Monday, July 31, 2017

T Stands for Tuesday & My Week

  Hi everyone,
     T Stands for Tuesday today where we share a beverage related post with friends. 
    Click on button in right hand corner to visit and/or participate with our hostess Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

   Not too much new happening this past week here in my Ozarks woods 
    We are so enjoying the cooler weather, a few more fresh veggies from the garden and I am still going through things in the house-repacking into new containers. We are slowly working on finding some storage space for our home-we have none what so ever in this house, and fun to remember what I have stored away.
   I put Christmas items in one container instead of several, most of what I have now is pretty vintage-cause I am vintage now lol. I  enjoyed going through all my ornaments which I have not seen for several years now.
   We don't have children, so we never really celebrated allot-I have not put up anything over the past several years but I have decided I want to this year-and figured out a spot for a tree even. Hubs will be rolling his eyes for sure haha. He is Jewish plus we have never gotten into any of the commercial side of the holidays over the years we have been married-35 years now.  We celebrate with good friends and good holiday foods and sharing with others. Actually during most of the days after Thanksgiving through the New Year I stay away from the stores.
   I also looked into boxes of my depression and carnival glass pieces and repacked. Nice to see them again-we have some ideas now on how to get at these pieces.

   This past week I have been working on clearing our long hallway--so I can start to prime paint with kilnz and then texture and then paint. Originally I was going to hire this done--but decided not to. 
    Made some good progress today. There are a couple difficult things to move like the heavy heavy boxes of floor tile-I need to get those away from the walls so I can work in those areas. 
    So this will be my new indoor project. I need help in the bathroom before I can finish up the rock work in there-hopefully in another month. I figured if I get the hallway completed than it will be ready to tile along with the bathroom floor.-wow real floors seem possible soon haha

    I have been playing with my bison-alpaca fibers still-blending them a bit differently and still working on good ways to spin this lovely yarn. I came across a spinning group on facebook that I joined today-and I got some good tips for spinning this. That is one of the few things I enjoy on facebook-many really good groups.

  I also have been getting inspired by my artist blog friend Barbara who is making hand made papers from different natural raw materials-like fresh corn husks and others-so of course I am excited about this and must try. I also have pampas grass growing which will work well too. Can't way now to try this out.

For my beverage tonight-I decided to make me a mini margarita served in a pretty piece from Japan-a resale shop find. Behind the glass is a peak at my bison-alpaca handspun. 
    Happy T Day!!


Friday, July 28, 2017

A Dutch Oven Baking Day Outdoors Today & Butterflies

Since we are out of the extreme heat and humidity for a few days I planned today as a baking day outdoors in my 12 quart dutch oven.
  I had enough fresh lemons left over to make another lemon meringue pie-it was such a hit that I wanted to see if it would come out good again.  and it did maybe not as picture perfect as the last one but it tastes soooo good.
  This time instead of pecans for the crust I used walnuts we liked it either way.

  I also wanted to bake up a gluten free zucchini bread in my dutch oven over & under coals as well.

   Gluten free breads either yeasted or non like a quick bread are so difficult to get baked through-I don't understand the chemistry of all that-but is a real "pain" in my side lol
   I used the toothpick test and three times it came out clean, but I decided to bake it for the entire time-70 minutes, I needed to add more coals both top and bottom half way through. So glad I kept this in the entire time.

First photo going in the dutch oven

Second photo-the wind had picked up so I added another layer of red bricks for a wind break

The last 30 minutes especially I was keeping an eye on the bread checking every 10 minutes or so-making sure it did not get too brown on top-I ended up folding over on top of the pan a piece of parchment paper. I do that in the oven in the house as well-especially for gluten free cakes, breads.

    The next thing was the waiting-20 minutes rest in the pan, and then turn it out on a rack and let rest til cold before slicing-important for gluten free baked goods. 
    I just cut it in half and it does taste good, love the molasses in it and very moist and great flavor. I think I will freeze half of this loaf and eat the other half-will stay fresher that way.
    I used a recipe from King Arthur flour and instead of adding nuts and chocolate chips I added dried blueberries and raisins. They had our choice of molasses or honey I chose the molasses and for the brown sugar I used coconut sugar.

