Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday in the quiet...

 Ahhhh....the silence. I am loving the quiet here today, not going anywhere all morning, no rushing around, no nothing. A morning to savor.

Been running around like a chicken with my head cut off the past 3 days. Nonstop, from morning til night. Then yesterday was a particularly long day at my [supposedly] PT job.  Last night I did a couple more loads of laundry and fell into bed at about 11:30. Didn't move a muscle I don't think, until about 7:30 this morning.

 If you don't know...that's a marathon sleep for me.  lol  Because of my busted up pelvis and hips, I can't sleep well. Unable to lie in one position long enough to really get into REM sleep, I generally sleep only about 4-5 hours a night, and feel tired a lot. Until those days that I have pushed myself for days and days, and then I sleep the sleep of the dead. lol Like last night. Only problem with that is that I wake up feeling mentally refreshed, but like I got run over with a Mack truck. It'll take a while for the muscles to forgive me.  lol

 It's a beautiful couple of days here. low 70's and sunny. The nights are very cool, high 40's and 50's. I just went out and picked another blue tub full of end-of-the-season tomatoes and jalapenos and bell peppers.  sigh...I really didn't think there was THAT much more out there...
but I guess the blessings just keep on coming.      :)

  So now I have to I making the Irishman spaghetti and meatballs for supper?  lol  Or a big pot of soup.  I guess since he is just finishing off the chili I should leave him be and wait on the soup.  He's being a very good sport about meals, since I'm never here for them except on Fridays.  I usually leave him dinner, but some days I leave him on his own, to forage through the fridge for leftovers, or make a sandwich. Since he often takes regular leftover meals in his lunch, I don't feel too bad about him having a sandwich now and then for supper. Yesterday he had apple glazed pork chops and brown rice and stir fried cabbage. Apples, onions, cabbage all out of our gardens. It's one of his favorite meals.

  It's gorgeous outside. I should probably get out there and love some of it. It's a short time though before I have to leave for work, and I have some work clothes in the dryer for him and another load in the washer. All stuff I couldn't/didn't finish last night.  

  Have a wonderful day,. all. I'm going to get some housecleaning done (just a little) and take it easy. The peppers and tomatoes will wait til I get home. Also--I have enough jalapenos to make some hot pepper jelly...yum...that will be on Friday, I suspect.  I need liquid pectin for that, and all I have is powdered. Guess I'm off to pick up cat food much to little time....


Monday, September 27, 2010

Septembers song...


  This has been one busy month. The bulk of the canning and preserving is all finished at last. The 15 quarts of kraut turned out beautifully

I pickled sweet banana peppers in a variety of ways

Been working like crazy ... not really, lol, but it seems like it. I really miss the old days when I could do anything I wanted anytime I wanted.   (Except, of course, I didn't have the $$ to do anything.)  Life was simpler.  lol  But I'm not complaining...

  Anyhoo...we still have sweet potatoes to dig in about a month..and there are still bell peppers and tomatoes out there. Their ripening has slowed way down with the cool temps that have been upon us the past week or so. Last night the temps got down to the forties. Today I have sweat pants on. Yesterday we had a District picnic and it was cold and nose was running and my fingers were like ice.  It was good to see a lot of people I have been missing.

  I will probably (maybe) make chow-chow with the green  'maters and stuff left in the garden. Or maybe I'll make some batches of vegetable soup to can...that's always a good thing to have on hand. I'm trying not to buy any more lids or jars...well...maybe just one more package of lids of each size..but no more !!  I do want to cook up and can some pinto beans and great northerns to have on hand, and a jar or 3 of black beans would be  good too. Sigh....this could go on and on, couldn't it?  lol

  Baked an old recipe cake last night for a birthday's an  Oatmeal Cake...the recipe given to me by an old neighbor almost 40 years ago. The recipe card is old and yellowed and the ink is faded so you can barely read it. lol   I was amazed at how many of the men loved that cake. 2 guys asked for the recipe!!  lol  It has a broiled pecan and coconut frosting on it.  yum!

OKay--have to run. Just got a call from the boss and she needs me to meet her in town before I head down to the noon meeting for another birthday celebration.

  I'll get back here soon....I hope.



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Looking at the stars...

It's a wonderfully clear night tonight. They say that a cold front is moving in within the next 24 hours or so, an things will cool down markedly around these parts. It's bringing thunderstorms with it, so I guess that is the trade-off.  I was sitting outside in the back, listening to the night sounds that envelope my little homestead.  The baritones of the bullfrogs and the contented cluck-whispers coming from the henhouse. The breeze ruffling the canopy of leaves on the oak and maple trees.  A coyote howling in the distance. Comforting sounds to my ears, as much a part of me as my own voice.

