Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mice 3- Humans 0 and Some Food

Well, the little bubonic plague carriers have taken the bait off all eight traps for three consecutive nights.

It is war.

A few friends have suggested glue traps. My mom used them once when I was a kid. It was horrific and I cannot do that ever again. Though I am tempted, the idea of something screeching as it breaks its own legs grosses me out.

Our son picked up another cold and of course the first thought I had was, "He got a hantavirus from the rodents!" Last night I had gone into his room and he was having problems breathing because he was so stuffy. I cursed those fur balls and kept hoping I would hear the traps snap and that this nightmare would be over, but no. Somehow they have alluded their deaths and I am beside myself.

All of our food is in jars or containers. My husband has steel wooled every hole he could find and yet, they are still coming into our pantry. This is baffling and impressive. What it comes down to at this point is that I just want someone to come in, rip open my walls and remove the offending nest and residents.

What a friggin' health hazard. I get that we live in the country and mice are the norm in some cases, but this is beyond foul.

Oh, we are also seriously considering getting a cat. That's right. Let nature do what it was meant to do, but our luck we would end up with a cat that ignores the mice. God has a sense of humor.

I don't want to end on a crabby note, so here are some recipes I have not tried but look tasty.

Delicata squash, Brussels Sprouts, & Hazelnut Salad with Cider Vinaigrette from Dishing Up The Dirt

Pear and Fig Mincemeat from Frugal Feeding

Apple Cider Caramel Corn from Annie's Eats

Harvest Vegetable Soup from Nourishing Meals


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Snow, Mice and Bergdorf's

We woke up this morning to find mice droppings on our counters, in our son's playroom, on our stove and on a counter that separates the kitchen from the dining room. Gross. What really pissed me off is that I had left a cookie tray out to bake today and lo and behold, they had the audacity to shit all over my Silpat. No one shits on my $25 silicone baking sheet and gets away with it! I have run boiling hot water and soap over it about five times. Hooray for that.  Thanks to a neighbor, we now have four traps that will be set up tonight in the kitchen. And everything, I mean everything is in jars or containers now. Dig the pantry.

I actually like how organized it looks. 
As for any other food that was out, I moved most of the squash into the refrigerator and the apples to a bowl to be placed in the hutch. Frustrating, but for now, the best way to handle this. The less access to food they have, the less I need to kill and they can just move along. At least, they better find another place to make a nest. I really would like to avoid spending cash on a exterminator. Though is anyone has a barn cat I can let loose, please let me know. :)

Today is our first big snow storm here. We are due anywhere from 6-8 inches, down from 8-12, and it does look pretty out. Here is that tree I had posted just about two weeks back with all it's pretty leaves. Now she is covered in light snow.

This may or may not mess with our Thanksgiving plans tomorrow. We are due to head up to Rockland County in New York State which will take about an hour and a half. The roads should be clear, but one never knows since snow is not due to stop until very late and it started even later than predicted, so we may end up home instead of heading out. Sucks because we would love to see our friends, but no reason to risk life and limb to do so.

I watched "Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's" yesterday and I absolutely loved it! I have shopped there before so I understood the allure of the name and the beauty of the store. Honestly, I was always treated very well so do not feel you need to be a big ol' millionaire to go in and walk around and browse or even purchase anything.
What I really enjoyed was seeing the process of how the Christmas windows are designed. Spectacular craftsmanship goes into the ideas and I was very impressed by the artists they collaborated with. The history of the building itself as well as how the store started was interesting too.

I know a lot of folks are on a screw consumerism kick, especially at Christmas which I agree with and respect, but this type of shopping shown is a different level altogether.  Quite frankly, I refuse to ignore that there are some beautiful products out in the world. So what if I can't buy them? I can still window shop and be happy with all I have. And FYI I want that chair you see Vera Wang sitting in. Stunning. Just stunning.

Well, that is all I have for now my dears. Stay warm, have a wonderful day and a Happy Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 22, 2014


We have mice.

This is not acceptable.

I have found droppings in my pantry and they ate through a Mylar bag of my oats.

Little bastards.

I get it. We live in the country. It is cold. They need food. But I have a small child. And a dog. And me and my hubby.

Piss off little fur balls.

It absolutely grosses me out that I have vermin in my walls. This never happened when we had cats and now we are seriously considering getting another one. We did want to wait awhile, but this may change things. For now my husband has filled any possible cracks in the pantry with steel wool and covered it with duct tape. This of course is after a removed said droppings they correct way, dabbing at them with a wet paper towel to prevent little clouds of Bubonic Plague germs from shooting into the air, and sprayed with Lysol. I don't know why I think that will even do anything, but it made me feel better. We have also found droppings underneath the kitchen sink so we need to figure out how to block that area too since the prior owners cut a hole for the pipes the size of Africa.

