Friday, November 5, 2021


~  I love the month of November.  For me, it signals the end of a busy summer season and the start of more time to enjoy all those inside things I've wanted to do but have put off since I felt doing those outside things were more important.  
~  The grower in our area from whom we were planning to purchase our potatoes this year planted 650 pounds of potato eyes and harvested 400 pounds of potatoes.  Blame the drought.
~  After I clean, sort and reorganize, putting items in a more convenient, logical spot, why can't I remember where they are?
~  Why does the last of a huge pot of applesauce just made fill only three-quarters of the last quart jar going into the canner?
~  Remembering Grandma and Grandpa's kitchen table when there were nine of us living there and the old-fashioned toaster with two sides that flipped down for you to insert the slices of bread.  (Anybody old enough to have a memory of that contraption?)  How did we all manage to get toast for breakfast?
~  Remembering Grandma and Grandpa's one tiny bathroom in that house.  A toilet, free-standing sink and claw foot bathtub.  And no running hot water unless you ran with it from a big pot on the kitchen stove.
~  How do recipes get published that are overly time-consuming, tasteless and just plain awful?
~  I'm feeling such empathy for the folks in our area who are experiencing their wells going dry because of the drought conditions we've had over the last many months.
~  Many years ago when I was out in the "working world," I enjoyed compliments on my long, manicured fingernails.  These days I grump and groan about how fast same fingernails grow and too often require clipping and filing to keep them manageable for my lifestyle.
~  Crawling through an 18" opening into a visiting 3-year old's "cave" which has been constructed over our couch with our king-sized bed comforter isn't as hard as then having to back out of it.
~  It's disturbing to know that when my husband and I make a trip over the back roads to a small sawmill to pick up a quantity of lovely sawdust to use in my strawberry bed next spring, we consider it our social outing of the month.
~  I play Christmas music from the first of November through New Year's.  (Yes, I do.  And I'll fight anybody who complains.) 


Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Ha! I had a 1/2 a pint jar of applesauce. Darn it. I just put it in the fridge to enjoy now. I will be making more though, and jotting better notes down.

Lisa B said...

The clean, sort and organize I feel your pain. I am missing things I put in a convienent place when I moved. They have yet to be happened upon.
We made toast in the wood fired cookstove oven on cookie sheet. We also may have sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar as well.

Yvette said...

What does the sawdust do for strawberries? (only on my second year with a tiny berry patch)

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

I feel so bad for your neighbor's losing their Wells! I didn't realize the drought was that bad in your area. We're getting ready to ilch store strawberries but with leaves, it's finally getting colder now. Happy Winter!

Leigh said...

I can relate to your jottings! Except the drying wells. That is very sad news for your neighbors.

My dad had a toaster like the one you describe. I don't know where he got it from, but he liked it better than the pop-up toaster. He made our toast with it every morning. No timer, so it needed an eye kept on it so the bread didn't burn.

My dad also was probably the last person in all of northern Illinois to give up his rotary dial phone. :)

Ratana said...
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Retired Knitter said...

hahaha on the Christmas Music comment! So I stop listening to my regular music station from the week before Thanksgiving until after New Year’s Day because all they play is Christmas music in that period! But I must be in the minority, because why would a music station play all the Christmas music 24/7 if their listeners didn’t want that!! I like Christmas music to start no earlier than December 1.

I enjoy the holiday season. All the holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years but I like my holidays to keep to their “own lanes."

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Ha, we frequently end up with jars of freshly made applesauce that were just a wee bit too short to can properly and, like you, I just put them in the refridge to use up soon.

Lisa B. - Oh, moving is much worse than just rearranging in a current house!

When we first moved here and had no electricity and I cooked on a wood cookstove, we had one of those fold-up camping toasters that I set on top of the cookstove. They never did toast the bread very well, but at least it got warm!

Yvette - I mulch between my strawberry rows with straw but find the sawdust so much easier to get right up under each plant. If you don't cover the ground under the plants, the berries will get covered with mud when rain splashes up onto the berries after hitting the bare soil. The mulch in the patch also preserves water in the soil if there's not adequate rainfall. It also inhibits weed growth which is a biggie!

Nancy - Our weather continues to be way too warm for this time of year. It was 50° when I got up this morning. So I haven't even covered my strawberries for the winter yet.

