Monday, December 30, 2013

boy..when it rains - it pours! (or i should say "snows"!!!)

my goodness we got belted with the snow! and we normally don't have "staying snow" until at least mid-january! not this year tho...not only were we snowed in...but that dang atv/plow needs a complete overhaul. no worries...jambaloney has spent our snowed in days learning exactly how to fix it!

with the atv/plow not working...he did what any good prepper/survivalist would do...he shoveled us out by hand! my goodness he makes me proud!

his tools of the trade:

keep in mind that before he even started shoveling the 130ft driveway, he had to clear off the roof of the plastic-wrapped porch, the greenhouse and make cat-paths all around the house. and clear off the deck. and clear off the truck.

he did all of this by himself as i was down with a migraine. it was a bad one. i got the beginnings of it on tuesday but i tried to hold it off for Christmas. it didn't matter as we were snowed in on Christmas and boxing day. by boxing day, i was a little rangy and crazy so jambaloney made me take a migraine pill - i hate them as all that they do is knock me out! for 12hrs at a time! but i knew that even if we weren't snowed in that i would never make it to our friends' places. so down i went...under the influence of heavy narcotics knowing that the maniac would do this:

by freakin' hand! and that's why i didn't want to take the pill!

he shoveled all of that driveway by hand! all the while looking up how to clean the atv to get it to run. and asking one of our dear internet friends what to do to fix the atv - thank you so much W!!!

he has printed off and read a million things in order to clean the carberator - that's his tomorrow job! again - thank you W - he took the carberator out today and has it soaking!

my poor man works his butt off and i am down for the count for 3 entire days - arghghghgh!

on saturday afternoon when he had shoveled us out - my big worry was to get the gifts out to our friends. so after all of that shoveling, me being down and not knowing if he even ate - he drove around delivering our gifts to our families. they gave us gifts and a pile of food in return...he came home with 2 big bags of gifts and 2 big bags of food - i know that he ate yesterday. i ate a big pile last night. we are so grateful to have such caring friends!

i managed to get up for a little while yesterday and make him some butternut squash soup with broccoli hearts and cilantro.

he doesn't eat if i don't feed him and after all of the shoveling he has done - ugh!

my migraine seems to be waning...i pray it is...i missed all of our Christmas dinners...heck, i missed Christmas period! i hope to get some more rest today and tomorrow in order to make it out to our New Year's Eve dance tomorrow night...i simply cannot miss that after missing Christmas.

but to be honest, i feel like a bag of poop. but i am happy that my beautiful angel, my jambaloney is still in bed. the cats wake him every night at 3am, 4am, 5am and then he usually gets up at 6am. i have been up since the cats have not been bothering him...and he is still sleeping. i hope that he sleeps til noon...he is so tired. even in my bleary-eyed migraine state i could tell how tired he was. i can't believe he shoveled the whole driveway by hand!

i am tired and want to get back in bed but can't...not until he wakes up. we just got a ton more snow, followed by a ton of rain...i'm not letting him go back out there to shovel! it's another real mess out there and i just don't want him to see it! i think i might break down and call some friends to come and help clear us out.

i hope that you are all safe where you are..and on behalf of the both of us, i wish all of you a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas..a little postponed!

we woke up early...expecting a bit of snow...but not 7 more inches!

it's pretty - but now we have a little over 15 inches of snow in the past 2 days alone - that's more than we get over a normal entire winter - holy moly!!!

you gotta admit that it's pretty!

here's out back....that gorgeous blue cape breton island sky will get you everytime!

we were supposed to be at our fouchu family's house for noon. poor jambaloney was out clearing the 7 inches of snow off of our plastic-wrapped porch for a goodly while and then had to do the greenhouse! he tried backing the truck up before plowing...look at the horrible ruts that were created!

after spending most of the day yesterday shoveling and plowing our 130ft driveway...he had to go out and do it again. that's when he started up the atv/plow and it ran all of 3 minutes before the plow died. the battery needed re-charging. so he shoveled 35ft of our driveway by hand and that's when i said "enough"! we weren't going to make it out today to visit our friends!

