Thursday, July 29, 2010

Easy as Apple Pie

I'm busy these days.  Summer time is a very busy time anyway.  Somehow it is harder to get things done when the kids are at home.  They like to have me pay attention to them. 

It is taking Lorene more hours than we expected to get her CNA finished because they signed more people up for the class than usual, which means my "toddler free" hours are limited.  Zane is busy and demanding. 

I guess he's normal.

I like to can, and freeze, and bake up my produce.  And I like to make dinner for the family.  All that takes TIME!! 

I was going to say they also like clean clothes, but since all of them take care of that themselves, except Jim, I guess I can't complain about that.

This is one way I entertain Zane.  He can go a long time playing with measuring cups and water.  When he starts dumping it on the floor, it is time to find something else to do .

We picked apples the other day, (off the ground).  And Zane helped.  These are mostly green apples that blew down after a very windy storm. 

I remember we used a lot of green apples from the summer apple tree we had at home.  The ones that were ripe, fell, and were usually rotten on one side. We used those and every other piece of good apple that we had.  So, our applesauce had a little extra tang from the green apples.  I happen to like green-apple applesauce.  But, nobody else around here does, though, so I guess I'll use it for cooking. In a cake mix I use as much applesauce as the oil it calls for plus a tablespoon of oil. I also have a yummy applesauce cake recipe chock full of raisins.

I like to make applesauce since all you have to do with the apples is core and get the bad parts out.  Then I let them sit in salt water until I am ready to freeze or can or cook them. 

These I canned.

I have no idea what I'll do with the canned apples.  I have an idea that I could warm and make them into "fried apples" with sugar and cinnamon. or else boil them down for chunky applesauce.  Or maybe apple cake. I just wanted to try them.  I already have plenty in the freezer.

We have another apple tree with later apples, but several of those blew down, too. And I made pie out of these. It is such a lot of work that I'm not using all the apples I have. 

I'm ignoring the fact that I can't get it all done.  I'm focusing on all the things I do get done, even though cooking and cleaning and helping raise up Zane don't look nice on the canning shelves. 

And believe me, I can only get the basics done. At least we eat and can walk through the living room.  (My bathroom is always nice, NO MATTER WHAT!!)

Zane was helping me with these apples, too.


Homemade apple pie really is one of the best things to eat on this earth.  I especially like to make it out of my own apples from the back yard. 

I use my favorite pie crust recipe the one with egg and vinegar in it.  It makes a tender, forgiving crust. I always put this little design on the top crust.  It is a bush, I think.  My mom always did it. 

She did NOT however cut off the end of her roast.

Ready to bake. (My mom always sprinkled apple pies with sugar and cinnamon.)

And ready to eat.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

I'm tired. 

I'm tired now, I was tired this morning, and I'll be tired again tomorrow. 

This is a state of affairs shared with a select group of young people who are seeking fame and fortune out in the corn fields.

Well, fortune anyway.

Detasseling is seriously a horrible job.  Especially the first three days.  Then they get a little used to it.

They get up before 5 am in order to load a bus before 5:30.  They wash their clothes everyday, and go to bed at 7 pm.  They take water and gatorade and snacks and lunch that they are too hot and tired to eat. 

They get wet, muddy, hot, and tired. 

They lose their rows, scare each other in the field, and shout in the bus on the way home. 

But, they keep on going looking to the big check they will get at the end and the bonus of $200 for being out there every single day.

And they put on very muddy shoes for another very hard day of work. 

At least, Lynette does.  She perseveres.

And so do I, but I'll be really glad to sleep in until 6.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Learn About Colors

Zane loves books, he likes to cuddle up on my lap and we "read books". 

Mostly it consists of Zane turning several pages at a time and "mooing" at all the animals.  In vain, I try to convince Zane that other animals make different sounds, but I'm not having any luck. 

And we only use board books.  The thin pages don't have a chance.
He loves this book. He loves this book so much it is the first one he grabs from the book bin. He loves it so much the rest of us are getting tired of it.  He loves this book so much he wants to take it apart and I spend half of my life gluing in back together. The problem is those rainbows are loose enough to grab.  What were they thinking!?! We're talking toddlers here!

I wonder if laminating sticky would work. 

There are other critters in this book, and we spend plenty of time looking for the lady bugs.

Zane also likes to try to take the thick board pages apart and succeeds sometimes, too.

More gluing.

Zane loves this book so much I want to preserve it in a more "permanent" method.  I'm sure soon this book will be unreadable due to excessive loving.

And this last page has his next favorite thing to read about after cows.  A brrrmm, brrmmm.  Can you find it?

