Thursday, July 4, 2013

Corn Is Head High by the 4th of July & Beef Jerky

Across the road from my house is a huge corn field. We have had so much rain that it is not "knee high by the 4th of July" but over your head.

I snapped a few photos on my way out of the driveway to Joann Fabrics.

This is what I see right before I pull out on the highway at the end of my driveway. The road is wet, and it is sprinkling rain. We had rain all day.

When I got down the highway I ran into this torrential down pour all the way to the shopping center. The trip takes me about 30 minutes. And this is what was happening as I sat in my parked car, waiting for it to let up. I had my umbrella, but the wind was blowing so hard. I wasn't the only one stuck in my car. I noticed several other shoppers doing what I was doing.

I should have worn boots.........

And there was the store. Can ya see the red letters? It finally did let up enough for me to get across the street, with umbrella in hand. I went in and bought 6 big skeins of Lion Brand Pound of Love Yarn in an Antique White, and several skeins of RH Super Saver, color Frosty Green(I swore I would never buy any more of that brand of yarn), and 2 skeins of some variegated RH. Now don't be too disappointed, but I didn't take any pictures of the newest additions to my stash because I simply forgot. I honestly thought I was done with yarn for awhile. I was sooooooo ready to turn the page and dust off my sewing machine, but something happened about a week ago last Sunday. I made the mistake of showing my mother a few of the afghans I have made these past 2+ years and I showed her this one.........

The first words out of her mouth were, "Are you going to sell this, you should sell this!" Now those of you who have followed my blog since early 2011 know that this is the afghan/blanket I made during my husband's first months of chemo. It holds weeks/months of memories and it is what I did to help take my mind off of our troubles and helped me cope so I could be strong enough for him. This African Flower Hex was a God send pattern and when I wasn't crocheting the flowers I was tucking in the tails. It was a portable project. If I remember right it took me about 2 days to hand sew all the hexes together. Anyways, I told her no, it was not for sale. I then proceeded to show her 2 other blankets I had made, but although she thought they were pretty, she said she liked the first one better (of course). Again she yaks to me that I should sell it, and she would "buy it" (all the time I am thinking stubborn old German woman). I told her it was NOT for sale and there was No amount of money could buy it. A week passed and one morning my phone rang........yep, you guessed it, mom! (I give her credit for being almost 83 years old she is persistent). She tells me she will buy one of the other 2 blankets......I really hate to say this, cause I love my mom, but I know her well enough to know that she is not really wanting to buy the other ones, she is hoping to wear me down, make me feel sorry for her, and besides, last fall I "gave" her a beautiful shell afghan made from Lion Brand Vanna Yarn. I told her I would call her back.....she had woke me up and I was still trying to sleep, I had gone to bed at 3am. Now you know how that is, I couldn't go back to sleep, I got up and let the dogs out, got them fed, made some coffee to fortify myself before calling her back.
So I told her if she was willing to wait about 3 months I would make her an African Flower afghan, but right now with all the yard work every week and babysitting, I was just way too busy. Besides in my mind I really didn't want to sell her the other 2 I know that sounds selfish and bad of me, but I have 2 ratty afghans in my living room that have been abused all these years by the kids, hubby and of course the dogs, yet I wash them up and continue to use them, and one I made when I was pregnant with Rachael, 36 years ago!!!!! I have made over 15 in the past several years and have given most of them away. I  would really like to keep the new ones I made. I have given so many away in the past, now I feel selfish in my old age. So she never said either way and that is why this trip to Joann Fabrics. I will start her flowers soon as I find some free time. And I plan to make my brother Mike an Aran Afghan in the Antique White Pound of Love yarn. His will be surprised. I want to do something for him for cutting the trees. Tree cutting and removal is by no means a cheap cost, and he has saved me over $1,000 I am sure. Besides, this past 2 weeks I have trapped 2 ground hogs and he took them off for me. Then he set a killer trap and we got a 3rd, only this one was deader than a doornail and he took it off to his pole barn way in the country. He was going to set it out in the field for the buzzards to eat. He reset the traps, they are wicked looking, and I was warned to make sure my dogs are not to go out where they are set. They never do anyways, but those ground hogs have dug big trenches under the privacy fence and now the dogs can get out into the outer yard if I don't keep them confined to their pen.

This past evening I loaded up my food dehydrator with the thin beef strips I marinated for a day and a half. I have made jerky many times over the years. I have a recipe I found and I tweaked it a bit (sorry I can not share this one) and it is so good that the finished jerky never lasted but a couple of days around here especially when the kids were still at home. Rachael has made it and given it as a gift and was told later that everyone was fighting over the bag, they loved it that good. So I made a batch for my brother. He absolutely has refused any payment for working on the trees. He refused any money for gasoline and oil to run his chain saws. He refused money for his fuel to drive over here and to haul the logs to my oldest daughters where he cut them in pieces. He is a body builder and in excellent shape, and I give credit where credit is deserved, he has done more than 85% of all that work. All I did was to pick up brush and help to stack the wood after it was cut in smaller pieces. Then he again refused any $ for dealing with the ground hog problem. He refused money for the 2 killer traps he went and bought. I throw up my hands, so about the only thing I can do to repay him in some small way is to bake him some  nut bread, make some cookies, beef jerky and crochet the surprise afghan.

