Monday, November 26, 2012

Hey brother, can you spare a dime?

  No, but how about a meal?  I could do that. It's that time of year again, when the food banks are all coming at us with pleas for help. The Boy Scouts are having their canned foods drive, local churches are doing things too.  As a matter of tradition, I have always donated to help families in need, especially at Christmas and Thanksgiving.  One year I was told that they "didn't accept home canned foods--too much chance of food poisoning."  I nearly died laughing. Then they told me what they would accept, and it was a bunch of empty caloric food like substances.  And I demurely declined to donate that kind of stuff.  I did wind up going to buy bags of potatoes and donated those. Hysterical, isn't it?  Now, around here anyway,  they are asking for donations of fresh garden produce in the summer, something they don't get enough of. I always donate some, but mostly I grow what we need and I can and freeze and well...YOU know.  I have been trying to think of something I could do this time of year, being rather short of funds, and started thinking about the local womens shelter and wondering if maybe I could like, cater a nice meal for them around the holidays. Since we live so far from town (20+ miles)  whatever I do would have to be there and not here, at my home.  I nearly always find some one who is down on their luck, has no family here, --something, and invite them to our house.  Some years I throw a little pre-Christmas soiree and have a nice evening of soups and desserts and breads...  Last Christmas I didn't want to do anything. This year...I don't know. Guess I ought to decide soon.  LOL

  So, back to the real world. The post High Holy Day of Gluttony olympics that takes place at my house has made me almost giddy.  As you can imagine, the Turkey Stock race was crazy, and is finally finished.  I had my roaster going for what seemed like forever, and the end total was 27 assorted pints and quarts of turkey stock. Some plain broth.  Some mostly broth with some turkey. Some mostly  turkey with broth.  And the beautiful jars are all finished, all sealed, and all awaiting labeling and putting away. THANK GOODNESS. 

  Last night I started tackling some cleaning jobs that were long overdue. Mainly our bedroom and the big master bathroom. Yuck. Today  I did things that normally get left undone, like vacuuming under the bed,. cleaning mirrors and scrubbing back behind the toilet where no one can reach. I scrubbed floors and took down curtains and washed them. I cleaned windows and windowsills. I scrubbed the sink and vanity and shower.  I took the cannister vacuum and sucked cobwebs off the ceiling and out of the corners and in doorways and windows. I cleaned both nightstands to within an inch of their lives. (Books, books, and more books!!) We have a dresser that is a really long and heavy thing    ( dinosaur)  that collects every thing imaginable--if himself walks into the room with ANYTHING in his hands, that's where it goes. Well, gentle can now see the wood top of that bad boy!!!!  And it's clean--I furniture polished everything, including my big sleigh bed.  I stripped the bed and washed the sheets. I got everything vacuumed,. the slipcovers in the laundry, 2 loads of laundry done (small loads)  and made a turkey pot pie with biscuits on top for supper.  And right before I started that pot pie...I suddenly was in excruciating pain (left hip) and could barely walk. Feels like a pinched nerve. I sat for a while and tried to take it easy, but it still really hurts, so I guess I'm going to the dr tomorrow morning.  I'm pretty sure I did it trying to vacuum 4000 pounds of dust bunny colonies out from under the bed. Because I can't move that bed (and NO--I didn't try)  so I resorted to squirming around on my belly and reaching and stretching--pretty sure I looked like I was playing a game of Twister with myself.

  This sucks. All I could think was--I don't have time for this. (But at least the turkey is all done.)

  When I got hurt, my pelvis was crushed. So there was lots of nerve damage and stuff. For years I would have to go to the doctor every 3-4 weeks for injections of a time released painkiller/steroid cocktail that he would inject into about 8 different nerve areas in trigger point injections. It hurt like hell, but the good news was that I could walk. This feels kinda like that...but I haven't had to have them for about 5 years now. I hope that's not going to be the deal this time.

  So...the Irishman is home safe and sound.  And he came home bearing gifts and with lots of dirty laundry and many anecdotes of family fun. And all I can think is, I'm hurting so bad that I can't stand the sound of his voice. Anyone's voice, actually. lol

  I have a lone pain pill here leftover from another time and I think I'm going to take it and go to bed.  We'll re-assess things when the sun comes up. The big question is, do I go to the Chiropractor, or just go straight to the Urgent Care?  Guess I'll have that answer when I wake up. All I can say is that I'm lucky to have a very high pain threshold because otherwise, I'd be in the ER right now.    :)

  Have a grand night, duckies.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Bleeech! Friday.

