Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Thanks for enduring the hiatus - so much going on around the holidays. Here's some pics from the last weeks.

Making clay beetles

A surprise at the bottom of the carton of soy milk - "Levi, why is your plastic scorpion in here?"
"She was thirsty"

Making homemade tree ornaments from recycled felted wool sweaters

A little baby belly

Our first purchased Christmas tree in our 10-years of marriage - in the past we've always cut down a wild cedar

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts!!

We've been very busy with the holidays, travel, and switching internet providers. We're doing great....Molly is showing and is past most of the sickness.

We'll get more posts up soon...meanwhile, here are a few from a recent camping/bowhunting trip to Blackbeard Island.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Feeling so much better in the last week or so. Still uneasiness around certain foods (the smell or thought of chicken - blah!), but for the most part I feel steady. Levi chatters endlessly to our baby who we have named "Love" - telling he/she all that awaits them on the outside. I'll have my first and only ultrasound in mid-January. And as we did last time we'll wait & have a surprise. I *love* surprises!
We're headin' to Wildwood next Wednesday - excited about a long weekend at home.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


For all the deer meat in our freezer, we've never gotten into the habit of tanning their hides - they usually go with the carcass back to the woods - this year we've decided to start. Joe's put several in the freezer & we'll be saving any more this season.
Today we took a small doe skin & began the fleshing process. There are many different methods & we're just learning what will work for us. We'll be brain tanning. The theory goes that each animal has enough brain to tan its hide. And I've just learned in the absence of a matching brain, eggs can substitute.

scraping flesh & membrane from the inside of the skin - we'll leave the fur on the outside of this one for a soft bedside rug - the next ones we'll remove the fur to make buckskin for making clothes - I want a pair of leather pants!

using a sander to remove the fine membrane that remains on this now dried hide

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Ride

In the last week he's finally figured out how to use the pedals & now, can't be stopped. Afternoon walks included.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Morning Biscuit Makers

A special treat this morn - the gents let me sleep in till 10 and then made a batch of biscuits. Thanks guys!

His first sampling of buttermilk - after a moments pause & a strange face he decides he really likes it

a buttermilk moustache (and some in his hair too somehow)

Ready for the oven

Saturday, November 6, 2010


This is a pic of my Dad in his tradition mountain man attire (dropsleeve shirt handstitched by me - - it only took me a year...). I love these pants too Dad! Great pic.

Our cousin Koyle took the pic & I always go back & check it out on Facebook - couldn't resist archiving it on our blog.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Checking In

Have been feeling blah & not really motivated on the blog front lately. Or any front for that matter. There's piles of clean laundry lying around & the house could use a good deep clean. I'm nearing the end of the first trimester & I'm expecting this upset tummy to be history soon.
I'm headed to the midwife for the first time tomorrow where there will be some blood drawn (dread). I get whoozy when needles come out. This will be the only needle ordeal the entire pregnancy so just have to get past tomorrow without hitting the floor.

Friday, October 22, 2010

omnivore choice

clean, fresh venison, Joe's first deer taken with a longbow, a pure connection with the meat we choose to eat.

"Killing a deer with the thrush of an arrow late on an autumn afternoon in that yellow hickory light with the wind high in the trees seems a fitting thing to do, part of a very powerful practice that prepares you for the end of one year and the beginning of another. Dragging a deer home at twilight, feeling the bountiful weight of it and listening to the leaves chant as you pull it along feels right as rain. To be a hunter that way, with the iodine odor of blood on your hands and forearms and your heart still pounding with the approach of a deer that's been dead for an hour. Many people don't accept this, particularly folks who don't spend much time in the woods, but hunting is not about killing animals. No more than life is about dying." -Christopher Camuto

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quiet Sunday Night

The gents are snoozing & I'm on my way. In a very quiet peaceful mode - feel really tired like after a long day of hard work.
Mom & Dad came for a visit this weekend - we feasted on Joe's perfect fried shrimp Friday night - and Saturday Mom, Levi, I went downtown to Forsyth Park.
I'm still riding on the waves of my lurching stomach - maybe 3 weeks of this left? In the quiet of stomach 'okayness' that seems do-able. When dry heaving in the fetal position it feels like a lot longer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday night

Quiet time at home = Joe took Levi to the woods after work, then brought me home sushi takeout, & Project Runway. Nice.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


After a year of trying - with the monthly ups & downs, and a despairing miscarriage this summer - we are so happy to announce a May baby on its way! Yay!
I'm experiencing those nauseated/tired weeks of the 1st trimester - though it's reassuring to know those are the signs of healthy pregnancy. I did the first 3 months of my pregnancy with Levi living in a tent in Wyoming, and I will say this time around its nice to have the comforts of a home.
My cravings have been all over the place - the last few days I've been dying for some sushi rolls. And miso soup is a favorite. I'm loathing brown rice and any type of bean.

