Our neighbor, Reba, calls muscadines/scuppernongs "scuffins".
We went with her to pick some on our landlords property.
We picked over 40 pounds.
Then we made the most heavenly jelly ever (thanks to Granny B's recipe).
Ok, so back at the beginning of the month, my sister and I made a movie about my mom's life, which was more of a parody of all of her hilarious qualities. The only actors in the entire movie were Maddy, Myself, and my sister. We threw a "Movie Premier" birthday party.
Let me show you.
Here are a few characters:
Rolanda Justine VeroniQ
Pitty Patti (mom)
Young Band Geek Pitty Patti
Trailer Park Billy Ray Sue
Beauty Pageant Billy Ray Sue
The red carpet
the cake and popcorn
Cousins (or something) Lillee and Sophie
And of course, Lillee helped all day with party planning on the driveway.
First of all, I've spent the last month making a movie with my sister that was basically a parody of my mom's entire life.
Mainly we just made fun of her.
We showed it at her birthday party.
Unfortunately for you (because it's hilariously entertaining) there is NO WAY I'm posting it publicly.
In other news, after some major changes and lots of hard work, the garden is doing better.
Today I saw 3 little baby squashies, and I saw plenty of bees and butterflies hanging out to pollinate them.
I only have 2 bean bushes that are still alive, but on those two bushes I have about 10 beans!!!
I also have noticed that my cabbages have made a comeback. My broccoli, cauliflower and several varieties of cabbage have somehow reappeared amongst the weeds. I'll be weeding those areas tomorrow.
I also started some more seeds for the fall stuff that should be ready in a a week or so.
The girls and I picked muscadines/scuppernongs (or, as our favorite neighbor, Reba calls them "scuffins") and I've been attempting to make jelly. I've been unsuccessful twice in getting the jelly to jell. Have no fear, though.
I've consulted with my Grandmother and I now know the secrets!
I'll update after trying out all her jelly wisdom.
My soaps that I made a while back are finally cured. (no they weren't sick) I haven't tried one yet but they're all solid as a rock now instead of squishy. I can't wait to try my coffee scrub soap.
Maddy pretty much can speak English now.
It's absolutley amazing.
Today I got a mosquito bite and she saw it, so she pointed to it and said
"Mommy, you hurt?"
I said, "no Maddy, I'm ok"
but she scrunched up her eyebrows and said "mommy, you hurt." and kissed it.
Then a few minutes later she tripped and instead of crying like normal, she looked at me and said "Mommy, I'm ok. Are you ok mommy?"
And Lillee...goodness. I don't even know where to start with my little Chunk.
She has 4 teeth now.
There's something incredibly special about a fat baby with 4 teeth grinning at you that just lights up the whole world and melts your heart.
Also, she is so close to walking, but she just doesn't try hard. I mean, the child can sprint-crawl faster than Maddy can walk. But she'll get it soon. She wants to get up and chase the neighbors little puppy.
The most important thing I need to share with you today is that man I married fourscore minus seventy-seven years ago. Today marks his 23rd year on this earth. We celebrate it because, well...without his birthday, he wouldn't be here.
So today I celebrate the man that I've watched grow from a kid into a strong, tough, handsome, sexy, hardworking, smart, talented, loving, silly, kindhearted father and husband.
Have you ever wondered why your chirruns act the way they do?
Have you ever found yourself watching a scene unfold that describe EXACTLY why they act that way?
Last night at a friends' house, Maddy picked up the fly swatter and started going around smacking people on the butt with it. She's say "no, no".
At first I was a little embarrassed that my child was not only harassing people, but doing it in a violent manner that showed clear premeditation and obvious mockery of something she had seen enacted before.
Then I realized, it's not so bad. She is beginning to understand that my authority over her comes in the form of my decisions and her consequences are real.
She know's that "no means no" and that if you do it anyway, you get a switch.
I'd say that's a win.
Also, I'm impressed with her form.
Each swat landed right where (I'm assuming) she aimed. And every time it made contact, that dinky flimsy plastic hand made a crisp *smack*.
Today I'll be posting along with a series that I found on The Modest Mom Blog.
It's based on a book that i don't have and haven't read, but with her explanation, I felt like it was worth following her series/challenge.
The main idea of "Frumps to Pumps" is just taking the time to take care of ourselves each day, at least enough to get dressed and fix our hair.
The Challenge is for the month of September (which started yesterday, y'all).
So for my second day of trying to spend a few minutes taking care of myself, I got up, got dressed and started cleaning.
