Sunday, August 28, 2011

Berry Thankful

My thoughts and prayers are still with all of those that have been or will be touched by Irene. I am thankful that it wasn't as bad as some had feared it would and so many were spared life and property.
I am thankful that finally our summer has come and my berries are ripening, this will be my second picking and they are calling to me as I type. Thankfully I can pop them right in to the freezer on cookie sheets where they freeze up beautifully and get packaged in to the zip bags. I love thinking of cold and wet winter days when I have a big pot of soup on the stove and some blackberry cobbler in the oven...Yum! Enough of the dreaming, I'd better get out and start picking.

I hope you all had a safe and happy weekend and a wonderful Monday! xo

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quilts of Gee's Bend

Many times I have thought about a post on the amazing women of Gee's Bend and after leaving a comment over at Ted and Bunny's blog, I decided to take a moment to leave you with a few links to go and take a look. The fact that these women that started out as freed slaves in an isolated place in Alabama, passed on, through six generations, these works of art, fills my heart with wonder and joy. Please do take a moment to visit these links you will be so inspired.
Source of above photo and other quilts -
Some History -

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wood Stove Search, Opinions Please

Good Monday morning to you all, I hope you had a fun filled weekend. The garden needed my attention and shopping for some canning supplies were on the top of the list. Hubby had only one day off but managed to put together a makeshift gate for the 'south field' so the little chicks can't just take themselves for a walk anymore.
We are now officially on a serious wood stove search for the Vancouver house. There are so many brands and styles that my head is spinning.

I do like the modern styles like these but want the option of cooking on the top if needed. Our top priority is efficiency and want one that can last through the night and at least have embers in the morning to work with.

* I have no credits for the photos above because I looked at so many images and websites that I forgot who these belong to, sorry!

These last two tiny photos are from the Lopi website. This is the brand that we are familiar with as they are made right here in the state of Washington. Our son-in-law believes that this is the best stove and since he was smart enough to marry our sweet daughter, we will value his opinion.

Will you give us a hand on our hunt? If you have any experience with a wood stove or know of one that someone has that is either good or bad will you please share, it would be most appreciated.


I see rain clouds coming, better get out and pick some blackberries. Have a wonderful day!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Reflections

Thank you Lord for answered prayers, you are always faithful and I love you!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Catching Up

It is totally amazing how a garden can grow when you turn your back for a week! Above is my welcome home gift that the Mr. had waiting for me at the door...Eeeeek !!!! First on my list will be to find the proper way to freeze grated zucchini, any tips would be welcome. Also, my Auntie Ella made a zucchini relish that many looked forward to receiving at Christmas time, I may even tackle that today.
The apples have even started growing larger and getting a pretty blush.
Finally, flowers on the beans, here are the purple ones that are so easy to harvest and even better when blanching as they turn green in the boiling water, telling you it's time for the ice plunge.

These were an experiment, they are Malibu pole beans from Territorial Seed and packaged for 2009. I had no idea if they would come up or not, as I didn't do anything special to keep them for this long. Now we will have to wait to see if the beans turn out well.
Please let me know if you have a good way to freeze grated/shredded zucchini for use in breads or muffin recipes. I know that if not done correctly, it can have a not so good result in the finished product.

I hope you all are having a sunny, happy weekend!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Abe Update

I am pleased to report that Abe has made some huge improvements in the last day. Kami gives us a quick report here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Abe and Papa

Abe and his Papa bonding in the NICU.

There have been a few setbacks and he now has a chest tube but is doing better this early evening. Kami was discharged today and had pumped enough breast milk/colostrum to last until early morning, so after spending all day with Abe, they went home for the night...with heavy hearts and empty arms. I do hope he can come home soon.

Thank you all for your sweet and loving comments and continued well wishes and prayers, it has been a blessing to have them.

I will update soon.


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Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Grandson

Last night our new grandson was born, and even though he had 3 more weeks to go, the little rascal was 7lbs. 12oz. and 20 1/2 inches long. Our precious Abraham is having breathing difficulties (his lungs were not quite ready) and was taken to NICU where he is in very good hands.

I want to thank you all for your special words, thoughts and prayers while we kept him in " a little while longer", your support means more than I can say.

Off I go now to pick up my sister and my mother (great grandma) to pay a visit. I will be sharing photos soon.

Love to you all! xxoo

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Rest Of The Buzz

Hello everyone, I hope you are all well and have some exciting plans for the weekend...It's almost here, Yea!

It is time to finish the story about Charlie's Place and the Bees and if you missed it you can catch up with a quick visit here.

Above, is a photo (Wikipedia) of a swarm of bees, thousands of bees, I wish the photo could have been larger so you could get the effect of how amazing it is when you see one. It is when the queen and all of the bees go to find another place for their hive, and with this in your mind, I will begin the rest of the story.

