Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Bartering Agreement

I had a wonderful time yesterday evening. Just when things were getting quiet and for all intents and purposes I thought my day was coming to a close, I got a desperate phone call from a friend. She and her husband keep a huge garden. For the past two weeks their produce has been coming in left and right. She told me that her living room was literally covered in cases, totes and coolers full of corn and would I please come and get some because it was all just too much for them to keep even with their large family. So of course I said yes!

Once I got there it was obvious that she was not exagerating one bit. Corn was everywhere and where there was not corn, there were tomatoes and cucumbers. After talking with her a bit she told me that she really was at her wit's end because she simply did not know where she was going to put all this corn. Their freezers were packed to the top already. We talked about canning it all but she does work full time and most of the time overtime as well. So her time is very limited. Although she enjoys canning it is just not going to fit into her schedule this summer.

I have two deep freezers and at this time only one is being used on a regular basis. I have one in our out building that is over half empty so I offered to take her overflow into my freezer and she could come and take stock out of it as her other freezers become available. So we worked out a bartering agreement. We had already made the trade that when my chickens start laying I will give them eggs and they will keep us in winter squash and some other produce. But now, I'll give them eggs and keep one of my freezers running for them to use and they will keep my family in all the produce we want.

Once we worked that out she said that it was going to have to be done soon because all of the corn really did need to go ahead and be taken care of. So right then and there and 9:30 last night, we donned aprons and headed to the kitchen to wash and bag corn. We finished around 11:30 and had 30 gallon sized freezer bags full of corn to show for our efforts. Not only that, but we kept back all the little bits that fell off here and there and collected all the ears that were not in the best shape and I was given it all for my chickens and rabbits. I got almost 3 store sacks full for my animals. And a large sack full of Better Boy and Roma tomatoes and several cucumbers as well. Then we loaded up all the corn and brought it over to our building and put it in the freezer. A very long evening but a very productive one as well! ~~~~~

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I will be busy as my daughter is having a friend over to spend the night tonight so I need to get all my household chores done and make some snacks for them. Sunday will be filled with church activities. So I probably won't be back to this blog until next week. May God bless you as you tend to the quiet pleasures of your home! ~~

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Completed swap item & a stitching tip

I am still working on the bookmark that I am cross stitching on for my swap partner but I thought I would share a picture of the completed design on the kitchen towel. I have a cross stitch pattern book that is filled with patterns of children and ladies in Victorian and other types of old fashioned clothing. This little boy is at the water's edge with his net. I can just imagine him trying to catch minnows.

I have little stitching tip I want to share with you if you cross stitch or do embroidery. Most ladies who enjoy these things are proud of their finished product but are less than thrilled to show off the back side of their work. I'm 35 now and I've been stitching since I was 9 years old, so I am confident in my ability to cross stitch. But I will admit to having a moment of chagrin when someone looks at the back of my work. I am very careful with the back and keep everything neat and tight with nary a stray thread hanging loose, but I still prefer the front to be looked at as opposed to the back. That is, after all, why a stitcher spends the time they do to make a finished piece.

I have solved the problem while at the same time making my finished projects more durable and sturdy. The solution? Fusible webbing. I simply cut a piece that corresponds to the size of my project and iron it on the back when I am finished stitching. The finished piece will have to be ironed anyway, so this only adds one small step. Here is the back of the above towel with the fusible webbing attached:

Every time I have given a gift of something cross stitched to someone with the back finished in this way, they have really liked the idea. Not only does it cover your work but it keeps every stitch very securely in place and gives the item a nice finished look. This works on large kits, kitchen or tea towels, bread clothes, bookmarks, the sky is the limit.

Happy stitching & may God bless you as you attend to the quiet pleasures of your home!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Let's catch up

It has been so long since I posted to this blog. I do hope to post more often. It seems that it is much easier to find other like minded ladies online than it is in real life. Although, I do have to say that I am blessed in have a small handful of "real life" friends who understand all things homemaking. But even with that, it seems I have a much more old fashioned leaning in me than they do. So, I'm hoping that I can use this blog to "meet" other ladies who feel a longing for quaint, old fashioned ways and who will not look at me like I have two heads because of the things I like.

Let's see, to catch up ~~

* I don't think I posted about this yet, but I am finally living one of my long time dreams. Don't laugh...but I have longed for a flock of chickens to care for, for literally years. But it just was not possible in our former neighborhood. We have now lived in our cottage for a little over a year. This summer, we decided to take the plunge! I am the proud owner (momma) to 9 chickens. Three are full blooded Rhode Island Reds and the other six are New Hampshire Reds. I *love* my ladies! We got them when they were barely a week old and they are now about 17 weeks old. We do not yet have a rooster for our girls, but one is supposed to be coming our way in the next few weeks. I simply could not be happier. They are pretty easy to care for, have gentle (for the most part) personalities, and some time around the last week in August we should start receiving our first eggs from them. I can't wait!

* When we got the chickens we also got two rabbits. They are very sweet animals. I never knew how sweet they were. They live outside in a rabbit hutch next to the chicken run and coop. My mornings are more full now with a full round of animal chores outside, but I don't really mind. I'm very glad that this is one goal that has been reached.

* In a few of my previous posts, I alluded to some health issues my daughter (age 13) has. She still has them and right now we are going through a time of many visits to different specialists. Last week we had our first visit with the rheumatologist. I prayed so much over this visit because I really needed this doctor to listen and have a heart turned with favor towards my daughter instead of treating us like a number and shuffling us out of her office. Well, I have to say those prayers were answered. This doctor spent two solid hours with us and really listened. She put my daughter on a new medication to help manage her pain *and* was upset to see that the cardiologist we had seen a few weeks prior had....treated us like a number and shoo'd us out of his office. Since she is a colleague of his, she spoke with him and has arranged further testing through his office for which I am so grateful! We have a long road ahead of us, but I feel like there is now someone else pulling for my daughter other just myself and my husband.

* Starting next week I am going to be participating in an "Inductive Bible Study" online. I've never done a study as in depth as this one promises to be and I'm excited! I don't think my study materials will be delivered by Monday when the study starts but I'm sure they will be soon afterwards. I'll have to play a bit of catch up during the first week but I don't mind. It is a 37 week study and it proves to be very interesting.

Well, that is all for now. Tis getting late and I need to be abed. May God bless you as you take care of the quite pleasures of your home!