beats

Gabba’s School for Glorious Girls

Raymond started kindergarten today! He’s been so excited for the past week, Beats was sad that she didn’t get to go to school, too.

raymondI decided we could do school right here. I was a teacher. I can handle this!

Beats got a preschool work book over the summer. The plan is to do one page from each section, each day. She even packed a lunch last night when Raymond packed his.

beatsWe did great with matching colors. She knew the whale “should” be blue, but she decided to color it orange. Gabba approved.  Her teachers may not appreciate me someday, but I figure if she can tell me a tree is usually green, she can color it like a rainbow if she wants. ( #dontsquashthespirit ).

Then we moved on to counting. It went a little something like this:

  • Gabba: How many corns are there?
  • Beats: One
  • G: Awesome! Write the “1”
  • G: How many carrots?
  • B: 2
  • G: Great! Write the “2”
  • B: No. Three
  • G: But there are 2
  • B: But I want there to be 3. I like carrots.
  • G: But there are only 2
  • B: Well, there should be 3. Carrots are good for you.
  • G: OK. How many bananas?
  • B: 1, 2, 3…SIX!
  • G: I think 3 is probably right.
  • B: Why didn’t they draw the other 3?
  • G: What do you mean?
  • B: There should be 6, but they only drew 3.
  • G: OK. We can skip that one. I’ll let the book people know they did it wrong. How many pears?
  • B: Four!
  • G: Awesome! How many grapes?
  • B: 1, 2, 3…I don’t know. Like, one hundred?
  • G: 100? Let’s count them together.
  • B: (Counting each individual grape) 1, 2, 3…Like, maybe a hundred!
  • G: I think they mean the bunches of grapes, and there are 5.
  • B: But they didn’t draw 5. They drew a lot, a lot, a lot. The should have made 5 carrots. Carrots are good. They shouldn’t make little kids count so many grapes. I like eating grapes. I don’t like counting grapes.
  • G: Recess!
  • B: Yay!!! I need my tiara.

recess

I hope Raymond is having a great day! We’ll try again tomorrow.

 

 

Ray and Esmeralda

The Simple Things

 

 

It was beautiful outside today. Most of the day was sunny and warm, with some clouds passing through to keep things interesting.

I never know what may happen here, and today was no exception. I started my morning by finding a little mole in the mudroom. He was very cute, so I put him in a cleaned sour cream tub, with some chicken feed, while I decided what to do. Just one mole can dig up a whole pasture. When we see one of the dogs or cats has “eliminated” one it tends to be a good thing. But I couldn’t just kill it. It was REALLY cute!Mole tub

So, I set him free in one of the flower beds we haven’t planted this year. When Charlie got home he said it would have been smarter to take him farther out into the woods to release him, and he’s right, but I didn’t. I thought his mama might be nearby, and I didn’t want him to be afraid, alone in the woods.

Mole

Then, it was time to head to town. I was out of 7-Up, and it was a gorgeous day for a drive.  Between the rain and the sun, everything has been growing like crazy. This means getting caught behind brush cutters on a pretty regular basis. Since I didn’t grow up around these, I always get a kick out of them. There’s a huge mower-type thing off the side of the tractor that cuts down all the green along the side of the road. This is why Washington folks consider double yellow lines a mere suggestion. I have about 4 miles of curvy 2-lane road heading into town. Brush cutters and tractors go about 10 miles an hour. Once you see an opportunity to pass safely, you take it.

Brush cutterWhen I got home Carly, Joe and the kids came up for a little bit. Carly comes to clean the house for me once a week because I don’t like doing it, and she likes the extra money. Besides, somebody has to play with the kids while the housecleaning is happening. Win-win-win.

I decided we needed to move the bird feeders to the other end of the yard. It seems like we’re going to be spending a lot of time under the tree by the trampoline, so I wanted the feeders where we can see them. Both kids were going to help, but Reta Jean decided she could carry all the empty feeders by herself. She did allow Raymond and I to help fill them up. Now, we just have to wait for the birds to find them.

