Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Missing You

You know I miss you.  I had every intention of making a smooth transistion to WordPress, my new digs, but with every new direction there will be a few (okay a lot of) little bumps and curves along the way.  

If you're reading this and wondering what the heck is up. Just skidaddle on over HERE and cozy up with me for more homestead happenings at Panther Creek Cottage.  I'm missing you.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Saying Goodbye To Summer

I saw it coming, clearly, over the hill, in a few gently falling leaves, slightly crisp morning air, and in the first home fire.  What did I do? Embrace the Fall season with open arms? No! I ran the other way! I went on a lollygagging escapade. Daily jaunts along the creek, skipping stones and acting like summer was just beginning, if only in my imagination.

I wasn't remotely prepared to get in the fall mood, although I love all that Autumn holds, cozy warm sweaters, steaming mugs of Chai tea, the earthy smells of fall mulching. 

I'm thinking I still have time to scratch off a few fall "to dos" on my list. These few tips might just get my noggin aligned with the season. And if by some chance you're feeling un-fall like too and in need of a nudge, read on.

  1. Garlic* If you will be planting a fall vegetable garden, have fun, the offerings of most seed catalogs are wonderfully laden with varieties for the home gardener to choose from, but in my opinion, none are as un-negotiable as the plump cloves of my favorite garlic for seeding.  A few braids of garlic store well for months in the pantry, or dehydrated and ground into powder, maybe roasted and preserved in olive oil. Garlic is a must have, AND the health benefits are too numerous not to consider that there may be a tad more fair weather yet to get next years harvest into the ground. Ever use garlic oil for earache or as an aid in healing an ear infection? In a pinch I will place a freshly sliced piece of garlic into my winter sensitive ears. Very soothing. LOL on the mental picture, but I said soothing, not lovely. More garlic love here.
  2. Compost* Right now is the perfect time to replenish your composting system with an influx of garden debris, green, dried and brown, all will feed the soil food web now for deep, rich, garden goodness in one year. Where  to start? More compost love here.
  3. Pantry* Yep, mines a mess as usual from tossing in stuff willy nilly all summer.  But now is the time to whip it into shape by organizing store bought staples, home preserved staples and by rotating expiring items to the front of your pantry queue. Be resolved to incorporate them into your menu to avoid waste. And do I hate waste? You bet I do!  What to do with that random can of tomato soup you dug out the dark recesses of your pantry? Epicurious is a great place to plug in that "can of whatever" and come up with an interesting recipe, one that might prove to make you the queen of culinary magic in your home.  While we have our pantry prowess thing going on, be mindful of family preparedness and add few consumables yearly that keep really really well long term.  Check out my little experiment to learn more about this pantry must have.
*For the newbie, here is a Beginners Guide to Pantry Pride from the folks at Organized Home.

Oh! before I forget, the promised lollygagging report.

Lazy days on the banks of Panther Creek and a farewell to Summer. 

Hello Autumn. I think I heart you.

What's at the top of your list of fall "to dos"? I'd love to know!

Monday, August 27, 2012


There is a distinct change in the air. I feel it. Don't you? Crisp morning air. The sun a little lower in the afternoon sky.  And grasshoppers popping up from the dry grasses as I pass by.  Nature's signal that summer is on the wane.

 Internally, my heart quickens as I know we have much to do yet to have our home remodel project weather ready, gardening chores attended to, and time, precious time to find for late summer lollygagging. Yes, lollygagging! Glorious mindless wandering, dilly dallying, or shilly shallying about in the late summer sun.  If I am not forth coming with a lollygagging report soon, well, I hope someone will hold me accountable. :D


It's really satisfying when we can repurpose old materials into our home building projects.  So much, the old stuff is far superior to what one will find in today's lumber yards. Not to mention the visual appeal of vintage. Several years ago we stock piled several square footage of tongue and groove boards removed from a friends home remodel project  in Astoria, Oregon.  The cost? One 10" home made apple pie. Booyah!

We planed the old boards, sanded up the rough spots and they are now the underside treatment of our roof overhang.  Ditto on the Booyah.

And in the garden.....

Connectivity.  My maternal great grandmother was a sharecroppers wife who grew fabulous hydrangea in the Arkansas hard pan.  I can only imagine possible by the soil amending courtesy of the family cow.  I don't remember my great grandmother, she passed in my infanthood, but I know her.  I know her everytime I look at my Nikko Blue hydrangea.

The other day, my grand daughter presented me with this mini bouquet picked from my garden.  There is the hydrangea.  And the connectivity. One day, perhaps by instinct, a hydrangea will grace this young ladies garden too.

I hope your end of summer to dos are creative and meaningful with ample time set aside for aimless lollgagging too.  

 I find lollygagging so much nicer with tea.  How bout' you?