Thursday, December 20, 2012

Time to write?

Ok. So I'm amazed that this time of year, anyone has time to write! I have lots of things I could say but between the Ebay store since I'm now jobless, the cookies, the family coming to visit the dogs the husband......breathe!

I have to remember that my task list will never truly be done and if it was, I'd be bored.

So! You likely won't see me on here again until after Christmas.

I am thinking of you, I truly am. In the meantime; have some fun with this from my friends over at Duluth Trading Company:  Manimator....hahaha.

and my yearly favorite from The Weepies !  Shake the globe! Go on! Shake it!! Every year it's a little different. This year there are three children....looks like they added to their family.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! to everyone.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Big Blue Sweater

Progress!  It is being made!

Through all the activity over the last week; leaving my job, leaving my house, leaving the state for goodness sake......I have been furiously knitting on this:

Sweater for my husband.

You see we've been married nearly two years and living 630 miles apart for 4 years.


Ok ok, so yes we survived but now that it's over one of my 3rd or 4th thoughts was:

How on earth am I going to finish his sweater  now before Christmas?????????

Answer: when I get settled, one of my first orders of business will HAVE to be to either find a knitting circle in existence or to create one myself.  I did it once, I can do it again!  But I have a feeling I won't need to.  I'm pretty durn sure there are already knitting groups where I am going.

So here I am, after 4 years of trying to live together and what am I doing?  Figuring out a way to get away from him for a few hours every week to finish his sweater.


Find a job at a yarn store.  Dang.  Now THAT's and idea........

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dreams and Misdemeanors

Did I spell that right?

It's taken about a week for me to realize that yes, I did leave my job, yes, I am at a crossroads and no, I no longer have to hold back on confessing the truth about what's really important to me.

I've never been very good at pretending.

Change is a wonderful thing.  I know it's not always easy.  I know it doesn't always seem wonderful.  But the potential of my current situation get's me a bit choked up.  Call me silly (it's ok, go ahead) but the big dream of getting off the grid is composed of a bunch of little dreams that, when I think about them, make my heart swell, my head ache and give me butterflies in the pit of my stomach.

I really was born in the wrong century.

When I was working in my high-stress low return job, these are the little things I would dream about:

  1. working in a yarn store
  2. having unlimited knitting/spinning time (see above)
  3. having a table at a farmer's market/flea market to sell stuff we make
  4. renewing my love of gardening by actually doing some gardening
  5. singing in the church choir
  6. chickens
  7. giving Christmas gifts with heart
  8. taking the Cornell class on ornithology online
  9. writing a book about my hometown and all its foibles
  10. earning more merit badges from MaryJane's Farm Farmgirl Sisterhood
Think it's too much?

I'll be working on it, just you watch.  I've always enjoyed a challenge. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

World's Best Brownies??: RECIPE

Sorry folks.

I really need to remember what I say I'm going to do and then remember to do it.  Kind of hard if you don't remember what you say you are going to do in the first place, right? Uh huh.


I was going to post the recipe of the amazing brownies I baked for my husband IF they were deemed amazing and they were.....amazing according to him.  BTW he got an enormous kick out of my little obsession.  Kind of takes the wind out of a full blown obsession so therefore, I'm moving on to others.

Without further ado; the recipe:

from Cook's Illustrated (with some minor notes from me)

1/3 cup dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso (optional) (I skipped it but boy will I try it next time)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut in to 1/2" pieces

(TIP: Ok so most people might have realized this BUT it's very important that the water really be boiling or at least hot enough to melt the chocolate in the recipe, I did mine a little out of order and had to zap the mixture in the microwave, no biggie, but in other words: chop the unsweetened chocolate first!)

Place rack on second lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 350.

Make a foil liner for a 9x 13 pan by turning the baking pan pan upside down. Tear a piece of foil the length of the pan, leaving extra (about 2 inches)  hanging down on both ends.  Form the foil over the outside of the pan, Then flip the pan over, and place the molded foil to the inside of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray.

Whisk cocoa and boiling water together in a large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. Mixture may look curdled at this point. Add eggs,  egg yolks and vanilla. Continue to whisk until smooth. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated.  Using rubber spatula, fold in flour, salt, baking soda and bittersweet chocolate all at once, taking care to not over mix.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30-40 minutes. Do not over cook. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from pan using foil liner to lift brownies out of pan.  Cut when cooled completely.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I've been stewing a lot lately on what to write on here.  How to talk about the fact that I finally left my job, moved all my stuff out and down to my parent's and am now patiently awaiting the arrival of my husband so we can go through all my stuff, pack it up and haul it out, with the help of my parents, to my new home in upstate NY.

I guess that kind of says it all doesn't it?  I have a tendency to get a little too deep on this blog, a little too profound.  And with all the changes in my life that are coming the best way to sum it up is:


Yes, so I'm leaving Indiana.  My family is throwing me a bash, I left my high-stress job and I am heading off in to the great blue yonder with 5,5 acres under my cap.

Waiting for spring so we can start building
A Chicken coop

And remodeling the 1800's farm house that's on it to eventually live in or convert to a shop....we aren't really all that sure yet.

