Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Grocery Observation

A friend took me to the grocery store today and was a great help loading the back deck of her car with both her bags and mine. Mine were heavier as I had several large bottles of juices and soda and bleach, sugar, flour, and... you get the idea. She even unloads the bags after depositing them in my kitchen. (Younger is stronger in this case!)

As I was putting things away I couldn't help but notice that the size of many things are not what they used to be as I replenished my supplies. The one that really stood out was my paper towel rolls. I happened to have one older full roll left. The new ones were smaller. See?  I guess we'll all have to live with diminishing product sizes and increasing costs but I don't like it at all. It's isn't the store - it is the suppliers and manufacturers, I'm convinced. But as a frugal person it annoys me that this is happening. I can't buy one or two rolls either - they are packed in bundles of 6 or 9! Got me coming and going!

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Sunday, September 26, 2021

A Beautiful Weekend

On Saturday my youngest son rode his bike here for a visit and we had a great ride-about around the lake on the golf car. Some difference between his motorcycle and driving my vehicle, but we went very slowly and really reminisced about the days when he lived here way back when... His first words were, "Ah! It still smells like cabin in here."

Today I recharged the golf car and took another ride and even ventured further out. I had to put on a really warm jacket, but the sun was shining and the air was fresh. As I looked down the lake from the north end, the clouds were amazing and beautiful.
Just around the corner I spied a cluster of mushrooms on a shady plot and couldn't resist taking a few shots. I took too many, narrowed it down to just these, and still can't decide which I like best.
As I continued around the lake and then down the road I turned onto a long private driveway. I spotted this old red barn on my right.
At the top of the long gravel drive is the home of friends and the old apple trees with their fruit took my eye.
I picked four! They might not be pretty but don't let appearance fool you! After posing for their picture, I ate one. Lots of juice and flavor, But - BUT! Look at the beautiful patterns on the skin!
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Saturday, September 25, 2021


The Mister and Beatrice are in good company with Dusty Miller and Pink Seedum.

James is hoping to survive his 12th winter.
This dandelion just won't give up!
Yep! Autumn is on its way...

"Yellow the bracken, golden the sheaves.
Rosy the apples, crimson the leaves.
Mist on the hillside, clouds grey and white,
Autumn, Good Morning, Summer, Good Night!"
~Florence Hoatson

Friday, September 24, 2021

Busy in the Kitchen Thursday

Haven't had pancakes for many months. Today was the day and lunch was the time. Thank goodness for Aunt Jemima - so easy - so good - no fail! (Should I keep the box when it is empty since her smiling face has been removed from the newer boxes now? (That was a mistake in my view!!)  Two large ones for lunch and one more to save. Of course I have real butter and maple syrup for toppings. 

This morning I took a 5lb. bag of frozen white meat chicken strips from the freezer and broke it down into 8 small baggies. It will make these be easier to access when I want a few. I dumped the entire bag into my handy-dandy blue tub and did the sorting and bagging and popped all back into the freezer. When I was doing this, the power went off and the stand-by generator kicked in! Love that generator! The left-over small pieces were then put into my stove pot, topped off with water and simmered all afternoon, along with some pepper, garlic, onion, and celery powder. Later on I added a blurp (my word) of Gravy Master and a few teaspoons of corn starch dissolved in cold water to the mix and simmered it some more. I will use some for supper. My taste test was really successful. The next step of course, is to bottle up and store some in the freezer. I think it will go good with mashed potatoes! What a feeling of accomplishment!
After the rain, a doe and fawn came for a drink from the lake.
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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Good Day - Rough Day

Tuesday afternoon my dear friend delivered a loaf of her wonderful lemon poppyseed zucchini bread. It was wrapped in aluminum foil and it was still WARM! Great surprise! Needless to say I cut me a slice to have with supper.

Wednesday after my nap I dug out the old Daisy sealer and the roll of foodsaver plastic that my brother had given me when I couldn't find any more of the original type seal bags. *I blogged about this in the past. The thing is, the old bags were already sealed at one end and were individual items of two different sizes. It just another 'make-do' project now and has been useful several times - just a little more work. *Links to old blogs at the bottom here.

They have been popped into the freezer and I can have one slice at a time.

The 'rough day' part is that I went to the local health system to get my usual 8 week shoulder injection. The original orthopedic surgeon has retired and this was my second visit with the new fellow. The last time went ok, even though I had to have lumbar x-rays for a badly sprained back but the shoulder shot hit the mark well. Today he didn't seem to be sure of where to inject and was asking me where it should go. I only remember where the original guy did it so I indicated the area. After he removed the needle, he grabbed some gauze as the injection site was bleeding. (I am not on any blood thinners.) The bad thing was - are you ready? The blood stained the back neck of my brand new special mauve waffle weave shirt! It was the first time I wore it and did so, knowing it would stretch over the shoulder to make access easy. I couldn't wait to get home and rinse it out with cold water. Yes, it did come out.

