Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Enjoying the last weeks of Spring

For my sister and I, last week was spent traveling to NC with friends of ours!
They recently adopted 4 children, and needed to attend an event--We were asked to come to help with the children, and it was a great experience; we learned so much!

On our way back home, we stopped at a State Park to picnic :)
Their daughter even brought her bonnet!

We were right at the lake, and it was so enjoyable.
My Birthday!
(May 26)
I was planning on us all traveling out of state to go to a Living History Museum, but we decided that we'd rather spend our time on a relaxing day trip here in GA! So we drove through the back roads up to a beautiful Garden center to browse through the plants....
I carried my basket as I selected plants to purchase :)
At one point we stopped by a grocery, and I walked in (wide brim hat, full skirt etc.) carrying a brown wicker basket to carry a few groceries in...let me tell you, I enjoyed the basket much more than the ECO tote bags!
(ok, so I may have given myself permanent shoulder damage by stubbornly lugging around that filled-to-the-brim basket....) hehe
When we came home, Dad asked me where I wanted my flower garden, and then helped me plant them next to my rose bushes before it rained.
My Perennials:
4 May Night Salvia--Purple Blue
2 Trailing Verbena--Light pink
1 Goldsturm Coneflower--Yellow black
1 Speedwell--Purple
1 Milkweed--Yellow
3 Lemon Coral--Green; groundcover
When I purchase flowers/seeds, I'm trying to get perennials only so that they'll come back every year, and I can divide them up later and never have to re-buy :)
It was such a laid-back day...celebrating my 19th year. I'm so thankful for my parents and how they instilled in us (My siblings and I) the love for the pure, simple, and spiritual side of things. I could write a whole post on my parents...I really do love and respect them...they're pretty amazing.
Right now it is officially berry season, and I can safely say we have an acre of bushes!
Every morning my siblings and I pick dewberries, and we get 3-4 lbs after picking for about an hour. lol
The wildflowers make it a lovely task to do though!
My brother making his way through the berry patch...
My goodness, the thorns are incredible (they're even on the leaves!) and we all end up with "battle wounds" by the time we're done!
It's worth it of course--all these berries just for not mowing the yard...? :)
Inside, my sister assists me in crushing the berries through a sieve, then using the thick juice for jelly! I defrosted and strained my homegrown strawberries, and we combined the two berries together!
I decided to switch up this time around and heated the water bath canner on the grill, because the kitchen gets too over-heated. It worked ok, but didn't come to a rolling boil, so I went inside to bring it to a boil, then finished outside :)
Labeling Jars
I made little labels by writing on thin (newsprint) paper,
then created a med-thick paste of flour and water.
I spread the flour/water "glue" on the back of the paper, then stuck it to the jar.
It dries beautifully--So simple, eh?

Retro Cardigan

My Sister finished her latest project--A crocheted cardigan!

What I love is that its all one piece, worked from the top to the bottom.
Here is the description from the magazine:
Retro Cardigan
Finished Size: 29 (33, 37, 41, 45, 49, 53)" bust circumference. Garment shown measures 33" and is modeled with 1" negative ease.
Yarn: Classic Elite Sundance (50% cotton, 50% microfiber; 83 yd [76 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #6254 keepsake lilac, 9 (10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16) balls.
Hook: Size F/5 (3.75 mm). Adjust hook size if necessary to obtain correct gauge.
Notions: Stitch markers (m); yarn needle; eight ½" buttons.
Gauge: 16 sts and 7½ rows = 4" in sh patt; 16 sts and 20 rows = 4" in sc.
Her finished size was Medium (37), She used size H8 hook, and the yarn is 'Sinfonia Olive Intenso'
Stitches up-close.
Lavender blooms

Arugula lettuce
It has a wonderful pepper-like spice to it, and we enjoy using it in salads!
Grow, Tomatoes, Grow!
Lemon balm has always been a favorite!

One of our Yellow squash plants...
It's such a delight to see so many butterflies!
I'd definitely recommend this perennial, not only because its a great sugar substitute, but it comes back every year and gets huge! We literally transplanted it bare-root, and its now as tall as some tomato plants!
I look forward to sharing more of what we're growing--
I thought I'd give y'all a sneak peak!


Diane-Sage said...

Very lovely post...I truly enjoy reading your blog...blessings

Anonymous said...

I love that cardigan - beautiful job :)

Clara said...

enjoyed the update - thank you! :) your photos are always delightful too :)

Lady Farmer said...

