Saturday, December 2, 2023

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting . . .

I can't guarantee you won't hear me some day soon bemoaning the fact that I've just had to shovel that pesky two-foot drift of snow that the wind regularly dumps across our door leading out to the front deck, but here it is this first week of December and we're still waiting for our first decent snowfall.  We've not had more than one or two weak flurries thus far.  No, our landscape doesn't look like the scene depicted in my current blog header photo taken a few years ago.  Our daughter did report she saw two rabbits in the woods a day or so ago wearing totally white coats so perhaps they know the snow is coming any day now.
I may have mentioned before that the Old Farmer's Almanac predicts a warmer and dryer winter season for us.  So far, gotta say they've been right on the mark.
Even though I have still been thinking it's autumn because of our continuing mild weather and no snow as mentioned above, in the last couple of days I packed away the Thanksgiving and all fall decorations.  I told Papa Pea it felt strange to be putting up the Christmas decorations but if one takes a good look at the calendar, Christmas Eve will arrive in a mere twenty-two days.  Eeeep.  And we all know how fast time flies.
Dear daughter has been experimenting making homemade egg nog (her dad's favorite holiday drink) and a knock-off Irish Cream (which her mother could live on).  The egg nog has been very good although I think she still wants to tweak it a bit.   We all agree the current batch of Irish Cream ain't gonna put Bailey's out of business.  We're so fortunate she loves fiddling around with recipes like these.  Not only am I in a period where I'd rather eat toast for every meal (with an Irish Cream chaser), but still have no desire to cook.  Period.  (I will confess to having taken a peek at our traditional holiday goodie recipes, however.)
Papa Pea is gone for the day so I'm logging in quilt room time.
Back to it I go.  I'm putting the binding on a baby quilt and then will listen to the audio book I'm in the middle of while doing the final hand sewing.  

Above is the quilt and although I didn't intend to make a wonky version of a Gay Pride Flag, I have heard comments that I did so.
Hope you're having a good day! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

It's All Hard To Believe

The calendar says it's the middle of November and we're having Indian Summer weather.  When I got up this morning at 5:45 the outside temp was 41.  Now in early afternoon, with a glorious sun having been shining all day . . . well, it must be in the 50s.
Shutting down for the winter months may be something we're ready for but with this kind of weather so late in the season, we can't justify doing it.  So outside tasks that we didn't think would get crossed off the list this year are being done during the short daylight hours in each day.  Ready for a rest we may be, but using this unexpected time to accomplish a couple more fall tasks is worthwhile.  As Martha would say, it's a good thing. 
* * * * * *
Recently my daughter noticed a small quilted wall hanging of an appliqued turkey I hung on the wall and asked if it was new as she didn't remember seeing it before.  "Gosh, no," I replied.  "I made that maybe about five years ago.  Or maybe even six or seven years ago."  Taking it down from the wall I looked at the date I put on the back when I completed it.  2003.  Twenty years ago.  Oh, my.  Where. does. the. time. go?
* * * * * *
I can't cook worth beans lately.  I've forgotten how apparently.  Nearly every meal revolves around something burned or missing an ingredient (or two) or it just has a strange (not good) flavor.  Same recipes, same methods of preparation but nothing seems to come out right.  Plus, danger, danger!  I walk away from the stove and leave a burner on.  I'm thinking the only sensible solution is to hire a full-time cook.  Yep, I need to be replaced with a newer model. 
* * * * * *
Friends are stopping in tomorrow on their way through to another destination so I should tidy up the house a bit.  But how dirty can it be?  I did a thorough vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing, cleaning . . . when?  Couldn't have been more than three or four weeks ago.


Sunday, November 5, 2023


Rain threatening to turn into snow tonight and through tomorrow had us scrambling today to get a couple of those most necessary tasks done around the homestead.
I lent my brute strength to help Papa Pea haul our sport boat to its winter parking spot, unload it from the trailer, turn it upside down on blocks and then store the trailer.  It's really only a "little" boat but both of us have taken some Arnica to make sure a couple of tweaked muscles while manhandling the boat around don't bother us or inhibit a good slumber tonight.
I plant Scarlet Runner Beans in the garden each year mainly for the beautiful display of red flowers they give us for most of the season.

Our daughter then lets the beans stay on the vines for as long as possible hoping they will dry naturally.  Most years she has to hang them inside her house to complete the process.

The bean pods this year grew nearly a foot long and were plentiful.

