Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Multi Tasking

I needed to cram all I could in today. I have the little girls the rest of the week, a sewing getaway this weekend, salsa to can and one of my good buddies had hip replacement Tuesday so I am trying to get to the hospital a couple of times a day. After a morning run to the hospital I came home and fired up both sewing machines. I want to get as many samples of embroidery done before my weekend getaway as I can squeeze in and my buddy needed a bag for the walker she will be using for the next few weeks.

The canner is going with the first load of salsa as I was running between both machines

After more hours than I care to count the salsa is finished

The cute pocket bag is ready to attach to my friends walker

And I was able to get a few more designs done, this is one I did a few days ago, can't show the ones from today, I am thinking they might end up being gifts for ladies who follow this blog.

My back is killing me and my butt is dragging.

Tomorrow will be another full all hands on deck sorta day starting with vacuuming and mopping before I pick Karsyn up at 7:15, a quick run to the hospital to drop of the bag and a few snacks for my friend then back home with Karsyn to wait until Kara arrives in the afternoon. If I can get them both down for a nap at the same time I need to start pulling together projects to work on over the long weekend so packing will go a bit faster Friday night. I have piles and piles of things to do, now to decide what I can reasonably accomplish in 3 days with lots of catching up to do with an old friend. Off to bed, the alarm will be going off in just a few hours!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Return of the canner

Tonight's haul
He should be fun for New Years

Hard to read from the photo it says "That's weired! I smell carrots!"

I decided to take a stroll around the garden tonight to see how the seeds were coming along. The carrots and broccoli are coming up, have a few butternut squash that will be ready in a week or so and low and behold the tomatoes must have enjoyed the tropical winds we received from hurricane Irene, they took off again like crazy. Tomorrow will be another day of salsa making along with working on more embroidery samples, so far I have 36 finished, wheee that's a lot of work. I decided to work up a sample of all the designs I have for now on cheap flour sack towels instead of using good fabric. I am hopefully that this will help with determining the size and colors I want to use on towels, aprons and such as that.

I went to the fabric store today to get some help with the USB stick I use to download designs onto the machine. No one can figure out what the problem is with fonts other than I didn't copy it correctly, the download didn't work or there was a glitch when we extracted the files. It's back to the drawing board tomorrow. The main reason wanted the embroidery machine was to do monograms and personalize things, having fonts is very much needed!!

Here was an interesting conversation I had with a lady at the store. She was in town on a mini vacation from Portsmouth VA. I ask did she evacuate and head our way? Nope they stayed for the storm she came down after things were cleared up. She was very angry that the media had talked up the hurricane so much and in the end they didn't have anything more than really heavy winds and rain. Her husband had bought a generator and other emergency supplies that were a total waste of money, she thinks the weather channel should refund all the cash they spent. WHAT!!! I told her how lucky she was that her hubby spent all the time and money to insure she and her children were prepared for whatever might have been, there are thousands of families that are still without power or water, some are stranded with no way to get in or out due to washed out bridges and roads, people have lost their homes and some have lost their lives. She could care less, the schools were closed, the kids were home driving her crazy and she was in town for a shopping spree just to show her husband!! Holy crap, somebody has to go home and live with that lady!!! Thankfully it's not me!!

Slow Down!

 A pile of embroidery projects waiting on some TLC
 This will be cute paired with a home baked goodie
I am thinking a mug rug with this design on it, or a mug with a hot chocolate pack wrapped in a kitchen towel with is on it.

Sorry about the slow down in posts lately. I seem to be trying to fight some sort of virus for the past few weeks that has me dragging my feet, off and on stye in one eye and a new fever blister every few days. I think my body is saying SLOW DOWN. I've decided to stop fighting it and give in a little, a nap a day, cut out some of the yard work and cut back on some of the extras I seem to get myself into. Thankfully the garden is about done for the year, just a round of canning tomatoes every now and then (salsa today) I did put a few things in raised beds for the fall but I am going to give the traditional garden and myself a rest over the fall and winter, we have more food preserved than we could ever use in a year already.
I forgot to post last weeks weekly spending and didn't keep up with this weeks spending but I can say I was way over budget both weeks. Last week was back to school week so I took Daughter #1 and #2 classroom shopping, it doesn't take long to blow the budget at the book store and office supply. This week I was kicking butt until I went to Hobby Lobby Saturday to pick up some panties for the little girls to embroidery on and a few more things to work on for next weekend. I ended up at two Hobby Lobby's to get in on some of the deals they had on blank items to work with, grand total was $311.00 yikes! In my defense I have 103 things waiting to be embroidered, that works out to about $3.00 each, no way could I purchase fabric and make the items for a lower price. I should be set on projects for my new machine for a good long time!!
I will do my darndest to get back on track this week. I also need to figure out why the heck blogger spell check isn't working!! GRRRR

