Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life…a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year – and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God. ~ Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)

On New Year’s Eve most people reminisce on what the year has brought to them. I find myself doing so at Thanksgiving. My mind skims over the good, the bad and the ugly of everyday life. I could take up pages of what I wanted to accomplish that didn’t get done or I can be thankful for what we were able to get done. I can bemoan the plants that didn’t grow or serve up those that did. I can cry over those that won’t be with us or welcome the new ones to the table. Sometimes in the daily grind it is hard to always realize the upside of things.

And because others can say things so much more eloquently than I...

For flowers that bloom about our feet,

For tender grass so fresh, so sweet,

For the song of bird and hum of bee,

For all things fair we hear or see,

For blue of stream and blue of sky,

For pleasant shade of branches high,

For fragrant air and cooling breeze,

For beauty of the blooming trees,

For this new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wishing all a very Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Preparing for the holiday

Music with dinner is an insult to both the cook and the violinist. ~G.K. Chesterton

Now music while preparing the dinner is perfect. My mother and I always started listening to Christmas carols while preparing the meal for Thanksgiving.

Today finds #2 daughter and I making pies and listening to Christmas carols. That is something I love about the holidays and that I try to keep alive…the little family traditions which you later realize are so meaningful even to those that you thought were oblivious to them.

Now to get her to wash the china without breaking any…maybe I will do it myself!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gleam in your eye

"You know you are getting old when the gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals."

After putting it off for as long as possible, I now have joined the ranks of those that need to wear bifocals. I walked into the optometrist’s office and read a sign that said… "If you don't seewhat you're looking for, you've come to the right place" Ya think?!

I updated my information and sat down in the waiting area. I pulled out my knitting, raised my glasses and started to knit. I have been nearsighted since I was a teen but the raising of the glasses to knit or read has been a more recent development. Last time I was there my vision was acceptable enough to not

warrant bifocals but since I haven’t been there in ….well let us just say some time….it has deteriorated.

I hate doctors of any kind and though I make sure my children get their physicals, shots, dental exams and eye exams, I tend to procrastinate until I have to go. This Spring #1 made me get a whooping cough vaccine because of Baby O and since I was

there I got all my medical tests run. The reason for finally going back to the eye doctor was because I broke the arm off my glasses and was now wearing an older pair…and headaches from the fore mentioned older pair.

I got the progressive lens. They should make life easier so long as I don’t have a problem with them. I get to pick them up next Wednesday. Just in time to make or break Thanksgiving dinner!

But the eye sight or more accurately lack there of has not stopped me from getting Christmas started. I am actually about 80% done. The other 20% is either knitting or waiting on the paycheck to hit the buy button.

Last year we did clues for #2 daughter and son to find their big present. They want them again this year so I have come up with how to word the clues and where to hide them.

Other than that I started some homemade kahlua and cranberry cordial to brewing. I also have mustard seeds soaking for homemade mustard. I took a day to help #2 with her senior class project. She is a junior but it is now out of the way and next year she can concentrate on getting scholarships and grants…and figuring out what she wants to go to college for.

I got the garden pulled, blackberry canes cut and everything piled up to burn. The log splitter is splitting more wood for

whatever the winter holds - so far so good. I let the fire go out during the day as it has not been that bad but at night Mr. Woodstove has quite the appetite and enjoys his supper of oak and hickory.

I found my ball winder. I emptied some bobbins and spun a little. My needles have been clicking away for Christmas but I can’t show anything until after. Nosy people you know!

We have a busy weekend planned. The man has to work Saturday to make up for Thursday's day off (says the boss), #2 daughter turns 17 and is having friends for a sleepover and viewing of the newest Twilight movie, the school is having a juried craft fair which is usually a good one, my brother needs help ripping up his kitchen floor and we told a friend we would come help hang some shelving. Most people look forward to weekends, I look forward to Mondays when quiet reigns down once again!

So since there is not much I can show I will entertain you with shots of what is entertaining me at the moment....

Monday, November 07, 2011

Canning for the Zombie Invasion

My daughter found that picture on Pinterest. She has a board named “Can this Mom” where she collects various canning recipes for me to make her! Can't wait for them to be able to move closer so I can teach her and she can do it herself!

I have almost finished canning. The sauerkraut is still fermenting and I need to can some soups for the man’s lunch but the bulk of the garden is in various size jars on my shelves.

Whenever I can I write it down and then tally everything at the end of the canning season. For the past couple of years I have tallied here so I could refer back.

This years totals look like this…..

Quart Pint 1/2Pt

Rhubarb Relish 5 9

Canned Rhubarb 4 3 2

Baked Beans 11 1

Green beans (blogger keeps moving) 25 1

Bread & Butter Pickles 18

Dill Pickles 1 8

Hot Pepper Mustard 26 6

Crushed Tomatoes 37 8

Watermelon Jelly 9

Yellow Mustard 5

Brown Mustard 5

Salsa 41

Salsa “juice” 4 1

Garlic Tomato Sauce 9 17 2

V8 13 19

Tomato Sauce 15 5

Tomato Soup 17 9

Cowboy Candy 4 16

Cowboy Candy Syrup for glaze 2 1

Lemon balm syrup 7

Choco Mint Syrup 7

Maple Walnut Syrup 4

Green Tomato Relish 11 3

Apple Juice 139 3

Apple sauce 24

Apple Pie filling 20

Apple Butter 7 5

Christmas Jam 7

Hot Peppers 1 2

Grape Juice 16 3

Pear Sauce 2

S & S Red cabbage 8

Potatoes 28


6 quarts brussel sprouts

13 pints of pumpkin

6 ½ gallons of apple cider

7 pounds of zucchini cubed and shredded

2 pounds cubed yellow squash

9 ½ pounds rhubarb

27 bags with 3 cups of corn in each



9 heads cabbage

75 pounds potatoes

12 butternut squash

15 pounds sweet potatoes

2 rutabegas

Hickory nuts

Black walnuts

No typos… we got A LOT of apples this year! #2 son & daughter take apple juice in their lunches and #1 will give some to Baby O. I saw all the jars but didn’t realize just how many until I added everything up from the list.

Each year is basically a crapshoot as to what the garden is going to be able to produce with that years weather. Where the apples and nuts were abundant this year the birds got a lot of the berries I would normally have used for jelly.

All in all not a bad year….So let the zombies come.