Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ramble Comes to Visit!

Well, we have had a swell time with Ramble! He is quite the helper I can tell you - we did not get out much, but he did add a certain flair to Thanksgiving!
On his first day here, Ramble came along with me as my friend Amy's show-and-tell at the Jenkintown Nursery School. Amy is an art teacher, and the teachers had read the story "Charlie Needs a Cloak" to the 4-year old class, so Amy brought in me, my spinning wheel and some wool. Of course Ramble came along too! Unfortunately I cannot post any pictures from the pre-school, but here is Ramble all ready to go:

Later that evening, since he had been to school and all, he helped my son with his homework. See them here working on a project for the "Future Cities" team. Amazingly, Ramble is a very good speller.

Thanksgiving dinner was at my house this year, Ramble helped with the cooking, added to the decor, bonded with the turkeys and was generally sociable, contributing many interesting opinions to the dinner conversiation.

After dinner, he and my older son enjoyed some cats, a fire and a good book.

The holiday ended and I had some work to do - Ramble helped weight packages for shipping, and of course we had to weigh Ramble tipping the scales at 11.6 ounces.

He is ready to roll, and will head off to his next stop tomorrow. Watch for his new holiday bling!!
Lisa (lasdcm)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Made a Pie and Cleaned the Garden!

I just love pie, made the first apple pie of the season (yes, I know acorns don't come from maple trees, but those are the cookie cutters I found!) I had some dried cranberries, so I took about 2/3 of a cup and cooked them in about 1/3 of a cup of apple cider until they absorbed most all the cider, I also used maple sugar in both the crust and the filling - yummy!


We pulled the trellis out of the garden beds and dug out all the plants except the beets. I raked the beds, then sprinkled some winter rye and winter pea seeds, raked them in gently then mulched. We raked the lawn and took most of the backyard leaves, piled them and ran the mower over them a couple of times. Will got to mow, he was very excited, his first mower experience! Then took the chopped leaves and spread them over the beds. Hopefully the rye and peas will grow then we will chop them up and turn them under early in the spring.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

One day it will not rain

Some day this week I will put the garden to bed! If it stops raining! The plan is to plant a cover crop of winter rye.........


Peter made his Halloween costume this year out of a big sheet of paper - we bought a roll and he taped 4 sheets to make a 10' by 10' square, then he folded it into a walking man - he spent about 2 hours one evening and about 4 hours on Saturday to finish it up. It was beautiful - unfortunately it pretty much melted in the rain, so we are going to get another roll of paper and try it again! Will had the opposite costume! He was "The Blob". We made it out of 3 contractor trash bags and 8 helium balloons! It was great - next time I will use much thinner plastic bags so it is more floaty. Also - FYI - duct tape does not stick really well to plastic contractor trash bags, packing tape is much better! More photos on my flickr page if you want to see more!

Here is the big sheet, and the first couple of folds

The folding continues.........

Beginning to take shape........

The Walking Man - stick holding up the head like a puppet, the walking stick part of the paper - here balancing across the ladder - is actually taped to a real stick so it can be carried around.
Done! It Works!

The Blob! He Lives!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Glamourous life I lead!

So, how did I spend my day? Well, yesterday I thought I would finally tackle the boys Nintendo Lair which is full of old toys, legos, games, cat fur, granola bar wrappers ets. I have been wanting to tackle this room for a long while, and this week was the week. So I cleared, edited, tossed, scraped, washed, vaccuumed, plumped and found not one, not two or even three but FOUR boxes of lego that the cats had PEED in, and the boys had stuck lids on and stuffed in the back of the closet - UGH!

SO - while the boys sorted a box of junk I mean precious relics, I cleaned Lego, lots and lots of Lego:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Made Bread, Yogurt and Got a Haircut!

It was a beautiful bread day!
OK - I doubled the recipe, reading very carefully to be sure I was doubling a one-loaf recipe and not a two-loaf recipe. It was a new recipe, and boy did it rise! So I checked again - yes "shape the loaf" - singular, one loaf.

