I got married and moved far, far away from my home and family. This blog is to show things to my mom and anybody else that might want to see them.
I love to make things and it should go without saying that my primary mediums are music, crochet, and pies. Although, I am getting into bread-baking and other cooking projects.
When I was living alone in grad school my mom and dad found this adorable table with green painted chairs and legs and a varnished top. It had a few scratches and bad spots on top, but it was adorable, so they bought it and gave it to me. A few years and 4 states later, we are still using it. The varnishing was neither in good shape, nor waterproof, so I had been thinking of refinishing it for a while.
Enter summer (excessive heat)
The weather finally cooled off enough for us to go for it. I didn't get a really good before picture, but I think this first one gives you an idea of the condition of its condition.
We are so thrilled with it. The wood turned out to be in beautiful shape. What a happy surprise! Now it looks good and I can relax when we or guests put sweaty glasses on the table.
Things have been busy.
Things have been good.
I'm doing a lot of teaching
And a lot less with food.
What kind of poem is that?
I got this from a student family this week. We cooked it on Monday and have been eating it ever since.
This picture has not been manipulated in any way (I did make it black and white, because the color version was a little too vibrant), I am holding the biggest sweet potato I've ever seen right beside my head.
Hi everyone!! We're back! Nate and I were out of town for two weeks. Week 1 we spent working at Way of Life Christian Camp. It was a huge success and we had a great time! We spent the week working at camp with the people we usually work with (people Nate grew up going to camp with), but this year we were at a new facility. It was a great week, and it is a huge honor for my name to be lumped with the others on the Leadership team. Seriously wonderful people with whom I am honored to work. I know its all about the kids when we go to camp, so I feel like I'm cheating by having as amazing a time as I always do. I was really blessed with new, old, and renewed friendships, and a lot of time talking about Jesus and loving on kids. I can't say enough good about it. But I'm guessing you can hear enough about it, so I'll move on. Unfortunately not really any pictures to share because I was too busy! Week 2 we spent at the beach in South Jersey with my family. Talk about more blessings. I'll get misty if I get into the details of how great the last two weeks were. Suffice it to say, I'll share some family pics when I find my camera cord.
We got another installment of produce from my in-laws. I appreciate them so much (I appreciate them even when they don't load us up with goodies), and I'm in awe of their gardening skills. They had a ton of stuff. Some of it we tried to grow with moderate success (beets), less success (tomatoes, green beans, carrots), and maybe more success (basil, peppers, we'll have to see). I'll get into the status of our garden and maybe do a postmortem on it sometime. But its not dead yet, so I'll put that on hold.
The in-laws gave me tons of fresh beets, so I pickled them, hence the dirty job. Here are the pictures They are hanging out in the fridge right now.
I used this recipe from my MIL, which I think is from BHG.
1/3 C vinegar 1/4 C sugar 1/4 C water 1/2 t cinnamon 1/4 t salt 1/4 t ground cloves Bring to a boil, add cooked and peeled beets, reduce and simmer for 5 minutes, cool, let the magic happen, enjoy.
I doubled, tripled, quadrupled, quintupled (I'm not sure) it. But I left the ratio of vinegar to water in tact, which I understand is the important part, and I'm not canning them, I'll eat on them over the next couple weeks (let's be honest, few days is more likely).
My next post is sure to be about something really exciting, sexy, and intriguing in an effort to convince you that I am not, in fact, a senior citizen.
I have been working on this bag for a couple weeks. My plan was to use it as a tote bag, especially for the beach. It is made out of acrylic yarn so it should dry relatively quickly (if it even soaks up water) and be washable and durable. I would also use it as a grocery-tote or carry small books in it. Because of the colors I wouldn't carry it all the time as a purse. I thought I wouldn't want to use it as an everyday bag because of the homespun vibe (I think clothing and accessories can look a little too homespun), but now that it's done I don't feel that way. Nate and I talk about me selling some of my crochet, and he thinks this could be a big seller. What do you think?
*Spoiler alert for the in-laws, I just can't keep it to myself.* When I got back from visiting Julia, Nate said, "Are you ever going to make something for G-baby again?" Its a bluegill. I made it up. I don't mean to boast, but it is kind of awesome. I'm kind of proud of it.
