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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'.

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
\o/
/\ 
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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rambling On

Walk with me awhile.  I'm bored with gardening and mowing lawns so....come along, ramble with me.
 So, I can't decide.  Do I like the green of the Reedgrass, or it's tassels?  I can't decide so I will like the entire patch along my driveway.
 The Speckled Alder can be seen from some distance, 
if you know how to see it.  It's the color purple, dark but bright, that gives itself away.
 Within the thick bark of the Basswood, are pinhole-sized holes drilled by a wood-boring insect waiting within, to finally hollow and destroy this ancient beauty.  Then comes the woodpeckers in search of such tasty morsels, such is the life cycle of this particular tree within our forest.
 The clouds captivate me.  The dark V and the cottonball clouds look like Big Bird to me, lying on his back, just floating along for the ride.  Phew, he just missed those powerlines.
 The Hemlock trunk and roots below, are at our cabin, overlooking the creek.  It's become a favorite place to sit and read, watch the woods and the creek, explore.  The Grandkids take turns crawling throughout the roots.
Look below.
Do you see the confused Flying Squirrel?  These velvet-coated rodents are nocturnal so to see them out in the daytime, there's a good reason.  This particular fella was looking for his home, being blind in the daylight.  His home was in a dead tree that had tumbled down in a storm.  He did find the hollow of his home eventually, as it lay on the ground.  Most likely, he will find another hollow much higher off the ground again.
 Look closely by clicking on any of the photos and you will see much more.  The green rock is full of moss, shadows and lichen.
 The rock below has a surprise.  It appears to be the fossil prints of perhaps a raccoon.  I love happening upon these treasures.
 And check out this freak-of-nature find...it's a rock within the trunk.  Apparently the tree grew ' around ' it.  I've seen this before, especially along a river bank, like this one.  Cool, heh?
 Tattered old buildings always catch my eye.
 This one has eyes of broken out windows and an eeriness
about it.  I wonder what those walls would have to say about 
it's youth?
 Legend has it that this old trappers fort was one of the first established along the northwest shores of Lake Superior.  It's logs were caulked with mud and clay, ceiling, very low and much ventilation.  It's now at a wayside/rest area just north of 
Ashland, WI, not 45 minutes from my home.
 I'm sure the caulking of the cabin was done after it was moved.  It isn't too likely that a nail would have existed back in 1696.  or am I being a skeptic???
This has just been ' me ' taking a reality check.
I've been so busy gardening that I needed a reprieve.  
It was fun finding a few pictures to share with you that really had nothing to do about nothing, just a rambling of my mind.
Now ' that ' could be dangerous.~~~
Hope you enjoyed the walk.
I know I enjoyed your company !

Sunday, August 24, 2014

R & R ~ Rest and Repair

From sun up til night fall, I've been 
hangin' out, doing ~ not much of anything ~
except taking photos, 
 enjoying visits from my grandkids and their folks,
 doing a little sight-seeing from Lake Superior's shoreline,
 to the north fork of the Flambeau...
 taking walks down the cabin roads,
 and picking veggies and zinnias from my garden, ~
 and finally helping make my first 2 gallon jar of 
Garlic Dill Pickles, Green Beans, and Carrots...
anything, I say, ANYTHING, I could manage with one hand ~
~ while ~
waiting for THIS to finally heal ... and what fun ...
 I apologize if these photos make you squeamish but you don't know how wonderful this looks to me.  Finally, I can feel my fingers again and use my left hand.  I'm a ' lefty ' so it's even a bigger thrill.  This is the result of carpo-tunnel repair of the first surgery from over 20 yrs. ago.  I'm as tickled pink for the success as my hand is as it regains use.  Now, to get the swelling down a bit more so I can put my wedding band back on...I miss it.
I missed you all but now I can type with both hands again.  You still won't see me often this time of the year, however, as the garden is beginning to bounce back from the hail damage and I have vegetables to process.  I'm still reading your entries but also not writing quite so much just yet.  

Thank you all for hanging in there with me and commenting in spite of my lack of appearing anywhere.  You're good folks.
Loveya
Dar

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Change

 The Raspberries are picked and jammed, jelled and frozen.
 The Bleeding Hearts have finished their bloom as the foliage dies back,  just like the Bluestars next to my sister's home.
 Most all of the new generation of birds have taken wing and are no longer depending on their parents to feed them.
Our gardens are bouncing back from the hail storm a week ago and now it's time for me to rest awhile.
I'll be taking time off from blogging for a few weeks
but will still be reading what I can.

Have a wonderful ' end of summer,'  hustling to get a few more weeks of vacations in before fall takes hold and sends your scholars back to school.

Until the next time...
Bless You All and enjoy every second of every day.
(((Hugs)))
Dar