Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Harvest time

Corn!!! Very difficult to grow here

There were still more black currants to pick

Grapes in the greenhouse

Friday, August 24, 2012

Video of the ATV Ride

Here is Husband's video of the the ATV ride we did the other weekend filmed with a GoPro camera

We love this camera as it is so versatile.  I have also been using it for work because it takes still pictures with a wide angle.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quading weekend Aug 10-12

I had a request to post some photos from our quading trip with the ATV club which we did this past weekend.

On Saturday we started out at Telkwa, BC and drove over the mountains on the Telkwa Pass to Terrace, BC where we had lunch.  Then back again to Telkwa taking a side trip up Trapper Mountain just above tree level where there was a fantastic 360 degree view of mountains.

Rest break at a lake

Husband and I on top of Trapper Mountain

 On the Sunday we spent the morning in the mountains on the alpine.  This is above the tree level where there are meadows filled with wild flowers and as one reaches the higher altitudes the terraine become more rocky.

Still within the tree level

A huge rock in an alpine meadow left over from  glaciation.

This route doesn't look very scary, but it was!
Steep with loose rock and a narrow pass connecting 2 mountains.

A totally beautiful trip with some really nice people from the club.  Everyone driving responsibly and taking care not to go off trail.  The worst is seeing people who have driven across the meadows leaving tracks in the alpine.  No one wants to have these sensitive areas destroyed... but there' re always some idiots who just don't care or just don't know.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Black Currants and Beans

I'm sure that I will be dreaming about black currants and beans tonight....  I have been canning, picking, juice making, jam making, and baking for the past few days.

Today I actually went out twice to the garden picking beans - first yellow wax and then later an heirloom green variety.  

Husband estimated that he picked over 30 pounds (13 kg) of black currants from our four bushes.  I used some of the black currants (fresh) in some scones that I baked - they turned out very yummy with a bit of tartness from the berries.

Tomorrow I begin tackling the peas...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This Is Not a Still. I repeat... NOT a Still

It may look like I'm making moonshine, but alas, I am not.  Instead I made Black Currant juice with my steam juicer.  In North America steam juicers are almost unheard of, but my mother always had one to make juice.  I don't know where she got her's, but perhaps brought it over from Germany.Mine is most likely from the 1970's that I won from eBay a few years ago.

Steam juicers have 3 separate containers that fit together - the bottom one holds water; the middle one has an inverted funnel shape with a hole in the middle for the steam to go through and the juice collects around it and pours out of a spigot (connected to a hose) on the side; and the top container is a strainer where you put the fruit and berries.  During the steaming action the fruit becomes soft and the juice drips through the strainer holes and collects in the middle container.  When enough juice has collected it pours out of the spigot and down the hose which has a clamp.  I have a stainless bowl in the photo just so the juice doesn't run onto the floor if the clamp is not on tight enough.  I put the hose into the my bottle and release the clamp letting the juice fill the container.

The juice that ensues is concentrated and we put a little into a glass of water, add a teaspoon or two of sugar and stir it up. There is no set amount as to how much concentrate to add - we just add until it tastes good.

The steamer works well with rhubarb (as mentioned in my sister's blog), apples, tomatoes, black currants and other berries.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

50th Anniversary Party

On the weekend we put on a Golden Anniversary party for my parents.  Husband purchased a new camera and took photos of the occasion.

50 years of wedded bliss

The family

 Good thing we ordered tents as it was 35c!

Yum, cake....

Some guests
My potting bench converted to drink station

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vintage Bike

I am coveting this vintage inspired bike by from Opus.  

It was in my local bicycle shop, so I took it for a spin.  I soooo want this bicycle.

It was super comfortable
       I haven't sat upright on a bike for years
It feels better than hunched over a 10 speed or mountain bike

But at a price tag of almost $900 it is a bike to dream about.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Strawberries and Ice Cream

In our northern climate, strawberry season is finally here!  This is our fourth year with the strawberry plants and they finally producing more than just a few berries here and there.  

Last weekend I picked our first batch of red berries and filled half of the basket.  Subsequently, I have been picking berries every couple of days.

