Sunday, August 17, 2014

Passions


            The kids are back to school and summer is heating up, after a mild reminder that life does have a way of equaling it's self out!  The garden is a hot mess, how quickly the weeds can take over if you miss a weeding or two...maybe three? But, it's been very productive, and the summer has been one of my favorites by far! Made another batch of salsa yesterday and picked a good pound of elderberries too, those got picked over and placed in the freezer for a flu syrup this fall, there are more to ripen and I hope to get to them before the wasps do. Spaghetti sauce and ketchup has also been made from our tomatoes, my basil and dill are both huge, great crops this year, must be all the rain and milder temps. Yummy corn and tons of potato's have feed us many meals so far, with more to dig, then sweet potato's will be ready! Harvest of happiness to say the least! It's been the best gardening season ever! Even the wild flowers have been blessed by this summer's weather and reprieve. I've been using basil and cilantro in all my cupboards since I have so much, I just cut a bunch and throw it in the back of each cupboard, it's been keeping the country mice at bay.  I love those scents of summer!
       Another passion of mine has been keeping me busy as well, and last weekend I had a wedding to shoot, my ex husband and his third wife. I was his first, he was my second and so on...but we are all friends, and if a marriage has to dissolve, the friendship shouldn't, especially if children are apart of the union, as in our case. We have 2 sons together, his only children and I'm so glad we were able to show them how love really works.  This is just one of my favorite shots from their wedding, it speaks without words, like life at times. I hope your summer has been full of passions, flowers, harvests and family! Love life!

If you'd like to see more of my photography and this wedding, check out my Facebook page:
Shots by Sue

Friday, August 08, 2014

My Space

    Remember that social media hub, we'll I'm not talking about that, I was never into My Space but I am into this space of mine, my craft room/office that under went a little makeover recently. Top photo shows different curtains from my stash, love the checks! I also got rid of my corner desk and opted for a fold up table I already had, now I have 5 more feet of work space where I type from, sorry it's not in the shot!
   This huge and heavy cubby shelf was kept outside till I bought it, originally for a future greenhouse but since that project won't be built till next spring, I got the notion of bringing it inside for all my fabric and stuff, so I painted it blue and at the risk of a hernia, my awesome husband got it in the house, it weighs a ton and a half, maybe 2! But, for $20 I knew I had to have it and it's perfect in here! Of course, when you rearrange, you have to find a new home for old things so the hutch that used to sit here is now in our bedroom and right at home! It's the little things in life that make you happy, and the big blue beast is a big one!

Monday, August 04, 2014

Pickles and Politics!



                  What a busy summer this has been, not only is the garden heating up, so are the politics here in Missouri! We vote tomorrow on many issues but the one I'm mainly concerned with is Amendment One. We already have the right to farm, but due to the tricky wording on this bill, many will vote yes thinking it will keep that right, but it won't! If passed, big corporations and outside companies can buy up Missouri land, allow Monsanto to take over and control farms. Not only that, but even small family farms will be affected, all the way down to our drinking water that could be contaminated  if unsafe meat producers are allowed in. I'm voting no, to keep my right to farm/garden in the way the current bill allows. It's a shame big government has to trick us with vague wording to get us to vote their way! I'm a small voter who will fight to keep my rights to garden and raise chickens!
     The garden has been the best one ever, I can't remember a summer that has been so nice with rains just when we need them. The kitchen is a busy room with produce being processed weekly: salsa, sauce, pesto and pickles, alot of pickles! I can't imagine not having a garden, fresh and organic produce for our family is priceless! I can only hope and pray that everyone reads the ballot good tomorrow, and not rush through it! One wrong vote could change everything! Pickles aren't the only thing fermenting!

UPDATE: We lost by half of a percent! But, there is rumor of a recount so were still hopeful. At least this tight margin supports a second look and has made the concern aware and out there!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

One Heck of a Surprise!

         What do you get 2 little girls who are hard to buy for? A surprise pony party of course! A friend of mine has a therapy horse program that she takes to nursing homes, community events and parties of all kinds! Jenny and her ponies are wonderful, very professional and eager to teach anyone interested in the ways of the ponies. Her program is called Mini Blessings, and she was a big blessing to us, as I had kept the party a surprise from the grandkids, and the look on their faces and the fun they had made my day!
    My oldest grand daughter May, above, thought she was too big to ride, she wasn't and loved it! Now, she's interested in helping Jenny and learning more, and of course she now wants a pony but this girl loves animals and is so down to earth, makes my heart smile! So, if your ever stuck for a unique gift idea for the kids or grandkids please consider something like this and if your in my area, look up Mini Blessings Horse Therapy on Facebook. Jenny and her boys are just wonderful and the ponies are adorable!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Good Intentions!


           I sit here, only because I'm grounded from a allergic reaction from a red wasp sting yesterday, but I have been meaning to update sooner than this, I had good intentions! Really! Truth be told, I've been thinking about re-vamping this blog, it turns 10 next year and it may be time for a change? True, I'm busy elsewhere, as we all are and I don't want it to become stale so bare with me, your patience will be rewarded!

    A quick update, the summer has been a odd one, we get a couple of days of normal or above temps, followed by a cool front and rain, needless to say, our garden is the best it's ever been here! I've even created a potting station ( above) or should I say, more space to put plants! A lean-to greenhouse is in the works, a birthday gift from my handy man hubby.  My photography and newspaper gig are both going well and keeping me inspired. And we have a wedding in the fall, our daughter so there will alot to do there but life is good, busy is good. Thank you all sticking with me, I have the best of intentions!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Are You Man Enough?


