Thursday, August 11, 2022

Pictures from July

 July was a beautiful and busy month. I always enjoy July, as I feel that it is filled with summer's best. Trips to the lake, picking berries, stunning sunsets, garden produce, family picnics, beautiful flowers, well as you can see I could go on forever!

We were very blessed with an abundance of berries in our garden this year. I was able to make jam from our home grown strawberries, black raspberries and rhubarb, so far. I still plan to make red raspberry jam from our garden at some point. I also had enough berries to freeze for the winter months ahead.

There is nothing quite like a pie made with fresh berries from the garden! It gives us such a good feeling to see the hard work of planting and caring for our plants come to fruition.

Although we have planted blueberries they are very slow to grow. The picture of the plant above was taken at a beautiful blueberry farm we visit each summer. Our annual trip is one of my favorite summer traditions! This year I went with my mom and sister, with her children. It was fun to see the cousins enjoy their time together and competing to see who could pick the most blueberries!
One evening Jemimah brought in a basket of bell peppers she picked. She likes to pick flowers from her wild flower garden and then arrange them among the vegetables. She finds great delight in surprising me with beautiful bouquets and displays of her flowers.
I am grateful to have a nice supply of peppers in my freezer for the winter ahead.

We are thrilled to finally have some ripe tomatoes. They seemed to be a little slow to ripen this year. We have a few different heirloom varieties, which is a real treat. Above is another example of Jemimah's creative expression in vegetable/flower arranging. : )

The geese have grown so fast! They are such characters and seem to find ways to amuse us nearly every day. Axel is a little aggressive with people he doesn't know and becomes very vocal at his annoyance when unknown guests arrive, like the gas delivery man yesterday! He also finds great delight in chasing our poor little dog Darla Mae and chasing Jemimah while she rides her bike. He has gone so far as to bite her bike tire. I'm glad to be on his good side, so far!

Jemimah spent time this summer working on her embroidery and learning how to sew on the sewing machine. After completing a couple of hand sewn projects she was ready to try her hand at using a sewing machine. She sewed a patchwork quilt for her dolls and did a great job! I was so proud of her hard work, and blessed when she won best of fair at our county fair for her quilt.

Over the summer I hand embroidered a little runner/dresser scarf. I found the stamped embroidery kit at a little quilt shop in our area; they were selling a number of vintage stamped embroidery projects for 50cents- $1. I purchased several, some appear to be from the 1950's. 

I also added a couple of new (to me) vintage apron patterns to my collection. I am hoping to find time to sew them over the next few months, and maybe add them to my shop. I really like to button back closure of each design.

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful summer! 

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" Romans 11:33

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Pasta Salad Recipe

Today I would like to share with you my favorite recipe for pasta salad. Earlier this month I made pasta salad for a Fourth of July picnic at my mom's house.

Pasta Salad:
1 box (12 Oz.)  tri-colored rotini pasta
1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/4-1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup pepperoni, cut into pieces
1 can (6 oz.) black olives, sliced

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 TBSP. water
1 TBSP. honey
3 TBSP. Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
black pepper to taste
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.
 Whisk together ingredients to create the dressing.
In  large bowl combine pasta, cheese, bell pepper, carrot, onion, pepperoni, olives and salad dressing. Refrigerate overnight. 
This salad is a summer favorite in my home! It is very versatile and can be adjusted to suit your family's preferences. 

I also made a cake for the picnic. It was a simple boxed cake, but I thought it may be worth sharing despite the fact in was not entirely made from scratch.

 Cherries in the Snow Cake:
1 box white cake mix (*ingredients needed to bake cake)
1 box instant pudding
2 cups cold milk 
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling


Prepare and bake cake according to directions. 
When cake is finished baking and still warm poke cake with the end of a wooden spoon handle. In bowl combine pudding mix with milk. Stir until smooth and let sit 2 minutes. Pour pudding into holes of warm cake. Place in fridge a couple of hours to cool.  Prior to removing cake from fridge, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla, until stiff peaks form and it has become whipped cream. When cool, top cake with whipped cream and cherries.
*When the boxed cake mix called for oil I used melted butter, and it place of water I used whole milk.

