Sunday, October 28, 2012

The end of a long and wonderful weekend

 The pumpkin carving brigade, hard at work...

  My 9 year old niece was here for the weekend, and we did all the fun stuff that 9 year olds like to do, including making jack-o-lanterns, watching a Halloween movie at the theater, and eating tacos in a Mexican restaurant.  Her mom and dad came to get her this afternoon and by the time they all left, I was plumb tuckered out.  She plays so hard that she was asleep both nights by 9:30 or 10....thank goodness. And of course, she slept on the couch (didn't even make out the hide-a-bed) so that she could sleep with her pups. And sure enough, in the morning (Sat and Sun) when I came out into the living room, there they all were, rolled up in the big fleece blanket like a kid and dogs burrito.  lol


 Being around a young child like that really makes me feel my years.  Her energy level is amazing and I can barely keep up.  My son was here today too, and she loves wrestling around with him and they tease each other mercilessly.  As I watched them, I was dragged back into my youth, when that boy was her age...over 30 years ago.  And then I REALLY felt old. lol

 We been covering the garden plants the past 3 nights...the temps at night are hovering around freezing, and so far it's only been grazing it. Probably won't be much garden left much longer, though we're trying to extend the season on a few things as long as we can.  The daytime temps are making it into the 50's, and it looks like it's gonna stay this way. The earthquake in BC caused a tsunami that hit Hawaii  (I guess it actually hit--haven't really seen any tv today)...I know they were evacuating folks. And now Sandy is headed for the east coast and they are evacuating people there too.  And all the rest of the country is getting weird weather, with even Florida temps being in the 30's.  

  And the Giants are trying to win the pennant and the voters are worried about the effect of the weather on the polls and I am thinking we are going to have to get the heat lamps on in the chicken house if the weather is going to stay this cold.  And I have a surplus of eggs right now and am thinking I need to get busy storing some of them using the crisco coating method. I haven't done that before but they tell me it is an old fashioned method of preserving eggs that is tried and true. SO--I shall give it a go. In the past week I have canned green beans, jarred up dried seeds that I am saving for next year, roasted pumpkin seeds and watched my snow peas finally flower.  My life is pretty simple. 

  I am concerned about the elections. And I am debating whether or not I want to vote early.  I can vote tomorrow here in my town if I want to. But the place where we can vote is currently embroiled in a controversy from the last local election, and I am not sure I trust that my vote will be handled the way it is supposed to.  Sigh....I cannot imagine that the Republicans will capture the Presidency.  I can only hope that people will shift the balance of power in Congress.  I cannot imagine, again, that things can ever go back to the way they were, that we could lose the womens and human rights we have fought so hard for.  These are crazy times we live in...and there are crazy people out there espousing all kinds of crazy things.  And I shall batten down my hatches,. make sure that I vote, and pray that things will unfold exactly as they are meant to.


  I took a long hot shower this evening after everyone was gone, and after we had our second meal of chicken noodle soup.  I made a big pot of soup today for lunch, with wide egg noodles...a very simple soup of carrots and celery and onion and chicken and egg noodles. And it was delicious.  And I didn't have to cook supper tonight, we just had soup and bread.  Tomorrow a friend is coming over and I will make salads and cups of soup (there's probably about a gallon left, so the Irishman can have some in his lunch too) and we will nosh and chat.  And I did a bit of house keeping this morning, so I won't have to do much of anything before she comes.  That's a good thing--I'm not feeling like doing much of anything.  In fact, I've got my knickers in a bit of a wad, and so am particularly snotty.   It looks like I am not going to be able to make my trip to NC in a couple of weeks...the Irishman came home Thursday and said he had put in for time off at Thanksgiving to go to his parents.  I just looked at him. We cannot afford to take two trips that means that my trip is off, I guess.  I said I guess that means my trip is cancelled ? And he looked at me perplexed and said "why? Are they the same weekend?"   I swear to God.   I feel like he lives on another planet.  I said--we cannot afford 2 trips in one month anywhere ! And ...oh hell.  On some level, I knew this was going to happen. Something was going to happen and I wouldn't get to go.  And I am having a tantrum like a kid.  His dad is getting older and I know it's important for him to get as much time as he can with him. And originally, he thought his niece was having her (late) wedding reception in November, but she's not and I thought that quashed the idea of going up there.  AARRRGGGHHHHHH !!!!!!!  I haven't been able to get out of here for a long time...and I just wanted a break. I just need to get away for a little while.  He has been going away a lot the last few years.  I don't have a problem with him going, but I need it too. I need a break from the constant work, the animals, the day in and day out  EVERYTHING. Or I am going to blow a gasket.

  So whether or not I go or stay, I don't know. I do not relish the idea of going up there mostly. I cannot seem to not take my MIL personally, as she attacks me in her little passive aggressive ways constantly.  When we do go, we get a motel, because I cannot/will not subject myself to her 24/7 while we are in Wisconsin. I have done it too many times and it ends badly. So much so that I absolutely refused to even go there for several years.   And I hate's crazy...I swear I can get along with almost anyone in the world...  At any rate, that makes the cost of going there even steeper. His brother and sisters live in Minnesota, which is too far to make staying with them  a viable option. Sigh.....if he just goes by himself, he can stay at dads and there is no problem.  I hate being apart during the holidays, and it seems like every time he goes up there, it's one holiday or another. They always have their family reunion on the 4th of July weekend. Thanksgiving is the other time. And Fathers Day, which is not really a big deal to me, as my father has been gone for a long long time.


  Enough.  I really didn't mean for this post to turn into this, but it's good to get it out and look at it...rather than having it bottled up inside my brain. And maybe I'll figure something out...something that's good for ME.

  Anyway, it's getting late and I'm tired and maybe a good nights sleep will sort me out.

  Can't hurt, right ??


Thursday, October 25, 2012

2 days of 80 degree temps

  Crazy weather.  Supposed to start raining and storming this afternoon sometime and then the temps are gonna fall about 30 degrees.  Todays high is 83, tomorrows high is 54.  Crazy, I tell ya.  The nighttime temps are gonna fall down to the 40's and stay there, I guess.  So, it's time (this weekend) to really get that lemongrass out of the garden and into a pot, as well as the parsley and whatever else I think I'm going to try to bring indoors. (That might be all.) lol  Everything else is about taken care of for now. I have canned 2 full batches of green beans today. Yesterday alone I picked half a bushel.  Sure can't complain about that. 

  I've been busy with canning, laundry and dehydrating onions today.  Going to sprinkle some carpet fresh on the living room rug and vacuum that in a bit...need to take apart the hide-a-bed and vacuum it good and change the sheets. Tomorrow I am driving down to pick up my niece and bring her here for the weekend, and she loves to sleep on that old thing so that all the dogs and cats can sleep with her. lol  Kids and animals....a never ending source of joy.  She might want to sleep in the guest room, but she usually doesn't. And probably REALLY won't this time, as it smells like onions in there. Strong onions. lol


 We have our discussion group again tonight. I'm leading the group tonight and still have one more article to read, I thin k. I guess I better go look. So that means I have to have eaten by the time the Irishman gets home and then have his food ready so he can eat while I drive. sigh.... I just had a late lunch of a grilled Muenster sandwich on 12 grain bread, with black olives and onions inside it. Yumm...I probably won't be eating

  I have been here off and on...and the internet connection keeps going in and out. Very annoying...but it's what happens when you don't live in the technological hub I guess. I'm kinda tired too, didn't sleep all that well last night, so that just lowers my tolerance factor. lol

  Went to a new chiropractor yesterday, the guy my son recommended. Not sure how I feel about him.  He is very young (30) and was rather unprofessional. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  But he did use old fashioned chiropractic methods, and I liked that.  So I guess I'll see him at least one more time and then decide if I need to keep looking. I did feel better, especially my neck. Today, of course, I feel worse. That's about par for the course, when you haven'[t been as long as I haven't. lolo  (Almost 2 years...although I was getting massages for a while there, sooo...)


  Alrighty...I've stalled about as long as I can.  The sun has come back out, the internet is staying on and I need to work a little more.   At least get the kitchen cleaned up as much as possible and get that couch vacuumed.  Then I'll sit and put my feet up a while and finish my reading. And then take a shower.  And by then it will be time to go.  

  Time sure flies when you're an old broad.....


Monday, October 22, 2012

Rainy days and Mondays always make me smile.....

Glad I picked these   The garden is still producing lots of greens and green beans. There are still some young butternuts out there and lots of big squash blossoms.  Still no snow peas. But the plants are awesome. Tomatoes still dribbling in... carrots looking robust. Beets are coming right along, and we ate some greens from some thinned out plants. This must be what gardening in Arkansas is like, lol


 It's been thundering all morning and now the rain has finally started. It's coming down pretty good out there. It was over 70 degrees when I went to bed last night and when I got up this morning.  Supposed to hit 80 today and tomorrow both.  Strange October weather....which fits right in with the rest of the year, I guess. We had planned to try some things this year to extend our growing season...surprise !!  Mother Nature has done it for us.   We do have some row covers and greenhouse flats  and some ideas to help keep some things going as long as possible.  We'll see what happens.

