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So, I am learning more and more about going gluten free.  We went on a 4 day weekend and on day one, I ate somewhat normal, which meant I ate items that had gluten in them.  Not alot, but I was not sticking to what I know works for me… and I paid for it.  By the end of the first day my pain levels were super high…. could not even touch my legs without them hurting… my fault, I know better, but did it anyway.

The next day we went to the King Authur Flour Company in Norwich, Vermont. ( kingauthurflour.com)      If you ever get the chance to go… do so.  Not only can you see the factory, they have a cafe there that serves food made with the flour,  sitting area inside, or outside under the sun, or in the back under a porch, all surround by beautiful trees and landscaping. A store that is to die for, oh my, everything and anything you could ever need or wish for in it, Schools to learn how to bake and classes and so much more.  Parking was easy,  getting around was easy.

One of the reasons I wanted to go was to see what all they had that was Gluten Free and be able to try some. The stores of course do not carry all the products and I did not like the idea of ordering anything unless I have tried it.  Once we got there, I was amazed… Geez, from pie crust, to cookies, to breads, to flours that measure 1 to 1, or all purpose flours, and people who could explain to you all.  Recipes on their website, blogs on gluten free you can follow… it was awesome.  So we ended up buying alot of items… 4 large bags full, but all things I will use.  Some mixes, for everything.  While I was there I learned that you can not convert all the recipes in your personal collection to gluten free, just by measurements, but need to add some xanthan gum Or it will not rise well even with yeast.  There were other things that you need to change, and people there explained it well ( as does their webpage)  There are also promotions and the more you buy the more $$ you get off in the coming months.

They give you tips and ideas and phone numbers to call, or a email to send them any questions or problems that you have.  After buying our house in April, I kindof just let things get dropped that I was doing or putting it off, but back on the ball again, and looking forward to trying all of the things we bought.  I will be learning how to cook using the items and adding what I need to for them to come out and will keep everyone posted that is following me.  Looking forward to the pie crust alone…. and then Pizza dough.  Just so excited that we got there and got to spend as much time as I wanted there, is such a beautiful setting with knowledgable people.  The sandwhich I had was wonderful on gluten free bread, tasted like regular bread.  The chicken salad that we bought to take back to our hotel room was wonderful, and they even had hand crafted marshmellows!  I have so found a place we will go back to again.  Yes as I need I will order more to replace my pantry as I use these mixes and flours up, if I can not find them in the store.  They are cheaper at King Authur website… so look out mailman, Going to be some boxes coming my way from now on!

Big Adventures heading our way!

Wow, we took a big step and bought us a house!  We have rented for 23 years a small apartment not far away from this house.  Our landlord wanted to redo the apartment and wanted us to move out.  He has been a great Landlord, no problems for either of us, and we knew it was time.  The apartment was upstairs and I was having a hard time getting up and down them, so was not walking much or doing much as it was easier than trying to go up and down them.  We started to look on January 1st, and I was thinking…”we are not going to find anything, just the wrong time of the year”.  Boy was I wrong!  We did look at a few apartments to rent, but they were more than what we had been paying and not as big… parking was not next to the place… nothing seemed right.

We decided for the heck of it, we would look at places to buy.  This beautiful house was a block away, and we though, maybe, well why not, so we scheduled a viewing.  On the first weekend of February we made an appointment. We walked into this home, built in 1832 and fell in love.  None of the doors are the same size, and some are not squared, but it is magnificent.  Now… the next question is can we get a loan?  Everything seemed to fall in place, (albeit a long time in my mind to happen)  The offer was accepted, the Loan went through without any snags, the inspections passed, except that the porch railing had some chips and needed to be painted,  Then we had to wait for the title search and after much nail biting on my end, that came back clear. We are indeed home owners!

So on April 11, 2019, we signed papers at our lawyers office, was able to get the keys and walked into OUR HOME.  We started to move things over slowly…. My bed, computer desk and such came first and I set up my bedroom in the downstairs bedroom.  Next were the cat items and cats… all set up in my room, where we could close them up while we moved the rest of the items in.  I have been sleeping here every since.  With the help of friends we have been moving items over a few car loads at a time and setting things up.  My husband has the two upstairs rooms, one large one he will use as his office and bedroom and a guest room, which is the staging point for the boxes and totes upstairs.

