Saturday, October 25, 2008

Joys of Childhood... and beyond

Here's what the kids were up to this week:

Few childhood memories rank up there with the fun of jumping in piles of leaves in autumn. I almost joined in the fun of jumping into this one, but I think I might've broken my tailbone! I settled for helping rake up the pile and throwing leaves in the air. It sure is fun to experience these simple pleasures all over again with my own children.

And now, to make my sweet little video clip seem altogether quaint and boring, here are a couple videos I discovered on YouTube after uploading mine. These give us something to aim for in future fall fun...

(And there are lots more where these came from. YouTube is truly amazing!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Taste Sensation

Along with our attempts at growing our own food, we have also become more aware of finding food. Our personal list of locally available, edible wild plants already included the following: sassafras, teaberry, wineberry, blackberry, walnut, chestnut, chicory, and dandelion. With the exception of chicory, we have tried them all in one form or another.

Now that we have had our first frost (Saturday night saw 30 degrees, Sunday night 27), the time is right for trying a new one (for us!), persimmons! I have heard that you really don't want to experience the flavor of a "pre-frost" persimmon, so although we have seen the fruits for a few weeks now, we waited until this week for our first sampling. Verdict? Quite tasty! It recalls mango for me, my 8yo says it reminds her of apricot.

Any other persimmon-eaters out there have a description for the uninitiated?

Monday, October 20, 2008


My three-year-old has the broadest tastes of my three children, and he eats most things with gusto (albeit slow gusto). Even given that trait, however, I was surprised at the quantities he put down at dinner last night. The fish (baked flounder, if you must know)was a particular favorite and he ate six servings plus nibbles of anyone else's he could get. After about the fourth helping, we decided to find out if there was more to this than just a big appetite and penchant for fish...

The Dad: Wow, you sure are eating a lot of fish tonight.

3yo: Yep, I am.

The Dad: You must like fish a lot.

3yo: Yes. And I need to grow big.

The Dad: Oh, yeah?

3yo: So I can have something.

The Dad: And what's that?

3yo: I need to grow big so I can be tall enough to reach the treats on that shelf!

You can't say he doesn't have ambition. Everyone needs a goal, right?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cool Mornings, Meet Mama Bear

Thanks to having family and friends in town this weekend, we now have our woodstove installed! We've been having some pretty cool mornings already- I think the lowest was 37 degrees- and although we are supposed to hit 80 today, it is only 45 outside right now and 56 inside. The kids and I lit a small fire to knock the chill off and I can hardly wait until really cold weather when we can get an even bigger fire cranking.

The stove is a Fisher "Mama Bear" that my dad brought up to us. After sanding off the rust and putting on a coat of stove paint, it's as good as new. It took a bit of muscle to get it down in the basement. I'm thankful my dad, brother, brother-in-law and another friend were here to help Curt bully it into place. I'll move furniture around the house in a heartbeat, but I'm glad I wasn't called upon to heft a cast iron wood stove down a set of narrow stairs.

We decided to put the stove in the basement to save space in the house. We only have about 600 sq ft here, so losing even a little bit of that is a big deal! The basement is damp and musty; I'm really hoping having the stove going down there will keep help get rid of the funky smell that wafts up every time we open the basement door. Of course, finally getting around to scrubbing it with a vinegar and tea tree oil mixture (or one of the other suggestions at Crunchy Chicken) would probably help, too!

I'll see if there's enough light down there to get a decent picture... stay tuned.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nannie's Shelf

I found this old shelf in one of the outbuildings and saw through the dirt, bugs, rotted wood and mice nests to it's beautiful bones. It is very similar to a larger one we salvaged from our church's basement in Memphis; with that one, we had to see through peeling turquoise paint and evidence of a cockroach colony to its innner beauty...


I had spotted it back in April when we first visited with intentions to soon move. The restoration project hadn't made it to the top of the priority lisr, but a few days ago I hauled it out into the sun and let it dry out. It was situated under a hole in the roof of the outbuilding and I think the top board will have to be replaced, but it is in remarkable condition.

My dad seems to remember that it belonged to my great-grandmother, "Nannie," and that it had to be stored in the building when she moved in with my grandparents and there wasn't room for it in the house. He recalls her being none too happy about its location!

In her own home, it had been used for dishes and such- there were little cup hooks above the top shelf. In the outbuilding, along with serving as a mouse high-rise, we found it stored an assortment of paint thinners, holey work gloves, rusted metal odds and ends, and a bag of sevin dust. In our home, it will find new purpose as a bookcase. I will post more photos as we make progress on it this week!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Still here...

Not sure where the past week+ has gone, but I haven't forgotten the blog! Just a lot going on. We have activities away from home every day this week which I always think I can handle when planning, but halfway through the week I realize it isn't just a preference to be home a lot- I need to be home a lot.

I'll try to carve out some time to post some new photos soon, and I have some recipes I have been wanting to share, too.

How do those people who blog every day do it?