Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Transform That Old Bread Into a Culinary Masterpiece!

"Oh, dear god... that bread is a crumbling mess!"

I stared at the four leftover hamburger buns from last week's dinner.  There are only three of us, one being an almost-four year old, so we don't eat a lot.  That gigantic 8-pack of hamburger buns the stores insist on selling is just too much.

I was fortunate, though, because even though the bread crumbled apart like rotted plywood, there was no mold to be seen.  It was old and it was dry, but it was not yet showing any signs of developing into sentient life.

Most people would do the sensible thing, and throw that mess out.

I, however, have never made any false claims of sensibility.  The bread was old and dry, but it wasn't going to make anyone sick.  I have no shame, so naturally, I decided to use it.

No, I was not going to force my family to eat nasty, crumbly bread.  Even I have limits.


You know all of those really yummy recipes that have been passed down for generations?  Those recipes that make people's eyes light up because they instantly send threads of joy through a home from the moment their scent begins to gather in the air?

Some of them were created as a way to get rid of food at the end of its usable lifespan.

Like bread pudding.  mmMMMMmmm.....

So, yeah.  I totally threw that dried out mess of hamburger buns together with a load of other ingredients, to create my favorite comfort food.

Bread pudding is one of those beautiful baked foods that has the ability to morph into several different varieties, and still taste perfect.  You don't need to be a perfect cook.  As long as you have the basics down, you're good to go.  Throw in what you like, and leave out what you don't.

So what are the basics, exactly?

Bread, milk, and eggs.  You'll need a bit of butter to coat the pan, as well.  That's it.  Everything else is totally up to you.  Want it sweet?  Savory?  Spicy?  Then, in the wise words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard:  Make it so.  There are no limits, and that's why I love it so very much.

I tend to cheat.  

I enjoy creating a recipe that I can call my own, so every time I make bread pudding there's a slightly different taste to it.  What this means, unfortunately, is that I always need to look up a random bread pudding recipe to see how much milk, bread, and eggs are used.

Pictures are a useful guide in this.  Some recipes are more moist than others, so I look for the consistency that's most likely to cause salivation to occur on that given day:  Do I want smooshiness, or do I prefer something a bit more cake-like?

Once I figure that out, I grab whatever ingredients make me smile, and throw it all together.

Usually, it's a success.  Just use your taste buds as a guide.

Unfortunately, because I don't have any specific recipes, I'm one of those people that everyone gets frustrated with.

Poor, Unfortunate Soul:  
"This is wonderful!  What's your recipe?"

"Oh, I just mix up a couple of eggs, this much bread (place hand gesture here), a few glunk-glunk-glunks of milk, somewhere around a cup of sugar, a big ker-plunk of vanilla..."

Poor, Unfortunate Soul:  
"On second thought, why don't I watch you make it some other time?"

Fortunately, though, I know this has a habit of being frustrating, so I won't leave you hanging.  Instead, here are a few recipes you can experiment with, that I got from


A basic, Traditional Bread Pudding recipe

Chocolate Bread Pudding (because... who doesn't like chocolate?!)

Mango Cardamom Bread Pudding  (That just sounds decadent!!!)


Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding

Arugula, Bacon, and Gruyere Bread Pudding


Tomato Bread Pudding (Add more Tabasco if, like me, you prefer more spice)

This is just a start.  There's so much more!  Don't let that dry bread go to waste.  There are tons of excellent bread pudding recipes out there for you to try.

As a special note, I think I should mention that whenever you see a specific type of bread in one of the recipes I listed (french, white, etc.), that's merely a guideline.

Use what you have.  

Bread pudding is about re-using bread that otherwise wouldn't have a chance to get eaten, and transforming it into a masterpiece.  I don't care what the television personalities say.

It's not about getting "just the right materials" to impress some chef on a cooking show.  No matter what bread choice you make, the only people that matter are the people that are eating it, and if you love it, so will they.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Made Apple Chips!!!

Originally, my plan was to leave my apple dehydration post as a single entry.  You know, just the basics.

  • I'm dehydrating apples.
  • This is how you do it.
  • Yay, me! (insert pat on the back here.)
Simple, to the point, and informative.

Except that I always end up doing something different than I had planned, and thereby, manage to have something new to talk about.

What changed this time?  

Well, as you know, I left the apples in the dehydrator and walked away, planning to come back in twenty four hours.

dehydrator filled to the max with apple slices.

But then life happened.

I went to the store.  While there, I spotted some apple chips.  Apple chips are one of those foods that make me feel that everything is ok in the world.  That is, until I get to the end of the bag.

And that doesn't take very long.

See, the bags are always puffed up with air.  What seems like a full bag of chips, filled to the brim with crunchy happiness

Holding a gigantic, puffy bag, hearts over my head. Bag says "Best Apple Chips Ever!!!"

turns into a huge, puffy bag of disappointment.

Huge, opened bag of apple chips on a table.  9 tiny chips in view.  Question marks over my head as I stare.

Just as I closed my eyes to drift off into dreamland that night, I realized what the answer to this problem would be.

Leave the apple slices in the dehydrator for a day longer!!!

(insert celebratory fireworks here)

Every recipe for apple chips that I had ever seen called for baking them on low... but wouldn't the dehydrator do the same?  It has heating coils at the bottom, after all, and the more something dries out, the more it gets crunchy.  Leaves are a good example.  I just needed to suck all the moisture out of those little things!

So I waited an extra day.  If I failed, well... I had a ton of apples from my grandma's tree.  I could afford to lose a few.  

The next morning, I opened my dehydrator to see the result.  And guess what?

Large pile of crispy, crunchy apple chips

Awesome, crunchy apple chips!  It was a success!  Off of seven apples, ranging from small (think crabapple size) to medium, I ended up with at least triple the amount of chips that I would get in a store-bought bag.


They tasted great!  Even better, I knew exactly what was used, since I did everything myself.  No worries about GMOs, no worries about cellulose, no worries at all!

I was in heaven.

This is yet another great reason to own a cheap dehydrator.  Now go make some apple chips that'll send you into seventh heaven!  You won't regret it.

(As an aside... does anyone know where the "seventh heaven" phrase comes from?  Perhaps it draws from Dante Alighieri's Paradiso? I've never read that one....)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy May Keep Tomorrow's Post Away

I tend to write my blog posts the day before they're due to publish, just to be sure that Murphy's Law doesn't hit, and and everything goes through as it should.

