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Welcome to The Clampetts!

Introduction

First blog postKarlaRetirementParty

Hi All!

Here it is fresh off the press, my very first blog.

Let me tell you a little bit about us.  Our name is not really Clampetts but we sort of resemble the Clampetts prior to them striking oil!

My name is Karla and my husband of 13 years’ name is Brian.  We live on at the end of a narrow, dirt road, in a small village, in a small county in the small state of New Hampshire.  I am just recently retired; hence the picture above with the huge corsage!

This blog will be about living off the grid completely and our trials and tribulations of every day living once retired and living in a small, rural area.  It ain’t always easy!  For example, the time I made a custard and the oven kept blinking at me and B was away on a business trip.  Why was the oven blinking?  Would the custard cook?  Well, of course the oven was blinking, it wasn’t getting enough power!  I did not have the appropriate inverter on!  We have 2 inverters that converts DC (battery) current to AC (house) current.  I obviously had a lot to learn. . .

One of the newest additions to our off the grid living and something that makes me very happy, and we hope will make life a little easier, is a propane generator and a new 500 gallon propane tank.  Now the generator comes on automatically when our power begins to lessen.  Since this is a new installation (and not a cheap one either I might add), it still needs tweaking; that would be B’s job.  So far it is working well.  Previously, we used a gasoline fed generator, and required some manual tweaking that was always difficult for me.  I am not mechanically inclined and the generator required a lot of pulling and usually accompanied by some cussing to even start it.  I am not good at jumping up and down while pulling the cord as well as B is!

We live a pretty ordinary life and if you were to visit, you would not necessarily even realize we are off the grid.  However, we do have a few quirky things by today’s standards.  We have a special small refrigerator that requires manual defrosting (yuck) and is deep but short, causing the food that gets pushed way back to freeze.  Have you ever tried reviving frozen celery?  It doesn’t work well.  And our gas powered oven also requires manual cleaning (double yuck, as I cook a lot).  However, my husband has every power tool known to man and uses them frequently.  We have a regular washing machine, but I prefer to hang my clothes out to dry during the summer months, and I use wooden clothes racks in the winter set up near the wood stove to dry most of our clothes.  Why not use the sun and the wood stove to dry one’s clothes???  We do own a dryer but it is at my in-law’s who live a mile from us and live on the grid.

I am also very interested in homesteading, for lack of a better word.  I believe in eating local, either growing my own food or buying local food and meat.  We have raised pigs in the past as well as ducks, chickens, and, if lucky,  B brings home venison – in season,  of course!  I am fortunate to live in an area where I can easily buy any of these items, should I run low on my own food.  By the way, we do have 2 freezers living off the grid.  See?  You would never know we do so.

I hope you like my new blog!  Please feel free to make any comments you care to make.  Well, only positive comments of course!  Ha, ha.

Karla

I Am a Fretter! – June 27, 2022 – at the Clampetts

Right now at 10:15 a.m., there is a nice rain coming down.  Yesterday our temperatures reached 90 degrees.  Today, around mid-60s.  Fine with me.  I tried to get out to the critter pen before the rain started, but I didn’t quite make it.  I was soaked and had to change clothes once I got inside.  However, it was a nice, refreshing rain and it felt good!

Hello Folks,

Yes, one of my dirty little secrets in life is I am a fretter.  I have always had this tendency, but it gets worse when I am sick.  I should say that while I was sick with a fever/fatigue, I didn’t worry much.  It was as I began to improve that the worrying set in.  Go figure.

Anyway, two of my biggest worries are not having enough wood to get us through the winter and propane.  Being off grid, we don’t have a lot of utilities, but we do depend on propane.  I am not so much worried about leaving my carbon footprint, as I can’t think of anyone who is any more conservative about not wasting anything than me.  I guess that isn’t entirely true, as most of my friends are, by nature, also conservative about food waste and energy waste.  But I am my father’s daughter and waste just isn’t in my vocabulary and neither is it in B’s.  We both grew up with families that didn’t believe in waste. 

To back up a ways, back in late 2020, I got real concerned about propane.  We were in the throes of Covid and who knew if or when propane could just up and disappear.  To back up even further, when I retired we had an auto-generator installed and it has worked so-so ever since.  Usually, once during the winter it just takes a dive and B either has to dig out the gasoline generator or wait it out and the auto-generator begins to kick back in.  In other words, it is a bit finicky. 

At the time we had this installed, we also had a 500 gallon propane tank installed.  However, the 500 gallon tank is really only 400 gallons, as you have to allow for gas pressure and expansion.  We debated back and forth at the time if we wanted to install a 1000 gallon tank or a 500 (400) gallon tank and went with the 500 tank, forgetting at the time that a “500” is really only 400 gallons, not that much more than the three leased 100 gallon tanks we had at the time.

But then, Karla got nervous about running out of propane, so in December 2020, we added another tank; this time a 1000 gallon tank.  We also paid to have it filled, plus we capped off the 500 gallon tank.  It was a big chunk of change to get these filled, plus pay for the tank and installation, but we had propane!  By the way, neither company was willing to take back the 500 gallon tank and replace it with the 1000 tank; thus, we have two tanks.

So, prior to me catching Covid, I started to fret about filling the 1000 gallon tank.  B is much more practical and just plain doesn’t worry about it.  However, I keep nagging him monthly to check our usage and see how low we are getting. 

One issue is, none of the propane dealers in the area want to come out here in the winter unless B swears on a stack of bibles that he will keep the driveway and part of the road sanded.  So, we normally get our propane deliveries between May and October; maybe even November.  Traditionally, this is also when propane is the most economical.  But, since we had the new tank installed in December of 2020, the company felt obliged to come fill it in December.

But then it became June of 2022 and time for Karla to start fretting again about a fill up.  What is the price of propane right now?  With gasoline closing in on $5 a gallon and home heating oil way high (so I have heard) to say nothing of diesel, what the heck could we expect with propane?  So, a few days before Covid hit me, I called a couple of our local propane dealers.  We get a slight break in price by owning our own tanks.  The best I could find was $2.88.9/gallon.  I said, we will take it! 

Now, what do we use propane for?  Propane heats our hot water and I do a lot of my laundry in hot water.  It runs the generator, it runs my cook stove, my dryer, and a small propane heater in the northeast corner of our house.  We don’t use it very often and here’s why.  Karla throws a hissy fit!  We used to use it more often, as in early fall and late spring.  B turned it on once this spring and I sprang into action to shut it off.  Finally, B said, “I am NOT going to sit here and SHIVER!”  That sort of shut me up.  As B said, we only used it for a few hours in order to take the chill out of the house.  Okay, okay.  As of right now, the pilot is shut off on it!  We aren’t going to waste money on something we aren’t using.

Now, prior to my retirement, I didn’t worry about propane.  I figured that was B’s problem and with working, a long commute, and looking in on my mother, I had a full plate.  Thus, I didn’t fret about it.  Plus, we had two paychecks coming in regularly.  But after I retired, the tide shifted and I took over the propane duties.  Probably B wishes I hadn’t.

So, while in bed sick with Covid, in rolled the propane tanker.  Luckily, B was just getting around to leaving for Manchester, so he took care of the issue with the driver.  B doesn’t like them driving heavy trucks on his cement (ce—ment) pad but that was his problem.  I was sick in bed! 

When I got better, I checked the slip.  We needed over 600 gallons for a rough price of $1788.  But not bad, as we had not had any fill ups since December 2020.  I couldn’t complain.  We should have enough now to go upwards to 2 years if we are careful.  Ha, ha.  You know who will be fretting next summer! 

Now, as to our wood situation, the woodshed is filling up nicely.  I think I explained that we found a local teenager who is actually willing and able to sling wood as B finishes splitting it.  Plus Dr John and his boys are also helping bring in more wood they are cutting, so we should have a full woodshed come fall.  Not to worry, Karla.  I’ll admit that last winter I got kind of nervous, as we were low for us.  Thankfully, we had a mild winter and didn’t use it as much as some years.  Often, we run the wood stove once or twice in May and even once in June.  It didn’t happen this year.

This means, I can now fret about something else!  Nothing at the moment comes to mind, though.  Then there was the Sun Frost refrigerator issue.  You may recall that in a previous blog I mentioned that the thermostat on our off-grid refrigerator went kaput.  B called California, only to be told that the company is no longer making refrigerators, which is too bad, as it is a good refrigerator.

However, for $100, they would send B a new thermostat.  Of course, it is not the kind that is in the refrigerator, which meant a different installation.  B had to call twice to get them to send it at all.  We got a Honeywell this time.  Now here’s the thing.  B can fix just about anything, but he seems to have a mental block about appliances.  He was dreading installing the new thermostat and so was I.  Part of B’s dread was the fact that the new thermostat goes INSIDE the refrigerator, so it meant doing all this work with the refrigerator door open.  However, again, while I was in bed with Covid, B followed the instructions and attached the new thermostat.  We had been running two wires and manually deciding when to plug it in and when to stop running it.  Luckily, we also have a dorm fridge for emergencies.  We lost a few items from either being too cold or not cold enough.  Sigh.  I really didn’t want to be home when B installed it.

Anyway, he did what he figured was correct; squeezing several wires together and then running them through the conduit for the light.  It came on.  But it never stopped running!  Back to the manual wires we went while B waited for a return call from California.  Finally, he figured out that two wires were fused together as he had a small bundle to squeeze through the conduit.    After some testing with a meter, he got resolved, bingo.  The fridge comes on and off as it should.

Now, despite having blocked ears, I could somehow hear the refrigerator running or not running.  How, I do not know.  But what a huge relief for it to be running properly again!  You don’t realize the stress it causes when an appliance or any other thing you use daily doesn’t work.  So, I no longer need to fret about that either.

As to what B has been doing, last Monday he had an eye exam to go to.  Now, if you were reading the blog last summer, you may recall B’s great experiment trying to get new frames (he didn’t) and using an on-line service for new prescriptions.  Don’t ask just how many pairs of old frames B has that have various prescriptions in them.

This year, his eye prescription seems to have changed significantly in his right eye from last years, so he had to do it all over again.  This time, he just bit the bullet and bought new frames, new lenses, and the whole shebang.  It was costly and he didn’t like paying for it, but it is done.  Now he is waiting for a call that the glasses are in.  Please say a little prayer!  I have never met anyone as fussy about glasses as B!

Today, it is the dentist he is going to.  The teeth are another matter.  While I may get sick, B seems to have a knack for his teeth wearing out as he ages.  I figure this is going to be costly, folks.  We shall see.  Stay tuned.

Stay well.

Picking Up the Pieces from Covid – June 24, 2022 – at the Clampetts

The heat is picking up too.  This weekend looks to be a doozie, as in high 80s and maybe even 90 on Sunday.  Today, Friday, is a balmy 76 degrees at 2:30 p.m.  Where to begin with all the strings dangling from pre-Covid?

Hello Folks,

I would like to say I am 100% over Covid, but that would not be quite accurate yet.  My legs and knees still get wobbly, but overall, every day is a bit better than the day before.

Today I got up around 6:25 and went grocery shopping.  My list wasn’t as complete as I would have liked and thus next week’s list is already in progress.  I was happy to have the cart to lean on as I made it through two grocery stores.  Plus, a stop at the gasoline station.  Cumberland Farm sure hates to raise prices to $5 a gallon.  They’ve kept it hovering just under the $5 mark for the last few weeks.  Today it was $4.94 a gallon.  I thought I only needed a few gallons, but it was still over $20 worth when the pump shut off.  This is all from “little” trips B has made to Claremont this week, plus my grocery run.  Sigh. 

Anyway, once home, the groceries were wiped down, and put away, I got one load of towels done and hung them out to dry.  I’ll do another load tomorrow and wrap up the weekend with washing and hanging out clean sheets.  The bed was soooo buggy!  I couldn’t wait to snatch off the old linens and start over again.  Today was the first day, however, I felt strong enough to do so.

So, today has consisted of getting groceries, doing a load of laundry, re-making the bed, and writing this blog.  I have also washed a load of dishes.  I am pretty much back to cooking again.  Yesterday, I baked beans all afternoon.  Usually, I am done baking beans by June, but it was cool, mostly cloudy, and a good day to bake beans.  They tasted pretty darn good too.  I also made us a chocolate pudding from scratch, as our milk was not getting any younger and we had plenty of eggs.

That means, no cooking to speak of today, although I do plan to make a batch of biscuits for dinner to go with the beans and leftover coleslaw.  Tomorrow, with the high heat expected, I am going to make a large pasta salad with feta cheese.  I broke down and bought a container of small tomatoes.  I sure hated to buy store-bought ones, but I don’t think the locals have small tomatoes yet. I have seen local hothouse cucumbers advertised, though.  Do I want to spend the gasoline to go after cucumbers tomorrow?  We shall see.

I have the doors upstairs open as I write this blog.  I can hear Dr John whacking down some trees on our property.  B lets John cut some trees that are either in the way or beginning to go in exchange for John and Ben delivering half the load to us.  Lately, B has been having some help from a really good hard-working 14 year old son of another friend.  Although we prefer to barter for help, we don’t mind paying, if it is good help, and James is good help.  Twice this week he has come and “slung” firewood while B splits.

Speaking of Dr John, B came home with lots of goodies Sunday evening.  Sandy sent home two more quart of strawberries, plus more asparagus (enough for us to have a nice soup) and more rhubarb.  I felt a bit overwhelmed by it, but B washed and cut up all the rhubarb, so all I had to do was bag it and freeze it.  The strawberries were really small, as I like them, so I washed and hulled them, then put them on cookie sheets and froze them.  No mashing.  The next day I froze up the bags from the freezer.  It works really slick not to have to cut or slice the strawberries; just freeze them whole.  Anyway, nothing went to waste and we have some delicious strawberry desserts to look forward to once I am full-steam ahead.

This week we have been watching a delightful PBS show, Hotel Portofino, set in Italy between WWI and WWII.  The hotel is run by a family of Brits who have lots of issues.  However, the setting and the political atmosphere more than make up for the soap-opera family  issues.  We have both really enjoyed it.  I think there is only one episode left, so then it will be back to looking for another movie/series to watch.

We have been chipmunk crazy here lately.   A couple days ago, B came and asked me what I was doing with the chipmunks – was I killing them somehow?   I said “No of course not.”  He said “Well, I found a dead one laying on the ground in front of the barn yesterday, and now I just found another dead one floating in your roof downspout bucket.”  I said it wasn’t there earlier in the day.  We thought that was odd.  Then yesterday afternoon, B comes to me again and says “Did you remove the covers to the steel garbage cans in the barn (holding all our birdseed)?”.   I said I did not.  He said “Well, they are ALL removed and something is rooting in there right now.”   So he gets out a gun and goes back to the barn.  Bang!  Then another bang, then another, and another and another and another.  What the heck is going on out there???   Then he comes back by the house, goes in the garage, and goes back to the barn.   More bang, bang, bang!  Then he sent me a picture with NINE dead chipmunks in it. 

I later found out he had to come back for more ammo.  Plus there was an already- dead one in one of the seed barrels, plus the 2 dead ones from the two previous days.  We think the already-dead ones must have eaten themselves to death!   Anyway, he took all of them out over the hill for the coyotes.   We both like chipmunks and don’t mind them at all.  They aren’t nearly as destructive as squirrels or those awful mice.  But that was a bit much.  We are sure the chipmunks didn’t remove the covers – it seems it must have been squirrels, possibly even bold raccoons, but none were in sight when B discovered all this.   There are now big rocks on all the seed barrel covers.

So, that about does it for the last few days.  I appreciate all the thoughtful notes I received about Mr. Covid.  I am, indeed, gaining ground every day and your nice wishes sure have helped!

Stay well.

Mr. Covid Came Blowing In – June 21, 2022 – at the Clampetts

Mr. Covid, along with his bag tricks and buddies, came knocking last Tuesday afternoon.  He hasn’t been a particularly good house guest.  I am very anxious for him to leave town.  But watch out for him!  He is a meanie!

Hello Folks,

Yes, you haven’t heard from me in a week because late last Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Covid snuck in.  I must have let my guard down for a weak moment and he rushed in.  It all started innocently enough.  My face felt hot.  Then I noticed the rest of me felt chilly.  B saw me sitting in the house and recommended I go outside and sit in the sun.  That didn’t help.

By the way, the weather has been very mild.  But very breezy, except for today, and a chilly breeze too.  Most days have been sunny.  Not good growing weather, but I’ll save that for another blog.

Within hours, I went from feeling fine, as in having gone for groceries in the morning, to sick.  Flat out, sick. 

It seems that Mr. Covid pulled out of his satchel, his best buddy, Mr. Fever.  Mr. Fever lasted from late Tuesday through Saturday.  Mr. Fever in turn, brought his best buddy, Mr. Fatigue.  When Mr. Fever left in the wee hours of Sunday morning, he left behind Mr. Fatigue.  Thanks.  See what I mean about house guests???   Oh, and lets not forget another minor character, Mr. Vomit.  Luckily, he vanished early on.  However, Mr. Fatigue is still with me.

Yesterday, when I thought I was almost human again, another trickster arrived.  Out of that enormous satchel came Mr. Cold.  Yep.  After enduring a high fever for days, I ended up with a cold. 

The fever was intense.  If it hadn’t been for Tylenol, I don’t know how I would have managed.  I never took my temperature, but I didn’t really need to.  It was high.  Oh, and chills!  Tuesday night, when B came to bed, I asked him to throw the down comforter on the bed.  We are still sleeping with a down comforter over us!  B has presence of mind enough to kick it off him, but not me. 

I somehow managed enough energy to go out in the a.m. and feed the critters their crack cocaine each morning and made sure they had food. As for water, it didn’t get cleaned out very often; just more water piled on to of it.  Afternoons, B took over and he took over the care of the ducklings.  I finally learned that if I did a few chores early, came in and crawled to my recliner for several hours, I could then summon up enough energy to go back out and do a few more chores.

That’s how it has gotten done for a week now.  No lettuce treats, no nothin’ extra.  Just the bare, bare essentials.  They have all survived.  Oh!  And during all this, the auto-door on the coop apparently also had a visit from Mr. Covid, as it quit working and was wide open to the elements.  Here’s the funny thing.  The critters didn’t seem to notice that it wasn’t working.  Ha, ha, ha.  Then last night, when I went out for a head count,  lo and behold, the auto-door had shut on its own again.  Many things around here seem to quit when they feel like it, then resume working on their own.   The tractor is a prime example of that.

Oh, and separating my little penguin girl, Little Girl and her buddy, Miss Dum-dum, who has been rooming with her at night???  They all ended up in the coop together.  Sigh.  Go figure.  Neither Miss Dum-dum nor Little Girl can jump up on the roosting bar, but I guess Miss Buffy finally gave in to these two weirdos and left them alone.  Jet Blue lets Missy Buffy boss them around when he is tired and needs his rest.  You know, it is horribly tiring to have to strut around all day and walk like he is wearing a bad pair of stilettos and, once in a while, call them over if he thinks he may have found a morsel for them.  Yeah.  Tell me about tiring.