While sitting outdoors near the dutch oven set up-which is very close to my veggie garden-I enjoyed watching several butterflies-flying here and there. I caught a couple photos between the fence links
   What is fun now that I posted these photos; you can see the house and my sitting area in the blue globe. 
   The last photo is looking up at one of the oak trees to the sky. We have mostly oaks and hickory here in our woods.

So a really nice day today-also on the Weber grill I roasted a whole chicken--for some reason my coals went out on me-so it didn't get done til quite late for us-dinner for tomorrow night.  (all photos will enlarge more just click on them)

Happy Weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It's Raining and Deer Visitors

  What a lovely sound to wake up to this morning-Rainnnnnn

     We have missed all the rain that has come through Missouri in the last month or longer and we soooo need it-even the very very young oak and pine trees are totally burnt up from the heat. The wild blackberries and grapes and more are all burnt up as well.  This also brings us a cool down through Wednesday if things don't change-in the 80's Wow may need to bring out a quilt lol

The other day a surprise by the feeder

This photo (click to enlarge) was taken late in the day and through a dirty window-lol  We have seen this doe stop by a few times but this is the first time she has brought her twins.  She is not one of our regulars-her features are quite different than those that have stopped by regularly last fall through early spring.

Next time I get to town I will be filling up with cracked corn for them

Monday, July 24, 2017

T Stands for Tuesday and More Fiber Adventure

Good Morning All,
     Tuesdays is the day when our T Party group posts a beverage related page a great way to share and visit with friends. Please join us-link button on my right hand column here.

   Wow it has been a scorcher this past week-we even hit an actual temperature of 102 F on friday with feels like temps of 115F.  So this morning when I did not hear the a/c on I was doing a happy dance and smiling. The rain did not arrive as promised earlier but we welcome this "cool down" lower 90s instead of upper 90s and into the 100's  Ok enough of the weather lol  
    It is the topic around here as we were expecting a hot summer as we have not had this in a few years now-which is probably actually the norm for this area. They are also predicting a rough and cold winter too-even the propane gas company has raised their prices considerably over the last few years predicting a cold one.(we prepay the propane gas fills for the winter months)

   In the garden I got a nice surprise last week 3 very large roma tomatoes, long beans, and one giant zucchini which I hadn't seen growing  So that was fun. My little garden is now in a semi shaded area-two large oak trees on either side of it-which helps the garden during hot summers with no rain. My soaker hose is working out well too.

  Over the weekend I got out my Ashford Blending board which is allot of fun to use. Last year when I had my romney locks all carded out with the flick carder (a small one handed carder) I blended that with many odds and ends of fibers I had around-I loved the yarn that came from that-hope to be doing allot of weaving this fall and winter.
   I had in my mind to make roving with the bison and baby alpaca roving. It was just too soft though and didn't work well for me. So I decided to make rolags for spinning instead. It came together much nicer.  Here is a video on  the process  
   I need to get my spinning wheel put back together, do some practice on it again and see how these rolags spin up. I think the two tone color will spin up nicely but was not what I was going for in my mind. I think I will also blend some bison with an alpaca also brown tones but not as soft and see how that comes out too.
(all photos will enlarge just click on them)

Baby Alpaca on the left and bison fiber on the right-which is really not that dark color in the back but looks like the color next to the creamy alpaca.

My blending board-all set up on the floor to work

Blending board with layers of fiber 

Photo of the rolag that came off the bottom of board

A wicker basket getting filled up with my rolags, the looser ones are my first attempts, the little bag in the back is something I had made using recycled wool a little embroidery and filled with dried herbs to keep the moths away.  I need to make more of those-were fun to make

This past week I have been drinking lots of ice tea. My new recipe was filling up a 2 quart container and brewing up an herbal raspberry tea and then adding a packet of crystal light pink lemonade-really refreshing.

  For a change of pace this morning I am drinking an iced V8 with veggies and fruit.

Happy T Day Everyone.

Update photo: had to try to spin this

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lemon Meringue PIe-Dutch Oven Style

Earlier this morning, I decided I wanted to challenge myself to make a lemon meringue pie in my dutch oven .
   How hard could it be??  I baked the pie crust in the dutch oven, made the filling indoors (it was just too hot outdoors to do that) and then I browned the meringue in the dutch oven--I am sooo thrilled with the results-and it tastes super delicious too.  Had to share with you all.

