Sunday, August 15

Last night’s birthday celebration was eye opening. It was the second birthday party in about four weeks’ time at the same location. It was a different neighbor ‘borrowing’ the same location cuz they lived up the mountain. At the first party I stayed busy and helped set up the food beforehand, ate then we left shortly after that because we had guests due any minute but last night there was nothing for me to do. I tried mingling with the other neighbor ladies (who are much younger) but quickly it became apparent that I literally have nothing in common with any of them. Nothing whatsoever. I’m an old soul in a modern world. How am I supposed to handle that? I’m not big on small talk or standing in a group with nothing to contribute so after grabbing a plate with a couple bites of food I sat down, listened to CountryBoy chat with the guys and waited till we could leave. Two hours later we were finally on our way back home as we had guests arriving some time tonight.

Speaking of guests, tonight was the first time we asked a guest to cancel. They had requested to come early which we said would be OK but after discovering they would not be early we could not get an answer from them as to their arrival time. They just kept saying they would lyk (let you know). We even told them that we had made plans for later in the afternoon since they were arriving early. We got a sorry and something else that didn’t even make sense but they would ‘lyk’. When our check-in window had come and gone and we still could not get even an approximate arrival time or even how far away they were we had a feeling it would be another extremely late arrival. We’re not tolerating that kind of behavior anymore so we messaged them and said that if they could not get here before nine o’clock then they needed to cancel and find a place to stay that had an all night desk clerk. I wanted to add ‘and not someone’s personal home or space’ but I refrained. Twenty minutes later we received a cancelation notice. We refunded their money. We should’ve kept part of it just for the aggravation and inconvenience. First thing this morning I changed the wording on our cabin description (you’re only allowed 500 characters) so that I could add the text ‘NO CHECK-INS AFTER 9 P.M. PLEASE’. We’ll see what happens. But you know what? I felt bad about asking them to cancel. Why? I don’t know why, I just did. Always trying to accommodate I guess but our health must come first and part of that for us is a good nights’ sleep. Eventually I let it go.

Before I changed the description I checked the email and an inquiry had come in at 9:15 last night from someone wanting to stay that night for two nights. sigh. Whatever happened to boundaries? I was raised that you don’t call someone after 9 o’clock or before eight or so in the morning. Nowadays it seems you can call, text, email, ask to even stay the night at some strangers place any time you want. Anyhow, I emailed them back and apologized for not seeing their request earlier and said that tonight was open if they still wanted to come. They had found another place already but their inquiry tied up our calendar for the rest of the day and night so that no one could book it. Even the guest that’s coming tomorrow had inquired (after our check-in window had come and gone) to see if they could come tonight. It was after nine by the time we got the message so I ignored it and went to bed. With the calendar being tied up from the other inquiry there was no way they could’ve changed their reservation to include tonight. I’m tellin’ ya, these people need to settle down. I know I’m rambling on but it seems that things with the cabin goes smooth for a while and then we get a hiccup. Some hiccups last longer than others. I guess we’ve had a long hiccup this go’ round but it will calm down eventually.

Work was OK. I left a little later than expected when I was informed that I needed to do a little computer work. What should’ve been a ten minute task wound up being fifty minutes. I’m not a fan of PC’s. Give me a Mac any day. I made it home right at five o’clock. Friends were coming over to check out the cabin. They’re in the planning stages of building one, maybe two, on their property. Competition? Yes, but it’s OK. Recently we met a couple at the neighbor’s grand opening of her country store that just bought a farm a few miles down the road and they’re planning on setting up primitive camp-sites and a few cabins. We figure all sorts of people are looking for all sorts of places to stay and it will be OK.

Monday, August 16

It was a drizzly morning which meant I wouldn’t be hanging any laundry on the line today. This old soul appreciates modern conveniences on days like today.

CountryBoy did a trash run first thing this morning. While he was gone I fed the birds, vacuumed downstairs, washed dishes and got a load of laundry in the washing machine. I was wandering around the garden snapping some photos when he came home.

We wound up with a few grapes this year even though we transplanted them earlier in the year…

This is the best the grapes have ever looked. I’m so glad we relocated them. I think they’re much happier in this spot.

We’re starting to harvest okra…

I found a new pattern for dishcloths so I made one to see if I liked it. (I’m picky about my patterns and the final texture.) I did indeed like it so I started another one. I’ve sold a few at the neighbor’s country store so I thought I’d start making some more so that I’m ready to re-stock when necessary. Eventually I’m going to create and add a product tag with care instructions to them.

Other than the aforementioned things we didn’t do much else today.

Thankfully, our guest arrived nice and early and is here for a couple nights. yay!

