June 20, 2010 § 4 Comments
I’m squeezing this one in…it’s not long before it will be Monday. As always, thanks to Cate @ Moments of Whimsy for hosting and for her lovely entry this week. Go read it.
This is my contribution for the week…
Have a great week!
June 13, 2010 § 4 Comments
AND THE WINNER IS…
Kind of freaky because I won the draw Cate held a few weeks ago…but I swear it was a totally random draw and I didn’t play favourites.
Congrats to B! Cate, just send me an e-mail with your relevant info and I’ll get that care package in the mail asap. I’d show you all what the prize is but I’m not sure myself yet. I’ll do a follow up post once B receives it. 🙂
Again I’d like to thank everyone for their submissions and I loved the names so much that I’ve decided to use them for the gnomes I adopt in the future. I can’t wait to fill my gardens with a Noliet, Frank, Norbert, Tomte and Mr. Gigglesworth. 😀
June 6, 2010 § 8 Comments
Though Cate @ Moments of Whimsy, who hosts Sunday’s Share, doesn’t have hers up yet (no worries Cate -take your time) I’m going ahead.
This week I am offering anyone reading this a chance to enter a draw and win a prize.
For Mother’s Day this year I got one of the neatest gifts ever from Hubby. A gorgeous little garden gnome. After a shout out on the blog about whether or not I should name him, I got an overwhelming response from you guys that yes, I should.
The thing is, I can’t think of one and I thought I’d give anyone interested the opportunity and a chance to win a little Canadian care-package to boot.
Simply submit your suggestions in the comments this week and I’ll take all the suggestions and draw a winner on Saturday. One entry per person please…though I will accept entries from your kids as seperate if they have any…just make a note of it in the comment.
I’ll post the results for next week’s Sunday’s Share. I’m really looking forward to your suggestions!
May 30, 2010 § 8 Comments
After missing last week’s Sunday’s Share hosted by Cate @ Moments of Whimsy, I’m happy to say I’m ready with a new one.
This week has been a flurry of activity that’s seen us get more done around the house, specifically in the backyard, than we’ve ever managed to do in such a short time since buying the house 12 years ago.
So, how do you treat yourself for a week’s worth of hard work especially when the grocery store is having a sale on strawberries? Well, you make jam and a strudel of course!
The “jam” (okay, it’s not really jam but more like syrop) is made using the easiest ever recipe in existence. That’s because it’s not meant to have a shelf life and should be enjoyed within days of making it, so please don’t use this recipe for anything you intend to “preserve”.
First the berries…
Now here’s something, the berry on the left would have been considered a large one by my childhood standards. I don’t know about you but when I see genetic engineering in action, as in the berry on the right, I get a little nervous.
Do we really need berries the size of small tomatoes? And I don’t mean cherry or grape tomatoes, what’s up with those things anyway? Okay, I’m digressing…back to making jam with freak ass giant strawberries.
Wash and cut berries into bite size pieces and throw them in a pot with some sugar. About 2 tblsps of sugar per cup of berries, more or less according to your personal preferences.
Cook over low heat until berries are soft, stirring occasionally. When berries are soft, mash them with a potato masher or a fork until they are relatively smooth with only small chunks. Turn the heat up to medium allowing the berries to come to a boil to reduce and thicken, stir often. Remove the pink “scum” that floats to the top with a spoon and discard.
Wash and dry some canning jars and lids. There is no real need to sterilize the jars unless they came right out of the box or sat in a back room where mice are known to reside…that could just be my back room but still, covering my bases. Again, we’re not making preserves so a clean jar and lid will do.
Turn the stove off and let the jam cool in the pot before transferring into jars. Leave about a half inch to an inch space at the top of the jar and let stand for another hour before putting on lids. When ready, put on lids and keep in the fridge for about a week or so, if it lasts that long. Can be kept in a freezer for up to a month. Do not refreeze.
This “jam” makes a great topping for ice cream, pound cake or simply spread on some toast. Enjoy!
May 16, 2010 § 8 Comments
Another Sunday’s Share already, where did the week go? Adding to Cate @ Moments of Whimsy’s awesome post about how blogging rocks, here’s something a little more mundane about my garden.
Spinach and Cucumbers and Beans, Oh My!
Gardening can be such a metaphor for life…how we reap what we sow, how persistence is key, how good things come to those who wait, how self-reliance is the path to self-sufficiency and how diligence is its own reward.
And by the looks of things, I’m going to have to brush up on my pickling skills and improve my recipe. The last time I made pickles half of the batches turned out way too salty. 😉
Have a great week!
