Thursday, May 22, 2014

Composting

 
 

 
A couple of years ago I bought a composter at Costco and enjoyed the benefits of this modern day machine making old decomposed dirt and other waste from my home and gardens.  This year Costco came out with a double composter that I bought for Mothers Day.  I have found that sometimes it is a good thing to get what you really want otherwise you will be disappointed.  This year I was extremely happy with my Mother’s day gift.
My sweet husband started putting it together on Mother’s day and got the two drums assembled and for that I was very grateful as it was a lengthy chore.  It was getting late so he put it in the shed to finish later.  We are both busy with jobs and the ranch so it has set there for a while and I decided to get it out and finish it.   I hauled it down to the greenhouse as the drums are quite heavy and I didn’t want us to have to carry the entire composter down to the greenhouse.  My two grandsons age four and six helped with what they could in the transporting of parts. 
Two hours later I had directions in hand and many left over parts.  I was just hoping they had been generous and just sent extra parts.  About that time my husband arrived home and I asked for more help with this endeavor of assembling my composter.  He studied the directions that to my opinion and his also were not very good and we found a place for all the missing parts.
I love my composter and if I were to buy it assembled I am sure it would have been double in price.  I did notice the composter at the store didn’t have all the parts in it, maybe they had a hard time with the directions also.
My new double composter is a great addition to the large one.  The drums on the double composter don’t hold as much as the single one because they are smaller but are easier to tumble than the larger one.  Later I will make an outside composter pile but now I am very happy with the tumbler composters and look forward to many loads of good dirt.
My grandsons were happy to dig up worms from the garden to put in the composter, worms help with the decomposition of the green waste, which doesn’t remain green very long.  I also had them help me with putting in the screws while assembling the composter so they could feel like they were a part of the building process.  It also taught them how to work a screwdriver, something they will have to perfect over time.  We have much to do in the garden this year and I want my grandchildren to feel like this is there garden also while learning how to garden.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

The County Fair

I Caught It! Now what do we do with it?
 
 
             Throughout our wonderful country of United States of America there is a County Fair that has become tradition.  I remember as a girl going to the Fair with Grandma looking at the colorful bottles of fruit and vegetables that lined the display shelves with pretty ribbons on them.  It was like looking at a priceless painting.

        I now take my family to the Fair.  This year a granddaughter put pickles in the fair we made together.  Excitement is felt as you watch the children go to the entry they entered on display on the tables in the fair.  Eagerly they look for there own entry to see the ribbon (all the kids get a ribbon) and money for their entry, an added bonus.

            Quilts line the walls, some machine stitched and others quilted painstakingly stitch by stitch with a thimble, some quilters with older aching hands. 

 
            After the judging just like the kids women and men look for their entry among the displays to see the ribbon they received and if they won the coveted scissors prize or maybe the dozen quart canning jars.

            Let’s not forget a very important event, the Princess or Queen talent show and pageant that the girls are hopeful to be crowned.  For one night they are the darlings of the county.  Whoever is crowned goes around the fair wearing their crown with honor while they help with judging or just overseeing events.

Then the highlight of the fair, the rodeo where people from all over the county surround the arena to see the cowboys and cowgirls rope the steers or ride the bull.  The young people get to go catch a chicken to take home, or whatever is available that the locals want to donate (mostly roosters because they want to get rid of them.)  This year we got two ducks which we put in the pond and have to feed because they are domesticated ducks and don’t know how to feed themselves, but they are sure enjoying the pond.

            The young kids get to ride on sheep, which is the picture below; he stayed on for quite a while.  It is anything but easy, spitting out the dirt after they do a face plant while landing.. 

            Families plan all year for this old fashioned County Fair, Kids in the 4 H (Head, Hands, Heart and Health) organization raise their animals which are sold after being judged, and the money is usually put away for a college fund or to buy another animal for next year.  The youth in FFA (Future Farmers of America) will do the same thing.

            They used to have a greased pig chase where all the kids would chase the pig.  They discontinued that event probably because the kids couldn’t catch it and were so filthy by the time they finally gave up while I am sure the pig was terrorized.   He probably got over it after a good meal.

            Whatever the event, the cotton candy and hot dogs that are consumed at the County Fair, the Dutch oven contest, cooking contest, pet contest and of course the baby contest which all come out winners (best smile, pretty hair, etc.) the goal is always the same, to come together as a family and community to share a common goal – the betterment of the family and the joining of the community as one.

