I Cooked My Butt Off …

So, we had some family out … Our first-borns (daughter and son) and our new(-ish) son-in-law.  It was a great visit!  I thoroughly enjoy listening to their journeys, tasks, accomplishments and obstacles.  They are amazing young people.  (BTW – our youngest [the Twins] are too, it just makes my life a bit easier to divide and conquer! …  So – next visit will be with JUST THEM!)  We had a great time tonight.  20211007_152345

While we were unable to enjoy pool time this week, as the 75+ degree heat promised by Michigan meteorologists did not hold true for the last few days … It did give DH and me time to prep food, prepare spaces and create a good environment. 

I picked flowers from our garden for a beautiful centerpiece … I’ve planted flowers for years – but have not ever made arrangements with them … WTH?  WHY NOT?!?  DOH!!!

We slow cooked meats (rabbit and chicken) … I will share photos – but you need to understand, nothing you see will equate to how amazing our Teriyaki-marinated meats were …

20211007_180639    20211007_180656

I didn’t take photos, but THIS girl loves her some vegetables … including coleslaw and ‘vegetable medley’ – which, for this meal meant cauliflower, carrots and chayote.  My first born has not liked vegetables since she was 8-9 months old.  But she tried them tonight.  Did she love them – NOPE, NOT YET!  But we’re still working on it.  They were beautiful and amazing vegetables (… and, nope – no photos)!!!

Our baby girl does like salad.  We made an AWESOME Strawberry Spinach Pecan Feta Balsamic salad (link to the recipe … because IT IS TRUELY AMAZING), and THIS GIRL (YEAH, me again) FIRMLY believes Balsamic vinegar has been recalled from nursing use as SMELLING SALTS … (YUCK!) … But this salad is SOO GOOD!!

20211007_180646

20211008_015216And … Yep!!!  An official success in the books for me.  I’m learning to enjoy the moments – so I did tonight.  Grandma T is finally teaching me – it doesn’t have to be all about Martha Stewart.  I can reach a compromise … And STILL MAKE KICK-ASZZZZ FOOD!

Hoping for a pool day tomorrow – or maybe early next week.  Keep on Dreamin’ Folks!  HUGS!!!!

I’m Trying to be Creative …

While I’m down and out!

So, my back is not happy.  Apparently, she’s trying to disband from this union.  I’ve been nursing her back to homeostasis, if not happiness – for the better part of a week.  She’s just not falling for it.  I ice, take ibuprofen, ice a bit more, try Ultram, add more ice … Maybe I can move.  So I play in the studio … Until I can’t bear standing any more, and then I try it again:  Ice, ibuprofen, ice, tramadol … rinse/repeat. 

20210924_201010So then I was trying to make food.  I got a beautiful loaf of bread finished.  Made up a vat of cabbage with burger … Apparently, DH’s favorite … 20210923_182928A mock on the inside out stuffed-cabbage recipe.  He’s not sharing those left-overs with ANYONE!  Wow! … And we added some cooked squash from our garden to freeze for the first AUTUMN soup!  So excited.

Slowing down in the studio, not only for my back, but we have family coming out this week.  Our oldest boy is turning 27 years old!  Wow!  You go Dude!20211005_020022

So, we invited family out.  My Dad and stepMom bailed, but Brooke and her beau accepted.  We’ll be trialing rabbit and home-grown chicken, vegetable medley, hibachi garlic noodles, along with a strawberry spinach salad and brownies with whipped cream/vanilla pudding frosting … A good meal to share with family, while celebrating our oldest son’s birthday!  I am happy.

