Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hump Day + One

  Feeling a bit over the top tonight...nearing midnight and I am a little tired. It was a full and busy day, even though I foolishly made plans with someone to spend the early part of the afternoon together...knowing it would probably be cancelled (odds were about 99:1) --counting on it, maybe. And then being pissed when it was. This is chronic make plans with me so I can cancel them...girl. And every time, I say to myself--this is it. This person is so high maintenance I cannot possibly want a friendship with her. I am not doing this anymore.  And then the next time she reaches out to me, I get sucked in all over again. sigh....what IS it about me???

 So actually what happened was that it opened up my day and I was able to get some things done that I needed to do, and not have to rush this evening on my way to a celebration. Win/Win, I guess. 

  A few years back I developed a new model for my life. It goes like this:
         "My happiness cannot be contingent on any other human being."

  It was a good night, saw some folks I haven't seen in a while. Shared in the love and celebration of a sober life. It was all good.

  And then I came home and read some stuff on Facebook from a family member (not directed at/to me, but to another family member) and it is making me crazy. And I have had to ask Creator more than once to help me mind my tongue.  Because I want to jump into the fray, even though I have no dog in this fight.  It's just general principle. And really, all over one or two statements....quoting Bible verses at someone who doesn't agree with you.  Talking about "Christians being persecuted, as they always have been..."   and it has my heathen ass in an uproar.

 I try to be as open minded as I can about people and their religious leanings. When I look around me, it looks to me like the Christians (some--certainly not all), are the ones doing the persecuting, not the other way around.  Claiming that Christians are persecuted in this day and age sounds like a whiny rendition of finger pointing to me, as an excuse for behavior that no compassionate person, especially not the Christ, would have ever condoned. Am I wrong about this? ARE Christians persecuted? Certainly not in this country.  In this country, my experience with Christians has been that it's their way or the highway.  If you're not with them, you're against them. If you don't believe what they believe , then you, my dear, are going to hell. And I have been told that. If you don't believe as they do, they will harass  you and terrorize you  and run you out on the next rail with everything they've got.  That I am going to hell, unless I repent.  Repent what?  Mostly this amuses me, but sometimes it makes me crazy.  The audacity of it all.  My own sister said that unless I accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, there was no hope that I could join the rest of my family in heaven.  I don't believe in that kind of a God. I don't know what I believe in, except kindness and love and equality and compassion.  And Justice.  And butterflies and hummingbirds and the smell of a baby's head after a bath.

  I believe in a Creator that loves everyone, no matter what.  That believes that love and kindness are the single biggest things in the Universe. That made those incredibly many-colored birds in the rainforest of South America...finishing touches on a palette of beauty.  I believe that it's okay to believe that whatever works for you must be right. Why else would there be so many different religions?  If there is an Omnipotent Creator of the Universe, then didn't that Creator create EVERYTHING?  Would there be nothing outside the Creator's realm?  And so who is anybody to point fingers and say this is wrong or that is a sin or anything else? Isn't that just arguing with your God?  And why try to beat others into submission with your religion?  How can that possibly be a good thing?'s only Thursday night. And here I am, looking for answers that have plagued mankind since the beginning of time.  Why can't we live and let live?  Why can't we just all get along? 

  I live in a thinly veiled world sometimes and find this particular subject to be many layered and volatile. I get scared at the things that I see happening in the world much fear mongering and hatred...when it all looks so simple to me. The more afraid people get, the more violent and scary they get. They start doing and saying things that are not acceptable in public, and act like it doesn't matter...and it becomes every man for himself and then look out.

    So far, I haven't had to further alienate my family, and I certainly don't mean to alienate any of you. I respect other peoples beliefs and I respect their journeys.  At least, I try to.

  When I'm not acting like a heathen and staying off Facebook.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A stormy night...

 This is the very special Miss ChiChi.  She hates stormy nights.  Actually, all the animals hate stormy nights, especially ones like this one.  The thunder and lightning have been nonstop all day, and the rain has been off and on--mostly on.  The house looks like a wet critter storage spot, as they all insist on going  in and out...making sure they come back in once they're good and wet. Sigh....

  I am back in the office, surrounded by 3 dogs (Miss Roxie is burrowed into her blankie and down for the count) and about 5 cats, 2 of which are sleeping at my feet, just under the edge of the desk. In just the right spot so that I cannot put my feet on the floor. Cats are amazing like that--they will sit, stand or lay in the absolutely MOST inappropriate place every time.  Everyone is asleep in here, and sleep right through the storming, until I have to get up to go in the other room for any reason,  then they all jump up in unison and stop right under my feet, obviously trying to kill me.

