans is 2'x8'. In the last 2 weeks, I have had plenty of beans to eat and share and still managed to put 13 bags into the freezer.

Happy Harvest! Kim

General garden pictures

I took a bunch of random garden pictures today and thought I would share them with you. I have been a little lax in taking care of the garden but will post a series of pictures to show you that I haven't totally given up on it. It may have a few weeds but, I have been getting lots of fresh vegetables out of it. I have so many zucchini I think my neighbors are going to lock the doors and close the curtains next time they see me coming.

What an incredible lunch I had today! I was able to harvest some romaine lettuce, green pepper, 3 kinds of tomatoes, beets, cucumber and some herbs. I added some feta cheese, olives and dressing and had a fantastic salad.

The tomatoes have turned into a jungle! I had a lot of problems with blossom end rot which put my harvest almost a full month behind. I did a lot of pruning of excess foliage today and hope it helps give the plants some better air circulation. I was able to find quite a few tomatoes that were unaffected and hope the BER tapers off so I can enjoy many more and have enough to put up for the winter.

A few of the tomatoes and some peppers I picked (forgot to take pictures before I ate quite a few). As I was pruning, I knocked off some large green tomatoes which should ripen just fine on the kitchen counter.

Some of those zucchini I mentioned. I am getting some this big and at least 3-4 every couple days. Just kidding earlier about the neighbors running. The extras I take to a local greenhouse where there is a drop off for produce to be given to Forgotten Harvest. I have been able to share quite a bit so far this spring starting with lettuce late in May.

One of my favorite vegetables, kohlrabi. Many people have no idea what this vegetable is. I think they are wonderful and am so happy to have been eating these since early spring. I winter sowed a lot of these and am so glad I did. I plan on doing them again for next year as well.

I'm not sure if you remember my experiment with planting potatoes in pots. These are just some of the ones I was able to harvest...I didn't think to take pictures before I ate a few. I am going to try growing them indoors this winter for sure! All in all, quite successful.

The last of the broccoli and the most successful. I started several plants indoors under lights early this spring and planted them outside in March. This one plant was winter sown and by far put out the largest head. My daughter was very lucky to receive the other plants I started this way and was just as successful. Another plant I will definitely start this way again next year.

Alright, not a garden picture but I thought you might like to see what I actually look like. My granddaughter has become quite good at taking pictures and this is one she snapped of me.

I also have been harvesting LOTS of beans and in the next post will show you what I have been doing with those I am not sharing and eating. Hope you enjoyed my update! Kim

Life goes on...

I thought I should take some time to let everyone know that I am still around. Things have been pretty busy since John died. With the small amount of life insurance he had, I have been fixing up the house so I won't have to worry about major things such as a roof for many years to come. I have to start thinking like a single woman now and looking at what my future holds.

I have been trying to enjoy many of the things I used to, although, the nights can get pretty lonely. Many nights I have a hard time sleeping with thoughts of "what if". You know, what if the surgery had gone different, what if he waited a few more weeks...well, I'm sure you can understand.

I'll try to do better in getting updates done. Kim

Saturday, June 13, 2009

With a heavy heart...

The doctors removed the polyp that was holding up John's transplant surgery but unfortunately they were unable to control the massive amount of bleeding he had following the surgery. The doctors and nurses worked for many hours to try to stop the bleeding and maintain a blood pressure. When it was obvious there was nothing more that could be done I and our children decided to let him pass with dignity. One of John's last wishes was not to die on a ventilator and we had it removed. He passed quietly and actually looked amazingly peaceful at 9:34 am on Thursday, June 11, 2009.

Thank you all for the prayers you gave over the past few months. John and our family were truly blessed 7 years ago when he received his first liver transplant. We were able to enjoy 7 more years with him that he would not have other wise had. Please consider organ donation if unfortunately the time comes. It is a precious gift that John appreciated and honored to the fullest.

I will miss him more than I could ever put into words. I think our granddaughter Jordan said it best, "Grandpa is going to be an angel now".

