mermaids…..

mermaids.....

 

mermaids.....

 

mermaids.....

 

mermaids.....

 

My friend Tawnya + I love mermaids. We've passed this obsession love onto my two girls as well. Two summers ago when Tawnya's third baby (a girl!!) arrived we hoped we had another member for the mermaid club. Our recent move means I'm just over an hour away from my dear friend and her little ones. Over the last few months we've seen them more than in the last ten years. My heart is so happy being able to be part of her kids lives and seeing all our kid's get to know one another. It's really just the best thing ever.

Tawnya's sweet girl turned two earlier this month and her mama asked if I would make an explorer bag for her. Her two big brothers had one… so of course she needed one too. I used to sew these little bags up by the dozens for the shop. I think I can make one with my eyes closed. Or, perhaps, the evening before the birthday at 9pm because I procrastinate. Ahem~

I pulled some extra special mermaid fabric from my stash, Heather Ross purple mermaids. *swoon* And to put the whole mermaid theme over the top, we also gifted her three little mermaid friends and a sea inspired playsilk. Little T adored all her mermaid goodies and her mama sent me that picture of her in full I'm-on-a-mission-toddler-stride with her little bag. How sweet are those wild curls, right?

I think we can say the mermaid club is definitely up to five members. Good stuff I tell you~

xo,

s

 

{seven}

{seven}

 

Seven

How can this be?

Last night your daddy + I stayed up until midnight….

Making jam and painting. I made my way up the stairs to find you in my bed.

Long-lanky-last-moment-of-six-year-old-you.

I tickled your leg and your sleepy eyes opened to meet my gaze.

"I just need to start here so my brain is even, then I'll go to my bed." you told me.

You buried your head under my pillow and whispered, "And I'm having fan time too."

I'm in no rush little man……

happy, happy seven to you ~ ~ ~

 

mindful monday

mindful monday

summer – 4

 

————————————————————————————————————————————

 

mind.ful = conscious or aware of something

Something that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are. If you’d like to share yours…. please leave a link in your comment below for others to discover.

 

*for the rest of the summer i’ll be showing up here in this space with an image of our summer days….

mindful monday summer moments…. will you join me? there’s even a flickr group to share photos here.*

 

happy monday friends,

~stephinie 

  

csa share :: week 7

csa share :: week 7

 

This weeks farm bounty::

tomatoes

The end.

 

Okay, I'm sort of kidding. But look at those tomatoes!! I still had a crush on the sweet peas that just finished up and then these come along. The holy grail of summer……… better than any candy in my opinion.

But seriously, we did get a lot more than tomatoes. This week's share included::

 

csa share :: week 7

 

csa share :: week 7

 

summer squash & zucchini (4 varieties)

peppers

tomatoes

onions

green beans

cucumbers

eggplant

kale 

chard

thyme

basil

garlic


We're still making those fridge pickles and we made this stew (yummy!). I'm drying herbs in the window and making pesto to freeze. We're making zucchini fritters again this weekend and I give you this bit of advice. Do not forget to salt them. Otherwise you end up making slightly soggy fritters. Still edible…. but sort of soggy. 

Most of these delicious veggies are gobbled up raw. I sautéed some kale and tossed it with leftover roasted veggies, sea salt and nutritional yeast for some really yummy lunch-time burritos. To use up some zucchini, these recipes look super yummy : Zucchini FriesStuffed Zucchini. I also saw it on grilled pizza and tossed with pasta. Easy + delicious.

One more drool-worthy tomato shot for you……. 

ahhhhhh…… so good right?

 

csa share :: week 7

 

Eat Local!

xo,

s

 

ps ~ 28 pounds of berries were picked this morning before the rain rolled in…. bringing the total to 54 pounds! Halfway to one hundered!

 

be back soon……

be back soon.....

 

The weather cooled and the berry farm is calling us. This morning we're getting six kids out the door to go picking. Our friends are visiting this week and the 6 and under crowd just quadrupled. Wild and crazy good times here!

