Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Robin's Flower Pot

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Garden Photos

Rhubarb Harvest.

The rest we are leaving to go to seed

The Fully Planted Garden!

Sugar Snap Peas



Monday, May 30, 2011

JD Bed & Breakfast

Cozy Bedroom
This week-end Jason and I celebrated our 3rd year of marriage with a stay at The JD B&B (Stomper went to Mimi and Bumpa's house). We were able to stay for free, with conditions. The first condition was that we do a little shopping and the second condition was that we had to do a little gardening.

Upon arrival JD handed us a short list and told us that we need to do a little grocery shopping. We took a lovely drive through the back woods to Kingfield to go to a local grocery store chain, Trantens. We bought a breakfast full of yummy carbs: cheese danish, orange juice donuts, oranges, and cantelope and tasty super: 1/2lb pork chops and coleslaw (there was already some stuff to use at the B&B).

The Plants
After we dropped the items off we were given directions to a local greenhouse and another list. We took the bumpy truck down a bumpy road and arrived at Robin's Flower Pot. We bought broccoli; brussel sprouts; cabbage; tomatoes: cherry, roma, and big-boy; and pepper plants then while Jason was checking out he also picked up seeds for pumpkin, Buttercup squash, Blue Hubbard squash, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, mint, and cucumbers all for the garden.

Robin's Flower Pot is a lovely place to go and wander around. We found many things we wished we had the money for. Mostly some pretty stuff for around our house and a few ornamental trees for our backyard. I could have spent a little time there using their benches if I had my knitting with me and if we hadn't been starving.

We stopped at a local eatery, The Company, for supper and drinks. They have a lot of beer on tap (if that sort of thing interests you) and a full bar. I had Alfredo sauce and it was good, but not great. Jason enjoyed his scallops, I didn't try them. The fried pickles in their spicy dipping sauce were amazing, as to were the french fries. We had to order fries for me so I wouldn't eat all of Jason's. We would go there again, but I would try a burger.

Friday night when we got to JD B&B we were treated with an amazing thundershower! The whole sky lit up! We stood on the porch, snuggled in each others arms, for a little while until the rain started to come down sideways. Then we watched movies from a bed that felt just like home.

Saturday we woke at our leisure, prepared our own breakfast (JD left as a note telling us we were on our own), and went upstairs to watch a movie in bed. When our movie was done we decided it was time to get to work.
Completed Planting!

We spent an hour and a half putting in all the plants and seeds we had bought. Jason tilled up the Squash Garden while I planted tomatoes. We planted quite a bit! The garden is almost overflowing. We checked out other areas of the garden that had been previously planted and there are little shoots of things growing, it is very exciting.

Saturday afternoon after showers and lunch we took siestas for an hour and a half! In the evening we cooked up the pork on the grill along with some potatoes and onions and had a wonderful dinner together. Late in the evening we went to the movies to see the latest installment of Pirates of the Caribbean (very good by the way) at Narrow Gauge Cinema, which for being a theater in an out-of-the-way town is amazing and affordable!

We fell into bed sometime around 1am and slept soundly all night.

I was a little anxious for Sunday to get over. I hadn't been away from Stomper in such a long time. I knew though, that we had to wait. Stomper had gone with his Mimi & Bumpa to a family gathering and wouldn't be back until early evening. Jason took me through a drive around some dirt roads to do a little rubber-necking. We ended up at the family campsite in Carthage to see the improvements before heading to a little girls 1st birthday party.

Then, finally, we went to go pick up Stomper.

We had a really good time. It was nice to "get away" even if we did have to work during some of it. Jason commented to me on Saturday: "You are really silly today." I responded, "It's because I am well rested and stress free. Don't you remember me like this?" He said, "I have no idea what you are talking about." (smart man).

Blog Roll Review

I often wonder, when I visit another person's blog, why they follow the blogs that they follow. Many bloggers have long lists of blogs they read, but I'm curious: Why? Why those ones? Are they friends? Did they stumble upon them one day, added them to their list, and then gave them no further thought?