  Yesterday I shampooed carpets and vacuumed and mopped the hardwood floors. I only did the living room and the office carpets. And these carpets have had a hard 8 years of hard wear, so no matter how much you clean them, they only get so clean. smells better. And I'm happy enough with it, I guess. I even tried pre-treating the stains with an Oxyclean solution, but it didn't seem to help much.  My plan in the next year is to replace all the living room carpet with either tile or more already has hardwood in the hallways and dining room/kitchen. Sonny boy says it wouldn't be hard to do, just a little pricey (for materials, because,  naturally, he will do all the work.)  And just be over this too- many- animals -and -carpeting- thing.  lol   When you have 8 cats and 4 dogs...there's a lot of  the 3 P's (puking, peeing, pooping) randomly going on, I don't are who you are. Animals get sick, have accidents and they can't be faulted for that...when you make a choice, as we have, to let your pets be in your house, this is just what you get.  Ah lah. 

  Today my plan is to get back in our bedroom and try to get some stuff done...mainly clean and reorganize my walk-in closet and clean the master bath.  I need to repaint that bathroom at some point--I foolishly used some cheap paint in there and it looks terrible in spots.  It's not life and death, but something I will do some day when I have both the money for good paint and the inclination to tackle the monster.  It's a huge bathroom...almost as big as my bed room.  It has a handicap accessible  shower too, big enough to roll a wheel chair in.   The biggest problem with the closet itself is that it has all these beautiful knotty pine shelves for my clothes and it is in constant disarray.  I need to get some baskets or metal baskets otr something to use on those for socks, one for undies...etc.  Maybe I'll go to the Dollar Store and see what they've got... that would go a LONG way in keeping things more organized.  (What am I doing now? making plans to leave and do something else...stalling...LOL)  I see it's already 10:30--and I've been up since 7...Oh well. Best laid plans and all that... still, I could at least get the closet part done and then finish the rest of the bathroom tomorrow....

  Thinking I will make some French Onion Soup today. It's warm out, but soup always sounds good to me in the rain. Or not. Nachos sound good too. lol  My pregnant niece was talking this morning about biscuits and gravy for breakfast...that sounded good too, but I ate some leftover potatoes and eggs instead. I don't eat B&G very often, but when I do, I LOVE 'em....

  It's really starting to thunder and lightning now....and the internet connection is GONE.  Okay--hopefully this will save.....

  Back on for now, so I'd better publish this while I can...have a grand Monday, all y'all !!!!!


Friday, October 19, 2012

A blessing of Pears....

 I finally finished the pears.  Oh. my. God.  I didn't think I was ever gonna be done with those beauties. All in all, I got 8 pints of pear butter, 21 pints of pear halves and 6 quarts of diced pears. The jars are cooling on the kitchen island and in a day or two, I'll move 'em out.  And then my island will be clear again (for a minute). 

  I have about 15 pounds of onions dehydrating right now (all 3 dehydrators are full). You can imagine what my house smells like...a combination of onions and pears, lol.  I have another 10 pounds left and might pick up more tomorrow. They were really beautiful.  The Irishman helped peel them today....I wouldn't have gotten them done otherwise.

  I picked a gallon of green beans yesterday.  And there are probably more to pick tomorrow. It wasn't real warm today, but rainy, and so I have no idea how that's gonna affect stuff in the garden. I do have green tomatoes to bring in, but the temps are still looking pretty good the next I'll leave 'em a bit longer. It's a hard call to make...the weather is so's 46 one day and 70 the next.  The snow pea plants are vigorous and beautiful, but so far no flowers or peas. Hopefully we'll get something off them before the real winter sets in.


  I have a new addiction.  It's a dual addiction, really.  I am absolutely positively HOOKED on 2 shows that (I think) are on the Discovery Channel. One is called Yukon Men and the other is The Alaska Frontier or something...about a 4th generation family of homesteaders in Alaska. They are the Kilchers, and homestead  a huge place around nobody else.  Tonight was the Yukon one, it's about a small town  called Tanana  and the families that live there and how they have to battle the elements and fish and hunt and cut wood to ensure that they can survive the winters. Something in those shows strikes a chord with me, and I love watching them.  They come on late in the evening, so they don't interfere with anything I ever have to do, lol.