I'll be back later to share some farm goodness…. for now I wanted to wave and say good morning.

Good Morning!

Be back soon……

xo~

s

 

the backyard art camp series

I'm excited to be sharing an art project for kids next month as part of this series. My blog pal Melissa and her friend Jane are the masterminds behind the idea. Twice a week for the next two months both these creative ladies will be sending you to visit a contributor's blog to see a great art project to share with your kiddos. You can read more about the whole series by visiting the page. To sum it all up, we all just want to share an artist with our kids (and yours too) and then create! Good stuff, right? The series has been kicked off by the creators, you can see Melissa's art for kids post here and Jane's here.

 

BAC-button-2-1024x937

 

Here's a line up of what's to come ::

 

I'll be sharing something cool with you next month when my turn rolls around. It involves rocks. Mysterious, no?

Have a great day~~

xo,

s

 

mindful monday

mindful monday

summer – 3

 

————————————————————————————————————————————

 

mind.ful = conscious or aware of something

Something that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are. If you’d like to share yours…. please leave a link in your comment below for others to discover.

 

*for the rest of the summer i’ll be showing up here in this space with an image of our summer days….

mindful monday summer moments…. will you join me? there’s even a flickr group to share photos here.*

 

happy monday friends,

~stephinie

 

ps ~ thanks for all your sweet comments on friday. you guys are the best 🙂 

 

beyond the fluff…..

beyond the fluff.....

 

This is one of those stories that I thought about not sharing here. 

It's sad. 

And hard.

But you know…. there's a lot of us trying our hand at this backyard homestead thing and I think it's good to share our travels on this journey. Perhaps especially when it just plain sucks. 

I come from a long line of farmers, and this story would probably make them chuckle and shake their head. But for me, and maybe you…. it's a first.

(as a warning…. it involves animal death…. feel free to come back another day when I'm talking about sewing or making jam…)

When our chicks arrived, one was obviously not well. She couldn't stand. She didn't peck at the water. She kept arching her back and flopping over. Peeping and peeping. I helped her drink water. I checked on her the first night. After 24 hours she made not a tiny speck of improvement. She was dying. Eventually, if we left her, she would starve or get dehydrated. 

We can't let her suffer, Joe said.

I know, I told him. I'll take care of her.

We discussed the plan and decided the quickest way was a meat cleaver and a wood block by the shed. He offered to do it. I almost let him. And then I thought… I wanted these chickens. I ordered them. I'm the pushing force behind this backyard homestead we're planning. I need to take care of the hard stuff too…. 'cause it isn't always full of cute peeping and fluff.

We explained to the kids that we had a responsibility to not let our animal suffer, that this was the right thing to do. They took the entire thing so much better than I thought. It goes to show I worry too much sometimes. Luke asked if he could watch, I said no. I didn't want anyone to watch me.

Joe sharpened the cleaver and handed it to me. I can do it, he said again. I know, I told him.

I carried the chick in her box and the cleaver out to the woods behind the house. I laid her on the wood block, said a little prayer for a quick death and end to suffering….. and a heap of confidence for my trembling hands. I told her I was sorry. And then I did it. One swoop of the cleaver and it was over. I was worried I'd mess it up, but I didn't. It was over so quickly. I turned the wood block over and wrapped her up in a little rag I'd brought from the house. We buried her at the end of our property…. just beyond the edge of the invisible fence so no curious dog would unearth her. Aside from fish, this is the first animal I have ever killed. It was hard. My eyes welled up with tears…. but I felt more confident as the keeper of this flock knowing I could do it. That if something happens I would be able to follow through, end suffering of my animal, that I wouldn't have to wait for Joe to come home. 

I was somber walking back into the house. My little chicken man asked me right away, Mama, are you okay?

Yes, I said.

Good, he said, hugging me. But it musta been hard, right Mama?

It was, I told him.

