Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Catching Up. . .

It seems like I've been gone forever!!  I guess I have been taking somewhat of a blogging break.  Sometimes life gets away from me.  At that point, I have to make a list of priorities, what needs to be done now,  and what can wait.  Well, blogging drew the short straw - it had to wait!

Since I last blogged, I have:

 Gone camping!  This was the view from my front door - gorgeous!!

 We went hiking - you can barely see the trailer from where we are.

 I saw witch's hair stuck to the trees!!

And, elk rubs on pine trees.

Beautiful Autumn colors ~ sometime the forest looked like it was on fire!

Lots of giggles while Brody drove the truck . . . sitting on grandpa's lap of course!  Grandpa really had control, as he stepped on the gas . . . going downhill!!

Gorgeous sunsets . . .

Cozy campfires . . . and, lots of wonderful memories.

Then, off to Taylor Jo's soccer game~don't you love the rainbow? 

She loves soccer, and she has fast feet!!  They tied this game, 0 to 0, they were all great players!

 Then off to Christian's championship playoff!  They didn't win, but they were still champions in our eyes!  Don't you love the yellow and black mouth guard!?

Finally, home to take care of the yard and get the garden tilled.  We had a frost warning last night, so the tomatoes had to be covered.

The flowers love the cool weather ~ but I know that won't last forever.

After all the complaining about not getting ripe tomatoes . . . they finally ripened!!  I decided to make salsa yesterday, it turned out sooooo good!  I got 8 pints and 4 quarts out of about half a bushel of various size tomatoes.

Homemade Salsa
24 cups skinned, chopped tomatoes
4 cups chopped onions
4 cups chopped green peppers, (I used 2 green and two red)
1 or 2  jalapeno peppers - depending on how hot you like it, (I used 1/2 bottle, about 1 cup,  pickled jalapenos - I don't like chopping them, and I like the flavor the pickled peppers have)
8 cloves garlic - minced
5 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano (optional)
1 cup vinegar
2 cans tomato paste - 6 oz. cans

I chop the tomatoes in the food processor - I don't even take off the skins, I just wash them good and remove any dark or odd looking spots.  I also chop the onions and peppers in the food processor with the garlic and pickled peppers, just grind them all up!   Place into a large pot; cook over medium heat for about 1 1/2 hours until the flavors have blended good.  It may seem a little runny, but thickens a little as it cools.  You can always add another can of tomato paste if you want it thicker.  

Carefully pour hot salsa into hot, sterilized canning jars.   Wipe any salsa off the rim of the jar that might have spilled when filling the jars with a clean cloth; seal with canning lids and rings.  Process in a hot water bath - process pints for 35 minutes and quarts 45 minutes.   Yields about 16 pints.

As I was typing this post, the words, "Be still and know that I am God", kept running through my mind.  This is my goal, to just ~ be still. . .

Many Hugs and Blessings,


  1. You have been a busy little bee. Love your photo's taken whilst camping, I adore camping sigh! Your salsa recipe sounds delish!
    I have missed your presence in blogland :]

    Hugs n luv


  2. Camping looked beautiful! I am so jealous! Taylor's game looked fun too, that is a great sport for her to get out some of that energy of her's!! I was sad that I missed Christians last game, glas you have got to go to them though! Salsa also looks tasty! I am off to swim lessons in a minute, glad you are back!

  3. I was beginning to wonder what was up. I'm glad you got to enjoy the great outdoors before it gets too cold. I'm not spending much time on the computer. I've gotten busy lately. I've started doing some Christmas shopping and am tired when I have a minute to relax. I've been reading a lot and sewing some. I'm not doing much cooking lately, but the salsa looks good. I still need to put my pot garden to bed. I'm just waiting until they start to look bad. Enjoy your family. Linda

  4. It sounds like you've had a grand blogging break. Your salsa looks amazing! Our tomatoes have been late this year, too. We are still getting them, but not really tons at once, so I've just been roasting small batches and freezing. I know come mid-winter, we'll be glad. I'll bet you'll be glad mid-winter that you were so industrious with your tomatoes :)

  5. You take the best pictures. It is so pretty where you went. When we get our trailer we will have to go with you up there sometime. It looked so fun. I just went and brought in my rosemary, basil and strawberry's. It is already cold outside. See you tomorrow. Love you.

