Saturday, October 29, 2011

I thought it was too early for that dusting of snow...

now look at it:





and this is just the beginning...

Friday, October 28, 2011

it seems a bit early for snow

but it is beautiful all the same
in the lamplight, waves of snow
and ice touched peaks of green
sparkle and glow
leaves still clinging to branches
tinkle under the touch of wind
and there is a deep silence like no other
under the great blue black sky
but for the gentle crunch of each of my steps.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Right Place. Right Time.

I wish I'd had a camera, but it probably would not have done it justice.  I often see the dead drones outside of an Autumn beehive, but I just spent the past half hour watching the worker (girl) honeybees kick a drone (boy) honeybee out of the hive.  The drones, for those who don't know, pretty much freeload all summer.  They hang out, watch baseball, eat the food, and go out to bars where they hang out with the other drones in the sky and hope to meet up with a virgin Queen honeybee ready for mating.

Anyway, he was dragged and pushed out of the hive entrance (a hole about a half inch across) and then the workers would push him, chew on him, and beat on him to keep him out.  Being twice their size he would make it back inside and they would drag and push him back out and do it all again.  There were a couple other drones flying around and one even snuck in the second entrance where he didn't seem to be accosted.  But it was fascinating to watch.  I'm sure, in the end, he's gonna join the pair of dead drones at the hive entrance, but I didn't stay to watch.

Lesson for Life: don't be lazy, you might find yourself out on the street just before winter.  :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rain and the Autumn

The plant stand on the porch was put into the shed and out has come the wood rack.  And slowly, we are filling it with wood.  I am slowly bagging leaves up for the goats for a midwinter snack.  The bees are tied up and just need a last minute check before winter.

The people are ready for the wood stove, but the pipes on the wood stove are not ready for fire.  So, while we wait for pipes and a good time for installation we're hoping for warm weather.  Although, I have cheated a few mornings and turned on the bathroom heat.

You would think I would have learned my lesson last week about making any recipe midweek that involves a rolling pin, but no.  Tonight, we're having naan bread with what was supposed to be roasted leek and fennel soup, but since there were no leeks, we're having sweet potato and fennel soup.  We shall see if I set the oven on fire this week!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Garden....


I'm not sure exactly what happened this summer to the garden when we weren't looking!  But we went in today to harvest and clean everything up.  We still have celeriac and chard and kale to harvest.  The pepper and tomato plants looked good.  The peppers even still were flowering, but with fall well under way, we pulled things up and called it a season.


The valerian looks GREAT.  I was tempted to pull out a plant to get us through the winter, but I have enough valerian tinctured to wait and let my plants grow big and strong like I'm spose to.  I did have to tear out the marshmallow and move it.  It was way too close to the valerian.  Unfortunately, it took quite a beating in the move, and maybe I should have just taken up the roots to use and replant a new one next year, but I think there's enough time for it to settle in to it's new spot before the frosts really come.  So, I tucked the perennials in, including the beautiful sage we bought for the bees (it's not looking so great right now, but I have high hopes that it will bounce back in spring).  

And then we cleaned up the beds and planted the garlic.  The only thing left to do is get some cardboard into the beds and some more compost as we can and wait for spring.  Yay!!!  I LOVE this time of year, when I realize that the garden didn't do so bad, despite all of my neglect and if I just give it a little bit of love and attention NEXT YEAR, it could be great.  And then, January catalogs will come and I'll have completely forgotten how much work it was and I will dream big for summer!!!  I do know that I would like to put a lot more herbs into the garden in the coming years!  That's my new big plan!  

And here's a little treat we found while we were out in the garden.  I believe it is a monarch butterfly...or will be.  


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Walnuts

I was gifted with a giant box of walnuts by a friend.  I took them and wondered what do I do with these.  Or, I guess more to the point, WHEN do I do with these.  Well, the answer to to second question was today. 

So, I got on the internet, did some research and then Troy and I got to work:

Unhulled walnuts.  


Wearing kitchen gloves, I hulled all the walnuts into this mess (the gloves keep the black stain from getting onto your hands, which according to the internet never comes off).  
Be aware there are some creepy maggoty things in some of the hulls.  



A close up of the hulled nuts.


Then, I washed the shelled walnuts.  Over and over and over and over.  


And over...


Until they were clean...or mostly clean.  


I piled my hoard in a towel dried them and scrubbed them some more.  


I left them in the sun in the bed of the truck.  I am hoping the squirrels will leave them alone being in the truck.  
Now, I leave to dry for four weeks, then can crack and open.  
I'm reading that it might be a bigger task opening the walnuts to eat later than all of the above put together.  
Will keep you posted.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!

To Us!!  Eight years together!!

(together in Paris)

I love you Paul!!