In the Willows...

In the Willows...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

In our efforts to

continue to better our economic situation and be more self sufficient we have been doing a few projects for next year. 

 Late August and September I spent a lot of time canning.  Relishes, tomato jam, and tomato sauce.  Using all the veggies that we were given and some purchased from my cousins veggie stand.  I enjoyed the canning and had a huge sense of satisfaction seeing my shelves lined with goods for the upcoming winter/spring.  I wish I had more tomatoes, I would have put up diced tomatoes.

  So, its been a long time but we will have a garden next year, Joel had already started to build the enclosure for the raised beds.  He has the posts in and the outer boards and we have put down tarps in the area to get a head start on killing the ground cover.  

Next, is expanding the chicken coop enclosure.  We have plenty of room in the coop, but the outside enclosure could be larger.  So next spring we will add a fresh batch of chicks to start our egg production again.  My three old hens just are not laying at all anymore.  

This year we have beef and pork, from my dad and brothers operation, my brother Todd grew a lot of produce this year and next year we will be bringing eggs to the table.  We have created our own family co-op.  I share my canning and already cook/bake weekly for my parents.  I think we are on the right track, getting back to the old ways...feels good.

Here is the pond, with a little Fall color starting
 This is the start of the new garden enclosure.  We have the fencing to enclose it from the wildlife and the boards to finish creating the raised beds as well as a great pile of soil from years of cleaning out the horse barn.

 Here is Joel blowing leaves off of the garage roof.  Living in the woods the leaves/pine needles just bury us.   This year we also were buried by wild cherries, they were every where, more than I have ever seen in 24 years living here.  Wish I had had a way to harvest them for the pits to make pillows.  Boy, did they make a mess of my concrete pavers around the back of the house, I hope the stains come out over time.  I really cracked down on shoes in the house due to you picking up the skins on your shoe soles, that's all I needed were cherry stains on the carpet.  OIE.

 I have not posted an updated photo since August.  So here I am down 88 pounds, too many inches to count and 5 sizes.  I am currently 4 1/2 months out from surgery and feeling pretty great.  There is still things I am unable to eat and that make me sick, but that's ok because there is plenty of good for me stuff that I can.  I am trying to pick up as much as I can find at the second hand shops, but my current size seems to be popular.  I have always refused to pay retail for clothing so I am making due with a very tiny wardrobe.  I am at my first stall, I have not lost anything in 2 wks so I keep changing up my diet and exercise routine in hopes it will break soon and I can continue on my journey.  I only have 34 more pounds to go to meet my goal.  So I think I am doing great.  1st photo 12/2013, 2nd photo 9/2014.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

more signs of fall

Our old kitty Peaches, soaking up the heat from the mulch.  After a long day of stalking pesky chipmunks.

The wood pile has grown and is ready to be moved to the porch for easy access this winter.  We play the "lets see how long we can keep the furnace from turning on" game.  Wood is our primary heat source (never thought I would say that after loosing the house to fire) but economics sometimes beats out our fears.  Usually the furnace will kick on in the wee ours of the morning around 4 AM.  But I am up around 5:30 and get the fire stoked and crackling, so it shuts off quickly.  Our propane bill last year was much more manageable.
We have been working hard at being more thrifty.  Joel has been cleaning up his scrap piles and after the cleaning out sale,which went surprisingly well for so late in the season.  People looking for lots of little stuff and I was always ready to make a deal.  After the sale, I made one trip to good will, 4 small boxes (OK, 4 small STUFFED boxes).  And one trip to Architectural Elements, with some of the antique stuff.  Its an awesome place where you can get anything if your refurbishing an old house.  And I got tax receipts so that makes me happy. Sold a few more pieces on Facebook and craigslist.  I also made a trade for an old pig roaster we have, traded it for 1/2 of a pig for the freezer butchered and wrapped.  Good deal for me and its going to someone we know so if I need a pig roasted in the future... not likely...but...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's fall time

This stitching project was finished over the weekend.  I am running out of wall space so I have to come up with other ideas for my X stitch projects.  This pillow is perfect for the chair in the entry.
Pete out where he is the happiest, a green pasture to pick at his leisure.
 Some photos of Nate my youngest (the handsome one with no #) at college.  Doing his thing.
 Nate #17
 and always the happy soul.  Quick to smile and make a joke.  He makes our world a better place.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

all the way from Western Australia

Last night when I got the mail, I had the most wonderful surprise.  My postcard from Maria in Western Australia.  Isn't it the cutest card you have EVER seen.  I love squirrels, how did she know?

This is my first quilted postcard exchange and I was so excited, I was jumping up and down coming back from the mailbox.  My poor husband thought we had won the lottery, nope better.

Thanks Maria, yours is on its way...

Friday, September 26, 2014

getting it all on track

We are finally having our sale this weekend, so I have been busy hauling, moving, cleaning up and fixing things.  But I think I have it all on track.  I have sold many pieces already and I am pretty happy with the results.  I just can't handle the clutter and after three year bring two houses together I know what I can live without.  I need clean spaces. 

Random photo of Joel and the cat.
We finally got the stained glass lamp that my mother made me wired and hung from the beam in the dining room.  We had to find just the right arm to wire it through that would keep it centered over the table. I pulled a piece of antique iron lamp ware out of a cupboard for the sale, Joel took on look at it flipped it the other way and said, Ummmm, I think this will work for the light fixture and it did, we had it the whole time.  Now, we can see our food when we eat .

Monday, September 22, 2014

Winter Wheat time

Dad planting the winter wheat on the Uitos Farm.

 Here is my pop's hard at work.
 Discussing things with Mr. Uitos.

These photos happened over the span of a week and were taken by Mr. Uitos and used with her permission.

My pop's is an amazing man, he spent his pre-retirement years working as a carpenter and farming on nights and weekends.  Then when retirement rolled around he had the opportunity to farm full-time, and he took it.  Why?  he loves the land and making it grow.  The new beef operation is almost up and running, just need to get the fencing in then, who knows.  We share a love of cows.  Right now he has the most adorable black Angus steer calf that was rejected by his momma, Timmy Two is his name and along with my two youngest nieces, I am in love.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cadet Stevenson 9/11 Ceremony

Not sure how to do the link but this is a 9/11 ceremony that my son was in at Elmira College where he is a senior and it was covered by the local news.  He is the Cadet speaking to the news reporter.  I am so proud of him.  Elmira College 9 11 Memorial Ceremony