Normally that works out perfectly for me.

Today, however, I'm staring at my monitor... and nothing is getting typed.


Two words:  
Hurricane Sandy.  

Seriously.  She's all I can think about.  Even here in Southern Minnesota, I'm feeling her effects.  Not physically, of course, but mentally and emotionally.  I'd say a good third of my family and friends are in her path right now, and that scares the heck out of me.

Mainly, because I'm powerless to do anything about it.

What does this mean in terms of Even Green Boots Leave Trails?

It means that unless I have a sudden stroke of brilliance, you won't see a blog post tomorrow, and I feel you have the right to know that.  See, if I was in the center of her path, I'd still be writing like crazy.  Being far away, however, saps my creative focus away.  Weird, huh?

If you're in a region that'll be feeling Hurricane Sandy's wrath, please take care to have the basic necessities stored up: Have a few days of food on hand, fill up those empty containers with water, have a source of light on hand (with batteries), and keep a decent amount of blankets with you.

Don't panic (that helps nobody), but do take it seriously.  Be prepared.

The link to the National Hurricane Center is just below this paragraph, and it appears to be free from the typical, media driven, panic inspiring vocabulary we're so accustomed to.

National Hurricane Center

Stay safe!

The Sad Last Day of the Farmers Market

"Mommy, stop!"

I looked down at my daughter with question marks in my eyes.  We had just gotten out of the car, which we had taken to the farmers market in lieu of walking, because I didn't want us to walk all the way there in 27 degree weather.

Yep.  It was frigid.  Again.

"Why are we stopping?"  I asked.  We had only walked about 5 steps, and I had tunnel vision.  I wanted to get everything we needed quickly, because... well... duh.  It was freezing!

"We have to count.  One..."

"What are we counting?"

"The tables."  She looked at me like I had just asked the most agonizingly stupid question she had ever heard.  "Two..."

I looked up.  Sure enough, there was a small enough amount of tables to make an almost-four year old jump to the occasion and show off her counting skills.  There were more vacant spots than tables.

"...Nine!  Nine tables, Mommy!"  

She beamed with pleasure.

I smiled sadly, and told her she was correct.  I had brought extra money for this trip, because I had seen a few items that would make excellent Christmas presents last weekend.  I wanted to be sure to grab them up on this last day of the farmers market season.

Sadly, I had a feeling I wouldn't need the extra money, after all.

As we walked through the market, I saw that half of the usual vendors I went to weren't there.  Nor was the vendor that sold a fantastic purse made from reclaimed materials that I was eager to buy for my sister.  She would have loved it.

As you can imagine, I was in a rather mopey state of mind.  Fortunately, two of my favorite vendors - one being my beloved organic egg vendor - were there, so I perked up a bit.

What did I get on my final farmers market visit of the season?

1 bag of potatoes
1 bag of carrots
1 butternut squash
1 bag of cookies
1 small gourd
1 jar of strawberry jelly
1 white mini pumpkin
2 orange mini pumpkins
1 dozen of the best organic eggs on the planet
1 awesome coin purse
1 crocheted kitchen scrubber
1 pair of knitted slippers
1 bazillion heirloom (grape?) tomatoes - yellow and red

Lotsa stuff, right?  I had a lot of money remaining, too, since I didn't have to use the extra I had brought for Christmas presents.

The kitchen scrubber was pretty awesome.  

The vendor used the same type of netting that I did when I made one, but she blended it with yarn, making it pleasing on the eyes as well as washable.  I must learn how to do this!!!

Even more fascinating, though, was the coin purse.

The same vendor created it.  she crocheted soda can tabs together to produce a very sturdy bag.


Talk about green DIY at its finest!  I'm sure the process is quite simple, but it looks difficult.  As I think about just how many coke tabs accumulate in this house, I realize that I need to figure this one out, as well.

I was sad that the farmers market was at an end, and even sadder to not be able to see some of my favorite vendors one last time, but it was a good visit.  I look forward to hitting our Central Park next season and seeing everyone again!

Is it normal for people to become so mopey about the end of the farmers market season?  It truly feels like a good friend is moving away... at least temporarily.

Farewell, Faribault Farmers Market!  I eagerly await your return!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What Do You Do With a Halloween Pumpkin?

Halloween is almost here!

I have a habit of always waiting until the last minute to do the most important decorating.  There's good reason for it, though.

Take, for instance, my pumpkins:

2 mini, 1 medium-sized pumpkin

These are the ones that I got from one of the vendors at the farmers market last week.  I'm sure I'll buy another and post about it tomorrow, but for now I have 1 medium pumpkin, and 2 mini pumpkins.

You can't carve into a pumpkin too soon, or it'll cave in and look absolutely disgusting, come Halloween.  Even if you choose not to carve them, it's a bad idea to leave them on the porch for more than a few days.  The elements will do the work they feel is necessary to begin the process of returning the pumpkins to the earth so they can feed the soil.

I sure as heck don't want that happening!

This year, there will be no pumpkin carving.  My daughter is young enough that she has no problem with this, fortunately, so I'm free to do what I wish.  I'll still be decorating the pumpkin, of course, just not carving it.

The reason is simple.

I want to eat my masterpiece!!!

Seriously... who doesn't like to dive right in and take full advantage of their work?  As long as it doesn't, say, get kicked into the street by marauding goblins (there's always a risk of that!), an uncarved pumpkin can be eaten the next day.

And that makes the idea green:  Reuse of edible, earth friendly materials!


So now I'm left with figuring out what to do with the three pumpkins in the picture above.

There's Mickey Mouse... but he's horribly overdone.  Plus, since I'm not carving I can't cut holes to pierce the mini pumpkin stems through his head (Is it just me, or is this sentence rather creepy by nature of the words used?).  I don't even think gorilla glue would hold them in place, so the piercing would be necessary!

mickey mouse pumpkin
This is kinda cute, though, I admit...
Then there's the evil mutant pumpkin from the grave idea...

mutant pumpkin
The black lines would be free heater cable I got from an auto parts store.
While this looks absolutely ridiculous to us (and therefore fun), it may have traumatic repercussions for my young daughter, so that thought goes out the window, as well.


Perhaps I could just put it off to the side where she might not notice it....

I'll be spending quite a bit of time rearranging pumpkins (Paint is such a fun program!) until I come up with just the right fit.What ideas come to your mind?

