About Me

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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'.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

So Lucky To Be Confused

I know, what is that photo anyway, you may be wondering.  Quite frankly, I still wonder ' exactly ' what it is.  I did finally figure out  tho, that it has to be a picture my camera snapped while I was a lot ' out.'  ( Normally I choose not to write about my aches, etc, but this has a real purpose, so tag along if you wish, or not. )

That's where I've been the past week, come Sunday afternoon, out of it, way, way out of it.

The colors were changing, my back and leg were feeling quite well since the epidural injections in my spine, so my dear Bill asked if I wanted to ride along to the cabin on the 4-wheeler to check the trail cameras.  Of course, I wanted to ride with.  We love the changing of the colored leaves and the nip in the air.

We were checking out the trail that passed the apple trees to see if  maybe, any of those survived this spring's frost.  They did not.

I was looking at every pretty tree in the woods but had not taken a picture since coming out of the woods.  The trail is a little rougher.  Besides that, I was not riding where I usually do.
Normally, I ride ON the seat with Bill, but this time I rode on the hunting cushion, ( which had a wooden bottom that was hitting me in the tailbone ), anyway, that was the reason I scooted up on the back rack where the cushion was strapped down for my GrandLoves to ride on.  ( That's changed too.  No more riding on the back cushion. )
Anyway, because the cushion base was irritating my ride, I sat ON it, thus, my feet and legs were stretched out with no support to hold me on if we hit a bump in the road.  I thought it would be OK.  We were moving at a snails pace that even I could have walked faster.

What happened next, happened SO fast, and I got knocked a little silly for a while.  Remember, we were on a rough section of what actually is part of a logging trail where trees were dragged out of the woods, so there were ruts, deep 3 ft. ruts and inclines to climb up and down.

  I WAS hanging on but got flipped upside down anyway.  Bill sounded half a mile away, as he was yelling, are you alright, are you alright, can you move, can you get up?

Finally, I was starting to come around to know where I was, I thought, but still could not figure out, why can't I hear Bill more clearly?  Then it dawned on me that my face was  in the dirt and the muffler of the 4-wheeler, was spitting exhaust all over me.  No wonder I couldn't hear him.  The 4x4 was still running, Bill holding the brakes tight, yelling, if you can move at all, you have to work yourself away from the back of the 4-wheeler.  He told me that there was no way he could let go of the brakes or turn off the machine without the tire of the 4x4 backing onto my head.  

It took awhile, tho I was terrified to move, I knew I had to do as he said if at all possible.  All of this took minutes but it seemed hours.  The pain in my neck and shoulders, I was afraid., but prayed it would be OK.  Bill kept telling me it would be OK. too.

Sure enough, as soon as Bill tried to move the machine, it rolled right back where I had just been laying and the tire Would have been on my head.  

When I flipped off, I did a back-flip, landing on my neck and right shoulder.  My lower back must have hit the pile of brush that was in that covered ditch because it still is doing alright.

Why I shared this incident is, Always go in immediately with a neck/head injury and get a doctor's opinion.  I did not go in for 4 days.  Stupid me, stupid me.  I thought it was more important to be around when the Potato crew showed up on Tues. to help pick spuds from the test field.   Oh, I was there but should not have been.

Nothing is more important than taking care of yourself, if not for you, for those that love you.  

By the 2nd day and again on the 3rd, I was throwing up, another sign of a serious brain injury.  Apparently, I'm one of the lucky ones.  I only ended up with a concussion but could have broken my neck.  Thanks God for the leaves and branches God had in that deep rut.  It did cushion the blow a bit.

I still have terrible headaches, see double sometimes, and have to be very careful how quickly I move.   It's a week already and I'm still nauseous.   Back to that snails pace.
For 2 more weeks, there will be no heavy lifting over the weight of my glass of water, and no traveling, no riding anything on uneven ground, no walking on uneven ground, no activity that involves jarring my brain any looser in my skull than it already is and no bending my head back or forward too far.
Apparently, after the xrays, doc decided I'm to seriously lay low, but not by the way of resting under a 4-wheeler.

