Friday, October 9, 2015

ominous-looking skies and peanut butter for dogs!

we're in for some heavy wind and rain this evening and all day tomorrow...

it was quite a nice morning though...pretty blue skies...and sunny...

but this afternoon these ominous-looking clouds rolled in...

no worries. we've got everything we need to hunker down and we treat rainy/windy days as days to relax and unwind.

did any of you know that dogs love peanut butter? jambaloney was in town the other day and spoke to a pet specialist and he was told that dogs love toys with peanut butter in them??? who knew??? so he picked up a few hollow chew toys and we give one filled with 100% organic peanut butter to katiyja and she lays on the floor in front of the tv, on her little pillow and licks the peanut butter from the chew toy. she loves it! and is so very well-behaved - not chewing on furniture or any of the other horror stories we have read about puppies.

so if you have a puppy or a dog - get them a hollow chew toy and as a treat - put some peanut butter in there for them - it works like a charm!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

tomatoes 2015

we were expecting our first solid overnight frost the other night and so we went and cleaned our tomatoe plants. this is our last haul of fresh tomatoes for 2015.

here is a big giant bag of frozen tomatoes that we harvested over the past 2 months.

even though we love eating tomatoes, you can only eat so many tomatoes a day. so we ate them fresh and then froze the ones we were unable to eat. those tomatoes were picked and frozen at their peak ripeness and will be cooked into a sauce and then canned for near-fresh tomatoe sauce over the winter.

here are some tomatoes that aren't quite ripe yet so i am ripening them in the greenhouse. it looks like we'll still be eating fresh tomatoes until the end of october at least - not too shabby!

we also picked all of the green tomatoes - these will be turned into chow-chow and then canned.

chow-chow has a very interesting history. i grew up eating chow-chow but jambaloney is only familiar with indian-style chutney. according to wikipedia:

"Chow-chow has become regionally associated with the southern United StatesPennsylvaniaNew Mexico, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Maritime provinces of Canada."

which totally makes sense as chow-chow is said to have been brought through the united states by the Acadians, during the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia and other maritime provinces.

i have always found the history of the expulsion of the Acadians to be very interesting. lots of people don't know that the Acadians eventually found their way down to Louisiana and created the "Cajun" culture!

anyway - that's a lot of history to explain that the Acadians took green tomatoes, onions, cabbage and garlic and pickled it to make the version of chow-chow that i know. it is a great side dish/condiment with just about anything and if it is made with tomatoes that you grew yourself - it means that in the middle of february, you can still be serving tomatoes that you grew yourself.

jambaloney is in town, 3 cats and 1 dog are sleeping, and based on her sleeping patterns, i expect the dog to be up in an hour or so. we had her out in the yard yesterday afternoon for about 4 straight hours - it was a beautiful day and she laid in the shade, watched the cats, watched the birds (i swear she is part bird-dog!), sniffed the air, walked her perimeter, learned a bunch of new stuff - and didn't bark or yip when dogs further down are road were barking! what a relief! she's a very quiet and well-mannered dog already and she is still just a baby!!!

it's a good thing that she is such a quiet dog...this year is the first year that we have been consistently hearing coyotes yipping...and not just at night but during the day too! we have never heard them this loud or this close. it's a smidge frightening i must add...just another good reason to have a serious-sized dog on the property!

hope you are all well!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

crazy update!

after 4 straight days of rain - i know that a lot of you have been dealing with much more - like hurricanes and tropical storms - but after 4 days of rain and a wet dog that smelled like a wet dog - it was really nice to have this, this afternoon!

we have been taking katiyja out 6-7 times a day/night - even in the middle of the night because she makes a certain yip and then always does her business. she has learned to let us know when she needs to do her business and that is amazing for a very big dog that is still a little baby - she hasn't done her business in the house for about 3 weeks now!!!

she learns more every single day. she has completely bonded with us and us with her but the cats still can't stand her. she is 3 times their size and lunges at them every time she sees them. but she really wants to be friends. she is with us for most of the day/evening and then she sleeps in her little crate in the bathroom. we can't let her have the run of this tiny house because the cats' routine has been blown to smithereens and we don't want to put them off of their routines more than we have to. when she is let loose in the house she jumps on everything, tries to destroy everything and scares the cats! hence, why we put her in the bathroom at night.

have you ever not had proper access to your bathroom? it's good practice for SHTF let me tell you! we have our composting toilet set up in the shed...and during rainy nights it is NO fun having to go out to the shed to do your business!

