Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Checking in

I've been away for several days. I decided to go visit with my cousin's in Yarmouth, on the Cape. I left Friday morning and got back home late this afternoon. Saturday and Sunday, were just lazy days, as the weather wasn't the greatest. We stayed in and watched the Olympics on TV.

I am still downloading photos that I took while I was away, and hopefully I can get them uploaded in a post tomorrow. I hope you like my new header on my blog. The photo was taken Monday, July 30th, at the beach across the street from the Chatham Lighthouse. There are white capped waves in the background, and rosa rugosa wild roses in the left front of the photo.

 Until tomorrow,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oh Deer Me!

7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog facing woods listening and watching8when I first spotted the deer and took the photo from the car. I really need to get a better camera to keep in my glove box with a bigger zoom lens so I can get photo at a distance that you can tell what I am trying to get a picture of.
7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog head down eating when I first saw himtaken from the car
7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog facing woods listening and watching7taken when I got out of the car..still pretty far away
   7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog facing woods listening and watching2 watching7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog facing woods listening and watching3 deciding what to do as he watched me and then would look around
7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog facing woods listening and watching4 watching 7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog facing woods listening and watching5 7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog facing woods listening and watching6   I was taking baby steps as I got closer to take photos
7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog facing woods listening and watching1stopped eating and was listening and watching ...so beautiful.
 7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog facing woods getting ready to runI was only 4-5 car lengths away on the side of the cranberry bog before  he started to move to a safer spot
7.26.2012 deer on morse bros bog running awaywhite tail up, and bounding away to a spot on the bog farther away from me, but he still stayed to eat more cranberries.

It was a gray morning with rain showers off and on and I wanted to get my errands done before it started to rain in earnest.
I had to run to the grocery store.. I stopped at my aunts to see if she needed anything at the store and asked if she wanted to go. We drove to Carver, to Shaws Supermarket. I picked up more jelly jars and strawberries so I can make more jam this afternoon.
On the way home, as we were driving past the Morse Brothers cranberry bogs I spotted a male deer with his antlers just forming eating cranberries on the bog.                                                                     Drats, I only had my small zoom camera in the car. I stopped on the side of the road, and took a couple pictures from the car. I decided to get out of the car as that would be the only way to get decent pictures. I didn't know how close I would be able to get in my quest for getting better pictures.
I moved very slowly along the side of the bog, like in the game we use to play..Red Light. Tiny steps at a time. I kept my camera up so I could see in the view find, and kept snapping pictures as I moved along, because I didn't know how they would come out. Thankfully, I got some good shots.        Every now and again the deer would look up at me, but I would stand perfectly still and he would go back to eating. I got to about 4-5 car lengths before he bounded off to another spot on the bog closer to the woods.

I did make another batch of strawberry jam in the afternoon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nature photos and Jammed Up

Deplasito bog..white text 2 dragonflies on pond lily  
I used my zoom lens to capture this photo of the two dragonflies on this white pond lily that was in the reservoir. Click on the photo for a better view. One dragonfly is at the top of the lily and a smaller dragonfly is on the right hand side.

This is my 2nd posting today. I had to take my dad to the dermatologist, and then he wanted to take a ride around the cranberry bogs before I took him grocery shopping. 
only the small dragonfly is on the pond lily when I snapped this photo..right side
DePlasito bog dragonfly on pond lily white text

Deplasito bog..early experimental berries7.25.12

Early ripening variety cranberries that are turning red.

Deplasito bog..2012 bank swallow holes

This year again the bank swallows made nest holes at the top of a sand bank, but not as many as last year. I also saw Kingfisher holes in the sand banks near the river, but today I didn't see the birds.

Deplasito bog..purple weed purple weeds growing near the bog. Pretty, but not good for the bog.

