An interesting opportunity for water storage

I’ve been following YouTube videos this year, and there is an interesting water storage system give-away on one, The Provident Prepper. Here is the link.

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Spiral Ham glaze

Yesterday, as we were cooking the Christmas ham, I took one look at the bag of corn syrup that came with and said YUCK!  Then, I sat down and looked at a whole bunch of glazes, most of which did nothing for me.  So, I took a little bit of this, an idea there, looked in the fridge to figure out what exactly we had, and came up with this little gem:

1 Tbsp dried thyme

1Tbsp of ginger, either fresh or tube

3 Tbsp Major Grey Chutney

1/3 cup Dark Rum (I used the cheapest bottle I had on hand, which I think cost all of $4.99) or Brandy

1/2 cup Molasses

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

Stir that all up with a small whisk.  Then, baste your ham with it.  I probably basted 5 ish times?  Certainly until all of the liquid was gone.  It’s smokey, slightly spicy, smells divine, and made our ham better than it already was.

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It’s been a while WordPress.  There were some significant life changes in the past few years.  I quit a job I loved, then became political and then didn’t hate, but really had a hard time with, due to those same politics.  Came home, working for the family business, but not bringing in any money.  Now?  Doing work for Audible.  Phew.  It’s been busy.  I just haven’t had time to sit and write.  That came into play due to the job, which had been full tilt, non-stop, changed and then I got bored.  When I came home I was no longer bored.  Busy = not bored.

Regardless, I’ve wanted to sit and start writing again for the past several months, and am now finally able to do so.  So, I’m glad to be back!

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I love garlic.  Every meal should start with an onion/garlic fry, or a raw mash of straight garlic, in my opinion.  There is very little that I love, dinner-wise, which does not.  So, in pursuit of that, I’ve been growing garlic for several years now.  I started with grocery store garlic, in a shade garden.  These did o.k., but not great.  Then I got some Porcelain Music garlic from the local garden store ( for all you non-Vermonters) and my mom was given some garlic for me.  It was either hot Hungarian or hot Polish garlic.  I lean towards the Polish…I can’t honestly remember – my kids lost the card with the name on it.  Either way, I’ve been growing it since.

The grocery store garlic is the stuff that keeps on giving – I can’t get it out or it dies before I see it and it goes on to the next year.   That garlic is still being as prolific as the year I put it in.

The other two, though…I’ve made a real effort to dig and re-sow every year, and last year and this got incredible harvests.  See for yourself.  In each picture, I’m touching the stems.

The Music – each clove is at least golf ball sized and many are bigger.


The Polish – cloves are not bigger than golf balls, but also not smaller than.


Garlic is so dead easy to grow I don’t know why more folks don’t.  You drop it in the ground in the fall and wait for it to come up, then begin to die back the next year.  Pull it up.  Dry.  I do this by the wholy technological expedient of putting it on the porch and letting the sun dry the tips, then flipping them end to end so the rain can wash off the cloves.  Then I tie them by type, label and hang in the basement.  4-5 hours total work time for a year’s worth of garlic.  Dead easy.  When you consider the fact that most garlic sold in the US is grown in China and much of it in human waste, why wouldn’t you grow garlic?

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Onions and Potatos! And oh, my SI joint!

Well, we finally got the load of goat manure that has been in the trailer for 2 weeks finished.  Beard Ladies Goat Farm has been wonderful in giving away manure these last few years.  Composted (ok, mostly) and everything!  The onion and potato beds are mulched and manured, and Squashland (TM) has been partially manured.  We also, with the help of 4 kiddos, got the onions and potatoes into the ground!  Hooray!  (I got a blister that ripped open on my palm due to all the digging…boo…) Eldest son took all of the large rocks that I’ve been stacking at the end of the driveway and bordered the sprawly front bed, which youngest son has spent the last few years taking apart.  It looks a lot better with the rocks, don’tcha think?


Mulch will help too.  I’ve got to call my favorite tree cutting service and ask them to stop by with a dump truck load of chips.  Free and it will eventually become beautiful mulch!