Once we were done with the feeders, Raymond played on the trampoline, Reta Jean played in the dirt, and I got ice cream cones for everybody.

Reta Jean has been keeping her eyes on the raspberries, just waiting for them to be ripe. She couldn’t resist trying one today. They aren’t ripe yet.

Beats and berries

We’ve been seeing rats around the animal yard, and during afternoon chores I found their nest. Now, I’m not a shrieky, sissy-girl, but when you reach for a flake of hay and a dozen rats rush to their escape by running over your hand and around your feet, it’s pretty hard to not let just a little scream slip out. The bad news is they scared the crap out of me, the good news is now I know where they’re living.

I may do what I can to save most little critters that cross my path, but rats don’t fall on my “to save” list. A standard trap really wouldn’t work because rats are smart. As soon as one rat got caught, the others would know to stay away. The cats and dogs, not to mention the chickens and the turkey might try to eat a dead rat, so poison isn’t an option. Farm folk say try a bucket, so I’m going to try a bucket. I set it up against a full bale of hay, next to their nest. My hope is they’ll run across the bale, heading for their nest and, gaaaaaaaaaaa, fall into the bucket. I put a little chicken scratch in the bucket. Once one rat falls in, I want it to tell its friends there’s food in there, not that it’s a trap. I don’t know what I’ll do if I catch any. I may just leave that executive decision to Charlie.

Rat trap

 

 

 

There was nothing super-special or extra-exciting about today. No art projects or big meals. It was just a day. We were lucky enough to wake up and enjoy a beautiful, peaceful day in the country. Life is good.

Out of the Woods

Redmon Woods is a happy place. The animals get along, the garden grows, the kids run and play and laugh, and I spend my days loving it all. Lately, though, I’ve made a mistake. I let the world in. And the world right now is not a happy place.

I thought of naming  the bombings and mass shootings, from this year alone, but I knew I wouldn’t get them all. I don’t want to leave anybody out because they are all heartbreaking. With every report I feel like I want to cry, or throw up, or hit something. And I don’t hit. The worst, though, is feeling helpless. I want a bad guy, I want a target, I want there to be somebody we can stop!

Yes, I know: ISIS. But it feels like trying to stop ISIS is like trying to stop everybody with green eyes. (I just picked green eyes randomly. I love many people with green eyes.) There may be more in some places than others, but they’re everywhere. And we know that everyone with green eyes isn’t evil, but how do we know who is who? And what about the evil people with green eyes who wear brown contacts, so we can’t even tell they might be evil. I would never want to see everyone with green eyes targeted, just like I would never want to see all Muslims targeted.

And then there are the local, everyday, mentally ill, unstable individuals, who feel like they want to die, but they want to take as many people as possible with them first. These shootings we actually do have the possibility of stopping, but that would mean some major changes to gun rights, and those rights are more important to some people than protecting the lives of others. Yep, I mean gun control. Not eliminating the 2nd Amendment, not taking away everybody’s guns, not allowing bad guys to have black market guns while good guys get shot in their sleep. I mean not allowing mentally unstable people to easily buy guns. I mean banning guns that have been designed to kill as many people as possible. I mean not allowing the gun industry to sell kits that allow consumers to buy a legal gun, then modify it to something that should be illegal. And don’t tell me that if I had a gun I could protect myself. I DON’T WANT A GUN! I want people who want to hurt people to NOT have guns.

And then, of course, there’s Trump. He’s going to make everything better by threatening to blow up innocent people. He’ll just eliminate everybody with  green eyes. That will fix everything. He knows he’s great, and he expects everybody else to know that, too. If you dare to do anything but agree with him, he’ll call you names, mock you, encourage others to hurt you, or simply take away your press credentials. He frames it as being tough enough or smart enough to not be politically correct. The things he says aren’t politically incorrect, they’re dangerous. He can’t expect the rest of the world to understand that when he says he wants to bomb the shit out of a country, he really means something else. Nobody knows what he means because he doesn’t speak in complete thoughts. And yet, he’s the Republican nominee for president. Why do the majority of Republicans not see what he is?

