Monthly Archives: July 2010

Company Girl Coffee ~ 7.30.10

Hello!  Pull up a seat and get a cup of something good… it’s Friday again.  I am drinking tea, as that is most soothing on this crazy sore throat that popped up in the last day.

Last weekend proved to be a nice slow one, yet a lot got accomplished. This weekend will be a bit busier.  I had hoped to take Grace shopping tonite to the big towns a little over an hour away.  I need to hit Sam’s and Target.  She wants to go to Plato’s Closet and Aero.  Then half-way home we hit a Wal*mart if we still need any groceries.  Leaving at 4:00 (when my dh graciously takes over daycare for me…) we would hope to be home by 11:30.

And then there are some picking opportunities at our CSA farm tomorrow.  Green beans and pickling cukes.  Dan would like to be on the road by 6:30 so we could get there between 7 & 7:30.  That sounds good to me as we’d be home by 11:00 at the latest that way.

So the real dilemma is this dumb sore throat!  Do I stay home and go to bed early tonight so I’m fresh in the morning?  Or push through the trip tonight and early morning tomorrow, then nap tomorrow afternoon before processing the new veggies?  I think I’ll try to lay down at nap time and rest a little while big kids watch a movie, then see how I feel.

Other than my little trips, I hope to check off more of my list of summer projects around the house.  And nap.

What is going on this weekend in your neck of the woods?  Do you have big plans for the weekend? Or is it a slower pace for you now?

To check in with more Company Girls, head over to Home Sanctuary…I hear the coffee is hot and the company is good!

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Somethings Got To Give

Or the one where I talk about what a crummy friend I am lately….

When my kids were smaller, I dreamed of the day I could leave them home to go out for a quick meal with my husband or a quick trip to the store.  Oh how wonderful it would be to see them grow up and make their own snack!  The free time I would have!

Well, those things are nice!  Don’t get me wrong…I enjoy a nice Saturday lunch out with my husband about once a month.  We go shopping in a neighboring town without them sometimes.  It is good!

What I didn’t expect was the other stuff.  Kids (namely my daughter, the new teenager) staying up later.  Talking through a whole other world of issues with them.  Relationship issues.  Both about friends and boys.  And the injustices in the world, like teachers who don’t think you’re talking is adorable or kids who went to the lake and forgot to invite you…  terrible things.

I am adjusting to this new rhythm. very. slowly.  But since I see some progress, I am hopeful.

Then there is the garden.  Oh the veggies.  So many of them.  And as I clean, chop and freeze or can these beautiful veggies I dream of winter when I can enjoy it all.  Think of the free time I will have!  Wait.  Haven’t I heard that somewhere before???

Anyway.

I am also trying to fit in more quality time with my husband.  Unfortunately some of this takes the form of picking, cleaning and chopping vegetables.  He’s been so good about helping.

Work is busy.  And that is good, but the days are long.

So what has been pushed to the side?  My friends and family.  I have ignored texts.  I’ve let the phone ring.  I’ve actually sent a few emails to let people know that we are good…just really busy.  And I actually said “don’t give up on me!  I’ll be in touch soon!”  Except I don’t know if I will be in touch soon.  Summer is a little over half over & I don’t see anything letting up.

I love these people.  I don’t want to push them off to some other day in my planner where it actually says “call mom.” But I also don’t want to miss what’s gong on in my house because I was on the phone.

I think I made a breakthrough though.  My friend called this week & I almost told Grace to tell her I couldn’t come to the phone.  I had just sat down for the first time that day (and it was almost 8:30 pm) and didn’t really have the energy to talk.  I started by telling her I only had 5 minutes.  But that 5 turned into the 20 she said that she had.  I’m glad that I talked to her.  We mostly talked about nothing.  Ants.  That was a big part of our conversation.  Because good friends talk about big stuff like that…

And the next morning I called my mom.

I don’t know what the next opportunity will bring.  But I do want to go back to being a better friend.  Slowly I am adjusting to this new season.  I figure my true friends will stick it out until I get back to them, right?  And about that time they will enter the world of teens and I’ll get to wait it out while they adjust, I imagine.

It seems that even when life is good, somethings got to give.  Must mean life is just FULL!

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Company Girl Coffee ~ 7.23.10

Where I hope to spend some time this weekend!

Life is good & busy lately.  I haven’t done “coffee” in a while but have missed it.

This week both my kids were at camp so my hubby and I had a lot of time together.  We ate out THREE times!  Mostly I think it’s just nice to have a little quiet time.  I missed them though, and will be glad to see them in a few hours.

As you can see if you look at recent posts, I am up to my waist in produce.  I hope to can some pickled beans today.  I dried some basil and oregano yesterday.

I also got out my sewing machine and finished the curtain panels for Grace’s room while she was gone. Even got Stanley’s backpack mended.

There isn’t a lot on the schedule for this weekend so I hope to keep tackling little jobs around the house, with plenty of time left for kickin’ back and enjoying the nice summer weather.

Life is busy.  And good.

How ’bout you?  What are you planning for the weekend?

For more company girl coffee time check out these other links over at Home Sanctuary.

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CSA Catch-Up: Weeks 7 & 8

We are getting out of the lettuce/salad greens and into more cucumbers, zucchini, onions…less leafy stuff.

Week 7 brought the first summer squash.  And the first tomatoes.  Just two but they were sooo good!  I almost never buy tomatoes in the store so fresh ones in the summer are really about the only tomatoes we eat raw.

