Monday, August 29, 2011

County Fair 2011

This year the fair was a lot of fun again! We had a vehicle emergency and my husband had to take my vehicle to work that day so I wasn't sure how I was going to get me, the kids and all my entries up to the fair in time to enter. I still have to come up with the final tally of how many things I entered this year. I'm thinking its between 35-45.

I got first place and Outstanding for my ginger cookies and first place and Best of Show for my Dandelion jelly!!! I got first and second places with the rest of my canned goods I entered. Including a blue ribbon for my pickles which I wasn't going to enter until my husband tried some and told me they were amazing and I had to enter them.

I got first, second and third places on my crafting projects including a second place with my dish drainer quilt thanks to MJF! The ladies behind the counter at the desk never heard of one and loved the idea!

For my photos I got second, third and fourth places with all my black and white photos and a fourth place with one of my colored photos! I must be learning how to use my camera a lot better because of all the photos I entered last year I only got one fourth place ribbon on a colored scene picture I entered last year. I was really happy with how I placed this year in the photo category!

For garden produce I did a lot better than I thought I ever thought I could do! Despite how pitiful I felt my garden did, she really pulled through and gave me a bunch of blue ribbons! I also got second, third and fourth with my garden produce!

I've started experimenting with flowers a little bit and tried to grow a few more kinds this year and it paid off! I got first and second places with my cut and potted flowers! Yay!!!

Over all I had a great time preparing and getting ready for the fair. Next year I would like to enter more into the sewing category. I have a few projects I would like to get done but I'm not starting any new projects (except maybe for matching mommy daughter crochet hats) until after Christmas.

I wrote myself a list of all the stuff I need to get done before the baby comes including the remaining food preserving I need to do. It will feel good to have everything done! I should be able to have everything done before I am considered "full term" at 36 weeks. I am hoping to go late a few days to have the baby on 11-11-11! My due date right now is 11-7-11. I guess that wouldn't be such a bad date either but how neat to have all three digits the same for the third kid!

Well I have to run to town this morning yet and then I have to start working so I can start checking things off the "before the baby comes" list!!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

County Fair and Fiction Novels

Well it's almost upon us here in my county, the county fair starts tomorrow!!!! This morning/ day will be spent making and baking the baked goods I'm going to enter tomorrow morning! I'm so excited! This will be my second year entering things into the fair and as it looks right now I should have around 50 entries!

I was finally able to  finish my lovely crocheted Christmas afghan on Sunday too! It's perfect for on the couch this Christmas season! I'm so glad I was able to finish it before the fair and more importantly before the new baby comes! I can see me and the kids snuggled up on the couch this winter just hanging out, reading books and eating christmas cookies.

So I have to run to town and get a few things done this morning. I noticed an extra charge on my bank account so now I have to run down to the bank as soon as they open and make sure it's legit (I doubt it but have to check anyway) because there have been a lot of credit thefts going on in this area the past few months. They claim it starts with a few extra charges here and there and then BAM they get you. Well I noticed one extra charge and I'm going to nip it in the bud right away even though I have to haul the kids right into the bank by myself and go through my account.

On the other side of the title Fiction novels have been on my mind lately. Pretty much the past month lately. Specifically Christian fiction romance novels. Now, don't get me wrong! I don't have anything against CFR novels BUT I do have a problem with them myself because then I start thinking that my life should be more like that. When I mean "like that" I mean the guy always understands (translates to, my husband should always understand); the guy always comes around when he is needed most (my husband should always be there for me).... on and on in other words it puts me into the fantasy world that I get envious of because my husband is a man. Not woman in a mans body.

Once I started thinking about why I got all these ideas on what a man should be like in a relationship I realized I got my ideas not from reality or viewing other people's marriages growing up, rather I got my ideas from these CFR novels I had been reading since junior high. I know not everyone has that issue that I am describing so I'm totally not against other women from reading them (as I said before) but I do know that I don't want to pass that on to my daughter. I want her to know that men and women are different and are not going to react the way we want/expect them too. Men and women react differently because that is how God created us! From the Love & Respect study we are doing on our Sunday night group we learned that men and women are pink and blue, not wrong but different! Different is key here.