Friday, August 26, 2011

Need to get on track

 Orange dreamsicle sherbert
 A kitchen towel for my Sister
Rechargeable batteries along with a solar battery charger
I need to get back on track around here, the garden is still defeating me. I am really close to throwing in the towel and closing it down until next spring. We still have tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, carrots, pumpkins, butternut squash, sweet potato's and herbs that are doing well all of which will need to be preserved along with apples and pears later in the fall. The garden is sucking to much time and energy with very little results.
Sewing projects have been backing up for too long, I need to get back to quilting if I plan on giving quilts to all the grands this Christmas, I also have the in luie of flowers quilt that needs to be finished. My original goal was to have all of them done before the school year started, missed that one big time. Since vacation I haven't been able to settle into a good schedual, I seem to just be fluttering around from one thing to another. Over the weekend I want to get some things back in order so I can get on a good working schedual, the garden is NOT on the list of to do's. Looks like spell check is not working again so I will close and save all of you from the ridiculous amount of misspelled words

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Short Post

 I finally got around to making english muffins ths week, you can find the recipie here
 One batch makes enough to feeze and share.
 For supper last night I had a toasted english mufffin and the last of the cheif salad I made earlier in the week. It was so nice to have some fresh lettuce in the house for a change. I haven't bought lettuce from the store this year, the last we have had was in June when our own lettuce gave in to the heat.
 I found plain white kitchen towels at Wally world for a good price. I have been spending to much of my time at the embridory machine and on the PC downloading designs once my Sister showed me how to do all the downloading unzipping and such.
Right now this is my favorite design, love the "Boo, Yall!"

I have been so busy doing this and that all week that I haven't had time to post. Much of the time has been spent on the biggest time sucker of all, the computer :( Some day's it feels like all I have done is spin my wheels while the weather channel is on in the background. For any of you in the path of this storm PLEASE leave your home if you are ask to, it is not right to put emergency workers lives at risk to save folks who are too stubborn to get out of harms way. If you are able to stay home I hope you have all of your preperations finished so you can spend some time resting up for what may be on its way. Folks living on a set income will have a hard time purchasing the extras that are needed, if you have an elderly neighbor or a single Mom in your area take the time to lend a hand and check on them after the storm has passed. Having a full pantry using coupons and buying on sale will help you avoid the added cost of preparing for a storm of this size. Alternet cooking sources, lighting and TONS of water are a must. The recomminded gallon of water a day might be enough for drinking but flusing the toilet, washing dishes and sponge bathing will take much more water not to mention the clean up after the storm is done. Do you really want to spend days in the yard on clean up and not have a way to at least wash some body parts?
I have both little girls the rest of the week so I HAVE to get my act together or they will take over (more than they already do). One of the tings I am motivated to learn this weekend is how to use our Sun Oven. I ask for and received my Sun Oven this past Christmas, I have yet to try it out. Having an alternative to bake in is great if you have any idea how to use it!!
Stay safe and look out for neighbors, friends and family, you will be blessed beyond belief with little acts of kindness.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wanta Look Inside?

Carla over at had a cute post today showing everyone around her kitchen. What the heck why not, it beats weeding the garden until later in the day. Here is our kitchen and breakfast room as you enter from the front hallway. I am thankful that the kitchen is in the back of the house, when it's in use it's not looking so good. The sewing machines along with my work in progress basket pretty much is the center piece these days. I  have a really nice scrap/sewing room but when the little ones are around I don't like to go upstairs, with the machines in the kitchen I can sometimes sneak in a little sewing during nap time

