August 16, 2015

August Produce, Pickles. People-Puppy, Poppins

 I found this great recipe for "Easiest Dill Pickles" at Smitten Kitchen (great pictures on that site!).  The recipe is left wide open for possibilities so this is what we did, since we had some pickling spice on hand and I wanted to use it up, so as not to waste it.  We just took quart sized jars and put in 2 cloves of garlic and a tea-tablespoon of pickling spice in the bottom of each.  Then we stuffed them tightly full of thinly sliced cucumbers and onions. Pour in 1/2 c vinegar and shake.  Place in the fridge for as little as 1-2 hours. During this time on occasion just go shake them up a little.
 Even the onions are SO delicious in this simple brine.  Enjoy!
 Splendid find at St. Vincent de Paul store! A brand new Timberline GT bike!  And just my size. We had been looking for bikes as they help my knees.  Not that I'm a biker by any means, but I at least am working on trying to get to the neighbor's driveway and back up mine... haha.
 The corn ripened in recent weeks. It was a little smaller than other years (probably due to the lack of rain!) but it was sweet and tasty while it lasted.
 We spent a Saturday picking and hauling, of course after it had rained a little so it was nice and wet and slippery....
 That's where these intensely ugly, ridiculous looking shoes come in handy.  I had said I'd never wear such silly looking shoes, but if you garden or farm or do anything wet and the like, they are so handy as they are actually pretty comfortable (even if you have bad knees) and they clean like nothin' at all. So next to the wellies, these are great for all around outdoor messy jobs.
 The outer row of corn in one section looked a bit like Green Acres corn (hahahahaha)

 Piling, piling, piling.

 The indoor crew was busy slicing corn off the cobs, apparently it has a crippling effect as the boys could barely move their hands afterwards.
 The outdoor crew was busy shucking. I actually like shucking corn, just one of those things I enjoy for some odd reason.
 Helpers come in all sizes and ability levels around here. Someone has to hold the little picnic table down after all.
 Pepper likes eating the corn raw and off the cob.  Truly... odd puppy.
 We don't cook the corn, just cut it off the cob, mix in a little sugar/salt water, and place it quart size ziploc freezer bags. Freeze and we've got corn twice a week for the next year.
 Our 2 oldest boys in their personal ideas of gussied up.
 My SIL K was Mary Poppins in an absolutely spectacular performance of the play Mary Poppins
 Here she is with her husband (Aragorn's brother).  Lovely couple, absolutely splendid play! Such a blessing to get to attend!  We loved it!
 Frodo found a wild bunny while mowing the lawn.
 After a leak from the little sink we dug up the dining room floor, it had some cracks anyway so needed some repair anyway.  Here Marigold is trying to help lift the tiles faster than pounding out each tile. The boys actually did get the tile up in about 4 large pieces.
 We found another leak under the floor where a nail had gone into the flooring heat tubes. Oops.  Simple repair job for Sam.  We ended up pouring concrete down and are still trying to decide what to put down over it.  I like the idea of solid concrete that is finished, it's indestructible, can be bleached and cleaned, but we'll see what happens. One just never knows around here.
 It was a very busy week as some of us were going to sing for the Bishop's Mass for the Assumption. There were 3 rehearsals for it and then we ended up blessed to sing for a Requiem High Mass which added an extra rehearsal and High Mass. It was a beautiful funeral and the family was very happy and consoled through the Mass.
 "All God's creatures gotta place in the choir"... even toads.
 Just fixin' the low tires.
 When I'm excited about a "new-to-us" manure spreader, you know that the stuff had piled up pretty deep.
Here's our people puppy pepper.
 What's important is for our dogs to be able to taken on toddlers and children of all ages and enjoy it.

August 8, 2015

Happy Birthday Galadriel!

 Happy 18th Birthday, Galadriel!
 Marigold's picture of Galadriel.
 Lots of homemade gifts and treasures
 One of Eowyn's pictures
 Eowyn's gift of her book "Cabin Boy"

 Just a funny shot.
 'Tis the season
 New cattle

 August 22nd will be the Anne of Green Gables play. All costumes and props are in order.