  We've probably had 6 inches of rain today.  Yesterday morning it was 38 degrees when I woke up. This morning it was 58.  Low tonight is supposed to be in the low 60's. The rain and cloud cover is keeping it warm, I know.  But it just seems like more freaky weather. I was getting concerned about getting the lemongrass plants dug up and potted to bring inside, and a parsley plant as well. ..but I guess it's not so dire after all. These temps are supposed to be good through this entire week. It got so cold a little north of here that it burned a friends basil. The drought and heat burned mine months ago (it seems like) and I pulled them all up to dry about a month earlier than I normally would have.  I have since cut more chives to dry, lemon grass to dry, and parsley and sage as well.  I have stuff scattered everywhere.  Yay, me.

  The soothing sounds of the rain kept me in bed late this morning, considering I had retired by 11:30 last night.  These kind of rainy days always make me sleepy.  I haven't accomplished a darn thing today. And I'm not too concerned about it either.  (GO negative ions!!!)  lol

  Have a busy few days coming up...a couple of celebrations with friends, feeding neighbors dogs, meeting up with a former sponsee....all good things that soothe my soul.  I am hoping to make a trip to North Carolina in November...trying to get all the particulars in place. I really could use some time away, and this is a great convention I used to attend every year when I lived there. It's on the reservation, and I would have a chance to see some old friends and just relax.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.   :)

  Blogger has changed and I don't like it much. Trying to get used to the things that are different and find the things that are the same. and change don't always get along. lol  Oh well, like everything else I will fight it and then suddenly it will come easily and I will forget how it used to be. lol  One of the beautiful things about old age...that loss of memory ...

  Alright--think I'm going to make it an early night again tonight too. Hope everyone is safe and dry...there are tornadoes south of us, down by my brother. Hope thy don't all blow away....we have a niece having a baby in about a month and another one being induced tomorrow.  Love some new babies....

   Count your blessings!!


Monday, September 24, 2012's suddenly fall !

The caption on this guy says "Harvest Man".I liked it so much, I made it the photo on my husbands Facebook page.   (It kinda looks like him in his winter beard) lol

  38 degrees here this morning when I got up at 6 AM.  Guess it's truly officially autumn.  It's quickly becoming that time when I start bustling around, tying to get the herbs in and dried,  checking every little thing every day, because the things that are left in the garden from the first planting are starting to peter out, slowly but surely.  I think they're just so grateful to not be in the blistering heat that they are actually growing happily and getting a second wind.  It's nowhere near time for our first frost...and the green beans that we planted a few weeks ago are flourishing...all healthy looking and lush, and loaded with flowers. And so are the snow peas--over 6 inches high now.  Driving up the highways towards the local towns, you can see fields littered with bright orange pumpkins, cornfields in stages of destruction and soybeans turning that tell-tale yellowish green they get before finally drying on the vines. The general tone of the world changes perceptibly when you live in the rural parts of this country. (Probably every country). Savvy homemakers are decorating their doors with autumn themes, cornstalk scarecrows are leaning up against trees and garage doors, beckoning a time of slowing down and easing into winter. Kids are all back in school and it's amazing how just a few weeks time changes things so much. 

 I love this time of year.  Mostly because it means that the hard work of summer is behind me, but also because it's a time of R&R..both for me and for the land. The fruit trees are starting to shed their leaves,  the tulip poplars are starting to turn, and even my little red maple is going through changes.  My potted flowers on the back deck are still in full bloom, even the stalwart geraniums are bobbing their petal laden heads in the cool crisp mornings.  Because we finally got some rain after the drought of the summer, everything is really lush a little later than normal. It's just beautiful out there. I as thinking I need to take my camera out and get some photos. Maybe on my break today.  lol

  I have my list in progress  for this Monday. It includes laundry and bread and all the normal daily things that need doing.  I might also take a run into town and run a couple of errands. Or I may not. Depends on how it goes.  I had a pretty full weekend and am a little tired today. Not that I really did much yesterday, except to run my nephew home (45 minutes away), but that was something, I guess. I also cleaned the chicken coop and put in new straw and worked in the garden some, harvested more lemon grass and tomatoes and peppers and carrots.  Pulled the last of the first carrot planting and had several really good looking ones too. VERY happy with carrots this year...