Oh it's so exciting.

I know I've said it before but I'll say it again.

If you're dreams don't scare you to death then they just aren't big enough.

Here's to chasing your dreams!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Congrats to the Winner!!

How long until Mom notices I'm pointing?
Submitted by: Thistle Cove Farm

And thanks to everyone for entering, I hope you had fun even if you didn't win.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Giveaway contest Closed!!

Okie dokie everyone, thank you very very much for participating, it's certainly given me a big chuckle!  I'll post the winner on here tomorrow.

Hope you had fun!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Giveaway! $100 Duluth Trading Company gift card

Howdy folks!

I've eluded a time or two to my recent good luck concerning the Duluth Trading Company.  If you've never heard of them they are a company out of Wisconsin.  They carry sensible, practical clothing for men and women that stands up well to all kinds of torture.

Go to to take a look at all the nice looking farmy clothing you can buy with this $100 gift card!
Women's $100 Gift Card (DTCGIFT)
Disclaimer: your card will not look exactly like this one

Ok ok so I'll cut to the chase:

The Rules:
1) Come up with a caption for this photo:

2) Make a comment on this post with your caption and email me your email address so I can notify you if you win!!: I'm  IF you want to you can leave your email in your comment instead

3) Submit your caption by 4pm on Saturday October 20th and I'll announce the winner Sunday the 21st

GOOD LUCK!  And have fun!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Almost Over

Good morning glories!!

 It's almost gone again. The harvest season. Oh how sad! But what a wonderful season it was for me. I can look back over all my garden posts and re-live the lively purples.

The riotous reds....

And the shiny yellows....

But now Fall is here with it's own lovely hues

And change is in the air. Keep on the lookout for it!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

World's Best Brownies?

My husband is a brownie fanatic.  Every year I bake him plenty of batches and I can't help but try a new recipe once in a while because one day,  while we were talking about the wonderfulness of brownies, he happened to mention someone he had dated in the past who made amazing brownies.

Big mistake.

He may not know it but since then I have been combing the internet, the moon, sun, stars and mags to find a recipe that could top those so called 'amazing brownies'!  I've got a sconch of competitiveness to my nature I'd say.

I was visiting my parents a while back and my dad, being a foodie, had some mags lying around having to do with food.  I opened one up and lo and behold a long article about the physics, science, math and biology behind really really good brownies.

I stole the recipe.  I made it Friday and yesterday shipped it off to my husband to see what his reaction is.

It involves three different kinds of chocolate.  One of these is unsweetened chocolate.  I had way more than I needed for the recipe so I took a  nice big bite to see what it was like and ......oh! ick! ablkjf!!!! patooey!! patooey!! get out of my mouth!  sua!

Who knew that I could ever forcibly eject any chocolate substance out of my mouth so quickly??

It looks good doesn't it?  Don't do it.  Though it may call to you with it's yummy smell and it's shiny temper oh my God don't put it in your mouth unless you can follow it with a pound of sugar.

Holy Cow.

I'll let you know the husbands verdict and if he says they are the best he's ever had....I'll share the recipe.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Killer Pants! Part 2

The other day I was on a tour and wearing my firehose pants.  I have to admit I wear them nearly every day.  So out and about in my pants, the cart we were on ran in to a roadblock.  A very large pile of multiflora rose that had just been chopped down and dragged to the very center of the trail we wanted to go on.

Multiflora rose is a terrible invasive shrub.  It has back curving thorns that will rip you up, it can grow 6-8 ft tall and it loooooves to reseed itself, spreading its thorny love all over the stinkin place.

It's horrid.

I hopped out of the cart with my co-worker and without a second thought I used my legs to kick the pile of nastiness out of the path so the cart could pass.  I think I felt one tiny prick, maybe two from those sharp thorns but it was nothing!  I rolled up my pant leg later and not a scratch, not a prick and not a drop of blood was shed.  Amazing pants!

With fall setting in, they are even better with their nice, tight weave.  They are cozy and attractive.  I've gotten many compliments on how I look in them.  Someone even said I looked like I had lost weight.  Ok so yeah, now I really love them pants.  Ha!

Anyhow, thanks for stopping in for the second installment of my pants story.  I'll continue to fill you in on the pants and on the $100 gift card I'll get to give away on my blog!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Killer Pants! Part 1

Oh I've been busy!  But then who hasn't, but if you only knew what I was up to you'd shake your head at me and do like my husband does and say "You like to overbook yourself don't you?"

But really we are here to talk about these PANTS:
Women's Flex Fire Hose Utility Pant
No matter how much I'd like to say that it is....that is NOT me in those pants.

Maybe it's weird to drool over pants this obviously practical but seeing as my ideal life includes a lot of hard work, I need hard working clothes too!  And practicality?  Some people get all warm and happy from fuzzy kittens or cute puppies.  If something is practical; that gives me my happy moment.

