Monday, July 5, 2010

Lucky & Thankful

Holy mackerel! I step away from the computer for a few days and all sorts of awesome stuff starts happening!

Firstly - I won a contest! :) Megan, at Tomato Tots chose me as one of the winners of her Pay-it-Forward foodie giveaway. You might remember that I had one of these little giveaways myself a while back, but part of the deal in winning a pay-it-forward contest is that you have to offer a foodie giveaway of your own, featuring food and other kitchen goodies from your local area. So keep your eyes peeled, peeps. I'm in the process of plotting my prize package now!

And, as if that weren't cool enough, I also won not one, but TWO blog awards from the lovely Miss Michelle over at All Home Cooking, All Year Long!

Thanks, Michelle for the shout-out! And now for a few of my blogging homegirls who I'd like to acknowledge by passing on an award. Not all of them are into the award thing, but they are awesome gals all the same and being singled out for their awesomeness right here and now, whether they like it or not! ;)

Suzanne at Chickens in the Road. She's living the dream out on a secluded little farm in West Virginia. Suzanne is a romance novelist and occasionally treats her readers to a Harlequin-style romantic description of goat courtship. Awesome.

Jen at Knitters-Knitters. Jen is the tireless mom of 6 incredible kids and the most skilled knitter that I've ever known. And she's teaching me Hebrew, one word at a time. ;)

Kris at Quilted Simple. The woman NEVER STOPS. Knitting, washing cows, bailing hay, quilting like a madwoman, you name it, Kris does it all!

This is but a small sampling of the many amazing ladies (and a few gents) who's blogs I read on a regular basis and from whom I'm learning a ton about farming, parenting, cooking, knitting and just enjoying life. Thank you all for putting yourselves out there and letting folks like me share in your lives!

And thanks again to Michelle & Megan for making me feel so loved and lucky. :)

Where I've been and a lil' sumthin'-sumthin' for my peeps

The girls have been out of school for two weeks, as of tomorrow, but let me assure you, that it feels like much longer already. Just another 8 weeks to go! Oy...

So, as is my habit during the summertime, or any extended break from school, I try to keep the girls moving and entertained, lest they should drive me bat-poo crazy with their clinging and whining. So far we've gone to the drive-in movies, swam at the Y, played at the park, gone to the beach, the library, etc. We just got back from spending 6 days up north at Cama Beach State Park, on Camano Island, and since coming home, I haven't had two free seconds to myself to do much of anything, let alone catch up on reading and writing. I've missed you all and in case you've missed me too, here are some pics of what I've been up to with the fam.

Here we are at Cama-

In front of our little cabin

Hanging at the beach

Catching little shore crabs by the dozen

And dungeness crabs by the half-dozen

Just grill and add butter - YUM!

While the hubby and kids pursued crustaceans and played cut-throat games of Sorry! and go-fish, I preferred to partake of the simple pleasures of knitting in the sun and drinking shocking amounts of sangria. Ah, the good life...

Anyhoo - I so enjoyed my semi-drunken knitting that I decided to make a lovely assortment of cotton dishcloths for one lucky reader to enjoy. Oh I know - just what every woman wants, new dishcloths! But you must admit that these are pretty darn cute -

In addition to the dishcloths, I'll also include a few coordinating kitchen towels that I had no part in making, but scored for a steal at Le Costco. You don't need to do anything fancy to enter to win, just leave me a comment expressing your interest in showering yourself in dish washing accoutrements, and bingo, you're in.

If I can overcome my innate laziness, I may eventually post the patterns that I improvised for these dishcloths, if anyone is interested.

Thanks again for reading and good luck! :)

Summertime, and the living is easy nutso

Summer 2010 started off with a bang weak fizzle here in western Washington. The weather has been el poo 90% of the time, making for a sad, weird little garden this year and a lot of moping by even the most seasoned Washingtonians. Weather-wise, it has been a lot more like mid-April than early July. At least my pea plants are enjoying the gloom. They're kicking out the goods like never before. Lately, we're getting almost a pound of peas per day!

The cylindrical beets are also looking pretty good, though I don't have the photographic evidence yet to back that up.

The strawberries are plugging along, slowly but surely, and the grape vines are all chock full of wee baby grapes. And so I find myself still rather torn about whether or not I really do want this house to sell right away. I'd love to see this little garden through, since there is no time to plant another at the (hopefully) new house. But at the same time, holy God, do I want this drama over with!

In addition to the unfortunately slow and low production in the garden this year, I can't yet can what we do have, because, in an uncommon fit of reckless optimism, I packed up all of my canning jars and water bath canner when it looked like we were going to be moving right away. And now I have no choice but to send poor Bill spelunking in the storage unit for it all, because the strawberries and cherries, few though they are, wait for no man.