Saturday, September 28

well, shit

Last night, Brian had to run to the office to get something. Jake and I were watching Sons of Anarchy at the time. Shortly after he left, I heard the fire whistle blowing and I thought "hmm, I hope that wasn't Brian". Turns out it was. A skunk was crossing Goucher Street and Brian slowed down to avoid hitting it. Unfortunately, the lady driving the car behind him did not and she rear-ended him.

The lady appeared to be ok, but was really shaken up so she went to the hospital. Brian was fine. I picked him up at the scene after they were done with him. The car looks like it might be totaled--the back end is completely smashed and it's not like it's an expensive vehicle, so I think we might be car shopping soon. I guess we'll find out next week.

Monday, September 23

winter garden

Yesterday, I planted some stuff that will eventually be under the hoops. Lettuce, spinach, onions and the like.

I'm crossing my fingers that there isn't a frost tonight because I still haven't gotten around to picking the remaining peppers that are growing in the garden. Though, I did can a nice batch of pickled peppers over the weekend.

I noticed some leaves falling already. Soon, it will be time to close the pond for the winter.

I'll end with a haiku:

It's almost winter
No more playing in the yard
Time to clean the house

Wednesday, September 18

shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot

We were supposed to take one of our employees shooting today after work, but she was not feeling well and was unable to make it. Hopefully we'll get to reschedule for next week.

Brian, Jake and I decided to go anyway because we didn't get to go shooting yet this summer. We ended up taking the shotgun, which we purchased quite a few years ago and never shot until today. It was a lot of fun. Brian filled up some gallon jugs with water and we used them as targets. We took a couple of other guns and our new metal pistol target, which was pretty cool. Brian spent the evening cleaning guns so now the house smells like gun solvent. Ahh...

Friday, September 13

the dead room

This book was ok for being a free one. It had a couple of typos in it, though. Typos in books really bug me. How about getting an editor? Anyway, it was a pretty cool story about a serial killer. The serial killer story line had a nice twist to it. But, then the author made a totally unnecessary twist at the end that ruined the story a little for me.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday, September 10

grape jelly

I always thought (well, not always, but since I've been canning) it would be cool to make grape jelly, but I didn't have a source for the grapes...until yesterday. One of my Facebook friends posted that she had some extra concord grapes growing in her yard and they were up for grabs. I immediately called dibs and was rewarded with two grocery bags full of grapes.

I extracted the juice last night and made jelly tonight. It is quite tasty. I see a lot of PB&J sandwiches in my future.

Friday, September 6

clutter busters

I'm always trying to tame the clutter monster at our house. Our house is on the smaller size (and we have a bunch of crap), so this is continually a challenge.

Brian is building me a new dining room table this fall. Since we always have a bunch of stuff (mail, laptops and such) all over the table, I decided to fix that problem once and for all. I found a nice secretary desk online and purchased it. And then moved all of the stuff from the dining room table to it. 

My dining room sideboard's drawers were overflowing as well, so I bought a matching 6-door cabinet to store some of those items in. 

While I was at it, I repurposed a few older pieces of furniture and moved them to other rooms (also moving their contents to the new storage pieces). And, I ended up rearranging some of the living room furniture, too. I'm not sure if I like the new arrangement yet--it feels like something is missing (perhaps an additional piece of furniture!).

And, Brian has been working to finish the living room trim (finally). So, things are looking pretty good around here. 

Wednesday, September 4

batty

Early Labor Day morning (around 3:30am), I woke up to go to the bathroom. When I opened the bedroom door, I saw something fly out of the room and then back in. I turned on the bedroom light and immediately shut the door, thus locking Brian and the three dogs in the bedroom with a bat.

Brian stayed in bed with the covers over his head as the bat circled around him. Once the bat stopped flying, he and the dogs left the bedroom. I immediately asked Google what to do about the situation and was dismayed to find out that if a bat is found in a room with a sleeping person, that the bat needs to be tested for rabies (as a sleeping person could have been bitten by the bat and not noticed it). If positive or if the bat cannot be located, the sleeping person must get a series of rabies shots. The dogs would need a rabies booster as well.

So we searched for the bat for a while (till about 6am), but could not find it anywhere in the room. We even started removing stuff from the bedroom just to eliminate hiding places. By this point, we were pretty tired, so we slept in the living room until 8am and resumed the search. This time, the critter was found immediately--he was resting in one of the window valances.

We then researched how to capture a bat and opted for a quart-sized plastic container. After working up some courage, Brian went in there and scooped him up. Next, he called the PA Department of Health, who directed us to call the Game Commission. Due to the holiday, this took a number of phone calls.

The game commission sent someone to the house to pick up the bat. He was from Ebensburg and arrived pretty quickly. Again, due to the holiday, the bat couldn't be taken to the lab for testing until Tuesday. The guy from the game commission said that if the bat had rabies, we would definitely hear something today (Wednesday). Otherwise, it would be a bit longer until we get the results. So, in this case, I guess no news is good news as we did not hear anything today. However, if we don't hear anything by the end of the week, Brian's going to make some calls because mistakes can happen and I want to definitively know the results before the weekend. I really don't think either of us were bitten, but you can't be too careful when it comes to rabies.

That said, I cannot even fathom how a bat got into the house. And, I don't really like thinking about it. Yesterday, I checked our attic to make sure we didn't have a colony of bats living up there. Luckily, we did not. So, the lone bat was probably just a fluke.

This whole situation has me yearning for a bat free winter.

Monday, September 2

labor day weekend

We took full advantage of the holiday weekend and actually did some fun stuff for a change. On Friday, Brian and I went to the Ethnic Fest for supper (Jake was at a birthday party). Brian had pierogies from St. Mary's, which is usually what I get, but I ended up having a delicious pulled pork sandwich from Shorty's Italian Smokehouse instead. Even though Jake wasn't there, I snagged 4 pierogies for his Saturday lunch.

On Saturday, we went to the Log House Arts Festival. We used to attend that frequently, but got away from it in recent years. I'm thinking about doing a craft show for Everyone Drinks next year (assuming I can get my act together and get some inventory made), so I've been trying to go to some craft shows to check things out (and I'm not doing a great job of that, either).

Yesterday, we went to the Cambria County Fair. It has been years since I have been there. Brian claims that we went once when we were dating, but I can't recall doing that. Either way, it has been a long time. Jake's been there a few times with the grandparents, but I think it's been a couple of years for him, too. It was fun to walk around and check out the animals and other displays. And, I won a couple of goldfish for the pond, so that was cool, too.

Today, we had both sets of parents and our niece over for a cookout. We did grilled pizza and ribs. We have grilled pizza down to a science now. I'll be sad when it's cold out and I have to make pizza in the house.

Sunday, September 1

preservation

I've canned a number of items so far this season. I always hope to do more, but summer is a real time crunch for me and canning is pretty time consuming. I'll probably squeeze in a few more things before I run out of vegetables, but here's what I've done so far:
  • Strawberries on Top Preserves
  • Sweet Pickle Relish
  • Dill Sandwich Slices
  • Fiesta Salsa
  • Pickled Cherry Peppers
  • Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Giardiniera
I do small batch canning, so I get maybe 6-12 jars of each item. I wish I had more tomatoes because I could use a lot of those during the winter.

I've also frozen a number of veggies and I have some more in the fridge that are awaiting freezer treatment. I'm planning on doing a fall/winter garden again this year so hopefully I can get through part of the winter before having to buy crappy veggies at the grocery store.