Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back On!

We lost power around 8:00 on Monday night and got it back last night around 8:30. Kudos to all the hardworking folks that have been pushing hard 24 hours to try and get electricity back to the millions of people that are still without power.

The storm here wasn't too bad,no near misses like  with Irene,thankfully.  We did have a couple of road closures near the house.We used the propane grill,and the Coleman stove to cook. We used water from the pool to fill the toilet tank so we could flush . The oil lamps and candles were out last night.We have a small generator so we could at least keep the fridge going and have a radio on. I would like the radio stations to offer more info-if I don't have Internet,how am I suppose to check your website for cancellations??? We didn't do any dishes,so that is on the agenda for today. I have been fighting a cold,so I spent the last couple of days mostly in bed sleeping (thanks to some nighttime cold medicine!).I still feel like poo today,but I think I am on the mend. Zach was bummed that he had to go back to school today.

I feel so bad for the folks down in the NJ/NY area,and for the folks in the WV area that got hit by the blizzard. I hope that they can get back to their homes soon and begin their lives again.I am keeping them in my thoughts,as well as those who lost their lives.

It's raining again here,but at least there is no wind.We did get a bad thunderstorm that rolled in last night-our newly restored electricity went out a couple of times,but just a power bump,thankfully.It lasted only a few seconds. The storm was quite strong,though,
and rolled past as quickly as it rolled in. We will be feeling the effects of Sandy for the next few days with off and on rain showers.

I just wanted to touch base with you all and let you know that things were OK here. There are still over 50,000 people in NH without power. We are among the fortunate.

It's still a Fabulous Planet,even if the weather can be less than.

Have a nice day....and Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Waiting And Wondering

Superstorm/Frankenstorm/Hurricane/Nor'easter/Hybrid Sandy is keeping us waiting and wondering.I have never seen a storm with so many different titles attached to it. No one is 100% sure of where it's going to hit. It could be around Maryland/DE,it could be NJ,it could be further north in NYC. Where she hits landfall all depends on how much rain and wind we get here in NH. She will hit landfall tomorrow around noon,according to our NH forecast,and they are basing our rain and wind on the current track,which is Sandy making landfall around Maryland/DE. Based on that,we are going to get some heavy bands of rain,with wind gusts of up to 60 MPH. They haven't said what the constant wind speed will be. However,the weather here will deteriorate after noon time tomorrow. Our coast,even though it's only 13 miles long,will surely take a beating in some way shape or form. Folks were taking their boats out of the water over the last couple of days.I hope we don't have any branches break and almost hit the house like with Irene last year.At least most of the trees in our yard have lost their leaves,so that helps.

Today I am going to bring in my skeletons,spiders,and my big pumpkin head. We have a few things in the yard that will need to be put in the garage so they don't fly around. Wood for the wood stove is going to be put on the porch. Our light for the chicken coop got put up yesterday,and the main door that we keep open during the nice,warm weather will be closed. We will fill the feed and water dispensers up and they will be all set.

Rick put boards up on our screen windows in the mud room. Partially because of the storm-Irene blow out some of our screens-but also because we want to use the room this winter. We do still need to put some flashing up between the house and the mudroom,because it leaks.

The worst part of it will be,of course,in those areas where it lands and the immediate surrounding areas,and we are keeping the folks in it's direct path in our thoughts. 

We will have to see what happens as the weather forecast is updated during the day.

If you are reading this and are in it's path,please stay safe.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gearing Up For Halloween...And Sandy

Yesterday we had a whole dump truck full of little rocks and sand delivered. It's the kind of stuff that you can compact and it will stay compact and not create mud. We are using it in the chicken coop,the driveway,and on part of Avon Lane,which is dirt. It's a Class Six road,so the town does not maintain it at all. There are some good size rocks that are sticking up due to wear and tear. Neighbor Kelly is going to grade the road and use some of our "fill".

Rick scraped down the chicken yard area yesterday,to get the stinky top layers off as best as he could. We have come to the conclusion that our soil must contain some clay,because the damn chicken yard took forever to dry. Rick used our tractor to pour the mix into the coop yard,and Brother B spread it out,then used a rented compactor to tamp it down. Bye bye stink! When Rick went to the business we got the mix and the compactor from to see if we could rent it for one more day,they said that we could keep it until Monday for a one day rental price since they were not open on Saturdays. Not a bad deal!!!

