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Showing posts from 2013

Merry Christmas Week

My mom subtly hinted that she's hoping for a Christmas post...  Shall we start with homemade marshmallows?  My husband makes them for his mom.

Happy Thanksgiving!

On a day when we remember all the things we are thankful for, I am very blessed.  Among other things, thank you, all of you friends who read my blog!

Happy November

I appreciate your thoughts and comments, friends.  I know my angst-riddled ramblings sometimes make no sense; I try not to post them here but now and then they spill over.  I am never going to be done taking pictures.  I'm looking forward to many more artful and spontaneous creations, both with a camera and without.  And enjoying the freedom to be inspired by a pile of leaves and four handsome faces!  

. . .

For me, there is no harmony in the concept that a person should "do what you love," in regards to a job.  Of course, I do want to do what I love, and I want to help provide for my family.  But I've found that I have a hard time acquiring this balance, when what I love and what I do is art.   This video  changed the way I feel about my art.  Or rather, it put me back on track of things I have always known about myself, and had forgotten in recent years.  It is hard to be in a world where people judge you by how much you make.  I find that, as an artist, people judge me by what I charge.  I guess that gives some validity to whether I'm worthwhile at my craft if I can prove that other people agree enough to pay me for it. When I don't charge people for my work they are more dismissive; when I worry about what people think, I sometimes end up with things that I don't love.  And I know I don't charge enough, but I really want art - especially something li

Sweet Autumn

my Sweet Autumn clematis Well, I didn't finish all I set out to do this summer, but I did accomplish some things that I've been meaning to do for a long time and just hadn't plucked up the courage to attempt before.  For instance, finally taking a family trip , and reupholstering a chair!  I had a really hard time committing to fabric, finding something that would match what I've got and what I'm  hoping to do in my living room.  I have a few more things I would like to do before fall really sets in; we'll see! Here's a before shot, poor old girl:  

flooding in Colorado

A few friends have written to ask if we are okay, in regards to the flooding in Colorado.  At the moment, everyone I know and love is fine and safe.  We are expecting more rain today, though!  Lots of games and outdoor activities have been cancelled, and there are road closures.  Some of our teachers could not get to school yesterday.   I tried to upload some pictures to Flickr but apparently Flickr's having some issues.  I'll just upload a couple to here.  This is our nearby creek.  Nearby as in we can walk to it, but it's still a few blocks away.  In the first one, the creek is usually the part of the water that is beyond the big tree on the right.   Here's a bridge the boys like to ride their bikes across! But like I said, we're all safe!!

Funeral Pictures?

I always take my camera to funerals.  When they see me with my camera, I think it seems disrespectful or morbid to some people; but a few days later I get a phone call or card from someone who really appreciated the pictures and would like copies.  They weren't able to make it and are happy to see the goodbyes of a dear friend.  Or they were there, and are glad I captured these moments.   My grandmother had a big family, and funerals were often the last time she'd seen everyone together, and she always came back with a stack of pictures; I grew up thinking that cameras and funerals were as natural together as a camera at any other event.  (As part of my dad's service to our country, he served a few summer tours at Arlington Cemetery, officiating at memorial services for men and women who've served our country.  Someone videotaped one of his services for the family and gave him a copy.  Talk about moving!  Read about the Arlington Ladies ; just thinking about this

It's Patriot Day

It's pouring rain here so we didn't put our flag out, but there's a flag in my heart.


A new friend mentioned that she had a bunch of chickens, and more eggs than they could use.  I jokingly (?) said I would gladly take them.  I have a kid that would eat scrambled eggs every day of the week if we made them.  So she invited me to stop by and get some, and she wasn't kidding.  I left with eggs by the two dozen, and that barely dented the collection in the fridge!  Of course, I was as excited about the pictures I could take with these lovely little gems as I was at the prospect of fresh, free range, free eggs!!  And as I was contemplating photo ideas, I remembered that I had recently found an abandoned nest on the ground.  (There are also brown and beige eggs.)  

greens from the garden

I went to my local local grocer's to buy local cucumbers.  Of course, we canned them!  I find that pickles are one of the easiest things to put up, although the vinegar smell does linger in the house.  This is my most requested canned good item, from friends and husband, and BFJ opened the last jar of last year's pickles a week or two ago.  I don't want to have a disappointed spouse for the next year so I stopped and got some cucumbers.  I actually planted what I thought would be a bed of cucumbers, but it turns out that only two or three of the plants are actually producing cucumbers, while another two are producing what appear to be mutant pumpkin hybrids.  And I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the plants I thought I had.  Sad.  The lemon cucs are doing better but are in the corners of the other beds. The jalapenos and other peppers and goodies did come from my garden, though, and I did make a couple small jars of home-grown stuff.  I'm not sure how