Umm, my back is still not happy.  I have time to tame this crazy beast.  I’ve reached out, again to my PCP – and I may be ready to try a chiropractor – as something needs to break this evil cycle!  Meanwhile – between icing and resting/Motrin-ing and Ultram-ing, I can create in bits and spurts … Here’s what I’ve been making:  Our third round of red sauce … Oh, I think I’ve perfected it!  😉

20210908_195649

And, my cards.  Because this is something I can do between motrin highs and back-aching lows, with ice on the spot for cycles at a time.  Gearing up for a Christmas Gift batch for my family.  Here’s what we have so far …

20210928_231827 - Copy  20211005_01584220211004_202622    20210928_231851 - Copy20210924_000809   .20210923_215726    20210923_010412

Yep, it keeps me busy.  It keeps me off the streets. And, it keeps me tied to my couch in the studio.  I’ve home-nursed this craziness for years, but I feel like this time – it’s giving me a run for the money … Just about to get stable – feel a snap or twinge – back to square one.  It could be so much worse, I know … So, I’m not really complaining.  I am frustrated as so many folks are depending on me, and I don’t like to be down and out, doing nothing!  Must get this back of mine in line!!!

Hugs, Y’all!

Indian Summer–I’ll Take It!!!

20210907_155835We started this past week off with a huge batch of seafood alfredo – enjoyed by both of us as we worked through the weekend.  And then, this week – while pulling together a quick salad of spinach, carrots, peas, water chestnuts, romaine and a mayo-style dressing, I decided to shave off a few deep layers of my nail bed, with our new – extra sharp, paring knife.  No worries – no special sauce in the dressing, but DARN – that hurts!

20210916_013820        20210918_052121

20210917_164036Moving on … We enjoyed as many Indian Summer pool days as we could.  Meanwhile, DH is dealing with some wicked family issues.  It’s so crummy when family turns on you!  I’ve been listening, supportive and trying to feed him through this major family let-down.

20210916_184252

Through it all, our garden is producing.  We’ve put up about 15-16 quarts of beans.  I have a batch of tomato sauce, and will be making another this week.  We froze our basil pesto cubes, for future use … And the Ladies (my egg-layers) are loving all the melons we grew.

20210908_195649 20210914_175626 20210908_152510

I put together another batch of dandelion plantain (anti-itch) salve, as the MOSQUITOES have been relentless this year!

20210910_033711       20210918_052605

Time for another ‘Bob-N-Weave’ weekend of ER nursing fun.  It feels like we’re seeing so many folks who present as ‘Covid +’ – and they just want confirmation that they’re Covid POSITIVE … WTH???  Stay safe (and STAY HOME) Y’all!  [HUGS]

He Really Only Had One Job To DO …

And, honestly – isn’t that typical!?!  Doh!!!  20210901_160755

But we did it!  We got a farming task ‘under our belts’ …

I believe our SKOS birds had their best life.  Wednesday afternoon, they peacefully – Met Nirvana; Played in the sandbox in the sky; Found joy … and, Joined My Freezer.

Reflecting back, it’s not undo-able, should we decide to go again.  DH had the major daily upkeep (moving them to fresh grass, keeping up with their never-ending supply of feed, moving them to fresh grass, refilling water – and then, moving them to fresh grass again!).  My job was to talk with them whenever I could.

Then came processing day …

 20210901_161127 20210901_173352 20210901_160739 (2)

The goal behind this endeavor was for sustainability.  I think it was a win.  I have other ideas for sustainability, but with DH, it has to be one step at a time … Rabbits ONLY when he is READY!

20210901_204031So … We put up 10 healthy, processed birds.  We did say a prayer to help guide us into the best frame of mind to perform these tasks … It was not emotionally heartless – but, we were able to do the job that needed doing …. And, as DH so lovingly put it, ‘We have to, they will break their own legs if we don’t’ … At the end of the day, we added 60 pounds of meat to our freezer, while joining the ranks of other self-sustainable folks!!!

Because everything can be used:  I have 4 quarts of bone broth added to our stash … and, the extra bits were repurposed for dog treats … NOTHING goes to waste!

