Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Jazzing Up Vinegar and Water Cleaner

I try to make as many household cleaners as I can. The less chemicals I have around my house, the better.

One of the things I use and love is white vinegar and water as a glass cleaner,etc. I also use it in my bathroom.( I do use bleach and water on more nasty areas,such as the toilet.) While the smell of vinegar is strong,it doesn't last very long and it doesn't really bother me,but I do admit a more pleasant smell wouldn't be bad. I saw this idea a long time ago and had always wanted to try it,but for some reason,never did it. I would think if it when I was all out of cleaner and had to make more,or when I didn't have any oranges on hand. It was brought back to my attention by my friend,Teri,who posted about it. It gave me a reminder and the timing was good,because 1) I still had plenty of cleaner left and 2) I had a whole bunch of oranges on hand.

It's so very easy!!!

Take any kind of jar with a cover to seal it. I used canning jars. Fill them with orange peels,and then fill with white vinegar.

Let set for two to three weeks. Use a strainer ( or cheesecloth) so any little mucky pieces that may have settled are flushed out. Use it to make your cleaner. Folks do it differently- I've read 2/3 water to 1/3 vinegar,or vice versa. I use 1 cup of vinegar to 1 cup water and it has worked great. Right now, I am still in the steeping stage of the orange peels,so I can't comment on how well it works,but from what I've read,the vinegar does pick up a nice orange scent. We'll have to wait a couple of weeks to see.

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy VD!

.........Valentines' Day that is!!! Grab your honey and give them a big smooch....

Hope your day is filled with love and surprises!!

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Well,That Was A Lot Of Snow!

As most of you heard,we had a heck of snowstorm last Friday into Saturday.Most of the heavy snow occurred while we were sleeping. We did have some heavy winds,but we were fortunate,unlike our neighbors to the south. I don't believe that NH had any power outages,and if there were any,there were very few. It was much colder up here than say,down in MA or CT,so our snow was light and fluffy. They had heavier snow which added to their problems.

Zach's school cancelled for the day Friday,which was good. The roads were not good during the morning,and the weather really deteriorated shortly after 2:00 PM. People were advised to stay off the roads.The winds picked up,and the snow started coming in heavier bands. I am sure that we had times where we had 1'-2' of snow an hour. By the time  Saturday morning rolled around,we had close to 30" of snow.

I thought I would share some photos with you:

Here I caught a great moment. Zach had gone out early in the afternoon to try and get a start on the deck cleaning. Rick and I were in the doorway watching him,and Rick said to me,"Watch what he does." Rick proceeded to lift his shirt and press his chest against the window calling, "Zach...Oh Zach..." The minute Zach turned, I snapped this picture. He said,"What the heck...that is wrong!!!" Rick is always pulling pranks.

This photo was taken a while later,when the heavier bands started going through. You can see the difference between this photo and the photo above:

I liked the way the lights on the deck looked in the storm.It's impossible to see the snow falling,but it was really pretty:

When we woke up,it was still snowing heavily,and we had quite a bit of snow. We had a big old mound on the deck:

A big old snowdrift right outside our bedroom window:

Our neighbors shoveled out a bit before we can see our driveway to the left of the picture is still snow filled:

A nice thing was that neighbors were helping neighbors. Our neighbor (who actually lives on another road) came by and plowed out Avon Lane for us. Our neighbor,Mike,who lives diagonally from us came over and helped Rick attack our driveway:

When Zach tried to shovel the deck off,he slipped and landed on his butt in the snow mound. Again, I was in the right place at the right time for the photo:

He was able to struggle to his feet and finish the job!!

The weather for the rest of the week is going to give us above normal temps,and we are already seeing the snow melt,thankfully.

Didn't the Groundhog say it was suppose to be an early Spring???

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Here Comes Nemo!

We are here in the beginning throes for what could be the biggest snowstorm in years. It started snowing very early this AM,a light flurry.In the just the last couple of hours,it has started snowing heavier and at a more steady pace. You can't really see the snow coming down in the photo,but this is what things look like right now:

Last night we got a call from the Farmington school district saying there would be no school today,much to Zach's delight! It was a smart move. Rick had a physical at the VA Outpatient Center in Somersworth today,but he cancelled it, It wasn't until 2:30,and according to the weatherman,around 3:00 is when things are really going to start going downhill fast. Many businesses are closing early so their workers can get home before the bad stuff hits. No one wants a repeat of the Blizzard of '78-the worst of the storm hit during rush hour,and many motorists were stranded on highways,like in this photo from MA:

Thankfully,the worst is not suppose to hit until nighttime,when we could see as much as 3" of snow an hour,but one never knows in New England. There are blizzard alerts,as the wind may get up to 60 mph +. There could be bad coastal damage because they will get the brunt of the wind,since it's coming off the ocean,and the tide is going to be higher than usual. All told,there are areas that could see 3 ft of snow.

