Monday, August 25, 2008

Let's See......

We have been so busy getting ready for a shift in routines. I can feel it in the air, Fall is on its way. Maybe it's all of the rain we've had the last few days. It makes me want to curl up with a quilt and a good book. Cozy.

It's a little discouraging that my big tomatoes have not ripened yet. I have a few tricks up my sleeve if we end up with a bunch of green tomatoes. :~)
I am gearing up to do a little sewing, repurposing some clothing, making dolly quilts, making birthday gifts for the "birthday season" we have during October and November. I have lots of ideas. We'll see if I can fit it all in.
We are contemplating buying a Aladdin Oil Lamp to help reduce our energy usage further. We are managing to keep most of the lights turned off during the day, we have converted all our light to CFL's, and we have unplugged those things not in use. During the evening hours it would help to have a oil lamp that did a good job of illuminating our livingroom.
Does anybody have any experience with the Aladdin brand lamps?
We are starting our gift plans for Christmas. I have found that I enjoy the season so much more if I have all of the extended family gifts taken care of before November. I also like to take our Christmas photo early enough to make out our Christmas cards and have them ready to mail. This way I can enjoy Christmas for it's true meaning and our family can spend lots of unhurried time celebrating and creating.
I will spend this next week preparing for the school year and try to simplify some of our routines to cut down on too much running around. I also have some baking and canning to do.
I am continuing to de-clutter and simplify. The grocery store prices are shocking and I am making nearly everything from scratch. We are fortunate to have so many apple trees around and friendly neighbors that don't mind sharing. We have lots of wild blackberry bushes too. I foresee a pie or two in our future. :~)
Well that's about all we've been up to. I pray that you all have a blessed and productive week.

In God's Love, Tami

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One Year Ago Today

I made my first journal entry one year ago today.

Wow ~ I could not have imagined this world that has opened up to me. So many wonderful people from so many different places and walks of life. This small world that we call the blogsphere. It still amazes me every time I come across somebody new and they have the very same favorite blogs that I do. I have been so blessed, encouraged, and inspired by the women I have met.

Thanks to each and every person that reads my ramblings. I love your comments and love to hear from you.

I pray that you come away from here inspired and encouraged also.

Have a wonderful and restful weekend.

In God's Love, Tami

Friday, August 15, 2008

Busy Baker

I have been busy baking this week. Being in the kitchen is not complete without one of my favorite aprons, made from a thrifted skirt. I just love aprons I will *show & tell* my favorites sometime.

My mom came over and we spent the whole day baking breakfast muffins to freeze. We made Plum Buttermilk Muffins, Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, and Morning Glory Muffins. I will post recipes as soon as I tweak the ingredients a little bit more.
Our favorite Whole Wheat bread. Crystal Miller's recipe for the Bosch.
We have had such a wonderful week with warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. I pray that you all have a blessed Friday. In God's Love, Tami

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Big Thank You!

Mrs. B has so kindly bestowed this honor on me. Thank you so much! Please visit her blog, you will come away inspired and encouraged.

I will pass the award onto:

Mari is a kindred spirit and her journey toward simplicity is inspiring.
Sandra is a gifted photographer and a beautiful lady inside and out.
Carrie is one of my favorite people and such a sweet mama.
Michelle has such a gift for writing and is such a dedicated homeschool mom.
Laura has such a love for family and home, she is such a encouragement.


1. Select five (5) other recipients for this award. You may select them for creativity, design, content or contributions to the blogging community & they can be in any language.
2. Name each nominee and link to his/her blog.
3. Show the award and include the name and link to his/her blog of whomever presented you with this award.
4. Link to the Arte y Pico blog so everyone knows the origin of this award.
5. Post these rules.

