If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.William Morris.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Feast or Famine

Boy isn't that the truth around here. For the past few years we would have starved if we had to live off what I grew but not this year. I wish I could say it's because I'm such a master gardener but I know a good part of it has to be due to the weather we have had.
Example is the melon and squash patch. 
In the past few years I haven't been able to harvest not one.
So I planted a few extra figuring bugs or weather would take them
I had a piece in my patch that is 15 x 15 ft that has had black plastic over top for a couple of years now. I have been wanting to put in a couple of more beds there but haven't gotten around to it.

So I made eight openings where I planted  2 mounds of each acorn squash, cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkins.

I left 2 or 3 plants in each spot thinking I lose most or all again.
But no not this year. While I was in California this past July we had an unusual amount of rain and cooler temps.
Which the plants just loved. 

See what I mean. It is so filled with vines I can not walk in there or even see where all the melons are. I had to take a long stick to part the vines to see what was where.
And without being able to see them I could not keep track of where they were or if the were getting ripe to pick.
I had to come up with a way to mark where they were. I thought surveyor markers and I was going to make something like that.

Took some wire coat hangers and straighten them out and looped one end.

Then I tied a strip of bright fabric. Heaven knows I have plenty of fabric to spare.

I used two colors, pink for the soon to be ripe and yellow for the smaller later to ripen. 
Then I went out with my stick and located all the melons. 

I ended up using 20 markers and some of those spots have more than one melon. Like I said it's a feast of a year.

See what I mean by you can't see the melons very well

 if not at all.

Now I didn't mark the acorn squash cause it's next to the pathway and they are visible. And the pumpkins are just now putting on fruit, besides there another tale to be told with them.

Now I know we will be loaded all at once with ripe fruit. In fact I just picked two melons today.

The one on the left weighed 7.5 pounds. 
What a doozie.

 The garden is really producing this year, in fact I have picked already this summer,
86 lbs of green beans
61 lbs of tomatoes
12 lbs of cucumbers
44.25 lbs of summer squash
10.5 lbs of peppers
7 eggplants
and 2 cantaloupes

And the garden is still going strong.

I have to admit to my being absent from writing much is due to all of this. I have so many things I want to write about, that I hope in the near future be able to have time to share.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week of Farm Picture 8/18 - 8/24

I haven't shown or talked much about "the girls" lately so this weeks photos are dedicated to them. I have been fortunate to have lost only one hen so far this summer and it was one of the new girls. She had something wrong with her since she was a chick and I was surprise how long she did live. So out of the dozen chicks I have 10 hens and now a new rooster. Thats right they were not all girls like they were supposed to of been. Thats not the first time that has happened.
After losing the "Love Machine" we now have "Stud Muffin" and funny thing is they look the same. 

The hen count is now 23 and I'm getting on the average 13 eggs a day.

I added these pictures because I just thought they were neat.
First one is the boys waiting for something that was in the squash and melon patch. Ready to pounce

This is a stop sign that is a couple section lines over from us. I just think it's so cool how the Trumpet Vine has grown up and out. 
Prettiest stop sign I've ever seen.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Just an update WIP

At the moment 
I am a month behind on my LE and from following others who are making this quilt I think I will stay that way.

I'm in no hurry or it's not a race. 
And from the others I am learning techniques that is helping to make this easier. I appreciate all the work that Esther did to make this pattern for the public and very grateful that she offers it for free each month.
As you can see I have marked the placement for month 2.
Still need to applique the center, then comes some of the harder part, picking out fabric for next pieces.
I'm making mine scrappy and I do have quite the collection of fabric to pick from. Sometime having more to choose from doesn't make it easier.

Then I'm doing a pumpkin pillow out of wool. 
It is a Sew Cherish pattern.
A very easy project but I wish there were better instruction on how to make the various crazy stitches. 

It comes with the transfers but no direction on how to do the pattern just a few basic simple stitches. I do wish I had a book that shows how to go about making these stitches.
Since or until I can figure them out I decided to use some of my own stitch patterns. They are pretty simple but I do have the directions to show how.