Dumb asses.

I know you are thinking, "Call and exterminator", but I have read conflicting things on that. Why am I going to pay someone to tell me to set traps and plug up holes? We can do that and if all else fails, then I might, MIGHT, let you someone in my home with some toxic spray. I worry more about having dead mice carcasses in my wall because that will attract a different kind of pest. So we are hoping if we make said food source unavailable, they will retreat to a much more attractive home.

Next stop is Tractor Supply where we will be purchasing a 12 pack or two of mason jars to put any and all dry goods into safe keeping. Most of our food is in jars already, but I do have dried beans and pasta and sugar and they are just waiting for the mice to discover them.

So that is the excitement here. Mice have been discovered and cats are being considered. Mother Nature always has the upper hand don't she?


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mish Mash of Stuff

I have residual snot going on, sexy way to open a paragraph eh?, but the cold has pretty much left the building with out any other collateral damage. Hooray!

I just spent and aggravating fifteen minutes on the Huggies Diaper site. (Dear Huggies IT Dept, your coding sucks.) Why was I on the site you ask? Because when we had gotten brand name diapers as gifts, we logged on to their sites and entered special codes so we could try and win prizes. The catch is you have to buy a lot of boxes of diapers to get points so mine have been languishing at Huggies. I did better with Pampers and got a nice gift certificate to Shutterfly to buy a poster.
Anyway, Huggies was holding my paltry 235 points. So I did what any decent person who does not have enough to get a freebie for themselves would do. I donated the points, via Huggies, who then give diapers to the Naitonal Diaper Bank Network. I am saddened and horrified that there are families out there unable to buy diapers. First off, name brands are ridiculously pricey and may I say that the Target brand rocks, as does their formula, and both are usually almost half the price less than Enfamil, Pampers or Huggies. Second, I realize there are people who are not fortunate enough to have access to multiple shopping options so I needed to get off my high horse and help. And this is really why I gave the points away.  Sure I could get really nuts and insist they do the cloth diaper route. We did that, but that is also not necessarily cheap to start with AND not every daycare will take cloth diapers. Dilemmas come in all shapes and sized and in places you would least expect.

Staying on the donation tip, 'tis the season, we had a clothing drive at my son's preschool with Big Brother Big Sister. The school will get twenty cents for each pound of clothing. While this is a great help to all of us needing to get rid of clothes and shoes and whatnot, and great for the charity to have things to give away and sell, it is interesting to me that fund raising can be done, while using a charity who also fund raisers. The times, they are complex.

I was in the library today doing some knitting and picked up Town and Country Magazine to read. Now, if you are unfamiliar with this little gem of colorful prints and prose, check it out. It is and always has been a magazine for the 1% and I do not lie. Ads for jewelry lines like Van Cleef & Aprels, Verdura and more obscure brands dot the pages. There is coverage of all the High Society folks and where they are eating or vacationing. Hell, you can even learn "How to Dress Like An Italian Aristocrat".  This pleasurable leisure reading. Indulge my dears.

I am seriously considering purchasing some Day of the Dead artwork in Mink's Paperie's Etsy shop.

I can see my husband purchasing this Manipulative Math Set for our son, but him enjoying it more. LOL

Fat Free Vegan Kitchen's Walnut and Kidney Bean Spread looks tasty and versatile.

Have a great day!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Damn Germs

I am home, in bed with a cold.

I have had enough of this.

Our son's pediatrician had told me that my hubby and I would get sick a lot this year due to our son being in preschool two days a week.

Little petri dishes these kids are.

Oh well. I am not pleasant to be around at all right now. I am moody thanks to uncontrollable hormones and I feel like I have been laid out by a truck. Of course I have yelled at my family because I have no sense and it is inexcusable. My poor son probably considers me a harpy and he and his father would be right.

Forgive me.

When I feel like this, well, it is when I miss my mom the most. I would love to have her here to fuss and soothe me and let me be a big, sick baby.

Perhaps I should whip up some of this cough and cold syrup from Keeper of the Home for the winter.

And if you are feeling blah like me, get some amusement from this insane post on Houzz. Seriously, a kettle for $123.50? What a steal! ;-)


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2 Recipes You Must Try

We received a serious amount of cranberries from our CSA last week and apparently we are getting more this final week. I had no desire to make cranberry sauce so I did a search, found a cranberry bread recipe and made it this evening. The only change I made was adding a glaze over the loaf and oh my, this rocks.

Cranberry Bread Recipe from Crunchy Creamy Sweet.

