Friday, December 30, 2016

Wife of the year award

Everyone does things for their spouses that they don't really like.
My thing is dill pickles.
I cannot stand the smell of vinegar
and I cannot stand the smell of dill pickles
or pickled beets.
But I do it for him anyway 
cause I love him....
We'll do just about anything for our spouses....

Well I think I should win the wife of the year award
for this one.

A local delicacy we have in these parts is called
"des beurgots picklez"

Pickled whelks.

Yup, you read that right.
Not those tiny little periwinkles you see on the beach.
But these nasty, honkin' big things.
They get caught in the lobster fisherman's traps so they sell them
to people who like to nosh on them, like my husband.

The problem with pickling these suckers is that they are full of slime....
Yup, you read that right also...slime

First of all you have to cook them in a large pot.
Take them one by one and make sure the foot is facing down.
So as they cook they can de-slime themselves.

I must have you just drooling with anticipation by now..
Well wait, I'm not done.

It takes a while to take them one by one to position them correctly.
But after it's done you add a little bit of water and steam them for 20 minutes.
Like you would a lobster. (I'd rather have the lobster)

While they're enjoying their steam bath
you have to make a brine or brew or whatever you want to call it.
Everyone has their own concoction.
We borrowed ours from my mom's neighbour.
It's really just apple cider vinegar, brown sugar,onions, water and pickling spices.
Cook that for a while.

Next you have to find a long pointy stick (we used lobster picks)
To dig them out of their little houses.
And yes, they look like Shrek's boogers.
I'd better stop, I can just imagine my description is wanting to make you run
 to my house and break down the door.

The cooked product.

Note the picture above. Looks like a nasty booger doesn't it?
Well you can't eat the entire thing. Nooooooo...
That would be too easy.
Remember, these things, even though they've de-slimed themselves as
 they were cooking, are still very slippery and slimy.
So you have to take a very sharp knife and cut about a third down.
You don't eat the grey bottom part or even that white middle part.
Just the part that looks like a snail's foot.
Then you have to squeeze it and take the gunk out and rip, 
 what I would call a fingernail, off!
To me it was all gunk, so it was hard to decipher what was edible and what wasn't.
This is the part of the process that takes the longest.

Take a gander at this beaut! Look at the lovely slime coming out of it.
Just beautiful.

Then after you're all done.
Just put in hot jars with the brew, seal and hope to hear the ping and pop
of the seals.

The finished product.

A 5 gallon bucket made seven 500ml jars.
That's a lot of work for a few jars.
We started at 9am and finished at 11am.
I'm selling them at $50 a jar.
And no, that's not a typo.

If you would like to try some of these mouthwatering
delicacies, come and visit me.  
There might be some left by next week.
If hubby hasn't eaten them all.
Wait, don't bother...
he said he won't share.

Have a Blessed Evening!
Happy New Year and a Belated Merry Christmas

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What's happening?!

What's going on since the goats left?

I know I said that I'd post more, well I guess that went out the door.

I started my Master Gardeners course and that has been taking most of my spare time.
I thank God everyday I didn't start this course when I still had the goats.
It's very time consuming.
They expect you to spend 3-4 hours a week on the course.
Well for someone that hasn't used their brain in a long time
(well in that capacity anyway) I've had to study 2 hours a day 6 days a week!!
I still get up at the crack of dawn. That's when I do my best studying.
It's a lot of work and I'm using a lot of brain power...
but I LOVE it!!!
I did my first exam on Monday and made 90%!
I'm now working on my first assignment and studying plant anatomy and 
coniferous trees.
I need to know 100 botanical plant names by the time I'm done.
So far I've done annuals, perennials and deciduous trees.
I think I'll have a few issues with identifying coniferous trees. 
Unless they have a tag on them in the forest, they all look like spruce, pines or cedars to me.

This is how I study my Latin plant names. The old fashioned way.

Last Saturday was the Christmas on the Sissiboo craft show.
We did awesome!! Almost sold out of apple butter and I had made
A LOT of apple butter. Phew.

My table at the craft show.
One of our new scents this year.

Then since we no longer have any goats....
we hopped on the ferry to Saint John New Brunswick and stayed overnight.
Just for the heck of it!
Jamie and his girlfriend came with us also.
I know...Jamie has a girlfriend.
I'm getting old.
She's pretty and super nice.
She's quiet, which compliments Jamie's...
how shall we say this...exuberant personality.
Yes. That's a good word. 

Here we are on the ferry! 
On the ferry Dave was wearing his Christian firefighter tee shirt.
A couple approached him saying how they liked it.
Come to find out they were going home from a conference at a church in Yarmouth.
We talked the entire ferry ride to New Brunswick.
It's nice meeting fellow Christians.

