Thursday, July 19, 2018

Worrisome Update and Food Experiments

My cleaning lady didn't show up this morning, so I had to call to report that she missed two weeks.  I am paying for the cleaning service and the home health care through a county program.  Even though the rates I pay are heavily discounted, I still don't want to pay for no service.  I have no idea what happened with her and I really hate to see her go.  She did a wonderful job.  Wherever she is, I wish her well.  Those in charge of the program will find me a new cleaning person.  If the new cleaner is half as thorough as the other, I will be happy.

On another note, I saw some videos about canning bacon.  I already can bacon bits, but the videos were about canning bacon slices.  So in the interest of adding to my home canned goods stash, I ordered four pounds of bacon which should give me 8 pints.  I will give this a try over the weekend and let you know how it works. 

I have another food experiment going.  I made up two batches of baking powder biscuits.  One batch I cut and baked the normal way, put them in a freezer bag when cool and popped them into the freezer.  The idea was that when I want a biscuit or two I can grab a couple and heat them up for a meal.

  The second batch I rolled out, cut the dough into biscuits, put them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and froze them for about an hour.  Then I took the frozen raw biscuits and put them in a freezer bag and back into the freezer they went.  The theory is that I can take out as many as I want and bake them. 
 
  I will test both methods to see which one I like best.  It is sort of fun to test new ideas to see if they really work.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Worrisome

So last week the cleaning lady didn't show up.

Now I know what that sounds like.  I have heard those well-to-do, every hair in place, designer jeans types complain about the 'help.'  But for me, having someone do the heavier cleaning isn't a luxury.  It is a necessity.

The last time she was here she didn't seem to be her usual cheery self.  I asked if she was ok and she replied that she hadn't taken her medication that day.  She told me she has anxiety attacks.  We sat and talked about that for a time.  She seemed better when she left.

She missed work one other time.  But then she called, all apologetic, telling me she had overslept.  I just laughed, told her not to worry about it.  She just came here the following day.

She hasn't called.  Her day to work for me is Thursday.  I believe in giving folks the benefit of the doubt, so I haven't called the company she works for.  I hope she shows up tomorrow.  I hope she is alright.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sons

So yesterday I was in the middle of having my legs treated by the home health care nurse.  She is a sweetheart.  There is some pain involved in the process and she works hard to minimize it and yet do what is necessary. 

Anyway, in the middle of all that, Youngest Son showed up.  He had pictures on his phone of his family on vacation last week.  They stayed in a cabin just south of the Minnesota Boundary Waters area.  No wi-fi, no cell service, just them and nature.

While the nurse worked on my legs, David scrolled through the pictures on his phone, showing my grands swimming in the crystal clear lake, fishing, canoeing and enjoying the scenery from the deck of a pontoon.  The dog particularly loved pontoon rides.  I was having so much fun looking at the pictures that I didn't even notice when the nurse had finished her work.  :)

David says he will transfer the pictures to a flash drive for me.  I may show you some of the beautiful scenery then.

This evening, after a less than stellar day, Oldest Son showed up with a package of deli corned beef, my favorite lunch meat for sandwiches.  When it is so very hot outdoors, I really dislike using the stove.  The corned beef will get me through with cold suppers for a few days, assuring that my apartment stays cool.

And Duane also brought me a bag of my favorite fruit - cherries.  It is amazing how something as simple as a bag of cherries can lift a person's spirits.

Doesn't matter how old sons become - they still look after their Mama.  :)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Low Energy Week

It is hot again and promises to continue the rest of the week.  Therefore, I am doing things that expend the least amount of energy possible.  It is too hot and humid to work with yarn.  Can't even scrape up enough energy to sew.  I have been neglecting my genealogy research, so this seems like a good time to put in some serious computer time where my only exercise is fingers on keyboard.

I love reading other folks blogs about their searches for ancestors.  Most times they give me new ideas about where to look online.  Sometimes their family stories are inspiring or courageous or amusing.  I am surprised at how many will go to great lengths to try to prove royalty or celebrity in their family lines.

