Sunday, June 21, 2009


Kombucha is the Western name for sweetened tea that has been fermented using a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). You may have seen it in the store like this:

And it is expensive!

At our local herb shop (a real shop that sells just herbs), they offered a class on how to make Kombucha and supplied us with a start-up a kit: 2 jars (since both of us did it), black tea, cheesecloth for the cover, and the culture (or SCOBY).

Here is what we did:

We took our kit home and got everything ready. The culture is the white stuff in the bowl that looks like a bunch of fat. We also had our jar and bags of black tea.

We brewed the tea in some water with dissolved sugar. When it was cooled we added more cold water and then placed the cultures in the jars with the mixture.

Here is what it looked like.

We put our jars in a semi-open place not in the kitchen (you don't want the cooking odors to change the reactions in the Kombucha). I think we need another bookshelf! Can you find the clown?

Today our first batch was only took 2 weeks. It won't take as long once we have established cultures. We strained our finished product into this fancy maple syrup bottle. Nice isn't it!
As you can see, we already drank half the bottle! We love how it tastes and have enjoyed mixing it with juice and seltzer. Our instructor also suggested mixing it with may defeat the health benefits, but it tastes delicious!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dress to the Nines

Andy picks up his suit today...tailored, pressed and fitting nice.

And my dress is hanging in the spare room ready to be worn.

The shoes are shined and laced up.

I think we are ready!

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Trails

This week we had a great time cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, working at the farm, and finishing up our invitations. We didn't have a lot of down time, but we did go on a hike. It was a short 5 mile hike round trip to the top of Mt. Elmore. There were great views of the Lamoille Valley (where we live) and both the Green Mountains (Vermont) and the White Mountains (New Hampshire).

At the top of Mt. Elmore is a fire tower, an old, scary, very tall fire tower.

While I was gripping on for dear life, I did have a nice view.

Bunch Berry on the trail

This is Balancing Rock...a glacier erratic that is resting on a small slab of rock. It seems to be in a precarious position, but it doesn't move--we tried.

We still had fun with it though :)

I have the next two weeks off of school so I'll be finishing up paperwork for this past year and planning for Summer Camp...while finishing up wedding details and getting very excited for August 1st!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Busy Week

Wow, this was a busy wedding weekend for us! I found a dress (kinda important) and we both found wedding bands (also kinda important). On top of that, we also....

-Edited, printed, cut, stuffed, and stamped our wedding invitations :)
They are simple, yet exactly what we wanted.

-Bought some extra plates for our hand made vintage glassware dessert trays
We have 8 altogether. Some are two tiered and some are three. I LOVE how they turned out. This one isn't the best example, but it's the only one in Vermont.

-We started making our table lanterns
They in fact are not lanterns, but more like table tents. We will paste another layer on each side with information about dinner, table number, etc. I'm excited to see what they will look like on the tables.

-We found marker board to put in this frame
At first we wanted to make a chalk board for it and use it as a giant program at the ceremony in place of paper programs. But, when looking for a board to put behind the frame, we saw this marker board and fell in love. We had the people at Lowe's cut it to size. We have great plans for the left over too!

Whew...that's enough until next weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Trip to MDI

MDI: Mount Desert Island
Aka: Bar Harbor, Maine;
Acadia National Park

We've been slacking on the wedding side of things. We think about it, but we couldn't pass up a three day weekend after the snow has melted.

 So, where do Vermonters go on vacation?
Maine...they have an ocean!

After setting up camp, we went to Bar Harbor, the big town on the island. It is a magical place with boats, ice cream, and lobster. 

We also enjoyed looking at the ocean. They only have one sand beach in this part of Maine. The rest is rocky, granite slabs. The rocks are fun to climb on, look for tidal pools, and watch the ocean from. We even got to see a seagull drop an oyster on the rocks to crack it open. Use what you got, right?!

The next day we hiked up Cadillac Mountain. It was a 15 mile round trip from our camp site and well worth it. We went from hard wood forests to lichen covered granite tops to a carriage road built by the Rockefellers a century ago. 

Once on top, the weather started to turn! We were ready for rain...bring it on!
It didn't last very long and by the time we made it back to camp, the clouds were all gone.

The following day, we climbed up a trail called the Bee Hive, named for it's shape. One side gradually goes up and the other goes straight down...literally. This shape is actually very common in this area (ME, NH, VT) and was created by the glacier movement over the granite mountains. More on that another day. This view is from the Bee Hive overlooking Sand Bar (the one sandy beach). I love how one side goes into the ocean and the other into fresh interesting!

This is one of the straight down parts.

Ahhh...pitch pine and back to the wedding! We can't wait to see you there!