Monday 27 March 2023

Homemaking Mondays: Breath of Fresh Air


The first tastes of spring
are like a breath of fresh air.
When the wind blows hard from the south
and the sun shines bright and warm.
It is just the time to take blankets out to the clothesline
to air and refresh after winter's chill.
I like to do this with all our blankets 
as time and the weather permit.
There is still snow in the forecast
so we take these bright warm days
with pleasure as they come.

This week I have also been 
working to re-fresh the freezer.
It's time to dig deep and get all the older food
out and used up.
One of those foods was some blueberries.
Blueberry buckle is one of my families favourites
so I made up a big batch of it.
I am pondering some more canning to use up some 
of the meat that is in the bottom.

With all the fresh air I have enjoyed a couple days 
of just sitting in the hammock and listening
to the music of the birds and squirrels and the wind chimes.
So refreshing!

With the feelings of spring
I've started making veggie platters again.
It's so nice to have fresh veggies with dip to add
to any meal.
It's also a fun time to try out new types of dips/dressings.

With lots of fresh cucumbers coming through 
the grocery store, I've grabbed a couple extra packages
to make fridge pickles.
I love how they are so easy and add a 
lovely fresh crunch to snacks and meals.
Now to just wait a couple weeks to try them out.
I use the Prairie Homestead recipe from her cookbook.
That said it's fun to add other veggies to add variety.

This past March break my boys have been participating
in a Youth Cafe learning experience at our 
local community centre. 
Learning to cook and prepare commercial 
meals in the commercial kitchen.
The finale was yesterday as the youth put on 
a special dinner for the seniors in our community.
Everything went very well and it was a delight to see
people come out and visit over good food.

I hope that you are enjoying some 
aspects of springtime where you live...or fall if you're 
on the other side of the world.
Sometimes change is beautiful.

Thank you for dropping by!
Love and Prayers,

Monday 20 March 2023

Homemaking Mondays: A Touch of Green and a Butter Keeper


How does your spring grow?
It's been so warm here the last couple days that there is a 
symphony of dripping water 
that delights the ears.
The smell of spring is in the air!

Inside the seedlings are coming and the 
bright green enlists admiration
and frequent checks to make sure all is well.

I always plant more then I need.
For two reasons: 
One is that I love to plant seeds,
and the other is that Lord willing I will
be able to sell the extras to cover the price
of the seeds and soil I need to purchase
to get things going.

The tomatoes when they get their true leaves will be 
separated out and up potted into bigger containers
with real soil.  That happens soon.
Then I have lots of other lovely seedlings
that will be moved into other containers to give their 
roots lots of room to grow.
That will be a bit as they have to have their true leaves as well.
I find the tomatoes grow their true leaves faster then the herbs.

On the kitchen windowsill I have 
leeks and onions growing. 
This is my first year growing onions from seed
so we shall see how this adventure turns out.

With all the herbs starting I look forward to using
fresh herbs in my cooking again.
I think that if someone wants to just grow
a few little things for their kitchen
that herbs should be high on the list. 
They just make for delicious meals.

This week I've also been working on my newest knitting project.
It's called a Birch stitch and I really love it.
It's simple, just four repeating rows.
I find it relaxing and easy to leave off when I 
have other pressing needs to attend to.  
Then when I come back it's clear where to pick up from.

This weeks score at the free store
was this butter keeper!
I have seen them online and when I saw it on the shelf
I was absolutely delighted to see it in person.
So of course I brought it home to try.
I really love the colours of it as well. 

I tucked a bunch of butter up under the lid
which I had softened to room temp first so it would
stick to the container.
Then I added a bit of water to the bottom and put the lid on.
I am interested to see how much better this old fashioned 
method works in comparison to my other covered
butter dishes.
Do you have one of these? 
If so how do you find using it?

Fun new things for the kitchen.
Today I'll be preparing some leek/potato/bacon soup.
I'm going to be making more soups in the next little bit
before the real warmth comes 
and no one will be interested in soups.

Yesterday I checked on my greenhouse
and even though I got a lot more snow 
off the roof there is still a lot up there....melting.
I pushed the excess off the roof and will need to remember 
to continue doing that till it's all gone.  
I haven't set up the rain barrel
to catch the water yet.  It's buried under too much snow.
That will be something to do in a week or so.

How is your week looking?
What kind of homemaking are you up to?

Thanks for dropping by!

Love and Prayers,

Monday 13 March 2023

Homemaking Mondays: Washing Woollens and Greenhouse Maintenance


With the ups and downs of March
bring us the hope of spring and the still reality
of winter in all it's glory.

