Today–12/9/13

Dusk is falling.  It’s one of those snowy dusks, which translates into everything just turning blue.  It’s really pretty.  Especially when viewed while drinking a dairy-free o.k.-sugar mocha.  Yes, I have FINALLY cracked the code and found out how to make a (see above).  Maybe I’ll tell you sometime.

Now I am (should be making) dinner.  And I should be posting about our lovely Thanksgiving (and my first 5k!) and our Winter trip to Branson (we got snowed in), but instead I feel like just posting what’s up.

Today I gave Lucy a shave.  May seem like an odd thing to do, what with the cold weather and all, but she was in desperate need.  So I gave her a good shave.  She still isn’t talking to me.  And by that I mean that when I call her, she doesn’t come, since I called her when we were cutting her hair, and she resents that.  Or thinks that I still have the clippers hidden somewhere.

I also baked a pumpkin that I had, cause it needed to be cooked so it didn’t rot.  Last time I cooked a pumpkin, Lucy helped herself to some, and it turns out she LOVES pumpkin.  And I found out that pumpkin is good for dogs.  So this time around I gave her some.  She wants more.  But man was she begging while I was working on it.  Those little puppy eyes.  Oh-so-cute!

So now I am cleaning up the kitchen and prepping dinner (fish).  And rocking out to music.  Everything’s better when done to music.

And my mocha’s cold now.  Oh well.  Still tastes good.

Off to dance and cook,
Allison

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Friendship Bracelets

Probably about 8 years ago, my parents gave me this book for a gift.  And I started making friendship bracelets.

And I made them like CRAZY.  I started working chronologically through the patterns, until the three hardest at the end (because they were based on the chevron, which had made me cry, or at least really frustrated).  So at least 7 bracelets.  Then I made maybe 5 more.

A few weeks ago I was going through my drawers, and I came across an old bracelet I had made, which I had come across awhile previously when cleaning, and stashed in my drawer to put on during summer.  I wouldn’t have put it on had I not found it cleaning my drawers (you never know what you are going to find when you clean out your drawers).  (Did that make any sense to anyone?)

So I pulled out the book to teach Meiling how to make them.  And I started a bracelet, too.

The chevron pattern.  To prove to myself I could do it.

Meiling didn’t seem to like it much.  But I continued to make bracelets.

I made one for me, one for my dog (one for me that I didn’t like so well), one for a friend, and now I am working on another for myself.

(And it turns out the chevron was a breeze.  Not sure what my problem was before. =))

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The two I am currently wearing:  The pink and green one is one I found it my drawer, and the other is the chevron I successfully made without tears.

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The one that I put on Lucy – this pattern is called “Rag Rug.”

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What do you think of your pretty necklace, Luc? Does it make you feel like part of the club?

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(I think she says “Not so much.”)

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The one I made for a friend  – this pattern is called “Totem Pole.”

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The one I am making now – the beaded chevron (these are not the beads I am going to be using – I need to get to the store and get some better ones.

Blueberry Summer

We went up north to Lost Branch Blueberry Farm to (you guessed it) pick blueberries a few weeks ago.  They have delicious berries, and we really enjoy going.  We were able to go once a few years ago, and I just recently finished the berries we had frozen from that trip.  I was really glad that we were able to pick more!

We have great timing – we went up on what was predicted to be the hottest day of the year yet.  And it was pretty hot.  I picked until 6:30/7-ish, but most of our group had already stopped by that point.  I ended up burning BOTH my arms and my neck (so I was a regular redneck, ha ha).

The heat really wasn’t all that bad.  Once you had gone out there and gotten used to it, the heat didn’t bother you.  Or at least, it didn’t bother me.

We drove up with some friends of ours, and picked that afternoon/evening (I can’t remember a date – although it was a Tuesday).  That evening we had dinner with the P. family (sweet friends of ours), and then headed back to the lodge to turn in stay up way-too-late talking.  But it was fun.

The next morning, Meiling, Mom, and I went to pick some more while Noah and the friends we drove up with went swimming in the pond.  It was a very nice pond, I would have gone swimming in it, too, except for two things:

1.  I hadn’t brought a swimsuit, and I had no spare clothes to get dirty.

2.  I was there to pick.

We left Wednesday afternoon, having picked 41 pounds of berries.

When we got back that evening, the grand processing took place.  We started washing and freezing the berries, and deciding how many we were going to leave out for other purposes.  We froze all but two colanders-full, which would be used for some canning (blueberry syrup) and a pie.

That night Mom wanted me to use up some apricots that I had been planning to use in a crisp, but were aging on the counter instead.  I pulled up a recipe, and cut up the apricots, but I didn’t have enough for a whole batch.  Mom added a few tired peaches, but we still didn’t have enough.  I threw in a handful of blueberries and a few pitted cherries.  Mom tried some that night and said it was really good.  I can’t comment, because I made it gluten and grain-ful and didn’t eat any, but Noah liked it too, and I believe Drake did.

On this past Wednesday I canned four jars of what was supposed to be blueberry syrup, but I think it is really jam.  I made a pie the same day, which used up one colander of berries.  I am hoping to can some syrup that remains syrup with the remaining colander full.

 

Thanks for having us, Lost Branch Blueberry Farm!  It was a blast!

 

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The blues

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Pom juice on manager’s special at Kroger – got to love it!

