Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Favorite

When I was reading recently about the town with the scarecrows, I also read about a local cafe/antique shop. So I thought I’d go see what it was like. If I hadn’t read about it, I would never have guessed what was inside if I’d just driven by.

It’s called My Favorite Things and I think it’s going to be one of my new favorites. It is in an old downtown brick building that has been somewhat renovated. I say somewhat because the front half looks in good condition. But when I went back to wash my hands I noticed big gaping holes in the floor in the back half.

They serve lunches, cakes, teas, and coffees. I had the chicken salad lunch special with peach tea.

They sell a collection of old antique and vintage things along with new home decorations and jewelry.
I had a look around and bought some soap and old linen napkins at a fair price.
It’s comforting to know that even when I’m living out in the middle of nowhere, I can drive a few minutes and have a treat once in awhile. I need to take the Daughters with me next time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homestead Fair

Instead of shopping on Black Friday, we chose to visit Homestead Fair.  

Homestead Heritage hosts a three day fair every Thanksgiving weekend. It’s a great way to be introduced to the variety of heirloom skills they teach. There were craft demonstrations, agricultural exhibits, children's activities, barn raising, music, outdoor food, an auction. The food was wonderful. We had a great time and already look forward to next year's fair.

Craft Pavilion: lots of unique handmade pottery

Craft Pavilion: leather fly swatters

Craft Pavilion: handmade baskets of all sizes and colors

Craft Pavilion: handmade brooms with unique woods

Craft Pavilion: beautiful hand smocked pillowcase

Outdoor food: wood fired pizza (our favorite)

Traditional crafts: handmade doctor's cart

Make-your-own: Son made me a wooded bird feeder

Barn raising: "many hands make light work"

Barn raising: visitors were asked to help

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Truly Thankful

We had a busy Thanksgiving week here. Houston friends came to visit. The Factor flew in to retrieve his Mini-Cooper and brought his dog to meet our Dog (teeth bared at times). Son arrived from Florida for the week. Daughters were off work and school. Guv’nor was off work. I spent a couple days cooking. The builders were working frantically but left us in peace for a few days. (New bedrooms are in the works, post to come.) We ate. We laughed. We rode 4-wheelers. We watched Lost (Season 2 on DVD). We went to Homestead Fair (see post). Christmas presents were ordered online. More eating. More watching Lost.

We were busy, but not too busy to stop and reflect on how thankful we are for so many things. God has truly blessed us with our home, our health, our family, our jobs, our friends.

The dogs were uneasy friends.
Our table was full. Looks like Guv'nor is hangry.

Lots of leftovers.

Thanksgiving sunset 4-wheeling.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I try to get out once a day and walk the dog. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to walking spots, but I’ve found the one we like the most is just walking down our county road and back.

Monday, November 19, 2012


We inherited a couple of rose bushes in our back yard. I don’t know much about growing roses but I do love having them around. The bushes were looking sad the other day so I had the idea to prune them back. I have no idea if this is even the right time of year to prune. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Then, surprisingly, they started to grow and bud. We now have lots of lovely yellow and red roses.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Our neighbor with the roaming cows decided he’d repair the adjoining fence. It was a kind and generous gesture. He probably figured it would be years before we’d get around to doing it. Plus I think he gets tired of rounding up his cows when they get into our fields.

He and a hired hand spent a good part of a day repairing and replacing a portion of the fencing between the road and the creek. We donated the cedar logs from some of the ones we have on the property. He even added a new gate.

It only took the cows about a day before they found another way across the creek bed and back into our fields. I think they like our grass.

The new gate
The new fence and cedar fence posts
Gaps in the fencing where the cows just walk through
The cows just want to eat our grass

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Just when we were enjoying all the fresh hydroponic lettuce, we had a little bit of cold weather.

The temperature dropped to about 28 degrees the other night. I had the plants covered with a few sheets, but by morning they were frosty.

So far it seems the lettuces like the cold weather. But, sadly, the tomatoes and peppers are wilted. I am hoping they aren’t completely lost.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fresh Salads

The hydroponic lettuces have been growing nicely. A few times I've noticed that the leaves looked a little wilted and had to adjust the watering times.

We have been enjoying fresh salads for awhile now. It has been fun to pick just what we need for each meal. If you are careful you can pick the lower larger lettuce leaves and not disturb the plant. It will just keep on growing and you can keep on picking lettuce. Eventually it tops out and starts to produce seed.

I give the lettuce a little wash in cold water and then chop roughly. I think we have about six or eight different varieties.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

First Monday

I went to First Monday last Friday. Confused? So am I.

The town of Canton is within driving distance from us so I thought I would go to the big flea market held there once a month. It's called First Monday Trade Days, apparently since 1850. Several people have tried to explain it to me, but it still sounds confusing. The market is actually held on the Thursday through Sunday preceding the first Monday of each month. Held on 100 acres with 6000 vendors, it's supposedly the largest and oldest flea market in the country. I think it started out as a horse trading day.

It's free to enter. Only hitch is you have to park your car somewhere and pay $5 for the privilege.

I thought it would be good to see what there was, so I'll know where to go when I need something. I lasted about two hours before I gave up. It's huge. There was no way I'd see everything. Plus I didn't bring enough cash. Most vendors take cash or check. And I've never carried my checkbook around.

I did stand in line awhile to buy lunch. A corny dog.

I learned later that most vendors don't like you taking photos of their booths, afraid you're going to steal their ideas. Oops! I didn't know.

One of the main entrances

Costume jewelry

Home decorations

Old stuff

An antique nuts and bolts hexagonal chest of drawers - $1800

Outside things get cheaper

Antler chandelier - $1400

These were a menace. Everyone had one.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Spiced Pecans

Here's a great recipe for a pound of good pecans. It's fairly easy but does take an hour to slow bake. I got this recipe years ago from a co-worker who was from Maine (credit where credit is due, I always say).

Spiced Pecans
1 egg white (I use good quality free-range/pastured eggs)
1 tsp cold water
1 lb. pecans (I use whole halves, because they're easier to eat)
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

If there are any left after a day, store in an air tight container.

Start by separating the egg

Save the yoke for something else, like scrambled eggs

Put the egg white and the water in a large bowl

Whip the egg white until foamy. I used a hand mixer this time.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Use good quality, fresh pecans. I used a little less than a pound because I'd eaten some of them.

Add the pecans to the bowl of whipped egg whites.

Stir until the pecans are mostly coated with egg white.

Then add the sugar mixture.

Stir until the sugar sticks to all the pecans.

Spread out on a baking sheet. I lined mine with parchment paper.

The pecans will be sticky at this point.

Bake for an hour at 225 degrees. I set the timer for 15 minute intervals and take it out to stir. It will still be sticky.

By the time it's baked for an hour, the pecans will be crispy and ready to take out.