Posted tagged ‘tree’

So There’s That

March 5, 2013

We got about 3 gallons of maple sap over the course of 2 1/2 days.  I filtered it, I boiled it a while, I put it in my crockpot.  Then I didn’t know when to stop.  Here’s what we got:

It’s a pretty color and it’s thickened up since it’s been in the fridge.

 I mighta let it go too long.  It’s kinda grainy, like it’s saturated w sugar.  Sooooo…. maybe I can turn it in to that maple sugar candy like we get at the fall fairs (YUMM-O!)?  Or it can sit in my fridge forever as I reminder that we could do it if we wanted to?

The sap was flowing again and we’ve got maybe another gallon and a half so far today…  Try it again?  Probably.

P.S. I just found this blog post by Simple Little Home and we are SO doing this.



February 26, 2013

I know folks who schedule blog posts weeks in advance.  They plan holiday posts and birthday posts, but I just can’t.  If I think of something to tell you, or if I’m in the middle of a project I just can’t wait to tell you about it.

So!!  We have these beastly maple trees on the front corners of our property out by the road.  During the first freak/weird/once in a lifetime but happened twice October snow storms a couple years ago they were really damaged.  One lost a huge section that blocked out street.  The other lost a giant branch into our driveway.  They’re pretty scarred and pretty ugly in the winter when they don’t have greenery to cover the damage.  When spring rolls around, they leak sap out of various parts and the other day one of the girls noticed a sap icicle way up in a tippy-top branch.  I told hubs we should tap that tree, just to see what would happen and with a couple bucks for a yard of tubing and a plastic thing that pokes in the tree, we are now harvesting sap like pioneers.

If pioneers had plastic pointy things and tubes and gallon milk jugs.  It is flowing like crazy:

(You can see the chunk that’s missing from the other tree on the right side at the other end of the yard, too.)

Last night after about 8 hours, we had our first near-gallon of sap.

I’ve been told a dozen times (and read it, too) that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.  That’s great but really, we don’t need a gallon of syrup.  The Little Girl is the only one who even enjoys syrup in the first place (!!!), we’re just doing it for fun.  We’re just about 24 hours since hubs tapped the tree and we’ve gotten a little more than 2 gallons of sap.  I’ve boiled it down and put it in my crockpot to do its ‘thang” and eventually, we’ll see what happens.  If you suddenly see an influx of waffle posts, you’ll be assured making syrup was a success. 😉

when hollywood came a-callin’

December 20, 2011

I have given a couple of teasers about a project of mine being on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and after months and months of “it’s top secret, i can’t talk about it!” the show has aired and I can talk about it all i want.  Here, take 2 of these and call me in the a.m.

the call came on a Friday night at the very end of July. “can you make something like a picture of yours i found on flickr, but nothing like what’s in the picture?”  i’m pretty sure this is the picture the field producer was talking about:

with 7 drawers and big enough to put ornaments and trinkets in and Ty will tell the family every day….. and i didn’t hear anything else, cuz i heard Ty….Ty…. Ty…. *swoon*.  And in my house, what Ty wants, Ty gets, so i yesyesyes’d that lady and when i hung up the phone i just had no idea where to begin.  it was Friday night at 8:30. she had to have 2 of these “things”, whatever they were going to be in her hands in Ohio by Wednesday afternoon, they were filming on Thursday.  Throw in a few other things:  i had to work 8 hours at the scrapbook store.  I had to drop my children off at my parents’ an hour away on Saturday because on Sunday, we had tickets to see Craig Ferguson in Boston.  Boston is at LEAST a day trip from where we live.  There was no time for this.  but it’s for Tyyyyyyyy….

my husband and i stood in my craft room, looking at the various projects that we might alter to make what we needed, and my eyes came to rest on some IKEA boxes that i used for storage.  they’re awesome boxes, i wish i had 12 more sets… but conveniently enough, i had 2.  I arranged on the kitchen counter my vision:

 so make it like this, but with this, and without this. and you know, better.

hunny planned a trip to home depot for 6a.m. the next day.  and while i was at work, he dragged out his saws and other stuff and made just what i asked for.

great!  now do it again!

