Saturday, September 29, 2012

The End and The Why

As if you haven't noticed, this blog has been neglected. I really am not spending the time posting. Not because I don't think about it. Actually, it's quite the opposite. I see something or do something that where I think, "This would be a good blog post." Like the other day, I made distilled rose water. I used my canning pot and made a distillery to create this wonderfully aromatic water from our organic rose petals growing out by the garden. I thought about snapping all the photos and making up the post but then I wondered, "When would I do that? Do I even have the time to do that?"

So, in short, this blog will be ceasing and I'm going to spend my time doing things like:

Spending time in the Word.
Digging the rest of the potatoes and onions.
Schooling my children.
Keeping a house that my husband is glad to come home to.
Tending animals.
Butchering turkeys and hogs.
Writing letters of encouragement to friends.
Taking hikes.
Going fishing.
Taking walks and bike rides with my children.
Volunteering where needed.
Baking our daily bread.
Keeping up on the business bookwork.
Being the example that I want my children to grow up to be.

And not wasting my time being idle on the computer. It will be for the benefit of my children, the benefit of my husband and the benefit of my relationship with the Lord.

Thank you to everyone who has followed along all these years. Those of you who have made kind comments and those of you whom I'd count among friends now. It has been a blessing to me and I pray that it has been one to you as well. You ladies that manage your homes, and raise children, and farms and still have the time to blog everyday or even a couple times a week amaze me! It's just not where I am right now though. And so I'll say farewell to you wonderful readers. Blessing to you abundantly!

In Christ,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Some Summer Sewing

Summer is not usually the time I get too much sewing in. The sun is out, the garden needs tended as do the animals. It's the time to head to the river and the farmer's market. A time to pick berries and make jam.
But I have managed to get a little time in with my machine over the past few months. Too bad the time wasn't spent on a quilt. But that's what winter is for anyway, right?

 Here's an apron I made. (Pattern from here.) My dearest girl friend and I both decided to make this apron together. I think that we started them last winter?? I don't remember. All I know is that we finally brought our aprons back out a few weeks ago and I finished mine. Just in time too because this Gathering Apron is a winner for harvesting in the garden! 

Here is the apron down. You could absolutely wear this as a regular house apron. Apparently, Ms. Thanksgiving turkey felt as though she should be included in the shot.

Here is the apron gathered up and ready to be used in the garden!
The apron is absolutely wonderful and I know that I am going to get so many great years of use out of it. Probably until it's thread barren. Then I'll make another!

My second sewing project that I accomplished last week was a jumper for Timber. Sewn without a purchased pattern.
I just took a jumper from her closet and some Swedish tracing paper, a pencil and some scissors, and of course, some fabric and went at it. I traced the bodice and then took the measurements of her skirt. I did cut out a half bodice on the Swedish tracing paper to use as a guide for cutting. The skirt was 2 rectangles sewn together so that didn't need any special cutting.

I was really happy with the way it tuned out. I purposely made the bodice a little larger than what was on her current jumper but later regretted that decision. There is a little too much room in the front and back and it could be taken in right down the center about an inch. All in all though, for the $6 I paid for the fabric (that Timber picked out at Wal-Mart), the maybe $.50 or so for the tracing paper and my time one afternoon. It was worth it.
Maybe next time Timber will crack a smile for the camera. But I won't get my hopes up.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Garlic Harvest

This year has been a different kind of year in the garden. I haven't weeded or mulched as much as I normally do so in between the rows some of the grass has gotten a little out of hand. We're just starting to harvest our produce. Things like green beans, strawberries, broccoli, carrots and peas are coming on now. Normally we have already harvested our peas, back in July, but this year with the later rains and the not so sunny/warm summer they came on very late.

Another thing that has been a little peculiar has been our garlic. I planted seed garlic that I purchased from Azure Standard. This is my 3rd year planting garlic seed from them. I have always been very pleased with how it grows and the size of the yield. I'm sure that it was the strange weather we've had this summer that takes the credit for the garlic being so different.

Our largest bulb measured 3" across and our smallest measured only 1.25"across. Our largest, along with a couple others it's size, was almost 3 times bigger than the little ones! They were all from the same seed and all planted in the same bed so I'm not too sure why some did so well and others did not. Last year, it seemed that all of the garlic was large and did exceptionally well.

We harvested 22 bulbs and that will last us until next August when I harvest again. Now I'll tie all of the garlic up and hang it in the garage for storage and use.
Do you grow garlic? How was your harvest this year?

