Friday, November 25, 2011


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We sure did.  After two days of cooking and cleaning, I am exhausted.  So much for vacation!!  But it was all worth it.  My daughter and her fiance came over, as well as a friend of theirs who is now a friend of ours.  There was a lot of good food (I guess I learned from my grandmother to make too much food), good conversation and a lot of "ahhhhhhhs" after everyone's belly was full to the brim!

Now we have a ton of leftovers and will probably still be eating turkey and dressing until Christmas :-)  Which will be here before we know it!!  I think I may try to make some turkey stock from the carcass...I am just afraid we will have too much of it!  I roasted a 23 lb. long will turkey stock last if I can it??  Well, it all depends on how much energy I can summon up to even attempt the canning process for it.  This has been a jam packed week with work, cleaning and cooking, on top of the everyday chores of taking care of all the animals - pets and livestock.  As well as trying to get through it all on the 3rd anniversary of my father's passing.  But, I did make it through...and got everything done.  One more hurdle, the dreaded birthday, and I am home free until Christmas.

There is much baking of Christmas cookies, gifts to finish making, shipping the gifts, on top of everything else to get through in the next few weeks.  Then it will be New Year's!!!  Wow....this year just flew by.

Enough rambling for me...time to go out and help my better half split some wood.  Have a great day!!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Since Thanksgiving is in a couple of days, I thought I would share our traditional Thanksgiving feast and invite you to do the same.

  • Roasted turkey - we got a 23 pounder this year.  We like to have lots of leftovers!!  We will also have 6 people for dinner.
  • Whipped mashed potatoes - after being mashed, add butter and milk and whip with the mixer
  • Sausage dressing - I always make a double batch as it seems to be a fan favorite - my secret?  Use 1/2 regular sausage, 1/2 hot sausage....sage...and for the bread cubes, I use 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat.
  • Green bean casserole - though I do not eat it, when my husband and I got married, this was something he could not go without on Thanksgiving, so I make it for him
  • Broccoli with cheese sauce - fattening, I know...but oh so good!
  • Winter squash - I go on a search every year here in the south to find the frozen block in the grocery store, to no avail.  So this year I am making it from scratch using butternut and acorn squash.
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Crescent rolls
  • Pickles and olives
  • Homemade pumpkin pie - made with sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated...I know, same as the cheese sauce :-)
  • Homemade whipped cream for the pie
Someday, I hope to be able to make this meal with more from our own garden and possibly livestock.  But for now, I will make the butter and whipped cream, bake the squash myself and mix it up.  The rest came from the grocery store, but everything is made with something that you just can't buy in the store....a whole heaping helping of love and being grateful to be able to prepare this meal for the people I love, know they are well fed for a day, and be able to spend it with family and friends. 

I hope you will share your traditions too!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This time of year....

Is difficult for me at best...I lost my father 3 years ago this week...right before Thanksgiving....and my it is a very sad reminder when it should be a happy time for me.  Well, the birthday part used to be happier when the number wasn't so big!!!

However, I am still thankful for how many years I was able to share with him before he passed.  I am also thankful for all he taught me over the years.  A lot of which I am able to put to good use here on the homestead.  Learning how to stack wood so it would dry; loading it into the basement through the window to use in the wood-burning furnace we had for a few years.  How to start the fire in it; how to clean the chimney and the pipes; what kind of wood to burn.  I may not chop the wood with an axe like he did, but I have respect for the logs - the size and heft - and how they will split.  He also taught me how to be careful when working with tools and how to do it safely.  These things are important when you are operating a high-powered log splitter and watching how the pieces will fall off the unit so you don't end up with a broken foot.  It doesn't matter if I am just using a Phillips head screwdriver or a table saw, pay attention, don't overwork the tool and put it away when you are done.  Important stuff...

