Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Hour

Brought to you from the garden and some of my favorite farm visitors.

It all started with making a batch of Ricotta.

And then a sending the visiting kiddos out to the garden to see what they could find to make some snacks with the cheese.

Which they gobbled down so fast, I almost didn't get a picture, and the adults almost didn't get to sample the creation.

My niece and nephews LOVED the cheese, but we were out of ripe tomatoes on the vine. So we started looking for more ideas. We searched the canning pantry and came up with some strawberry jam and tomato puree.
We also added some of the oh so good basil and garlic to olive oil. 

The kids dove in. 

Much to my surprise, they tried each sample and liked it all. 
They had so much fun creating their own appetizers. 
Perhaps that is why they where so eager to try new tastes.
And why I am so eager to have them back.

Hosted by Kate@Daffodils.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Off the Farm and into the River

Five weeks of extreme heat and nary a rain drop insight, so we decide to spend a weekend with friends on their boat.

Of Course, It Rained.

But there was no turning back and to the River we went.

It was good to be out on the water.

We had a boat of one kind or another for many years ourselves.

Before college tuition and a little piece of the Valley to call home.

Maybe again someday.

 I think Fritz missed being at the throttles.

And there is nothing so good as having fun with old friends.

Hope your Weekend was full of good laughs and lots of story making too,

~ Joan

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's July

We need to clue Mother Nature in on that.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Bean TeePee

The little guys are back at their home in CA. I am glad they were here long enough to see it grow and play a bit in it.

A salad of those beans, tomatoes, onions, and fresh mozzarella in a simple vinaigrette.
All except the cheese came from my garden. 

But I have been practicing the cheese making thing...

Always so fun to see all the posts at The Rural Thursday Blog Hop

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I need this guy to help me mend a few things.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ma's Ray

My mother was widowed at age 52. My dad had been ill for years and she served that time as both caregiver and breadwinner. It wasn't until I had passed that milestone in age that I realized just how young she was and how much living she still had to do.

And Live she has.
She met her Ray nine years later, two years after the passing of his Nell.
It happened in the foyer of my home, through his then teenage grandson who was a friend of my then teenage daughter. Just a chance meeting...or a set-up, I do not know. What I do know is that sparks flew, heart shaped arrows cris-crossed the room and I am pretty sure I heard some bells ringing.

They were married a few years later in a wedding with all the trimmings, the grandson and granddaughter serving as honor attendants. White gown, walk down the isle, smashed cake feeding...all of it. Luckily, I talked her out of the veil.
They exchanged vows in front of the very same Altar that my dad's coffin had rested for his funeral.
There was something unquestionably very comforting in that for me.
It was a very happy day indeed.

Ray is a good man.
 I do not think he is capable of uttering an unkind word. 
 His wisdom, work and companionship in helping us get this farm going has been immeasurable.
I love to cook for him. The man eats and praises everything I serve. I could listen to stories about his childhood and his mother's ways all day long.
So much still to learn from him.

Happy Anniversary!
Here's to ten more, and ten more, and ten more...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

All that colorwork knitting,

to throw it in the washer with Hot water,

and shrink it into felt.

 I love the result.

On to the next project..


Sharing with Fiber Arts Friday


Show us Your Stuff

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I always told my kiddos that there was a BIG difference between quiting and fixing a mistake.
Two days ago, I was ready to quit on my garden, thinking that it had been a mistake to imagine that I could grow enough food to keep us happy for a while. At least, that is how I intended to justify it to myself and them.
 A not so cute little bunny family had eaten all the bush bean blossoms and the runners of the sweet potatoes and the strawberries. The summer squash were history, succumbing to heat loving insects. The cantaloupe, pumpkins and watermelon were struggling in the oppressive temps and lack of rain. Grasshoppers everywhere. Curled up yellow and brown leaves abundant.
The weeds...happy and prospering.

 Then my mother showed up for a day of lounging in the pool.
 My New York City born and bred, private girls school raised mother. The one who thought shopping on 5th Avenue was simply Normal.
Who thinks that manicures are as important to life as fire and water.

As I was desperately trying to hand water the succotash with a portable pressure washer tank loaded in the bucket of the tractor, crying,
this mother of mine proclaimed, 'We are not giving up yet.'
Not so much with words, but with swiftness of motion.
She went over to the main garden and started pulling off the rotten tomatoes. And plucking pole beans while I attempted to save what I could with water trickling out of the 150 feet of hose I was dragging around kicking up dust as I went. She suggested rabbit for dinner. I thought at the time it was a joke...
We both got down and dirty pulling weeds, watering ourselves and the plants, climbing up to the barn loft to bring down straw to lay fresh mulch. Laughing and chatting all the while.
She insisted on pushing the wheel barrow, wrapping her jeweled hands around the worn wood handles. 

This morning I went out to the garden expecting to let out a big sigh at the sight of more dead stuff and throw a little pity party for myself.
But the ground was still moist where Ma had worked so hard.
 I spotted a slight bit of evidence of new growth on the cucumbers.
And I picked a handful of tomatoes without rot.
So I weeded, replanted, watered and mulched the rest of the plot until I couldn't take the heat any longer.

It seems that I, a middle aged woman, still have a lot to learn from my mother.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Crazy Hot

Everyone into the pool!

Perhaps those hanging out at under the dockside cabana ,

 might like one of these.

I'll make one for you too.

Friday, July 6, 2012

At least something is happy drying in this heat.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Would have been a beautiful sunrise as seen from my front porch a week or so ago.
Save for the smoke coming off Neighbor Mountain in the Shenandoah National Park. 
It's small compared to so many fires around the nation.
But still burning over a wider area. 

It's Hot Hot Hot here on the east coast. 
The Firefighters and Park Rangers, and all others in Colorado and Montana putting these things to rest are heroic. 
To say the least.

Keep them all in your Prayers, will you?

~ Joan

Sunday, July 1, 2012

One Big Happy Family

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Despite a storm that knocked out power for us amd millions, Temps over 100 degrees, and a few travel woes, I managed to get them all here together at one time for a fun afternoon and good dinner.

{the garden inspector returned from a week at the beach...I passed}

{baby B became toddler B}

{some cool down time in the pool was surely needed}

{I am trying to think of an explaination for this}

Happy Sunday All.
~ Joan