What do you think I should do with the pumpkins this Halloween?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Too Many Apples! Round 1: Dehydrator to the Rescue!

I have gone apple-crazy!


What exactly does that mean, you ask?

Well, After my sister's wedding, I brought a lot of apples back with me from my grandma's house.

apples galore

Ok, I didn't bring all of those back... I left a few behind...

Bringing them home is great, but, well, there's a limit to how many fresh apples you can eat before they go bad.  Keeping them in the fridge would give me a few months (apples are remarkably resilient), but I just don't have that kind of room in there.  I have to eat a few other things, after all!

At least, that's what my husband kept trying to convince me of...

I still wasn't convinced.  I could totally live off of apples.

"Is that right?" He asks.  "What about your carrots, then?  Or the milk you love so much that you drive out of town for?"

Ok.  Point taken.  I couldn't keep all those apples in the fridge.  That doesn't mean that I had to make myself sick trying to finish them off in time,  though.

Although, to be honest, I thought about it...

So what did I do?

Round 1 
(Yep.  I'm doing this in rounds.  There are tons of ways to use apples, after all!)


I have a dehydrator that I love to death.  Meat, strawberries, blueberries, squash... all of this (and much more) has gone into it at one time or another.  I don't use it often, because the racks are a total pain to clean, but when I do use it, I make it worth the effort, drying a whole bunch of yumminess at once.


Meet my dehydrator.  It's not particularly fancy, and it was super cheap.  You don't need anything special to dry out your fruits and vegetables.  Indeed, they can even be dried in the sun. The temperature hasn't been above 47 degrees all day (It's 36 degrees, as I type this), though, and it's foggy outside, so...

My electric dehydrator is in the basement, doing its job quite nicely. 

Dehydrating apples is simple.  I grabbed seven apples of various sizes, and cut them into thin slices.... or pieces... I'm not exactly a pro when it comes to knives.

Like most apples, the ones from my grandmother's trees turn brown pretty quickly.  Indeed, this year, the apples start turning brown from the moment that I cut them.  Yikes!

It's an easy problem to solve, though.

I simply grab a large bowl, fill it half full with water, then drop some lemon juice into it.  I go by my best judgement, stopping the lemon flow when I can taste an undeniably lemony freshness.  Then, I just plop the apple pieces inside the water to ensure they're covered.

apples soaking

See?  I told you they start browning from the moment I cut into them!  The good news is that once they're in the water the browning process pretty much halts.

Once you cut enough apple slices to fill the water, it's time to take it all out and throw it onto the trays.  Be sure that none of the apples are touching, or they'll end up stuck together.  Give them plenty of room to breathe.  Air needs to circulate around them, anyway, or they won't dry out.

apple pieces spaced out

Once you've filled the dehydrator's tray (or trays, depending on the model), You're pretty much done.  Just place the lid on top, and plug it in.

filled dehydrator

Normally, dehydrators have ventilation holes at the top that are used to control air flow.  These openings allow both heat and steam to escape.  The general rule is that the more liquid there is within the produce you're dehydrating, the more you should open the holes.

I tend to open my ventilation holes to about the halfway point for apples, but then, I also soak them in lemon water, so take that into account!

All that's left is the wait.  

The long wait.

Still waiting....

Since I fill multiple trays, I have to wait for what feels like an eternity, but is actually only about 24 hours.

Food dehydration is a great option for food storage.  It's easy, it provides you with healthy treats, and it gives you a nice way to avoid fermented zombie food in your fridge.

zombie food
Is that a pork chop?  Wait... maybe it's an eggplant...
Once Round 1, dehydration, is complete, I'll figure out what to do for round 2.  Perhaps canning?  That's always fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Third Party Debate, and Why It Matters to the Green Boots

You're going to be mad at me...

I thought about it long and hard, and I've decided to talk about something I probably shouldn't.
Something that causes people to see red.
Something that incites arguments amongst close friends.
Something that literally divides families.


Wait!  Don't run away screaming!

It's really not that bad.  I'm not going to ask you to vote one way or the other.  Indeed, I specifically waited to post this until today, in order to ensure there was no possibility of doing so, even though waiting was difficult.

Instead, I'm going to ask you to step outside the norm.

What is the norm?

The norm is what the media spoon feeds us.  The norm is the images we're constantly bombarded with, the ads we're shown at prime time, funded by big money.

The norm is the battle of democrat versus republican.

But the reality is so much bigger.

I'm not going to ask you not to vote democrat or republican.  What I am going to ask, though, is for you to step outside the boundaries the mainstream media has set and look at what else is out there.  The are always other options.

Even if you've already decided who you're going to vote for, it doesn't hurt to hear the opinions of others.  If hearing those opinions does hurt, you really need to look closely at yourself and ask why.  It could be that you're afraid to look beyond preconceived boundaries.

What does this have to do with Even Green Boots Leave Trails?

It has to do with freedom.  Freedom of thought.  Freedom to say what you think.  Freedom to make your own choices, green or not, and not fear that those choices will be taken from you.  Blogging, after all, is all about the freedom to write what you believe, reaching people you normally wouldn't.

I watched the Third Party Debate via live stream on Tuesday night.  You can still view it in entirety, if you're interested.  After the debate, I had a refreshing option:  I could vote on who I wanted to see face off with each other.  I had the ability to rank the candidates, and the top 2 would be considered.

What?!  My choices actually mattered?!

Yep.  There was no electorate college deciding for me.  With a few clicks, my own personal vote was cast via instant runoff voting (IRV), courtesy of Free and Equal, a 501(c)3 non-profit that believes in an open electoral process. The top 2 candidates chosen will go on to face off in Washington, DC on October 30th. I did not have to choose a party affiliation.

The voting process was only 24 hours long, so that option is no longer available.

Why in the heck did I wait, then?

I chose to wait specifically because I knew if I didn't, I'd start trying to sway opinions... something I don't want to do. That's not what Green Boots is about, after all.

My intent is to give you the opportunity to listen to a debate that was actually rather refreshing.  One in which real issues were discussed.  Want to hear what a candidate thinks about the environment?  The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act)?  The National debt?  Marijuana legalization?

You won't hear much about any of those issues on CNN or FOX, and that's a problem. 

But you'll hear about them if you listen to the third party candidates.