 I have had a holiday of food freedom.  The turkey, while not mine, was a locally raised one. The sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, greens, onions, green beans, pickled accoutrements,  and herbed water were all mine. What a feeling !!

  I did go to my brothers (an hour away) for the holiday meal with family.  The day before though, I went looking for a turkey, because I had an overwhelming NEED to cook a turkey.  There are some things I simply cannot do, and NOT cook a turkey is one of them. So, since my son was going to his grandparents for his noon meal, I made us an early dinner too.  We ate late Wednesday, because he was working. I made  a pumpkin dessert  and 2 loaves of pumpkin/walnut/date bread.  Needless to say, my fridge is overflowing with leftovers. lol  That makes me very happy, on some primal level.  When I got to my brothers, my dear SIL had already packaged up her turkey carcass for me, because she knows me.  I obligingly brought it home with me.

  I have had turkey broth simmering since last night. This afternoon I got it all strained and sifted and sorted (does anyone else do this or am I just crazy ??)  The biggest bones got put in a plastic ziplock to go into the freezer for now and be meted out to the dogs.  The meat all got pulled out to go into the broth.  The tiny bones that no one can manage went into about a third of a bread bag.  The goopier meat and goobers went onto plates to feed the cats and dogs. Everyone was ecstatic about it all.  I have 7 quarts in the canner right now, cooling down.  I made a small pan of gravy for leftovers.  And there's enough to make a medium sized pan of soup. Perfect. Almost no waste--just how I like it.  I forgot--on Wednesday (after getting my little turkey) I got a call--I had won a turkey in a local merchant drawing !!  That turkey is in the roaster cooking right now, because I have no room in my freezer for a whole turkey.  So, I'll cook it and take the meat off and freeze it. Thinking about freezing some of  it IN gravy--anyone ever done that??  I can stuff a few more small bags into the freezers. And maybe I'll can pints of turkey in broth too.  It has made me feel very turkey-rich! lol

  And my house smells delightful;. (Take THAT!~ Glade!)  lol

  I am feeling better. My husband has called several times. And I am counting my blessings instead of feeling sorry for myself.  One of those blessings is the caring and sharing of all of you , even though we have never met face to face,  I am blessed to have you in my life.  Been catching up on some blogs. Reading a novel called East of the Sun. And tending critters and going to cover the gardens soon--not sure it will help. I think tonight may be the real end of the garden, supposed to get to 20. Someone said they are calling for a possibility of snow tonight.

We'll see. I don't care. The only plan I have is to go to a movie with my cousin tomorrow at noon or so...if I can't get out, it matters not.  

  Happy [beginning of the ] Holidays, everyone.  Bless us, every one.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday keeps turning up, like a bad penny...

 I need to remember this. Feels like I need to re-member a lot of things lately.  Feeling restless, irritable and discontent today.  Feeling like this for a couple of days, actually.  Probably all precipitated by the  Irishman and I not having Thanksgiving together for the first time in 20 + years.  Which is a little silly, but's how I'm feeling, and I have to honor that (or be trampled by it).  I'm reminding myself that I AM performing a kind deed by making sure he can take this trip, no matter how financially and emotionally difficult it is.  And I am a kind person.  And my life is what it is because of that...because I have been through a lot and all of served me in one way or another to make me who I am. And because when I look at it like this,  it takes away some of the pain and hopelessness I feel sometimes. 

  Been in that little dip lately...where I find myself tearing up a lot.  Holidays do this to me...and recent events with family (living) and lack of family (dead) ...that have me questioning my self and my value and my purpose.  Or something.  And there's nothing I hate more than being all feels counter productive...but I don't really know what to do about it. My first instinct is to run.  Move to another state. Go back to North Carolina or Northern California.  Anywhere but here.  But I can't really do that either.

  So...I'm baking.  Making loaves of pumpkin bread (naturally) to send along to Wisconsin.  Baking I know. Baking I can control. I'm also going to make some granola bars so he'll have some to take with him and maybe not eat so much junk like they tend to eat up there.  And I'll make him some trail mix as well...full of good stuff like peanuts and raisins and pumpkin seeds and dried fruit....apples, cherries and peaches.  And I will do these things and I will do them with love, even though I'm not feeling so loving (or loveable) right now. And this ickiness will pass (I hope)  and I'll get back to my normal Pollyanna self.