We had just gotten home from the ferry on Sunday morning when Jamie and I decided to go to the penny sale to support the Clare Feral Friends.
We had fun and actually won a few prizes.

Monday night I had a meeting with three students from the local university.
The university has started a new program for their business students.
They pair them up with local small business owners to help them with their businesses.
So I got chosen for my soap business!
How cool is that!
They are so nice and look genuinely excited to help me. I got a girl and two guys.
The girl is from Fredericton NB, but her grandparents are actually local. We know them well.
Small world.
The two guys are from Morocco and Congo.
This could be interesting to see what ideas all three have.

So needless to say I haven't let grass grow under my feet since the last time we talked.
Have a Blessed Evening.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Happy Fall!!!

That is all.

Have a Blessed evening

Sunday, October 2, 2016


How's it going?
Well that's the question I've been getting a lot since we sold the animals.
Tickety boo.
That's usually my answer.
I miss the goats a lot...a lot.
I miss not having fresh milk at any given time.
Store bought milk..well....bites.
And I'm always running to the store to buy some.
It's weird how you take for granted what you have until it's gone.
I honestly didn't think we drank all that much milk.
Boy was I wrong.
I don't even drink it, I just use it for baking (which I now have time to do) and for my cereal.
But it still goes faster than I expected.

I actually enrolled in the Master Gardener's Course at Dalhousie University
and got my email that it starts tomorrow! Ack!


Since my body still thinks it has to get up at the crack of dawn, I'm going to let it think that.
And that's what I'm going to be doing for an hour every morning...studying.
I never thought I'd hear myself say that.

We are slowly getting into a new routine with no animals other than chickens, dogs and cats.
It's weird going outside and hearing....birds chirp.
The roosters don't even crow all that much anymore.
It's so quiet...some days I love it. Some days I don't .
I still putter around the property wondering what I have to do.
Oh yes! That's right.
I have laundry to do. And lots of it!
That didn't stop....ever.

I'm gearing up to make my famous apple butter for the upcoming craft sales. 

Fire and Ice Hydrangea

I went to our local apple orchard and bought 6 bushels of apples.
I'll be busy soon.
I'm also busy making soap, soap and more soap.
I had time to decorate for fall this year.
I like it.
We have a helper coming next week.
Her job will be taking down the fencing.
The helpers we had the last 2.5 weeks brought in all our firewood.
That was awesome!
Well that's all for now
Have a Blessed Evening

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Another Chapter

I never thought I'd see the day that I would post this.

I'm not even sure how to begin.

I've been thinking about this for the last year or so.  
But I was avoiding it.

I sold all the goats.
There I said it.
There's been rumours in the community going around as to why I sold all the goats.
Some people are even saying I've got cancer.
Put all your minds at ease. 
I don't have cancer.

What I do have is I'm exhausted.
Mentally, physically and emotionally.

I thought I could do this homesteading thing while working a fulltime job off the farm.
Well I have come to the realization that I can't.
I admit it...
I cannot.
There I said it.

Like I tell people when they ask why?
I'd get up at 5am and go till 10:30-11pm 
and I still didn't even have everything that needed done, done.
A few people told me in the last few days that they have no idea how I ever did it.

I was constantly worried about the health of the goats, paying for the goats, if something happened to one of us, who would milk the goats? 
Like all farmers know, leaving the farm for even just a weekend involves a lot of planning.
The first thing being...who's going to come and take care of the livestock.
It's relatively easy to find someone to come and take care of a dog, cat or even the chickens.
But when it involves dairy animals that need to be milked twice a day, everyday, whether you want to or not. It's almost impossible. Especially if you don't live in a farming community like we do. Whether you're sick or not (like the time I had H1N1 and one of the goats didn't like Dave so I had to drag myself to milk her anyway), whether there's 5 feet of snow, hurricane force winds, etc...
They still need to be milked twice a day.
And then you have to deal with people that are not always honest.  
And that's what broke the proverbial goat's (camel, whatever) back.

Like I said, I had been thinking about selling the goats for a year or so when I sold a goat to someone. To make a long story short, he says she was sick and almost dead when she got there. We say she was fine when she left here. He wanted his money back. (the goat is still alive btw) or he was going to slander our name everywhere. This wouldn't bother me too much because everyone knows we have quality livestock.  Like my vet said, this was cyber bullying. Blackmail whatever you want to call it.
It was the end.

So I talked it over with Dave and we decided to give a fellow farmer a call to see if she wanted to buy all the goats. Every last one.  I gave her a good deal because I knew they were going to an awesome place. She had bought goats from me before, so she knew our goats. This is also the place my goats went to "goat camp" a few summers ago.