Christy, my trusty minion and pal was with me through the decorative design and cutting and pasting.  and the trip to craig ferguson.  what a weekend.  Sunday before we left for Boston, we cut lots and lots of pieces.


monday, we were dilerious and pretty shouty (what else is new?), and we saw that hey, we were actually going to pull this together.

so many pieces….

it’s august in my diningroom Christmas sweatshop.  Yes, that’s a kissing ball made by a 4 year old last Christmas hanging from my light fixture.  it’s like Christmas all the time in my house.

and here we are, just about done:

They were shipped on Monday afternoon, one was “lost” in the mail for a day and caused me to age 12 years, and they all got where they needed to be for filming.  ABC is a little touchy about showing the actual folks from the show, so you’ll have to trust me, that’s Ty.  he’s all up in our drawers.  Yes, i’m gonna use that joke for as long as i can ride this out.

more next time.


Cue the Charlie Brown Christmas Music…

November 27, 2011

i hear it in my head, i love that Christmas music…  we went and got our tree today.  it could not’ve been a more beatuiful morning.

i got a chance to try out my new camera. aaaaand i’m in love.

we took a nice walk out in the field and picked the first tree that we thought was tall enough.  marked it with kris’s glove – this is very “laverne and shirley” to me.

he gets better and better at this every year.  of course, it probably helped that it was 45 degrees and no snow on the ground.

big girl was very interested in how we’d know which tree was ours once the kid in the ATV took it away on his trailor.  she’s remembering the ticket number.

it’s going to be a beautiful Christmas.

so that happened…

November 7, 2011

remember how i was nervous about that tree in the back of my house before the hurricane?  yeah.

before (august 2011):

during-ish (oct 30, 2011) (hey, where did the deck and swingset go?)

after (nov 01):

it’s decidedly whispier after the freak october snow storm we had.  good news – the pieces bounced off the house and didn’t squash any of us.  we were only out of power for 5 days, and as crazy as it sounds, we were the lucky ones.  i get crazy clausterphobic when the power goes out, and i don’t care much for living in a house with no heat or water with two little girls that ask 100 times an hour when the lights will come back on.  oi.  i took them to my parents on the coast, and my poor, long suffering husband stayed home because he still had to work.  he got to shower there and have a hot meal, sleep in a 40 degree house and the girls and i had a mini vacation.

we trick or treated at grammie and poppie’s and made out like little bandits.  or a little bat and a little butterfly.  whatever.

pssst, they don’t really like candy.  mama has a year’s supply of peanut butter cups, score!

as i type this, we’ve been out of school for 6 days, tomorrow will be lucky number 7.  i am so ready to have my boring little life back, cutting and pasting and making colored waffles.  i think we all are.


o christmas tree…

December 5, 2010

for the past few years we’ve gone to get our christmas tree on a weekday morning.  we are not crowd people, we seem to avoid people a lot.  with school and work schedules the way they are, we’re going to have to learn to be a little more patient, and leave the house on the weekend.  this a.m. we got up early and went to the tree farm to cut down our christmas tree:

sunny day, but oi, chilly.  28 degrees.

nobody complained.  we have a plan – when we find a tree we like, we mark it so we can remember where it was.  imagine, they really all do look the same.

after we found the one we liked, i nearly forgot to go back for my scarf.

remember the link to the Mayhem ad?  did you see it?  this made me giggle, and even hunny made a comment about how the scent was “like making love to a lumberjack.”

he wondered, too, if this is all very exclusive to new england… we march out into a field and saw down our own tree.  a kid comes by on an ATV with a trailer and drives it back to the barn.  they put it on this crazy shaking machine to get all the loose needles off, then wrap it with twine.  then some other kid hauls it out to your car and either straps it on top, or in our case, we take 2 cars and we put it in the back of hunny’s car.  we pick out fresh wreaths for the front and back door and maybe have some cider or cocoa, and wa-LA!  christmas spirit in full effect!!

and how do YOU pick YOUR tree??

December 5, 2009

we wander around the field and we all say:

 “how bout that one?”


“how bout that one?”

then we find one we like, but then wander away to see if there’s anther we like better, and then can’t find the original tree…  this year i’d throw my scarf on the possibilities so we could find them again.  and luckily, i didn’t lose my scarf!!

i have to say it is much more enjoyable to look for a tree when there is no snow on the ground and the temps are approaching 50 f.  and now that the girls are older i don’t worry about them running off and getting lost among the trees – it’s a pretty big place!  this farm also has an awesome new barn that has handmade wreaths and swags – we picked out a great square wreath for the front door with a big red bow, it’s so pretty!