Monday, December 1, 2014

Monthly 9 Link Up

I missed this link up at the end of October as I was busy getting ready to take a little trip.  This then will encompass two months!  I too am having a hard time believing that once again December snuck up on me and now I will spend every spare minute getting ready to send gifts to the kids and Mom since we are continuing with the handmade Christmas this year!  (I still think someone is removing a few days from my calendar as my years are getting shorter!  It's probably the government!)  So here goes for October and November -

Beautiful pine tree after the frost.
Nourish- Ahh, the weather gets colder and my soups get thicker!  I confess we are soup lovers even in the heat of the summer.  Summer soups though are clear broth or cold soups.  Winter soups are thick and chunky and sometimes even creamy!  I try to make it through the whole summer without turning on the oven and then the minute it gets cold the oven begins to call to me and urge me to use it!  The bread dough comes out of the machine and goes into the pans in the oven, cookie dough is in the freezer just waiting for an excuse to come out!  I also took bags of home canned goods to the kids this month.

Prepare- Oct/Nov was rotate month for us.  All of our canned goods that we keep on hand for emergencies like snowstorms and bad roads and power outages  (and EMP's - we are those kind of people!) need to be rotated in and out of the storage.  We like to pull them out before they get to the use by date.  This has become an annual thing and it works well to do it in November as it helps to kind of save money on food in December when something always comes up!  So we have eaten a lot of canned veggies and some canned meat.  We buy new all during the year so it is not a huge expense to replace.  Each year we have less and less store bought emergency food and more and more home canned and preserved.  During this last storm when it fell so hard and fast the road crews never caught up, we didn't want to brave the treacherous icy roads and didn't leave the house for a week.  What a good feeling to know we didn't have to worry about food (and toilet paper - always have extra of that) and just concentrated on staying warm and snug!

Reduce- I am going to share a little of what my mother is going through right now and for that last couple of weeks as a cautionary tale.  My mom and her two sisters have to go through Grandmas house now to get it ready to sell.  They are cleaning out every nook and cranny and it turns out Grandma and Grandad may not have ever thrown anything away!  Canceled checks from 60 years ago, a bank book from before they got married in 1931!  So there are my mom and her sisters going through all this collection of stuff - Mom says she will go home and immediately start going through her drawers and only save things that are valuable from a monetary or sentimental view AND she will write down why they are important!  Let this be a lesson - make it a habit to look at all the things you keep and imagine someone going through your house saying "Oh my - why do you suppose she kept all this?!"  :)

This is the barn on my great grandfathers farm!
Green- I have eliminated all but a couple of my industrial cleaners in favor of vinegar, lemons and vodka (not to drink!) mixed together in various incarnations and strengths. 

Grow- Although growing season came to an abrupt end this month I managed to get to my friends house as she was going through and thinning her flowers, she gave me peony roots, day lily bulbs and hollyhock, morning glory and sunflower seeds!  We expanded the garden this year so next year I am hoping we will work more on landscaping and adding some flowers.

Create- The creative process is all secret this month as I have no time to do anything but gift work until it all gets done!

Discover- This month I am reading "The Makers Diet" by Jordan S Rubin and his journey from health to illness and back again.  It is a real eye opener on how sick processed foods can make you if you are susceptible! 

The Mausoleum
Enhance- When my friend and I were in California we made an effort to continue our Find A Grave work and took photos of several headstones in cemeteries that their relatives will never get to visit.  We had fun and did our part for family history!

Daddy (holding her), Miss Lily and Uncle Niel are dancing!
Enjoy- My trip to California was the highlight of my month, getting to see the kids and the lovely granddaughter, traveling with my good friend and doing the tourist thing in an area we both knew fairly well.  We even went to the awesome Mennonite Central Committee Quilt shop in Reedley CA, it is definitely worth a stop if you are ever in the area!

Well that about catches me up and be sure to check out the other blogs at this link HERE and see what everyone is doing.  Onward to December, and it is now time for Christmas Carols!


  1. Kathy, just as well you were stocked up with food...and toilet paper! I am growing a Peony but something is eating the leaves which is such a shame as it cost over $16 for the bulb. I didn't know we could even buy them here but saw them in a nursery so my son bought me one for my birthday. They are such beautiful flowers. Mine will be eaten before it flowers though at this rate :-(

    1. That's just awful! I hate when you know something is eating them but can't find the little buggers! Peonies are just so pretty and they smell sooo good! I had no idea that my friend gave me such an expensive gift!

  2. I love reading about other people's preserved food tiding them over. I'm very new to the preserving journey. It's funny but people in Australia don't preserve meat. Too scary maybe? Aren't you lucky to be given plants by a friend. It gives the garden history and makes it much more personal.

  3. Hello, joining you from Linda's blog, its so interesting to see what you're up to on the other side of the world from me! Similar but different :) nice to meet you!

  4. Hello Kathy, nice to see whats happening when the weather gets cooler for Christmas instead of hotter! I too like the thought of preserving my own food but only ever get to bottling apples and tomatoes….although I manage lots of frozen pesto! And I am at the other end of soup season, which means I'm glad to see the end of them!!
    All the best for the festive season!

  5. Wow, fancy being snowed in for so long, we get snow but not enough to close the roads completely. How wonderful to be able to eat all your own food despite not being able to get to the shops!