  I'm feeling old too. That doesn't help. My body is crashing down around me and some days I can barely walk.  It hurts bad because I can't get enough exercise and I can't get enough exercise because it hurts too much. I need to get to a doctor, but money is so tight..and I know what they're going to say and it requires a LOT of $$...that I don't have. And that is so frustrating and depressing that I can't stand it. I need new glasses. I need to see a dentist.  It's been a long time since we have had such a hard time as this past few years... And I know it's not just us...and I hate that I feel like I'm being so whiny about it.  I guess sometimes I just need to vent. Hoping that I can get it out of my system and move on. Or something.


  Hours later now, and I'd like to tell you I feel better. Well...I don't.  And now I think I've made my favorite SIL mad at me too.  And I am miserable. And this thing with my SIL (and partly what's going on with me) revolves around the sister who came up here from Florida.  She was here for an entire week. She contacted no one except one brother (the night before)  to ask if they were coming to the lunch she summoned everyone to. I didn't go. She never made any attempt to contact me the entire time she was here.  I am angry and hurt and snotty about it all.  Face it--I am snotty about a lot of things lately.  

  And snotty is one thing, but this borderline depression is something else entirely.  Not my thing, know what I mean? And it scares me and it makes me angry that I am so affected by someone else's behavior. Not like me.  And I feel as out of control as a downhill train.  And then I think, maybe it's not depression--maybe I'm just really sad.  Maybe I am hurt and sad and I just can't seem to define my emotions.

  Hells bells. Maybe I'm just a ridiculous old woman.  I'll be 60 on January 6th. My dad died when he was 60.  That's probably part of this too. Something unnamed...something in me that's too big and heavy and dark...and now it's bursting out at my seams.  I feel like I need a retreat...a sanctuary...I feel like something is shifting within me and I don't know whether I should be glad or afraid. I know one thing--I don't feel like myself.  Emotional upheaval.  Identity crisis. What do I do ?  Where do I go from here?   Is my life in the process of being redefined?  Am I having a spiritual awakening of some sort?  Is an old part of me dying, and in dying giving birth to some new aspect that I don't yet understand?

 On this note, I'm going to bed. I'm really tired (got a lot done today) and I watched the second part of the Ken Burns documentary on The Dust Bowl.  I cried in more than one part of THAT, I can tell you. Looking at that hopelessness, that poverty, that was gut wrenching.  So, I am not just physically, but emotionally exhausted as well.  I have a couple of small errands to run tomorrow and then  I will prepare to send my husband off to the great north. (He's leaving early Wednesday morning).  And I'll put on my game face and pray for safe travels and spend a few days here at home soul searching. 

  Maybe the chooks will have some answers for me.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Isn't Saturday for playing?

  Not here...not today. lol  This is a sink full of pumpkin from yesterday. One of 4 or 5 sinkfulls (I'm too tired to remember) that I seeded, cut, steamed and peeled.  They went into a big cooking pot by the end of the day, and out into the mud room overnight because I couldn't do another thing. This morning around 9, the Irishman carried the big pot in for me and I put it on the stove (on top of a diffuser as not to scorch the pumpkin) and turned it on a medium heat and waited.  And Waited. AND WAITED.  Finally it got hot all the way through and I put the first batch in the canner...7 quarts.  I have at least another 7 quarts left to do, and maybe more.  It's 3 in the afternoon now. And the quarts have to pressure can process for 90 minutes. 

   God help me.

In between times, I have mopped and vacuumed everything. Made a 5 gallon batch of laundry soap.  Did 3 loads of laundry.  Cleaned the chicken coop.  The Irishman came home hungry and I said "Good luck. I think there's enough leftover meatloaf for a sandwich."   There was and he found it and ate. I hung the dogs blankets outside on the line to dry. Hope they dry.  I still need to dust...but that might wait until tomorrow. I'm running out of gas. lol

 Thinking about what to make for supper...and think I'll run out back and harvest a bunch of greens...I have kale and beets and chard and spinach...and saute those. I'm also going to roast a big pan of assorted root vegetables, including sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, turnips and onions and garlic.  I ave both leftover quinoa and brown rice in the fridge, so I'll serve the greens over that with a sprinkling of romano cheese (I think I'm out of parm)  and all the nice roasted veggies on the rest of the plate. I roast them with just a little EVOO and sea salt, and they are so great like that.  I might m,ake a small batch of pumpkin soup to go with it too...why not? I have plenty of pumpkin.  lol

