Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Great White Hunter

It’s not even November and both kids have tagged out. Very proud to say the least! I am looking forward to having full freezers coming into winter. Tonight for dinner we ate some of FG’s deer. Nothing like it… pan fried in a little butter & salt!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A man is not where he lives, but where he loves:~day 15

Today would have been my farmer friend’s 77th birthday.  The picture above was taken back in April at a Celebration of Life we had for him.  I miss him each and every day but it is especially painful on dates of remembrance and celebration.  Just after Flower Girl shot her first deer I mentioned how proud he would have been of her.  He was one of the first people we called when Country Boy shot his first and second deer.  On both occasions he was at our house within minutes to share in their joy and excitement.  I couldn’t help but cry, not so much for his loss but for hers.

I visited his grave today as I do every Monday.  Today wishing him a happy birthday and I even threw out a few crackers for the birds, hoping they would come pay a visit. How he loved his birds!  He also loved kids and this song I’m linking to…. Amazing Grace was his absolute favorite.  The girl who sings it reminds me of FG.   Myron loved to hear FG play the piano.  This past Christmas day she even brought her keyboard down to their house  and played it for him and his wife.  Now she takes voice lessons, how he’d love to hear her sing……


(This was actually posted yesterday over at Bangor Daily News…a day late here on blogger)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

“My First Deer”

In her words……”We were sitting in the tree stand and then all the sudden I could hear a sound in the woods.  I didn’t think anything of it because I thought it was a squirrel or a chipmunk.  Then my brother whispered in my ear that there was a deer in the field almost right below us.  Then two more came behind it.  My dad asked me if I wanted to shot and I said yes.  It walked for a very long ways before it turned broadside.  I flipped my gun off safety, I looked in the crosshairs and aimed above the leg and slowly squeezed the trigger.  That instant I saw it drop right in front of me.  I  began to cry tears of happiness.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Apple Wine Making:~day 13

Last month Maine Man and I listened to a presentation on wine making at the Common Ground Fair.  The guy that spoke was completely down to earth.  I did not catch his name but he was a tall, burly, long bearded gentleman.  His first words were “I’m gonna keep this real simple…..” and that is exactly what he did.  Here are the notes I took from the CGF.  The ending part I really did not catch so for anyone with wine making experience please feel free to pick up where I left off.  I will add your advice to my notebook.


  • 5 gallon bucket with cover
  • airlock
  • 5 gallons of cider
  • sugar
  • yeast (regular bread yeast is ok, you do not need any fancy wine yeast)


1.5 lbs sugar to 1 gallon of cider

1 teaspoon of yeast to 1 gallon of cider

Mix, keep at 70-85 degrees for fermentation

4-6 weeks alcohol will made

3-6 months wine will be clear

We did not have enough cider to fill the carboy so MM found a way to improvise as always.  He truly is my MacGyver!  He laughed when I showed him this picture and said “don’t use this technique at home.”

We plan to make a big batch next week  so any advice is welcomed!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat ….:~day 12


Take note of what is happening to the left.

…..I did!  I did!

Title inspired by an old time favorite cartoon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dreaming:~day 11

Maybe someday we will live off grid with no lines in the way of the natural beauty ;)  I’m dreaming that maybe in the future we will build a little, bitty, efficient, low maintenance home out back along with a wind turbine constructed by Maine Man.  Of course the fully powered farmhouse with three freezers, walk-in cooler, etc. will be right next door. ;)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Proud Moment:~day 10

Recently Flower Girl went up country to her Grampies with her Dad & brother.  There she shot her very first game birds.  I find comfort in the fact that they have a father that takes the time to teach his children proper gun handling and prepares them with skills that someday they may depend on.

Yesterday I overheard her and her brother talking about cooking up the partridges and she replied, “no, I want to cook that up and eat it them with Dad.” Love that girl and so proud of the young woman she’s becoming.  Hoping she gets her first deer this year too!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mother Nature at her best:~day 9

More often then not I find myself appreciative of the things the kids experience when typically they would have been cooped up in a classroom.  This sighting came in the midst of studies one morning.  Country Boy ran out and captured the moment.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Man and his Dog:~day 8

It’s the little moments that make life big!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pressing Party:~day 7

We had a lovely gathering of friends and family at our 2nd annual cider pressing party Oct 7th.  This press was built by my farmer friend.  He did not use plans to build this press.  Instead he built it from memory based on a press his dad had when my farmer friend was just a boy.  He said his dad use to barter hard cider in exchange for plowing and other tasks he had to hire out.  It is my MOST treasured item he ever gave/made for me.  Last year he joined us for our first party.  You can click here if you want to go back in time with me for a minute….how I miss him!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An Everlasting Meal:~day 6


An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace

I just loaded this book on my Nook and I’m loving it!  Check out the reviews on Amazon.  Tamar also has a few You Tube videos out there.  Last night I watched one on making mayonnaise   I am now inspired to finally give that a try.  In search of that post just this very second I came  across her web site.  I’ve bookmarked that for future reading!  Have you read any good foodie and/or agriculture books lately?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Priceless:~day 5

“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.” ~Abigail Van Buren

Sunday, October 14, 2012

No Knead Bread:~day 4

I’m on my second year of baking this bread.  Mix 4 ingredients, let it set overnight, flour and turn a couple times, let it rise, and bake.  Super Simple….read the directions once and you won’t have to next time you make it.  I originally posted about it here if you want to try and make it.  I’ve had a few requests lately for the recipe, so here it is! Enjoy!

