Friday, August 14, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa's Apples


Had to take a short photo op on these flash frozen blackberries I'd forgotten to put into freezer bags.

Did more dehydrating yesterday. Along with lots of bell peppers, I had a few other peppers, okra, and dabbled a bit in onion greens.

Beans to can today.

Did not have time to do them or the tomatoes yesterday as my dad called and said the apples were ready to be picked. So we went to help them.

Michael and I picked and peeled. My mom cut them. She did pretty well, even when she dropped them she didn't get too upset, so that was very nice for her to have a good day today. For those who don't remember, my mom has Alzheimer's.

My mom used to can a lot. I have many memories of my mom canning up all the produce from our garden and fruit trees when I was growing up. I asked her about any memories this brought back for her and she didn't really have any.

I also asked her about a certain dressing we always used to have. She would go and buy it from a local restaurant that she loved. She had no memory of it. Mom did not get upset, but was a little sad, knowing that she had lost another memory.

It's important to talk things over and not pretend nothing is happening. I just held her and said that one day we'll either all forget or all remember and we'll be on an even standing.

Anyway, I'd love to have that recipe. I'll have to see if I can find it anywhere. It was for a red cabbage slaw. It was peppery. Good stuff. :-)

Some ladder climbing...

Some tree climbing...

Some kicking back and hanging out...

Some taste testing...

And the apples Michael and I took home for processing here.

Still lots of apples on the tree. My dad wanted to leave the smaller ones on to let them grow a little bigger.

I hope to get to applesauce, apple butter, apple pie filling and just plain apples today. Along with tomatoes, peppers, and beans.

I don't think I'm that good yet. But I'll see how far we get.

We started up school again this week, so Michael is busy with that for several hours in the day. He is currently working on an outline of world history. And doing math testing; not his favorite.

The workshop and Civil War ball is tomorrow. Tell me when I'll have time to finish that corset...




  1. My Grandmother slipped away with this terrible affliction. Only in her case we became anixious and mean. It was very hard. My Momma was an only child so I tried to help her with Grams. Sigh!

    I'm glad she can still be involved with everyone.


  2. Wow-what a day, what a harvest, what a lovely family gathering together and loving each other thru thesuffering. This post brought tears to my eyes. Hugs to you. Holly

  3. have been busy again! I canned pepper butter and started my chow chow today. Had to go to the store for some of the ingredients. I'm going over to my parent's house in the morning. Dad and I will be canning all day...I can't wait!

  4. Faith,
    The blackberries look so yummy. I can almost taste their rich wonderful flavor, but alas we can't grow them here, so we grow big beautiful raspberries, elderberries, strawberries and concord grapes instead. We are also blessed with several bushes of Chokecherries,red currants and buffalo berries on our property, along the river's edge.

    So glad your Mom had a good day and that you are so loving and understanding. As you know My Mom was suspected as having Alheimers but instead was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia. I won't lie, it is a challenge every single day in dealing with her severe mood swings and hateful attitude*sigh* and I'm not always so loving in return. It just seems to build up, when you are attacked daily and have vicious things said to you over and over again, not making excuses, just trying to shed some light on what we deal with. I feel like my Mom has already died and I was left with a depressed, sad, vindictive, unhappy old lady. :o(

    Do those beans hold their color when you can them? I planted purple peppers one year and wanted then for canning for their color, but when cooked they turned green. Anyway they were beautiful in salads!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Keep going, you are inspiring me to get started with a bang!*wink*

  5. Linda,

    I'm so sorry about your Grandmother. Alz. is an insidious thing, isn't it... Robs you of much. At the same time, it teaches those of us left some amazing lessons about ourselves.

    My mom's symptoms include anxiety. Any stress causes her to become very upset and sometimes angry.

    The trick is remembering that and keeping her from feeling stressed. I know this will progress and get worse as time goes on. We are are more at the first stages of the disease right now.


  6. Holly,

    Haven't seen you in a while! Just stopped by your blog a couple of days ago to see if I'd missed your posts somehow. Sometimes that happens.

    Yup, I wish we all lived together on one big piece of land so we could live and work together. I'm a throw-back to simpler times, that's for certain. :)


  7. SBF,

    Pepper Butter... no kidding! Is that what my mind is naturally assuming? Like apple butter only with peppers?

    I've never eaten chow-chow either, and don't really know what it is. It's not something I heard of until I moved to the south.

    Fun! Post pics of you guys canning together. :)


  8. Kelle,

    Blackberries don't grow in your area? I thought they grew anywhere.

    Well, upon a quick search I discovered the canes do not seem to generally survive the cold in zones below 5, making their two-year cycle rather challenging.

    But I found these hardy blackberries that I would try if I were you. Too bad they are currently sold out!

    I used to have 180 feet of various raspberries, but they did not survive well. After about 3 years of struggling, they finally quit. We really enjoyed the berries while we had them, but I believe fungus got them.

    I hope to try again though. A friend said I could have cuttings from her berries that have very well over the years. So I'm looking forward to Autumn.

    In CA I had gobs of native elderberry bushes all along the edge of our property. I have planted 3 here, but they did not take very well. :(

    My black, red, and white currents did not do well either. They went the way of my blueberries. It's been tough, trying to figure out the soil on my place. I've wanted to try chokecherries as well.

    Lots of berries to try. :)

    How horrible about what is happening with your mom. :( I did remember something about it, but no specifics about what you have to deal with on a daily basis. (((HUGS)))

    I know my dad dealt with some horrible things from his mother. Sounds a little similar. She would just say the vilest things to him. He would just continue to show up, take care of things around the place for her while she railed on him and he bit his tongue.

    He said something happened to her and she changed when he was a young man. She was never the same after that, and it only got worse. He would travel on the weekends to tend to her, and she would accuse him of robbing her. Even turned him into the police once. He knew it was something in her mind, but that didn't make it hurt any less.

    Yes, those purple beans change to green when cooked. I was kind of disappointed. LOL


  9. what a wonderful harvest. I am sorry about your mom. sorry for you all. It is so hard to watch. Just beginning it with my mom. No one seems to want to diagnose her. Mom and Dad don't want to push it.

    You know the memories aren't gone...just archived. I am confident we will be all able to find them again one day.

  10. Tracy,

    You too, huh? It's pretty much in the early stages with my mom as well.

    If you don't know her, and just had a conversation with her, you wouldn't know she had it. It's when you interact with her during tasks that it is most noticeable.

    Her main troubles are losing memories of the past, not able to remember instructions or how to do things without a list, and easily upset when stressed.

    I can understand about not wanting to face it. It can be nicer to pretend it is not happening.

    There is no cure. My dad is trying out all sorts of things on her to try to help, but I wish he was not.

    I just heard a promising study out that said they thought they might have a cure in two years.... wish I could remember what it was or how credible it was.



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