Oh dear readers,
I am so sorry to have ditched you like this, without even an explanation as to where I had gone or what I'd be doing. The truth is that I thought I would have time to post a little "going away" message before leaving for a friend's wedding in Memphis but carefully laid plans quickly gave way to chaos as I readied myself for the trip.

Memphis is home to lots of amazing antique malls. It is quite impossible to do any shopping without rescuing at least a vintage hat or two...

Now I am back home and life has taken an unexpected turn. A non-profit organization that I have been volunteering at has asked me to fill a part- time position they had available. Now, you must understand that I thought I would never have to work again and I am even ashamed to admit that I have at times felt somewhat snobbish towards mothers who could stay home but choose to work instead. But this org. provides a service which I am passionate about and if they need me how can I say no?

And so now after being a wife and a mother, in between gardening and homeschooling, and right before crafting and canning; I will be working part-time.


By the way, this is the picture I promised two weeks ago. Jars and jars of Plum Jam, Stewed Plums and Apricot Jam. Oh dear, surely I will still have time to can all the Apple Butter and Apple Sauce which is coming up next? We shall see...


One priceless porcelain washbowl, over 107 years old and seven generations in our family, destroyed in under five seconds by a single curious youngster. So sad.

After last week's frustrating pace, broken computer and testy tempers everyone was relieved that today was both pleasant and only slightly busy. Once the children were in bed I set to work bustling around the kitchen. Projects are usually best done at night here and this quiet evening peace is wonderful after a full day, it gives me a moment to wind down, relax and prepare for the following days activities.

It is late now, but perhaps tomorrow I will show you the fruit of my labors.


During the night a mysterious animal got through the fence and chomped our grape vine down to a stump. It also nibbled the pumpkin leaves and sampled our pepper plants. It left no tracks or scratches in the soft dirt surrounding our garden but I did find what appears to be a single long black horse hair. Does that make any sense? I thought not.

Oh the upside, even though fruit from our Apricot Tree in the back yard was pretty much wiped out by a double frost earlier this year, we have collected 3 lbs of Apricots from our small tree out front and there is still plenty left. Hmm it must be Apricot Jam time!


I have come to seriously believe that grasshoppers were created solely for the amusement of little boys.

And could catching one and observing it all day long possibly count as school? Science, perhaps?
Either way, these little critters are something worth loving. They put up with all sorts of creative play and maybe not-so-tender abuse and at the end of a long day are usually let loose in an unfamiliar part of the yard, exhausted and battered.
Yet still, they keep coming back for more!
You would think that by the time I got around to weaning Baby #3 making homemade baby food would have finally lost some of its appeal. Not so!! Every time a new child comes along I start blending up those organic steamed carrots, peas and beets and never cease to be so amazed by their vibrant colors and lovely aromas.

Making baby food is so fast, fun and inexpensive that I cannot encourage enough moms to try it out. There are loads of resources on the internet to help you out and you don't need much equipment. About twice a week I make Pepper her food. Some fruits for breakfast and veggies for lunch and dinner, along with oatmeal and rice.

When Isaac was a baby I bought The Petite Appetit Cookbook - Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler by Lisa Barnes and it has remained a steadfast kitchen companion, even when I am looking for some snacks to cook up for my older ones.

Pepper always dives into her fresh food with such gusto. I feel good knowing exactly what is in it, that it is the freshest possible and made with much love.


It is the heat of summer here, and everything around us is arid and sparse. On our walk the dirt crunched beneath our feet. I felt like some sort of Pioneer Woman, braving her way through the southwestern frontier.

We explored a sandy mound with huge boulders gracing the top, we admired many twisted and withered trees, and Isaac found treasure.

I love the way he finds wonder and excitement in even the simplest things, and I hope that he never loses his enthusiasm for the life around him. Currently when he is not collecting rocks, weeds and sticks his creativity is finding outlet through dressing himself with a mesclun mix of varying styles all thrown into one very creative outfit. On the menu today; large sunhat, oversized bib, plaid dress shirt, camo pants and slippers.

Finally at the end of a trying day, peace. Quiet and gentle, it envelopes us and prepares us for the road ahead.