Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tomato Haiku

Raised from seed, every single one survived. How could I throw any away??

Looking hopeful

Hunter, Gatherer

Finishing ripening on the picnic table

Ready for the canner

Here we go again

All have sealed. Yea!!!

I think it was Kim's blog, Consider it Pure Joy , that used Haiku some months ago. It was so much fun. So, if you have any gardening Haiku of your own, be sure to share it in a comment!  We'd all love to read it! :-)
Here are a couple of my lame (trust me, I came up with even worse ones!) tomato Haiku offerings:

Tomato Canning
Pick them, cut them, put in jars
Shelves of gorgeous red


Plant with many hopes
Dreams of Deep red, seedy fruit
Reality: blight

This post is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Saturday, August 28, 2010

O Henry!

 Henry, born August 27, 2010

I was going to post a 'before' pic of our daughter when she was in labor, but thought she might not appreciate it. :-)  So, here's one of our newest grandson who took nearly 48 hours to muster up enough courage to emerge from his warm, liquid environment. 

In an instant, little Henry went from getting his oxygen through an umbilical cord to getting his oxygen through his lungs, and came out already knowing how to suckle. Baby is alert and looks from person to person, recognizing familiar voices. Grandpa just mentioned how amazing it is that little Henry, never having used his vision before, is now looking from face to face. Why doesn't he look at hands? Why is he looking at faces? Why does he look at eyes?

What an amazing Creator we have!

Praise God for a safe delivery. Mama, Daddy and Baby are all doing well. So are Grandpa and Grandma. :-)

7 lb. 11 oz.  21"  Lots of dark hair. :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

York, England, Part A

I've decided to divide my York pictures among three blog posts. So this first pic is the only one of the York Minster that you're getting this week. Although I think the York Minster is the best reason to go to York, it is because I have so many pictures of the Minster, that I'll save those for another post. Today's post will be pics of Roman York or Eboracum.

In July of AD 306, Constantine was with his Emperor father in northern Britain on a campaign against the Picts north of Hadrian's Wall. While in York (Eboracum) his father became sick and died, but had made it known that he  wanted Constantine to succeed him. This is the same Constantine The Great we all know and love from In Hoc Signo Vinces (In this sign you will conquer.) Please don't confuse this on the test with Julius Caesar's Veni Vidi Vici. Actually, I think that was pronounced 'weenie, weedie, weekie,' which just doesn't have that same proud, commanding tone we like to imagine. :-)

Streets that lead to an opening in the city wall were called 'gates.'

The City Wall

Bootham Bar
Stands on the site of the old Roman entrance to the City
The entrances through the city wall were called 'bars.'

Multangular Tower (built in early 4th century) containing Roman stone coffins
brought from graveyards in other parts of York

Same area, multangular tower

Part of York City Wall

We were just fascinated by the city of York and hope to return there some day. Although we did see a lot, there is so much we did not see. It's definitely worth three days of a 16 day trip to England.

Hopefully, I'll get the other York photos posted next week and the week after. One of my favorite pics from the entire trip was taken in York. I had it enlarged to poster size and it's hanging on the wall of a bedroom upstairs.

P.S. Be sure to stop in at Sherry's blog, Lamp Unto My Feet, for her Blogiversary Giveaway. My handcrafted soaps are being featured there this week! Enter her giveaway and you may come away with six luxurious, fragrant soaps for your shower! :-)

P.P.S. We're in Indiana, at the hospital where our daughter and son-in-law are having their first baby. I think she's been in labor about 36 hours now. Please pray that mama will soon get relief with baby's safe passage to the outside. I'm sorry that you haven't had e-mails from me, but I think you'll understand. :-) I will get caught up some time next week.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August Flowers

At the very beginning of August, the echinacea were gorgeous!

Even now, although their color is much faded, it cheers me to see them. It's amazing how long those blossoms hang in there. I used to have white- blossomed echinacea also, but they seem to have disappeared over the winter, something that happens all too often in NW Wisconsin, zone 3.

