Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Slow Living Monthly 9

I can see the evidence of fall but just can't believe the summer went so fast!  I was in Missouri at the begining of September so am going to include two months worth of info and doings.

 Here is our slow living monthly link up for September. 

Nourish - The oven can now come back into use!  We do not have central heat or air conditioning and I sort of pride myself on not turning the oven on in the summer so as not to heat up the house more than needful.  I tend to get real excited about the cooler weather and the fun of having an oven again!  Made pull apart bread and homemade cookies already.   Have gone back to bread baking in the oven.  (In the summer the bread is made in the bread machine as a rule)  As the weather cools down the oven is used more and more and helps to heat this part of the house a little extra.

Prepare - Since  I knew I would be gone in August, I did most of my canning and pickling in July, fortunately the weather and the harvest cooperated.  Hubby became a master at freezing tomatoes while I was gone - we have bags of tomatoes with onions, or garlic or peppers in our new freezer!  (I still think he bought the freezer at that moment because he was afraid I would ask him to water bath everything!)  I will not complain, a freezer is something I have wanted for a long time, and it doesn't matter why we got it, it's there.  Since I got home (September 10th) I have finished off the cucumbers by doing a batch of dill
Cucumbers and corn on the same stalk!
relish, and taking the Armenian cucumbers to Bible Study and forcing friends to take them home with them!  While I liked the flavor, and they were very productive I will not plant them again as they just took over the garden and even ended up climbing my corn stalks!  (Hubby and I referred to them as our "zucchini crop" for the year!)  There are still a few carrots, a couple of cantaloupe, a watermelon and a few hardy tomatoes left in the garden.  The herbs did grow back after the cutting I did on them in July and this week I will start bringing them in to preserve for the winter, before we get a frost.

Reduce - I recently did a post on my "granny squares of grandmas yarn" which uses up all the old scraps of yarn she had.  I have also dug out my old skirts from several years ago when I dressed up for work and church.  I like skirts and jumpers etc, and have just gotten out of the habit of wearing them.  At our new church more of the women wear skirts and dresses so my project this month is to do alterations on the skirts so that they fit the body I have at almost 60 rather than the one I had at 40! (sigh...I suppose you guessed I am not making them slimmer!?) I am cutting off the tops and adding yokes and elastic waistbands.  I haven't tucked a shirt in for years and this will add years more life to these outfits that I spent good money on at the time to get quality goods.  Pictures will be forthcoming. (if it works)

Green - I have run out of ideas for this category, we have just done the usual, composting, recycling etc.

Grow - Ah, the "close in" woodpile, growing and ready for winter.  The rest of it is out in the barn and will be used on days when it is not too cold or wet to go the distance.  Keeping a supply close to the door makes the 'blizzardy' days a little easier.  I know there are those who do not think that wood stoves are very 'green'.  Let me make my case - The wood we buy is from fruit orchards that are being cut down to make room for young new trees, our wood stove is EPA rated at the highest efficiency (when we are burning you can't even see smoke coming from the chimney!) - last year we heated our home during a very long and cold winter on just a cord and a half of firewood!  So let me know if you disagree (nicely please!)

Create - All of my creativity recently has been focused on my crochet hooks or my sewing machine!  I am in the process of creating a new website that is requiring me to relearn the html that I knew a few years back and then forgot!  This is a family history website and will hopefully give me enough space for the whole lot of it!

Discover - During my time in Missouri I joined the Putnam County Genealogical Society and read the entire 2 volume set "A history of Putnam County".  It has histories submitted by families in the area and stories about local landmarks from newspaper accounts etc.  I have a hard time convincing my kids or husband that this was an 'awesome read' but it's OK, someday people will call me eccentric and they will just be old!! 

Enhance - My time with Grandma and Mom was my 'enhance' time this recent period.  I feel so blessed to have been able to help get grandma get out and about and take drives and go visiting.  Grandma has continued to get weaker and is failing now, she is pretty much bed fast and ready to go home to be with the Lord.  I hope I can help now by encouraging my mom and making her laugh now and then, I am so glad that mom is able to make this effort to see that her mom remains at home till the end.  (so proud of her...told grandma she was lucky - she gets to be 102 and her 80 year old daughter is still in good enough shape to take care of her!)  It probably won't be long now though and that is a good thing.
Home of a champion!
Enjoy - We went with friends to the Boise "Tour de Coop" tour of urban gardens and chicken coops.  There were 7 houses on the tour and each had interesting gardens and different kinds of hen-houses.  What fun to see all the decor and planting ideas. we even got to see the Western Idaho Fair Grand Champion Rooster!  Very cool of these families to open their yards to a bunch of strangers, we had a lot of fun and learned a lot about backyard chicken raising. (this is an eventual goal of ours) The houses ranged from the edge of town up in the hills to right downtown in high density housing and from 2 to 10 birds.  We learned about the laws and regulations and about keeping the flock warm in the winter.  A good time was had by all, and we even won a door prize! (a cool cookbook and a dishtowel/oven mitt combo with...you guessed it- chickens on it) 
The bridge across the river and hubby
Hubby and I also went fishing on the Snake River (OK he fishes and I take a crossword puzzle and my crocheting - and of course a lunch!) The fish were not biting but the day was beautiful!