Take a chance and do something different.  Step outside the mainstream and hear about things that actually matter to you.  Listen to what the third party candidates had to say.

Yeah, I totally placed that same debate link on my page twice.  That's how much I care about this.

And see?  I didn't try to sway you toward any candidate, just as I promised!

And I just noticed that I didn't provide you with a single picture today!  The horror!!!

There we go.  Problem solved.  If only all problems could be handled this easily, right?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Heaven In a Little Green Bag

Have I mentioned I have the most awesome friends on the planet?

"Only about 5000 times..."

Well, in case you missed the other 5,000 times, I thought I'd mention it again.  I really, really do, and I'm very grateful for that.

Last night, I received a birthday gift from one of them.  Not just any birthday gift, though...

This was a piece of pure heaven.  

See, she gave me something that she not only thought long and hard about, ensuring that the gift would resonate with me, but she gave me something that taught me something new at the same time.

Talk about awesome!!!

I opened the box to discover a little green and white bag, a truly recyclable catalog, and a free sample of jasmine and vanilla soap.

little green bag, recyclable catalog, and soap sample

I stared at it with happy, googly-eyes.  I had absolutely no idea what was in the little green bag, but the scent alone was enough to transport me to seventh heaven.  I took off the (minimal) packaging, and opened the furoshiki scarf that is used as a bag.

It was filled with bath products.

green bath products

Coincidentally, furoshiki means 'cloth for the bath'.  Ok, maybe that's not coincidental at all, but it's still pretty nifty!

The Canada based company of Lush is huge on recycling and reusing.  The Little Green Bag is a good example of this.  There are tons of ways to reuse a scarf, and if you enjoy the idea of continuing to use it as a way to carry bath products the minimal packaging I mentioned is put to good use  by giving you a tutorial of four different scarf knotting methods.

How cool is that?!

So, what's in my gift (as the paper in the photo above asks)?  

At the top of the photo you see a sugar scrub that was protected within an aluminum tin.  In the middle (from left to right) we have a massage bar, a shampoo bar (or should I say disk?), and a citrus soap. On the bottom is a tiny booklet that talks about product offers.  Not important for this post, but I really liked the design, so it got to have its picture taken!

I mentioned that I learned something through this gift.

Aside from learning about a green company that I had never known about before now, I learned about something I probably should have already known:

They make shampoo in bar form!!!

Ok, ok... probably not the most exciting thing for most people, but for me it's huge!  Everybody knows it comes in liquid form, and I've also used it in powder form.  I'm a pretty big proponent of products that reduce oils in your hair in order to let you "cheat" and not wash your hair every day: it saves water and time.

But I've never seen shampoo in bar form!

Absolumazingly Sweet! 

(If nobody has coined the term absolumazing yet, I'm totally claiming it... I like the way it rolls off my tongue!)

The shampoo is green, it smells great, and it has totally opened a new world to me.  Not only that, but the aluminum tin that came in the little green bag is actually meant to hold the shampoo bar so that you can travel with it.


Since receiving this gift last night, I've been spending a lot of time on  I think I just may need to grab some more shampoo bars from them when mine runs out!  I also noticed that they have Halloween items out right now, so that's definitely worth a look, as well.

Now, please excuse me while I run off to play with my heavenly green bath products...


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What Kind of Fun is This Crazy Woman Having Now?!

So, here we go!

My first poll!

As you have been able to surmise from my last post, I love polls... especially when I don't have to worry about being taken to an ad after clicking on the things!  The topic?

What in the heck is this crazy woman trying to do now?!

Pretty simple, right?

Plenty of my green diy projects look nothing like the end result when I'm in the early stages.  This, of course, means that we can have a lot of fun trying to figure them out!

As I mentioned yesterday, I've placed a photo on my blog.
Look over to the right.  -------->

*image is no longer on the right... just look at the one on this page.  ;-)

Beneath the image is a poll that specifically refers to it.  Click on your answer choice, and voila!

I know it'll go away, eventually, since I set it up for only a short period of time, so here's the image for those of you that get here after the poll has closed:

So... What in the heck am I trying to create, now?

Answer away, and remember...

Have fun!!!

(Feel free to answer in comments.  Because, you know... That's pretty fun, as well... and the poll is now closed, after all!)

*Quite a few poll answers were inexplicably lost at various point throughout the time frame allotted, so I'm looking for a new poll widget.  Wish me luck!  (11/13/2012)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Poll My Craziness? What Do You Think?

So, it just occurred to me...

I do a lot of crazy stuff.  Some of my projects are hopeless from the very beginning, while others are, well...

Just kind of strange.  They're outside the norm.

Ok, for the most part, everything I do makes sense, but I was perusing my photos the other day when I realized that if I wasn't the one doing these things (even the normal ones), I probably wouldn't have any idea of what the end product is supposed to be.

What does this have to do with, well, pretty much anything?

Not much... except, perhaps, for a little added fun for the blog.

Do you like polls?  Honestly, I love them.  It's fun to see what other people believe about a given concept, as well as to be able to give my own opinion without causing too much drama.

Don't get me wrong, I love drama... I studied it, after all!  I'm known for getting into the middle of a hot topic issue, and thriving on the challenge using theatrical skills I've learned to produce the reactions I'll enjoy the most.  Maybe not the nicest pastime, but it sure is fun!

But that's not what I'm going to do.

Oh, sure... work us into a state of excitement, then burst our bubbles.  Thanks...  (This is probably one of her sadistic emotional ploys...).

I thought about those pictures I was looking at, and I thought,

"Hey!  What if people try to figure out what my next project will be, based on a single photo?"

I love interaction, and I love knowing what other people think.  If this can be as easy as clicking a single button, why not?

So I'm looking into polls.  Specifically, I'm looking into finding one that will let me make it simple for you to use, without forcing you to share your name with us.

I think I can do it.  I think you'll have fun.

I know I will.

Do you have a favorite polling gadget or plugin that fits this description?  Do you have a website whose polls you love to interact with?  Do share!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Farmers Market is Almost Over! Nooo!

Next week is the last farmers market.  This means I'm beginning to panic.  Soon I'll lose my local, farm fresh goodness.


It's ok... it's ok...  I'll survive.  I have, after all, a plan.

::cue maniacal, crazed laughter::

I'll get back to that plan in just a bit.  First, let's talk this weekend's market.

