Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

puttering stuff done.

Haven't posted in a week, so time for an update.

Yep, got the moss spread around the three cherries and the one maple it was already growing around. So far, so good, looks like the transplants are taking :) So now I get to do a buttermilk treatment. I think I'm going to go for the FoH walkway for that one, should make that easy as pie.

Finally, finally got the last of the trim from the fallen maple snipped up and the last piles are down by the firepit sanctuary now awaiting burning. Hooray for it being dry enough two days in a row to be able to burn a half dozen piles of the stuff, so I was able to mow today, and get the rest of the scrap dumped down there. Just one more pile of backyard scrap to go, then I can start working on the front yard piles, lol. Just logs in the backyard now to be cut up, and the main tree part of course.
Along with that, the back yard was finally cleared enough to mow again- holy shit, it needed it, and what a difference it makes in the way the area looks. Got all that crap mowed out on the north side of the house and garage too, big yay. After I get the tree trimmer called in the boys will get the go ahead for the backyard again since there won't be any dangerously dangling branches anymore. And yep, the one hung up maple branch is now down too, my love got on a ladder and yanked it down.

Fixing the boat is now off the list. David has claimed it back, it's now in his yard. Maybe next year we will get a boat- if I get some dock action built in that is. Dock first though.

Raspberries are done.  And yeah, the fence section will have to be let alone for a while till I finally kill off the tree matter there. Mulberries are starting to peter out. The pears are looking super healthy, the apples are looking pretty good too- both need some time till ripe yet. No peaches or cherries- next year. Got our first ear of corn forming, yay! I'm thinking I'm going to save all this years corn seed for planting a fence row next year. It's growing amazingly short, which is great. If I get enough seed, the fence row will be my marker between the orchard and future steel box area. There is so much wild carrot growing, I will have no problem making a nice hedgerow of the stuff to mark off the border of the firepit sanctuary.
The cauliflower was a total failure :( There are a handful of struggling sunflowers :( The spinach was a total failure :( The random beans appear to be a failure too :( At least next growing season I will be better prepared to actually garden. I shouldn't be too shocked, I said before we moved first year was more likely to be an assessment and catch up year rather than anything really productive.
But still, today at least I feel like I am keeping up to the point of progress for next year rather than falling behind on what needs to be done this year.

Tippy and friends:
Got a few pics today :) Red Ruby, White Madge, and of course the rooster is Mr. Tasty!

Boy, these guys love it where ever I clean up. And Ruby is just starting to figure out if she hops up on the front porch and makes some noise I will come out with chicken bread for them.
Ugh, all that reminds me I am way overdue for the bird feeders refills. I so need to start roughing in the path down fairy hill to make my refilling easier. And steps down to the firepit sanctuary would make life easier too, lol.

Been working on a craft project for the house. I'm making 10 liquid glass panels for the great room doors. Just putting up some basic unbleached muslin curtains made a big difference. But I need to do a touch of exterior work on the doors to seal them from the weather before I put the panels up. We got a bit of a leak so I need to replace a section of rotted wood and seal the whole thing up. They look ok so far, I'll post pics once the project is finished.

For cooking: Made up a big batch of chop suey for the freezer. Dried some blueberries to go into the dried berry jar. There was a great sale on breakfast links and bacon, so I IQFd the links and broke the bacon down to half pounds to freeze. Now it's just pull and cook for two or more :) I now have enough cheese dip jars to start storing herbs in them.
Last weekends salad was a simple italian pasta salad. Fuslini, huge grape tomatoes quartered, yellow and orange sweet pepper diced, onion diced, can of small black olives, drained and halved. Mixed it with some italian dressing and into the fridge. When I was ready to serve, I small cubed a ball of fresh mozzarella and tossed it all together.
I think it might be time to start working on my cookbook again.

On the tec front- Truckbot by my love. Interesting thing, a truck base printed here at growbox hill.

