Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Number Two

Here's the other one. I just love the effect these mini sunflowers
have against the white pickett fence! I need to stick some in a vase
and add it to our growing fall centerpiece. Ahh, the air is crisp and
breezy and it finally feels like autumn. Happiness...


There are two transformations I can't take my eyes off of recently.
The next one will come in a second post because I'm blogging from my
phone (oh, the wonders of technology!) and you can only post one
picture at a time via phone posting.

We've had this long grass growing
for a few months and it suddenly exploded into a feathery firework-
likeness of glory. Does anyone know what this grass is called? It's
like a love letter from the Creator and I'm falling for Him more and
more every time I gaze at it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Smelly Wax

While wandering through the sales ads, I saw there were some organic soy fall candles on sale at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and my heart skipped a beat! Wahoo! I decided to buy the all-natural sent, "candy corn" (note the sarcasm). It smells delicious. When it was time to dispose of the extra wax, I couldn't bring myself to just toss it in the trash. There was some scrap paper neatly sitting on the kids' desk (meaning it was scattered all over the floor), and I remembered the stashes of egg cartons we were saving for when the chickens started laying (we're up to eight a day now!), and quickly made fire starters out of it all. Not just any fire starters. Organic Candy Corn-scented fire starters. Now all we need is some cold weather and a couple chords of wood and our wood burning stove will be in business!
And a special thank you to my sweet babies who constructed this lovely autumn centerpiece out of things gathered from the backyard. The centerpiece is being added to daily. I wonder what our table will look like come Thanksgiving?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pancake Squash

I have become quite the pro of cross-polinating squashes. Last year, I crossed zucchini and butternut and we decided to name it "zucchernut."  Outside of it's straingly intriguing appearance, it proved useless.
This year, I was careful to plant one squash at a time, but a sneaky pumpkin seed snuck in through the compost and disguised itself nicely in the yellow squash patch. I was so frustrated! What was I going to
do with these mutants?! When I saw them sitting there in the corner of my kitchen counter (if I had a dunce cap, I would have put it on them) next to my long-awaited Vitamix, I thought I'd look through the Vitamix cookbook to see if I could find any squash recipes, and low and behold, there was a zucchini pancake recipe! So I chopped them up, ommitted the sugar, and tada! My mutants found their destiny! They made delicious pancakes! And they have a great shelf life, a lot longer than the summer squash, but you can chop it up, skin and all, which is a lot easier than processing pumpkins. I hereby name them... The pancake squash.

I'm sharing this at Farmgirl Friday & Barn Hop.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Welcome to My Garden

It's been a little over two years since I first plunged my hands in the fertile Northern Californian soil, but I feel like I just started gardening.  I'm by no means a master gardener (I hope to be someday), but I do my homework.  I hope all you gardeners out there, especially the ones in zone 9, consider my garden journal entries a kind of garden club where we can share ideas, tips and stories together.

Let's go on a little stroll through my garden.  It currently consists of seven raised beds, a white picket fence, and a garden gate with thornless roses creeping up the arbor that shades the gate.  I'd love to take credit for all this, but besides the abandoned, overgrown beds, the garden was this gorgeous when we moved in as renters.  You'll have to use your imagination for the entry because I couldn't capture a satisfactory photo of it.

Here is bed 1.  This was taken August 8.  We've got about 8 pumpkins so far.

Bed 2 is a currently a gourd bed.  We planted decorative gourds and crafters gourds.  My plan is to make bowls, serving ladles, and birdhouses out of them with my children.  Depending on how they turn out, they could make sweet gifts.  I got this idea from P. Allen Smith. (I've wanted to do this for a while.)  This was also taken early August....

.. and here are some cutie little gourditas that we've got growing now.

Bed 3.  I just seeded it yesterday with celery and heirloom Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach Seeds.  Anticipating the sprouts is so much fun!  There are tomatoes finishing their summer run up at the top and at the bottom are canteloupes who decided to show up late in the season...
They are small, but soooo goood.

Bed 4.  For some reason, I love this bed.  I think it's the way the light hits it.  I've had the hardest time growing anything in there due to mimosa runners and once free-roaming chickens deciding it looked like a great salad bar, but I keep weeding, fertilizing, and planting.  Right now, it has Danver's half-long carrots, Dolla Rossa Lettuce, Dutch cabbage, and I just planted kale in the places where the chickens had there way in it (they are now happily free-ranging in a large chicken run constructed by my handy husband).

