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For Sale, Maple Syrup

Maine Maple Sunday, March 24th

Hello everyone, it has been a while, we have been busy with life, sap and birthdays!

We will be open on Sunday, March 24th for Maine Maple Sunday. We had initially planned to be open Saturday and Sunday this year, but the sap runs have been disappointing so far. Last year at this time we had made 3/4 of our syrup for the year. This year we have only made about a third of last years total and that is with doubling our taps. We doubled our taps this year so we had hopes for an amazing season with twice as much syrup for this weekend. Sadly that is not to be, but the sap has been running fast and furious this week and we will have about 20 gallons to sell on Sunday. River has been boiling, finishing, bottling, and keeping busy with other maple related projects this week in preparation for the big event.

River collected about 385 gallons of sap last night and he will be collecting more on Saturday morning since it is supposed to be pouring rain all day today and into the evening. He will boil all day tomorrow while our friend Tim smokes the pig for Sunday’s sandwiches – so yummy!

On Sunday we will have complimentary maple bbq pulled pork sandwiches and round top ice cream with maple syrup as well as some Wildflours goodies made with our maple syrup and maple sugar candy for sale. Because of low syrup production we did not make maple nuts or maple cream this year. Hopefully next year we will have an amazing syrup year and be able to offer these tasty treats as well!

To celebrate the sap finally running I made stacked waffles for breakfast. If you have ever read Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, you know that Almanzo’s favorite breakfast is stacked pancakes. His mother would make pancakes, put them on the plate keeping warm on the back of the stove, slather them with fresh butter and maple sugar which would melt together into the pancake for a bite of yummy deliciousness then stack another pancake on top and submit that pancake to the same delicious treatment. I used scraps from making maple candy all ground up as the sugar. Making maple sugar is not difficult and I have made it before, but we haven’t had enough maple syrup to make it this year so candy scraps it was! I prefer to make waffles as a matter of time (our waffle maker makes four square waffles at once), so we had stacked waffles for breakfast. Thank you Laura Ingalls Wilder for your inspiration. If you read Farmer Boy you will be amazed at the food Almanzo’s mother made, my mouth waters just thinking about it!

We look forward to seeing those of you that are close enough to attend, you can see our schedule on our facebook event page.

The boys love to have me read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, you can buy the entire set or just Farmer Boy, which by far has the best food in it!

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I have had a Black & Decker waffle maker for 10 to 12 years now and it is still going strong and we make waffles at least once a week, sometimes more! When I was looking for a waffle maker I wanted one that made regular waffles, but four at a time like my Grandmother had and I found this one, I was so pleased!

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Meningioma Tumor/Healing

Meningioma: One Month Post Op

It has been a month since I had my brain tumor removed. I feel better, my head is still squishy from fluid and my stitches are starting to disintegrate and the glue is coming off my hair, which I am pleased about as my head is starting to smooth out a little bit.

I still find it easy to overdue. I only just started driving three days ago.

Wednesday I had a meeting in town in the morning and a phone meeting in the afternoon, then a basketball game in the evening. It was too much even though my grandmother was here all day to help with the little people. There were two games, the boys and the girls, they were for the Southern Division of the Division our eldest played in this year. Both games were stressful because they were very close (the lead kept changing by a basket one way or the other) and I think the excitement got to me (Both our teams won). I was fine yesterday, but I was so tired by this morning, that I slept all morning on the couch while being pounced on by a small child until he snuggled in and fell asleep. Ugg, so exhausted this morning!

I have to be more careful in the future not to overbook myself!

We have had a meal train since we got home and it has been fabulous and such a blessing, we really appreciate the help and generosity of our community in our time of rest and recovery!

Thank you everyone!

 

Meningioma Tumor/Healing

Meningioma: 17 Days Post Op

Overall I am feeling really good! I am getting some energy back and sleeping better at night which makes me feel better during the day.

I had my post op with Doctor Florman, my surgeon today. He was a little concerned that there is still fluid on top of my skull as this poses a greater risk of infection. As he described the surgery: they removed the tumor which was attached to part of my brain membrane. The membrane keeps the fluid inside the skull. They covered the hole in the membrane, but it is impossible to sew up all the tiny leaks, so it may always leak a little. If the fluid builds up too much it could be uncomfortable and need to be drained which they can do but they don’t like to do this as the hole from the needle can be a port for infection. I have been told to stay upright as much as possible and maybe even sleep on an incline again to prevent the fluid from building up. I don’t really want to sleep on an incline as I don’t sleep well that way so I will try to stay vertical during the day as much as possible.

