Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My First EVER Random Dozen

Okay, so I have wanted to do this for a while now but have always missed the posting day! I *just* made it this week...on with the FUN! Thanks to Lid at the 2nd Cup of Coffee for hosting this!

1. What insect are you most afraid of? Feel free to post a picture.
The Brown Recluse spider. Some call it the "Violin Spider" or "Fiddleback Spider" because it looks like there's a violin on its back:
These suckers have a nasty venom and I am not going to describe what they can do. Just...Google them...if you wanna see something truly frightening...and grossly graphic...
2. What is the greenest/most organic thing about you or that you do?
What isn't green/organic about me? I make my own soap/shampoo/etc. We live off grid and get our electricity from our own brook and the sun. I compost. I recycle...everything...obsessively. We only own one vehicle out of choice though many times we could "use" two. I buy clothes made from organic cotton and only natural fibers. I buy Fair Trade Organic teas and coffees. Our eggs come from our own chickens. Our milk from our goat...I'll just stop, now...
3. Tell me about a recurring dream that haunts you. Being bitten by a Brown Recluse spider.
4. Have you ever missed a flight? What were the circumstances? Yep. From Toronto's YYZ to LAX in Los Angeles. I didn't want to go home so I didn't go to the airport.
5. What do you consider your best feature? My brain!
6. What was the last concert you went to? Celtic Woman on the Bangor Waterfront in July. I am going to see Tim McGraw on Sept. 4th and then to Boston to see Rush on Sept. 18th.
7. Describe the most embarrassing church moment you ever experienced.  Umm...don't know if I want to share this but I will. When I was 16 I was dating a really nice Christian boy. Well, there was a spontaneous re-dedication to Christ and re-baptism service. He talked me into doing it and I really believed he was "the one" so I did it...and TOTALLY forgot I was wearing bright purple lingerie...we had to change into white robes and it slipped my mind...until I was walking out of the tank...
8. Are you a whistler, hummer or singer? Depends where I am and what I'm doing. I am usually a singer, though. Singing is my gift from God.
9. George Washington Carver said, "I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in." What is God saying to you through nature today, or this very minute? "You need to spend more time at the library." Seriously. It is over 90* out there and nothing cool to do except hang at the library and read.
10. On September, 1, 1752, the Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia. What memorable event will take place in your life on September 1, 2010? I will officially receive an Associate's Degree in Elementary Education. Then I will only have two years left until I graduate from college.
11. Taco Bell or the Liberty Bell? (You must choose.) The Liberty Bell, of course!
12. Do you believe men and women can have purely platonic friendships?  Absolutely!!

Piscataquis Valley Fair 2010---Big doin's and some prizes won

The annual Piscataquis Valley Fair had it's 123rd season from August 26th through the 29th this year. B10 had  her heart set on entering some animal categories but between the move and the paperwork to transfer the 4-H club from one county to another we didn't hit the deadline. SO, instead, she had a hand's on short-term project learning about food preservation. Together we made some canned tomatoes both plain and stewed. Then we each did some independent projects. B10 made 5 half-pints of zucchini relish and a pint and a half-pint of red, white, and blue salsa using tomatoes, white sweet corn, a Vidalia onion, a red habanero pepper, and some blueberries we gathered from a nearby Pick Your Own farm. She got first place for the salsa and second place for the relish. I canned some blueberries in a light lemon syrup and also a half batch of corn relish. I got first for the relish and third for the berries. I also got first prize in the pie category, this year's theme was berry pies. I made Blueberry Pie with Lemon Crust. Recipes for all will be up tomorrow. Here's some pics!

Off to the fair! Look at those excited faces...

My 1st and B10's 2nd place ribbons. Corn relish and Red, White and Blue Salsa. 
B10's 1st place Zucchini Relish  
My 3rd place Blueberries in Light Lemon Syrup
And my 1st place Blueberry Pie with Lemon Crust
J7 and A5 got to be in the kids' Pedal Tractor Pull. This was an extremely fun time for them. J7 was right on the pin at 60 pounds so this was his first (and last) year in the event, but I just figure that gives A5 (soon to be A6 aka "Muppy") more room to shine next year. Here's the kids having a blast and learning about sportmanship: 
Way to go, girl!

J7 with his 1st place in class ribbon, which made him eligible to participate in the "pull off" on the mechanical track in front of a huge crowd during the Demolition Derby intermission. 
Go, Buddy, GO!!

With his 3rd place overall trophy and snazzy new "T" courtesy of Ironman Racing, Evergreen Auto Salvage and Larry Laney.
While many families were willing to pay $18 per person for the unlimited midway ride bracelets, our budget didn't allow that this year. However, we bought a ticket sheet and the kids got to go on some rides:
A5 looks wistfully at the cotton candy booth from her first ride pick, the Merry Go Round...not lookin' too merry there...
B10 was miffed that she couldn't go three times in a row like at Funtown.

A much better time was had on the Zamperla Samba Balloons.
Which J7 thoroughly enjoyed, as well
And after much wheedling, two extra tickets were bought and all 3 got to go on the Bumper Cars (or, as J7 calls them 'Road Bumpers'). A unanimous dislike for this ride was declared  after they disembarked and we rounded up entries and headed home. 
And what about Mama and the rides? Well, I got to go on my absolute favorite, the Tilt-A-Whirl. Once. 

See ya Friday for the weekly Fave Five!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday's Fave Five August 27th 2010

Thanks to Susanne for hosting Friday's Fave Five every week! Go Here to join the fun

So sorry I missed out on the fun last week, everyone. Things were hectic but in the end what I initially took for sorrow has turned into great joy! Congrats to the 100th Postiversary winners: E-Mom, Heidi, and IslandSparrow! Way to go ladies! Awesome blogs, as well. I am so glad I got a chance to stop by these terrific blogs because I am a blog-a-holic and these three fit right into my addiction perfectly.

And now, without further ado, here is this weeks Fave Five!

1) Little local country fairs. Yesterday kicked off the 123rd annual Piscataquis Valley Fair. The fireworks were beautiful last night and the kids and I had a blast watching them. Fireworks are my absolute favorite thing on this planet...I don't know why but the sound, the smell, the flashy colors and different sparkly designs...

2) Animals!! I love every single kind of animal, really and truly. We have bantam chickens of our own, four rabbits, three cats, and three goats. Seeing all the well-groomed, well-loved and cared for animals at the fair with their proud owners alongside, especially the kids, is a real boost and makes me proud of my community and the parents, teachers, volunteers, and other educators we have that place such an emphasis on our kids. 

3) 4-H! We started our own 4-H club last year but between the move, losing one of our cats, my turn of bad health, and my hubby's lay off we didn't get projects completed in time for this year's fair. The animals are sleek and sassy, though and A5 and J7 are terribly proud of their rabbits and chickens and B10 is looking forward to the imminent arrival of her first Babydoll Southdown sheep.

4) Getting the materials in place to start building. By September 5th we will have our shell up and be started on the interior. 

5) That God works everything for our good, even if we cannot see it at the time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

♥☺♥Friday Fave Five 8/13/2010♥☺♥

HAPPY 100th Post, Friday's Fave Five!!  Today, Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story announced that today is the 100th Post-iversary (woo hoo, I created a new word!) of Friday's Fave Five. I've only been FFF'ing for a couple of months, but it really is fun and I am very, very, very thankful for Suzanne and her hosting of this terrific meme. 

She prompted those of us taking part to share 5 ways we've been blessed by Friday's Fave Five...and following this is my Friday the 13th Friday's Fave Five.

  1. Having lots of other fabulous women (and even the occasional guy!) to share five things with each week. 
  2. Thinking about things that made me smile each week. 
  3. Reading everyone else's FFFs. This has helped me make some new friends and see blessings in my own life I might've missed otherwise.
  4. I need the prompting sometimes to give God His due thanks for the wonderful things in my life, both recent and ancient. 
  5. Guaranteed readership! LOL & J/K. I blog mostly for myself, if anyone else reads and comments its a huge boost, though...It lets me know that I'm not just wasting time in cyberland.

Welcome to my TOTALLY Irish Superstition Blog!
Sometimes, being ♣Irish♣ has its perks...wait, being ♣Irish♣ is always awesome! 
Especially on days like Friday the 13th. Enjoy today's Fave Five Irish Superstitions!
The spirit of the dead last buried has to watch in the churchyard until another corpse is buried. Duties include carrying water for the dead that are waiting in Purgatory. This keeps them very busy. Purgatory is a very hot place. This superstition has been known to cause fights when two funeral processions try to enter the same churchyard at the same time. No one wants their loved one to be the last buried and have to perform these duties. 

When a swarm of bees suddenly quits the hive it is a sign that death is hovering near the house. As a farmer that just started keeping bees, this one really has me watching the hive...

A crowing hen, a whistling girl, and a black cat are considered very unlucky. Beware of them in a house. Especially on Friday the 13th.

If you want to know the name of the person you are to marry, put a snail on a plate sprinkled with flour. Cover the plate and leave it overnight. In the morning the initial of the person will be on the plate, traced by the snail.  B10 has been trying this for two days now. She keeps getting something that looks like a cursive "D" and she is upset it isn't an H. I told her that when I used to do it I would get an "S" but something sad happened and I couldn't marry my "S," so I married a "D."  Maybe she is getting my snail?

Pipes were never lit from the hearth fire on May Day, nor were the embers taken outdoors. Also, if you drank nettle soup on May 1, it was believed that you'd be free of rheumatism for a year. It was unlucky to go on a trip on both St. Martins Eve and the Feast of St. Martin - November 10 and 11. On Epiphany, January 6, the tail of a herring was rubbed across the eyes of children to protect them from disease for the rest of the year. On St. Brigid's Day, February 1, a straw from the Christmas nativity scene was put up into the rafters to protect against evil spirits (or as a cure for ringworm!) Whitsuntide was associated with drowning and there were those who would not put to sea - unless the boat was steered by a new bride. On Good Friday, while little work was done in observance of the Crucifixion, it was a lucky day to sow potatoes. And, on all Souls Day - November 2 - people avoided taking short cuts for fear the good people would lead them astray. Other days in the year had special beliefs attached to them - Saturday, in particular. In the old days, it was considered unlucky to move house, get married, begin a big project, or take a journey overnight.

There are some of my Favorite Irish Superstitions. When I was a girl, my Gran (where the Finnuala for my middle name comes from) taught me this lyric: "Pinch, punch, first day of the month, white rabbit!" I've no idea what the phrase means, but I sure did have fun acting it out against my sister every month...especially with the snow-white stuffed bunny my Da gave me for my 8th birthday.  

 There you have it, folks, a double-whammy Friday's Fave Five. Hope you enjoyed reading and come count your blessings with us each Friday! May the road rise up to meet you, the wind always be at your back, and may you be five hours in Heaven before the devil knows you're dead.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

†♥Terrific Tuesday♥†

Okay, everyone, I decided to post/host a meme of my own. I noticed that I tend to miss out on Friday's Fave Five and often I want to pause at the start of my week and share something awesome that happened. So, here is Terrific Tuesday.

The thing that made me say "terrific!" happened last night. I received a 5-in-1 card reader. While I still cannot load pics directly from my Kodak camera into my PC, I can use the card reader to transfer pics from my memory card into the PC. The extra step is worth the trouble to be able to SHARE the pics from my camera as well as the vids I took.

SO, here are some pics from the kids' AWANA closing ceremonies that took place in May of this year:

B10 lovin' the slide
J7 hams it up

A5 and R4 total BFFs!

They totally cannot wait for AWANA to start up again in the fall! 

That's Terrific Tuesday for this week, see you later with Wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Daybook for August 9, 2010

 ~~~~* To Join the Daybook, click here*~~~~

FOR TODAY...Monday, August 9th, 2010

Outside my window...overcast with occasional sun peeking through. We're supposed to get some rain today and tomorrow so the kids are excited about the chance to go swimming at the local YMCA.

I am thinking...it is going to be interesting getting a 16' x 20' house built by October, as well as get a 20' x 26' house salvaged over the next month.

I am thankful for...my new job. It is only part-time but it will enable me to be with my family AND support them as well as let my hubby be home to work on our farm-based business and build a home.

From the learning rooms...studying local ecology in the form of our brook on the property and the river down at the end of the road.

From the kitchen...LOTS of canned goodies! I am putting by blueberries from a local PYO; raspberries and blackberries from our own wild patches; a dish I've only heard of here in Maine, called "Dynamites." I've put the recipe at the end of the post, they're SOO good and I even have a kid-friendly variation using pizza crust. Also putting up pickles from our cukes; peas are done; beans are coming...as well as soup bases, chili starter, pie fillings...

I am wearing...this awesome L.L. Bean dress my hubby got for my birthday back in the winter with an eye on Spring/Summer. It has tank-top straps with a long skirt and is the neatest red/yellow/black plaid with white buttons. Really light, flowy, cool and comfy. Along with it are faux-snakeskin red sandals and a yellow and red ribbon covered ponytail elastic...yes, my hair is FINALLY long enough for ponies!!!

I am creating...whoopie pies...yep, "whoopie pies." If you don't what a whoopie pie is, I am SO sorry you've not gotten to enjoy them! They are two small chocolate cakes, traditionally, with a whipped vanilla frosting in between. The nearby town, Dover-Foxcroft, is home to the Annual Maine Whoopie Pie Festival. Two of my aunts and I are colluding to enter next year so we are creating different combos. I just did some really tasty ones that were lemon cakes with a raspberry filling and some mint cakes with chocolate filling, kind of inside/out chocolate-mint-chip kind.

I am going...to complete my menu planning for the week. We are using an RV sized propane fridge for cold food storage and it has really made me more mindful of seasonal produce in our menu as well as meat sales and the INSANE number of condiments I used to "HAVE" to have. I am going to post a whole other entry about that...look for the laughs!

I am reading...Angel Song. I just finished it, actually. Beautiful book. I have a review posted here

I am hoping...that I get my training completed swiftly and can start my new job this week. We are impatient to get building on the house and until I start my part-time job DH has to work full time and that is keeping us from building.

I am hearing...the generator running to charge the batteries, the kids excitedly watching a squirrel, and the little goat munching on watermelon rind.

Around the house...finishing training for work, decluttering too-small clothes from last year in readiness for the Back to School shopping to be done on Wednesday, keeping an eye on the succession planting seedlings.

One of my favorite things...reading with the kids during a rainstorm. For hours.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Swimming at the Y tomorrow after daddy gets home from work; grocery shopping and BTS shopping on Wednesday. Food safety training for work. First day on the job Thursday quite likely.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

A5 loves to answer the phone so while I was working outdoors the other day I put the phone on the windowsill. Everytime it rang (including the 9 calls from Nan just to give Autumn something to do) she answered with a cheerful "Tiny Farm, A5 here!"

Angel Song; A BookSneeze Review

I absolutely adored this book. Uplifting Christian fiction is what I tend to read the most and this one was just stunning. It really caused me to pause and think about what the effect would be on my loved ones if I died unexpectedly...but wait, I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Angel Song written by Sheila Walsh (Women of Faith speaker and very accomplished author) and Kathryn Cushman (Work at Home mom but also has a pharmaceutical degree)is one of those rare books where the setting is described is so beautifully and fully that it can almost transport the reader right to the heart of a place. The descriptions of Charleston in this novel do just that: the houses are described in such fascinating detail you can see them in your mind just as if you are standing in front of them in person.

The story itself is at times heart-warming, such as the scene where Anne is flying to Charleston to celebrate her little sister's college graduation at the start of the book and you can sense the love and pride she has in Sarah; and heart-wrenching, such as the tragic accident which eventually takes young Sarah's life just at the cusp of womanhood and embarking on her REAL life. You will need a seriously large box of tissues to get through it, but the tears are worth it.

Anne is an up-and-coming interior designer and one of the first scenes in the book has her meeting the owner of a rival design company, Patrick Stinson. After an engaging conversation they trade business cards and that is the moment Anne discovers who her traveling companion is. She is momentarily embarrassed but then her pride rises and she remembers that she was named in a noteworthy interior design publication and puts the incident behind her.

If you are a fan of Christian fiction, or prefer genuine love stories to the less wholesome selections on the mainstream fiction market today, Angel Song is definitely the book for you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Tribute to Moms

This video had me in stitches but its also so true. Enjoy, moms! This is for all of us who think what we do day in and day out goes unappreciated.