Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year

2013. What will it bring to us here at MaIRo & Co and Balcony House? Who knows but it will be an adventure.  With trips planned, conventions to attend and all of the east side of the USA to see.  It looks like a very special year for all of us.  My your resolutions come true and my you make someone's dream come true. 
And my I learn how to turn off this stupid android spell check thingy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


What a wonderful day.  October 1.  I have been a fan of EPCOT since day one, or well before.  As a young kid I was thrilled with the idea of Disney linking the ideas of Worlds Fairs with there knowledge of entertainment and education.     
 (I wrote WDW for more info, Called and purchased merchandise, posters, postcards,bumper stickers, licence plate and other as sorted items.  When they came in the mail I poured over them and wonderd what it would be like to be in the middle of it all). What could be better and after 30 years it's still a super combination and keeps people on there toes.  EPCOT CENTER allowed us to see so many of the newest stuff out there, now most of it is in our homes or in our pockets.  But on this day I found out what the greatest gift EPCOT has given the world, hope, peace and understanding,of us as humans.  EPCOT showed us that we as a Planet, as people can get along and be happy.  No other place can you enter and make new friends run into old, ones and be remembered from years past.  Here you look out for one another and you take seconded place.  After 30 years and thinking of why I love EPCOT . It's every one, every business and every idea coming together for the good of mankind.  When you leve EPCOT you leave with the a new found hope that it's one great big beautiful tomorrow.

American Adventure.                      Japan.                                           Italy.                                      Mexico

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Getting ready for Halloween

Grave stones waiting to be placed

Halloween on the Horizon

Halloween is just around the corner and we need to get our ghoul on.  
With a vacation coming up and this month half over, we have to move like a bat out of well you know.  
So we got our urns out, tombstones, lights and pumpkins. Have used the urns for 3 years in a row.  Each year I dress them differntly. This year they have become arrangemest like you might see graveside.
They will live in the front planters next to or near our 3 tombstones ( i need to make more).  Urn one is light with orange and black lights going up the branches. Urn two is going to have an eerie glow as i have Cool White lights wrapped under the the lip of the urn.

Urn One
Urn Two

I made three Grave Markers from old pallets. they work great and age wonderfully in our weather.
One for MOM & DAD who died together. The other is unknown,or waiting for you?
This one is to look like marble and has lost the picture of the owner of the plot.
We have 31 mixed size pumpkins that we add to the scene. One or two each day till we have all 31 out.  Our neighbors try and find all 31.  Good luck.  
Our house is white so it takes color very well. The balcony gets orange and black lights on the floor.  This makes the walls and celling of the balcony glow as if on file.  The rest of the top floor is bathed in red. The main floor is a wash in purple and the Graveyard is lit with low wattage Malibu lights.  
I want to try the fog machine this year.  We will be home this year to take part in "Gift Giving" of the season.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Herb n summer

Herbs, Peppers & Tomatoes
Well summer is almost over.  The days are cooling off and the nights even colder.  Soon it will be time to shut off the A/C.  Here are some of the herbs, bell peppers and tomatoes we have harvested.   Unfortunatly we lost a lot of plants this year.  Not sure why.   Every thing started out well enough, cucumber vines long, green, lot of bloom and then, death!
The whole vine wither to zilch.     Tomatoes took their sweet time but now we have them lots.                                           A few more and sauce they will become.
Herb Garden now
Herb Garden in late May

Drying Tyme
 We have herbs in the freezer.    Herbs, dried in jars and next herbs in olive oil or butter, freeze and use as fresh all Winter long.
I have put seeds down for beans, broccoli, beets and lettuce.
We will see what shows it's head before the first frost,

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Garden

Welcome to our garden.

We have planned this garden for ourselves and The Dog Bakery.  A garden for a Dog Bakery you maybe asking yourself.  We we use mint, and beets in our recipes and we would like to use more wholesome ingredients whenever possible and what better wat then to grow them ourselves!  We know that pesticides are not used, we know the farmers and it's locally grown, lol.  We  are growing, pumpkins, beets, cucumbers for salads and for pickling, green beans, peas, turnips, fennel, cabbages, and lettuces.  

The herb garden has thyme, parsley, curly and flat leaf, oregano, basil, rosemary, mint, sage and a bell pepper plant in the middle.

6 tomato plants dot the garden most are Roma with one Heirloom and one that sprouted from last years crop. So with water and sun we shall see how much grows this year.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Making Peanut Butter

Maisie loves Crunchy Peanut Butter on Toast or just from the spoon. She knows nothing of its long history. 
Here is a little about Peanut Butter
peanut butter
A paste made from ground roasted peanuts, used as a spread or in cookery.
A history of Peanut butter 
Peanuts were known as early as 950 B.C. and originated in South America. The ancient Incas used peanuts and were known to have made it into a paste-like substance. 
The first commercial peanut crop was grown in Virginia in the early to mid 1840's and in North Carolina beginning around 1818.
According to the Corn Products Company, Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis patented a peanut butter-making machine in 1903 
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented a "Process of Preparing Nut Meal" in 1895 and used peanuts.   Joseph Lambert worked for Dr. Kellogg and began selling his own hand-operated peanut butter grinder in 1896. 
Joseph L. Rosenfield invented a churning process that made smooth peanut butter smooth.       In 1928, he licensed his invention to the Pond Company, the makers of Peter Pan peanut butter. In 1932, He began making his own brand of peanut butter, Skippy which included a crunchy style peanut butter.
Agricultural chemist, George Washington Carver discovered three hundred uses for peanuts. He start popularizing uses for peanut products including peanut butter, paper, ink, and oils beginning in 1880.  Carver did not patent peanut butter as he believed food products were all gifts from God. The 1880 date precedes all the above inventors except of course for the Incas, who were first. It was Carver who made peanuts a significant crop in the American South in the early 1900's.
After all peanut butter is just roasted peanuts crushed into a paste. One-half of all edible peanuts produced in the United States are used to make peanut butter and peanut spreads.
By Mary Bellis from Edited by me.
Peanut Butter has been around a long long time and is always being reinvented. 
But some Peanut Butters on the market use partially hydrated oils to keep them from separating, 
then adding sugar, salt and other items I cant pronounce.
I decided to make my own.