I took dad and we did our grocery shopping, I helped dad put everything away when I got him home. Now that I have my groceries put away I am going to go make a batch of strawberry jam. I love making jam.
I finished my batch of jam...and here are some photos.
 7.25.12 strawberry jam coming to a boil jam coming to a boil
7.25.12  eight 4oz jars strawberry jam     8 - 4 ounce jars of jam

    7.25.12 6 eight oz jars strawberry jam 6 - 8 ounce jars filled with cooked jam

I used two different sized canning jars...4 and 8 ounce.   These small jars will be given as gifts.
I used the same process to make this jam as I did the peach jam the other day, only this time I used the water bath method instead of sealing the jars with paraffin. To make this batch I used 3 quarts of strawberries.
7.25.12 finished batch eight 4oz jars and 6 8 oz strawberry jam finished batch

I still want to make more strawberry and peach jam, and to try a batch of pineapple jam.

Mermaid Triptych ATC

triptych open mermaid atc Open triptych ATC with Mudd Puddles beach sand. With small seashells from the Florida Keys that I picked off the beaches.

triptych closed atc closed triptych

mud puddles beach sand glue Mudd Puddles is a product of beach sand/glue...there are several Mudd Puddles to chose from. I chose Key Largo because it looked most like the beach sand from the Florida Keys.

I had cut out my double sided scrapbook paper awhile back, and had applied the beach sand. Last night I finally finished this ATC.

Around 5 P.M. last evening a storm came thru. The storm only lasted about 5 minutes, but it sure was wild...heavy rain coming down sideways due to high winds, hail, thunder, lightening. When the rain stopped I went outside onto the deck to check the rain gauge, we got a 1/2 of rain in that 5 minutes.

7.24.2012 heavy rainstorm I got soaked with the kitchen door open to take this picture. you can see the rain bouncing off the top of my vehicle.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dancing Candles Pop Up Birthday Card

pop up card front glsy yellow w cupcakes birthday candles front of pop up card

This morning while I was going thru folders in my craft room looking for something, I came across the makings of a card I started a long time ago. Since a finished birthday card is always a good thing to have on hand, I sat and  finished the card.

The front of my birthday pop up card is yellow glossy card stock that I used a star punch to punch out little stars. I had the cupcakes already colored and cut out, and so I glued them onto the front using pop dots. For the inside I used a mint green star patterned paper. I created the cuts and folds, glued the star paper to the card. I then glued the 5 individual dancing top hat candles that I had already colored and cut out. Stamped Happy Birthday in pink and went over the letters with a glitter pen for extra sparkle.

pop up card inside birthday candles


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just Peachy..Homemade Peach Jam

