June 29, 2010

H,B,&W Visit

Heather, Bill, and Will stayed with us a big part of June. They were in limbo: moving and Bill on leave. They bought a house, but not able to move in till mid July. So rather than live in a hotel, they stayed with us.

I found out, tho I knew already, my house is not child-proof. We got through this time period fine with rubberbands on kitchen cabinet knobs, though Will was starting to figure out how to pull, stick hand in, and grab something. We kept tightening the rubberbands. I also covered some shelf areas with cardboard. Cushions and chairs blocked things too. As time went on, Will ventured further, finding more things to get into. Someday, cuz soon visiting Emery will be crawling too ... and then they'll be toddleing ... little hands finding things I don't notice - I'm probably going to have to rearrange things. Will loved going into my pantry and grabbing cans off the shelf, or thinking onions were balls, and then there was the 300 sandwich bag pick-up!

Our new season of life! My daughter-in-love Sarah is writing a blog called The Reluctant Mom and I realized myself in her posts and my current season. So I'm calling myself The Reluctant Grandmom. Not that I don't like this new season and grandkids. It's just that I'm not a typical gal that loves to hold babies. I wasn't the typical girl that babysat. Baby sitting still scares me. But having Heather and Will live with us off and on last year really helped me a ton in this journey. So bear with me my family, as I grow with you, as our family is growing.

Monte captured some great pictures with his iPhone. Bill and Heather were setting out on Father's Day to go to the Evergreen Rodeo (while I babysat!), and Monte took a pic of them by the porch post. Then before they left he thought of taking a family picture. Aren't they a cute family? Heather conceived while here that month, so they'll become four.

June 25, 2010

Rhubarb Crisp

Today Heather harvested the rhubarb. We usually harvest our rhubarb mid to late June, freezing several dozen heaping quart bags as well as heaping pints. I planted some newer rhubarb last year, and we've been letting some of the old plants go to seed and are finding baby plants.

When we built our home in 1984 chokecherries, wild raspberries and the rhubarb were already here, mainly at the edge of a bluespruce and aspen woods, with the rhubarb seeded out into the meadow. There's evidence of a homestead foundation from long ago here. We figure the rhubarb is 100 years old.

We fenced in a large area there for a garden. It's a ways from the house so now I've got more permanent or end of season plants - like asparagus, berry bushes like currents, saskatoon blueberries, canadian bred cherries and plums. I did plant blueberries too, for fun, and added almost 3/4ths of the dirt as peat, so to be acid. Then I plant all the broccoli cabbage family there and winter squash, and have some greenhouse frames for peppers and eggplant (we're at 8000 ft elevation - so cool).

From the rhubarb I primarily make rhubarb custard pie and rhubarbade, yes ... it's my version I invented of a beverage like lemonade. Then someone made rhubarb crisp for a function that I LOVE, so I got the recipe.

Set oven at 350 and grease a 9x9 dish.
Mix together, cutting in the butter-
1C rolled oats
1/2C flour (I always use whole grain)
1C brown sugar (using less and sucanat instead)
1/2C butter (I usually use unsalted)

Press 1/2 of this mixture in the dish and spread
2C 1/2"chopped rhubarb
Sprinkle on the other 1/2 of the above mixture and
1/2C coarse chopped pecans

Bake for 45 minutes.

For some of you, you might be asking, "Heather?" Yes, Heather, Bill and 16 month old Will are here for a visit. Heather always loved harvesting rhubarb and helping with preserving food and doing chicken chores. Once she got married and it's pretty much just Monte and me, we got rid of the chickens (but I'm missing them and we may make a new coup up by the house next Spring and have SOME - not lots like before).

Posted at Gnowfglins

June 24, 2010

Blogs and Photos

A website home page for kareyswan.com is under construction. For now, kareyswan.com takes you to this site, which is my old blog that was called Karey's Overflow.

It's confusing, I know ...

I now have three blogs. And I have two photo sites. So I'll put everything here as links to them all, for now, until I create the webpage with it's info and links to everything.

www.kareyscontemplations.blogspot.com is this blog. My old blog.
www.kareysoverflow.blogspot.com is my new blog.
www.kareyskitchen.blogspot.com will be a place to post recipes and organize them and talk food.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kareyswan/ is where I'm posting pics of my textile art.
http://www.photoblog.com/kareyswan/ is where family pics and all are posted.

