Sunday, July 3, 2016

Catching up!

It's hard to believe that it has been 3 months since my last post!
My Mom always said that time goes quicker the older you get, and I believe her!
Little Country Girl kept us busy for March with her figure skating ... a few competitions, a spring skating session in another town and a test day. She has now hung up her skates until August when there is a summer skate program before regular season starts again in Septemeber.
She had a great season!
April was a busy month, with my return to work and skating classes. It was hard to juggle it all, but we did it!  On April 29th, we suddenly lost our beloved family dog. We all took it hard and miss her very much. She would have been 12 this year. RIP Boomer :(

May was a busy time out in the gardens, prepping and getting the veggies planted. May was a cold month, and the gardens were late getting in. We had a terrific asparagus harvest this year, and the rhubarb grew freakishly large!
I made jam, crumble, crisp and just about everything rhubarb, and froze a lot too.
Little Country Girl ran her first 5km marathon in May.
I think it's safe to say it will probably be her last one too!

Country Boy finished College and moved back home. Now's looking for the perfect job, while working at McDonalds.
Big Country Girl has been busy planning her wedding this fall. 
We had a great turnout for their 'Buck & Doe', it really was amazing.
Heading into June, we picked out a German Shepherd puppy that came home the end of the month.
Say hello to Sargent, just 9 weeks old here!

He is certainly a handful!
I guess that gets me up to date on the goings on around here.
The gardens are doing OK, despite getting only one small rain shower the whole month of June. I did lose a lot of the annuals I planted due to the dry conditions. Yet to replace them.
I picked the first Sugar Snap peas this week, and garlic scapes mmmmm!

I leave you with a few shots of whats been going on in the gardens

*I almost forgot to add that I lost 20lbs in the first 100 days of changing the way I eat!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Changing the way we eat!

One of the reasons I garden, and learned to can was to eat and feed my family the healthiest food I could. Winter comes, and we are drawn into eating 'comfort food', things like homemade bread, stews and meats with rich gravy, and lots of carbs. With the cold comes lack of outdoor activity, lots of nights in front of the TV, and lots of snack food. While I have the best of intentions, all that home canned goodness really doesn't do much for us when were are mixing it with fatty foods, and burying it in buttery mashed potatoes!  By the end of winter, we have all gained weight and feel sluggish, with very little ambition to do anything other than sit around and eat more processed, fatty and sugary foods. Hubby started to blame ME for making HIM fat - he said all my good cooking and baking was just too much! That's when I decided we needed a change!
SO many wonderful documentaries out there about the food we eat, and what it is doing to us!
I started by watching "Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead" by Joe Cross. I wasn't about to put my family on a juice fast, but I did buy a juicer and trade fresh veggie/fruit juice for our morning coffee (which had cream and sugar) Little changes can make a big difference.
What a great way to begin the day! 

Finding that lunch sandwiches were still making us sluggish, I eliminated most breads from our diet - no more white breads! Whole grain bread is in our pantry now, and while the kids aren't happy about it, they will eat it or find something else to eat. I have eliminated all bread in MY diet. Next on the list was processed foods. While shopping, I was reading a LOT of labels. If something had more than 5 ingredients and had words I couldn't pronounce, I was NOT buying it.  This really doesn't make things as hard as it sounds.  If you are reading labels, you will start to notice that SUGAR is an additive to almost everything.  We don't NEED all this sugar, and all these additives ... it is making us SICK!  Those snacks I used to stock up on for evening snacking have changed. No more cookies, potato chips, salty or sweet foods. We now have fruit smoothies, almonds, grapes, berries, or a special treat of organic sweet potato chips.  School snacks are now Lara Bars instead of chewy granola bars, fruit, vegetables and fresh fruit juice.  We still eat meat and dairy, but less of it.
My shopping trips, while more frequent now, are starting to look more like THIS

I buy organic when I can, and that will become easier to do once my garden is producing and the local vegetable market opens for the season.
Eating real food isn't as hard as it sounds. There is a wonderful website called "100 days of real food" that has some wonderful meal ideas and great pointers. Go check it out!
I am already feeling the difference and have so much more energy.
The added bonus - I have already lost 6 pounds!!


Ice storm 2016

On March 25th, Mother Nature was very angry!
A night of snow, rain and freezing rain left everything covered in a thick layer of ice.
We were lucky we didn't lose our power here, but we did lose our favorite tree.

The entire yard had a sheet of ice on it

It really wasn't hard to see the beauty in it all

The following day, the sun came out and started to melt the ice.

The sounds of the ice falling to the ground was amazing (and incredibly loud!)
There were little pieces of ice everywhere! The meltdown had begun!

Just when you think winter is over, Mother Nature reminds us who is in charge.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I finally got my harvest table!

When we moved here almost 13 years ago, Hubby promised to make me a harvest table.
For years I made due with the old, round, glass top table in the dining room.
It was getting harder and harder to fit the whole family at the table.
Hubby said that he hadn't forgotten, but with all the projects around the house using up all the extra money he just hadn't gotten to it.
Last year, at Thanksgiving, I knew that something had to be done for thanksgiving dinner - now that we had Country Fellow coming for supper there was no room for everyone!
I moved the rectangular patio table inside.
That patio table was our dining room table for over a year!
It was a little lower than a regular table, but with a tablecloth on no one really knew.
Then, in September of 2015, the farm across the street was sold to a 'cash cropper' and they wanted to remove all the buildings.
It had a beautiful barn, that was built in the late 1800's
I came home from work one day not long after that picture was taken to find this!

The barn and other outbuildings had been bulldozed!
I quickly ran over and asked the equipment operator if I could have some of the wood from the pile.
He was very nice, telling me that the whole pile was going to be set ablaze, so if I wanted anything I had better take it quick!
It really was sad to stand and look at the ruins of this old barn, especially knowing the value in reclaimed barn wood projects these days.

I quickly got to work, carefully picking through the piles.
I collected a dozen or so good planks and carted them home.
I stacked them in front of the garage, and explained to Hubby that THIS pile of wood was going to be my harvest table! It was a few weeks before he was able to get to it,but he did indeed make me a harvest table for my dining room. And just in time for Christmas dinner!

12 years late, but worth the wait!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Now that the dust has settled and we have welcomed in the New Year, it's time to think about what we want to accomplish in 2016. 
2015 was such a busy year!!
It was a good year though, and there isn't too much I would change for 2016.
2015 saw a few changes - Big Country Girl starting her career, getting engaged to Country Fellow, buying their first home, moving out, and getting a puppy.
Me learning to can, and trying to keep up with work, the kids, new clients, and the house.
Little Country Girl getting more serious about figure skating, and less serious about soccer.
Country Boy continuing his College education.
Hubby starting a new job.
We were all kept so busy, that it seems things outside 'our world' were a little forgotten, including this blog. There are friends we haven't seen, places we haven't been, projects we didn't get to.
I am really going to try to be better about keeping in touch this year, and not being so crazy busy all the time. But that could prove to be difficult ... we have a wedding to plan!