Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Memories



Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance - each beautiful, unique and too soon gone.
~Deborah Whipp


The house and tree are decorated , the oven has been working overtime, the two sticks rubbing together to produce presents are showing scorch marks…must mean Christmas is right around the corner.

I love the holidays…not the shopping part but the family and tradition parts of them. There are recipes that I only make for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Each year while making them reminds me of years gone by and the people that occupied those years.  Using recipes from both my grandmothers, I can hear echo’s of my mother’s voice  telling me how far apart to space the cookies or my uncle who made the best gravy reminding me to get the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan.

While the holidays are deeply seated with tradition, some traditions change because we lost a member or new ones came along so we incorporated theirs with ours.

This year we start a new tradition as we are all going to #1 son and A’s house for Christmas dinner.  I have been cooking Christmas dinner with or without my mother for 20 years.  We always had ham and cold salads (macaroni, potato, coleslaw).  This started when I was young, we had a dairy farm and between chores and driving my grandmother to her sister’s house and my father working nights, time was limited.  One good thing is we never got called away from playing with our gifts as we could eat when we felt like it, although we usually always ended up eating together.  Then in 2006 #1 daughter decided she wanted duck for dinner so we started making a ham and a duck and it turned into a more formal dinner.  

This year the menu is still up in the air.  #1 son and A have a Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Mario Bartali appetite but then usually follow with a Sandra Lee Semi-homemade approach.  Cooking from scratch is not their forte but we all know this …should make for some good joking.

So we have a time and place  …the food may or may not all make it onto the table at the same time but that will only serve as another memory, a new tradition .  It really doesn’t matter, we are all together, we will eat eventually and I don’t have to do the dishes!  So while appreciating the past, I can get into these new traditions.

 If I don't make it back on here before the day, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas filled with love, family and friends.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Secrets


“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”  Roald Dahl

I love Christmas secrets, everyone hiding and working on something that gets shoved aside/covered when you walk in to a room.  I love watching their sneaky moves, tapping on their doors and listening to them scurry around thinking you are going to enter! 

I have the luxury of working on and wrapping gifts while the house in empty.  

I inherited a need to disguise gifts so that the recipient won’t know what they are.  My mother was very good at it.  Me, I do it because I know I love to shake gifts and try to guess, it adds to the giddy anticipation of Christmas. 

So I have been busy making gifts along with baking.  I have a couple of things to pick up this weekend and then next week I should be done with everything.  Yeah, I put that in writing so you know the little demons are going to wreck havoc upon my plan for sure!

The weather has been very un-December like.  We had a quick 4 inches of snow that was melting soon after it fell.  Yesterday the temperature was 56 with a little rain.  It is the one damper on my otherwise festive season.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for a white Christmas…it can melt the next day, I just want that one day.  And NOAA seems to agree with me.  According to their map we have a 50-75% chance of a white Christmas.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.



We went to the annual Hunter’s Bingo held by the VFW and we cleaned house this year.  We even won one of the guns they were raffling off!  So far as hunting season…my freezer sits empty. 

The unthinkable happen ...I ran out of flour!  I buy it in 25 or 50 pound bags so I though there was more in the pantry but boy was I disappointed.  So I guess today I am finally going to start to decorate.  We are going to a tree farm this weekend to cut our tree.  Tonight the man and I are wrapping presents.  I have everything boxed up ready to go.  He will  be wrapping one of his own gifts and wont even know it until he asks what name to write on the label!  For some reason that makes me giggle! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blessed Luckier Fortunate


A couple of days before Thanksgiving I was writing out a short list of things we would need, cat litter for the grand kittens, French fried onions, pecans, Welch’s sparkling grape juice, things that are not normally on my shopping list.

I went on the computer to check the time DMV was open as I was combining a run into town between grocery shopping and getting #2 son his driver’s license.  When I sat down at the computer my facebook page was up and this is a post from a friend of mine.




