I sat in the living room with Ivy in my lap watching the fog come up the holler this morning, and wondering how the rest of the weekend will play out.  The gas company is still working on roads and new pipeline.  The yard is becoming a mud pit, and I am ready to have the peace back around here.  Today, I caught about five of them hovered around the chicken coop.  One of them was giving one of our roosters hits off of his cigarette.  I quickly went out on the porch to make myself known.  I was about to have words with him, but I was able to restrain myself, and they just as quickly left our yard.  I know that when all is finished, it will be better for us and easier on the vehicles, but right now, it’s hard.

mud

I’m having to keep the girls inside for the most part.  Today, it was so beautiful, we had to venture out for a quick swing while we caught some quiet.  What you see here is the new road.  We had to move the swingset.  The road took our compost pile, all my wild blackberries, and my bird feeders that I made with the girls.  However, it will prevent us driving through a large part of the creek.  Hopefully, we’ll have a bridge over the deepest part at some point.  Right now with the rain, we can’t park anywhere near the house.  We are parking about a football field’s walk in the mud from the house.  The dozers and inloaders coupled with the type of work they are doing has kept us out of the hills this fall.  Usually, we are in them most days.  I had wanted to take pictures of the trees and all their colors.  The leaves are pretty much gone now.  I took this next photo from the yard, catching a patch of trees that hadn’t been so blown by the wind.

red

I’m trying to look on the bright side of things.  John has described this month as the month from “hell”, and for him it probably has been.  October is my favorite month, so I’m giving its redemption my best shot. 🙂  I went to the produce stand on Wednesday and discovered that as long as there is something to be sold and people buying, they will be open!  They carry some local goods like potatoes, honey, sorghum, and other canned items.  The rest of the produce is trucked in from North Carolina, but it is a family business and small.  It is an outdoor stand.  Though the produce is not organic, its flavor is magnificent.

Here are some of the winter items I stocked up on, just in case they close.

produce

In that basket are apples of all sorts, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, and butternut squash.  I plan to peel, slice, and freeze some of these apples for fried apples through the winter.  Some of the green ones will make an apple pie.  I have Mutsu and Granny Smiths.  Sweet potatoes are something John and I have never liked until we started cooking more traditional/whole foods.  Now,in this area, most sweet potato dishes that are served are very sweet, almost like a desert.  Brown sugar, margarine, and marshmallows are added along with other spices.  It makes it taste wrong to both John and I.  However, we have found that we love them fried in butter with nothing added except occasionally a little nutmeg or cinnamon.  I thought about making sweet potato chips with some of these, or baking a few.  Yum!  I can just see the melted butter.

I also got a few huge cabbages for sauerkraut making, and a box of the nicest onions.  The red ones in the picture are the best tasting onion I have ever put in my mouth.  They are so sweet.  The little ones are PeeWee Vidalias.  I’ll have to report back on those.

onions

Before John left today, we talked about cooking.  Neither of us can remember when I made a dinner last.  😦  I cook breakfast every morning.  It is the family meal we rely on.  This month we have been apart most of the time for dinner.  I don’t cook when it is just me and the girls.  They eat so little that we just eat lunch type foods.  I miss dinner.  That is why I bought the butternut squash.  I have never had it, and I want to make something different.  I want to eat things that are in season.

This morning, I made fried apples from the fresh apples I bought yesterday.  The girls and I really enjoyed them.  It is a traditional Appalachian food.  Many families had apple trees on their little hillside homestead.  I’ll post my recipe on the favorite recipes page.

apples

Thanks ladies for the well wishes for the girls.  It is a minor thing – cold like.  I’m thinking either from all the wet weather or the sitting in the car cart at the mall when we went for my birthday.  It is that or the mold issue.  We are still working on that.  The ventilation has brought some help, but not quite enough.  We are looking for a dehumidifier.  If that doesn’t work…  I hope that isn’t the problem.

It is more than a blessing to be able to live in this holler and in this cabin.  It is perfect for us.  Our landlord is a true friend.  I wish so much that it wouldn’t have to ever come to an end, even when things are a bit off kilter.

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