Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect.

It's learning to look past life's imperfections

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Monday, October 29, 2012

All Secure…but cold

Mr.Fix-It came home and changed the lock on the side door (new addition) with in 10 minutes of getting home.

Hadn’t even taken his boots off.

Jelly & Locks 002

Last night I slept like a log, didn’t get up till just after 7 am.  Serious bead head and a numb right arm and hip.  I don’t think I moved at all during the night.   Safety & security is wonderful thing!

I don’t know about your neck of the woods but around here Fall is over. It was here for about 2 weeks, I blinked and it was g.o.n.e.

  I left the house about 10am. with a scarf and a mid weight fleece jacket …BIG mistake.  By the time I got 20 ft. to the car I was ready for the heater.

Here in So Indiana/Louisville area we are caught between the overflow winds from the east and the blustery cold front approaching from the west. We had 45 mph winds that cleared the patio area of all the leaves (thankyouverymuch) better than the leaf blower and in less time.

It also brought the cold. 

I have to say I’ll take our wind and the cold weather it brings over the storms on the east coast.  It will take at least a month to get everyone powered up again

Earth quakes on the west coast, tsunami’s, east coast storm…makes me wonder if God’s not leaning over and shouting


Can you hear me now?


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Saturday, October 27, 2012


We live out a ways and until the past few years never locked our doors.

  Even at night, there were to many kids coming and going.  Some ours and some that needed a safe place to go.  Since the new subdivisions have gone in down the road the doors are locked at night.  We’ve not had a problem but, were not naive either. 

This past summer there have been numerous break-ins in the new neighborhoods about a mile away.  We even started locking the vehicles rather than leaving the keys in the car and, locking the house when we leave in the day. 

Well, recently I’ve come home after running my twice weekly errands and found the door open about 6 inches.  I kinda froze for a moment but though maybe I hadn’t closed the door all the way. Everything in the house was fine so I gave myself a good talking to about safety.   

A few mornings later something woke me. Still not sure what but,  it brought me wide awake & fully alert. I’d been up pretty late the night before so it was about 8 am.  I came down the hall and saw the side door open, thinking Mr. Fix-It was outside & maybe the screen had slammed……then realized it was Monday…he was long gone.  Again everything in the house was fine but it creeped me out.

Later that afternoon as I went out to the garden I noticed my Santa Fe had been keyed down the drivers side & the mail box (way down the drive way) was smashed. 

It has happened 3-4 times in the past month…coming home and the door is open.  Nothing is out of place that I notice or missing… but it just doesn’t “feel” right.

I really thought I was loosing it, not locking up when I KNEW I had. I’ve not been sleeping well at all, hearing every little creak and moan a house makes at night.  Jumping at normal noises in the day…and then

Last night, Larry checked the windows, lights and doors, made sure everything was locked up tight and we went to bed………

He got up this morning at the usual 5 am &…the side door was o.p.e.n. and the porch light was on. 

I KNOW that door was locked.

HE knows the door was locked.

I’m not going crazy!

O happy day!

(Well, let’s not define crazy ok?)

We have 3 keys out, all to family….they work during the day and after talking to them none have been in the house. (Not that we would care other than to lock the door when you go)   

Some how, someone is able to get in here….nothing is ever bothered or missing which is even weirder…..creepier

Tomorrow, new locks are going on the house!

Better yet it’s nice to know I’m not loosing my mind.


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Dehydrating Potato’s

I’ve been wanting to try dehydrating potato’s for a while.  Although we have a basement but not really a “cold room” so dehydrating I felt was the best long term storage for us.  Now that the garden is pretty much done, now is the time to tackle those potato’s time and price wise.  I’d looked up directions on line and U tube & then remembered my blogging buddy over at “Bacon & Eggs” had recently dehydrated some.

So following her directions I pealed my taters. Yes, I know I could leave the skins on but the MR. can’t stand the skins in dishes…baked is ok but not in fried tater’s…(.he asks for so little I pealed them)

Sliced them up to an eyeballed 1/8th of an inch

Fall finishing 013

In a pot of lightly salted boiling water and using a strainer I boiled my slices.  The suggested time was 5-8 minutes (till opaque) I found 5 was right for me, more and they got to soft.

