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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Golden People

 We've had quite the schedule for the past month or two.
It's autumn which is harvest in our neck of the woods.
Last month started off with a trip to California for my grandmother's funeral.
She actually passed last year.
Her only request was a traditional Catholic funeral.
Well, it wasn't exactly traditional due to circumstances.
Her graveside service was last year, and we only this year
11 months after her passing were able to hold her funeral.
In a way, it kinda worked out.
She was 96, only a few months shy of 97 and was ready.
Our grieving was done, and we were able to gather
and celebrate her life and cherish the time spent with family.
It was a pretty small service.
She outlived most of her peers.
My aunt had asked us each to jot down a few things we remembered
or loved about her so they could put together a eulogy.
One of the things I mentioned was
she would wipe off and reuse a paper plate, save a tablespoon of food,
and be among the first to give if someone was in need.
I love that!
She always took care of her things.
She washed her car, windows, floors, etc. and
kept things in the best condition she could.
She grew up during the depression so knew the true value of things.
She never had a lot, but made the most of what she had.
When my aunt asked if there was anything in particular I wanted,
I didn't really have an answer - just my Grammy.
My aunt is wonderful, and I can say such things.
I told her if there was something silly like Grams favorite wooden spoon
or something she used and liked, I wouldn't mind something like that.
For my birthday, she sent me the fork and knife in the photo.
It was actually my great grandmother's then my grandmother's.
Both were very right handed so the left tine is worn.
I was young when she passed, but I remember my great grandma too.
I would sit on her lap, and she would let me have a lemon drop.
We almost never had candy so it was quite a treat.
This little set was the perfect gift, more valuable to me than gold.
And, yep, I use them.
They went directly in the cupboard with the salt and pepper
so I have them handy when I need them.
(Uncle Ray & Aunt Betty - brother and sister)

They are a wonderful reminder to me to take care of things so they'll last
which is kinda funny since for the past year or two,
I've been on a mission to have things in order and good condition.
I've had two chairs repaired which wasn't cheap,
but they are both antiques and were due.
They should both now last another 100 years.
I always seem to have a mend & repair pile.
I no sooner get the bulk of it dealt with when more goes in.
I've also been trying to keep the car up, the appliance clean and in good repair, and
the little things attended to if that makes sense.
There's more to all this though.
You see, there were a couple folks at Grammy's funeral of special importance.
Well, everyone there was important, but. . .
Uncle Ray and Aunt Betty were there.
Grammy's two remaining siblings.
Uncle Ray just turned 99 and is doing pretty good.
Aunt Betty is 97 and doesn't remember very well, but otherwise okay.
Grammy was between them in age.
I don't exactly get to California very often
so it's tough telling if I will ever get to see them again just due to age.
The time spent visiting with them and the stories about them
are what makes a family and keeps those ties snug.
When someone begins a story with,
"I'll tell ya something I can't tell most normal people,"
you know you're in the right place.
I know not everyone has a close family,
but a closely knit group of friends and community can still be had.
I think that's one of the things that's been difficult for me
over the past year or so: everyone seems so distant (not just physically).
The reminder being, we need to take care of our family
just like we need to take care of our things.
We need our family - by blood or by choice.
If you do have elderly folks in your clan,
maybe pay them a visit or a call.
That chat might just be worth more than gold.
And the memory made might just last a good long time.

As we head into the holidays,
I'd like to wish all of my blog friends here
a very blessed time.
~Happy Thanksgiving~







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.