we don't take missing Christmas with our friends very lightly. my crazy man was ready to shovel the next 130ft by hand - have a gander:

no way on earth i am letting him shovel that by hand! the grade of that 130ft driveway is 15degrees!!! there is no way i am letting him shovel that - BY FREAKIN HAND! - and there is no way that i am risking our truck going down that! even if the truck got down....i can't promise it can get back up!

my man had spent all day yesterday shoveling and plowing - you have to remember that he shovels cat paths all around the house as well! and then he went out again today to do the same - he spent 4 hours out there doing the porch, the deck, the cat paths and the greenhouse! then he tried to do the driveway! then he tried to use the truck as a plow....look at the ruts that were caused on the flat part of our driveway:

i am a woman who knows when to put her foot down and put her man first - there was NO WAY IN HELL that i was letting him try and shovel the rest of the driveway!!!!

i called our friends, i told them that we simply couldn't make it for Christmas dinner...they were very very understanding...our friends here are like that. our truck is our lifeline...we cannot make stupid mistakes like getting the truck stuck halfway up or halfway down the driveway.

the crazy thing is, we got enough food stored that we can be stuck up here all winter and never have to leave. we hated not getting out to see our friends...but we are very serious about survival. and the number one, most important thing about safety.

we spent Christmas day eating left over rabbit pie that our friend e made for us...we ate half of it last night right out of the pan - we're pretty fancy as you all know! i ate a big honking chunk for breakfast and we shared the last of it for lunch! then we ate left over boiled-dinner for supper and we got plenty of snacks for watching movies tonight.

here's our gorgeous Christmas day sunset:

we'll dig ourselves out tomorrow and be late little Santas delivering our gifts. we had a wonderful Christmas Day...and we hope that you all did too!

thank you all for the lovely Christmas wishes that you left for us....sooo very nice! i promise to hit up your blogs tomorrow morn! i hope you all know that sent our best wishes to all of you today.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

it looks like it's going to be a white Christmas this year!

all of the kids around here are loving it as we haven't had a white Christmas in 6 or 7 years! it sure is pretty!

our dance card for tomorrow is full - first the full-meal-turkey-deal with our fourchu family... and then off to our friends' e & d's place for an encore - woohoo!

from both of us to all of you - we wish you a very Merry Christmas. be good to each other and hug everyone, especially the children.

and remember, and reflect upon, the reason for the season.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

a beautiful full moon, a nice bright day and seeds!

this is a pic of the full moon last pretty eh?

here's a good supper when it's cold outside and the wind is howling - some fried eggs, some avocado, our fried homegrown potatoes and some beans - can't beat that to fill your belly when you're hungry and it's cold - teehee.

(seriously tho - i loooove having breakfast for supper. but then, as most of you know, i have always been a rebel - bahahahahaha!)

here is a pic of the sunrise this morning - so pretty....but dangnabbit cold as heck!

it was probably about -9C....pretty dang cold! but it warmed up this afternoon and i got another pretty shot:

it was about -7C or maybe -6C this afternoon. a little too cold for any serious yard work but jambaloney went out and fed the birds and did some odd jobs. it was a perfect afternoon for this, tho -

that's a bunch of more seeds that we gathered during harvest season and then let dry in our pantry/hidey-hole. i don't think that there is anything that we love doing more than saving seeds...well, except naked gardening, hot-tubbing, swimming in the river, swimming in the ocean, fishing, reading books, napping, spending time with our friends and family here, emails with our bestest internet buddies, petting and kissing get the drift. we really like saving seeds.

we have a very technical seed-saving set-up. it's because jambaloney is an IT specialist and because i have OCD!!! i should have taken a picture of our set-up for all of you to follow - i promise i will next time.

copy and print this next section if you are serious about saving seeds:

1. gather your dried seeds with stalks at harvest time, put them on a screen on your plastic-wrapped porch and then forget what each screen holds.
2. once the seeds are dried, try and figure out what they might be, dump the seeds and stalks in a paper bag and then scribble something on the front of the paper bag that you won't be able to decipher 2 months later.
3. 2 months later sit with your husband on a beautiful winter day and gather some of the bags. don't do all of your seeds at one time or else what will you do on the next beautiful winter day? you're welcome.
4. try to figure out what each bag of seeds are, using all of your skills trying to decipher what is written on the bag. i am a trained linguist....just not trained in egyptian hieroglyphics.
5. once you have both agreed that those look like daikon seeds and those look like oregano seeds, get each of you a dinner plate and separate the seeds from the stalks and or/casings.
6. make little bags like those pictured above, tuck them away into your pantry/hidey-hole and salivate every time you walk by knowing that you have a ton of seeds for next year!