The rudbeckia are amazing. So bright and beautiful, they're my favorite flower in the pond garden after the June irises, which are long gone by now, of course. They seem to do well even with the ever-narrowing window of sunlight they get as our trees grow bigger! The rudbeckia will bloom until we get a hard frost.

This beautiful zinnea is one that grew from seed I saved from last year's plants. Most of this year's zinneas had only a single row of petals, although last year's zinneas all were huge and full. (I think this is what you get when you plant saved seed from a hybrid plant). This is one of the few that also had many rows, but was still a smaller blossom than last year's. I figured I had nothing to lose, since the seed was free - and here.  Zinneas are among my favorite because they're so cheering (you see a theme here??) and also keep blossoming right up until frost. This particular pic was taken by Natalia the night of the hymn sing, using my camera. Great shot, Natalia!

Joe got me this red petunia for Mother's Day and it's been blooming ever since. We've had such a rainy summer, so it wasn't dependent upon my watering it. :-) I do best with plants that thrive on neglect. This plant is in a container on the deck.

It won't be long before we'll be covering the flowers with old sheets to protect them from frost. It was 46 degrees when we got up this morning, so that time is rapidly approaching. The sheets usually buy us another couple weeks of blossoms before they're gone for the year. Right now, what's blossoming in my pond garden? Rudbeckia, impatiens, purple salvia, liatris, and the last, rapidly-fading echinacea.

 Wildflowers in the ditches

In the little pond itself are the water hyacinths (and snails) that keep my pond healthy and the water clear. Each spring, after Mother's Day, I buy two water hyacinths. Usually, by mid summer I'm having to pitch many of them just so we can still see the water! They will quickly take over if I'm not paying attention!

I love this time of year, late summer, but I can even tell with my little pond garden that things are definitely winding down toward the big W, that season that sneaks up on us and sticks around for about 6 months.

Have a great Thursday. We're off to Indiana, for our daughter's in labor with their first child - a boy!  :-)

P.S. Don't forget to visit Sherry at her blog, Lamp Unto My Feet for her Blogiversary Giveaway! My handcrafted soaps are being featured there this week. :-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bear in a tree? How can it be??

Hey, Mom, come outside. You'll never guess what we found in the maple tree!  

Actually, it was when I had the dogs outside in the morning, that they started barking like crazy. I ignored them, for I figured they were just scolding the neighbor for having the audacity to drive up his own driveway, across from ours.  (Bridger's like that.) I had been on my way to the garden, but Bridger and Misty started sounding pretty frantic, so I walked over to see what was going on. 

By now, their barks sounded more like an alert because of a snake or a skunk. I stood next to them, trying to see what all the fuss was about, but didn't notice anything unusual. Then Misty looked up into the maple tree next to us. So I glanced up.

 And there she was - an intruder, in Bridger's mind.
A friend of ours said it was probably a 3-year old, 
and most likely a sow.

Once I got the dogs indoors, (they obey the IN command pretty well), I went back out with my camera to see if I could get some photos to share with you. Of course!  The gorgeous, snuggly-looking black bear settled in on a branch with her legs hanging down, looking like she was trying to get comfortable enough to take a nap. She was so cute, I just wanted to pet that dense fur and give her a hug - like I do my dogs. No, they don't like hugs much either. And of course I wouldn't really do that to a black bear, for I don't want to get ripped to shreds!

Figuring out the best way to climb down

Eventually, our cute little friend did climb down, ran across the yard, down the driveway, and took off up the road. The last I saw her, she was trotting up Neighbor Bill's driveway. Maybe she'll take a nap in that old barn. I wonder if we'll see her again. 

Of course now I have to put Bridger on lead before taking him outdoors. He hyperventilated for about a half hour after his first bear encounter!

So the next time you read Blueberries for Sal to your children, be sure to let them know that Maine isn't the only place where black bears live. They're also found in NW Wisconsin!