Reading the novels made me assume that men and women could be similar and romantical and all this other nonsense. It just doesn't happen that way. Since I got my head out of the sand, accepted my husband for the MAN he is (not a woman in a mans body) our marriage has gotten considerably better! I love the differences we have, it is what makes our marriage so special and fun and interesting! I'm a big girl and I don't need my hand held over every situation by my man. I just know that I get to lay next to him at night and know that if I'm going through a struggle he is praying for me. I don't have to be coddled like a lot of the women in the books. So I've given all my CFR novels away so they aren't in my house anymore and I don't think 'oh I loved this book, I will read it again' and get back in those thoughts again.

Now that I've gotten my thoughts straightened out and I'm living back in reality I can really say that my husband and I ARE "living our love song" (a song by Jason Micheal Carroll).

So whether or not you have the same problem I have with those books, enjoy the now and the differences in your spouse (if you're married) and you can live your love song too!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pickles are done for the year!!!

This past weekend I picked cucumbers with my dad and then made 4 batches of dill pickles! I tried out 3 different recipes and was very careful to keep them separated and the next day I labeled them all and set aside the recipes to see which one we like the best! I am very excited to try them!

My pantry is getting fuller by the week thanks to the wonderful bounty our countryside has produced! Not to mention my garden! Now I have to work on applesauce from some sauce apples I have then it looks like carrots and tomatoes will be next in line! I am going to try out Dilled Carrots this year, should be fun!

Well I am busy planning a last minute camping trip so I have to sign off early this time!

Check in later!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The race to the fair is on!

The county fair is coming up and I am a race against time! Especially with having to preserve garden produce while trying to juggle being a mom, wife and finishing projects for the fair! No, I'm not complaining I'm excited!

I am 1/3 done sewing together the motif's for my crochet afghan to enter, I got all my pictures that I am going to enter for sure printed off yesterday, I need to make the dish drain quilt, finish the embroidery on my flour sack towels, finish the cross stitch (if I can't finish the cross stitch it wouldn't be the end of the world but it is near the end of my list).

I also have some baking to do like cookies and breads and such for the fair. I don't think I am going to enter a pie this year, depends on if I have time because I have a few items that I wanted to enter last year but I wasn't able to so those things get first priority this year.

I will be posting pictures of my projects as I get them finished because I am so excited! A lot of these things I am making for the first time and trying out new things. It's ok if I don't place at the fair, the point is I finished projects that are totally new to me!!! So it is a totally new experience! Not to mention I've tried making some new jams and jellies this year to enter into the fair as well!

If people have a chance to enter in the fair I would recommend it! Even if it is only one item! You can learn a lot by just entering into the fair! Especially for me since I have taught myself to do stuff, it takes a county fair judge to be able to really let me know what I need to do different. I learned a lot about crochet from entering a simple washcloth last year! Now this year I am entering an afghan! First time doing new stitches in making the motifs and the first time learning how to sew them together! I can't wait to see if I'm doing it right or if I need to do it differently for longevity :)

Enter into the fair! It's fun!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Squashes, Beans and Bears, Oh My!!!

The past week we have been having a problem with a bear or bears getting into our trash. Now I know the culprit of my missing raspberries! I went out to pick them and they were ALL GONE!!! I couldn't figure it out but now I know!

The only problem is the blackberries are ripening so now I have to beat the bear to get them! My husband and I went on a four wheeler ride two days ago to check on the berries and my goodness there is so much bear sign back there! I thought I could take a nice walk out in the woods and pick berries but I feel much safer riding out on the four wheeler and not getting too far away, just in case the bear/bears happen to be a mama and cubs! With all the bear sign out there it very well could be!

