Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2014

I am Thankful!   I am of course thankful for my home, husband, children (soon to be grandchild), God, country etc.  This year I have been trying to be thankful "when you suffer divers temptations".  In other words - when things are not going so great.  There are more lessons to be learned from hardships and struggles than from clear sailing and ease!  While I am aware of this I have struggled with being thankful for it!  :)

So...this year I am listing several things I am thankful for and how they turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

- The second coldest January on record this year, the frozen water pipes and the high electric bill really 'lit a fire under our feet' (pun intended) to get our winter wood stockpile this year.  It is a very comforting feeling to look at the woodpile!

- The late frost that doomed our cherries and apples last spring also toughened our tomatoes and other things in the garden that proceeded to produce a real bumper crop this year.  Not having apples of my own also gave me the joy of spending an afternoon with a friend picking windfalls and 'left behinds'.

- I don't have a dishwasher and at one point in my life I would have complained bitterly.  I am thankful for the time I spend in front of my kitchen window watching the birds and the seasons pass.  It is calming and relaxing - and the view is lovely!

- Money has remained tight, we have neither one been able to find that part time job that would give us a little cushion, and without the cushion we are forced to evaluate and weigh the importance of everything we do.  We are a team in this (this is good), we have become so very aware of the abundance we possess and the things that we really don't need.  Our lives are richer because we only deal with important or satisfying activities that benefit our family or others, we don't waste a lot of time on things that don't provide a blessing to us or others.   (please read that last as being humble and grateful not arrogant and insufferable!  smile)

-  Family troubles sometimes seem insurmountable and then it all works out....our youngest son was divorced at the ripe old age of 22, now he and the wonderful little girl he married are expecting our first grandchild.  Our middle son struggled with drug addiction and poor lifestyle choices, he had been in rehab and jail about the same number of times...his last jail stint he rededicated his life to the Lord and has now finished his first year of Discipleship school, he is a changed young man.  Our oldest and his wife split up for a year, they have since reunited and are doing very well.  the things that appeared tragic have been turned into blessings.

I hope that more than just reminding me of my blessings and to be thankful even in times of trouble - that my litany has reminded you all as well of the many blessings in your life...sometimes we have to look for them and then wait a little but they are there!

First photos of the grand baby!  (looks like it's dad!)
Happy Thanksgiving!  May God Bless you and Keep you!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Checking Things off the Lists

I love lists, I love checking things off the lists, I love checking the lists and enjoying the check marks! I have been known to leave the list at home, or forget to look at it but it doesn't diminish my love of lists!  (I am blaming my mother who is an inveterate list maker for this little OCD in my personality!) At any one point in time I could have multiple lists going - currently I have a list for Christmas gifts to make, housekeeping chores and projects for church and clubs.  One of the lists has gone missing - oddly enough the one with the housekeeping chores on it - making me wonder whether if I had completed more tasks on the list I would now know where the list was!  :)  Yes I really do think about this sort of thing.  I should probably talk to a professional about this but it just doesn't bother me enough!  

The reason 'lists' are on my mind today is that I was able to check off TWO things on my lists.  THE DRATTED CURTAINS ARE FINALLY DONE AND HANGING!  Pardon the shouting but I really was on the verge of hating them if they hadn't gotten finished fairly soon!  Seemed like I kept running into problems and then the sewing machine would need work and I really was a little frustrated!  I started them in September!

The set over the laundry window

The ones over the kitchen sink 

I am fairly pleased with them - if you look up close you can see mistakes but I am the only one who really gets that close and I am not telling!  The batting that I used was one I had on hand and was a 'high loft', frugality said to just use it as I already had it, doing it again I probably would have spent the extra money for the stuff that would have been a little easier to work with and might have hung a little more even but this will definitely keep out the cold, and it is getting cold, it was 27 degrees a couple of nights ago (about minus 3 C)!  Doing it again I might not have used a pattern with so many obvious lines that should match up and I am pleased that it seems to match up fairly well.  I bought extra of the dark print so maybe placemats or toaster covers are in the future!  When I get over the curtains that is!  :)

The second thing to come off the list is the Apples - it took me two weeks but I finally put up the last of the apples and have applesauce and pie filling and slices for the near future.  Final tally - 21 jars of apples are now in the cupboard and I celebrated by mopping the floor 2 times!  (I really have made a mess the last couple of times and had spots of sticky all over the place that I couldn't seem to find until I stepped in them!)  

