Random Bits Of Me

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Spinning Around

Took some time out to play with my spinning wheel.
 Such a nice break from all the gardening.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Freezing Beans and Kale

This is my first year for growing kale.
Although the rest of my garden isn't doing all that well, the kale and beans seem to be thriving.
Freezing Beans
To freeze the beans I snipped off the stem ends while checking for ugly spots and debris, then rinsed them in cool water.
After blanching them in boiling water for 3 minutes I rinsed them again in cold water until cool.
It's best to plunge them into a bowl of ice water, but my ice maker just can't keep up and the cold water  rinse works to stop the cooking process too.
Next I put them into plastic storage bags, label them and into the freezer they go.

Freezing Kale
The leaves first need to be separated from the stems as they tend to be bitter.
The easiest way to do this is to fold each leaf in half  and tear them from the bottom up.
Then I rinse them and soak them in cool water with a few tablespoons of vinegar for about 20 minutes just in case I missed any tiny bugs while rinsing.
Next I blanch them in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then rinse them in cold water or plunge into a bowl of ice water.
After they are cool I used my salad spinner to remove as much water as possible before putting into plastic storage bags and into the freezer.
It's nice to have vegetables that I've grown myself, without chemicals, all packed away for future use.


Friday, July 25, 2014

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Some clean white curtains and some transplanting = a breath of fresh air in the kitchen.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tuesday's Treasure Hunt

This week I was invited to go along on a treasure hunt with Diane.
We headed out to Johnstown, PA for a day long adventure at the thrift stores there.
Diane was lucky enough to find a ton of vintage clothing for her Etsy shop at www.dianethehuntress.etsy.com and I was super duper lucky to find this amazing brass lamp.
Now to find the perfect shade for this beauty...
My other lucky find were these sweet prints.
Diane gifted me this adorable little doll.
I believe he is very old as he is faded and stained
 and also because of all the hand stitching.
Such a sweet little shoe.
Thank you Diane!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014


The VISITOR seems to be a permanent resident at my "House of Misfit Pets".
I named him Louie then my daughter informed me that she thinks Louie is a girl duck.
Every morning I walk out onto the deck and take a look around the property to make sure Louie is still here.
There are so many predators around and I fear that a hawk or the fox may end up with my Louie.
Do I fence her in and keep her safe or do I let her have her freedom which I know will not end well?
When the geese fly off she'll be all alone because she can't fly. The plan is to set up the big dog kennel and add a roof to keep her safe.
I'm working on finding a friend for Louie to keep her company.
She's the sweetest duck ever!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Tuesday Treasure Hunt

I love it when our girls come for a visit and I have some time to go treasure hunting with them.
Tuesday Janice and I grabbed our favorite tunes and our bottled water and set out on an adventure.
A trip to Fryburg, PA to visit the antique shop there was our first stop.
I couldn't pass up this pretty umbrella. I have 2 others, but they are made of paper.
This one is silk.
 Love this little vessel made in occupied Japan.
I believe it is chalk ware.
 This sweet doll has glass eyes. 
The thrift stores we visited were a complete waste of time.
Not a treasure to be had, but that's okay.
After all part of the fun is in the search. If it were easy to find just the thing you're looking for, it wouldn't mean as much. These 3 special treasures will always remind me of great day spent with Janice.

We ate lunch at a diner that had more decorative chickens displayed than you could count. I wish I'd have gotten pictures of all those chickens. It was a little crazy. Aside from the over abundance of chicken decor, the food was home cooking at it's best.

On the long drive home we stopped at a Dairy Queen that was rather frightening.
The landscaping hadn't been tended to in years and everything was all grown over.
The people and the feel of the place was just too creepy.
I was waiting for a zombie to come walking out from behind the counter.

Anyway, it was an interesting day filled with the little things that make good memories.
Good company, good food, good music.
Good Day

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sleepless Night

Over the weekend I dyed a few batches of wool for spinning.
The sun was hot and it dried in no time.
All ready to be spun into yarn.
 Was awake most of the night, so I used the time to do a little spinning.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hiding In The Gardens

This morning it is sweltering outside already, so it will be a day indoors for me.
I've been enduring the heat and humidity for weeks as I've been outdoors planting and tending the gardens, but it is beginning to make me tired and things are getting quite messy inside.
In the evenings when I can't garden any more I've been doodling. It's something I use to do a lot, but haven't in a while.
Most of my doodles resemble plants I guess. I must have gardens on my mind ; )

Then there are the trees……….
Love this Twisted Baby!

 We've planted 10 trees in the past few days.
There are willows and twisty curvy ones and weepy ones too.
I hope I'm around long enough to see them reach maturity.
These pink leaves are just gorge.
We planted 3 of these.

 The herbs are doing well.
These ones are in the center of the vegetable garden.
The ones around the tub I planted last week and they are taking off already.

My sweet husband came home with this beautiful arbor last week.
I am planning to plant wisteria along the sides.

We will have fresh lettuce from the garden tonight.

And flowers on the table.
I think I will leave the chamomile right where it is beside the daisies.
I just can't stand the thought of cutting it. 

 The rock garden has some interesting plants as well.
Soft short creeping ones 
 and tall sharp ones.
 This popped up out of nowhere and I don't know what it is.
A weed maybe or a remnant of some sort of grass that I planted last year that didn't make it through the winter except for this one lonely sprout?

The mulch is growing it's own interesting fungi from all the rain we've had I suppose.
I'm amazed at how this stuff just shows up over night.

It's been a busy Spring and Summer here so far.
I'm planning to take an evening to visit some of my favorite blogs to see what everyone else has been up to.
As always, thanks for stopping by!!!

karen ann