Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back in the saddle again....

 It has been a full and busy week of gathering cows and calves because it was time to pregnancy test the cows.  Every cow that was out with the bulls this summer had to come in for her ultrasound so we were back in the saddle again.    What a stark contrast the landscape displayed from our wet, lush summer rides to our dry, brown fall rides of this week.  There were little flashes of color here and there as we rode along.  Saltlover spread its red fingers along the ground, and the Hairy Golden Aster makes a subdued appearance amongst the desolate plains.  The  meadowlarks and horned larks were still out in the pastures singing us good morning or good evening as we rode along.  The sky.  Oh, the sky was clear, sparkling blue, and the days were perfect for saddle work.

Saltlover  (Halogeton glomeratus) has turned bright red.  
A prairie plant that grows low to the ground on alkaline soil.
Old Pete and I rode together on the first day of the week, but the second and third days of our riding, I took Red.  He's quite a bit younger than Pete and has more spark to him which really makes a difference when I was just one of four riders gathering up 340 cows and calves.  A girl has to be able to giddy-up and go when she needs to.

Back at the barn there was sorting and re-sorting to do.  All the cows had to be sorted away from their calves so we could have the vet perform the ultrasound scans.  I didn't take any pictures of the barn work, but I'll tell you that the ultrasounds were not done externally as we do on human bellies, but rather they were done internally -- rectally, to be exact.  The vet can figure out nearly exactly how many days pregnant each cow is so we can put an accurate due date on her.  This info comes in very handy when the weather turns bad during calving season.  We know which cows to have in close to the barns and which ones we can leave out in the pasture awhile longer.  Those cows who do not turn up pregnant are called "dry or empty" and are culled along with other cows that have physical  problems or are non-maternal or crazy ill tempered-- traits that we don't want to battle for another year.  

This is what it looks like when you're standing in a corral full of cows and calves, trying to sort them through a gate.  See the open space in the wall below?  That's the gate where the big cows will go through so we can separate the cows away from their calves while they get their ultrasound scan.

Hot days require a stop at the stock pond to let the cows drink.

Tomorrow is sale day at the livestock yards, and there will be about 30 head of cows that will be hauled out in the morning.  The calves will be weaned from the cull cows and put on feed. The rest of the cows and calves have been turned out to the fall range to graze until it is weaning time in late October or November, depending on the weather.

Cows and calves trailing out to fall pasture.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Full Harvest Moon, Jupiter, Atumnal Equinox...

Jupiter -  Picture from Sky & Telescope

For a no-fuss observation of the night sky, check out Jupiter for the next few months.  From September through January 2011, Jupiter is higher in the night sky than it has been in awhile and she is more visible to us in the Northern Hemisphere.  If you have a telescope or a really good pair of binoculars, you can see Jupiter's Galilean moons on any clear night.  Just a couple nights ago, Hubs heard the weatherman say that Jupiter's moons would be very visible and so we sauntered outdoors to take a look.  It was a crisp, clear night and the viewing was excellent!  We saw them -- Jupiter like a bright gem surrounded by tiny diamonds strung on an invisible bracelet.  We used our Leupold field glasses (10x42/Field 5.0 degrees).  I had to rest my elbows on the side of the truck box to keep steady enough to see it all clearly.  The night we looked, we could see two moons on either side of the planet.  They rotate quickly around Jupiter so it can look a little differently at different times.  It really is a thrill.  From the Sky & Telescope's This Week's Sky at a Glance, you should also be able to see Jupiter's Great Red Spot with a telescope at various times.  I'm not sure our binocs will be able to focus in on it, but we will give it a try.  At the moment, we have cloudy skies and so the Full Harvest Moon will not be visible tonight unless it clears off.  Don't miss it.

Celebrate the First Day of Autumn with me! 
Take a few moments to look around you and notice the changes in the season:

Golden Cottonwood leaves
Dry grasses in full seed
Purple and white asters
Hanging heads of sunflowers, full of seeds
Do you see the goldfinches nibbling the sunflower seeds too?
Large flocks of blackbirds flying together in waves
The smell of fresh-turned soil while digging potatoes
Early sunsets
Full Harvest Moon
Crickets chirping
Wasps are out on warm afternoons
Northern Flicker calls
The smell of a wood fire burning
Spider webs
Red Rosehips
Ripening Apples

What changes are happening where you live?

