Friday, July 30, 2010

Peace /Anguish

Tonight, I received a message from a niece that I have not seen in a year.  No one could tell me where she was or how she was doing.  I have worried over her and said prayers for her because she was my Hero's god child.  He took that seriously and would seek her out when he was alive.  I remember driving to her apartment when she was much younger and checking how she was faring after a bout of Crohn's Disease.  We love her very much and it has been distressing to not know where she has been.
When answering her message, I added a link to my blogs so she could read the stories of her uncle.  The words peace and anguish came up as identifying words to publish my links.  My eyes filled with tears, as that was what I was feeling.  Peace that I heard from her.  Anguish that I can't give her a hug.  How did it know. If I had a wish then it would be a hug to her from me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fig Preserves with Spices

What happens when your fig tree has a bummper crop.  I am talking 84 pounds of figs and more coming.   Well, of course, you experiment.

I had never made microwave preserves before, and never used spices in fig preserves, so here is my experiment. 

It worked.!  Not to mention, it tastes yummy too!

Fig Preserves with Spices.

4 cups smashed fresh figs. 
3 cups sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp butter

 Your choice to either peel or leave the peeling on the figs.  I like to remove the imperfections. 

Mix the ingredients in a 8 qt. measuring glass cup.  Let sit for 30 minutes to allow them to soften in the sugar.  I use Celeste figs, Mission figs would really need it, the celeste are so yummy soft they just soak up the sweet and spice. : )
You put the fig mixture in the microwave and cook it approximately 15 minutes, stopping at about 8 minutes to stir. My bowl is deep so it took 8 min to get to boiling. At 15 minutes, I checked the viscosity, because of the depth of my bowl, it was still runny. ( You are wanting the jam to become thick to where it sheets off your spoon.)  I returned it to the microwave and let it cook another 8 minutes to achieve the sheeting off the spoon.
[I had cleaned, then sterilized my jars by heating them in the oven at 200 degrees F. for 10 minutes.]
I used my handy dandy funnel and filled 7 half pint jars leaving a quarter inch head room from the lip of the jar. 
Then I put them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Set them out on trivets to cool and listens for that pleasing sound of 'plink' when the sealing takes place.
This is a zesty recipe and you will love it on oat bread or dark wheat bread toast.  Another way to enjoy it is to add 2 T of the jam to plain yogurt.

  A sampling of the various canned fig jams I have made in the last few weeks.
Sorry, I just couldn't wait for you.  It does taste so (long emphasis here) good!
Thanks for stopping by.
The Hummer
These are my pictures taken in my yard and kitchen.

If Not Cared For and Loved, Things Fall Apart

I was visiting Muddy Boot Dreams blog.  (Click on the name to see her photos.)   She was reminiscing about where her nursery had displayed for garden shows while she worked there.  It took me back to the days that I managed a nursery in Conroe. 
That is where I got the name Hummer.  The name of the nursery was Hummingbird Gardens Nursery. We closed it because sales went down so low.  Here are some photos of it then, and  now.  When I went by to take the pictures, it made my heart so sad to see that no one tried to keep it beautiful. Instead, they just let it die.

This was hard to see because the nursery was a dream of mine and to see it in shambles is so sad.  Maybe someone will find it and return it to its beauty.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Link to a Beautiful Poem

I have such talented daughters.  I am more than pleased with all.  Some have learned faster, some use their talents more;  it matters not to me because I love them all for who they are. 
My third daughter wrote a beautiful poem based on her perspective of perfection and imperfection. It looks best on her blog, so I will put a link to it here just click on mE and My Life.  mE and My Life   Hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for stopping by and visiting.
The Hummer

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Slice of Life Meme 'Good Byes'

Texasblu at Slice of Life has given us the topic of 'Good Byes' to write about.  I actually needed to write this down.

The hardest goodbye I ever made was in my heart in the dark of night in a hospital room. 

I was no stranger to good byes.  My  grandmother, father, father-in-law, and friends had passed from this life to a better one in the next life.  My husband and I along with my mother-in-law and his siblings, sat at my father-in-laws bedside and watched him pass from this life.   I had spent so many hours with him while he was ill, that he was a part of me too.

This was different.  This was my husband that I loved so dearly and we had been one so long that I never thought we would have to part for longer than a short time.  I had been at his side every moment while we went through his cancer treatments, fighting like a lion for his recovery.  This incidence he had had an overdose of morphine and ended up in ICU for draining his lungs and stabilizing his breathing.  While he was in the intermediate care, he was not back in this world a hundred percent.  I was sitting with him and he did not know me.  That was another fight to get them to change his medication; however, what happened during that time had a significant impact on me.  I was holding his hand, which he normally wanted, when all of a sudden he jerked his hand and said 'Let me go'.  I let his hand go, but could not quit reflecting on what he had said.  I knew he did not want to be kept on machines and sedated to mindlessness.  As I lay upon the couch that night listening to his breathing, I reflected upon what he had said.  Was he asking me to let his hand go? Was he asking Me to Let Him go?  I cried like I had never cried before.   I knew in my heart there was the cry in his heart to let him leave this life.  I silently told him good bye that I would get him home to die in peace. 

I accomplished that goal. He was able to come home on hospice.  He was able to tell his children and grandchildren he loved them.  I remember him looking up at me, as I was changing his tubing, and saying 'I love you' through his oxygen mask.
The morning he left us, my son was holding his hand and we were in the living room next to his bedside as he took his last breath. 
It was expected.  I handled it well, because I said good bye many weeks before in a different room. I knew he loved me and he knew I loved him.
I know I will see him again, and I am thankful that my heart heard his cry to prepare me for letting him go.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

As The Little Ones drawn out tones...I'm Sick.

Sometimes you just feel like you need a hug.  
I was trying to be good and rest to recoup from bronchitis.  The alternating fever and sweats were driving me to distraction.  I was sitting in bed feeling sorry for myself that my hero wasn't here to hug me, when I received a call from my daughter who said 'I am coming over to finish your tomato and cucumber canning for you'.  My other daughter (not official, she is just as dear to me) called and said 'I am coming to help'.  I admit it, I teared up.  I had been feeling so bad that everything was rotting. 
They arrived.  I was able to sit and rock the grandchildren, and visit with them. 
The girls finished the canning, washed my dishes and took out the trash.  It was like having angels come down and caring for me.
I admit it, it was a beautiful hug to receive from two service minded young women.  I am thankful for each.  May you be as blessed as I was if you get sick.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Slice of Life 'Fireworks'

The prompt from Texasblu is to write about our family stories of celebrating our countries freedom. Click here if you would like to join.
When I was a little girl, we would go into my aunt's house that was two blocks from the court house as a family gathering.  In the late evening, we would take a blanket and walk over to the court house lawn, find a good spot and sit down to await the evening fireworks.  Funny, it was understood that the Fourth of July was a special day, but I don't remember anyone ever talking about it.  My dad and most of my uncles fought in World War II, so they were always quick to stand up and salute the flag and put their hands over their hearts when the national anthem was played.  I guess that is where I began to learn respect for my country.
Back to the fireworks, it was much different from the fireworks of today.  There were some that were bursting in the air, some cannon booms, but it was the finale we all waited for.  It was actually on a stand.  It must have been some kind of sparklers, because it was the American flag sparkling.  The "Star Spangled Banner" was played by the High School Band.  I remember the excitement and the people clapping.  It would have been something like this from glitter works.
To this day, I still like to watch the fireworks with music being played in the background.  I have been known to find a station playing patriotic music on the car radio, and watch the fireworks from the car.