Sunday, October 6, 2013

Picking a Pumpkin

Yesterday was the last farmer's market of the season in Ankeny.  There weren't very many vendors there, but the ones that were there had some beautiful pumpkins to choose from.

New Toy

Winnie loves her new toys, and it takes about four minutes before she starts tearing them apart.

Canned Deliciousness

This summer I have made lots of dill pickles, salsa and canned tomatoes.  I will be enjoying them for months to come.

Garden's Bounty

I have really enjoyed my garden this year, even though it was a lot of plants crammed into a very small space.  The squash pretty much took over everything.

The result was some very delicious tomatoes and acorn squash.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Crowded Garden

I planted way too many plants in a small garden plot.  When you are planting those seeds or starter plants,  it is very difficult to visualize how big the plants will get.  Now the squash is taking over and the watermelon is trying to make a break for it.  Nevertheless, there are baby tomatoes, squash and watermelons.  I wonder what I will end up with.

Next year I'm going to double the space for my garden.  I am really enjoying having a garden again.  It's so exciting to discover the new vegetables peaking out from among the foliage.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Zucchini Abundance

Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

I checked the garden Friday and these were little. It rained during the night and the zucchini went nuts. These grew literally over night, and there are more on the way.

Simple Joys

Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

Winnie and I pass this little plaque on our neighborhood walks.

Caribou lights

Caribou lights
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

I have been spending a lot of time at the new Caribou Coffee in Ankeny. These lights hang above the large table where I sometimes work.

Refrigerator Cucumber Salad.

Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

I'm tried this recipe I found on Pinterest for Refrigerator Cucumber Salad. It is really delicious! I will definitely make it again.  The original recipe came from the blog, Recipes We Love.    I made it with Splenda instead of sugar, and it worked great.  The Red Pepper Flakes really gives it a kick.

Refrigerator Cucumber Salad

4 cucumbers, sliced thin
1 large sliced red onion
1 large sliced green bell pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups Splenda
1 teaspoon celery flakes or celery seed
1-teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine cucumbers, onions, peppers and salt; set a side.

Mix vinegar, Splenda, celery flakes and pepper flakes  in a pan and bring to a boil. Once mixture comes to a boil remove from heat and add 2 handfuls of ice until melted.
Place vegetables in  two 1 quart, large mouth canning jars.

Pour vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture and store in refrigerator.
The salad will  keep up to 2 months

Yield: 2 quart jars.   

Room for More

Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

I am loving my new refrigerator. This one has so much more space than the old side by side.  Now the question is, can I keep it cleaner than the old one.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

World Traveler

Michael is spending the next five months on a Study Abroad in Argentina.  Non-ticketed passengers are not allowed beyond the escalators, so I had to watch him leave from here.  He is off for the adventure of a life time.

Waiting for the Plane

Michael and I took this photo while we were at the airport waiting for his plane to Argentina

Moving Day

After two and a half years in University Village Apartments at Iowa State, Michael is moving.  He is going to Buenos Aries, Argentina for a study abroad.  He and his roommate worked hard to pack and clean the apartment.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jeans Tote Bag

My latest sewing project; tote bag made from an old pair of jeans, lined with fabric cut from an old dress.
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

One of the best things about summer is having time to make things. This is my latest sewing project, a bag made from an old pair of jeans. I also cut apart a dress to line it and make the sash. I found a few "how to" videos that gave me some pointers.

Last night I used it to carry my knitting, and it worked really well.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Volunteer Hollyhocks

About twelve years ago I planted some Hollyhocks at the back of my yard.  There aren't any left back there, but they sure have turned up everywhere else.  These volunteers are in the flowerbed by my garage.  I figure since they fought that hard to survive, I will leave them where they are.

Golden Day Lilies

This summer I have spent almost everyday working in my yard.  The rain and cool temperatures early in the summer have really helped my perennials.

Patriotic Peanuts

My newest set of pillowcases.  I'm just a big kid at heart.  I guess that's why I like spending my days with kids.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Papa Kern's

Out to breakfast at Papa Kern's with Mom and Jacci.
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

We tried a new place for breakfast this morning, Papa Kern's at East 29th and Hubbel. It was pretty good.

Yellow Lilies

Day Lilies in my front yard.
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

I love this time of year when all the perennials are blooming. All the rain and cool temperatures have resulted in beautiful Day Lilies this year.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Little Garden

I'm hoping this little fence will keep the critters out
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

Last year and the year before I planted a container garden along side my driveway. With the high temperatures we had, it wasn't very productive. This year I decided to try something else. This is my first vegetable garden in five or six years. We have a high bunny population around here, so I rigged up this chicken wire fence yesterday. Here's hoping I get something out of these tomato, squash and watermelon plants.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Coffee Table

I found this coffee table on Craig's List for $22. I love it!
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

Summer is the time that I try to catch up and work on things in my house. I tend to be a clutter queen. My chair is usually surrounded by books I'm reading, my knitting, and my laptop. For a couple years, I have been using a white plastic folding table to hold some of this junk. I decided to get classy and purchase a real piece of furniture. I found this coffee table on Craig's List for $22. I love it! Karen Doyle suggested that I check out Craig's List and that was a great idea. Thanks, Karen!

