Monday, June 30, 2014

~New Project~

A ripple afghan for my daughter. It matches her comforter, though somehow her comforter doesn't look so bold!

I wanted to make her an afghan that was hers to use as she pleases. I get a little big-time bossy about the wool afghan I made so many years ago. I like it being used but not dragged around! So with that in mind, I bought washable acrylic yarn, and will be pleased for my daughter to use it around the house however she sees fit!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

~Our Garden~

Really, this is more Kevin's garden than my own. I haven't done much of anything, except to go out and admire it. It's a good thing, because my back just cannot take the bending over on a regular basis.

This year Kevin built four raised beds and purchased soil to put in them. The soil was so sandy and stony on the side of the house. So far, it looks like it has been a good investment! The plan is to build four more next year.

Raised Beds
Back Portion of the Garden

Friday, June 27, 2014

~June Showers Bring...~

...June flowers!

My, but we've had a lot of rain this spring! It's good for the plants though!

I love Asiatic Lilies:

 My pansies are still blooming! The plants are starting to look a little bedraggled, but the flowers are still so pretty, how could I pull them out? I planted some petunias and snapdragons, and everything else is a perennial. I really like having so many perennials in the flower beds. The cost up front is more but in the long run it's so much less expensive. Each year I've had to buy fewer annuals.

We have a side flower bed that has almost nothing in it. I'm not sure what to do with it. It's right beside our garden, so really some bushes or something taller would be nice.

How does your garden grow? Is it perennials or annuals (or a mix) for you?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

~The Start of Canning Season~

Ah! I finally have something to can! Last fall, I was very happy to pack all the canning supplies up and store them in the basement. I was so done with canning. But of course, I'm ready to begin all over again this year! I truly love the whole canning process (except, perhaps, the dishes).

The result thus far? Nine lovely jars of pickled asparagus, three jars of honey strawberry jam, and three pint jars of strawberries frozen in simple syrup. I put some cracked cardamom seeds in two of the frozen strawberries. Hopefully we'll like the flavor! (See my page titled "Food '14" above for links to the recipes.)

I went down to the basement to take stock of the jam. I have 6 8-oz. jars of strawberry jam (made with sugar) left over from 2011. We don't eat a lot of jam made from sugar, but I did want to try a no-sugar recipe. In the past I haven't liked the low or no sugar strawberry jam, but I thought I'd give a crack at the honey jam and make up a half batch. It is very good. The honey flavor is definitely there, but the strawberries shine through. It's a winner!

My daughter and I went strawberry picking and picked 6 pounds of strawberries. Not too many, but my back was giving me problems and my daughter was "done". So we left while we were ahead! I'd still like to get some more for the freezer, both for smoothies and for packing into simple syrup. Frozen berries like this are the perfect start of a delicious fruit salad, and they last a long time in the freezer.

I'm happy canning season is here! It's a lot of work, but work well worthy of my time! How about you? Will you be canning or putting anything up this summer?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


My toes are "summer ready", thanks to my 5-year old pedicurist!

My daughter loved painting my toenails and wants to do my fingernails next. Maybe after she gets a little more practice! :)

I've been proudly wearing my new pedicure, no apologies or explanations necessary. The extra paint on my skin came off easily but otherwise it is perfectly imperfect! :D