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Friday, July 31, 2009

What is a Mummy's Favorite Berry?

Casketoons! This week, my mother invited us to pick a Sasketoon bush that has been growing near their house since they built it 24 years ago. It is huge now, and it was heavily laden with berries. So the kids and I took buckets and headed to Granny Flash's house. Uncle #1 was there to help us. In the end, we picked almost two gallons. Laughing Water made up the above joke. I'm drying some of the berries and lastnight we made a smoothie with the berries and maple yoghurt. Yummy!
Yesterday, Laughing Water went to spend the weekends with friends. Right after I dropped her off, we went to a city park for Mr. Bluberry Eyes to play. I was sitting in the car, talking on the phone while he played. Suddenly, I saw him fall 5-6 feet, flat on his back. I went running and by the time I got to him, he was staggering toward some strangers for help. We sat him down. It "just happened" that my doctor and his wife were in the park with their kids, too. They helped start assessing Mr. Blueberry Eyes. At first the pain wasn't great and then it got more serious. He broke out in a sweat and they pointed out that he was in shock. However, they felt that nothing was broken, so I helped him into the car and took him to my mother who had some Bach Rescue Remedy. We put two drops under his tongue and had him lay down. He is still in a little pain and I am getting him into my cranial-sacral therapist soon. He is, however, much better and I'm amazed that my doctor was right there. It must have been a God thing!
I'm up to my eyeballs in harvesting garden produce. Will write more about it later. - Nanette

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Salad Dressing

Here is the salad dressing I told you about. I didn't measure, so I will give approximately how much I put in.

1 to 1 1/2 cups plain, lowfat yoghurt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large handful of fresh dill ferns
4-5 small garlic scapes
a few splashes of balsamic vinegar
1 t. Vege-Sal (a seasoned salt)

Blend thoroughly.

The pictures are my romaine lettuce and purple basil. As you can see, I've learned that basil grows just fine from direct-sow and catches up to the starts, so why bother planting them indoors? I'm happy to have learned this!


O.k. Enough griping. Its time to look for what IS going right. The first one happens to be captured in this first picture. This is Laughing Water running beside the garden. Look carefully and you will see the grasshoppers flying around her. (You can see it better if you click on the picture to enlarge it.) It is a veritible plague. But they are not eating my garden! They are full of the grasshopper virus that is contained in the organic bait called Semaspore that I posted earlier this year! It is working very well! I'm so happy! I've been looking for a solution to these horrible pests for a long time!

Another blessing is that The Wood Artist taught me how to use our new camera on manual focus so that I can bypass the auto-focus that is not working. I have a lot to learn, but I feel like I at least have a starting point. I should be learning this anyway!
Our lunch today was amazing! We picked all kinds of lettuces from our garden, including romaine, butterhead, black seeded simpson, endive, and red leaf lettuce. We tossed them together with pea greens. On top of that we put thick slices of tomatoes and sauteed vegetarian mock duck. Over that we poured a salad dressing I will give you a recipe for. It was TO DIE FOR!!!!!!!!

Other blessings today include a brilliant sunshine, healthy kids, time for The Wood Artist to work his magic on some raw wood that will soon be lovely candle holders. He also promised to taker the children to free-swim at the city pool tonight. That will give me some along time!Cheers! - Nanette

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah

It is late. I seem to drag through these hot days and then get slightly more energetic at night when it cools down. Our "new" Tahoe is at the transmission doctor right now. It seems everything is breaking. The estimate to rebuild the transmission is $2600-2900. Ouch! The Wood Artist very low on work. I've never seen him out of work before because he is such a hard, skilled worker. But the downturn has hit our tutoring business hard and his other skills lie in areas that people are cutting back on right now. This will mostly wipe out our savings, but, hey, at least we don't have to go into debt for it, right? That's a happy thing.

Our camera broke, too. Our new one. Not sure what to do to fix it. We may have to send it into the factory. And, the garbage disposal broke.....The Wood Artist did fix that one. We're having untold roadblocks in starting our online tutoring business. The state lost our application for a non-profit organization we were starting to help fund reading students who can't afford to pay. I'm having a hard time counting my blessings right now, but I suppose this is when I should do it the most!

The Wood Artist and I had fun on our anniversary get-away this weekend. We drove south about four hours and stayed at a hotel. During the days we explored some fabulous country spots. We saw twin fawns, picked yummy huckleberries.

The kids and I had no vehicle to take us to swimming lessons today, so we rode our bikes for about three miles. It was fun to watch Mr. Blueberry Eyes practice his brand-new knowledge of road signals and safety.

Tomorrow should be a better day! - Nanette

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Unfulfilled Lists

It is 8:30 p.m. and I didn't even get to the main things on my to-do-list for today. It started, I suppose, with the realization that the basil and kale needed to be picked and processed TODAY. I didn't want them going to seed. So, I washed and blanched and froze the kale and made the basil into pesto to freeze. It was lime basil and had a peculiar flavor, but was still yummy.

