Friday, it was chilly in the house and I deemed it the perfect day to make the wild grape jelly with the juice that is sitting in the freezer. Remember a couple of weeks ago I picked wild grapes with the girls? I extracted the juice and froze it for later when I wasn't so busy. The heat and steam from the hot water canner would be just the thing to warm up the kitchen! I am not posting a tutorial for the grape jelly, because it is made pretty much the same way as Blackberry jam. I made about 12 half pints and this morning was our first official breakfast of toast and wild grape jelly.
It was delicious!! Oldest had 2 pieces of toast and then came after mine when she polished hers off. She looked at me with her blue puppy-dog eyes and opened her mouth much like a baby bird begging mama bird for some worms to eat. So we took turns taking bites of my toast until it was all gone.
A few days off from the store also brought out the Halloween decorations. The girls have been nagging me to decorate for Halloween and I have been putting it off because of all the craziness going on. Finally, I gave in to their demands and dragged out our box of decorations. We strung ghost lights on the living room window, hung goblins and ghosts, plugged in the fake jack o'lantern, pulled out our collection of black cats and wove pumpkin lights around them. I am most pleased with the black cat decorations and they look great sitting on our old cabinet from the 1800's. It was Oldest's idea to prop up the blue skeleton man and have him "petting" one of the black cats.
Hubby and I both love Halloween and we would love to host a major costume party one day. Our only obstacle is where we live.. we can't get our friends to come up and stay late enough to enjoy a bonfire. When we have visitors, you can see them keeping one eye on the clock, not wanting to stay late and driving home through the mountains in the dark. I can understand their concerns, not being used to the twists and turns in the road and then a bunch of deer and raccoons crossing the road turn it into an obstacle course. It just makes it hard for us to plan events. We really need to get out and meet new friends up here and then we can invite them to a Halloween party! I am bursting with ideas for a Halloween party, and someday I will be able to put them to use. In the meantime, we usually go back to the city to go trick-or-treating with friends in their neighborhood. We will be staying closer to home this year, not wanting to make a 2 hour trek one way in the middle of the week and battling rush hour traffic. We haven't decided where we will go yet, depends on how cold it will be.
Home from the store today, because Hubby will be gathering firewood from a friend's property. He asked Hubby to help him chop and split the wood in return for as much wood as we need. How blessed we are to have a friend like him! It costs about $120 for a cord of wood (a cord is about 3 pick-up truck loads of wood) and last winter we had 3 cords delivered. This is saving us almost $400 if we use as much wood as we did last winter. I think we will use 4 cords this winter because we cheated a little and used oil heat in the beginning of last winter. I'd like to try and use less oil this time, because it is so expensive and we want to reduce our dependency on oil. I'll be taking the girls over to the property later to say hello and give the girls fresh air and exercise. I'd also like to see a log-splitter in action, because Hubby raves about it and the little kid in him comes out when he talks about a new "toy". Hubby wants to get a log splitter of our own, but that will have to wait until our finances return to normal because a good quality log-splitter can run as high at $800. *gulp!* For now we will count our blessings and get our wood from the friend.