  We had such a lovely end-of-discussion-session potluck this Thursday past.  I wound up making soba noodles with lemon grass and coconut milk. I put in some steamed broccoli, some carrots, ginger, garlic and edamame. It looked beautiful and tasted really good.  We had a butternut soup that was out of this world. A magnificent pear, feta and almond salad, a yummy broccoli and rice casserole, outstanding artisan bread, and 2 desserts--spice bars and a garbanzo bean brownie/chocolate cake thingy--both were incredible.  A lovely minted water to drink and assorted herbal teas.  I am so blessed to know such wonderful people who cook such FINE food !!!!  We had a great time and sadly, won't get together again until after the first of the year. Which is okay--the holidays are a great time to take a break....but I love this group and the things we do.

  Well...better get out back and get those greens. It will be dark before I know it and it's much easier to garden in broad daylight.   lol   I watched a great you tube that I will try to post on here about Biointensive Gardening.  It's kinda what we do.

  Have a great weekend everyone!!!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A cold morning again...

Remember the beautiful little red maple from the last post? Here it is 2 days later. wow.  Must really be November now...It's been very cold the past few nights, in the 20's. This morning there was a heavy frost that may be finishing off the lettuce, even with the row covers on it.  I pulled up some snow peas to feed to the chooks, because, although they have flowered beautifully, they didn't make one darn pea pod.  The plants still look okay, but SURELY it's too cold now to make veggies. lol

 I seem to have a sick little doggie. Yesterday she threw up in the living room floor.  She was pretty lethargic all day, although she did come out and ride with me to the market.  Then I could barely get her out of the car when we got back home. This morning she is very sleepy and lethargic again...can't hardly get her outside to go to the bathroom.  Of course, she hates the cold, so that doesn't help. lol  She did finally eat a little of my breakfast eggs...last night she wouldn't even take a cookie. (Which is SO not like her!)  So, I'm keeping an eye on her and hopefully she just has a little bug or something and will be okay and I won't have to make a vet trip.

 When I went to the market in town yesterday to get some stuff to make the Irishman a meatloaf,  they had a big box outside the front door with little pumpkins in it, marked 25 cents each.  I kinda of looked at it and thought, No--I swore I wasn't doing that again.  lol  When I got inside, Bob says--hey, I saw you looking at the pumpkins. I said, naw...I remembered what happened last time and swore I wouldn't do that again. So not worth all the mess and trouble. He smiled and said...I'll give you a deal on them. I really want them gone. Soooo...I came home with a box of about 10 medium sized pumpkins for a buck and a quarter.  If I ever get dressed today, I'll be processing pumpkins I guess.  LOL   (I am such a sucker for a food deal....)

  We had a nice quiet weekend around these parts...Veterans day has come and gone again.  I finally harvested the lemon grass and brought one pot in the house and mulched the bejeezus out of the other one that I left in the ground. Yesterday I spent 2 hours+  peeling and freezing lemon grass stalks. Wound up with a gallon of them. Pretty good haul.  I also did another quart of green onion tops from the Walking onions. Just froze them like I do the chives. We'll see how that works out, but I can't imagine why it wouldn't.  I baked a pumpkin crunch dessert the other day for the Irishman, since it's his favorite.  Sunday afternoon I also baked some peanut butter cookies...even though cookies are my least favorite thing to make. lol  I made an Italian herbed bread and we had leftover minestrone soup and warm bread for supper...perfect for a rainy cold Sunday supper. And boy, did it rain. And the wind blew like crazy. It was something else. It poured and poured...and then Monday morning, it was cold and clear and sunny and beautiful.  It's like that today might be 30 by now (11:30)  the pupplios are going out for a little bit and then coming right back in. Spoiled

   Well...if I don't get up and moving, I'm not going to get a thing done today. There's really no rush on the pumpkins, but I don't want to leave that box sitting on the island any longer than necessary. I would love to see my kitchen again  (Hey! It could happen!!)

  Everybody have a wonderful Tuesday....


Saturday, November 10, 2012

A productive day, all in all...

