Sunday, October 31, 2021

Random Glimpses of October

This is the post where I share glimpses we want to remember, things which may not make an entire blog post on their own. LOL 

Michael's leg is healed up and he is back on his mission to fill the woodshed for the winter. 

We still have enough dead trees on our place to keep us in winter wood. New this year is this wood splitter. We've been renting one every year. It is nicer to have our own and be able to tackle this job in daily chunks instead of a one-day marathon of wood splitting. We sure appreciate their hard work!

Fall walks are the best. Stacia and Allie made it a practice to break for walks this month. 

Because - sugar free and all like them. 

The chickens LOVE fall when I begin to harvest plants and they get lots of extra-ready-to-eat-greens! LOL 

Arielle and the boys dropped by. Benny wanted to play hide and seek. Michael hid. Benny and I looked and looked. I heard him. I knew he had to be in the entry area SOMEWHERE. We finally found Michael in the closet....and then Benny told me to go count....and HE hid. LOL 

Benny & Grandpa

If GG can read to Benny, Papa ought to be able to read to Danny. 
Danny and Papa

THIS is quite the system....I appreciate Michael devising a way to clean the chimney AND keep most of  the mess from the floors. 

Watching TV with Millie is quite often amusing. 

Nolan took some time off Mid-October. He spent MOST his time catching up on college, but he and the girls also enjoyed working through several Escape Room scenarios Allie had. 

The washer (which Michael had found free on Craig's list) and dryer (which came with this house), both died this month. We do a LOT of laundry around here, lots of bed linens washed daily. Michael went in search of a washer and brought this home. We love it. It holds more and it's quiet...and fun to watch fill. He had a free dryer from the Craig's List find. He brought that inside. It's janky but working. Whatever time it serves will put off having to buy a new dryer. Our oven is also out - it's not been a good fall for appliances.  

The moose are back EVERYWHERE this month. On this fall day I stepped out to go feed the animals and surprised this moose. 

I took the girls shoe shopping. Whilst I DID buy them shoes, I couldn't resist a new pair of FUR LINED bright and cheery. I think these are essential for embracing the upcoming winter. 

A simple shadow of what is to come....snow in the morning, warm in the evening. Nothing is sticking. 

Oct 15th 

Oct 21st
Oct 21st

Just to document somewhere - this is not base housing - do not buy SIX BIG BAGS of CANDY in 2022.  You will only have 1 or 2 show up. 

Missing Pieces

 I hate it when a piece of a puzzle is missing. It does seem to be the condition of many puzzles.  I suppose learning to accept the reality of missing puzzle pieces is a sign of maturity.  I know there are many puzzle pieces missing in my life. That'll preach. Really. 

The girls, Grandpa and I headed to church this morning. Pastor did a GREAT job with the sermon today. The kids were in service and the sermon was interactive...we finished our series on Philippians.  ANYWAY - I was happy to have a few minutes to catch up with Kareen after church.  She shared how she had felt the need for a down day. Her thoughts resonated with me, a missing piece in my life's puzzle to consider? 

We headed for lunch and then home. Michael is fighting with a toothache/ earache and had stayed home - another missing piece of our family puzzle. He told me to sleep...and I crashed...long and hard.  Grandpa went down for a nap and I woke him up at 7:47 p.m. LOL It was that kind of day. 

I woke to a barking dog, the doorbell ringing and this sight. Ah, a table full of stalled work....but who cares??? We needed to rest and enjoy being....

Oh dear - what ever could be wrong? 

Mr. Gingerbread man has been sad on the top of a shelf at my home. The girls won - but no one claimed him....Benny took him home. He promised him adventures until the next contest....

It rained all night and all the snow is gone. It looks like fall once again. I'm thinking this will be the last week of fall. When the snow returns it will most likely stay....but tonight we had a Halloween without snow and ice to contend with - still only 2 groups at our door.  Maybe going door to door is a thing of the past...what's it like in your area? 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Fall Work Day

The girls and I worked all day on the tower of produce in the nook. 

We set up an assembly line. Stacia peeled and cored Granny Smith and Honey Crisp apples. She passed them on to Allie who added monk fruit and spices.
Then we packaged, vacuum sealed, and froze them. Twenty bags of apples rest in the freezer waiting to grace our winter table with pies and crisps.
We put the cores and peels into the juicer and ended up with a gallon of delicious fresh apple juice. 
I plan to use some of the juice to can pears. I need to research how to can the rest of the  juice. 
The girls continued working while I ran out for more spices mid day.  I had hoped to find another apple peeler corer - I was unsuccessful.  Allie got  the dehydrator filled with Fuji apples... they are drying now. Stacia got a load of pears prepped. They are now in the slow cooker.  I am hoping they will magically turn into Vanilla Spiced Pear Butter overnight. 
If they don't we already have a delicious pear sauce. 

How did I end up with a tower of produce in the nook?
I ordered five cases of Fuji apples from co-op to make applesauce for the year. Dad takes his pills in applesauce, we use it in oatmeal and for baking. We ran out last week. Mike suggested a case of Granny Smiths for pies. That makes six cases...we found an extra case of pears at the end of co-op. The easiest way to deal with them was to buy the case. LOL Dad loves pears and had been hinting I could can some. Seven cases of produce stacked in the nook. 

We processed 1/ 1/2 cases of apples and 1/2 a case of pears. We have much more to do...but it is enough for today. 

We are relaxing with Grandpa, sipping hot apple juice while watching,  "Sword in the Stone," and "Inkheart." 

We will work on more apples tomorrow. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Trees New Outfit

It's been a hot minute since I blogged. 