Since Halloween is next week,that meant some decorating. Zach was carving a pumpkin....

Rick decided to get in on it as well......

...And they have their place of honor outside. Molly Bruce apparently is too busy eating to appreciate the Halloween display!

A couple of skeletons guard our yard!
 My neighbor let me use her pumpkin costume and her orange sweatshirt for this part of the display:
 A Mama and Baby spider seem to be liking our trees! Can you see the Mama on the right,and the baby near the center?

Look like we are headed for what the weather forecasters are calling a "Frankenstorm." Apparently Hurricane Sandy is going to collide with some cold weather,and it will be a hybrid Hurricane/Nor'easter. The word is that this is going to make 1991's "Perfect Storm" look like a breeze.There are several paths that Sandy can take,but we have 80% that we will get it in some way,shape,or form,and it's effects will be felt all the way to Nova Scotia. It's pretty big. We are gearing up with extra water,batteries,making sure we have propane to cook on our grill or cook on our double propane burners if we lose power,as well as gas for the generator. We have plenty of candles and paraffin oil for light.  We are all set. Last year,we had a snowstorm. This year,a hybrid storm. Life is not boring!

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Come On A Walk With Me!

Yesterday was a lovely day. The sun was shining,and there was nice cool breeze blowing. I decided to take myself on a little walk. I wound up walking four miles round trip. First,I was only going to walk down to the bridge,but then it felt so good to be out and about that walked much farther. I admit that today I am feeling it,but it's a great feeling. 

The one thing about living here in Middleton is that it's very rural. We have two main businesses-a lumber yard and a small GMC dealership ( owned by the same family). We do have several small businesses that are based out of homes. There are no streetlights,and no sidewalks. We have no traffic signals. We have a few farms. New homes have to have a minimum of 2 acres.There are no apartment buildings or trailer parks. Everything is single family homes. Our fire dept is volunteer,so during the week we can't have an outdoor fire in the pit until 5:00 PM when the volunteers get out of work(weekends we can burn whenever). It's very quiet. I believe our population is is less than 2,000 people.

One thing we do have quite a bit of are stone walls. Stone walls deep in the woods,on the side of the road,everywhere-including in our yard!When I am walking around and see these walls,I wonder about the folks who built them and how long ago they created these property borders.In my minds eye I see them toiling the soil,building homes,and lugging all these stones to make the walls. Did they thrive? How long did they live on the land? They don't call NH The Granite State for nothing-our soil is very rocky. In fact,when the artesian well was put in a couple of years ago,we learned that our yard is on a granite ledge,which was good to drill the well through.

The strange thing is,folks from MA come up here and steal stones from our walls just to make walls themselves! 

Stones were also used to make foundations. We have many of these old empty foundations scattered through out the town,and in the woods. It might be hard to see in this photo,but the big tree is growing right out of the middle of it. What happened to the house? Was it destroyed in a fire? Or was it just abandoned and left to slowly succumb to the elements and years?

We still have some bright leaves left,but they are slowly turning to a rusty orange. That signals that foliage season is over.

You can see that the trees are getting bare now. I was in a shower of leaves,and I tried to catch them falling in this photo,but it didn't quite work.

We have many streams/brooks in town. Some have fish,but I don't believe this one does,as it's not very deep.

When I left for my walk,I had my fleece over shirt on,and I eventually had to take it off ( I did have a short sleeve shirt on!). I was feeling the burn in my calves,legs,hips,and butt,as well as my arms. I worked up quite a sweat. It was fabulous!

When I got home,I saw little Mini Moxie curled up on my afghan-
I had to leave you with such a cute photo!!

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

One Small Step.....

Trying to revamp all areas of one's life can be a daunting task. When I sit and think about everything I want to accomplish,it can make my head spin. One thing is tied in with the other. To create the home I truly want,I have to dig into myself and be the person I really want to be.That means,I have to clear up mental clutter and body clutter. I could organize my home and it could look perfect,but if I am swimming in a sea of mental and physical discontent,how I can truly enjoy it? It's a fake front.  A person's home is an extension of themselves. Clutter in the home means clutter in the person's mind,body,and spirit.I am working at the home,mind,and spirit clutter,but my greatest challenge is the body clutter  (AKA-FAT). I am wonderful at delaying the body part. Why? Probably because every time I start exercising and dieting,I sabotage myself. "Hey,"I say to myself," I lost 15 lbs. I can control it now."

