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Summer, finally…

My last class for the summer was today – whew!  It has been a whirlwind of classes…  only grades left to assign and calculate.

We’ve gotten some green beans out of the garden and the squash are doing some serious blooming.  The blackberries are formed their nice little green orbs.  The CSA boxes are started to have more variety than just lettuces – I get tired of lettuce easily and have been looking forward to the changes.

CSA box: week 5 contained carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, eggs, sirloin steak, red romaine (or swiss chard?), radishes, butter lettuce, peas

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We used everything but a bit of the butter lettuce which is still in the fridge.  I made cabbage au gratin (new recipe) from the UK extension office using 1/2 head of cabbage and some green onions added in – this one is a keeper!  We steamed the cauliflower and the peas.  DH loved the peas.  I gave away the radishes and we froze the steaks.  I made a spinach provolone frittata (new recipe) from the Mixing Bowl site using several eggs.  It was rated good by me, but not by DH.  I also used some of the eggs to make a chocolate cheesecake for a friend’s birthday.

CSA box: week 6 contained peaches, radishes, green onions, white onion, basil, mint, dill, swiss chard (or red romaine?), eggs, chicken breast, peas, red potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash

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I made a skillet fried chicken breast to use up the chicken (rating = ok).  We steamed the peas (again a hit according to DH) tonight.  I used the last carrot from the last box, along with the big onion, the basil, and our own oregano to make pasta prima vera tonight.

I have been working slowly on the sock from the Cookie A book.  It is a nice, but complex pattern (Bex), but I modified it by going toe up and may leave the large diamond areas to just adorn the cuff/leg area.

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Princess Tea Party and ‘blather’

Bug loves to dress up…

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so when I saw a “princess” tea party advertised in Nana and Pappaw T.’s home town, I signed her up.  Paducah has this thing called Paducah iList that is an email of all the happenings in Paducah each week.  I wish we had one for Murfreesboro.  Princess Bug went to the “Princess” tea party with her Nana T. We went to Paducah especially for it. It was a fundraiser for Easter Seals. Bug had a great time and wore herself out.

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I’ve been trodging along working on bits and pieces of things. I finished the knitting part of the gradient scarf and just need to find the right masculine button for it (DH claimed it). I’m waiting to take pictures until it is done. The afgans are still in progress and being worked on, as well as the socks.

Spring and gardening are pulling at my mind.

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I’ve been thinking of ordering a fig tree and some blueberry bushes for our yard. DH loves brown turkey figs and they will grow here. I signed us up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) at the Avalon Acres Farms. We will be getting a 1/2 share of veggies and a meat/eggs portion each Wednesday starting in May.

School is hectic with the last push of things (research posters and class research projects, etc) with which to deal. With the nice weather, I’ve been walking outside instead of going to the gym. Now, if it will only stop raining and flooding our yard….

Views galore

Wednesday in Virginia was spent looking at the mountains.  We traveled to the visitor center at the Peaks of Otter in Bedford County, Virginia (Blue Ridge Mountains) and had lunch at the lodge (slow service, but ok).  We then rode the bus up the mountain and walked up to the observation area with the whole gang (minus Uncle T because he had to work).

This was the view from the bus drop off.

On the way up to the summit – a bit scary with toddlers.  Z and C practically ran up, but Bug trudged along barely.

View of the top (LOTS of big rocks).  Again, a bit scary with the toddlers and the open rock areas.

Views of the mountains from the top (FlatTop, Sharp Top, and Harkening Hill).

Here in TN, we picked a handful of blackberries and our first peach – MmmmmMMmmMMM!  The corn socks are almost done (middle of the afterthought heel on the second sock!)

