Once upon a very bad day

Once Upon a Very Bad Day

Once Upon a Very Bad Day

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2

Week 20: May 21, 2022

Perhaps we were due for a Very Bad Day; we’ve a long string of good ones. Or God is testing our faith and patience. In any case, Week 20 started, and almost finished, well.

Follow along with the story of our week, including a bad day that didn’t want to end, in the pictures.

Good news: we are safe.

This post may contain affiliate links. I only recommend products I use and love. If you make a qualifying purchase I may earn a small commission. It does not change your price.

The 🌸✨ pink tree peony is in bloom and it is so exquisite it utterly distracts me every time I set eyes on it. 👀

Sadie, my remaining Muscovy duck hen is nesting 🥚🥚🥚again after an opossum stole her previous clutch of eggs.

After three false starts, it appears spring is finally here for good. Next weekend we should finally be able to plant our tomatoes, at last!

Two signs of spring: tiny red flowers of sheep sorrel resemble quinoa and horsetail venturing forth.

An empty bucket left in the garden collected rainwater, and then mosquitoes moved in. The small dragons are mosquito larvae. The richly colored water filling the pitcher is from the Nye ditch. This is the water we use for our garden and animals. The house is fed by a spring.

All good things. Very good things! Well, except for the mosquito larvae.

Dandelions are an edible ingredient, not just a garnish in this warm Tuna, Kale, and Potato Salad.

Another simple meal we enjoyed this week that you might also enjoy is pan seared chicken over sautéed zoodles, with cheese smothered cauliflower.

Baking day: the poke test tells you when bread dough is risen enough. The next picture shows me with an upside down loaf of bread in my oven mitt. I am checking the bottom crust for doneness. The last picture is the fruit of a day’s labor: 7 loaves of Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread made in my pretty pink Ankarsrum Assistent mixer.

Watch the video right here!

new scoring lame from Wire Monkey

I am having fun with a new UFO lame (pronounced lahm; a scoring blade) shaped like a round disk for my sourdough bread scoring. It is made by a small family business with great customer service and support. I ordered a case to protect it and love the bubblegum pink color! Believe it or not, you can choose from 50 colors!

Michele and Mom

If you’ve been reading these Chocolate Box Cottage Diary posts for long, you know that I spend one day a week with my Mom and run errands in town. We have tea and I generally bring lunch in a basket. Sometimes a grandchild or family friend will join us. We always enjoy our time together. Today Mom wanted to show me her beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas.

And then came Saturday. Another firewood gathering day.


Sam scouted a tree to fall and nothing went as planned. It did not fall where he thought it would. Instead, it fell where I was standing. Thankfully, I escaped and lived to tell about it.

We did some things wrong. And the tree had a hidden flaw that changed its trajectory. Even after it was down, it caused more trouble.

An exhausted wood cutter

Inside the tree was a divided heart; a thick river of sap flowed. The grain was twisted and this affected how it was cut. The downed tree stubbornly refused to yield to the splitting maul, each round requiring 24 to 30 blows instead of 4 to 8. And it would not stack properly. We almost lost the load on the way home. Sam was one exhausted wood cutter.

Happily, a Crock-Pot full of pork roast, home-canned tomatoes, potatoes, and garden herbs awaited us. A substantial meal for the wood cutter and his wife.

Then we discovered that the water heater was spraying water all over the utility room. The room was fit for a frog. This necessitated a trip to Lowe’s and a deep dive into our emergency fund.

Sam removed three doors and moved three appliances to get to the water heater. A hose fitting didn’t quite fit, so it still leaks and we are without hot water.

Make, Sew, and Mend - book

A new book for my niece’s birthday: Make, Sew and Mend by Bernadette Banner. I might need a copy for myself. Whenever possible, I buy books from used book sellers instead of the jungle. My favorite source is here and if you use my link I receive credit toward a free book for qualifying purchase. Thank you for trusting me to refer you to products and resources that are worth your money. I do not take it lightly.

Blessings to you from Chocolate Box Cottage,




  • Thanks for sharing another adventurous week in your life. Blessings, Deborah

    • Hi Deborah! Thank you for your sweet and kind comment, I do appreciate it – and YOU. 🌻 Michele

  • Your life stories always warm my heart and inspire me to do better, somehow.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us.


    • Hi Andrea, what a lovely thing to say! Now you’re warming MY heart! XOXOX Michele


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