we need to purchase very few seeds for this upcoming year and those are luxury-type items. we have saved almost all of the seeds that we will actually rely upon/depend upon for food already! saving seeds is a great way to save money...and it's fun!

after all of this hard seed-saving work, we are getting ready to make a salad for dinner and jumping on the couch to watch some movies.

i hope that all of you are warm and well (and saving seeds!).

Monday, December 16, 2013

snow day update

here's what we woke up to this morning:


a brilliant blue sky and about 10cms of snow...15cms in some places!

here's some really yummy pizza that we made yesterday during the blizzard:

that's your standard combination with a firm homemade crust, homemade tomatoe sauce with a ton of our own dried oregano, a ton of pepperoni, green pepper and mushroom - deelish! oh ya, and a ton of mozzarella!

we also made what i call kymberz mediterranean pizza:

the sauce is garlic-infused olive oil and a ton of oregano. the crust is super thin and crisp. on top is thinly sliced tomatoes and sliced black and green olives. finished off with feta cheese, mozzarella and parsley - yummeh!

after we ate our pizza, jambaloney headed out with the atv/plow to start clearing the driveway. but then the darn thing stalled halfway down the driveway. jambaloney was then going to get a chain and attach it to our truck to haul the atv/plow back up the driveway but our dear friend d was just driving by. our friend d has a winch on his truck and offered to pull the atv down the driveway and over to his place next door - his son is an atv genius and could take a look at it and fix it for us. jambaloney came up to tell me what was going on, i threw some pizza into a container for jambaloney to give to our friend d and his wife e and they were off. they got to our next door neighbour's house and between jam, d, and his son n - they got the atv/plow off the truck and into the shed. we were expecting that our neighbour's son n would come into town in the next day or so to fix the atv but this morning at 11am we get a call from our friend - she says come and get the atv as it's fixed already!!!! jambaloney called back and apparently our friend d got up this morning and started working on it and got it all running tickedy-boo. jambaloney headed over to pick it up with a bottle of rhum as everyone here seem to be rhum drinkers! the only prob was, last night i made jambaloney a hot toddy and used an ounce of that bottle of rhum....normally we have a few bottles on hand to bring to people when they invite us over!!!

anyway, our friends didn't seem to mind that an ounce of the rhum was missing and they thanked us for both it, and the pizza last night. it gives you really good piece of mind to know that your friends will drop anything to help you. our friend d had been working in the woods for probably 10hrs yesterday, and on his way home when he stopped to help jambaloney with the atv/plow. and i just know that he got up this morning and went straight out to the shed to see if he could fix our atv/plow right away. and he did.

i hope that he and his wife e enjoy some of that rhum tonight when they both get home!

anyway - here's the maniac out plowing the driveway on our fixed atv:

he loves that thing! i guess i can understand why!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

snow day!

it's a definite snow day today - this is what it looked like when we got up this morning:

it's been snowing all morning and we are expecting between 15-20cms!!! it's a good day for a lunch like this:

that's some gorgeous beef liver fried with bacon and onions - yummeh! some leftover quinoa salad and some mandarin.

remember the squash i roasted the other day? i made up some delicious puree and froze a ton of it for soups all winter. this soup is puree, homemade broth, coconut milk and coriander...with some roasted squash seeds!

i love foods that give you a lot of bang for your buck like pumpkin and squash - you don't just get all of the meat out of them - you get one of my favourite things - seeds!

i just love roasted pumpkin and squash seeds. a little olive oil and a ton of sea salt and you've got a snack for the next several evenings!

