Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Harvesting

There's been a coolness in the air - a definite change, the end of summer is near, and fall is near.  The tomatoes are ripening so fast I can hardly keep up.   19 quarts so far and another big pot on the stove waiting for me.

And then there's the greenhouse full of basil......

Also waiting for me...

Today was a pesto sort of a day.  Cool and rainy - it was easy to just buzz around the kitchen making batch after batch of pesto.

I've always just gone by feel making pesto - a little of this, and a little of that - until today. 

Then I had a sudden inspiration - Barefoot Contessa - doesn't she have a recipe??

Oh yes she certainly does...

Right about here.

Pesto will never be experimented with again - oh no - this recipe is divine.  I love it.  

The kids love it.  Little Miss A just kept dipping a finger in and licking it off her finger with a lovely blissful look on her face.

3 big batches in the vitamix all divided up into muffin tins for freezing.  Pesto from our garden in the middle of winter?  Yes Please !  :)

The garden is still beautiful, but showing the signs that the end is coming.  I can hardly believe how fast the seasons pass these days.  Each year a little quicker still.  I'm sure it will seem like just a blink and it will be summer again - my children a whole year older.

Now is the time for savoring those last lovely warm days, noticing every little bit of loveliness, and soaking up that sun :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Heart Faces - Photojournalism

This is my entry for this week's challenge at I heart faces.  Photojournalism

From I heart faces: 

"For this week’s challenge we’d like you to choose a photo that is photojournalistic in style.   Our definition of Photojournalism for the sake of this challenge:  Using an image (or images) to tell a story.   Or (for this week only) you can enter a collage of photos instead.  Please make sure that a human face is showing up somewhere in your photo entry and that you use only a maximum of 5 photos in your collage.

Do pop on over to the i heart faces website and check out the other wonderful entries :)


Thursday, August 26, 2010

This Moment

 Inspired by Soulemama - This moment - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random bits of life

 Life has been both busy - and slow at the same time.

Canning peaches and tomato sauce.

Making pesto with the vast quantities of basil 
(I grew a whole greenhouse full and we'll be eating pesto all winter long :)  )

Taking in as much of the amazing beauty that surrounds us as possible.

 Running off to our favorite beaching spots as much as possible!

And noticing..... lots of noticing life around me.  

Most especially noticing light - both with my camera and my heart.

Work in Progress Wednesday......with a twist....

It took a while for me to find the words tonite.  I looked at the pictures I had imagined placing here, but just couldn't quite find the words...... so I went away for a while.  It's amazing how sometimes in life - that's really what's needed - to just step away.

Yesterday was rather an adventure..... ahem ..... of a day.  We left the house early to go help a friend out,  planning to eat breakfast out and save some time (yeah right - umm no.) Then run 2 quick errands and drive on to her house.   Everything took a long time - as is often the case with kids.  The kids fought and were generally pushing every button I've got.  And then the truck started acting up..... A few minutes later and we were at a gas station, and the transmission on the truck was dead - and the kids?  Still pushing those buttons.  Oh my.  I wish I could say that I was all patience and sweetness - but nope - I was pretty darned cranky myself.  I wanted to write about all of this, but I got stuck on writing about my own imperfections.  Don't we all want to be perfectly patient all the time?  Not very real tho is that.  And that is why this post is work in progress with a twist.

Because really that's what we all are right?  A work in progress.  Working on ourselves - and hopefully at least noticing the mistakes that we make.  Looking back over the photos I took over the day I was struck with how, in the midst of a stressful day - there were still positives.  And with camera in hand - I captured those moments.   We may have been 45 minutes from home with around 4 more people than would fit in the tow truck (no cabs out in the boonies lol) but my boy rescued a butterfly with an injured wing, and he marveled at it's beauty and he took it somewhere safer, and he was calm and at peace in that moment.


    And the girls?

       They slept.

  A rare nap for both.

Thankfully our friend was just 10 minutes away, and with 2 trips in her car was able to get us back to her house.  I may have been cranky.  The kids may have been cranky - but thank goodness for that.

And really it got better from there.  And my biggest boy who had been such a challenge earlier on?  That boy spent most of the day helping the mama - to get things done.  He understood that she is a single mama and really just needed a hand - which is why we'd come.  My husband had to go with the truck to get our other vehicle, I had to watch all of the kids and keep her little one from missing her mama too much ..... and that boy of mine he just did what needed to be done.  Caring boy - a work in progress - just like the rest of us.

There was much friendship..... and some 2 year old squabbles  - after all the 2 year olds are just learning - and of course they are a work in progress too.  Overall tho - there was much fun to be had, and not too much missing of the mama....

It was a lovely sunny day.  

The tomatoes were glowing - and I wasn't too cranky to notice.

There was some quiet mellow time to balance out the earlier chaos.... 

And of course plenty more moments of frustrating chaos.  


In the end.......

I'm sitting here thinking that it wasn't so bad.  Even the day was a work in progress....


