CROOK

Exciting night!

So last night I had planned on sharing the Gnome Hat pattern (yay - contain your excitement!) but nature had a different plan.

I went out to put away Pepper (our bunny).  I had seperated him from his other friend earlier that morning because Black as Night (our other bunny) was acting crazy and growling and pulling the hair out of Pepper's back.  It was already dark outside so when I reached in to pop Pepper back  I noticed Black as Night curled up in her litter box. Hmmm...strange.  I put pepper down and went to get a flashlight.  Even as I was searching for a working flashlight (why do we have like 5 that are all out of batteries?) I knew what I would find.
Got flashlight.
Turned it on.
Yup.
Babies.
Lots of babies.

Right about now is when I started freaking out.  I'm not sure why exactly. The way I was acting you'd think I was the one having babies.

I ran around in circles, a few cuss words came out, and then I took some cleansing breaths and called my friend Shannon.  Right!  Shannon to the rescue!  She's been witness to many bunny births.
Drat!
Shannon was not answering her phone.

Well, I thought...just do what you would want if you were having babies.  I sent Papa off to research on the amazing interent.  I brought mama bunny in very carefully with the box where she had created her nest and set up a pen for her.  We have bamboo floors that she skids on, so we put down towels everywhere.  We layed out lots of fresh greens, hay and water.  I even gave her one of her favorites; carrots from my garden.  I figured she deserved a treat after birthing 8 babies!  Actually, I'm not quite sure how many there are, I haven't inspected yet.  We kept the lights dimmed and gave her space.  Papa had gotten the girls up (what?!?!why?!?!) so they sat quietly and had some tea, admiring *life* at it's best. 

F was full of questions and excitement.  At one point she went outside and started crying because the Papa Bunny (Pepper) could not be inside with Mama and the little ones.  Crying.  She only stopped crying when I agreed to give Papa some carrots and some extra love in the next few days.  My sweet little F, your heart is so full!  E danced around and threw a fit when it was time to actually go back to bed.  She only conceded when I promised a sweet bunny-baby-bedtime story, followed by a good back scratch (E's favorite these days!).  Baby C missed all the action...silly sleeping baby.

Now before you get mad and ask why we were so stupid silly as to not get them fixed.  You know how you rationalize things?  Convincing yourself of a different reality?  Yeah, well I was convinced they were both boys...guess not!

I promise to share ridiculously cute baby bunny pictures soon.  Please leave a comment if you're interested in adopting one of these critters.  I promise they'll be hand raised and lovable!!

...like a weed in the sun

Let her tell stories and dance in the rain,
somersault, tumble and run.
Her joys must be high as her sorrows are deep,
Let her grow like a weed in the sun.
-Neil Gaiman


Oh little F, you are growing up so fast...just like a weed.
This week you have amazed and frightened me with how much you've grown.  You can do things now that I dreamed of you doing when you were just a babe.  I can only imagine what's to come.  These pictures will help me hold on to you at this moment.
I have comfort in knowing you'll always be my little girl.

**Pictures were taken by the amazing Victoria Pearson.  She's shot me and my family many times over the years for various jobs and she always catches something special.  Thank you for sharing them with us Beth and Vicki!**

Love-N-Links

LOVE-N-LINKS



I'm loving this succulent garden the girls made at The Rancho.  The planter is hollowed out bamboo...brilliant!


I'm also loving this side table we decoupaged.  We got it from my Grandmother, but it needed some TLC.  I saw the tutorial over at Twig and Toadstool and thought...perfect!  We placed it next to Papa's bed for him to place his various Papa things.  There's a little heart on each shelf and a big one on top...just so he knows it was made with love.


I have a new button on my page did you see it?  Click on it, or click here and read all about EarthMama's seed saving idea.  I am looking forward to learning how to "save seeds".  I think I'll be saving the heirloom chocolate cherokee tomatoes, or maybe organic broccoli...what do you think?



I came upon this post from In The Raw.  I love the herb/fruit pairings she's come up with here for some amazingly yummy summer drinks.  My favorite is the Lemon Lavender one!

Spread the love...