He patted my arm, and then he was off.

xo,

s

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

Week 6 share from our farm included::

    2 heads lettuce                                            1 head cabbage

    2 zephyr squash                                            1 costata

    5 zucchini                                                    3 summer squash

    8 cucumbers                                                2 peppers

    1 bundle thyme                                           new potatoes

    baby onions                                                1 bunch kale

    a few broccoli cuttings                                1 bundle par-cel

    3 eggplant (oriental + italian)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

It has been *such* a hot and muggy summer here. I'm so impressed at the bounty we keep bringing home from the farm. Tomatoes should be in any day now too! I'm going to ask about buying extras they have to get some sauce and salsa canned.

This week we've eaten lots of grilled veggies with a little olive oil + salt & pepper. Last night we had grilled eggplant, tomato & mozzarella cheese sandwiches….. they were amazing! This morning I made a salad (for lunch) with leftover grilled veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms), mozzarella cheese cubed, a splash of italian dressing & olive oil, kidney beans & artichoke hearts. I'm back to making lunch for Joe…. so I always try to think of that the night before at dinner. Leftover grilled veggies make awesome pizza toppings too. So. Good.

With all those cucumbers we're on our second batch of fridge pickles! They are so darn tasty. I really should put some up for the winter…. but the chilled variety really are our favorite anyway. (last week's csa post had lots of zucchini ideas!)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

In other kitchen news…. I got those berries taken care of. Two quadruple batches of jam (6 half pints & 12 pints) and three quarts frozen. Oh what a hot day in the kitchen! Jade also made a seriously kick butt blueberry pie. Which we devoured with ice cream before we thought of taking a picture. I guess she'll just have to make another one. I used Pomona's pectin for the first time and I loved it. The jam set up perfectly, even with a quadruple batch (which is one box of Pomona's) and it uses a fraction of the sugar. I'd like to find some local honey for my next batch. Maybe at the Farmer's Market this weekend?

Last of all…. the Cicadas are buzzing outside warning me of the hot day ahead of us. We'll be making popsicles and finding some shade. Heat index of 104 will be darn toasty. I guess I'll be turning the chick light off this afternoon!

Stay cool guys.

xo,

s

 

peep, peep, peep……

peep, peep, peep.....

 

peep, peep, peep.....

 

peep, peep, peep.....

 

peep, peep, peep.....

 

peep, peep, peep.....

 

Yesterday went like this:

First thing in the morning I checked the status of the chick package and started jam prep.

After digging through several boxes I realized I had no idea where my jar lifter was, kind of helpful for moving hot jars of jam. So the kitchen was left in mid jam prep mess and we went out to find a jar lifter. Two stores later we had it and a six pack of half gallon jars. (very excited to find those for tea making!) We stopped by the post office and they told us their next delivery would be at 1 pm.

Home we went. One batch of jam was made.

At one o'clock, the phone rang and we were asked to pick up our babies! The post office woman was nearly as excited as the kids when we picked them up, we even opened them up so she could take a peek…. and a picture of them.

Home to get the babies settled and monitor their heating. Such a contrast between last time! We actually had to pull the heat lamp out and use a high watt regular bulb to keep the temp between 90-95. The house is just so hot right now! A rock with a temp sticker on it works like a charm!

After the babies were settled, another batch of jam was made and 3 quarts of berries were frozen. Oh it was a hot day in the kitchen!

Before the eight little chicks arrived, Luke insisted the flock be his. He told me he needed his own pet(s). Of course he also asked me to share them so he would do a good job. We have one that is not doing well, and I'm pretty sure it was the silver Wyandotte he had his heart set on naming Moonlight. Such is life with baby chicks though. The kids are handling it just fine. Luke assured me seven chickens was enough, and that he would pick a pretty place to bury her. He also said he could name a different chicken Moonlight, and it would be fine. He's taking this pet ownership thing quite seriously.

The little chicken man was checking in on his flock first thing this morning too. He said to me…. you know mama, I kinda like the way they smell. It's just…. sorta good smelling. I have to agree with him. They smell like babies. I imagine by the end of next week he (and I) will not so much love their smell, but for now he is all wrapped up in the newness of his own babies.

xo,

s