Saturday, July 9, 2011

Update on the CSA from Miller Farms

Sunday, July 10 will be the fourth installment of this year's CSA share. Dave from Miller Farms has been great. He is always encouraging us share members to dig in and fill our baskets. Yes, this year we have 2 half bushel baskets to fill each week for our Family Share. It has been so much fun and a great challenge.
Last Sunday Dave had a great number of use very soon tomatoes. Art and I took advantage of the long weekend to make spaghetti sauce and can it. The Roma Food Strainer, a contraption that we invested in made its first appearance of the year. It removes the skin, core and seeds of the tomatoes. The Pressure Canner was pulled out of winter storage too. I purchased a second Crockpot when they were on sale last Christmas just for this time of year, both the new and old were soon employed.
In a bit of Olive Oil I sauteed several fresh Volcano Garlic, Peppers and Onions until they were soft. I busily cut up the 35+ tomatoes for Art to crank through the food strainer. He snagged a few to run through before cutting. Not a great idea unless you like tomato on the ceiling! We decided to run the tomato pulp though a second time with great results.
The puree was divided into the Crockpots and the onion mixture was added. A couple of carrots finely chopped and about a third of a cup of sugar were stirred in as well.
Then the waiting game began. As we cleaned up the great mess we made for this sauce, we took turns stirring it. The goal this year was to NOT scorch it as the kids will not eat scorched sauce. We would let it bubble and then let some steam off but found that it was not reducing very well. So we turned it to low and escaped to the cool movie theater down the road.
Returning several hours later we anxiously stirred the sauce and realized that it was not going to be ready to can Sunday evening.
Monday morning, Art gleefully awakens me to tell me that the sauce is DONE! Excitedly, we start the canning process. Three quarts and a pint jar proudly sit on my kitchen table now. it seems a shame to relegate them to the pantry.
I wonder what temptations from the farm will come this week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring and My CSA

I am so waiting for Spring. I am looking forward to planting the veggie garden and watching it grow. Even more I can hardly wait for the first of the harvest. The early green make my mouth water just thinking about them. The sad thing is that there is never enough from the garden to make me happy.
I did some thing about that this year I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Some of you may remember that Art and I belonged to one several years ago. The produce was great but the weekly haul up to Boulder was not the best part of our Saturdays. We found that Miller Farms is at the weekly farmer's Market in Old Town. I love their produce, it comes from their farm in Platteville. We often went during their sale time and brought several bags of produce home each Sunday. What fun it was to plan meals around the fresh
This year we will return to the Old Town Farmer's Market in Arvada and continue to get our produce from Miller Farms. This time it will be through their CSA. We bought a full share. We will get fresh from the farm produce for 18 weeks and have access to their harvest days with more produce in the fall. The great thing about this CSA is that it not only has great quality but it is convenient.Unless I find a reason to wander around in Old Town, we can be
back home in under 30 minutes. Furthermore, I know that I will not end up with a bag full of things the family will not eat, (we are not big Kale fans for instance.) You get to choose from what they have brought to sell that day so if you do not like squash get some more tomatoes.
You might want to check out the CSA at Miller Farms yourself. They sell at most if not all of the local farmer's markets up and down the Front Range and even out I-70 from Evergreen to Vail. If you choose to get a share be sure to list me as the one who referred you.
I am so very much looking forward to this summer's CSA. I know that it is going to be great.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Lifetime of Love

Book Sneeze: An Amish Love
An Amish Love is a wonderful trilogy of love stories by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Long. Long and Fuller’s writing styles are virtually identical which lead to a near seamless transition between the first two novellas. That both are stories about young love adds to the flow. Wiseman takes a somewhat different topic on of renewed love and does it with a slightly different style, equally enjoyable.
An Amish Love will want you to visit if not move to the charming town of Paradise Pennsylvania. In the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country this town provides the perfect setting for the Amish way of life and their English counterparts. The main characters on all three stories are Amish at heart. Each has a mending of the heart to tend to and although the women are the stronger characters in the tales they each need the love of a good man to complete their heart. Love and forgiveness play starring roles in each of the characters. Indecision, the melding of old ways with the new and well meaning friends and family all provide for entertaining conflict on each page.
This is a wonderful book to learn a little more of the Amish lifestyle and how it has evolved. It also provides a platform for understanding that some things are permanent and some things are best left in the past. There is a sub context that the things that are left behind still make up the person and life becomes what you want to make of it. The strong work ethic characteristic of the Amish is present here not just in the labor force but in labors of the heart.
This is a book well worth your time. Be sure to pocket a few tissues as reading through your own tears becomes difficult at times. The three couples are well characterized and believable. They will take your heart away.
I review for BookSneeze®

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Same Kind of Different as Me

If you need reinforcement of why you need to believe in yourself read Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It is an inspiring read that tells the story of Ron and Deborah as it is intertwined with Denver. They are as unlikely a match as you will ever see but both have so much to learn from each other.

Deborah is the glue that shows Ron and Denver how much these two very independent men need each other. Ron and Denver could not be more different one a family man, the other a drifter. It takes Deborah’s insight for them to see how much they need one another. They learn about trust and how physical valuing physical resources can help or hinder a relationship. They learn about God through each other’s eyes often without realizing it. There are times in life when we step away from one another and God it seems. Sometimes it is difficult to ask for a way back into a friendship, into a heart. These three explore these difficulties and realize that it is God’s heart that they seek in one another.

The book is written in the two distinct voices of Ron and Denver. Together they show how they each view the situations at hand. It helps the reader to see, how seeing in parallel view, does not always mean that the perspectives are shared but the passion can be.

Same Kind of Different as Me will make you laugh, cry, think and most important reflect on your own life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through a book review blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part255. “Guidelines concerning the use and endorsements and testimonials in advertizing.”

