Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Just a bit of an update...I've been VERY busy with work lately and only have a couple of hours a day to myself.  I feel like I am falling behind in almost everything.  As I mentioned before we are working extended shifts -- 6 days a week.  I leave at 6:30 AM and get home around 6:30 PM.  Then I grab a bite to eat, do a little cleaning or pick zucchinis or check my e-mail, pet Sassy a while (because I feel like she is being neglected) and then go to bed.... get up at 5:30AM and start over.  
So, if you are a friend of mine and I haven't called you recently, I'm sorry.  I had wanted to do so much this summer.  I still have to find time to do more tie-dye or batik.  I'd like to go to the beach once.  I had wanted to have some friends over or go to Grand Rapids for a visit (longer than just over night).  Now they are running adds for "back to school".  It's enough to make me cry.  OK, so I know summer isn't over yet.  I have a few days off in September too -- that will be nice.  I guess I am just having a bit of depression over the whole thing.
One bit of good news... they have upgraded me to the role of "mentor" at work.  Unfortunately there is no pay raise involved, but it will get me off the phones for a while.  Basically, when they run a new training class I will assist the trainer with the students and help them out.
In other news... we switched cell phone providers and I got a new phone (my old one was beyond ancient).  I am keeping my old 616 number still for those of you who call me....
I am drowning in zucchini!  I've been donating to the market stand that Mary and Dave run but I still have too many!  
I keep having dreams that come true (well, sort of).  I dream that I am experiencing something and then within a week it happens to someone I know....
I've been working on painting a shelf when I get a few minutes to spare.  I will post a photo of the finished project when done.  It was a $3 garage sale item that has potential....
It is hot and sticky and I ran through the sprinkler this evening....
The barn swallows are always attacking the gray barn cat.  I wonder what he did to make them that angry...
The other barn cat had another litter of kitties.  She lost the last ones somehow.  I never saw them.

This is a photo I took tonight of zinnias and cilantro (the white flowers).  They were pretty and smelled like salsa too!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Zucchini Garden Chowder

I just have to share this recipe I tried the other day.  The results were delicious and it helped use up some of my zucchini (and onions and parsley from the garden).  Sorry Jen, it isn't gluten free or dairy free... but I bet we could change some things around to make it work.   The original recipe is from "Taste of Home's Garden Fresh Recipes" - an awesome little cook book I bought from the 4-H kids at our farmer's market.
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped (I added this to the recipe)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes (I substituted "Better than Bouillon - Vegetable")
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Pinch sugar, optional (I forgot to add it - still tasted great!)
Additional chopped parsley, optional
In a Dutch oven or soup kettle over medium h
eat, saute the zucchini, onion, parsley and basil in butter until the vegetables are tender.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually stir in water.  Add the bouillon and lemon juice; mix well.
Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes, milk and corn; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until corn is tender.  Just before serving, stir in cheeses until melted.  Add sugar and garnish with parsley if desired.  Yield: 8-10 servings (about 2-1/2 quarts).

Mom and I loved it!  We were quite hungry after a long day walking around Frankenmuth - shopping.  This will definitely go on my list of favorites.  

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer keeps rolling by

It seems like this summer is just flying by.  I saw back to school adds in the paper already!  I know we are well into July -- but give me a break!  
The powers-that-be at work decided that I now have to work 6 days a week this summer.  I thought the 10 hour days were bad enough, but I guess they had at least one more trick up their sleeves.  We'll see if they try to do anything else to mess with my summer.

Anyway, I wanted to post a couple of photos on here that I shot in my free time.  The first one is obviously a sunflower from the garden out back.  I was out working in the garden last week Thursday.  I pulled all of the peas out of the garden.  The remaining pods had gotten quite large because I couldn't get to them fast enough.  We are also starting to harvest onions.  They are so sweet and fresh!  I've only pulled out two so far because they still have some growing to do.  I also picked my first zucchini today.  The cilantro has already flowered because I couldn't keep up with that either.  I had gotten enough to make some awesome salsa though.  That is about all the news from the garden.
Yesterday after work I was able to join the family reunion that was taking place here on the farm.  It is Charlie's father's side that met up here.  Aunt Mary and Uncle Dave were working all week to pull it off.  It seemed as though everyone was having a good time.  I snapped this photo of my youngest niece.  She is such a sweety!  I will have to get some photos up of the rest of the kids soon.

I am working on getting the apartment cleaned up and ready for company.  Mom is coming to visit by the end of the week.  I had a four day weekend planned (I took two days of vacation) - but now I am forced to work a day right in the middle of the weekend.  Argh!  Very frustrating.  I'm still excited though.  Mom and I get along so well and have many of the same interests.  It should be a nice visit - despite my job.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Peas Recipes Please

I have way too many weeds in my garden and far too many hours to put in at work lately!
I've been pretty tired lately and I really should be in bed right now.  Oh well.  The more I work, the bigger the paycheck will be.  And the more I work in the garden, the more produce I end up with.  

I just picked these peas tonight after work.  I have more than I can use.  I am going to nibble on some tomorrow at work.  I'll probably make a stir fry soon too.  Does anyone else have any recipes for snow peas?  Please share your recipe with me if you do.  I'm open to anything because I'll be pulling more peas out again soon.