Pumpkins

As the summer draws to a close and fall takes over, it’s finally time to harvest your summer’s hard work in the shape of a pumpkin. I have spent a lot of time this summer researching pumpkins. This is the first year I’ve tried to grow pumpkins. In the past, I’ve dumped pumpkin seeds in a fence row and had voluntary pumpkins grow, but now is time to learn about pumpkins.

I planted 2 types of pumpkins this summer. 

The first was from seed.

When Jody was here helping plant marigolds and my Blackberry Bush, we also planted pumpkin seeds. In the past, I’ve had good luck just throwing pumpkin guts away in the fall after carving jack-o-lanterns. They wind up in a fence row. Come next spring/summer plants start growing. But a pumpkin is 90% water and if you don’t water them in a dry summer, they won’t survive.

The second type of pumpkin was a store-bought plant. I bought it at the local farm store. It was a Bonnie Plant – Pumpkin Heirloom Jack-O-Lantern. (more…)

How to Freeze Okra

When I decided to start and plant my garden this spring, I asked my family what they would like to see planted. I mean, after all, they were going to be reaping the rewards too. At that point in the day, I think that we were eating lunch (or dinner… but we were definitely eating) and the oldest and my husband had fried okra. They both immediately chimed in and said, Okra.

Okra… um… okay. I know nothing about making fried okra, but okay, I’ll figure it out. Oh wait, you mean you can eat okra that isn’t fried. Okay, I’ll learn about that too while I’m at it. Because, why not. (more…)

How to Can Peaches

It is that time of the year… Peaches!! They are in full supply. I love peaches. They are so great to eat as is or you can can them for later. Like the dead of winter when you are wanting that zesty, sweet taste of summer. There are 2 ways to can, we’ll get to that.

I would like to start some of my own Peach trees, but until that happens, I know where there is a stand on the side of the road ready to sell! And that’s just where I went on Sunday. I also bought a watermelon and my mom a cantaloupe. I don’t like cantaloupe but she does.

A fun side note about the word syrup… Grandma had me reading in her Joy of Cooking Cookbook about freezing peaches. We were looking for sugar measurements. Anyway, they kept spelling syrup, sirup. That spelling was driving me nuts. I wish I was still in Grad School so that I had access to the Oxford English Dictionary to look up the spelling history.

Also, side note: if you are canning anything… canning lids and jars for that matter are difficult to find right now. Supposedly it isn’t a shortage, but more so everyone was home and raising a garden. All canning is happening RIGHT. NOW.

Peaches

Grandma told me that she read that 1 bushel of peaches should produce 15, 20, 30 jars of peaches. It’s so funny that 3 different things she read said 3 different things. Either way, we were well on our way to that. We had 3/4 of a bushel of peaches. We got 13-quart jars and 2 half-full gallon bags for freezing.

Not all the peaches were ready for canning, so grandma’s tip is to lay them out on plastic overnight. The next day most all of them were ready to go. (more…)

Alaska Zoo

While we were in Alaska, we made a trip to the zoo. My little loves the zoo. Honestly, I was very disappointed by the zoo. Heck, the little zoo we went to in Louisiana was much better than this zoo. I wonder if Covid-19 wasn’t part of the problem… but it felt like the zoo wasn’t maintained/kept up with. Most of the animals if they were out (to be seen) were laying down hidden behind tall grass… It was just weird. I hope in a normal year this is better, but I just don’t know. I’ve never been to Alaska prior to this. Guess that means I need to plan a trip in my future 🙂 haha. (more…)

Caribou Grill – Glennallen, Alaska

Our first full day in Alaska we went out driving through the mountains. I made mention that I wanted to go into the mountains and we entered this trip with very little plans. Especially since the Coronavirus has been affecting all daily life everywhere. But I wanted to see beautiful scenery and I wanted to go into the mountains. So, our first day, we did just that.

p.s. I love that at home we have deer crossing signs. Here they have Moose and Elk crossing signs. However, we didn’t see any moose (or elk) in the wild until the last day. more on that to come.