But I'll make it work.

I'm adding this because Elaine had a great idea, 

Hi Kathleen, how about posting a pic or two of the stitch you want instructions for? I reckon some of us will have a book we can give a method from, or know of a tutorial you can look at. The ones you are using look lovely, and as for the LE quilt, you're ahead of me, I've forced myself to wait until I've cleared projects I already have on the go. Could be quite a while.... love, Elaine

 If you do know how to make any of them I would really appreciate your help.
Thank you so much

I'm linking up at Esther's Blog 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Yarn Along

There is a couple of sayings that come to mind, one is too many irons in the fire and the other is running around like a chicken with its head cut off. That's how I've been feeling these past few weeks. With my garden growing so well and I'm harvesting everyday which means I've been very busy. I love growing my own food but then there is time consuming process of preserving it for later use. And then there is my love for knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery, oh heck  just about any kind a needlework or piecework. Plus there is reading, lately the only way I able to get to read a book is by listening to it.
 So things I like take so much time and it's just doesn't seem to be enough. I think everyone experiences that from time to time. So as the saying goes I do have a lot of irons in the fire. 
So with my knitting I haven't been able to do hardly any lately. So all I can show you is again some projects that I started and are not finished. 

As you can see my socks are almost done I'm down to just the toes, so hopefully if I get a chance to I'll be able to get these done pretty soon. 

And then the bottom to my bag I made it too big, as you can see. So now I ripped it apart and I'm going to redo it but it's so simple, just the garter stitch so I'm not too worried about it. Knitting is usually something I take with me so when I'm waiting in the doctor's office or when visiting with my mom and dad. 

 Now for reading, I haven't had much opportunity to actually sit or whatever and read a paper book but I have been listening to my books. 

I finished one called the Language of Flowers 

The Kitchen House: A Novel | Kathleen Grissom

and now I just started one called the Kitchen House. 

 I enjoyed the Language of Flowers. The story was good but I really enjoyed more was the concept of the language of flowers and what it represented. Too bad this tradition is not carried on now.

Linking to

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sun dried tomatoes

This year I've had a really good crop of tomatoes. I've been able to can, freeze and make salsa but I thought I would try to make some dried tomatoes in the oven. Back in California where the humidity being so low and it seemed like it was sunny all the time and it was easy to do sun dried tomatoes outside. But here in Oklahoma with all the humidity, I didn't see how that it would be  possible to do it outside so I got on the Internet and look around to see what it would take to do it an alternative way, seeing how I don't  have a dehydrator. 
 Found various information and from that I just kind of put it all together and this is how I did my sun dried tomatoes.

 I took the small romas that I had and cut them in half and seeded them out.

Then I placed them on a wire rack on top of my cookie sheet. A lot of them said that you could just use a cookie sheet that was not aluminum or you could put parchment paper down. But there is one that had done it on a rack and I thought that would be better air circulation to go around the tomatoes. So that's what I did placed a rack on top of a cookie sheet.

  The oven can be a temperature of 180 to 200°. I put mine at 180 and then I season with 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. oregano and 1 tsp. basil, mixed it together and sprinkled it on top.
 Then I just put them in the oven after about three hours I opened the door to let out any moisture, shut the door and kept drying. After about 8 to 10 hours depends on how thick they were, they were ready. 

You want them leathery but dry, don't want to be to dry where there are hard and crunchy. 

Now I'm going to store mine in the freezer

 because if you put them an oil they don't keep as long but I figure if there's a time when I want them in oil I could just go ahead and put them in the oil, then put them in the refrigerator. That way they'll be ready for me in a day or two.

There it is 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Week of Pictures 8/11-8/17

This week I have been so busy out in the garden that I haven't done much else. Between harvesting  weeding and planting the fall crop that is all I was able to get pictures of. But I believe that one of the most beautiful thing is vegetable plants, so here are some of my beauties. 

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