Spiced Peach Preserves

I have a friend who received some Spiced Peach Preserves from me last year, and she inquired recently whether I'd be making more this year.  I answered that I was not sure, as it is hard to can with store-bought fruit after you've received organic, homegrown, best-you-ever-tasted peaches.  Obviously I would love some more of those peaches, but unfortunately my in-laws' peach tree was hit hard with a late frost this past spring, as were many fruit trees in Colorado.  My local farmer's market had some lovely peaches on a day when I didn't have time to can, and assured me that they'd have more the next week.  They didn't!  So previously mentioned friend asked her brother to pick up a box on his way through Palisades last week, and she gave them to us in exchange for some finished jars, and a little lesson in canning.  Isn't that nice? I decided to blog the recipe so that you can use it, and I can find it here again!  Spiced Peach Preserves Rec

in Minnesota

I should finish up my story about our trip to Minnesota, right? Friday We arrived at Camp Friday afternoon.  A few other people were there, and we went in and said hi, and figured out where we should park. But before anything else, the boys and I headed right down the path to the lake!  There were a couple of cousins I knew, along with one of their kids.  Before you know it, shoes were off, boys were out on the dock, feet were in the water. As more people arrived, we had a fun time meeting everyone and figuring out how we were related.  The evening was hot and humid, and there were definitely lots of mosquitoes.  I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have two days of misery ahead of us!  Eventually, the boys ended up in the lake, shorts and all, and had a great time with new cousins.  Really, that's what we came for, so mission accomplished.   a path off the path... where does it go? We slept in bunks, and it was not the most comfortable arrangement - for

back yard

A garden with bees and pumpkins and birds! And of course, some knitting.

#1 knit a Christmas gift, and more

It feels a little like cheating to call this #1 on my list, because this is not the project I had in mind when I made my list.  However, the summer is zipping by and technically, it is going to be a Christmas gift.  I need to knit a few more so that I have one to keep, and can bear to give the rest away!  The best part is that it pings at least three things I love - knitting, gardening, and savoring the small wonders in life.   Every year I ponder cutting my lavender so that I can use it for something, but I think, I'll do it after I get a picture that does justice to the lavender plants .  And then I leave it for the bees.  And then... it is past its cutting prime.  This year, I did not hesitate, because I'd found this cute little sachet pattern and I knew it would be lovely to dry some lavender.  I also have bits of vanilla bean that weren't quite fine enough for the vanilla sugar, and when I remember where I put them, I think that will also make a lovely sachet.

to Minnesota

So!  Here's what we've been up to...  At some point in the past six months, my great aunt Ginnie (inadvertently?) included me on an email about the semi-annual family reunion in Minnesota.  I say inadvertently because I've never gone and there was no reason for her to include me but I assume I'm on her family distribution list.  Regardless, an idea was planted, but I was so unsure of whether we would actually get to Minnesota that I did not put it on my 10-things-to-do-this-summer list , although I really wanted to put Family Vacation as #1!  See, we've actually never been on a family vacation, and I didn't know if we'd be able to squeak it out.  Can you believe that?  I know, it's sad.  We've been on lots of trips to see family for holidays, but only a few hours here or there, and definitely not a vacation, the whole five of us.  Well, things have changed, I'm happy to say! What did we do? you may wonder. On Wednesday night, we drove

things to tell you...

We have just returned home from a little adventure into strange lands and dark forests....  More soon!

#2. Make some macarons.

Hey, technically we're only three days into summer, aren't we?  From my "10 things to do this summer" list, I'm pleased to say, I can cross something off!  That is, #2. Make some macarons.   I used the recipe at Brave Tart , and read the referenced blog post at eatlivetravelwrite , and made some macarons!  I did not find that they were difficult, I think primarily due to the fact that I've made meringue before.  I made my own "almond meal" by grinding up almonds very finely in the food processor, but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter - including weighing the ingredients!  I didn't end up with the elegant foot that the cookies are supposed to have, they definitely aren't perfect.  However, I do see there are some things that could be done slightly better next time: ~ Next time, look into finding some actual almond meal.  Or if not, investigate blanching, and grinding a little more thoroughly. ~ I would indeed beat the mer

SO true.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend stopped by and made me realize that the life I have is really wonderful.  But sometimes it is hard to remember, so I'm posting this little note to myself. 

You don't have to tell ME twice!

I'm watching the cats for my neighbors, and they left a note saying to help myself to the flowers, especially the peonies.  Yes please!   I cut every one that was blooming.  Hey, they'll be dead by the time the neighbors return, anyway.  Smells like... mothers and grandmothers, and being loved.

10 Things This Summer

I made a list of t en things I want to do this summer; reasonable things that are within my control, although perhaps somewhat ambitious.  Should I shoot for 10%?  Nah, I'm shooting for all ten.  At the very least, maybe 7 or 8.  Of course, besides these I'm still working on my garden - though putting that in the list would be cheating.  We all know that's a success, right?  We've eaten herbs out of it so yeah, that's already success.  And I'm working on my "113 in 2013" photo list, which I probably haven't posted about.  Will I get all 113?  I'm working on it, but it can't be done by the end of summer.  Here's my latest find, #52 cobweb.  (I'm not going in order.) Anyway, back to my 10 Things This Summer list: 1.  Knit a Christmas gift.  This might seem like an easy task for me.  It would be, it's just that so many other projects seem so much more urgent.  But that's exactly the opposite of what I want - urgen

Garden Update - Early June 2013

At the moment, we've got lots of herbs, some flowers, and the beginnings of future fruits and veggies. I'm very pleased to see that my Red Hobbit is back after a two-year absence.  I wonder if it got mowed over, or perhaps it just needed a break. My first clematis (Niobe) looks the best it ever has, though it has never filled out like my mother-in-law's. My peonies look like they'll finally fill a vase this year! Equally wonderful in food as it is fragrant to brush past, buying a second lemon thyme was a good idea!   And we have blossoms on several plants. I'm hoping to squeeze a potato plant in somewhere.  We may also do a second planting of some items that don't seem to have taken / are recommended to plant again / the cat dug up. I was wondering why nothing was growing in the center of the left-most bed, and then it hit me.  I didn't plant anything there!  One last trip to the local nursery and we have our first ever tomatillo and