 This is the view coming in from the garage door. Years ago it was a typical late 70's early 80's kitchen with a bank of cabinets on the ceiling separating the two room. I took those down and moved them to the laundry room to open up the space, we also added hardwood floors ourselves I might add, before they were ugly vinyl flooring that I couldn't keep clean looking. We also updated the light fixtures to celing fans soon after we moved in. I know that's a big no no in the decorating world but the reality is when your standing over a hot stove or canner all day you need a sturdy celing fan or two or three.
 This was taken from the Dinning room (now the baby room) doorway, it's a nice big working kitchen.
 Now on the the work horse area's of the kitchen, the low wall of bookcases and baskets are toys and books for the Grands. I had thought someday I could use them for surplus supplies in the kitchen but with the reproductive activity around here it may always be for toys. I'm cool with that I don't need to be buying any more kitchen gadgets!! The Grands bring more smiles to the kitchen than anything Williams and Sonoma has to offer.
 This stove is my pride and joy. For our first 33 or 34 years of marriage I got by with the typical cheapo single oven stove with 4 burners that would catch fire because I hated to clean the burner trays, why clean them when they cost no more that maybe $3.00 each. I would change them out when they got to the point of being too big of a fire hazard. A couple of years back I saved and saved to finally have a double oven and stove with 5 burners. The only draw back of the stove is it has a glass surface, no pressure canning for me with this stove. I know some ladies do it anyway but stove explosions and that sort of thing is not my cup of tea, it's just living to close to the edge for me.
 Way back when I had visions of this cute bakers rack lined with cookbooks and maybe a few home baked goods on top. Over the years it has turned into just another storage area for appliances. I do have a few cookbooks on the bottom shelf (more on my bedside table) But it is mainly for things I use all the time but don't want buggering up the counters. Faves of mine are the electric wheat mill, crock pot and stainless steel colanders, Hubbies is his fancy dancy ice cream machine. The top blue/green box on the top shelf far right is my Grandmothers food/meat grinder. I have no idea how old it is, she would be 119 if she was still with us. I have something of hers in every room of our house execpt the bathrooms, that would just be gross. See the small 1 gallon crock on the shelf and the 5 gallon crock on the floor? They aren't decorations, I use them for sauerkraut and salt brine pickles. When they are in use I have them on the kitchen counter, left on the floor they would be full of teething rings and match box cars along with a few dust bunnies.
 Here is a little fixer upper I did some years back when I got in one of my organizational moods. Stainless steel pull out racks!! LOVE them. They cost more than I expected, we have 9 lower cabinets each needed two drawers but as the ageing process continues they are a back and knee saver. I just purchased them a few at a time on payday's.
 Did you think I cleaned up the kitchen for this post? Na, the kitchen stays pretty clean unless I am in there working some magic. See the dirty dishes in the sink and okra waiting for me to can, told you I didn't clean up first. The drying rack (on the left) for bottles is a life saver I couldn't live without when the little girls are around. There is a cute little organization center next to it that stays full until things start spilling out and I clean it up. On the right side is my compost bucket for everyday stuff, when I can or dehydrate it takes a huge bowl to hold it all, sometimes two bowls. Summer window treatments are always a window full of tomatoes waiting to be canned or turned into Mater sandwiches (tomato sandwiches if your not from the south) The large grey thing outside that show's through the window is our hot tub, in the summer its our swimming pool for the grands and a good place to cool off when this Nanny can't take the heat anymore.
 This is our everyday pantry, I buy many things in bulk that's what the top shelf containers are for, keeps everything fresh and bugs out! The 3rd shelf down is dehydrated foods. I use them all of the time and continue to add to them over the summer and fall. Any excess dehydrated food is vacuumed sealed and stored in a 20 gallon container to replenish the pantry jars with, yes I have a 20 gallon container almost full this year! On the bottom shelf  far to the right is our white wheat berries, the can will hold 5 pounds which will last maybe a week or a week and a half. The bulk berries come in 45 pound buckets sealed in mylar bags, I add a Gamma lid to the buckets so its is easier to refill the pantry can each week or so.
 Our pantry should be a walk in deal but I needed more storage space so I added an additional shelving unit. My go to frying pans hang on the wall, it makes them easy to get to (has nothing to do with the fact the cabinets are overflowing with more pots and pans) The blue container on the floor is AJ the beagles food, it's really a storage container for charcoal but it works great. AJ doesn't seem to get into the cute factor much she just wants to be feed good food and often.
 Our laundry room is sorta an extension of the kitchen, thankfully with a door that says closed most of the time!! No way no how an I going to take photo's in here today, it really is messy but I had to get a picture of the two tools that are in everyday use over the growing season. The Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator along with my canning pot. The dehydrator lives in the laundry room during season unless I have stinky stuff to do I move it to the garage, learned that lesson the hard way. NEVER dehydrate 9 trays of garlic in your house!!
Here are two of my favorite kitchen helpers, Kara and Karsyn. Karsyn is a climber, she loves to climb anything and everything, climbing in the cabinets is an all time favorite. Kara has an obsession with doors right now, open and shut open and shut all day long. Shutting Karsyn up in the cabinets seems to be another obsession.
So there you have it, our favorite place to hang out, the kitchen. If you send me a link of your own kitchen I will post it here to share with other readers. I think taking a peek into real kitchens has much more appeal than the glossy magazine spreads that nobody has ever worked in or the open house model home kitchens that a decorator has staged. I am off to the kitchen to fix my dinner then on to the relentless garden. CRAP, spell check is down, sorry about that

