Preparations

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It’s been a busy week and it’s only Tuesday! Because of the holiday, we had an abbreviated leaders meeting AND class day yesterday, starting at 7:50. After class I had the pleasure of having Lunch with Capri P before her haircut. Honey and I also did a marathon grocery shop at 5 stores and I’m sad to say, we still didn’t find everything we need! Did something happen with the cauliflower harvest that I don’t know about??!! We also have not been able to locate a bottle of creme de menthe, which we use for our chocolate fondue. We have used the same bottle for probably 15 years and it would appear that it fell out of favor and off the grocery store shelves.

This little peanut is coming over today so her Mama can do some work in her previous bedroom.

There is cleaning, meal prep, cooking, washing and cutting to do before we sit down to our Thanksgiving meal, but we are looking forward to being together and enjoying the time. Happy Thanksgiving Friends ❤

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A Saturday List

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I am not a typical Saturday morning blogger, but in an effort to keep up my newfound blog mojo, here you go. In the handy dandy list format.

  1. I feel like I need to add a little clarification to my preparedness post of yesterday. I have much respect for those who live a life preparing for whatever may come. I admire their ingenuity, tenacity, organization and resourcefulness. Honey would be a good pioneer. Mrs Schmenkman would be as well. I, on the other hand, would most likely not be an optimum candidate. Honey has actually said as much. I believe his exact words were “you’re no pioneer”. I accept this critique and mostly agree with it. BUT, I could be a good helper to an actual pioneer 🙂 So, I guess I like the idea of being a pioneer, without really being one.
  2. Because I am a creature of comfort, I like to have what I need on hand. We have a nicely stocked pantry, some frozen meat for meals and extras of the toiletries we use. Oh, and toilet paper!! We will never run low on that ever again! And hand soap, which was also scarcer than hen teeth in these parts. Basically, I’m a prepper in my mind! 😉
  3. We can’t get enough of this little peanut, even when she is NOT happy about wearing her new kitty hat!

Oh, such hardship!!!

4. We already had traditional Thanksgiving last month before my Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis left for their winter home in Florida. I have been decidedly happy that we won’t have to make that big meal again next week! It’s a really good meal, but it’s a lot of work. We are having a fondue instead, which could be the start of a new tradition since we had one last Thanksgiving. Or it might not, and that’s ok too. The Grands really liked the experience! Any way you look at it, we will be thankful to have our family gather and eat good food :3

5 A picture from our Early Traditional Thanksgiving, everyone was present, for which we were thankful indeed ❤

Have a good weekend.

Preparedness as a Life Skill

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We have a dusting of snow this morning, and it’s been cold up here in The Mitten! Add that to the fact that it has been dark by 5:30, it feels like I need to get out my copy of The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder to make me thankful for what we do have and not what they had. Or rather, didn’t have! Like food. or reliable warmth, or something to do other than working towards procuring the above mentioned two.

I have begun to follow a bunch of women on the Instagram who believe in preparing for a future where there could be disruptions in the supply chains, or far worse. They are interesting to me because they are thoughtful, organized, industrious, chock full of good ideas, and yet savvy enough to show you what they are up to on social media. They typically live on some property off the beaten path where they can grow some food and herbs for medicinal purposes, house chickens (they about ALL have the birds!) goats, cows, and some pigs and what have you. Most can food prolifically and buy in bulk and have ways to store things in ways that I have never thought through. They most all have green houses, barns, pole bards, or out buildings that would make Honey super jealous, because that has always been a dream of his. Not sure of all of his reasons, just wants the space to do what he wants with it. And I would support this dream, because it would house all of his tools, fishing and golf paraphernalia, and all of his bits and bobs that he saves “just in case” he needs them.

As the women have been recapping their incredibly busy falls and winding down for the somewhat slower season of winter, showing us their full pantries and preparations for a long winter, some of them in very cold climates, I had an epiphany.

It reminded me of when I was a little girl, reading about Laura and Mary, and their folks preparing for the coming winter, where if you didn’t have your food in the pantry or attic, your chances of survival were considerably lessened.

Pictures from Little House in the Big Woods.

The Instagrammers also speak of their love of family, God, cooking nourishing meals, self sufficiency and a desire to live naturally, which is seriously becoming a thing in our world these days.

Some have hobbies and skills that interest them for recreation and necessity, but all are trying to live a small footprint life of meaning, educating their children to be wise, engaged and self sustaining.

Just like Ma and Pa ❤

Snat Chat

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I found this post in my drafts folder! All ready to go! Even though it was from a year ago November, I ❤ it so I will pass it on for posterity 🙂

Oh how these young’uns love the SNAT Chat!!! And oh how we laugh! There are sweet ones. ❤

Silly ones!

I I love these cartoon ones!

Even mine!

These are their favorites. The dog. It’s the tongue!

Thankful to hear their little giggles and belly laughs 🙂 ❤

A Small Explanation and a Couple Thoughts

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I was just going through the last year of my posts and I am sad to say I performed abominably this year, perhaps my worst ever. That makes me feel sorrowful, because I still have great affection in my heart for this small space. My Uncle Bob has mentioned, a time or two. that I became a sporadic blogger just as he discovered it, and I can assure you, that is not the reason!!

