Making The Most of Your Pantry and Fridge

This post is all about my tips on making the most of my pantry and fridge, showing a couple simple things I do, and encouraging you to look at your food in a transformative way. If you’re here for the Kale Pesto recipe, just scroll to the bottom!

Homesteading is a very personal thing. It can mean so many things to so many people. There are the people who live fully off the grid and who hunt and grow all of their own food, and there are those who put out some vegetable plants on their city porch. To me, these are both aspects of homesteading on opposite ends of the scale. To me, no matter where you are on the spectrum of homesteading, there is a common thread of trying to be more self-sustainable and making the most of what you can, even if it might be easier to buy it at the store. One of the things I consciously try to make sure of more and more is how to make the best use of my pantry and fridge. This means keeping it stocked. It means putting less food into the compost and transforming foods that are about to go bad either into a dinner, or into another product we can preserve and use at another time.

DSC_6278-01

Over the years I have become more and more aware of my own pantry and fridge. More and more I see the potential in the old bread to become breadcrumbs or panzanella, and for the kale that is a day or two away from not being good anymore to become a delicious pesto that will hold up in the freezer for months.

I’ve learned that making the most of your pantry and fridge isn’t as scary as it seems. If you keep a few basic items around, you can make just about anything with a little forethought, and a lot of the time without any forethought.

Keep It Simple

Breadcrumbs are one of the simplest things you can make from something you would otherwise throw away. If your fresh loaf of bread is too hard a few days later, or your loaf of sliced bread from the store is about to turn (but hasn’t molded) and you know you can’t use it all in time you have a couple options. For the sliced bread, throw it in the freezer and only thaw the bread you need. This will help elongate the life of your loaf. For bread that is already somewhat stale breadcrumbs are the way to go in our household. The key to a good crumb is to make sure you get out all of the moisture. I simply dice up the bread, throw the dices on a dry (no oil) cookie sheet and toast them for 15 to 20 minutes or so in a 400* oven. I make sure they are nice and toasted, and then let them sit out over night (or in the turned off oven) to harden up some more. Then, I throw them into either the food processor or vitamix and voila, breadcrumbs. If you want flavored bread crumbs you can toss some spices in your jar, though I prefer plain so I can dress them up for each dish as needed.

DSC_6268-01 DSC_6271-01 DSC_6276-01

A Well Stocked Pantry Goes A Long Way

I keep a variety of canned and dried beans around. If I’m not sure what to do for dinner that night, I’ll throw some beans in water to soak before I head to work and then not worry about it. By the time I get home something will come to mind, whether it’s burritos, black bean burgers, black bean dip to top a rice dish with, cooking them down and turning them into a black bean soup—you get the idea. 

The following is a list of what I consider pantry and fridge staples which help to make just about any meal:

  • Beans (variety of dried and canned) typically vegetarian re fried, black bean, pinto and garbanzo at a minimum.
  • Tomatoes (crushes and diced)
  • Oatmeal (works as a great binder for bean burgers)
  • Rice
  • Grains like quinoa
  • Flour
  • Dried pasta
  • Eggs
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Soft tortilla shells
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower, etc.)
  • Nut and rice milks that are shelf stable
  • Olive Oil
  • Nutritional yeast (it’s a nutty tasting powder very high in vitamin B which is great for you and is good dusted on lots of things or made into a sauce, I highly recommend it).
  • Coconut Milk
  • Raisins (they can help impart a nice sweetness on an acidic meal)
  • SPICES. I capitalize this because with a well stocked spice shelf you can turn just about any of the above items into anything else.

DSC_5967-01

I try to keep other veggies around when we aren’t growing them in our garden, but the above list is a good start.

The Ever Faithful Freezer

When you think of preservation you might think about hours of prepping, standing above a vat of boiling vinegar,  figuring out your pressure canner, and then feeling stressed at the thought of it all. Fear not, this has nothing to do with canning. While I love canning, sometimes the freezer is your best friend.