    It's after midnight and I can't believe I am still awake. I was so tired from being on my feet all day doing those pears that I was sure I'd be in bed by 10 tonight!  But I'm not--still up. Got an early day tomorrow again...the Irishman is going on an all day fishing trip and will leave pretty early in the morning. That means that if I am going to my 10 o'clock meeting, I have to be up early enough to get all the animals fed and loosed and myself fed and ready to leave the house by 9:30 at the very latest.  It's an ordeal.  lol

  I'd really rather just stay home tomorrow, but I told someone I'd be there. sigh...I feel like I have been on the run all week (I have!!) , even though we skipped date night tonight because I just wanted to stay home. We had leftovers for supper, so I didn't even have to cook. It was nice. (And did I tell you?? --THE PEARS ARE DONE !!!!)   SO....I'll go (even though there's a better than 50/50 chance the person won't show herself--she's drinking again and asking for help...but go I will, just in the off chance she actually shows up)  and then hopefully I can come right back home and get some things done here.  Like laundry.  And vacuuming.  And mopping...especially mopping, because I made a light syrup to can those pears in and I can assure you it is EVERYWHERE.  Plus there are muddy dog and man footprints everywhere.  Job security, I guess.


Oh--one more thing before I head off to lala land...isn't this gorgeous?? It's an allium, gifted to me by a dear friend. All dried and pretty and I have 2, here in the office, where the cats can't reach them. lol

  Have a good weekend all....look for the beauty everywhere...



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where'd this week go ??'s a chilly morning here at Honeysuckle Hill.  Probably only mid forties, but after last night's storms and high winds, it just feels colder. I was out picking wet greens for the chooks and my hands about froze. But--like all mornings after a night of cleansing rains, it's beautiful out there, for sure. All crisp and clean and good smelling.  It's a blessing to wake up to a morning like this one. 

  All the critters are starting to act like it's coming on winter...the dogs sleeping in and not wanting to be out so much, the chickens getting ready for their longer nights and shorter days by already starting to change their egg production schedules. Also, got some moulting going on, though this seems like a strange time of year for that... We had a young possum hole up in the garage last night , driving the dogs insane. Time to close that door again I guess, and stop leaving cat food out. sigh...Molly wanted a piece of him REAL

  The pears are finally almost ripe enough to can. Sweet Jesus! I can't believe how long this has taken. I also picked up about 30 pounds of really good looking onions for a song...(20 cents a pound, people!!) and plan to dehydrate most of them. Might go get some more...onions get pretty expensive around these parts in the winter. Have to see how crazy slicing 30 pounds of them for the dehydrator makes The onions we planted this year didn't get very big due to the drought...I canned some jars of small ones, and the rest we replanted a few days ago for next years onions. Have a whole bed full of onions and garlic. I have 2 commercial sized cookie sheets of lemon grass all dried and ready to put away and then I am done with drying the leaves.  It's time to work on the actual stem itself, where all the goodness for cooking is. It freezes well, I am told, so I need to research that and figure out the best plan. Then I'll dig up the roots and pot them and bring them in.

  I babysat the two little boys Monday and Tuesday...adorable and a LOT of energy. The youngest one is crawling and will be walking any day now...he's like the Baby Flash--ZOOM!-he's gone. And climbing up everything.  Makes me remember why it's the YOUNG people who have babies...I was pooped by the time those days were over. Today I am sitting with my neighbor for just a couple of hours while his wife goes to lunch with a friend.  She was down with the flu last week, and much better now, so I'm SURE she's ready for a day out.  Then I'll come home and make some dinner on the dash so we can run off to our discussion group out at La Vista Ecological Center tonight. After that, I'm not leaving the house for a week.  lol  OOPS. Not true,, I forgot I am going to a NaNoWriMo  Informational meeting on Wednesday night. And then Friday I am driving down to pick up my niece for the weekend. (and THEN I am staying in my house for a week !!)   lol

  Speaking of NaNo...I really want to participate this year again.  I dropped the ball last year (can't remember the particulars...just didn't have enough motivation or interest to go through it, lol)  If you don't know about it, it's the National November Writing write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It's a good exercise and a good discipline to make you write EVERY SINGLE DAY...because if you don't, you fall fatally behind and will never finish it.  Theoretically.   But it's fun too, and if you think you've got a novel in you and you're interested in giving it a try, just go to  (Tried to link it 3 times, but blogger is having none of those shenanigans)...sigh...

  Sitting here drinking cold coffee and trying to make a decision about what to do regarding the finances today. The answer will come, I'm sure.  Nothing is life and death, just in a bit of a stranglehold right now. Thank goodness I have some cash from my little babysitting job...every little bit helps. (Onions for 20 cents a pound helps made a big pot of french onion soup yesterday)  I dipped into the stash and spent 6 dollars for 30 pounds of onions....this morning I need to put a little gas in the car too. Only going to put 20 dollars in I think...the price of gas keeps going up and down and up and down. It's ridiculous. 