Then I saw that it was might rain and realized I needed to mow the grass in case it was storming by the time Scott got home to do it.
So I cut the grass, came inside, and was soak in sweat.
*ew that's so gross*
So I cranked the AC down a few degrees and threw on the coolest ting I could find...which translates to gym shorts and Betty Boop PJ shirt.
I don't even care how goofy it looks. It's so comfy.
Oh, also, I didn't tell the story of how I learned to do this fancy complicated braid this morning and my hair wasall beautiful and flowing and fancy, then I had to take it all out so it wouldn't get tangled when I did yard work.
So I decided to find a quick and easy way to fix my hair....and I landed on asian eating utensils.
So here's what happened:
It's a mess, but it's WAY better than my typical mess.
SO I'd say that's a win.
Just a quick update on everything....
...seed started look great. I have bean sprouts popping through the soil, beets about 2 inches tall and little barely visible green leaves peeking on everything else.
...I planted the end piece of a head of romaine lettuce a few days back and it's got new leaves about 4 inches tall!
...I'm going to the butcher shop tonight to get some beef fat, which I will then attempt to render into lard, which I will then attempt to cook with and also attempt to make lye soap with. More on the soon.
...rabbits are on hold for now because of traveling. I'm frustrated but I can deal.
...made a test batch of muscadine jelly from an online recipe. It didn't gel right, so we'll continue to experiment. I'm being defiant and refusing to use pectin so I'll share when I find the perfect recipe.
This morning I walked out to the laundry room ( yes, I said "out", as in, it's outside, separate from the house) and looked at our garden. Let me just tell y'all, it's a sad sad sight. There are weeds everywhere, most of it's a muddy mess and we have about 8 plants that are still alive.
But don't worry too much. I have plans to get more plants in the ground before the end of the season.
I planted some seeds in homemade starter cups (cardboard egg crates, potting soil and fertilizer) and planted a little of everything that I lost from the Great garden flood.
We're on day 2 of those seeds and still nothing peeking through.
However, in other areas of our homesteading attempt, Scott and I have been fairly successful. I've got a batch of coffee scrub soap curing in the kitchen, we've procured some rabbit cages and even got a friend's permission to tear down an old dog run and reuse the lumber to build us a little rabbit shelter.
Ok, so let's be honest here for a quick second. We aren't even close to having a homestead. There wont be any food in the garden for at least another 4-6 weeks, we wont be able to get rabbits for another month because of traveling plans, and a single batch of soap doesn't do much for being self sufficient. Not to mention we've been an utter failure the past week. We were so sick we ate out at least 4 times maybe more. And boy was that a disaster.
After being mostly gluten free for 3 weeks, Scott had a McDouble and a McChicken, then promptly had a McDump.
Sorry...was that a tad too much?
But I'm not letting it get me down too much. There are some things going our way. Our landlord has 20 year old muscadine and scuppernong vines in her front yard and we're going to take the girls to pick them and then make jelly. I can't wait to teach Maddy how to make/can jelly. Plus we'll have a delicious snack and FREE gifts to give people. Hope y'all like jelly:)
Also, we'll have rabbits ready by the first of the year, and what better time to start something than when you're starting a fresh new year?
And the garden, well, it's a work in progress and a great teacher. Next year we'll do better. We have already learned so much...like:
~when Kim says to till the garden 4-6 times, don't tell her "I already went down 6 inches" because two weeks later you'll walk out to the garden and realize she was correct
~when Scott wants to put a fence up to keep the dog out...let him do it cause seedlings can't survive a 60 pound German Shepherd
~ if you have clover in the area you're tilling up for the garden, till up the first 6-8 inches, then shovel it all off and THROW THAT CRAP FAR FAR AWAY. clover has these little ball/bulb like roots and you pretty much can't kill them. Like the cockroach of the garden soil.
~ start your plants inside like the directions say, even if it gives the option to direct sow. why? Because you'll patiently wait a week to see your beautiful little sprouts come up in the garden, slave away keeping all the weeds pulled, meticulously groom and water the garden, fantasize about all the things you'll be able to preserve, drool on yourself about fresh meals to come, tell yourself you're awesome, inspire jealousy in all your friends, pull some more weeds, hoe like crazy, watch the garden for so long you swear you can see the plants growing, and in two weeks time you'll get 40 days of rain that will wash away all your hard work and drown your little precious beauties and you'll NEVER EVER WANT TO SEE ANOTHER NASTY FILTHY HATEFUL RAIN DROP AGAIN.