I was 10 when the Blizzard of 78 hit,and I remember missing a few days of school.In my mind,it was a whole week,but maybe not. The snowdrifts were TALL! My friend and I made all kinds of forts and tunnels in the snowdrifts. I told Rick if they were big enough I might have a childhood flash back and make some tunnels and forts just for fun and fresh air! :)

We are all set here,though. We have plenty of wood,food and water. We don't have to go anywhere. The Girls are cozy -Rick made sure they had extra food and water,as well as extra hay and wood shavings on the floor of their coop and in their nesting boxes. The snow blower is filled up and ready to go. If we lose power,we have a propane grill and a two burner to cook,plenty of water to flush the toilet,and the kerosene lamps are filled to the brim. Flashlights have batteries,and candles are on standby.

It's a good day to read "The Long Winter."

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet,where ever you are...and stay warm and safe!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Geeking Out On Dead Royalty

I fully admit it. I love English Royal history. I am fascinated by it. I love reading about it. Why?

It could be because Rick's ancestry is mostly English,and that his 10th great grandfather,Rev.Stephen Bachiler (now spelled Batchelder who was the Vicar of Wherewell, was ousted by James I because of his Puritan leanings. It could also be because I fell in the love with The Tudors series,which led me to want to know the truth about all of them. Or,it could be because I love history.

I think it's a combination of all three.

Now,with the discovery of the bones of King Richard III,a whole new world is opening up,and so many questions! 

Richard III has not been thought of in a good light,mostly due to Shakespeare's play. He was thought of as hunchback,with a withered arm,a man who was ruthless and who killed the two princes in the towers to gain power.I never thought twice about it. Now,though,his bones reveal that he wasn't a hunchback,though he did have scoliosis,which made one shoulder higher than the other. He had no signs of a withered arm. The princes? I don't know for sure about that,but it's pretty suspicious. I suppose if I was Shakespeare and wanted to stay in favor with Queen Elizabeth I,I would make the man that her grandfather,Henry VII defeated at Bosworth Field more of a villain than perhaps he was. Maybe not. It's fascinating speculation,no matter what.

Now that the bones have been found,they went and did reconstruction of Richard's face.

If you compare it with old paintings of him,there is no mistaking it-this is King Richard III.

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Glazed Turkey Burgers

I am always on the lookout for new recipes,since it seems we always eat the same thing. We try to keep our beef consumption at a minimum,since we adults no longer seem to be able to digest it was we once were able to do. Instead,we mostly eat chicken,fish,turkey,and pork.

The other day,I was looking at recipes in the standard red plaid "Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook." I found a recipe in the Grilling section called Glazed Turkey Burgers,and thought it sounded good enough to give it a shot.Whenever we try new meals,we vote on whether it's a "keeper" or not. It was unanimous-it's a keeper.

If you have the new Better Homes and Gardens cookbook,it's on page 336 in the Grilling section. You won't be disappointed.

In this recipe,I used cherry preserves. I would've used the snipped cherries,but I couldn't find them at the time. We are going to make this again this week,and I am going to try it with snipped cherries,even if I have to go to different supermarket to find them. it was way too cold to grill outside,so we cooked them in an electric skillet. I ate mine with mayo,lettuce,and tomato,and it was delicious! Zach had Ranch dressing and american cheese,and he loved it. We are doubling the recipe so we can have two apiece instead of one!!


                                            Glazed Turkey Burgers
-1 tablespoon yellow mustard
-1 tablespoon cherry,apricot,peach,or pineapple preserves
-1 egg,beaten
-1/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats (I used Gluten Free Bob's Mill)
-1/4 cup finely chopped celery
-3 tablespoons snipped dried tart cherries,or dried apricots (optional)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/8 teaspoon black pepper
-1 lb uncooked ground turkey ( or chicken)
-4 kaiser rolls or hamburger buns,split and toasted
-Mayo,or salad dressing,lettuce,and/or tomato slices (optional)

For glaze,in a small bowl stir together mustard and preserves,set aside.In a medium bowl combine egg,rolled oats,celery,dried cherries (if desired),salt,and pepper.Add ground turkey;mix well. Shape turkey mixture into four 3/4 inch patties.

For charcoal grill,grill patties on the rack uncovered directly over medium coals for 14-18 minutes or until no longer pink (165 degrees),turning once halfway through grilling and brushing with glaze during the last minute of grilling. (For a gas grill,preheat grill,reduce heat to medium.Place patties on grill rack over heat. Cook and grill as above).

Serve burgers on buns.Brush any remaining glaze onto burgers. If desired,serve burgers with mayo,lettuce,and tomato.

Makes four servings.

