Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Nature Center, a Botanical Garden, and a Wedding Performance (Make for a Busy Saturday!)

 Dear Friends,

Last Saturday was the local plant exchange that our friend Dayna holds each year at a local nature center. We brought a few starts, and brought back a few lovelies in trade (I'm not sure, but I think I'm the one in the family who has the most fun!).

We always take a tour of the center after we've safely stowed our new green babies in the van. The native wildflower trails inspire us to make our own native garden for the benefit of wildlife and ourselves.

(Looking for frogs hiding in the duckweed is pretty fun, too!)

 Near the nature center is a beautiful botanical display, the Kauffman Memorial Garden. This was our first time visiting, and we were enthralled with the many different flowers and plants. I think our favorite part was being misted by the fountains and sprinklers, since it was a hot day~

 (Who knew that Kansas City has its own iris, which is a lovely blue and white?)

Simply lovely!

 Later in the afternoon, AnnaMarie and Audrey played their instruments for a wedding, while Tasha was there to hold the pages down in the breeze~

 It was a very busy day, but spending time in nature and with flowers was very restorative to the soul, and inspiring in so many ways.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for sharing our day with us. Until next time~



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Enjoying Nature on Mother's Day

 Dear friends,

A happy day to you! To celebrate a beautiful, sunny Mother's Day this past weekend, we went to one of our favorite nature spots in nearby Lee's Summit for a little outing.

There were plenty of little frogs to keep everyone occupied trying to catch them~

Plenty of Great Blue Herons were there enjoying the frogs as well (but in a different way)~

The sunshine did our hearts good after a cold, rainy spring, and we felt renewed, as we always do, after being away from city streets and traffic for a while.

We are always on the lookout for wild spring edibles, and noticed a nice patch of wild parsnips that would have been perfect a few weeks ago; we'll have to come back in the fall! The autumn olives that are considered so invasive were covered with blossoms along the backroads, promising a bountiful harvest come fall. We'll be sure to come back for them, as well.

Although Mr. Graham had to work yesterday, the rest of us decided to go back for a little picnic, as well as more frog-chasing and wading in the warm water.

Today we've been busy keeping our garden watered, as it has turned from cold to hot. Hopefully our hard work will pay off with a nice harvest this year!

We hope that your family is keeping busy this spring as well, making memories together and reveling in the blessings of the Lord's creations.



p.s. For those of you who don't know how to start eating dandelions (from my last post), just try nibbling on a few of the yellow petals each day. Your body will soon be craving them in any form it can get!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's Dandelion Season!

(Photos by Tasha and Evangeline)

Dear Friends,

Lately we've been doing a lot of this.. . .

And this . . .

 And this. . . .

                                                                  Since there are lots of these. . .

 . . . All over the yard!

 Today we made yummy dandelion blossom fritters by dipping them in pancake batter, then frying them in coconut oil until crisp (We didn't get a chance to take a picture, they went so fast!). We have so many dandelions in our yard, we picked four gallon-sized Ziploc bags full of them, which we froze for later use. They are wonderful pureed and added to bread dough or muffin batter, adding moisture, sweetness, and loads of nutrition.

The greens are good chopped very finely and added to a salad of mild greens, until one is used to their bitterness. They can be added to other greens for cooking, as well, and the roots can be dug up all year and eaten roasted, or roasted until they are brittle and ground into a delicious coffee substitute.

Dandelions are rich in iron and their bitter properties relieve the sluggishness that many people experience in the spring from an overtaxed liver and digestive system.

If you are lucky enough to find a patch of dandelions that have not been sprayed, do your body a favor and indulge in a free dandelion liver detox, courtesy of Mother Nature!

And don't forget to make a wish on the fluff when you're done. . .



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Welcome, May!

Dear Friends,

I apologize for being absent during the month of April. My beautiful mother-in-law passed away on the 2nd, and we have been taking an internet break for a bit.

We all miss Grandma Graham very much, but we are grateful that the suffering she was experiencing has ended, and she is resting with the Lord.

Spring has been a long time coming this year, and we have more snow in the forecast! Thankfully we've been blessed with a few days of sunshine, and this morning was perfect weather for handing out May baskets to the neighbors.

 Our little garden is coming along, and we've put in a few new flowers (including a rose and this lily to remember Mr. Graham's mother) here and there.

We're growing fava beans for the first time, and we're grateful that they won't be bothered by the upcoming snow and cold weather~

We have a few peas started from seeds that our friend Devina sent us all the way from England; we hope they do well, and we can save a few seeds for next year.

Here is our herb garden in pots, plus a lovely cleome which we bought to attract butterflies. Anything that butterflies like and can withstand heat and drought is a plus in our book!

Our one tulip is standing tall like a lone soldier, and Tasha's turtle statue looks like it's about to enjoy a snack!

 These are peas that we are growing for their shoots, which is also something new we're trying this year. If they continue growing, we'll be getting the taste of peas, without the long wait.

We hope that you had a wonderful April. I turned 40 on the 15th, and am looking forward to this being the best decade of my life, so far. :)

I have a lot of blog-catching up to do, but I promise I'll come to visit as soon as I can!