  I spent Thursday cleaning my house and getting the guest room cleaned up so that my nephew could sleep in there--and that meant washing and changing bed linens, vacuuming, dusting.  The rest of the house too. I roasted a turkey breast I had in the freezer that needed using, thinking I would use it for turkey sandwiches for the picnic, and since it was cooked and I was tired, used some of it for supper that night too. (There was plenty). I made some mashed potatoes and gravy and stir fried some Chinese cabbage with onion, garlic and carrot in it and called it a meal. I hard boiled a dozen eggs or so to make deviled eggs with Saturday morning before we left. Finished things up on Friday and then my son came home and stopped on his way to get his cousin, so I didn't have to drive down and get him. I made a big spaghetti dinner with salad and garlic bread for our supper and we sat around the table for a couple of hours, talking, laughing and eating.  It was great. I got up early Saturday morning and put the finishing touches on the picnic lunch to take to the powwow . We met my youngest brother and his wife and daughter there, and watched the dancers and toured the teepees and had a really good time. It was Sky's first time at a powwow and she loved it. She bought a little hand drum and  we all had a ball. It was a cool and windy day and the dancers were superb and the drums were a group called Na Ma Wo Chi  from North Carolina. I bought 2 of their CD's that they sell to help finance their trips to powwows around the country. 

   This is a fancy shawl dancer, and she danced several times. It's hard to get pictures of the dancers, because you can't take pictures during the sacred ceremonies. But she posed for us.

 This is one of the teepees that came with the travelers, and here is another one-much bigger, that you could look inside and see how they are set up..with a campfire in the center and roomy enough to sleep probably 20 people in a pinch.

So, that was our exciting weekend. And now the boy is back off to Iowa, the nephew is back home, the husband is back at work...and I am sitting here enjoying the silence and serenity that comes with living in the country. Thinking about all the things I have to do, looking at my list and wondering how much of it I can put off. lol  I need to get looking for a source to buy some organic dry beans, I have decided to cook and can some more varieties besides just pintos and black beans. Maybe some  Great Northerns  or some kidney beans or adzukis. I don't know about those though...they are a little fragile after they're cooked sometimes.  And I have never seen them canned...hmmm....

  Guess I've stalled about as long as I can here. lol  Time to get out of these pajamas and get some things going. It's a cool 64 degrees in the house this morning..makes it easy to just stay snuggled up in this fleecy robe.

 Have a grand Monday, everyone!!!!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coffee's ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!'s a chilly 44 degrees here this morning. They were saying last night that it would be the coolest temps we've had in 5 months. Pretty chilly, willy...even Miss Roxie didn't want to go out to weewee this morning. lol  I just made a fresh pot of coffee, from a freshly opened bag of coffee, so it's particularly good. I've tried lots of  ways to keep my bag of coffee fresher, but there's just nothing like that newly opened bag...oily beans and all.

 Been a full week already. Sunday I attended the earth oven building workshop. It was awesome. There were about 10 people there, mostly women and the 2 guys who live there at the CSA...the farmer and the assistant farmer. One other guy in the group itself who kinda sat on the sidelines for most of it and barked  "suggestions" at the rest of us. You can imagine how that went over with a crew of muddy women.  LOL
To be fair, although he never got his hands dirty, he did mix up some wet mortar (clay and water and sand and straw) in a wheelbarrow with a shovel, towards the end. 3 of us took off our shoes and socks and danced in the mud, mixing the cob. All but one of us took turns setting stones, and building the sand castle mound that becomes the baking part of the oven,  and then making mud bricks and patties to build up the walls and dome itself. Here is what it looked like towards the end:
 I can't wait to build my own next spring...I'm going to plan it along the lines of the old one they built that has a cooking grill area off to one side of the oven itself. Later I should have access to some more pictures of the finished product too...I may just have to go out there and take some of my own, as I didn't take my camera. It was a very good time and a very educational one too. This would work really well as an alternative cooking source as well, should there be power outages or unavailability of fuels (gas, charcoal). 

  I am SO grateful that I have met and gotten involved with this bunch from the La Vista Ecological Center--they are such a blessing in my life on so many levels.

  Monday my ankles hurt so bad from the mud dancing that I hobbled around all day. But it was worth it.

  I went to my cousin's and picked up the canning jars. WOW!  There must be over a hundred and twenty five canning jars. A few of them might be mayonnaise jars, some headed for the recycling, but it's mostly all canning jars. And all FREE! I am one lucky duck.  Unfortunately, it was raining when I got home and so I left them in my car. They are still in my car...but coming out this morning. (Into the garage, at least.) 

