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Blog 2018-06-05T17:30:17+00:00

Summertime is finally here for us in Minnesota. 

So we better get busy!  Tilling, Planting, finding all our garden tools from last year and making a plan for this year.  

I love my garden.  But, I was not very kind to it last year and it repaid the favor, by not providing us the bounty we hoped for.  This time around, I vow to do better.  Haha, I always do!  

But we are off to a good start. 

It was a hot Saturday.  Even our pups were looking for ways to cool down.  

We decided to plant mostly vegetables that we got from the farmers market and the little Amish farm up the road.  That place is my favorite!  It’s so rustic and organic.  Every time I visit, I think I could live this simple life too.  Then I come home to my cell phone and laptop and color pencils and stencils and am perfectly happy to sit and journal about the farmers we talked to that day.  What we learned from everyone and all the great vegetables that were planted.  It’s a pretty sweet life we live too.  We are thankful. 

I’m sharing with you a page I created that shows my garden plans and notes.  I used Faber Castell Polychromos Color Pencils and a Micron Pigma pen, size .005 and .01

Spring is Natures way of saying “OK! Lets Party”

First comes Valentines Day, St Patricks Day, Easter, May Day, Cinco de Mayo. Journal This Now has a stencil for all of the wonderful memories and moments to record in your journals and planners. We have so many ideas flowing for fun and colorfully creative pages. Stick with us through the last days of Winter, and lets show Spring a thing or two! Make sure to check out all the new listings we have each week.

Fall in Minnesota this year has been awesome!

Mild weather has delayed the inevitable winter that looms over us. But we miss most of it, because, like most of you, we have jobs and obligations that keep us indoors and on the run most of the time.  

On this particular day, Jenn texts me and says “you better come outside”,

“Now?”,

“NOW!!”   

Being the worry wort that I am, by the time I came out of the office, down the stairs and hit the garage door, I had envisioned my husband pinned under the tractor or some sort of accident with the chainsaw.  (Being the cheery, carefree person I am) Instead, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  

A Pig! . . . . . In our driveway!

I just thought Jenn was getting us lunch!?! 

Lesson learned:  Sometimes you just need to stop and . . . .  well . . . .  smell the roses.  Otherwise, we might miss a visiting Pig. . . . . And a sunny Autumn day!

So I had to record this day in my journal!  I hope one day my Grandkids will look through my journals and think, “Grandma had a fun life”  Just the way I feel when I look at pictures of my mom and dad.  

Here is how I used our Pig Stencil in my LT1917 dotted A5.

Where there is one pig, there are others!  Cow Sheep and Chicken stencils were born. Here is one idea on how to use our pig stencil with colored pencils.  

and remember . . . . 

Winter is coming!

Janae

Apple Harvest

Fall has always been my favorite season.   Summer heat does nothing for me, but make me sweat! 

When Fall finally arrives, it means cooler temps and fewer bugs!

2 years ago we moved to a rural town in Minnesota.  We have a small 2.5-acre lot with a lovely little apple tree.  The previous owner couldn’t identify the kind of apples, but she made bottles and bottles of delicious apple wine. 

I was so excited for my first year’s harvest! I waited. . . . 

There are several other trees with no clue what they were either.  We lived by the idea of “this is an adventure” moving from the city to the country.  Let’s let this first year roll and “learn as we go”.  My husband and I make a pretty good team and fell comfortably into our roles as hobby farmer and wife. 

Last year, in 2016, a surprisingly scraggly tree with tangled branches and a large crack in the trunk gave us bushels of plums.  Little tiny pink plums.  We made the most delicious Plum jelly, thanks to YouTube and Pinterest. We learned this was an American Plum tree and it blessed us with an unexpected bounty of fruit.  But where were all those apples??  Nothing. Still, we waited. . . 

Patience.

We waited another year. We had a tree service come out and look at our scattered, tattered and tangled orchard.  He identified several more plum trees up on the hill and a cherry tree. He trimmed and pruned our apple tree and taught me how to do the same to a little pretty crab apple tree.  We are learning a lot.

And then. . . .  suddenly  . . . . . APPLES!!!   

Be careful what you wish for!

Applesauce, Apple Jelly, Apple Butter, Apple Pies, Apple Muffins, Apples! Apples! Apples!

Applesauce Recipe: from the Pioneer Woman website. (with some Canning instructions added) Dee’s recipe is to be used for storage in refridgerator.

6 pounds Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices
1 cup Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
Juice Of 1 Lemon
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, More Or Less To Taste
Optional Ingredients: Nutmeg, Maple Syrup, Allspice, Butter… 

PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
COMBINE apples with just enough water to prevent sticking in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 20 minutes, until apples are tender (time will depend upon the variety of apple and their maturity). Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
TRANSFER apples, working in batches, to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée until smooth.
RETURN apple purée to saucepan. Add sugar, if using, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Maintain a gentle boil over low heat while filling jars.
LADLE hot applesauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
It took us 2 weekends to process 8 quarts of applesauce and 36 pints of Apple Butter. 7 bags of frozen sliced apples.  I could not have done it all without this guy 

Here is my journal entry in my Leuchtturm 1917 dotted.  I used our Canning Jar stencil and our new Jumbo Typography #1 for the header.  Of course, I used Polychromos pencils from Faber Castill.