Today, Will got a new starter after having to cut the old one apart with a reciprocating saw! A bit extreme, maybe, but both he and I had the same idea, the same morning, so he decided to give it a try. Not only did it work, but it quickly worked, and it came out. The only bad thing is we don’t know if they’ll give us a $30 core charge, being the one we traded in had been cut on. Oh well, it was that or nothing. We are very happy!

Will had an appointment today for a consultation regarding his gall bladder surgery. We figured it was going to be just a blood pressure, heart check type visit. But it turned out their surgeon had a cancellation for a surgery tomorrow morning. So, at 11:00, Will goes in to have his gall bladder removed before it sends any more “gravel” into his liver’s bile ducts, which usually is very painful. (He lucked out last time!) No time to worry and fret, and that’s a good thing. Our weather’s awesome for this time of the year. Today, it was 46 degrees F! That seems impossible. Usually, at this time, it’s a high of low twenties and lows in the single digits, plus two feet of snow on the ground. We are a bit worried that it will continue, putting us in drought conditions again, but, for now, it’s a huge blessing.

We love our canned chicken! Yesterday, I made chicken and dumplings from a pint of it and we ate it for two meals!

I planned on canning some old frozen chicken breasts this afternoon, but that didn’t happen. We didn’t get home until dark. But, now, I have them cut up and in jars, ready to go. I bought four family packs during COVID and put them in the freezer, just as they came from the store. I was worried they’d be freezer burned — but no — they were in perfect shape. After Will’s surgery, I’ll thaw out the other three packs so I can get them canned up too. We have way too much meat in the three freezers, and I want to get a lot of it canned. Maybe we can shut off one of them to save energy. Even with solar, we try to keep our energy use low to save wear and tear on our batteries and lessen our use of the generator.

I don’t have many current photos, so I put in a few to cheer us all up.

I can’t wait to see baskets of Provider and Strike green beans on the porch again.
Colors like this daylily in my garden seem impossible now, but we know they’re coming.
Soon the flamingos will be peeking through the daylilies again!

— Jackie


  1. Hi Jackie,
    I’m so glad all went well!
    Say, I’m wondering what is that cute red daylily you posted a pic of in this article? I have 50 different varieties down here in Princeton, MN, and am always looking for new ones.
    Thank you so much for all you do. I have purchases your wonderful seeds, and so thankful for the tremendous varieties you two put out. I also own your cookbooks, and most of your other books. I am always looking at them, absorbing your advice. You have been an incredible source of great advice and encouragement over the years! Thank you!! :)

  2. We’re getting our rain “in due season”. Husband has gone to part-time work, as a general contractor. We have 3 rentals and social security, but know best that God is our Provider; Source. Thank you for the update, and for answering my “Ask Jackie” question, Jackie. I still pray about your knee recovery and for Will. God is faithful. Going to our daughter’s for Christmas. Sure like all your friend’s comments. How loving, caring, and God-fearing. Praise God, and regards from far north California.

    • I’m glad to hear you’re getting rain, but I hope not too much, as some folks are having. Will’s recovering well and we’re getting ready for Christmas. David carried in our Christmas tree today so it already feels more like Christmas. Thank you for your prayers!!

  3. Best Wishes, Jackie to you and Will. Time for things to get better!

    There’s a new year a’comin’ and here’s hoping it brings you all the best.


  4. Sounds like things are on the upswing for you and Will. Hoping the surgery went well and he can rest for a few weeks before jumping back in. Im sure he will want to get right back to work but it is very important to follow the restrictions to avoid complications as you both know. We have been having warm weather here, upper 40’s and lower 50’s. We got just a little rain last night but we are still in this pocket of drought. I am hopeful that as winter wears on we will get more moisture and come spring good rains. We will see. I love the picture of the flamingo peeking out of the flowers! Hes a cutie, lol. Your canned chicken looks so good. I see chicken and noodles in your future, lol. Sending prayers for a blessed week.

    • Luckily, for some reason, Will’s shoulders are giving him fits. We haven’t a clue why they would hurt so much. So, that’s keeping him tamed down, which is probably a real good thing. Hopefully in a day or so, that’ll let up and he’ll start to feel better.
      Thank you for your prayers!!

        • I agree Nancie. Second time I had surgery, one of my shoulders felt like I had severely overworked it. Cleared up in a day or two but it was due to the anesthesia. Upside is that side effect body part is aching more than the surgical area.

  5. Just an FYI…I remember your driveway….go very slow over the bumps 😊 when you bring Will home. Sure hope it all went well and recovery is swift. Deb and I will be thinking of you. Sending love and good wishes…Pyro

    • Hey, I barely crept above 4 mph but a few times it still bumped. I’m sure it hurt. Everything went well, and I’m sure he’ll be feeling much better in a couple of days. I know I got over my gall bladder surgery pretty fast. Thankfully!
      Thank you for your love and kind wishes.

  6. think I misread your comment…your “tomorrow” was actually today for the gallbladder surgery…so hope all went well with the surgery and he’s home resting or with plans to go home soon.

    katherine jordahl

    • Yep, I wrote it on the eve of his surgery but it was after Lisa had quit for the evening so it didn’t get posted. All went fine and he’s home and recovering.

    • Yep, he’s home and it’s over with. He’s been pretty much napping due to the pain meds he’s on, but when you’re sleeping, it doesn’t hurt. In a few days, he’ll start of feel much better.

