Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Past Few Weeks (With Headings)


School

Some days are like this:


And some days are like this (no joke):



Fruit (a.k.a. Roller Coaster Rides)

We have three peach trees.  


They were growing beautiful peaches.


We picked and ate five of them.  They were delicious.  I asked Jamey to pick them all the next morning.  The next morning, each and every one was gone.  I could have thrown up.

We have one pear tree.  It was full of pears.  We picked the pears and followed the tried and true method of ripening them (when they shake free from the branches, pick them and store them in the refrigerator for 3 days, then lay them out to ripen).  The pears were ugly (no spray, of course).


They ripened beautifully and even though peeling all those little buggers took forever, they turned out lovely.  That ride I'd go on again.


We grew a bunch of tomatoes.  We canned chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and salsa.  There were even enough for two batches of Classic Tomato Soup.  I left the skins on this time- it worked really well.  There are more out on the vine.  Even so, I'm not getting on another tomato ride this year.


I could handle another pizza topped with tomatoes, spinach and cheese.  In fact, I'm going to miss this one all winter.


Out and About

A gift of a mum from my sister.


The trailer poised for use hauling wood for the stove or straw for the garden. 


Show us what you've got, Old Man Winter.  We're ready (and, yes, we have more than this).


A motley garden cart collection.


God's handiwork takes my breath away.


The corn patch put to rest.


Tie a rope to a branch, make a crude seat and they're happy for days.


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29 comments:

  1. Have you ever tried making pear relish? It's a must-have around here! How are your bees doing?
    Thanks so much for sharing life with us. You continue in my prayers!

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  2. I loved your post! What great country images. There is something about the canning and gathering of wood that just makes me all content and smiley....:) Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Lol! I love those feet! I see my sons feet often too! Heck, some days I feel like that! :)

    And I agree, God's handiwork takes my breath away too. I live in Colorado and we are just starting to see the mountain peaks dusted with snow. It is truly a spectacular site!

    I've been reading your blog for a little while now and love it! Thanks so much for your beautiful words, your faith, and your honesty even on days when it is hard. I have my thorns too. I liked how you said God sees our 'whole story' and who we will touch. You have touched me and I am clinging right along beside you.

    Blessings for a beautiful day!
    Dawn in Colorado

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  4. I LOVE the little feet!! We are having a day like that today!;) We also have the same swing!! In fact I'm sending them to their swings right now! Blessings!:)

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  5. Thank you so much for your uplifting post. I love to see how others realize the Lord's hand in all parts of their life, the ups and the downs and the the not so perfects. Several years ago I heard a quote once: "Happiness is a state of being content or satisfied. But sometimes it's hard to be content and satisfied--to have enough. There will always be a newer watch, a more powerful computer, a fancier car. But you can never get enough of what you don't need, because what you don't need never satisfies. We spend money we don't have to buy things we don't need to impress people we don't like who don't come over and get impressed anyway." To this day, I try and question what I really need and why I think I need it.

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  6. ohhhhh, that pizza looks delicious! going to have to try that one!

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  7. Your peaches - gone! Do animals remove them entirely from the branch, or is a human being stealing them? It's a tragedy, either way. :(

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  8. Now that is really living! Your pictures are lovely. God Bless!

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  9. Jane - We had the same thing happen with our peaches. My husband said it was the ground hogs and I said "no" they can't climb, they are GROUND hogs - THEN one afternoon we were walking out back in our little meadow/woods area and lo and behold there was a ground hog on the branch of one of the trees! So, maybe my sweetheart was right!! Do you have ground hogs in your area? We homeschooled for 23 years and your pictures of home, kids, school, yard bring back so many memories and so much thanks to God for allowing us that privilege. - Esther in NJ

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    1. Well, I'll be. I bet it was a groundhog then- we have a couple around. We were thinking maybe an opossum. Here was/is my plan for next year- place some boards studded with nails (pointing up) around the trees. This technique is supposed to keep skunks out of bee hives because their tender bellies get poked. Here's to hoping the groundhogs won't like it either! Have you found a good way to keep them out of your trees yet?? Thanks so much for sharing your story!!

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    2. I think what is amazing is how there were actually NONE left - and yet none on the ground either. We hadn't come up with any ideas - and most likely the big "theft" happened at night. But I like your idea of the boards with nails - I hadn't heard of it before, but if it works for skunks this may just be the answer (assuming it is groundhogs!). I'm going out to tell my husband right now - he's stacking our firewood and splitting the logs that are too big. We are enjoying these wonderful Fall days. I agree with all the above comments and so enjoy the special moments you share that welcome us into your life - thanks!