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I put them in a bowl of ice water for 5-10 minutes (till cool)

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Lay them out on a tea towel or paper towel (if you use them) & blot dry

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Layer them on the dehydrator trays mindful that they do not touch

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3-4 hours check if they are crispy…(at this point I switched the 2 top & bottom trays as the top was more dry than the bottom) about 2 hours later they were done.  I let them cool for a few hours and then sealed them in a container. 

This evening I plan to break out the food saver, I’ve yet to use it & this is the perfect time to break it in. 

A few things I found worked best for me…

I had my water start boiling while I peeled the first dozen potato’s.  I sliced and boiled 3 potato’s at a time.  While those were boiling I sliced 3 more & set up my trays. 

Right before I figured those boiling were done, I drained those in the Ice water & layered them out to drain…..so I was able to have them boiling, cooling, drying on the towel and load the screens ….then peal more potato’s within that 5-8 minute boil time. 

If I pealed to many at one time they started to discolor & I found 3 potato’s fit perfect on a tray. I tried just dropping them in the pan to boil without the strainer but had a mess trying to fish the slices out.

Less than an hour I had 10 lbs. of potato’s dehydrating….very easy and quick which is good as I have 3 more bags to do!

And then I had a cup of coffee OK, 2 cups before I cleaned up…

note to self clean up right away cause dried potato starch on the counters & pans is just gross to clean up

Thank you again to my bloggy friend  “Bacon & Eggs”



Friday, October 26, 2012

A Day Of Busy-ness

It’s been a busy week. Not a whole lot of one thing but bits of this and that. 
Beans for seed left to dry on the vine were all harvested yesterday or,  nearly all harvested.  I was pulling plants as I went & won the prize….Fall finishing 001
Which had me yelling EEEEWWWWW and running walking away.  I know it’s just a snake skin but it leads to the question, where’s the snake! These I’m setting aside for a few days till it’s to chilly for outdoor work
The chives got a final (I think) hair cut.
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Chopped up & in the freezer with the other bags waiting for soups and stews this winter
From the main garden the last of the squash/pumpkin harvest is in
Looks pretty good right?

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How about adding a sharpie marker to the photo for a a bit of size perception
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They are all so tiny, combined maybe enough for a meal
Tomato’s are all that’s left and they need to come in this evening as the weather man is calling for low 50’s for the high tomorrow and a cold snap over the weekend.  If that weather change wasn’t enough to curl my toes he said the 4 letter word.  That’s right S>N>O>W> next week.  I’m so not ready!
I popped in the local hardware store the other day and caught a good clearance of plants.  I scored 3 more blueberry bushes for about $2.50 each.  I planted them today and think there will be enough decent weather for them to “set” and make it through the winter.  For $2.50 it’s a chance I’m willing to take.
I’ve a bag of potato’s with my name on it waiting to be dehydrated..
Have a great day
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Sometimes the beauty

Is in the simplicity. 

Such is the design of this kerchief

 Age of Steam & Brass

Age  Of steam and brass 003

combined with a color way from Lunabud Knits

Age  Of steam and brass 009

Designed to be worn as a kerchief or a backwards shawl with the length draped in the front.  The ends are long enough to wrap around the neck comfortably. 

Age  Of steam and brass 006

A kerchief to wear in the *v* of your jacket to keep your chest warm & leave on as an fun accessory…..

I think I need to make one for me!


Midnight Knitting

So many projects I start for gifts family knits and they end up set aside for customs. Don’t get me wrong…. I’m not complaining about the custom work,it pays my bills. 

But, this time I’m bound and determined to finish this The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief  in the next few days.

I cast on late last night and got this far about  inches in.

Age of steam 013

I’m thrilled with the color flow, no heavy stacking or pooling at all…AWESOME dye work!

Today we needed to travel to Indy (2 hours each way) and I was able to compete all but the last section.  So tonight, my rear is plopped in a kitchen chair knitting away with a fresh cup of coffee at my elbow. 