 Delay's on the interstate due to a brush fire, we think.
 Marigold still trying to fit in a 24 month fufu dress.
Kili still trying to fit into the sink (not that we ever put him in the sink).  This boy is mischief all over.

July 30, 2015

Saints Abdon and Sennen

I thought this little tidbit in the lives of St. Abdon and Sennen was a very good reminder to us, especially when we want to say, "Why me?"

"Decius, learning of Abdon and Sennen's dedication to the Faith, was extremely irritated.  He sent for the two brothers to appear before his tribunal, and attempted to win them over to sacrifice to the false gods, by appealing to his recent victory, as a sign of their favor.  The Saints replied, however, that this victory was not at all a proof of such power, since the unique true God, Creator of heaven and earth with His Son, Jesus Christ, gives victory to some and defeat to others, for reasons hidden in the designs of His providence."

Incidentally, to explain the picture, "Decius arraigned them before the Senate, in whose presence they again testified to the divinity of Christ, saying they could adore no other.  The next day they were flogged in the amphitheater; then two lions and four bears were released to devour them.  But the beasts lay down at their feet and became their guardians, and no one dared approach for a time.  Finally the prefect sent out gladiators to slay them with the sword, which with the permission of God was done."

These are splendid reminders that nothing comes to us that is not permitted by God Himself and that in some way, suffering, trials, as well as blessings are all for His greater honor and glory and for our salvation.

July 26, 2015

More Summer Things

Gradually getting ready for school.  Our uniform is a plaid jumper with blue blouse for grade school girls and blue skirts and light blue blouses for the high school girls.  Jumpers and skirts from  Boys wear either khaki or navy climber pants (best pants ever from Lands End) with navy or red polos.
Our sunflowers all face East all day (and night) long, just waiting for Our Lord as the rest of us...!
One of our bunnies was wildly attacked by yellow jackets.  Here is the nest, it was huge!
Temporarily the bunny, Gandalf, was moved in with some ducks and chicks (or are not really chicks any more, just not in with the other chickens yet)

Awwww! How sweet!
Dapper for Mass
And pretty pleased!
Both our tents barely survived the 2 weeks of summer camps with the Institute of Christ the King, so I bought a new one since the 3 stooges like to sleep out in the summer.

Eowyn sent me that picture of one of our tents at camp which had persistently collapsed... oops.
The solar panels that run a heater in our bathroom is used by the kids as a warming-up-after-swimming hot house.  Great place to dry when the trampoline is in need of a welding surgery. Clever.
So, last week the boys were gone to camp, this week the girls were gone. Life is very different without my 4 oldest girls. Some people have grape stomps, Marigold and Kili had a flour stomp.
What? What's the matter?
This is great fun!
I think they are doing their exercises or something.
Meanwhile Frodo and the boys are making some zucchini cake.  Please note the flour on the faces.... I was told that "when you are baking, you have to have flour on your faces." I am always learning new things.

From what I understand, there wasn't enough room in the pan for the excess amount of frosting, so they smooshed the cake down and put all the frosting on. As you can see the remaining cake is floating in a rather liquid frosting.  However, it did taste good.  Looks aren't everything.
Frodo and Aragon (Dad) arm wrestling.

Aragorn won.
So this week the girls attending the Institute of Christ the King summer youth camp and had a great time.  I thought to take pictures of some of the banners.

The boys banners were still there so I took pictures of a couple of them as well.

The chapel, complete with choir loft!  They had daily Traditional Latin Masses with singing.

After Mass was the closing ceremony. Frodo had gone up with me to pick up the girls (in hopes of seeing some of his camp friends) and was rather dismayed by the volume girls can have. I will say that the girls far out cry the boys when it comes to hooting and hollering!
Kili was very happy to see his sisters.
After the pool being up for about 7 weeks, Kili finally decided to go in. He has been very adamant about not going in the pool this year. But now he loves it so long as he is clinging to someone.
Saintly Silver dolls from Etsy are so cute! This is St. Joan of Arc. Kili thought she needed a bath and dipped her in the pool. I'm still trying to get her dry!!
When Marigold gets to heaven she says she is going to be Saint Joan-uh Vark.

Nothing is a greater than an attempt to push one's teen age brother into the pool. They have yet to succeed.

Muscle man

The Scooby Doo mobile at Kwik Trip.