Bed 5: The corn is obviously done, and we're getting the last of the Contender Bush Beans, which are really tasty.  I'll be replanting this bed in a few days.

Bed 6.  This is my second favorite bed.  Parsley, anyone?  That's what's growing to the left.  The open patch has cilantro seeds hopefully germinating, then there are some tomatoes finishing up, some basil behind the tomatoes, and more cilantro seeds to the far right.

Bed 7.  Lots of happy little kale and cabbage sprouts!

That's my garden for now.  I love how gardens are always changing, growing and yielding little nourishing treats with the seasons.  It doesn't get more fresh and local than the backyard.  :)

I'm sharing this at Barn HopFarmgirl Friday.

Monday, September 21, 2009


"Mommy, what's your favorite color?"
"Well baby, I don't really have one.  I love all of them, especially when they're tastefully arranged together."
"Mommy, what's your favorite sea creature?"
"I don't know, baby.  I really like dolphins and whales.  And I love how some sea creatures help one another.  That's called 'symbiosis.'"
"Mommy, what's your favorite favorite dinner?"
"Mmmm.  I love dinners.  It depends on what I'm feeling like.  Today, I think... raw Thai food sounds delicious, with that tasty Thai tea, something with lots of ginger and garlic, and for dessert, raw peach cobbler.  Raw food sounds good to me today.  Wait, where are you going, baby?  I'm still answering your question..."

My kids really want me to land on some favorites here.  It just makes things easier to categorize and digest, I think.  I love blogs that are about one thing.  I can find some great raw recipes at one blog, some inspirational mothering literature at another, tips on gardening in zone 9 at yet another, home orchards, backyard chicken flocks, home schooling, baking, cooking, organics, spiritual growth...  But I just can't get myself to land on a blog emphasis.  I love a myriad of arts and activities and want to talk about them all.  At the same time, my favorite quote-turned-motto, "do few things and do them well" doesn't sit well with all this interest, does it?  But wait a minute.  Yes it does!  I have decided my blog shall be about... Homemaking!  Being a keeper of the home!  Homesteading!  It all means the same thing to me.  And that's what this here blog will be all about.  Ahhh.  That feels good.  Now if only I could satisfy my poor kids' desire to categorize my favorite favorites.  And by the way, my 7-year-old has determined that white is my favorite color because it has all of the colors in it. :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Who Am I?

I’m that girl who:
walked around at four-years-old, holding Jesus’s hand and really felt her hand in His.
’s aunt practiced cutting hair on and ended up with a boy ‘do which confused all her 5-year-old soccer teammates as to whether she was in to Rainbow Bright or He Man.
dreamt about being in the Olympics after watching them in 1984.  First, she was going into running.  Then swimming.  Then gymnastics.  Then, she settled for a silver medal for the hurdles in the Girl Scout Brownie Olympics.
loved singing, dancing, and acting with CTAP, her church's children's performing arts group.  
couldn’t hold it in any longer and farted as she went into a back bend and had to continue to walk in that position across the mat while everyone (including the teacher) in dance class laughed in hysterics.
went to school at Orangethorpe Elementary in Room 25 for 4th grade and then became “one of those home schooled kids” for six years.
had a mom who wanted to encourage her daughter’s writing and set up a meeting where Ken Gire read one of her short stories and was elated when Ken told her it was a good story although it was unbelievable.
wanted to become amish, but settled with raising three hens since the city ofGarden Grove wouldn’t let her have a cow.
was that shy, quiet girl who shook and made strange noises and shared her testimony when Carl Tuttle asked her to come up at a Wednesday night renewal meeting.
attended SCC for her Junior year and participated in all the extra curricular activities she could get her hands on, including finally landing a lead role in a play!
took her acting talent on the road and aquired such esteemed rolls as various characters at Disneyland and an extra in two movies that were so lame, they will not be mentioned.
dated three guys before she surprisingly found her husband in a friend.
became a woman who:
was married at nineteen and lived happily in a cozy, 500 square foot studio with her husband while they both went to college and worked full-time.
couldn’t wait to be a mother and has since given birth to four beautiful babes.
had a personal revival in 2006 and hasn’t been the same since.
felt very guilty for breaking her parents’ hearts but moved away attempting to listen to what she felt the Lord told her to do.
had a year of trial in 2007.
misses her husband when he travels but supports him entirely.
wants to love her heavenly Father in everything she does.
likes to take care of the world God created as a thankful steward.
has become “one of those home school moms.”
loves her life.


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