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A Nice Christmas

December 26th, 2017 at 06:25 pm

We had a very pleasant Christmas this year. The reason being was that we did not spend any of it with SIL or her daughters. We hosted at our house and had my mother, mother-in-law, and my eldest sister over. For dinner I made one of our hams from the whole hog we had butchered a couple months ago. It was fantastic.

To go with it we had from scratch mashed potatoes, homemade ham gravy, homemade cloverleaf rolls, my home grown and canned green beans, some Thrive Life corn, and for the deserts we had sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, milk chocolate fudge, and my mother made an apple pie with the apple pie filling she canned this summer. If you have never made ham gravy before, you should. It is fantastic. Very savory. Well, that is if you have a picnic ham. NOT if you have a sweet glazed ham.

I received 2 cold frames for the garden and I am so excited about it. They look very well designed and it will be so nice to have a season extender device that I don't have to remove and replace plastic every time I want to get something out. This should allow me to grow lettuce year round or at least 10 months out of the year. With the two foot high raised beds, they don't freeze like they would being in the ground, but if it gets cold enough they will freeze eventually.

My MIL gave me a garlic chopper so I don't hurt my skin again the next time I make garlic powder from scratch. I like gadgets. She also gave me $100. She had meant to buy me an Instant Pot or an Air Fryer, but she ran out of time. Of course, now I have the money in hand, I kind of want to save it. I won't, because I really want an Instant Pot.

It didn't snow, for which I am grateful. I so dislike snow when we have to drive in it and DH had to fetch his mom and take her home so he was driving. I just don't like adding slipping on ice to the drunks that are usually driving home from Christmas activities. Not a good combination.

Friday and Saturday we spent working on clearing out our storage unit. We are about half done and it took several pick up loads to do it. We are going to rent a u-haul for Saturday and Sunday so we can be out by the end of the month. They are not making us give the required notice if we are out by then because of the leak in the roof. We moved as much as we did with DH's dad's pick-up, which will be our pick-up as soon as all the will stuff is finalized. It will be weird being a two car family again.

There are so many toys in there. I found a box of Barbies that will go to my great niece and there are several boxes of stuffed animals. We need to find a place to donate the majority of those, too. I don't know if Good Will will take stuffed animals. I am wondering if the domestic violence shelter or the Agape House will. Agape House is a women and children's homeless mission shelter. My mom says if nothing else to hang on to them until next Halloween and she will hand them out instead of candy! I like that idea, but not the idea of continuing to store them all so we'll see.

There are several boxes of linens as well from beds we don't have the size of anymore, queens and twins. I know Good Will will take those, but I think the animal shelter will, as well, although the latter might just be towels and blankets and not sheets. They use the towels in washing the animals and the blankets to give them a soft spot to lay on.

There are a few boxes of papers that need to be shredded and old magazines. I am thinking about taking my portable power station and my shredder to the unit and shredding the papers there as opposed to bringing them back home to do it. But it is so cold I'd also have to take the heater as well. So maybe not.

Either way, I need to get those taken care of while DH is at work today so we have more space to put things. These units are not as tall as the other one so we can't stack as high in them. They also have a sprinkler system and we can't stack against those either. It'll all fit once we winnow out the stuff that shouldn't be in there anymore.

I think we should be able to clear about 10 big Rubbermaid totes that way and then we can take some of the stuff that is in boxes and transfer them to the totes. I prefer the totes since they are waterproof and stand up better to stacking than cardboard.

Well, I best quit wasting time on the internet and get to work.

9 Responses to “A Nice Christmas”

  1. snafu Says:

    Season Greetings.

    I hope you'll get the Instant Pot. You, more than others will get far more than $ 100. of benefit from an Electric Pressure Pot. They make it effective to can small batches and make nice meals even when you're tired and don't feel like cooking. Sometimes the challenge of doing something new makes a routine task, special. Would DD or DS be interested in a new appliance enough to take over one meal each week?

    I hope you'll continue to press for restitution/claim on ruined items in storage. They likely knew they had a problem due to complaints from other renters but chose not to act quickly. I've had to argue with claim agents in the past and it seems they get a bonus if they make clients so miserable, they drop out. It injures my sense of fairness.

  2. Suzanne Says:

    I wanted to make ham gravy yesterday, but had never done it! Do you do anything different than how you make gravy from beef or poultry drippings? Thanks in advance!

  3. Amber Says:

    Glad you had a great holiday!

    What's Thrive Life corn? Is this a certain brand or type of corn?

  4. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Definitely get an InstantPot. I use mine constantly, so I can only imagine how useful you'd find it. Smile
    Another place that might take the stuffed animals - an animal shelter.

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    Suzanne--You make it exactly like any other gravy. Just make sure it is a picnic ham and not a sweet glazed ham or you will have some majorly weird tasting gravy!

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    Amber--Thrive Life is a freeze dried food company. Their sweet corn is spectacular. If you are interested in learning about the products my website for it is here: www.thrivelife.com/luckyrobinshomestead. I sell it, but kind of passively. I don't do parties, just mention it on my youtube channel, and some of family members bought after trying the stuff when I served it. I get a 10% commission on any orders made through my website. But I buy it because it cuts down so much on my food waste. Not every product is a winner, but so far I've been more than happy with 95% of it. My favorite is their chopped onions and their yogurt bites (which I don't rehydrate and just eat straight). Their rehydrated food is the quality of prepared frozen food.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    Snafu, it is quite possible my son would be interested in using it. I didn't know you could can in it. That would be really nice actually for making mustard since my recipe only makes 2 pints. I used to have an electric pressure cooker, but the lining flaked away. With stainless steel, that won't happen, so I do think I would get a lot of use out of it.

    Yeah, we'll keep on them for the insurance claim, but I don't think we will get much out of them. It is only valued at $2000 with a $200 deductible and we only had about $500 worth of damage. Still $300 is $300.

  8. LuckyRobin Says:

    Laura--I had actually thought about the animal shelter, but we have so many I don't know that they'd take more than a bagful. But I do know that some of the animals like a cozy toy to snuggle with due to trauma.

    I imagine an Instant Pot would be great for a vegetarian just in cooking the beans alone.

  9. rob62521 Says:

    Glad you had a wonderful Christmas. It's sad that some family members can always make holidays tough. I've been there and it got the point where I dreaded the holidays.

    Hope you get an Instant Pot. Maybe a good sale after Christmas?

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