Friday, September 30, 2011

Bamboo Magazine


Conscious Family Living, currently my FAVORITE on-line magazine!

Check it out!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Real Food

IMG_6653rThis year Maine Man grew his best ever crop of onions!  He feels that it is mostly due to the varieties he choose for our geographical area.  He bought Copras & Pattersons from Johnny’s Select Seeds.  He planted onions both in the hoop house and outside.  The onions in the outside gardens did much better. 

The gardens are just about gone by.  The only produce left to harvest is edamame beans, corn, and sweet potatoes.  However, the hoop house is still filled with lots of luscious produce including: dill, cilantro, basil, beets, beet greens, leeks,  spinach, swiss chard,  turnip, bok choy, green, jalapeno & banana peppers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mesculin mix, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes. 

My mother & I picked approx. 5 gallons of tomatoes today.  Most went into the freezer after running it through my saucer.  I saved aside 4 quarts in attempt to make ketchup for the very first time in the next couple days. 

IMG_6885rThis melon came from the farmer’s market.  BEST watermelon you’ve EVER tasted!  I kept to my promise this summer and we made it to the market nearly every week.  I must admit my biggest inspiration to be more faithful at buying local was a book I read called “Bringing Food Home: The Maine Example”.

Within the next couple weeks I will be posting a review on that book which I cannot say enough good about.  That will be followed by a review of “The Back to Basics Handbook” which I just started reading.  I also have a GIVE AWAY of an entirely different item coming soon, so stay tuned!IMG_6656r

My Aunt J brought these apples to us a couple weeks back.  They came from my grandfather's old apple tree that sustained significant damage from Hurricane Irene.   Despite the warm weather we’ve had here in Maine this fall, the apples have kept well in the shed.  They truly are the best apples we’ve had so far this season.  Flower Girl has made some applesauce with them once so far with plans to make another batch for our farmer friend.  I hope to make some crisp with them and maybe even try dehydrating a few this weekend. 

Question for my readers: Has anyone ever saved a seed from an apple and successfully grown an apple tree from it?   I’ve heard it is possible.  Would love to, with my sentimental nature and all.  My grandfather holds a special place in my heart and I’d love to see something that was once his grow on.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Making Fire Starters


♥ ♥   I must say….tis my favorite time of night!!  House is REALLY QUIET, it’s almost clean., with a frosty cold beverage in hand.  Would have been clean had my ADD not kicked in Winking smile  Facebook, pictures, my blog,  are just  WAY too distracting (fun)! 

A couple weeks back we stopped at a local market to grab a bite to eat.  At the check out I noticed 8 “fire starters” for $7.95.  My first thought was, “that’s a rip off” followed by “I can do that".”IMG_6662rSo a couple days ago I dug out all the old candles I’ve been saving over the last 10 years or so. Shhhhhh, don’t tell Maine Man.  He hates my pack rat tendencies.  When the kids woke up they began poking, prodding, melting….IMG_6665r...Playing with fire!!!  I’ve always been a believer that if you let your children play with fire, meaning light candles, camp fires, etc. in front of you they won’t have a burning desire to do so when your not around.  Hope my kids prove that theory right.

When the author was just a young tike she had a little bear candle.  When her Momma was out mowing the lawn one sun shiny day she decided to light up that cute little brown & white wax bear all by herself. It was all good until it tipped over onto her bed and caught the linen on fire.    Let me tell you Momma weren’t happy when that little lad ran out to get her!  Probably one of my oldest childhood memories.  Why is is you always seem to remember the bad stuff? lol

Moving on….next ingredient:  SAW DUST

IMG_6668rMelt the candles in an old crock pot or a double boilerIMG_6673rAdd a good amount of shavings to wax and mix it QUICKLY!IMG_6675r

*Note to self & others

Do it outside, in the garage, or use LOTS of newspaper!

Learn from my experiences (screw ups)

The acronym that comes to mind…


Learn- It –From –Experience

IMG_6676rSomeone gave me a bunch of disposable muffin tins.  They were PERFECT for this messy project!  IMG_6680rCover with shavings, let cool in the fridge or freeze.  Pop out of cups.IMG_6683r

Works perfect! Fun, easy, cheap…..will definitely do again.  Wrap with brown paper or scrap booking paper, tie w/ raffia, or just as is.  What a great Upcycled Christmas present!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Here is to another year


Age 36 was not my best year but just a simple look around reminds me things really could have been so much worse.  From each encounter I faced I walked away with a valuable lesson learned.  Although I had a procedure on my neck, reduction of a certain body part I swore I would NEVER alter, a vehicle crash, and a significant occupational exposure I am still here, surrounded by loved ones and honestly doing GREAT!