Thanks again Mrs. B ! Have a blessed and productive Thursday! In God's Love, Tami

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Garden Progress :~)

Here is a picture of the progress we have made in the kitchen garden.
It's hard to see but we have one cinderblock terraced bed nearly completed and a large wooden raised bed finished. I have 3 oak half barrels with 2 of my tomato plants and our zucchini plants. In the lower left hand corner you can see the beginnings of a Flame grape vine. We will let the grapes grow up and over the gateway arbor. The other night my dear hubby decided that in the spring we will expand this garden area another 5 feet. YAY!

We salvaged the large 4x6 timbers for the large raised bed from a local demo site. All we paid for was the screws to put it together. Praise God.

The smaller terraced bed will be cinderblock for now. We need to buy a few more to finish it off. If we come across any more salvaged wood we will remake it next Spring.

I have some pole beans growing, my tomatoes and zucchini are doing well, and the strawberries are pretty much done for the season.

I can hardly wait to get the garden soil put in the beds, give it a heavy dose of compost, and put in some lettuce, spinach, and cabbage for the cooler months ahead.

The deepest end of the big raised bed will be perfect for carrots. The shallow end gets more sun, so I will have to decide what to put there. Maybe my fall salad greens under a cloche? We will have to see.

For any of you who live in the Pacific Northwest, I came across a wonderful book that has helped me so much. It is by Steve Solomon and is called "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades". I was able to get it very easily from the library.

This sweet little flower grew from seed. My 6 year old little man planted it as a Mother's Day present for me. SO sweet.
We are getting this much Zucchini daily now. What a blessing. I have been trying out all sorts of recipes. I will post a few of our favorites soon.
Our beans are lagging a little behind, but I have hope that we will still have a decent harvest.
This is a homemade rain barrel that feeds rain water from one of our garage gutters. I would so love one of these oak barrel ones. Maybe next year.

I pray that you all are having a blessed and fun-filled Wednesday. In God's Love, Tami

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Welcome Back Jewels!

I am so excited to tell everyone that Jewels from "Eyes of Wonder" blog has decided to start blogging again.

Welcome back Jewels, my friend, I have missed our *visits* so much.

I pray that everyone has had a blessed and productive Tuesday.

In God's Love, Tami

Monday, August 4, 2008


This is one of my family's favorite meals.
I like to serve it with warm garlic bread and a big yummy salad.

*Pasta Lasagna*
3/4 lb. whole wheat penne pasta
1 lb. ground beef (we use organic)
1 (26 oz.) jar pasta sauce
1 (15 oz.) container of lowfat cottage cheese or ricotta (I usually go for organic cottage cheese, because it is less expensive)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 chopped fresh or frozen spinach

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cook penne pasta until al dente; drain.
  • In a large skillet cook beef until brown; drain. Season to your liking and stir in pasta sauce; remove from heat.
  • In bowl combine cottage cheese (or ricotta), mozzarella, Parmesan, beaten egg, and spinach. Stir until well combined.
  • In a 3 quart baking dish layer half the pasta, half the sauce, and half the cheese mixture. Repeat. Top with about 1/4 cup additional mozzarella.
  • Bake in the 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly. Enjoy!
This recipe will serve a family of 6, with leftovers, if your kiddos are little. If you have teenagers it will be devoured :~)
We are having major progress in the kitchen garden this week. I will post pictures soon.
I pray that you all have a blessed and productive Monday. In God's Love, Tami

Friday, August 1, 2008

Grateful Friday

{This is a Painted Lady Butterfly that we raised from a caterpillar and then set free. Isn't she beautiful!}

{Here is one of our little hummingbird friends that *love* our Crocosmia flowers- SO pretty}

Today I am so grateful for:

  • My family and the life that we have here.
  • Firm ground to stand on during these strained economic times.
  • Beautiful weather that draws us outside everyday.
  • Lots of dirty feet to bathe at the end of the day.
  • Time for sewing and altering some day-dresses for myself.
  • A garden that is almost finished. (Just in time for fall planting....LOL)
  • I am so very grateful for a God that loves me right where I am.

Have a truly blessed Friday! In God's Love, Tami