Friday, July 22, 2011

a break from the heat

Finally getting a break from the heat- at the cost of rain off and on for the next couple days.

But whew, I love my new wheelbarrows. Used the steel one to move the stepping stones from by the spigot to the buried LP line. Not quite perfect, but meh, I will be making more.

Cleaned up all the brush from by the pole barn and magnolia too. It was a fast five piles made along the arch drive thanks to my plastic wheelbarrow. The squashes and pumpkins along the arch drive are just starting to bloom, hooray! Got the brush piles moved there none too soon- the neighbors that were kind enough to still leave a truck hole in my yard have used the drive a couple times recently, so yeah, time to discourage that before any vines start trailing along, lol. And it's a nice staging area between the front yard and the firepit. Sigh for the rain- finally cool enough to do a brush fire, but now it's too wet for one, lol.

Got the worst of the big ass weeds chopped down around the chicken pad and onto the pile. Yanked out the whole pile of kuzu and left it to die on cement. Don't ever just toss that crap into the compost heap. Let it sit where it can't root till it's all good and dead if you plan on putting it on the heap. If you can burn it, do so. That stuff is horribly invasive :(

Getting a lot of falling fruit- enough that I will need to rake the area and trundle the stuff off to the compost heap. I know leaving the fruit to rot where it falls isn't good. Invites pests and disease. But I did notice there are some nice moss patches in the orchard, so I'm going to clear those tree bases and redistribute the moss there. It may be with some dedication, I won't need edgers around them if I can get the moss to spread. I can then start saving those for a different project.

The chicory and wild carrot are still blooming. Quite a bit of the plantain has formed seed, so now I will have to watch them for when they are ripe.

So now with the LP tank moved, once it dries out enough for it, time to weed whack the snot out of the north edge of the property line. Yuck, will have to spray myself excessively for the damn chiggers. They are extra nasty over there. Will have to snag a ton of hostas if I can find them cheap or free to dump into that area a bit I think. Good fill for the shady area that will be low maintenance in the years to come.
I got the number of Davids tree guy too today, so Monday will be a business day to call him and do a few other errands that need doing. Hmmm, maybe hit the HoH and HD to get the odds and ends to take care of the windows too. I think between tree trimming and fixing the florida room, that will clear up the rest of the insurance compliance stuff. At least till next inspection, lol.

Hmmm, moss. I want moss in a few areas of the yard. There's a couple of methods to help do that, and I'm going to try them. One is simply putting patches of moss where you want em. Did that a bit when I repaired the front walk, and some of it took pretty well. Another method is to make a slurry of buttermilk or beer and moss, then spread it. I think I will try that in test patches all over the orchard. Maybe if we get a decent break in the weather, I will do that. Good to take advantage of the weather like that :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Birthday awesomeness!!

Been hotter than hades for most of the week. Way too hot for outside labor. So I've been tinkering around with small projects indoors. Just trying to stay cool since we can't afford a central air unit till probably next summer, lol. Got bigger fish to fry right now. And I sort of jinked my back again. Need to start doing some stretching and core.

But today is my birthday, and what a wonderful day, despite the heat. BTW, FA has been right on with heat and sporadic thunderstorms this week. It said today was supposed to be storms, then sunny and cool for the weekend. Since it's hot, humid, and sunny all day today, I'm hoping tomorrow it breaks. I'm hoping the break does not knock the power out, we don't have the hook up cord yet, lol.

Made myself some goodies- pjs, salt scrub, and a jade jewelry set. Also bought myself a set of yard scissors. Had all the other stuff already, but the yard scissors- those were eight bucks at the local hardware store.

Even better- the T&C LP guy showed this morning- then came back and got the tank moved, properly raised, and the line buried- for FREE! Happy dance. One more insurance compliance off the list. Now I just need to make some pavers for the spot, will have to make some molds and mix up a batch of cement in my new wheelbarrow. I will be able to do up a full bag at a time now for mixing.

Wait... Did I just say new wheelbarrow?

