Tuesday, August 31, 2010

for the love of muscadines

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, dear readers. It's been a crazy busy summer, capped off by two weeks of out-of-my-comfort-zone events, and a dreadful cold on the heels of that.

But nonetheless, the muscadines are ripening and had to be either picked or lost. So we've set about doing that the last couple of days; picking the ones from the vines we can reach, and the ones we can't, we have to pick up when they fall on the ground. (Understand that our muscadines are wild, and grow all through the tops of the trees.)

There was one particularly tempting cluster just out of reach, and I've pondered and schemed to try and find a way to get to them. But in the process of that, I looked up, and over my head was the motherlode; a vine had grown probably 35 feet tall in a tree, and hung thick with clusters of muscadines. They were so ripe and ready that they would fall to the ground with every breeze, hitting the leaves of the underbrush as they fell as if to taunt me. I could not get to them - the growth was too thick. They'd just have to lie there and rot.

Then I got angry. Those were my muscadines, growing on my vines, in my trees, on my land. So I did what any (crazy) person recovering from a dreadful cold would have done: I went inside and got the sling blade weed cutter thing and hacked away enough of the brush to get to the muscadines as they fell.

It made me feel like my great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mother a little bit; strong, resourceful, stubborn women who saw something that needed to be done and did it. I hope I resemble them, anyway.

Was it worth it? I'll let you know when I taste the jelly. And when I see how much poison oak I have from this little adventure. ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

can i just say?

It's been a good year for food preservation around my house. I was working on these canned peaches today, and started figuring it all up:

I've made 40 half-pints of jelly, and 11 pints of peaches;

I tried to figure up how many quarts of blueberries, blackberries, corn and peas in the freezer, but I lost count;

I did not pay a dime for any of that food - I either grew it myself or it was given to us (mostly given to us);

Every single batch of canning I've done has resulted in more jars than expected - I think it's miraculously multiplying, because I'm following the recipes, but there's just MORE;

And every single jar I've canned has sealed. Every. one.

And summer is not even over yet. Could we chalk it all up to good neighbors and family, and coincidence? Maybe. But I'd rather give God the credit for it all. That's just too much coincidence for me, and who gave me my family and my neighbors, anyway?

4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.

5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.

Psalm 111:4-5

Saturday, August 7, 2010

frodo speaks

*snif* mommy gave me a baff. *snif* sed i had fleas or somethin'. i hate baffs.

i'm just gonna take a nap wiff my mowsie from Papa. 'cuz Papa loves me and doesn't give me baffs. Just mowsies.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

little guys for the little guys

As part of the final preparations for the pool party, I've made these little guys. We have invited a few baby cousins and friends who will be too young for the regular goody bags, so I made these more baby-friendly toys for them. They were so fun to make! The bear, puppy and frog patterns are from K and J Dolls on Etsy, where they have so many other cute patterns too! And believe it or not, K and J Dolls offers the Hello Kitty pattern for free on Ravelry (but you'll need to be a Ravelry member to view it).

When things slow down, I may have to order the pattern for baby dolls with animal caps… or the Pucca and Garu dolls… or the Little Girls… wow, I'm going to be busy.

Note: Here's another place where the "Tiny Kitty" pattern is offered, and you don't have to join anything for this one. Also, Sayjai was so sweet to link to this post from the K and J Dolls blog! Many thanks!