Saturday, March 31, 2012

rabbits and rattlesnakes...

Last night I went to dinner and a play with a couple of my longtime friends.  My simple night out turned out to be a bit of an adventure when we read the menu.  Rabbit and Rattlesnake Sausage  linguine?  I was enamored and had to give it a try.  Let me say it was delicious.  The sausage was very rich and tasted nothing like chicken:)  The meal was huge, so I had some to take home.  Despite offering several people samples, only one person was brave enough to give it a try. Go Tera.

I found it funny how this simple plate made people ponder.  The waitress commented that it was ironic preadator and prey were so good together.  It got my brother thinking and he wants me to research creating a jackrabbit and antelope sausage.  He said it would make the elusive South Dakota Jackalope a reality.  Though the combination gave some people thought, it made others cringe.   Needless to say, my husband who detests snakes did not sample from my doggie bag.

I can't say enough how much I enjoyed a wonderful evening with friends.  Sometimes a person gets so wrapped up in everyday things that one forgets the importance of time with friends is meaningful. We decided we would try to get out more often. 

What do you think?  Would you try the rabbit and rattlesnake linguine?  What was the oddest food you tried and enjoyed?   

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Butterflies vs. Bees

In this corner we have two beautiful butterflies.  They are basking in the sunshine.  Unfortunately, they decided to do so on top of the bee hives.
 In the other corner, we have a hive full of happy bees.  They are feeling frisky with the fresh spring air.

Everybody was enjoying the warm weather, until they noticed each other.

Then it was... "Let's get ready to RUMBLE!"
The bee comes out fighting, while the butterfly seems disinterested.  Maybe he thought the bee wasn't in his weight class.
Now the bee is giving it the old one two.
In the end, the butterflies decided the best way to deal with the bee was to go incognito.  The fight is over. Despite the bee's vigorous attacks the butterflies won the match.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring has sprung?

It is hard for me to believe that it is already spring, so my husband and I took a walk to see.

Maybe it is close.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thankgoodness for the greenhouse...

As you can see, it will be awhile before I  can hit the flower beds.  But wait, my loving husband bought me a greenhouse.  I dug my way in and enjoyed the smell of fresh dirt.  Yes.  There is hope.   After I scooped and scoped out the situation, I decided it wouldn't hurt to try and plant some seeds.  I added to the lettuce and spinach that had made it though the winter.  I put some carrots, radishes, and beets in the ground.  Then... I got to use my new watering can. 
Please notice the shovel handle and the small pile of snow.  Please do not notice the wonderful combination of giant sweatshirt, blue plaid flannels, and camouflage rubber boots.  Nobody ever accused me of being a fashionable gardener.

I was so happy to use the new can. It worked perfectly.
This lettuce made it through the winter.  It didn't grow by leaps and bounds, but it hung in there.

This is my freshly planted and watered greenhouse.  I didn't go crazy with planting, just some quick growing cold hardy stuff.  At this point it is all still experimentation.

I decided to bring the washtub inside and plant it with chamomile.  The pot below has some mint from last year.  The mint seems to have survived the winter.

It was a balmy 70 inside the greenhouse.  Hopefully, it will stay warm and my seeds will do well.  Again, if things don't do well it is all an experiment.  I am testing the limits of my growing season with the greenhouse.  I have to say it was great just getting my hands dirty. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Project progress...

 Thanks to advice from my followers the rug is progressing nicely.  I did take it apart and re-sew it a bit looser.  That helped.  I really enjoy working on it.   We have gone from coaster size to chair pad size. 
These aren't colors I normally use, but I really like how it looks in the rug.  Now I need to get working on the quilt.  That is where I need more advice.  Does anyone know a good tutorial website that shows how to use templates when making a quilt?  I need to make at least a hundred odd shaped triangles using two different templates.   I have never used a template when making a block.  Any help is appreciated. 

