Prince Snow Farm

9.27.2015

Farewell to the Seasons that Breathe Life into Me

Farewell to the seasons I have grown to love...

As the nights have turned cooler, and the days have a briskness, porch steps have been adorned with pumpkins and garden gates have been festooned with twisted garlands of vibrant bittersweet…but that post isn't in this writer's heart quite yet...

April




May

…first I must properly say farewell to the months that breathe life back into me after cold, dark winters.

May

The months that have lent me anticipation...



May

…and family time….

May


...the days that have blessed me with blossoms from my dad's garden so soon after his passing...


May

…the dappled shadows, the intricate details…all offered to me as signs from above  that he is still guiding me in my passion for nature and photography.



June

A simple green lettuce, reseeded from last year's bounty unfurls in a monochromatic display that makes my heart sing….

July

soon to be followed by an explosion of color from Bush Morning Glory.

July

Tenderly sowed seeds offer beauty and hope...

July

…the details never ceasing to amaze me.

August

My surroundings offer me motivation, and a sense of peace



August

that I only find here.





August

Walking to the nearby estuary...




August

…or open ocean allows time to breathe in salty air and meditate on life and plan for the future...

August

All was not perfect this summer, as I worked day and night to clean out 17 years of clutter from our home...

August

…but nature stepped in with sparkling sunrises and blossoms fluttering on summer breezes...

August

…and I was profoundly motivated to complete tasks that had been left undone too long.




August
               

I am so thankful that I am offered peace and joy in such a magical way...




September

…for without it I would surely falter on this path I travel...

September

…and instead my eyes look to the Heavens with faith and gratitude...

September

{Farewell.}






9.20.2015

Forecast for a Chili Winter


The tomatoes have finally started to ripen! We have been sharing the small cherry tomatoes, and ripening the romas on the windowsill.


There are LOADS of romas on the vines, so as they ripen, I process them for pots of chili. 
First I wash them, then I add them to a rapidly boiling pot of water.


I let them cook about 5 minutes, or until the skin starts to wrinkle, pucker and peel.




I scoop them from the pot with a mesh colander...


…and plunge them into an ice bath til cool.




Then I peel the skins off over the colander (resting in the sink.)



They are so juicy.



I cannot wait to taste them in a big pot of chili on a cool autumn or chilly winter evening.  I package 10 to a bag, remove the air and lay flat to freeze,


Freezer bags work well. I used to use my "Frisper", a machine to remove the air, but it doesn't seem to work anymore. But I still have lots of bags thanks to my mother in law, so I use those, and squeeze out the air.


They freeze beautifully. I hope to freeze at least 10 packages. Two down, eight to go! When ready to use, I place the bags in a bowl or pan of warm water to thaw. The tomatoes will be saucy and flavorful. A perfect compliment to your chili.

*My recipe isn't formal:

Chop and cook one large onion in olive oil. Set aside.
Brown ground beef or ground turkey,
sprinkling with cumin and chili powder as cooking.

 I add the spices many times throughout cooking. 
Add cooked onions to meat.
Add a can of pink and a can of white kidney beans.

Layer spices on again and stir.
Add defrosted tomatoes along with their juice.
Add spices again.

Continue to cook on low and check for flavor.
That's it!

I will add a little salt and pepper before serving.
This is a mild chili. 
My husband adds hot sauce to his before eating.

9.16.2015

Hang On


"Hang On my babies, Mama will coddle you til the first frost. But would you ripen already gosh darn it! "

Yep, that's me…talking to my tomatoes; but a similar conversation could be heard with the turkeys perched on an already creaky branch above my head, shadowing the back of the garden, "Listen guys, you've eaten too many seeds and insects this summer, and I'm not even sure it's natural for turkeys to roost in trees. You look awfully awkward up there. Come down at once!"

Or to the sunflowers…"My how you have grown…just yesterday you were toddling about my knees, playing with the tarragon and sage, and now your heads are dancing against the blue sky of autumn."