We’ll see how far I get!

Have a great evening


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jerky Time!

With hunting season upon us, I‘v been attempting to empty out the downstairs large chest freezer.  It’s my “bits of everything” freezer containing soups, broths,fruit for pies,  frozen veggies & also all the extra fruit and vegies I intend to can this winter.   It’s also the over flow for venison when the meat freezer is full. My plan is any meat left in there will be canned in the next 2 weeks to make room for more.  Mix 004

We also realized we’d yet to make any jerky!   We always save the tenderloin for jerky, and there were 2 plus, a few other packages he’d marked for jerky.  It’s not a quick process yet not a long labored one either, once the meat is sliced.

The seasoning we currently use is High Mountain Jerky Cure.

We love the flavor & variety of seasonings but, I want to make our own mix as I know it would be cheaper…so, share your recipe’s with me with jerky cures if you have them please.  There are quite a few on line but, I’d rather use one from one of my trusted bloggy friends

Mix 005

Loading trays for the dehydrator

Mix 006

So much easier than using the oven. 

The Excalibur takes at least triple the amount of meat compared to trays in the oven & is much more economical to use saving time and expensive propane.

Mix 008

The smells from the dehydrator are heavenly..The first batch disappears pretty fast.

Do you  make jerky?  What are your favorite cures or rubs? 

Willing to share?

Stay warm out there!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sending Some Shades of Home

To Aaron.

Talking with my son who lives in San Diego the other day he made comment he missed seeing the season change.

  Mix 080

I thought I’d send him some fall flavor.

San Diego may have beaches and sun shine but, I know it doesn’t have color like home.

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I had a couple of willing helpers collect a basket of fall for him.  It took them about an hour because they wanted special pretty leaves

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and were very proud of the assortment selected

Collecting Leaves for Uncle Aaron

So, Unco Awin,

here is your basket full of shades of fall with lots of hugs and kisses mixed in

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We miss you

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and are waiting for you to come play “destroy the domino’s” again

The Little People

The Big People too…

but if you make a mess with the domino’s  you have to clean it up!


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Composting 102

Sumer is OVER! 
Fall leaves are falling, we are harvesting the last few tomato’s, peppers and beets.  High season gardening may be over but, some chores carry on all year long like... composting.  It’s a easy ongoing way to provide mulch and build/replace much needed nutrients to your soil.
For Free…that’s right free.
My favorite word!
    We’ve all had composting 101.
Using grass clippings, leaves, small branches, garden debris etc. are second nature.  Most of us look at green material from the yard or garden and see compost or worm food not yard/barn debris.
102 is one step further, the items some don’t think of composting….
This summer I’ve been pretty dedicated to building the compost up. I’ve been rereading books, blogs and online articles, and realized I was missing out on a lot of “food” for the bins.  We all know to add garden debris, leaves etc but what about the composting material from inside..but not limited to the kitchen? 
It’s amazing how little household trash we have when I’m watchful.
  • Newspaper, what is not used for the bird cage is shredded and composted..along with the paper when I clean the bird cage
  • any household paper, toilet paper rolls & paper towel rolls (if you use them)
  • packaging boxes,remove shipping tape and tear them up first
  • Mail, everything is put through the shredder and tossed in
  • fabric scraps and thread trimmings from the sewing room
  • wool and cotton yarn scraps from weaving in ends.
  • dryer lint
  • dirt and debris swept from the floor
  • vacuum cleaner debris----watch out for the Barbie shoes & Legos
  • cotton fabric scraps…cut up rags that no longer do their job…
  • those strings we trim off frayed towel edges (before we hem them)
  • old work shirts & cotton garments, those that have no work left in them..just be sure and cut the buttons off first.
  • The tired dirt from house plants..I used to toss it in the flower beds but now add it to the compost.  Even worn out soil helps and, comes back to a purposeful life in the compost.
  • old baskets past their prime
  • dryer lint
In other words just about anything not plastic, metal or heavy wood.
Right now I have the standard 13 gal. kitchen trash can. I’d made comment I was ready to switch it out to 2 smaller, one for compost the other for kitchen.  Mr.Fix-It as asked me not to for a while..instead of daily, he’s enjoying the bi-weekly trash hauling.
Are there things you compost I’ve missed?
Add to the comments please
Off playing for the day
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Showing Guests a Good Time

What great weekend!  We had friends down from northern Indiana for the weekend & took them to the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot in WestPoint KY.

