Sunday, October 31, 2021

Trick or Treat...

 I was going to wait until 8:00 to post so I could have an accurate count of our trick-or-treators.  I think it is safe to say zero.  

It was a great week, despite the fact I don't have any pictures.  We celebrated our 27th anniversary and my birthday.  Normally I have no issues getting older (in fact I love getting older), but so far this week I have lost one of my elk ivories and my reading glasses.  I'm not off to a good start.

If you are not familiar with what elk ivories are, they are remnants of tusks found on elk's prehistoric ancestors.  The tusks were 6-8 inches long.  The elk and walrus are the only North America mammal to have ivory.

Native Americans used the ivories to decorate dancing dresses.  I'm going to have mine made into jewelry.  I guess I am going to have one made into a necklace inlaid into one of my bear claws.  I put the second one somewhere logical.  Someday I'll remember what logic I was using at the time. 

I'm afraid that is my only excitement.  I took the month of October off to elk hunt and celebrate life in general.  I go back to work tomorrow.  Sob... 

I hope everyone enjoyed their October.  It is my favorite month.  Happy Halloween 🎃

Sunday, October 24, 2021

How much can you do in a weekend?

 Quite a bit was accomplished this weekend.  I didn't plan it that way.  One thing just led to another and bam!  Things got done.

First, was the last of my elk meat.  Thirteen pounds of meat to season and dehydrate.  While I was in the kitchen, I might as well make some caramel apple jam.  Since I had everything out to make jam I might as well make jam out of the wild strawberries I gathered this summer.  I only had a scant quart of strawberries, but thanks to Ball real fruit pectin I found a recipe that fit my needs.  Voila....

Wait!  Are those cookies in the picture?  One of my other goals was to send some cookies to my nephew and cousin to celebrate their first year of college.  I will put together a care package for them tomorrow.

Speaking of projects for family, we have a nephew graduating in May.  This will be my third graduation quilt.  I'm hoping to complete ten log cabin blocks a week.  Deer hunting starts soon, so I'm not sure how well I'll keep that goal 

Back to my elk.  I am sending an elk ivory tooth and one of my bear claws to a lady in Montana.  She makes necklaces from them.

I'm super excited to see how it turns out.  My husband finished cleaning my elk skull for a European mount.  He did a great job.

I think that is everything.  Six jars of caramel apple jam, 5 jars of strawberry jam, 13 pounds of jerky, two batches of cookies, and ten quilt blocks.  Oh, can't forget, Ella and I squeezed in a two mile walk somewhere in the middle of that.

That has to be one of my busiest weekends.  Do you have one that sticks out as a super achiever weekend? In what type of projects did you partake?  I hope you had a great weekend.

Sunday, October 17, 2021


Anyone who has followed me for awhile knows what 'drat' means.  

 Drat means shoveling and the beginning of winter.  

At least we were able to enjoy fall, even if it was for one month while winter lasts for 9 months.

I've used my time off to continue canning.  Yesterday, I made some raspberry jam.  Last week, I also went to Spearfish to get material for this year's graduation quilt.  On the way to the quilt shop I passed this gentleman on the road.

I found this woodland panel at the quilt shop.  It will be perfect.  Now I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of it.  I always enjoy working on a quilt during the winter.

So fall fell and now winter begins.  I have a freezer full of meat, berries, and garden harvest.  There is a project to keep me busy.   I'm ready to settle in for the winter.  How about you.  Has fall fallen where you are?  Are you ready for winter?

Sunday, October 10, 2021


 My elk hunt was done much faster than I anticipated.  It was a 3 day  adventure.  

I didn't shoot a monster, though my husband and I were almost run over by one.  We saw lots of bulls.  The highlight was seeing two bulls in the trees.  My husband cow called and one turned and ran straight at us.  He was absolutely huge, but I had no shot.  I thought he was going to run us down.  He came at us with a full bore charge.  At the last minute, he veered off and disappeared into the dark timber without a sound.

A few days later I called in a decent 6x6.  He wasn't all rutted up, so his meat is delicious.  I have been butchering for four days.  My husband smoked a tenderloin.  It melted in your mouth and was so flavorful.  

I've sealed and frozen countless roasts, canned stew meat, elk stew, stuffed summer sausage, sausage, and maple breakfast sausage.  There is still jerky to make.  Ella, of course, got a bone.

My 'vacation' has been exhausting.  Not only do I have a giant elk to contend with, but my apple tree has added to the fray.  We were supposed to get moisture and here you never know if that means a wet heavy snow.
As you can see, the branches were loaded despite the fact we had already picked a bushel.  I was afraid it would snow and break the branches, so we picked the rest.

I'm giving apples to everyone I see.  The bee keeper just left with a bag full.  It was a good exchange, as he brought honey from our hives.  He said they didn't do very well this year.

I made some pumpkin biscotti to celebrate our harvest and enjoy with coffee on the porch. 

I love autumn.  The feeling of preparing to settle in for the winter.  We are getting close to the end.  I have one more batch of tomatoes from the greenhouse and some banana peppers.   If I have enough jars some jelly, jam, and preserves as I still have berries in the freezer.  

Are you ready for winter?  What was your favorite harvest this year?