20210901_201121 20210902_193227 

Tonight we had our first (home grown) rotisserie dinner.  It was a lot of hard work.  Our dinner was good.  We can be sustainable!

20210903_192617

Ending with pretty photos from the garden.  I love sunflowers, zinnias and dahlias … Oh MY …

20210903_180204  20210903_174626  20210903_17460220210903_174546

Next up, piglets!!!  (Maybe …)

I’m Pretty Sure It Was Retribution …

But – only time will tell …

On Thursday, or was it Friday(?) of my vacation days … DH loaded me into the car – in the wee hours of the early AM, drove me up to Algonac, and arranged to have my  shoulder SHOT full of [POISON] … Umm, health-saving Covid vaccine!

Two weeks later, my left bicep is still PUMPED!  No, please, Arnold … Don’t touch it!  It hurts!

He SAID he did this to help me …

But, weeks later – I’m pretty sure I understand now what it was …

I’ve ordered all the necessary bits for hydroponics, a potter’s wheel – AND, a GREENHOUSE!  I’m fairly certain anything DH has done this week or last was all about being ANGRY!!!

The great news … I am currently suffering endless RUQ pain … Gall bladder, BUGGER!?! …  Not vomiting yet, but I think it’s coming!  DH win?!?  DOH!!!

Only time will tell …

When You’re Happy & you Know it …

AND I am!  I’ve started the long-list project of turning my old studio into a ceramic studio, clearing out a large (which now will be 8 foot long x 7 foot tall x 2.5 foot deep – THIS is the BEFORE photo) area in our ‘storage’ basement for hydroponic growing; reorganizing the mini-closet/tanning bed space for smaller hydroponic systems); cooking, harvesting from the garden and making chamomile tea for the first time; planning future building projects [due to our ‘debut’ rabbit meal – I opted for teriyaki as I felt it would be safer … DH is SOLD!] … But first – the basement renovation/repurposing/cleaning photos, including new molds to create ‘medallions’ for my future ceramic coffee mugs:

studio curtains 20210818_224009 20210818_224140 20210818_224039 20210818_224828

20210818_224104What will be the larger hydroponic space, and gathering seeds to grow, along with the smaller hydroponic units.

I’m happy also – BECAUSE after 6 days of living with limited modern-day necessities [umm, I mean ABSOLUTELY – First World CONVENIENCES!] … We have electricity!  (ALRIGHT! – we got it back late Monday, but … ER nursing weekend, crashing hard, etc. …)  All I can say is: [1] I’m so pleased we have the generator we have (not a WHOLE house, but it gets the job done!); [2] I’m SOOOO glad it was just me, DH and the non-human crew (NO CHILDREN – that was always a nightmare, and we never had to endure SIX DAYS without power when the kids were young); [3] POOL TIME, warm temperatures and the remainder of Swamp Juice – I mean SANGRIA – helped us get through any ROUGH TIMES!

20210818_225113 20210818_224132

20210812_201216So – YAY … ELECTRICITY!!!  I’m so happy!

Here is the promised Hasenpfeffer photo (No – it does NOT look like an INFANT!  DH, stop saying that!), with our garden-grown new potatoes, what’s left from some of our chamomile tea (love it), bread machine zucchini bread (NOPE! We won’t be making it that way again!) …And tonight’s herbal harvest:

20210812_201251 20210812_201224 20210811_23281120210818_193602

Leaving with a quick photo of My SKOS … who eat AROUND THE CLOCK and thoroughly LOVE meal-time, are moving (=being moved!) within their mobile coop 3-4 times a day now (for greener pastures/fresh grass) – and growing quite nicely, while still taking their own sweet time to grow feathers …

20210812_150626

PS – Sorry Lara … He LOVES it!  😉

PPS – no potter’s wheel yet [I ordered it 16 days ago!!!], meanwhile –  all the other supplies keep ROLLING in!!

