Saturday, September 28, 2019

2019 Chicken Totals

We just spent form 8:30-12:30 getting 29 chickens in the freezer.  We did a laying hen as well and there was one meat bird that got harvested early.  These are 8 weeks, 3 days old so slightly younger than last year, but overall they were just smaller for some reason.  We ordered all males, but had at least 4 females in the group and they were small.  Two adults, a 16 year old hatchet man, a 14 year old, 11 year old and 7 year old who all assisted him, and 9 and 10 year old girls who helped with legs, oil glands and even did a bunch of eviscerating!  Everything totally done in about 5 hours, including all clean up and lunch :)

Total meat for all 30 birds was 158 pounds exactly.  The early harvest was only 2 lbs, 1 oz, so brings average down, but overall we averaged just over 5 pounds each.  We also harvested all the feet, 3 lb, 5 oz of liver, 1 lb, 3 oz of hearts and 3 lb, 8 oz of gizzards for a total of 8 pounds of offal. 

Total feed costs (1 bag starter, 3 of grower, 4 of finisher plus most of a bag left from last year): $226.15
Total chick costs $54.00

Total expense: $280.15
Total meat: 158 pounds

$/pound: $1.77
$/pound (including offal):$1.68  

(does not include feet)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Pork Break Down 2019

We, once again, got a whole pig from Ibelings, which was processed at Sorgs.  Here is the breakdown of costs, including a bit of cost increase in processing.

Costs $150 to Ibelings for the hog and $192.20 to Sorgs.  $15 trucking free, $55 butcher fee (up from $40 last year) and $.65 cute and wrap (up from $.50 last year.)  Total cost is $342.20  We had nothing smoked, didn't ask for the fat and just got it as ground pork, not sausage.  No extra charges, although we did get the bladder for a rousing game of Little House.

Side Pork: 18 pounds, 2 oz, 2 packs
Hams: 35 pounds, 4 packs
Neck Bones:  4 pounds, 1 pack
Jowls: 3 pounds, 10 oz, 2 packs
Pork Steak: 6 pounds, 9 oz, 2 packs
Spare Ribs: 5 pounds, 7 oz, 2 packs
Country Ribs: 3 pounds, 1 oz, 2 packs
Hocks: 7 pounds, 12 oz, 2 packs
Ground Pork: 14 pounds
Butt Roast: 8 pounds, 8 oz, 3 packs
Loin Roast: 7 pounds, 2 packs
Another Roast we couldn't read: 7 pounds, 3 oz, 1 pack
Shoulder Roast: 7 pounds, 4 oz, 2 packs
Liver 3 pounds, 3 packs
Ham Steaks: 11 pounds, 6 packs
Pork Chops: 24 pounds, 12 oz,  14 packs

We did the same cuts as last year, so refer to that for cutting instructions.  Roasts to 3 pounds I do remember.

Total meat: 166.25 pounds, which means $2.06/pound.  Last year our total was around $1.50/pound, so pretty big increase overall, but we'll eat it up in no time I'm sure.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Half beef purchase 2019

It has been forever since we bought part of steer, but this fall we had the chance to buy a grass fed one from Wundrows.  This is a Brown Swiss Steer who has basically grass fed his whole life.  Processing was done at Lake Geneva Country Meats at $.82/pound, which included the kill fee and wrap fee.  We didn't get anything extra like tenderizing or patties done to the meat, which would have been an upcharge.

Hamburger: 66 pounds, in 1 pound packs
Liver:  4 pounds, 6 packs
Oxtails: 3 pounds, 1 pack
Heart: 3 pounds, 1 pack
Beef Suet:

Brisket: 4 pounds, 2 packs
Short ribs: 13 pounds, 5 oz, 6 packs
Stew meat:  8 pounds, 5 oz, 6 packs
Soup bones: 20 pounds, 9 packs
Knuckle bones: 3 pounds, 1 pack

Round Roast: 6 pounds, 6 oz, 2 packs
Chuck Roast: 27 pounds, 7oz, 8 packs
Rump Roast 6 pounds, 7 oz, 2 packs
Arm Roast: 7 pounds, 2 oz, 2 packs
Sirloin Tip Roast: 6 pounds, 9 oz, 2 packs
Sirloin Steak: 16 pounds, 11 oz, 11 packs
T-bone Steak: 9 pounds, 8 oz, 7 packs
Flank Steak: 1 pound, 2 oz, 1 pack
Skirt Steak: 1 pound, 14 oz, 2 packs
Porterhouse Steak: 3 pounds, 8 oz, 2 packs
Rib Steak: 10 pounds, 12 oz, 7 packs
Round Steak: 12 pounds, 11 oz, 8 packs

I did get some suet, but I somehow didn't weigh it, so it isn't in the total.

Total meat listed above is 231.5 pounds.  The $.82/pound must be on hanging weight, not on processed weight as the charge would have been less if it was on the processed weight.  The charge to Wundrows was based on live weight and was $1.30/pound I believe.  We paid them a total of $781.00 and we paid Lake Geneva a total of $247.63.  This brings our total cost to $1028.63.

We ended up paying a total of $4.44/pound for everything we got, including the bones.  Basically the same price, or a bit cheaper than what we paid 6 years ago, so we can't complain at all!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2018 Preservation List

Since it is now 2019 I figured I should up date this before my scribbled paper gets lost!

Big year for maple syrup, some other things I just couldn't do this year.  I was a bit overwhelmed with the food changes that Mike had to deal with, but I did plug away and did what I could.

Roast Veggies 10 containers
Corn 11 bags
Pesto 17 1 cup jars
Celery 1 quart
Swiss Chard 11 bags
Kale 1 bag
Blueberries 5 gallons
Strawberries 2.5 gallons whole, 1 gallon whole, 4 jars sliced
Mulberries 4 gallons, 2 quarts
Peaches 2 gallons
Beets 11 bags
Green Beans 22 bags
Zucchini Butter 6 batches

Applesauce 55 quarts
Peaches 12 quarts, 8 pints
Pears 8 quarts, 6 pints
Roasted Corn Salsa 4 quarts, 7.5 pints
Salsa 6 quarts
Pickles 7 quarts
Garlic Dill pickles 31 quarts
Garlic Scapes 4 pints
Bread and Butter Pickles 11 quarts
Cucumber Relish 16.5 pints, 17 tiny jars
Sweet and Spicy Pickles 2 quarts
Pickled Beets 3 quarts
BBQ sauce 13 pints
Diced tomatoes 15 quarts
Pasta Sauce 12 quarts
Ketchup 4 12oz jars
Sweet and Sour Sauce 10 pints
Rotel 4 pints
Tomato Soup 7 quarts
Chicken Stock 7 quarts
Rhubarb Sauce 7 pints
Mulberry Jam 3 1/2 pints
Maple Syrup 8 quarts
Cherry Juice 8 pints

5 quarts apples
1 quart cherry tomatoes
1 quart mint leaves

90 heads of garlic harvested

More garlic, always more garlic
More tomato soup and pasta sauce, especially pasta sauce.
Keep up huge amounts of fruit,

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

What I read 2019

Here's hoping that I don't lose this list in November this year :)  Kind of excited to enter my first book on Jan 1st as it was a wonderful, low key day and I got to finish a sweet novel during the afternoon while enjoying the fire!

**1. Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson  I really enjoyed this book that features letters back and forth between a farm wife in England and a museum director in Denmark where the Tollund Man is exhibited.  She sends a letter to a deceased professor and the director responds back.  They share each other's lives over the next year and a half and help each other work through some challenges they are facing about where their decisions and those of their loved ones have left them.  As their relationship deepens and infidelity on the part of her husband is revealed you can see where it might be headed.  I love that the book ends before they meet.

2. Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith  I read the other book 'the Nester' wrote and enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  This one gave me the opposite experience.  Good advice, but very, very repetitive and I personally felt like it could have been a 50 page book at most.  That being said, I do know I need to focus on big statement things and less on all the tiny piece we have.  And it is helping me toss the terrible couches, so that is a win!

**3. Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh  What a gem of a book!  Some great musings on shells and being a woman and a mother.  Sounds strange, right?  But it really works!  There is an update from her 20 years after she wrote the book and it is amazing how relevant all her essays are still today.  Definitely a reread.

