Sunday, October 31, 2010

Is it really the end ????

End of October.  End of canning. (I know I've said that before, but this time I REALLY mean it!) 

 Just finished putting up 23 jars of a green tomato relish called chow-chow around these parts. It was one of my old Dad's favorite things. You go out right before the first frost and pick all the green tomatoes, the tiny  bell peppers, and whatever else you might have out there hanging around that didn't quite make the cut. Then you chop it all up together, add some sugar and spice and everything nice, cook it about 2 hours and then can that bad boy. It's quite good, especially on bratwurst sandwiches. There are as many different ways to make this stuff as there are cooks, and I sort of looked at a few recipes and said to myself :Self--take a little of this one and a little of that one and get on with it !  And so I did. It's got garlic and onion and Granny Smith apples in it, and good strong cider vinegar.  I'm thinking that I might want to try my hand at making my own hard can it be, right?  And the price of cider vinegar hit the roof here lately...almost 5 dollars a gallon.  CRIKEY!

  I'm very tired and need to go to bed. Just took the last batch out of the canner and if I don't head for bed, I'm gonna have to get something to eat. lol  I made sweet and sour chicken and rice for our late lunch today...we ate at about 1:30 and then I was off.  I wasn't hungry when I fed, I'm suddenly starving.  I looked around in the fridge, but nothing is grabbing me.  Maybe just a little rice or something? I need to start keeping hard boiled eggs in the fridge like I used to..they are great for a quick pick me blood sugar is feeling off...and carbs are the last thing I need.  Cheese then. A whole wheat tortilla quesadilla....

  I am almost finished with Eat, Pray, Love....finished off a Sue Grafton novel as well, and will soon have to find something to read. About a month ago, I bought a box full of books on the cheap, all hardbacks,.and am making a good dent in them.I have her next book, well as a Kurt Vonnegut book  called Look At The Birdie...Lots of stuff to distract myself with this month, when I should be writing my brains out for NaNoWriMo...

 Almost 1 AM...I need to be shuffling off. I'll post some pictures tomorrow of my pretty jars of relish...Maybe I'll even get some laundry done...

  Sleep beckons....


Friday, October 29, 2010

October's end...

3 days left before we start the dreaded move into Holiday Mode.

  Already the stores are usurping their Thanksgiving displays with Christmas. No wonder we're all so crazy this time of year. What a blessing is a life that encompasses One Day At A Time as it's basic [almost] saves me from the insanity that comes with this time of year. It feels like dancing as fast as you can, but never quite catching up to the music. lol  If I let it.

We're are trying to decide if we'll be going to Wisconsin this year or staying home and then taking a trip someplace warm in January (if we can pull it off).  The Irishman is suddenly feeling guilty that he has been taking all the trips the past couple of years and I am always staying home. lol  He still has a ways to go, truth be told, to catch up with all the travelling I did up to 5 years ago. It is such a chore to try to go many animals and so few people willing to help or even be hired to do it.   We shall see...

 I really wanted to get to back to daily blogging this past summer and it didn't happen. Life got in the way. Now it's time for NaNoWriMo, and I am completely out of the habit of writing every day. We'll see if I can make it through this year or not.  I have my pal Mary to look up to for inspiration and fun...If anyone can inspire me, she can [again].  I will never be a writer...I have no discipline. None whatsoever.  I am like an errant child, whining and griping all the way. I won't write for days on end, and then I'll go crazy and write like a maniac for hours and hours without stopping.  

 I am one sick puppy.

 On a brighter note...I got some peppers strung and am getting ready to start some French Onion Soup. The Irishman is working today OT, this is our one day that we try to spend together...he will be home this afternoon sometime, I guess, and not work the whole 10 hour shift that he normally does. So..I shall make soup. And clean and putter and do anything except all the things I should be doing. lol

  Cold cold this morning. It was 10:30 before the frost finally burned off...a hard one this first time of the year. I need to sally forth and check out my backyard...

  Blessings and salutations to all y'all out there. Have a blessed day....


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The chill is on the moors...

Well, it would be, if we had moors.  lol  As it is, the frost is on the pumpkin, with our first serious blast of cold coming in today and tonight. Guess I'll run out and gather whatever remaining peppers and tomatoes are lurking about, picked a half bushel the day before yesterday. Chickens need tending too, and it's time to hook up the heat lamp and thermostat for that. 

  One good frost, and we can begin the fall cleanup that I always put off until there's no hope whatsoever for the poor plants. I can't bear to tear them out of the ground while they still have a bit of green on them.

