Saturday, February 28, 2015


This is such a long time of year. There isn't really a gentler way to put it, though I do try to remain optimistic about the longer days, and changing of calendar pages, but besides those things, there hasn't been much else to give us hope that winter won't last well into July, at this point. At this time last year, we were already tapping maple trees and starting onion seedlings. This year, well, let's just say that spring will be all the more welcome.

I realize, of course, that I ought to be using this quiet part of the year to accomplish things inside that I know all too soon I will be too busy for. And I do try to be grateful, and patient...but oh, it is so very hard when knowing that just being able to feel the dirt in my hands and sun on my shoulders is still a rather long way off!

So, we are all waiting. Waiting for a sure sign of spring...or even just being able to say for sure that it's maple syrup season, or it's surely time to start seedlings...

Yes, that is snow up to the top of the window.
Sap buckets, waiting.
The canned goods are dwindling...
Even our chickens are waiting for it to be a little warmer to go outside!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Catch up

Here we are, playing catch-up again! We have been busy with birthdays, homeschooling, garden work, canning and preserving, visits from family and trying to find a general balance to it all!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

In preparation.

In preparation for the changing colors, and needing some autumn-hued silks, we have decided to use this opportunity to dye our own! This is somewhat for my own records as well, so please forgive the businesslike presentation of it all!

Silk ordered from Dharma Trading

Onion Skins:
      - We decided to mix red and brown to see what happens
      - Boiled the onion skins for an hour
      - Rinsed the silk in hot water
      - Boiled skins and silk together for an hour
      - Let them cool together in the pot, and sit overnight
      - On a whim, the next day added white vinegar in hopes of making the dye more colorfast
      - Rinsed thoroughly with cold water, until water ran clear
      - Turned out a bit mottled, but love it!

      - Brought a pot of hot water and one silk to a simmer
      - Added several oz. of saffron (a gift from Turkey from my mother-in-law)
      - Decided that the colors was not strong enough, and added a packet of peach mango Koolaid
      - Boiled silk and dye bath together for 3 hours
      - Let sit overnight
      - On a whim, the next day added white vinegar in hopes of making the dye more colorfast
      - Rinsed thoroughly with cold water, until water ran clear
      - Turned out a lovely golden color when dried...our favorite so far.

Elderberries & Goldenrod:
      - Had some elderberries dried in bulk, and some frozen fresh
      - We picked a whole bunch fresh, but the kids lost interest after a while, which is why we
         combined the two...
      - Boiled both of the above together for about an hour (and hoped they weren't off-gassing some
        deadly poison being mixed together)
      - Boiled the silk with a 1/2 cup salt, a cup of vinegar, and some water, for one hour.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer's end.

It's coming to a close. Summer. The air has certainly shifted, although still hot and a little humid. The crickets are chirping all day, and the evenings are quite cool. Yesterday, we decided, was the first unofficial day of homeschooling. We hiked our favorite mountain, and were reminded, on a foggy, drizzly, quiet day, why we have chosen this path. This, instead of sitting at a desk with fluorescent lights overhead. This, instead of lines in the lunchroom and barely a breath of fresh air all day long. Climbing trees instead of jungle gyms. Testing the waters of a mountain-top lake instead of being told to be quiet and sit still.

Yes...I think it's going to be a great year.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Staycation 2013 - Part II

...So after the thunderstorm passed, we proceeded to unpack the car and make dinner. All of a sudden, during dinner, we looked out and saw the most unbelievable rainbow any of us has ever witnessed. Really, there are no words to describe it. It was crystal clear, we could see where it began and ended, it was a double rainbow...and we were right smack underneath it. I'd say this was one of the top ten most magical experiences I have ever been a part of. Otherworldly doesn't even capture it. As the rainbow faded, the colors in the sky turned pink and gold, and were reflected in the water. We all felt as if we were a part of something really important, and felt truly blessed for that.

At the end of the images is a short video of the rainbow, which was really the only way to capture the entirety of it.


Staycation 2013 - Part I

Oh what a lovely week we had, and because I took so many photos, I am going to have to break these posts up a bit. The first day alone warrants a post all to itself.

We left, car packed to the gills, in 90 degree heat...with no air conditioning. But, by the time we hit Belfast, there was a cool breeze coming off the ocean. That brought the temps down to, say, 89 degrees. We walked around Belfast for a bit, and I got to visit my favorite fabric store of all time. That alone made my week. But, we also got ice cream, wandered, visited a few stores, and generally soaked our clothes with sweat.

Needless to say, by the time we got to Blue Hill, we were all ready to strip and dive into the ocean. They had been calling for severe thunderstorms all day, and we rolled in to our cottage just ahead of one. I seriously could have just gone in naked, it looked that good. Had Judy not been with us, I probably would have. We had about 10 minutes before the thunder started, and we took advantage.

These photos are the progression from the beginning of the trip to just after the thunderstorm.