To best use the berries (other than eating them fresh of course!) we decided to make our own strawberry ice cream.    As a wedding gift years ago, we were given a Donvier Ice Cream maker.  We have used it in the past and it truly makes wonderful ice cream with ingredients that are normal and healthy (read: no artificial colourings, preservatives, etc)  It is easy to use as the interior cylinder is kept in the freezer and taken out and placed into the outer casing when it is required.  You assemble the turner, fill your ingredients and give a few turns every couple of minutes for about 20 minutes and at the end you have ice cream!

Donvier Ice Cream Maker

Homemade strawberry ice cream in my vintage polish dessert bowls
I also made homemade Strawberry Marguaritas with the Donvier. Sorry I forgot to take photos.  They turned out okay, but next time I will make sure the puree the berries more, add a bit more sugar or other sweetener and more rum (I'm sure one can never go wrong with more rum!)

I've decided with the hot weather we are experiencing that I'm going to use the Donvier more this summer for making frozen yogurt, ice cream, and drinks.  Guaranteed to be better than store bought.

Donviers can be purchased in two sizes I believe.  I have the larger gallon size which I know costs around $100 in my area, but I have seen them in thrift stores for only a few dollars.  If you're thinking of getting one, check to see if you can obtain one second hand as I would think most people only use the Donvier a few times and then get rid of it, like many other appliances that are not used every day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Back to Work!

Today is an exciting day!  Husband has gone back to work - the first time in 5 months!  It has been hard on him with 3 surgeries and not being able to do much.  For most of the time he was not even able to sit, so crappy day time television was his main activity for the past months. He's been watching programs he would never normally watch; things like Judge Judy and Dr. Phil.  (Ugh!  but it has been a good thing to tease him about)  Though since recovering from the last surgery he has been doing better and has actually been out doing some gardening and working around the acreage.

Our son graduated from High School and is starting a new summer job today.  Hopefully he will be able to put some money away for University which he will begin in September.  He is pretty frugal, so I'm not worried, and he can still live at home for the next year.

Daughter just quit her job because she was not getting any hours, and she is hoping to apply for Son's old job at McDonalds.  Funny that they are both happy to work there, but refuse to eat at the establishment.

Me?  I'm still very busy with my job, but it has slowed down somewhat.  Now I have a bit of breathing room so that I can actually do a through cleaning of the house!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bushes and Trees

Here is our cherry tree... It appears that we have somehow killed this one too. That means we have murdered two cherry trees in the span of three years. I have no idea how managed to do that as we have babied this tree and made sure it always plenty of water. We feel that perhaps it is our clay soil that is the problem - maybe the cherry needs a better draining soil.

The three apple trees are doing alright, but the one tree is about to blossom but has no leaves yet. If you closely at the photos you an see the red buds getting ready to open.

The four black current bushes are completely loaded with tiny blossoms. It looks like we will get another bumper crop again this year.

Stawberries have been spreading like crazy and are beginning to flower. Unfortunately our soil is also perfect for horsetail which grows vigorously amongst the plants. I weeded it out last weekend, but it doesn't take long before it is up again

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mother Goose

The goose has been laying eggs since January and she has produced about 50 eggs so far. She hasn't paid them any attention and I h ave been removing them from the nest.

About two weeks ago she became broody with the last egg. She will only get off the nest for a few minutes here and there to eat and drink. I suppose (if the egg is fertile) we will have a gosling running around in another couple of weeks.

Friday, May 18, 2012

We Bought Plants

With our normal activities being curtailed due to Husband's illness and my absolutely crazy busy work this year, we have not started any garden plants or flowers. The May long weekend is the usual time to plant the garden in our neck of the woods.

On Wednesday we stopped on at the local garden store and purchased starters and flowers. Luckily we put the in the garage overnight as we woke up to snow yesterday morning and it was a rather cold and dreary day. This morning we are being faced with the same.

The old laying hens were suppose to go to a family I know and we kept them over the winter until they could build a coop. It appears that they have changed their minds, and I really need the room in my henhouse. So we put an ad on Kijiji stating the hens and rooster would be free if someone could pick them up. I was surprised at the response I received, and on Tuesday they will be going to their new home. I'm looking forward to cleaning out the barn and rearranging the birds into different pens.

Husband is still home and he is waiting for his third surgery which has been postponed until the end of the month. So far he has been off work for almost 4 months and it will be awhile longer before he returns.

