Well, apparently, the winds and rain that were due to hit us overnight, chose to slow down and wait until after we got up this morning. You know, it sat just to our west, until I got up and needed the satellite for the computer, the ability to go let the birds out, etc. Nope. Not doing it in a torrential downpour. The power flickered, the children are working on letters to one of their friends back in North Carolina, #4 & 5 are playing with their sisters' small beanie sized stuffed animals, their Fisher Price farm, and the (can't remember the brand) little child's heavy duty plastic dollhouse. Fortunately for me, they are well able to play together (except when they both want the same toy. Then it is time for screaming...the "I am being ripped apart by rabid wolverines" screaming...the "Wolves are ripping into my abdomen" screaming. Joy. Just joy).
We'll be getting hit off and on with this rain, for most of the morning. I don't have a problem with that, but I need to go get the birds out, so I'll likely make my way out there shortly, since it seems we are having a break in the weather..
Tonight's dinner, fortunately, is already in process. I soaked the beans last night, overnight. I need to drain them again, though (I drained them once last night before bed, and did another soak overnight). Cornbread can--and will!--wait until the bean soup is almost ready to go onto the table. I want to make something delicious for dessert, but I'm not quite sure what, yet. Since the cupboards are a bit low on some things, I know that some recipes aren't going to happen. I'd thought about cookies, of course, but I'd really rather make something more involved, especially as dinner is so simple. Ham and bean soup. I'll be using some of El Husbando's home-cured bacon (too salty for regular bacon use, not bad for a first bacon making attempt, but still) instead of ham. But we have it on hand, so it will be used. I do wish we had a good meaty ham bone, though. Between the buttery deliciousness of the navy beans, the slight hint of onion, and the smoky bits of ham scattered here and there in the soup broth. AHHHHHhhhh. Serve it with a big slab of buttery delicious warm cornbread...What else does one need in life? (we're thinking small here, folks, not cosmic and eternal).
--My father would say we need a bunch of good buttermilk, and another plate of cornbread to crumble in it, but that's a whole 'nother post for a 'nother day....---
I don't know if ya'll have been following Ree Drummond (aka, Pioneer Woman), but she is now on her book tour for her cookbook. I would really like to see this book. Actually, I'd really enjoy going to OKC this evening for her stop tonight, but I know that I cannot afford it. Gas, time, etc. Nope. Just can. not. do. it. But go check out her blog--she has a book tour schedule on there, and it is updated frequently. So, go see if she is coming to a city near you!
I know I've not done a Diva in a few days. Life is...well, life. Things happen (like, taking pictures of waterfowl and barnyard critters) and rainy mornings. However, I will say this. I will *try* to get another Diva up there today. There are so many to choose from!
I am hoping to have my shawl finished *this* week. I was hoping to have it done last week, I know, but it was just not going to happen. And if I need to add a whole 'nother skein onto this sucker, it will be a quick job for me to finish it by the end of the weekend. I will, however, make sure that pictures of this red wooly behemoth are taken and posted.
In some good news, I got my power bill for last month. Let me tell you--I am thrilled. It dropped over $100 (and last month's bill was $50 less than the month prior). NIIIICEEEEE. And even better, since I've not had the propane tank refilled, I've not been using that money. So it is even cheaper, and I am one happy happy woman. I was at the local grocery store last night, and one of the ladies working there was saying (as she left work for home) that she hoped her daughter had turned the heat up some more, but that she doubted it had been done. After she left, I kind of laughed, and said that we hadn't turned ours on yet. The cashier kind of looked startled and said we'd had some chilly nights. Then I told her we had some of the windows open still (only the one in my bedroom stays open all the time, cracked, but open--the rest are opened based on need/temperature/winds). She looked really shocked then. I'm sorry, but the temperature being between 60 and 65 inside, as long as one is properly dressed, is not a problem. Really, so many people are coddled to believe that the temperature had best be 75 degrees year round. I'd much rather the children be used to actual, genuinely seasonal temperatures, than to be acclimatized to some artificially set temperature. Now, we will turn on the heat when it gets sufficiently cold. But keeping the house in a 60-65 degree range is not difficult, it isn't hard on the body, and is certainly gentler on the wallet than cranking it up as high as you can.
