Thursday, June 28, 2012

Swimming in Sweetness

I use each and every summer to grow a garden that helps me have enough food to eat fresh and preserve for the coming winter.

Since I don't have any fruit trees of my own, however, I have to buy some of it elsewhere.

When I made my yearly call in April to the small orchard where I get my extra produce (Lodi apples for applesauce and peaches) I was told with the crazy spring we had, and all the freezes we had late in the season there would be NO apples, pears, OR peaches for me this year.

It's a matter of fact.

I heard the same thing about the concord grapes I make grape juice with.  I have my own vines, but we're just getting started, and I buy elsewhere to supplement all that I make.

What a blow.  What a shock.  Poor farmers who rely on this income yearly.

I felt slighted, and I had no reason to.

Each and everytime we heard the weatherman say there could be frost, Brent and I religiously went outside with the old sheets I keep for this very reason, and covered the strawberries and grapes.  It was a pain in the butt!

We covered every night but one.  Then we got a frost late in the morning, and it took all the grapes that I had started to get.  Everything was gone, shriveled up, brown.

I was heartbroken.  I was mad.  Just one time we didn't cover...

Fortunately, my grapes came back...but the apples, peaches, and pears are not in abundance for anyone this year.

I did find some the other day at one of the farmer's stands that I have frequented in the past.

They are from South Carolina and they are called Big Smile.  I tried them last year for the first time, and they were pretty much the same quality and taste as the Red Haven peaches I typically get in August.

Since I knew about the bad luck the farmers had this spring, I bought 1 bushel.  I knew I had to put something in my freezer for the winter.

Aren't they beautiful!

The smell when you walk in the kitchen is intoxicating!  And the peaches keep coming up missing.  I think I have peach thieves in my house!

So, for the last couple of days (that's right...peaches can't all be ripe at the same time unfortunately!)  I've been covered up to my elbows in peach juice, slicing and putting them in containers to freeze.

I have a secret recipe (that won't be secret any longer...) from one of my good friends.  She gave it to me a couple years ago, and I swear by it.  It's delicious, and when you pull the peaches out of the freezer in the middle of January, they taste completely fresh!

To get started, you'll need:

6 c water
4 c sugar
1 3oz. box peach jello (can be sugar free)

Warm this all together in a saucepot on the stove.  You don't have to get it boiling, but everything needs to be dissolved.  Then, you must let it cool completely!

Slice up your peaches and put them in whatever container your heart desires as long as it can be used in the freezer.  Leave at least 1/2" headroom at the top.  Pour your "peach juice" (above recipe) over the peaches,  leaving 1/2" headroom.  Put the lid on and pop in your freezer.  They taste amazing.  My son likes to eat them partially frozen, but I like mine thawed all the way.

We've been eating fresh lettuce, peas, zucchini (I also shred and freeze this) and soon cabbage, but the next I have to preserve is probably tomatoes and corn.

What are you enjoying eating right now?

P.P.S.  Somehow I totally screwed up my old format of my blog, and now it looks like this with a wonky header not in the middle.  If anyone knows how to help me fix this....PLEASE let me know!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A glimpse

Remember back a long, long time ago when I said I was gonna start an Etsy store...

Then I didn't.

But I kept talking about doing it?

Then I didn't.

Well...for the last couple of days since I went to the flea market Sunday, I've felt inspired.  I saw so many things that I knew I could make myself.

Plus, the summer is slipping away like crazy.

So, I decided to start on some things that have been swirling around in my mind.

I don't want to open a store with just a small amount of inventory.

I started with these the other day.

I used mini tart pans and molds that I've found on my excursions as well as some vintage fabric I've got lying around.

Then I started making some of these.  'Cause these can be used for so many different things.  I have the war wounds to prove it from the hot glue gun.

I added them to this...
because I've seen them used as dry erase boards.

I got out my ring forms and my vintage buttons, cabochons, and old clip on earrings.  My mind was swirling.

I'm planning on adding many more of the above as well as pillows, notebooks with fabric covers, bracelets, framed corkboards, and many other things.

What do you think?  Will any of it sell?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Day for the girls

It's not often I get to go somewhere just with the girls.


Today, I got to get away with one of my best girlfriends.  I'm sure you have some too.  The girls who you have so much in common with, whose tastes match your own, and who you genuinely like to be with!

We went up to the Allegan County Flea Market.

Yes, it's a Sunday.  Yes, we skipped church.

I'm sorry.  The flea market is on the last Sunday of every month.

We had a lot of fun.

Nonstop talking.

Chippy paint galore...

Burlap and flowers...

Pretty wooden boxes by the stack...

Pinwheels (and someone's very bright blue backside...sorry.)

Once it got hot, we decided to get outa Dodge.  We drove out of the fairgrounds and went downtown Allegan for some lunch and some antique store hopping.

We talked for hours about everything.  My mouth is tired from talking and smiling.

I brought home some goodies.

I got some wrought iron fences for the garden where the cutting flowers are and some other things...

The globe was $2 because the man who sold it to me forgot to take the price tag off from when he bought it.  He was kinda mad at himself, but honored the price.  It'll go good with my globe collection.

The red wire basket will go in the living room and the pistachio green handle is my favorite!  The chippy white frames will be used for craft projects.