Yes I did- the best part of my birthday gifts. My love didn't just get me a wheelbarrow. He got me the pair of wheelbarrows that I wanted! A steel 6 cuft for mixing and heavy stuff moving and concrete mixing, which is what I really needed. But get this, he also got me the 10 cuft plastic one for the lightweight stuff too! That was just a wish for a later date item. How awesome is that? He was paying attention the other week when I was talking about yard stuff. And the plastic one goes beyond mere need into the wow, extra cool item that I wanted, but figured was only a wish list item for some future point :)
If I had balls- I would have sweated them off today while assembling the things. Opened three bays of the garage and worked in the shade, that was nice. It was also really gratifying to sort of get a double present out of my wheelbarrows. The items themselves, and the really good feeling of getting them assembled, the cool project factor of the thing :) I made something today out of a gift, and I will use it for years to come :) It's a tangible thing. I will need to do some taping or rubberizing of the handles, and likely do painting of the wood bits at least. But I love them. If it wan't so effing hot, I would be out using them right now instead of blogging, lol.

Need to get the tree trimming done and the windows addressed next week to keep up with the insurance compliance before August. I think I have till the end of August, but I want to hop to as much as possible early if I can. Gonna hit the HoH and see if they got any cheap mats for the windows. Don't care what color stuff is right now, just want to get things fixed and sealed. I want to do serious painting next year anyway. Of course yellow with white trim.
And pttht. Need to do some major patching to the garage roof once it cools off in a month or two. It will just have to wait till then, but I think I can quick patch it enough to hold up till next spring or so for more serious repair.

The marigolds are doing really well in their planters by the great room entrance. I tried to line em up just along their rim and the dripline of the roof. Looks like it's working well. I think I will have seed to pull over the next couple days. The house side apple was looking glorious with ripening fruit today too.
Yack, need to be thinking about pressing equipment. Good thing the local farm place has an assortment of good cheap jacks, lol. And blech, storage equipment. Time to be thinking about big bottles for storing fruit liquids. We will have some dried berries and pears, and the best of the apples. But there will be a lot of apples at least that will see juicing and saucing. We just got an old meat grinder for five bucks at a resale shop the other day. Good enough for grinding a ton of fruit at least with one plate and a handcrank. Yep, will be looking at it closely to see if I can make it powerdrill drive instead. Maybe by next fruit season, we will have the whole thing set up with a lil sterling engine to run the power at the right speed for some good hopper feeding. And for now, with a couple of wheelbarrows like what I got, I can haul a lot off to the compost heap too.
Anywho, the corn is looking good too. So is a bit too much of the rest of the property. Found earplugs, so I am ready to go whack. Got my serious hauling and other whacking devices set up. And an assortment of good gloves for work. Ack, the heat is a killer though.

Think I might have to start doing coffee walks in the morning while it is still cool. I plunk my butt for too long during the cool hours.

Speaking of heat. I think I know what I want to do for my beekeep suit. I got a lot of off white slubbed silk, and growbox hill is rather fine about adding tec to old skool.. Say air conditioning for the beekeep suit. Electronics style. There's some serious AC for electronics out there, just a matter of figuring out requirements.

Tippy and friends? Too dang hot for anyone to be doing much cept cool hours. Need to fill the feeders though. And there is now an official Chicken Bread jar :)

Cooking? Lol, I'm off to get cleaned up for dinner. Tonight is the hubby's turn :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

just a bit.