These things have invaded my little world, and they took my voice. How do I write about ducklings, and spring flowers, and the kids gathering dandelions and blowing wishes into the wind, when there is so much pain and anger and fear in the world? The ugliness has kept me awake at night. I’ve felt angry and sad and helpless. And now, I’m done!

Redmon Woods is a happy place. And even if a lot of the world isn’t happy right now, my little corner of the world is. And, maybe, if I take my voice back, I can help the world be a little happier. Redmon Woods is one small place, and I have just one voice, but my voice is going to be happy again.

Top Screen

Bug Out!

The frogs are chirping, the birds are tweeting, the flowers are blooming, and the bugs are EVERYWHERE! Spring is my new favorite time of year. The sun is out, the local fields are being plowed and planted, and everything is getting a chance to dry out.

Even though we just came out of the wettest winter in Washington history, we are now having record high temperatures. It was 94 yesterday. with no air conditioning. Huh.

I have to open up the house to keep it cool, BUT none of the windows are made to open, and the doors don’t have screens.  But the bugs! Flies and mosquitoes and wasps, oh my!

I hit up the internet for temporary screens, because we’re renting and can’t put up permanent screen doors. After looking at all the options, I decided I could make something better, and something that fits better, than anything I could buy. So, off to Lowe’s to see what I can pull together.

They have 25′ rolls of screen for about $18, and a shower curtain rod will fit all the way across the French doors. I can do this! Here’s what I did.

Supplies:

  • Screen (The vinyl stuff, not the metal because it has to be sewn)
  • Shower rod
  • Fabric

The doors in our bedroom are 6 feet across and 7 feet high. The roll of screen is 4 feet wide. I first made a screen for our dining room door, and learned that the screen kind of shrinks up if it’s not stretched in a frame. For the bedroom, I cut the screen a little bigger to make sure it covered the whole doorway.

Directions:

  • Cut screen longer than door opening. I cut mine 8 feet for a 7 foot door.
  • Cut fabric for a pocket for the shower rod and for the edges of the screen
    • I cut the top strip 8 feet across and 10 inches wide
    • I cut the edge strips 8 feet by 6 inches
  • Fold fabric in half lengthwise and press
  • Fold edges in 1 inch and press

 

Overlap

  • Sew the raw edge of the fabric along the edge of the screen with 3/4″ seam
  • Fold fabric around edge of screen and fold in the edge you pressed
  • Sew down the folded edge
  • Repeat on 2nd section of screen
  • Overlap the fabric strips at the top of each screen and sew them together
    • This overlaps the screen panels so they won’t gap open
  • Sew the fabric across the top just like you did to the fabric down the sides
    • Because this fabric is wide, it will make a pocket about 4 inches wideTop Screen
  • Trim the screen across the bottom, if necessary
  • Put rod through pocket and install it in doorway

Full Screen

Fresh air in, bugs out! The added bonus is that the dogs can get in and out on their own. Next winter I can take them down and put them away until the sun comes out again. Easy peasy!

Possum family

Mission Im-possum-ble

If you grew up with Disney, like I did, possums were the cutest thing ever!

Bambi Possum

When we moved to possum country, my image of them changed. We started seeing them on the side of the road, and they were flat enough, we knew they weren’t just playing possum. We even saw one waddling down the street on her own Sunday morning walk of shame. Their noses are pointy, their teeth are sharp, and their tails have just enough hairs on them to make them really yucky looking. Over the past few years, my mental picture of possums changed to something like this:

Vicious

Needless to say, I was less than happy when Peanut brought me….this:

maybedead

Even in the dark you can see its teeth. Shoot! It looks dead. But those teeth look awfully sharp. Charlie’s out of town, so I’m on my own to decide what to do with it. And then actually do what I decide. This is going to involve touching the possum. Did you see those teeth? I know, I’ll post this picture to Facebook, and see if it’s still there when I come back.

Oh, my gosh! Um. It moved. I’m so glad I didn’t pick it up by its tail. That would have left those teeth open to bite me. Wait, I know, the dogs must have moved it. Except they’re now all inside with me. Hmm. Now what? I look a little closer, and it’s actually breathing. I should have known Peanut would bring me a critter she thought needed help. She doesn’t usually bring me dead presents. I guess that whole “playing possum” thing is real.

