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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bringing In the Harvest


Our garlic harvest this year was fabulous. We have plenty for winter eating AND planting. It is drying in our garage now, and I hope to plant it in October.
We've been working on wrapping up the garden. It is a huge job and makes me think I overdid it this year. My Painted Mountain corn harvest was poor, but we still have enough for seed-saving and a few batches of corn-bread.
We got a stunning harvest of tomatoes and tomatillos. I've even tried to sell some of the tomatillos, but I'm learning that not many people know what to do with them!
I got into some mold when I pulled up my pea plants and it got me sick again. Yucky!
There is still so much to do! We have yet to harvest the onions (around 400 pounds), potatoes and carrots. Part of the beet harvest still has to be pulled in. I'm excited, though, because I've managed to save 5 different kinds of bean seed, two kinds of pea seed, and will likely be able to save a LOT of amaranth seed.

We had a wonderful treat the other night. The Wood Artist's Cousin and his family came to see us. His wife brought fresh, homemade goat cheese that was herbed. Oh, I can't describe how yummy it was. I didn't taste goaty at all! She has promised to help me learn how to make it. My doctor wants me off dairy, so I'm exploring goat products more! I had some of the cheese on spaghetti and it was fantastic!
I haven't been good at posting for a while because I'm very busy with our business right now. It has taken quite a jump the last two weeks and we are delighted. Maybe this downturn is over. I hope so. Let's hope this is a trend! We are expanding and setting up a new office in another town. The Wood Artist will run that one. Good things are happening. Prayers are being answered! - Nanette

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Corrections

Just went back and edited "Random Musings". Sorry! I was so tired that day and had more interruptions than you can imagine! Didn't mean to post with so many mistakes! Sheesh!

Fantasy Fulfilled!

We made it up the mountain in search of our "mother lode". The Wood Artist had seen a patch of huckleberries on his long mountain bike trip. We were unsure, however, if they would still be there when we got there a week later. We took our friend and two of her boys with us. It was about a 3 1/4 mile hike up a very steep mountain.
As we neared our destination, we met two backpackers. We asked them if they had seen any huckleberries. They said that it looked like they were drying up. But when we asked if they had eaten any, one of them said, "No! I'm afraid to eat anything out here!" I was very amused.
We kept hiking and then came to where The Wood Artist remembered seeing so many. Sure enough! They were there! And it was a "mother-lode". These backpackers had walked right through a huge patch of the most delicious, big, huckleberries! They hadn't even tasted them! Poor guys!
Well we started to pick. We tried out some pickers that The Wood Artist is perfecting. They needed a little more perfecting, so I ended up picking by hand about 1/2 the time. The Wood Artist had one professional picker that worked well.
We ended up leaving the patch that day with 5 gallons! Our friend got about 1 to 1 1/2 gallons, since she had to leave early. I've always fantasized about picking 5 gallons in one day and now we've done it!
It was great fun to hear the children playing together as they picked. They started "staking claim" and "buying and selling" their prized patches. The two little guys (Mr. Blueberry Eyes and his friend) picked a downright impressive amount for their age!
And now, I have bags and bags of the purple gold in my freezer just waiting to be made into pies. Fantasy fulfilled! - Nanette

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Solar Model

We had a fun science project today in our homeschool. We made a model of the solar system out of balloons. The planets were roughly representative of the relative size to each other, but the sun was much smaller. It also didn't represent the vast space between the planets, but was still a great project that gave the kids some understanding of our solar system.

We attatched index cards with the names of the planets written on
them so that we can recognize them at a glance. Laughing Water and Mr. Blueberry Eyes both were enthusiastic about helping with it.

