Day 8: White knuckled behind the wheel

Today’s Meals

Breakfast: Eggs, toast, OJ, and grapes
Lunch: Rice and pumpkin stew (Note: you can use ginger and red pepper flakes or paprika for this recipe if you don’t have ‘proper’ Ethiopian berbere). Along with that we had cucumbers and zucchini bread.
Dinner: Crockpot BBQ chicken and potatoes. I cooked chicken breasts and cubed potatoes with a couple of cups of water and a cup of barbecue sauce. I think this would have been better with chicken thighs as the breast were a little dry. But the meat was very tender and everyone scarfed it down happily.

My time this morning was spent on homeschooling and chopping one enormous pumpkin. (Hoping to make pumpkin pie out of it tomorrow). This afternoon we had a doctor’s appointment, a trip to the post office, and a stop at my college daughter’s dorm. Plus I had to go pick up an application to renew my passport since it expired in June. I stayed strong and didn’t buy anything, despite my terrible craving for a Sonic fruit slushy when the temp in the car hit 90 and I realized I hadn’t brought a drop of water along.

For added fun, all this driving was done by my 16 year old son. When we got home, I complained about how exhausted I was from all that driving, and my 10 year old son said, ” But why? You didn’t even do any of the driving!”

I tried to explain to him that riding in a car with a 16 year old behind the wheel is infinitely more exhausting than steering for yourself, but I don’t imagine he’ll truly understand that dynamic til he has kids of his own.

Tomorrow along with making pie, I am hoping to get started on grape juice, and maybe some grape jelly. We’ll see how it all plays out. I am getting rather tired of kitchen duty. (Or could it be that I should start getting to bed before 1 am?) Anyway I’ll be glad when this garden is put to bed for the winter. But for now I’d better make hay jelly while the sun shines grapes are ripe.


  1. I am truly in awe!

    And jealous of your upcoming trip (in a good way-you will help so many children!)

  2. I have a beautifully artistic dent in the front of my car, courtesy of son’s driving lesson #1. Just as well there was a post in the way though, or we would have driven through a mobile home. I have more white hair than I care to admit.

    PS I FOGET the maths question EVERY TIME

  3. I just don’t think they understand how tired your leg can get from pushing the ‘Mom Brakes’! You survived, the car survived, and your son got more driving experience, all in all, a good thing!
    Heather BT

  4. My oldest is sixteen and has absolutely no interest in driving. I’m having to MAKE her practice. Somehow this is not the scenario I pictured when I pictured having teenagers. LOL

  5. Mary, I sympathize with you and the canning and freezing. I just did a tally on my full jars and counted 300! No wonder I am getting burned out with standing at the sink and stove. I am grateful though, it is cheaper food and tastes so good in the winter. I am thankful to God for the abundance…. how do you do your grape juice, I am curious!

  6. Sister, I’m totally with you when it comes to the teenage driver! Our 15 year old is ‘learning’ and I was white-knuckled every time she was behind the wheel. Now we’re teaching her how to drive the standard transmission; a whole new perspective here.

  7. That pumpkin soup sounds yummy. I found a can of pumpkin puree in the pantry so we might give it a try. We are trying so many new recipes now that we are trying to live off what we have.

  8. I just read through all your blog posts from the last few days. I love how much your are getting from your garden, but understand the tiredness of it. My oldest child and I put up 27 jars of peaches last week. I wanted to do apples, but have not found any locally yet. I have three trees growing apples that the old owners a few past came out and their son said they were crab apples. I have yet to even pick one. We bought our land in one of the repo sales, so we are discovering things but also planted a small garden. I plan to plant more next year. 🙂 Anyway..all this rambling in my comment is just to say your inspire me. 🙂

  9. I love reading about your garden. I have much pumpkin jealousy. Every time we try to grow them, we lose them to vine rot due to excessive hurricane related rain. Once i get my chicks outside into a coop, I’m working on getting DH to commit to a garden again. I miss having my hands in the soil.

  10. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog today (linked from somewhere, I’m sure, but I couldn’t tell you where) and it’s awesome! All of your food preserving talk reminds me so much of my mom and the way her kitchen hummed this time of year when I was a kid. Nostalgia! I admire your 30 Day spending challenge, too. That’s something I should do, though not this month.

  11. I am so inspired Mary! I wanted to do 30 days of nothing this month, but with adoption and moving, I felt I better wait for another time. So, I am going to do ours in November. I love this idea and think it should be something more people tried. And for myself, I hope I can make it more of a habit and less of a challenge. Anyhow, I always love reading your blog!

  12. Mary, I couldn’t hold a candle to you in the “get things done” department. You go girl! (to bed before midnight preferably).

  13. Hi Mary,
    Just catching up on your blog, and not commenting on any one thing in particular, but in general, just wanted to say how inspiring I find you . You are truly a wonder!

  14. Oh, your blog is so entertaining, but I must admit, I end up feeling a little guilty sometimes. I am NOT at all into canning, gardening…. But, as we just adopted our 4th and 5th, and now were asked to adopt their sister, so our 6th, I wonder if the only way we will be able to afford it is to do all the things that you write about. I would MUCH rather read about others doing it, than doing it myself. I told my husband I think I could have the energy if I could take some sort of speed or something. Hmmm

  15. Our middle son is 25 years old and still has no interest in getting his driver’s license. He had Driver’s Ed in high school, but never would finish the required hours of behind the wheel while he still had his learner’s permit.
    He says owning a car is too much hassle, what with upkeep and insurance and plates.
    On the other hand, his university ID allows him to ride the public bus for free, and a discount on train travel.

    And I miss homemade grape juice. Even when I buy a bottle saying 100% juice, the taste still lacks a little luvv.