For Dragonflies And Me

  (Snover, Michigan)
Enjoy the everyday life I love to live!
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The Art of Meaningful Gift Giving, How to Preserve a Child and some Yummy Market Fresh Recipes


We're at the time of year when everyone is in a hustle and bustle of the Holidays.  For us the Farmers Market is filled with beautiful gift items and our market friends are all too happy to stop by and pick up that beautiful, one of a kind, hand crafted item to give their loved ones.  There's an art to gift giving.  Some folks like the idea of gift cards- quick & simple and they don't have to worry about the 'did they like it or not?'  Others love the thrill of searching and finding just the right thing for that special person.  Then there are those that take the time to actually create something unique for each individual... and all three are fine! I don't think there is any wrong way to give a gift, especially when it's given with love.  We are all different and we need to do what fits our personalities... and those that love us will know that whatever the gift is, it was given with heart. I hope this post will help all of the above and you will find something that helps you in this typically crazy time of year.  [Read More]
 
 

More on Organization: Weekly Schedule At A Glance, Focused Event Days~ Errand and Desk Days, More Yummy Market Fresh Recipes!

Everyone that knows me knows I love to create schedules, make lists and have multiple day planners & calenders.  I love everything about organization. Over the years I realized that I inherited this trait from my mother... who I may say has even the labels of her spice jars and canned goods all facing in the same direction and to size... they even might be alphabetized- I've never dared look.  Her cupboards are immaculate and she never has dust. Mind you, it is just her and my dad and she only had me!  I am glad that I have this trait thanks to her... even though I never realized it while I was growing up.  It has only been since I have had a home of my own and my family have I realized all the important things she taught me... or at least tried to!  My 'other' mom, is also extremely organized~ she's actually the one who introduced me to The Flylady program.  She has helped me tremendously in many area's, especially with sewing 'stuff'.  Her material/craft closet is also immaculate and completely organized right up to type's of fabrics and colors.  Her craft stuff is always tidy and in it's place!  What wonderful examples I have been blessed with!  Anyway, back to schedules & lists...   [Read More]
 
 

More Organizational Tips: Learning The Walk Through, The Family Room and Upstairs Hallway, and More Yummy Market Fresh Recipes!

I think the Family Room in a home should speak loudly about the lady of the house. It should be a reflection of her personality and what she loves... for me, it's the cottage garden, the perfect blue, summer sky and coziness of soft summer hues exploding throughout the room, flower blossoms and of course dragonflies!  My family room speaks all this and I love sitting in my rocking chair with a warm cup of coffee with a good gardening magazine or some inspirational piece... throw in a little boy ready to cuddle, and it's even better.  The family room is the cozy spot of the home where each member can curl up with a good book & where we can share & talk about stuff.  The family room is often referred to as the living room in decorating mags (I am not referring to the Formal Living room here)... but it is more than that.  [Read More]
 
 

More Organization Tips: The Office, The Daily Home Blessing and Yummy Market Fresh Sandwiches...

Our homes should be a blessing to our family... and whether we like it or not, we moms/wives/ladies can make it or break it!  We need to strive to create an environment that is welcoming, peaceful and cozy for all who enter.  A clean, well kept and organized home will make these elements much more easy to obtain.  As the ladies of the house, when things are out of order and chaotic, we too feel that and then in turn present that through our actions, attitudes and behavior... "if mom's happy, then everyone is happy," is too true a statement! In "Sink Reflections", by Marla Cilley, she talks about having a Home Blessing (another Buzz word).  What this basically refers to is our Mission Statement for our home as women, wives and mothers... it our goal for what we want our home to be... what we want it to reflect. I took this very seriously because I have high expectations!  One thing to remember in all this is that even though we have routines and schedules, we must be flexible... we are not drill sergeants, even though I have been accused of that, we are still mommy and need to teach and train with a tender hand so our little helpers want to help and get excited about the process as well.  If you have children you fully understand what I am talking about... I have had some really good plans drawn up, but when the baby is puking up a storm from a sudden flu bug... zone cleaning comes to a sudden halt... so be what the Lord has us to be first... woman, wife and mommy!  Enjoy yourself in your organizational quests, otherwise it won't last and it will be just another burden!  [Read More]
 
 

More on Organization: Working on Menu Planning & Grocery Lists, The Organized Home Makers 10 Commandments (adapted from the FlyLady!) and More Yummy Market Fresh Recipes!


I don't mind cooking, it's not my favorite thing to do, but we gotta eat right?  Taylor is the one who is in love with being in the kitchen. It's funny though... she firsts loves to bake~ that is my least favorite; she likes to cook and I don't mind, especially with garden fresh goodies; she doesn't mind canning, but I love it and we are both OK with yeast baking stuff~ although I will say, I like that a bit more than her... but neither one of us can make a pie crust to save our lives~ honestly... we just have never been able to master that! Taylor would be happy to sit in a rocking chair with a pile of cookbooks and cooking mag's where I would be there with my gardening ones!  We balance each other out I guess...
Anyway lets head into the last of this series on Organization with Menu Planning and Grocery Lists... be sure to check out my blog spots & web site for lots of great photo's to go along with the post!
  [Read More]
 
 

More on Organization: Creating Routines with P.M.S.- Prioritize, Minimize and Simplify , The Kitchen and Pantry and More Market Fresh Canning Recipe's!

