Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Days

***Thank you everyone for your kind words on the last post. They mean a lot. Thank you for all your prayers as well. It is such a huge burden lifted.***

Last Tuesday, I helped host a party at Janna's house for our friend, Joanne. She is the one that introduced Janna and I about a year ago. Now she's off on a new adventure moving to Phoenix for one year. They both did posts on the party here and here and included links to other blogging buddies we know. Blogging has been a wonderful introduction to some wonderful ladies I wouldn't have otherwise met. I fact, I met Joanne through blogging, too!

It is hard to even think of saying good-bye to Joanne. I will miss her so much. SO MUCH!!! She has added such richness to my life. I am glad the move is to only be for a year. I think I'd have to go after her if she stayed longer! She really is wonderful.

This Tuesday Janna and I took the kids to Berry Patch Farms, our home away from home each summer and autumn. Seriously, if you are anywhere remotely close to Denver you should go there. It's so fun to pick the strawberries and raspberries, but they also have a ton of other organic produce. I tried so many new fruits and veggies since I first started going there years ago. I've learned so much, too!

We had such a fun day with our kiddos hauling wagons of berries and boys. Pumpkin and Anne are just a few weeks apart in age and I'm planning to marry them off when they are of age. Jack and Dumpling are a few months apart and they all play really well together. The wagons were a perfect height for Jack and Dumpling's All-You-Can-Eat Buffet.We even made a new friend that Anne christened Strawberry the Frog. Quick catching, Janna! After our hours of picking everyone came back here to our home for lunch.

After we ate the kids played while Janna and I put together a batch of Healing Balm. Since I'd already steeped the herbs and oils before we just melted the beeswax and adding the rest of the oils. She picked what extra essential oils she wanted for more fragrance to each jar and it all went together in a flash. (BTW-Janna~How was it once it set?)

I absolutely love this recipe!!! I've been putting it on scratches, bumps, bruises, and bites. It totally takes the itch out of bug bites for me. I'll steeped some more of the herb oil in the next few days to have some on hand for more batches. The directions are here for you. I took a jar myself for my gift at Bunco that night. They are getting used to my lotions and potions.

One of the gals asked me what else I'd been making that was new. I told her I had made deodorant that day. I had the ingredients in the kitchen. It took just a few minutes to mix up and seems to work great. I wasn't too sure about trying it, but I'm glad I did. Directions are here if you are interested. I mixed equal parts cornstarch and baking soda in a half-pint wide mouth jar. I stirred in about 5 tablespoons of coconut oil and some lavender essential oil. I'll experiment more next time with more or less oil, but it really works well so far! I guess there are women who just glow, I'm just not one of them. After gardening in the afternoon sun for over an hour yesterday and two workouts later, I'm happy with this stuff.

Yesterday I started my canning. This became this:
After being inspired by this recipe I added part of a vanilla bean to the first batch of jam using the jam recipe I had. Yum! I made the second batch just the plain way and look forward to tasting the difference. I'm thinking a fresh batch of scones are in order this weekend!

Oh, remember Bacon Bits? This was her picture last year with Pumpkin:

This year:
Yep. It's bad. And no, she's not pregnant! Guess she likes the food, too.

(Janna seems to be the only one remembering her camera lately, so most of these pictures are credited to her. She does a nice job, doesn't she?)


Bonnie said...

I've done strawberry jam recently too- plain; spiced; strawberry peach preserves, and tomorrow- strawberry rhubarb, my H.'s favorite!
I need to try your balm recipe, we've been getting banged and bit ti pieces around here lately!

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

I will miss you too! And I was SO SAD to cancel yesterday. Seems like the packing will NEVER end...

Janna mentioned a lotions and potions fall fest possibility this fall in the mountains. I'm so flying in for it!



P.S. And next summer? Count me in for the farm!

Janna Widdifield said...

The balm came out incredible. I think the one with clove added is my favorite. Definitely try that oil next time you mix it up. We've been putting it on EVERYTHING! bug bites, bruises, scrapes...Now instead of asking for a band-aid every time she falls, Anne asks to put on "some of that medicine." It's always, a "yes" from me.

Thank you sooo much for letting me make these. I had so much fun and can't wait to make some more homemade goodness with you.

Alison said...

I've never thought to make deodorant before, and look forward to trying it out. Have also noted the calendula balm recipe. Thanks for posting both. Love the roses, by the way, especially on this dull winter's day, really cheering!


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