Monday, October 29, 2012

One Great Benefit of Small Town Living

Something quite amazing just happened this morning. First, I have to give you a little backstory. Our church is selling fruit to raise money to send the youth on choir/mission tour next summer. This is the first year the twins will be participating in the tour so we have been busy selling fruit to anyone and everyone we can. Last Friday, my daughter sold fruit to a fellow UMW member and she said she would leave the check on her porch and we could come pick it up. She was fixing to leave on vacation so we needed to get it that day. Not a problem. We were already going to be in town that morning for a program at the twins former private school and we had to go right by her house anyway. So, after the program, we stopped and picked up the check and put it on the console of my truck. Then we went and ran a few errands and picked up lunch at Subway. When we got home, my daughter went to find the check to put it with the order form and she couldn't find it. We took my truck apart, searched her room and the yard, my purse, everything we could think of. The only other place it could be was the parking lot at Subway. I remembered that my girl couldn't get her door open because she had too many drinks in her hand and I walked around the truck and opened it for her, leaving the driver door open at the same time. It was pretty windy, thanks to Hurricane Sandy. It had to have blown out then and we didn't notice it. My mom was going into town so she said she would take her back to Subway and see if,  by a miracle, it was still there. (FYI-town is a 20 minute drive from our house) Of course, there was no check. They checked the stores around Subway to see if anyone turned in an envelope with a check inside but no one had. My daughter was pretty upset about it. She tried calling the lady who gave us the check but she had already left for vacation and wouldn't be back for a week. The turn in date for the fruit orders was Oct. 28th so we decided to go ahead and pay for her fruit ourselves and hope no one cashed that check before she could stop payment on it.

This morning, I received a call from a friend that goes to our church. She works at a bank in town and said that one of their branches called her and told her that they found a check in their parking lot made out to our church (they knew she went to that church, too) and our daughter's name in the memo. She asked if we had dropped it in the bank parking lot. I told her we had lost it in the parking lot across the street from that bank. When I say 'across the street' I mean across a 4 lane highway (the main one through town). Subway is in a strip mall at the far back corner of the parking lot. This check travelled about an 8th of a mile, across a busy highway to end up in the parking lot of that bank. The same bank that the check was drawn on!!!

I have no explanation as to how this check ended up where it could be reunited with us. It shouldn't have been. But it did. Had we lived in a big city, we never would have gotten the check back. Everyone here knows everyone else. I am so grateful for the people in this town :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Making Sauerkraut

A few weeks ago, a new friend gave me 3 heads of cabbage. Dontcha love free stuff?!!! Anyway, I decided that I wanted to make some sauerkraut. So I did. Seriously, this stuff is sooo doggone easy to make, I don't know why I didn't make this before. I saw a demonstration of the process in my Homestead Blessings-The Art of Canning video.

Here's how it goes:
Shred your cabbage to the size you prefer it. I used the grater blade on my food processor but a hand grater works fine, too.

 Once you have the cabbage all grated, start squeezing your cabbage. Water will start running out of it. That's a good thing. Generously sprinkle on salt. The salt will help get the water out of it and it works to preserve the cabbage during the fermentation. There is no measurement for the salt. Just taste test every so often and stop when it is your kind of salty.

See all that water coming out?

 Once you have a nice soggy, drippy mess of cabbage and water (it took me about 5 minutes of squeezing) pack the cabbage and liquid into clean jars. You can use canning jars but any jar with a lid will work. The jars won't be pressure or water bath canned so you can use any lid you want. You don't have to worry about getting a good seal. When you fill the jar, pack the cabbage in there pretty good and leave at least and 1 1/2 inch headspace. As the food ferments, it will shrink up a bit but the liquid may bubble over and out of the jar. This is perfectly fine!!! Just wipe up the mess and keep the jars stored on some newspaper or an old towel so it won't make a mess of your cabinets.
Once the jars are filled, put the lids on but don't tighten them too much. If the liquid needs to escape, it is better for it to leak out of the jar then to explode it!
The cabbage will need to sit for about 2-3 weeks before you eat it. However, they will remain edible for up to 2 years if stored properly (in a dark, cool room).
24 hours later, you can see the bubbles forming at the top. The cabbage has already shrunk down quite a bit. Cannot wait to have this with some sausage!