One Day Closer

 More dehydrated food. Putting together a meal this fall and winter will be so easy but its a LOT of work right now. The little white packet in the tomato's is and oxygen pack, I don't use them much any more but I do still like them in tomato's
Man this is a really bad photo (sorry) This is by far one of the best books I have read in a very long time. If you have an interest in eating locally, spending less on food and finding joy in the little things you gotta check this one out. Thanks for the suggestion Carla, I LOVED it!! The recipes included were a bit (a lot) exotic for our taste but there are a few I would like to try. I will pass it on to a few buddies later, I want to reread it again first!

I am closer today to a weed free garden than I was yesterday... enough said. I planned on having a nice big chief salad for dinner tonight with the yummy lettuce I picked up yesterday but after hours in the yard I needed something with a lot more bulk! Ham, parsley potato's, picked asparagus and peaches were on the menu tonight, tomorrow if I don't do as much man work maybe the salad will do.
I pulled a few more carrots today and planted a raised bed with even more. This planting I WILL take the time to thin them, we use lots of carrots in soups and stews I don't have nearly enough. Along with dehydrating carrots I threw in a few cherry tomatoes and bell peppers. Now that the garden is slowing down I think the dehydrator will see more action than the canner. I will try and get a picture of our dehydrated shelf jars soon, (have to clean the pantry up first). Off to bed with visions of a weed free bug free garden dancing in my head, a girls gotta dream!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Slow but not steady

 Mixes that we ordered came in yesterday!! Of course I had to make a batch of pizza sauce, the garden can wait. Since I can't use a pressure canner on my fancy stove these mixes make it possibly to safely can pizza sauce, chili starter and salsa with my water bath canner. All the ingredients are natural dehydrated, no preservatives
 Pizza sauce and bread/butter pickles were the afternoons job, along with laundry
A chief salad using Hydroponic lettuce I found at our local farmer will be on the dinner table tonight, maybe a BLT this week and taco salad, yummmm

I spent a couple of hours in the garden yesterday morning and accomplished very little :( I needed to get hubby's prescription drugs in the mail, seems MI doesn't have any CVS stores in the area he is working. Since I was cleaned up anyway I took a trip to the farmers store to pick up a few more tomatoes to add to what I had so I could can a batch of pizza sauce. That little trip took over 2 hours, the store is located less that a mile from our house but the company was so good and the local made porch swings were so inviting I sat down and visited for awhile. Farmer Danny is running for one of the city commissioner seats this fall, not sure how some people will take to his showing up to meetings in his farm attire but you can bet he has my vote along with everyone I can convince to vote for him. I was only going to pick up some tomatoes but he is carrying hydroponic lettuce that a lady in the area has started growing so I had to have some. We haven't had a salad since early June when ours petered out on us. I have a small ham and 1/2 turkey breast layed out to cook today along with some boiled eggs, tomato's and cucumbers I can have a chief salad that won't make me sick. The ham and turkey will be nice quick meals the rest of the week while I continue to tackle the overwhelming work in the garden. Son-In-Law #2 will be over later in the day to do yard work, hubby talked it over with him while at the beach, rather than give a big company $165.00 a week for lawn service Nathan will do it for $100.00. I plan on having the mowing done before he arrives so he only has trimming to do (the hard part) I have hopes that together we can figure out how to use the little tiller and get some area's ready to plant. The idea of turning the soil over with a shovel has no appeal to me!!!
After canning and laundry yesterday I headed to Wally World to pick up more canning jars, I am out of 1/2 pints, low on pints and quarts, they were sold out of everything but the 1/2 pints, grrr. I hit 3 more stores before giving up for the day, the clerk at the hardware store told me they have reorded 3 times this year and continue to sell out each time. Looks like canning veggies has gotten very popular this year. I am super motivated to get some real progress done today, we are expecting rain this week that would be good for planting and great for some sewing time!!
 I'm thinking next year the traditional garden needs to be for spring and summer planting only. I love the way things look and grow but the weeding gets the best of me. It's hard to keep it all up and still preserve food, by adding a few more raised beds for fall planting I could give the dirt and myself a rest in the fall and winter, keeping up the raised beds are a no brainer and very little work