I decided that I will give a review of each of the blogs I faithfully follow. The few blogs that I am anxious to see new posts from and wait impatiently for them to write more! I will be telling you, my reader, how I found them, why I follow them, if I know them personally, and why I think you should read them.

There are seven blogs total that I would call my favorites. There are dozens that I follow, but these special seven are on my must read list. I could do one a day, but I think that is too quick. I will write one a week for the next seven weeks starting Monday, June 6th. The first one is Inspired written by Melissa.

Check back next Monday to read the review!

Friday, May 27, 2011

{This Moment}

{This Moment} A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.

~via SouleMama

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Things Remembered

I had entitled this post Mission Accomplished because I got a lot done today in a short amount of time (laundry folded, packed, and put away; diaper table re-organized; clothes line used, adapted, and fixed) but then I was sitting out on the porch with Stomper, watching the clothes float on the breeze, and some memories came back to me and suddenly what I had done today no longer seemed so important. 

As a teen I sometimes hung the laundry out on the line for my Mom (I believe there was a chair involved). One end was tied way up in a tree and the other end was attached to a post on the deck, but the deck had become rotten and removed, hence the chair. First the jeans went on because they took the longest, then the towels, then the t-shirts. I remember thinking how foolish it was to hang laundry since we had a perfectly working dryer, but Mom insisted. 

I remember, when I was around 7 or 8, riding my bike around and around the house, ducking under the laundry lines (there were two at one time), and being fearful of getting caught on it. My Dad, I believe it was him, always warned me not to pull any of the laundry down. As a child, the vague threat meant I'd receive a spanking, but now as an adult I wonder if a less harsh punishment would have been doled out. 

I am thankful that my Mom used a clothes line and cloth diapers (though I wasn't so keen on the idea back then). Now, today, as my dryer sits in my kitchen still not working, I can revive old skills and put them to use. I know to put my t-shirts inside-out so they won't fade and that I can hide my undies behind stuff so the neighbors can't see. I know that dunking the diaper in the toilet will remove the solids and that the washer can do the rest.

As I sat there with my son, him holding on to the rails of the railing practicing standing, me telling him about my childhood I recalled summers at Grandpa and Grandma B's house. Every summer for two weeks I'd go and stay with them. One week we'd camp and the other week we hung around the house. I would help Grandma with the laundry on occasion when I was bored. We walked through the back porch storage room (usually a place forbidden) to the back yard where the clothes lines were. 

I remember the smell of warm metal and mint. Warm metal from the sides of their trailer and the funny paint that rubbed off on my fingers and the loads of mint out where the laundry hung. When I was little I got to hold the bag of clothes pins, but as I got older I got to hang up towels (just the towels). When we were done Grandma and I would pick up mint and rub it between our fingers to release the smell. She never let me chew it, not sure why. 

With our work completed me might take a look at the garden and pick a few cherry tomatoes (they planted a whole plant just for me) or try and sneak around to the front of the house to see some birds up close.

I hope that as my son gets older he will have many fond memories of his grandparents. I feel blessed that both sets love him so deeply and dearly that even at the age of 8months they want him all to themselves some days and ask for a "Mimi & Stomper Day" or "Grandma & Stomper Day". The grandfathers look more towards the future for having him on their own, when he's potty trained. I've already been told about fishing, smelting, and hunting trips that Stomper and his Bumpa will take and Grandfather will teach him out to make maple syrup and build things. I am excited for the childhood my son will get to experience.

New Tags

In an effort to stream line my blog and clean up some clutter 
I am instituting a new method of tagging my posts. They will tagged:

Mothering - anything pertaining to my son (including his adoption), being a parent, or caring for my family

Gardening - anything to do with gardening, canning, harvesting, weeding, or taking care of gardening tools

Knitting - anything I knit, am thinking about knitting, yarn, customers, and patterns

Living - everything else, cooking, church, vacations, travel, thoughts, ect.