Monday, September 20, 2010


Remember the Tea Party I talked about in the last post?  Well, my friend's dad has the most magnificent gardens just outside of town, and he grows everything.  Everything!  Including these amazing grapes.  They are Concord grapes, I think, and oh boy, were they sweet and good!  From my two gi-normous banana boxes of grapes, I shared with Only Daughter, Daughter-in-Love, and my dad who intends to make a Mogan-David style wine with his allotment.  I hope it turns out just as he has envisioned it.  Anyway, with my grapes, I chose to make some grape jelly using crab apple juice that I had on the pantry shelf to mix in with it.  Crab apples are very high in pectin and therefore are excellent used in jelly-making.  My MIL taught me to mix half grape juice (or any other juice) and half crab apple juice for the best jelly consistency ever, and she was right about that.

(I didn't realize it until now, but you can see my reflection in these grapes)

My first try at the jam without the crab apple juice was a total bomb.  The jelly turned out like sticky taffy.  The flavor was there, but that batch went to the chickens.  The next two batches were good, but did not jell like I wanted so I poured them back into the pot and reboiled them and then got the perfect jell.  I was prepared for the worst, but was so happy to see it jell as I wanted.

The next canning venture I had with the Concords was sweet grape juice.  This is SO easy and is such a treat to drink.  All you do is put 1 cup of washed grapes into each quart jar. Then add about 1/3 to 1/2 cups of sugar to each quart (more depending on how sweet/sour your grapes are).  Pour boiling water over each quart, leaving 1/2" head space and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.  After a week or so of sitting on the pantry shelf, open a jar, strain out the grapes and sip.  It's deeeee-lish!

I gathered up quite a few more tomatoes from my garden -- some green, some orange, some red and decided to make something my dad fondly remembers from his childhood -- tomato preserves.  I have never eaten nor made tomato preserves before, but I thought it would be fun to make for my dad.  Besides, I am always game to try a new recipe.  I found Aunt Della's Tomato Preserves recipe online and it sounded similar to what Dad had described to me.  The reviews on it were good too so I figured it was worth a shot.  I left out the cinnamon, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.  Dad didn't recall any spice flavor in the tomato preserves he had eaten so I didn't add the dash of cinnamon that the recipe calls for.  It also calls for a very thinly sliced lemon, so I used my mandolin to do that job, and then I quartered each slice.  I didn't want the lemon slices to overpower the tomato.

On the far left side are the scrumptious tomato preserves.  If you like marmalade, you would love this!  It is a perfect balance of lemon and tomato all in a sticky, lovely, jammy mess.  I wonder though if the old recipes that our grandma's used had lemon slices in them?  I'm not sure if having a few lemons on hand at canning time was common or not.  What do you think?

I've been eating preserves on toast for two days.  Mmm mmm.  I was meaning to take a picture of my preserves on toast, but I ate it so fast I totally spaced-out taking a picture.  Sorry, you'll have to trust me on how good it is.

In the middle of the picture above, you'll see my deep purple jars of grape jam and to the right-front is another new-to-me recipe called Tomato Jam.  It, however, is not a marmalade, but instead it's more of a thick, spicy-sweet, ketchup-y tomato jam.  You can't believe how good this stuff is!  Really!   I can imagine eating it over a thick hamburger or on a moist piece of roast chicken or dumped over a good, soft cheese.  I made just a couple changes to the original recipe.  I used half the sugar and added in 1 tsp. dried onion flakes and 1/2 tsp. of celery seed and 1/2 tsp. of dried yellow mustard.  I found the recipe for Tomato Jam  at the Food in Jars blog which has become a fast favorite.  This girl cans just about everything.  I am now anticipating the Clementine or Little Cutie mandarin oranges coming into season so I can whack up a few jars of those as Miss Marisa does here

I hope that I might find just a few more pounds of homegrown tomatoes so I can cook up some more of that Tomato Jam, but the season up North is coming to a fast close.  There are still good apples hanging on the trees and my friend's dad has bushels and bushels and bushels (really, he does!) of apples and it's tradition for us to take a day in October and make apple sauce and apple butter together.  The canning cupboard is getting nice and full.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Soul painting...

Dolly's Portrait by Charles Courtney Curran

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures."
~Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, September 17, 2010

Old-school typing flashback ....

Yesterday two old long-time friends came to my house for our monthly tea party.  We've always called it "Tea Party" whether there was tea and crumpets or chips and dip, but the main thing about Tea Party has always been about taking time to get together, and for many, many years we have kept this appointment taking turns meeting at each others' homes.  It has truly become a celebration of friendship.  Tea Party always comes with many and varied topics of interest: how to get your son to stop dropping his pencil during lesson time,  the pros and cons of the epidural,  or reciting Halloween poems by heart.

