Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Looking forward to Fall in the Ozarks

Tiny Crabapple

Fall is right around the corner here in the Ozarks.  Tomorrow the high is supposed to be 90, then it drops down into the 80's and even high 70's.  I am really looking forward to seeing the foilage turn colors.  I've been told that because of the rainfall this past year the fall colors will be beautiful.  In Texas the trees turn yellow just as the leaves all fall from the trees.  Not very exciting.  I remember flying into Memphis once in the fall and I was awe-struck by the beautiful foliage as we flew in.  It just wasn't something I saw in Texas.

There's an old tree behind the house with tee-tiny fruits on it.  No one knew what they were so I brought a couple in, cut one in half and googled it.  Turns out this is a crab apple, albeit tiny ones.  Maybe they're small because the tree hasn't been pruned in years.  I suppose I could make spiced crab apples or apple jelly with them, and maybe I will ... next year.  Without a kitchen just making dinner is work enough, much less trying to can anything.

The kitchen is shaping up.  The plumber has been here, the gas company, the elecrician and Marc has hung the sheetrock.  We need to put down a new floor (not sure yet what it will be) then we can install the cabinets, which are filling up the "living room" (I use that term loosely because it's really a construction zone too). 

Meanwhile I am getting bids for a chimney (or chim-lee as one guy pronounces it) for the wood stove that I want to put in the kitchen.  My dream stove is a Waterford Stanley but the budget just won't allow for that.  I looked into antique stoves but the clearances to combustibles is just too great, and they have a small firebox and I'm not sure if we would be able to keep insurance on the house with a vintage stove.  So, back to the drawing board.  I found a stove that seemed to fit the bill - the Baker's Choice.  It's not particularly attractive, but it is very functional, both for cooking and heating.  The price was do-able and it was new, safe and efficient.  When I started calling around to get info and bids on the chimney, one of the local companies had a wood cook stove they had taken in trade.  The owner said it was very similar to the one I was thinking of buying.  As it turns out, it is a very good stove - much better than the one I was eyeing.  I'm going to look at it tomorrow.  It's called a Margin Gem-Pac.  It's much more attractive than the Baker's Choice too. 

We bought a tiller and have plans for a fall garden.  We're in USDA Zone 6B, which is way different from the zone we were in previously (we were sort of between 8 and 9).  This tiller is a Troy-Bilt, much smaller than the last one we had, but being new, it runs really well and has some nice features.  I think it's also a little easier to handle. 

Along with the campfire living and home remodeling, I am working on an order for two christening outfits for a set of twins, a boy and a girl.  The mother's wedding gown is (or WAS) absolutely beautiful, silk with a beautiful beaded band around the midriff.  After cutting it up to make a slip, gown, boy's outfit, shoes and bonnet, there's not much left of her dress.  I need to get these done pronto because I have another order and that mom's dress is in the mail and will be here Friday.  I'll post pics of the outfits when I'm done.


  1. I am enjoying reading about your new adventures! More pictures please!

  2. Looking forward to hearing what you found out about the Gem Pac.