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Within the confines of this blog, you will find bits and pieces of the life and times of myself, my family and friend dear and near., far and wide, few and far between. You will find bits and pieces of my world, tho small to some, but huge to me. You will find everything from 'soup to nuts',; recipes, hobbies,crafts, gardenings,loves of my life, GrandLoves-a-Plenty, and even my pets... Sooo, if you can handle family life, enjoy the tour of my 'Stuffings'.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Still Dreaming

all photos in this entry are borrowed from the internet, thank you.
 I've been dreaming again...
I'm still yearning for a, wait for it, wait for it,
just like the yellow one,...
still dreaming.
 One I can enjoy while basking in the sunshine
during our long, long winter days,...
one to bring a new year in with...
a place for that perfect Charlie Brown Christmas Tree...
still dreaming.

 Look, here's a dream of a sunroom for my daughter's
large farm house, wouldn't that be dreamy?

I'm still dreaming of the day I can curl up in my Crazy Quilt,
just like this one., while I carefully cut~
 Snowflake Ballerinas .
One can dream, can't she???
I'm reminded by my dear, once again ~
" Don't rush me," he says.
So I dream on.
Hmmm, shall I hire a carpenter?

Have a fun weekend  and

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

' The Hunt '

Are you one that is driven by ' The Hunt?'
 This past spring, I had the honor of scouring throughout 
an old barn.  There were treasures everywhere like weathered old doors like the one leaning above, inside a barn stall.
There were a number of antiquated chairs, each with their own charm, barn charm, in this case.  I'm partial to the blue one.
 Look who caught the corner of my eye...
well disguised on a fallen leaf as I walked by him
trekking through the woods.  Was he hunting too, for a place to burrow into the mud for the winter?
 OK, back to ' the hunt.'  Lying on the loft floor of the old barn was half a round table top that will later be made into a side table.
 What do you think ~ a trap door or a hay hole cover?
One thing I knew for sure, I loved it, especially the handle.
 These are old piano panels, left to be re-purposed, I suppose.
The keys and inner workings of the piano were later found all charred on a burn pile.  What a pity.
 On another ' hunt,' this beauty of a woodstove was found.
Bill helped to lift and load it later, for it's trip to a new home.
Notice the door ~ angels or eagle's wings, mountains and trees ? 
Inside the door of this grand primitive stove was a thick roll, I mean thick, roll of money that went with the stove.  Hmmm.
  My guess ~ a test of trust.
Back in the barn were more treasures such as these 
cross-glassed windows. I'm in love.  
 Mirrors are always a great find., especially when they are
plate-glassed.  They still are the most treasured to me....
heavy, strong, long-lived.  This one came off an old dresser.
Even antique re-bar can be re-purposed into something useful.
Tho none of these items came home with me,
I know they will all be put to good use sooner or later.
I simply enjoy ' The Hunt.'

Thanks for hanging around while I turned a few antiques over and checked them for sturdiness, usefulness and charm.

Maybe, just maybe, 
my next hunt, I'll bring something home to work on.
For now, I have plenty of projects in my own barn
that need dusting off and enjoyed in our home.

Enjoy ' The Hunt ' if that's how you roll.
Until next time, keep it wonderful, fun and safe.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Harvest's End

Late into Sept. and we were harvesting potatoes on a sunny day.  Bill dug them with his homemade digger that he pulls behind the tractor.  Next ~
 since my bender doesn't bend so well I can still handle the tractor.
I do the driving of Lil Blue while Bill fills the bucket with the spuds.
Back at the house, the potatoes are rinsed the first time while still in the bucket of the tractor. 
 The bucket is tipped slowly, that's my job, then poured carefully on the self-fabricated screen.  After they are sorted and the last of the dirt is sprayed off, ( we both do that ),

they are left to dry in the breeze before ~ we start

 sorting and bagging.  They are left in a dark corner of the garage until we finally move them to the cellar in the basement.  Normally, we store them right away, but this year, our basement is damp from all the fall rain we've been getting.  In the meantime, we have been warming the house on cooler evenings to help the drying process along plus fans.  
 This year's harvest includes German Butterballs, a few Yukon Gems, All Blues and Purple Vikings.
 The onions suffered some of the hail damage on their tops.  They've been sorted, brushed clean  of the garden soil and 
 braided for winter's many meals.  There are 5 braids all total and a small onion sack full of the one's without a stem long enough to braid.  The bruised ones were cleaned and salvaged what I could by chopping and freezing for hot-dishes.

I apologize for the length of this post, but I promise this is the end of our gardening and harvesting.  The apples too, were hail damaged so most of what we picked was sauced and made into pie filling.   

 Who needs an apple picker when you have~
 the real deal !  Bill trusts me to lift him as high as the tractor bucket will go so he can hand pick as many apples as he can reach.
 Sad, but most of these were so badly damaged that they became deer food.  I couldn't even make sauce out of all those bags of apples.  The basket and bucket were the best we could do....such a treat, at that.  
Our harvesting is nearly done.
Today I canned the saurkraut that was fermenting in the garage.  I only have last season's photo  ~ sorry, but we got the same amount.
Oh, and
we were blessed to save a total of a dozen pumpkins...mostly pie pumpkins that I baked off, pureed and stored for later use.
And that's it folks.  My pantry is full, the freezer is stacked to the top and I have no complaints.
We have no control over the weather so we are just very grateful for what we 'were' able to salvage.
Amen to that for God is Good !
Have a grateful week dear friends and family.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The ' S ' has Returned

