Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 22, 2013

Only a couple days more and the Christmas madness will be history.  Just can't get into Christmas anymore and am always happy when it is over.  I finished up the last of the baking for the family cookie exchange and have been making a LOT of preserves this past week.  Today I need to wrap the few presents I have for the family dice game.  I bought a few funny items to wrap.

This morning I was up very early and made Cranberry/Orange preserves.  I used my Spiced Cranberry Jam recipe and left out the spices and added orange peel and orange juice.  Yesterday I did a workday at Messenger Woods and handed out Spiced Cranberry Spread to all of the usual suspects as a little Christmas present.  I will be making some cran-raspberry preserves later on this morning after I go to Aldi to get sugar as I am all out again.  Now that Dominick's is closing, I have to find a new place to grocery shop and Berkots is too expensive so Aldi is what I am going to try.  I have some other fruit in the freezer and on my last trip to Dominick's on Friday I bought the last two pineapples that they had.  Those pineapples were peeled, cored, and ground up and are now in the freezer for when I get around to another batch of Pineapple/Grapefruit preserves.  May also try Pineapple/Orange.  I will miss the great and inexpensive fruit that I have been able to get at Dominick's the past few years and don't know that I will be able to make as much preserves as I used to because I just don't know if I will be able to find good and reasonably priced fruit.

Last weekend was another restoration and Star Wars weekend.  I had a restoration workday at Hickory Creek Junction.  The snow fell all morning when we were at the workday and there was a good bit of snow on the ground.  This week temperatures moderated and we even got rain.  A lot of the snow has been washed away and replaced by ice.  Today we may get more snow, I hope it is not a lot.  I think that in the south suburbs we are not supposed to get as much.  This week I bought new tires for the Jeep-perfect timing.  I found that with the new tires I am not getting that horrible wobble in the front end anymore.  I almost replaced a lot of the front end parts in the hopes of getting rid of the wobble, but thought I would buy the much needed tires first.  Turned out to be a good move as it would appear that the wobble was indeed coming from the tires.  I also had a new engine block heater power cord installed in the Jeep.  The cord that you plug into the outlet gets real brittle with all of the engine compartment heat and it starts to crack.  I found that the last time I plugged in the engine block heater that it didn't work so I suspect the cord was at fault.  It is supposed to get REALLY cold again this week, so for sure I will be plugging in the heater and hope that it works.

Last Sunday I did do a Star Wars event for Toys for Tots at Cantigny Gardens. I wore my Rebel Fleet Trooper costume and was, once again, the "lone Rebel".  I only stayed for a few hours as I do seem to get bored easily these days.

Well, back to chores and some much needed house cleaning now that the laundry is done.  It is a good thing I have like 50 pairs of socks cuz I think that half of them were in the laundry basket.

This past Tuesday was the last Master Gardener Pot Luck for the year.  I enjoy those monthly meetings a lot.  I brought 4 of my preserves along for the gardeners to taste test and evaluate and the Cran-raspberry came out the winner.

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