*4.  Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch Ben and Tatum meet and fall in love, he seems to be Hollywood's IT boy so they move to CA.  His career stalls, her takes off like a rocket with an Oscar and everything.  They both lose parents, he also a brother, they have a son---it all seems perfectly wonderful.  But their amazing connected love story slips apart and the ex-girl friend, Allison shows back up and stays showed up.  It is told in alternating view points and also jumping around in history.  So we see each situation at least twice, sometimes more and this method made it feel slow moving and way too rehashed for me.  A nice love story in the end and a show of how messy life can get, but definitely not one of my favorites.

*5. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg   This books is mostly memoir with a recipe or two at the end of each chapter.  I kind of think I may have read it before, but it was a good, quick read for a snowy cold day in Jan.  Molly has a blog that came about after studying a whole lot of things and visiting Paris many times.  Food and telling stories about food was always here thing and now she makes a living at it.  Her father died when she was in college and lots of the book is about him and his impact on her, the rest is focused around meeting and marrying her husband.  Lots of great talk about food and the recipes mostly sound great.

*6.  Dawn Wind by Rosemary Sutcliff  This is almost a 2 star book for me. I saw some people enjoyed her books and was very pleasantly surprised at how it sucked me in even as I read it on the exercise bike!  Owain, 14, is the hero of the story and it starts with a terrible battle where he watches his family die and his home be overtaken by Saxons.  Lots of historical context in the ongoing struggles between the British and the Saxons, amazing ending with St. Augustine showing up!  In between we see his amazing character, what it was like to become a slave/servant, meet the Dawn Wind who is an all white horse (and considered a God) and watch how devotion can overcome years of separation.  All in all a very good historical fiction read for MS and up!

*7. A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich  This book follows Abbie from her dreams of being a lady like her grandmother was to her life as a homesteader in Nebraska.  We see her let go of her singing dreams and raise her 4 children, many of whom live out the dreams she once dreamt.  Lots of major changes in our country during her lifetime and many of her children and grandchildren don't seem to appreciate what she and their father went through to get them to where they are.  Overall a good read.

**8.Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys   This is a heartbreak of a book!  It is YA, which typically I find to be rather ugh, but this one is well written and was so engaging that I read it in a day.  A really cold day when no sane person wants to do anything outside, but still. Lina is 15 and is taken last one night, along with her 10 year old brother and mother.  They are from Lithuania and the Soviets are in the process of taking over the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia).  This part of WWIIs history are not often talked about, especially because the people who survived and did go home (after 12-20 years of torture, back breaking work, no food, and exposure to the elements) never talked about it.  If they did talk about it they could be rearrested and killed.  Lina's father was the provost at university and helped a brother move to Germany, which is why his family was put on the list. He was sent to a prison, they end up in the beet fields and eventually at the north pole, where they are forced to scrape together a hut for their lodging.  The exposure and the work they do, with their incredibly meager rations cause many of them do die, including Lina's mother.  There is a Russian guard that shows tiny doses of humanity and ends up saving Lina's borther's life by sending in an inspector who demands they are given fish to fight off scurvy.  A book to remember, worth owning to tell this important and unknown story.

*9. Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay  I realized I've read this before, but I couldn't remember the way it wrapped up so I read it again.  Ellen and her husband and two kids have moved in with his abusive father and little girl like mother. This book feels disjointed and sad and hard because that is what their life is like at the moment.  Unfortunately her husband has rejoined his family dynamic and left his wife and kids emotionally bewildered.  Lots of struggles with faith (a very old, harsh type of Catholic faith) and a new teacher friend who is separated and is trying to suggest Ellen needs to consider it.  Which she does and the book ends with her ready to take back her life, hopefully with her husband in it, but for her children and her sanity she needs to be in her own home.

*10. William the Conqueror by Thomas B. Costain  (Landmark book) William was quite a guy with the whole take England by force and then not be sure he can pass his kingdom on to his son because God has to decide that.  Pretty brutal military tactics, but all started when he was only 8 years old and made ruler of Normandy.  He was incredibly strong and a strong ruler too.  And it seems that when he set his mind on getting something (England) he'd spend as many years and lives as it took to get it!

11. Milk Street Tuesday Nights by Chirstopher Kimball  A beautiful cookbook that isn't going to be super helpful for us, but I'm glad to have enjoyed the eye candy.

*12.  The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah  A heart breaking, sometimes crazy intense book about a girl and her parents as they move to Alaska in the 1970s.  We see her Vietnam POW dad deal with PTSD and her mother deal with the abuse he hands out.  Leni grows up, becomes one with Alaska, falls in love with the only boy her age, gets pregnant and helps her mother cover up her father's murder before they disappear back to her grandparents' home in Seattle.  So much beauty, so much heart break, overall a great book.  Written by the author of The Nightingale.

*13. One Day in December by Josie Silver  Very a la Bridget Jones Diary (even references that in the book), set in England where a girl sees boy at the bus stop and instantly knows he is the one.  She and her best friend spend a year trying to find him with no luck until the friend brings her new beau over and it is him.  Cue them trying to become friends and not let each other know they recognize each other.  Girl travels, find and marries other man, eventually falls apart.  Best friend and boy break up and after a good long while they finally get together.  Overall a good read, sweet love story.

*14.  The 100-Year-Old Man who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson  Another Swedish author writing a quirky, but good book.  Allan climbs out a window on his 100th birthday to avoid his party and ends up stealing a suitcase along the way to the wildest journey you can imagine.  We find out he has been in involved with almost all major world leaders (Churchill, Mao, Truman, Stalin, etc) and had a big part in the nuclear bomb.  Jumps back and forth in time, but it works.  Enjoyed this one too.
*15.Lafayette in America by Andre Maurois  This is the first North Star Book I've read and it was a good biography for upper elem and beyond.  Learned a lot about Lafayette from his growing up years, to his marriage, lots about his time in America helping fight the Revolutionary War, his years back in France trying to help with the revolution there and his return to trip to America when he was in his 60s.  It is amazing to think that such a young man (he was called 'the Boy' because he was 19 when he first came over) had such an important role to play in assisting Washington and providing French support to help the colonies free themselves from English rule

*16.Eating from the Ground Up by Alana Chernila   A great vegetable focused cook book.  I should definitely look at this one again come summer and fall as it has many great fresh ideas, as well as ones for later in the year.  Hard to be too excited about now as we work to eat through the freezer...can't wait for fresh veggies again!

*17. Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman  I really enjoyed this 1947 novel!  Katherine Mary moves from Boston to the north to stay with her uncle because of her pleurisy.  She not only gets relief, she meet Mike Flannigan and moves with her Monty to far north.  There they build a life with the Cree, trappers, and some 'breeds as those of mixed race are called.  They survive a major wild fire, have two children, lose them to disease, and Kathy moves back to Boston because she can't stand the sorrow.  While there she realizes how much she has changed and how much she loves her husband.  Their reunion is sweet, even as life and death (due to flu and war) are still central to their lives in the rugged terrain.  They end up raising twins after the loss of both their parents and  grandmother and they are joined by a little sister when Oh-Be-Joyful (the young Indian girl who had lived with them for years) dies and her husband brings them the baby.  The cycle of life and love feature prominently and I am so glad I finally read it!

*18.  Why Not, Lafayette?  by Jean Fritz  I read this to compare to the North Star bio I just read.  This one is also really well done, focuses a lot more on his return to France and the rest of his life than the others.  I feel like the North Star is really centered around his time here in America during the Revolutionary War, where this one makes quicker work of that and is probably more balanced throughout his entire life.  This is a faster read, I think, but they are both good and for similar aged audiences.  I think I'll be keeping them both on my shelves :)

*19. We Were There With Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys by Robert N. Webb  I think this is the first "we were there" I've read and it was great.  Lots of excitement, but a lot of historical fact as well.  I knew nothing of Ethan Allen, but now know that he was the man who led the forces that took Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution, that Benedict Arnold tried to take over his command, that he was captured trying to take over Montreal and then shipped to England.  Hope they are all written this well!

