Saturday, October 11, 2014

Today's Update - 11 Oct 2014

Got a lot accomplished yesterday and today, just not a lot of the things that I accomplished finished up a project in progress.  LOL.  You know the feeling right?  You work, work, work, have this great sense of accomplishment, then take a look at your "to do list" and realize either what you did wasn't on the list and you can't have the satisfaction of putting a big, fat line through it, or you aren't far enough along on a project to mark it off the list.  Oh well, so my list isn't any shorter but it feels a little lighter.  Might not feel that way tomorrow but it feels that way now ... that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  ROFL.

Today has been a bit of a "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" and a Chinese fire drill combined.  I left the house before 7 am to run middle daughter to college midterms (45 minutes one way from the house, ugh), then to two early soccer games immediately after which hubby took youngest to his Cub Scout camp out for the day.  I had to pick up middle daughter from her college midterms by noon and then come home and do some housework and in a bit I will be running to exchange places with hubby and stay with youngest for the remainder of the day while hubby goes to work.  Saturdays this time of year are usually crazy with everyone going in eleventy-dozen different directions but today is particularly frenetic.  Oldest son is stepping up to help his youngest sister get to an activity tonight since both hubby and I will be occupied.  Thank goodness he still lives at home or there would have been many days recently where someone was going to get left somewhere or unable to get somewhere.  Bigger thank goodness that he is a good big brother and offers to help when his school and work schedule allow.

Got a lot of fresh produce sitting around that I need to do something with before it spoils.  For lunch I made butternut squash oven fries.  They are supposed to look like the ones below but I accidentally forgot to set the timer and mine were a bit darker than they should have been but they were still good.

I cut mine on my grandmother's old "veg-0-matic" that I inherited.  It still makes perfect fries and fruit quarters even after all these years.  This is a pic I found of it on the 'net.  I still have the box but not the directions.  I swear that thing has to be nearly as old as I am - my grandmother passed away in the 70's and I was barely a teen at the time and remember that it got used plenty back then as one of those sold on tv "labor saving devices".

The only problem with the "veg-o-matic" is that it always reminds me of that old skit from Saturday Night Live and I laugh and have to explain why or people start wondering where I left my straight jacket.  Here's a very short clip from it and it doesn't even begin to cover how funny that skit was.  I don't think they could get away with it today because you know some animal activist is going to bleat about the fish.  The direct youtube link is  Some of you might not even be old enough to remember it.  Argh, I suddenly feel a little older than a did a second ago.


For story updates I only got Up On Hartford Ridge posted but it is four or five parts.  I've been backing up the pictures and documents on my 4T hard drive (yes, that's four terabytes) and building a personal cloud storage system and back up for our business and the computer (and my brain) has been kinda tied up.  My profuse apologies but it was a project that needed doing (we have an extraordinary number of computers and memory sucking devices in use for the business, school, and personal use) and I needed to finish it before Monday.  I'll have more stories up on Monday ... maybe tomorrow but more than likely Monday.

Up On Hartford Ridge

Speaking of squash and pumpkins (well I did mention butternut squash a couple of paragraphs back) the daughters, with a little supervision from me, made pumpkin jam from a pumpkin hubby brought home from one of our open lot tenants that rent the space on the weekends for a food truck and organic fruit and veggie stand kind of thing.  A little too early to turn it into a jack o' lantern so we made goodies out of it.

First they cleaned it out and, after saving the seeds for roasting, peeled and cut the flesh down into chunks and made pumpkin jam.  The video I'm posting is one of my favorites because it is so simple (and the English accent is cool as well).  You take equal weight of pumpkin flesh, apple flesh, and sugar and then boil it until you get to the jelling - aka "setting" - point.  Then you put it in sterilized jars and process it in a boiling water bath. (Direct link is )

They also used some of the flesh to make pumpkin marmalade, another great seasonal item that also makes for a great gift.  (Direct link is ).  I like some of the comments his wife inserts like how it would be safer to slice the pumpkin away from yourself rather than towards yourself.  <grin>

There are actually lots of really cool cooking videos on youtube.  Found one for banana marmalade but it is all in Spanish.  Now normally I would be able to decipher what the directions were as I speak enough to get by but this is a video from Spain and they are using European pronunciation which is slightly different than what you find here in the Americas.  I have a friend who teaches foreign languages so I'll get her to give me a hand with the translation.  Wouldn't normally let it bother me but gotta tell you, banana marmalade is now at the top of my gift-giving idea list and I want to make it right.

Well I'm off to see if I can get a few more things accomplished before heading out.  The next two days are going to be crazy so if I don't post on Sunday at all that's why.  Hoping to have some interesting outdoor pictures for you this coming week.



  1. Glad you were able to get some things done, we managed to get the turkeys butchered today and everything cleaned up and put away.

    Um may have to try that pumpkin marmalade.

  2. Thank you for the update! I'd rather have one story updated than none :) And I like Up On Hartford Ridge. (I like the other ones, too)

  3. I am going to try that pumpkin Jam!! Iv never made nor tasted it. I have a few small pie pumpkins still hanging out in my garden that should be yummy! If it would just stop raining long enough for me to run up there lol. Yes, the PNW rains are back to plague us for the next 9 months... When I was young that never bothered me.. now all I feel is dread at the cold wet feeling doing anything outside Brrrrr!!!!

    Thanks so much for the update! im missing that one story.. hmmm bad with names.. Thornless Garden!!!! with little Bean lol. how is little bean doing? lol. Truth is, I get attached to them all.

  4. I made pickled pumpkin just yesterday from a Japanese pumpkin from my garden. It is the first time I made this and can't wait to taste it.

  5. Hope you're feeling ok.

  6. I keep hoping and checking, hope you're well and didn't have a relapse.

  7. Thanks for the update on the story! I am re-reading Rock's story right now to pass the time until you can update another one :) Hope your health is okay and you're just busy with soccer and such.

  8. omgosh I must have checked this 10 times today! I need a calgon take me away moment, only I use your stories that way. I hate the news right now it just twists up my gutts trying to figure out what to do next. DH isn't really a prepper. He does what I ask but zero brainstorming. I neeeeeeed Calgon story time!! whew.. im ok

  9. I, too use your stories to both learn from and to relax enough to go to sleep at night. Your characters are so real I just can't wait to see what is happening in their lives.

    I'm getting worried about you. You never seem to take this much of a break in between updates. And you've had quite a bit of stress lately with projects, family's major illness, and your sickness. Please, please, please, just be very busy and not severely under the weather!

  10. We miss you Kathy.

    We hope you're just really busy or have had another major computer malfunction than be under the weather.


  11. *sniff* Been bawling my eyes out. The zombies have finally gotten our Mother Hen. *sniff* Now we are all doomed to Re-reading, and re-reading again all these great but unfinished stories. *sniff*

    Seriously-- Kathy, I hope you're not having serious problems. We're praying, just in case you are. Good health and safety to you and yours because you're so good to us despite our impatience.