  Here's a picture I took early this morning of my magnificent red maple..I brought it from North Carolina, (a seedling) because it was a gift from a friend and I didn't want to part with it. It is such a great little tree....when the leaves first come on in the spring, they turn brilliant red like this. Then they turn green for the summer. Then in the fall, they turn red again. And eventually they all fall off.  It's in its glory stage right now. lol

  Today was one of those days of  a little of this and a little of that. Some work to earn a little extra money, which is always nice.  Then some shopping at the Farm Store (right?)  where I spent in the neighborhood of 111 dollars on chicken feed and big bags of dog and cat food, and flea medication for the dogs. Since I had a little extra money, I bought some back up bags of both chicken crack (scratch grains),  and the layer pellets.  I came home with over 200 pounds of assorted feeds in the trunk of my little Ford Focus...I wasn't out of either dog or cat food, but will need to get it within a week or so, so I just went ahead and got it. And the flea stuff...oh lordy.  Anybody with dogs knows that story.  But we've had a pestilence of fleas with this crazy weather and the dogs have been scratching like crazy.  We put it on them tonight and I'm a little nervous that I've killed them with it, they're so quiet. (Just kidding--though you do always have to watch them, as some of these things can cause reactions in the animal sometimes.)  Anyhoo, everyone is breathing and there don't seem to be any seizures happening, so I'm guessing they're okay.  And mostly no one is scratching. We could be onto something here.  lol

  After getting back with the booty, I came in and started picking up the house some and vacuuming too. About then the Irishman came home (much earlier than I expected him) and we talked a bit and decided to try to get some stuff done outside, since it was 73 degrees out there today. And sunny. WooHoo!  So, he mowed and I burned some stuff and checked on chickens. Then I dug up one of my lemon grasses after cutting most of the stalks off it and then cut the stalks off the other one too, but left it in the ground to be mulched to death and see if it will survive the winter outside under a blanket of mulch. The first one is in a pot and will come in the house tomorrow.  I stripped the stalks and tomorrow will finish them off and cut them up and freeze them.  I also cut all the tops of the walking onions and brought those in and chopped and froze them. The Irishman found some more butterbeans while getting ready to tear all that mess down and throw it in the compost.  I dug up my parsley and put it in a pot to go in the kitchen.  And I also picked a big container of lettuces, kale, and chard to go in the fridge. A very productive day...

  I have to tell you...we got out our little fire pit and built a bonfire in it tonight. We sat out in the beautiful night and roasted hot dogs and ate potato chips and bacon-horseradish dip under the sky filled with stars.  Hot dogs with mustard and onions.  I can't tell you the last time I ate a hot dog--I told himself that I'd probably get sick and die in my sleep. lol  But it sure tasted good...we sat out there and held hands and talked and listened to the sounds of the deer crashing through the thickets, and the coyotes howling in the distance.  It was nice.  Big time Saturday night, eh ?    After a couple of hours the wind started picking up and I was about done sitting in my favorite old metal lawn chair anyway, so we packed everything up and came on in the house. It had cooled off quite a bit too...but it was a beautiful evening, just me and my honey. And one cat. lol


  I am behind on my writing for NaNo , but it's okay. I'll catch up (once I quit stalling and start writing). To be fair to myself though,  I have been busy this week. And I am incredibly good at finding a hundred other things that need doing. lol  And then I am so tired at night I can barely manage to keep my eyes open past 11.  But I write best in the morning, and tomorrow, as soon as the Irishman is out the door, I shall embark on my mandatory "catching-up".  I am not going to attend the lunch on Sunday.  My sister has been here since Tuesday or Wednesday, and hasn't even bothered to call me.  So, I'm not driving an hour to go  there.  I am also not going to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  We talked about it last night and I told him it would be so much cheaper if he went alone because he could stay at his dad's house and we can't afford 5 nights in a motel. I don't resent his going, I really don't. I want him to have every minute he can with his dad. I lost my dad 25+ years ago and I wish every day I could have spent more time with him.  And my son (who rents the apartment from us) has been working out of town for months, so he isn't available to take care of the animals. And animal care is always a problem for us, with all the dogs/cats/chickens.  SO...As much as I hate not being with him for Thanksgiving, we will just have another Thanksgiving when he gets back.  I am invited to my brothers, so maybe I'll go there. Or maybe I'll just stay home and veg out. lol  (Boy--I could easily be a hermit, couldn't I ?)  I can do any thing I want. Hah!