Be sure to check out the other blogs on the Monthly 9 here

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Case of the "Myehs"

While there is a mystery title in there somewhere (the case of the....) what I am really suffering from is more along the lines of the blahs, but a little different, perhaps more like a fugue....Sigh!  See this is where I have been since getting home from Grandmas.

First there was the ankle; while I was taking photos of the cemeteries in Unionville and the surrounding area, I had a mishap.  I was not watching where I was going and stepped in a hole.  (not the big kind in a cemetery; the kind gophers and voles make!)  My ankle twisted, I heard a terrible popping sound and sat down immediately (because I couldn't stand up)!  Many things were running through my mind at this point - "I think I broke something, I can't call Mom to come get me as I have the car, I refuse to call emergency and try to convince  the ambulance to come to the graveyard."  Lucky for me when I did decide to stand up it was a little sore but ok to walk on.  So I did, and I got back to the house and it swelled up quite a bit and I soaked it in Epsom salts and then just went on doing what I was doing, a couple of days of limping and then it was just sore to the touch but ok to walk on, I figured I bruised it on the outside of my leg.  I walked
At least the brace goes with my slippers
through more cemeteries, ran the wheelchair up and down the hill to the house and went up and down the stairs several times a day.  Since it was still a little tender when I got home I decided to check it out and go to the doctor, she sent me for x-rays, I have a transverse distal fibula fracture!  This is not bad as it is half healed already and the doctor said to wear a brace for the next 3 weeks or so.  Somehow it seems worse now that I know what it is! (Sigh)

So I sat down and started to finish some of the crocheting that I had going and Hubby (bless his heart) decided that I needed to stay off of my ankle as much as possible so he started fixing meals and doing dishes, and I sat too long and started feeling 'myeh', like you do when you've been sick and not able to do stuff and..... I think I'm about over it!  I need to get going again and the weather is cooling down and I am feeling more energetic.

Look what I got done on the "granny squares out of grandma's yarn" though!  These are the yarns that grandma gave me and I thought I would use in my first granny square afghan.  I now have 31 done and will just keep making until I run out of yarn and then stitch them together!  Part of the fun is that only a few of the yarns match or coordinate so some are patterns and some are solids and it's been fun to figure out.

So I think my battle with the Myehs is about over and I need to dig out warmer clothes - Hurray!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Home Again Home Again Jiggety Jog...

I am home safe and sound and it is a good thing, even though I shed a few tears at leaving my Mom and Grandma.  :)  I come from a long line of weepy folks who can't say goodbye without tears!

In my 5 weeks there I managed, I think, to be a daily help (cleaning, cooking etc), took care of a couple of projects (scrubbing the deck, fixing the shower head) and helped Mom redo the upstairs bathroom. (stripping the wallpaper, spraying texture, painting, new towel bars and new shower curtain and bar)  I also managed to take a lot of photos of cemeteries for Find-A-Grave.com (over 100) crochet the last of her yarn into 15 granny squares for my 'Grandmas Yarn Afghan', and came very close to completing my needlework.  (sometimes watching grandma consisted of actually just watching her breathe when she was having trouble).  And of course with me as 'muscle' we were able to get grandma out for a drive or shopping or to the beauty parlour six times. 
Visiting her sister in law Uarda

The completed bathroom

During the time I was there we also did some cleaning out of her craft drawers.  I can tell you that my grandma is a pack-rat!  She actually used so many everyday items in clever ways that she was somewhat justified in saving all of this stuff, but the rest of us aren't that clever and some of it had to go!  She had yards of fabric that us girls (the cousins) split up amongst the two of us who sew, and thread, pattern books, patterns she sent for 'mail order', zippers she took out of old clothes to use in new, iron on transfers, blanket binding (for all the baby blankets she made over the years), snaps and buttons, rick-rack!  I will brag a little here about my skills in packing, I took two suitcases (pilot bags) there and mailed a flat rate postal box and got home with all of the following (including of course the clothes I took there)-

The goal was to only take things I knew I would use and to not have to spend more money than it was worth to get it home.  Grandma was hoping that we could put all her stuff to good use - so we will try.

 Part of her quilting 'stash' came home with me

There is 7 and 8 yards of these fabrics for quilt backings, one of the stores in town sold out and all of these were pennies on the dollar.

Some are just quarters and some are already cut in 2 and 3 inch strips.

Some of her books like these are from the 40's and 50's,

Lots of buttons and thread- some of this is really old, one of the eyelet packages has a drawing of a woman with a corset! Snaps, and overall buckles, needles and crochet thread for doilies, I even have her old thimble and little snip scissors!

And her quilting books and patterns, some of these are her templates for quilts I have seen.  Does anyone else remember Capper's weekly?  It was a old newspaper that catered to the farm family,  well,  grandma used to order patterns from them and some of them are here. (Capper's is still around as a bi monthly magazine celebrating rural life)

All of this has to be put away now and every now and then I will pull something out and use it and think of grandma which is how I think she wants it to happen. 

Aack!  I need a tissue again! sniff...