 Yesterday was filled up with cooking and canning pinto beans. I had a gallon of  dry beans in the pantry that were dated 8/2011, so I used them all. I canned 21 pints of pintos and there was still enough to put a large yogurt container of beans into the freezer to make something with sometime AND beans for supper.  And there's enough of those leftover to make a batch of baked beans for the picnic lunch we're taking to the powwow on Saturday. Perfect. I love it when things work out like that.  :)   I made beans and tortillas, Tex Mex Millet, Guacamole (avocados needed using)  and chips (and homemade salsa of course)  for supper last night. It was most excellent. The recipe for the millet was one I couldn't wait to try...I had bought millet (not a lot) as part of my grain stores for my pantry, but wasn't exactly sure what I would do with it. It was perfect for this meal and incredibly tasty...better than Spanish rice, maybe. So, except for the guacamole, it was  a meal made from items in my pantry. WooHoo!  The avocados were such a good price, I was thinking about buying a bunch and making guac and freezing it.  I don't's a nice treat once in a while, but it's certainly not a remotely local food...sigh...

  So, yesterday I got a couple of loads of laundry done while beans were in the pressure canner--lord! The processing times for the beans was 75 minutes. IN THE PRESSURE CANNER!!!!  But I didn't do any house cleaning and of course it needs doing all the time with all these critters in here. So, today maybe I can get some stuff done. I was supposed to go sit with my neighbor today, but there was a change of plans. I am still scheduled for Friday. So, I have today and tomorrow to get the house cleaned and the spare room straightened up for my brother and family to come. We're heading to a powwow on Saturday morning, about 2 hours northeast of here. It will be all day and fun fun fun.  It's my little niece's first time to go to one, and she can barely breathe she's so excited. She emails me every day, making sure we're still going, lol.  I really need to go get a pedicure...dancing in the clay and sand kinda messed up my toenails (it was about time anyway), but I don't know if it's going to happen or not. Might just have to do a rush job on 'em myself. If it's going to stay this cool, we'll all be wearing shoes and socks anyway, lol

  Alright...guess I have stalled about as long as I can. I have some chicken maintenance to get done today too, and haul those jars out of my car. And start cleaning up the mudroom so I can have a place for those extra jars. And vacuum. And can some more jalapenos. Maybe. I'll just put some of this stuff on my never ending running list.  It'll all get done eventually. 

Won't it ???  Or will I be that old woman being dragged kicking and screaming into the hereafter, shouting..."I'M NOT READY!!  I STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!!!!!!!!"


Happy Hump Day, y'all...


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Greetings from this wayward blogger...

Lord, lord...where HAVE I been??

  And maybe that is it...I have been being dragged about the Universe..being dragged through my emotions, being dragged through my past.

  Because I can't freaking let go of anything. Oh, I can attempt to, and pretend to..but honestly, every little thing is still here, stealthily hidden away, tucked inside my soul for safe keeping.


  It has not been an unpleasant week, for the most part. And I have been truly busy with things here, as the canning season slows down (I started to write "winds down" and then remembered that we have replanted green beans that are getting ready to flower...) and the weather starts to change.  And autumnal things are starting to happen, like fall festivals and harvest fairs. And sausage suppers and fish frys... and already today I have had to turn the fans off in the early evening because it was getting a bit cool in here.

  I had a couple of live-and-learn episodes this week. I decided to dry broccoli and cauliflower and carrots, because I bought a bunch of them at a very good price.  The carrots were no big deal. The broccoli was a bit more tedious, but still...I dehydrated 10 pounds of it. But the cauliflower....O, the cauliflower....I had 8 heads of cauliflower. All my dehydrator shelves were too shallow to be able to put florets on, so I had to slice them to make them fit. It has to be blanched before loading. There were crumbs of cauliflower everywhere. It was such a labor-intensive tedious work that I will never do it again. I froze the last bit of it after filling 2 dehydrators. I will eat cauliflower in season, or I will freeze some, or I will just not eat it. lol  Lesson learned.

  I have 2 dehydrators of tomatoes going. I have more to pick. I am going to can more diced tomatoes I think. And maybe a few more jars of tomatoes and okra, since the okra is also making a comeback. A slow comeback, but a comeback nevertheless. I have canned jars of pickled jalapenos. I have dried jalapenos.  I made 2 jars of kimchi.  I have dried more lemon grass and anise hyssop. I have dried chives. I have baked carrot cake and apple crisps and  bread.