  7. Dear Jackie, I am putting Will on my prayer list. He will be back up before you know it. The pictures of those Providers are beautiful. I only can those now as I can taste the difference. I am already looking a flower seeds. I don’t have a garden anymore but go to my Amish neighbors for fresh vegetables. Spring lies sleeping beneath the frosted surface and will be with us soon.

    • Thank you, Jan. We believe strongly in the power of prayer. I’m sure he’ll be recovering quickly as his health, otherwise is fine. I’m looking at more daylilies on the Lily Auction. Hey, I’m addicted! They’re so beautiful. Of course, they’re edible too, but who could eat one of those beautiful, fancy flowers???

  8. We have had a run of wired weather too, Sundayit was -19, Monday it was +35 with rain then that night the rain changed to snow and we had 10 inches in the morning which I plowed with the tractor Tuesday. Then six more inches overnight so more plowing. Meanwhile Thompson Pass to the south of us was closed for four days and our roads were skating rinks with the snow on top! Oh well at least we are retired and didn’t have to drive much!

    • Ugh! I hate all this weird weather! Here it is, the middle of December, and it’s RAINING and very little snow on the ground. And it’s Northern Minnesota, for heaven’s sake. I’m glad we’re not fighting deep snow right now but am sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop, if you know what I mean. Stay warm and eat lots of good munchies, in-between plowing.

  9. Hi Jackie! Oh, I hope and pray that things are improving for y’all. We’ll pray for Will speedy recovery too. I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer. Glad to hear of y’alls solution to the tractor problem. I’m just now getting Christmas decorations up, including the small tree. Because of our cats we’re putting up a little tree with plastic and no breakable small ornaments. I also put bells on on it to hear if they attempt to miss with it. At night all the fur balls come to bed with us with a closed door. Most of the neighbors have had stuff up since last month. All those lights look wonderful in the snow. We’re supposed to get more snow after Christmas. I’m going to try to build a snowman or two. Yes, I’m in my mid sixties. But I want to try a snowman complete with a carrot nose. 😆 I’m hoping for a snow on Christmas for a white Christmas. Doesn’t look like it. The snow in the yard now has a crust and has frozen lumps where it was plowed. I hate having to shovel it because of my back. But I do and take breaks as needed. I actually love snow and looking at the snow covered mountains out of our windows. Take care you two and please post as soon as you can about Will.

    • Will’s surgery went fine and he’s home, recuperating. Thank you for your prayers! I know, from personal experience, they work.
      We don’t have our Christmas tree up yet; it’s sitting out on the back of the Kawasaki Mule. David is coming over tomorrow to help me get it in and up. It’s a fat, heavy tree!
      I’ve got a bad back, too. That’s why we got a snowblower. I’ve ditched the snow shovel, for the most part. Our snowblower has an electric start so it’s easy peasy to make the snow go away. I like it because it doesn’t make snow drifts or piles. The snow just makes a gentle layer, far away from where we walk.
      I like looking at the snow too but miss those mountains!

  10. Will is a trooper and hopefully this is an outpatient surgery. Lots of best wishes and prayers going up for a speedy recovery.

    • Yep, it was an out patient surgery. There were just four tiny incisions. He’s resting now and I’m sure in a couple of days, he’ll be feeling much better and won’t have to worry about possible future problems which would be painful, popping up at a bad time.
      Thank you for your prayers and kind wishes.

    • Everything went well and he’s home, resting. (My butt is petrified from sitting in the waiting room so long. They had a couple of emergency surgeries,
      so, he went in two hours later than planned.)
      I’m glad our luck has changed too!

  11. The flowers give beauty so freely. Last summer I planted 4 different annual flowers and boy did they attract the pollinators. I’m normally a vegetable gardener but will do again next summer. Good luck to Will. I find at times “drastic” measures are required to fix machinery. The weather has been crazy warm in Southern Wisconsin and not a single day did I have to plow snow, I’m praying a speedy recovery for Will.

    • Thanks for your prayers Everett. We haven’t had to plow snow once, either. That’s so weird. Usually, by now, we have a couple of feet on the ground and here it is, raining!!
      We wanted to forestall any future painful gall bladder attacks or plugged ducts in the kidney again. It seems like stuff like that happens on Friday night or on a holiday weekend. We were shocked when his surgeon could fit him with one day’s notice!!
      He’s doing well, so far.

  12. Day lilies, what cheerful unexpected photos in December! sounds like life has finally started smiling back atcha! Thank The Lord
    surprising how long a pint of meat can feed one! bet it was yummy
    Good vibes and speedy recovery for Will!

    • Thanks Mary! We’re real glad we seem to be “out of the woods” with all the bad luck. Hey, everyone has those periods when it seems like nothing ever goes right.
      I like to look back at the photos I have taken in the summer to remember what all that beautiful color looks like. Winter is so drab.

  13. Sounds like he’ll be able to have the “small incision” – laparoscopic, not the 9-12 inch incision like one of my family member’s had (doc warned us that due to the situation, it might be large incision time). On the bright side, he didn’t have to wait due to the pandemic like so many had to. And you’re back from your tractor parts “trip” (another weather blessing).
    Need to get my eyes checked – first glance I thought you ate chicken and dumplings for two WEEKS lol. Getting old is not for sissies.

    • No, we just ate chicken and dumplings for two meals. We’re such pigs it couldn’t last two weeks. LOL
      Yes, he had laparoscopic surgery. Just four tiny incisions they glued shut. Not even stitches. He’s resting now after supper and I’m hoping in a couple of days, he’ll feel much better.
      He can’t lift more than 10 pounds for two weeks. It’s lucky he got the tractor’s starter put in before the surgery. That puppy is heavy!

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