Although we keep a close watch on the weather forecasts, both on the TV and weather radio, nobody was forecasting a foot of snow for us. But when we woke up, expecting that inch, we opened our eyes to a foot of fluffy white stuff. Wow! Only our snow-loving cat, Mittens, enjoyed it. She jumped off the porch, stuck her head under the snow and ran forward with her tail straight up in the air. She looked like a mini snowplow with a tail! I’ve tried to get a picture of her doing that but she’s one fast cat and no dice, yet.

We feed the deer in the winter, keeping our “emergency” meat nice and healthy. We have had lots of beef and pork so haven’t hunted for a few years, but who knows what the future may bring. One of our favorite does is missing the end of her right ear. We call her Croppy because of the cropped ear. She hadn’t shown up yet and we were worried she’d been shot. But this morning, she was among the eight that came for their corn. We were so glad to see her!

Croppy is the doe in the center, looking at the camera. We were so glad to see her!

My oldest son, Bill, called on Friday to say he’d just shot a nice 8-point buck. A couple of days earlier, he asked me if he shot a deer, if I’d want it as our grandson, Mason, had already provided plenty of venison for them. Of course I said “sure!” as I wasn’t hunting this year. (Way too busy!) He skinned and quartered it and I drove down yesterday to pick up the meat. The roads were dicey the farther south I went. Where we had just gotten a trace of new snow overnight, they had around six inches of blowing, drifting snow. I picked up the bagged quarters and drove home. The roads had gotten much worse; there was a big truck in the ditch with a gooseneck horse trailer still hooked up, luckily upright where the truck was on its side. Lots of emergency crews, wreckers, etc. I hope nobody was seriously hurt. As folks don’t seem to understand they should slow down when the roads are slick, I went home the back way. It took longer, maybe, but there was no traffic to worry about.

Bill and his nice 8-point buck, soon to be our canned spaghetti sauce, chili, and stew meat.

Today I’m gearing up to get that venison canned up. I’m cutting most up into stewing meat and grinding the rest to mix with beef, which will be canned as spaghetti sauce and more chili. Last night I got out my electric meat grinder and washed it up and made sure all the parts were there. Now the sun’s out and I’m all set to go. Will and I worked all weekend on packing seeds into their envelopes as a lot of people are thinking seeds may become scarce this spring as they did last spring, due to COVID-19. Boy, aren’t the numbers of this pandemic getting horrible? In our little town of Cook, population 600, there have already been 15 new cases and I figure a lot more people haven’t been tested. Whew, scary stuff! I know we’re staying home, masking up and being very careful, even canceling our big Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and family gatherings. Even when I went down to Bill and Kelly’s to get the venison, we all social distanced in the garage and wore masks. (I did love granddaughter, Ava’s unicorn mask!) — Jackie


  1. Winter seems to have come early here to middle of California. We have more nights at freezing or close to it lately. I have to figure out how to do a garden with disc problems in my back. I’m the only person who can. Plus I need to accommodate our 4 dogs in the backyard. I’m planning on planting a combination of flowers and edibles in the front yard. I was able to an electric tiller.
    A question on seeds. I see different dates given for the life of seeds depending on who puts them up. One one hand I see onion seeds are only good for a year, another place its two years. How do you know if the seeds are still good? Thanks

    • That’s easy. I always trial each variety before it’s due to be planted. To do this, just dampen a paper towel and lay several seeds on it. Then fold it over and put it in a plastic bag that is not twist tied shut. Place it in a warm place (not a sunny window or they’ll cook!). Check after about 3 days. Some seeds will sprout that quickly where others take longer. Usually a week in good conditions are enough for most garden seeds. Do make sure the paper stays damp but not soggy. It’s amazing at how quickly the seeds will sprout, then you can easily figure out just how viable they are.
      I know it has often been said (and I also thought!) that onion seeds were only good for a year. But a few years ago I had a good amount of 3 year old onion seeds and we were packing a box to be sent to Ugandan missionaries. I sure didn’t want to include seeds that were not going to make food so I tested them as above. We got nearly 100% germination and those seeds had only been stored on a kitchen shelf….kind of forgotten. You never really know until you try it yourself to see! Needless to say I don’t spread that misinformation any more!

    • Have you thought about raised beds. I too have back issues and a friend built me beds that are 30 inches high and we huegled them half way up, then added fallen leaves followed by soil. Rabbits can’t get into them and your dogs can still run in the backyard.

      • We’ve had raised beds but found we could grow much more in the same area without the beds. So Will took them apart and now we grow in the ground. Our backs are bad, but we can still handle the regular rows in the garden, a little at a time.

  2. Its rained here in SW lower MI but no snow to speak of and it melted. Most of our trees are bare of leaves. It has been sunny most of the time last week except for a wind and rain storm on Thurs, and its sunny today but cold. I don’t know anyone that has had covid in my neighborhood. I am home all the time because of my back injury so don’t get out. Cancelled my Thanksgiving open house and my Christmas Party for my stamping group due to MI being shut down starting tomorrow Wed 18th. We are waiting for the outcome of the election in MI as Trump’s lawyers have filed a lawsuit because of the complaints that have been filed about the counting irregularities and votes brought in in the middle of the night when all the Republicans poll workers had been sent home and they were all for Biden per reports.

    • I’m glad you cancelled your festivities. It’s only wise with the tremendous increasing surge of COVID in the country now. We absolutely LOVE our holiday get-togethers with family but figure we’d rather they all remain safe. We’ll get together when this is all over.

    • Nope I don’t. I have stored these foods for decades without any oxygen absorbers, dry canning or other methods. And my food has remained very good anyway. I can figure other ways to spend my time and canning jars.

  3. I wish there were more of us being careful. Despite my daughter being careful (mask, social distancing, stay at home when possible), a Covidiot was not careful, tested positive, and exposed her. Now we wait and it isn’t fun.
    Mitten’s face says “snow won’t stop me”. And I am not surprised she’s not given you the photo op you want. Cats are like that lol..

    • I, too, wish more folks would take serious precautions. It’s all over the TV, billboards and newspapers; stay home, wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands often. But, still, so many people go out as if nothing is wrong at all. It’s a sign of disrespect when people approach without wearing a mask! I sure wish more people would understand that. It’s NOT a sign of losing one’s freedom to wear a mask or not going out as often as one would like. It’s giving others the freedom to live.

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