We love keeping kale around. It’s great for sauteeing, it’s great for raw salads, it’s great for green smoothies—you get the idea. The issue is that some weeks are kale heavy, and some weeks we don’t use it all before it gets to the critical “use it or lose it” stage. Combined with a few pantry staples from above, you can turn that kale into a beautiful, affordable pesto which stays well in the freezer for months. While I use a vacuum sealer, plastic or glass containers work well too.

Kale Pesto
A delicious and unique pesto that is both vegan and gluten-free friendly!
Write a review
Print
Vegan Parmesean
  1. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or cashews
  2. 1 cup nutritional yeast
  3. pinch of salt
Pesto
  1. Few handfuls of kale
  2. 1-2 tablespoons parm mix (and then more to taste)
  3. Small handful unsalted cashews, preferably raw
  4. Couple cloves garlic
  5. Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Into a food process toss in the kale, parm mix, garlic, cashews and a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Pulse until you reach your preferred consistency, adding more of any ingredient to reach your preferred taste/texture. We prefer slightly chunky, but it's all preference.
Notes
  1. To freeze we put about 1 cup into a large freezer bag, put in the freezer for 20 minutes to partially freeze, and then vacuum seal. You can also place into ice cube trays first, freeze into cubes, and then vacuum seal them. Vacuum sealing is highly recommended to avoid freezer burn and to lengthen storage time.
Like A Cup of Tea http://www.likeacupoftea.com/

DSC_6260-01DSC_6258-01 DSC_6264-01 DSC_6267-01In previous years we didn’t vacuum seal them. We bought this FoodSaver on discount at Marden’s a while back though and looking back it was a great buy. We use it a lot and the food always retains great flavor. This can easily be frozen in containers, it’s all preference.

What else can I do?

There are so many other things you can do.

  • Chicken stock. Once you’re done roasting a chicken don’t throw away the carcass! There are some great recipes for chicken stock out there using the bones. While some cooks will swear it’s not as rich tasting as using a whole bird, I’ve never tasted much of a difference. Chicken stock can either be pressure canned (NOT water bathed) or it can be frozen in Tupperware. This is a great way to also use up the leafy parts of the celery and any slightly rubbery carrots you might be ready to toss.
  • Quick dinners: Quick dinners are the name of the game around here. Sometimes it’s burritos, sometimes it’s baked chicken and homemade potato wedges, a protein style burger, or macaroni and nutritional yeast. I’ve even been known to toss kale in a bowl with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and thinly sliced sweet onion to make a hearty tasty salad. One of the go to quick dinners around here is a lazy man’s dahl. To make cook get some rice started. In another pot start boiling a bag of split peas to cook them down. Add in a few tablespoons of your favorite indian spice. I like rogan josh, garam masala, or a vindaloo spice. Sometimes I’ll fry up some onion, garlic, and cardamom on the side but not always. The split peas will become a kind of green thick sauce. Just top your rice with your tasty split peas, stir in your aromatics if you’re using them, and enjoy your full belly.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. You have to try to be able to get the hang of pantry cooking. I’ve made some incredible meals, and some never make again meals. It happens.
  • Don’t be afraid of preserving your food. Stick with the freezer if you need to, but getting the hang of water bathing is rewarding. A batch of pickles mid winter, from your garden mid summer, is both a treat and relieving after so many root vegetables—and they taste way better than store bought!
  • Think outside the box. Who knew that oregano was actually really good in an herbed tea with lavender, hyssop and winter savory? I didn’t. I had the herbs on my deck and said “why not?”. Turned out pretty tasty.
  • Don’t be afraid of trying new things. It might seem weird to eat nutritional yeast if you aren’t a vegan, but just don’t think of it as a vegan only item. It’s not, and I’m convinced too many people are missing out on how good it is. I actually prefer it over cheese in burritos and I love cheese.
  • Keep track of what’s in your pantry. This is pretty key to making the most of your pantry and fridge. If you don’t know what’s in there things might get bad beyond the point of use, or transforming into something else. Tossing a brand new head of swiss chard you spent your money on, because it got shoved to the back of the fridge and you forgot about it, is frustrating. Trust me.
  • HAVE FUN! Making the most of your pantry and fridge is fun. It’s like a new challenge every time.

