Oh, Hello Winter

So, even though we didn't have a white Christmas, we will certainly have a white winter. I can remember last year, even though it snowed, it didn't really snow a ton. Like, I didn't even have to wear my coveralls. This year, Hello Snow!

It has snowed everyday since Christmas, and I am by no means complaining. I love the snow and think it is beautiful. The chickens however, do NOT! They will not even come out of their run, even after I shoveled the backyard for them! Yes... I just said I shoveled the yard. Since they hate the snow so much, next year I am going to cover the run in that clear plastic stuff one can use for the roof of a sun room as I worry about them not getting enough of that good sun vitamin, Vit D. I really have no idea what it is called, but I will take pictures next fall when I do it.

Backyard, shoveled, but no chickens in sight!


Lean Mean Sucking Machine

First off, I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I am happy we survived the "apocalypse" and impending doom. The New Year is coming, so in my mind, it is time to get clean!

A couple weeks ago, I ordered my new vacuum, the Shark Navigator Elite Pro Lift-Away Rotator. That was quite the mouthful! So here is my assessment.

First off, the price is insane and I got lucky because I had just sold my textbooks back to Amazon and only actually had to pay $50 for my cleaner. Second, this thing SUCKS! Holy cow! Here is the story... My house hadn't been vacuumed in nearly a week because my old cleaner died. I borrowed my friends cleaner so that I would have a clean house for our Christmas eve brunch. I was truly amazed at how much even that thing sucked out of my carpets. Really, I was amazed. So then my NEW cleaner was delivered right after brunch, and my sister and I could NOT WAIT to try it out. Being girls of the house, that is what we do... Clean...

Anyhow, I was AMAZED at how much hair and gray nasty dirt it pulled out of my carpet even just the day after I had pulled out what seemed like 20 pounds of nastiness. I feel so clean! I wish I had before and after pictures of my furniture, but I got into the zone and did not want to be bothered by it. The thing about this vacuum is, is that the whole unit comes off of the upright base and can be placed onto a caddy for wand vacuuming. This is what I did to clean the furniture, as all the reviews said the machine would topple over if you use the wand without the caddy. I did not want to chance breaking my new sucker, so I followed the recommendations. The pet hair attachment is awesome! Not only did it suck all the blonde cat hair off of my dark blue chairs, it also sucked off those annoying "cat prints" they inevitably leave around due to cat litter (yes, I know it's gross, but my cats are awesome so get over it.)

So, my overall opinion? This thing is amazing. The filters are cleanable, the hose is long, the attachments are great, the power cord is super long, and OH! It is QUIET!!!! I can't believe how quiet it is in comparison to other vacuums. Hubby, who hates loud noises and would literally go outside while I cleaned the floors can not sit at his laptop and work without being driven completely insane.

So, yes, you should should buy this vacuum Carolyn. I know you need a good sucking machine!


Punkins Home!

She came home this morning at about 515 am, and I could hear her little meows from outside the back door, all the way up the stairs, and into my sleep. I ran down and rescued her, but all she was interested in was food.

She has a little bit of an eye infection, but I have drops and ointment for that, and I am calling the vet as soon as they open to get a microchip. Ornery little thing she is! I wonder what she does on these grand adventures???


My "End of the World"

Punkin has escaped again... Hopefully we will find her before there is too much snow...

Happy Last Day of the World

Update: Time missing - 24 hours
               Still missing... Chicken Stalker has no problem sleeping in the cat bed on the porch, why can't Punkin figure it out?! If/When we find her, she is getting a microchip ASAP.


White Christmas???

Oh my gosh! We might have a white Christmas! I really hope so! I could totally use the snow to get me in the Christmas Spirit. 


Fri Dec 21

Snow / Wind
Snow / Wind

Sat Dec 22

Snow Shower / Wind
Snow Shower / Wind

Sun Dec 23

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy

Mon Dec 24

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy

Tue Dec 25

Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
Chance of precip:
NNE at 10 mph


Having 4 Animals Sucks When....

.... Your vacuum stops sucking and dies. It's a good thing I had Amazon credit from selling text books... There goes my new coffee maker and pasta press... Well, maybe just the pasta press... Or the coffee maker...
It's not our fault!

We didn't do it!
Hopefully this little dirt-sucking-beast will be able to tame the fur of the Tiny Gardener Homestead...
The Shark Navigator Elite Professional... 3 vacuums in one... A swiveling upright, easy to carry canister, and a lift away pod (whatever that means...) Look out hair!!!!!!!!

