September 2, 2014

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May 3, 2014

Our Little Garden 2014

 

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This year we have made a lot of changes in the garden as well as a few new additions. I have a personal goal to grow wonderful tomatoes this year and am following the same tomato pruning and sucker reducing plan as Elise at Elisejoy.com.  ( Thanks for the great pruning ideas) Last year we had so much rain that it was almost impossible to get into the garden unless you got out the rowboat, everything got way too much water to survive. Our solution was to dig out the grassy patch and fill it with rocks to raise the path a little bit. We have had a lot or rain lately so we have been able to test out our theory and eventually had to add a few more bags to level things out. We have finally gotten it to the right height and even after 2 days of heavy rain we can get into the garden without boots or a boat. I switched up the mix in the garden this year too. We only had one flower in our garden last year. This year we are trying some natural pest deterrents and companion planting to increase our crop this year.

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We are still using the square foot gardening mindset and trying to maximize our small space for the best return. I learned a few things last year from some major failures. We have tried to grow tomatillos, either transplanted or grown from seed, the past 3 years. The seedlings never survived and last year we found some starts at our local nursery and tried one of those…. it grew beautifully. We had  a very vigorous  healthy plant with tons of blooms and strong branches, but we never saw any fruit forming. In July I started to get a bit nervous and started researching, turns out you really need 2 plants so that they can cross pollinate each other. So we know we can care for and grow the plants we just need more than one. We also had an epic battle with cutworms last year and lost almost all my seedlings and starts in the first month of our growing season last year. This winter we did a lot of prep work in the dirt to try to eliminate any little creatures that might be growing in there. We also saved as many toilet paper and paper towel rolls as we could  so that we could try putting those around our little starter plants to protect them in the beginning.

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We added a fun little spot of Lula to play this year and tried a sweet pea and sugar snap pea tee-pee for her. She picked out the seeds for the flowers and helped me plant them. She is very excited about putting ribbons on the top in the summer and I am thinking about weaving some scrap material  through the bamboo stakes to help the vines climb and make it a little more cheerful. kind of  like this little weaving how-to for kids from Acorn Pies.   I’m also planning on some ladybug habitats like these.

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April 27, 2014

Waste a little time today.

 

Words, Quotes

Waste a little time today I promise it will be worth it.

14 books to read in 2014

I’m wondering if this shelf system would work for all our canning this summer.

Spiral herb garden plans

This is the tomato growing guide I am using this summer.

 

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April 22, 2014

100 Happy Days

 

 

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I joined the 100 Happy Days challenge in March. So far I am a quarter of the way into the challenge and love it.  It’s simple, inspiring and has been a lot of fun. Most days I have a hard time picking out which picture I want to use. The best part ahs been the reminder that there are so many happy things that happen even on your worst day. A lot of people have asked me about the challenge and don’t seem to understand the idea or why I would want to do it.

 

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Honestly I am not doing this challenge for anyone but me. Yes, I am, posting the images for anyone to see but the reason behind them is completely selfish, I don’t care who likes them or how many people look at them. At the end of the day I feel better about how my day went and remember to think about the little happy things the next day.

Photo Mar 25, 8 14 55 AMPhoto Mar 26, 9 39 57 AMPhoto Mar 27, 2 17 22 PMPhoto Mar 28, 7 47 28 PMPhoto Mar 29, 11 25 21 AMPhoto Mar 30, 3 15 23 PMPhoto Mar 31, 5 43 44 PMPhoto Apr 01, 8 04 47 AM2014-04-02 20.54.13Photo Apr 09, 8 47 28 PMPhoto Apr 10, 7 14 41 PMPhoto Apr 11, 10 33 39 PMPhoto Apr 08, 7 42 51 AMPhoto Apr 06, 5 40 08 PMPhoto Apr 07, 2 14 13 PMPhoto Apr 05, 7 09 52 PMPhoto Apr 04, 8 54 34 AMPhoto Apr 03, 12 24 45 PMPhoto Apr 12, 8 45 15 PMPhoto Apr 13, 9 10 25 AM

Photo Apr 14, 7 16 53 PMPhoto Apr 15, 4 08 32 PMPhoto Apr 16, 6 29 25 PMPhoto Apr 17, 5 30 54 PMPhoto Apr 18, 12 47 29 PM

 

want to join the fun?

#100Happydays

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April 20, 2014

Waste some time today.

 

SprinkleBakes Bubble Gum Cupcakes with Gelatin Bubble Topper Tutorial 6

 

Waste a little time today, I promise it’ll be worth it.

These bubble gum cupcakes from Sprinkle Bakes look like so much fun.

What foods make you feel better and really are better for you when you are sick.

New idea for your Easter eggs next year.

Great idea for a perennial herb basket or window box.

This Ellen clip about Naked and Afraid made my week.

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April 13, 2014

Waste a little time today.

 

Waste a little time today. I promise it’s worth it!

 

These beautiful and very familiar photographs made my week.

I want to live my life as a Daymaker.

How to DIY your own sparkly gold star plates.

I want to make this and eat it as soon as possible.

Are you a giver a matcher or a taker? interesting book about 3 types of workers and who is the best for your business.

19 stupid posts…. number 13 and 16 made me laugh our load more than once.