Then she shells the dried beans, puts them in one of her homemade boxes and gives them to friends as Christmas gifts.  They're really an attractive bean with their black and pink coloring.

Papa Pea found the time to sort through our apple harvest of a week or so ago.  Not a good year for our apples as the harvest was light.

Our best ones are from our crab apple trees.  Or I should say one of the two crab apple trees.  The one from which this apple came gave us an abundant crop.  The other one didn't do much at all.  I like that these crab apples are quite a good size, and they're my favorite for an eating out-of-hand apple.

Another reason the main apple crop was disappointing is that much of the fruit was afflicted with either bitter pit or apple maggot.  At first I thought it was bitter pit but by the appearance of this one I just cut open, it looks very much like apple maggot.  Papa Pea thinks we have both problems.  Ugh.

It just seems the right time of year for gingersnap cookies (there's a wrong time?) so that's what I baked late this afternoon.  It created a delightful aroma throughout the house and happiness in bellies.
There.  I did it.  A new blog post.  And my brain doesn't even hurt.  Much. 

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Thanks For Caring

It's undeniable that the calendar proves I haven't put up a new blog post in over a month now.
I've been truly touched by the concern for my well-being by you dear readers.  I'm glad to say that my well-being is intact, but I have definitely lost my blogging mojo.  It's gone, disappeared entirely.  Where or why, I cannot figure out.
Do I have writers' block?  Or the fear of posting boring fodder that's of interest to no one?  Is it rebellion against the time that sitting and using modern technology takes from actively living in (what used to be) a more personally interactive way?  Do I suffer from the inability to intelligently  share my thoughts and pictures in a post?
Yes, to all of the above.
My daughter has more than once said, "You should write about that on your blog, Mom."  Huhn.  Each time, I realize to do so has simply never entered my mind, nor can I summon up the will to do it even with her gentle persuasion. 
I'm not throwing in the towel and deciding to never blog again.  But how long it will take to unscramble what's going on (or not going on) in my head is up in the air.
In the meantime, know a couple of things:  1)  All of us are alive and well while continuing to live our much appreciated lives making repairs, doing maintenance and creating improvements here on our little homestead while having taken time for some new mini-adventures and recreational outings during this past gorgeous fall season, and very importantly, 2) I want to say it warms the cockles of my heart knowing my posts have been missed by those of you who have communicated with me.  Thank you so much. 

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Would You Follow A Different Path?

Here's a hypothetical question for you.  If you could go back to a certain time in your life and change the profession you chose, would you?  It seems to me that as we gain the knowledge and experience of years . . . well, if we had only known then what we know now.
When I left for college, my father told me there were only two professions I should pursue.  I was to become a teacher or nurse so I could always support myself.  (This was way back in the early 1960s, you should remember.)  I should forget any inclination to follow my "artistic" aspirations.
Although I never became a teacher or nurse (good thing for both professions), I did have a successful career working for a vice-president of a large company.  My pay scale was extremely good which would have enabled me to support myself, if needed.  I believe I did a very good job.  Was my work truly enjoyable or fulfilling?  Nope. 
I've always wished I had pursued a degree in Fine Arts or Interior Design or Drafting and Design.  (In high school I wanted so much to take the Drafting classes offered.  "Sorry," said the administration.  "No girls are allowed to take Drafting."  Oh-kaaay.  I no doubt missed the chance to become a famous architect.  Or not.)
That's my "if I could go back in time" story.
You're next.  Would you follow a different path than you did? 

Monday, September 25, 2023

Can You Stand One More Trip Through The Garden?

My second planting of lettuce still looks good, 
but is becoming a titch on the bitter side.

The coloring on the strawberry plants 
could hardly be more in fitting with 
this beautiful fall season.

With all our rain the last couple of weeks,
these slicing cukes got away
from me.  These are so big they're
bitter tasting. 

I purchased a special packet of
colored gourd seeds that
promised a big variety of
different shaped and colored
gourds for my
decorating purposes.

Ninety-nine percent of them are
either this or the above shape.
(Yes, this one seems to be
growing upside down.)

Look at the mum sunflower that
just bloomed on one of
the stalks.

Our pumpkins are finally doing a
good job of turning orange.  
So far, names 
of four kiddles are
taped on ones they've picked
out for their own.

We're getting gorgeous red
peppers on our 
green pepper plants.

Last but not least, not in the
garden but cooling
on the back porch, is the 
first apple pie of the
season made with our
own apples.