Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Desert Table - Butter Mints

We haven't made these in years - I think I was in High School the last time - but I decided to do it.

1/4 cup of Butter, softened
8 oz of powdered sugar
1 T heavy cream
1/2 t of mint extract
food coloring

you just work all the ingredients, except the food dye,  together into a ball, work with your hands this goes fast. Split the dough into two batches mix in green and red food coloring one in each. Roll into balls and lay out on a tray to dry over night. Ideally two. We are putting a fan on them over night to help this along as we should have started it last night.

Thanksgiving Desert Table - Mom's birthday

It is always my mom's birthday at Thanksgiving time, so a birthday cake always happens. The girls are using a present Badger - who hopes to be a candy maker and baker when she grows up - got for her birthday. A five part cake pan.

The girls made the cake mix with no help from me, divided the batter into five equal parts, with some help from me. Then they each added food coloring to two bowls and Badger got the fifth bowl. In to bake out to cool. Then I will trim them, layer them with jam and frost them.

Thanksgiving Desert Table - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This one is my sister-in-laws recipe - modified of course!

Here is her recipe:
 Pumpkin Bread
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Clove
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Pumpkin
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
Sift together dry ingredients (less sugar)
Cream together wet ingredients and sugar
Add dry ingredients to wet.
Add 1 cup chocolate chips.
Bake in loaf pan at 350°F for 1 hour.
Bake muffins at 400°F for 20 minutes.

I double all the spices and add a teaspoon of cardamon. I also never make less than 3 batches at once. I also add a cup of apple butter or apple sauce to each batch.

This year in honor of Seal (my beautiful, clever nephew) we are doing one small loaf without chocolate. My Bunny helped with the start of this but the girls are running out of steam with the baking day. 

Thanksgiving Desert Table - Chocolate Moose.

I must apologize! I have now pictures for this one. This is a bit more complicated and more so with the girls helping.

This is also from the Doubleday cookbook.

6 oz semi sweet chocolate
2 T hot water or coffee
5 eggs separated
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Melt chocolate and water in double boiler. Beat egg yolks lightly, temper them with some of the melted chocolate, add all the eggs into chocolate mix well return to heat, and cook for two minutes. Beat heavy cream until soft peak stage, add vanilla to chocolate mixture, fold mixture into heavy cream. Beat egg white until soft peaks form. Fold mixture into eggs until no white shows, place into serving containers and refrigerate until service. A dollop of whipped cream goes well on top. Because we are eating at my sister's house almost three hours away I put it into plastic cups, and will top when we get there. I hope to snap a few pictures then!

Also, the kids demanded lunch. In my family we work straight through on special prep days, my Grandma was shocked the first time after marrying into the family that my dad asked what was for lunch went they were prepping for a party. It is sort of a family joke now, but I still do it the old way and am always a bit surprised when anyone wants lunch. My dad, btw, learned to rummage about in the fridge when hungry and grab something to eat, rather than expect a meal in the middle of prepping. My husband faces the same problem, though his solution is just to start taking up space and cooking a meal over the top of my work, though he usually makes enough of whatever to feed everyone. I can however still hear my Nonnie saying "You want lunch? But we just ate breakfast six hours ago!"

Thanksgiving Desert Table - Apple Pie

Moving right along to an Americana classic! Apple Pie!

We are using a variety of apples but heavily leaning to granny smith. We have apple trees so we have this cool gizmo to help us process apples!

You will need two pie crust sheets. (secret I am not much impressed with crust so I use store bought or make my own interchangeably and I never notice the difference, it is to me simply a baking vehicle, but as I cringe when my husband says the same of bread, please I understand it you love it, use your favorite and ignore me!)

Apples and lots of them, we used 10.
1t cinnamon
1t ginger
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
lemon juice - you can use vinegar you just need a bit of acid to keep the apples from browning while you work.
1/4 cup flour
3 T butter, melted
egg wash for brushing the top
sugar for dusting the top - ideally it should be a large grained sugar but regular will work
apple or apricot jelly warmed up.

A peak into the oven shows the Pumpkin too!
Peel, core and slice apples, as you work drop them into a bowl of cold water with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. When all the apples are done, drain them, add spices, sugar and flour to bowl with the apples, toss to coat well. Place one pie crust into pan, carefully layer apples into pie, top with second crust. Crimp edges, cut vent holes, brush with egg wash and dust with sugar, carefully pour melted butter into cut holes, bake at 325 until crust is completely done. brush with warmed jelly and sprinkle with sugar.