Christmas in SEVEN Days?!


Are you ready? I am not ready... I mean, I have bought all the necessary presents, and my tree is up. So I am ready... But my brain is like, Seriously Dude???  Maybe it needs to snow or something...


My New Blog

You know, why not add another thing for me to write about? I mean, gardening in the winter is kind of dull, so let's work on sprucing things up around the house!

Join me over at Our Lovely Home to see all of my ridiculous projects, DIY's, and renovations we have done in our home and are planning on doing. I will try to focus on being frugal while decorating, furnishing, gardening, and all that other fun stuff that makes a house a home.

Thanks for joining me/us on our journey!


Tis The Season

For Garden Porn! Yes, finally, I get to gaze at the pages and pages of glorious descriptions and shiny pictures of next year's potential crops. I LOVE December! Garden porn, Christmas, snow, hot tea, stews and chilis, breads... If only I could grow my vegetables, winter would definitely be my favorite season.

I have JUST placed my seed order with Baker Creek, and I can't even wait for that little package to come in the mail. Truly, I have had these catalogs for a week now, so I have been drooling with out telling you all, and after cleaning out my old, old, very old seeds, it was pretty easy and uncomplicated to pick out the new prospects.

I can almost already taste the first peas and radishes of Spring... They are only 20-24 weeks away...


Dark Days Challenge

This year, I am only a week late on getting on the wagon with the Dark Days Challenge. Last year, I had no flippin clue what it meant. This year, I am ready to go and doing this via Nancy's blog, Little Homestead in Boise.This is a great challenge, AND it gives me something post about every week! (Winters are slow in the blogging world...)

So what is this challenge thing about??? Here are the guidelines, and if I am incorrect, please correct me!

Dates:The challenge runs from December 1st, 2012 – April 15, 2013

What’s the Challenge?
Try to cook four meals each month (1 per week) focused on sustainable, organic, and local ingredients (SOL). Whatever you can find is fine! Write about it on your blog, or here in the comments section. Feel free to link back to me on your blog if you have one!

What does local mean?
Traditionally local food challenges call for a 100 mile radius, but winter is more difficult in many climates. If you’re new to eating locally try 150 miles. Typical exceptions are oils, coffee, chocolate and spices. If you’re making fewer, or more exceptions, please note that on your first post or comment.

What if I can’t find every ingredient locally?
If you can’t find every ingredient, or even most ingredients, please still write about your attempts. This is just as much about what we learn, the obstacles we find and the decisions we make as it is about cooking with SOL ingredients. Do what you can, where you can.

What if I don’t have a good photos?
Take photos of what you’ve got, just do your best. No worries, keep it simple, or just tell the story and we’ll use our imaginations.

What if I don’t have a blog?

You are still welcome to participate! Just you come by each week and add your meal/experiences as a comment.

I think I will be pretty good to go on the protein front, as I have a freezer full of beef from my Sister and her Farmer, Row Family Farmers Extraordinaire, and we have our own chickens for eggs, and the chicken we eat come from a farm in Akron. The veggies might be difficult for me, as nothing is in season right now except for winter squash. 

On that thought, I am going to do a quick recap of what I have that we grew ourselves... A zillion pounds of winter squash and pumpkins are in the garage, bags of frozen green beans and corn are in the freezer, I can make pasta and breads with our eggs, we have tomatoes, apple sauce, pickles, peppers... Ok, I think we will be good! 

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone posts for their Dark Days Challenge! 


My Christmas Break Project... Maybe...

I was on my favorite website, Pinterest, where I found this awesome looking hutch/island made from old windows...

Cape Cod Kitchen Island

And guess how much  this website wants you to pay for it?! $1300.00!!! I have LOTS of old windows laying around, and I am sure I could fashion a nice top and shelves (maybe not drawers) from old barn lumber I can scavenge from an old barn in my sister's field. And I have paint laying around, and floor stain from when we installed our stair treads.

The question is... Where will I put such a thing???


I'm Egg-Static!

Ecstatic for eggs! All 4 hens are officially laying eggs!!! I couldn't be a happier or prouder chicken mama!!!

So here goes! I will be needing some egg recipes... Got any good ones???


I Want Leftovers!

Ok ok ok... Yes, I gloated that I didn't have to make Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I am still happy I didn't do it. But, I do miss leftovers. I want a turkey sandwich and mashed tater soup. Oh well...

