Just about time...









 


It's just about time to start writing again...I think.  Honestly, what's kept me from writing is this insane idea that I would need to transcribe this enormous "comeback" post where I talk about everything we have been doing in the past 2 years.  There was also the part where I wanted to design the website and make it pretty before I put up a post. 

I realized those were just excuses not to do it.
I'm just gonna bare bones it for a while. 
 
I will write.
I will share.
The other things will come.

I missed this space and the connections, both real and virtual, that come with it.

Indeed a certain amount of catching up needs to be done...if only for my own timeline when I read this 30 years from now, so...


The highlights of March 2012 - February 2014:
  • Moved to a 3 acre hobby farm in rural WA.
  • Had another child, a baby girl.
  • Baby girl had severe eczema that consumed all my time and energy trying to help her overcome it.
  • Started dreadlocks (that lasted all of 4 months).
  • Lost my grandmother who I was closest to.
  • My husband started having seizures.
  • Radically changed my 16 years of a vegan/vegetarian diet.
  • Moved back to Long Beach for 3 months.
  • Moved to the center of Los Angeles.

To be honest I thought I was going to blog full time when we moved to the farm.  I even bought a new domain name "The Vegetarian Homestead".
Good, right?
It just didn't happen.

WHY?

I was too busy having fun!  Having babies, milking goats, canning fruit from our orchard, chopping wood, pulling weeds, knitting hats, chasing chickens and making new friends.

AND

I was too busy having panic attacks!  If you re-read my highlights above you can see that not all of them are unicorns and rainbows.  There were some very dark times for our family and to be honest some of it I am just not ready to re-visit yet.

I hope to slowly but surely share all the adventures we've had, both good and bad.  One of the reasons I want to blog again is to share our story with Oonagh's eczema.  That will be an epic post!

I suppose other bits will leak out in various posts when I am in reflection...

Looking forward to sharing with you all...assuming I have some readers left.

~Laura

Yarn Along - Never-ending Overalls


Joining Ginny for her Yarn Along!




KNITTING: Overalls!!  These overalls will  be finished...I promise you.  I have been working on these (on and off) since last November.  The plan was to make them for Baby C for Christmas.  Check out the pattern at The Purl Bee.  Aren't they adorable?  I bought this lovely Euroflax linen yarn and started knitting and guess what?  I hate it!  The linen is so rough on my fingers.  I can seriously only knit a few rows and then I'm over it.  I know once the garment is done I'll be able to wash it and dry it and it will get that lovely silky slougchiness we all love linen for...but for now it sucks to knit with!  Any suggestions for knitting with linen, or am I just a big baby?

READING: Lasagna Gardeningby Patricia Lanza.  I borrowed this from the library, but just bought a copy off Amazon.  I will be starting a new (much larger) garden this Spring and in order to get it ready to plant by late April, this is the only way to go.  It's basically sheet composting, but Patricia's book is so easy and fun to read, you really feel like anyone can be an amazing gardener.  Plus I just love her intro...so sweet and heartfelt.  Anyone done this type of garden before?  Any tips?

FINISHED OBJECT:  Here's the scarf I made for my Mother-in-Law.  It turned out lovely and I did enjoy the pattern!



Happy knitting!

Dehydrator Diaries - Jamberry!

**I am truly missing my time in Blogland lately...I'm working on something, kinda small, but kinda taking up a lot of my time.  I hope to share it in this space soon, but until then my posts may be more sporadic!**


This Dehydrator Diaries post is inspired by one of our favorite children's books, Jamberry!




Here in Southern CA strawberry season has begun, yay!  Even our own backyard strawberry garden (now up to 8 plants) is in full swing!  Just a few short weeks and we'll have our own supply.


For now we are enjoying them in one of our CSA boxes.  F requested the strawberries be put into our next batch of raw cereal, and E requested we add chocolate.  So that's what we made!


We made our regular raw cereal recipe (from Raw Food/Real World) and just tossed in about 1.5 cups of strawberries and 1/4 cup carob powder.


