Saturday, May 31, 2014

Gathering a Few Herbs to Dry and Making Limoncello



With all the rain we have been having along with many cloudy days, the herbs are all going crazy this spring, especially the mints.

I do not use allot of mint but I do collect and dry a few small bags for teas or cooking. Usually I have to collect the lemon balm right away before it gets brown spots on it do to the heat here, but this year I have pinched backed the leaves several times already. I have a tall jar of lemon balm infusing in olive oil already too. I also like to plant different mints around the house to keep weeds down and they are useable. I also have ginger mint which is shown in front on the photo, the grapefruit mint, chocolate mint, and peppermint. There are so many mints to choose from now.

I had a bag of lemons so decided to start a batch of limoncello. At the bottom of my blog here is a search tool; so if you would like my recipe just type in limoncello-allot of the photos are no longer there but one of the posts has the recipe.
   This is so refreshing on a very hot summer day. After made it goes into the freezer-serve in shot glasses and it will be cold and slushy. I saw the recipe a few years back on Food Network.

I usually add lavender flowers to the zested lemons, but this time I decided why not add the lemon balm and the grapefruit mint-so I did. I think it will compliment the lemons. I didn't have quite enough lemons so I also zested one large pink grapefruit.

The recipe calls for meyer lemons but you can make the recipe with any citrus that you want to-oranges, limes, etc or a combination of.

Have an awesome weekend all of you!


Friday, May 30, 2014

I Used a New Recipe for Making a Gluten Free PIzza Crust

Gluten free pizza update: (recipe for crust came from America's Test Kitchen new gluten free cookbook
Turned out excellent! I always make our own homemade pizzas-we usually like a deep dish type crust opposed to those thin cracker like crusts. So when the recipes say to make two crusts from the dough-I make it as one-I have a couple large pizza stones.
this recipe however-had an excellent rise-turned out really perfect-but next time I will make this into two crusts or halve the ingredients for one crust.
this recipe calls for allot of wait time-so next time I will know to start out really early so after the first bake it can totally cool down-and then finish up with the super hot oven. I am very pleased with the results.
I found information online about the recipe here
http://www.cooksillustrated.com/videos/2760-science-gluten-free-pizza-dough and here is a link to the book where the recipe is
http://www.amazon.com/The-How-Gluten-Free-Cookbook/dp/1936493616


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thank Yous to All of You my Dear Cyber Friends

  I am happy that I went through with posting my last post. I had re read it a couple of times and thought geez what a pity trip-but decided to post cause I do cherish the insight and input from you my friends, and this "journal" of blogging was started to share my daily thoughts and my crafts and doings here in our retirement years. I started on yahoo 360 must have been in 2007 or 2008. I don't have a close friend that I can bounce off my emotions with any more-so that was another reason I stayed with blogging-

  I feel better too knowing that I am not alone thinking about all this stuff. Most of us are still going through trying times financially, and I needed a kick in the you know what to really be thankful for what I have. The couple friends we do have here are real friends, that I think I can count on if I really need something. That is always a blessing.

 Both hubby and I have always been collectors of just too much stuff. Both with our interests and just because we so enjoyed the times since we've been married in '82 of collecting crocks, cast iron pieces, and on and on it goes. I do use most of my vintage kitchen items too.  Seeing all the things in hubby's shop made me realize I just didn't really know what all he had and how much knowledge he has acquired in so many areas.
     I got a magazine in the other day I think it was Country Living-and there was a post in there about don't worry about collecting what you love-just go for it-you will always find a place for it. I was so glad to read this,most articles recently are about decluttering and getting rid of stuff, and  cause we do enjoy our things, we are country people not city people so I think country folks tend to just collect more items too. So I am not going to worry about that any more either-getting rid of things, worrying about finding someone that will love our things and use them, need to live more in the present--each day.
  
   I think we have all been told to stop and smell the roses, enjoy each and every day as if it were your last-and when I was younger working long hours every day we just never had the time to do that-have fun-we always waited for our retirement years. So, long lesson learned-finally-and it's about time for me-to just do this!

So thanks again to all of you my friends, I can always count on you to be there for me and to be honest.

