Friday, August 22, 2014

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

DIY Herb Infused Sun Dried Tomatoes

For the past few weeks we have been making batch after batch of "Sun Dried" tomatoes. Technically they are dehydrated using a dehydrator and not the sun, but it's the same end result. This is how we make ours and infuse them with herbs along the way. 
We are using Roma tomatoes, they have a thicker meat to them and less juice. Take about 14 tomatoes and cut them into thin strips like this...
Make a mixture of 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon basil, 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic, and 1/2 a teaspoon on oregano. Gently toss your tomato slices in the mixture and spread out on your dehydrator shelves. 
Our dehydrator is an old Bee Beyer's from the 80's. It does not have built in temperature adjustments. But using a kitchen thermometer I know the bottom shelf registers at 150 and the top registers around 120 degrees. I let them sit in the dehydrator over night and then I rearrange the shelves so the bottom in now the top. It takes about two days for them to completely dry to nice little crispy morsels. You can take them out sooner if you like them more pliable but I think they store better the lower the water content. Dehydrators will vary. You can also make them in the oven by spreading them thinly on trays and setting your oven to its lowest setting. So there you have it. These little crispy summer nuggets will last us through the winter with bursts of sun ripened vitamin C. Great to add into soups, salads, breads and so much more. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Around the Garden

This summer has been mighty crazy, but we have been blessed. Every day we are harvesting something and I have been carefully weighing and recording everything. We have been taking full baskets of tomatoes like the one pictured from the garden every other day almost. The house is full of smells. Bubbling sauce on the stove and in two crock pots, bread cooking, and tomatoes dehydrating. I will post our yield at the end of the season, but already we are quite happy with our little plot of earth.
 This year the butterflies have been quite prolific. This is the majestic Monarch. Right now we have fistfuls of their yellow and black caterpillars devouring our milkweed forest.
A Red Admiral 
 Yellow Tiger Swallowtail 
 Karner Blue Butterfly
And a common Sulfur...I also had a photo of a Mourning Cloak, but accidentally erased it.
Yesterday amid the flitting butterflies I began harvesting our herbs for winter. I could not get a good picture of everything hanging up, but our home looks and smells like an apothecary shop. I left half of the herbs in the garden so we can keep having fresh herbs up till the first frost.. The rest are being dried. 
Thank you for visiting today. I am tired, but feel so accomplished right now. Shine on!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Letter to My Son

Dear Son,
Always say what you mean and mean what you say. Words are the most beautiful and most ugly tools that humans have. I want you to know that no good comes from using words deceptively. Your Poppy and I will do our best to protect you from people who live this way. Subterfuge is a tool of the weak. My hope is that Bear and I will raise you to always be clear and straightforward when you speak. Speak your mind. Be honest. Be open, even if your views are different than others. We learn when we listen. We learn when we keep an open mind. These are the qualities of a good and true person. People who want something and only use half of the truth, are lying. Half a truth is a whole lie. That is a simple truth that time will not change. I loose respect for people who play those types of games. You can't make other people be honest, but you can choose your own actions. If you are in a situation in the future when the honest thing might make someone upset.. Choose be honest and straightforward, a lie will only make things worse and this way you can still stand tall with respect for your personal actions. Lies always come out in the end. Right now while you are still so innocent you have the potential to become anything you can dream. It frustrates me to no end that you were exposed to such underhanded behaviors this past weekend and have not been able to get this out of my head. I am your mother and protector. I will do my best to keep you from such nonsense in the future. I know that this person meant no ill will, but they should have been honest about the situation. Now because of this deception I have lost some trust and can never leave you alone with them. 
There is a price for every action.
You have within you the seeds to be a great man one day. You already are so very special. Please choose to be an honest man. It is a choice. Shine on. 
Love, Mum~

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Table Makeover

Just a quick post today about this cute little table I picked up for FREE!
That's right, it was sitting at the end of my neighbor's driveway with a "Free" sign taped to it. It was sun faded and had some stains but other than that completely sound. I know it's plastic, but who can argue with a deal like that? Besides, I had some tricks up my sleeve. There was just enough paint left over from our patio project earlier this summer to paint this table and make it match the rest of our lawn furniture. The umbrella came from my mother in law and the stand from my parents. Both items just happened to be laying around unused. Now everything has a new life as a shady spot for Panda to play. We put it up on the patio next to his water table and it is just darling. What a difference a can of paint can make. Thanks for visiting. Shine on!

Friday, August 8, 2014

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Letter to my Son

Dear Son,
I am a bit behind on letter to you but we have been spending what is left of this fading summer making memories. Time well spent. I will get back to blogging in a while, but right now it is time for you and I to...
go for long morning walks...
Roll in the grass with the pup...
Dancing in the falling rain...
And jump in the puddles after it is done..
But most of all.. Embracing this part of your childhood and all the wonder it brings.
While you will not remember...
I will.
With all my heart, Shine on,
Love Mum~