It's probably a good thing I didn't end up with all the work of cleaning up either because on Friday morning, my sister called me and told me she hurt her back and needed me to come help her with the kiddos and her house. Tiny Gardener to the rescue! So I did her dishes, cleaned up a little, made food, and entertained my nephew (my niece generally doesn't want anything to do with me.)  Haha, my sister said, some kids have blankies and binkies and dog-dogs. My niece has mommy. Hahaha! Even as cute as my little niece is, I can see how she easily drives her momma up a wall, all while having the most adorable little smile! I really do need to get some new pics of these munchkins....

So after taking care of my sister as best I could, I came home yesterday to a house full of boxes as Hubby went to Ikea to get our new living room furniture. So then we spent all night putting furniture together and cleaning and folding boxes.

Then today... Oh today... Really, it wasn't any big deal until we were getting ready to leave the house to go watch the Brownies kick some Pittsburgh butt, and Chelsea Belle was SO excited to go see her boyfriend (Rocky, who really only has eyes for his frisbee) that she fell over the ledge of the foyer and onto the basement stairs. I FREAKED OUT!!! So hubby went on, and I stayed home to keep my eyes on the little lady.  I think she will be ok, she is limping, but does not flinch or yelp at all when I bend her legs and check her spine. She is old, so I am sure she will be sore for a couple of days... Poor little babe... For now she is sleeping on a blankie in front of the stove.


Taking Bets

Our Christmas tree has been up for 12 hours... We have pulled Punkin out of it twice... How many times more do you think that will have to happen? I say between 60 and 70... Hubby says about 180....
Punkin and last year's tree...


A Great Weekend!

I thought after my last post, and the depression and soul searching it brought, I needed to post something happy! Hubby and I have had a great weekend, and it only gets better!

Yesterday, we went to volunteer with his Rotary Club to hand out Thanksgiving dinners to families in need, then we stocked up on fruit and veggies at The West Side Market. Then, he went to work for a couple of hours while I made a total God-forsaken mess in the kitchen cinnamon rolls and bread starter. Then, we had a date night... Out for dinner because our kitchen is still a total freakin mess and then we went and saw the new movie Lincoln (which was totally awesome by the way!)

Today, I will be cleaning the house and then going out for lunch with some girlfriends and then to see the final Twilight movie. Don't judge.... Ok judge, but I am going to see it anyways!


Is Ignorance Bliss?

So, this morning whilst watching the news and hearing about Hostess's baker strike and now announced shut down and liquidation, I stumbled upon this article about turkey abuse at Butterball Farms in North Carolina. Included in the article is This Video that is an undercover, Food Inc type video of the turkey abuse. Now, for those that are aware, animal abuse is fairly common in the industrial food system, so this really is nothing new, but disturbing all the same...

It is a good thing to be aware of everything you eat and the effort (or anti effort?) that goes into making it... But sometimes I wish I didn't know any better...


Give Target Workers Their Holiday!

I found it! The Target petition that is circulating to protest Target opening on Thanksgiving day instead of Friday morning! Please sign it and share this on your blog to give Thanksgiving back to the workers!



Ch Ch Ch Changes

Yes, as you can see, I have changed my blog background.... To Winter... And guess what? I am putting up my Christmas Tree this weekend too...

Don't worry CR, I am still celebrating Thanksgiving, but not at my house!

Oh, and I taught Hubby how to make scrambled eggs tonight! He did so well! He wanted to know if I would make him eggs for dinner, and I said no, but I will teach you. He said no at first, then I reminded him that next semester I will not be around at dinner time 4 days out of the week, and he crumbled and said OK, he would learn. I am so proud!

Chicken Coop Redo 2012

So, the other day I promised you a post about redoing the chicken coop... The building stayed the same, but we moved things around to make it more spacious and easier to access. We also covered the run, so that the girls have a dry, wind-free place to hang out. First off, a shot of how the coop used to be...

The set up worked very well for a long time, but we were trying to figure out how to incorporate a flower pot stand for the water, as we want to figure out a way to keep the water from freezing... We came up with keeping a lightbulb turned on in an overturned flower pot (project details to come, as that part isn't finished yet.)

Anyways, here is the new set up.....
The nesting boxes are right next each other, and we placed some plywood over the top to keep the poo from falling into the boxes... It really is no fun washing your eggs to get the poo off... Gross in fact... The feeder hangs from a chain and there is plenty of room for the water. Although I forgot to take a picture of that, I can ensure you it is mighty fine looking.

