Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Halloween card 2012

quick layered Halloween card I put together this morning.

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween. Those going out trick or treating tonight in my area should have no problems. Hurricane Sandy just produced heavy winds and rain. We never lost our power. While out doing errands with my dad yesterday I did see some tree limbs down. The thunderstorms, heavy winds and rain last night were worst than what occurred during the storm. Thankfully our cranberry finished up the end of last week.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thinking of you card

Sharing with all of you a fun, little, folded thinking of you card.

 thinking of you pink and green fold card outside front of card closed

thinking of you pink and green fold card insideinside of card

Last night my brother and sister in law flew to England for a weeks vacation. While there they will attend the New England Patriots football game in London.  I know they will enjoy their vacation, because I sure did when I went to England. Wish I could have stowed away in their suitcase.

Also, I can now announce that my son, Steven and his wife, Robin will be having another baby in May 2013. It is too early to tell if it will be a boy or a girl.

Yesterday and today the weather has been gorgeous, sunny and warm, but the TV is predicting the East Coast will get hit with a  hurricane/nor'easter. The super storm is suppose to hit Monday late afternoon. Just hope that the storm veers off and goes out to sea, but I don't think that is going to happen.  They are saying lots of rain, flooding in coastal areas, beach erosion, power outages, and depending where you live maybe snow.

I've already bought my treats for Halloween. I have given out juice boxes for the past several years and the kids love getting them.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

TTPO...aka Test the Post Office

TTPO 2012 halloween severed hand1

Yes, this is my 2nd writing today, but I had to share the fun surprise I received in my mail box today. A longtime, stamping friend, Susan who lives in Colorado sent me this plastic hand that she found in a dollar store. TTPO mail is sent as envelope, box or packaging. Just name and address and postage. On the Prodigy stamping group we use to have TTPO swaps all the time, and I received some strange and wonderful items thru the mail. The guys at the local post office use to love when I came in to mail off my strange and funny items.

I wonder what the mail lady thought as she put this plastic hand in my mail box.

 TTPO 2012 halloween severed hand2 TTPO 2012 halloween severed palm hand2

In the past to name a few things I've mailed.. real coconuts, plastic alligators and dolphins. Panty hose filled with packing peanuts all from Florida when I was on vacation. My grandkids and nieces loved receiving the coconuts. The post office stapled the postage label onto the coconut. I've mailed a birthday party in a bottle bottle, light up musical soda bottles, piggy banks, plastic feet, severed Halloween arm, fly swatters, plastic shovels, inflatable toys, rubber chickens.

I've received inflatable ghosts, big chicken lawn decorations, plastic pumpkins, filled Easter baskets and other fun things. If you never sent anyone something like this..try it..I can guarantee the recipient will love the fun surprise in their mail box.

I hope you got a laugh out of my fun mail..I did.


Halloween Skeleton cat tag

halloween skelelton cat tag 2012

I had a few minutes this morning, and so I decided to make a Halloween tag. Halloween has always been one of my favorite days of the year. You can barely see the little green witches hat on the cats head.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Shaker ATC's

atc halloween 2012 three shakers

This afternoon while I was waiting for my cousin to come by the house to pick me up I decided to make a few quick Halloween ATC's.  I haven't had time to create any art lately so it was fun putting together these little layered shaker atc's.

atc halloween 2012 pumpkin shaker

atc halloween 2012 skeletons shaker

atc halloween 2012 broom and witches hat shaker  

Our cranberry harvest continues, but we are almost done. The weather has been quite nice with the days being sunny and warm. I dread the cold winter months that will soon be upon us.

Sunday we celebrated our oldest granddaughter, Katie's 19 th. birthday early, because she was home for the weekend from college.  Wow, I can't believe she is 19, how time flies.

19th birthday party Katies cake

19th birthday party Katie with lighted birthday candles cake

19th birthday party Katie Bella 2  Katie and Bella

 19th birthday party Katie Lily Bella1 Katie, Lily and Bella19th birthday party Katie tommy Lily cake  Katie, Tommy and Lily


p.s...I've noticed lately on my blog that there is a large blank space between my header and postings. I don't know why this has happened...I am not that computer savvy and haven't been able to figure out how to fix this. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pea it or hate it

pea soup in a bowl

When I was a kid, I hated pea soup. Peas aren't a vegetable I really like, because I don't like the mushy texture. I will eat them in casseroles or soup, but not plain. My mother use to make pea soup, and I never would eat it. After I got married and made pea soup for my husband, I started eating it and came to enjoy it, especially on a cold day with homemade bread.