This whole process took me less than an hour and I have 3 quart jars full of vitamin C goodness! I will warn you that your kitchen will smell...ummmm....cabbage-y. You know how cabbage smells, right? Hubs thought someone backed up the toilet when he walked in and got a good whiff. At least it dissapates quickly with the windows open!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last night, I went to a jewelry party at a friends's house. I knew that they had built a new house a couple of years ago but, due to our crazy schedules, I never seemed to be able to make it to any of her events at home to check out the new place. So last night was my chance. There are few words I know that can accurately describe this house. Stunning, excrutiatingly get the idea. Every thing was in its place, the decor was something out of Better Homes and Gardens. Everything was just...perfect. Now, I do NOT begrudge her this house. Her and her husband work hard and they are wonderful people. That isn't the problem. The problem was being there made me feel so inadequate. Inadequate about my unfinished house (and the dozen or so unfinished projects in that unfinished house), my decorating choices (I really have no style to speak of), my lack of real organization where it counts. I am not sure that this would be classified as jealousy. I do not want what they have for myself. I do not think that they don't deserve it so I am not sure that this is jealousy. But it is something. I have been praying about it, trying to figure out what exactly is bugging me but, as usual, my conversations with Him are very one sided.

I know jealousy is a sin but what is this? Am I sinning by wishing I was better at the whole-house-put-together thing? By wanting to have everything "done" and pretty? I worry that my wanting this isn't so much for myself or family but for those who may come to my house. I worry about what people will think of my home so I frantically try to clean up when someone is dropping by at the last minute. I cannot stand for someone to see my house messy. Yet, somehow, it doesn't really bother me that my family lives in the messy house. Why, on earth, should it matter to me what others think if my kitchen counters are covered in mail, magazines, recipes and jars? Or that there is more dog hair on my floor than is on the dog? Do visitors even notice these "horrendous" errors in my housekeeping? Last week, we had a contractor out here to give us an estimate on doing some remodeling and all I could focus on was the cobwebs on the wall (it's an outside wall for pete's sake!) and the freshly fallen leaves covering the pool deck. I worried that he might think we are just sloppy people or something. Why does this bother me?????

I have a feeling that this is not going to be a question that gets answered any time soon. Is there anyone else out there that feels like this? Anyone who feels they are being judged all the time? Would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Only In The Country

Reason #384 I love living in the country....

You don't get scenes like this in the city! Don't quote me on this but I think these are peanut harvesters. We were heading down this last paved road before you get to our dirt road and had to pull over to let these big machines go by. As you can see, they take up the entire road! I love this! A few days before this, on this same road, we had to stop while they moved cattle from the pasture on the right side of the road to one down the road to the left. They just opened the cattle gates and the cows mosied on down the road to where they had the road blocked and they just sauntered into the new pasture. This rural living is exactly the kind of life for me. I love seeing the farmers working the land that provides us with food and materials. I love seeing a rancher carefully tending to his livestock so that they may one day feed my family. I love that my kids are learning, not only where their food comes from, but what steps are taken to get it to us. I love the peace and quiet out "here in the country". Sure, occacionally you hear a tractor plowing or a cow mooing or a rooster crowing, but these are the sounds of LIFE! Those noises are providing food, clothing and other life necessities for all of us. Load car engines, blaring stereos, people shouting, horns honking...what do they provide? Noise. Distraction. STRESS! I will take a 3 tractor backup over a traffic jam ANY day of the week!
Since hunting season has started, the sound of gunshots can be heard at dusk and dawn. Hubby and I lived in a city where you heard those sounds and you ducked to save your life! Now, these sounds are reminding us that some sweet animal has given its life to feed someone. Although, judging by the sounds of those shots, it is more likely that some sweet animal has narrowly escaped being dinner for the time being!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Word From the President....

Awhile back, my daughter wrote a letter to President Obama. It was not prompted by me or any homeschool assignment. She just wanted to let him know that she was praying for him and his family and that she thought he was doing a good job inspite of what "the other political party" thinks. Yes, it brings tears to my eyes when I think about how profoundly sweet this act was. She was not expecting anything in return, only to share her feelings. A few months ago, I was checking the mail and I found a large envelope addressed to her from....THE WHITE HOUSE! I stood in front of the mailbox with my mouth entirely open, catching flies. I ran into the house yelling for her to hurry up and get out here. She came flying out of her room, iPod earbuds hanging around her neck, sure that she was in trouble for something. I handed her the envelope and she stood there, almost afraid to open it.
This is what she found inside:

It isn't everyday that someone receives a letter from the President. She was so excited (we were ALL excited). As her mom, I felt tremendous gratitude that my baby's letter was acknowledged and answered. No matter how you feel about this President, you can't deny that this is an awesome thing for anyone to receive.
She is framing this and hanging it on her bedroom wall. A keepsake that she will be able to share with her future children. How cool is that?!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chicken Bombs

I found this recipe either on a blog or pinterest. I can't remember which and I apologize to whomever posted it. You deserve ALL of the glory for this one!
This chicken is A.Maz.Ing!!!!
No, seriously.