Another Gnome hat

My friend asked me to knit up a hat for her to take to a baby shower.  Perfect!  I needed an excuse to pick up the old needles again.  I haven't touched them since Baby C was born.  Of course I decided on a Gnome hat!

Sweet Baby C is the model...

The hat is made with a lovely organic cotton hand-dyed yarn my mother brought me.  Lost the tag with the name and colorway though...sorry!

My friend liked it so much, she asked for another one for next weekend.  She's a doula, so she goes to a lot of baby showers.

I love sending gnome hats off into the world...

Now that I'm back on the knitting bandwagon...what should I make with this beautiful hand-spun yarn my Mom made?

Purple Pudding Monster!

The title of the post warned you!

Purple pudding was requested today.  Luckily I had some raw cashews soaking (they were supposed to be for a dressing I wanted to make) but hey...they'd probably have more fun as purple pudding, don't you think?

I kind of just winged this, but it turned out yummy so I thought I'd share.  The recipe is raw, vegan, gluten free and soy free.
Yes!  That is a fantastically adorable chubby baby C leg.

Crooked Purple Pudding
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight and drained)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup almond milk (homemade is what we used, but whatever "milk" you want to use would work)
2 ripe bananas
1 cup blueberries (feel free to use fresh if you don't have the $6.99!!!  I paid for the organic ones at the store.  Blueberries are one of the main fruits I simply won't buy if they're not organic.  Little pesticide bombs that they are...)
1 heaping Tbs of coconut oil
4 medjool dates
pinch of sea salt

Just whirl it all up in the food processor.  It takes a good minute or so to get the right pudding consistency.  Serve it right away or within 30 min.  Because of the bananas in it, purple=brown pretty quickly. 

This would be a great dessert for a tea party or for no reason at all...like today!



A felted pond


So I've talked before about a little swap group I belong to called Bits Of Goodness, right? 
Right.  Well it's a craft group that uses only natural materials to create little "bits of goodness" that we swap.  Most of the creations are waldorf-inspired and we haven't had a bad swap yet!  It's so great to get a package...sometimes I have to fight the kids to open it myself.  I like to open it when they're asleep so I can ferret away special treasures for holidays/birthdays.  Come join us if you're so inclined...

Back to what I crafted for the Summer Nature Table swap.

This swap ended up being very difficult for me.  My first three ideas fizzled miserably and I wasn't sure what I was going to do when all of a sudden I remembered this amazing piece of blue felt a friend had given me.  She accidently shrunk a gorgeous silk/cashmere blanket and gave me some.  Lucky me!  This stuff is gorgeous, it looks like running water.  I just felted in a bit more detail, cut it into pond shapes and created a little "wishing stone" by felting a mound of raw brown wool.

It looks sweet on our nature table and F has already created quite a few short stories using it.

To all my swapper friends - I hope this pond finds a lovely little space on your nature table too!

The next swap up is Trees...I believe I already have an idea brewing...

Oh look...it's ME!

It's 6am...do you know where your camera is?



Whoa!  I know.
So why exactly am I posting scary pictures of myself all over the blog?
Because of this lovely mama, Maureen over at Twig and Toadstool.

I read her post and felt inspired. 

This is ME first thing in the morning before my contacts are in, before I've tied my hair back (it's always back in a messy bun thing), before I've had a chance to wash up, before I've had my tea, oh...but not before I put on some clothes (for common decency of course!). This photo is even before about 1/2 an hour of cuddling/talking/reading with my family which I am grateful to say we get to do every morning.

Now, I'm not gonna lie here...I don't mind pictures being taken of myself.  In fact my job BK (Before Kids) depended on it!  That being said, I certainly don't like how I look first thing in the morning.  Does anybody?!?!  Although I've not been *loving* how I look lately: tired eyes, new moles, new blemishes, new wrinkles even...I'm truly ok with it. 

I think a big factor in accepting one's self is surrounding yourself with people who love you for who you are.  My husband is my # 1 fan and has been from the moment we met.  When I'm having a bad day he's always there to hold me and lift me up (albeit sometimes he needs a little guidance...silly husbands).  Whether it's a joke or just a loving glance, it makes me feel special...loved...beautiful!

