Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Journey Home

Well, I have finally returned home after spending the summer visiting my parents in SC. It feels a little strange to be home again after several months. Many things have changed here. When I left I was sharing a 4 bedroom house with my brother, one of my sisters (the other one lives in Kalamazoo) and my sister's 3 kids (baby boy less than a year, daughter 3, Son 13) and my brother's children(2 girls 7 and 8) visit him several times each week. In the beginning, my daughter (18) had moved out with her boyfriend and since they broke up recently my daughter (Molly) has come back home to live, with her puppy dog (Loki). Upon my arrival home I was told that my sister and her 3 kids had gotten an apartment in a nearby town and were moving out within the week. So now it will just be me and my brother, and my daughter, and my brother's girls when they are here to visit him.

Right now I am alone at home, my sister and her kids are gone to her friends house, my daughter is out at a friends house, and my brother is at work. After being at my parents with their 5 dogs, and 2 cats, add in my 2 dogs and 1 cat, and my mother working from home (She makes soap), it seems oddly quiet around here. I am sure that as I get settled in I will develop a new routine and will become accustomed to being alone again. We'll see.

Every time I call my parents they ask me if I am ready to come home yet. Funny, I have only been away from their house for 3 days, counting my driving day.

I am still tired from the long drive, and my dogs are off of their schedule and a little out of sorts. I am always very tense when I drive to and from SC. I really, really, really hate driving through the mountains in the Virginias. I have to force myself to stare only at the road ahead because if I even glance to the side and see the tops of trees below, my stomach does a flip. Suffice it to say, my fingers are sore and stiff from the death grip I had on the steering wheel most of the way here.

Here are some pics of my jeep as it was packed for the trip home. ( I came back with much much more than I left with).Once I was able to shut the back door, I wedged some small loose items in the gaps....including a small crate of peaches wrapped in a plastic bag to keep the peaches from falling all over. I am going to make some more pies with them this week.

I left a portion free in the back behind the front passenger seat for my dog Isabella. That is where I put my pillows and blankets, so she had a comfy ride.

Here is Isabella.......isn't she precious?
Where you see the pink blanket in the front is where I had to put one of my duffel bags of clothes. The other one is on the floor in front of the front passenger seat. I covered them with a pink blanket and that is where my dog Princess stayed during the trip.

Here is my little dog Princess.....and my fat cat Omi (Oh-Me) who rotated between sitting with Isabella and sitting with Princess. I was really surprised at how well they did together in the car, especially Isabella. Isabella is only 8 months old and had never really been anywhere except her backyard. I actually had to pick her up and put her in the car that first time. But now, after a 16 hour trip of stopping to go potty and get gas or food, she is a pro at jumping in and out of the car.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Little Boots ROCKS on YOUtube!

I will be the first person to admit that I am completely lacking in internet savvy. So, now you will understand when I tell you that it took me several hours of messing around on YOUtube to figure out how to attach this clip to my blog.

I opened up firefox this morning, logged into my igoogle page and saw this interesting looking video on the YOUtube listing. All I can say is this video totally rocked my socks off. It was made by a girl in England who calls herself "Little Boots" and she is sitting in her bedroom with her keyboard and this nifty little gadget called a Netorion (Which I absolutely love and have to put on my wish list of gifts to buy my daughter for Christmas). Watch the video and see for yourself, this girl is awesome. If she had a CD right now I would go out and buy it.

Obviously I have spread my wings a little in joining the YOUtube community (Scary), but I wanted to keep up to date on new songs this young lady comes out with. I have already tried getting a hold of my daughter to tell her to check out this video, but I was unable to reach her because like most teenagers (she is 18) her phone is either not on, the battery is dead, or she left it at home.

Since I am in SC visiting my parents and am just getting ready to drive back home within the next couple days, I will have to wait and see if my daughter actually checks her messages and calls me back.

Well, I haven't got much time left for surfing the internet. I have to get packing and load up the car. I was planning on leaving tomorrow morning, but the way things are going, I might just leave Saturday morning. I hate feeling rushed. I almost always forget things when I feel rushed, and I can't turn around and come back if I leave something behind.

Take Care everyone. God Bless and I will catch up with you again later:-)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Trick or Treat!

It is hard to believe that it is already almost time for Halloween! We are just one month away from decking the house with all manner of creepy crawly and spooky things. In anticipation of this ghoulish holiday I was recently inspired to hand carve some Halloween themed rubber stamps and use them to make some SPOOKtacular (I love that word) mini note cards.

So far I have made a set of 6 BAT note cards

and I have made a set of 6 Spider and Web Note cards

I am still working on a Ghost themed Card, A Jack-o-lantern themed Card, and a Witch and Black Cat themed Card.
I will be sure to post the finished results when I am done.
Finished card sets and Hand Carved Halloween Stamps are available at My Etsy Store.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pink Glitter Star Ornaments

Just wanted to take a minute to share the Pink Glitter Ornaments I made today. I spent the majority of today cutting, folding, gluing, and pouring glitter on these little gems. They are 3 1/2 inches in diameter and available at My Etsy Store. I have already cut out some more circles and stamped the backgrounds so they are ready for me to make more glitter ornaments tomorrow morning. I think this time I will make them in Green.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Carolina Peach Pie

Our local Farmer's Market had a sale on 25lb crates of peaches for just $15 and I decided I would try my hand at making some semi-homemade peach pies. I am a big fan of Sandra Lee and Semi Homemade. Even though I am able to cook 100% homemade, I have learned some nifty tricks to making a big baking project (or family dinner) a whole lot quicker by using as little as 1 pre-made item.For the pies, that pre-made item was the piecrust. Southern Home is a popular store brand here in the Carolinas, and I used a ready made crust by Southern Home as the foundation for my Fresh Peach Pie.

Now, having never made a Fresh Peach Pie before, I was unaware of the fact that you needed to peel the peaches before slicing them and putting them in the pie. So my first pie included the peach skins. (once it was baked you couldn't even tell the difference between the peeled and not peeled peaches).

After a little giggle, my mother informed me that I needed to blanch the peaches briefly in boiling water and then submerge them in an ice bath to make the skins peel right off in one easy swipe. This process left me with a bowl full of glistening gorgeous peaches.

After that, I cut them in half, removed the pit, and sliced them up.

Then I added 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the peach slices, gently folding it in until all the peaches were coated. The blanching causes the peaches to soften a bit and release their juices, so the added sugar and flour creates a sweet golden colored glaze on the peaches. Once that was done, I poured the prepared peach mixture into the pie crust. It was so pretty of course I had to take a picture of it.

I topped that off with another ready-made pie crust, pinching the edges, I cut four small slits along the top for the steam to escape, covered the edges with foil and popped it in a 400 degree oven for about an hour to an hour and ten minutes.

The result was a scrumptious Fresh Peach Pie with just the right combination of sweet and tart in the filling.

Of course I topped each piece off with some Ready Whip!

I used 8-10 peaches per pie and made 4 pies with all those peaches:-)