We freak the heck out. I accidentally let the cat out last week. I know that this seems like not a big deal. But he is an indoor kitty! We live in the wilderness! Remember this?! That's nothing compared to what else is out there (in my imagination)! Seriously though, there are 4 types of poisonous venomous snakes in the United States. Of those 4 types, 4 live in Arkansas. Seriously!! Sometimes raccoons come and get in the trash! They are vicious! There are real feral cats that live out there! And big dogs! Poisonous spiders! Scorpions! Killer chipmunks!! ...wait a second. That's about how my day went. Some tears, some calls to Nate, some comfort from my mom in the form of, "It'll be ok, one time Waldo* ran away and came back after three days! Wait, he won't be gone that long, I mean, I know he'll be back very soon." The kitty was gone for about 12 hours. We searched all over for him, but he finally wandered back after dark.
He was awfully smug when he finally came back. But look how dusty! We immediately found a tick on him and pulled it off, then checked for more. We decided that he definitely needed a bath. I took pictures, but they do not come close to capturing the awesomeness of the event. He was so upset. I thought that the bath experience would be associated with his romp in the wilderness and therefore discouraging any future frolics or associations with the outdoors. I was wrong.
We found a berry patch very close to us. It was a really nice morning on Saturday and its blue- and blackberry season, so we took advantage. It is a beautiful property where they grow flowers and berries to sell. Heaven? Maybe, but we were in and out pretty easily. Heaven on Wye Mountain, at least. I'm sure there was more than I realized, but I saw blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, sunflowers, zinnias, and black-eyed susans. And huge white hollyhocks covering the electric meter! And on top of all that, their personal garden was beautiful! First we started at the blueberries.Blueberries are so easy to pick. You just kinda shake the branch and gently pull and before you know it:They are so good, and big!
Then we headed over to the blackberries: These were easier to pick than the last blackberries I picked. We froze these: But I have been using these: For fruit pops! They are so good!
And for smoothies! And for muffins that I forgot to take pictures of!
For you cat-lovers, this is what kitty does when it is so hot: Looks all dejected and like he collapsed in front of the a/c unit.
So. I have made some more things for baby Julia, and since most of you actually know me in the real world, you know that I just got to meet her for the first time! I had a lovely trip and Mom and I spent a few days with S and T and J. We did laundry, ate, watched the baby, held the baby, and did a little shopping. The bro and sis-in-law are very proud of their little nugget, and she is as cute as can be. After a total of four great-grandchildren on one side, and eight on the other, the charm of a new baby is still fresh for everyone. It's fun. More about why babies are awesome another time. I have lots of reasons. More about the trip another time too. I've been busy stitching for that sweet girl, so I wanted to share. A dress. Pattern here. I started this immediately upon finding out she was a she. A bear hat. Pattern here. I started this a while ago and added the flowers after she was a she, or, you know what I mean. Booties. Pattern here. I made some modifications. I made 5 of these booties on my plane ride. Easy peasy, zippity do da. A wool soaker for use with cloth diapers. Pattern here. For info about wool soakers, go here. I started these two weeks ago, ish.Mom helped me pick out the buttons. A cotton diaper cover. Because it's cute, not functional in the diapering way. Pattern here. I gave this to Trisha at the shower, did I already show it to you? I don't remember. And because I'm not ashamed to admit design flaws or when things go wrong... When her toes popped through, they kept saying, "I am a GI-ANT!!"
I was going to post these pictures and tell you that I was now at peace with Mother Nature. After the fire ant incident of a few weeks ago, I felt like you all would think I was going all rambo on nature. When the kitty and I first saw this guy (actually, I think its a gal) in front of our house last week, I was pretty freaked out and the kitty was in intense slow stalk mode (from the front porch, mind you). Nate wanted me to take a picture so he could see what kind it was.
Come to find out, it is a speckled king-snake. They are really good at killing predatory snakes, so in a way I was ok with it existing in my world.
Fastforward: Over the weekend Nate and I were weeding and mulching the rhubarb and strawberry patch. They are in a terraced bed out front by the water. I was kneeling on the wooden edge pulling out weeds and spreading mulch. When I stood up, this snake fell out of the wood on to my flip-flopped foot and tried to get away from me as fast as I from it. Nate took a stick and shooed it away. I asked Nate if he thought it might have built a nest in there and he assured me that the snake hadn't, no way there was enough room for that. The next morning as I was watering, I saw a big burrow hole and some broken eggs in the area there. After we went fishing that night, I showed them to Nate. We walked away from it and Nate stepped on the snake and it spun back and tried to bite him. We both screamed and ran up the hill. Sunday morning after getting back from work, Nate saw a black rat snake hanging out by the mailbox. We were at peace with one snake wandering around our yard from time to time, but we are not in the business of fostering a snake sanctuary here. We have a kitty to worry about who sneaks out the front door from time to time, and loves fishing in the boat. We have to be down on our hands and knees weeding our garden out back and the beds out front. So, on the way home from house church on Sunday evening, we bought these. Rambo's back. The end.