Sunday, December 23, 2012


"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
John 8:12 (KJV)
Have a blessed 4th Sunday of Advent,

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry & Bright


Merry Christmas to all !
I wish you a truly blessed holiday.
We will be spending the next 3 days with family and friends. Nearly everything is done. A little baking and some last minute details, then I can breathe.
Joy and Peace, Tami

Monday, December 10, 2012


We took our annual Christmas picture yesterday. The kids have gotten so good at it over the years. Three minutes and we're done. They love taking the silly picture at the end. This is the best silly one yet.
I love Christmas traditions.
Have a blessed Monday, Tami

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Simple Mom posted this article today in her weekend links. It is written by The New West blog. I love it when others are able to express so beautifully thoughts I just cannot articulate.

My favorite part is:

"We might often feel that the secularization of our favorite holiday has deprived it of all meaning. But on the contrary, Christmas is the time when many who would qualify themselves as ‘non-believers,’ feel a stirring of the spirit that leads them seeking. If we are truly disciples of Jesus, we should celebrate any element of the season that urges people toward the holy.  It may start with the mall or the Hallmark channel, but it often lands them in church. I’ll take it."

Oh and this part too:

"Speaking of shopping–if you are bothered by all the secular expressions posted around malls and big box stores this season, might i gently suggest that you spend less of your Christmas season at the freakin mall? If you don’t like the signage, spend more time serving the poor, going to worship, getting out in nature, and spending time with the people you love. I’m pretty sure the birthday boy would be all for it."


Have a truly blessed Sunday, Tami

Tuesday, December 4, 2012



Have a blessed day, Tami

Monday, December 3, 2012


I allow myself one holiday freak-out every Christmas season.

Consider this IT.

This is usually the culmination of the stress of holiday gift making and buying, and my house feeling about ready to burst at the seams.

Before I begin, let me make it clear. I love giving and receiving gifts, and I love Christmas.
Here it goes.

In preparing for the Christ child, I am also knee-deep in preparing my home to accommodate more stuff. Not by choice, but out of the realization that the way I want to celebrate Christmas does not line up with how most folks indeed celebrate - by giving a lot of stuff. So I go through the perfectly good stuff we already have, and decide what to get rid of to make room for the new stuff we don't need.
Really, I am not the Grinch. I just wish that there was a way to convince more of our family to exchange gifts that don't require consumerism to run rampant. And remember that I am ranting here, I have actually tried SOOOO many different ways of changing their minds. Out of my control.

Did anybody read this blog post by the Nester a few months ago ? Hello, my name is Tami, and I am a stuff manager. Sad.
It hit home and made me really sad. But in this situation and in most situations, I feel like it is out of my control. Too big of a tradition to change, in our family anyway. So, I continue purging my house that is already small by most standards. For a lady, that leans towards minimalism anyway, Christmas nearly puts me over the edge.

Once this freak-out is out of my system, I will carry on. I will watch Christmas movies, and light Advent candles, and bake cookies, and I will even buy my kids things they don't need, and I will remember the reason for the season, for it is certainly not to make me insane.

Have a peaceful day, Tami

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

this & that

 We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love those 4 day weekends. No Black Friday shopping for us, just lots of down time together. We did sneak in one tiny trip the Home Depot to get paint for our living room. We got the room painted just time to put up our Christmas tree. Everything looks lovely and fresh.

Rafe and Anya taking their First Communion a few weeks ago. They are getting so big .


Some very excited chickens digging around in the freshly laid leaves. They are going to make some great compost out of this big pile. Chickens are such great recyclers.

I will readily confess that I avoid canning during the summer. Heating up an already hot kitchen is not a favorite summer activity. I froze most of the berries and rhubarb we picked. Last week, I got around to making strawberry-rhubarb jam. It is yummy.

Otherwise, I am super busy making Christmas gifts and getting used to my new working status. It's all going very well. I am just about done with Christmas shopping and prep, aside from the baking we'll do when the kids are on Christmas break. I can't wait.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a new rhythm

{crayon kid art}

There are some little changes happening in my life right now.

I started a part-time job.
I have not worked outside our home for 15 years.
I am a little rusty, to say the least.
And a little iffy.

