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  • Birthday November 27

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    gardening, reading, gym, being frugal

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  1. I have the larger Presto canner. I usually only use the first layer of jars. However, if you use wide-mouth qts and pints, you can stack them (per mfg). I just did that with canning potatoes. I went a little overboard when digging/peeling a bucketful. I seldom use it for cooking foods, though. For pressure canning, it requires 2 quarts of water in the bottom, which isn't too heavy for me. I'm also tall, so that may also help with the taller canner.
  2. Floor space at stores are at a premium. Many have switched to online. Amazon Prime has changed the world of purchasing. Younger generation would rather order online than stand in lines at the stores. We asked the clerks at Home Depot why their inventory is shrinking so much. The main answer was that online ordering was much more cost-effective than stocking inventory, environmentally controlling the stores, and hiring dependable and knowledgeable clerks. Also, online ordering eliminates the 10% military discount for veterans. Aldi has hit the bullseye on marketing and customer retention. All the stores around here are doubling in size due to their success.
  3. I hate the time change too! I have to change all the clocks around the house, then go down to my mom's and do it all over again. You'd think our Washington representatives could do something useful with daylight saving time instead of bickering all the time. My brothers and me didn't argue and throw things as much as they do in D.C. these days. Most of the garden is picked and dug up, except for the potatoes. I've got about 100 more pounds to dig, but covered them with leaves and will do it during the winter. It works out great, and I always miss some that end up being our first finished spuds for the next year. DH graduated from PT to the hand specialist. He suffered through steroid injections in each thumb. The braces are off, but the trigger thumb is only a temporary fix. We're back to working on the dining room and kitchen. DH has been good about only unplugging a few appliances at a time. He loves to eat and knows what would happen if he went too far. We're using lots of repurposed wood to put the walls back together. He sandwiched the dining room table between the sheets of insulation and drywall. I almost have to yell at him at the other end of the table during meals. I DO LIKE all the new windows he cut into the concrete block, though. We can see all across the meadow to the pond. Too bad I don't deer hunt anymore. I could do it from the dining room table and not have to get dressed except to clean it.
  4. Had that done last month. I didn't think the test would EVER END. I kept thinking, "this too shall pass".
  5. We used to have ice fog in Scotland. It could take days before it would stop. Then came black ice. We walked everywhere so spent much of our time 'dancing' from appt to appt. The good old days.
  6. Our first few sprinkle of snowflakes got us into the mood of winter wonderland. Last night went down to 24 F. I covered many veggies but it was only supposed to drop to 28 F. If I was as inaccurate as weathermen, I would have lost my job decades ago. I'm hoping it warms up in the next few days so I can collect leaves/grass with the tractor and deposit into the garden. The few worms that we have in this sandy soil would be most grateful this winter.
  7. When we lived near Shipshewana, Indiana, we'd shop at the Amish general store. They had LOTS to choose from in lanterns and cast iron cookware. They turned into a hardware store for spare parts on the lamps. We stuck with the middle of the road priced lanterns. We packed and hauled them back to Wisconsin and haven't used them since. BUT, living out in the country is a great place to test them, along with our generator.
  8. A wild two days getting mom's bedroom empty in time for the new bed arriving today. DH and nephew lent their strong shoulders and removed the old number bed. The movers were scheduled to arrive today around the time the fire department shuts down the facility and sets off all the alarms. They're loud enough to drive a dog insane. I guess the alarms are loud because many of the people at the retirement community are hard of hearing. We prayed at breakfast that the bed movers could get in and out before the fire department arrived. They did it!!! Otherwise, the furniture company would have rescheduled for another day and mama's old bed was already gone!!! God is merciful to my fried brain. This afternoon I tried to teach mom how to use the new power bed. The remote is quite simple. She just wanted me to take her shopping. She may be sorry about 10 pm tonight when she tries to figure out how to lower the bed and get into it. At least, we were shopping when the fire dept arrived and set off all the alarms. How did those firemen get so young and good looking??
