June 29, 2011

start of a Solar COoker!

Who wants to turn the oven on inside to make supper when it is so hot outside?! not me. Which got me thinking about solar ovens and researching how to make em.
Found a really good article with a bunch of different kinds of solar cooker plans

So I took out some cardboard manipulating tools.

and we got a good start on it today!

Attie helped me paint the inside black:

only got a little black paint on her body, shirt, the rug, ...
and had a blast doing it!

I will post a little tutorial once it is done.
I can't wait to cook something in the sun!

hot day, find water.

Wow. it was so hot today! I think it got to about +35C!! Nice.
Thought I should utilize tha sun and made some solar tea,
and did it ever get hot!
Then refrigerated it to have iced solar tea.
yummm. sun infused water!

The doggies, being black, were just loosin it in the heat. So We loaded up in Grampa's camper van (my new summer vehicle) and went to the "Dam" after supper.

Whenever the camper is there, it feels like Grampa is there. I love it!

When we got there, there was a man who had of all things, a TURTLE!!
He found it in the Grass and was putting it back near the water!
I assumed that someone must have let their unwanted pet turtle out here and he said, nope, Saskatchewan has turtles! I can't even believe it.
But I DID see it, so I must believe.
suppose I should've got a picture??

There was a neat design left by the high water...

Attie found some nice wild Vetch.

and dirt of course.

It was gettin to be night time and she had a relaxing walk in the Ergo baby carrier before bed.
Did I ever mention how much I love this carrier?
Well, I love it. I'd recommend it for any age.

and now its raining which pleases me cuz the garden's getting a good soak.


June 28, 2011

less posting, more summer

I have not been posting much of late,
that is because its summer outside!

in all its glory

(lookin at gophers)
my house is a disaster area because we're on adventures or in the garden!

Take care,
See ya when it raining!!

June 19, 2011

Gratitude Sunday

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

~ i am grateful for all the wildflowers and little critters we hung out with today on our bike adventure.

well, it being father's day:

today I am grateful for my Daughter's dad. He is such a wonderful father. Attie gets so excited when he comes home from work and I can see in his face the huge love he has for her. I couldn't ask for more. He's sweet and I am blessed to have him to play mom and dad with!

I am grateful for my own dear dad.
He was a single parent to us for many years. Only now am I realizing that although we had such a great time growing up on the farm, it was very stressful and hard for him.
For a grain farmer, there are certain times when you have to work early morning till well into the night for weeks/months at a time. Then there's the massive input costs which to get back is completely in the weather's hands...
Some days must have been really hard, but he woke us up every morning SINGING!!
He has taught me kindness and generosity.
Taught me -through example, how to work and not see it as a bad thing.
He's smart fellow and I feel blessed to have him as a father.

(my niece and her grampa)

i am also grateful for:

~ friends who are there for you in times of need. Like when your basement's flooding, you're alone with the kid and you aren't really sure where/ what? a sump pump? how? Then they just jump in and its all better!

~ my new sump pump and all the hard work it's been doing the last few days!

~ a freshly opened jar of low bush cranberry chutney made by a Yukonner friend. Those cranberries take me right back to Dawson City... how I miss it and everyone.
How I miss the cranberries.

~ for the beginning of a 2 weeks of yoga that friends and I decided to embark upon! It was a good first day.

(do YOU want to join in?!)

~ the fact that my camera is not in need of a doctor after all. It was just some setting I must have bumped accidentally!

~ the Documentary, Sisters in the Wilderness. and all the strong pioneer women who came before me. They remind me what people are capable of, what I am capable of.

~ also, after watching that documentary, I was motivated to FINALLY make soap! A project that has been waiting since deep in the winter.

~ having the interest, want and motivation to cook wholesome meals from scratch. On some seemingly long days it can seem like quite the task, but fully worth the time. Its an art!

~Chali 2na. This morning, he helped me clean my kitchen which was a disaster from the night before! Da beats are really good for this type sityeation.

~ BIG time grateful for my bike set up that I scored at a garage sale for 6 dollars. Attie and i have a brand new freedom! We go biking every day.

~although certain times I have a hard time with how much time I spend here, I am grateful for the internet. It is an endless resource and allowed connections to people from all over this world! HI!

~Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots for creating Gratitude Sunday!

what are you grateful for?
feel free to leave a link to your blog post or just list a couple in the comments!

flooded out

a little bit too much rain in the last couple days could not be dealt with by the already saturated ground.

one of the roads out of town:

apparently about 80% of the townfolk have water in their basements. we are among the newest members of that group now. had to go out n buy a sump pump and dig a hole in the basement floor the other day.

the water is coming in from under the stairs and up from underneath the slab

we were supposed to have a rodeo this weekend, but that whole area where the water is, that is the rodeo grounds!!

Then since the sewers were over flowing with water, they had to turn off the town's running water! I was very thankful that I have a full rain barrel and have been enjoying the pure rain water.

It sure could be worse.

June 16, 2011

around the town farm thursdays

a big HEy Ho to Farmama for her Around the Farm Thursdays!
They have such an inspiring market garden farm!
the dream.

Until I have my farm, this town farm is going to teach me a lot!!

Its Brand new name is the Seedy Soil Gardens!

This year is my first year doing a very small
CSA (community supported agriculture) vegetable box.
The Garden Share box.

So, I've planted lots - although some days it seems I don't really have much... but. if I harvest things regularly and replant, there will be plenty for all!

I have planted Corn, spaghetti Squash, potatoes, beans and carrots in my neighbor's Huge garden space!

then this is the main garden area:

here's 1/4 of a square bed with tomatos, lettuce and broccoli (and its protector -oregano)

beets just newly ready for greens!

peas starting to climb!

Zuchinni getting its first babies!

Strawberries that I brought from our home last summer are doing excellent!

beans and cucumbers together. the Cukes will climb.

butternut squashes being guarded by the radishes!

Okay, then there's the Brassicas. Broccoli and Cabbage here:

In Saskatchewan there are so many "cabbage butterflies" and little beetles that I have been told not to bother planting any brassicas. Last summer I learned their wrath. they'll kill yer whole crop in one afternoon. so I have interplanted with lots of summer savory, oregano and sage... but the elders of the area say that you just have to powder them. (chemical) which I wont. instead, i am going to try these floating row covers

I have just learned that this problem is so intense here in the grains growing country because the same butterfly moths love canola, which is grown ALL over around here. So their populations are doing quite well in the summer.

After buying a whole wack of big transplants from a greenhouse, I needed to make a new little tomato garden bed, which I did last night while baby was sleepin'.

here the happy tomatoes are planted and mulched.

Tis the season of dirty cracked hands and stained black feet.
pulling out quack grass roots in the evening with the doves hoot hoot hooting away at me.
planting more seeds in the hot sun with the bees checking in.
its the simple joys!


what are you growing?

June 15, 2011

a toddler dress from an adult shirt

my friend got some shirts made with her artwork on them.
I took one for myself and a couple extra to make our daughters some little sundresses!
(our babies are 2 months apart)

pretty simple.
I just copied a dress that fits her,
and it was 3 seams to sew up.
then i added a brown bottom strip.

this is far too cute.

here's Coral's dress!!

chamomile makes me smile.

June 12, 2011

Gratitude Sunday.

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

and today I am greatful for the rain, and the shower that I just had under a pouring spout! I feel so fresh and cleansed. giving the green ones some drink and leaving the most wonderful scent behind.

I am also very grateful for the sun that we had for about 4 days in a row, allowing my seedlings to get some strength. I really see them growing now! so exciting.

I am eternally grateful for my baby girl. Our connection is getting even stronger as I watch her start to realize what is going on around her and learn how to do things. She reminds me that every little thing is filled with wonder - and to not take beauty for granted.

I am grateful for our little camping festival we had this weekend - the gathering of friends. Rejuvenating to spend time with a gaggle of good people, and strong, wonderful womyn. Its nice to wake up in our camper to see friends all around!

... for Stevie going back to work after almost 3 months without any income.

... for the time that we spent as a family while he was home. We came through it more connected.

... pens, paper and the fact that I have found this therapy for myself through journaling.

... the roof over our heads, this yard that is ours which we can do what we like with!

... my dad for calling me up today while we walked and sharing his good cheer! love.

... our walk out in the prairie with the doggies and baby in backpack. the farmer who planted the huge field of wheat that I "thinned" and planted in my garden!

... I am grateful for where my life has gone thus far allowing me insight into so many different ways of living. Especially the inspiration that comes from all the people who have graced my path, whether for a couple days or for the 31 yrs.

