Sunday, November 9, 2014

The First 48

No.  Not the television program.  I'm referring to the near 48 days that I have been in the states.  We have been sooooo busy, that I have not been able to do any blogging since we arrived.  Today is one of the 4 free days that I have had since arriving and it is about to get busy!  I figured I had better touch base with everyone before you all thought that I had moved totally off the grid.

As you all know if you have followed my blogs, I have been trying to become more independent in regard to growing our own food.  I have moved in the direction of preserving my own food and storing it for future use or emergency situations.  So, I went to the store and purchased this........

yep.  It's a pressure cooker/canner thingee......:-).

One of the first things I wanted to try was pickling some cukes that I purchased at the local farmer's market.  But the first order of business was to get the brine ready.  I bought all of the stuff I needed and heated it on the stove as the directions instructed.

washed my cukes and got them bottled up and into the canner.  it is supposed to take about 4 weeks before they cure.  I skipped all of the steps in between because it just was not that  serious to me! ha.  But I did stick to the sanitation guide lines, of course!

I would try to run down the list of the things we canned in the pressure cooker, but I am sure I would miss something.  This picture shows my first batch of pickled mixed pepper (sweet) and some navy beans with bacon.....:-).  I got to thinking that I was going to have to clear a few shelves and the floor to take on the project I had in mind.

This is the 10 pounds of bacon out of the 16 that we purchased for food storage.  I layed it out on parchment paper, rolled it, and cooked it in the pressure cooker for 90 minutes per the instructions for meet.

What's a pantry without potatoes?  We purchased some Yukon Golds and some Butter Golds and decided to give them a whirl too.  There were two ways to do it.  I did a few quart jars that I par-boiled first and two that I did not.  The ones That I did not par-boil had a layer of "starch" in the bottom of the jar.  I only did two of those.  The others I added mixed peppers to before canning them.

Chris was washing and chopping away at the sink!  He was a real trooper!....:-).  Thank you, baby.....:-).

When I finally reached the four day mark of doing this from sun up to sun down, I was ready to organize my cabinet/closet space.  It is hard to see everything from this picture.  But there are organic tomatoes, asparagus, french green beans, collard greens, bar-b-que beef cubes, jerk chicken, beef stew, chicken soup, beef soup, carrots, and pears that I just did this morning; not shown in the pantry as they are still cooling......:-).  I tried to do "meals in a jar".

 When it was all said and done (and I'm not quite done yet), we have process over 54 jars of food using the pressure canner and water bath methods.  I plan to open one jar of everything between now and the time we leave again just to make sure all is well.  So, far all of the seals are holding nicely and are expected to do so for 2-5 years!

We did some traveling to Texas since we have been here and all the while that we have been hear, my poor bikes have just sat in the car port!  I was either too tired or too busy to give the poor things the attention that they needed.  So, Chris took all of them out for short runs to keep the "juices flowing" so to speak.
Here he is just getting to take "Rascal" out for his run.

And here he is coming back.  What!  No helmet??

Ruby was to go next for her run.......:-)

She ran just fine......:-)  Still no helmet......:-(.

We decided that since the trees are turning as quickly as the weather, that we should put some Seafoam in the bikes to get them ready for storage.  Here is "Raspberry" getting her dose before her run.  She was hesitant to start; poor little thing, but we finally got her going.

Hey!  He found my earring stuck to my key chain !!  Thanks!  haha

and off she went!

All went well.  And this time he wore his helmet......:-).  Yay!  \o/

Well, that is all for that.  I hope to take one of them soon if I can muster the energy!


As you can see, this blog does not cover all 48 days of being in the states, but I hit the high points!  Next step was some R&R at the zoo!

My assistant, Helen went with us and treated us to the ticket when we arrived.......:-).  Very cool!

Here she is Photo bombing us!

 ahhhh hah!!  We managed to get this one i n without the photo bomber!

It was quite the site to see Chris sitting on a bronze baby elephant....bronco style!. haha

I'll just let them do this one.....haha.  I wasn't about to try that myself....ha

There was a peacock roaming around looking for food to be dropped by the Human visitors.

I couldn't help but wonder if Silver Back Apes really get to be this size.  I think they do!

I think I make him look pretty good.....:-)

Not sure of what these were, but I know they like to throw "stuff" at you if they are aggravated.  I'm glad they were behind the glass.....hahaha

I caught this picture on our way to another site.......:-).  Very beautiful.

We saw this baby rhino and her mamma just as it was time for their feeding.

I had never seen Flamingos here as many times as I had been to this zoo over the years.  But, I was glad to see them this time.  their feathers were almost a corral color.  Actually, more corral than pink as you would suppose they would be.

Our last hour and few minutes there, we decided to visit the Sea Lions.  Unfortunately, there was another aquarium tank behind me when I took this picture.  But I wanted you to see how big this creature was.  Her baby is just above her in the upper right of the shot.  When I put my hand to the glass, "mamma" tried to bite it off!  Another moment when I was glad to be behind the glass!

I have another picture of this giant shell somewhere, but couldn't resist taking it again.  This has got to be the biggest oyster thingee I have ever seen!  Can you imagine what a pearl out of this thing would have been worth??

The sun was setting and the zoo was due to close in a few minutes.  We started to make our way back to the entrance.

We passed this bronze Jack Rabbit on our way out.  I believe he had to be the size of a great dane dog!

And so ended our adventure at the zoo!

It's been a fabulous, although busy 40 + days here in the states.  Winter is about to set in and I'm ready to see some beautiful snow which seems to be faithful to show up on or around my birthday!  But, I guess we should get through Thanksgiving and Christmas first, though- eh?  By the way, to all of my Canadian friends and fellow bloggers; Happy Thanks giving!  We will celebrate again for you at the end of the month when we have ours!

see you later!