Fall is always busy as we rush against the weather to get projects done before winter. I DO plan to post stories and photos from the last 2 months....I don't like the trend which makes it look like we stop living each fall and reappear in the winter. ::snort::  It was compounded this year by the fact we had a BIG event at the start of fall...and big events often stymie me! We've also had a rather busy fall. 

The trees have lost their leaves and have been eerily naked. It was fun to see them clothed so beautifully this morning. 

I was grateful Michael had gotten my auto-starter working. It was nice to jump into a warm car this morning. 

Everything is so pretty with a fresh coat of snow. 
Michael stoked the fire, I was canning and we stayed toasty in the house. It was so warm I had to pull out the winter wardrobe. 😏

We usually have snow to stay by Halloween.  Last year we had snow early and it stayed. This year we've had snow which melts by afternoon. I had thought this may be IT - but the forecast is rain for the next few days....

Michael came home with pizza just as canning was done. I am loving my new American canner.  We had decided last year a second canner would be nice.  I set about ordering another Presto canner.  I waited for a year. Sometime in that year we put our name on a list for an American canner which was "expected." They called and Michael said we should do it. I would NEVER have spent so much for a canner - but we can a LOT and it is so nice to be able to can bigger batches. Yes, I DO indeed need 2 canners.
Twenty-eight jars of broth are a pretty sight. I added 4 jars of rice to fill the canner. 

The oven quit. We were happy to have a second second kitchen. Michael plans to dig into the silly thing. We bought it new 2 years ago. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Impromptu Winter Tea Party

While it IS still fall, the weather has taken a turn this week. One of these times it will turn and just keep going....and we suspect this may be it? 

Allie loves winter. Stacia dislikes winter.  Allie woke up saying, "SNOW!!!"

Stacia woke up and groaned, "SNOW!" and came upstairs in tears. 

I decided an outing was called for after school.  I knew Arielle would be feeling cooped up as well.  I called and asked if the girls and I could drop by their home. We bundled up and drove through our favorite coffee shack.  We got tea and scones and headed to CoRielle's for an impromptu, "Welcome (maybe) winter tea." 

Benny offered to let "Brother" and Allie play with his dinosaur. 

It was a fun break for all of us. The boys were thrilled to see us. We've not been to the library in MONTHS...but winter is the season for lots of reading.....we ran through there too. 

I think we're properly armed to embrace winter! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Millie Visits the Groomer

 Millie had a date with the groomers today! It took FOREVER! BUT she's a new dog. We felt last time was too short. This time I asked them to be sure she could see and to get the snarls out. They left her longer...but they BLOW DRIED her hair...she has no curls...she's one giant fluff ball. She looks like a little bear.  The dip on top is due to a bit matt Stacia had removed. 

I kinda like her this way...I think Stacia likes her shorter....shorter it will be next time....shoot...shorter will mean less trips to the groomer. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Girls Are Surprised

Backstory: We have never been able to afford to give our children new cars when they get their license or leave home. We did sort of have a thing going.... The military moved us fairly often. We always had the family 15 pass van, and we'd buy a little commuter for Michael in our various locations.  When we moved, we either had to drive it cross country, store it or sell it. When the girls left home, we gave them a car. Josiah bought his own. Jamin got the Honda when he moved out and we pcs'd from TX. At that time Krista got my little Toyota (I think it was), rather than us storing it when we were in Japan.  We were in Japan when Jared needed a car, and he purchased a Jeep.  We were retiring when Arielle left home and she took our commuter from CA.  We didn't think ahead to how we'd handle this when we were no longer moving and selling commuters every few years.  πŸ˜‚ Nolan reached driving age about the time we were looking to retire our Jeep - which we bought to tow behind the RV.  It's still running for him - though held together with duct tape.  Alex has been using JaRissa's truck and is planning to buy it.  We've been trying to figure out what to do for Stacia. Allie has a truck which will either be fixed or sold...she's in the process of deciding....and we've been teaching the girls to drive in my van...thinking eventually we'd need to get them something to drive....

KrUke were recently blessed with a new to them Jeep. They wanted to play forward the blessing. The girls had NO CLUE what was up when Luke and Krista stopped by this evening. Yep, they are pretty great people. They gave the girls Krista's old car. Whoever needs it will drive it. This is a blessing to Michael and me as well. There will be time for the girls to save up for reliable transportation. The Vibe will serve them quite well. 

Check out the circled keys

They are motivated to finish learning to drive in the van, get their licenses, and move on to learning to drive a manual transmission. 

Note: I was going to get a photo of the girls with the car, but it snowed before I got the photo, and it hasn't stopped snowing...

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Baking and Games

 Josiah and Liv came out to visit today while Carrie is working.  Stacia  baked a little cake for them to decorate. She taught Livie how to make a fondant rose. 

CoRielle dropped by too.  Benny loves to bake and cook. I wanted him to feel involved so handed him the pumpkin of candy corn. I love the concentration on their faces...well Liv is a sugar monster. LOL 

Benny is a bit sheepish about how carried away he got! I was proud of the girls for encouraging his creativity.  Next time I'll give him a set number to put on the cake. 

It's always fun when the "big Gherkins" drop by.  Josiah brought a game this time. We played a rousing game of Taboo Junior together. I actually enjoyed it better than Taboo and all were able to play. 

Cory, Stacia, Liv, Allie, Danny, Arielle, Cy, Benny 

It did take a bit of cooperation for Benny to participate, but he hung in there well and accepted help from his teammates. 

This was a relaxing end to a great week. I am realizing anew how truly blessed we are to have these people  nearby. LOL