Monday, September 15, 2014

Life Off The Grid : No Electricity, no landlines, no problem


 No, we haven't pulled up stakes here at Dandelion House and headed for parts unknown. Not yet! But, we do runaway to our 3 season off-grid summer cottage every chance we get! By today's cottage standards, it's small. Under 2000 square feet is small in " house terms"  if you go by builders standards. I happen to love smaller homes. They have a certain charm and intimacy that larger homes sometimes lack. But, as I said, this isn't a beach house, or even a house. It's a COTTAGE. Topping out an just under 400 square feet it boasts one bath, one bedroom, one sleeping porch, one tiny kitchen and eating area and one outdoor solar shower! That's it! And, we love it! It's simple!

 One of the highlights of this summer was having our cottage and our unique off-grid beach community featured in a local magazine. The purpose of the feature was to share the charm and history of our area. There are many larger, more beautiful homes there that would certainly be worthy of a glossy magazine feature, however, the editors were more interested in the history of our neighborhood and our tiny cottage, the Sea Horse.

The top photo shows part of the 6 mile long dirt road we take to get to our cottage but don't try and sneak out to visit. Only residents and guests are able to drive through! 

On the left, our sleeping porch and the right is our cheery tiny kitchen.
As a blogger and writer I'm used to being behind the scenes when it comes to creating magazine features, so it was quite a treat to experience what it's like to be the one on the inside of the pages!  We met with the writer  ( Jane Spitz) one rainy day in April. A 4 wheel drive is necessary to get to our cottage so we picked her up at a nearby parking lot and drove her out the long stretch of beach road pointing out some areas of interest along the way. Although she lived nearby, she had never visited our area! A city girl at heart; it's not soft sand and waves that tug at her heart strings, but we did our best to make her a fan by the end of our visit. The cottage wasn't officially open for the season and we had to fire up our portable heater to keep our tootsies warm! As we sat in our little kitchen and watched the rain fall outside we shared our story over cheese and crackers.


 When photographer ( Rosemary Tufankjian ) came a month later ( with hubby and kids in tow ) it was the end of May and time to open the cottage for the season. I had already been planning for her visit so I did some sprucing up in the cottage to get things ready! They were such a nice family and quite taken with our area. While she snapped lots and lots of photos, her family built sand castles on the quiet beach in the late afternoon.

Would you believe both of our  kids had obligations that day they couldn't get out of? So, just my sweet hubby and I and our third child, Max posed for pics!

South Shore Living

What magazine you ask? South Shore Living! It's one of our favorite magazines for featuring local areas of interest, businesses, restaurants, and events!

 I wish I could link to the actual article for you, but I can't find it online anywhere! Below are a couple of links for you to visit if you wish to learn more about how we landed off grid on the shorelines. 

 Visit the Beach Farmgirl Blog for my introductory post titled Sagebrush to Shorelines! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 170 and The Birthday Boy

Pembroke Welsh Corgi ( Max)
Dear friends, Welcome back to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! Our 170th round up of fabulous farmgirl soul food! Life has been a little nutty here ( in a good way )  hence the absence of last weeks hop, but we're on this week and Debbie and I are looking forward to catching up with all y'all!

 As for the latest at Dandelion House, we celebrated an important birthday this week! Our little boy ( Maxi-doo ) turned 6! We didn't embarrass him with a party hat or hang a pinata' stuffed with cookies  for him chew open, but, we DID take him to the beach so he could roll in some smelly things and eat seagull poop. Do we know our boy, or what? Can't imagine what we did without him all these years. Here's a peek at how he celebrated!


Deciding where to roll is serious business...One must tune his nose to the prevailing wind to find just the right spot, then once it's located the rolling can begin.


This must be what heaven is like for dogs.


Rolling in sand appears to bring on some sort of doggy delirium...


Followed by a state of utopia which unfortunately, only lasts until the next roll... But hey, he takes what he can get!

As for us, one look from these adoring eyes and we're mush.

Do you celebrate your 4-legged luv-bugs birthdays too?  Do tell!

Now it's your turn to link up and share some of that good old fashioned farmgirl soul-food.
 Are you harvesting, cookin' cannin' and cleanin' in preparation for the change of seasons?  
Share the harvest here!


Be sure to stop by Big Sky Acres to catch up with my co-hostess and "farmgirl in crime", Debbie too! ( aka Farmgirl Unleashed)! She's knee-deep in harvest season and cooking up a storm! YUM!
As always, we thank you for all you share at the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! 

Put Down Some Roots And BLOOM!

Love, Deb

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Zinnias~ Brash or Beautiful?


 The zinnia is by far one of the boldest and brightest flowers you can grow in a cutting garden. 
These brazen-faced, hotheaded, self assertive and if I may, uppity flowers bring the heat and spice to a fading flowerbed quicker than many deep- rooted perennials and they last longer too, blooming right up until the first frost.
I'll admit, I'm a fan of their brightly lit petals and brash undertones.
What's not to love about the nervy and vivacious zinnia? 


They adore showing off in the garden and in the vase. And, the magnetic attraction between them and the local bees is something to behold.


They can't keep their fuzzy little bums away from them!

I planted several packets of Botanical Interest Cut and Come Again seeds in late spring in  our deep raised beds of 12 inches and we've had blooms since mid-July. We always get a very high germination rate with Botanical Interest seeds ( even the Heirloom varieties)! Love them!


 Zinnias give so much for the little care that they require. All they need to start a fiesta in your flower garden is good draining soil, ( rich in organic matter ) plenty of sunshine ( 6- 8 hours per day)  and steady doses of watering during germination. Once they've got their leaves give them a good drink every few days ( more water during severely hot weather) but don't over water. These cheeky blooms, like it HOT! 
Every garden needs a PARTY GIRL!
What do YOU think about this popular heirloom bloom? Brash or Beautiful?


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