There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Apples are no temptation around here!


This is our cider press.  Years ago some neighbors up the road were moving and kindly bequeathed it to us since for years before that we had borrowed it frequently during apple season.  The past couple of years it has been sadly neglected not because of anything that we have done but because apples have not been very abundant.  This year that has all changed and for the better!!!!!

Our neighbors next door have two trees on their lawn and have frequently reminded us that we are welcome to all the fruit we want to take.  To date we have take 5 wagon loads and the trees are still heavy with apples.  

Yesterday we invited neighbors and friends to come and see what it is like to press apple cider the old fashioned way.  Our neighbor, MaryJean truly got into the whole process.  There really is something therapeutic about putting your back into the work that goes into producing the food that you eat.

After a day of fun and food there 4-5 gallon pails of apple cider waiting to be canned.  Beyond that abundance there are the memories of time spent together and friendships forged and others strengthened.

The Simple Woman's Daybook 30 September 2013


Outside my window...another crisp fall day has dawned.  We have had an amazing run of beautiful dry days.  The sun has been shining highlighting the burgeoning colors of fall.

I am thinking....that there is no other place on earth that can compare with my little corner of the world and yet it isn't the weather or the sunshine or even the colors in the leaves that make me happy but rather the memories that have been made here.

I am thankful for...good friends and neighbors.

From the kitchen...there is enough soup from yesterday left for a hearty lunch then I think there will be scalloped potatoes and ham for supper.  The men seem to have put on their cold weather appetites in the past couple of weeks.

I am wearing...lots of flannel.  I wonder if roasty toasties and comfy cozies will be the order of the day where I am going?

I am going...to putter my way through another Monday.  There are plenty of little chores and sundries that have to be taken care of.  All of the in the mean times will be filled with wandering around the farm soaking in the scents and sights of home so I can take them out later and look at them.

I am reading...nothing yet.  Still too much going on to settle with a good book.  But I have a couple on deck for when I get there and need to get away.

I am hoping...to gather more apples for pressing.  We got 20 gallons yesterday but Ian wants to make vinegar and some hard cider too.  This year has been such a bumper crop!

I am hearing...Layn in the kitchen chattering away to himself, the washer is doing it job faithfully as always, Melissa is prompting Layn to finish his chores before he settles into playing for the morning.

Around the house...there is utter chaos!  There are packing boxes everywhere!  The kitchen is in disarray waiting for the new dishwasher to be installed, the cider needs canning, and the remnants of Saturday's baking sits on the table tempting me to eat what I shouldn't.

One of my favorite things...a day like we had yesterday with friends and neighbors dropping in to help press cider and going home with a jug. The air perfumed with apples, pasta e fagioli, and falling maple leaves and lots of laughter and talk punctuating what would be called work if it wasn't so fun.

A few plans for the rest of the week...finish packing and bidding farewell.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...


Mary-Kate and Rocco got a chance to spend some quality time together yesterday.  Its nice when a couple of old friends can be alone with each other.
Layn on a mission with his dump truck.  There is never a dull or quiet moment with that child around.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook 23 September 2013


Outside my window...the sun is shining.  I assume it is quite chilly out there since it is quite chilly in here.  Now that it is officially fall, by the calendar anyway, I officially give the weather leave to act fall-like.

I am thinking...about little kids and the "I have to go pee dance" No matter how old I get it still amuses me to watch Layn go through his moves before he finally heads for the necessary.

I am thankful for...the women in my life who have stood in my mother's stead when she wasn't available.

From the kitchen...yet another party yesterday and yet another refrigerator full of leftover party fare!!!!!!  I love my life.

I am wearing...roasty toasties!!!! 

I am going....far away from my native land.  This is it folks, my last week in the old Kraeger boarding house.

I am reading....nothing, still, there's no time.

I am hoping...to get 2 weeks worth of work done in 5 days.  We'll see if that happens.

I am hearing...the washer fulfilling its destiny, Layn chattering away with his Mama while he eats his bagel, and strains of James Taylor punctuating the rhythm of this chilly Monday morning.

Around the house...party restoration has been nearly completed and all is back \the way it should be. Man I am going to miss all the good times and good friends that have happened in the old barn of a house.

One of my favorite things...cooking up a day of togetherness and friendship in my kitchen.

A few plans for the rest of the week...sorting books, packing clothing, final packing in the sewing room and saying good-bye.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...

This is the Layn that I carry in my heart. I thought I would share it with everyone else.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Change it is a coming

Of all the times of year late Summer and early Fall is the time which is engaging to all of the senses.  After the warmth and the humidity of Summer have passed the air possess a crispness that makes both the colors and the scents of the changing seasons more acute.


A casual stroll reveals the still vibrant colors of Astors making their final showing before the frosts of winter defeat their efforts.


The Chickory claims pride of place along the roadway and with its tough stalks even resists the last passes of the town's mowing machines.


Though the Queen Anne's lace isn't as regal as she was earlier in the season her head is still proudly held high.


Apple and pear trees in fields and along the roads are pregnant with their bounty.  They promise plenty for the coming months of cold if only their abundance would be gathered against the need.


The cornfields of late summer hold the greatest delight for the senses.  The mixtures of stalks in various stages of drying and the ripe ears hanging heavy are all a delight for the nose, skin, eyes, yes, and even the ears.


Just take a walk down between the rows and experience the gentle brush of the leaves on face and neck.  The accompanying shush and whisper creates a secret sense of solitude and oneness with the earth.


Just as the apples and pears are heavy with their offerings, the ears of corn are ripe with the promise of well fed cattle and cornmeal for the house in the snowy days that are sure to come.


