Tuesday, December 13, 2011

That Time of Year

Hello Everybody!  Sorry it has been a month since my last post.  Time is flying and there's not much going on but here is a summary.

I have had a cold for two weeks.  I feel fine but I cough all night.  I have a tendancy to hang on to coughs forever so we will see how long this one sticks around.  I'm officially on day eight of coughing all night. 

My mom and husband, Glen, are moving to South Dakota today.  I'm not happy.  Very sad actually.  We are on our last year here in NC and plan to move back to Michigan in late summer and they will be gone!  It's most likely temporary.  Glen just needed a new change of scenery (job).  He hated his.  Well he landed a great new job in SD and will have three day weekends to enjoy traveling with my mom.  I do look forward to visiting!  I've never been out there.

I spend a lot of my free time on Pinterest.com.  So far the site has inspired me to actually set up my sewing room.  I have been working on multiple projects lately.  An apron, mittens, leg warmers, clutch, fabric flowers, yoga pants and more.  Pinterest has also inspired me to get back into the gym.  I joined the YMCA and have been going nearly everyday.  Lots of cardio and weight training.  I've decided to really tone up and get healthy so I'm doing it!  Turning 30 in a few weeks may have something to do with it.

My Christmas shopping is about done.  I bought a lot of stuff for Andrew this year since he usually doesn't get anything from me.  I somehow always end up broke around Christmas.  Not this year!  We put our tree up last night but are holding off on decorations to see how the cats react to the tree itself.  They seem pretty interested in it.  I think they will be climbing it in no time.

My Thanksgiving dinner turned out wonderful.  I must say that I really love cooking.  I can't wait to get back to MI and cook for the whole family.  They will never eat another greenbean casserole from a can again!

My brother Chris and his girlfriend Toni are expecting a baby this May.  We are hoping for a girl but they find out soon so fingers crossed.  We are all so happy to have another baby around.  My mom will be coming home in April for a month to be there when the baby comes and I will be back too.

We joined a fall CSA this year and really enjoyed the produce.  We were receiving carrots, broccoli, greens, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, mesclun mix, radishes, beets, turnips, cabbage, peppers, egg plant and more for seven weeks.  I wish it would never end but it has. 

Well, that about sums it up.  I will start posting weekly agian if I can pull myself away from Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fun Website; Pinterest.com

A friend recently told me about Pinterest.  I am already so addicted to it.  It's a giant online pin board to post your favorite things to share with others, including fashion, food, DIY, homes, places, crafts, kids, photography and tons more.  I have spent countless hours pinning and liking.

The site has also rekindled my crafting.  I made a cute headband yesterday.  I starting sewing a new clutch and I made my first pillowcase skirt last night.

Thousands upon thousands of fun ideas await you.  Go check it out!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall Reading

I recently read 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' by Kingsolver, 'The Accidental Farmers' by Tim Young, 'Growing a Farmer' by Kurt Timmermeister, 'The Gift of Good Land' by Wendell Berry, 'Wisdom of the Last Farmer' by David Mas Masumoto, and 'The Contrary Farmer' by Gene Logsdon.  The overwhelming theme here is agriculture and I loved them all.  If I can't play in the dirt of my own farm, I may as well read about others doing it and learn a little something.

I'm still working on 'The Good Life' by the Nearings, 'The Unsettling of America' by Wendell Berry, 'Deeply Rooted' by Lisa M. Hamilton, 'The One-Straw Revolution' by Masanobu Fukuoka and 'Walden' by Thoreau.  I started most of these over last spring or summer.  Time to wrap them up.  I have owned Walden  for over a year and figured I should probably read it now since so many other books I have read quote it so frequently.

I have a very long wish list on Amazon also, so I see some new books in my near future.  I need to hunt down some local bookstores to see what they have 'used'.  I purchased 'Walden' for $4 at a used book store in Michigan.  What a deal!

What are you reading?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Congratulations Little Brother!

My youngest brother was just notified today that he was accepted into the Michigan State University School of Osteopathic Medicine for the class of 2016.