I forgot, yet again, to replenish my cash funds after visiting The Clothes Closet.  Fortunately, since The Clothes Closet is a secondhand store, I only ended up spending five dollars.  Unfortunately, though, that meant that I only had a grand total of $15 to spend at the farmers market.

Thank goodness, then, that this is the second to last week!  

The vendors have significantly reduced their prices, since they need to sell as much as possible in order to not go into food storage overload, or worse, have food that won't have a chance to get eaten in time.

Unfortunately, many of the vendors weren't there.  My beloved salsa ladies weren't there, and neither was Kristi from Kristi's Cravings.  I still managed to do a pretty good job of getting what I needed, however.

So what did I get?

  • 1 bag of peppermint chip brownies (How can you say no to that?)
  • 1 dozen yummy, yummy organic, cage-free eggs
  • 1 small winter squash
  • 1 medium, perfectly shaped pumpkin (I totally paid one dollar for it!  Score!!!)
  • 1 bag of potatoes
  • 1 bag of carrots
  • 1 Asian pepper (it's hiding behind the jalapenos on the right side)
  • 1 mini pumpkin pie (Can you say "dessert tonight"?  Yum!)
  • 1 yogurt/berry muffin
  • 2 mini pumpkins
  • 4 cayenne peppers, and
  • 10 jalapenos

As you can imagine, I'm near to bursting with joy!

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, the farmers market is nearly over for the season.  If you live in the Faribault area, you really want to be sure to get there next Saturday (The 27th).  Don't miss out on your fresh, local food supply!

I know I'll be there!

And if you live somewhere else, check to see what your farmers markets' dates are - some even stay around all year long!  How awesome is that?!

I also mentioned that I was in a mild state of panic.  I realized that the end of the farmers market also meant the end of...

Farm Fresh Eggs!!!

Naturally, I asked those vendors whose eggs I preferred about whether or not they may have eggs during the winter.  I really, really don't want to lose that!

I'll be honest... it felt like I was back in high school, self consciously talking to my latest crush:

"And I really, really like you...  So here's my number, and well, if you could call, that would be cool.  But if not, well, I can totally understand, and I mean, no pressure or anything.  Just, you know... call me. Please?"


Total high school crush.

Who knew I'd ever go through that again?  But that's just so awesome it is to have farm fresh eggs.  One more weekend, and I'll be completely hoping that I'll be lucky enough to get a call from one of the egg vendors.

How cool would that be?!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Would You Like a Bag? Days of Rain and Plastic

This desert rat has mad a mistake, again.

I'm actually surprised that it happened yesterday, rather than sooner.  I guess my luck is just that good.

I went to the library.

No, that's not my mistake.  My mistake had to do with planning.  Seriously, though... Who plans their trip to the library?!

Evidently, if you're on a quest to become more green and environmentally responsible, you care about the condition of your books, and you live in Minnesota, you do.

Oops.  I did not know this...

I checked out books for my daughter and I.  A lot of books, as is pretty standard for us.  I loaded up my arms with them and went off to the checkout counter.

"Would you like a bag?"

This question makes perfect sense.  I check out so many books that some people actually would need a bag to help carry them all.

Naturally, then, I'm asked this question every time I go.  Of course, my answer is always the same.  No, I do not want a petroleum based plastic product hanging from my hands. No, I do not want a bag that will simply get thrown away and become part of a gigantic pile of crud in the middle of a dump.  No.  No thank you.

But then I looked out the window.

rain outside window

There was wet stuff falling from the sky.  Oh, dear...

See, it was raining when I got there, too, but it was a very light sprinkle.

And I'm from the desert.  

Where I come from, if it's raining when you leave the house, it's not raining at the time that you return.  Indeed, it's not raining by the time you get to your destination!  Rain happens fast.

But Minnesota is different.  After spending over an hour at the library, the rain was still falling.  I had no choice.  If I wanted to go home any time soon, and if I didn't want the books to end up water damaged, I was forced to do something I never have, before...

"Would you like a bag?"

"Yes, please."

selco plastic bag

Ugh.  It pained me to have to take home a plastic bag, but it kept the books protected.

It's pretty thick plastic.  I figure I can keep it in my glove box for the next time I need a bag.  That'll help negate a little bit of the damage I caused the environment by using it, right?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rustic Wedding - A Green Choice

I'm very proud of my sister.

Really, really proud.

As in, place-her-on-a-pedestal-that's-high-enough-for-the-world-to-see-her proud.

sister on a pedestal

I mentioned earlier that I'd tell you all about her rustic wedding.  My writing has been backed up a bit ever since returning from it, but at long last, here it is!

See, I'm the tree-hugging crazy person in the family.  Everyone else in my family cares about the environment, of course, but their passions lie elsewhere.

You can imagine my excitement, therefore, when I discovered that my sister's choice of wedding theme was an environmentally responsible one.  The event was wonderful.

First of all, the wedding itself was right on the shore of Lake Superior.

shore of lake superior

Nothing artificial was used for the main event.

There was no artificial lighting, and no heat (even though it was in the low 40s.).  Talk about determination!  Even the petals thrown by the flower girl (my daughter) were fresh, and therefore an environmentally safe, green option!

The reception afterward was remarkably green, as well.  Since it was a rustic themed wedding, my sister used candle sticks that were created using fallen limbs of birch trees.  The limbs were cut into short tubes, and an indentation was cut at the top to fit tea lights.

My grandfather had done this a long while back - before my sister had ever met her groom.  The candle sticks had simply been set aside until a day that someone had use for them.

And what better use than a rustic wedding?

birch candle sticks


The large shop that housed the reception was built long before we were born, so naturally, it fiot the rustic wedding theme.  It even had a wood burning stove!

Some of you may question just how green a wood burning stove is.  This is totally understandable, and normally I'd agree that wood burning isn't entirely green.  At all.


When you live in an area that's heavily wooded, there aren't a lot of options when it comes to wood.  There's only so much you can build with it, and there is definitely such a thing as too many wood chips.  Even selling wood isn't always an option, because much of the timber that falls isn't worthy of use in construction.

Using wood in a situation like this eliminates the drain on fossil fuels, and when it's used to heat an area for such a large amount of people, the benefits far outweigh the risks to the environment.

And it totally fits the rustic wedding theme, of course!