Grace needed a hook in her bathroom for her wet towels.  In a former life, I'm sure this was used for hats.  It'll be spray painted and will be just the right size.

It was a good day.  I'm so glad we went!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stinkin' weather

I'm not one for HOT weather.

I swell up.
I get crotchety.
I get super sweaty.

I just plain HATE HOT HOT weather.

It's been in the 90's for a long while now.

It hasn't rained for weeks.

Our yard looks like the wheat fields a couple miles away.

It makes me wish I lived in the Pacific Northwest with their somewhat milder temperatures, and their rain.


my garden is in full swing.

I'm getting a bounty this year because my sweet husband has set up the sprinkler and we water the garden(s)
(one large sweet corn patch and one large garden patch for other things) every day or every other day.

For weeks now I've been picking these beauties...

they are GOOD and for some reason, they taste like the sun.

The other day I started picking these guys...

and I made some minty sun tea with my spearmint that seems to multiply year after year, even though every year I rip more out.
(I had the perfect glass jar that I bought at Goodwill a year ago.)

So, even though the temperatures are TERRIBLE...and the kids beg everyday to go swimming at my uncle's house, we are reaping some benefits.

I'm just waiting for the tomatoes, and corn, and potatoes, and onions, and peppers, and cabbage, and zucchini, and cucumbers to produce.  

Have you all jumped on the gardening bandwagon?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Above all the rest

I never realized how many shelves I have in my house until I came across the linky party over at The Lettered Cottage.

I always think their decorating ideas are inspirational.

So, I got out the camera and walked around the house and started snapping pictures of all my shelves.

I have several in the living room...First the "game ones,"

and then my favorite books/maps ones...

I have some in the dining room by our table...
for all the new pictures I take of the kids every year.

I even have some in the foyer.
And some with a purpose.

There is even some above the bed.

Do I have a shelf fetish?  No, it's just a great way to display things!

So, I'm linking up to the lettered cottage shelf/mantel linky party.  Click here.

or on the picture below.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I turned 38 today.


I totally remember when I thought that was old.  (Totally... now you know what era I grew up in!)

It was a good day, considering I did nothing but run kids around.

We had volleyball camp this morning, where I first picked up Grace's two BFF's who happen to be twins.

While Grace was at camp, Evan and I ran to the bank, and then to the gas station for these babies.
Yep, that's right, the gas station cookies are my FAVORITE!  I also got some Bert and Ernie ones too.  Don't judge me people...Momma is the ONLY one on her birthday who doesn't get a cake, so I have to provide for myself!

On the way back to get Grace and her two friends, I picked up one of Evan's.

We picked up the three girls at the High School and then added one more who needed to stay with us until the girl's softball game tonight.

We ran to Little Caesar's to get pizza for lunch, headed home, and then we all got BACK in the van to head around the corner to my uncle's house to swim.

I at least got to sun myself and read while they swam in what was very cold water, or so they say.

After swimming, we took the twins home, and Evan's friend got picked up too.  We headed home, ate a quick supper, and headed to the ball diamond for Grace's game.

After the game, we came home, the kids walked their 4-H pigs, and I weeded the garden.

Quite a day.  I'm not disappointed though, tomorrow we're going out to supper.

Now, time to watch History Detectives on DVD...alone.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A reading fiend

In the past week I've read 3 books.

Well, they were REALLY GOOD!

One is from one of my favorite authors...Kristin Hannah...
It was all about what a dad faces with raising two daughters when a wife goes off to Iraq...

and the next two were by a new author that was in the "New Book" section at the library.

I couldn't put hers down.

Have you heard of Joshilyn Jackson?  If you haven't, scurry right on over to your library, and check her out.  Her books are funny, sad, fiesty, and truthful all at the same time.

I read these two...

They were page turners...all of them.

Now, don't fret, I'm not neglecting my children.  I read at breakfast, lunch, and when I'm waiting in the parking lot for Grace at volleyball camp.  I've also been reading at night too since I don't have to get up early for work.

It's been a treat.

Now run I tell ya.  Run to your library!

Friday, June 8, 2012

A place for my valuables...

So, since I'm a little slow on the draw, I'm joining a linky party that started YESTERDAY.

I know.

It's alright though.

I got something nice outa the deal.

About 4 or 5 months ago, I picked up this baby at Goodwill for around $3.

It's a jewelry box, even though it looks a little like the old fashioned silverware boxes.

I needed a bigger one than the one I currently have.  NOT that I have a ton of expensive jewelry, but I have alot of costume stuff, and pins and cool rings.

The inside looks like this.

I liked that there were so many different compartments so things wouldn't get all tangled up together.

I also liked the vintage look of it, but knew I could "fix it up" a bit too.

Finally, today, I got around to it.

I pulled out some of my favorite scrapbook paper from October Afternoon.

and some of their embellishments as well.

The old fashioned cards cracked me up.  They were titled, Work at Home, and All the things I've wanted to dye...

I also got out my favorite distressing ink...

and went to town distressing all the papers edges after I had cut them to size.

I just mod podged everything right onto the jewelry box.  It went on like a charm.

I've can pretty much use mod podge to adhere and seal anything.  Even fabric.

The finished product is great.  I really like it.

So, I'm linking it up to The Vintage Farmhouse's Thursday linky party.

click here to go there.

Come see me and find some other great ideas too.

Happy Weekend.