The four Seasons

it’s that time of year

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One thing about sugaring season is that it gets us out after being stuck in the house after what sometimes seems like a long winter.  There’s no snow on the ground at least where the sun shines, you’ll still find snow tucked in places where the sun doesn’t hit it to melt.

The buds are starting to appear on my lilac bushes, which got me so excited to see.  I’m also getting excited to start getting my plants going for my vegetable garden...it’s that time of year.


let it snow

We did get to make some syrup this past weekend, even though the temps were perfect for the sap to be running but we didn't get too much sap in the buckets but managed to get a gallon of syrup.

Our daughter and her boyfriend came from Texas to so some sugaring and despite the fact we didn't get that much sap we were able to gather, boil and bottle syrup.  Our daughter from Illinois and her family came for the night and day because our grandson had a hockey game in Madison.

Watching the boil

A&L

Grandgirls

Jared

Botteling

Catchingthedrip

First batch

 It was predicted for snow today and guess what...we got it. Hopefully it will reset the sap to run again. 

So I say let it snow!


our icy world

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Well the ice storm did hit us but not with the vengeance that most people around here thought it would, tho schools were closed, businesses and events as well were closed and cancelled. Mr and I did not venture out off the ridge, and when I say not with a vengeance we have had in the past really bad ice storms. 

Now with February almost half done we are getting antsy for sugaring to start up again. I’m seeing posts from the northeast where sugaring has started and seeing those jars filled with that luscious maple syrup is really getting me excited.  

So hopefully I’ll be posting about sugaring soon, but first we need to start warming up a bit.


hurricane harvey

Butterflies

It's peaceful up here in the Midwest, we have cool weather just a bit of rain now and again, but nothing compared to what our kids who live down in Houston are experiencing, where hurricane Harvey has hit them with Tropical Storm Harvey.  We have been in contact with them and so far they are safe and dry, that could change since the storm doesn't seem to be ending any time soon but let's hope not.

So if you could, say a little prayer for all the hurricane/flood victims.


signs of change

Changingcolors

Colorchange

Brownleaf

Redleaf

Leaves

Blackeyedsusans

Coneflowers

Yellow

Thistle

Queenanneslace2

Queenannes

Walking around the yard the other day taking photos of the fruits of our labor, I also took photos of signs that summer is coming to an end.  Some of the flowers still looked good but most were already starting to dry up.  I don't know about you all but I love Queen Anne's Lace

But who's ready for fall/autumn?  I know I sure am.


it started with a snowstorm

After getting back from Texas we went looking for some more sap buckets and found some that an Amish man was selling for a cheap price.  Seems like most people and now the Amish are doing away with sap buckets and going to tubing.  Anyway, after getting the buckets we drove through the hills on our way home and found this old place.  We couldn't quite tell if was actually lived in, it almost looked abandoned but then you can see the decorations on the fence.  This old log home was awesome, the corners of the logs were dovetailed and just simply beautiful.  This was back in February and there was snow on the ground in the valleys and on the ridges.

Loghome

Then it started to warm up.  It seems like the sugaring season is backwards, usually we get the darker syrup at the end of the season when the weather starts to get warmer, but we had the warmer temps in the middle of the season so when we gathered the sap from the buckets the sap was warm.  Now, the temps are more like when it's the beginning of the season with the temps being absolutely perfect.  And, we gathered over 150 gallons of sap on Sunday so there will be more boiling this week.  We made this past weekend 3.625 gallons of what we call golden amber delicious syrup.  The two boils before this we got darker syrup which is fine I use it for cooking/baking and now to make maple sugar.

Maplesyrup

We got what we call a sugar snow that froze and reset the sap run again.  We are definitely not done with sugaring and it all started with a snowstorm.


it's march

The weather has changed a few times.  No calves born yet, at least not live ones, our neighbor had a calf born too early and it didn't make it, that was sad to hear.  Even though they are not our cattle we see them pretty much everyday and we have gotten kind of attached to them.

Cows

Snowytrees

Snowypines

Can you believe we are still making syrup?  The sap is still running, slowly but still running.  The 4H group came and had a wonderful time, I'll try and do a post about that.

Sugar bush

I've been wanting to make maple sugar since we starting making maple syrup.  So when our son and dil and the grands came we made some.  I thought I'd give the maple sugar a try and looked for a maple cake recipe and Martha Stewart had a maple cake recipe on her blog.

Maple sugar

Maplecake

I like a bit of cake with my whip cream :)  Instead of frosting this cake I thought I would put whip cream on it...YUM!

Cakeandcream

I don't know about you but I'm ready to see some flowers blooming again.


my busy life

I am here, I am doing fine.  Vee asked if we have been traveling and yes and no.  I've been traveling back and forth a few times to Illinois.  It's just been crazy busy around here.  My cousin had an estate sale that I helped with and was gone from here 5 days.  We had deer hunters come for about 5 days in November, that was fun, but no-one got a deer.  Went on a quilt re-treat over by the Mississippi river.

Sunset

Did a bit of Christmas baking with my mom's recipe of butter cookies, and my grandmother's recipe of Finnish prune tarts is next on the baking list.

Christmascookies

I am so excited to show you our new mailbox post.  Mr got an old walking plow from an older gentleman who wanted it to go to a good home, and since we were needing a new mailbox post after the plow hit it last winter, I wanted something different and Mr came up with this.  It looked pretty with the mailbox swag and the freshly fallen snow that came overnight.

Home

Heading to breakfast at our favorite spot on Sunday mornings and crossing the Wisconsin river.

Wisconsinriver

I've also been busy putting things in a booth that I've rented in a shop in town.  Our daughter and son-in-law from Spokane were here for a few day right before Thanksgiving, then they left and we headed to Illinois for Thanksgiving.

Whew, I think that pretty much sums it up, I know I've probably forgotten a few things that I've done.


indian summer

We are into the fall/autumn season and have had a couple of hard frosts.  We've been having a few days of Indian summer which is nice because we can finally get things done outside.  My flower gardens are all cleaned up for the season and all ready for my flowers to pop up next spring.  It's finally starting to dry up and the farmers are starting to harvest their crops. 

The trees on our property mostly turn yellow and when Mr told me about a tree in our woods that was red, I was too excited.  I was just telling Mr that I would like to plant a few maple trees that turn red.

Red leaves

I loved the look of these leaves still attached to a small live tree that somehow got knocked down, the leaves were still green.  It was windy on our walk and the leaves kept blowing, that's why some of the leaves look blurry.

Leaves

Also on our walk the other night we had a nice show of the moon rise.

Moonrise

I've not been taking my camera with me lately and most of my photos are from my cell phone.  Sometimes it's just easier.


contentment

That's what I'm feeling right now, to the point of loving the new dishcloths I made last week.

Soapy sink

I love this time of year when we can go to the apple orchards and we went to the apple orchards last Sunday.  We bought A LOT of apples and plan to do some canning and make applesauce.

Apples3

  Apples2

Apple box

Of course we had to get some apple cider and apple cider donuts that are so famous in the orchards stores.  So chicken salad made from our yummy chickens that we raised along with cider was lunch with an apple cider donut and a cup of coffee for snack that we enjoyed on Sunday afternoon outside on the beautiful fall day.

Snack

The changing of the seasons is something I simply love and summer heading into fall/autumn has always been my favorite time of year, tho spring this year was really nice and I LOVED it, but there's something about the autumn season that causes me to be content in life.