These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Back to Normal??

It's back to normal. Well, the relative normal that is my life.

I spent yesterday doing the grocery shopping that I needed to do, bought dog food and headed home. I prepared my food for the potluck, and set about getting things unpacked and taking care of some other household things.

Shortly before I got home from the trip, earlier on Sunday, I think, there was an incredible wind storm here. When I pulled into the driveway, I noticed that the flagpole on my well house had broken off. The upper half of the pole with the flag attached was on the ground on the other side of the driveway, something like fifteen feet away. Beside it was a branch broken from a tree. It is a fairly good sized branch, about two inches or more at the base where it tore off.

As I drove up the hill, I noted that a large trash can had blown down the driveway. It was empty, but still being moved about twenty feet was significant. Near it was the wagon wheel I brought from KC, out of place, too. This is a solid metal wheel, not light weight by any stretch of the imagination. When I left it was leaning against one of the trees in the front yard, but now it is flat on the ground and nearly in the road. It didn't move far, probably about three feet, but it is amazing to me that it moved at all! It is extremely heavy, so I can't even fathom the kind of wind that would move it! I wonder if there might have been a very strong gust that did all this, because it is in a line from the house right down the driveway toward the road. I heard yesterday in town that there were winds of 64 miles per hour. Don't know if that was actual wind or gusts, but either is significant. Fortunately, nothing else seemed to be damaged. The house was in good shape, and the deck and its contents were fine.

When I went to the well house to put groceries in the freezer, I discovered that the little utility heater kept there in the winter to keep the pipes from freezing was on, but no heat was coming from it. I'm OK right now, because nights are mild, but I'll certainly need to replace it before a cold snap. It looks as if I have a week or more before there is even a threat of freeze, but I don't want to risk frozen pipes. I'll pick one up soon.

I cleaned out my truck. I'm sure I'll find a few things here and there, but it is essentially a local-mobile again. Whew! (BTW, I traveled 4740 miles on this trip!) I packed light for the trip, considering I had to have both summer and winter clothes, yet it is amazing to me how much stuff I had for me and the kids. It really wasn't a ton, but it filled the truck like you wouldn't believe and just simply seemed to be more than I would have thought. It is all in the house, suitcases unpacked and ready to store away today, and laundry is underway.

In unpacking I find that I can't locate my bottle of mouthwash. Not a big deal, but it is odd. I had it that last morning on the road, and realized that it was still sitting out after I'd taken the bag that it goes in to the car. I stuck it down in another bag, but I don't remember which one, and now they are all empty. Huh. How strange. It will probably show up inside a shoe or in a coat sleeve or somewhere equally ridiculous.

Last night's pot luck was fun. It was great to be back and begin catching up on the goings-on during my absence. To my surprise, they survived without me! LOL!! It will probably take me a couple weeks to really get up to speed on the local gossip, but it was a good start. I really did enjoy the company of friends that I didn't miss while I was gone, yet knew I'd missed the everyday comfort of being with them. I know that is a contradiction, but it is how I must describe it. The chatter was wonderful, we laughed a lot and told stories and had such a good time. Add in the excellent food and wine, and it was perfect.

The meal was heavy on carbs last night as sometimes happens with pot lucks, but let's face it, that is comfort food, and it was good! The Boss made turkey soup which was not your standard after-the-holidays soup. Don't ask me how it was different, but it was excellent. He threw in some posolé, the Mexican version of hominy, and it was a great addition! He also made skillet cornbread, yum! He is a very good cook, and we all enjoy his concoctions.

I heard he was doing turkey soup, and I made my cranberry relish to go with it. It is my mom's recipe with my own additions, and it is delicious. I'll put the recipe at the bottom of this post, so if you want to try something a bit different next time you do a dinner, you're welcome to give it a try.

In addition there were: cheesy potatoes (with bacon on top!), garlic mashed potatoes (mine), macaroni and cheese (Gail's and very good!), Cesar salad, sautéed mushrooms and onions, and the dessert was a tangy lemon cake. There were other things that I'm blanking about at the moment. It was wonderful! What a great way to come home!

Now we, the pups and I, have to begin readjusting to home. For one thing I'll have to get used to the altitude again. I'd adapted to the lower elevations, and while my drive home helped by giving incrementally increasing altitudes each day, I still can feel a little of the early effects of the climb to my mountain home. I'll probably nap a little for the first few days.

It seems that all three of us are having some gastrointestinal adjustments, too. I don't know why, but all three are, uh, off the normal schedule. China got me up at 4:00 to go out. Then just as she came in, Ali decided he had to go. Back in, China was ready again about ten minutes later! She was in and out a couple more times before 6:00, and Ali once more. I'd already given up on sleep around 5:00 and set about laundry and putting away the unpacked items still sitting out.

Then around 6:30, I began feeling nauseated. It is just very mild, but discomforting, none the less. I considered blaming it on something I ate last night, but then it dawned on me that yesterday afternoon I had a similar episode. I'm not feeling too bad to keep doing things, but I'm not pushing myself either. I'm sipping on a cup of tea, and that seems to be helping, as well. We'll see how it goes.

At any rate, I'll take it relatively easy today. I have no plans to go anywhere. I'll just be organizing, cleaning and not much else.

OK, I'm gonna scoot now. Here is the recipe:

Cranberry relish
from Lynilu

This whole recipe is “to your taste” because it depends on individual taste, sweetness of berries, etc.

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 med. or lg. orange
1 bag or box frozen or fresh raspberries (Roughly 1/2 to 2/3 amount of cranberries
1 cup, (approx.) sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
sprinkle nutmeg

These amounts are all “approximate” because I always cook "to taste" or more accurately "to smell." And I always use what is available for the ingredients beyond cranberries. I’ve also used apples. These could be shredded or chopped fine and substituted for or in addition to the raspberries. Another possible ingredient is crushed pineapple. I’ve also added chopped pecans.

Thoroughly wash cranberries; pick out and discard any berries that are mushy. Slightly soft is OK.

Wash the orange thoroughly, then cut into quarters or eighths to fit into food processor.

Put cranberries, raspberries, and orange sections through food processor until roughly grated.

Add 1/2 C. sugar, mix thoroughly, then add additional sugar slowly until desired sweetness is reached.

Add vanilla and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly, refrigerate until ready to use. It is best when allowed to "mellow" for at least a day. This stores well in the refrigerator, at least 2-3 weeks. It can also be frozen.

If you didn't notice, this is an uncooked relish. Some of my family prefer to cook it for a softer relish, almost more like a sauce. For me, texture is a major part of food, and I like the crunchiness of the raw relish.


Life is beautiful!!!
And it tastes pretty darn good, too!!

Epilogue: I walked into the living room right after I published this, and China had thrown upl Yep, something is amiss. Now she is sacked out like she is going to sleep till tomorrow. Maybe she will be OK now. Poor little thing


  1. Awww hope you are all feeling better quick. Tummy troubles are NO fun!

  2. Thanks, Patti, I seem to be alright now. It came and went all morning, but I'm guessing it is past now. Whew.

  3. Hope all the tummy issues are over.

    Hope ya find your mouthwash. That is a mystery. I lost the battery charger for our camera. I remember putting it in the camera bag and it's not there. I looked in all the suit cases, etc. It's like it vanished into thin air.

    The cranberry relish sounds good.

  4. Daisy - Me, too!!

    That mouthwash thing just baffles me! How can we do things like that??? :)

    Try the relish ... everyone loved it last night. It really is very good.


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