Sunday, October 14, 2007

Flavors of Fall

The leaves were changing and falling, but the temperature felt like summer. Wednesday night, I woke in the middle of the night, shivering, our thin summer blanket no longer keeping the chilly night air at bay. Thursday was spent putting warmer blankets on all the beds and it was our first 'feels like fall' kind of day with the lower temperatures. Most of the windows are now cracked or closed and the mornings are the kind where after getting out of a nice warm bed and putting bare feet to cold wood floors make you want to snuggle deeper under the covers! Middle has been getting into bed with me in the mornings lately, and I didn't mind. I would grab her and pull her close, smelling her hair and feeling her heart beat. She has cold feet now and I am pushing away from her instead of pulling her close!

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.


Wendy said...

We're trying to burn more wood and use less oil, too. We purchased two cords (more expensive here in the northeast than there, though. We paid $170/cord), and we were gifted about a cord of pine from a tree that fell over during the April Nor'easter. It will be interesting to see how well we do.

It's been cold already, though, and the furnace is kicking on at night - not freezing yet, but the low 40's is pretty chilly.

LaRonda said...

You know, Jenny, I just know we would be friends if we lived near each other. I adore your blog and your snapshots of life. I'm not the cook, gardener, thrift store shopper, bargain hunter or home-schooler you are, but I love hearing about it all. I think you exemplify what I wish I could be. The down-to-earth Mama, the domestic goddess, the teacher with heart, the creative muse....

I adore your life stories. Just wanted you to know.


~ LaRonda

Lisa C. said...

Maybe you could set up a camp ground/RV park on your property for some people to spend the night after the halloween party.

BTW .. I enjoy reading your blog.

DJ Kirkby said...

Your jam and Halloween decs look great! Still warm here, dont know what is oging on but I am not ocmplaining! My poor Chopper has a nasty cold though, need some cold weather to kill those germs.

Unknown said...

I enjoy reading your blog. Whenever you have a new post, I immediately know through my Yahoo RSS reader. It's fun reading about someone's life. :)

Just to let you know, I only live about two hours away. :) One day, I would love to meet you in person. I live in Virginia in the mountains. My blog has been asleep, and I have plans to "wake my blog back up" again. I've been busy these days.

Oh, have you met any deaf people in your home area yet? I'm sure there are some in that lovely little village of Romney. Did the school have homecoming yet? That's a great way to meet people. Another option is volunteer at the school. That way you'll meet more people.

moxiemocha ( and

jenny said...

Wendy-- Ouch, a cord of wood is wayyy more expensive there! I was looking through the local ads here and they are advertising 3 cords of wood for $300 which equals out to $100 a cord. Pretty good deal and one I would go for if we didnt have our wood from our friend.

We can see plumes of smoke from some houses up here already using their woodstoves, but we don't need it yet. When it gets to the point where socks and sweaters no longer keep the chill away, THEN we will use the woodstove.

Laronda-- I bet we would be good friends, too! It's good to have a variety of friends and then we can learn from each other.

Lisa c-- We can handle tents, but with wooded property, we can't handle RVs. Most of our 15 acres are wooded with maybe 2-3 acres thats cleared and that is where our house and garden sits. We have suggested in the past to have people stay overnight, but no takers.

Dj-- Thanks! Oh, nothing like being sick when it's hot, too! That's the worst! I'm sure by now chopper is much better though.

Moxie-- I read your blog once, when I was looking through Deafread links and saw your post about the lady that "draws" with sand. I watched the whole thing and then called over Hubby to watch it too!

I have met a few deaf people but nothing has come of it yet. Went to a yard sale and bumped into two deaf guys, and they told me it was HC weekend and there was a big social gathering but unfortunately, I had to work those nights at the store, so I never went. Maybe next year...

Meeting sounds like fun, if you ever make it out this way or to the Winchester area, we can try for lunch or something.. :o)