Knitted Together

I am blending my two blogs together into one blog.

What you will now see in this new and (hopefully) improved blog will be more than just knitting.
I will keep updating on my knitting and what I have for sale, but I will also write on my family life.

You can expect to see posts on "Stomper" my son, what I am cooking up in the kitchen, the garden, things I am designing, and other parts of family life.

I hope you enjoy the new format!

Mimi & Stomper

Here are two videos of my Mother-In-Law being silly with my son.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Something Silly, Something Sweet


Peppermint Mocha Mama had this on her blog and it gave me a laugh.. thought I'd give it a go. If you want to try click here.

My Name Is:

1. My Real Name:
Delia Hamlin

2. Witness Protection Name:
Mae Harry

3. Nascar Name
Winifred Walter

4. Star Wars Name:

5. Detective Name
Blue Dog

6. Soap Opera Name
Mae Manchester

7. Superhero Name
The Green Coffee

8. Fly Name

9. Porn Name
Mr. Rogers South

10. Gangsta Name

11. Goth Name
Black Piper

12. Stripper Name
Black Amethyst Chocolate

Finished up this little sheep just in time for a Birthday Party

Can Share

about half of last years relish

I ran into this idea via MommyCoddle on Twitter. It was actually on (in?) a web page she shared as a link. She called it a Jam, Jelly, & Preseve Swap but many of the presevers I know also freeze, because it is cheaper and faster so I am going to call it Can Share.

The reason that I want to do this, is that last year I made gallons of green tomato relish not realizing how much I was really making, and I still have tons of it. It would have been nice to have gone to a swap or share and "off loaded" my relish. Also, I'm not much of a jam or jelly maker.

One year when I was a pre-teen I made a batch of grape jelly from the wild (well, uncultivated) grapes that grew at our house. I remember not having much fun, but feeling proud of my accomplishment. I don't recall my Mom helping she told me it was MY project and I was more than capable of doing it myself. The other reason that I don't make jam or jelly is that it is so easy to buy that stuff at the store and so much work to get the berries from the bush to the kitchen (picture me fending off my husband and son from eating such yummy goodies).

I know what you are thinking: "Really Delia, you are afraid of jam? You who made how many gallons of relish?"

Yes, well, the tomatoes were right outside my door and the other ingredients a very short drive to the store so it didn't feel so much like work.

I am going to open our swap to anything you have preserved in 2011 including but not limited to:

other berries
summer squash

The rules:
1) Whatever you share needs to be packaged and ready to be tossed back into the freezer or put on the shelf.
2) Bring 10-12 of each item you wish to swap with (10 jars of jam, 10 gallon bags of pears) PLUS one to open for tasting --if you item is frozen please prepare a thawed batch for tasting
3) If your item is unique or not usually preserved (I am thinking of my Mom's frozen pears) please type or neatly write a recipie on how to use it
4) Label your items with your name, what the item is, and what month and year it was preserved
5) And this one is obvious --preserve with care we don't want anyone sick!

I hope to plan the swap for mid-September or mid-October depending on how well the canning goes. I think for the swap I will bring something pickled and maybe something sweet or frozen? Not sure yet I have tons of time to think and dream.

This is what I hope to preserve this fall some canned some frozen:

pickled beets
relish (maybe)
apple butter
pear butter ?
pear sauce (frzn)
apple sauce (frzn)
tomato sauce (frzn)
shredded zuccini (frzn)
shredded summer squash (frzn)
berries (frzn)
sugar snap peas (frzn)
rhubarb (frzn)
(frzn) = frozen

Also in addition to my own small stash of relish I am making gallons for my cousin, yes gallons. I sent him a quart of relish about a month ago. I saw him at a wedding reception this past week-end:

cousin: "That relish you made tasted just like Grandmas."
me: "Good. It is her recipie, I'm glad you like it."
cousin: "Can you make me more this summer? I'll pay you."
me: "I still have a some you can have it."
cousin: "Well, I want a lot of it."
me: "How much is a lot?"
cousin: "Well, I could eat a jar a week." --I'm not sure if he meant a quart or a pint a week
me: "I'll plant more tomatoes just for you."
my husband: "How about you buy two things of jars one for us and one for you?"
cousin: "Sounds good."

I cannot wait to see some growth in the garden!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Teacup Teddy

She is finished!
This is Teacup Teddy knit for the same customer who ordered Teacup Baby.

Isn't she the cutest? Don't you want one?

The Color of Love

I think the color of love is brown. A rich, deep, dark brown, so brown it's almost black. It's the color of my toes this afternoon after I spent twenty minutes in the garden helping out my husband in my bare feet. Brown has made it onto my floors and across my porch as dirty boots trod inside from a hard days work tilling up the gardens. Brown reminds me of hope as we plant and hope for a good nights gentle rain and just enough sun and rain through out our summer while our garden grows. I love that we are using up the space we have been given to prepare for the winter. I love that this summer, fall, and winter 
we will be able to munch on veggies that we have planted.

Click the picture to View it Bigger
Most of the planting was accomplish by my husband today. I was able to help plant the potatoes and onions before I had to go inside and tend to Stomper. More planting is planned for Saturday during our Anniversary Week-end at Home. We have found places for the dogs and Stomper to go so that we can have the house to ourselves and not have to worry about feeding anyone, 
changing diapers, or letting anyone out to pee. 

Work has begun on the Squash Garden. The lawn is too long to for the tiller and the mower is not working. Jason believes we just need a spark plug to fix the mower and then the lawn can be mowed. Once the lawn is mowed Jason can till it up, and then we can plant some more.

In the meantime I like looking out my window and seeing that dark patch of brown in our lawn.
Soon the brown will be spotted with small green growing things and then my new 
favorite color will be green.

{This Moment}

I realize this is not a photo, but I didn't take any this week, only 
this video and it pretty much sums up how our week went.

{This Moment} A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.

~via SouleMama

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We ended up snagging the roto-tiller my Dad had that belongs to Jason's other Great Grandfather and used it to till up our garden, in the rain.

Our tiller needs a carborator kit (not sure what it is, just that we need one). We have a friend who works on small engines for a living and he will order it for us.
This morning Jason says to me: "I should till up the garden every day, I slept great!"

This is our main garden. Jason is planning on breaking new ground for a squash garden (pumpkins, zucchini, summer squash, acorn squash, ect) near to this one, but not adjacent

Here's to hard work and a bountiful yield!

"This is a unique situation"

"Unique" only begins to describe our Adoption Story.

Yesterday we went before a judge to officially become Temporary Guardians of Stomper (for the next 6months) while we wait for all the adoption stuff to go through. The judge looked at the three of us, took off his spectacles, and said something along the lines of: "This is a unique situation, could you tell me how this all happened?"


"Well my Great Aunt works at a homeless shelter...."

I told the judge as much as I knew about The Birth Mother, where she came from, where she was going, her family, where her family may be living, what her intentions were concerning the adoption. I hope I was clear enough when we were talking to him. I did my best and stuck to the facts and left our theories out.

I think he was concerned that we convinced The Birth Mother to give up her baby and that it wasn't all her idea. As far as I know, it was her idea. I'm sure other people came before us and suggested it to her, but by the time we entered the story she had already made up her mind.

I wish so much that she was around to go before the judge and say: "I want these people to love and raise my baby." I think it is easier for her though to not be around.

The worst case scenario (if the home-study isn't finished, if we are still running ads in the paper to find The Birth Parents, ect) if he is not adopted before the Temporary Guardianship is up our lawyer will file for us to become Permanent Guardians of Stomper until we can once and finally adopt him.

As always God is in control.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


When to Grandma's Daycare and played with the kids there and in the sandbox!

Please click the link for even more cute photos!

Visions of Summer

Today Jason went to church for Men's Breakfast and I asked him if he'd stop by the Farmers Union and pick up some seeds on his way home. Some of the things we are planting this year are new to us (since we've only been gardening for a year) and so I thought we'd just get a few seeds if they'd let us. Like a dozen. Well, the smallest increment they sell seeds is an ounce. We are going to have a bigger garden than anticipated! Most of the seeds will last more than one season, but a few we have to plant this year. Due to our ever enlarging garden we are going to have a separate plot just for the squashes and pumpkins.

red onions, carrots, beets, parsnips, sugar snap peas, mammoth sunflower, garlic, red and russet potato

Unfortunately the very ancient rototiller will not cooperate. It is broken down. The good thing is that we did not purchase the rototiller (it was a hand-me-down gift from Jason's Great-Grandfather) so any money we put into it is not a big deal, it's cheaper to fix what you own than to buy something new. Our big plan to plant this week-end looks like it's not going to happen. However, we do have access to another tiller if ours will not get up and running. Jason took some vacation time next week so I think at the very latest we will plant the Monday before memorial day.

I think I'm going to need to start the peas inside on Monday since everyone keeps telling me they need to get in the ground like a week a go. Hopefully I am not too late.
Jason tinkering on the tillers carborator

I am so excited, more excited than I would have been even two years ago about having a garden. Two years ago I would have rolled my eyes at the prospect of happily growing my own veggies. Two years ago I would have simply gone to the store for the convenience of having the store do all the work. Like with cloth diapering; experience and knowledge have changed my point of view.

I cloth diaper because it is better for my son, for the environment, and for my wallet. I garden because it is better for my family, the environment, my wallet, and my peace of mind. I grow my own so I know that the people harvesting were paid a good wage, that the veggies were cleaned properly, and that the veggies were not over burdened with harmful chemicals.

I have this glorious yummy vision of this summer going down to the garden and picking out spinach, peas, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, carrots, and tomatoes to make the most delicious salad. Not hopping in my car and driving to the nearest grocery store, or even walking there, not paying anyone for my food, not wondering if the food is safe, just picking and eating.

Then in the fall picking/uprooting beets and carrots to can, potatoes of various colors to store, beets and cucumbers to pickle, squashes to freeze and/or store in our root cellar, and lots of yummy goodness all winter long. All without leaving my home!


 Yesterday I was able to get my hands a little dirty in my flower garden. I am reclaiming some lawn for some prettiness. Last year I transplanted hosta and oriental iris some from other places in my yard, some from my mom. I didn't think it would come up, I was certain that I killed them all. Not to worry, they are up! I spent about an hour digging up clumps of lawn and throwing them into the bushes. In my zeal to claim some lawn for myself I broke my trowel I got for Mothers Day! It is a good thing that my MIL gave me two because many people have offered clumps of their fuller plants and so I look forward to transplanting and digging soon.

{This Moment}

{This Moment} A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.

~via SouleMama

Friday, May 6, 2011

This Week

Weeded out some Rhubarb and Flowers

Attempted Murder Transplanted Some Flowers

Studied Lovely Yarn

Cleaned the House

Received Early Mothers Day Presents

Started Knitting and Bought Yarn

Practiced Crawling and Getting Into Stuff


This afternoon while Owen slumbered peacefully in his bed I went outside to murderously uproot a family of green growing things transfer some plants from one spot in front of my house to another spot. Part of the issue is some of them are growing where I can't see them and they are really pretty and the other issue was some of them were growing under the house.

I added some bricks around the garden to differentiate what is lawn/driveway and what is garden.  It's lopsided and uneven, but I like it!

While I was out killing the plants transferring what I think are tulips and lilys I realized I need a few things.

Something to hide the dirt and kill off some grass

Some of that dark stuff to grow pretty stuff in

A leaf transportation vehicle and a leaf gathering apparatus 

A manicure on a daily basis or something to protect my digits

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