Here is what you need:
(I tweaked the recipe a bit for our tastes)

5 Chicken Breasts (You will slice these in half width wise so you will end up with double the amount so you can adjust for however many servings you need)
5 Jalapeno peppers (I used large slices of green bell pepper because I can't take the heat of jalapenos)
4 Oz. Softened cream cheese
1 Cup Shredded Cheese (I used pepper jack)
20 Slices of Bacon

Take each chicken breast and slice it width wise so you now have double the amount of breasts. They will be thin. Pound them to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Mix the softened cream cheese and shredded cheese together in a small bowl until fully combined. Set aside.
Slice the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds and membranes (Make sure you wear gloves!)If you are using bell pepper, just slice into large slices, about 1-1 1/2 inches wide.
Take the cheese mixture and put a large scoop on the pepper slice. Place at the short end of a breast and roll the chicken up around the pepper. Don't worry if the chicken doesn't stay completely rolled. We'll fix that in a minute.
Take 2 slices bacon and lay them side by side, touching. Place the chicken roll at the short end of the bacon and pull the end of the bacon over the top of the chicken and roll until you come to the end of the bacon. The bacon will keep the chicken from unrolling and keeps you from having to use toothpicks.
Next, put the chicken/bacon rolls on a baking sheet and put them into a 375 degree oven. After 10 minutes, take them out of the oven and baste them with your favorite bbq sauce. Put them back in for another 10 minutes. Take them out and baste them with more bbq sauce. Put them in for a final 10 minutes. Take them out and baste them with a bit more bbq sauce. Let them cool for just a minute and serve. Oh, and don't forget to pick all that melted cheese off the baking sheet and scarf it down before anyone else comes in and notices it! I had to fight my kids for it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hamburger Veg Soup

This is, without a doubt, the easiest, simplest soup to make. And probably the tastiest soup I have made in a very long time. It came about in a moment of desperation. I needed something to fix for lunch and I just could not come up with anything that sounded remotely edible. Do you ever have those days when the thought of food just grosses you out?
I had some ground beef thawed so I browned it up with some onions and salt/pepper. Then I started cleaning out the fridge and freezer.
This is what was added to the beef: Half a quart of homemade tomato sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, about 4 cups of beef broth and 2 cups of turkey broth (I didn't have any chicken broth), half a bag of frozen corn, half a bag of frozen peas, half a bag of frozen green beans, garlic, oregano and basil. I just stirred everything together, brought it to a boil and then simmered it for about a half hour. About 15 minutes before it was done, I added a cup of orzo pasta and let it cook in the broth.

At lunch time, my son (the veggie hater) loudly exclaimed that he wasn't touching "that gross stuff" so he ate a sandwich instead. The rest of us sat down to a steaming bowl of nourishing goodness. I cannot even begin to describe how good this stuff was. I don't normally like these kinds of soup (I love cream based soups) but it just hit the spot. The aforementioned veggie hater saw how much we were enjoying it and, since he is never "full", he decided to try"just a little bit". He ended up eating 2 full bowls and I had to stop him from eating a 3rd! He didn't even pick around the veggies. He ate every last one of them. This NEVER happens. There are always threats involved to get him to eat his veggies.
This was a great soup to eat and a great way to clean out leftover bags of veggies in the freezer.
Try some of it and you will not regret it!

