Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Craft Project

Last week I posted that I was looking for new craft projects to keep me occupied during the colder weather.  When UHM and I were out tasting apple cider and buying apples last week, we also stopped by one of our favorite antique stores, The Covesville Store.  Like most 'antique' stores, it's a mish-mash of nicer, truly antique pieces mixed in with thrift-store-type items that aren't really worth all that much.  While I was poking around in the store I found a box full of "vintage" cookie cutters and had an idea.  I bought several of them and today got around to trying out my idea.  Below is a picture of the result.

What do you all think?  It's a cross between a wind chime and a mobile.   If you saw it at a craft fair, would you buy it?  What would you pay for it?  Any suggestions on sprucing it up a bit?  I have some other ideas for something similar but need to spend more time on the mechanics.  Let me know what you think though.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Pulled Out the Turtlenecks

First - no word on the job front.  Very frustrating.  For the life of me, I can't understand why a company would go to the expense to bring me in for less than 24 hours (over $1k) and then not call!  On the flip side, they haven't called to say take a hike either :)

This morning was the first chilly morning we've had.  I think it was around 42 when we got up and it never got warmer than the mid 60s today.  A really beautiful fall day!  And what do you do on a beautiful fall day?  Well, you convince your UHM to drive to the local apple cider brewery for a tasting!  We drove about 45 minutes south to Albemarle Cider Works and tasted the four varieties of apple cider they produced in 2010.  These ciders remind me a lot of sparkling white wines - not really my thing - but were all very good.  My favorite was the Ragged Mountain Cider which was the sweetest of the group.  They also had apples picked in their orchards available for sale.  We bought 20 pounds; a mixture of SuncrispGrimes GoldenJonathan and King David.  The apples are actually grown by Vintage Virginia Apples.  They grow over 250 varieties of apples, many of them heirloom varieties.  Guess what I plan to do for the rest of the weekend?  Can applesauce and apple pie filling, that's what.  The pie filling recipe I have uses butterscotch schnapps!

Also in honor of the cooler temps, I made my favorite chicken pot pies; the filling includes artichoke hearts.  The recipe makes enough for 6 pot pies so I end up freezing 5 of them for future meals.  This recipe also happens to have one of my favorite pie crusts.  When I was a kid, my mom always made 'pie crust cookies' with the trimmings and excess dough.  We usually had sweet pies so the cookies would be sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.  Tonight I tried something a little different, since I was in a savory mood.  I brushed the cookies with an egg wash and then sprinkled them with garlic salt before baking them off in a 350 oven until golden brown.  YUM!  A lot like home made crackers, only better!

Now that the cold weather is getting nearer, I'm looking for projects to keep me busy inside.  I'll probably can some more apples before the end of November and there will be pumpkins to bake off, puree and freeze too.  I also have a few ideas for inexpensive craft projects.  If you all have any favorite cold weather crafts (besides knitting or crocheting), please share.

If you'd like my recipes for canned apple pie filling or chicken pot pie, let me know.  I'm happy to share.  Time to dig into the pot pie.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

200th Post!

In August of 2009 I published my first post on Life with The Horde.  A little over two years later, we're still here and even have another Horde member, Georgia.

I had really hoped that this post would bear good news about my job search but, unfortunately, I have not heard back yet regarding my interview down south at the beginning of the month.  Please keep thinking good thoughts for me.

Yesterday I took Moira to some agility run thrus at a place not too far from where we live.  She was a WILD dog but that's to be expected after an entire summer off from agility.  I was really pleased with her jumping though and she always came back to me so that's good too.  Part of the reason I went for the run thrus was  to meet up with Stacy Sties of Canine Icer.  Stacy is a local gal who makes neoprene wraps that can be used for applying heat or cold to various parts of canine athletes.  She also makes custom wraps that can hold  weights or rigid/flexible supports for canine physical therapy.

Stacy measured Sam for a pair of hock wraps to help him stay up off his pasterns a little more.  As he's aged, I've noticed him rolling back on his rear pasterns more and more.  This week I took him to the vet because he has developed an interdigital infection on one rear foot and some cysts on the inner edge of the other.  The hope is these wraps will help stabilize and support him a little better to take some of the pressure off his back feet.  At 13 I expect him to have some issues and arthritis is one of them but I could tell his feet have really been bothering him lately and this seemed like it might help.
Sam's hock wraps.

After only an hour or so they seem to be helping and he doesn't mind them at all.  The right one doesn't want to stay up where it should - may have to do with his bone structure and we might have to make some adjustments to it - but the left one is staying in place perfectly.  He should be able to wear them almost all the time so we'll see if there is any improvement in his feet and gait.

I know many of you have athletically inclined dogs who have suffered injuries that require the application of heat or cold.  I would encourage you to check out Stacy's website.  She has some standard sizes but will also make custom sizes - important with the corgis, of both persuasions, who have slightly different proportions.  Her pricing is reasonable, especially considering the personal attention and prompt delivery, and she's an agility and herding person too so she knows what we ask our dogs to do.

Hopefully, the next post will have news about the job hunt.