  6. Hi Barb,
    I enjoyed all of your photos, especially the one of the rainbow. (I love rainbows!) You've been a very busy lady! I'm glad you had a good time on your camping trip. Glad you are back! :)

  7. Hi Barb,

    Those are some beautiful photos. You have been very busy, indeed! Looks like the camping trip was a lot of fun.

    I know what you mean about priorities. Real Life has a way of helping us put them in order, doesn't it? Blogging is fun, I love it and love visiting others blogs, but some days it just isn't possible to do either. Most of us totally understand! That said, I just had to have a "blog fix" after I got home from work and was so glad to see you had a new post up. :)

    The salsa looks wonderful and your recipe looks like a keeper. I may have to try it next year! Thanks for sharing it.


  8. Welcome back, from a lovely blogging holiday! Hope you got all, sorted out.

    We need to know what's important to us, and then do it. But we need time, to figure out, what's important to us and what makes us feel content. Hope you did.

    Gentle hugs...

  9. So fun!! Looks like you have been busy! We attempted getting our garden winter ready but I was overwhelmed by the weeds! But I did get all of the dead plants pulled out! I love reading your blog! Love you!

  10. Hey Barb - Good to see you back - I've been "breaking", too. Just too busy with home and family, etc. But it's a good kind of busy!

    Those are some wonderful photos of your camping trip - beautiful spot. I especially love the one of Brody driving - He is definitely All Boy - enjoying that driving and speeding down the hill! Cool sunglasses, too!

    Fall is slowly coming to East Texas. We're having mid-80's and I know it'll be just a few weeks before we finally get a bit of frost. Hate to see the garden go, but we can plan for next year's garden, can't we!

    I put up about 2 dozen pints and several quarts of salsa, and we're already down to about 8 pints left and one quart! Guess I need to grow more tomatoes and make more salsa next year!


    I love your blog... Link Exchange??

    Common Cents

  12. Always enjoy reading your Blog, great photos

    Many Blessings

  13. Missed reading your blog, but can see that you have been very busy. Your camping trip pictures were great and what a perfect time of the year to be out. Thanks for sharing. At last, tomatoes! I was excited to see your pictures of Salsa and to get your recipe. It is
    very similar to mine. I still have a few tomatoes to pick and let ripen. May be able to do a small batch of salsa. You have a wonderful family and so glad they are near by for you to enjoy. Such a blessing. Nola

  14. Added 10/14 11:34 p.m.

    Thanks for your suggestion about the hay bales, Barb! That actually might work around here, too. I will be checking that out for sure! Alice usually hangs out on the front porch so if I could get her to move to the shed and put the hay bales in there, maybe she'd be willing. It doesn't usually get much below the 20's here. Rarely does it get in the teens. We even had on shorts at Christmastime a few years ago!

    Have a wonderful weekend! I always enjoy your comments, too!

  15. I have missed you! However, I can see that you had wonderful moments away from blogging. The pictures are so beautiful and I just love fall. It has been so long since we have went camping; maybe next year. Brody driving the truck brought back memories of the many times my Dad let me drive his truck or tractor; while setting on his lap. I would love a country life.
    Of course watching our grandchildren play sports is such a treat.
    I can tell you enjoyed the moments.
    Love and hugs to you! LeAnn

  16. Good Morning Barb,
    As much as I enjoy blogging, I would love to have been doing what you were doing, enjoying time with family, and looking at God's creation. You certainly were being still and knowing who God is, Awesome!!
    Loved the photo of Brody driving his expression is priceless. My dh lets the grandchildren drive down the driveway while sitting on his lap too.
    Your salsa recipe looks and sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing with us on what you have been doing.love reading all of it, and the song just puts the icing on the cake. I love all of your music that you play.
    Continue to enjoy and I am so glad you are back.

  17. Barb,

    Your camping trip looks so refreshing! And that sunset - gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your pictures with us.



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