Friday, June 5, 2015


At Home

These poppies were in full bloom yesterday
1/2 melted hail still on the ground
Most of the tomatoes made it though

Down at the garden
Strawberry plants

Strawberries severed from the plant
2 of the five tomatoes may make it

None of the five in this row will

Snow Peas
Hollyhocks - I'm not sure if they will be able to flower

 This is the second hail storm we have had in two weeks.  I am not sure how much more they can take.  The rhubarb plants have to stems or leaves anymore.  1/2 of the onions are broken just above the bulb.  You really need to be an optimist to garden

Up all night

The weather forecast said "violent storms" this evening.  Chris said he saw the clouds to the north of us swirling and changing color before dusk had set.  We heard the patter of rain and the whistle of wind as we fell into sleep, comfortable in the knowledge that the storms seemed to miss our community.

About 1 am the hail was hitting the roof so loudly, it woke us up.  Rhiannon came running in scared.  The hail was pelting her west facing windows so hard I half expected to hear them crack.  They were about the size of a large marble, and the clear center of them were nearly as hard.  Standing on the back deck we heard the roof panels of the greenhouse break.

After checking on Indica (sound asleep in her basement room) we all went back to bed around 2.  Sleep was long in coming

Friday, February 27, 2015


Front yard after shoveling for the 4th day in a row
After glorying in our upper 60's weather while it seemed the rest of the country endured storm after storm, we finally got ours.  It hasn't been a lot, but it has been regular.  I haven't ridden my bike to work in over a week as the snow has never quite left the roads.
Chris shoveling paths so I could reach the rabbit hutchs
Chris and I shovel the cars out at night, then I finish my car before leaving for work at O'Dark-thirty.  He does the walks and the rest of the driveway before I get home.
Our water feature, barely recognizable 
The rabbits in the upper yard are covered with old comforter overnight, lifted to let the sun in during the day.  The lower yard rabbits in the chicken yard are protected, but in the shade.
Rustabelle and one of her young
Rustabelle's litter in the hutch
All seem to be doing fine.

But Chris and I - we are so over it.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter has arrived

(vintage filter used by mistake)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Summary of February so far

The weather app assures me that we are going to get a taste of what is like in New England.  An inch an hour the local news outlet predicts.  It is snowing now light but steady.  

Inside the house it is warm and smells like the sandwich bread I just took out of the oven.  French Bread is raising to eat with dinner.  

The garden is started. Onions and a little lettuce in the greenhouse window.  

Tomatoes under lights.

Rustabelle's litter are eating feed and hay and have discovered the water bottles.  She is an unusual mother for a rabbit, checking on her young regularly from birth.  Most does ignore their litter except for the twice daily feeding.

Chris says he has been hearing foxes at night after I am asleep.  The once frightening sounds are now a comfort.  The fox population was infested with mange a year ago and the rodent (wild rabbit, mice and rat) grew as the disease decimated the population.  We sold off all of our chickens last summer because of it.  But with the return of the predator, I am hopeful.

Good thing too, since I picked up the first batch of day old chicks in Elizabeth yesterday.

(Color is bad with the heat lamp)

2 of each Mottled Java, Dark Brahma, Araucana & Buckeye.  They are living in the unused shower in the basement.  They will move to the small chicken coop when they feather out in about 4 weeks, just in time for the next batch to arrive.   


Monday, January 26, 2015

Full circle

When I was in grade school my Mom usually packed me a lunch.  I had a red (orange?) Tupperware lunchbox with matching containers inside.  I distinctly remember homemade pumpkin bread and applesauce.  I would buy a small carton of milk and take out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. +

Therein was the problem.

Instead of Wonder bread, my sandwich was made of wheat bread.  Bread my Mom baked.  It didn't fit easily in the square container meant for sandwiches.  It was not soft and gummy when I chewed it.  It was not like everyone else's.

Throughout my youth Mom continued to make bread.  Although it was fantastic warm out of the oven slathered with butter and honey, I really just wished she'd get store bought bread.  She would buy English muffin and occasionally French bread (for Dad's French toast)  But no Wonder bread.
When I went to college I happily paid (25¢ on sale) for QFC's store brand bread and swore if I ever had kids I would buy bread.  White bread.

Fresh out of the oven
So here I am today, making that same recipe that my Mom made.  I mostly bought wheat or multi grain breads.  But a while back I realized these breads were sweet.  Like Hawaiian bread sweet.  Ugh! Even the organic breads had that soft and gummy texture of the youthfully coveted Wonder bread.
1/2 hour later
So excerpt for the occasional English muffin, French bread & sourdough I will try to do to my children what was done to me.

The difference is, they seem to appreciate it.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The beginning of spring

Well, not according to the calendar.

Or the weather.

But for us, spring has started.

The first harbinger is the ordering of chicks.  Which I did last week.  At the end of February we will make the hour plus drive to pick up a dozen or so (heavy on the or so) peeping bundle of feathers.

And today I planted onion and leek seeds to go under grow lights.

Let the growing season begin.