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August 22, 2014

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment ...

{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."If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

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August 19, 2014

August Garden











Is it already mid-August? It seems like only yesterday I was looking at my snow covered garden wondering if I ever was going to be able to start planting, and here we are at the height of harvest.  So many wonderful things are coming from the garden now...zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, green peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, beans...oh, the beans; they just keep producing by the bucketful!  My plan to plant one row for summer eating and two for preserving has worked better than I expected. The freezers and pantry are filling up quite nicely with 8 quarts of dilly beans recently being added to the shelves. I used a traditional dilly bean recipe from my Ball Blue Book, not yet daring to delve into the world of fermentation.  After a very unsuccessful attempt to make sauerkraut, I haven't had the nerve to try fermenting again...oh, I shudder when I think of that disastrous outcome.

Meal planning this time of year is so easy. Some type of meat, usually grilled, or pasta and fresh summer vegetables are standard summer fare here on the farm.  Sauteed zucchinikale salad, and Asian style slaw have been dinner favorites the past few weeks.  I love being able to stroll to the garden in search of our dinner meal, so rewarding and so peaceful.

My attentions have now turned to harvesting and many of the weeds have been allowed to take hold.  I did, however, grab a few Littles and enticed them to help me remove the "carpet" that was encroaching upon my tomato plants.  We have also had some trouble with one lone guinea hen, who escaped getting her wings clipped.  She insists on flying over the garden fence and pecking my ripening tomatoes, and she doesn't miss a single one that is at her level.  Hubby finally caught her in action this past weekend, and gave her a bit of a trim.  My tomatoes are now safe, as long as little children wandering in for a handful of blueberries remember to close the gate behind them.

It seems my attentions this summer have been mostly of the outdoor nature, and my knitting and sewing have come to an abrupt stop. Living here in the Northeast where winters are so long, I want to take advantage of every bit of summer that I can, knowing I will have plenty of time soon for those cozy indoor projects.  Today the sky is blue, and the air is crisp and dry, a nice change from the wet, clammy weather we have been experiencing. I'm looking forward to this lovely, late summer day.

August 15, 2014

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment ...

{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."If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

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August 14, 2014

Gratitude





Thanks to my daughter for this lovely photo



With a week that, so far, has not turned out quite as I had expected or planned, I've decided it would be a perfect time to focus on what has brought a smile to my face the past few weeks, the small things in life that I can so easily take for granted when my days become busy and or my mind is focused on all that needs to be accomplished or taken care of.  I mustn't let these little gifts of goodness pass me by without taking notice or showing gratitude. 


     a basket of antique, wooden clothespins picked up at a yard sale for $.25

     the joy that radiates from our little girl, even when life throws her multiple curve balls

     beautiful sunsets viewed from the porch

     a bountiful harvest of fresh vegetables 

     pretty little violas in the garden next to my doorstep

     newly thrifted wool blankets hanging on the line (they will be so warm and cozy this winter)

     cuddles and snuggles from our new little friend

     a game of pick-up sticks, passed down from Grandpa

    ending green beans on the porch with lots of little helpers


What has recently put a smile on your face?

     

August 12, 2014

Summer is just too short...












Oh, the days of summer...they just seem to be flying by.  It's hard to believe that it is almost the middle of August, and the busy, tightly scheduled days of fall are just around the corner.  It is still summer, though, and we are trying to take in every glorious moment that is left.

I am sorry for my absence last week...I did miss you all...but so much was going on that I felt I needed to lay aside my blogging for a bit and focus on the tasks and events of the week. It all started with celebrating our eldest daughter's 18th birthday; my, how the time does fly.  It seems like only yesterday I was swaddling and nursing her to sleep; now she is a lovely young lady with dreams and ambitions, anxiously awaiting the many adventures that lie ahead of her. 

The birthday was followed by another lovely trip to the seaside; it seems one can never get enough of the salty air, and it is such a perfect place to try out one's new camera. The rest of the week was filled with the Littles coming and going to camp, dinner and a play with friends, a high school class reunion (25 years), a visit from my sister and her family, rescuing and nursing stray kittens back to health, harvesting vegetables from the garden and freezing them for winter use, and planning for the upcoming school year.  Whew!  We packed a lot into last week, and I am looking forward to a bit of a slowdown this week. Lots still going on in the garden, but I hope to be able to spend a few minutes, catching my breath and savouring these last days of summer.

August 1, 2014

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment ...

{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."If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

********************


July 31, 2014

Herbs










I have grown herbs in the past, but I have always used them fresh and have never attempted to dry them with much determination.  I would go as far as hanging them in pretty little bundles from the beams in my kitchen, only to leave them so long that the dust settled on them, making them unusable.  Well, this year, in my attempt to preserve everything I possibly can from my gardens, I am drying herbs with determination and purpose.  As much as I love those pretty bunches of herbs hanging artfully in my kitchen, this traditional way of drying herbs, which I do love so much, unfortunately, was not working for me.  The bunches always went to waste, so I decided to pull out my food dehydrator, and my first harvest has already resulted in two cups of freshly dried, oh-so-fragrant, oregano.  I'm waiting now for the rest of the oregano to come into blossom (I have read that is the best time to cut for drying because it will be the most favorable); in the meantime, sprigs of parsley, mint, and lemon balm are drying, hopefully ready for jars this afternoon. The lemon balm and mint will be used mostly for a calming, nighttime tea, but I recently came across this fun list of other things to do with lemon balm.  It feels so good to actually be doing something with my herbs this year and not letting them go to waste; in fact, I am already making a list of more herbs that I am going to plant next year, basil, cilantro, dill, more varieties of mint...oh, the possibilities!
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