Got the rest of the small wood trimmed out of the fenceline below the power lines. Now I just have to get out there with a ladder and maybe my love to get the tallest stuff down from around the power lines safely. I can start out on the ladder trimming higher stuff, but there will be a point when a second person is just wise.
Also got all the scrap wood re-arranged to the new raspberry bed. There were starts already marking off my width and depth, so I just re-distributed the wood. Saved a couple of decent 2x12s to drop for paths. Was planning on them running NS, but the way the plants already there are, they ended up EW. No biggie, three sections- and the fence section is still raspberry free so I can keep whacking at it for a while. I may end up trying to leave that area free honestly. The two banks would be a lovely amount for the reds, and if I keep the fence area clear, makes a handy pass area from the square foot row over to the area behind the pole barn that is designated for the asparagus beds. And leaves the fenceline still clear. I really rather keep that up and easy if I can. I want to do blacks and whites  for raspberries too, but the whites at least will go somewhere else. The reds are the glossy kind, so I'm pretty sure I can put in blacks there. If I want fuzzy reds, meh, that might be later somewhere. Think I might ask the north neighbors if we should remove some vertical fence panels for where the lilacs are growing in. Keep em for when other sections pop, and the lilacs are growing in anyway.
Since the wood is stacked pretty good all the way around, I'm thinking I may be able to just leave it as is for bordering. Sad, there were some lovely chunks of wood there before the carpenter ants got to them. Ew, the nests I uncovered and exposed to the sun. By the time those things break down, we will have some sort of chipper for grinding up chips to bank it. If not, square foot row is going to march right up to it, so it will be easy enough to haul rough compost there too heading eastward.
I think I will need to mark off my plum tree spots soon. The area is suddenly starting to rough up well. I know I want plums to fill in the orchard area. Maybe replace the peach with another in a couple years if trimming and care don't yield well. Or maybe try some experimental nectarine grafting next spring onto the peach, Muahahahhhaaa.
So all of the trimmings from the area so far eat up a pretty nice chunk of the fenceline. About half I would say. By the time the tops are down too, probably hit two thirds. Then it can all sit for the rest of the grow season, and hopefully I will have a good dead area to drop fall leaves on, and save myself that much in plastic costs. The whole thing will go into the firepit log pile this fall if I can get away with it. I want to whack up and burn the rest of the maple scrap sooner rather than later, but I'd rather keep the "good" maple for the indoor fireplace rather than junk wood. Apparently, fall storms are the best to keep wood from for mushroom logs. And now I have a new supply of thicker burnables for the rest of the season...
Cool beans.. While cursing all the frigging wild grapes entangling the weedy trees- I also discovered the neighbors are growing some sort of viney rose on the other side of the fence. I just let what wanted to drape over to do so, and I am hoping they will grow back and blossom next year. That would be a lovely break in the lilacs. We have a couple of scrounged pieces of rebar sitting, maybe I can rig that up into an additional support to ride the fenceline for now. Could be it is a really nice plant that I can keep creeping out with supports to make a nice arbor nook faced with the lilac bank in a few years.

Lilacs.. uncovered several starts while trimming... So now I know I have at least a couple varieties to dig up and toss into the solarium for spring planting. And I found out today that the Benton Harbor conservatory or extension (Chris weren't sure which) offered all sorts of lilac action every spring for dirt cheap. We agreed to let the other know if were were going in for something, and if the other was interested, split the package. Now I will need to hit those sites and check out what all they have for other cheapies. I might be able to get good seed and plants that are native and good for birds action for the firepit sanctuary. Also might find a whole handful of other treasures too :) We have a few wild trillium, but I would love to introduce more.

Speaking of introductions.. I think I can really help open up the boat launch without too much hell. Too soon to tell if it would be good otherwise, but I think I can yank back the shallow water plants without too much difficulty. And introduce some lily pads. I could swear I saw the speckling of white blooms all over the hidden pond to the south of us. If so, I might be able to get a few local plants to introduce to our pond. Still thinking on the pathway. I'm not mowing that far, but I think a good start would be tossing my cement casting scribbings down.
Once the grass has died down, I will go out and remove the willow starts. I want to do it now while it's kind of easier, but tick season is rampant. I bemoan the needing of bug spray, I am so spoiled, lol. The skeeters are liking me but require little spray. Those fucking ticks- found a second one yesterday, just wandering on my neck thank goodness, again. Today I sprayed twice while doing cleanup. Ticks are gross and nasty.
Anywho... I trimmed back the tall grass and weeds to start a green mulch layer along the east side of the arch drive and the trouble hill. Still need to dress up the west side of the arch, but so far, so good. Think since I found the miraclegro, I might give a sip all around. Run the hose on a trickle over the hill, and refill the ferts for the arch from there.
The heirloom doubledaffs will not be going to trouble hill. The hardy ivy still growing in the solarium will be introduced there, and seedums too if the task requires it. But I may end up with a handful of goblin eggs and scaloppini this season from the area anyway.