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    3. do you have squirrels? Crows? Magpies? one of them got the apples off our apple tree. still not sure which. of course, maybe skunks can climb and it was skunks...SIGH

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  10. I laughed so hard at the second homeschooling picture! I had to call my husband to come look at it because he was an elementary school teacher for forty-some years and I knew he would appreciate it . . . he did!

    But would a groundhog or opossum take ALL the peaches . . . in one night? That just doesn't seem right.

    In a previous home, we had a wonderful, huge, old pear tree in our yard and one of our favorite desserts all winter was a small dish of home canned pears. Your picture of yours brought back memories . . . and a yearning for some!

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    1. We usually have more than one groundhog that we see rambling around - at least one mother with two babies and then the papa has to be somewhere - maybe they formed a "bucket brigade"!!! :-)

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  11. I've read that you and freeze tomatoes whole- no need to peel or slice. Then use later for canning or any other recipe. I've canned sauce and salsa and tomato jam and I too am done with that for now. But I plan to pop any remaining tomatoes in the freezer to throw in soups this winter. Just thought I'd pass that along as I wasn't aware of it until this year.

    KK

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    1. I've dehydrated a bunch of tomatoes. I do it a little hotter/longer than most, and they come out as tomato crisps..WOW. GOOD

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  12. Timely post for me! I had another bunch of tomatoes to process and decided to try the tomato soup! We love it. I processed 14 quarts and we had some for dinner tonight too.

    Now on to some more apple sauce and maybe pears. Our pears look about like yours since we didn't spray them. I am a bit confused about putting them in the fridge for 3 days - wouldn't colder weather do the same for them? But I so want to be able to can some pears this season. I went outside today and shook the tree, only a few rotten ones fell, so I should wait a little longer? We are in Indiana so maybe it is a little early for them still?

    Judi :)

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    1. Hi, Judi:-). Here is the link to the Oregon State University article I found a few years back that explains this method of ripening pears. I hope you find it as helpful as we did! http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/node/413

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    2. Perfect! Thanks for the link! Very interesting. I never knew that pears ripen best off the tree!

      Judi :)

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  13. Beautiful, and I have one question. How in the world did you get that rope over such a high branch? We are wanting to do this for our grandsons, but our branches are high like yours.

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  14. Love the second school photo! [laughing]

    ~Luke

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  15. How do you get your pears to line up so perfectly in the jars? They look beautiful! I canned apples in a light cinnamon sugar syrup and a lot of my syrup siphoned out...grrrr. I hope they're okay to use. I'm gonna use those jars to make apple bread. Love your posts....squirrels got my inlaw's peaches a few years back. Blessings, Janet

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  16. I can relate to your peaches being stolen. I had a tree that was loaded. I don't have a large yard, so I planted it in a corner, next to the side walk. I really didn't care if people took a peach or two. Someone decided to pick all that he could reach. Did he ask? No. But he lied to his sister about it. She came by to tell me that it was her brother that I gave permission to pick peaches. I told her that I never gave anyone named Tim (her brother's name) permission to pick peaches, but the tree had been picked pretty clean where he could reach. She was in her car and just took off. I imagine she was going to thank me. She did not expect me to tell her that my peaches had been stolen.

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  17. I feel blessed to have happened upon your site. I have just moved to a really old home in the village of brownsburg, virginia. It is the space and the land and the view I have dreamed of for as long as I can remember. In the change of life I have rededicated myself to God. He has never given up on me, although many times I felt like giving up on myself. I continue to find new inspiration and hope each and every day. Everywhere I read of the things I want to try; chickens, canning, a garden, fruit trees. Living off the land and enjoying all that God has to offer. Thank you for this site and all the inspiration that you send to us. I will be reading it often. Gina

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    1. Welcome, Gina. *I* feel blessed to have you here.

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  18. Another pear question . . . do you process them in the extra light syrup like you do with your peaches? I can't seem to find on your blog any directions for processing pears. Do you add lemon juice to the jars?

    Also, I love your cookbook! I opened it on my birthday last week! I like having it in book form. I so much prefer being able to sit and look at a cookbook than having to be on the computer! Great work!

    Judi :)

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    1. Hi, Judi. I'm go glad you're enjoying the cookbook:-). I did process the pears in extra light syrup, although I wish I would have sweetened it up a bit more because my pears are on the tart side. And, yes, I did add lemon juice as well- to keep them from browning. I added it to the top of each jar after they were packed and then poured the hot syrup over them so they wouldn't brown while they waited for the canner.

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  19. Thanks! I didn't add lemon juice to my first batch and they are looking a little off color in the jars now. I will do that in my next batch.

    Judi :)

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Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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