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Today is THE day.

Today marks the last day of no showers, of having to go to another home for baths and possibly dinner ( a BIG thank you to the willing and happy In-Laws who opened up their bath and kitchen to our little bath-less family!) As of tomorrow morning, the bath caulking should be cured and all ready for its happy users.

Of course, this all means that in the last two weeks I have fallen behind – way behind. Since it is summer, the garden is in full swing with green beans ripening every other day, cucumbers climbing over everything, corn tasseling and tomatoes ripening. Our squash is ever ready to please and the peppers are coming along nicely. Plus friends have dropped by presents of milk, eggs and berries that must be processed and put away for the winter.

 A dear friend gifted us six gallons of milk a week ago and we have been busy making ricotta and mozzarella cheese for use in various pasta dishes. Mozzarella is a recipe both Rudie and I love to make, but ricotta was a new one for us. Little did I know that it is extremely easy!  Bring six cups milk and big pinch of salt to a rolling boil. Add three tablespoons of white wine vinegar, boil till curdled and strain in a cheese cloth lined colander set in a bowl for one hour. I was shocked at how easy and wonderful this was, not to mention how cost effective! The taste is great – fresh and creamy with a true milky, cheesy taste unlike the rubbery stuff that comes in a tub. This ricotta is destined for many batches of ravioli with herbs from the garden.

With all my garden projects and cooking, freezing and canning ( this was the first year I had the satisfaction of actually growing and canning my own cucumbers!) I have managed to get in a bit of knitting. Grandma asked for some little goodies for the holiday decorations for the flower shop. Have I mentioned the flower shop before? I am not sure if this has come up yet, but I will have to make sure to make a full post on this amazingly elegant space. I managed to get one set of mittens done for her order, with a few more sets and other goodies in the works for the holidays still in the works.

Also in the work basket right now is my very first wool diaper cover. I believe these are called longies? Shorties? Panties? Who knows what they are called, all I know is that I am in process for a fresh pair to try it. Does anyone have any experience in wool covers? I would love any advice in knitting and caring for wool.

We have been a busy house these last few weeks – and now we must catch up with our everyday chores! Reminding myself that even though there is much to do, some rest and play is still called for everyday. And attempting to remember to enjoy the process of making and creating, gardening and living as much as the finished  product.

Hope your Wednesday finds you with busy hands and happy hearts!

Long overdue!

August 29, 2011


 

For the last two weeks this little house has been under construction. Now let me start by saying that while a construction project is always exciting and exhilarating when you plan it and before it starts, once it is under way it royally sucks. You might be able to tell that, no, I have not done this before. And yes, I have never done this before with a toddler.

That being said, it has been a L-O-N-G two weeks. Our tiny house has one full bathroom and a half bath. The main bathroom is in the middle of the house (where you would expect it to be, really!) and this is what got the remodel. This house was built in 1960 and I honestly believe the bathroom may never have had a full remodel since then. We were having a mold problem where every two weeks I would clean it off and every two weeks it would grow back. Not exactly ideal bathing conditions! This tiny space was gutted down to the studs and fully remodeled. Since this is our only bath we were shower-less for a week and a half. During that time the family went to the grandparent’s house for dinner and baths.

I believe the hardest part of the construction process was dealing with a cranky, napless toddler. This little one likes to sleep in his own bed and for a long, long time. Unfortunately, with the drilling and the hammering, drywalling and tub install – this was not an option. Everyday I packed a cooler for us both and managed to keep outside the home for the full day – which meant napping in the car or stroller (not a good idea for this little one) and long, long days with no downtime for this Momma.

Needless to say, I will be happy when this is all over. By midweek we should be completely done and (yay!!) have a brand spanking new bath!!

 

This Moment

August 12, 2011


{This moment: A special moment I want to savour and remember. A moment that captures the heart and soul, a moment that says it all.

Please leave me your moment if you are so inspired!}

 

Fibre Arts Studio

August 11, 2011


As we drove through Goldendale looking for vintage stores, I spied a tiny storefront with the words: Fiber Arts Studio. My excitement showing, I convinced Rudie to pull over and wait with the sleeping babe while I went exploring. What a find!

Although the store was officially closed, I was waved in by a lovely lady named Beth Poirier.  Inside I found racks filled with vintage little girl dresses, sock monkeys, handmade skirts and amazing hand woven towels, tea towels and tapestries. Beth showed me around, explaining that three ladies all rented the space together, each one having a work space to do their craft.

The space, an old restaurant building, houses a large showroom and a generous back workroom (used to be a kitchen). The ladies utilize all the space with fabric, threads, cutting tables, storage racks and even using the three compartment sink for hand dying their designs.

Beth Poirier is the creator of Beth Poirier handwovens – beautiful hand made towels, washcloths and wall hangings made with love and care. She carefully chooses her threads and creates amazing designs, sharing with me which side of the wovens she prefers.

Beth, holding up one of her beautiful creations

Sandra Choate of Monkeyshines created children’s dresses and baby clothes  from reclaimed vintage fabrics – and such sweet and darling combinations they were. I was wishing I had a little girl to dress as it was hard to leave empty handed. Apron dresses with New Mexico tea toweling, dresses from table clothes, wonderful gingham and checks.

A true gem of a shop filled with artisans who cherish and love what they do. If you are ever in Goldendale, WA, stop on by on a Wednesday and say hello!

Fiber Arts Studio

118 W. Main St

Goldendale, WA

98620

Goldendale

August 10, 2011


 

In celebration of Wednesday, a lovely view of the drive to Goldendale, Washington. Hope your Wednesday is wonderful!

 

 

Second thoughts…

August 9, 2011


Before we even left for our camping trip, both of us remembered the wonderful peaches from Maryhill, WA. Last year we had gone to the little Gunkel’s Farm stand – a small wooden space filled with peaches, cherries,  local corn and the most amazing peach blossom honey we had ever tasted. Last year we brought home some honey but had not bothered to bring many peaches home. This year, we agreed differently.

During the last days of the camping trip we drove up to the wonderful groves of peach trees.  Being the canning enthusiast that I am, I was thrilled to find out that we could U-Pick as much as we wanted at a fraction of the cost of the market peaches. Hurrah! A family activity that yields wonderful fruit!

We drove home with 44 lbs of peaches. Yes, 44 lbs.  Now this wasn’t a problem for canning or putting up –  it really wasn’t that much work and would be done within the weekend. But then my Mother in law wanted to make pickles. And we agreed on a double batch of pickles from what we normally make. Yes, 50 lbs of pickles plus 44 lbs of peaches. Yikes.

Today, well, today I rested. I took a nap and gave myself the day off from peeling, slicing, boiling and canning. The mountains of laundry from the trip can wait, the rest of the ripening peaches (found a wonderful way to perfectly ripen peaches!) can wait, the messy house and stinky dog and errands can wait.

I’ve got peaches, pickles, pickle chips and relish for the winter. Didn’t think it could be done – but 94 lbs of produce put up. Hurrah!!

Right now…

August 8, 2011


 

 

I am:

catching my breath after a busy week camping and a busier weekend canning.

listening to the popping of jar lids

smelling ripening peaches

missing the cool river on my skin,  rock under my toes and wind in my hair

fascinated by the adaptability of children as they travel and return home without missing a hitch

enjoying the comforts of my own bed once more

catching up on an abundant garden that blossomed, bloomed and fruited while we were gone

looking forward to dinners from the garden

wondering where all the jars will be stored

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

 

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