Mother's (my favorite health food store) had a sale on fresh blueberries, so we swooped up about 8 packages.  Froze some, devoured most and managed to make some yummy Grawnola too!

Someone's chubby little fingers kept grabbing blueberries!

It's basically like this one we made a while back, but with fresh blueberries instead of dried. We all agree that the fun pop of the fresh blueberries is way better than using the dried.  They get semi dehydrated, but keep some moisture.  I recommend keeping this in the fridge...not that it will last long!

3 bowls for 3 little girls...

What have you been dehydrating?  What are your favorite berry recipes?
I'd love to make this soon!

Yarn Along - Finally!


After like a year, I am finally joining Ginny with her Yarn Along!  I kept meaning to...but, you know...
Actually this is the first ever joining or linking I've ever done!
I really love the idea of sharing what I've been knitting and reading...it can open up such wonderful dialogue!  

KNITTING:
I am working on a scarf for my Mother-in-Law as a birthday gift.  I am using Manos Maxima yarn in the Fire colorway. She bought me quite a bit of yarn for Christmas and I wanted to make sure I made something for her out of it.  I am really enjoying the simple pattern and the rows it creates are wonderfully tactile.  I found the pattern here.

READING:
I love the Ashley English books.  Full of info, pretty to look at and simple to read.  Thank you Ashley!  This is actually my second time through her Keeping Beesbook as we prepare to get our bees (soon!).  More posts on that later...



FO (finished object):
Using some more of the Manos yarn (Peach Melba), I finished my first clothing piece.  Yay!  I've made countless hats, gloves and toys but had yet to make a piece of clothing.  I chose Kelly's In 3's Cardigan.  It was so easy!  I highly recommend it to any knitter, novice or expert.  It knits up quickly and effortlessly.  This one I made is for E, but I now have a request for one from F.  As soon as I can finish C's overalls (which are giving me a headache), I'll cast on another.



What are you knitting/reading these days?


Crooked Sidewalk Paint

So we were having one of those days...you know...the kind where the kids needed an activity, STAT, or someone was going to go crazy...mostly likely me.

I recalled seeing on Pinterest a recipe for sidewalk paint.  I looked it up and decided to make it happen.
The original recipe called for food coloring...um, no.  We don't have food coloring in our house usually and I certainly wasn't in the mood to pile the children in the car and go to the grocery store to spend money on something I'd use 3 drops of and then discard. So I fudged with the recipe a bit and made our own natural versions using beets, turmeric and chlorella (just like our play-dough).



Crooked Sidewalk Paint
Inspired by The Idea Room

Yellow
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 tsp turmeric

Pink
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
2 tsp beet juice (boil fresh beets, when they're done, pop them in a container and put them in the fridge.  Condensation will happen and create "beet juice" perfect for coloring play-dough and sidewalk paint)

Green
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 tsp chlorella powder

(sorry, no cute picture for "green", by then the children were chomping at the bit for the paint!)

Just whisk the ingredients and paint away!



It dries nice and chalky, but seems sort of "wet" when first applied.  You also have to use a lot of paint for a little drawing, so be prepared to make up a couple more batches if you have exuberant painters!

The color washes away easily, so no need to worry about your fancy concrete, although it may stain clothing, so err on the side of caution with that.

I can totally imagine doing this for a birthday or graduation message on the driveway...

Winter Nature Table Swap

Here's another post about a swap, but I figure it's fun to see all the crafty Bits Of Goodness, right?

This was the Winter Nature Table swap...

Felt snow-woman by Barb D.

Needle felted campfire by Sandra.

Wooden polar bear by Rhonda

Felt deer by April.

Felted rock with embroidered accents by "unknown".


I was still in my beeswax candle craze...so I made these for the swap.  100 pure local beeswax with cotton wicking:

Pinecone candles


and

Fir tree candles.


Did you join any seasonal swaps?


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