*20. The Treason of Benedict Arnold, 1780  by Robert Kraske  This is a Focus Book and I think these are worth looking for and then keeping.  They are specifically about events in history that often don't get a lot of explanation.  This one focuses on Benedict Arnold and all the details around his service to the Revolution and then his turn to working for the British.  Lots of details and drawings, but not boring at all.

*21. Vincent and Theo  The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman  A YA book about the brothers and their relationship.  I loved how thorough it was following their lives, their art, their relationship, them falling in love and out of love and in love, etc.  I didn't love the pacing and repetition of the book.  I think it was for effect, but it might also have been for the YA reader.  Glad I read it, for a 400 page book it was a fairly quick read.

**22. Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison  This book is subtitled Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry which pretty much sums up why I needed it :)  This spring is just crazy busy and I'd like to step off the train!  Such beautiful writing and ruminations.  I am glad I read it, I need to read it again and I should definitely own this book.  Katrina didn't homeschool, but her family has definitely made a decision to put their relationships first and to step off the whirlwind of society's expectations for our kids now.  Such good stuff.

**23.  The Colonial Twins of Virginia by Lucy Fitch Perkins   I've found 4 of these and hope to find more.  There are typical period issues (slavery) but the writing is good, the story line is exciting and the history is woven in seamlessly.

**24. The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum  One of the few old books to survive the culling at Elkhorn's library.  This book is about a Dutch family during WWII.  So much history, so much Dutch culture, so much excitement, so much simply excellent writing.  I read this all in one day while the house was sick, and just loved it.  I need to have this book in our home library!

*25.The Light Beyond the Forest The Quest for the Holy Grail by Rosemary Sutcliff  The Holy Grail gets a book of its own!  A quick book with chapters following Sir Lancelot, Percival, Bors, and especially Sir Galahad. It follows their quest to find the Holy Grail and bring it to the court of King Arthur, which ends with them returning it to the sacred city where Sir Galahad dies.  Chivalry, maidens, temptation, deaths and knights are all a big part of the exciting story!

*26. Brown Eggs and Jam Jars by Aimee Wimbush-Bourque  A great real food cook book with lots of recipes using maple syrup!  She is the writer for Simple Bites blog and while living in a city has still managed to stay connected to her rural upbringing.  Worth digging in to.

*27. The Child From the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge   My first Goudge!  It took a long time as I started it and then put it on hold for at least 6  months before picking it up and finishing it.  At almost 600 pages it was loooong, but the writing was very good and I can see why everyone loves her books.  "The Child From The Sea tells the rich, turbulent 17th century tale of Lucy Walter, secret wife of Charles II, and mistress-despite-herself to a gallant and reckless Irish nobleman in exile."  Crazy enough, it wasn't until the end of the book that I realized this was based on Charles II and wasn't just fiction!  But the focus is very much on Lucy's life so I just didn't put it together.

*28. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi   A really fascinating look at a devout Muslim who converted to Christianity.  He was raised with his sister by parents who were very devout and taught so their children to value their faith.  He explains a lot about the mindset of most Muslim families, the conflict as children are raised in America, the shame-honor process of Islam (based in obedience) vs. innocence-guilt in Christianity (based in reason).  I feel like I have a little better understanding of very different the culture is.  His incredible historical and spiritual research (and his friends who helped him along the way) and his willingness to lose his family and culture for God is pretty awe inspiring for sure!

*29. The Swamp Fox of the Revolution by Stewart H. Holbrook  Landmark book #90, about Francis Marion, the swamp fox, and his important role during the Revolutionary War.  He was able to use his small force of men to disrupt a lot of the British supply lines and battalions due to his hit and run methods.  He and his men seemed like ghosts because they lived in the swamps and marshes so no one could find them and they tended to use surprise raids to accomplish their goals.  A lot of this book got to be very yawn inducing for me because of all the names and battles and such, but I now know he was very important in South Carolina and that there very well may not have been a victory without him and others like him.

**30. Unplanned by Abby Johnson  I went to see the movie on its opening weekend and it is was so powerful!  It was not easy to watch, but there were moments of laughter and sweetness in the midst of a heavy subject.   Reading the books showed me how much they worked to tell the story exactly as Abby had written it.  A very few things were condensed or very changed in a very minor fashion.  Basically she was a girl who believed Planned Parenthood and wanted to do good for women.  After 8 years of being a model employee and clinic director she held the ultrasound probe and watched while a baby was killed.  After that her parents, husbands, the Coalition for Life and many other people's prayers were answered as she walked away from PP and joined in the pro-life movement.  Amazing story, should be required for all who say they are pro-choice.

*31. Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris  I enjoyed this book which is almost more of a series of essays. She is a poet who has moved from New York back her grandmother's home in Lemmon, South Dakota.  She continually refers to North and South Dakota as Dakota (which drives my mom nuts and therefore grates on me a bit too) and spends much of the book comparing it to monasteries.  She talks a lot about the western Dakota sky, the weather, the harshness of the landscape, but also the challenges of small communities and her faith.  Her spiritual journey is an interesting one since she was raised with grandparents of faith, parents too, but spent about 20 years with none of her own.  Now she seems to dabble in multiple faiths and is more interested in spirituality even as she is drawn strongly to the monastic and Catholic liturgy.  I don't feel I'll read it again (lots of repeating themes) but it was interesting because of my tie to the state, even if it is the east side instead of the west side.

32. The Etruscan Smile by Velda Johnston   A mystery that involves two sisters, one missing in Italy and one rushing to find her, but months after she has disappeared.  The girls were raised by their grandparents after their parents died in a car crash, but it turned out that their mother was adopted when she was two and was actually the daughter of a mobster who had fled to Italy after his wife was killed.  And surprise! the missing daughter put together that the old man she was renting from was her bio grandpa.  Oh, she also found a Etruscan statue which was valuable, but neither scheme would get her any money for her drug addict boyfriend, one just ended up with her being killed.  It was okay, but not worth keeping.

*33. Indian Creek Chronicles by Pete Fromm  This was actually close to two stars for me, which was surprising!  It is the tale of a WI boy who heads out to college in Montana with grand dreams of being a mountain man.  On a bit of a whim he drops out of school in order to babysit 2.5 million tiny salmon  in Indian Creek over the winter.  He is ill prepared, but his adventures and the way he comes to embrace the solitude and conditions are captivating.  I really enjoyed this!

*34. Boy of the Pyramids by Ruth Fosdick Jones  This is a great book about ancient Egypt told in such a living story (mystery) way.  My only hold up is that  I would guess that slaves were not quite as happy as people in this book were portrayed.  The story is good, all the incidental information is great and the writing is perfect for elem into MS.  Glad to have found this one!

**35.  Hurry, Spring!  by Sterling North  A great little sets of vignettes about spring.  Each one focuses on some animal and often a story of his that goes with it.  He mentions the Rock River and other WI areas but at the time this is written he lived in NJ.  Obviously a great lover of nature (and sometimes very anti-hunting) and overall a sweet book to use as a read aloud nature study book for spring.

**36/37.  84 Charing Cross Road/The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff  The first book is a delightful exchange of letters between a woman in NY and a used book seller in London.  So much like Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, but it a real set of letters!  real people!  so great :)  Even though I knew the ending because of a newspaper clipping in my copy it still caught me off guard and hit me like a punch in the stomach.  The second book is the story of her FINALLY getting to London.  Also delightful, but more of her personality and less of the British charm that the other letters brought in.  Either way these were wonderful and so glad to have read them!

38. Seasonal Disorder by Pat Hagan  This was a fun, quick read that worked really hard to be funny and crazy.  I enjoyed it, but I would have loved to have even more story of his work and less comedic efforts.  He is a seasonal ranger at Glacier National Park and shares some of his experiences amongst a lot of frat boy type humor.

*39. High-Rise Secret by Lois Lenski  A young book by her about a housing project near Lake Erie.  Some of it was neat, explaining all the challenges of so many families in a small living space.  The story about the cat would have been sweet, but I didn't like the hiding and lying about it, especially to parents.  A work kids would like though, easy to read, engaging, like so many of her books.

