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It hit my local book store today…Handmade Home, the newest book by Amanda Blake-Soule, Soule Mama.  I wanted to see it before I bought it so I didn't go the "pre-order on Amazon route", which made it so I had to wait until it hit stores, but I did decide it needed to come home. 

There are adorable ideas, some things that while nice to look it I'll likely not make, but there were far fewer of those projects than you find in most crafting books.  No, this book is very cool, and worth the price.  My favorite project, at least the one I'm most jazzed about starting, is the blanket made out of old bed sheets.  I have one set of sheets already, but I need a few more to get the nice variety that she has…which made me fall in love with it.

Beachblanketbedsheets

Quite a few of the projects jumped out at me, so hopefully this will get me to spend some time at the old sewing machine.  I'm so easily distracted by other things.  I told my friend I need a life coach…not the kind like on Oprah, or something, where they get your emotional/spiritual path in order, but I need a buddy to just spend all day doing stuff with me.  I'd be far more focussed if I had a pal to garden, sew and do home improvement/cleaning projects with. But since I'm not in a position to pay for a friend…hehehe, I guess I'll have to find another way to be less distracted…but a life coach is such a brilliant idea.

So does anyone know where, in NH (or Southern Maine, I guess) that I may procure some vintage bed sheets, with big beautful floral prints?  Goodwill never seems to have much for that.  I'm going to check in of the Antique shops on Route 4, but any other good ideas?  I can't handle yard sales, I'm looking for someplace that "usually has that sort of thing"…you know anywhere?

Oh, so I tried to go the bank today, and couldn't…why?  My bank had been robbed, only half an hour to 45 mintues before I arrived.  I had to go the ATM and pay a fee to get my money out.  Isn't that all just crazy!?

Bankrobbery 

Also crazy, is when the sun is shining and it's raining. I love when that happens.  It's a nice reminder that even when it's raining the sun is still there, just not so visible, but it is still there.  I thought of that when I looked out my rain streaked window to see the sun blazing through the clouds, which brought me on a little spiritual, mental journey.  

Rainsun 

 The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
         And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

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I would love to journal. I think the concept is fabulous.  Jotting down your thoughts, feelings, the events of the day, creating a personal history.  It is very intriguing to me, but I never follow through.  No matter how cute the journal, how nicely the pen writes (I'm a big fan of a good pen), or how excited I am to start, I've never been able to keep a journal or a diary.  I think this blog is the closest I've come and while I share a lot here, it's really what I would write in a personal journal, but it's a start.  I came across the Simple Woman's Daybook on another blogger's page and thought it might be fun to try.  I'm thinking I will try this weekly and see how it goes.  So my first entry…

Simplewomandaybook

FOR TODAY, Wednesday February 11, 2009

Outside my window…
The snow is melting from the "unseasonably warm" weather we had today.  The temps hit around 50, so they say.  It was delightful!  My sister-in-law moved here from Tennessee, and the 4 or 5 years she lived her she noticed that each year she was told by various friends, family and coworkers "This isn't what winter is usually like here", and said she's not sure what winter here is supposed to be like, because all 5 years were different and all 5 years it wasn't normal.

I am thinking…of all the things I want to do before the baby arrives in March.  There is knitting to be done, a house to be REALLY cleaned, not just tidied up, baby clothes and other items pulled out of storage and cleaned, and prepared for a new little life.  That's just the stuff for prepping for the new family member.  I also have taxes and seed ordering to do.

I am thankful for…
A loving family, and very committed and wonderful husband who sees the good in me even when the ugly is all I'm showing, a wonderful daughter who amazes me daily, a new baby to share my love with.

From the kitchen…
Today not much came from the Kitchen.  I am still living off the Pea Soup and other goodies I made the other day. 

I am wearing…
Maternity jeans that just barely fit comfortably, socks I knit, a long sleeve t-shirt and an over shirt that I sewed a few weeks ago.

I am creating…
a few things.  I finished the Sweet Pea Coat and a Baby Bib today.  I knit several more rows on the front of Husband's sweater vest. 

I am going…
(went) to Silver Moon Creperie and to see the movie, Coraline, today.

I am reading…
"Putting Food By" off and on, while Knitting, and Heirloom Tomatoes which is greatly inspiring me!  I am so excited to start the seeds inside to give us some green to delight over, while the ground is still all white outside.