Sharing at Frugally Sustainable

Friday, October 12, 2012


Over the summer, a kitty cat decided to make his home here with us. This is a normal occurance out in the country. We have had many dogs, cats and goats show up here. Some are now permanent fixtures while others were just passing through.
Kitty showed up and was always seen with our male cat, Cricket. Because of this, we mistakenly took Kitty for a female. A rear view shot, told us instantly that Kitty was male. We weren't too concerned because all of our female cats are spayed so we figured we were safe from anymore babies. About 3 weeks ago, we noticed that Kitty had broken his left front leg. He wouldn't let us get near him so we could only watch as his leg flopped around as he walked. Then we saw that the bone was sticking out of the skin and we knew that we either had to catch him or shoot him and put him out of his misery. Seeing as how hubby was not too keen on taking Crip Kitty's (this was the new name I had given him) life, we set about capturing him. He was pretty slick. He would only come onto the porch to eat when no one was around. When he would hear the door open, he would hightail it under the porch where we couldn't get to him. Not one to give up that easily, I finally realized that I could get him if I waited to feed the cats until he was actually on the porch. (DUH!) Monday morning I waited until I heard him meowing for breakfast. I had left a pet carrier out on the table so he wouldn't see me walk out with it. I started petting him and before I put the food into the bowl, I grabbed him and put him in the carrier. He let me. He was fine until I closed the lid, then he started that low cat moan that is a little spooky. He kept turning around, looking for an exit and I was afraid that he would get that bone snagged on something so I figured I better get him to the vet ASAP. He settled down pretty quickly and we drove, in peace, to the vet. Once there, they evaluated him and said that the leg would most likely have to come off. I told them that while he was under, go ahead and neuter him. If he was going to hate me, I was gonna give him a really good reason to. So, needless to say, Crip Kitty had his leg and you-know-whats removed, got dewormed and received his rabies shot. Oh, and he got a new name...Tripod.
 Doesn't he just look pitiful???
You can see at the top of his left leg, the bone and tendons are hanging out.

I didn't realize how blurry this one was but here he is sans leg.

He has decided to forgive me as long as I scratch his face...and feed him.
Welcome home Tripod.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

GA National Fair

last weekend we went to Perry, Ga for the GA National Fair. I love fairs and this one is no exception! The fairgrounds in Perry are beautiful and well maintained. HOWEVER.....Most years, we go during the week when there is hardly anyone there. The weather is usually much cooler at this time. This year, hubby decided he wanted to go with us because he has never been so we went on a Saturday. BIG MISTAKE!!! I don't know how many people were there but it felt like millions! And it was HOT!!! There was very little shade so it was funny to see most of the people huddled under the awnings of the food places just to escape the burning rays of Mr. Sun. Let's just say we all got REALLY close!

We did have a good time in spite of the crowds and the heat. We first looked at all the animals. This is my favorite part of the fair. There were cows, goats, sheep, rabbits, pigs and chickens. There was probably more but that was all we could see. As soon as we got inside where the cows were, my daughter stepped into a huge cow pie...IN HER BRAND NEW SHOES!!!! It's always something isn't it??? That's okay because by the time we finished walking around the goats, we had all stepped in something gross!

We saved the chickens for last and I was really disappointed with their set up. So much of the information and pictures that they provided were of commercial chicken farms which are NOT humane...or clean! The practices they preached just weren't how you would want to raise meat that your family will eat. I was a little sad. Then I noticed the names of the corporate info donors and Perdue was on there. Now it makes sense.
They did have a bunch of little chicks there that you could hold so my girl, of course, had to hold one.

Then it was on to the ride section. This is the twins favorite part. However, I think it was a little of a let down for them. We just got back from Disney 3 weeks ago where the rides are AWESOME and these rides were just so-so. They really didn't enjoy many of them. I think they are at that age where the "baby" rides are just ridiculous but the "adult" rides still scare the bejeebus out of them. There isn't much in the middle!

My favorite part was seeing just how crazy the food items were. Yes, we are in the south where we fry everything, but Oreos? Cheesecake?

The weirdest one? Deep fried chocolate chip cookie dough. Seriously...
I had my carmel apple that I always have and ate only the carmel and nuts like I always do. I figure if I only have it once a year, I can toss the apple without any guilt.

Once we had had enough fair stuff, we headed about 30 miles away to Bass Pro Shops. I.Love.This.Store! Since it is almost 2 hours from our house, we don't go very often. The first time I went, I told hubby I would rather just sit in the truck and wait for him because I was sure there was nothing in there I would want...3 hours and $400 later, we left. Hubs had a box of ammo and I had a cart full of stuff!!! I couldn't believe how awesome this place is. They have EVERYTHING! House wares, furniture, home decor, food, clothes, hunting stuff, boats, 4 wheelers. You name it, they got it. Plus the store is just beautiful.
This shot is just after you pass through the entrance area. The entrance is like a hunting lodge. A really nice hunting lodge!
Where else can you scare a bear....