Seeing as I was going shopping for Thanksgiving, a day of giving thanks for all we have, it did make me pause. 

People say they are rich in family, friends, land or even spiritually.  But how many of us would stop and consider ourselves part of the healthiest, wealthiest and wise?  I was sitting there writing out a shopping list for cat litter of all things and not even thinking  that there are those that could not afford to feed themselves  on a daily basis yet along a pet…or be able to write out a list. I am thinking of the china and silver, thankful that my four children will all be under my roof, but not grasping the enormity of how thankful I should be because I take so much of my life for granted.  The fact that I can worry about the mundane  things because the larger stuff is already taken care of is probably the largest.

So this Thanksgiving I didn’t sweat the small stuff.  If the food all got done on time great and if it didn’t we could yet it the next day. If  we didn’t eat at the designated time and you are whining, than eat a cracker and wait like everyone else.  The rolls got a little too dark on the bottom? I don’t want to hear it, cut the bottom off. Ironically  it was the most relaxed day.  By not sweating the small stuff which sometimes made it more of a chore than a privilege,  I was able to appreciate all the rest.

So I printed that little sign out and hung it beside the computer to remind myself.  In the long run the leaves still in the gutter, headache I have medicine for or the garden which still needs to be completely cleaned up will not matter so I shouldn’t stress. Que Sera Sera  I should pay attention to the bigger words in that  big picture “blessed, luckier and fortunate”. 



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Good Thing?


Is there ever too much of a good thing?  

William Shakespeare asked "Can one desire too much of a good thing?" (Act IV, Scene I of As You Like It) and later Mae West answered “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!”

In this instance I am going to discuss Pinterest.  My daughter got me started on Pinterest way before it became the mega bulletin board that it has now become.   I am not sure if I should thank her or disinherit her!

For those of you who knit or crochet and remember your first introduction to Ravelry….Pinterest is the same.  It is a huge time suck.  With Ravelry it was a place to organize your fo’s, your books and yarn, a place to view a multitude of patterns done in different colors and yarns.  There were hours spent queuing future projects.  Pinterest is the same but instead of queuing knitting/crocheting projects you are queuing home projects, recipes, craft projects, gardening projects, planning your kids birthday parties until they are 18, planning weddings, baby showers, menu’s for every holiday ever thought of, hairstyles, a gazillion ways to paint your nails or put on your makeup, and a use for every item you had destined for the trash/recycling bin.  You pin and pin and pin and smack yourself in the head continuously saying “why didn’t I think of that?”

I use to make my own laundry soap…now I make my own stain remover, fabric softener and glass cleaner for pennies.  Pinterest taught me to make my own salami,  vanilla extract, orange extract, lemon extract, clean my stove burners to almost new with ammonia after the marathon summer of canning and made scoops from milk jugs.

In canning it gave me Spiced pear cardamom butter, homemade chocolate syrup, steak sauce, most of the lemonade concentrates I made and showed me that a Parmesan cheese lid fits on canning jars.

In the garden it showed me how to use cinnamon as a substitute for rooting hormone, easier ways to do things and gardens to drool over and strive for.

My fiber arts board is future projects, a library of stitches, yarn related tattoo’s, humorous signs and bumper stickers.

Grandkid ideas...(there is another on the way, due in April!!!!!)…is a mass of things I wish I would have known to do with my kids, like wrapping up Christmas books for the month of December.  Each night they get to open a “present” and that book is read to them or they get to read it.  On this board there are also plans for a picnic table, playhouse, sandbox with a lid that turns into bench seats and kitchens made out of old tv cabinets.  This is also were I  learned to limit my buying for grandson.  I found a rule that states to buy…one want, one need, one wear and one read which I intend to follow for Baby O and subsequent grandchildren.  As much as I want to spoil the hell out of him I need to remember I am the grandparent and not the parent.

