Sometimes I forget to slow down and count my blessings. There are many of late and even though I feel stressed from trying to cram so much into so little time, I want to stop and be thankful tonight. So in no particular order, I am thankful for:
- my job. Yes, I have challenges with coworkers, bosses, and patients (mostly their families), but who doesn’t have those. I am glad that I have a job that lets me work one day a week for 12 1/2 hours and homeschool DS five days a week. I have made some really good friends through work and even get to see them at meetings since we don’t work the same hours anymore. At the same time, I can homeschool DS just like I did DD and feel like I’m making a good choice.
- the tomatoes that keep coming.
Our crop is heavy again this year. Somewhere in a crazy moment of I don’t know what, I thought we needed to plant lots of them. Then I lost a few but had volunteers come up so planted those. Some of the vines are so heavy with tomatoes that they are laying over despite my tying them to stakes and putting cages around others. We have all the cherry tomatoes we want and plenty to give away. I made another batch of salsa today and ended up with three quarts, one pint and one 4-ounce jar.
That makes a total of 24 1/4 pints. I have one more pint jar and fourteen quart jars to fill and the I’ll have to buy some more. Most likely I will make 2-3 more batches of salsa and can them up as one never knows what next year’s crop will be like. I plan to limit my tomato plants next year to one Beefsteak, three Roma’s, and three Sweet 100’s. If they produce like they have the last two years, we will still have all we need. I do still need to make at least one batch of hot/taco sauce and either cook down the tomato juice from last year into more catsup or use fresh tomatoes to make a batch. I don’t have enough for DS yet.
- DD being ready to take her driving test. She has now driven several times on the interstate and done really well. We just have to get the tester to return our call to set up a date and time. I’m hoping she will pass the first time, but if not, we’ll renew her permit and keep practicing and try again. She has gone from not wanting to drive, to offering to drive every chance she gets. It’s quite an about-face.
- the okra we are getting. Last year we hardly picked any–only about one quart. This year, we started out a bit slow, but most every other day I’ve picked enough to cut up and fill a quart freezer bag each time. Tomorrow I will pick them again. It will be nice to have that treat in the freezer this winter. Next year I am hoping to plant at least four rows of okra.
- the potatoes that have been dug up so far. I don’t have a picture, but after digging up not quite half of the potatoes, I have one 5-gallon bucket full. Hopefully tomorrow I can dig up the rest and then DH and DS will definitely have to get busy making a box with lid to keep them in.
- time most days to crochet on my blanket even if it isn’t always enough time to complete a whole round. Here’s the progress picture at this point:
- fresh chicken eggs. The last two days we only found seven eggs in the chicken coop each day. This was frustrating as we had been getting 9-12 eggs most days. They have chosen to lay eggs in one corner of the coop and in one particular nesting box at the opposite end of the coop. Tonight we had a cool front blow in with pretty high winds and dust so DS, DD, and I went out to chase the chickens into the coop. It was almost dark so I didn’t feel bad about doing it early. Our one buff Orpington that the others picked on has not been going into the coop at night, but hiding in the fenced area where the tumbleweeds are growing. We decided that she needed to be in with the others so we could shut that area. Hopefully DH will be able to weed whack the tumbleweeds down again. While DS was chasing her down, he discovered a new “nest”. At first we thought it was hers as we were sure we weren’t receiving eggs from her. However, there were three different colors of eggs in the nest. After DD retrieved DS’s work gloves for him, all three of us chased her around until she went into the coop. Then DD brought me the pink basket and I collected eggs. I already had one from the coop that had been laid sometime during the afternoon, and there were eleven more eggs in this nest. We brought them in and washed them really well as this nest was muddy. There were three eggs that I believe were from the buff Orpington, one from a gold Sexlink, and seven that we finally determined were from our Astralorps. All eggs have been tested and they DO NOT float, DO NOT sink at an angle, and DO NOT sink with one end up. They all sunk on their side in cold water so they are 3-6 days old which means they can be used as long as they are well cooked. We will make some brownies and a scratch cake or two with them as they will be well baked. The side area is shut down so hopefully they will all lay their eggs in the coop again. I’m also hoping there are no other “nests” on that side, but DH will see about that when he weed whacks.
- Fall. I have purchased one elephant garlic and hope to purchase two to three more.
In October I hope to plant these in the garden so they will come up next spring. I planted regular size garlic this last October and my garlic that I harvested was very good, but small. Of course, I will have to weed and prepare an area in the garden for this.
- the black turtle bean plants. Not only do they have blossoms, but I discovered they now have bean pods. We will just let them grow and hope to have them dry on the vines before our first freeze.
- the energy and means to be able to keep busy. There are days when I wish for more sleep and more time, but I am blessed with the energy I need to get through the day. God must feel that I have enough energy and time to do what He wants even though I would love more.
- safety when I am rushing around in the car to meet appointments. On the way to pick DD up from work, I came across an injury accident that tied up traffic going the opposite direction. I was blessed to not be heading that direction at that time.
There are many more blessings, but this is a really good start! The rest of the week promises to be busy, however, we will have one of DS’s friends over this Sabbath and that promises to be lots of fun!