  Okay then. Time for some granola and then a shower. Have a brilliant day, everyone!!!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Will it ever be done???

 Finally got the jalapenos canned...13 jars, half pickled and half just canned in water and salt.  I let them go so long,  some of them started turning the most gorgeous red color, as you can see, they're very pretty...And the darn pepper plants still have flowers on them. Thinking I should just pull them up.

Got 7 1/2 pints of pear butter made and canned...that was a 5 gallon bucket full of ripe pears plus a few more.  I cooked it down in the crock pot overnight, after chunking them and cooking them until soft in my stockpot. I didn't peel them,  the plan was to use the rotating colander to separate the peels from the meat. I did that, and then got out my turbo blender and pureed the peels...tasted them and decided they could just find their way into the butter and dumped 'em in. I just turbo'd the whole kit'n'kaboodle after that, it was easier. And I think the peels are good for you, and so there. Then I spiced it with nutmeg and cloves and cinnamon....bada bing ! It tastes really good....

I still have these 5 boxes of pears sitting on my island...not quite ripe enough yet to can, but won't be long. My friend called to tell me there were plenty more if I wanted them, but I honestly don't think I can handle any more.  Maybe....sheesh.  Hate to turn down free fruit. Have plenty of canning jars. They would keep a loooong time.  I don't know. I'll see how I feel once these are done. 

 We ate the first of the green beans tonight with supper. Not enough to can yet, but plenty for a meal. Man...were they good! I fried chicken and made mashed potatoes and gravy...a treat--we rarely eat fried anything, or gravy. It was wicked good!  And the dogs were in heaven with the thigh and leg bones.

 I'm thinking that, the way things are going, I'm still going to be canning SOMETHING at Christmas time!!!!


  We got the garlic and onions in. The snow peas are starting to flower. The beets are up and looking good, and we have been eating lettuces and kale and chard and carrots out of the garden.  Not too shabby for the middle of October!!  We're in the middle of a weird warm-up and tomorrow is supposed to be 75 or something. It's very warm out there tonight... I have had the house opened up all day with window fans on, clearing out the dog stink. It was so nice outside...

 I got laundry done and floors vacuumed today. The Irishman went for a hike and a little fishing, and I came home and did some chores.  We will spend tomorrow morning at a meeting, celebrating his 32nd AA birthday, and afterwards are going to eat somewhere. So I wanted to get some stuff done, since I am babysitting those 2 adorable little boys (my friends grandsons) Monday and Tuesday...and then Thursday I will be sitting with my neighbor for a few hours.  Answered prayers  in regards to my little financial meltdown earlier in the week. And as usual, nothing was as bad as I imagined it to be...all that panic and worry for naught. 


I have green tomatoes out there, trying to decide whether to haul them in now or wait and see if more ripen. I need to recheck the weather forecasts, I guess.  There are a couple more butternut squash as well, and quite a few little tiny ones. You can cut those up and use them in stir fry...better than letting them go to waste.  It'll be interesting to see how long the snow peas will hold on. I think we are going to put cold frames over our lettuces and chard and stuff, and see how long we can extend the season for those.  We have learned so much this's been pretty awesome.

  Okay--I need to go to bed as we have to get up early so we can stop on our way and pick up a birthday cake.  

  Have a grand night, y'all.....

OH--BTW...I have another new grand nephew, born a few days ago. His name is Ethan and I'm on the hook to make another blanket.  I cannot wait to see him. We have another on the way too, his name will be Reef... and he is due the middle-last week of November.  (Reef already got his blankie!!)  Our family just continues to grow...


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Oh's definitely autumn...

  The big quilt is on the bed!!!!   lol (Boy--this picture is dark).

  This morning, the dew on the kale and chard and chickweed I picked for the girls was freezing cold. Not frozen (that's winter) but autumn-y cold. On my bare hands. I did have gloves in my pocket, but didn't want to get them wet.

  It was only about 39 last night, not cold enough to freeze anything. I think it's the garden gods giving me one more chance to get more things in, like the green tomatoes and the parsley. I could be wrong. The temperature predictions show a warming trend, with temps up in the 70's again tomorrow. Theoretically, temps like that, mixed with a little sun, could ripen tomatoes and green beans both.  Theoretically.