I am hoping… that all the things I listed under what I'm thinking about will get done and great joy will come from the accomplishment.  I'm also hoping the Dog House I found on Craig's list will work out, and I'll be able to pick it up tomorrow.

I am hearing…
water dripping because the roof snow is melting and leaking in the window…dripping into the canning jar I put on the window sill, and Husband reading stories to Mini.

Around the house…
There are books, toys, crafting supplies, but a clean kitchen.

One of my favorite things… is knitting baby clothes.  I love knitting in general, but baby clothes just put me over the moon!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Time with a friend tomorrow.  Getting a dog house for Jane, the chicken.  Finishing all the WIP projects I have on the needles this week, so I can cast on a slew of new goodies for next week.  Making a pair of those house slippers from the Angry Chicken pattern I got a few weeks ago.  Making Corn Chowder.

Here is picture thought I am sharing… 

Fancynest

Mini took her "Fancy Nancy" Hat and turned it into a nest, for her chicken to lay eggs in.  My sweet little chicken farmer.

So that was fun, right?  I think I'll do this regularly on Wednesday's and see how it goes.  So some do wordless Wednesdays, but I'm going to do Wordy Wednesday!

Why am I getting a dog house for Jane, the chicken?  She is broody.  This means she's trying to become a momma.  She likes to sit on the eggs the other girls lay, and we often go out and have to move her to get the clutch she's accumulated.  It's not a big deal since she's the only one, and she's not really going to hatch them, but it does mean she's probably not laying any eggs because they don't lay when they are sitting on eggs to hatch them…so she's eating for free.

In talking to my friend from Yellow House Farm, I decided to take advantage of her broodiness and I'm going to set her up in her own little house, with a nesting box, food and water, and a few fertile eggs from Yellow House, and let her have a go at becoming a mom.  It will be a fun little opportunity to get my feet wet on the whole natural chicken reproduction thing.  I want to start breeding so I can supply my own egg and chicken needs, without having to buy baby chicks every spring, and I will be learning about that during Chicken School in a couple weekends.  So before class I'm trying to get a Large Dog house (I think I've found one for $15.00 on Craig's list) so when I come home from class, with fertile eggs, the Momma Chalet will be ready for Jane and her eggs.

As mentioned above, I went to see Coraline today.  It was weird.  I liked that fact, and the dark feel, and I loved the watching of it.  It was very visually delightful.  The story…not sure how I felt.  I did not like the fact the real mom and the "other mother" were both controlling and emotionally cold with sycophant husbands.  I dislike that sort of dynamic, and feel it does little to foster a sense of family… but it is often something you see in kids movies, not that I would classify this film as a kid's movie, but simply the fact it's animated make people think it is for kids. I also wonder what the point or message of the movie was.  The ending had sort of an unresolved feel.  Still the animation, props, cinematography, costumes, and how it was made was all amazing.  I think I may have been more excited about the making of pieces I watched last week, in anticipation, than I was with the actual film…Yes, I know most people just watch a movie, leave with an emotion and based on that they decree that they liked it or didn't…I'm never that simple.

Finished Knitting!  It seems like a long time since I've had finished knitting to share.  I have started a lot of projects which makes finishing take longer than when I stay focused on just one or two projects.  But today I finished the little baby bib that I started on my day out last Thursday at Flatbread Pizza.

Aquabib 

The baby can drool in style

I also finished Sweet Pea!!  Great project, not sure I really did much in the way of Knitting-along…as I didn't really see anyone that was knitting this while I was knitting it, but I did have a couple little chats on Ravelry with some other knitters, so that was fun.  The coat is blocking (meaning I wet it and layed it out so that the yarn would relax and hopefully the fronts will line up properly) in the tub on the baby gate…improvise! 

Sweetpeablockingblog 

More pictures tomorrow when it's dry and has buttons.

Update on other projects…As stated above I'm hoping to finish all my WIP's by the end of Sunday, so I cast on new projects for next week.  I'm so close to being done the things I'm working on, I figure this will be good incentive, and then I can start again.  The Vest is getting close.  I've had the back done for a while, but today I made great progress on the front.  I have about 10-12 more rows to go on one side, then just the neck shaping the other side.  Neck and arm ribbing, and I'm done! 

