Monday, May 22, 2023

Time's a truckin' along, fun visit with family, canning & fabric fun.

We've been continuing to prep for our trip out west by doing household chores, routine maintenance on the cars, whittling down freezer contents and getting our dental and doctor visits out of the way.

We also got together with my sister and brother-in-law for a wonderful picnic lunch down in Mt. Dora, FL which is about half way in between, a little over 100 miles. It was a beautiful day for a drive and we made things super easy by agreeing to each pick up sub's for lunch rather than doing a potluck affair. Even though we talk all the time, and email back and forth, this is the first time we've actually been together in a few years. BIG HUGS all around!! 💖🥰

The Elizabeth Evans park was pretty nice, and right by Lake Dora. We were blessed with a shady picnic table and a medium-strong breeze all afternoon which kept temps down and bugs away.

Donna and I each had a goodie bag with several small gifts
for each other to make up for all the missed celebrations. It was also
her Birthday weekend coming up so we didn't want to miss that.

Looking towards the lighthouse, the shoreline is natural with lots of cattails and such.

One of the neat things about the park were all the large trees. There was one cluster that actually had a palm tree growing up out of the middle of it, and you can see how nice and shady it was at our table.

The guys talk car racing and stuff, while Donna digs for
 something in her purse. I'm just being a nuisance taking pics.

Palm tree just growing into the mass.

Lots of hills & small lakes dot the area near Ocala.

The Boss enjoying his new shirt.

In addition to that fantastic visit, I've lately had time to indulge in some canning, some floral work and some sewing fun.

First off, the canning. In the 2 freezers I had a stockpile of ground pork, ground Italian sausage and brats that I decided to can - there was no way to eat it all and it never hurts to have a few things on the pantry shelf.  It requires a hot pack, so browning it first and having some hot beef stock to cover the contents, then pressure canning for 75 minutes.

I've got this huge, deep wok-like pan which is great
for cooking up large quantities. Even so, I worked in batches.

Since meat shrinks when cooked, it ended up only being
enough for 6 pint jars (16oz).  Rainy day goodness.

I was also hit by a need of the Southern cooking variety, which lead to homemade cornbread, black-eyed peas over rice, and fresh spinach (in lieu of collards) to go with our roast pork. Yum, so good!

I fry up some chopped onions & add
minced garlic, then I use an envelope of 
onion soup mix and 1/2C water. 
Let it simmer a while.

More rescued straw baskets with their new and perky flowers. We use these all over, and they're especially nice on the back deck.

A nice pop of color and civility, lol.

Last topic, my purply-squares fabric project turned out to be a bed pillow sham. I liked it so much I made another using pastels and tried utilizing a geometric pattern instead of random like the first one. I like them both, and they didn't take a world of time either - win, win. Which do you like best?

Well, thanks for hanging out with me and catching up on my rather unexciting activities. Hopefully, next month we'll be out west and we should have some new scenery and stuff to talk about. Until then, see you next time.


  1. How great to have those canned sausage jars ready to eat. I presume they stay at home and don't make the trip out west. Lovely flower arrangement. Artificial flowers, even from the dollar store here in Canada can rack up quickly $s. Personally, I love all shades of blue, so my pic is the upper pillow, but they both look nice. I'd love to see my sister more often, so I bet you cherished the get-together with your sis.

    1. You're right on 2 counts; I'd love to see my sister more and the jars will stay here. OK, 3 things, the Dollar store flowers do add up (especially since they're $1.25 now 😞), but I buy a few at a time and stash them in a closet. The blue one is my favorite too.

  2. You've been busy! Your trip will be great and the home front will be secure.
    Your southern cooking sounds delish.
    My choice is also the blue one. 💙

    1. It's unanimous, we all love the blue. Maybe another small quilt of the same fabrics would be fun! Between our great systems of locking things down around here, plus great neighbors, we can rest assured things will roll along here just fine.

  3. I tried to comment a while ago and it wouldn't go through. Now I'm trying to comment on a different post. I think your wall is fabulous. Very earthy and more natural looking. It looks like a lot of work. Cornish game hens are one of my favorite meals. My husband has a brine for them that is delectable Your recipe looks great. We will have to try it.

    1. Sorry about that and glad you tried this post instead. The wall came out so finished looking, we are happy to have it tuned-up. We had another one of the cornish hens the other night and now my husband says he's spoiled, lol.