Curtains are up, apples are down and the floor no longer makes those awful noises when I walk on it!!  Feet are up, coffee is hot, chocolate chip cookies (only two) in hand and the new novel from Anne Hillerman.  (I loved her dads work and her first foray is very good so far.)  

Life is good!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


So my friend Ginger says "Hey you want to go and pick up windfall apples?"  She lives out near some orchards and they let people go through after the picking is done and get the ones that fell on the ground. We were a little concerned as there had been a couple of frosts already and we might have waited too long.  It was a beautiful day with huge storm clouds over the mountains and rain in the forecast.  When we got to the orchard we were surprised to find that there were a lot of apples still on the tree and we got very few off the ground.  Some were small and they were not very pretty but they were free!  It is much easier to see the apples when the leaves have fallen off already!  :)  We picked 15 bags, each bag between 10 and 15 lbs of apples.  Ginger was sharing with neighbors so she had 9 bags and I had 6.  The rain chased me home!  Here is my 'haul' washed and ready
Some are uglier than others - but they were free!

I made apple crisp that night.  Then I started on the applesauce and pie apples.  I boiled the apples with the peels on and then pureed them in the blender and it tastes awesome and you get to keep the vitamins in the skin, this was so easy!  (I hate peeling things!)  Think I will try for apple butter as well

Love the sound of those lids popping!
And of course it was my day for treats at Sunday School guessed it Spiced Apple Bread!  I took a chance on a recipe from the internet and wow was it good!  Click here for the recipe - it was moist and chock full of flavor.  I have learned to always read the reviews on these recipes and the reviews on this were good!  Now I agree with them!

A little butter and - heaven!

I am a little over a third of the way through my apples and already have 9 pints of applesauce and one and a half quarts of sliced apples in medium syrup.  Hubby and I will be eating applesauce with our pork chops this year.  What is traditional with applesauce at your house?

And the best part of course, for my frugal soul (cheap may be more accurate) all this bounty for the price of a half a gallon of gas and an hour and a half of my time spent with a good friend in beautiful country!  Can't beat that with a stick!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I'm having a few issues with the blog (no nav bar at the top and no followers or button for following) and in the process of trying to figure out the problem I got sucked into playing with backgrounds and fonts.  Please let me know if this is easier or more difficult to read etc., constructive criticism is being solicited here!  I should know better than to try to remedy these things myself but I just keep thinking I'm a reasonably intelligent woman - I can do this - there are instructions!  We'll see if it works out and in the meantime let me know what you think of the "furniture moving"!  I will also take any and all suggestions - did I just hit the wrong button at some point or are the computer gremlins after me?  I swear I didn't touch the government's Obamacare website - it's just a glitch!  If I get it fixed maybe I'll offer them my services (for a nominal fee of course). Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Slow Living October Review

Nourish – Colder weather signals comfort food time for me, we eat a lot more soups and fresh breads from the oven instead of the bread machine. What a nice feeling to use the harvest we put up when it was warm now that it is cold!  (note to self - comfort food has more calories - Watch it!)

Prepare – We have been checking the caulking around the windows and the rubber strips under the doors. Also working on 'door snakes' to keep out a draft!

Green – Hubby is raking the leaves now full time, we are trying to keep in mind how nice it was last spring to open up the compost bin and have lovely soil from all those leaves. Does it still count if I make him warm treats after he rakes? :)

Grow – No actual growing going on but we are growing our emergency food supplies a little at a time, we could currently survive a blizzard that keeps us housebound for a while or the more likely earthquake that knocks out power and leaves us on our own for a few days.
My partner in storage - I find his peanuts all summer long!

Create – My friend Anita and I spent a day making up instructions and an example of the Christmas ornament that the quilting circle will be doing at the November meeting. Lots of fun and lovely results. It was something I remember doing years ago and had forgotten, thank goodness for the internet!

Discover – Three of my friends from our Tuesday afternoon Bible study and I went exploring in Boise on a Saturday and wound up in Hyde Park (yes really) and had a lovely time at the bookstore, estate and garage sales, and then a picnic. The trees were glorious and the company was fabulous.
Picnic at the Old Penitentiary grounds - 'The Bishops House'

Enjoy – I am enjoying getting out the knifty knitter looms again, now that it is cold it is much more pleasant to have knitted things all over your legs!