Finally

Homesteading isn’t about doing it all. It’s about doing what you can and making a conscious decision to do it. It might be easier to rely on someone else, or a store, to give you all of your food but it doesn’t come close to being as satisfying as a loaf of homemade bread, or apple sauce, or using a can of tomatoes preserved from your own garden in January.

Whether you homestead for the satisfaction, or help the budget (or both, like us) there’s really no wrong answer on how to do it. Homesteading comes in all shapes and sizes, just figure out what fits you. Making the most of your pantry and fridge is a great place to start.

I challenge you to challenge yourself when it comes to utilizing your pantry and fridge, and trying to be creative in the kitchen.

If I can go from barely being able to make an egg, to doing what I can do now, I have faith you can too.

Trust me, I was a hot mess.

What is your favorite homesteading tip? How do you utilize your pantry/fridge/freezer? Do you have a favorite quick meal? Leave a comment below! Don’t be shy, I love hearing from you guys!

xo,

Heather

Reduce. Reuse. Organize.

Our pantry gets messy. There are days items get taken down, and then put back up with no regard to where they went. We’re all guilty of it in this house. Last weekend I looked around at it and had one of those “MUST CLEAN EVERYTHING NOW” moments. You can see why.

DSC_5943-01Now sometimes on a blog you have to have no shame. So let’s take a closer look at this hot mess.

DSC_5936-01 DSC_5938-01My first step was removing EVERYTHING from the pantry, including the shelf liners.

DSC_5945-01 DSC_5946-01 DSC_5947-01Back to the “have no shame” part, the shelves underneath of the liners were absolutely horrendous. I have cleaned out and reorganized the pantry before, but not once had I ever taken up the liners. The liners ended up in the trash, and the shelving ended up with a heavy dose of cleaner.

DSC_5949-01 DSC_5950-01Once the shelves were cleaned and while they aired out, I started to consolidate the pantry items. I tossed items deemed old, out of date, etc. into the compost and recycling bin and then started moving other items into my favorite storage bins ever—mason jars.

DSC_5957-01While I know mason jars are the trendy thing on Pinterest and other places let me just say this, I know why. They are awesome. Around here though they just flow like honey and we believe in using what you have. We use them for storage whether it’s for dry goods or canned goods, and when they aren’t used for storage we use them to drink out of. When we don’t use them for either of those you might find flowers in them. In our place they’re general purpose goods and always nice to have around.  

While mason jars are great for storage, I on the other hand can never remember what flour is what without a label, so I like to make sure I label everything. This time around I used 2″ round labels I had left over from another project. I bought these at Paper Mart, an online retailer for a really good price.

DSC_5953-01In addition to labeling the product, I also put what company it was from just in case I either wanted to buy more, or wanted to avoid a certain brand again.

I don’t transfer everything in the mason jars. Mostly I put things in that are already partially opened, or I know would easily get bugs into them if I didn’t. For instance, I had some barley that came in a cheap plastic bag. I opened the plastic and realized there was a hole in the bag where a moth got in. These are the types of things that I try to transfer to mason jars when I get home from shopping or soon after. Flours are another one I like to keep in jars but filling them can be tricky. My thing is to alternate between filling and tapping on the counter to remove air so I can fit more in. While I keep my heritage flours/grains in the freezer, the off the shelf stuff stays in jars in the pantry.

Another organization technique I utilize are magazine/binder holders. I found these super cheap plastic ones at Target for a couple bucks a piece. They work great for holding the large cans of tomatoes and beans we like to keep around for a quick dinner or pasta sauce.

DSC_5964-01Other organization techniques including stacking items that can lay flat on one another, like egg noodle bags, and also utilizing the countless wooden bowls we have around here. I use our deeper one for tossing in pastas that only have a little left in each bag so they don’t get lost on the shelf, and I use our shallower wider bowls for storing potatoes/onions, etc. 

The theory of organization is as simple as use what you already have on hand, and then try and not spend too much if you need something special.

