Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tasha Tudor, the quiet life....

  Today is Tasha Tudor's birthday.  Born August 28, 1915 was a beloved American illustrator who lived a simple, full life to the ripe old age of 93.  Her first story was Pumpkin Moonshine, published in 1938, but my favorite Tasha books are 1 is One, a child's counting book, and A Time To Keep which tells about the changing seasons.  Her books are the kind that I plan to read aloud to the grandchildren and give for special birthdays and holidays.  (It's almost time to order some Pumpkin Moonshine)

 Tasha was not only a writer/illustrator, but she was a homemaker in every sense of the word.  She loved handcrafts like weaving, knitting, candle dipping and doll making.  She also enjoyed keeping goats and chickens and made cheese from her own goats' milk and cooked delicious, wholesome foods from her eggs and from fruits and vegetables that grew on her land.  Every season had its pleasures and its work to be done, and home was the core of Tasha's life's work. 
Working in the garden in autumn is delightful, with the clean smell of frost-bitten ferns and witch hazel in the air and no insects to bother about.  There are always great numbers of bulbs to be put in the ground -- over two thousand this fall, counting the lilies.  The other day I heard the first Canada geese go over as I was planting.  Their calls give me such a primordial feeling.  And to see a flock of snow geese flying over the white birch trees by the mailbox on a fair day is a sight to take the breath away.   ~Tasha Tudor from The Private World of Tasha Tudor
 It is precisely a comment like this that makes me appreciate her.  Perhaps it's because I live on the land, live in the country, and because I see so much beauty in my own surroundings.  I won't be planting two thousand bulbs this fall, but I will put a few in the ground.  I won't be spinning wool this winter, but I'll be feeding my sheep.  I probably won't be illustrating a children's book, but I'll be drawing little crayon sketches with my grandchildren.  I appreciate what I call Tasha's "quiet life." Not glamorous, not overdone, but instead -- quiet, simple, beautiful.

Tasha Tudor, you've always inspired me.  Happy Birthday!

For more interesting posts about Tasha Tudor Day, click Storybook Woods.
Tasha Tudor & Family

Friday, August 26, 2011

The new old chair and a cake....

She got a coat of primer and a coat of semi-gloss white, and
then a punch of color on her seat with laminated fabric, Summer Totem,
by Anna Maria Horner.
 Here's the back.  I love the curvyness of this chair.  
It cradles your back when you sit in it.
Love, love, love.

And now for another summer love...
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
Beat these two ingredients until fluffy.
Add dry ingredients:
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder

Next add wet ingredients:
3 t. vanilla
2 c. peeled, grated zucchini
1/2 c. buttermilk (or sour milk)
Mix batter until smooth-ish.
Bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Mom's Topping:
After baking, sprinkle on chopped walnuts, semi-sweet chocolate chips,
and a little bit of sugar.
Put back into the oven for a minute or two.
Eat with a big scoop of ice cream.
Heaven will have this cake.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Bakery....

My fondest memories of The Tri-State Bakery were when I was a little girl.  Every Valentine's Day I remember getting to walk to the bakery to buy an iced, heart-shaped sugar cookie with a red hot in the middle.  I remember nibbling around the sweet edges of the cookie until I got to the center and then cane tge cinnamon hotness of the red hot candy.  To this day, I make my own version of the iced sugar cookie, complete with red hot candies at home.  There were many, many other goodies that could be bought for a nickle or a dime from The Bakery. Their cinnamon rolls were out of this world!

With the arrival of grocery store bakeries, the need for a store that only served up baked goods became obsolete, and so The Tri-State Bakery closed its doors.  The charming building was all that remained until the townsfolk and countryfolk started to spy life there once again.  Annie and her husband bought it and turned it into their home and then turned it into a turn-key business in our small town.  Toady there's a new twist on The Bakery -- delicious fabrics!

A visit to The Bakery is always a yummy treat!  And as always, today's  visit was no exception.  Pom Pom asked me a few days ago if I might take some pictures of The Bakery and I thought, yes, it would be a fun bloggy post to do.  Only Daughter, and her daughter, Cupcake and I stopped in after we scored a sweet, old-timey chair at a garage sale.  It just begged for a new seat cover.  I had it in my mind that it should be a bright, cheery, laminated fabric, and I knew Annie at The Bakery would have just what I wanted.  And she did.  So come on in and see what's cookin'.

As you walk through the door, you'll see the display case where lots and lots of baked goodies once were shelved.  Now you'll find delicious goodies-by-the-yard!
After you walk through the front part of the store, you'll come to the back where all the cutting and rolling-out and measuring of the ingredients takes place.  Here's Paula (Annie's co-partner who runs the Bluestem Studios which joins The Bakery)  They help each other, and these two creative ladies make a great team.  Paula is cutting a laminated print for my new-old kitchen chair seat cover.  Bright and cheery, just like I wanted!

One of the old ovens is baking up some goodies for Halloween!

Here's where the children like to play.  There are some nice toys for them to play with or they can be mesmerized by the fishes swimming in the aquarium.

Way in the back by the ironing board, I spied an old, vintage quilt that I just love!
Here are all Bakery Trimmings where you can add some "sprinkles" to your sewing.

Now we move over to The Blue Stem Studio where Paula collects wonderful vintage pieces and antiques.  She also has some fabrics that have spilled over to her side.  Paula loves to sew handbags and aprons which she sells in her shop, and she also sells many locally-made goodies.

Uh oh, it's time for me to go.  Only Daughter and Cuppycake have come looking for me!  I hope you enjoyed a *taste* of The Bakery today!  If you want to know the latest, check out The Bakery Fabrics on Facebook.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

30 years together....

Here we are 30 years ago just beginning.
Isn't the groom a cutie-pie?  I think the hat dates the picture perfectly, don't you?
 Gosh, we were just kids.  Literally.  Nineteen, both of us.
We went to our favorite place in the Black Hills for breakfast and enjoyed a nice drive through the canyon.  Then we decided to just head home and take naps and relax.  Hubs had been baling until 12:30 a.m. the night before and I stayed up waiting for him until 12:00 midnight and then turned in.  We're 49 and don't need much entertainment, really.

I wanted to share with you the supper we made together this evening....
We've only just started eating this tomato salad, and I announced that I would like to eat it every day until there are no fresh tomatoes growing in the country.  Granted, I must beg garden tomatoes off my friends and family or else by grape tomatoes from the store due to my garden's lack, but still, it's so worth it.  I'm not very proud, you see.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


The last of the Five Lil Chicks has flown the coop.  And fly he did!  He didn't stay close to home like the girl chickie did.  He didn't just drive to the local university like the fourth chick did.  He didn't fly 2 hours away like the 3rd chick did.  He didn't even fly 500 miles away like the first chick did (oh, was that one hard on Mother Hen).  No.  The 5th chick to fly the nest chose to fly 1355 miles away from home to Tucson.  It was a little bit hard sending him off from the airport today, knowing that he would be totally on his own in the big cities of Phoenix and Tucson, but we had every confidence in him.  And he did just great.  A friend of a friend got his *new* 1997 Acura to him after he landed at the airport and Mr. J. just drove himself down to Tucson like a city slicker.  No problem-o.

A friend of mine thinks he's a very wise young man -- choosing to shovel sunshine rather than snow this winter.  We plan to visit him sometime this winter to help him with shoveling sunshine and take in a golf tourney, but until then, he will be busy figuring out college life and roommate life in an apartment and city life all on his own.  We hope to see him for Christmas where he might be able to shovel some snow.  That seems like a long time away at the moment, but we all know how quickly the months go flying by.

When people ask what J's going to school to study, I say, "Golf.  And he's taking some classes too."  Which is the whole truth.  He is truly looking forward to his classes, but he's especially looking forward to improving his golf game and seeing where it might take him.

