Our daughter has the perfect kitchen for gatherings. So we usually meet at her house for our family gatherings/potlucks. This table is perfect. And Father’s day was the occasion.
Just a few photos to show how much fun we have at our gatherings. We have many cooks which means that I just bring my dish and enjoy the party. The girls and granddaughter take over. Come to think of it, once one gets past the teen years, daughters are pretty nice to have in the family.
I hope that each of you had an equally fun time celebrating today.
I’ve pushed hard this week to finish two flimsies – one is 73″ square and the other is 59 x71″ And the report is in for the test quilt.
Today there were two potato casseroles made – one for Father’s day and one for us, plus I cleaned 6 gallon bags of picked greens. Tomorrow, I will grab some from each bag and combine for a salad for the celebration.
The garden is doing good. The hoop house with 7 zones needs daily watering and the big garden will need watering after the rains cease. I let someone else pick the pea pods for their use as I just didn’t keep up – especially between the rain squalls. The strawberries are on their way out and the raspberries are coming in good. I didn’t get to the blueberries today, but they are just starting, so they can wait until Sunday and the rest of the lavender will also wait. The peppers need to be tied up – maybe Monday. I did plant carrots in the hoop house for a winter picking. The zucchini are so huge, I think they are trying to be tropical plants. There are 6 4-5″ zucchinis growing. And the cauliflowers are starting tiny little flowers in the middle.
The bees have been checked for this week. I added a box to their unit and set up two new hives if they would like to swarm – which doesn’t guarantee they will stay here, but as they are in the peak laying time as well as honey collection time with blackberries blooming, I don’t want to bother them.
The floors are mopped. Can I just say that I am collecting dust? That didn’t get done, but DH was good enough to clean the bathrooms, so we are ready for the weekend. Housework is one of those things that waits until it is so bad, I don’t feel I have a choice. But I am so thankful to have a roof and things to clean that it doesn’t seem like a chore – just a priority matter.
Today I had a man here to help with some of the larger and heavier pots that needed to be transplanted, but the rain got in the way, so he will be back to help on Monday. Last week he cut down most of the nettles and blackberries, which is a great help. At our speed, we can’t do it all by ourselves, so we do hire out the more difficult jobs. Knowing that moving and using our muscles keeps us younger longer, we do as much ourselves as time allows.
When I needed a break, I did knit couple rows on the socks. But 2 days this week, I didn’t get all my steps in so I will have to work harder on that next week.
These days so much of our time hinges around the gardens and soon will include saving the produce for winter. So even though we are constantly busy, it sometimes seems we get nothing done, because we start again the next day. I am very thankful that we are able to have the gardens with their produce.
This is what we found when we went into the hay building. Isn’t she a beautiful bird? Sadly for her, we took the eggs. We no longer have a rooster, nor do we want more chickens right now, and we do have someone who wants the eggs.
I really need a better background to hang these larger quilts, but until then, I’ll make do with this. Here is the finished flimsy. The pattern is called “Summer’s Promise” by Ann Lauer. The instructions are excellent. I found it in the American Quilter magazine dated May 2016. It does a good job of showing off the focus fabric. In this case, I had the daffodil fabric hanging on the wall, just waiting for the right pattern.
This afternoon’s harvest was three lovely heads of broccoli. I had planned to pick berries and lavender, but after fertilizing the hoop house and getting it water, the heaven’s opened and it poured. So maybe I can pick berries tomorrow as there is only a 30% chance of rain. And that will give me a break from the housework from which I am way behind.
This bit of unused yarn from a pair of socks is a very soft yarn from Lorna’s Laces. I made a full pair of socks from this yarn which I absolutely loved. However, last winter when I washed several pair of socks, the pair vanished. I have looked everywhere for them and they haven’t shown up. So, I will see how far I can get with the yarn left and finish with another yarn. I understand a single sock disappearing, but a pair of socks, where ever could they have gone?
Today I picked the first head of cabbage out of the hoop house. It’s a small one, but was really good in
the stir fry we had for lunch. This included pea pods, Swiss chard, and garlic scapes from the garden. From the store we added onion, cauliflower and celery which needed to be used. It was delicious!
