After seemingly weeks of rain, the sun has finally come out again. And boy, are we making good use of it! David not only cleaned up around his cabin, removing all the stumps, brush, rocks, and rotten logs, but Will guided him down the hill from his cabin to where he thought he’d spotted a spring. So David dug down about seven feet through sand and gravel and hit good water. Yea! Now they just have to weld up a casing and point and David should have a good well — only about fifty feet from his cabin too.

David improved our driveway a whole lot in a few hours.

Then David headed for the driveway to do some much-needed road work. He cut in some ditches, smoothed out some bad long-term ruts, and drained some ugly potholes. What an improvement that made in our mile-and-a-half drive! Yesterday, our friend Dale Rinne, hauled 10 yards of crushed rock from the iron mines to our driveway by the house. We track in a lot of dirt, sand, and gravel, not to mention stepping in mud puddles when it rains. So Will called to order some rock, which is called “mine feed,” a crushed leftover from iron mining. This rock packs down very well, making a surface that’s almost like asphalt — and it lets water drain away. Dale spread the rock and Will spent the day not only smoothing it down level but carrying some of it off to fill in some of the worst potholes on the near end of the driveway. What an improvement!

Will spreading the rock on our driveway by the house

With sunshine, we wanted to harvest more beans but I had to go to the doctor to find out why my ankle was killing me. Luckily, he looked at the X-rays and decided it was a bad sprain and gave me a brace to try. So far it seems to be working very well. But he also advised “taking it easy” on it. Yeah, like that’s going to happen this time of the year… I do try. A friend and her husband came this morning, wanting to help us out. Tom grabbed a pitchfork and began cleaning out the goat barn, which I’d told him really needed cleaning, and Linda took buckets and headed for the Sand garden to pick beans with me. Wow, a lot sure got done! They went home with a crate of tomatoes, some peppers, squash, and pumpkins and will be bringing a pickup to get a load of the manure Tom cleaned out of the barn. A good “barter” for all, although we would have gladly given them all that, just because they’re friends.

I’ve still got tons of tomatoes waiting to can up.

I’ve been canning up a storm, using the leftover tomatoes after removing the seeds to create more spaghetti and pizza sauce. Oh my gosh, it’s good! I’ve got another batch half done, right now. It’s so exciting to see all that food lining the pantry shelves. A homesteader’s dream come true. — Jackie


  1. I have to comment here… your last four posts are titled “Hello Fall”, “We got a Freeze”, “We woke up to Snow”, and now “It is sunny and bright – a perfect Indian summer”. It’s hard to tell what season you in!!!
    Love all your tomatoes!

    • Yeah, we think so too! But in Northern Minnesota, the weather will change in 24 hours. Yesterday it was 70 degrees and we have snow coming this weekend with highs in the 30’s.

      • That’s right! Here in central ND we were 77F on Tuesday (absolutely “Perfect”), in the 40’s yesterday with rain and 28F with “BS” (blowing snow) today. Our “Massive 1-2 punch” Winter storm/blizzard has been changed to a “Winter Weather Advisory” through Saturday for which we are sure thankful. That said- it is snowing and blowing right now.

  2. Glad you are getting so much done. We finally have had rain and a little cooler weather here in TN

    We used to get what was called “millings” that were basically the old blacktop taken up to put down new. It made a great surface for our long driveway. But they are recycling it now. Glad for recycling but we miss the millings!

    Thought I was finished with canning for this year when my brother-in-law appeared with a box of tomatoes begging for salsa! Got two batches made & processed. I had two lid failures–one in each batch! I’ve been canning for many years & try to follow all steps. They were water bathed–do you think to hard a boil would cause some not to seal?

    • No, a hard boil won’t cause a seal failure. My best guess is that a bit of food blew up between the lid and the rim of the jars during processing. This sometimes happens when you can a food with small pieces or seeds….like your salsa. Just either refrigerate and eat it soon or re-can it with your next batch, just as if it were a new jar. Dump the salsa out of the jar into the new batch, wash out the jar and use a new lid. Like they say, “stuff” happens.

Comments are closed.