40. The Awakening by Kate Chopin  Written in 1899, it shocked people because of Edna's 'awakening' to her own thoughts and desires, her separating herself from her husband and her infidelity.  I could see her walking the path to other men, but the book is so restrained that I'm still not sure she was ever physically unfaithful.  I was a bit surprised at the ending where she basically commits suicide by swimming out farther than she can return.  Was it because she knew there were no real options for herself?  That seems odd since she had moved homes and had people in her life.  Was it because there was no way to continue her story in that time period without complete shock?  Not sure, but it was worth reading, although I'm not going to keep it.

*41. Letter from New York by Helene Hanff  A later book than 84, but charming as well.  This is a series of scripts from a 5 minute radio program she did for BBC about her life in New York.  This is after 84 was published and actually covers her going to London to see the premier of the the play.  The little vignettes of life in an apartment building, going to Central Park with the neighbor's dogs, and the people she is friends with are quick to read and wonderful fun.  

*42. Q's Legacy by Helene Hanff  I'm on a kick :)  Actually, just reading the books our library had that she wrote. This one was so interesting because it covered a big part of the time when 84 was becoming known, when the BBC made it into a TV show and then when it got made into a play on the West End and was a huge hit and was brought to Broadway and wasn't.  Q is Sir Arthur Quiller- Couch who was a professor from Cambridge who did a series of lectures that were published as "The Act of Writing."  She found that book when she had to leave college and was looking for a book to tutor her into becoming a play write.  This all led to her needing to learn more and eventually ordering books from London, which led to everything else.  A neat memoir of her adult life.

*43. The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong  SUCH a good book!  Loved the story of this brave little boy and his pig as they deal with the serious challenges the Japanese-Chinese war throws at him.  He earns his family money, he saves a US fighter pilot, he escapes the Japanese invaders, gets adopted by 60 US airmen, and then convinces them to help him find his parents and baby sister.  Definitely a great read for studying about China and for kids who want a book with an adventure.

*44. Country Matters by Michael Korda  A book about the purchase of a country home that eventually became their main residence and the challenges that go with a house/farm that is from the time of the Revolutionary War and small town people.  Lots of humorous stories about locals, especially Harold who became their caretaker because he basically demanded it on the first day they owned the property.  Lots of horse related talk because they met on horseback in NYC and over time at the farm Margaret grew the herd as she was competing in eventing.  A whole different lifestyle with the home in NYC and at times homes in Florida and New Mexico as well, plus the huge money poured into the farm.  But all in all a pretty nice read, although it won't be kept on the shelves.

*45. Our Independence and the Constitution by Dorothy Canfield Fisher  Landmark series  I loved this one!  It was about the time of the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention.  The story focuses on one particular family and their little girl. She is tiny when the Continental Congress is held and the Revolutionary War happens, but is a young lady by the time they come back for the Constitutional Convention.  During the first she meets Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin and we learn some of the story through their interaction with her.  The second involves a delegate staying with them and we learn of how much they wrestled to get big states v. small states and the branches of government worked out.  It finishes with her as an older woman buying the books that are the notes taken by James Madison so she could learn what was happening in the Convention.  This books is such an easy read, but so much good history in it.  I found it charming and educational and it made for a good read aloud.

*46. Maria Takes a Fancy by Margaret Pitcairn Strachan  In this Mennonite romance of sorts, Maria starts working for a family when her grandmother dies.  Only the mother of the family is plain, the rest have fallen out of the faith.  The father has a temper, has invested all their money (including his adult son's money) in a mine that eventually fails, and the bishop is upset with Maria because he feels she shouldn't be there.  One of the sons wants his money so he can buy his own place, the neighbor girl is throwing herself at him and then gets jealous when it becomes obvious that there are feelings between Maria and the son.  An okay read, for the genre it is probably great.  The story wraps up very sweetly even after all the challenges and frustrations of everyone.

*47. The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris  This was part of a lecture series put on yearly by Notre Dame University.  I liked this better than Dakota and it was written later...I think it is obvious that she is more settled in her faith, which makes it more peaceful writing for me.  She focuses on the everyday of our lives and how we can find the holy in it.  Like there is the liturgy of the hours and the repetition in prayer we can use our mundane everyday tasks (laundry, cooking, dishes) to find the holiness of God in our lives.  A small book with lots of good stuff.

*48. The Surgeons by Charles R. Morris  A fascinating look at a Columbia-Presbyterian and their top heart program.  It covers everything from policy, costs to following individual cases and the doctors who are on staff.  Of the 6 main doctors, one was Dr. Oz!  This was written as he'd been on Oprah and written YOU:An Owner's Manual, but before he was a huge celebrity. It was so interesting to hear his back story!  Really interesting, really technical at times, but a peek into the medicine of heart disease during a very specific time period around 2006.

*49. Citizen 13660 by Mine Okubo  Wow!  So glad I grabbed this book, it will be staying.  Ms. Okubo is a Japanese American who was interned in camps during WWII.  She was on an artist Fellowship in Europe when war was declared in Europe and then when Pearl Harbor happened.  She headed home and with her brother was required to report to a camp.  She was working for the ARMY when this happened.  She recorded it all through sketches and short paragraphs of what was happening.  There is no judgement, no anger, no bitterness, just the story of what they went through and what the camps were like.  It was released right after the war and re released in 1983 with a new intro by her.  I'm so glad I read this book and it will definitely be staying on my shelves.

*50.  Food in Jars Kitchen by Marisa McClellan  Nice book about using preserves.  We like the pickle potato salad a lot!

*51. The Amazing Land of Wew by John G. Kaufer  This was such an odd book! Totally reminded me of The Wizard of Oz and when I looked it up online that was stated, even down to comparing characters!  And yet, the online prices of this one are off the charts.  Probably going to sell it because although it is interesting it isn't so  great that I wouldn't take the money instead :)  Boy ends up in enchanted land with talking animals, under the sea, riding magic chariots, trying to rescue a queen that became a bee, etc.

*52. A Pony Called Lightening by Miriam E. Mason  I was curious about her since I've collected a few of her books.  This is a sweet story of an Indian pony who is given to a white  family after the daughter saves the life of the chief's son.  Lightning loves to run and as he grows up he learns to trust the little girl, sees a train and eventually outraces a prairie fire that was started by lightning.  Great book for young readers venturing into chapter books.

*53. Beautiful Fools by R. Clifton Spargo  So cool to read this book by my beloved advisor, Dr. Spargo!  The story of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald as they traveled to Cuba for their last time together.  By this point Zelda has been spending years in mental facilities and Scott has been barely making it in Hollywood  while he waits to be inspired with his next big novel.  He lives there with another woman, which has not been acknowledged, but Zelda seems to know.  There are major scrapes with locals including a man who ends up dying in a nightclub after Zelda rushes through the crowd and a cock fight that leaves Scott beaten after he tries to rescue the chicken.  Such beautiful writing in this novel.  Amazing to think of someone I knew researching and writing it!

54. Point of View by Elisabeth Hasselbeck  I'm thinking this deserves a 1/2 star.  Some is interesting because  it talks about her years on The View and other career move, some is interesting because she talks about her family and you see the deep love, some is good because it talks about her faith and how we can all grow in it.  But it also felt a little rah-rah and it also felt too bubbly, too all over and I think I'd have done better with a deeper dive on fewer things.  Too many 'lessons learned lists' and the like for me.  Not a bad book, just not one I loved.

55. No One  Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez  He's a  Nobel Prize Winner, but I think I just don't get these short stories.  They are translated, so maybe that is some of it?  I think they are all related, but again, my brain wasn't firing well enough to know for sure.  Not my cup of tea, especially for summer reading.

**56. The Enchanted Hour by Meghan Cox Gurdon  What a  wonderful book!  I  feel like it should be required reading as soon as you get pregnant :)  This and CMs volumes are like parenting how to from the get go!  She lays out all the studies and benefits for reading out loud to your kids and even to adults.  Most of the book is focused on the early years because the brain benefits are strongest then, but biological benefits never stop, so neither should the reading out loud!  Loved this.

**57. Three Weeks with my Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks  This is a travel memoir  of Nicholas Sparks and his brother as they took a three week trip around the world on a tour to lots of the most unusual places around the world.  The writing about the trip is interspersed with writing about their childhood, the loss of their parents and sister and their lives.  So many interesting things learned about their childhood (very poor, parents who were somewhat estranged, too much freedom, but a super close family.)  Really loved this one too!

