Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ten Pounds of Beeswax

Adam's bees are hunkered down for the winter, and he won't be taking any more honey or wax from them anytime soon. This leaves me in a lurch when it comes to making bee balm lotion and lip balm. I have no wax! And I don't want to buy commercial wax from Michael's. Adam decided to order ten pounds of organic beeswax so I could continue my production! Yay! It arrived yesterday.
These glorious gold bars weigh about 2 pounds each.
So pretty. But so hard to cut! I ended up putting a whole bar into my double boiler, melting off some of it, removing the solid residual, and doing my recipe.
I made 25 tubs of creamy bee balm lotion today. Ten of them are already promised to a customer. I'm raising the price because of the expense of the beeswax; that stuff isn't cheap!
I prefer the silver tins, but I can't find any more of them at Michael's, so I'm using the floral tins. These tins hold about 1/2 cup each.
15 tins will go to the market on Saturday. I hope they sell like hot cakes!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meet the Nocturne

Well, it looks like perhaps Adam has finally found his free boat. We thought we were getting a 26-foot boat, but it needed so much work and repair. Adam was really concerned that we would not be able to afford the upkeep. Then he had a chance at a 31-foot boat, and he was just afraid of the boat. A sailboat that length, single-handed by a novice sailor, can be terrifying. And the potential upkeep on a 31-foot boat is substantial. Of course, these are some of the reasons their owners are willing to give them away! That and the moorage fees they're sick of paying.

Last night Adam got an email from a man who has a boat yard. Adam has been persistent about asking folks about possible free boats -- just to be on the lookout and let him know. So ... this boat is ours! We have to wait until the guy gets back in town, but they have agreed. Adam will need to sail it around from its present location to the slip where we'll keep it, about 10 hours of sailing or motoring. It's in great shape, with an outboard motor. It's 19 feet, a Cape Dory "Typhoon." It's a rather famous type of boat, made from 1977 to 1986. We have the 1977 boat.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Quick-Change Artist

Out with Thanksgiving, In with Christmas. Why, oh why do we have to do it all so fast?
Pine cones atop my piano
Before the turkey is all gone, or the pie has all been snatched up, one must dig through boxes looking for Advent wreaths and candles, or one will miss the first week of Advent and then be forever behind all the rest of December.
So, our count-down Christmas candle is ready for December 1st. Our Jesse tree is bare and ready to receive its ornament-a-day.
Julia set up the Christmas village. Only this year ... she wanted to name the village. Storybrooke? (after Once Upon a Time) Then she started thinking up a tale that takes place in the village. Here's the local inn. Two gossipy village ladies stand there, whispering.
A stage coach has come rolling into town with some strangers.
Back in the woods is the dark log cabin.
And in the middle of the village green, lying in the gazebo for everyone to discover in the morning ... is a dead man! Julia says she's coming up with a Rose-the-Duck story about these events. She's so creative.
Happy Week Between Thanksgiving and Advent! May you not be frazzled!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Anyone seeking a theme in this blog post will be severely disappointed. That said ...
Last night we set up the Christmas tree. Yes we did, and if you don't like Christmas this early, just keep your feelings in your own living room. A few of us just can't get enough Christmas, not even in two or three months' time. Julia helped. Honestly, Julia did most of it. Adam did the rest. I watched.
He got a little tangled. Philip has been doing our tree and lights for a few years. We old people are out of practice.
Julia fiddled with the lights, and then she put on the ornaments as well. And we watched two sappy Christmas movies, ate popcorn, and regarded ourselves as festive.
I got a photo of the smitten/snuggie set before it sold today. I have enough yarn to make another set like this, if I want to.
I made another kiddie hat. The last one was a bear hat, with sticking-up bear ears. Julia said (while we were watching a sappy Christmas movie), "Oh, please put puppy dog ears on this one, like beagle ears." So I did, and bright and early today a mommy bought it for her baby. So adorable!
Big brother wanted to get into the shot too.
And this afternoon, Adam sanded the boat and planed off all the extraneous wood. Now it all holds together with epoxy, and she's looking prettier and prettier. He's pleased.

