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Saturday, September 26, 2020

A week ago I made a list of things I had to get done on our property.

1. Clean all of the mulberry trees that keep growing in our large pine trees at the end of the driveway. 
2. Drastically prune back the monstrous forsythia bush by the garage, and do the same to a few other bushes around the property.
3. Weed whip around the barn.
5. Clean up around the tractor and old pick up truck.
6. Cut back to the root the old grape vines, and asparagus, and clean up the blueberry bushes.
7. Clean up under the deck.
8. Push mow as needed.
9. Clean up the vegetable gardens.
10. Clean up around the fire pit and compost heap.

Well I am really pleased to say that I have completed most of list. I still need to cut out the mulberry trees growing up inside the large pine trees. And I still need to clean up the gardens but really need a good rain to soften up the soil so the weeds pull out easily.
It is a satisfying feeling to get so much accomplished, and I had help along the way from my husband and even a little help from a few grandsons. Unfortunately I came in contact with poison ivy, and I don't know where exactly, but I have an itchy rash on my legs, feet, hands, arms, neck and chin. So annoying! But even though the itching at times drives me to distraction it is very pleasing to sit on the deck, or under a tree and simply enjoy the view rather than seeing lots of things that need to be done. And, I had a wonderful time burning all the yard waste, it is a very satisfying part of the work. The fire has a purpose, and seems so appropriate for this time of year. It never ceases to amaze me how a gigantic heap of branches and yard waste can be burned down to a small pile of ashes in a few hours. 

Dave and our son Matt went to get a load of wood on Saturday morning. I think they thought they were just picking it up, but arrived at Dave's sisters house to meet up with her husband and then spent the morning with chain saws cutting up limbs. Around lunch time they arrived back at the house with a pickup truck load of wood which they unloaded. I stacked up the logs, it was another very satisfying job, and it made my heart happy to know we have a bit of fire wood as it is always nice to have a camp fire at this time of year. Dave and I will be heading back to his sister's house in the next week or so to pick up more wood.


Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Little Outing With A Few Of The Grandsons

 Last Friday we took a trip to a local pumpkin patch. The little boys had looked forward to it all week and were so excited to go. We arrived at the pumpkin patch and they had a fun time, we looked at pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes. But mainly they were impressed with the many "spooky" inflatables, particularly the Mummy in the outhouse, and Dracula in his coffin. There was a nice play area set up, a giant tractor built out of hay bales was a big attraction for the boys. Everyone selected their very own perfect pumpkin and then it was time to go. We headed off to a local McDonalds to pick up a happy meal for each boy and then to a local county park for a picnic. It was a beautiful September day and the boys enjoyed their meal and then burned of some energy on the jungle gym and a short walk around the pond. It was a lovely day out for the boys and grandma.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Sunday Fun

 The last Sunday of summer 2020. I made "the giant beef pot pie" for the family to eat and, I enjoyed some vegan baked beans and thirded bread.  I  spent Sunday morning baking bread to keep us going for the next few weeks. However the new bread supply dwindled quickly as the family arrived and ate their way through two loaves of warm from the oven bread.  "The giant beef pot pie" is a family favorite this time of year, I make it in our largest cast iron skillet, which I also use to make "the giant apple pie", another fall favorite. 

The weather was beautiful and all of the grandsons headed outside with our son Ben to play football, it was fun to watch. After eating it was time for family haircuts. Our daughter Amber is a hairdresser, she stopped working in the hair business about a year ago and now works for a dentist, but she still enjoys cutting hair and has a nice little side business going to her clients home to cut their hair. Every five or six weeks she does family haircuts. Little grandson Ralphie has lately refused to get his hair cut, but it was getting so long that this time his mom and dad (Taylor and Ben) said he had to do it and after a bit of coaxing he willing went to the chair!  

"The giant beef pot pie"

 Masen and I enjoying a late summer evening together.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

This And That

I recently finished another pair of socks, this time in a pretty pink. I am so loving my knitted socks, they are comfortable to wear and very colorful.

I finished the animal print quilt.

Many years ago I purchased a couple of crocheted hot pads at a garage sale. The older lady hosting the garage sale took care of her very elderly mother, a little old lady in a wheel chair who loved to crochet hot pads. The elderly mother was busy crocheting another hot pad, to add to the many all ready on display and available for purchase. I thought they looked very cheerful and useful so purchased a couple. Well they were a good find, I loved the crocheted hot pads and they were in constant use. I still have one very worn hot pad from the garage sale, and luckily found a pattern for the crocheted double sided hot pads online. I have made a few over the years. Because they are in constant use they do eventually wear out. A couple of weeks ago after a bit of a mishap in the kitchen I totally destroyed one, burning a large hole through one side, it was ruined. Never fear, the next time I went to Walmart for groceries I picked up a ball of variegated yarn, color mistletoe, and after a couple of evenings of crocheting my little heart out I now have two new hot pads that will be in constant use for many years to come.

My husbands latest project dwarfs any project I have ever done, he is re-painting the house! We painted the house red many years ago, had to re-paint it after a number of years as the paint faded, and it is again time to re-paint. Actually it has been time to re-paint for quite a long time, but it is a big project.

