Archive for July, 2009

From the Inspiration Journal…

Monday, July 13th, 2009

ptrainbowI’ve been keeping an “inspiration journal” for a few years now. Just quotes that I like with the date that I found them and where I found them. I’ve been thinking a lot about this one today, so I’ll share it w/you:

Always we hope
Someone else has the answer.
Some other place will be better,
Some other time
It will all turn out.

This is it.
No one else has the answer.
No other place will be better,
And it has already turned out.

At the center of your being you have the answer;
You know who you are and you know what you want.

There is no need
To run outside
For better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at
The center of your being;
For the more you leave it
The less you learn.

Search your heart
And see
The way to do
Is to be.

Lao Tzu, translater unknown.

Field trip (ha!)

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Dayton Farmers Market

Dayton Farmers Market

Well, I was getting a bit restless again, so Friday we (Mom & I) decided to take a little jaunt down to Dayton Farmers Market, south of Harrisonburg.  (She got a taste of what my little jaunts are like and was still recovering the next day. I think I need to find a new co-conspirator.)

Anyway, we fed all the livestock (8 cats & a dog) and took off about 10 on Friday morning w/a full tank of gas & Pete’s CD playing.

After we passed Luray, VA, we were in new territory for me, so I was oohing & ahing all over the place. Really liked what I saw of Harrisonburg, which is home to James Madison University and also Eastern Mennonite University.

Then we saw what Mom remembered as a really super thrift shop. She was right, so we spent about an hour there. I finally found the step basket I’d been wanting for a LOOONG time. (It’s a basket made to sit on steps. Very cool. I’m always setting things on the stairs so that I don’t forget to take them up or down. Now it looks nice, instead of trashy.)

Sooo… On we went to Dayton. Really liked the Farmers Market, although it was not exactly a farmers market. More like a collection of cool little shops.  (For more info, click the picture above.) We spent a couple hours there, b/c once again, I had to touch everything. (Maybe Hanuman should be my shopping buddy. Just a suggestion.) And then, we found an espresso stand there. So of course I was happy, but mater had had nothing to eat since about 10 AM & was not looking so hot. (more…)

Wineberries & plums

Monday, July 6th, 2009


Well, it’s wineberry season on the farm. We have brambles growing at the edge of the woodland & a tenant who enjoys picking them, so there you go.

What are wineberries? Well, a lot of the folks around here think they’re better than or as good as raspberries & blackberries. I wouldn’t go that far, but they’re pretty good. Here‘s an article w/recipes.

What we’re doing with them is putting them into a steam juicer, which is a relatively trouble-free way to get wineberry juice. Then we can the juice and can either drink it or turn it into jelly later.

Well, when our tenant was bringing a bucket of wineberries to the back door, TEBB was bringing plums to the front door. He & Mom have a deal where he supplies the produce & she supplies the rest.

I’d decided that one of the things I’d like to learn about this summer is canning, so I stuck around to help/watch.

What I learned:

  1. Canning season is the hottest time of the year.
  2. Making jam involves simmering hot liquid for HOURS in an already hot kitchen.
  3. You can’t open windows b/c drafts will crack the jars, spilling hot (VERY hot!) goop all over.
  4. It takes about 5 hrs to make a batch of jam.
  5. I don’t like jam all that much.

Skyline Drive

Monday, July 6th, 2009
Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive

Mom’s been teased for many yrs about not going anywhere, and her reply is that the world comes to her. Which is pretty much true, I’m finding. The farm is a little like Brigadoon, and in the past wk we’ve had a whole lot of visitors.

At the same time, I’m not the sitting still kind. So Friday I started getting a bit stir-crazy. I mean, after all, I’m here to explore the East coast a bit, and Virginia in particular.

I decided to make one of my first forays to Front Royal, and then drive a bit down the Skyline Drive. It was kind of a hazy day, but I could still see most of the valley from the various viewpoints. I only went as far as Luray, VA, but got a season pass so that I could go as many times as I like.

From our farm, we could see fireworks from about 3 municipalities, but I’m thinking the Skyline Drive would really be an excellent fireworks viewpoint.