This month's topics were every bit as interesting as the others.  One thing that came up this time was word processing.  School kids these days really think they are put upon when they must compose essays or reports or papers ON A COMPUTER with spell check and that green underline thing that tells us the sentence structure is a bit off.  Well, we older gals had something to say about that as we were explaining how we used to write papers to my DIL and the three school aged children  who were tea totalling with us.  First off, does anybody remember manual typewriters?   I was so thrilled to receive my very own Smith Corona portable (manual) typewriter as a high school graduation from my grandma.  It gave me freedom from having to always  find a typewriter on campus to write my papers.  With my portable, I could just sit in the  hullabaloo peace and quite of my dorm room and type as long or as late at night as I desired.  And it was pretty easy to press the keys down -- almost as easy as using the electric typewriters in the typing classroom!  (Remember the electric typewriter with the letter ball instead of the individual key arms that popped up at the strike of each letter?)  I'm not sure how fast I could type on that manual typewriter, but I got up to 80 wpm on the electric.  Yeah, I completed Typing II.  Straight A's.  But puh leeeease......don't make me text on a cell phone.  I'm all thumbs!  (pun!)  Now for a typing flashback.....Do you remember all those old typewriter terms?

70's Smith  Corona Typewriter (mine was tan, not groovy aqua like this)

Ten Typewriter Terms or Methods for People Over 45.
1.  Pica versus elite
2.  Backspace, insert correct-o-tape, type letter, backspace and type correct letter.
3. Wrists up.
4.  asdfjkl;
5. Everyone typing in sync as the drill sergeant teacher quipped, "Eyes on the book and....." fff (space) fff (space) f (space) f (space) fff (space), g (space) g (space) ggg (space)!"
6.  Someone getting off sync with the rest of the class.
7.   Five minute warm-ups. Hands at home position and..... type!  Count your words, divide by 5 to get your words per minute.

 8.  Centering a heading by first dividing the number of characters between the margins by 2 (to find the center point) and then backspacing once for every 2 characters in the heading.
9.  Changing the ribbon.
10.  Carriage return.

I can't leave the typewriter topic yet without mentioning my Grandma H.  She always, always wrote her letters to us on a typewriter with an italic font so for the longest time I had the impression that she had perfect penmanship.  She would change the ribbon now and then from black to green to a purple-blue color which furthered my hunch that she also wrote with varicolored pens.  What a surprise I had when our family went to visit her in Iowa and I discovered her sitting at the kitchen table typing letters and cards on her little portable typewriter.  How I loved to watch her fingers fly over the keys.

Back to Tea Party......
After discussing the evolution of typing into keyboarding, we talked about making copies.  Do you remember when everything was a Xerox?  "Please  make a xerox of this test.  Thirty copies."  But let's go back even further.  Can you?  Does the word mimeograph conjure up any old school memories?  I could remember back to grade school, somewhere around 4th or 5th grade, when teachers made mimeograph copies.  First the original had to be typed on some sort of paper that was similar to a carbon copy (another flash back) and then it was attached to the mimeograph machine where it was   If you could become the teacher's pet, you might even get to learn how to run the mimeograph machine and make copies for Teacher.  We old girls racked our brains trying to remember the name of that machine until at last our memory chips brought it up.  Here's an explanation of how the mimeograph machine worked, told much better than I could:
The image transfer medium is a stencil made from waxed mulberry paper. This flexible waxed sheet is backed by a sheet of stiff card stock, with the sheets bound at the top.
Once prepared, the stencil is wrapped around the ink-filled drum of the rotary machine. When a blank sheet of paper is drawn between the rotating drum and a pressure roller, ink is forced through the holes on the stencil onto the paper. Early flatbed machines used a kind of squeegee.
Didn't you just love the smell of a freshly mimeographed copy?  Oh, and the school newspaper was mimeographed too.  Do you have any old-school typing memories to share?  Please do.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Part 2: Crackle Bread, Dutch Crunch, or Tijgerbrood...

Last night I decided to make another trial batch of Crackle Bread and experiment with glopping more rice batter onto the bread as well as increasing bake times.  I am happy on both accounts.  Still, I think there is some mysterious trick to getting an extra crackly crust that I'm not quite getting.  It crackles, but some pictures I have seen of Dutch Crunch, Crackle Bread or Tijgerbrood shows an even deeper cracked crust than mine.