Sweatervest 

The honey longies are close too.  One leg done, but I'm ripping out the foot to make a change in how it's worked.  I'm going to do a few rows of ribbing then finish the foot like a sock, instead of a bootie.  The second leg has about 10 rows to go until where I plan on starting the ribbing, so in effect I have 2 feet left to make on those!

The sleep sack needs a zipper, the shoulders grafted, and the neck and arm ribbing/edging done. 

I'm not concerned about the socks, as that is an "As I Go Along" project, not one that has a time frame of any sort.

So check back on Sunday, if not before, to see if I've finished the Vest, Sleep Sack, longies, and to see pictures of the Sweet Pea with buttons!  Phew.  I think I can pull it off.

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Husband found this online, and for some reason decided to send it to me…hmmm.

Rubes Cartoon for 02/02/2009

I am afraid that much of this week will be spent on taxes.  I started today, and realized my bank changed the statement layout a few months back, making it a lot more work for me to find the data I need.  I now need to go online for check imprints…grrr.  I admit, my bookkeeping methods are a bit loose…I should have been doing this monthly…I am not admitting what month I stopped that brilliant method and moved to my typical, let it pile up and do it for days during crunch time, method. 

But I did find time to start a pair of longies for the March baby.  I determined the purple pair I started a few days ago will be too big for this year, I'm going to finish them for fall, but that is a ways off, so I'm going to wait to do that for more timely, seasonally appropriate knitting.  I love this yarn, it's so cozy and the color reminds me of butterscotch, but the yarn color name is honey.  It's Claudia Handpainted Sock Yarn.  It's the same yarn for those poor socks that I have yet to finish for myself

HoneyLongies
 

The pattern came from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac

Knitters almanac

I finished Holy Cows And Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide To Farm Friendly Food
A delightful read, and just enough sarcasm to make it very entertaining.  I think the point that stuck out to me the most, was when he was discussing regulations and laws making it illegal to sell good healthy food to the public.  With other substances that are really dangerous, like drugs, it's illegal to sell and to buy.  Both parties are culpable.  However, selling raw milk, or unlicensed food only has consequences for the seller.  Furthermore, if you wanted to give away the raw milk, or walk around to your neighbors giving them the same baked goods that you'd like to sell at the market, you can, it's fine. So food is only unsafe when a dollar sign is attached and none of that dollar goes to some sort of regulatory organization.   If you have no idea what I'm talking about, or if you are interested in understanding all the issues surrounding food safety, and farm friendly foods, I highly recommend this quick, fun and informative read.

Next book I'm starting on, is The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table: Recipes, Portraits, and History of the World's Most Beautiful Fruit

Heirloom tomato

This book is incredibly beautiful.  It is coffee table quality…I don't have a coffee table, but I did obtaing this through my little library's interlibrary loan program…I've been using that a lot lately.  There are a whole lot of recipes that look delightful, and each tomato gets a full write up.  I'm going to use this to help determine which Heirloom tomatoes I'll be growing this year.  I'm sold on Amish Paste, as I grew those with great success last year, but I need a good eating tomato and variety in tomatoes is a delightful thing.

So my quandry…Shall I be a Model Citizen?  Shall I be a devoted Farm Friendly Locavore? 

Saturday is the deliberative session for my town.  Taxpayers are up in arms over several things this time around and I planned on going to see what folks have to say, and to make sure I'm informed and able to properly influence my local community.  The town Rec Department is under fire, our taxes went up 11% this year and this was not the year most folks could afford that.  The meeting is at 9:30 at the Middle School in Town.  It does require that I rise early (note the cartoon above), but I was willing to make that sacrifice.

Enter the quandry…Farmer's Market in Exeter on Saturday from 10-2.  We all know the earlier you go to those the better, and I'm sure that is true more and more the further and further we get from the actual harvest season.  I'm a pretty simple gal, so why do all the things I want to do need to conflict?  I have several more Saturdays that are empty! 

Since I'm on this subject, the Chicken School is conflicting with the Knit-Along finale at the yarn store, so I'm missing the fun at the yarn store.  February has 4 Saturdays, there are 4 events, why? Why can't they all pick their own Saturday!?

I took some pictures of the chickens today.  I meant to go out around 3pm for optimal lighting, but made it closer to 4, so most didn't come out all that great.  I liked these though.  I think some of the girls are molting, as they are getting all these fuzzy fluffy feathers popping out and it appears new feathers are coming in.  Despite this fact they are still laying well, so we'll see.