A few things I’ve taken from these experiences:

  • “You are your own best doctor” ~ one of the doctors I work with said this to me and it is so true.  This same doctor is the one that figured out my neck pain was not coming from the benign tumor in my neck but yet the size of my chest…  I am forever grateful for that!  Who would have thought?  Not me or any of the other doctors I saw! 
  • Empathize with those who live with chronic pain. 
  • Never say never!
  • Get MANY opinions, Listen to your gut!  THANKFUL I did that or I would be a now 37 year old woman  status post 20 radiation treatments to my neck.  There is NO doubt I would have had life long health problems from that. 
  • 4 wheel drive is not a security blanket
  • If someone makes you feel uncomfortable look beyond it.  Take your time, don’t be rushed and perform your duties as you would for anyone else. 

There were a lot more lessons learned along the way that I am sure I will think of over the the next couple days.  But, tonight I hastily type after a long, wonderful day spent at the Common Ground Fair followed by a superfantabulous birthday dinner of lobster & clams cooked up by Maine Man & the kids.  When really what I can’t wait to do is jump in my comfy bed in the arms of my love!

On an ending note as of lately my luck has seemed to change.  my girl caught a pig at a local country fair, I won a good chunk of cash on a photo contest as noted in the last post, and most recently I was contacted by the Bangor Daily News ( a local newspaper) and asked if they could add my blog to their web-site.  I was flattered to say the least.  Guess I will have no choice but to step it up a notch. Smile

Here’s to another year! Much love to all my faithful followers!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Grand Prize


One hot evening in July we headed out in the boat to cool off.  My neighbor, Biker Stacy came along with us….I took pictures of course.   A friend of BS encouraged me to enter this photo in a contest Activity Maine Magazine was hosting.  So about 11pm the night before the deadline I submitted a couple photos including this one of BS & the kids.  To my surprise we took Grand Prize bringing in $250! Woooooo Hoooooo….little excited.  The cash will come in real handy. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Creative Kids

Lukes table

Country Boy’s newest creation.  One for his Momma and another for his Aunt Mary.  Pretty cool, huh?  I love it….hoping he makes some more items like this.  I think he could sell them roadside.  Good way to make a little extra cash!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The key to loving how you live is in knowing what you truly love!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Everything is a once in a lifetime experience


Warning these pictures don’t really go along with post…  They are from this mornings walk with Dolly, the coolest goat EVA!

Last school year Flower Girl asked us to homeschool her.  We thought about it, talked it over, and agreed.  It was a subject that I’ve always been interested in but Maine Man never entertained the thought…until now.

(Wild Grapes – tons of them around the farm!)IMG_6585r

Throughout the summer I researched on-line, met with a few homeschool moms, ordered a curriculum, and plotted out how it may all work out.  IMG_6589r


FG’s curriculum arrived, she started working on it a little each day. 

(Country Boy & the neighbors most recent creation)


Early one morning about two weeks before school started CB asked if it was too late for him to homeschool.  He said he had a dream and he almost woke me up at 1 am for fear that he’d forget his dream. (glad he didn’t, wake me that is)

(Below- view looking up from where CB was laying. Impressive!)


A week later his curriculum arrived.  It has been interesting to say the least.  This past week was their first full week.  MM guides them 3 days and I do so on my 2 days off.  It has not been without moments of frustration (on both sides) but overall I think it has went well.  I doubt there will be any regrets from this choice, but time will tell.   Many think we are crazy but that is ok, everyone in entitled a opinion.  Some days I might agree.

After their school work was complete this week they ran a roadside stand selling pumpkins, tomatoes, and some lawn sale goodies.  They brought in over $100.  CB also built an awesome table out of trees.  The first one he gave to me.  The circumstances surrounding that were very sweet.  He plans to build more to sell.  I’ll post some pictures soon!


I’ve actually enjoyed learning right a long side them.  SO much I’ve forgotten, maybe my grammar may even improve….you all may benefit from that !Winking smile

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tomatoes, Beans, Corn, Oh My…..


At the beginning of the summer I swore off preserving of any sort.  I think my exact words were  “I’m burnt out” and “we were going to eat seasonally and give the rest away.”

Yeah right…..Maine Man planted green beans at three different times.  You know what that means….beans galore, three different batches.  Ate a TON, froze a bunch, and made some WICKED good dilly beans! 

P.S. Flower Girl & I like green beans best baked with olive oil & sea salt!


Tomatoes….well I have a quick fix for them. LOVE, LOVE my saucer!  That is what tomatoes that are left after the PESKY HORNWORMS had their way with them.  Sweet revenge …the kids had a blast plucking the hornworms off the plants and feeding them out to the chickens and County Boy’s quail like them as well.

Nice thing about a farm….we might not eat you but we will find someone that will!

3 batches of sauce in the freezer thus far.  Will make for some tasty soups & sauces come Winter!



Note to self & others :  NEVER walk away from the blender when your making butter when it is  transitioning from heavy cream to butter! Oops, my bad !

I will end this note with my FAVORITE way to put up corn….. CREAM STYLE CORN .  Click on that link and it will bring you to a how-to I posted last year on it.  Glad I recorded it because I’ll be referring to it this weekend.