this past friday we went down to the fourchu community centre to do "chase the ace". there weren't a lot of people there but we don't expect the big crowds until the kitty grows into the thousands. we had fun meeting up with some friends...and then me and jam and our friends s & d went over to our friends c & b's house. their daughter c also came for a visit. b had asked jambaloney to bring his snippers to cut a pipe which turned out to be ductwork....thank goodness jambaloney always brings more tools than he thinks he needs. they were downstairs banging around in the basement and were down there for quite a while. at some point someone said "what the heck are they doing down there? they're making an awful lot of noise for just cutting a pipe". we all took turns making fun of them and then i said "they're like dumb and dumber when they get together" - we all screeched over that.

our friend c then buzzed jambaloney's hair with the clippers. all of the men here have buzzed short hair and they tease jambaloney constantly about his longer hair - all in good fun tho. c did a really good job on his hair and now my man has got the framboise/fourchu buzz cut just like the rest of them - bahahahah!

anyway, of course c had my favourite kind of wine and made jambaloney drink some beer. b's brother d stopped in and a bit of a party ensued. i don't know what it is, maybe it's because they are such good friends, but we always have fun at c & b's - they are awesome!

anyway, we kind of flumped around the rest of the weekend, did a bunch of laundry as we have been wearing clothes during this cold spell - bahahahahaha! here's some yummy stirfry with chicken, broccoli hearts, cauliflower, cabbage and coriander with mandarin on the side.

mandarins are cheap this time of year and they store really well in our basement so we always have them on hand.

next up - a chicken salad with cucumber, tomatoe and avocado. a light balsamic vinegar dressing and you are good to go!

jambaloney went out to start the plow/atv and it isn't working. he runs it once a week in the winter and it ran fine the other day. but now it's conked so he is looking in the manual and at the internet trying to figure out what's wrong with it. he takes really good care of all of our tools and equipment, plus he's really good at solving problems so i am sure he will have it up and running soon. he can't plow until much later this afternoon - that snow just isn't stopping!

however, tomorrow we are expecting the temps to go back to normal - thank goodness! this is really unusual temps and snow fall for this time of year!

JUGM - we'll get out today or tomorrow and make a snowman for your boys!

Thursday, December 12, 2013's been a little chilly!

brrr. the cold spell that has been hitting the east coast of north america finally caught up to us! it's chilly...but pretty!

 we normally get a dusting or two of snow in december...but it just usually melts as it falls. not this time. this is staying snow. but it is pretty to look at, no?

how about a delicious "everything-in-the-fridge-quinoa-salad" to keep you fit, healthy and strong during a cold spell?

that right there is a romaine lettuce chiffonade, broccoli hearts, cauliflower, tomatoe, cucumber, avocado, parsley and quinoa salad with a dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar with the mother, unpasteurized local honey, garlic and ginger and it tastes divine - especially after it has sat for a few hours. some mandarine and our own cranberries on the side - deelish!

jambaloney got a pile of butternut squash on sale and so we bought up a bunch as they keep well in our basement/coldroom. you cut them in half and scoop out the seeds (save them for roasting - what a great snack! pics to come!). you make several score marks in them, brush them with a ton of butter, add salt and pepper and roast those babies for an hour. you can eat them at this point - we ate a half of one just standing at the stove while they were cooling. they'll soon be turned into soup.


once they have cooled you scoop out all of the flesh, put it in the blender/food processor, add coconut milk (sooo good for you!), turmeric, cayenne, cumin, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, honey, ginger, s&p - and you have a delicious soup to can or freeze and it will get you through the winter just dandy.

here's some yummy aloo gobi!

this is another delicious dish for cold winter eves. there are chicken cubes, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, onions and green pepper mixed with coconut milk, homemade broth, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, garam masala, ground coriander, unpasteurized honey, garlic, ginger and apple cider vinegar - all spices to help build up your body's own natural immunities to get through the winter!

and here is a beautiful sunset:


we certainly haven't had it as bad as some of you had...we are just experiencing a little more than normal chilliness - nothing that some good food, a good sunset and a cup of mint/chamomile tea can't fix!

i hope that you are all staying warm!