  Thursday we are having our  final class potluck out at La Vista.  It will be a vegetarian potluck and I'm really looking forward to it.  I'm cooking the entree, we've divided the meal up into courses and everybody picked something. I was old and slow and got what was left. LOL  So...I'm playing with some ideas. maybe stuffed squashes?  Stuffed with quinoa and kale and onions and mushrooms, with a little sun dried tomato thrown in for color?   Or a soba noodle dish with coconut milk and lemon grass and asparagus and carrots?  Or a vegetable Shepherd's Pie, full of roasted veggies and in a thick mushroom gravy, topped with golden browned mashed potatoes?  The possibilities are endless.  I have eggplant too, in the freezer (I keep forgetting about that!) I could make an eggplant parmesan or Rollatini...Oh dear, oh dear...decisions decisions....

  Tomorrow I need to make bread. I got the granola done the other day but still haven't done granola bars. It's not like they're hard to make, they just get a little labor intensive when it comes to cutting and wrapping and storing them. And I am so lazy sometimes. lol  Anyway, I'll try to get granola bars made too. I think the Irioshman is going for a hike if it's not raining, so I will have the house to myself for awhile. Nice....

  I'm about ready to head for bed...all that gardening in the fresh air  whipped me today I guess.  I have been trying to get to bed on a schedule these days. I sleep better when I have a schedule and stick to it, going to bed and getting up at the same times. 

   Tomorrow night, this last fling of summer is supposed to be over and the cold temps are coming, especially at night.  I guess I'm ready....

    Have a grand weeks end, everyone. I am off to meet the Sandman....


Wednesday, November 7, 2012 election

  Like the old saying goes...Before enlightenment -chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment - chop wood, carry water.  Nothing is changed because of last nights election, except that a whole bunch of disenfranchised people have come into their own. Hallelujah.

 The world seems a little brighter to me this morning and tonight....I'm sure the glow will fade eventually....I'm afraid I was starting to believe the hype coming from the GOP  and was worried about the election. But  I should have had more faith....we are in the midst of a great transition in this country....maybe in this world. Mankind is evolving and paradigms are shifting  and while haters are still hating (I had a guy tell me yesterday to "shove the barrel of a gun up my *** and pull the trigger"  after he said he hoped someone would put a bullet in the Presidents head. When I responded to him, that's what he said to me. Needless to say, I was shocked...)...anyway, while the haters are still hating, I have to remind myself it's a reaction based on fear and ignorance,  and they need my compassion more than my anger.  I suspect that, as always, there are beings who won't survive the transition..  This kind of change is not easy nor is it comfortable.  But once the shift starts, it doesn't stop. It doesn't go back to the way it was.  Just look at all the stuff that happened in the late 50's/early 60's with civil rights. With womens rights.  For all the things that are so right with this country, there are as many that are wrong, and it's getting time to straighten up and fly right. 

  Just looking at the First Family last night during the victory speech made me cry.  Listening to my President talk about moving forward and crossing party lines and rolling up our sleeves and getting America on track filled me with so much pride that I couldn't talk. Listening to him include ALL Americans in his speech...blacks, whites, Asians, Native Americans, Gays, Straights, men, women...ALL of us...filled my heart with so much gratitude to be an American at this exact time and place in history that I was walking on air.  I had a flash of a memory of sitting at the Woolworth lunch counter after school with my friend Hermione in 1965 and being told we had to leave because she couldn't sit there.  And today a black man has been re-elected to his second term as POTUS...and if she had lived, I cannot imagine what my friend would be thinking.  I can barely take it all in.

  And that's where my head has been today...and I'm tired from not enough sleep last night (had to get up early and go to the neighbors) because I had to stay up and watch the election results. I thought Mr. Romney gave a gracious concession speech, and looked as though he might break down and cry any minute. His wife looked though she couldn't believe he didn't win and she was NOT holding back the tears.

  I cannot imagine why ANYONE would put themselves through this kind of an ordeal.  lol

  I hope the Koch Brothers learned an important lesson yesterday.  America IS NOT FOR SALE.  Not for any price. It is ours and we have claimed it and have fought for it and will not let it go.

  I really should go to bed--I meant to be there before midnight and now it's 12:30.  The weather here has been hinky and my joints are hurting something fierce.  It's low 30's tonight, but supposed to be almost 70 by Friday with night temperatures in the 50's.  Sheesh.....we've been putting the row covers on 2 garden beds and everything out there is doing great. Tomorrow I'll be harvesting a butt load of lettuce...and the lemon grass.

 Sweet dreams all. Life is good here on Honeysuckle Hill, and my trust in the process has been renewed.  My faith in humanity is at an all time high.

  And I am going to  slip under that big quilt and snuggle up to my husband and be grateful for the life I have...