My “I am hungry” board makes the man very happy.  Last weekend we made pumpkin pancakes, 


pumpkin snickerdoodles, and pumpkin whoopee pies. 



Candy canes have been tossed in the food processor and now get sprinkled on cups of coffee and cocoa. 

Today found me slicing and dicing to put a Winter's Solstice drink a brewing…brandy, oranges, vanilla beans, cinnamon, star anise and peppercorns.  

Also brewing is candy cane vodka.  


Next up is Apple Pie Moonshine.  I don’t drink except for a wine cooler or two during the summer and some spiked eggnog at Christmas so most of this will end up as Christmas presents but I am looking forward to taste testing!

Pinterest has been called the virtual hoarders paradise and it probably makes hoarders out of people.  You know as soon as you toss something that Pinterest will show you a use for it!

But this all leads back to “too much of a good thing”.  I spend my weekends making things I normally would not make  foodwise but found great new recipes.

Economically it is a boon for those unemployed.  With less money and too much time on their hands there are millions of ideas for gifts and home projects on the cheap.  The reduce/reuse/recycle boards are amazing, the ingenuity astounding!

So why am I wondering if it is too much?  I only have 23 bulletin boards.  #1 daughter has 95 boards, 9418 pins and 1,162,498 people that follow her boards.  I guess I wonder if the time suck pays in the long run.  Do I really need to make these things?  Does the money I save balance out with the time lost or is Pinterest a huge advertisement making me see something and want to make/produce/try it/buy it?

I guess I will try to figure it out while I am making snowman face ornaments from old canning lids, knit little gnome santa ornaments, making gift baskets and getting snookered  on the homemade booze!

Oh look a ton of ideas for old pallets …must go look…I might want to make something else I do/don’t need.


Friday, November 09, 2012

November grew wings



"Cornstalks from last summer's garden now lean toward the kitchen window, and the November wind goes through them in a shudder.  Their thin tassels spread out beseeching fingers, and their long bleached blades flutter like ragged clothing." ~ Rachel Peden


Taking down those cornstalks is still on the  “to do list”.  Time is passing to quickly to get everything done.  The fact that Thanks giving is only two weeks away is astounding.  It will be a busy two weeks for sure but the weather is expected to get better which should help.  #2 daughter is jaunting off to Florida with her senior class so will be of no help for most of time….#2 son better step up and do more than eat to help out.

The chickens I purchased in the spring have started laying so I am enjoying the bounty.  The ducks even started laying again.  Thankfully there will be enough for all the holiday baking and eggnog.

 The Christmas cactus seems to be in line with the stores and is trying to rush the holidays…








My body is finally adjusted to the time change.  I appreciate the extra light in the morning while doing chores even while not liking the early evenings.  The ice on the water buckets outside the barn keeps getting thicker with each passing day.  The snow that made matters worse for the hardest hit areas of Sandy missed us entirely.  But it will only be a matter of time before the white  stuff pays us a visit.  I hope it is not a hard winter since there are almost no berries left on the barberry for the birds.  The acorns, while numerous, all fell during the storm and if we get snow with ice it will be hard for the deer to get to them.  I have held off feeding the birds for fear of the bear but they are flying into the barn and raiding the chickens bulk feeder during the day.

Inside the house I have knit a Thomas the Tank hat for a friend’s grandson and I have been spinning.  I got hooked on a book so fiber arts took a back seat until I finish it. 

And canning will be put away until after the holidays.  I just finished 9 pints of steak sauce and all the paraphernalia will go down into the basement and out of site.

