Monday, February 20, 2017

Planting!


I'm out in the garden again! It's so unreal... it's been so long! I've planted greens, parsley, carrots, radishes, borage and marigolds so far! Oh, and little onions too, of course! Giddy doesn't even begin to describe me. Although I've already gotten in trouble for planting so much without the kids helping... so I guess the next time I reach for those seeds it better be an evening or weekend... but oh the therapy, the sanctuary of digging in the dirt, gloves off, alone!

It is so good!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bonfire


This weekend we decided that we were going to have a little fun at the end of our working-our-tails-off marathon. We'd been cleaning up the yard while simultaneously digging trenches and managing a burnoff bonfire, and we thought well gosh, what if we had some friends over and threw some potatoes in those ashes?



And so we did, and we had a few beers, and we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and got to hear the birds find their roosts for the night and the frogs come out to sing, all underneath a few early stars. Who cares if we were sunburned (some of us) or filthy (all of us)? It was just what we needed.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Monsters on the Trail Cam

We haven't had a decent feral hog sighting in quite a few days... we've been hearing regular rifle shots from the north of us (where we think the pigs are coming from) and are left wondering if they've been scared away for the time being. Our hog-trapper doesn't seem concerned, reassuring us that it's typical for a group this size to have a very, very large territory and for them to appear to come and go. It seems like he's ready set the trap to catch whatever comes back whenever we start seeing them again, though, so I keep baiting the trap with "fresh" sour corn and checking the trail cams.

When the pigs skip a visit, we end up having photos of squirrels, big fat raccoons, and my cat (jerk) instead... and recently something even stranger made an appearance...






















 ...which was very startling at first glance! We're going to need a different kind of trap...























 ...I don't think we're equipped to handle monsters of this caliber.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Another Group Project, Done





























 It never ceases to amaze me how much willing help we can find with a few phone calls... this past weekend was no exception. Not only were our hard-working usuals here (father- and mother-in-law), but an entire family of friends showed up ready to pitch in, too... and the result? Two rows of fence up, complete with posts set in concrete! One for the garden space, the other to protect our lateral lines and bee yard. And they look gooooooooooooood.

I'm especially relieved about the fence now guarding the lateral lines and bees.

Oh, and now I've got something to nail a bee yard sign to... so I guess I'd better make a bee yard sign!


It's aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall comin' together!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Heart-Day





Classroom parties, secret Valentines, and our must-have heart-shaped pancakes to kick it all off... my kiddos love a chance to celebrate, no matter the actual reason. I even got a surprise valentine from Sister, complete with a joke she made up herself: "What do you call a really messy room? A pig stie!" (Original spelling preserved.)

I'm not sure why I inspired that joke, but it was super sweet nonetheless. What a goofball.

This will be Henry's first Valentine's Day party, and yesterday he told me excitedly that he already had cards and things in his box. I can't wait to hear all about their days. Love it.

See our long-ago nods to V-Day here: 2012, 2013.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Weekending :: Dance!


We kicked off our weekend with what was formerly thought to be a daddy-daughter dance, now understood to be a family dance, put on by the city. We all got spiffied up and danced the night away...





























...and though we stayed out waaaaaay past bedtime, it was totally worth it. Hoping everyone got the chance to put a little boogie in their weekend!

Happy weekending!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Super-Dee-Dooper Dark Chocolate Cookies


Soft, dense and fluffy at the same time, with just the right amount of gooey... a crowd pleaser every time. Good fresh or a few days later, and especially good with a scoop of ice cream 
sandwiched in the middle!

Super-Dee-Dooper Dark Chocolate Cookies
Makes 12-15, depending on how big you make 'em

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 sticks butter at room temp
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice 
(or sub 2/3 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar)
1 egg at room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp instant espresso powder, ground superfine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper (don't skip the parchment, these cookies bake up super soft and you would destroy them trying to spatula them off a bare cookie sheet). Sift dry ingredients together and set aside. 
Beat butter with sugar(s) until fluffy and add egg and vanilla. Beat again until fluffy. Add dry ingredients to butter fluff and beat until very stiff dough forms. Add chocolate chips and mix to combine. 
Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets, allowing room between cookies for them to spread out in the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes or until surface of cookies no longer look super shiny (they will not firm up much or brown). Remove from oven and slip the parchment paper- cookies and all- off the cookie sheets and on to the counter top. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes or until they're firm enough to pick up. 

Pick up.

Devour.

Repeat.