Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Who would have thunk it !!!

Finally we have a snow day, and who would have ever "THUNK" that I would be able to get more done with 8 kids out of school than when I have the grands (2  1yr old kids) The kids are not out because of the snow though. The high for today is 0...yes big fat 0 !! The wind chill is hovering at 25 below zero and they say tomorrow will be even colder...so maybe there will be 2 days off.

I have so far been able to hang a shelf, make 2 loaves of homemade bread, couple loads laundry and have some soap in the pot brewing.

So as promised before the recipe for bread
1 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons cooking oil
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
I make the dough in my bread machine and sometimes add a little honey for sweetness or split my flour half and half with wheat flour. Today I am baking it in my NEW cast iron bread pan...so far it looks super scrumptious in the oven.

On a side note:
 I have been really afraid to jinx myself by talking about my work with kids. But, today I actually got postive feedback so as soon as I am able to spill the beans and worry about jinxing it I will. I will tell you all that I have been praying HARD for this to work out.
Also, I found a storefront here in town to rent !!! We are so excited about it...and it should be April first at the latest that we are able to open up our little gift shop.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Getting back on the blogging horse

After doing a web search for a pattern I came across someones blog that inspired me to get back into the swing of things.
I have been a horrible blogger and an even worse blog follower....I apologize and have absolutely no excuse for my absence.
So I am making a deal with myself that I will do my very best to blog at least once a week about what kind of excitement I find during my week. So far this week I have made several batches of candles, 8 loaves of bread, mixed up my own instant oatmeal for those quick breakfasts. I have managed to make 2 blankets, 2 hats, 1 scarf and 2 kitchen rugs in the past 2 weeks. ( Wow I feel pretty good about what I have gotten done now that I read it.) I have also survived my annual home inspection for foster care. So I suppose that I have had a really productive past few weeks.
In the next few days/weeks I will make sure I put up my recipes and patterns for all of these things in hopes that someone else finds it interesting

Monday, April 26, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

I have wanted to try making yogurt at home for sometime now. I have always thought it to be a seriously intense project....I was WRONG!!
For me the hardest part of this was to make sure the temp stayed up long enough for the cultures to grow.
And best of all the kids LOVED IT!!!
So guess what? I will be making yogurt often it was super easy and cheap...did I mention cheap. I like cheap, that means I can add those dollars to my mortgage and get out of debt faster.

So this is the recipe I went by and of course I made a few changes
Makes 1/2 gallon

1/2 gallon milk (I use fat free) I used whole milk
2 cups instant dry milk powder
1 cup sugar or your choice of sweetener.....2/3 cup of sugar and maybe 1/4 cup of honey
1 Tablespoon good vanilla (I use Mexican) didn't have the good stuff...just used the plain ol grocery store     vanilla
1 6-8 oz. container yogurt with active cultures (first batch after that save some of your own) I used Greek yogurt
Thermometer....candy thermo
Large, heavy, pot
Electric stove with light or gas stove with non-auto pilot light. Can also use a heating pad/towel/and box to cover) This is where I went off the course...I warmed a small cooler with hot water and put my jars in wrapped in a towel. I had a pitcher that I added hot water to and put in the cooler to keep the temp up

Place milk in pot and add dry milk powder. Stir well.
Heat milk to 180 degrees, stirring now and then so bottom doesn't burn I used a double boiler method to make sure the milk heated evenly....I added sugar and honey just as I took it off the stove
Fill sink with ice cold water and place pot insde sink, Add sugar and stir well. Cool down to 110-115 degrees. Add vanilla.
Fill containers of your choice and seal. ( I use jelly canning jars) Place on cookie sheet or heat proof tray.
Heat oven to 110-115 and turn off. Turn on oven light. This is where my cooler came into play. I left it in the cooler for about 7 hours and then tucked it deep in my fridge
Place yogurt in oven on upper rack and check oven periodically to make sure it stays between 110-115.
Yogurt will be "done" in 4-6 hours but you can let it incubate for up to 12 depending on how tart you like it and how much beneficial bacteria you wish it to have.
Serve plain or with any kind of fruit. Suggestions: Top with sliced bananas, peach or cherry pie filling, or stir in plain vanilla

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lawless Tuesday in Connecticut

It is illegal for any beautician to hum, whistle, or sing while working on a customer.

It is illegal for fire trucks to exceed 25mph, even when going to a fire.

You aren’t allowed to cross a street while walking on your hands.

You may not educate dogs. 

It is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday.

It is unlawful to walk backwards after sunset.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Getting back to life

Ok I am back to the real world...such as it is.
This past week has been really stressful and crazy...1st of all I want to thank you all for your comments and prayers about my sister. It means so much to me that you all have been so kind with your words. THANK YOU!!
Saturday I got a call from the agency I work through for foster care and was asked to do respite...(babysit for another foster parent) just until Monday morning. Now I should know better....these things rarely are as simple as they sound in the beginning. I had 7 month old twins from Saturday afternoon until Wednesday morning. They were the most delightful little boys...but holy cow I was tired!!! For me it was bitter-sweet giving the boys back. During their stay with us there was some talk of them being placed here on a permenant basis. I think God knew what he was doing when he made the choice for me, and I had to give the kids back. I would have loved to have them but I would have spent my time in the shower and on the potty taking power naps just so I could keep up....lol
To add to our list of wackiness was my husbands shoulder surgery on Tuesday morning...which went well and he is on the mend very quickly, but he does have 30 days convalescent leave and I am pretty certain that by the end of that time I will be ready to strangle the man. I guess that is what marriage is all about though right?...LOL I had to arrange help with ALL of the kids. Thank goodness for my oldest....she was here to get all the brothers and sister off to school for me and my BFF Cindy took the twins Monday night. I could not have handled any of the last week without my family. The family that God has given me!!! I LOVE THEM ALL!
Now as I reassess life...I have decided that I need to get back to the simple things that make me smile. Like baking a loaf of bread and the kids drooling over the smell. Making fresh banana muffins for breakfast. Spending time playing kickball with the kids or taking them fishing. So I am going to do my very best to get back to basics and make everyday a day that the kids will remember fondly. I want the kids that come into my home to become adults with happy stories to tell their kids and I am the person that can make that happen. So from now on more pictures, more laughter and more simple pleasures.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Teresa McManus Valentine

Tessa my older sister died on her birthday April 7, 2010. She will be missed by all that knew her.

This woman was the kindest gentlest person you could ever kow....I am not sure how the other 4 of us are siblings to her, we are all out spoken and kinda mean. She spent the last 20 years in great pain and living a life that wasn't really anything the rest of us would have called a life, but she never complained. She never said anything about her chronic pain and always had a kind word for anyone else's suffering.
I do however remember a time when she was just a nasty ol' big sister...I had to share a room with her for a short time and she would do things like tell me I had to ask daddy to let her take me somewhere I didn't want to go just so she could get her hands on the car. OR walk me to the corner store and ont he way there leave me in the graveyard after telling me HORROR stories of how the dead people would stick their hands up and drag me down in the grave with them.
WHAT A FABULOUS SISTER!!! I say that with no sarcasm either....she was truely great!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lawless Tuesday in Alaska

While it is legal to shoot bears, waking a sleeping
 bear for the purpose of taking
a photograph is prohibited.

Owners of flamingos may not let their pet into barber shops.

Moose may not be viewed from an airplane.
It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
FairbanksIt is considered an offense to feed alcoholic beverages to a moose.

Who know there was such a problem with the wildlife in Alaska?