This week started out with laundry from the weekend and putting the rest of the bell tower garden pots in the ground. I then did some cooking and got my garlic in the garden for next year along with some of the garden clean up. I am holding off on doing too much because I do not want to take away any bee food (blooming weeds and volunteer petunias).

Duane and I went to Ft. Wayne on Monday night and got a bunch of pavers that will make my next year’s maintenance of the asparagus patch easier. There should be enough to cover the space between 2 rows. Hopefully we will find more pavers that are inexpensive or free and eventually have enough to lay them down between all 5 rows. Then I can just use my dragon (a flame thrower connected to a propane tank in a cart) in the spring and other weed control will be easier too.  The plastic we have down is wearing thin and melts if the dragon is used too close to it.

Tuesday I picked up some more free paver bricks local and brought them home and laid them out in the garden.

Wednesday I had friends for an early holiday dinner. I made chicken salad sandwiches and pumpkin soup. We had a wonderful crazy mixed up Holiday dinner. My friend Rachel goes to Florida for the winter and I wanted to give her Christmas present before she left. I made chicken salad sandwiches and pumpkin soup. I also put out a little of my pickled beets and 14 day pickles. They fit with my red and green theme. Teresa A and Rachel both came with their fall orange and Teresa brought birthday presents for Rachel and I. Rachel brought a wonderful peach cobbler with whipped cream. And Teresa A brought a wonderful relish tray with many tasty treats from her pickling this year. I especially liked a fermented pickle of hers that was dill I believe. They had a deep layered flavor.  The conversation was delightful and our time was over before you knew it. I should have gotten a picture of the scarf I gave Rachel but was enjoying our time so much I didn’t give it a thought.

Chicken salad sandwiches

 I toasted whole wheat buns from Kroger using mayo instead of butter on the side I toasted. You could use any bread or croissant.

Bread of choice

 10 oz. can of Kroger premium Chicken

1/2 cup of chopped celery,

1/4 of a honey crisp apple diced

½ cup grapes cut in fourths

2 T of miracle whip

 14 day pickles chopped into relish

I have put in a few chopped walnuts too. I mix this together and spread on a toasted bun or bread of choice with a leaf of lettuce or just chop a bunch of salad greens and put a scoop in the middle.

Pumpkin Soup

1 cup minced onions

½ cup minced celery

3 cups pumpkin or 2 lbs fresh pumpkin

1 cup baked sweet potato

1 tablespoon maple syrup

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups coconut milk or milk or chicken broth if you aren’t vegan.

1 teaspoon liquid smoke or ½ cup diced ham if you are eating meat

Dash of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste

In a 3 qt or larger pot put about a quarter to half inch of water in the bottom of your pan. Add onions, celery and fresh pumpkin cut into small pieces. Simmer stirring often until it becomes carmelized. Then add other ingredients and simmer stirring often until all the vegetables are soft. Then blend with an emersion blender or cool and blend in your blender until it is smooth and creamy. I like to make this the day before and refrigerate until about a half hour before my guests are to arrive and then reheat it. I also like using my enameled cast iron dutch oven for this because once taken to the table it stays hot for quite some time. If you are one to garnish things you could sprinkle with a few shelled pumpkin seeds.

I had a couple nice cool days to work outside and I was able to pick the pumpkin patch clean and get the last two barrels of sweet potatoes dug. I also cleared the weeds out of the green house and started planting winter greens. I am excited about the figs that are growing in there and hoping we get things buttoned up in time so we don’t lose them. I have counted 20 growing so far. My mother gave me this plant years ago and I have had it in a pot inside. The figs would start then fall off. This spring I took it out and planted it right in the ground in the green house. If we don’t lose them this will be my first year successfully raising any. So far it is the longest they have stayed on the plants and the first time I had more than just one or two.

Friday I spent spinning wool while I waited for the delivery of my new stove. It is a bit bigger than my old one and I feel so blessed when cooking with it. The old one the oven quit on me the end of Sept. We had trouble getting our order from Best Buy so ended up canceling our order with them and ordering from Lowes. What a blessing their mess ups were. God blessed me with the exact same stove at a considerable savings.  It has lots of new things for me to learn about and actually has a dehydrate and air fry setting for the oven. Who knows what new recipes I will figure out with it?

Saturday Mr. Wade and I headed to town I needed new shoes and we needed materials to button up the green house for winter. When we got close to home my heart dropped. Though Ruth and I had often talked about her health problems and how she was ready to go I did not want to say good bye so quickly. When I saw the police and ambulance at her house I knew that day had come and I was going to miss my special friend on the corner, my bean snipping, pickle eating sweetheart who was always there with an ear to listen. She had a hard life and trust did not come easy to her, but she loved me and I loved her just the way she was. At 95 she had a long full life. I am surely going to miss her.

I ran down to her house and Duane unloaded the car. I was greeted by her family with open arms. It was around noon and as family kept coming in it was obvious I needed to go back to town. Mr Wade took care of the home front and worked on the green house while I went to town and picked up food for those coming in. We had more good talks and big hugs from the family before I returned home.

Once home I grabbed a quick sandwich and packed a cooler to take to the campground at Salamonie where Duane’s sister and family were camping. We had supper with them, shared laughter and a meal then headed home. This morning I woke up early for church and boy did I need the refreshing that comes when you gather with brothers and sisters in Christ. The message of how Jesus heals was timely and I was refreshed during worship. I feel like I am entering another season of laying down more of my wounded self to pick up the healed and whole parts my Savior has for me. Not sure what I need to lay down but know he is going to show me in the gentle way He often does. God is good and we are blessed here on the Wade Homestead.