The need for our warm clothes 
but also the transitional time of layering.
This week I tried a new thing. 
I found this delightful wool sweater at our free store.
It needed a good wash but I've not ever washed anything 
quite like it. Our wool socks 
have some nylon so they just go in the washer
and then are hung to dry.
So my daughter picked up this SOAK from the yarn store.
I was so incredibly amazed at how it cleaned out 
so much dirt and smell without scrubbing.
It's almost dry enough for her to wear now.
I have found I do need to get a special dryer
that I can lay things flat on.

With the ups and downs of March 
the sunlight has started to become warmer
and last longer.
So...seeds are now planted in their trays,
set out in front of the windows to catch the warm rays.
I have a hard time waiting for germination
and the Lord is gracious and gives me a few little seedlings 
that pop up within a day or two to ease my tension. :) 
There are little chamomile, calendula, and comfrey seedlings.
The tomatoes and herbs will take a bit longer. 
This year I discovered some lovely new tomato seeds!
Sunrise Bumble Bee
Who could resist planting some of these?
Yes, I also bought a bunch more seeds. 
We'll have four different varieties of kale
and some more beans this year. 
I'm also trying to start some onions from seed
just to see how that goes.
So like every year--- some old, some new.

I discovered this beautiful painting by Chuck Black 
on his Facebook page.
He is one of my favourite artists 
and this painting reminds me of our little lake.
Serene and vibrant.
Dreaming of spring when the wildflowers
come out in full bloom and the water shimmers in the sunlight.
Well...because by that time there will be no moonlight.

I've been doing a bit of greenhouse maintenance.
There is a ton of snow on the roof.
The support beams we put up last fall are doing a good job
and I don't think we have anything to fear.
I still wanted to get a bit of the snow load off so that it'll melt faster 
and allow more light in so that I can start 
some gardening projects earlier.
This year I want to try growing peas and spinach in the greenhouse.
I saw in a gardening video where someone 
used bubble wrap to help insulate the plants from the cold
in little hoops. That I'd like to try.

For now there are millions of little frozen water droplets
that glisten on the ceiling. 

There is now less snow on the roof...
and I'll be getting a longer shovel handle to get more off.
Spring outdoor jobs.  
Soon snow needs to be moved away from the house 
to protect foundations as well.

Snow amazes me in how it can accumulate from such 
small perches. 
The little puff ball on the greenhouse door had
just a half inch of space from the door being just a tad ajar.
Then the moose antlers had it stretching out beyond the eves
as iff it was reaching for the light.

There are always good treats to eat
when coming in from the cold.
This past week there were carrot cake muffins.
SO yummy with or without icing.

So what keeps you busy in March? 
What kinds of things do you as we come to  this transition period?

I pray you have a blessed day! 

Love and Prayers,

Monday 6 March 2023

Homemaking Mondays: Getting the Gardening Itch


The days are getting longer
and the sun is getting warmer.
Time to start gardening again.
I've gone through my seeds and figured out what
I need to buy new. 
I also have decided what I'd like to grow that is new.
This year I'm going to try growing tarragon,
then I also want to see about growing
some new squash and some comfrey.
Of course not all the seeds can be started early.
I just put my garlic into the fridge along with my comfrey
seeds to get their "winter" time. 
I have to get a bit more soil to start my seeds
and then we'll get those going.
I love having this gardening activity 
in this later part of the winter.
I do enjoy winter...but I'm starting to dream of spring.
As you can see below...we have a lot of snow.
Our squirrel in the feeder seems to like
having the feeder to hang out in.
Sitting in the warm sun munching on sunflower seeds.

I finished another project to keep warm.
I now have a new pair of lighter wool socks. 
This was fun yarn and I have a bit left over
that I may make some ankle socks with at some point.
The self striping yarn keeps it interesting as you go along.
I have a knitted scarf that I'm working on now.
It's always nice to have a yarn project on the go.

The fresh tomato soup was such a hit that when I found 
tomatoes on sale at the store again I made another batch. 
I do love this little tool my friend gave me.
It makes coring and taking tops off tomatoes 
and strawberries so easy.

It's been a nice week with homeschooling as well.
My boys started a cooking program at our local community centre.
I love that there is so many opportunities there for youth.
Even for the drop in times, my sons often get to help with odd jobs
learning new skills and being able to volunteer.

I hope you have a wonderful day! 
Love and Prayers,