Monday, January 31, 2011


Amy, one of my best friends in New York, recently welcomed her first baby Julia Ruby, who we are calling J-Ru.  Julia shares her nickname with:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

huevos rancheros

It's what's for brunch

buttermilk soap

melting the oils - those little logs are sticks of cocoa butter

Pouring the warm soap into my new, hand crafted soap mold (thank you Thomas)  We dripped some of the soap on our hands during this step and it burned our skin!

The bars of finished soap - it will cure for one month.

Friday, January 28, 2011

shhhhh.....they're sleeping

56 pounds of love.  I plan to move the cave out to the barn this year where the cheese can age properly, but in the meantime, it is asleep in the basement.
From the left:  bandaged cheddar, parmesan, swiss, gouda, pepper jack, and montasio below.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm plattered

A close friend sent me this platter by artist Kathy King

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm in the mood for a melody

Raquel and I saw Band of Joy this weekend in Ann Arbor - it was great, Robert Plant is still totally rocking at 62, plus did a bunch of Zeppelin songs.  We were in awe.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goodnight, Deer

I was up at 3:00AM last night and saw 4 huge deer out front walking around and nibbling at the hedge.  It's 8 degrees here today, and I always wonder how wild animals stay warm out there.  To watch them, they don't seem cold whatsoever.  They were huge and peaceful.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Nothing says small farming like my new fancy yellow shoes

the visitor

Every morning there are animals tracks in the snow around the farm from the night before, mostly deer.  But this morning I found tracks left by something else, and he was everywhere:

At the outhouse (when you gotta go, you gotta go)

INSIDE the hen yard (now he's asking for trouble)

at the bird bath

beating around the bush

on my front porch

alongside the small barn

According to the animal track key above, the prints look most like unglamorous house cat tracks, but whatever it was, it sure covered some ground.

Monday, January 17, 2011

sky study #26

Took this morning, January 17, 2010 at 7:45AM

Saturday, January 15, 2011

hot pink

Montasio with pink peppercorn

eat my root

Roasted carrot and avocado salad

the scene of the crime

On the right, a "snow angel" made from the wide wingspan of a flying predator, probably an owl or a hawk.  A bloody battle scene on both the right and left, connected by the snaking tracks of a small rodent.  Photo taken on my front lawn January 14.

Friday, January 14, 2011

house my bunny

Got Bunny Lee a new wooden house, as she chewed up her old beer box one.  She remains the cutest bunny in the whole world.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The deer come into the garden every night, dig up the dead vegetable stalks and eat them down to nubs

cool chicks

Owl, Buffy and Buffy in the snow

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

winter projects

soap making

Making soap at home is easy, but you have to be precise and lye is scary.  When you pour it into the mold, it has to cool slowly so you wrap it in a wool blanket

Comfrey - aloe - lavender - rosemary soap

I also made some home made ketchup - it tastes great but it's too thin

middle east feast

Falafel, tabbouleh and tofu kebabs

Saturday, January 8, 2011

frozen poop is better

If you farm, poop is a part of the scene, whether it's coming from your livestock or how you use it on your land.  The farm inspection people gave me lots of good organic tips on how to enrich my soil, including not wasting one single patty of frozen chicken poop.  I mucked out their coop this afternoon and put it all in the garden area.  It will give this year's vegetables that certain sumpin-sumpin.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

so friendly

I passed the Michigan MAEAP verification today - a voluntary inspection process in which the state tests your soil and water, and gives you environmentally compliant guidelines by which to run your farm.  I learned a lot through the process, which has been in progress since October.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

the Bikram challenge

I've been practicing Bikram Yoga since I moved to Michigan, and started a 60-day challenge on January 1.  I did the challenge last Summer - you attend yoga daily for 60 days straight, with no exceptions.  It's a good thing to do - clears your mind, feels great, gives you a sense of discipline.  I do not think Bikram yoga is the only work out that matters, or that if you don't give 100% effort that nothing you do in class counts, or that Bikram people know something everybody else who exercises doesn't - these are some of the claims it's practitioners make.  What I do know is there is clarity to be had by exercising, and the heat feels good in the cold Michigan Winter.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Feliz Año Nuevo

Traditional Mexican food for New Year's Day dinner:  green rice, pinto beans, tamales, green chile + corn casserole

3 species

Boot, dog and deer tracks