Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Garden Time Again!

{Please politely disregard the weeds poking up from behind and around our raised bed. They are so not the point...and I didn't get to them before I took the picture of our newly planted goodies.}

It's garden time again!

We've been chatting about what to plant and in what quantities for several weeks now and last week while making our grocery list I decided to get started NOW.

So, we did.

We've scaled down a bit from our 15'x15' plot from a few years back ~ it was enjoyable, for sure, and we spent many, many a family fun hour in that garden but the soil is still not great so we decided to make some changes ~ and we now have two 3'x6' cedar raised beds to focus on.

The first, pictured above, currently holds 16 plants:
4 tomato
2 pepper
2 watermelon
4 cabbage
4 cucumber

And is happily awaiting the seedlings-to-be currently germinating for the rest:
32 carrots, and 16 peas

The second bed is being prepared and will be planted soon with leaf lettuce, more carrots and peas, and whatever else hops in the bed over the next couple of weeks.

Ok, Veggies dear ~ Home and in bed by early March or I'm locking the doors!

Sounds like fun, no?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blueberry *JAM*

Ky and I had some fun together this past weekend, just the two of us while his sisters were napping {Mari} and out with grandparents {Katie}.
We made home made
Blueberry Jam

Supplies assembled! Ready to go!

Ky contributes some elbow grease to mash 3 pints of blueberries

{and I try to keep myself from eating them before he could smash 'em!}

Berries smashed!

Stir, stir, stir!

And fill the jars.

Into the canner they go!

While the jars were processing, Ky practiced his mandolin. He's getting better and it's so much fun to watch him play. {Never mind if it's a *little* out of tune...}

So there you have it! Mando and home canned preserves, we had at our own

Blueberry JAM!

Can't wait to do it again.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: DEFIANT JOY The Remarkable Life & Impact of G.K. Chesterton by Kevin Belmonte

DEFIANT JOY ~ The Remarkable Life & Impact of G.K. Chesterton by Kevin Belmonte is the historical biography of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, one of the most noted Christian literary figures in history. As is my habit when reading non-fiction works I first flipped quickly through the pages, scanning all the ancillary content. I find that reviewing the Table of Contents, Author’s Note(s), Prologue, and Notes and Bibliography pages helps give me a bit of background, especially when I am not exactly familiar with the subject matter. In this case, G.K. Chesterton certainly holds name recognition but I knew very little about who he actually was. It seems this book was written just for me. In his Author’s Note, Belmonte states, “Such is the aspiration of this book: to introduce a life and legacy that should be better known.”

I enjoy biographies and often find the peeks they provide into the lives of others entertaining. Defiant Joy was no exception. Belmonte included a timeline in back which provided a very brief look into Chesterton’s life from birth on May 29, 1874, highlighting his education and major events in his professional and personal life, to his death on June 14, 1936; it served as a great overview and later, as I read through the book, I was able to refer back to it for reference. I particularly enjoyed the excerpts and quotes of Chesterton’s own works, as well as the notes and insights from his friends and contemporaries. Reading this biography has sparked in me an interest in digging deeper; reading more of Chesterton’s works is definitely on my to-do list.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy this book from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Time for Valentines!


Confession time. Bill and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day. {gasp!} We never have. The way we see it, taking one day per year to show off our relationship to whoever is paying attention makes the celebration seem a little...well, disingenuous at best. Our famous line is, "If you don't know how much I love you on February 15 {or September 6th or April 15th or any of the other 364 non-Valentine's days in a year} nothing I do on Feburary 14th is going to mean anything." Still, even though we don't do anything special for each other the kids still have class parties and the like.

Katie came home from school today saying, "Mom we need candy and cards for Valentine's Day! It's almost here!" Lucky for her I was one step ahead of her {thanks to an idea I saw bopping around the blogosphere...I think Megan at BRASSY APPLE is the one I need to thank.}

After seeing Megan's post, I tucked the idea away in the back of my mind and today, while Katie was at school, I bought a big ol' bag of Dum Dums at the store. When she came home we took a picture {or 7...I had to make sure we got one that we could use. A photographer I am definitely NOT.} and after a little Picnik fun ~ Viola! ~ the makings of her very own personalized Valentine's Cards!

I'll try to post a picture of the completed Valentines but in the meantime, Cute, right?! And don't forget to go check out Megan's ~ they look great, too!