Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Spy With My Little Eye Something Green!

Holy crapmo! The farmhouse is about to be run over with cukes! These are some of the first ones that I picked. First batch and I got 15 with lots more coming in!

So..... what is a girl to do with so many cukes?!

Make some pickles!

I mean, I have so much time on my hands. It's not like I have a basement to clean for the Fantabulous Basement/Storage Challenge or a secret project to work on for the Inspiration Party or anything like that....

I found a case of jars in the basement and got busy.

Those black eyed susans are such hams!

I sliced the 2 cucumbers (about 1/8" thick), then 2 of the onions and put some salt on top. Kept doing this til the cucumbers and onions were all done. I used about 1/3 cup of kosher salt total. Then I put a layer of ice on top, covered with a towel and let them sit for an hour or so.

If I had a better camera, maybe my pics would not be so blurry....

When the cuke mixture had sat for an hour I drained, rinsed and drained.

About halfway through the cukes sitting time I started the jars and bands boiling. When the cukes were done, I made the brine.

2 cups sugar
2T mustard seed
2t turmeric
1t ginger
1t peppercorns
3 cups white vinegar

Add all these ingredients to a stockpot and bring to a boil. If you do have a cold, this will definitely clear your sinuses! Add the cukes after they have been drained, rinsed and drained. Bring to a boil again. Then add the pickles to hot jars and process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.

These are a sweet and sour kind of pickle. Really good! You do have to let these sit for about a week before trying them.

Now, something to make all you city folk cry!

These 2 little beauties come to my yard atleast once a day. Sometimes they are here 3 or 4 times. My yard is full of clover and they just love to munch on it. We think their mother may have been hit by a car, cause we have never seen a doe with them. This was right outside my kitchen window one morning.

As for the Fantabulous Basement/Storage Challenge, would you believe that I found this in the basement? It now holds all our current paperwork. 3 boxes were cleaned out and are now neatly stored in here. Even in file folders with what is in the file folder labeled on them! I have been working on getting some general mess cleaned up down there now. I almost have enough done to show off my progress so you can see I have made progress!

I also got Step 1 of my Inspiration Post done too!

Woo Hoo! I am off like a herd of turtles!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jeanine Was Here!

I just loved spending the day with Jeanine and her hubby! They are just 2 of the nicest people that you would ever meet!

I forgot to take pics and this was the only one that I snuck in! You know someone really truly is your BF when you give her a horrible home perm and you still stay friends.

Oh yes I did.....

But that may be another post.

It was so great to catch up, eat lots of food and play cards all night. We just enjoyed them and can't wait for the next time that we can get together again.

Of course, the kids had to be little showoffs.

Bitty One had to show just how dirty she could get playing in mud with the dog.

Somewhere under all that dirt is a cute little girl.... I think....

I was just so excited for Jeanine to come over that I made most of the food Friday and guess what I did?

Forgot to take pics!

Sunday though, I made a frittata for breakfast. The kids just love these! You can put any kind of combination you want in them. You do need to use a skillet that you can put under the broiler.

I started with 3 large potatoes, half an onion and a clove of garlic. I peeled and sliced the potatoes and chopped the onions and minced the garlic.

I cooked the onions in 4 tablespoons of olive oil til they were translucent. Then added the potatoes and garlic. These cooked about 15 minutes til they were done.

While they were cooking, I added 8 eggs, 2 tablespoons of cream, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, chopped smoked bacon, a package of frozen spinach thawed and drained, salt and pepper. Mix it all together. When the potatoes are done, spread them out over the bottom of the skillet and added the egg mixture and spread that over the potatoes. Cook til the egg mix is set but the top is still runny.

Cook in the broiler til the top is golden brown. Carefully remove from the broiler and with a rubber spatula loosten the frittata and slide onto a plate. Cut into pie wedges and serve!

So yummy! My kids love this and I usually have to make 2! They don't even turn their noses up at the spinach.

This week it is back in the basement and working on my Inspiration Post! Don't forget to come and join in on the fun on the 31st! I am keeping my fingers crossed that my project turns out as well as my Inspiration's did!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jammin' At The Farmhouse!

I decided that I just didn't have enough to do what with the Fantabulous Basement/Storage Challenge, My July Inspiration Post, my BF from high school visiting, that I would stop everything and make Strawberry Jam!

I mean who could resist when you find strawberries for $2 a lb!