You know when you think you want to do something, and then you do it, it's not as cool as you thought it would be?
The job is cool. The idea of being out of my homemaker mode 2 days a week, a little scary.
Granted, I 've only worked 2 days.
I know that life will find a new rhythm.

But for house is a wreck, I am out of my cooking groove, and I am feeling melancholy for the days when my kids were littles.
I am no good with change.
I also know that I will adjust. Just like I always do.

All this to say.....writing is going to be a little more challenging.
I will find my rhythm with that, too.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

for today and always

Almighty God,
who hast given us this good land for our heritage:
We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves
a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.
Bless our land with honorable industry,
sound learning, and pure manners.
Save us from violence, discord, and confusion;
from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.
Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people
the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.
Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom
in thy Name we entrust the authority of government,
that there may be justice and peace at home, and that,
through obedience to thy law, we may show forth
thy praise among the nations of the earth.
In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness,
and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;
all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(from the book of common prayer)

Have a blessed day, Tami

Monday, November 5, 2012

field trip

I am the mom that always signs up to chaperone field trips. I figure that's it a great way to spend one-on-one time with my kiddos. And also, when would I actually get to these cool places on my own accord??? I have been on some great field trips.
The Burke Museum is fascinating. It is located on the University of Washington campus. We had a 30 minute bus ride, not too bad. The bus ride in itself is a treat. Being driven there, meant that I could stare at the beautiful Seattle neighborhoods and sights. A bonus was being able to sit next to a dear mom-friend and have 30 minutes of uninterrupted talk time.
Our focus was the rocks and minerals exhibition. We also studied how the land has changed in Washington State. We had Rhinoceros here at one point. Crazy.
As my kids grow, the field trips will diminish. I am so glad I've been able to join them.
Have a blessed Monday, Tami

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

hundred dollar holiday?

Last summer I read a book called, "Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for a More Joyful Christmas" by Bill McKibben. I knew if I were to put any of his ideas into practice, I would have to read it and plan long before the holiday season actually hit.
When Eric sees me reading books like this he runs the other way, figuring that I am concocting all sorts of ideas that involve total gift deprivation. How can we spend only a $100.00 !!!! It would totally ruin Christmas for everybody, is what I hear.
Honestly, I have a large family, and while I don't think we can meet the $100.00 goal, my family can take some very important lessons away from this book.
Changes like this, when incremented slowly, seem to weave themselves into our traditions in a more gentle manner. This is how most of the successful changes happen in my family. I am the only one that likes to jump right in. If I am patient, and go slow, everybody comes around.
I really like the idea of giving of our time and talents. Each one of us can bless our loved ones in this way. The gift of time is so precious. Getting creative with a handmade coupon or certificate makes it even more special.
We love to make gifts. I am thinking that my kids can make gifts for one another. We usually let them spend $10.00 to buy gifts for each other, and that adds up. With a little forethought, I bet we can come up with great ideas.
We participate in 2 gift exchanges at Christmas. This year I am putting together breakfast baskets. Homemade granola, quick breads, teas, personalized mugs, that sort of thing. I am spending about $10.00 per basket.
I have 7 nieces/nephews that we usually buy a small gift for. I end up spending about $50.00 total for them. I am thinking that this year I will take that money and buy something through the Heifer Int'l website on their behalf. I will still give them their Christmas chocolate bar, and enclose a little note about Heifer. They are all teenagers, and they really even appreciate a $5.00 gift card somewhere? A family in a third world country appreciates our gift much more. A flock of chicks only costs $20.00. I am doing this.
Bill McKibben quotes:

"I can remember almost every present that some one's made for me since we started doing these Hundred Dollar Holidays . . . . I have no idea what gifts came in all those great piles under the tree in previous years.  They didn't attach themselves to particular faces, particular memories.  So the point is not to stop giving; the point is to give things that matter.  (Bold type mine)  Give things that are rare--time, attention, memory, whimsy.  We run short on these things in our lives, even as we have an endless supply of software, hardware, ready-to-wear."

Well, I am giving it a try, in a gentle way. I am willing to bet that my family won't notice, much.
Maybe we spend a few hundred dollars. It's still less, and much more mindfully and creatively spent. That's the important part for me.

Have a blessed Tuesday, Tami

Monday, October 29, 2012


{Rafe's 9th Birthday}
October, you are almost done. You have been filled with lots of football and soccer, field trips and birthday parties, rain and cold, and the flu.
I am just now catching my breath.
No time for writing, and what little internet time I had, I spent doing family history research. That has uncovered so much really great information. Each branch of my family has uncovered some truly amazing people and stories.
My favorite would be Mark Twain. I find that connection so awesome. It is a closer relation than most that I found. It's really wonderful to have blood relatives that came over as colonists, but it was so long ago that it's hard to feel a connection.
I have solved a few family mysteries and uncovered a few very sad stories.
My research is slowing down for now, I have invested much time, and now need to get back to focusing on the family I have here and now. I has been a wild ride. I am sure that my research won't stop completely. There is a always information to be found.
I do have to say one thing. Genealogy research has kept me distracted enough that I didn't have such a hard adjustment to the kids going back to school. Maybe a planned distraction is what I need each new school year. Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.
October and November are birthday months for our kids. We are 1 down and 3 to go. I am ready with the gifts, now we just need to figure out a few friend get-togethers to celebrate.
I started wrapping Christmas gifts this past week. It always feels weird doing that in October. If I am not finished and wrapped by the end of November, I teeter on insanity during December. There is so much fun to be had with my kids, that honestly I don't want the added stress of shopping and wrapping. December for me is about music, gift crafting, baking, reading Christmas stories by the fire, snow (sometimes), and just being together. Keeping it simple.
I am 2/3 the way through book six of the Outlander series. That's the other thing that has been distracting me. Each book is about 1000 pages. It takes me a few weeks of reading here and there. Still, that is a lot of reading. More than I usually read for sure. I have book 7 on order, it should be her just in time.
Knitting gets put to the side when I read this much. I haven't the talent to do both. I did finish up a washcloth a few days ago, it will become a Christmas gift with a yummy bar of almond/oatmeal soap in a pretty little box. My raglan cardigan still needs the sleeve finished..........
I am off this morning to have breakfast with my mom and sister. It was my little sis' birthday yesterday. Maybe we'll wander around a bit, too. Coffee for sure.

Have a blessed Monday, Tami

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

this & that

Okay, so I have tattoos.
4 over the span of 20 years. Eric has them too. We like them.
My newest was his 20th anniversary present to me.
Is that weird?
It doesn't seem weird to us.

I am still knee deep in geneology stuff.
Oh my goodness, is this a lot of work.
I bought 1 month of membership to Ancestry, and I am getting as much out of it as I can. I am extremely frugal, and it was hard to hand over the bucks for that. I also paid $20.00 for a copy of my great-grandmother's death certificate. I feel like it is my last hope in finding out who her parents were. I have exhausted all other (free) resources. I should be getting the certificate in the mail any day.
I have discovered that Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) is blood related. We share a  grandfather. Mark Twain's paternal grandfather (Samuel B. Clemens) is my 5 times great-grandfather.
I have relation to the Ingersoll family that came over on The Mayflower II in 1629.
There is so much more too.
I am putting together a hardbound journal of sorts. I hand drew an ancestral fan chart that goes back 10 generations. I am also writing the individual lineages of some of the more historically notable lines.
Lots of work. But important work, for future generations.

The rain has come.
Talk to me in March when it stops. I actually missed it. Come March I will be so ready to dry out.
I picked most of the tomatoes and raspberries, everything else was done for the summer. Overall we had a great growing season.

We are deep in the fatigue of Fall sports. We actually had a night off last night. Nobody had to be anywhere. It was weird. And nice. I went to bed early.

That's about all.
I am staying home today and being cozy.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

very cozy

This is a perfect spot to cozy up and do some major cuddling, reading, and knitting.
Autumn is here.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

my mama story - part 1

{Summer 2011}
I was looking back on my parenting journey (so far), and there are so many things I want to remember. I want the very details etched in my mind. As time goes by, I have noticed that my memories are dulling, as the kids grow up before our eyes, their baby and toddler years are a lifetime ago. The best way for me to remember is to write it down. My very own mama story.

In parenthood, mornings have always been a crazy haze of activity. After Kane (our first) was born, once he was 6 weeks old, I would set out each weekday morning to my mom's house. She had a studio there and we were busy trying to create a custom design jewelry business. Kane would nap there and play, but as he got older, splitting my time with working and mommyhood wasn't working. When he was 2 years old, we put the business on hold, and there it has stayed. My mornings with Kane were blissful during the 3 years that followed. He would rise at 6am every morning. He would snuggle in beside me and watch Sesame Street (the only thing on at that hour). We would get up at about 7am and start our day. We had only one car at that time, and luckily I had a wonderful neighbor friend that only had one car also. So we were carless, but we had our legs. We walked everywhere with our kiddos. We loved the library storytime, little trips to the grocer, walks to the nearby parks or to the post office. On a rare day that one of us had the car, we would go to the zoo. During those happy early years, Eric and I were also enduring an obvious lack of fertility. It took 3 years to identify a tumor the size of a plastic pin-head inside my pituitary gland that was inhibiting ovulation. I was able to take a medication for 30 days to shrink the tumor, and bam! within one cycle I was pregnant. We finally had an answer and a new little life on the way.

Gage joined us when Kane was 5. By that time, Kane was in preschool. No more leisurely mornings. It was the beginning of school mornings. Getting up, making breakfast, praying there are clean clothes for the kids to wear, and rejoicing when they are to school on time. The weekends are just as early, but praise God we have Saturdays to linger. Sunday we practice the "getting everybody out of the house on time" routine and again rejoice at making it to church on time.
I have very fond memories of our evenings with Kane and Gage. After dinner, Kane and Eric would play together and I would get Gage ready for bed. At 7pm each night Gage and I would retreat to his nursery. I had a comfy chair and ottoman, and we would settle in for one last feeding and a snuggle before he laid down for the night. I remember the soft and soothing light of his room, as we would spend those moments together. It was so cozy and peaceful. That time remains one of my fondest parenting memories. When it was time for Kane to settle in for the night, there were lots of books, and cuddling, and kisses goodnight. There was always a dinosaur book and his rainbow blankie tucked in beside him.
I remember always grocery shopping at night during these early years. A little alone time to walk the aisles slowly, a little quiet.
When Gage was a year old, we decided to see if the meds I took previously would work a second time. Again, it only took one cycle and we were blessed with pregnancy #3.
When Kane was 7 and Gage was nearly 2, Rafe joined us, and a month later Anya was born (and joined us through adoption). My mornings were in for a major change. Honestly, it's good that I am writing this down, because that first year with those babies was a total blur. I can remember being totally sleep deprived. Eric would leave @ 6am, and I can remember like clockwork they would wake up just as he was out the door. I would manage to feed both of them. Rafe at the breast, Anya breastmilk from a bottle, and they would fall back to sleep. I had until 9am, when they would wake. I would tiptoe down stairs to the kitchen. I remember trying to be so quiet. Even making coffee is noisy in our little house. Kane and Gage were beginning to stir. I would usher them way downstairs to the family room, feed them a granola bar and a banana, and turn on a cartoon. If I could accomplish this without waking Rafe and Anya, I was giddy. Kane was now in 1st grade. We were so blessed that year to have his bus pick him up right in front of our house. Soon after he would leave, Rafe and Anya would usually wake up hungry and very wet. I managed to get everybody settled in the family room, and that's where we spent our days. We had created a safe little world where I could manage 3 babies under 3 years old. That room was my world for an entire year. There were comfy couches for nursing, a TV and computer, my laundry room, and lots of books and toys. We created a little fenced play area outside the door, so Gage could play out there and be safe. The only time I left that room was to go to the bathroom, go to the kitchen, and go to sleep. At night, Eric and I each took a baby. I would get up with Rafe and he would get up with Anya. Anya started sleeping through the night way before Rafe. Eric lucked out, which was good, he needed to NOT fall asleep at his desk at work. :~)

The fist time I ventured out alone with the 4 kids was comical. It was early December, which meant Anya was 1 month old and Rafe was 2 months old. Kane had the day off from school. I managed to get everybody out the door. The babies were fed and diapered before we left. I was feeling victorious and terrified. I decided to go through the Starbuck's drive thru and treat myself. Rafe and Anya started wailing, and I realized it was time for them to eat again and we weren't even 2 miles from home. It just took so long to do everything. I sat in the back of my Expedition and fed Rafe, while Kane held Anya's bottle, and Gage munched on a cookie. At that point, I realized that everything was just going to take longer than expected, and to always expect that. I needed to relax, and be ready to go with the flow. It was a good lesson to learn for Mrs. Structured and Organized.
I continued to get accustomed to life. I began to feel quite efficient in getting us where we needed to go. We ventured out more as time went by.

