Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Frankie!

 Dear friends,

Thank you as always for stopping by; you brighten our day in every way! :)

Two days ago, a certain little man had his fourth birthday~

 Can you guess what one of his favorite presents was?

 But his old-fashioned mother's most favorite present was a very special book called "Hopalong Jack", by Jeri Landers!
If you have never seen Jeri's blog "Hopalong Hollow Gazette", be sure to hop over and visit! 

"Hopalong Jack" even inscribed the book for Frankie~

We put some of Frankie's toys to good use as a battleground/farm (can you see the tiny farm animals?) on his birthday cake~

And his old-fashioned mother got him a couple of toys for his very own, too!
We are so blessed to have a little fire ball of a son to balance all the female energy in our home; what would life be without him?

On another note, we were tickled to receive a blog award from Amy at The Happy Peasant blog, which is now featuring her beautiful new little goats; you must go take a peek! Thank you, Amy, for your encouraging words.

Have yourselves a wonderful day, everyone.



Monday, March 21, 2011

What We Did Today~

 Dear Friends,

Thank you for your sweet comments and thoughts~ What a blessing to have so many kindred spirits! We love to read your blogs and see all that we have in common in BlogLand. :)

It has been incredibly warm here these past two days; almost eighty degrees! We have been outside planting more greens and getting a spot ready to be tilled for bigger vegetables in a few days.

We discovered about ten more pounds of oyster mushrooms in the woods, which we made into more delicious oyster/potato/curry/chowder, yum! One reason we wanted to move to Missouri was the abundance of mushrooms that we had heard about. So far, we have not been disappointed! We are looking forward to finding our first morels in April, since we've never tried them before.

~We never eat mushrooms until we have positively identified them, including taking a spore print overnight~
 We also found a clump of Western Garter Snakes in the woods, which we carried home in our apron (Don't try this if you don't like snakes!) to play with before releasing. I want all of my children to know that snakes are our friends, even if some of them can be dangerous. Think of all the grasshoppers and rodents we would have, if not for our scaly friends!

We never play with snakes until we've positively identified them, but without the spore prints~ ;)

Can you guess what these little plants are?

 We are learning the meaning of "brambles and briars" here in Missouri!

 We feel very blessed to have a little wild spot in such an urban area.

We have been mending a few quilts and are planning on making some light summer blankets for everyone, since even last night quilts were a bit on the warm side! :)

Mr. Graham surprised us with a few magazines from the store, including Birds and Blooms, Victoria Magazine's Gardening Issue, and Mother Earth News, so you know we will be in reading heaven for a good while (And he brought home Perrier (happy sigh. . . :), good lad!).

May you have a wonderful day, dear friends. We shall be thinking of you all!



Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Merry Saturday to You!

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Birdsong Cottage today! As it's a little chilly and cloudy today, it's a great day for a cup of tea and a visit. :) From your comments, it sounds as if everyone is busy as beavers, creating wonderful memories for yourselves and your families! May we all be blessed in our daily endeavors.

We are so thankful that Mr. Graham put in a clothesline at the cottage last Saturday. Mr. Graham says that "There's something about a clothesline that makes a house feel more like home," and we couldn't agree more.

This quilt was a $3 and some needle and thread bargain at the thrift store.
We were excited to find a butter churn and pitcher at the thrift store yesterday, as we are planning on having milk goats when we next move. Now we can practice first! :)

On the garden front, we put in chard, mustard, and kale seeds yesterday, and it looks like we'll have a good crop of dandelions, too. Just the thing for cleaning out the blood stream after a long winter!
Little Bilbo Baggins loves to be outside (as long as someone is with him), so we're happy that the weather has been mostly nice enough to spend outside, doing some quality artwork on the patio.

Little Becky Button Nose has begun taking a few steps here and there, and is as pleased as punch with herself. Pretty soon her two top teeth will pop through, and we'll be happy to have her feeling better when they do. :)

Look out, world!
May you all have a pleasant day; don't forget to watch for the extra big full moon at sunset!



Friday, March 11, 2011

Peaceable Days at Home

Dear Friends,

Thank you for coming by today, and welcome to our new friends who are coming by for the first time today!

It is a beautiful, sunny, breezy day here in Missouri, and we are enjoying the fresh air coming in the doors and windows. What a blessing to have days like this, spent at home, pottering around the house.

We finally finished the dress we started before Valentine's Day, and have paired it with a pretty collar that we found for fifty cents at our favorite thrift store. Dressing up is such fun!

We have been rearranging our bookshelves, and appreciating again all the old books that we have been blessed to find. There is something sweet about reading the words of those who have long gone; the language and intention were so different from modern books. If you want to learn about the past, do not read history books; read what people in the past put on paper! It is a fascinating study that can be life-changing as one absorbs the spirit of long-ago.
 Our clothespin doll is almost done, too. Tasha  named him Matthew, after Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables. Do you like his muscular shoulders?

We put up a tire swing on one of the big silver maples out front, which adds to the happiness of a home in such a simple way. One of our dreams before we moved was to have a big tree in the yard; how thankful we are to have three out front and several out back! And to think they'll have leaves someday! :) 

We have put in some pea seeds and mixed greens along the fence and in a raised bed. Hopefully the critters leave us enough to eat!

What have you been creating today?



Monday, March 7, 2011

Herb Correction~

Hello, dear friends!

My friend "Plantain Val" pointed out that my picture of ground ivy was really "Ivy-leaved Speedwell", instead.

Here is a picture of real ground ivy~

Lucinda of Whispering Earth did a blog post on Speedwell here~

My "twin" Lynn of "A Mother's Journal" talked about her Speedwell here, too. :)
I hope I didn't confuse anyone too badly!

We hope that your weekend was quite restful, and that your week is getting off to a good start. Onward and upward!



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy March~ An Early Spring Herb Walk

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for coming by today! We're getting better each day, with the help of lots of garlic, ginger, and oregano oil. All these hot things get a little passe after a few days, so we thought we'd take a walk and see what else we could come up with for boosting our immune systems.

Right down the street from us, someone kindly planted a row of white pines (Pinus strobus), whose needles are famous for their high vitamin c content. We collected a few branch tips to make an infusion (Our favorite method is to run plenty of needles through the blender with as much water as you want to drink, then let sit overnight and strain), and are sipping on it right now.

Pine and honeysuckle branches

We also collected a few branches of bush honeysuckle, which according to the Missouri Department of Conservation is a pest, and we are being good citizens by taking as much as we can! :) We are going to see if we can force the buds to bloom early by stripping the bark off the bottoms and soaking the branches in water. We'll keep you updated.

In the back yard we found the ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea ) blooming. Ground Ivy is proficient at removing heavy metals from the body, a long with the properties listed at this link. It's a little strong in smoothies, but we like the tender leaves in salad.

We also found a few plantain (Plantago major) plants growing in the backyard, which are another wonderful addition to early spring salads and green smoothies. We have used plantain for toothaches and bug and spider bites, and it is an excellent first aid friend to know. Here is more information, if you'd like it.

We also pruned our little apple tree out back, and are planning on experimenting with decoctions and tinctures made from the twigs. They are reportedly good for gout, rheumatism, and stomach upset.

We are so thankful that the weather has been so nice lately; we've enjoyed blue skies and temperatures in the 40s and 50s (which is warm, for someone from Idaho!).

Everyone has been enjoying Frankie's "new" bag of Star Wars-type toys~

Qui-gonn Jinn says he'll stand on his head till his garden grows!
May you all have a wonderful weekend, with plenty of love and sunshine.



With rushing winds and gloomy skies
The dark and stubborn Winter dies;
Far-off, unseen, Spring faintly cries,
Bidding her earliest child arise;

~Bayard Taylor