  I have been quite the domestic goddess, as I vacuumed my way through dog hair and dust bunnies and dried leaves.  I have tended the chickens and hard boiled  eggs  (getting a minimum of 35 eggs a week now) and looked for every possible egg recipe I can find to use them up. I have been giving them away as well. I am egg-wealthy.  lol   I have slowly worked on organizing some of the things in my pantry a little better--although it doesn't help much since I keep adding to it with the dehydrated items.  Still it is a little better in there, and will get even better as I get more things done.

  SO....looking at all that...will someone please tell me why ...WHY HAVE I AGREED TO DO A FLEA MARKET BOOTH THE FIRST WEEKEND OF OCTOBER ???????  Surely I have lost my mind. Or maybe I am afraid of not having enough to do?  lol  Now I have to assemble and price any and all items that are going to the sale...sweet Mother of God.  What was I thinking ?


  My cousin has contacted me (we grew up together as children--next door neighbors) and asked if I could use some canning jars. She is about 5 years older than me (I think) and said she doesn't can any more and has no desire to ever do so again. lol Naturally I said YES!!  and she said she has a lot, so I should bring some boxes--she has boxed up 3 or 4 boxes already, but is out of boxes.  I  will pick them up on Monday. How blessed am I ???

  My thinking is that since I will have an abundance of jars and won't have to purchase anymore of those, I can start buying Tattler lids a few boxes at a time, until I have all I need.  Those are the reusable lids and are BPA free. They are a little expensive at first, but are guaranteed for life and all you have to buy are the rubber rings, which are 19.99 for a hundred of them.  I can't wait to try them. They've been around since the mid-70's, but I had never heard of them until about 3 years ago. 

  Who knew?  lol


  Today we attended the Mississippi EarthTones Festival...a sort of green festival, all eco-groovey  and fun. It was at the amphitheater at the riverfront park, which was a nice venue. Everyone of note was there--The Sierra Club, The Prairie Rivers Friends, The CSA's, The local wildlife rescue folks, The spay and neuter clinic folks, The Clean Water people, The solar oven people.  There are bands playing all day and half the night--it runs until about 10 PM. We wandered around and saw everything, and some things twice. The it was off to get a pound of coffee beans and stop by Green Earth Grocers for some garlic granules and baking yeast, and a few other odds and ends.  It was really nice to finally get back home and settle in...

  Tomorrow, I am going to a demonstration out at La Vista on how to use cob and build an earth oven. That should be fun.  The Irishman has a District Committee Meeting, but the boy may (or may not) go with me. In any case, I'm going. I would love to have one of those in my backyard. They bake a mean loaf of bread.  That starts at 1 o'clock and afterwards I'll probably just come home and chill...or can something.  lol

  Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend....


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feels like autumn today...

And as such, I'm thinking about chili and soup and corn muffins...

 Maybe I'll make a roasted root vegetable stew?

Or a hearty lentil soup with slabs of home made bread ?

Or a big pot of minestrone soup with crusty homemade Italian bread? all sounds like good fare for a fall day.


  I have company coming for supper...actually coming around 3 and staying for supper. A friend who has a new love that's she's bringing 'round..and just before she moves.  It'll be nice. The Irishman is off at an Assembly again today. The boyo has gone to work in Iowa for the week. It's just me and the varmints here this morning and it's so nice and quiet and peaceful...we have a music channel on our satellite tv that is called Moodscapes, and I play it alot when I'm here alone. It's almost New Age-y...very serene sounds and I love it, although nobody else in this family does. lol

  So that's the setting here this morning...a cool breeze outside (it was 50 when I got up) and going to be a cool day all around.  I've been out to feed the chooks and pick them a morning salad of kale and chard and dandelion greens. They love me.  lol   Picked some carrots as I passed by the garden, so I gave them the tops of those too. They are in chicken heaven.  And I am getting from 5-7 eggs a day and I can barely keep up. Going to take my neighbor a dozen today. We can eat a lot...I hard boil a dozen a week and keep them in the fridge for snacks, lunches and sometimes I eat a couple for my breakfast if I'm not too hungry and don't want to eat. Once a week or so, I might make some devilled eggs, omelets (breakfast or supper) or a quiche now and then. The quiche doesn't really take many eggs, but I've thought about making a few at a time and freezing them.  Maybe.


