Saturday, October 26, 2013

Freezing Rain

I finally made a batch of soap with my new soap mold:

I don't think I let it sit long enough in the mold,even though 24 hours was the suggested time frame on the directions the company sent. When I tried to pull the sides and dividers out,it was a bit sticky,even though I put the mold into the oven at 170 degrees for 10 minutes as was suggested "because some soap recipes are stickier than others." I was able to get my soap out,but some of the edges came off with the dividers. Next time I will let it sit for 48 hours. I use essential oils from Edens' Garden ( you can find their website here) and in this case, I used their Stress Relief oil,which is a combo of Bergamot,Blood Orange,Grapefruit,Patchouli, and Yling Ylang. The smell is very soothing. I have the bars on a cooling rack in the closet in our bedroom,curing.

Yesterday Rick wanted to go for drive down an area where he has gone hunting. He asked if I wanted to go,and I jumped at the the chance. I haven't been driving down an unfamiliar dirt road in a long time,and it was a pretty day,even though the wind was quite chilly. I always enjoy exploring with Rick.He brought his rifle in case we saw any game that is in season.

I thought they way the sun was coming through this patch of trees was pretty:

I would love to live way out these woods:

Some of the brilliance of our foliage:

Light at the end of the tunnel!

I love birch trees,even if they are pretty bare:


Fairly fresh deer tracks:

The sky started clouding up as we were on our way home.  As we were pulling back onto the main road,I commented to Rick,"It looks like snow." This time of year,when the air is chilly and the dark clouds roll in,the sky just has a look. The look of snow. Those of you who live in snowy area know what I mean. I stepped out on the front deck to take a picture of sky didn't start snowing,but it did start freezing rain.

Thankfully,our wood stove was going and the house was nice and warm. I worked a bit more on the pair of mittens that I had started knitting,and ran a few errands for our Boys Scout Halloween party on Monday.  I picked up some treats for the boys,some decorations,and the ingredients for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and a couple mixes for some gluten free brownies.

I have to leave you with one more photo:

Last night we had ham for dinner,and this AM Rick made eggs and ham for breakfast. He was cutting pieces up and I noticed the dogs were all standing in back of him. I told him that he had an audience,and he turned around with the piece of ham and said,"Is this what you want? You're not getting it!"

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

There's A Nip In The Air

Foliage is past peak here,and many of the bright yellows,reds,are oranges are not quite as bright and pretty. Many leaves are in the process of turning brown. Our maple tree in the front yard has lost all it's leaves. While the we have been fairly fortunate with the weather-the temperatures haven't been too chilly-we are now starting a stretch of days in 40's and lows at night in the 20's. Today is overcast,and we had to start up the wood stove to ward off the chill. I have Cinnamon and Pumpkin Spice candles lit,and the heat and the scent make things very cozy.

We have finally figured out how big we want the barn.Now that the garden boxes have all been pulled up,it easier to visualize it and measure it out. The barn will be attached to our garage,and will measure 20' X 30'. Rick went down the street to our local lumber yard to check out pole barn packages with shiplap siding. We have to start digging very soon,before the ground hard freezes. As soon as we get our pricing,we can submit the plan to the town so we can get our building permit.

Today I am making soap,and am excited to use my new acrylic mold with dividers. I can make 15 bars of soap with it. I want to sell soap,and for it to look as nice as possible. I can not cut a straight line to save my life-so my previous soaps have always been less than pretty,which is OK for our use-but for selling purposes,not such a good thing.

I thought I would leave you with some photos of our Halloween outdoor decorations. You can see some of our new stairs/mini deck in the first photo. I am going to take better pictures when the new doors are in.

Have a lovely day!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Garlic Planting

It's that time of the year to plant garlic for next year's harvest. We decided this year to replant everything we grew this year,with the exception of  a few cloves that we had already used. This coming year,if all grows well,we should have 50 garlic plants,so can sell some garlic next year.

Rick has been taking the compost out of our square foot boxes and putting it back into the compost pile,saving the boxes that have not succumbed to the weather as of yet. Our boxes have been hanging out in NH weather for four or five years now,so it's understandable that some have felt the strain of winter and rain. As I mentioned in a previous post,we are moving our boxes because they are in the are where our barn/grazing area is going to be. Since I had to plant the garlic now,Rick moved two boxes next to the strawberries and herbs and refilled them with compost. I took the heads of garlic and removed all the cloves. I had 50 cloves exactly.

Each clove should be two inches deep and 8" apart. The pointy part of the clove should face down into the dirt.

Push that little guy down two inches....

...and cover it up with compost

Give the cloves a good watering and then cover them with 2-3 of mulch. We used straw. You can use leaves,etc.

Now you wait until Spring when the shoots first start showing up through the mulch! Pretty easy,isn't it?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Favorite Time Of The Year

Fall is my favorite time of the year. The days may require a sweatshirt,but most are still comfortable,and the nights are nice and cool. Humidity goes away,although the random hot and humid day may make a brief appearance. It's time for apple picking,and decorating with pumpkins and mums. The leaves are starting to fall to the ground. I love when I am walking and am suddenly enveloped in gentle shower of leaves. The crunching sound they make as I walk through them is like a fall symphony. Crock pot meals are more frequent. I light cinnamon or pumpkin spice scented candles. It's time to make the house cozy.

This morning I was enjoying some blueberry coffee and sitting on the deck. It is a bit chilly in the mornings,usually in the 40's,so my bathrobe has become a morning fixture. We still have not started the wood stove,nor the furnace (we need to replace the furnace,actually). It hasn't been quite that cold or raw yet ,though a couple of mornings I was quite temped to throw some wood in the stove! Today it is cloudy,which has been unusual. Our weather has been glorious,lots of blue sky and bright sun.I guess the old sun has decided to take a break for a while!

The colors are coming in nicely on the trees. This is from Kings Highway, the front of our house, looking left towards the park across the street:

This is looking down Avon Lane,towards the back of our property:

We should be going apple picking fairly soon. Our apple tree only produced a few apples this year,but we were expecting that as we cut it back quite a bit at once. Our second tree is still too young to bear fruit.

I am by myself today. Rick,Zach,and Richie are with the Boy Scouts at the annual Fall Camporee for the weekend. My job for the day is to pick out windows and a door for the mudroom.

I thought I would leave you with an incredibly cute photo. Here is Richie with some of the kittens that we have been nursing:

Is that too adorable or what???