Oh what a happy mom am I when the boys rooms are clean, the fridge is shining with no 'science experiments' going on it, the appliances are shining and the windows let in all the bright sunshine because the little paddy prints have been washed off... at least for fifteen minutes... so look fast! After all I do have a just turned two year old that loves to stand on the kitchen chairs (... and the table...) and look at the out of doors... cry when everyone else is going 'bye-bye', and stand and wave at the dumpster guy pulling in the lane... yes windows are nice, but they don't stay clean at our house for very long. The boys say why bother... I tell them can you imagine if we didn't- think layers boys! Well, the kitchen is the gathering place in most homes and it is at ours as well... It is where little boys get to lick the beaters and get a spoonful of homemade chocolate pudding... where soap bubble beards are made and wet towel 'thwacks' happen... yes the kitchen is the heart of the home... after all it's where we nourish those we love... I will go into some more details of how I keep the kitchen and pantry tidy and organized. Today I thought it would be fun to throw in a couple canning recipes for some of the good stuff that you are getting in your CSA shares and across our market table... an possibly out of your very own gardens!   [Read More]

More on Organization: Creating Routines with P.M.S.- Prioritize, Minimize and Simplify , The Kitchen and Pantry and More Market Fresh Canning Recipe's!

Oh what a happy mom am I when the boys rooms are clean, the fridge is shining with no 'science experiments' going on it, the appliances are shining and the windows let in all the bright sunshine because the little paddy prints have been washed off... at least for fifteen minutes... so look fast! After all I do have a just turned two year old that loves to stand on the kitchen chairs (... and the table...) and look at the out of doors... cry when everyone else is going 'bye-bye', and stand and wave at the dumpster guy pulling in the lane... yes windows are nice, but they don't stay clean at our house for very long. The boys say why bother... I tell them can you imagine if we didn't- think layers boys! Well, the kitchen is the gathering place in most homes and it is at ours as well... It is where little boys get to lick the beaters and get a spoonful of homemade chocolate pudding... where soap bubble beards are made and wet towel 'thwacks' happen... yes the kitchen is the heart of the home... after all it's where we nourish those we love... I will go into some more details of how I keep the kitchen and pantry tidy and organized. Today I thought it would be fun to throw in a couple canning recipes for some of the good stuff that you are getting in your CSA shares and across our market table... an possibly out of your very own gardens!   [Read More]
 
 

The Organic Life: How To Get There and More Market Fresh Recipe's!

What does Organic mean to you?  I think everyone reading this would have somewhat of a different answer.  Personally,  I want 'organic' to be the way I breath, eat and sleep... it's the life style I want for myself and my family... it's a personal choice... you can't make someone 'believe' it if they don't want to or they don't care.  An organic life style isn't easy by any definition of the word... especially if you live in the city! No offense there my city dwelling friends! I have come to understand your back yard isn't even your own to grow your food if that is what you want to do... that is unless you get 'their' permission.  This is incredulous to me... as many of you who know me personally and have leaned over my market table where we have vented together on these issues!  So many of you ask me for advice on chickens, gardening and canning... I wish so badly I could do more than just give you 'tips'... but that is where it's at I guess.  So today I am going to give some reference materials along with more 'tips' on how to get a piece of the organic life for yourselves... and of course some more yummy market fresh recipes!  Enjoy friends!
           
  [Read More]
 
 

Market Day At The Garden Gate Farm, Plant Tags, Plant Growing File and more yummy Market Fresh Recipe's!


We have been busy... I thought today along with the normal fun stuff I like to share I would give a journal entry of "A Day In The Life..." at our farm on Friday while we get ready for market... so here it is... enjoy!

Here was our day last Friday...  it was 97 degrees with a heat index of 103 degrees...
"We take so much care in what we do because we do it for you!" Jean Smith
  [Read More]
 
 

Market Day At The Garden Gate Farm, Plant Tags, Plant Growing File and more yummy Market Fresh Recipe's!

Market Day At The Garden Gate Farm, Plant Tags, Plant Growing File & more yummy Market Fresh Recipe's!

We have been busy... I thought today along with the normal fun stuff I like to share I would give a journal entry of "A Day In The Life..." at our farm on Friday while we get ready for market... so here it is... enjoy!

