Category: Camino Del Monte

Serendipity River Park – Re-Creation

Lesson Learned: When it seems that you have exhausted all the possibilities, it’s time to look to your friends and be creative. Once you’ve done that, then it’s time for re-creation.

Blondie and I were becoming frustrated and irritable. Every RV park was either booked solid or we would have to stay in one spot one night and move to a second spot the next. That certainly was not what my dearly beloved Glamper or I wanted to hear. – – It looked like 4th of July week we would be confined to Serendipity Farmhouse.

Then, Blondie and I, almost simultaneously, remembered an offer made to us by Don and Louise. Don and “Lou”, as we call her, were very close to us and we go back a long, long way. They have a beautiful piece of land, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Long ago, they told us we could set up our RV there any time we wanted. Knowing of our regard for unexpected, happy discovery, they had named their little private RV camp Serendipity River Park (SRP).

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It didn’t take long to work out the schedule and details. The very best camp site at SRP was reserved for us. El Camino Del Monte was loaded up. Mr. Monte, with great pomp and ceremony, was escorted to the RV and positioned safely in his favorite travel spot. – – By 4:15 PM we were in our assigned site, which Don and Lou had dubbed “River View”. It was very hot that day, but River View was a full hookup site. So, there was 30 Amp AC electric service to run our air conditioner. We quickly made everything as cozy and comfortable as any dedicated Glamper could want.

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As usual, we had a full two-day menu prepared. My dear Master Chef, after taking a short break, got to work making a delicious Chickpea Scramble. It was perfect meal, light but filling, and ever so tasty. Our next post will document that happy culinary achievement.

The next day was for exploration, relaxation, and re-creation. And I do mean “re-creation”, not “recreation”. – – Along the river bordering Don and Lou’s property, they have cleared some land to make a wide grass pathway they call “River Walk.” There they have done their best to enhance the naturally beautiful scenery. Along the walk, they keep a couple of small meadows mowed, giving visitors a place to emerge from the forest setting and enjoy the Summer sky. – – Indeed, Blondie and I had a most enjoyable walk, our earlier frustrations and irritability had long since vanished.

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Having seen the open clearings along River Walk, an idea came to my mind. This is where the re-creation comes in. Almost two and a half years ago, my most thoughtful Spouse had given me a drone for Christmas. For two and a half years I had never even taken the drone out of its box. There never seemed to be a right time to attempt a first flight. Either the wind was too strong, or the fields at Reality Farm needed mowing, or it was too cold, or … You get the idea. – – Somehow, I had become an “old man” and forgot how to play, forgot how to enjoy fun things. I had intentions to do “fun” things, but I had forgotten how to let go and just do them.

It was not so at Serendipity River Park. On a whim I had packed the drone. On another, ever more important whim, I actually took that drone out of its box, charged the battery and prepared to make my first flight.

One point must be made here. I attempted to read the directions, but they were an example of the very worst possible machine translation into some language no way resembling English. That is when I decided to cast away all caution and be young again. Nope, there’s really no need for instructions, I’ll figure this out all on my own.

– – And that, gentle reader, was an act of “re-creation”. I had found something that had been lost in me and literally re-created an element of youthful daring. – –

You can be sure there will be many more flights for the newest addition to the Serendipity Farmhouse Air Squadron. Someday, there will even be pictures and videos from the air.

While on another “great explore” of the areas near Serendipity River Park, Blondie and I found that we were in the midst of an historic Civil War site. We read the story and decided that SRP might be a perfect place to search for Civil War relics.

And that brings me to a second act of re-creation. For over five years, a metal detector has sat alone and abandoned in our shed at SFH, never to be used.

– – Now  I can tell you that forlorn electronic gadget has been thoroughly cleaned and restored to working order. It will be among the first items packed for our next trip to that fantastic place called Serendipity River Park. – –

No, it’s not a second childhood, it’s a return to how I was created.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RV Cooking – Two Easy Meals

For the intrepid crew of El Camino Del Monte (ECDM), RV Trip 2020-02 was an unqualified success. (See SFH Journal: 2020-06-08 through 06-21 – Father’s Day.) After two very short and frustrating RV seasons, ECDM is now cruising and camping with a qualified crew.