MovedNow that I know it’s alive, all pictures will be taken through the window. Because those teeth are an active threat. As she starts coming out of her daze and looking around, she really pretty cute. And now that her mouth is closed, the teeth aren’t nearly as threatening.

If I go out to check on her, she might jump on me and attack my face. But it’s cold and raining. I could bring her a towel and some food. That would help her feel better. But the towel will just get wet. I know, I’ll pull something over her for shelter. Like a table. Hmm. The patio table is too big. The kids’ tables are too small. I know, the plastic patio table would be just right, and it’s easy to move.

I grab a towel and find a jar lid to put food in. A little dog kibble with an egg on top should do the trick. I’ll cover her up, give her the food, and bring the table out so she doesn’t get too wet. Maybe if I’m nice to her, and feed her, she’ll come back and visit. We could have a possum pet. That would be pretty cool! Because she really is pretty darn cute.

But when I get to the back door, she’s up and moving. I don’t want to scare her by opening the door. (I also don’t want to find I’ve misjudged her, and have her run into the house and terrorize us all.) I guess I’ll watch and see what she does.

Upandatem

Now I’m sad. She waddled off into the night. I tried to see which way she went, but she disappeared. I put the food out, anyway. She might come back hungry.

Ray and the Girls

2015 Review

Wow! I thought about doing my annual review, so I started out by looking at my 2015 To-Do list. http://redmonwoods.com/2015/01/01/to-do-list-2015/ I was so disappointed to see we had only accomplished 4 out of 10 items. (Of course, a lot of that was because we weren’t able to move forward with the back pasture. I’m going to move all pasture-related goals to the “wish list”. We still want to expand, but when we are able to access the area is up to the landlord, not us.)

I decided to go back through the year’s pictures, and saw just how much we accomplished this year. Two big events happen in January, which helps us to focus for the year. St. Distaff’s Day is the first weekend in January, and the Country Living Expo – which we just call Farm School – is the end of January.

One of my first 2015 projects was lotion bars. I discovered them at St. Distaff’s Day, and love them. My hands get so dry during the winter, they actually crack and bleed. Lotion bars have a good amount of beeswax in them, which seals in the oils and keeps the skin moisturized for a long time. The are easy to make, and last a long time. http://redmonwoods.com/?s=lotion+bars

0120151029aThe next project was dying alpaca fleece, using turmeric. I dyed a few different batches of fiber, after learning how at Farm School. (My kool-aid dyed, red, alpaca yarn even took first place at the Fair.) For Christmas this year, Charlie got me an outdoor propane burner with a 30 qt. and a 60 qt. pot. This may seem odd to some people, but these pots will allow me to dye large amounts of fiber outdoors.

0206150911

We brought in more laying hens, as well as several meat chickens, and 4 turkeys. For the first time, we raised our own meat, and are quite proud that we were successful.

0312151023 (500x271)

Rotisserie     Boiling stock Canned

In addition to meat birds, we expanded the garden. Charlie hung gutters to plant strawberries, and built net covers to protect the garden from bunnies and birds. I made potato bags to grow our potatoes and they worked great! The garden didn’t produce as much as we would have hoped because of the drought. 2016 is supposed to be a bit cooler and a lot wetter. Fingers crossed that we will have a lot more to harvest next summer/fall.

DSCN5822 (800x598) DSCN5828 (800x600)

0420151210a (351x500)We also sheared Spike and Tajo for the first time this year. We hired a professional shearer to do the work, but we were hands-on and learned a lot. For the fair, Spike’s is the fiber I dyed and spun, and Tajo’s was spun naturally.

006 (800x754)   012 (800x702)

008 (800x698)    020 (800x710)

Charlie also started his rabbit project. The thing is, rabbits don’t always breed like rabbits. We have yet to have a successful breeding. Charlie knows he’ll have to do something to “help”. I’m not asking for details, and he’s not looking forward to it. We’ll see how the rabbits play out over the next year.

