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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Getting stuff done

I am getting some things done that I guess I should not have put off this long. Such as, using up some deer burger we had left from last year, some deer roast, canning gumbo. But I did get started on it this week since I have been home. I got 10 quarts of chili made and canned with the deer burger on Monday. I have made and canned 14 quarts of gumbo today. Gumbo takes a good long while to get everything browned and mixed and make the roux and get in the jars ready to go in the pressure canner. It really has taken me all dang day. But it sure is gonna be tasty. It smelled so good before it even got pressure canned. Nice dark color too. Deb will be proud of me, she taught me well.

Now maybe Rodger can have a few quick hot homemade meals when I am not home. This amount of gumbo wont last long at our house. I am sure it would not have taken me as long to get finished if I had not went to help Jason work on his kitchen. But I managed to do both today. Now tomorrow its get the mustard and turnip greens cut and canned. Maybe help Jason again if he needs me.

Jason and Rodger have got the floor leveled and the sub-floor in and it wont be falling thru anytime soon.

As you can see from the photos above it was built to stand the test of time. This house is close to 100 years old. I am still amazed that the foundation material is still in this good shape considering we had a water leak for no telling how long. But all better now. I will post pics of the after as soon as I can get those. He plans to make up-grades to the house as he can afford it. Next will be new kitchen cabinets in the kitchen as the ones he had are severely water damaged from the leak that had soaked them from the bottom up.

Not much else happening here on the homestead. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Home at last

I am back home at last, at least for a while. Sorry about the long absence and lack of postings and updates. I just made it back home this evening. My uncle Tripp had ask me to house sit for him for the month of October while he was away and I did after talking with Rodger and concluding that there was nothing happening here on the farm that really needed my attention. So I headed to west Ky October 8th and just got back to my house today. It was a lil mini vacation of sorts for me but sad at the same time. I could sit on the porch at their house and felt like I was waiting on Aunt Ann to get home from work. Several times emotion overwhelmed me but at the same time I did find some comfort in being there. That big house sure is empty without her. Yet you can see evidence of her in every inch of the place. It is nice to be in my house again for a while. At least till the deer season starts and its back to the grind.

Back on the farm, Rodger went deer hunting and we have a few deer hanging that will get skinned an processed this coming week. So we have meat for the freezer. I still have some deer roast and burger left from last season in the freezer. I plan to use some of the roast in gumbo this week when I make and can more for Rodger. The burger I plan to use in making chili to can for heat and eat meals. We do eat a lot of soups, stews and chili in winter. Well actually all year round. Most weekends even in summer if we are busy we will have veggie soup or chili or gumbo for lunch or a quick supper. My version of convenience food only homemade. Rodger told me out potatoes are not keeping well in the cellar at all. I plan to go thru those this week and if they are salvageable I guess I will can up more of those. When we first dug them I did can a lot of the small ones. But dang I was so hoping they would keep in the cellar for use this winter. Guess I might invest in a big bag of Jasmine rice as our starch staple. I guess if we don't have our own taters we will just not be eating many taters.

It was too late when I got home to get to see how my cabbage were doing in the herb bed out front. I hope I have a few heads of cabbage to make a lil bit of kraut with. Kraut just makes my tummy feel so much better when I can eat a lil bit on occasion. Some fresh coleslaw would be nice too!! I could see even in the dark that the mustard and turnip greens will need to be picked and canned again this week. I just cut and canned a bunch of those before I left the early part of the month. I guess Rob and Amoy will get more of those delivered to Nevada in the spring when we make out trek out there next year. I am really sad that I have missed getting any apples at all this year to make pie filling or to freeze. But I hope I can dig in the freezer and find enough to make do till next season. Apples are far too expensive in the store to even think of buying any to freeze much less eat fresh. I do still have several jars of pie filling canned so I am good in that area.

While I was away Jason had a catastrophe at his house(the old farm house). They found a leak under the kitchen sink that had been leaking for a long long time. Water had soaked the particle board flooring underneath the linoleum and rotted it really bad. I was so worried that it may have weakened the structure of the house. So when I got home I went to check on Mary Kay, whom they had left to pull nails while Rodger and Jason went to purchase new floor material. And I was so relieved an happy to see the floor joist are as solid as the day they were put in about 100 years ago, and they are REAL 2 by 8 floor joist. Oak at that. Not to mention the sills are probably 10 by 10 inch squared timbers that are still solid as can be.  My grand dad and great grand dad may not have used a square or level to build but by hell they built strong. Some older houses can sometimes, with age, get to the point where you are almost better off to tear down and completely rebuild than to try to remodel, but I do believe this house is a perfect candidate to be remodeled. It does need a few minor repairs such as a couple floors leveled in the kitchen and dining room, the bath needs to be remodeled an expanded farther down the south side to encompass a bit more of the porch and add a utility room on. Jason would be wise to invest in doing those things and will end up with a good sturdy solid house. So the fellows will tackle the floor job tomorrow and get it fixed and as Jason has money he can do things to upgrade now that we know its on solid footing.

Not sure what I will tackle first tomorrow, get taters out of cellar and sort the bad ones out, make an can gumbo, make an can chili, just not sure yet. But I am sure I can find lots to do to keep me busy.
So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.