The last three mornings, we have been out in hubby's shop-we are going to be making my kitchen cabinets with Mr L's help. I am thinking Mr L will be doing much of the work with hubby's guidance as to what he envisioned my cabinets to be. and I told him I will help-just tell me what I can do. It's been so many years now that I forgot about all the woods we have collected-mostly purchased from an amish saw mill-cherry, oaks, walnut, and more-its all so beautiful.
     So I have been sweeping and sweeping and more sweeping. Mostly rat poop everywhere-don't know how they get in there with the doors closed but they do-and we have always had a pack rat in there too-and he collects everything-Larry has his shop sectioned off for metal working, and one for wood working, one for mechanical work, and some storage-so every year he has to sort out what Mr Pack Rat has collected-lol kinda funny actually. I usually do go down and sweep once in the spring but I have missed the last couple years do to the hot spring temps.
     Working on his area so we can get to work-reminds me how really bad my craft room is again-there is really too much stuff in there for the space I have available. My goal was to get my big 45" rug loom set up-but it keeps getting put on the back burner-so before winter I got to get in there and see if there is anything I can destash so I can work better.
    I probably will have to give up my soap business since I am not selling anything. All the supplies I bought won't go to waste cause I will make up the soap for me-since I really love it, and then try to sell off most of my soap molds so I can get some monies back. 
      The natural salves, soaps and balms I will be making in a couple months with wild herbs I am hoping will find an interest, if not I can use those for us too and giveaways. If we had a farmers market close by I would try that for my soap-but we just don't.

  I see this post has gotten quite long so will end this with big hugs and thank yous to all of you. I am off to work a bit in the garden and see what weeds need pulling, and check on my tomatoes-I ended up loosing about half of my paste tomatoes to that cold we had a couple weeks ago-I didn't think we got the frost but I think we must have. So I replaced them with some purchased romas and our friend brought me over 6 paste tomatoes that he has no room for. 
   and no sign at all of Sir John, Izzy and the goslings-I just think it is so strange that they all left the day after the hatch-hoping still they will show up one day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More Ramblings : About Approaching " Seniorhood"--Just Added Pretty Blooms

  Any Input on this post always welcome.

I have always been one of those people that never really thought about "running out of life time"  I have never been a hurry up get it done sort of person, cause I think I will always have the time to get to it.

Approaching official senior days of 65 years this fall-and life events with my Mom, and seeing my husband age fast before my eyes-gives me a new worrisome viewpoint now.

Hubby has always been ill, but that has never stopped him-ever from pursing his life's goals and what he wants to do-til recently where I am just seeing that now-he tires very easily with any physical activity and has totally withdrawn into his work, and does nothing anymore to help me get our home completed or to have fun-like more fishing etc.
        He had to go back to work in a field he learned in his 20s-he enjoys the work-and talking and meeting with people-but it consumes all of his time now--from the time he gets up and grabs his first cup of coffee til after supper when he crashes. and do to his military service in the viet nam war he doesn't sleep well so his day usually starts around 2 or 3am.

    We have so many things we wanted to do here during our retirement years-but do to the economy-it hit us very badly-it seems we are mostly surving like when one works for a living. I feel cheated of our "golden years" Hubby's viewpoint was always that it would be nice if we could really enjoy golden years before the age of 30 or 35 and then go to work after that for those senior years. by the time most retire-too old to do fun things.

   So then I say-ok enough self pity-let's list the positives-mostly that we live where we want to be-in the woods with nature and away from city or suburban living-I really don't think I could ever handle that again. and I enjoy all my crafts, and learning new ones. But this weekend was the first ever that I can remember that I felt so lonely-freaking out about if the time should come when I am totally alone. We have very few friends to speak of here-but one awesome friend Mr L, and no family really-now this is getting depressing just typing this lol  and I am not an out going person-I don't like the "politics" I guess of getting along with others in say craft groups etc.  always people games going on.

   Right now I just want things done in my home-- kitchen cabinets, my bathroom finished, the rest of the walls and floors finished in the house--and to start going through things and seriously destashing. but then we love our things-which brings up another thing-right now no one to leave our life estate to-things happened and now we need to change all that. geez sorry this is getting bad-sometimes I work through things by typing away and reading feedback.

   Our friend Mr L is not healthy I think he has cancer, but is ignoring the fact-and he used to build lots of furniture-so he has offered to help me get kitchen cabinets built-Larry has all the tools and we have been collecting beautiful wood too (hickory, walnut, cherry, oak)--so I have been out this morning-sweeping and cleaning up out in the work shop-

   Soon, I will be tackling the ceiling in the bathroom-that needs to get done before I can finish the walls. every year I say I want to this done. I made an awesome rocked shower that I want to use-lol  I think I am going to have to learn how to lay tile on the floors in that room too-

   and then-ya know in the end-all my completed house wants are just material objects and does it really matter?