Last night I made a Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash using Tofurky Sun Dried Tomato sausage. Yes, it was damn good. Very filling. I also left out the tomatoes because my hubby is not a big fan and I was using my cast iron pan and you are not to cook tomatoes in cast iron. They were not really missed. I added a few sundried tomatoes to the baking part which was a nice addition of flavor.

Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash from Eating Well.



Monday, November 10, 2014

An Outing

My brother lives up in Orange County, NY which is about an hour and fifteen minutes from where we are. It was a nice crisp fall day and he suggested we head over to Long Pong Ironworks and walk one of the trails.
We had driven past the site every time we had visited so it was pretty nice to go and actually check it out.
The ruins were precarious and some were just the foundations. The water wheels though were impressive with their immense size.

We did not hit the actual museum but if you are ever in the area of West Milford on the NJ/NY border, I recommend the walk for its beauty,  tranquility and amazing photo opportunities. You can get more information here at The Friends of Long Pond Ironwork site.
Here are just a few pictures from our little outing. Note the gorgeous reddish pink burning bushes. Unfortunately they are considered an invasive species which is a shame because they really add such a jolt of color to the landscape.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Welcome to the End of the Week

My hasn't it been a busy one? You do your normal and then have a bunch of extras thrown in. It is nice to be busy and it is also nice to have a moment to sit and breathe.

Last night I finished reading a friend's book and gave my two cents. She is in the process of editing and cleaning it up before sending over to an agent and asked if I would look it over. I am happy that I actually enjoyed the story and that she was willing to let me comment. I must say, I cannot wait for the day where I send my novel to an agent, but patience, patience right?

I have been roasting or pan frying most of our vegetables and have also begun drying fennel fronds. Seems a shame to throw them into the composter if I can use them.

I rearranged and cleaned out my spice cabinet area and the pantry where most of our dry goods are. Amazing how balsamic vinegar bottles leave dark rings everywhere.

Last year I sold same knitted neck warmers at a craft show in Ohio. Basically, a friend is from there, she goes home for Turkey Day and her and her mom and sis-in-law open their home and sell their wares. I made $60 last year which made me chipper. I got a text the other day to see if I was interested in doing it again and I said yes, so I have begun knitting like a maniac. FYI - My right wrist is on fire and hates me.

The leaves are almost all off the trees. Sad really. Felt like summer was so short. Got a nice shot of one of our favorite tress on the side of the house earlier this week. It just started dropping its leaves in abundance yesterday, but look how stunning it was a few days ago.

Can't believe it is November already! Ah well, we say that every year. Like it crept up on us, but man it feels like it really has this time around. Enjoy all the food!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Kids That Rock

One day in my YouTube feed I kept getting some videos of music students. I finally decided to take a listen and may I say I was impressed. Apparently this guy, one Aaron O'Keefe, and about 26 other teachers instruct kids in various musical techniques from ages 6-18  in Cincinnati, Ohio.  These kids and teens are incredibly talented, especially the singer, featured in the video below, Kala Scarpinski. I would be very surprised if this young lady does not get far in the music industry. I know it is a tough, eat you raw business, but some people you see and just know. Check out these youngsters performing Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Another Yummy Dinner and Halloween

The other night I made The Simple Veganista's Ultimate Vegetable Lentil Loaf. It was hardy and damn well delicious.
I used ancho chili powder instead of the optional chipotle because it was what I had on hand. I also chose to use all purpose flour instead of oat flour. I was too lazy to ground down any oats. haha. I greased the pan with coconut oil because it seemed like a nice addition of a good old healthy fat.
The glaze is spectacularly good. I can imagine it on fish, a hamburger, anything really.  I also pan roasted a side of brussels sprouts to go with it. I used frozen brussels. I had them out on the counter for about 15-20 minutes, then I rinsed them in cold water and cooked them in ghee and maple pepper with garlic blend. Oh my!

Our son truly enjoyed going out for Halloween this year. A friend gave us her son's old costumes and so, our child was Superman!!

*Superman and his heavy bag of treats. Do you dig the fake musculature? LOL

He said "Trick or Treat" and "Happy Halloween" and was excited to receive a bounty of chocolate. I also used some of his stash to feed the rounds of kids coming through our area. A few days before I was thinking how I wanted an alternative to just giving candy and came across The Teal Pumpkin Project on Apartment Therapy. The actual teal colored pumpkin lets kids with allergies know there are alternative treats for them at that particular house. I am happy to say a house around the corner form me had the pumpkin prominently displayed on their porch. I did not have a teal pumpkin, but thanks to that post I added glow sticks and stickers to our treats and they were a HUGE hit, especially the glow sticks. (Thank you to Michael's for selling a pack of 12 glow sticks for a buck. I bought 4 and only had 6 left, but that is because I do not put everything out all at once.) I will definitely be doing the same thing again next year.

Hope you all have a happy weekend.