 Anyone who farms or gardens knows that this time of year, anything could happen. We could move into an Indian summer or be plunged into the depths of winter. The jury seems to be conflicted on whether it is going to be a harsh winter or another mild one like last year.  Here's the secret of weather forecasting:  Nobody knows diddly squat, really.  And they never will.  LOL   I like the "Hillbilly Weather Forecaster"--a piece of string attached to a stick. Instructions read:

1. Take out of bag.
2. Put stick out open window.
3. If the string moves around some, it's breeezy.
4.If it moves a LOT, it's windy.
5. If it's wet, it's raining.
6. If it looks the same as when you took it out of the bag, it's nice.

 I'm in rare form this morning, aren't I ??  I did get some rest yesterday and ran a few errands and had lunch with a friend. I need to call about the pears and see if today is a good day to come get some...and I am dragging my feet.  I have housework to do. I am dragging my feet.  I have bookkeeping to do...I am REALLY dragging my feet.  Fear of economic insecurity has a hold on me today and last night and I cannot seem to shake it.  Someone (who shall remain nameless) got a little loose with the debit card this past week and I am afraid to look and see how bad it might be.  We live SO close to the crease in this doesn't take much to throw us off.  It will be what it will be, to paraphrase my nephew on his way to court yesterday morning. And we'll cinch the belt tighter and stay home more and do what we have to do to get by. And we'll make it--we always do. But I tend to get a little goosey in the middle of it all.  Of course we just had to pay property taxes the past 2 months, so that has put another stranglehold on things, making it even worse.  But pay them we did--on time even.  I need to get better about putting a little money aside every month to pay them, but I never seem to have extra. Oh well. It is what it is. And we won't go hungry, that's for sure. lol And we have plenty of oil lamps if they turn off the lights (they won't).  And we do have an alternative heat source if we have to use it (we might).  And, and, and....I need to remember that for right now, everything is okay.  I think.

  Alright. What is it I ALWAYS say to people in crisis?  Most of the things we worry about never come to pass. Get out of your head.  Take an action--change a feeling.  

  Oh, yeah.

 Someone I love dearly (Mary) once said (and I have this on a note, taped to my desk) :

"Life comes at us like a sledgehammer sometimes.  No time to duck."

  That's just how it is.  Need to look on the sunny side...or I might be swallowed up.  :)

  I'll get dressed, call about pears and stop and get some honey with my "mad money" that's hidden in my wallet., from the Woodburn Country Store.  It's just up the road. On the way to the pears.

 Have the grandest day ever, campers.   I'm going to. (I think).   lol


Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm tired...

(Here's the finished earth oven from the workshop a couple of Sundays's a beaut!)
Click to biggify!

It was a long cold, wet and unsuccessful weekend at the flea market.  We barely made enough to cover the cost of the space.  No one was out...the weather was just miserable. I am in pain from standing on the concrete pad that our spot was lower back, hips, knees, ankles and feet are killing me. Still.

  The owners told us we could stay through Sunday because Friday was so the time Saturday was over, we looked at each other and said--We're done.  So we packed up everything and came home.  Thank goodness....

  We did have some fun, and I did meet some nice people (who all, interestingly enough, live rather close to me).  I met a woman up the road a bit who has pears and has asked me if I'd like to have some, after we chatted a bit about gardens and canning. Says she can never use them all, and this year they are loaded. You know me--YES!!!!  So I am calling her tomorrow and going there to get some...I'll can some and make some pear butter too.  Sooo--not a total wash. lol  Also met the guy in town who sells honey, so I may be able to get some from him. He stopped by our booth. 

  My body is rebelling.

Sunday we dug our sweet potatoes and harvested almost all the remaining lemon grass, and the anise hyssop leaves and flowers for tea. Sunday night the temps were supposed to hit freezing, so we took tarps out and covered the lettuces, the chard, the carrots and the green beans. We laid the sweet potatoes out on the patio table and then covered them as well for the night, as the dew has been crazy heavy.  It did freeze, patchily, but nothing serious. Supposed to be mid forties tonight and warming the rest of the week, both days and nights.

  Today I sat with my neighbor all day, so his wife and daughter could attend a Parkinsons Research fund raiser lunch that happens every year. I got home around 4:30 and whipped together some supper for the Irishman. Made a lovely stuffed butternut squash and steamed broccoli, and macadamia nut cookies for dessert.  And now it is late and I am whipped. I've been up since 5:30, for one thing. And I'm still exhausted from the weekend. I MUST be getting old....

Here's a picture of supper...

It was quite tasty.

