Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Little o' This, A Little o' That

It seems like all of a sudden the woods and mountains surrounding us are lush with leaves...it makes looking deep into the woods impossible (which is nice because it makes the cabin feel that much more secluded) and the mountains look like they are covered in a thick velvety green blanket.  Summer is just around the corner, and today is the first day it actually feels like Spring (we've had unusually cool weather, and even yesterday needed a fire to warm the cabin in the morning).

We've been busy today, a little of this and that (we'll be back to garden mulching tomorrow, but there were other things needed attention around here...can't say we are ever at a loss for things to do 'round here).

I came across this Clouded Sulphur butterfly, a beauty and especially stunning against this purple Iris.  I've never seen this up here at the cabin (doesn't mean it hasn't been around, but I've never seen it) and it sat on the flower long enough for me to get a nice picture.  The Swallowtail's have been flitting about, unable to sit still, making photographing them a real challenge.    

One of the reasons we needed to attend to other things is that all the garden mulching has produced lots of branches and logs for firewood (good thing because we've used most of what we had stored) that has blocked the walkway to the basement and we had no room for any additional wood that would come after more mulching.  I got to stack the kindling (you don't see that here, it's around the back corner of the cabin and I didn't take a picture of it).  Johny worked with the big wood.  This is what he started with...

...and this is how much was done (not finished stacking yet, he'll do that after he regains some energy...you'd be surprised how physically taxing this is)...

...slowly but surely.

While he was chopping, I was cleaning up the yard a bit.  We've had a lot of wind, so there were branches everywhere.  I did one of my favorite things, piled it all in the fire pit...
...and burned it up...
...to almost nothing.
Except I still had a pile of wood stove ashes...I did learn that ashes from the wood burning stove will not burn any further...I suppose that I should have known this somehow, but I didn't...we've been dumping the ash pan from the stove into the pit so I could burn them to nothing...ha ha, no can do.  That got me to wondering what I can do with the ashes...here are a few things I will have to try, but click on this link for more awesome ideas...
  • put the ashes where birds can get to them, dust baths control bugs
  • mix with water to form a paste and use to clean the glass on the wood stove (I've done this); it also removes rings on wood furniture
  • makes slippery walkways less slippery (though I bet a mess, even if you only use a little)
  • melts ice
  • this is my favorite...put some ash in t-shirt material (I wonder if a sock would work) and put it in stored shoes...Mountain Man has a pair that could really use this!
Fascinating...I'll let you know if any of them work!

We tried my Chicago Style Pickled Ramps today, and they were delicious.  Slightly tangy with a twinge of heat, crunchy, and unlike pickled onions in my opinion.  The greens were hard to bite into, kind of chewy, so next time I will cut the greens into pieces before pickling.  I so love that I made these things!!!

And finally, in celebration of Spring, this bright daisy...a little of that can make anyone smile!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Bernie said you can put some of them on your garden. Or turn them into lye and then make your own soap!

P & B

A Colorful World said...

The pickled ramps sound awesome! What a treat and something to be proud of. And look at all that wood! Plus, your photo of the clouded sulfur on the iris is just stunning! The colors are so beautiful...purple, yellow and green. Lovely!~

Dad/Pepere said...

Thanks for the daisy and the iris/butterfly photos...I love them. By the way, my "pepere" added the ashes to his vegetable garden. Hugs!

Lise said...

Patti, we don't need to increase our pH, and I sure don't want to make lye soap, but Bernie is a wealth of information, and I appreciate the input!

Thanks Marie, I appreciate your visiting:)

Hugs back dad. Our garden doesn't need to follow in pepere's footsteps at this point, but maybe one day! Hugs back!