Monthly Archives: July 2014

Next Years Vegetable Garden

veggies

A recent visit to my grandparent’s house about an hour away has me dreaming of growing my own heavy ripe tomatoes, cucumbers on the vine, and carrots that need thinning.  Now that the yard is, I can start dreaming of my garden.  The plan is to dig it out this fall so that it’s ready for planting next spring, but after the immense job of putting in the chain link, I’m a bit wary of mentioning to Hubby that I would like to install a fence around my garden.  My poor husband has been patient with my country requests, from the large fence to the rain barrels, and even the new deck that will need to go in next year. I might fold and allow him to get central air if we can afford it next year since he’s been so accommodating.

A fence around my garden will first look lovely. I picture a wood frame fence with goat wiring to keep the dogs out, and a little wooden gate too.  I wonder how much it would cost to put in a well with a hand pump back there (okay, this is probably not financially feasible for another 20 years, but I can still dream)? In the next few years we hope to have a garden shed, something large enough for a small potting area on one side and some storage on the other for Frankenstein, our push mower and maybe a good seasonal place for our snow blower.

I envision rows of onions, garlic, tomatoes, beans on vines and cucumber vines you need to dance around on tip toe to get by.  I can’t wait for the garden salads and the quiet evenings weeding in my sanctuary of herbs and tall green stalks of corn. (I of course assume Hubby will be watching Junior for me as I escape).  As mentioned in an earlier post, I grew up with a garden that my mom slaved over and even though the hard work, the seeds and small plants probably cost more than getting veggies on sale at the local superstore, the effort that one puts into a garden is beneficial to self being and worth alone.

As I wandered around their lot, getting a tour of their gardens, and a history on their trees (also something I’ve become obsessed with since our back yard only has 1mature tree), my grandfather explained his overgrown potato patch and pointed out rusting metal piles that most likely held plenty of treasures. At one of these piles, he waded in with his boots, and plucked out a tire rim that will help to elevate my rain barrels, and as he did so, I spotted some raspberries wildly growing among some sumac trees.

With their permission, I’m planning on returning this fall to snag some trees to plant in my own yard which is much more rewarding as I like to think that it’s almost a passing of the torch.  Someday it might be me touring my yard with a grandchild, pointing out the rusting hand water pump, or the fence pole that attacked Hubby’s head. And the trees that will shade us will already have a glorious history.

My grandmother sent me home with a bag filled with red skinned potatoes, onions and beans which Hubby and I enjoyed with some homemade wine and steaks last night, a taste of what could come if we had our own country garden.

Unleash the Hounds!!

fence2

After over a month of work filled weekends slaving over post diggers and augers, pouring concrete, stretching chain link and feeding dozens of helpers, our fence is pretty much done. There are just a few gates to be adjusted and some wires to put up to attach the fencing to the posts so it doesn’t sag.  Our final day of work we had enlisted some friends from town and some family and everyone pitched in for one last push to get it all up.  With three sides up we were down to the final one when we heard someone exclaim…. “Dude! Are you okay??!!” Looking up from the gate I was installing I saw Hubby bent over, hands on his head…blood dripping down.  I yelled for him to start walking (it made no sense for me to run to him since he had 3 helpers around him and he was about 150 feet from the house).  I ran for the first aid kit, but when I came outside with it I found Hubby had made it to the front steps, keeping his hands on his head, but the blood just kept coming.  I traded in the first aid kit for the car keys and we hurtled down the country roads to the hospital, only 10 minutes away. Relief only came when we were in triage and Hubby could finally remove his hands from the top of his head, and for a second I thought I would see exposed bits of brain or a clear view of his thick skull, but it was “only” a deep cut that was a bleeder.  Hubby had been hammering one of the posts with a very heavy post pounder, which is a steel pipe filled with concrete with two handles.  He went to lift it off the post but misjudged how far he had to go and it slipped back and fell onto his head. 10 stitches later we were back on the road and with just a splitting headache Hubby was back working at the fence. 

The day concluded with all fencing up and most gates in place and the others at least wired up so the dogs couldn’t escape.  We had a ceremonial unleashing of the dogs and for the first time ever both dogs ran free, more like galloped wildly, without a care.  Hubby was a bit sore for a few days and he certainly doesn’t want to hear the word “fence” anytime soon.  I told him that he should at least have a better story for his head wound.  Maybe a bear attack, or a hand to hand combat against the coyotes.

The Problem With Bread…

bread2

The bread recipe that I mentioned earlier has been causing me issues. “Issues”, meaning I’ve been making too much bread. I’m not a small woman, so extra carbs, delicious or not, are dangerous to my post-baby body. I love baking the bread and coming up with new flavours but I don’t want my new country life to go straight to my thighs.
I’ve made another round of bread, a rosemary cheddar, that I inhaled, an onion loaf and an olive loaf. Since I needed to get the extra loaves out of my kitchen I strapped Junior into his stroller and we travelled across the street to distribute the extra bread to my neighbours, the ones that helped us mow our grass and then over to the farmers, the past owners of the house. They gladly accepted my offerings and I promised more if they enjoyed them. I miss the days where Hubby and I had quiet evenings to ourselves to enjoy a bottle of wine, fine cheeses and toasted bread with various spreads. Junior has put a dent in our charcuterie nights, but at least in the meantime I can practice my rustic bread making techniques. Next up will be some buns, using the same recipe, to bring to my grandparents place.

Freshly Baked Bread

breadI’m always challenging myself to make items I find on Pinterest.  Yesterday I started a recipe for easy to make bread.  You make the dough, let it rise overnight and then cook in a casserole dish (it was supposed to be a dutch oven but mine was packed away in my camping gear).  I’ve added garlic powder and rosemary to mine and it turned out pretty good.  I had a few slices with a rustic sausage and egg breakfast this morning and my mom will be over for lunch so we’ll make the other one into chicken sandwiches.  I’d like to try one with cheddar and chives from my garden, or an onion bread would be delicious as well.

Here is a link to the recipe:

http://www.pbpickles.com/2012/12/easy-peasy-rustic-bread/

 

The Problem With My Screen Door…

stop

So when the hot weather arrived, we threw open the front door, tossed open the back french doors and the most wonderful cross breeze flowed through the house.  Sadly our dogs quickly discovered the magic of a non locking screen door.  You push… and it opens.  I’ve had to chase my dog out the door as she gallops away to greet neighbours walking down the street or as our dogs leap at my temporarily crippled mother with her cast-like boot (insert a mental image of me yelling “NOOOOO!” as they lurch through the air to give her kisses).

I’ve added a chain and hook inside to prevent the dogs from leaving the house, but this also prevents outsiders from getting in… not that it stops their attempts at getting in, and this is where my crafty project comes in.  Guests and friends don’t realize the door is latched and they yank on the door causing damage to the door, the latch and the hinges etc.  So I’ve made a sign to hang on the outside to warn possible “enterers” (yes “enterers” is now a word).

The picture pretty much lays it out for you:

1. create a stencil with wax paper or print out your template.

2. cut out your stencil.

3. paint your stencil onto your wood.

4. hang sign on door.

Hubby is on his way home now, I wonder if it will work.