Friday, August 30, 2013

Cautiously Optimistic

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Martin has made some serious progress since my last update! He took another step backwards, but this past week and a half has been very positive for the little bugger!

Martin in the window
Martin first started having problems because of his kidneys. He was making kidney stones, and wasn’t able to pass them. So his kidneys got obstructed, and they couldn’t clear the toxins from his blood like they were supposed to. So he didn’t feel good, and he stopped eating.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chicken Paprika

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This recipe isn’t quite as quick as some of the others I have posted recently, but it certainly is tasty, and it’s still a one-pot stovetop meal! Plan this for a night when you’ll have a little more time before everyone is screaming for dinner, and you’ll be in great shape!

chicken paprika

This recipe is adapted a little from Gooseberry Patch’s “101 Stovetop Suppers” cookbook.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Baby Bump 31 weeks

As of today, I’m officially 32 weeks pregnant (the pictures are from a few days ago). That means there’s only 4 weeks to go! Holy moly… how did that happen? This is pretty unbelievable…

(Update. Apparently I can't do math. Or read a calendar. I'm not 4 weeks out... There are eight whole more weeks to go! I guess that means we have plenty of time...?)

Big huge thanks to everyone who commented and sent me emails on my last baby bump post about the things I should (and shouldn’t) worry about. I did take a mom-friend shopping to help finish out my registry. I’m sure we’ll be adding a few things here and there, but I think we’ve got the important stuff taken care of.

The bump is definitely getting more pronounced. The kid is definitely getting bigger.

baby bump 31 weeks
I had another ultrasound last week to check in on Baby Doc. He’s weighing in at an estimated 4.25 pounds. Average for this age is 3.3 pounds. Yep, he’s above average. Still. I thought his head looked like it was getting pretty big. The ultrasound tech wouldn’t tell me what the circumference is… In retrospect, that’s probably a good thing…

profile ultrasound 31 weeks
We got our first 3D ultrasound pictures. I think these photos make the baby look sort of lumpy, and kind of creepy. The ultrasound tech told me that I was wrong, and he looks very cute. He’ll probably be cute when he’s born.

3D ultrasound face 31 weeks
Last week, my fingers apparently got swollen. I’ve been keeping an eye on my wedding rings, to make sure they didn’t get too tight to get off my fingers. I had a moment of panic on the way back from the doctor’s office when I almost couldn’t get them off. But a little elevation and holding my hand directly in the path of the air conditioner in the truck, and I was able to get them off.

swollen fingers
Now they’re on my necklace instead of on my fingers. (Don’t mind the cat hair on the shirt. It’s an occupational hazard.)

wedding rings on a necklace
Next up? Turning this messy room into a nursery…

nursery before
I’ve got some great plans for it… but it’s going to take some serious work…

Friday, August 23, 2013

Slowing Down… For Now

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It seems that the garden is slowing down. A little bit. For now. All we need is a little bit of rain, and I’m sure it will spring back into action. But for now, I’m welcoming the (short-lived) break.

The zucchini and summer squash have about had it. But not quite. They are still throwing a few large fruits out there. (Really all this means is that we don’t go check them enough anymore. Anyone need a giant summer squash?)

yellow squash
Most of the butternut squash plants have died, but there is one that is holding on like a trooper. And he is putting out some great-looking butternut squashes! I can’t wait to make these guys into soup in a few weeks!

butternut squash
The spaghetti squash plants are still going strong. For whatever reason, they have not been affected by the butternut-squash-wilt that is at the other end of this row. So we’ll have plenty of spaghetti squash to go around when these are ready. (Any ideas on how to preserve these? I’ll need to do some research pretty soon!)

spaghetti squash
Our tomatoes are just barely starting to get ripe. (The cherry tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes are way ahead of the “regular” size tomatoes.) There have only been two that have been ripe enough to pick yet, but they are coming…

ripening tomatoes
Oh boy are they coming! We’re going to have to dedicate a whole weekend to canning tomatoes, I think…

green tomatoes
The watermelons are doing way better than we thought. They are good at hiding under their carpet of vines, and it’s hard to walk through without stepping on the plants. So we’ve been letting them do their thing without too much supervision. I think we’re going to need to start paying attention soon… they should be starting to get ripe any time now.

The cantaloupes are doing great. There are bunches and bunches of them in there. And, I’m sure, they will all come ripe at just about the same time. So we’ll have some fresh, I’ll freeze some, and we’ll be giving plenty away in town! (I wish there was a farmer’s market in Gibson County… we would so be there with these!)