Yesterday after I finished making a batch of  jam I decided to make a big pot of pea soup. Family members save ham bones for me to make this soup, because they would rather have me make it and then just give them containers of the cooked soup. I request that they leave quite a bit of meat on the ham bone. This isn't hard to do with spiral hams, because the ham doesn't get cut all the way thru to the end of the bone.

Anyway, I had 3 ham bones in the freezer, and they needed to be used up. So, I made a triple batch of pea soup. I will give  containers of soup to my sons, parents, auntie, brothers and of course save some for us. I like having a container in the freezer for when I go away for a few days. I take out a container and put it in the refrigerator to thaw.  Tom will have a cooked meal ready to reheat.

pea soup pkg of split peas I used 3, one  pound packages of dry green split peas

pea soup lge ham bone in potpeas and ham bones are in the water in a 16 quart stainless kettle

pea soup carrots onions celery in potpeas, ham, water, diced carrots, onions and celery. I used 6 large stalks of celery, 2 large onions, 4 carrots diced, but I usually just shred the carrots. Salt and pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves.

pea soup bone and veggies    cook until the vegetables and peas are tender. I remove the ham bones and chop the ham into bite size pieces. Then put the ham back into the pot, and toss the bones.


Recipe on the bag for 1 batch of soup that makes 8 servings:

1 package dry split green peas, rinsed and sorted (check to make sure there are no small stones)

6-8 cups hot water

1 meaty ham bone  or ham hock

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 minced garlic clove

1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1 bay leaf..optional

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pan with a lid.

Bring to boil over a medium high heat, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer 1 hour or until peas are soft, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf and ham bone or hock, cut meat off the bone and dice. I pulled the 3 ham bones from the stock pot, and cut and diced the pieces of ham that I removed from the bones.

pea soup ham bones

Add meat back to soup.

Note..split pea soup is thin when first cooked, but as it sits it will thickens as it stands. Skim off any fat after the soup has cooled. After being refrigerated  thin the soup if needed by adding small amounts of water or chicken stock. Heat on low to medium heat, stirring frequently. Peas soup is always best served the next day.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cranberry Lemon Pear Jam

cran lemon pear jam jars filled

I had some ripe pears that needed to used up, and since I have lots of cranberries, I thought I would try making a cranberry pear jam. I looked at many recipes and picked one to which I changed it up a bit.

6 cups peeled and chopped pears

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 1/2 cups washed and sorted fresh cranberries. The recipe called for chopping them, but I just cooked them whole.

3/4 cup water.

5 1/2 - 6  cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup strained fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoon lemon zest  (next batch I will cut the lemon zest back to 1 teaspoon, as the lemon taste is very strong.)

1 box powdered Sure Jell pectin ( mix in with a little sugar so it doesn't cake when first put in the hot jam mixture.)

Add water, pears, cranberries, sugar and cinnamon.

cran lemon pear jam fruits in panfresh cranberries and chopped pears

cran lemon pear jam start of jam

Bring to a simmering boil over medium heat.

cran lemon pear jam starting to foam

Remove from heat and skim off the foam. Then add pectin and lemon juice. Continue cooking on a lower heat stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken and drop slowly off the edge of a metal spoon.

   cran lemon pear jam starting to boil jam is finished cooking and ready to put in jars.

Pour hot jam into sterilized canning jars with a ladle and a wide mouth funnel. Leave 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the tops of the jars and around the ring area. Place lids on the jars. Hand tighten the metal rings, and process in a rolling boil hot water bath for 10 minutes.

I didn't have anymore small jars so I was left with 1/2 a half pint jar. The jam is really yummy tasting.