DSC_5978-01 DSC_5977-01My last bit of advice is to keep “like” things together. I have my flours and grains in one section, beans in another, pasta in another, baking in another, you get the idea. This really helps when I’m looking for something. Oh, and if you have a dog and an open pantry my tip is to keep anything they might find interesting higher up. For my dogs this includes the potatoes. They will eat an entire bag of them when we’re gone if they are within reach. We only need to keep them a shelf or two up to keep them out of the bag. Onions always stay up too because they are poisonous to dogs.

All organization complete, I finally have an organized pantry again!

DSC_5968-01So you don’t have to scroll up, here is the before and after from the same angle.

DSC_5943-01 DSC_5967-01Someday this pantry will be reverted back into a closet and I’ll have a beautiful walk in pantry/linen closet where our current bathroom is. Until then, a nice neat pantry to look at anytime I walk in the house after work has been awfully nice. Let’s not forget how much easier it makes prepping dinner. Now to see how long it stays like this.

xo,

Heather

A Vacationland Roadtrip : Home Sweet Home

When you already live in a state known as Vacationland, it’s pretty easy to figure out where to go on vacation. All you need is a Gazetteer from DeLorme, a vehicle with enough room to hold your goods (and one that can handle dirt roads if you plan on going on them), and a general idea of point A to point Z.  We had a pretty awesome staycation, the Suburban got some dirt on her for the first time in her life, and we all had a blast.Let’s reminisce about vacation starting at the beginning. Cue Waynes World flashback.

We did our trip in three parts more or less – and this blog post is ALL of it. It’s a long one, and so feel free to skip around and look at the photos, or read it all if you have the stamina of Thor. A big part of our trip was taking the long way around just to see new places, and those we hadn’t been to in a while. I still hold that you don’t have to wait long before you see something beautiful in a small town in Maine. Maine has beauty around every nook and cranny of it, especially towards the mountains.

Part one of the road trip was from home to Historic Pittston Farm where we stayed for a few nights. On our way to Pittston Farms I started snapping photos out the window while on the paved roads. I think I found the real life Giving Tree.

DSC_5310-02Early on we saw some beautiful old buildings. Truthfully there is a plethora of them around here. Maine is a very agricultural state, and used to be even more so. This means there are lots of big barns and beautiful old houses everywhere, and in all different styles. There are also a significant amount of old mill buildings. Many times the old mills and brick stores have the original companies name stamped on the side—it might be one of my favorite building types around here.

DSC_5304-01 DSC_5341-01After a visit with Andy’s 80 year old friend Al, a stop for ice cream, a stop for lunch, and a couple hours on the road we came into Greenville. Greenville is tourist city in the summertime because of the beautiful Moosehead Lake and mountains. The view when you come over the hill into Greenville can give you a good reason of why people love it.

DSC_5344-01As we weaved through Greenville we decided to stop in Rockwood up Route 15 and see Mount Kineo. From my understanding you can actually go out there, but by this point I was quite happy taking photos and moving on to our final destination.

DSC_5367-01As you stand on the lake and turn, there are mountains in just about every direction.

DSC_5359-01 DSC_5365-01We headed on down the road until we finally reached the 20 Mile Road (also known as the Northern Road on a map). We’re pretty literal around here, so a 20 Mile Road is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s all dirt. It was at this point that Andy saw the first moose of the trip. Apparently it was right outside his side of the suburban trotting in the ditch and I TOTALLY missed it.

DSC_5392-01This is (one of the many) roads that leads to (one of the many parts of) the North Woods of Maine, which is about 3.5 million acres of breathtaking forest land. It has an incredible and rich history, it’s an extremely important animal habitat, and a there’s a big fight to put as much as possible into conservation to keep it undeveloped while still maintaining responsible and sustainable timber harvesting.

In order to get into the North Woods you have to pay a very reasonable fee at a check point. When you used to go to Pittston Farms you had to go through a North Woods gate prior to entering. Years ago they moved the checkpoint miles up the road past the entrance to Pittston Farms, but the old sign and equipment storage areas exist.

DSC_5404-01DSC_5405-01DSC_5406-01 DSC_5410-01Finally we made it to Historic Pittston Farm which is a nice old historic farm with a lot of incredible stories behind. Andy and I went here on our honey moon and were made to feel so at home, so we went again. I suspect we will end up here many more times in the future.