Even the buckwheat with its delicate scent blends in with the subtle smells of dying plant life, falling leaves, newly plowed earth being made ready for the sowing of winter crops.




My favorite tree on the farm, this mighty maple, stands sentinel to the changes that are soon to blanket the earth.  But just as it has stood there since before I came here and will when I am gone, it promises that those changes are only temporary.


Monday, September 16, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook 16 September 2013


Outside my window...it is chilly and damp.  We got quite a bit of rain in the night and the whole world is washed clean.  

I am thinking...about sorting and packing.  I think it is time to step up the moving preparations.  My mother is no worse but my youngest brother is becoming more and more overwhelmed with the care of his sick wife and his mother.  It was folly to imagine that I could take my own sweet time in this whole affair when my brothers have been so burdened.

I am thankful for...a husband who is loving and giving, a family who bends over backward to do what needs to be done, no matter the cost.

From the kitchen...there are great groaning noises emanating from the pantry, refrigerator, and freezers after the cooking frenzy that I went on over the weekend.  There is enough leftover party fare to take us until Wednesday I think.

I am wearing....fleece pants with the Grinch in them and a pink tee shirt.

I am creating....completion.  

I am going...to be home all day finishing things.  Any trip to the fabric store will have to wait until tomorrow after I get stuff going today and assess the needs of the mending pile that Father sent home this weekend.

I am reading...NOTHING! There is no time for reading.

I am hoping...to get things wrapped up by the end of the week so I can head south and relieve my brother of his duties.

I am hearing...the cool strains of a Spyro Gyra tune coming from the stereo, the washer and dryer doing their Monday morning duties, and MK swatting at the many flies that are still alive after yesterday.

Around the house...MK has things well in hand.  Melissa and Layn are upstairs cleaning up and getting their day going while MK has the downstairs all cleaned up.  I feel a bit unnecessary.

One of my favorite things...saying the rosary around the fire last night with good friends and family.

A few plans for the rest of the week...wrapping up the work that sits on my work table.  Finish sorting in my bedroom and do some packing.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Princess Savannah with her "princess hat" on.

Everyone around here already misses Kaycie's smiles.

Grandpa can't do anything without his right-hand man, Layn, helping out.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook 9 September 2013


Outside my window...the sun is shining brightly and the temps are in the 60's.  Today looks like it will shape up to be a perfect September day in Central New York.  Already there is a certain hint of something in the air that speaks of colder weather and falling leaves.  I can smell all the apples ripening on the trees and the tang of the grapes on the vines.  Walking by the garden the plants have given their all and are languishing.  There is a certain "end of life" smell that the late summer garden gives off when the squash vines are through producing and the tomatoes are heavy with fruit.

I am thinking...about boys and girls today.  With all the grand kids in the house this week it is fun to watch the differences between Layn and Savannah as they play together.

I am thankful for...this opportunity to spend with the girls before I move south.

From the kitchen...there is so much leftover from yesterday that the refrigerator fairly  groans with all the food that is inside of it.

I am wearing...a denim skort and a purple top.  A bit chilly for it now but after I light the stove to bake cookies I should warm right up.

I am creating...a basket of cheer for a friend who just had surgery.

I am going...to deliver this basket to a friend after the cookies are baked and still warm.

I am reading...actually rereading Dante's Inferno.

I am hoping...that the situation in Syria doesn't escalate like the on in the playroom just did.

I am hearing...MK starting her laundry, Melissa in the kitchen making herself some coffee, and Layn and Savannah chattering to themselves in the playroom.

Around the house...the cleaning has been done for Monday and everyone is going about their own business.

One of my favorite things...my house full and overflowing with family as it was this past weekend.

A few plans for the weekend....keep making headway into the basket of projects that I have to finish before I have to leave, spend lots of extra time cuddling with the grand kids before they leave, and just plain enjoy my life here.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Savannah and Kaycie with their Auntie Mate!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook 2 September 2013


Outside my window...it is grey and rainy out.  You would never guess that the weekend past had been such a glorious sunny and warm one by the looks of things.  

I am thinking...about the passage of time.  The days are so filled with what needs to be done and a sprinkling of what we would like to do that they pass very quickly.  The schools are all opening up and soon we will be seeing buses passing the house in the morning.  The trees are changing before our eyes as time gradually marches its way toward the fall of the year.

I am thankful for...a man who enjoys the same things that I do.  Saturday my husband took me out to eat and then to fill in an hour of adoration at our local adoration chapel.  A perfect evening.

From the kitchen...there will be barbecued beef and fresh veggies from the garden for supper.

I am wearing...a denim skort and a turquoise tank.

I am creating...a oasis of love and family in my little corner of the world.

I am going...nowhere today.  Everything I could ever need or want is right here around me.

I am reading...nothing currently.  With all of the sewing that I have to finish before I leave there is really no time to read a book.

I am hoping....to get a bunch of the white work done today.

I am hearing...MK tidying up the play room, the washer cranking out its first load of clean clothing for the day, and an Irish fiddle playing a lilting tune to lighten our day.

Around the house...it looks like someone is either moving in or out.  There are boxes stacked everywhere in a sort of planned chaos.  After the garage sale at the end of the week it should begin to resemble some sort of order in here again.

One of my favorite things...the light feeling that comes with cleaning out and lightening the load.

A few plans for the rest of the week...I need to finish a whole lot of sewing.  Christopher's christening set is nearly done, there is a stack of christening stoles to be finished, and a bushel basket of baby size quilts that are layered and basted and in need of quilting.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
My beautiful daughter with Layn at the beach yesterday.  I treasure the way that she can sit quietly with him and listen to his baby chatter as if it held all wisdom of God in it.  He truly loves his Auntie Mate and the love that she has for him is apparent in everything she does for him.