What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Book Chatter and "Procraftination"

A few finished projects:


A nightgown big enough for two seasons...




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A gift for one of the bravest boys I know.  Enduring leukemia treatments as a toddler makes him a SUPERHERO in my book.


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A mermaid skirt and headscarf.  I used this skirt tutorial/pattern.







And proof that Moses' little penguin lovey did, in fact, get finished for Christmas...




Also- a new towel.  FOR...you guessed it....Ineke.


It's not my fault though- the one she got as a gift last year looked like this:


I mean...seriously... it's not my fault that poor little unicorns and God-given rainbows have been highjacked by insanity.

 I still love them both- but maybe not together. 

Wouldn't want to give anyone the wrong impression.

So I bribed Ineke with MERMAIDS instead.  (Low, I know.)



As you can see- Ineke is a spoiled girl.

When you make two different gifts for other people out of two different girlie-girl fabrics and have *just enough* left over to make something small from each of them... the littlest girl of the bunch gets spoiled rotten.

And not EVEN for a birthday!  

Just because Mama FINALLY got sick of the leftover fabrics sitting on the sewing table, pieces cut and getting dusty.

I think Adele' needs a little handmade lovin' next, she turned positively green with envy as I was working on these.  But unfortunately, a teeny bit of leftover fabric can only be stretched so far.

It's lucky to be little!

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If you want to know how I manage to get so much crafting done, the key is to begin a project, then set it aside for, oh..... at least several months.  Possibly years.  

Finally finish the job after you get sick to death of moving or looking at the unfinished piles another dozen times or so.  

Then...make sure to take many months to blog about them and do so ALL at the same time.

You will look very productive indeed.

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Book chatter... I started this post while reading The Turn of the Screw...here's what I had to say about that:

I finished reading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.  Wow.  Have you read it?  This was a dark book and difficult to interpret.  I believe that Henry James masterfully created a story that could be interpreted several different ways, each outcome entirely plausible.  It was as if he wanted the reader to make up his mind as to the truth of his tale.  But, the thing is, I hate subjective truth.  I guess I lean toward books that tell it to me plain... I find its' ambiguity makes me feel stupid.  I want to know WHAT was Mr. James saying... precisely?!  Am I not smart enough to be able to tell?  IS the governess mad?  Was she protector?  Were the ghosts real?  Who, in the story, was perverse?  I think my sympathies lie with the governess.  How else would Miles' have known who she saw at the window?  Any thoughts?

Since then...

I gobbled up Death By Living by N.D.Wilson. 
I finished All Art is Propaganda by George Orwell (which was interesting.)
Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together by Kara Tippetts and Jill Buteyn (which was heartbreaking.)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (which was well written and engaging but I hated it. The ending....REALLY?!? So dumb.)
The Constitution Made Easy (which was educating.  Wish more people were reading that these days, lemmetellyou)

And now I am doing a dance between Slave Narratives by the Library of America (which is profound) and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (which is just plain pleasant...and a nice diversion.)

    I am trying to make a list of books to read that lovers of literature would expect me to have read by now but which I haven't.  You know, those books that reside in the "Books You Must Read Before You Die" bucket list of worthwhile reads or "Books Everyone Should Know".  If you had a list like these, what would your list include? 

As for crafting/creating.... I need to get working on several projects that I'd LIKE to do but lack total motivation in starting.  Ineke wants a birthday mermaid.  I have THREE baby gifts to make.    Three children have birthdays in September.  And as fast as time is flying...Christmas is in about three seconds.

Wouldn't it be nice to not procrastinate?  Or rather, 'procraftinate'?

Or maybe it would be nicer to just go curl up with a book.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Busy Season




Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Stevia-sweetened Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Blubarb Jam (blueberry rhubarb) and Mixed Berrybarb Jam.

Stevia sweetened jam doesn't set up very well, so if I am to cut back on sugary jams, I'm going to need to figure out a different way to do it.



The last of the garlic scapes used up on breakfast.  


Miss Ineke decided to make a bouquet for the girls' room.


The first time a garden harvest is too big for a single colander is super exciting.  

And I had to take a picture.  
July 7th 2020



Now, the cucumbers are beginning to die down but the tomatoes are coming along...



Ahhhh....back when the baby was content to stay in his neon green prison.  

Those were the days.



Reason number 5,231 why Corynn must never haul off and leave me.


The place we pick blueberries is not open this year so wild huckleberries have to do... they are more flavorful but more tedious and laborious to pick.  

This pie was hard won but easily eaten.  


Good 'ole Ben Franklin has something important to say!


Zucchini Relish


Pickles.

Sadly, probably ALL of these pickles are ruined because I mistakenly thought 'pickling vinegar' was the same thing as 'vinegar' just in a larger, canning size.   (I thought I was very clever indeed to find vinegar in the canning aisle when the shelves of vinegar on the grocery side of Walmart were sold out.)

