Thursday, March 22, 2012

busyness and bliss

Over the last few days, we've been gettinerdone

That's farm talk for we're on a schedule and have a lot to do. Shchedwal if you're from England. I'm not sure how the Europeans say gettinerdone though. Probably sounds much more refined with an accent. Although Larry the Cable Guy has an accent and no one would accuse him of being refined. Or from England. Is he even from America? Just what kind of accent does he have anyway? Hmmm, something to ponder...

Last spring we took full advantage of the millions of dandelions that covered our property. The years previous, we spent most of our waking moments trying to rid ourselves of the weed that turned our lush green grass into fields of mustardy yellow. Then we heard about dandelion wine. We also heard about fritters, salads, and coffee, but they got us with the word wine.

Besides, that's what us country folk do. We make stuff, with equipment.

Our first batch yielded only 4 bottles.


Okay, that's a lie. Our first batch actually yielded 5 bottles, but as new winemakers, we had to sample the product. It's the least we could do for our future guests who may desire to imbibe with us. Now we wait with our buckets ready for the first glimpse of yellow to blossom...

This weekend we'll be bottling our first batch of strawberry wine. All 6 gallons of it...

well, 5-3/4 gallons of it anyway.

 For the sake of honesty.

My grandmother has been staying with us for the past week. At 86 years young, she is still as sharp as a tack. She was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's and moderate kidney disease, but that's not what brought her here this time. She had gout in her foot with a massive infection that decided to wander up her leg a bit. Stubborn woman that she is, she thought just keeping a positive attitude would make the gout go away.

I must take after my grandfathers side...☺

Even though Grandma has been spending most of her days with her foot propped up on a pillow, we've recently put her to work.


And let me tell you, reading The Lion King to a little 3 year old great-great granddaughter is hard work.

Especially when that same little 3 year old wants Gramma to use different voices for each of the characters. Correct voices. With feeling. Before this moment, Great-Great Gramma had never even heard of The Lion King.

Great-Great Gramma took a nice long nap after that.


With 12 people now living under this one roof, I've been cooking up a storm. Most days I'm happy to spend extra time in the kitchen, but while I'm still trying to figure out what I can and can't eat, it can get very overwhelming pretty quickly. In fact, I spent an entire day quietly crying in the kitchen, the whole time blaming the onions that I wasn't chopping.

It's nice when my family understands.


It's even nicer when a daughter who didn't know about my onion episode shows up with grain/gluten-free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes, just because. (These are made with black beans~and they were DIVINE!)

Finally, we are officially on Spring Break. And even though we've put away the school books for the next 10 glorious days, the learning hasn't stopped.

Maddie wanted to learn how to take "pichurs" with Nana's camera.




Good thing I ducked or this would've been one of those "artsy" type pictures of my mid-section.

And the bliss continues...




12 comments:

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I prefer to call my developing mid-section "Reubenesque". Has a nice ring to it, eh?

I love the story of great grandma reading Lion King!

Dandylion wine...mmmm!

momma-lana said...

Ah. I know about crying in the kitchen because the food allergies are overwhelming, sorry :( Many a time I have stood looking in my cupboards and fridge and just not seeing a thing I could eat without getting sick.

As for the first part and gettinerdone, I have a dear Russian friend who has been in the US for 3 1/2 years and she totally does not get expressions like that one. I try very hard not to use words and cliches like that because they are just not something she can understand. We Americans have our own language for sure!

Valerie said...

We made our first batch of dandelion wine last year as well. Being the "dive right in and hope we can swim" types, we made 5 gallons of it! :) This year, we'll do more...yep, it was that good! That started us on our wine adventure and we've been making many kinds, strawberry is no my list as well! :)

Because I know you and I are from the same area, relatively speaking, thought I'd share (in case you haven't visited yet) that Bader's on Grand is an AWESOME place to buy wine making stuff and they have classes too. I took one with a friend a month or so ago, well worth the $20. They are SO willing to help answer questions too. Most likely you have already visited there, but just in case. ;)

Enjoy your wine...we are watching the grass VERY carefully here for ANY signs of those glorious yellow flowers! Funny how your perspective can change. :)

DoleValleyGirl said...

You have been blessed, indeed, with a sweet life, Kim. :) That photo of your granddaughter being read to by your grandma is precious. Cherish these times, my friend! My grandmas have both gone on to glory, and I miss these kinds of moments terribly. Thanks for sharing (with a tear of joy for you...).

Blessings, ~Lisa

Kim said...

Farmgirl Cyn~Reubenesque has a much nicer ring to it than "middle age pooch!"

Momma~lana~It's overwhelming at times for sure. Especially when all I really want is a nice juicy steak and have to settle for watching my family enjoy it instead.

Valerie~We have never even heard of Bader's! We'll definitely have to check that out! I live in Longview~we have a supply store called "Hops & Grapes" that is pretty awesome. It's also our newest restaurant that I hear is a pretty hoppin' place.:) We're planning a visit south next week so I'll be looking for Bader's!

Lisa~It's nice to be reminded of the blessings. It can seem pretty overwhelming at times! We're thinking about moving Grandma in permanently so we can enjoy more of these sweet moments.

Chara said...

Thank you for adding smiles and laughs to my morning! :) I so relate to this life. :) I'd love to know more about what you can do with dandelions- I've never fought with them because I knew they were good for things, we've just never done those things... :) We don't do wine (a recovering alcoholic in the family so we avoid having it around) but would love to hear about all the others. :)

momma-lana said...

Kim, have you tried buffalo or bison? I tolerated it very well when I was allergic to beef and to me it tasted just like beef. Kinda pricey but I only bought it for me.

Candy C. said...

How wonderful that great-great grandma is still in your lives! :)
I'm jealous of your dandelion and strawberry wine! I'll bet it is excellent!

Valerie said...

Kim, I had NO idea you lived in Longview! My parents live there. :) I had the idea you lived in Vancouver (or in the outskirts) based on your post about Chuck's Produce....is there on in Longview? I'll have to tell my mom about it if there is, I love the one in Vancouver!!! Bader's has a website with directions to their store. http://baderbrewing.com I was just in there yesterday picking up bottles. :)

MamaTea said...

Ok, there is nothing else to say but you are awesome and I wish we were neighbors. You just rock. Out loud. All over.

Oh. And your grandma looks JUST like my grandma. I even had to show my mom her picture. :)

Kim said...

Valerie~That's so funny! The world is a lot smaller than we think! No, there's no Chuck's here, but we go to Vancouver at least once a month to do our shopping. We even let Chuck's know how much we'd appreciate a closer locale! :) We live "west of Longview", out towards the Cathlamet area. We'll definitely be looking into Bader's on our next trip!

MamaTea~Not really that awesome at all...just attention deficit with a little hyperactivity thrown in for good measure! :) Grandma's are the best~we're trying to convince her that she needs to live with us full-time...currently we're bribing her with fried chicken and gluten-free cookies...I think it's working!

Kim said...

Valerie~That's so funny! The world is a lot smaller than we think! No, there's no Chuck's here, but we go to Vancouver at least once a month to do our shopping. We even let Chuck's know how much we'd appreciate a closer locale! :) We live "west of Longview", out towards the Cathlamet area. We'll definitely be looking into Bader's on our next trip!

MamaTea~Not really that awesome at all...just attention deficit with a little hyperactivity thrown in for good measure! :) Grandma's are the best~we're trying to convince her that she needs to live with us full-time...currently we're bribing her with fried chicken and gluten-free cookies...I think it's working!