ChickenFebruary

ChickenFebruary1

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I spent a lot of time in the kitchen today. I am not really much of a cook, not that the food I make doesn't taste good, it usually does, but to get the timing and organization for a meal to be on the table at supper time, well it rarely works well. If I make a steak, some potatoes and heat up a veggie, that works, but overall, not so good at figuring out what to make, if I have the ingredients, how long it will take, and all that. For this reason, blitz cooking works quite well for me. I go in the kitchen and work on several dishes all at once, to be placed in the fridge and heated in a timely manner for meals. It also helps for the purpose of lunches beyond Peanut Butter sandwiches, which is our fall back lunch, especially for Mini. I'm so thankful she doesn't have peanut allergies.

Today I made a double batch of Sausage Pea Soup. The last batch went FAR too quickly. I'm glad to have found a pea soup my husband enjoys, but it does have it's drawbacks, though the drawback is easily remedied.

I cooked up a chicken the other day, cleaned the meat off the bone and made soup stock, so today I have chicken vegetable soup with onions, leeks, garlic, turnips, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage simmering on the stove.

I've been desiring some Blueberry Rice Pudding, so I added that to the mounting list of goodies.

Tonight we greatly enjoyed a very lovely dinner of comfort food. My Mom and Dad got me a new stoneware bread pan for Christmas. I don't know a better way to season those than to make a nice meatloaf. Yum. To accompany the meatloaf is the Kansas Corn that I did not get to enjoy at my Grandmother's on Christmas Eve (due to the weather plan changes). The scent of that dish wafting though the house has calmed my nerves greatly!

Why did my nerves need calming? Today was a snow day and Mini had ENERGY to burn. She had missed her swimming lesson due to icy roads, and the ice pellets coming from the sky gave her little opportunity to even go out and play in the snow. She was loud and crazy. Not naughty, but not ready for a simple, calm day of coloring, puzzle making and reading. She did all those things, but not quietly. That's fine, she's 2, but I was quite thrilled when the freezing rain let up so that Husband could take her and the dog (who was getting ques from Mini on how to act) outside. The house was quiet, the world was white, the smells were delightfully blending in the air and I was much calmer. When she came in from her adventures she proudly told me that she "Ate winter"…that was, she ate snow. I saw her do it, she lay down on her tummy in the snow and ate some. I was watching from the window. I giggled out loud. She described it as "eating winter" because of the adorable book she was reading earlier. "A little bit of Winter". (That is an "I am Legend" hat she's wearing with her cute little Hannah Andersen snow suit. We aren't sure why, but she really likes that hat and often asks to wear it. I figure it's the "film geek genes" she gets from Husband).

 eatingwinter

The book is about a Rabbit and a Hedgehog and their views of winter. It's the first kid's book I've read about winter that takes a look at the less lovely side of the season. Most books are very positive about winter… it's beautiful, fun, lots to see, play and do, while all true… This book makes no bones about the fact it's cold, hard and sometimes you just endure it, all the while being a lovely tale about these two best friends. It's a great book, one I plan to add to our collection, as this one is on loan from the library. The illustrations are adorable.

 

I decided to start focusing on books about the seasons and the holidays in those seasons. I loved the idea from Amanda Soule's Creative Family (at least I think that's where I read it, but it might have just been her blog) to have a basket of seasonal books. We have a very accessible book shelf for Mini with lots of options, but I think it would be neat to have a special basket that holds special books that only come around in season. So I'm working on a winter basket, which will be different than a Christmas basket, as those books are being packed with the decorations to come out again next year.

With the fridge stocked, bellies full, and the relaxing scents of comfort food, I'm turning the lights down, the tree on and will be pulling out some wool and needles for a relaxing end to this snow day. Thank you for your comments about the Christmas Tree and when you take yours down. I am thinking it will go down this weekend. So I'm going to make the most of my next few days with it. It's fun to hear what other people do and why. I'd love to read more comments, so please feel free to add your thoughts!