Thanksgiving Desert Table - Pumpkin pie

I decided to make a series of posts on the recipes we use for our Thanksgiving feast! We are in charge of deserts this year, while my sister is handling the rest of the meal. The girls helped me with all of this.

Pumpkin Pie
Before you start you need to bake the pumpkins. Cut them in half, scoop out the seeds (bake these later to munch on) and place the pumpkins cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 until they are nice and soft - about an hour. Let them cool, scoop out the flesh, and run through a food processor or squish up with a potato masher.

This recipe is from the Doubleday Cookbook Volume two. This is a go to book for me. I don't know if you can get it still, but whenever I see a copy of either volume, I grab them and give them away. So if you see one at a rummage sale grab it.

I modify nearly everything that comes across my hands.

One pie crust, unbaked
3 eggs lightly beaten
1.5 cups pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
1 T Whiskey (recipe calls for brandy)
1 T molasses (we used extra as I am using white sugar - this is because I am out of brown)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon (this is double the original recipe)
1/2 teaspoon ginger (this is double the original recipe)
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves

mix all ingredients together pour into pie crust bake at 450 for ten minutes, reduce temp to 325 and bake 45-50 minutes until filling is set (knife into center should come out clean)

Also I make my pumpkin seeds by cleaning all the pumpkin off, soaking them in salt water for a few hours, then marinating them in Worcester sauce, soy sauce, and a bit of hot sauce for a few hours. Bake them at 300 stirring frequently, watch this as burnt seeds smell bad and taste worse!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Musings

Now... I am hurrying to get a few things done before I go get the kids and the race begins. We have so many things tonight, that it is 2:14 and dinner is bubbling in the crockpot and my Mother in Law is coming over to take some kids one way while I take other in a different direction. Jim is on a business trip. It makes for a long week and for some reason I always try to add an extra project while he is gone. Once I emptied our bedroom and painted it. I am not looking for an big thing this time.

This weekend... I had a craft show in Elkhorn this Saturday. It was good. They have 7 locations across the city and run a shuttle all day. I was in one building and never left, but I would guess that there were 50 vendors just in my building. Sunday we cuddled, played board games, and I started to catch up on house work. I'll let you know if I every actually catch up, but the laundry is folded and put away and the stack of dishes is done to what could have been dirtied in just today.

Plan for this week... Keep up with the house and kids, get all my products listed on etsy, visit with friends, meet a another friend on her way out of state to O'hare airport, help my father clean out the room he wants to make his workshop - he is an amazing woodworker - and while there replace the wooden door front on one of my kitchen drawers. (ok there is a little surprise the husband project)

If I get some time for myself... Actually, I am taking it. I joined the local gym today. I went swimming and walking in the water - it is a sea water pool I really did not like the taste of what water got in my mouth - tried out the sauna and took a shower. I meet with a trainer tomorrow to be shown how to use the machines. I am excited about this. I am one pants size lower than I had been - I actually spent most of the day at the craft show hiking my pants up. At the end of the day, Dad told me I needed to get a smaller pair. I looked through the old jeans pile and found two pairs, one is good shape and one not so much.

I am grateful for... A joke my whole family played. Cats wiggle their butts right before they pounce. Jim was grabbing the last things from his office, the kids and I hid out of sight (almost) from the door and wiggled our butts. When he cleared the doorway the wiggling quickly turned to pouncing, he was not in a good mood, as he never really is before leaving, but he grinned as he got mobbed.

Prayerful intentions... I pray for civility and understanding, amongst the people and leaders of our people.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Yarn Along

Well it is a my picture is upside down kind of day.

On the needles: is my Christmas Sweater for Mouse. It is  Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system, with one inch 2-2 rib on all the cuffs. On size 4 needles, the Key is 162 stitches and the gauge is 5 stitches to the inch. The yarn is a German company's sport weight, 100%wool, which has been hiding in my stash for years after I picked it up thrifting, I think it was 99 cents a ball. I am sure you will never see it but the yarn is navy but up close there are fibers of gold, purple, and green within that blue. I want to do a colorwork yoke in some geeky pattern but have 8 more inches and two sleeves to figure out what one.