                Here I sit, missing for a couple of weeks in my hectic but wonderful life that I'm blessed to be living and it's almost Father's Day! June is on the same race track as May was, or is it that I'm just getting old and time is speeding up? Your probably wondering about my post title? I'm choosing to write about a subject matter that effects ALL women and most men, yet they don't get the credit or attention, it's menopause, and is your husband man enough to handle it in a loving way? I'm 54 and I first noticed the little signs years ago, things like not having to shave my legs that often, I was cranky for no reason or my eye sight wasn't as good as it once was. Last fall, on a routine doctor visit, I had him check my hormone levels in a blood test, positive! I knew that but wanted someone else to tell me. Then the hot flashes started, nothing too harsh or unmanageable. One day this winter, I woke up and had a pooch of a tummy, not to be confused with my pooch of a gut, that I've always had, it was little and now I don't mind it but this monster under my breasts has to go! It's uncomfortable and unsightly! Now, I'm noticing women my age and older with a belly bump and not of the baby kind, it's almost like were marked! The hot flashes have been upgraded to night sweats that can happen any time of the day or night, paired with this belly bump, I'm miserable!
     I'm not completely sure if my husband understands just what I'm going through, but he is patience and keeps apologizing for it, a hug helps too! Were in this together, it's written in our marriage vows but it's not fair! It's called MENopause but we women go through this, it's no journey or curse but as long as my husband continues to be patience, we shall survive this too! My Mother never spoke of it or how it was for her, I wish now I had asked, it seems her's will effect yours, so ask your Mom and take notes, it may come in handy for your daughters too! So ladies, this is where I am, I'd like to think I'm on the other side of this phase but were all different and I'm thankful for that! I'm armed with herbs and natural ways to keep my sanity, doing more sit ups than ever and praying harder! Puberty was a piece of cake!
      So, when you wish your man a Happy Father's day this Sunday, remind him of your vows and ask him if he's man enough! Keep him wondering!
   

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dream Chaser & Catcher!


            I have a dream, many really with some coming true like I never thought they would! I'm having a pretty good year, my photography has taken off, for the last few months, I've been sharing a recipe weekly on the food page of my local newspaper, and now I have my own garden column " Garden Thyme" every Wednesday! I'm so excited!!! I'm eager to dig in and cover some new content, I feel like most publications recycle their articles and I'm craving some new information and ideas! I hope to explore all issues regarding gardening, there's so much more to it than plant, weed and water. I'm still sharing a recipe each week, and I love a good challenge, so deadlines will not scare me nor will the boots I have to fill, Jim Long used to supply the garden column, but the newspaper is revamping the page and I'm honored to be apart of it! So, you see, you are NEVER too old to chase and catch your dreams! Just don't give up, anything is possible and I'm proof of that! I'm not a expert gardener but I am a learner and I share well with others! I'll be adding some of my articles here too, and you can always check me out online at West Plains Daily Quill.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Blackberry Winter


             It's cold, wet and May! Ozarkians call it blackberry winter, a cold snap when the blackberries are in bloom, yep! But it's green, so very green! I've been sick, busy and blessed. I did a engagement photo shoot over the weekend at this famous mill here, this place never gets old and I must say, a perfect spot for a photo shoot! The garden is loving the 3 inches of rain so far, the chicken coop is slick as snot and fun at all. The weeds will take over at rapid rate once the sun comes out, leaving our chores in overtime. But, we had all winter, a long winter, to relax so no complaints here, even if I have to turn the heater back on tonight! And how is life in  your lane?

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Gardeners Unite!



              I recently read a negative editorial on gardening, this editor went on in great length about all the work, pain, complaints and found everything wrong with gardening, he wasn't even happy to get the harvest, too much work! This kinda offended me, and got to wonder what kind of person would bash a farmer? I took offense and I only supply food for our family, but it's a labor of love!
     With the new age movements making gardening and homesteading hip again, I'm using my blog to encourage MORE to garden! Everyone likes to eat, and you haven't eaten a true tomato until you've had a heirloom tomato that farmers grew in the 1800's, with no chemicals, that's real food! Am I a farmer, heck no, but I do feed my family from a garden, eggs from the coop and I'm aiding Mother Nature by supplying host plants for butterflies and bees. The beauty I'm adding by planting flowers is adding to our home investment and it makes me happy! The herbs I grow are used for medicine, cooking, cleaning, and pest control. We are organic and it's working, so maybe I am a farmer of sorts? There is alot more to gardening than complaining about the sore back, the weeding or the bugs, it's a way of life, one that we can trust and have faith in. The weather, on the other hand, is a beast of it's own, and that is the biggest obstacle this season.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mother's Day


             If it seems like I'm posting more recipes than ever, I am! The weather is back to being cold which keeps me tucked inside looking for a excuse to have the oven on! But, the garden is about 60% in, now just hoping for no freeze warnings tonight! As you know, this hutch of mine gets all decked out for each holiday or season and Mother's Day is one of my favorites, honoring the Moms in our family, past and present. So, below is next week's recipe, a classic chocolate treat that is good for breakfast or dessert!

    Mom's don't always get the credit they deserve, but they can get breakfast in bed at least once a year! Begin Mother's Day with a famous breakfast staple of the Ozarks, chocolate gravy! This depression era recipe is rich in taste and history, and quite common in the Ozarks, so treat your Mom to some chocolate for breakfast or dessert,  either way, she will be one happy mama! 

Chocolate Gravy over Biscuits

Biscuits: homemade or canned, country style 
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons unsweeten cocoa powder
Mix all dry ingredients in a large saucepan and whisk till blended then add milk slowly, mix together well, no lumps. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thick. Remove from heat, add butter and stir in until melted. Serve over hot biscuits and enjoy! 

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