When you walk into the house, you walk into a brightly painted yellow room, which we are creating our library.  It has the small tall table with four chairs, and book cases with lots and lots of books.  to the right is my bedroom and the left of this room is the Living room which is the downstairs staging area for boxes and totes.  Also off to the left is a dining room with a built in wall glass case, which some of my dishes will go in,  The bathroom is off of the dining room.  Next is a huge kitchen with 12 outlets!  12!  I will not have to move anything to plug something in.  The first thing unpacked in the kitchen was the coffee maker, coffee and cups.  We had to order a refrigerator and Stove, but have a microwave and small dorm fridge we are using for now.  There is also a washer/dryer room and a mud room.  Now add a front porch (LARGE)  and a side porch (which we are closing in with plant mess for the cats to be able to go on and not escape) a really large back yard (half acre) and did I mention the cellar and shed outside?  WOW.  Never did I think we could own something so nice, so large, so perfect for us.

It is going to be a house full of laughter, love, family and friends.  Everyone is welcome to stop by, for a visit, a cup of coffee, or something cold to drink.  Only good vibes happening here.  You can park right in front of the porch and come in the front door, or more toward the shed and come in the back door.  The house has 3 doors to come in and out ( well the third door is for getting on the side porch only) I have birds that are coming to my feeders already, we have a table on the front porch with chairs, and the swing couch and there is still room.

We have a good friend who is a little dynomite of a worker…. she has helped us move things out of the old apartment to the new house 2 to 5 loads a day, and helps me move things around inside.  I could not do much the other day, having done too much the previous days, so she had me sit, and would bring me a tote of books, where I would wipe them down, and then she would take them to each room they were going in.  The cookbooks ~ kitchen, books for upstairs, books going in the dining room in a glass door book case for the older books and then the books in the library.  that took us several hours but look at the results so far… and yes there are still more to unpack.  The cats are slowly walking around, and now seem to know where each room is and found a few spots to lay down and watch.  My parrot will come over this week.  We wanted to wait until we had the majority of items over before we moved him, so him and his cage would not be in the way.

I think my golden years are going to be mighty awesome here in this house.  Yes I know it will take several months to feel moved in and have everything where we want it, but we can do it.  Already planning to have everyone over for Thanksgiving and a “its a wonderful life” party in December.  We have gardens to plan and flowers to plant.

We also have a really big woodchuck, who is going to have to go somewhere else.  He is soooo big and is under the shed in the sideyard.  There is a spunky little chipmunk who I enjoy watching who just runs over the top of the woodchuck and harrasses him…. that little guy can stay!  Have wonderful neighbors, and right now … Life is really good! So that is why I have been not posting lately… to busy finding what box has things in that I need, and then I find stuff in other boxes, I did not know we had, I see a major garage sale coming up in our future… at the New House of course!!

Zoom ~ Boy has the last few months flew by!

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Have not posted since November the 10th!  Just seems like yesterday, but wow has a lot happened.

In November of course was Thanksgiving and good food, family and such.  Where I volunteer at , the Lucy Bensley Genealogy center, we had lots of folks come and we were able to help most, and get other started on the right road to find family.  It got cold, then warmed up, then dumped a ton of snow, then rain.  I moved my bird feeders closer to the back porch so I could fill them easier, and then had a deer come up on the porch to eat out of them, with me standing at the glass door not 10 feet away.

December was alot of the same, cold, warm up, winds, oh the winds were wicked.  Getting ready for Christmas, and of course more good food, and I stayed gluten free for all of it.  (really wanted some of the other stuff that had gluten, but stuck with my promise to myself) Started to look for another Doctor, just not happy with mine now. Shopping, mostly online, as I do not like crowds, I got a better selection, and it came in the mail, right to my house… win – win in my eyes.  My husband job has longer hours during this month, so he was tired and took naps, as I did…and the cats, so December just slipped by.

January arrives, and the wind and cold are here… and then during the month, it got up to 50 on some days, with rain, followed by snow and wind, so of course, now there is ice on the roads and walkways.  What a strange winter we are having this year.  Went in for my medical cannabis recertification and we are are adding a CBD dose along with the TCH dose.  I thought I was getting a new card, so I waited 3 weeks, before I talked to my person who does it, only to find out, nope not a new card, same number.  Geez, so now I have missed out on them bringing it to me in my town, and have to drive 1 hour to the location I go to get it.  Luck was on my side that day, as it turned out to be one of the warmer days, with no snow blowing, wind and white outs for the drive.  After the first dose of the CBD capsule, I was amazed at the drop in my pain level.  Now that I have been doing this for 2 weeks, I can say, I think we have hit on a good combo and my levels are staying down.  So that is a plus for me!