Kansas Corn (not sure about the name, or the source, but it's a family favorite witten on many a scrap of paper)

1 can Whole Kernal Corn, drained but reserve 1/4 c of liquid to be added to the mix)

1 can Cream Style Corn

2/3 c Evaporated Milk

2 cups crushed Saltine Crackers

4 Tbs Melted Butter

1 small onion minced

1/4 tsp ground pepper

Salt to taste

12 ounces Swiss Cheese, cubed ( I use a mix of Cheddar and Swiss as Swiss is quite stringy on it's own)

Mix all ingredients put in a casserole dish and bake on 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Husband took the pictures for today. I loved a bunch of them, but this one just cracks me up. Do you see the dog?

 

findthedog

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I spent a lot of time in the kitchen today.  I am not really much of a cook, not that the food I make doesn’t taste good, it usually does, but to get the timing and organization for a meal to be on the table at supper time, well it rarely works well.  If I make a steak, some potatoes and heat up a veggie, that works, but overall, not so good at figuring out what to make, if I have the ingredients, how long it will take, and all that.  For this reason, blitz cooking works quite well for me.  I go in the kitchen and work on several dishes all at once, to be placed in the fridge and heated in a timely manner for meals.  It also helps for the purpose of lunches beyond Peanut Butter sandwiches, which is our fall back lunch, especially for Mini.  I’m so thankful she doesn’t have peanut allergies.

Today I made a double batch of Sausage Pea Soup.  The last batch went FAR too quickly.  I’m glad to have found a pea soup my husband enjoys, but it does have it’s drawbacks, though the drawback is easily remedied.

I cooked up a chicken the other day, cleaned the meat off the bone and made soup stock, so today I have chicken vegetable soup with onions, leeks, garlic, turnips, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage simmering on the stove.

I’ve been desiring some Blueberry Rice Pudding, so I added that to the mounting list of goodies.

Tonight we greatly enjoyed a very lovely dinner of comfort food.  My Mom and Dad got me a new stoneware bread pan for Christmas.  I don’t know a better way to season those than to make a nice meatloaf.  Yum.  To accompany the meatloaf is the Kansas Corn that I did not get to enjoy at my Grandmother’s on Christmas Eve (due to the weather plan changes).  The scent of that dish wafting though the house has calmed my nerves greatly!

Why did my nerves need calming?  Today was  a snow day and Mini had ENERGY to burn.  She had missed her swimming lesson due to icy roads, and the ice pellets coming from the sky gave her little opportunity to even go out and play in the snow.   She was loud and crazy.  Not naughty, but not ready for a simple, calm day of coloring, puzzle making and reading.  She did all those things, but not quietly.  That’s fine, she’s 2, but I was quite thrilled when the freezing rain let up so that Husband could take her and the dog (who was getting ques from Mini on how to act) outside.  The house was quiet, the world was white, the smells were delightfully blending in the air and I was much calmer.  When she came in from her adventures she proudly told me that she “Ate winter”…that was, she ate snow.  I saw her do it, she lay down on her tummy in the snow and ate some.  I was watching from the window.  I giggled out loud.  She described it as “eating winter” because of the adorable book she was reading earlier.  “A little bit of Winter”. (That is an “I am Legend” hat she’s wearing with her cute little Hannah Andersen snow suit.  We aren’t sure why, but she really likes that hat and often asks to wear it.  I figure it’s the “film geek genes” she gets from Husband).

eatingwinter

The book is about a Rabbit and a Hedgehog and their views of winter.  It’s the first kid’s book I’ve read about winter that takes a look at the less lovely side of the season.  Most books are very positive about winter… it’s beautiful, fun, lots to see, play and do, while all true… This book makes no bones about the fact it’s cold, hard and sometimes you just endure it, all the while being a lovely tale about these two best friends.  It’s a great book, one I plan to add to our collection, as this one is on loan from the library.  The illustrations are adorable.

I decided to start focusing on books about the seasons and the holidays in those seasons.  I loved the idea from Amanda Soule’s Creative Family (at least I think that’s where I read it, but it might have just been her blog) to have a basket of seasonal books.  We have a very accessible book shelf for Mini with lots of options, but I think it would be neat to have a special basket that holds special books that only come around in season.  So I’m working on a winter basket, which will be different than a Christmas basket, as those books are being packed with the decorations to come out again next year.

So with the fridge stocked, bellies full, and the relaxing scents of comfort food, I’m turning the lights down, the tree on and will be pulling out some wool and needles for a relaxing end to this snow day.  Thank you for your comments about the Christmas Tree and when you take yours down.  I am thinking it will go down this weekend.  So I’m going to make the most of my next few days with it.  It’s fun to hear what other people do and why.  I’d love to read more comments, so please feel free to add your thoughts!

