Saturday, May 30, 2015

Summer nighties...

Two little girls with no summer nighties
Grammy sews
Who knows
What they'll get?
An orange-y and a white-y!

For the white peasant nightie I used the pattern from Leila & Ben.
The orange nightie was made from this tutorial.
Both were made from men's T-shirts.
Comfy & Cool!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Meadow Mushrooms and May Lambs...

While the nice rains have been falling, the ground has been softening up, and guess what's popping through?  Mushrooms!  As I walked the pasture on this warm-day-after-the-rain, I found myself drawn to white mounds of mushrooms.  The variety that grows in our grassy fields is called Meadow Agaricus.  They are related to the white button mushrooms you find in the grocery stores.  I gathered up a good handful and carried them home to clean and cook with our beef fillets for tonight's supper.  I probably could have picked pounds of them, but some were a little more mature than I wanted, plus I didn't have a vessel -- besides my T-shirt -- to carry them in.

One very excellent article I found about the Meadow Agaricus (or pinks, as they are sometimes called) that helped me to differentiate between these good little mushrooms and their undesirable cousins can be found at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.   I made the recipe at the end of the article to go with our grilled steaks and pan fried brussels sprouts.  It was sure delicious!

I can't remember if I mentioned it here before, but I planted some mushroom spawn this spring into my potato patch underneath the straw.  I hope to be harvesting oyster and shiitake varieties.  I lifted a small area of straw yesterday and saw that the 'shrooms are doing their thing.  I hope to see some buttons popping up soon.

 (Can you spot two meadow agaricus in the pasture?)


While I was out walking and picking up mushrooms, the kids came by and asked if I'd walk up with the sheep and help move them over the hill and into a new little pasture. You remember that we lambed our big herd of sheep in February, but we always throw the bucks in with the ewes later on to see if we can get a few more lambs in May when we are mostly done calving.  There are about 20 head of ewes that will have May lambs.  I love seeing baby lambs on green grass like this.  I even think they smell different than the February lambs.  We had to gather them up and put them in the sheep barn for a night or two when there was a hard rain, and I picked up a set of newborn, twin  lambs that were slow to follow their mother to the barn.  I just loved sniffing their earthy, woolly scent.  The ewes will finish having their lambs in this fresh pasture.  I think they were happy to go.

I found out today that the Wool Warehouse where we take our wool to be sold, found a buyer for our wool.  It's a small processing company that cleans, cards, and spins the wool  to make yarn.  It's called Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont.  The warehouse owner told me that this company is very selective, and they only buy a set amount of raw wool each year.  They are most concerned about producing a quality product using their vintage machinery and methods, and they want to support good, American sheep growers who care about all aspects of raising excellent flocks.  He told me that if this company likes the wool they receive, they will be back for more next year.  We are hopeful that our sheep fleeces meet their high expectations. 

May is almost done.  I hope you're enjoying "green pastures and meadow mushrooms" and everything good where you live.  Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Circle Swing (a quilt)...

Swinging on the Circle Swing brings lots of fun and giggles, free-flight and height.  Our grandkids love it and beg for a push.  So in honor of that round-ish, wooden rope swing that hangs from the Willow, I dub our 7th grandchild's quilt, Circle Swing!  It's whimsical, it is free-style, it's swirly, it's light and airy.  I wish our little Lyla sweet dreams and super-hero flight under it's cover.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


A new ranch sign went up!  I've been bugging the guys for a new sign for a long time and now we have it.  CarpenterSon went to the saw mill to pick out a 3" thick pine slab.  Then I penciled out the name on freezer paper and Hubs drew the brand.  CarpenterSon router'd it into the board, painted it, and varnished it with marine varnish so it would hold up under our severe weather conditions.  
I'm very happy with it.
It's not perfect, but it'll do for the next 20 years!

Thanks Men!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gettin' ready, gettin' snow, get sewing!

We spent most of Friday getting ready for a coming spring storm.  We gathered all the livestock that was out in the far pastures closer to home.  I had the grandgirls and we drove the cake-feeding pick up to coax cows and sheep to pasture while the guys drove behind them with the Rangers.  We used to do this kind of job on horseback, but times -- they are a changin'.  We certainly do get a lot more done in a short time this way.

There are still cows that are calving so there is added work when a spring snowstorm comes in. By Saturday we totaled up an inch of rain which was most welcomed.  Overnight we accumulated some snow.  Not much.  Just enough to make the grass white.  As Sunday is being spent, the snow continues to fall, but it doesn't accumulate much on the ground.  The dirt roads are not covered at all, but only the grass is white.  We call spring snow "poor man's fertilizer" because it is coming in slowly and soaks in slowly.  We do hope we get a little run-off into the ponds and reservoirs.  Fresh water is always a need in springtime to carry livestock through the summer months when it gets hot. 

(My back yard through the window)

Since the spring snow is happening outside, I decided to do a little sewing inside.  Saturday I got busy making a couple muslins of two different skirt styles.  I decided to do the practice muslins to see how the patterns fit and how they looked.  I chose a flared (gored) skirt for the final cut, and I am pleased with the result.  The pattern amounts to one piece that is cut eight times.  I used a cotton voile and the effect is very flowy and relaxed.  It even has an elastic waist so the feel is relaxed all around!  The free pattern is called the Bossa Nova Skirt and the link is HERE.  For measurements and sizes, click here.  (I had to go hunting to find the measurements for the pattern brand.)

This is my Bossa Nova Skirt.

And for Mother's Day (wishing YOU a happy one!!) I sewed myself yet another skirt.  This one is SO easy and so quick and takes just one yard of fabric.  It is a knit pencil skirt, and I found the free  instructions and video tutorial over at Dana Made It.  I love that the skirt fits close to the body, but has a lot of give because it's a knit.  I think a knee-length pencil is very attractive.  Do you?  

 My eldest son gave me this hand-embroidered card along with a handmade sugar scrub.  I didn't know he could embroider like this!!  Thanks to his wife, my sweet DIL, JLo. Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there! You're wonderful!


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