Since it was July 4th, I decided to try and form the cherries and some blueberries into an American flag. My attempt was a little crude, but everyone seemed to like my less than perfect flag cake.

It was a lovely Fourth of July picnic! We were very blessed with a warm, sunny day. We enjoyed good food, patriotic music, fireworks, and best of all, being with family.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Psalm 33:12a


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Feathered and Furry Friends

Happy Summer! I hope you all have enjoyed a beautiful spring.

This spring we were blessed to add to our flock and I thought I would take some time to share pictures of our feathered and furry friends.

For some time now Adam has been interested in purchasing some geese. He had read articles about the benefits of geese, and that they prove to be a good alarm/guard against predators. After losing all but two of our hens over the past year he had been looking into options on how to better protect our hens. Some recommend geese as they will alert their owners of harm and even scare away predators.

 It wasn't too hard for Adam to convince me that we needed geese. Especially when I met the sweet little gosling above! Adam had ordered two Embden geese, unfortunately when the shipment arrived at the store, one of the goslings had not survived the trip. The store we purchased from had a mix of other goslings to choose from and this little dear caught my eye, she is a White Chinese.

 In just over a month the geese have grown so much! Both geese are loving and enjoy being held. In the evenings Adam and I will sit in our lawn chairs with a goose on each of our laps.

 Adam has named his Embden goose Axel, after the character in Journey to the Center of the Earth. Axel is an impressive goose already, he is twice the size of my goose. I love the picture above, as it looks like he has a crazy tuft of blonde hair! Both geese have lost most of their baby fuzziness and are growing beautiful white feathers.

As I mentioned earlier we lost all but two of our hens to a hawk and possum. We decided to add ten new chickens to our flock. The business we purchased chicks from has an incredible variety to choose from. My daughter and I had a difficult time limiting our selection to only ten birds! Each of the ten chickens is a different variety, many of which we never raised in the past. Some will even lay blue or green eggs.
The chicks are harder to photograph than the geese as they are constantly moving about. They love to flap their wings and "fly" about their pen. We love to watch their adorable antics!
Our two remaining hens have been enjoying the company of a distinguished gentlemen. Our neighbor's rooster comes over every morning to join our ladies on a stroll about the lawn; come evening he escorts the hens to the hen house and returns home. It is truly comical to watch him walk the hens home, cut across the lawn and then pass under the fence to his own yard. We have dubbed him Sir Reginald Rooster, but call him Reggie for short. Reggie is the most conversational chicken I have ever met, he is always clucking away over every inch of lawn and will even crow in Adam's garage to request an ear of dried corn.
We also purchased two turkey chicks this spring. Much to Jemimah's dismay Adam plans to have the turkey butchered come fall. Adam hopes to have a truly home grown Thanksgiving this year.

Since it has been awhile since I last posted you have not yet had the chance to meet our puppy, Darla Mae. She joined our family last summer and has been an absolute delight! Darla Mae is truly the sweetest little dog I've ever met. In the picture above she is wearing a sweater I crocheted.

Since I can't resist cute puppy pictures I had to include a picture of Darla Mae from last summer soon after we brought her home.
Adam has also begun beekeeping. We're all hoping to eventually enjoy a wonderful yield of honey, but in the meantime we are finding pleasure in watching the bees collect pollen from our various flowers. It is beautiful to see the bees return to their hive with their back legs coated in yellow pollen. Bees are such amazing creatures. How good the Lord is to bless us with His incredible creations.

 We were somewhat surprised by a recent visitor to our garden. One evening Adam spotted this enormous snapping turtle in our  vegetable garden. We stood by and watched as the turtle began to burrow down into the tilled soil. We all kept our distance, since snapping turtles can be quite dangerous, but enjoyed an up close observation of a large snapper at work.

I hope you have enjoyed this little update about our animal friends. Hope to chat with you all again soon!

"O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." Psalm 104:24