Growing

The Bug and I will be taking off on Sunday to central Virginia to visit my sister’s family. We are driving and the maps/directions say we will have 8 hours in the car. Bug has always been a poor traveler, so I hope to make it in under 12 hours. Traveling these days makes me feel uncomfortable, sometimes even scared. Life just seems so fragile, while accidents seem so random and senseless. Nice and upbeat, no? 🙂

Anyway, we’ve been outside quite a bit lately and the weather today was incredibly nice (80s). So we played with sidewalk chalk that she loves. Her request this morning was Spongebob. I didn’t have time, so I drew one on the blacktop before picking her up this afternoon as a surprise. 🙂

Everything here is growing and the peaches have even turned color (not ripe yet, though).

The corn socks for DH are coming along – into the ribbing portion and then the after-thought heel. That is the only progress for now. Wish us luck on Sunday!

Making up for last year

The blackberries are going gang-busters!  Last year the late freeze left us with about 5-6 blackberries total.   This year there are more on a single site than that. Look at this…

A couple have a hint of blush – so it won’t be long!

I bought some blackberries at the Nashville farmer’s market last Saturday and made a cobbler for MIL, who loves cobbler.  This was an awesome recipe from ‘Country Baking’ (perhaps this book?) found at All about Food – the blackberry mixture is thick and stays separate from the dough which remains on the top.  We used 1/2 splenda because FIL is diabetic.  The recipe is below – I forgot to take a picture 😦 , but is was YUMMY!

  *  Exported from  MasterCook  *

                            Blackberry Cobbler

Recipe By     : COUNTRY BAKING
Serving Size  : 8    Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : 
  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   4      cups          fresh blackberries or raspberries
   1      cup           sugar
   1      Tablespoon    cornstarch
     1/2  teaspoon      lemon juice
   1      cup           all-purpose flour
   2      teaspoons     baking powder
     1/2  teaspoon      salt
     1/2  cup           milk
     1/4  cup           butter or margarine -- melted
   1                    egg

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread blackberries in ungreased 2
qt casserole. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Mix remaining
sugar, the cornstarch and lemon juice.
 Drizzle cornstarch mixture over blackberries; stir gently.
 Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
 Stir in milk, margarine and egg.
 Spread batter evenly over blackberries, sealing edge.
 Sprinkle with reserved sugar
 Bake 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown

. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Onward…

We’ve been very busy this week – 5 “weeks” of a course jammed into 5 days of class. A whirlwind to say the least, but we’re surviving. I remind myself each year that I taught this course one time while 9 months pregnant with a sprained ankle (I can do ANYTHING!). Bug was born the day of the final exam for this course nearly 3 years ago now… I can’t believe it. Time has certainly flown…

Someone recently asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She said cheesecake – we have made several of these in the last few months for other people. She likes to hold the eggs and eat some of the chocolate chips.

In the last few days she has added that she wants presents – I asked her ‘what’ presents. Her answer: blue presents. 🙂

We’ve made some progress on all fronts – the garden is enjoying the rain, but aches for some seasonably warmer weather than we’ve been having. I’ve made progress on three projects: the stained glass crochet scarf

and the corn socks for DH

but messed up the lattice scarf and had to rip back past the “progress” I had made.

I like Lixie’s slogan for these days… Keep calm and carry on…

Spring is here, I hope…

The daffodils are blooming and some of the flowering cherries are, too!  There is daylight to play in after we get home from work/school and grill in for dinner!  I trimmed the blackberry thicket while the pork chops were on the grill.  I also came home from spring break to find a wonderful surprise from my pal from SP11 (Barbara of Coffee Yarn).  She sent me some “bare” yarn and some brown dye even though SP11 is long over.  I had mentioned that I wanted to dye some brown and actually had found her blog when I was looking for “dyeing with coffee” instructions.  She is such a thoughtful person!

The last week has been full of adventure… we visited Nana and Pappaw S in Ohio.  We went to the aquarium in Newport, KY (near Cincinnati) and came home to snow here in TN. Bug threw snowballs at me for an hour on Saturday morning – the snow was nearly gone by Saturday afternoon.

Bug and the turtles

Bug throws snowballs at Mama

I finished the second pair of alpaca fetching fingerless gloves and gave them to my mom – sorry, no picture of the finished item.  They turned out nice. I made them a bit longer by adding an extra cable repeat and a longer thumb.