Last night, as I was bemoaning how much my (evil, horrible, terrible, miserable, never-endingly painful) hips hurt after an hour or so of weeding, das husband took me over to Tractor Supply yesterday and bought me a garden cart, so my hips won’t ache/burn/be my evil enemy any more. (Ok, well, as much as possible…)  He even put it together!20160429_182514

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Spring clean-up

Slowly, as the days get warmer, more things are getting done here.  We’ve dumped mulch on the onion bed and manure on the potato/pepper bed.  There’s still a 1/2 trailer load of manure to get spread into the squash patch, but I expect that will get done tomorrow, whilst I’ve got strong young minions.  (Hehe – then I’ll go and get more!!!)

I’ve been slowly moving thru the beds, working on getting them back to a useable, nice looking state.  Today?  We did the strawberry patch.  Last year, vetch got into it and ran wild, so youngest and I have been pulling it out.  We were able to move all of the daffodils and other early flowers out of the garden and down the street to one of the rental properties that needed a bit of cheer.

Tomorrow, in addition to finishing off the trailer of manure, I hope to have my minions help move rocks – yes,  trite, but ever so entertaining!  I’ve a pile at the back of the driveway and wish to get them up to the front, to edge the flower bed.  Right now, even bending over for an hour or so is mightily painful (darn SI joints!) so minions it will be.  They don’t like it, but both boys are getting some muscle with the work I’m having them do – not a bad thing.  It also gets eldest outside to be in the sun.  He’s a bookish kid and can usually be found reading, playing d&d or on the computer.  He’d rather do any of those than shovel goat poo, but hey, the muscle looks good on him.  He’s developing guns!

I put in the new Honeyberry bushes today – we got several plants 4ish years ago that were titled Honeyberry, but the berries are not edible.  I want to get an ID on them before pulling them.  The flowers are small & yellow – they almost look like honeysuckle, and the bush is scrawly.  The berries are red.


Got any ideas?  Can you ID this bush?  There are 6 or 8 of them and I’d like to know if I should keep or pitch.

In other news, I used a potting soil that has mycelium in it this year, and it has exceeded all expectations.  My tomatoes are, on average, 6+ inches tall (and we started them in the beginning of March), and we had 90% of the seeds germinate.  Compared to most years, this is awesome!!!  (Sorry for the bad lighting – I couldn’t get away from the glare!)



The last?  The garlic is hugely happy.  It is jumping up all over.  Here it is along the entry to the house.  I’ve a feeling there will be a bumper crop this year!20160429_162957

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My daddy loves me – he made this:

Wash bench

It’s a wash bench!  It comes all apart, and I can mount a wringer on the top!  Dad is an amazing carpenter, (and I think he had fun puzzle piecing all of this together, because it’s color coded!).  Now, when I wash at our long event, I won’t have to hurt my back.  YAY!!!  (Here’s the long event washing link:

This all started last summer, when I saw this photo on Pinterest.  I’ve looked again for the original link, but cannot find it.  So, if you do, credits to the original poster.   Anyway, my wonderful dad took this picture and was able to recreate something almost identical!  Then, my mom brought over all of her washboards, including the itty bitty one for children.  I’m over the moon in happy-squee land.  🙂


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How to make Horseradish and Horseradish Sauce

Several years ago, I bought some fancy horseradish and put it in the ground, full expecting it to go wild and thrive.  Well, I put it under the Butternut tree, which produces juglone into the ground around it.  This makes it hard for other plants to do well, or, really at all.  They tend to die.  The horseradish didn’t, though, it survived!  Last year, I had some grocery store bought horseradish that went bad, so I dropped it into the ground in my strawberry bed.  It grew.  We tried to taste it in the fall, but apparently, you should only pick in the spring, as it gets woody later on in the year.

My mother tells stories of my grandmother grinding horseradish with a meat grinder (she used it to grind everything in the days before food processors), and wearing a gas mask!  She, my mom, was a little gun shy last year when we made prepared horseradish, but got right in to the spirit of things this last weekend.  She even ate it right off the spoon!  I’m not that brave.