... grampa's camper van that we have all inherited. whenever we go somewhere in the van, gramma and grampa Nordin are there too. I am grateful to have come from such open-minded and good farmer folk.

... a HUGE breakthrough in an issue which has been hurting all of us 3 and nearly pulling us apart. The strength to take risks and test things out.

... all my neighbors who are so glad to give me all of their grass clippings so I can mulch and compost away!

... the VeRy exciting temperature of my compost heap today! STEAM RISING!! yaaa! Its got all it needs finally!

and last but not least:

...Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots for creating Gratitude Sunday! Its just the positivity I needed tonight. What fun!

What are you grateful for??

feel free to leave a link to your grateful post or just list a couple things in the comments!

June 10, 2011

How to bake bread!

Sunflower Millet Bread!

To have the house smelling like baking bread is a wonderful thing. Especially on a rainey day.


to start, combine

:1 cup of lukewarm water {the SAME temperature as your Wrist.}
: 2 tbsp of yeast
: one drop of honey, molasses... sweetener
let stand for 5 minutes.

next, you prepare "The Sponge"

by adding 1-2 cups of flour to the yeast water - in a big bread making bowl.

mix it all up

you may have to get your hands in there briefly.

let that rise 30-60 minutes,
here's my risen sponge:

while it is rising, you can prepare "The Mix"
which in this case is

: 1 cup of cooked (in 1 1/2 cups water) Millet
:1/2 cup sunflower seeds (cooked with millet)
: 2 tsp salt
: 1/4 cup butter
: 3 tbs honey

this is yummy just as it is!!

When the sponge has risen and the mix is room temperature,
mix the two well.
"sometimes the sponge and mix will resist each other at first. Keep mixing patiently until they merge" - molly katzen

now measure out how much flour the recipe claims you can put to the dough
and see how much you can actually get kneaded into it!

I will not lie, I can usually only get 3/4's the flour in my dough that they call for!! and it works out.
I am pretty sure this is because I use different types of flour, not just white... so I think these heavier flours take up more of the moisture. the easiest loaf to make is an all white one...
but you know how much nutrition that is lacking!

knead knead knead.

slowly adding flour and knead it in until its a nice uniform dough ball.

It is hard work!
Just think of them tough pioneer women with the 12 children who had to bake bread every day to feed the family. TOUGH women bake bread.
I want pipes like that.

but if the man (or a friend) is around, try to trick them into kneading a bit! ;0)

this is an example of kneading from utube:

although as you can see, she is just using white flour so it looks really easy. but you get the point!

everyone develops their own kneading style.
I think of kneading as pushing the dough into itself, flipping it and doing it again.

"remember, you are guiding the dough, making suggestions to it~ not forcing it, tearing it, or otherwise employing intimidation" -Molly K.

....and then my hands were all floured up and too messy to pick up my camera to document the rest of the process... so here it is without photos.

once you've kneaded all the flour in and then kneaded about 10 minutes more - you are satisfied with the uniformness of your living lump,

-wash out that bowl that you made the dough in and put about 2 tbsp's of oil in it.

-throw the dough in the bowl, roll it in the oil and put a clean, moist dish towel over top.

- place it in a warm spot to rise for an hour or until it is about doubled

1 way to make a warm environment for rising dough is:
put a pan of very hot hot water on the bottom rack of the cold oven
and place your covered bowl on the top rack to rise. thats enuf

-once it has risen, take it out and give it a punch (THWAP)!

-cut it into 2 chunks (for 2 loaves)

- roll it flat into a rectangle

-roll up the rectangle (like a jelly roll)

-turn the side bottoms under

-place in a greased and floured bread pan

- let those two bread pans rise until doubled or so

- preheat the oven 15 minutes before its time to put the bread in

- bake. usually 30-40 minutes at 350.

-go outside and come back in so you can take in the aroma of your house!

- the bread is done when you give it a tap tap and it sounds hollow.

howly crow its good. and good for ya.

A fool proof way to learn to bake bread can be found inside
Molly Katzen's cook book - the Enchanted Broccoli Forest.
The most beautyful thing: An Illustrated guide on how to bake bread! Without that, I am not sure I'd have ever made it to the other side of breadmaking.

This is what the breadmaking guide looks like:


happy baking!

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