Friday, July 30, 2010

Florida Aussie Rescue

Meet Romeo.  He needs a home.  Our Kaleb rules the roost here, or we'd be adopting him...instantly.

Romeo is the Australian shepherd I'm featuring for July to highlight the wonderful dogs available through your local rescue shelters. If you are in Florida and have a place in your heart for a forever-companion specific to the Australian shepherd breed, here is the link to the Aussie Rescue and Placement Helpline to see this and other adoption candidates.  If you're in another area, you can Google "Australian shepherd Rescue" for similar groups closer to your home.

Every dog I've owned in my adulthood have all been shelter rescue dogs.  Each has had his forever place in my heart and unique contribution to my life and my family's. 

I can definitely attest to the necessity to plan in advance for the breed/range of breeds best suited for mine and my family's lifestyle and situation.  And even after careful consideration of breed instinct and temperament, activity level, and other important factors, when rescuing a dog it's important to have a period of time to spend seeing if the dog can be happiest in his/her new environment and looking honestly at whether it will be a good fit for's very unfair trying to fit an active breed dog into a restrictive environment, a "velcro" dog into a schedule where no one is home most of the time, a nervous dog into a rambunctious family full of small children, and so on.  But that's not to say there's not a wealth of the most amazing dogs available, mixes and purebreds, from rescue organizations...dogs who are one in a million, unimaginably intuitive, total comedians, mind-readers, mischievous and loyal and protective and goofy.  But enough about my dog, Kaleb  ;-)

Well, no, wait a minute...not enough.  We adopted Kaleb about a year ago, and I have had no regrets.  None, not one.  All I feel is grateful that this lovely, entirely handsome and devoted being thinks I am the queen of his days and the object of protection every night.  He can tell what I am saying, is pretty much a mind-reader, and has warded off the blues I used to have every now and then when spending so much time somewhat isolated, what with Jack and I working different shifts.  I'm just not naturally one of those "animals are my babies" kind of people, and no, Kaleb doesn't get dressed up in designer outfits nor get fed gourmet kibble from a crystal dish.  But I do dote on that fella...a LOT.  He's definately a part of our family.  He thinks I'm the Queen and he's the Joker :)  He dotes on Jack, too.  But he's my shadow and he'll forgo his favorite thing to keep me in his line of sight (even food, and that's saying a lot because that's his second love in life, rivaling the chasing of rabbits or going for rides in the cab of the truck.)

As I type this, Kaleb is stretched out at full length on our cold tile floor, his black-tri coat soft and glossy and still slightly shedding (which keeps me sweeping daily).  And he's softly snoring.  His body is filled out since we first adopted him, to the point where we watch his portion sizes...the guy has a healthy appetite.  He'll do anything for a treat, and now I know his favorite foods, which are usually a few bites of things I am cooking when in the kitchen.  He loves the end pieces of papaya, a bite of banana, a sample of smoothie, frozen blueberries or strawberries, a spoonful of plain yogurt, a nibble of meat trimmings.  He frets when one of us is gone, and shows his jubilation when the other arrives home by doing his doggie dance around and around, voicing his happiness in a husky breath that sounds like "Huh! huh!"   At high alert, when he hears a sound outside that sets off his warning radar, or at the initial sight of a wayward rabbit when he's in the field, all his flags to up...his head, his ears at full perk, his a spring about to go Sproingggg...and there's about a two second window there to give a voice affirmation before takeoff, or watch out :)

I guess you could say I'm more than slightly smitten.  The most intelligent dark hazel eyes are always fixed on me, ready to anticipate my next move and to not miss a bit of the action.

This is the velcro dog.  It's a trust we should never abuse.  This dog, and all dogs with these traits inbred in their natures, actually suffer if they can't be given a job to do, even if the job is just shadowing a companion (such as Me) rather than herding some animals or doing primarily physical work.  Some dogs do well, and feel secure, being bedded down in a crate when their owners are absent.  This would make my dog mental, and others who are wired like him.  He likes a schedule and can deal with absences if he knows what to expect and when, and as long as they are not frequent or lengthy.  You've never seen such a joyful reunion, afterwards :)

Anyway, in all of the things I am thankful for on this Friday evening, I'm stopping to remember a year ago when we first adopted Kaleb, and to look back across the months as they've passed and my days have been so much happier.  I am happy not only for the companionship and for the incredible being this particular dog is individually, but also that I can see him obviously happy and content, mischievous and with his personality so artless and comedic, serious and funloving.  There is just something about the end of a long day, curling up on the couch to read a page or two of a good book, and seeing those eyes quietly appealing to me for permission ...and to say "OK"...that's all I say, and he gives me the question one more time to be sure...and I say "Yes, it's ok, you can come on up" and he jumps up beside me, gets comfy, and falls asleep curled in a Letter C with his velvet muzzle buried between a pillow and my side...perfectly content, and soon snoring.

