It seems hard to believe that it is already November again! It seems like just last week it was November of 2010 and I was working on last years Christmas gifts. Some days it feels like I didn't even put a dent into the daily chores for trying to get the Christmas projects going.
I finished the annual Christmas pajamas for the grand kids and great nephew but still have to complete the big guy pajama/lounge pants. I told my oldest son, David, that I was going to make him an old-fashioned night shirt for him and I expected to see pictures of him wearing it along with our little grandson. He said if I would make it, he would wear it. I tell you I am tempted. I just think that maybe the lounge pants would be more practical for daily usage for a fella 6' 2" tall.
In between sewing pajama and working on Ronnie's Christmas quilt I canned up some butter. I know there are some that say canning butter is not safe and shouldn't be done at home but I figure if they can sell canned butter then I can make canned butter. It is just one of those things that you just have to decide for yourself if you want to do it or not. My grand mother canned just about everything and she lived to be almost 100. The key is always being clean and safe when canning and I try my best to follow the good example that my Grand Mother gave me.
I have had some people ask why I would want to can butter when I can freeze butter. Well, let's just say that I like to always have butter and if I go camping or to our other property then I like to have butter and not have to worry about having a cooler to keep stuff cold. Canned butter makes that possible for me. And face it, don't we all want to have butter in our emergency stores? I now have 19 jars of canned butter on my shelf.
I have seen some videos that show canning butter without actually ever putting it in the canner. Well that to me is more like jarring butter. I actually pressure canned mine and will put up an article on how I did it.
After I was satisfied I had enough butter put up to last me a week in an emergency (just kidding everyone) I got to work on my grand baby, Kali Sue's, quilt. She loves monkeys and bright colors so that's what her mother and I agreed to do. I picked out some colors and patterns and emailed pictures of the to Cara to approve. She loved them and I was excited to get to work on another quilt that will be loved and held by one of my little darling for years to come. The baby quilt I made for my oldest grand daughter, Ari, is still a constant companion for her.....well loved and well worn. What more could a grand mother ask for?
When I woke up this morning, before the break of dawn as usual, I thought it would be a great day to make a fresh batch of laundry soap. Yes, I will put up an article for that too. I did remember to take pictures of the process this time. I wanted to actually film it but our little Flip video camera just quit working without notice and we had to send it back to Cisco so no videos until we get a replacement.
Making the laundry detergent didn't take much time at all so I was back to working on Kali's quilt until Ronnie got to stirring and we headed to the lumber store to get the wood for the firewood racks.
We managed to get 4 new firewood racks put together today and Ronnie got a lot wood split too. We managed to collect a lot of free wood over the summer again this year and did still have wood from last year too of course but Ronnie would like to have several extra cords just in case so we were actually looking at buying some wood from a local seller. They had a pretty good price per cord if you pick up yourself so we put in some calls and are waiting to hear back. Hopefully we will get all our racks filled and then have to add a few more racks to handle all the wood we have. Okay that is probably wishful thinking but I like to think big and positive.
Tomorrow is a big day for us here on our homestead because it is the first time we will be butchering our own chickens, by ourselves. Usually when it comes to butchering our friend, Phil, comes over and shows us the ropes. Unfortunately, poor Phil has been under the weather and we need to get the butchering done before Thanksgiving since we will be going hunting the day following. If we keep putting it off the chickens will all be stew chickens. Right now 3 of them are young and will be tender and we will thin out some of the chickens in the back that have not proved to be good layers either. I made an agreement with Jonathan that there are some we will never butcher. His new rooster, Thomas, is one of them. He also has a favorite Polish bantam that pretty much only lays on holidays and probably only the major ones at that, but she is worth the entertainment value alone. And finally our old Rooster, Cinderella, and our chicken matriarch, Ursela. The rest are all fair game...........
Well that covers what is is going on around here for now. I will try to get those promised articles up after Thanksgiving.
I hope you all have a very Blessed Thanksgiving and I hope you all take a little break from the homesteading chores long enough to enjoy your family, friends and food.