The First Time ‘Round

The First Time ‘Round

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The clouds were rolling by today, white and grey and dark, billowing along at a great pace. It was 8C outside this morning. The wind was brisk. The rain came, and then it went, and then it came back again. Some of it was misty, and some of it was thick. From time to time the sun came out. It was a roller coaster day.

Attila and I enjoyed a leisurely chat over our coffee, via Skype. The quality of the Skype calls leaves a lot to be desired, but we manage, at the price we pay for Skype, we manage. Attila was then off to continue bringing in firewood from the back of the property, splitting it, and stacking it in the woodshed. He now has completed four of the six rows we will need to keep the house warm. He has a full day to tackle it today, so I anticipate he will make significant headway.

Here at the little house it was little bits and bobs that captured my time, puttering again!

Terra ran her first marathon this morning!!! It was an OPP Team Challenge run, raising money for a good cause. What a girl. She just texted me with a picture of herself, at her finish line (8 km), looking radiant, yes radiant. I love the look in her eyes, just love it, she is so happy with herself. As a Mom, these were the moments I lived for, the moments that made the hard work of parenting worthy. What more could anyone want for a loved one!

The Finish Line: Terra runs a Marathon. Happy!

Terra’s run inspired me to get myself dressed in warm clothing and get out there walking. I only walk for half an hour, but it is enough to get my heart pumping and my muscles working. My knee and left leg still need to be babied a bit, by the time I arrived home I was experiencing a little bit of pain. I am considering looking for high quality walking shoes, but that will have to wait until the new year. Just as well, we will be wearing winter boots before we know it! I wore a shirt, a jacket, and a quilted vest, as well as jeans and walking shoes. I was comfortable enough, except for my hands, goodness that brisk wind was cold! Time to get out the gloves!

Yesterdays canning recipe, the molasses beans, needs a bit of tweaking. The jars all sealed, so the canning process needs no adjustments. For this first batch, the beans were merely washed, and sorted, then measured into the jars. This works wonderfully for the larger jars, but not so well for the smaller jars, because the smaller jars are cooked for a shorter period of time. As a result this first batch was short of expectation on two counts: one, the beans were cooked, but too firm for my taste; two, the sauce was watery because I had to add water to fill the jars to the one inch head space. So next time I am going to follow the instructions exactly, soaking the beans and boiling them before measuring them into the jars. The beans will be much plumper when added to the jars, so that there will be enough sauce to fill the jars to the one inch head space, no water added. This will also give the beans a head start so that they will be softer after the shorter cooking time.

I ate one jar of my molasses beans for lunch, and they are quite pleasant. However, I can do better! And I will. This first batch will be used mostly for Chili Con Carne, where the watery sauce will be boiled down to a rich and thick consistency.

One more canning session then, while I am here. It often takes several attempts, before a recipe is tweaked to my satisfaction, sometimes even more. I don’t give up though, and that is how I learned to bake bread, roll out tasty pie crusts, and do all kinds of things that didn’t work out the way I wanted them to the first time ’round, or the second, or…

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:05 PM EDT Sunday 5 October 2014
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.4 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 10.6°C
Dewpoint: 5.1°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: SSW 30 gust 39 km/h


“Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
Satchel Paige
1906 – 1982

And, I could not resist the following, when I saw it, had to laugh out loud:

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?”
Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”
Charles M. Schulz
1922 – 2000


  1. Bravo for your daughter’s run! Her eyes speak of happy accomplishment. My children are event runners, too.

    I workout 2x each day for a 1+ hour total depending on my speed. I crank my 02 as high as it will go and walk on a treadmill. I walked two miles today. Most days I only walk one mile and then do core exercises – or those for mobility and stability. It’s satisfying.

    I just got off the phone with a dear friend. I’ve been isolating myself too much lately. I prefer being alone, love my solitude, but sometimes I pull too far back and get droopy. I’ve been working on my journals and a compilation that is long overdue, but it’s isolating and boring at times – but it’s a must-do.

    My friend and I confided with each other… more than any year before, we are both holding tight to summer though we are well into fall. I read where people are eager to get cozy in woolen sweaters and sit by a roaring fire. Argh. I have no desire for that scenario. I long for the warmth of summer to linger longer this year. I yearn. I yearn. I yearn. Why so much so this particular year, I wonder.

    Reading about your food preparation has made me hungry. Best get some dinner going.

    Love the quotes. 🙂

  2. WendyNC

    We had a stray bit of chill air come through here and when I got up this morning, it was only 39F (about 4C). Peculiar that it was cooler here than way up in the northland, but it was an odd summer.

    The correspondingly cooler air in the house was a new experience for our young kittens (born July 31, adopted 3 weeks ago)–and they did not like it one bit! I suspect Mist reacts to the cooling air of autumn the same way, even though it’s not news to her.

    All this talk of beans is making me hungry for some. It will have to wait until next weekend, but I can certainly see more beans in our future!

  3. Reenie, I do hope the warmth of summer lingers on for you, on your mountaintop!

    I always thought it would be interesting to drive into summer, heading south by car. About 40 years ago I drove to Florida with friends during the winter, and was very impressed with driving south in to summer. I haven’t been since, but would love to do it again sometime.