Getting Acquainted

And, we can’t forget my pressure canner! I was able to can vegetables, like green beans and relish, that I wouldn’t have been able to do before. I also canned chicken stock from our meat birds.  Again, hopefully our garden will produce more and I’ll get to can more next summer.

Ready for takeoff    SimmeringDone  Jars

We got the city girls up for a visit this summer. It was a totally different experience for them. We really weren’t sure how they would take to country life. They liked it well enough, they’re coming for 2 weeks next summer. I know Shelby is hoping she’ll be tall enough to work the spinning wheel.

Waiting for Cows

Picking Peas Feeding Pacas Spinning

The locals say the floods this year were worse than they’ve been in years. Everybody is drying out, the mountains are getting a good snowpack to get us through summer, and weather-wise life has gotten back to normal.Roof

Of course, the BIG event of the year was the arrival of Miss Riley. She’s a happy little monkey, and Raymond and Reta Jean LOVE her. Reta Jean loves to tell her stories and make her laugh, and Riley smiles, giggles, and talks back. Raymond sings “Ri-ri-ri Ri-Riley Ann” when she needs to be calmed down. Riley always looks like she’s up to something. I’m sure she’s going to keep us all on our toes once she’s more mobile and verbal.

Riley Ann    Cheeks

There were many more project and adventures, and there will be even more in 2016. Through it all, the kids and grandkids were here to keep us entertained. We may be getting spoiled by simplicity, but I go to bed every night thinking how lucky we are, and that life really is good.

0408151209b 053 DSCN5436 (439x500) 0402151117-1 0427151930 (800x450) 0616151134 (800x450) July42015_116 July42015_123 July42015_134 0704152055 (675x800)  Stage lights2

 

Waiting for Cows Troll Bridge 2

SuperheroesReta Elf20704151547a (450x800)

Gifts

Christmas Eve Goody Box

I love Christmas! I’m going to say it again: I LOVE Christmas!!!

It’s not about the gifts, unless I’m the one giving them. In my book, there’s nothing better than finding the perfect gift for someone. I’m not talking about things that are expensive or fancy. I’m talking about things that are perfect for the person in mind. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it’s a major dance-around victory!

Gift giving aside, I believe that Christmas is for children. Santa, Rudolph, decorated Christmas trees, holiday lights, fancy cookies and presents under the tree. My goal is to make Christmas as magical and full of memories for the kids as possible. This time of year, I can’t go to the store without picking up a candy cane, or little gift, before stopping off to see Raymond and Reta Jean. And every time they’re excited, and laughing and clapping, and their faces light up, I feel like I’m doing it right. (It’s really not about the things. I want the kids to be as excited about the magic and surprise of Christmas as I’ve always been.)

My dad insisted we get new pajamas every Christmas. He said there was nothing better than getting up early, opening gifts, spending the day with family, then taking a bath, putting on your new jammies, and climbing into your warm bed. And he was right. Our kids got pajamas every year when they were children. Now that they’re adults, if we find perfect pajamas, we still have to get them…Like pizza print footie pajamas for Tori.

Family traditions are an important part of making the holiday special. We got pajamas, macadamia nuts and oranges every year, no matter what. There were other gifts, too, but notice what I remember the most: the traditions.

Years ago, Charlie and I both saw a “Christmas Eve Box” on the internet. The idea was to pack it full of things to make Christmas Eve special, too. The picture we saw looked something like this:Pinterest Box

We decided this fit right in with our desire to help all the kids make Christmas memories. Our two branches of grandkids have three kids each, so our boxes have to be a little bigger. I also had to add some Gabba touches.  For instance, there has to be a fun activity, because I always want the kids to DO things.

The first year, I made a quilt and pillows for each box. I thought the kids needed something to snuggle up with. We also put together pajamas, a movie, a book, and hot cocoa. The activities are things like cookie decorating kits. As much as I like to make things from scratch, I don’t want the kids’ moms to hate me for giving them one more thing to do. I count on kits, in hopes of making things easier.

