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GrassRoots Meats Newsletter   June 2014

So long, Mom!
Blowing out her candles with her youngest, Jan
Our family gathered in Cincinnati on May 14th to celebrate our mom's 98th birthday. Unfortunately she fell and broke her hip the week before and was recovering in a nursing home.  She contracted an infection that they were unable to get under control, and 8 days later, on May 22nd, she passed away.  We know she is so happy to be reunited with our dad, as well as her oldest daughter Mary.  Mom had some dementia the last few years and was always setting two extra plates at the dinner table for her mom and dad so I am sure she is enjoying a visit with them as well.

One can only imagine all the changes a woman born in 1916 saw in her lifetime. Raised on a farm in Indiana, her father took his young family to the country for fear that the new automobiles in the city were making the streets too dangerous for children. How ironic that just a few years ago we finally had to take Mom's car keys away for fear that she was a danger both to herself and to others, something she never forgave us for. She always insisted that she was very capable, in spite of the fact that the outside of her car was beginning to look like she had participated in a demolition derby.

She grew up in a house with no electricity or indoor plumbing, no telephones, walked 3 miles to school each day, took a horse and buggy on longer trips, and was self educated because she was only able to attend school through the 8th grade. She never owned a cell phone and could never comprehend the idea of free long distance. Yet even in her 90's, in spite of the fact that she could not understand computers, she managed to send occasional emails and play solitaire (although playing Pinochle with her family was her favorite pastime). She bore the last of her 8 children when she was 46, an age when most of us are becoming grandparents. And as a matter of fact, her first grandchild was born 2 months before her youngest child. 

Of course I still have a million questions about how it was in "the good old days," but those will have to wait till I see her again.  She left an amazing legacy and will be greatly missed.  Love you, Mom!

Sauerkraut Update
Plastic Airlock
I shared with you a while ago about my adventures with making sauerkraut and fermented vegetables and I just wanted to let you know that I have given up on fermenting them in a crock, in favor of jars with a hole drilled in the middle of the lid, a rubber stopper, and a plastic airlock.  I was very uncomfortable with the mold that grew in the crock and after reading up online decided it was just too dangerous, and much safer to use the airlock with which I had already had great success.  The airlocks are easy to find online.  If you have any stories to share about your successes (or failures) with fermenting we would love to hear them.

View From the Porch
It is absolutely lovely here in southern Colorado and this picture taken from our front porch doesn't begin to display it adequately.  The irrigation water has been running for a few weeks now and the fields are popping with new growth.  We have also been blessed with some wonderful rains in the past week, fertilizing and watering as only nature can do. Navajo Lake, only a few miles from the ranch, was painfully low over the last few years and is actually looking pretty full again.  It promises to be a beautiful summer here in the Southwest!

Nurturing Those Trees 
Allan is so faithful to keep the young trees watered.  They are doing fantastic, thanks in large part to his diligence.  Way to go, Allan!

June Special 
Time to invite your friends to dinner, and nothing better than a New York steak grilled to perfection.  For the month of June get 5 pounds of New Yorks for just $79, a savings of over $20 off the regular price.  Light those grills, cause this one is HOT!!!

In Closing . . .   
With new life bursting forth all around I just cannot stay sad about saying goodbye to Mom. I have complete and utter confidence that she is with the Lord, but without that faith death could be a terribly frightening experience. Not just wishing, but knowing that she is still alive and in the most wonderful place imaginable, is so comforting. I thank God that He loves us so much that He gives us eternal life through His son.  Life is truly without bounds.
Lois & Allan

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