This post is linked to the Barn Hop.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The County Fair & Camping & Everything Else

Wow. Over a month since a post. You know it's summer!
Here's what we've been up to........
 Layton and his ribbons from fair.
 Miss Timber Ann and hers.
 Our county fair was the first weekend in August and we entered a number of things. Our most exciting entries though were our chickens! Both Layton and I entered hens this year in the fair and Layton also entered our drake Magpie. We had a great time. As with every fair, there were things that we entered that we were sure would be first place winners.......which got nothing! and then things that we didn't even expect to be noticed that won first! Each year is a surprise!

We've also been camping.

 Picking blackberries from a small patch in the field.

 Cooking hot dogs for our second nights meal. The first night we were treated to....

TROUT! Caught by the world's best 5 year old fisherman! (And yes, the barefoot 2 year old is flailing a hatchet. Thankfully it's rather dull.)
Watching Daddy gut the fish and then cooking it. After it was cooked and we divied it up, I asked Layton if he wanted any. He looked at me and said, "No Mom, I caught that for my family to eat." His heart just melted mine. What a sweetheart.

We spent 4 wonderful days in the back woods and loved every minute of it. Well, except nap time in the tent when it was 90 degrees outside. Thankfully our tent was mostly shaded. And the creek was less than a 1 minute walk from camp.

I took a survey of all the trees there and found that most of them were very straight. I mentioned that to my husband and told him that we could probably easily build a cabin with what was available there. While he liked the idea, the hour and a half drive to work everyday turned him off slightly.

The garden is finally producing. We're eating peas and green beans and broccoli along with some strawberries and spinach. The hoop house is like a jungle and we've been getting lots of cherry tomatoes and a few plum size ones too. I have a huge Brandywine in there that I am waiting on so very patiently. I can't wait till it's red! The Delicata squash is also looking great. I can already taste the buttery nuttiness of it paired with some wild rice this fall.

And speaking of fall........are we already almost there?! Hunting season starts this month. Archery begins this weekend and rifle starts next month. Here's hoping we'll have some venison to butcher too!

 Last but certainly not least, Wyatt and his BMX bike. He's 14. Have you had a teenager? O.k., then you know what it's like. He specifically asked me if I could post these pictures on my blog. He also wanted to know if I could upload videos. I think he may be thinking of hijacking it and turning it into a blog all about BMX.
 Ya gotta love that kid!

I hope that your summer has been wonderful!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Using Herbs - Red Clover Fritters

What is it about summer that makes me want to fry food? Maybe it's the whole "county fair" mentality with yummy corn dogs and funnel cakes. Or maybe it's the picnics with fried chicken. Whatever it is, this is my second post this month with something fried! And today, we're frying up some red clover to make...

Red Clover Fritters.
Bet'cha never heard of that, huh? Since a few people asked me for the recipe, I'm sharing it here.
But, red clover you say? Why would I want to eat that? Isn't it a weed?
Red Clover is a wonderful herb that almost everyone has growing either on their property or close by. You'll find it out in fields, down by beaches, up in the mountains, practically anywhere. It is a wonderful healing plant that has been used for treating conditions ranging from coughs to cancer. It is also a blood thinner.

Pick red clover at it's peak, when the blooms are vibrant, soft and fluffy. To harvest, simply place your finger tips around the base of the flower and pull upward, popping the top off. You can use the red clover fresh for eating, fry them into fritters, or dry them for making teas and infusions later. They are very fragrant when dried and smell wonderful!

~Red Clover Fritters~
1/3 c organic whole wheat flour
1/3 c organic cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 organic egg
1/3 c organic whole milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tb raw honey
dash cinnamon
dash allspice
Oil for frying (preferably organic coconut or sunflower)

Mix dry ingredients together and add in egg and milk to make batter. Dip whole clover into batter and drop into hot frying oil. Fry until golden. Drain and serve!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Indian Tacos and Fry Bread

Before I moved to this part of the country state (really, it does feel like a different country, California is HUGE) I had never heard of Indian Tacos....or doughboys (which are essentially the same, in my opinion, except tossed with cinnamon and sugar.) Actually, I'm not sure that anyone else has ever heard of these. Unless you live in Del Norte County. If you have, please let me know. I'd like to think that we are somewhat normal up here!
Anyway, getting back to my post..........
This fry bread is a wonderful and yummy, non-healthy alternative to tortillas. I know, I know. Usually I am all about eating what IS healthy and fighting all that junk food off with a stick but once in a while a girl has to cave. Like when it comes to doughnuts. Mmmmmmm, doughnuts.
I'm getting off track here again............
So, fry bread. It's easy, it's yummy and it requires very few ingredients. The thing is, some of the recipes you'll find on the internet don't mention the secret step in getting your fry bread to turn out wonderful. Actually, they guard against it. Kneading. Want good fry bread? You're going to have to knead the dough and then let it rest for a bit. Trust me. I've tried it the other way and nothing good came of it.