Kansas Corn (not sure about the name, or the source, but it’s a family favorite witten on many a scrap of paper)

1 can Whole Kernal Corn, drained but reserve 1/4 c of liquid to be added to the mix)

1 can Cream Style Corn

2/3 c  Evaporated Milk

2 cups crushed Saltine Crackers

4 Tbs Melted Butter

1 small onion minced

1/4 tsp ground pepper

Salt to taste

12 ounces Swiss Cheese, cubed ( I use a mix of Cheddar and Swiss as Swiss is quite stringy on it’s own)

Mix all ingredients put in a casserole dish and bake on 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Husband took the pictures for today.  I loved a bunch of them, but this one just cracks me up.  Do you see the dog?

findthedog

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This is going to be a long post, so go ahead and get a tasty beverage, and listen to all the news and gossip of the day.

Today was the first day of the town farmer’s market. It was a little slow, but that’s expected for the first day, in the beginning of the season. I did find a couple bunches of Beet Greens, a few garlic scapes and a basil plant.

A little town gossip: There are some new signs in town. Calef’s, the general store that has been THE store in Barrington for over a hundred years. It is not longer owned by the Calef’s but has maintained the look and the name of the original store. Calef’s has been selling donut’s made by the Robie’s for over 45 years. I know it’s been that long, because they’ve been selling them since my dad worked there, back in 1963. Well, the other day I noticed a sign in front of the other Calef’s (George Calef’s Fine Foods, which is still owned by member’s of the Calef family). The sign advertises having Robie’s Donuts and Bread. (Today it only said bread to make room for the Strawberries).

Hmm. Robie’s bread and donut’s advertised at the “Little Store”. Then driving by the “Big Store” I saw another sign…

Well, that was quite a surprise. New and improved donuts? What is going on here? I decided to get to the bottom of it. I was going to go ask. A girl at the counter responded to my inquiry with the explanation that the Robie Donuts had been going down in quality, but up in price, so they switched suppliers to Stonehouse Donuts further up Route 125. She let me know that the new donuts are lighter, fluffier, and yummier. I was not convinced. I had to try them myself. First they were served in a paper bag, instead of the plastic sleeves that Robie donuts came in. I opened the bag and sampled the first one…Yes, I think they are better. They taste like the old fashioned donuts my great grandmother used to make, and lightly sugared on the surface, just like her’s as well.

I enjoyed my donut, along with a bottle of Squamscot Dry Ginger Ale. It was sweetened with Pure Cane Sugar and does not contain any over processed poison high fructose corn syrup. It was quite delicious.

Mom met a woman in Calef’s who had a new kids book that she purchased next door at the gift store, so off we went. While I was wandering around the store (having picked up a new Strawberry huller for an outing planned for Monday), I came across some very neat earrings. They are made out of beans. Yup, dry beans. But they are really pretty. I wish I wore earrings, but for now I can’t, they bother my ears.

On to the local feed store, where I ran into my friend Kim who was picking up her adorable little Runner Ducks. (She was also convinced to take two lonely white ducks, as crested and a peking.) This is the next bit of town scuttlebut… The owner of the store was telling that the other day his pigs escaped the pen. He arrived home to find town police from ours and the next over, at his house trying to round up the sows and a new boar. After the pigs were safely in the pen, the neighborhood kids informed the man that his pig was going to have babies soon. When asked how they new that, since he knew the sows were not pregnant he was informed that the kids had seen the boar and sow “together”. Well, now.

Finally, after all that fun, we made it home where we cut the sidewall out of some tires to form the second layer of the potato towers. We have decided to fill the tires with hay, as all our soil contains green manure, which can rot the taters in the ground. It seems I there is a trick to easily cutting the sidewalls. I’ll share:

Make an incision in the wall.

Pull up on the inside wall.

Put the knife at a 45 degree angle to the tire and lift the side wall away from the blade.

Pull firmly, but there should not be much effort needed. The knife should glide through the tire if the angle of the blade is correct.

Be careful to not pull directly towards yourself, and use a sharp blade, as a dull blade will cause you to put to much energy into pulling and could allow you to lose control of the blade.

We did up a couple…and still needed more.

