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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

We're pretty relaxed around here today. I got the Turkey in the pot early when I fed the dogs so we could have a wonderful Thanksgiving Lunch before I got a nap in and head to work.

That's right, work. With just the Guy and furred ones, we don't mrs much with the holidays and I prefer to work if I can so the ones with kids and family around can spend them with their own. However, that does't mean I skimp with the food mind you.

So, I hope you all spend the holiday with those you love and are thankful for as I have today, and stay warm and dry. I'll give you a real post in a couple days.

Monday, November 17, 2014

It can't be...

Two days in a row? Why yes, it is. Because I wanted to share last nights deliciousness with you all! It was that good. I was going to right it in my book, then thought that this was a better place because I could share it with everyone and they could have a little fall explosion in their mouths (that didn't sound so dirty in my head).

Are you read? Porch chops with cinnamon apples.

3-4 lean pork chops
Sea salt, Rosemary, and sage to taste and a splash of toasted sesame seed oil
Around lunch time rinse meat, combine spices and oil and rub the chops with it. Place back in the fridge.

Heat oven and a casserole dish to 200 degrees.

Peel, core, and slice thin two large tart fall apples.
Mix with three heaping tablespoon brown sugar, a couple heaping teaspoons of cinnamon and teaspoon of nutmeg. Let sit while you start the chops.

In a skillet, melt one tablespoon butter or your oil of choice over medium heat. Before it smokes, add pork chops and cover. Turn down to med low and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn to other side and repeat. Remove from flame, and place in the warmed casserole dish and cover.

In same skillet, heat two more tablespoons of butter or oil and dump in your apple and spice mixture. Cook over medium low heat until apples are tender, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and serve up pork chops with apples and gooey sauce spooned over the top.

I got the idea for this perusing several recipes yesterday and this version was what I figured out to do for dinner. It was wonderful and I knew I needed to keep this recipe for later usage. Don't you hate when you are trying to find something simple and the recipes are so over the top or talk about tools only professional cooks have? That is what caused me to make up my own version with ingredients I had on hand and no tools most people have. You need a covered skillet, a casserole dish, or even a Pyrex with aluminum foil to cover it, a couple knives and a spatula. Bam! Oh, and I was in a rush with the apples and just used my potato peeler to skin them. As long as the apple is crisp still, that works just fine.

If you try it, hope you enjoy. The salt of the rub and the sweetness of the apples are a nice I have to get out in that blustery winter day and go to work.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Let's Chat

Well, it's more of a "I'm going to talk now" kind of thing since there's not really a way to chat as I type up a blog post, but you know what I mean, right? It's been a bit, and I'm sorry for that. Why has it been a bit? Well, Last weekend was the midwest Men's knitting retreat. No, no I don't have pictures. Sorry, I was having to much fun laughing and carrying on with Matthew and friends to really take pictures. But oh boy, did I have fun...

I did get the three singles for this yarn done and wrapped it all up last Sunday night. It's a 85% BFL, 15% tussah silk blend that still needs it's bath. It was from Greenwood Fibers. It's as lovely as it looks. I also wrapped up a couple sock objects before this week late one night starting another sock project.

It's my last pair for the 2014 12 months, 12 socks challenge. Thank god. I'm sick of socks.

And this morning I wrapped up a cowl project I started at the retreat. This is a lovely fiber that I got from huckleberry fibers as part of a fiber club. The colors were wonderful, it was a joy to spin and now a joy to knit. The pattern was based on something I saw someone wearing and they couldn't give me the pattern name so I made it up as I went. It's not quite what I was going for, butit's a starting point. I have some yarn set aside that I'm going to do version two in. I'll keep you posted.

I had to edit my face out of this one because I realized when looking at the photos I had a big ol'boog hanging from my left nostril. How embarrassing.

But having done all that, it doesn't explain my absence from here. You see, The Guy was gone this week. He went back to Wyoming to visit his ailing mother and that left me working everyday he was gone, most days a 10 hour shift. By the time I got up, fed the monsters, walked the monsters, fed myself, showered, went to work and got back home to restart the feeding and walking, I was feeling kind of mellow. I looked at some blogs, checked on weather, and took my knitting to bed after doing things like eating, the dishes, and vacuuming.

Today though, as the Guy got home last night, was my day to relax. That's what I kept telling myself. It was my day to knit and do a blog post. The first I did. See?

And now the second item on my list is done. They went on their morning walk with the Guy and I got to stay in bed then cuddle them when they got home. Ahhhh. Then I knit, but I kept getting the look as they wanted to go out in the fresh snow. Again...

That's right, we got a good real snow finally. See this? That was last week before Matthew came and crashed at our house before the retreat. It's where we walk the dogs most days. A little half mile loop through the woods and hills. We normally walk it 4 times round. That gives me just over a 2.5 mile walk.

This was it yesterday.

I had a short work day yesterday and was able to get them out while it was still light. They were excited, can you tell? Having light means they have more freedom to run and goof off because I can see them, and hunt up their poops with ease for clean up.

Then The Guy sent me a text to say he was going to get home early. I immediately told the kids. Can you see the repressed excitement? No? Look at the blurry tail. It's wagging furiously as I make him stay so I can get a shot before running to buy dog food. Really, do I have to feed them daily?

