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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brown Rice Pizza

I made our brown rice pizza yesterday, yum!! We all love it here. Pizza is our Christmas tradition, so on Christmas we had just regular home made pizza and Saturday was Brown Rice Pizza.

Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cup brown rice, cook in 3 cups water, simmer with lid on, takes about 30-45 minutes for brown rice to cook up.

mix together in a bowl:
1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (can substitute sheep cheese)
3/4 cup sesame seeds
2 eggs

add the cooked rice and mix thoroughly

spread on a pizza stone, will be about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick, just make it pretty evenly spread. Cook in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, it will be slightly brown on top. Top your pizza how you like, put it back in the over for about 10 more minutes. Cut and eat. YUM!!

The picture is my pizza, I use sheep cheese, topped with onion, sauce and more sheep cheese.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

I have made a few pumpkin pies this year. Hadn't tried a dairy free one though, this was a first. It just seemed like there was so much milk in a pumpkin pie that to replace that would somehow effect the pie, either in taste or cooking. But really it enhanced the pie. I just replaced the milk with vanilla silk, next time I am going to try the VERY vanilla silk, or silk nog, those would be YUMMY!!

Very delicious. So for all my dairy free friends out there, give it a try!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Banana Pancakes

Yesterday I made banana pancakes for me and the boys. I had bought some nice organic bananas ( I love bananas) but when the boys were taking the groceries out of the car for me, the bag split and the bananas fell to the ground on the ends, so all the bananas were bruised and sort of mashed, perfect for cooking.

I haven't made banana pancakes in quite a while, not sure why, but they are one of my favorites. We all enjoyed them, dairy free. Here is my recipe:
1 1/4 cups four
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp O Oil
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
1 mashed banana
enough vanilla silk to make the right consistency batter

DELICIOUS with some *real* maple syrup.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I posted a while back about our latest foster puppy, Ellis. Well he went to his new forever family yesterday, such a nice energetic family for a wonderful, smart, energetic dog. We were all in tears, Ellis is such a great dog, he will be MISSED!! It seemed so sad last night with no puppy chasing tennis balls around the living room, losing them under the couch and whimpering for us to fetch them out.

It is amazing how a puppy gets you to open up your heart just a bit further than you thought you could. Such an amazing experience. The boys were so wonderful, sad to see him go but happy to think of the life he will have with this wonderful family. I have such great boys, they are ready to do it again. Here is a picture of Dallen with Ellis waiting for his forever family to show up. And you can see that Ellis has spotted them as they are driving in behind me. :-)

We foster for Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue, so if you are thinking of fostering or adopting a boxer and you live in NC, SC or VA, check out the BRBR web site.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicken and non Chicken Soft Tacos

I had a menu planned out for the week but a high school friend posted a link to a recipe for soft tacos. Not a difficult recipe, but the picture looked so delicious I decided to abandon my plans and make soft tacos. It had been a while since I had made home made tortillas, I knew the boys would love it. The recipe for the tortillas is easy:

4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp shortening, I use the spectrum organic vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix and use about 1/4 cup of the dough to roll out and form tortillas, use an non-greased frying pan on medium heat to cook, it only takes a minute or two on each side to be done, so watch your tortillas. Stack them in a towel and you can microwave them for a few seconds to heat back up when you want to use them.

I winged it with the spices, so I don't have a recipe for that, I did leave out the crushed red pepper flakes.

Topped with lettuce, sour cream, cheddar cheese, cooked onions and salsa. YUMMM!! I used organic chicken for Phillip (you can see his artwork on his hands in the picture...those are not cuts..LOL), and I used a chunked non Chicken for the rest of us.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wolf Sanctum

I have been following the trials and tribulations of the wolves in the Rockies for some time now. How different states are dealing with the release of wolves back into the wild, and the battles/struggles. So it was interesting to go visit this little wolf sanctuary here in the Mountains of NC. Run by one woman, this little place is just full of great things. She is just so knowledgeable about wolves, loves to share her passion. A few of the wolves would come up to greet, many stayed at the far end of their enclosure. And her little gift little I mean tiny, is just so jam packed with all kinds of hand crafted items. Because, not only is she a champion of the wolves, giving those that have been discarded by their owners, a place to live out their lives, but she is an artist...a very talented artist.

She is amazing. She has 16 wolves on property and runs this with very little help. She shared with us that she has no "staff" and only occasional help from volunteers. She receives no monetary help from any of the wolf conservation organizations, very few donations from the community, no discounts at local stores for the chicken she feeds the wolves, and very few monetary gifts. The only real monetary income is from what she sells in the gift shop. She said it is really a labor of love on her part, and she pays for just about everything related to the care of these wolves. What a blessing for these great creatures, some of whom she can't even get close to. No thank yous, just a deep love of the animal and passion to help.

I could have stayed there longer but we had to leave....a must see for anyone in this area or traveling through this area. Again it is the Wolf Sanctum.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I have been making my own crackers lately. It is easier to control dairy, if I make my own foods. And I never knew how easy it was to make crackers. I have made a couple of batches every day, and usually they are gone before I can snap a picture, this time I made sure to get a picture in before the boys ate them all. :-)

Really easy recipe:
1 1/4 cup flour (any kind or mixture of flour, whole wheat, white, rye, etc)
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp water
1 heaping tsp herbs if you would like (I have used dill and pepper and love them both)

Blend it all up in a food processor adding more water 1 tbsp at a time just until the mixture forms a ball. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until about 1/8 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut the rolled dough into pieces and slide the parchment paper with the dough on top, onto a cookie sheet and back for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Bake until the tops are a little brown. Slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack and let the crackers cool...enjoy. YUMMM.

If you don't want to use parchment you can use flour so the dough doesn't stick. I did this first but found the crackers came out with a dusting of flour, and for me the parchment worked better. I can't wait to try rosemary, and sun dried tomatoes in my crackers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ellis Updated

I wanted to post an updated pic of Ellis, he is still just the cutest thing around. Sleeping through the night now, YAY!! and house trained as well, another YAY!!

He is about 4 1/2 months old, up to date on all his shots, will be neutered in the next month, I do need to make that appointment. Knows some basic commands; sit, down, stay, off, leave it, and we are working on "come". He likes to go for walks, and is getting better at walking every day. He doesn't mind a leash but sometimes gets distracted smelling everything in his path. He is also learning to fetch. Still has his puppy energy, which, anyone who has ever had a boxer knows, that will last a couple of years.
:-) Still loves playing with our other boxer, Cinnamon. Just too cute!! If you love this boxer mug please contact Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I can't believe it has been two months since my last blog post. I feel like I have nothing to share because I did not have a garden this year. But that is SOOOOO not true, there is so much going on around here, so much to share. So today I want to share some local squash. I may not have had time for a garden this year but so many other people did.

I picked up local butternut squash, my favorite (along with acorn squash). So I cooked it up, and blended it with coconut milk, some curry spices, a little salt and paper and we had that sauce over spaghetti, with cucumber. YUM!!!

Not my kid's favorite dish but it is one of mine.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Morning Visitors

The puppy was up especially early this morning. Oh man, I am not a morning person so, going to be at around midnight, 5:30 came especially early for me. In the morning it seems like the puppy wants to go out every 15 minutes or so. And, yes, he knows his body. ;-)

So at some point, while taking the pooch in and out, the sun came up, I don't see that very often, and in the foggy morning I saw a couple of visitors. Not sure how often the cat comes to visit. I see quite a few cats around, neighbor cats as Jackson does not appreciate the independent nature of a cat. Very cute, but not the friendliest of cats. And this morning another box turtle. we see quite a few of these as we have two creeks on the property. This one was headed up the hill toward our grape vines. Very orange in coloring. More so than any I had seen yet. He just stuck his head out and was not afraid of the camera.

The cat eventually made it's way back up to the neighbors house, not sure which one, as we do not have neighbors that are close in proximity. And I went back during the day to make sure the turtle made it to his destination OK. These days it is really hot during the day so I didn't want anything to happen to the little guy. He was no where in sight so he either made it up the hill or went back down to the creek.

So even though I am not a morning person I am always amazed by the things you see in the early morning.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rice Pudding

I have not had rice pudding since I was a child. My mom used to make it once in a while, not often though. I hadn't tried it myself because, as I remember, there was a ton of dairy in it, and since I now have issues with dairy, I thought it best if I avoid rice pudding.

I did become inspired by food network a bit ago though, the rice pudding they were making looked so delicious. Can't even remember who the host was. So I decided to venture out of my comfort zone of recipes, and try to adapt one to fit a dairy free diet. In this picture you can see the rice pudding next to a blueberry cobbler I made from our own fresh blueberries, that was delicious too, or so I am told. I didn't get any. Will have to make another one soon!

1-1/2 cups cooked rice
1-1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes thick and creamy
1/2 cup milk
1 beaten egg
stir constantly for 2 minutes
remove from heat and stir in
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
serve warm

I double the recipe with some exceptions and this is my adapted recipe:

3 cups cooked rice
2 cups vanilla silk
1/2 cup sugar
(I put 1 tsp salt in the water when I cooked the rice up prior to making the rice pudding. So I omitted the salt in the pudding recipe)
Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes thick and creamy, 10-15 minutes.

1 cup craisins
2 eggs beaten into 1 cup vanilla silk
Cook 2 minutes stirring constantly
Remove from heat, and stir in:
2 Tbsp Earth Balance
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Serve warm. YUM!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Boxer Puppy Ellis

We picked up the cutest boxer puppy yesterday. A couple had stopped on the road a week or so ago, for a black kitten. They just happened to spy it out there, and when the woman got out she heard a puppy yelping from the tree line. It was this cute boxer pup.

That couple called Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue for help. They even took the pup to their vet for it's first round of shots before bringing it to us. Such sweet people. Now we have the pleasure of his puppy company for a few weeks until he finds his forever home. Phillip is in LOVE!! And we have all this boxer puppy energy in the house, keeping me on my toes (as I try hard not to step on his).

He adjusted so well. Started playing with my dogs, well with my boxer anyway. My husky and lab want nothing to do with the puppy. I think my lab, at 12, just thinks she is too old to me messing with all this puppiness. And the husky is sort of afraid of the pup. Kind of funny to watch her run in the other direction. But Cinnamon is right in there trying to play. She has never really been around a puppy before, so she is trying to set her boundaries, being careful not to hurt the pup. But still she wants to be sleeping next to the pup. LOL Very sweet.

We are so fortunate. I have to make an appointment with our vet. There are a few things to accomplish before he can be adopted. But Ellis is so precious I just know he will not be with us for long at all. So we are trying to suck up all the puppy love we can, while he is still gracing us with his presence.
If you just can't resist this cute little boxer mug, contact Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue and get your application in ASAP.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Even though I really had a late start with this years garden, it is starting to pay off. And all the questions in my head concerning planting a garden at all this year are erased, as we look at some of the first "fruits of our labor". Our first zucchini of the season. I love zucchini, such a versatile veggie. Last night I made Chocolate Zucchini Cake and tonight I am going to make stuffed zucchini. YUM.

The cake is so delicious. With two cups of zucchini in it, you would never know, and the zucchini makes the cake oh so moist. My family loves it.
I thought I had posted the recipe before on my blog but I don't see it so I will post it now:
2-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup butter (I use earth balance)
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup milk (I use silk)
1 Tbsp vanilla
greased and floured bundt pan 350 degree oven for 1 hour

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rhubarb Crisp

OK I have had several people ask me for my crisp recipe, I made some for a friend's birthday yesterday and I tried to be really conscious of what I put in there. So hopefully I can give some guidance. There really is no "recipe" that I use, but here it goes:

Yesterday I made a big dish of it so I think I used:

About 6 to 8 cups of chopped rhubarb, I added a couple of sliced, peeled apples to the mix for a little different flavor, but it is equally delicious with just rhubarb.

I then added, to the rhubarb, probably 3/4 to 1 cup of granulated sugar, 2 to 3 Tbsp flour, 1-1/2 tsp vanilla, a pinch of nutmeg (you can leave out the nutmeg, I just happen to love nutmeg...or you could add whatever spices you like) 1 tsp cinnamon. Mix it all up and put into a large casserole dish.

Topping: About 1/2 to 3/4 cup earth balance (you can also use butter if you like), 3/4 cup flour and 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar. Cut the earth balance (butter) into the sugar and flour until you have a crumbly texture, then add about 1 cup oatmeal and just mix it up and sprinkle if over the top of the rhubarb.

Cook for about 45 min to 1 hour at 350 degrees, until it is bubbly.

Of course adjust to your taste. ;-) YUM!!

Friday, June 26, 2009


You gotta love rhubarb. There is nothing that grows better in my garden. This rhubarb belonged to my grandmother, I think I have posted about that before. It just grows and grows all summer long. Providing us with such delicious desserts. Last night I was trying to think of what to have for supper. So I made some fresh bread for sandwiches, picked some cucumbers from our garden to go with them, and made a rhubarb crisp for dessert. I took a picture of the rhubarb because I usually forget to take a picture of the crisp, and then have no pictures for my blog. This time I have lots of pictures. Enjoy, wish you were here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We have, over the last few years, planted more and more fruit trees. The property had a few, apple and pear trees. But they are in really bad shape, just not taken care of over their lives. We are working on pruning those and getting them back into share, but have planted more of our own. And this year we have plums. They are so cute. This particular plum tree is three years old. Last year we had a late frost and it killed the little buds, so we had no plums last year. We are all so excited to see the "fruits" of our labor, and they just taste so much more delicious because we grew them ourselves. The boys loved them, and ate all but two, one for me and one for dh, Jackson. We still have probably a dozen more on the tree, but this batch is gone. I think next year we will plant a few more plum trees.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What's Growin'

As I mentioned earlier, I don't have a large garden this year. Just a dozen or so tomatoes, equal number of peppers, cucumber, zucchini, egg plant and some herbs. I may get a little planting done this weekend, if the weather holds, maybe green beans, beets and okra. But there sure are things growing and blooming all over the place, so I dug out my camera and decided to check out just what was going on, while the boys were still sleeping soundly.

Here is our patch of sun chokes (Jerusalem Artichokes), planted last year, they are just spreading and growing beautifully. I can't wait until they flower, that will look spectacular.

This was labeled a "butterfly plant" when we bought it, that was the only label. It has taken up a nice spot behind the blueberries and just growing and growing. I loved seeing a butterfly enjoying this flower.

These grapes are still small, but getting larger and juicier every day. Maybe one day Jackson will save some for us to eat, for right now all his grapes are going into making wine, which, of course, is delicious, and a wonderful use of the grapes.

Last but not least were a few blueberries, we have a great patch of blueberries but this is something I would like to plant more of in the future. Not as sweet as the blueberries I remember raking as a child in Maine, but still well worth the effort.

What a glorious day it is today, makes me so grateful for the rain. The bounty that flows from this piece of property we own, some days, amazes me, I am blessed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rain...Rain Go AWAY

At least long enough for me to plant. Darn I think I have blogged about this already.....YES it is still raining. It stopped long enough on Saturday afternoon for me to plant a few things, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, cucumbers, and zucchini. But my row crops did not make it in. It started RAINING!! All I need is a couple of nice days, I would take just one. We will see. My garden may be a wash this year. ;-) Sorry no pics, IT'S RAINING. LOL

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


A friend has started making her own kombucha, as hers progressed she had an extra SCOBY to share, so since then I have been making my own kombucha. It has only been a couple of weeks but already I have completed two batches. In another week I will have a SCOBY to share as well so if you live near me and would like to start making your own kombucha let me know.

It is really tasty, and here in the picture you can see my completed batch, ready to go into the refrigerator. And the SCOBY in the jar. What you can't see is the hot tea sitting on my stove. I am going to let that cool for about 12 hours then add it to the glass jar with the SCOBY and let it take off.
The hard part to making Kombucha seems to be acquiring the SCOBY. It was hard for me because you need to trust the source. I was afraid of growing something "other" than Kombucha in my jar. But otherwise you just make up a batch of tea (I use organic green tea), let it cool, set the SCOBY on top, cover it with a clean cloth and let it go. Also make sure everything you use is clean. It does need a dark warm place to sit, mine is on the top of my refrigerator, but in about a week you will have nice Kombucha.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Rain..Rain Go AWAY

I have been feeling better for the last couple of months. Well feeling like I can get up into the garden to work. I have the seeds I want to plant this year, and have already scaled back my garden quite a bit, knowing that my leg gets tired quickly. BUT I really want to have a garden. It seems like for the last couple of months it has rained every day or every other day...constantly....

I just need a couple of dry days together so Jackson can till the garden, and we can plant SOMETHING. Then it can go back to raining again, really. I normally love the rain.

I am starting to feel like I missed my window of opportunity. We will see.

Friday, May 1, 2009


On our way home from a weekend at the beach, we picked up a flat of local strawberries. Not organic but local, and more than I can get in my neck of the woods right now. They were delicious. 1/3 were used for strawberries and crepes. One of our favorite meals. Mostly all local. I have dairy issues to the soy milk in the crepes was not local, and the dark chocolate syrup I put on top of mine was not local, but everything else was. YUM!!!

The rest of the strawberries went into Strawberry jam, my favorite.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Foster Boxer #2...Arianna

Here is a picture of our second foster boxer. Her name is Arianna, and she is such a sweet girl. She is deaf and it has been fun teaching her sign language. She is catching on quickly. Arianna was dropped off at a shelter in Virginia, and because of her deafness was not going to be put up for adoption. So Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue stepped in and this past Friday Jackson, the boys and I, drove 5 1/2 hours north to the shelter to pick her up.

She rested quietly on her cushion all the way home. Took a couple of breaks so she could get some water and walk a bit, she was so happy. She is settling in so well at our house. My boxer, Cinnamon, just loves her. She is skinny but has no appetite problem, so should gain weight quickly. And did I say she was beautiful. I don't think she will be a foster for long, people are just going to fall in love with this gem. She has an appointment to be spayed on May 7, which was the earliest appointment they had. I guess that is a good sign that they are busy and so many people are having their pets spayed/neutered.

So busy weekend. But such a nice one.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

One more Dark Days Meal

OK I know the Dark Days challenge is over, but I missed a few meals in there when I broke my ankle and was pretty immobile, so I am catching up now. Here is one more dish, only non local ingredient was the pasta. I just didn't have time to make my own pasta or that would be local as well.

collard greens
tomato sauce
I cooked that up (it looked so delicious when I was cooking it up that I snapped a photo at this stage) and added it to some cooked pasta in a casserole dish, added some local goat cheese in the middle and on top, then baked it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until the cheese was all melted.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Dark Days of Winter

I can't remember when the dark days of winter challenge ends, I was thinking sometime in March, I really need to go look, but we eat as local as we can, challenge or not. Yesterday I made a delicious meal based, loosely, on a recipe I saw on Jamie Oliver's show on Food Network. The rice and fake chicken breast are not local, but everything else is, and actually comes from my stores from last years garden.

Lots of sliced peppers, which was good since I still have lots left. Maybe
5-6 pepper's worth, cut into strips.
2 Onions chopped in large chunks
a jar of tomatoes, adds a little sweetness to the dish
marjoram, like 1 tsp
2 tbsp of paprika
about 1/2 cup water, could use vegetable broth and it would add a nice flavor but I just didn't have any left
S&P to taste

I am thinking that was it, but sometimes it is hard to remember what I put into a dish. It was a nice, slightly spicy dish, Jackson loved it. It was delicious and one dish I will make again. In the picture you can't see the fake chicken breast but it is under the peppers, and the rice is on the bottom.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Foster Boxer

I posted a few weeks ago about a new adventure in our lives, fostering rescued boxer dogs. And I posted about our first dog, Charlie Brown. Well Charlie Brown has a family eager to adopt him. A couple that live not too far from us. They met Charlie on Monday and we are meeting them tonight at 7:00 for them to formally adopt Charlie. I am nervous. Charlie is so great, and I know this will be such a wonderful home for him. But this is our first adoption so I am trying to think of every little think I need to tell this couple about Charlie.

A friend of mine, who runs a rescue organization, has been telling me that Charlie won't be in foster care for very long, she has met Charlie. And she thinks he is just such a great dog. We have only had Charlie for about 6 weeks. We are all excited for this transition and so happy for Charlie.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nut Cheeze

Time has been flying by, spring seems like it is already here. I go back to the ortho in just one more week, more X rays and hopefully will be out of this boot and can get up into my garden. I just can't wait to wiggle my toes in that nice warm, soft earth. That is one thing I enjoy, gardening barefoot. Yes my feet get dirty but I just haven't found a way to keep the soil out of my shoes, so my solution was to not wear shoes.

OK onto the nut cheese, I don't like the word cheese. There is no dairy in it at all of any sort. My guess is that it is used kind of like a cheese. And with this particular spread, you could make it thinner like a dip, YUMMMY on crackers. Or you can make it a little thicker and spread it on bread, add some bean sprouts and YUM again, delicious.

A friend sent me this recipe. Here is the original:

Black Pepper Cheeze

2 cups cashews
Juice of 2 lemons (4 tablespoons)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground back pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 water

Process cashews, lemon juice, garlic, pepper and salt until smooth, adding only enough water to make a smooth creamy texture.

I actually added 2 Tbsp tahini to the recipe and next time would probably add just a bit less lemon juice. It was so good. I love cashews to begin with so I knew this recipe would be a winner. Jackson and the boys also enjoyed this recipe.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dark Days of Winter

Another week another local meal. Although we eat local food quite a bit. This week is not much different. Our local meal consists of local sweet potato, white potatoes from our last years garden, beets from our last years garden and local cabbage, and bread that is mostly local (local flour and honey, non local yeast and salt). The non local portion of the meal is the fake chicken.

The sweet addition to this weeks meal is pecan pie. Local flour, local egg, local pecans from a friend's yard-YEAH!! So nice, I sat and shelled them the other day and turned them into pie today. YUM!! non local sugar and vanilla, non local vegetable shortening in the crust. But still oh so delicious. I did take a picture of the bread and pie. Had to take a quick pic as the bread was disappearing fast.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I really need to get serious about my seeds. I keep saying that I need to order seeds but have so far not even made a list of what we want in our garden this year. I am far behind what I had accomplished by this time last year. So now I am going to move forward and at least get a list going:

*Green Beans
*Egg Plant
*Mustard Greens
*Collard Greens
*Sweet Potatoes
*Honey Dew Melons
*Great Northern Beans
*Black Eyed Peas
*Kidney Beans
*Sweet Corn

OK so that is what comes to mind right this minute. We also need a few more grape vines. I am going to plant grape vines around my garden to attempt to keep the deer out. And I may also plant some turnips as well, we will see.

That is the list, next thing to do is check out my seeds and see what I have and what I need to order. I will get starter potatoes and onions here locally. As well as probably cucumber plants. Although last year the cucumber plants were not even really old enough to be sold, they only had two leaves on each plant and those were the first leaves. Whoever started those should have started their seeds earlier, but by that time we had not started any of our own. So needless to say we didn't really have any cucumbers and had to replant a couple of times. I am not going to be able to start my own seeds this year. And to tell you the truth each time I have tried, I have not been really successful.

We will see, hopefully tomorrow I can have a list of what I need to purchase.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Boxer Foster

We have recently decided to become a foster home for the Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue organization. They do not have a "shelter" and rely completely on foster homes for their rescue efforts. Our first boxer came to live with us just about a week and a half ago. I was a little nervous. We have three female dogs in our home, and this was a male boxer/pit bull mix. I have one dog that is dominant, strong and independent among our dogs. I just wasn't sure this would work out but we talked about it as a family, cause this isn't something I can do alone. And we decided to give it a go.

His name is Charlie Brown.
We let Charlie rest for the first day, just the stress of moving, a new environment etc. We wanted him to be well rested before he even began to meet our dogs. OK so with our boxer Cinnamon, a little growling, easily corrected, no problem. Our lab Lady really has no interest in meeting new dogs, I mean she will meet them but she is old and has no intention of exerting herself with play. So that went well. But with our husky, Sugar. Charlie tried to lunge at her and bite, and she him etc. Both were on a leash so that was easily handled. I immediately began contacting people for advice. We didn't want to just shuffle Charlie around and we wanted to do this right. We decided to try the "Nothing in Life is Free" training techniques. What an amazing turn around. We started slow, gave positive reinforcement for each good behavior, and built on our success having Charlie sit for everything.

Charlie is a transformed dog. Just watching him roll on his back and expose his belly to Sugar is wonderful to see. He gave up his need to be dominant after only about a week. Of course he wants to play and Sugar really has never played with any of our dogs so she is not interested. Charlie does like to play with Cinnamon. He is such a wonderful dog. He is only a year old so has so much energy. Loves to run and play fetch. He enjoys walking on a leash. And then he gets tired and curls up on the floor at my feet for a nice nap. He is totally house broken, YAY!! and has not even attempted to mark a corner. I think he will make a family a wonderful pet. He LOVES people. Loves to be petted and will sit all day long if you are scratching his back. He knows the command sit, and is well on his way to learning down, smart dog. And so handsome. You can't see it in the picture, but his skin has black spots. You can barely see them through his fur, but you can see them on his belly. Too cute.

Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue only adopts to NC, SC and parts of VA, but if any of you live or know anyone who lives in this area and are looking for a wonderful companion, please go to the web site and fill out their adoption application.

It is so rewarding to be helping out a boxer and family find each other. Originally Charlie Brown came from a shelter. Don't know who would give up such a wonderful dog.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dark Days of Winter

This week I decided to use some of the rhubarb from my freezer, well it originally came from my garden spring 2008. I had not frozen rhubarb before but it was fabulous. And a nice taste of spring, right when I am eager to have spring pop up and join us. Of course I still have to order seeds, but am still looking forward to getting my feet in the nice warm soil.

I used the rhubarb and made up a simple cobbler. Used probably not as much sugar as I would like, but was making it for my husband as a thank you for doing so much for me while my mobility is still compromised. So I made it a little tart, for him. Non local ingredients include, cinnamon, soy milk (used that so I could eat it) baking powder, and sugar. It was delicious!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dark Days of Winter

OK my leg is feeling better, and although I am still on crutches and not able to stand on my left leg, I did get into the kitchen the other day and cook up a mostly local meal. YEAH!!

Of course it took me a few extra hours to do it as I had to get things out of the fridge one at a time, and had to cook sitting down. But it worked with the help of my wonderful boys, we had a delicious LOCAL meal.

The picture looks very dark, oh well it's the meal that counts...right ;-) But we have local potatoes, greens and beets from my freezer (veggies from our garden this past year) local sweet potatoes. The carrots and meatless turkey are not local. It was delicious and I feel so much better getting back into the kitchen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Polar Bears

This is a passion for my son, Dallen, endangered species, and he is a member of NRDC. This is part of an article in the most recent issue of Nature's Voice. I thought I would share this as it is very interesting.

"In a big step forward for polar bear protection, NRDC and our allies have reached a settlement with the Bush Administration that sets deadlines for the Interior Department to designate "critical habitat" for the bear. "The designation of critical habitat is one of the most powerful and important protections that the Endangered Species Act offers to animals on the brink of extinction," said Andrew Wetzler, director of NRDC's Endangered Species Project. ...

However, the settlement with the Interior Department does not resolve two other claims in our lawsuit on behalf of the bear.... In the meantime, some of America's biggest polluters have filed suit against the Interior Department to take away the relatively few protections that the polar bear does have under federal law. The American Petroleum Institute, the National Mining Association and other powerful lobbies want the polar bear stripped of safeguards so that they'll be free to destroy its fragile Arctic habitat at will. The polluters are joined in this attack by the state of Alaska, at the direction of Governor Sarah Palin. NRDC has intervened on behalf of the polar bear."

If you want to read the entire article please visit Nature's Voice.