*58. The Library of Lost and Found by Paedra Patrick  This is the same author as The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and this book is another delight!  Martha works in a library, but can't hired full time even though she does everything for everyone...washing for a woman with a broken washer, sure!  babysit fish forever, sure!  make home biscuits for everyone, sure!  watch her sister's kids, sure!  And yet she has nothing in her life that is hers...she lives in her parent's home since she cared for them until their deaths, full of their things and things she is fixing for other people.  And then a book shows up that is full of her stories and inscribed by her dead grandmother three years after she died.  Eventually she is reunited with her grandmother, learns her father wasn't her father, meets the guy who helped get the book back to her,  learns secret upon secret and finds her way to self worth that isn't about just being a doormat for everyone.

*59. The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook by Dr. Amy Myers  A good read for a newly diagnosed RA patient!  Found multiple recipes that sound good and are doable.  I'm going to have to  jump in to cassava flour I think and as much as she loves tigernuts, they are  crazy pricey so for now I think we'll hold  off.  She's got some good general info on AIP as well, but mostly I was in it for the recipes and there are some good ones.

*60. The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook by Angie Alt  A really simple, quick read.  A fair number of good, doable, yummy sounding recipes that are organized by elimination and reintroduction stages.  In between there is commentary by Angie about her path to diagnosis, dealing with grief, some handy charts and such.  Much lighter and fewer recipes than the one by Myers, but all typical ingredients and quicker, easier to get through.  Kale and Pineapple Breakfast Skillet, Breakfast Meatloaf, Sunrise Smoothie, Rosemary Tea Time Biscuits, Lemon Bar Ice Cream, Canadian Brussel Sprouts all sound like winners.

**61. The Read Aloud Family by Sarah McKenzie  Written in her breezy, totally relatable, preaching to the choir at our house style and well done at that.  Book lists, 10 questions to ask about books (for me and the kids) and more great proof that reading aloud changes our kids for the best, reading for pleasure is more important that reading for improvement, building a book club culture and making connections with books...could it get any better?  :)

*62. The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion  Enjoyed this one, but had to overcome a lot of  'agenda' type writing.  This is the third in the series about Don and Rosie and now their son, Hudson, who is 11.  Hudson has issues at school (they want him to be tested for autism) and Don leaves his job to help Hudson learn the skills he needs to fit in.  By the end they have more questions about if his fitting in was worth it, but he has definitely figured out how to solve all his issues, reunite with friends, earn a ton of money coding, and make decisions for his life.

*63. The Masai Herders of East Africa by Sonia Bleeker  I've only got two Bleekers right now, but after reading this one I get why they are so loved.  A great summary of the history, beliefs, culture, and geography of the Masai.  I didn't see a lot of things I'd feel the need to explain or put in context and I'd love to see if that carries in the ones written about North American tribes.  Will be great for Africa studies.

*64. Betsy Ross and the Flag by Jane Mayer  This is a Landmark and it is a really good one!  I loved the tone and writing in this one and need to own it for sure!  Tells the history of how a flag came to be wanted/needed by Washington and others as well as telling a bit of history of Betsy Ross herself. My favorite part was the very beginning as it talked about America.  Good, quick read for all Americans.

*65. Nutrient Dense Kitchen by Mickey Trescott   Another good cookbook that also focuses on the nutrient side of AIP.  Good one to check out again when it is time for mashed veggies and soups. This one and the one by Angie are both ones to get again (and they blog together too!)

**66. How the Heather Looks by Joan Bodger  I need to own this one! :)  A delightful travel memoir of a family's trip to England.  They went with their 9 year old son and 2 1/2 year old daughter to discover all the sights that connect with children's books.  This book sent me to the computer to request books over and over again!  The exploring they did, the imaginations, the connection to Swallows and Amazons, Beatrix Potter books, Narnia, Winnie the Pooh, the Borrowers, and on and on...  Wonderful book.

*67. The Story of Joan of Arc by Jeannette C. Nolan (Signature Biography)  Such a great middle grade biography for kids.  I learned about her early life, her service to God and country and her terrible death.  I've wanted to read all the Signatures we own, but they often get pushed back.  This one moved up with Bishop Don said it is one of his favorite books and made a big impact on him when he read it at about age 9.  Tickled us to know we owned it!

*68.  Two Under the Indian Sun by Jon and Rumer Godden  Interesting book written by the two oldest sister, who are both authors.  This tells of their childhood in India and a bit of the years  they were in England without their family.  It took me a while to get through it, but it was highly enjoyable.  The ending felt abrupt and a bit dispiriting, but I loved the stories of their times in the Hills and the vivid descriptions of their games, the Christmas celebrations and such.

*69.  Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman  I inhaled this book in a day, after returning from South Dakota.  It is quirky, it is heart breaking and it is redemptive.  Eleanor has had the worst childhood imaginable, but you don't find out details until the very end.  She lives an incredibly isolated life, other than work and when IT guy Raymond bumbles his way into her life things change.  She crashes hard when she realizes the singer she thinks is the love of her life is a made up crush basically, but he is there to pull her through.  Sammy, the old man they rescue in the street brings a whole family dynamic that with Raymond turn her world upside down, pull her up from suicide and eventually help her face her demonic past of a mother who tried to kill her and did kill her sister.  Quite a book, really.

*70.  Making Rounds with Oscar by Dr. David Dosa  Mom recommended this and it was a quick read about a cat who lives on a floor of a nursing home with dementia patients.  He isn't particularly friendly, but has a gift of knowing when people are ready to die.  He stays with them and their family during their last hours and is a support, comfort and brings peace to a hard situation.  Dr. Dosa touches on medical care for dementia, his own struggles with RA, his unbelief in Oscar's gift and more as he works his way through the story.

71. Rheumatoid Arthritis Everything you Need to Know by Dr. Robert G. Lahita  A quick read in question and answer form.  Some good info, but it is a bit older and wasn't as helpful as I'd hoped.  I also was reading the First Year book written by a patient expert and it was much better, but still so hard to read because it is so scary and hard to face this all.  I need to finish that one though, as it is much more comprehensive and applicable.

*72. The Secret Lives of Midwives by Sally Hepworth  I'm pretty positive that I've read this book already, but I started it at Aunt Mary and Uncle Rogers so I got it from the library and blew through it.  It is about 3 generations of midwives and the secret the grandmother holds, which comes to light as the daughter's secret pregnancy also does.  The birth is dramatic, the friendly doctor turned boyfriend turned jealous of who he thinks is the baby's father turned happily ever after is too :)  But it is a good read with interesting points because of the midwife aspect.

*73. Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome   A British novel that has been loved for decades.  It is literally about three men who take a trip in a boat with their dog and their adventures.  It is very much written as if someone was telling you the story, complete with side a trails, sudden return to the main story, and unbelievable craziness at times.  Laughed out loud at times, although some of it was just goofy.  Overall I found it charming and a good light read with lots of boating and English-ness for fun!

*74. Wisconsin Angel by Jane Walrath Solem This is the story of Cordelia Harvey, the wife of WI governor Louis Harvey.  She and her husband lived in Clinton Corners and Shopiere, owning a mill and a store. They were originally from Southport (Kenosha) and moved there, getting involved in politics, which eventually moved them to Madison.  Louis died shortly after taking office, while visiting WI soldiers fighting the Civil War.  Cordelia carried on his work and eventually got Lincoln to agree to build military hospitals in the north (3 in WI) where soldiers could recover and be able to survive to fight again. The southern hospitals were so bad that many soldiers were dying instead of recovering.  This led to the establishment of the VA, although the book doesn't talk about that at all.  A flowery, good read, written by a local woman about a local woman.

*75. My Man, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse I read this one and most of Carry On, Jeeves, but that one got returned to the library accidentally before I finished it.  This is more British humor and reminds me of Three Men in a Boat in many ways.  Lots of bizarre scrapes that Jeeves helps them get out of, but then often results in more challenges, but somehow he gets them out of that as well.  Pretty good for light reading.