No, the truck hole still isn't filled in :(  It's not a swamp anymore either. Time to accept that I need to start filling the problem. I think some shoveling around will help fill the front wheels first. I'm gonna crack the fairy hill and give a tad more. Start trimming and making gateways in. The ditch lilies in the solarium are also almost ready to pull and replant too. Time to start soaking that corner of the pond, lol. The new rubber gloves they boys picked out for me will keep me well in the planting to come. And the new rubber boots I picked up from Target- six bucks on clearance, the only pair on the shelf, and in my size, small.
Slowly but surely...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

summer squall bites the pocketbook :(

Had a squall blow in Monday morning. Yeah, we lost power, till late last night.

Our neighbor David is super- awesome! We did without electric most of Monday, and were hitting the phonebook to start to look around for generator help Tuesday morning (rather dejectly I must add, since without power there was no coffee), when up walked David to our front door, offering us the loan of one of his generators till we got power. He's also going to give me the name and number of his tree guy so we can take care of the backyard, and the boys can finally play in their tree fort again. THANK YOU DAVID!!

We did have to spend quite a bit to get a good generator for ourselves. A nice kid at the store offered to drop it off after work for forty, and of course my love was smart enough to do it. Kid was honest as hell, found the place just fine and dropped it off ok :) We got it unpacked and hand tightened assembled, and dark was really on us. So we hiked it back to the solarium. We were doing our last bathroom and house securing done before killing our loaned generator for the night.. And the electric company had stopped a truck out front. So I skipped around to the office, and we went out and met the two guys who were doing a visual line check back to our transformer. I told them all the lines in the back were still hanging, and they got back on it at the road. So we killed the generator, and about 30 minutes later, the power came back on.

I do not miss Chicago, nor my home town right now. I've had better living and way way better local interactions here than anywhere else I lived since I was a kid.
I do dearly miss everyone I love though, they all seem so far away now. Geez, I got family that stays no more than thirty minutes away from me.. Somehow this place still feels surreally disconnected. I still can't believe our good fortune.

BTW, I have family traveling.. both on a lot of local trips and much longer hauls over greater waters.. Safe travels to all of you. May your paths be full of wonder and lacking of any anguish or drama. I recommend listening to the Sunscreen Song...

I would also recommend another video, not sure how many can show in a post yet, starting with one :)

Sadly, the emergency with the generator pretty much tapped us, so no wagon for the lawn tractor for a while. On the bright side, hauling everything a tarp load at a time to the firepit or compost pile sure is a good workout!! Maybe I'll ask everyone for gift certificates to the farm shop, home depot, and amazon books this year for christmas. It would sure go a long way to help fill in some gaps we got going on. I will for sure be getting at least a wheelbarrow soon, maybe I can weasel one for my birthday, lol.

As time goes on, I feel the pressure of our needs for a cheap pickup too. We could have carted the generator back ourselves then. And shoot, if it was good for it, I could use the truck bed to do the whole yard wood pickup at once and back down to the firepit. And provide a stable base for higher ladder action. The spacing of the trees will allow it I think, I will try to keep it that way. Late fall will see some heavier pruning than cleanup has been so far.
And yack, we will need a second generator setup for the other side of the house too. And a furnace for this side of the house too before long. Pttht, the paperwork side of growbox hill isn't as fun as the other stuff.

