Sunday, August 31, 2008

I've moved...

I've picked up this little blog and moved to Wordpress. I like it better there- come and see me:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Garden as Sacred Space

For me- and many- the garden is a sacred place- a place for meditation and ritual. A church, if you like. I know no better way to connect to the Divine that to work in my garden- or just walk in the garden- opening my senses and connecting with all that it around me.

When I am planning a garden space- and I am planning a new area with terrace beds and a sitting area by the barn- I like to think about a few important things:
*How will the space be used? Alone or with people? In the daytime or the evening?
*How much sun does the space get a day?
*What are the energies of the area? Spend time there and listen with both your ears and your heart.
*What do you want from the plants? Fragrance? Flowers? Shade?

It's raining and cool here today, so after a cup of coffee, I'm going out to cut down a few trees. Not something I usually do, but I have decided that a few trees need to go so that the veggie garden gets some much needed sun.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Full summer fun

And, so summer spills over us like water rushing over a waterfall. No slowing it down, so we'll just enjoy the ride! The last several weeks have been full and fun. It's wonderful ( and a bit stressful) to have guests visit- but the panic does produce some of the best cleaning of the year.

I don't have any pictures, but the barn has a new foundation!!!! Now, new-to-us windows are being installed and hubby found some metal lockers to use as storage. A mountain of broken concrete foundation has been used to make terraced garden beds and a sitting area. It's all still in the rough stage, but I can see how it is coming together- very exciting. I am enjoying thinking about this new garden space- dreaming about what we will plant there. Hubby wants some climbing things- roses and wisteria - who knew he was such a romantic?!

Beach trips: it's been a cool summer, but the girls and I get in as many as we can. To step into the Church of the Crashing Waves and breath in the sea air fills me with such energy!

Drawing a picture of Mama:

Sea Star snuggle at low tide:

The Church of the Crashing Waves at very low tide:

We continue to enjoy the bounty brought to us by our CSA Growing Wild Farm. We have been enjoying delicious green beans, young onions, fantastic beats and more. I love beats with blue cheese! I also made a yummy potato and green bean salad a la Julia. I've got to say that I am craving a tomato- a real tomato! Ahhh, tomato and cucumber sandwich......Some day....

The girls and I were greatly amused by this carrot:

Bounty and chaos in the kitchen:

I continue my endeavor to become the Queen of Tarts. It's yummy work. Here are two recent tarts:

Recently a friend recommended Julia Child's book My Life in France. I really enjoyed the book- what a wonderful life she and her husband had! I admired the dedication and work that Julia put into Mastering the Art of French Cooking that I had to buy it. I was pretty intimidated at first, but after making a couple recipes (pastry custard in particular) I have a feeling that this book will become a good friend like it has for some many other people. Cheers, Julia!

And, finally, a poppy for you! Joyous Lammas! Gather ye rosebuds will ye may!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Community Supported Agriculture

Our CSA- or Community Supported Agriculture- is Growing Wild Farm and we love them! Every week they bring us a bounty of beautiful, yummy veggies. Just look at this weeks delivery:

Salad mix, Snow Peas, Red Head Lettuce, Kohlrabi, Cabbage, Green onions, Chioggia Beets, Cherries!

I am very excited to cook those lovely beets and eat them up with some oil and vinegar and some blue cheese! With the cabbage and kohlrabi I plan to make a slaw for our 4th of July celebration. If the cherries do not get gobbled up, they will be added to the fresh fruit tarts I plan to make for my father-in-laws birthday.

I love the surprise and the challenge of the weekly veggies. I also especially love that they deliver the veggies in biodegradable/ compostable bags (something like these )! Why can't everyone use these? Thank you Sheila and Andre for all that you do!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Bouquet fit for a Queen

June brings us such treasures of the garden. I made this bouquet of Dianthus, roses and Honey Suckle. When I brought it in and sat it on the table, I thought, 'Wow! That is so lovely!' Somehow, I managed to surprise myself with flowers.
I'm not a rose person. I mean, I like roses but I always felt that I would not grow them. As it is presently, I have three roses in our yard. The first is a wild rose that has lovely little pink flowers. It smells lovely and showers little rose petals in the paths. The second is a rose bush- also with single pink (brighter pink) flowers. It was given to me by a dear friend. I planted it too close to the fence and the goats almost ate it to death. I moved it and it is happier. The third is a climbing rose that my husband requested- this the the lovely rose in the above pictures. We are training it to climb up the side of our house right beside our bedroom window. So far, so good. I don't worry too much about aphids and black spot. I'm not going to spray them, so they might as well just grow on their own!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Surprising pleasure