PPPS – Apologies for the crazy ‘stream of consciousness’/difficult-to-follow post … I’m trying to clean out/prepare several areas at once, while keeping up with all other mandatory daily/SUMMER tasks! … Swamp juice, anyone??? …  🙂

PPPPS – I DO realize Hassenpfeffer is actually a stew, with onion/gravy sauce … HOWEVER, when dealing with someone with ‘sensitivities’ – code words HELP!!!  Just sayin’  … Hugs Y’all!

Baby Steps ….

Anyone that knows DH – knows he has some strange, unnatural affinity for rabbits.  I understand, and truly appreciate that he is not a hunter.  (Totally!!!)  But – available, sustainable ‘GARDENING’ … Oh, we’ve reached a cross-roads, Brother.

EF-BB-hassenpfefferSo, I am cooking up his (and my) first bit of Hassenpfeffer.  Umm, yeah, that’s rabbit for anyone that didn’t grow up with Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and/or the Road Runner.  It’s a trial run.  It was purchased.  It cost way too much … But, it is supposed to be our controlled experiment.  If he likes it, we move ahead.  If we don’t … Well then, Bugs gets to fight another day!

I’m rooting for team HOMESTEAD … But, we’ll see!  I’ll post a photo of our beautiful meal, (with real-life responses/criticisms) later today – after we have dinner.

Back On Track …

Lots to share!  (Yep, the picture post I talked about…)  I’m so excited.  Our garden is producing:  Oh Summer, I love you!!!

           20210809_144758  20210809_144422  20210809_144451 

We have Cornish chickens (meat chickens) …  So, hear me out.  I researched and grew into this phase, FOR A WHILE – on my OWN.  One video I watched described them as a “Special Kind Of Stupid” … That sentiment warmed my heart – Just Enough … to buy all the dispatching supplies, feed, 10 chicks, and talk DH into expanding on the premise of growing our own food.  They are cute, in a less-than-elegant sort of way.  They do not have individual names, but are collectively called ‘My SKOS’ … or MaaSscowwzzZ – when I’m talking with them, uhm – daily …

 20210809_154131 20210807_19060320210803_164333

I know it sounds bad, but listen (… LINDA!)… I’m taking steps to learn about being sustainable.  NOT “End-of-the-World-as-we-Know-IT  PREPPER-style” … but, Sustainable-ISH.  Add the SKOS to my 10 books on learning/mastering/foraging herbal food/remedies; Along with my next endeavor (hydroponics) – supplies in transit; Smash it all up with my longer range plan (this April) of adding a few pigs (assuming DH and I survive THIS farming step) … And, next year’s garden is going to be EPIC!!!   I’m focusing on SUSTAINABLE!  WHILE transferring my inner farm-person from DH (who was reared in a farming family) to me …

20210809_153118And – I’ve acquired a new hobby.  One that makes sense, really.  CERAMICS … it uses many of the same materials I have/have acquired over the years.  I’ve read books, watched videos, ordered supplies … Yep.  I’m ready – watch out GHOST, I’m moving in!

I’m now enjoying vacation – with Swamp Juice … YUM!  I’ve officially decided it will be served at my wake!  Winking smile  And, other good food abounds (DH fell in love with tonight’s side of Hummus made with fresh parsley … and served with cucumbers from the garden)! 

20210807_163900        20210807_165241

20210809_144249

Our Garden – is doing great!  We’re having repeat issues with vine borers and squash bugs this year (no pumpkins, limited zucchini/squash and the cucumbers are SUFFERING!) – which ticks me off immensely.  But, I’m hoping to overcome that with my INDOOR GARDEN!!! [Uh yeah … HYDROPONICS!!!!]

20210809_143739 20210809_143730 20210809_144534

20210730_175416

And lastly – the Ladies … we cleaned out their yard, scraping up TOO many layers of – lets just call it COMPOST.  So, now they’re enjoying their fresh multi-layered sand run.  Daily snacks of tomatoes, corn, borage leaves, radish (leaves – they don’t like the ‘fruit’), melons, bok choi, the occasional earth worm, and scratch … well sure, along with their pellets and their egg shells.  I’d say they are happy girls!  And with 7-10 eggs per day, so am I.