First two photos getting set up  (all photos will enlarge just click on them)

Pecan nut pie crust baking

 Crust baked and ready

Homemade lemon pie filling added

Meringue and lemon zest added on top

I baked this just til the meringue got browned-coals on top none on bottom

This was actually one of my best meringues I will be doing this again soon. we had a small piece with lunch-soooo delicious I can't even describe it 

T Stands for Tuesday and Fibers

  Good morning, T stands for Tuesday 
      To join the party just click on the button in my right hand column to visit our hostess Elizabeth and Bleubeard-where we all share a beverage inspired post.

      Despite our extreme heat here in the ozarks I have been keeping myself busy. It is still so hot and humid here that I have to do outdoor projects early and be in the house by 10 am. The a/c works overtime in the afternoons and doesn't seem to catch up til about 4 am in the mornings now. 
   My little veggie garden all things considered is not doing so bad considering I planted late this year. I have blossoms on some of the beans now, the summer squash plants so far look amazing, but that wilt has gotten to most of my cucumbers hoping enough survives for a little canning of pickles and relish. My tomatoes looking pretty decent too-but again I see many of the blooms are not getting pollinated. I would like to get enough tomatoes to can up a batch of salsa. Yesterday I laid out the soaker hose as we missed the last rain that was in the area and no rain in sight for awhile.
   My big bag of the cheviot wool is now almost all spun up-I will be finished this week--I see a dye pot in the works soon.

   Last weekend was the annual Fiber U event in a town near me. The last two years I took classes, this year I decided not to-which ended up to be a good thing as my husband's sister from Chicago decided on a last minute drive down. So we had a nice visit on Saturday. 
   Sunday I drove in early to go shopping!  I  never wanted to do things like this in the past by myself but now that I am older I don't mind as much. My one friend was busy making baby blankets with her church for charity and my other friend was out of town. 
    Sorry about no photos of the event-I did bring my camera but ended up not taking photos. I went early so I was the only one wondering around the vendors.
    I do feel bad for the vendors in this event as it is never crowded. Most of the vendors teach a class also so they get shoppers from the students but they don't seem to get many people in just shopping which I find sad. Many of my favorites were not there this time.

   I did bring a shopping list-lol  

         The buffalo fiber I have is so soft but not being a pro spinner I was having a difficult time with it so decided to mix it with alpaca. I have seen it being sold either blended with merino wool or alpaca. The lady at Whirlwind Ranch helped me with the right alpaca-she suggested baby alpaca as the softness and texture matched the bison well-so I think that will be my next spinning project-to get out my blending board and blend the buffalo and baby alpaca fibers together. I wasn't sure about the beige-white color since the bison fiber is a light brown but she assured me it would fine.
   The first photo is the baby alpaca up close and the second photo is her show special of three bags (in back of photo) our choice of colors for $12.00 which I pick up most years.      The vendor I also get good deals on alpaca from was not at the event this year.
all photos will enlarge just click on them

The next item on my list was to look for more spinning fibers that were Yellowstone inspired colors. I had several rovings already that I have collected since last year but I needed that blue especially- the one seen in the springs at Yellowstone, also a little pink and I needed a nice grey and what ever else I could find.

I fell in love with the gorgeous long wool you see in the first photo. It is from the breed Gotland. The fibers are long, luxurious, and will have a bit of a shine when spun. bred in Sweden. This one is also known as Stansborough grey I asked the vendor if she knew more about this wool and she told me that the producer of the Lord of the Rings film saw these sheep and loved the shine of the wool so much that he bought all the fleece and had it spun and woven into the cloaks for the fairies for the movie-thought that was fun to know. I have a breed book at home so when I looked it up it mentioned this movie and several others that used this wool to make into garments.

     In the second photo I found these three rovings-it has that blue I was looking for and the other one has the pinks and greens.

These are some of the rovings I already have that I bought to reflect Yellowstone

My plan is to weave a couple scarves and I would really love to weave an artsy piece to hang on the wall. I am now anxious to see how these spin up-I may need to tone down the shine in some of them we'll see.  This grouping needs a rich dark brown added as well, and a bit of white showing for the snow.

