Friday, September 21, 2012

Beautiful bounty for a Equinox Evening


The fall is always a very full time for me.  School starting again and the preservation of food just picking up.  I feel like I always am needing to be somewhere or do something.  It gets overwhelming.  But most afternoons I can find a few minutes to get in the garden and gather a bit of the bounty I started from way back at the start of the season.  I clear away the spider webs (literally) and gather up the goodness, bring it inside and make it into something I can taste all winter long and enjoy.  In this case, it’s the roasted tomato sauce

I can’t wait to have my first batch, fresh out of the oven, with some spaghetti and some fresh corn I bought from a road side stand.  Perfect dinner for a fall evening like this. 


{this moment} - happy kids


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{Inspired by SouleMama}

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A friend for Logan

Look what Logan got for his first day of Kindergarten!


Logan named him Maximilian.


Some introductions went better than others.  Winking smile 


But he’s been here 3 days now and it seems that all is calming down and he is settling in well.


He’s a pretty sweet addition to the family!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mudcake Store is now OPEN!


This is one of many mudcakes that have been in my backyard these last few weeks.  My kids and the neighbor kids have all been invested in making the best mudcakes they can and finding the best combination of ‘batter’. 



The latest (and I am told, greatest) batter included the saw dust from the playhouse project to give hold to the mud as it was formed into layers.  I had never seen a three tiered mudcake before!! 



I wish I had gotten more pictures.  They even had a berry pie!


What fun and strange things were your kids into this summer?

Monday, September 17, 2012

My best and brightest canning posts of seasons past

I am buried…  In apples that is!  I have two laundry baskets full sitting in my kitchen and I am trying to start our school year, and Don’s parents are coming into town… all this week.  I figured that instead of sharing what I am doing now, I would share what I have done in the past that has been well loved.  Because most of what I am doing now is on there somewhere.  Enjoy!

Apple Peel Jelly

Zucchini Candy

Canning labels

Ginger Plum Sauce

Strawberry Applesauce

Lavender and Blueberry Jam

Sugar-free Canned Peaches

And my most loved and most used canning recipe ever -

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Happy Canning!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yummy overnight crusty bread!


Seriously?  Does that not look like something that you would find tucked into a brown paper bag at some fancy booth at a farmers market?

Overnight Crusty Bread recipe at Simply So Good.

I have made quite a bit of artisan bread this past year with the help of “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” and this recipe is EVEN EASIER!  You leave it over night and then you cook it in a cast iron Dutch oven.  I only have one Dutch oven, but I had to make two loaves for dinner.  My whole house smells divine right now! 


The first loaf is Pepperjack/Salsa Verde, the second is Sundried Tomato/Gruyere cheese. 


Both of these babies went to a squad potluck.  There were satisfactory “oooooh’s” and “ahhhh’s” from all attending.  I don’t think anything is quite as impressive as bread.  It seems like the thing that people don’t really make anymore.  So prepare yourself for many compliments from friends, even if you know how easy this bread is.  (And you better not tell.  Winking smile)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Campout in the Backyard Hideaway

Cyan and Logan camped in the playhouse the other night! 


Cyan is reading Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech.  It’s a wonderful poetry book about a little boy who’s dog passes away and he gets a cat as a replacement.  I highly recommend it to anyone around 10-14.  It’s a very sweet and funny book!


Morning came and before they got up I took them both cups of cocoa just like ‘real’ camping.  They were thrilled!


“Best day ever!!”

Apparently, at least one of the cats was out there with them all night long… keeping them warm.  The cats have taken quite a fancy to the hideaway as well.  For many reasons.


I call this picture “Cat Feeders”.

Friday, September 14, 2012

First day of school interviews– 2012-2013



Interview with Logan ~ First day of Kindergarten




Color - Golden

Season - Winter with the snow, but wait!  Halloween!  Those are both my favorites!

Food - Pizza!  Corn chowder and mac & cheese, and tomato soup.