 
Prized pickles on display at the fair
 
 
 
Riding the sheep at the rodeo.  Hold on tight!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Homemade Shaving Cream

Shaving cream can be fun and easy to make.  You may leave out the rosemary or you may put in lavender or any other scent you like.

 
 
1/3 cup Shea butter
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup jojoba or sweet almond oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
3-5 drops peppermint essential oil

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the shea butter and coconut oil, stirring until just melted. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe bowl. Add in the jojoba oil and the essential oils. Stir to mix.

Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill until solid. Remove from the refrigerator and whip using a hand beater or a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon into a jar. Lid and keep in a cool, dry place.


Makes 8 ounces.

Friday, June 7, 2013

My Grandma's Iris


 

You always know when spring is here, the Iris are the first to peak through the ground telling you that it is time to be done with winter. 

            As long as I remember the graceful Iris has been a part of my life.  Grandma’s flower garden was full of them as were my own home.  My Mother not only got starts from Grandma but also from her first apartment after she was married.  I have so many colors now it is hard to tell from where they came.   I just know they came from my family, from Grandma, Mom and Dad.  You could probably say they are like family to me, bringing me joy in how pleasing they are to the eye, while bringing back the memories of days gone. 
           If there is a flower you used to have around and no longer have it that came from a place you would like to remember, go and buy one or if you can get a start from someone.  Many years ago I read that if you have a memory of something that reminds you of someone special, say for example a washboard, go to an antique store and buy one.  It may not be the same one but it will still stir within you the same pleasing memories.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 



 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What Kind of Tomatoes Should I Plant?

 

You have probably already planted your tomatoes.  The question is - how did you decide what kind of tomatoes to plant? 

          I think a lot of it depends on what area you come from and what kind of tomatoes you have planted in the past.  There are so many varieties of tomatoes and more being developed each year.

          How I decide what tomatoes I want to plant depend on how long they take to develop and what tomatoes I have had success with.  I have tried the 4th of July tomato, early girl and many heirlooms.  I have had success with the mortgage lifter, some heirlooms and other new tomatoes.  It is very important that you check how long it takes for them to ripen; it usually is around 63 days to 80 or so days.  Two weeks may not seem like that long but it can be when your growing season is shorter.

          I suppose my best advice to you is to check with the local nursery and your extension office.  Don’t be afraid to try new tomatoes that others say will not succeed, try a few but always stick with your old reliable. 

          Since my season is shorter than most I always have tomatoes that have a shorter development period but plant the larger tomatoes that take a longer time, love them for canning.  The larger ones I enjoy at the end of the summer and into the fall until it freezes.

          Since I can tomatoes I always include Roma tomatoes since they do make a thicker paste tomato.  Check the label when you buy them, they will usually tell you if they make a good canning tomato.  The cherry tomatoes are always a must as they come early and you may snack on them while you are waiting for the others to ripen. 

 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Old Fashioned Blue Gingham Apron

You can picture your Grandma in this apron.  An apron that wasn't just used in the kitchen, but one she wore throughout the day to keep her dress clean.  Back then they wore dresses, pants were only for men and boys.  Even in the movies they would vacuum in their heels and pretty aprons.
 
Old Fashioned Blue Gingham aprons in our Aunt Rose style apron.  We have the Aunt Rose apron style in many other pretty apron fabrics. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Canning Aprons

In the fall we are busy putting up all the vegetables from our garden.  You just have to keep a smile on your face when you spend long hours in the kitchen.  It is very important also to enjoy the apron you have on.  This was around Halloween so the Hokus Pokus apron was appropriate. 


Friday, May 3, 2013

Grandma Apron

Mothers Day is around the corner so at Stitch Thru Time we wanted to post a Grandma apron that would bring back the memories of days gone by.
Many of you would probably remember Grandma in her everyday aprons and then the one that hung on the back of the door that she would put on when she had company come.  It seemed to have less stains and not as faded.
At Stitch Thru Time we honor the tradition of old fashioned aprons.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stitch Thru Time Patriotic Aprons

Stitch Thru Time Patriotic Aprons
 
At Stitch Thru Time we specialize in old fashioned aprons. 
All of our aprons are made in America fashioned like our grandmother and mother used to make.