DSC_5445-01 DSC_5440-01 DSC_5429-01It’s hard to pick a favorite part of the farm, but I love the goats & couple cows they have. While they certainly welcome people saying hello to the animals, this is part of a business so we made sure that the owners were around and we also tried to stay out of their way if we wanted to be in the barn. If the barn was closed we just said hello to the animals outside.

DSC_5493-01 DSC_5462-01There is a guard dog named Gunner who is part Anatolian Shepherd and part Great Pyrnees. He’s a very nice and sweet dog, but he’s a guard dog so we did the responsible thing of approaching very slowly, letting him meet all of us again (it had been two years since we last saw him) and then everything went fine. We always kept the dogs on leash in the barn to ensure they were under control and Gunner didn’t feel they were a threat, and also because it’s the responsible thing to do at a farm. It was pretty clear he was totally okay with us being there after 10 minutes or so.

DSC_5505-01 DSC_5501-01While Andy took the dogs and walked with them outside the barn, I stayed inside the barn to capture what was an absolutely incredible moment—the twin birth of two boer goats. I didn’t pay much attention to taking fantastic photos because sometimes you need to just be IN the moment. While I was very conscious to stay out of the way, I was also absolutely in the moment and enthralled to be a part of something so beautiful and amazing. At the time we started there was one already born, and another on the way. This was an assisted birth due to her having troubles throughout the night and still not birthing by morning. I came in time for the second assistance.

The following photos may come across as graphic to some.

DSC_5473-01 DSC_5465-01 DSC_5469-01 DSC_5470-01 DSC_5466-01 DSC_5467-01 DSC_5472-01DSC_5458-01 DSC_5460-01In no time these two will be springing around the pen like the other kids.

DSC_5476-01 DSC_5477-01 DSC_5485-01 DSC_5486-01While I love the kids, the adults cracked me up. They were all standing up listening to the birth, and anytime I came by with the camera they hammed it up.

DSC_5474-02We were also fortunate enough to witness milking time with their dairy cow. She has such a sweet face and was so gentle.

DSC_5478-01 DSC_5488-01After deciding to leave the farmer and his son be so they could tend to everything, Andy and I continued our walk and then took a drive. We headed on down the Seboomook Road to check out the camp ground down there, and came across quite a scene of deer eating on the front yard and even a surprise by the gas tanks.

DSC_5596-01 DSC_5599-01 DSC_5603-01We also wrapped around into the North Woods to do a little fishing before heading back through to Pittston Farms for dinner. Moose number two of the week decided to jump out in front of the vehicle and then trot slowly down the road. I for one had my camera on the totally wrong settings, so hey – you get what you get.

DSC_5613-01 DSC_5617-01 DSC_5628-01After dinner we went back out so Andy could do some trout fishing at his favorite spot up there, and we ended up spotting the most beautiful sunset I’ve seen in my life.

DSC_5635-02 DSC_5640-01 DSC_5648-01 DSC_5683-01 DSC_5731-03 DSC_5738-02 DSC_5739-01 DSC_5741-01The sunset ended our last night at Historic Pittston Farm and we moved on to part two and three of our trip into the mountains of Maine. For part two, we went out to Jackman and up to The Falls, and ended up going down through Kingfield where we checked out the Stanley museum, got caught in a massive downpour and then saw our third moose on our way into the Rangeley area who literally could not have cared less about the fact we were watching him.

DSC_5759-01

DSC_5787-02 DSC_5774-01 DSC_5776-01 DSC_5777-01DSC_5803-01 DSC_5793-01 DSC_5800-01 DSC_5815-01 DSC_5822-01 DSC_5838-01 DSC_5842-01While there we also visited the logging museum which was so interesting.

DSC_5851-01 DSC_5854-01 DSC_5865-01 DSC_5867-02 DSC_5873-01 DSC_5886-01 DSC_5887-01 DSC_5889-01After a few days in Rangeley we headed on down the road towards the Bethel/Newry area to spend time with Andy’s sister and brother-in-law, and spend sometime outdoors in the absolutely gorgeous mountain streams and natural swimming holes.