I never planned on making so much cranberry sauce, assorted jams and pickles this fall, but once I started I can't seem to stop. I need to get more 4 ounce canning jars, as I used the last of the ones I bought with this batch of jam.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cranberry Raspberry Jam

cran raspberry jam 1 batch of cranberry raspberry jam
Fresh raspberries were on sale yesterday, and so I bought 2- 6 ounce containers. I have been wanting to try making cran-raspberry jam. In the past I've only made jellied cranberry sauce, cran-orange relish, and whole berry sauce. and of course used cranberries in breads, muffins, desserts. You'd think growing up around cranberries that I would have tried making jam before now.
I looked around the internet, and every recipe I found was different. Some recipes start with frozen sweetened raspberries, but I wanted to use fresh berries.
cran raspberry cranberries and raspberries to make jam
Cranberry-Raspberry Jam
6 cups washed, sorted cranberries with stems removed. In the recipe it said to chop them in a food processor, but I chose to leave them whole.  (Leaving them whole worked out fine, because the berries as they cook break down)
2 cups crushed fresh raspberries
7  1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed and strained lemon juice (the recipe didn't call for lemon juice, but all my other jams did so I added it to this batch)
1 pouch of liquid Certo fruit pectin ( have the package open and ready to use. Stand the package upright in a cup)
crush fresh raspberries, prepare your cranberries. Put both fruits into a 6 quart stainless steel pan, add lemon juice. Stir in  sugar a little at a time, using a low heat, keep mixing it into the fruits. As liquid is released from the berries, raise the heat and keep stirring. Bring jam to a full rolling boil. Stir in the package of pectin and return to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat, skim off the foam, ladle the hot jam into hot, sterilized jars. having a large mouth canning funnel makes this a lot easier. Leave 1/4 head space at the top of each jar with a small piece of wet cheesecloth or paper towel. Take a plastic knife and move thru the jar to remove air bubbles. Tap filled jar on counter. Wipe the jar tops and around the threads on the top of each jar. Put on sterilized lids and covers. The covers should be hand tightened, not loose. Place jars in a hot water bath, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the boiling water, wait for the lids to ping as the vacuum forms and let cool.
From the 1 batch I got...4- 8 ounce and 11- 4 ounce jars
p.s....I went back to the grocery store after I made my jam to buy more raspberries while they are on sale. I plan on making another batch of cranberry-raspberry jam on Saturday. While at the store I noticed strawberries were on sale 2 quarts for $5.00. I bought 3 quarts, and just finished making a batch of strawberry jam. This batch made 7- pint jars, and 5- 4 ounce jars.
strawberry jam 10.11.12

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Columbus Day holiday weekend..Friday and Saturday

Our cranberry harvest continues, and since my husband is working long hours 7 days a week, I decided to head to Cape Cod last Friday to spend the long holiday weekend with my cousins.

On my way down I stopped at Tumbleweed's quilt store on Route. 6-A. I bought a few yards of fabric.

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012.fabrics from Tumbleweeds on Friday

After getting to my cousin's house and emptying what I brought with me from the SUV we headed to Heartbeat Quilts. The fabric was marked down to $3.oo a yard and there was a table with $2 a yard pieces. The stores inventory is clearing out fast with their going out of business sale. I bought a variety of fabrics.

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012.fabrics from Heartbeats3 all on Friday  

Saturday...Debbie, Cheryl and I headed out to The Green Briar Nature Center and Jam Kitchen in Sandwich which is part of the Thornton W. Burgess Society, Jam Kitchen, more Thornton Burgess. Do a google search for a lot more info.

I use to take my boys there when they were youngsters. The center has really expanded since I was last there. Saturday was Cranberry Day at the Center. They had cranberry bog tours, wine tastings, Gluten Free bread demo, ladies were making jam in the kitchen and some was still hot when it was placed on the shelves for sale.

Click here....Green Briar Jam Kitchen

 Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Jam kitchen sign

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Nature Center sign near house

Although my cousins and I don't need a Gluten Free diet, we watched a gluten free bread making demo. The demo was very informative, and we got to taste test the bread, cake and squares she brought with her.  Colleen, who gave the talk had been a math teacher, but gave up teaching when her children were diagnosed with multiple dietary allergies.                                                                  For a year she studied and by trial and error made recipes that her children could eat as they were also allergic to dairy products. Colleen shared cookbooks that she found had wonderful info and recipes. She just substitutes gluten free mixes that she makes up in batches for regular flour. Colleen mentioned that eating gluten free is also great for diabetics and those who suffer from fibromyalgia.                                                                            Colleen ran a bakery in Kingston until her recent move to Westport, MA. where they just bought a farm. Colleen also uses her own farm fresh eggs from her own chickens.  The bakery kitchen is completely gluten free as well as all the equipment she uses. No other foods touch the pans or equipment.