This is the happiness that can't be bought.  Thank you, God, for my Australian shepherd.

My husband seconds the motion.  Kaleb is visibly relieved when Jack is with's like they both have an understanding.  When he hears us laughing, he trots to a corner and takes up the snoring at more of a distance, letting Jack do "guard duty" for a while while he takes a breather....ha!

What a joy :)  My best friend of the husband variety and best friend of the canine furball variety.  I'm a happy gal!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Forestry Division Clear Cuts

It's taken me a while, well 6 years to be exact, to fully appreciate scenes like this.  This is what I have seen from my front window every day ever since we moved to this house in 2006.
I used to think of it as a jungle crawling with things that, well... crawl... and would just as soon eat people.  And even t though I hope to never have to set up a primitive campsite in the middle of it, I now think of it as a rich display of a fast-disappearing world, thick with life and worlds within worlds.  A wonderland for anyone taking the time to pause, and observe, and be.
It's nice when undomesticated animals and birds come to be thought of by us and all our neighbors as "ours."  We're downright paternal/maternal about our little blue herons, great blue herons, great egrets, downy egrets, red shouldered hawks, owls, ibis flocks, wood storks, legions of songbirds, migrating flocks of all sorts, gopher tortoise, indigo snakes and black racers, deer, armadillos and 'possums, and the occasional roto-rooting feral porker and all the little spotted babies.  We haven't seen a bobcat in two years.  But they were "ours," too.  This is pretty much a communallly-shared feeling in this entire area.  Aside from room for our houses and some cleared space to live, we all like our area wild, green, alive.
These worlds are full of gnawing, chewing things.  But nothing that does those jobs on quite this scale.  This is the sight that met my eyes one day when I heard a lot of loud  noises right across the street.
So I went on a little hike.  My feet raced to the beat of my increasing blood pressure.  I entered properties just like mine, minus any houses.  Private properties.  Owned by people.  Who, I was fairly sure, did not  know their properties were beginning to look like this...
When would this be a good thing?  Well, if you're a developer and you want to just level everything in order to have a clear space to plunk down some fill dirt and level it off and build a home, you'd pay good money for this.  And then the owner would selectively and expensively purchase plants for landscaping, most of which are the same types that had already been leveled, as seen above.
Of course, before doing this clearcutting, the OWNER of the PRIVATE PROPERTY would have walked the property (most times) and given permission to clear part or all of it.  Because in the United States, it's ASSUMED that private property owners have rights, especially to know and endorse whatever is to be done on THEIR property.  (we won't get into a philosophical question here of different thoughts as to the ownership of land vs. things such as native american thought on that land should not be owned.  As things stand, whatever one wants to think about it, private property ownership currently comes with rights according to our US'd think.)
That is, unless you own land in my county.  And probably in other counties this is happening in...look what they can do to your land without notifying you for permission,  if you're not living on your property.
I took pictures of what turned out to be Day One of the clear cutting.  See those bushes?  They're not there now.  Anything below the height the guy with the heavy equipment deems a big ol' mature tree or stand of tall palmettos ...gets chewed up and flattened.  Which leaves...a few gangly mature scrub pines and removes all the diversity of abundant native plants, (which will try to come back...eventually).

On your private property, if you're not there to say NO to the actual operator, this happens.  Remember, no one received notification.  When asked why, I was told that at the end of the year when the tax bills come out, there may be an enclosed slip stating that this project had ALREADY been done.   Hmmm.

I am inserting here the assertion from the man I reached at the end of the line of my calling, who assured me that public announcements had been made for MONTHS prior.  But he could back it up with no proof as to when and where they had run, what the supposed content of the announements had been, what radio stations and/or dates had aired them, what mailings had been sent (none had).  I assured him no one on my own street had any idea about this and asked how the absentee landowners, all fully up to date on taxes and with clear title to their properties but a lot of whom live out of state, would have heard the radio announcements or read local newspapers had there really been what he said.  No reply to that question.  In short, he provided no proof, so till any proof materializes, I contend no notification was given...and if there were any, it was not OPENLY given to ALL.