Leigh - Our county is large and the topography is quite varied so not all areas are having problems with wells going dry. We're fortunate in that we and those near us have not (so far) been affected, but others (especially in higher elevations) are. :o(

And I do remember a lot of burned toast coming out of that vintage toaster my grandparents had. We always knew when someone had forgotten to keep an eye on it when we saw smoke rising above the kitchen table!

Retired Knitter - You are not alone in being irritated by too much Christmas music starting too early in the season! I personally find it soothing if played softly in the background. Although until about a week before Christmas, I stick to the instrumental albums and save the vocals like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus" until then!!

JustGail said...

I'm with Retired Knitter - keep the Christmas music until after Thanksgiving! I don't mind seeing crafty things for Christmas out in September, things that need painting, sewing, embroidered, etc. But IMHO they can keep the stuff you simply plop on the shelf until November, especially since lay-away is no longer offered anywhere(? not that I know of). Poor Thanksgiving needs a better PR team!

It's not just the applesauce, back when I had enough tomatoes to can I always had a half jar of those. We'll not discuss how many time I've reorganized and not been able to find things until I buy the new item and go to put it away...right next to the old one i couldn't find.

Mama Pea said...

JustGail - You have a good point about Thanksgiving getting the short straw anymore. I so often wish our Thanksgiving Day was in October as it is in Canada because our Thanksgiving is much too close to Christmas.

My husband is rather famous in this family for buying a new "something" because he can't find what he already has. I guess it happens to all of us.

Ratana said...
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tpals said...

I found myself nodding in agreement with a few of your jottings. :) I wonder if shredded paper would work similarly to sawdust under the strawberries?

Rosalea said...

Interesting jottings, MP..and yes, I can relate to a lot of them. Used to have one of those toasters. I try to have a 'place for everything, and everything in its place'. Great theory, but doesn't always work! Those recipes..especially if they look and sound good, but after all that work they aren't so good. Also cooking for a long time to have it consumed in way less time than it took to make! Curious on the sawdust mulch..doesn't it rob nitrogen from the soil as it decomposes? Not fighting...but no Christmas music until Dec. 1 please!

Content in a Cottage said...

Mama Pea, I think that trip to the sawmill sounds like a great monthly outing. I silently complain about how fast my fingernails grow too. November is certainly a busy month getting all the loose ends tied up before the cold weather. xo, Rosemary

Mama Pea said...

tpals - For lack of other mulch type material, shredded paper would be an option to try. I'm wondering if it would decompose too quickly? Dunno know.

Rosalea - The author and homesteader, Helen Nearing, stated that in her culinary efforts, she never served anything that took longer to prepare than to eat. Food for thought (pun intended), eh? You are right on in stating that sawdust does, indeed, rob nitrogen from the soil and we make an effort to counteract that. Also, sawdust or wood shavings from wood high in tannic acid is not preferred for use in the strawberry bed. The sawdust we obtained is from a cutting of birch lumber. Phew, glad we don't have to fight regarding our preferences as to when to start with the Christmas music! ;o)

Rosemary - I've so enjoyed reading your recent blog postings of all the organizing and getting ready for winter you've been doing this year. All preparations now enable us to enjoy the coming "inside" months all the more. (Along with the "outside" snow removal and all related to that. But as you know, that enables us to get good exercise and breathe in lots of fresh air!)

Tim B. Inman said...

I dug my potatoes this weekend. My results? I just about got my seed weight back. Then I realized, I had been eating out of the patch all summer - me and my family and neighbors. Then, I put the 'real' plow on and gave the whole garden a good going over. That's when I hit a row I had missed! So, I did get more spuds after all. Not what I had expected though. Today, I'm going to smooth up the soil and plant a cover crop so there will be a green blanket for winter - unless we have a blizzard next week (which CAN happen here). Cheers

Mama Pea said...

Tim - Interesting about your potato yield . . . even after finding that one "hidden" row and the fact that you (and some fortunate others) were able to dine on some taters this summer. I think we all end up scratching our heads as to why the potato crop is wonderful one year and paltry the next. It doesn't even always seem to relate to the weather. Gardening . . . just full of surprises!

Ratana said...
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