Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Cat Whisperers

Another one?  Really?!  Walking down the road the other day a kitten ran out of the woods at us.  There is an abundance of outside cats a mile or so from our house that continually breed and she must be from that group.  She adopted us (word must be spreading amongst the cats), followed us home and here she's been.  Initially flea covered (Jennifer combed out at least 100!) and bloody with flies feeding on her, she is feeling much better now. Check out this sweet girl:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to Make Your Own Peace Post

Admiring peace posts for years, I decided to make my own interpretation of one.

Here's what you need to make one like I did:

4x4 wood post
letter stencils (or not if you are steady handed!)
soldering iron
waterproofing spray

Step 1: Choose words and stencil/draw them (with Sharpie) plus additional doodles on your post

Step 2: Use your soldering iron to burn the outline of your words and doodles

Step 3: Paint inside your burn lines (I used acrylic craft paint I had on hand)

Step 4: Dig a hole, set your peace post in the ground and admire!

My 4x4 is an old oak one found on the property, hence the crack.  It just adds charm I think. :)  We found a can of waterproofing spray and added a few coats once the post was in place. 

I think the green flower is my favorite on the entire post.

Place your post somewhere special to send well wishes to all who pass by!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Harvest Season is in FULL swing

The garden is abundantly producing and we are working to put it all away.  It's a fantastic time of year!

All the flowers are in bloom now and the birds and butterflies are most happy.  The colors make us happy too. 

Many onions are ready for harvest.  We dry them for a few days outdoors in the sun then move them indoors to finish curing.

Beets are still coming along.  The greens don't like the heat, but the roots do just fine.  We harvested a couple buckets and probably have a few more buckets left to harvest towards the end of the season.  We are freezing many of these for the winter.

Sweet peppers, cayenne peppers, jalapenos and anaheim chiles are all coming on strong.  We are drying the cayenne peppers and the red anaheims and freezing all the rest we don't use right away.  The habaneros are still green, but are growing larger.

The lemon cucumbers are going nuts this summer!  We can hardly keep up.  We eat most fresh, give some away and will can a few pints of pickles for the winter.  The long cukes are Boothby's Blonde and are good too.  The skin is thicker, more like your typical green cucumber.  The lemon cukes sport a very thin rind...perfect for eating on homemade bread sandwiches with a bit of cream cheese and herbs. 

Typical kitchen scene this summer...

We are harvesting and drying many herbs too.  Currently drying is basil (also are freezing lots of this, some with oil, some with water, some as pesto and some as whole leaves), lemon balm, parsley, sage, oregano, thyme and calendula flowers.  Bounder just loves to be held.  HA!  (More on the paint and 4x4 in a future post.)

Onions are moved to the craft room after drying outdoors for a few days.  They will cure here a few weeks and then move to the root cellar.  On the shelves and in the paper bags are harvested dried beans (lima, black-eyed pea, tiger eye and agate soybeans) plus dill seed heads for planting next year. 

We just planted winter greens, spinach and a last or second to last batch of cilantro in our cold frames.  It's so hard to believe we are to this point again!

Monday, August 15, 2011

How To Impress Your Partner With a Pile of "Junk"

 What do you do when you have a bunch of misc. cast-a-way antique scraps?

Take the table base that you found in a raccoon-feces-infested-garage-attic and re-size it to suit....

...the old door you found in someone's garbage....

...then add the drawer that used to smell like cat pee...

...then attach the top from an old dresser that had largely rotted into the ground...

...and, like magic, you've impressed your beloved partner who...

...quickly improves the situation even more to...

...create a pretty sassy front porch presentation!

Remember, pretty much nothing is truly junk.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Porch Again Sees Light of Day

Our little house, we always felt, would look a lot nicer after we removed the closed-in part of the front porch.

We finally found a neighbor/carpenter who was willing to take on the job (allowing us to keep moving on myriad other jobs) so this project went darn quick:





We like it much better now!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sleeping Bear Dunes!

Ah's been a long time coming and well worth the wait though we don't desire this long of a wait for next time!  Here's a bit of our adventure last week:

There's just something about big water...

We enjoyed a great visit with friends we met in Carlsbad, NM!  (Love you guys!!!)

The walk-in sites at Sleeping Bear ROCK...

Yep, we also witnessed a beautiful wedding of two inspirational people...

We found our way to South Manitou Island the latter half of the trip.  An 1.5 hour long ferry is required to access the island.

 Fun, fun!

Backpacking in sunshine, with beautiful water and woodlands.  What could be better?

Must hug big, old trees. 

Ahh dunes...

Water beckoned after traversing the dune....

 Really?!  So fantastic!

Toad burrowed in the sand.  COOL!

Time for peace, quiet and reading in a beautiful setting makes for...

 a very happy camper...

two very happy campers actually.