Overall, the reception's lighting was dim.  The tea lights were used of course, as was a candelabra chandelier and even strings of Christmas lights transformed to fit the mood!

transformed christmas lights

I was in tree-hugger heaven!

tree hugger heaven

And then, as if my sister and her groom were actually trying to send me to seventh heaven with their total awesomeness, wedding party had photos taken at Gooseberry Falls...

gooseberry falls wedding

Which is a state park... which naturally means that the land is protected... which makes it GREEN!

And therefore pretty darned awesome!

If you're currently trying to decide on a wedding theme, and if you're considering making it a rustic wedding....

Do it!

It's fun, it's environmentally responsible, and people will go nuts over it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Order You to Be Happy on My Birthday!

Today is my birthday!!!

Birthdays take planning... especially mine.  This is mainly because I'm one of those crazy, giddy, happy people that tries to convince everyone to celebrate my birthday for entire month.

Not so much because I like to be the center of attention (although, in all honesty, I really do), but rather because my birthday gives me a special, magical power:

I can order everyone to be happy!  

And they have to do it...
because it's my birthday, darn it!

Oh, sure... at first they only pretend to be happy, not wanting to upset me.  But the more you pretend to be happy, the happier you end up becoming.  I think it has to do with the fact that you use less muscles to smile than to frown.  Or maybe it's because nobody really wants to be sad, so the pretense of happiness is so much easier to make into a reality.

Or maybe happiness truly is magical.

Really, the reason why doesn't matter nearly as much as the outcome, so I'll not examine it too closely.  Instead, I'll work on promoting happiness both in my family and in everyone else.

Which means I need to go and have FUN!

I made Belgian Waffles last night, using my brand new, secondhand waffle iron so that I could just pop half a waffle into the toaster and have the best ever birthday breakfast with no need to work.  This waffle iron is not only a more green option than buying one at the store, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper.

I spent five bucks on a good waffle iron.  If I had bought one at Walmart, it would have cost me 12+ dollars, and would have been sub par.  I came out ahead when I planned for this birthday breakfast!

I woke up with a smile.  I love days like these! And today was better than normal.

I woke up to my daughter "reading" my birthday card from my husband -  

(Something about bears fighting dragons, then eating blueberry pancakes with frogs, because I love you, Good night and happy birthday... Hey!  That's pretty good for a three year old!

 - and then we talked about what we'd do today.

My daughter's list:

  1. Buy cupcakes.
  2. Eat cupcakes.
  3. Buy more cupcakes.
  4. Go to the coffee shop.
  5. Eat cupcakes.
  6. Read.
  7. Eat more cupcakes.

Oh, yeah!  I can totally rock this list!!!

So what's the point of today's post?  I mean, aside from my excitement over my birthday?

It's simple:

I order you to be happy!  

Why?  Because I can.

Because it's my birthday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Summer Squash in Winter? Inconceivable!


Inigo Montoya:  
"You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."

The Princess Bride rang through my head as I gazed out my window and down into the raised garden.  It was totally and completely inconceivable.  We've had temperature dipping below 29 degrees!  Nothing, and I mean nothing, with the word 'summer' in the name should survive those temps.


But there it was.

winter summer squash

A small summer squash was growing in my raised garden bed in the front yard.  In the fall.  In freezing temperatures.

So... how?!

I haven't the slightest clue.  Well, that's not entirely correct.  I signed a petition, then planted 2 seeds a few months ago in a silent show of support for a couple living in the city of Drummondville in Quebec.  They had been told by the Municipal Council that their entire edible landscape in their front yard had to be ripped out, because it was in violation of the city's code.

Their garden, by the way, is gorgeous.

Since then, the municipal council has reversed its ruling, and the Beauchamps household has been able to keep the edible garden.  Thank goodness!

And my seeds continued to sit in the garden bed, neglected.  But then leaves fell from the trees in my yard.  Many, many leaves.  They covered the bed.  Naturally, they provided protection.

Then winds came.  Some of the leaves blew away, but not many.  Just enough to allow light to come through.

Then there was a bit of rain.  The soil was moistened, and the surrounding leaves kept it moist.

And then?

Well... then mother nature took over and let the squash plant sprout!  Now that I know it's there I'll have to figure out a way to give it added protection.  The plant is healthy, and you can see more flower buds below the topmost bloom.

Can I call that a bloom, yet?  Or is it still just a bud?  Hmmm...

If it survives, I'd get my first fruit in the early days of winter, or in the tail end of this fall.  Summer quash in winter...  I think I could be happy about that!

Now to get to work keeping it protected!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Handkerchiefs, Paper Tissue, and Some Quarters

Great squares of splendor!

Cotton cloths of comfort!

What in the world am I going on about this time?

Handkerchiefs, of course!

Well, ok.  maybe you wouldn't have figured this out based on my two descriptions.  Who would, right?  And seriously... who uses those things any more?

Very few people.  

There are reasons for that.  I mean, running around with a big wad of boogers in your pocket just isn't very attractive.  That, and the last thing you want when you have a cold is to save all of those germs on a cloth so that you can revisit them again later.

I totally get that.

And I agree.


They're oh, so soft.  They generally don't cause the same reddening and dryness that disposable tissues cause.  They really, truly do have a place in your life if you're willing to give them a shot.  There's just one problem:

Because they're so rarely used for anything other than a suit pocket decoration, they're pretty pricey.

I, therefore, stopped trying to get ahold of any.  That is, until I happened to find some at a downtown store.

the clothes closet

The Clothes Closet is a secondhand store.  It's not your typical throw-everything-onto-hangers-and-hang-a-price-tag type of shop.  They run it very well, placing only high quality, clean, and sturdy items on their hangers.  It's run by the Faribault Area Senior Center as a means of generating additional funds for the organization while providing high quality, low priced clothing for the community.  It's a win-win situation for everyone.

It's a great treasure trove.

And the last time I walked in I discovered...


Ok, ok.  I'm a nut.  Who goes into overwhelming joy over a simple square of cloth?  See, there's a story here, though.

I walked in to find some additional cold weather gear.  I still haven't acquired enough of that, even though I've been on this side of the country for quite a while.  What can I say?  I guess the desert rat in me still refuses to accept that I'm living in an area that actually gets cold.

Unfortunately, after perusing the shelves and hangars for a while, I realized that I forgot one rather important thing:


I had a debit card, but The Clothes Closet is a cash-or-check-only sort of place.  This makes perfect sense. A card scanner costs money, plus fees from the banks need to be factored in.  They want to keep everyone's costs down, so... no debit or credit cards allowed.  I support this idea.

