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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

It was a Good Thing

September 20, 2021

Charles purchased a fresh ginger root this past week and we have been enjoying fresh warm ginger tea  with lemon and honey. We have ginger growing in pots in our yard but they are not ready to harvest.  

The glass is from a set of glasses that Charles Father bought him for drinking root beer a very long time ago and now we use them when we want a special glass as I did this time with warm ginger tea. 

The first few days of last weeks internet outage was quite frustrating but then I decided that I needed this to happen because I started feeling better about it all on the third day of the outage.  Each day that went by I started questioning if I really wanted it to come back on. I thought about all the years without internet and even enjoyed remembering all the way back to no television, no, telephone, no electronics at all.  

But then the day arrived the nice young man arrived in the cable truck and it did not take long for him to find that a squirrel or a rodent of some kind had chewed the line on the side of our house. 

 While the internet was out, I realized that I spend too much time searching things on my computer.  I have gotten myself in a trap of learning to do instead of doing all the things that I already know how to do.  

I found out that I already know enough of what I need to know, for right now anyway because there is not enough time in the day to do these things I know how to do. So I just need to relax about it and do my best to do all these things that I already know and cannot do because I am too busy learning new things.  Do you do this?  

Maybe we need to schedule time with a timer to search for new information and put ourselves on a electronic and internet diet.

Most importantly, I have decided for myself,  is I will write down my favorite places I do like to  that visit on the internet that bring me peace and calm and help to give me a new perspective on situations.  I will hopefully stop the aimless scrolling because that can rob so much time out of the day.  

 I am not sure when I went from listing to soft music to scrolling the internet.  But I am going back to basics as best I can.

It is early morning here and I am waiting for the sun.  Wherever we live in this world our season is changing from warm to cold or cold to warm.  

These leaves will start turning color and dropping off in another month, less or more but they will fall off and do as nature does.  As I am writing this, tomorrow will be the first day of the season Fall and I am very happy about this.

My son Tim was kind to help me out with a post last week so you did not worry about us when there was no post.  He pulled a good one on me when he posted the vintage picture of his antique fender amplifier and it was suppose to be Alice's vintage tea pots.  

That vintage fender amplifier was the beginning of his rock and roll days of his 1980's high school years.  Our home was very active during the 1980s and after we passed through the cookies and cool aid era of the 70s, the 1980's was all about feeding my children and their friends.  They all knew where to come to eat and I got really good at making pizza, lasagna and spaghetti because to fill a teenagers stomach I found it took Italian food to do so. 

The cup of flour above is me making Tim Queens cakes for his birthday this past week. 

I realized one day in an email from a blog reader that many people just visualize me just as Grandma Donna, which I am now.  But I was first a child, a wife, a mother, a grandmother and then a great grandmother.  

I started out a long time ago when it was very different than today when we did not have many of the items that are in a home today.  As the years change we started changing our home to be more modern, to continual change of styles of clothing, carpet, curtains, furniture and cars and then to a point in time to where it seemed that we landed in a time that was too much of everything.  If only we had known what we know now we would have saved all that money and stayed just as we were.  

I know I wish I still had my 1955 Ford because that was a nice car.  This should be a lesson to just be who we are, live a simple life and not change because everyone else is changing.  I miss the time when life was more simple outside of our door but at least inside our home we have been changing back to where we want to be.  

I managed to get a better picture of Mr. Bingley last week.  He is such a handsome boy.  He is the feral cat that I have mentioned before that is visiting longer spells at a time now but still too smart for us to catch him in any way to get him to a vet to be neutered and checked out.   Every once in awhile we slip him a flea Mickey in his food to help keep fleas off of him.  

Charles put new rocks in his outdoor cooking spot.  Cooler weather means more outdoor cooking.  We will be ready.

I hope to be cleaning the walkways this week as part of our fall cleanup and of course it is time again to wash our windows. 

Another thing accomplished last week was I put up 10 quarts of beef stew.  Here I am about to sit down at the table and peel potatoes and carrots.

I also trimmed celery and all of this will go in the compost bin.

I Chopped up carrots, celery, potatoes and onions and put them in jars and covered them with water to keep their color until I was ready to cook them.

This is a very large pot, the largest one we have.  This is beef stew meat simmering down in the bottom of this pot. I follow the directions in the Ball canning book for canning beef stew. 

I drained off the water and started adding the vegetables...

Layer by layer...

And then gave it all a big stir with a big spoon... Charles had to help me with this part. 

It was cooked for the recommended time which was not a long time...

I had all my canning items ready.  This is a clean hot jar being put in place.  So the hot stew is packed into a hot jar. 

There are proper steps that must be taken for canning and certain food that must be pressure canned. There is a important difference in water bath canning and pressure canning.  But we learn how to do it and then we know and we can preserve our own food.

When canning we always wipe the top of the jar before placing the lid because it may not seal properly if we do not do this. 

Always remove air bubbles.

Finger tighten the lid and place the band on the jar.

Place jars in pressure canner...

We bring it up to pressure for the allotted time and again follow all instructions properly. 

The canner will hold seven quarts at a time and I had enough stew for three more quarts so what I did was filled four quarts with water and to use that empty space to keep the water level to where it should be in the pressure canner and to keep the jars steady. I use old lids on the water jars because there has been a lid shortage in many areas. 

So it was nice to put 10 quarts of stew on the shelf in the pantry.  We had eaten all of the stew we put up last year and it is so handy to have.  We call it our fast food because all we have to do is pop the lid and warm it up.  We like to cut up a onion and add it to the stew even though the stew has onion in it but it makes it taste like you just made the stew to add that extra onions. 

We are enjoying our hummingbirds while they are still here.  There are only a few this year and currently only 4 at our feeders.  It is always such a void when they migrate for winter and normally that is in October.  

When I was having a face to face talk with Rhonda Hetzel on zoom the week before last we were talking about birds and she asked me where our Hummingbirds migrate to after they leave here and I was not sure and told her I thought they went to Southern Mexico.  

I was partially correct about this but I read a few articles and found that when they leave Alabama they go to Southern Mexico, southward across Central America to Panama.  Smaller numbers arrive in the West Indies.   However in the last twenty five years their winter range has changes and includes extreme south Florida and small numbers have wintered along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts as far north as South Carolina.   I found this article below that explains this and much more interesting information.

One more thing, I have made a video of the week our internet was out.  I show how I cook our sweet potatoes.  The temperature of the oven, I normally set it at 380 degrees.  I use "Light" olive oil, I toss the sweet potatoes in the oil and then saute the sweet potatoes in a oven proof skillet on top of the stove just to get them caramelized.  Then I put them in the oven and bake them in the oven for about fifteen minutes, take them out add minced garlic, toss and put them back in for just a few minutes.  Just use a fork to test to see if they are done.

Also I have made a video that goes with todays post, click here to see the video.

Grandma Donna

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