*76. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb  A historical fiction about WWI and a well done one at that.  This is done as letters between Evie and her brother Will and his best friend Tom as well as her friend Alice.  The boys join us right away and after a while Will is killed.  Alice is also headed to the war as a nurse while Evie is at home finding jobs to do and wishing she was at the front.  She does eventually get there as a telephone operator after years of postal work and writing a column for Tom's father's (and his, after his father dies) newspaper.  There is a proposal from Tom's cousin, issues with the men running the paper, lots of misunderstandings and so much hurt.  In the end we see Evie and Tom's growing love has come to where it should be.  All in all a good read.

*77. The Mitchells Five for Victory by Hilda van Stockum   The first of three books she wrote about the Mitchell family.  The five kids work hard to support the war effort, deal with a bully next door, befriend a refugee and help reunite her with her grandfather and get into all sorts of mischief as well.  I like her writing and think this is a good middle grade-MS series based on this first book.
*78. Canadian Summer by Hilda van Stockum The second one in the series where the Mitchells move to Canada following their Dad's job.  They rent a ski lodge that is way up in the mountains and not having a car or access to a town changes their adventures, but not their spirit!  They meet French speaking families, help bring a war wounded veteran back to himself, get lost in the woods, worry their mother and Grannie, and are their general jolly selves.  The challenge of a permanent place to live is barely solved in the nick of time before winter sets in, but it is solved and they'll be living near Montreal.

*79. Friendly Gables by Hilda van Stockum   The last of the Mitchells and my favorite one!  They are still in Canada and now twins have been born.  We meet Miss Thorpe the baby nurse, Paul the boy who needs to learn that Americans can be wonderful, and we see a blossoming romance between Pierre and Joan.  The kids make their own snug nest, 'Homework' and they learn so many great lessons during this book.  This is a great series for elementary and MS readers.

80.Clara's Kitchen by Clara Cannucciari  A cute little book by Clara, the YouTube grandma who was pretty popular a few years back. She and her grandson would film her cooking and talking about the Depression and her words of wisdom. This book is full of recipes and her thoughts, but it mostly boils down to (over and over again) pasta or veggies with oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice and maybe put between bread.  And her thoughts are that they had nothing, but didn't really know it and you made and ate what you could and didn't complain.  It was fine, but not as charming as her videos had been.

*81.Young Mr. Meeker and his Exciting Journey to Oregon by Miriam E. Mason  A super fun book about the Oregon Trail for an elementary reader (or a fast read for a MS reader.)  The family has to wait for Mr. Meeker to start out on the trail and throughout their journey.  Mr. Meeker is the new baby who arrives as they prepare to set out.  His mama, Eliza Jane, makes them wait at certain times because Mr. Meeker likes clean clothes and such.  These rests end up being the reason they get to Oregon in such good shape with animals who can make it over the mountains.  Mr. Meeker also shares his medicines and trades with a Native and is just an all around great leader at just a few months old!  Very cute.

*82. Caroline and the Seven Little Words by Miriam E. Mason  Another great little books.  This one is longer and harder than some of her others ones, but still very elementary friendly. Caroline stands up in school and says she is going to be a doctor some day in a time when girls weren't to have goals beyond motherhood and keeping a home.  She is harassed by her (young) uncles, but over the coarse of the book she shows how good she is at tending sick people, rescues a dog from death and shows herself to a be a an all around wonderful little girl.

*83. The Lewis and Clark Expedition by Richard L. Neuberger  Such a good Landmark!  A quick read, but a really good way to get an overview of the challenges and journey that opened up the Louisiana Purchase.   I'm loving doing more outside history reading this year!

**84. Dr. George Washington Carver by Shirley Graham and George Lipscomb   I don't know if I've read a better biography!  This is Messner and it is wonderful.  I didn't realize what a strong man of God Dr. Carver was.  To see his rise from slavery to revolutionizing the farming of the south is just incredible.  So loved this one.

**85. Grain by Grain by Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle  Loved this book and need to send it to Jacki and Ryan.  I read it to go with crop rotation, but it is about a lot more than just crops.  This is the farmer who developed Kamut, which we need to look into.  He went from huge conventional farm to completely organic and rotational, work with the earth farming.  Loved this book.

*86. Turkish Delight & Treasure Hunts by Jane Brocket  What a great little book with recipes and activities to go with so many classic children's books.  Highly suggest that we try and do some of these with books we read!

*87-91. First Farm in the Valley, Winding Valley Farm, Stairstep Farm, Willow Wind Farm and Betsy's Up and Down Year by Anne Pellowski  The five Latsch Valley Farm book series.  They are wonderful books for elementary and early MS age readers.  Wisconsin history, Polish immigrants, a different generation in each book so seeing things change through time and Catholic as well.  Such a great way to see farming in WI through the years and so much good stuff for big families, working hard together and more.

*92 Andrew Jackson by Clara Ingram Judson  I liked this biography, the first of hers I've read.  Good for later elem-MS for sure, older might enjoy as well.  She definitely makes her subject out to be a hero and white washes over some things, but it is a good introduction to a major character in our country who doesn't always get a lot of good press.  It was good to learn about his wife, his adopted boys, his life at the Hermitage.  I thought she definitely glossed over his dealings with Native Americans and the problems with his presidency.  Overall, I'll keep collecting her books.

*93. Meriwether Lewis Mystery by Wilma Pitchford Hays  A good book that tells the story of the Lewis and Clark journey in a very engaging way.  I was confused about the mystery part, but that is because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.  The last chapter talks about all the stories surrounding it and shows photos of the areas and reconstructed cabins and such.  For the most part I'd just consider this a very good book for kids to learn about the journey in a story format.

**94. What Katy Did by Susan Collidge   This is a WONDERFUL, sweet little novel that should be reading for all kids, but especially girls struggling with becoming patient young women.  Cousin Helen is sick, but a huge influence on the household of Katy and her siblings.  They are a fun, rough and tumble, active group until Katy gets hurt.  Her recovery is very, very slow and in the process she learns and loves more than she ever could have if she was well.  A great book, should read again, and should definitely own!

*95. Napoleon and the Battle of  Waterloo by Frances Winwar  Landmark book, and another winner at that!  These are such a quick way to get a good feel for what happened in history.  Napoleon was so good at what he did, even if what he did wasn't really good for the average person.  His military victories were pretty amazing and the fact that he left exile in Elba and came back to fight at Waterloo and almost win is nothing short of amazing.  His second, and final, exile to St. Helena in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean really floored the kids.  What a tiny island to hold such a mighty dictator!

*96. It's Not Supposed to be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst  This might be the first book I've read by her, although I know I own at least one other.  This one is about 'finding unexpecteds trength when disappointments leave you shattered.'  A good read, one I had thought might be particularly appropriate due to my reeling life right now.  Her life was turned upside down by her husband's infidelity and while a lot of what she writes is universal to the hard parts of life, regardless of situation, some of it felt very repetitive and didn't speak to me as much as I'd hoped.  A good read overall.

*97. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers The first murder mystery I've read by the 'mistress of the golden age of mystery!'  A man has died at the Duke of Denver's country home and he has been arrested, but his brother, Lord Peter, a detective, comes in to prove his innocence.  Turns out in the end that there are three plots all working together that night. The dead man was found to be a cheat at cards and told to leave their home the next morning, but he heads out into the storm and won't come back.  Their sister, Mary's fiance is the dead man, but the man she was going to elope with was in garden that night as she went to meet him.  The Duke of Denver had gone to visit a very abused local woman he had started an affair with, but came home to find the man dead in the garden. In the end the man died for passion as his mistress had shoved him off for a rich American.  The way the story unfolds took a bit to get into, but was quite good as it rolled along.

*98. Blue Willow by Doris Gates  What a great little historical fiction book!  Janey is the daughter of a migrant farmer and his wife, her mother having died years before.  Set during the Dust Bowl, we slowly learn that they lost their farm and are doing the best they can to keep fed and follow the crops.  Janey has a Blue Willow plate that she treasures that was her mother's.  They keep it packed up because Mom won't put it up until it has a proper house to be in.  Janey makes friends with Lupe in the house near the shack they moved into and learning to be a friend is  a big part of the story.  Bounce, the dishonest farm hand, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, a kind doctor and a whole lot of pluck eventually help Janey get her wish to stay "as long as we want to."