When the sun comes out here- not too often lately- I enjoying hanging the laundry out to dry. Recently I found this darling clothespin holder at a local sewing shop. I love it! It's especially fun when hanging out my favorite vintage tablecloth! When I was growing up, my Mom had one very similar. I bought two so that I could send one to my friend who also loves to hang clothes out. My 4 year old really wants to wear it! :D

Monday, June 9, 2008

News from Hawn Creek Hollow

As the barn foundation project stretches out into it's sixth month and the piles of broken concrete continue to grow and multiply, I find myself having rather negative thoughts about our little farm. Thoughts like, "This place is a hole" and "I am surrounded by crap". It also happened that our neighbors just had to get cable which involved digging a ditch all along the fence line of our western pasture- totally mucking up the place (and all this for the Hallmark channel!) Combine that with both mowers breaking down and the bleeping goat getting into the veggie garden and eating our peas, I've been having fantasies about buying a lovely home in town.

But, as I was walking from the woods after feeding the hens and I watched a Gold Finch fly over the Bay Laurel tree and get chased away by a hummingbird, I knew that I could hold on the positives. It's a beautiful place we live in- it needs a lot of work, but it will get done.

When we moved back to the Pacific Northwest, I had dreams of a 20 acre home. Ha! Three keeps me more than busy.
The goat did not eat the Rainbow Kale, which is so delicious and beautiful right now! The bush beans are growing well. I morn the loss of the peas though. Growing them the last several years has been very special because my daughters love them so much. Very rarely do any peas make it into the house. It's a beautiful thing to stand in the garden and watch your kids gobble fresh peas like they have never tasted anything finer. Ah well, next year.

Wanted: Pea Rustler- Armed & Dangerous

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Let the veggies begin...

While we have had our own little veggie patch producing Asian Greens for several weeks, we are happy to have our CSA Growing Wild Farm begin their year! We are very much enjoying their salad greens, Red Russian Kale, Kale Rapini (super yum!), garlic onions, and radishes. Last night, I tried out their recipe for Creamy Vinaigrette. I usually make our salad dressing, but I have never made dressing with eggs. It was very good. And, given that our hennies are laying lots of eggs right now, it's a good recipe to use.

Creamy Vinaigrette
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Apple cider vinegar (I used Rice Wine vinegar)
1 T mustard
1-2 cloves garlic minched
1 t honey or agave nectar
1 t sea salt
pinch of cayenne pepper (I omitted)

I used my Kitchen Aid mixer, but the recipe called to for a blender. Mix all ingredients but the oil in mixer or blender. With mixer/blender running, slowly add oil and mix to emulsify.

Yum! Thanks Andre and Shelia

Welcome June- welcome home!

We are home! The deep growth and green of June surrounds us and almost threatens to grow over us if we sit still too long. But there is no worry about that as birthdays and camps and all kinds of fun things are keeping us moving.

The first bouquet of the month is a sweetheart! Lamb's Ear, Spanish Lavender, Digitalis/ Foxglove, Siberian Iris, and Bearded Iris. I'm not sure where the Bearded Iris came from as I prefer the more elegant and subdued Siberian Iris- but the big purple hairy tongued flowers have their appeal. Everything about it is sweet and lush- everything that late spring/ early summer is!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The fantastic weeks of May slip by with me caught up in a web-
a web of lead that sits upon my chest.
The web fogs my vision, but through the fabric I can see it is beautiful all around me.

It's all folly, the lilacs seem to say to me
and I know it.
Their sweet scent brings me back to the clear
and I know I can do what needs to be done.
You are a fool, the Saskatoon says to me,
so much more harsh- honest?-than her sister Lilac.
What makes you think any of it matters?
I will grow, flower and set my berries while you fitter away your hours.
The Lilac lays a gentle, cool hand on my head.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May Day

Welcome, May! May arrived with warmer weather and gentle breezes. The day was lovely. The high point for me was having lunch on the dock by the water- writing and reading and listening to the birds. Heavenly. Later, the girls and I put the new prayer flags on our special Maple tree. They look so bright and festive.
Here are some lovely violets that are growing in the woods by the Maple Tree.
I just love the collection of river pebbles that hubby brought back from his kayaking/rafting trip. So many different colors! They seem to tell a wonderful story- I can almost understand them.
A pretty, glittering beetle we found a week or so ago. It is a Golden Buprestid, Buprestis aurulenta which is a wood eater that can live up to 60 years in lumber!

Happy May to you all!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tv Turn Off Week

For me, TV Turn Off Week was a success. That said, I should also make it clear that my children watched about the same amount of TV they always do and I did as well. So, how, you may ask, was the TV Turn Off Week a success?