The girls are a little confused though, because yesterday they laid eggs literally in the middle of the coop, rather than in the nesting boxes. I am sure this will work itself out, but i just tells me that they feel safe and secure in their house. I guess that is the silver lining!

Oh! And we got a new timer for the heat lamp. Last year we had a digital model, and honestly it was a huge pain in the arse! This year we got a simple, easy to set, non-digital one, and it works great. The girls will have lamp heat and light from 4 am - 7 am. I don't know what you philosophies are on supplemental lighting, but I am all for it. I like my eggs! And it gives the girls some nice warmth in which to clean their feathers without losing too much body heat.
And of course the run is now covered and dry :)
We also weatherized the coop window, but I don't seem to have a picture of that, and since it is cold and snowing, you will just have to take my word for it that is looks great :)



First off, we got our garlic planted! Yay! A couple a weeks late, but at least it got done. Thanks to that lovely storm we all had, it was way to wet to be able to get out there and make it happen. I tilled up the dirt, added in some new good stuff from the Big Orange Store (pickins were slim, so I had to get miracle grow) and then plugged the cloves in the ground. Then it was covered with straw, covered with chicken wire, and poles were put on top to keep the whole lot from blowing away. And to keep the chickens from digging in there.

Winterizing is never a fun day, but at least I get to spend it with Hubby! We emptied the rain barrels, cleaned up the driveway and garage, cleaned the chicken coop, put the tarp over the run, pulled out the rest of the garden, pulled out the anti-groundhog fencing, and then we had to put all that extra stuff away.  I think it is safe to say that we will most likely NOT be able to park in our garage this winter. My car never gets that luxury, but since Hubby has a new car, I am sure we will work on the garage again to be able to get it in there. We also brought in all of the coolers and various plastic containers previously used for chicken transport.

There also was a chicken coop redo, but I will post about that tomorrow... I need something to talk about these days, I don't want to cram it all in one post!
Arial view, empty garden

4 x 12 bed, completely filled with garlic - German Extra Hardy and Chesnock Red

We left the peppers in for the chickens to peck at. Maybe the Bastard Groundhog will come back before hibernation and finish the job for me...

Tarp covered chicken run... Last year, I didn't do this until after it snowed... Big mistake. This year, the girls will stay dry and warm. And a shot of Hubby and Chelsea Belle
Little One, making herself at home :) I love these little chickens!

And Chelsea... We took her for a run this morning, and she has been totally tuckered out all day. She has been sleeping all day!


You Know it is Time to Lose Weight....

...When you bend down and rip your favorite jeans... Oy Vay... It is time to start running again... Good thing we have those super healthy and good for us eggs! If only I didn't like to make them with so much delicious butter....


A Homegrown Dinner

Really, I should have taken a picture... This dinner was so darn good! We had our first steak from our newest installment of beef, courtesy of my annual Christmas present from the Row Family Farmers (aka my awesome sister and her farming hubby) and it really was amazing.

I cooked up a nice big sirloin steak (which not only fed us tonight, but will also feed us breakfast and dinner tomorrow) in my biggest skillet with a healthy coating of Tiny Gardener's House Seasoning.  Oh My GAWD! So I let the steak rest and decided that I needed a fancy dinner... I deglazed the pan with red wine (a fancy term for pouring in some booze and scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan) and added some Worcestershire sauce and 3 drops of liquid smoke and let it reduce until it was shiny and thick... HOLY COW!

As for sides, we had roasted pumpkin (from the farm) and potatoes (from the West Side Market) with garlic and rosemary (backyard garden) as well as some green beans with butter (from the farm.) 

All in all, a darn fine successful dinner, right from our own backyard... For the most part at least..

Tiny Gardener's House Seasoning
2 parts course salt
2 parts course black pepper
2 parts granulated garlic (or garlic powder, however you want to look at it)
1 part paprika (get smoked or spicy if you like, but I just had plain this time around)

I like to make a big batch of this stuff and keep it in a recycled spice shaker that holds about 2 cups.


Kitting is Hard

So tonight, I go my very first set of knitting needles (regular, double pointed, and those ones that make round stuff) and some yarn. I watched several videos on YouTube, and successfully cast on my first row, then knitted some very ugly rows.

I don't really know what happened, but I ended up with some very large loops hanging off the end of the rows, and some how I had some extra loops on my needles... I know this will come better with practice, but OY it is hard!