What I did:  
I took 9 frozen Rhodes Rolls from the freezer and thawed them on a greased cookie sheet.  (Parchment paper might have been smarter).

About midway through the bread proofing, I made a single batch of the  rice batter recipe and let it double in size.  When the bread was through proofing and was approximately double in size, I smeared the rice batter generously over the 9 rolls.  I had the oven pre-heating to 380* F and popped them in for approximately 20 minutes or until deep golden brown.

The result was a very crisp crust and a soft chewy interior.  Served warm (not hot), these were really terrific.  We all sampled them before padding off to bed.  I left them on the counter overnight to completely cool and we had Dutch Crunch with our morning coffee.  Scrumptious!  I did end up putting three of my five loaves of crackle bread into plastic bags to store in the freezer since we really don't need to eat that much bread in a day or so. 

About the frozen bread rolls -- it's a simple way to get delicious bread without the work, however, I think I would rather make the bread using either a homemade white bread recipe or wheat recipe because the dough would stand up to the rice batter more.  I think frozen bread tends to be wimpy and will easily go flat when jostled too much.

Whenever I make a wheat bread, I add at least half unbleached flour or white flour to my flour mixture.  I prefer a lighter bread, even if it is wheat.  I have also found that I can add more fiber to my loaves by adding ground oatmeal.  I just dump a cup or so into my blender and whir it until it resembles flour.  You can make it as fine or course as you like.  Add to replace one of the cups of flour in your recipes.

As I was browsing CookingBread.Com (shouldn't that be I found another recipe that I'd like to try called Maple Seeded Bread.  If you choose to go to this recipe, notice how the entire loaf is coated with seeds.  I have always used an egg wash and then sprinkled seeds or grains on top of my loaves before baking, but in their bread making instructions, they coat the shaped bread with egg white and then roll the whole loaf in a pan of seeds to completely coat it and then brush more egg white over that to keep them glued on.  Smart!  I still think you might have some bits falling off as you cut your bread, but I like the look and the method used in coating loaves with seeds or grains.

Happy Baking!

P.S.  Thank you ALL for your sweet comments on my bread baking.  I can't wait to see if any of you try it out and what your results are like.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crackle Bread, Dutch Crunch or Tijgerbrood...

Bread.  The staff of life.  Isn't it amazing the varieties of bread we make in various cultures?  I have been baking bread for many years and I am constantly wanting to try different bread recipes and methods of making bread.  I had just used up half of the last remaining loaf of bread and so declared to myself that today was bread-making day.   I decided to do something a little different in my bread making today -- crackle bread.  I had never heard of it until I was reading a blog called The Woman and the Wheat.  The post where I first discovered this yummy bread was here and that post was a springboard to a bit of online research to learn more about making Crackle Bread, Dutch Crunch, or Tijgerbrood (tiger bread in Dutch) -- whichever name you wish to call this tasty loaf.  I checked one of my favorite bread sites, The Fresh Loaf and found a nice listing of  the breads here.  I also found The Knead For Bread, a lovely bread recipe collection blog, and I used their Crackle Bread recipe for my topping and just made one of my standard bread recipes as the foundation loaf.  As you can see by the above picture, the topping is really a dough in and of itself.  It is a rice batter that is made ahead before you are ready to bake your loaves so it has time to rise.  Then you frost your raised bread loaves generously with the rice batter and pop them into the oven to bake.  The result is a crackly top as pictured below.

You can see by the above picture that my largest loaf has the deepest cracks, and I remember coating it a bit thicker than the others.  I really should have made double the rice batter to slather on the other loaves before baking, but alas, I only had what I had.  I *think* the bread may have had a crustier top and more crunch had I been more generous with it.  Next time I will also add a little more bake time for a darker crust and deeper contrast in the bread cracks.

The topping on the bread is sweet and crunchy and really adds a nice dimension to the everyday loaf. It does not fall off like some toppings I have added to breads, but that's because it's a batter and it sticks better than seeds and grains that are sprinkled onto an egg wash.  I'm anxious to try this again with the next batch of bread, and I will definitely double the rice batter.  I'd really like to try it on rolls too.  You'd get more crunch on individual rolls, I think.  Yum!

One thing to note, make only enough crackle bread to eat fresh.  If you put the loaves or rolls in plastic bags, the crunchy topping gets soft.  It doesn't affect the bread or the taste, but there's just no crunch.  Also, next time I will not make loaves in bread pans, but make them free-standing on cookie sheets so as to smear on more rice batter for coverage and over-all crunch.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Getting small....

