Monday, December 24, 2012


Wishing all my blog readers a VERY Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!!!!

(Taken in our home.)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Geothermal install

I find construction fascinating. You start with a bunch of pieces parts, magically (to me) put them all together and WA-LA you end up with something functional, useful, and sometimes beautiful.

Our house is at that age where it needs constant attention. The latest LARGE expense was new heating/air conditioning system. The system we decided to go with is called a geothermal system.  This system uses the constant temperature of the ground, 55 degrees, to heat and cool your house and also your hot water. Hubby and I fell in love with the concept so with our current system on its last legs we went for it.

We set up the camera for some of the processes and here is a detailed outline of how it works. You may find it boring but I am enthralled with the process. Plus I get to be toasty all winter!!! Most systems go with an electrical heat backup system for when it gets extremely cold here in the Midwest.We chose a hybrid system using a high efficiency propane furnace instead. I am extremely happy with that choice.

Let me just say it was a journey to get this project completed. When the project was bid out it was estimated to take 2-3 days. Well that turned into a 3+ week project!

First, here is what the old system looked like inside. You see the furnace, water heater and soft water system.
This tiny stump caused about a one week delay. When the well diggers were backing the truck into our yard, they hit this stump and tore out the underside rigging. I guess it was hydraulic hoses and other parts they had to order and repair. 
 Before the well digging started they well drillers had to prepare the yard by digging what they call ponds. These are basically big holes in the ground they fill with water to enable them to drill the wells. This next photo is one of the guys using a small backhoe to dig the ponds. For our installation they had two ponds. To me it was one giant mess.
While the well drillers were preparing the back yard the unit installers were preparing the basement. One day, I believe we had as many as 4 truck/vans in the driveway unloading new equipment and hauling off the old equipment.

Since the well drillers stalled out, we decided to go ahead and install the new high efficiency propane furnace and as much of the other interior work as was possible so when we eventually did the tie-in everything would be ready. The first day they got the old furnace out and the new one in.

I just had to take a picture of the guys hauling the geothermal unit down the stairs. It took 3 large strapping men to get that thing to the basement. It was heavy!
By the end of day 2, the inside installers had the hot water heater and the geothermal unit set and ready to hook up to the wells. Here is a photo of the geothermal unit and the water heater before all the pipes were ran and installed.

In order for the well drillers to feel productive, they went ahead and dug this huge hole in our basement floor. I was sure it would unleash all sorts of demonic spirits from below our house!  While drilling they used a gas-powered concrete saw and stunk up the whole house with exhaust fumes. Good thing hubby was home that day. He opened all the windows and set up fans while the drillers just kept on working with carbon monoxide detectors bleeping in their ears. I lost a bit of confidence in the drillers that day. 

After may setbacks we finally got the well drillers back on task and working on our drills. In this shot you can see one of the ponds on the left and on the right of the photo is where the other pond is going to be for the third well. All their equipment is up the hill in the neighboring lot in this photo.

This is another shot of the torn up back yard. Of course they did the work where our best grass was in the entire yard. Now we have a mud/clay mess.

Here is a shot of the backhoe doing more digging in the yard. The photos with the date/time at the bottom were taken with our critter cam. It is a great camera that takes photos based on heat sensors. That way we could watch the work being completed and not even have to be home. It worked out well for the days they were working and we were not here.

This next shot is one where the drillers were actually setting up the drilling truck to dig the wells. I wonder if he had any idea he was being photographed? :-)

This is another shot of the truck getting set up for drilling the wells. The truck setup took a while on each well. The actual wells getting dug did not take all that much time.

Here is a shot of the backhoe digging the ponds. The good thing about this project was that the fall was beautiful and no rain to slow the project down even further.

These next two photos are of the drilling truck. I had to include two because it was dangerously perched in order to be level for the drilling. I told them they should have dug out the hill to make it safer and they just said, "Oh that's a good idea but we almost have it now." I will let the pictures do the talking on how dangerous their setup was. At one time during the leveling process the truck actually fell off the blocks!!! I am so glad no one was under the truck and got killed.

Yes, three of the four tires were off the ground!

Here is a shot of some of the equipment and the famous truck driving all over our yard digging ruts in the yard.

Now we are back inside the house. Here is shot of the connector tubes coming in the hole after the directional drill was complete. The directional drill went from the vertical wells shown above into the house. They are precise to hit a 2 foot square hole.
Here is a shot in the basement before all the pipes were connected. It was a mess. 
Here is the final inside product. This first photo is the electric water heater on the left and the geothermal unit on the right. It also shows all the piping and electrical that is needed.

