Tagged: Our Little House

I Can Can!

The mysteries of canning have finally been revealed to me.

As I’ve written before, I’ve wanted to learn to can since even before we moved to Our Little House. I had written a story several years ago on an older woman, her garden and her canning and although she invited me back for lessons, I never took the time.

When we moved here, I knew I wanted to learn and this year, I even included a bunch of canned jars of fruit on my vision board.

I asked our friends who are sharing their garden space with us if they can. “Oh, no,” Alicia told me. “I freeze everything, canning is just so much work.”

Rae, our end of the point neighbor, told me she would teach me if I supplied tomatoes from our garden.

This week, however, she supplied a bushel of peaches of which we made peach jam. On the first day, we made sugar laced jam, on the second day it was sugar free.

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What a Difference a Day Could Make

I know that the Gusher in the Gulf has everyone thinking about the environment and our dependence on oil. I’ve been thinking about it a lot at Our Little House.

If 9-11 didn’t start making us think about it, or the skyrocketing gas prices that hit an all time high in 2008, I think this was definitely America’s last wake up call.

Since my post about being depressed over the news, I’m sure many of us have found our own ways to deal with the disaster, to help relieve the pressure for the earth to give us  more oil.

Did you know that if every single American that drives a car could reduce their driving by 30 miles each week – in essence giving up their cars for just one day – we could reduce America’s overall consumption by 20 percent?

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A Batty Adventure

On the 4th of July, we went over to our neighbor’s house for the traditional bar-b-que and potato salad. They then suggested we go over to Bull Shoals Dam in their boat and watch the fireworks display over the water.

I know, fireworks aren’t environmentally friendly, but seeing them over the water was something we had never experienced. Part of the whole experience of moving to Our Little House in a new area is to experience new adventures. Lack of jobs and money have prevented us from doing things for a few months and now we’re working so hard, time is an issue.

The boat ride was pretty rough, bass boats don’t do well traveling at fast speeds on waterways with a lot of traffic and once we reached the dam area, it looked like a floating city.

The fireworks, however, were spectacular. Seeing them over the water really was an experience.

We made our way through the crowded rough waters back to our sparsely populated side of the lake. The night was pitch black and Fred was still cruising at a pretty good speed when I saw a shadow fly across the deck and hit my life jacket and land in my lap.

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Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Photo by Mary Nida Smith

One thing I love about Our Little House being so far out in the country is the quiet.

I can sit in the morning, as I have all this week, on the party deck or on the covered front porch with the Fearsome Four, reading the newspaper and drinking coffee with nothing but the occasional buzz of the hummingbirds coming for a drink off of the feeder.

However, this summer, there’s been an unnatural hum ringing through the mountains that the dogs have even noticed.

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The Original Tea Party

One of the things I find completely charming here in the Ozarks where Our Little House is located, is the good old southern tea parties. One of the women holds these about twice a year. She’s not exactly a “neighbor,” she lives at least 10 miles away and I got lost trying to follow another woman to her house last week, but she does live within our fire station service area, so around here, she is technically a neighbor.

She is a transplant from Mississippi. Many of our neighbors aren’t really locals at all, but from Chicago (some call this area “Little Chicago”), but we do have some neighbors from Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

When my friend, Alicia, who is from none of the above, but originally from Peru, called me last winter and asked if I would like to go to a tea party, I was a little taken aback as I knew her politics didn’t match those of the political tea party movement.

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