Archive for the ‘great kids books’ Category

Today was beautiful!  The weather was so inviting.  I worked outside in my nice wool sweater and was very comfortable.  I pulled the plastic off the winter growing bed, and removed the sadly abused leeks.  The flavor of the remaining stumps is amazing and the soup I made with it for dinner tonight was superb, but they were very tattered.  I did not secure the low tunnel, as I ran out of time, or ambition, or both, in October, so I put some sand bags to hold the plastic down and hoped for the best.  If I had harvested 2-3 weeks earlier, I would have enjoyed some lovely kale, arugula and tat soi, but I didn’t, figuring I’d wait another couple weeks, and during that time some sort of critter had a salad bar.  I was surprised not to see the little fella lounging on his back, hardly able to move from the full tummy, and if my life was a cartoon, I’m sure I would have, but there was no sign of him, or his comrades, when I found the sad little stumps that were once beautiful greens.  Lesson for next year: Secure the top, making it difficult for critters to get to the food.

I harvested the leeks and ran a hoe along the length to create 4 little channels to plant seeds.  I planted Sugar Ann Snap Peas and Green Arrow Shell Peas, two rows each.  I pulled the plastic over and hope to see sprouts soon.  It was so good to feel dirt again!  It was also exciting to see what good shape the soil is in.  It was easy to plant in.

I decided on peas for that bed because they can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked, and can handle even a light frost, but under that tunnel they should do just fine.  They will like the walk to the house which will be nice.  But the most practical reason is they will be pulled around Late July/Early August, which will make for perfect time to plant that bed again, for the winter crop.  The peas will give the soil a nice nitrogen fix, and the bed should be in great shape for the winter greens.  I’m still trying to figure out planting schedules to get the most out of each piece of land, but I think this one bed will be timed well.

Dinner tonight was potato leek soup and rabbit sauteed in leeks and white wine.  If you have not tried rabbit, recently, I really can’t recommend it enough.  It is a very lovely meat.  It’s delicate and has a subtle sweet flavor.  Simmered in leeks and wine, it’s divine!

I also whipped up a little skunk themed pinafore, today.  Eowyn and Christopher are co-hosting a Skunk Zoo Party, along with the great folks at the Barrington Public Library.  Tomorrow there will be a Skunk Themed Game, winner of the Skunk Zoo Coloring contest will be announced, a  reading of the book, and a live Skunk named Stella will make an appearance.  There will be a couple copies of the Skunk Zoo given away, as well as copies on hand for purchase, part of which goes to support the Barrington Public Library.   Should be a great time.  Mama wanted Eowyn to have something special for her big day.

I used the apron pattern from Carefree Clothes for Girls.  Christopher cut out the skunk, from wool felt and I applied it to the finished top.

If you don’t have a copy of their book yet, you can get one here: Skunk Zoo

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Husband was looking for a specific winter book at the library, was unable to locate it as it was already out with someone else.  But he does have it on reserve and did find several others to bring home and see if they are good.  We find most kids books are not.  Most of them the illustrator should have first billing as the illustrations are far more inventive, creative and inspiring than the text.  Sad, really, as we’ve watched all my daughter has learned, simply through being read to.  People really underestimate the intelligence of children.  But we do occasionally find a good one, and today was one of those times.  It was actually a recommendation made by the children’s librarian, as Husband was checking out the others.

The Mitten Tree is a lovely story about a lonely old woman who starts knitting mittens for the children in her community.  It’s a beautiful how her annonymous gifts effect the children and the role this woman can now play in the community, instead of holding up in her home feeling invisible and not useful.  I really enjoyed it, and was very sad to see it’s not readily available from typical book sellers.  I hope this book gets a reprint.  It deserves to be on the book shelf far more than many other kids books that are littering the shelves now.

I’m absolutely loving my new project bag.  It holds a toddler sweater comfortably, and it holds the yarn while I’m working, as well, so I don’t have a runaway ball bounding across the floor.

This is the Pattern Card, which I should have shared yesterday:

It’s by Valori Wells, which I found out when I was looking for the cards online, is the designer for the fabric I used for Mini’s quilt.  By the way, for those who were hoping to see the tutorial for my “Quilt by a non-Quilter” I have it almost ready to post.  So you can expect that in the next few day.

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