Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Birds Calling in the Snow, Granny & Baby...

Just a little picture of me and my little grand baby. She slept and fussed most of our visit. We enjoyed a few hours babysitting! That's a long ways to go to babysit though. Hard to imagine that she will be so much bigger and older and different next time I am able to see her. Babies are surprise packages, we never know just what's in there do we? I am privileged to be able to watch over her, even from a distance. I like those words 'watch over'. As she was fussing and causing trouble her Daddy, my oldest son, took her over to the couch and lay her by his side. She went to sleep as he stroked her tiny head. He said, "yup, she needs lots of watching over." I will treasure that little scene. I snapped a photo of him soothing her and it is on my laptop as a background at the moment.

We have some snow this morning, the sky looks as if it 'might' produce more but hasn't quite made a call on it. The library will be opening a couple hours later than usual. I was kind of hoping for a snow day as I am a little under the weather. I worked last night and I guess I probably had a little combination of factors going on--maybe a bit of jet lag, a little bug--or possibly something I ate at the airport? as well as some stressy situations in my extended family.. all combined to produce a bit of headache and just not feeling very well. The weather verdict should be in by 8ish I think, I don't have to work until afternoon anyhow--so if I do, I'll be fine, just wish it were a home day. :)

We have begun to insulate the new house. #2 Son was out there yesterday while Hubby & I were working and began to cut fiberglass insulation and apply it to walls. We bought the extra wide rolls as they are far far less pricey than the pre-cut. The job is a little more work this way, but its good for the budget. Hopefully today Daughter and #2 Son will go and do more there, I'm wondering how much will be done today though as it is so cold. #3 Son will be arriving next week, which means we need to round up a bed and do some room switching here--again. I have a couple days off starting tomorrow I suppose I will also be cutting and applying insulation. Family fun.

Outside it looks so cold! It is a mere 19' this morning in Charlotte, brrr. Nonetheless the birds are out there calling and chirping--not too much full-throated singing yet. I can see some of them hopping about the garden and I can hear my wind chimes as they sway in a cold breeze. I'm very glad I still have my big down filled 'fargo coat' because there is still no heat in my car and this is going to be a cold day for driving to work--or to the house. Its funny that I can still see the signs of spring out there--the deeper more vibrant color of some of the evergreens and the brighter look at the tips of deciduous trees. It sure does not look like spring is going to come early however.

I'm thinking I should find a nice recipe for a bean soup of some sort-- maybe start some beans cooking right now so they will be soft by the time I need to go and I can put them in a pot with some veggies and stock. A good filling hot meal will be good tonite. Comfort food, there is a reason for it, there are days when it is just the best thing to do. I think I may still have a bit of fresh spinach, perhaps add some spaghetti sauce and maybe potato, celery and carrot.. onion? Thyme? Sounds good.

I do have some black beans already pre-cooked in my freezer in portions, but I think I'd like to have some northern white beans today. If I start cooking a big batch right now by 10 or so they should be ready to add to a recipe. I can still get a batch of something done for dinner. It worked real well for me last time I cooked the black beans without pre-soaking, as directed in my How to Cook Everything Cookbook. They ended up being the best black beans I've ever made. Better than the canned and about half the price.

I was just outside to move my car so Hubby could get out of the driveway. I have to say it is very cold. Funny the same temperature didn't feel as cold a couple days ago when I was in the Northwest--seemed more appropriate there I guess. You just don't expect to feel this cold here. I guess we also have a bit of a windchill going today, so maybe it is colder?

The wind chimes are ringing and a mockingbird is taking refuge in the holly tree amidst all the bright red berries. Holly Berries are gorgeous much of the winter. Most berries are eaten up by birds early in fall, but holly is much harder and it needs to soften up over the winter. They are just now getting to the edible stage for the birds. The tree sure looks pretty right now, I wonder if the mockingbird will be guarding it as he did the dogwood.

Time to get those beans going.. its a plan!


  1. Mary thanks for sharing that beautiful photo! She already looks bigger. What a wonderful experience for you to visit with her. I hope you get to see her again before too long.

    Here in IL it was 0 when I was getting ready to go to work this morning. Bean soup sounds so good. Perfect for wintry weather. I have never made no soak beans but you have convinced me to try it. How do you know how much soup base to add?

  2. You and Ruby look like you dressed to match for your photo shoot!!! I like that brown and pink on babies now!!!

    Your beans sound wonderful...I should go pre-soak some now for crock pot tomorrow!!!

  3. Thanks ladies!
    About the no presoak beans--when I add soup base--I just happened to put in a few teaspoons. It doesn't have to be measured really you just want to add a little flavor. You wait til the beans have cooked awhile because some folks say that adding salt will make the beans tough. Well there's salt in the soup base of course. They do not get tough though--they came out very nice again!
    Yes Ruby is growing right along.. oh gosh it will be hard to wait to see her again!

  4. Thank you for the bean directions. I am going to try them, maybe this weekend.

  5. I hope it works well for you!
    I used a nice cast iron dutch oven to cook mine--its enamal clad. The black beans did put a stain on the white enamel of my new pot-but I soaked it with a little bleach and that took most of it out.

    I think a heavier pot works better when cooking things a long time than a thin one.