Happy Anniversary/Happy Summer Ya’ll!!!!  [HUGS & <3]

20210730_205831

Oh, I did It Again …

Yep, I sure did.  I’m not sure how much mileage I can garnish from 31 years of marriage … BUT, I AM GOING FOR IT!!!  (Our anniversary is coming up … 8/11/90!  Thirty-one years of wedded bliss!  OMGosh!!!)

A few weeks ago (the Twin’s birthday), BabyGirl asked about doing ceramics – making a mug, or some such thing.  Amazingly enough, I had already begun to research this medium.  I felt I had many of the needed pieces of equipment, and … I was curious.

And so, I wished my oldest a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (You go, girlfriend!!!)   And now, masquerading as my anniversary gift(s) … I have the needed missing elements on their way to me!  [Yep – I did it again!]

I’ll show photos once all the missing ceramic bits get here – eventually.  But – I’m not done yet …

DOH!  What?!?  Nope … Not done yet!

I’m interested (and always have been) in hydroponics … So, yeah – we’re looking into that too!

I have SO many photos to share – it’s RIDICULOUS.  My garden is JAMMING; My Neo pups are getting SO BIG; My meat chickens (did we talk about those?) – are spending time outside everyday; My ceramic studio (yep, full studio) is on it’s way TO ME; My next endeavor with hydroponics: The books are here, the research has begun – It’s really just a matter of time now … DOH!

Meanwhile – don’t feel bad for DH.  He has eaten well!  We are eating fresh from the garden daily.  I have cucumbers, squash, beans, dill, basil, parsley and mint daily … Our tomatoes and chamomile are close for picking; Our melons and winter squash keep growing; I’m keeping an eye on the eggplant – which seems to have stalled … It’s okay!

BECAUSE … I’m on vacation!  I’m planning on plenty of pool days over the next little bit.  I’ve been taking photos … I’m making swamp juice (umm, I mean SANGRIA); I’ll be making ceramic mugs SOON! And – I’ll probably share a photo or two from the kitchen, the pool, the coop or the Neo den!  Winking smile

This will be a non-photo post … Sorry.  But the next post – all pictures!!!

Busy … Not Busy –

So, while we have been doing ‘STUFF’ this last little bit, my studio has been quiet.  But that’s ok!

Running through some of the highlights from the last several weeks: 

A great celebration for Father’s Day combined with my dad’s birthday; Learning how to (and successfully) getting through two broody hens (the POLISH girls – Ava & Tosh, of course = our YOUNGEST chickens!!); SPRING-cleaning the outdoor chicken run (equals several hours scraping out old ‘flooring’ to replace with multiple inches of sand … Compost, anyone?!?);

20210703_062832

Planting the new/improved garden – YO, LOOK AT THOSE BEANS!!!;

20210716_182839

Making too many good meals to count; POOL DAYS – every time we can; Puppies (Gaia and her babies are doing great – photos to come!); Replacing our toaster oven with one that has ROTISSERIE options [DH is finally open to hearing about meat chickens- DOH!!!];

20210716_175200  20210716_191103

Making a four pound meatloaf while cleaning out our fridge;

20210716_191531  20210716_192019

Ruminating over the best approach for the latest nursing MANDATORY order; Acknowledging OUR TWINS turn 24 years old TODAY!!!! (OMGosh!) – Happy Birthday to my BABIES!!!

twins

And, finally – heading back to work for 24 more hours of ER fun!

Caught up.  Leaving with a great photo DH caught from our pond …

Hugs Ya’ll!!!received_1236003003893645

PS – We’re back up to 7-10 eggs per day … Go LADIES, GO!!!