I'm so happy and proud that I can't stop crying.

Congratulations Justin!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Our Sunday Visit to Stone Mountain

Andrew and I took a drive to Stone Mountain on Sunday.  I wasn't to enthused because I was a bit sleepy and really intended on having a lazy Sunday.  I'm glad he made me go because it was so amazingly beautiful.  In about an hours time, we were standing on top of a mountain.

Andrew enjoying the view.

Imagine living there.

I'm enjoying the view too.

A historic homestead at the foot of Stone Mtn.

See the guy climbing that thing!  It's hard to believe we were just standing up there.

Can you find the climber in this one?

200' waterfall.


Turkey Buzzards enjoy the view too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cherry Orchard Vandalism

Check out this news story,

428 Cherry Trees Destroyed!

This summer I found eight cherry trees chopped down in one of our growers orchards.  My boss reported it to the owner and the authorities were called.  I'm wondering if it's the same vandal as the orchards are fairly close.

I can't believe someone would do this.  Scum.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

26th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference

I'm thinking of attending this years ag. conference which would be my first ever.  Speakers include Joan Dye Gussow, Richard Wiswall, Ross Conrad, Greg Judy, Ellen Polishuk and many more.

The conference is three days of top notch seminars discussing topics including insects, bees, mushrooms, vegetables, fruits, high tunnels, food, livestock, business, energy and more.

I think it would be well worth the registration fee.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Yard Sale Goodies!

I hit up quite a few yard sales this summer. Here are some of the goodies I came home  with.  Mostly old bottles, jars, books, baskets, dishes, etc.  Not the most useful things but I like them either way and have decorating ideas for all of them when I finally have my little farm house.

 I love these little cookbooks and baskets.  The cookbook in front is from the 30's.
 I scooped up these old jars, enamel ware and juicers for dirt cheap at an antique shop that was selling out.
 My mom scored these German dishes for $20 at the same antique shop.  They are worth hundreds!
 I love old kitchen utensils.
 The handle broke off the pitcher on the way home.  Luckily it can be glued on without a problem.  What a cute little enamel coffee cup and saucer.
 An awesome one gallon jar.
 More baskets and jars.
 The jar on the left used to be a blending jar.  The handle has broken off though.
 Tons of old, wood picture frames.  I must have 50 of them by now.
 And more baskets.
I love these old canning jar lids.  I must have around 100.  I scored them for a total of $8.  I'm told they sell for about $2 a piece.  I plan to keep them though.  I have Ball, Presto and a no name type.

I also bought some very old sheet music.  I plan to frame them since the images are so pretty.

I inherited the yard sale bug from my grandparents.  I remember going with them as a child.  My grandpa would purchase anything music related or electronics.  He had quite the massive collection of things.  Seven Pianos, 10,000 vinyl records and 2,500 rolls of piano sheet music to name a few.  It was a sight to behold.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer's End

Labor Day was a blast as usual. The weather didn't cooperate at all, however. It was by far the coldest temps we've seen so far, this late summer, and of course, this weekend is sunny and 70's. Labor Day is when the tiny town of Brethren hosts it's annual Brethren Days festival. Mostly, it's an excuse for all of us Brethren High School Grad's to get back together and drink at the beer tent, dance and just be crazy kids again, not that we ever stopped.  And so we did.  We drank, we danced, we shivered, all in the spirit of friendship.  I wouldn't miss Brethren Days for anything.

 Earlier in the week I was a kitchen dweller.  I canned a whole bushel of peaches and made several peach cobblers and few loaves of zucchini bread. It was all so delicious.  I made sure to share and also passed out a dozen or so jams to everyone.

 Last night I got home from work and made zucchini and banana bread and at the same time, canned peaches. I'm really turning into quite the little kitchen diva (I hate that word). And not to brag, but, I haven't had a single jar not seal so far, out of 100 plus jars. I must pat myself on the back as this is really my first season of canning ever.  More than likely, beginners luck.