This morning it snowed even more. We have three inches of fluff. It's getting a bit wet but the kids are liking it, and Tucker is enjoying the cool for squirrel hunting? See, he's waiting patiently for one of them to come down and play with him.

Sunruse Saturday morning from the bedroom window

Of the blogs that I read this week, Sarah had a little Meme Challenge that of course I had to check out. What's a Meme? Not really sure, but this us what Lord Google says:

  1. an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
    • a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

And of course I wanted to see what I would get. These were the top three that came back.

It's like they know me... Except it was some teenager's face that I didn't know what this came from and decided that if it was some form of cyber bullying, I'd pull his face off of it. To "make a cyber joke" of someone being gay struck me as either a dumb teen prank of someone goofing off. Since I didn't know the situation this seemed appropriate.

It think this was my favorite, and I'm not sure what it says about my character that it is. I can so see me mumbling this to myself with evil glee when I do something kind of stupid. You know, like hitting your head on the cupboard that you just left open while searching for your favorite glass. Or how about the other morning when I was listening to a book and thought, "Really, who ever thought the excuse 'I walked into a door' could cover domestic abuse", minutes before walking into a door. Seriously, the Guy wasn't even home when it occurred. It was the downstairs bathroom door and it rubs on the rug in the hallway so it doesn't close properly. I just let the dogs out and it was dark, and I turned around and "Bam!" It was kind of funny and I could see myself saying in a cartoon raccoon voice, "No Mr. Quinton, The Game is on YOU!" as I held the right side of my face and tried not to cry in solitary embarrassment. That crap hurts!

And third to top the list... speaking of faces, that's a great one. You can almost hear the cranks of WTF gears turning in his head.  This last one was a ways down the page, but I still liked it and had to share, because as Taylor says, "The Haters are going to Hate Hate Hate.

Shake it off. That was just for you Jason...

Getting home form walking the dogs the day before our snows started, I found this guy on the door frame. Kind of cold for dragon flies but neat none the less. He didn't move with me opening the screen door or dogs checking him out so I can only imagine he was not far from his winter demise.

So, now that the dogs are walked and relaxing, I have to look at what I need to get dinner on. Pork chops with fall apples and potatoes here we come!

Have a good week everyone. Stay warm and have fun! I'm going to leave you with a video from an artist that ITunes Radio introduced me to last week. Something about her voice just pulls me in.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The lack there of

Not a lot of pictures were taken this week. Mainly, due to the fact that the sun wasn't up when I was doing the morning walks just after 6am, and by the time I got home most of the week, the sun was down and The Guy had already done the evening walk. The one night that I had gotten home and the sun was up, I sen t them out for a walk while I made dinner (pesto and mozzarella stuffed chicken breasts, yum!). However, I did snap this crappy photo out the kitchen wind that night.

Obviously I didn't take a close look at it because the little icon on my phone looked good. Today when I pulled it up, I realized the lens had focused on the window screen. Oops... Sorry. But you can still see the oaks glowing in  the sunset. Fridays rain, snow and wind have taken many of those leaves down.

But, back to my week. This week was crazy! I put in a lot of hours, and my one day off was supposed to have just some computer training for 3-4 hours on it, jumped up to several hours due to a slow computer. Ugh, so I was ready for yesterdays short 10a-2p shift and some time home. While the Guy finished up the re-running of the sump pun and water softener drainage, I cleaned up the massive amounts of dead beetles in the garage (I think having a ready protein source like that in the garage was adding to the mouse problem), and running the John Deere over the leaves in the front yard. Yeah yeah, mulching is easier and eco friendly. Then we took the kiddos for a good walk before dinner.

Emmitt was the only one who would cooperate for a picture. When I tried to get Sullivan's attention, he turned his back and walked off trail. Opinionated dogs are such pains... Almost all the leaves are down where we have been walking them. Can't wait to see how it looks in the snow here, and possibly get to ski with the boys! That would be great fun for sure. And I'm sure this park will be just as beautiful as the Provin trails as spring starts to green up the woods again.

Emmit however is starting to get old, and just as stubborn as his sister was in her maturity. He is 9 after all in just a few days. He really didn't want to give up the good chair last night when we were watching Brave (Silence! It's a great animated flick, and I felt compelled to continue the Scottish theme that Prairie Home Companion left us with). And as you can see, The Guy let him get away with these antics...

Can you say push over?

Anyway, speaking of dogs and the like, I have been thinking hard, and harder every time a mouse is found inside, of getting a cat. But today I was thinking, maybe a small dog instead? Those little terrors, I mean terriers, were bred for rat and mouse killing after all... And we're not allergic to dogs, which let me tell you, I've enjoyed not living on Zyteck 356 days of the year since moving here. It's a thought, I'll keep you posted. I'm no more a small dog fan than I am of the thought of a cat. Either way, there's no guarantee that either will be a good mouse since Shiela was a selfish one and never shared the secret and the joy of  the mouse hunt with her boys because that meant she would have had to share the kill...

And, it's dog bath weekend, so I better get cleaned up and moving. Hope you all enjoy your extra hour of sleep like I did.