...into submission.
Or commune with a beaver....
My daughter was convinced this was a porcupine!
Little man was pooped....
This is the view at the checkout stations.
Did I tell you how much I love this store????
It was a long night but a lot of fun with the people I love most in the world. What more could a mama ask for?!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Did I Just Hear What I Think I Heard????

Last night, we all went to my inlaws to visit. We got onto the topic of meat and we were telling them how we were going to order meat chickens soon and butcher them ourselves for the freezer. They asked why we were going to all that trouble when we could just buy it at the store so we told them that there were two basic reasons why: We know what our chickens will be eating and how they are cared for while they are alive and butchered. We don't know what has been fed to those chickens in the store (okay, we have a pretty good idea it wasn't healthy!), they are shot full of harmful antibiotics and the treatment of them is inhumane and we will NOT spend our money to support commercial chicken operations. We told them that we care what we put into our bodies because we want to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Want to know the response? "I am 66. Eating that stuff now isn't going to help me." (gasp!) I know. I still have a bruise on my chin when it fell to the floor.

Unfortunately, that is the mindset of many in that generation.

I was at my UMW meeting and, except for my daughter and me, all the women are late 50's and older. One of them was praising the Splenda Brown Sugar product. She was happy because diabetics can use it and it doesn't hurt them....Yet again, chin on floor, much bruising. Telling them that artificial sweetners are satan's invention doesn't really help, either. They just give me a blank stare and continue talking about how great it is.

It surprises me because this generation was raised by people that did NOT eat this way. They milked their own cows or bought milk from a farmer. They raised chickens for eggs and meat, grew gardens and ate grass fed, pastured meat. They ate real butter and cooked in lard or tallow.  Heart disease and diabetes were not common among their parents. Now, they eat processed food, use artificial sweetners, eat mystery meat from the grocery store and eat veggies and fruit grown in other countries and shipped in containers to the US. They are more sick than any generation so far and it is only getting worse. Yet, they don't make the connection that what they eat is killing them.

For this, I am infinitely sad. If they don't change, I will lose the people I love dearly very soon. My parents have diabetes and heart disease yet they refuse to make the necessary changes to keep them not only alive but to allow them to thrive. They are both very overweight and get very little exercise because "it hurts". My inlaws have various health problems but continue to do as they have always done. They are in a little better shape because they get some exercise every day but it isn't enough.

My grandfather is in his mid 80's. He has been active all of his life and continues to be. Sure, he has to take medicines. He had heart bypass surgery years ago but has been pretty healthy ever since. He is very fit for a man his age. He doesn't sit around all day long. He gardens, he builds things (like houses!) and he takes care of his house and yard by himself. And he is healthier than my folks and my husband's who are a generation younger!

I wish I knew what the answer was. Really I do. The thought of my parents or my inlaws dying so young brings tears to my eyes. I am not through with them! My kids have too much to learn from them. My kids' kid's need to know them. I do not understand why they think their health is so trivial.
I can remember when I was around 7, we had a picture taken when I was visiting my great grandma. In it was me, my mom, my mom's mom, my mom's mom's mom, and my mom's mom's mom's mom. 5 generations, all healthy. My great grandmother didn't pass away until I was in my teens and she was in her 90's. Healthy and active till the end. My grandma died at 79 from cancer. Up until 7 months before she died, she was quite healthy and active. I don't know if my mom will even make it to 79. She just turned 64 and is falling apart. She is limited in what she can do because of her weight, back problems, diabetes and fluid around her heart. This isn't what I pictured her senior years to look like.

Hubs and I made a vow to our kids. We promise to do everything in our power to stay healthy, active and productive for our entire lives. I don't want the fun to end at 66. I want to be like my grandpa, still going strong at 84 and beyond!

Just a little funny that I heard on the radio yesterday:
In Japan, they eat very little red meat and drink very little red wine. They have very little heart disease compared to Americans and British.
In Italy, they eat a lot of red meat and drink a lot of red wine. They have very little heart disease compared to Americans and British.
They take away from this? Eat and drink whatever you like. It's speaking English that will kill you!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Pool Deck

We have finally finished the main part of our pool deck. It felt like it took FOREVER but it actually only took about 3 weeks. Unfortunately, they were during the HOTTEST part of our summer. Between the heat and the bugs and the complaining...well, lets just say that I am glad it's over for now. I say for now, because we still have a whole addition to the deck to make. Hubs has a bbq pavillion and a fire pit area planned.
Here is where we are now:
This is shot from our existing deck which will eventually be turned into a laundry room. Where the new deck stops now will be where the additional deck will start. The top right corner will be where the bbq area will be. It will be covered and have some countertop space and a bar to sit at.