I love canning foods to use later. My jam stash is getting kinda low too. So here we go!

Wash and destem the berries. 1 lb of berries = 1 quart.

Put them in a large stockpot and crush them up a bit with a potato masher. 2 quarts of berries will make 4 pint jars of jam. I used 1/2 pint jars. For every 2 quarts of berries add 6 cups of sugar. Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil, stirring frequently, until it reaches the desired thickness. I tend to make mine runny since the kids like it like that.

Have your jars all clean and the caps off. Before ladling the jam into the jars you will want to skim off the foam. Leave a 1/4" headspace and put the 2 piece caps on. Do not tighten the rings all the way.

Process the jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.

Carefully remove from canner and let cool. When cool enough to handle, tighten the rings.

This jam is super yummy with hot fresh homemade bread.

I would make some, but I have too much to do right now....

Finally! Something Worth Bragfesting About!

I am such a bad bloggy friend. Jan @ Bobbypinsboardwalk always enters all my silly little games and I haven't done a Bragfest in so long!

Now, this seems it is the last one! I wish her the best of luck in her new job! Just as long as it doesn't take her away from blogdom!

Remember those hornworms? Yeah, stinky little buggers! I read on the internet that there is 2 ways, without chemicals, to get rid of them. Of course since I plucked those 7 off I haven't seen any more.

1. Invite wasps to your garden. Like Deborah @ The Fairfield House said the wasps lay their eggs on the hornworms and the larvae suck them dry. Ewwww! I don't want wasps since the garden is right next to the back patio where we spend our summer. Also the kids love exploring in the garden.

2. Attract birds. I guess to a bird this is a gourmet meal. Double ewwww! I hope they will take them elsewhere to munch on them.

Sooooo.... we need a birdbath. A feeder will just encourage the squirrels to come closer to the house.

Since I have been cleaning out the basement and realizing how much money I waste on crap, I decided to make my own birdbath. What can I use for a pedestal?

A little help from the Valley Girl and OMG! I got a pedestal! I used Gorilla Glue and glued 4 flower pots together.

Now for a dish to hold water....

Our next model, the Bitty One, is modeling one of those dishes that you put under a flower pot. Finally! The tray is on top!

Sorry, I just couldn't resist!

A little Modest White paint by Sherwin Williams.

Ok, maybe we need a bit more....

A freehand vine painted on the pedestal to kinda hide the fact that they are flowerpots glued together.

It still needs something though....

Ta daaa! The little iron bird I found at the antique store last year looks right at home here!

I've tried to get pics of the birds in it. I even had a peregrine falcon visit! I tell them to wait while I go get my phone, but they don't listen.

So there ya have it! My easy peasy cheesy birdbath. Which by the way, cost 0 dollars to make!

Woo hoo!

Don't forget to come and check out all the projects at Bobbypins Boardwalk's Bragfest!

Also posted at DIY Show Off's Project Parade! More great ideas to check out there also!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Guess you all are wondering who out of the 4 brave ladies won the giveaway?

By random selection of the bitty one it is....

Art Teacher Girl!

And do you know what else? Today is her birthday! How fun to win on your birthday!

The basement is still going strong! I am up to 9 boxes that I have condensed down to 2 and 3 bags of garbage! I would show you the wonderful hole in the junk it has created but....


As soon as the hubby gets home from Chicago I will show you my progress and my gorgeous library table that is just about uncovered! My dad was actually going to throw it away. His wife said it was ugly and not going in HER house! I brought it home, the hubby stripped it and stained it for me. The first time she saw it she commented on what a beautiful table it was and if I ever got rid of it she would like it. I reminded her where I got it and what she had said about it cause I am that bitchy. She didn't have much to say after that.

I'm going to use it in my craft room. I have also come across a chess set that I started, oh about 8 years ago for my hubby. Black are cowboys and white is indians. I never finished painting it. So I guess first project to do is finish it and make a chess table for it.

I have been going to battle with these ugly creatures also....

Is that not the most disgusting thing you have ever seen? It's a tomato hornworm. They get HUGE too! They are eating my tomatoes! I found 7 on my plants. Me and the Valley Girl pulled them off and put them in a jar. I dumped them in the weeds where hopefully they find something more tasty than my tomatoes! You can also get a certain type of wasp that kills them. I don't think I want to encourage wasps in the garden though since it is right next to the patio where we sit at alot. I may get a bird bath though. Once site says that birds love these guys. As long as they carry them off somewhere else to eat them!