For my own reference I will add this years list

Product                  Quart     Pint         ½ pint     ¼ pint
Strawberry/  
Rhubarb Jam                        7              3
Strawberry/
Apple Jam                              5              4
Onion Relish                         1              5
Mustard Butter                     7
Brown Mustard                     10
Apple Jelly                             19            5
Mango/Peach                       2              3
Strawberry Jam                    5
Mixed fruit Jam                    5
Apple/Currant Jelly              4
Taco Soup                      7      14
Chicken stock                        28            1
Kidney Beans                        11    17
Onion Soup                           11
Steak Sauce                           17            3
Chocolate Syrup                    5              5
Apple Pie Filling           19
Rhubarb/
Lemon Concentrate              14            4
Wine Jelly                              1              4
Sweet Tea Jelly                      5              1
Lemonade Concent.     1      9
Straw/Lemon Concent.        6
Black Beans                           12
Lard                               8      3
Blackberry Jelly                    29            4
Blkby/Lem Concent.             8
Rhubarb Pie Filling     15    1
Bottled Hell                           8              6              1
Green Beans                  15    50
Pickled Beets                         6
Salsa                               13    30
Cowboy Candy              2      15
Elderbry/Blkbry Jelly           2              1
Elderberry Jelly                     4              2
Tomatoes                       51    7
Mango Jam                           1              6
Carrots                           4      24
Blk Cherry Pie                1      4
Straw/Kiwi Jam                    2              5
Mushroom Soup                    12            1
Mango Chutney                    7              2
Grape Jelly                             2              3
Grape Juice                    11
Vege Mix                         19    2
Grape/Elderbry Jelly                            2              2
BBQ Sauce                             8
Tomato Soup                         11
Cuke Relish                            7
Pear Jam                                               6              2
Jalapeno Pickle Relish        2              3
V8                                    10    2
Carrot Cake Jam                   2              4
Pears                               1                      1
Maple Syrup                   7
Pepper Jelly                            4              5
Pinto beans                   7
Pinto W/ jalapeno        3
Red Raspbry Jam                  5              8              2
Banana Butter                                     8     
Green Tomato Relish            12
Pumpkin Butter                    7              6
Sumr Squash                         7      9
Grn Tomato slices         5
Butternut squash          5
Sauerkraut                    12    6
Baked beans                          19
Chili Sauce                            6              1
Chix dipping sauce      1      5              2
Swt Potatoes                  14
Apple Butter                          6              4
Cardamon Pear Butter        3              11            2
Salted Caramel
Pear/Apple Butter                 4              3

Along with all the frozen broccoli, corn, zucchini, rhubarb, and apples

I tried a lot of new things this year.  The kids love all the different lemonade concentrates and they are so easy to make.   I am trying to can the mundane everyday things like mustard, bbq sauce…just need to find a good ketchup recipe.  The convenience of buying dried beans and canning them is great and I will continue to do so.  I would have liked to have canned potatoes like I did last year because they came in handy in a rush situation…maybe after the holidays.

For now I best get moving as the kids will be home in less than two hours. I can't let them find me sitting idlely by after I tell them how hard I work!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Lucky


“The thing that a lot of people cannot comprehend is that Mother Nature doesn’t have a bullet with your name on it, she has millions of bullets inscribed with “to whom it may concern” ~ Unknown

Given the enormity of Hurricane Sandy it is unbelievable that we got off with just a scratch but we did.  We have been extremely lucky.  The view from my window’s  has changed a little as some trees went down but we had no flooding and the electric was off for less than 36 hours.  All around us people suffered far worse but again nothing compared to Jersey.

School was closed for the whole week while community after community slowly got electric restored and roads were made accessible.  Our school district encompasses 300+ square miles so I am sure Monday will still dawn without everyone having power but the power company has been spot on when it gave times for repair.

“Man masters nature not by force but by understanding.  This is why science has succeeded where magic failed, because it has looked for no spell to cast over nature” ~ Jacob Bronowski

I don’t believe man has mastered nature or this disaster would never have happened.  And understanding?  I don’t understand it, the amount of damage is mind boggling.  I do think that science was able to predict the hurricanes path far enough in advance so people were somewhat prepared for it and that doing so saved many lives.  Now if only there were a magic spell to cast to help those devastated by this force.  


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Festive Wool!



“Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.” 
 ~ M. Scott Peck

I attended the NY Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck, NY on Saturday.  We got an early start as it is a two hour ride.  The days temps started in the 50’s so it was beautiful.  

Fog accompanied us most of the ride


 and later could be seen just sitting in the valleys. 


A little toll booth,


 a little Hudson River, 


getting closer, and then pay dirt.

We arrived to find the parking lot filling up but nothing like what it will turn into.  

We had purchased our tickets early so we didn’t have to stand in line.  An hour after opening walk ways were filling but the buildings were becoming gridlock!

I didn’t have much time as I had told a friend I would watch her kids for several days while she attended a wedding and got a little time away with her man.  I did however get to meander through most of the buildings.

The first festival I attended was the MD Sheep and Wool and what a shock.  I bought and bought and bought trying to bring as many different types of wool home to try to spin.  This time I only purchased 2- 8 oz packages of roving.  The man felt my forehead as he assumed I was sick!  We spent more on food than on wool! 

MD Sheep and Wool happens in May when everything is starting to bloom and after a long cold winter it is so refreshing.  We drive south and trees are green already and it is warmer than where we left from.  NY on the other hand has dealt me some freezing temps or rain but yesterday it was 70!   Inside the buildings it was getting darn right hot.  All the wool hats and fingerless mitts came off, the wool scarves came off, some took off jackets but left their wool shawls on and for those who showed off their beautiful work on a sweater dress I sweat for you.

While there are a lot of knitters/crocheters/weavers/ rugmakers/spinners out there who worship all things wool it is nice to just go see the different styles.  Cobweb lace spun so incredibly fine and knit into such intricate designs, someone’s first socks, wool spun on wheels that each bobbin holds two pounds and knit on needles larger than broomsticks into rugs that I would never let anyone sit on yet a lone walk on.  Wool needle felted into animals that from a distance you would be hard pressed to identify real from wool.  

It is a heady feeling being surrounded by so many fellow wool lovers and talented people.  It is inspiring.  We left with just enough time to get back to pick up the kids. Next year we will have to stay longer...or both days!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Winding down


“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.” ~ Faith Baldwin



  
We received our first frost/freeze on the 13th.  It officially put an end to my gardening but not my canning as I was given some sweet potatoes and apples.  I canned some sweet potatoes, apple pie filling and apple butter.  The rest of the sweet potatoes are in storage and the apples are a daily snack.

With canning slowing down I am now cleaning.  I started to take the screens off and do the windows but then it warmed up again and those lady bug look a likes tried squatting in my home ….evicted!!

Farm chores have slowed considerably.  The three little pigs went to the market (aka butcher) along with two ducks, two geese (because the one attacked me on a daily basis) and three turkeys.  

So with some extra (ha ha) time on my hands I have been knitting.  After the candy corn hat for grandson, I made a pilgrim hat

and a turkey hat so he can switch them up. 


Now I am knitting him moccasins.  Excuse the picture quality and the camera strap in the way as it was not my camera.  I have a hankering to start a more in depth project I just haven’t had one grab me yet.  Till then I will  find little things to knit and maybe make a nick in the stash of roving waiting to be spun since I am going to Rhinebeck this weekend.  I don't know how it happens but at every venue such as this some roving/yarn inadvertently falls into my bag.  I have seen others with this same problem and they are not complaining so  won't either!



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Autumn


"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
George Eliot

I love Autumn…the wonderful daytime temps, the colors, the crunch of the leaves as your walking, the smell of smoke from burning leaves or someone’s wood stove, the fog that hides the mountains in the morning…a long with early Spring it has to be as close to heaven as I would like to get for some time.



It makes it much nicer to do autumn chores. Earlier in the summer the man stopped at a yard sale on his way home from work.  He came home and said you have to come with me.  So back to the yard sale we went.  His excitement was a 9 tray Excaliber dehydrator for $25.  Well I have had it running recently earning its keep.