It's not.  

I followed my usual recipes for pickles and then discovered that 'pickling vinegar' has all the salt and sugar you need already added to it.

So my pickles are DOUBLE salted this year.



May your gardens be fruitful, your kitchens bustling and your evening showers COLD!

PS.  With all the pretty pictures of canning things above, I thought it an appropriate time to show you the bedlam that is the back porch...


You're welcome.

Friday, July 24, 2020

The 2017 Put 'Em Up List

I noticed recently that my "Putting Up List" on the sidebar was from way back in 2017.  Get with the program, Rebecca!

It isn't that I haven't been canning or preserving since then, only that I never kept up the lists for proof.  Too bad too- it is a bit self-gratifying to see the sweaty afternoons preserving all tidily organized on a proverbial shelf for me to look back on.  Why yes- many days of sweat DO add up to edibles.  ;-)

Here's some photos of making apple chips in March with the last of the winter apples... (they were BEAUTS...even after being stored for months)



Here's my helper... who ate all the scraps.  



And here is the 2017 Put 'Em Up List--- in order to wipe the slate clean and make room for 2020.  Lord willing, it will be a doozy.  



2017 Put 'Em Up List
~Canned~

~zucchini relish (35 pints)
~bread and butter pickles (14 qts and 13 pints)
~Experimental Recipe Pickles (7 qts)
~Hamburger Dill Pickles (7 qts)
~ Green Beans (7 qts)
~ Beef chunks (7 qts)
~ Beef Stew (14 qts)
~ zucchini relish ~ to sell (22 pints)
~ Three Bean Salad (9 qts)
~ Vanilla Peach Bourbon Jam (8 jars)
~ Blueberry Peach Jam (8 jars)
~ Peaches (4 qts)
~ Plum Jam (12 jars)
~ Peach Bellini Jam (8 jars)
~ Apple Cider (4 half gallon jars)

~Frozen~

~ Blueberries (11 gallons)
~ Peaches (3 gallons)
~ Apple Cider (2 gallons)

~Dehydrated~

~Misc.~

Monday, July 20, 2020

Hello, Hi, Howdy, How are ya?







 



 








Hazel, the new baby of the family.





That's the Timber Shed in the background- looking all spiffy with its' shiny roof.





If you haven't had roasted garlic scapes.... well, you must.  You MUST. 







It's been a while, hasn't it?  

I was finally able to empty my camera card only to realize that I am so far behind blogging that peony season is over and so is the spicy floral scent of old roses.  So much for blogging what my days look like.  In fact, when I blog these days it is more like blogging what three months ago looked like.  

I find it entirely strange that our world can be in such an upheaval and all of us, stumbling and tripping along in these surreal, dystopian times- and yet the peonies live and die...roses bloom on...the garden grows and the flies keep buzzing around my head and lighting upon my elbow as I type (knock it off, already!)  Isn't that bizarre?

Our world is so very strange and so very much the same.    To know history, to know nature, to know sin, to know God's goodness...we see the truth in those words. 

It's no wonder that we are told to look to the lilies.

We are told these are 'unprecedented times' that we are living in- but one good look at history shows us that this just isn't so.  There have always been plagues.  There has always been civil unrest.  There has always been sin.  Injustice.  Power-hungry people, lying people, violence.

We have just been spoiled because we have not experienced it in our lifetimes.  This is OUR moment.  Quite possibly, this is the prelude to 'our moment'.

Every generation has their 'moment'...as recently as jim crow laws or the great depression, world war II, concentration camps all the way back through history to enslaved Israelites, the plagues, Nero lighting Christians a'flame for parties or an entire world flooded because of the wretched wickness of EVERY SINGLE PERSON save one family.  Yep- that's ACTUAL history, not little fictional tales. 

What do we do with this moment, OUR moment?  Put our heads in the sand?  nu-uh.  Act like everything is right with the world?  Nope.  Live in fear?  Not a chance. 

Read Matthew 6.  Every day if you have to.

We trust God.  We obey God.  And we THANK God, even in the midst of all of this...knowing that a refining fire--- REFINES. 

Now, in an effort to throw off the 'Most Boring Blogger of All Time' title, I am going to be changing things up a bit. 

Up until now, I have made very long blog posts with all the photos from my camera so that you can see all the things that are happening in my life in a single post.  But since I still haven't quite got the hang of getting photos from camera to computer, I am going to stretch those pictures out more, making little posts more frequently. 

You may either love it or you hate it, but hopefully, it will result in blogging becoming a less MONUMENTAL (and thus, something less likely to procrastinate at) chore for me. 

We'll be seeing ya!