Tuesday, August 17

Today was all about putting food up for the pantry. Right after coffee we went out to pick some maters. Three baskets full o’ maters and I knew I didn’t have enough jars. A month or so ago I saw pallets full of cases of jars so I gave them a quick call to see if they had any left. They said they had a lot of regular mouth pint jars so CountryBoy was sent on a mission to grab two or three cases while I washed and quartered the maters.

Before I started on the maters, however, I processed the sauerkraut. Four quart jars of kraut can now sit on the pantry shelves. I’m thinking about getting another head of cabbage to make a few more quart jars of kraut. Four more jars should last us a year.

It literally took all day dealing with the three baskets o’ maters but by the end of the day we had 16 pint jars of tomato sauce with a fresh picked (and washed) basil leaf in each jar.

While the sauce cooked down I picked a few of my sunflowers…

These are Autumn Beauties. I’ll be saving the seeds for next year.

I’ve had several people comment and inquire about our seasoned tomatoes. We use the recipe from the ‘Ball Home Preserving’ book. For the Italian Spice Blend: basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, and hot pepper flakes. For the Mexican Spice Blend: chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, garlic powder, ground coriander, seasoned salt. I mix enough of the blend for six jars at a time then add 2 1/4 (Italian) – 2 1/2 (Mexican) teaspoons of the blend to each jar. The canned tomatoes are well-seasoned with the spices which makes it quick and easy to season any dish when using them.

Wednesday, August 18

LizzieBelle was up early which meant I was too. Somehow time still slipped by this morning and it was 7:55 by the time we finished our second cups of coffee. I managed to make it to work by 8:30. I still like going in a little early even though the road is somewhat fixed. (In other words, there is no more construction work taking place but it still needs to be paved. It’s already a huge improvement from the shifted, cracked and bumpy road that was heading towards the creek.)

Anyhow, the laundry was minimal so I was able to work on the seemingly never-ending Contacts Project. Believe it or not, after months and months and months of cleaning up bogus emails in Contacts I finally finished. WOOHOO!!! It was a major accomplishment and I felt pretty good about conquering that project. Now every time I send out a newsletter I will check the bounced email list and take care of it then and there. Who knew I needed to do that? Now that I know it will only take a matter of minutes to clean it up rather than months.

While I was at work CountryBoy got the cabin ready. We don’t have any guests tonight but we like to have it mostly ready just in case. He also managed to watch a movie while munching on some popcorn and take a nap. I came home to a mess. A mess o’ jars all over the place. I mentioned this morning that I would tackle the pantry reorganization project this afternoon after I got home. He had a wild hair and was motivated to start it so he did. To say I was extremely grateful would be an understatement. I had planned to rest a few minutes after getting home but instead I jumped in and helped after getting the cabin laundry in the wash. I honestly didn’t do very much – wiped a few shelves down and organized the cabin hutch. I had the thought to relocate all the cabin stuff into the cabinet in the mudroom. It would be easily accessible and everything would be in one spot. He liked that idea so that’s what we did.

It’s not necessarily what I want to see (or anyone else that visits for that matter) when first walking in the door but practicality and lack of closets overrules aesthetics in this situation.

While I worked on that he started placing our beautiful jars of home grown goodness on the shelves.

The reward for all our hard work the past few months!

The reorganization was a must as we were stuffing jars of this and that wherever we could fit them. Tomatoes here, tomatoes there. Pickles here, pickles there. And so on. Now all like goodies are together and easy to find. That’s what I like!

It was a huge undertaking to move everything out then find places to put it all back so I’m thankful for CountryBoy’s wild hair!

.

We’re both feeling much better and our energy levels are rising daily. I’m still coughing but that’s to be expected as that’s my norm. I tell ya, I firmly believe that once you’ve had bronchitis you will be susceptible to flare-ups any time you’re under the weather. At least that’s my experience. I’m just hoping I won’t need prescription cough medicine. Pray it goes away with OTC cough syrups.

We sat on the porch for a bit this evening then were in bed by 8:45.

Thursday, August 19

We woke up to rain. It was coming down so hard that the noise level on the porch from the rain hitting the metal roof was extremely loud so we opted to stay inside and have our coffee. As we talked about what we should do today we really came up with nothing that was a must-do. CountryBoy wanted to make some more banana breads for the cabin and I decided to knuckle down and get the portable AC we traveled with and used in our fifth wheel listed on Marketplace. We don’t use it and it’s taking up too much space. Hopefully someone that really needs it will snatch it up.

After taking photos of the AC unit we decided to go to town to finally do some grocery shopping. I needed to get some food for LizzieBelle and since I can’t tell you how long it’s been since we truly went grocery shopping we decided it was time.

Speaking of LizzieBelle, she loves her new food but I’m not so sure it’s loving her. At this point I don’t know what to do. I guess I’ll just keep her on this food and bathe her with her medicated shampoo to keep the yeast infection at bay.

I’ve been whipping out some dish cloths.

This is the new pattern I mentioned earlier. It works up easily and I like the texture. I’ll be restocking the neighbor’s country store with these.

