Wednesday, March 29, 2017

getting ready for seeds 2017...and a bunch of other stuff!

we have finally had a couple of clear, sunny days but the snow is still on the ground!

what is snow good for? cooling off things quickly!

in this case, a pot of vermicelli for a shrimp/vermicelli salad with avocado, carrot, green onions and cilantro.

and the second pot contained macaroni for a chicken/macaroni salad with apple, celery and pecans.

here's a delicious supper from the other night - veg stirfry.

well, it finally has come to pass that we can no longer leave this cedar at the front of the house.

the previous owner probably bought a little bush, planted it here and didn't realize how big it would get. it's roots are destroying our foundation and it bangs against the house when it is windy, which is pretty much always. neither of us wanted to cut this beautiful guy down, but he is actually dying on the backside. jambaloney used his trusty ryobi saw.

and quickly cut him down. we will make use of our beautiful cedar - jambaloney will use the bigger tree parts to make handles for hand tools, while the smaller limbs and leaves will be run throught the chipper to make some wonderful mulch.

on to seed starting - woohoo! this is our set-up for starting seeds indoors. pay no mind to the bowl of cat snacks.

we bought the greenhouse thingy and plastic cover about 6 yrs ago for about $40. it takes up a huge area in our kitchen, which is already too small, but it is really worth it! we put it in front of our second kitchen door so that the seeds have natural light all day. but if you notice the big wood thing on the outside was built by jambaloney. on each side are 2 fluorescent lights. here they are turned on.

we find that the natural light and fluorescent light makes for strong plants which don't get too leggy before they are brought out to the greenhouse or transplanted into the ground. i have been using the same styrofoam cups and plastic containers for years. i fill them up with a combination of our compost and horse manure that we get from a guy. with a little peat moss mixed in. the seeds love that combination! i haven't started any seeds yet - i will wait a few days. we have another snow storm coming tomorrow and thursday - so maybe friday. there are currently 73 cups that will be planted with tomatoes and peppers. as you can see, there is room for more so i will start some other things as well next week.

brussel sprouts are out and there is nothing i love more than brussel sprouts! here's some fried in butter with some spinach - a great way to start the day!

we love veggie stirfries around here!

and here is all of the ingredients needed to make a wicked shrimp pasanda.

i like to make all of my curries or spice mixes myself. kinda looks tiny in the picture - teehee.

but we enjoyed shrimp pasanda and jambaloney's delicious sticky rice.

jambaloney makes the most awesome rice in the world whether it's sticky rice, basmati, brown or white. his trick? he uses our 10yr old rice maker, rinses the rice several times, fills the bowl with rice and water to the appropriate amount and then adds a good dollop of almond oil to it. the almond oil makes all of the difference!

he is at work today and tomorrow for 2 long days - crab season starts next week and everyone at Lobsters 'R Us are in full swing getting ready for it. lobster season will start on april 20 and it looks like a promising year!

i am here with 4 lazy, depressed cats and i totally understand. it's grey out again today and if we don't start seeing something resembling spring soon - i'm gonna lose it!

i hope you all are keeping busy and having a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

a great party - but it's still winter!!!!

we went to a fantastic St. Patrick's Day/Surprise Birthday party on saturday night - we had a hoot! but it's still winter....

we made sure to be well-fed the day of the party because we knew we needed our strength and we did!

 the casear salad on the left is jambaloney's...he doesn't eat croutons and didn't want shrimp. that's my caesar on the right...both had home-made caesar dressing on them using real anchovies. oh yes kids, we stockpile anchovies. you want to make the best roast or stew, chop up a couple of anchovies and chuck them in - the anchovies really bring out the flavour of beef.

anyway - at the party - supposed to be a St. Patrick's Day Party - and it was - the hall was beautifully decorated for Patty's Day! but a few days prior, my bestie C1 found out that our friend S's birthday was coming up and so C1 wanted to take care of all of the catering herself but asked that i bring my dip. of course i said yes!

so we all met up a little early, got the bar ready, got the food put out and then proceeded to party. S had absolutely no idea that we were going to acknowledge her birthday because we told her it was our other friend D's birthday. C1 got S a birthday card and had everyone, including S and her husband, sign the card for D - bahahahahah!

