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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Uhoh!! Yep I am still alive

Well I have been lost in time for a week or so I think. We are all still alive and kicking. Dang I didn't think it had been that long since I had updated and filled you all in on life here. So here goes.

Just the usual stuff, waiting on the ground to dry out so we can plow and plant our garden. Every time it starts to dry then we get more rain showers. I wont complain tho as there are some folks in other states dealing with much worse. Flooding, snow and storms in different areas. Our plants in the greenhouse are not growing like they should with all this cool weather we have had. Gosh it seems one day we run the AC the next its heat. Maybe summer will be here soon. We have survived red bud winter, I think now we are having a lil dogwood winter. Then in a few weeks will be more rain and cool during black berry winter. Then it will get hot and stay that way till fall. I function much better when the sun shines I know that much. This cool damp stuff wrecks havoc on the joints. I saw my family doc this past week and I hope we have my meds better adjusted now to help manage the pain. I flat azz refuse to go to a pain clinic and have the docs label me another drug seeker or abuser. So I just suffer and keep going. The new state law has made it really hard on people who want to get help and don't take their meds just for the high. Some of us need to petition the lawmakers to get the law changed so our docs can treat us at their discretion. The doctors know who the abusers are, and the ones that fail drug test. I have never failed a drug test or taken more meds than prescribed or sold my meds. I don't think I should have to suffer for the damn abusers and ones that sell their meds because they are paid for by medical card and tax payers to begin with. This whole issue makes me mad enough to spit nails. OK off my soap box now.

I finally got my asparagus dug up and most of it shipped off to a friend in Virginia. She was tickled pink to have it and I sure hope it does well for her. I covered the bed over with black plastic and it is killing the weeds out. If we get a lil more hot weather it wont be long till I can plant in there and maybe not have to weed so much. Still need to get my butt in gear and get some plastic put down in parts of the herb bed to get it in order too. I noticed today I have some parsley that is big enough to cut and dry. So hopefully I can get up early enough to beat the rain tomorrow and get it cut and dried. Maybe I take some to Rob and Amoy when we go visit. And no we don't have that lil baby yet. I think he is making us wait till his due date. But knowing this weekend is a full moon, he just might make an appearance. When I worked EMS that is when we alas had baby runs. Gosh that seems so long ago that I was working. It has been 6 years now that I got hurt at work and it disabled me. Disabled, that is really a hard word for me to accept.

My meat birds are doing great. Although they don't grow as well when it is cool. For some reason they do not eat as much. But they are much much better than the ones I had last year. I have a few that are big enough to kill right now and am thinking I might butcher some of them this weekend if we don't get a call to go to Nevada. That will be that many less to feed. I guess the cooler weather has been good in one sense as I have not lost any to heat stress. I still have the 25 I started with 5 weeks ago. That is a plus. So I guess it is OK if they don't grow quite as fast if they all stay alive. It is much easier to keep them warm than to keep them cool. I do have a fan in the building to run when it gets really warm in there. Fans are great things. I have one in the greenhouse too, it is to move air around and to mimic mother nature as far as wind blowing the plants to make the stems stronger. Also I do let the plants dry out almost to the point of wilting before I water and this also encourages them to make thicker stronger stems. A friend of mine that runs a commercial greenhouse told me that. I will have lots of tomatoes as it looks so far. I think every seed I planted came up. I really wish the rain would hold off for a few more days so we could get the sweet corn and green beans planted in the garden. We have a frost warning for tonight here. But if we plant corn and beans it wont be up till after the first of May and by then we should be frost free. No freezes so far so am hopeful of having some fruit this year. Our little pear tree here in the yard was loaded with bloom. If only half the bloom makes a pear I will for sure still have to fruit prune it. Far too many blooms. We also had our young cherry, peach and hazelnut trees bloom in the orchard this spring. I sure would love to get some fruit from those. I do love fresh peaches. The cherries that we planted are sweet cherries and good for eating fresh. Am really looking forward to those. I have never seen hazelnuts grow so this will be a whole new experience for us. Life is good.

I found a recipe online the other day for caramels. Sounded easy and good. So you know I had to try it. Oh my goodness. IT was good. So I will share the recipe with you as I know it is good. It is the perfect texture, just soft enough to be easy to chew yet it can be cut and wrapped individually in wax paper as well. But I am sure you know I ain't gonna stop there. I intend to get some lightly salted peanuts and Cut the caramel in long pieces and roll each piece in the crushed salted peanuts. I love that combo. OK so here is the recipe.

Soft caramels

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup(corn syrup)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teas salt
1/2 teas vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients except the vanilla in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and boil for 6 minutes. Start counting as soon as it starts boiling up good. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. When it is done quickly stir in the vanilla extract, mix well and pour into a greased 9 inch square pan. Let sit overnight to harden and set good. Cut with a sharp knife and roll in small pieces of wax paper, just eat it or cut in longer pieces and roll in crushed lightly salted peanuts and then roll in wax paper. Store in a cool dry place. I did make a double batch and it filled a 9 by 13 glass cake pan with the caramel being about 1/2 inch thick. IF there is enough left to work with tomorrow I will roll some in the crushed peanuts.

If someone had small children and wanted to make a duplicate of the old fashioned "sugar daddy" you could cook this recipe maybe about 7 minutes and it would be a lil bit firmer caramel. You can purchase the sticks to make suckers with online in various places. Or maybe add a bit of chocolate and make "cow tails". Do we ever get too old to enjoy candies from our younger days? I hope not.

These rainy days of sitting in the house not doing much I got started crocheting a blanket for Liam. I wanted to use up some of the yarn that my auntie had given me. I got it maybe 1/3 done. We had to stop at walmart today while we were in the big city to get a roll of yellow yarn to add to the blanket. It just needed some yellow with all the greens and blues. Maybe a few rows of yellow to divide the colors. It will be nice to keep that lil boy warm. But our my luck he will end up being like his daddy and not sleep in clothes or under covers. His brother was just the opposite. He had to have his footed jammies and lots of covers.

Not too much else happening on the farm. Unless you want to hear about the guys working on the tractors. Our big tractor, the old Ford, that was my dads needed brakes. So Rodger and Jason jacked the tractor up and took off the wheel. The old brakes are NOT coming off at all. Rodger said it has fairly good brakes at this time, so he will wait and take it somewhere after plowing is done to get new brakes put on. Someone that has the tools to get stuck on brake drums off. They were not happy after all the trouble they went to and didn't accomplish anything. But such is life on the homestead. There will be days like that.

Thas all that has happened lately, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.



Carl Belken said...

I just spent the last hour blissfully unaware that Google does not allow you to make a long comment on their Blogger.

I'll send the story in an email later. I'd have to cut out all the good parts to get it to fit here.

I hope things are going well with the baby and I am glad you are there to help out. I'll explain why in my email later. It takes too many words to tell adequately here but I did enjoy writing it.

Carl B & Gracie too!

Carl Belken said...


I spent the last hour blissfully unaware that not only does google limit the number of words you post in the comments section, it will also erase what you did re-write if you did not sign in to blogger to begin with.

I'll send an e-mail later and say what I wanted to say in it.

It was basically I hope everything is going well, I hope the baby is fine, I hope you are OK, and I am glad you are there to help out. I'll explain the last sentence in my e-mail. That story can't be told in a few words.

Carl and grace