Some might argue we should find true self acceptance on our own and yeah, maybe they're right.  But having a support group there to guide and remind you of your worth surely helps.  I'd be lost without my crew.


It's ME.  I accept it...
Baby C looks cute first thing in the morning though, huh?

I wanted to link back to Shakti Mama's post and take her challenge in hopes of inspiring even more people to take a "real" photo of themselves...heck...just hand the camera to your kids and I'm sure they'll get an unflattering one (always up the nose!).

Love-N-Links

So I'm not trying to pretend that this is an original idea or anything (with all the fabulous blogs out there everything's been done already...sometimes multiple times...ha ha!) but I often end up with random pictures that don't quite fit, or great links/posts on other blogs that I'd like to share.  Having a regular post where I can throw all these lil bits I find during the week seems like a good idea to me. 

LOVE-N-LINKS

I love this picture of F.  It was taken at a sweet birthday party a few weeks ago.

I love that E went out one morning, ripped off a piece of broccoli and sat down to breakfast right there!  Of course F could not miss out either...

This broccoli was our friendship seedling!


LINKS
  • Go visit Earthmama and check out her plan for Seed Sharing.  I am in for sure...just  have to figure out what to share?  My heirlooom chocolate cherokee tomatoes, or maybe the chocolate bell peppers?
  • I made these salt and vinegar potatoes this week from 101 cookbooks.  Oh wow!  They were tasty.  I used ACV though instead of white vinegar.
  • I found this link for fairie coloring pages a long time ago and just remembered it.  Yay!  I printed them out and I want to make a sweet felted cover and "leave it out" for F and E to find.
  • I so want to make this bag from //Between the Lines//!!  I hope I find the time soon...
How about you?  Do you have anything sweet and slightly random to share?!?!

Shhhh.....I'm cheating!

Calm down...only on my vegetables.

Today we got our first CSA box from The Growing Experience.  They just started their program and we are thrilled to be one of the 20 families to try it out this summer.

Why is this cheating?  Well, we've been a loyal Tanaka Farms CSA family for a while now.  Next week will be the first week we won't be getting a box from them in over 2 years!  I feel kind of bad (hence the cheating blog title), but although we eat a lot of veggies...we don't need two CSA boxes.  Especially now that our little garden is starting to yield quite a bit. 

Wanna know what we got today?  Ok!  I'll share.  Here's what our new weekly box looks like:

1 large bunch of collard greens
1 large bag of mixed green salad
1 garlic bulb
1 small head of purple cabbage
4 apples
lots of little plums
bag of mixed cherry tomatoes
4 big beautiful heirloom tomatoes
1 huge heirloom beet that makes mine look like seedlings...
Lots of summer squash, including one as big as F's arm
Japanese cucumbers, including one as big as my arm




I ate this one right away with just a bit of sea salt and a crack of pepper.  Oh how I love tomatoes!

This bowl of plums didn't stand a chance...

E claimed the ridiculously huge cucumber as her own.

Go here if you're interested in what a weekly Tanaka CSA box contains.

TGE's box isn't better or worse...just different.  It's missing the huge sweet strawberries Tanaka usually has (E was upset to say the least), but it's got some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes that we'd never see in our Tanaka box.  As far as local eating goes, this is basically my back yard.  The farm is about 15 minutes from my house!  Tanaka is local too, but more like an hour away.

So there. 
I've come clean.
Tanaka my love, we're leaving you for something exciting, fresh, and new!  We may come crawling back in the Fall, but we're giving TGE a try...at least for the summer.

BBQ Kale Chips...yes please!

The first packaged kale chips I ever tried were from a certain expensive grocery store *ahem* for a whopping $5.99.  That was for a tiny serving...like a sample or something!  They were Rawk-n-Roll's Barbi Kale.  So tasty, I ate the whole bag in the parking lot.  I didn't even share them with the kids, I said they were spicy.  I know, I'm mean, but I was pregnant and needed food people!