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fresh,Cold Air

 Yesterday Zach's Boy Scout Troop took part in the Abnaki District's annual Klondike Derby. The boys have to tow/push a "Klondike" sled that that they have made themselves from station to station.Stations have such activities as fire building,first aid, obstacle  course,etc. Our sled consists of an old shopping cart that is attached to two old skis.The day culminates with the boys havin  a race with these sleds. The boys did well,earning two third place awards. The only down side was that we lost most of our snow from the warm temperatures and  heavy rain earlier in the week. It was a day long event,and it felt good to be out in the fresh,cold air,since I don't go out much in the winter,with the exception of gathering eggs,chores,etc. I don't do any outdoor winter sports,so I tend to stay in my warm little house. It was nice spending the day with Rick and chatting with other adults,and watching the boys work together on their stations.Our scoutmaster,Ray,brought seafood chowder,moose,and venison meat for the adults for lunch,which was good. The boys had beef stew and grilled cheese sandwiches.

The sun shone until just after noontime,when the clouds started rolling in a some snow started to fly.  It was somewhere between the upper teens to mid twenties,and there was a slight wind that would blow on occasion,but we were bundled up so it wasn't that bad. I did use hand and feet warmers,which made a big difference.There was a warming tent for those who got too cold,and a nice big campfire that we could stand in front of. ( We didn't use the tent,but we did use the fire).

Needless to say,being in cold fresh air all day makes one sleepy. Zach fell asleep on the way home. Rick and I were both in bed by eight. We were beat,but it was a good kind of beat. 

Today,here in the US is Super Bowl Sunday.  On one hand,I would like to see San Francisco win because Baltimore beat the Pats,but on the other, I would like to see Baltimore win because they are from the East Coast. I guess it doesn't really matter either way. The commercials themselves are well worth watching. We have some coupons for Pizza Hut so we are going to to get pizza and Buffalo Chicken wings to nibble on during the game.

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Can We Have Our Town Back Now?

Yesterday there was yet another unfortunate incident in our small town. So far,we have had three in a span of a few weeks. The first was a high speed chase that ended just down the road from us. Two young men from Farmington were arrested for not only evading police,etc,but for trying to force another driver off the road in a road rage incident and threatening him with a chain saw. The police chased the two men from Farmington to just down the road from us.Middleton PD had been given the heads up and and place stop sticks in the road,which shredded the suspects tires,and they wound up coming to halt at Middleton Lumber,which was good,because if they had continued up our road,they surely would've lost control of their car.Our road has good curves on it going up to Wolfboro,and driving at high rates of speed doesn't work out too well.

The second incident was a domestic call. Apparently the women flipped out on the Boys in Blue,by kicking them and resisting arrest. They police had to pepper spray and tase her to stop her.

Then yesterday,we had a police standoff on the back side of Sunrise Lake. As the crow flies from our house,you can get to Sunrise Lake through the woods.It might take you an hour(maybe a bit less) to get there on foot,but you can get there.Apparently,a homeless man who used to live here in town broke into his brother's house by the lake and stole his firearms,including and AK-47,with several rounds of ammunition. Someone saw him walking on Silver St with all this weaponry (he did have some in a duffel bag) and called the police,because it's not normal to see someone walking around armed to the teeth.When the police approached him,he ran into the woods,went to a house,and held the woman living there hostage. Thankfully,after a few hours,the mediators were able to convince him to release the woman,and he was arrested.

My first hint that something was going on is when I went to the mailbox to get mail. My back was to the road when I heard a car fly by,and as I turned to look at what vehicle it was so I could  yell at them to slow down,I saw it was a State Trooper,so I knew something was up. Then a few minutes later,I saw a Middleton PD car fly up the road. 15 minutes later,the school district called saying that all Middleton bus students were going to held at the Jr high because of an incident in Middleton,and the police did not want students going home .Zach had to stay after school anyway,for his Youth To Youth group. Of course, now we are beyond curious as to what is going on,and there was nothing posted on line yet,so we called our friend who has a scanner to see if she heard anything. The next thing we knew,was there was a heavily armed man in the woods around Sunrise Lake. We called our neighbors who live at the end of Avon Lane,and who has quite a bit of wooded property to give them a heads up,because who knew where this guy was going?  He could've wound up walking down Avon Lane from the woods,and if he was on the run, and with all that weaponry,who knows what he could do? Needless to say,at the wooded end of the Avon and here at our end,everyone was on alert and had their guns nearby,just in case. The next info we got was that he was in a house and had taken a female hostage. The area had been evacuated and the folks had been moved to the town hall. While I felt horrible for the woman he had taken hostage,I was relieved that he was contained and we didn't have to be on the lookout for some Rambo- Wanna -Be Wackadoo.

Our town is very small,maybe 1,200 folks,and like any other town,we do have crime such as break ins (mostly around the lake in the winter when the summer folks are gone),domestic violence,etc.However,nothing like what happened yesterday.

I don't like it,and I don't like the feeling it gives me. The outside world is encroaching on my little piece of heaven and I don't like it one little bit. I am thankful for the Middleton PD,Milton PD and the NH SWAT team for doing a good job and bringing this horrible incident to a safe end.I am also grateful to the teachers who stayed after to help keep an eye on the Middleton students and make sure they were OK until they were able to go home.

As always......
Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!