Sunday, November 23, 2014

Warning! This is a good reason for not cleaning your oven before you bake the pies and the turkey for Thanksgiving.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I will bake pies and they will automatically overrun into the bottom of my clean oven.  Nope.

It seemed like such a simple task.  All I had to do was wipe out the ash put the rack back in the oven, but somehow with a very small move, I broke a blood vessel in my index finger.  It is now swollen and doesn't really move quite right.

There will be limited keyboard playing at our practice session today.

On the positive front, the stairway light has been replaced thanks to David and Retired Mountain Man.  All you need is your metal tool box on the stairway step to stand on (if you are tall, as in David) and some of those Q-tip skills.   See blog from 2012 regarding guys with skills, and the movie Six Days and Seven Nights.

Finally, I sliced the last ripe tomato from my garden for 2014.

 There were so many tomatoes and I loved sharing them with everyone and was sooo happy to do that, but when your are down to your last one, and you know you are faced with store bought, hard as a rock, not ripe tomatoes for the next six months........the last one is to be savored and cherished.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The next problem to solve.....

......would be our light fixture in the stairway to the basement.  It's very dark to walk down without a light and the it's not just the light bulb but the fixture itself that has to be removed and replaced with a new one.   The the big question is, how are we going to be able to reach it to replace it?

The basement is probably one of the most important places in the house.  It's where my guest room is, the second bathroom, the root cellar where I store all of my canned goods, our wine cellar, the furnace/wood room and the place where I have have my indoor lights so that I can start all of my veggies and flowers for the garden.

It's the spot where Retired Mountain Man, also known as the Dahlia King, works on dividing his dahlias, labeling them all and putting them in Styrofoam containers with perlite to store for the winter.  We store them in the root cellar area of the basement.

Yes, these tubers turn into this in the summer.   Dahlias are floral perfection.


April Dawn, my favorite.

(I am avoiding the problem for as long as I can)

I also have my begonia bulbs drying to get ready for storage and soon I will start some lettuce under my lights.

(What was I talking about at the beginning of this blog?)

It's also the place where Ann and I always make our Christmas wreathes and bouquets.  We haul in boughs with our sleds and stack them on top of the firewood.  Then we spend several days creating our wreaths to decorate and give as gifts.

I searched for photos of all the Christmas Wreathes we make and I couldn't find any.  I know I have some, but these will have to do.  I made these from dried flowers from my garden and some of the flowers I dried from David and Julie's wedding.  The red wreathe is Melissa's and the blue one is Julie's.

Last but not least, the basement is also the music room.  I can't begin to say how many hours of fun we have spent playing music every Sunday in our "studio".

(Oh yes, the next problem.....)

So, how do we reach that light fixture without someone falling down the basement stairs?  
It's dark down there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yes, I said I would do it....

It's only been 14 months since I took all the things off of the wall in my upstairs bathroom and said that I was going to paint it.  It definitely needed to be done.

I have no excuse except that I hate painting, house painting that is.  I like to paint with watercolors.  That is fun.

I couldn't paint it because it was the holidays, because it was winter, because I was busy with band practice, because it was spring, because it was summer, I was still busy with band practice......

I finally have everything taped and ready to go for the paint.  It is noon.

Retired Mountain Man has been very worried ever since I came home with the paint from Home Depot.  It has upset his routine and he has had to use the downstairs bathroom all day.

His misery will soon be over as coat # 1 has finally been applied.  It is 3:30 p.m.  I only had to make one trip to Clark Fork for more supplies.

Fortunately for Retired Mountain Man, I do not wish to have the latest trend in kitchens and baths, such as stainless steel appliances and marble or granite countertops, etc.  As you can see it looks pretty much the same.  I am not into colors on the walls.  I like white or soft white.  I like white appliances, white countertops and white walls.

Keep it simple.

I plan to start coat # 2 at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I've reached the end!

I am finally finished.  Done!  Kaput!   It's over!  I don't want to do anymore of it.

The 2014 canning, freezing and preserving season is over.  

The tally:  

7 jars of Pear Maraschino Jam
9 jars of Chai Spicy Plum Jam with Hazelnuts
9 jars of Chai Spicy Plum Jam with Pecans
12 pints of grape jelly
8  jars of white grape jelly
7 jars of huckleberry jelly
3 gallons of plum liqueur
2 gallons of Slivovitz  (plum brandy)
8 quarts of dill pickles
16 jars of hot peppers
52 pints of salsa
6 quarts of dilly beans
12 pints of freezer broccoli
6 pints of cauliflower
15 pints of sweet corn
6 pints of beets
1 gallon of jalapeno peppers
1 gallon bag of ancho peppers
2 gallon bags of green bell peppers
2 quarts of roasted tomatoes
4 containers of tomato soup base
15 pounds of carrots in the crisper
37 onions hung up in the root cellar
5 pounds of shallots stored in the pantry
2 dryers of Oyster Mushrooms

And last but not least, the wine is started and fermenting in the vats.  


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2014 will turn out to be a great wine.

The red wine in the vat with the wine yeasties working away.  Our 2014 wine is on its way.

Thank you grape arbor.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Headless Horsemen was there, but I didn't see Ichabod Crane anywhere, just like the story.....

I traveled to Hamilton, Montana to go Trick or Treating with my grandson, who finally decided that he would be a fierce man-eating shark for Halloween.  

We had a great evening.  The temperature was very warm for this time of year and it was so much fun to see hundreds of little kids out in their costumes going from house to house.  In Hamilton, they block off a section of 3rd and 4th streets and the people who live on those two streets go all out decorating their houses.  I heard that each household will give out over 2000 pieces of candy.  It is such a cool way to have a safe place for the kids to go and so much fun.

There were some pretty scary ghosts, ghouls and goblins there.  The shark was a little concerned about this one.  He looked pretty darn scary.

He got a little braver at each house, but wore out before we managed to walk up and down both sides of the two streets.  Grandma was wearing out too.

Showing off his vampire teeth.

Best of all, there was a headless horseman riding up and down the street, cracking his whip.  His whip is supposedly made of the spine of a corpse.    Scares me.

Unfortunately, the horseman did not get close enough to me for a good photo so this is the best I could do.

Saturday we finally had a little snowfall again.  Here's a photo of what I saw on my trip home near Arlee.