Canning & Pickling

Having a large vegetable garden is great.  One problem that arises though is what to do with all that food.  It tends to come in all at once and as much as we love to eat our veggies we can’t eat them all.  We blanch and freeze our greens but who doesn’t love a shelf full of pickles?  Last week Mike shared his recipe for his scrumptious green tomato chutney.  You can freeze it but we chose to can it.  Today we will show you how to can the green tomato chutney and how to pickle cucumbers. » » »

DIY Honey Lip Balm

Today I’m talking lips.  Out here in the desert it’s dry (I know, big surprise).  The lips seem to be the first thing to go when you come here from humid parts of the country.   The skin on your lips can get destroyed quickly.  A few hours out in the wind can leave them dry and chapped for days. I’ve learned that being a little proactive has helped prevent my lips from going from luscious to cracked and peeling!

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The end of the re-beginning of the Yurt for now

If you’re new to this series this is a segment of a long story about how we bought a yurt.  It was ravaged by our climate and started to die.  After some deliberation we decided it should be reborn in papercrete.  Check out the links for the back story.  Up to speed?  Great.  Moving on….

When we last left the yurt the walls were built and there was a start at getting a roof designed and constructed.  My sister Heidi had been instrumental in getting enthusiasm going for the project again.  We think she was ready to stay in a guest house instead of on the couch when she came to visit. » » »

Seed Starting Station

Reading gardening books might be the end of me.  I get tons of ideas and don’t know where to start.  At one point I got smart and decided to start at the beginning:  indoor seed starts. First thing was to build a  light stand.  Then we could grow greens  in the middle of winter without having to finish the greenhouse.

light stand01

A trip to the Re-store yielded a couple of two foot long florescent lamps. » » »

Softie Owl

My softie owl

I know, isn’t it adorable! » » »

Yurt Reborn!….slowly….in stages

When we last left the yurt it was still standing but was decaying and in serious need of repair.  The outer weatherproof cover had deteriorated again and the smell of mildew was pervasive.  The mice were ransacking the interior and the flooring was starting to rot.  The yurt needed help and lots of it.  For a while (quite a while) we just let it sit while we considered a strategy to deal with all of the yurt’s needs.

The first step was to take it down before it deteriorated any further.  In the spring of 2008 Molly and I disassembled the yurt and packed it up.   Most of the platform and the outer covering went to the dump.  Now we just needed a home for the rest.  Storing a building sized tent as well as the furnishings inside of it was a challenge but we managed to shoehorn it all into our various other outbuildings.

Molly:  It was a sad day when we took it down.  It had been this thing of beauty and now it was…not.  

Mike: Yeah, one more face lift was not going to recapture her lost loveliness.  It was just going to make her look permanently surprised. » » »

Ravioli Daze

Last spring I got into making ravioli.  After the the first session of cutting them out by hand a ravioli press sounded really really good.

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DIY Table Runners

sewing materials

I like a sewing project that I can do in under an hour.  It’s kind of my gauge for what projects I want to do or not.  I also like to batch projects.  For example, I have this great wrap dress I’ve designed that I can knock out in about 45 minutes.  I like to make three at a time.  I’ll cut them all out and sew them up in assembly line fashion.  Recently I did this for some table runners.

Table runners are a great ‘Molly’ project.  They are as simple as can be or as fancy as you have time for. » » »

Lemon Cupcakes

Today’s post is dedicated to Marla.  Marla is Niki’s (from Debt Free by Thirty) new Kitchen Aid mixer.  Here’s to some real good mixin’ girlfriend!!  

Stay tuned to the end of this post to find out who our giveaway winner is from last week!!

A few weeks back it was Pistol’s birthday.  Now we  have two 13 year olds in the home-YIKES!

Mike:  Talking about that one is about six posts worth of content.

She asked for a lemon cake with a whipped cream cheese icing for her birthday cake.

Molly: Yummy!  How did you get her steered onto the lemon flavor?

Mike:  Even though she’s a picky eater sometimes she responds to novelty.  I just took a shot and threw it out there. 

Molly:  Genius sweetie! » » »

Ocean Deck

While we were visiting family in San Diego over Christmas we did what we typically do when we visit family…build something.  It’s actually quite fun and cheap entertainment for us (not so cheap for the family member buying all the materials 😕 ).  The weather was absolutely glorious so when Mike’s dad, Grandpa Craig, asked if we would build them a deck we didn’t hesitate to say yes. » » »