Seriously, I had no helmet on, never have, but should.  
                 I was only hanging on with one hand, so Stop to take 
ALWAYS Go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room for proper treatment.  Don't be a fool, and try to treat yourself.  This required more that an ice bag and a bandage.  

DO Ride Safe   I will not be on here for awhile.  I just wanted to share the NO's and Wish you all safe returns.  Take it from one of the lucky ones and Be Careful Out There.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Try Again, Sun

What a gray day.  The sun was ' trying to shine,' until, finally, 
 after many attempts to get more outdoor work done, 
           it decides to rain, hard, then a sprinkle, then hard.  And yes, briefly, the sun ' did ' shine.  I knew it would.  
I was mending jeans, hemming, taking in seams, down-sizing a few blouses when I heard the rains pounding the deck once again~~~I couldn't help but think what a comedian God is.  I actually laughed out loud.  We ' do ' need the moisture and I ' am ' glad it wasn't snow.
 All the while, Bill is trying to get the last load of dry wood in the basement...believe me, it will have to dry again, in the basement.  Oh, the pleasures of burning firewood to keep our butts warm all winter.  I'm not complaining, it's the warmest, most consistent heat and we do not mind working for it.  ( It ' is ' getting old tho, if you know what I mean...or is it just ' me ' getting old?)
 There is always a lot of ' scurrying ' going on around here each fall.  We are like little squirrels gathering nuts and mushrooms and bits of apples to keep them fed all winter, and leaves and straw to keep them warm in their burrows.   Only for us, it's putting up so much produce from our gardens and firewood from our woods.  We are fortunate to have the privilege, in spite of all the work.  I keep saying that I haven't done much this summer, but truth is, it's become so commonplace for me to stay busy, that I don't realize the extend of the tole it takes.

 I feel ' rushed ' this time of the year, as the leaves begin their transformation from green to gorgeous., rushed to get the jars filled, the freezer full, the breads baked.  But then, finally, at the end of late fall, finally I can rest for awhile.  That is until, it all starts all over again.  It keeps me grateful for what I have., what we have.
Life is good and God made it that way just for all of us.
I'll tuck a prayer in there for all of you, for rest.  ~Night~

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Everything is cold and frozen.  The frost has rested on the 'punkin.'  The field has been white in the morning...for the past few days.  The succulents have survived but are cold to touch.

 Even the Zinnias have lost their brilliance to the 
                         touch of frost on their petals.
           This is my last bouquet, sad but I just Had To cut them.

There is 'one' glimmer of hope for this cool fall...isn't there?
It must be the smell of Apple Pie and Pumpkin Spice.


Monday, September 17, 2012

' As Luck Would Have It'

