For Dragonflies And Me

  (Snover, Michigan)
Enjoy the everyday life I love to live!
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Resolutions, Getting Rid of the Winter Blahs, Get Together Ideas and Yummy Winter Time Soup Recipes!


This word, 'Resolutions' is on most peoples minds in the new year.  Why do we think about this only at the New Year?  Many of us take time to reflect on what transpired over the last twelve months of our lives... a time to think on what we would like to continue doing and what we want to stop doing... a time to dream and imagine what the next twelve months will hold for us. New Years Resolutions are a common thing and many of us are looking to make some... be it little or large.  My 'resolutions' this year are too be more faithful in praying for others, being kind in all situations and reorganizing my office and keeping it that way! I did a series on Organization this past summer and I think I need to turn back to the office one!  That is the space that seems to get the best of me! I have so many things to keep straight and it just seems I don't have enough space... haha... a whole room just isn't enough eh? Well, this week I am gutting the room... I am going to clean out the file cabinets and purge, purge, purge!   Another goal that I want to implement is that of The 3/50 Project (www.the350project.net) that I mentioned in my previous blog.  I do a lot of shopping & trading with my co-vendors at my markets, but I want to support the small local businesses in my community a bit more this year.    [Read More]
 
 

Host A Cookie Exchange Luncheon, Making The Invitation and Some Yummy Cookie Recipes!

Its cold, its blowing, there's snow on the ground, ice on the windshields and us summer lovers need to keep looking for things to keep us occupied until we can dig in the dirt. Now that all the holiday hustle and bustle is over, we are getting ready for our New Years Eve parties, lets think food... cookies particularly today! Forget the resolutions and enjoy life... like a wise one once wrote, "Life is short, eat desert first!" The gyms and the weight loss programs are gonna be there next week... so just have some good, homemade fun with friends you enjoy being around!

What could be more fun than gathering together with a group of our close friends and family when you include cookies and lunch? Well of course the getting ready for it... making the invitations, decorating the tables, preparing the food and baking those pretty cookies. Not to mention buying just the right containers for your guests to package up all your love in!
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Decorating The Porch, Dreaming of Summer and My Favorite Popover Recipe and Yummy Herb Roasted Potatoes

I love to decorate for the seasons... inside and outside in all the seasons. There is true beauty in all, yes even Winter (stay sitting, I really do think so!) I'm not talking about all the Christmas lights and plastic yard ornaments, I'm talking about using nature to beautify along with some cool 'junque'... creative decorating shall we say! Your porch is a reflection of your home and what you adorn it with says a lot about you... That's why when the dog carries a deer leg from one of the boys prizes, I get a bit cranky! Some of 'them' just don't seem to get it. There's no reason that you can't keep it cute till we can once again adorn our porches with live, beautiful flowers. Each season holds some beauty, yes I do admit that with even winter... Evergreen boughs strewn with red berries and there really is nothing like a hoar frost glistening in the bright early morning. Let your neighbors and those that pass by have a treat for their senses with the beauty of your front porch!
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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]
 
 

PART 1: Autumn's Bounty in the Root Cellar and Two Yummy Storage Crop Recipes!

The Season of Autumn...
This is Neil's and most of the children's favorite season... I like it too, but I am all about Spring and Summer. I do love Autumn for the harvest though... the smell and crunch of the leaves under foot... the caa-caa of the Blue Jays feasting on the sunflowers in the front garden... the sound of the wind whistling through the leaves still hanging onto the branches... not quite ready to sail away...watching our can shelves, freezers and root cellars start to fill up to over flowing... Oh the bounty of Autumn, how thankful are we!  The children enjoy the slower pace that Autumn leans into... once the fields are plowed and all that is left is the hoop house and animal care duties, life seems to take on a slower pace... more relaxed and peaceful.  Now the boys and Neil are in full swing of making firewood to both heat our home and to sell at market. I love to hear the chainsaws roaring and the smack of the axe. I get to start using the cook stove again now... oh that smell of wood burning so close lends to a feeling more cozy than words can describe. I love our cook stove... it reminds me of when we would go way up North into Canada to visit my dad's folks. They didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing until I was about 12 years old... I loved the smell that rose into the upstairs when grandma was frying up fresh eggs and bacon for breakfast... covered and cozy under her quilts... not really wanting to venture out into the cold... the heat would start to move slowly through the old farm house upstairs and then I would jump out of bed and quick get dressed and run downstairs.  Everyone else was always up and moving long before I. It was a happy feeling... a cozy, homey feeling that I had there.  Now I have a cook stove of my own and although I only use it in the cold months, I can't think of doing without it. 
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Fall Farm Clean Up Day at The Garden Gate Farm

We are thrilled to announce that we will be able to do our Annual ‘Spring’ Clean Up Day this Fall! Many of you who were planning on coming out this past Spring for our annual event were very disappointed, as were we, due to the Memorial Service for Neil’s mom. Well, we are planning the grand event for Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 from 10am to 4pm. As usual Neil will be roasting a hog and we will serve up all the fixen’s with it… a Farm to Table Dinner at the Farm! Of course we will serve my famous Vegetarian Lasagna for all our veggie lovin’ friends! As always everyone is welcome, both our CSA members along with our Farm Market Friends, to others know simply as ‘customer’s.  [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!
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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!
           
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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
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A Companionate Herbal for the Organic Garden and Yummy Herb Butters Recipe's!

Summer is here and we are in full swing! I am finding it harder and harder to get to this blog with all the responsibilities I have around on the farm.  I am constantly thinking of things to write about and share, but finding the 'thyme', or should I say making the 'thyme' is just taking more effort than I would actually like.  But here I am and of course I love being here.  Lets talk more on herbs shall we? I just can't seem to get enough of herbs, they are so versatile and useful in so many areas in life... the kitchen, bouquet and right into the personal care line! I love to go out to the gardens and pick them... as I brush against their leaves they just welcome me there with their lovely aroma's telling me to pick & enjoy!  I have often touched on companion planting and I recently came across a great list that I thought I would like to share with all of you. Today I am going to focus a bit on the personal care end with of course a few yummy recipes for Herb Butters! Thanks for coming... see you again soon!   [Read More]
 
 

Be Green Ideas, Nifty Bug Trap, Mailbox in the Garden and Yummy Spring Spinach Topped Tomatoes

Be Green Ideas, Nifty Bug Trap, Mailbox in the Garden and Yummy Spring Spinach Topped Tomatoes

Welcome me back!  Well I do apologize for being gone for awhile here at For Dragonflies... my computer was giving me some issues for a bit over a week and then we have been busy here planting all the good stuff that fills our farms CSA share boxes each week and provides the lovely spread at our market tables.  But this is one of my happy places and I am glad to return!  Right now at The Garden Gate we are very busy... raising piggies and chickens and getting the raised beds and field planted.  I love the busyness of this time of year... it is exhilarating for me... I feel refreshed and alive and cherish every moment I can be outdoors.  We just planted the raised beds outside the hoop house with chard & beets today... the cherry tomatoes, lettuces and basil are growing beautifully in the hoop house beds, the sausage garden raised beds are full and growing beautifully!  Green is good in more ways than one.  I will give you some fun ideas on how to be green that won't tax your time or wallet! 
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