I am thankful that my garden is down the hill and beyond the crimson tipped meadow grasses. I don't have to answer to anyone here. The catbird cocks his head at me and I ask him how his day was and if migration is near.I ask him if his babies will be traveling with him.

I inquire of the bees if this trip to my still showy zinnia blossoms will be their last of the season, or if they will gather up as much pollen as they can before what promises to be a (more) harsh winter.

It doesn't feel awkward, or odd to talk to the birds and the bees (and the flowers and the trees). It feels wonderful. And liberating. And natural. 

So hang on my babies! Mama is here! And I will coddle you until the first frost.


9.09.2015

Sometimes


 Sometimes I get stuck in time...






…transfixed on a velvelty petal…



…or a dapple of light.






I become consumed with the bend of a stem...

…or the intricate pattern of a leaf.






I used to think it was about paying attention to the details.


But recently I have realized it's much more.



It's about our own personal interpretation of the details.



It's about the way the details make us feel...


…or hope...



….or dream….or plan.



…or believe.

Sometimes.



9.05.2015

The Art of Blogging…A Revival


So…I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately. That sort of happens right before someone is going to turn 50. And I've had a few aha moments that shouldn't have been as profound as they were….but they were. So I accepted the strength of the message and I am running with it. Running to all of you…the bloggers and readers out there who are passionate about life and love and joy and grace. 



You see, I am addicted to a little thing called Instagram. Over the top in love. And I KNOW many of you are too:)  Stop ugh-ughing…you know who you are! It's a great "speed -blog" sort of feeling when you can take a fabulous or meaningful photo, attach a caption or a few words from the heart, and within 5 minutes, 100 people have "liked" (or loved) your photo. And many have left kind words…or supportive thoughts…or asked questions thinking you are an expert. (who me?)

HOWEVER…I am a writer. And I haven't been writing. And I am soooo ready to really start writing again. Once or twice a week…pieces that are spilling from my brain. Instagram has allowed me to really work on my photography. In fact, my photography now sits on equal ground with my writing. So now I want to combine the two and really share what I am passionate about…the beauty of nature….the magic of harvesting our own food and enjoying it across the seasons…flowers, flowers, flowers….decorating a home for a family to LIVE in….exploring and celebrating the farm coast of Massachusetts.

But most of all, I look forward to getting back to that sense of community that existed about five years ago. The blogging world was intense! (in a good way). Blogging is not a "has been". It's a here and now...

I have had many people respond to me on Instagram that they are ready too! 

So please visit the blogs/sites below and show your encouragement. And if you comment, we will be able to follow you as well!  (I have also included Instagram names to the right)

Let's start a revival! Let's support one another as we grow and learn and share.

xo  Monica @princesnowfarm

P.S. And if you are on Instagram,please share your Insta name.

www.heathersthompson.com/blog  @gatheringspriggs
www.pink-postcard.com  @pinkpostcard
brownsparrowstudio.blogspot.com      @brownsparrowstudio
www.parisiennefarmgirl.com  @parisiennefarmgirl
hellofarmhouse.com @hellofarmhouse
athomewithjemma.com  @jemmaolson
rootsnorthandsouth.com   @shelleyml
heretherebemusing.blogspot.com   @tessamusing37




9.01.2015

Play Time

I had 15 minutes of "unreserved" time.


So I stacked a basket with antique bottles and part of an old quilt.





The sun was just about to tuck itself behind the woods.





 And perhaps my photos would have been crisper...


but this time of day...





...when sunbeams and shadows waltz across the meadow and two-step across the Maple...




…is my favorite time of day. (Tied only with the dawn of a new day).



So I picked a few stems of hydrangea and a several feathery double cosmos, and did some very quick arranging on our old picnic table.




Just enough time to catch my favorite light.


Just enough time to fill my heart and mind with what it needed.






Just enough time to make my heart dance,




Fifteen minutes…well spent.


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