Beauty Berry Jelly

In Livingston in the woods beneath the trees lies the beautyberry bushes.

They are everywhere if you can beat the wildlife to them you will have a treasure.

The wildlife loves the berries but they are too tart for people to eat. They do make some delicious jelly.

My grandchildren picked almost two gallons and then asked me to make some Jelly.

This was my first time making the beauty berry jelly but it turned out great.

We ended up with 14 half pints in the first batch and 8 pints and 2 – 1/2 half pints in the second batch.

That was not too bad for almost 2-gallon zip locks of berries.

Through the piney woods

Our daughter her husband and their four children just moved to East Texas yesterday.

The house they had lived in for the last 4 years sold the first week it was on the market and they needed more property. They decided East Texas might just be the place and they found 25 acres to purchase.

The first thing they had to do was some clearing but they hired that done. Then they wanted the mulching people with their machines to cut some trails through the woods for them all to enjoy. I only went down one trail but it was truly amazing. They are naming the trails and I believe this one is Piney Trail.

I have always loved the woods, trails, wildlife and nature so this type property is right up my ally.

They will be living about 1 1/2 hours from us and they are very close to Lake Livingston which they will all love its a great fishing lake. It was my dads favorite fishing lake when we were kids.

They are already looking at side by side ATV’s to make getting around and working on the property easier.

Our oldest grandson Andrew who is 10 years old is picking us out a location for a weekend house in the woods. He has it figured out I need a few sweetgum trees to attract the wildlife.

They have game cameras set up and have seen deer, wild hog and racoons. One racoon was investigating the camera.

Our grandkids will have lots of great adventures in these woods and are already planning club houses and lookout towers. I think they need some Ninja warrior obstacle course equipment including a zip line.


Every time we turn around something in our world is changing.

As we get older we like changes less and less.

Our youngest daughter Jeanelle her husband David and their 4 kids just bought 25 acres near Livingston, Texas.

They will be putting their house on the market in the next six weeks and moving 1 1/2 hours away from us.

The good news is David will still be working in and around Houston so the kids can always hitch a ride to our house.

This is a dream of there’s to have a big piece of property for the kids to run around and explore. Making trails in the piney woods will be great fun for them. This is great for the dogs and the cows which are both in need of more room.

They have wanted a barndominium for a very long time and this is the chance to get one. Their bid was excepted on the land, the earnest money is paid the survey is happening this week. Hopefully they will do closing in the next 30days.

In case you are wondering what a barndominium is its a metal type building on a slab but the shapes vary and some look just like a house but are built out of metal.

As soon as the closing is completed they will get the well, septic and electricity installed before they head that direction.

They are on the waiting list to build a barndominium it seems there is a 12 week wait for them to start. This involves a deposit to hold it at the current price.

Our daughter suggested we move there. The housing market is very hot right now in our area so its a good time to sell.

We help out with my mother n law who is 92 years old so we can not move away from here full time. We share this responsibility with one of my brother n laws and sister n law. It works out good sharing this responsibility but there are 3 sons and only two sons and their wives are sharing this responsibility.

We have not ruled out building a weekend house I like the houses with lots of tall windows in the woods. I would have great places to photograph and there would be much more wildlife to see. I love winding paths in the woods with tall trees and nature right beside you.

Life is full of changes we learn to adapt, change and move forward.

Through the piney woods

Jeanelle our youngest daughter and I made a road trip through the piney woods of Louisiana very early Friday morning.

When you are 300 miles away from where you need to pick up paperwork you have to leave early we left at 5:00 a.m.

I love the drive through the woods the small hills and the changes in the landscape are really nice.

The roads are cut through the trees and that alone makes for a nice perspective picture.

This was a nice break from the pandemic stuff we just did not think about the bathroom issues. With all the fast food places being drive-through and curbside only you are left to stop at the little stores. Sometimes finding one of those that looks clean and not superpopulated can be an issue.

I took plenty of Clorox wipes to disinfect the things we touched and to keep our hands clean.

I would not advise a road trip for anyone right now due to the bathroom issues. It is the little things we take for granted.

We moved from Jonesboro Louisiana to Houston, Texas when I was 5 years old. My dad landed a good-paying job at Brown and Root and they wanted me in good schools in the fall. It was a better opportunity for our small family of 4.

We went back 4 – 5 times a year to visit my grandparents on my moms side and my grandmother on my dad’s side. We spent a lot of weeks in the summertime at my mom’s parents.

My dad spent a lot of time deer hunting there when it was deer season.

Years later my grandparents bought a weekend home on Toledo Bend outside of Many Louisiana and this meant we could do a weekend trip and meet just about 1/2 way for the both of us. There was some good bass fishing in Toledo Bend.

Louisiana has always had a special place in my heart but I think that was mostly the unconditional love we received from our grandparents.

Going back in time to the state I was born was very nostalgic for me especially since I have not been there in many years.







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