A to Z Challenge Bonus | Galaxie Salsa finding a delicious new use for zucchini.

One of my favorite non-fiction books is Barbara Kingsolver’s  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. She is a beautiful writer.  I was mesmerized as she journeyed through a year of eating locally. It’s something I fantasize about trying.  However, since I have zero gardening skills, I don’t think I would be as successful as she was eating only foods grown myself or purchased from local farmers. Other than tomatoes and the occasional herb, I have limited knowledge on how I would actually feed myself.

I did consider jumping into the backyard chicken trend when we first moved back to Maine but then I remembered that we own a lab. My understanding is labs and chickens don’t always play nicely. It’s the whole retriever thing. While I might have been able to train my dog to “leave it” when it came to the chickens, overall it seemed too stressful especially for a novice chicken wrangler like me. Continue reading

Z is for Zeitgeist Factory | Using concrete in unexpected ways.

When my girls were young, I had them make a mold of their hands and feet in the sand and then poured Plaster of Paris into the opening to create a keepsake. It’s one of those quick, easy crafts you can find on mom blogs, and in crafting books. It aligned well with my love of memory keeping. Making the mold in the sand gave the finished product a nice texture. I hung the castings on my wall where they stayed for many years. Sadly, the hanger on the back of one of them broke and it fell to the ground breaking into pieces. I took the other one down because it felt strange to leave only one child’s prints on my wall.

The made in Maine product in this post reminds me of those castings. Zeitgeist Factory makes a line of housewares made from concrete. I love the uniqueness of their products. They are simple and industrial. I think they would make a great contrast to the items with which they are paired such as a colorful handcrafted soap on their soap dish. Or, maybe some wildflowers spilling from their vases.  Continue reading

X is for Xtreme Conditions | STABILicers Maxx make winter hiking a breeze.

Winter hiking is exhilarating, challenging and fun but without the right equipment it can be dangerous. Trails can turn into slick, ice-covered pathways which is what you often encounter in winter, and even much of the early spring, here in Maine. You need a plan to stay on your feet. Fortunately, I have a plan.

Our last few hikes of March fell into this icy, treacherous category. While there were sections that were clear of ice, most areas were not. It didn’t stop us from hitting the trails. We had a newly purchased state park pass sitting in our pocket and were ready to go. Plus, I had finally invested in the right hiking gear for Xtreme Conditions. I own a pair of STABILicersTM Maxx which I had broken in during an earlier winter hike to the Mountain Division Trail in Freyburg. Continue reading

W is for WaldoStone Farm | Elevating brunch with a Bloody Lobster Cocktail.

I am more of a Mimosa kind of gal when it comes to alcoholic breakfast beverages, but my husband leans towards the heartier Bloody Mary option. Bloody Marys seem to have taken on a life of their own these days with more elaborate and inventive garnishes turning them into full course meals. Trust me. Just do a quick Instagram search for #BloodyMary. I’m amazed some of the glasses don’t tip over.

If you’re looking for a place to head in Maine to get a fun Bloody Mary, check out Where to get the Best, Funky and Fun Bloody Mary in Maine from 103.7 The Peak. The Silly’s With a Twist build your own Bloody Mary opens up some really great possibilities. But, what if you’re not up for heading out for brunch? I find it shocking that anyone would not be up for brunch, but if you do opt to stay in you can still enjoy a signature morning drink. Continue reading

U is for U. Smelly Dog | Now my dog is going to smell better than I do.

There are two types of dog people. Those that let their animals sleep in their bed and those that do not. We don’t share our bed with our dog; he shares it with us. As he’s gotten older, he likes to go to bed earlier these days. He’ll pace around in front of us at night impatient that we’re not ready to head up at the same time as him. Eventually, he’ll give up and head up on his own which inevitably means pushing him off the pillow when we do finally make it upstairs.

It does a number on our sheets. I wash them regularly, but it doesn’t take long before they start to smell like my pup again. It’s a small price to pay for the snuggles we get each night, but it is an ongoing challenge.  Continue reading