Monday, July 18, 2016

Introducing: Good Stuff Farm

Two years ago, when we adopted our furbaby, Alfie, it took us about a week to come up with a name. At the shelter, Alfie was "Little Man." (Which is funny because he is not little at all.) My husband and I kept coming up with names. Alfie came up a few times, but was then nixed. One day, my husband decided to start calling him "Alfie," and thus his name stuck. This kind of happened again. No we didn't get another cat. We finally named our little farm.

It has taken us over a year to pick a name. We have bounced so many names around for our little vegetable operation. I even asked for suggestions on facebook. There were so many names we liked, but then I'd google them and the name was already being used somewhere else in US.

Last year, I only worked half days at the thrift store, allowing me to work at the farmer's market in the morning, quickly drive home to unload any unpurchased produce and/or coolers and drive to work. This year, I am working full days. My husband changed his schedule, so he could go to the market.

A couple days before the first market, my husband asked, "Can you paint a sign for our stand at the market? Paint "Good Stuff Farm" on it."

After all the discussion, all my little sketches and designing, he says what the farm will be and it is so.  (There is another farm somewhere with the same name, but obviously my husband doesn't care. Right now, this is a hobby farm.)

I'm fine with that. I don't really like making decisions.

We have a facebook page. Check it out. Give us a thumbs up if you so incline.

After picking our green and yellow beans last night and filling up our tub, I text my Mom with a picture of said tub.

Me: "I guess beans are ready..."
Mom: "They are! Are you?"
Me: "I think so. I'm going to have to be."

After that I kept hearing The Fugees' song "Ready Or Not" in my head. Ready or not, here come the beans...

Last Summer, my mother-in-law, Renee, was recovering from surgery, so I picked and canned all of her beans along with ours. This year, we're working together. I was given my grandmother-in-law's 22 qt. pressure canner. I am able to can 18 pints at a time. You read that right, 18! It is a beast of a thing and I love it. It's amazing. I picked the beans, Renee came up this morning and helped me snap/cut them and now I'm canning them.

How quickly we forget how crazy Summer can get. Having a garden and picking the veggies is one thing, but then, oh wait- we have to can and freeze the stuff. It's a crazy time, but absolutely worth it.  Has anyone else started to preserve this tasty season? <3

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

reconnected in Connecticut

My husband and I had the chance to go to Connecticut a few weeks ago. One of my college friends is getting married in the Fall and had to go to her bridal shower. (She drove all the way NY for mine; I wasn't going to miss hers.)
As soon as I got the shower invite in the mail, I e-mailed my friend's Mom and volunteered for anything. I love making and creating. My arm was literally waving in the air like a student who knows the answer to an easy question, "Ooo! Pick me! Pick me! I want to help!" I was given the task of making centerpieces.

The theme was a conglomerate of things my friend loves: tea parties, Breakfast At Tiffany's, and Downton Abbey.

With all that in mind, I bought a bunch of gold, metal picture frames from the thrift store and any old looking books that there were. I borrowed a couple teapots from my mother-in-law as well as some tea tins.

I scoured for Downton Abbey quotes. I typed them up, printed them out and put them in the frames.

I bought some floral foam and made arrangements in the tins and teapots. Since the drive to Connecticut was about seven hours, picking the flowers and arranging them was the last thing I did before we left. My mother-in-law's garden was also utilized for the centerpieces. (Renee, you are so good to me!)


Another thing that I have been interested in lately is book folding; folding the pages of books to create a picture or word. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to google it. It's kind of nuts. Some people make sentences and can be very elaborate. I'm a beginner, so I just made a heart.

The last thing I want to share is one of the gifts I made my friend. For those who don't know, a few years ago, I rented space at the printing studio and did letterpress. I took several classes and then I started working on my own projects. I made cards, banners and posters. My friend, whose shower I went to, had asked me to make two wedding prints for her two friends that were getting married at the time. I printed in their wedding colors and personalized each print with the wedding dates. Since I am no longer working at that studio, I still wanted to do something special for my friend. I decided to recreate the print, but make it into a collage. I looked at my original design and cut out paper for the letters. I bought a pretty gold frame from the thrift store to finish it.

Everything was a lot of work, but absolutely worth it. The shower was as beautiful as the bride-to-be. There was so much love there and I was so happy to be a part of it.

The lovely, bride-to-be and myself in our tea dresses and hats.

On our drive to Connecticut, my husband asked how far away from the ocean we were. I looked at the map and since it's such a small state, it didn't look like it would be too far. We don't get to the ocean that much, so I thought it might be doable on our way out of town. After the shower, my friend and her fiancĂ©  asked my husband and I if we wanted to go to the ocean!
It was about a 45 minute drive to the beach. We went to Lenny & Joe's Fish Tail in Madison first. I got a fish sandwich, French fries and split a strawberry milkshake with my husband... yum-o!  The beach was just a few minutes away. There were clear skies with a slight breeze. We walked along the beach and I looked for seashells and sea glass. Of course, there were some nice places for pictures, too.

Next time we are in Connecticut, it will be for a wedding! It will be here before we know it! It's already July; the Summer is flying by. (I saw back to school supplies in Wal Mart this morning- yikes!) I'm going to enjoy the sun and warm weather as much as I can. Lots of fun things coming in the future. <3