Friday, August 20

It’s been one of those ‘get stuff done’ days. Right after CountryBoy’s last sip of coffee he headed out the door to grade the road. The rain we had the other day came down hard and fast for quite a while. That kind of rain typically creates large ruts in our driveway and up the cabin road. In the side-by-side I straddled a ‘waterfall’ in the middle of the cabin road yesterday. I guess it’s just a fact of life here with any gravel road that has an incline.

While drinking coffee I started weaving in the ends on the dish scrubbies and dishcloths. I know I said I would weave them in immediately but there are times when I just want to knit or crochet and not bother with the finishing touch. Seven dish scrubbies and five dishcloths later I can now start making more. This time I’m going to go ahead and weave those ends in right away. yea right, we’ll see!

Today was the day to finally re-cover our footstools on the porch. We had removed the old fabric several weeks ago but I just hadn’t been motivated to find the fabric tucked away somewhere in the guest room. I didn’t have enough of the same fabric but I found enough sturdy fabric in a tan color that would work so that’s what I used. I took one of the old covers and used it as a template to cut two pieces. I prepped the foam, wood, and fabric then CountryBoy stapled it on. Sometimes I wonder why it takes me so long to get simple stuff done.

I gave LizzieBelle a bath which is not her favorite thing in the world and even less favored is filing her nails. I’ve learned that she tolerates it better if she’s laying on the couch so while she was chillin’ I worked on her nails. After all that we made her day by ‘going byes in the truck’. Actually, we didn’t even ask her if she wanted to go. She ‘heard’ me ask CountryBoy if he wanted to go to Berea with me. How a deaf dog can hear that is beyond me but she started dancing around and whining and trying to figure out if she did indeed hear me correctly. Unbelievable. I think she has selective hearing, ha.

Anyhow, today was the day to take the bee themed wall hanging I had pieced a while ago to the fabric store. I saw a recent post on Facebook that they now offered machine-quilting and I was thrilled. Ever since then it’s been in the back of my mind to take it and have it quilted. Since I was last there the store has moved across the street to a bigger storefront and it’s beautiful! I’m so happy for the owner (she’s a really sweet lady) and that it’s doing so well. Part of the reason I’ve not wanted to make any more quilts was finishing it. I don’t care how well a quilt is pieced together or how gorgeous the fabrics are if the final quilt-sandwich does not look good then it detracts from the whole quilt. I was never able to master quilting the final product without pulls and puckers so having this service available so close by is a game-changer. We picked out the cutest bee and flower pattern for the stitching. It should be ready some time next week. She’s also very reasonable. I can’t wait to see it!

While in Berea we picked up some more non-homogenized milk and stopped at Walmart to see if they had any gaming consoles. They did not. CountryBoy knows I’m relieved (I’m not thrilled about the noise or seeing the components) but I do feel for him. He has saved his money and wants to game again but now he can’t find any consoles. Surely around the holidays they’ll be cranking out some more consoles at the factories. I never thought I would see the day where electronics devices were unattainable. These are crazy times.

Once we were back home I marched myself upstairs to the ‘sauna’ and started recreating the product tags for the dishcloths. I wanted to fit one more on the page so I resized the strips and added care instructions.

I printed seven copies, cut them out and now I have 35 product tag wraps.

Today is the first day in a very long time that I completed everything I had intended to do. Mind you, it wasn’t anything major but it was a lot of little things that have been at the back of my mind for a while. It feels good to finally have these things done and off my mind.

Saturday, August 21

It’s been very foggy the past evenings and mornings. So foggy that the mountains across the street disappear. However on these hot, sunny days it does not take long for the fog to disappear and the heat to appear. This morning the dew was so thick it looked like it had rained last night.

CountryBoy was off to play golf before he finished his second cuppa coffee. He borrowed my insulated travel mug and off he went. First thing this morning I made some iced tea then transplanted my strawberry plants I started from seed. Who knew they would take so long. I probably should’ve started them in the midst of winter but I’m hoping that they’ll do something in the cooler months of Fall and will produce before the first frost. We’ll see.

After that I got a spice cake in the oven, ate some breakfast, vacuumed downstairs, then frosted the cake. In between I finished another dishcloth and yes, I immediately weaved the ends in before starting another one. So quick and simple when done that way – now to keep reminding myself of that and just do it, ha!

When CountryBoy came home (he shot an 89!) we went up and cleaned the cabin. He actually followed me up on the mower so that he could mow. When he finished that he took care of the outside chores then came in and helped me finish up. Tonight’s guests are here for three nights so we took up some extra plates and fire wood.

It was very humid today so once the cabin was done it was time to wash the sticky off and stay indoors till it simmered down a bit outside. We wound up staying indoors for the rest of the day – me working on another dishcloth and CountryBoy watching a movie.

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