At Fiber U I also learned about a new fiber arts guild that is near me that I think I will check that out next month. I also talked with a vendor that has a new shop in town near me driving towards the lake-mostly for crochet and knitting but she is also getting into rovings for spinners.
    I love gnomes and I had read about a vendor that makes gnome felted sculptures-allot of the wool she used was the navajo churro which I love. She also had gotten into pottery making so I picked up this new mug--loving it. I just filled it up with chicory-dandelion root that I brewed early this morning.

This week I dug out my handmade Russian spindle and played around with a little churro wool-I had to give this up a couple years ago too cause of my hand injury--but I didn't do too bad with it-although I needed to refresh my memory on how to do it. lol  More challenging for sure but one can get a finer yarn with this spindle.

Have an awesome Tuesday! 

    Note: since our internet provider does not play nice-I am visiting all of til 8am my time, and any of you that post a link later I will visit early tomorrow morning.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Good Afternoon Every One and Happy T Day

Wow I have really missed all of you!  

    We live rural enough here in  our woods in the Ozarks of Missouri that our only internet provider is satelite-very expensive, not fast at all-so no streaming, wifi, watching too many you tube videos, uploading-down loading things as we are also timed for our useage.  
    We do not usually run into a problem of running out of time useage, but I down loaded from camera and then uploaded several hundred photos to shutterfly to get them off my computer-I thought I was using the "free" time 2am to 8 am but turns out it is not really free- the time just goes further during those hours. 
  So, anyways over a week ago we couldn't go anywheres on the net after 8am-all time used up sigh  I also discovered or just realized that when I visit all of you with lots of photos that eats up my time useage too-so I guess a double whammy for us this month lol  I will need to remember to visit you before 8am my time from now on. We won't be starting the new month of useage for several days yet.

   I am not hooking up to the T Party as I won't be able to visit you all again this week. and I can not upload any photos here either on this post-sigh
  Just wanted to drop in and let you know-I really do enjoy your blogs and visiting you all.

I have been busy-washed up the last 4 bags of navajo churro fleece, spun up lots more yarn can actually almost see the bottom of my bag now, and over the weekend I dug out the 12" dutch oven and baked up a wild blackberry chocolate upside down cake-it turned out soooo delicious. I will share a photo when I can  I have also been getting outdoors very early to work on pulling weeds-it is too hot and humid for me after 10 am here. my veggie garden is looking pretty good considering I got a late start this year. and the japanese beetles are enjoying my bean plants-ugh  for those guys I use 7 otherwise they will destroy my crops completely. I had just enough to shake on to all the beans and cukes.

Happy T Day everyone  and have a good week!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

My Saturday

  It was cool this morning, so I got myself outdoors early to start the task of pulling weeds-and are there ever so many out there.
   I started with the area that I had weed sprayed a couple weeks ago which is around the carport and to the right and back of my outdoor firepit-dutch oven cooking area.
Miss Calico always cracks me up-she was sound asleep in the middle of the dead weeds so I just pulled weeds around her-she ended up moving to here-had to grab the camera cause she looks so cute and comfy.  She has been sound asleep in that same spot for at least 4 hours now.

  Yesterday a couple friends picked me up and took us to meet an elderly lady who has lived in the same spot for 40 years and has gardens of flowers everywhere-a very magical place. Sorry no photos, I did remember to take my camera and then left it in the car-and didn't get back to get it. Hopefully we will visit her again soon.

   Yesterday I grilled out supper-hamburgers, leeks-sweet peppers-elephant garlic, and french fries.  I keep the french fries in the freezer and then just pull some out place on foil and place over the coals-love the smoky taste they get.

I may just bake a pie or cobbler in the dutch oven tomorrow morning.

I learned about Shutterfly this past week and decided to make up a hard cover photo book with photos from my Yellowstone trip-my book turned out soooo nice-much better than I had expected. It arrived in the mail today. I happened to catch them when they were having a big sale too-which made a big difference. I ended up adding 10 extra pages. It was difficult to decide on which photos but I think I captured my favorite moments. Here is a photo of the front and back covers. all the pages were very thick paper like a heavy cardstock-loving it

Happy 4th of July for all of you from the States.