We do our outside chores then come inside to work hard at shelling corn, winnowing away the chaff in the wind outside, then stock both our shelf bins and seed packets, print out labels, and figure out what and where we’ll plant next year. Yep, already!

Yesterday, Will and I went to town to get eight batteries for our house power. Will had bought some lightly used ones from a friend but found they weren’t charging; our power would run out after only a couple hours at night. Those older batteries were heavy as they were bigger than the ones we had been using and they have to go up on a welded shelf, about shoulder high. Will got them up, then had to take them down, then put the new ones up. No wonder his back is hurting today! But the good news is that the new batteries do charge up nicely and we have power all night. Makes it easier to go downstairs to the bathroom at night, for sure.

While in town, we also picked up an orthopedic dog bed for Spencer, our old Labrador, whose arthritis is getting pretty bad. He likes to sleep on the old sofa but has a hard time getting up there. So we got him a comfy bed. But he’d have nothing to do with it! Will even laid down on it and tried to get Spencer to come lay with him. No dice. (But, later, Hondo, thought it was pretty nice and took to it like a duck takes to water.) Today, Will got Spencer to reluctantly get on the bed and lie down. I’m pretty sure the old guy liked it as he slept on it for quite a while. Here’s hoping, but maybe we’ll have to buy two dog beds.

Hondo thought Spencer’s orthopedic dog was much nicer than the sofa.

Today our friends, Dara and Mike, came to help stamp seed envelopes and package seeds. That really helps us out as there just doesn’t seem like there’s enough day in the day sometimes. We really appreciate having the help! Of course, we do pay them and Dara says she loves doing it too. It’s a win-win situation, I think.

Mittens still is having issues with Buffy and sits and glares at her when Buffy’s playing on the floor. But I still have hope that the discord will stop eventually. At least there’s no blood spilled!

As Buffy plays with corn cobs, Mittens glares at her. At least she’s not attacking her!
Isn’t the Papa’s Red corn beautiful? It also makes wonderful, red-speckled cornmeal.

Today I was shelling and packaging Papa’s Red flour corn (a gorgeous and very productive, early flour corn) and Buffy absolutely loved batting corn cobs around on the floor, picking them up in her mouth and carrying them around. She also surprised us as I was seeding out a Borchart’s Wonder squash. She hopped up on the chair and started eating the raw squash! Now our dogs love eating cooked squash but really, not even Spencer will eat raw squash. Buffy licked and gobbled up many pieces while I worked. I know that squash tastes good, but really!

Buffy ate squash while I seeded it out. Really! A CAT eating raw squash?

— Jackie


  1. My old girl Labbie had to be put to sleep a few weeks ago, vet found found probable cancer on her spleen and I didn’t want her suffering when it got worse, broke my heart. I’ve had her since she was about 9 weeks old and she turned 13 this year. She was my big baby, lol.

  2. Love your shirt! We’re having lots of wind – but absolutely no snow here in North Central Montana. Grateful. I don’t care for snow blowing horizontally! And neither do the critters.

  3. You need doggie steps made for older dogs or a ramp so Spencer can get up on the couch. The steps have spacing for different size dogs. A pet store should have both but Will can probably make either very quickly.

    • Yes, I’ve seen them and thought about them but Spencer’s arthritis is so bad he has a hard time doing steps. I’m still hoping he’ll eventually use the bed but right now, at least he gets on the bed and uses that for a step, getting up on the couch. I even thought about having Will build him a ramp!

    • Yes, I know lots of dogs eat pumpkin (usually cooked) for digestive problems but I hadn’t heard of cats eating raw pumpkin. Buffy loves it!

  4. I love the red corn, makes me think of Xmas decorations 🤩 I would imagine your little adoptee thinks just about anything tastes good after being homeless. Hopefully Mittens will finally decide that the interloper if someone to just put up with by next summer lol. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving Jackie 💗

    • Thanks Lois. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Folks come into our house and think we are decorating for the holidays! We think that’s pretty funny.

  5. If you have a picture of the cornbread from the red flour corn, or think of it next time you make the cornbread and could post it I’m sure many of us would appreciate seeing it. Also, if you have or know where I can find a blue popcorn I would appreciate hearing about it. Thanks. Dave Mengel, Randolph, KS

  6. Mittens wants to join in but just *can’t* bring herself to do it – she’s a mature cat, not a crazy (and pretty cute) kitten. Every cat has his/her quirks like eating squash – hope it does not cause, ahem, a digestive disturbance.
    Our late cat did not like fresh catnip, dried only. Current cat likes both and is territorial about her “weed” patch. She gets a “how dare him/her, I’m outraged” look on her face when she catches another cat in her patch. I just tell her she has plenty and to not be so greedy.
    The red corn is beautiful. Chop up some jalapenos/green peppers and add to the Papa’s Red cornmeal for festive Xmas cornbread.

  7. Beautiful corn. I’ll bet the corn meal tastes great. I’m all tucked in here with wood stove going and pleasingly warm, getting ready for the annual deer hunt this weekend. I look forward to your seed catalog.

    • The catalog is in process right now so here’s hoping! Good luck with your hunting. So far, David only saw one buck, an eight pointer, and he was crossing the road after David left the stand and was driving.

  8. Your pups are sweet, cats adorable, red corn beautiful, Buffy eating raw squash hilarious…but what I noticed most of all was the Big Sky Country sweatshirt!! :) :) Montana misses you!! haha Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • Yes, and I really miss Montana but the land prices drove us out. We truly love our homestead here and won’t be moving again. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  9. I LOVE the red corn . I will definitely be ordering some of that . When do you start seelling seed for this next year ?

    • Boy, I’d never had a cat that ate raw pumpkin or squash before. But if yours does, maybe I’ve missed something? Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  10. Glad you got your electricity problem solved!

    There was once a cat here who loved squash scoopings and we were pretty blown away the first time he munched on them. So far, he’s been the only one. Go figure.

    The Mittens and Buffy situation might just end up being a long standing uneasy truce. That situation existed here once. After five years of the older picking on the younger, the older got old enough that she was dethroned as resident Queen Bee and guess who claimed the crown. It was “turnabout is fair play”, also known as “what goes around comes around.”. LOL!

  11. That red corn is beautiful!! So where are the beavers in all of this weather? Did they predict the winter yet?

    So we can just order off the internet or wait for your catalog?

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  12. Our cat loves butter! If anyone forgets to cover the butter dish George will almost certainly find the opportunity to indulge his favorite passion! Last week I made a pound cake and he actually started begging for some. Now butter mixed with sugar, flour and vanilla has become his new favorite.

    • Oh yeah! If I leave the butter dish uncovered, I’m sure to find Mittens tongue marks on one end. Hey, what’s not to like???

  13. Love reading your posts and seeing the pictures!

    When Backwoods Home and the sister magazine come, first thing l read is Ask Jackie!!!

    Mary in Alabama

  14. We are wanting to go off grid here (TX where the wind is howling today). Could you share with us what batteries (being you just got new ones) you like the most? I can also relate to there not being enough hours to the day.

    • We don’t generally advise folks with electricity to go completely off grid. There’s a big learning curve there! Having some solar panels to power minimal house usage is good, in case of power outages that last longer than a generator would have gas to run. We use 6 volt golf cart batteries but the last ones were deep cycle, 12 volt, RV batteries for about $89 each. Friends are using them and we thought we’d try them to see how we like them.

  15. I always love seeing your pet’s pictures, and the red corn is wonderful, I think the corn bread would look and taste so good! Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated.

    • With our critters, who needs TV?? They always keep us amused with their antics. The Papa’s Red cornbread is so pretty and tasty, too!!!

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