I just couldn't buy anything that day because of it.

I was pretty sad.  I love secondhand clothing stores.  Not only are they green by design, due to the reuse factor, but they're also healthy.  Secondhand clothing no longer has any of the chemicals that are used during production.  They've been washed away.  Score!

But all I had was $1.25 in quarters.

Just as I was about to leave, though, I saw some white cloth out of the corner of my eye.  I turned, and - lo and behold! - there were some handkerchiefs laid out on a shelf.  I knew I wouldn't be able to buy them.  But maybe, just maybe, I'd be able to get them to hold the handkerchiefs for me until I could get back with some cash.

I checked the price tag.  Fifty cents.

Ok, one more time for dramatic effect:

Fifty Cents!!!

There were three of them attached to each other, to top it off!  Three for fifty cents???


Yeah, I swiped those babies up pretty quickly.  I was so excited!

So what in the heck are they good for, if you can't use them when you're sick, you ask?

Lots and lots of stuff!

  • Shopping.  
No, seriously... think about how many times people you know, or maybe even you personally, have crammed paper tissue into their pockets for use during shopping.  There are never any trashcans around to throw them into when you actually need them, so after they're used, you simply stuff those booger covered tissues back into your pocket.  Eew.

As if that's not enough, walking produces friction within your pocket, so that once very sturdy tissue starts to rub against your fabric.  Over time, that causes what I like to call tissue lint.  Those tiny fragments of paper wind up sinking to the bottom of your pocket where the washer can't get to them.  Over time, you have enough tissue lint to stuff a small toy.

Enter the cloth handkerchief.  You do the same thing, but you no longer frantically search for a trash can that doesn't exist.  Furthermore, there's no wad of tissue lint at the bottom of your pants pocket.  See?  Life is already better!

  • Cold weather.  
When the weather gets cold, the nose starts to drip.  There's nothing much that needs to be blown, of course... it's just this steady drip.  Kind of like a leaky faucet.  Nothing, and I really mean nothing, stops this drip... and there's hardly anything coming out at all, which just makes it more annoying.

You pull out a paper tissue, but really, that's a waste.  I mean... there's hardly anything there.  Argh!!!

Now, enter the cloth handkerchief, again.  Problem solved.  No waste.  Oh, and because it's so much larger than your standard tissue, you get to warm up your fingers in the process.

And last (because this is already getting too long!)

  • Books.
This one, of course, is for those of us that get so into our books that we start crying.  Usually, we can't explain why we're crying in a way that makes sense to someone that hasn't read our book.  The reasons are generally nonsensical.

"The apple just the table...  Why?  Oh, why???  It's not fair!"  ::cue honking nose and great, loud gulps of air.::

Yeah, total nonsense.

Enter the loyal handkerchief that stands by you, offering its comfort in these moments.  It dries your tears, covers your face from prying eyes, and even loves you enough to let you blow your boogers all over it.  It just may be your best friend ever.  Nobody else, after all, will let you do that!

So now you see just how awesome a handkerchief can be.  

Friend, savior, and generally good guy.  You just need to give it a chance to prove itself!  Don't get rid of your paper tissue, of course, because you'll need it when you're sick. No germ saving, please...  but give a comfy piece of clean cloth a try.

I'm sure you can think of tons of other ways to use a handkerchief, since this is just a tiny sampling.  I'd love to hear them!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Dog Ate My Blog Post

I'm sorry, but there isn't going to be a post for today...

My dog has managed to fall horribly sick, and it appears that one of the drawbacks to living in a small city is that unless your dog is dying, you can't get in to see the vet very quickly.  I have an appointment for the afternoon, but until then I'll have to keep a close watch on him.

I'll be back tomorrow with more for you, but for now, hit my archives and see if you can find any fun craziness for yourself!

Send good wishes for my dog, please!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apples Galore!

Every time I head up toward my grandmother's house, I go home with a new and brilliant treasure.  Heading up for my sister's wedding was no exception!

I got apples!!!

Look at all that!  Wooooo!!!
Alright, ok... I didn't actually bring all of that home.  Those are the apples that were picked long before I arrived.  We weren't able to come the week that they were picked, so I grabbed up many of the leftovers.

That's a lot of leftovers, right?!  The basket on the far left is the one that I started to fill with gorgeous red and yellow fruit.

So what kind of care goes into these glorious balls of joy?

Well...  none.  

No, really!  She has three trees in the yard, and the bugs and bees get to work on pollinating them.  Granted, if the region has been dry she'll give them a small amount of water, but she does nothing else.  

And they're yummy!

Part of the reason she doesn't have to do anything with them is probably due to their age.  

They're pretty old.  No... I mean really, amazingly old. Their root systems, therefore, are well developed and strong.

Two of them are around twenty years old, but they were planted after a vole (or was it a vore?) tunneled underneath the original trees.  Two died, and had to be replaced.

The oldest tree, however, is over thirty years old... and still producing!  

old apple tree

As you can see, the critter attack caused her to have to cut quite a bit of the tree, but the branches on the far left and right are quite healthy.  There are even some apples still hanging on them!


I figure I'll be making several apple recipes, drying apples, and just biting into those raw, freshly picked apples.  Apples that aren't sprayed with a single chemical are one of the best treasures we can find.  Not only are they better for the environment, but they're better for our bodies.

And in the long run, they end up costing less!  Score!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rustic Wedding Preparation

Must...  write...

Go to the keyboard and...

Press.  Those... keys...


Upload a photo for everyone!  You can do it, Rebecca!

driving through grass

Oops... wrong one.  That's ok.  Nobody has to know that I cut across the grass of two different homes because I was running late... I'll just go with it... make something up.  Ummm...

Hi, everyone!

I got into my mother's car so that I could get to the rehearsal for my sister's wedding, when this gigantic green giant... it was a baby giant... twenty feet tall... stomped toward me through the grass.  I ran and hid inside the car,

but then - 

the baby giant saw that the car was a shiny red color.  It pushed the car across the grass, thinking it was a toy.  I was powerless to stop it.


That's exactly what happened!


Ok, ok...

As you can see, I've been in a rather unusual state of mind, preparing for my sister's wedding.  It amazes me just how little time a person has for anything else when they're part of a wedding.

