3/16/2017 – 2nd week of Early Spring

Purchased all the supplies to build two raised beds. If I was smart, I would have had the lumber cut down at the store. Now I have to track down a saw.

Also started getting catalogs from the chicken hatcheries. Thinking about putting in two small orders instead of one regular order. The meat order would be Rainbow Rangers (or similar). The egg order would be Hollands and either Buff Orpingtons or a mix of Brahmas.

Noticed that some of the plums were flowering. Definitely springtime.

Posted in Animals, Daily, Gardening

2/28/2017 – 4th week of Late Winter

  Just about finished with the first version of the first floor plan. There are a few details that I need to finish that deal with how the first floor correlates with the second floor and the framing of the first and second floors. Mostly this has to do with plumbing and HVAC.

  Quite a bit of physical labor at work this week. On the bright side, it’s a nice way to get into shape for spring. But it is making notice my age, or at least how out of shape I am in.

  Slowly, but surely.

Posted in Daily, House

2/17/2017 – 2nd week of Late Winter

Took a break from garden planning and started working on the house plans again. I am finally getting close to being able to publish the floor plans. I have even started spec’ing out some of the windows and doors.

Slowly, but surely.

Also, I have become addicted to digestive biscuits. These are English biscuits, so they are some where between a cookie and a cracker. Apparently, they were created during the Victorian era when it was thought that baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) was good for digestion. In reality, they supplied fiber that was desperately needed in their diet. So now I have to figure out how to make them.

Posted in Daily, House, Research

2/4/2017 – 5th week of Middle Winter

Not much progress the last week as my primary occupation has kept me pretty busy. I got a few more pages of the Plant Guide done and I am brain storming on how I want the kitchen garden to look. While I suspect that I won’t build more than one or two beds this year, I need to figure out what the final design will be so I can avoid having to move them. Other than that, it has been pretty quiet and I am starting to get cabin fever.


10 weeks until last expected frost

Posted in Daily, Gardening


I’ve got the basics of the floor plan figured out. The decisions that need to be made are:

  1. Regular closet vs walk-in closet. I lose a little floor space with the walk-in, but it might be worth it.
  2. Kitchen and laundry room with dining room beside it or eat-in kitchen with laundry beside it.
  3. Normal second story bathroom or Jack-and-Jill bathroom

I also realized that instead of running joists from outside wall to outside wall (20′ feet), I can turn the internal walls into bearing walls and run the struts the other way (12′). This means I can use solid lumber instead of engineered joists. The engineered joists are better, but a little expensive. I will need to crunch the numbers both ways.

The kids and grand-kids have requested that I put the a garden in this year. Instead of a large, main crop garden I am looking to put in small kitchen garden with intensive planting. As such, I have gotten back to work on my garden guide.

Posted in Gardening, House

Recipe – Dark Fruitcake

This recipe started out from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook. The major changes I have made were to increase the quantities of fruits, nuts, and spices and to add some new spices.


  • 12-oz of frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 36-oz of raisins
  • 4 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 pound candied fruit
  • 1/2 cup spiced rum or similar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4/3 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees with a pan of water at the bottom.
  2. Combine orange juice, molasses, and raisins in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts, candied fruit, and rum.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add spices, then flour, and then soda. Stir in fruit and nut mixture; mix well.
  4. Grease pans well. Fill about 3/4 full. Bake for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours. Cool cakes in pans, remove and let sit overnight.
  5. Wrap in cheesecloth and brush with rum. Place in plastic bags to age for at least one month, brushing with rum once or twice a week. 


Posted in Recipe


Did a little more foraging this week. Was only able to find handful of hackberry fruits. A pleasant find, but it means that there won’t be much more foraging to do until next year.

Ran banklines this weekend. Didn’t catch anything, but I did try to cut two fingers off.

All in all, a rough week. Here’s to next week being better.

Posted in Daily, Fishing, Foraging
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