Monday, September 14, 2015

A New Reason to Slow Down

Soooo......I love being in the kitchen. It helps relieve stress and I love cooking up good, healthy food for my family. For my birthday two years ago, my hubs got me an electric pressure cooker. It's been a delight to use, especially when cooking up our dried beans from the garden.

Rewind to Friday evening. I was cooking some Calypso beans from last summer in the pressure cooker for some homemade baked beans. I had the chicken cooking all day in the crock pot and everything was ready to go for the baked beans, except the beans weren't quite ready. I released the pressure from the cooker and *thought* that there was enough released to open the lid. My first indication that the lid was still on somewhat tight should have made me stop. But, it didn't. I had two hungry kids and it was a beautiful day and I wanted to get dinner on the table so we could play outside until bathtime. Well, turns out, the cooker was not ready to be opened. As the lid released, boiling water spurted out all over my chest, arm, and thighs.

Fortunately, my kids and husband were playing in the living room and were nowhere near me. They also had no idea what happened until I screamed and was ripping my clothes off to run to the shower. I tried to run cold water on it, but it hurt too bad. When my husband realized what had happened and looked me over, he quickly ushered the kids ready and we got in the car to go to Med Express.

Luckily for me, the water did not hit my face or eyes. I do have 1st and 2nd degree burns, but it could have been far, far worse. I was prescribed pain medicine and some antibiotic cream and sent home with instructions to focus on "pain and protection." Since it hit the front of my legs, pants are out of the question. Luckily, I am a skirt and dress wearing fan for the summer and so, I've been ok so far. The pain medicine was really unnecessary as well (after my c-section, I only used Tylenol...).

I was reluctant to share this because it is somewhat embarrassing to make such a foolish mistake. But, as I spoke to my friends over the weekend and they saw the damage, not one person told me it was foolish or stupid. Everyone was relieved that it was not any worse and wished me well in my recovery. And while I hope to not have any major scarring from the incident, I will use any scar I have as a reminder to slow down. Life moves fast enough as it is, I don't need to rush things.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What's on the Needles - Sept 7

It's back! I'm starting back up my weekly "What's on the Needles" posts! Knitting really helps keep me centered and the benefits of knitting are numerous. Sharing with you helps me even more!

I've really grown to enjoy knitting socks. I used to collect toe socks as a teen (are those still a thing?!), so I think my adoration has been longstanding. I really like the way these self striping yarns knit up. I recently finished one sock and am going to cast on the second this afternoon.

What's on your needles?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Fall Planting

Happy Labor Day! I don't know about where you live, but the weather here today made it seem more like the 4th of July than Labor Day. We took advantage of somewhat cooler temperatures this morning to get out to the garden.

After reading Mother of a Hubbard and seeing all of Kathy's success with her eastern Kentucky winter garden, I've been itching to try my hand at it. Two weeks ago, we planted some beets and peas. The peas are starting to come up nicely. From what I've read, fall peas are far superior to spring planted ones, so time will tell!

I got some kale, spinach, swiss chard, and lettuce in the ground. I hope to do some succession planting of the lettuce and perhaps purchase some corn salad to plant in a few weeks. I also will be ordering our row cover this week. Despite the forecasted high of 96 tomorrow, cold weather will be here before we know it!

We also need rain - badly! We have 6 rain barrels and they are pretty much empty. We were able to set up our soaker hoses, so that will help out in keeping the newly planted seeds moist and ready to germinate.

Every time I go to the garden, I am accompanied by Chip. He slithers in through the fence. After the planting was done and the soaker hoses connected, I sat down for a minute to rest and watch the hoses do their thing. Chip decided it was prime time for some cuddling, and so we sat and enjoyed some quiet time alone. A rare occurrence around here!

How about you? Are you trying your hand at a fall or winter garden? 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

2015 - The Year of the Tomato

The last two years, our tomato harvests have been pretty abysmal. Our first year, the wacky weather killed off a lot of our plants. Last year, without the fence, the chickens annihilated any chance of tomatoes. So, this year! This year! With remineralizing our soil (yes, I know, I need to dedicate a post to that!), our garden has been doing awesome. That and the fence.

Since we love tomatoes and tomato products through the winter, I came into this summer prepared. I started some of my own plants and bought other heirloom varieties from a farmer friend. All in all, we started the summer with 2 dozen tomato plants. Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Bonny's Best, Pineapple, Black Krim, German Johnson, Amish Paste, Italian Heirloom, Stupice, Gold Medal, San Marzano, Sun Gold, and Black Cherry have all outdone themselves this year.

While I haven't been weighing each harvest to keep track, I do know we used 48 pounds for barbeque sauce and ketchup. We have 12 quart bags frozen of roasted tomato sauce and 14 jars of plain tomato sauce canned. We like to keep things plain around here so we can spice them up when we use them this winter. Our plants show no signs of stopping and I'd guess we've harvested at least 300 pounds.

We've also harvested 100 pounds of potatoes, 3 pumpkins, 18 Delicata squash, and we could actually grow decent carrots this year! How did YOUR garden do?