but the cats are getting used to her. they keep going up to her, very cautiously, and if she gets too jumpy they swat and hiss at her. it breaks my heart, it breaks her heart - she just wants to love them. even if her kind of love is 60lbs of husky trying to jump right on top of you, lick you and treat you like a chew toy!

so we came up with this idea to slowly socialize her with the cats. we have blocked off an area of the living room for her. all of the cats like to come in the living room in the evening and watch a movie with us. we have a crate for katiyja but she hates it - she prefers her bathroom. so we have blocked off this area of the living room for her so that she can get in her crate, or go under the couch or lay in the middle of the floor - and the cats can still get on the couch, or the table, or the hutch, or the shelf and be able to watch her and socialize with her.

here it is with the door closed.

we can be on the couch - she can't jump up on things yet - she's smart but not that smart - bahahahah! we have done more research than you can imagine, we have spoken to our vet several times (she'll be getting spayed at 6 months old which should help calm her down) - we love advice and will sincerely take everyone's advice into consideration but we have learned that what works for one dog doesn't work for all - and our vet has told us to just do what our guts tell us.

our plan is to take her out and run her around with all of her balls and toys (don't forget tug-of-war between her, jambaloney and the jeans!) - and then we are going to take her into the new living room. we will sleep with her in there tonight and for the next several nights but only if she, and the cats, seem ok with this new set-up. otherwise we are going to be doing our business in the shed for the next few months.

here's nudie-noo - he doesn't wear pants and he always goes up high if the dog is in the house.

he also shows off every chance he gets to katiyja because he knows she watches intently! she loves those idiot cats but so far....they are having nothing to do with her!

sorry if i haven't been getting to your blogs - we're up to our eyeballs in harvest and trying to train and socialize this puppy...and the cats. we know a lot of people would chuck the puppy in a crate and leave her there crying for hours, or chuck her on a chain tied to a tree - but that's not how we do things. she is a new and very important member to our family...and we are really trying our best!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

harvest 2015 - the Framboise Manor Year of the Peppers!

here are some sunflowers blowing in the wind....for my 2 Angels, of course! they know who they are!

and this is the year of the pepper at Framboise Manor! we have a ton of frozen peppers in the freezer and i have been making pickled peppers every month for jambaloney. check out today's haul:

those will be turned into more hot sauce and pickles! and here are some of my piquante and bird's eye chili peppers that my friend Dani sent all the way from South Africa!

is that cool or what? but the greenhouse really makes a difference in regards to the peppers! and being that we overwintered a bunch of pepper plants meant they started producing in may - unheard of for around here!

so let's say you are a dog and your parents bought you a bunch of dog toys...the experts at the pet store tell you EXACTLY the toys that your husky puppy needs. you spread those toys all over the yard...her pull toys, her bacon bone, her cow's foot, all of her little balls....but then one morning your father takes you into the basement and you find the bestest toy in all of the world!

yep! an old pair of jeans! in the background is also 2 more of her favourite toys - my old nightgown and a stuffed garfield! she loves those 3 toys more than anything! except for a pair of old socks. she gets in the tire, which is empty, with her socks.

we've got a storm warning for a ton of rain for the next 3 days....most of the mainland and island will be getting hit. our part of the island will get high winds and rain...but we'll not get hit as bad as other places.

when it's rainy and cold i love to make stew! steak and kidney stew with these beauties from the garden:

these potatoes and yellow zucchini will go in the stew, too.

with onions, homemade beef broth and a ton of garlic - yummeh! the day after i will use the leftover stew to make a steak and kidney potpie - double yummeh!

here's our tomatoe harvest for today.

i plant indeterminate tomatoes so that they don't all come in at once. we have been picking tomatoes daily for over a month, eating them raw, making pasta out of them and freezing the majority of them. i will take the frozen tomatoes and cook them down into a sauce and then can them so that we'll have beautiful pasta sauce all winter.

i have to admit that we have been eating pretty terribly this past month. except for jambaloney's mom feeding us homemade chicken soup and lobster and salad, our meals have been quick and dirty! today i finally had the time to do up our favourite shrimp/vermicelli salad with a bunch of our homegrown herbs, cucumber, carrot and strawberries - it was divine!

we had katiyja out on her tether while jambaloney did work and then we made the salad. this salad takes quite a bit of work - it's mostly the dressing that takes forever, and katiyja played with her jeans and her socks and balls. she is spending more and more time outside each day and she loves it! she is definitely a Framboise Manor kind of dog!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

sooo much to tell...and tooo tired to tell it coherently!!!