   I am also so concerned about ending up like my Mom in later years-so sad-I try to eat healthy and have added coconut oil capsules every day-etc-but when something in inherited not much one can do about it.
    so such is life I know-take a deep breath and just breath this is what happens when one thinks too much-back to crafting lol

Update

thanks Brenda I do feel a little better after writing this, just need to decide what makes us most happy-celebrating over 30 years of marriage soon-think it's 33-but who is counting lol









The rust iris is no longer at it's peak-but I just love the color



Not sure if this is a perennial that I had planted or if its a wildflower-we lost so much in this flower bed 7 years ago when we had very bad weather in back to back seasons and we found out that the deer love to eat lilies lol I had some fabulous lilies too



After 10 years my grandma's peonies finally decided to bloom-and on mothers day-so was special for me.

and behind the pampas grass found this pretty lily which should be planted by one of the ponds

Monday, May 26, 2014

Just a Few Ramblings

      One of my newest breakfast protein drinks is a green smoothie. I really love these. I still have some of my own canned fruit juices so I put around a pint in the vita mix (which is now at least 40 years old and still going) and then I go out to my raised beds where do to the nice growing weather we are having-I harvest a huge handful of greens-I have all kinds right now that are so beautiful. 
   I rinse them off tear off from any thick stems-like the swiss chard-and add them to my vita mix-when about half full-I give it a good whirl for about a minute or two-and then add a pint of water a scoop of rice protein, or whey protein, a little honey or agave and then whirl again-This is really very delicious-and I just never would have thought about using greens in my smoothies-I saw it as a kindle book-and thought wow sounds good-and it is.

     I worked off an on yesterday again working on my journal pages. I now have 6 more pages to make and then I will sew all these into the journal. I think I see a finish in a couple weeks. I love finishes-since I tend to get too many projects going at the same time. I am sticking to my guns and will not be starting something new like a quilt til I see more finishes.

   Been doing lots of reading in my herb and dye books and online about dye plants that are available to me right here in my woods. I just read plantain gives a gorgeous green-gotta try that for sure. I feel like a herbalogist-is that even a word-lol with pretty jars filled with herbs and extra virgin olive oil, and a large jar filled with vodka and goldenseal that I will be making into a tincture-used as medicine for colds etc. I did read in my books and also from two that Mr L shared with me that these tinctures will stay good for up to 10 years-that is pretty cool-and would be a good thing to do for all the survival preppers out there, or anyone that likes to have herbal medicines on hand.

   Hubby got on the mower early this morning and I got back to raking up thick piles of oak leaves that are up close to the house. Still no extreme heat here-I love that! With all this rain we are getting this spring my gorgeous iris's are blooming that I haven't seen for years-figured the deer had eaten them like they did all my gorgeous lilies. So good to see them again-I planted these probably 8 years ago, and we bought them from someone local that grows thousands of flowers-amazing. I have a midnight black, a couple victorian soft pinks, and an amazing rust that just bloomed. They are under the pine trees in back and are just in front of where all the daffodils are planted. That area is getting taken over with poison ivy so  need to decide how to handle that. any idea??

  Well, I hear that Mr L just drove up-gotta go

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Art Journal and Sir John and Izzy with Youngsters Have Left

Happy Sunday,
    This past week I have started back on my handmade journal. I had taken a break to finish up that memory quilt and then later to work on the veggie garden.
   We have had a few rainy days so good time to get back to this-as I really want to complete it.
   I have had my photobucket since yahoo 360 days but have not used it much for several years now-it has really changed allot. I used to make my own slideshows over there but could not find that feature-so if it's still there let me know where to find it please if you use them.
   
   I have really enjoyed this creative process. I tore out most all of the pages in the Time Life Sewing book that I picked up for this purpose. I then went through and chose colorful pages from the book to embellish and resew back into the book, I also made pockets or envelopes from these pages too. These are alternated with the handmade papers I purchased from papermaker Gayle on Etsy
   I had purchased papers from two different paper artists and their work is totally different. The papers I purchased that fit the size of this book were very thick-which I had asked for-and much more expensive so I only bought one set and it won't be enough pages for this project-so I decided to save those for a different journal-they can stand on their own with just covers-so need to learn how to sew that together.
   The papers from Gayle that I am using I had bought with another book in mind but decided I love these Time Life books better-so with these papers being a bit to short I just tore a piece in four strips to then hand sew onto the handmade papers to make the right size-adds texture and whimsey so I love it.
   I am now needing to make 8 more pages and then sew in around 16 pages, and I had left the table of contents pages in tack at back of book-so am going to sew those into more envelopes-or pockets . I will end up having over 25 pages total or around 50 if I count both sides of the pages. So plenty of room to enter in my hand dyed samples of yarns and cloth.

