If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

It's Canning and Freezing Season!

Monday was the day for freezing squash.  We cut it up into slices and I cooked us up a batch to eat.  While dinner was on the stove, we cut up some more, dipped it into milk, dipped it into a dry batter of corn meal, flour, and spices, and laid it out on wax paper on cookie sheets to freeze.

Tuesday was the day for freezing okra.  Again, we cut it up into slices and dipped it into milk, dipped it into the dry batter, and laid it out on wax paper for freezing.  We turned out two quart freezer bags filled really full at a time.  That makes enough for a meal with company or for the two of us and leftovers for lunches.

Wednesday I froze three quarts of blanched squash in freezer bags for casseroles.  I simply sliced it into pieces, dropped it into boiling water for three minutes, plunged it into ice water, drained it, and bagged it for the freezer.

Thursday afternoon we picked squash, okra, and tomatoes.  We gave most of that afternoon's squash and okra away, saving only enough for dinner.  I washed off all the tomatoes and laid them out to dry.  The kitchen counters were full of tomatoes - all of them!  There  was a total of about three five-gallon buckets full of tomatoes.  I didn't make a photo but it was much like this bounty:


This afternoon was tomato canning day.  First, I dipped the tomatoes into boiling water for 30-60 seconds.  Then, plunged them into cold water.  Next I slipped the peeling off and cut them into chunks.  From there, I put them into the juicer for squeezing and straining out the seeds and large pieces of pulp.  I used this mechanism that belongs to Mama.

It worked beautifully.  I simmered the juice at 190 degrees for five minutes.  Poured it into jars, added a teaspoon of sugar and two tablespoons of lemon juice.  This made nine quarts of tomato juice that I processed in a boiling water bath.

I took the left-over pulp and pureed it.  Then, I cooked it for five minutes at 190 degrees.  Next, I dipped it out of the pot and poured it into jars before processing them in a boiling water bath as well.  I wound up with three quarts and a pint of pureed tomatoes.  Plus, there was about a half-pint that I just poured into a zip-top bag and froze.

We love soups, chili, spaghetti, lasagna, and such.  So, this winter, we will have home-grown tomatoes in our bowls!

I felt so good because I cleared the counters off and only had this few tomatoes left for salads, sandwiches, and just plain slices for the week.

Then, Mike came in from his afternoon of cutting grass, feeding calves, and gardening.

Tomorrow looks like another canning or freezing day!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Luci's Book

You may recall that way back earlier this year we wrote a book.  The book was a birthday present for our youngest grandchild, Easton.  It seemed like a great idea.  I mean, we are really blessed as a family and our grandchildren really have all their needs and most of their wants met.  So, creating a personalized book seemed like a wonderful, original, personal thing to do.

Then, we created one for Levi.  I don't do these alone, y'all.  I scour and borrow photos.  I ask for ideas of words to represent certain letters.  I ask for ways to have a page for MawMaw and a page for Mama without having two M pages.  I ask for rhyming words.  I ask for ideas of something that is yellow.  Mike is as good as Webster's gold at times and not so good at others - think rhyming words with heart and smart.

Now, we are half-way through the year, have created books for the three youngest grandchildren, and have come to realize that writing and gifting of books is a great idea.  However, it is taxing on a couple of old folks' brains to come up with ideas!  That doesn't even include coming up with all those appropriate photos, too.

Then, stop and consider that we have eight grandchildren.  Eight.  And are expecting a ninth.

Do you know how many words start with Q?

Do you have any idea how many words start with Z?

Do you know how difficult it is to write a rhyming verse?

Well, we persevere and we just wrote our third ABC book for a grandchild.

Here it is, Luci's ABC Book!
Cover 
Inside Cover 
Pages A & B 
Pages C & D 
Pages E & F
Pages G & H 
Pages I & J 
Pages K & L 
Pages M & N 
Pages O & P 
Pages Q & R 
Pages S & T 
Pages U & V 
Pages W & X 
Pages Y & Z 
Inside Back Cover/Dedication Page 
Back Cover

Three books down and five to go!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Preview

We got a little preview of things to come.  Well.  Sort of.
As soon as my niece, Becca, and her husband, Nathan, and their little one arrived at the baby shower the other night, Harris honed in on their baby and had to check her out.
He was fascinated by her feet and she seemed to be a bit fascinated by him and his busyness.
He was gentle and careful.
Well, as gentle and careful as a rambunctious little boy can be.
 I think he will love his baby sissy and hope she will be smiling most of the time when he is giving her attention like Emmalynn did.  Time will tell.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Celebrating the Anticipated New Baby

Gathering with friends and family is always fun but when you get to celebrate the anticipation of a new baby, that makes it all the more exciting!
Everybody they know seems to want to be certain that Bryan, Jessica, and Harris have plenty of frilly, ruffly, pink-ness to welcome the new baby home.
Bridgette and her helpers did a remarkable job making the place look festive and sweet for a celebration.
This helper looks pretty satisfied with her finished tissue paper bumble bee decoration.

There were oversized tissue paper flowers and bees to add some punch to the decor.  Below, a couple of bees anchor the mantel decor holding a clothesline of baby gowns and hats.  On top of the mantel is a repurposed window with a large B that will have the new baby's complete monogram added and be used to decorate her nursery.  Some of the clothing items will have her name or monogram added as well.  No self-respecting southern belle wouldn't have personalized and monogrammed items in her wardrobe!
More decorations were added to the archway between the den and kitchen.
This area is just perfect for oversized and bright punches of color.
A closer look at the corner pieces with the flowers larger in size than the average person's head.  Just so cute!
A combination of rustic and sweetness graced the entry door.  The wreath combines burlap and ribbons the colors of the nursery as well as the initial for her last name.
There were gifts and cards galore to outfit the new baby and prepare her family for all those baby needs.  We supped at the nacho bar and munched on brownies, blondies, and honey bear mix for dessert.
Guests completed a sweet treasure for the future by entering wishes for baby.
There were hopes that required thinking and others which popped right into our minds as wishes for her.
Mom, Dad, and big brother all investigated the sweet treasures folks had brought to shower them with love and supplies and ruffles and frills for the new little girl.






Dad took time to thank folks for their generosity and express their gratitude for the blessings of family and friends - current blessings and gifts throughout the years.
Good times and exciting anticipation!