Monday, June 27, 2011

I Done Good Mama


Rachel's shower is over and done with now....whew.  What a ton of work!  Between my sister-in-law, my mom and myself we managed pretty well, but boy do my feet hurt.  If I wore heels everyday I'd probably be used to it.  The food was good and despite Rachel being rather sunburnt on her legs she enjoyed herself as well.


The one thing that everyone, even my grandma got into was the Toilet Paper bridal dress game.  Each table was a team and each team had 4 rolls of tp, a roll of tape, and 10 minutes to come up with some crazy funny dresses.  Rachel had to pick the winner.

Toliet paper style

The winner is?

We Three Brides
To be honest though I don't remember who won.  Everyone seemed to be laughing so hard at everyone else's dresses. If you can't see on that last picture, Rachel's friend Laura, has tp boobs strapped to her chest. 

The Favors

I can now check this off my To Do List and help coach mom thru Rachel's wedding in July.  No one ever told me that I'd be mentally supporting my own mother thru all kinds of life events, but it's good to know we got each other's backs.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Learning to Exhale

Binding begins

It's been a very busy week.  Abby's quilt is officially done and was gifted on Father's Day. Being the 8 year old she is it was received with about as much fanfare as she could politely muster before going on to the next present.  Oh to be 8 again.

Pictures will follow of the completed quilt as soon as I can get the hubby to upload them as their on his camera and not mine.  We, read that as I, was rather frantic in taking the final pictures because it was about to pour rain and we were running late to the celebration.

 I plan to fully exhale on Monday when I finally get a bit of a "life" break.  My second sister's bridal shower is on Sunday which means we're almost in the home stretch for her wedding (whew).


And that is MY que to get my new ornaments photographed and listed. 
What? You thought I'd forgotten about Tumus? Oh no, I've got some pretty sweet ones for this season.
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Because It's Important

 When I was at work last year (before my layoff) we got to talking about canning. To my great surprise I found out that several of my co-workers had NO IDEA you could actually can your own fruits and vegetables.  I guess it's shocking because to me the whole idea is so basic and commonplace that it's hard to imagine NOT knowing or wanting to preserve food.
(Warning: Long post ahead)

Then it made me sad.  Well more like "depressed about society" kind of sad.  I sincerely feel that food preservation or even the basic knowledge of how to grow your own food should be taught to ALL people.  Canning seems to have this weird reputation of being something that only "country folk" or farmers do.  One girl said she thought only Amish people still did that kind of thing. In other words, canning is for the not so rich or the very frugal.

But when we really started talking about how you can food at home it was like I was some cool "organic" farmer who had this awesome wealth of garden knowledge.  Even my boss was surprised I knew so much.  Maybe it's because those people only knew me from an office environment.  I really thrive being at home and in the dirt.  I explained everything I could remember and was honest that I hadn't actually canned anything myself since I was 10 or 12 (and I'll be 32 this year).  Still their awe held. It's so much work, I told them.  You don't realize just how MUCH work goes into making a jar of green beans or how many tomatoes it takes to make spaghetti sauce.
Really you'll learn to HATE picking beans and snapping them.  You'll hate the weeds and the potato bugs that destroy your crop.  You'll hate the weather, especially the storms that flatten the sweet corn and the droughts that kill the cucumbers. You'll hate how hot the kitchen gets in the middle of July.
BUT, and I almost teared up a bit,
but you learn to respect the weather and the soil you're given.  You learn to live with the weeds and know that some years you just won't have potatoes.  You'll love how colorful all the jars are when they're neatly stacked and put away. And you'll feel resourceful and accomplished when you finally carve that last giant pumpkin.

Finally one of my co-workers asked me why I still wanted to do it, even now when I haven't had the chance or storage room to try it out and when it's such a long, labor intensive process.  
Because, I said, because it feels important.  It's important that we never forget how to do simple, basic, back breaking work. The kind of work that makes you humble and quietly proud.  I don't want to be a "rare" person who knows how to do these things.  I want everyone to know how to do it.  Self-preservation is as important as your heritage. Once you forget, you lose who you really are in the end.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Urban Garden

It's been a few years since I've had a sizeable garden.  To be honest I haven't had a real garden since I was about 10 years old and that was when we lived outside the city limits and had a store room for all the canning we did.  Not to mention a HUGE chest freezer for all the other veggies that needed frozen.
The Garden '11

The funny thing about gardening and my family is that only 2 of us 5 kids actually do it.  My sister Sarah and I however, both live in the 'Burbs so it's hard to get that large canning garden we both really want.  I mean it's hard to beat homemade salsa or pickles. 

If you've been keeping track you might recognize alot of the plants that have sprung up.  Though I'm most proud of my potatoes and peas, I'm very excited to have actually had great results with the garlic and onions (which were SUPER easy to grow) because it was my first year trying them.

Potato / Potahto

The peas have been really trying, though their leaves seem to be browning badly on the bottom and I think it might be due to all the rain. I'd like to plant a bigger crop next year and hopefully get some sweet peas managed.

Peas please!

I have a dream, a dream to one day have a Sweet Pea Teepee in my garden, but it'll probably be at another house in a few years, down a more country road.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Laundry Day

Sparkly Laundry 

 It's the kind of day that makes drying clothes on the line take longer than expected.
But I swear line dried clothes smell fresher than anything out of the dryer.
And if you haven't noticed the USPS is putting out some really cool stamps this summer too.

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