the story goes back at least 2 months...when i thought i could fool jambaloney by inventing a dance at our community hall for september...he thought it would be sweets and sandwiches and then a dance, like we normally do. he had no idea it was a surprise 50th birthday party for him - his 50th isn't until november! i had our best friends b and c order the special plate from the new moon chinese restaurant in town for 50 guests. i had saved for over a year as people here tend to think of 50th birthday parties as a big deal. as we are not birthday party people, i thought i would do this one for him as a surprise. then his brother back in ontario was worried about his dad, jamie's mom and dad were down visiting, so he sent an email to jamie and mentioned the birthday party. i couldn't lie to jamie when he asked so i told him that yes, the party on saturday night was supposed to be his surprise birthday party 2 months early. he wanted nothing to do with it - he wanted to turn it into a community supper and dance to thank all of our friends here for being so good to us. and of course i forgot my camera!

i had ordered a bunch of disco balls from the internet and we set up the hall with all of the disco balls - the hall looked awesome. all of the people who came in for the supper hugged me and jambaloney and then met his parents. his parents were told some awesome things about my great man! our best friends served the chinese food and everyone thanked us for such a treat of a meal! i have to admit it was pretty good and we sent everyone home with take-aways.

jambaloney's parents were the guests of honour at the party and that was how everyone treated them! everyone took a few minutes to sit with them and talk to them. our other good friends (family really) m &p brought a special gift. m is a crafter extraordinnaire and made jambaloney a betty-boop out of balloons!

that m can make anything out of anything! everyone loved the betty boop and some people even danced with the balloon doll - including me! jambaloney's parents danced their socks off and everyone thrived on their energy - they were tiring out a bunch of us but we tried to keep up with them!

we took his parents on a tour of LobstersRUs - they were pretty impressed by the most energy-efficient lobster plant on the eastern seaboard! who knew that i could bring such a skilled IT worker here and put him to work in a place that really needs him?

jambaloney and his mom bought 4 live lobsters and she took them home and cooked them to perfection! we had lunch with them the next day (they were staying at a friend's cottage while they were down)...and we had such a good lunch!

then we went down to morrison's beach...on some google sites it's called english cove. jambaloney took his mom and dad out fishing...i sat on the blanket with first his mom, yik-yakking about how proud i am of his being my husband.

and then me and his dad yakked in the sun. it was a beautiful day!

we didn't get to spend as much time as we wanted to with them....but getting the puppy sooner than we expected kind of kai-boshed our plans. but we are taking having this puppy very seriously! we are training her to be a work dog...and a protector of her homestead. the cats still can't really stand her..she is so submissive to them and cries to them but they let her get so close and then they bash her on the nose and hiss.

she wants to be friends with her brothers but so far - it's no go from the cats' end. poor little puppy. i think she already weighs close to 60lbs. but still a baby! man - she is gonna be huge!

sorry if i haven't gotten to your blogs. we are living on her schedule, trying to get the harvest in, trying to take care of cranky old cats and a whole pile of other stuff. hopefully normal life will return soon. we hope that you all understand!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

we're still alive!

jam's parents are visiting for the past week. we had a surprise birthday party that turned out to be a community dance - more info coming. we did a tour of LobstersRUs with his parents today. we're dead tired as we are sleeping on the puppy's schedule. and trying to get the harvest in. we'll be back soon.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

more gonzo work!

jambalony here!!!

okay a lot of photos so few words...LOL!

so i left off the gonzo building with the shack outta a husqurvarna lawnmower box..

i added some old 2x4s to make support..

but first - i added boards from our friend g's old shack to make a walkway - which is being  hauled down by atv-dura and crap-trailer that i fixed up.

here i go.

the walkway makes it much easier to get to our storage area at the river.

back at the shed, here's some boards for reinforcement on the floor.

and here is some boards for the second shelf.

the walls will be made out of tarps.

ratchet ties are a must...

when you are strapping the shed to a trailer!

here's the rest of the materials on trip number 2:

a beautiful cloud in the sky!

here is the frame down at the river.

here is the base for the shed.

here it is in place in the woods.

here it is tarped with room for everything that we need at the river.

here is another angle - the tarps will last a lot longer here because there will be almost no sunlight to degrade the plastic for at least a couple of years.

here it is covered.

cheers all!