Then my brother and his friend agreed to help The Wood Artist change the transmision fluid in our "new" Tahoe. They bartered for a home cooked meal. So, of course, leftovers just wouldn't do. I made mazidra.

Added into the day was a swimming lesson and grocery shopping and an errand for The Wood Artist and here I sit, tired, with my to-do-list mostly intact! Oh, well. What doesn't get done before our weekend get-away will just remain undone!

This picture is a little hard to see, but it is a mommy and baby mountain goat traversing a very steep snowfield on the mountain we hiked a couple of weeks ago.

I'd love to hear how your harvests are coming along! - Nanette

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today is our 13th anniversary. How can it possibly have been that long? It doesn't seem more than 5 years! We will go out to dinner tonight. In a couple of weekends, we will have a get-away.

Mr. Blueberry Eyes woke up with a sore throat this morning. I hope the oreganol oil I gave him works quickly. I'm letting him take it easy. He's watching nature videos.

There's not much noteworthy going on in our lives right now. I doubt you want to hear about the piles of ironing, weeding and garage cleaning that need doing! TTFN - Nanette

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I'm tired today! We stayed up very late celebrating the 4th of July with dear friends. The Wood Artist took some treasured pictures of our fireworks. The children ran around screaching and laughing. The little ones covered their ears and said, "This is the best 4th of July eva'". We belted out patriotic tunes and ate all-American food. Fashionista Sister has the perfect baked bean recipe - a secret, of course.
Today I enjoyed a walk/jog of nearly 5 miles. A thunderstorm was chasing me, but I won. My health is steadily improving and it felt good to feel strong.

I harvested some huge German Giant radishes today from my garden and weeded two onion beds. Now I'm just being lazy and intend to stay that way for the rest of the day! I think I hear a book calling my name! - Nanette

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

I'm sitting here at my computer, sharing my Ipod with my son. He has one ear bud and I have the other. His face is sticky with corn on the cob and peaches. We are listening to Shania Twain... "You're still the one!" He is grinning and occasionally bobbing his head to the music.

These pictures are from our hike last Sunday. We hiked a mountain that is about 45 minutes from our house. It was beautiful and I was proud of the kids. Because we drove part way up, the hike was only about an 1800 foot climb. The views were spectacular and so was the wind! The mountain goats were slightly skiddish, but not very shy. One of them had a tiny baby who scampered across a steep, snowy hill so fast we held our breath!

The bear skinning yesterday went well. We were saddened to discover that she had massive bruising on her hind quarters - likely she had been hit by car before the person had to shoot her in self-defense. She must have been really hurting. We should get the hide back from the tanner in about 5 months. The one freak-out moment was when the make-shift table we were using got upset and we dropped the bear and the skinning knife I was using stabbed me in my finger. It was only a scratch, but I was completely grossed-out and worried about infection. The doctor assures me that bears don't have any terrible diseases.

We are looking forward to celebrating our country's birthday. There will be a picnic with friends. I'm taking black bean salsa - my 4th of July tradition. After dark there will be a "potluck" fireworks show. We will read stories about our forefathers and marvel at their courage in the face of an uncertain outcome. (We'll miss our friends that can't be there - especially Piro-Man and his family. How we miss that family!)

Now, our earphones are playing the Judds and Mr. Blueberry Eyes is singing along: "Grandpa, tell me about the good old days.... Did lovers really fall in love to stay? Did families really bow their heads to pray?"

It has been a long, hard two weeks and I'm tired and grumpy. But I'm going to get some sleep and trust that my Saviour can restore my peace of mind! And, I'm going enjoy my country's birthday. I hope you do, too! - Nanette

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bridesmaid Dressses and Bear Skins

Someone just said I live a unique life. I suppose I do. Some would call it barbaric. Some would call it a dream life. I think it is somewhere in the middle. Just enough uniqueness to have fun and just enough civilized to not be too barbaric - I hope. However you characterize my life, it is NOT boring!

My current project is altering a lovely bridesmaid's gown. I have this great barter arrangement with a massage therapist. I sew or alter clothing for her, and she gives me massages. Its a win/win. This alteration has to do with an ill-fitting neckline and I'm trying a simple thing first. If it works, it will save me tearing into some very sensitive fabric.

But today is a big day in other departments. I think I mentioned that we heard from the Fish, Wildlife and Parks that we cannot have the bear that my Dad shot some weeks ago. It looks so much like a grizzly bear that they are doing a life-size mount and will display it next to a grizzly mount. I'm told one of the rangers thought it was a grizzly.

Anyway, they did have another cinnamon colored black bear for us. It is much smaller (about 1/2 or less). So today is skinning day. Trapper Girl is here to help us with her expertise. When we are done, we will take it to a tanner. Can't wait to let the students touch the pelt. The Warden said he will help us get other pelts and skulls for our Tutoring Service. The kids love to touch and handle things like this.

I'm done with my morning students and am heading out to change clothes and try my hand at skinning a bear. Barbaric? Maybe so. - Nanette