Thursday, September 3, 2020

Hello Autumn!

Beauty berry.   The berries are not very tasty raw; but they do make a nice jelly or gelatin dessert.

You can crush a cup of the leaves and allow them to soak in rubbing alcohol for about two days. Remove the leaves and pour the infused alcohol into a spray bottle. It makes a very good mosquito repellant.

The berries can be eaten raw. They aren't very good raw; but, they do make a nice jelly or gelatin desert. The leaves can be crushed and soaked in alcohol to create an insect repellent. Essentially you crush a cup of leaves and allow them to soak in a cup of alcohol, rubbing or ethyl. You filter out the leaves. You can rub the solution on your skin or better yet, spray a bit on yourself.

Poke Salad. When the berries are all gone, I plan to chop it down . It will come back next year. The berries and plant are very poisonous to eat at this stage. Remember beauty berries are not the same thing as poke salad berries. Although pretty, poke berries are very poisonous.

In a week, overgrown fields will be covered in the yellow blooms of Goldenrod.

I love a break from the heat. My hair and clothes become saturated with sweat from just a wee bit of work in the middle of the day. 

I had a water leak under my home which damaged some of the subfloor in my home. A water restoration service put their humidifier and a two fans in to prevent mold. I was never quoted a price. So I am sweating the bill. I did file for insurance. Luckily, this is not an incredibly expensive repair. The son of the man from the restoration service is taking up the subfloor and installing a new subfloor and replacement hardwood flooring for $600. So maybe the bill will not be so rude. 

I don't like not getting a quote. What I learned from all of this is never be in a hurry. My air conditioning repair man found the leak. He called his friend who is a plumber who had it fixed before I got home. I took his advice about the water restoration because I am hoping birds of a feather flock together in this situation. The air conditioning repairman is the salt of the earth sort. 

This time of year, I feel the bills in that I pay for house insurance, car insurance and property taxes. My property taxes are about $3000 a year. My homeowner's insurance is about $1500 and my car insurance is about $1200 for a year. The fact they come at one time is the biggest burden.  I know, I know I should lay aside a bit each month. But it is always a bit of catch up for me.

My mother worries about her money incredibly. I had been letting her pay for some of the groceries and the electric bill. I've got to stop. In her mind, I am spending her money up. Caregiving for an elderly parent is one of those things that is very rewarding but you pay a price. In AARP they had an article about caregiver's having suicidal ideation at times. I don't have that problem but I do feel intense loneliness at times. My mother is not greedy or stingy. She is 90 and grew up during the depression. My dad left her well taken care of. At this point, I am the heir so it is not like I will not be repaid. 

At my age, as long as I can cover my bills, I don't fret about money so much. It's not like I am going to be able to whoop it up anyway. My grandmother lived on a very low social security payment when she become older. It was quite admirable how she made it last every month. Where she lived, there were those who spent their entire monies as soon as they got it. Then they worked to get people like my grandmother to give them food and money. She might have fed a few; but, she gave them no money. 

This part of my life feels like life in my twenties. There is so much to deal with. With Covid, I have been able to cope with the pressures in that I've dealt with a lot of uncertainty in my life. There is little you have control of. At 64, I feel very lucky to be alive and in good shape health wise. 

I am a type II diabetic. I read where they are recommending shakes and soups for diabetics in the UK. I find this interesting in that when I did my DNA, my ancestry is 58 percent English , 7 percent Swedish, 5 percent Norwegian, 3 percent German, 27 percent Celt. So they are my people genetically.  I was surprised the Brits were a hefty lot. I thought that was an American problem. Surprisingly with the DNA analysis is that I was dark completed with dark hair and eyes in my younger days. As my hair has turned white, my eyes are more dark green than brown.  

Although I am a situational homebody, (you know I would be on a slow boat to China elsewise); this shelter in place and social distancing is a huge bore. I'm someone complaining but I do not know why. I don't go anyplace anyway. I've read about people going to wineries to sample wine. You can go to North Carolina and buy a Cherwine soda to sip. I can't imagine going somewhere to drink wine. I love to travel; but, I am more of a museum and nature loving sort of visitor.

The restoration man clearly disapproves of my rural home. He lives in town in a two bedroom townhouse which sounds quite nice. I get his message that my home is a lot to keep up with. He is wrong about some things being more expensive. My  electric bill is cheaper than my bill for a home I owned about half this house's size and way cheaper than my parent's bill. Their house was build in the 1940s when houses here were built to be cooler during summer and heating your entire house was not done. If you wanted to be warm, you stayed in the kitchen or wore several layers of clothes. 

Our winter is about six weeks. However, the days are not consecutive. You get four or five days here and there mostly between December and February. But if it snows, it usually happens in late March curiously enough.

It is the first week of September. The high temperature is around 90. In two weeks, that high will be in the low 80s.  Good days. Plus, I don't watch the news, much.



  1. Good. Stay away from the news. Do you have a big house and property,? Our taxes are a third of what you pay, insurance also a third of yours and our car insurance for 2 cars with full coverage is about 1100 a year. We just pay everything monthly with a service charge so we don't have a big payment plus I hate to part with a big chunk of money like that.

    Money is just money. I try to remind myself of that. For me I know God will meet my needs. He proved it in the past so I don't doubt the future.

    Lots if people are getting tired of this isolation. I think it will cause so many more mental health issues down the road.


    1. I live about 6.5 miles from the nearest fire station. When you live further than 5 miles, you are in a more expensive category with insurance. Living in the country, there is a higher tax rate than if I lived in an urban area.

      One thing about being older, a lot does not concern you as much. I know the younger generation is sweating this pandemic. I hope there is a vaccine soon so their lives can get back to normal. But the ups and downs of the economy is life.

      The isolation truly hurts the extroverts around us.

  2. Summer? Shudder. The sweaty season is my least favourite. MS thrives in the heat so I do not. I also find it much easier to get and stay warm than to get cool.
    I have been avoiding as much of the news as possible. I cannot change it, or affect it, and it causes distress.
    Look after yourself as well as your mother.

    1. We are insinc with weather. I am not a hot climate person. I lived in Canada one year and loved it. They said the snow, etc would get old. Maybe is what I thought.

  3. I don't go many places either but I feel the pressure of staying home all the time, too.

    What kind of berries are those?

    Wow, your property tax is high!

    1. They are called beauty berries. The plants are all over my property. I liked the berries so much, I have mowed around many. I also mow around poke salad stalks and dog fennel. Dog fennel can be quite beautiful in the fall.

  4. If you can cover your bills, you are doing good.

  5. Gosh, your life sounds like its on a parallel to mine. And here are two things I really like. Cheerwine and poke salad. But I never knew you could make a jelly from the berries.

    1. Beauty berries are not the same as Poke berries. Poke berries are very poisonous. I'll be visiting your blog JC. Thanks for visiting.

  6. I need not watch the news. My visit here was a blessing. Thank you.


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