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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Of Tea & Labels

Okay dear friends.
Time for something pleasant.
I know coffee gets all the glory,
but tea really is a lovely drink.
It seems I'm always trying new teas.
My favorite tea was "lemon blossom" 
which was discontinued several years ago now.
Since then, I've stuck with mint tea but have searched
for a new favorite tea that I actually really enjoy and look forward to.
There are some pretty spendy teas out there!
Many of them don't taste like they should be spendy at all.
Well, I finally found not just a tea, but several
that I really savor.
Each one I've tried, I've loved!
Where?  
I think I've tried six or seven of their teas and
have purchased six of them so far. . . 
and there's another I want to try - citrus chill.
I am not connected with them and I don't get any payment from them
for saying these things.
I just really like their teas and appreciate finding them.
Of all their teas I've tried, I would describe them
as "whole flavors."
So often it seems like there is something missing (like flavor).
These taste complete.
So like I said, I've ended up with half dozen different teas.
I've had these bailor jars for ages.
I purchased them at a dollar store long ago,
and they've come in handy.
I decided they would be good for the teas.
I think they are as pleasing to look at as to drink - 
well, almost.
Many of you might have figured out by now 
that I'm more about function than about fashion.
I like things to look nice,
but when it comes down to it, it has to function
and be as usable as ever.

Weeeeellll. . . . story time 
Some time back, I purchased some attractive
reusable labels to give as a gift.
They were actually for my mom who loves lavender.
The labels are good quality and very pretty.
My mom loved them.
Where did I get these great labels?
I knew you'd ask.
(Again not affiliated)
But wait, that's not the end of the story.
So Jes has a way of making things beautiful.
She takes those extra steps and it shows.
When I received the labels for my mom,
there were also a few extras in the form of samples.
Those teas above in the bailor jars needed labels
and they were handy so I wrote 
the name of the tea and put them on the jars.
I used a fine point permanent marker.
If I ever want to change them,
a quick spritz with hairspray wipes it clean.
Hairspray also works for getting permanent marker out of jeans.
Don't ask me how I know that.
Anyways, those little samples worked!
I like that they are a nice quality unlike the little paper stickers.
End story: I ordered some for me and some more for Christmas gifts.
My family is to the point in life that we really don't need "things."
So we try to give smaller things that can be used or consumed.
These are perfect!
I am having so much fun using them.
They are both functional and beautiful.
Pantry stocking this time of year can be wearing.
I am still working on the tail end of tomatoes
and will be dehydrating greens and cidering some apples
within the next week.
It's pretty easy, for me at least, to just get the stuff canned
or jarred and not label it (for shame!)
I know - that's bad.
These are certainly handy and if I'm sipping tea
while I'm canning or prepping foods,
it makes for a much nicer time.
I've been on the go quite a bit lately,
but I wanted to post something nice.
These are the items that came to mind first.
They are things I am grateful for~
I hope you enjoy them.




 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

September~

 It's September~
Can you believe it?
September is that nondescript month without a season.
It makes up for it with all its activities.
For me, it's a time to preserve.
The gardens are growing in full force since the Heat Dome dispersed.
I've done pretty well this year so far.
The heat made things a little wonky, but it all somehow works out.
Now I'm down to tomatoes.
I was completely out of sauce and down to 5 jars of diced.
That's only 2-3 meals of diced for us depending upon what's cookin'.
I did not photoshop this pix.  They really look like that ­čśé

So I am trying to get them canned up while I can.
I have reusable lids so am getting used to those on things 
that only require water bath canning just in case of operator error.

During the 2 months of triple digit weather,
anything outside wilted about as quickly as the sun rose.
By the time the weather broke, most flowers at the markets 
were marked down for quick sale.
I happened upon some of them and rescued them from their
garbage bin destiny.
They have thanked me in the most generous way.
Their blooms are beautiful and though my little area
is still a work in progress, it is a welcome spot.
And I am thankful I was able to have a few flowers
to brighten the area even if a little later than usual.
My bean wall took forever to get going but now is going crazy.
The bean blossoms are usually white and some have been, 
but we are also seeing these beautiful spice colored flowers.
I think I have 3 different kinds of beans in here due to
them being eaten in the spring.

I have potatoes to dig and will be rearranging the raised beds 
before next year.
I have another idea for next year (heehee, go ahead and shake your head.)

And lastly, I started this post the beginning of the month,
but we've been hoppin'.
Hubby had a goal of 60 gallons of salsa this year.
We have currently made 99 quarts.
I had to chime in and tell him he can't hog all the tomatoes.
I still need more sauce.
Our pepper plants are going like gang-busters also,
and he doesn't want them "to go to waste."
I told him we could freeze some poppers to use some up.

I will get this posted and hopefully be able to put together
a more reasonable post soon.
Hope each of you is enjoying the turning of the leaves.