I'm going to try to keep it cleaned off like this, but it probably won't last. I can raise the drop leaf and reach the computer from my chair. This was a fabulous find.

Good Bye to Edmunds

My very first teaching assignment was Fourth Grade basic skills at Edmunds Academy of Fine Arts.  I also taught first grade there.  This fall the students are moving into a new school building.  When I drove past on Friday, they were tearing down the old, which is really not very old, building.  It makes me so sad.

The heavy equipment was working inside gutting the building.

From the driveway, you could see that the ramp, which led to the classrooms was still there.  It won't be for long though.

By the time I go by again on Tuesday, the building may be completely gone.

Wind Art

This is the weekend of the Des Moines Arts Festival.  Michael and I went down and walked around on Friday.  I loved the wind sculptures that were on display.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mouse House

This summer I have been spending lots of time working in my yard.  A friend has been cutting down trees at the back of my lot, and then my job is to trim the branches, bundle them, and drag them to the driveway, where they can be picked up and hauled away.  I have been using lots of twine and rope to do this.  I pulled this ball of twine out of a cabinet in the garage where it had been stored for a long time.  I could see right away that mice had been chewing on it.  I assumed they were biting pieces off to take to their nest somewhere.  It wasn't until I had unwound a lot of it that I realize some little mouse had actually built it's nest inside the hollowed out ball of twine.

Sorry little mouse, but you have been evicted.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

During the past year I have barely used my stand mixer, now that I don't eat wheat.  Today I used it to make a treat for Winnie.  I found this recipe for Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits on Pinterest.  They are from Pink

It was really easy to do.  They have now been dog tested and Winnie approved.  

Updated Bookcase

My plan yesterday was to work in the yard, but it was much too wet.  Instead, I repainted this bookcase to use in my living room.  This little bookcase has quite a history.  For the past few years it has been sitting in the reading corner of my classroom.  I found this bookcase in the basement of our house on Cambridge Street.  That was in 1982, in other words, thirty-one years ago.  It was painted a pale green then.  We repainted it bright red to use in my daughter's bedroom.  Years later it was painted royal blue to match my son's desk.  Now it is bright turquoise.  This is to hold all the books that tend to get piled around my favorite chair.  It's not going to make it back into my classroom.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Reading

During the school year at least two hours of everyday is spent on reading instruction. I read lots of kid's books, both fiction and non-fiction.  I spend a lot of time reading, but most of it is on-line.  I follow lots of blogs and carry on many discussions through social networking.  When it comes to reading for pleasure, it is difficult to find the time to read books during the school year.  That's one of the great things about summer.  There is time to hang out at the library and just read what ever I want to.  Here are just some of the books I'm reading this summer.

Yarn Bombing at the Library

Yesterday I made an afternoon visit to the Eastside Library.  I was surprised to see that there had been a yarn bombing there.  I don't fully understand the concept behind Yarn Bombing, but I had read about them, so I knew what they were.  According to Wikipedia a Yarn Bombing is a non-permanent work of art.  I'm sure this one looked better before all the rain.  I thinks it makes a colorful addition to the front of the library.

Butterflies and Flowers

One of the best things about summer vacation is having some time to work on creative projects.  Most of my mornings have been taken up with yard work, but since it was raining yesterday, I had some time to do some sewing.  I made these colorful pillowcases for my bed.  I used Nancy's idea to not make the pair identical.  I have reversed the patterns on the second pillow case.

I love color!  Can you tell?  I think it will be impossible to wake up grumpy, when I am sleeping on these cheerful butterflies and flowers.

You Rule!

This great wreath was an end of school year gift from one of my students.  The card says, "You Rule, Ms. Day!"  What a great gift for a teacher!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Grandma's Recipe Book

This weekend was Family Camp Out.  My aunt brought this recipe book that my grandmother had put together over the years.  We figured that she had started it early in her marriage, which would have been 1930, and added to it over the years.  We found one recipe dated 1948 and another 1955.

My grandparents were so poor, that Grandma used her old math book and glued in recipes she had clipped from magazines and the newspaper.  The book was a combination of algebra and recipes.  She created a cover from a piece of oilcloth tablecloth.  

What a treasure!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Overgrown Flower Bed

We have one and a half more days of school.  I have lots of work to do at home, once I am finished at school.  This poor Iris is lost among the Columbine that takes over everything.

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling!

There's nothing like a roll in freshly mowed grass. It must bring out all the stinky smells.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lisa and Colin's Wedding

The Vows

The Vows
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

Lisa and Colin were married on Saturday, May 4th at St Paul Friends Hall. This is my favorite photograph from the day. I did not take it, one of Lisa's friends did.

Who would have thought we'd be worried about snow for a May wedding?

Who would have thought we'd be worried about snow for a May wedding?
Originally uploaded by BarbaraLN

This is what we woke up to on Friday, May 3rd. The kids were supposed to go to Living History Farms for the day. The trip was cancelled due to six inches of snow on the ground. Mom, Michael and I were supposed to drive to Minneapolis for Lisa and Colin's Wedding. We did do that.