It doesn’t seem possible that our grandson, Mason, is now 16 years old! It seems like yesterday when he was just a little kid, wanting to ride on Uncle David’s shoulders for a tour of the homestead, stopping to skip rocks in our pond and building snow forts. Holy cow, now he’s about to get his driver’s license and is building robots and computers. We had to laugh, now he’s a big guy, he doesn’t ride on David’s shoulders but has to lift granddaughter, Delilah up over his head for “rides.”

Instead of riding on Uncle David’s shoulders, Mason gets to hold Delilah WAY UP, Over and over again.

As the weather has been cooperative, Will is busy as a beaver, hauling more and more round bales home, hopefully before snow comes, making it hard for the pickup to haul the loaded hay transport off the fields. Even with four-wheel drive, that’s a big load to start rolling on slippery snow. We are pleased and relieved to find we have more than enough hay to last the winter. Some winters, it’s been pretty darned close; so close we had to start feeding some square bales and count the remaining round bales. Whew! We’re so grateful.

I’m again busy seeding out the very last of the watermelons and more squash. It seems like we have tons more seed this year. And, if the world situation continues to deteriorate, that will be a good thing, I think. Tomorrow, I’m going down into the pantry to stock the shelves. Right now, I’ve got piles of boxes of home canned foods, piled up high on the floor. (I’d had Will and David carry the boxes down there as with my bad knees, I didn’t dare.) Now I have to play catch-up and get them put in their right spots. I’m also thinking some of Will’s “not for food” shelves will be repurposed from boxes of junk to rows and rows of, yep, food!

My poor pantry needs me to restock it from piles of boxes on the floor, all over the basement!

— Jackie


  1. wow Jackie! Mason has really grown up! your pantry(even with some goods still in boxes, waiting to be shelved) looks bountiful and shows the hard work you ve done; growing ,caring harvesting. Processing. God has blessed you

  2. It’s a rich person that is surrounded by loving family!
    I am visiting elderly family while I still have them to enjoy…. Traveled 800+ miles to do so :)
    Meanwhile back at the ranch the garlic sleeps under snow and waits for springtime, when I can’t get away from it. It’s nice to visit when I can make good use of the seasons and relax with the fruits of my labor.

    • I totally agree with you. So many “rich” people have no loving family connections where we financially challenged are rich in family. I’m so glad you could make your visit!!
      Enjoy winter.

    • Dianne, its truly wonderful to have family. time to visit with especially as everyone’s days seem to go busier and busier.

    • Our new catalog is out at the printer, and has been there for several days. So, it shouldn’t be too long before they are mailed out. We are very excited!! I hope you have a Happy Holiday season!!

  3. Jackie, it’s so good to hear from you. Your shelves look pretty hefty and sturdy. Mine are bending down under the weight of full canning jars (and they are plywood), but not thick enough plywood. Yours look to be nice, thick lumber. Good for you. My pantry is upstairs and my “larder” is in the basement where the shelves are bending. We have a report today, my husband needs to take care of his kidneys, so gotta stop all the eating out, the boughten meals brought home (from the deli section), junk food, and the processed-refined food. I had improved my buying some, but not enough. We love to eat out. Oh, well—when your kidneys are at 3b!! It’s up to me because I’m the one that says let’s go out, or whew! I don’t have to cook tonight ’cause we brought leftovers home. And we gotta get serious eating what I grow and other organic, wholesome purchases from the grocery store. No doubt, as things get serious with the nation/world, we’ll all be so glad we have our vegetable gardens. Have you tried baking/canning brown steamed bread? It’s a challenge.

    • I used to can brown bread but now it’s not recommended that it be canned. So, I’ve quit, figuring we didn’t eat that much of it and I could just bake a big batch when the thought struck me.
      Yep, our shelves are rough-sawn 2″x 10″ lumber. A long time ago, I had shelves made of 1″, rough-sawn lumber and one night there was a terrible crash in the basement. The top shelf had broken, sending the jars and boards down onto the next shelf….all the way to the bottom shelf. What a horrible mess that was, not to mention how much food I lost. Now, it’s 2″ or thicker lumber for shelves and brace uprights every 6′. Just to be sure that never happens again.
      Sorry to hear you will have to give up the eating out. I know it’s fun and a relief when you don’t have to cook. But we all know home cooking beats restaurant food all hollow.

      • In general I agree with home cooking beats restaurant food BUT we have a couple of local places that cook food we typically don’t and it is awesome. Plus the owners and staff are almost likely family. One of those rare things these days I think.

  4. Hay is at a premium here. We have been so dry this year there is not much to spare. I have seen many farmers baleing cornstalks this year. It’s great you have an abundance of seeds this year as I think we are going to need them. Your pantry sure looks comforting. So glad you got to help celebrate your grandsons birthday. They certainly grow up fast! Prayers for a blessed week!

    • We’ve been there. The year before last, we were in severe drought and we barely had enough hay to get by. Will even had to sell half his cows to make it. So, you can see why we’re so grateful to have so much this year!!
      I’ve gotten so I hate to see the news. It seems like the world’s going crazy. I’m glad we’ve got a full pantry.

    • I learned something new about our prayers, since we pray according to God’s will and Word. As we continue in consistent prayer about an issue/person (not begging) according to His Word, power is released to answer that prayer. The Holy Spirit dwells in us releasing that power according to our believing prayer. So neat to know.

  5. Happy birthday to Mason, hard to believe he’s 16. Send pictures of your food storage when to get it organized.

  6. I’ve been following you long enough to remember when David was a young lad, and it seems like yesterday.

    Wonderful surprise to have your daughter with you for Thanksgiving.

    • Yes, I know what you mean. And I can remember when Bill was a little kid too. The time goes by way too fast!

  7. Storage space, seems one can never have enough. We get inch or two of wet stuff, it melts. Third episode of this is supposed to happen tonight. Glad we got the garden tucked away when we did – conscientious effort to take advantage of the nice fall (read: October) weather. Though I do need to lay in a bit more wildlife food here soon.
    Don’t blink! Before you know it Delilah will be in elementary school!

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