CSA Week 7 ~ 7.14.10

So you see another sack of potatoes, peas, kale, cukes, zucchini, summer squash, onions, and cabbage.  How’s that for variety?

Here’s what I want to know: How do you use these vegetables? Especially the cabbage.  I make cole slaw but that is about it.  I know I could be doing more…

CSA Week 8 ~ 7.21.10

You can see that this week looks a lot like last, with the exception of the green beans!  And no cabbage.

I still have the yellow squash and cabbage from week 7.  I gave 2 zucchini away along with some green beans.  We have a lot of green beans growing in our backyard gardens too, so I have LOTS of those right now.

The cucumbers and onions are already in a batch of refrigerator pickles and the peas will go in a turkey pot pie today.

What do you have growing? How are you using it?

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Filed under Gardening, In the Kitchen

So Many Vegetables!

Obviously the CSA has provided lots of great fresh veggies, but we are also seeing produce from our backyard square foot gardens as well as the kids’ summer garden club.

I try hard to use it all up or preserve it for winter.  And then I try hard to be gentle with myself for the things I do throw out because I just didn’t get to them.  It is safe to say that vegetables have been taking up a fair amount of my time.

A few weeks ago I had an overload of spinach.  I thought I’d try freezing some for a lasagna or something later this year.  What did I learn?  That it takes a LOT of spinach to make one little package of blanched/frozen spinach!  This is some of what I started with:

Spinach from the backyard.

There was a huge abundance of lettuce so we ate salads at least once a day. We also ate a lot of radishes.

Recently Grace brought me 4 BIG kohlrabi from her garden.  Along with the kohlrabi from the CSA, I was sure we’d never eat it all raw.  It is really good with Ranch dip or a taco dip.  So I cubed, blanched and froze several packages of that…18 cups total!  I plan to use it for part of the potatoes in my potato soup recipe and in vegetable soups and stews.

18 cups of kohlrabi

And then, of course, there was the pea pick.  I got 6 packages of peas and a dozen packages of sugar snap peas.  I flash froze the sugar snap peas before putting them in bags.  I plan to use them in stir-fries and read that if you take them out and add to salads still frozen they are good, so we’ll try that.

18 cups of peas

I can only imagine what else I’ll put in the freezer this year!  I picked a large bowl of green beans already.  I have to get out my pickled bean recipe.  Yumm!  Does anyone have any other good ideas for green beans?

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Filed under Gardening, In the Kitchen, Using It Up

New Birdbath

All the dark stuff is rhubarb leaf that still needed cleaned off.

For being such a small town, there are a lot of things offered.  There is a local plant place/greenhouse that offers weekly classes on Wednesdays.  Many are free and some have small fees.

A month ago I went to a free class on herbs.  It talked about uses for, growing and storing herbs.  I learned some things and picked up some new resources for info on herbs.

Then two weeks ago I attended the most popular class they offer: Birdbaths!  It is offered three times each summer and the class fills up each time.  We made our birdbaths from rhubarb leaves! It was fun…smoothing things out and putting on the cement to dry.  For five days the ladies at the greenhouse slowly dry the cement creations.  Apparently they are stronger if they dry slowly so they spritz them with water every day to slow the drying.

When I picked mine up on the following Monday, it still had a good bit of the leaf attached.  I was told that using a toothpick to clean out the crevices would help.  So I worked on it a couple of days when I had kids outside playing, then we got a big thunderstorm and the pounding rain cleaned it further.  Over time, they say the edges will smooth out too.

While they call it a birdbath, it is said to attract butterflies because it is low and not too deep.  I can’t wait to see how much action there is here. My main birdbath gets used multiple times a day by the neighborhood birdies.  We have a butterfly garden too, so there are lots of butterflies around too.

Filled with water afer a rain.

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CSA Picking Events: Peas

Along with our CSA membership (full-share) we get to attend 7 picking events.  The choices include peas (unlimited), cucumbers (1 bushel), herbs, green beans (unlimited), beets, sweet corn (10 dozen ear), pumpkins (8), fall produce (50# mesh bag to fill with squash, potatoes, onions, etc), fall decoratives, and tomatoes.  I don’t think we’ll do beets.  I know we’ll do peas, green beans, cukes, tomatoes & fall produce.  The rest is up in the air yet.

Anyway, back to the pea pick!  It was scheduled for July 10th.  Our CSA farm is abut 40 minutes from our house so we had hoped to leave early and pick before we got too hot.  Unfortunately we didn’t make it out very early but we were picking by 10:30.  There were three kinds of peas to choose from: shelling, snow & sugar snap.  We picked 6 (ice cream) buckets of shelling peas & 2 of sugar snap.

Grace and I started in on picking the shelling peas while the boys picked sugar snap.  My hubby said it was like picking next to a rabbit.  Stanley ate & ate those peas!  He told me he ate 150!  I don’t think it was really that much, but he barely ate all his lunch.  At least he was filled up on good food, right?

After picking, we found a little canoe access on a nearby river and had our picnic lunch we’d packed along.  PB&J, raw kohlrabi with ranch dip, cheese sticks & fresh peas (of course).  Stanley practiced skipping rocks, while Grace tried to get a lesson in rock-skipping from her dad.  He’s our family pro.  It was a nice stop along the way to the nearest larger town to do some shopping.

Once home we all sat on the deck and spent the next hour and a half shelling peas.  That was actually fun too.

It was an all around nice day spent together.

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Filed under Adventure, Family, Frugal Fun, Gardening