Also the worms are happy and settled in.  I have decided to take my compost to them once a week.  I check them daily.  I have to admit part of that is because I keep thinking I'll go down there and they will have escaped the bin and I will have to explain to my husband why our house is crawling with worms.  So far so good and they have stayed bin bound.   No, Gene, they are not for fishing!

On the bird front, an unidentified bird of prey seems to be perusing my feeders.   I just saw him for a second this weekend.  Time to take a quick photo.  He didn't hang around long enough to identify.   I see yesterday it must have got a bird from the feeder.  After a thorough investigation of the crime scene, I believe I'm short a junco. 
My final project update is that I racked my saskatoon and pear wines.  I'm happy with their progress.  The Sassy Saskatoon wine has been a plesant surprise for it's flavor.  I just had some of my 3rd batch Rowdy Rhubarb and you can certianly tell that I used the larger redder pieces of rhubarb.  The difference in flavor is distinct.
We will not discuss gardening any time soon.  My poor greenhouse is behind a bank of snow.  My husband keeps trying to tell me that the long range forecast says things will be warmer from here on out.  I'm not buying it.
I'm glad to see the rest of the world is starting to awaken to spring.  I look forward to your quilting advice and looking at your green gardens.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The guilt trip is over...

I have been on a guilt trip all winter.  Why?  Well, it is a long story.  I got a compost tumbler the first year we were in the cabin.  I had to, the soil up here is solid clay and I needed all the help with amending it I could get.   Every fall it was the same routine.  I would empty the compost around my roses before I tucked them in for the winter.  Then I would move the composter from the garden to the deck.  All winter I would fill it.  It was easy just step out the door once a week and scraps are put to good use.  I grew up on a farm and scraps were never put in the trash, that was wasteful.  They went to the pigs, chickens, or even the wildlife. 

This year I got sidetracked, and the roses didn't get tucked in (another guilt trip in itself) and the composter didn't get emptied, and because it didn't get emptied it didn't get moved to the deck.  Thus, no composting this winter and that has led to a guilt trip.  Every time I put egg shells and such in the trash there was a pang of guilt.  As you can see in the photo, there is no getting to the composter in the winter if it isn't on the deck.  That is the handle you see. 
I needed to do something.  My sister had given me a worm composter.  Since she has pigs and chickens, she has many other options for composting.  Thanks Sis.  It has been in the garage for most of the summer.   I couldn't take it any longer.  I took the step and ordered worms from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm.  They came on Wed.  Poor guys looked a little worse for the wear after their journey.
I quickly got them settled into their new home.  I used dampened shredded paper and some old potting soil.  Then gave them a helping of lettuce and a banana.  They quickly became happy worms.

I check them daily.  They are getting plump and seem to like the new digs.  Today after breakfast I happily put my scraps aside, knowing that they will not go to waste.  I ran the paper through the shredder knowing it will go to good use.  I am not the queen of recycling by any means, but I don't like to toss stuff in a landfill when it could be used to improve the soil.  
Happy worms + Happy Bonnie = Happy Plants - Guilt Trip

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An old cream can is new again...

My dad helped me out with this project.  He and I both love antiques.  He likes to look at them, but I like to find new uses for them.  My husband and I built our log cabin and although it is a great feeling creating your own cabin, a new home does not come with old stuff.  My sister and her husband bought an old farm and it was a gold mine in my eyes for old things that can be turned into new things.  Anyway, my husband and I have to keep our eyes open. 

One thing that has been driving me nuts is how to keep Ella's dog food.  I hated having the bag out, but couldn't find something that suited my taste to put it in.  That is where my dad comes in.  I love going around and looking at stuff with him.  During one of our forays I became obsessed with using a cream can for the dog food.

Dad had several cans around the farm and he found me the perfect one.  Not only did he find one the perfect size, with a lid that came off easy, even a chain to hold the lid on, but then he cleaned it up and oiled it and gave it to us for Christmas.  PERFECT.  I put a garbage bag inside and it now what holds Ella's dog food.  

Is that slick or what?  I love it.  Ella isn't so happy as she could get into the dog food bags.  There is no breaking into the cream can. 

Thanks Dad.