  I am in an interesting place lately...a jumping off point, perhaps...or just another time for change and growth that seems to visit my life on a regular basis. It feels like a strange mix of apathy and melancholy.  Some days I am burdened by it, yet other days I anticipate the change, whatever it might be.  We are talking about moving to Wisconsin again. My father-in-law is not getting any younger, and my husband has not lived back "home" since he was 18 years old and ran off to join the Marines.  I know he is feeling the pull and it is getting stronger all the time. I can understand this. I am not against moving there. I am concerned about the cold and the effect it will have on my old battered body. lol  I can/will/have bloom wherever I am planted. I don't know that it will actually happen, but it does add more to the mix of whatever is going on with me right now. 

 I don't  know how to describe [even to myself] exactly what this is, a minor maelstrom going on within, perhaps. Is it just my age? Is it my restless heart ?  Never having been a person, particularly, who stayed in one place long, it could be just time to get moving. I am discontent. I am moody. I don't see much purpose in the things of my life, outside my gardening and preserving. I don't care much about the things that used to enliven me.  I don't think I am depressed, although as I read what I am writing, it sounds like that.

  Perhaps we  (if one pays attention)  go through cycles where we have to listen up and bend the paradigms of our lives from time to time.  Looking at the boundaries we set up, at the definitions we use to denote our faith, our purpose, our meaning.  The ideals I have in my life can be troublesome in the society I live in, and all that really means is that I have to evaluate whether I am willing to live with the consequences on a regular basis.  I can figure out what my options are and hopefully make a decision based on my truth. The older I get, the narrower the road I walk gets.  Part of it is my lack of tolerance, part of it is my inherent nature and part of it is my need to live in community.  And somewhere in the middle of this all is my heartsong.   For years I was on autopilot, flying too close to the ground and often too fast to be able to see any of the beauty around me. Now, I cannot bear to miss one minute of that beauty. I know that as I near sixty years on the planet, I am yearning for all the things I have yet to taste, songs yet to be sung, poetry to be read. I'm running out of time, and I have wasted a lot of years.

  Am I having a midlife crisis ?

 The good news is, if this is a midlife crisis, I've still got plenty of time..

  I am going to bed on this note :

     Every child has known God.

  Not the God of names
Not the God of don'ts,
  Not the God who ever does anything weird.
  But the God who only knows four words
And keeps repeating them, saying:

    "Come Dance With Me."




Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gloomy and overcast...

A beautiful day!!

  My son just stopped by and is out fishing at the pond. I am awaiting a phone call to shore up a plan, and just finished a bowl of homemade cheese raviolis for breakfast.  Breakfast of Champions.

  I like these rainy days. It isn't exactly raining yet, but a sprinkle here and there and grey sky promises are enough for me.  We are supposed to see rain the next few days in a row. My dogs are AWOL...but the first sign of water falling from the sky and they will shoot home like furry meteors.


  I have tomatoes and onions in the dehydrator that need putting away. Yesterday I sliced almost another gallon of bell peppers and a batch of okra that I over-blanched, I'm afraid...but it will still do for soup. I was thinking I may make some chili tomorrow if the cool weather holds. Today's high is only getting to husband really likes my white chili--that would be good. Means I have to get some ground turkey and some cannelini beans. I need to make a market run anyway, since I'm out of freezer bags. I intend to make a big batch of meatballs too in the next few days, if I can find room in my freezer for them. They're just so darn handy to have

   Need to get the electric bill payment in the mail today and do a few other tedious chores that don't rank real high on my list of fun things. It's outrageous this time, following that month of hell-like temperatures we had here in August.  The air was running 24/7 and we knew it was gonna be ugly.

  Better get myself ready to go out the door. Going in early to sit with my little MissB...she's deathly afraid of storms and her niece is sick today, so won't be going to her house.  

  I am blessed by a life that sits at the door, waiting for me to trust in the abundance and order of the Universe. My freezer is full, my bank account is adequate if I am careful, and my home is full of love.

  It doesn't get any better than that.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What is this world coming to ???

I'm working really hard to find my happy place today...

  I furiously banged out about a page of venom tonight, and stopped and erased it all. The cathartic "puking" of it out of me helped...some. I am in one of those places that I find myself more often than I like these days--being pummeled about by the rantings and idiocies of my fellow members of the human race. I am subjected to television when I sit with MissB...between the political bs of campaign time and the misleading and ludicrous crap coming out of the mouths of some of these right wing fanatics that call themselves journalists, it's almost more than I can take. Now on Facebook, I see a person calling Gen. Petraeus a nutcase for saying that the actions of a church in Florida who intends to BURN COPIES OF THE MUSLIM HOLY BOOK  could cause serious problems for the American troops in the middle east.