It was a day for “Big Boy Toys. 

This video is a few years old.  This weekends is not posted yet

The guys hoofed it up to the range at a much faster pace than Lori & I…I think they were a tad excited.   When Lori & I were about 100 yards away from the main range some type of weapon was fired that was strong enough I literally felt the skin on my arm move & Lori’s pant legs moved from the percussion.  As the gentleman behind us commented it was a good “sphincter check”.  

It was a beautiful afternoon weather wise and spent with great people. Walking in (and out) I noticed license plates from Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, both Carolina’s, Colorado, Illinois…..people from all over made the trek to this sleepy little town to witness the fierce fire power that helps keep our country free.   Anything from WW1 to current weaponry was available….and I mean anything!  MRE’s, weapons of any size and gear was for sale.  Lori & both picked up a few t-shirt’s and at one point made comment we didn’t seem notice any Obama gear LOL! 

Gee, I wonder why!

Hope your weekend was just as fun


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Truck Load of Pretty


Plain brown boxes filling the bed of a F150

Larry called from work the other day and asked (with just a tad of sarcasm) could I use more canning jars?  Well, DUH!!  Thanks for asking but you know the answer to that one!

Seems one of the guys that works for him (& his wife) are clearing out all the canning jars they have.  Calling it quits on canning.  Could I use them? He would bring them in tomorrow.

OK,  I’m thinking if they were willing to pass on jars it meant maybe a dozen….

The next day Mr. Fix-It  comes down the drive way (in the middle of the day) in a truck that wasn’t his just a grinning & waved me over to the back end.  It was LOADED.  I nearly wet my pants.  Seriously, I had to run inside to potty.

On the way back out I grabbed the camera. 

This is what was left in the truck

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.  He’d already unloaded these

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and these!

Jars And Leggings 002

Quart, pint, half pint and the tiny quarter pints for gifting. I’ve yet to have a chance to go through them all

Looks like I’ll have plenty of jars for apple sauce next week!

And, passing a few filled jars back as a thank you.

No question we need to build more shelves in the basement


Have a wonderful weekend


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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Are you “Fall Cleaning”?


One of my last post I made comment I was cleaning out “stuff” and commenced a fall clean out….

Mama Pea,  who writes one of my favorite blogs “A Home Grown Journal” (If you haven’t done so,  yet check out her blog… you wont be disappointed) left me this comment…         “  I always thought spring was the time for old-fashioned "spring cleaning" but it seems so many of us are hitting it hard this fall for some reason. Not sure we're very wise as we also seem to still have canning and preserving going on at the same time! I really, really don't want to fill every single minute of every day with "work" type tasks . . . it just seems to happen! Fall is supposed to be a time for thinking about knitting, quilting, reading . . . or will we have to wait for the dead of winter for that? “

Well she got me to thinking. I realized in the past few years  fall is when I’ve done these clean outs.  What happened to spring cleaning?  Opening the doors and windows to let the house breathe in fresh air after being tightly shuttered for months.

I think for me the change over came with staying home and gardening.  Spring we’re all out wallowing in the soil, praying over the seedlings, hoeing and raking. Watching trees & fruit vines bud. Busy planting and working gardens, herb and flower beds…..anything to be outside and out of the house in the sunshine. 

Summer we are to busy weeding and preserving which carries over in to fall….and then the winter prep work ..