I am overloaded with Coosa squash! No, I'm not complaining at all, I am very thankful! I only have 5 plants and I have over 20 squash total growing! I need to put some in the freezer to enjoy this winter and we have plenty to enjoy fresh and share with friends/family!!! I never knew what a productive squash Coosa is. I think it's fabulous! In fact of the different squashes that I have planted this year Coosa is doing the best by leaps and bounds! My Zucchetta squash from Italy is doing well too but it will be another week or two before we can enjoy the bounty from those vines! I have them trellised but I didn't realize what a huge plant they were so some of the vines are on the ground. At least most of the squash itself is hanging so it will grow straight but I am curious to see what a 3 foot zucchini looks like grown on the ground and curled up!!! Looks like I will have some to share of that too!

My peas are pretty much done producing this summer. Time to till it up and plant something else. I'm thinking I would like another pea crop but since I will be later in pregnancy I'm thinking about doing something easier like beets. I love beets!

My pole beans will be ready to pick again this coming week so I'm hoping to get some canned this time. I did make a batch of dilly beans with some of my pole beans, but I had to do half and half with my Jade bush beans. Jade bush beans fresh incredibly well and hold their color very well! I finished up two quarts of frozen beans this spring that were from 2009 when I had my last garden and the color AND taste were amazing! I am curious to see how they hold up as dilly beans.

My potato vines are starting to die off so I can start harvesting them soon! This year I planted a variety called All Blue. I have planted Peruvian Purple potatoes which were amazing in flavor so I am curious to see how All Blue tastes and grows here!

Since my husband and I have been talking about moving and for a few other reasons of my own I have decided to let my pet chickens go, along with our older laying hens. It was a hard decision but I am hoping to find them (especially my pets) a good home so I can find out how they lay. I have 2 Egyptian Fayumis pullets, 1 Americauna pullet, 1 Partridge Rocks pullet, 1 Golden Laced Wyandotte pullet, 1 Columbian Wyandotte pullet, 1 ISA brown pullet and I think that is it for my pets. Our older 2 year old hens are ISA Browns and a Delaware. I seriously dislike my Delaware hen, she is mean and pecks everything and chases my kids when they are minding their own business. We also have 6 meat birds that are ready to  butcher but we don't want them. I'm not butchering them myself and my husband doesn't want to do it so we just want to give them away to someone who can use them.

I was really looking forward to seeing how my pet chickens lay and what kind of eggs they lay. Those are the breeds I've always wanted, except I also wanted a Cuckoo Maran too so I can get "chocolate eggs"! That would be neat! Oh well, it would be one less thing to worry about this winter if we do move and also with a new baby and 2 kids under 2 underfoot as it is :) I need to simplify my life until the kids are a little older and can help out with chores. Another year or two and our daughter will be old enough to help feed the animals so I guess if we downsize for another year or two and just have my horse and maybe a dairy cow that will just be fine. I mean it's only temporary.

It's always been a dream of mine to have a farm, I loved working on dairy farms when I was in highschool so it's really hard getting animals then having to give them up since that is what I always wanted. But I have other responsibilities like being a mom and a wife that have to come first to my dreams (which being a mom and a wife is a dream come true!) But I have to simplify my priorities. I don't want other dreams to take away my enjoyment of being able to enjoy the very short time of toddlerhood. Before I will know it my kids will be driving around and working their own jobs so I want to take advantage of this very short time I get to take care of my kids.

Well since I have posted last I got a few quarts of beans in the freezer, the last of the peas in the freezer, 3 qts, 2 pints of dilly beans canned, 3 qts of rhubarb sauce and of course lots of baking in between!!!

I've also finished all the motif's for my afghan, I have oer 20 hours into it so far and I start sewing them together a few days ago! I'm like 1/5 done and I need to finish before the fair! I was hoping to get 2 sewing projects finished, my cross stitch finished, my oil painting finished and a few other things finished for the fair but this afghan has taken up more of my time than expected. I will just try to finish the projects I can and enter what I can enter! It would be nice to have all my unfinished projects done before the baby comes/ we move which ever comes first but I think the fair is a nice deadline because then I could have more to enter. But I have to leave a few days ahead of time for baking so I can enter some baked goods too! Can't forget about that!!!

Well I need to sign off for today and do my dishes and continue working on my afghan!