  Yesterday we stopped by Walcrap and picked up a couple of things...actually went in looking for the nasty old rubber dog toys from China they used to carry (didn't find them) because they make the ONLY ball that Molly the Jack Russell Terrorist cannot destroy.  At the front door, they had freestanding fire pits on sale for 20 dollars..the nice little saucer shaped ones. 50% off.  The Irishman has been talking about getting one, that he'd like to have one...and I kept saying why?? We have a chiminea on the back deck. If you want a pit, build one with some concrete blocks.   Anyway, we got the one for 20 bucks yesterday, and he is happy as a clam. Small price , I guess.  lol  So, he put it together and built a fire in it last evening and we sat out there and held hands and drank hot chocolate into the night. It was very nice. And although I got no dog toy, I did find a can of stuff my friend was telling me about that I wanted to try...Media Crema..a Nestle product that is canned cream.   I am not crazy about Nestle. I am not a big dairy user. But now and then I need something for a recipe that is a little more than just evaporated milk.  So...there you go.

We spent a good part of the day at a Powwow yesterday. It was a ceremonial powwow honoring veterans, and it was a good time.  I have really missed going to them, haven't been to one since I moved back here 7 years ago.  There's another one coming up in 2 weeks, and I might just go to it too.  AND...I have pretty much decided to go to North Carolina for the AA convention that I used to always attend. Trying to talk my friend into going with me. ah lah...


  Well, I have drawn up a list of things to get done this morning before my guests arrive and so I guess I had better get busy doing them.  I have to water bath can something for my online class...I have to make kimchi...I think I am definitely going to make the Italian bread.  I picked a bunch of jalapenos yesterday that I thought I would pickle and water bath for 15 minutes or so. That might be cheating, but I am not new to this method of canning like some are...and I need to pickle those peppers. I have a big sheet of them out drying. I also have lemon grass drying. I worked on my pantry a bit Friday. Got 4 gallon jars of dried foods packed up and labelled.  I have a basket of tomatoes on the counter that I could use in soup..depending on what kind I decide to make.  Or I can slice them and dehydrate them.

 O--the glorious OPTIONS I have in my life today !!!!!!!!!!     lol

  I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday...spending it in contemplation, with family, worshipping  or whatever you do on a beautiful Sunday. Me, I will cook a little and clean a little  and spend time with the people in my life that love me.

  Surely it doesn't get any better than that.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Tisket, a tasket...a green and yellow basket...

Well...okay. It's not a green and yellow basket. More brick and blue and beige. But still...It's a lovely little basket that I picked up at a flea market once. It's initialed by the creator on the bottom and dated 1976. I use it for decoration, mostly. Or to serve cookies in or carry herbs. Or anything I want. I think it's actually an egg basket, but I don't want to risk getting chicken poop on it. hahaha


  I've spent a portion of the morning working on a homework assignment for the online class.  Then I spent an inordinate amount of time reading blogs and catching up.  Bless Narelle's heart, on the passing of her mum. Congrats to DJan on her move. And so much more..and that's how I look up and see that it's 3 hours later. sigh...I had such high hopes for today and getting things done. lol  I spent almost all of yesterdays in a spot on the sofa watching tv while I blanched and shelled 4+ gallons of edamame. SO, my back hurts. lol  And I did get granola made as well, which is a job all in itself, by the time you get all that stuff stirred and toasted and blah, blah, blah. 

   In the meantime, the dog hair has accumulated and the dust bunnies have reproduced and the house has been neglected.  And I would be put off by all of it, if I took any of it seriously. Which I don't. lol


  The boy is working way down in southern Missouri again today, so has had my car for both days. Which is fine, since I need to stay here and get things done anyway. I don't really run around all that much...and if I had to go somewhere I could always take his Explorer. (god forbid!)  It's really easy for me to just stay out here at Honeysuckle Hill and forsake all ties to the outside world.  I can isolate out here for weeks, truth be told, and especially this time of year when I'm so busy canning and such.  I have about 4 phone calls I haven't returned that I probably should, but I don't want to.  I had 2 calls yesterday that lasted WAY longer than I care to spend on the phone.  It's funny when I get like this, but I don't care.  I had to laugh when I read SoberinOctobers post this morning, because it's exactly how I was feeling.  I've come to accept that I just get like this now and then, and there must be a reason for it, so I just go with it.  I'm not suicidal or thinking about drinking or anything else. I just have reached my quota for the world, I guess. So...I retract into my little world here and recharge and rejuvenate and spend time with myself.  And then I'm good again for a while.


