Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Strawberry Pickin

 On Saturday I woke the girls a little early, made a stop at Dunkin Donuts, and headed over the bridge (James River Bridge) to go strawberry picking.  The girls love to pick strawberries and we are almost out of the last strawberry jam I made so there was a need. The girls and I have been looking forward to this since the season changed.  I have been calling the "Strawberry Hotline" since late April to find out when the fields would be open.  It was a little muddy and damp that morning due to recent storms but like they say " A little dirt (or mud) never hurt anyone!"

On Sunday morning I woke up and started busying myself preparing for the strawberry work ahead.   

 The first time I made strawberry jam the girls were about 4.  Kaitlyn tasted it and declared it will be the only jam she will eat.  She wasn't kidding either.  If she is presented with jam that I didn't make she is very reluctant to eat it.  Funny girl.  The jam process is not a hard process but it would be better with 2 people.  The girls are too young to stand at the stove stirring a pot of hot molten lava. In the future they will help but not yet.  They don't need to wear a Phineas and Ferb band-aid because of second degree burns like someone else I know. (ahem :/) After 2 batches of jam I ended up with 20 half-pint jars.  I also had enough strawberries to freeze 4 quart bags and fill two containers for eating.
Not too bad.  Sadly this will all disappear very quickly.  The girls and I can go through fruit like no body's business.  
So much deliciousness in one bowl.  Yum!  I think I will make a pie.  Probably this one.  Double Yum!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Surveying The Estate

After a very grumpy start to my morning, I came home from taking the girls to school and made myself breakfast and ate it al fresco.  I'm not really sure why it was such a grumpy morning but I apparently had my claws out when I woke up.  After breakfast and another cup of coffee I decided to "Survey the Estate".  My good friend once told me that if her dad a particularly long day at work he would come home and "Survey the Estate".  It makes me giggle every time I say it but I use it frequently.  When I here the word estate I think of all the Jane Austin books and movies I love.  I definitely do not live on an estate, I do have a rather large yard but my home is a typical 1970's rancher.  "Surveying the Estate" makes a simple walk around the yard sound so grand just like "mowing the lawn" is much more sophisticated than "cutting the grass" according to my dad. HA! Here is what I found as I "Surveyed the Estate" this morning.  (Warning: This is a picture heavy post).
Little tiny strawberries that the squirrels will probably enjoy before we do.
Hanging baskets on the deck.
Flowers that make me think of my Papaw.  He loved Dahlias.
Our frog prince in the middle of my abundant thyme.
Garden Bed #1
Garden Bed #2
Hydrangeas that have grown so much and will be full of beautiful flowers soon.
My Rhododendrons that finally, after 3 years, are blooming.  The plants look terrible but they are still going strong.

Lovely roses
Purple iris around a tree that is completely covered in poison ivy.
And last but not least a sea of "flowers" in the yard that always find their way into a glass on the kitchen window seal from two special little girls.

I hope you enjoyed your tour around my "estate".  It made me feel so much better.  I am now much less grumpy and armed with an apology and Popsicles for those two special little girls after school.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


This is what my dining room looks like right now.  I do not have a sewing/craft room (although I dream of one) so I have to set up in the dining room to do any sewing or crafts.  Thankfully with it just being the girls and I right now we don't mind eating around the coffee table.  I will have to clean things up in a few weeks before my husband comes home!  I have made progress on my W.I.P.S; the mermaids are all done, I started cutting squares out of the fabric that will make up the rest of that quilt, I am working on the dresses I cut out last year (very fussy pattern), one of the crochet blankets is coming along, and I worked in a cute top for the girls made with 2 bandannas. Its a variation on a pillowcase dress.

Super cute and super simple.  From start to finish it may have taken 20 minutes.  They are perfect dresses for little ones and then turn into a cute top as they grow.  Here is the link for it here. I think I will make one for my great-niece and maybe a few for the girls friends that are all getting ready to have birthdays.  
Off to work on something, have a great one!