Sunday, March 17, 2019

Canning Chips

Yes, that says "Canning Chips."
Here, let me explain~
We don't eat very many chips, but
when we do, they are part of a meal rather than a snack item.
They are nice with taco soup or to have nachos on occasion.
There is a small local company that makes good corn chips that we like,
but there are only a few places to get them.
So when I'm able to make it to one of the stores that carries them,
I get a couple bags and can them.
Simply use wide mouth jars and put as many chips in as possible.
Then I use the vacuum attachment to the seal-a-meal to lid them.
You could also Hot-oven Can them which is what I did 
until I got the vacuum attachment.
One bag makes 4-5 quart jars depending upon how many you eat 
during the canning process. :-)
Then they can go in the pantry and are ready when you need them.
For the two of us, we use 1 quart jar at a time.
If you have a family, it would be more of course.
The longest I've ever stored them is about a year, and 
they were still fresh and tasty.
As is the case when canning any dry-good,
it's important that your jars and lids are clean and completely dry.

Just a note, many of the items in my pantry have rims on them.
When we moved, I put rims on most of the jars just as an extra precaution.
I didn't want lids to pop if the jar was jostled just right.
I have plenty of rims so am just removing them as I use the food.

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Place to Keep Quotes

The other evening as I was browsing through blog posts,
I meandered over to see what Bonnie K at
I noticed a quote in her sidebar that caught my eye.
Then I sat and read each one.
I thought she needs a book like mine.
I have this darling little book that a friend made for me.
It's only about 2" X 3.5". 
When she gave it to me, I wondered what I would do with it.
An answer appeared within a week 
when I read a quote I liked.
I have a punch bowl on our coffee table in the living room.
It has little books in it that I change with the seasons.
I've tried removing the punch bowl and going with something else,
but I get in trouble.
There are a few folks who visit who evidently like the punch bowl.
So in the punch bowl I keep my little quote book.
Every so often when I read a quote that resonates,
I write it in the little book.
Since I'm not allowed to get rid of the punch bowl,
folks will have to fight over it when my time is through.
If you have a favorite quote, let me know.
Evidently, I'm not the only one who likes them.

A side note~ when we were without internet for nearly a month,
I did hop on another computer and looked at the blog.
Only about half - two thirds of the blogs I follow appear on the blog reading list.
I don't know why, if it's something I did or if it's blogger.
So even if you don't see your blog on the list, I may still be a follower.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Up the Mountain

This last weekend, we had our taxes done (blek!) 
then headed up the mountain to check on the place, 
maybe get a little more work done, and fill our water jugs.
We prefer fresh mountain well water to filtered irrigation water so will haul drinking water as long as we can.
Yes that is a car buried in snow!

We knew there had been significant snowfall 
as we’ve had plenty down here in the low land.
We ended up having to just pull out where our drive is and walk to the house.
Walking was a bit of a challenge.  
The snow came up over our knees as we took each step.
I’m short so nearly froze my bottom off :-)
We built roaring fires in the house and shop.  
There is electric heat on just enough to keep the pipes from freezing, but a fire lasts a while and helps just that much with the power bill for up there.
We didn’t get any work done in the house, because we were shoveling.
I still have two chickens up there that run free. 
They refuse to stay cooped so I quit fighting with them.  
They have a huge self feeder full of food and a heated water dish 
so are really fine.
We checked them out when we arrived.
They wouldn’t leave the lean to so I put their feed under there 
and ran an extension cord for their water dish.
We (mostly MrLB while I filled water jugs) shoveled the snow off the lean to portion of the shop.
It’s not flimsy but it tends to melt off the shop 
and slides down and accumulates on the lean to.
The last thing we need is for it to cave in on the wood and tractor.
By the time we left, we were chilly, our pant legs were soaked, 
and we’d had a decent workout.
The same plow driver is “taking care of” the road - meaning the dufus drives both directions down the middle of the road instead of on his own side to create the two lanes it should be.
There are a couple things I miss about living up there,
but this weekend I was ever grateful we live where we do 
and are on the path we’re on-
even if we don’t know where it ends.

Friday, February 22, 2019

A Time for February

It's during these times, 
the moments between when the snowflakes touchdown, 
one by one building a crystal empire, 
that we find solace and repose.
(View from our front window.)

The long evenings offer opportunity to devote thought and attention 
to subjects of interest.
And the blustery days encourage us to stay put and complete tasks 
that were put off when the weather was finer.
This is when our homes are really our refuge~
not only from the icy storms stirring outside the windowpanes, 
but also from our confinement.
This is why the latest home trends never quite satisfy.
While I might find refuge in needle and thread,
you might find it in a wood lathe or a loom or a tool chest.
We, each of us, have our preferences from the foods we eat 
to the clothes we wear to the homes we inhabit.  

(A closer shot - the dairy barn that was once operated by the college.)

February is the month we really live in our homes.
Being "cooped up" as the expression goes, allows us to see those things 
we've grown weary of and those things we find invaluable.
Why not take the time to pack up the items we no longer find value in 
and ready them for donation (or sale.)
After all, March is right around the corner, and we will be opening windows 
to air out rooms and changing bedding to coverings slightly lighter, 
and preparing for spring.
Just as the buds plump before unfurling into thick leaves and beautiful blooms,
so can we feed the anticipation of spring cleaning 
when our homes will burst but for a moment 
before appearing fresh and light.
Spring cleaning might seem old-fashioned, and it is really,
but certainly makes a statement in a home.  
There are lists all over the internet of tasks to include in spring cleaning.
I get a chuckle when I see things like "clean the bathtub" 
on a spring cleaning list.  
I would like to think this is done more than once per year, but who knows :-)
Some of the things I consider while spring cleaning are:
Dryer hose
Washing machine - inside
Wash walls and baseboards
Wash and/or change out curtains
Oil wooden furniture
Flip mattress
Bed frames (while flipping mattress)
Clean oven
Change furnace filter
Clean out under sink(s)
Wash windows
Light fixtures

Each home has its own features so it is necessary to have 
a list that is custom made just for you.  
There is no sense having ceiling fans on the list if you don't have them.
Now is a great time to create a that list.
To many folks, the idea of a day spent cleaning to such a degree
sounds dreadful.
If you've not grown up with the annual event as routine, 
it might actually sound intimidating.
It's really not so bad,
and the rewards are are tenfold and make it worth the effort.
We appreciate our homes more 
when we've devoted such attention to their care.
If you do practice spring cleaning, 
we would love to hear some of the tasks that might seem out of the ordinary.
Or if there is a particular way you celebrate when finished,
perhaps we too can learn to celebrate that way.
Leave a comment and let us know.

(It got misty at sundown yesterday.)

But wait.
 As stated earlier, this is February.
Look at how the snow and breeze create designs in the yard.
Pull the blanket over your feet.
Have another cup of coffee.
And go ahead and read another chapter in your book.
We'll have time enough for spring next month.

Keep warm my friends~