Wednesday, September 29, 2010

baking, apple picking, more baking and such

We had a lovely weekend apple picking!
The family-Noni, Juju and Bamfa
 picking those apples
We have many many many pounds of gala apples and have been making apple sauce and freezing it and today I finally got around to baking an apple bread.  The recipe I have is one I got from the farm where we picked the apples and WOW!!! It is so good.  Juju has a bake sale at her school this weekend and I know what I am making them.
Usually I make them an all organic banana bread, and I have heard that it is sold before the bake sale begins every year (it makes me blush frankly).
I wonder what they will think of this not being organic (the apples are not) and me bringing a new bread into the mix, then again they have a few a year, so I can make other things at the next ones.

we had 3 full bags!!
Apple sauce...we currently have 2 quarts and
8 or more pints and still have 1 full bag left

Apple Bread with
cinnamon sugar top
Flowers sold at the apple farm

Banana Bread at 10:20pm
Banana bread by 3pm
the next day!!

Last night I had to make a banana bread as I have about 5 super ripe bananas and I can not let them go to waste!

This afternoon I also got back in baking mode easily with a super quick and easy and yummy organic terriaki organic tofu bites.  I had a bit for lunch and some chestnuts (my new addiction is bags of precooked chestnuts, ones bag is 193 calories and I will eat a whole one easily!)

I am starting the Sookie Stackhouse books soon and I am getting excited. I truly enjoy True Blood, but once I heard that the books go into things more and plus a reason to relive the first three seasons, come on, total no brainer.

I have also begun my working with embroidering on leather experiment. I am making a sample piece for someone I know who makes knives.  I noticed he always displays his finished work on pieces of leather, but I noticed a few look like leather jackets, so I figured why not make his logo on leather.  It is not a hard one, lots of straight lines on the font and some curved lines. dipping back into my old Girl Scout camp counselor, I remembered, no dummy, you don't go right into the leather with the needle like fabric, but you punch holes using a pattern or design, THEN embroider!

Tonight at some point I begin the hole punching and removing the first letter of stitching.
So glad I chose to practice on something first before going to town on the leather I have been getting ready for the pirate map piece.

Well I am off...I have a phone meeting with the nutritionist I did my sugar detox with a year or so ago and I loved it and lately I have been cutting out all the bad stuff again...slowly, but dairy is pretty much gone again, coffee is gone, meat cut way down...I am back on track again and losing weight and getting healthy means everything to me right knee is awful and I want to be back in great shape so I can heal my knee and my soul. I feel great when I can run and I want that back and running has helped me lose weight so easily.  I miss running and the other night made the mistake of pushing it and walk/ran 1.5 miles and stepped funny on it and the pain was back like I just hurt it back in August.
Good thing I see an Ortho tomorrow FINALLY!! I don't think I will have ever been so happy to see a doctor ever!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

winner winner chicken dinner and such...

Well I got a nice surprise in the mail this morning! A lovely pair of size 9.5 mens Simple Gumshoes!
I won the's Gumshoe Giveaway!! They are made of Organic Cotton and Hemp with a 40% recycled tire and 60% natural rubber sole!  A sole with soul!!

Read Simple Shoe's description about how LITTLE glue/adhesive they use!


  • Men's GUMshoe – Hemp & Organic Cotton Blend casual shoe with hemp and certified organic cotton blend uppers
  • Vegan shoe! No animal products or even animal byproducts
  • Midsoles and arch cookie made of carpet padding for at-home comfort at all times
  • No glue was used in the assembly of this shoe! Thanks to a lot of stitching, it's made with less than a thimble full of water-based adhesives – most shoes use 2 shot glasses worth of glue
  • The small amount of glue that we do use is water based, not petroleum based. Just another way to reduce our dependence on petroleum, and it also means no nasty smelling glue for the people who put your shoes together
  • Partially recycled shoe – the bottom of this shoe is made from a recycled car tire blended with natural rubber
  • The foot form inserts are made of post consumer recycled paper
  • Shoebox made of post-consumer recycled paper, soy based printing ink, natural latex and starch based glue
  • Comes with a biodegradable hanger sent me a lovely pair of shoes in the color Bison which is a nice rich brown....I have to say, I put them on immediately and am in love!
They are super-super comfy and have a lovely arch support.

I can wear them with or without socks and being "cursed" with a womans size 11 foot, I tend to wear men's shoes and these are not super wide, but also not super tight as many slip ons tend to be, making me NOT enjoy them or even consider buying them.