And just in case they're not sitting on your home library shelves, all of Robert McCloskey books would be a great addition to your home library!

Make Way for Ducklings
One Morning in Maine
Blueberries for Sal
Time of Wonder
Homer Price

Our kids loved them all!  (and so did I)  :-)

P.S.  Don't forget to stop in at Sherry's blog, Lamp Unto My Feet for her Blogiversary Giveaway! My handcrafted soaps are being featured there. :-)

This post is linked to We Did It Wednesday! 
and Lovely Photo Wednesday. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Best Pizza Ever - and happens to be gluten free!

This is an amazing and amazingly easy pizza I can make (you can make) on a moment's notice. From the time you think of it until the time it comes out of the oven is approximately a half hour. Don't think you're getting short-changed because this pizza is gluten free. It is delicious and I actually like it better than any other pizza I've eaten! And that includes the Greek Pizza from Good Earth restaurant in Roseville. No kidding!

Get the Food for Life brown rice tortillas (3 or 4) out of the freezer (you'll find them in the gluten-free freezer section of your grocery store) and set them on the counter to thaw while you get the pizza toppings ready.

 Pizza, just before it goes into the 460 degree oven for the first time


Food For Life brown rice tortillas, 3 or 4
1 can (or possibly 2) tomato paste
Oregano (fresh, if you have it)
Coarse-ground black pepper
1/2 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil and basil (Not a necessity, but oh, sooooo good! I find this at the olive bar in my local supermarket)
Kalamata or black Moroccan olives, pitted and sliced
Mushrooms, fresh or canned, sliced
1 can of chicken breast, drained and shredded
Fresh parsley
Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
Feta cheese (I like to get the block and grate my own, cuz I like the crumbles to be small)
Mozzarella cheese (not necessary, but I like a little mozz. on this pizza as well.

Pizza, just before going into the 460 degree oven the second time


Spray pizza pan with a GF non-stick cooking spray.
Lay tortillas out on pan, cutting and piecing to fill pan.
Brush tomato paste onto tortillas, covering every bit of tortilla.
Sprinkle on the black pepper and oregano, onion and red pepper.
Lay olive slices and mushroom slices on top,
Sprinkle top with chicken, then the sliced Romas
Top with fresh parsley
Put in preheated 460 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and quickly sprinkle cheeses on top.
          I only do this because I don't want to spill cheese in my oven!
Return pizza to the hot oven for another 8-9 minutes.
Cheese should be slightly golden at the edges, not just melted.

In your hurry to get to this delicious pizza, don't forget to turn off the oven. :-)
Yeah, I've done that. It isn't a good idea to keep an oven at 460 while you're also running the A.C. :-(  But I only did it once.


'Lemon Verbena'
Natural, Handcrafted Vegan Soap
Fragrant, Delicious, Gentle

...and more! Check out all our handcrafted soaps at

 This post may be linked to some of the following: Mop it Up Monday  and Get in My Tummy and  Cure for the Common Monday and  Clever Chicks Blog Hop and  Barn Charm and  The Marketplace  and  Mix it up Monday and Make it Pretty Monday and    Making the World Cuter Mondays and Make the Scene Monday and  Something I Whipped Up Monday and  Motivate Me Monday and  Making Monday Marvelous and Get Your Craft On and   You're Gonna Love it Tuesday and Creative Showcase and  Tweak it Tuesday and  Coastal Charm Tuesday and  Take a Look Tuesday and  Tasty Tuesday  and Love Bakes Good Cakes  and Overflowing With Creativity and Mom on TimeOut  and Adorned from Above and Wildcrafting Wednesday and   Cast Party Wednesday and  We Did it Wednesday  and All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and It's a Party at Creative Princess and Artsy Corner Thursday  and Creative Things Thursday and Be Inspired and Time Travel Thursday and Thrifty Things Friday  and  Friday Fences and  Thursday's Inspiration and  The Self-sufficient Home Acre and  I'm Lovin' it Thursday and Creative Things Thursday and   Mandatory Mooch   and Foodie Friends Friday and Freedom Fridays and  Anything Blue Friday and Junkin' Joe and  Serenity Saturday and Get Schooled Saturday  and Inspiration Friday(ThursNite) and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Photo Friday and  A Favorite Thing Saturday and Sunny Simple Sunday and Sunlit Sunday and  Market Yourself Monday and  Saturday Nite Special