IMG_20200616_173857294_editedOne of the most notable and rewarding achievements this season, is the way in which my beautiful wife has mastered the art of preparing gourmet meals in the cramped confines of our RV kitchen. She is no mere camper. She is a “glamper”. She knows how to raise the level of any common dish to the sublime. And she does so using the most simple equipment and a bare minimum of space

So, let’s take a closer look at how she has developed her skills and elevates camp cooking to “glamp” cooking.

Planning: No adventure on ECDM begins without a menu, prepared in advance, with all ingredients neatly stowed in their appointed places. Likewise, recipes for main courses must always be available for reference. Below are the menu and recipes for our most recent trip.

Food Prep: Most efficient and adept Spouse has determined that it is best to do as much food preparation as possible prior to departure. The prepared items store better in the fridge and much time is saved. For longer trips, of course, food prep has to be done as part of meal preparation. Another thing, make sure you have all the necessary spices and they are clearly labeled. – Note that there was a menu change for the second evening. – One has to be flexible.

The Right Equipment: Storage space is limited on ECDM. That means that sweet Wife must make the most out of just a few select pieces of cooking equipment. For example, we have what essentially is a rice cooker. However, we have found dozens of recipes that can be prepared in that little wonder. Likewise, you will see later on several ways in which our master chef makes use of our large sauce pan.

Don’t Overdo It: Even for my amazing Glamper, breakfast and lunch are meant to be more relaxed – especially that first cup of coffee. Mr. Monte agrees that breakfast must be relaxing, savored, and enjoyed. Please note: In the picture below, Mr. Monte immediately washed down the dinette table and sanitized all surfaces after eating. He is a most fastidious feline.

Now to the food. The first recipe is one of a host of different curry dishes served at Serendipity Farmhouse. This particular recipe has been modified and improved over a period of more than 25 years. Slight changes have been made to allow for best results on ECDM.

The second recipe came off of the side of a Frigo Parmesan Cheese container. The reason we selected it was quite simple. We had a head of broccoli from our local CSA that needed to be eaten. This recipe made that possible.

Indian Chicken Curry – The ECDM Way

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Indian Chicken Curry - The ECDM Way

This has been a family favorite for 25+ years. There are several versions. This version has been adapted for cooking in a cramped RV kitchen.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Large sauce pan
  • mi AROMA 3-cup Mini Rice Cooker or similar

Ingredients
  

Chicken

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
  • 4 bite-sized, boneless chicken thighgs we prefer dark meat, substitute white meat if you prefer

Curry Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup tomato juice we use 1/3 cup catsup mixed with 2/3 cup of water
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Sticky Rice

  • 1 cup calrose rice
  • 1 1/4 cup water

Instructions
 

Chicken

  • Add olive oil to sauce pan and bring to medium heat. Add chopped chicken and cook thoroughly. Reserve cooked chicken when done.

Sticky RIce

  • Add rice and water to rice cooker and start on white rice setting.

Sauce & Final Touches

  • Add olive oil to sauce pan and bring to medium heat. Add chopped onions and celery begin to sautee. Stir in flour to coat vegetables. Gradually stir in broth and tomato juice (or catsup and water mixture), Stir in Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, until mixture thickens.
  • Stir in cooked chicken and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve Indian curry mixture either over or on the side of the sticky rice. Garnish dish to taste. - - Please note, this dished can be served with any number of traditional sides, e.g. raisins, cashews, mandarin orange, etc.

Parmesan Broccoli Pasta

Parmesan Broccoli Pasta

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Large sauce pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head broccoli cleaned and trimmed
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 5 oz. Frigo Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place broccoli in boinling water until al dente, 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Bring water back to a boil and cook pasta according to instructions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of water.
  • Combine pasta with broccoli, remaining ingredients and reserved water to achieve desired consistency. Toss and serve hot.

