28 this morning, overcast and frosty. We actually saw a little bit of sunshine yesterday, such a change from days and days of gray weather. Today we're gray again.
What a weekend. It was time to dress out the hogs, and that means lots of work. Our neighbor raised one for us with his; we paid for the pig and for feed, and Larry did the feeding occasionally when the neighbors were away. We thought to do them around Thanksgiving, but life got in the way. Saturday the weather looked good so the guys went ahead with it. My job came later, after the meat was cut up. I seasoned the sausage, and packed all the cuts into bags and vacuum-sealed them. Really, my part of the whole process is the simplest and the easiest. Of course, there was a lot of cleanup to do too. Larry is one of the messiest men on the planet, so I was having to practically follow behind him with disinfectant and paper towels. But it's all done, exccept taking the hams and bacons to the slaughterhouse for curing and smoking.
My other main goal of the weekend was to get some garden seeds ordered--the ones that I will want to start in the greenhouse. I ordered a little greenhouse on eBay too, similar to the one I had some years ago that's easy to set up. I'll still use the small ones I bought last year, but need more room than that as I'd like to start some herbs ad flowers this year.
Today I am canning beans--pintos and little red beans. This is something I like to do every winter, and with free gas and plenty of jars on hand it's cost-effective. I also cooked up a turkey over the weekend and got it picked from the bones and frozen for later use--such a handy thing to have on hand. I made turkey salad for sandwiches with some of it, adding white grapes and chopped apple to the mix. So delicious. Right now I've got bone broth cooking from the turkey's carcass, and that will go into the freezer too. As you can imagine, the freezers are just about full.
In between these tasks I've been listing on eBay, trying to get through some piles that have been waiting on me. And I finished my book, Olive Again, by Elizabeth Strout. This is the followup to her book Olive Kitteridge. While I found both books engrossing and very well written, I'm not sure I really liked the main character, and can't say I came away from the stories feeling somehow better or improved, as I think a good book should do. I'm reading yet another book by the same author, The Burgess Boys, and again, a well-written story, excellent character development, and yet these people just leave me cold. The stories are all set in Maine and New York City, so perhaps that's why I can't connect with their problems and their lives. The people are so far removed from the warm and friendly people of Appalachia, and when it comes to cities, well, I am truly out of my depth. Still, good writing is good writing, and I am enjoying the reading.
Mostly what I've been trying to do is ignore the news as much as possible, although it's difficult to do. These are unsettled times, times that make me grateful for my little haven in the hills. I am praying that we get through the inauguration with no more violence and death. Am I hoping against hope?
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.