Animal - It’s a River Monster - an Alligator Gar - but I haven’t watched all their seasons yet so I don’t know.  Something could be cooler.

What do you want to learn about this year?

I want to learn two things - piano and ninja moves.  I already know one.  I know how to build stuff pretty well.  I didn’t say I want to learn it…  just that I know how.



Interview with Cyan ~ First day of 6th Grade



Color - Peach (Like a sunset)

Season - Depends on the sun or snow.  Seriously, it depends on how much sun or snow there is.  Cuz if there’s lots of sun yu can go swimming and if there’s lots of snow you can go snowmobiling and that’s tons of fun!

Food - Potatoes

Animal - Horse

What would you like to learn this year?

More history with my friends.  I think the books “Love that Dog” and “Hate that Cat” were really good so I want to learn more about poetry and stuff like that.  I want to do singing lessons because I want to be a singer and I want to be a babysitter for dogs and children.  Like taking care of dogs.  Kinda want to learn how to make crepes because Alex doesn’t always want to do it… and pancakes!  I want to learn more about how to be in movies.  I think that would be cool.



Interview with Alex ~ First day of 10th Grade



Color - Ocean Blue

Season - Spring - I love all the colors.

Animal - felis domesticus - Cat

Food - Sliced apples and pickles

What do you want to learn this year?

I want to learn how to socialize and how to blow things up with chemicals.  I want to learn how to play the piano and how to actually draw stuff.  I want to learn basic gymnastics cuz I feel like I’d be good at it but I’d be terrified to do a flip cuz I feel like I’d break my neck!  I also want to learn to write fancy (calligraphy) and how to sing.  OH!  Walk a tightrope.  And photography.  That’s all.  Oops, I forgot, I want to learn to dance, too.


Let the school year begin!!!

{this moment} - Last camping trip



{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{Inspired by SouleMama}

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In my kitchen ~ 2:57 on a Thursday afternoon


I smell: white bean & sausage soup cooking on the oven with kale, onions, herbs, and carrots in it.   All from the garden.

I see: Cyan busily filling another pot for applesauce before Alex notices she has taken over his job at the corer/peeler/slicer.

I feel: pie crust dough under my fingernails as I try to lattice the crust on a blackberry pie with blackberries picked from the apple field.

I hear: Pracilla Ahn’s song “Dream”

Today, I am content.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The unveiling of our backyard hideaway!!

Tucked away in the trees and bushes in a quiet corner of our yard is this sweet little space…


It’s finally done! 


It has taken us all summer.  It was worth it though.  I can see my grandchildren playing in this cheerful space far far in the future.  We had wonderful help with the deck and the roof from friends, but most of this was The Man and me.  It was wonderful to work so well with him.  I think I have a handy husband in the making.  You would be amazed what we both learned!  (One of them was that we should take a few months between huge projects.  ;) )


  It’s under a beautiful maple tree that I wasn’t sure was going to make it through Ice Storm 2012, but it has come back beautifully and shades this area in such a way as to make a charming dappled glow.


I painted the chairs from Logan’s preschool table bright yellow and green and placed it right next to a window where you can watch sweet birds feeding from the feeder hanging by the eves outside. 


With two bird feeders and our entire birds nest collection in the rafters, I aimed for it to be as inviting for my nature loving kids as possible. 


I see many a school day sitting and watching the birds as they read in the mini easy chair I found for $5 at a garage sale this summer.

My kids have spent the last two weeks up there.  They have made a mud-pie/cake store, camped out inside (all fire inside was LED candles), and made a waterslide with a hose running down the slide.  Already, the spot is worth it’s weight in neighborhood friends, too!  Kids flock to our house just to see what I have finished on it that day.  During the waterslide day we had 11 kids here!


This is just the start of our backyard revamp in the next year.  We are going to do a bunch of work that includes fences, trees, and outbuildings that need to be remade or repaired, but this had to be first.  9 years in the making, this space is an incredible blessing for our family and I am so excited it’s done!  Bring on the last backyard BBQ’s of Summer! We are ready!