Sunday, August 28, 2016

Roasted Chicken Dinner



August is proving to be as busy as July; which is great! We are managing to soak up every last bit of summer fun before the cold hits.  Remember all those meatbirds we had processed a month back?  Well we finally got around to cooking up the first one and it was DELICIOUS! We harvested an entire dinner of homegrown food, sides of tender carrots, roasted fingerling potatoes with garlic, onion, and parsley, beautiful beets and finished out the meal with blackberry pie, berries harvested from the hill.  My father is a "localvore" and will only eat meat if it is locally grown so we invited my parents down to partake in this delicious meal.  What a treat!


Last night we finished off the chicken by making pot pie and now I need to cook up some chicken broth/stock.  I have never done this before but I am pretty sure it is simple!  But the harvest continues, this week I will pull up the onions and beets. I think I will winter most of the carrots and parsnips since it does seem that the flavor improves the longer they sit.

Happy Sunday,

shelby g

(oh! follow my shop on instagram: TheMeanieGreene. I will have a giveaway when I hit 100 followers... halfway there now :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

July Round Up






 





Let's see... July was a crazy busy month!  I forget each year how busy summer can get and this summer, with the two kids and fantastically warm weather, we have been traveling to the lake often and also driving to visit cousins and friends.

:1: This handsome fellow is almost 10 months old. Yahoo! The real reason for this picture is the meat birds!  They have been successfully processed at Tide Mill farm and we now have a chest freezer FULL of chicken ranging in weight from 4.5lbs all the way up to 8lbs!  Absolutely amazing. These Freedom Rangers had a fantastic (short) life here and free ranged for the last 8 weeks with the laying hens. The roosters in the group started to get a little rowdy near the end so we were happy to see them off and now even happier to have over 90 meals worth of chicken. We started with 30 birds but lost a few along the way and processed 27. I actually had to cull one of them myself when it became too injured to make a recovery. (that was a stressful moment!)

:2: This garden picture was taken a while ago... it looks way cooler now. This is really a picture of the back of the house where Mr. Meanie started shingling. He also built a medium sized back deck and while the mosquitoes have kept us from enjoying it too much I am looking forward to fall weather and morning coffee on the back deck.

:3: Harvest time! We have eaten veggies from the garden daily and they are so yummy!  I just pulled up the garlic yesterday and it is BEAUTIFUL.  Friends and family beware: we have so much garlic that we will likely put it in everything.

:4: Remember this dress? Momma's night out was a success. My SIL and I went to a fantastic Mexican restaurant in Portland, had a couple of margaritas and then enjoyed the comedic delights of Jim Gaffigan. He was hilarious until he decided to talk about hot pockets for the last 20 minutes of his show... which are not nearly as funny as he thinks they are. I honestly don't even know anyone who eats hot pockets!  Anywho, the next day we visited Boothbay Botanical Gardens (a must summer visit; so beautiful and they have a fantastic kid's garden area) and we also saw a friend who is working in Boothbay for the summer.

:5: Off to a tidal island with my childhood friend, her husband and their children.  Amazingly enough we don't often explore the ocean although we live about 10 minutes from it. So we had a great time just chilling out.

:6: We swam at the local lake 3 times a week when the afternoon heat became too much for us. Audrey is becoming a fisherwoman and enjoyed trying to catch the sunfish around the dock. And Johnny loves the water.  In this picture both kids are wearing swim suits that are momma-made.

:7: I ran with a FANTASTIC relay team from Ellsworth to Eastport (over 102 miles). My running legs were the last two, over 14 miles, in the sun/heat. It was tough but so much fun and I look forward to next year.  I also made my running outfit and am currently a pattern tester for Green Style Creations and have so far worked on 3 different version of the same zip up sports bra.  The one in the picture proved to chafe way too much (and I have scars to prove it :( ) I will blog about this more in the future.

