December 5, 2018

November 2018

My sister, Verity, does a monthly recap of things and I thought, that's a really good idea. So, RECAP!

November started out with guests. My sister Meredith had surgery to repair a hernia, so we got to have her two littles stay with us awhile. Delaney and Ridge are THE BEST, and we love having them. It's good practice for my kids too. If you can calmly handle an irrational 2 year old, you can handle ANYTHING. When Meredith was a little more recovered, Troy and I drove them back up to Idaho. It's nice having relations close.

Then I started decorating for Christmas.... before Thanksgiving.... yes, I am one of those people. The thing is, it takes me FOREVER to do anything these days. And while a few years ago, I could decorate everything in a weekend, it's just not realistic anymore. I think it took me about two weeks to get things up and set the way I like. (I have 8 trees.... I need more.... I also need help.... but my basement is SAD and TREELESS.... I also want garland to swoop around the ceilings.... after Christmas sales.... yes, yes.... after Christmas....)

the Pink Tree

the Santa Tree

Santa Tree Close Up
Of course, November also means THANKSGIVING. We continued our tradition of Apps & Pies for Lunch. This year we had an apple pie (Thaddeus' & Daniel's favorite - and I used the apple pie filling I canned this summer!) , a peach pie (with filling I canned this summer!), a lemon meringue (Blayne's favorite), a pecan pie (Troy's favorite), a pumpkin pie (family fave), butterscotch brownies (my favorite), monkey bread (Taylor's favorite), and lots of yummy appetizers. We opened up one of our "test jars" of pickles.... Then we spit them out, and fed them to the garbage disposal. We also got the rest of those pickles, and threw out the contents. Then I wrote FAIL on that recipe card, and now we know for next time. Besides, my backyard neighbor makes THE BEST dill pickles, and she shared her recipe with me. MISCHIEF MANAGED.

Thanksgiving dinner featured all the traditional dishes: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams, roasted asparagus and broccoli, and probably a whole bunch of other stuff, but I can't remember. All I know is that afterwards, we made lots of dinners with the leftovers, and I didn't have to cook the whole rest of the weekend. 

Troy and I got to go shopping on Black Friday. We went to a few stores, but honestly, foot traffic was not bad, although we were there in the afternoon. And with the stores opening up so early, and then the online shopping... it was no big deal at all. We were searching for birthday presents for Thaddeus and Blayne. It was super nice that we hit up the stores though, because Blayne wanted art supplies, and the GOOD markers and paper are pricey. We scored big time, and one item we thought was not on sale (but were purchasing anyways) was actually half off! Meanwhile, Thaddeus has really been into airsoft with his friends, so we got him an airsoft gun and ammunition. 

I ALSO bought myself a pressure canner. I just leveled up my self-sufficiency BIG TIME. I've mostly done potatoes so far. It will be getting a LOT of use this next spring and summer, because I plan to grow a LOT of green beans. I've also canned my own beans, and OH MY LIFE, I will never ever but a can of beans again. It is literally the easiest canning I have ever done in my life. I put a 1/2 cup of dry beans in clean jars, add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt (which is OPTIONAL), and cover them with hot water. THAT IS IT. They cook while they're being processed, and turn out beautifully! It is seriously so easy, and I am thrilled, because I want to get to the point where *I* make the canned food that we eat. Like, the things that I purchase ALL THE TIME. (Beans. Tomatoes. Green Beans. Etc.) 

Canning diced potatoes

This made me laugh. 

And that is our November! It's so much easier to recap like this. I LIKE IT.