How many properties?  I haven't pulled up the map, but on this road alone, an entire vacant strip was cleared two properties deep and considerably long, totalling what I estimate to be from forty to fifty 80x100 ft lots (privately owned, all different owners).  And  all zoned residential.
So, how did the fabulous stimulus money contribute to the efforts of The Forestry Department clearing "targeted areas" for fire safety?  I mean, private properties where no one is living, no one has been notified, and no one has a chance to decide if they're copacetic with it?  It got distributed to states,then (nobody knows how exactly) my state decided some unemployed earth movers really should push around some palmettos and we're all safer.  From fires.  And yes, there are fires in Florida.
There were no fires on the horizon...this was not an emergency cut.  I wonder what the law are about clearing private property for "fire protection" without prior notification??

See where this day's work ended and the next day's was to pick up? 
That's the last we saw of that green behind those trees. 
As it was explained to me, in not so clear terms by various people who passed the buck to  variousother people, residents in this area received notice that work would be done hereabouts. (Um, nooo, wrongggg)     It was all over the radio, the newspaper ran an article, blah blah blah, explained The Man.  (No again, gongg.) 
When I asked why no one in my entire neighborhood had received such, heard anything or read anything remotely like what he was saying, no one could supply actual proof that any of those notifications had happened, but the man loved to patronize me for asking (and the other neighbors who called in.)  

So we had no choice, unless it was our own land, and if you happened to be gone to work that day during slice and dice time, well...ooops is you. 
When the zealous equipment operator began flattening one neighbor's private woods, he met with the unpleasant specter of a very irate woman armed with cell phone and attorney on speed dial.  He simply moved a few dozen feet beyond her property and just kept on. 

But if she had not been home, her acreage (she owned several uncleared lots and wanted them left that way around her house) would have been completely leveled.  So I guess unless they're psychic or telepathic, these OTHER private owners of their own piece of Florida woodland were not on site at the time in question and just became the proud owners of Florida flatland.
After speaking to a very defensive machinery operator shown in pic above who I actually did relate to somewhat..(.he's doing his job.  His job is very hot.  Very very hot...) I learned (his version of the story) he's just a mere paid pawn in a slightly-better-stimulated forestry push to protect all us citizens.  Because if they (my state authorities) SAY something gets cleared for our protection, well that just needs to be ok by us.  Because they're going to do it anyway (unless of course we're psychic or telepathic and know to arrive there on site the day of the unannounced clearing, as stated above, to tell them Get Off). 
The next day, the rest of the strip they wanted to clear was cleared in like fashion.  Without anyone's knowledge or permission, to the best of my knowledge.  Except the forestry division's.

I don't hug trees in Florida.  (Too many things that can eat'cha...)  And I don't consider myself an extremist, nor environmentally far far leftwing.  But I respect what cannot be replaced, is a natural treasure, and  the rights that come with private ownership.

When I asked why private ownership does not trump the forestry division's lack of concern for adequately notifying IN ADVANCE private property owners, there was no answer other than "we have the right" and "it's what's best for everyone."

Beware of what's best for everyone when no one of those in question (taxpayers, citizens, landowners) have a say in what's best for themselves.

If there's a policy, let it be clear and do not patronize those who pay taxes.

And if you set foot on MY property (and it's a good thing you didn't, Ricky Bobby and company), you'd better have a court order.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Playing with the Spices

I have been having SO much fun lately since receiving the serendipity of a wondrous grab bag of spices and spice mixes from a trying to recreate some of the tastes I never seemed to be able to duplicate from one of our favorite ethnic foods (well, ethnic to us), Indian (as in India) food.