Really, either I'm letting age catch up to me or I'm just plain tuckered today.   Fall is such a busy time when you grow a garden and tend the acres.  My basket is always waiting to be filled.
 Besides the many loads of basil and parsley for drying, there were beans this year.  It's a first for me. I planted Yard Long Beans, thinking we'd like them for the table similar to a green bean.  This variety, however, disintegrated into a mushy, tasteless mess.  So, I thought I'd try letting them ripen as a dried bean.  Let me tell you, fixed this way, cooked until soft, salt, pepper and a little butter, what a treat.
 They are time consuming to shuck but so worth it.
I think I will try making baked beans out of these soon.  By time I pick and shuck the rest of them, I should have a couple quart jars full of dried beans.  That works!  Tho very tasty, I haven't decided if I will make space for them again next year even tho they were grown on a fence.
 I pulled my last celery stalk.  WoW~with the root end cut off, it still stood all the way up to my hips...they all must grow this way.  By the time I cut the leaves off for drying, chopped the small ends and trimmed the stalk, it was still larger than any I've seen in the stores or the organic farms.  I'm very pleased also, that the flavor 
so sweet and enhanced with our first frost.  These will definitely find a spot in next summer's garden.
 After brining a rack of ribs and bacon for a couple of days in brown sugar, salt and water, Bill started the grill on low, chopped an apple branch for soaked  shavings to provide more flavor, and 7-8 hrs later, what a delicious supper of pork ribs we had.
 The thicker chunks beneath the ribs were the slab of bacon which we cooled to room temperature, then popped in the freezer for a few hours to make it more manageable to cut on the slicer.  The taste of fresh bacon in the middle of winter will sure be a treat.
 My fall days would not be complete without staring at more, .................you guessed it, to-ma-toes!
 For a while, I had eaten so many that my mouth was getting sore from their acidic side.  Today I just canned them 'regular,' plain, easy-peasy will pleaseme!
 Now, about my luck...they, whoever they, is, says that if you see a Praying Mantis, you will have good luck.
First of all, these little fellas are not supposed to even Be  this far north or west.  I have seen them on the East coast, to first realize that they are aggressive, defensive little jobbers.  I can attest to that.  Out in Jersey, one once would not let me pass my window.  OK, I argued, you are not going to win this one because this girl has  got  to  get  to  work.  It kept jumping toward me and since I didn't know any better way back then, I let him fool me for awhile....finally I just screamed and ran past him....he was about 8 inches long and those eyes....
 They really are kind of creepy-looking with those spikes for shoes and double speared rears, ready to pounce on their next meal...they are meat eaters, so this fella could really have feasted for years on this ol' gal.
 He kept flaring his wings out and up, twitching those forks on his butt and rolling his eyes, all the while, not getting off the gate so I could get into the garden.  So much for ' good luck,'  I'm thinking.  He finally did move over and off the gate to let me pass but he kept one of those many eyes on me at all times.   I did the same. 
 Maybe I Did have a bit of luck, for look what I spotted in the brush...my first sighting  of Winterberries, and it's only September.?  These, too, are early to arrive.   When the leaves drop, and if the birds don't beat me to these, I will have some red for my Christmas decorating....did I say Christmas?   You did not hear that.  It's only September.
Thanks again, for listening to me ramble on.  You are a peach for taking time out of your busy day to stop by for a chat.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Hurry Inside, It's Coming

Hurry inside, where it's warm, 
it's that time of the year when the air is cold
crisp, the sky is clear, stars bright,
but so chilly already.
 Thanks to a couple of the boys, 
the tender planters on the deck and the tomatoes
were quickly covered to protect them from
frost that is predicted for the next 3 nights.
During the day, the blankets come off mid-morning
as the sun warms the plants once more.
 In the meantime, the most vulnerable houseplants are invited in,
the tomatoes are picked, again and again, until the last box and basket are filled.  Look behind the Aloe and you will see the edge of another 25 lb. box of tomatoes.  Still, there are so many to ripen in the sunshine.  So much more work to do.
 I can hardly bring in my entire Hydrangea bush, 
so a bouquet comes in before the frost which will brown them before morning light.  The frost always bites the beautiful Hydrangea first thing.
 The array of colors and the size, oh my gracious, the size of some of these are larger than a dinner plate.  Magnificent!...
 and the colors.  My oh, my again.  From snow white to greens to pinks, all on one bush, one bloom, one outstanding show this year.  I am so happy.  There were several blooms that were basketball sized which I sent home for my Daughter-in-Law.  They are her favorite fall flowers, so she had to have some.
 If you are wondering, YES, the greens, pinks, whites, are all from the same bush and YES, these colors are true to life.  I'm so pleased to have saved just a handful before they are browned by morning from our bitter first frosts of this fall.
 Even the old '89 Ford F150 has been performing it's fall duties by delivering a coffee can full of corn to the deer and turkeys in the middle of the woods where they are undisturbed, for a treat.
Also, they were gifted with corn stalks and cabbage leaves tonight.  Lucky friends of the forest.
 One thing we do not have to protect from the light frost just yet, are the pumpkins, squash, cabbage, carrots, rutabagas, beets, or even the last stalk of celery.  All of these will benefit in sweetness from a frost.  The root crops, except potatoes, can actually be left in the ground all winter, provided with a cover of straw.  I do not do this, as I do not favor chipping my way through frozen ground for a carrot, but it can be done.  I have to draw the line somewhere.  No need for my dear man to get any silly ideas after 32 yrs. of wedded bliss as of today.

 Tonight's frost is supposed to be for real, already it's 39.4F.
We will definitely be seeing more colored leaves 
by the weekend.  I see a color tour around the corner.
For now, the woodshed is full, the pantry is pretty,
the freezer was organized today, and we are nearly ready....
Ready like a chipmunk, filling her nest with food and warmth
for another 6 months or more of bittersweet winter days and nights.  In spite of it all, I would not want to live where we could not enjoy all 4 seasons.  Awww, life is good!

