Still not the best season. When looking at the log we can see that last year I pulled the taps, while this year we are only half way though at best. Grabbed another 20 gallons of sap today. Not great. Not horrible, but not great considering there is 50 taps total. The weather has been very cold for a long time. Now that it is starting to warm up and the sun is going higher, we are being hit with a lot of incoming storms, so low pressure (no sap run) followed by high winds (no sap run) so we take what little we get. The good news is that the sap is holding at 2% sugar. A little less…

Or can people really practice what they tell the rest of us to do? I've slowly been moving to purchasing local, fresh food and utilizing better menu planning. Yes, it costs more up front, but I wonder if I will save money over the long run? I started by purchasing a side of beef. Grass fed and grass finished, at a local-ish farm only a state away from me. Heartstonefarm.me I found them by looking on the internet for grass fed beef. Lots of places will sell you an expensive steak, but these folks were willing to sell 1/4 shares all the way up to the entire cow. I recently purchased a half share - or 170 lbs of beef…

This is my official first batch of the 2019 season. 1.25 gallons of bottled grade A early season light. I decided to try a suggestion this year and bottle a few days after making it. This way I'm not tired and rushing trying to bottle while it is still hot. Instead, I just reheat it using an electric tea kettle. I set the temperature for 185 degrees and it is then at the perfect temperature where by I can just take my time and bottle it. Worked great!

I'm running my newly converted and membrane updated reverse osmosis as we speak! I put out 50 buckets this year! I'm quickly leaning that 50 might have been a mistake. That's about 10 too many for me to go get and gather. The RO takes that much longer, etc, etc. Sap dripping from the tree I see from last year's log the season started 10 days earlier. It's much colder this season. Heck, it just snowed today. With my 50 taps I received 40 to 45 gallons of sap the first warm and and another 25 gallons of sap the next. While waiting on new filters for my RO, all my sap froze solid. Yeah, it's been challenging to say…

I've been spending the snow storm laden afternoon cleaning up my basement. My basement is a certified disaster area strewn with long forgotten hobbies and good intentions. The sad part is, I'm having too hard of a time letting go on some of the items. All of the maybe one day, or even better, the I'll do that soon hobby. I'm drinking mead (a honey wine) that i made and bottled 5 years ago. Quite good. Haven't made it since. I'm having a hard time throwing out my old defunct Contour cameras. I'm not using them and the quality is passe. Don't get me started on the Raspberry PI projects I started but never finished. I mean, how many of…

Just a warning: This is very much a rambling post I learned a lot from my Grandfather. He taught me about the way things were and ought to be. He was someone that had a heart of gold (stories of him delivering food to needy people or elderly that couldn't leave their homes in winter - with no prompting or reward, it was just the right thing to do), he fought in World War 2 as a B-17E Pilot but never spoke too much about it. Oh he loved his WWII movies though! Always watching them. He even set up a mock cockpit and taught me how to fly one when I was a kid. I don't remember much on…

If you've been following along for a while, you know that I love cigars. I also enjoy all the little extras that go along with cigars. Cutters, lighters, ash-trays, and travel containers. I decided to take one of my travel containers, called a "herf-a-dor": First internet search brought me up this: https://www.cigarsinternational.com/p/herf-a-dor-travel-humidor-travel-cases/1437456/ I removed all the foam and cut up some of my old cedar cigar boxes and created this: I love the uniqueness of it. I'll toss in a few cigars for a get together along with my cutter and lighter. Maybe a broveda pack (62%) if I plan on the cigars staying in there for more than a day This was quite easy to do and for those…

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