Fall, we start thinking about staying inside…a l l   w I n t e r…..& begin looking around and realize although we’ve maintained our homes though the busy times..“stuff” has crept in.  You know what I mean, like that pile of books that is stacked next to the couch, the stack towels in the linen closet that have fallen over. How about the ironing pile that is now large enough that could be declared a state.  OK so I may have exaggerated a bit, not a state but at least a county!  The dust and drips that have gathered in cabinets and drawers in the kitchen from canning.  All those little minor tasks we started (do we have to talk about the mending pile?) and gotten side tracked.  Leftover home improvement project pieces and parts…..the desk that is beginning to look like a trash heap paper mill exploded.  Cleaning out spare rooms of all the stuff or tasks we set aside to do later when we aren’t so busy…….and then  realized I don’t want to be stuck inside with all this stuff all winter! 

I admit I’m not an organized person ( my family would be standing shouting “Can I hear an Amen!”)…I want to be, I try to be…but it doesn’t work.  So yeah, there are things that need done, blinds & walls that need washed, closets & cabinets that need cleaned out.  I’ve never been able stay in one room to start/finish it so I do little bits in each room, keep a donate box on hand & at least 5 things have to go in it a day.  When the box or bag is full it goes in the SUV.  I’m still cleaning out the empty kids rooms so 5 things is cake I tell you (think wedding cake).  It should be done already but…as you can tell I get side tracked easily.

Anyway, cleaning it out, clearing the clutter and organizing now in the fall makes the house feel open and spacious during the “inside times” of winter.  And….lets me do all the fun stuff like quilting and sewing guilt free.

How about you?  Spring cleaner or fall?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Canning and Cleaning

Ahh! Last night I slept like a rock.  Mr. Fix-It had been out of town all week and I never sleep well while he’s gone. Every house has night time noises as it ”settles” at night. The sounds which generally are a comfort & let me nod right off …well, when he’s gone they sound ominous.  So, there was a few nights I was still awake at 3 am. 

Sleep depravation = low productivity. Took me 2 days to can 47 pints of pumpkin..and I’m still not done.  There are 2 more waiting for processing.  I didn’t realize just how much pumpkin you get. I see a lot of bread, muffins & pumpkin pies for dessert this winter!

The peppers all got sliced, diced & loaded in the Excalibur

Fall Prints 001

Mmm, such a fresh aroma that lasts for hours!

The past 2 days I’ve been on another de-cluttering/de-crap-afying mission.  Where does all this stuff come from? I told Mr. Fix-It we need to check for trail cameras on sale and mount them in the closets.  I tell you I think after the last clean out, anything that was left in the closets expanded and multiplied on their own.

Isaiah’s room became the upstairs storage room while we worked on the remodel.  I’d kinda burnt out by the time we were done & wasn’t sure what to do with all the stuff we’d crammed in there. Honestly, when I opened the door I was flat overwhelmed with everything that had accumulated.   I got in there yesterday and found the floor, pulled the curtains to launder and reorganized quite a bit of it.  There’s still a bunch of little boy clutter to clean and sort but, it felt so good to see the progress. Thankfully the toss and giveaway piles were much larger than the keep this time around.   I gotta tell you, it feels really good looking in there and actually seeing carpet!

Tomorrow, the Pantry…..maybe.

Have a great weekend



Monday, October 1, 2012

It’s raining, It’s pouring

But no one here is snoring!

It has rained steadily a.l.l. day long.  Started about 10am and hasn’t stopped.  We must have had at least 2 inches so far and the temps dropped to 59 degrees last I checked.

This morning I went to the grocery for the Monday produce check and made out pretty well.  2 nice sized heads of cauliflower for .49 cents, A bag of yellow sweet bell peppers for .49, 3 pound of carrots for .29 cents and 2 huge stalks of celery for….you guessed it.49 cents.

I also picked up some rhubarb for Mr. Fix-.it.

He loves rhubarb sauce.  Made basically the same as apple sauce but much quicker.  I chop it up in 1 inch pieces, put it in a pan with about 1 inch of water and let it cook down.  When the large chunks start breaking down I add 3/4 – 1 cup of sugar and let it bubble till it’s pretty thick.  Even if you don’t like rhubarb you aught to give it a try..this cooks up with a similar flavor to sweet-tarts.  If he was home this afternoon a good portion would be gone by now.

