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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    The last few days here have been relaxing and calm ; a much needed break from last weeks turmoil.Sometimes just being at home is the best cure.
   I spent Monday cleaning the house.I am trying to get some things done now before the holidays come whizzing along.In between cleaning projects I made Apple Butter.I made it in the oven so while it was cooking I could do other things. I made a total  of 6 pints and that will be the whole stock of Apple Butter for this coming year. I realized that Chance and I are the ones who really like it so I am saving the rest of the apples for Apple Sauce.I will be making Marmalade this winter and I still have my strawberries in the freezer to make into jam as well,so we will be set for jams soon enough.
  I took a break from being indoors Monday afternoon.It was fairly late into the day by the time I got there but the duskiness of the light was just right for putting the garden to bed for the winter.I cut everything back and pulled the weeds and considered which beds should not be used next spring. I cut a large bouquet of the last of the Dahlias.I left their stems long and rangy,I wanted them just as they were once I put them in a vase. I smile when ever I walk by the flowers with their nodding heads.I know these are the last blooms until next summer when once again the garden will be lush and beckoning. I did miss my gardening companions- the busy Bees but they have gone to bed for the winter.Sleep tight little brothers and sweet dreams to all of you.
  Yesterday I spent the morning finishing my house work all the while thinking of  my holiday things to do list.We don't go crazy with holiday shopping and like to keep things simple and homey but there are some crafty things I'd like to find time for.This year I would like to make some of these little pods to give away as little Christmas favors. I am thinking I will fill them with candies,toy prizes and maybe some fortunes as well. One of my favorite blogs has recently given me the Christmas craft bug, Natalie over at Chicken Blog made some of the little paper house I love so much and she made paper chains. I think Hrafinstaad will be decked out soon with as many miles of paper chain as I can find paper for.
  I found the time yesterday to finally try out making my own muffin pan wrappers/liners using parchment paper. I found this tutorial but really it is so simple you may not need it. All you need are enough 5 inch squares of parchment paper to fill your muffin pan.The tutorial said to use cooking spray to make the papers stick to the insides of the muffin pan but I did not find this step to be helpful at all. I also did not line the pan with the papers first because once I let go of the papers they just popped out.So I modified things and put the papers in as I went along filling.This project is now on my list of "Fussy but kind of worth it" projects. I can't see where there is any money saved since parchment paper can be spendy and store bought liners are so cheap. But I must say once my muffins came out of the oven they were pretty to see. Issac did comment that he liked the parchment liners because none of the muffin stuck to the liner like it will with the store bought liners. Chance had our camera at work so I was not able to  show all of you a picture,sorry.
  Waaaaay back last spring or so I blogged about Issac having migraine troubles and how I was trying to figure out why and if there was something we needed to eliminate so they would go away.We tried not baking bread which did not work.And once school was out the migraines went away so we worried it was something at school.Since returning to school Issac's migraines have returned, coming about every other week causing him to miss school for a day or two.Well recently when Issac had blood work done the test showed Issac is very low in vitamin D. I did some reading about the side effects of low vitamin D, what do you know, migraine like headaches,muscle aches and fatigue are three of the symptoms that Issac routinely has.The muscles and the fatigue are a point since he is a 16 year old serious athlete. Athletes need vitamin D to  make their muscles work and when you are an athlete whose body dose not absorb things right you really got to pay attention.I think that maybe the school/summer connection could be the fact that during the summer Issac is outside in the sun from at least noon until dark,he's getting vitamin D from Dr Sun. I spoke with Issac's doctor about all of this and she agreed it could be the root of Issac's headaches.We have started Issac on some Vitamin D just like the doctor wanted and we are hopeful it works.If it dose not it means a whole different round of doctors and facing yet another yucky drug Issac ,Chance and I don't really want to see Issac have to take.
  What is the news from all of you? Has anyone else put their garden to bed for the winter? Any holiday projects going on out there? 
  I am also wondering if anyone would like to do a holiday cookie recipe swap? If enough people pipe up I can get this started by the weeks end.


  1. Funny enough, my daughter is home right now with a migraine. She is getting them about twice a month, which is better than it was in the summer. Hmmm. I'll have to think about the vitamin D thing, but I'm always trying everything on her. The poor thing is a human guinea pig, and I worry that when I try all these things it just makes her anxious. Sigh. It's tough having a sick kid. Sending good thoughts to Issac.

  2. Margaret- So far I have been lucky with Issac,he wants to avoid taking another strong drug so he is willing to try things out.It is tough being a parent to a sick kid isn't it? And keep the other kid happy somewhere in there as well.Parenthood what a job!

  3. I don't ever winterize my garden, maybe I should, but I hate the idea of encouraging slug habitat with straw and then cleaning it up in the spring. And I usually have stuff in the ground until spring anyway like greens, greens, greens, onions, leeks, carrots and weeds.

    I made 18 quarts of apple sauce on Monday night. I've got another 20 or so to go. I really pity you having to make sauce with all those apples I made you take. If you want any *more* apples, the Newtown Pippins I have now are really awesome. Eat all the Jonagolds fresh and use the Newtowns for saucing. I've only got about 3000 more pounds of apples to get through before I'm done with cidermaking for the year. Cider is a lot easier to make in bulk than apple sauce!

  4. Nat- We don't cover the garden at all and like you we still have food out there growing.What I did was pull some of the stuff-mostly flowers and trimmed back the rest.
    We learned all about straw and slugs when we tried the hay bale gardening so no way am I going to encourage the slugs ever again.
    Sorry to say I do not need any more apples but thanks any way.

  5. Good morning dear Rois!

    Would you kindly share your address... Lady Betty Orpington would like to
    send you a Holiday Preparedness Care Package!

    Natalie, Executive Chicken Secretary

  6. Hi Rois,sounds like things are lively already and not even with holiday stuff! Btw, have a cookie recipe to pass along to you from the family cookbook:

    Norwegian Butter Cookies
    1 c. soft butter
    ¾ c. powdered sugar
    2 c. flour
    ¾ c. chopped walnuts
    2 tsp. vanilla
    Mix all ingredients in order given. Roll into little balls. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 min. then roll in powdered sugar.

    From my maternal grandma Ellen Rickl

  7. Greendeva3 - My Norwegian roots thank you. And my Maternal grandmother was Ellen too!