Monday, July 30, 2007


h/t to iHanna for this

I'm really not a Simpson's fan. I don't watch the show and probably wouldn't get most of the humor if I did. Steve took V and D to see the movie, I stayed home. So why did I feel compelled to come up with this?

go here to get yours.

Friday, July 13, 2007

she's home

Miss D is back from camp. Banquet was tonight and they gave out all of the awards and everybody had hugs and pictures and goodbyes. It's wonderful to see how much these kids love being at this camp and what great friendships they make.

D had such a wonderful time that she decided she didn't want to go to the Wilderness Camp and begged us to sign her up for another week of Bible Camp. Ummmm...okay. She's happy there and having a great time, what's not to like.

So once again we've packed up all of her belonging from the bunkhouse, brought it home to be washed, dried, folded and repacked so that she can go back on Sunday. I'm stunned by the sheer volume of STUFF that she seems to think she needs to bring with her - two suitcases so full that you need to sit on them to close them -- comforter, sheets, three (3?!?!) pillows and assorted hair products that wouldn't fit in the suitcase. I'm thinking she may not grow up to be a light traveler but that's okay, she's having fun and fun is what sleep-away camp is all about.

beach baby

Today I spent some time at the town beach with a friend and her young daughter. It's a nice little lake beach. The town brings in a truckload of sand every year to refill the shore and make it more beachy. It was a gorgeous balmy day, perfect for hanging out down there. It was wonderful to have a little picnic (my friend made guacamole but added kalamata olives into it which was a really nice addition) and watch all the kids running around squealing, digging, swimming and generally having a good time.

Admittedly it felt a little strange to be there without a kid of my own (because my beach baby is at camp) but I think I can handle it.

One funny observation, there's a new food truck in town, a hot dog stand. It was set up there for about two hours. Then it left and five minutes later the ice cream truck came by. They must have some sort of deal so they are not competing for the same customers (remember this is a small town and a tiny beach). But I thought it was pretty amusing that if you timed it right you could get lunch and dessert without having to leave the beach. That's big news around here believe me.

fine art and the farm

Today I went to the farm. Lovely as always. It's so wonderful to run into people I know. It's even wonderful to run into people I don't know. Everyone seems to smile a lot when they are at the farm. The kids are running around barefoot and dirty footed having fun. The adults seem to slow down a bit, it's a leisure break that is also productive.

Today's share was amazing to say the least. Pick your own was peas, flowers and basil (more yummy pesto coming up!). Then in the barn we selected lettuce, salad mix, zucchini, cucumbers, five tomatoes (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm tomato sandwiches mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm), carrots, garlic scapes, fennel (I took one even though I am the only one in the family who will eat it -- not sure what I'm going to do with my prize just yet but it will be delicious I am sure), and broccoli. I am certain that I got more than my $24 worth but believe me I'm not complaining.

The image above is called Country Road by Lene Casey. Found on Art.Com.


It's Favorite Ingredients Friday (Healthy Edition) from Overwhelmed With Joy. In the summer we usually eat foods that are a lot lighter. Since we belong to the CSA our menus also incorporate lots of fresh veggies, yum. One of my absolute favorites is a frittata. Here's the recipe:

In a large cast-iron or other heatproof pan lightly grease and heat.

In a separate pan lightly sautee thinly sliced onions and minced garlic

In a container mix together:

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 t. mustard beaten into eggs
pinch of salt
generous pinch of herbs de provence

pour egg mixture into pan.

top with:

thinly sliced fresh veg
favorites are asparagus, spinach, tomato, summer squash, combinations of the above

top with grated cheese

Turn oven on to broil

Cook over medium heat until bottom of eggs are firm

remove pan from stovetop and place in oven under broiler until top is firm (usually 2-3 minutes)

Remove from oven, slice into quarters and serve.

Delicious when paired with a fresh spinach salad and a hearty whole grain bread.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Okay, Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman are geniuses. However I'm starting to get concerned. Do they have a secret camera in my house?