I have been slowly reading Sir Winston Churchill's The Birth of Britain Volume 0ne. Slowly because while it is interesting and his writing is everything you might guess it would be, I kept it on my nightstand. I am breaking that trend this week and hauling it around. William the Conqueror just died - to let you know where I am. 
The COE Handbook. Which is a awesome and intimidating look into all the work I will have to do to get my Certificate of Excellence in Handspinning.
Spinning for Softness and Speed by Paula Simmons, which is one of four pages of suggested reading for the course and interesting. I plan to work on learning the technique - which in involves only using the palm, ring, and little fingers of one hand to spin and she claims completely eliminates over-spinning and you can do without looking after you learn (hoping that claim holds up.)

Joining along with Ginny and everyone at the Yarn Along.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Coffee and COE

This is my answer to the death of my coffee maker. It cost 4.99 for the plastic and two bucks for a big box of filters. It takes a bit longer than the pod thing I had before and makes a much stronger cup than I had become used to, but this protest coffee works for me.

I started talking about the Handweaver's Of America's Certificate of Excellence in Hand-spinning, yesterday. I have been wanting to do this for awhile. It is a written and work project with roughly 40 skeins and at least 7 swatches. Your work is reviewed by a panel anonymously. This will be a ton of work but I am really excited.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday Morning Musing - Nov 7

Good Morning, Welcome to Breakfast!

Now... I am sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a soft boiled egg in one of the lovely egg cups the family got me for my birthday, I cracked it with the gizmo they got me for that purpose. I have almost got a handle on how to use it! I have coffee - first time in nearly a week - and a little fruit salad. I have the radio going and my dishes are not done, but the laundry is started and I am oxycleaning my dish towels in hopes of brightening them up.

This Weekend... Was recovery. We got the plague, or maybe it was only a stomach flu or two. Jim and Beaver never succumbed but the rest of us were out for the count! Truthfully Jim looked a bit green at gills at times and Beaver was working too much to be here to get it. But we are up and everyone is on to there tasks. I spent a bit of time worrying about how I would get everything that I had planned to do in two weeks done in one before my show on Saturday, the answer is of course that I won't.

Plans for this Week... Finish bleaching the house! Lysol the house! seriously this bug sucked and we don't want it again. Finish making stock for the holiday craft show in Elkhorn this weekend, tag all the stock I have not yet, list it on Esty and Square, make or buy table clothes and a little tree for our booth, Dye more. Plan Christmas Presents and next week's 4H Meeting.

Plans... Flip through the Certificate of Excellence in Hand Spinning  bibliography to determine what I have to read. Yes, I buried the lead I am going to try for my Certificate. It is a ton of work and just completing all the work is not enough. I want it to be really well done.  I will likely be testing in 2019 and I plan to post here about the work and my progress. I ordered the handbook to see if it was possible to make the next testing date - September 2017 - and I just don't think there is. have until February to make this decision so I think I will say that if I have read 3/4 of the reading listing, answered all the written work and finished - excellently - half the required skeins and corresponding swatches, I may decide to go for it.

If I have free time... I won't.

I am grateful for... Everyone feeling good today. A sick little Bunny last week, curled into my side with me reading her Agatha Christie Mysteries. A tiny Badger who needed Mom to be right next to her the whole while she was sick and figured the reverse was also true, she woke  at 3 am one morning when I crawled back into the bed too sick and exhausted to even pull the blanket back over me, she tucked it gently around me and held my hand. The not so little Mouse who terrifies me with his stoic nature and independence. And for my great big boy, Beaver, who turned 18 this past week.

As for Prayers... I intent to pray for our nation this week. I love my country. I hope that this country can move into something more civil, more encompassing, more loving, and more rational. I believe that words have power, that if we say often enough that our government is broken, or our country needs to be made great again, or our neighbors are horrible hateful people we make it so. We internalize these messages and make them true. I intend to pray for forgiveness to enter my heart for those who are making choices I feel have the power to destroy us. I pray I never have to hide anyone in my attic, but there is room if you need it. I love you, I am interested in your life, I hope it only gets better.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Morning Musings

