Saturday, September 17, 2011

Last night was the first cold night of the season.  Hubby and I celebrated the cooler temperature with a good, old fashioned blanket war.  He opened with a little tug on his edge of the single, lightweight quilt we are currently sleeping under, proceeding to uncover my hip and leg.  I returned with a slightly more insistent tug of my own, uncovering his feet.  You know how this goes.  After some jostling for advantage, I finally ended the foray by tucking my edge under my hip and planting myself firmly upon it.  A couple more tugs from him got no results, and in my half dreamy state, I snickered to myself over having won this round.  Neither one of us ever got up out of bed to close the window, add another blanket or even to turn off the fan!!!  bwahahahaha

This afternoon we laughed about the whole thing and then we talked about the coming cooler weather and what preparations we might need to make before truly cold weather gets here.  The first thing on both our lists was our winter quilt!

Our first winter together as husband and wife was spent on the top of a butte in a single wide, nineteen seventy something mobile home with a wood stove for heat.  We were cold!!!  We were poor!!  We were creative!!  So, we decided we needed a heavy quilt.  We went to all the local thrift stores and begged for any jeans or corduroy pants they had that were unsaleable.  We got garbage bags full for free just because we asked. 

Hubby was in charge of cutting out all the squares.  I was in charge of sewing them all together.  We stitched a denim quilt that we have treasured and we have spent 16 fantastic winters together underneath it. 

Back then we were sleeping on a full size pull out loveseat.  So the quilt we made is really only a skimpy double size.  We've since graduated to a queen sized bed, but we are stubborn and have continued using our beloved quilt.

We've had four children since that quilt was stitched.  It's been washed and hung to dry hundreds of times.  It's been camping with us and thrown in the bottom of a closet through the summers.  It's been hauled in the car and draped over the sofa.  The poor thing is looking pretty shabby.  Still, we are undeterred!

So, this afternoon we dug the ole thing out and set to work on it.  We removed the old blue satin binding and the pink floral pillow ticked flat sheet we backed it with.  We cut loose the old yarn ties and laid the top out on our bed.  We took stock of the situation and came up with a plan.  The worn spots will be patched, just as our jeans are.  New squares will be added along both sides and the bottom to enlarge the quilt to a more currently usable size.  A new backing will be scrounged and our beloved quilt will be made servicable once again.  And, the best part of all, parts of a pair of jeans or overalls from each of the kids will be used in the process.  Each child brought us a contribution and I'm so excited that this time a piece of each of them will be included in the project. 

This winter looks to be warm, toasty, and filled with love.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Homestead Improvements

It's Spring and that means we're hopping here on the 'stead to make any planned improvements for the year before the weather turns too hot.  We got a lot accomplished this weekend.  One of the things we did was to cover the area between the existing bunny housing and the turkey pen.  This will keep that area cooler in the summer, drier in the winter and will allow me to hang additional bunny caging so we'll have room for mommas and litters.  Yay!

This is the area we wanted to cover.  We've been covering this space with a tarp for shade every summer for the last few years.  Time to do something more.

Rafters are in and now it's time to send our resident Monkey Boy up to install the metal.  He's half Monkey...on his Father's side.

And he's up!

Metal's on and look at all this great space we have to use now!  With all the recycled materials we were able to pull from our stash, this addition only cost us $24!!

And, while we are on the subject of bunnies....gratuitious baby bunny shot!!  Oh, and cute kid, too!





Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Garden Will Always Include Marigolds

I love to garden.  I come by it naturally.  Both sets of my Grandparents love/loved it.  My Mother loves it.  My cousin really loves it.  And for me, it has become a large part of our homestead lifestyle.

My Grandpa Roy died when I was maybe 12 years old.  He was fun and silly and hardworking.  He was also a true gardener.  He planted a garden every year and each and every garden could be described as nothing less than.... well, epic.  I remember those gardens.  I remember that he always planted giant pumpkins.  He told us that his pumpkin patch was always the most Sincere and every year he would convince us that one of those monsters was "The Great Pumpkin".  He planted all the usual stuff.  Tomatoes, sweet and juicy and red.  Beans and greens and onions.  One other thing his garden was never without is Marigolds.

I don't know if he planted them for their beneficial bug reducing properties or if he just loved their bright color and happy faces, but his garden never lacked for several varieties. 

A few years ago I started planting Marigolds in my garden in rememberence of his lovely plot.  Marigolds weren't my favorite flower, and in fact, I wasn't really all that enthusiastic about them as a flower at all.  But they made me think of him and smile and so I always bought one four pack to tuck in amongst the veggies.  One four pack soon became two, and then three, and then many.  One day I realized that I have fallen in love with this unassuming beauty.  I look forward to picking out the Marigolds almost more than surfing the seed catalogs for heirloom tomatoes and beans.  I cannot imagine a garden without them in it.