At the grocery store today the empty-nesting began.  I was stumped by how many bananas to buy. I bought just a few slices of deli meat instead of buying by the pound.  I bought a small wedge of cheese instead of the industrial size.  I bought a gallon of milk, like I always do, and when I got home I realized that I already had a full gallon in the fridge.  Will we ever drink up that much milk by the due date?  We'll have chocolate milk tonight for snacks!  The grocery shopping will take some getting used to.

So, now that Hubs and I are home by ourselves, we started our empty-nesting by eating whatever we wanted to eat for supper.  No proper meal, no veggies.  Just cheese and crackers and apple slices for me and a sandwich and apples for him.  No dishes.  But I know it will be difficult setting only two plates and two cups and two forks and knives at the table in the coming days.   J did leave behind a few remembrances for us.....dirty shorts and T-shirts and some dirty socks on his bedroom floor.  Soon I will take to cleaning his room from top to bottom. The funny thing is, when I walked into his room, I could still smell him. It was like he never left home.  (teardrop)

I feel really blessed.  All our chicks are out "doing their things" and they are happy chicks, smart chicks, and chicks who have much yet to experience and to learn.  I'm proud of them and I know that this is what we raised them for.  To fly!

Speaking of chicks and nests and all that......Did you notice the egg picture at the top?  I have had one dark brown pullet egg laid for the past three days in a row.  It's always exciting when the young girls begin to lay.  Yay!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Diaper bag-tote...

A dear friend just had her 4th baby girl, and I wanted to do something nice for her so as I walked into The Bakery (my hometown fabric store) I asked Annie what my friend would like or need the most.  Immediately she knew and said, "A diaper bag!  And here's the fabric she likes."  This is what I love about hometown shopping.  Everybody knows everybody and the shop owners are so on-the-ball and willing to help.

My friend had chosen the red outer fabric for a diaper bag and so Annie and I chose this denim blue print for the lining.  I found a freebie pattern for a roomy, hip-mama diaper bag HERE at Sew Much Ado.  The tutorial was quite simple to follow and I think it made a terrific bag.  The finished dimensions came out to 18"wide by 12" high by 8" deep.  There are lots of pockets inside and I added a denim pocket on the outside and a key ring on the inside so she could snap her keys on it.  I hate fumbling for keys in a big bag.

I made a pin-on flower for the bag and found another simple tutorial for it  HERE at Sew Ritzy Titzy.

I plan to fill the pockets with little diaper bag necessities like wipes, butt paste, diapers, mommy snacks, and a paci.  I'm going to the workshop to make a changing pad similar to this dish mat to slip into the bag too.  Fun!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sacred days...

"I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred,
I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

How does life become sacred, loaded and fragrant?  Does it happen when we think of it all as a gift from God?  Why the senses?  Ears to hear, eyes to see, noses to smell, lips to taste and hands to feel.  What are the sacred things that life has brought your way today?  Can you name them?

Hubby's smooth-shaven face on my cheek
Monarchs fluttering through the hot summer afternoon
Earthy stench of steers moving through the working corrals
Sweat running down my back
Dust blowing.
Purple morning glories climbing the wagon wheel
Baby smiles and soft cheeks to kiss
Heady, sweet alfalfa fields in full bloom
Youngest son's voice on the phone
A bear hug
Sun-kissed, wind dried sheets
Sour cherry pie
A fresh cup of black coffee
The sound of the sprinkler spraying over parched flowers
The Milky Way and all the stars shining clear and bright
A lightning fire, and then rain poured down
Thunder rumbling, lightning flashes, cool wind and the smell of damp earth
Now it's your turn!
The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nursery chandelier....

 Only Daughter and I decided Miss Cupcake needed a little mobile above her crib and so we commenced to make something cute, funky, and fun.  This is it.  All we did was to staple some cardboard strips together to make the two rings.  Then we wrapped them with brightly colored scrap fabric strips.  After that, we made tissue paper pom poms according to Martha Steward here.

