Thursday, 28 May 2015
Are you a Canner?
Do you preserve food by placing it an airtight can or jar (Webster)?
Well, I am a canner. And a proud one!
I began my own canning journey in the early 1980's.
I was a young housewife and mother of four young children. Tim and I had just bought an old Victorian home on a double lot and we couldn't wait to till up a section of our yard for garden space.
We felt like we were homesteaders, of sorts.
We had purchased a wood stove to heat our huge home. We had planted fruit trees around the lot. And now we were going to become gardeners!
Fast forward a couple of summers and I could be found in my little kitchen (it had seven doors off of it) canning everything from our own homemade dill pickles, spaghetti sauce, vegetable soups, etc., etc.
It was thrilling!
Now fast forward again to the early 1990's.....
This was a time when Tim and I had bought out first business.
It was what we referred to as a Mom and Pop IGA Store in a beautiful, little tourist community in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, right on Lake Superior.
Needless to say, my gardening days quickly came to an end. Summertime was when our largest amount of revenue was earned. The community ballooned with summer cottagers and tourist. Tim and I were both working from opening to closing in our little grocery. We barely had time to eat, let alone garden!
Since those days there have been a few other business endeavours...
But finally, once again, I happily find myself with the time to pursue that long lost love of mine-canning!
Today when I can I still refer to the original canning books that my mother gave me so many years ago.
They are from the 1940's!
I do always double check with the on-line canning guides to be sure that I following the proper procedure. So far the 1940's guide has not differed
with today's safe canning guidelines at all.
Well, enough said. Now I'm off to do some actual work.
Today Tim and I are canning the sausage that he put together for us yesterday.
And, who knows, if the weather is agreeable I might have a tomato or two to can at this summer's end.
I sure hope so!
Concerning my move to WordPress.
I have been informed that this old blog will refer you to my new site.
Whew, that's a worry off of my mind.
I'll keep you posted!
Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Camp and Cottage Living is Moving
No, I'm not moving but my blog is moving to Wordpress.
After nearly four years with Blogger I am finally ready to take this big step.
And believe me, it feels like a really big step-kind of like I'm stepping off the edge of a mountain!
I had never mentioned it before, but I actually had this new blog site designed over a year ago.I just couldn't muster the courage it took to make this big move yet!
See how good I am at keeping a secret?
I'm not sure I would have moved to Wordpress even now, but I had already paid a blog designer a year ago to create a whole new blog face for me and then move my blog also.
This was obviously the needed incentive to move me forward.
I couldn't leave the designer hanging any longer either.
She had already been very patient with me.
So it was move it or lose it.
I'm not fully informed yet on just how all of this will work. I do know my blog designer is transferring everything from this blog to the new one, so nothing is lost. But I need to find out how to save my followers somehow...
Because, after all, you are all the only reason I blog!
In these four years of blogging I have truly come to feel a real connection with all of you.
You have become my friends!
In all honesty, you know far more about my life and my family than my next door neighbours do!
And vice versa, I bet.
If you are wondering why I am showing you pictures from my previous home, it's because this is where it all began-right there on the lake.
It probably sounds silly, but it was a big step for me the first time I clicked on that 'publish' box.
And now this is a big, scary step for me too.
I am hoping and praying and believing, my friends, that you will be following me on this move!
Just pretend I'm moving to the Yukon again.
You've followed me there and back a few times, haven't you?
I am going to leave you with this news for now.
I have a lot planned for the new blog site and my four year blogging anniversary is coming within two weeks also...
But I won't go into all of that today!
Please let me know what you think of my news and I will be back with more details as soon as I get the definite on it all.
Blessing to all-Kimberly
Monday, 25 May 2015
A Collage of Spring Flowers
Last week was an unusual one....
We had several days of warm weather and sunshine followed by a drop to freezing temperatures and snow!
The last two days were warm again-27C (78F).
Yesterday we made a quick trip down to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. While there we always do a bit of shopping.
However, now that the exchange rate makes our Canadian dollar twenty percent less than the US dollar, it isn't a whole lot cheaper to shop across the border any longer.
We can still get dairy and poultry products for less in the US, so we bought milk, cream, eggs, and cheese.
When passing through customs this trip imagine our surprise when the border agent ask us if we had bought any eggs or chickens.
After the usual "Do you have any alcohol or tobacco to claim?", "Are you bringing any firearms across?" "Did you purchase any produce while visiting the states?"