at about 10:30pm we turned the lights on and C1 got up and did a beautiful speech. S was blown away! i was sitting at the table with her husband, H, and H said "holy sh*t! i didn't see that coming" - bahahahah! C1 brought out the cake and S blew out her candles while we all sang happy birthday and then S gave a beautiful speech. it was lovely to surprise our friend like that.

then the lights went back down, the music was cranked and we all just started dancing like fools! much alcohol was consumed, people were giddy and happy moving around from table to table and talking to everyone, much more dancing and then the night ended. it was a fantastic time!

the next day, hurting like we were, we knew we needed to eat some good healthy RAW food.

that's fresh-made guacamole, salsa and parsley salad. the parsley and salsa are made with a base dressing of lemon, EVOO, ACV, a ton of garlic, cumin, cayenne and a ton of turmeric. the base dressing for the guacamole is exactly the same except i use a ton of cumin in it and the juice of a lime.

we opted for a supper of leftover kaftas, dill sauce, salsa and hummus.

the next day though dinner was a tuna pasta salad - heavy on the tuna. with parsley and olives.

we needed to fill jambaloney with some carbs as we were expecting another snow storm on monday. this has been the snow-stormiest, grayest, long lasting snow winter we have experienced here - it's awful! we got another foot- foot and a half of snow and jambaloney went out on tuesday and started up the tractor. over the past 2 days he has got us almost ploughed out....just about 10ft left at the bottom of the driveway but the city plow went by and dumped a pile right at the end of the driveway. so he's leaving that for tomorrow. except that it's snowing - AGAIN! arghghghggh!

oh well, ya just got to grin and bear it. i am looking so forward to april!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

a most awesome party on the weekend, more snow, and a very hungry couch!

we had the most awesome party on friday night - it was our friend D's 50th birthday party and we had a blast! the hall was beautifully-decorated, there was tons of food, and our friend D didn't know anything about it until he came into the hall with us all there saying "Surprise! Happy Birthday!"! he's shy so he kind of tried to sluff it off.

we all sat at 3 tables but everyone was moving among the tables and exchanging chairs so that we all got the chance to speak to each other. the most howling came from the back of the middle table where my best friend C was giving herself a night of fun and drinking her face off - bahahahahah! she was claiming to anyone who would listen that she never drank until she came to Framboise - and i believe her because i never drank like this until we came here!!!! what can i say - it's the atmosphere of feeling comfortable and confident among your friends, knowing that they won't judge you if you get a little tipsy and/or ridiculous, they all love chatting and then the lights go down, the music gets turned up and you find yourself dancing until you actually CAN'T dance anymore.

our other bestie, C's husband G, was a hoot and a half himself and he doesn't even drink. jambaloney says that one day he is giving G 5 shots of whiskey - bahahahahah! our other besties E and D were on their best behaviour - and that's a big NOT!!!!! then our other besties C and B from Fourchu came out for just a bit - me and C (she's my regular dancing partner) danced a little but then they had to leave because she had to get stuff ready for the cribbage party the next day. D, the birthday boy and his wife S, our other besties, were also great fun to be with. and can we just say that all these people here HAVE to be our besties - because we rely on them so heavily for showing up to parties, dances and events and being ensured that we will have a great time! and there was a right amount of mayhem when my friend I told me about waiting for a baby giraffe to be born in the NY zoo. i had never heard of it - nor had jambaloney - but everybody else in the hall knew all about it so we laughed quite a bit about that! our friends S and H, who we haven't seen in forever, had us in stitches all night! our other besties from Fourchu, R and D, came out and we hadn't seen them in forever, either, but it doesn't matter - you just pick up where you left off. R had me and her in stitches because she said "i hear you guys got a new rig, eh?" and i said "ya, it's a kubota and it has a backhoe...." - she almost fell off her chair! she said "no. i meant your new truck!" and we laughed and laughed.

our other Fourchu friends K and A were there - we had fun chatting with them. our friend A from Fourchu was there and we got to have fun with him, too. oh man - we had such a good time and there is nothing in the world than only going down your driveway when you know you will see your friends and have a wonderful time.