And the box is currently going to some good use as well since Dora has promptly decided to recycle it into her new nap space

So thank you very much to the great folks at for having this great giveaway and my comment number being picked!
Goes to show, sometimes those giveaways with all those ways to enter sure can pay off!!

Not only did I get a free pair of shoes, but they are from a company whose products I love and a product I have considered purchasing, but always put off for fear I wouldn't like it once I got it home...Was I wrong!
I love these!

If you would like to pick up your own pair of Simple Men's Gumshoe Organic cotton and hemp blend slip on shoes (I love them and I am a woman, so whatever to that!) just click the link and order away!

As I have said, I love simple and have owned a few pairs of their shoes over the years and I love them...they hold up to wear and tear and they truly take our planet into consideration with everything they do.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

leather distressing and such

I selected a piece of leather to work with, for sample really.  It is about 14 inches by 12 and I was hoping to distress it by using it as a coaster at the Bar.  Well leave it to that night for the bartenders to be so neat and not spill a drop!

Thanks George and Jackie!

I planned on trying out whiskey and beer spills and rings from pints and so on...nothing

We tried to burn a piece of it, but we only had matches, so that did not go very far!

My project will go on, seeking inspiration from old pirate maps in books and so on, but the distressing the leather is going to take longer...I must make the leather look right first, but in the way that is natural to how it would have been distressed, then apply the threads because if i try it other way around it would destroy the threads

Over the weekend we had things to celebrate and things to remember...

Sept 12th was my parents 53rd wedding was also my friend George's 36th birthday.  For his birthday I baked a Bourbon Banana Bread and Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies...I was inspired by his serving bacon whiskey shots

Tomorrow I have to make a poppyseed chicken salad for mom's bridge girls.  Mom's been loving my cooking lately and I love that she is willing to clean if I cook.  This has given me many more chances to begin perfecting recipes I love and also try new ones, as they will eat just about anything

I enjoy cooking, but doing the dishes after using a ton of pots and pans, plus all the dishes for serving and eat, well, it is a pain.  I try to clean as I cook, but there are many that do not get done before dinner hits the table, so at least I get through those.

Tomorrow I get to start on the massive winter corn put up.  I am going to buy about 24 ears of corn and blanch then shack them.  I will also look to bag them 3 or 4 at a time, so we will be eating to most wonderful and delicious corn at the sweetest of the season in the middle of winter!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

just realized something and such...

I was just looking at someones art/embroidery piece and loved the look of reminded me of one of those old maps from a pirate movie, weathered and floppy and tanned and browns, stained and salt crusted...their piece was not a map, nor anything close to it, just fabric that appeared to be tea dyed with some lovely embroidery on it

anyway, I have had some pieces of suede and soft leather laying about since I ditched my husband about 4-5 years ago...he had started to work in the medium and had left some pieces in my storage drawers (pretty much the only thing I have left from that marriage I give a crap about really, my crafting materials! haha!!)

I want to make some maps....I am not sure what they will be maps of just yet, but as a child we had a few very very old maps hanging on the wall of my father's study/den and they were real and really old....they had uncharted territories marked with beasts and creatures and woods...I used to imagine an explorer used it to find treasures, or pirates to hide their booty!

At the same time, my parents loved National Geographic, something they passed along to me and I still love are a huge part of my movie watching, esp if it is on Nat Geo, Smithsonian, or History Channels!

It is the first time in a while I have felt so inspired...lately I feel as though I have been stagnant...I have had all these great things happening to influence me, but yet.....nothing, just nothing....

no amount of music or lack of, reading or not, friends or bitter loneliness.....just blank, nothingness

sometimes it makes me sad to not feel inspired, and of course I do not try and force it, I mean nothing is worse than seeing forced can be rather painful to see, even if it is the most lovely happy painting in the world, it feels wrong

Anyway, back to the task at hand...inspiration, move me brightly...

So I have pulled out some pieces of leather and suede and plan on trimming up a piece to practice on.  I will trim the edges to be age appropriate and then plan on carrying it around in a pocket and fold and unfold it for a while....then maybe try scuffing it up a bit in some dirt and beer and whiskey....then see how it looks...
at that point I plan on attempting to embroider the "map" as it were...

