Base Camp

At least for the next couple of weeks!

(all photos by sweet cove musings. Taken with the i-phone 4. Please ask permission before using)

Happy 4th of July! Wherever you are may it be full of fireworks, fun, family and friends!

Choose your celebration and be safe!

ONE LOVE-

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No Signal

(photo from google image)

After many discussions, and for more reasons than one, we have FINALLY called it quits on the T.V.!!!! I couldn’t be more thrilled with our decision. We nipped it in the bud.

Already, we’ve sat on the porch before bedtime, ate dinner alfresco per daughters request, played kickball in the yard, hung with the pups, dabbled with the paddle boards, read several articles and have gotten a lot further along in paper work than we have all summer break. I have visions of getting novels read and tea sipped this winter by the fire. Long nights of deep discussion while noshing on freshly baked goods.

Of course, we will do net-flix-a-booger. We aren’t totally going A-Wall! I will have to catch up on How I met your Mother on occasion, maybe a little Dexter too. The little one would miss Curious George terribly on those not so feel good days. But there is a lot of time to be filled now that there is dead air. I’m positive we will have no trouble filling it.

Just more of that fine balance coming our way!!

ONE LOVE-


random musings

I realized today that my mother was probably calling our girl dog, Kaya, “he” all weekend because we affectionately say (regularly to her) “Hey shoushand (thousand with an sh), how ya doing shon (son with an sh).

We just chuckled when we had the revelation 🙂

Update: Kaya was diagnosed with a terminal cancer three months ago. She has gone through surgery, well, basically hell and back. However, her wound has healed, her heart is truly happy and her tail is full of wags. Last weekend she ran laps with Whiskey and Martini, two playful labs. She continues to chase the UPS and FedEx trucks (along the invisible fence line).We are grateful for the quality we are getting on a daily basis. This week would be the end of her three month sentence. With each extra day we get our gratitude is grander and deeper.

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ONE LOVE-


the heat is on

(the sunflower. essence of summer. gifted in csa box)

I’m sure you can only imagine where we’ve been. Yep. We’ve been in the kitchen cranking up the canner. And boy have we canned some stuff. We got the green beans canned, potatoes jarred, the lemon mint vinegar put away and managed to get some beet and sage relish under our belts.

During all the time prepping, on top of the time canning, my wheels really began to churn. As we got deeper into the ebb and flow of the canning process the deeper my thoughts went. My first initial thoughts were why would anyone not want to can. The empowerment to take locally grown food and turn it into something for your family to take delight in on those long winter nights is pure pleasure. That was the first twenty minutes.

About an hour into the process I started thinking about my grandmothers, their lives and their chores as farm wives. Children, cooking, cleaning, feeding the farm help, feeding her family, tending to the family garden and canning all the goods that come from the garden. That was their job. Full time, year round, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Grandma Birdie had three children. Grandma Iris had four. Now granted they had help at the house doesn’t mean they were sipping mint julips on the porch while barking orders. No. These were farm wives. They worked their fingers to the bone.

These thoughts led me to begin thinking why women and families left such practices behind. Oh the thoughts started swirling then. Surely, women got tired of the long hours without pay and demanded more respect. No, that really wasn’t it. Not once in Birdie’s life did I ever hear her mutter one negative word about her life. It was what they did. No question. Without pay? They got paid when the crops where sold. Their duties were symbiotic with all duties required on the farm. They were part of their own ebb and flow. Duties required to make a farm successful, just like planting, watering and tending the crops.

So, if it wasn’t that then really what was the reason? We are probably two hours in now for a four hour process. A break from my thoughts to help tend to my own child and animals. Of course, I have help. My husband is partaking 100% in the processing which actually has me involved only half of the time as my predecessors. Once I return though I am right back into thought.

I start thinking back to all the farm stories I heard my entire childhood. My PopPop would gather the men all around at every family gathering and he would roar out stories. The good, the bad, the ugly. Smaller farms were getting bought out by big Corporate companies. So, what now? Maybe those wives didn’t have a choice but to find work outside of the home to help support their families. My grandmothers continued to stay home and tend to their homes, gardens, now grandchildren and canning. I do believe that the population split for many reasons. Leaving less families canning.

Bringing along the baby boomers. Our mothers. Fighting for all. Why do we have to stay home clean your mess? We won’t go into the details but strong woman became a logo in many homes. I’m certain this was the demise of canning. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly grateful for the stand. The cause was and is great. There are more and more opportunities for women like myself to succeed in the work place. I am able to be a successful co-owner of a business that is doing extremely well. My partner, aka husband, is proud to run our business side by side. Equally. But I’m not really concerned about the political issues women face, not in this post anyway! I’m here, in thought, trying to figure out what happened to the task of canning.

