Thanksgiving on Ice

I love Thanksgiving! How about you? Family, friends, food… what is wrong with any of that?

For 7 years we have tried to get the daughters, partners, kids and my parents here all at the same time. Needless to say that has been challenging to say the least. BUT finally it happened! We arranged for everyone to be here the weekend before Thanksgiving. It would be a short visit, but all would be here. We were excited preparing, shopping, planning what to cook and bake and then….







Now on Thursday morning, it was beautiful. By 830 our power was out and it was simply a short inconvenience. It was the day we were going to bake and clean but if it was on by 4pm we would be good. Afterall, we weren’t getting my mom and dad until Friday afternoon and then others would follow in on Saturday morning.

By dark we had flashlights and thought it would be on during the night sometime. Prior to bed we got the ETA from our energy company that it would be Sunday night before we would see power.

So I cried and panicked. I was so sad that this was the first time all together in years and we would be in the dark and have to change our menu. I was concerned for my parents being in a cold house and wandering in the dark.

Then hubby, as hubby does, says to me “I have a plan!” So we got a hotel room for my parents at night and hooked up our generator to get us a light hooked up. With a gas stove and grill and a little shifting in menus, we were in business! (and a headlamp never hurts!)






We added some fun rules to kick things off on a positive note!






Everyone arrived and we had a spectacular time! We picked up many pizzas from Marion’s in Dayton Ohio which is a favorite of all!






And who cares about power when you have a tractor with a scoop, a culvert to explore and gingerbread houses to make?






We took rides and played in the mud…






We had a wonderful time! When the power was restored, we cheered but also felt a little melancholy that our little adventure had ended. As a matter of fact, that evening, we sat in the sunroom with lights off and laughed and talked and laughed and talked. There may have been singing and dancing involved as well. ūüôā

It was a great reminder of what Thanksgiving is about– family, love and laughter!

Hope your Thanksgiving was full of great memories and love!

Happy Unleashing,


Cranberry Chutney

You may be like me and thought your entire life that you did not like cranberries or cranberry sauce. That stuff in the can just seemed like a glob to me and it had zero appeal. I know that some of you love that stuff and I respect that, but it just seemed like really thick jello to and I am not a jello fan either.

Fast forward to adult life and passing age 45 and I discovered cranberries. Yep, the real deal cranberries. Oh now there is a yummy little morsel!


I tried making several different cranberry sauces and although they were better than the canned stuff they were all so sweet. I am a savory taste person on Thanksgiving–no marshmallows on my sweet potatoes, no honey on the carrots and no cranberry sauce that is sweet like jelly. Don’t get me wrong, I love sweets! But I just save my sweet taste buds for pies at dessert!

A few years back I discovered a cranberry chutney recipe. I cannot recall where I got this from; it might have been Good Housekeeping Magazine. I love it and now it has become a tried and true, Thanksgiving and Christmas thing.

The great thing is that you just dump all this stuff in a saucepan, bring to a boil and then simmer slowly for the afternoon. The recipe says 30 minutes, I simmer for 3 – 4 hours on low. It gets a wonderful think consistency and all the cranberries burst open with flavor.

Here’s what you need to fill your saucepan:

1 bag (12 oz) cranberries

1 C Brown Sugar (make your own using 1 cup of sugar and 1 TBL Molasses mixed up in a food processor)

1/2 C dried apricots chopped

1/2 C Golden Raisins (honestly the dark raisins don’t cut it in this recipe)

1/4 C Cider Vinegar (I use Braggs)

2 TBL minced fresh ginger (so much of the goodness comes from this!)


1 small onion finely chopped

1 clementine or small orange peeled and chopped (save the peel if you brine your turkey)

1/2 tsp salt



Into the sauce pan it all goes. Bring to a boil and then simmer, simmer, simmer. Simmer as long or as short as you want; consistency is up to you. I like mine reduced down good.


This is really great stuff. Yummy on Thanksgiving but really splendid on the turkey sandwich I know you’re gonna have for leftovers!

If you are like me and thought you did not like cranberries or would like something less sweet with a little kick, try this! Let me know if you do and what you think.

Happy Unleashing (in the kitchen this week!)


Thanksgiving Traditions; Grateful Hour

turkeyI think every family has some traditions they follow for holidays. ¬†We do too. ¬†They have evolved over the years; some have been around for a long time, some are newer. ¬†Some we can’t do anymore because of situations in location or participants.

When I think of  Thanksgiving some traditions revolve around food (of course!).  If my youngest is at the table I have to make green bean casserole.  My middle daughter is vegetarian so an abundance of veggies is a must!   Oldest daughter must have corn casserole and mashed potatoes.  Hubby always makes pumpkin pie from freshly roasted pumpkin and dinner rolls that the kids shape anyway they want!  I have to have stuffing and something squash.  The stuffing never changes; I have made it the same every year for as long as I can remember although I have no recipe for it.  Food is a big part of our traditions and I suspect it is for you too!

But our biggest tradition and longest standing one is “Grateful Hour”.

From the time we get up until we go to bed, every hour we do a round robin of what we are thankful for. ¬†I love this so much. ¬†It keeps our focus on gratitude all day. ¬†For those that aren’t here, we call over the phone or text for participation. The predictable ones come up but it is always fun as the day progresses to see what everyone shares when the timer dings. ¬†The last hour of the day usually brings up “glad that gratitude hours are over” with a laugh, but everyone really does love it and it just would not feel like Thanksgiving without it.