my bestie G said when i first went and hugged him - he said "glad you came down the driveway". well, i'm glad that we came down the driveway too!

saturday looked like this:

my poor hottub. it was too cold and snowy to get in for the past 2 days. and after all that dancing - i really need it!

the man likes to have a steak once a week and after he had been dancing all night with everyone - he needed to put the protein back in him.

snow or no snow - we love the bbq! he loves grilled on the barbie sweet potatoes and our own potatoes. this year we are growing sweet potatoes, along with all of our other potatoes - woohoo!

here's a pretty frost design on the window from yesterday:

here's some shredded left-over chicken with avocado, mayo and green onion with bean sprouts, tomatoe, grapes and kiwi:

if that's not dinner (lunch) - i don't know what is. and an afternoon snack of our own smoked trout that jambaloney caught last year, some wasabi-dill-tofutti cream cheese, lemon slices and extra dill on top. dill that we grew ourselves, dehydrated and have been using all winter.

followed up with some parsley, red onion and strawberry salad with a dressing of EVOO, ACV, lime, the usual 3: turmeric, cayenne, and cumin, as well as fresh-crushed ginger and garlic - deeevine! some pineapple and grapes and a green onion. the bowl in front is for the himalayan sea salt - the absolute best way to eat green onions is to lick the bottom of them and dip them in salt - oh! to die for! do it after every bite! lick and dip!

remember a few weeks ago i told you about meeting up with our besties C and G and E and D? remember how i told you that we were killing ourselves laughing and no one knew why? it's because we had had such a good meal because C knows how to make delicious food! and it was so nice to get together.

well - at one point in the evening, me, D and E were sitting on the couch. and apparently the couch started to eat me....

i guess the cushion kept slipping and i kept sinking. C said that by the end of the evening all she could see were my pink socks sticking out of the couch - bahahahah! oh we killed ourselves laughing about that at the party. as you can see in the above picture - i am actually crying because all of us were laughing so hard!!!! it was so awesome!

kids - part of your preps should always include finding people that you enjoy spending time with...people who will help you, people you can rely on....people that make you happy!

my goodness this march has sucked bad - but we spent time with friends a few weeks ago (C,B,E,D) and then went to this most awesome party on friday night! laughing with friends makes you feel good and it is some of the best spiritual, physical and mental medicine out there. i love not going down the driveway for weeks at a time - it's awesome! but i have a knack for knowing when it's a good idea to head on down the driveway! and i'm heading down the driveway next saturday for a St. Patrick's Day Dance at our hall and it is sure to be a humdinger of a party - cannot wait!

hoping you all had a great weekend and sending love!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

a big thanks to Deborah, gluten-free and dairy-free stuff, a drunk tractor and some more food!

the sunsets here are pretty spectacular.....

forget the fact that it's minus 50 degrees and i'm freezing my butt off getting in and out of the hottub - bahahahahahah!

we like to eat seasonally and locally as much as possible. but we always give ourselves treats during the winter - here's a fruit salad with pineapple, strawberry, apple (at least they were local) and grapes.

what a treat! a better treat is being able to go and get fresh mint out of the greenhouse!

i can't recommend strongly enough having a greenhouse or a hoophouse over the winter. in our unheated greenhouse we are able to keep green onions, mint, parsley, oregano, rosemary, catnip, sorrel, sage, lavender and bitter vetch. by growing sprouts in the sprouter, we can get lots of delicious and healthy food even in the winter.

i've mentioned that we're dairy-free (except for butter, eggs and a bit of aged cheddar every now and then), as well as gluten-free. i cheat every now and again and can handle a little bit of gluten but we have switched to quinoa pasta, brown rice pasta (which we loooove!), quinoa flour, almond flour and coconut flour. and we can honestly say that we don't miss the wheat at all!

quinoa flower is a little tricky to work with - hence the look of this meat pie!

no matter. you should have seen the messes we made when we first started making our own sushi!!!! this pie came out looking mighty fine to me!

and please take my advice - regardless of what flour you use - let the pie sit or you get this mess on a plate.

we didn't care - it was fricken deeelishous!

