Monday, August 21, 2017

Frozen Treasure Hunt

Cleaning out my chest freezer is proving to be interesting.  I have found all sorts of things I had forgotten were there.

I knew about the gallon bags of cranberries.  I have been putting off dealing with them, I suppose, because I knew the work involved.  But I finally dragged them all out and thawed them.  I intended to make juice to can, but the recipe I use calls for much lifting of heavy pots and straining of berries and time standing on my feet stirring.  My physical limitations put the brakes on that idea.  So I just filled jars with the thawed berries.  I used plain water instead of the usual sugar syrup.  By canning them in water I can use the cranberries multiple ways - for cranberry sauce, in muffins or cranberry bread, or I can make juice, a couple of jars at a time.  I wound up with 20 pints and 20 quarts of whole cranberries.

I found seven one-pound packages of yeast.  Those I stacked in my closet pantry.

I also found a bunch of those small snack sized Ziploc bags full of chopped onions.  I thawed them out, cooked them until they were translucent, packed them in half pint jars and pressure canned them for 45 minutes.  I got 7 jars of onions.  I usually use my dehydrated onions for cooking, but these canned ones are handy for when I need onions for dishes like hamburgers or meatloaf.

The next projects are a stack of quart freezer bags full of pumpkin puree to be dehydrated and a layer of quart bags full of sliced apples to be turned into applesauce.  Those are going to wait a few days until the latest arthritis flareup subsides.  Until then, it is quiet time for this chubby granny.

I can hardly wait to see what treasures lay underneath the apples.  :)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Just Because I Can

My youngest son, David, stopped using Facebook a while back.  He said he was tired of posts from a few friends and relatives that were dedicated to Trump bashing.  I understand why he just eliminated that hassle from his life.  But David was really good to post pictures of his family.  I missed that.  So when he and his family stopped in the other day, I whined.  I asked him if he wouldn't reconsider just enough to post some pictures for me.  He did.

This is Boston on her way to dance auditions to see which team she will be on this year at the dance studio where she is in competition dancing.

This is Maddie Mae just being Maddie Mae.

This is Jacob at the end of the summer baseball season, with his other grandparents.  I'm so glad they can go to his games to cheer him on.

And this is Oreo with her favorite squeaky toy.  She is just so stinkin' cute!

David's sister Jill posted this photo of my grandson Zach at Aviation Camp in July.

I love it when my kids post pictures.  It helps me stay connected to family and that's important.  So thank you David, for indulging your mother and going back on FB long enough to give me more pictures.  And thank you Jill, for all the pictures of Zach.

Love, Mom

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Flying South

It is a lovely day here in southeastern Minnesota.  Temps are in the high 70's.  The sun is shining.  I have windows open to let in the soft, summer breeze.

We have a large number of Canadian geese here.  They fly south usually in late September and October and return in the spring.  But today I have heard the unmistakable honking of several fairly large flocks of them, all heading south.

I wonder if they know something we don't!

Monday, August 14, 2017

It has been quiet here...

in my little corner of the world.

I guess the nut jobs were congregated in Charlottesville, busy with beating each other to a pulp and doing their best to run over as many as possible with a car.  Didn't seem to slow Chicago down much, what with 5 dead and 22 injured in shootings over the weekend.

But in my world, laundry was caught up, floors were mopped and scalloped potatoes and ham were consumed.

The politicians are trying every way possible to blame each other for the grievance of the day.  I don't pay attention to them any more.  World leaders are rattling sabers and making not so veiled threats to one another.

But in my world, brownies were baked and grandchildren were properly hugged and the words, "I love you, Grandma" were heard.

The headlines still scream gloom and doom.  Nearly every crime and perversion is touted in bold type.  And nothing changes.

But in my world, raspberry pancakes from a mix given me by my grands (along with a jug of real maple syrup) made a memorable breakfast this morning.