It smells good even when it comes out of the marinate.

The whole house smells like a jerky factory.

(I have thought several times to buy a better brand of dehydrator, but as long as this one holds up I will use it).

Next day...4th of July. The jerky is done and I will run it over to Mike's house this evening. He is working today patrolling the Ohio Turnpike. I got 2 quart freezer bags for him. I will make him some cookies and nut bread later in the week, well that is my plan as long as it fits into God's plan.

Oh it smells and tastes so good.

I have been racking my brain as what else I can do for my brother. I know he isn't expecting anything, but I feel it is better to give than receive and my little pittance seems small compared to what he has done for me. I am so blessed and grateful. He loves to feed the birds so I will go and find him some things for his back yard bird feeding station........well enough about this, I'm sure I have brought you all to tears and wondering just when I will hush about all this. So, what have you done in the past to repay a random act of kindness that was done for you? Honestly, I would love to hear about it. In the meantime, have a safe and happy 4th of July ♥

Just a thought....July 2nd would have been our 43 year anniversary. I have been staying busy, too busy to sit around and dwell on sad thoughts and to feel sorry for myself. I appreciate all of my family and friends, and all of my blogger buddies who make me smile and allow me to be a small part of their lives by letting me have a connection from afar. It feels good to learn from all of you and I hope in some small way I bring something good to your lives as well, even if it is a smile. Each and every one of you are special to me and I want to thank you for all the kind words and comments left on my last post as well as all previous postings. I read once that "we are all spiritual beings going through the human experience, not humans going through a spiritual experience". And in the end it is all about Love. I love you all. Thank you for being a part of my life. I am so glad we found each other. ♥


  1. what a good post i wasn't bored,and what a lovely brother,your love the food and a blanket i'm sure are and will be much loved as they come from the heart and i'm sure he knows you will be there for him if he ever needs anything,your Mum is stubborn but you are right to say no it is a VERY special blanket for you,she will love the new one you make her. Thank you for sharing and happy 4th July

  2. What a lovely post. Is usually get distracted reading posts which are fullllll of text, but trust me, today I wasnt bored a bit. the blanket is beautiful, and that explains the reason being so much in demand. I dont want to blame your mum. But it is equally special to you. I cant imagine saying no to my mum, specially after marriage when I'm not living with her(You know we girls live with our parents till we get married, here in India) Dont know, could've been one of the biggest dilemma in life. but you chose the right path, i'm sure your mum will like the new one equally.
    Hope you had a happy july4th. Take care


  3. Happy 4th Susanne! What a lovely post. I have to say that afghan is one of the most beautiful I have ever laid my eyes on!!! OMG, it's stunning! I can certainly understand your reasons for not wanting to part with it, even if it is your mom that's doing all the asking. I'm sure she'll love the one you're making for her. She just needs some patience! Enjoy your weekend, sweet friend! xo

  4. Keep that afghan! But do make her a new one. Your brother sounds like a doll. How nice of you to do so many paybacks. But he will help you again if you're so generous to him, which is a win-win situation. As for paybacks, we help our son and his wife out by keeping the boys while they go away for a few days. We try to be reciprocal. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. Oh friend. I am up at the lake, and am only just now reading this post. I am with keep that afghan!!!! Your Mom will be thrilled with whatever you make for her. And your brother sounds like a wonderful man. I have three brothers, and we are all close. I know that they would walk through fire for me, and I for them. Your brother is doing what he wants to do, to help you out. Your acts of kindness to him to repay his kindness, will be much appreciated, I am sure.
    Hang in there. I wish we could visit across the kitchen table, but since that is not possible, I too am so happy to have my blogging friends. You included.

  6. Hi, Susanne! I'm just now getting around to reading and catching up on blogs. I had a good time reading yours and catching up and hearing your stories. Keeping your afghan and making your mom another is exactly what I'd do too. She'll be so happy when she gets it, and it'll give you some great therapy time making it. I know it's a ton of work, but it sounds like she'll appreciate it. That's the best kind of "work" to do.

    I said before how great your brother is to you. So sweet and loving of him to help you with all that hard, man-work. He'll love the jerky and anything else you make him. The afghan will be very special to him, I'm sure. Look him in the eyes and tell him how much you love him and thank him. I'm sure that will be all he needs.

    I've never owned or even used a dehydrator. I probably should check them out because we love it. There's only one kind we like and we have to drive 70 miles north into Oklahoma to get it on the Choctaw Indian Reservation. It's Jalapeno flavored, and it's SO GREAT! Unfortunately it's also SO EXPENSIVE! All that you can buy commercially around here is much too sweet.

    Hope you had a nice holiday weekend! I'm so sorry your anniversary makes you sad. What doesn't make you sad after spending so many years with a person? I imagine just about everything does. Big hugs.

  7. Hey Sue. I know you put a lot of work into that afghan so keep it and make another. It will keep you busier that heck LOL. You know, no matter what you do for your brother, he will love it. The jerky looks awesome. I am not a big fan, but my grandkids are. Speaking of food,,,just caught another of you FB food posts. I'm making the slow cooker pulled pork this weekend.


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