The wall of cucumbers has slowed down. A lot. One whole drawer in my refrigerator is full of cucumbers (plus a few more that wouldn’t fit in the drawer.) We’re going to need to make some pickles this weekend. In the meantime, the plants are putting out flowers and attracting bees like it’s their job (which, I guess, it sort of is), but there are not many new fruits coming on right now. A little rain, and the cucumbers will explode again…

cucumber wall
I am pleased to report that the main crop of green beans is finished. We picked the plants, pulled the beans off, and canned 53 quarts. (Yes, I said 53 quarts.) Over two different days. We kept plenty for fresh eating, too. There are still some late beans left out there, but they have been competing with the weeds and I’m not sure how well they have done. (I’m choosing to ignore them for now.)

Farmer Doc picked three rows of sweet corn last weekend, and we wound up with over 8 dozen ears. He cut down the corn stalks and we fed them to the cows (they were pretty happy!). We gave some away, ate plenty fresh off the cob, and froze a bunch thanks to Beyer Beware’s freezer corn recipe. That will taste great this winter!!

sweet corn
And behind the corn is the pumpkin patch. I used to think that the cantaloupes were taking over the world. But I think the pumpkins will give them a run for their money. The plants are well over knee-high, and have completely carpeted that section of the garden. So here are a few things that I could see walking around the edges…

pumpkin patch
We have pumpkins in all shapes and sizes coming along, complete with more flowers ready to turn into pumpkins. (Did you know that pumpkins start out green? They’ll turn orange as they get ripe and ready to pick.)

I must have stumbled into the ornamental gourd section of the pumpkin patch here. These cute little guys do start out yellow/orange, but aren’t ready to pick yet. They’ll get a little bigger, a little harder, and the stems will dry up when they are ready to pick. They are tough to find underneath the plant carpet – good thing they are orange!

Have you gotten a break from harvesting and putting up your garden’s bounty, or are you still going strong?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Skillet Tacos

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These last few weeks have been absolutely crazy for us! Farmer Doc and I have been traveling a lot, working a lot, trying to get ready for Baby Doc, dealing with the bounty of fresh veggies from our garden, and now Farmer Doc has started rehearsals for a play for the Gibson County Theatre Company this fall! Having the Gooseberry Patch “101 Stovetop Suppers” cookbook has come in quite handy for some quick and easy dinners for us lately!

I adapted this one a little bit, from their Taco in a Pan. I give you… Skillet Tacos!

skillet tacos

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One-Pot Beef Ravioli

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Are you tired of easy, fast, one-pot dinners yet? Of course not, how could you be! We’re big fans of pasta around here, especially ravioli, tortellini, and lasagna. (I prefer ravioli and tortellini because they take a lot less effort than lasagna and taste similar, depending on how you prepare it.)

Here’s a recipe for some yummy ravioli, all done in one (large) pot.

one-pot beef ravioli

Friday, August 9, 2013

Produce Everywhere!

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Oh my, what a difference a year makes! Last year, with the drought, we had nothing in our garden. (We planted one, and we tried to water it, but we ran our well dry for a few hours. Since that is also the water for our cows and our house, we decided the garden wasn’t that important.)
This year? Oh my, what a bounty!

The zucchini and yellow squashes are still going strong. The butternut squashes are invading the zucchini. (Remind me that next year we need to give the butternuts more room to spread out.)

zucchini and butternut

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Too-Much-Zucchini Stovetop Dinner

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Have I mentioned the plethora of zucchini we have had this summer? A girl can only bake so many loaves of zucchini bread before she goes insane…

This was a great (and tasty!) way to use up some of that extra zucchini.

too-much-zucchini stovetop dinner

Monday, August 5, 2013

101 Stovetop Suppers Giveaway!

I’ve been talking about this cookbook. A lot. Because it’s awesome. Seriously. “101 Stovetop Suppers”? All things that are pretty fast and easy, done on the stovetop, and plenty yummy? Count me in!101 Stovetop Suppers
And to celebrate just how much I’m loving this cookbook, I’m going to give a copy away to one lucky reader!

Friday, August 2, 2013

One Step Forward Two Steps Back

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This Martin cat is proving very challenging. It seems like every time we start to make some forward progress, something else happens and he has another back slide.

He got over the little GI bug he got from Leo, and was starting to do a little better. He was acting more normal, hanging out with the other cats, and eating a little bit on his own (although nowhere near enough).

It’s not often we get all four cats on the bed at the same time! (See, I told you I wasn’t making the bed anymore!)

cats on the bed
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