  I need to head off to bed. I have a big couple of days on tap...especially if I get those pears.  My belly is full and my body is tired. A good thing...unless you want to stay awake and play. And I'd like to, but I just don't think I can.  lol

  Hope everyone has a great week....I'll be back!!!  Rested up, hopefully. And sparkling with wit and wisdom.  HAH!



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Early morning with a cuppa...

One of the gorgeous culprits of lots of folks allergy problems this time of year...I have lots of goldenrod growing around my place...thankfully, I am not allergic, as I think it is absolutely beautiful. It's  a very brilliant yellow and always make me think of hope, for some reason, and sunshine. There's one big giant clump of it growing right at the fence at my driveway, and I told the Irishman it's part of my security system. It'll keep all the sneezers at

  I'm up early this morning and have a big full busy weekend on tap, so I thought that I'd start slow today, with a big mug of Sumatran coffee and come by here and say a hello to you.  And share some thoughts about existence on this planet, and lol...shoot the chit, basically.  Who am I kidding? I write here to hear myself talk, the same way I wander around Honeysuckle Hill on a regular basis, talking to the dogs and cats and chickens, and talking to myself when I don't feel they are giving me the proper attention.  Oh well. All my girlhood dreams of being a great novelist have pretty much dissipated by this time. I can't even seem to attract a decent number of readers here, is what it is. I still write for me, and to connect with a couple of others...though I must admit I do get jealous when I see bloggers with 300 followers and 50 and 60 comments on a post. And I walk around feeling like chopped liver for a bit, then I move on.  It's alright. I think I've been blogging here at blogger since August of 2008. And was at Wordpress before that for a bit. When I look at the stats page I am confused by it as there appear to be quite a few page views...who knows? I write for the joy of writing and I write here for the discipline of writing  (not a LOT of discipline-but I used to write every day). lol   Anyway, blogging for over 4 years here at Elegant Blessings has been an accomplishment for me in ways I never would have imagined myself capable of. I'm a great starter but not always a great finisher. I'm bored with things easily.(I figure I'm either a genius or I have severe ADHD!)  I often tackle projects that seem like the be all and end all to me...only to be uninterested a month later. This late in my life, I sometimes think I'm just trying to cram in all the experiences that I haven't investigated yet, before it's too late. 

  This weekend is the big flea market and I am not ready at all. We can go set up today until 6pm tonight and leave our stuff there. Have to be there at 7 AM on Friday and Sat mornings. My neighbor and I are going to take turns sitting there,  because we have to be there until 6 PM.  I only hope the weather holds out for us and that there is enough foot traffic generated to help us sell some stuff.  It will be what it will be, I guess. I attended the last one and it seemed to do okay. Hoping this one will be even better because it's getting closer to Xmas.   I am even thinking about taking a few jars of homemade canned stuff the first day, just to see...maybe some jalapeno jelly and tomato preserves and pickled okra...just to see.  I kinda don't want to, as I can all that stuff for us to eat, but I am a little curious...well, we'll see what happens. 

  The first debate is over and the supporters for either side are claiming victories, as they are wont to do.  What IS it about Republican politicians that always has them smirking and smug?  It's the one thing that nearly drove me insane about George Bush too. I would catch myself wanting to punch him in the mouth all the time.  I flipped back and forth through the debate, and every time I would see Willard's face, he would be smirking.  And I would immediately go back to NCIS. lol  These debates are a dog and pony show in so many ways...but I was intrigued by the way the Republican candidate consistently ignored the moderator and would not stop talking when asked to. A complete lack of respect.  Is it his wealth? Is that what puts people into a mindset that they are above the rules?  Is it just a lack of discipline (hey-I could relate to that)?   Is it that many of them got the wealth they have because they have committed unconscionable acts, and have never been held accountable for them?  I look at guys like Warren Buffet and think--he doesn't smirk and he doesn't act like he's scared  somebody's going to take his money away from him. He seems well...HUMAN. And I have always thought,. he seems like the kind of a guy you could sit down and have a cuppa coffee with.   I watched a video of Barack and Michelle talking about their 20th wedding anniversary and it made me so happy. I have felt from the jump that these are REAL people, these are loving and kind and compassionate human beings...the kind of people I am proud to have as President and First Lady. The kind of people who give me HOPE when they make it into political office...hope that maybe we ARE finally changing the world, a little bit at a time...that maybe there will be a day when we transition from a society of fear and hate, into a society of  love and compassion.  It could happen...

