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Maple Sap Tea

February 22nd, 2017

It’s sugaring season here in Maine, I tapped our large sugar maple on Monday morning and the sap started flowing immediately. This year I’m only tapping this tree, it’s large, thus it accommodates three taps. That will produce over a gallon of syrup though, enough to get us through the year.

One of the delicious side benefits of sugaring season, is that I make my tea throughout the day with hot sap from the kettle on the stove. It imparts the slightest bit of sweetness, just enough to make the tea exceptionally great. I’m looking forward to my maple sap chai later this morning!

Do you live in an area where maple trees are tapped?

Soaking It Up

February 21st, 2017

I spent the last half of last week in Ohio, visiting family. On Saturday it was 74 degrees. Naturally, I spent the afternoon sitting in the sun on front porch reading a book (The Memory of Us, a historical fiction).

I took a short walk around the garden with my parents, my mom was feeling well enough for a bit to make a quick jaunt around the garden seeing the very first early crocus popping up out the soil.

It won’t be long until spring arrives in Ohio, we still have a while here in Maine. That small taste of it gave me the push I needed to get started on a few early chores. This week I plan on starting a flat of spring cassis and lettuces. Perhaps I’ll even start some celery and a few other herbs.

When does spring usually arrive in your garden?

Friday Favorite: Southwest Airlines

February 17th, 2017

I’ve spent my life flying here there and yonder, when you live in a different country from you family this is the way life is. Throughout the years we’ve had good and bad experiences with airlines. Five or so years ago I discovered Southwest and will pretty fly with them if I have the option. With this big winter storm they were fantastic. We had flights purchased to head back to Ohio, it so happened both legs of our journey were on days with big winter storms. They alerted us the night before encouraging us to change our tickets (for free). Which we did. Then another storm threatened our next trip, they told us to wait and we could cancel up till 10 minutes before our flight and keep the ticket amount for a future trip or reschedule again if needed.

I’ve had lots of bad experiences on flights, amazingly, none of them have been with Southwest. I’m sure they have problems and eventually I’ll have a delayed or cancelled flight with them. I’ll still keep using them because their customer service is top notch!

Do you have any favorite companies to recommend?

Quote of the Day: Andrew Wyeth

February 16th, 2017

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the garden…”

Andrew Wyeth




Of course I’m not sure how much of the garden’s structure you can see when it’s buried below 6 feet of snow, but at least you get to see it for part of the winter.

What’s your favorite season to notice structure?

A Little Maintenance

February 15th, 2017

I sew a lot in the winter, this winter has been no different. Sewing machines are like any other machine, they need periodic cleaning and maintenance. My machine gets a good vacuuming every couple months and a bit of oil.


I’ve been sewing so many zipper pouches this winter, I should have cleaned it sooner. The amount of lint buildup inside was a bit ridiculous. One of these days I need to take it in to have it properly cleaned and serviced. We’re lucky to have a guy that will pick it up at my local fabric shop and drop it back off the following week. My little machine isn’t an expensive one, but keeping it properly cleaning & maintained has made it sew like a champ for the 18 years I’ve had it.

One thing I need to get better at is keeping my garden tools properly maintained. This summer I need to build the bucket of sand with some sort of oil (maybe organic linseed or jojoba) to dip my tools into before putting them away. That’s one area I definitely need to up my game, especially before putting them away for the winter.

Do you have any tips for properly maintaining gardening tools?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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