It’s a combination of things really, and none in itself a very good reason, but all combined together seem to put me off my blogging game. It’s been a few years of disruption and transition, with the pandemic, the wintering in Florida, Honey’s retirement last January <3, housing isues, having The Boy’s family with us again (from April to October, which was wonderful to have all that extended time with The Grands ❤ ), Mousey and The Usher’s weddings and pregnancy, and a myriad of other flotsam and jetsom that make up a full life. I have mentioned before, and it bears repeating, the biggest downfall is plain old getting out of the habit and a failure to think bloggaly. Mrs. Schmenkman and I have discussed this before. You think “oh, I should post this on the blog!”, and you take pictures, and then you forget to do it, and then too much time has gone by, so you don’t. It’s a thing.

I had the thought earlier in the year that maybe I should just quit, and stop giving myself grief about it. I don’t really think I want to do that. Apparently not, because I keep coming back after ridiculous amounts of time in between! 🙂 But I am not going to have this type of acknowledgement of my time away. It will be what it is, and when it is. I will of course try and document our life, because that is what I love most, and I still have thoughts, even if no one is around to read them anymore. I still think of this blog as a love letter to my People, an archive of our lives, and hopefully, they will be glad to have it someday. Here is to pressing on!

We have had a BEAUTIFUL fall this year up here in The Mitten. Glorious! But the pretty leaves and the lovely warmer temperatures are gone, and it’s getting dark too early, and I don’t care if it’s technically fall until December 21, it feels like winter 😦 Honey says it’s 37 this morning, and it’s gray and dismal out there. I am mentally preparing myself to listen to Honey asking me “why are we still here?” for the next 50 or so days.

So THIS is happening!!! For those of you that have been around here for years, THIS is Little Goomba!!! And he is growing like a weed and into many, many things these days! Playing baseball, guitar and leading worship at his church and school, and I hear he has a staggering social life 🙂 And now he is on the move, or will be when he turns 16 next October. Lord, where have the years gone??!!

We are very thankful that Mousey and Usher’s first home is 18 minutes away. I know this because for some inexplicable reason my phone told me this when we left to come home the other night. That fact means we get to see a lot of Miss Baby and watch her grow and get all pudgy ❤ She loves her Papa and his world famous balloon noises and apparently has a distinct liking to his whistling.

I ❤ that small face!

Hope to see you soon.

Mousey’s Little Miss

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Hi Guys!! It’s been a couple minutes since I have checked in! It’s November, the month of thankfulness, and we have MUCH to be thankful for 🙂 I saw on the Facebook that my friend Three Good Kids was doing a day of gratitude for the month and it reminded me that I used to do that on the blob, once upon a time. I had come to the big computer to post this wonderful news a couple months ago, and something had changed and I couldn’t figure out how to get the pictures to post! I was so discouraged I let it put me off, but I decided today that I was going to conquer this challenge, and I’m not sure what was different, but it WORKED!! Thank you Lord ❤

When Mousey first told us that she and The Usher were expecting last Christmas, we were thrilled, and when she invited me to be present for the delivery, it sure was my hearts desire! I had been unsure if they were allowing that anymore since the pandemic and all, but she assured me they had told her she was allowed to have two present. Works for me!!

She was due to deliver at the end of August/beginning of September, but she was having some trouble with her blood pressure, so they decided to induce. After laboring all night, August 17 was a good day to be born ❤

Since she had gone in for a regular check up and they kept her at the hospital, I came up later with The Usher and we settled in for the evening. It was a quiet night and The Usher had a good nights sleep! Mouse and I mainly talked and tried to sleep.

I was so proud of our Girl, she was well informed and a total trooper. Things didn’t happen exactly as planned, but she rolled with it and handled everything beautifully.

Lots of monitors and blood pressure checking.

She did an amazing job and this Little Peanut came out weighing the same as her Mama and looking like her too! First picture of the new family of three!

She’s an Angel Baby, and just like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.

Being able to be present for her arrival into the world was a kiss on the cheek from God. A whole month of November grateful, all rolled into one day!

Welcome to the family Little One, we are so happy to meet you ❤

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi guys, I’m joining you from sunny Florida today! The Mitten is expecting up to 20 inches of snow between today and tomorrow. Clearly happy to dodge that wintry bullet 😊 Thanks as always to Joyce for keeping us writing!

From this Side of the Pond

1. The Wednesday Hodgepodge landing on Groundhog’s Day sounds about right. Besides the Hodgepodge what else lands on your calendar just once a week? Is it as much fun as the Hodgepodge-ha!? 

At the moment, the only thing set in stone thing on my calendar is Thursday morning Zoom BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). At home I am on the administrative team, so that requires a Wednesday morning leaders meeting as well. When in The Sunshine State, I slide into my friend Rae Babe’s online discussion group. It is fun! I know a lot if the gals from our class over the years, and Rae Babe is a wonderful group leader! 💗

2. The Winter Olympics begin on Friday, surrounded by much controversy. Will you be watching? Why or why not? Have you ever been to China?