I was also determined to eat a burger at The Foothills Grill which is a must in Bethel. I didn’t even get a photo, not a single one, of my burger or the place because I was too excited.

Much of the time on the last leg of our vacation I didn’t document, so here’s a few shots showing part of our walk, Andy’s skills with the camera while I cooled my head off in the mountain water, and the types of views you can get in the area.

DSC_5907-01 DSC_5915-01 DSC_5920-01 DSC_5923-01

That my friends, sums up the vacation. I couldn’t fit everything we did into one blog post here,  but overall we had a fabulous time with some of our favorite people in some of our favorite place.

You know when people go on vacation somewhere and they say “I wish I could just move there and live there!”. Well, I did, and I do. This is my happy place and I will be forever thankful for the gorgeousness right outside my door.

xo,

Heather

Yes I’m Still Here {And Answers To Other Questions You Never Asked}

Ahem. Hey friends. Do I have your attention? Great, because let me just be loud and clear when I admit this because I am only admitting it this once out of pure embarrassment.

I didn’t realize the last time I posted on my blog was July 10th. Also known as 8 days ago. Also known as over a week ago. Also known as a little space cadet (though if I was a space cadet I would be a genius because I’d be an astronaut. I never really understood that phrase). Also known as doing real life. So the deal is that I often don’t turn my laptop on at night, but since I Instagram almost daily it sort of uhm….made me think in my head that I had posted when I had not. High-five to me.

If you want to see what’s been going on in between blog posts head on over to Instagram see all the daily goods. Until then let me answer a couple questions you may have, while supplementing with Instagram photos.

Are you still renovating?

Ohhh yes. We’re at the final touches but over the last month we’ve either been gone, or just doing flooring. We JUST finished laying ALL of the flooring in the addition. Our decision for finishing the floors might be surprising to some, but I’ll be taking photos of that hopefully this weekend. If it happens next Monday I won’t be around to do photos because I’ll be at work making benz (make that a used benz circa 1985 with a dented wheel – but I love that benz providing job more than one would know so it doesn’t matter). If it happens that I am not around when the finishing happens, I will at least get a before and after. Besides that we’re working on trim and more.

Flooring

How’s the garden going?

*Mumbles lots of swears under breath*. It’s going. The direction it’s going is entirely dependent on whether this scorching hot humid weather mixed in with super wet weather wants to break or not. It at least doesn’t look as bad as when we came home from vacation, which is the photo below. That’s the only answer I can muster at this point.

Garden Preweeding

Why did you never post about your adventures with Troy this year?

Oh Troy. Troy the garden tiller. Frankly, I forgot – both to get photos and to write about it. I would be like “oh I need to write that” and then I would be like “look at that stack of laundry that needs to be done”, or more accurately, “look that food which needs to be eaten by me” and then I would forget.

The story of troy this year was simple.

  • I couldn’t get the blades to disengage and I lost control and ran over a bunch of mental t-posts that were on the ground and bent them to high hell.
  • I decided I wasn’t going to waste the t-posts so I bent them back into shape as well as I could so I could stake up the beans.
  • I almost destroyed our garlic but made a critical turn at the last moment that saved the day.
  • I expanded the garden by a few feet and Troy was starting to behave. Until he didn’t.
  • When your almost antique tiller stalls and you need to disengage the blade lever before starting it back up, do not, I repeat DO NOT stand over the lever. Make sure you are clear of the lever. Let’s just say while I am jealous men can pee standing up, the idea of how much more that would have hurt when the lever released did not escape me. I fell to the ground in a crumpled mess swearing, almost crying out of pain but not, and then ultimately laughing. Make that laughing-ish. Then I kicked Troy.

So that pretty much sums up the story of Troy this year. I hate that bastard but yet I love him.

Are you ever going to post vacation photos?

Yes! I am. In fact that post is in progress. I didn’t get it done though because it was 10:00pm and it started reading like this, “this is a tree. this is a house. this is a road. this is a moose. this is a bed. I need a bed. I must sleep in a bed.” I’ve been super busy since then so I haven’t finished it. This may end up a Saturday morning post. It’s like Saturday morning cartoons but less interesting. Except Maine is pretty gorgeous so I’m a fanYou’ve been forewarned there will be photos of a goat birth in there uncensored. They’re grainy dark photos because of how the barn was and the fact I’m a terrible photographer at adapting to low light when I need a quick shutter speed. They’re still graphic though.