*two links below

OLD Food Sealer

My Two Loaves

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

North East Pennsylvania Photos

Recent slide show version here: Turn sound on! Love the first photo of spider web and watch for a great shot of chipmunk near the end!

Click here >>> Slide Show

This is a sunrise photo!
By the way, Mother Nature is on her own schedule and she doesn't care one bit if I'm ready or not! 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Good Morning

First, the view through the windows was lovely as I did the second rinse of the pinto beans that had previously been rinsed, sorted and soaked overnight in preparation for soup.

A short while after the second straining and rinsing was  done, I looked out again and - what did I see? My friend was visiting again, for the umpteenth time this year.
I took his picture through the front storm door window. I knew if I went out on the porch he would do his usual fly-away!
The bean soup project continued. After adding water enough to cover the beans by a couple of inches, I chopped up and added a thawed pre-barbecued chicken breast, my frozen, pre-cooked crumbled bacon and pre-cut frozen onion slices A half bottle of mild picante sauce was then added and the potful simmered for over four hours, being stirred when I thought about it. Oh my goodness! My lunch was super good and nourishing too. If you wonder why I used the mild version of picante sauce, it's because I do not like anything at all that is hot spicy. I never made this from scratch before and just read the directions on the bag and will make it again. Other vegetables could have been added but I decided not to this time. Of course after cooling it down, first on the counter and then in the refrigerator, I moved three of the containers into the freezer.  The photos do not do the soup justice - you have to taste it to know how good it is! 
When busy bottling my soup, I looked up and out the window and saw the bald eagle fly over! What a day!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Birth Day Son

When my 2nd son was born in 1958 I was happy to see that he had very bright eyes and active arms and legs. I had taken a fall while carrying a full laundry basket down an incline in the back yard when I was about eight months pregnant and landed on my belly!  His sister was 2 1/2 and his older brother was 1 1/2 and I knew I needed to be well in order to take care of my kids. In 1958 I was 22! The kids had a loving father who helped a lot with their care. The worst that happened to me was that I have had a painful lumbar back since then.

He didn't look much like his brother, he looked more like my brother who is three years younger than me. He was a happy baby except when he didn't get his way at about age 2. Then he would rock back and forth on his hands and knees crying until he was exhausted. The only thing that would soothe him was music and he soon joined in with lyrics when singing began; a record player was an important part of our possessions. His hobby when a teen was building and painting delicate model cars. He was really good at that! As years went on it was evident that he also had a temper that was sometimes difficult to tame. His finely tuned mind and fingers are used very well in his occupation as a precision machinist.

Through the years he has been both his older brother's 'keeper' and his younger brother's 'keeper.' By that I mean he has really cared and helped them whenever and however necessary.  

He has two offspring, a very bright and talented artist and creature-loving married daughter, a younger son who is learning the value of being a hard worker and developing self sufficiency, and a loving and sweet partner. 

He came to visit me over the weekend. A little larger, a little older, but as thoughtful and nice as a mother would ever want her son to be. It is hard to believe he is today 63!

I really should have scanned the very old baby photos before storing the album away for safe-keeping! 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

It's What I Do

They’re not expensive ($1.75 for 50 at Target) but mine are OLD and CLEAN.  Every year I have washed my clothespins at the very end of summer and stored them until spring in the antique box that hangs on the side of the cabin. This box has been there for as long as I remember. It hangs on two screws and has been painted a flat black sometime in its lifetime. When laundry was ready to be hung on the lines, the old tin box was transferred to the front carport pole and there were two special screws for its placement, making it very handy to use. When laundry was brought in, the box was then transferred back to its safe and dry place by the side door. 

I know this is not a very exciting story but I feel I should tell it anyway. I no longer am able to hang laundry on the pulley style clothesline and have given in to not doing something that I found very satisfying, BUT … I CAN still do the annual clothespin and box cleanup in preparation for winter. So … this is what I did today. I washed and am drying my clothespin hoard. A long time ago I tossed my old-old pegs - sorry about that - but just the feel of the cleaned pinch-style made me feel good! Crazy old lady!

In the past I have created unique and custom craft items using this style pin. I  even won a prize at the local fair for my little clothespin rocking chair! (Sorry never took a picture of it.) This is one I found on the internet that is similar.

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Have you ever watched the guy on the TV ad when asked by his next door neighbor, “Why are you shouting?” His answer is “Because that’s what I do!” Ok enough said. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

911 Twenty Years Ago

2001 - The Mister and I were bringing groceries into our place in the SC campground where we spent every September and October. As I started putting things away, he turned on the TV and we were shocked to see an airplane crash into a tower with a great explosion. We didn't know what had happened until  further viewing with commentary explained the terrible news. Several days later there were items of commemorative clothing for sale at the camp store. We bought a T-shirt. 

Every year since, for the past 20 years, the Mister wore this shirt on 911. It was a single wearing and then treasured away until the next year.

Well, now he is gone, but the shirt is passed on to a special friend and neighbor who will keep our tradition. She helped also with putting out our American flag on the cabin, as it is difficult for me to do now.