  Well, I wanted to bring my photobucket album I made to here but  can't get it to work-and I did make this album public-I added the link and it still won't work-sigh  so will bring over a few photos instead

  Yesterday morning Sir John's family was in the pond closest to the house-I saw them there when I was filling up the hummingbird feeders-but later when I went outdoors they were gone. I checked all the ponds and even walked about a mile to the fence line of a neighbor that has a big pond-and still no geese-sigh-so hoping they will stop by and visit us again as I miss them already. On another note, my Mom fell again and broke her other hip-but thank goodness not as bad as the one she broke a year ago-It's just about exactly a year since her first fall and the worsening of her dementia. I hope the scientist find a remedy soon for this horrible dementia disease.



Loving my journal so far photo 018-2.jpg Handmade paper photo 003-3.jpg I sewed back in pages from book photo 005-2.jpg Handmade paper photo 007-2.jpg Handstitched pages into book photo 008-1.jpg  photo 010-4.jpg Added in silk ribbons,buttons, beads photo 011-3.jpg  photo 009-1.jpg My rust dye fabric on reclaimed lining with butterflys photo 004-1.jpg More handmade papers to go into book photo 017-2.jpg My little work space on the coffee table photo 019-1.jpg

Friday, May 23, 2014

I Was Able to Get a Photo of the Little Goslings-From Afar Though



In a couple days I will try to get up closer and get a better photo-but you can see there little ones now

I was standing in the back corner of my veggie garden and zoomed as far out as I could-there are three little ones as I had brought the binoculars with.





I just went out to check on them again cause Mr L wanted to see them-they are now in the third small pond-lol

Happy Friday---and the Winners Are & Update: We Have Baby Gosslings

   Good morning all, and it's a beautiful cooled down morning here in the ozarks. We ended up with a thunder storm that seemed to come out of no where last night-so we got some much needed rain, lower humidity and cool air-love it.

   If you remember-I am drawing for two jars of my Whipped Chamomile Butter-I wanted to give out a couple samples, and giveaways are always fun.

   I wanted to thank all of you that entered and especially for the names for my geese. Such awesome ideas for names too, and some had great thought to them. I was torn between a couple entries but in the end I chose Karen H who wrote:

 Karen HFri May 09, 07:08:00 AM 2014
Since they are Canada geese how about John and Isabella (or Izzy for short). Sir John A MacDonald was one of the Fathers of Confederation and the first Prime Minister of Canada! Thanks for the chance to win Kathy!

    So Sir John and Izzy it is.  (check back for update on their hatch)

Everyone that entered with a name for my geese pair I also put their name in for the other jar drawing.

And winner for the second jar is Gill

Kinda fitting that the first jar is going to Canada and the second jar is going to the UK

Congrats to both of you! 

9:15am UPDATE   I just finished up with filling the hummingbird feeders, so I took a walk around the garden and in back of my mini veggie garden are the two small ponds. The pair had walked the little bridge and were standing around on the bank of the pond-thought well maybe they are cooling the eggs or maybe--- so I went back in the house and grabbed the binoculars-don't want to get too close at this point.
    They saw me and one went swimming-with little ones behind her-happy dancing-saw at least 3--I have a good zoom on my little camera so will see later on if I can a get a photo-now how cool is that-gosslings and on the day of the drawing!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Pretty Nice Day Today & a Few Photos

We have not turned on the a/c yet-and don't want to this year til we just must. It just costs so much to use but I know for health we will both  need it once the hot gets extreme.
    I am still collecting plantain and violet leaves to dry and then place into their olive oil jars. I don't have much space-so since the weather is cooperating I am collecting in small batches-dry-add to oil-and re collect. I should just about have my jars filled soon. I am also waiting on the heal all plant to bloom and then I will infuse that in olive oil too and also blend it up well with a little olive oil in my blender and then make soap with that-will make a good wound cleaner.
    Now that I have learned plantain and a couple others I say hi to them like I know them when I am outdoors-lol I know old age craziness-but it makes me smile to begin to really learn some wild plants and use them.
    With it getting hotter during mid day we are getting our most hummingbirds at one time at sunrise and again at sunset. With the edition of the two larger feeders I am no longer needing to fill three times a day-thank goodness-lol feel like I am keeping up with them finally.
    The other morning real early Mrs Goose took a swim in the pond with Mr Goose-thought that was cool. I was getting concerned that her eggs may not hatch cause a couple locals said it took around 21 days-so I looked it up online today and it is closer to a month or a few days more. She usually will lay 5 eggs and does not set them til all are laid-so I am still hopeful now to see little gosslings swimming around the pond.
   and just a reminder the drawing is tomorrow for my giveaway-go here to enter

I took some photos around the "yard"-will post more later.