We are studying Astronomy this whole year. The kids are putting their notebooks together now. I'm pleased with how Mr. Blueberry Eyes is being as particular as his wiggly, seven-year-old self will let him. He even did a small narration today in history, which was very exciting for Mommy as his language/communication skills are still not as strong
as they should be. - Nanette

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Random Musings

* My elephant head and other species of amaranth is doing well. (See left)
*I've learned that saw dust works just fine for cat litter. Who knew? That discovery will save me some pennies.
*The kids started back in music lessons today and I was proud of how well they did after a summer break!
*Have I said before that I love barter? The Wood Artist helped a lady move in trade for a matching set of Dillard's sheets and duvet

cover in colors I love!
*Having a really hard time sleeping lately, in spite of taking melatonin, which usually works like a drug for me!
*Slowly recovering from a cold, fever, aches. Guess I got cocky about my dependable natural remedies!
*Started homeschool yesterday. Having a blast. Mr. Blueberry Eyes (pictured here with a chair contraption he was enjoying while camping) is in first grade now. Laughing Water is in 5th grade.
*Took a lot of pickling cukes and green beans to a cousin today. I'm sick of canning them!
*Picked wonderberries at a friend's last Thursday night. Made a wonderful crisp. Tonight had hemp ice cream with wonderberry sauce over it. Yummy!
*I'm putting off shopping. We need clothes! I don't like shopping. (Shocking, I know. Yes, I am a woman, but I don't like shopping for clothes. I do, mind you, like the trip home, knowing I've found some useful things and don't have to do that again for a while.)
*The Wood Artist is enjoying making some huckleberry pickers. More on that if it works.
*I felt so tired and out of sorts this afternoon that I thought about calling my old house cleaner (back when I was working more) to come help me. Laughing Water said, "No, Mommy! We can do it!" So we worked out a deal. She does more of the chores than she would normally do and I pay her. Win, win. I pay less; it stays in the family. I'm happy.
* I love correcting Laughing Water's math. She lays out the tidiest math paper of any student I've ever had!
*I'm so excited about teaching history and science this year! Love it, love it!
*I'm thankful for our library system. I can "shop" from home (computer) and pick the books up in a quick stop! It rocks!
Gotta go tuck kids in bed. - Nanette

Monday, September 7, 2009

Friday night my family came to our house for dinner and pictures. Our grandmother is having her 80th birthday soon and we needed to get pictures for her. It was fun having everyone together. I have three brothers. Huckleberry Buddy is 7 1/2 years younger than I. Guardsman and Possyman are twins and are 15 1/2 years younger. We had pizza and posed for pictures till we were sick of it. Guardsman commented that he had just noticed that our family doesn't look alike! Ha! We're a chosen family - not a take-what-you-get family!
Sabbath evening I met with Long Lost Girlfriend at the lake. It was fabulous to reconnect and watch the children pick up where they left off more than a year ago. She brought her wonderful baked beans and I brought potato salad. It started raining just as we finished eating and we dashed for our vehicles. Glad you're back, Girlfriend!

A nasty cold caught up with me and I spent Sunday in bed with a fever and aches. Today I'm up, but don't feel like doing much. I'm having printer issues, so I can't finish printing my school schedules. We start our homeschool tomorrow.

On Sabbath, David did a bike trip with a friend. It was about 27 miles of extreme stuff - across a mountain chain. He was pretty tired. But, he did find a mother-lode of huckleberries! We are headed up there soon. It is high. It will take a hike of about 3 1/2 miles. The good thing is that everybody thinks huck season is over, so they won't be looking! (Insert evil laugh.) I feel huck fever coming on again!



Garden produce is still pouring in, but I've written about it so much, I'm tired of it! The Wood Artist brought in two big bowls of cukes yesterday. Mr. Blueberry Eyes tipi yielded one huge bowl of pole beans all by itself! - Nanette

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meditations

Laughing Water has been back for two weeks now. She went on her first big adventure without Mom and Dad. She did have Grandpa and Grandma on the trip. Her scout club went to a camporee for two weeks. There were 36,000 other kids there and she rode on a big bus with two other clubs. We stayed busy, but we missed her very much. When she got home, it was hard to get enough of huggin' on her!

These are pictures of her in her little garden. She has a little shelter and has morning glories climbing all over it. The Wood Artist made her a little bench with her name on it and she likes to sit in there and for her devotions.

Our days have been very busy with harvesting and canning. My mom came over the other night and helped me can 11 quarts of pickles, 7 quarts of green beans and prepare beets for 10 quarts. It was a real treat to have her come over since she doesn't get to do that often.


We are on a countdown to school. We are starting a week from today. There is a lot to do between now and then. I have most of my plans made, but need to finalize some schedules. So, I'm off - TTFN- Nanette

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