THURSDAY THANKS: LEEKS

DEHYDRATED LEEKS BARLEY DARTS

Thanks to one of Keith’s cousins, we love leeks.  They are amazing fresh from the garden, simmered in soups, or caramelized.  They are also a staple for our winter pantry.  Dehydrated, they retain both their green color and a mild flavor.  Just add them to baked potatoes, omelettes, and chicken soup for an instant taste of summer.

THURSDAY THANKS: SUNSHINE!

WINTER DAY SOUTH PEN FEB 2018 BARLEY DARTS

When the sun makes an appearance ’round here, we all do our best to get out and soak it up.  In fact, it doesn’t even matter the temperature outside.  As long as there’s no wind, every one of us will be sunbathing.  It feels so good and we are so grateful for all that natural, vitamin D!  So, what about all that white stuff?  Well, let’s just pretend that it’s sand.

THURSDAY THANKS: WARM BLANKETS

BLANKET PLAID BARLEY DARTS

 

We are grateful for warm blankets.  And we are fortunate to have plenty of options.  This particular one was a gift to us from Keith’s mom.  No, it’s not handmade or an heirloom.  It’s modern and machine-made.  It’s also soft, light weight, and extremely warm.  In fact, it’s the perfect lap blanket.  Which explains why Keith and I have been fighting over it.

THURSDAY THANKS: HAY

HAY BARLEY DARTS

It’s that time of year where we are especially thankful for our hay.  Our winters are often harsh and long.  In fact, we still have another three months to go.  Meanwhile, our critters have to eat.  And hay is an important part of their diets.  Unfortunately, the quality of our hay is at best, fair.  So, we have been working diligently to improve its nutritional value.  More seeding was done again last fall.  And still more will be done this spring, summer, and fall…  seed by seed, little by little, step by step, season by season, and year by year.

MONDAY MEMOIR: SMILE

SHAE 2 PLUS YRS OLD BARLEY DARTS

 

Today, I spent the afternoon at the dentist’s office.  I had another root canal.  Yes, I know many folks complain about such things.  But, I’m not.  Instead, I am grateful for good dentists and dental insurance.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that I want or look forward to root canals.  But, they’re better than the alternative… ongoing pain, infection, tooth loss, and digestive issues.  Besides, the technology was awesome!  There were computers, 3-d images, 360-degree scans, and infrared, light wands.  Dental science has sure come a long way, in the last fifty-years.

Interestingly, I still remember my first dental appointment.  I was toddler and it was an emergency.  It all began when I had stacked my toys in the corner of my crib.  I then stood on them to climb out.  Which is not surprising, considering I’ve always hated being boxed-in or confined.  Unfortunately, it’s also not surprising what happened next, considering I’ve always been clumsy, too.  I promptly fell flat on my face, onto the floor.

To make an expensive and long story short, silver caps were placed on all my front teeth.  They remained there, until my baby teeth fell out.  And while it hurt, my dentist and parents made me laugh.  And while I looked like the infamous villain from a James Bond movie, they insisted that I was pretty.  They handed me a mirror to see my teeth “that sparkled”.  Then they made me promise to always smile.

Those years came and went.  Then adolescence arrived, along with pimples and braces.  This time it was an orthodontist and my parents who reassured me.  They said I had pretty teeth, behind all that metal.  They made me laugh and said I had a beautiful smile.  And fifty-years later, there have been root canals.  Instead of silver, it’s now gold or porcelain that sparkles.  Of course, it hurts… in the pocket-book.  Yet, I’m determined to smile.  After all, I made a promise, a long time ago.

THURSDAY THANKS: KINDRED SPIRITS & SQUASH

SQUASH BLACK & DECKER OVEN BARLEY DARTS 2018

We’re thankful for the friends that gifted us this Kindred squash.  For many years, we’ve grown green, buttercup squash.  But, this was our first time eating Kindred.  It’s an orange shelled, buttercup squash with a green star on the end.  The flesh is also orange.  When cooked, the aroma is irresistible.  It has a creamy texture with a mild, sweet flavor.  Add butter and you have dinner.  Add butter toasted, candied walnut pieces and you have dessert.  Add with cream cheese and layer with lasagna noodles, then spinach with ricotta, onion, and bacon bits and you have a gourmet meal.  We highly recommend growing and sharing lots of buttercup squash.  They’re perfect for cold climates and packed with vital nutrients.  Not only do kids love them, so do all of our critters.  But, beware.  They don’t share them.  Instead, they fight over them.  And Lord help any animal that tries to take one away from our cow, Eliza.

THURSDAY THANKS: HOGSBACK

FOREST SIGN HOGSBACK OBRIEN RD 2017 BARLEY DARTS

 

We are thankful for long drives down the Hogsback.