  Now...there are at least 2 things wrong with this picture. One is that he and General Caldwell are both right about the ramifications. So what the hell is she talking about?  The second is...who the hell does something like this ??? In the name of a church, for godsakes???   I am sickened by the behavior of these people. Is nothing sacred, if it isn't your own twisted religious views?  I am so tired of being beaten to death with the religious right's personal version of right and wrong and good and evil.  Do these people not read? Are they so small minded that they actually believe the BS they ooze?

  And the bigger question of course, is this:

  Why am I letting this all affect me so strongly???????????

 I wasn't born yesterday.  I have lived on this planet long enough to know that there will always be people who talk through their you-know-whats.  I don't ever expect anybody to particularly see things my way or agree with me about my beliefs.  I expect to see a few crazies out there...but for crying out loud ! It seems like lately half the world has lost their collective minds.

  Okay.  I'm through with my rant, [I think].

  Sigh....I'm afraid. I'm afraid that we are approaching a point of no return in this country. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "I'll keep my MONEY, and my GUNS.  You can keep THE CHANGE."  These lunatics are scaring the bejeezus out of me.

  Okay.  Now, I'm really done. [I think].

  I don't need to be tripping on this stuff. Thinking of an old John Prine song from back in the 70's that talked about blowing up your tv and burning your newspaper and moving out to the country and growing a garden and eating peaches and finding Jesus on your own ...or something.

 I need to go to bed....tomorrow is bound to look better.....


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday morning, blue and bright....

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor....I have been up for hours, made a big Sunday breakfast for the Irishman and myself and he is off to his Sunday morning meeting and I am settling in to compute for a while.  I get on a little every evening or so, mostly Facebook, and have been so busy it's making my head spin. 

  Things are finally slowing down, and though I have okra to pick this morning and maybe a few tomatoes, that's about all.  I started an inventory list and even I am impressed with how much I have accomplished in the way of food preservation this summer. lol Here's the beginning crock of sauerkraut that is bubblihg away in my kitchen, even as we speak...

  Right at the beginning of the process my food processor stopped working, and I had to thin slice 16 heads of cabbage by hand.  As you can see it's not perfect, but I got the job done.

Here are beautiful jars of my "famous"  Peach pit jelly.  After peeling and pitting and slicing up all the peaches for freezing, you take the peels and pits and boil them and make jelly from them. The ultimate in food recycling, using every last bit and making do. It's horrendously sweet, lol, but it tastes like peaches. I generally make jam, and use the low-or-no sugar pectin.  But I still have some jam left from last year, so I decided to forego it for now. I can always make fresh jam from  my frozen peaches if I change my mind.  This jelly is a gorgeous ruby color.

 Yesterday I finished up the garlic finally. Sort of.  I pickled 8 pints of whole cloves. The rest of the 25 pounds of garlic is in the dehydrators. The whole house smells like garlic. I will grind up the dehydrated to use as garlic powder.

This is a typical picking out in the garden, the tomatoes and bell peppers and okra have done very well this year. I have over 40 quarts of frozen bell pepper strips and 3 gallons of whole peppers for stuffing. I just dried more tomatoes last night, and will probably dry whatever else comes out for this year. I will have some green ones left for making chow-chow and maybe even for some fried green tomatoes. Don't eat a lot of fried foods, but that sounds good this year. 

  My life has been very full and hectic. The little part-time gig sitting with an Altzheimers patient came at a time when we really needed the extra money, and I had the least amount of free time I ever have. But I managed to split my days in half and get things done in shifts. I am very tired and am glad to see the canning about done, I can promise you that.  lol   It's amazing what a person can manage when they set their mind to it.

  I have to go check my chooks. The Australorps and the Buff Orpingtons have started laying [finally!] and are giving me 4 eggs a day pretty much.  Soon I will have eggs to sell, probably. Then they will be earning their keep. They are great chickens and very docile. 

  Between hubby and our renter, we have been keeping the yard mowed and the little tasks done without my help.  Miss M has been a godsend...she is a hard worker and always wants to pitch in and help.  I feel really blessed.  She just popped in to tell me that Schnucks has pork butt on sale for .99 /lb...gonna have to pick some up. Hopefully I can find room in the is full.  

  OK.  I have some errands to take care of before I leave for town at 12:30.  I have really missed blogging and reading and hope to catch up soon.

  Happy Labor Day weekend, all.