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Gluten Free business cardColleens business card

Below are 3 cookbooks she loves

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Gluten Free cookbookCape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. ADHD Gluten free kid friendly cookbook 

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Americas test kitchen cookbookevery year a new book comes out

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Gluten Free bread making demo1 gluten free bread demoCape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Gluten Free bread making demo2  Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Gluten Free bread mixes recipes   

flour blend #1 is for cakes and cookies

flour blend #2 is similar to King Arthur's flour, its an all purpose mix

flour mix #3 is All purpose, but a little dry. To lighten up the dough you can add 2 Tablespoons of some other mix in like sorghum, tapioca, or potato flour. For making Italian bread use 1 cup #3 blend and 2 cups potato starch.

For French bread use some brown rice flour and tapioca flour. Tapioca flour browns fast so the top off the bread needs to be moistened with water.

recipes Colleen came up with for flour substitutions for cakes and breads. If you would like a bread recipe that was used in the demo, email me, and I will send it off to you. She uses Bob's Red Meal flours and meals.

Another favorite that Colleen used in making frosting was So Delicious coconut milk, with melted large block of chocolate chopped. It comes in a red wrapper from Trader Joes.

Kitchen at the Nature Center Jam Kitchen was established in 1903, by Ida Putnum. I bought a Jam Kitchen cookbook with their recipes for jams, jellies, conserves and relishes.

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Jam kitchen cookbook

The Kitchen offers jam/jelly making classes. Jams, relishes, honey and conserves are offered for sale.

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Jam kitchen photo1jam kitchen..look at the double row of old burners that are still used today to make the products they sell and are used by those who take classes.

Below are a few recipes that were handed out.

  Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Jam Kitchen cranberry crisp dessert recipe

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Jam Kitchen brandied cranberry conserve recipe

Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Jam Kitchen cranberry Lemon Pear recipe Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Jam Kitchen cranberry strawberry jam recipe Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Jam Kitchen Mango Chutney recipe    Cape Cod Columbus weekend 2012..Sat. Green Brier Kitchen cranberry conserve recipe 

The center was celebrating Cranberry Day. There were bog tours, and activities planned for children and adults.

After leaving the Jam Kitchen we drove further down 6-A to Dennis to the Apple Festival. By the time we arrived all of the apple pies, and apple goodies had been sold out.

Set up on the United Church of Christ Congregational Church's front lawn were ladies from a local guild of spinners. I never realized their were so many kinds of spinning wheels. Many were traditional and others were quite small and folded up for ease of storage. I loved watching the ladies at work spinning different types of fibers into yarn.

Cape Cod Columbus weekend festival church apple sign

Cape Cod Columbus weekend festival spinners guild sign

Cape Cod Columbus weekend festival spinner1

Cape Cod Columbus weekend festival spinner3 Cape Cod Columbus weekend festival spinner 2 

Across the street was a gift shop that had vendors selling handmade merchandise. Giovanna was dressed as a mermaid on the lawn. Giovanna has autism, Aspergers Syndrome. Giovanna was selling beautiful mermaid crowns that she designs and creates. Part of the proceeds of each crown she sells is donated to Autism awareness. Check out her website...Giovanna's you tube video     Click here to her facebook page to view her mermaid crowns


  Cape Cod Columbus weekend festival giovanna mermaid 1  Cape Cod Columbus weekend festival giovanna mermaid2

Cape Cod Columbus weekend festival giovanna mermaid crowns brochure

Friday and Saturday were beautiful, sunny, warm fall days. Saturday night it rained hard.

Saturday night I taught my cousins how to make cranberry sauce with the cranberries I brought with me. Sunday night another batch of jellied sauce was made, but I made Debbie and Cheryl make this batch so they would know how to do it in the future.

Sunday we went to the Yarmouth Seaside Festival. I will post a few pictures when I can.