All finished with the power washing.

Finishing up the application of the primer, we rather like the gray color, so think if we ever tire of the red and decide to change things up we will go with gray but a darker shade than the primer.

And, how exciting, the color is applied and the top front of the house almost done. Dave plans to repaint the shutters to freshen them up.

On Saturday a pleasant surprise was found in the veggie patch. Grandson Masen came over for the day and we spent most of out time outside as I have been on a yard clean up mission all week. Dave and Masen were helping to haul many, many lopped off branches from the bushes I had attacked with my handy clippers and the bigger branches with Dave's reciprocating saw back to the veggie garden so I could burn them. We were taking a bit of a breather and I wandered around the weedy, very weedy garden and noticed green stripes in amongst the weeds, and there was a gigantic watermelon. We all were very amused. And Masen and I were very happy because we LOVE watermelon.

Masen showing off the giant watermelon.

Masen and Grandpa decided the watermelon should head back to the house in the wagon. Masen held onto the watermelon for dear life he didn't want it to "fall" out of the wagon.

 We cut the watermelon open and it looked as if it was smiling at us. Oh, and in case you are wondering, it was absolutely delicious.

Friday, September 11, 2020

A Trip To Conner Prairie

 Last Saturday we took a trip to Conner Prairie, it is about a two hour drive away and located on the north-east side of Indianapolis. My last visit to Conner Prairie was about twenty years ago, it was very enjoyable and I was excited to go again. I have to say it was a pretty disappointing visit this time around. We were blessed with beautiful weather so that was a plus, pretty much the only plus. The price of admission was quite expensive, and probably should be reduced while Covid 19 restrictions are in place. 

A nice playground was added at some point since my last visit and the boys enjoyed burning off some energy after being cooped up in the car for a while. An added attraction was a giant tethered hot air balloon, it looked like fun if you liked heights, but I was unsure what it had to do with the early 1800's and seemed more of a way to extract money from visitors.

We toured the Conner farm house, built in 1823, due to Covid we were unable to go upstairs and could only peek through the doorway of each of the two rooms downstairs.  We meandered on to Prairie Town, a representation of a small community in 1836, again most of the buildings were either roped off so we could only peek through a doorway, or closed. There were very few "in character" people wandering around.

The Animal Encounter was a joke! We had to wait in a socially distanced queue and finally were allowed into the barn, to see a geriatric goat, a goat kid, and a crate of chicks placed so far away from where we were allowed to stand we really couldn't see them. I believe the people working were embarrassed by the lack of animals and apologized and said there are some sheep but they were at the Vet that day getting a check up. 

Our trek continued to the Tree Top Trail, another trendy feature added to "enhance" the visit, again I asked myself what on earth does this giant tree house, jungle gym have to do with the telling of life in 1800's Indiana.

Then over the covered bridge, this was the Civil War exhibit and it consisted of a few banners with brief statements about the Civil War and then on the other side of the bridge we "arrived" into the late 1800's, one building was open so we could peek through a door, and the very large, grand, Victorian farm house was closed.

I really feel the price of admission, $57 for myself and three boys, was a rip off. Surely over Labor Day weekend a full staff should be on hand, exhibits open, and plenty of animals to encounter. The whole experience was really rather lame and certainly not worth the four hour round trip of driving and the cost of admission. I surely hope Covid restrictions are to blame for the poor visitor experience and that this is not "business as usual" for Conner Prairie. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A Little Of This And That

 Last Sunday evening we drove to Witmer Lake, near Wolcottville Indiana to see our daughter Emily and her husband Joe be baptized. It was an absolutely beautiful late summer evening and a lovely way to finish the weekend. 

I made vegan bake beans from scratch. I soaked navy beans overnight. The next morning  I drained and rinsed the beans and popped them back into the pan with a quart of water, a chopped sweet onion, chopped garlic, salt, a generous glop of molasses, a shot of worcestershire sauce and a squirt of ketchup. I put the burner on low and let the beans simmer for several hours. Once done I had a scoop of beans for lunch and divided the rest up into generous half cup servings. I put the scoops of beans into a cup cake pan and put them in the freezer. The next day I popped all the frozen lumps of beans out of the pan and put them into a large freezer bag. Now when I want some beans I just pull out a "lump" and have a perfect serving to enjoy. 


Last Sunday I took a lovely fourteen mile bike ride, the weather was perfect, sunshine, light breeze, comfortable temperature, awesomeness. I love my bike and many years ago  named her Delores. My mom bought Dolores for me as a birthday gift about twenty five years ago, we went to a specialty bicycle shop, The Cycle Path, (sadly it is no longer in business) and I was instructed to select a good bicycle. I chose Delores, she was described as a road bike, and perfect for everyday riding, and she has certainly proven to be just that. 

After my bike ride I spent a lovely hour or so on the front porch  enjoying the beautiful weather and my library book. 

Captured, but only in a photo, one of the very fat ground hogs who have feasted on the bounty of one of our veggie gardens all summer.

And a picture of grandsons Ralph and Masen enjoying a dish of icecream.