We get very cold winters here! It can get well below zero and with wind chills that can bite your skin! The children are excited for the snow. Last evening it snowed so they tried to sled on the hill out back. It was the wet type of snow so it wasn't ideal, but they like to try any way. Our growing season is from May until October here. We can grow what we need for our pantry.
We just butchered 3 big turkeys yesterday. My husband did the killing, of course, and the skinning or plucking. It was sure cold outside yesterday and I could not be standing in the cold with my bad nerve damaged leg that has hypothermia. It gets too painful for me. So I gutted them out on the deck very quickly. Our tom turkey was 24 pounds. I am roasting him today for a thanksgiving meal we will have. The females, I cut the meat off the bones, seasoned and ground up the raw meat. Then I browned it in the oven, broke it up and shoveled it into quart sized jars for canning it. I love canned meat, it is so handy. That is something I filmed yesterday for an upcoming video. I show people how to raise the turkey all the way up to the butchering. My wonderful Mother came into the back door while I was sitting at the table with miles and mikey cutting meat off the bones and I felt like my savior just walked in the door. She is such a great help to me, just when I feel like I can't keep going. She comes and gives me a hand. She is so worried about me all the time and wants to help me when ever she can. She helped set up the three tables for our thanksgiving meal today. She set the tables and cleaned the dining room. She peeled 20-30 pounds of potatoes for me while I worked on the turkey meat. Then I actually pressure cooked all the bones and canned up the remaining meat and broth for soups in the future. I ended up with 13 quarts of broth and 13 quarts of ground turkey. That will keep us going this winter when the money runs out. They can take our home, but not our canned goods, praise God!!!! I have about 500 or more canned meats, broths, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, spaghetti sauces, jams, pie fillings, and many many buckets of grains and coconut oils. We have a jersey cow that we milk. My husband does the milking and I make all the dairy products. We have laying hens and pigs as well. Right now we are considering keeping the pigs for a breeding pair. We can sell the babies come spring. They are not related and they are so tame. We have enough meat to get through so far. We try not to eat a ton of pork anyhow. We are hoping for some venison if my husband can peck off a deer on our 13 acres. We have a very nice view as well. There is a spring and pond out back, a ridge of cliffs, many trees that we tap for maple syrup, fields and pastures. I love it. It is very private. We live at the end of a 1/4 mile driveway.
Today I am thankful for many things, more things than I can even count. I am thankful for my salvation first and foremost. I thank the Lord for His mercy and righteousness. That He can show us a better way that the world. He can make us into His image. I am thankful for all the hard times in my life. I say that because I know they are used in the moulding of my character. Refining fire is hot and terrible, but it creates beauty of character that no makeup or hairdresser can match. Nor the finest clothing could shape. This is a beauty that only God can create. Just like the china that it set upon my table for our meal today. It was pushed and pressed, fired and refired, until it comes out perfect. Until the master potter is pleased. Until it shines.
I am thankful for my husband, for all the talents he has, for his mercy and patience. I am thankful that I have a warm body to sleep next to each night and someone to carry me when I am weak. I am thankful for the strength and leadership he has. He opens jars for me and he reaches things that I am too short to reach. He listens to me all day long and enjoys my talkative personality like no one else would. He is also my quiet rest. I can ride for hours with him, not say one word, just enjoy looking out the windows and it is not an uncomfortable silence. A pure sweet restfulness. I am thankful for my children. Each and every one of them. I am thankful for their willingness to help and work hard around the house. For their many talents that they will one day share. I am thankful for their interest in things of the Lord. They are sweet and compassionate people already. I am thankful for the girls, for their many feminine qualities and their graceful manners. I am thankful for my rough and tumble boys that are curious and playful. I am thankful for the home we live in. The warm wood burning stove and the nice smooth wooden floors. I am thankful for our cow and the wonderful milk that nourishes our entire family. I am thankful for the canning experience I have and the ability to put up food to last all year long. For all the knowledge we have about what is healthy for our bodies so we can stay healthy all year round just by eating good foods. I am thankful for my parents and their willingness to help me. They are a wonderful help. I am thankful for all of you here, my fellowship. I appreciate learning and sharing with all of you things that will keep giving. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and prayers for our family. I am thankful for eyes to see and ears to hear and arms and hands and feet. I am thankful that I can see all the beautiful things that God has created and hear all the lovely sounds that are all around me. They keep me safe when I walk and bless me with images to reflect on. I pray you all have a blessed thanksgiving and remember all the things you are thankful for.