These pants are from Duluth Trading CompanyDuluth Trading Company

I know you've heard of them.  They're that company in Wisconsin (ah yuh, oh wait that's Minnesota) that sends you those catalogs near Christmas that you look through and think "One for me, one for a gift, one for me, one for a gift".  Oh and BTW they are letting me give away a $100 gift card!  Woohoo!  So plan on reading my upcoming posts fellow farmish, farmgirls, farmy people if you want the chance to W.I.N it.

On every page I find something cool, practical, neat and/or unique. Case in point:
Zip Top Travel Tote
My next drool-over item....did I mention I collect bags? Seriously, I need an intervention.
 So I was flipping through their catalog the other day and I tweeted my Duluth TC love and lo' and behold they contacted me to say "Hey, we'll give you a pair of pants if you wear them, review them, spread the love around and hey, why don't you do a giveaway as well?"  Does there need to be a question mark on the end of that sentence???????

Yes, yes, I did the 5 year old jump up and down screeeee thing.  It was shameful.  Woman of 35.

But I have the pants, I'm wearing them almost every day (seriously, they will stand on their own soon which is great because maybe then I'll win the "Last Pants Standing" contest they are running right now on Facebook! (Go! Enter! Go!) and in upcoming postings I will be talking


my pants.

Is it immature of me to laugh heartily at that?

Was that last sentence even intelligible due to all the tangents?  Talking tangentially is one of my favorite things....almost as great as the word tangentially.  Oh.  I guess we're at the end now.

Stay tuned for Killer Pants!  Part 2

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Late Summer's little miracles

Did you know that right about now the last crop of butterflies are hatching out?  My job as a horticulturist means I get the opportunity to experience things not everyone does.  It's a great profession.  One summer at my parents farm, a flock of monarchs came and covered the trunk of one of the trees.  I had dreams about it later in life thinking it wasn't real but then found out from my dad that it actually DID happen.

Being a nature lover, I'm always on the lookout for nature.  On occasion, I get lucky and manage to hatch out a Monarch.  That's right, no joke!

The caterpillars can only be found on milkweed plants.  That's any plant with the name Asclepias

They come in orange, pink and white but here are two of my faves.  Oftentimes, I think people shy away from planting native plants because they get so enormous.  It's all about knowing the plants and these two are demure, small and non-invasive milkweeds that monarchs definitely dig!

Asclepias tuberosa - Butterflyweed

Asclepias verticillata - Whorled milkweed
If you see a caterpillar simply pluck him off and grab a bunch of leaves from the plant it was on, they are voracious so you'll likely have to get more!  You can buy a little house for it or keep it in a container with plenty of holes in the top.

When he's ready he'll turn in to a chrysalis like this!                       And finally after about 10 days
If you want lots of info go to  Seeing the entire process is such a little miracle and I KNOW someone has made jewelry out of the shape and color of those chrysalids....they are flecked with gold and gorgeous!

Happy butterfly hunting!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Remember these?

I've been canning and canning! You know it's harvest time when it's perfectly normal to walk out of the store with 36 mason jars. I can't complain. Every year I wonder how on earth I'm going to get it all done but it does. get. done.

From this:

To this:

But what to do with all this?

I'm sorry but the do-it-yourselfer in me can't abide waste. I see all those skins and cores and think "Someone could eat that, surely there's a use for it?". And I think there could be, next time. Pectin is derived from apple cores......hmmmmm. I sense a kitchen experiment coming on.

In the meantime ponder this: any empty box, basket or even a cooler why does she DO that?

Monday, August 20, 2012


I heart this time of year. I walk around, drive around and bike around in awe of all dem apples! You know, the ones dangling from your neighbors yard. The ones that drop to the ground and feed the crawling things.

I hate to see that! So down the road from me is a tree that for some reason (dry weather? mild winter?) produced a huge amount of gorgeous apples, some with nary a blemish.

Oh life is sweet when you've got free food right down the road.

Friday, August 10, 2012


I reached the big 5-0

Thanks to my 50 followers!  I'm so glad there are 50 people out there in cyberspace that enjoy what I have to talk about.

I'm warm

I'm fuzzy


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Favorite Quote for the Moment

"There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is bywar... This is robbery. The second bycommerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favour, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry."

—Benjamin Franklin

Ahhhh Ben, no wonder he was considered The Most Dangerous Man in America at one point.

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Scenes from the Life of Benjamin Franklin

Monday, August 6, 2012

Holy Jungle Batman!

Are you tired of hearing about my garden yet?

You'd think I had never grown vegetables before.  And it's true, it's been a while.

In central Indiana I had a small, teeny tiny veggie patch that I grew for a novelty.

In Pennsylvania I had two small triangle shaped beds at the back of the fenced in yard (OKRA like you've NEVER seen!!)  Nothing like a zone 6 to grow just about everything you'd ever want to grow.  No wonder Pennsylvania is the hub of horticulture in North America.

And in Maine, well, I don't know how anyone even manages to eat vegetables in Maine.  Sand for soil.  Short short short growing season.  You wait until mid June before you can even see the ground for all the snow.  By August, you've harvested 5 miniscule little maters and by September you've ripped everything out in frustration.

Northwest Indiana has been waaaaay better to me in this regard.  Just lookee here:

And here:

And, Awwww

 Life is good.  Sunflowers are even better.