Monday, October 26, 2009

my son the ranger

My son earned his ranger tab. I told people he was in super-hero training. Actually it is closer to agreeing to being tortured for a few months and if you can survive with honor you are a ranger. He was pure muscle before he went in and he lost 25 pounds. We went out to his graduation and they put on quite a show. The picture of the guy saluting was actually dropping into the water from a high rope he had shimmied along. They did lots of interesting explosive demonstrations and jumping off/climbing up cliffs and jumping out/being retrieved with helicopters. That sort of thing. It was very interesting. The fighting demonstration reminded me of Karate demos. He is in recovery mode. He's eating (they don't let them eat hardly at all during ranger training) and sleeping (guess what else they don't get to do) and basically healing from the ordeal. He's very proud he completed his training and thrilled he never has to do it again.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

growing sweet potatoes

It's easy to grow sweet potatoes. REALLY easy. It just takes a long time. Here's how I did it. Towards the middle of February I bought a couple of organic sweet potatoes from Whole Food market. I mistrusted what might be on the sweet potatoes at some of the more conventional stores. I didn't want to eat this, I wanted them to sprout. I brought them home and put them in a plastic dishwashing tub with a couple inches of damp dirt in it. I buried them half way into the dirt and put the tub in a warm place (top of frig). I left them there until they sprouted (only one of the potatoes sprouted, the other rotted). In a few weeks I had green leaves and put it in a mildly sunny warmish place, like next to a window. Keep the soil a bit damp and leave it like that until the weather outside is dependably warm. Early April is bit early, late April or May. Around then. It might grow like crazy, but that's ok. You can eat the extra leaves as greens. The phillipinos treat them like a delicacy. Actual planting--- roughly yank the slips (shoots?) from the mother sweet potato and immediately bury the hairy rootlike part of the slip in the dirt at least a foot apart from each other, maybe two feet. Now you ignore the plant until October. Watering if it is getting less than an inch of water a week, but even that isn't totally necessary. They love sunny hot weather and will try to take over the garden. They are sort of hard to mess up. In October, or whenever it gets around frost time dig them up, let them dry in the sun for a day and then put them in a big plastic bag, with the top left open. Put this in a warm place, like about 80 degrees. Leave for a couple weeks. This is called curing. After that just store them in a normal temperture place. They stay good for months.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

sweet potatoes are in

I dug up the sweet potatoes. They are about the last thing in the garden. Some tomatoes will still ripen and some peppers and a few other things, but the garden is basically done for the year. The sweet potatoes are the last serious harvest before winter. I got almost 30 lbs. I already cooked up the first batch and they are delicious!

Friday, October 16, 2009

What's your favorite scent?

I need help. OK, I'm begging for help. Anyone and everyone who might read this blog would you let me know what your favorite scent is. I can get just about ANY scent in the department stores or in Bath and Body Works or at Victoria Secrets or from all-natural essential oils, etc. I'm serious. I can get just about any scent. I want to get an idea of what people really like. Sometimes I use a scent that I love and my customers aren't near as interested. Other times I'm ok with a scent and they go nuts over it. I want some new ideas.

SOOOOO I'm taking a survey, put your answer in the comment section. You can go in as anonymous. What's your favorite scent?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

City chickens (now with eggs!)

My kids helped me put this together. They're wonderful!

Friday, October 9, 2009

it's still raining

It rained all day yesterday and the weatherman said it would rain all day today. Good day to stay inside and get some work done. I love being at home. It's my favorite place to be. Rain encourages me to just stay home and putt around the house. There sure is plenty to do! I've been making .... homemade food. You know-- bread, yogurt, sprouts, that sort of thing. I'm trying to eat fewer chemicals. I've been leaning that direction for a long time and I decided to just take it to the next level. I just feel better about eating things that I understand. I had homemade yogurt for breakfast, with a bit of cherry syrup. Most of the syrups available from America are all made with high fructose corn syrup, but I get this from the Global market and it is made with (this is the complete ingredient list) sour cherries and sugar. It's from Slovenia (I think). It's fabulous. I also had a fried egg (guess where that came from) and a bit of 100% apple juice. I have a bread sponge raising (fermenting?) and that's for lunch. Did I mention I like to cook?

Monday, October 5, 2009

soap business

These are a few of my newer soaps. I think they turned out really pretty. Packaging the soaps is the funnest part of the business. A lot of people have asked for gift baskets. This is my first attempt at making a gift basket. I'm glad I made it up before Saturday's market. Half the soap I put in the basket sold out. I need more practice making gift baskets, but I'm basically happy with this one.