This photo shows the new furnace along with the old water heater which is now used as an extra holding tank that preheats the electric water heater water and the old water softener system. The exhaust for the furnace is now out the white PVC pipes instead of up the flu out the roof of the home. That has been capped off.

 I hope you have enjoyed the process of installing this system. Now to determine how well it helps save on our heating and cooling costs. The electric bill has increased over last year at this time but that is to be expected with more things running electricity. We do receive a discount rate for a heat pump system. The big test this winter will occur in January when we usually have a refill of our propane tank. I am anxious to see the savings at that time.

If you have any questions, please contact me. Thanks.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Obit - Snowball Henson

We have closure.
Snowball has come home.
Snowball went off on one of his "adventures" almost a month ago.  We actually thought coyotes or something got him as he had been gone so long.

I went to pick up my daughter Saturday and found him. Just up the hill. He was trying to cross the road to come home and some unloving person decided hitting him was the right thing to do. Even in death he seemed happy.

We all cried. I went home, got a towel and brought him home for good. He is now under a tree where he can watch birds for a long time. Going to miss that drooling love bug of a cat!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Not tonight honey...

There are many many reasons why a woman says no to private time with her significant other. I am going to explain just one of them in this blog.

First, in case you hadn't learned this yet, females carry around lists in their heads. These are things we feel are important and need to be done. If things do not get off this mental list in a reasonable amount of time we begin to get stressed. As time goes on and items stay on the list longer and longer, the more uptight we become. This often comes out as crankiness, anger, tears, and in some cases out right bitchiness. Many times we do not express this well or often times we do not know what is even bothering us until we take a time out and make time to think about it. Then we experience an AH - HA moment! It is xyz on our mental list. Once we get that item off the list, it is like a weight has been lifted and our world is better. One other thing females do that is horrible to our significant others is we expect them to know what is bothering us on our mental lists without us telling them! This is unfair to the other party but we do it anyway. Sometimes we do actually say what we would like to get done but we do not make it known how important it is to complete the task so that the other party can benefit (wink wink) from this item getting checked off the list.

I will use my current mental item that is way over due as an example. My Christmas cards and accompanying letter.  I am very anal about doing one and sending to people important to me. I also do this for myself to chronicle the past 12 months. Yes, I realize it is not even on some folks radar but to me it is important. I have stressed all week that I  want to get time to get this letter written. Now I am not even asking that the cards be addressed let alone sent out. I just want the letter finished. Now we are to the end of the week and the letter STILL is not done. Needless to say I am cranky about this.  Something more important to someone else in the house seems to trump what I would like to finish.

Now I will explain why my one page Christmas letter did not get finished again today. Today is typical of my days and weeks. They all run together...

Wake up and leave house by 6:45 am.
Work until 5:15 pm.
Arrive home 5:45 pm.
Make dinner - no matter how much I try to delegate this duty, everyone defaults this to me as I demand halfway healthy meals.
Eat and leave house by 6:45pm.
Late to scouts by 7pm.
Run errands and get home around 8:30 pm.
Children and cats demand this, that or the other and wonder why I haven't done it sooner.
In meantime, hubby is now putting on his best seductive hat trying to get me in the mood with absolutely no clue why I am cranky even after explaining on Monday what I would like to get done this week. Yes only one thing...write a one page letter.

So that my dear readers is one reason the female in your house rolls her eyes, slaps at your hands, and says she doesn't feel well, is not interested, or it's that time of the month when really it isn't!  And to think we have 100's of these type of reasons. You guys really should feel lucky when we do say yes!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

True Love

I do not know the circumstances behind this couples death but the romantic in me is choosing to believe they just couldn't live without each other. This appeared (some things deleted) in our local newspaper.

Ramona Stevenson, 81, died Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Blair and Feris Stevenson, 88,  died Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Blair.
A combined memorial service will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, at Sievers-Sprick Funeral Home. There is no visitation. A private interment is planned.
Ramona Wilson was born July 19 in Elliott.
Feris Stevenson was born Sept. 19 in Hamburg.
He served in World War II.
The couple married on August 28, 1978.
Mr. Stevenson lived on and loved the Missouri River for approximately 25 years. 
The couple shared a love of fishing and camping and loved to fish at Summit Lake.
The couple is survived by children and their spouses.
Memorials may be directed to the family.