Monday, November 5, 2012

 Ahhh...this picture kinda looks like my road. Maybe a little more colorful. But the same beauty, nonetheless.


  It's a beautiful rainy fall morning here on Honeysuckle Hill. About 40 degrees, so not too cold. I've been out to let the chickens into the run, pulled the row covers off the garden beds (we're down to 2). The others are cleaned up and ready to be mulched for the winters nap. The Irishman spent some rather productive time out there this weekend, considering that we had Things To Do. lol  He also made some repairs to the chicken run cubby hole--let me explain that our chicken run is a re-purposed dog run that is butted up to a garden shed.  There is a cubbyhole on the side of the shed where they used to keep puppies (I'm guessing)'s a little square, about a 3x3 foot cube. Just a little place to get out of the rain.  Anyway, the chickens had torn up the floor of it and pecked through to the ground. I was worried about possums or raccoons getting in there from under the shed.  So--he fixed it, with a new floor and some reinforcing boards.


  Had a lovely time at a friends this past Saturday for a fall potluck and bonfire. Saw some great folks I don't get to see often.  It was a diverse group of people and yet we all got through an entire evening with no arguments, no hurt feelings and NO discussion of politics. Thank God.  We were there for over 6 hours, which is a long time for me to be anywhere. lol  Got home around 11 PM.  Sunday was a pretty laid back day for me, as all the standing and sitting and walking down the hill and up again a few times at the bonfire put me in a world of hurt by Sunday morning. Oh well. It was worth the price to get to socialize and be with friends. We took my baby sister out for lunch yesterday and she and I spent some time together chatting before I headed home for the couch and  a heating pad. lol  And I holed up the rest of the day. It was chilly yesterday, but not too bad. Then when the sun went down, it got downright cold.  Coupled with the time change and it getting dark so early,  it felt like a time to hibernate and lay around with a good cup of tea and some comfort food. I couldn't decide for the longest what I wanted to make/eat for supper. I sort of wanted soup or chowder or something. The Irishman nixed almost every idea I came up with, lol.  Sometimes with a shake of his head, sometimes with a raised eyebrow.

  Here's what we wound up with. A dish called  Trouchia.  It's basically a frittata, an unfolded omelet of sorts. But this one was so awesome, and I made Mary's scones to go with it, along with some country gravy.  The dish itself is almost (but not quite!) caramelized onions,  minced garlic, ribbon sliced chard (or kale, if your husband goes out to the garden for chard and comes in with a big bowl of kale...sigh....) 6 eggs, shredded parmesan and romano cheese (recipe called for gruyere and parmesan but I didn't have that, and this was a great taste anyway).  You cook the onions until translucent, then add the garlic and greens. I added about a teaspoon of honey, to sweeten the kale a little, since it wasn't chard (lol). Cook this until tender and then add fresh ground black pepper and sea salt.  I did all this in my big cast iron skillet, by the way.  It is a well seasoned skillet, so I wasn't too worried about the eggs sticking badly, even with all the cheese. I scrambled the eggs up nicely, added about a cup of the parm/romano mixture and then poured it into the skillet, over the top of the greens/onion mix.  I used EVOO to saute the stuff in, and added a little extra before pouring the eggs in. Give it a little stir to combine things nicely, then turn down the heat and let the eggs set. Top this with shredded parmesan cheese, and stick it under the broiler a few minutes. Oh. My. God.  I made some country gravy to go over the biscuits while this was cooking and the result was magnificent. The combination of those onions and the slightly sweetened kale was to die for.  The next time I make it (and there WILL be a next time...) I'll take pictures of it before it comes out of the skillet. It was gorgeous. The bottom is a golden brown, the top is gratineeed and it is a sight to behold.  Here's what leftovers looked like this morning...(It was prettier hot out of the oven...) But still nice.

 Good stuff...


   Gonna be a laid back kind of day, I think.  I have a waffle iron that I need to take back to Goodwill...won't heat up. Thought I was getting a deal, lol.  I might wait and take it tomorrow though, since I'm gonna be out and about anyway. I'll have to see how I feel. I was up til all hours last night, hurting and not wanting to go in there and rock and roll and wake the Irishman.  I finally gave in and took a pain pill and went to bed about 2:30. Feeling a little rough today, but it will pass.  Didn't help that I only got about 4 and a half hours of sleep...but I can take a nap if I want to...or if I need to. And the way I feel right now, I'll probably need to.  I also want to go to the little country store here in  Woodburn (where I live) and get some more honey. They have a 6 pound jar for 18 dollars and it is really good. That's a good price around these parts I can't  remember if I told you about that honey--it's local (within 65 miles) and tastes really strongly of lilacs. Or something...but I'm pretty sure I have decided it's lilacs. lol  These people buy lots of bulk natural foods and distribute it locally to markets, to the health food store and lots of places.  It's an interesting little business they have going...and seem to be successful enough at it.