Mr. Goose in the pond that is next to little pond that Mrs. Goose is in



Wild chamomile or "Pineapple Weed" in my yard-I have been collecting those flower heads and soaking in olive oil-on the wild plant all the medicinal value is only in the flower head unlike the domestic plant where the leaves are also of value. This will make up into some awesome gentle soaps and salves for sensitive skin



We have had the perfect spring weather for my herbs-lavender to the left-varrigated ginger mint-in the back there by fence and next to the lavender-which has really really spread since last year, and thymes to the right and top right



A little patch of wild violet and plantain 



More plantain-after much reading I have discovered in some articles that the primary medicinal value is in those seed stems-so I have those drying now too-and will add with the leaves in the olive oil.


Of course we need another hummingbird photo-lol in the background is our wisteria now in bloom-this is the 10th year now and it has really filled in our fence-love that. We brought this plant down with us from Illinois-it blooms later than the ones I have seen down here in Missouri and I think the blooms are prettier too.

Oh and I will share some flower blooms soon. I had decided that after 10 years of no blooms from my peonies-I would move them this spring. 
      They came from my Grandma's garden on her farm in Indiana-when I got married and moved to Illinois (over 30 years ago) I transplanted several of these and they grew well. However when we moved to Missouri-they have not been happy, never bloomed. I have them in different areas-under the pine trees in back, and on the edges of my old big garden here. Do to the up and down weather this early spring I did not have a chance to move them-and I didn't really know where I was going to move them either-well on Mother's Day they started to bloom-how awesome is that?? So far no pink ones just white-but I am happy happy-so I guess they will not get moved-just need to make sure they don't get mowed down by accident-since I no longer use the original garden area I had first started here

I just realized when I took my little walk around that when hubby mowed the main garden down-I forgot to tell him where Not to mow-it just dawned on me just now that he brush hogged down my forsythia bush (UPDATE: I went out to feed the corn to the wild critters-and I my bush is still there-yeah-along with my peonies and of course my pampas grass clumps-happy about that) and lots of winter perennials-lol that's ok-except I wanted the flowers from my forsythia bush for soap-but that area has been such an eye sore-I have been working on getting soaker hoses out of there, and allot of other garden fences etc out of there so we could mow it down-wild raspberry bushes took over, my planted blueberries never did well, I lost my asparagus row and the horseradish root I brought down from Illinois and also my gooseberries-have I mentioned lately how bad the soil is here??-I call it Missouri concrete cause it is not soil lol. 
   I had worked three years adding compost and manure etc to build up the soil-but it just needed so much more-and I learned after a few years it was too hot there in the summer to grow much-the summers can be brutal here-need filtered light through trees like the way my new mini garden is set up. and it was too close to the woods-once the deer discovered it-was all over-lol  
  well enough of me rambling on and on-sorry about that

Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway if you haven't already-and enjoy the upcoming long weekend

Sharing a Song

I really love this song from The Voice They sound so good together.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Photos-Close Ups of Hummingbirds and the Hunt for Goldenseal in my Woods









   My friend Mr L went with me in my woods here to hunt for the herb goldenseal-I was so excited about this. I have read about herbs for a long time and have wanted to use them and make things with them, but on those I am not sure of-I feel more confident if someone that really knows shows me in the wild where they are growing, kinda like with the hunt for edible mushrooms.
    I was just thrilled, and I am learning from a master herbalist. He is in his 70s now, so I am really grabbing every moment I can to learn what I have here.
     Don't you just feel good when you finally jump in and do something that you have always wanted to??









I will be drying the roots and then pulverize and use in salves, and soaps, I will also use some of the roots for dye.
    I will dry some of the leaves and put those in olive oil for a month and use in salves, lotions, and also soaps. The bulk of the leaves and stems I have in a large jar with vodka to make a tincture that can be used in salves etc. and as medicine.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hummingbirds Everywhere

These feeders are hanging from under an overhang we have in front of the house. As we walk by in the hallway or from the kitchen we can see them

Under the maple tree I have many single feeders out for them which they love, once those are empty we have at least two dozen or more at these feeders. Just amazing how many hummingbirds we have this year.

We went to a city garage sale yesterday and picked up two more feeders to hang under the overhang. I am now going through over 30 cups of sugar water per day-feeding three times a day-a full time job lol



This next photo is not real clear but you can see how many are coming to the feeders




The feeder in the back I just bought a couple days ago and it came with built in bee guards inside those flowers-the birds are not too happy with that feeder yet-but it holds lots of nectar so hopefully they will get used to it.




I love this feeder-it is a handmade thrown pottery piece, Larry found for me at a garage sale-no one knew what it was-after the person set it back down-he grabbed it and said it was a hummingbird feeder. The birds love those little places to land.


