Saturday, 23 August 2014

When Adventure Calls, Answer. Always.

One lovely Saturday morning, we were going about our chores, when my phone rang. It was Jessica and she invited us on a cave exploring camping under the stars adventure.  I wanted to say no. Housework was already behind and piling up. One look at the kids though, who had also been overwhelmed with the events of July and August, add in some prodding from Chad, and the answer was, "Load the car up and let's go!"

It took 30 minutes to gather camping gear, 30 minutes at the grocery and gas station, and we were on the road! 4 hours later we arrived camp side and met up with Jessica's crew.

There was cave exploring, mud sliding, hiking, rock climbing, creek splashing, signing, laughing, and so very much fun. I got out my cameras and hung back to walk slowly and carefully.

We are grateful to have friends in our life that love adventure and care for us the way that Jessica does. I hope she knows how much she means to us and how much she helped our family when we first met her.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sexy Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Recipe: Sexy Cajun Red Beans and Rice

1 cup of wild rice
2 cups of bean mix
6 cups of chicken or veggie broth
1 T of season salt (Swamp Fire) (a seasoned salt like Tony Chacher will work- choose one with garlic and cayenne if you don't have access to our farm mixed swamp fire salt).
1 T of magic soup herbs (or 1/2 t of dried shallots 1/2 t chevril, 1/2 t of thyme, 1/2 t aleppo peppers, bay leaf.)
Soak bean mix for 8 hours.
Drain soak water.
Add rice and broth and spices.

Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. 2 hours or when the broth mostly absorbed is how long it takes.

Keep in crock pot on warm to serve buffet style. It is seriously good party food. Makes 8 or so cups.

Friday, 1 August 2014

A Healthy Ecology

Live the life you are in, not the life you wish you had? This idea popped in my head this week, as I looked in the mirror for the first time at my whole self and realised that I love the body I wish I had and not the one I live in, and maybe I'd have more fun dressing up if I would remember that when buying clothes.

This idea echoed through my week too. I let the kids swim in the pond. It is probably one of the cleanest bodies of water around, but full of algae and leaches and crawfish and turtles and fish......all which point to it being a healthy ecology. Huh. The kids get sick when they go to the "clean" public pool, but not when they swim here at home. I need to get over my weirdness about the algae making them all look like swamp things. It is good water and good fun. Swim in the water we have.......and you know, this summer the water and the pond are gorgeous.

My kids are gorgeous too and smart and funny. This summer is one for the books for sure.

Writing is also going well for me and photography. We have a great friend arriving fair week to stay with us and I am giddy about it! I feel actually calm for the first time a very long time, like, knock on wood, we have our footing now and the ground is solid and there are no more werebeasts in the woods going all awesome crazy nuts- or maybe there are but we are too busy to notice?

Speaking of wood beasts.....I am researching Iowa folklore and finding very few monsters. Lots of ghosts but just two monsters and one of them may as well be Minnesotan. I feel like I must be looking in the wrong places? If you know of a local swamp creature or giant demon bat thing or other historical beast whose lore is rooted in Iowa, speak up!

Other than our orange coloured pygmy rhinos or puddle sized pond dwelling octopuses, of course.

Farm Plants in Wisconsin at the Carlson Farm