  I was thinking about getting outside and taking some new garden pictures. It's much more orderly looking now that so many things have been harvested. lol  And new things are coming up. And I picked tomatoes again this morning. And have a dehydrator full that needs emptying in the other room.  There's a little more okra out there that can probably wait, a few bell peppers and lots of jalapenos. The guy at the produce place in town said he would buy them from me if I wanted to sell them, as he hasn't been able to get any. I may or may not.  I was thinking about just pickling them or canning them plain.  I have quite a few of them dried...they turn such a lovely red color when you dry them, and I could probably use them in my kimchi. Hmmm...hadn't thought of that...and I need to make a batch of kimchi too...


  Listening to my adored Leonard Cohen today...Tower of Song--one of my favorites on this CD...

  Roxie likes to sing along with this one too.  lol


  Guess I'll get on with the day...Have to at least run the vacuum.  The I'm thinking about getting started on the pantries. I have a bunch of gallon sauerkraut jars in the garage waiting to be cleaned up and used for storing bags of dried foods to better organize them and make it easier to find the things I'm looking for.  I also have some individual bags of rice and stuff that needs jarring up. I was lucky to get them.

  Hope everyone has a lovely Thursday.  I know I will.....


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Telltale Tuesday

 Today is a Monday sort of a    I am doing odds and ends of things that need doing...laundry, dehydrating random tomatoes and okra, harvesting the edamame that would have been done days ago were it not for the rain. (Not complaining). lol  I got a little over 4 gallons of pods this time and finished off the bed. Now we can get it all turned over and composted and get ready to plant the garlic and onions for spring.  And I have ordered some parsnips from an online supplier, because I cannot find seed for them ANYWHERE.  And while I was at it, I ordered a Survival tin of heirloom, non-GMO seeds for storing. Just in case. It has a great variety of typical garden foods and was about 40 dollars, which is far less than I spent last year at Baker Creek. When those come, I will plant the parsnips. THEN...I will be done. Planting. For now.  lol


  The rains from Isaac have transformed this area like magick. The lawns are green and the grass is growing again...the garden shave been refreshed and the new plantings are doing well. The green beans are 6 inches tall or better. The lettuces are at least 3.  The snow peas are looking beautiful and even the beets are making a showing already. Very small, but present and accounted for. The kale is bright and the carrots are up and the radishes are already a few harvest ready.  I love gardening (can you tell??)  

  Temps are still in the high 80's low 90's...even with the it is really humid and sticky out there.  I wanted to hang the laundry out to dry today, but the sky hasn't quite given over to clearing yet, and in fact, it sprinkled on me while I was out pulling the edamame plants.'s in the dryer today. That's okay. It's so humid it would probably take them 3 days to dry anyway. lol

  There are an awful lot of little icky housekeeping jobs to be done in the next few days. I might just get really motivated and get them done. Especially since after today, I won't really have any garden/canning excuses to use to put them off. My big master bath needs a serious attending to: the big handicapped shower, the shower curtain and liner, the big double vanity and the floors.  Good rainy day jobs.  (cough, ahem)  My big closet needs re-organizing.  The pantries need a little organization too...especially where all the bags of dried foods are concerned.  I have a garage full of gallon sized jars just waiting to be washed and aired out, so that I can sort the bags of dried stuff and get all the  like items in one place. That will make it a lot easier to find stuff. I also need to go through some of the [grocery] canned items in there, and see what needs donating or disposing of.  Some of that stuff is old...and was dropped on me by helpful relatives.  I'm getting a lot better at just saying no to them.  Sometimes.  I also need to get in my bedroom and take that bed apart so that I can clean under and around the back of it. It was a brand new bed  (7 years ago) and I just didn't think about it much. I was looking for something the other day, stuck my head under there and nearly had a heart attack.  Living out here like we do, on a country road, with fields all around us being tilled and plowed and harvested...makes for a LOT of dust. If I had allergies, I'd be dead by now. lol  


  The boy isn't working again this week--nature of the business. He's out there right now, grading the big holes in the driveway and filling them with rock.  He's sweating like a pig out there....I told him he'd better be careful, it's hotter than it feels when the humidity is like this. I think he's almost'll be great, as that mess just kept getting bigger and bigger and the Irishman hasn't bothered to fix it the last 500 times I've mentioned it. It doesn't bother his truck much...but it almost swallows up my little car.