I am determined to learn, and Hubby has already requested a hat...

I wish I had a mentor!


Americauna Egg!

Blondie Girl has laid her first egg! I am so excited! That means, finally, that we have 3 out of 4 hens laying eggs. Thank you gawd! I was starting to get nervous that we had 2 defective chickens, and would still be left with just 2 laying hens just like our last batch of Girls. Anyone recall Blanche's Eggs Without a Shell??? Yes, I sure do... Then she started eating the eggs the other hens would lay...

Anyways, here is the GORGEOUS turquoise colored egg that Blondie gave us... It looks small in Hubby's hand, but I can assure you it was quite normal sized. I feel kind of bad for the poor girl, laying a normal sized egg her first time... Ouch!


Power is Back On!

The power is back, and really it wasn't so bad. It only ended up being out for just over 12 hours. No biggie. Our freezers are so stocked that I doubt they even noticed the lack of electricity. But it sure felt great to take a shower! Unfortunately I was already at work for the day, so I didn't get my shower until tonight, but again, no biggie.

The wind has really died down, we are still getting gusts, but all is well. We didn't have any damage here in our neighborhood, but as I was driving around the 'burbs, I couldn't stop myself from slowing down and looking in awe at all the downed trees. BIG trees. The kind that take out power lines and such. I feel really terrible for those whose power will take longer to restore.

Thanks everyone for the well wishes, and I send them all back out to everyone out East, especially Tami and Bonnie. I hope you gals are OK! From the pictures I have seen online and Facebook, it looks like everyone out there got pretty beat up.

That was a crazy night!

Good morning everyone! Just a little update...

Power went out last night at about 11, and has stayed out. I'm pretty sure the transformers are shot as I heard them go POW! And the sky was filled with green light.

So even though we have no power, we are able to access the news and internet on our phones. Hence, the blog post...

Hope everyone is safe and well!


Last Minute Prep

Well, the storm is here, and the power hasn't gone out... Yet...

I realized last minute, as in 1 hour ago, that we have zero lighters or working flashlights in this house. How does that happen you ask? I think that is probably a good question...

So I ran (drove) (slowly) to Target to get a lantern/lighters/matches/etc... Apparently everyone else had that idea too... So I went to the gas station to fill up the car, went inside and found what? Lighters galore! So I bought some as well as a handy dandy crank flashlight that doesn't even need batteries! It is small, but powerful. So, moral of the story? Skip Target and hit your gas station.

Chelsea went out to take a little pee, the kitties are good, and the chickens are all tucked in. I closed their escape hatch, gave them fresh straw, food, and water. They will be good to go. Not like they will be wanting to go outside anyways... All the loose stuff is packed in from outside, so hopefully nothing blows away. We will have to assess the damage on Wednesday...

So, here we are, tucked in, hoping the power doesn't go out. I hope everyone on the East coast is hunkered down safely, or has escaped the flooding. Warm and dry wishes to everyone out there.

With all the serious talk out of the way, I bring you a couple of serious pictures of Lake Erie courtesy of the internet (there is no way I am going out in this stuff!)
On the East Side Shoreway Highway
This is the pier at Edgewater where I was taking pictures yesterday
 OH! And this is a great site... You can watch a live video feed from Dodd Camera on the Eastside... it overlooks the Shoreway Highway just west of where the upper picture was taken...


Batton Down The Hatches! It's Frankenstorm!

In all seriousness, I hope all my blogosphere friends and their families on the East Coast are safe and well.

But this storm name is SILLY! Lets please call her by her name, Sandy. Sandy hasn't even hit the coast yet, and we here in Ohio are already feeling it. This morning was SO dark (in part I think because DST has been extended) but good gawd, it was almost creepy walking the dog this morning! I didn't edit these photos, so yes, this is really how dark it was at 730...
Heading North on our street, Chelsea as my guard dog
Looking North towards Lake Erie, end of the street

Looking West, end of the street

Looking East, end of the street
So after we ate breakfast, I convinced Husband to take me over to Edgewater Park so we could see the Lake in its fury. Instead of walking, we drove... Super lame since the lake is our back yard, but it was WINDY. We walked out onto the pier and Holy cow! It was crazy! I tried to upload some video, but Blogger just wasn't going to have it... Sorry, but you will miss out on the floating birds and our silly commentary....