So we had these beautiful roots. See?


They peel VERY easily…  I just peel, chop and toss into the food processor.  Then I open the window.  Horseradish is a weird thing to make, as it requires time to mature. (Read as – get hotter!)  Last year, I waited only a few minutes.  Saturday?  I waited 15 or so, but yesterday?  I forgot about the darn thing and it sat for the better part of an hour!  So, back to the process,  you gleefully smash the root into little pieces in your whopper-chopper, then add a little salt and pepper. (I just shake…)  Then you add a bit of apple cider vinegar.  You just want it to be moistened, not soaking.  Damp horseradish is happy horseradish.  The salt and vinegar stop the maturing process, and kinda pickle the stuff.  Then, crying, with your nose running, you spoon the mixture into whatever container you’d like to have it sit in.  It must go into the fridge.

So, there you have the prepared horseradish.


What do you do with it next?  Well, you make a roast and horseradish sauce of course!

Horseradish sauce recipe:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3-4 TBSP Mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • Prepared Horseradish – you can put 3 TBSP to 1/2 cup of the prepared horseradish into the sauce – it’s all about how spicy you want it.  Us?  We put the 1/2 cup in, lol.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy!  And it really does taste SOOOO good.  I think I need to go have some leftover roast for lunch now…


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It’s been a while, WordPress!

I’ve been busy, and thus neglected this blog.  In 2014, we became the property managers for 34 rental units in our town and surrounding area.  Many of them have required extensive renovation to come up to speed with our standards, and I’ve been the project manager on all of it.  This has severely crimped my time spent thinking about gardening and canning. To top it all off, I had a SLAP repair and a tendonitis on my left shoulder in early December – it’s really good when all of your parts are connected and work….  Then, in the middle of January, I slipped on the ice and dislocated my knee cap by about 2 inches.  Unknown to me at the time, I also tore the ligament that goes under the knee cap and chipped a bunch of bone in the joint.  3 months later, an ambulance ride, an ER visit, lots of Physical Therapy, a surgery, a full leg brace, more Physical Therapy, and I’m starting t0 finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  On the other hand, this injury was caused by, and made worse, another issue I have; a bad SI joint.  It’s been there for 20 years, and I’d been told that “there was nothing wrong with me” and “It’s all in your head”, but not sleeping because the damn thing wakes you up every few hours and keeps you awake is just sucktastic.  When I met the Orthopedic Dr., he said I was a perfect example of what happens to women when you have this issue.  Ok, a rant on healthcare professionals listening to women about their pain is not where I want this post to go, though the upshot is, they don’t.  Back to the story, I was unable to recover from the fall in January because my SI gave out.  Surgery was an option, and I’d been exploring a fusion before the knee injury happened, but the insurance terms anything to do with the SI joint “Experimental”, and thus denies the approval.  We are currently at appeal #2, a letter begging them to make it better, and a hearing on the denial of the ambulance ride.  Sigh, thus goes the life of people who’s insurance changes without them being told.

Here’s a picture of some of my lovely BDSM gear.  It really, really, really hurt my hip.   (This is post fall , but pre-knee surgery.) The other, full leg gear is the featured picture – (Sorry about the blurry, I was moving all over the place in my lovely, soft, t shirt, sweats, fuzzy socks, and Birkenstocks.


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Potato harvest 2015

I’ve not been posting due to overwhelming harvesting and putting up!  A chance to breathe finally came today, and my chickadee and I put up all of the potatoes after they cured on our porch for a week and a half.  We had some doozies!  Funny veg…

Here they are:


My little chickadee with her turkey leg potato!


Shrek…- you can see it, right?  (IRL, the potato is fairly green.)


A boot.


And, if you picture a hole in the middle of this one, a Q.


In all?  100 lbs of potatoes, and they’re funny colors too.  Pink, blue, white…we’re rather American flag there, aren’t we? 🙂

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