Sunday, July 27, 2008

hello friend

I swear dragon flies are modern day fairies. This one let me get so close I thought she was going to talk to me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Christmas in July

Every summer I wait for my local greenhouse Claussen's to have their famous all you can carry sale. This year did not disappoint. For $50 I was allowed to load up a double decker cart with as much as I could. The plants were layered on top of each other in my car in order to fit them all. I was like a kid in a candy shop.

Here is my car packed with goodness.

I was giddy beyond belief.
So I decided to create a new garden around my once empty brick patio. I wanted to make a garden patio out of it.
I am happy with the results.

The rest of the flowers went to fill in the front yard garden I created this spring and a small one on the side of my house. I was also able to fill many pots for the brick patio and my deck. It was the perfect thing to do on our first day of sunshine in a week.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Go local

I have been on a mission to become a localvore. If you are wondering what that is, a localvore is is a person who eats only locally-grown and produced food. I am fortunate to live in a state that has a leading part in this movement. On top of of all of the local farmers, crafters etc in VT we are also lucky to have many locally owned restaurants and stores who support this effort by selling and using their products. With the oil issue being what it is now is the time to be looking inside your own state and finding what products you can buy locally instead of products that were shipped from across the country or from other countries.

Taking on this challenge hasn't been too hard. In the summer and winter I get all of my vegetables from a local CSA Farm Share and buy as much as I can locally of other products as well. My Eggs, maple syrup, butter, cheese, veggies, fruits, salad dressing and flour all come from VT. There are some things I have had to slide on. For instance I can't yet give up avocados or bananas. This movement has taught me though to shift my eating habits quite a bit. I have become more of a seasonal eater. Since I get all of my veggies from my local CSA I eat what I get from them. This means no salads in the winter because there isn't any lettuce. The summer months are filled with salads, tomatoes, squash, beans, carrots peas and greens. The winter months are filled with carrots, potatoes, fall squash, spinach and root vegetables. All foods they store all winter. I am able to get VT apples all winter too because Champlain Orchards does winter storage as well. On top of this I grow a small garden in my back yard. This year I have 6 monster tomato plants, 4 pepper plants, peas, beans, squash, corn, cucumbers and pumpkins.

Again this means shifting my fruit intake. I no longer buy apples from Argentina and New Zealand (where most are from in the grocery stores), I am trying to wean off of bananas, and I do still give in to grapes but only when they are from CA and not Mexico. I was giddy with joy when I went to the store yesterday to find organic local plumbs grown by Champlain Orchards where I also get my apples.

It is maddening to me how much of our food is produced outside of the US. Most of the big chain food stores do not list on their tags where the food is from but the local food coop that I shop at does. It is scary. VT is taking major leaps ahead in becoming a bit more self sufficient. It takes some adjustment in your diet but it is so worth it.

To learn more go HERE, HERE

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our rescue dog journey

This is the journey we took to rescue a puppy from TN. He was left in a box with 10 other puppies on someone's front lawn in TN. There are so many dogs and mostly puppies on death row in the south due to over population. Never in a million years did we think we would do this but once we saw his picture and learned more about rescue we knew this was for us.

We worked with a local rescue organization called Golden Hugs Rescue who pays a pull fee to get the dogs out of the shelter and into foster care in order to be adopted. They then have a special transport team truck the adopted dogs up North a few times a month.

We left for NH on Friday night. We stayed at my sisters house because she lives close to where our pick up location was. On Saturday we headed to the location at 1:00. The truck was supposed to be there around 1:30 but there was an accident on the highway so it didn't arrive until 3:00. My parents met us there so we at least got to visit with them while we waited. When we got to our pick up location there were about 50 other families waiting to meet their new pets. It was amazing to see so many people waiting and wondering just as we were. Finally the truck arrived. This big truck pulled up with barking dogs who had been driving since TN. The scene was amazing. Our first meeting with Winston (now Zimo) was everything we hoped. He is adjusting well and settling into his new home. He is a doll and it feels great to have saved him.

Zimo slept all the way home from NH. He was amazing. After spending the night in the truck from TN he quietly took another 3 hour drive back to VT. Once home he had some play time in the back yard and a tour of the house but it was late so we had to get the kids to bed. He immediately got into his crate and has had no problems using it since. Amazingly enough he slept through the night. We had him in the crate in our room and we heard not a peep until 4:30 this morning. We took him outside and then back in his crate when we then slept until 7:00. The boys were delighted to see hit loves to play ball. He seems to know some basic commands fairly well. He sits pretty well on command and fetches and drops the ball. He has clearly decided I am his Alpha Mama and follows me everywhere I go. We are exhausted but so happy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Last night was amazing. I went with my friend Kyler to see the Sex and the City Movie downtown. I was a late bloomer to the show. We have never had cable that gives us HBO so the year I was pregnant with sal 2004-2005 we Netflixed the entire run of the show. Start to finish. I loved it. Needless to say I was excited to see the movie. Now this isn't any kind of Oscar nod movie or anything but it isn't trying to be. It was a perfect slice of escapism that I needed in my life at that moment.

Being home with my kids full time I seldom get a break. I was giddy all day yesterday knowing I was going to be picked up at 6:00. JB was coming home from work early so I had dinner ready for 5:30 and I was out the door at 6:00. I put on a cute summer dress and jumped in the car with a smile on my face knowing I would be free of dishes, dinner clean up and all bed time routines.

The movie was what I expected. Predictable but fun. The fashions were fabulous and I laughed a lot. It was light and refreshing with themes of forgiveness and friendship thrown in.

I came home with a skip in my step. JB and I enjoyed a beer on the deck while enjoying the cooler evening air. I felt free for a moment and it was delightful.

Kyler and I made plans to see Mama Mia when it comes out. I am already counting down the days.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It is hot hot hot in VT today and I have popsicles on the mind.

I just found a great source for BPA free popsicle molds. I am going to order me up some.

Save money by making your own and save your kid from all the artificial colorings and flavorings they put in store bought. But make sure you get the BPA free ones.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Meet Zimo

Zimo will soon be the newest addition to our family. We rescued him from TN. He will soon be making the long trip to the North East and we pick him up next Saturday. He is a 3 month old lab mix. We are in love and can't wait to meet him. His given name is Winston but the kids made up Zimo and so it will be.

These pictures were taken by the shelter in TN where he is now. It has been a long hard search for us to find the right dog. It feels really good to be helping this little guy out.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Vacation Review

I am back from vacation. We went to Ogunquit Maine for the week. It was so nice to get away but even better to come home. Taking a break and going away is such good perspective. I realize that despite living so far from the ocean I absolutely love where I live. Ogunquit was nice but a bit too upscale for my liking. They make going to the beach a very exclusive thing. Our cottage was in walking distance to one of the beaches in town if you didn't have two kids, blankets, a cooler and beach toys in tow. Given that walking wasn't an option to us we were stuck driving. Parking at the Ogunquit beaches sucks! All lots were $15 a day or there was one that was $4.00 an hour. What? That is insane. Other beaches I have been too on the Maine/NH seacoast were not like this at all. I found it all to be a bit exclusive. Luckily we ended up finding York Beach which was the next town over and we loved it. It was much more our speed. The parking situation was meters right up against the beach and it only cost $1.00 an hour. Now that was more like it.

Leaving my hometown also makes me realize how crappy the food is in most other places. Being a vegetarian is hard in America. Most of the restaurants cater towards seafood and steak of course so it was pizza for us when we decided to dine out. We found a breakfast spot called The Egg & I in Ogunquit that supposedly had been voted the best breakfast in Southern Maine. I beg to differ. I had an omelet with cheddar cheese, mushrooms and spinach and a side of home fries. I guess I am spoiled because where I come from you can actually get fresh ingredients in your food. The mushrooms in this omelet were from a can, the spinach was soggy like frozen spinach and the home fries were prepackaged frozen home fries. It was nasty. Honestly it was no better than eating at Denny's or a place like that.

At times I wished we had just stayed in our beautiful state and just rented a place on the lake. Where enjoying the water is more accessible and the food is real. We did have a good time though. We took the kids to Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth NH. Oh and if you are ever in Portsmouth you MUST eat at The Friendly Toast. Amazing. Truly amazing. I finally found a restaurant that cooks real food! Great vegetarian options too. We also took the kids to York Wild Kingdom. Kind of a cheesy place but the kids loved it. It was fun to be able to do things with the kids they don't normally do. Arcades, ice cream - most limits were off that week. We all came home with belly aches and 3 extra pounds for me (boo-hoo). I crave fresh vegetables and fruits. Thank goodness it is farm pick up day for us at our CSA Farmshare.

Coming home was wonderful. My yard and garden exploded while we were gone. I have monster tomato plants, small peppers growing, peas and beans reaching for the sky, salad mix begging to be picked and strawberries and blueberries growing plump and juicy. I spent the next day mowing, weeding and harvesting. It was delightful. It was nice getting away but it was wonderful coming home.