Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bottled the kombucha, it's flat tasting

I got 5 16oz bottles and 2 cups for the starter of the next batch. I shared it with my friend "D" and she was sort of disappointed that it did not get fizzy. The guy at the happy herbalist dot com, says in his page that the first batch is not always fizzy. The other page I found is Hannah Crum at expert village dot com. She has 14 (under 2 minutes) videos which show the entire process. She makes it look very easy, and it is. I think that our temperature is too cold for the kombucha to grow as it is supposed to grow. Its optimum temp is 80F and we keep our temp at 62F during the day and 65F in the evening. We like it cool.
I know!, I can put it next to the furnace in the pantry. That will keep it warmer, and it should 'fizz' on time.

I just looked at the weather map and it looks like New England and its vicinity is 'under glass' Wow! if it's as icy as it looks in the map, y'all must have one inch of ice. We are in the chunk of snow which will give us up to 3" again.
What's with the 3"? Although, we have about 10 snow birds every day--not yesterday, it was 63F and winds of 25 to 30mph.

Well, I did want this blog to be a weather report...

Ran errands and did shopping yesterday, and pulled my heel tendon again, but...calcium, castor oil pack, minerals, etc, etc...it's much better today.

Back to full t-tapping It feels great!

I need help with the hyperlink! The other times that "I did it right" was the result of point-and-click until it worked but...can't remember how I did it.

I'm still doing lots of things that keeps my computer time to under one hour. I am hoping to have some pictures tomorrow.

I'll leave you with this:

"For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.
This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it." Psa 132:13-14

In His hands, ^__^

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The hawk posed on the branch and other pictures

Good morning. We have a neighbourhood pair of red tail hawks, they are beautiful. Yesterday morning he was after something--could not see--but he rested on the pussy willow tree in our back yard.

Here is a second picture, something got his attention right behind him.

Then he flew away. Wow. I got several pictures but these were the best.

Ironing basket I always mention, just wanted you to see it--for those who have never seen it.I measured--15"--but as I started to click the photo it all began to fall. I did not want to take another picture after I picked it all up, so you get the blurry one.

Next I worked on #5's quilt--don't even ask how long I've been working on it--and made some progress. 16 more blocks and I'll be finished piecing. Then I'll have to do some 'lap quilting' a'la Georgia Bonesteel to add it to the major part that is already done.

While I was ironing I blocked #1's hat, which is not finished. You'll see it again when it is. I thought you would like to see the progress.
I actually thought that I would not have anything to show you so I (well, DH) took a couple of pictures of my mugs. I really like mugs, but the kind that the bottom is, at least as wide as the top. I do not like those mugs that are narrower at the bottom. I tend to carry my coffee around, especially to my 'workshop' (say it with a British accent like Cadfael) so, I prefer to have a substantial base to prevent toppling--HEY, that has a spiritual application...ok, back to the mugs: my newest mug is the Alpine goat, right next to the Canada mug--in honour of Daisy and Amanda (see their blogs on the side bar) I really love the colours of their coat of arms.

Speaking of my Alpine goat mug: this morning I went to start the car to let it warm a while...it was 0 degrees with a wind chill of -20; when I turned the key, it was like turning the key on a door...nothing! Dead, dead, dead battery. Had to call my goater and let her know I was not coming today. (sighing in resignation...)

Ok, shhhh...back to the mugs. I have quite a collection, and actually use them all [except for two with a cracked handle] I will show you more another time.

This is my breakfast favourite, it holds 20oz and I drink about two in the course of the morning.

Now [drum roll] my Bible, my beloved Bible, and beloved because it is so old, and it is coming apart.
Somebody said it was because I stuff my note papers all over, and especially in the back. I don't think so. Someone else said it was because I was too rough with it...????....what?! am I 2 years old?

Here you can see how it's come apart from its binding. Notice I have taken out 90% of the bookmarks and note papers so you could see. But, alas, it does not look as pitiful as it does in person.

Then, a very wise person said: "A Bible that is falling apart belongs to someone who isn't." I like this option the best. I, by the grace of God, hold up pretty well. (Lord, please don't test me on this, remember I am but dust.)

Totally different subject:
I would like to show you this, my new robot. DH went to Harbor Fright the other day, and got me this.

No, he did not come with a dollar bill. He/it is a magnifying lens with alligator clamps on a stand, so I can use it to glue things or work on things that are small enough and require magnification, i.e., repairing a bracelet.