I never picked all my garlic last year and this year each clove on the head produced its own head so I had lots of garlic but all small cloves.  By rubbing them between my hands while running water over them I could easily remove their skins, run them through the food processor and lay out trays of minced garlic for drying.  All vampires in town went on vacation, it was very odorous!  I also dried multiple trays of oregano, thyme, sage and basil which was much easier to handle. 

We still have not received frost but a short drive up the mountain they have.  The river running through the valley will continue to protect us for a short time, which is good because the beans are still producing about 6 pints every two days.  The green tomatoes that were pulled are now relish, the reds salsa.  Still lots more out there so I may try my hand at ketchup.  Oh and the raspberries are still producing so I may get enough for another batch!!! {insert happy dance}.

I knit Baby O a candy corn hat.  



I hate candy corn but it is symbolic of Halloween and I was informed this year’s hats had to be different.  He had a pumpkin hat last year.  I also finished a Saroyan with Caron Natural merino/acrylic blend that I was trying to use up.  #1 daughter bought me the tatting shuttles in the last post but I haven’t had time to use them.

The yearly test to see how long we can go without turning on the heat continues although it is a little chilly when taking a morning shower!  This means instead of sitting with a second cup of coffee you need to get right to work to stay warm!  Tomorrows top chore is to can the sauerkraut.  If there isn’t enough to last the year I still have time to pick up some nice heads of cabbage at the farmers market.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Berry Bash


“Your best shot at happiness, self-worth and personal satisfaction – the things that constitute real success – is not earning as much as you can but in performing as well as you can something that you consider worthwhile.” ~ William Raspberry

What a coincidence to find a quote like that, written by Raspberry when that is exactly what today is all about.

Let’s start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start. (Sorry I have the Do Re Mi song stuck in my head)

I LOVE RASPBERRIES!  When I was pregnant with #2 daughter raspberry anything was consumed along with butterscotch candies.  For some reason they did not give me heartburn where everything else did.  Although the very thought of eating anything butterscotch now makes me gag my love of all things raspberry still burns strong.

So several years ago Cyndy was thinning out her canes and gave me several.  I thought I was planting them in a decent location but in following years they were run over by kids on lawn mowers, snowmobiles and a truck.  I got lots of runners growing up in the lawn but very few berries.  The children on their way to their grandmother’s house would nibble along with every other beast known to man.  If I ate a dozen berries in all those years I was lucky.



So three years ago I decided to salvage what was left by planting them in the garden.  The first year they put down roots but didn’t put out any berries.  The second year they sent out runners, which I shared with others.  They did produce some berries but they were few and far between.  When I noticed berries forming this year I tried not to get my hopes up.  When a couple ripened, I ate one and froze the rest hoping against hope to get enough to make jam. The beans and tomatoes kept me busy in the kitchen but when I could I would go out, pick several raspberries and freeze them.  The kids were under strict orders and threats of losing fingers (I would have started with the pinkie which is basically an unused appendage) to not touch them unless they were bringing them in to freeze.

This morning I went out to the garden and picked the balance needed to make raspberry jam.  The green beans I picked were put on hold while jars were sterilized, fruit mashed, sugar measured and lids put on the ready.  The smell was divine.  I started to drool while I stirred.  I had to run and get one of grandson’s bibs because a puddle  was starting to form at my feet.  The jars were filled and put in their hot water bath and then I was free.  Free to wash the pan ….with my tongue.  OMG I am going to hide every single jar as soon as they cool down.




Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bird Brain


Use the talents you possess - for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for the best.
~Henry Van Dyke

I have birds on my mind.  I guess it starts with the new chickens which should start laying soon.  Then it moves on to the turkeys we are raising for Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner; are they big enough yet or should we let them go another couple of weeks.

Then it meanders like a flooding stream to this little bird. 