Although I have been incognito, the hens have been very industrious while I’ve been sick.  They have added a whole addition to their Dust House.  Their Dust House is gigantic.  Why?  I don’t know.  But if more than one hen is sprawled out in it, there is someone complaining.  They don’t play together well at all.  Anyway, they have been busy. 

B has been cobbling us together meals.   Mostly he’s been getting by on leftovers and some store-bought meals, while I have only eaten minimally.   Sunday, he got up early and went to the Mason’s breakfast and brought us home a nice breakfast, which was about the first real meal I’d had in a week.

So, what conclusions have I come up with since my week of isolation and misery?  What words of wisdom do I have for those of you who have not yet succumbed to this???  Well, here are my untested, un-scientific observations.

You are either asymptomatic (and lucky you!) or you WILL get a visit from Mr. Covid in your life-time.  I don’t care how many boosters you get.  Of course, this is just Karla’ s theory, and yes, I am vaccinated and boostered.  But now I am wondering, why did I bother?   Some people claim that the shots reduce the severity of it, but we think it’s just wishful thinking and rationalization on the part of those who supported the vaccinations, but got it anyway; sometimes even more than once.  B never got any vaccinations, never wore a mask, and (thus far) seems to have avoided catching it from me.  Either that or he has it and is asymptomatic.   We could have slept separately and/or worn masks around the house, but B said that wasn’t going to happen, and he’d take his chances!   And he scrapes by on absolutely minimal sleep, which can’t be great for his immune system. He does try to sleep in late whenever his schedule allows him to. He is very big on avoiding “contamination”, though; he’s right, but it’s very obnoxious to have him remind me that I need to wash my hands every time I wipe my nose or touch a tissue.  And definitely no reusing of tissues!

I just don’t believe any “expert” out there knows enough about Covid to be assuring us that by being vaccinated and boostered would be enough to keep us out of the hospital.  I simply don’t think ANYONE can say that with assurance.  We can’t even control the common flu, never mind this deviant.  And it is a deviant. 

Like I said, these are just my opinions.  But I get no comfort out of the CDC and WHO telling me that getting vaccinated would or would not keep Mr. Covid at bay.  I can see why if they hadn’t said this, world-wide panic would have set in.  I still think, frequent hand washing with soap, spray alcohol when you can’t wash your hands, keeping your hands away from your face, and being extra careful with handling food are your best lines of defense. 

I say this from the bottom of my heart.  Stay well, my friends!

Flower Power – June 13, 2022 – at the Clampetts

Such a nice stretch of wonderful weather!  We have had sunshine, a nice breeze, and daytime high temperatures in the 70s.  And a few showers at night.  I could really get used to this weather!  And now, for a flower show exhibition!

Hello Folks,

The last few days have been great!   I have been busy finishing up my left-over gardening chores.  I am also seriously digging out the weeds in the berm.  It feels like I will never get caught up.  I am only good for a while in the early morning because once the sun seriously hits, I am done weeding for the day.

The ducklings are settling in nicely and would do even better if the “boys”, Frick and Frack, would just leave them be.  They have been with us for a week now and the older ducks are still acting up, but not as much as they did.  Hope springs eternal.

Anyway, I am going to show you my berm and a few other pictures.  I hope to get one decent picture of one more planter, my rooster planter, and then I will start on the grow boxes.  But here is what it looks like around here right now. 

I can’t get over my one iris plant with all those blossoms, so here it is again.  The blossoms won’t last much longer this year.  I sure have enjoyed them and even brought several in the house to enjoy.

Then there are my few single blossom peonies.  We have both enjoyed these blossoms.  They too are waning as the heat increases.

And another shot of the peonies.

The rainy day last week pretty much destroyed my chive plant.  I thought the stems would come back up once the sun came out, but most didn’t.  B found this very unusual and snapped a picture of it.

Switching to the front of the house, I took several pictures.  The first is the urns on the front step.  Each urn has two impatiens and a clump of alyssum.  It is difficult to tell, but there is a hot pink and a magenta plant in each one.  The color difference is very subtle.

Not to be outdone, there is also the big planter at the front of the house.  Again, it is filled with hot pink and magenta impatiens, pink, lavender and white alyssum and pink and red “polka-dot” coleus.  I don’t think you can see the coleus yet, but it is supposed to become 18 inches tall.  We shall see!

Finally, there is the planter on the west side of our house where we have an upstairs deck.  Like I mentioned in a previous blog, I didn’t have a whole lot to choose from after the rush of Mother’s Day and Memorial Day for planters in the prices I was willing to pay.  I think they should have made the geranium orange instead of red, but it is what it is!  It is already growing!

So, there you have it, minus one picture.  All this plus the 13 grow boxes and weeding the berm is keeping me mighty busy! 

Tonight’s dinner is leftover mac with tomatoes and cheese and I plan to grill a large cast iron griddle of Vidalia onions, fresh local zucchini (my seedlings of zucchini are barely coming up) and fresh, local asparagus.  I can’t wait for dinner!

Stay well.

Snakes, Ducklings and More! – June 9, 2022 – at the Clampetts 

A rainy start to the day, today, Thursday June 9.  Sooo, what about those snakes and what about those ducklings that Karla said she would never raise again???

Hello Folks,

Whee!  We have been busy the last few days.  So, let’s start with snakes.  Now, we are fortunate that here in New Hampshire, outside of one tiny area that is home to the timber rattlesnake, we have no poisonous snakes.  NH Fish and Game will not identify this area of the state that houses rattlesnakes, due to their small numbers and threatened species status, and wanting to keep them safe.  Ha, ha.  Safe.  Anyway, most of us old-timers already know where the rattlesnakes reside and it isn’t in our area of the state.

However, we seem to be in snake territory here in Clampett-ville.  We always have small, nondescript garter snakes.  We know this not only because we see them in the summer, but because they sometimes winter over in our bulkhead.  As long as the bulkhead doesn’t get opened, no problem.  Usually either in the fall or early spring, B opens the bulkhead and makes them all go outside.  I mean, we live practically in the woods, so what do we expect?

Personally, I strongly dislike snakes!  I don’t like creepy crawly things that slither.  I basically wear boots outside all summer.  The last thing I want to do is step on a snake or worse yet, have one slither over my foot.  OOOOH!  However, B has explained (about every year) that snakes are beneficial and they are more scared of me than I am of them.  Most importantly, they are not poisonous.  Most all the snakes around here are quite small, too; two feet long would be a big one.  Basically what B is saying is “Get over it.”.

Now, my mother was terrified of snakes.  I suspect we had plenty around the farm, but my father was wise enough not to bring up the subject.  I also suspect back in the 50s and 60s that he probably killed his fair share of snakes.  Like one person told me, “When you see a snake, you can be pretty sure you will see more of them”. 

Now, when my mother did see a snake, she didn’t rest until it was gone, period.  I can remember her pulverizing a small snake so by the time I got home from work and she asked me to remove it, there wasn’t much to remove.  I also remember a few little guys got into the basement thru the bulkhead and that about did her in.  We got them out, but only after they were pulverized.  She would take a rake or some such long handled thing and pound them.  The crack in the bulkhead got fixed, by the way.

So, with this kind of upbringing, is it any wonder I don’t like snakes???  However, besides wearing boots, I too take a rake but rather than kill a snake, I simply hit the rake to the ground to make sure none are in my vicinity.  They seem to love the berm, wouldn’t you know.  Needless to say, I wear gloves when working in the berm.  I have tried talking to the snake(s) and telling them that if they want to live here, they best put up with me and not scare the bejesus out of me!  It doesn’t work, let me tell you.  I also threaten them by telling them I will throw them into the critter pen.  The only reason I don’t is that I’m afraid the chickens will not do their job and the snake(s) will end up in the coop.  Last thing I want is a snake in the coop.

So, this year is no exception, other than we have now seen not only the plain old garter snakes, but their cousin, the ribbon snake.  The ribbon snake is longer and has bright yellow stripes.  Lucky me.  Then the other night, B comes in, with pictures even, of a fairly large (about 2-1/2 to 3 feet long) milk snake that was out in front of our house.  Here is a picture of the milk snake.  So, if you are skittish even looking at snakes, don’t look!  By the way, B picked up the snake and used his other hand to take the picture.  It really wasn’t dangling in a tree or anything like that.

And, to top it all off, we have one renter who is a single lady, about my age.  She has been calling, texting, and emailing B to get rid of a snake outside her rental house.  Now, how is B supposed to do that?  Actually, I am proud of him to date, as he has had more patience with her phobia than he has with mine.  However, I figure it won’t last, his patience, that is.  So, he periodically stops at her house and checks out the corner of the house where said snake usually resides.  To date, no luck in finding her snake or snakes.

B says he can remember green grass snakes on the lawn when he was a kid, but we’ve never seen any here.  NH has about 10 snake species, including the quite large black racer, but we are probably too far north for them.  B also says we have ice snakes in the winter, but I’ve never seen one.   😉

And, now for the surprise I have told some of you was coming.  My menagerie has grown again.  Monday afternoon, we went after 3 ducklings from a guy here in the village who was advertising them.  They are domestic mallards.  Why 3???  Why any????  I know I swore I would never have ducks again but. . .

I chose 3 in hopes that two of them will be females.  B says if not and all 3 are males, we will use them as meat birds.  Sorry.  I had to say it!  Anyway, when we got home with them, B let them out into the last remaining empty critter pen that I had prepared.  The thing with this pen is that B built it with poultry access in mind, not human access, so it is quite difficult to get in and out of.  I have to squeeze my shoulders in, one at a time, to feed and/or water them. 

What we didn’t expect was the uproar this was going to cause.  Our two old ducks, like 6 or 7 years old, went totally ballistic!  I mean, they were in a frenzy and then Lucy, the goose, had to add to the commotion.  The hens and Jet Blue had the good sense to head for under the porch and remained quite quiet for them.

I was half hoping that my two old ducks would have a heart attack and drop dead from all the shenanigans.  However, they did not.  They just KNEW these three additions were ducks and it was, “Let me at them!”  Luckily, the ducklings were secure.

They aren’t tiny little ducklings.  I’d say they are 8 weeks old or so so they are all feathered out, but still all brown colored at this stage.  Finally, finally everyone calmed down for a bit.  I think Frick and Frack just had to take a break!  Lucy quieted down too and so did the poor, scared little guys.  B says the older two ducks would have killed them, literally.  That was Monday.

Then late yesterday while B was waiting for a customer and a teenage boy who he hopes to have help him do some odd jobs around here, B suggested we move the ducklings to the playpen and secure the top.  This gets them outside and they and the rest of the poultry exposed to each other.

Well, that set off another round of raucous, “Let me at them!”, loud, boisterous, noises.  B handed me one duckling at a time and I would put them in the playpen.  The last one out was terrified and he, too, was screaming.  B and I could hardly hear each other over the din.  However, finally they got settled in with their own water and swimming pool and a bowl of food.  Meanwhile Frick and Frack were frantically running around the playpen trying to get at them all over again until they collapsed in the shade and had a nap.  They certainly seem to be extremely aggressive toward the new ducks, although we recall they seemed very aggressive toward Lucy when we first got her, too.  B says if they seriously attack the ducklings when we finally release them, the boys are going to end up in a crock pot.

Knowing it was going to rain some today, last evening around 9:00, B and I went out and put a tarp over the top of the playpen and secured it.  We gave them some shavings and some more clean water.  Of course, we had company while doing this but eventually, it got quiet.

So, here is a not so great picture of them in the initial coop.  I hope to have a better picture soon.

Now it is almost 4:00 p.m., there are streaks of sunshine and no rain at the moment, so it is time for me to get outside and see what they all need.  More later.

Stay well.

I Reached My Goal and Then Some! – June 5, 2022 – at the Clampetts

Our weather has been beautiful.  Right now at 5:00 p.m., it is a lovely 68 degrees outside.  We have sun, a nice breeze, and it is just a perfect weather day.  Did I meet my goal???

Hello Folks,

I have my goal of getting more plants and finishing my summer planting just about 99% done.  I still have some alyssum to buy for the urns on the front of the house and two already-put-together planters for the two upstairs decks.  Then I will be done, done, done planting for the season.

As noted in my last blog, I went plant shopping on Friday morning.  Of course, I left the house later than I planned, but I was on the road around 9:30 a.m.  It was an overcast morning, but it cleared off by noon.  I kept mulling over where I wanted to go, and finally decided to stop at a plant nursery in Claremont.  Last year was my first time there and it seemed like a good place to start.

I wasn’t wrong.  The place, In the Garden Greenhouses, has 9 greenhouses plus all the other plants outside.  They have veggies and flowers.  I have learned over the years that I prefer to go after Mother’s Day and Memorial Day for my plants.  I might not get exactly what I want, but I cannot tolerate the hordes of people.  So far, my strategy has worked and I am satisfied with the plants I find.  Hopefully, everything will grow well this summer.

So, what did I buy?  By the way, nothing was on sale!  No kidding.  Anyway, I got a new variety of pepper plants that are green with red stripes or, if you prefer, red with green stripes.  They are new to me, anyway.  Then I strolled the 9 greenhouses at least once or twice.

I hit upon the greenhouse that had impatiens and bought magenta and deep pink.  Then I found some pink and red “polka dot” plants, the name of which now escapes me!  And, I found purple, white, and rosy colored alyssum that matches perfectly.  I bought enough for my big planter and for the urns.  However, the urns could do with something more than impatiens, so perhaps more alyssum or some other flowing plant.  If not, so be it and hopefully the two impatiens in each urn will be enough. 

Anyway, after that, I drove down to Beaver Pond Farm for more asparagus and they had beautiful spinach and my favorite, colored Swiss chard.  I bought more asparagus and Swiss chard for dinner.

Finally, home and I unloaded my goodies and got to work.  I finished grow box #13 with the rest of the pepper plants.  I have one pepper plant left over for the berm.  Then I filled a large clay pot with my mixed up soil and planted an Italian tomato plant.  I like to try something different every year.  Next to it is a planter that I used for the Mojito mint.  I plant these two planters over near the critter pen.  I am no dummy.  I use the nearby water hose every morning to water these two planters while I am out changing the critters’ water. 

By the way, Friday afternoon was the first seafood pickup at nearby Mac’s Maple in Plainfield.  I ordered scallops and left around 3:00.  My chosen pick up time was 3:30, but I had to make a small detour to the McNamara’s greenhouses!  I got one more alyssum for the big planter.  I also noted the sky.  It was getting darker and darker.

The seafood pick up is drive thru, as I had already paid for it on-line.  But of course, I had to have a baguette to go with dinner.   Luckily, I remembered to take ice and a cooler chest.  But holy moley.  I ran into such a rainstorm coming home!  I sure hoped I made it home, as I had very expensive scallops in the car!  I made it, but it was a nasty, nasty ride home.  By the way, the scallops were well worth the effort and we had local fresh Swiss chard to go with them.  And, leftover seasoned rice that was soooo good.  I was bushed.

Saturday, B had a meeting to go to in Littleton, NH, which is basically in the White Mountains.  I was not up for the trip.  I like leisurely trips and this wasn’t, so I stayed home and did a few inside chores like laundry and dishes.  I also made an incredible dish with potatoes, asparagus and ham.  The recipe was courtesy of Ginger, and I usually make it when we have fresh asparagus.  Lucky for us, we have enough for tomorrow night’s dinner too.  Tonight is easy night and we are having hotdogs and rolls with canned baked beans.  Yep!  I keep a can of baked beans just for this reason; too tired to bake them myself.  And for dessert?  We are having root beer floats!  Super easy for a Sunday night supper.

Today, Sunday, I hoped to take it easy, too, but not so much.  I had a load of sheets that needed washing and hanging outside to dry.  B was, again, up all night, but had a midday nap.  I did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen while he snoozed on the sofa.

And, now it is 5:30 and since I have had a break, I am going out and helping B to pick up more rocks.  I lasted about 15 minutes the last time, so we shall see how it goes this time.  Remember the rock pile B was moving?  Well, we are cleaning up by hand the rocks that couldn’t get picked up by the Cat or the tractor.  Wish me luck!

Finally, I am leaving you with a couple of pictures.  The season has now rolled along and my white iris plant is in full blossom and beginning to bloom.  I am not bragging, but have you ever seen 10 blooms on one plant?  I never have, but count them for yourself.  I hope this isn’t its swan song.  My lavender iris didn’t put out any blossoms this year.  Sad.  Anyway, here’s a picture of the white iris.

And, another shot of our lupine.  This one is a whitish/pink color.  All the other plants so far this year are purple.  Enjoy!  I will be posting pictures of the grow boxes and the big planter but I ran out of steam today.

Stay well.

Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Hello Folks,

I think this will be cake month from the Clampetts’ recipes. I’ve had some requests for the lemon pound cake recipe, so I am sharing it now with you. I am in hopes of making another chiffon cake soon as Lucy continues to lay eggs. I believe, at last count, she is up to 31 eggs so far for the season! I will then post that recipe as well.

Anyway, if you want all the ins and outs of this recipe, feel free to look it up from Spend with Pennies. If not, feel free to use my version below. I am sure you will not regret it, if you like lemon!

Ingredients:

1 large lemon or 2 small lemons
2 Tablespoons of squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar

As to the optional glaze, it is like any glaze so use your best judgement! It was good, though.

Optional Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar (I sifted it)
1 tsp. melted butter
1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease and flour an 8×4 loaf pan.

Using a fine grater or a zester, zest the lemon. Cut the lemon, or lemons if they are small, in half and juice them to make the 2 Tablespoons of juice.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.

Place butter and sugar in a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until light and extra fluffy, about 10 minutes. It is important to beat it this as much in order to incorporate air into the mixture.

Add lemon juice, and mix to combine. Add eggs and mix for 2 more minutes.

Turn the mixer to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and then the sour cream, beating just until combined. Do not overbeat. Spread into the prepared pan.

Bake 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely on a baking rack.

If using glaze, place powdered sugar into a small bowl. This is when I used my mother’s old tin sifter. Add melted butter and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Add more juice until the consistency and taste is what you want.

Drizzle glaze over the cooked pound cake and let it set at least 10 minutes.

Personally, I think the cake would be almost as good minus the glaze. You be the judge!

I hope you like this recipe and enjoy the cake.

Stay well.

My Goal for the Week – June 2, 2022 – at the Clampetts

Just like that!  Our 80 degree weather changed back to 50 degree weather, and Wednesday was downright chilly – low 50s.  Today, we are seeing 70, but just fleeting glances of sun.  Still, that is great for planting.  So, just what is my goal???

Hello Folks,

Wednesday was just a tad bit too cool and showery for me to do any planting.  So, I got up early and went grocery shopping instead.  To add to the fun, B asked if I would do an errand for him, which I happily did.  I was unsuccessful, but now he knows and it saved him a trip into Claremont.

I had great plans to plant my grow boxes Wednesday, but it showered and was pretty darn breezy and cool, so I put it off for another day.  I was also a bit tired after filling all 13 boxes on Tuesday.  Yet the weather has been perfect for planting and all things gardening related.  My parents always said that planting is best done on a cool, overcast day. 

So, just what is my goal for this week???  I gave you a big hint already.  It is simply to get all 13 grow boxes filled, watered and to finish shopping for “things to grow.”

Tomorrow is Friday so will I make it???  I just decided I had to let everything else go this short week and concentrate on the planting.  That means, so far, no laundry, no vacuuming, no housework, period, until every plant is planted or almost every plant.

Since today is Thursday, I had to get a wiggle on.  I went out at 8:30 to fill the planters and fill the bases with water.  By noon, I had 12 grow boxes filled and watered.  Plus I staked my tomato plants and pepper plants.  The only veggie things left is to fill one pot with soil and plant the Mojito mint (I am thinking Mojito drinks on the deck, ha, ha)  and finish the one grow box.  I actually have space enough in one grow box to add something else, plus it needed to be leveled up.  B leveled it and I filled the base with water.  I have two pepper plants to plant plus whatever else I want to add, so I am waiting on that.  I think I’ll continue with pepper plants, but it all depends upon what is available.

Then there is the large planter on the front side of the house that faces north.  I always fill that with leftover flowering annuals that will work well on the north side.  Tomorrow I plan to go shop for that plus the last few veggies for the above grow box.  I am hoping to get a few things on sale, especially the annuals.

Anyway, I figure by Sunday, I will be about done.  I really don’t like dragging out the planting, but some years I just can’t help it.  Plus, I am always concerned that I will bite off more than I can chew!  So, that is why I am limiting what I am doing this week.

Having said that, I still have to get meals and do dishes.  Plus my berm needs weeding AGAIN, but if I start working on that, I’ll never get the rest of the things done.

My overall goal for the summer is to spend as much time outside as I can.  That is why getting up and getting moving as early as I can sure helps.  With a built in alarm clock like Jet Blue crowing and Lucy honking, I wake up pretty darn early! 

And, just a note about my penguin hen, Little Girl.  She is still alive and very much a momma’s  girl.  So, I pretty much treat her like a pet.  Anyway, she has a roommate now sleeping in the duck cage with her!  It seems that another of the New Hampshire Reds has an issue with leaping up to the nesting bar in the coop.  She has always had issues and some nights, I lift her up and put her on it, but that was getting old.

Plus Buffy, my Buff Orpington and last year’s broody hen, has a conniption if anyone like Little Girl and the other hen aren’t sleeping on the bar or the shelves.  In other words, Buffy doesn’t like anyone on the floor.  If she sees them on the coop floor she gets down and chases them around the coop!   Buffy has gotten very bossy this summer and, by the way, shows not the slightest interest in broodiness!  Anyway, I figured the poor girl might like sleeping on the floor with Little Girl.  She is a really happy camper not to have Buffy pecking at her, and she goes right into the duck pen without any qualms.  Little Girl seems okay with having a roomy.  A win-win situation.

Well, it is time for me to start supper.  We are having baked spareribs and a new, to me, rice dish so I best get going.  Of course, there are dishes waiting for me as well.

I am leaving you with a picture of one filled grow box just to show I am really doing this!

Stay well.

Memorial Day and More – May 31, 2022 – at the Clampetts

Two 80 degree days in a row and it has both of us clicking on our stand fans.  However, I got a lot more done today than yesterday.  Please read on!

Hello Folks,

I hope those of you in the USA had a nice 3 day holiday weekend.  Sunday, we went to breakfast at the Masons, expecting to be sitting outside.  But that was not to be.  It seems that the good folks at the Masons didn’t have the inclination to get out all the popups, so we ate inside. 

Monday we celebrated Memorial Day here in Cornish.  As I have noted previously, in our village, it is always celebrated on the 30th, like it always used to be.  Usually, the school kids come down via a school bus to participate and enjoy the festivities, but since school was closed yesterday, no kids showed up!  Anyway, the Boy Scouts did a fine job helping to fill in.  B was asked to say a few words about being in the military, so he did.  I was more nervous than B, and he did well.  H’ed told me it would be brief, and it was.

After the service (outside of course!), we all walked up the road to the nearest bridge, and a handmade wreath of lilacs was thrown into the water in memory of those who lost their lives for our country.  Then a walk back to the center of town, where we were treated to hotdogs, chips, and ice cream cups.  It was a nice service and a nice morning.  This was the first service in two years, thanks to our friend Covid.  So, we all had a lot to catch up on with each other.

After that, B needed a few things on sale at Harbor Freight, so we drove down to Claremont.  I sat in the car and waited.  Finally, home.  By then, it was getting hot!

Once home, I had big plans to work on filling my grow boxes with soil in anticipation of planting them today.  As it is, I have to water the tomato plants I bought last week at least twice a day.  This is why I don’t start seedlings, as I have very little patience with such tiny things.  Anyway, it didn’t happen.  Saturday I had the good sense to get out the boxes, wash them off, and set them up on the deck.

We both fell asleep yesterday afternoon!  I tried to read and finally gave up.  I was in my recliner.  B was hunkered down on the sofa reading emails and he fell asleep.  We even missed having company!  Ginger and Mark came by, but we were both sound asleep.  Vaguely, I heard Lucy squawking, but she does that so often, it didn’t bring me entirely awake.  In the end, B heard their car wheels crunching on the driveway as they were leaving down the driveway.  He got up and said, “Hey some couple driving a convertible just came up here and turned around!”  Our land is posted and we don’t approve of sightseers or curiosity seekers.  About the time he said that, I got a text from Ginger saying they’d missed us, so we knew it was them.  Talk about being old folks!

Way too hot and way too late to do any work outside for me after that.  Finally, I got dinner a bit early and we watched television, like always, in the evening.  Darned if we didn’t both fall asleep again!  Really old people!

So, today I did double duty.  I skipped the bathing thing and went right to work outside.  I did stop and fix breakfast for both of us (B was up again most of the night) and then I went outside and started filling the grow boxes.  Luckily, B came along and gave me a few pointers, then he started helping with mixing the potting soil along with the compost.

Anyway, it is quite a job to fill 9 boxes with soil and compost.  The directions recommend just using potting soil, but I always add about a quarter compost, since we have it.  Plus, I use pails to carry the soil to the boxes (due to the design, it isn’t worth filling the boxes and then lugging them up the 6 steps).  Periodically, you have to keep the boxes watered, so I need the hose handy for that.  Anyway, I got the 9 boxes filled.

This year I am trying something different.  We saved the potting soil from last year’s boxes, having emptied them into empty poultry feed bags, and kept them covered over the winter.  The problem for me is the bags, although not more than half filled, are way too heavy for me to lift to the wheelbarrow to mix with our own compost.  Luckily, B came along as I was struggling, so he lifted the bags and mixed in the compost; one bag at a time.  Then I filled the two pails and carried them to the boxes on the deck.  The good thing is, once the plants are planted, other than watering, that’s all the maintenance required.  The fertilizer comes with the coconut mats that cover the box.  It sounds like a lot of work, but other than filling them, it isn’t. 

So, with B’s help, I not only got all 9 boxes on the deck filled, I also filled 4 more boxes I have lined up against the west side of the shop.  The hose reaches over there with no difficulty, and they are sitting on crushed rock, so it should work all well.  We shall see!  Anyway, I got all 4 of those boxes, with B’s help, filled.  That means tomorrow, with any luck and with God willing, I can get all 13 boxes planted.  I know 13 is an unlucky number, but I really don’t want to fill any more boxes!

Needless to say, that was my day’s work.  I came back to the house at 12:30 after starting this project around 9:30.  Here is a picture of two of the boxes half filled.  At that point, the directions say to water them down before adding the rest of the soil to the tippy top ridge.

The other morning I was working out in the berm and I could hear this strange noise.  The critters had had their morning crack cocaine, consisting of cracked corn and meal worms, so they were relatively quiet.  But I could hear something that sounded a bit like a file sawing back and forth.  Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I started walking in the direction of the sound.  This took me up the dam road and into a small thicket.  Sure enough, there was a porcupine chewing away on an old tree stump!  When I showed B where I saw the porcupine, he reminded me that he had used that stump one winter for a place to put a salt block.  Apparently, the porcupine likes it because it is still salty!  Anyway, can you see my buddy holding onto the stump???

And, finally, we now have 10 Lady Slippers.  Not like some years when we get 20 or more but better than none.  B took a better picture of one of them.

So, that about wraps up our weekend.

Stay well.

A Deer and Other Things – May 27, 2022 – at the Clampetts

Our weather is a bit warmer today, Friday, but storms are brewing.  In fact, I can feel one coming on now!  B, who should have been in bed, but wasn’t, recently saw a deer in the pond.  Read on.

Hello Folks,

Today is Friday but in my mind, it has been Saturday more than Friday!  I guess with the long weekend ahead I just got eager for it to start.  But I just hate it when I get the days mixed up!  This happens after retirement.

Anyway, the other morning around 5:30, B looked through the binoculars that he had set up on a tripod in order to keep them steady for me to observe our wildlife.  Things have calmed down a bit in that department.  I say that but today I watched a pair of hooded Mergansers drying off on a rotted log in the pond.  All the critters seem to like dead logs in the pond.  While I was upstairs this afternoon reading my email (I don’t care to read it on my phone, too cramped for me), I looked out to see one of our, at least, 3 turtles sunning themself on another log sticking out of the pond.  We keep a pair of binoculars upstairs and downstairs for our viewing pleasure.  The pair downstairs are mounted to the tripod.

Anyway, back to the other morning.  B was checking the binoculars before coming to bed and lo and behold, he spotted a yearling deer with what I call baby antlers drinking and pulling up weeds from the pond.  So B being B, had to try taking pictures and a video of it through the binoculars.  Having said that, here is a still shot of the deer eating weeds.

And, for those of you brave enough to click on videos, here is a YouTube video of the young guy munching and drinking along the edge of the pond.  B says he stayed up even later and watched him eat for half an hour!

VIDEO  of the deer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGgafMjt4mM

We got a lot of fun out of watching all this!

Speaking of B, he didn’t get much of any sleep last night either.  Once again, the critters woke us both up early this a.m., as in before 6:30.  The auto-door opens a bit after 5:00 a.m.  However, Jet Blue started crowing way before the door opened.  I counted 12 “cock-a-doodle-do’s” in succession before giving up counting.  All while he was still in the coop!  So, needless to say, we were up and moving around by 6:00 – 6:30 this morning.

B is, as I start this blog at 4:30 p.m., zonked out on the sofa.  But not before doing a lot of work today.  This morning he called the local rock/crushed stone business for 2 dump truck loads of more hardpack.  As noted in an earlier blog, our driveway got pretty badly washed out during the last round of storms. 

Anyway, B also wanted to fix some potholes properly that lie a little ways beyond our driveway.  They fill up with water, people drive through them and splash the water out, which carries gravel with it, and the pothole gets deeper.  That meant, with or without much sleep, he had to smooth this all out using the excavator once the hardpack got delivered or we would not be able to get out of here.  Of course, today is also the day the temperature decided to climb up to about 80 and the humidity kicked in.  Luckily, there was a nice breeze and B kept the door to the cab open.

So, what used to be $90 delivery charge for each load has now jumped to $120 per load.  Hey, everyone is in on the act and the dump trucks naturally run on diesel.  Diesel around here is sort of like gold. 

In the meantime, my kitchen needed a really good cleaning.  For a long time now I have been diligent with cleaning the kitchen thoroughly on Saturdays but lately I have gotten a bit lazy.  Today was the day.  I also washed a load of dishes, vacuumed the downstairs floors, and spot washed the kitchen floor.  This was in anticipation of making a cake!

Recently I saw a recipe for lemon pound cake that looked soooo darn good, I had to make it.  Wow.  It is lemony and yet sweet, and the recipe also called for a lemon glaze.  And it was easy to make.  We have been dessert-less for a few days, so it was time.  We have both had a piece of it and it is very yummy.  Since it is in a loaf pan, it won’t need to be frozen.  I think the recipe is a knock-off of a lemon cake/bread that Starbucks sells.  I don’t think I have ever been in a Starbucks and wouldn’t go into one if we even had one around here.  Anyway, the cake is a winner!

I am also leaving you with a picture or two of some flowering plants around here.  The first is another picture of my giant alliums (first time for me).  They are part of the onion family and I don’t think they are going to last too much longer.  Also, my clump of chives is front and center!

The second picture is a clump of purple lupine.  Our lupines are up and some are beginning to bud already.  I think it is a bit early for them, but apparently not!  We have one area that self-seeds itself every year.  Some years we have more than others, and this looks to be a good year.

So, that about does it from the Clampetts.  The town-wide yard sale has been postponed to Sunday due to impending nasty weather tomorrow.  I am bowing out as I never did get everything pulled together and Sunday is our breakfast out morning, so I am passing on the yard sale this year.  We have about 3 other conflicting things we could do instead, but we haven’t decided which one we will do. Summer in NH is so short, each weekend is packed with more things to do than there is time for.

Stay well.