Supposedly you can drive to this glacier. The roads didn’t look right or looked like we were going to have to offroad. Have you ever tried offroading in a minivan? Me either. Not sure I want to either.

This was the Matanuska Glacier. The Matanuska is Alaska’s largest road-accessible glacier, and it’s just 90 minutes from Anchorage. It is 27 miles long and 4 miles wide. It is located 100 miles North-east of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. It flows about 1 foot per day. (more…)

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Anchorage Midtown, Anchorage, AK

We did something a couple of weeks ago… We went on vacation. Last fall hubby and I were actually looking into a vacation for us to go on when we stumbled across a really good deal to go to California. Not just California, Anaheim… Disneyland to be exact. 

Ever since my little was born, my mom wanted to take her to Disney. I kept telling my mom we needed to hold off until she was at least 5 or 6-years-old. Well, this summer she turned 6.  (Which means last fall she was 5… we were at the 5-6 time frame.) We discussed our findings with my parents and my Mother-in-law to see if they’d be interested in going with us. We came up with a game plan, a date, and booked our trip for this summer. 

THEN…

Covid-19 hit. Well SH*T. What does that mean?

We waited all spring watching the news, debating, talking, stressing, etc. Disney (both World and Land) shut down. I have a friend who lives in California and has season passes to Disneyland. I picked her brain every few days about… is it going to reopen, will this happen, should I reschedule, etc. Finally, she heard rumor that they wouldn’t reopen until January 2021. Crud. 

After quick discussion, we decided to start looking into new trip destinations. We couldn’t get our money back (side note… our lives are more important than losing money from a trip, I’m not stupid), but we could reroute our trip… This was all about the time that the one beach opened in California and 40K people flooded to it and they shut beaches back down. We decided that everyone would want the beach so we started looking for other destinations. 

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, etc. That’s when I suggested Alaska. It’s a state we’ve been wanting to go to… why not. We looked into Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau. We eventually landed on Anchorage. 

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Anchorage Midtown

600 E 32nd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99503

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North Platte, Nebraska – Kohler Trailer Sales, Holiday Inn Express, Good Life on the Bricks, Scout’s Rest Ranch, Canteen Grille

So… From Ogallala, Nebraska, we headed toward North Platte. Hubby spent the morning in Ogallala trying to get the trailer fixed, but it just wasn’t going to happen. We used a chain to tie up the back axel and off to North Platte we went. We turned off I-80 onto some back roads. About that time the little asked where we were. I jokingly said I don’t know… On a road somewhere in the middle of Nebraska!?!? About all I knew. I wasn’t even sure where we were headed other than North Platte which was 50 miles East on I-80.

Now if you don’t know why it matters that we lost the wheel bearing… here’s why… Do you see that gap in the wheel? That’s where the bearing sits. Now, I’m no expert! Trust me. But basically, that’s metal on metal plus the axel can be bent if you don’t take care of it properly. I won’t go into the details because I’m no expert. From Ogallala, they sent us to North Platte to Kohler Trailer Sales.

Kohler Trailer Sales
3821 W Rodeo Rd Ave
North Platte, NE

We pulled into their parking lot before lunchtime on Tuesday. They were full that day but told us they would get us on the books the next morning and try to get us back on the road. So we dropped the trailer and our truck off and headed to the Holiday Inn Express.

Holiday Inn Express
300 Holiday Frontage Rd
North Platte, NE

This time we had a double queen room. Now, I have to say, I think I liked the bathroom set up better in Ogallala, but this was a very nice room. This hotel had a pool as well. Due to Covid-19, they had some rules in place for using the pool. You were signed up for pool time and were allowed 45 minutes. They limited it to 18 people in the room (I think it was. I do remember it was a few more than Ogallala). (more…)

Dear 2020

This is hysterical! 🤣I don’t know who wrote this, but as the end says I want this to pop up in a few years and be like WOW!
 