The Prettiest Thing I've Crocheted Thus Far

And it really is ... except I cannot get the camera to capture the colors.
I tried inside, but the colors look dull here.
I tried outside, and this is a bit closer, but the glare is bad. And the colors are much more rich, striking, warm and luscious. Hmm.
I put it outside on the table, and it was worse! The snuggie doesn't have this electric Christmas-light look - ugh! And it has NO yellow in it. Oh well -- you'll have to imagine. But I had so much fun making it last night, while we watched North by Northwest. I used lots of the fun ornamental yarn given to me by a friend. It all went together so well.
I can't wait to see if this is snatched up right away at the market on Saturday. Will anyone else see how beautiful it is?
UPDATE: I made a matching pair of smittens to go with this, and the set sold at the market this morning -- a cute lady snatched them up, paid too much for them, and I didn't even get to put them in a bag -- she wore them down the street! Made me so happy. :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

We had the pies. (pumpkin and chocolate chess)
We had the cranberry sauce.
Adam bought a big turkey breast, trimmed and butterflied it, and stuffed it with rosemary, garlic, lemon and onion.
It was beautiful.
He held in reserve all the bits he'd squeezed all the flavor out of (for gravy, etc.), to give to Sandy,
Who was obedient and attentive all day because of it.
We had my mother's dinner rolls.
And we had lovely company!
Happy Thanksgiving!
From the top, clockwise: dinner roll with butter, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and green onions, turkey, stuffing in the center. Our traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Adam made these the other day, and they were so delicious, so I had to share the idea with you. You start with a basic pancake recipe.
You also need a cinnamon glaze. Adam put it in a little bag with the corner cut off, so he could pipe it on, which is really useful. Not too runny, not too thick.
(cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, brown sugar and butter)
Last, you need a topping glaze. This recipe called for a cream cheese/butter glaze, which was just fabulous. It would not be as good with just a sugar glaze.
(1/4 block cream cheese, 1/2 stick butter, vanilla)
You pour some pancake batter in the pan, and then pipe on some of the cinnamon glaze in a swirl pattern.
You wait until the bubbles that form burst, even in the middle a bit, and then flip the pancake with all your skill. If you're an unskilled flipper, you might want to work on that skill before attempting to do it while keeping a swirl glaze intact.
After flipping, the glaze is now on the hot pan, and the butter and cinnamon from that glaze will melt into the pancake, leaving a swirl-shaped groove in the pancake, with a good coating of caramelized cinnamon/sugar on that side of the pancake. It won't take long on the second side. Turn the pancake out on your plate, swirl side up. Drizzle or spread the white glaze on it.
Adam practiced this recipe at the stove, and by the time he made his own, they were perfect, he said. But I ate the first ones, and they were wonderful. I liked the slightly-burnt caramelization of the brown glaze, with the contrasting cream cheese glaze flavor -- just excellent! But this is a finicky recipe, I must say. I'd never bother with it all, but for Adam, it's no bother. He loves the finicky. He found the recipe several times online, so hunt there for the ingredient proportions. I never saw the recipe; I just enjoyed the result!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Oriental's Thanksgiving Morning Bike Ride

We began our Thanksgiving Day in an unusual way -- with a neighborhood bike ride! That's right ~ dozens of Oriental residents met at the Bean at 9:00 AM and rode around the village. Adam was, I think, impressed that he was able to get both of us ladies up and out the door at such an hour, and on bikes!
Here's that same knock-out rose bush, still knocking everyone out!
The bikers gathered.
It's always nice to enjoy the waterfront view.
Quite a few folks brought their pooches along. This fellow rides in his Santa outfit in a basket.
These two girls are well-known in town. They're wearing their "doggles."
I was passed by many riders. Julia passed me. I kept waiting for Adam to pass me, with Sandy trotting along on her leash. I waited ....
Even the dogs passed me. This one's name? You guessed it ... Skipper!
At last I called Adam on the phone. He'd taken Sandy back home, first thing! As soon as he tried to ride, she freaked out at all the other bikes rolling along. She plopped her little bottom on the pavement and refused to budge. I only planned to ride about the first half of the journey, so I headed home to keep Sandy company, while Adam rode the second half. I tell you, that pup is high maintenance!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A County Drive

A drive across the county today prompted me to take along my camera. Here's a triplet of sycamores, lined up for our admiration.
This, I believe, is a hotly contested piece of property in Bayboro; I've seen an article about it in the paper. As the signs say, it's "for sale" and "available."
Perfect for office suites, and at a great price - haha!! Actually, that chimney stack looks pretty good, considering the rest of the house.
I noticed these azaleas, still in high bloom. Amazing, yes? This is a fun place to live!
Meanwhile, the town of Stonewall has hung out its holiday welcome mat.
The fields have all been harvested of their cotton, corn, soybeans, tobacco and wheat. Already, the farmers have sown winter wheat that will be harvested next May. It's nice to get so much extra growing time.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving Eve!