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In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lion?

March 31st, 2015

You know the saying about March “In like a lion, out like a lamb”. That is not proving to be the case this year. Yesterday it snowed and snowed, then a little more snow fell. I was out visiting a friend and running errands, I almost couldn’t make it back up the driveway when I got home because it was so slick.
march 2
march 1
The spot of bare ground in my back yard is covered over once again. At least it will melt of quickly and show itself perhaps tomorrow or the day after. I remember many an Easter egg hunt as a kid with a dusting of snow and wearing winter coats. We tend to forget that spring is almost always long in coming, perhaps the anticipation gives us amnesia.

Do you have memories of Easter egg hunts with snow and warm coats?

Maple Sapping

March 30th, 2015

‘Tis the season for maple sap. This year I’m not doing as much as I usually do. The snow is still way to deep to get to many of my trees and collecting sap in snowshoes isn’t the easiest thing in the world. I tapped our Big Old sugar maple right across the driveway from the house (photo from last year, there’s still a foot of snow on the ground here).
maple tree
I’m also making it a light sugaring year because I’m having some chiropractic work done for my scoliosis, which acts up every now and then. I’m hoping to get it all straightened out before gardening season is in full swing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the pain is much more bearable at that point in time, not carrying heavy buckets of sap through the woods should help. I should still get a gallon or so of syrup, even just from this one tree. That is more than enough since I still have three gallons left from last year.

What’s happening in your garden this week?

Quote of the Day: Charlotte Brontë

March 29th, 2015

“It had been a mild, serene spring day–one of those days which, towards the end of March or the beginning of April, rise shining over the dark as heralds of summer. It was drawing to an end now, but the evening was warm.”

Charlotte Brontë (in Jane Eyre)

spring_thaw (1)
The days are noticeably warmer, particularly when the sun shines. The days are much louder now, there are noises that have been silent for many months. Going outside brings the sound of water running, dripping, moving; snow changing back to liquid and soaking deep into the earth. I’m beginning to spend more and more time outdoors, lingering when I do chores, finding excuses to go outside. Though spring isn’t here quite yet, we’re on the cusp, waiting with bated breath!

What’s your favorite sound of spring?

Friday Favorite: Rice

March 27th, 2015

I love rice, really, really LOVE it. Since I grew up in South America, rice was a staple. As a result it’s kind of like a comfort food for me, rice and beans. I could eat a big bowl of plain rice for dinner. Delicious fragrant rice cooked with sweet browned onions and coconut oil. Cilantro lime rice is another one of my favorites.
rice
I find my enameled cast iron pan to be the perfect pot to cook rice in. Many years ago I had a rice cooker and it worked well, but it quit working and I started using this pot. It cooks rice to perfection every time.

What are some of your comfort foods?

To Fix or Not To Fix

March 26th, 2015

I love my stove, absolutely love it! It’s not a spring chicken, it’s been cooking our food for many years, probably 13 or more. Unfortunately the control panel is starting to go. First the number 5 quick working, no problem, I can bake things at 249, close enough, right?
my stove 1
Then the timer started to work intermittently – ACK. I use the timer on the stove constantly, no really, it use it 10-20 times a day and not just for cooking. Whenever I’m doing something that needs timed, or whenever I want to remind myself to do something, I set the timer. If I put wood in the wood stove, I set the timer to remind myself to check the fire and close the damper. Life without the stove timer will be interesting. Luckily, I can use the timer on my iPad, though not as convenient as the stove timer.
timer
Now I have to decide if it’s worth getting a new control panel for the stove to the tune of $400 and maybe $150 more if the touchpad needs replacing too – YIKES. We love using RepairClinic.com to buy parts to repair our own appliances. Over the years we’ve saved loads of money fixing them ourselves. Sometimes however, it’s not necessarily worth what it will cost to fix an old appliance. I’ve been saving money for a new stove for quite a while, I sure hate to lose this beauty though. She’s been a wonderful kitchen companion for many years. It’s only a matter of time before the oven won’t turn on, so I have to decide soon.

Do you ever repair your appliances yourself?

Seeds and Sundries
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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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