SFH Journal: 2020-06-08 through 06-21 – Father’s Day

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Hi! Mr. Monte here.

It’s Father’s Day and for some strange reason I felt compelled to give Ol’ Fuzz Face the day off. He’s been getting calls from his kids and grandkids. I guess it’s important to him. – More on that later,

As you might have guessed from the feature picture, Fuzzie and Blondie took me out for another adventure in El Camino Del Monte (ECDM). For record purposes this was RV Trip 2020-02.

The trip itself was a technical success – no breakdowns, no water leaks, no bad meals. Fuzz Face is finally getting the hang of things and as usual, Blondie again confirmed her status as the Master Chef of ECDM. Fuzzie was so impressed with the two main meals, he intends to put out special posts with recipes, pictures, and instructions.

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So much for the introductory notes, let’s get on with most recent “Fuzzie Fiasco.” Although RV Trip 2020-02 was a technical success, Fuzzie proved that the Three Stooges were mere amateurs compared to him. Here’s the scenario: One of the last steps in RV departure procedures is unhooking shore power (30 Amp, 120V AC). Blondie had confirmed that the breaker was in the “off” position. Fuzzie approached the shore power box with due care and caution. I watched him closely from the porch. The old guy reached for the power box and ever so carefully lifted the cover.  – –  And then it happened. – –  There was a loud, blood curdling shriek. Fuzzie’s right hand lifted high into the air and he began to hop and jump and bounce away from the power box, shaking his right hand violently. – – Slowly, ever so slowly, the old man began to recover his composure. He checked his hand. There was no sign of damage, no blood, no burns. He had not been electrocuted as he had first thought. No, it was something else that caused his most humorous dance around the power box.

The gray tree frog is native to this part of Virginia. It is by nature a reclusive creature, seeking no contact with humans. The shore power box offered this particular tree frog aIMG_20200616_145519104_HDR_edited most comfortable dwelling place. At least it did until Fuzz Face disturbed its day by rudely opening the power box cover. In his attempt to retreat from the scene, the frog had jumped onto Fuzzie’s unsuspecting hand. Though not electrical, it was a most shocking experience to the old guy. For me, it was the highlight of my day.

IMG_20200616_174001340_HDR_editedThis RV trip was blessed with unusually cool weather for this time in June. For all involved, that meant that the noisy air conditioner would not be needed. It took us just a short time to set up and assume our duties as assigned by the “Watch, Quarter, and Station Bill.” (If you don’t know what that is, either you’ve never been on a Navy ship, or you never lived with Ol’ Fuzz Face.)

As ECDM Chief of Security, I quickly reported to that area of the RV where I could IMG_20200616_201158574_editedmonitor areas of primary security concern. Since the main door was opened, I knew that position was most vulnerable to intruders. Our RV was now in my safekeeping. I reported to the Skipper – “All secure!”

IMG_20200617_072613514_editedThe second day of our trip was even cooler than when we arrived. But, for me, this is when things began to go down hill. If my primary job is to provide security, what threats are there on a rainy day? And that’s what it was, it was a very rainy day. No lizard, no squirrel, no bear, there wasn’t a sign of anything threatening anywhere.

Blondie and Fuzz Face watched movies, read books and magazines, planned dinners, and quite often came back to talk about the coming Father’s Day. Fuzzie, speculated about what interesting presents he might receive. Meanwhile, all I had was a view of a rainy world and the unrequested opportunity to ponder what is the meaning of Father’s Day.

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There is a great divide between humans and Main Coons when it comes to fathers. I never really met my Dad. Mom told me his name was Rocky Top and that he was brave, fearsome, and proud. She said I was a lot like him. But, I never got to see him or play with him.