After some online research and reading old cookbooks, most recipes is Roasted Peanuts and Oil. Older cookbooks call only for Peanuts.(oil is added to make it spreadable)  That's it, Oh and a blender.            You can add molasses, honey or other sugars.  Salt and other spices. All to your taste.
                            For this recipe I use Roasted Peanuts and Expelled Pressed Peanut Oil. 
Start with one pound of roasted nuts and two teaspoons Peanut Oil.

 Measure 2 cups peanuts.  
Place half in Blender and chop for a few seconds.  

Blend a little longer till a paste forms

Add two Teaspoon peanut oil, it will be a little thin.

Add last half cup of peanuts a few at a time as all at once my clog your blades.  
You can add more Peanuts to make it thicker if you like

 I use a small, long spatula to push the peanut butter into the blades, till smooth

  Nice and creamy Peanut Butter.
The Peanut Butter is very warm and will seem a little runny at this point.

For Crunchy Style add a quarter cup nuts and mix in by hand.

 Now that is a CHUNKY Peanut Butter
Store your Yummy Peanut Butter in a air tight container.
Keeps in the fridge for about a week.  
If the oil separates its OK, Leave it out to soften at room temperature and
 mix it all together again till smooth. 

Peanut Butter and Peanuts provide protein, vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folte, dietary fiver, arginine, and high levels of the antioxidant p-coumaric acid. What this means for your dog is a great source of Protein

This will be the new ingredient in our Peanut Butter bones making them even more natural and wholesome.

Good Luck and I hope you have fun creating new and fun Sweet and Savory Peanut Butters.
Let me know what you Create. Id love trying new recipes

Also any Nut will make a good Butter. Try Walnuts or Almonds.  
Any NUT from a shell.

Friday, May 11, 2012

First Adventure

Working Hard
Some of our treats on display
Our Packaged Treats
Our Sign ( I Volunteer to make the next one)
May 4 was our very first Craft and Vendor Fair.  This first adventure was very successful as we not only sold out treats we made a lot of new friends, contacts and learned what not to do next time.  This was a fundraiser for our Village Volunteer Fire Department, one of the last in the Cincinnati area. There were over 20 folks with items from Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Candles to a mom and daughter who sold brightly colored bungee cords knotted up into bracelets.  We had a clown making balloon animals. Next to us were two ladies selling hand made jewelry, come to find out one of them lives just down the street, small world. On to planning the next event.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

To day is the one day we make a big celebration of what we do all year long, commune with nature.  For this year we have re commited to recycle more, compost better, seek out local business and farms for our shopping and service needs.  All in all stay close to home.
To celebrate we planted 12 saplings.  So in a few years we will have big trees, yaa!!
So, what will you commited to do this Earth Day 2012 to make are planet better for future generations? What will you do for your healt so you can enjoy the future?Here is our electric mower, another way to get healthy. Lol  It can take 2 or 3 days to cut our lawn.  Our egg makers in there coop. 5 eggs daily.  We hope to barter for veggies this seasonand last our new mode of transportation. So much easier to get around the village. 
Hope your Earth Day is filled with ideas to make your planet better for the next generation.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our Egg Layers

Happy 1st Birthday to our little flock.
Just before spring last year we thought about getting some chickens for our yard, we had enough room 1/3 of an acre and I love eggs. We thought it would be a great and fun way to be urban farmers. We have 2 4x4 planting beds, and a few pots we grow vegetables in. So chickens were a great addition. The are great garbage disposals, eating vegie scraps from the kitchen, the give eggs for food, are food themselves in a couple of years and thier poop is good
for the soil (composting it).

We have a flock of 5. 3 New Hampshire Red
(Brown) and 2 Plymouth Rock (White) I think, they look like the pictures in my "Keeping Chickens"book.
They have a Tractor Coop. Its on wheels and moves around the yard, in theory. As we found out our yard is the lowest point in the village and we get all the rain runoff. So our yard is somewhat muddy in the spring. Hard to move the coop around. But the girls like it.
This year we have let the girls have time outside the coop, which they enjoy very much.
Maisie, Rosie and Coco have been introduced the girls. Maisie doesn't care, Coco is not sure what they are and Rosie like to chase them around the yard.
This year we hope to barter for other farm goodies with all the eggs we have left over.
These are the eggs we use in our Baked Dog Treats. Happy Chickens make Great Eggs that make MaiRo & Co dog treats something special.
Have to go, gotta check on the seedlings.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Arrives

Welcome Spring, 
This is a wonderful time of year.
Spring is a time for renewal or Re-Birth. 
Newly planted seedlings coming up, 
the 80 year old Silver Mable getting it leaves, more birds and wild life in the North Fourty and sitting on the patio reading the paper in the morning or enjoying a home cooked meal under the stars... AHHHH    Welcome Spring


Just some photos of our backyard.