Dear Diary 2020 Edition,
 
In ❄️ January, 🔥 Australia caught on fire. I don’t even know if that fire was put out, because we straight up almost went to war with Iran 🇮🇷 . We might actually still be almost at war with them 🤔. I don’t know, because 👩 Jen Aniston and 👨🏻 Brad Pitt spoke to one another at an awards 🏆 show and everyone flipped the crap out 😲, but then there was this thing happening in 🦇 🇨🇳 China, then 👑 Prince Harry and Megan ✌🏼 peaced out of the Royal family, and there was the whole impeachment trial 👩‍⚖️ , and then corona virus 🦠 showed up in the US ✔️“officially,” but then 🏀 Kobe died 😭and UK 🇬🇧 peaced out of the European Union.
In February, 🌽 Iowa crapped 💩 itself with the caucus results and the president was acquitted and the 👩🏼‍💼Speaker of the House took ten. Whole. years. to rip up a speech , but then The👨‍🔬 🌎WHO decided to give this virus a name COVID-19, which confused 🤔some really important people 👔 in charge of, like, our lives, into thinking there were 18 other versions before it, but then Harvey Weinstein was found guilty👨🏻‍⚖️, and 🇺🇸 Americans started asking if Corona beer 🍺 was safe to drink🤦🏻‍♀️, and everyone on Facebook became a doctor 👨‍⚕️ who just knew the 🤒flu like killed way more people than COVID 1 through 18.

(more…)

Holiday Inn Express, Open Range Grill, Scooter’s Coffee – Ogallala Nebraska

So let me tell you about the week I spent in Ogallala, Nebraska Monday afternoon. Yes, you read that correctly :). A week one afternoon. How does that happen? Well, let me tell you…

First off, here’s the story that leads us to Ogallala.

The weekend before Memorial Day, we headed off to Greenville, Texas, to trade hubby’s truck off. Since he got the 2013 that he now drives, he’s taking better care of it. It’s a gorgeous truck by the way!! I’m happy he’s taking care of it.

But, we do farm work. During the summer we bale hay. And if you have any kind of luck as we do… you know that machinery breaks constantly. So his truck was getting overrun with tools to fix said hay machinery. He really didn’t want that. So we bought a toolbox to put in the bed of the truck. At least kept the tools off the back floorboard.

While that worked a little, he still wasn’t totally happy with that option, so we started looking for a farm truck that he could deck out with the tools necessary to fix anything as well as a fuel tank and a bale spike to move hay with, etc.

So he got on Purplewave and started just watching trucks. Low and behold, he bid on a truck, really thinking he’d get outbid… until he didn’t. Yup, we won said truck. And said truck was located in Ogallala, NE.

Off to Ogallala, NE

He told me late last week that we might be making a quick trip to Ogallala, NE. I started laughing for 2 reasons. 1) why? and 2) back in college I had to write a paper for a short story class. I took a story my uncle told me and of course embellished it a bit. I didn’t know what my uncle’s hometown was at the time I wrote the paper (just knew he was from Nebraska) so I made the story take place in Ogallala. I’d never been there or really even knew where it was. I just looked at a map, I thought it was a fun name, and chose it. (more…)

Planting Blackberry Bushes

This poor blackberry bush kind of became a laughing stock at my house. Why? Well… because, here we are in June and I bought it at the end of April. So what? Well… I just planted it yesterday.

I know, I know. It’s been living in the pot that I bought it in. That’s not a good thing really. The root system gets used to that size and then the plant could be stunted. But I wasn’t really sure where to plant it.

Jody came over yesterday and she and I went around planting stuff. We planted Marigolds in the garden as well as a couple of pumpkin plants. And… we planted the infamous Blackberry Bush. FINALLY. 

Some things to keep in mind when planting a Blackberry Bush: (more…)