Archive for March, 2012

Brewing Party

Posted on March 29th, 2012 by Tonia 3 Comments

Jen and Trevor had us over to the yurt the other day to help them brew a batch of Brown Ale. The brewing part of the day took about a half hour, but somehow we managed to hang around from 2 PM until 11 PM…

What did we do in all that time? Well, there was a ukelele jam session, resulting in the formation of a ukelele-rock-fusion group called Duke of Uke. Kind of like Ace of Bass but better.

You’ll be hearing about them- they’re gonna be huge.

And then we sat around the fire, cooking venison that our friends Alan and Alison shared with us.

And then we played a raucous game of touch-football, which ended when the pregnant woman {Alison} knocked down her own husband {who was foolishly on the opposing team}, forced a fumble, intercepted the ball and made the winning touch-down. It was hilarious and awesome. {No photos of this event for the reason that the photographer needed both hands free in order to protect herself from the insane pregnant woman…}

And then Trumpeter Swans flew over us, taking our breath away for a moment.

And we brewed some beer, too…

And that was that. I’m excited for the next party, when we’ll hopefully be drinking this gorgeous amber liquid. Cheers!

Raising Backyard Pigs: Coming Home

Posted on March 25th, 2012 by Tonia 29 Comments

Mike and I paid a visit to Maple Hill Farm this weekend. Maple Hill is a local hog farm that grows most of their own pig feed.

They do a phenomenal job caring for their animals- the quality of life those pigs have is very high- and producing the most delicious product I have ever eaten. Their bacon……holy {bleeeeeep}. Ahem. Anyway, we went there to pick up two young feeder pigs from their recent farrow.

It was a rainy day, and the pigs were loving it. You know the expression “happy as pigs in poop”? Well I have seen something even happier: pigs in poop after a good rain.

We walked around the farm enjoying the happy grunts of the hogs and chatting with Matt, the second generation of farmer-owner of Maple Hill. He filled us in on what we needed to know in order to keep our piglets alive and happy.

Piglets enjoying breakfast in their nice warm manger.

Checking out the sauna {maple syrup being cooked down under the porch roof}.

Matt bottle-feeding a runt.

Inside the farrowing barn, I caught this little video clip of a big sow nursing her piglets:

We picked out two weanlings and Matt hoisted them into the back of the truck.

We only live a few miles away, so they had a very quick trip.

Unloading them into their new home.

All settled in!

They seem to love being on pasture, and at night they snuggle down into a thick bed of hay in one of the stalls of the barn. They’re pretty darn cute at this point…they weight 60-70 lbs and should reach 220 lbs {optimal weight for taste} by the end of June. It’s a short life, but we’re going to make sure it’s a happy one.

Notice Anything Different?

Posted on March 21st, 2012 by Tonia 2 Comments

Raise your hand if your husband consistently fails to notice when you’ve changed your hair- new cut, color, whatever. {Raises hand}

But, of course, he noticed when JACK got a haircut. I brought Jack back from the groomers this afternoon and Mike came running out of the house gushing, “Ooooooh look at yooooou! So handsooooome!”


But, Mike is right. Jack is soooo handsooooome. And his new summer ‘do is going to make picking ticks and burrs off of him so much easier. Thanks, Superior Grooming! The funnest part about that particular groomer is that they snap photos of your dog while he’s in the bath and post them on their Facebook page. :)

First Day of Spring

Posted on March 20th, 2012 by Tonia 9 Comments

Today is the first official day of spring! Lake Superior is almost completely melted. Mike and I went out for a stroll along the shore to see the sun glittering on the remaining ice shards. There was mist rising off the water and the Apostle Islands were crystal clear in the distance. It was a magnificently beautiful afternoon.

T-shirt and shorts in March! This is unheard of. It has been an extraordinarily warm month. We almost wanted to jump in for a swim……..almost.

I love living here.