I told Dave, if she says yes. Then it's meant to be. If she had declined, then I'm not sure if I would have tried selling them to someone else or kept them. 
But she said "YES!" 
So the goats are gone.
Did I cry when they
But I cried after they left. I couldn't even talk about it for a few days.
I knew I had made the right decision for the goats and me, but it was still hard.
I'm tearing up as I write this. I still have a hard time looking at goat pictures.
I miss their little faces, their personalities, but I don't miss anything else.

Will I ever go back to goats? Don't know.
Maybe, maybe not.  But for the next 3 years, no.
I'm not selling any of my equipment for now....

I'm still going to make soap. Because that was one of the biggest questions people were asking me.
I have enough milk in the freezer for a long, long time of soap making. And when I run out I have my sources that will supply me with milk. And no, it's not where the goats went. We are still going to be homesteading, just not with goats. More with gardening, preserving our food etc..

So from this day forth this blog will be more of a gardening theme. A travel theme.
Since I'll have time to travel...not exotic places. But just down the road. 
I'm also going to take my Master Gardener's course with Dalhousie University this winter.
I'm also going to take care of my health. Exercise, eat right and try not to stress too much...ya right.
I'm going to take care of my family more, go to church more, camp more, bake more, blog more, be able to visit my friends more...relax more.

We still have the chickens since the way they're set up they can take care of themselves for a few days. And I've got plenty of people that can come and pick up the eggs if need be.

So it's really not the end.  It's just another chapter in my life.

So sorry if I've rambled on too much, but now you know...
the rest of the story.

Have a Blessed Day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Last year, right before Christmas, Emilie crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
We were all devastated, but unfortunately Dachshunds are prone to IVDD and even though Simonne had pulled through with this condition 2 years ago, Emilie did not.

R.I.P. Emilie

Not long after Emilie left us, Simonne's former owner contacted us saying that the Doxie we had been looking at since he got her was going to be retired early. 
Would we want her?

Oh my goodness!!
Simonne was lonely without a partner in crime so we decided to adopt 


We had to wait and see how her latest pregnancy turned out first.
She was being retired early because she kept having pregnancy issues.
Her first litter only produced one puppy and this one looked like no puppies.

So she ended with no puppies.  The breeder is not a puppy mill. He's a very reputable breeder, he treats his dogs like his own children and when he sees one of his mommas has issues
 he doesn't breed them anymore.

So the weekend of April 2nd, Dave hopped in with a truck driver buddy of his (he brought Simonne to us) and went to Quebec to pick up Grenouille.

She's only 3.5 years old, so she still has a lot of living to do for a retiree!
She's a sweetie and at first she was very shy with us.
But that lasted all of a week or so.
She took to Simonne right away and Simonne took to her.

Grenouille is a dapple miniature Dachshund
I mean look at that face!
How can you resist that!

Where there's one, there's the other.

I brought Grenouille to the vet last week and they asked me if they got along                          especially with the large age gap. (Simonne is 11).

What do you think?

And with a name like Grenouille
she needed to come here. 
It was meant to be.

Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It seemed like a good idea...

You know when you think of something and it seems like a good idea at the time....
Well since the rat poison episode a few months ago
we've resorted to those nasty sticky traps.
But our rat and mice problem seems to have disappeared.
Though we still had a jumbo, super dooper, Princess Auto,
stick to anything sticky trap set in the barn.

I noticed that someone had biffed said trap outside by the barn door.
It was full of hay and dirt, so I figured it wasn't too sticky anymore.

So I left it there since I was busy. 
I figured that I would get rid of it the next day.

Well time has a way of flying by 
and yesterday it was still there.

And one of our chickens had walked in it.

There it was walking around with this huge trap stuck to it's foot.
Well really it was squawking around with the sticky trap stuck to it's foot.
I thought to myself, "If I could just get close enough...."

I don't think I need to elaborate.
But I will anyway.
Why I thought if I got close enough to the sticky trap to step on it 
and then I could catch the chicken, was a good idea...
I'll never know.

And that's what I did.

It was easy enough to sneak up on the chicken
and WHAM! I slammed my foot on the trap!

I still didn't clue in to what I had done.

I grabbed the chicken and set it free.

My Croc on the other hand

It just won't come off.
I broke the larger part off but this part is still there.

But you know what the funny part is? No what I just said wasn't the funny part.
I actually, for a split second, contemplated putting my other foot
 on the other part of the trap to pry off my first foot.  Just for a split second.  
Ok, well long enough to lift up my foot and...think about what I was
about to do.


Well I thought it was a good idea.

Have a Blessed Evening