The smallish bottle labeled "curry" languishing in my spice cabinet just wasn't delivering...and I knew it was my own lack of knowledge of individual ingredients, technique, whatever...but my curry always tasted like an American 1950s version (sweetish, yellowish, usually with chicken and pineapple chunks if you followed the southern church cookbook recipes). But I craved the slow burn (the different masalas), the smooth buttery korma-ness (I'm thinking of the cashew-rich sauce dishes), the complexity (can we even start to mention all the chutney and minty and sour and yogurt-y condiments?), fragrance of coconut, heat of chili, mustard seeds, on and on the list goes...the explosion of a dozen or a hundred different complementary tastes. A nod to suburbia dishes of yore notwithstanding, I wanted the Indian buffet mom-n-pop spice bazaar house-smelling-like-incense-and-spices version.

So did Jack.

That's the reason I didn't give up. Because before actually ending up with something edible, he has soldiered through quite a few servings of my less-than-stellar experiments.

Anyway, this is not intended to be a long post...I've just found that some prepackaged spice mixes really do the trick, and the addition of a few pinches here and there of specific ones can really amp up the flavor.

Today's discovery...fenugreek. Have you ever made a really great dish, included great ingredients, and kept tasting it wondering what that one missing thing is? I came from a family that basically only knew a few spices, most of them in the Italian family. Windows of scent and flavor opened up to me as I began to try specific herbs and spices beyond that.

Cilantro...big favorite. It really gives that "something" to certain dishes, especially fresh.

Garlic, onions, scallions, a given.


Cumin...adds the magic of depth and aroma to SO many foods.

Well, I've only just discovered that there are a handful of spices that "make" Indian food kind of "pop" are the ones so far...I'm sure this is just a beginning:

Serrano peppers. I didn't know peppers beyond jalapeno and bell peppers, but the serranos are the glossy dark green chilis a bit more slender than the jalapenos. Added whole to an Indian sauce, they don't overwhelm with heat but lend it gently...kind of an infusion. Terrific :)

Garlic, ginger, mustard seeds. Warmed before starting a sauce in a teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter) or clear oil. It mellows the flavors and infuses the oil with them.

Coconut milk. I keep a can in the fridge and only use a teaspoon or so at a time. It lends wonderful fragrance and balances flavors if things get too heavy.

Cumin. OK, yes, yet another area of the world that has made it its own. Warm and earthy. Yep!

Yogurt. This is probably the ingredient that helps make these dishes our favorites. Something about a few spoonsful of plain yogurt added to a dish that already goes "Pow" just refines it...or something...maybe it's the slight sourness, the smoothness, but it's a wonderful match.

Cilantro. Yup. That spice just won't quit. We love it fresh in and on the servings.

Fenugreek. Already mentioned but I got my first little bag of it today at a hole-in-the-wall convenience store that happened to have (of all things) an Indian food aisle (I'll be back!). As cumin is to chili (and so many other things), so is fenugreek to Indian...I can't describe it, but it was what my food was missing...the depth and fragrance I never could put my finger on before. Hooray! I love when I find one of those keys :)

Anyway, there 'tis for now. We're trying to phase out the rice for now, since it's not on our preferred Kill-the-Diabetes regimen. So I'm putting a lot of fresh cauliflower, onions, some bits of lean meat at times, and other veggies as they get cycled through, into the mix...literally a mix...the spice packet, usually some tomato (but sometimes not), and yogurt plus whatever spices I decide to play with in addition (you know I throw those Serrano peppers in there a-plenty). Not only is the dish fantastically EASY, it's SO delicious :) (and credit goes to the spice mix packet creators). Tonight's is the Chicken Tikka Masala. Leftovers, if there are any, only get better over time...the flavors truly marry and whoa...fabulous.

Anyway...back to play with the spices. You can't take the southern out of this southern girl, and I'm never too far from my Fried Green Tomato Roots...but this is a fun trip around the world without a passport. Isn't it fun? Half the fun is trying to decipher unfamiliar labels, wondering how they are supposed to be used, experiementing, and sniffing out those elusive Marco Polo silk road ingredients that wars were fought over and continents explored.

(If you hear anything exploding in my kitchen, at least it'll probably smell good...ha)

Happy eats :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jack's Stirling Engine Fun


Another of Jack's online finds...he liked this video because it's a Stirling engine with more power than most he's been seeing in his online searches. This one is heated by a solar lens...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weekend's Here

I completed my week of CNA training, not counting the next two weeks I'll be going in daily to practice the hands-on skills that have to be performed just-so for the state exam. Most of the skills, we've done once now hands-on, some not (it was a rather large class).

