Friday, July 14, 2017

Tip for stained fingernails...

I work in the garden a lot.  I also do other things that make my hands look terrible.  I have discovered that if I want to remove stains from my fingernails and skin on my hands, all I have to do is soak them in lemon juice for a couple of minutes.  Voila! Obviously, the following picture is not of my hands, but you get the idea.  It really does work that well and that quickly.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

July 6, 2017 - About a million pictures...

Hello, Gentle Readers.  I have been having a wonderful time working in the garden today and I took a lot of pictures, too.  Some of them are very poor quality.  I know you won't mind.  Yolanda

Leeks and garlic on left, then carrots then on the right is Jericho lettuce and baby radishes.

The asparagus ferns.  My garden fairy and I transplanted these from the roadside a few years ago.

Leeks and garlic and you can see the giant sunflowers too.

Comfrey, and kale.

5 giant sunflowers.  When I was little my mother and my uncle used to have a contest each year to see who could grow the tallest one, so this means a lot to me!

The Bee Balm is so pretty!

Two volunteer Mullein plants.


Cat mint circled by a nice concrete sign that my late neighbor lady made for me.  She passed away recently and is missed.

Another view of the sunflowers and Bee Balm.

Left are Brussels sprouts, and on the right, some cabbages.

Pepper plants.  They are not doing so well, yet, although I've had a few peppers.  The ground was so wet there and it kind of stunted them, I think.



Rabbits ate all of our green bean plants, so my husband replanted here yesterday.  The marigolds are still there.  They help keep the bean beetles away.

First crop of sweet corn.  Deer were munching on the plants.  I put some chunks of Irish Spring bath soap in the rows and it seems to be keeping them away.

30 tomato plants.  Half are in cages and half are on stakes.  Between the cages I also have lots of Basil. 

Another planting of cucumbers.

Baby pie pumpkins!

Straight 8 cucumbers.

Baby beets.

Second planting of sweet corn.

Here is the row of sweet potatoes... 50 plants.  The Rabbits have been eating the vines, so I got some Shakeaway and put quite a bit in there.  So far, so good.

Just a view.

Little apples.


Apple trees (2)

Rose of Sharon bush.  It looks much nicer in person.  The hummingbirds love these flowers.

A friendly spider on the clothesline poles.

Some of my houseplants are living outside for the summer.

We have 4 ducks and 10 chickens this year.  The ducks are so funny.  We've never had our own before.

Partners in crime!

I even have a little bit of elderberries growing at the edge of the woods!

Basket willows I planted a number of years ago.

Another view.

My grandpuppy.  His family is out of town for a few days.  He likes it here.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Apple Butter from Windfall Apples!

This has been the best apple year I've ever had.  I never spray my trees, so I have to cut out the bad spots.  This is a dishpan full of windfall apples... and... here are the jars of apple butter I made today!

I have never followed a recipe, as they call for apple cider and I didn't used to ever have money to buy that.  My apple butter is just made with cut up apples (no need to core or peel), some water, not a lot, and cooked slowly and put through the Foley Food Mill.

Then I add brown sugar, white sugar, lots of cinnamon and some ground cloves.  I don't measure anything.  I just throw it together until it tastes "right." Then I put it into a Crockpot, leave the lid off and cook it on low until it is as thick as I want it to be.

These were processed for 5 minutes in a steam canner.

It really is yummy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

THIS makes me happy!

I thinned some of the carrots in our garden.  This variety is called "Ox Heart."  They are very sweet and nice.  I was so pleased that my "thinnings" were so robust!
I got the seeds at
They sell only heirloom (you can save the seeds) varieties and their prices are excellent!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Family Reunion - 2017

We just finished having a family reunion.  This is the first time in 12 years that all of our children and my husband and I have been all together.  The first picture here is from 12 years ago.  The second one was taken Monday.  :)

Saturday, May 13, 2017


Here is the yarn I have made in the last 3 spinning group meetings.  We meet once a month at an Alpaca Farm.  It is always so relaxing and nice.  This yarn is hand carded, hand spun and washed from raw Jacob's fleece.  It is very soft.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup!

The weather has been such, lately, that I have been able to forage a lot of oyster mushrooms.  I had two pounds of them in the refrigerator that I needed to use up, so here is what I did to make the Cream of Mushroom Soup.

The ingredients:

First, chop the mushrooms.

Next, melt 1/4 cup butter in a heavy skillet (mine is cast iron.)

Then stir and saute the mushrooms...

until they are tender and look like this:

There will still be some liquid in the pan. Next,
stir in the chicken broth and then the arrowroot 
powder in water (see recipe below.)

Keep stirring until it simmers and thickens.  Then,
stir in 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1.5 teaspoons salt
and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper.

Last, transfer the soup to a mixing bowl, and using
a stick blender, blend it nicely.

Voila!  You can also blend it in a regular blender or
a food processor, but the stick blender makes it
so very quick and easy!

Here is the recipe:

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 pounds cleaned mushrooms of your choice
1/4 cup butter
6 Tablespoon arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
1/2 cup water
3 cups broth (I used homemade chicken stock)
1/2 cup evaporated milk (or cream)

Chop the mushrooms and saute them in the butter until tender.

Add the broth and then the arrowroot mixed into the water.

Stir and bring to a simmer until thickened.

Add the salt, pepper and evaporated milk and combine well.

Pour the soup into a bowl and blend with a stick blender.


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