(Picture taken at our Cider Pressing Party last weekend….photos to follow)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Baby bun buns:~day 2

Flower Girl’s rabbits didn’t produce all summer despite much efforts. Come Fall babies are being born.  Same with some of the ducks that hatched late in the season.  Baby Bunny anyone, you know you want one!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meat birds:~day 1

Just for fun!  30 days or so a picture a day with a few words or not.  Days may be missed on occasions.  I think I can…. Join along if you’d like.
Cornish Rocks- we raise them twice a year Spring & Fall.  Once you raise your own it is hard to go back to store bought chicken.  The kids and Maine Man do the final deed and the chicken plucker MM made and wrote about back in 2009 is still in action.  To this day that how-to is the number #1 visited post on this blog.  Especially lately, I think with the scary economy people are starting to rethink how they do things.  Home grown chickens make the best stock ever.  Here is my how-to post.  I just made a crock pot of fresh broth up  last night.  I’m thinking this cool, fall day would be perfect to fire up the cook-stove and make some soup!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kitchen Witch’s ABC’s

The flowers & the post below courtesy of my neighbor… love em’ both!


Always stir in a clockwise motion
Before you chop veggies, offer thanks
Cut mindfully, gratefully

Do all preparations in a loving spirit
Energize food with good thoughts
Feast gratefully
Give and share what you can spare
Home and hearth are sacred
Invoke blessings of Goddess on all food
Join hands with friends often
Kindness shows in serving food
Love goes into every dish
Mindfully gather ingredients
No wasting – recycle, compost, feed animals
Open your senses, enjoy your surroundings
Play as well as work
Quench thirst, thinking of clear clean rivers
Resolve to be grateful & waste not
Salivate as you smell fragrance & anticipate flavors
Thank the Universe & Goddess for health
Use utensils carefully, then clean up
Value time spent with loved ones
When possible grow & harvest your food
eXtra food is for creative recombining
Yearly rituals & feasts build traditions
Zestful living in every area is our goal.

~author unknown

Monday, October 8, 2012

Keeping it Real

Sometimes people assume that we are hard-core homesteaders.  Maybe because I write about gardening, livestock, simple living, food preservation and such.  We do have many interests and maybe could be considered modern-day homesteaders to some degree.  But honestly we are just as dependent of modern day technologies,  supermarkets &  grain stores as the neighbors.

Even though the gardens were not what they usually are we were still able to eat from them all summer long.  I picked the beans a few times before they grew as big as carrots, then the chickens & goats enjoyed them.  Maine Man made salads from his greens I think just about every day he worked for lunch.    Preserving was just not one of my priorities this summer.  Knowing that my time was limited I set small goals that I was able to maintain.

  • I froze a couple gallons of spaghetti sauce & canned 20 quarts
  • I froze a bunch of beets
  • I have several heads of cabbage, I may attempt making sauerkraut
  • I froze 20 lbs of blueberries that I picked up from a local gentleman
  • We did put up some maple syrup this past Spring
  • We have garlic for eating and for planting asap
  • We have some onions, several squash & some pumpkins (not nearly as much as usual) for cold storage
  • I dried a few herbs
  • Goats milk I froze for winter soap making
  • I have plans to freeze and/or can lots of apple cider and we are going to try making apple wine
  • Eggs….I generally have no issues with supply unless swiper the fox pays a visit.
  • By fall our freezers will be replenished with meat that we’ve raised or gathered.  We have Cornish Rock chicks that are a couple weeks old.  I’m hoping that my kids will each shoot a  deer (we are so close to running out of beef- we gave too much of it away ), pork we have plenty except ham & bacon which will also be restocked next month.
  • Turkeys & honey  ….. I have a barter deal happening with that.  Some of my bees swarmed this Spring so once again, NO honey from my hive.
  • Rabbit….just bartered some Muscovy ducks for a  4 lb rabbit and some tasty coffee.  We also have a couple meat rabbits around here we could eat if I can talk Flower Girl into it.  Have I mentioned lately, I LOVE to barter!

My point ….I have many things I am passionate about but I cannot do all of them all the time.  There are also many things I aspire to do:  quilt, pottery, trail run, write a book, travel,  but I constantly remind myself of my priorities at the present time.   I can only do what I can do….just keeping it real!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Good Ole’ Days

~ Notes from high school 20 + years ago stored in an old cigar box

~ 22 + years together, 17 years of marriage

~ An hour laughing until tears reminiscing as we read the notes he wrote me day after day from study hall.

~Immediate disposal before the munchkins have evidence against us ;)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Baker in the Making!

When she said the recipe called for 6 tablespoons of yeast I knew she was making a batch big enough for sharing…

A couple weeks back the kids cooked up entire meal on their own, washed floors, and even did the dishes. They made homemade garlic hummus, baked fish, broccoli,  carrots, and lemon squares (the real deal not from a package but from freshly squeezed lemons).  All because they wanted me to order them some coins for some on-line game they play.  The deal is they were paying for it, I just had to put it on my credit card.  Bribery is a wonderful thing!  Ha, my kids have caught on….lol