My extra long work table that I have in my  kitchen now is full of herbs drying-I have lemon balm drying and in olive oil now, I also have a new batch of violet leaves in olive oil and yesterday I picked a good amount of plantain that is now drying. The heal all plant is also drying which I will use for tea, and once the flowers appear on the plants I will collect more to dry and to make into a healing soap. Our friend Mr L brought over his two "go to" herb books-so I have been reading and taking notes.


It was still in the 30s this morning but in the high 30s, and we will reach near 70 today-90s by Wednesday. Such extremes this spring. 
     We ended up just above freezing this past week so I didn't need to cover plants-thank goodness. I will be working on getting weeds pulled in some areas, will need to get back to hand watering, and I bought a couple veggie plants yesterday. My friend that was growing plants from seeds for me brought over my sweet peppers and eggplant-but sigh they are soooo small, not ready to handle this weather yet-so I decided to pick up two different kinds of sweet peppers and eggplants just in case those don't  make it. I am loving those new eggplants that are available now-so much more flavorful and more tender and not bitter. I bought a white one, and a long purple one. We love them grilled or in veggie stir frys.

     Have an awesome Sunday!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Sunny Thursday

Good afternoon my dear friends,
     I haven't been creating anything new lately so nothing to share at the moment.
     I am on my last hexagon coaster though, which I sew a little on in the evenings; I made four more. 
     I am thinking I am going to probably put a quilt of hexagons on hold til the winter months. I have some other quilts I would really like to get started on first-along with a few other projects to finish up. and once I am caught up on the outside gardening I want to tackle the texturing of the ceiling in the bathroom-I am definately not getting any younger so these projects need to get done before I can't do them anymore. (Now to get hubby back on the house too-which honestly I don't think will happen-no fun getting older-let me tell ya.)
      I also want to spend more time this summer with my hand dyeing, and also making salves and soaps from the plants I have here in my woods. I collected more wild violet leaves to soak in olive oil for the lip balm-everyone I gave a tin to, just loved it.
     I am happy with my little garden so far, but tonight and tomorrow night-oh my- they are saying freeze warnings-so that means digging out some things to cover up all my tomato plants especially, and I have beans up too-so hoping we don't get down that cold.
     It was good to see the sun out today, so I spent the morning in town doing lots of errands-I had a whole list of things to do plus doing the monthly shopping. I only shop every 4 to 6 weeks so not so bad really, and when one lives rural you have an on going list to add to, along with all the errands listed. I was proud of myself-I did it all in 4 hours-pretty nifty. I left around 7 am so that made going to town for me so much nicer-I really am not one of those people that enjoys driving around-so I only drive when I just have to.
    Mrs. Goose is still sitting on her eggs, although she seems to be cooling them off more now-I am hoping for her sake that her eggs will hatch; we have had such extremes in weather this whole time she has been sitting. I did not write down when she first started sitting-but I am thinking it must be 3 weeks now.
   Last night we had a young doe visit us in the backyard up by the bay window-we haven't had any deer visitors for a few weeks.  Now that turkey hunting season is over the gobblers are visiting again too. and the hummingbirds are just unreal this year-sooo many of them compared to last year. I will definately be going through lots and lots of sugar this summer. I just put up a brand new feeder and so far they don't like it. I have never had a feeder with the bee guards on it-so they are not used to that.

    I goofed when I set the date for my giveaway-meant for it to be this weekend but instead it is the following week-so you still have plenty of time to enter and to name my goose pair. visit here to enter.

  That's about it for me; what have you all been up to?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Monday-Lots Accomplished in the Veggie Garden over the Weekend & Giveaway

How is everyone?

   I was finishing up with my veggie garden today-and wow it is very very hot and humid out there-we have a cold front coming in with strong storms, so a cool down for this week. I love it-we will be back in the 60s again and lows in the 40s my kind of weather for down here. I wanted to get the garden planted before this cool down so it will benefit from the rains.






(if you look close you can see my tomato plants nestled into all that pulled wheat and straw)


   Over the weekend I needed to get all of my tomato plants in the ground-and I have lots of paste tomatoes this year so am hoping for a good crop for canning this year.  I bought seed for two different types this year-the amish paste and the comstock paste-these both are usually meatier and larger than the regular romas.

   First up was all that wheat and field peas that I planted as a cover crop--got really tall on me do to the crazy weather-in fact it was starting to form the seed heads-too tall already to hand til in, so I just hand pulled all of it. Allot of work for sure-but it will break down into composted matter right in my garden.
    Today what little garden space I had left-(those blank areas in the photos) I planted into edible and herb flowers, one hill of summer squash, one hill of zucchini, one hill each of two different winter squashes, and soy beans. We love edamame-the green soy beans in the pods so would love to get some in the freezer this summer-since most of the frozen here comes from china now. 
I also needed to replant my cucumbers, and I may need to fill in some pole beans too. we had that cold snap a couple weeks ago.
     I was also very excited to find from Baker Creek Seeds a calendula that was very very potent with it's beneficial properties-so I planted a big patch of that to make things with.

