Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hodge Podge Wednesday

I haven't participated in Hodge Podge since September of last year.  I just saw this one and thought it was interesting, so here we are.  If you'd like to join up, visit Joyce a "From This Side of the Pond" and have some fun.

1. Speaking of April 15th...what's the most 'taxing' thing you've done recently?

“taxing”  - according to dictionary.com means: wearingly burdensome:   the day-to-day
If that’s the case then a lot of what I do is “taxing”.   That makes it sound as though it’s not a good thing, but I really don’t mind doing them, like washing dishes 2/3 times a day, sweeping the floor (though since mud season began I don’t bother doing it quite as often… mostly at night before going to bed.  Laundry – not my favorite “taxing” duty, but I like clean clothes, so a necessity.  I think women are bound to those taxing duties in general and men too if they like a clean house.  The time I do these that is the most unpleasant is after work when I’m tired of being indoors and want to get outside into the fresh air.

2. When did you last take a taxi somewhere and where was that somewhere?


I don’t recall ever riding in a taxi.

3. What's something you can do today that you couldn't do a year ago?


I have tried a lot of new things.  It’s not that I couldn’t do them a year ago, but just had never tried them.  We now have heat mats for our greenhouse which permits us to start our seedlings earlier.  This is our second year making maple syrup, which I did inside last year, but did outside on the wood-fired grill this year.  This permitted me to make a lot more syrup than last year.  I am able to have my grandson come overnight now and could not do that a year ago as he was living in MD then.

4. How often is chicken (in some form or fashion) on your menu at home? Which of the following would you most like to see on your table tonight...a chicken salad sandwich, your mom's fried chicken, a 
Chick-fil-A meal, Cracker Barrel's chicken n' dumplings, a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings, or 'hold the chicken, I'm a vegetarian'...?

We raise chickens, so chicken is a large part of our diet.  Usually it’s some tough old bird that needs to be cooked in the pressure cooker.  I make chicken pot pie, chicken soup, roast chicken, chicken on greens, chicken salad with “craizins” and walnuts.  You name it, we’ve made it at one time or other.  I like chicken, but sometimes I just get sick of it, so the past couple of months I haven’t made an effort to eat the chicken we still have in the freezer and we’ve had moose, venison, pork, fish, anything but chicken.

5. What was your favorite television program when you were a kid? What characters do you remember the most?


I didn’t have TV when I was a kid, but when we went to visit my Nana in NJ she did and I loved watching the morning cartoons.

6. What was the last piece of 'art' you made?


I do counted cross stitch and completed two large UFO this year.  I do not do this in the summer and it looks like my counted cross stitch days are over for the year.  When spring comes, garden chores become more important than crafting.  In the winter it is dark when I get home so while I’m waiting for dinner to cook we either listen to a preaching tape or watch one of our many OLD video movies and I sew and Mr. D relaxes on the mini couch.  This winter we’ve had company many weeknights so I sew on the couch while Brandon and Grampa play card games (Monopoly or Uno) on the table.  Such is life in our little winter camper house.  It’s cozy, but I’ll be happy to have a larger space.

7. What frustrates you most about the Internet?


What frustrates me most is when it doesn’t work.  I do not have internet at the house, so I usually do this kind of stuff on my lunch break at work.  I do have a laptop that I use when I get to a free WIFI hot spot, but it spends most of its time in the trunk of my car.  It is just frustrating when at work or on the laptop I have something important to do, the screen doesn’t respond.  I really hate it when I’m talking to a customer and trying to take an order and the screen just freezes up and then goes blank…. Humph!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.






Heather’s birthday dinner and birthday cake.  We had a fun celebration.  Happy Birthday to my little girl.

Monday, April 13, 2015

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April is a busy birthday month for us.  This year was especially memorable because Norman's third birthday was on Easter Sunday.  We had wonderful fellowship at church and then there was candy, toys, and lots more fun afterwards.