Friday, August 27, 2021

The Elephant in the Room

 Hello dear friends,
It's been a couple months since I last posted.
First, I will say that I received my new laundry basket and love it!
On the way to Portland

Secondly, I have just had a sour feeling in my gut.
I'm not talking about eating something odd.
The way people have been interacting towards each other
nearly makes me ill.
Not necessarily here on the blog
which is something I've strived to prevent,
but without you all being "grown ups" about things
it would not be possible and I thank you kindly.
Before I get to my point,
I'd like to share a bit of a story.
The gal who has been my best friend for over 20 years and I
haven't spoken since January.
We have laughed and cried and watched each other's family grow.
We've shared struggles and accomplishments as good friends do.
We don't share the same political views which hadn't been an issue
for about 19+ years.
Over the past couple years in particular,
I've strived to avoid any topic I thought might get political.
That alone, the not being able to discuss things was a red flag.
The last time we spoke,
I began telling her about driving a 1 ton duely pick-up pulling a 20' trailer 
full of metal through Portland, OR which I referred to as Looneyville.
I still call it that actually.
They drive like lunatics!
I had completely forgotten about the rioting going on,
but I was quickly reminded and got to listen to about a 15 min. spiel.
I didn't really respond, but when she finished, I continued about driving.
I don't know how she felt when I didn't "jump in" and argue.
That was the last time we spoke.
I miss my friend.
I know in her heart, she is a good person,
but she takes in a lot of media, and it shows.

And now back to the  point.
We are being pushed to conform.
Being pushed to conform creates division.
I really don't care which side you want to take.
And I do not want to try to force you to accept my views.
Grandma Donna did a post and mentioned people feeling
"the need to be right."
I really think she hit the nail on the head.
I tend to withdraw and pull away when something is being forced upon me.
I don't want to just dis media,
but it's not healthy or usually very accurate.
What you state as fact could very well be fiction,
but we like to believe or back up what we think it should be.
I am no exception to that other than I purposely limit any exposure to media
and when I want information, I try to go directly to the source 
rather than a reporter.
Even that can be difficult to do.
It is fine if we believe pro, con, yes, no, up, or down, whatever.
But we don't even have to share our opinion let alone
try to force someone else to accept it as right.
I want to say that one part again:
we don't even have to share our opinion.
In an age that seems eager to take surveys of our opinions,
that might sound like a foreign thought, but you really don't have to share it.
There are so many much more pleasant things we could talk about.

I got some flowers on the close-out shelf 
that have turned around and are gorgeous!

The full moon was so bright the other night,
it was still light at nighttime.

Our "Heat Dome" finally broke, and we have normal temperatures
so my tomatoes are finally producing - yay!
I just did 12 pints of diced and 3 half-pints of sauce.

You see?
It's okay~
We can still be kind.
We can still experience joy.
It's good to laugh.
Don't be afraid to give a loved one a hug.
Don't be afraid.

And lastly, I'd like to share a little reminder.
I learned this when I was knee high to a grasshopper
and I'm sure you know it too.
It's called The Golden Rule.
"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

At one point I wanted a banner of that over our door.
I still like the idea.

If I've seemed a little absent lately,
now you know why.
I've not made it around to very many blogs lately.
I will try, but sometimes we need to listen to what's inside of us
for a little while and get back to peace within.
I hope this day is good to you 
and that you are surrounded by people and things you love.

By the way,
Blogger is telling me this is my 400th post.
That is thanks to each of you.
Thank you.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Those Useful Things

 Y'all already know I'm nuts right?

I purposely try to give thanks when I meet 
a real, genuine, kind, and 
normal (by my standards whatever that might be) person.
This week, I met one of those people.
Some time back, I really worked on getting plastics out of our house.
There were some things that were easier than others.
One of the challenging things was to find a good laundry basket.
I did find one about a year ago, but it was expensive.
It was expensive enough that I went home and stewed on it
for a week or two before finally deciding to buy it.
I am hoping it lasts the rest of my life. 

I love my laundry basket!
Now how many people can really say that?  
As I said, I've used it for about a year.
It seems just as sturdy as the day I purchased it
and shows no signs of wear.
This was important to me if I was spending money on a basket.
We have a small area for laundry right inside our back entrance
so there's not a lot of extra room.
The basket sits on the washer 
and acts as our hamper during the week.
Laundry day, I set it on the floor to sort loads.
Then as each load is done, I take it out to the summer kitchen
where I have the clothes line set up.
We have so much wind here, 
it's almost impossible to hang clothes outside.
They get dirtier than before washing.
So I do the next best thing under the circumstances.
To haul the wet clothes out to the summer kitchen,
I use a slightly smaller basket that is. . . . 
plastic :-(
As far as plastic baskets go, it is a good shape and size
but it stands out in our home like you wouldn't believe.
I recently contacted the maker of my basket to inquire
if she would be willing to make me another one only slightly smaller so it will fit right inside the one I have.
She said she would and asked if I could bring my basket by
so that she could make sure it would fit as she was making it.
We made the necessary arrangements,
 and I dropped it off at her home.
I had never met her in person.
It took about a half an hour for me to simply drop off a basket.
She is a delightful person.
Isn't it funny how when we meet some people,
there is little to say and much silence.
Then with other people, it seems like there should be a pot of tea
so the conversation can keep going.
She was one of the later, and I was ever so grateful to meet her.
And aside from her genuine character,
she has a fabulous skill.
It will be a couple weeks before I get to use both of my baskets
to do the laundry.
Doesn't that sound silly~
to be anxious to use laundry baskets.
Well, that is my kind of excitement.
I truly appreciate quality items and even if a purchase is difficult
to bite off from a financial perspective,
not only not regretting a purchase but also being glad of it
is even better.  
And I'm learning more and more
quality people tend to make quality items.
Perhaps that's part of the draw.

That's all I really have for today.
I just wanted to share the appreciation of something good.
I hope each of you finds a bit of goodness today.