and it seems that tractor-dura was sipping on the good stuff last night. he's now known as "drunk-dura".

that's how crazy the frost heave is here - when jambaloney parked drunk-dura it was flat!

as you already know, jambaloney makes the best rice on the planet! we often have stirfries - this one with korean sticky rice.

but every now and then the man gets a craving for steak - and i love having a poached egg on steak.

and some more info on dairy-free - i thought i would die without my milk, 18% cream in everything, all of my processed cheeses, my sour cream, my cream cheese, my cottage cheese - it has not been easy because i like melted cheese on melted cheese with my sour cream! but jambaloney keeps his eyes open and looks for things that could help with that. he found 2 Tofutti products that i actually enjoy. one is called Tofutti Sour Supreme and the other is Toffuti Better than Cream Cheese.

as you know, we do not advertise on our blog or receive free samples of stuff. so if i say i like the stuff - it means i like the stuff.

and using almond milk in your organic cereal feels just like eating cereal - who knew???

Lastly - a BIG THANK YOU to Deborah Harvey who commented on our last post and recommended a book about menopause and natural options vs. HRT. Deborah - i ordered 3 of his books and have ordered 2 bottles of progestelle - i can't wait to try it. if any ladies are interested in my opinion of the books and the progestelle - you can contact me here or through email -

now we are off to make coconut bars - imagine? i've never liked sweets in my life but that's because they were all made with wheat. the quinoa flour, coconut, flour and almond flour is changing all that.

Monday, March 6, 2017

a great new canadian blogger, not going down the driveway, tractor-dura....and of course - FOOD!

i'm not sure how i came across Rain's blog...probably blog-hopping through all of my fave blogs....but i came across her blog and loved it! she's fun, she's canadian, she's a rural homesteader, she loves to garden, loves to eat good food and her and her boyfriend are planning to buy their own land in 2019. all of us here in the blogging world who have "found" their land know what an exciting adventure it is. i would ask my friends here in blogworld to have a look at her blog, and if you like what you see...leave her an encouraging comment. oh, and if you want to learn from a menu-planner-extraordinaire - she just planned out 41 meals for her next shopping trip. she's a girl after my own heart "not wanting to go down the driveway". here is beautiful Rain:

and here is her beautiful blog Rain's Garden.

speaking of not going down the driveway - i went to my nearest neighbour's (and best friend but i have a few of those here so it's hard to call only one my "best" friend - bahahahahah!) son's girlfriend's baby shower on saturday. can you believe it? i actually went down the driveway!!!! i haven't been down the driveway in 3 weeks - woohoo! but i had to go to this baby shower because it was my nearest neighbour E's son's girlfriend's shower. she and her sister (my other best friend) C1 put on such a lovely shower and C1's incredibly personal touches were seen throughout! C1 also made me my "special" egg salad sandwich and kept it separate from the rest - people here like onions in their egg salad but i don't - so C1 always makes a special sandwich for me - teehee! the decorations were beautiful, the food was lovely, the gifts for the attendees were in such abundance that we all took home 4-5 presents each - and some people took home more! our friend I and S and S's 2 daughters really did a good job of running the shower. J, the mom-to-be was soooo cute! i can't believe i am saying that i had a good time at a baby shower - but i really did! for the first hour i sat with my besty C2 (my other best friend) but then she had to leave to go to attend another function. just as she was getting up to leave, and older lady C3 showed up so she sat with me for the rest of the time. she had me in stitches with the stuff she was saying! i also got a chance to see a whole pile of women that i haven't seen in months - it was a lovely time! the most exciting part of the whole affair was that i took home 3 of C1's gorgeous-looking cupcakes for jambaloney - but he really is off the gluten. he hasn't had a drop of wheat in 2 months! and as much as he wanted to eat C1's cupcakes he stuck to his guns. and because he thinks i am dropping body weight really fast...and i's the peri-menopause (sorry guys!) - so he said "babe, eat one of C1's cupcakes. that'll put some weight on you!". now you must understand that i am not a sweet or a dessert person - i never have been. i ate the first strawberry shortcake cupcake in about 30 seconds - all the while trying to tell jambaloney how delicious it was with a full mouth. then i ate the second cupcake. i waited about 20 minutes before i ate the third. oh my gawd - they were soooooo good! my goodness can C1 make a cupcake!!!!