My coffee machine died last week, I think it might be a planned breakdown, one of those cup machines, which despite understanding the extra cost and the weakness of the coffee, I really enjoyed. I loved the speed, the ease of use - I could manage to make myself coffee almost while sleeping, but certainly while sleepily making kids breakfast and packing lunches. I am not a morning person. I enjoy them occasionally, especially while camping, but in general morning and I have a detente. In answer to my sudden lack of coffee making and unwillingness to go buy a new one, I dug out the old espresso machine I took from my parents - they might have given it to me or I might have borrowed it and failed to return it - and made my college coffee. Which is a quad shot with a cup of steamed milk. If I am honest, it tastes so much better than my replicator coffee, but grind the beans, fill the cup thing, install the cup thing, re-install it because I put it on crooked, wipe up all the grounds I spilled, fill the machine, realize I forgot to close the steam tube thingy when really hot water hits my hands while I am digging around in the lunch container draw. This coffee is hard on the half asleep but coffee needing mom, it is loud enough to wake up the sleepy Badger - who hates mornings with a passion that makes my detente look warm and cozy - and way more economical. And tasty. Sigh. All good things are work.

Now... I am alone in the house, Jim on a business trip, thankfully a short one, and the kids are at school. It is quiet here the only sounds are the keys I am typing and the spin cycle on the wash. I am drinking my coffee, I have been up for 3 hours and am halfway through it. I have a yummy Macintosh apple scented candle, made by a sweet lady who own a shop here in town, burning. My dishes are 3/4 of the way done, I doubt I mentioned that the dishwasher is down. It started leaking slowly, then more quickly. It functions, but we can't get it to stop spitting water onto the tile counter, I hate the tile counter. It was installed poorly, it is two shades of dirty looking pink, and it cuts every shirt I own. It was the first thing I wanted to change when we bought the house, but new counters are expensive and other projects keep getting priority. The water spitting dishwasher has nearly made the counter a bigger priority, and while I am now hand washing all the dishes I have a vague but certain fear that one day the sink will just fall to my feet. Hopefully later.

This Weekend... We celebrated Butterfly's (she asked me to change her nickname to Bunny, so moving forward...) Birthday by having 5 girls from school join us for a  sleepover. One girl had a commitment in the morning so she only stayed until ten pm. My SIL and nieces also came over on Saturday. I think they all eventually had fun, but drama. I don't want to do this again. Dear Beautiful girls you can't all be the center of attention all the time, you have to take turns. They are nice girls, but this was too stressful and Bunny was in tears repeatedly. Their parents came by 10 am, and my kids and I did a fast turn around on frosting another cake and un-wrecking the house before the family came over at noon. We had a great day and way less stress.

Some Plans for the Week... Wash wool. re-organize my dye porch. Work on organizing my room, so that when I make the kids do theirs I don't feel like such a hypocrite and so I don't trip. Giraffe's Mom is come up today with some timbers she rescued to edge my garden in and I suspect we will neaten it up a bit. Make banana bread. We are having a picnic tea party this afternoon, between school and violin lessons, I expect this to be a regular thing, but to kick us off we invited a girl who is in violin and another friend and the moms. Both girls are friend with Badger and Bunny. Mouse has robotics so Giraffe and her mom are picking him up and we are all meeting up after for 4H. Their activities are non-stop until after 8 tonight.

If I Get Some Time to Myself... I want to walk, for exercise and fresh air.

I am Grateful For... Bunny, who is such a sweet young lady, she wants everyone to be friends. She is cute -sy and fluffy on the outside and brilliantly logical and rational at her core. I loved that she nearly stopped opening her presents yesterday to read the book her godfather & family gave her.

Some Prayerful Intentions for the Week... I pray that I hold down the fort and get all the necessary things done while my husband is away. I pray that racism, bigotry, and misogyny are ended in the hearts of all mankind. I pray that no one ever has to hide in anyone's attic.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Morning (Sort of) Musings...

Now... I am in my studio, listening to the History of Byzantium, drinking the cold end of my coffee. I have spent the morning getting myself organized, home and business wise. Time has moved quickly, and while I want to start crafting my tummy would like to point out that it is almost 1.

This Weekend... We celebrated Badger's eighth birthday. It was actually in August but she wanted to wait for the school year for friends and we have had a busy month with weddings, funerals, and birthdays. She had a great time. Friends and Family gathered and ate the cakes she made and one little girl stayed over night. Birthday season has begun in earnest and Little Seal is next in two week.

Some Plans for the week... That leads into my plans well as I want to make him a stuffed animal dragon. I want to do more work on my business, especially posting listing and such - so much more fun to spin and weave and felt - but work I much do. I also want to get my Christmas crafting plans started.  I also should clean up the garden and put it to bed and will be helping a friend harvest her grapes.

