Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Data Plan

Our Data Plan has absolutely nothing to do with smart phones, tablets, apps or the web. Our Data Plan is all about unlimited elevation profiles, unlimited miles on the trail and unlimited vistas witnessed.

Today we got some good data (see our  Plan's "device" below), not the least of which was 19.6 trail miles at Mohican State Park! That is the longest hike we've ever taken in one day and we were surprised to find that we maintained a 2.2 MPH overall average. Not bad considering minimal training and that we both carried about 10 pounds or so in our packs.

We hope that your Data Plan includes your own source of unlimited inspiration.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Homemade Kick Plate Saves Doors and $$$

A few years ago we salvaged some nice French doors and used them in our small green barn for a main entry. While the paint held well on the upper 2/3, it peeled badly on the bottom - primarily due to de-lamination that had progressed before we got them. Like most things, a simple fix is possible under the "where there's a will, there's a way" philosophy. Here's how we fixed it for pretty much free:


1) Scraped off excess peeling paint:


2) With a handy oscillating tool, cut a downward-sloping groove just above the peeling zone:


3) From some old sheet metal fashioned kick-plates the top of which would fit into the groove and the entirety of which would cover the peeled zone:



4) Using some roofing screws left over from another project, attached the new kick plates:


Before:


After: 


Before:



After:


Now we can run a bead of clear caulk along the top to seal the groove and then touch up the remaining, but minor, peeling zones. A bit of weathering and we will have that sought-after "patina"!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's the Little Things: Ray Spider Egg Case

We found so many of these little egg cases while hiking not long ago. Thanks to the Tracks and Sign of Insects we identified the little case to belong to some type of ray spider. 

The cases are so tiny and so whimsical...all these little ornaments adorning the woodland greenery. 


How cool it is to live and experience the wonders of nature!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Vegetables Say it FINALLY Feels Like Summer!

The cool summer is frustrating to growers like us, but finally we are seeing some ripe tomatoes, peppers and the set of many winter squash. Yay! We turned the tomatoes into a batch of Tomato Glut Sauce, a super delicious recipe we enjoy very much. This is a freezer preservation technique only due to some of the ingredients.


Some of our dry beans are finishing up and we adore the colors and the taste! These pictured are Jacob's Cattle Bean. There are so many beans drying in the garden..what a rewarding crop to grow.

Jennifer made another smudge stick with the white sage we overwintered from last year. We can't have enough of these around here.


She also made a batch of calendula infused oil and holy basil tincture. The oil will be used in our salve. Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs, A Beginner's Guide is a great place to start for those of you interested in harvesting some of your homegrown herbs and using them for health.



The Ashy Sunflowers (Helianthus mollis) are in full bloom in our front yard. They are STUNNING so we are enjoying them outdoors and in.


Alvin is loving the warmth too. Ahhhhh summer....