    Wow, that is a wonderful workout routine you have going! I love routines, but it takes at least two months of repetition to establish a routine in my case, and a mere two days of neglect to destroy it. Not many routines manage to survive my personality. Still, I love them! I don’t walk at the country house, there are just too many routine interruptions there, snow and ice, waspish neighbours, mosquitoes, black flies, snowmobiles, it is a long list. Here at the little house in the city there are none of the country house interruptions, easy roads, friendly non-intrusive neighbours, few mosquitoes, no black flies, no snowmobiles… and long periods when the snow ice remain clear on the sidewalks AND I can visit a store any day of the week, AND Terra drops by for visits to keep me company from time to time. Now, all I need at the little house in the city is Attila!

  4. Wendy, it is strange that the colder weather has settled south of here! This morning it was 7C, much warmer than you are experiencing. An odd summer indeed! I have been loving it though, because I wilt in the heat, quite literally, and a cool summer is ideal for me physically.

    Congratulations on the new kittens! I imagine that they huddled together in a furry ball of protest at the cooler temperature. Mist is correspondingly not impressed by the approach of winter weather. Attila has been kept busy during his time off, keeping the wood stove going in the basement, and nipping outside to work on filling the woodshed for the winter. Mist has apparently taken over the family room downstairs, by the wood stove, commandeering the seat closest to the fire. Attila doesn’t mind, because he doesn’t have a chance to sit down anyway. 🙂

    Beans! Attila has no problem eating them anytime he pleases, as he works primarily on his own, out of doors. When I am working I avoid them, as I always work in small enclosed spaces, with other workers, and frequent visits from the public.

  5. Congrats to Terra on running her first marathon. Wish I could do things like that but like you, Maggie, my knee won’t allow it. The last few weeks I’d been very consistently walking the dogs with DH for half an hour each day but by the time we got to the weekend with major shopping being done my knee and the opposite Achilles tendon were saying enough. So I just did the shopping, over the weekend, and let DH walk the dogs.

    Do they offer Beano in Canada? I have a friend in the US who swears by it for stopping discomfort and other effects from eating beans. I’ve wanted to try it myself when we had our baked beans here but I only gave a cursory glance to the pharmacy the next time we were in the store.

  6. Teri, in my estimation, shopping is exercise, getting there and back in the car is not, but wandering around the store pushing a sometimes heavy cart counts for walking I would say, and bending and reaching for items is good for us too. On the days that I shop, I feel I don’t need to walk.

    I have tried Beano, and it did help. What I find works best, at least for me, is to eat beans every day, the disadvantage seem to fade away with time. This doesn’t work for everyone, and I KNOW it doesn’t work for Attila, lol.

    During the last century MOST people were rural and worked in rural settings, so beans were not an issue for most people. Then our families left the countryside in droves, and began employment in confined spaces indoors, factories, offices, etc., where bean eating evolved into a nono.

    A friend of mine, who came from real wealth a few generations back, told me her corseted Great Grandmother used to go walking with her Grandmother, and enjoyed passing wind in the freedom of the country air. The wealthy lived in confined spaces by choice!

  7. Ah, thank you for that. DH is well-ingrained at this point with the notion that on shopping days I’ve done my walking for the day. 😉 Though on days that I’m able, I do walk with him. They just don’t come that often.

    *chuckling* over the wealthy going out walking on days to pass wind in the country air.

  8. Bex

    Thanks for the method of cooking rice in the MW, Maggie. I will try it next time I have rice, it may be tonight.

    I love your recipe of the mushrooms and onions, and I’d do it that way but alas, even though he seems perfect in every way, Paul had one thing he cannot abide – mushrooms! I’ve never cooked with them in all our married years. I did one little thing once not long ago that he never knew about – I put a can of cream of mushroom soup in my Nutri-Bullet juice-maker and zapped it all to liquid form… and I added that with a little milk to some sauteed veggies and he never knew that there had been any mushrooms at all there. It actually was quite good, too. It made a nice instant mushroom gravy for the meal.

  9. Nora

    “Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?”
    Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”
    Charles M. Schulz
    1922 – 2000

    Maggie, I love this! I am new here and after just a few of your entries I would like to live in your kitchen!

    Congrats to your daughter. She looks like she is of pure heart.

    One thing I have found to be excellent for gas is charcoal. I buy it at the health food store though you can probably get it in capsule form many other places. Works well. I just had a Barium tests and the worst part was the aftermath of ‘trapped’ gas. It can be very painful. Charcoal absorbs gas and works quickly. It’s a guest in our first aide kit along with things like arnica salve for bruises (works great!!!), red clover combination for that ‘off’ feeling, golden seal and echinacea for colds etc. Nothing like Nature’s medicine.

  10. Nora, yes that quote really tickles my funny bone too. Charles M. Schulz was a very talented man.

    Thanks for the suggestion about the charcoal, that might come in handy sometime! That Barium test sounds like a nasty business. Good tips as well, the uses for arnica salve, red clover, golden seal and echinacea. We grow echinacea, so I will have to do my homework and figure out if what we are growing is the right variety, and then how to prepare it. I hadn’t heard of the red clover before, it would be great to have something to ameliorate the “off” feeling.

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