 The new chooks are laying like crazy, so I have a mass of eggs in the fridge again. Not complaining...I will make some goodies tomorrow on my day off. Thinking I could make a few quiches and freeze them. I've never frozen them before, but I'm pretty sure it's doable. I want to make French Onion Soup today, and cook a nice meatloaf for husband's supper.  Guess I'd better get on the ball. It's 10 and I'm still in my flannels. But, it's rather grey out there and not exactly motivating me to get moving.

 I am going to string the remaining jalapenos and hang them to dry. There's not a lot of them, but enough to not just let them rot.   I want to make some vegetable soups to freeze or can as well...enough tomatoes for that, easily. I feel like it has been a very productive year for me harvest-wise and take great pride in my full cupboards and freezers. Lots of fruits and vegetables for the long winter ahead. 

  I so cannot WAIT for this election to be over. It is so nasty and outrageous around here, I am keeping the radio turned off. I am subjected to television while I'm at work, but I mute the sound a lot when she's not paying attention, lol.  She's not a big tv watcher anyway, thank goodness.

 My doggies are all inside right now, sleeping in the warmth. It's really on;y barely chilly out there, but the change is in the air, and they know it. I'm wearing sweats will be 27 tonight. I love watching the seasons change as Mother Earth starts her journey into winter...the slowing down, the shedding and rearranging.... the descent into sleep.

 Guess I'd better get on with things...wanted to check in and let you know I'm still here, in one piece, and living life to the fullest. 


Thursday, October 21, 2010


Shuffling through the day.  Feeling better, but still not quite good...husband says I may have malaria, when I told him I don't feel feverish anymore on the outside, but it's hot inside my head and my eyes hurt.  lol

The cough is lessening and I have a little more energy every day, with the help of some over the counter chemical concoctions. Slept very well last night. Everyone keeps telling me to go to the doctor and get antibiotics, but I try to not do that, as they affect me in more ways than they help.

  I have a big crockpot of chili going and have been cleaning my master bathroom. I'm only here while waiting for the floor to dry that I just mopped. It's a HUGE room, and gets so messy and dusty and I don't clean it nearly often enough, and for that I am penitent. I bought some new rugs for the floor in there and it seemed like the perfect time to clean. I have to go sit with my little lady at 2:30, so I'm running the clock here.

  Been conversing with family about the state of the BIL...everyone is worried and no one knows what to say or do. One sister said...You mean we have to wait for him to want to do this on his own ??!?!?!  lol   Yes, afraid so, I said.   Recovery, as we all know, is not for people who need it, but for people who want it.  

 ON the bright side, it's a glorious fall day here. The sun is shining, the skies are blue and it is dry, although they are talking about possible rain in the next night or two. We could use it, it's pretty dry out there. The colors are lovely and the trees are all shedding their leaves at an amazing rate of speed.

  Okay, the clock is ticking and I realize I haven't eaten anything yet today.. not a good thing. Hard to find an appetite though...

  Alrighty then...I am outta here and shuffling off to finish another day. Tomorrow: APPLESAUCE !!!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


 I am up and back at it...struggled with the dreaded "bug" going around and was in bed for 3 days. Missed 2 days of work AND screwed up my one day off. lol  Went back on a short shift yesterday...good thing it was. Wore me out. 

 Climbed out of the hole only to find a house covered in dust, carpets in dire need of vacuuming (at the very least) and a bushel and a half of apples screaming out to be sauced. Got part of them done, and should be in the kitchen finishing them now. But ... here I sit, at the computer.


  OH well. There's always tomorrow, right?  I woke up from dreams of being at a casino with my ex-husband and a group of misfits. Gambling and drinking. Hmmm...woke up thinking maybe I'd get dressed and go to the local boat casino.  I have a few extra dollars in my  More I think about it,. the dream may have been a subtle message that I am gambling with my sobriety. Haven't been to a meeting in a while and don't want to go. I have been insecure, judgmental and just plain feeling sorry for myself.  As usual,. the last thing I want to do is be around fellow alkies, and it's probably exactly what I need.  

  Top this off with the fact that my BIL was carried out of a football stadium on Sunday, having his second grand mal seizure from drinking like a fish.  And some of his family is in extreme denial, as he is himself.   And it's really scary, because I love him, and I am afraid he is going to kill himself or someone else. And there's nothing I can do about it. 

  Powerless. Once again. Still. 

  The thing in my life that never changes...all I can do is give him to God and trust that there is a plan for him and that the plan has his best interests at heart.  And I want to fix it. And I want to make him understand that there is this life in sobriety that exceeds a persons wildest dreams. Got a call from a young man last night that can't stay sober, but he keeps coming back and keeps trying...maybe there is hope for these damaged children of God. The BIL refuses to seek treatment or help of any kind, swears that he's got it handled.  I know it is killing my husband...and there's not much he can do either.