So I shaped, and baked my two loaves -
Two HUGE DAGWOODIAN sandwich loaves - so I went and triple checked - recipe makes one 9x5 free-form loaf, so next time I will double it for three! Meanwhile it is huge and yummy!


- here is how I grow the culture in a cooler with a bottle or two of hot water inside to provide the warmth. I usually make a quart of milk at a time, and fill the empty bottle with hot tap water then place it in the cooler while I heat and cool the milk. Using a bit stainless steel pot, I heat the milk to 180 then let it cool to about 110. The heat kills off any existing bacteria in the milk. Then I stir in a heaping spoonful of yogurt from the last batch, (or if I ate it all, I use plain Stonybrook farm or something with live cultres) and pour the culture milk into 2 or 3 pyrex containers. When I put the containers into the now warm cooler, I re-fill the bottle with hot tap water and close everything up (make sure your yogurt containers fit into the cooler along with the hot water) then I cover and let it sit, usually it takes overnight. In this photo, you can see I did not check for fit first, so I used 3 of those rubbermaid drink bottles instead of the quart milk bottle.


- I have been growing my hair out because I am lazy and cheap, then figured I'd really grow it while I was at it and donate the hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, I grew 15 inches:



One 15-inch Ponytail!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Trellis for the Brambles

Done! Trellises are made and all the briars are pulled through the fence and stuck up through the wires - I added a string on the bottom to lift the smaller canes up so we can mow underneath - I did a quickie seminar at the local garden center all about fruiting things: apple trees, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pretty much everything but figs (and she handed out a pamphlet on figs!) so I followed the directions. Of course the nice neat line drawings on the handouts only vaguely resemble the rangey canes of my berries! But next summer should be a big crop of berries! Yum! Next we attack the apple trees!

We are still getting green beans - we already have about 15 bags in the freezer!

Here are the two latest butternuts: Larry and Moe!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I Love Thrift Stores!

I really, really do - Went to Impact! thrift today and got:
1 pair Lee jeans - $3.59;
1 pair pinstripe Lee pants - $3.59;
1 dark grey/forest green wide whale corduroy light jacket from Edie Bower - splurged at $5.99; and...
1 black leather "Fossil" shoulder bag - a little one - $1.00

On the garden front - Dave made a trellis for the raspberries and blackberries, I will post a photo tomorrow, but I had to brag about the thrift store today!

Also, found a very cool website of all things Halloween - and they have a whole section of paper toy templates you can print out on card stock and put together, be still my heart! So I made up the Hidden Cemetery and added a Hearse from the Hearse Playset! I have still to make Ravensblight Mannor to go next to the Cemetary and Ohhhhhhhh - I am going to make the Mechanical Bat too!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Potato Blight! ARGHHH!

Actually, the potatoes were A-OK, but the tomatoes were a mess so we pulled them all up, and harvested the last of the potatoes as well just to be sure The garden looks quite naked, and WOW are the beans big! So, I planted too much, they are such tiny little things when you put them in the ground and they look so lonely so you give them friends which is OK but you must cull them! So cruel!

Garden in early-ish morning

The tomato trellises look like matress springs don't they? They are made of conduit pipe and nylon netting, then a piece of rebar into the ground and slid the two trellis ends over top, clever huh? stole it from "Square Foot Gardening"!

The beans that took over

Blue potatoes - yummy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Went From These:

To These:

OK - so there are a couple of pints of spiced blueberry preserves thrown into the mix, it is not ALL plum, but there is alot of plum there! Now waiting for tomato season!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Garden Pics!

Here is a view of the squash and pumpkins taken june 26, and again here:

The enlarged garden - before and after big tree limb removal:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

First Post

So much gardening and so little fibering, so I am creating this blog to focus more on the backyard, the gardening, the fruit trees, the food, more of a diary of our house to keep it separate from the fiber.

Here are some photos of the garden this year