Me...I like the black sheep.  The ones that other researchers in my family have glorified, ignoring  their sins.  Like one of my great grandfathers.  He served in the Civil War and was wounded in battle.  I will give him credit for that.  But nobody else mentioned the fact that he was court-martialed for being drunk on guard duty. He remained in the army as it was wartime and every man was needed to fight, but he forfeited most of his pay for three months. I once asked my Dad about him and Dad's reply was that his grandpa 'sure did love his booze.'  He was the reason my grandmother, his daughter, made my grandfather sign a paper stating that Grandpa would stay away from liquor.  Grandma wouldn't marry Grandpa until he signed on the dotted line.

Another ancestor has been praised by other researchers as the hero who was the first of that family line to reach the shores of America - the New World.  And that much is true.  However, while combing through old court records I found that this ancestor was a real bugger.  He harassed his neighbors to the point of being involved in several lawsuits.  He was put into stocks in the village square for leaving his wife alone long enough for her to become pregnant with another man's child.  Eventually the local citizenry had had enough of him and he and his wife were banished from the town.

Now here's the rub.  This boy child born to the wife is the ancestor from whom my family line descends.  If all of this is true and even though he carries the family surname, he may not be blood related.  So I am off to see what I can find out concerning this dilemma.

I love a good mystery, especially when it is within my own family.  :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pickles, Pickles Everywhere

So by the time I finished canning dill pickles last evening it looked like the Gedney Pickle Factory had exploded in my kitchen.  I did wind up with 30 pints of pickles, so it was well worth it.  For those interested in my dill pickle recipe, I have to admit that I cheat.  I have a long history of making lousy tasting dill pickles from scratch.  So now it is Mrs. Wages Dill Pickle Mix all the way.

When the last jar was cooling on my kitchen table I decided that the Clean Kitchen Police weren't likely to come knocking on my door, so I relaxed for an hour or so and called it a night.  So now I am off, scoop shovel in hand, to see if I can find my kitchen counters and table top.  Wish me luck.  I'm gonna need it.  :)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Just Busy

So Friday I peeled and cut up 8 lbs. of carrots.  Saturday I packed them into jars and ran them through my pressure canner.  They yielded 16 pints.  One jar broke so I have 15 to add to my shelves.

Sunday Duane made a Farmer's Market run looking for strawberries.  We waited too long for there wasn't a strawberry to be found.  He did find cucumbers and brought home a small sack of tiny ones for baby dills and another larger sack full of bigger cukes for whole dill pickles, along with a nice bunch of dill.  In the afternoon I washed them and got them ready to pack in jars, which I will do in the morning.

I have corn and peas in the freezer waiting to be canned, but I think I will wait on those.  The temperature is creeping back into the 90+ range and my little apartment heats up when canning.  But all in all, it has been a fairly productive weekend.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Figuring Things Out

Sometimes we get so involved with our day to day lives that we forget what is important.  Since I have been dealing with my medical problems, I find I have sorely neglected to keep up with my food storage plan.  There are large empty spaces on my canning shelves.  I haven't dehydrated anything in months.  There are at least half a dozen recipes for homemade mixes that are still 'in the planning stages.'

If I am to keep it honest, I need to own up to the fact that I have used my medical issues as an excuse to be lazy.  I keep telling myself I can not do many of the things I did before becoming ill.  Truth is, I can probably do more than I think I can.  I just need to figure out how to manage it.

I keep a list of products I like to can and have on the shelves.  I keep this list because my memory sometimes takes a vacation and leaves me here all alone and then I will forget something.  Last evening I went through the list and compared it to the home canned foods on my shelves.  There is a glaring need to restock several items.

Just because I have made the decision to get off my duff and back to my food storage plan doesn't mean I need to pretend I'm Wonder Woman and go nuts with it.  Those of us with medical issues, depending on the problem, need to figure out alternate ways of doing things.  I figure that if I do not do a canning marathon like I once did and if I stick to foods that I can prep at my kitchen table as opposed to standing over a stove or sink, I should be just fine.

Today my grocery order went in.  I ordered 4 lbs. of frozen peas, 6 lbs. of frozen corn kernels and 8 lbs. of raw carrots.  The frozen vegetables can stay in the freezer until I have a good day to can them.  The carrots can be cleaned and cut up at my kitchen table, along with the filling of the jars.  Very little standing time is required.

I know that many are not the least bit interested in coping with chores when dealing with the pesky medical stuff, but I thought that if I could be encouraging to even one person who is struggling with similar problems, then this post is well worth it.  I'll let you know how it all works out.  :)