Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween, taking the easy road...

I had a couple ideas for Halloween costumes this year but I had zero motivation to sew costumes. So, I went the easy route.
Ainsley wore a dress she had been given for her birthday, she was perfectly happy since all she wanted to be was a princess. Wythe dressed up as a knight with a pirate sword.

When one waits until the last minute to assemble a costume one cannot be choosy as to which swords the Dollar Tree has.

They were happy and had fun trick-or-treating with their friends so all is well.

'til next time...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My baby is three years old...

It is hard to believe that my daughter is three years old. This means she is no longer a baby, no longer a toddler. It means I have serious baby fever. My husband is completely unsympathetic, he has no one to blame but himself should I get more baby animals to appease the longing.

But I digress, the fact is I now have two children that are preschool age. Gulp.

I have been wanting to downscale birthday parties but have struggled to find a way to do this.  While the children are young they have enjoyed playing with lots of other children but haven't really had special friends, no "best" friends yet, that makes it difficult to cull the guest list. This year I wanted to invite all the children from the playgroup but keep the party low key so we decided on a park party.  I provided a simple lunch of pbj's, egg salad sandwiches, fruit and cupcakes and the kids got to play at the park. The weather was damp, it was chilly and misty during the party then right after everyone left the sun came out for a beautiful day.  Figures. But my daughter enjoyed the day so I call that a successful party.
Ainsley at her "park party"

The next day we had another little party for the family.  She requested a pink cake, so I made a pink cake and let her decorate it. 

She had so much fun decorating the cake and it was a good lesson to me.  I tend to make things more complicated than they should be.  My idea of a good birthday party would be to pick a theme, have lots of decorations, make a fancy cake, etc., etc.  Yet, I don't think I could have made her a cake that she would have enjoyed more than this one.  Even though my brain was screaming at me to "fix" the decorations and space them evenly around the cake I kept my twitchy hands to myself.

This was her birthday after all and it certainly appears that she was enjoying herself!

Happy birthday to my sweet girl, you bring smiles to our hearts and laughter to our home!

'til next time...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pineapple sage

I have been growing pineapple sage for a few years. It grows almost like a weed and it is fairly easy to divide and transplant. The plant grows tall, over 5 feet tall and has more leaves than I will ever be able to use! The leaves look similar to sage, they have that downy look that regular sage has. But the sage fragrance is so faint as to be almost non-existent. What you do smell is a lovely, tropical pineapple scent.

There are many uses for the leaves and I haven't even begun to make use of all of them.  A few things I have tried are using the leaves as garnish in drinks, iced tea is a favorite. Chopped up and added to salads is nice too. Or course you can add the leaves to fruit salads but it also works well in a lettuce salad when using a lemon vinaigrette.  The leaves minced and mixed with cream cheese make a delicious spread for bread or crackers. I have used the leaves in a mango salsa as well as in a marinade for pork or chicken.  I had thought to try making a sorbet this year but never tried it with the pineapple sage, I would imagine it would be very refreshing!  I have read that you can dry the leaves and use them for a tea. I have tried drying leaves but have found them to loose their scent.  As  I do with all my excess herbs I throw some cuttings into the chicken house to freshen it up.

If you do grow pineapple sage make sure you don't cut it back in the fall until after it blooms.  The blooms are a vibrant red, very much appreciated as most everything else will be finished blooming and growing by this time.  I have heard the blooms are edible but I have never tried them, I enjoy leaving them on the plant to enjoy their beauty.

'til next time...

Monday, October 15, 2012


After reading the post about why babywearing may not be for everyone a friend made my daughter a sling for her baby dolls.  My son has decided a much better use would be for his puppy.  He can keep puppy close and still have both hands free to play.

'til next time...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A redneck pig pen or "re-purposing pallets" for hog fencing

We weren't able to adapt our pasture fencing to let the pigs have complete access to the field so we continue to adapt their pen to give them more space and more access to grass.

When we first got the pigs we had only enclosed a small area so we gradually keep expanding it.

When we ran out of hog panels we resorted to the effective-but-not-very-classy method that we will call "re-purposing pallets for hog fencing".  It was remarkably effective.

We made the mistake of hiring someone to drop some trees in our yard, normally we do it ourselves, the result was disastrous. Fortunately no pigs were harmed in the making of this mess.  The tree saga will have to be its own post, if I can bring myself to write about it.  However, the trees are down and the pigs are safe and happy so all is well.

This is how they sleep, snuggled up together. Now doesn't that just melt your heart?

'til next time...