A Rubber Duck, Pickles, and a Rocket Stove

cute duck

After weeks with little to no rain, we’ve made up for it this past week with daily storms, a couple which dropped inches of rain. It has given Wes a break from having to water the garden every day, and filled the rain tanks to the top! Free water is a blessing indeed! The much needed water produced numerous flower blossoms, and is making the multiple squash and cucumbers grow at an unbelievable rate!

rose photo

I love finding new flowers, and I thought this delicate blossom below most lovely. I’m thinking it may be a type of wild poppy but am not quite sure, so if you know what it is, please share in a comment below! I’ve saved a few seed heads from it to make sure I’m able to grow more.


We enjoyed cooking with the rocket stove for the first time this past week, and were delighted that it worked great! We cooked summer squash, zucchini and sliced onions on it. We tossed them with olive oil, fresh herbs, and angel hair pasta. It was delicious and one of our favorite things about cooking on the rocket stove, is the wonderful smoky flavor it gives to the food. Plus we get to cook outside, so that makes it even better!

wes siegrist using rocket stove

It’s the same basic design of the one we had in Townsend for several years, and this one we covered with stones from our property to tie it in with the look and design of the pizza oven. Later this fall we’re planning to expand the stone patio to the right of it a little more, using more sandstone from our property. Then atop that we’re gonna place a table which we built out of a wood palette and logs.  

rocket stove

It will serve nicely as a working space to set things on and even assemble pizzas and such. I’ll be sharing a photo with you once it’s completed. Atop the opening, we put a cast iron pan in which we cook.

rocket stove2

“Here’s a few more cucumbers” Wes says as he walks into the house arms loaded with cucumbers, and I reply “Oh No!” That being said, we’ve been able to share lots of cucumbers with our neighbors, and I’ve made several jars of sweet and spicy quick pickles. Wes also made cucumber chips using the dehydrator, from a recipe he found online. They turned out pretty good and the flavor is very nice, they’re just not crispy like we’d prefer them. Plus they were quite a bit of work, so for now we’re nixing that recipe. 

quick pickles

We celebrated our 32nd Anniversary this past week, which honestly doesn’t seem possible, but alas I assure myself it’s true. With very unstable weather, we decided to wait until a nice day this next week to go kayaking to celebrate it. While out running errands, we did get a yummy pizza at a local restaurant called Winstead’s American Grill & King of Pizza located in nearby Spring City, and it was a nice treat!

wes siegrist


I’ve made more progress on my Silverback Gorilla painting this past week, which will be featured in the Sketch for Survival with Explorers Against Extinction at The Explorers Club in New York City, NY.   The Online Auction will take place on October 7, 2022, and all proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to this cause. Of course knowing I’m helping to make a difference for endangered animals and the natural world, make this painting even more special and fun to do! I will keep you updated with my continued progress on it.

gorilla painting

The latest progress 

Did you know that there are now 17 painting videos for you to enjoy on our YOUTUBE CHANNEL


EXQUISITE MINIATURES now on display at The Art & Heritage Center,

Windsor, CO, May 15 – August 15, 2022 

 Francesca Anderson Fine Art, MA

To see our available miniature paintings as well as some upcoming shows, please

visit our WEBSITE  artofwildlife.com     Email us

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

6 thoughts on “A Rubber Duck, Pickles, and a Rocket Stove

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