What traditions do you have?  Whatever they are, enjoy them, enjoy the holiday and enjoy pondering over what you are grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Musings: So Many Blessings

Thanksgiving week naturally lends itself to gratitude. ¬†I try to live with an attitude of gratitude all year long, but on some days it is just a challenge! ¬†We all have those days. ¬†Thanksgiving causes me to pause and think about how many blessings I have. They are just overflowing. ¬†There is no perfect life, but there is perfection in imperfection. ¬†I personally believe that God does have a perfect plan for me and my day is perfect in His eyes inside of that plan. ¬†I just don’t always see it, but more importantly I don’t always look for it.

On Thanksgiving we have a tradition at our house, beginning as soon as you wake up to have what we call “Grateful Hour“. ¬†We set the alarm in 60 minute intervals all day and when it dings, we do a round robin where everyone says what they are grateful for. ¬†It is so much fun; we have the standards about family, home, etc., but as they day goes on you really hear about the smaller things that everyone is grateful for. ¬†And at the end of the day, on our last round, someone will always proclaim with laughter that they are “glad that grateful hours are now over!” ¬†Now that the kids are grown and not always here we text or call instead, but we still do it. ¬†It is a great tradition and one that will be one of my legacies left behind that I am sure will carry on in our family.

I have so many things I am grateful for I think I could play “Grateful Hour” for more than just a day, but here are a few things that I will give thanks for this year:

  • My Husband, my daughters and having my mom and dad still with us will be at the top of my list, followed by these in any given order….
  • My first grand baby is on the way! ¬†WOW– ‘nough said.
  • Living our first full year in the country.
  • 8 garden beds that were not even on my brain’s eye at that beginning of the year that have come to life and filled our table & pantry with wonderful bounty.
  • Seeing the big dipper almost every night along with tons of other stars.
  • Sunrises from my deck and sunsets from my front porch! What a view we are blessed with.
  • New friends in our new home. ¬†We have connected with and found some really special people to share our life here with.
  • Working from home in a lovely office on top of my garage. ¬†I have to go outside to “go to work”, but the commute is only a few steps to the office.
  • Music– all types, just depends on the mood.
  • My health. So blessed to be so healthy at 54 years old. ūüôā
  • Our dog–always the interesting personality to watch.
  • The wonderful contractors that we have partnered with on our pole barn, deck and other projects. ¬†They are honest, hardworking and talented.
  • Our pole barn! ¬†I love that out building.
  • The sound of the gravel driveway when I come home after being away.
  • The scenery around us and on our drives when we run errands or go out.
  • The community activities I have plugged into.
  • Our church and other nearby churches. ¬†There are so many good ones near us.
  • Starting school in January! ¬†I didn’t see that one coming.
  • Tea, wine, kombucha, water, bourbon, kefir, craft beers… I am always sipping on something and there are so many great choices!
  • Sewing again! ¬†Yipee!
  • Cooking in the evenings after work; love that kind of wind down.
  • Birds on my bird feeders. There is even a yellow finch that has climbed into my hand a couple times this year.
  • Dirt; I have always loved getting dirty and this environment lends to that.

And I could go on and on and on.  I love my life, I love my family and I love all my friends that are new and old. Many of my new friends I have met here on my blog and on yours.  I am grateful for you too; you all help me continue to unleash my inner farmgirl and for that I am extremely thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!


Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #135

reversiblecookingapronyellow copyWelcome to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to each of you!

Are you busy prepping and planning? ¬†If you are you have good company right here on the blog hop. ¬†I will tell you that Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday! ¬†Good food, familyvisits and no pressure of some of the stuff that other holidays bring. ¬†I simply LOVE IT! ¬†I have been busy planning my menu– something green, something orange, something yellow, something purple, brined turkey and on and on and on and on. ¬†Making the sides gives me an opportunity to make my favorites and try out new ones. ¬†I have no doubt that I will find some new ones on the hop that will make their way to my table next week. ¬†Check out Deb over at Dandelion House— she shared several recipes from our blog hop that will be perfect for the holiday!

So pull up your comfy chair and a blanket if you feel the same chill in the air that I do, and share your Thanksgiving tips for food and decorating!  And find some great ones to use in your neck of the woods too!

So let’s get hopping (or gobbling)…. ūüôā

We are grateful for each of you and grateful for our hostesses. ¬†Be sure to visit them and see what they are up to. ¬†Say “hello” while you are there!”

Deb of Dandelion House (our blog hop founder and hostess primo)
and me of Farmgirl Unleashed
And the rules…. simple, but here they are:
1.) Write a post about your farmgirl lifestyle and brag a little about your farmgirl talents while your at it! Share what being a farmgirl means to you. Include lots of photos of your farm, crafts, animals,  quilts, home decor projects and thrifty make overs, your backyard garden, chicken coop, recipes, studio or workshop. You get the idea!
2). Leave your entry in the  Linky tools space to your  Farmgirl Friday post.
3). Please include the Farmgirl Friday button ( or link back here ) in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends!
4.) Enter up to three entries per hop!

Be sure to leave a note if you’re new to the hop!¬†If you haven’t clicked that follow button yet, please join us and be sure to stop by our¬†FACEBOOK¬†page and like us there too!

As always, thank you for your continued participation and welcome to our new friends and followers! Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving!

See you on the hop!

PS. This is a blog hop, so please share it with your friends by copying the code at the bottom of this post and including it into your weekly entry!