Thursday, September 10, 2015

I'm Alive....Continued

I lost a couple of weeks of Summer in August after having to have some minor dermatological surgeries, a couple of spots from my scalp that turned out to be benign and not requiring the Mohs surgery again, thank goodness!

 After the anesthetic and anxiety wore off, it still hurt pretty good for awhile, and I spent a few days, maybe a week just laying around and resting. Reading and watching some Netflix.

Kiki layed around with me some.

LOL, I've never had a kitten or cat as sweetie and lovey as this one is.

I woke up one night to find her laying in front of of me with her nose pressed along mine.
If you sleep on your front, she'll lay on your back/shoulders and stick her head down by your neck to sleep.
If you're laying on your back, she'll lay on your chest and put her head under your chin to sleep.

Sadly, we have to move her out of our faces because extremely close contact like that sets off our allergies.

She still finds a way to get close as she can. In the picture, she'd laid next to me and hugged both paws around my arm.

She's also very smart. She"tells" us when she needs or wants something, and somehow, I'm not sure how, we understand what she's saying, and she can play games, "Guess which hand", and Fetch.

This is a video of her playing "Guess which hand?" with Kev.
That seriously just amazes me.

So the days went on, and eventually it got on towards September, which, even though Autumn doesn't actually begin until the 22nd or 23rd, for most people, Labor Day is traditionally the Last Official Day of Summer, and so begins Fall.

I had gotten excited for Halloween a few weeks ago already....

I finally finished this putz/little glitter house I'd started last year and didn't get done for whatever reason:

...but I can't (don't allow myself to) decorate for Halloween before October 1st. (Too much of a good thing is still too much.)

So I compromise and decorate for "Fall" on/around September 1st.

The pumpkins are  jack-o-lanterns turned around backwards, I just turn them around for Halloween.
Everything stays and I add Halloween/spooky things to it in October, then it turns "Fall" again with some Thanksgiving additions for November.

My Mom and Dad, who lives sometimes in North Georgia, but mostly in North Florida, actually spent more of the Summer in Georgia this year, and my Dad and Cousin raised a huge, awesome garden.  The kind I aspire to, but will probably never make it.

They grew enough veggies for the both of them to fill their pantry shelves with canned goods, which my Mom and my Cousin's wife and some others have been working on canning and/or freezing for over a month, plus at least 5 (that he mentioned, but possibly/probably more) other families/kin were loaded up with garden goodies.

I went for a visit this past weekend and was sent home with jars of homemade spaghetti sauce, canned green beans (that, interestingly, are heirloom beans originally from my great-grandparents', and possibly even great-great-gandparents' gardens), jars of apple butter, frozen corn on the cob, and creamed corn off the cob, a gallon bag of froze blueberries, and jar of pickled okra and peppers for J (yuck).

Mom had a bunch of frozen okra, too, but Dad took Ryan to the garden to cut us some fresh okra for me to put up myself.
As they left he said, "I just cut okra two days ago, there might not be a lot there."

Oh, only this much, lol. 

He grew the garden and even he couldn't believe how much had grown in two days, or how big!

Unlike here, they had nearly perfect growing conditions with just the right amount of rain and sun in the mountains this year. Plus, unlike me, my Dad has always had a green thumb and could always grow stuff anyway.

I ended up "puttin' up" 15 quarts of "okrey".

Dad's apple and pear trees are loaded this year, also.
We picked a 5 gallon bucket of each for me to bring home.

I peeled/cut/sliced pears for most of two days.  Four blisters and aching hands later, it ended up to be 10 quarts of sliced pears, that cooked down to 7.5 pints of pear preserves.

Pears, "sugaring" overnight.

I like to go for zero-waste, and make what ever I can out of what ever I have. I usually make apple cider vinegar out of the apple scraps/peels/cores, but what do with pear scraps? Pear vinegar? Ew?

Anyway I read that I can cook down the pear scraps to make jelly, out of the juice, and CONserve, out of the...fruit that squishes out from the peels and seeds and such when running it through a food mill.

(I knew preserves, but hadn't heard of conserve. I think it might be something like fruit butter, or -sauce like apple-sauce, but pear?)

I don't have a food mill, so I ordered one, that was supposed to be here today.
Tracking says the USPS attempted delivery, but I was here all day, and anyway they usually leave my packages on the carport, so what the heck?

Hopefully I'll get it tomorrow, and can finish up my pears, and get started on the apples.

I brought home 2 kinds of apples: one I can't remember the name of, but are eating apples, and keep in the fridge a good long time, so I will probably just keep those for eating, and Granny Smith's, which are good for baking, so I'll probably make Canned Apple Pie Filling out of those.

By the way, my last batch of canned apple pie filling turned out really good, despite the fact I used soggy, non-baking apples.

And that catches me up to now, and probably the rest of the week or so.

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