If I get some time for myself... I will likely fall asleep, as much as I like this new schedule, I am a bit run down from all the stress of the past month and feel very tired just now.

I am grateful for... my beautiful funny Badger, who loves to help and to bake.

Some prayerful intentions for the week... I will continue to hold Becca in my heart, she lost her mother to cancer this month. I want to work on my own intention to lose weight and exercise more. I view this in the prayerful section of these musings because it is my head and my heart that need to change. I need to find a balance in this area of my life.

I am off to find some lunch and wish you a good week. ~ Julia

Some highlights

 Many - though not enough - days at the beach with friends. Including seeing Giraffe (dear friend's daughter, here nicknamed as they are her favorite toys) experience the surf - dislike - and the sand  - loved it. Mouse built her a little pool to splash in and then we spent a long time building retaining walls and moving water. Even though this is Lake Michigan, the waves where very strong that day.
 Lots of fiber-y fun, this is a camel and sheep's wool blend.
 Homemade tasty treats, my granola shown here.

 Dehydrating food for our backpacking trip. I loved the trip and am attempting to lose some weight and get in better shape to hike more.
 Hiking trip breakfasts, my granola plus dehydrated banana chips, pineapple, blueberries, and cranberries. mostly it took me hours to finish eating a bag. Very tasty but a bit crumbly/messy.
 Gear and packing required a lot of thought I used everything I brought at least once, but in a fit of trying to lighten the pack the night before I left some things behind - long sleeve shirt, pj pants, drawing pad and pencil, flashlight (this was accidental,) hand sanitizer, and honey sticks - that I really could have used. A learning experience and due to friends not a horrific to endure one.

 Tiny little dishcloth I made to bring on the trip the day before!
First day back to school. A new schedule since Mouse is in middle school and has to be there by 7:12, the girls and I get to their school now well before supervision begins, so we play on the playground or in the van depending on the weather. Beaver has a new schedule for his last year in high school and doesn't have to be in until 9. Which makes morning bathroom fights all but disappear. I really think this new schedule is a boon to our family.

~ Julia

Friday, June 10, 2016

camping food prep

 We are going on Wednesday, so the prep has to be done soon. This trip we are expecting 13 people. Mostly everyone does their own food but shares adult beverages and snacks. Jim and I tend to experiment with food. Scratch that. I tend to experiment and He puts up with it and packs extra just in case food. One year I did all 1800's recipes including a rabbit stew (we both thought I could have gotten the same taste with a mix of pork and chicken & saved quite a bit of money,) crackers, and bread. One year I made a bake reflector oven and made cinnamon rolls. One year I did all 1700-1800 drink recipes. The ones that were basically a shot in cider or beer were good, some of the others were very not good. I won't do that as it required too many things and mostly I didn't like the drinks anyways.

This year we have the following and I am experimenting with some stuff at home and planning on doing the hiking trails at the campsite.

Skewer of chicken Lunch Wednesday (Jim)
Mushroom Hash Dinner Wednesday (Jim)
German pancakes breakfast Thursday (Julia)
Mussels stew & french bread lunch Thursday (both)
Fajita dinner Thursday (Julia)
Fish in foil corn on cob lunch Friday (Jim)
Bean and rice & cornbread Dinner Friday(Both)
Tortilla soup lunch Saturday (Jim)
Beef curry & Sticky rice Dinner Saturday (Friend&Julia)
Brats lunch Sunday (Jim)

 These two are attempts at photographing my horseradish infused vodka. At the top is my lemoncello. I got one large bottle of vodka and split it between the recipes. The lemoncello has sugar, water, and the peals of 5 lemons. I let it infuse for almost two weeks. I used a 8 inch long piece of horseradish grated and the vodka and let it infuse for four days - it smells strong enough to strip paint. I strained and bottled both today, discarding the lemon peal but I ran the horseradish through the food processor and jarred it for later use. 
Later today I will be starting on beef jerky and honey roasted nuts. I also plan to make banana bread and chocolate chips to take with, and have two types of home-brewed beer to bring along.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Yarn Along - flower explosion

Joining in with Ginny and the Yarn Along!

