April 24, 2013

Knitting and Reading

Sorry I've been so quiet lately... Just not much to post about! We've been busy with life and play, and working through the rest of our school year. Only 6 weeks left and I'm so excited!

I have been wanting to knit myself a sweater for a very long time, and for whatever reason, it just never happens. Well I finally purchased yarn exactly for this purpose, picked and bought a pattern, and I'm about 7 inches in! :D The pattern is the Woodburne Cardigan by Carol Feller. I am loving it so far. There are just enough cables to keep me interested, but not so many that I can't pay attention to anything else while I'm knitting. I also love the yarn (Cascade 220) - I've never tried it before! It's really nice to be knitting on something with larger yarn and needles after so much of that lace shawl (which, no, is not done). Plain ol' wool is my favorite fiber. It is just cozy and warm and I feel so down to earth when I have it in my hands.

The reading is Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I just picked it up from the library yesterday and started reading it late last night, so I am only a few pages in. I have been wanting to read it for a long time, as I've been curious about it, and I am excited that I finally get a chance now. I'm also reading a book called Good Food Revolution by Will Allen. It's been a very thought provoking book as he tells his story, the story of others in his life, and how he has gotten to the point of being in charge of Growing Power.

I was finally able to get a picture of one of the babies. They are getting so big. Mama is starting to teach them to flap their wings and get them ready for flying. I am so glad she made her nest in that flower basket. I can watch them from the kitchen window as I am working at the sink. It's been so much fun to watch them as they grow.

I have some wonderfully wonderful, wonderful news to tell you - but I can't until it's officially official. (It has nothing to do with babies, just in case you were wondering.) But it has me very excited!

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along.

Happy Wednesday!

April 13, 2013


Today I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all of you sweet, wonderful ladies who have been through it all before and are such an encouragement to me. For understanding about kids, and housework, and life and telling me to keep going and not give up. You've been leaving such sweet comments and they make it so much easier and make me smile. I feel like I've been blessed with a bunch of extra moms and some really great friends and wonderful mentors.

I never thought I would get this kind of support and love out of blogging. I've thought many times about stopping, because I think I'm silly for just talking about myself. But then I would lose my connection with all of you and I would hate for that to happen. I'm so thankful for everyone of you who visit and talk with me all the time. :)

And now the boys want a tent, so I guess I'm done being sappy, lol.

Happy Saturday!

~ Meg

April 12, 2013

Going on Around Here

This is half ours and half from the farmer's market

First thing from the garden this year: sage and a head of lettuce, plus two tiny little radishes! We also got an artichoke the other night that Ben and I split.

The garden is... well it's coming along. I'm still waiting on sprouts from a lot of stuff, and I'm battling slugs and reseeding on other things. See the headless sprout in back right there? Yeah... This is going to be a year of war!

Draining curds

I made some Farmhouse Cheddar last week, and after it sat over the weekend to develop a rind...

It was waxed on Monday. Now it needs to sit and age for at least two months. I'm pretty excited about this. I've done a hunk of Parmesan that won't be ready until October, but I'm afraid it won't turn out because I didn't have optimal conditions for it's rind developing process. It got a little cracked and dried, so we'll have to see what happens.

I have no idea what Jack is doing

Mr. Munchie has been walking more than crawling now. This is one of my favorite stages, because he looks so adorable in his awkwardness. This little montage is what I call Baby Jaws. ;)

After my woe-is-me post about aching for land, I've been gently reminded of my post about blooming where I'm planted, and to be content where I am at the moment. You know who you are, and thank you. :) It was also reinforced when I got to the very end of my current Countryside magazine with a tiny little article entitled "Being Content Right Where I Am... For Now".

Yep, message received! I will try harder to be content with where we are.

I've been researching places to find lard for rendering. The few places I've called have just said I can get some if they happen to have it that day. So I will have to get lucky. I need to make good friends with a butcher and have him hold it for me.

I've started the edging of the shawl, which is good since it's due next week. The last part of the pattern is a little shorter than I had planned, but I ran out of yarn. I think I might release this as a mystery shawl pattern at first... We'll have to see.

And, I may or may not have ordered a plethora of yarn... I'd like to make a sweater (you know, cuz summer is coming...) and I thought it would be good to build my worsted weight stash... and Webs is having their Anniversary Sale... Which might have been the thing that swayed me.

And today, it's Friday!



April 8, 2013

A Mini Vacation

Sorry for the grainy iPod pics - forgot my camera

I just got back from this. And it was wonderful!

This was the first time Ben and I have been away by ourselves in 3 years, and it was very much needed. Nana kept the kiddos while we went and recharged. I feel so much better. My mind is clear and I am so much more relaxed.

On Saturday we decided to go walk around and visit all the shops we've never gotten to before. So we parked at one end and walked up and down the streets looking at all the different little places. I found a nice little health food store and I am still kicking myself for not buying the raw milk I saw. I have still yet to taste raw milk.