Yeah,right. I gain it back plus another 15 lbs.

I hate clothes shopping,because nothing looks good on me. I have literally cried in the changing room. "Remember when you could wear whatever you wanted? Remember when you had a waist? Now look at you. You are disgusting," I hear my inner self say.  Fat clothes tend to be really ugly,and because I am only 5'2",most clothing for "heavier" gals tend to be average sized,not petite,which doesn't help matters.

How can I move forward on this front? I ponder it on a daily basis. I can't do the "I-am-going-to-diet-and-exercise-from-now-on" thing. It doesn't work. I lose my incentive. Not my gig. " Just do it already" does not work. People bugging me about it makes me want to eat more peanut butter cups (oh,how I love the sweet and salty makes me feel great until after they are gone and then I loathe myself). No,I cannot rely on others to motivate me. It has to come from within.Rick,bless his heart,loves me and thinks I am sexy no matter what.

The only thing I can do is start small. I can't look at it as trying to lose weight,because if it doesn't happen fast enough,I will feel defeated.If I have a bad day and eat something I shouldn't,I will feel like a failure and say,"Screw it. Give me that plate of fattening carb goodness."(whatever that fattening carb goodness might be) do I start slow? How do I gradually work being more active and watching my calorie intake into my life?

1)  No more snacking after 7:30. This is a very bad habit of mine...especially peanut butter cups.

2) Work exercise gradually into my life. I walked once last week. This week I am going to walk twice. I walk about a mile or so. It may not seem much to you,but for me,it's a big accomplishment. I will keep adding walks until the weather proves too nasty,then I will hit the elliptical instead and begin to include toning with weights.Even if I don't lose weight from these walks,I am training myself mentally and physically to get used to physical exercise and hopefully will be more apt to continue and build on it.

3) Don't be on a time frame .I've tried that. I've failed at it. I'm going to keep going at slow but steady pace. 

4) Healthy for me means when I like how I feel and look. It has nothing to do with how many pounds I am.

That's where I'm starting.

As far as home decluttering goes,I tidied up our bookcase this morning. It seems to be a  catch-all for paperwork for Rick,as well as other items:

It's much better now!

I thought I would leave you on a cute note. I was looking for M&M ( Mini Moxie) a while ago. I looked in all the little hiding places that we have found him in,and when I went into our bedroom,I happened to see him curled up on my big teddy bear:
Is that just too cute or what?

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Freeing Myself From Paper Clutter!

Thursday was a gorgeous day,sunny,and comfortable. I picked the last of the potatoes and any of the green tomatoes that survived the frost.I would've done it earlier,but this past week has given us rain off and on,so nothing was dry until then. Now the beds are empty and the plants are in the compost pile. It wasn't our best season for gardening. I didn't even can anything because we didn't get enough of anything to can,with perhaps the exception of the green beans,which I froze instead. Rick cleaned out the coop to make the girls a bit more comfy.

Yesterday it rained all day,and this AM it's still foggy and rainy,though the weather is suppose to clear by noontime. Rick,Brother B,and Zach are all going down to Dad Shaw's house to split some wood for him for the winter later on today.The turkey that Brother B got yesterday turned out to be a bit smaller than we had hoped-8 lbs- a bit too small for Thanksgiving,so we are going to eat it tomorrow for Sunday dinner.Even though my Mom is the only extra guest we have for dinner,just that one extra person would not leave enough for a filling meal.( It reminded me of the The Fabulous Beekman Boys episode where they kill a turkey for Thanksgiving and it's waaay too small for the number of people they have invited). We may still have to buy our turkey this year unless Rick can get one with his bow.

Since yesterday was not nice, I decided to attack one of our worst areas of clutter-the front of the file cabinet and the top of the printer. Clutter in a file cabinet,you may ask? Isn't a file cabinet suppose to keep papers in order? Well, yes,in the normal world. Here in my world,I have a tendency to put papers in the front of file cabinet drawer because I am too lazy to just take the extra thirty seconds to put it in the folder it belongs. Sigh.