So that's all folks!

I am off to do more damage in the basement, stake up my tomato plants that the winds wreaked havoc on yesterday and work on my secret project!

I did get my menu figured out for this Saturday!

BBQ Chicken with Whiskey BBQ Sauce
Coleslaw White Farmhouse Style (you'll want to try this one!)
Grilled Corn
Cheesy Zucchini (I have owed this recipe for such a long time!)
Blueberry Dumplings over Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Iced Tea

I will try to get a post done about everything with recipes! and pics!

Again.... so much to do and so little caffeine!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Making Plans for the Event of the Year!

I am sooooo excited about this! We are having a very special guest that is coming to the White Farmhouse! I've been putting off telling you about it to not jinx it.

NO! I am NOT pregnant, just fat!

This special guest is the only reason that I survived my teen years. She was always there for me. We grew up together and lost contact. Our 30th high school reunion is coming up and we reconnected. I have found out that I still just love her cause she is perfect and she loves me besides all my faults. She is the yin to my yang. She is shy, quiet and polite. I am loud, obnoxious and rude. The last time that I saw her was when she got married.... 20 years ago!

Now she is coming to the farmhouse!

I have one week to thoroughly clean the house, find some old pics of us to make her a little scrapbook, come up with a fantabulous menu and teach my kids manners.

Plus, get on the Fantabulous Basement/Storage Challenge! You still have a chance to win the giveaway here . Come on, show us your mess! I am so proud of myself so far! I wanted to do a box a day and I am 3 boxes ahead of schedule! So far, nothing has ventured back into the basement either. I know eventually some stuff will, but it WILL be organized!

I also have a project that goes along with my Inspiration Post! I am so excited about this too! In my mind's eye it looks gorgeous, so we will see what the end result will be..... The person that is my inspiration this month did a fantabulous tutorial which I am following to the letter! Wait til you see her end result!

The garden is also taking off! I am about ready to be overwhelmed with veggies! I see lots of recipes and canning in my future posts! This weekend I have to put more stakes in plants since they are falling over and taking the stakes already there with them! I have one poor tomato plant that got really energized and has about 20 tomatoes on it and is about to collapse on itself!

So much to do and so little caffeine!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Let The Challenge Begin!

Today starts the Fantabulous Basement/Storage Challenge! I have been so excited to start this. All weekend I have been planning on what I am going to do with my reclaimed space! Congrats to those that entered pics! You still have time to enter those pics for the giveaway. Just click here. To those of you who didn't, put your big girl pants on and just do it!

I've gotten 5 boxes done so far! My goal is a box or bag a day.

I did get excited this weekend. I was telling my hubby about the challenge and that I WISH I HAD A GREAT CAMERA TO TAKE PICS TO IMMORTALIZE IT FOR ALL OF BLOGDOM TO SEE! He said "Oh, that reminds me, I got you something! It's in the truck".

Could it be? Has all my whining and crying worked it's magic?

I was clapping and squealing like my 3 year old running to the truck. Hmmm, I don't see a camera here. Maybe if I look under this Tractor Supply bag....

He says it's in the bag....

Do you see my camera yet?

Ok.... that pic is basically to brag about how HUGE my veggie garden has gotten!

Me neither. As a consolation prize he did get me this new hose that doesn't look like a snake.

It's a soaker hose too.

Yeah, yeah, yeah....

If I had a good camera I could take better pics of it though....

Don't forget the first contest of the Fantabulous Basement/Storage Challenge ends this Saturday.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Fantabulous Basement/Storage Challenge Kick-off With A Giveaway!

Monday July 12th is the start of the Fantabulous Basement/Storage Challenge. I changed up the name a bit to give those of you who don't have a basement a chance to join in on the fun! If you have a disorganized storage area or garage that you would like to do, feel free to jump in.

To kick off the challenge, I have a dare!

I dare you to post pics of your mess!

Put your big girl pants on and just do it!

Here's mine. I say that like I am so proud of it or something. It greats you right as you open the door to the basement.

At the bottom of the stairs you are supposed to be able to turn right or left.

To the right....

Is my luxurious and spacious laundry room. I even put a table in here like I would ever want to stand here and fold laundry!

The freezer is located in this area also. Also a baker's rack that has become a catch all for anything that doesn't have a home.

To the left....