We lost both of our television sets down here in a power surge last summer, so up until last night, we were not seeing any advertising. Honey ordered the right part and got one up and running and I did see an ice skating commercial last evening. I had actually kind of forgotten about it! We might watch some if we are around, but since we don’t have a DVR here, it will just be what we happen to catch. I know there is a lot of controversy because of it being hosted in China, and I completely understand and would not question anyone who chose to boycott. I also have sympathy for the athletes, who train for 4 years to excel at their sport, and have zero input to where the event is hosted. All that to say that I have no firm opinion, and no, I have never been to China.

3. Something in your life lately that has felt a bit like an ‘olympic event’? 

We had known that we were heading south ”sometime in January”. I was basically ready, but you know you can just keep adding stuff to the pile until you are walking out the door! A friend posted online about an ice storm in her state of Georgia, on the very night that we would be driving through. Well, we wanted to avoid that at ALL costs, so we left a day early, a little rushed, and endlessly going over our mental notes to try and not forget anything! We did forget some things, or decided we would like to have them in any case, so my Dad went over this afternoon and picked up a few things to throw in his truck before he comes down. Sometimes getting out of your own house feels like an Olympic event!

4. Do you like fondue? Sweet or savory? Restaurant only or do you own your own fondue set?

We love fondue! We own a couple sets and probably have one 2+ times a year! We first experienced it in a restaurant, but when it closed we looked into buying our own electric ones. Since we celebrated traditional Thanksgiving early this year, before my aunt and uncle left for their winter home, the kids wanted to try something different and suggested a fondue. It was our grandchildren’s first time and they seemed to like it a lot! We like ALL fondue, but long ago learned that the three courses was too much for us, and because we love the dessert SO much, we skip the beginning cheese. That would be a fun course to do on it’s own sometime though! One of my favorite parts of fondue is there is a lot of time to visit while cooking, and I do like the visiting part 🥰

5. Give us five short (2-3 word) phrases to sum up your January. 

Going to Florida, icestorm in Georgia, leaving early!, Florida chilly 🥶, company coming! ❤️

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Mousey is coming for a visit this weekend, and then my Dad, and then my brother’s family! Also in the mix, Jip the Farmdog and her husband Jaw have rented a place nearby and we are hoping to visit with them as well! We are looking forward to a fun month! Glad it is warming up down here, I had to get my puffy coat out of the suitcase last weekend!!

Thanks for stopping by!

On Arrival

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Honey and I had planned to head down to Florida last Saturday, but when my friend Becki posted on Facebook that they were expecting an ice storm in her state of Georgia, I mentioned that we might need to go early or wait. The storm was coming Saturday night and we would be driving smack dab into it! Honey concurred and we decided to leave on Friday and drive through Atlanta that night so there would be NO chance of a meeting. I was mostly ready, I kind of gather things in a corner of our bedroom all year, and had already packed those things and our clothes. Honey had to do a little more rushing, but I went to my previously scheduled haircut at 9:30, we went to breakfast with Mousey, and were on the road by noon. It was an uneventful day and we stopped in Perry, Ga., well on the other side of Atlanta, for the night. We arrived in our town around dinnertime on Saturday, happy to be in the sunshine and warmth!

We started in flannel and puffy coats. Ended with this!

It didn’t last long though. There were heavy winds and rains the next morning, and we found out when we went to lunch that there had been tornados in Ft Myers! Our area seemed unscathed, thank you Lord!

Our neighbor Tom looks after the house while we are gone. He told Honey that the crew that trims the trees in our community dropped a branch and broke a corner of the roof.

We would like to get this taken care of immediately, Honey has read more than a few stories about the potential of highly destructive palm rats. I don’t need to hear anything more in that sentence than palm rats to light a fire underneath me. Because you know what can give you nightmares? Thinking about palm rats.

Our community has some rules about changing things on the outside of the homes. When we were down last year they announced that if anyone planned on painting the outside of their homes, there was a new color scheme that had to be followed. They had these charts down outside the clubhouse, (inside was closed, Covid) and you had to find the chart that went with your roof color and make your decision from there. These are our choices.

From my thumb up are the ones we are considering. The ones below are more gray, and we are firmly in the more greige camp. The woman at the clubhouse told us our current colors are Rice walls and Bison Beige trim. We would like to do darker walls and lighter trim. We need to make a decision soon so it can be approved and we can get cracking on painting.

We discovered that some things had quit us since our last visit. A toilet needed some parts, the disposal was rusted shut, our indoor/outdoor thermometer wouldn’t work and neither tv would turn on. After talking to our next door neighbor, who also lost a tv in a storm last August, we figured that is what happened over here. Honey fixed everything and is going to have a go at one of the tvs this week. If he cant get it running, we have already scoped out some new ones at Sam’s. It’s a good thing it’s been so chilly, it has given him plenty of time for repairing things!

All in all, we are glad to be at our much loved little place! 🥰