Thursday, June 11, 2020

Hello June

A morning outdoor visit to Nammie and Papa's.
What a gift!!!!

We miss them so much...

This year's Relief Sale was cancelled,
but we were craving the special donuts - so we made some!!
The farmer did the glazing.
They were delicious and I must make them again soon?
Dilemma - we ate too many!

From the 1973 Relief Sale Cookbook binder!

Fresh Asparagus from the garden,
wrapped in Prosciutto and roasted to perfection!

Asparagus Quiche.
You can't see the asparagus because it's smothered
in all that eggy goodness.
Love cast iron "pies"!

A sweet gift arrived in the mail from my dear friend Nonie,
a childhood forever friend!

It even contained some fun things for Sully and Noa ... so thoughtful!

Nonie - we are all praying for you as you navigate this horrid disease!

June flowers have arrived and more are still to come.
This old farm is at it's best this time of year for sure!

June Flowers

The evening "moon flowers" are once again magically opening before our eyes.
It seems they start blooming right around dusk and that's also when the mosquitoes 
are the hungriest!

The garden is mostly up, the corn is filling in and everything is standing at attention today after the much needed but heavy rain last evening!

Thankfully no tornados, despite the warnings!

The peonies and chives weren't quite as happy about the heavy rain.

June's solstice is just around the corner and we are slowly
beginning to find our new normals in these pandemic days!
It's been 3 months now since isolation began.

The wind has changed today - could this be a sign of new beginnings?

Our hearts are heavy for this world tho we have faith in our Lord to keep us safe!

How are you all doing out there dear readers?

Till next time ... stop and smell the June flowers and pray for health and safety.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Purple Lining and Rusty Wheels

I think I may have an obsession for purple flowers?
Seems like everything that is blooming right now is
either purple or white.

It certainly is such a pretty time of year here
on this old farm!

I am enjoying the Spring blooms.
We were scheduled to be on tour in England right now
and would have missed it - so there's the "purple" lining of it all I guess!?

Also, the farmer has been doing a lot of cleaning up around here
and this old hay rake has been rusting in the back forty for
as long as we've lived here - over 40 years!
He dug it out of the grass and with much effort was able 
to get those gorgeous wheels off.
I've been wanting those for a long time and here they are:

Today was the date for the annual Mennonite Relief Sale in New Hamburg.

Because it was cancelled, due to Covid-19, they went ahead and auctioned off 100 quilts online.
What a joy to see the beautiful hand work with all profits going to
Mennonite Central Committee
for world relief. The feature quilt sold for $2,300 I believe.

Here is a link to the quilt catalogue if you care to have a peek.

We've been enjoying such lovely warm weather for the past few weeks,
but tonight it has turned quite cold with a risk of frost.
My garden is planted and the tomato plants are covered for tonight - just in case.

Hope everyone is still staying healthy and patient ...

Till next time .... stopping to smell the purple flowers.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Covid Spring

Covid Spring 2020

Here we are, isolation Day 66, rainy Victoria Day 
My cup of tea and piece of rhubarb cake is getting me through today ...
I hesitated to post this but,
Documenting how I am feeling for my own reference some day.

This has been the strangest and most surreal Spring in my life/in the world!
Increasingly, my emotions seem to be getting the better of me.
Missing my friends and favourite little humans
I feel so unmotivated and cannot wait to hug my grandchildren.

Everything will be O.K. - right?

All the upcoming "normal" events have literally been crossed off our calendar:

Birthday parties - gone virtual
Weddings postponed
Church services - gone virtual and Zoomed
Church play cancelled
Local Theatre Play cancelled
Mission's Fund Raising Dinner cancelled
Curling Banquet and Annual Meeting cancelled
Way overdue hair appointments - don't get me started on the state of my hair - eek!
Doctor's appointments cancelled
The Stratford Festival Theatre Season cancelled - surreal
Ailsa Craig Quilt Show cancelled
Mennonite Central Committee Relief Sale cancelled
Our trip to England cancelled
Vacation Bible School cancelled
Funerals postponed
Wellesley's Apple Butter and Cheese Festival cancelled
and so much more!

Everything will be O.K. - right?

However, many wonderful things have happened too since the World was put on Pause:

My sister's granddaughter Violet was born

Isolated Baby Violet's - First Peeks through the patio doors!
Birthdays were celebrated in very unique ways
Some sewing projects were completed
Mini Quilt Along Project almost complete
Quilting and rewatching the sour dough tutorial

Sourdough baking accomplished

New projects are on the go - i.e. crochet
Flower beds weeded and mulched

Misty Spring Evening
Spring Flowers are blooming

Mother's Day
Beautiful Flowers from my loves. Our Mom's - missing them so much!
Face masks have been sewn
Orioles, Hummingbirds, and Grosbeaks have arrived
Crops are planted and the stones have been picked
Apple blossoms are ready to burst
Fresh Rhubarb, Chives and Winter Onions from the garden
The almost daily FaceTimes with my loved ones - get's me through

Everything will be O.K. - right!?
Thank you for bearing with me on this post ...

Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
The Good News: God is standing by your side, even in the toughest moments of your life. Do not be afraid, stand strong, and have faith.

Clinging to those words
Everything WILL be O.K.!

Till next time - how is everyone coping? Praying that you are all staying healthy and safe.

These two keep me giggling with their hilarious text antics!
I find myself watching them over and over ...

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Two's Are Tumbling In ...

Our little Sully turned two today!

Sully, you have brought us so much Joy.

We love you
From the curl on the top of your sweet head,
to the bottom of your pudgy little toes.

You have learned so many things this past year;
to walk and to run really fast,

to sit on top of your sister while she giggles and gasps for air,

to point and communicate with hilarious expressions,

to forming your first words - fish, beep, cookie, Elmo and many more

We love how you throw your head back with laughter and smiles,
how you wrinkle up your nose when you smile,
and how you show your surprised look.

Your blue eyes light up when you see Papa.

He can't wait to take you on your first tractor ride and so much more!

We love your visits and your warm wrap around the neck cuddles.

Stay sweet and know that you are dearly loved!

Happy, happy Birthday Sullivan ...

May God bless you and keep you safe till we can hold you and hug you again!

"The two's are tumbling in ...
                          you'll never be one again".       by Alabama


Chocolate mud!

Photo credits - mommy and dadda and some by Nammie

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Woodland Ramp and Potato Soup

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Nothing tastes better than a good batch of wild leeks (ramps)
and potato soup on this cold and sunny Earth Day.

The farmer dug a small batch from a neighbouring woodland
for this earthy soup ...

3 slices uncooked bacon - diced
2 slices cooked ham - chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion - chopped
10-12 ramps, peeled cleaned and chopped (heads only)
6 potatoes - peeled and diced
4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 Cup milk
1/4 Cup sour cream
a few ramp leaves chopped - for garnish

In Dutch Oven, fry the chopped bacon until crisp, remove, set aside and pour off the fat.
Add butter, onions and ramps - saute for a few minutes
Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
Stir in the chopped potatoes and simmer till fork tender
Mash or puree the potatoes and broth.
Return the bacon and add ham to the soup, reserving some for garnish. Heat through.
Add the milk and sour cream and serve.
Garnish with chopped ramp leaves and crumbles of bacon

The soup was tasty - however, now the house has that
lingering "old people's" pungent garlicky smell.
Oh well, no one is coming over for a visit any time soon
and besides - we are the old people - smile!

The sourdough bread turned out really good today.

It may have upstaged the soup!

In spite of not having any of the "required" equipment,
such as the proofing bannetons (baskets) etc.,
I think I'm finally getting onto it?
So glad I didn't give up on this fermented goodness.

It tasted delicious with the soup.

Hosta Leaf design?

I think sourdough baking could become my distraction during this pandemic?
As long as I can find flour ... the store shelves are still scarce on baking supplies.

Do you have a covid-19 distraction these days?

Are you and your loved ones managing OK?

Till next time  - trying to stay positive! 

Monday, April 13, 2020

Day 32 and Counting

Well, that was Easter 2020!

Today on this dreary Easter Monday - reality is really starting to sink in.
My heart literally aches when I think of
how much I miss my little loves and the rest of our family.

However, so much to be thankful for.

Ash Tree Clean-up almost complete

Easter Bunnies made ... '80's pattern
(the farmer's old jeans being used)

Working from home ...

(the farmer with our son-in-law,
 business partner)
Junior Business Partner at work!

And me sewing teeny tiny 1 1/2 inch pieces of fabric together for a 
mini quilt - quilt along. 
I think I need to find a new hobby!!!!

Finally, after a helpful free webinar by Sourdough Schoolhouse,
better success with my latest 2 loaves.
(thanks for the link from Marg B. and Lovella S.)

Not perfect but getting better

No butter lamb made this year,
but Paska served with Ontario Maple Syrup
was a must.

Oh yes, and some yummy "HopCorn" was devoured.

The best part of this Spring 2020 are the sweet pictures and FaceTimes shared

Apparently the word quarantine from Italian means "a period of forty days".
There are so many biblical references to the number 40.
Plus, the year 2020 (20 + 20 = 40) might be significant?

This makes me hopeful that soon this global pause will resume.

I have to confess to having some very "blue" days and finding it hard to
even get meals made and on the table - so many meals to be made it seems.
A fair number of hotdogs and hamburgers have been consumed lately!

Hang in there everyone.
We are all in this together!
Keep your stick on the ice.
Hug the ones you're with.
Stay home!

Till next time ... hoping that your Easter was meaningful and healthy.
                         Trusting in the Lord for better days ahead.

Hello June

A morning outdoor visit to Nammie and Papa's. What a gift!!!! We miss them so much... ...