Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How did it get to be December?

Once again I feel like I'm starting out this entry with the statement, "I've been absent for so long. . . ."  It seems to be a trend for me on this blog.  

My last entry was at the end of the summer and here we are already in December.  Where did the time go?

After the kids and I started another year of home schooling, I feel like we flew through the months of September and October.  We had just an amazing summer and fall, with barely any rain and beautiful sunny/warm days.  We had many play dates with friends and lots of time outdoors.  The three younger girls began their full load of ballet classes for this semester in September.  Running them to and from the dance studio has become my life these days - thank heavens we are only 5 minutes from the dance studio in town.

Harvesting this year's bounty took all hands on deck.  Many hands make light work.  One afternoon we harvested our neighbor's apples.  They made a spectacular batch of apple butter.

In early August, I relisted some items into my Etsy Precious Peas Shop.  It all began from inspiration from my Dad, who brought home some burlap fabric for me to make something out of it.  A table runner seemed probable.  Since I have listed this table runner in August, my shop has sold over 140 of them.
Check out the latest additions to the shop:

Thanksgiving was spent with the entire family.  Both older girls, and their families came out for a visit.  We also got to meet our newest grandbaby.  It was sweet time of fellowship with everyone.  They even had time to fit in some Black Friday shopping - I know some of them are anxious to see what deals they scored that night.




I almost forgot one important thing - my Barn Quilt is done!  Now off to the quilter it goes!
Have a blessed holiday season!

Monday, September 2, 2013

End of Summer

I have been absent for far too long. . .  and here we are at the end of summer.  This summer was so unexpected for us.. . . we had many days upwards of 70 degrees with our top hottest days last week coming in at 84 degrees.   This weather turned our garden into a massive producing machine.  I've been harvesting and canning green beans since early August.  I must have put away 45 quarts of green beans and 15 quart size bags of shelled peas with an enormous bag of dried peas for next year's crop.  Every day there are carrots, onions, broccoli or cauliflower to harvest.    Our greenhouse even became too hot and the doors to it have been open for the last month.  Too much heat caused most of my tomato and pepper plants to die prematurely and not fully produce, couple that with root bound plants in pots makes for a poor tomato/pepper crop.  So, we rolled with the punches and got six 20 pound boxes of organic tomatoes from a local grower and spent several days canning them. 
Our Nubian goats are growing larger every day.  Right now, I am currently watching them closely to see when they begin their monthly cycles so that Anne and I can take them to the breeder.  The General Manager is definitely wanting some return on investment from them in the form of MILK!  
School has resumed for the kids as of last week.  The first week back to the books went rather smoothly here at One Blessed Acre.  My favorite subject this year has to be our herb study, The Herb Fairy Book Club from Herb Mentor.  Each month we receive a new book, plus activity guide for a particular herb.  This month we are studying violets, so while we can't enjoy any of the violet recipes right now, we are still learning a lot, information that we'll be able to use in the spring!
I also finished barn #10 in our Quilty Barn Along with Lori.  This block is called the "Summer Star."  I'm a little concerned that the red in the barn might be too overpowering compared to the rest of my barns, but at this point, I'm just really excited to finish up the blocks and get it off to the quilter.  Two more blocks to go!
Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sneak Peek

So many baby boys are being born, so little time to quilt for them all. . .

Here is a sneak peek at the start of my next quilt for a precious baby boy due in September.

My inspiration came from A Little Bit Biased.  I just love her scrappy quilts.  This particular quilt is called Scrap Jar Stars.  I am once again using scraps from several of my bins of fabric.  My oldest daughter, Anne is so proud when I use my scraps instead of buying new fabric.  But really, what quilter can resist buying new fabric. 

Happy Sewing!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Garden: July

Barn #9 completed. . . Only three more blocks to go.  Be sure to check out Lori's other Quilty Barn blocks.
It has been about a month since I updated pictures of the garden.  It has been so unusually dry here.  WATER, WATER and more WATER is what the garden is calling for.   We have harvested so many wonderful vegetables like arugula, romaine lettuce, cilantro, snap peas, bush beans and cherry tomatoes.  This year my goal is to keep track of all that we harvest to see if it's saving us money on our grocery bill.  Even if it were not, I would still do all of this just because it fits into my goal to be more self-sustaining and to provide the family with the most nutritious food possible.
We are anxiously awaiting more of the late summer vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, and squash.
I have been diligently saving our plants from the cucumber beetle and cabbage moth.  It's been a lot of smooshing and sprinkles of wood ash around the base of the plants.  My companion planting plans has not worked out as well as I hoped, but the marigolds look amazing.  Our greenhouse has earned it's keep as many of my plants are bearing fruit already. 
Look who I found wandering into the garden today while I was trying to take pictures.  He's my strawberry eating boy - one of the many reasons we have only harvested one small quart bag of strawberries to save for the winter.