May 9, 2010 § 6 Comments
It’s a Mother’s Day Sunday’s Share this week and as always, Cate @ Moments of Whimsy got the ball rolling with her post.
I’d like to contribute this thought…
A mother’s greatest lessons to her children are in the example she sets for them. Modeling is far superior to merely using words to teach her kids how to get on in the world. So if a mother wants her children to follow their passions, pursue their personal dreams and shoot for the moon, it stands to reason she should being doing these things for herself also.
Happy Mother’s Day
In addition, here’s a pic of what I woke up to this morning!
May 2, 2010 § 7 Comments
It’s time for another Sunday’s Share hosted by Cate @ Moments of Whimsy. I borrowed Cate’s title because I really identified with what she wrote. This week Cate talks about how she feels frustrated at her own cynicism towards her personal “big dream” goals and how she wants to break out of her shell and go for it.
I could really relate to her post because I find now that my kids are older and mostly self-sufficient, my mind and heart often wander back to the dreams I once had for a career in music. Not rock star dreams of course, that’s too big even for my ego. But a simple dream of getting paid to play my songs in local clubs and just doing something that I love.
That’s me and my guitar back when I first started playing in 1998. I had never even picked up a musical instrument before but by the end of an 8 week adult interest course at my local college, I had written three songs. My instructor insisted I had natural talent and that if I pursued it I could do very well for myself.
For the next couple of years I practiced, kept writing songs and even recorded and produced my own album. Seriously, I have an album called “The Cat’s Out and Other Stories” that I put together entirely on my own in my basement.
Then I just stopped. I stopped recording, I stopped practicing and I stopped singing. Though I never really gave up writing lyrics, I call them poems now, I haven’t set any to music in a very long time. I’m not sure why either. Life just got ahead of me I suppose and it was one of those things that got put on the back burner.
Recently I took “ol’ Dusty” out of its case, tuned it and just spent a few minutes strumming away. It was awesome! I really had forgotten just how much I enjoyed playing. Making music was something that filled me with joy, pride and hope and I think it’s high time I got back at it.
Thanks for the inspiration Cate. 🙂
April 26, 2010 § 8 Comments
Dana @ Roscommon Acres invited folks to link to her recent garden post with one of our own. Since I missed this week’s Sunday Share with Cate @ Moments of Whimsy, I thought I’d link this post to both of theirs.
Before you go thinking I’ve got some kind of miracle green thumb, this is a picture of our garden from early summer 2008. There’s no possible way I could get something that looks that gorgeous so early in the year. I just wanted to give you an idea of what I’m going for.
This is what I’ve got now…
a very dry bed with lots of weed both in and out of it. I’ve certainly got my work cut out for me. And if this morning was any indication, I was ready to give up after only 10 minutes, I just may not be the gardening type.
On the bright side though, last year’s garden disaster wasn’t a total loss and did yeild a few very stubborn and resiliant green onions.
Gives me some hope for this year and I’m not giving up. Growing a vegetable garden is a lot of work but if you can hang in there, the rewards are immeasurable. Kind of like life. 🙂
April 17, 2010 § 5 Comments
It’s not quite Sunday here yet but I’m doing my entry a little early for Sunday’s Share hosted by Cate @ Moments of Whimsy.
This is a picture of a tree blossoming in my backyard. It hasn’t always been there and I certainly didn’t plant it. But over the last couple of years I’ve begun to notice its presence. How could I not? It’s so beautiful.
The picture doesn’t do it justice of course because as I’ve noted plenty of times, a photographer I am not.
And I wish you could see it in real life. The tiny charming pink and white blossoms fiercely gripping the ends of strict, thorn filled mahogany stems.
And to me it screams of possibility and the promise of Spring. To me, it is evidence that we are meant to break out, find new skins and bloom anew. It is the promise that the Universe supports us in our changes, both voluntary and/or necessary.
April 11, 2010 § 4 Comments
As always, much thanks to Cate @ Moments of Whimsy for the invite to participate in this weekly sharing of inspiration.
She’s even started a website, Homeschoolers For Africa, to give more information, keep track of both the book and monetary donations she receives and to encourage anyone who might agree that this is a wonderful and worthwhile endeavour.
As homeschoolers, the library is one of our most used and beloved resources and I can’t fathom managing without it. In fact, even when our kids were in school we visited the local library regularly. It’s difficult to imagine our lives without the free access to a wide range of reading material.
So when Colleen first posted about helping build libraries in Africa, it felt good…it felt right. EVERYONE deserves the right to access books. In the end, the actual time it took to gather up some books, box them up and get them shipped off to Colleen in L.A. was little more than a hour combined.
Talk about a win-win situation.
If you think you might like to help out with this project please follow the links above to find out more.