He ask, "Did you purchase any eggs or chickens while visiting the states?"
"See that green disposal bin over there (he points to one), throw all of your eggs in it."
We reply "okay" not wanting to hold up a whole line of cars that were behind us with more questions and also knowing that the news is just covered with the tragic bird flu outbreak happening in the US, so this must somehow be related to it.
Well, to make this long story short...
As Tim was disposing of our four dozen eggs (nearly ten bucks worth), he spoke with another border patrol who said that the eggs had been purchased from an Indiana egg farm (one of the states that has been hard hit by this bird flu) and therefore is not allowed in Canada.
I am reporting this as a warning to any of my Canadian friends who may occasionally do grocery shopping across the border.
I wish I could have been forewarned.
I am just so grateful that Tim changed his mind about purchasing chicken or our loss would have been so much greater!
Before I wrap this post up for the day I have a question...
Can anyone tell me what this perennial plant is?
It has a very sweet fragrance to it.
I am wondering if it isn't a herb...
Please let me know before I poison myself by trying to make a tea from it.
I have an announcement to make tomorrow, so please come back to find out what it is.
It is very important!!!
Monday, 18 May 2015
The Blue Bells have opened, the Bears have come out of their dens, and it was a whooping 25C (78F) here today.
Oh, wonderful glorious Springtime, at last!
The Blue Bell Vignette came together as a result of the need to rearrange my front flower beds.
And as you can see, we are enjoying lounging in our summer porch once again.
Tim was kind enough to move all of my porch furniture out of storage a couple of weeks ago.
I loved the way that I had originally set it up last year.
So much so that I went back to my post here, and copied it to a 't' again this year.
For a person who is constantly changing my decor, I believe I've surprised even myself with this action!
Well, it's not Texas for sure.
But with my Blue Bells, the nice hot weather, and a glass of iced
sweet (heaven forbid) tea, I feel like I could've been in Texas.
However having visited Texas in even late summer I believe I'll leave Texas to my three nephews who love to call it Home Sweet Home.
Sunday, 17 May 2015
Today was a Beary Good Day!
I spotted Mother Bear back with her cubs on the ski hill behind our home this morning.
The cubs were babies last year. They say that they will remain with their mother for this year. Then when they are two years old, next year, they will go out on their own.
I brag that I am an expert on bears now because I devour any nature program that pertains to these beautiful creatures.
I don't believe that I told you that this last Christmas I bought Tim one of those nature cams. He, just last week, mounted it on a tree facing the creek that flows in the rear of our property.
I am hoping that while we are sleeping Momma Bear may pass by so we can have a good close up of her. I had to use my zoom for the above photo, but it doesn't begin to capture her true size and beauty.
This is all I have to report today, ladies.
I'll be back with those photos if I'm lucky...
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Yes, pinch me!
Because I can not believe that it had been three weeks since I had written my last blog post.
When I calculated the length of my absence I was floored.
I did spend part of that time working on a Mother's Day bag for my MIL.
As many of you know my own Mother passed away a little over two years ago. I try to concentrate on what a wonderful mother she was and not on my loss and just how much I miss her on this special day, but it isn't always easy...
Tim and I are especially appreciative that we still have his mother here with us though. She is the last remaining of our parents now.
Nana (our children's name for her) and I went to a very nice women's tea on Saturday.
It was one of the nicest teas I had been to in recent years-real cucumber sandwiches and yummy tarts, followed by several cups of good strong tea!
In case you haven't caught on yet, the photos are of the knitting bag that I made for her as a Mother's Day gift!
You might remember that I had finished the cross stitching panel while we were in the Yukon, the rest I put together this last week.
Believe it or not, the very hardest part of the whole bag was sewing the X stitched reinforcements.
I wanted them to look perfect!
Did you notice the beautiful pink embroidered flower located on the centre brown panel?
It was created with my new embroidery machine..
Naturally, my mind is just spinning with all sorts of plans for this little Brother of mine.
But before I can have any fun with the new machine I have to devote myself to making two Quiet Books for our two youngest grandsons for Nana to deliver to them when she heads back down south to visit.
Wish me luck, as I've got a feeling they are going to be a whole lot of work after looking at all of the little pattern pieces I'm going to have to cut and sew.
I hope you all had a great Mother's Day and I also hope you don't get the snow they are predicting for me here tomorrow!