I review for BookSneeze

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Review of Friendship for Grown-Ups

Friendship for Grown-Ups is written by Lisa Whelchel. Whelchel played the character Blair in the 70s TV show The Facts of Life. That is where the story begins.

We are taken through the painful growing process that happens when a teenager is away from family and under the pressure of a weekly TV show. Defense systems are learned to keep one's inner self together in a situation like this. However it is years later after marrying a pastor, having children and living what seems like a charmed life to all who observe that all the wrappings start falling away.

Having good friends,ones that you can say anything to and there is implied confidence is rare. As Ms Whelchel discovers they are not easy to find or cultivate. She has long learned how to be a friend supportive, non-judgmental and confidential but has a great problem receiving the like. We are brought through her search for the right person to be her very closest of friends. it is a reminder to all of us why we cannot have lots of very, very close friends.

Friendship has a number of elements that can both burn people out and have them become judgmental. Ms Whelchel points out to us that not every one has the energy and resources to be the kind of friend she needed. She struggles with this in much of the book. It is a learning process of becoming a friend to herself as well.

This is an easy reading book that may make you grab a tissue once in a while as it is heart wrenching at times. As a reader you will learn a great deal about yourself and what type of friend you are to different people.

This book was provided to me by the publisher through a program called Book Sneeze. My review was not influenced by any person or company.

I review for BookSneeze

Plan B by Pete Wilson

Plan B by Pete Wilson has some great insights on how we view our lives. the premise of the book is that life does not always proceed as planned, so you need a Plan B. He references many familiar Old and New Testament stories to point out that the Bible is full of people who had to examine Plan B as a part of their faith in God.

Wilson must be wonderful from the pulpit as he knows how to take the stories of thousands of years and place them in today's context. He points out that people have been lying and cheating their fellow man since the beginning of time. This has made for adjustment of life or Plan B in order to survive. It appears that Plan B plays a huge roll regarding your faith in God. Some thing that is often difficult to remember when Plan A is upset is that you are not alone in what you are experiencing.

An extended look it taken with the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. We follow him through his life and see how he learns to roll with the punches as a sign of hos faith. It is faith that gets up to transition to Plan B.

I asked Mr Wilson by way of Twitter if Plan B ever becomes Plan A. His response was "I think so."

I enjoyed this book immensely. It is well worth your time so that you can identify with your own Plan B. The author is still a young man. I hope to see take to pen Plan B Part II 20 years from now. Plan B is a growing process.

The book Plan B by Pete Wilson was provided to me by the publisher through Book Sneeze. the opinion I have written is my own and has not been influenced any person of company.

I review for BookSneeze

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Will reducing clutter save my sanity?

What does reducing clutter do for the average person. I am not talking about cleaning up a hoarding situation. Although I have seen a few episodes of these shows and wonder.

The first thing I know is that it cannot be a fix-it-in-a-weekend solution. All of the clutter I have around my house did not just arrive last weekend and cannot be expected to go that quickly. On the Clean House and Hoarding types of shows much anxiety seems to ocure because of the quick and drastic changes insisted on for what I can only imagine are production purposes. A steady daily process seems to suite my needs right now.

I do have a deadline of sorts and there are mini deadlines in between. Our neighborhood has an annual garage sale usually in June. I plan to participate. I know that I need to have enough stuff out there to make it worth my while to sell it. After the sale runs to Goodwill are planned to get rid of the rest of it. I really wanted my home picked up for Easter. Alright at least the living room, dining room and kitchen needed to be neat. I challenged myself to put things away and not just bag it up and ditch it in another room. Each room had a 30 gallon trash bag filled and there were several garage sale boxes filled for each too. It is far from done, but what a start.

Now that the kids are growing up I am getting rid of the toys. For many years I held on to things that I knew the next child would want. Some were good choices and some not so great. When my parents downsized prior to retirement they gave me the inheritance of a lot of games. Few were ever played in this household. Most of the classics I had already acquired. These too are going to the garage sale.

There are some things that go out of style. Hundreds of 5 1/4 inch floppy discs are gone as are there cousins the 3 1/2 discs. Many hours of music have been put on the hard drives of the household and the CDs will have a special place in the sale. The same goes for collectibles that we are not into so much an more. There are boxes of Barbie Dolls and dishes.

Harder parts of the reduction of stuff process will come as part of my craft stuff. just when I think I an ready to get rid of something there is new inspiration to try something new. Saw A blog the other day about painted metal flowers. the blogger went out and bought a dollar store tin to do it. I have at least 3 Boy Scout popcorn tins in my sale bin, (should the return to the craft pile?)

Some other blogs have suggested well beyond the guidelines of get rid of what you have not used in a year or two by talking about moving. Not just a small move but as if you were going overseas. What would you get rid of? I always thought that is what storage units were all about. I do not know that I could do that at this point but the thought sticks in my mind as I work through the things I have not seen in years.

I do know one thing for sure. I am keeping little for sentimental reasons. Those things I have to really like to keep. Grandma's Cocoa set is definitely staying. Her bedspread is gone. The souvenir drink glasses from Hawaii, I would love to bring back there to refill (they said the refill is free) but I think if I ever get back there, I will just get another glass. Just in case you were wondering... The husband I will keep!

Some of the additional goals I keep in mind while getting rid of stuff are powerful. There are parts of the house I have never used the way I envisioned 15 years ago when we bought it. Mostly they were used as storage and not useful family space. There are a lot of new things I want to try. I need the room to try them. Sometimes when i look at these spaces the stuff is so overwhelming that I just want to quit. I do not want to feel like that about parts of my home.

Onward and upward, there are more boxes to fill.