Here's my recipe:
2 c flour
1 Tb baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c milk
Oil for frying (I like to use sunflower oil)

Mix dry ingredients, then add milk. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead for apx. 5 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before pulling apart into 5 pieces. Roll or squish, with your hands, dough into a round, thin, flat shape and fry in hot oil.

Now, you can use this as a taco base and add things like refried beans, ground beef, iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, olives, sour cream, shredded cheese - whatever you like on your taco- to the top and use a fork and knife to eat it.
Or, you can toss the just fried bread with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar for a dessert.
Either way, they are yummy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Power in Prayer

My Bible study group is currently going through Wayne Mack's book, "Reaching the Ear of God; Praying More... And More Like Jesus" and it has been such a wonderful study. Challenging, eye opening, and convicting to say the least.

We're currently reading Chapter 11 and Mr. Mack shares some thoughts from Charles Spurgeon. After reading this quote, I had to share it. I am so in awe at how the Bible was relevant at it's beginning for the people of the day and is still completely relevant in 2012. And at how godly men such as Spurgeon can look at the world, as it was then, give a speech and still have those words resonate over 100 years later.


Would it not be a vile crime if a man had an eye given him, which he would not open? Or a hand that he would not lift up, or a foot that grew stiff because he would not use it? And what must we say of ourselves when God has given us power and prayer, and yet that power lies still? Oh, if the universe was as still as we are, where would we be? Oh God, Thou hast given us light by the sun, and the sun shines with it. Thou hast given light even to the stars and they twinkle. To the winds, thou hast given force and they blow. And to the air, Thou hast given life and it moves, and men breathe thereof.

But to thy people, Thou hast given a gift that is better than force and life and light, and yet they permit it to lie still, forgetful almost that they wield the power, seldom exercising it though it would be blessed to countless myriads.

Weep, Christian man. Constantine, the emperor of Rome, saw that on the coins of the other emperors, their images were in an erect posture triumphing. Instead thereof, he ordered that his image should be struck kneeling for he said that's the way in which I have triumphed. We shall never triumph till our image is struck kneeling.

The reason we have been defeated and why or banners trail in the dust is because we have not prayer. Go, back to your God with sorrow, confess before Him that you were armed and carried bows but turned your backs on the day of battle. Go to your God and tell Him that if souls are not saved it is not because He has not power to save, but because you have never travailed as it were in birth, for perishing sinners. Wake up, wake up! Be astonished, ye careless ones! You who have neglected prayer, you sinners who have been at ease.

Wake up, wake up, yourselves! Wrestle and strive with your God, and then the blessing shall come. The early and the latter rain of His mercy and the earth shall bring forth plenteously, and all the nations shall call Him blessed. Look up and then weep.


Oh, how that convicts my soul. Prayer is the most valuable and powerful tool that He has given me and yet I often fail to use it!
Lord, I pray that I would use the power you have given me to its fullest extent. That I would be more mindful, in prayer, not only of those around me and those connected to me but of those that are lost and need you. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

"The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is established, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting." Psalm 93:1-2

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The 2012 Garden

It's finally here! Time to plant the garden.
We got the hoop house finished this past weekend so now we have even more growing space.
Here's what we're planting in the garden and hoop house this year:
Everything is from seed unless otherwise noted.

Blue Lake Pole
Black Valentine Bush
Royalty Purple Bush

Green Arrow
Oregon Sugar Pod II
Little Marvel

Nantes Scarlet

All Blue
Modoc Red

Regal Hybrid

Experimental- from cut base of celery purchased at store

Bush Delicata

Sage (from start)
Oregano (from start)
Basil (from start)

Gray Mammoth Sunflowers

Tomatoes (all from starts):
Silver Fir Tree
Sweet 100
Gold Nugget

Yellow (sets from feed store)

I'm really excited about our tomatoes this year! This will be the first time that we will be able to plant and EAT heirloom tomatoes grown here at home. I went with earlier variety heirlooms just to be on the safe side. Do you have a favorite tomato that you grow? I'd love to hear about it. Now that I feel I can grow almost any variety, I'm in tomato heaven!

Monday, May 14, 2012

For Lack of a Better Post

Ya see, I have about 3-4 posts that are half written. And I just haven't had the time to finish them to publish! So, for lack of a better post, you'll get a whole lot of pictures and not so many words. A picture is worth a thousand words anyway so I'll let them do the talking for me.
In no particular order.........

Enjoy your week!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Hymns

~ At Calvary ~

Years I spent in vanity and pride,

Caring not my Lord was crucified,

Knowing not it was for me He died

On Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;

Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,

Till my guilty soul imploring turned

To Calvary.

Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,

Now I gladly own Him as my King,

Now my raptured soul can only sing

Of Calvary!

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!

Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!

Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span

At Calvary!

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;

Pardon there was multiplied to me;

There my burdened soul found liberty

At Calvary.

He is my glorious King! I pray that your Sunday is restful and blessed.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Hymns

~Thou Art Worthy~

Thou art worthy, Thou art worthy,

Thou art worthy, O Lord,

To receive glory, glory and honor,

Glory and honor and pow'r;

For Thou has created, hast all things created,

Thou hast created all things,

And for Thy pleasure they are created:

Thou art worthy, O Lord!

Revelation 4:11

May your Sunday be blessed!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Twirl Skirt

Timber has been begging me to sew for the last few days. Each day I have felt overwhelmed with the tasks that need done and have been putting it off. So last night when she asked after supper, we began.
She said she wanted to make a skirt.
And I said, "One that twirls like your dress?"
"YES! YES!" she replied.

So with no pattern (as evident from the photos!) we began cutting fabric. Fabric she had picked out of my stash. We almost got the entire skirt sewn before bedtime. This morning we put the elastic in the waist and it was complete.
Then she asked if she could wear it outside. Wyatt said as she walked out the door, "Mom, are you sure Timber can wear that skirt outside? It's her new one!" I thought about it for a minute. After all, it did rain yesterday and the day before and all we have around the property is gravel, grass and MUD.

"Yes, it's o.k. that she wear it." I replied. After all, how fun are twirling skirts if you only get to wear them once in a while? It's going to get already dirty. Now it's officially broke in. And she loves it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

the getaway

Last Saturday our family had the opportunity to head WAY back into the hills. Ya know, the kind of place that no one wants to go because it is too far of a drive and there is NOTHING around for miles. Well, nothing but God's creation and a bunch of old mines... and blue butterflies! Everywhere!
and fishing holes/swimming holes...
and wildflowers...
I told my husband that when we go camping there this summer I want to stay for at least a week....maybe a year.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hoop Houses and Other Happenings Around the Farm

*I use the term "farm" lightly. Growing chickens, turkeys, hogs, gardens and kids on one acre may classify as a small farm I suppose.*

We've been working around the homestead hoping that the sun we're seeing (in between the bouts of rain) really is a sign of spring...with a summer on the way.

So, what have we been up to?
Well, first let's do a poultry count. These numbers aren't pretty folks. Over the last 2 months we've lost 2 ducks, 1 turkey, 1 hen and 2 chicks to different causes.

(A few of our older chicks that are in the coop already)

The last one though was hard to take. While the smallest chicks were free roaming just outside the barn the other day, it was breezy. Maybe more like windy. Windy enough to blow down a small piece of plywood that was up against a fence. Guess what was standing right under the plywood when it fell? Yep. Layton's chick for fair. How is it possible that out of the 14 or so chicks that are in there, the board had to fall on his one fair chicken??!
Well, it's a good thing that mama has learned from experience and when we got his chick for fair, we also got back up chick #1 and back up chick #2. While he still has a chicken to show, he lost all the work he had put into handling the first chick. Thankfully fair isn't until August so he still has time to work with this new one.
With the losses, we're currently standing at: 8 laying hens, 1 rooster, 22 chicks and 2 ducklings. I'm praying for no more losses!

Part of our problem with losing poultry is that the back of our property is not fenced. And around here, some folks allow their dogs to wander about the county without any thought. Dogs that like to kill chickens.

So, instead of sitting out all summer with a .22 we cross fenced the back.My husband is amazing. Have I ever said that? He is. His hands produce the most wonderful things. And our fence was no exception. Now all we have to do is fence the back of the property and I've got an amazing area for a small goat barn and pasture. Then I just need to convince my husband that goats milk really is wonderful.

Have I also mentioned before that we have a very short growing season here? Not Alaska short, but short. We start to plant late May/early June (when most of you are all already harvesting your first round of green beans and peas) so growing tomatoes here is difficult to say the least. Unless you grow cherry tomatoes in your garden. And we do. They are wonderful. But sometimes a girl longs for a huge, ripe, sweet, slicing tomato to add to a summer sandwich.
I think this may be my summer. We are going to build this hoop house:

The plans are from here. Just incase you want to build a quick, inexpensive green house for yourself. We're talking less than $150.00.
I can already taste the sweet goodness!

And it looks as if I already have my Head Waterer for the hoop house.

Sorry that this post is so long but I find that as the weather gets better, and the Lord works on my heart more about my jobs here at home, that I have less time to blog and therefore need to pack as much as I can into one post!

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