Friday, October 30, 2015

Many beautiful things

A dear friend mailed me this book!
I cannot wait to read it!

Chai tea is always a welcomed treat, with chocolate almonds, of course!

I watched the movie Miss Potter.
It's beautiful of course, very well done.
But I struggled with the mother/daughter friction part, 
I did not have this with my Mother, who is not like the Mother portrayed,
but I was uncomfortable with how Beatrix did not consider her parent's wishes.
It's not that she did not have a reason, perhaps even good, yet, as much as
I enjoyed the movie, I found this to be more tricky than what was portrayed.
I think it's important to have a parent's blessing on things.
I am just not sure what all of this means or the right and wrong of it,
but it disturbed my sense of peace.
The death of her finance left me deeply saddened and shocked,
as I was not expecting it. 
So it was not the movie I was hoping it would be, though of course
much of it was beautiful and the clothes they wore,
if only such class was still with us!

Some fun autumnal meals have been enjoyed!

I was surprised to see roses still in bloom!
We've done our share of walking around
and of having enjoyable meals and cozy times.
I am so thankful for these days.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Some lovely things

The beautiful roses my husband got for us
A wonderful takeout meal the day we made applesauce.
Cleo is proud of our applesauce making!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Great Kids Book

Nicholas Wins the Prize: Young Nicholas Experiences the Sacrament of Confession

Read this book in Sunday School and it was very well loved.
See here for more.

Reflecting on decade 3 - the 30s

So my beloved husband and I were born in 
different decades.
He's older and continues to tease me about this,
saying he married 'a young wife'...
God willing in late December, I will turn 39.
Recently my beloved husband and I had reason to 
talk about the difference between being in one's 20s and 
being at the end of one's 30's.
Of course my husband's been through both already.
So, here's what I realized and it took me long enough to do so!
My thirties were full, eventful and having a lot of learning.
One thing that took me a long time to really understand 
was how when I was younger I did not give much
thought, admittedly, to limits.
Moral limits yes, I always held to those.
You know, no drinking to drunkenness, no drugs,
no under-the-sheet-naughtiness.
Thank God He persevered me from this,
I know enough that this was God's mercy to me
and not my own personal merit.
So by this,
I mean though that I did not always understand, 
esp. as I married late and did not have the 
privilege and challenge of raising small children, 
that there are natural triaging of what a person can do.
I've seen dear friends experience burn out many times;
I got mono and was unable to do much for half a year.
It look me a long time to realize that
I too can have burn out, it's not exclusive to those with
I've realized more since I was married about this,
the need to triage, the fact of limitations...
my first priority now is not whoever needs the most help in my life, 
which was I think a bit more of my default in my single days.
My first priority, after God,
is two things at once, if that makes sense.
It's my husband and making sure that I have proper self-care
to be a good wife.
There were times over the last three years where I had to learn
to reorient myself as I was burning out
and it was impacting my ability to love and be a good team
with my beloved husband.
I am better able to understand and accept dear friend's limits as well,
as a wife and Mother of young children (or teens, which will come soon)
has a lot less reserves and time for friends when 
her family is needing her. 
And I am learning to communicate with close friends more
of what I can and can't do in terms of my own
inward reserves.
I did not know that this would be one of the big lessons of my 30s but
now I see that it really was and is really, actually, quite freeing 
to see. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Making of Applesauce and my beloved parents!

Today is my parent's 41st wedding anniversary!
A meaningful thing on this day that I want to write about
canning applesauce, as my parents have been making applesauce for years.
My Dad, when we kids were young, used to do a lot of the work
himself while Mom tended us kids.
Now they do it together and there is no better applesauce than theirs.
My Dad esp. love the Spy Apple, which
I was not able to get here. 
I dream of going to an orchard that has them someday!
My Mom and Dad not only make applesauce, but my Dad
has always been gardening and has grown many 
tomatoes and green beans over the years.
They blanch the beans and keep them in the freezer, 
they have canned tomatoes and tomato mushroom soup
over the years as well. 
Sometimes I will call home 
(I often call my Mom once a day, just to talk, it's a huge blessing)
and my Mom will have heated up some soup for herself 
and Dad that they canned earlier that year.
Well, this year I finally was able to get apples
and can them myself, using a waterbath canning method,
as opposed to pressure cooking, which is what my parents and
my parents-in-law do.
So a run down of what we did and what worked and what did not....
What we learned:

1. when cooking down the apples, check often and once they are becoming 
soft and more like applesauce, one has to be careful to not burn, to add a bit of water
and stir a lot.  I realized that the sauce itself will start sticking to the bottom and burn
very quickly if not attended to.
Once it starts to have this issue, even after adding a cup or less of water,
it will need to be checked within another minute of this to keep it from burning!
2.  Our first pots of apples did burn on the bottom and
cleaning the pots delayed us a good hour I would say total 
as we could not use the pots again to cook down more apples until they were clean!
3. Put the apples remains (I call them apple poops, I know, very mature! :) ) back through
the Kitchen Aid Fruit and Veg Strainer for a second go as some of the apple flesh 
was discarded the first time through.
4. Be careful to have a ratio of sweet to tart apples.  
I totally forgot about this and got some very sweet tasting applesauce as a result.
What happened as that we had half a bushel of tart Winesaps and then half a bushel of everything else
and we dumped the Winesaps in the newly cleaned sink full of water first
and then the rest and did not realize that we were taking more of the sweet apples first
without proper ratio for sweet/tart when cooking our first apples down.
My Mom later told me they are not only careful in keeping the right ratio at all times,
but they use an old electric turkey roaster to keep all the applesauce hot
together so the flavours meld together even more.
I realized my mistake a bit too late but will have to work on that for next time, 
5. I think I want more tart apples than what I had this time.
We used tons of Stayman Winesaps and a good amount of golden delicious,
some cortlands, some macouns and I think others.
I need perhaps NO golden delicious next time and need to research more
on what apples are tart and what ratios my parents try to do in making their applesauce.

What was wonderful:
1. The kitchen Aid Attachment made the applesauce wonderfully.
No hand-cranking. Saved so much time! 
2. Making the Applesauce with a friend - much easier to do with someone than alone!!!
3. Having a great return - canned over 15 quarts of applesauce!
4. I was able to label the esp. sweet ones so that I will know which is which.
5. I labeled each lid with a sharpie as I am sure my parents old me that you can't reuse 
the canning lids after using them for canning - so those will be regulated to the many
things I use mason jars for dry food storage. I was glad I thought of labeling them,
as then they will not get mixed up with new ones! 

A Lovely Place for Lunch

Thankful for beautiful places to have nourishing meals at!
I had a tea described as:
"Assam golden tips with "stimulating" which is turmeric ginger and coriander"
I am going to try to make this at home!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Book Sale for Children's Books

Princeton has a great public library book sale.
I got books for many children, nieces, nephews, godchildren and other children
who we love. 
It's fast work (about 2 hours) to get the books,
with phone calls and texts to Mothers of some of these children,
and a lot of the non-fiction books I know what series or publishers to get.
The real work is going through them, organizing them
and then contacting the 8 plus families for books they want 
and then boxing them all up.
Shipping them via US Post is another job in itself.
I am guessing we will need from 2 weeks to 1 month at least
to have this part done.
It was a beautiful day and I am so glad that I can help
support others who are trying to raise their children,
often homeschooling, in a world that is going off the rails.
I am so glad we have books to share and 
educate children who we love!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A short note...on a quiet Wednesday

A sad day in local downtown Ottawa,
I've been at all of these three places, a real loss.
Well, yesterday we canned about 15 quarts and some pints.
Hope to do a blog post about it in the next week or so.
Things are going along quickly;
I was working 8+ hours on the applesauce and am recovering today! 
Did not do a yarn along post as really not much to say, as wash clothes have 
been my go to knitting.
I hope to quilt next week.
I ordered something special for Christmas, a surprise...
The laundry situation in our home is teetering on near-disaster,
so will keep this short.
I find that I am recovering only slowly from the head cold
and am still a bit congested.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Substantive Tea

A friend and I shared a nourishing meal of toast and chicken soup
with tea, chocolate and clementines.
It's wonderful to share the love of beauty and nourishing food with a friend!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Apple Orchard in Princeton

My Quilting Friend and I went to an apple orchard on Friday!
It was a lot of fun! 
We hope to make applesauce on Tuesday DV
and I hope to make sour cream apple pie again!