Cuddling up with a kid and a book is never wasted time. I'm so glad he loves books.  He loves cows too, but that is another story.

Which might not be written because it is summertime and my head is full of zucchini.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Last Shirt

I like to iron.

I learned how to iron when I was about 8, ironing my dad's handkerchiefs.  And it WAS ironing.  Mom had several things dampened and rolled up in a heavy plastic bag ready to be laid out on the ironing board and IRONED.  (not pressed)

This was in the days before my mom had a steam iron, thus the dampening.

I remember just how I did it too.  I would lay out the entire hanky, unfolded and iron one side.  Then I would fold it in half and iron both sides.  And lastly, I folded it in half again and ironed both sides.  And it was done, a nice warm, oh so unwrinkly looking hanky, ready for my dad. 

It was one of my jobs. 

I soon graduated into ironing lots of things.  And if by chance I ironed a wrinkle into something we had a nice little sprinkler top on a pop bottle to dampen the spot and iron it again.

That was the days before spray bottles

Well, not really. I researched that one. But, I did find out that the pump style sprays didn't appear until the '60s.

Ironing made me feel so good, I've never minded it.  It must be because I've done so much of it, it isn't mind using work.  It 's especially good on cold winter days.  That may be why I would save all mine until then. 

I mean, I like to iron, just not everyday.

My specialty was men's shirts and I did all my dad's.  There is a right way to do them according to my mom. And I learned her way.  It's a good way.

How to Iron a Dress Shirt

I always iron the sleeves and collar first.  Doing them last can mess up the rest of the shirt.

Next, the yoke in the back,

before ironing the front.

I always liked men's shirts best because I got the button side out of the way first.  It's trickier.

Starting on the back.

Make sure to get under the arm holes.

Last front.

All Done!

Since this nicely ironed or rather pressed shirt, Zane knocked my iron off the ironing board for the third time and this time it didn't make it. So, I'm not going to be ironing for a while. 

This was it's last job.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

These Shoes are Made for Walking

Shoes are a major part of life in the culture we live in.  Although I spent 3/4 of my life  until I was 35 years old either not wearing them or wishing I wasn't, I wear them all the time now, ... 
much to my husbands relief, I might add. 
Since he is the kind of person that is never without shoes except in the bath or in bed, he doesn't really understand why some people might want to go without them. 
I wear them for two reasons. 

1. It keeps my feet softer and nicer looking.

2. My plantar warts don't grow as fast.
Oh, and number 3. I don't like to walk across my kitchen floor in bare feet anymore.

Guess why???

"three guesses and the first two don't count" as we used to say when young--ger.
ANYWAY,  Zane has to  wear shoes when he goes outside.  It isn't that running around in grass isn't lovely on bare feet, but he doesn't stay on the grass, he is on the gravel, the rocks, by the iron pile, in the garden, down by the barn, in the barn, in the sticker patch, on left out pieces of stick, in the flower garden, and in the shop. 
All in one outing.

So, I bought him some "crocs".  Easy on, easy off, easy washed.

Now, if you look closely at his feet, you will see he put them on the wrong feet.  So Lynette took a photo.

But, the main thing this whole blog is about, is that he can put shoes on all by himself.  No help.  Not only that but today with one shoe on the right foot, as he and I are ready to go weed in the flower garden, I said, "You need your other shoe, it is by the computer."  And he runs over there, puts it on, and out the door we go. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gramma and Boy

Today Zane learned something new.  He learns something everyday and if we take the time to pay attention, we know what they are. He learns a new word everyday and is starting to put of couple of ideas together at a time.

I have been trying to teach him to NOT pull the piano key cover onto Lynette's hands when she is playing. If Lynette is playing, I have to spend all my time pulling him off the piano bench, since the only time he wants to be there is when Lynette is and it is very hard to practice with a cute little boy on your lap. 

All of you out there each with your own views on child rearing, I want to remind you that every child is different.  And lest you think my methods are not very useful, may I remind how does that saying go....

"Walk a mile in my moccasins, and you will know my journey"--from a Cherokee blogsite

And be really glad you aren't raising up this one unless you have lots of time and gets lots of sleep.

I mean seriously, I did this once.  I already had a kid who discipline, talking to, punishment, etc, just seemed to roll off her back and not sink in at all.  It just doesn't seem to make sense.  So today when he pulled the cover of the piano keys onto his fingers and came to me crying, I have not shut the lid to prevent this from happening. 

On the contary, he actually may have learned sometime, as a little later when we were near the piano, he pointed at the lid, said "owie, owie" and with gestures and facial expressions, and gabble, he made it quite clear that he understood what hurt him that time.