....is 2 larger areas filled with crap. My husband calls it 2 rooms since there is a wall and doorway in the center. The bags are clothes that the kids have worn from birth to now. This area is mostly paperwork from 1996, old computers, furniture and even a fishtank.... somewhere....

I'm not even going to apologize for the blurry pics. I took them with my camera phone since I STILL DON'T HAVE A CAMERA! Speaking of which there are probably a few down here somewhere.

The piles just seem never ending! A credenza sits in the middle with a very narrow walkway around it to get to the copier. Yes, I do have a copier here too.

The other room is even spookier. It has the furnace in here somewhere. There are 2 light fixtures, one of which has been burned out for awhile.

Under this pile is a table.... somewhere. At one time I did have this organized enough to use this room as a craft room. So this is mostly craft crap and holiday decorations.

Yes, it even was nice enough at one time for me to get this organizer for all my scrapbooking stuff. You can't really see the top, but it is piled with junk too. You also have to move junk out of the way to get anything out of here or even get to it!

This pile is mostly decorations that I haven't been able to use for a few years and gift wrapping stuff. It's all in bins.... with junk piled on top cause I gave up on the whole organization thing.

There is no corner of this room that is safe. I do have about 8 shelving units that I got to organize all the crap with. Stuff got piled up in front of them though making it hard to put stuff back so the stuff that is supposed to go on them is now joining the stuff that is piled in front of them.

So there is my mess. I would like to take my craft area back, have an area for canned goods. The other room I want to make a playroom/library/office area. The laundry room I would like to be able to actually do laundry in.

So now it's your turn! Show us your mess!

As you can see Linky is here to help!

Anyone brave enough to give a tour of your mess will be entered in a giveaway.

What will you possibly get?

A giveaway of cleaning products! Not just any cleaning products, but DIY cleaning products.... with recipes to make more.... in pretty jars and bottles.... and maybe a few more goodies....

Just enter your link. The chance to enter ends July 17th. We will then have a poll for all your fellow bloggers to vote for the "Best of the Mess"!

Come on! I showed mine now show us yours!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Fantabulous Basement Challenge and Other Yvonney Stuff!

Yes, you heard right ladies! A basement challenge!

Do you have a messy basement that you have been meaning to get too?

Is your basement so disorganized that you stand on the stairs and just pitch stuff to the area it should be?

Are there creepy things living in your basement that keep you from getting it organized?

Is it just me and my basement?

The basement challenge is on! Yvonne @ Stone Gable says she is in. I just can't imagine any area in her house being disorganized and cluttered. She says it is though. This will be an ongoing challenge. My basement didn't get in this shape overnight and it won't be undone overnight either! 'Nuff said Mr Shrinking Man!

So here's the details....

It starts Monday, July 12th. Let's start the week out right. You've got the whole weekend to plan on what you are going to do with your additional space! There is no deadline. It's done when it is done. I'm going to add a list on my sidebar to tally my progress. Also, I won't be posting before pics yet of my basement. It would be the same as posting pics of me in a bikini. I surely don't want to scare you away from visiting any more! Anyone who would like to join in, let me know in comments. Maybe we should even have a get together? Maybe a giveaway? That's a way to get rid of useless crap in my basement!

There is another reason why we can't start until Monday....

It's Yvonne's Birthday!

Happy Birthday Sweetie! I hope you have a Birthday as wonderful as you are!

She is also having a giveaway for her 200th post celebration! Lookie at what I am going.... errr..... I mean what you could win....

When she celebrates she does it up right! It is a Cuisinart Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet crazy making machine! If you would like to oooh and aaah over my new ice cream machine click here. Feel free to make a copy of the iced tea recipe. It looks fabulous!

Yvonne has the knack to make any occasion wonderful. Her blog is just filled with great ideas, tablescapes, projects and recipes!

Maybe she will make a tablescape and menu for cleaning a basement?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More Crazy Going Ons With No Pics!

Can you believe that summer is almost half gone? This week has been really hot here in Michigan. So glad that I have central air. During the day I have been holed up in the house cleaning and working. I usually drag my butt out when the sun is going down to do work out there.

Last night I was digging up some plants that are around the house that I thought were weeds. I'm attempting to transplant them. This may sound like a simple task. My dirt doesn't cooperate though. I think it has all the ingredients to make concrete and when it gets wet does just that. While it is wet it is easier to work with too. Also I have been on snake alert in the yard. This year I have seen so many of these nasty dispicable creatures out and about here.

I hate snakes....