#2 son nicely paid for him after he broke my last knitting bowl three weeks after I bought it.  I acquired him this past weekend at the Endless Mountain Sheep & Wool festival.   He is still just a passing acquaintance as I have yet to sit down and have a conversation with him. 

The garden is being a very domineering child, demanding my full attention.  I had been dealing with approximately 100+ of tomatoes and two grocery bags of beans that we picked late last week so I felt confident that ignoring the garden over the weekend would not be a problem. 

But like a spurn lover jealous of no longer having my attention it went crazy, inundating me with three more bags of beans and 50+ pounds of tomatoes. 

Not willing to give into these jealous fits, I said to hell with it and I went out Tuesday night in pursuit of yet another fiber hobby, tatting.   


 It is one of those things that is beautiful and I have wanted  to learn but didn’t pursue further.  When the chance was given to me to have hands on demonstrations (read HELLLLPPP!!!)  I jumped.  


So far I have only learned the double stitch.  I attempted a picot (yes that small thing that looks like a pimple) before we had to call it a night.  I still need a ton more practice to get the stitches more even and my picots more defined but this is a very portable craft.  My socks were evicted from the sock bag so it could carry my cotton, scissors and shuttle.  And check out these Handmade tatting shuttles…beautiful!  I think they would love to come live in my sock bag! 

Handmade Ceramic Tatting Shuttles, Set of Two



So Wednesday morning I woke to nightmares of being buried under tomatoes.  I sent the man to work and the kids to school.  I entered the kitchen determined to beat the tomatoes into submission only to find I no longer have any empty pint jars!  But I was not to be beaten by that minor detail, salsa tastes just as good in a quart jar as it does a pint, so does V8 and tomato sauce. 

Today finds me still at the tomatoes, I would say I was making some headway but I did sneak a peak into the garden while walking by.  The jealous fits continue, but in a weaker form.  I will not be defeated, I will not give in, I will emerge ready to knit, spin, or tat again. 

It would happen sooner if for once the kids did NOT listen to me and left the garden gate open!  


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

August is gone.


"August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
Expected,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a match flame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
A moment,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away."
-  Elizabeth Maua Taylor 




Ahhhh the last weekend of summer or more rightly summer vacation is now done and over with.  We had a pig roast to celebrate #1 daughter and Sir T’s birthdays, Labor Day and the end of summer all rolled up in one big shebang. Got some alone time with Baby O while his mom and dad went yard sale hopping and fishing respectively and then went to dinner.  Wish I could harness just a small drop of his energy!

And regardless of the school shopping, the temperatures cooling, spiders and mice trying the su casa es mi casa trick and the leaves falling, I am still shocked that “summer” is over and school will be starting tomorrow.

As much as we accomplished this summer the to-do list is racing through my mind with a million things I want to get done before the snow flies.  I realize it will be some time before that truly happens but I don’t want it to catch me as shockingly unaware as school starting has!

When the night temps started dipping I went to work on socks for #2 daughter.  They had been long promised and kept being put on the back burner.  One is done and the second is on the needles along with a scarf.  There is the inevitable list of things I would like to knit if I only had more hands and time.

The garden is producing.  The squash are doing great which is amazing since I ignored that part of the garden.  The canning continues; green beans and carrots yesterday with tomatoes getting done tomorrow.  The pigs are getting big and will be leaving in about a month.  We bought ¼ share in a 4H steer so the freezers and shelves will be packed full soon.

The man and I went for a walk yesterday to check for elderberries near one of his old fishing spots.  



The birds had long taken the bounty but it was nice to just relax , talk about the weekend, the summer and what else needs to be done.   In some respects summer flew by and in others it has been soooooo long.  




With the change of the calender page #1 daughter is looking forward to cuddling up with hot cocoa but #2 daughter is starting her senior year so is bouncing between sadness and joy.   Ironic how we long for things and then when they arrive we barely have time to enjoy them before they are gone.  She better hold on tight this school year is going to have wings.