 The moon and stars to rule by night, for His mercy endures forever.  ~Psalm 136:9

Such an amazing moon shone in the southwest sky this evening.  It's another "children's moon" because little Hazel Peach was able see it along with the bright-shining "star," Venus before she padded off to bed.  We sat in the porch swing and watched them sink into the horizon.  If you'd like to know what's coming up in the sky for the coming week, click Sky and Telescope and come find out with me.

Remember that I just recently found the beautiful songbird, Eva Cassidy?  Well, now another treat.  If you'd like to listen to her or any other of your favorite musicians online, you can click a free online "radio station" and listen all you like.  Click Grooveshark and choose your artist and listen to all his/her music. So delicious!  I have also discovered Pandora where you can type in an artist or genre of music and play that style on your computer.  It's nice, especially when your home stereo is broken like mine.

This weekend my parents have parked their camper in our driveway and are staying to help us haul the hay in.  They look forward to this work holiday all year long.  My dad and all our guys haul in and unload the hay bales while my mom and I do our own projects along with doing lots of cooking.  Today Daughter-In-Love came with HP and we girls shucked 10 dozen ears of corn, cut it off the cob, cooked it just enough, and sacked the cooled corn into quart bags to freeze it.  To be sure, we saved a few ears of corn out for our lunch, but the rest went to the freezer for wintertime meals.

Tomorrow we are going to make a 5 gallon bucket of apples into homemade apple butter.  Oh the delightful spicy smells that will be wafting around and amongst us.  I wish I could add a scratch 'n' sniff spot to my blog so you could enjoy the apple-y experience with us.

"Now I think we are small enough.  Let's call it a night."
~Theodore Roosevelt 
(a comment made after marveling at the enormity of the number of visible stars while walking with a friend, William Beebe)

Go outside tonight, look at the moon, the planets and the STARS and get small with me.  ~Jody

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Jazzing it up...

I visited one of my favorite places yesterday -- The Bakery (fabric store) and it's sister store, Blue Stem Studios.  These ladies have the nicest side-by-side shops and they are the cleverest of women too.  They sell the finest fabrics and notions and create beautiful things with them --handbags, aprons. wallets, children's clothes and other lovely things.  They also have some unique antiques and collectibles as well as locally handmade arts and crafts for sale.  For a woman who is overwhelmed by Hobby Lobby, it is much more my style --  small, quaint, eclectic shopping.  I found three crocheted potholders that were once a vibrant red and cream, but had become faded in the store window display.  Still, I liked them and asked if they were for sale.

"Yes, they are, but I can't sell them for the price tag.  How about $2?"
"Yes, what a deal."

I was mulling it over in my mind as I drove home,  how I might revive my new-old kitchen potholders and this is what I thought up.  From the picture above, you can see that I jazzed them up with nothing less than a red permanent Sharpie!  It worked perfectly.  I am letting them fully dry and we'll see how they wash up.

I also bought a chunk of minkie fabric for a baby blanket that I will be making, and my happiest buy was a small table with a cupboard door that I wanted for a reading stand to put next to our comfy chair and ottoman.  The table had been altered by one of the clever store ladies and I loved it.  The music score decoupaged on it  is "The Way to Ask a Girl to Marry."  I don't know it at all, but it is a pretty bit of sheet music anyway.

The good news is that I got it for half price which amounted to $24.  Not bad for a fun piece.

Now, the other jazzy bit I want to share with you is about a singer whom I was introduced to through Gretchen Joanna at Gladsome Tidings.  She mentioned how much she enjoyed cooking while listening to James Taylor and Eva Cassidy.  I have always been a fan of JT, but this Eva Cassidy, I had never heard of before.  So naturally my musical curiosity forced me to discover who she was, and am I ever glad I did.  She has become my newest,  favorite singer and I'm playing every piece of music that I can get my hands on.  From what I have discovered, she became popular posthumously and was never aware of her success.  If you have a little time, close your eyes and listen...

and again here....

Monday, September 06, 2010

School beginnings....