I know that Fuzzie taught me how to play, how to stalk, how to attack. He sometimes gives me snacks and almost every day he grooms me. Sometimes, when Blondie goes to bed early, he and I watch TV together and occasionally he’ll give me a piece of my favorite cheese.

Yet, I know Fuzz Face can never be Rocky Top. I also know I’ll never know what it would have been like if I had grown up with my real Dad. – – So there it was on the second day of our RV trip. All I had was a view of a rainy world and the unrequested opportunity to ponder what is the meaning of Father’s Day.

I guess I will have to adopt the Serendipity Farmhouse philosophy, especially on rainy days: “I am not living the life of my dreams. I am living the life of my realities. And, because I have Fuzzie and Blondie, that will be good enough for me.”

Oh, and before I forget, Happy Father’s Day, Fuzz Face, and Happy Father’s Day, Rocky Top, wherever you are!

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SFH by the Numbers

The following links will catch you up with what’s gone into the gardens and what has come out since our last Journal post. They will also update you on the arrival of the hot, humid days of Summer:

SFH 2020 Plantings

SFH 2020 Harvest

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2020-06-08 through 06-14

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2020-06-15 through 06-21

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, Shenandoah, we came to see you

Mission: The mission’s official name is El Camino Del Monte RV Trip 2020-01. When the day began all systems were “Go”. We had a relatively late departure on the afternoon of May 27, because beautiful Wife treated herself to her first hair cut since March. That was no problem though, because Shenandoah River State Park check in time is 4:00 PM – we arrived at 4:10 PM.

Purpose: The mission’s official purpose was rest, relaxation, and checking out the RV. The unofficial purpose was to get away from TV, radio, Internet, and telephone. For all intents and purposes, this nearby state park allows one to go entirely off the grid. What a blessed relief!

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Mission Operations: How about the weather? The sun was out when we were up and the rain came down when we were in bed. So, on the 28th, the air had been washed clean of pollen and dust and the views were remarkable. It was a perfect day for a walk down to the Shenandoah. Sweet Spouse was doubly anxious to stretch her legs. She opined that this would be a good time to reduce the size of what she describes as her “Covid rolls.” It is advisable not to linger on this point. Instead, let’s allow her to lead us on a quick tour to the river and the meadows that were so close to our happy camp site.

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With our walk to the river behind us and the temperatures beginning to climb, we settled into the RV and told Mr. Monte all about the park. He tried to look interested, but it was my sense that he was more concerned about devising new ways to keep us awake during his beloved hours of nocturnal predation. – He has his priorities!

Entertainment: Loving Daughter #2 had given us a game to enjoy during RV trips. Perhaps the game requires skill. Perhaps it requires patience. Perhaps our daughter knows that her parents have neither skill nor patience. Perhaps she has learned how to think like Mr. Monte. Perhaps we shall never know for sure. We played the game. The pictures tell the story.

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Mr. Monte’s Log: Hi, Mr. Monte here. As the pictures on the wall proclaim, this RV belongs to me. You will note the one sign that declares “This house is under the protection of a Maine Coon.” Thus, it’s always an amazement how those two big cats of mine, Blondie & Fuzz Face, take so little notice of all I do for them. While they were out frolicking in the woods and skylarking by the river, I had to conduct my rounds and ensure absolute security aboard El Camino Del Monte.

They frolicked – I protected. Observe the picture of the lizard that menaced our RV. I suspect it was a Northern Coal Skink. As soon as he approached our camp site, I alerted and went into stealth predator mode. Fortunately for him, he sensed my presence and was urged by his instinct of self preservation to avoid conflict with a superior force.

Field Test: Until this trip, all of our RV cooking experiences have been inside on our three-burner LP gas stove. (We haven’t used the oven yet.) This trip afforded us the opportunity to test a newly acquired Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill.

Don’t be alarmed. I have not, repeat have not, lost my “inner cheap.” Nope, I simply redeemed some of my frequent flyer miles and this handy device was delivered to my doorstep. The primary ingredient for the test meal consisted of two grass-fed, grass-finished porterhouse steaks, raised on Reality Farm just three miles from Serendipity Farmhouse.