Amazon has become an important part of the process. When you’re trying to get a different book and movie every year, it helps to remember what you’ve already gotten. Yep, I count on my Amazon history to help me out. They also make it easy to find matching/coordinating/specific pajamas in all the different sizes.

Since it’s been a few years since we made our first box, Charlie thought it was time for new blankets. So, new blankets it is!

Here is this year’s box for the California girls:

Gifts

Contents:

  • Holiday quilt – specially picked out Christmas Farm fabric to help them remember their summer trip to visit us
  • Pajamas
  • Gingerbread village kit – the girls like to do their own thing and this one gives them each their own house
  • Hot cocoa
  • The Little Drummer Boy movie – it was my mom’s favorite and continues to be one of mine
  • The Pajama Elves book – it’s a new one and I thought it was appropriate since pajamas are always a thing
  • Personalized ornaments – they’re not here yet, but on their way

Once it’s all packed up, everything fits in a 12 x 12 box. All ready to be shipped, and opened up Christmas Eve!

PackedCharlie and I have fun selecting the items for the Christmas Eve box every year, and hope the grandkids enjoy it as much as we do. And now, I have to get back to work on quilt #2 for the Washington grandkids.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

0929150803b

Homemade Homegrown Thanksgiving

Well, we did it. We pulled off our down home Thanksgiving! After doing this, I understand why pioneer women stayed home to cook and clean. It takes a lot of time. Maybe not the cleaning part, because dirty floors and outdoor toilets don’t require a lot of attention. But, boy, the growing, prepping, cooking takes time. Even with electric appliances.

The final menu:

  • Turkey
  • Corn bread and sausage stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Glazed carrots
  • Green beans and bacon
  • Pattypan and Ricotta quiche
  • Dinner rolls
  • Deviled eggs
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Holiday cookies

My shopping list had a whopping 7 items on it, including spices, half and half, whipping cream, and celery. Yeah, I had to break away from the farm for celery. Not only were we not able to grow it here, but we couldn’t find it at farmers markets, either. Still, not bad. The sausage and bacon came from our friends at R Heritage farm. The one item that was sadly missing was corn. Rats got to our cornfield before harvest. Everything else came straight from our backyard and kitchen.

While it was nice to head out to the backyard to gather Thanksgiving, it was the longest prep timeline ever. Besides the big projects like planting and processing, there is also the daily feeding, watering, and cleaning, etc.

Spring prep and planting:0509151105 (450x800)

  • Buy chicks so they will be laying eggs in time (Hens start laying around 20 weeks)
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Squash
  • Pumpkins

 

Summer prep:

  • Buy turkey chicks (Turkeys are processed at 4-6 months)
  • Harvest and can green beans
  • Process and can chicken stock

November:

  • Harvest potatoes, pumpkins, squash and carrots
  • Make pumpkin puree

Week of:Turkey hunter

  • Catch and process turkey (this is harder when it’s been raining and the yard is muddy and slippery)
  • Bake corn bread
  • Prepare pie crusts
  • Slice carrots
  • Bake dinner rolls
  • Bake cookies

Everything else was pulled together on Thanksgiving.

Now, we missed some holiday standards because I was determined to bring as much as possible from the back yard.  There were no cranberries, and no sweet potatoes, which are my favorite. Next year, we can probably grow sweet potatoes, and some mushrooms would be good. I don’t see cranberries happening anytime soon. Something about a bog, or something.  Hmm. Maybe we could do that. We’ll see.

Christmas is right around the corner, and our Christmas dinner will be as much from home as possible, but I’ll have to bring in other goodies, too.

Thanksgiving will continue to be homegrown, and I’m sure will evolve over the years. It’s not a matter  of having or making MORE. For us, it’s about doing it ourselves, appreciating where we are and what we’re able to produce, and providing for our family. It also reminds us to be thankful year-round. And that’s the very best part.

 

Cover

Flood!

So, here’s the thing. It rains in Washington. A lot. Not nearly as much as people would have you believe, but still a lot. The good news is, the wonderful people who built Washington knew it rained a lot. Homes and roads were designed to withstand lots of water.