 In preparation for next weeks camping trip I dug out an old project. I plan on working on my milk sweater while camping, but as this is a pattern I need to pay attention to and there is definitely going to be drinking and too much sun. Not a great combo. I wanted a easy evening project for around camp. I started this several years ago, using up my bits and bobs of yarn. I paid little attention to yarn weight figuring I could even it out at assembly. I plan on making 100 flowers then crocheting them together with green yarn to have a flower garden afghan. I have misplaced the pattern! But the internet was good and I found it again - here! I have 58 done so far. When I was working on them before, I did not tuck my tails. I spent a few hours this week and got them taken care of. Behold the yarn shrapnel   
As for reading I am re-reading Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard. I really like her characters.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday morning musings - lists

I love them! recovering from prepping for and having a show for my yarn and such. It rained all the show day so I had to reorganize and dry everything. Luckily, Sunday was sunny and breezy. Here are my to do lists in recovery and in preparation for our up coming large group camping trip. The kids will be hanging out with their cousins and grandparents for the week (next week) so it is just the adults. A week long date with my husband, that we just happened to bring a bung of friends on... okay more like before kids trip. Okay, okay, we always end up spending time talking about how cool they are and how much we miss them, but adult time is important. These lists are not for the shop, just for me. I should get off my computer and get to work!

House – to do list
Find bedrooms
Find rec room
Weed wack around garden
Plant garden
Mulch garden
Buy sprinkler for garden
Rack wine

Camping Prep – to do list
Horseradish Vodka
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Snack mix (buy?)
Roasted nuts
Beef Jerky
Dehydrated peaches
Fancy bacon
Beef for jerky
Check sticky rice quantity
Chocolate chips
Tomato juice
Instant coffee
Whip cream can
Camping kitchen stuff (sort for two)
Bag or container for kitchen
Spice disk
Rack for Dutch oven
Baking dish for Dutch oven
Baking stone for Dutch oven


Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Morning

Right Now... I am waiting for the spin cycle to finish so I can hang the towels in the sun and start a new load of clothes. It is nine am and this will be the third load.

This weekend... We went up to the property to camp. Hence, all the dirty laundry, woodsmoke on clothes yuck, on a campfire yum. I accept that I am weird. I had a cold and did not want to go, but my husband really did. So I went. I had such a great time. He was right we all needed the screen free, outdoorsy together time. We connect up there so well and everyone seems to be bone deep happy there, I wish we just lived in the woods. It would not be the same I guess but it is what my heart wants. Hoping to go next week too.

Plans for the week... prep business for start of show (post on that here) visit with Angie - when the towel are hung - get the house cleaned up. Work a tiny bit in garden. Start walking 3 miles a day.

If I get anytime for myself... I would like to make a few skirts for me. I bought myself some new jeans for the camping trip, I had been thinking I should lose weight before buying new for long enough that what fit was not decent to wear in public and what was didn't fit well. I gave in and it felt so nice to be in clothes that looked nice and fit. I want more of that feeling.

I am Grateful for... the woods and the water, times when hungry children help make food over a fire, the stress falling from my husband and my shoulders when we walk into the woods.

Prayerful Intentions... I want to make a few more little shrouds and line them and to make a few hats for the Christmas at sea program.

What makes me Smile... Butterfly (all of them but her most as she was so certain she would never get it) shooting her arrows at the target Daddy built. Then her joy and certainty when he showed her how to aim and hit the target himself. Of course, Daddy can do anything!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Walk in the Garden, first work

 It is time to clean out the garden to make it ready for planting! This stone wall is along my back porch. The bushes right here are lilacs taller than my house. I am hoping to get them cut down this year.
 Once this is turned over I am planting peas and beans here.
 Twenty feet of chives. It was a mistake the first year. Every year the garden (nicknamed the garden of war due to me planting 'take over the garden' type plants to work against each other) at the end of the chives - looks like we are up to three rows now - is a couple of horseradish plants.
 Front square will be squash and lettuce this year along with the Borage that comes back each year. The back one will be Brussels sprouts and artichokes. I am slowly putting bricks around each bed with the money I get from recycling our soda cans.

 This area will be the expanded herb bed and dye plants, I will be putting only herbs that I need to replant each year here. My basil plants were all overshadowed by mints and oregano in the established herb bed last year.
It is kinda hard to tell but this is the main herb bed. I have lavender, rue, thyme, lemon thyme, oregano, lemon balm, garlic, and peppermint here.
 Honest, there are strawberries in this shot!
Blackberries and rhubarb. I especially want to make this are neater and prettier.

That's it for before shots!~ Julia