Thursday, June 28, 2012


Summer is here.  Finally and wonderfully.  My days are being spent outside in the garden, with the chickens, in the pool, river, and lake.  My nights are being spent knitting and working on the house.  It's glorious.

Today I'm headed up to see my favorite person in the world, my Great Grandma, and then to the lake.  I hope you too are finding joy in your summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


My days lately have been spent playing in the dirt.  In the past few weeks I've planted my onions, carrots, dry beans, green beans, beets, rutabaga and potatoes in addition to the peas, radishes, garlic, horseradish and herbs that I had previously planted.  This weekend I'll be putting in the rest: tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers, basil, spinach, lettuce, sunflowers, melons, and corn....

I've also been adding to my flower bed with kind gifts from family as they split their perennials.  Everything has been thrown in somewhat willy-nilly this year, not knowing beautiful plant I'll be gifted next, but next year I can rearrange as needed.

This afternoon an itty bitty package, about 3 ft x 8 in. arrived at my doorstep. Despite my extreme skepticism inside was:
- 12 Taylor Red Raspberry Bushes
-3 Allen Black Raspberry Bushes
-2 Concord Grapevines
-1 Ivanhoe Blueberry Bush
-2 Jersey Blueberry Bushes
-2 Bluecrop Blueberry Bushes
-1 Chandler Blueberry Bush
-1 Bluegold Blueberry Bush
-25 Earliglow Strawberry Plants

I also have a Peach Tree and Nectarine Tree that need to be planted, some Dahlia's and Glad's that need to get into the ground, and some annual flower seeds to sow (Bachelor Buttons and Sweet Pea).

It's going to be a busy weekend...a *wonderfully* busy weekend.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chickens at (Just Over) 1 Week

 Josephine (Buff Orpington). Still the easiest to pick up, not quite as "peck-y" as she was the first few days...
 Olive (Americauna). By far the most difficult to pick up, seems to be trying for the top of the pecking order, starting to grow the typical Americauna "puffs" on her cheeks.  (And check out that leg pretty)
 Luella (Barred Rock). Still the smallest and super sweet.
 Cora (Welsummer).  Still very sweet.
Ingrid (Silver Laced Wyandotte).  Still healthy and still sweet.

They're wing feathers are almost completely in and they've started sprouting tail feathers.  They have at least doubled in size.  Yesterday I brought them out on the grass for the first time as a complete flock and they were (pun intended) chickens.  They preferred being on me to pecking around on the grass, we'll give it another try soon, but I have to tell you, I was kind of flattered...:) 

See how they've grown since last week...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bar Harbor Fog

I have been feeling like a knitting machine lately, but this is the only project I've managed to take any pictures of yet.  I need to fix that soon!  These were made out of scraps from another project before I started a shawl.  I've found that I like having a quick, little project that only takes a day or two between the bigger, longer projects, it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing more.

I love the simplicity of these booties, but the foot portion looks so wide and deep to me.  I will definitely be trying them again someday, but plan on making a few modifications so they're not quite as deep.  Ravelry details here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Understanding Spring

 I never used to understand spring.  I certainly thought it was nice and relished in those first warm days after a long winter, but I never understood the people who proclaimed it their favorite season.  I don't know if it's come with age or the fact that I now have my own outside space to tend to and do all of the exciting "spring things" with, but this year I can say without a question, I get it.  Spring holds promise and energy and beauty. Spring holds life.  And what a wonderful life it is.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Greening Up

The first Saturday of May was Vermont's Green Up Day, a day to clean up trash from the roadsides and riverbanks before the tall grass of summer makes it more difficult.  This year I chose to green up our little stretch of river.  Hurricane Irene left so much destruction and debris in our little village, neighbors lost their homes and businesses down the river, farm land is covered thick with sand that was saturated with oil and sewage.  It was comforting to remove some of the reminders of that day and to see so many others out doing the same.  I was able to walk only about an eighth of a mile along our side of the river because of the water level, but I managed to pick up 5 trash bags full plus a big heap of things that wouldn't fit into bags.  It was a day well spent. 

As I was picking things up, I wondered, is Green Up Day just a Vermont thing or do other states have something similar?  I'd love to hear what your state does to keep it looking it's best!

p.s. That's one thing off the list.

Monday, May 14, 2012


 Josephine.  She is a Buff Orpington.  So far she is the most willing to be picked up and surprisingly seems to be on the top of the pecking order.
 Olive.  She is an Americauna.  She dislikes being held the most out of all the chicks.  She will lay blue or green tinted eggs.
 Luella.  She is a Barred Rock.  She is the smallest of all the chicks and super sweet.
 Cora.  She is a Welsummer and will lay chocolate colored eggs or brown eggs with chocolate colored speckles.  So far she is such a sweetie!
Ingrid.  She is a Silver Laced Wyandotte.  She was very sick the first night she was home and we were pretty sure she wasn't going to make it through the night, but she has perked up and now is acting like all of the other chicks, thank goodness.

I saw on another blog a few years ago where someone took week by week pictures of their chicks and documented how they've changed, I'm thinking I'll do the same thing.  It was amazing to see how quickly they matured.

