Our Long Weekend

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Highlights of one of my most favorite weekends we have had in a long time
~ Got the hammock set up
~ Grace started riding her bike without training wheels
~ Reading outside on blankets
~ First smores of the year
~ A visit from Grandma Lee and Papa
~ Playing at some of our favorite parks with friends
~ A trip to the candy store
~ Out to dinner (and watching the lift bridge)
~ Coconut milk/mango/peach smoothies
~ Running through the sprinkler
~ Some serious knitting (post coming soon)
~ And as always a lot of gardening and chicken coop work (which is almost complete... also post coming soon)
~ Ending with Ryan's famous venison dinner

It seems that summer is here.



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Mud Painting

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This great idea (from our good friend) was a hit!


A Good Look Around

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(two sides of the barn almost finished being painted)

Tonight, after a long (mostly enjoyable) day of working outside (interspersed with several episodes of running inside to keep dry from the rain), I had some time all to myself. And instead of picking up the to do list (which is more of a "to plant" list), I picked up my camera.

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(bean sprout)

Over the past few months the majority of our time has been spent right out here. Gathering rocks, tilling the soil, shoveling dirt, building garden beds, planting seeds... planting plants. And don't get me wrong, I love every minute of this work. In fact when we are all outside working/playing together I am often my happiest.

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(first apple blossom)

However, it has been a long spring, and working outside to get all this done hasn't always been easy. We have had a lot of rain and snow, and cold and wind. It can be hard to stay positive when planting seeds on rainy day number 89.

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(broccoli garden)

But we did it. And we did a lot. This year we added 16 new garden beds. Which makes for a grand total of 30 (fairly large) beds, all of which are edible plants.

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(Grace's very own garden)

There is still so much to be done with the gardens, but the most important part, the planting, is finally almost done.

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And walking around tonight, with my camera in hand, I felt like I was seeing all our hard work for the first time.

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(begonias... my favorite shade loving, all summer blooming plants)

I could finally see the big picture of what we had done... as opposed to just lines on a to do list.

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And I marveled at every little bit of it.

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(strawberries that we planted last year)

Of course there will be things that don't work (I've already planted lettuce and carrots twice).

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(lilacs- one of the many gems that came with the house)

Surely this year will have it's crop that "didn't quite do so well" (please don't be tomatoes again, please don't be tomatoes again).

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(crabapple tree)

But surely this year will also have it's successes. Maybe there will be some "star" crops that perform better then ever.

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(some of our new and old garden beds and the new sandbox. of the 16 new beds I harvested the rocks for- and built- 10 myself. yes I am proud.)

As always, new things will be learned. New recipes will be tried.

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And we will grow... right along side our seedlings.


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Outside... all weekend!



I recently was reminded by our good friends that it's nettle season. I love nettles. Love that they are everywhere, love the numerous health benefits, and (surprisingly) I love the taste of them.

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While nettle tea is always fun to make, what I had really been wanting to try since this winter (when I got this awesome book), is nettle soup. Both Grace and Jackson recently got sick again with a cold and I decided it was time to try and rebuild all of our immunities. This soup is great for that.

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2 tbsp of butter
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
450g of freshly picked nettle tops (er, ah, no clue about the 450 grams since I don't have a cooking scale... we just picked a lot)
1 qt of veg. stock
2/3 cup of cream
freshly ground nutmeg
salt and pepper

Melt the butter and saute the onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and nettles and saute for 2 minutes. Add the stock and cover. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and then puree the soup. Stir in cream and season with a little nutmeg, salt and pepper.

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6 Things That Are Making Me Smile

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My girl and her new love of pink

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Peas coming up

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Gardens getting planted

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Sunny spinach

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My bees (they accepted the queen!)

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Peppermint tea from our peppermint leaves (for all my sick children that are now all better)... add a little cream and it almost tastes like a treat.


Dang that Flu... and Other Randomness

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So as it turns out, my Mother's Day ended (in the middle of the night) with me rubbing Grace's back as she tearfully complained of an achy tummy. Yup... she has the flu. Originally Ryan offered to go lay with her when she got sick but after a few minutes of hearing how miserable she was I let him off the hook. There is just something in a mother's bones that makes her want to be with her sick child I guess (despite how much I could have used the sleep). Such is motherhood.

Other tid-bits...

I did get caught up on some laundry today (this was good since I've spent the last four days ignoring it in favor of gardening... the pile was embarrassingly huge).

Jackson was all better today and finally ready to play with his sister. His sister, of course, was now finally understanding why Jackson hasn't wanted to play for the past five days.

We compromised by snuggling in bed together with a giant pile of books.

The plant pile in need of planting is slowly dwindling.

The seeds in need of planting are slowly getting crossed off the list.

The battery is dead in my car.

The chickens now insist on going outside everyday (really).

I think I might be back to daily blogging.


This Weekend

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Flowers in bloom
Mother's Day surprises
Planting and planting (like until 10 at night)
Barn painting
Nursing Jackson back to health
A walk to the pond
Watching the bees

I am feeling exceptionally grateful on this Mother's Day weekend.