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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Where is your happy place?

The other day my grand daughter asked me where my favorite place is in the whole wide world. I told her - with my family and my bed, (it's so comfy). Since then I've thought about her question and one of my favorite places is my deck. Yes, the deck on the back of my house. It is where my family and friends meet to barbecue, eat yummy food & to visit and laugh about the past and silly things we've done. It is where we celebrate birthdays and where my grand kids play and where I watch them play. It's where I can sit and enjoy the beautiful mornings or look at the stars at night and think about what is beyond. It's where I read or write or just rest. It's a solace for me.

I was sitting on my deck and a cool breeze was rustling the aspen trees and giving me that lonely feeling ~ the one that tells me that the season is changing and fall is upon us. I look out at our garden and see a mass of tomatoes that are turning red and will be soon made into salsa. I look at the cucumber, squash and bean patch that has provided clean, healthy food for not only us, but our family and friends too. Beyond the garden our apple trees are loaded, waiting to be nipped with frost so the apples they can be eaten, bottled and dried. The black raspberry vines are finally bare as I've picked from them daily, freezing them until I have enough to make jam.

I love fall. Not only because of it's brilliant beauty and abundance, but because of the feeling. There's a ambiance in the air as the year matures.

I can't help but think about my life and how blessed I am. When I watch the news and know about the craziness going on all around me, I'm so grateful to live in my precious little corner of the world. I'm grateful that my happy place is so simple and with the people I love.


Where is your happy place?

Hugs

Carol:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I know it sounds silly to some people, but one of my favorite hobbies is bottling the food we grow. Some people call it canning, but I put food in bottles so I call it bottling. It's almost a year since I last wrote and I posted some apple and plum recipes so you may want to scroll back and look at them. I just bottled 27 pints of sweet cucumber relish and have some people asking for the recipe - so here it is:

CUCUMBER RELISH
6 cups ground unpeeled cucumbers
1 ground green pepper
1 ground red pepper
3 ground onions
3 cups finely diced celery
1/2 cup salt
3 2/1 cups sugar
2 cups white vinegar
1 Tbsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. mustard seed

Grind veggies with a course blade on grinder. Combine in
a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, cover with water if not enough
liquid from veggies. Let stand 4 hours or over night. Drain
and press all the water out of the veggies ... DO NOT rinse.
Combine sugar, vinegar, celery & mustard seeds & bring to a 
boil stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in drained veggies.
Simmer 10 minutes. Pack in clean, sterile jars 1 inch from top.
Water bath 10 minutes. Makes 5-6 pints. I 3x it and get 16
pints. 

This relish is awesome on hot dogs, in macaroni salads, deviled eggs,
tarter sauce, (mayo, mustard, relish:) and mixed with tuna or chicken
and mayo for a yummy salad.

Have a beautiful day!

Hugs

Carol:)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Life ... every day a gift

The name of this blog has been "Dare to Dream" but I've decided to rename it, "Life ... every day a gift." That doesn't mean that I'm finished with the Dare to Dream phrase, it just means that I'm at a different level now where life is still about dreaming, but it's also about doing, finishing and enjoying every day.

It sounds like I've had a close call with death or something. I haven't. But, I have had to make decisions the past few years that have altered my way of living ... and thinking.

"Life comes at you fast" takes on a whole new meaning at this point in life. Each birthday brings with it the thought, "What the heck? When did this happen? How can I be this old??" It was only yesterday that I was 18. I look back though and my life has been a whirl wind. I think I even knew it at the time, but I was so busy living each crazy busy day that somehow they slipped by me.

 As a kid, I grew up in a world where a kid was allowed to be a kid. Life was simple. Me and my brothers and sisters played outside and had to make our own fun. We had a TV but we didn't spend much time watching it. It had 3 channels and the TV Guide was our link to the world. Christmas advertising was looking at the Sears Christmas Wish Book.We had a lot of stores and people shopped in them. We very seldom went "up north" to shop in big stores. We grew a huge garden and had to water it through furrows with irrigation water from a ditch. Our garden was our main food source. We never bought processed food. It seems like we always worked. We sold night crawlers for .25 a dozen for spending money and I remember helping my brother, Ronny with his paper route. I cleaned old Mrs. Henry's house on Saturday mornings for .50. As teenagers it seems like we had a lot of free time as every minute wasn't scheduled. We would "drag main" looking for our friends or someone to hang out with. We went to each others houses and honked for them to come out, not text. Neighbors took time to sit on the porch at the end of the day and visit. Time seemed to pass slow then.

Then after getting married and having kids, that's when the whirl wind began and that's what brought me to this point - wondering where all the years went. I don't mind where I'm at age wise, but I sure don't like where I'm headed.

Sooooo ... that's the reason I'm changing my blog name. It's about living each day to it's fullest, enjoying life and sharing my insight and hopefully fun stuff with others.

Feel free to go back and check other posts I've written.

Hugs

Carol:)