Anywho, so today was a lot of yard cleanup. Pick up sticks, mow the lawn. Finally got the backyard cleaned up for a high pass. Still got a lot to cut up though. Got tons of brush to burn off. Sweet, finally getting to the point of some stackable logs to cut up and let cure for the 2012 winter months. Picked a whole bunch more mulberries and several red raspberries. Picked two of the three poppyseed pods. After the third one dries enough, I'll collect that too, then split the seed with Chris. It's a terribly fine seed, hard to tell it from the chafe. But it will get sprinkled back into it's place next spring :)

Tippy and friends: Cept the chicken wallows. Mr. Tasty and his girls were out wandering around me when I was doing stuff in the backyard. I separated him from his girls on accident, and did he crow about it, lol. And they were all clucky at me when I hit the mulberry tree. I wasn't sure if I was stealing their shade or grub, so I tossed a couple berries I accidentally picked too hard, and they ignored me and headed for home. On my way back in I saw the obvious wallow spots. I will keep those open, and I think that area will see the first calcium trough.
And I heard a new animal noise today. From the pond area, more birdish than anything else. Will keep an ear out for it now.

Fishing this weekend past wasn't awesome. The boat plug leaks, so I gotta take a look at that. And apparently the casting from our side isn't all that great. I'm a bit leery to whack at the edge the boat wallow made. It's such a healthy environment that I think I would really have to set some death to make the area fishing clear. I'll have to come up with a plan for at least boat launching. Time to get final confirmation on the boat from David, then keelhaul the thing if I get the OK. It's just a basic rower, and in aluminum to boot, so it should be pretty easy to outfit. We just got the lifeneckers, I can probably get the foam and fabric cheap for making buoyant cushions too. I can just hang out for the fall sales on summer stuff like that, and make them before the lake thaws again. If I can keelhaul it, it's likely going to be the first project worked on in the pole barn.
The sawhorses are shabby, but they will work ok till I get a new set cut up. I think there might be enough salvaged 2x4 action to make two sets, which would be perfect. Tee-hee, if I measure it right, I can make a perfect quad set. Think the hardware for it isn't too bad either pricewise. Maybe I will end up with scrap for proper bracing without hardware.

TIP OF THE DAY: When you buy a generator, keep in mind that the battery, power cable to hook up the generator to your house, oil, and gas are not part of the deal unless it EXPLICITLY says any of those things are included on the box or by sale promotion on the behalf of the store. Make SURE you check the generator for these things before you get back home. Apparently those are (%$(*$#*#))^&* giggle jerks) nice lil add ons to the purchase of the generator itself. Most places that sell the generator sell those parts too.

OTHER TIP OF THE DAY: Use screws when you can to join parts. Use nails more when finishing or when vibrations and weights concerns don't apply so much. When using dowels, ALWAYS use a spludge of glue in the hole first. If using shims, a light coating of glue before tapping in does not hurt either. Smear the tapped out glue to smooth out he ridgeline of what it's gluing together.

And hey, if other people are reading this.. Could ya comment sometimes please? I'm not sure how much of this is more journal and less public sometimes. If you have a favorite plant, or good source, speak up. If you know the original link to something I talk about and didn't include, post it :)
If you have links to stuff that helps out self sufficiency, post it up. If you just want to say, hey, keep up the good work, that helps too :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

As summer gently rolls

Got a large portion of the weed trees down by the raspberries whacked down today. Yeah, they are making quite the heap along the fence line now. By the time I'm done cutting down the other half, it should stretch quite a ways up the fence line. Who needs black plastic to smother the grass under garden row when I can just let all the branches sit to dry there? After I'm done clearing, it's just a simple task to relay the wood, then in with the raspberry transplants from the rest of the yard. I will have to snip suckers for a while off what stump action is left though. Ah well.

Got the stakes in along the arch drive, which is good. I almost air blasted them mowing the lawn last weekend, lol. Now that the stakes are in place, I know where to align the closed side of the deck.