And so now, with a tip of my sun bonnet to my Grandpa Roy, and fresh dirt between my toes, my garden will forevermore include Marigolds.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Resurrection Day Supper on the Homestead

We kept it fairly simple for our Holiday Supper this year.  It all came out wonderfully, though, and we really enjoyed this homestead-y family meal taken together.


We started with a smoked ham that I had saved from the half a pig we bought earlier this spring.  This is some of the most delicious ham any of us has ever had.  We'll definitely be getting another hog from these folks down the road.  Add to that some homemade baked beans, green beans, and biscuits, and you have yourself a wonderful meal!  I also put out some homemade apple butter for the biscuits and some fresh pineapple that a friend brought over earlier in the morning for an Easter present.  The pineapple was sooooo good!

I'm particularly proud of these biscuits.  I've been working at getting them right and I think I've got it!

And here is dessert!  A mock pumpkin pie made with applesauce.  I used a crustless pumpkin pie recipe and substituted some home made applesauce for the pumpkin puree.  It came out so good!  Will definitely make that again and am thinking I'll try it with some peach puree and see how that comes out, too.  You will also notice, in the background of the first picture, some lovely cupcakes and some chocolate petit fours.  Also delivered early in the morning by a dear, sweet friend.  What a treat! (the petit fours are banana bites...banana bread layered with cream cheese and dipped in chocolate.  oh la la!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

This Week's Spinning

Did a bit of spinning this week. 

A "Piece of Cake" sample from the shop.  This was soooooo much fun to spin!  The tencel nepps are a kick in the pants and the colors are so delicious!

I also held onto a "Hopper" sample.  The merinos in this one are extremely soft.  I love the bold colors and the funky pink sparkles are a hoot!  I thread plied it with some beads.

And, I worked on a custom yarn order for a special someone.  It's a CCR themed package.  Here you see "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog", "All the Little Fishes" and "In the Deep Blue Sea".  I'm still spinning "Was a Good Friend of Mine" and "I Helped Him Drink His Wine".  Sooooooo loving how this is coming together!  The whole package is going to rock!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nice Ta Meet You!

Spring is a busy time for so many people.  It's no exception here on the 'stead.  We're in high gear doing cleanup after a winter of sloth and 'just getting by' plus we're gearing up for summer and the garden.  We've been getting all the beds ready to accept this year's seed and plants, plus we've added some new beds to enlarge our garden space.

One new addition is this strawberry bed.  I'm so excited to get this one up and going!  A friend had a bed of strawberries that they were planning to take out and they offered the plants to us.  We built a nice home for them and then went over and dug up all these treasures last night and brough them here to their new digs.  Yay!

Right next door to the strawberries is this bed which is planted in potatoes.  We have two large potato beds planted this year. 

Look!  Some lettuce is coming up!  Yay!  Salads aren't far away!!

Tulips!  I'm so happy to see you.

And, look, there's Mr. Grapvine!  Wake up Sleepyhead!

And meet Mrs. Scarecrow.  The girls made her yesterday and got her all situated here in the garden.  Then, Baby Girl the Little'un came out and found her.  It melted me all over to watch her walk right up, shake the scarecrow by the sleeve and say, "Hello, nice ta meet you!"  My sentiments exactly, my Little Sweet Potato.  Well said!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Studio is Humming!

I have stuff in the Tumbler...

And drying on the racks...

And waiting to be carded...


Also have a bathtub full washing and dye pots on the stove.  Lots of fiber in the works!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Meet and Greet

Meet Bess.  She is an agouti pygmy doe who just came to live with us.  Isn't she a sweet potata?  We think she's just as cute as can be and look forward to having her company in our barnyard!


Other doings around the 'stead include a major cleanup day of the rabbit commune.  Much raking and tray emptying was done by the worker bees here.  We repaired some caging and prepped some new ones that we want to put in.  It's looking pretty good over there.  We also got the posts put in for the area between the rabbits and the turkeys that we want to get covered.  It will mean shade in the summer for everyone and a drier walk and feeding experience in the winter.  Yay!

Next on the agenda is to get garden beds prepped, empty last year's compost bin, and clean out the goat barn to fill the compost bin back up again.  Hooray for compost!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Spring Critter Pics

Star Spangled.  He's such a silly boy!

Muddy lambs.  Don't they look like they are about to get up to some trouble?

Blue Moon.  Hello, pretty girl!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Oh, the Babies We've had!!!

So many lovely new babies running around the 'stead!  Lambs and kids are playing in the yards again and it does my heart so much good!  I thought I'd share some gratuitious baby pics just to prove that Spring Is here!!!!