peach jam suppliesgetting started
The other day while at the Farmer's Outlet I bought several packages of peaches that were on the quick sale table. Most of the peaches were fine, but each package had 1 peach that was slightly bruised. I haven't made peach jam in years and that is what popped into my head when I saw the peaches. This morning I decided to make a batch. I used Ball quilted jelly jars.
peach jam sterilizing jarspreparing my washed canning jam jars in boiling water in a large cooking pot. I have a big enamel canning pot with bottle rack, but didn't bother to go down cellar to look for it.
peach jam aluminum melting potmelting 2 blocks of paraffin wax on low heat on the stove. I bought this aluminum pot with a 50% off coupon in Michael's. If I would have had an old aluminum coffee pot I would have used that. In the past I've used washed/clean metal coffee cans, but the lip on the can makes it a little harder to pour out the melted wax, and you need to use a pot holder so you don't burn yourself on the hot can. Bulky and awkward.
peach jam melting paraffinparaffin in the pot waiting to be melted
This morning I washed and peeled the peaches, removed any soft spots and cut the peaches up.
peaches for jammy quick sale peaches
peach jam uncooked and mashedcut peaches that I mashed with a potato masher. I couldn't use my food processor, because it was making loud, weird noises...time for a new one, I guess. My food processor is about 30 years old. I think I got my use out of it.
peach jam start crushed fruitpeaches ready to start cooking..sugar and lemon juice have now been added
peach jam boiling w foam boiling foam is starting to cover fruit as the jam is cooking
peach jam coming to boil after certo addedpeaches starting to get to  boil..you can see the bubbles along the edge of the pot
peach jam adding certopectin added, and now mixture needs to cook at a rolling boil for 1 minute..foam starting to come to the top of the fruit mixture.
Anyone else remember the brown bottles that CERTO use to come in..now liquid CERTO is sold in packets, 2 packages to a box. I've never tried Sure Gel pectin so I decided to stay with a product I've used before. The recipe for peach jam is in the CERTO box, but I used the recipe in a Ball canning book.  Total time it took me to wash and prepare my bottles, make the jam and bottle it was about 1  1/2 hours.
peach jam start of rolling boilrolling boil and foam
peach jam skimming foam boiling jamjam finished cooking, removing foam from top of the jam. Once you get off as much as you can...stir the mixture and then skim off the remaining foam
peach jam spoon w foam in bowldiscarded foam. peach jam foam in dishsometimes you lose bits of fruit
peach jam pouring into jars w spoonpouring hot jam into drained hot canning jars.
peach jam stirring the bubbles outafter hot jam is in the jars..use a knife and cut thru the mixture to get rid of air bubbles.
peach jam pouring the parrafinpouring  melted paraffin wax onto hot jam, wipe tops of jars, and put on 2 piece lids. When the jam starts to cool you will hear popping noises as the jars seal, and the circle on top of the lids will depress.
peach jam all done 11 jarsfinished and jarred Peach Jam. I got 11 - 8 ounce jelly jars, and I had a 1/2 cup of jam left. I plan on making a couple more batches, and will give some away as Christmas gifts. I love homemade Peach Jam. I need to make up my labels to put on my jars now.
Recipe from Ball Canning Book
1 quart finely chopped pitted/cored, peeled peaches
7  1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 pouch liquid Certo Pectin
Combine fruit, sugar and lemon juice in a large pan. Bring slowly to a boil until sugar dissolves. Stir in liquid pectin. Return fruit to a rolling boil and boil 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam from mixture.  Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space at top of jar. Adjust 2 piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner
*I don't put my jars of jam in a hot water bath to finish preserving. I use melted paraffin poured on top of my hot jam and then seal up the jars. My mom and aunt always used paraffin, and so that's just how I've always sealed my  jams and cranberry sauce.  
I want to try making Pineapple jam next. Sounds good to me.   For my next jam making session I want to get 1/2 pint jars, as I can more jars to give as gifts.
Will be making an easy supper tonight...home made italian meatballs and angel hair pasta.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Giveaway..Help me get Smashed

Smash book giveaway stickers alpha clr stamps Giveaway...Smash book Stickers and a set of clear alphabet stamps

Okay everyone..I bought a Smash book months ago and have collected stuff to put into the book, but I just can't seem to get started. I do know that I am going to use my punch to make a hole and add a grommet so I can hang a small pair of blunt tipped scissors from the spine of the book. I want to make sure that my scissors will always be handy. How do you store your collected items and little tools that you use in your Smash book?                I've noticed there are now 3 sizes of Smash books in the stores. A scrapbook 12 x 12 size and small size that will fit in a purse. HELP ME  GET STARTED!!!!

Smash book and collected stuff my Smash Book and stuff I have collected to add to the book

I want to fill my book with recipes that I have clipped from magazines, menu's, fabric, projects I'd like to tackle. Ideas or  inspiration, ticket stubs from places, brochures from where I've been in my travels, maps, wrappers from favorite products. I don't know, just what ever strikes my fancy. Random stuff not ending up with an album that looks like an art journal. I guess I want my book to be like an old fashioned glue book filled with things that I like.                                                                                                   I have a clear 12 x 12 envelope with lots of goodies that I have collected, but I just haven't got any of it to my Smash book. 

Smash book ephemera 

To win my Giveaway prize you have to leave a comment with helpful tips to get me started. If you Smash, how did you get started? What is in your Smash book? This giveaway is open to all. Pass the word as I'd really like to get started. Thanks!!!!