When he put it down on the table I was playing with it, and moving all its parts. DH said it almost looked like a robotic figure. So I maneuvered 'him' until he looked like he could be reading something; hence, the dollar bill in his 'hands' It has become a conversation piece, but I have used it for its intended purpose a couple of times.

I have been doing a Bible study that makes me dig waaaaay deep into the Scriptures--it is a word study, which is my favourite way to study the Bible. Then we watched a video of Yacov Rambsel , where he shows how Jesus is in all the 'old testament' scriptures in Hebrew. He uses several forms of study, but this video concentrated on his ELS (equidistant letter sequence) He has written several books on the subject.

I would not tell you what to read or watch; however, the Lord did not say in vain: "And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given." Mark 4:24 (emphasis mine)

The Bible studies you do should not deceive you, should not lie to you, should not encourage you to do anything against the word of God. The Bible studies you do should always square with the Bible, and point you to God. In essence, if your Bible study is leading you away from God, from His word, His Son, and His will, that Bible study is fleshly, you should leave it.

I'll leave you with this:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears" 2Ti 4:3

In His hands, ^__^

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pleasantness in being busy

Made bread, did laundry, have another basket of ironing, some mending...loving being home-bound [sort of]

We have still the three inches of snow, streets, sidewalks parking lots are all clear, but it seems so nice to stay home and play house.

#5 came over and cleared the driveway with his 'new' snow blower. It's one he got from a neighbour who was throwing it away. #5 fixed it and this was the first snow he could clear since the repair. DH had cleared the space closer to the house before he left for work, so #5 was, sort of dissapointed he didn't have lots of snow to remove. He had done 6 other driveways before he did ours. What stamina!

Made bread Saturday, and this is the second punch down before forming the loaves.

Pans ready

Ready to bake
But, whaddayaknow, I did not take pictures of the baked loaves. You can scroll to the posts of several days ago, to see baked loaves. Sorry.

The snow is in our church's back 'yard' and we saw a small flock of wild turkeys (maybe 5 or 6)

I think that the very cold weather brought them out. We could barely see them on the ridge, but we could hear them clearly. It was such a 'nature' moment.

Finally here is the kombucha as it looks today. I mixed it on the 4th and it has made a nice little SCOBY, with bubbles and everything. It smells just like the raw stuff from the store. Yummmmy.

View from the top, can you see the little bubbles within the big bubble?

This is very blurry, but it gives you an idea. It even has that 'dust' in the bottom of the jar.

If any of you have made kombucha and you have any kind of 'head's up' please leave me a comment.

I'm hoping my friend can come tomorrow to see if it's ok. She has lots of errands, but may be able to stop by.

I'll leave you with this:

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins" Eph 2:1

In His hands, ^__^

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wow, almost a week since I posted

All's well, just busy.
Hoping to post tomorrow, and show pictures.

I'll leave you with this:

"There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." Pro 20:15

In His hands, ^__^

Monday, January 14, 2008

Change of Plans--Bread Pudding Instead!

I did not get to do any of what I had planned yesterday. Oh, well...
DH had asked for bread pudding several days ago, so I decided to surprise him.
Here is how I made it: First cut or tear an old loaf of Italian Bread, soak it in 7 cups of milk.

Add the peel of one orange, grated, and a little cinnamon. (it takes at least 2 hours for the soaking process)

When the bread is soft and mooshie add 10 eggs beaten with 1 c of milk, then add

2 c of sugar. Let this preparation sit aside. (By the way: I love this beater/mixer thing. It is great for this kind of batter, and bisquit dough, pie dough, and all those kinds of things that are too thick for a regular whisk)

Place 2 cups of sugar in a heavy bundt pan (this one is a Norsk) and melt the sugar over a fire until it becomes caramel color. You need to turn it continually so that the sugar melts evenly and doesn't burn. This process takes a long time...maybe 20 minutes, sorry I did not time it.
It is beginning to caramelize nicely. You can see that I use tongs for holding the pan, it gets very, very hot.

Almost ready.

Turn the fire off, when it's ready and twirl the pan to coat it with the caramel. For the whole process I use the tongs you see and a pair of needle nose pliers.

These work great. No burns, thank you Lord!

There was too much of the pudding batter for the bundt pan, so I used a reclaimed restaurant warmer thing [one and a half times the size of a bread pan]

Place the pudding in a 'bain-mari' pan with water.