January also was another anniversary for me, My one year  of writing for the newspaper, Springville Times. I was asked to write articles, regarding the history of the town, called Looking back.  Since I am not from this area (ok been here 30 years now) I really have to research each one, but I enjoy the hunt.  Some folks came up with ideas that they wanted me to do and were awesome in supplying some info to get me started. I have written articles on founding fathers, businesses, old items all of it, and really enjoy it as well.  I learn something new each time I write one.  May have one coming up on cookie cutters ( made by tin smiths), Hair Wreaths and jewelry, what to do in the snow (snow ice cream, jax wax, for those of us that do not ski, sled and such) a few more stores that have been in business forever.  I did one on the houses sold by Sears and Roebuck, undertakers, and the GAR log cabin that we have in town, one of a few left in all of the states I am told.

Oh and we decided to start to look for another place to live.  We have been where we are for 22 years, and it is a upstairs apartment of a old house, which we love, but going up and down stairs is getting harder on me.  The first apartment we looked at, while it was ok, was smaller, twice as much as we pay now and we could not park by it.   It will make a great apartment for someone, but not us.  We have looked at others, and also at some houses to buy, we will see what happens first.  So started to go through all my stuff with the idea of us moving it and I am thinning stuff out.  Isn’t it amazing how much stuff we accumulate?!

I also assist with the Civil War Museum here in town, help with their facebook page, and was to give a talk at the end of the month, that we had to postpone, due to the weather.  I will give it at the end of February.  We are also re arranging the books at the research center where I volunteer so seems like I am packing and sorting at both home and there.

On to February, here it is the 18th and I still think it is January.  Guess this year is just going to slide by fast as well. Weather is still wacky… cold and snowy one day, few days later, warmer and raining, back to cold and snow with wind blowing…. I am so ready for Spring. Until I know if and when we are moving, I do not want to plan my gardens or such, so that is on hold… oh the wait is the worst of it.  Once I know we are for sure moving, I can pack more, and plan my flowers and herbs planting, but not yet… We decided not to travel to Florida as we have the past years for a break in the weather, but look for a place to move into…so not getting my break there….arrgghhhh.  But enjoying my time with my friends each week instead.

Once a week ( at least once a week)  us and our friends go out for a meal to sit and laugh and enjoy each others company.  Always a needed event.  We hear each others woes and joys, get goofy sometimes ( not just kids who can do that) and laugh…. it helps us through the rest of the week.  We are already working on getting the building and staff ready for the Fair in August.  Takes us several months to set up all the demonstrators inside and outside along with the Volunteers too.

For those of you that follow me, I promise it will not be so long next time before you hear from me.  Today it is 18 degrees as I type this and snowing.in three days the high is 40, and it continues to go up after that…. time will tell if the snow sneaks back in again.

Happy Anniversary to me!

I am coming up to my one year of eating gluten free.  What a trip it has been.  Good, Bad, confusing, trying and succeeding!  On this journey, I have discovered that not only gluten, but some other foods bother me.  So I started keeping a log, which sometimes I do not fill out and of course regret, because I tend to eat it again and feel yucky.  I am still learning.

But along the way, I found some great brands such as UDIs which no matter what, will taste good.  I have to remind myself, to try and keep away from preservatives and additives in the foods, some really bother me and shoots my pain up.   I have found that I am getting that I just do not want bread anymore.  UDIs has a multigrain bread that taste good, but I am just as happy using lettuce as my bread or just served on a plate.  Apples slice length wise, makes great substitute for bread for a turkey and cheese sandwich.

Now for noodles, some are awesome and some are … ah no, not eating that.  I make my own chicken noodle soup, using broth, some veggies and GF skinny noodles, broke up to smaller lengths, I have learned to make gravy with corn starch, still as tasty… now, this year, I am going to attempt to make a GF dressing… time will tell.

I am amazed still of how many premade food has gluten in them.  At the same time, food places are getting on the ball and offering GF chooses, one is entirely Gluten Free.

Another milestone for me, is the articles that I write for the local newspaper that comes out once a week. (it also has been one year)  As most of you know, I volunteer at the Lucy Bensley Genealogy research Center here in town around 20 hours a week.  Through this, I now write, once a week a “Looking Back” article regarding events, or people or something from this area during the years since the town was established in 1834.  ( we have folks living here as early as 1807 and the first child born here in 1809)  I love researching, so fits me I guess.  I have learned so much about this area, and now we have folks coming in sharing their stories, which gives me some great ideas for future articles using what they bring me or share with me.  From mysteries, to facts, to Churches, and Cemeteries, Schools and people, stores and more, it has been a fun journey.

