Monday, June 11, 2012

Still Here

I'm still around. I'm still gardening, though less so. I'm spending more time driving my teens around to various activities and events. Often times I think wistfully of those days when I had time to knit and spin. And I've been consumed with politics and the woes associated with it. And since my Mom taught me not to say anything if I can't say anything nice. . . I've not been so "post-ative" lately.

The kids have discovered Swing Dancing.

In fact, they attended a formal at Pensacola Swing recently.

We got Gregory a suit for a home school formal earlier in the year and had no idea he would be able to wear it so often.

Gabrielle has me sewing again. I made this formal dress for her to wear.

And she just loved dressing up in vintage style.

Gabrielle now loves skirts that flair out when she dances.

Michael bought a fedora awhile back and loves to wear it whenever possible. Actually, he loves to dress up in nice clothes as much as the older children.

The love for Swing Dancing has traveled through our home school group and the kids have plenty of company when dancing.

And boy do they love to dance! Gregory wears himself out on the dance floor every time we go.

And Gabrielle cannot be asked to dance enough.

I can't stand how adorable they all look when they dress up to go.

But, both of the older kids now have a long list of clothes they want me to sew for them for dancing. Yes, these guys sure keep me busy these days.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Late Winter Harvest

I've been shamefully absent from my blogs for some time now. It seems the Spring gardening takes more and more of my time the older I get. I have little energy for anything else this time of year.

We've been harvesting our winter vegetables for some time now. Today I picked the bulk of our remaining cabbage.

I took a 6 gallon bucket with me thinking I'd pick some early beets, turnips and other veggies at the same time. Even without the outer leaves, the cabbage filled my bucket to overflowing. (The chickens got treated to the outer leaves this morning.)

I did manage to pick a couple beets and turnips. I thinned my carrots and clipped a few little shoots of broccoli from plants that bolted long ago. I also picked a few snow peas and some mustard greens.

I thought I'd make another batch of sauerkraut today. I plan to throw the colander full of veggies in with the cabbage to make a different kind of sauerkraut. I already have a 10 liter crock of ordinary sauerkraut fermenting on my counter. I think this batch will require my 15 liter crock, the one I got for making pickles. It takes 6 weeks to ferment a batch of kraut; I sure hope I won't need my crock before then for pickles. We might have to eat a lot of cukes before 6 weeks are done.

We are planting a fairly large garden again this year. I would love to grow enough vegetables for our family's use during the year. If we could get extra, it would be great to start selling at the farmer's market. Especially if I could get the Brix values of my vegetables high enough to have something really spectacular. I'd love to show my neighbors down here in the south just how good organic living can be!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Snow Day

One of the dearest, most selfless friends I've ever had lives in Brewton.

Back in December, I really wanted to take the kids to Foley's Christmas in the Park Festival. Unfortunately, the festival was scheduled on the same day as one of the craft shows I planned to attend to sell my soap, sewing, weaving and other items. Kurt had to study for a test and I didn't know what to do. Enter my wonderful friend Darlene. She drove all the way down to Foley to take the kids to the festival and keep them for me while I spent the day at the craft festival. I am so blessed. She also took pictures for me so I wouldn't miss all the fun.

Every year Foley has a special Christmas Festival. This festival is particularly special because it snows in the park every year on that day.

Well, this is how we do snow in the coastal south - we make our own. It was funny to think about snow with the 70 degree outside temperatures that day. It was also rough deciding how to dress the kids.

Of course the kids think snow is great fun. I mean, how great is the snow when you can have it and beach weather at the same time.

Michael has always wanted to make a snow angel.

Immediately when he got into the snow area, he dropped to the ground. (Next to someone wearing flip-flops, lol.) Since snow melts pretty fast at 70 degrees, it was too icy for a snow angel. So he discovered his next favorite snow activity.

Michael discovered he could throw snow at people without getting into trouble like he would for throwing anything else. And boy did he throw snow.

He showed Darlene's son, John Mark, no mercy. He even went after Darlene too.

Fortunately, both Darlene and John Mark are good sports.

Gregory had lots of fun snow fighting too.

So did Gabrielle.

Though I think she got more than she gave.

Of course with Gabrielle, it is always more about meeting new people than the activity itself.

As for Gregory, he was all about the fight.

He took aim at anyone he could hit.

And had a blast.

You can tell my kids have a knitter in the family. Each one of them wore wool mittens. You can't just walk into a store around here and get wool mittens.

The kids had an amazing day and we thank God for our great friend Darlene!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Baby Hats and Salsa

Despite being more busy than normal launching our fabulous soap and craft business, Finchwald Homestead, I managed to knit a couple of little baby hats for a shower I missed last week when I had the flu.

I love these little fruit hats.

I modified the strawberry slightly so it would have white seeds rather than green. I think it looks better with the extra color. (Under the hats, you can see some knitting I am blocking for a friend who commissioned me to make a hat and scarf for her daughter. I will blog about it later on the Finchwald Homestead blog.)

And because these little hats are such a quick knit, I thought I'd go ahead and knit a second one, a dewberry. Dewberries grow wild here in southern Alabama and the purple yarn I used from my stash was perfect. The above picture shows good detail, but the color is too light. The actual hat looks more like this:

I added a band of ribbing to the bottom edge of the hat for a slightly different look.

I sure hope the new mom-to-be thinks babies with fruit heads are as cute as I think they are. I suppose it is possible some people wouldn't appreciate a fruit headed baby, though I can hardly imagine.

Meanwhile, my Fall garden has given me plenty of purple peppers and some tomatoes. The bugs always seem to get the tomatoes when they are ripe, so today I fooled them and picked the tomatoes green. I added them to the batch of salsa I mixed up today. I sure hope green tomatoes taste okay in salsa.

I also added some purple peppers (and their more dangerous red incarnation) to the salsa to make it deathly spicy. I love spicy food. After 6 weeks fermenting in my Harsch Crock, I should have some super tasty, healthy and not-for-the-faint-of-heart salsa.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Finchwald Homestead

After many years thinking about sharing our homemade food and crafts via a home-based business, we finally did it! Please come visit me at my brand new blog: Finchwald Homestead. Thanks!