About Me

My photo
Full Time Mom, Wife, Work, Life - Mom to three children (adults), two are college graduates and now own their own homes, and the youngest is in college in NC; wife to Thomas; Work - one full time and multiple part time jobs; Life - whatever you can throw at me....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween.....

Here is my dad from last Halloween - a cowboy!  I know he is having a conversation with Louie Lamour up there in heaven!

I have to post my fave picture.....The trips in the pumpkin patch on their first Halloween -  my all time favorite

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Final Snow Amounts

 From the front of the house.

 Some of the branches that came down.

 The driveway and the road.

Across the street with the sun coming up.

We got at least 7 inches of snow.  My daughter and I shoveled the driveway and front walk this morning.  The boys are going to do the rest of the driveway and the patio.

The state got pummeled except for the southeast corner.  My brother 20 minutes north got a foot of snow.  United Illuminating came at 10:00 pm to cut the limb off of our power lines.  Now I just have to get rid of all the limbs (they are my neighbors limbs, but he is in his 80's).

Just crazy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Here in Southern New England, we have gotten our first taste of snow....and I HATE it.....

Seriously, this is CT, five miles from the shore.  We don't get snow on October 29th and we sure as heck don't get three inches (that is what we have at 6:00 pm).  The pictures below were taken at 3:00 pm.  We are supposed to get 6 to 10 inches, but who knows???

I just spent an hour shoveling the patio and the front stairs and part of the driveway.  After so much Zumba this past week, my lower back hurts and this heavy wet snow does not help.  On top of that, our neighbors tree lost Five big limbs and one of them is hanging on our power line in our driveway.  Trying to call United Illuminating (the power co) is fruitless.  Over 413,000 without power in the state.

I have the wood in the dining room all set.  The fireplace is ready.  Candles are lit.  Food is made.
The only thing I don't have in this house is a glass of wine.....now who sees the irony in that!???

Friday, October 28, 2011

CSA Week #22 - The Last Week of the Regular Share

Full Share:

1 brussel sprout stalk
1 head of cabbage
1 acorn squash
1 butternut or spagetti squash
1 bunch of radishes or salad turnips
1 bag of asian mix or leaf lettuce
2 leeks
4 sweet peppers
1/2 lb hot peppers
1 lb bag of green beans
2 ears of popcorn

Next week will start the Fall Share and I bought that one alone, so I will get everything in the share.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Humor

Since I have NO time, I am just posting things that I get from regular e-mail - I will be back to blogging after tonight's session of Zumba - I haven't practiced this much in a long time!!!!!!!!!

Here is a funny for you!

A bald man with a wooden leg gets invited to a Halloween Party. He doesn't know what costume to wear to hide his head and his leg, So he writes to a costume company to explain his problem.

A few days later he received a parcel with the following note:

Dear Sir,

Please find enclosed a pirate's outfit. The spotted handkerchief will cover your bald head and, with your wooden leg, you will be just right as a pirate.

Very truly yours,

Acme Costume Co.

The man thinks this is terrible because they have emphasized his wooden leg and so he writes a letter of complaint. A week goes by and he receives another parcel and a note, which says:

Dear Sir,

Please find enclosed a monk's costume. The long robe will cover your Wooden leg and, with your bald head, you should really look the part.

Very truly yours,

Acme Costume Co.

Now the man is really upset since they have gone from emphasizing his wooden leg to emphasizing his bald head, so again he writes the Company another nasty letter of complaint.

The next day he gets a small Parcel and a note, which reads:

Dear Sir,

We have TRIED our very BEST.

Please find enclosed a bottle of molasses and a bag of crushed nuts.

Pour the molasses over your bald head, pat on crushed nuts, stick your Wooden Leg up your ass and go as a caramel apple.

Very truly yours,

Acme Costume Co.

PS - I guess you have to know that I am a caramel apple addict.....This was hysterical to me..........

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A good story.....

I found this story on Gabriel Hummel's website - I had not heard it before and it hit home.....

The Mexican Fisherman

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.

“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.

“But … What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, señor, how long will all this take?”

To which the American replied, “15–20 years. 25 tops.”

“But what then, señor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”

“Millions, señor? Then what?”

“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos …”

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where did the week go?

It's Saturday, I am cooking dinner and reading a few blogs and I realized that I haven't blogged since Tuesday.  Life got in the way this week...well, actually, it was Zumba and a 25th wedding anniversary and a meeting at my daughter's school and meeting my wonderful friends for dinner/drinks and so on and so on.

I have some pictures to blog about and will get the time once the new Zumba session starts...when we do a new session of seven new songs, I practice non stop for at least a week and I'm in the midst of it!

I'll be back....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wine Goes into the Demijohns

On Sunday, my brother and hubby put his wine into the demijohns.  He also got some more pictures for me.  And one more thing - there is no white San Giovese.  We have three red wines.  The other one is a Barbera.

Above is our wine in the demijohns (moved from the white buckets).   My hubby took some new pictures of the wine cellar:
 This is my brother's wine.
 This is my brother cranking his wine. 