Who knows where it may lead...buried treasure, hidden ships, mermaids???

labor day and such

labor day was nice and, dad, juju and I went mini golfing!
we kept score, but we all won, so who cares!
we took the packard for a spin to minigolf to give the ole gal a ride in the sunshine

we played at Farmview Golf Center which has a lovely mini golf course and juju and I even went back for a second round for half price

we all headed over to White Castle for some sliders and freezees.  mom has recently become rather addicted to the pepsi slushie or whatever it is there, so we hit the drive through in the packard!

it was a lovely day and one of those that makes me smile thinking back on it

Monday, September 6, 2010

injuries, trips and much more and such.....

this has been one heck of an interesting summer...

I had to stop training for the 5k while in vermont in mid august due to an injury to my left knee.  I was training up there and had continued my progress nicely, but had a bit of a misstep and either tore my meniscus or sprained it.
I went to the ER at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townsend, VT and was treated by the great Dr. Montgomery and the amazing nurse and staff of Grace Cottage.  My mother came with me and she was equally impressed with the hospital as a whole.

They x-rayed and found nothing there, but said i also have no signs of arthritis YET!  I have never been nice to my knees or body, so the fact I have not started to show signs made me very happy.
I was given pain meds and an immobilizing brace and told to see my home doctor and get it taken care of.

Dr. Montgomery said he wants me to either call him or stop in when  head back to VT this fall to let him know what has happened and what it was (he believes it is a tear but they do not have an MRI at Grace Cottage).  That is very sweet of him.

A few days later Juju and I went to the Bromley Slide and I had to take a few pain meds and remove the brace (painful the next day, but we do it every year and  could not let her down).  We rode it about 12 times each in a row!  It is always so fun and Juju is a bit timid, but here riding the chair lift and sliding on her own, she gets more and more brave....maybe one day skiing and horse back riding...or maybe just a carousel and escalator even? (told you she is timid!)

An employee gave my mom 10 more free passes to ride, so we cam back a few days later after Juju's camp one day and rode five more times each!

I attended a few shows and was able to take care of a little bit of business at the same time, you have to love that part of my job is talking to bands and agents and managers, so I "have" to attend shows to meet in person sometimes!
I was able to catch Dark Star Orchestra in Burlington and meet up with some friends (Ron and Bree from NJ were there and totally random to see them so that was great, as well as many friends new and old from VT).
I also took a trip to the Barn outside of Saratoga for JGB show and to meet one of the mgmt staff to talk dates and such.  Nice to put a face to a name in situations like that.

I have attended Barn shows before and even seen JGB there, but it had been a massive rain storm and the place was 3-6" of mud, so the show was indoors and not a camping show (though we all stayed over and slept in cars and campers).  It was a bit hard getting around in the mud with the brace, but I made due and a few beers helped ease that pain and stress!

Juju loved her tennis camp.  She attended it for a total of 3 weeks this year, one early in the summer and two at the end of August. She attended last year and was excited to return this year.  She attends the Clif Drysdale Tennis camp at Stratton Mountain.
My mother used to attend the John Newcomb tennis camp there when I was a kid! Her and her girlfriends would all go to VT for a few weeks and leave the kids with the husbands, then we would all come up and join them all for the rest of the summer.

Juju also attended 2 other camps this summer, each a week long and located at Pope John________ in Sparta NJ.  One week it was soccer and one was basketball.  They are not serious camps, but they teach and mix in other games and sports related activities.  She really had a good time.

She had to miss another basketball camp in town because she injured her toe and her nail was coming off and since she couldn't wear a shoe when that was happening, she went to the pool a lot instead!

I am very disappointed in not being able to achieve my goal of doing the 5ks, but prior to the injury I had started to consider hiking the Long Trail next summer.  I think this is an achievable goal and I would love to do it, so I am going to focus my training to that...I will not give up on the 5k, I WILL run one, just not right now.
I am going to begin with the Long Trail Training first, and then blend i the 5k a bit down the road once we know for certain what my injury it and the treatment it will require.

The Long Trail is 273 miles and goes end to end.  I cannot wait to get into it and will be researching and collecting all the items needed and will spend this winter getting ready for it.

Well, I have typed enough about major events this summer.  I know I am missing some and I am not even going to get into Furthur shows in this post....but I will keep up on my posts because as I heal I am back in training and will be documenting that and also I want to make sure I cover my cooking and eating habits from time to time since I have been making an effort to try new things and old favorites...I cook a lot for my mom, dad and juju, and they are enjoying it as am I...I cook and mom cleans (well I help, but hey awesomeness!!)