Here's a few pictures of the birthday boy.
Heather having fun with the nerf gun...
Have a party hat... just have to make sure it stays on.
wow... a fishing pole
a great tactor and trailer from Nanna and Great Grampa Millett
the aftermath... whew that was a lot of work.

We have been blessed exceedingly with an early spring.  We may have more snow.  It's only the middle of April, but this week is predicted to be warm and the snow is melting fast.  Last year we had snow and cold till the end of April and into May.  I wasn't sure if we'd even be able to plant on Memorial Day which is our traditional planting day.

We had a very prosperous Sunday evening yesterday.  The temperature was an incredible 63 deg. and snow was disappearing all over the place.  Today it's in the low 70's and I'm a little excited to see how much will be gone this afternoon.  

After church we began work on the little greenhouse.  That is where we start our seedlings.  We made it about 1/2 the size of last year in hopes it will stay a little warmer.  We had a lot of wasted space in the past, so we'll see how this works out.  The greenhouse needs some sealing up, but the structure is up even though you take your life in your hands walking out to it in the mud.  After working around out there yesterday it was hard to put one foot in front of the other for the mud as you will see in the pictures below.

I finished up the sap boiling yesterday and took down the buckets.  The sap was still flowing some, but with it being so warm today it will probably not be any good now.  We have enough syrup for what we use here.  Brandon loves maple syrup and it is a LOT less expensive to make it yourself... especially if you have a place to boil it outside.  We don't have "sugar maples" but our maples produce a nice tasting syrup.

Hope you are enjoying your spring.


SIGNS OF SPRING - SUMMER TIRES WAITING TO BE MOUNTED
MORE TIRES - JUST RELEASED FROM THEIR WINTER ENTOMBMENT
THE LITTLE GREENHOUSE IS UP... AFTER SOME STRUGGLE AND A BROKEN GLASS WHICH HAD TO BE VACUUMED UP SO IT DIDN'T GET BURIED IN MUD.  STILL NEEDS A LITTLE WORK.  I KNOW IT LOOKS A LITTLE RUSTIC, BUT IT SERVES IT'S PURPOSE AND THEN WE TAKE IT APART.
IF YOU STOOD IN THIS MUD FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME
YOU SUNK IN AND IT WAS HARD TO GET YOUR FEET OUT... NEEDLESS TO SAY, THANKFUL FOR THE BARN BOOTS.  CAN'T LIVE IN THESE PARTS WITHOUT THEM.
LAST OF THE BOILING
ADDED ANOTHER EVAPORATOR PAN
OUR EVENING WOODS... A LITTLE FUZZY 
IT'S BOILING GOOD NOW... FINISHED UP AROUND 9 PM


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Two quarts of syrup and counting.  No pictures yet, but I promise.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sap's running and I'll take some pictures of my mini syrup operation this weekend for this post.

Love ya'll and haven't forgotten you one minute.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Garden Planning

I've been busy planning the garden out for the coming year.  I placed the seed order the other day to my seed companies of choice... R.H. Shumway's and Pinetree.  I get those catalogs and the juices start flowing like sap in the maples in spring.  Feels good to just be talking about it.  Last year the Lord gave us such a wonderful harvest, that it's even more exciting to think about all things "garden" this year.


curly kale

romano beans

blackberries... I don't plant them, they just grow everywhere.

lupines also grow wild

Lutz  Green Leaf Winter Keepers - our favorites

Some of the other things we'll be planting...  squash (summer and winter), jacob cattle beans, and peas and cukes.  We don't have a lot of room right now, but that will change over time.  We just enjoy planting and harvesting our own veggies and enjoying those in the summer and all winter long. 

Yea for spring... even if we expect snow this weekend.

New Haircut


Norman's new haircut.  He's looking so grown up these days.  What a personality.  I stopped by on Monday and brought a kids meal from KFC.  He was so excited!  I love the enthusiasm... 'cause let's face it, KFC doesn't excite me too much unless I'm REALLY hungry.

Love this little guy!