Often I find myself wishing I had exciting things to write about like so many other bloggers do.  And then I take a look at the world around me and quickly decide that I am perfectly content with my life here at my little apartment.  Nobody tries to shoot me.  Nobody tries to run over me.  I get to see my youngest son and his family when they stop in after a day at the local arboretum.  I get to spend time with my oldest son at least twice a week.  My daughters are close by as are the rest of my grands.

I get to do what I want when I want, which usually includes a damn good cup of coffee and a mystery book.  Or time spent doing things that make me happy like sewing or crocheting.  Or canning and dehydrating.

I will take this less than exciting life any day of the week.  :)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fabric Fondling and Other Pursuits

'Hello.  My name is Vicki and I am addicted to fondling fabrics.'
I wonder if there is a 12 step program for that.  :)

I have spent the last few days pinning and sewing and marking and cutting fabric.  One quilt top is nearly finished and two more are in the works.  Photos will be posted when I have finished them.  I hope to spend time working on them over the upcoming weekend.

But until then, it is time to get on with the food storage thing.  I don't think I should put it off any longer, considering that the North Korean lunatic is threatening to nuke us either at our military bases in Guam or here at home.  Might never happen, but with a loose cannon like that, you just don't know.

At any rate, there are 24 lbs. of butter melting on the stove in preparation for canning.  There are about a gallon and a half of Great Northern beans (the ones the bugs didn't find) to can and two gallons of cranberries thawing to can whole.

So I am off to spend some quality time in my kitchen.  If you don't hear from me in a couple of days, send in the Rescue Squad.  I will be the chubby granny buried under a stack of canning jars.  :)

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Other Day...

my phone rang.  It was my brother.  He was about two minutes away from my apartment.  I urged him to hurry.

We had had a phone conversation a week or so earlier.  He wanted to know about my physical condition.  I assured him that I was doing alright, considering.  That wasn't good enough.  He had to come and see for himself that his big sister was OK.

We have a long history of little brother looking out for his sister.  Kelly is 15 years younger than me.  When he was about four years old, he spent quite a bit of time with me and my young son.  At that time we lived in a rented house.  The landlord was an grumpy old man who liked to yell at people.  That landlord had yelled at me for something long since forgotten, but he did it  when Kelly was with me.  The next day my mother discovered Kelly with pockets full of rocks.  When questioned about the rocks, he said they were to throw at the mean old man who yelled at his sister.

Once Kelly had seen for himself that I was getting along just fine, we sat at the kitchen table, drank coffee and strolled down Memory Lane.  And we talked of his kids, my kids and all the grands.  It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Kelly  wanted to know if there was anything that several thousand dollars would fix as far as my physical condition is concerned.  I told him no.  I told him that the best I can hope for is maintaining.  He remarked that I seemed so happy.  I am.  I have made peace with the facts of my situation.  Mostly I am just content.

We don't get to do this very often.  Kelly lives at least a 4 hour drive north of me and his job takes him further afield for months at a time.  When he was getting ready to leave, he expressed regret that we couldn't do this more often.  I told him that he knows how much I love him and I know how much he loves me.  And that is enough.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Apparently...

plants growing in pots on windowsills have a shelf life.  All were doing well.  They were starting to put out blossoms.  And then.....they keeled over and died.

I noticed all was not well when I saw that the blossoms would start to open and then they just withered and fell to the floor.  And the leaves began to curl up and fall off.  And those plants standing tall sort of leaned over and gave up.

But I had fun trying to grow veggies in my window sills so it wasn't a total loss.

Oh...and my harvest?  One bean.  It was delicious.

So now I am cleaning out the pots and putting them away until spring.  It gets too cold in the window sills in winter for plants to survive.  Come April or May I will plant things that do not need blossoms to produce food, like lettuce and spinach and beets and maybe celery.

I have one pot of bell peppers that is still healthy.  I will continue to care for that one just for the fun of it.  Like I have said before, it takes very little to keep me entertained.