 My niece in FL got married weekend before last. In the pictures I have seen, she is holding up a Jack Daniels bottle in her wedding gown. My SIL said they were all shitfaced ..they drink and drink and drink.  I have another niece here that does the same thing. All around the same age, mid twenties. All thinking it's a big joke, so much fun, and I just think "Wait until you cross the line." Wait until you lose the power of choice whether to drink or not. Wait until you are on that dark lonely road that leads to misery and despair, and pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. Wait until you are sitting in a jail cell, wondering how the hell this happened.

  And so...I sit and think about gambling with my sobriety, about apples waiting to be sauced.About how none of us are immune to the dangers of relapse and none of us are ever rid of this demon of alcoholism.  A daily reprieve ...contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.  Angry, resentful, judgmental...doesn't sound like my spiritual condition is exactly being maintained now, does it ??? 

  Sigh.  Okay...I know what to do. Like Rumi said so well...

  "Prayer is an egg.
Hatch out the total helplessness inside. "


Friday, October 8, 2010

Such an autumn day....

 The Irishman has left for a 3 day backpacking trip...and tonight I will be pulling the big quilt out and getting flannel sheets on the bed. I love this quilt, made by my friend and quilter extraordinaire, Pam. 

  Made a big steak and eggs and potatoes breakfast and sent him on his way. He'll be back Sunday evening sometime. I'm so grateful that he has found a friend he can do this stuff with...we used to be big-time campers and hikers, before I got hurt. Now I cannot do it, and I'm glad Jerry can. (BTW--I cooked some sweet potato in with the red potatoes, all from the garden, and cooked with bell peppers -red,yellow,green- and onion and fresh garlic. I can't tell you how great it is to eat a meal like this (our eggs, of course) and be able to say--I grew these.)

  LIttle Swayze is acclimating, though he's still peeing a lot. sigh...male dogs--this is why my 3 are all females. Speaking of which, Molly McGee is on the loose, out running and playing and being a crazy little dog. She flew by once this morning and then dashed off again.  lol

  I'm off today. I am torn about whether to run into town and then back home again, or just not go at all.  I need to get the tables set up in the garage and start digging sweet potatoes. I got a few the day before yesterday and they are huge.  They need to lay out and harden off a bit before storage. I could wait and let Mr. O'Kelley do it when he gets home, but he'll be knackered and not good for much, I suspect.  So, maybe I'll start the process and he can finish it up next weekend, if I don't get it all done.  I am so glad to be home I can't describe it. lol  My life feels like I am on the run all the time these days. I do need to go to the bank before 5 o'clock, but otherwise, I could probably just stay put. That sounds lovely....

  The weather is gorgeous...70's and bright cloudless skies and sunshine. I am feeling a bit warm, and have opened all the windows and turned on the window fans. Burned some lovely incense, cleaned up the kitchen and am contemplating changing clothes and showering. I put sweats on this morning when I got up at was quite chilly, around 48 degrees.  Not so much

  Gonna let my day unfold slowly and all by itself, I think.  Hope your day is as good as mine....


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesdays child... full of IT.  lol

  Of course, I'm not a child. But I am acting like one, as I yell and chastise and clean up after this little dog that belongs to my brother.  The one that I so FOOLISHLY offered to doggiesit, while they went to the wedding in Florida.  The one that is whining and crying and marking all over my house. The one that keeps trying to mount anything that doesn't get away fast enough, or bite him first.  It's only been a little over 3 days  and I am exhausted from it all. 

  He did sleep better last night, only whined a little bit. That I heard, anyway. And I know he's just all scared and lonesome for his real family and his own house. I know that . But...I'm fraying at the ends of my rope.  My brother called yesterday to say they had made it to Florida, and asking about the pup. Like a good big sister, I told them not to worry, everything was fine. And it really is. It's just all this....peeing. I forgot what cocker spaniels (even the mixes) are like. We had our old Sophie for about 10 years, but rescued her at about 3 years old. I had another cocker, Wildebeest,  years ago, and he was a nightmare as a pup. I'm sure little Swayze will be a great dog (he really already is...somewhere in there, lol)  and here's a picture of him at his cutest. He's a cockapoo.

  It's a beautiful day. We're supposed to have a nice warm day, so after I went to the store for cat and bird and fish food, I came home and opened all the windows and turned the fans on. I'll probably close it down before I leave at 2:30, because it's been getting downright chilly as the sun goes down. Nights have been around 40 of late.