I can't say how delighted I am to be in school again, or maybe just the break from what I was doing before?? The class was great, serious study but also kept congenial and somewhat casual so that it wasn't too intimidating practicing a whole lot of new things among strangers.

There was a Cuban restaurant, actually two, and pops...and Jack was off today and treated me to a quick lunch, homestyle Cuban. We saw a neat sub-tropical garden on the drive home, full of plants still thought of here as ethnic...cassava, calabaza, some sugar cane, papayas, and other things we'll peer at more carefully the next time we happen by it...the calabazas were what caught our eye, spread out like a green blanket mottled with lighter spots (the coloration of the leaves)among some well-trimmed pines. It's the first of its kind we've spotted this close to it :)

We've got sober number-crunching going on. We live frugally, but there are always more ways to do better. One thing we're trying to do better in is not allowing the outgoing money to total the amount we're paying seems a constant juggling act at this point. Some things such as going to the doctor for baseline labs, gasoline, other expenses that add up quickly, have to stay but the errands for this and that make for ugly numbers. Thankfully Jack sees us as a team and keeps us both honest, staring the itemizations in the face together and seeing where we ACTUALLY spend the money.

Slight sigh...

Should I actually say it? Should I actually say that if any of the old Res properties we have for sale would sell, this would be a non-issue? Dare I say the "D" word again??

Debt. The Four letter word that is slow to die.

But we shall vanquish the foe. IF I can stop going to the drug store and such quite as much :)

Happy weekend and shabbat shalom to all...there is so much to thank God for!

We're taking more careful stock of our health, and I did MUCH better this week with our meals, despite a few wobbles. This morning the scales read minus three lbs for the week (for me), so yay!! We're eating a lot of fresh papaya these days, and a bit of plain yogurt now and then...sweet fruits and berries with just a dab of the plain yogurt, drizzled with honey...there's just no better summer dessert :)

Shabbat shalom :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coming Up

This week and last are chock full, and I won't be at the computer much.

I do have some pictures I've been deliquent about posting, mostly because of the time involved, since they have to pulled from another computer, blah blah blah because this one still is viral and won't DO anything other than get me onto my webpage and emails...can't upload/download, etc.

Pics to come (still on my memory card awaiting transfer):

1. The clear cutting that our STATE (correction from earlier) saw fit to do "for fire safety" in order to spend some of that stimulus money. No comment.

2. Some great homemade rolls that were a big hit...finally learned the trick of making them golden by turning on the broiler the final one minute (watched every second through the oven window) till perfect. Just in time for my renewed eating resolution NOT TO EAT PROCESSED STARCHES. Timing is everything ;-)

3. A baked fruit-on-the-bottom oatmeal breakfast dish that was great and an indulgent breakfast...and again, will have to await further repetitions when it's a special occasion, since it, too, is having to make way for a renewed push for more raw/fresh fruits and veggies.

4. We're harvesting moringa...more and more-ringa, ha :) We're having to figure out the best means of harvest and preservation, since it dies back in the winter. We're thinking dehydrating/drying it might be best, since we can grind it into a powder for use either as a tea, addition to certain food dishes, or making our own supplement capsules (filling empty gel caps)

More updates to come, just checking in.

I've never been so happy to move on to another job than I have leaving this one, with the one exception maybe (MAYBE) of the two weeks I spent cleaning drapes and steam pressing them in an unairconditioned building IN Florida in the hottest part of the summer. Hard call there. Still think I might be gladder to leave this one... ; -)

I'm taking a class in which we wear scrubs. As harassing as this might sound to the fashion-conscious, I think scrubs are one of the greatest advancements of work wear EVERRRRRR. Getting paid to work in pajamas...the only thing I can think of nearly as nice as the most comfy pair of jeans and softest cotton shirt.

:) Shall be back, with pics and maybe some blather later. I have homework (I am so thrilled to have sick is that?? I miss school a LOT I guess)

Just got done reading Wendy Bound's The Chapel on the Hill, about a family-owned Irish pub on the Hudson. It's the kind of book that makes me sigh with happiness and a tinge of nostalgia, even though I never grew up near an Irish pub or near the Hudson. It's about how people from different walks of life can figure into each other's lives very much as family, and can read the book. It also made me want to take control of my diabetes now and not later.

