Wash days are great fun! This past week I had some drama with my wringer washer. A couple things got lodged, including a hose! I was thankful no fingers or arms got stuck. There are always things to be thankful for! I overflowed the rinse water twice in one day and the mop came in handy for the lake of water on the floor. Soon I learned that I need to pay attention to the water filling, and not just the things that are slowly running through the wringer. This week, I did not overflow my tubs, but my heart was overflowed with joy!
Ironing is so much fun. We are using Mark's great grandmother's iron. It always used to be just another pretty decoration, but now it is finally put to work. The girls stand in line for a try. We all love to iron. First, you must put the iron on the stove to heat it. We use a pot holder to hold it and run it over the clothing. What great things we are blessed to learn!
We have two treadle sewing machines, both of which do not work at the moment. But, we started cutting out patterns and hooked up to our new DC battery inverter to plug in a couple electric machines until we can get the old treadles working. The girls found some lovely fabric at a local Amish fabric store and they are making each a dress. Megan is making a dark purple dress and Molly is making a lavendar one. Miles is cutting out his broadfall pants. I just made him some suspenders. We love to immerse ourselves in the culture around here. Soon, I will be mending many holes in the boys pants from the many hours of work and play here on the new homestead.
Our bountiful harvest of tomatoes made for a full day of canning. The boys cut up the tomatoes all forenoon as well as ran them through our hand cranked sauce maker. After lunch we discovered we were out of a few ingredients to make our catsup, so we got on our trusty bikes and biked over to the Lark Country Store which is a mile down the lane. In the afternoon, we seasoned and cooked down our kettles of bubbling tomato goo. We ended up with 15 pints of catsup and 34 quarts of spaghetti sauce. I am up to about 90 quarts of sauce and this Thursday I will put over another batch! God has truly blessed our harvest this year!
I tried Edna Mae's homemade catsup recipe this year for fun.
2 gal tomato juice (I cooked a whole onion and 3 garlic cloves until the tomato juice cooks down 1/3 way down. then I just picked out the onion and garlic with a slatted spoon)
2 1/2 cups vinegar
8 T salt
20 drops of cloves oil
20 drops of cinnamon oil
After it is boiled down to 2/3 original amount, you add
6 cups sugar and 6 heaping Tablespoons of perma flo (for thickening) I add the dry sugar and thickening together before adding to the tomato brew.
Mix together until smooth and bring to a boil again. We open kettle canned it like Edna Mae always does but I highly doubt anyone else would like to try that method. Just water bath it for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Here is our heifer. Her name is Marilla Moo. She is enjoying her new pasture and mooing with all the neighbors cows. She will calve in November and we will be swimming in the milk and butter, cream and yogurt again, Lord willing. On Fridays, because we love farming and milking, the kids and I bike to the Amish goat farm and help the children chore. My kids just love hooking up the milkers on the 130 goats. It is just plain fun!
We are so excited to learn all about horse carriage driving. Miles is learning to drive his pony named Sally on a small cart. She is a little naughty says Joe, our Amish neighbor. He patiently works with her every other day in hopes she would be broken of some of her bad habits. In order to drive on the road, Joe says you need a steadfast and sure, sound horse. For if a horse will not go, you will get no where, and if a horse won't stop, you and your cart could smash into a thousand pieces. We are praying for a good, sound horse now that we have a big carriage and harness. A horse that is about retired and does not spook at the slightest thing is what Joe says we need. He is a good neighbor. He cares about our safety.
This past Sunday was an exceptionally beautiful day. We enjoyed the gentle breeze and the blue skies just filled with soft fluffy clouds. I just marvel at the works of our God! A day to take it all in and spend with our family! We are truly blessed.