:8: Moosehead Lake 2016.  Our 9th year traveling up to Moosehead Lake to enjoy family and good food. The weather was gorgeous and we had fun swimming and canoeing.  The kids were pretty good too and Johnny was the very first boy allowed to go! Yay!  I made everyone t-shirt dress and Johnny a few rompers.

:9: Lastly, Boston Trip!  We were invited by one of Mr. Meanie's co-workers to the Pearl Jam concert in Boston.  I have never met anyone that Mr. Meanie works with so it was a fun experience to hear the guys discuss the shipping industry together. We went to the Pearl Jam concert at Fenway, Samuel Adams Brewery Tour (where I met someone who recognized the dress pattern I made my dress from... what fun!), and then out on the town for dinner in the harbor.  This outfit was made from the P4P Siren Swim Suit top and Pencil Skirt for the bottom.

:10: Not picture, Audrey's Dance Class.  She had a little difficulty listening but overall the class went well. We made an afternoon of it, visiting a local park/splash pad, eating snack, running errands, and attending dance.  It was nice to see how well (or not well) Audrey interacted with other adults and children.  A little stressful but overall she is off to a good start.  

And for the next week I need to sew! I have a booth at the Blueberry Festival and desperately need to make diapers and clothing to sell.  My goal was 30 diapers this week... lol. I have made ZERO. Need to get my butt in gear!

have a great day!

shelby g

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Around the Farm






July is a busy month around the farm... generally us Mainers feel like summer is quickly coming to a close when the 4th of July hits... which is absurd but that's how I've felt this summer.  We had a lovely weekend with family around the farm and at the lake; turns out I have 2 children who LOVE the water... Johnny sat on the shoreline and just splashed while Audrey played with cousins, swam with Dad, and started her career as a game fisher-woman by catching sunfish with her uncle and grandfather. 

At the homestead, though, Mr. Meanie is working his tail off finishing up the cedar shingle siding and building the back deck.  We are still up-in-the-air about what to do with the back deck; I would love to enclose the area with a fence to keep the humans in and the chickens out (boy, they sure love to poop).  I imagine this area to have some landscaping, a kitchen garden, and maybe some natural playthings for the kids... but we'll see.

The garden is growing! After some much needed rain last weekend everything is growing... weeds included!  I've pulled piles of weeds out of the garden and while some seeds didn't germinate (basil?) everything is looking great. I've set a goal to eat ALL OF THE LETTUCE from the garden, so we have had salads every night and I've just harvested all of the scapes to make pesto.  There's a huge pile of them so I will freeze them for winter, too, and think I can make a yummy scape butter to use on bread and when roasting chicken.

I am busy sewing... I am so close to finishing all of the customs from my shop. Just one more, very detailed custom left and then I will be free to sew for the Blueberry Festival where I will be a vendor.  I've sewn up a few dance outfits for Audrey too and while she looks quite fashionable I am not sure if she likes dance. Whenever I say, let's go to dance! she replies "NO DANCE!"... hmmm. We'll give it one more week and hopefully she'll fall in love or at least enjoy it a little.

I also made myself a "momma's night out"-fit" that I will wear for dinner and a show with a friend. We are both surprising ourselves with new outfits, I mashed up this pattern with this one, bought the fabric from here and here, and this literally took 30 minutes to sew. I will create an entire post about this later on.

And lastly we had Audrey's cousins down for the weekend. Aurelia turns 6 in a few days which is so hard to believe, but true!  We had a small birthday party for her and I made a cake, from scratch, which no one ate since it turns out that cake is passe... Oh well, they still had fun and I found out that I could eat an entire 2 layer cake in 5 days. The last day was difficult but I managed.  Anyway, we had a great time with the girls, they are all growing up so fast. And the kids had a fun time picking out fabric and I made them shirt dresses and leggings.


Happy Wednesday!

shelby g

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Froggy Has Arms!