Thanks for stopping by~~~~
Stay Safe and Warm

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pumpkins, Squash, Cabbage Red

It's been another busy day on the acreage.  Before I knew it, it was nearly noon, a little banking, and more work called me to the gardens.
 First stop was the pumpkin patch while Bill cut more firewood.  The patch happens to be where he was cutting so he helped me once again.  Ya gotta love that man.  Some of the pumpkins are a bit green yet, but will ripen to golden orange in no time, even though we decided to cut them early.
 Besides some early cold nights, the animals  have started to taste-test the flavors before them...sorry deer, turkeys and bear.  The Grands want these.
 It's funny how one thing always leads to another task.  Before putting the majority of the pumpkins in the barn windows, I needed to get there~~>to the windows.  There were swim toys to put away, floor to sweep, planters to store.  Finally, an hour later, my corner of the barn/storage looked pretty good so the pumpkins could be unloaded.  Phew, some of them were pretty hefty.  They sure are pretty.
 Before parking the 4-wheeler and trailer, (my workhorses), I thought I'd see how the north garden was doing.  There are Red(purple) Cabbage to tend to also.  Look at the difference, tearing the outer leaves from the head...Beautiful color.  I fried a chunk of thinly sliced bacon and onion, thick shredded half a head, steamed them until tender, added a thickener of vinegar, sugar, cornstarch and water and  WOW, that was a delicious side of Sweet Sour Red Cabbage this evening.  We are so spoiled to be able to go out the door, across the yard to the garden, pick what we want and enjoy.
 The test field of German Butterball Potatoes are producing fantastic, buttery rich-tasting spuds.  We notice they are the last to finish but our favorites in flavor of the four varieties in the test strips.  
 We think the boss will be pleased....now, to see if he wants to contend with all the rocks in our field and do this again next year.
 The stripes on the Colorado Potato Beetle make him easy to identify.  Thank goodness he was only 'looking' because these fellas are long gone by now.
 Last, but by no means, least, a peek at tomorrows delicacy for the table.  We are trying this Buttercup Squash, my absolute favorite of the squash family, with it's deep yellow orange flesh, so sweet baked whole, then gutted, mashed with butter, salt, pepper and for the super sweet tooth, a little maple syrup drizzle.
What are your favorite, gotta have some, veggies of fall?  If you are gardeners or not, everyone must eat their vegetables.  Carrots anyone, for your bright eyes?


Friday, September 7, 2012

Skeptical and Sure

I have become very skeptical of my own judgement.
I used to be sure of the wild mushrooms in our woods, but that was way back when I took the care and time to do spore counts, so I do NOT claim to know any of these that I found by our cabin.
   My sister at UpNorthWithMel still picks and eats native mushrooms, and she's still with us, so I guess I shouldn't be so chicken....oh, now Chicken Mushrooms are a delicacy, and yes, I've had them.
 I'm really hoping that Mel can help me out here and identify any of these., particularly the first bunch.  Without knowing for sure, they look similar to the Honey Mushrooms that are sought after by those who know for sure.  What scares me, tho, is their similarity to the Ceasar's Fiber Heads which are deadly poisonous.
 Are you beginning to understand my skepticism?...
 Maybe I will try some wild mushrooms again when and if I know I'm about to die, cause it just won't matter then, will it, whether or not I kick the bucket.  Besides, they're ridden with tiny microscopic bugs that I just do not care to ingest just yet.
 Check out this carefree 'schroom' jutting straight out of the tree, horizontally.  I wonder if it's going to take an upward turn before it finishes it's growth.  
One thing about wild mushrooms, they are plentiful after a warm rain and, like wet fallen leaves, you can smell them.  I've noticed that the ones the mice and deer nibble on are usually, I say ' usually ' choice for human consumption.  But then, neither a mouse or deer, am I.
 One thing I AM sure of,~~~~~these are gorgeous zinnias!
Have a relaxing fall day and enjoy the sweet smells of pumpkin, carrots and spice....and of course, Apple Pie.