Vacation

Farm update please.

Rain makes haying difficult. Letting hay sit for too long makes bad hay. This summer isn’t awesome, but haying is slowly happening as much as possible. My legs are proof. One should always wear long pants when haying. I refused in humid 90 degree weather. It was worth it.

Haying

Are you still talking?

Always. Every day of my life. A lot. For now though, I will stop chatting on here and let you go about your business. Until next time my friends, until next time – which will hopefully be in just a couple days and not another week. Bad blogger.

xo,

Heather

Rainbow Chasing Ahoy!

We’re back from vacation! About 700 miles driven around the western part of Maine in one week, and then Fourth of July weekend means I’m happily ready to stay home for a bit. I’ve been giving you guys sneak peeks on Instagram throughout vacation, but right now I’m working on editing photos from the rest of the trip, and there were many photos!

In the mean time, while I work on those, I thought I’d share with you another kind of trip Andy and I took with my brother in law and my father early in June. I was convinced I had already posted this until I saw the photos on my laptop desktop, where I leave photos to write blog posts on. I’m clearly on top of things.

Since I want to let the photos talk, the long and short of it is that my Dad stayed with us while he went to a woodworking workshop up here in Maine. One of the evenings we went to dinner and while headed out for custard it started down pouring on the drive over. It didn’t stop us for one thing, for second it caused a hugely beautiful rainbow.

DSC_4857-01The spectacular rainbow promptly lead to a “rainbow chase” after we finished the custard. The chase was really our regular ride home, but Andy made sure to stop along the way to let me get out and take photos and everyone looking out windows saying “ohh it’s over there! No, there!” and me yelling “stop! stop! here! no up a little!”

We even got chased by some geese, but the geese were behind a fence. I guess that means they were just chattering at us more than they were chasing us, but it was still pretty cute.

DSC_4863-01I have this thing with rainbows. Not like Mariah Carey… or is her thing butterflies? I never remember. I think it’s butterflies. Or unicorns. Do your thing lady, whatever makes her happy. The point is that I have a thing with rainbows but in a sentimental way only. If someone got me rainbow decor I would say thank you and then wonder why on earth they thought of me. My thing with rainbows is that they remind me of my family who has passed. When I was 9 I lost my grandfather on my mom’s side. After his funeral there was a MASSIVE rainbow over his house in bright bright colors. I can never remember if it was him, or my great grandfather (I’d have to ask my mom), but I remember hearing a story that one of them used to say a rainbow meant everything would be okay. Since then, I have seen a rainbow within 48 hours of every grandparent passing in my life. I have one left, my grandmother, who often reads this blog. She’s awesome and will live forever as far as I’m concerned, but let’s just say in many many many years from now when the good Lord comes calling I expect she’ll put up a spectacular triple rainbow with glitter flying out of it somehow. Don’t ask questions, just expect it will happen. If someday you ever see a rainbow spewing glitter you now exactly who it is.

So the point is, rainbows to me are calming because they make me feel like someone is telling me that everything will be okay and to not worry. It gives me a warm soothing feeling inside. Like I said, I don’t want a rainbow print on my wall or on a mug, but one outside always feels like a little nudge of love from above.

DSC_4888-02I didn’t quite have the right lens on me, so it was hard to get a wide angle shot, but it didn’t stop me from trying.

DSC_4881-01Andy felt like the next shot was the most important one to get, and it had nothing to do with the rainbow. Look at that brand new fire wood processor!

DSC_4870-01 DSC_4883-01Then of course, there’s Andy who was goofing about me taking a photos by showing off of his manly suburban and his muscles.

DSC_4872-01While the firewood processor is cool, and my husband is even cooler, I think I’ll stick with the rainbows and the simple smile they give me when I have my camera out. Though I have to say, my husband might be the coolest. The man takes me rainbow chasing.

DSC_4882-01xo,

Heather