I’ll dispense with useless chatter. The grill worked as advertised. The chef performed with great skill and accomplishment. Add in baked potatoes and green beans and this was the all American meal, a worthy reward for two happy campers at day’s end.

Mr. Monte’s Last Word: As I said, “They frolicked – I protected.” And, as I must add, “They ate steak – I ate dry cat food.”

There will come a day of justice – a day of reckoning!!

 

 

Eye of the Monte

It’s been quite a while since the cover came off of Mr. Monte’s soon-to-be-world-famous personal RV El Camino Del Monte (ECDM). (See SFH Journal: 2020-03-09 through 03-15 – Truckin’ On.) We haven’t said much about our preparations for this RV season. That doesn’t mean that nothing’s being done; that just means we’ve been busy.

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IMG_20200520_210718412_editedMr. Monte watches me. He watches everything I do. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get away from his watchful eye. – – I call this “The Eye of the Tiger Monte.”

I suppose I could live with that, but unlike other cats, as he watches me, he frequently criticizes me. Name the topic, name the action, name the circumstance, name anything I do and he criticizes me. Most recently, the topic of his criticism is how poorly I plan for our RV trips. He is especially critical of how I pack things haphazardly and make poor use of space.

OK, perhaps he has a point there. I haven’t really paid much attention to how we stow our gear. Quite often, beautiful Wife and I are more concerned with making the menu and planning for gourmet feasts. Obviously, Mr. Monte, as the SFH Chief of Security, thinks that we should focus on safety and economy.

To quiet the criticism, at least on this topic, I developed a storage plan that identifies all storage units on ECDM. The plan specifies what items are to be stored in each unit.

In rather uncharacteristic form, Mr. Monte readily approved of the plan. Unfortunately for me however, the approval was conditional. He demanded that I spend a whole night alone with him in ECDM. Ostensibly, I would make use of the time to explain and demonstrate the merits of my stowage plan.

His real plan was really quite different.

Wednesday night was his chosen date for the event. Without his usual complaints, he jumped into his carrier, welcoming the walk through the yard and arrival inside the RV. Once the carrier door was opened, he purrrred. He walked about the RV, inspecting everything and purrrring. He jumped into the upper bunk and purrrred. He rubbed past my legs and purrrred. – – He moved like a shark circling his prey – but this shark purrrred.

Beautiful Wife returned to the house just after 7 PM. As soon as the door was shut, Mr. Monte looked at me. His purrrring intensified. And then he said quite distinctly, “Well, Fuzz Face, it’s time for a little sport. Are you ready to play?”

How can a cat make a question sound like a command? How can a furry, large Maine Coon strike fear in your heart when he is purrrring so loudly?

“Are you ready to play?” That’s what a cat says to a mouse.

No, this wasn’t about my RV storage plan. This was about a night of cat play. We were alone. I was trapped. – – And there was no mistaking the fact, the “eye of the Monte” was focused on me.

Round 1: If there had been a bell, it would have rung at 8 PM. That was when the purrrring grew even louder. I was being watched. Then, without warning, he was on the couch and attacked my arm.

Round 2: The purrrring seemed to come from everywhere as he circled me. He decided to stalk my toes. He came close. He sat and stared at my left foot. He purrrred. Then he struck. I tried to distract him with burlap fish toy. – – The ploy worked. He grabbed at the fish, pulled it towards himself, and “killed” it.

And so it went throughout the remainder of the evening and late into the night. Each hour brought another round of “play.” It was clear to the referee and judges, I was already losing by many points. Despite my size and weight advantage, I was outfought. I was totally outclassed by that fearsome Maine Coon with the “eye of the Monte.”

There was a slight respite in the onslaught of attacks. I tried to grab some sleep. Even as I slept, I couldn’t help but be aware of the incessant purrrring and the knowledge that I was being watched. The “eye of the Monte” was on me.

