Monday, November 30, 2009

Meet Dana Blais of Hidden Meadows Tree Farm in Bath

Dana and Jane Blais have been growing Christmas trees at Hidden Meadows Tree Farm in Bath since 1988. Over the past two decades, the Blaises have evolved from what Dana describes as “dabbling” in growing Christmas trees into a full-time business. Here’s what Dana had to say about his work when we caught up with him in November.

How did you get into Christmas tree farming?

“I more or less started around 1985. I’m trained as a forester, and at the time I was a county forester in Coos County. There’s quite a few Christmas tree growers in that area, and I just became interested in it. So I started to dabble in it a little bit. I like the land. I like farming. One thing led to another, and now I’m basically in it full time. It’s good work. I enjoy it. I still do some forestry work, but not a whole lot.”

How did you end up in Bath?

“My wife, Jane. She just happened to have some property here when I met her. I had my Christmas trees growing in several other locations, and this property is well suited to growing Christmas trees. So, we started growing trees here also.”

Do you still have trees in other places, too?

“Actually, now I don’t. I did buy land in Lancaster this spring, and I will begin to plant [there] in the spring of 2010.”

What is the size of your farm?

“Three hundred total acres, about 40 acres in trees. We are expanding. We have about 35,000 trees here now, and I think it’ll be another 10,000 or so. And I’ll be able to plant about 15,000 in Lancaster.”

What types of trees to you grow?

“Fraser, balsam and Canaan firs. I’ve dabbled in a few so-called exotics, and I continue to do that, but those three are the basics. I’m trying Korean fir now, and I think that has some promise.”

How many trees do you sell each season?

“Right now we sell an average of about 4,000 per year. We are open for choose-and-cut. We also sell into the wholesale market – Rotary clubs, fire departments. Jane and our daughter, Heather, also make beautiful wreaths, which we sell here.”

What is your favorite part of growing Christmas trees?

“I like all of it. I do like to put trees in the ground, to plant them. But I like the whole process.”

What is your least favorite part of growing Christmas trees?

“Dealing with diseases and insects. Sometimes it’s very difficult to control. The summers of 2007 and 2008, we had a tremendous amount of precipitation, which led to a big increase in a certain root disease. We’ve started putting in some subsurface drainage. Since Fraser is the most susceptible, I’m planting balsams and Canaans in some of those places.”

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

“I like to hike. I like it here in the mountains. And I hope the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl.”

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sticks and Stones Look There is a Home!

Linking to Made it Monday @ The Persimmon Perch
and DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land
I wanted to share some of our home building photos.  My Wonderful Hubby started building our home August of 2008.  It was a long painful 12 month process. (12 months makes it sound longer than 1 year.  I am going for dramatic here.)

This was the day the wood was delivered.  Hubby was getting ready for the next day when all the help was coming to stare framing.

Family and friends showed up to help frame the house.

Seriously look at the date this is the same day!  Man they work quick!

DH and his Bro working on interior walls the next day.

About a week later and halfway through the trusses.

Proof I helped that's me Hanging on for dear life! in the cowgirl hat and glasses.
So we still need some landscaping but one step at a time!  I think it is Beautiful the way it is!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yummy Tortilla

So if you are my friend you really hate shopping at the grocery store with me.  I am always saying "you know you can make that"  and " It is cheaper if you make it your self."   So our friends were coming over for dinner and I was making enchilada's.  She asked in her sassy little voice "you gonna make the tortillas from scratch?"  Well as I felt a challenge so I replied, "of course"  It now begins.

I brought out all the things needed.  Maseca, salt and water.  It really is pretty easy it just takes time.

First I added the salt.

Then the water.

Then just mix till you get a soft dough.  Adding water by the tablespoon if needed.

The dough should look something like this.  YES I cheated and used my kitchenaid mixer. Thus the different colored bowl.  But it is really easy to do with out the mixer too.

My MIL bought this tortilla press for us and I love it.  If you do not have one you can use your hands to press and shape or use a rolling pin.

Use plastic wrap or a plastic bag so that your tortilla doesn't stick.  I just cut a zip loc baggie.

Roll a ball and then flatten with press.

A little sticky.  Maybe too wet.  but you see why the plastic is nice.

Second time is a charm!

No they are not pancakes although they have a striking resemblance.  You have to cook them over medium high heat for about 60 seconds on each side.

And there you have it home made corn tortillas.  Next time I will show how to grind your own corn for flower.  HA HA HA just kidding!  Need less to say the enchiladas were the BOMB!
of course I did not make enough tortillas so as I was assembling the enchiladas I mad a frantic call to hubby and asked for him to buy some.  Well,that did not work out so well for me.  I had to make another batch after I had already cleaned up everything.  So the moral of the story is it may be cheaper and you can make it but sometimes the cost is worth the convenience.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pretty Foo Foo.

I picked these candle sticks up at the local thrift store about a month ago.  Usually I would not want to spend $11 on candle sticks but I saw their potential.  Hey, they even had potential I did not see.

So as cute as they were the colors did not really "GO" with my current design style.  So a couple coats from my favorite black spray paint.  It is my favorite not because of the Black color but because it only costs .98cents.  That's what I call a good deal.

