Monday, July 27, 2015

Growing Spaghetti Squash

It only takes one time
of sticking a squash plant of any sort in the garden plot
to know that they will completely take over.
Oh yes, I've done it too.
It's just one plant.  How big can it grow, really?
Knowing that, I wanted spaghetti squash
but was in a quandary as to just where to plant them.
I knew I didn't want them anywhere near the garden.
I also know we have a relatively short growing season,
and I am not good at watering things in 'special' locations.
I had a thought that might be a winner.
I decided to plant them by the pergola to spill over the rocks
towards the river.
The sprinklers hit the area, and the heat on the rocks
could help the plants (fruit) grow.
So far, so good.
Never mind all the weeds.
I haven't spent any real time over here.
The idea appears to to be working.
We have several growing quite well.
Next year, I will add a little more soil/compost
and do a bit of weeding.
Our first, largest, and closest to ripe one,
that oh so innocent pooch got ahold of.
No no bad dog!
I was sooo not happy. 
He didn't actually get the squash, he was playing with the vine
and pulled it out of the ground so the squash came off the vine.
The rest are growing well.
We have a plan for preserving them
that I will share when they are ripe enough to start picking.

So in thinking ahead,
if you have a rock ledge, retaining wall, or other rock face
that is not near the garden but has access to water,
rather than those trailing vines that quickly become weeds
maybe consider planting your squash there.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Friday, July 24, 2015

My "New" Toy

Evidently, I didn't think I had enough to do:)
Mr. LB and I like to go camping.
Actually he likes to fish and would probably sleep on the bank
of the river with his fishing rod in his hand
like a child with a teddy bear.
Me? I like to be "away,"
to gather peace, hike around,
listen to birds and brook,
and maybe stitch a little.
The thing about camping is I am the one
responsible for the food, dishes, bedding and so forth.
Don't get me wrong,
he cooks over the camp fire and does plenty,
but there is plenty to do.
Over the past couple years,
I have been casually searching
for a little old camp trailer.
I like the old ones for several reasons
but a couple in particular being full metal frames and character.
And, I just like old stuff:)
Late last fall,
I found her.
16' (14' box) 1968 Aristocrat Land Commander
Unfortunately, the pictures from the ad that I answered didn't save properly
so now when I go to open the file, it's code and hieroglyphics.
So this picture is actually after we have done a few things
which I will share next time.
She was/is original with only a few little exceptions so be ready 
to get your fill of Bert-and-Ernie-ness.
Part of the reason it took a while to find her was that I had some
very specific qualifications if you will.
First, she had to be under a certain dollar amount.
With vintage trailers being a 'hot' item,
some folks seem to think a rotten shell is worth a mint.
Next, 16 feet was the very largest I wanted - whew, just made that one.
She had to have an oven, not just the stovetop.
When we are camping,
I like to have things made ahead of time and just heat them up.
Mr. LB's only request was that it have the bed separate from the dinette.
He awakes at dark:30 to go play with fish, so 
he didn't want to have to sit on the bed to drink his coffee while I sleep.

This wasn't a requirement, but guess who's fishing poles, waders, fly boxes, 
and boots all fit in here?
I also wanted a closet that was at least large enough to fit a porta-potty into.
I am often either the only female or one of very few women on the rivers 
where fishermen go.  She has an actual potty!  Woohoo!
I can now do a happy dance rather than a peepee dance.
(You know, the one 4-5 year olds do when they need to go.)
  My last requirement was no water damage.
This unfortunately, was where I gave a little.
On each side of the front window and in the corner by the back window
there is evidence.  
It appears to be from condensation rather than leakage.
In the first photo, you can see the side compartment that holds batteries
and jacks, etc.  I can see the inside front just under the window,
and it is clean.
I'm not totally naive - just a little:)
I know before she gets a new paint job (have to save a while for that one,)
there will be some issues to address.
There is no water damage around the roof vent which is a huge one.
(I've pulled the light down so I could see in there.)
Again, next time I will share the "imperfections" list with you,
because she did/does have several of those.

She needed a name as they all do, right?
I had to ponder that one for a while.
Mr. LB and I camp together, and though I could have called her
something like the fairy castle or whatever, I wanted to keep his thoughts
in mind as well.
Since we both like Jimmy Durante, I named her Mrs. Calabash.
That way we can say,
"Good Night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."
And since we are apt to take her wherever, it's suiting.
If you aren't familiar with that phrase,
you can do a search for Mrs. Calabash and read the history.
I think it's rather romantic.