It seemed like such a short sleep. I certainly didn’t feel rested. But there it was, the alarm clock was beeping and demanding that I get up. So I did.

I dressed. I folded up blankets and restored ECDM to some semblance of order. Mr. Monte was immediately at my feet, purrrring. He was in an unusually friendly and happy mood. I knew not why.

Mr. Monte cheerfully jumped into his carrier. He purrrred the entire way to the house. When released from his carrier, he circled my legs, purrrring as he did, and demanded a morning snack. As I was getting his food, my wondrous Spouse came out and questioned, “Is there something wrong? Why are you boys in so early?”

“So early?” said I. “It’s after 4 AM, the time I always get up, what do you mean “early”?

She looked at me oddly. Then she asked me to look at the clock. I looked at the clock. The clock looked at me. Then, the clock told me, “It’s only 3:15 AM, Dummy!”

I then looked at Mr. Monte. He looked at me. Then, he told me, “It’s only 3:15 AM, Dummy!” Then he purrrred as he cast his gaze on me with that unnerving “eye of the Monte.”

Round 10: The referee ruled that Mr. Monte’s changing of the time on the alarm clock was absolutely fair. The decision had to go in favor of Mr. Monte. He remains the uncontested champion at SFH. Meanwhile, I remain under the watchful gaze of the “eye of the Monte.”*

“It’s the eye of the tiger Monte, it’s the thrill of the fight
Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watchin’ us all with the eye of the tiger Monte”**

For the video and song “Eye of the tiger Monte” click here.

* The events related in this post are based on a true story. No humans were harmed during the night in the RV.
**Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Frank Sullivan / Jim Peterik
Eye of the Tiger lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

SFH Journal: 2019-11-04 through 11-10

The blossoming of our Christmas Cactus is another sign of the seasons here at Serendipity Farmhouse – a very welcome sign, indeed.

We woke up on the morning of November 5th to a hard freeze of 29.7°F. Though we have

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A frozen cherry tomato plant

had several frosts earlier, this was the one that finally signaled “end of season” for our ever-faithful cherry tomato plant. Up until the day it was taken by the cold, this little plant produced abundantly. It may be gone now, but it leaves behind the memory of 654 tasty red orbs.  Truly, a great achievement!

Yet, here at Serendipity Farmhouse there is always confidence and hope. That fact is witnessed to by my energetic and resourceful Wife. On the very day of the loss of our cherry tomato plant, she made her way to SFH Vegetable Garden #1 and planted five rows of garlic with six cloves in each row. Buoyed by her success with last year’s planting and this Summer’s harvest of fresh garlic, she decided to increase the numbers. There is no doubt in the author’s mind that we will see a bountiful SFH garlic harvest in 2020. (See: SFH Journal: 2019-07-01 – A Midsummer Day)

The arrival of colder weather dictates that El Camino Del Monte must be winterized. Now, with a year of experience under our belt, we managed the whole affair with a minimum of problems or concerns. It was not so last year. (See: SFH Journal: 2018-11-15 – First Snow & First Fire)

In case you’re wondering what Mr. Monte has been up to, in addition to leaf  and critter watching from the back porch, he has taken up photography. He submitted this photo as a sample of what the quick eye of a Maine Coon cat and the quick shutter of a digital single lens reflex camera can catch. Good job, Mr. Monte!

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Now if you remember, one of our very first posts (see: WWWT? #1 – What a Lovely Wood Stove!) detailed all the problems we encountered when we first attempted to use our wood stove. Now that we’ve been here for a while and had time to learn from our past mistakes, starting the first fire of the year was without incident and blessed by warmth throughout Serendipity Farmhouse on the afternoon of Thursday, November 7th.

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All-in-all, a very good week at SFH!

SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

SFH Preserving: See SFH 2019 – Preserving – Food for Tomorrow

SFH WX Station Report – Monthly: See SFH Weather Summaries & Statistics

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2019-11-04 through 11-10

4th of July Glamping

Nestled along the North Fork of the Thornton River, deep in the heart of the Blue Ridge, there is a camping spot quiet and serene. My beautiful and exceptionally talented spouse chose that particular spot as the perfect place to celebrate Independence Day.

We had to drive our Class C RV, El Camino Del Monte, precisely zero miles to access this perfect spot. I had to pull out my wallet and pay precisely $0.00 to rent this site to park the RV and set up camp. Even before the setup was complete, we could see the that adorable wife had chosen quite wisely.

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While the day was still young, just a bit past mid-day, the Master Glamper and Wife Extraordinaire, decided it was time for tea.

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Afterwards, we discussed the holiday menu. Yes, certainly a steak would be in order. That would be joined by corn on the cob, yellow squash recently picked from our vegetable garden, and watermelon. As we made the final adjustments to the menu, we watched the cool mountain water as it flowed by on its sparkling and gurgling way.

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It was a unanimous decision (yes, Mr. Monte was allowed to vote) that ice cream would be the finale.

To enjoy this independence that we celebrate, this freedom that we share, is a great blessing. It’s not just the words written on a piece of paper 243 years ago; it’s what is written on the hearts of men by their Creator that makes this celebration so important.

Happy 4th of July & God bless! – – Serendipity

 

SFH Journal: 2019-07-01 – A Midsummer Day

I took a day of vacation. My chores did not. But, the temperatures stayed in the 80s and sunshine was abundant. Let’s just say it was a pleasant Midsummer day.

Highlight 1 – The Garlic Harvest: Having never done something does not mean that one should not try. So, my endearing spouse and I watched all kinds of contradictory videos claiming to show the proper technique for harvesting garlic.  –  Whether we did it right or not doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the SFH woodshed is now the curing place for 18 heads of garlic. The crop is in and the smells are delicious. This week there will be a pasta dish with very fresh garlic included.

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Highlight 2 – Summer Blossoms: Spring flowers have made way for the arrival of the blossoms of Summer. Hostas, roses, blue mist, lilies, and many more now adorn our gardens. The humming birds are very happy to see their arrival.

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Highlight 3 – At Home Glamping: While many RVs will be on the road this week to remote and distant locations, El Camino Del Monte will be happily parked near a beautiful flowing river, amidst tall shade trees, in a most pleasant and tranquil surrounding. Yes, adorable spouse has declared this Glamping Week at SFH. We shall celebrate our country’s birthday at one of the most beautiful locations in all of these United States – here at Serendipity Farmhouse. One couldn’t ask for more.

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SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

SFH WX Station Report: See SFH Weather Summaries & Statistics

SFH Journal: 2019-04-01 through 06

Highlight: Spring has given Serendipity Farmhouse a wake up call. It’s time to shift gears from the reflective and peaceful calm afforded by Winter to the active and physical preparation of SFH for yard and building maintenance, gardening, canning, and RV touring. So, here’s a day-by-day list of just a few of things we accomplished this past week. Continue reading “SFH Journal: 2019-04-01 through 06”

Reflections on Spring at Serendipity Farmhouse

Science or ArtIt will happen in 58 minutes – the Spring Equinox. It happens in an instant of time. It is defined by science, yet, it is the key that opens the artist’s mind to beautiful paintings and it is the muse of the playful poet. Most people, with the exception of meteorologists, will call this the first day of Spring. Religions use this event to fix their liturgical seasons. And, this year, there is the awe inspired by a “super moon”. But, for those of us at Serendipity Farmhouse, all of that is merely the backdrop to events that have even greater meaning.

There are two major cycles to life at SFH. The first is our motto, the way we approach each day – Pray, Prepare, Preserve. The second is the underpinning of our relationships – Faith, Family & Country. Following are some reflections of Spring that evoke those themes. Continue reading “Reflections on Spring at Serendipity Farmhouse”