These are the bases of the old pier... If you watch the video, you will see that the waves almost crest the tops

See that flat area of stone in the middle? There are a few of these around the pier, people usually are hanging out and fishing from them... The lake is usually about 8 ft below that

These rocks vary in height... About 2-4 ft each

This one is for Carolyn Renee... I knew she would worry about the kitties, but dont! Punkin thinks this is great sleeping weather... And as for the chickens, they have some new fresh straw, food, and water... They safely tuck themselves into a corner and snuggle. I would take a picture of it, but every time I open the door, they come running to me...


You Never Know When a Chicken Will Save You...

Or your cell phone! So today I must have dropped my cell phone out of my pocket because I was looking for it all day! And I mean hours... Like 5 or 6!

So just know, four little kids from down the street brought me my phone telling me they found it in the street. How did they know it was my phone? Because the little boy said he was looking through my pictures and saw the chickens and knew where they lived, so it must be my phone!

Although, never overestimate the kindness of children... Angel was going to keep the phone, but his big sister made him bring it back!


Seeing Orange

So, I finally got around to putting up all my pumpkins! I started with 3 sugar pies and attempted to can them... All was going well until I pulled the jars out of the pressure canner. I filled the jars with the punkin chunks and topped with fresh boiling water, just as Ball prescribes. Then I cooked them at 10 pounds for 90 minutes. Then I pulled them out, and there was no water! Well, the jars were only half full of water.... What the heck???? Do I need to screw the bands on tighter? I just don't get it... I mean, they sealed up fine, but are they going to be OK without being completely submerged? If the answer is no on that one, I am still OK with that as I have about 25 more pie punkins to take care of...
This jar had mushy punkin chunks...

This jar's chunks were in tact, but still... Where did all that water go???

So as my pie punkins were processing, I cut up one of my GORGEOUS Musquee De Provence pumpkins. Yes, this pumpkin is so beautiful it deserves to be called an actual pumpkin. I didn't take a picture of this one before I cut it up, but here is one from the internets...
NOT my picture... But I have about 6 more of the babies out in the driveway
really, this picture (from my phone) does NOT do the color of Musquee de Provence any justice

The biggest Pyrex bowl I own is overflowing with chunks... A LOT of flesh and only a little skin. I LOVE this pumpkin!

This is probably the least messy my kitchen has EVER been during canning...

Anyways, I don't even know how much this thing weighed, but it was a LOT. I got 2 full gallon bags of pumpkin cubes (which I plan on roasting and making into soup.) This pumpkin flesh is so beautiful... It is a bright pinkish orange color, and has the texture of a butternut squash. I cannot even WAIT to cook this baby up. I would have done it last night, but I didn't have any olive oil... I will take care of it tomorrow...

Speaking of soup, my next question... I know I am NOT supposed to can pureed squash because of the density, but what about soup? I mean, it is much more liquid than straight up squash puree... Any thoughts???


Slow October

The garden is pretty much done putting out, and we aren't up to much... Just working, schooling, eating, and dog sitting... I even started my seed shopping for next year early. WAY early...

We did strike up a conversation about putting cabbages down at the farm, and my only reservation about that are cabbage moths/worms... Has anyone out there used those fabric row covers? I have never used them, and honestly, I don't even know where to buy them. Here at home, I can just sprinkle the plants with DE and call it a day, but down at the farm (1.5 hour drive) I am pretty much powerless against the forces of nature...


Larder Assessment

So let me just say first, the Harvest Party was a total success. Even though I made WAY too much food (I always have and always will) everyone had a great time, and the weather couldn't have been better!

So after that was all over, I got to work organizing and assessing my larder in preparation for my beef. I used the downloadables created by Erica over at NW Edible Life, and got myself set up. I cleaned up the freezer downstairs, and I believe I have space for 3 cases of beef... What I will do with the other 2 (last year we got 5 cases, so that is my basic plan) I have no idea... I mean, last year we had to have a party just so we could close the freezer... I need to work on us eating out of the freezer over the next 2 weeks so that I can move stuff around again and have room... Oy vay....

But getting organized really felt awesome. I took stock of all the canned goods, all the extraneous stuff (coffee, cereal, pasta, oils, etc) in my back pantry/kitty room as well as the freezer downstairs (all meat, a few veg - corn, beans, pureed pumpkin) AND the freezer upstairs (all veg, fruit, crockpot dinners for easy access).
Upstairs Freezer


Downstairs Freezer... It is so hard to get a good shot of chest freezers... But you get the idea...