Now, that being said, sometimes it rains more than a lot. We’ve learned that we can count on the roads not completely washing away. From time to time they do end up under water, though. One of the roads that washes away a few times a year is the road we take to town. That means we get to take the long way around. It takes a little longer, but it gives us the chance to see what’s going on. Want to see some pictures?

These are all fields and pastures in their regular lives. Not lakes.

Flood 1

Corn Field

Cow Pasture

Cow Pasture

Sheep Pasture

Sheep Pasture

This is a farm on the other side of the river from where we live. Those are 4 ft. fence posts, and the roof of what is probably an animal cover.

Fenceposts

Fence posts

Roof

Roof

To put things in perspective, this is a picture of the river. And not the river. The water beyond that thin strip of land is the actual river.  The water between that strip of land and the road is NOT river. That’s usually pasture, with cows wandering around.

Not river

River

We’re on our road here, and town is waaay down there, at the base of the hills over yonder. See? We’re high above the major flooding.

 

Town

Down to Town

Closer to home, we have a lot of water, but it’s where it’s supposed to be. The “little creek” that runs through the property has turned into a churning river, and the pond is pretty high.

Creek

Little Creek

pond

Full Pond

The farms and ranches here have high and low pastures. This is also a community that doesn’t hesitate to help out. If anybody’s animals are in danger, they are moved to high ground, or a neighboring property. I haven’t heard of anybody’s home being flooded. Even in flood zones, the houses are built on high spots. When roads are closed, there are alternate routes. Most people pay attention, and don’t sneak around the barricades.

Flooding here is pretty cool. It creates extra work, and makes trips to town take a little longer, but it really is beautiful. I may be speaking too soon because we’re supposed to have rain for the next 4 days. But, we had sun today and everything had  a chance to dry out a little. We’ll see how I feel about it by the end of the week.

Roast Turkey

Thanksgiving Prep

The time has almost come! I’ve been looking forward to this Thanksgiving since last year, and now it’s almost here.

I come from a family where holidays are looked forward to. Not only do we like each other, there is never any pressure for things to be “perfect.” I have a lifetime of happy holiday memories, and do my best to provide the same for our children and grandchildren.

This year is particularly exciting because our Thanksgiving meal will be 100% homegrown. (The exception will be ingredients like flour, sugar and spices.) We wanted to do this last year, but underestimated how long we would have to raise a turkey before it’s big enough to eat. This year, we researched everything early in the year to ensure we would be ready.

I went through Pinterest and found recipes that only included items we’ve grown here. Everything looks delicious. Mine may or may not end up looking like this, but hopefully they’ll taste as good as all of these look. Take a look at the planned menu:

https://www.pinterest.com/TracyRedmon/thanksgiving/

We’re hitting freezing temperatures at night, and have had lots of rain in the past week. I wanted to leave everything in the ground as long as possible, but I had to start bringing it in this week. I wanted to show them straight from garden. Now, we’ll have some real before and after pictures to look at.

We have potatoes, carrots, and squash, plus green beans that I canned this summer. I haven’t decided how many different ways I’ll use the pumpkins, but there will be some yumminess there.

Potatoes  Green Squash  Carrots   Squash

The one obvious absence is corn. It takes a long time to ripen, and the rats got to it – all of it – before it was ready to be harvested. I’m disappointed, but I’ll get over it.

In addition to our garden offerings, we HAVE to take the opportunity to use some of the eggs. This is just one of the stacks in the pantry. Carly and the kids will be in charge of deviled eggs. It will be totally OK if some of them get messed up, or if the kids have to test them. We have plenty of eggs to use.

Eggs

And, of course, no Thanksgiving would be complete without the turkey! We got these turkeys as chicks in August.  Charlie knew if I grew too attached to any of them, they would become pets. Matilda will be granted the Redmon pardon. She’s the one in front, and is always the first to greet me at the gate, and follow me around waiting for me to drop something for her to eat. Charlie will decide who becomes Thanksgiving dinner and who will stick around until Christmas.

Turkeys

I have my work cut out for me. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.