I love my daughter. It's so interesting watching this child I've known so long as a child now becoming an adult...and how suddenly smarter I am in her eyes the older she becomes?? heh heh

Jack is a rock for me. I want him here for a long, long time. That is fueling my renewed concern that we get healthier now. I go back to the doc in a couple weeks...would like to see if I can make a few changes before then and see if the scale shows a difference. Let's see...

I resolve to stay happy, content, forward-bound and focused on our goals. I also want to have a more deliberate time with God each day, and spend more time in the scriptures. And keep the normality of Home percolating, even if that's just one really good meal a night together. The other stuff can keep morphing as it will, and that's fine. Change CAN be GOOD :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hey Alan! (and all friends who stop by here)

I just have not had the time to keep up with all my favorite blogs. It feels like not seeing good friends for the very fact that a lot of bloggers out here in the blog-o-sphere have become just that...friends at a distance, but very much in mind and heart.

I'm making a change in my job, and we've tweaked some things largely this year that used to be the very foundation of this blog. But since this blog is a journal about The Journey, it serves our life instead of our life serving the blog.

But just to clarify...because there are some newer friends who stop by here who weren't here back in the days when this blog first began...our goal is to have a homestead.

There have been a lot of "in the meantimes"...and it proves that homesteading is a learning experience, a way of life, a path, a mindset, and creative adapting in place...or getting the heck out of Dodge, depending on what's called for in a particular circumstance.

We've had SO many departures, and so many setbacks I don't even write about here, but mainly because I view setbacks differently now (I see them as "it's just not the right time yet so keep on learning new things till it happens") and also due to the need for a little bit of privacy.

The path, for Jack and me, (he's 59 now and I'm 44) is to build a homeplace (whether staying where we are and the building being adapting it to ultimate usefulness and fruitfulness right where we are, or going elsewhere and having perhaps a few more options) with all the quirky, experimental, bounteous, creative, and maybe even Off Grid (if we can make that happen) elements we are continually drawn toward.

This year we haven't gardened. That's not to say we don't have a dozen moringa trees we're pollarding/coppicing and learning to harvest the leaves for our own medicinal benefit. The same with the overgrown (read "neglected") corner of Gynura, which has taken to our climate with no fuss and readily come back from the roots each year from the spring freezes. The false roselle, same way. The pumpkins (calabazas) may or may not make it, but so far our throwaway seeds from the ones we ate last year have made nice vines with some blooms, so we'll see. All this without putting in a garden...ha :) We now have about 14 or so papayas...from the seeds simply thrown onto the ground. Some herbs soldier on and we're learning to gather a few forage greens, though the spring produced the best quality of those so far, not so much the hotter months.

I've taken a very relaxed approached to the ol' blog here of late, but that's how it's going to be...I have a terrific goals list of what I hope to get done by the end of this year, and just don't do the "rigors of youth" project stacking like I once did...just too relaxed and ENJOYING my hubby! So I take a couple at a time and chip away at them till they're off the list and on to the next thing. I've been polishing up some recipes lately, trying old ones with innovations and new ones for some variety. Indian food has been figuring in for the first time...hooray!

Also, the writing is relaxed but overall making far more progress this year than in the past (meaning writing towards the goal of authoring books).

On all our lists, the biggest goal that must be crossed off before any further large transitions transpire is Getting Out of Debt. It's an ongoing process and very slow, in our case. But the progress is still there. It's just I'm not going to fret during the LONGGGG waiting process, but instead be productive in other complementary areas.

And making my husband happy (well, he already is, but making sure he stays that way, ha!) is (for me) the point of all this anyway. Whatever happens, I want my life to be with this man, and to LIVE it, right in the moment.

The good, the bad, the learning, the waiting...all gifts. It's like coffee...just wouldn't be worth anything if there weren't some bitter right in there with that fabulous aroma...the combination is to be savored. Our life's that way. I can feel very BLAH in some areas and where it counts still feel like the most fortunate woman in the world.

One question I'm turning over and over is how to best be available to help others as the economy tanks further. Being part of community is definately the other part of the equation...a big part of the Why of all our endeavors.

I can't help but be excited that these years of growing in self-sufficiency, and being connected to so many great people here who are doing the same their own unique ways, is such an empowering thing and is for sharing.

That's all for food on the stove and want to try out a new blueberry bar recipe to see if it "works" :) I'll try to post a few pics soon...been clicking a few now and then but just haven't put 'em up yet.

Hope you are all well!