Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas too.

I know it's been ages since I've blogged.  I seem to have a bit more time now so we'll see how it goes.  My job keeps me busy but now that the harvest is in I seem to have a bit more time.  I am happy to say that the freezers are full to the brim.  We butchered two pigs and eleven meat birds this year. 

This was the sow and also the first time we ever butchered a pig.  We tried to singe the hair since we didn't have means to dunk her in hot water and scrape her.  Finally we gave up and skinned her, which we decided that we would do for the second pig while it was hanging.  It took the two of us quite a while to do the skinning.  This pig was around 500 lbs and yielded about 350 lbs of meat.  I deboned the shoulder and the hind portion due to freezer space.  I packaged most of the meat in 3-4 lb portions so it is easy to grab a package and thaw and cook it in less time.  If we have company we can always grab a few packages.  I froze the bacon slabs and packages of sausage scraps for when I have more time to work on them.  I've never cured or smoked meat either, so that will be another learning curve for us.

This is pig number two, the boar.  He was a bit smaller and yielded about 260 lbs of meat.  This whole process went a lot smoother as we skinned him while he was hanging.  I don't think we'll do another pig for a few years as it is quite a labor intensive process feeding and processing them.  And to tell you the truth we probably won't need to do another for a few years judging from the amount of meat in the freezer.

We moved all the vegetables that I put up this summer into the upright freezer which now is completely full of squash, green beans, beets, peppers, mushrooms (precooked), Brussel sprouts, and various other veggies.  The chest freezer is nearly full of meat and various berries.. blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  We took the flour out, but I think I may put it back in as there is room for it.  Mr. D was able to purchase many five pound bags for 1.99 and .99 each  at the discount food store, so we stocked up.

Mr. D and I took a day off and went to Maine for Thanksgiving.  It was a much needed break and good time together with all of his siblings and their spouses and Mom and Dad.  They took this picture just as we were getting ready to leave for home.  It was a stormy night and I had to go about 30 mph all the way home. 

Updated pictures of the Grandboys.  Handsome creatures.  I love them to pieces.  Brandon is even taller now as is Norman.  I hope to get some new pictures at Christmastime.   

We thank the Lord who has given us blessings beyond measure. 

Pray you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and will be blessed this Christmas.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Finally, some pictures...

I wanted to share some of the photos I have stored on my iPad, but had to consult Siri to find out how get them on my blog.  She's quite helpful at times.

This first picture is my little Honda the day of my accident on December 29th.  I had traveled this commute for 8 years and this was my last week at Swish White River, LLC in Hartford, VT.  God knew what he was doing and worked all this out for His honor.  That day, I must admit, I was a bit downhearted.  We had just gotten the car ready for inspection by replacing two tires with studded snows and fixing the front wheel bearings ( a tricky process that required a special tool ).  But God knew we would not need two cars since I would not be making this commute any longer.  I now work 10 minutes from the house.

I'm now driving my old Dodge Neon with 354000 miles on it.  It's still chugging away and we are putting some money away for a 4 wheel drive so I can get up our driveway and up the hill to work.  Then we'll probably retire the old lady.
my poor little squished Honda

Now on to happier things...
I got home from church a couple Sundays ago and the sky was soooo incredibly blue and the trees were just the perfect shade of green.  I just had to take this picture.  These are the trees up behind our home.

Any question why these are my favorite colors?

We had great success with the greenhouse this spring.  I raised all our plants except some of the beans and peas in the greenhouse and then transplanted them into the garden.  We can plant away, but God makes the little seeds grow...

Sorry the pictures are a little fuzzy... still working on my picture taking skills with this little iPad. 

I didn't raise the geranium, that was a half-price buy at Walmart.  I have that plant in a planter now and it is covered with blooms.  It was a great investment.
more greenhouse plants.  We gave many of these away.  It tend to "over-plant" in case we have some sort of plague and then I don't have room in the garden for all the stuff.

baby beets and squash.  Our four tomatoes are in the foreground.  They are a lot bigger right now.  We've had some great growing weather this year so far.  I've picked some summer squash and grilled it for our supper already. 
baby kale and chard and in the foreground pole and bush beans.  We've had several meals of chard and kale so far.  I love that stuff!

This is my perennial / herb bed.  I have dill, basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram and sage.  In other places I have tarragon and caraway which come back year after year.   

I've removed some of this oregano because it was crowding out my Corral Bells. 

first fruits.  We had greens for supper and the strawberries for dessert.  The chamomile I dried for tea.  I have it growing all over the place, but don't normally save a lot.  It does make a good tea and reminds me of summer when it's the middle of winter.

the second picking.  These went to Brandon's graduation party for strawberry shortcake.  Yum.

Well, that's all for now.  Just thought you'd like a little glimpse into our lives.  I am enjoying my new job as the Town Clerk/Tax Collector in Groton.  I've learned many new things and have been very busy.  It's a gift from God that I am closer to home and can spend more time there.  I've also gotten started in a water aerobics class and will be getting some physical therapy for my old arthritic knee.  It was getting quite painful.  Since I started swimming 3 times a week, it has loosened up quite a bit.  I know it will never be completely well again, but I want to keep it limber as long as possible.  I might even do some biking yet this summer. 

God has surely been good to us.  I'll include a couple more pictures of the beautiful lupines He gave me this year.  I think all blue flowers must be my favorite.  I have to force myself to get other colors.  You will see in the perennial bed I have yellow, pink and red now, so I'm making progress, but blue is still my favorite flower color to go along with the green leaves.

That's our electrical building and some of Doug's vehicles in the background, but just ignore those and take in the beautiful flowers.

