About The Country Wife Blog

Thursday, September 29, 2011

LIGHTS!! Yay, lights, lights, lights!

Jonathan and family came over for supper and to work on lights in the kitchen.  We had a nice-ish supper...used some of the lightly seasoned tomato sauce from the Fogg's tomatoes, added a can of tomato paste, rosemary, basil, and a bit more salt.  Because I had a presidency meeting in the morning, a hundred errands to do, and knitting at Elsie's this afternoon, I did not get fresh onions sauteed to throw into the mix.  It was ok, but not great.  I pulled out a big bowlful for Bob then chopped up some Johnsonville Bratwurst to the rest of it for the carnivores among us.  Immediately after eating Jonathan jumped up and continued working.

Before going home he checked not only the lights but all the outlets to see if they were live, AND THEY WERE!!  There is nothing like having light enough to work in.  We pulling the plastic topped table we got at BJ's several years ago over under the hanging lights to approximate the island, and to keep the unsuspecting from smashing their heads into the lights while walking over there.

With the lights now live, and the sheet rock which Bob and Robbie worked on this week installed, the kitchen now is having more of a real feeling!  After the remaining sheet rock is installed in the pantry, entry closet, and the living room, I am confident that the tile floor will begin in the kitchen so Jonathan can take real measurements for the cabinets, then....!

Such a morale booster to have those lights, besides being so handy to work with.  When I have the place in better order I will add a photo.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Here is an email I just sent to a friend to show how the day has started...

This message was written to a dear friend who is a provident living specialist in the ward.

"Just spoke with Bob and he is willing to humor me in getting pinto beans. I really love pinto beans just cooked and top with a little butter and salt and pepper, so we will be ordering a couple 25-lb bags of them when the time comes. I have to go through out buckets in the cellar and see if we have a 'started'/half-full bucket of pintos.  We have red, white, black beans but I think all the pintos are gone.

Were you able to get all your canning done?  Today I am processing tomato sauce which I finished cooking and seasoning and straining yesterday.  I processed seven jars last night...and seven more this morning. One quart leftover went into the refrigerator.  Don't you love it when you hear the last "pop" when the jars seal?!  I like it best when that happens within two minutes of being removed from the boiling water bath.  It makes me more confident that the seal will hold. 

Right now only the tomato sauce jars are on the shelving unit.  It has been holding empty jars and other kitchen stuff from the move out of the log cabin.  Bob and Robbie moved the two canning jar shelves into the new house cellar a month or so ago, then Bob moved the jars into boxes and kitchen stuff to the pantry, THEN moved one of the shelving units up to the pantry. I am so happy it is there, but it is going to make a lot of work when they want to put in the sheet rock and floor tiles. They put the "good" jars of canned food onto the floor in the cellar so today I hope to move them all up to the canning shelves.

Oh, rats!  I just looked over to see how the pot was doing and there was no flame under it!  I shut off the burner and opened up the house.  Now fifteen minutes later I have restarted the flame and was pleased that the house did not blow up because of the free propane. 

Maybe I had better stop my emailing and focus on what needs to be focussed on!  I went in to take a shower, remembered i had not taken my medicine so I rounded up the shopping bag of medicine and supplements I had taken to the temple last week to charge up my little pill carrier.  Finished doling out pills for the next week, sat down and started a grocery list, now am back at the computer.  It amazes me when I ever accomplish anything during the day.  The flitting from project to project usually leaves many things started, nothing accomplish, except the nap!"

You can see from this email that the honey-bee approach to life gives the honey bees a hive full of honey but leaves us with a house full of unfinished project messes!

Monday, September 26, 2011

What a Day! So far...

Today started a little later than usual after a somewhat grim night.  Around 7:30 I remembered that my visiting teacher was coming over at 9. I had not washed any dishes over the weekend and that had to be changed.  I made some scrambled eggs and warmed up some Spanish omelet from yesterday's breakfast and put it on the table for Bob. I swilled mine down with a fresh tomato and continued flying around the addition picking up and washing dishes.  I moved the alpaca fleece and the other bag of wool fleece out into the front closet...to Bob's great chagrin.  He had thought I had actually taken care of it...his words, not mine!  As far as I was concerned I had taken care of it.

Mako  arrived just about 9 and I was just about done the dishes.  I will be SO GRATEFUL when the new house is done and I have a KITCHEN again.  And I say that in the nicest possible way.  It takes next to no dishes to make the little kitchen-y area look like a sludge-pit...and today it did.  It does again now and that won't change by morning, I don't think.

Shortly after Mako arrived Robbie arrived to help with the new house.  Mako and I had the best chat.  I love that girl.  Anyway, Bob and Robbie started working on putting the trellising material around the base of the porch.  I happened out to visit with them briefly before starting my next project and heard a truck coming up Cranberry Hill Road.  It was Owen come to help, so, after a fair amount of discussion, they stopped the trellis job and moved inside to work on sheet rock.  YAY!!!  They put up about 8 sheets, some 12-foot and some 8-foot.  Things are looking up!!!  Once they get all the ceiling sheet rock up we can have the lights and outlets go live.  That will be such a treat to have light in the new house main floor.