I guess all I can say is...Dag Nabbit !!!
 Yes, you're seeing it, all right ~ that nasty white stuff.
Bill didn't even get his easy chair off the deck yet.
 Just a couple days ago, 
 we were enjoying the beautiful scenery across the road and
the gorgeous Sugar Maple in our yard around the treehouse and the barn.  Woe is me :/
 My favorite tree by the cabin no longer sports it's
Red Coat.  I'd much rather see these vibrant colors we've been blessed with the past couple weeks than ~~~
 THIS.  Go away ' white stuff falling from the sky.'
BUT, on the brighter side...
I've once again dragged out the canning supplies, 
 you know, all the things that make life easier for this domestic diva and her dear hubby.
 In the past two days, I've whipped out 51 pints of Raspberry Jelly, 18 pints of Pickled Beets,
5 pints of Pickled Carrots, 11 quarts of Canned Apples ready for pie, and another 7 quarts and one more pint of Applesauce.
Phew, I'm tired but it's a good tired...a feeling of accomplishment.  Next time I will show you what else we did this week.  We feel like little squirrels and the birds, storing food for a long winter...so we've been told.
THAT, I'm not quite ready for tho.
So it goes in our great north woods where we happily choose to make our home.  The changing of the four seasons is actually quite OK with me.

Have a great weekend.  I'm going to snuggle under the workings of a warm shawl with my crochet hook and some yarn.  What are you going to do?  Whatever it may be, may it make you happy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Makin' Due

Last week I told you about the hail damage we had that destroyed most of our gardening efforts of the year.  Well, we have to make due with what we've been given so... with the split cabbages ~
 we made sauerkraut !  
 Our damaged cucumbers, what we could salvage, we made
cucumber salads, 
 pickles, and relishes.
 The apples were knocked to the ground from every tree, so
we made applesauce, frozen apple slices and juice for jelly.
 The tomatoes, peppers and onion tops were badly damaged.
Make spaghetti sauce !
 And tho this next picture is from last year, with a perfect squash,
this years squash got ' squashed.'  So did the pumpkins, but 
' No Worries.'
Make PIE !!!
 So many times in my lifetime, as a child and still today,  I've heard it over and over again...
" Make due with what you have. "  
I've heard those words out of my parents mouths so much
that, I know they knew it from experience.
They have taught me well and I so appreciate the childhood and 
life I had as a country girl.
As for today and the rest of my life,
I will always be a country kid, even in my Sept. years.

Lovin' Life as it Comes
Makin' Due

Thursday, September 4, 2014

We Haven't Given Up ~ Yet

What can I say?  We have sure had our run of rains and now, once again, ~~~~HAIL !
 Our son calls from work this morning at 9a.m. warning us to put the vehicles under cover, there's a storm due to hit with large hail within a minute or two.  Not one minute later, the sky turns black, the air is calm and WOW, the winds and hail hit us Again !!!
We were the lucky ones.  We still have power, of which folks across town and to the west, including at the farm where my mother lives, my brothers, all 3, and a few sisters, had trees go down, but no hail.  Just east of my TX. sister that just moved north in June, there was a tornado that touched down but no one was injured.
 Considering all the ' what if's ' we tend to think about when weather turns mean, I'm glad to only have piles of hail on my doorsteps and a loss of my gardens, this time, looking more gloomy than a month ago when we were hit by our first hail storm.
 My carrot tops lay flat on the ground, but the carrots under the ground should still be very productive.
 We lost our red chard.  Every stem lays in the mud, some of the leaves stripped right off the stem.
 The cabbage heads split as they were pelted with hail stones.
The leaves have so many holes, and they just lost their 
' pretty appeal.'
 Tomorrow we will be making sour kraut and if we're lucky, 
a pan of cabbage rolls for dinner.
 Click any photo for a closer look at the damage.
The kale is stripped also with just the center ribs standing.  
The majority of the leaves lay deep in the mud and water.
 I almost cried to see the green peppers I'd left to ripen
til they turned red and sweeter.  I will salvage the little bits 
that are left for soups and homemade pizza.
 Even my flowers, the zinnias and cosmos, took a beating.
 You can also bet that I'll dig the heirloom tomatoes
out of the mud, wash them thoroughly and still enjoy them.
We already have lost so many tomatoes from the first hail storm, the centers rotting as they'd try to ripen.  Like I'd said last time,  I WILL be buying tomatoes...again!

 We will attempt to stand the corn back up, tho doubtful.
The ground is so saturated and their roots are so loose.
I think we'd best pick what we can and call the rest of it 
another loss.  But, how we love sweet corn cooked within 
ten minutes of being picked.
 What we both agree with, is that there will be no pumpkins to sell this year.  It's a shame but we cannot sell hail damaged goods. 
Besides, what the hail did not get, ---
 the deer did.  There are at least a half a dozen of the little darlings eating every bite full they can get.  Do they know something we don't?  Is this going to be another bitter and long winter?
Usually the deer don't start chewing on the produce until it's ripe.
 This last photo shows 3 of the vises of this years pumpkin growing.
One, the black foliage is loss of growth from the first hail storm. 
Second, tho nearly ripe, this sweet pie pumpkin is also a ' deer ' favorite.  Dang it. and
Third, there is hail damage now to this 2nd growth of foliage which will now die back and not allow cover for the pumpkins.  Any leaves covering the pumpkins 'does help' keep the deer away.
They do not like the stickers on the leaves.  No leaves, thus
easy pickin' and lip-smackin' snacks for the deer.
Though it doesn't look hopeful for us to have anything marketable for our pumpkin/gourd/flower/Indian corn wagon this season,
we haven't quite given up ~ YET !
So it's goes with this year's gardening in our part of the world.
We won't be eating a lot of this year's produce.  It's times like this that I'm grateful I'd made that extra jar of canned tomatoes 'last year' or frozen an extra bag or two of chard and green beans.
We are always blessed for our efforts, one way or another.

Stay Safe and Thankful