Happy Memorial Day!

Here's a little flashback photo from last year...my two littles celebrating Memorial Day at the parade. Let us not forget the meaning of this holiday. Happy Memorial Day to you!


Coconut Peanut Butter Crunch Bars (No bake)

I usually use one ingredient for most everything I make, but this is only partially from scratch, as it contains Cheerios. I had generic cheerios for trial mix and happened to notice a recipe on the side of the box. Oh my. These are good. Except they are called Super Energy Balls on the box. That's a weird name, so we call them Coconut Peanutbutter Crunch Bars. Great snacks for on the run.  Here's the recipe!

Coconut Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

1 C peanut butter
2 T butter, melted
1/2 C honey (although I used a little less and they were still good!)
1/2 C. non fat dry milk powder
1/2 C. raisins
2 C. cheerios
1/2 c. flaked coconut

Mix peanutbutter, butter, honey, milk powder. Stir in raisins and cheerios. Form balls and roll in flaked coconut. Store in the fridge.

Happy Holiday Weekend!

May your holiday weekend include hugs from your loved ones. (Although not hugs that nearly suffocate you.)

And yes, this is the barn cat, "Zip" who hasn't left. Not sure why this cat keeps coming back for more of Audra.  Said barn cat is sleeping in our house as I type.  I hope this cat does stay this time around, as Audra is set on being his 'mama' and taking care of him forever. It's a role she takes quite seriously.


I was just noticing my littles as they were meandering around our yard the other day, so carefree. Well, one carefree and the other working on his project of the moment...

Anyway...there certainly has been a bit more stress than I would have liked in early home ownership of this property.  I tell you, everything has broke since moving in.  But, as I see them enjoying being outside and doing just what they do, I notice how comfortable they are when home, amongst the wide open fields and the menagerie of animals. They have no idea of the challenges, it's just us parents who have been well aware the past two years (Although all is under control now...for the moment at least!).  It just shows me that all the stress of home ownership of an 1880s homestead? Worth it.

Gardening 2015: Take 3

Here's the last two gardening posts of the year.
Gardening 2015: Take One
Take two.

Guess it's time for round 3. I'm hanging in there. Barely.  My body is sore and I've developed tendinitis. Not that you really need to know all that.  Point is, I've been working, working and working. And I feel like an old lady.

Good news? I ended up with oodles of seedlings. I wish I would have taken a pic right before they went in the ground. This one was nearly 3 weeks ago.

 This was last week. I tell you, enamel dippers, a bucket of water and oodles of plants? Kept them busy for a looong time.
I wish I took a pic before I planted, but here's the majority of them now:

 So far there's the following IN the garden. (More to come!)
Peas, parsnips, radishes, beans, red potatoes, white potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, 5 types of peppers, red onions, white onions, garlic, eggplant, 83 tomato plants, kale, collard greens.

 I have a bunch of seedlings started to go in still: zucchini, summer squash, cukes, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, sugar pumpkins, basil, thyme, sunflowers, parsley. PLus some other random seed packets, glads, dahlias and pole beans to put in. Plus we are adding more blueberries and 2 plum trees too. 
Speaking of fruit, we have blossoms on the fruit trees we added 1-2 yrs ago.

 Clearly, it's a place for bugs to get busy....

  I wanted to make a more inviting porch, so I give it a little love and attention. (Those are $6/piece thrifted rod iron chairs, thrifted naturally.) 

All in all, home sweet home is looking more summer like.  It will be mighty special when all is boasting with color and produce, we're looking forward to those days! 
 Now tell me, how are your gardens shaping up?


May 20th. It's the day that would have been my mother's birthday.

 It's a special day for us. We'll make a cake...I'm thinking this one...given she loved loved loved chocolate:

 and I'll tell my kids stories about her. How she was the most kind, loving, gentle mother ever. How she'd read piles of stories to us, I'd pick Bernstein bears and my brother would pick Dr. Seuss. How we were the champion 4-H club for oodles of years under her leadership. How she'd sing the watermelon song. How she'd talk to her mother on the rotary dial phone with the cord that stretched from the dining room to the kitchen. How she'd organize parties at the beach and invite dozens of friends. How my dad would give her money to buy something for herself and she'd come back with gifts for half the town. How she kept coupons from 1983. How she surprised us with hot crossed buns one day, right after I learned the lovely tune on the recorder. How she was always there for us, 24/7, her children her #1 priority.

It's been 19 years since I lost her, but there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her. My kids haven't met her, but they know all about her. 

Always around her birthday, the lilacs bloom. Even with this past winter that went on and on, the lilacs are right on schedule. At this farm, we're lucky to have an abundance. So, we decided this year to do what she'd do. We'll just give them away.

He made a sign, we filled the bucket and we waved to cars.

 Car after car stopped...many folks we caught to wish them a happy day. (Adrian's mad because I made him stop waving for a picture...he really loved doing this).  The bucket has just enough left for me to bring into work. I'm smiling because spreading the goodness reminds me of all the good I was given having such an amazing mom.  If you were lucky enough to know Debbie, feel free and spread the love with a little pay it forward today too.  


Lessons from Audra

I tell you, it's been such an amazing journey thus far parenting this little girl. I have learned so much from her already, even though she's only 2 1/2.

My son is 110% a miniature version of me. Work is his play and he goes-goes-goes during each moment of his awake time until he crashes. Then he wakes up and starts it all over again. Sound familiar?  He's a mini me in his personality, without doubt. 

Muss Audra is entirely different. She's so much of what I'm not and what I want to be. She goes at her own pace. She balances "work" and play. Sure, she loves doing projects, but she also changes course and just spends time snuggling with the cats or watching a bug.  She's always content with what she has. She never needs new things. A tiny scrap of paper and a random pencil make her just as happy as a new package. She'll gladly read the same book for weeks on end. She would peacefully wear the same three items of clothing until they were in tatters. She also cares for others first, animals or people. She'll stop what she's doing to brush a strand of hair out of my face, to hug a chicken or to feed the cats.  She also knows exactly what she wants and isn't afraid to ask for it. (Frequently that is being in the gray carrier, close to mama lately...nice to have those snuggles.) Sometimes she will just pace back and forth in the yard, singing and swinging her hands. She's carefree, lives in the moment and is always happy. She's so much of what I want to be.


 It's because of her we even veer to the swings.
 And when we do, we really enjoy the marvelous sunsets in the backyard.
 It's because of her that he tries things other than farming.

 It's because of her that we take a break to be silly.

 It's amazing that a little 2 1/2 year old has already taught me so much about the good things in life. She's also the very best example of how to really enjoy each day.  Everyone could use an Audra in their lives. It's one way to make the happy in your life even happier.


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