Monday, April 27, 2015

Today's Update - 27 Apr 2015

(An iris from my own garden)
I believe I have finally gotten my life reasonably under control.  Note that I said reasonably and not totally under control.  My parents may be coming to live with us for a short while until my father has recovered enough that my mom can take care of him by herself.  If anyone is interested in a short synopsis of what has been going on you can read it here.  Basically my father is now in a wonderful rehab facility but he still hasn't really reached a point where he can completely participate in his own physical recovery; and his mental recovery from being intubated and sedated for so long will in many respects take nearly a year.  It isn't going to be a sprint but a marathon.
I mentioned before that if you are only prepping for high impact/low probability events you are missing the point.  You can prepare for the end of the world and you may never need it, but if you prep for things like illness, job loss or some loss of income, death in the family, disability, weather event, property damage, etc then the likelihood that you will almost assuredly need your preps is quite high.  I've been blessed to be able to help my parents on occasion up to this point.  But now the rubber is hitting the road and I'm discovering that those mental and financial preps that we've been making will allow us to come together as a family, face, as well as survive the stressful future in front of us.  There is some satisfaction in that but I can't totally focus on it yet because every day brings some small setback with the small triumphs.
I will do my best to post more regularly but I've had to drop everything several times to go help my mother who lives a few hours from us.  This situation as had hubby and I reviewing our own future plans.
First and foremost while the idea of going to live out in the middle of nowhere sounds wonderful on most days, the reality is that as we age it will become more and more difficult for us to do what it takes and one illness or accident could destroy everything we've worked for.  Along with that, we are gladder every year that when we built our "retirement home" that we may actually one day be able to live at year round, we did not put the bedroom upstairs.
Secondly I regularly re-evaluate the food storage I have but from here on out I am going to focus less on volume and filler and more on making every calorie count and ensuring that I'm able to not just put food on the table but that I'm able to put healthy food on the table.  To that end I'm going to stop allowing too much to interfere with my canning and food preserving.  If my parents do come to live with us for a while my mother and I are going to be giddy school girls and can to our hearts content.  My Excalibur is also going to be getting quite a work out.  I used to do a lot of that but over the past year work and other things have gotten in the way.  Well no more.  I don't want to look back and realize that I strayed from my appointed path and it is costing my family their health.
Lastly - at least for now - I'm accelerating my edible landscaping plans.  I'm accumulating the materials I need to build new raised beds ... including the fencing to keep the varmints out of them.  My older son has already, as a surprise for me, replanted several citrus trees.  They're small but by the time the ones that I have that are still viable need to be uprooted and burned, the new trees should be producing.
Life events like the ones my family is experiencing highlights what you are doing well ... and where you need improvement. 
I've managed to get some of my work-in-project additions added to:
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Bunch of Wild Thyme
Emi on the Caloosahatchee
(This is one of the stories I said I would be migrating over to blogger.  I had to copy it using he wayback machine and the formatting was a mess and I'm still finding flubs.  As I neaten a chapter I will post it.)
Geek Inherit the Earth
(ETA:  I managed to get the next section up.  It isn't quite as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Just needs a little editing, not a completing type over.)
I will be spending most of the remainder of the evening putting the last touches on "Geek".  Transferring it from my old computer to my new Spectre 360 created some weirdness.  The text is all there but when I go to paste it into blogger and hit preview it is like the text is hidden.  I'm hoping that copying the final chapters into a plain text document and then copying them to blogger will fix whatever the snafu is but I won't know until I try it.
Today's vids pretty much fly in the face of what I was saying earlier about getting healthy.  LOL.  However there was a very nice older lady sitting in the cafeteria at the rehab center and the staff was encouraging her to reminisce about her childhood.  She lived in Minnesota and Wisconsin as a child and she had fond memories of her parents making "tree syrup" and of the many ways her parents providing fun that wasn't "storebought".  Below are some vids that I found while researching some of the things that she spoke of.


  1. I checked as I always do to see what's going on and so happy things are going a bit smoother for you and yours.
    Thank you for the updates on the stories also. ew up in Wis., Hic. and MN. And my grandpas tapped the maple trees. I sure miss all that maple sugar. Thank you for the memories.

  2. I'm so glad you're back and all in one piece! Thanks for the wonderful updates Kathy!

  3. Glad to see you're back. I'm sorry that your father has had such a rough go. Thanks for the maple recipes. My grandparents had a sugar bush south of Montreal and we loved going there. Hot syrup poured on the snow made the best taffy ever - guaranteed to remove loose teeth. But the very best was maple sugar pie my grandmother made - think pecan pie without the pecans... Her recipe was:

    1½ cup real maple syrup - ours was a medium grade, so darker, and from a bush has a slightly smokey flavour from the wood smoke.
    ½ cup brown sugar
    ¼ cup of butter melted, we always used salted or home made butter and a pinch of salt
    ½ cup Carnation condensed milk
    2 eggs
    1 unbaked pie crust

    Preheat oven to 350° F.
    Whisk the ingredients in a bowl until well blended and pour ingredients into unbaked pie crust. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove pie from oven. The center of pie will jiggle. The pie will continue to bake slowly as it cools making for a silky texture.

  4. So glad to see you're back! prayers continue for your dad and family.