Monday, December 9, 2013

winter prep

jambaloney here!

this is a quick "what i am doing" kinda post...

here is a pic of our front porch for a couple of years ago - we sit on in and suntan on it but underneath there are gaps that let the cold west wind right into the had to go and i wanted to get some windbreak/insulating done on the outside... on a cold winter day, the kitchen floor is freezing!!!

so off it came!! i had our friend e's boys h and n over to help and we did the job in great time!!!!

here is the higher half...

and here is the lower half - you can see the exposed concrete that was poured poorly and sports MANY holes and gaps - right into the basement and under the kitchen floor - yes i have insulated the inside, but preventing drafts from the outside is just as important!!! it was worse than i thought!!!

we moved the old porch to the side of the house - that will be a great ATV shed floor!!!

 i dunno about these old steps !!! the boards will be useful for something, well at least the 4x4s!

next thing we did was fill it all in with dirt - right up to just below the concrete foundation sloping out in all directions as a lot of the water falling from the roof and wall has been seeping into the basement here.. much better already!

and the final part was to slope some old windows  out just where the floor starts in the kitchen - this is a great start - i will seal off the sides and any gaps after i place cloches of water in black plastic garbage bags behind the windows to capture extra heat - for now - an excellent windbreak!

they also helped me clean the rest of the reclaimed lumber i have - pulling nails and whatnot - i have a LOT ready to be used for shed purposes..... i pulled the tarps off today to let the wood dry out..

lots of good stuff!

 and more here - a great  bunch of wood to have

i will add more pics of insulating activities later - i want to wall off all the lower west side with windows to provide much needed heat protection there this winter.

cheers all!

Friday, December 6, 2013

a hodge-podge kind of post!

here's a beautiful, early sunrise!

the way the sun beams through the clouds and bounces off strachan's brook makes the brook and surrounding area look golden!

i finally got around to processing some of my carrots this week. when we harvested them, we threw them into boxes in the basement and left the tops on. so i sat outside watching jambaloney move heavy rocks and things and cut all of the tops off of the chantennay reds and napoli carrots.

 i still have to process our white icicles and purple haze carrots - but that is still a lot of orange carrots to get us through the winter - woohoo! to store the carrots i will roll them in newspaper and store them in boxes in the basement. they should last well into april stored that way.

we also harvested the rest of the potatoes. that's brown russets, irish cobblers and red chieftains!

remember to keep in mind that we have been harvesting and eating these babies since late august so we actually probably doubled what you see here. the great thing is - they keep forever and the small boxes of small potatoes in the front are all seed potatoes for next year!

we have a busy weekend coming up! tonight our volunteer fire department is starting a new game to raise money for our departments and community centres. the game is called "chase the ace" and it sounds really fun. one of the volunteer fire departments on the mainland was very successful - they ended up making over $600,000 which was then split in half with the winner.

here's how it works - you have to be at the hall in person or else you can't play. you have to buy at least 5 tickets for 5 dollars, or you can buy as many more as you want. then we sell tickets for the next 2 hours while you buy hotdogs and pop from us (teehee. we make additional money that way!). at 8pm a winning ticket is pulled. right off the bat, that person wins 30% of the take-in for the night. that person then gets to pick a card from the deck - if they pick the ace they win another 20%, making them win half the money that got taken in that night. if they don't pick the ace, the card gets thrown out and now we are down to 51 cards the following week. and so on and so on. the take-in money keeps rolling over to the following weeks until someone picks the ace. it's pretty fun and exciting and a great way to socialize for 2 hours every week! once the pot starts getting up into the thousands, then we'll be able to draw in people from all over the island who wouldn't normally come to our events. it's a great way for our vfd, community centres and churches to make money! so we'll be there tonight to serve coffee and tea, hopefully sell some hotdogs and just have fun!

jambaloney just went to our friend's farm to pick up a truck-load more of poop. he's also picking up our friend's son and girlfriend and bringing them back here to his mom's place, which is just next door. then he has to get all the poop off the truck before we go to the hall tonight.

tomorrow, we are having our friend's 2 boys and a girlfriend come over for the day to help get rocks from the beach to work on the driveway and fill in various trenches, as well as a bunch of other odd jobs to get us properly winterized. they are good kids and we really like having them around. jambaloney left right before lunch so i made sure to fill him up with good poop-shovelling food:

well that's it for this week's goings on at the Manor - i hope you all had a good week and i hope that you all have a great weekend!