December 21, 2009

A White Christmas It Is…..

A lot of people dream of them.  Even Bing Crosby.  Me, not so much.  I’ve seen more than my fair share of snow and the novelty wore off decades years ago.  After all I grew up in Canada and only migrated south in midlife.  To New England no less.  Bright move, huh?

So without further ado, for those of you who long for snow at Christmas, this is for you.

Down at the creek.  (I am so grateful for zoom lenses!)
Snowy Trees

This next little guy is one of my favorites.  Talk about troopers.  They don’t even show up until the weather turns cold!   Dark-Eyed Juncos are ground feeders and hop around under the feeders to pick up seeds.  In case you’re interested, you can learn more about Juncos here.
 Snowy Junco

With a friend.
Snowy Birds

Rummaging for seed.
Snowy Junco 2

Busy, busy feeders.
Snowy Trio

My neighbor’s roof!

Snowy Roof

And that was Mother Nature’s gift to us!  Thanks Mom!

P.S.  I double posted this to both blogs.  I figured this had more to do with my outdoor blog and I wanted to keep track of the outdoors in the “off season”.

November 12, 2009

Fall at the Mill – Out and About

Not much to say.  Just a few pretty pictures from a lovely Fall day.   (Taken Nov 12, 2009)

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November 11, 2009

Kreativ Blogger - The Good, The Bad and The Silly

I would like to thank Lori E. of  Family Trees May Contain Nuts (Don't you just love that name!  What a hoot!) for passing this award along to me.   This is the second time that I have received an award (the first was in my other blog)  and I have to say it was a surprise both times.   I'm still not quite sure why but I don't mind playing.  

  1. I became a mother for the first time on my birthday.
  2. I am very quiet and  I'm fairly certain that I am incapable of yelling.  Just don't have it in me.
  3. Contrary to #2, when I get together with a good friend, I am quite the chatterbox.
  4. One day I hope  to swim with dolphins.  That would be an absolute thrill.
  5. If I wet one hand, I have to wet the other.  I know!  So Silly!  A tad OCD perhaps.  And it doesn't end there.  The daughter mentioned is #1 is the same!
  6. I used to be extremely shy.  But that was then, and this is now.  Not so shy anymore.
  7. Karma is a powerful thing.  I firmly believe that "you get what you give" in life. 
Now I'm supposed to pass this along to seven other bloggers.  Thing is, I did this last week in my other blog and I don't want to inundate anyone so I will wait a little bit to do it.   I hope the blogger bogey man doesn't haul me off to jail!

November 6, 2009

Exploring My Neighboring Towns - Wrentham

Last week I was out and about enjoying the colors of the season and came upon a little farm in the neighboring town of Wrentham.  Several times I had been tempted to buy my pumpkins from the grocery store (chain) but repeatedly resisted.  It means far more to a local farmer that I buy from them.  So in a very haphazard way I found Adams Farm.  As a matter of fact, I am assuming that I was in Wrentham MA.  Actually factually, I may have been in Cumberland RI.  Either way my intention was well meaning and mission accomplished.  So here are a few pictures from my meandering trip.

Wrentham farm Pretty New England Barn

Wrentham cow
Perhaps the farm guard?  He looks like he means business.

Wrentham goats These were some good looking goats.  Look!  A Dalmatian!

Wrentham turkeys These guys were just traipsing along the side of the road.

Wrentham horse 2
A horse in the field.  Just doing her thing.

Wrentham horse 1 What a beauty!  If I am not mistaken, she is getting her winter coat.

Wrentham trees The waning days of Fall.

November 1, 2009

My Snake Gourd

I may not have had one single tomato sandwich from my garden this summer but I did have this.....

Isn't he sweet?  Just in time for Halloween!
Grown from seed too!



October 29, 2009

A Bloom in the Nick of Time - Brugmansia

It has been a long wait!   My brugmansias (aka:  Angel Trumpets) were put out in April.  All rooted and potted and looking fine.  And finally, for the first time this year, I have a bloom!  Woo-hoo.  Only about 3 months later than expected.

Isn’t it beautiful!!  I really didn’t think that I was going to see one at all this year – with the arrival of the cool weather it wasn’t looking good.  But this baby pulled through and I am just delighted!

October 28, 2009

Final Harvest - Tongue In Cheek !

Harvest?   How dare I use that word!  I have been gardening for years but none compare to this year.  From the end of May until mid-July it rained.  And rained.  And rained.  Which would be great - if I were growing moss and mushrooms.  But that was not the case.  And I'm over it.  So in the interest of putting the garden to rest for this year.

Here is the final hu-hum harvest:

  • 1 Snake Gourd - 8 1/4 lbs
  • 1 Eggplant - 7 oz
  • 1 Atlantic GIANT Pumpkin - 15 1/6 lbs (I kid you not!)
  • Banana and Jalapeno Peppers - 6 oz
  • And a whole helluva lot of acorns
And not one.single.zucchini!  Now that's a statement!


October 25, 2009

Duck.Duck.Goose - Fall in a Pond

I love the outdoors.    Mother Nature paints the most beautiful pictures.  In all seasons.  Last week I came upon this pond of ducks and geese in a neighboring town.  What a blessing to enjoy animals in their natural habitat.

Pictures from Norfolk MA….