This is the 'before' post.
I have a feeling the 'during' might take a while.
I've been tackling things as I have time but will share those soon.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blackberries Good vs. Bad

When foraging blackberries,
you will be much happier if you pick the good ones.
Going through the pricks and scratches of the thorns,
you at least want to know it's worth it.
There are two kinds that grow in the same environments.
The berries look the same, but taste vastly different.
The way to tell them apart is by the leaves.
The good ones have rounder leaves with 5 per stem.
They look kinda like a large rose leaf and stem.
The berries from these plants will be delicious.

The other kind of black berry is an imposter.
The leaves are shaggy and jagged looking.
This plant will also produce berries.
They will look the same as the good ones,
but won't taste the same.

Both plants produce berries that 'appear' to be the same.
We have both on our place though I do try to get rid of the bad ones
more than I try to get rid of the good ones.
Both plants can and will take over if we let them.
Knowing the difference will make all the difference in your jam or cobbler.

And lastly, please forgive me if I have made a similar post in the past,
but I have run into a few people lately that are excited about
having black berries on their place and had no idea there was a difference.
It's just one of those little morsels of information worth knowing
especially  since if you have one you probably have the other.
If you are going to pick, might as well pick the good ones.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show

This was a first for me.
The Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show.
My mom and S-I-L had both been before, but not me.
I knew it was a 'big deal,'
but had no idea.

We heard that they had a crew that could have all the quilts
down in 10 min. if the weather should turn.
I found that amazing.

There were so many along such a span of streets,
we could have walked all day and not seen them all.

It was a fun day.  
We left about lunch time and headed down to LaPine
to Homestead Quilts which was wonderful.
The other fun bit about this weekend was that I got to meet
a fellow blogger.
Anne over at Cottons and Wools stated that she would be
working at Sew Many Quilts in Bend.
We stopped in, and I was able to meet her.
She was a delight. 
They were busy of course so didn't really chat,
but that was the first person from Bloggerville
that I've met.
I'm sure there will be a lot online today about the show.
They bring in bus loads (yes really by the bus load) of people
to this show.
I'm not much of a large crowd kinda gal so
I'm glad I went, but I'm also okay if I don't go again for a while.
If crowds don't bother you, you will love it.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Friday, July 10, 2015

*~*~*Where Bloggers Create*~*~*

~Where this blogger creates~

I have always wanted to partake in this event
hosted by the lovely and talented
Karen Valentine at

I will be sharing just a few aspects of this room
since as of late,
life has been happening to me rather
than the other way around.
Needless to say it's a bit (okay, a lot) disheveled.
One other note is that this is the only white room in the house.
Mr. LB and I share:
he ties flies (for fishing) and I stitch.
So here we go~

A place for do-dads

On the opposite wall is my thread rack (& design wall actually.)
I keep bobbins on one row for the thread that is on the next two rows.

We each have a vintage light globe hanging above our work space.
They hang from a chain that is entwined with ivy.

Isn't color just beautiful?

Drop spindles and an old Singer.

Shorter pieces of lace get wound around a wooden clothes peg,
not a new idea, but an effective one.

And I found this little fella at a yard sale last weekend and
figured he would be a good one to keep me company in here.

This weekend we ladies of the family are heading over to
the Oregon Summer Quilt Expo in Redmond, OR and then to
the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.
I will share more on those when I return.

Lastly, Thank You to Karen!
There is so much inspiration and creativity amongst bloggers.
It's always fun to search around and see new ideas.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It Begins with Peas

From now until late fall,
the pressure canner will be a constant part of the kitchen decor.
Peas are the first crop to harvest.
They are also one of the easiest things to can.

To can peas:

Fill the jar with fresh peas to 1 inch below rim,
add 1/2 tsp sea salt,
fill jar with warm/hot water to 1 inch below rim,
make sure rims are clean,
secure lid - just finger tight
place in pressure canner w/ water (follow canner instructions,)
bring up to pressure (often 11# but 12# here)
let 'cook' at that pressure for 40 min.

Note: check your canner chart for elevation / pressure requirements.

The peas start out a bright green.

After they are canned,
they become a bit darker.

Once they cool, the "water" in the jar will solidify slightly.
This is pea oil.
Peas are a bean so produce an oil.
When I heat the peas to eat, I leave this in the pan.
We add no color enhancers or chemicals to our foods.
(Yes, technically salt is a chemical.  I know.  But we can pronounce it:)

The first time I canned peas,
I called a friend, because I thought I did something wrong
when I saw the pea oil.
She was kind and didn't even laugh at me.

This has been our evening entertainment for the past couple evenings.

One of my goals this year is to keep better track of how much we preserve.
I have a hard bound cheapo notebook
that I have began keeping a log with the dates as well.
This will help us to know how much we eat each year
as well as when we need to be ready next year.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches