Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Preserving my harvest

No time to write much. Even though I have about 20 half written posts sitting in my draft folder. I have been buried with cucumbers and zucchinis.

Ignore the weeds. 2 plants each and it was the motherload.
The cucumbers have escaped the garden and are climbing the fence.

The Zucchini are very tall! The fence posts are 48 inches, the zukes are 3/4 their height.
 Pickles
Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pickles
Pickles
Polish Dill Pickle slices
More pickles
Refrigerator Pickles
Did I mention pickles?
Jardiniere
That was just the cucumbers. Except I am not finished.

Dill Relish

Sweet Relish

5 day Cinnamon Pickles in progress.


Now for the zucchini.
Zesty Zucchini Relish

Garlic Dill Spears and Chunks
Low Sugar Mock Apple Pie

Low Sugar Muesli Zucchini bread
 Mock Pineapple is AMAZING! I made mine lower sugar with Splenda. The texture is spot on crushed pineapple and the flavor matches the no sugar added you can buy.
It fooled the hubbs!


3 more loaves of Zucchini bread have been baked and frozen.

Citrus Ginger Zucchini marmalade is up next.

My humble little  canning pantry makes me happy!

Whatcha y'all working on?

©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bloom Where You Are Planted

I REALLY debated if I wanted to post this or not and decided yes, I should share...

This isn't a particularly funny or entertaining post today. Nor is it photo laden as are many of blog entries I post. However, I would like think this is worth the read.

The hubbs and I have been working around the ol' homestead, trying to clean up and get rid of stuff. So much stuff.  You know how it goes...things that you set aside, with the promise that you will take care of it tomorrow or next week or next month or next year. Then pretty soon you stop seeing all the stuff and clutter. Or you just stop caring because your attention and energy are focused elsewhere.

Behind our garage I have a very old, rusty dump cart. It has a tire that goes flat all the time but once the tire is inflated it can still be hooked up to the riding mower to haul stuff. Except it has been back there for about 2 years. Unused, aging and piled up with all sorts of stuff. Old willow branches, plastic flower pots, busted solar lights, extra tomato cages, and  some old plants which were meant to be composted.

In the midst of finally clearing out what really should be considered a garbage pile, I came across a very tattered package. It was sun faded, ragged, and disintegrating due being exposed to the elements. I was able to make out just enough from the faded image this had been the sleeve to a blackberry plant. Much to my surprise, beneath the debris was the little plastic bag that had contained the bare root blackberry, and it was... alive. 

The bag had split so moisture had been able to seep in, it had been insulted from the harshest of the weather by all the junk piled on top, but was still able have some slivers of sunlight. Against all odds, this organic, living plant had survived. I wish I had a photo when I first pulled it out, it had only 1 set of straggly leaves. Rather wilted and  looking almost ready to give up.  I was able to intervene and save it...although technically it was my fault it was in the "junk" pile. When it been placed there I really thought it was non viable.


This really gave me pause. The cart and the plant. They are metaphors for the human condition. How often do we clutter our lives, our minds our emotions by hanging on to what is essentially junk? Suppressing the feelings, emotions, ideas or projects which need to be nurtured?  You like the cart, carry this burden. If you are lucky, occasionally you have something that pumps you up and gets you going again when feel overwhelmed. You like the plant held onto hope. Grasping and clawing to survive, just to get through to the next moment. Until you couldn't. And just when you are ready to give up, your burden is eased. Either through external influence or the casting off your internal baggage.

As you can see this plant-as shown in the photo above-now thrives. A change in perspective if you will. Now firmly rooted, the plant is safe and secure. The tendrils of growth reach for the warmth of the sun and more growth has appeared as the plant is now longer confined to the plastic bag.

This story, no story isn't quite right. Story implies a entertainment or whimsical fable. This is a truth. This no longer about the human condition in general non-descript terms. This is me and my truth. Oh the plant and it's conditions were quite true. This is me.

You see... for the last 17 years, living in this house, I was never quite emotionally invested. This house was NEVER meant to be the forever house. We moved here during a very tumultuous time in our (my life) lives. I have carried so many burdens, moving through life with stoic responsibility. I was always hoping, wishing, wanting different and better.

During the time in this house there has been major chronic illness, job loss, death, and despair. There have also been moments of joy and celebration but I was often fixated tomorrow. Or as soon as I fix this..or change that...or when it is perfect I will...or SOMEDAY I am gonna...What if...

Next thing I know, it is 17 years later. I am 50 years old and I have buried myself under a pile of unrealistic expectations. I made myself a prisoner of unhappiness. I didn't allow myself to grow as I was too busy searching for happiness and fulfillment to realize that which I sought was always within my grasp.

You see, even though I live in My Cozy Little Farmhouse, very few--if any one--external to my family comes to my home. There are many reasons I could offer. I like solitude, peace and quiet. My home is my dojo--my sanctuary. But when you peel back all the layers, the core truth is insecurity. I am insecure.

The house isn't perfect. I'm not perfect. There is a litany list of unfinished projects. I am an unfinished project. To invite someone in is have my serenity interrupted. I will be vulnerable. The thought of my house being scrutinized sends my anxiety skyrocketing. I will be judged.  I'll tell you this... being a neurotic control freak can be quite lonely at times. 

I met with a very dear friend for lunch recently. She was kind enough to loan me some books (the top 4 are loans, the Encyclopedia was her gift to me, the pressure cooker books are library loans and the last 3 garden books are mine) from her glorious personal library. 


We have known each other for at least 8 years. And she has not, in all that time, been to my house. I have been to her house a few times. I have other friends whom I have known even longer and it is the same situation. I have been to their homes, but they have not been to mine. Or the select few that have been here, it has been only once, many years ago.

So during the lunch conversation, my friend and I discussed opening myself up to happiness.  Much like my tenacious little blackberry plant, I can be a bit prickly. For the blackberry plant, beyond the thorns and layers of foliage, with time and nurturing is a reward. Fortunately for me I have a few wonderful and caring people in my life who have decided to look beyond my thorns. And the reward is I am blessed with their friendship.

This blog is easy. The friendships...and I REALLY do consider these friendships are distant. You don't really see the chaos and imperfection, because after all it is selective editing and presentation.  Up close and personal interaction...well that is a bit more difficult.

 However, I am no longer just hoping and wishing for perfection. I am going to reach for my happiness which has been here all along. I am going to bask in the warm sun of every new day,  make the most of where and how I live. I have cast off my junk pile of burdens and break out of my self imposed prison. It may take some time for me to acclimate to this new life. Because much like my spunky little blackberry plant, I too will thrive.

You see, I finally made the decision to bloom where I am planted.


©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Garden Update part1

Y'all...for the first time ever...EVER...I  lost my entire garden (11 tomato plants and 10 pepper plants--ALL Heirloom varieties) with exceptions being my berries, asparagus and 1 little old bell pepper plant.  How utterly tragic!

We planted the garden on May 2nd. Normally we don't plant until Mother's Day. But it had been a very mild winter and the soil was much warmer than normal for this time of year. We followed the planning forecasts. It seemed safe. There were 2 dates May 6 and 7 which were slightly worrisome. The low temps were  expected to be 36° to 40°F. We took a gamble and lost. We ended up with a hard frost overnight May 7.

The hubbs and I debated (code for a minor argument) the frost advisory.  I REALLY wanted to cover everything. He insisted everything would be ok.  IT WAS NOT OK! The plants withered under the cold frost.  I am sure the hubbs withered under my frosty cold stare and cold shoulder treatment. I am far more scary to him when I don't talk, haha. I should have woman-ed up, schlepped my rear to the garage and pulled the totes out to find the row cover material. I was having some back and shoulder issues and an overall not feeling well. My mistake, next time I will work through the pain. So all those little seedlings I nurtured and plants I spent my hard earned money on are now in the compost pile. All those heirloom seed collection opportunities gone...UGH!

I had to spend $80 initially to replace the entire garden.  But there was an 11% rebate so it soften the blow to my wallet just a wee bit. And fortunately my cucurbit seedlings were too small to have been planted initially and the beans had not yet sprouted. I lucked out and was able to get heirloom varieties...just not my heirloom varieties I planted initially.

The hubbs and I had  another "minor debate"  about the temporary garden fence being installed. So I compromised  used 2 hours of vacation and installed it while he was at work. Problem solved. So here we are with the replants 2nd week of May. It is a rather sad state of affairs. Everything is so small and looks sickly. The weather has been horrid. Cold and rain. I am very stressed about my garden...or the lack thereof...


This is the end of May/ beginning of June and all the plants appear to perking up. The Blue Lake bush beans are growing well. We are doing succession plantings, with a new row of beans planted every 2 weeks to extend the harvest up until 8 weeks before the first frost which would put the last planting early to mid August. That's gonna be a lot of green beans! And don't be alarmed my soil isn't as bad as it appears. It has been amended quite a bit. It still isn't the dark, rich, chocolate cake color  of a super rich and loamy soil but we are progressing.  At the end of the season instead of pulling everything out we are going to pull all the debris to a 5 ft by 5 ft area, then trench and berm, and light that beyotch up, Haha! NO seriously! It is called Biochar. After the biochar the soil will be pulled over the biochar (at least 8-10 inches deep). The remainder of the bed will be covered with manure rototilled in and covered in straw. Then come Spring the whole bed will be tilled. Another 5 ft by 5 ft will be biocharred and left fallow (maybe a half season) and we will keep repeating the Biochar process until the entire bed has been burnt or amended with Biochar. IF we are lucky enough to have enough debris we can create the biochar in a burn barrel and apply it to the bed. So between fire and cow/horse/chicken manure, we will get the soil where it needs to be.


Speaking of  chicken manure...Meet my newest neighbors, The Golden Girls. My good neighbors has her own flock. They are very entertaining and she has shared some eggs--which were fantastic!



The asparagus did pretty well this year, despite the hubby who "helped" weed it last season.  It is now is now finished for the season. I am expanding the bed to add 12 more root crowns. So eventually I will have 20 producing plants! In the interim I have brussel sprouts planted and hopefully I can harvest some before the weather turns to Hades. And since it has stopped raining, I can finally treat whatever is chewing my plants.

My grapevines were cut down and 2 were dug out because they were very weak and diseased. They  had not been producing the way they should for several years and that was  my fault. The vines removed had extensive fungal disease and had choked/ strangled one another. Had the vines been properly spaced and routinely prunes they would have been viable the remainder of  my life and beyond. Properly maintained grapevines can live 50-100 years. This is where they were originally planted. It  now looks so bare.  Except for the damn poke plant. That grows all over my yard and has taproots from hell. Sigh.


Here are my replacement grapevines. I ordered the Edelweiss from Gurney's which you can see is doing fantastic. It will be planted this week (1st week of June) as soon as we finish the arbor. A little later than I would like to plant but the weather has not been cooperative.  The Mars, Marquis and Reliance were ordered from Burpee and I am a little concerned because they don't seem to be doing much of anything. Fingers crossed the begin to bud out soon.  I used the baby pool (which has been perforated for drainage, has a thin layer of gravel and excellent loamy soil to heel my plants for planting in the ground.

However imagine my surprise... the grapevine we had cut down, still has some life in it. Considering we  basically butchered this vine, I can't believe I have this new growth after 2 weeks. I am gonna just go with it and let it grow. The other 2 vines were removed completely.  This one had a very large stalk and seemed to be vigorous. If I recall correctly this was a Concord but I really don't remember. (and my garden journal is misplaced). 


Well I am gonna stop here. This was a long post and I am fatigued. There will be part 2 to finish discussing some new additions of edibles.  Hopefully, in part 2 I can share some good news ...or at least progress with the garden.





©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Trees Please

Remember when I talked about planting some trees on Earth Day?


Well I placed an order from Stark Brothers Nursery. And this is a completely unsolicited response on my part... They have AMAZING customer service. Stark's was incredibly communicative. I received emails every step of the order process, who promptly fulfilled the order and shipped. I ordered April 9th, had a shipping confirmation on April 11 with delivery on April 14. And this was not a paid expedited shipment. Color me impressed!

Ok--a funny and cute anecdote about the post title "Trees Please". When my daughter was a toddler, she loved broccoli, except she couldn't pronounce broccoli. She would ask for "trees please". haha

Since these were bare root saplings, I soaked the roots for 24 hrs after they were un-packaged.


And this stuff--coconut coir-- is the shizzle!


It is a SUPER hard, compressed block of coconut fibers. But when you add water, it is oh so magical. This is an eleven pound block.  Add water and it expands substantially. I failed to estimate exactly how much of this stuff I would end up with from that compressed block, ha. This is my 4 cubic feet garden cart. Soooo, yeah, lots of coconut coir. Fear not, I have put it to good use--more on that later.


I mixed the coir and an organic garden soil in a 1:3 ratio. The coir is a great soil conditioner. It helps with water retention, air circulation and adds organic matter to the soil while having a neutral pH.

I purchased 3 Heirloom variety Apple trees--Antique Treasures Collection. The collection contained 3 semi dwarf bare root trees of  1 each Cox's Orange Pippin Antique -an English cultivar dating back to 1835; Orleans Antique-a NY cultivar dating to 1924; Ben Davis-this is a US cultivar dating back to the 1800's.


I also purchased Peach tree seedlings--the Burbank Choice Peach Tree Collection. Saplings? Or should I say whips? Because they have no branching yet. This collection consisted of  2 dwarf trees-1 each July Elberta Peach and Starking Delicious. The July Elberta is heat resistant, originates in California and dates back to the 1930's. The Starking Delicious is frost hardy Elberta type, originates in Arkansas and dates back to 1949.

I currently have 2 Redhaven dwarf trees. Errrr... 1 tree and a bush?   Redhaven's  originate from Michigan and date back to the 1930's. Not sure what happened to the 2nd tree/ bush.  I thought it died but apparently not. I am debating whether to keep the "bush" or not. I need to see if  the shoots are above the graft.  I am not certain if these are suckers or water sprouts.

All of my peaches are self pollinating, freestone with a July harvest. And in case you were wondering clingstone vs. freestone refers to how the fruit flesh clings (or doesn't) to the fruit pit when cut in half. The tree on the left is 2-3 years and needs a bit of pruning. See the large "V" branch on the front of the tree? I think that should be pruned off. I am worried once fruit laden it may split. The tree/bush was planted last year.

  I started all my bare root saplings in 5 gallon buckets  because I haven't had much luck in the past years with my trees. Too many variables with weather, soil conditions, deer (gggrrr), or unfortunate incidents due to the weedwhacker. I decided I put too much money in to lose another set of saplings. And as you can see by the pictures,  the bucket saplings are growing quite well. The big question is should I plant them this year?

Fruit trees should be planted in the Spring but I really wanted to give the trees a chance to grow. If I were to plant them in fall I would need to plant them by the 1st week of September to make certain they can acclimate. I could mulch the roots and wrap the trunk prior to the onset of cold weather. The biggest damage for trees in cold weather is when the sun warms the trunk and the temperatures drop rapidly after the sun goes down.

I know it is only May and I am already talking about winter prep. If I overwinter them, should I keep them in the 5 gallon buckets? Or  make root balls and wrap them in Burlap? I can over winter them in the garage--which is cinder block and uninsulated.

I really, REALLY don't want to lose any more trees. I have lost all of my apple trees (a total of 4) and 3 peach trees.  Not to mention multiple ornamentals.  It is time consuming and expensive.  What say you, my bloggie friends? I am open to advice and suggestions.

©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Under Pressure

Yep, I did it. I splurged and bought an electronic pressure cooker! IP for shorthand.


Y'all know I have a kitchen gadget obsession.  The IP is now being distributed via Target. I scored a great deal. On sale for $99.95 (before tax), an additional 10 % instant rebate, 5% for using my Target debit card and a $10 rebate. Woot!

Soooo shiny!


I have had a cook top pressure cooker and I have a pressure canner. This electronic IP is AMAZING. No more rumbling, jiggling weight. It has several safety features built in. It is so easy to use.

The first thing I did after un-boxing my IP--after giggling and doing a little jig--was to wash all the parts and read every piece of literature that came with the IP. Next, a quick visit to the website to  watch the tutorial video. Only then did I set it up and perform the pressure test. Everything worked like a charm!

The first night I made beef vegetable soup. I sauteed the semi-frozen  diced stew beef  (12 oz beef in 1 TBS oil)) in the IP. IN THE POT! My crock pot doesn't have that function.  Next I added 1  (15oz) can of low sodium beef broth, 1 (8 oz)  can tomato sauce, 1 can (8 oz) diced tomatoes, 1 can of water (15 oz), 1 teaspoon of better than bouillon vegetable base,  1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 frozen bag  (12 oz) soup vegetable mix, and 2 bay leaves. After a quick stir, closing the IP, I selected the Soup function, high pressure, and set the timer for 35 minutes. Natural release (NR) for 20 minutes.  The meat was falling apart tender, perfect vegetables, great flavor.


The 2nd night I made soup beans and ham. I did soak my beans overnight as per my usual method. I sauteed 1 cup mirepoix and 8 oz diced ham  in 1 tsp bacon grease. I added 4 cups hot water, my soaked/ rinsed beans, seasoned with 2 bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon Penzey's Sunny Paris, and 1/2 teaspoon Chicago .  Placed the lid, turned the lever to seal,  Pressed the Bean/ Chili button, high pressure, set the timer to 35 minutes and walked away. 10 Minutes NR, then quick release.  My beans were finished in 35 minutes. Absolutely perfect texture with an earthy, slightly salty/ sweet and smokey flavor.


Country style pork ribs. I sauteed the season ribs (Penzey's Chicago seasoning) in 2 tsp oil, covered the ribs in sliced onions. Added  3/4 cup water w/ a shot of honey bourbon and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ACV). I selected Meat/Stew, high pressure for 40 min. I used a honey bourbon mustard glaze and baked it in the oven for 15 min (400°F). I served it with a salt and pepper crusted potato and a side of broccoli slaw. The ribs were fall off the bone, melt in your mouth tender..


Chicken & dumplings-1 pound boneless, skinless trimmed chicken thighs (whole, semi-defrosted) sauteed in 1 teaspoon butter, 2 cups water, and 1 heaping tablespoon Better than Bouillon Roasted Chicken base. I selected Meat/Stew, HP 8min/NR 10min/QR. Use 2 forks to pull the chicken into rough cubes/ thick shred. I added 1 cup mirepoix (frozen), 2/3 cup peas & carrots (frozen), 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1 cup water, and1 bag of Reames dumpling noodles (frozen). I gave it a quick stir, selected Soup, HP 10 min and NR 20min I had to go to the grocery for milk, ha. Opened it up when I came home, gave it a quick stir, added some pepper and it was perfect!


I always thought I was a decent cook, now I feel like an amazing cook. Apparently you can make lasagna, hard boiled eggs, baked bread and make a cheesecake in the IP. As well as a kazillion other things. There are several online communities around the pressure cooking. It is almost cult-like, haha.  Best kitchen gadget purchase ever!


©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A little late to catch this trend

It is a little late in the game but I am just now catching on to this trend...of vinyl wall art and quotes.

I made a stop at Meijer's which is a local grocery plus store (they have clothing, home goods and a nursery in addition to the grocery). As I was meandering up and down the aisles I happened across a clearance section and found this vinyl wall quote for $4.99. SCORE!! 

It was so cute, I had to buy it!

The process for applying the quote was very simple. (I think the most difficult aspect was finding the perfect spot to place it!). I don't actually have much wall space in my kitchen. I decided the space between the refrigerator and kitchen door seemed to be the best spot. The decal came in 4 sections. I used scotch tape to hold the beginning of the quote in places and used the embossing tool to rub the vinyl on the wall. When I was certain it was in place I peel back a corner to check. Once I was certain it was okay, I used a very hot and barely damp soft cloth to rub over the vinyl release sheet then peeled it back slowly, in taut but smooth motion. I repeated the process for the remaining 3 sections of the quote. I eyeballed the placement, as to what appealed to me visually. 


I think it turned out rather well!


My daughter decided she liked it and also bought a kit.  It always makes me smile when I go to the kitchen and see it. A nice statement for under $5 and and 15 minutes of my time. If only everything else were so inexpensive and easy to do.





©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Much ado about spices

Food is THE central component in my life. Food is social. How many events are planned around food? Food is comfort. Was it a good day? Let's celebrate with food. Was it a bad day? Let's drown our sorrows with food. Oh you're sick? You need to eat. 

It isn't just about eating though. I think about food. ALOT. Where am I buying it? Can I grow, harvest and preserve it? What am I cooking, baking or creating?

One of my favorite things about food is to try or create new recipes. Part of that creation process are the flavors of the ingredients. Especially the herbs and spices. Combining all the ingredients to form just the right combination of  texture, aroma and taste. Every growing season I have several planter boxes filled with various herbs. I use what I can then harvest and store what I can't use.  I would say there is nothing like fresh herbs and spices. The aromas are so tantalizing!  To be honest though, the bulk of spices/ herbs I use, are dried simply because it is convenient.  I have tried many varieties and brands of spices. Generic, Store branded, McCormick, Spice Island, Simply Organic and Dean & DeLuca. But not all spices are created equally.

Recently I had the opportunity to try Penzey's Spices. They have brick and mortar stores across the country as well as a strong online presence.


The store is very well laid out. Oh and the smells are AWESOME! There are all sorts of little sections on how the spices are categorized. Salads, Grilling, Baking, Indian, BBQ, etc...

My favorite part of the trip (besides smelling all the yummy spices) is the kitchen display. ALL the Penzey stores have a replica vintage kitchen, displaying jars of cinnamon (4 varieties), cake spice, pie spice, baking spice and vanilla (as well as other baking type spices and blends!). This is the stock photo for the Cincinnati store because I actually forgot to take a picture!



I showed considerable restraint and didn't buy the whole store...but it was tempting! The Tsar Dust, Greek and Star Anise were freebies with my purchase!


Since visiting the store I have also placed an order...or 2. They have amazing service and there are always freebie spices and swag (Bumper stickers, pins, etc) in the orders.



Besides the excellent quality of the spices, Penzey's is also involved in the community and an advocate for equal rights. Yet another reason I love them! If you haven't been I suggest you go. If there isn't a store local you, order online. You will not regret it!




©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day!


Did you know Earth day began as a counter culture movement in 1970?  On April 22, 1970, approximately 20 Million Americans took to the streets from coast to coast,  to demonstrate and raise awareness about water, air pollution, wildlife extinction and the ravages of pesticides. It is 47 years later and we still are plagued by the same problematic issues.  Without getting too political (I really showed considerable restraint on that most unpleasant topic!), Earth Day today included the March for Science. I really hope for the sake of our planet and future generations we can continue to move forward...not back.

As for my part, I wasn't able to attend any marches but made a minor financial contribution to an agency of my choice. For more information on the various affiliated organizations and ways to help click on the attached link.

http://www.earthday.org/campaigns/

I also did my part to plant some trees. And I am pretty excited about the trees! (More on that later). 


We can all do something.

Unplug electronics and turn off lights not in use
Combine trips to reduce fossil fuel consumption
Use re-usable shopping bags
Buy local
Plant a garden and garden organically
Plant a tree (or five!)
Plant flowers for the bees
Landscape with native plants and xeriscape to limit water consumption
Avoid pesticides
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose

Each small part can educate, advocate and promote change for a healthy environment and sustainable living. Be kind to Mother Earth, she is the only one we have


©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Puzzled

How many of you like jig-saw puzzles? I like them although I had not worked any for a few years. Personally, I think they are great way to slow down the frantic pace of everyday life and they provide the added benefit of working the brain. My daughter gifted me a 1000 piece puzzle this past Christmas. A 1000 pieces...Oy!

 One problem with puzzles- where can you work on them? I don't have a dedicated game room or game table. It was very annoying to have the puzzle on my dining table then have to move it when we wanted to eat dinner. I improvised at first, using 2 pieces of posterboard to carefully move and cover the in progress puzzle. That too, soon gave way to annoyance.

Another problem-my dining table is good for a quick meal, but it isn't comfortable enough to sit at for a few hours, hunched over while working on a puzzle. Although my dining table does have a nifty hidden storage tray which was great for storing the puzzle box, even though it is supposed to be used to store placemats.

I researched puzzle trays and tables and holy moly are they are expensive. ($70-$200)  I am wayyyy to cheap to drop money on those. I suppose if I had nice wooden puzzles and worked the puzzles daily maybe, just maybe, I would consider on of those fancy puzzle trays/ tables.

I rooted around the garage to see what I could DIY. I found some luan board, cardboard and an old, very oversized picture frame.

This is my first attempt to create a puzzle tray. Though not bad for 10 minutes worth of work and free materials! As you can see it is slightly larger width than my dining table.

It is nearly the same size as the chaise on my couch

But it tucks away under the couch quite nice. Which is good because I may be working on this puzzle for a very, VERY long time.

 I have several other frames, more luan board and plywood. I would like to make something smaller, with storage, and more portable. I may need to buy some dowel rods and I definitely need some felt fabric so the puzzle doesn't slide. Anyone have any nifty ideals for a puzzle tray or table?

©My Cozy Little Farmhouse 2009-current. Unauthorized use and/ or duplication without written permission from blog author/ owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided acknowledgement is given to My Cozy Little Farmhouse, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.