Want proof? Look here, here and here.

gardening today

Steve and I worked in the garden today, weeding mostly but a little bit of transplanting and trimming as well. I have come to realize that my idea of an ideal garden has changed dramatically. I used to dream of big, lush, overflowing gardens. Riots of color and nooks, meandering, etc. All those lovely magazine type ideas come to mind.

The areas of the garden that now bring me the most pleasure are my herb/fruit gardens and a section that has flowers in it. I do take care of the rest of it to the best of my abilities but having ripped out a large section of the garden I have come to the stunning realization that I am not a large scale gardener anymore. I am looking forward to the redesign of the back yard and then possibly considering redoing the front yard to make it more manageable and allow me to concentrate on the areas of the yard that I enjoy the most.

I know so many people who garden constantly and are continually on the prowl for the newest botannical score. We were attracted to the house in part because of the garden but it has proven to be more than we can handle. Amazingly enough I find that I am not sad about this as I had thought I would be.

last night

was Stitch Sisters. It was REALLY hot!!! I brought a standing fan to the meeting to help us all stay cool. It was a really fun meeting (of course when are they not fun?). One bit of silliness...we celebrate birthdays. I got someone's birthday wrong, brought a present and made someone bake a cake! In this hot, humid, awful weather yet. Turns out her birthday is next week. So it was a big surprise. Oh well.

I finished seaming up the sweater. It's too tight!!! I'm setting it aside for now and will start working on our charity blanket square. It's too hot to do the neck and waist bands. Unfortunately I can't take out the seams and put in panels as one sister suggester because I have run out of the purple yarn. Also unfortunately I have gained 15 pounds since I started the sweater over a year ago. Not sure who will be the gift recipient when it is done but I admit to a twinge of sadness as I had wanted my first sweater to be for me. Another oh well.

Monday, July 02, 2007

my evening

The bread came out fine. Very tasty, not as hole-y as the all-store-bought-flour version but very tasty nonetheless.

The red currant tart was delicious!

My latest google search? Look here and that will give you a hint of what I've been doing this evening. Now it's time for bed.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


I often hear about people who have odd searches that lead to their blog. This usually doesn't happen to me. Today in checking my blogstats I did see one odd search that lead to me

can a weimaraner eat water chestnuts

I don't recall ever mentioning weimaraners on my website (although I love Oliver. I'm also wondering why someone would want to know this...most dogs eat anything whether they are allowed to or not.

Well, it made me smile anyway.

whew, i'm tired

It's been a long afternoon evening. I've made 9 jars (8 oz) of Rhubarb Apricot Jam, so I've gotten my yearly allottment in. Not sure if I'm going to make another batch of Rhubarb Lemon since I'm the only one who likes it. Last year I made Rhubarb Blackberry Jam using frozen blackberries that I had on hand. This year I've cut up the rhubarb and frozen it for use when the blackberries are ready.

I also picked more currants. It's beginning to become a contest between me and the birds. I did get enough to make a red currant tart tomorrow. I'm hoping the rest will ripen enough that I can get them tomorrow as I really want to make some red currant/raspberry syrup.

In going through my cookbooks for recipes I started re-reading my Mom's book. Preserving Memories: Growing Up in My Mother's Kitchen I really like reading this book in part because she's a great writer but also because I love the stories. The recipes are neat too. I'm trying to decided between making her Rhubarb Ginger Jam and trying Rhubarb Pickles from another cookbook. The pickles sound interesting but I'm not sure if anyone in my family will eat them. I should confess that I still have two jars left from the Watermelon Pickle that I made a couple of years ago. I'm the only one who likes it and even I can't eat an entire widemouth pint jar of the stuff.

While I was in the kitchen I started another batch of kombucha. Not hard to do but it kept me busy washing pots as I moved from one activity to another.

Then I began a batch of the no-knead bread that is still going around bloggityville. I confess that I think my experiments with making this bread completely with fresh ground flour are grinding to a halt. It's not working well and I'm getting fed up with not being able to figure it out. Half fresh ground and half store bought seems to be the best I can do. Usually I make it with spelt flour but decided to try using half Ezekiel flour and half store bought. We'll see how it turns out. Research has not come up with anyone else who has successfully made this bread completely with fresh ground flour (unless they're not telling) althoug a few people have blogged about trying or wanting to try. In any event the bread is delicious and my family loves it which is all that really matters.

