Monday, September 29, 2008

How We Spent Our Sunday......among other things

Ian's sow, Carolina Ruby, gave him eight gifts for his feast day, one day early. Thank you Carolina Ruby for these lovely little piglets for the feast of the Holy Archangels.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I thought you were supposed to use your feet for that.....

This morning Matthew got up early and set to work pressing the grapes for me.

Around and around he goes turning the screw and making the follower go lower and lower into the oak bucket.

Out of the bottom comes the grape juice. He was able to press 1 1/2 gallons of juice from the grapes that we picked off of our grape arbor by the machine shop.
When he was done he started to clean up the press like the good boy that he is.
I think that the cheese cloth is a bit stained. Maybe that is why Matthew doesn't use his feet to press the grapes.
Anyway, the juice is in the pail. I mixed the campden tablets in and I will stir the juice daily for the next five days. The campden is to sterilize the juice and to prevent oxidation. When my neighbor comes home on Sunday he will tell me the next thing to do. This is the first time that I have ever made wine. I make cordial every winter but never wine. Matthew wants to try his hand with apple wine also. Should make for some interesting experimentation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's Ready To Go Back Into The House

This wood stove was taken out of our house after the barn fire that we had. For twenty-one months it has been in our garage. We have decided to put it back into the house.
So, over the weekend I sanded and sanded to get all of the rust off. Then I got some stove blacking and blacked it. Today I built a fire in it and let it burn for the whole day to cure the paint and to get rid of the smell.

I am looking forward to having fires in the morning and to being able to make the house as warm as I like to keep it. It is a very cozy thing to have that stove in the house.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook Monday 22 September 2008

Don't forget to stop by The Simple Woman for all the links entered in this weeks Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window..... it is cool and misty and the temperature is only 53. No laundry is getting hung out today.

I am thinking..... about my SIL who just had surgery. I have been praying for her and my brother a lot lately. May God grant them the strength to weather whatever comes along.

From the schoolroom...... all is silence as Matthew and Brett take their biology test. Then there won't be much schooling going on as Matthew has to work Wed. through Sunday this week. Good time for me to get some much needed sewing done.

I am thankful for..... a hardworking husband and children. We managed to get a lot of work done this past weekend in preparation for the coming months of cold weather. It is important that we do this together so that we remember that it is for all of us that we are doing it, not just mom and dad.

From the kitchen...... sausage, peppers and onions for supper. I need to use up the last of the peppers and tomatoes from the garden. I also need to do a baking of bread.

I am creating..... a peaceful and loving home where all who enter feel welcome. (I hope!!!)

I'm going..... nowhere today, I hope. It is a good day to stay home and doing inside things.

I'm wearing...... jeans, a pink tee-shirt and a green sweatshirt jacket

I am reading..... school related stuff. Have to keep up with Matthew in English literature and biology

I am hoping...... to get my sewing comissions done this week since I got a call about some more. I also want to get some apples to make some pies to freeze and some applesauce.

Around the house..... the sound of the washer doing it's job, the smell of freshly mopped floors.

One of my favorite things.... the sights, sounds, and smells of this season

A few plans for the rest of the week..... pick the last of the grapes and get them pressed so I can start a new batch of wine, cut the hops back so they can go into dormancy, buy bushels and bushels of apples for my family's apple eating pleasure, get the sewing done and the new projects started.

A picture thought that I am sharing with you.....

My favorite sight in the world. Three of the men in my life working together. I like to hear their deep voices and see the funny things that they do when they work.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Splitting Wood

I don't know what happens to my men when wood splitting time rolls around each year. Believe me the same disease doesn't afflict them when it is time to shovel out the pig pen or when it is time to mow the lawn. Only when there is a pile of wood that needs splitting. I often think that I should buy each one of them their own godevil; but I have a sneaky suspicion that it would cure them of the disease instantly and then I would get no wood for the stove and furnace.

Ian brought home a pile of wood this week and dumped it in my driveway. Wednesday evening the disease began to take hold of them.

They start talking about splitting wood. What is the best way to do it and what is the best tool to use.

Then one has to grab up the godevil and begin to show what his technique is. Ian is usually the first one only because he is the oldest and so he has been at this longest, except for his father, of course.