There is no pay for testing quilts and often it isn’t a pattern I would have chosen. I am testing this one, because the other testers were avoiding it. However, it really needed to be tested before being published as there were a few errors that might make it become a ufo for someone. I can’t show you the quilt until September, but here is a section of the border. One of the pieces was not quite long enough – so that will be a correction in the pattern. Also I tried different methods of putting it together and decided one really needs to make a template for each half of the block to trim it before putting it together. It’s a pretty border, but also a more advanced one as there are 5 pieces to match in each half of the chevron.
Yes there are places it doesn’t match perfectly. Since testers are to follow the instructions, some of the pieces are too short and I tried to make it work anyhow. Some of the other mismatches are due to my imperfect sewing.
I promised myself after last Sunday’s strawberry episode, that today was going to be a fun day. Our youngest daughter and her DH came over and while he went out and harvested our berries, we played.
We assembled the lye, fragrances, colors, and other items needed (we didn’t use the borax as we didn’t make laundry soap)
Then we mixed the water and lye – using old peanut butter jars – outside and let it cool until it reached 110 degrees.
For one batch of soap, we mixed lemon juice instead of water with the lye and it produced this color.
While the lye mix was cooling we mixed our oils, – predominantly coconut oil, with some avocado and olive – and warmed them to 110 degrees.
Then we slowly poured the lye/water into the oil, while stirring with the hand blender. We blended until it looked like thin pudding, maybe 5 minutes. At that point we added fragrance and could add the colors.
We beg for Pringles cans to put our loofahs in and then pour soap over and through that. The batches were small, so one batch filled two cans. When cooled, we slice them.
Another batch filled the casserole dish you see in the back and the third batch filled a loaf pan the two small containers in front. The loaf pan and two small containers have poppy seed in them. We will wait until tomorrow afternoon to pop them out of the containers and slice the soap. Then it needs to set for two months to cure. After that we will enjoy it. Meanwhile, we will probably be making more soap.
The lavender was planted 3 years ago, but has not had any attention. It was so full of blooms today, I decided that it was time to pick. So pick, I did. This was a first time experience.
Here I have heaped it on the table as I filled my pan.
And then I bundled it
and hung it to dry in the area with my yarn and fabrics. I had no idea this would consume a good part of my day. In retrospect, I should have had the rubber bands with me and I could have saved a lot of time, just bundling them as I picked. Live and learn. I am about 1/2 done. And the blessing of rain arrived. We get a whole week off of watering outside (still have to water the hoop house, but this will save some time. Sunday should be sunny and I’ll have more pea pods and possible more strawberries to pick as well.
We get venison scraps in the fall for our dogs. They come packaged in the large banana boxes with 40-50# of meat in a box, frozen. So when we have room for separate packages in the “dog” freezer, we thaw it out and repackage it into daily portions. This was one of the morning chores today.
When that was done, I started another pair of short summer socks, because after counting, I need at least another 5 pair for this summer. One should not have to wash more than once a week and then sometimes, it is a tad longer. So rummaging through the scraps, I like this variegated red yarn and had this other yarn that had some of the reds along with whites and blues. I took time to go to the dentist and when I returned, I definitely needed something to sit and do. I have just finished the heel and picked up the instep heel. If this isn’t enough yarn (after weighing), I’ll look for another solid to go with them. Or maybe the blue-gray and white that I have would work.
How many of you are now knitting socks – even summer socks? And how many of you are mixing the yarn left from other socks to make a new pair? I’d like to think that I have company.
I guess I’ve been a bit lazy in this department lately and nearly forgot how much time can be spent in the kitchen. I picked about a pint of pea pods,
some garlic scapes, and another pint of strawberries. I baked wheat bread and zucchini bread. Then I used some of the scapes with white beans to make a hummus. I stemmed and sliced the strawberries, made cashew cream and milk.
Then it was time for lunch which was potatoes (These are larger than a softball) and cooked Swiss chard along with bread and hummus. The bonus here was that all the kitchen work caused the step counter to record 5000 steps by noon.