It has been a busy evening.

grains of gratitude

Started by Christine this blogprompt has certainly begun to spread it's way through the blogosphere. I love reading other posts and really to enjoy taking the time to think about what I am grateful for (even if I don't post it every week).

This week I am grateful for:

  • The wonderful weather we have had. Yes it has been hot at time but it has been sunny and beautiful, the birds are singing, the butterflies and bees are out. It's really been fabulous.

  • D having such great camps to go to. Last week was a career camp to try and convince girls to consider careers in math and science. They had a fun field trip, did a confidence course at a wilderness center and had a great time doing experiments and making new friends. Today of course she is at Bible camp for her second year and so happy to be there.

  • Having the opportunity to do community service. These days it doesn't always happen or if it does I find myself feeling overwhelmed by it. Filling the gaps here and there seems to work best for me.

  • All of the fruit that we are starting to harvest from our property. I LOVE that.

  • My hard-working wonderful husband who comes home from a long day at work and still helps pick currants and fix raspberry fences.

  • My farm share. Reconnecting with the farmers, other share members and the peaceful quality of my time there. Not to mention the yummy food. Our dinners have been great lately because there is so much fresh produce to work with. We all love it.

  • My ipod nano. I have been listening to several very thought provoking and some very funny podcasts this week (catching up). I'm really glad to have this little device that allows me to listen to my shows when it is convenient for me instead of being tied to the radio or the computer on a schedule.

    There's more, there always is, but this is a great list of things to be grateful for. The fact that there's more is even more of a blessing.

    check out what others have to say

  • camp

    I have dropped D off at camp. She's thrilled to be there. Some of her friends from last year were there already. One of her counselors is the same as last year. She got a top bunk (and these things are three beds high!). And I bought her lots of vegan goodies for Chef J to store in his kitchen for her. What's not to like. Two weeks no parents no sisters in a real old-fashioned camp. There's nothing like dropping off a happy child. She'll come home for one night in between and then return the next day because they need that day for clean-up before the next session.

    On the way home from dropping her off I stopped and bought a magazine, a puzzle book, chips, cookies, and a disposable camera. I was going to send gum but she already had her own private stash of 4 super packs so I figured she had enough.

    I can't wait to hear about her camp adventures when she gets home.


    D and I volunteered in the nursery at church today. It was not that difficult as we only had one customer...a beautiful curly-headed, blue-eyed chubby blond. She is 11 months old and very sweet. We had lots of fun playing, reading, giggling. It was great.

    When church was over on the way out I notice a huge box marked "Summer Reading" full of freebies to take. Wow! I restrained myself and only took three books:

    Return of Merlin because it looked interesting. I didn't know he wrote fiction.

    Georgiana: Dutchess of Devonshire which also looked interesting. I always like period stories and this one sounds pretty good.

    Chang and Eng because they were interesting. I really don't know anything about then other than the fact that they were famous conjoined twins who lead remarkably full lives.

    Reading continues apace this summer. I'm finishing up How Doctors Think which was recommended by my sister-in-law's sister. It's a fascinating book and certainly gives you pause for thought when thinking about medicine and medical matters. It also underlines that the few times I have had to practically stand up and shout at a doctor to be heard I was right to do so.

    I also started reading The Historian which my other sister-in-law had lent me. It's quite good and I am enjoying it very much but I am saving it for bedtime reading so I'm not getting through it very quickly.

    It's funny, I have dropped out of the reading challenges because I felt overwhelmed by how prolific these other readers were and how thought-filled their lists seemed to be. I now realize that I don't need to have a "challenge" in front of me to read. I love to read. It's more a matter of making the time in my busy life and making sure that I am reading what grabs me at the moment.

    Even funnier my local library misses me, when I run in to drop off magazines and plunder the magazine basket they remark how long it's been since they have seen me and ask me what I'm reading. I guess I'm very fortunate to have all these wonderful books flowing into my life these days from whatever source they arise.

    What is anyone else out there reading? Just curious.