  Had a nice little breakfast of bacon and fresh tomato on home baked bread, with just a little mayo. I'm still pulling some beautifully ripe tomatoes out of the garden- only a few, and smallish- but really tasty nonetheless. It's time to dig sweet potatoes as well, and I'll probably work on those this weekend while the Irishman is out of state on a camping trip. I'll check first...maybe they won't be ready until NEXT weekend, and then he can have the pleasure,.  lol

  Got some laundry going, and am going to do a little housekeeping. There are plenty of leftovers in the fridge for that man's supper, and so I'm not cooking anything today. Yesterday I made a big skillet of chicken fajitas and brown rice for him.  There's also leftover pork roast and vegetable soup too. Nobody's going hungry in this house. lol

  The guys are coming tomorrow to change out my propane tank. I'm changing companies, going with the more local company that is here in Bunker Hill. They've been an absolute joy to work with in setting up this change. They have set me up with budget billing, so I never have to pay a 900 dollar gas bill all at once again. Payments of a mere 105.00 a month. Then I think I need to call Todd and have the furnace looked at. It doesn't want to light again...I tried to turn it on a few nights ago and the igniter lights, but the gas isn't coming through, or something. Could be clogged. Could be that the tank is too low to sufficiently force the gas into the line. At any rate, we'll get her all fixed up before the real cold weather comes.

  2 more days of work, then I'm off. It will be a long weekend, covering for someone on vacation, but my days will be free.  I'll be spending the night...

  Gonna get outside and enjoy this sunshine. It makes my heart sing...


Monday, October 4, 2010

A new week...

  Woke to a chilly morning and a young dog barking it's miniscule brains my bedroom door.  Like an idiot, I offered to take care of my brother's little dog while they go to Florida for my niece's wedding. It's a not quite one year old male  cockapoo...adorable, but finding it necessary to mark everything in this new territory. And humping everything that holds still.  Arrgghhh....I know it will get better and he will settle down...if he lives long enough.  lol

  I have made good use of the time this morning, once I could focus my eyes.  There's a big pot of vegetable beef (with some pork loin stewmeat thrown in) soup simmering away on the stove.  There's a loaf of hearty whole wheat bread in the bread machine. The kitchen is cleaned up and the animals are all fed...I gathered eggs and am going out to clean the coop when it warms up a little more.

  The frost they threatened for last night did not materialize.  I have a few more bell peppers I need to get out of the garden, because it won't be long before it does frost, I think. There's quite a few tomatoes too...the okra is gone, the green beans are gone, the potatoes are all harvested and the sweet potatoes should be getting close to harvest. 

  Need to get in there and get some granola bars made for the Irishman's lunches. He took the last one today. Next weekend he and Jerry are going on a hiking/backpacking trip somewhere in southern central Missouri. I will have the house to myself...while I'm here. The next 2 weekends I am doing 3 -13 hour nights in a row, as well as my regular schedule the remaining 3 days of the week. It's going to be tricky, juggling the critters overnight. But I'll figure it out. I may see about taking the visiting dog with me to work. The nice thing is that I will get off on Thursday and not go back in until Saturday night at 6 PM.  

  Okay...granola bars. Plain old bars with walnuts and blueberries, I think.  Easy and economical to make at home, and NOT loaded with sugar and other goo, like the store bought ones. And really easy to throw together. Here I go...

  Have a blessed day...




Saturday, October 2, 2010

Simply Saturday...

Chilly and rainy here this morning...about 54 degrees right now and looking at a high today of about 64, maybe.  Soup weather, I'm thinking.

  I could make some chicken and rice soup..seeing as how yesterday I got a great buy on 25 lbs. of Thai Jasmine rice. This morning I put it into gallon jars and got it in the pantry. I really like this rice (when we eat white rice, which is about half as much or less than we eat brown).  But the price of it has been much as $3/lb most of the time.

 Yesterday we spent cleaning out the mudroom, moving shelving around...brought a shelf unit into the kitchen to store  canned goods from the garden so they'll be easier to get at as I hurriedly make dinners. lol...

 Looks nice, no ?

  The Jack Russell came home this morning after her morning romp with blood all over her. The Irishman woke me up yelling,...there's  blood everywhere!!  I ran out and sure enough, she was dripping all over my carpets and floors...from 2 tiny head wounds (which always bleed bad.  Got her cleaned up and scolded...suspect she caught a squirrel and as she was giving it the shake and play treatment, it caught the side her ear. Sigh...never a dull moment...

 OK. Got a piece of stupid hate mail from Wells Fargo about the insurance coverage on our car that they financed. Nothing has changed, but they seem to be in a dither. Guess I'd better get on their website and take care of it. They have all the'd think they'd just contact the insurance company themselves. Idiots.

  This kind of weather makes me want to just curl up and go back to sleep.  Better get in the shower and start looking at some food. I am hungry. Fed the Irishman but didn't eat myself.

  TTFN....happy days....