Friday, August 19, 2011

Will it never end?

 School Supplies for the soup kitchen, cost around $80.00, not to bad everything was on sale. When Kara leaves today Karsyn and I will make a delivery of school supplies and the extra fresh peaches I had leftover from canning, also have a bag of veggies to donate.
Here is a pint of coins from our Christmas jar. I have never figured out how much cash is in a jar so I took a pint jar to the coin Kiosk last night. Turns out this pint had $53.00. We usually give quart jars to the soup kitchen to distribute to needy families the week of Christmas. I was thinking of giving pint jars so more folks could receive something. Not sure if that would be a good thing or bad so I will check with the Director and see what she thinks.

With the dismal news over the stock market the past 2 weeks I had Rambo man check our 401K. We certainly didn't take the hit we suffered back in 2008 but we are still down 3%. At our age we really need to be moving forward in retirement savings however it could have been much worse had we stayed with some of the more aggressive stocks. So I guess that is the good news.
The bad news is his Department had another large layoff, as in they are now down to a skeleton group. My heart breaks for the many families we have known for years that are now facing an uncertain future. The business my hubby is in is very specialize so finding a job in the field will not be easy, until the Government gets it's act together the layoffs will continue. We of course never know when the shoe will drop on our own doorstep.
 To top it off on my way to pick Karsyn up this morning I heard a news report that Bank of America will be laying off and additional 10,000 people by the end of the year. Charlotte is the largest banking center in the country, no doubt the majority of the lay off will be in our community.
As I set here this morning while the little girls nap I know its time to make even more changes to our lifestyle so we are more prepared for what very well may come our way. It's hard to even know where to begin. First off is to take the donation to the food pantry and thank God we are still able to help others. Then on to weeding the garden before dark. I need to get the fall planting in this weekend if at all possible, there will be no rest time this weekend. At the end of each day I will be crunching numbers. Where can we cut back now, how can I squeeze more out of what we have coming to beef up our emergency fund. Discussing with my sweet Hubby who assures me we can get through anything about the cuts I feel we need to make. One thing is already out. I was going to visit him over Labor Day weekend, I just can't see spending money right now on a airline ticket. He is disappointed but agrees with me, the compromise is that our Anniversary trip is still on but I will be crunching more numbers to get the cost down as low as possible.
I need to find the joy in today and not forget what we have!!! The cute but exhausting little girls is one, the ability to continue giving to others, having a pantry that is overflowing with what we have mostly grown ourselves and a bag of dark chocolate that will help me with the new budget!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lets Can Shall We (part 2)

 After the peaches are scalded they go in a colander then in a sink of cold water with ice cubes, next is to peel and slice them in the other sink and colander
 As the peaches are sliced they go in the far right bowl, then a quick soak in the middle bowl, a lemon juice mixture to keep them from turning brown, on to the 3rd bowl until I have enough to can a batch
 After I have a batch worked up they go to the light syrup until they are warm, then its into the jars. I use a wooden grill skewer to remove the air bubbles. I like to use wide moth jars and a wide mouth funnel but someone has taken off with my wide mouth funnel. I wasn't about to look in the garage or sand box to hunt it down, next trip to Williams Sonoma I'll be picking up a stainless steel number!!
 My canner will hold 8 pint jars, once you remove them from the canner I put them on a towel on the counter for at least overnight. Once they are good and cool I remove the rims, check the seels and wipe the jars down with some warm water. I don't want to take any chances on sticky stuff getting on my canning shelves to attract bugs.
It takes lots of space for all the jars that are finished to cool off, this is  the second of the three counters that I used today. I QUIT after 6 batches, total of 48 pint jars. The rest of the peaches were delivered to a friend tonight and I have a large bag to take to the soup kitchen in the morning. My body just wouldn't do any more no matter what my mind game said!!
Tomorrow night is canning a batch of tomatoes into pizza sauce and a batch of bread and butter pickles for gifts. The dehydrator is loaded with cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers, they should be ready to jar up in the AM. I LOVE dehydrating it is so much easier!!! Thanks for hanging with me on this way too long post. Canning season is so close to being over, for whatever reason I have really struggled keeping up this year, I think I might need more chocolate.