After the tissue pom poms were made, we tied them onto the rings with colored yarn and that was it!  You could hang many other things from the rings, but we liked our chandelier just like this.  When the fan is blowing in Cupcake's nursery, it gently moves the pom poms this way and that way, and she is happily entertained by it.

This was a very fun project to do together.  I especially liked making the pom poms.  I could have made a gob of them -- especially the pointy poms.  I made a few smaller pom pom flowers for Cuppycake's 3 month picture.  We used a bit of toothpaste to *glue* the flower to her pretty little head so it would stay.  I told Only Daughter that this was how I stuck bows to her head when she was an infant with just a little hair.  Our laundry basket pictures turned out fun, dontcha think?

Cuppycake 3 mos.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Around Home....

The late bloomers are coming out to play this summer.  I 'm always bothered by people who think that late blooming children are "slow."  But no, they aren't.  They bloom when they are designed to bloom just like my gladiolas.  This is the first glad to blossom and I have several more to go.  They are so cheery in the veggie patch.  My mother-in-law always planted a row of gladiolas in her veggie garden, and I sometimes plant them in my veggie patch in her memory. Gladiolas remind me of her.

 The coneflowers, sometimes called Mexican hat flowers, are very abundant just now.  I especially like the red and yellow ones.
Then there is the purple prairie coneflower, also called Echinacea, which is just beginning to bloom in my garden. I like how the center of it starts out spikey and orange.  Who would have thought to put purple and orange together?
 Friends --very nice friends--offered to let me pick their cherry tree last Sunday, but instead, I "picked up" the cherries that they had already picked for me.  (See, I told you they were nice)  They gave me five gallons of sour red cherries.  Aren't they just beautiful?  They also loaned me their cherry pitter.  Oh my, what a nice device!  It's every bit as good as my apple peeler/slicer/corer which I adore.  My friend said that the cherry pitter is worth as much as a help, that is. I am definitely ordering one of these for myself. Find it here.

I made six quarts of cherry pie filling and then froze the rest of the cherries in quart sized bags.  I turned out a cherry pie that was deeeeee lish eous!

The Fourth-born, S., had his tonsils and adenoids removed on Wednesday.  Things have sure changed since 20 years ago when our First-born went in for his tonsillectomy.  The tonsillectomy was a whopping 15 minute procedure.  Within two hours after the surgery, we were gathering up our stuff to drive home.   Many say that having tonsils removed as an adult is much harder to bear than it is for young kids, but our 21 year old is doing just fine -- eating lots of ice cream, drinking cold drinks and eating fairly well for a guy with a major sore throat.  (Pain meds sure do help.)  We had smashed potatoes and hamburger gravy for supper and he did quite well eating it.  He even tried a little popcorn this evening.  His doctor said he could eat whatever he felt like eating.  So far, so good.
The adjusters came to look at our homes and buildings here on the ranch and decided we had more loss from the hail storm than we thought at first.  The roofs will need to be replaced among other things.  Sounds like  lots of work to me.  We had another big cloud come through tonight and the weather folks said we were going to get another round of hail, but no.  I'm sure glad it was nothing but wind and a little rain.  It likely hailed on someone out there.

Summer sure seems to be flying by, doesn't it?  I hope you are enjoying every minute of it.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Heaven is for Real...

The moon on 8/2/11

We've had a house guest staying with us this past week.  "Coach" is J.'s soon-to-be college golf coach.  When he arrived here he handed me the book, Heaven is for Real and said, "I think you should read this."  Coach had been reading it on the plane and knew that I could easily read its 153 pages before he left for home, so I did.  And I'm glad I did.  

A little boy of four, Colton Burpo, had an emergency appendectomy and survived miraculously.  He begins telling  his dad and mom, bit by bit, month by month about his experience in Heaven.  It's hard to really talk about the happenings of the book much without spoiling it for you, but it's really an amazing book full of faith and love, and it will make you think more and more about Heaven. What I appreciated is how the author, Colton's dad, reflected his son's visions of Heaven in scripture. This is not a book to base your whole Christian theology upon, but it's a simple glimpse of what's to come, as seen through a child's eyes.

