Saturday, September 20, 2008


So it has been a while since my last post so I will catch you up....

Last Sunday (sept 21) was our fifth wedding anniversary. Kalin and I went away for the weekend to one of our favorite spots, Bull Shoals Lake. It has a lot of good memories for us. We travel there every year to celebrate our marriage, and we have so many good memories there. We started this tradition for our honeymoon on a houseboat. This was pure bliss. Since then we have found this quaint little place, the Pine Lodge,

which we find comforting and accommodating. Bella Cuchina, a great little Italian restaurant is just a few miles away in Mountain Home, and has also become part of this tradition.

Kalin surprised me with a beautiful opal ring. He did it all on my own. I was impressed.

We just relaxed, ate good food, watched movies and did a little fishing down at Norfolk. It was a wonderful weekend

Lets see what else....

There's none so snug, as hole thats been dug, or a home in the side of a hill. So tuck in so neat, your furry little feet, and shh its time to be still.
a hobbits lullaby

September 22 is Bilbo and Frodo's birthday (from the Lord of the Rings) and in my husbands family it is a yearly holiday. Violet's cousins came over...we went barefoot all day, and did hobittish things. This includes eating at least six meals (as all good hobbits do)...breakfast, elevensies, lunch, tea, dinner, and supper. We made seed cakes, I read them passages from the hobbit. The kids drew pictures of hobbit holes, which came out really cute. Funny how each child remembered something different from the passages. The the kids played hobbit like games by throwing stones and acorns at targets. Sheryl gifted them with mathoms. (gifts given at events...hobbits use any excuse to give a gift)

A fine life is a happy wife and six good meals a day. The brew is old the pipe weed bold, what more is there to say
traditional hobbit toasting verse for weddings

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Friday Night we took Violet to the Stone County Fair in Mountain View and had a bang up time.
First, on the list was the livestock barn where we checked out the prize winning animals.

There was a very photogenic pig that my sister would have adored,

and this massive thing named Harry Porker.

Kalin took a shine this sheep.

Then it was on to the rides. We gave Violet 5 tickets and let her pick the ones she wanted to go on.

Her first pick was the gigantic slide. I helped her climb the incredibly tall stair case and was proud as she went barrelling down the slide. She is definitely a dare devil...but thankfully not so much as to let her daddy convince her that she and mama needed to ride the Ferris wheel. That is definitely not my bag baby.

She also picked the carousel. Which was always one of my personal favorites. I had to volunteer to stand next to her while she rode on one of the horses...for old times sake. It was a bit more rickety than I remember it being, but still lots of fun. She tried to go on this other fun house sort of thing but chickened out when it required walking through a dark tunnel. Can't say that I blame her.

The big spinny bear ride was a big hit.

I can't tell you how much joy it brought us being able to take her and experience this new thing with her. We had taken her a few years before but she was too young to remember. It was also satisfying to expose her to our little community, which is very important to me. This area is rich with a culture that she should in some way be a part of.


This past Saturday I spent the entire day with helping my friend Arlone with the annual Off the Beaten Path Artist Studio Tour. It is a self guided tour that offers a look into each artists studio and allows them to showcase their work from their home. I jumped at the chance to spend the day at Steve and Arlone's home and help her with customers.

A very talented weaver, her pieces are created using hemp twine, recycled cotton garments and wool sweaters.

She was kind enough to give me a crash course on my floor loom in between customers.

She asked me to bring some of the wool that I had processed so that we could experiment with some of the natural dyes that she uses.

We started by soaking the uncarded wool in cool water.

In another pot we mixed 1/4 cup of alum with 2 gallons of cool water. After the wool was saturated we added the wool to the alum mix which would act as a mordant. We then put this pot out on her wood stove and brought that to a simmer. This simmered for quite a bit...round about an hour. Arlone said it was best to let this sit over night and then either let the wool dry and do it later, or go on to the actual dye bath step. We did not get this far with my wool which she kept, and will dye with orange cosmos flower.

She did however have a weld dye bath going in the house, so I was able to see this process. Weld is a medieval dye plant that produces a beautiful earthy lemon yellow color. I am not sure of the exact recipe for this process but I will write it in a later post.

Arlone has a dye garden with indigo, weld, woad and cosmos. I am totally inspired to make one next year.

She is such a neat person. This was food for the soul. I can't wait to continue with my rug and dye some fiber!!!!

.....coasters made from recycled sweaters

.....These bags come in three sizes and are perfect for peas or cherries that you don't want rolling around in your market bags. This produce is from their garden.

.....I couldn't resist these pin cushions, I treated myself with one for my felting needles...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pumpkin Mania

Today we turned this
into this

The spirit pumpkins that I grew from seed needed to be processed. It was a lot of fun and satisfying work.

Violet and her little friend Sam helped me scoop out the insides.

I then chopped them into chunks, steamed them...

...and pureed them in the food processor. I added the puree back to the pot and cooked it down a bit.

Then I packaged them into ziplock bags and put them in the freezer.

I see a pumpkin pie or Mama's pumpkin bread in the immediate future, but in the meantime, we made this:

I made a thick sauce using tomatoes, beans, rosemary, oregano and sage from the garden. I also added ground venison from a deer Kalin harvested and some of the juice from the pumpkin puree. Then I stuffed it into half of a pumpkin and baked it at 350 for ever (it just seemed like that , it took 2 hours for the pumpkin shell to be tender enough to eat). I served it with locally grown basmati rice and sesame french bread. I forgot to take a picture of it in its whole state. It took so long to bake that we cut it as soon as it came out of the oven, as everyone was starving by that point. It was a most delicious meal. Violet had fun snapping the purple bush beans and making her contribution, brownies, for the meal.

While I was making dinner Violet and Sam practised their writing their "p"s and drew pictures of pumpkins growing on the vine. Violet asked me to show her how to spell the word pumpkin. I thought that she did a really good job with it.

All in all it was a wonderful day. It felt good to really slow down a bit and do some homey things. It was also a reminder that fall is approaching. Wahoo!!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


What is a mama to do when her little picky eater will not consume a single vegetable? Well, in my case, lovingly hide veggie purees in everything. This morning I adapted a recipe out of my Deceptively Delicious cookbook to contain some of the things I had on hand. I love this book!! They were really tasty if I do say so myself. They turned out orange because of the carrot puree, so I deemed them "sunshine pancakes." Violet dug the name and devoured the pancakes. What luck!! Here is the recipe:

1 c. flour
1/2 tsp bk soda
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamon

1 egg
1/4 c carrot puree
2 tbsp melted smart balance
1tsp vanilla
3/4 -1 c water
1/2 c. light sour cream

1/4 c grated apple

Mix dry ingredients. In another bowl mix wet ingredients. Add the wet, adn greated apple to the dry. Stir until just mixed. Batter will be a little lumpy. Add more water if needed. Bake on griddle just as you would any other pancake recipe. Drizzle with honey or molasses. Eat and Enjoy!!!!

We topped our sunshine pancakes with a little Ozark Mountain sorghum molasses, made locally in Mountain View. Yum!!!

While I was making the pancakes Violet was making this.