The Youngest Son and I have plunged into our home school studies for his final year.  I feel we have worked up a a good steam in our studies since beginning our third week of school today.  I say "our studies" because really, when it comes right down to it, a home school mom learns just as much as her students.   Maybe more.  I have always learned alongside my students, and the journey has been incredible.  Is there anything like reading a good book with someone and then discussing all the details with him as you read chapter after interesting chapter?  We share ideas and concepts that we had never thought about before.  Did you know that boron is used in making the heat resistant glass, Pyrex and that boron rods are used in nuclear reactors to prevent the chain reactions of uranium from running wild?  We discuss relationships between God and man.  Currently we are reading about the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis --fascinating!  Together, we examine the US Constitution and consider the issues of the day and how our Constitution applies to them.    The two of us learn, grow, and gain insight from each other and from the brilliant authors who teach, challenge, and entertain us daily.  Have you ever thought of an author as a personal tutor? 

I am excited for this year of learning with my son.  Who will we meet?  Where will we go discovering?  How will we complete Geometry?  What lessons will history teach us?  This may be my final year of home schooling, but my education and his will go on forever.  What are you learning about this year?

"Education is not the filling of a bucket, but lighting a fire."
~William Butler Yeats

Friday, September 03, 2010

September preserves...

September usually brings my pressure-canner, ball jars, wash pans and plastic tubs out of storage and into the kitchen.  The tomatoes are ripening beautifully in the garden and I am eating as many of them fresh as I possibly can.  The rest I am gradually preserving as they ripen.  Today I made 3 quarts of salsa and then  gathered up all the grape tomatoes I could find and decided to oven-roast them.  These babies are so incredible done this way.  Simply put, you sprinkle olive oil over halved tomatoes (laid out on parchment paper), lightly sprinkle on salt & pepper and throw a couple unpeeled cloves of garlic onto the pan and slip them into a 225 degree oven for about 3-4 hours.  Depending on the size and juiciness of your tomatoes, the time can be adjusted, but the tomatoes should come out shriveled and chewy.  I like to eat them "as is," but you can use them on salads, in dressings, or any way you would use sun-dried tomatoes.  When they are cool, if you don't eat them all at once, you may store them in a mason jar with more olive oil over them and put them in the fridge for about 2 weeks.  For more information on slow, oven-roasted tomatoes, check Smitten Kitchen, where I first learned how to make them.

The girls and I have been canning the Colorado peaches we bought by the case this past week. Only Daughter and her friend came out one day and we processed their peaches, and this past Wednesday  Daughter-In-Love and I canned up her case and my case.  The pears were still too hard and unripe to process, so the three of us girls may work on our pears together this weekend.

We had a little mishap this week with one adorable little grandangel and a ball point pen.  Hubs took me furniture shopping earlier this week and we chose a nice leather sofa and matching chair and ottoman.  The day we brought the furniture into the living room was the day I had Hazel Peach come stay.  Needless to say, no one was watching as she created a large masterpiece of circles all over the top of the ottoman with a ball point pen, and then she added a few small flourishes to each seat cushion  and swished a couple curlicues on the chair arms.  She was so proud of her accomplishment that she called in her Uncle JoeJoe to show him what she had done!  Imagine his utter surprise (and mine) when she showed him her pen and ink art!  I remained calm, but clearly brought home my disappointment with her drawing on Grammy's furniture.  She was quite sniffly and sorry, I knew it, but I made her sit on the couch and watch as I painstakingly worked at getting that ink out of the furniture.  I hope my unfortunate circumstances might save you one day down the road, so I will share with you how I accomplished this feat.

Removing Ink from Leather Furniture

1.  Tackle the ink as soon as possible.
2.  Get a roll of paper towels (or rags) and a bottle of rubbing alcohol.
3.  Soak a paper towel (to dripping) with alcohol and lay it over the ink.  Allow it to penetrate and you will see the ink come free.
4.  Once ink starts to come free, remove the inky paper towel and add another alcohol soaked paper towel to the area.
5.  After the initial ink is up, continue to lightly blot and rub the ink from the leather.  (By the way, this works on fabric too, but don't soak the paper towel to dripping when using it on fabric.)
6.  Continue the process until most of the ink is gone.  After I had the ink up and the leather was dry, I took one more step and cleaned it with saddle soap.  You can usually buy it where you buy shoe polish, or you may use leather lotion and clean it following the directions on the label.  Both products will clean and replenish the leather. 

I am happy to report that the majority of the ink came out!  However, if you look closely, you can see some of the lines that were pressed in and some of the remaining ink that is so light that it looks like the imperfections that naturally occur in leather so I am not too bothered by them.  All in all, I am grateful it all worked out and I am again reminded that stuff is just stuff -- even if it is new stuff.


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