I used to work alongside my father no matter what he was doing.  I think it was my thirst for learning by doing.  He showed me how to work all manner of power tools - radial arm saw, table saw, skil-saw, drill press, and non-power tools - screwdrivers, wrenches, ratchets, and the list goes on.  I helped him build picture frames, doll houses...was right by his side watching as he fixed things around the house.  I used to help him sort his nails, screws, nuts and bolts into baby food or pickle jars that he would nail the cap to the underside of a board and then screw the jar up into it.  He taught me how to paint and stain.  He showed me the basics of car maintenance - checking and changing the oil, changing a tire, how to check a radiator without getting 3rd degree burns, how to change windshield wipers.  He always had the time to teach if you wanted to learn.  I am glad I took the time to learn and had the opportunity to spend so much time doing it with him.  Even in my later years, before I met my husband, I would call and ask for his knowledge to do something around the house or ask his opinion about something.  And he always made the time.  Special memories for me.

He may not be here, physically, on Earth anymore, but I feel his spirit close to me and still feel his hand guiding mine and can hear him helping me through life.  Still...after all this time.  And it is very comforting.

If I had it my way, he would still be here.  But some things are out of our hands...and the mere fact that he is no longer suffering is good enough for me.  I miss you Dad and love you.  Always.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whiny Wednesday

  • is going to be in the 70s or the 50s????
  • Dark, dreary and rainy today...yuck!
  • Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK?!?!?  ALREADY?!?!?
  • We need more chickens...this 1 or 2 eggs a day is not enough (from 4 chickens!)
  • I need more vacation time....can I just take off the rest of the year?!?!  Not...
  • Is it ever possible to get "enough" sleep?
Whine away everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday

  • 99........100!!  Wow!  This is my 100th post!
  • I wanted to have some killer theme for such a momentous occasion, but alas...I've got nothing...
  • So after some very low overnight temps last week (got down to 29F one night), my shrubs began shedding their leaves...the high for today is going to be now they are growing new leaves!!  I guess everyone (and everything) is just plain confused nowadays :-)
  • Had a nice, long 4-day weekend - took a vacation day, Friday was a holiday.  How much did I get done?  Not very much!  In-laws were in town so we did some family partying :-)
  • I did get to operate a skidsteer - not just drive it up and down the driveway - I attempted to run into a pile of dirt and scoop some up...was able to achieve some degree of success - but it will take a lot more practice to get it right!
  • My husband spent the weekend fixing the driveway - we had a section that wasn't draining properly so he dug it up, repacked it with the big gravel, took down a tree so he could trench the side of the driveway better, and then tucked it all in with some crusher run...cross your fingers that it works!
  • Cooked my first acorn squash the other night for dinner - I may have to try to grow these next year.  Cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, placed in a pan with an inch of water, put butter and brown sugar in the middle, covered and baked for a little over an hour....DELISH!  Although you all probably knew that already :-)
  • Hope everyone has a great day!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Take It Easy

This weekend we kind of took it easy.  The only "major" thing we did was fix the chicken run.  The other night, we had a rain storm come through that didn't dump a lot of rain, but must have packed some pretty high winds.  The next morning, there was a significant amount of leaves on the ground and no longer on the trees, and the tarp we had covering the run was ripped and hanging off one side.

So today we got another tarp and put it over the run.  The girls did NOT like all the strange noises coming from the tarp scraping over the chicken wire we have on top to keep hawks out.  They kept running and flying all around trying to escape the noise.  But once it was done, they were a lot happier!  In the spring, we are going to put a roof over the run.  My husband is researching a new kind of roofing material called Ondura.  Supposedly it withstands the sun very well and doesn't break down as quickly as the plastic or fiberglass panels.  But it is a little on the pricey side.  And since we will have another semester's tuition, property taxes and the holidays to pay for in the next 6 weeks, the roof will have to wait until after the New Year.

We were going to split some more wood, but didn't.  We were going to cut up some more pallet wood, but didn't.  I guess we all need a little down time after go, go, going all summer long.  It's not like we are low on wood, just wanted to stay ahead.  We have been using the wood stove overnight as the temps have been hovering around freezing and also in the morning to take off the chill until the sun rises high enough to shine in the windows.

I hope everyone remembered to "fall back" this morning.  I forgot all about it until I got my Farmcast text from The Weather Channel.  I thought it was 8:10 AM, but it was really 7:10 LOL!!!  It was nice to have that extra hour - didn't feel so rushed to get nothing done today :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Whiny Wednesday

  • I REALLY hate my commute sometimes
  • Didn't get home until 8:15 PM last night - almost 1-1/2 hours later than I should have
  • It's NOVEMBER already?!?!
  • So much to little time
  • Whine away!!