Lets Can Shall We (Part 1)

 Start with some ripe SC peaches. I like to use Elberta peaches, they are really firm almost like an apple, easy to work with and don't disintegrate when they are canned. This photo is of  a 1/2 bushel
 Wash plenty of canning jars, I like to use pints for canning peaches. This is the right size for us as a side dish at dinner. Two jars are perfect for a cobbler.
 Forget recipes from your Mom or Grandmother!! Use recipes ONLY from the most current canning books on the market, NEVER use old recipes!!!!! These are my two favorites. Keep a cool drink handy, I wouldn't suggest anything alcoholic until you are finished with the job at hand.
 Dress for the occasion, it's going to get hot as Haiti so wear something lightweight, an apron is a must this is messy stuff. Put the cute flip flops away, wear shoes with good support your back will thank you!!! Why do my calf's look so fat in this photo?
See all that steam, that's why you need to dress appropriately! Sterilize the jars and keep hot water in them until you are ready to use. Some people use the dishwasher to sterilize jars but I'm not sold on that idea yet. The lids (not the rims) are on the back of the stove in really warm water, ready to do their part. The other front burner is the light syrup I like to use. I'm not into the heavy syrup. I think you lose the taste of the peach with anything too heavy. The other back burner has  peaches scalding in boiling water to make them a bit easier to peel.

Sometimes I have to play mind games with myself to get the job done. Today was one of those days. I so dreaded canning  the peaches. I have done everything in my power to put it off until today. I thought maybe I should drag Pearl down to the kitchen to keep me company but I was afraid someone might stop by and question why I have my imaginary friend in the kitchen. I got thinking maybe if I turned canning peaches into a blog post I might be inspired to get on with business and get the drun peaches done. So there you have it, all of you were the only reason I didn't bag it all up and get it out the door. I know come winter our family will appreciate some home canned peaches so I thank you for being part of making it happen. Thankfully we are still enjoying some beautiful weather so the kitchen didn't heat up as bad as usual. Next post is coming up, I can't get blogger to load all the photo's.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Short and Sweet

 Karsyn and Tyler
 Miss. Karsyn and her silly face
 Top I made for a friend who watched AJ for us
Pasta bowls ready to wrap for Christmas

This is gonna be a short post, it is way past my bedtime!!  Daughter #1 got some pretty good photo's of the kids at the beach and Karsyn alone in her Baptism dress thank goodness, no need to spend money at the studio after all.
I had Karsyn for a full day, whee, that kid wears me out.  I meet my Sister and a friend for the movie "The Help" tonight, durn if it wasn't sold out :(, decided to go to an outdoor cafe instead, the chicken in my pasta was not edible :( but at least the pasta and sauce was good. The meal ended up free so that was a bit of a consolation prize I guess.
During Karsyn's nap today I whipped up a top for AJ's Aunt Debbie who took her in while we were on vacation. Pearl is lacking in the TaTa department so it doesn't look so cute on her but it really did turn out nice. I added a thank you note and 4 gift cards to her favorite restaurants to the bag and delivered it tonight. She loved the top and gift cards, thank goodness something went my way!! This might seem like a bit of an extravagant gift for dog watching but in our area doggie daycare runs $60.00 a day added to that every time we have boarded AJ we end up at the emergency vet she is so ill, that's an additional $100-$200 bucks. Knowing that AJ is in a loving home is sooo worth every penny.
Picked up Kara's pasta bowls for Mommy and myself for Christmas this year. Daughter #3 is going to be so surprised and will LOVE this. It doesn't show in the photo but I have her hand print around the outside of the bowls as well. Karsyn will be next, her Birthday is in October, can't wait to see our big girls open these gifts. Off to bed with a good book, maybe I will get to read at least 1 page before I fall asleep.