Many things I just placed there while still in their envelopes,so I had a whole pile of envelopes to get rid of (some which I could save for the wood stove,others I had to throw out). That in it's self freed up some space. Now I everything is filed in their proper folders,and the top of the printer is clear. I also went through the folders to see if there was anything that was no longer needed,so I had a nice pile taken out from that,too. Some weight had been removed,from both the cabinet and from my shoulders! It is so gratifying to see stuff go away.

Our new kitty,who we named Mini Moxie ( or M& M)is doing very well.He slept with us last night, Today I am going to show him the litter box. Hopefully he can climb into it,as he is still quite small.

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner,Baby!!!!

Today is the last day of shotgun season for turkey. Rick is in his tree stand with his bow (bow season lasts longer) and Brother B was on the ground. Brother B does not have a bow license,so today was do or die for him to nab a turkey.

It was do for him and die for the turkey.......

Thanksgiving turkey is now checked off the list :)

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Look What We Found......

A couple days ago we were outside with the dogs and Sasha kept whining and trying to look under the flap of the "boat house" (one of those heavy canvas half circular storage thingies that we keep the boat our friend gave us in).She eventually got in there and kept whining. Every time she would go out,it was the same thing,so we knew something was in there. Rick decided to put out the Have a Heart trap yesterday to see what he would catch. We figured it was probably a cat,as we have many cats in our neighborhood. They like our yard because we keep cat food outside for Molly Bruce,our outdoor cat. When Rick went out a few hours later to check on it,this was inside:

A wee little kitten!!! We brought him into the mudroom at first,and placed a towel over the trap. Later we put him in out cat carrier with a towel for some comfort, brought him into the kitchen,and gave him some water. Cow milk is not good for kittens. Early this AM we could hear him crying. I wrapped him in a towel and held him for a while. He was very docile,which was surprising for a stray cat.Chances are pretty good that he is the offspring of a tiger cat and a gray- beige cat that have been hanging around,and that they had their litter in our boathouse. He looks like our cat Moxie that was killed by a car,and he is so darn cute that Rick and I had to keep him. Rick has felt bad about letting Moxie get out,and I think this was his way of making amends. I told him it wasn't his fault that Moxie got out,it was an accident,and it could've happened to any of us,but he still felt bad. He did inform me that "this is the last one." 

While I was on the computer this morning, I had him wrapped up in my bathrobe.

We called the our vets office,and set up an appt to have him checked out,and they were able to take him right away.  Everyone in the office fell in love with him. They estimate him at 7 weeks. He has fleas and round worm,but they gave him some Revolution that will take care of all that. The Revolution was a free sample,and they also gave us free kitten food (wet and dry) and it came in a cute little canvas tote bag. He was also tested for kitty leukemia and feline AIDS.He has neither. He was also given a distemper booster.

I joked with the Dr that we should own stock in their practice,since Sasha,Samson,and Smokey have all been there for appts within the last week!

Today is sunny and nice,so I am going to clean out the old garden and set it to bed for the winter. After that,I am going to cuddle with our new little family member. We have debating on a name for him,but we may just wind up calling him Moxie 2.

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Whole Lot Of Shakin' Goin' on

I thought that the weather was going to be warmer this week,but yesterday it brisk and very windy. I took a walk around the yard and it was fabulous having the leaves shower down around me. I thought you might like a peek at our foliage. It's not as pretty as in the past,and the wind took many of the colorful leaves off the trees,but there is still some pretty colors nonetheless.

               This is a nice chunk of color across King's Highway:

                    There's still some pretty color up Avon Lane:

                   We have many white birches on our property line that glow a brilliant yellow in      the sunlight:

             The photos don't do the lovely yellow justice:

              The maples are pretty in red,yellow,and orange:

You can see in this photo how some of the trees are now bare,but some are still pretty:

The foliage will be gone soon,and all the leaves will turn brown. :(

Last night,we were surprised by an earthquake. Mind you,in NH,we aren't on a major fault line,like the folks out on the West Coast,so when we get tremors,they are very light and very rare. I think in all of my almost 45 years I have only felt three mild tremors here in NH,and they only felt and sounded like a heavy truck going by. When we lived in western MA,Zach and Rick were up in NH and I was home in bed when I was literally bounced up and down. It was an earthquake tremor that was in the fours,so I know what it feels like. Rick,Brother B,and Zach have never felt one. So last night,when I felt and heard the rolling rumble,I thought,"That's an earthquake." Everything started shaking,and it then sounded like an underground explosion. "Earthquake!" I called out ( I was reading in the bedroom). Rick rushed in and asked,"Are you alright?" "Yes, it was just an earthquake tremor." I followed him out of the bedroom and he and Brother B had flashlights ready to go outside. "It's only an earthquake tremor," I assured them. "Is that verified?" Brother B asked me as they went outside. "No,but I know it was an earthquake. I've felt it before." I don't think they believed me at first. Rick and Brother B were outside making sure everything was OK. Apparently they thought that there was some explosion somewhere. Then the NH channel came on and announced that we did indeed have an earthquake registered 4.6 on the Richter Scale. The epicenter was located in Maine,about 30 miles from us,but the whole state felt it.

As soon as the surprise of an earthquake at that strength subsided,I immediately thought of Rick. "I bet he had a flash back," I thought. He came back into the bedroom and started gathering a pillow and blanket. I asked if he was alright,and he said yes,but I could tell by his face that he was shaken up. I hugged him and said,"You know that you are safe,right?" He started to cry. "Yes,but the sound was like bombs exploding,and it also sounded like the Bradley's going by. It also sounded like when they would shoot up buildings and the buildings would collapse." He also refused to take his Valium,which he uses to sleep with the sleep apnea machine. "I have to be alert," he told me. "You know you don't have to protect us,it's OK," I tried to assure him. " I understand that,but I have to do this,I have to be able to wake up quickly, in case," he told me. He went and slept on the kitchen floor in between the table and the wall.He started napping in  this little spot when I wasn't feeling well and was laying down in the bedroom. He didn't want to bother me with the sleep apnea machine noise,and because Brother B was watching TV in the living room,he didn't want to bug him with his loud snoring. I have tried many times to tell him to just lay in the bed,it's no problem,but he still used this little nook. It did surprise me because it was still early ( only 8:00 PM by this time). I asked him if he wouldn't be more comfy in his recliner,and he said when he was in Iraq they didn't have mattresses in the shacks ,and he felt more comfortable laying on the floor. When I woke up this morning,I noticed that the dining room table had been pulled closer to the wall,so he had an even smaller area in which to sleep. "Did you do that to create more of a safety zone,like a barricade?" I asked him. "Yes,"he replied. "I had to do it."

If you live in the NE US or in NE Canada,did you feel the earthquake?

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Hard Frost

We knew it was coming,and that we were actually overdue.

Our first hard frost of the season happened Friday night. The temperatures went down in the low 20's. Of course, Rick and Zach were camping out all weekend with the Boy Scouts for their annual Fall Camporee,so needless to say it was a wee bit nippy for them,but thankfully they had warm clothes and sleeping bags. It was windy all weekend,which made the temperatures even colder. Sunday morning it was pouring out,so they had closing ceremony at 8:00 AM instead of 9:00 AM. We made sure there was hot coffee and cocoa waiting for them,and we did start the wood stove up so they could have some nice heat to warm their bones after being out in the cold all weekend. It was the first time we started up  the wood stove this season. This week is suppose to be a nice week-only a chance of rain today with temps in the 70's,and the rest of the week is going to be sunny,which is good. Our poor chicken run is still a muddy mess,because the weather has been rainy and chilly all last week. At least now it will dry out and we can get it de-smellified ;)

Once everything is dried out I can put the garden to bed for the winter. 

We brought our cat Smokey to the vets today to be neutered. It was his first trip to the vets and he actually did OK. We brought Samson and Sasha last week for their check ups. Samson is having hip problems so we give  him meds every day to help with the stiffness. We discovered that Sasha has Lyme's Disease, but it doesn't bother her at all. Her joints are fine and she is not suffering from any symptoms,which is good.

Last week when I went for a walk I saw a turkey in someone's yard,and as I walked by I watched her pecking at the ground.We are not raising turkeys anymore,so if we want fresh turkey for Thanksgiving,The Men will have to hunt one. Further down the road on my walk,I noticed an old cemetery. I love old cemeteries and of course,had to walk over to check it out. As I climbed the small embankment,I heard a rustling off to my left,and I just caught the flash of the white tail of a deer as it jumped into the woods. The cemetery consisted of four stones-two adult sizes and two child sizes,which made me rather sad. There are quite a few family cemeteries around here-in the woods,on the side of the road-and coming upon one always makes me wonder about the families. Sometimes their homes are still standing,sometimes there is just a foundation left. What drove them off their property? What killed the little ones? Were they farmers? Trappers? Hunters? All three? When the resting places become overgrown,and the stones broken,I feel so terrible. At one point,these were living,breathing,humans who laughed,cried,and loved. Now they are forgotten. It's so very sad.