ok - i know you are all dying to see the tractor-dura! here she be:

yep - that's our new little baby! at the shower, after telling one of my friends who i hadn't seen for a while that we got a tractor, she had a confused look on her face and said that she always assumed that we had one. man, wish i had have talked to her a few years ago! we really should have had a tractor years ago with our driveway from hell and all of the gardening that we do. live and learn, i guess.

want a good way to start your day? home-made bone-broth soup with the juice of a whole lime, a ton of garlic, a ton of ginger, tumeric, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper, a dollop of homemade kick-you-in-the-face hotsauce and throw fresh parsley into the bowl. yummeh!

here's a nice morning snack an hour or so after your parsley soup:

 parsley and red onion salad with the juice of a lemon, a good dollop of EVOO, the usual suspects: turmeric, cayenne and cumin, aq bucketload of garlic and salt and pepper. then kymberz version of pico de gallo: tomatoes, avocado, 3 kinds of peppers, a sploosh of EVOO, a ton of onion, salt and pepper and a ton of cilantro. a couple of organic lime chips and your good until dinner!

here's tractor-dura parked near vandura and the crazy, waterproof shed that jambaloney built.

it's a kubota...and it is way oranger in real life than it looks. it's like really orange. this is the back-hoe.

and here is the loader.

i felt bad that the tractor was getting all the attention so here is another look at caribou-dura - gawd i love the colour of this truck!!!

here's a nice dinner (lunch for some people) - shrimp, vermicelli, a salad of romaine lettuce, fresh pineapple, cucumber, carrot flakes and green onions.

that will definitely keep you going until your afternoon snack. the dipping sauce is the juice of a whole lime, sugar, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, home-made hot sauce and some oranges - deelish!

and in case any of you wonder how i do my blogging activities, keep up with your blogs, leave comments, etc - i do it like this:

that's edgar houdini - the rat cat - the rat cats muhbu - sitting right in front of my computer screen while i try to move my mouse and type around him!

it's not as bad as poor jambaloney - he has noodie-noo (another of our cats) always on top of his keypad and work notes when he is trying to work on his contract for Lobsters 'R Us. 

Mobie-Moe and Mankly-Spontoonch (our 2 other cats - all of them are rescues/strays) are usually on plastic covered porch most days and arent't too interested in the computer stations. thank The Lord.

and yes - the pic above is me reading Harry Flashman's blog. i read every single one of his posts because he has much to teach. you all should read his blog too. but i am pretty sure that most of my bestest blogging buddies already do. the rest of you - get over to his blog and learn. the man is a font!!!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

march 1st, 2017

it's finally march! only 31 more days until april! t.s. eliot said that "april is the cruelest month"...but not to me! april is when i know spring is happening....i love spring!

here's some delicious grilled shrimp and veg and fruit....even though we get storms and snow - we can still grill stuff on the bbq year-round.

i get gifts every time jambaloney goes to work or to town to get's my new rubber ducky boot-thingys with handles on the side that make them real easy to put on...don't ya love 'em?

some delicious stew....the meat was so tender and the veg to die for! we made it yesterday and will finish the rest tonight.

this afternoon we went hog wild on a stirfry with everything and jambaloney's perfectly cooked korean sticky rice. yummeh!

due to the crazy weather and surface conditions here at the Manor - we haven't been taking our walks to the river.

that's all about to change as march is proving to be an excellent month weather-wise. we get our tractor delivered on friday - woohoo!

i have told all of our friends that i will use my "Framboise-Fourchu" driver's license (it's for all of the people here that don't have driver's licenses but still drive between the 2 villages - bahahahahah!) to drive the tractor. so i will pull out my Framboise-Fourchu license and go and visit our friends. or as my Big Bro G says "kymber, you won't even come down your driveway".

and i guess he's right - because, unless we have a function (i have a baby shower this saturday), or unless i HAAAAAVE to go into town (which only happens a couple times of the year), or unless we have a get-together with friends - it's true. i don't go down the driveway. and i really like it that way.