Bake it for about 2 hours in a 350F oven.

This is how it looks when it comes out. [upside down] It flattens to half the height.

Most of the caramel becomes liquid during the baking process, but there is always some stuck to the botttom. I add some water, maybe 1/2 cup and put it back on the fire to disolve more quickly.

Notice that I'm not showing you the one in the 'bread' pan. When I turned it upside down on to the platter, one fourth of it remained in the pan. So it looks sort of, like chicken stuffing. Nevertheless, it tastes great. I did not caramelize the 'bread' pan and used Pam instead. Bad choice. Next time I will line the 'bread' pan with parchment paper, then, it will all come out.

This desert is very labor intensive. It took me from 10am until 2:30pm from the time that I started slicing the bread until I turned the finished desert on to the platter.

Well worth it. DH loves it. [I only make it every 8 to 12 months]

I will search the net to find another recipe that doesn't take almost all day to make. Of course, I could have done the bread last night, and the carameling today, but NO!

Today's plans will travel to tomorrow. So, Milling and bread making, ironing and dusting furniture, Lord willing, tomorrow.

I'll leave you with this:

"Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen." Psa 72:18-19

I am singing this one!

In His hands, ^__^

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Quiet Sunday

Hope all of you had a good Sunday

Ours was very quiet and we were able to rest...really rest. Now we are tired...of resting.

Ready for tomorrow with all its lists.

My plan is to do a basketful of ironing and mill wheat, and make bread, and dust the furniture.

I need to figure out how to make a list on the side of the blog, like other *good* bloggers do.

Kombucha update: It does not look like it's doing too much, but it smells right. I'm hoping that leaving it 3 or 4 more days will 'build' the SCOBY. Right now it's just some floaty things--I will not specify.

My friend and co-inventor of healthy things had some alien thing growing in hers, and had to throw it out. She's sent away for a real SCOBY. Mind you, she had started one just like I did. From the bottled raw stuff, from the same store....we shall see what mine does.

I'll leave you with this:

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Eph 3:20-21

In His hands, ^__^

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Orange Scones

We all love Scones, and we eat them; for that reason, I don't make them often.

Here are some of the ingredients.
Our 'egg lady' supplied us with these colorful eggs. 2 at the top are green, the one at 3 o'clock is beautifully marked with deep brown. The one in the center has color-on-color spots. The one at 9 o'clock is absolutely perfectly even. And, the one at 6 o'clock has beautifully even-beaded brown and brick lines.

One day we'll have a camera that can take close, close ups...

These are the dry ingredients--which make my bowl look so nice.
The powder sugar and orange juice make the glaze; yummmm!

Who could have...done this???? (I was holding the camera with only one hand, and pointing with the other one--so it's blurry)

They were so good. But you can tell by looking. I only made 1/2 a batch.

This was our snow last week, very pretty.

Finally started on blanket for 3e she really likes violet/purple (yes, 1a, it is violet!)

[Does any body else have a problem knowing the difference between violet and purple?]

Still working on #1's hat. There are TOO MANY THINGS I WANT TO DOOOO!!!!! at the same time. My schedule helper (Candy with her organization wonders) is great. Now I have to go read her blog so I can organize my time to be more efficient.

I forgot to tell you this great 'near hit'.

Coming back from getting goat's milk last week, I saw a giant cream color SUV that was in a hurry. I made a consious effort to stay out of his way, since he was zigzagging all over the road. He dashed by all the other traffic, and finally CUT IN FRONT OF ME so I had to do the screeeeeeech stop so as not to hit him as he turned left, one hair in front of my bumper. He actually turned left from the right lane! Whewwww! I thanked the Lord that I did not get hit by the guy behind me. I had heard the plastic milk jug make a thud, but was shook up and did not pay attention...until I got home and removed the groceries out of the side door. ALL BUT 2 OR 3 CUPS HAD SPILLED ON TO THE CARPET. The force of the impact jarred the lid, just enough to cause the spill--boo, hoo! I cleaned it, but not as much as a super-duper Shop Vac would have. Almost one gallon of Sable's and Callie's milk was hard to get, especially since it was so cold. O'Riley's car parts store suggested a pet deodorizer. It works pretty good--and it smells like 'new car' smell--a miracle since we just turned 230.000 miles.