Here comes my generation. Generation X. The Generation that all feared. Well, maybe not feared but with a name like that there doesn’t seem like there was much confidence in us! We are the generation, all of us, ALL men and women,  trying to find a balance between parenting, working, house chores, choosing and maintaining sustainable practices. We are trying to connect with our past and flow with the future. Make them work together. So, we both clean the house, both answer customer service calls, both tend to the child, both choose new practices and figure out how to do them together.

As we are doing this all together there still feels like there is a gap. While we were both prepping the potatoes, the water bath, the jars, and lids our child was left to entertain herself. A little TV here, torture the dog there (the dog thrives on the torture:), play with her toys in her room. All fine, positive skills. The balance was/is hard for me. I like to interact with her. We do that whole attachment parenting thing. Even though she doesn’t nurse or sleep with us anymore (all her choice) we still like to connect with her. Challenge her. Help her strive. For the time being, until she is old enough to partake, canning in the kitchen took me away from that. Some recipes take up to 4-5 hours.

So where’s the balance? It titter totters everyday for all us. It is an art we all try to master. Canning is making a come back. I love the craft. Can’t wait to teach the child. However, if you can’t find room for it in your life without throwing off all your balance then that is ok too. At the end of the day you have to do what is right for your family. Make choices with your spouse that are right for you all. As for me, I will choose specific days to can. Not go wild like last week. It was a bit heated (literally) with the canner on full steam for three and half days straight. It is hard. It is time consuming. It is rewarding. Just remember, if you choose to can, respect your time and energy. If not, that ok too.

ONE LOVE-

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full support

My Mom and Daddy have given me their full support when it comes to my canning endeavors.

Upon our arrival for a long weekend with my folks and bro I heard my Daddy say, “I need to go to the tractor supply store if you want to ride.” We piled into the four door diesel truck and headed up the road. While gathering his odds and ends he decided I needed some real canning supplies! It was premeditated on his part. No more boiling water spilling over my makeshift canner.

When we realized they were all out of canners we piled back in the truck, headed to the garden center and hardware store. They, too, said they were sold out. But when my Daddy asked about a pot for steaming oysters the guy was shocked to find a pressure cooker and canner on the shelf. The last two.

So, with canners in tow we headed to the farmers market. Green Beans, Beet Relish and a bucket of Potatoes (gifted by my brother) will hit the boiling waters this week! Stepping up the game for sure! Never used a pressure cooker before…

(Also, when I got home my Mother-in-Law had gifted my husband with a canning cookbook for Father’s Day! That’s my kind of gift! Thanks Meena!)

Thanks Daddy. Thanks Mom. Even at the age of thirty-five it is still nice to have parental support!

ONE LOVE-


hard boiled

Remember this post a while back regarding the request for local property owners in Kill Devil Hills, NC to have the choice to maintain a max of six backyard chickens if they wanted? Here is the follow up article and current status of the votes…

Click on Photo

If you are not familiar with the area it is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. A beautiful, popular vacation destination for folks all along the eastern seaboard and beyond. It is off the beaten path. You have to make a point to get there. The vibe is mellow, the locals are loyal to their tromping ground (not in a pirate way, in a ‘we love where we live and partake in the sunshine and sand as much as possible’ way). When you are there, the sole purpose is sun, sand and waves. Nothing more, nothing less. One of our favorite places in the world.

The route that takes you to the Outer Banks is my brother’s tromping grounds. It is 95% + local farm land. Corn, Soy Beans, Cotton, Watermelon, a local, fresh produce stand in each town you drive through grounds. The shops and towns are all surrounded by fertile farmed land. Farmed by generations of North Carolinian families. Rich in farming heritage. This year, the crops are more beautiful than I have ever seen. Mother Nature has been kind to the 24/7 guardians of the land and crops.

I hope that the local residents of the OBX can find a compromise with the county officials. I hope to see more chickens carefully and artfully placed in local backyards. I hope for the community and us regular tourist that we start seeing open air markets with local farmers that are literally just down the road. More local crafts and local fresh eggs all along Highway 12. The community is asking for it. Craving it. They want better choices for their family and neighbors. How could that be too much to ask?

ONE LOVE-


be outside

Get yourself out there!

Wherever you are this weekend I hope that it is full!

ONE LOVE-