I want this to be how myself and my husband go to the great beyond.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This makes no sense at all!

I believe and agree that in business, drug testing should occur. It keeps everyone safer.  That being said, it needs to be administered in a manner that also makes sense.  The following does NOT make sense to me at all.

So at said company, hubby got called for a random breathalyzer test. No big deal right?  Just go to said location, puff into machine and go on with your day.

Here is where the nonsense comes into play. Said company has you drive your personal car down to the testing facility which is over 8 miles away. Re-read prior sentence again. I google mapped it so the distance is accurate.

Yes, you read that right -
Drive your car to take a breathalyzer test.

Hello??? Is anyone home in the department that supervises this activity? If it truly is a "random" drug test than chances are you won't be intoxicated but also on the random side should the company take the chance in case the person IS intoxicated?  Wouldn't the company be liable if said person was in a crash because they were directed to go to this location to take the test? The whole thing is so ridiculous just to save a few bucks. I think the better investment would be to pay the extra and have the testing company show up at the office, administer tests as needed and move on.

No one asked me for input. If I get called for such a random drug test, I think I will voice my opinion on such nonsense....I will keep you posted if I become unemployed - not from failing the drug test but rather from speaking my mind. :-)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Proud Mom Moment

I have to share a proud mom moment. My daughter is growing into an amazing young woman and she wrote the following for her confirmation class. I had to share because it shows me she does listen to God. I am very proud of her!

The Right Paths
Proverbs 22:6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave.
     Sometimes I feel lost. I feel like I don't know where the right path is. That's when my mom comes in. She tells me go to church and listen and hopefully God will lead you to where you need to go and how to be successful in life. Then God talks to me and tells me where to go and not to be afraid. Sometimes the right path is not always easy. Sometimes it is hard to understand. Once you find that path you will not want to leave. You will want to keep coming back.
Dear God, help me find the path I need. Help me understand your teachings, forgive me when I am wrong. I will love you as you always do to me. Protect me and keep me safe. In your name I pray. Amen.
9th Grade Confirmation Class

Thursday, November 1, 2012

With age and experience...

It is one of those memories you never forget. Grandparents are great for that, giving you memories to cherish and last a life time. These  memories you can go back to years later with a new understanding and appreciation for the grandparent that gave you that precious memory in the first place.  Next I will be sharing once such memory.

Long ago I would go to visit my grandma and granddad on their farm. Now their farm was only about 30 miles from the farm I lived on but as a kid it seemed a LONG way away. We would spend a week there in the summer plus have other visits throughout the year. My grandmother always had me in awe.  This particular memory is of her baking. It is why I love to bake today. Baking shows LOVE. Our family was never big on saying I Love Yous and mushiness but boy could we eat and my grandmother was a fabulous cook. Every day she would cook a huge lunch for her husband, son, brother-in-law and anyone else helping on the farm. Her rule was be in the house and ready to eat at noon on the dot or else! Those men were always on time.

When I was there she would find some time during the day to let me "help" with her baking. Some days it would be cookies. Others her famous cinnamon rolls or hot butter rolls and on special occasions - PIE.  Grandma was a dumper/pourer. I always wondered how she could just pull ingredients out of the cubboard, mix this and that, once in a great while peek at a recipe and WA LA. Delicious food every single time! I was amazed. Of course she would let me stir this or flour that and taste all I wanted. (No wonder I'm fat...) On those days she made pie, she would always make extra crust and the left over pieces she would sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake on a cookie sheet. Now if you have never had this it is to die for...and it was made even better because Grandma's love went into this special treat for her granddaughters.  Still I would often just look at her in amazement on how she did it.  I even remember asking her a time or two, "How do you know how to make this stuff?" "She would just smile and say I've made this a thousand times. It gets easier."  Of course as a kid this made no sense to me and I just stuffed more into my mouth.

My grandmother has been gone almost 15 years now. I still miss her smiles, naughtiness, laughter, and home of love.

The other day I was making apple crisp. As I was getting the ingredients out and mixing the "crisp" part I thought..."Gee I'd better check the recipe to see if I happened to forget anything." BAM
It hit me. I was only peeking at the recipe myself! My grandmother and this memory I have came flooding back and almost made me cry. Her words now make perfect sense to me now as an adult who has cooked and baked for more years than I care to remember. I have even mastered pie baking in honor of my grandmother. My crusts are just as amazing as hers according to my parents. (insert big smile here)

Thanks grandma Betty for instilling in me the love of baking, dumping and pouring, being naughty while smiling with flour on my nose, cackling at funny things with no abandon, and showing my love through the food I make.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

60 pounds?!?!?!?!?!