More of the same

The "Bee" garden.  I've planted this for 3 years now with morning glories.  They are annuals so I added some perennial Holly Hocks this year.  We'll see how they do together.  The bees all came from my friend Betty.  My Sweetie calls me his "Honey Bee", to that's how this got started.  The heart shaped rock in the front is intentional and given to me by my "Sweetie".

I hope you all are having a very happy summer.  Get out there and enjoy it 'cause it's way too short.

Written April 18th/Posted July 8th... hmmm what wrong with this picture?

Odd for us that it is April 18th and we've had some really great weather.  I started my greenhouse about 3 weeks ago and things are coming up!  I went out yesterday afternoon and did a little cleaning up in the garden getting ready for some early planting such as peas.  We did have the chickens out there cleaning up in the spring but the fence wasn't able to hold them due to winter damage and with Mr. D busy building a fortress for pigs I just decided to take down the fence.  It will make it easier to till and plant anyway.  The blueberry bushes are outgrowing their fencing so that will need to be hiked up a little.  The fencing we use for beans need to be repaired so there are many little details to take care of.

I'm getting excited to get my fingers in the dirt and it's coming quickly this year.  Yea!!!

The girls went for a little hike on Sunday and sent a couple pictures over FB. 
I think that Norman went hunting for salamanders already so mom just let him wade in his skivys .

Brandon is getting so tall.  Nice picture of the two of them together. 

It was a beautiful day Sunday and the temperature was a steady 74 at our house all day.  I looked at the weather map from last year and on April 24th we had snow.  I'm not saying it can't happen, but I don't see anything about snow on the weather calendar for this April. 

I haven't taken out the camera in a few months.  My job keeps me busy and I thought with less travel and another entire day off I'd have a bit for free time, but not so.  Seems I'm busier than ever now.  I gotta get some pictures going so I can remember these times and preserve them.

Norman comes over sometimes to see us and so doesn't Brandon.  Grampa has fixed up a bed that stretches across the backs of the seats in the dining area of the camper so he can get a good night sleep when he comes over.  When Norman comes over he sleeps on the couch.  He loves coming over to Gramma and Grampy's house and we love to have them both.  It's not a big place and certainly not "classy", but we've got lots of love. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

After the Long Silence

I am not a very good blogger I guess.  Not only have I not written anything here in a long time, I also haven't read too many blogs lately.  I wish I had an excuse, but I think Facebook has taken me away to some extent.  There have been many new changes in my life.  So I'll begin with the new job since that seems to be the most recent and greatest change.

I've left my position at Swish White River LTD after being there for nine years and have taken the Town Clerk's position in our town.  There are numerous differences.  The first is that I won't need to drive an hour to and an hour from work anymore.  I am extremely happy for that as it also gives me a couple more hours to be at home each day and the gas consumption has decreased greatly.  I was doing a small column for the local paper "Talk of The Town" when they needed a correspondent for our town. Because of this I started attending the Select Board Meetings once a week.  This gave me an opportunity to meet more of my fellow citizens and hear what was happening in town politics.  One Tuesday night it was brought up that the Town Clerk was resigning.  This was first sad because we all loved our former Town Clerk and hated to see her go.  In my mind it seemed a very distant chance that perhaps if she was leaving I would be able to "apply" for the position, so I met with her and the Deputy Clerk and had a chat about the opening.  About two weeks later the Select Board appointed me Town Clerk and I began work on January 8th.

There are soooo many things to learn and get straight in my head.  When this is due and when that is due and this law and that law.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd find myself in politics, but I will be running for this office in March.  As far as I know I only have one "contender" who will be a write-in for this election and perhaps will also run on the ballot in two years.  I'm hoping to win this election, but it's really in God's hands and I will be content with what He chooses for me.

At Christmas we went to Maine for our family get-together.  We had a wonderful time and I had taken a few days off work so it wasn't rushed.  The next day on my way to work (actually the day I was supposed to give my notice at Swish White River LTD), it was storming.  Out on route 118 (which is a dilly of a road most people 'round here know well), I slid on the ice and the car hit the guard rail front and back.  The collision totaled our little Honda Civic.  She was a great little car, even though we didn't care for the fact that she was a two-door.  As it worked out it was OK, though now I do not have "my own car" which can be a trial from time-to-time.  I don't really need my own car now since I'm only driving 10 minutes to work from home.  We still have a small pick up truck that works fine and my old Dodge Neon is still on the road after 340,000 miles and we have a couple other non-conventional vehicles that would be fine in a pinch.  If I had a horse, I could ride the horse to work **smile**.

Here are a few shots of my cubicle at Swish White River LTD.  We had a Christmas decorating contest.  Mine didn't win, but it was a lot of fun.

Here's the grand boys waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to get settled so they can start opening their presents.  It was hard to wait! 

Here's Norman with his new "beard hat".  Too cute as always.
Picture Joanna took while out hiking this winter.  Norman loves being outdoors and Joanna has taken him hiking quite a bit.

A gift from Nanna and Grandpa Millett.
Out of the blue one day he told me "When I grow up I'm gonna be a daddy... with a moustache." I guess Nanna and Grandpa thought they'd give him a head start. **grin**.

Great pictures of Brandon and Heather on their recent trip to DC to visit with friends there.  They seemed to have had a great time.  A needed break from the grind.  

Good days to remember in the dead of winter.  This was from this summer when the girls and their boys went camping.  What funny people.

Marvin the noble keeping out an eagle eye.


static!  what fun!

Well, I guess that gets you mostly up to date with the fam.  It's been a very eventful winter and we hope that spring comes soon.  It was neg 18 degrees F yesterday and thankfully all is well.  Our water is not frozen and the cars still start.  Supposed to be in the 30s this week with rain on Wednesday.

Have a wonderful day everyone.  Hope it won't be so long till my next post.