  9. Burgess Buttercup, Kabacha, Kogigu, Sweet Meat, Blue Hubbard, Butternut
  10. I'll stick with the full spectrum florescent light bulbs. They're a little bit more expensive than the regular ones but much cheaper then 'grow light' bulbs. Today was clean out the garden of squash, day. They didn't get planted until the second week of JULY. That's totally unheard of up North. They're 90 days for the winter kinds. Our average frost date is Sept. 15. I presprouted the seeds and pruned them throughout the summer to a few fruits. The rest of the vine was cut off so all the energy went to the first fruits. Our first frost is this coming weekend (a month late) so it was time to harvest them. I haven't weighted them but DH knows we'll be having squash at least once a week for the next 8 months. At least he has six varieties to choose from.
  11. We never checked into full spectrum LED light bulbs for plant growing. I figured I'd forget all that info by the time they came down in price and I was ready to dish out some Moola.
  12. Scotland was very beautiful. We lived there almost three years. There were no screens on the windows so that gives you an idea of how cold it was. We plan to head back over next summer to visit our friends and coworkers. After feeding DH breakfast, I asked him about the light bulbs. It's gotten complicated with so many different kinds available. Here's my simple notetaking answer: - We switched everything to LED. They've come down in price and can be purchased in packs of 10 these days. - He buys 'daylight' 60 watt, 800 lumens, 5500 to 8000 K. The higher the K, the warmer the bulb. We usually stick with the 60 watt and 5500 K. You won't need to change out your lamps. - For growing seedlings in the spring indoors, we stick with the T12, 40 watt, 5000k, full-spectrum florescent tube bulbs. The bulbs are changed out every year as the light spectrum degenerates a lot. They get recycled to the garage for him. The human eye can't detect the change in spectrum colors, but the plants can. We would change to LED grow lights but the fixture is over $100. I can't justify that as we would need 6 of them. Besides, the florescent light keeps the chill off in late winter.
  13. I can't remember what DH buys me for S.A.D. It's Daylight or Daybright, or something like that. It's an option for all types of lighting. It came in handy in Scotland as winter had few sunny days. No wonder they have some of the highest alcoholism in Europe. As we remodel the dining room/kitchen area, I will have to wear sunglasses for all the white cabinets, new windows, and recessed lighting. I HATE working in the dark, especially since most of my life revolved around the kitchen ... canning, eating, entertaining. I found out where our gnats came from. A lid on a canned jar of pinto beans had let loose. I found some small casings on the shelf and started to investigate. I didn't have to remove the lid to see that we were quickly heading for the compost bin out back. We still have cups of vinegar around the kitchen sills in the Fall time. I think those little buggers ride in on all the produce from the garden every day. Frost and possible snow coming this weekend. We're hauling squash, peppers, beans, onions and potatoes by the wagon-full into the garage. The dehydrator runs 24/7 this time of year. Takes the chill out of the house so we can delay firing up the woodstove. We need to extract the honey before it gets too cold. Never a break around here.
  14. I still use my aluminum cookware, and even added some from Goodwill. They supplement the cast iron and S.S. pots and pans.
  15. It seems that remodeling will continue in this house until the Lord returns. We've worked our way around the dining room and into the kitchen. Lots of 'temporary' changes as DH works on electrical and plumbing. He's given me a break to complete some canning before tearing into the walls and cabinets. I've been watching WE2's canning potatoes and figured it's time to try it myself. I've always hated canned taters from the store. They taste like the tin cans they live in. This week has been chili, green beans and potatoes in the canner. I've got about 100 pounds of taters in the ground and about 100 pounds of squash on the vines. The nights temps keep going down so it's only a matter of time before the big frost marathon into the garage. Today is dehydrating green pepper day. Only left enough on the vines for freezing and stuffed green peppers. Off to mom's tomorrow so the rest of the week is on-hold in the kitchen.
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