   I have been learning more about my wild edible herbs and plants here from our friend Mr L, and plan to make several healing salves and lip balms-and to offer them for sale in my soap shop-I hope there will be an interest. 

   The violet leaf lip balm was a huge favorite. I ended up giving all the tins away I had made except kept one for me. Everyone I gave it too-just loves it-found out from them it was excellent to get rid of cold sores, soften and healed cuticles and was liked better as a hand cream than the one they were using-a very healing balm. I really love using it too.
    So today, I have gathered more violet leaves to make another batch, also collected to dry lemon balm and the heal all wild herb. I will be making a healing soap from the heal all plant-great for cuts and sores-and helps to stop the bleeding. The lemon balm is also said to help with cold sores so I am thinking of combining it with the violet leaves. I also will be collecting plantain which we have several different vararties of here in my woods.

      Hope all of you mothers had a wonderful and special day yesterday.-I am not a mother-unless you could count all the birds and animals I have taken care of over the years. lol 
   however, To remember my Mom yesterday-I thought of her gorgeous flower gardens that brought praises from her neighbors, and of her veggie gardens that she canned and froze through her early 80s. I rarely call her now-as her dementia has gotten much worse this past year. I do still think of her every day.

and if you missed it-I am having a drawing for two jars of my whipped chamomile butter-see last post for details-one week left to enter.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Reminder *****May 23rd ****Giveaway & Name My Pair of Canada Geese

Good morning, I think it's time for a little giveaway, don't you? (smiling) 

 I have decided to hook up this post to Let's Bee Social-see the button on right hand column to visit or to join in on this social event.

I wanted to share my giveaway with all of you at Let's Bee Social. 
    I have not done allot of sewing since I last linked up. I am almost finished with my hexagon mug rugs though. 
    However I did dye a gorgeous silk blouse with red onion skins that I was thrilled with -can see in my fibers etsy shop. I also just listed two other eco cycled silk blouses-that I repurposed using onion skins and silk ties for the dye-love these too-and much fun to make. 
     I have been spending lots of time in my mini garden-see my next post for an update on my progress. It was so hot last week-and now we are cold and chilly again-but the much needed rain is more than welcome and I am enjoying the cool down-although highs in the 40s is needing an adjustment after high 80s and into the 90s-but that's Missouri. We also enjoyed a visit with friends from up in the Chicago area-so life is good here in the ozarks-thanks for stopping by.


This week I have decided my canada geese pair need names. I don't know if they will now be year round residents of if they will leave and come back-but either way I have decided they need names.

Mr canada goose is very devoted to his job as being the decoy protecting Mrs. canada goose. He walks miles it seems every day, and he is very intelligent-as most birds and animals are-one must just notice. I hadn't realized one day that he was already in the back at the woods line looking for corn when I walked back there. He spotted me and as I came closer he started hissing at me. So I talked to him politely and showed him I was the one with the corn. I walked around him so as not to agitate him continuing to throw out the corn. The next time I ran into him with corn-he just watched me-no hissing. Mrs. canada goose is always on her nest, but now  we do see her going for a little stretch now and then.

So for the giveaway I have decided to give away two jars of my Whipped chamomile with primrose oil and lavender-I am loving this new butter allot (awesome for sensitive skin)-and I am also working on new butters, lip balms, and moisturizers soon to be posted in my shop-so I hope you will also stop by my Kathyinozarks Soaps on Etsy when you have time to browse and hopefully do some shopping.
Whipped Chamomile Body Butter with Lavender & Evening Primrose Oil


This time instead of only drawing a name out of the hat I will also draw for winning names of Mr and Mrs. Canada Goose.

For winning chances:
   1. first chance name my pair of geese.
   2. then for more chances: tell me how you read me-blog list, email, bloglovin etc
   3. share this post on any other social media and come back and tell me where.
   4. I am still working on getting the news out about my etsy shops-so please share this post on facebook and tell me that you did.
   5. like my facebook page for my kathyinozarks soaps and tell me that you did. If you already liked my page just tell me that you did
    6. visit my kathyinozarks soap on etsy and favorite my shop and let me know you did
    7. while visiting my shop favorite items that you like-and tell me that you did

Good luck in the drawings

For the first jar I will choose the winner by which name I like best for my geese pair.