Ugh, I just looked out the window and the snow is falling.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Northern Lights

Husband woke me up last night shortly before midnight as the northern lights were out. It was exciting as we have not seen them in many years. I don't why they have been so elusive, as I remember often in the late 80's standing out on the driveway with my parents and sisters watching the dancing light show.

If you have never seen Aurora borealis, they can be quite spectacular. Last night's display was like a faint green dome of streaky lights above the house which pulsated. Towards the north there were a few heavy streaks of light which looked as though a bright spotlight was pointed up in to the sky.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

First chick of 2012

Our first chick hatched this evening... only 41 more to go. I'm curious to see if our hatch rate this year will be better than last now that we used the automatic egg turner.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Husband and I had our 18th wedding anniversary on Monday. We didn't get to celebrate as he is still recovering and is not up to going out, and I am still over run with work and was out with clients most of the day and evening.

But we did have a wonderful surprise....

Daughter baked us a beautiful carrot cake (my fav!)

Friday, April 6, 2012


Do you use Kijiji?  In my community it is the online buying and selling forum to use.  One always hears about Craigslist, but it has never really caught on here.  Kijiji is the way to go!

Last year we used it to sell our ducklings and chicks, and to purchase our pigs.  I usually check it everyday to see what has been posted in the livestock section.  I like to see what is being sold... mini horses, goats, cattle, pigs, chickens and the like.

Through Kijij, I have contacted a lady out west who will be selling rabbits in May (and she will deliver!).  It is something we have been debating about since moving here; whether we should raise some meat rabbits.  I am hoping to get a breeding pair of New Zealands and also a pair of Flemish Giants from her.

New Zealand Rabbit
Flemish Giant Rabbit

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not Enough Hours in the Day

I have already been working 14 hours today and I'm not finished yet.  I have a few minutes to make sure I get this post in for the challenge.

I did take a brief hiatus to take Husband to the surgeon for his check up.  We thought he would go back to work after the Easter long weekend, but it is not to be.  He's off for another 2 months with a third surgery scheduled during this time.  Wow, you really never know what kind of curve ball life is going to throw at you.

Yesterday's soup tasted MUCH better today.  Obviously it needs to sit to flavour.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Robins and Soup

I know I can eat some strange things, but contrary to the post title the robins and the soup are not connected.

Robins - I saw the first robins of the spring today. Even though it snowed all day yesterday (a wet sloppy snow) the birds appeared today.

Soup - I have been really busy with work over the past few months and I knew that I would be home late today, so I prepared a soup in the crockpot this morning. I have never used it for a soup before and it worked pretty good. I didn't find the recipe all that wonderful but it was filling. Some extra spices and tweeking and it could taste far better

Hamburger Lentil Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
6 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes diced
1 clove minced garlic
4 c tomato juice
2 c dry lentils
4 c water
1 T brown sugar
1 tsp tyme
1 tsp sage
1 T salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Brown ground beef and onions.
Combine all ingredients in crock pot
Cook on low for 8-10 hours

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Incubator is back in action!

Yesterday I placed 42 eggs from the Plymouth Barred Rock into the incubator.  For Christmas Husband and I received some gift cards for Home Hardware.  So we decided to purchase an automatic egg turner that we have been thinking about since last year for our Hovabator Incubator.  It turns the eggs every 4 hours and frees us from a lot of stress of always turning the eggs.

So in 21 days we should have some new little black fuzzy chicks!  They will look like this....

Monday, April 2, 2012

Goose Love

Husband says we have to really watch the geese this spring as they have become rather agressive. I see them every day and never see that side of them.

The geese are alway calm and gentle around me. The gander is actually very affectionate and gets rather put out if I don't talk to him or pet him when I am in the barn. He will fly up on top of his shelter and honk at me until I pay him some attention ( this is the only time he ever flies up)

Yesterday was such a beautiful sunny day that I let the geese out of the barn to roam free along the paths and the snow. I spent some time kneeling down and petting the gander. He began nibbling on my sleeve and then quickly jumped onto my bent leg... rather like he does when wooing the goose! (nudge nudge wink wink). I pushed him off and was a little shocked!

I guess the moral of the story is that you never know who you will fall in love with.  Either that or I look like a large waterfowl.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Blog Challenge

Here it is another April, and like last year I have decided to give myself a kick in the pants to get blogging again.  For the month of April I will blog once a day.  I know I can do because I managed it last year.