Better in Black??  While I was spray painting I noticed that there were holes on the tips of the leaf? thingies?? (that would be the potential I did not see)  Okay have no Idea what they are but there were holes on them and I thought OH!  Great for crystals! Being Cheap, I was appalled at the prices at the Craft store on the teardrop type so I went with a more cost effective route.

these were $3.99 for a whole bunch and I put them together small big small and attached them to the holes.
Then I noticed on the small candle stick 2 Leaf thingies were broken. I thought  Be still my heart you mean these things I bought were broken!!  Oh well they were cheap.  I proceeded to get my glue gun then I thought that takes too much time.  So I grabbed a glue stick and the lighter thing my DH uses for the fire.  I know it is sounding scary but no need to cover your eyes or call the fire dept.  I just glued the crystals to the broken parts.

I am very happy with the finished project.  What?  you say there were three candle holders?  Yes there still are I just was so excited to blog about this I only did 2.  So now I am off the finish the third.
Happy Crafting!
I am linking up to BNOTP
Linking to The Shabby Chic Cottage for
And Tales from Bloggeritaville

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My $3.00 Chicken

Update I am linking to Finding Fabulous for 
Frugalicious Friday
and My Romantic Home
for Show and Tell Friday

I found this chicken at Rite Aid on clearance.
I really wanted a chicken in my kitchen.  But these colors. . . ah no.
Please remember I have a few lazy bones.
I did not want to walk all the way to the shop to find the stain.


My Hubby Drinks this stuff.



Ya know sometimes you just work with what you got!
After I sprayed her Henness (get it like Highness man I make me laugh)

I just got her all soaking and let her dry.

Guess what?  She came out aged and distressed.  No really she was distressed I think she may need serious mental help.  (man I made me laugh again)
Well enough of my great humor here is her Henness's Reveal


What you think?  Not bad for a cheap chicken and some coffee.

I am linking to Transformation Thursday
at The Shabby Chic Cottage.
And Tales from Bloggeritaville
Thrifty Thursday
and DIY Day @ ASPTL


Tari Baris Tunggal

Tari Baris Tunggal or Baris Tunggal Dance Be formed by one dancer only.

Tari Belibis

Tari Belibis or Belibis Dance is the new creation dance that illustrates the life of a group of grouse are merrily enjoying the beauty of nature. They were suddenly surprised by the emergence of a grouse so that imitation is the embodiment of King Angling Dharma after exposure to the curse of the powerful wife (in the story Tantri). Be performed by 5 females dancers, dance grouse was created in 1984 by N.L.N Swasthi Wijaya Bandem (choreographer) and I Nyoman Windha (composer).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Drum Roll Please. . .

Here we have our official process.
Hat with names. 

Impartial person drawing name.
And the winner is oops the flash made the name white out.
Here is a close up.

Congratulations Stephanie of
Please email me with your address so I can send out your new stuff!

Woo Hoo that was fun!  Thanks for all the comments!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Be Still

This picture was taken by Moonshine from the porch.

    Do you ever get caught up with all that this life is and find that you feel like you are lacking something?  How easy is it to look around and want what someone else has?  When you get it do you feel whole or do you then need something else?  I too often put aside my quiet time and I find the result is a broken person with no way of being whole.  I need God to be complete.  The things I have or want can not do the job.  I like the way Plumb put's it in her song "God Shaped Hole" 
There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And it's a void only he can fill

Sometimes I just have to be still and  focus on Him.  It all comes together and starts to make sense again.

"and you are complete in Him. . ."  Colossians 2:9

Make sure you check out my giveaway!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just Can't Wait! -Giveaway-

So this

Plus this

Equals a Give Away!

Okay I know I know.  I have only been blogging for a short while but I am so excited when I find a giveaway from a fellow blogger that I decided. . .  I wanna give something too!  I know not that many follow my blog so that should make your chances of winning soooo much better.  I found the cutest little pumpkin pick's at Michaels and had to have them!  I bought enough to make a couple pretty's.

Then I found this cute ceramic pumpkin

and last but not least the cutest Thanksgiving Bracelet!
The whole give away pictured together.

Please note my lovely cake plate is not included.  Sorry.
So now without further ado. . .
#1 Just leave me a comment if you would like to enter.

#2 If you post my giveaway on your blog let me know and I will put your name in twice.

#3 If you want to and become a follower of my blog or If you are already a subscriber or follower, leave me a comment telling me that. I will put your name in again.

I will draw a winner on Monday November 9th.   Hopefully that will be enough time to enjoy the gifts before Christmas Decor goes up.

Give Thanks

So Halloween is over and so is my BOO sign above my Mantle.  I needed a change for Thanksgiving.  I used the same frame and changed it to say GIVE THANKS.  Simple and sweet.

Cut. . . Cut. . .Snip. . .Snip. . .

 Speaking of give make sure you check out my giveaway. HERE
Add a little scrapbook paper and chipboard letters. . .

TA-DA!  Quick and Easy Transformation!


I am linking to Transformation Thursday
at The Shabby Chic Cottage.
And Tales from Bloggeritaville
Linking to Finding Fabulous