Christmas 2013

Christmas was a treasured time spent with all of us together.

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Fresh fruit, homemade yogurt, and apple cheddar scones (plus the chocolate left by Santa in the stockings!).

Fresh fruit, homemade yogurt, and apple cheddar scones (plus the chocolate goodies left by Santa in the stockings!) for breakfast.

Gifts from very generous hearts.

Gifts from very generous hearts.

It was wonderful having Jason and Lydia spend the night Christmas Eve so they could be here with us in the morning before their hustle and bustle started.

It was wonderful having Jason and Lydia spend the night Christmas Eve so they could be here with us in the morning before their hustle and bustle started.

Rachel's favorite color.

Rachel’s favorite color.

Elaine stepping into the world of technology with her Nook.

Elaine stepping into the world of technology with her Nook.

Matthew's wish come true.

Matthew’s wish come true.

A happy mama knowing all her gifts are the sweet lives of those sitting all around her.

A happy mama knowing all her gifts are the sweet lives of those sitting all around her.

Hope your Christmas was merry and may you have a great 2014!

Matthew’s birthday.

We celebrated Matthew’s birthday early this year since he is going to be in Alaska over his birthday._mg_8089_001

Matthew, he is our handyman. If something brakes while he is gone, I don’t know what we are going to do._mg_8098_001

Happy 16th Matthew!img_8092_001

Birthdays

We have had two birthdays this month, Mom’s, on the first, and Lydia’s, on the sixteenth.

These are Mom’s birthday pictures.img_3428_001

Dinner: pancetta, white bean, and Swiss chard pot pies. It was sooo good. The delicious, flaky crust was the best part.img_6719_001img_6720_001

Mom’s birthday this year was a “Smitten Kitchen” birthday. All the recipes came from this cookbook.

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Elaine lighting candles.img_3430_001

My beautiful mom.img_3438_001

Elaine and I had two different cakes we wanted to make, and we could not decide which to  make, so we made both: Smitten Kitchen’s Bee Sting cake and Tiny but Intense Chocolate Cake.img_3435_001

The Cooks.img_3455_001

The grazing. img_3458_001

And these are Lydia’s birthday pictures.

This was the cutest looking white chocolate truffle that Mom got for Lydia._mg_7019_001

Demitasse espresso cups._mg_7021_001_mg_7027_001

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Photo credits: Mom’s birthday pictures were taken by the lovely and talented Lydia. The picture of Lydia opening a present was taken by Matthew.

Gardening update

We had to replace a few of our tomatoes and peppers that were hit by the cold spell that we had a couple of weeks ago, and planted all of our hot peppers.img_6216_001img_6217_001img_6371_001img_6395_001

 

The garlic and onions are doing well. The garlic should be sending up scapes soon. Yah! And the onions are big enough we can start thinning them to use in cooking and salads.img_6380_001img_6368_001

 

Basil was another plant that we replaced because the cold was just too much for it. We are always so anxious to get things planted and growing that some times we get a few things out a little too early. Normally the protection that we provide when the weather is predicting a cold night is enough to get the warm weather plants through, but we had it exceptionally cold and very little warming during the day to help store up more heat for the next cold evening.                              img_6383_001

The herb bed has been flourishing! Especially the mint.img_6384_001

 

Poor chives!img_6385_001

 

In the raised beds we have planted: garlic, peppers, spinach, rosemary, and beets. The bed on the left we have cabbage and cauliflower. Our fence is to keep out our wonderful sweet cat who likes to tear holes in our protective covering and crawl inside because it is a nice cozy shelter in there. (She is really a sweet cat and we love her. Just not when she messes with our garden).img_6386_001

Come strawberries, come.img_6387_001

We are so grateful that the asparagus came up so nicely this year. Now we just have to wait two more years until we can actually harvest some.img_6389_001

This is where our peas are planted. As you can tell from the picture, I think we are growing more weeds, volunteer potatoes, and dill than actual peas.img_6394_001

Tomatoes.

Our 30 tomato starts grew a lot quicker inside this year and needed to be put outside early.

We laid down black plastic to help keep the heat in since it is still chilly out. After they were planted we surrounded them with bales of hay and draped plastic over the bales to create a mini greenhouse.img_6129

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Blue, trying to see what we are doing.img_6127