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

#atozchallenge | Reflections of a two timer and what comes next.

I jumped in again and am now a proud two-time survivor of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I learned from last year that the majority of my time would be spent visiting and engaging with other bloggers. I didn’t want to have something as pesky as actually writing a blog post get in the way which means that this annual one month challenge was in reality an intense two month process.

I researched, wrote and prepped everything in March while in April, other than some minor edits, I focused on all the social aspects of the challenge which is one of my favorite parts. 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

Y is for Younity | Want to try a blueberry wine? You’ve come to the right state.

While we’re working our way through the Maine Beer Trail, one of my bucket list items for this year, we don’t have a lot of experience with Maine’s wine scene. I have been to Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, and since they opened their tasting room at Thompson’s Point, I have gone to a few of their wine pairings. So far, that is the only winery I have been to in Maine. We do plan to tackle the Maine Wine Trail eventually, but as I said in my bucket list post, it’s probably best to attempt only one alcohol related “trail” a year.

In researching Maine wineries, I learned that there are:

(a) far more than I realized; and
(b) most of them make a version of blueberry wine.

We bought three bottles of local blueberry wines so that we could have a mini-wine tasting and compare flavors.  For our wine tasting, we opted to try the following wines (all descriptions are from the winery’s websites): 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