So Happy Anniversary to me for all I have done this last year.  Looking forward to see what the second year brings me!

What an adventure!

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Wow the year just keeps speeding by.  I Have been super busy the last few weeks since the Erie County Fair.  I have done 5 butter demos, my last one was at the Olmsted camp, a awesome place in itself, and the view is just spectacular!  I had Aunty Herb with me and what a great time we had.  I also had my needle felted pictures with me and sold 2 of them as well as some of my note cards.  We gave out lots of sample of fresh butter with herbs and meet some of the best folks.  I so enjoy being out there.

I also have been giving talks on both genealogy and grave stone art work, and have two more lined up next week.  Along with all of this, I have been staying gluten free and finding more and more places have GF options which is such a plus.  I have been able to turned down cookies and cakes that have been offer to me and not feel the  … Oh I really want to eat that … feeling anymore.  My pain level has gone down so much and I continue to be amazed that something as simple as going gluten free ( not saying that part was easy) really helps my pain.

I decided in my wisdom to get another bed to sleep in so started doing research on both bed frames and mattress.  After much looking and checking found what would work for me and my size ( I am no little thing so it had to be sturdy).  I ordered all the mattress, frame, sheets and such in one order… and of course the mattress came first, which I hope would not happen.  Oh well, we brought it upstairs as it was one of those that comes rolled up and will decompress and relax and grow to the right size once it is laid out.  It had said that if it was store where it was cold, it would take longer so upstairs it came.  the sheets came next and 2 days later the frame.

I got a Pragma bed frame for several reasons, one it folds flat when you are done with it and can be stored or moved easier, two, I was good for my size, three, the head and or foot can be raised, which I need sometimes to help me breath at night and just for comfort.  The mattress was a Zinus, which was rated good, had layers within it.  Now like everything it had pros and cons and some loved it and some had problems with it, as with the “Purple” mattress and another one I looked at.  But I decided to give it a shot.

I have such great friends, and was able to call one to help me after I got the room cleaned and vacuumed where I wanted the bed to go.  Setting up the frames was really easy as you just slide them out of the box, open the legs, attached the braces with wing nuts, then attach the two frames together… easy.   They were heavy but once together will slide across the floor if I need them to.

Now the mattress,  I should have video that.  Getting it to slide out of the box was funny, as it was packed really tight and just would not come out.  So, we cut the box, carefully as to not cut the mattress and removed the box.  Ok, that is done, now we lay it on the bed. The direction warn that if you removed the second layer of plastic, have it on the frame itself as it will start to decompress and relax.  Think of a can of biscuits that you pop open and they start to grow.  You got it, so after removing the first layer, then the second, remove the plastic…. it was flat and on the frame.  Now all we have to do is wait 24 to 72 hours until it has reached the full size.  Then you can add the sheets.  So I am now waiting.

The following morning it had reach the right thickness, and when I get through at the Lucy Bensley Center I will arrange and add sheets and such.

Wow first night I slept on it and I love it!  Rosebud has still not accepted the bed, the room being unarranged and rearranged and put back together and still is flipping when she sees me.  Just too funny.    Now all that is left to do is go through all of my junk that had accumulating over the year, things I kept for who knows why, good reason to go through and clean out and get myself organized.

Oh what will the next few weeks bring?  Who knows!

Where did the summer go?!

Geez, Did the Erie County Fair for 2 weeks.  Camped out in a RV with 3 other people and was at the Historical Building every day… Churned 90 pounds of butter and meet some really wonderful people as they came through this building.

Came home from the fair and 24 hours later… I was on Amtrak heading to New Hampshire to babysit my grandpets while my son and his family took a vacation to Disney.  I got a few days alone with the pets before my spouse joined me, I got some articles written and lots of computer work done, then we used their house as a home base as we visited several cemeteries and even a light house!

Now it is the 2nd week of September and I am trying to get back on a normal schedule for me….. yea, I over scheduled myself and hit the ground at home with craft shows and talks and butter churning plus my volunteering at the Lucy Bensley Center.  What was I thinking!? My body was not happy that I had not been home for 5 weeks, first on a thin mattress in a RV, then on a pull out bed.  My house looked like a storage shed… all the clothes I use for the butter churning, and all the clothes I took on the trip everywhere… the house had not been cleaned since I was not home since and with two cats, a parrot, I was amazed to say the least.  I was trying to clean and volunteer and do my craft show and demos and talk …. not smart on my end and I had to stop and regroup.