He would go at it all night if Matthew wasn't persistant enough to wrestle the godevil away from him so that he can get his chance to show off his stuff.

Now he hasn't been at it as long as Ian but he has determination to spare.

If nothing else that will carry the day for Matthew. (personally I don't like his choice of footwear)

Matthew is the only person I know who can talk and split wood at the same time. It must be all that excess energy.

After all of this talk, the patriarch cannot help but be inspired to visit his teenage years and set his hands to the task.

Move over teenage sons, the old man still has you all beat. He splits his fair share and reminds them all who it was that taught them.

There is a hint of the young man that I fell in love with.

Fortunately this disease is predictable and repeatable so I am assured of enough split and stacked wood to last for the whole of the winter. Thank God for testosterone!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Should We Call Today?

The sun is shining it is calm outside and the temperature is a beautiful 49 degrees. Such a change from yesterday. Did I mention that we have electricity and water?

Laundry is done and everyone has been able to take a shower this morning. What a different outlook when you are clean and we have been to Mass this morning.

While I was at Mass I kept meditating on the fact that Our Lord and Our Lady certainly didn't have electricity and didn't take showers every morning and yet they lived holy and tranquil lives. So what is my problem? Why did I let yesterday's bump unsettle me so much? That should have be nothing to the peace of my soul, to the outlook of my life.

My reliance on God and my eyes always lifted up to him should be all that influences my day. Unfortunately each one of us has become so used to the conveniences of our modern world that the loss of any such is often enough to through us into a tail spin. Myself included. In retrospect I realize it is only just that, a slight inconvenience that I experienced. Had I wanted, or even needed to wash myself all I really needed to do was to go get water from the spring out back and I would have had all I could have needed and more. Sure it would have required a short walk outside of the house instead of to the kitchen sink or to the bathroom and it would have been cold instead or hot as I am used to. I could have lit the camp stove to rectify that situation if I had really wanted to but that would have required time which I really had if I had only gotten up a little earlier. All of these things our ancestors used to do without thinking about but which we find so burdensome. And so, again, why should I let any of this disturb my peace and tranquility?

Now if I can only remember this should the power go off again and I be without water and electricity another time. Then I know that the lesson will have been learned.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook Monday 15 September 2008

Don't forget to stop by Peggy's for all the links entered in this week's Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...... I don't know because I am at the local library (we have no electricity) we had to flee our home this morning. It is windy and chilly with mist in the air.

I am thinking..... It is Monday and none of the usual Monday things are getting done since we have no power and consequently no water. You all can guess what that means.

I am thankful..... that last nights high winds did no more damage than a few branches down and the electricity out. I have heard no news of any injuries either.

From the kitchen...... oh wait we don't know what is happening in the kitchen, guess it will be Mc Donalds today

I am creating...... lesson plans for my second grade religion class at St Joes and my 5th grade religion class at Our Lady of Good Counsel

I am going...... to take Matthew for lunch and then back here for the rest of the afternoon's classes

I am wearing...... jeans and a green eternity is better shirt

I am hoping...... the power comes back soon so that we can get caught up with the laundry

I am reading...... the Baltimore Catechism

I am hearing...... the other patrons of the library

Around the house...... it is dark and quiet and cold

One of my favorite things..... the fact that Matthew and I are so adaptable

I have no picture thought to share with you. My camera is at home and I didn't take any pictures of the storm damage

Thursday, September 11, 2008


But not for the reasons everyone usually has. Tomorrow I have to go to Morrisville to pick up MK for the weekend. She called and barely had a voice so I bet she has a cold or the flu. I hear it is going around. So in honor of her visit and her illness I shall be surprising her with a supper tomorrow night of her favorite, tomato soup with cheese tortellini and toasted cheese sandwhiches on homemade bread. I think I can even save a piece of chocolate zucchini cake for her. I also made another of her favorites tonight which she can have as leftovers on Saturday, cheesey corn casserole. I can't wait to see her and give her a big hug and take care of her for a few days.

Monday, September 8, 2008

On Friday Mary-Kate started taking riding lessons from our neighbor Stephanie. This is a big event because a year ago on May 8 she had surgery to repair a fractured spine. When she consented to having the surgery one of her most important questions was "can I ride a horse afterward?" Her surgeon said yes if she followed all of his rules during the recovery process.

