Do What You Can.

Lucia, my 8-year-old daughter, read this quote to me this week as it was part of her copywork for school.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Right away, I copied it onto our chalkboard to read daily. What a fabulous piece of advice!

So often we long for something we do not have, we say “When I am ________, I will do _________” (fill in the blank) …. or “When I have ______[more money, more time, less work, more room, etc.], I will then do ________”   But the time-tested message we receive from Teddy Roosevelt is not to wait, but to make do with what we have. You know that saying – bloom where you are planted.

Do what you can with what you have right now!

A great motto to live your life by, don’t you think? I loved it.


{beautiful early morning fall sunbeams,
streaming through the silver maples, greeting me as I went out to hang the laundry}

Recently, we harvested the rest of what was in our garden. While we have been eating from the garden this summer, it is always so satisfying and wonderful to see what you have grown, the fruits of your labour, at the end of the season.

{plums from my parents’ trees}


It is definitely worth all the hard work, hours and hours of weeding, watering and care.



{an enormous turnip}

Now comes the time to store most of the food we have harvested. We had a great crop of cucumbers, green and yellow beans,  potatoes, squash, an amazing, stellar turnout of tomatoes (which have already been harvested and put up), turnips and peppers. The other vegetables will probably be eaten up rather quickly {garlic, onions, etc.} as I should have planted more for our large family. I have not stopped canning since August – this is the most I have ever put up. It is a blessing!

We also have a fair amount of apples from our little orchard that we used in our preserving. But who can resist a beautiful wild tree loaded with free apples? Yes, we have collected some from wild trees around our home, as well, but I still need {want?} to collect more. Tomorrow, we are going to do some more apple picking – I plan to wrap these ones with newspaper and store them in a cool corner of the basement for the winter.

Since my last post, I had a vision in my mind of what I would like our storage {Provision Room} *should* look like … I was suddenly inspired … so this week, I really want to work out sorting out our Provision room to hold our root vegetables properly. Right now, I can store them underground in a stairwell cut out underneath our wrap-around porch. It opens up to the basement so it is actually a great location to store vegetables that need a cool, dark location. [Update – in between writing this post, we discovered, by chance, a skunk in this little cellar area, much to my utter surprise one early morning … so we do need to critter-proof this section somehow … but I still hope to store some vegetables there.]


{lots of butternut squash!}

The girls helped dig up potatoes, harvest the squash &  hang up the peppers to dry in a dark corner of our kitchen.. Apple sauce, apple pie filling and apple-plum preserves have also been made and canned this weekend. We have also added 21 litres of homemade apple cider, along with some apple cider vinegar.  {I hope to do a post on that process soon!}


Most of my herbs have been collected and hung to dry in the kitchen, as well. Do you recognize any?


 I’m hoping to save some plants from outdoors as I feel it is so wasteful to spend money year after year, purchasing plants for the planters. If I can keep a few alive, I’ll be happy. I have successfully over-wintered my geraniums and plan to do that again this year. We shall see how these million bells manage for the next half year indoors.

{hydrangeas for drying}

Winter is coming … it will not be long now …

{linked up with Strangers & Pilgrims
and Rosevine Cottage}


October 13, 2016 - 1:48 am

Rebecca Ahhh! So amazing! I can not believe that lineup of butternut squash! I’ve tried to grow butternut squash here in Alaska two summers in a row but couldn’t get any fruit — our growing season may just be too cold and short here (sadness!).

October 12, 2016 - 10:11 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb You are so inspiring..I for one will be doing a lot more tomorrow because of this writing!

October 12, 2016 - 9:55 pm

admin Hi Jen, nice to hear from you. Yes, I had planned to pressure can some apple butternut squash soup – it is so tasty! I’ll definitely share the recipe when I process the soup. 🙂

October 12, 2016 - 4:56 pm

Jennifer Heemskerk That quote is so perfect!! Thank you for sharing that. And my, look at that bounty of beautiful food! Do you have a butternut squash recipe for soup? That is what I make using butternut squash…it’s so scrumptious and I think with your canning talents you could store some all winter!

October 24, 2016 - 4:50 pm

{Canning} Carrots » Gigi Blog […] I took a picture of my “rustic” redneck setup of the propane burner outside so you could see how I do it. I have set up the wood pieces to block the wind from blowing out the flame (which can happen if it is windy). I would love to purchase a larger canner now that our family has grown in size but this is what God has blessed me with and I am using it to it’s full capabilities. […]