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My berry bucket

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Wednesday morning – in the blueberry patch

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Walking back to the lodge – A harvested wheat feild

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The fruit mixture of my crisp

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Lots o’ berries

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The crisp topping

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Mom had gotten several pineapples on sale at the grocery store…

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…so we dehydrated several

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A blueberry rolled under the oven, and Lucy was trying to get at it.  Poor Lucy.

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Apricot-Peach-Blueberry-Cherry Crisp

A Puppy, the Fourth of July, and Visiting

My camera has been woefully neglected.  It has been sitting behind my chair in my room, somewhat out of sight and mind.  I do think about it, but feel uninspired. 

Goal: take out my camera and leave it somewhere so that I can post more.

 

Last week Tuesday we picked up an ADORABLE little puppy for my cousins.  They named him Bosco.  He is a chocolate cockapoo.  We were taking him up north for them, and OF COURSE we had to get him a bit early.  Don’t you think so, too?

I had so much fun with a little bundle of nigh-boundless energy padding/pattering around behind me, attacking my feet and skirt hem.  I loved having a little warm puppy ball that would suddenly decided he was tired and fall asleep right next to me.  He had this adorable way of curling up on your feet to snuggle and sleep.

But Lucy didn’t like him.  At all.

And honestly, I can’t quite blame her.  He stole her girl, her crate, her water bowl, her room, her spots to lay, and her snuggle time.

If Lucy had hands, she probably would have rung his neck.

Every time I talked to him, every time he was following me or I was taking him out, Lucy was watching from a distance.

And then she started giving me the cold shoulder.  When I would talk to her, she wouldn’t look at me.  And if I tried to hug her or pick her up, she would pull away.

Needless to say, she is happy that he is gone.

 

For the Fourth of July, we had some dear friends over.  We have spent probably the majority of the major holidays with this family for the past 5+ years.  So we continued the tradition.  There was food, bubbles, squirt gun fights, paddle boat rides, and pond-swimming.  Bonfires, badminton, puppy snuggling, and kitty snuggling.  And plenty of talking.

It was wonderful.

I hope your Fourth was as lovely as ours.

 

Friday afternoon we headed up north to deliver a puppy and visit.  It was so great to see family, but too short as always.  I got in several games of Rummikub with Grandma, and Pop joined us for a few, also.  I really love that game.

 

And I hauled my camera all the way up there, and, woefully, it stayed in the bag most of the time.

So I only have one photo of Bosco to share.  And a not-to-great one at that.

 

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Hoping to take more pictures soon!

Love,
Allison

Lately

I haven’t posted a good post lately.  I really feel like it’s been very “touch and go.”  No real substance.  Just a quick write-up with no real feeling, and then photos or a recipe.

So.  What have I been up to?

School.

Cooking.

Reading.

Placing our first Azure Standard order.

Using lots of coconut milk.

Eating chocolate.

Having fun with friends.

Ironing.

Poor little Lucy puppy has been scratching like crazy, poor thing.  And I had just given her flea medicine!  So we took her to the vet yesterday, and he put her on some medicine.  She seems to not be as itchy as she was, which makes me SO happy.  I really don’t like it when she doesn’t feel good.  My little puppy love.

The black flies/gnats have been bothering the chickens.  They buzz all around the chickens, and especially bother their faces, making it hard for the chickens to breathe.  If they get too bad, they can kill the chickens (we lost one a few years ago to them).

But there is an easy repellant: vanilla.  So today I mixed up some vanilla and water in a spray bottle and went out to spray the chickens. (Sometimes I think it’s like putting perfume on the chickens.  It is nice to have sweet-smelling chickens, though, so I try to dismiss that thought.  :))

At first I had the spray bottle on mist, but once the chickens found out what I was doing and decided that they didn’t like it, and then they started running.  So the mist no longer really worked.  Then I had a great idea:

Use stream.

This almost immediately made it more fun – it could be related to a first-person shooter game, but better, because it’s real.  It could be compared to a squirt gun fight – but better, because NO ONE SHOOTS BACK.  So I didn’t get wet.  And I wasn’t running that quickly (more fast-walking) behind that chickens to get close enough to squirt them.  It turns out that if you pursue the chickens for long enough, they just run into the coop.

Bonus round!

Now I have a whole bunch of chickens in a tight space to spray.  Talk about efficient!

School has been going really well.  I am loving it!  I thought that learning some of the more technical stuff (like anatomy and physiology) was going to be difficult, but I am not finding it that difficult at all.  The midwifery module that I am working on now is on caesarean sections and prevention. 

I just finished reading Joel Salatin’sFolks, This Ain’t Normal.”  I liked it.  It discussed how our culture, compared to history, really isn’t normal, from the food we eat to how we get entertainment.

I started working on the reading program from the library.  It’s been going pretty quickly, since I do so much reading, especially for school.  I am almost halfway done.

And I think that’s about it.

So what have you been doing?

Welcome, Spring!

I am excited to participate in Just Live It’s “Bloggers Like Us” challenge for this month.  I have wanted to for awhile, and when I saw this challenge, I knew I could take part!

One of the things that always says “Spring” to me is the new life.  The chicks and ducklings up at the feed store.  Our friend’s new baby goats.  And for us, the kittens.

Our cat has had a litter of kittens just about every year since we’ve had her.  Seeing those little kittens tells me that Spring is right around the corner.  Oh, the joys of new life!

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