He also said it is very likely the tumor will grow back because it is impossible to know if every single cell was removed, and it probably wasn’t, during surgery. I will be getting MRI’s at regular intervals, more frequently at first, then if there is minimal to no growth less frequently. My first one will be in two months.

He said I really shouldn’t be getting sweaty or lifting or bending over still because of the fluid build up, so I am still on “light duty”.

My mother left today to head back to Virginia. I don’t know what we would have done without her. She took the boys out every afternoon so I could have some quiet rest time. I think this time really aided in my recovery.

I am thrilled to report that I haven’t had a headache since the surgery. My eyes are improved a little, but they have regressed from the amazingness that was my eyesight right after surgery. I don’t know if that is because of the fluid build up or my eyes just going back to normal. I am still wearing my glasses which is a little disappointing.

I will leave you with the following quote:

“When you arise in the morning,

think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive –

to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

Marcus Aurelius

 

I am certainly grateful to be alive, to watch my children grow and laugh, to hug my family and my friends a little tighter, to eat wonderful food prepared with love by friends and family, to feel the sun on my face and the crispness of the winter air – to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love…

Maple Syrup

Moving Forward: Spring Approaches!

As we move towards the spring, River is preparing to collect sap. In the past we have tapped trees in January. This year there is no way we are going to be prepared for that! With my recent surgery and much needed rest for healing, River has been taking on some of my duties and has not had as much time to prepare yet!

We have big plans for Maine Maple Sunday! We have an entire pig to smoke in the freezer which we will be serving with Maple barbecue sauce which will be available first come, first serve. There will be pork from the freezer and possibly a few roasting chickens. This year we will be collaborating with Wildfours Gluten Free bakery to make some special maple goodies for the weekend as well as the usual maple treats, maple nuts and maple sugar candy.

We had so much fun last year with Matt Loosigian singing and he has said he will join us this year as well!

Snow is coming this weekend, lots of it! In the meantime River has been running sap lines and scouting new areas to collect sap. We can’t wait for sap season!

Meningioma Tumor/Healing

12 Days Post Op

I feel amazing! Two hundred times better then I felt before surgery!

I want to clean the house from top to bottom!

I want to finish all the projects that I wasn’t capable of finishing before!

I want to cook amazing meals! (My cooking had deteriorated dramatically – it was horrible!)

I want to hike and skate and play!

And I am EXHAUSTED!

I feel like I should be able to do all of those things and tackle them in one fell swoop as I have not had any post op pain. Yet here I sit at 3am unable to sleep. I just finished my steroid treatments about 36 hours ago and I was hoping my sleep would start back into a regular pattern shortly. Apparently it is going to take longer then I would like.

My days have consisted of waking up in the middle of the night, usually around 2am, lying in the dark for an hour or so before I figure out I am not going to fall back to sleep right now, turning on the light, reading for quite some time and around 5am turning the light off again to rest my brain. Our little people have been waking up around 6 and coming to snuggle with me, they miss our evening snuggles and I am happy to cozy up with them until around 7 or so if they aren’t too restless.

We get up, have breakfast, I like to do school with #2 if I am up for it and the boys get dressed. Somedays I have enough energy to take a shower and change, somedays by 10am I just want to lie quietly on the couch and close my eyes.

#2 had a doctors appointment the other day, so we stopped at Target on the way home – wow – the visual over stimulation. I may not be visiting stores for awhile! I find any sort of fast movement or too much color, pattern, etc to make me very tired and confuse my eyes at the moment. This means that when the children start jumping about, making fast movements with their arms or body parts or any toys it wears me out. Poor kiddos. I feel badly about it.

My mother has been wonderful! I am grateful that she is so spry, capable and willing to help. She takes the children out somewhere everyday so I have time to rest and the boys can get some energy out. She will be here for another week – what will I do without her? What an amazing gift.

River and my mom have been keeping the kitchen clean and the laundry done. It has been so nice to hear them say, your job is to rest and heal right now, as I have been having a little trouble giving myself permission to let go of all the little things that I feel I should be doing.

Our community has been providing food for us everyday and that has been such a blessing. We haven’t had to worry about a meal plan or shopping. Thank you to everyone that has or is planning to contribute to meals – It has definitely aided in my healing process and given myself and the people taking care of me one less thing to worry about on a daily basis.