Monday, August 23, 2010

Field of Dreams

One of my very favorite handcrafted soaps is my 'Field of Dreams - Lavender.' I love raising the oh-so-fragrant lavender, even though it's tricky to winter it over in the house. It's hard to walk past that plant without pulling off a couple leaves and rubbing them between my fingers to release that great burst of fragrance.

Lavender, waiting to be used in my soaps!

Lavender is such a popular fragrance that we've made more lavender soap than any other. Made with all-natural base oils, essential oils, and botanicals (yes, lavender from our own garden, -or from the pot on our deck-  dried and crushed), Field of Dreams Lavender is an all-time favorite. Close your eyes and you can imagine that you're standing amidst the huge lavender fields of England.

Ingredients: Coconut oil, Olive oil, Palm oil, Soybean oil, Essential oils, All-natural botanicals, Distilled water, Sodium hydroxide

Getting several trays of fresh lavender ready for the dehydrator

Top shelf, Field of Dreams curing for six weeks before getting their labels 

Field of Dreams - Lavender, wrapped in cello bag, gift-ready for you!

All my soaps are appx. 4 oz. and wrapped in pretty labels and cello envelopes, which make them nice gifts to give to the new teacher, grandma, new mom, a birthday gift, or even just to add a kind-to-your-skin, luxurious bar of fragrant soap to your own shower! You'll love it!  :-)

So, go to my soap store, Soap'n'Such, and order 5 bars. We'll send you a sixth bar FREE!  Check out my soap gift packages while there. :-)

Make someone smile today - even if it's you! :-)

This post is linked to Making the World Cuter
and Just Something I Whipped Up Monday
and Made by You Mondays
and Market Yourself Mondays

and Motivate me Monday 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Our Local Farmers' Market

Most days of the week it's just a normal, unassuming dairy farm in Barron County with a small bulk foods store on site. But on Thursdays, it steps into a phone booth, takes off its glasses, and bursts forth as Super Farmers' Market!  Naturally, the Puppies sign caught my attention! I'm a hopeless dog lover!

Why is it easier to remember puppies names than people's names?? Cute girl! (who was kind enough to let me take her picture) Cute puppy! (that I wanted to take home.)

 Golden Retriever pups, 8 weeks old. Awwwww.

Cotton candy, for my never-diminishing sweet tooth

I think these are bluebird houses, but in my experience, the busy little wrens budge in, take over, and pack them tightly with itty bitty twigs! Of course I know it's their way of building a nest, but it's not easy getting all those little twigs cleaned out and the house tidied for the next PGs.

The fries (peel on) sold here inspired me to think about making fries. They were delicious! Bobby needs to remind me to make them while she's here!

 Next to the puppies, the best reason to go to the Farmers' Market!

Beautiful herbs and coleus

There's a bison burger stand as well as this hamburger stand.

Mennonite ladies with their kettle corn stand

Angela's purchase for her and her dad - I'll stick with fries!

Colorful jams and jellies!

Purses made out of neckties

 Felted hats and bags

Kinda like Whole Foods in the country

Zinneas, my favorite

John Deere 1929 gas engine -  ice cream maker!

Eager customers

I'm hoping that Bobby is planning to go to the Farmers' Market with me while she's here, if it's still open in September. It's huge and lots of fun! Maybe I'll find another Border Collie-Springer Spaniel! :-) Oops, both Bridger and Misty just sat up and glared at me! Okay, okay. I was just kidding! Sheesh!

Have a great weekend!!

This post is linked to New Friend Fridays


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