Prince of Peace by Akiene Kramarik

Have you ever heard of Akiane Kramarik?  She is a child prodigy who began drawing and then painting when she was six years old.  She started telling her mother, an athiest, her stories about Heaven, and later Akiane began to paint them.  Her mother had never spoken to her of God or allowed her to watch TV so  it is believed that her stories and art were not influenced by anyone, but were given by God.

"I think that God knows where he puts our children, in each family," said Mrs. Kramarik.  Cannot God reach us anywhere and any age and at any time He wants by any person He chooses?  Even a small child?  “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  ~Matthew 19:14 

God, give me a childlike faith.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Sorting sheep....

Today was a big day for us  -- the day we reap our harvest.
All the ewes and lambs were brought into the sheep corrals and we sorted off the lambs from the ewes.  

We also sorted out the best of the ewe lambs which will become replacement ewes.  Each year we must sort off the cull ewes that are no longer productive or have various health issues that will not allow them to stay in the herd.  Sometimes a ewe gets so old that her teeth get bad enough that she can no longer graze and won't be healthy enough to produce a lamb, or she will become lame and cannot travel with the herd.  Other ewes have spoiled udders that won't allow them to raise their lambs.  All of these are culled and the ewes sold at the sale barn.  

The rest of the ewes that make the cut will remain in the herd and raise lambs this coming spring.  The replacement ewe lambs will go into the herd to "replace" the culled ewes and become producing females for us. Some of our yearling ewes will raise a lamb in the spring, but some won't be quite mature enough to raise a lamb, but will remain in the herd and produce the following year.

All the other lambs will be sold.  Tomorrow is Pay Day for the kids (since they own the sheep) and becomes the RKCF, the ranch kids college fund.  Our oldest son doesn't need a college fund anymore, but since he has a family, he has his own children to spend money on.
  There were two cull lambs found in the herd today -- one was lame and one had a neck problem.  Since injured lambs get docked severely at the sale barn, we will take them straight to the butcher where they will become lamb chops and other lamb delicacies for our family table.

Hubby counts the ewes out the gate.

 Looky what I saw on the fence.
  Lady Bug.

 And this handsome garden spider (black & yellow argiope) caught my eye on the ground near the walk-through gate.  Isn't he fancy?
Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A nice day gone to hail....

July 28th started as a very nice day.  A warm, sunshiny day.  The flowers were blooming, the leaves were gently fluttering in the breeze, the men were in the hay field putting up good alfalfa hay.  Miss Peach was outside looking at the flowers with the "Finding Glass" as she calls it.  (Magni-fying finding glass, you see?) 
All was right with the world.
As the hot, lazy afternoon went by, clouds started puffing up in the sky and then this black, ominous cloud started to build and swirl around above us.  We knew it wasn't a good cloud.  Everyone came rushing into our house to wait and see what was going to happen.

And then it happened.... Hail.
First, hard rain, and then pea sized hail, and then a few marble sized hailstones fell, and lastly, golf ball sized hail came zinging down out of the sky.  It was as if the angels in heaven were having a snowball fight and decided to throw down a little "hail and brimstone" upon us.  Thankfully, there was no wind with it and we noticed that some of the hail broke apart as it fell.  Normally when a hailstorm hits us, the temperature cools right down and the wind blows hard, but this time the air temperature stayed warm and the wind didn't blow.  Perhaps that's why the angels' hailstones crumbled. 

We really didn't have a whole lot of damage.  The trees lost a few leaves and branches and some of the flowers got knocked around.  The veggie patch was virtually unharmed, save the onions.  Onion tops seem to be very delicate.  We were so glad to escape what might have been a very damaging storm had the wind blown in with it.

Hailstones saved in the freezer.
Sometimes you have to have proof when you talk of golf ball sized hail out here in the middle of nowhere.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...