I remember being terrified as Summer break approached. How in the world was I going to entertain 4 kids all summer? It ended up being great. Kane was just happy to be outside playing and entertaining his little siblings. We went a few places now and then. I had a list of places I could go that were safe and contained, where I could manage not to lose a kid. Rafe and Anya happily rode around in their double stroller and Gage always had to hold my hand. I feel like we spent a lot of time at Target. Very strange. My mom was often there to help me navigate our outings. Bless her. Eric's mom would take Kane and Gage for overnighter's to give us a little break. Bless her. Those days were so busy. A different busy than we are today. For sure.

to be continued.........

Next up: Gage's adventures. (it's a good one)

Have a blessed day, Tami

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

a tomato year

Oh my goodness.
The tomatoes are rolling in nonstop.
We have had precisely 2 half days of rain in the last 2 months. With the lack of rain our tomato season has been really extended . It has also been in the 70's, also good for the tomatoes for sure. The rain is supposed to start in 10 days or so. It is my goal to get most of the harvesting done before then.

I have stopped watering altogether in hopes of getting them to ripen faster. It looks like, for the first time, I might actually put up enough tomato sauce for the year. This is a great savings to my family. To avoid BPA, I had been buying organic tomato puree in glass bottles that came from Italy. Ouch. $3.29 for 24oz. Ouch. And then there's the organic tomato soup in the cartons, expensive also.

I am going the easy route. I am roughly cutting up the whole tomatoes and tossing them into an 8 quart stock pot with onion, garlic, olive oil, and seasonings. I cook that down for several hours. After it cools, I use my stick blender to puree, and run the sauce through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

So easy.

I will freeze most of the sauce because I have space in my freezer, and can the rest.

I also have 4 big beautiful heirloom tomatoes (Old German), and more to come.
These beauties are destined for lacto-fermented salsa. Yum.

The rest of the garden is slowing down.
I found a ripe strawberry yesterday. Weird.
The raspberries are still going strong. The pole beans were a bust. Zucchini was so-so. Rhubarb excellent. Potatoes okay.

This is a tomato year.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I should have been a historian, or a genealogist, or a anthropologist of some kind. If I could go back and tell my younger self to go in this direction.......I think it would have been cool.
Not that it is too late.
I have been doing some serious digging into my family history. Last year, I spent about a month working on my dad's side with quite a bit of luck. I was able to go back about 8 generations in Sweden. What a thrill.
Last week, I got the bug again. If I am good at one thing, it is research. I am persistent for sure.
I started looking into my mom's side. Wow.
There are family lines that are documented going all the way back to 1600's. We are talking early colonists, and Quakers, and other truly fascinating stuff. Other family members seem to have appeared out of thin air. How can someone have no paper trail ?
I have just about exhausted most of the lines. It is amazing to me to look back several hundred years. I am going to keep better records for my children and grandchildren. I would like to have this all worked out for them, so it can just be added to as the generations unfold.
I am thinking a large hardbound journal, kept with all my research. I would like each family group to have their own page. Eventually, I would draw out the entire family tree.
This is a lot of work, but so worth it.

Have a blessed Tuesday, Tami

Thursday, September 20, 2012

busy and happy

{homemade Saimin}

Well, the new school year is off to a great start.
The weather has been gorgeous.
I am doing better this school year.
I feel a little less unsettled and more able to be at home. That is a big change over past years, when I avoided being home at all for the first month, at least.
I don't feel as lonely.
I am more at peace.
It only took 3 years to get here.

I spent this morning trying to soothe my lower back. I have no idea what I did to it. Perhaps, cleaning the master bedroom Monday.......I rested a bit in hopes of it feeling better, and it didn't hurt any to catch a little nap. My mornings start very early. I get up at 5:30am and wake Kane shortly after. He leaves for school at 6:25am. A sophomore in high school. How did this happen? Eric gets up at 6am and leaves shortly after that. I wake the 3 youngest kiddos at 7am, and they are out the door by 8am. Whew.

Last week, Eric and I made Saimin. It is the real-food equivalent to Top Ramen. It is totally famous in Hawaii. When we are in Kauai, we eat at Hamura Saimin in Lihue. Go, if you're ever there. It is amazing. Our version was made with Spam, hardboiled eggs, bok choy, and green onion. Spam.......very popular in Hawaii. We will have to make this again. It was a hit.

The garden is still producing lots of tomatoes. Such a blessing.
I took a little break from knitting. I was too into reading. My world would be perfect if I could do both. I am finally ready to finish the second sleeve on my cardigan.

I am reading "The Fiery Cross", the 5th book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Huge books. Huge time commitment. Loving every moment of it.

This week is a busy one.
Church council, bible study, curriculum night, Cub Scouts, sports practices, guitar..........
Soccer and football tonight. Somehow manage homework. Whew again.

Friday should be better. No practices, no homework, just playing outside and dinner together.

Have a blessed Thursday, Tami

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

a quiet room

I spent the entire day on Monday cleaning out master bedroom. Over the summer it had become a dumping ground for donation bags, Christmas gifts in the works, unused baskets, library books, stray Lego creations, and a whole lot of other stuff that I don't want there.
I wiped down walls and mouldings, dusted and polished the wood, touched up the paint, washed all the bedding and made the bed, neatly folded and put away clothes, vacuumed, and took a whole lot of junk out of there. What a relief.
Our bedroom is the only room in the house that needs to be minimalist. I need a space with little or no clutter or distractions. A sanctuary. A cozy haven. It is painted a soft oat color. The carpet is light. The comfy bed is piled with down pillows and quilts with mono-chromatic tones. We have a few utilitarian pieces of furniture, and a very select bit of art. There is no TV. At the moment, there is a upholstered rocking chair by the window, inviting me to sit. Honestly though, I think it needs to go. More often that not it serves as a clothes hanger.

The light in this room is beautiful. It also stays nice and warm. This is a plus during the winter months, when a warm bed is a delight at the end of the day. I have dotted a few votive candles around for a soft glow at night. This place needs to be a quiet and cozy respite for he and I. In our small home, claiming this space for us has become a happy necessity.
Our room is back to it's simple, quiet self. It is my favorite room in the house, for it's promise of rest and comfort. These are two things we need a lot of right now during these busy first weeks of the new school year.
Now. I just need to keep it this way.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Thursday, September 13, 2012

summer's last


It's just about done.
The last of the blossoms make way for the glorious colors of the leaves as they begin to turn. Soon the trees will be on fire with color.
I can't decide which I love more.
Truly. Autumn is my favorite season.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


We've been picking and harvesting bit by bit each day. Most of this yumminess gets eaten right up. The tomatoes are being stockpiled for my roasted tomato sauce. I think today is the day for that.

I have frozen a lot of the berries to enjoy in the winter months. We had beautiful raspberries this season. I have an everbearing variety and am picking the second harvest, and plan on freezing those as well. We let the chickens root around in the vegetable garden sometimes, and it is hilarious to watch them jump at the raspberries.

My big, heirloom Old German tomatoes are starting to ripen. I pray it happens quickly, the rains are sure to come soon.

My volunteer tomato plants ended up being Roma's. What a wonderful surprise these vigorous plants have been. They took over and entire garden bed. I decided not to stake them, but put straw under the fruit so it wouldn't rot. I love seeing their true habit, sprawling all over the ground.

We have a small espalier apple tree that didn't bear much fruit this year. Most of our apple picking came from foraged trees in our neighborhood. And the plums, same deal. Gotta love it!

I plan on spending most of the day in the kitchen, getting a jump on baking and cooking ahead. I love days like this, it makes me feel quite productive.

Have a blessed day, Tami