Once the ceiling is up I think they will work on walls...then the tile floor can go in and Jonathan can get started on the kitchen cabinets.  Oh happy day!

While the men were working, I made a nice Eggs Goldenrod lunch, though I did use Country Buttermilk biscuits from Wings Market. I  have never used them before.  They were not bad at all.  Robbie asked me why I bought them.  So did Bob.  Well, I don't have as much workspace as I would like and with the men pounding and sawing and grating sheet rock, I did not want to make food that might have sheet rock dust in it.  That is why.

After lunch I laid down for a few minutes but kept thinking of the tomatoes on the porch.  Vern and Kim had brought over hundreds of pounds of tomatoes last night (,and we were not even here to greet them!  They are such kind and generous people.)  If that is an exaggeration, it is not much of one. I sincerely hope I can get them all processed without losing any.  Such generosity deserves respect.

 These two pictures show the empty bags which were FULL of luscious tomatoes and which are now on the stove.  As I was cutting tomatoes for the pot I kept setting aside perfect ones for eating...then gave it up because I can only eat three or four at a time...!  Not really, but I can surely eat two tomatoes at a meal and these were gorgeous.

I checked with my friend who wanted to borrow the Victorio Strainer to make applesauce and found she had not located another one so she is coming tomorrow morning...SO the tomatoes which are ripe and ready need to be done tonight.

Since I could not really do the tomatoes while the men were working, I moved along in the washing process for the larger of the two sheep fleeces I received early in the summer.  It was somewhat of a project, which may have involved killing a good chunk of our new lawn (sorry, Bob! ) then re-thinking how to make the project move faster and less taxing for my body and the lawn, I did the rinse in the washing machine.  Three rinses.  No, maybe only two.  Now the bags of wool are hanging on Christopher's beautiful walking stick and attached to the new porch railing.  I am not sure it adds much to the decor, but...it will work.  Face it, it does NOT add to the decor, but there are no other convenient things to do at the moment.  Maybe tomorrow I can think of something else.

After the wool-cleaning project I got out the skeined up recycled Bartlett yarn from the giant sweater vest I made five or six years ago.  I loved that vest.  One year I added a hood to it.  Nice idea, not so greatly attractive, but it did keep the wind out...particularly after I made an I-cord and wove it into the front of the hood so I could pull the hood tight around my face.  Before that, Babe the Blue Ox and I could both get our heads into the hood concurrently.

So,  I had used my Niddy-Noddy to make skeins, then wet them in good shape and hung them to dry overnight with weights in the bottom to straighten the yarn again.  While the men worked on the ceiling, I used my swift and ball winder to make center-pull balls of yarn.  Some of them are VERY small as the yarn, being well used,  had some soft spots which now became new skeins, much smaller after removing the frayed parts.  I finished the ball-winding just about as them men finished for the day.  Great news. I was then very edgy to get out the Bond Knitting Machine, but I restrained myself and finally got down to the tomato job.

After nearly an hour of washing and cutting tomatoes I got them into the big pot on the stove and started reducing them.  Owen had mentioned that Debbie made spaghetti sauce this year.  I was impressed and decided that was what I would do, too, in the interest of time constraints.  Because I have had some tomato-burning disasters I set the timer for 20 minutes about 5 times to remind me to get over to the stove and stir the tomatoes.  I went over more often but was sure they would not burn if I kept at it managed by the clock.  They are now cooling a bit while I type this post.

Bob took my new knitting machine table upstairs so I can work on the sweater vest I am planning for myself. It will be sweater number two on the Bond. I was so pleased with the first one which took me a week to knit with all the messes and ripping out and starting overs.  I think this one will go better.  The back is basically just a straight up rectangle--knitting 78 rows then inserting markers for the armhole then knitting another 60 rows, putting 30 stitches on a holder for back neck, putting the stitches on each side onto waste yarn for the shoulders.  What could be easier than that?  I certainly don't know.  The front is going to be slightly more complex because I have to decrease for the neck.  OH MY GOODNESS!!! I just remembered as I was writing that last sentence that I was planning to make this a cardigan vest and not a pullover.  THAT will certainly make a difference on the front knitting...though only because I need to do halfsies instead of wholesie front.  Whew!  Am I glad I stopped to write this post.

After burning a couple of fried cheese sandwiches and delivering them to Bob upstairs I ate half a buttermilk biscuit with a slice of cheese on it and another chopped tomato with salt and a glass (I am using that term very loosely.  Humiliation restrains me from mentioning what I actually used for a beverage container...) of milk. 

Having taken a few pictures of them various projects I think I will add them to this post then fly (very slowly as the old bod is not what it used to be) upstairs and work the back of the vest....and re-think the front.