Vacation Photos – The road to PEI: Niagra Falls

On the fifth day of our Vacation, we drove from London, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec. Along the way we stopped at the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. The town was lovely and the views along the view walkway were incredible. We didn’t get into Montreal until almost midnight, but the stop was definitely worth the time.


Vacation Photos – The road to PEI: Shashone Falls

Outside of our first stop, Twin Falls, Idaho. This is Shashone Falls on the Snake River. Shoshone Falls is 212 feet high, 45 feet higher than Niagara Falls, and flows over a rim nearly 1,000 feet wide. Tomorrow we head to Laramie, Wyoming.

Summer Vacation Day 23: Beeswax Wraps

I purchased a beeswax fabric food wrap a few months ago and loved using it to wrap up my sandwiches for lunches at school.  The draw back was the price.  I had tried making some a few years ago using wax melted in the oven on a cookie tray – what a huge mess.  They were thick, not flexible enough and the tray was really difficult to clean.  I found a new method and it works really well…….

First, cut the fabric to the desired size using pinking shears to help prevent fraying.

Lay the fabric down on a sheet of parchment paper with an old bath town folded underneath to act as an ironing board.

Place shredded beeswax (I think this it should be beeswax so that it stays flexible when cooled) over the fabric.  I also found that using small piece of beeswax sheets for candlemaking worked well.

Lay a second sheet of parchment over the top and iron gently with a medium iron.

Iron gently, pressing sideways to distribute the wax into the unwaxed fabric.  When all of the fabric has been covered, remove and hang to dry.

Summer Vacation Day 21: Decluttering the Homestead

Well, we had another water problem at the homestead.  This time a leaking downspout, left unknown and unattended, created a patch of dry rot.  I was pulling out the wall of the screen porch when I discovered the problem.

For the repairs, we’ll have to take out a bit of the hot tub deck.  The good news is that the hot tub hasn’t worked in three summers now so this was a good reminder to get rid of it – to begin the Homestead Declutter.  DH took a chain saw to it and it was gone by late afternoon.  The deck will be rebuilt with less of a drop from the existing roof deck.

We also decided to create easier access for the repairs and reduce the number of areas that we must water by moving the two raised beds from the backyard to the kitchen garden – the old pig and chicken yard.  The strawberries were transplanted into one box and the other, when we get a little extra soil, will be planted with vegetable.

Summer Vacation Day 12: Zero’ish’ Waste

This morning I met the results of three days of car shopping…….the refrigerator is packed with leftovers and food that is ‘just on the edge’, the counters are cluttered and the dishes are piling up.  Time for a big clean, but how to do it without wasting all of the bits and pieces of food in the fridge?………

First, the before photos……

……. sorry the photo is terrible, I didn’t have the lights on and the fridge light only works part of the time.



The Projects

Project #1: Five Spice Chicken Thighs with Ginger and Scallions (soy, ginger, garlic, 5-Spice teriyaki, scallions – – marinate overnight and grill.

Project #2: Country Potatoes for Breakfast (whoopsie – eaten before the photo)

Project #3: Dried Pineapple, Bananas and Mangos for snacking Dried Tomatoes for Tomato Powder

Project #4: Leftovers Lasagna with two different leftover sauces and Chèvre, Brie, Mozzarella, leftovers. Parmesan and pasta from the pantry.

Project #5: Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas with chicken from last night’s supper, pepper cheese from the graduation party some spinach that has a day or two left.  Sour cream, scallions, tortillas and green enchilada sauce from the pantry.


Project #6: Strawberry Black Currant compote with Honey

Project #7: Chicken Salad with more chicken from last night’s supper.  Mayonnaise, scallions, apples and almonds from the pantry.

Project #8: Chicken Salad for Chickens – – -Yoghurt that was getting a little old and some wilted spinach and lettuce.  The hens should love this.

Project #9 Water Kefir – no leftovers, just needed to make a new batch.

Project #10: Milk Kefir – this week’s milk

Project #11: Peanut Butter – peanuts from the graduation party that had gotten soggy from sitting in the bowl.  I tried to re-dehydrate them but it didn’t work well.  I threw them in the food processor with a little additional peanut oil.

Project #12: Dairy – every week

Project #13: Butter – look at that color!!!

Project #14: Viili Yoghurt – for this one, milk from the refrigerator, inoculated with last week’s yoghurt incubates at room temperature on the counter.

Project #15: Greek Yoghurt – for this one, milk is heated to 170 degrees and cooled back to 115 degrees before adding last week’s yoghurt.  It incubates for 5 hours in the Yoghurt Maker.