   I need to make granola today or tomorrow, and since it's already about 2 o'clock, I'm thinking tomorrow. We have plenty of eggs for breakfast.  The granola bars are gone again too...sigh....and I don't know what to fix for supper, except that's it going to contain tempeh, because I have some that needs using.  I was thinking maybe I'd bake a peach or apple pie too...because I have had a sweet tooth the past few days, and if I don't eat something real, I'm going to binge on Almond Joys or something.  LOL

  And that's pretty much the gist of it on this Monday/Tuesday out here on Honeysuckle Hill. Some work, some play and lots of things to do...never a bored moment. And isn't that just life?? I'm always amazed when I hear people talk about being bored...My life is just SO not ever that.  Frustrating perhaps.   Perplexing maybe.  Exhausting sometimes.  But never, ever in a million years is it boring.

  Thank Goodness.

  Have a great Getting-back-on-track day people....and take extra good care of yourselves.


Sunday, September 2, 2012's Sunday again!!

Made from scratch veggie pizza....last night's supper. Made a whole wheat crust and it was really quite good. This one had spinach, garlic, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, black AND green olives, ...yum. The other pizza was ham and pineapple....equally yum.


    It has been a very busy week. I guess. I really don't know where the time went. The usual stuff, drying tomatoes, okra, apples, and watermelon. Yes, watermelon. I won't do that again. lol  Live and learn, right? Early in the week, I put up 24 jars of jalapeno jelly. Pretty little things. And the peppers got really hot. lol I made sure to wear gloves as I chopped and seeded those bad boys. 

 I still have sweet red pepper jelly to the next day or two. I have to get more liquid pectin.


  This week we had to get rid of Brewster the Rooster. He was terrorizing all the hens, and in particular, my older Buff Orpington Goldie. He was pecking a huge nasty hole in the back of her head because she wouldn't submit to him. She was so afraid of him, she wouldn't come out of the corner in the coop, and then he would go in after her and harass her. Not on my watch, pal. I ran him off her several times and had to start taking a rake into the run with me because twice he came at me with his spurs. My son sent him to his maker on Friday morning around 7:30 AM.  The chicken yard is so peaceful now....everyone is happy and clucks around the yard scratching and all are laying.  I was personally having a hard time with his violent sexual behavior...and every morning a part of me reacted to him running down those little hens and pulling out their feathers and grabbing them by their necks. I know this is what they do...but for some reason, this time it was really getting to me. So--bye bye.  I had not a moment of remorse over it. He was a beautiful rooster, but he was evil.


  I have started an online class...a Food Preservation and Storage class put on  by Sharon Astyk , the woman who wrote the book I have praised here many times...Independence Days. It is wildly interesting, ad I know I shall learn a lot.  So that takes up some time too. She is very knowledgeable about so many things, I feel like  a novice. She has written several books and I am very honored to be learning form her.

  The AC was out for over a week....finally got the HVAC guy here and he had to replace the transformer. It took about an hour for him to have it diagnosed, up and running.  The heat was was in the mid 90's  during that time, and it was really hot in here. I lost all motivation to do anything. lol  Made it hard to get excited about all the work I should have been doing.


  Tomorrow is Labor Day, and the Irishman and the boy neither one have to work. We may go attend a picnic in Vandalia, it depends on the weather,.  They had us battening down the hatches on  Friday, in preparation for the havoc Hurricane Isaac was wreaking in Louisiana and Mississippi...there were tornadoes spotted about 30 miles from here and we were under either a watch or a warning for most of the evening. It rained and the winds blew, but never got as bad as they predicted. However, it has been raining off and on all weekend, which is a very good thing. Someone said we've gotten over 8 inches... The grass is suddenly green again and the gardens are resurrecting. The peas that we planted early in the week are sprouting, and all the other vegetables (kale, lettuces, radishes, carrots, spinach, chard  and green beans--are going gangbusters. We got the beet seeds in the ground on Wednesday. We have garlic to plant, but it doesn't get planted until just before the first frost. I am still looking for parsnip seeds. Nobody seems to have them....The last stand of edamame is ready to be picked, blanched and shelled.  I still have lots of green tomatoes out there too...and a couple more butternut squash that haven't been picked yet. The chard has taken a new lease on life, and even though we planted more, the old patch is looking really good. I've been picking it and feeding it to chickens...they adore it.


  That should about catch me's been a rather uneventful week, and I am tired  and it is late. My plan for the upcoming week is to partially cook and then can about a dozen pints of pinto beans, the red pepper jelly, dry some more tomatoes and okra, and maybe start to organize my pantries a bit. I know there are a few things that I have used up that need replenishing, and I need to figure out some things about my store of paper goods and --OH MY!!!    So much to do !!!!   lol Oh--and next weekend I am attending a powwow...and I can't WAIT !!!

  Have a wonderful Labor Day, everyone.