WOW. Who knew these things could get so big??? I purchased the "giant" watermelon seed this spring on a lark but I really didn't think they would get huge. I figured it was a marketing ploy and I fell for it. I half way thought they wouldn't even sprout!

First we planted the seeds very late and the package said they had a long growing season. STRIKE 1!

Then we had the hottest, driest summer in forever. The weather people called it SEVERE drought. I don't think it rained after the first of June... STRIKE 2!

Lastly it was "crack gardening". That means planting seeds in the cracks of concrete on an old hog lot and letting it grow. I didn't even know if that was going to work.  STRIKE 3!

Well I was wrong. (See I can admit it hubby!)  It worked and watermelons grew. This is the result.

That is my foot in the lower left for a sort of comparison of the size of this thing.

This thing is only 10 pounds less than the quarterback on my son's football team!

I put the yardstick in front just so you can get a feel for the length of the watermelon.

OK, so technically it was 59 pounds. I am still amazed. We could have had a 100 pounder if it had actually rained! Anyone wanna come over for some watermelon?

I guess this will be my last gardening post for a bit as we have nothing left to harvest.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Out my dining room window...

I love fall.
I love the colors.

I was sitting at my kitchen table this morning and smiled a big smile then I gave a contented sigh. The oak tree was changing colors by the hour. It currently has about 4 shades of leaves. It is beautiful. I had to take a couple photos. These photos in NO way do justice to the beauty of this tree. The colors are way more vibrant than the photos show.

There was green, yellow, orange, brown, and red.

Life is good.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cross species interactions

This is what happens when a Canadian goose falls in love with a domesticated goose.

It is the one in middle with orange feet and bill, huge eyes, combined black and white tail feathers. The regular Canadian is to the right. It is the best picture we could get of it...

Gives a new to meaning to an ugly duckling!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Coping - just a teaser of sorts...

As I was going on a short walk today I got to thinking, I need to start talking about the crap in my life but give something to others to learn from this and hopefully help others cope with the same kind of crap and maybe ward off problems or help others in this entire process. Heck I am even hoping someone else going through the crap would comment and give me new ideas to try.

I don't even know where to start. Let's start with parenting. Anyone that has kids knows how very hard it is to raise decent, productive kids these days. It almost seems like a crap shoot some days. After saying this, I do believe it is still being done and can be done but it is hard and takes two involved dedicated parents, both a mom and a dad.  I don't believe these parents need to necessarily be married (divorce introduces an entirely different set of problems to discuss in another blog) but need to be there and want what is best for the kids. This also includes sacrifice on both parents parts. I can't stress enough how both a mom and dad point of view are required and a serious commitment from both to succeed. I also believe if the biological mother or father are absent, a dedicated step- or parent figure can accomplish the same thing. The point being it takes time and dedication.

Right about now the questions/excuses/buts should start flying out of your brain at me.

I'm a single parent.

My ex and I don't see eye to eye on parenting.

I think you only need one parent.

Let them out.
Go ahead take a minute. When you finish your - YOU ARE WRONG BLOGGER excuses keep reading.

Kids need you or someone you trust with your whole being in their lives 24/7.  That is one of the big problems today. Parents are not willing to do this simple step. Yes, I believe parents need to work on their relationship to be good parents but that is where the trustworthy surrogate comes in. There can be a sitter for a couple hours so you can have date night. You can enlist grand parents or siblings for longer weekend duties. There are solutions to all the excuses. YOU have to decide to give your kids the best YOU can give them for 18 years. If you have multiple kids, this time frame will increase by a LOT. When you become a parent that should be your number 1 job. Not work, not exercise, not drinking, not TV, not Not NOT. Be a parent plain and simple.

Sacrifice - you will sacrifice until you think you have no more to give. You will give beyond any giving you have ever done in your life before. This is not bad. Repeat, this is NOT BAD. This is being a good parent. No Olympian ever got that far without a lot of sacrifice. How bad do you want great kids? Only you can answer that question but often the difference between good and great is  answered by am I going to watch "my favorite TV show" or am I going to go read a chapter book with my child?

What are you willing to sacrifice to raise a great kid?