  Okay...I might do laundry, or I might just go lay down a while and see how I feel. The doggles are all sleeping here inside where it's warm and dry.  Most all of their cat friends are too.   It's a low key morning here at the Hill....hope you all have a wonderful day.....


Thursday, November 1, 2012

A new month...on our way to the end of the year...

  Doing lots of menial labor today...labors of love, actually...trying to get myself back into an "Attitude of Gratitude" and start this month off right.  So far, I have got bread going, vacuumed, straightened and cleaned slipcovers, taken down the sheers and washed them all, done another load of laundry that is dog blankets and afghans and such...I've hauled pumpkins out to the compost pile, gathered eggs, tended my flock and am getting ready to go out and sweep the front porch in that futile exercise to try to keep some of the leafy crap making it's way back into my living room. One of the blessings of living out here is that there are so many trees...and one of the curses this time of year is that they are EVERYWHERE.  lol  I have changed the dining room tablecloth to a new one I bought last year at an end of the season sale (January, maybe??) that is quite pretty and has a border of pumpkins and l;eaves all down the front and back of it. I got out 2 of the newer placemats that are that beautiful russet color  ( maybe not russet--not all that much brown in them, but definitely a beautiful fall color.) and put up my little Give Thanks pumpkin between the candles to remind me to be grateful every day.  It is a warm-ish day here on the least 60. It partly cloudy, and all the critters but one cat are outside enjoying the weather. (They hate the vacuum too, of course). lol


  Ah--the dryer has stopped. Let  me get those things out before they re-wrinkle.  Okay. Folded and put away, transferred another load from washer to dryer and started the last load.  Time to get out there and sweep that porch...but, maybe I'll sit a spell first.

  Going to a womens meeting tonight at 7 and meeting up with a couple of friends. That will be nice and much needed. I don't go out much at night if I can help it...usually just too much with supper and all. And I'm tired. lol  But in a minute I'm going to throw together some spaghetti for supper and I'll eat and be gone by a little after 6. I need to make myself get out of here sometimes or I'll find myself not leaving Honeysuckle Hill for days and days at a go.  That's only a bad thing if I've let my panties get in a wad about something, like I have this trip. This non-trip. The getaway.  lol   And it has robbed me, this resentment,( the way resentments have a way of doing), of any peace in this life of mine. And nothing is worth that, really.  And I was thinking this morning that I need to let it go and lose this headache I've had since the event. 

  Sigh...I know better than this.


  SO now my little home is cleaner (still a lot to do) and the world a little better for it. My world, anyway.  I really need to get all those deck plants out of my mudroom and bring in the ones I think can survive in the house and just let the rest go. The rosemary is definitely coming in. And the big coleus and the geraniums. They all are in dire need of watering...

  And today is the first of November, which means that NaNoWriMo has begun. I wrote for a while this morning and am happy with what I have so far.  Even have a title already, which surprised me, because that doesn't always happen for me so early.  I wrote maybe a thousand words. It's like that sometimes...the words just fly out of you and then other times, you can't string together a sentence.  Wish me luck--we'll see how it goes.  

   I'm starting to smell the bread...made a multigrain french bread to go with the spaghetti.  I guess I'll nmake a salad too--had salad last night with  white chili and buttermilk biscuits. It was quite good. If I make another salad today, I think I can go pick more lettuce for the fridge. There's a lot of good looking stuff out there...and beet tops and chickweed and kale and spinach and chard...and pea greens...I had no idea how tasty those leaves off the snow peas are !  Great stuff for salads. In a month or two, we'll surely be missing that stuff...

  Last night I beefed up the salad with sunflower seeds and fresh sliced pear. I found one poor little carrot in the garden and had some green onion tops that I used too.   Tonight's salad will be a simple green salad...nothing fancy.  Salad, spaghetti and warm french bread...does it get any better than that?

  K--I'm off to sweep the porch and then I shall take a shower and fold more clothes and  and watch a soap opera while waiting to eat my dinner.  Then I'm off to meet up with the girls....

Happy November, everyone !!