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28 October 2015

frosty mornings







There have been some beautiful, frosty mornings lately.  These photos are actually from our first hard frost...my zinnias are now dead and there are fewer leaves on the trees.
But beautiful, sunny, (chilly) fall mornings.

27 October 2015

always making something...








Though I haven't done much crafting this week, we are always busy making things here...

costumes--M's felt wolf mask (which was too big, passed onto Z and we ended up making another smaller one)

caramel dip--this recipe with honey instead of sugar and (raw) milk instead of heavy cream and no corn syrup

stamps, glue and scissors...always fun

homemade deodorant--based off of this recipe, with added beeswax and tweaked amounts of things

kombucha--bottling up my second batch (ever).  first batch, refermented with our grape juice and fresh ginger, was a success!

And I think I never posted this--but M is always (always) drawing.  This is his portrait of himself with F and me.  I love it.  And I almost always have F in one arm and a coffee in the other. ;)

Joining Nicole this week.


22 October 2015

crafting





I've been knitting up these Blue Leaf headbands with peace fleece yarn and both branch buttons and these lovely buttons from Natalie.  A quick, fun knit.

Also, I finally finished Z's birthday quilt.  He loved a small patchwork blanket that my sister gave me, and he also loves Johnson Wool (still made in VT!), so I bought their scraps (pre-cut into 8 inch squares and available by the pound) to make a wool patchwork quilt.  I used a very soft, flannel flat sheet that was an unused spare we had as the back.  

Joining Nicole this week.

21 October 2015

thirty five









Today is my birthday.  I find them more special now than I did when I was younger... my friends plan a special outing for me, a break from my routine with the kids.  My mother-in-law comes to visit with dinner and dessert.  And I generally don't mind getting older.  :)
What seems so surreal to me is how it feels like just yesterday that I was a a child, spending all of my time with my siblings.  Or a 20 year old, hosting my sister for month long visits wherever I was living.  Or going on my first trip with Adam, our whirlwind trip to Martha's Vineyard.  Or a new mama with my baby always in my arms.  There is something bittersweet about those memories feeling so near; it makes time feel like it moves so quickly.
But I feel blessed for the fullness of my life and am looking forward to enjoying the day with family.

16 October 2015

peak colors







The foliage is so beautiful this year.  And it's peak colors right now, so the kids and I have made several trips to one of our favorite local spots to hike.  
We just love fall in Vermont.

12 October 2015

preserving, preserved




The cold weather is coming and I'm feeling the pressure to harvest and preserve before the garden freezes.  

On the list this week:
more tomatoes (slowly but surely we have been working on canning the ones still ripening--today, sauce with my tomato-cutting helper!)
kale, in the freezer
peppers, chopped and frozen
carrots, in the root cellar
beets, root cellared and pickled

Already preserved:
tomatoes, sauce, bbq sauce and puree
salsa, tomato and corn varieties
strawberries, jam and frozen
blueberries, frozen
grapes, frozen juice--to be decided on how to use
kale, frozen
chard, frozen
green beans, frozen
zucchini noodles, frozen (experimenting with this!)
sweet corn, frozen and in salsa
beets, pickled
pears, canned and frozen
cucumbers, fermented
cabbage, fermented and frozen (experimenting for quick stir-fry meals)
potatoes, in the root cellar
onions and garlic

I think that's everything so far.  Our (18 cubic ft) fruit and veggie freezer is completely full.  Our pantry shelves are filling with canned goods. 
We like to make applesauce but there is a little less pressure to get that done right now as we can get nice seconds well into November or December from our favorite orchard.  
Every year I wish that I preserved more than I do, but we end up eating our own veggies and fruits (or local fruits we can and freeze) all year long.  It is really the "profit" we get from our farmsteading lifestyle...and we certainly enjoy eating our harvest all year long.

08 October 2015

visitors









We've been blessed with many visitors this fall.  My sister and her family, my mother-in-law for a day visit, my parents were here over the weekend and now my best friend is visiting right now!

When my parents visit, we have a full list of jobs to get done to keep them busy...they love to work! 
The squash and pumpkins are in, the potatoes made it into the root cellar, the kale was harvested and frozen, and we still made it on a beautiful hike, too. 

So thankful for their visit.  We miss them already.