Friday, December 25, 2009

Snow snow snow

Jim stopped shovelling snow long enough to snap this pic.

Our most frequent neighborhood visitor, "Toby", was just slightly more cooperative than my husband in modelling my handmade "toque" (that's "stocking cap" to the Americans) He wasted no time shaking it loose after the pic was taken, so I won't be doing any knitting for him!

Other than handcrafts, walking, a bit of skiing, driving people to medical appts, baking, visiting, it has been a quiet fall for me. Jim has done a couple house plan estimates for people who would like to build next summer. We still have a house for sale, but the winter market is slower than molasses in January! His computer skills have increased greatly as he pursues some of his interests online.

Here are pics of a few houses Jim has been in charge of building (now totalling five including our home):

I have been blessed this week by listening to an audio stream I found online called Prince of Peace. There are a few ads initially, but then it's all music at
The DJ writes, "This is music that has helped me get through a very difficult time in my life" and then lists some of his serious health problems. He goes on to say, "This has all caused a lot of stress for my family and myself to say the least, but God is good! He is faithful, and an ever-present help! ... If He has helped me (see my testimony at he will certainly help you!" (Testimony is actually about how he, a Jewish man deeply entrenched in the New Age, came to call on the Jesus of the Bible to rescue him from a spirit of death.)

How thankful I am as well for the peace that comes into our lives all through the year through believing and following the Prince of Peace.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pic-Knit in the Park

After a cool summer which has gone by quickly, we are enjoying a very nice and warm transition into fall. This past week was so nice that we decided to have our Yarns Group kick-off in the park, with a Pic-Knit! Forgot to take a pic of the kids until it was too late - they were packed up and playing in the playground.

This past winter a few of us local ladies started meeting bi-monthly at the local Senior Citizen's center to share our needlecraft skills with each other and anyone else who wanted to join us. All ages are welcome and we have taught several kids and a few adults how to knit, crochet, and weave. I thought that Pic-Knitting in the park was quite an event, but just this morning I heard a program on Minnesota Public Radio about Stitch 'n Pitch. Yep, inviting knitters to bring their needles out to the Ball Game!

But first we must tend to some more gardening, and enjoy the rest of summer as much as possible!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fair Time

The Clearwater County Fairgrounds are located just two miles from our home. Last Tuesday night before the fair started I went through the book that lists all the categories, looked around my house, and ended up entering 24 items in Crafts, Food, and Horticulture.

As I was setting out the items for the picture, I felt more like I was setting up a Thanksgiving display than anything - what bounty of fresh food! And how thankful I am that I learned so many crafts and homemaking skills as a child and now have the opportunity to rediscover and build on them.

Just for the record, (and for certain people who want to know exactly what was entered!) here's my list: Result: 6 blue, 6 red, and 5 white ribbons for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. CRAFTS: Knitted: white child's sweater and cap (R), white bucle child's sweater (W), purple child's sock (R), Crochetted: blue bucle child's sweater (R), white bonnet (R), yellow and white booties (B), Sewing: red wrap-around skirt (B); FOOD: wild raspberry jam (B), wild raspberry jelly (R), wild high bush cranberry syrup (B), wild raspberries canned in juice (B), hickory smoke beef jerky (B), canned green beans (W), dehydrated raspberry fruit leather (R), dehydrated apples (W), rhubarb bars (w); HORTICULTURE: queen of the praire flower (W), tomatillo (B). I also entered a knitted baby blanket, crochetted baby blanket, knitted dish cloth, sewed apron, mini cross stitch wall hanging, red flower arrangement, peanut butter cookies, and dehydrated rose hips.

The most meaningful prize was the purple Grand Champion ribbon for the best wild berry jam. This year has been cool and we have had rain the past couple of weeks, providing excellent conditions for the berry crops. With such bounty, Jim mentioned that he liked raspberry jam, otherwise I may not have even tried it. Then in my thank you note to the garden club that sponsored the $10 prize money, I gave credit where credit was due - God's work of growing the berries, along with my grandma Dalshaug's recipe (equal parts sugar to berries, boil 10-20 minutes).

These wild berries are growing a couple hundred of feet from the cabin in a clearing in the woods. They are as big as my thumb nail. I pulled over seven hundred burdock weeds from this area the first year we aquired the property, which allowed the native raspberries to take over. This is the first year that the mature plants produced a significant crop.

Elderberry bush with main garden in the background.


Broccoli, tomatillos (for making green salsa), peppers.

I'll spare you all the pics of the peas, carrots, beans, tomatoes, khol rabbi, asparagas, mellons, spaghetti squash, cukes, potatoes, corn and onions. Believe it or not we think we want to expand next year - beets, and who knows what else!

Time to go pick beans and make supper, so bye for now!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A stroll around the yard

Home Sweet Home.

This delicate wildflower thrives in the shady forest along with wild roses, ferns, wild raspberries and wild strawberries.

The dwarf apple tree - three varieties in one.

The strawberries did fine with the cool, wet spring.

We enlarged the garden but there's still well over an acre we haven't decided what to do with yet.

A view from the south looking north. Wild daisies thrive even in the clay soil heaped up around the septic tank.

Jim decided to play with his tractor in the sand pile! What a goof!

An Inside Tour

Jim's corner.

A galley kitchen and bathroom to the left.

Upstairs is open with bedroom on one end (handmade quilt given to me by a church in Saskatoon), stairwell in middle, sitting area on the other end.

My great-grandmother's Singer Sewing Machine still works.

Jim's Family Visits (June 12-16 2009)

Jim's mom Jan, brother Steve, and cousin Joy came up to the cabin to visit us.

Jan, Joy and Steve - As goofy as ever!

Steve's bedroom - anything for a little privacy!

Toby, the neighbourhood dog, finally showed up to visit Grandma on the last day and was rewarded with lots of treats and attention.

We heard a motor start up, and there she was, taking the Festiva for a joyride!

What did she do to this anyways? Actually, just checking it out.

Joy's friend Karen and her grandson Steven joined us for Jan's famous homemade noodles and chicken.

Need some mosquito spray? Ha ha, it's Silly String!!

Me and my favourite goofy mother-in-law!

Trip to Canada (May 16 - June 11, 2009)


On May 16 Dad had a heart attack, followed by cuadruple bypass surgery the next day. Jim drove me up, returning to Bagley two days later. I was happy to help Mom and Dad for 3 1/2 weeks until Dad got on his feet. I knew he was going to be OK when he was finally able to go down for coffee with his buddies by himself!

It was nice to see my family and friends again. Here's my brother Collin.

My nephew Trent and his wife Jenn were up the first weekend as well, but didn't get their pic.