Friday, June 5, 2009

Garden pictures

I thought it was a good day to get a few pictures of the gardens. My yard is so small that I cannot fit the entire garden into one picture. I will just show the pictures so you can get a good idea of how they look. Hope you enjoy! Kim

The picture on the left is of the cucumbers and the one on the right is of the melons. I started all of these indoors about 2 weeks before planting them outside.

Here are my absolute favorite vegetables...tomatoes! The picture on the left shows the 2 tomato beds and the picture on the right is a close up of one of the beds.

A picture of the lush growth of plants that were originally under the hoop house. The lettuce is still growing strong and the broccoli is over a foot tall now. In the back is a row of peas. I am hoping the peas provide just the right amount of shade so I can extend the lettuce harvest well into summer.

This is 2 shots of my one really long bed. It is 4'x24' and I cannot fit a picture in one shot. Against the fence is lots of pots full of different types of food plants such as potatoes, herbs, sunflowers and lots more.

The gardens as seen from my patio. Here I am standing against the house and I cannot fit the yard in one picture...that's how small it is.

Raspberries and blueberries on the left and the strawberry tower on the right. Next year we should have lots of berries to eat!!!

Last but not least, the bed behind the garage. There is a grape on each end which will be trained on wires. The middle is for a new planting of asparagus. Toward the far end is a rhubarb.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chinese Bok Choi Salad

One of the best things I did in the garden this year was to install the hoop house. We have been able to enjoy garden fresh vegetables for over a month now when others in our area are just now planting. All the cool weather crops are coming in very well. On Sunday I was able to pick such a large salad, I was able to feed 14 people for lunch. There was a wonderful variety of lettuces, spinach, corn salad, oriental salad greens, beet tops, radishes and herbs such as chives, oregano, parsley and basil. All I added was some chopped boiled eggs and shredded cheese to make it a meal. The lettuces and greens are doing so well in fact, that my daughter was still able to make another large salad to take to a picnic for 8 people today. Ah don't worry there is plenty left to eat all week long!

For dinner tonight I wanted to use some of the Bok Choi, or is it Pak Choi...I really don't know the difference. I made up this simple but tasty salad as a side dish for grilled burgers.

Chinese Bok Choi Salad

1 large or 3 small Bok Choi or Pak Choi

Wash the Bok Choi and remove large stems but do not discard. Chop the stems and place in a large bowl. Stack the leaves and cut in half down the middle from the top to the stem end. Now cut the leaves into strips, similar in appearance to shredded cabbage and place with the stems into the bowl and set aside.

2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 package Ramen Noodles, crushed while still in package (Oriental or chicken flavor)

Remove the seasoning packet from the Ramen Noodles and set aside. Melt margarine in saucepan and saute the almonds, sesame seeds and Ramen noodles until golden. While this is cooking make the sauce. When golden brown, add to the Bok Choi in the bowl.

**This step is not totally necessary but adds a little more flavor. You may choose to just place the ingredients into the bowl with the Bak Choi.**

2 tablespoons vinegar (rice wine, red wine or plain white works)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar (or sugar sub works well also)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 packet seasoning mix from Ramen noodles

Place above ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Pour over all the ingredients in the bowl and toss well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

I hope you enjoy this simple spring salad at your next picnic or backyard Bar-B-Que! Kim

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Maple Banana Bread

I had a couple bananas looking a little brown and decided it was time to make some banana bread. I modified a very old recipe I had that used honey as the sweetener to use up my maple cream that had crystallized (note to self: use it up sooner!). It tastes great and the natural sweetness of the maple shines.

1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup (or in my case crystallized maple cream)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 5x9 loaf pan well and set aside.

In a large bowel, mix the melted butter and syrup. Stir in the beaten egg and mashed bananas, milk and vanilla extract.

In another bowel, sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir the flour mixture just until moistened in the the banana mixture (over mixing will make the banana bread tough).

Pour into greased baking pan and place into the preheated oven. Bake 40-50 minutes or until a knife placed in the center comes out clean.


Garden Art

Last year my granddaughter Jordan and I grew a couple birdhouse gourds. Today grandpa drilled a hole in one so Jordan could paint it. Of course, she painted it pink! She wanted a flower for the bird to go into, so I outlined it for her and she painted it in. A final coat of a clear sealer will help keep it safe.

I think the birds will love it.