Next, what do you, the reader think? I am trying to see if there is interest in this topic for me to continue such blogs. Please comment. Which things should I expand upon? What is of interest to you? What am I way off base on? Why? Input please.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This and that

When I am feeling out of sorts I turn here to write and maybe figure stuff out in my head. The post may or may not have anything to do with what is disturbing me but just writing helps. I am sure a lot of you feel the same way out in blog land.

Since this blog IS called Ocean of Thoughts we are swimming in turbulent waters today.  Anyway.... first up insightfulness.

It is so much fun to see a brain develop. My daughter shared one of her thoughts the other day and I would like to share here because it really does make one scratch their head.

She says, "Mom, you are the most HEALTHY person I have ever known in my life. How come you aren't super skinny?"

Life is like that sometimes isn't it? I have to agree with her. I eat pretty darn healthy. I exercise regularly and I am still F-A-T. Not really fair but there is more to life than what I weigh. I do not have high blood pressure or cholesterol. I have all my pieces parts. I have a brain. I am able to work and help others. I do not take medications. Not half bad for an "old" woman.

What I came up for her, "I agree but I guess that is how God made me and wants me to be."
Right/wrong??? I don't know but it is all I had. I love her thinking and contemplating issues. Makes me happy as a parent.

Views of the world.

Isn't is amazing how two or more people can look at the exact same thing and see totally different things? This has been documented with accidents, crime and many other things. The car was blue from person 1. The car was black from person 2.  Not only does it give people a lot to discuss, it makes for a lot of discord in life in general. How does one recognize and reconcile more serious non-tangible thoughts that are emotionally filled?  An example I can give on this: I say, I don't want my kids to see "R" rated movies until they are 17. I am saying this out of concern for my kids brains and as a parent.  The next person hears that statement and thinks, What an over protective parent!  The third person thinks, Yes, I agree, children see to much adult content too early. And finally when the X hears it he thinks, Oh there she goes trying to control me and what I do with the kids!  One statement and many views.  No wonder communications are so hard.


Can we have a do-over on who I vote for president?  Enough on that...or you may stop reading!


I love music. All kinds. Depends on mood of the day as to the genre I am listening to. Today is as mixed up as my brain. Thank goodness for iPods that hold 1000's of songs. One for each mood! :-)
Music is a great way to vent emotions you are feeling.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Couples Retreat

Let's just say we were wayyyyyy overdue for adult alone time away. We finally made special plans to do something over Labor Day. There were no kid commitments. There were a LOT of home commitments but we said they could wait as our marriage needed some nurturing.

Let me just say it was a WONDERFUL day away.

It started out by getting up early and driving about an hour and a half to a small town in Iowa. I had received a gift certificate for an hour massage so we both had hour massages that were great. While hubby was getting his massage I wondered around and found a "stuff" store that seems to be popular now and found a candle I couldn't live without.

I also got to spend a little time visiting with and old friend. We don't get as much time to chat these days so it was great to talk for a while.

Next it was off to the family farm. My dad wanted us to stop by and check on our "crack" gardening and to see how big the watermelons had gotten. Mom fed us lunch and we were off to new adventures.

First stop, Albert the Bull. Now hubby is a big guy - 6ft 3in or so and as you can see by the photo he looks tiny compared to this bull. I had not seen it since I was a kid so we had to try and find it. Luckily the town was fairly small and we found him after only 1 detour. I had some what I call "funny" photo poses with Albert but those might not be considered "funny" by others, so I didn't include those. Let's just say Albert is an anatomically correct and intact bull!!  :-D


Down the road a piece, (wow that is a phrase from the past) was a small park called Plow in the Oak. We  H-A-D to stop and see what that was about. Before we found the plow we stumbled upon this tree. I found it fascinating that it was completely hollow and still alive and doing well. Look I fit inside with lots of room to spare! What an old tree with so much knowledge and history hidden in its rings of life.

And here we have it - the plow in the Oak tree. The tree has gotten so large over the years that there is not much left exposed of the old plow. Still it was very fascinating how the tree just grew around this old plow that someone left leaning against a tree probably a century ago or more.

Before it got to late it was time to get our tails moving to the bed and breakfast we had rented for the night.  It was called Heavenly Habitat .  Now the name has meaning because this place used to be a Lutheran church!  The outside was still church-like but the inside had been completely renovated to be a bed and breakfast. They also had a "stuff" store in the basement which us and the other guests were allowed to browse through Sunday morning. It was fun and I of course had to make a purchase.