Anybody want to give me a Humvie? I would like a school-bus-yellow one, thank you.

I'll leave you with this:

"The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it." Pro 10:22

In His hands, ^__^

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tornadoes 2 hours away from #3

#3 called to let us know (and for everyone to know--because I'm still, MomCentral) that the closest tornadoes were about 2 hours away. They got lots of rain, but that's all.

They're busy rearanging the office so will be off for a couple/3 days. Cheers.

Got a package of gifts from #1--wow, the scarf is beautiful and soft, thank you 1d!--to distribute among our peasants. [remember? MomCentral] #2 got theirs, #4 knows of theirs, and #5 will read this and call tomorrow.

As far as I'm concerned, I'll have to go shopping tomorrow before the snow (maybe none)

I should make bread tomorrow. This is the sour dough that did not make it. I started some sour dough to make the 'amazing bread' from Candy
I neglected it for several days, and it went flat, and smelled like paint. Have to start again.

The early-winter spring is over. Back to sweaters, and knitting, and cozy stuff. I would make some hot spiced cider (or as we call it, in a hurry 'spider') but it's too warm...tomorrow, Lord willing.

I'll leave you with this:

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. " Eph 5:11-

In His hands, ^__^

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I made it like the recipes I found on line. Hope it comes out ok. I got a bottle of the store's raw kombucha, drank half of it and used the other half to make a gallon. I will let you know the progress.
I don't have a picture of the gallon jar, but you have all seen a glass gallon jar of tea with a cotton cloth instead of a lid. Besides, it is in a hidden place.
That was the deal I struck with DH. He let me make the kombucha as long as he doesn't have to see any of it.

We reached 58F today, and all the snow is melted. I had ALL the windows open, it was so very nice to get fresh air inside. It should be the same tomorrow so the windows will be opened again. Right now half the windows are still open.

Have a nice day tomorrow, love the Lord and worship at His footstool, and be thankful.

I'll leave you with this:

"Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him." Psa 28:6-7

In His hands, ^__^

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New year, and we are still peasants, Yay!

Glad to be getting back to 'normal' after the busy season.

17F and sunny, and windy. It's going to be 'hot' by the end of the week, maybe in the 50s. I'll be able to get to the store to replenish, our depleted pantry.

Still taking the day off today, that means, no cleaning, laundry, or running errands. Most of America is probably watching a game or shopping at those extra-ordinary sales. I am resisting the urge to go to JoAnn's they have 70% off clearance. Very difficult to not go, maybe if DH offers to drive me and go to Harbor Freight (a guy's gadget store) next door to JoAnn's. [Business planners did very well on this one]

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Now I have a rant--to no one's surprise--about a commercial that I heard on the radio.
Note: we have not watched TV in almost 2 years, and this may be a TV commercial as well.
I had heard this commercial several times, but as I do with all commercials, I do not listen--you know how Moms can do that. By the 7th or 8th time that I heard it, I HEARD IT!

It says something like this: "Dispatcher, there is a car in the ditch at such and such address", "Dispatcher, there is a car off the 3 floor of the parking garage, at such and such address", "Dispatcher, there is a car in the lake, at such and such park"

Then the announcer, says that people are ditching their old cars so they can take advantage of the "blah, blah, blah-auto-maker" sale.

Did everyone get it the first time they heard it, or did it take them several times, like it did me?

Apparently, the advertisers have gone to the NEXT LEVEL of infiltration into the mindless listening public. (personal opinion--not all the listening public is mindless, but you know what I mean)
What I mean by NEXT LEVEL is: Advertisers, first had to create a need for a product i.e., cake mix. (like it's so time consuming to assemble flour and baking powder, whhhho!)
Then, they--the advertisers--created a discontent with what you had, and caused you to covet the new color, shape, size, etc.
Now, they are saying: "Pitch what you have" Never mind the waste, cost, repercussions to the insurance industry, possible personal injury to the unsuspecting bystanders (under the car you are throwing over the rail), and many other things that I have not thought of, yet. But, hey! it's so funny! The thought of casting off your perfectly good car...from a couple of years ago...because the new one is here, is just funny, lighten up, already! Who would actually do thaaaat??!! Would they? You watch...and pay attention to your local news...and see if anyone would actually do that. Naaaaah, you're too sensitive.

I'll leave you with this:

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. " Heb 13:5
Was that loud enough?

In His hands, ^__^