Mercury Retrograde.

Last week was not kind to us. 

I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and that we are only dealt what we can handle. But, after the week we've had here, I'm not so sure. The short list is: Poison Ivy all around (including me...the person who has never reacted to it in her life...), having to make the decision to cull two goats, losing said goats, burying beloved pets, a broken wrist (and with it, a night in the ER and surgery), and a 50 year old stove that bit the dust while I was in the middle of canning a batch of jam.

So, here is my lemonade list (as in, "when life gives you lemons..."):

1. Our neighbor gave us about 7 pounds of beautiful pears from his fruit trees, with which I made quite possibly my favorite jam ever; Ginger Pear Jam, sweetened with honey. (It's from the book Canning with Pomona Pectin). And since I adore ginger, I will double the amount called for in the next batch!

2. We had just finished a batch of Jewel Weed Salve two days before we all ended up with bad cases of poison ivy. The itching could very well have driven us all mad without that heavenly cream! Somehow our bodies knew...

3. Out of the stove disaster, came a new stove. And it made me realize that I don't think I've ever had a properly working oven. The bread baked for exactly the amount of time it was supposed to. For the first time. Ever. The amount of italics in this sentence should tell you just how happy I am about that. 

4. The day after Cora broke her arm was filled with obligations. And I couldn't do any of them. Need I say more? 

5. I'm not sure I have been able to make lemonade out of the goat situation. There were difficult decisions to be made for the benefit of the entire heard, and I suppose there's not much more to it than that. We grieved, but mostly feel that our decision was the right one in this particular case.

     But, before all of that happened, way back in August, we had a much needed little getaway as a family, and it was exactly what we all needed. Our only vacation as a family for the year, and we took full advantage of the five days we were gone.