Saturday, November 28, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you have the opportunity to reflect on and appreciate all that is important to you. I, for one, feel incredibly fortunate in so many ways.

I tried to stay out of the Black Friday fray yesterday, and managed to not go shopping. Later in the evening though, we did go out to meet a friend who was only in town for a few days and available only last evening. So we did purchase some beer and snacks from our favorite local spot.

This morning, I went out to feed and water the ducks from the new spigot that the SB installed in the garden as my Christmas present. We had discussions about draining the hose. Of course I would do it. Daily. Except for yesterday. So the hose was pretty well frozen when I got out this morning and turning it on split the hose and caused an icy shower that the ducks didn't even seem to be interested in. So I hand carried some water from the kitchen, down a steep flight of stairs and out to the duck house. Which makes me feel fortunate that this happened on a weekend and not as I was trying to leave the house for work. I also broke one of the duck water containers. Really it was just an old cat litter pan. When I turned it over this morning to dump the ice out, a big chunk broke off. But I pretty much knew that was coming.

So at 8AM I took off out to Southern States to get supplies. A new water container, flexible and meant for being left out of doors, a bale of straw and a bag of layer crumbles. I also found some very toasty flannel lined leather gloves that I think I am gonna like just fine, thankyouverymuch. I needed some new gloves anyway, so this was a treat.

THEN I went off to one of my favorite local hardware stores, Meadowbrook. The gentlemen there are super nice, SO helpful and not condescending at all. I bought a couple of very nice quality hose repair bits, the metal ones that are about a million times better than the plastic bits. They are only 2 or 3 times more expensive, but truly, you will replace the hose before these things. I bought the kit to fix the hole in the hose and a new hose end as the one on the new duck hose is crushed and no longer round. When the duck hose goes belly up, I'll take my parts off and save them to repair the next hose. I am hoping to get the hose repaired before the SB can give me the lecture about how I already got the lecture on draining the hose....

And guess what.... I got a free calendar from the Meadowbrook guys. They totally have the Currier and Ives promotional calendar. It kind of rocks. Not because I am a fan of Currier and Ives, but because it is so totally retro fantastico.

Buy local this season, y'all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The weather has turned toward chill though not really cold. It was the perfect day to bake. So this morning I made some cornbread from The World of Breads cookbook, which I love. It the Sweet Corn Bread with apples added to it (you can and I have also added blueberries). This bread is pretty rich and is sort of between a tea bread and corn bread. Cream together 3/4 cup sugar and the same of butter. Add three (duck) eggs and mix. Add 1 1/2 c. coarse cornmeal and stir. Add these dry ingredients (2 c. flour, 1/2 t. salt and 1 T. baking powder) alternately with 2 c. milk. Bake at 374 for 40-50 minutes in a 9 or 10 inch square buttered baking dish. The house smells heavenly.

I am also planning on a cream cheese pound cake and some sandwich loaves for the leftover turkey I am planning for but I need more flour. Which means I need my car, but it needs to be jump started. The SB was putting new bulbs and wipers on for me the other day and drying out my trunk, which always seems to be damp and we sort of ran the battery down. All worth it though to have a (relatively) clean car ready for inspection. Life is good.

Looking forward to a few days off work this week and some catching up around the house. Some knitting too. I just joined Ravelry. Can you believe it? And I already found my first project. The cowl I made myself turned out WAY too huge, so I had to frog it. I also ran into the Juniper Moon Crew at the market this AM. SO exciting to see them there. Total stroke of luck that when they decided to leave Martha's Vineyard they decided to relocate here! Super great addition to the area. I hope to check out the farm soon on one of the open farm days.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


One of the real downsides to the change in the time (thanks to daylight savings time) is that there is no light when I get home. This is a trade off, as for now, there IS at least light in the morning when I have to go out and tend the ducks. But that is something of a rushed thing. The evening hours are when I had been getting my quality time with my feathered pets. Anywhoo, dark at 5:30 also means that I don't have much opportunity for enjoying my garden... Which is, currently, gorgeous. Here are a couple of photos from the AM which don't nearly do it justice...

These are my multicolored carrots from this morning's harvest alongside a leek. I am hoping to get to some greens freezing today. Last night I came home and whipped up a little pasta with ham and greens with cheese for dinner. It was pretty handy to have those greens in the freezer all blanched and ready to go. A super 20 minute meal. Normally the SB is not so keen on allowing the compost pile volunteer squashes to run rampant, but this year they got a reprieve as they were well placed and covered a bit of ground that was convenient to have covered. As a result, we got about 2 dozen squashes. We'll see what the quality is on them, but it is always nice when the volunteers decide to be productive.

With the recent Nor'easter there has been rain rain rain. In other words, pretty much duck heaven. Our little bit of land here is riddled with rivulets and they all start running with a good rain. These bits of water and puddles are what ducks live for. I have felt bad about not letting them out in it as much as they would like, but schedules have been a bit hectic. The ducks would stare longingly from their pen to the puddle just on the other side of the fence. It was heart wrenching. But in an attempt to make up for earlier deprivation, they have been out since 8:30 this morning. There is much duck work to be done in the next several days, but I feel sure they are up to it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Wow, I have been out of it for a while... And there is soooo much to report on....

Waiting for pictures of C in her Halloween costume that I made. She wanted to be a princess, because she is 4. I made her a purple and gold number with flow-y sleeves and lots of bling. And a cape. A sparkly cape. Cuz everyone needs a cape. Don't tell me you don't. THAT took up a chunk of October weekends, but it was the good kind of taken up.

We had a party. Which worked out great considering it rained and it was an outdoor party. It just didn't rain much and we had a fire and music and lots of beer. So it was definitely a good party. Getting ready for the initial one that we canceled and then the one that went on took two weekends.

The garden, well you really must see it. I instructed the SB to take pictures since I am not home during day light hours thanks to daylight savings time (booo). He went out to take pictures and got distracted by ducks and then his batteries went on the fritz. So hopefully you will get to witness the remarkable and inspiring beds of greens that are overflowing right now. And hopefully you will get a good picture of where the ducks have sheared back the greens as far as they can reach through the fencing. So much for ducks being garden helpers. With the recent rains they managed to turn our garden paths into a mud fest. Really, I don't know where they got all that mud because it wasn't there before.

Over that last week, with the help of my friend V and my back yard neighbor, I have launched my duck egg empire. I was whining to V about too many duck eggs and the hassle factor of listing them on Craigslist when she reminded me that we have a neighborhood list serve for this sort of thing. Oh. Right. I listed the eggs and got some interest.... Then one of the interested neighbors forwarded the email on at her work place and I got orders for 7 dozen eggs. Seven. Dozen. I told the SB that we clearly needed more ducks. At $4/dozen, it won't be any time at all until we are rich, I tell you, RICH!