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Homemade Butter

When I was young,my Dad was diagnosed with high cholesterol,so into the house came margarine and Egg Beaters. That's what I grew up with. When I moved out,I went back to eggs but stuck with margarine,at least,until a few years ago. The more I thought about it,the more I realized that all margarine consisted of,basically,was congealed oil. How that could be better than  butter, I couldn't fathom. Cream is natural from milk,and shaken cream makes butter. Margarine is a whole process which doesn't sound very appetizing to me ( Google it!).

At any rate,I have been wanting to try make my own butter for a while. Do I need whole cream straight from the cow? Can I use whipping cream from the store? I checked various websites and blogs,and it seemed there were many opinions on this subject. I finally said "I'm going for it,"and tried it out----only half an hour ago,to be precise!

Let me say this:making butter is very easy. If you can pour cream into a mixer bowl and turn the mixer on,and if you can squeeze buttermilk out of butter,you can make homemade butter.

Here is what I did:

I took My Precious (my Cuisinart) out from the cabinet. The poor thing hasn't seen too much action of late,so I was glad to get her going again. Brother B did the grocery shopping yesterday,and he picked up 2 pints of  Stonyfield Organic Heavy Whipping Cream,which was ultra pasteurized. 

I poured them right into the mixing bowl-I didn't wait until they were room temperature. I did nothing fancy to the mixing bowl. ( I had read somewhere that the bowl had to be chilled and the cream brought to room temperature). I put the whisk attachment on My Precious,and she was ready for action!

Oh,yes,this is a VERY IMPORTANT part-PUT THE SPLASH GUARD ON!! Trust me on this. I read warnings about splashing. I was expecting splatter. Splatter does not do it justice. You'll see!

I started on a lower speed for a couple of minutes. The cream became a bit frothy and started to thicken a tad.

I then put the speed on high and after a bit I started getting peaks-it was turning into whipped cream. Keep going........

It's thickening up nicely,isn't it? It's not butter yet,though. It's still too white. There's also no buttermilk separation yet.

Keep whipping. See how the color is turning to yellow?

It's looking more like butter,but it still needs a couple more minutes. Once the butter is done,the butter milk will separate from the butter,and it will SPLASH. I'm talking mixer tidal wave-no joke! I should've covered up the pouring hole  in the splash guard. The buttermilk made a mess. I can't imagine not having something over the bowl when the tidal wave occurs-seriously,use something...even if it's just plastic wrap. I had to jump back and quickly shut off the mixer because the buttermilk was flying everywhere.

Another sign it's done-the butter will clump onto your whisk attachment in one big ball. See all the buttermilk at the bottom of the bowl?

Since I don't use buttermilk,I had no need to keep it for anything. I did make a ball out of the butter and squeezed it until most of the buttermilk was gone. I ran the ball under cold water and squeezed the water out a few times until the water was clear. I admit,it's a bit of a pain. If you have butter paddles,or even just used a sturdy spatula and press the butter against the side of the bowl,that would probably be a bit easier. I tried the hand method to see how it would work . I also put some salt in the butter and kneaded it in. How much salt,or whether or not to add it is up to you and your taste.

This is a good time to bring out my antique butter dish that my Aunt Jeannette had. It makes for good storage in the fridge.

How can you not try homemade butter right away? I put some bread in the toaster and waited with buttered breath!!!

It looks like butter,it spreads like butter......

This gal needs butter spread end to end on bread. Rick always teases me about it. If you're going to butter bread,then I say,butter it,damn it!!  :)

Not only does it look like butter and spreads like tastes like butter! Yummy!! I scoffed down the toast after I took the photo.

You can, of course, make all kinds of homemade butter-apple butter,pumpkin butter,garlic butter,honey butter.....the world is full of homemade buttery goodness-right at your fingertips! 

