Weekend Links & Updates

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 "Look to the Lord and his strength; 

seek his face always."

 Psalm 105:4



It's been a while since I've posted, so I thought an update was definitely in order. Life has been crazy busy, here on the homestead.

I am still canning salsa (what was I thinking, buying boxes of tomatoes on top of the tomatoes I grew???). I am also still doing some harvesting of squash, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and greens, and am beginning to clean up the garden in preparation for the hard frost that should hit soon.

Most days, I take some tomatoes out of the freezer, push off their peels, and chop them for salsa.

In addition, we tasted quail for the first time last weekend. We are not big fans of eating chicken (except for my daughter, who loves it), so I was a little worried no one would like the quail. My son absolutely hated it (sigh), but the rest of us felt it was quite good. I really enjoyed the slightly more assertive flavor (compared to chicken). We will continue to raise quail for meat, at least for now. (Plus, my family says quail eggs are better tasting than chicken eggs!)

This meal was entirely home grown.

Quail eggs are tiny, but tasty! 


We lost our refrigerator a few weeks ago, which really ruined my schedule - ha! Due to COVID-19, refrigerators are almost impossible to buy right now, so we had to make do with a small, old-school one I found at a small, local hardware store. It actually should have better longevity than a lot of fridges, but I'm not sure I'm going to like the size. I typically store a lot of veggies in the fridge because we don't have a root cellar. We shall see how it works out. (Why has COVID created a refrigerator shortage? I'm told it's because social distancing must be kept in factories. Whereas typically multiple people work on a fridge at one time, now they must do it one by one. There may also be some slow down due to difficulty in obtaining China-made parts.)

We've also been dealing with some health issues. My daughter had a cyst on her face surgically removed. Thankfully, the cyst was benign. And I've been dealing with a growth on my eyelid. It's been there for probably 1.5 years, but recently got quite a bit larger, as you may have noticed on my YouTube videos. I saw my GP about it and he referred me to a dermatologist who in turn referred me to my ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist felt it was probably not cancer (as the derm felt it was), but a virus called molluscum contagiosum. He did a biopsy and spent a lot of (uncomfortable) time poking around my eyelid trying to get my immune system to recognize and fight the virus. But the biopsy was negative for molluscum and basal cell carcinoma. After consulting another doctor, the ophthalmologist thinks it's most likely precancerous and is sending me to a plastic surgeon who will remove it and reconstruct my eyelid so it will shut properly. Fun stuff.

It's a bit surreal to me because I think I'm low risk for skin cancer. I'm looking forward to discussing this further with the surgeon.

Morning chore time.

And so we keep plodding away at things, ever trusting the Lord and feeling thankful for the many blessings we experience, even during difficult times.

* Just a quick note for those of you still looking for canning lids. If you don't want reusable canning lids (I really like my Harvest Guard brand reusable lids), MasonJarMerchant.com still has conventional lids in stock. Their prices are fair, their shipping quick, and they are Bernadin - Ball's Canadian brand, made in the USA.

* If you're tempted to believe a certain canning recipe or method is safe because "Grandma did it and we never died," read this important article!

* Got a lot of winter squash and you're not sure what to do with it? Check out these ideas.

 * There's a new PBS show about Laura Ingalls Wilder; should be fun!

* Did you see the viral video of the jogger being chased down by a mama mountain lion? He's still alive, so he must have done something right...but if that cougar had been looking for a meal, I've little doubt the jogger wouldn't have made it home. Want to know what the experts say you should do if you bump into a cougar? Check out this article I wrote for Mother Earth News.

* I know many of you are starting to shop for Christmas. May I humbly ask that you consider giving my books as gifts? You can find them here, in topics ranging from gardening and foraging to fashion history. (Some books were written under my maiden name, Kristina Harris.) 


Oldies But Goodies

* 4 Thing to Do in Fall for a Better Spring Garden.

* The Pilgrims had many gardening tricks that still work wonderfully today! 

* In the mood for hot cocoa? This quick, inexpensive from-scratch recipe can be made low sugar or sugar free. 

* It's time to think about Thanksgiving! If you eat low carb, check out the fantastic recipes here! 

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