Here was our day last Friday...  it was 97 degrees with a heat index of 103 degrees...
"We take so much care in what we do because we do it for you!" Jean Smith
  [Read More]
 
 

Homemade "Flower Fresh" Recipe, More Garden Tips & Simple Cuttings & yummy Mini Farmers Market Pizza's

The daffodils, forsythias & magnolias are all in full bloom~ it is absolutely magnificent! It is about 9Pm right now and the rain just started coming down~ it sounds like a calm and steady straight down rain.  Evan, Ryan & I got several things planted in the raised beds & the kitchen garden today and this rain is such a blessing for all those little seeds and soon to be us :-) ! Ryan wanted to pick his teacher a bouquet with the daffodils for tomorrow, he is so sweet.  He loves to make bouquets and plant things.  We were planting beets in a few of the raised beds after school today and all of a sudden he was gone.  I called after him and he was getting ready to till up the spot he had worked in last summer.  "Too wet yet" I told him.  Raised beds are different then regular gardens, they dry out quite a bit quicker and you can get lots more stuff in them faster. One more reason why I am all about raised beds!  We all love those first spring bouquets and they never seem to last long enough.  You can add some vase life to them with a really simple homemade 'Flower Fresh' fresh recipe~ all ingredients you are sure to have right in your own home!

*Homemade "Flower Fresh"
Put 1/2 tsp. of regular household bleach and 1 tsp. sugar to every 1 cup of room temperature water.  Change water every 5-7 days.
If you snip just a 1/4 inch off the bottom of the stems each day, this will also help.
You will be able to keep your bouquets looking nice for about 2-3 weeks.  


*More Garden Tips
There are so many things that I have read & picked up over the years that it seems I could write on & on about this stuff forever... so here are a few more tried & true tips! Have fun...
*If you have trouble with flies coming in the house, try putting a potted Basil on the step or porch by each of your doors and if you have a window ledge outside you kitchen window or any other put a few there. Not are they only helpful here, just think how easy it will be to make Brushetta or Pesto now.... oh now that is sooo yummy!
*If you have shrubs or trees that need pruned in the spring, lay a tarp under the area to be pruned; then when you are done, simply fold up the tarp and dispose of in your compost or burn pile... easy as pie!
*It is seed planting time and some of those seeds are soo tiny! Lettuce & carrot to mention just a couple.  Try using a large holed salt or sugar shaker~ simply put your seed in it and then shake them out in your prepared row!  So easy!
*Weeding can be a trying experience even for the gardener who loves to garden. If at all possible, weed after a rain, everything comes out easier.
*Mulching is a time & back saver!  If you know a farmer that has cows, horses or sheep they will have hay & straw.  Bales often pop open and there is always loose straw around.  Ask if you clean up the loose straw & hay if you can have it.  I lay newspaper down my isles in the garden and even in the raised beds between the rows, and then cover with straw.  Some people will say then you will be planting the seeds~ it's green manure!  Plus I rather deal with the very minimal seeding as opposed to the hours of hoeing, tilling and hand weeding!   I will be touching more on mulching & it's importance in coming posts!

*Simple Cuttings are very easy to do. Here are instructions on how to start your own Rose & Forsythia. 
~ For a new rose bush all you need to do is cut a stem with a full bloom rose on it.  Stick the stem into the ground.  Leave a few of the leaves at the top with the bloom.  Water the ground thoroughly and put a clear glass jar over it- like a mason jar- if you have a 2 quart jar that would be best, but a 1 quart works well too- and anchor it into the ground by twisting it until the jar is in the ground up to its shoulder; place a rock on it.  Keep the soil watered around jar every day until frost.  don't remove the jar until next spring.  You will then have a new rose bush growing!  I have tried this and it worked~ I got 2 out of 6 new roses.
~ Forsythia is super easy too!  If you have a friend with a bush you are all set~ I am sure she/he will let you have a start.  Forsythia branches will tend to 'bend' down and when the tips meet the ground they root on their own!  Go to the shrub and you will see gobs of branches that appear to be separate bushes, but in actuality they are branches rooted down.  All you need to do is cut the branch from the actual mother plant and carefully dig up the 'rooted branch'.  Put in a bucket of water with the flower fresh in it and transplant into the location you have for it at home! Presto~ your own forsythia!

Mini Farmers Market Pizza's

These nifty little pizza's are so much fun for the children because you can let each one of them create their very own masterpiece!  Not to mention they can put whatever toppings they like best. Here is one way, but be creative and have a yummy fun time!

6 Pita Rounds
1 1/2 cups pizza sauce
1 cup fresh Spinach from Garden Gate Farm, washed & snipped into bite size pieces
1 medium Red Onion from Garden Gate Farm, chopped 
2 Roma Tomatoes from Willowridge farm, sliced thinly with seeds removed
2 cups mixed shredded cheese from Grassfields Organic cheese- choose two types for a more interesting flavor
Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 cup fresh Parsley from Garden Gate Farm, snipped

1.  Place pita rounds on an ungreased baking sheet and spread each with 1/4 cup of pizza sauce.
2. Top with cheese; put tomato, spinach & onions on top.
3. Drizzle 1/2 tsp. oil over each pizza; sprinkle 1 tsp. parsley over each;
4. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese over each.
5. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly!

Happy Day,
Jean

 
 
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