Their coop is in the works, as are so many other things I'd like to share with you here.  We seem to be smack dab in the middle of spring busy-ness,  but I'm making it a priority to stop in here more often and say hello, even if its just a picture and a few words. 

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here or not, but I started this blog when I was going through a terrible time with someone who I thought was my very best friend.  Our friendship ended horribly and suddenly, but it was the only healthy decision for both of us, and in the end I was left feeling very alone.  I still had lots of close friends that I loved dearly, but through the loss of a friend I gained a new perspective on friendship and I needed to find some like minded people...people who's eyes didn't glaze over when I started talking tomato varieties or lovingly tease when I talked about knitting.  You know what I mean?  I'm sure you do...

Anyways, I'm not sure why I shared that today, other than the fact that I'm feeling that pull again.  The pull to connect with people who care about some of the same things I do, to feel a little less like an island. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Back To Work

The first day back after vacation is always the hardest...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Goals

Each season I make myself a list of things I would like to accomplish.  Simple things. Silly things.  Things I want to do for no other reason than to bring me joy or make me feel like I am moving towards the life I have imagined.  I don't always accomplish them all, sometimes I don't even come close, but its something concrete to work towards and I like that.  So without further ado, my spring 2012 goals:

1. Learn how to make a good vinaigrette
2. Scan in all of Grandpa Walt's slides and distribute them to the Aunts and Uncles
3. Learn more about natural cures/remedies
4. "Green Up" down by the river
5. Read a book for pleasure
6. Learn all the words to "Red River Valley" by heart
7. Learn to identify all of the trees in our yard {the crazy tree and the bush out front by the shed}
8. Finally go for a walk beyond the covered bridge

What are your goals for this spring?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

On Easter

It seems the spring rush has already started at my house, I have lots to say here but can't seem to find the time to say it.  Soon.  Until then, I hope those that celebrate have a wonderful Easter!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Beets

For quite a while I have thought of beets as a vegetable that I will just tolerate.  If they're there I will eat them, but I won't go out of the way to make them either.  Now that being said, you should know that my exposure to beets has been very limited. I'm not entirely sure why I cast them aside so easily, but a few weeks ago in a hunt for something "different" for supper I came across this recipe and thought I would give it a whirl.  It has single handedly changed my opinion on beets.  The lemon juice added acidity and brightness and the feta added some salt and tang, added with the sweet, caramelized flavor of the roasted beets, it was perfect.  This will be going into the recipe box to be made over and over again and I'm searching out other beet recipes that I should try.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2012 Garden Plans

We have big plans for this little half acre of ours, big plans.  We know that our soil is probably less than ideal and first year gardens aren't usually the most successful, but we have high hopes that it will produce enough for our meals throughout the summer with a little to spare and put away. 

In the fall we tilled a vegetable garden space in the yard and this spring we will be adding at least one raised bed in our pool area for herbs and lettuce.  What are we planting?  Well,:

-Oxheart, Pruden's Purple, Trophy, and Amish Paste Tomatoes
-Black Cherry Tomatoes

-Green Arrow Peas
-Bushy Cucumber

-Seed Savers Lettuce Mixture (Australian Yellowleaf, Pablo, Forellenschluss, Red Velvet, and others)
-Lacinato Kale
-Bloomsdale Spinach
-Genovese Basil (this will be in the main garden instead of the herb garden because I plan on growing lots!)

-Helenor Rutabaga
-Dragon and St. Valery Carrots
-Chioggia Beet
-Purple Viking Potatoes

-Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions
-Copra Yellow Storage Onions
-German White Garlic (already planted)

-Slick Pik Summer Squash
-Black Beauty Zucchini
-Burgess Buttercup, Waltham Butternut, and Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash

-Calypso and Mayflower Dry Beans
-Provider and Empress Green Beans

-Tango Celery (an experiment)
-Calabrese Broccoli (an experiment)
-Two Inch Strawberry Popcorn (an experiment that will be grown in containers)
-Pride of Wisconsin Melon (an experiment that will be grown in containers

-Titan Sunflowers (these will grow along one of our property lines for a little added privacy)

The Herb Garden:
-Garlic Chives
-Black Peppermint
-Greek Oregano
-Giant from Italy Parsley

-and I'm hoping to track down some Lemon Balm to add here too.

Phew, we're going to be busy.  While it looks like a lot, many of the seeds we are sharing with my parents.   So the variety is large but the quantity of each variety will be fairly small.  We wanted to get a good grip on what varieties we really like and what will do well in our soil. 

Have you planted any of the varities we're going to try?  I'd love to hear your experience with them! Or is there a variety you love that we should add to our wish list for next year?

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Quarry

A recent stop in my almost forgotten 251 project.  I've driven by the quarry hundreds of times but have never stopped, a few weeks ago I fixed that.  It was equal parts historical and beautiful, a winner in my book.  In the summer it turns into a swimming hole, I'll definitely be coming back then.

(Probably my favorite from that day: there's nothing like trying to make your grandmother squat underneath a rock with you for a picture :).  She is such a good sport!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It is...

Lately I keep catching myself thinking: "This, right now, is what I've been dreaming of for so long."  And it is...and it's wonderful.