That being said, we will undoubtedly turn the heat up when/if my grandmother comes to visit around Thanksgiving. The woman is cold when it is July and 100+ degrees outside, so we'll turn the heat up a bit and throw an afghan on her lap. She weighs about 80 lbs soaking wet. She doesn't eat much (obviously), and is a walking advertisement for why you should take good care of yourself NOW, not waiting until you are already sick and weakened and elderly. I love her, but I can also see what not to do.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Any good recipes you want to share with the world? Or just with me? I would like to try something a bit different, and since there may be a crowd around here, well, I can use all the help I can get. We are hoping to have my grandmother and aunt, as well as potentially some of El Husbando's family in for the day. I am not sure if we are doing a ham or a turkey, or a chicken. But whatever it is, it will undoubtedly be delicious. I definitely prefer to put out a feast for a larger group. It gives me an excuse to try out some different recipes (guests are more likely to eat something even if they aren't thrilled with it, than regular family), that may not be an immediate hit with the family. I don't try anything terribly exotic. But every once in a while it is good idea to try something a weeeee bit different. I am hoping to have a crowd I can really cook for, though. That always makes me happy. The lead up is stressful, but there is nothing like seeing a table spread with homemade, home grown goodness, with family gathered around it, a pretty cloth spread underneath, candles, good dishes and flatware...that is enough to make it all worth it.
Of course, to make that vision a reality, I need to get my good china out of the shop and unpacked. I only moved here 18 mos ago, you know...and haven't quite decided where I want to put the good dishes. There are certain places that are "out" because they are too easy for #4 & 5 to access. Other places are harder to get to, and therefore not ideal, since that may well lead to breaking antique, hard to replace dishes. I know where I would *like* to put them, but that is within toddler reach (we have some child safe latches on them. They don't help. The gruesome twosome will get through anything, working together). I have a china cabinet. It is not only not big enough, but it is easier than the kitchen cabinets for the boys to get into. It is quite a quandry. But one I really do need to tackle, if only so that my good dishes are not sitting in the shop, still wrapped and boxed.
Fill me in on your plans for the Thanksgiving holidays--do you have any plans yet? Traditions set in stone? It may seem like I am planning wayyyy too far ahead, but, well, it is the last big holiday before Advent starts (more on that later!). And since I am traditionally a HUGE Christmas girl, I'm trying to revamp my mode of thinking as far as the winter holiday season...
I know that Halloween is this weekend, but since we live so far out in the country, we've not bothered with it the last two years. None of our neighbors have children (unless you count the fall calves!), and to drive 20 miles so that the children can run around and get candy for half an hour, so we can drive 20 miles back home..no thanks. I'll just buy a couple of bags of candy and we'll sit home and watch movies. I've not even hauled out the fall decorations yet. I know, I know. Sad. I'm trying to revamp the decorations I have. I don't have *that* many, thank goodness. But I am wanting to head in a different direction. I suspect that when I bring the china over, I'll grab my fall decorations as well. Hopefully, I can convince El Husbando to help me with that this weekend, and that way it will be done and over with--at least, the hauling part. The decorating part will have to wait until after I get the walls painted in the family room, to match the dining room (a soft yellow). I will try and remember to post some pictures of that, as well. It is definitely a work in progress, that is for sure.
So, fill me in on *your* plans for this fall--are you doing Halloween? Do you have plans for Thanksgiving, and recipes to share (if you do, you can email me, and maybe we can do a big blog post on reader recipes--not that there are that many readers, but hey, it is a new thing for me! LOL).
Hopefully, if you are getting rained on, you are someplace warm and dry in the midst of the storms...if the weather is fair--enjoy it for the rest of us!