This is Me!

This is Me! The good, the bad, and the bald. You get it all! But I have hair now. This spring I'll be rockin the pixie.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


After careful consideration and MUCH deliberation, and a little bit of shopping for the newest round of gardens… I stumbled onto this idea and it stuck.  I was pondering all your input (which was great by the way), and Gavin and I were bouncing them all around and trying combinations and then I came up with thimbles and it ended up at Thimbleberry Garden's, so there ya go.   However, since this was a contest and with a contest there has to be a winner, we have selected Stacy Silver to receive the free garden since we absolutely plan to use her incredible ideas. We loved them Stacy!!! Thank you guys so much for all your creative brainstorming.  We now have 15 gardens ready to sell.  Actually, that isn’t entirely true.  We have already sold 2-3 of these and of course Stacy gets one so we are down by 4 gardens and we are just now officially announcing ourselves.  You just gotta love a good garden!  It is therapy in a pot, or a basket, or a tray or.... on a chair?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What's in a Name?

While in Boise recently, we experienced an incredible nursery.  Edwards Nursery is unlike any other that I have ever seen.  I will post pictures of it another time.  One thing that particularly caught my eye was the fairy gardens they had on display.  They were they perfect size for their tiny winged, occupants.  We marveled at their bitty fern covered bistro's, bridges over rocky water ways, and lush grounds.  We left fully inspired to plant. 

Later that afternoon, we discovered that we had been followed.  A bitty occupant had hidden away amongst the few botanical treasures we had procured for our gardens.  We quickly got to work creating a mini garden home for this little one.  Much to our delight, our novice efforts produced quite a lush abode. 

As we began the puzzling task of packing to travel back to Blaine, we found a safe and secure location for this little garden.  We made sure that no foliage would be bent or furniture damaged.  We were successful in our relocation efforts. 

It quickly became apparent that this little establishment had grown very popular and become over occupied, so we set to work constructing new gardens.  We found that coastal fairies had similar needs to those of the more desert like region of Boise, yet they enjoyed a touch of the beach life.  We happily obliged.  The personalities of these bitty gardens are as varied as the occupants themselves.  We have  accommodated gardeners, beach dwellers, the eccentrics with pathways to now where, and bridges over gentle rocky water ways, and even created a fireside respite.  Each seems to be very pleased with their surroundings.  This leaves us with one problem...  a name. 

This is where you all come in.  We are endeavoring to start a small business constructing and selling these gardens but like any good business we need a really good name and we are at an impasse.  We are requesting input from all of you.  I am conducting a contest to come up with a business name for these tiny fairy gardens.  If you are a follower of my blog you may submit your name proposal by posting a comment.  If we select your name or any part of it, you will win a prize.  If you are a local follower, you will have the choice between a small sized fairy garden or a gift card.  If you're an out of town follower, it will be the gift card.  The contest begins today and ends Tuesday, June 21st at noon.  The winner will be posted Wednesday (hopefully). We already have a local nursery that has agreed to consign them, we just need a name and then we can deliver the first 5 gardens.  The only rules for this contest are that you have to be a signed up follower and it has to be in by Tuesday.  You can send in more than one suggestion.  Our decision will be based upon a family forum and deliberation.  We can't wait to hear your suggestions. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sunshine Rhubarb Juice Concentrate

I had the very good fortune to barter with the right person this week.  My commodity, an artichoke plant, the recipients commodity, about 35 cups of rhubarb.  At first this was just me saving out a start from the really happy artichoke plant in our yard.  Then he mentioned rhubarb.  Now, I do have my own plants.  They are just about enough to keep my neighbor and myself happy all summer, and during a good year there might be a bit extra for some strawberry rhubarb pie filling or jam.  To get this much at once... what on earth do you do with it all?  One can only eat so many rhubarb muffins before one turns into one.   As many of you know, it kills me to waste anything, especially something from the garden, so I looked in my favorite canning book, Ball "Complete Book of Home Preserving".  I love the creative recipes in this book.  I found this juice concentrate recipe and I just happened to have the oranges and lemons needed.  That isn't always the case but it was this time.  I made a double batch and got 9 pints.  I am told by a fellow canning junkie that this is "the thing" to add to your juice or punches in the summer.  "It gives it a little kick." she says.  I put it over ice and plan on trying it in ice tea and lemonade.  Give it a try.  Pretty easy to make.  I will be lookin for extra rhubarb after trying this one.   

12 C sliced rhubarb (about inch long slices)
4 C water
1 1/2 C sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine rhubarb and water, lemon zest, and orange zest.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until rhubarb is soft, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice and orange juice.

2. Transfer to a dampened jelly bag or strainer lined with several layers of cheese cloth set over a deep bowl.  Let drip for at least 2 hours.

3.  Combine rhubarb juice and sugar and bring back to 190 degrees over heat to dissolve sugar. 

4.  Prepare hot water bath canner and lids. 

Process pints for 10 minutes. Then allow them to cool for 5 minutes before pulling them out of the canner.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Great Recipe

 On our recent trip to Spokane and Boise, I had the good fortune to come back with more than just amazing memories... I came back with really great recipes too.  This super easy granola recipe is a breeze to make and tastes great.  Payton has helped me make two batches so far.  We have tried a couple different combinations of add ins too.  This particular one with the mini dark chocolates has been a huge hit.  For a fun thing to make together, grab your little one or just head to the store yourself and get some delicious ingredients and mix up a batch.  

5 C. whole oats (not quick oats)
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. oil (coconut, olive etc.)
1 C. coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
optional 1/4 c sunflower seeds, or dried fruit, dark chocolate minis, slivered almonds.

Mix all the ingredients well and bake at 350 for 20-25 mins.  We waited till after it was cooked to add in the chips and some of the fruit.  Experiment with it.  Some of the combinations we tried were mango, sunflower seeds, and slivered almonds, and cranberry and almonds, and this last one was slivered almonds, sunflower seeds and the chocolate minis. 

A little tip from my experience is to spray your pan before, and then when it is done baking, let it cool completely.  When we tried to take it off the cookie sheet before it was cooled, it all crumbled and fell apart.  It still tastes great, but you don't have the larger chrunchy pieces for snackin on.