The hilarious moment when you realize your kid may be weird (in a good way) happened to us last night at Audrey's first dance class.  The instructor asked what sound frogs make and Audrey blurted, "Froggy has arms!" and completely out of context seems like an odd fact... since yes, frogs have arms! But for real, our tadpoles are starting to sprout arms and legs and we have celebrated that all week!  So far we have one frog with arms and legs, a few with just legs, and some with tails still.  And our poor salamanders are not going to make it... i guess they proved to be too tasty a treat for the tadpoles.  



We have changed their water with nearby pond water, grown the size of their tank (although a fish tank would be better... anyone have one we can borrow?) and are feeding them a steady diet of boiled lettuce and spinach. All seems to be working... I really hope we an see this through and have full grown frogs to release into the wild by the end of the summer.  When I was a kid we would always find the frog eggs, but sadly, leave them out in the sun a bit too long.

Too that point, though, I think we have reached our maximum of small creatures to grow this summer.  The meatbirds are HUGE and still have 5-6 weeks left before the freezer, our pullets are adorable and growing, our ducklings are outside with the older pullets, and our laying hens are fenced in a run in order to consolidate their egg laying. So far we have found 2 nests of 18 eggs in random places... we'd much rather have the eggs fresh in nest boxes without the searching. We'd love for one of them to go off and sit on a clutch of eggs but again,... we'd have more little creatures to care for!

have a great day! We received some much needed rain and today will be a great day to weed.

shelby g

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June Yard Sale Finds


I don't get out and about as much as I would like for yardsaling but the kids and I were able to hit up a few this past weekend.  There was a yearly yardsale at one of our historic halls in the village; sometimes they don't receive any new donations and it is the same old chipped glassware as the previous year but this year they had some new stuff (and I have different interests).  I made out with a set of 6 vintage coffee mugs with gorgeous bird motifs on them, glass candlestick holders for barn thanksgiving, vinyl records for our growing record collection (but now I need to buy this to play them on!), and a cute milkglass vase.  I also picked up new glass light covers for our hallway lights. We picked out generic sconces and while they looked ok, they were too uniform for me.  I like the new ones better but now will always be on the lookout for inexpensive covers. 

And I found a chair! For $20 I picked up this beauty. It will need to be reupholstered in the future but for now it'll hold. The kids and dog love it plus it adds a little character to the house. We have purchased only generic furniture thus far, tan couch, brown rug, etc.  I am excited to start adding "charm" to the house. Obviously with two young children bringing the look of charm will take a while since for ever 3 items I bring into the house it is likely 2 will break.  I also picked up this ocean painting... it's not professional but kind of cute! 


Hope you have a great day!

shelbyg

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tadpoles

The best entertainment I can provide for our daughter while we run is critter collecting. Just recently we were able to gather up a salamander and a few tadpoles (and salamander babies... not sure what they are called?).  I love how excited she gets with these living treasures.

The wet, swampy, area in our field dried up this spring from lack of rain and although we were able to enjoy frogs peeping away I am pretty sure their efforts of attracting mates did not go very far without water for their offspring. Turns out that about a mile down the road the conditions remain perfect for frog development and we stumbled upon a small pool teeming with pollywog life. 

We now have 2 jars of tadpoles sitting on the kitchen counter. We feed them boiled lettuce and everyone seems to be doing well. I would like to find a small fishbowl for them since we'd love to see these turn into frogs. We'll see. We may just release them back into the wild and let nature do it's thing.


Have a great Friday!

shelby g

Monday, June 13, 2016

Pom-Poms


So I added pom poms to our bedroom curtains.  Yes, it seems like a silly idea but I was sucked into a pinterest vortex the other day and came across this. And then I went to look for pom pom curtains to purchase and thought that the price was a wee bit high for something I could do myself.  Although there are plenty of tutorials on pinterest I figured it out on my own (just sew the pom pom trim on one edge of the curtain. Hang curtain. Done.)  I really wish I had gone for bigger pom poms... I stink at online measuring.

Overall I love it!  Go! Add pom poms to your curtains! It's a MUST!

have a great day! I finished planting the garden just before it rained this weekend but now I have to sew up customs. I need to get them done!

shelby g