Project #16: Hardboiled eggs for Deviled Eggs – I make a simple recipe – – eggs, mayonnaise, salt and a tiny bit of yellow mustard.  Our hens do lay pretty eggs!

Project #17: Lemon and Honey Frozen Yoghurt – I added 1/2 honey, 3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cream, 1T vanilla and the zest of two lemons to 3 cups of last weeks Greek yoghurt.  It chilled a few hours before I popped it into the ice cream machine.

Project #18: Prepping for Stir-Fry lunches – We had a little leftover chicken breast that needed to be cooked so I poached and shredded it.  The boys will use it for stir-fry lunches.  I also cleaned and dry some spinach and lettuce, and cut up some carrots.

Now, The after Photo………….


Summer Vacation Days 10, 11, 12: The Great Car Race

It all began on Monday morning.  DH asked me to go with him to take the Cornish Cross Chickens to the processor and then join him for breakfast while the birds were being “tended too” — this is about as close as we get to a date.  We got about three quarter of the way there, past the sink hole in Damascus and part way through Boring, when DH yelled that something was wrong with the car.  The engine light was on and he couldn’t accelerate much past 30mph.  We plugged along to the processor, turned the car off and waited a few minutes.  When we turned it back on it was fine.

We headed into Sandy for breakfast when the light came on again.  We drove around the block and into the service department at Suburban Ford.  While we waited we started thinking that perhaps driving a car with 157,000 miles across the country was not such a brilliant idea. Maybe a new car was in order. We spent the next two days looking at every small SUV in our price range: Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, Chevy Equinox, Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue. We even considered a Mini Cooper Countryman.  They were all nice, but each had it own drawbacks….price, not enough room in the back seat, weird headrests that pitched your head forward at an odd angle, no air conditioning/heat in the back seat, uncomfortable seats.  The sales people were also interesting :  a great guy named David at Suburban Ford (ask for home if you go there), a gal that wasn’t actually in sales and couldn’t tell us even what colors the car came in, a smarmy dude that really wanted to sell us a car in perfect condition ( except for the dent and peeling paint that we showed him), a really odd fellow that could not stop making puns and jokes that only he was laughing at, a really sweet kid that we would have loved to buy something from and finally Hamid, the guy the called his wife and told her he loved her in order to show us the phone integration.

We finally settled in a slightly used 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.  They had just taken it in, it hadn’t been inventoried, advertised or even scrubbed to within an inch of it’s life with Armor All.  It had been sold back by a couple that decided after only a thousand miles they should no longer be driving anything.  We got a great price on it, they came in $1000 less than what we had decided to pay, almost $7000 of of the msrp sticker and lower then anything that we had found with under 20,000 miles.  Then they took off another $100 when I asked for some floor mats.

Today we had to go back to futz around with the technology system, having accounts transferred from the previous owners, and having trial period set up for us.  But it’s all finished and we love the car.  It’s bigger, comfortable and probably won’t break down on our trip.

Summer Vacation Day 9: Bakery visit #10, garden work and Chia Seed Pudding

This morning the weather was glorious – blue sky, warm (but not hot), just lovely. DH and I decided to visit a bakery because DS23 had a friend sleeping on our couch. We drove into Mulino to try breakfast at Tammy D’s. Tammy D’s is nothing fancy, just a pretty nice breakfast/lunch joint that sells some of their house-made bakery items. I’ve been avoiding processed sugar for nine days so, even though the cinnamon rolls were calling out to me and the cookies looked delicious, DH and I settled for a beautiful loaf of brioche. Breakfast was tasty, DH had the traditional breakfast ($10.50 was maybe a bit high) and I settled on the biscuit and gravy from the senior/kids menu with an egg on the side ($6.50). It was fine….not the most remarkable breakfast we’ve had, but well cooked and the service was friendly and terrific.


When we got home, we spent some time in the garden.  We fertilized and watered, put strings up on the pea trellis and DH repaired a couple of fence posts that had rotted out.  The cement should dry tonight so we can put up fencing tomorrow to keep the deer and rabbits from (hopefully) snacking on my veggies.

This evening I really wanted a sweet snack from the Dairy Queen – – Day 9 No Sugar had been going really smoothly until then.  I remembered that I had stirred up a batch of Coconut Milk Chia Seed Pudding yesterday and it was waiting in the refrigerator.  I topped it with a little fresh mango and some raw milk from my favorite cow and dug in.  Now I’ll be the first to admit, grayish-purple pudding is not chocolate soft-serve, but it was cold and just slightly sweet and pretty darn delicious.

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

1 cup chia seeds
1 can coconut milk
1 T honey
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Combine and chill
top with fresh fruit and a little milk