To set the stage, here is a view from Charlie's, of the Little House (click to enlarge) and the field between the properties. If you look really close you can see the clothes on the line, the garden and the new fenced back field for the chickens. Across from the front of the house, on the edge of the field is where we have our bees.
I have tried to figure out a good way to get all of the information in, without going on and on, as most of you who get comments from me know, I have a problem condensing my words...Did I just hear groaning? Anyway, this is the best condensing I could do.
As you remember, Charlie's bees died and The Mr. left a hive up there that was clear of wax moths to add bees to at a later date. Winter had now past and it was the end of April, the bees we ordered were added to the second hive at our house, my hubby was pleased, as his exsisting hive had made it through the winter (his first as a beekeeper) and it was very strong......About a week later my sweetie came in the house from his usual quick check on the bees, with a awful look on his face, he was visibly pained, "The entire original hive is gone, they left". It was heartbreaking, it' hard to explain, but you get close to them, he calls them "his girls" and when he works with them he says "Hi girls, I'm just going to.....". A saddness covered the Little House.
In the mean time, Charlie's property was purchased by the owners of the land that The Little House is on and they tilled up his old garden and offered us an area to put in what we wanted. We ended up putting in some Zukes and Sweetmeat squash.
About the third week of May, I went up to water the squash, and decided to drive around the back of the house (circular drive around) and park up above the garden and take the steps down.

Around I went, and as I was coming around the other side...there were thousands of bees, picture the top photo, it was a swarm, I couldn't believe my eyes and the sound of the buzzing filled the air.

Over on the wall, where the other hive had been, was something that looked like a cloth draped over the stone (did I mention I still need to get glasses) but as I looked again, I realized it was a cloth, it was a drape of bees! They were clustered so thick and the cloud of bees were getting bigger by the second, they kept coming from the hill. My mind raced, it's hard to think for a second when you see something so unbelievable and massive. Finally (it really only took my quick mind a second, haha) I said "A swarm"!!!!

I flew past the garden, down the drive and to our house, ran in sayin hurry, hurry, you have a swarm at Charlie's.....We have never moved so fast, we quickly gathered hive parts and bee gear and took off. Once we got up there, The Mr. encouraged them to go into the other hive and eventually the settled in.

How strange though, that they wanted to fill that empty spot where the old, moth invaded hive had been.

And so it goes, that in the end.....Charlies request for The Mr. to tend to his hives, have been fulfilled.

And, perhaps, the lost bees came back home.



Monday, August 8, 2011

Charlie's Place and The Bees

There it sits at the base of our little hill, "Charlie's Place", as we still call it, even though he has passed on. In his 90 plus years, Charlie did about everything, but the most visible, especially from our house, was the gardening and beautifying of his property. Being a wise man, he also kept bees and tended them up until this last autumn when, from his hospital bed, asked my Mr. to please take his bees as he would not be coming home.. Charlie died and about a week after so did all of the bees...both hives, dead!

One of the hives had been invaded with wax moths and my hubby didn't want to risk using it again, so off to the dump it went. The other hive was left to be addressed at a later date as we had our own to tend to for the winter and another order of bees to be delivered in the spring.
This tale has a happy ending but with a few twists and turns so I will leave the rest for next time, after all it is Monday and we have other blogs to visit.
Have a beautiful day!



Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sticky Situation

This last weekend we paid a visit to one of the hives to see how things were going. The Mr. found that they had most definitely been busy little bees with honey a was time, he announced, to capture some of the golden goodness.

And here is the results of the first few frames that were removed.

Here is my high tech invention to extract the honey....

As you can see for yourself, it works very well. I won't try to tell you that it is fast, let's just say it was a good lesson in patience for me and I was actually very satisfied with the end result.

We have just enough to share with family in Portland and a few neighbor friends here that share their blossoms with our bees.

This weekend we will be checking the hive at the upper property and I will be sharing the interesting story of how that one came to be.

Hope you all have something "sweet" planned for your weekend!


Monday, August 1, 2011

The Little Shed

Behind this weathered door is the future of a sweet little shop. A place where seasons will change and so the treasures that come and go will find new life too. It will be the tangible part of the Etsy, Stockshop. I am so looking forward to decorating for the different holidays and the challenge of working with no power to the little building.

As you can see there will be a bit of elbow grease required but nothing that the Mr. can't conquer with the trusty weedeater.

Most of the work will be done on the inside, beginning with moving the plywood away from in front of the window, thank you, old shelving to be taken down and a coat of white paint, and, some pretty little curtains are must. Many things to work out and not that long to do it before the shop opening in the fall...I will keep you updated on the progress.


Off to do some much needed shopping. Have a great day!