Friday, December 8, 2017


He gets these really weird expressions on his face for pictures these days, but he is still such a cutie.  

I've been reading (dreaming) over the seed catalogs and keeping the fire going.  Nathaniel's been gone.  The older kids had their first Reconciliation on Wednesday night ("That was easier than I thought!"), and we have a holy day today, so we've been at church quite a bit this week.  Elijah, Lydia, and I are still sniffling a bit from colds that just don't go away, but I am thankful that we have all been relatively healthy since all I've been hearing lately is how many awful bugs are going around.  Last week, Malachi, Elijah, and I each had 1-day-down illnesses, but those did pass quickly.  It's just these annoying colds that linger for some of us now.  I'm hoping we can stay healthy!  (And I'm hedging my bets by feeding everyone homemade stock-based soup and oranges.)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

2017 Garden Harvest Totals

So I finally totaled all of my harvest from the gardens, and this is the grand list.  I actually am still harvesting arugula and parsley from outside, and basil from inside, but this is a pretty good estimate.

Arugula - 12+cups
Beans, calypso dried - 1 2/3 cups
Beans, golden crescent, fresh - 12.5 cups
Blackberries - 8.75 cups
Cabbage -1
Carrots - 68
Corn -12
Cucumbers - 29
Garlic, bulbs - 28
Garlic, scapes - 18
Kale - 5+cups
Lima Beans - 1/4 cup
Onions, bulb - 23
Onions, green - 11
Pak Choy -2+ cups
Pea Pods - 6 1/4 cups
Peppers - 11
Potatoes - 2lbs 8.5 oz
Radish - 43
Raspberries - 1c
Squash, butternut - 4
Sweet Potatoes - 16.8 lbs
Swiss Chard - 3+cups
Tomatillos - 6.5 lbs
Tomatoes, cherry types
Tomatoes, Black Krim - 36
Tomatoes, Black Vernissage - 163
Tomatoes, Golden Jubilee - 116
Tomatoes, St. Pierre - 304
Tomatoes, Woodle Orange  - 97
Turnips - 21
Watermelon -3
Zucchini - 3

Friday, December 1, 2017

November Harvest Totals

Carrots, little finger 8
Eggs 71
Peppers, peppadew 4
Tomatillos 1/2 lb
Tomatoes, St Pierre 8
and several cups of arugula, basil, and parsley

5 of the hens are molting, so the egg production has gone way down.  The tomatoes are ones I put in the garage shortly before frost, so we could let them ripen and enjoy a few more. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Book Review - Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris

Vanishing PointThis book says "A Nikki Boyd" novel on the cover, but although it is about the case that drove her into law enforcement, Nikki herself is more of a "cameo" than a character in this tale.  I was disappointed that she didn't have a bigger role, especially in the end.  That said, I did enjoy main characters Jordan and Garrett.  I just didn't feel that they were as well-defined as the characters in the previous novels.  The case itself was very good, and there was suspense throughout, but I felt that the main characters needed a bit more.  All in all, it is a good book, and I would definitely try another of Lisa Harris's novels, but the first three Nikki Boyd novels kept me enthralled from start to finish.  This one fizzles at times, and the romance element is frustrating.  I still give it four stars, though, because it is well-written, and the serial killer case is well-done.

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

All Catholic, All the Time

So, since I was confirmed in the Catholic Church last spring, and 3 of my kids are preparing for sacraments this year, Nathaniel and I joke that we are "all Catholic, all the time."  (Obviously, it's not really a joke, but still, it's kinda fun to say it with a laugh.)  As part of my desire to share the faith, I have been adding sacred artwork and such to our home.  Here's a little tour.  First up is a crucifix that I've had for a decade:
This one is not new.  When my grandmommy died, we grandchildren (all 26 of us) sent in our requests for a keepsake.  I asked for a crucifix, and I received this one.  It is even more special to me because originally, Grandmommy gave this crucifix to my great Aunt Bess, and after Aunt Bess died, it came back to Grandmommy's house.  I love that this crucifix has a connection to two wonderful women that I still miss very much.

This sculpture was a gift from Nathaniel.  It is by a Canadian sculptor, whose work I greatly admire, named Timothy Schmalz.

I put up some saint cards as inspiration for the kids.  They are good conversation starters (Who is that?  Why is she famous? etc.)

These are in my "library", and are really for me.  I fell in love with the Pieta when I was in Rome and could get up close to the copy in the Vatican, so I got the top poster.  The bottom one is a poster of Caravaggio's famous doubting Thomas painting.  I like Caravaggio's work; the people are so realistic.

This was on etsy, and I just loved it.  It depicts the Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth at the visitation, when Mary (while pregnant with Jesus) went to visit Elizabeth (pregnant with John the Baptist).  The picture I took doesn't do it justice, but it is framed and hanging in my bedroom.

I also have saint quotes and bible verses throughout the house.  And I didn't take a picture of everything (like the Virgin of Guadalupe in the playroom, or the Sacred Heart of Jesus candle in the living room).  But this gives a pretty good idea .  And what does Nathaniel think of all this?  Well, he bought me and the kids this St. Francis and the birds statue because we didn't have enough "Catholic stuff" in the basement.  I love that man.

And his mom just gave me her grandparents' crucifix, so it will be down there as soon as I hang it.

Lastly, we did enjoy a busy Thanksgiving with Nathaniel's side of the family:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Meat Chicken Totals

The meat birds ended up producing 75.35 lbs of meat for our freezer!  That was from 15 birds.  We spent $155.75 on the chicks, feed, and bedding, so our meat ended up costing $2.07/lb.  That's really good for humanely-raised, non-gmo fed chicken.  And then there's the fact that we also get the chicken hearts, which my younger three children love cut up and stir-fried in lard.  I've never actually tried the chicken hearts myself, since they are so small, and the kids fight over them.  They are already lamenting the fact that it will be a long time before they get to eat chicken hearts again.  Come spring, we plan to get some new laying hen chicks, but we'll get some straight-run, and process the roosters.

Today's Visitor

We get deer in our yard, but generally we don't have one in broad daylight walk all along the ponds, down the path, and just hang out for a while in our driveway.  This guy was taking his time!

And here's a cute photo of Lydia on cowgirl/cowboy day at school: