Sunday, October 18, 2015


"Will you come to my house for lunch?" That is a welcome invitation for this mother of boys! Thomas' mother invited us to her house for lunch today. She fed us a delicious lunch of potatoes & burger, California blend & tossed salad. She said it was in celebration of Thomas' and my 20th wedding anniversary this coming Tuesday. 
An anniversary bouquet from Mom

We had a longer service at church this morning as we celebrated the death and suffering of Jesus (Communion). That sounds a bit odd to think of celebrating something awful. But the celebration part is because of what it means to us as we are now able to be a part of this wonderful family of God! I am reminded of the awful things that have happened in my life and how they can be causes of celebration as I realize what God works through them.

We couldn't sit long to visit after lunch because we went with the youth group to sing at a nursing home. Then it was time to come home to do the milking.

Stephen & Austin were in Gap Mills the last few days to help my parents with a baked goods stand at a festival in Clifton Forge, VA. They left here Thursday morning taking two of their girl cousins along, and came home this morning. They had to leave at 5:30 to be here in time for church. After we got home from singing, Stephen conked out on the couch. He had the responsibility of driving on the trip.

We harvested about 4 bushels of butternut squash. We gave some to my sister and family. The rest will need to be canned or frozen unless some of my readers can tell me how to keep them raw. We like the seed ends stuffed with meat loaf and baked. Seeds removed, of course.
Boxes of squash

The volunteer plant had the biggest squash

Apples are sitting here waiting to be sauced. 
Golden Delicious

York in sacks

There are also a number of peppers to pickle and be put into salsa. I actually bought some tomatoes to make salsa with.

And then I found a good number of quince. I don't know if the bush never bore any since we're here or whether I just never saw them before. This is something new for me. I had to research how to use them. They need lots of sugar to even be edible. 

So I feel a bit overwhelmed as I try to fit all this into our schedule of school and baking. We got 40 lbs of boneless turkey thighs canned this past week too. 

Produce from the market waiting to be turned into pies & bread

Here is what the boys love to use when they help with pies. It is an apple peeler, corer, slicer and it works well! Saves a lot of time and body wear.

It's cold! We actually turned the heat on in the house last night for the first time. We have occasionally had a fire in the wood stove out in the finished garage where we spend most of our time. The temperature hasn't gone above 45 today. We had a good frost this morning. I ran out to pull the sweet potato vines off before we left for church. Thankfully I had brought my potted plants inside overnight.

What do you use on a burn? I burned my hand on the wood stove this week. After trying a salve on the wound I finally wiped it off and instead put aloe vera juice on from one of my plants. It was so soothing but it was hard to keep the juice on so I finally cut a leaf in half and laid it on my hand. I kept it there for a few hours until the pain subsided. The burn never blistered and I had no more pain since. I highly recommend aloe vera for burns!
1st day
5th day

Aloe Vera -The plant that can be totally neglected but still has healing for you.

A new person entered our community this week on Friday. Gene & Dorcas Ropp had a baby girl, named Teagan (tee' gun) Jade. Third child second daughter. 

What is life like in the fall for you?

Are you doing any food preservation these days?

Has the cold weather come to visit you yet?

Monday, October 5, 2015

A new venture

My sister-in-law wondered if I know how to say, "No"? We started something new this past week to add to our already full schedule.A local market asked whether I would use their produce to bake pies and zucchini bread for them to sell. I was thrilled. The bread doesn't tempt me like the pie. Pie is my "fun" thing to bake.

Tuesday evening I helped Melvin & Christopher get started with some little painting-by-number cards. They got hooked and spent any extra time they had doing it. They would be at it early in the morning and late in the eve.

The market wanted me to put zucchini and peaches in the freezer so I can keep making bread and pies once these items are out of season. So that meant I needed to move the tomatoes out of the freezer that I had stored up this summer to make juice and soup.

So with a very rainy week we kept ourselves very occupied indoors.  

What did you do this past week while the rain fell?

Or maybe you had a dry, sunny week?