All of this week has been hot and very humid. Wednesday night we had a bad thunder/lightening storm with high winds. We got an inch of rain in about 1/2 hours. Unfortunately my glads had just started to open and the heavy wind snapped the stems. This morning I cut the flower stems and put them in a blue bottle. I am thinking of decoupaging the bottle.

glads 7.20.2012 in blue bottle

Have a wonderful weekend. I am off to get my hair cut and highlighted. I haven't highlighted my hair in years. I felt like a change. Anyway, stay cool and hope you leave me lots of tips for a chance to win my little contest. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Going Batty

bat am 5 in the morning

Yesterday at times I felt I was going batty. Maybe because it was Friday the 13th or maybe not. It was just one of those days and here's proof. :-)

bat am 6hanging by its back foot

bat am 5

I left the house around 9:30 a.m. yesterday morning to do  grocery shopping for my elderly aunt. When I finished I then went and picked up my dad to take him grocery shopping. When I got to my parent's house, I found my mom was very confused. Not a good Alzheimer's kind of day. Dad was in a mood where nothing was going to be right. Dad is still in denial about my mom. I called the house this morning to see how mom was doing today, and dad told me that she was fine and that there was nothing wrong with ma yesterday.

Anyway, back to yesterday...as my dad was walking to my car to leave, I saw 2 wild turkeys walking near his blueberry bushes, and I pointed them out to my dad, but he didn't see them, as he thought I was pointing to the flowers.  I wanted to give my parents flowers and tomato plants below the deck a quick watering. As I was watering with the hose I noticed something dark on the concrete near one of the handicap ramp wooden supports. Upon closer inspection I noticed it was a bat. I couldn't figure out why it was out in the daylight. I ran to the car and grabbed my camera. Took a couple pictures, and then continued watering the plants. The next thing I knew the bat was crawling and coming down to the concrete. My mother's care giver was freaking out as she had never seen a live bat. I was about a foot away from the bat trying to get pictures and it just stayed very still. Next thing I knew the bat started to come down the concrete, squeezed in back of the wooden support and crawled near the flower planters for a drink of water from the puddle that was on the concrete.   Dad and I left while the bat was still out. I don't know if it is sick or just a confused young one.

I finished shopping with my dad and brought him home, and helped put the groceries away. I checked before I left for home   to see if the bat was still on the ramp. Nope, didn't see it.

I got home, put my groceries away and headed up town to return a new patio umbrella that I had bought a few days earlier.   I hadn't unwrapped it until yesterday morning. Much to my surprise there was no pole included. Now what good is the umbrella with no pole. I took the umbrella back to the store for the pole. Everyone searched...no poles could be found for any of the umbrellas in the store. Just great! I asked for a refund, and was told it was company policy that I had to wait 7 days because I had paid by check. They sold me a defective item that I couldn't use, but I have to wait several more days to get my money back. I was not a happy camper. Urgh!!!

I called my friend on my cell phone from the store parking lot and asked if she wanted to go shopping with me to find some summer tops for my mom. I picked my friend up and off we went. I bought 5 tops and 2 pairs of capri's for mom. We then went to my parents for my mom to try the new clothes on. The tops fit, the capri's were too big. So, we got back in the car to return them for a smaller size. Thank goodness the exchanged pants fit. As, I was leaving around 7:30 p.m, I noticed the bat was out again, but this time in the open on the concrete near the planter...just lying there. I went and got some water and splashed it on the concrete near the bat, and it started moving towards the wet area right away, and started lapping up some water.

bat1 taken after suppertime

bat pm7taking a drink

bat1 bat2 bat3   bat blurry4 Drats, I was having trouble getting my camera to focus, and some of the pictures I took came out blurry.  

By the time I had driven my friend home and got home myself it was after 8:30, it had  been a long day. I hope you enjoy my bat photos. (LOL)

This morning I also noticed that my Rose of Sharon tree is now starting to bloom.

rose of sharon 2012 first flower

I love Hydrangea, and several years ago, I took leaf cuttings and started 18 plants. I gave a few plants away after they rooted, but I planted several of them along our property line.

Hydrangea blue cut in vase waiting to dry2 

This morning while out in the yard, I cut some of my blue Hydrangea blooms.  Aren't they a pretty blue?   I stripped the leaves off and put them in water, as I've read this is how you dry them. Seems strange, but I am going to try it. Read about it here...Drying Hydrangea in  water                                                                                                                         My pink and mauve Hydrangeas are just starting to bloom.                                                                                                  

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I have to run some errand, and go to Michael's to use a 50% off coupon. Enjoy!!!