26 September 2009

Garden 2009: part 4

So it turns out I'm not the worst gardener in the world. Apparently the vegetable varieties I planted this year were just late bloomers. The green beans finally blossomed, as did the yellow squash and one very large butternut squash is now growing on that vine.

It has been a delicious September with this late harvest and the unseasonably warm Oregon weather.

***Oh, and to all who asked, zucchini relish is a delicious condiment introduced to me by a lady in my ward last year. I found the recipe she uses and I used this year here. It's easy to make, a great way to use up all your zucchini, and is delicious on hot dogs and mixed into tuna.

24 September 2009

Handmade birthday

Yesterday my sweet little Owen turned four.

I really wanted to make a something special birthday gift to give him, inspired, as usual, by soulemama, whose little girl also turned four this month and received a handmade quilt from her mama. Since a quilt was a bit ambitious for my skills and the little time I had to sew, I settled for something quicker and smaller.

I actually give the credit for this idea to Jeff, who thought it up during an evening brainstorming session with me four nights before the actual birthday.

You see, our Owen is a lover of all things Thomas the Train, which, at first I hated, and now I love because during the past two years of his collecting, I have seen the genius in this wooden train set that began in 1945 as a series of stories written by Rev. Awdry for his grandson, Christopher.

Anyone familiar with Thomas will know that all the useful engines rest at night in a sort of roundhouse called Tidmouth Shed. Jeff's idea was to construct a version of Tidmouth shed in which Owen's engines could rest for the night.

Here is the plastic version that is for sale:

And here is my version:

The best thing about sewing this little project is that Owen helped me choose the fabric and then promptly forgot about it, which made the opening of the birthday gift that much more fun when he saw his fabric choice sewn into something which hopefully will turn out to be, as Sir Topham Hatt would say"very useful indeed."

18 September 2009

wah, wah, wah, wah, wah

To all those people who told me that third children are more calm, sleep through the night quicker, lay there and entertain themselves amidst the chaos of the household more than the first two did: thanks for the warning, but Henry didn't get the memo.

My first two children were pretty fussy. Especially Owen. One of the memories I have of him as a baby is a 2-year-old James yelling in his face, "STOP CRYING!!"and me not even reprimanding the yelling because I felt the same way. The poor kid cried all the time and we just learned to deal with it.

The other night I heard Jeff say to Henry in the middle of a major crying meltdown, "you sure aren't a very easy third baby", and I would have to agree. Luckily, we are 3-for-3 on fussy babies so we sort of know how to deal with it. It's exhausting, but we'll look back on it soon enough and realize what a short time it really was. And the smiles we get in between the crying are precious and sweet, so we can't really complain too much.

**the picture above is of Henry with his cousin, Bradley, only two weeks older, and thankfully for his parents, my brother and sis-in-law, NOT such a fussy baby.

10 September 2009

A new item

Last week a faithful customer asked me to make her a couple of lunch bags out of plain canvas with a velcro top. I added a piece of vinyl to the bottom inside to catch any spills and after they were done, I thought they would be a great addition to my shop.

And so, here is the official unveiling of a new permanent item to limabeanhome.

09 September 2009

Harvest Time

Harvest time has been good to us this year. Many people have been very generous in the sharing of their produce, and the free blackberries all over town and the neighbor's plum tree hanging over my fence in the backyard have kept me busy. Every year I want to do something with all the plums, and this year I have finally been able to turn them into fruit leather and prunes thanks to the dehydrator.

Next on the list is salsa, zucchini relish, peaches and applesauce. The canner will be tired by weeks's end.

Oh, and that's not my picture by the way. I found it and was just intrigued by what kind of weird junk these people are putting in their jars and canning.