Home. A picture Dawson took. But now the fencing is done and gardens pretty much done (is gardening ever done? ... kinda like - does a kitchen ever stay clean? Is women's work ever done? "Her candle never goes out" ... hmmm)

June 23, 2010

New Blog

Now I'm going to have three blogs: the blog I posted on for two years is intact at www.kareyscontemplations.blogspot.com. I posted recipes there. But I want a place to post and organize recipes and talk about good food. So here 'tis the place!

The pictured cookstove in the Karey's Kitchen header is my cookstove. It sits in our great room between the kitchen and dining area. The great room also consists of a sitting area with couches, wing-back chairs, and rocker - we call it "the keeping room".

Guests have walked in wondering if that stove is my cooking source. But I do have a regular electric glass top stove/range, that's a part of the kitchen island. And I do have a microwave combo convection oven, as well as a toaster oven - both housed in wall storage where a pull out shelf holds my Bosch Universal kitchen mixer. And my grain grinder is stored on the bottom shelf. I so enjoy and use all my kitchen toys - my wonderful servants!

The cookstove is used primarily to take the chill off the area on cold days when the sun's not shining. If it's burning for long, I often cook on it. Might as well keep a soup or stew simmering. If the electricity goes out ... fine. It's a wonderful place to pull the rocking chair up to, open the oven door for the heat to escape into the room, and prop feet upon, with a warm beverage and read. Great atmosphere!

Weaving in the Garden

Monte built me this weaving loom for our yard. It's made out of cedar, so it will weather as all our other fencing, gates and deck - that is, neutral gray. When reading a garden color book last summer I learned that nature's neutrals: rocks' and woods' grays, are the best surroundings for showcasing nature's colors.

In this summer's "Living Crafts" magazine, there was an article with instructions for building this loom. Because of my love of textile arts, which includes weaving, Monte thought this would look cool in our yard. More on these kinds of looms are at www.weavingalife.com.

It's warp is jute. I'll be weaving in garden materials. As weeds and flowers dry birds may make use of stuff - like for nest building and feeding. I might plant vines to climb up the posts some years.

'Tis the time of Summer Solstice, Midsummer Nights Dream, and John the Baptist Day. I did a post on this season before.

Dawson's welded me some metal arches for vines to climb. Everything's planted for this season's enjoyment and eats. I totally enjoy summer and gardening and sitting out on the deck reading and enjoying the gardens, butterflies, and birds.

The black pots are growing potatoes and some winter squash. I did a post that mentioned planting potatoes in pots with a link to more info about.

June 13, 2010

Busy with Textile Art

I'm taking a class: "The Language of Color & Design", by Heather Thomas, who's book is coming out this fall. We meet once a month and my final class is next April ... isn't that way out there!?!! I'm loving it. Each month is show-and-tell with lots of fun, creative gals. It's challenging me each month to study and practice. I'm finding myself eating, reading, sleeping, dreaming ... color. I'm exploring all varied textile arts. Needlefelting wool has been my main medium for awhile, but I've returned to dyeing.

Rather than winging it - I am creative. Rather than having success in my unknowing, I'm wanting to understand more about color and design. In the practicing and gaining knowledge I know it'll free me to discover new ways to explore textile art design. It's all about color relationships.

I've worked through a month of Black and White, and the Gray Scale - discovering value and texture though neutrals. Then a month of Monochromatic; then Complementary color schemes. Now I'm challenged to expand the complementary color schemes. I've been journaling and creating a handmade book each month of my journey. I've posted most of these studies at my Flickr photo site.

Last month I taught felting classes and used my doll example for this past month's color challenge. I was fighting with her attire, not liking it; it didn't feel good. When I looked at her torso dress color next to my 3-in-1 color tool, I realized I wasn't working with a violet shade - trying to add it's yellow complement - but it's red-violet. That's the color combination I really was wanting to do all along. YEAH! I ripped off the other violet and yellows, picked out more shades and tints of red-violet and it's complement: yellow-green. I love it! When the colors are right, they pop!

Dawson also recently taught me how to use his oxyacetaline torch and welder. I made a metal chair for my little wool sculpted lady. I'm going to research soldering and see if I can produce a similar product with a lighter weight metal and no torch and welding stuff. I could do it, but it's kinda scary!

So I've been busy. I'm treating it as a job, working at it almost daily. But then too, this past month has been heavy gardening, getting all my flower and veggie greenhouse starts tucked in the ground - envisioning the flowering beauty to come and good eats!
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