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January 19, 2014

Canning Plan 2014

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Last year we made a wish list of what we thought would be great to can. We mostly looked through cookbooks and magazines to see what was actually able to be canned then just wrote down which recipe we wanted to try. We have kept track of what we used to most of and what we need to make more of this year and we still have a few jars that we just never really got around to trying. There were some things that sounded great but we either haven’t gotten around to eating or can’t figure out how to use yet. We kept this list in a tiny little notebook and I added notes as we tried things or if we needed to make more.

This year we are talking a slightly different approach and we made a list that includes things that we know we love to use and definitely need to make more of as well as things we found we bought a lot of and want to try canning at home and things that we just want to try out. Some things are just a type of food like kumquats or stock, others are new techniques like pressure canning or marmalade. I also started a new journal that is a bit more substantial than a little 3x4 notebook tucked in our canning cabinet. I am hoping to use it to expand on things we have already canned so that once we try them I can add little ideas. Like that our peach pie filling was delicious and smelled like summer when we opened it but maybe next year we should increase the ginger or add crystalized ginger before it goes in the oven to get some extra bite.

I want to try to focus on something new every month this year. Either a type of food like citrus or maybe a technique like pickling for the whole month and see what we can come up with. Join in if you are interested, or let me know if you have any ideas. I’ll try just about anything.  Our canning wish list for 2014 is here.

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August 30, 2013

30 days of circles



Photo challenge number 2 will be 30 days of circles starting tomorrow. I cant  wait to get started. Here is my inspiration and my only boundaries for this challenge. 

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noun
1. a closed plane curve consisting of all points at a given distance from a point within it called the center. Equation: x2 + y2 = r2.
2. the portion of a plane bounded by such a curve.
3. any circular or ringlike object, formation, or arrangement: a circle of dancers.
4. a ring, circlet, or crown.
5. the ring of a circus.
6. a section of seats in a theater: dress circle.
7. the area within which something acts, exerts influence, etc.; realm; sphere: A politician has a wide circle of influence.
8. a series ending where it began, especially when perpetually repeated; cycle: the circle of the year.
9. an argument ostensibly proving a conclusion but actually assuming the conclusion or its equivalent as a premise; vicious circle.
10. a complete series forming a connected whole; cycle: the circle of the sciences.
11. a number of persons bound by a common tie; coterie: a literary circle; a family circle.
12. an administrative division, especially of a province.
13. a parallel of latitude.
15. a glass or metal disk mounted concentrically with the spindle of a theodolite or level and graduated so that the angle at which the alidade is set may be read.
16. a sphere or orb: the circle of the earth.
17. a ring of light in the sky; halo.
verb (used with object)
1. to enclose in a circle; surround; encircle:Circle the correct answer on the exam paper. The enemy circled the hill.
2. to move in a circle or circuit around; rotate or revolve around: He circled the house cautiously.
3. to change course so as to pass by or avoid collision with; bypass; evade: The ship carefully circled the iceberg.
verb (used without object)
1. to move in a circle or circuit: The plane circled for half an hour before landing.
2. to iris (usually followed by in or out).
Idioms
1. Slang..to prepare for an all-out, unaided defensive fight: The company has circled the wagons since its market share began to decline.
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30 days of self portraits

This morning I took my last self portrait in my 30 day self portrait challenge. I have a few favorites and overall I really enjoyed this challenge. It felt really good to spend a few minutes everyday doing something that was out of the ordinary. A few of my favorites

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                                                                   All 30 self portraits

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August 29, 2013

Tomato, tomato, ginger

     
Cored, Blanched, peeled, chopped, cooked and canned. My first summer of tomato canning and it was pretty successful. Thank you so very much to the wonderful produce guy who sold me 35 pounds of Roma tomatoes for $15 when I only asked for 20 pounds. I am now almost completely out of canning jars. I Only have 4 oz and a few half pints left . Most of my canning this year has been done using Marisa McClellan's cookbook Food in Jars. Today I canned 6 quarts and 6 pints of chopped tomatoes, 3 quarts and 2 pints plus a half pint of marinara and 1 half pint and 2 half pint jars of pickled ginger with bay leaf and black mustard seeds. 

        

                                  
 I've always loved the pickled ginger that comes with sushi and thought. Would try my hand at making my own, I used a few different recipes for all over. In the end I used  my own combination of spices and vinegars. 
                   


Pickled Ginger with Black Mustard Seeds

 1 cup rice wine vinegar
 1 cup white vinegar
 3/4 cup sugar
 1 tbs salt
 1 lb ginger (sliced paper thin)
 2 tsp black mustard seed (divided)
 2 bay leaves

Peel ginger and slice as thin as possible.( I used a mandolin) toss in a medium bowl with salt and let sit for an hour. After and hour drain and rinse the ginger slices. Put vinegars salt, sugar and bay leaves in a medium sauce pan and beta over medium heat, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Bring to a boil and add ginger slices for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool while preparing your jars. Divided  mustard seeds between jars and using tongs or a slotted spoon pack ginger into your jars. Once the jars are packed pour remaining liquid over the ginger. Use a chopstick to loosen any air bubbles and refill with pickling liquid leavin a 1/2 in head space. Wipe clean rims and seal jars to finger tightness and process at a rapid boil for 15 mins. ( I added a small slice of beet to the pickling liquid as it was heating to add color.)




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