And his partner in crime - she loves snap peas and carrots  - so watch out for her in your garden.  Some of our boxes look rather empty, but that is because I've already replanted arugula, carrots, lettuce.  I started seeds this weekend  - more broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage for fall plantings. Our raspberries are done - I laugh thinking about the 20 or so berries that we harvested for our second year.  I suppose that is not too bad for only two really good canes.  We added 6 more this year.  Next year, I'm going to add another bed.  The General Manager has his heart set on raspberry jam so I need more raspberry canes and better eyes to catch those sneaky fingers stealing my berries.

Happy Gardening!  This blog post is linked up to New Life On A Homestead's Barn Hop.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tractor Boy's Quilt

Days here on the homestead are busy, but I managed to get Tractor Boy's quilt pieced together over the weekend.  The quilt began out of a need for him to have his own quilt on his bed, rather than a used hand-me-down.  While hand-me-downs are clothed in love, I wanted him to have his own memory that momma made for him.
Where to begin when looking through the myriad of fabrics online?  He loves all things trucks, cars, tractors and being four, I wanted something that he wouldn't outgrow too quickly. So, when I found this fabric I knew it was perfect for him.  It is by Moda, and it's called Ten Little Things.   The owl print was my personal favorite.  Especially after we made these owls from Gingercake and George began to take his new owl pillow "Tiggie" everywhere.
Image of Lola The Owl Pillow PDF Pattern and bonus Lola Owl Bag Pattern
Now it's time to find the fabric to back and bind the quilt with.  I am thinking a navy blue backing and lime green binding fabric.  What do you think?  . . . . then off to the quilter it goes.  He's going to be so excited to have it on his bed soon.
I shared my 12 Days of Christmas quilt awhile back, my first blog giveaway winnings!  It's back from the quilter, binding on and awaiting it's entry into our county fair in August. 

I think the quilting turned out fabulous!  Thanks to Kathy at Stitch by Stitch.  I have to admit it was little unnerving sending my work to a complete stranger in Montana, but she is a sweet woman and so very easy to work with.   Plus, just take a moment to look at her quilts and I guarantee you'll be hooked.   I would not hesitate using her again.


Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

From this to that. . . Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Who would have thought that four years ago when I was gifted the roots of this rhubarb plant, that by planting it I would be able to one day take this plant. . .  and

the strawberries that we planted around the same time in our ever expanding garden . .  and turn it into this yummy, fire red, sweet jam.

It was my Dad that inspired the whole long journey to this jam because of his love for rhubarb.  When I was a child he used to make a rhubarb syrup that we would use for pancakes, waffles and always on ice cream.  While I don't remember whether I liked it or whether I turned my nose up at it, which my children do on many of my dishes today, my memory is more of my Dad in the kitchen making it and how much he enjoyed rhubarb.  It brings my heart joy to think that this jam, and every successive jar that I can each year afterwards will bear the same story.  It is my greatest hope that my children will fondly recall these stories as they get older. 



  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 3 cups rhubarb
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 ounces powdered pectin
  • 5 1/2 cups sugar


  1. In a large sauce pan, combine the strawberries and rhubarb. Crush the mixture together (I use my potato masher), and then add in the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then let simmer, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb breaks apart.
  2. Prepare your canning supplies. Bring the temperature of the glass jars up by processing them in hot water for several minutes, and heat a few cups of water in a small saucepan for the lids.
  3. Stir in the pectin until dissolved. Bring back to a boil, and then add in the sugar all at once. Boil hard for a minute longer.
  4. Skim off any foam and ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  5. Place the lids and bands on top, screwing on the bands just until fingertip-tight. Place the full jars back into the boiling water and process 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the water and place the jars on a towel. Let the jars cool. The seals should suck down (you’ll hear a popping noise as they do). Makes 7-8 eight-ounce jars.

Source: Food Fanatic