I'm very proud of her.  As I look at the decor and the environment she chose, one thought goes through my mind:

She's doing an awesome job.

Seriously.  She's having a rustic wedding.  Naturally, this means that her choices are very green.  The theme is very simple, and it has made use of things that are already in the area.


I'm seriously proud.

I'm totally leaving you in the dark with this, I realize, since I have no pictures of what the guests will see...

But I promise to let you know all about it in the next few days!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Garden Mysteries and a Shrew

Squiggles on leaves?

Unplanned growth?

An underground civilization?

Mysteries abound!!!

I've decided to leave my raised garden in the backyard alone.  I've harvested everything that needs to be harvested, and it's time to let nature take over for the winter.  This doesn't mean I'm allowing it to go fallow, of course.  Aside from that not being very fun at all, it's not good for the soil.

My original idea was to plant some clover that could be turned over in the spring, but I suppose Mother Nature felt I needed a rest, because yellow clover has started sprouting on its own.

Leaves were left wherever they fell, because they'll
help feed the soil as they decompose.


I'll be watering the soil in the raised garden every now and then, but otherwise I'm just going to leave it alone.  As you can see, the area has been pretty dry lately, so I'll need to get that done ASAP.  Otherwise, though, I really will be leaving it alone... really.

Well, ok... not entirely alone.  

I'll be checking up on it in order to ensure everything is going well, but that, in and of itself, is pretty darned fun!

Naturally, I've already started.  Since Fall brings so much out into view that would normally be hidden, I'm able to see things that I otherwise couldn't.  For instance, I now have a full view of one of my resident shrew's safe zones.

I guess it's not very safe now, right?  And two entrances side by side?  I guess he's been working overtime!

I actually really love this shrew.  

When I first discovered him one evening, I was scared.  Being from the desert southwest, I'm used to hantavirus-carrying mice.  With this background in mind, I expected the worst possible diseases tracked throughout the yard by my little friend, and I was terrified.

Turns out, though, shrews can actually be a good thing.  A shrew is kind of like an insurance policy against mice... and other shrews.

Just as 'shrew' describes an antisocial and rather mean person, the mammal called a shrew is a loner, and very territorial.  Any other shrew that comes into its territory will be attacked.  A shrew will even attack her own young if they overstay their welcome by a day or two.

And they love eating mice... or any other small animal that strays too close.  

I mean, they eat other things, as well, but they're not very bothersome, over all.  Even the tunnel systems they create are short and shallow, unlike their close relatives, the moles.

If you leave them alone, they're perfectly happy to stay away from your stuff, coming out only to feed. If you bother them, though...

Their little jaws secrete venom.  

That's right.  Venom.  It's a neurotoxin that can kill small animals, and induce massive pain in large ones like us.  It's used to cause paralysis in prey, and acts as a pretty nifty predator deterrent, as well.

I believe they're the only mammal with the ability to do that.

And don't worry... there's no fear of any of us getting bitten.  Like I said, shrews keep to themselves.  Unless we actively try to pick one up, we're in the clear.  Their first defense, of course, is running away.

My shrew and I are perfectly happy with our living arrangement.  

The shrew keeps away any unwelcome pests, and I leave his home undisturbed.  We both appreciate this invisible contract we've made with each other.  He stops to let me see him some nights, as he follows his well-traveled trail back to his home (only while I'm standing far away on the porch, of course!), and I keep the dogs far from his path.

We're happy.

Living in harmony with nature brings new and exciting mysteries into our lives.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Urban Edible Gardening: A Great Source of Info

Urban gardening is not an easy task.  At least, it's not easy when you've decided on edible gardening.  All sorts of things can go wrong.

zombie root vegetables.  Ayeee!!!

That task is made even more difficult when you rent your home.  You never know if you'll be in that same house (or apartment, etc.) the following year.  You have to make decisions that a home owner wouldn't have to worry about.

Overwintering your strawberries, for example, needs to be done in a container, just in case you'll have to take them with you.  For that matter, with every perennial you buy, you have to decide whether or not it's worth the cost to keep it.  Can you place it in a container for next year?  Will you be in your home long enough to plant it in-ground?

What does the landlord allow?  Can you have a pot full of corn stalks on your porch?  Are you stuck with tiny herbs, only?  Even worse, will the person you're renting from allow anything to be planted outside, container or not?

Your not just dealing with your own limitations as an individual, but also with the limitations placed on you from an outside source.  There's nothing wrong with that, really.  Since you don't actually own the land, it only makes sense that you have to defer to someone else's decisions.

It can be a huge challenge, though.

Moving across the country after owning my own home meant that not only did I have to learn a new climate, I also had to learn how to be a renter while enjoying the freedom inherent in gardening.  There were a few blogs that helped me a great deal in this endeavor.

One of them was Farmtina.

Farmtina is a great source of knowledge, because she's done edible gardening in an urban environment, as a renter, for a while.  Martina has dealt with the challenges of gardening with a small area of earth to plant in, and with only a paved area.  She's 'been there, done that', as the saying goes.

Her posts dealing with seed saving were especially useful for me.  Remember my chives?  I learned about how easy it was to save those seeds through a Farmtina post.

Looking for fun facts?  Yeah, Martina has those, as well.  Without her, I wouldn't have learned about egg-laying roosters!  Ok, ok... maybe roosters don't lay eggs... unless, perhaps, you live in the city of Baden, and the year is 1774.


That doesn't make any sense?  I guess you'd better go check out that small bit of wisdom, then, and figure out the real facts, right?  Ha ha!

There is one small problem with Martina's blog, however...

She hasn't posted since June!


She has an excuse, however... she was able to buy a home, instead of just renting!  Hooray for her!!!

I'm hoping she'll start posting to Farmtina, again soon, however.  I need my urban gardening guru, after all.  I want to hear all about her new edible gardening endeavors!

::cough, cough::
Martina, did you hear that? I'm dying for more posts!
::cough cough::

Must... have... more... posts... Ungh.....

See?  I'm dying...

Ok, ok... it's not quite that bad.  

I do really want to see more, but fortunately, Farmtina has a very nice sized archive just full of information, as well as fun facts and tons of personality.

It may have been a while since Martina posted, but don't let that stop you from visiting her... it hasn't stopped me!

Head over to Farmtina, go through her archives, and see what's got me so excited!

I swear it's worth it!