After mulching all the towers, we used what remained on the other veggies, and went in for lunch. It was a delightful meal of local fare.

Chicken salad made with chicken from the farm up the street, some of the basil from the market and some garlic scapes, also from this morning and a bit of salt and pepper. The scapes are tops to the garlic plant, and are used similar to scallions. They have a light garlic flavor. Absolutely delicious! We used a mock mayonnaise to hold it all together.

Here is the mayo recipe:

Mom’s Mock Mayonnaise

1 Cup Cottage Cheese

1 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp dry taragon

1/4 tsp celery seed

1 tsp orange juice

1 egg

Salt, Pepper and about 1/2 small onion coarsely cut.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.

The mayo will not be thick like mayonnaise, but similar to a creamy dressing. It does thicken a bit after being refrigerated, but still not what I would call thick, or really spreadable. It works great for tuna fish or chicken salads. I’m excited to use it in potato salad! It’s very tasty and much healthier than mayonnaise.

My mother was amused that I photographed all my food today.

The wild strawberries are ripe! This means that the Pick Your Own Strawberry Farm, here in town, is open! I’ve planned a trip, with mom, on Monday at 7am! That is when the fields open and today they stopped letting people in at 7:30am! So I’ll be rising early to get over early to be sure to be let into the fields. Strawberries are $2.80 a quart, and if you buy the already picked berries, they are $6.00 a quart! Mom and I plan on getting enough to freeze, and to make jam.

I’m inspired to make up one of the gathering aprons, that I’ve been wanting to make for some time. I think that it would be most helpful for Monday, and lately, with all my greens and radish picking, I am needing one more often.

I picked some wild daisies from our back yard to put in a cool mason jar vase.

The garden was beautiful today! Here are a couple close to the ground pictures.

I got the organic bug spray that I ordered. I made some up to spray on the plants that were effected, but I think that my vigilant bug squishing did the trick, as I’ve not seen any of them lately. I still sprayed, since it’s safe and I want to be sure I’m not about to have some unfound eggs hatching. The family all went for a walk to our neighbor, Andrea’s house, to share some of our bug spray, as she mentioned having problems with the same insects I had. She wasn’t home so we’ll have to connect another time. it was a very nice walk, and a lovely way to wind down the evening. I think we need to start walking, after dinner, regularly.

I hope you enjoyed your Saturday, and enjoyed hearing about mine. Thanks for stopping by!

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Dad and I worked on the coop again today.  While working we smelled smoke.  We didn’t see any smoke, but it smelled like wood burning.  We figured someone was burning brush in their yard, commented about how it seemed to dry to get burn permits.  But in rural NH, people don’t always drive down to the town hall for burn permits.  We kept working and stopped smelling the smoke.  Well, later in the afternoon, I pulled out of my driveway to see a fire engine parked up the street in my shop driveway.  I panicked!  Was the shop on fire.  I drove up and talked to the fireman, who said the shop wasn’t the issue, there was a brush fire but they couldn’t find it.  Not a good feeling, as they were looking on my property.  I drove back, told dad and then went to run my errand.  Dad walked straight behind my house, 300 yards, as he was going to find it…well, he did.  There was a low level fire burning just 300 yards behind my house!!

Saturday, that crack of thunder I mentioned, was lightening striking this big ole’ bull pine in my back woods.  It started a small fire at the base of the tree.

The rain that came that day was enough to keep the fire low and under the leaves.  It spread all around the tree for several yards in all directions.  Then Sunday it dried out, and today with the light wind we were having it fanned the flames and started the fire we were smelling.  The neighbors down river has smelled the smoke, and had seen it wafting out alone the river, so called the fire department.  I’m so thankful they did, for if they hadn’t it’s possible it would have smoldered and burned low, long enough to have come out at night and caught the house on fire while we were sleeping!!

I really like this picture.  I like the play of light on the burned ground and the smoke effect.

I am surprised at how much this experience bothered me.  To think that we were working outside just a few hundred yards for a potential forest fire that could have grown enough to over take my home is a bit unnerving.  I’m feeling very blessed, in general, lately, but this has made me see that all the more.

Here is the Chicken Coop at the end of today.

The girls hung out outside today, while we worked.  Margaret inspected our work.  She and Maryann are becoming increasingly difficult to tell apart.  I sometimes think I may be calling them by the wrong name, but they are far too polite to mention.

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