Pumpkin 005

I was able to can 3 1/2 pints and 1pint of it.   It was a holiday treat while he was growing up & still a favorite.  I’ll have to hide it on the shelves if I want any to last.

The carrots and celery are chopped and in the dehydrator….smells so good.  Peppers will go in tomorrow.  I need more peppers like I need another hole in my head but, I’ll use them or share with the girls.

The tomato’s are still going but have slowed way down.  I’ve been popping them in a bag in the freezer till I have enough for a batch of sauce.  I’ve been using the crockpot for sauce & love the freedom ….no watching the pot so it doesn’t scorch.  Saturday late afternoon I loaded it up and let it cook down to mush. Early evening I popped it in the blender…. skins and all.  Then back in the crock pot on low overnight.  In the morning I had a nice thick sauce ready to be canned.  Soooo much easier! With the temp drop today I think I’ll have a large load of green tomato’s to work with. 

This afternoon I started working on the pumpkins I picked up at the farmers market. I love preserving our food.  I know where it comes from, where & how it was grown.  Much better quality and a LOT more food for your money.

   So far I have 16 pints cooling on the table and 5 more (last load for tonight) in the pressure cooker waiting for it to release

Pumpkin 004

I found out the hard way Puga really dislikes the pressure cooker.  His cage is in the kitchen and I didn’t even think when I let him out.  In the past he’s been in the cage when I’ve had it going.  He squawked and carried on when the weight was rocking.  I think with the noise and cage door open he felt unsafe or challenged.  And it was evening which is our play time.  As it happens Mr. Fix-It is out for the evening so, I kept the pressure cooker going much later than normal.

Pumpkin 003

He was highly irritated and not about to let me close the cage back without a fight….think of a 3 yr. old on a sugar high…not a great attitude to negotiate with!

Pumpkin poop (and coffee grounds) ready for the compost bin

Pumpkin 001

But it’s pouring rain & I’m not going down to the compost bin tonight!

Time to finish cleaning up the sticky pumpkin goo that is on all my counters, cutting boards ….and floor.


Beautiful Weekend

What a beautiful morning we had yesterday!

I woke up early or what I thought was early, it was 7 am but still dark out!  Can’t wait for that time change to roll around!

Stumbling out for coffee I found Mr. Fix-It at the kitchen table sharpening my kitchen knives.  They’ve gotten dull these past few months chopping while dehydrating and canning.  It was really odd to have dull knives, when the girls were living at home they were sharpened quite often..especially on date nights.

After coffee we went out and shot a few rounds.  Mr.Fix-it has had a problem with the muscles in his left arm seriously limiting the use of it. We think he over extended or pulled a muscle/tendon when we were placing the steps out back. He’s been to our Chiro for physical therapy which has helped tremendously.  Pulling the bow has been pretty painful this past month & with hunting season starting tomorrow….well, “Lucy we got’s a problem”  This mornings shooting was a test of his progress in healing.  I’m happy to say he had little to no difficulty with the draw & is back on his way to great shape….Which in turn makes me happy as it means we will have freezers full of venison this winter!  WOOOOT!

It was beautiful outside!  Low to mid 70’s perfect weather for all those little ”I’ll get a round to it projects”  Things that were not pressing in full summer but small projects that need done now,  He fixed the 4 wheeler and the tire on the small trailer it pulls, so I cleaned up a bunch of garden debris, hauled it down & loaded the compost bin.  I need to add some dirt  and will call that bin done till spring.  This week I’ll pick up a few pallets to get the next bin built and ready to use.

His poor garage is in a mess.  Both tractors are in pieces, we still have all the construction debris left over (but to good to toss) from the addition and other projects.  Used cabinets we picked up to repurpose in the new laundry room but decided against…get the idea?  He’s a neat and orderly person.  A place for everything and everything in its place kinda guy & the garage disorder is driving him crazy.   A truck load of trash later and some rearranging, bits of shelving and it’s better..  a least its clear enough to start sorting things out & creating pathways.

I can’t say there were major accomplishments, we worked but took things at an easy pace placing no pressure on each other to “get r done”.  

I think after the busy summer it was just the weekend we needed restful yet productive.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend


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