 This is one of his shelves. 

 This is another shelf. 

This year's wine!
The next scheduled wine visit is between November 13th and November 20th.  So, I will have another post about wine at that time.....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Walk/Run for Cancer

On October 1st, the 3rd Annual 5K Walk/Run (non-competitive) for Cancer sponsored by our local hospital/cancer center was held in our town.  I did the run the first year but had to work the 2nd year.  This year, I was in Florida. One of the memoriams was for my dad and his cousin who both died of cancer (different types). 

The Cancer Center raised $63,000.00. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making Butter

Last week, the local Target went and became a Super Target by selling groceries inside.  They sent the whole town (I think) a coupon for a free dozen eggs (and to get you in the store).   I don't need eggs (for sure), but I had to bring something for Wednesday night dinner, so I decided to make a quiche and use the free eggs.  The way I make quiche is with heavy cream.  Target also had Organic heavy whipping cream, so I bought those two items and was on my way.  (I am getting good at shopping for only things I need!)

So, after the quiche was made I now had about two cups of heavy whipping cream left over and I remembered reading about a few people who made butter in a mason jar using heavy cream....sooooooo.

I poured the heavy cream into a Large Wide Mouth Mason Jar and put the cover on tight and proceeded to shake.
I have begun shaking it here:

 And I shook and I shook and I shook!  It took about 10 minutes to get to a semi-solid consistency:

 Once it is solid and yellow, you pour off the butter milk through a colendar.
This is how much buttermilk I got out of it.  I'm not sure how many of you have ever drunk a glass of home made buttermilk but talk about delicious!  Sweet and thick and I would have it again!!!!

Unfortunately, my camera is not too good, but the finished product was a beautiful yellow color....

 It was a full stick of butter (1/2 cup).  So I took another picture of the butter today (after I had used some for garlic bread).

It was really good.  I salted it a little.  It was fun - sort of a novelty.  If I can buy organic butter at the grocery store, I will.   But I'm glad I know how to make my own!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Wine Cellar

I only got three pictures of the wine cellar (grotta) as my dad always called it (before my camera died).  My brother's grotta is pretty large, with shelves for wine everywhere.  He has last years' wine in his demijohns, plus he keeps his uncle's wine down there too.  He has a lot of wine bottled already on shelves.

This is his wine press.  It is hand cranked.  He cranks it every day and the juice of the grapes inside filters down to the pan at the bottom where it is then transferred to the barrel.
These are my brother's demijohns.  Most are filled.  There are bottles everywhere also and he knows which type of wine is in every container.
My husband's wine (to-be) is in the containers on this side - one is Merlot, one is San Giovese (white) and one is Chianti.  The other container on the floor is another friends wine and the demijohn on top is my brothers wine.  The barrel on the side is full of wine and unfortunately, you only get a partial few of the shelving units where all the previous years wine is.  My brother started making wine around 1997/1998 and still has bottles from his first year.

Once my hubby's wine is transferred to the demijohns (I'm not sure when this process happens, but I know they are doing something tomorrow), I will get more pictures and some good pictures of the wine shelves.  Did you ever hear that song "Dust on the Bottle"?  That is my brother's wine cellar.  It is an awesome place to be at this time of year.

Friday, October 14, 2011

CSA Week #20

Here is what we are getting this week:

Full Share:

2 lbs sweet potatoes
2 lbs potatoes
4 sweet peppers
1/2 lb hot peppers
1 bunch of turnips
1 head of lettuce
1 head of escarole
1 lb beets
2 kohlrabi
3 large tomatoes
1 bunch kale

I made green smoothies last week with the kale.  They didn't turn out too green, definitely more pink (because of the raspberries).  (By the way - I still five quarts of raspberries left!).  :)

I will use the kale for smoothies again this week because each day I made them, my son wanted one to go!

I have no idea what I am keeping this week.  I will have to see what my sister needs.....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inventory and Meal Planning

As many of you know, I read the Dave Ramsey forums as often as I can.  I try to follow his way of paying off bills and saving for college, paying off the house and being debt free (Baby Steps 1-7). 

Anyway, in the forums, they say in order to save some money on grocery shopping, you should do a pantry/freezer inventory.  See what you have and what you can use and meal plan so as not to spend as much at the grocery store.  I took up the challenge for one month (at least).  I did this because our grocery bills are sort of out of control.  With five people in the house (three of them being men) and myself eating only organic foods and a very fussy daughter, I have been watching the grocery bill climb higher and higher each week/month.  (Please realize that hubby does most of the shopping and he tends to bulk shop and accumulate things and then he forgets what he bought - however I do appreciate the fact that he does the shopping!). 

I made the inventory last night!  It took quite a while. (five notebook pages) You honestly don't know what you have until you write it all down.  I have an upstairs freezer, a downstairs freezer, a cold room, a closet in the cold room for health and beauty aides and then cupboards in the kitchen full of food.  And I didn't even inventory the refrigerator. 