Dear Mia~
I rarely comment, but I just had to wish you a happy belated birthday and tell you how beautiful your garden is becoming! I love the picket fence.
Oh, your jam looks wonderful. Berry picking brings back sweet memories of me picking coffee cans full of wild blackberries with my grandfather ~ one of his favorite pastimes! I love your old fashioned labels on the jars, too.
Oh, dear me! I am just besotted with your sister's lovely creation! And of course, it is my favorite color! ;~D
Do enjoy the glorious last weeks of Spring at your beautiful little homestead!

Clara said...

oh - and happy birthday!! 19 years old... so young still! :) Such a wonderful time of life, enjoying your youth serving the Lord! :)

Suzanne said...

Thank you for sharing your flowers and garden. It is always interesting to see how far along plants are in different parts of our country. I am in MA so just put our tomato and squash plants this past weekend.

Do tell your sister her crochet is just stunning:-)

We are waiting for our berries here so we can can preserves. I make a blueberry/maple preserve we eat all year, well if it lasts that long...LOL!

Enjoy the beauty and fruits of your labors.

RuthMarieG said...

Happy Birthday Mia!! Loved the pictures of your garden and flowers. And your sister is so talented with her crocheting.

ladyscott said...

As always I love your posts! The garden looks beautiful! My own garden sits neglected at the moment since I've been indoors with illnesses and injuries for the last 2 weeks. I still have flats of seedlings to plant.

Your sister is very talented (as are you)!

I look forward to a time to come when I can spend more time focusing on my own little home and not so much on healing myself. Soon, there will be a baby boy here and all the joy that surrounds such an event and my strength will return to me.

Sami said...

How fun!! HAPPY(late) BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!

Love ya!

Sereina said...

Happy Birthday! That cardigan is simply adorable! And the jelly sounds delicious!

Brittany said...

Happy late birthday! I just celebrated mine on the 29th. :-) Your garden looks like it is coming along beautifully! I am sharing a large garden with our neighbors this year but we just planted it a week ago. It is amazing to me how different the growing season is up here! I'm used to Florida's growing season. :-)
Your sister's cardigan is lovely!! I wish I could crochet that well!

Persuaded said...

What a delightful post... I almost felt like I was walking through your day with you♥ And I loved your label idea! I have been looking for/trying to think of an old fashioned or vintage-y sort of label to use in my I have it! thanks to you;-)

Kimberose said...

Your flower garden is beautiful! I love flower gardens. And the cardigan is amazing. Love it with that skirt!

AJ said...

~*~Happy Birthday!~*~
What beautiful pictures! The flower and butterfly pictures would make great backgrounds for the computer...for those of us who are inside most of the day. :) Picking berries in the morning, wearing bonnets, using wicker baskets, the company of wonderful family, 'creating' labels for homemade jelly...ah...sounds lovely! Thanks again for a great post. You're an inspiration.
*Grace & Peace* said...

Garden looks great! God is blessing our's as well! Belated Birthday Blessing to you. Please tell Macy I absolutely adore her new creation.
Much love from all of us!

Mrs. Creath

Allison said...

Happy Late Birthday!!!! It sounds like you had an enjoyable day! Your sister is amazing! She did such a beautiful job! I *love* the color! Your Berry Jelly made my mouth water! Can't wait to see more garden pictures!

sweet locus lane farm said...

Your pictures are beautiful as always. So gentle and full of love. Your sister did a wonderful job of the cardigan. very elegant! Also like your canning labels.


Trish said...

Happy birthday!
what a lovely post! I love the flower garden and making the jelly outside is a great idea! I have friends who built a "rocket stove" to use in the summertime to cook out doors it looks like it would do for canning and jelly's too :) Your photos are lovely have a great summer!

Mrs.Rabe said...

I love to see what you and your family are up to Mia! Your garden will be lovely! I have nearly all perennials and I love them - easy care, they cut beautifully and when they get too big in a location, you just divide them and move some to a new location!

Also your sisters, cardigan is lovely!

M said...

Happy Birthday, Your photos are lovely!
blessings, M

Kelsey Anne Hoppman said...

Happy Birthday Mia!
The cardigan is so beautiful!! Your sister did an incredible job with it! I really want to learn how to crochet! :) It must have taken her a while!
It was fun seeing the pictures of homemade jam since Mom and I recently made some strawberry jam. Thank-you for the label idea as well!
Thank-you for sharing all of those pictures. They were lovely. :)
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Please do write a whole post about your parents! I'd love to read more about them!


Stephanie Ann said...

Happy Birthday! The berries look delicious. Produce just looks so much better in a basket. Your sister's cardigan is amazing!

Tracy said...

What beauty you live in! I love your idea for pasting labels to the jam jars.

Your sister's cardigan is gorgeous!

Jacob said...