Finally got the house where 90 percent of the items I used, or packed are put up, took several days and got the house vacuumed.  The cleaning bug stayed with me as I went to the Lucy Bensley Center and cleaned my desk there off.  Starting to feel somewhat normal again.  For those that know me I enjoy sitting on my porch and watching the birds along with the outside cats that my neighbor and I take care of.  I got shepherd hooks for my bird feeder so the squirrels would quit breaking my feeders and eating all of the food.  I had to add a spring to stop them from climbing up the pole to eat the bird food.  I also would yell at them when I see them on or near the feeder.  As a result, now, when I pull up in the car or sit on the back porch the squirrels yell at me!  Funniest things I have every heard… I get out of my car, and two or three of them are yelling at me…. I think they got the idea.

Last week I filled the feeder and was taking them back to hang them up, when I had two little birds land on the feeder and start to eat, while I was still holding them!  I have never had that happen before, that was awesome.  As you can see from the photos I managed to still have peppers growing…

So I have my house somewhat normal, I have my desk where I volunteer cleaned.  I have some more talks lined up, one craft show and finally do not fill rushed and unorganized.

Welcome Fall… I am ready for you !!

I got me a herd!

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August has been a whirlwind of a month so far.  I had the joy of churning butter during the Erie County Fair, at the Historical building.  What a fantastic time it was.  I churned all but one day, and manage to churn 90 pounds of Butter this year, handing them out as samples.  The flavors for the fair…. why Black Raspberries and Everything but the bagel topping with parmesan garlic, along with plain.  Everyone loved the flavors and I usually had a line waiting to try some butter.

Along the way…. I gained a herd of cows!  Some strayed so I named them all and they helped me demonstrate the ease of churning butter.  People were amazed at how easy it is and how fast it makes.  Heavy cream, (Upstate is the best) at room temperature, and either in a churn, a mix master, a mason jar 1/3 of the way, a kitchen aide, a whip… and you will get butter and butter milk, the product that is left over which is a creamy skin milk.  Now think about it, you have create the butter, which is fat, the liquid that is left over is skim milk.  You can drink the skin milk, or use it for cooking.  I had my group of folks that follow me, guess you could say my groupies…. Anna who is 10 now, has helped me churn and explain for 4 years now, came several times, and then there were the folks that look for me each year.  Some of them have started to make their own butter, so got to hear how they did, and what flavors they made, help some that tried to make butter and failed, (has to be heavy cream, not half and half) and meet some other great folks, who want to try it on their own now and with their grand children.

All ages loved it, all groups of people, and it was fun to hear their stories of when they themselves churned butter or their parents, of how they always enjoy coming home and having a snack of home made bread and butter or even crackers and butter.  I so loved hearing all the tales and wish I could have recorded some of them.  I also got to hear some stories of when they started coming to the fair, and how they could drive the car straight to the buildings, and the different foods that were available.

In the building I was in were 20 booths and around 10 cases where different Historical Societies and other groups displayed items from the past in their towns they were from.  The theme was World War I and II in your hometown, and what wonderful displays they were.  We even had two booths that displayed medals and uniforms from local men, and two of the men in their 90s came to see them.  There was a display that showed how metal, paper, rubber, drives went on, and so many photos of local men that were in the military, how folks in the home town helped by being part of the Civil Defense and watched for planes. The Legion had a booth in there as well as it is the start of the 100th Birthday for them.  The Legion was started in 1918 and by 1919 the were Post established in towns everywhere.  There was even a display case displaying beach glass from our local area.

Through out the Fair were wonderful exhibits set up, shows running day and night, food vendors where you could eat all types of food… and even… the largest wooden bowl being created and turned outside our building.  Of course we can not forget the animals, from small hamsters to Draft horses.  Many, Many shows went on in the horse rings, arenas where the cows, alpaca, pigs, sheeps and even chickens, ducks and such were shown.

It was a great 12 days of the Fair, and I camped out for 2 weeks , and that was an adventure as 4 of us were staying in a very small camper.  Good thing we all get along so good, but it was so nice to have a camper to run to and cool off on the days that were so hot and humid, and get into and sleep at night.  Giving us a few extra minutes of down time as we were at the Historical Building 10 to 12 hours a day.

We broke down on Monday morning ( August 20th) and cleaned out the building as well as the camper we had rented.  Then I brought all of that home, to unload, and also pack up as I was leaving to go to my son’s house on Tuesday to house sit and keep a eye on their animals.  So on Tuesday morning at 8;51 ( ok, 9:30 am) I got on the Amtrak train and headed to New Hampshire and the next adventure begins!