One of the shops was a big antique store and I found this beautiful, gorgeous, well used and loved hutch/work space.

I wish I had a place to put it (and that it wasn't so expensive) because I would have snatched it up right then... And gotten it into the car... somehow. It was so beautiful and all the dings and scratches made me wonder what its story is.

I've enjoyed being away from the internet and electronics so much for the past few days that I think I will keep avoiding them for awhile. It's good for my brain. :)

Happy Monday,

April 4, 2013

Links For You

I've been finding a few nice things over the past week and I thought I would share.

Tonya at Plain and Joyful Living is participating in a series called "Get Real", where her and a few other ladies are sharing how life really works for them in different areas like dinner time, gardening and homesteading, etc. They started last Tuesday with dinner time, and will continue for the next few Tuesdays. It's been really nice to read from other women how their lives aren't as perfect as we think, and that I'm totally not alone in the craziness. I've found some other great blogs through it.

One of the other women is Aubrey at This Blessed Life at Rootsong Farm. I had to share her Get Real on homesteading, because it was so inspiring to me. It was so wonderful to read about their journey, and to be reminded that it really can happen, it just takes some patience and trusting. I have been going back and reading it and looking at her pictures. (I've also been looking at real estate in Idaho... *cough*) Some days I get so frustrated being stuck here in between our neighbors (sweet as they are) and their noise and their cigarette smoke, dreaming and aching for land. It really does honestly hurt some days, I yearn for it so badly. But I know we will get there eventually, and homesteading is not just about place, but about one's heart and attitude.

After reading and hearing about soil blocking, and noticing that all of the information was very positive, I decided to order myself one of these. I'm curious to see how they work. I am excited about it for the money saving alone. I wouldn't have to buy little peat pots anymore! (Yeah, they're cheap, but they add up.)

I've found a great site/blog that offers free Photoshop actions.  It fuels my laziness in actually learning how to doctor photos myself. ;) (I used "Golden Afternoon" and "Boost It" on the picture above.)

While looking up inspiration to design my own canning jar labels, I found these heat shrink ones, which I thought were totally cool.

That's all for now!

Friday's almost here!

April 2, 2013

Blooms, Buds, and Doves

Apple Blossoms

Cherry Blossom

Grape Buds

Boysenberry Blossoms

Tomato blossoms

Funny - I didn't notice the other little unopened buds on the tomato until I looked at this picture. 

Things are blooming! The blueberries are completely done with blooms, and the little fruits are forming and becoming round. Hopefully I will be making jam and muffins and freezing blueberries here in a few weeks. Or just eating them all off the bush.

I was able to see yesterday that Mrs. Dove has two little eggs in her nest. I am hoping we get to see the little ones hatch and grow. I am wondering if I can set up some kind of Dove cam... I will have to figure it out. She's up just high enough that I can't see without climbing on something. I can zoom in pretty well with our video camera.

I should be cleaning, but I am dreaming of land...

How is your Tuesday?

April 1, 2013

Easter Weekend

I hope y'all like pictures of my kids... ;)

Mrs. Dove has taken up residence in one of our hanging flower baskets. She lets me get fairly close because she is sitting on eggs, but her eyes get very, very big.

We had a wonderful, lovely Easter weekend. How was yours?

My long weekend started Thursday when I got all my seedlings transplanted into the garden. Then on Friday I got all my seeds except the corn and green beans planted. I need to rework and add compost to the bed the corn will go into, and I need to set up the green bean trellis and dig the ground.

On Tuesday we found out that Ben would be getting Saturday off, so we got our Farmer's market and grocery shopping done quickly Saturday morning, then we came back and Ben put a corned beef into the smoker to make pastrami. Then we spent the rest of the day being lazy and hanging out. It was so nice, and dinner was delicious. Did I tell you he is back down to 10 hour work days? He was able to talk them into letting him go down, since he keeps up with his work and is not as busy as everyone else. It's been so nice having him back and alive because he is actually getting sleep now.

In the morning the kids got up and found the baskets that the "Easter Bunny" had left them at their spots at the table. They were really excited. They had a few pieces of candy and some plastic eggs filled with a few pennies. Munchie got his own basket with some graham crackers and eggs filled with raisins. He enjoyed that.

We had a very tasty breakfast of pastrami hash and scrambled eggs, then Ben hid eggs and the kids got to hunt. The boys are old pros now, but Munchie had a good time finding his two eggs, and then spending the rest of the time trying to devour them. Then they convinced daddy to hide them again.

We spent the afternoon/evening with Ben's family having dinner, communion, and egg hunts. It was a very nice weekend, and we even got some rain in the afternoon which was so nice. We're supposed to have a fairly warm and cloudy week, so we will see how all the plants do.

How was your Easter weekend? Did you do anything special?

Happy Monday!
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