Monday, October 11, 2010


We tried this recipe tonight & both agreed this is our favorite in a long string of 'pesto experiments':

6 cloves garlic (tho we used 1 tonight to make it a little more Levi friendly)
15 large fresh basil leaves
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound box pasta
2 tablespoons butter
Parm cheese to taste

*Combine garlic, basil, cheese, pine nuts, and salt in food processor until smooth. Add olive oil gradually, processing constantly to a smooth sauce.

*Cook pasta & drain. Combine pasta, pesto, and butter in serving bowl; toss to mix. Serve with additional cheese.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Skippyjon Jones

"I cannot believe that in two quiet hours you covered the walls with those cockeyed Chihuahuas," she scolded. "You are not a Chihuahua. You are a naughty Siamese cat. And you need a time-out to think about that."
The kitty boy did not budge.
But Junebug could be very purr-suasive. "If you think more like a cat," she said, "Mama will catch you a mouse big and fat. I'll dip it in butter and roll it in cheese.... All you must do is think Siamese!"
...I've heard those last lines over and over today, Levi's stuck on them...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lepidoptera & Coleoptera

We've started some daily projects learning about insects - a favorite subject! First Lepidoptera = butterflies/moths. Then today Coleoptera = beetles. I love those words coming out of my 3-year-old's mouth.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


until I leave for the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference in Black Mountain, NC. It'll be my first weekend away by myself in some time. A solo roadtrip & camping in the mountains... ahhh.
It's an annual event that I first heard about last year (thanks Joe for finding that link) only a few days before the actual event & couldn't work into the schedule so last minute - so I decided I would be sure to make it this year. I have a feeling it will be a new annual journ for me. Follow the link above & check out all the great classes offered. The hardest part I think is deciding which to take.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Homemade Buns

homemade wholewheat cinnamon buns

all rolled up


awaiting the icing...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sand Gnats Game

Shots from the game last Monday = Labor Day. Free parking, $1 admission, $1 hotdogs, $1 beers and we won the game. Perfect.

Levi got excited everytime the ball was hit.

A nice walk thru the park to the ballfield.

He wanted his picture with the Sand Gnat

A random shot from the other day. Propped up on the laundry pile perusing the Tao of Pooh.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

For the first time in 9 years we missed the Neely Pig Roast. Laying low this weekend - so much traveling lately has taken its toll on us. We're gonna catch a Sand Gnat's game tomorrow = the Savannah farm team.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hickory Flatbow

Back in May, Levi and I cut down a hickory on Papa's farm near Cairo. I wanted to make several primitive longbows to hunt with, and wanted the bow to come from a tree that would mean something. We scoured the farm and after evaluating several trees, we decided on this one, growing along the creek near the pond. After felling it, I counted 27 rings.....indicating the tree started life somewhere around 1982-83, when I was 8 years old. The tree was a young seedling growing very near the spot where a creek bottom squirrel bit my thumb and I was sure I was going to die a slow, agonizing death from squirrel rabies. Years later, it was a proper tree one sunny April afternoon when I called in three longbeards from the pines and took the largest not 30 yards from it's base. Familiar.

My helper (and future bowyer) taking a break before loading the tree on the truck.

When using hickory for a bow, the wood immediately under the bark becomes the "back" of the bow, which is the part away from the shooter. Because you use the wood right under the bark (as opposed to carving the wood down to follow a single growth ring as with Osage or Yew, for example), cutting the tree during the growing season allows the bark to easily peel off in large strips.
When splitting the trunk into staves, its best to use wedges to allow the wood to split along its natural grain, as opposed to using a saw. Seal the ends to prevent cracking, and wait, wait, wait!

Watch those toes!!

Four hickory staves

Thinning down the stave to near-bow dimensions so that it will season faster. If the wood is stressed before the moisture level drops to, say 10%, it will take "string set" and leave a generally weak bow (or a broken one).

Ready to dry for several weeks.

3 months later..........A bow!! What I didn't take pictures of was tillering the bow, the most important part. Tillering involves taking small amounts of wood from each limb until they bend equally. I did an adequate, but not a great job tillering. Hey, it's a learning process. :-)
I wrapped the handle in Jute twine and sealed the wood against moisture.

Full circle.....Shooting the bow with a homemade cane arrow and stone point. Next up, a bow for Molly.