Dear Mia,
What a beautiful post! It looks as though you had a great birthday celebration. M's sweater is plumb swoooooney!!! What a fantastic job she did. And i agree wholeheartedly you have GREAT parents, such a gift to SO many, me included :-)!! with love~tammy

Wendy said...

Everything is so lovely - especially your sister's sweater. And what a great idea to carry a basket to the grocery store.

Anonymous said...

First of all belated Happy Birthday. The garden looks beautiful. And I'm with you on the berry thorns - we planted blackberries and I really didn't remember the amount of thorns from picking them as a child. But the reward is oh so sweet.

And I must say your sister has quite a talent for crocheting. The sweater is so beautiful.

Thank you for sharing as alwasy

AUTHOR said...

This surely is the lovliest blog I have ever seen!

Drucilla's Stitches said...

This is my first visit to your blog!! My heart is touched by all the lovely posts, I have two daughters and wish I had instilled more of these ideas of simple traditions. God Bless You! God is using you in an amazing way to encourage others by your blog!!

Ginny said...

You are so far ahead of us. We are just picking the first strawberries here in Michigan.
Happy birthday to you . What a lovely time for you. I love the cardigan nice color, nice job. Enjoy the summer.

Ginny said...

Oh Mia, I forgot to complement you on the lovely jellies.
I love how you labeled them. You are a gem.

Carolyne said...

What a lovely blog!
From the beautifully crafted cardigan to the precious pictures on your sidebar. I was enthralled with each photo of your garden details.
This was a wonderful find.

Kayla said...

I just LOVE your blog...everything about it! I really like the canning jar labels...that's a great idea!

Happy Birthday!

Cassandra said...

I'm not sure how I found your blog, but I am glad that I did! I've read through your archives and have enjoyed seeing all your posts about homemaking, beautiful clothing, and about God. You are a great inspiration. Thank you!

Mrs. T said...

So nice to drop in and "visit" your family Mia. We have MANY dew berries here as well and my youngest is getting her fill everyday. She picks and eats daily as she goes about her day.

Also happy belated birthday to you!! Please tell your entire family hello from the Hendersons!

Blodgett said...

I am always so humbled when I read your blog! You are a little nineteen years old! Yet you have such poise, grace and elegance! I don't even come CLOSE at age 45! I love your flowers - your basket(!)- your jellies - your sister's sweater - your veggies! Thanks for sharing all!
Love Mrs. Blodgett

daisy said...

Beautiful pictures--beautiful words...and so much wisdom. Thank you for sharing!

Allison Elizabeth said...

I *adore* that cardigan! The color, the style--everything!

Allison Elizabeth♥

Maria said...

I love all the pictures!!!

Mia said...

Thank you all for the encouraging comments & birthday wishes!!
Your kind words truly do make my day :)

Yours kindredly,

HOPE said...

An enjoyable visit with you today...the crocheted sweater is just gorgeous!!

You are clever with the flour paste!!

God bless...

Miss Jen said...

SO beautiful, Mia!

Happy Birthday, dear friend
I hope and pray that you have
a Blessed year!!!

Love~ Miss Jen

Victoria said...

Oh wow!! All of your photo's are so lovely. :D We make out own jam as well, but we don't strain them to get them smooth in texture.. we like that extra flavor and texture given my the juicy seeds (like what's found in Strawberries, or Blackberries, and Rasberries, etc.)! And, I absolutely adore your sisters New Green Cardigan, I wish my knitting was that good (yes, I know she crocheted :p), all I know how to do is make simple blankets!! LOL :D But, I am learning, a little at a time..

Thank you for posting such a lovely read! <3

God bless, dear sister.
- A Victorian Cowgirl

Alison said...

Thank you for your wonderful post! I just found your blog and love it =) I planted lemon balm recently and I'm wondering what to use it for? Any suggestions? TIA!

Mia said...

Lemon balm is a natural mosquito repellant (it contains a form of citronella) so you can rub the leaves on your arms before going outside! Also, lemon balm makes a delicious tea! It has antibacterial/antiviral properties as well.


Mrs. Maryknoll Claveria T-Santos said...

Dear Mia,
I loved the colour and lighting details of your photos. I've seen the gentle spirit in all throughout your posts.

Did you study photography? Or is it your hobby that with experience and love of it you've been a professional in your gift?

"Aspiring Homemaker": The title and the message it conveys--and with your posts make up for everything to encourage homemakers-servants like me--to the glory of God.

Are the photos you posted 'family heirloom'? I love antiquity and the 'old paths' (Jeremiah 2:16).

Thank you for your writing. I'm glad I visited.
Blessings in Christ,

Donna said...

Love, love, love your blog and that cardigan was beautiful. Then again every picture on here is beautitul. :-)