The week prior I spent a lot of time wondering why I wanted to do this. My daughters watch about an hour of tv a day- and honestly I am happy with that amount. I watch maybe an hour of tv in the evening, but there are several nights a week when I do not watch anything. So, why- I wondered, do I feel such a pull to participate. After some time, I realized what I wasn't happy with was the amount of time I spend online. So, last week was all about me and my internet habits.

I checked my email briefly in the morning and then the computer was turned off for the day. I had two one-hour shifts that required me to be online during the week. Other than that, I was very good about limiting my time. I worked a lot outside- even when the weather was nasty- and it was great to re-connect with our bit of land. The girls and I kept busy and it all went pretty well (especially given that hubby was away all week).

Personally, it was nice to put away some online habits. To be honest, I didn't miss it much. It feels weird to be sitting her now. So, on that note, back to the real world (which at the current moment is washing dishes and getting ready for visitors)!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

happy late birthday to me

Oooo, look what I got for my birthday! Isn't it pretty?! Well, I think so. I didn't even know I wanted one until my hubby asked me what I wanted and I blurted out, "A Kitchen Aid mixer!". (Hmmm, maybe I should have said a Mini Cooper Clubman or a trip to Hawaii...) Well, it is a bitchin' good mixer. I have made pizza dough and cinnamon raisin bread- both turned out really well. The massive thing can really knead that dough! I'm thinking of making brownies tomorrow. Not from the box, which would be a life time first for me. :P

Otherwise, I am not crafting worth poo. Not blogging much either, not that it matters. What am I doing? Hmmm, I weed the gardens a bit, I clean a bit, I exercise a bit- but most of the time I get snacks for the girls and read them books. I am playing Harry Potter way to often (I would mind less if I was Hermione but my three year old always wants me to be Aunt Marge- what is up with that?!).

Today, as I ignored my daughter's cries of "Aunt Marge! Aunt Marge!" I sat looking upward. "What are you looking at?" she asked me.
"Look up. What do you see."
"White flowers. Tree tops. Blue sky. White clouds."
"That's what I am looking at. Isn't it wonderful?"

Friday, April 4, 2008

TV Turn-off Week

Tv Turn-Off Week is April 21-27th. We did this last year and it was a success. At the end of the week last year, my older daughter said, "That wasn't bad. It was kind of fun." I'm pretty nervous about it this year, mainly because my younger daughter is far, far less mailable than she was last year. I also wonder if I will be able to give up my computer habit. I will have to be on line a couple times that week for work related stuff, but will I be able to resist my daily virtual haunts? I'm pretty skeptical. :(

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Snow for Spring Break

We needed a road trip during the girl's spring break. The weather was not looking favorable for a trip to the beach, so we headed up to the mountains. Man oh man, did it snow! And, then it snowed some more. I hope we make it more of a habit to visit the mountains during the snowy months.
Just had to share the little frog I made last week (or was it two weeks ago?) for a friend's birthday. I thought she turned out well.

Oh- and here is the mega egg that our Aracana chicken Isis laid. You go girl! It had two yolks and my older daughter made her first solo scrambled eggs with it. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

easy, yummy, pretty

After attempting a tart crust- and failing as the dough did not hold together- I moved to plan B. Frozen puff pastry dough is a gift from the gods as far as I am concerned! For my version of Apple Jalousie, I saute Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced) in butter with sugar and ginger. The ginger is the key- also letting it saute until the sugar is caramelized. Yum!
The frozen puff pastry must be allowed to thaw and once that is done, cut two rectangles (I used a wavy edged vegetable chopper which makes a pretty edge) from the pastry. Lay the apples on the bottom rectangle. Fold the top rectangle and make slices with a sharp knife cut 1-1/2-inch-long slashes at 1-inch intervals along the folded side of the dough; leave at least a 1-inch border on the remaining three sides. I brushed the pastry top with egg whites and dusted with Turbinado sugar toward the end of baking.

With the left over dough, I made the little pastries which were a big hit with the girls!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Meet Pinki and Chestnut

Meet my latest creations: Pinki and Chestnut. These are both from The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo. Quick to make, but somewhat tricky as they are so small. The girls- even my 7 year old tomboy- go on about how cuuuuute they are. Does a crafty's heart good. :)

Satisfaction rating: 90%

Did the girls like them: yes!

Inspiration: The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

An afternoon in the garden.

We are having a lovely bit of weather. It won't last- the rain will return and really we want it to. But while the sun shines, come for a little walk in the garden...

~Back on the swing~

~Dotty wonders if she can eat the camera~

~Yoko & Dotty (yes, I'm crazy about my chickens)~

~Lucy stuck all over with twigs~


~Hellebore 2~

~Crocus- love those bright orange naughty bits!~