Grey Goose 2

Goose pond

Duck Pond

Duck Pond 2

Goose gaggle

Goose gaggle 2Goose gaggle 3

Grey Goose

Ain't life grand.  Reminds me to “stop and smell the roses”.

Mother Nature’s Magic - Fabulous Fall!

Fall is in full swing in New England.   What a treat to get out and enjoy the riot of color.  The pictures I took in my yard this week are awesome.
Maples leaves

Maples leaves 2

The summer weather may not have pleased the garden but the trees must have loved the deep watering.  Pine cones and acorns are abundant!
Pine Tree

Pine Tree 2

The pine cones pose no threat.  But these……
…..are downright dangerous!  Oy!  It has been snowing acorns non-stop for the last 4-5 weeks.  The assault is relentless!   If not dinging us on the head then they are under foot.  Having to watch where you step while taking cover from the air assault can cause quite the contortions.  Which might be funny.  If it didn’t hurt so much!
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September 28, 2009

Chicken Goes Dutch

Since the newly purchased dutch oven needs to earn it's keep, it was put into service again.  This go around was chicken. 

The recipe that I chose to experiment with was one that I found on one of my favorite blogs - 66 square feet.  I love this blog.  It chronicles life and times in THE big city - New York of course!  It intrigues me that a city dweller can produce food on a rooftop garden.  I would love to do it.  So that was the initial interest but beyond that it is diverse, informative and well written.  I sense a woman of character.

So, here we, first let's discuss vermouth.  This recipe called for a bunch of it.  Obviously I have heard of it before but had no idea - zero - of what exactly it is.  So since "Goodsearch" is my friend (Google's cousin but it donates money to worthy causes for your searches and shopping) I found out that it is a quasi-wine with herbs added.  K.

So here is what it looked like.....

The recipe called for whole chicken but I chose split breasts.  Legs will never be eaten in this house.

Chicken with potatoes, grapes, tarragon and other aromatics.

At the last minute I had some patty pan squash that needed to be used so I threw that in too.
De.light.ful!  Check out the recipe here.

September 27, 2009

Got Harvest?

After a rather dismal summer, weather wise and thus garden wise, I am finally reaping the fruits of my labor.  For what it's worth, yesterday I harvested my first.ever.celery.  Woo-hoo!  It grew very slowly but with very little attention.  I picked just this one and have four more to go.

This is what it looked like after plucking off the small outer celery stalks.

All chopped and cleaned and ready to munch on.

First up.......the Barefoot Contessa's "Company Pot Roast".  Time for an experiment. 

While I was out picking the celery my neighbor was lurking in his backyard. We chit chatted about this 'n that and I told him that I was attempting a pot roast in my spanky new dutch oven.   With that, he ceremoniously bent over and pulled a bunch of carrots from his garden.  Cool!!!  I am not much of a roast lover but hubby is so....this one's for you Mr.

With all the ingredients in place, today was the day.

Sweat those veggies.

Brown that beef.

Add those herbs.

....and we're off!

Suffice it to say that by the time it was ready I forgot to take a picture of the final dish. I was hungry and anxious to taste it.   It was...mmmm....mmm.....good!

If you want the recipe you can find it on the Food Network website.....Ina Garten...The Barefoot here.  You won't regret it.

My New "Toy"

With the arrival of cooler weather my thoughts have turned to cooking.  Like clockwork.  Most of the summer consists of steaks on the BBQ, tomato salads and other foods that keep me away from the stove.  Yesterday the urge to cook kicked in.  So I turned on the Food Network and read through blogs to see if I might come upon something enticing.  And I did!  But there was a downside.....both called for a dutch oven.  Shopping I must go.

TJ Maxx here I come.  Just 5 minutes from my house.  Bingo!  A beautiful red enamel, cast iron dutch oven.

Cuisinart Dutch Oven - Purty, huh?

Let me say, they don't give these things away!  $60 at a discount store!  The "Compare at" price was $110!  Oh well if it is well used it will be worth it.  Tomorrow it goes to work!  Let the experiments roll.

To be continued.......

September 22, 2009

The Forgotten Harvest

Not sure how this happened but I forgot to post a picture from my largest (only, really) harvest this year.   Here it is…..teehee.


Taken September 4th. 

How could I have forgotten!

September 21, 2009

An Annual August Concert

Every year when August rolls in and the humidity is kickin' butt there is a very strange occurrence.  The sun sets and the trees begin to sing.  Like a symphony or choir.  Legend has it that it is a chorus of tree frogs.  I've been living here for 10 years and have had never seen one.  Until today.

I really didn't need to see another frog because I had just come running from my veggie garden.  Chased away by resident toads, frogs, whatever they are.  I don't stick around for long enough to look.  They hop - I run.  These damn critters have been hanging out in my garden for most of the summer.  I am living in a state of paranoia.  I thought I was "safe" on my deck.  Maybe I am meant to be gardening on a city rooftop.  If I ever stepped on one I think I would need to be institutionalized.  Seriously.

First I saw this....

This would be a tree frog's ass.
Very bold don't ya think!

He then got even bolder, almost challenging.

Dude!  Leave me alone!  This is MY deck!
You are on my brugmansia!

Crossing the escape bridge..

Leaping over to the rhody.

Off and running.

I would have preferred to believe in the "legend".  I really didn't need to see one.  I really need to rethink my outdoor life.

P.S.  After posting, I googled treefrogs and just in case you are interested, here is a link.  I don't care what their story is - they are grosse.
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