Friday, November 29, 2013

Passion, wits, and dreams... plans any day. Provided, of course, your wits are sharper, your dreams are bolder, and your passion is stronger.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Apple Pie Filling

3 1/2 Pecks = 11 Quarts...and I ended up over-filling the jars and having a canning disaster so let's call it 12 quarts per 3 pecks?

Each quart took three ladel fulls of hot "juice"...probably 2 or 2-1/2 with fewer apples.
I also found making the Thanksgiving pies, I didn't use all the juice I made to can them with, either discarding some or mixing freshly cut apples in with a jar of canned ones.

Thumbs up on the Norpro apple peeler! Made my work much faster!!!

The completed product...I could can 7 bottles, I wasn't prepared to do another batch that night -- plus as soon as I started removing jars from the water bath I could tell they hadn't sealed right. So the next day I repacked them in plastic and put them in Mom's freezer.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cutting away...

Today's progress on the pile, would like to have it all bucked up before we get any snow that sticks.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

About breaking your own heart...

...but there’s something that is more painful than any rejection that we can receive from others.
It’s the rejection and criticism of ourselves.
Self-criticism and judgement is the way you break your own heart.

Oddly enough, Yoda seems appropriate here:

Sunday, November 10, 2013


So I had a small window Sunday afternoon -- it rained overnight, so I didn't want to climb on the pile till it dried. And there was another line of showers approaching this afternoon.

Goal though was the top two logs -- the topmost you see one block still up there I cut last week. It's cantilevered so I can buck up a good part of it and still have it pinning the log below. That log is arched so it's supported on either end but raised in the middle...yuck. But more I thought of it, more I was confident I could safely handle it without chains/straps to make sure it wouldn't move unexpectedly while I was on top of the pile working it:

So I started by blocking the top log out of the way as much as I could, then from "below" the problem log I made the top cut about 2/3rds down its length and wedged it.

I then stepped above it, where I had already cut a little log up and out of the way so I'd have solid place to stand, and finished the under cut -- it rolled down perfectly where I wanted it:

I was able to get enough leverage on the part that rolled down to then flip it forward and down to the ground for bucking. I wish I had a cigar, because I love it when a plan comes together.

And not my normal view of my garden...

It was raining as I finished on the ground bucking up some pieces of logs I had rolled off the pile, but mission accomplished that I have enough wood cut to fill the time I have to split this week.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Firewood Selfies!

Hey, one of the few times I took a selfie I like:

I had climbed up on top of the pile of logs so I could start picking my way down it:

Some of my tools...I'm going to have to buy some more short wedges, which I use to make sure the logs don't pinch the bar when cutting the logs, because I keep having them drop down into the pile when I finish the cut...*sigh*

By the data center I go up to once a week is a fencing company that puts out scrap wood that is free for the taking. I've learned to stop on my way in, because if I wait till later it's gone! This was last week, Tuesday I was picked up another load this size and just after I started an elderly couple with a mini-van pulled in and snagged a van full as well (there was two big 4x4x4 bins full!)

Turkey Soup...

*Most* of my shopping, I think, is better than average. But Monday night was exceptional, well, except for the vice of a bag of chips:

And I think the chips were a Buy 1, Get 2 free deal and I didn't quite realize you had to buy three bags for the discount. Certainly without the sale price, and arguably with it, that's a heck of an expensive item which is partly why I don't buy the "junk food is cheaper" arguments you read sometimes.

Much of that was to go into this week's Turkey Soup I made today and didn't take a picture of. I had carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic at home already.

Figure it made 4-1/2 quarts which is 9 big servings for me. I'm guessing this worked out to just about $2.00 to $2.25/serving which is just about what I pay for better quality soups like Campbell's Homestyle which is $1.99 on sale...and I know my stuff is MUCH better :)