It’s Tree Tapping Season! A Quick Guide to Homemade Pure Maple Syrup

Syrup season heralds spring. It’s the first early spring food, a sweet reward for making it through another cold and gray winter, arriving with those first bursts of 50 degree, sunny days, just when the forest feels like it’s coming back to life. Sap flows when it’s freezing at night, forcing the tree to take in more water and nutrients from the ground and then around 45-50 degrees during the day. It needs to be just warm enough to unfreeze those nutrients on the inside of the tree, but not so warm that the tree starts to bud, generally speaking at least 42 degrees. Here in Indiana, as a result, the season lenth varies greatly each year–sometimes giving us a heady month, and others, just a few short days.

Dear White Church: A Love Letter to the Forest Behind our Homestead

We bought our home 11 years ago because it was pretty much all we could afford. We were young and had few resources but big dreams. We had lived in my parents’ home for 3 years. Chloe, our daughter, slept in her own room. Liam, our baby son, slept in a co-sleeper he’d long outgrownContinue reading “Dear White Church: A Love Letter to the Forest Behind our Homestead”

Finding the Home in Homestead

Oh hi there. *sheepish wave*. So, yes, it’s been 9 months since I last updated the blog. In my defense, I got the kids through their homeschool year in the middle of a global pandemic, dealt with the uncertainty of (yet another) year as contingent faculty (“will I have a job or won’t I?”) whileContinue reading “Finding the Home in Homestead”

Plumbing Disasters but Camping Miracles

What a week it has been, friends. As I stated in last week’s Garden Update post, last Monday we had septic tank issues. After we paid a premium to have someone come out that same day AND paid to have the pipe that runs between the septic tank and our house jetted and cleared, weContinue reading “Plumbing Disasters but Camping Miracles”

Garden Updates: The First Half of June

Good morning and happy Monday, friends! It’s been a bit of a day here at the Homestead–our septic tank is backing up because, in all the recent goings-on in the nation and world, we neglected to make our pumping appointment. In addition, poor Liam has a nasty bug bite that has caused a swollen lymphContinue reading “Garden Updates: The First Half of June”

The World is Hurting and I Can’t Not Write About It

As I write this, my two amazing children are engaged in a Kids Baking Show-style challenge. Their assignment? Bake 6 cake donuts with a glaze and a topping. This is the second challenge in a series. Last week they made ultimate brownies. In 20 minutes, my timer will chime and it will be time toContinue reading “The World is Hurting and I Can’t Not Write About It”

Weekly Recipes: Mojo Pork with Caribbean Rice and Beans

I think I’ve mentioned previously my devoted love for rice and beans, so it should be no surprise that for my birthday last week I opted to make myself one of my favorite versions of rice and beans, a recipe I found rather fortuitously one evening several years ago. You see, my husband and I,Continue reading “Weekly Recipes: Mojo Pork with Caribbean Rice and Beans”

Garden Progress and The Weekly Meal Plan for the Second Week of May

Last week was a very busy week! If you recall, we did May the 4th (be with you) with a Disney at Home day visiting Hollywood Studios. Then, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo, then my birthday, and then Mother’s Day (post coming about that). It’s also been a chilly few days in Central Indiana. WeContinue reading “Garden Progress and The Weekly Meal Plan for the Second Week of May”

COVID-19 Morale Boost:May the 4th Disney at Home Day

After the success of our first Disney at Home Day, which I had planned very much on the fly, the kids kept asking to do it again. On our first day, we had park hopper tickets and visited all of our favorite highlights from each park. For subsequent Disney at Home days, then, I thoughtContinue reading “COVID-19 Morale Boost:May the 4th Disney at Home Day”

The Weekly Meal Plan: April 20-26 2020

It’s a cloudy day in central Indiana and it’s making us all want to be lazy and nap. While there is a to-do list (there’s always a to-do list), I’m perfectly alright with us taking some rest and relaxation time. We may get to some garden chores yet this afternoon, or we may not. TheContinue reading “The Weekly Meal Plan: April 20-26 2020”