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Day in NH

 It's my favorite time of the year-Fall in NH. To me,Fall is the quintessential New England season. The leaves turn color,the air turns chilly, pumpkins and apples are ready for picking,and we keep trying to put off starting the wood stove for as long as possible. Gray days are lantern lighting days,and I have to have Pumpkin Spice candles going to make the house smell fabulous and help make it cozy.

The weather this past week has not been the best-we have had rain and overcast days,with just a few glimpses of sun in between. Saturday we took a chance,since the forecast said the rain was going to hold off until later in the day,and we drove up to Fryeburg,ME for the annual Fryeburg Fair. We love the Fryeburg Fair because it's mostly an agricultural fair.  We looked at the goats,sheep,poultry,oxen,horses,and cows. I fell even more in love with goats and sheep. We are trying to decide if we want to get some dairy goats,and perhaps a sheep or two. The sheep would be for making yarn. It's amazing at how thick their wool is-they felt like one of those tempurpedic mattresses! The Fiber Barn was very interesting-knitted goods,yarn skeins,and bulk wool were for sale,and ladies were demonstrating how to spin your own yarn. I wanted to buy a  homemade skein of yarn-until I saw that all the skeins were 4 oz and cost $26. That's a tad out of my price range. In the Specialty Food barn,Zach's eagle eye found Moxie Jelly. Moxie is a New England soda that has been around for about a hundred years. It's not sweet,and it's called Moxie because you have to have moxie to drink it! Zach loves Moxie,and we have never seen Moxie jelly,so of course we had to buy a couple of jars. I got some potpourri -Maine Christmas and Pumpkin Fall. They smell fabulous!

Sunday the weather was slightly overcast,but no rain hit until last night,so I puttered around the yard for while checking things out. I still haven't closed up my garden because  things are still growing and we haven't had a hard frost yet,though I know we are due for one anytime.  I have been paying attention to the weather forecast daily.

Since we gave our apple tree quite the trimming last Spring,we figured that we probably shocked the tree and we wouldn't get many apples,if any,this year. Last year we had over 60. This year,we did squeak out two:

Poor lonely apples! Our apple tree has dropped the majority of their leaves. The wind has helped the all the trees around us shed their leaves.Up Avon Lane,it looked almost like carpet:

Our grapes have been coming along. I have been tasting them every other day to see when they are ready to pick. I wasn't sure how to tell when they were ready,but everything I have read says it's all in how the taste.They are not quite sweet yet,but they are getting there:

I was surprised to still see white blossoms in my strawberry patch. There are still strawberries in various states of  growth. I will have to cover them up soon:

This is one of my favorite maple trees. Each year,this branch starts turning color in such a brilliant way-light green,to yellow,to orange,to red. It's like a foliage rainbow! I can see it from my bedroom window. I wish the sun was shining so that you could really see how bright and lovely it is:

One of our goals to is try and get our chicken yard to the point where it drains better. Whenever it rains,it becomes a muddy mess,and it REEKS until it dries out. Plus,the poor Girls are walking around in muck. Chicken poo that is wet smells even worse than dry poop. It's horrible. It makes me gag,and we are mindful that we have a responsibility to our neighbors to keep the area as stink free as possible.We are going to try some gravel mix to cover it. Anyone have any other suggestions?
 We still have tomatoes growing,though you can't seem too well in this photo,because they are green. I will probably have to pick them and make fried green tomatoes before the frost hits:

You can see in this photo how we have lost leaves from our trees. The foliage still isn't at it's peak here,but up in the Great North Woods,it's already past:

Our potatoes are still going strong,though some of the plants are seeing a bit of brown on their edges. I wasn't sure when to pick potatoes,because last year,Brother B picked them before they were ready ( our neighbor told him to pick them in Sept-too early!) Usually they are picked in Oct,when the plants are dead. I did decide to check around the hills to see if anything was ready to pick,however:

I came up with these taters!! These are Kennebec potatoes from Maine. I also had some green beans that were ready to pick,too.

Today we are going apple picking and pumpkin picking. Our favorite farm,Butternut,is closed for the season,but another local farm is still open so we will be going there. I am still bummed that my pumpkin seedlings did NOTHING this year. Sigh. I hate to have to buy pumpkins,but I have to get some sugar ones to make my puree,as well bigger ones for decoration. Our neighbor can get hay bales for only $2.00 a bale from a friend of hers,so that will be savings!

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!