Here are a couple shots of our room:

I enjoyed the stay, innkeeper, and other couple that were guests that night. ***WIN***

Back to our journey...

After we arrived and checked into the B&B, hubby and I went for a bike ride. I wanted to see the town and since it was not a hilly town the bikes were going to get some use.

First we headed over to the city park. We happened across our first bridge. These are old covered bridges built in Iowa in the 1880's. This particular one had been moved from its original home to the park and restored.  I think that is hubby on the other side of the bridge on his bicycle... There was a nice park and small campground here. We also discovered this is the home of the delicious apple. It was also discovered here in the late 1800's.  I was having a blast discovering all this old history in a small town.  In case you didn't know, this town also sports the birthplace of John Wayne. That's nice but not worthy of my blog.

By now hubby was famished and thirsty. The innkeeper had recommended a sports bar for dinner so instead of going back to the B&B we just rode there on our bikes.  I giggled as I pulled up to the bar on my bicycle and hopped off like it was a Harley or something. We went in had a greasy bad for you dinner and some adult beverages. YUM.  After that we got back on our bikes and finished touring the town. We found some beautiful old Victorian homes and planned which one was going to be ours someday. Fun and silly couple kind of things. We needed it.

The next day, Sunday was back to finding more bridges. They were all within a reasonable distance so we saw them all but one.  I am sorry but I can't remember all the names of each bridge. You will notice they are all slightly different in how they look which makes them all the more fascinating to see.  This one here was rebuilt after a fire so you are able to drive on it. The others have been closed to driving but you are able to walk on them all and take pictures.

I just had to put this into the blog. EVERY time we go on an adventure, hubby ends up finding some low maintenance road to drive us on. All the bridges were located on dirty gravel roads!

This bridge name I do remember - Hogback Bridge. I grew up on a pig farm so the name stuck in my head.

The final bridge we saw was Roseman Bridge - of movie fame The Bridges of Madison County with Clint Eastwood. I loved the movie so I had to see it in person. It was worth it.
After this we headed home and back to reality but with smiles on our faces!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Just one more reason to work where I do!

Never underestimate the cost savings our company enjoys by supplying us half a kitchen sponge.
I can't mention the company or anything else that could possibly get me in trouble and fired, which they would do but trust me these people make a LOT of money.
Thanks for the contribution co-worker. YOU know who you are :-)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I thought for today's blog I would share some photos of all the hard work I do in my spare time. OK, so it takes up ALL the time that I am not at my day job earning money, or running around with the children... I have to note that hubby has been very helpful in this endeavor so I can't take all the credit here.

Sitting back and looking at these photos makes me think - wow we really do a lot of work to enjoy this tasteful food. We plant, tend, harvest and process it all ourselves.

These are by no means "professional" photos but I do my best. So now sit back and enjoy.

First, we have some pickle relish. I love all the colors in one jar.

Here we have a new jar of peaches canned in a honey sauce. Since everyone is yelling about sugar these days and how honey is more natural, I thought I would try a batch or so and see how they turned out. I have yet to taste them but they sure look pretty.

Here we have some canned tomatoes and onions. It is a nice bright red that contrasts well to the previous jars.

These are dill pickle slices. I usually do dill refrigerator pickles but we have so many cucumbers this year I had to branch out and can some of them as I ran out of refrigerator space. So picture about 20 jars in my garage refrigerator in addition to all the jars I have in the basement.
This is peach sauce. It is just like applesauce only you use peaches instead of apples. Can I say Y-U-M in a jar? I have to ration out a large quart jar for dinner so everyone gets a taste. I am sure you could use this in baking also but ours never gets that far. It is a great way to use a lot of peaches at one time which our trees deliver.

This is another one of my pride and joys. This is seedless blackberry jam. I planted some blackberry sticks a few years ago and they have gone wild! They produced a lot of berries this year so with one batch I made this jam.  Isn't the color beautiful?

This last shot is of pickled beets. I know a lot of people do not like beets but I happen to love them, especially pickled. Some years they don't grow well and other years the rabbits eat them so to get enough to can was great. Plus this year we tried beet greens just to eat fresh. They were pretty good and I may do that again next year.

I don't think I could choose which canned product is my favorite. I pretty much love it all or I wouldn't do it.  The next two shots are more an overall view on my basement shelves of the bountiful harvest.  We still have apples to do this year so I will have to squeeze them in somewhere!!!

Boy this makes me a bit hungry looking at everything...