Anyways, I knew I couldn't afford the 50 packages I'd need over the next few days, so I drove home and tried to re-create them.  I tried a few different recipes and they were all good, but not all "Woo-Hoo" good, you know?  They were missing something...they needed something I just couldn't put my finger on.  A few days later I was in the grocery store and stopped at the aisle where the BBQ sauces were.  I picked up a really funky looking bottle and read the ingredients.  After making my way through all the corn syrup and added preservatives I saw a real food ingredient.

Pineapple!
Sweet and tangy, loveable and yummable pineapple!  I went back to the afore-mentioned expensive store and bought a big beautiful pineapple and created a very blog worthy raw vegan BBQ sauce.  No, they are not as good as Rawk-n-Roll's version, but they are pretty close and easy to make.

Crooked BBQ Kale Chips
1 large head of kale, tough stems removed (bout this size...)

1 large juicy tomato, cored (bout this size...)

1/2 cup fresh diced pineapple
1 cup sundried tomatoes (soaked 4 hours and then drained)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbs Braggs liquid aminos
1 Tbs Dandy vinegar (or just apple cider vinegar!)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
4 pitted medjool dates
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup chopped onion (sweet maui onions are best here)
1 or 2 dried red chili peppers (depending on your spice tolerance)
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt (not necessary, but does add a more traditional BBQ flavor)

First rinse the kale and remove the tough stems.  Pat it dry and rip leaves into chip sized pieces and place in a large bowl.  Place all other ingredients in a high powered blender and let it whirl.  Might take a few minutes to get it completely smooth.  You'll probably need to use your little blender pusher downer thingy to get things going at first.  If it's absolutely stuck, just drizzle in a bit more olive oil.
pour it onto the kale and get messy.  Using your hands, massage the sauce into the kale, coating each piece.

Place them onto dehydrator trays and dehydrate them for 4-6 hours depending on your crisp preference.
Store them in an airtight container.

Since I kept eating the kale before I could get it onto the dehydrator trays I decided to set some aside and make a salad.  I added fresh raw sweet corn, diced red onions and avocado.  Instant vegan BBQ kale salad.  If you aren't worried about the whole raw thing, throw in some black beans and it makes for a hearty salad full of zing for your taste buds.

Go make some BBQ kale chips and wow your friends!

Dandelion tincture

Returning to dandelion day to re-visit the tincture we started.

I let this go a full 4 weeks.
 
Time to press...

and bottle.


Now, what is dandelion tincture good for you ask? 

It's a good substitute for swamp water!  Just kiddin'...

Traditionally it's been used as a gentle cleansing/detoxifying tonic.  I wrote more about it here.

Definitely glad to have this on hand again. 

Herbal love!

Capricious breeze

Here's a few words and a few photos I wanted to share and I thought they'd get along well.

Photos are by the beautiful mama Michele.  She came over when baby C was only about 3 weeks old and took some casual shots, capturing a few precious moments.  I love the maternity pictures she took, so no surprise these were great too...

Words are by Nancy Poer from her essay "Parenting in the Pre-School Years". The last few paragraphs sink deeply into my soul and I find myself re-reading them often.





The small child comes into our life like a fresh and capricious breeze.

This wonder-filled soul comes in utter trust that we will give it what is good and true.

With unconditional love and devotion it seeks to emulate us, absorbing all we bring, spoken and unspoken, deep into it's being.  We are like the sun...shining at the center of its universe.

Before the child we are called to stand in our truest humanity.

We are asked to be all that we can be.  What a responsibility!  What a priviledge!  We can only be moved to humility and gratitude.
Please know that the time of early childhood is brief.  Let the child teach you anew the joy of discovering the wonder and beauty of the world.
For you as a parent this is one of the most challenging times of life, and one of the most wonderful.
Take time to enjoy the precious moments, to love your little one. 
The future of humanity depends on such deeds.


I know we all "know" this, but I guess I just like the way Nancy lays it out.  The last line rings true for me.  Let's try to nurture our children and raise our children to be the people we want to see in this world.  Anyways, I hope you liked the words...that is if you could even read them with all these ridiculously cute baby pictures all over the place!! 

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