Saturday, August 30, 2014

More Tinker General

We are enjoying some fun outdoor toys this late spring and summer. Test driving -and maybe a bit more- is such a treat! Shannon likes the small short jobs and the children like small and big vehicles to ride or drive!

 Baja scooter

Honda Shadow. (I was even persuaded to ride on this one!)

golf cart (We bought it when customer decided not to spend money to fix it. yay!?)

old WD Allis Chalmers 

electric scooter

This kids four-wheeler was quite powerful. Cora especially liked to ride it around the circle drive. She actually got carried away one time when we were all smiling and watching her. She stood up, lost control, and smacked into the house. Oh, the change of expressions was so comical! She was not hurt, though it bent the bike a little.

Shannon had a cement floor poured so he can move his shop into the bigger shed on our property. He traded some mechanic work for part of the job and we've had some various concrete apparatuses lying around.

power trowel

And another pint-size four-wheeler. 

Standing up again! This time on a straight run. Phew, no mishaps!

Such fun! Little joys! Life is good!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The First full Week In August (A Week In Review #4)

Our week started out with a lovely dinner invitation after church service Sunday morning August 3. Later in the day we delivered some food to young friends that had a new baby and older friends who are having health challenges.We had nice catch-up visits with each in the homes we were in.

The children spent some together time reading new library books. Caroline likes the Boxcar Children series, Annie has been reading some American Girl mysteries and Marguerite Henry titles. Riley doesn't check any out, he just picks one up at home and starts in. Here they're munching popcorn as they relax.

We made our first fresh salsa of the year! Just enough to eat on. Our hot peppers aren't quite ready so we used some canned jalapenos. Caroline mostly made it herself, stirring in great pieces of fresh parsley...too much effort to chop finely, you know. The rest of the ingredients she whizzed in the blender. Quick and easy!

We also used some garden tomatoes in broiled Southwest Sandwiches. Mmmm.

Caroline fashioned some swinging tree houses for her and the little girls. They love to relax hanging and swaying!

More tomatoes eaten; in basil pesto pasta this time.

A lovely birthday lunch at Lemon park with a thoughtful friend! She sent me home with a very delicious chocolate chip angel food cake and blackberry jam as well! The details are so delightful!

We have many striped caterpillars on the parsley, dill, and carrot tops in the garden. A few were jarred to watch the metamorphosis process. Meg loves "wooms", whether we're catching them to observe or picking them off leaves to squish. She spots them, but won't touch!

And last but certainly not least, we went canoeing twice up the Ninnescah River with our newly purchased canoe and other borrowed canoe and kayak. Such fun for everyone!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Summer Food, Prepared and Unprepared

Some pictures of the yummy pretties we ate in July...

Sunday night funnel cakes

fresh pineapple honeydew kabobs

one morning of homestead harvest: mulberries, sand plums, squash, beans, & radishes

pineapple mint slushy (We pitched this new recipe, but it looked pretty in the blender!)

Tea party fare in the living room. I'm not sure why the girls like to set it up on the floor??

Crock baked potatoes, loaded, with fresh garden chives.

more garden bounty, beans, radishes, turnips, cucumbers, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, & pepper

Tomato Basil Tart and fried taters.

Tomato Basil Tart
from The Complete Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking

1/2 c flour
pinch salt
1/2 c butter
1 egg yolk

5 oz mozzarella, sliced or shredded
4 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
about 10 basil leaves
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
salt & freshly ground black pepper

To prepare pastry, combine flour and salt, then rub in butter and egg yolk. Add enough cold water to make a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour. Roll out into an 8 inch round. Press into base of an 8 inch pie pan. Prick all over with a fork and bake 10 minutes at 375*. Reduce oven to 350*. Arrange mozzarella over pastry shell. On top, arrange a single layer of tomatoes, overlapping slightly. Dip the basil in oil and arrange on tomatoes. Scatter the garlic on top, drizzle with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes are well cooked. Serve hot.

I usually make a different crust that isn't so butter-hungry, but this original is supreme!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Birthdays, School Starts, and Baby Coming (A Week In Review #3)

Tuesday morning I was blessed by my hubby preparing blueberry pancakes for my birthday breakfast!

The family asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, and I requested a quiet relaxing day where I didn't have to plan or fix meals and could just be lazy. For a couple of weeks my tummy has been unsettled  and I have been terribly unmotivated because we are expecting a baby!

That's why we haven't invited company over lately.
That's why we've been looking at 8 or 9 passenger vehicles on craigslist.
That's why we've been eating frozen pizzas and hotdogs regularly. Bleck!
That's why I've finished reading several books and caught up on magazine mail AND it was quite inconvenient to run out of data and have no computer for a week!
That's why the garden has been getting minimal maintenance. The squash bugs appeared, ooh.
That's why the children are very excited!
That's why it's so fun to browse the baby section looking for new baby gifts to replenish the gift tote.
That's why I can see just how big Miss Meg really is!

Tuesday supper was a combination celebration for both of us. We ate crockpot strawhats and the birthday cake was a giant cookie Annie baked.

Meg is 2!

so surprised the candles blew out!

birthday gals

Meg's gift from Caroline

my thoughtful notes, cards, and gifts
Wednesday we started school. Usually we wait until the end of August or even beginning of September, but I suddenly realized we should get as much done as we can before our March baby arrives! Annie outgrew her desk and is sitting at a table, so now Cora has her own desk and is diligently doing her workbook with zest!

Caroline made some furry lambs one afternoon while I was napping with the little girls.

Riley engaged in this classic. Thursday he had basketball open gym and the rest of us visited the library.

Saturday I took Annie to farmer's market again. There were at least 10 other vendors there this time. She slowly sold 3/4 of her baked goods and even a couple snap purses. She was delighted to pocket over $50 and is planning on taking cinnamon rolls (that were requested) next time.

one side of the market sellers
 That is how the Bowmans spent the last week in July!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

July Garden Still Grows

Here are some snapshots of the garden goodness from the first half of July.

Green tomatoes setting on the Early Girl and Celebrity plants.

A cucumber vine climbing up the tomato cage. I planted a couple seeds between each of the tomato plants hoping for lots of cukes. Some came up, some didn't. Our family, (not counting Dad), will eat a whole raw pickling cucumber twice a day if they are available. That makes 12 daily, 84 a week. I think I am not planting enough in my garden!

Green beans! Crispy, crunchy, fresh Jade and Contender beans! We have eaten several meals worth of beans and blanched a few for the freezer. 17 1/2 pounds total and they are still blooming. There again, I need to plant larger QUANTITY.

The Candy onions did not grow well this year. Perhaps they were planted too early, perhaps the soil isn't right for them. Their tops were knocked over numerous times from wind and storms, so we finally pulled them even though they are itty bitty.

We left a few in the ground to maybe grow a little larger.

And the sets stayed upright the best, but globes are still small.

one morning's harvest
Now pictures nearer the end of July...
lemon queen sunflowers

chives (and oregano on the right, carrots behind)

buttercrunch lettuce

non GMO corn for grinding to cornmeal
I planted an heirloom pumpkin, Jarra Blue, from seed given to me, and the plant is huge! So far there are no pumpkins though.

snack pumpkin that has edible seeds without even roasting

kitties in the compost pile

This year we have harvested radishes, turnips, lettuce, peas, chard, kale, green beans, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, beets, onions, okra, potatoes, basil, cilantro, dill, and chives. I read a blog where the writer weighs her produce that comes from gardening, so I thought that would make an interesting experiment. At the end of July our little patch has put out nearly 71 pounds of yumminess!

And the garden still grows...praise the Lord!