I got a fair bit of knitting in ..... here and there...... in between moments.   A stitch here, a stitch there.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Heart Faces - Beach Fun

This is my entry for this weeks photo challenge at I Heart Faces -  "Beach Fun".   Looks to me like he's having some serious fun ;)

Be sure to pop on over to i heart faces and check out all the other amazing entries :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Caught this one while we were all at the skatepark yesterday.  I've been trying to catch this shot for ages, but never quite got it.  I shrieked when I finally caught it :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Moment

Inspired by Soulemama ...... This moment - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oil and water "Lava Lamp"

My Scientist boy came home from town with dad toting a bottle of Canola oil for science experiments.  Canola oil is in the same category as koolaid around here - not considered a food item - more for useful things like .... science experiments of course (I mean what else were you expecting - this is the scientist of the house after all....

Disclaimer:  I know - these photos are *terrible* - but I didn't think to take them until he'd already started....  (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)

So you get an empty pop bottle, and add in some water, and food coloring of choice.  Then you fill it almost to the top with oil. ( but not all the way, or it'll ooze out and make a mess.....) And last but definitely not least.......

You drop in an alka-seltser  tablet and watch the show :)   

UNfortunately these photos (yeah the ones that really suck)  Don't really show how cool it really is.  You'll just have to try it yourself to see :)

He found this experiment on a Steve Spangler video (of course - his absolute hero)  If you haven't checked out Mr. Spangler you really ought to - you really can't help but get drawn in - he really is an expert at making science fun.  There are all sorts of his videos in youtube too.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What I'm Loving these days.....

Light - everywhere- it's all I can see it seems.  

On the flowers....

Shining down on my sunkissed babes....

Warm and soft light....light playing on the water and making lovely patterns on skin.

Bright glowing halos of light.


Brightening my day, awakening my creativity.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Heart Faces - Gotta Wear Shades....

This is my entry for this week's I heart Faces challenge.   

This week's challenge is "Gotta Wear Shades...."

I love the expression on his face so much -

It might be my favorite photo of him ever :)

Be sure to pop on over to I heart faces and check out all the amazing photos entered this week....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chasing rainbows and Waterfalls...

My husband and My scientist boy went off on a solo canoe trip for 2 nights.  While they were gone the rest of us went for an adventure to the local hotsprings :)  Pure. Heaven.  On the way we had to stop to visit our special water fall.  Miss Big A hopped out of the van exclaiming excitedly, "MUMMA!  THIS IS THE WATERFALL WHERE YOU AND DADDY GOT MARRIED!"  It sure was :)  "THIS PLACE IS FABULOUS!" she shouted with glee :)   This boy agreed :)  

Both sides had to be climbed and explored, with a little time for sitting and contemplating in between.  

We came here on one of our first dates, my husband and I - a memory that is still as fresh as ever, 
ever so many years later.

A certain someone needed to let off some steam - what better way than dancing up a storm?  
My oh my that girl has a lot of energy!

On the way home we chased a rainbow for ever so long.

It kept getting bigger and brighter.

And I just had to keep finding a place to stop and take more pictures.

I *LOVE* rainbows.  When I was a little girl I had a rainbow on my wall.  

Between the waterfall, and the hotsprings, and this rainbow - we went home feeling very recharged.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tutorial: Repurpose a women's skirt into a little girls' dress

This is the second skirt I've found like this - I figured the first one was such a a success that I must be meant to make a tutorial for it.  So here I am writing my very first tutorial (bear with me if it's a little rough around the edges - and let me know if anything isn't clear )  This skirt has an invisible zipper in the center back which is what makes it work so well - it becomes the back zipper on the dress. 

Choose a dress that fits well, and use it as a cutting guide leaving room for a seam allowance.  *Or* You can measure your little one and figure out a chest measurement and go from there - That's not my style lol!  What I actually did the first time was to just keep shaving more off the edges with my serger until it looked right lol!  Then I tried it on her to make sure (obviously this is somewhat risky, so always make sure it's  left on the bigger side if you take that route ;))

     Lay your dress centered on top of the skirt.

Cut using the edge of your dress as a guide, leaving room for a seam allowance and perhaps a little extra for growing room if the dress you are using is a little small (that's what I did here)

Sew the 2 pieces together down the sides keeping right sides together.   You'll have something that looks like this :

I hemmed next using bias tape.  If you've not ever learned the easy way using angry chicken's no swearing bias tape method then hop on over there and you'll be find yourself never hemming anything any other way....  I know I know - usually people hem last, but I am not really much of a rule follower ;)

 I love bias tape - seriously - if I wasn't already married I'd be engaged to bias tape. 

Love it.

Cut the straps - I just eye balled it and then shortened them later to the right size when my girl was handy :) I made mine a little wider at one end so that I could gather them a little (I'll explain that in a minute...)
Right sides together, sew along the sides and then turn right side out and press.

Like so :)

I wanted mine gathered at the point where they are sewn on in the front.  I just basted, gathered, and sewed again, so keep it all stable for sewing


It's really only a 30 minute adventure to make this sweet dress - and it's sooooo easy !  

I love that I get the zipper - without the fuss  :)