Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Holidays 2010!

Ah, the holidays! Time for family, food, travel, and chaos in general. We left the cats at home and packed up the Element for the trip to Wisco. Much more room than the trip back with our 8ft Christmas tree.
Dinner at the Great Dane. Wisconsin Cheddar Mac n Cheese, of course. And like any good German restaurant, it's served with a pretzel.

Me and my little brother.

Like any good aunt, I gave the two littlest one chocolate. I did make them stay in the kitchen so none got on the carpet.
Chocolate is always a hit.

This was the "Shake Your Booty" dance.

Here's the Muppet!

First gift. (Spoiler alert, it's a tent)

I love these kids.
Life when boxes are just as good as the gifts.
Baby Jesus was a cowboy.
No explanation needed. Although, after this holiday season, I could go without cheese (and sausage) for quite a while.
And last but definitely not least - Ugly Sweater Party!
I'd like to think that I won. But Coco the Dog and Tyson, the littlest guy, were in a close tie for second.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cheese, Beer, and Holiday Cheer

The old fashioned party was a smashin success. This weekend we had our Wisconsin-themed Christmas party. At Thanksgiving we brought back a bunch of cheese, sausage, and beer for the party. Sam made venison stew. Jason and Kelly had a Tom and Jerry taste off, and I made our delicious version of the brandy old fashioned sweet. Our neighbors and a few friends stopped by for the evening.
Sam working on the delicious venison stew.
After simmering all afternoon, the venison was so tender. The stew had some spice and was really good.
Danny modeling both the Tom and Jerry and the old fashioned. Quiet on this end of the living room.
A little more action over here.
Mark keeping his backside warm.
I believe this was a discussion on the greatest illustrator ever. Norman Rockwell won.
Nera recovering in her fortress of solitude under the tree.
Thanks to everybody that stopped by, we had lots of fun. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pretty Cool

So I noticed a huge jump in blog hits after I posted the first composter review, but never looked into it. Turns out that our post was featured on the re-nest blog. So it turns out other people are interested in our compost, never thought I would say that. Well I guess that warrants a composter update. I have decided that all of the compost produced this winter is getting piled in one spot in the garden. At this rate, by spring we are going to have a huge pile.
Here is the typical week for the composter. Wednesdays are when I take garbage out so it is day 0 for the composter. I fill it daily from Wednesday to Sunday evening. It is pretty full at this point. I don't add anything Monday or Tuesday and just accumulate scraps for those days. Wednesday morning I dump the compost in the bottom tray in the garden and transfer from the top chamber. Then the accumulated scraps are added to start things off again. So we are looking at a week in the top and a week in the bottom. We consistently add coffee grounds, apple cores, banana peels, egg shells, and toilet paper tubes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lazy Weekend

I know it's not even technically winter, but I'm cold and ready for spring. It got cold and snowy last weekend so we stayed pretty close to home.
The birds found seed beneath the snow.
The cats found sun.
and Sam had help studying and working on Christmas cards.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Garlic?

The Christmas decorating is pretty much finished. All of the soft ornaments are on the bottom branches and every morning Nera places them around the house.
Last weekend I turned one of the beds and planted garlic. The garlic will be between our hot peppers. Since the hot peppers don't really get big until later in the summer, the garlic will be finished. I turned in some of the fresh compost which is looking quite good.
For those who care, the composter is working great. We are producing one container per week and everything that can go in is. Last weekend a bunch of fish scraps went in. This morning the feed consisted of a few toilet paper rolls, banana peels, bean cuttings, egg shells, coffee grounds, apple cores, and a ton of those corn starch packing peanuts. I have started a pile in the garden so hopefully next spring we can have a good visualization of how much has been produced.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Last week we made our annual pilgrimage back to Wisconsin for lots of food, cheese, and beer. In the element we fit:
9 balsam wreaths,
8 festive bows,
7 kinds of cheese,
6 pounds of sausage,
5 cases of beer,
4 bundles of bows,
3 bottles of wine,
2 crappy colds, and
1 8 ft. Christmas tree
After Thanksgiving dinner I was so full I needed help digesting food. Our nieces and nephew helped by bouncing on my stomach. They are so fun to play with, but were typhoid Marys with colds. I think we managed to pass it on to everyone in my family the next day.
The medium sized dog costumes still fit Portland well. I am a little weary as to what presents he is going to leave us.
We picked out a nice 8 ft. balsam tree. Nera and Sam decorated it last night,
and undecorated it,
and rearranged the ornaments.