At the end of this deck is where the continuation will start. This corner is where the fire pit will go. By the time we are finished, the entire pool will be surrounded by decking. The next phase will be about 10 inches higher than the current one so we will have a step going up. At least the weather will be much nicer for the next construction phase!

It's a little hard to see but the black tar paper covered wall will house the outdoor bathroom/changing room. There will be a door but hubby hasn't cut it in yet. The windows to the right of the bathroom are my dining room windows. They will be cut out and the wall will be extended over our old deck to the new deck where we will have glass doors going out. This will make a nice addition to my dining room area! Where the double doors are now will be closed in to make my laundry room and the double doors will be replaced with a simple interior door.  For seven years, I have had to lug the laundry across the drive to the office where my washer and dryer are and then lug it all back to the house. I won't know what to do with all that "free time"!
This uses all of our old deck and turns it into house space that was desperately needed! Just out of the camera shot, to the right, is a double window that looks into our living room. The "window" is actually a double french door that was made into a window. I hate it. Always have. Don't know why the previous owners did that but I will be glad to change it. It will be turned into an actual doorway leading out onto the deck.  It will be nice to have an exit in the living room instead of having to walk through the house to get outside. Then, the grand finale will be re-siding the entire house. Since we are doing all of the other work ourselves, hubby said we could hire someone to re-side the house. WhooooHooooo!!!!!
This was the biggest project so far this year. It is a blessing and a curse to have someone who knows how to do all of this stuff. A blessing because we have saved tons of precious money by doing it all ourselves. A curse...because WE had to do it! However, the kids and I now know how to install a wood deck from start to finish. We can use hubby's tools like pros and we have the pride of knowing that this deck was built correctly, safely and with love for our homestead.

Sharing at The Prairie Homestead

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall is in the Air

I can feel it. I can smell it. Fall is in the air! I am soooooo happy. I have a confession. I hate summer. Well, not all of it. Just the heat part. Actually, some heat is ok but this summer's heat was stupid! I hated it. I love fall. I love the changing of the leaves. I don't exactly love them them falling into my pool but I'll happily scoop them out if my weather will keep going like it is now. We actually had 2 mornings in the 40's. 40's!!!! I opened all the windows in the house for a few days and turned off the a/c. It was heavenly. Ok, I turned on the a/c in the late afternoon because it was almost 80 in the house and people were starting to complain...and smell. But the fact that I had several hours of breezes blowing through my house just made me so happy.

Another fact of fall is that it is now pecan picking time. We have 16 trees that we harvest from. By hand. All by hand. Mostly my hands. Hubby keeps asking me why I am not making the kids help and I tell him to listen...What does he hear? Nothing! THAT'S why I don't ask the kids to help! It's quiet. Just me and the birds...and the falling pecans. FYI-those suckers hurt when they fall on your head. Just sayin'. Right now, the picking is fun and easy because the leaves haven't really started falling yet. Once they do, the picking becomes much more time consuming because the leaves and nuts are the same color so it's hard to distinguish what is what. For now, I am enjoying myself. I'll make the kids do the hard picking later while I stay in the house and enjoy the quiet inside!

I am looking forward to some apple picking, too. We used to have a couple of apple trees but we had to cut them down because they weren't very healthy but, just a few hours north of here is Blue Ridge, GA and some pretty good apple picking! Plus, the scenery is amazing in that area. I want to get plenty of apples for canning, baking, snacking and any other use I can think of!

Looking forward to fall festivals close to home. Our church does one and it is a pretty good time for the whole family. We also have a few places that do corn mazes and haunted walks so there won't be a lack of seasonal delights.

All of this will lead up to my absolute FAVORITE time of year....winter!!!! I love EVERYTHING about it. The weather (always the possibility of snow) the holidays, the holiday parties, the decorating, the music. I love it all! I am definitly a cold weather person. I love to bundle up in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate or tea. Hubby pretty much hunts every evening from October to January, so I get to do as many crafty things as I please in the evenings. I have also gotten pretty good at getting the fireplace going so I no longer have to wait for him to come home to start a fire. Funny, I can already feel my mood lifting just by talking about it :-)

What are your seasonal delights? I would love to hear them!