I will draw for the second jar from names I put in the draw for all the other chances.

I will draw on Friday May 23rd

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Couple Photos

Yesterday I went through and picked spinach, lettuce, radishes, and mini bok choys from one of my raised beds

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Close up of clematis

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We have loads of little hummingbirds buzzing around all over the place-and so soon-I am thinking all the babies from last year must have returned lol also with this week of 90s not many flowers out for them yet.


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Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Dancing Here-I Now Have Sound on my PC and my Pretty Clematis Blooms

Whooo Hooo it must be at least 3 years now, perhaps more that I have had no sound. I mostly missed it for the instructional videos on YouTube.

It's been a struggle too getting it on my new computer for some reason. I took the ones I had bought back and just told the lady I didn't like them-and I bought a different brand. Hubby bought a sound card or something and played with that til he got it working-thanks to hubby for knowing how to do this stuff---these speakers are just awesome-best sound I have ever owned for my computer.

To test it out I found music by my most favorite country artists- Blake Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert




Well, bummer I am back to the photos not loading again.

 I am going to have to take Mitch's advice and upload photos to photobucket and then bring them here. Since we have satelite internet though we get charged for the time usage-unless I get up early in the morning and do it during my free time. Need to get back in the habit of doing that-which I used to do all the time when I was on yahoo 360.

I wanted to share this photo with you, so brought it over from fb




These hot days-high 80s and 90s are opening up the blooms really fast and wide all in one day-so they will be gone in no time-I have two of these plants on either ends of the fence-and they are just loaded with blooms this year. These plants are 10 years old now. This is just the bottom half of the plant-the rest is up on the top of the fence.

I am back into my summer routine already-and it is not even summer yet-lol  Hand watering my plants that are planted  now every morning, and again in the evening. Also allot of the hummers are back now so I am filling up their feeders every morning now too.

We are back to having the pesky raccoons back up at the front of the house. I brought kitty's food and water in the house to not tempt him when I forget to bring it in at night. Now though he is opening up the metal cans with tight lids that I use for bird seed and corn. Never had one that opened these, as they are on really tight. So yesterday I put big pieces of firewood on top along with a plastic container I had been using-so if I was in the living room I would hear him-and I did last night and opened up the door and he took off. Now that he knows he can open the cans he'll be a big pest-lol

I am looking into some new soap recipes using my own herbs, also looking into making moisturizer bars with shea butter. I really loved the lip balm I made so once I have fresh calendula flowers in my garden I will be lip balm with those. If I can find jewelweed here in my woods I would also like to make some poison ivy soap.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Silk Blouse Out of the Dye Pot

I am so pleased with the dye result on this pretty victorian style lace blouse. It is now for sale in my Kathyinozarks Fibers on Etsy   along with the other two blouses I dyed with silk ties. My new hand dyed eco clothing line has now been launched.


Wow its over 90 degrees here already-and humid-a very summer like day already. Happy Sunday to you all.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Was Hoping to Post a Photo---update a photo loaded

  Thank you so much to my friend Cookie-she suggested microsoft picture manager for my photo editing, and when hubby downloaded it for me-wow-too cool-this is the program I loved and was on my old computer til it got fried from the lightening a year ago. I didn't know what I had so couldn't get back to it-lol Thank you Cookie

Sigh-double Sigh-editing my photos to smaller-allot smaller than I have posted in the past-still will not load for me here-I am not having problems on any other site-any ideas?? suggestions??

My blouse turned out beautiful-I rinsed it this morning in a vinegar-water bath, then washed in the machine with synthropol-a dyers soap that I use for chemical dyes, and now also for natural dyes-it gets all the "floating" dye washed out-so what is left is pretty dye fast. I have it drying on a hanger so will take a photo and I guess go back to posting on fb and then copy and paste to here-which is really getting to be a hassle.

I also wanted to share a photo where the the hen goose is sitting on her eggs-that was the photo I shrunk down in hopes to post here. 

Our friend Mr L brought over a wild turkey carcus with all the dark meat still attached-so that is going into a big stock pot and getting simmered down into soup broth with meat which I will can up in quart jars. His friends were down for turkey hunting and got one this morning-they kept the breast meat to take home and was going to discard the rest til Mr L rescued it-lol  I only have a couple quart jars left so this will be nice to have in the pantry-I will split what I can with our friend.

That's it for now til I figure out how to post photos here



I took Mitch's suggestion and looked at googles limits-one thing they mentioned was less blog posts per page-so I did that first-and voila-a photo loaded.  If you enlarge this photo and look in the middle of the tree down to just before the water you will see mama goose-she has her head hidded as she saw me taking her photo

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