She has been very good about wearing her brace when she was healing and about doing the exercises after she was allowed out of the brace. Even now she still has to do exercises to strengthen the muscles that she lost during the time in her brace and to strenghten those that help keep her back safe.

We are very proud of how hard she worked and how she was so patient with her healing process. We are also very thankful to Stephanie for being willing to teach her to ride and for being so careful with our .

Simple Woman's Daybook Monday 08, August 2008

Don't forget to stop by Peggy's for all the links entered in this week's Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window..... clear and cool and sunny. Nice day for drying the laundry outside.

I am thinking...... how am I going to get Matthew and his friend Brett to get serious about their biology?

I am thinkful for...... the wonderful weekend that we just had with Mary-Kate home.

From the kitchen..... leftovers for lunch and cheesey corn casserole for supper.

I am creating...... some new skirts for me (my daughter is surprised that I am sewing for myself)

I am going..... to a teacher's meeting at St. Josephs tonight.

I am wearing...... blue jeans and a white tee shirt (think I need a sweatshirt too!)

I am reading....... Quest for Love by Elisabeth Elliot and The First Patient by Michael Palmer (I need to indulge my mystery desire for a change)

I am hoping...... that Ian has a better week than he anticipates and that we get to see him at least once before he leaves for drill on thursday night.

I am hearing...... Matthew and Brett doing their spanish video

Around the house...... everything is neat and clean (we did the housework before we started school)

One of my favorite things...... having my daughter come home for the weekend and having nothing pressing to do so we can spend a lot of time together

A few plans for the rest of the week..... start getting things outside put away for the fall, school, laundry, lesson plans for my 2nd grade religion class

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you......

My very happy daughter who is now taking riding lessons a little over a year since she had her back repaired. That was her goal and she is realizing it. God bless our neighbor for taking on this task and making her so happy.

And my youngest son Matthew who now has permission to use his brother's bow and took his bow hunters safety course on Saturday and passes with flying colors.

It does my mother's heart good to see my children so happy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

When Hop Was King in New York State

Last September Matthew and I went to the hopfest which is held near us every year. I bought this hop plant and look at it now!

The vine is now taller than I am and loaded with flowers. (What you see on either side are the morning glories that MK planted.)
The hop flowers have a beautiful earthy, musky odor reminiscent of the smell of . (I wonder why)
The flowers don't look very "flowery" but this is a hop blossom. These are harvested, dried in kilns and used in the brewing of .
The lovely sunflowers that Mary-Kate and planted last spring. The make a cheery sight by the road.
I think MK will like these that I brought inside for her visit home this weekend.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Farmers don't get Labor Day off. They labor on Labor Day. Especially if the weather is right for making hay. Since this summer has been such a terrible haying summer, all the more reason to not take the day off.

But that doesn't mean that farmers cannot celebrate Labor Day.

We went to Cayuga Lake on Sunday. We got up early and packed a picnic lunch and then we packed the car. We drove to Mass at St. Joseph's because they have an 8:30 mass and that would get us on the road fairly early.
The drive was beautiful. Doug took advantage of the fact that I was driving and listened to a couple of Peter Kreeft talks on his MP3 player. Mary-Kate and Matthew watched a DVD. (the drive was longer than 2 hours so they are allowed to)

After eating our lunch when we got there we took a hike around the gorge at Taughannock Falls. The walk is about 3/4 of a mile and it is an easy walk. We enjoyed the beautiful views of the gorge and falls from up above. At one point we were able to see all the way down the gorge to the lake. That was pretty awsome.
The falls at the end of the gorge doesn't have a lot of water coming down them but they are pretty wonderous to behold.
Doug and I also took the trail that goes up the gorge from down below. We enjoyed the cool of walking in the river all the way to the falls at the end of the gorge. My goofy husband had to pose for this picture of him sitting on the wrong side of the wall, in spite of the sign.
While we were walking Mary-Kate and Matthew stayed by the lake and engaged in their own kind of appreciation. Matthew sketched what he saw out on the lake and Mary-Kate spent her time wading in the lake and taking pictures.

The Last Roses of the Season

Some pictures of the last of the roses of the season. I planted them in the garden that we made for Doug for our anniversary.

All of the flowers have thrived but the roses have been the most beautiful.