**99. The Pueblo Indians by Sonia Bleeker   Another great one!  This is definitely a series I need to get more of.  Such a good way to learn more about the Pueblos.  I could totally see how these were the people who came from those we learned about at Mesa Verde.  I just love how much she packs in these in such an easy to read, but not at all worrisome about honoring their history type of way. This one also covers the Spanish invasion, missionaries, and eventually the US and the Sante Fe trail as well as a bit about more modern times.  I'm sure they aren't totally perfect, but I find them to be just outstanding!

*100.  We Were There with Jean Lafitte at New Orleans by Iris Vinton  These are such great books!  I didn't know much about Lafitte and his pirates.  As we've studied Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans it came up that these pirates were approached by Great Britain to fight for them, but they went to Jackson and offered to give them the information and fight for the US even when they had originally been told their services weren't wanted.  In the end they helped the US win at New Orleans and keep that very important port open.

101.  Now & Again by Julia Turshen  A recommended cookbook with recipes and then idea of how to use up the leftovers.  Most of these won't work for me (big surprise!) but there are a couple I want to try.   Celebration Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Dates, Maple Roasted Apples, Charred Broccoli with Capers and Lemon, and Radicchio and Roasted Squash Salad are all possibililties.

*102.  Cooking up U.S. History by Suzanne I Barchers and Patricia C. Marden  This is a neat book that goes through different times in US history as well as different regions in the US.  For each section there are quite a few recipes and book recommendations, both fiction and non-fiction.  There are other things included like questions and video links, but overall this is a neat resource to tie in with a specific time like Westward Expansion or area like Southwest.

*103. The Cottage at Bantry Bay by Hilda van Stockum  The second series of hers, this one about the O'Sullivan Family for Ireland.  Mother, Father, Michael, Brigid, and the twins Francie and Liam make up this sweet family.  We see Michael and Brigid go off to sell the donkey (and have quite an adventure), the twins start school, and the finding of some very old poems that lead to the money for Francie to get his foot fixed.  I LOVE her writing and would now like to own all her books. Such a sweet example for middle grade readers.

*104. Francie on the Run by Hilda van Stockum  The second in this series.  Francie has gone to the hospital in Dublin and is just about ready to go home when he decides to head out himself.  He tours Dublin and ends up visiting many places around Ireland through a series of misunderstandings and willful choices.  In the end he meets up with Paddy and gets home to his family.  A neat way to experience a bunch of Irish culture and geography, although I loved the other story better. Her writing is all amazing!

*105. Heart to Heart Stories for Mom by Joe L. Wheeler  A collection of short, sweet stories about moms, for moms.  Very much a tear jerker, all the feels kind of book.  I checked it out to re-read Applesauce Needs Sugar, which is quite a testament to faith!  Nice book for sitting by the fire.

**106. The Gown by Jennifer Robson  What a great historical fiction novel!  The story is centered around three women, Heather the modern day daughter who loses her grandmother.  When she inherits a box of beautiful embroidered swatches she embarks on a trip to England to discover the life her grandmother never shared.  Ann is the grandmother who fled England after been the main embroiderer on Princess Elizabeth's (now Queen  Elizabeth) wedding dress.  We meet her just after the war and learn a lot about her job, her way of life, the man she starts seeing and when he rapes her, which leads to a pregnancy and her leaving for Canada without ever looking back.  We also meet Miriam, who leaves France for England after losing her family in the Holocaust. She ends up working with Ann as an embroiderer, is the other main person working on the wedding dress and falls in love with a wonderful man.  She and Walter raise a family and she becomes an artist, very much based on urging of Ann when they lived together.  Her grandson connects with Heather and there are sweet love stories as well as hard realities of WWII.  Really good!

*107.  Beyond Bacon by Stacy Joth and Matthew McCurry  A Paleo book that is nose to tail pig recipes.  There are a few in here that I can make work like Citrus Infused Pork Burgers, Ham Bone Soup, Ham and Broccoli Pasta (spaghetti squash), Fried Yuca fries, Maple Sage Roasted Butternut Squash, Rosemary Carrot Mash and more.

*108. Lightly by Frances Jay  A book by a minimalist about moving lightly through life.  She talks about everything from possessions to the environment, scheduling and more.  A lot of it was good to hear and helped me get rid of a bunch of extra pots and plates.  I could use a lot more 'lightly' in many areas of my life.  She says it works as a philosophy because it is simple and only one little word to ask yourself before adding things or commitments to your life.  Some of the book is a bit out there and extreme, but overall worth reading.

109. Old Town in the Green Groves by Cynthia Rylant  This book has me so torn!  It was written by an author we like and illustrated by someone we like and I love the subject matter, but I'm not sure it should have been written and I really don't know if we should keep it.  It is a book about the 'missing years' that Laura Ingalls Wilder never wrote about.  The family moves to Iowa, Pa and Ma work in a hotel and their little boy who is just born when they move, ends up dying on their way there.  Such a hard time as they've not been able to make it after the grasshoppers destroy their crops near Plum Creek, MN.  The story is well constructed (based on writings of Laura's that were never published) but the flow is definitely not hers and even the conversation is very different.  Seeing it listed on the back with all the other books kind of freaked me out too :)

*110. Winter Cottage by Carol Ryrie Brink  Another great book by the author of Caddie Woodlawn, this one set in WI during the depression.  Minty and Eggs and their poetry quoting dad are heading to Aunt Amy's house because they've lost their home, their store and are needing to find a place to settle.  When their car breaks down they find a summer cottage and decide to spend the winter there.  Along the way they pick up a boy who has run away from home, try and avoid the sheriff, and Minty struggles with how they will leave rent money for Maria Vincent when they leave in the spring.  The contests they enter don't pan out, until  the end when the amazing pancakes their dad makes earns them $1,000!  The family who owns the cabin comes to kick them out in a blizzard, but ends up loving their company so much that they all become friends!

*111. Happy Little Family by Rebecca Caudill The first in the series and such a sweet one it is.  About 4 year old Bonnie and her siblings.  We see Bonnie as she works hard to be a big girl now whether it be skating with the others on a river, heading to school for the first time or striking out on her own on a forest trail.  A great elementary fiction book.

*112. The Chippewa Indians by Sonia Bleeker  I wanted to read this one since it is about a tribe that is somewhat local.  I did not realize that the Chippewa (Ojibwa) were people who moved as much as they did.  They cycled from early spring in the maple groves making their sugar for the year, to summers on the Great Lakes in their permanent wigwams.  There they grew their gardens, the  men headed out on 'adventures' and the war path and they fished.  In the fall they harvested wild rice and in the winter they moved into the forest.  This book follows a family with four children, two boys (we see them go out on vision quests) and two girls (one who is born as the book begins.)  Another good one from her!

113. The First Book of Indian Wars  Finally read one of my First Books!  This one is much higher reading level than some of them, with good reason given the subject matter. It had many maps and was very much about conflicts between Native Americans and settlers and the impact they had on how our country came to be as it is now.  It was fairly specific and covered a lot of ground.

*114. America Builds Homes by Alice Dalgliesh   In this book she covers different groups of settlers, the kinds of homes and communities they  built, famous leaders of their group and such.  English, Dutch, German, Swedish and more are talked about.  Communities in Virginia, New England, New York/New Amersterdam, Pennsylvania, and Williamsburg are the main focus of the book.

*115. Turkeys, Pilgrims and Indian Corn by Edna Barth  I've collected all of her holiday books and now I've got to read them :)  This is a great little book explaining lots about the different people who came over, the mistakes we commonly see in how they and the Native American people are portrayed, and specific history on many parts of their lives and the things we most commonly associate with Thanksgiving.

*116. Pilgrim Stories by Margaret Pumphrey  What a little gem of a book!  I've got an old copy from Talcott and it is a bit fragile, but this is basically two different books in one.  The first and largest part is a lot of history of the Pilgrims.  We see their lives in England, their move to Holland, their lives there and then finally the sea voyage and move to North America.  Lots about their struggles here, their interactions with Native Americans and finally into their celebration of Thanksgiving.  The second part is little chapters on interactions between specific people and Native Americans, some of which should be taken with a grain of salt.  Good book for kids, illustrations by Lucy Fitch Perkins of the Twins books.

117. Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser  I am SO GLAD to be done with this book.  It is about Laura Ingalls Wilder and is well researched and I thought I'd love it.  But instead, I was often forcing myself to finish it and finding myself overly annoyed with the author.  She really seemed determined to repeat things over and over and had her own agenda she was constantly pushing.  Who supported who...well, you know what, it was complicated.  Rose was an only child who was a spender, her mom was poor, but a saver.  Sometimes one sent money, sometimes the other.  But nope, it goes on and on through the whole book.  I definitely don't like Roger MacBride now, after finding out he never knew  Laura, but has the rights to her books and basically, with Rose and on his own over rode Laura's wishes.  Arg, glad I'm done, learned a lot, but it was a beast to get through.

*118. The First Thanksgiving by Lena Barksdale (Illustrated by Lois Lenski)  I'm so glad I grabbed this sweet little book. It is about a little girl who very suddenly gets the chance to go stay with her aunt and uncle and GIRL cousins.  For Thanksgiving they to Grandma and Grandpa's house and she gets to hear about the first Thanksgiving from her Grandma who was there.  Many Native Americans are also there to celebrate because her grandparents love them and are so grateful for the help they gave them during those first years.  Hannah is nervous about them, but comes to realize they are no threat to the feast.  A really quick read, a neat look at the traditional story.

*119. John Alden and the Pilgrim Cow by  Margaret Friskey   Another neat look at the lives of the Pilgrims.  John Alden is a main character, but so are many others.  We see him encourage Giles to overcome his fears and Giles ends up being a great sailor.  Alden marries Pricilla in this book (we read the Miles Standish poem by Longfellow this year, which brought many of these characters to life!) and he eventually gets a cow which leads to his ranch.  We see the challenges and changes over a few years.

**120. Wild Things The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas This was a good read for me as we are raising two boys :)  I wish I'd read it sooner, but I'm glad I read it now.  My biggest take aways are that we need to adjust our parenting to the different stages our boys are going through, ,that we need to keep having conversations about their emotions and encouraging them in their emotional vocabulary, that we need to plan initiation ceremonies for them as they get into the their teen years (with other men..godfather, grandpa, Uncle Jim, etc.), and that we need to let them have their wild side, not make them neat, neutered, and no longer men.   Worth reading again as they continue to grow up.


Friday, December 7, 2018

What I read 2018...sad edition

So I was about to enter book 100 and somehow the entire list was lost....argh.

These are the last few books of 2018

100. Mother Carey's Chickens by Kate Douglas Wiggin   AMAZING.  Makes me want to be a better mother.  Loved this sweet book!

101. The Wind in the Chimney by Cornelia Meigs  A great children's book that is based just after George Washington becomes president, although he plays a minor role.  The book is set in the area around Valley Forge and focuses on a family who works hard to overcome major loss.  Really dovetailed with Mother Carey's Chickens

102. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens A really good read about Kya who is left by her mother and older siblings and eventually by her drunk father as well.  She is called Marsh Girl by the town she lives near and yet that is exactly what she is.  She grows up, falls in love with Tate who teacher her to read and exposes her to major science and then leaves her for college.  She has a relationships with the town  hot shot who keeps her in the dark about his impending marriage.  Eventually she find success as a scientific author, but is then put on trial for the murder of the hot shot.  When found innocent she allows a relationship with Tate to form and they spend the rest of their lives studying the marsh together...when she dies we find out the rest of the story!

103.  Evangaline and the Acadians   A Landmark book about the Acadians who came from France, then are forcibly removed from their homes and spread to American colonies and all over, including back to France and even England.  They eventually find their way to Louisiana and this books details their culture, their involvement as America and other countries struggled for this land and freedoms, and their history in a few different countries. 

104. Christmas Mouse by Miss Read   A charming book by an author I'd never read.  Very light, quick read, but rather nice for those times when that is needed.  A real mouse and a boy who is rather mouse like both feature in this book and the Christmas spirit is definitely kindled as well.

105.  Village Christmas by Miss Read  This is the one I owned, but read second.  A very quick read and the first of the Christmas books she wrote.  Two sisters and the entire village are less than warm to the new family complete with three little girls and a baby on the way.  The Christmas birth of their son changes that and brings them all together.  Very sweet.

106. The World of William Penn by Genevieve Foster   Just got this at a book sale and read it in a morning.  SO good!  I'm now very excited to read the others we have of hers and get the rest of them too.  This one is exactly where we are in history so it is on the list of books that the kids will be reading on their own time in the next two weeks.

107. The Birds' Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins What a wonderful book!  So sweet and so sad all at the same time.  The Birds are a family, Carol is their Christmas baby and as she grows up she has many health issues that keep her mostly in her bed.  She spends her last Christmas giving a wonderful Christmas to her family and to the family down the alley that she watches from her window.  Charming book!

108. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson  I just love this book and it took me about an hour to just sit down and buzz through it during a rough day in the lead up to Christmas.  I'm glad I'm giving myself permission to just enjoy some of these younger books again!

109.  The Coat Hanger Christmas Tree by Eleanor Estes  Boy, these kids realllly wanted a Christmas tree and their mother realllly didn't want one.  I loved the persistence of the kids and the way it worked out in the end.  Not my favorite book, but I'm glad I have in it in our collection.

110. Take Joy! By Tasha Tudor   Such a sweet collection of Christmas stories and carols.  Again, didn't take me long to enjoy it, but it is the kind of book you can sit down for a few moments and read something sweet to help remember the joy of the season.

110. Fingersmith   Well, this book was highly recommended on one of the blogs I follow and after reading all 600 pages I really wish I hadn't.  It was engaging with lots of plot twists, but mostly it was meant to be titillating and I used the word smutty with my husband when talking about it.  I should have stopped, but I just always feel I have to finish a book.  Two girls, one raised by an abusive, sick, perverted uncle and the other by a baby farmer and thief are caught up in a plot that pits them against each other, but both are deceived by Gentleman and the woman one called mother for years.  In the end it seems to work out, of sorts, but really, ugh.

111.  A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy  Oh, what a SWEET BOOK!  SO glad I found a copy of this and we can enjoy it over Christmas break.  Loved it!

112. The Planets by Dava Sobel   I really liked this book of hers.  She goes through each planet, the sun, and the moon one in each chapter.  Each one is done in a different style and includes all kinds of information surrounding that planet, but also scientists, astronomers, history and other things that relate.  Mars is written from the perspective of a rock found in the south pole, Uranus and Neptune are a letter from Miss Herschel to Maria Mitchell.  Very interesting and a fairly quick read.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Bulk Pork Purchase 2018

Time for the yearly pork purchase.  We purchased a whole hog this year from Ibelings and had it processed at Sorgs again.  I am a bit confused on somethings, but in the interest of getting things in the freezer fast I didn't do all the normally weighing.  According to Sorgs I got 204 pounds of meat and I'm not sure it that includes the fat I got or not.  The biggest oddity was that we got only 5 more pounds of sausage even though we got an entire second half.

Run down of number of packages of each cut

Picnic Shoulder Roast, 4 packs
Spare Ribs, 1 pack
Pork Loin Roasts, 2 packs
Pork Tenderloin, 2 packs
Fresh Side Pork, 5 packs
Country Ribs, 2 packs
Boneless Pork Chops, 9 packs
Baby Back Ribs, 2 packs
Jowls, 2 packs
Pork Butt Roast, 5 packs
Pork Hock, 2 packs
Neck Bones, 1 pack
Sausage, 20 packs
Fresh picnic ham, 4 packs

Pork Liver, 4 packs
Pork Bladder, 1
Bags of Fat, 2 large ones

The total paid to Ibelings was $150, total paid to Sorgs was $157.  So we ended up with 204 pounds of meat for $307, which works out to about $1.54/pound.  Not a bad price, but we didn't end up paying for any smoking this year because of Mike's sensitivities.  I do think this is actually an increase for us, but we've got a freezer full of pork and will enjoy it and our chickens this winter!

Prices were $.50/pound for cut and wrap, $15 trucking fee, $40.00 butcher fee.