So there I was with the hose and my shovel trying to dig up these weeds lost in my own world where I am sitting around the pool watching my handsome pool boy clean the hot tub. Anyways.... out of the corner of my eye I see a slither. Now when I see one of those nasty things I tend to freak. If I don't have something in my hand I will run screaming. Yes, I have run over small children to get out of the immediate area too. This time I had my shovel in my hand so I proceeded to chop it with the shovel. Then I screamed and ran when I got sprayed with it's "blood". Meanwhile everyone is looking at me like I am a freak. But there I stood feeling victorious cause I had beaten that nasty devil serpent. Really I was standing there drenched in water cause I had just killed the garden hose....


See I have this one hose. Okay, I USED to have this one hose that to me looks like a garter snake. I know that garter snakes would never grow to the size of a garden hose. But when confronted with one of those slithery creatures all common sense goes out the window. I am blaming my husband though cause he bought me the garter snake looking hose. Definitely his fault.

Later that night the bitty one was catching lightening bugs with her imaginary friend. It was getting dark. The two of them were having a good ole time too. You have to understand though that when the bitty one is with her imaginary friend she doesn't just talk to her. She responds back to herself for her friend too. It's actually quite funny to watch her and listen in. Last night she screams. I go running. Ok, walking really fast as I can. Nothing wrong though it seems that her imaginary friend was making ghost noises and scaring the bitty one. I really don't know how that would scare the bitty one since she is the one also making the ghost noises. It does though.

I did manage to get somethings done around here though. I am attempting to clean the snake den of dispair aka the basement. I set a goal of one box or bag a day at the minimum. I figure that I should be done about the year 2016 or so. I will never again think that I am not a pack rat. Truth is I am. It's not even junk worth keeping either. So not only am I a pack rat, I am a low budget crap pack rat. Oh well....

Remember those lightening bugs the bitty one and her imaginary friend were collecting? They were sticking them in a jar. Last night I was laying in bed exhausted and I kept seeing spots. They were driving me crazy! It seems that the bitty one decided to "give" me the lightening bugs and put the jar on my nightstand. The jar had a plastic wrap cover over it. The plastic wrap had a huge hole in it so the lightening bugs could breathe. They used it as an escape hatch though. So at 1 am I was trying to recatch lightening bugs in my room.

I hope that everyone had a better day!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I am such a baaaad girl!

I really deserve a good old fashioned spanking. Wednesday was the "forgot" day. I woke up to feeling like someone was watching me. Since the bitty one usually pries my eyes open it wasn't her. My token boy will whisper "Mom" til I wake up, so it had to be the old girl. Maybe it is just me, but when I wake up and find someone's face stuffed in mine I tend to scream. Which results in the face screaming too and then yelling at me that "I scared them". Huh?! Anyways, the face talked and said "did you forget what today is?" At 7 am I can't even remember what planet I am on of course I don't remember what day it is. Then the face screamed, again, and told me I was mean and left.

Because if you are not a 14 year old girl who LOVES Twillight you probably didn't know that Wednesday was the opening day of Eclipse. I promised that I would take her and her girlfriends to the movie and they would spend the night. I have no idea how many margheritas it took to make me agree to this!

I do have some advice for those that find themselves in this situation. When you have 5 girls spending the night, hyped up on sugar do not tell them scary stories no matter how much they insist. I woke up at 4 am with a big toe up my nose and a knee firmly planted between my butt cheeks since they all climbed into my bed at some point during the night.

Needless to say amongst all the teenage drama that went on all day, I forgot about the Inspiration Party. So the next one I think that I need to get off my lazy arse and do something extra special. Maybe a little faux painting....

In the meantime, I do have pics of some teeny tiny veggies. I am so excited though that I have not managed to kill all the plants off though!

Mini pukey cukes....

....mini tomatoes....

....and mini peppers.

I am so in love with my black eyed susans that have come back even though I have pulled them out every year as weeds!

Finally I have some crappy pics of the fireworks we set off for the kids.

If my husband is listening.... I REALLY NEED A CAMERA!

That is it for now. Except that I wanted to thank Yvonne @ Stone Gable for giving my chicken dish a fancy schmancy name and featuring it on her blog. I tried to reply to her post but blogger decided to be a bugger and not cooperate. Hmmmpf! But thank you very much!

Here is hoping that you all have a wonderful week! As for me, I have to get busy on some projects and work for the week. How fun?!