 I've been doing lots of blog reading lately and have stumbled across some amazing gems in the farming, agriculture, sustainability, and food categories. Here are some goodies for you.
Honest Meat
Throwback at Trapper Creek
Walden Effect
fast grow the weeds
The Wild Homestead Blog
A Farmer and Her [57=+] Purses
Green Mountain Girls Farm
Nature's Harmony Farm
Boucher Family Farm
Farmgirl Fare
Chez Pim
Cannelle et Vanille
Buns in My Oven

For me, summer is nearly over.  I will be driving back to North Carolina on the 21st.  I only work three more days as an orchard scout.  This is always a sad time of year for me as I hate leaving this place and the people in it but at least I am going to another beautiful state and rejoining Andrew and our two crazy cats.  I will resume sewing groups, garden tours, tea parties(not the political kind), visiting my wonderful Carolina gal's, babysitting three little rascals and longing for my family and home, Northern Michigan.

Perhaps next summer, when I return, It will be for good.  We can buy that farm I've dreamed of and start living the life I've been waiting for.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Giant Blackberries, A Persistent Doe and More

One of our growers not only grows beautiful cherries and strawberries but they also have these gorgeous blackberries. As you can see, they are much larger than my thumb and they're pretty tasty too. Five berries would fill my hand!

I love these leaning fence posts, no longer serving a purpose.

I see these Sandhill Cranes nearly every week in Elk Rapids. Four flew over last Wednesday doing their unusual call.

A whole lot of plums!

This doe and her two fawns pulled a fast one over on me last week. I opened the orchard fence, drove in, parked, scouted and checked traps. I got back in my car and look in my mirror only to find her sneaking in behind me. I hopped out and stopped her fawns from entering and then spent 20 minutes chasing her around. She didn't seem to mind me much. I was able to get within ten feet of her multiple times. I must say, I had a smile on my face while I chased her around on foot through the orchard.

I also canned eight pints of nectarines today. Plus, I made some nectarine dessert topping. I had it on cheesecake today, yummy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm a Peach Crazed Maniac

I picked a bushel or more of peaches over the last two days and now I'm at the printer waiting for my peach cobbler, crisp and pie recipes to print. It's going to be a delicious peach season.

I'm going to try Paula Dean's Peach Cobbler. Allrecipes.com's Peach Pieand Southern Peach Cobbler and .Pioneer Woman's Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce.

I will let you know how they all taste, he he he.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunshine on a stalk

It's sunflower season in Elk Rapids, MI. I see lots of people throughout the day stopping to take pictures of all these beauties. How could you resist.

It's also Oriental lily season at my house. My Casa Blanca lilies are going crazy this year! They are as tall as me and extremely fragrant. They have multiplied well since a year ago, sending up three times as many stalks. My most favorite lily for sure.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Beach Weather

We've been going to Portage Point on Lake Michigan every weekend for the last month now. The water has been warming each day and is now at a perfect temperature. It's cool and refreshing but not so cold as to stop our blood flow. A visit isn't complete without taking a jump off the pier!

My brother, Justin, and I set out for a walk last week and witnessed possibly the most beautiful sunset we've ever seen. Unfortunately we didn't have the camera on us. He ran back to the house at a full sprint, grabbed the camera, and drove back over to me where I quickly snapped three shots before the battery died. By that point the sun had dropped below the tree line and was no longer sending out the fiery orange rays across the clouds. At that same moment a beautiful rainbow arched overhead and plunged into Suttons Bay. We could see rain off in the distance as well. It was spectacular!

Monday, July 25, 2011


I made my very first batches of jam for the season. I picked about 60 quarts of strawberries at the end of the season for free! One of our growers lets me pick berries and cherries each year. Got to love that.

So far, I've made Strawberry, Strawberry Vanilla, Strawberry Rhubarb, Raspberry and Sweet cherry jam. I still have lots of sweets to pit and then tarts too. Plus I plan on picking more raspberries and blueberries. Of course, there is still peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and apples still to come. The freezer is full of strawberries to make more jam later and for making daiquiri's, mmmmm.

Looking Up

I look at the sky and horizon often. I'm compelled to take photos whenever possible.