Sunday, August 31, 2008


Walking into My mother-in-laws kitchen... seeing the happy little jars of cherry and grape jelly... made from bush cherries and concord grapes from the farm, sitting on the counter...really brought back some memories......

Memories from my childhood, spent on my grandparent's farm in Texas.

I recall walking into the house and seeking out the jars of pear preserves and wild mustang grape jelly that my
grandmother so lovingly prepared for our consumption.

The time that we spent there in the presence of family on that beautiful piece of land were absolutely magical. It was such a place of solace for us all.

I remember putting tiny paper parasols (like the ones that you put in cocktails) and sitting the bench swing with my grandmother waiting for the fairies to come enjoy them.

I remember sitting on the white picket fence with my sister and cousin counting the sun down.

I remember summers spent there with my mother and sister.

I remember mama chasing cows out of the front yard yelling and brandishing the American flag.

I remember rides in my grandfather's old army jeep, and countless hours spent driving the four-wheeler around the property.

I remember the smell and feeling of the old farm house.

I remember passing the days crafting pies of mud and china berries.

I remember following my uncle around as he did chores.

I remember Thanksgivings, Christmas, New Years, Easters, and Fourth of Julys where we all assembled there....

As my grandparents grew older it became harder to keep the farm up, and they had to let it go. I know that it left a space in the hearts of my family that can never be replaced, but my memory of those glorious days is long.

I think that is what drew me back to the country after living in the city for most of my life. I know that her experience will be different, but I want my daughter to experience some of the same things that I loved so much.

Well until next time...Thanks for reading...I have to go and call my Grandmother and get those recipes. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Yesterday was yet another busy day in the shipping department at the Hollow Earth Swordworks. The Faire season is in full swing and the guys in the shop are cranking out the swords.

In the effort to keep Violet, and the two day a week addition of Sam, busy while crafting the sword boxes, we have been doing lots of projects.

We decided to expand the cardboard fort, and shore it up with some packing tape. Then we got out our paints and they went to town painting it up. I love these paints. They are cake tempera and are applied much like watercolors. Worried about the paint staining their clothes I let them paint in their undies. I was glad because they got the paint all over them. FUN!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I have been trying to do preschool lessons with Violet a few times a week, in addition to the daily spontaneous learning. (ie: "Look at the dark clouds, what do they mean?" or "If you have two animal crackers and I give you two more, how many do you have?)

Yesterday while I was furiously making boxes, Violet worked on a project. It turned out rather cute.

We have been taking some our favorite books and elaborating on them by adding our own pages. This time we used Brown Bear, Brown Bear. What do you see? I fastened some pages together and Violet "wrote and illustrated" her own version.

She used some examples already given in the book. She also added some of her own such as an "orange octopus", and a orange upside-down dog"

For some reason blogger is turning the photos on end and I can not figure out how to fix it...sorry

I have found several resources on-line that have been helpful. Amanda Soule, the author of one of my new favorite books, The Creative Family, has a blog that I read often. She home schools her children and I find her ideas very inspiring.

Later that afternoon...Violet used some of my scraps while I was making boxes and put together a fort. Pretty cute!


Violet's first ballet lesson was yesterday. She had a great time. It was one of the first things she talked about when she woke up this morning. It was a real milestone, she had really never been left with a complete stranger before. I was very proud of her as she walked right into the class with complete confidence. I think I will enjoy the guarantee of 40 minutes all to myself once a week. It also doesn't hurt that one of my favorite crafty shops, Ritsy Rags is right down the street from the ballet studio. The perfect place to spend my free time. :) Wahoo!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Birthday Catchup

Last week was Kalin's birthday. This year he decided to take us to one of his favorite catfishing spots. The fish were not biting, but we all had a good time.

I brought a book, my journal and some crosswords to work on. Violet joined me in some scribing and drew a wonderful picture documenting our fishing adventure.

Before departing for the river, his mama made some delicious muffalattas in the true New Orleans style. I put together my quick herbed pasta salad and some lemongrass tea (from my herb bed). Yummy.

Then Violet helped me assemble the Victoria sponge birthday cake. This is one of my favorite recipes. It makes a great birthday cake, and is very versitle depending on what you have on hand. It is so pretty too. I got it out of my Domestic Goddess Cookbook, and will post the recipe
in a later post.

Monday, August 18, 2008


As Violet and I were walking through the woods today I noted some familiar signs that fall is right around the corner. The temperature was cooler and the sound of acorns dropping could be heard all over.

It has sent me in search a new knitting project. I think I might try my hands at a baby hat for my friend who is expecting.

Later at the garden, we harvested three pumpkins. I tried a new variety this year called spirit pumpkins. They are a semi-bush, so they do vine but they didn't go crazy all over the place. A great choice if you have limited space, and produce really pretty pumpkins. Exciting!!!!

Also, our tomatoes are doing great and my herb beds are rocking.

Have a great day!!!!