Got the first batch of mulberries picked and dried. Still got lots and lots to go on the tree. Looks like there will be at least a goodly month of picking there. I will use them reconstituted in muffins and pancakes over the winter, yay! Sadly, not one single motherlorn cherry is still on any of the cherry trees, I have no idea why. The peaches are coming along questionably, but the pears are looking spectacular so far. The apples are sort of iffy- some of them look great, some of them for sure will need to be pressed instead.

Harvested quite a bit of daisy seed today. Sadly, I spilled half of it twice while gathering, lol. Once I caught my hand on a plant, and the second time something big as hell landed on my hand and bit me, making me jump. I will have to go out a couple more times for more seed gathering, there's plenty there still ripening. Gonna sprinkle that seed along the open line of the firepit sanctuary. The wild carrot in the yard is coming along well too thankfully. There should be enough seed for mixing with the daisy seed and still have some for the spice shelf.
The chicory is blooming like mad. It looks quite striking alongside the ditch lilies. I can hardly wait to start digging up roots for roasting. The plantains in the FoH garden are slowly ripening, but I think there's enough of them to really make a nice fill in for next year if I broadcast the seed carefully.

There may be a blackberry growing in the yard- one of my friends pointed it out when visiting. She also confirmed the lilacs growing in the FoH garden, so yep, those are going to get dug up for along the easement drive. Now that most of the ditch lilies are all blooming, I get to look forward to transplanting most of them to the drive in a few weeks too.

We have had a couple of good bonfires from all the maple scrap. Actually cleared a whole pile of the stuff now, and working on the big pile finally. Took a bit to get the fire going for the fourth, but it was pretty nice once it got going. We lit off a bunch of the little fountain fireworks in the driveway- it was cool.

Got some good advice on how to deal with the spookies on the property during the weekend too. Mom dang near gave me a heart attack with her fade out while we were discussing it. I will have to remember not to bring it up with her around anymore, I have forgotten that she is more frail now, and that can be a bad thing with her being as sensitive as she is. We got a full moon coming up next week, so I'm thinking of doing an offering that night :) I can hardly wait till we get the chainsaw action done on the fallen maple so I can have my outdoor altar down in the firepit sanctuary. I think it will be rather nice for offerings.

Tippy and friends are doing well, running all over. The chickens are happy that I've cleaned up the back patio- they were scratching and dust bathing back there today. Saw a turtle in the tall grass while collecting daisy seed today too. Heh, kind of spooked me at first because it moved so close to me. He was pretty big, larger than my spread hand. But I knew better than to pick it up without gloves. Those guys can have some icky stuff on them that isn't so good for humans. The white cat has become an almost nightly visitor to the patio door, much to Pookums dismay. He sits on the stair landing and hates on white cat, and white cat sits and messes with Pookums. I know there's nothing to be done about that, so Pooks will just have to learn to deal with it.

Nothing much going on in the tec front. My love has been working on other stuff. So have I, making other crafty stuff. Almost got the costume room cleaned up enough to start working on the altar in there too. Found a good design for a DIY pantograph, so I want to blow up a fantastic celtic pentacle I have for an altar cloth. Good thing I have the large standing hoop to stretch the fabric on. Honestly, it's kind of nice having a season break from faire so I can work on making other stuff, lol.

Food- hmmm, been dinking off and on with food. Just picked up some rather interesting cookbooks, so I'm looking forward to making some stuff out of those. Mostly rustic foods, with a rather nice seafood one, and an interesting non-alcolholic drinks one. The summer salads quests have been sort of meh. I did do a rather tasty dish of green beans and yellow squash in bacon fat to go along with steak- super yummy and freshly picked from a local produce place.
Garlic potatoes too- super easy. Coarse chop some unpeeled potatoes, cream a large clove of garlic per potato, a bit of salt and pepper, some butter to lube it all up, toss, and bake till the potatoes are soft and yummy, all garlic stinky.