  So here I sit and ramble...and the time has come to pull up my big girl panties and get busy. I have colored stickers to price all the crap, uh, I mean, merchandise...I have most of stacked up in the garage, waiting for me. The chickens are still in the coop waiting for me to get them out. My cousin is having a yard sale tomorrow  and has offered me first peek to come over and get what I may want today. (yay!! more stuff!!) I have to go down by her and pay my water bill anyway, so...I kept the Irishman's truck today and he informed me last night the gas tank is low, ...grrr....I filled my car up yesterday for him before I knew he was leaving me with an empty one. grrrr....I need to go get dressed, get my hair up under a baseball cap and move it. I'm thinking the Mardis Gras hat (purple) will be perfect.  lol

  Hope everyone has a happy Thursday, I'll be back to report on the grand adventures in due time. 

Oh--and I finally saw some more pictures  from the earth oven building day. I'll try to get some on here so you can see the finished project!


Monday, October 1, 2012

A new month...a new beginning....

         Asters. They grow like wildfire all down around the old birdbath in the all the areas where I don't mow if I don't have to, because it's near the edge of the pond and I have planted tons of Shasta daisies and lilies and all manner of flowery stuff that will fill up the spaces.When I first clicked on this picture, I thought it was a picture of my feverfew that grows along the front of the house, but it's not. I don't think.  lol

  A cool overcast morning here on the Prairie. Not supposed to rain today, but showers possible tomorrow. I need to get out there and cut more lemon grass to dry, more anise hyssop  leaves and flowers for tea, a little more garlic chives,. as I think the regular chives I cut last week are finally dry and can be put in jars.  They are saying that next week we are headed for a cool down, and I guess it really is October now and so there's no stopping that train.  I just hope that it will stay warm enough for my gazillions of flowers to turn into green beans out there.  And ripen a few more tomatoes. I mostly just don't want to bring in a lot of green tomatoes. I am not going to can chow chow this year, because I have so much of it left from last time.  I might try pickling a few tiny green tomatoes if there are any. My friend Cathy does it every year and says they're great. 

  I am really ready for things to wind down though. Might just be the exhaustion talking right now, as I have been going at a dead run the past 4 days.  I am whipped.  Too much running, not enough home time. Too much crappy food, not enough nutrition.  I have become such a creature of habit that days like these throw such a monkey wrench into my world it's unbelievable.  I laughingly told a friend of mine this morning that I needed a day home on a prune juice fast.  But that's how I feel. My system gets derailed so easily these days...that path of health and wellness gets pretty narrow sometimes, doesn't it?  Enough rest, enough nutrition, enough time for myself and I will be good as new again.  (But I am still ready for some of the garden stuff to be done. LOL)

 I am sitting with my neighbors husband tomorrow, so am trying to get a few things done around here...little things like laundry and granola and some shopping maybe. Just a tad...I have this list of things I need to stock in my pantry...things like bottled lemon juice and white beans and canned pineapple.  Maybe some tuna and canned salmon, just for an added protein source.  The Food preservation and Storage class is moving right along and I am learning a lot of things about emergency storage and general food planning for my family.  I need to pick up a 15 month calendar to get going on my Food Plan for next year for growing, storing and preserving. This tool will help keep things spread out so that I can afford to do them too.  One of the things I love most about Ms. Astyk's writing and methods is that there is a lot of margin for error, and I loved her forever when she talked about ..."no matter how organized I try to be and how much I try to do, there are going to be those times when I have tomatoes rotting on the counter..."   That happens to me when the produce is pouring in and the to-do list gets taller than I am and I cannot possibly keep up.  It hasn't been TOO bad this year, just because I cut some corners (in my mind-- apparently lots of other people do this all the time)  like simply freezing most of the peaches and blackberries, planning to make them into jam and salsa later in the year when I don't have any thing more pressing to do.  Normally I do what's right in front of me, right then, because if I don't I might not ever do it. lol  I am becoming more flexible...

  I am going to be sitting with the 2 little boys that are my friends grandsons again in a couple of weeks. That will be fun, as well as the opportunity to make a little extra cash. I am planning a trip back to North Carolina for a Native American AA Convention that I have attended for years (though not in the last 7 since moving here).  My friend is coming with me and we will have a wonderful girls weekend.  SO I am trying to stockpile the cash for that trip. lol  If I am mindful, it will be easy. And maybe I can make some money at this weekends flea market that my neighbor and I are doing too...not to mention the decluttering of the house. win/win  lol  

 All in all a slow moving, late starting Monday. Still in my jammies.  But, thankfully, today is not a race.  I don't really have to go anywhere, or do much if I choose not to. However, that said--if  I do slouch around all day, I won't be happy with that either, and will probably not feel good too. I need to move these old bones some, or they tend to stiffen up and ache. Especially in this with impending rain. 

  Happy October, all.