How many of you have 20 lbs. of all different types of pasta?  I do!  How many of you have seven boxes of unopened cold cereal, three boxes of opened cold cereal, two boxes of hot oatmeal cereal and three canisters of regular oatmeal?  I do!  Needless to say, we don't need pasta and cereal for quite some time!! :)  (I would be embarassed if I told you how much of other things I have....Think coffee) OMG!

So, the next part of this procedure is to meal plan using what I have in stock (by the way, 7 quarts of chicken stock and 1 beef stock frozen).  I have the meal plan for this whole week all set. 

I think we can get away with buying just milk, fruit, some veggies for salad, dish detergent and some cheese this week.  We do NOT need meat! 

I'm hoping to use everything I have in the house by the end of the year.  And then we can restock fresh beef (another 1/6th of a cow) and more chickens in January.  Then we will also re-stock the cold room and pantry shelves.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wine Making

My hubby has started a new venture....Wine Making.

He is learning from my brother and will start his first year making it the easy way - Making wine from the juice of the grapes.  My brothers use the grapes.  Anyway, last week, they bought the juice and the yeast and whatever else you need to make wine (enzymes).  Unfortunately, I had to work all day, so I didn't get to participate and go to the Wine/Beer making store - I was really bummed about it too!.  Hubby is using my dad's demijohns (they are quite large) for his wine.  He is making three kinds - Merlot, Chianti and San Giovese.  I will post pictures and updates as this process progresses.


Photo credit

These are demijohns below:
Photo credit

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blue Fish

My hubby's friend called at 8:15 pm last night to tell him that he had four freshly caught blue fish for him!

So we immediately got out the knives, papers, garbage bags and began the cleaning process.  I don't clean and neither does my hubby - Thank GOD for my two boys and and two great  you tube videos!   Unfortunately, we didn't have the correct fish cleaning knives, but they did their best.

We lit candles all over the kitchen and I brought the bag of garbage to my moms house because she has pick up this morning! The smell was  a little much...

I froze enough fish for about three meals for four of us (My daughter wouldn't touch fish with a ten foot pole)!

Thank you Sal!

And Cyrus slept through it all - he had a playdate yesterday!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Freebies This Month

Here is what I have received for the month:

John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioner Sample
Maple Peanut Butter (full jar from my sister)
Scope Mouthwash
Crest complete toothpaste
POISE pads (for Nonni)
Eucerin Body Lotion
Splenda with B Vitamins samples
Strivectin Neck Cream
Dove body wash
Frizz Ease Shampoo and Conditioner
Frizz Ease Serum

Not a huge list, but fun nonetheless!

Friday, October 7, 2011

CSA Week #19

Where did the time go?  CSA Week 19?  How did the summer go by so fast?

I didn't get anything last week because I was away and my sister was able to use it all, but here is what we are getting this week:

Full Share:

2 bunches of edamame
2 lbs potatoes
1 leek
3 large eggplant
2 sweet peppers
1/2 lb hot peppers
6 large tomatoes
1 lb beans
2 large sweet potatoes
1 bunch kale

Green smoothies this week with the kale and the raspberries that I still have!
I'll be frying more eggplant too!  I need to make some marinara sauce and freeze a couple of trays of eggplant parm again.  The kids used it while we were gone.
Since the potato/leek soup was such a hit, I may try that again this weekend.  (Although the weather here in CT is supposed to be lovely this weekend!)
Oktoberfest party tomorrow night - I need to find a fun recipe! 
My son brought me home a huge spaghetti squash that he got from a farm where he went apple picking.  I think I'll keep it in the cold cellar for a while!

PS - I posted pictures on my last post........

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Best of Everything!

Have any of you been to the store 'Best of Everything'?  It is the cutest jewelry store in Naples (and other Florida cities) and has the BEST prices.  This year, I bought two rings (the big ones that are in style) and three pairs of silver hoops (I wear silver hoops for Zumba and tend to lose them).  The total - $38.12.  How can you go wrong for those prices?

And they sell Eliza B flip flops at good prices too!  Pocketbooks and cheap watches and if you have a special occasion, you can get almost anything to match!

Anyway, if you have the opportunity to visit one of their stores....GO!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm home......and so happy to be!

I got home this afternoon.  And the first thing I did was check on my hens....I found something that I wasn't thrilled about (the hens had no food and no water), but I fixed them up quick and collected eight eggs.  The dog was thrilled to see us and I think the kids were happy too.

I realize that being gone for six days is pretty long....I don't like being away that long.  I like my kids, I like my house, I like my hens, I like my kitchen, I like my life.  Homemade pizza, homemade quiche, and salad for dinner.  I had to make a pot of pizza sauce because I had none....I love being home and being able to cook what I want!  Don't get me wrong, I like going out to dinner sometimes, but I LOVE being home and being able to cook.  I love sitting at the table with the kids hearing about what they are doing or what they want to do or which car they want, or what a certain teacher did.

I need to be home more often....I need to be here...I need to get rid of some of my part time jobs....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

With my family in FL

At our condo pool with my mom, aunt and uncle....

Monday, October 3, 2011

Some Pics

At the Beach: Lowdermilk