Friday, November 30, 2012

Reflections and Dreams

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself." 
- Harvey Fierstein 

Life is beautiful, there is no doubt about it. Sure, we have the bad parts, the anger, the heartbreak, but we can't let ourselves focus on those parts of it. There are so many other things in this life that are worth living for. Sure, maybe you didn't get the job you wanted, or maybe you lost a loved one, but you can't dwell on things like that. Everyone hits a bump in the road every now and then, or makes a mistake, but those things make us stronger people; we can't let them take over how we live our lives. We get too caught up in our daily lives, and sometimes it's easier to focus on what we don't have, rather than the blessings we have already. I feel like people, as a whole, seem to be somewhat negative in their thoughts, because it's EASIER.

Personally though, I would much rather spend my energy thinking positively and being happy. I am a dreamer, always have been, always will be, but for some reason I always tend to be attracted towards people who try and crush that. I have always been told to "get my head out of the clouds", or to "be realistic", or that "life doesn't work that way", and I am tired of it. I'm always getting myself into relationships in which MY dreams are set aside and the focus ends up on the other person, because I am too compassionate and always feel like I need to fix everyone else's problems. I put my goals and dreams on hold, and then they slowly tend to drift away, but no more.

For instance, I've been told that, while having my own farm is a great goal, right now I just need to focus on school and getting a career; a farm is something I can get "later on", after I've established myself in a career and made a living. Well, why can't I do both at the same time? I have no plans of sacrificing my dream for a short term goal. Yes, I still have every intention of going to school and getting a degree, but there isn't any reason why I can't work on getting a farm at the same time. I am going to make my dream a reality, no matter what it takes, because every fiber of my being craves it. I want nothing more than to be able to wake up every morning on my own farm and spend the day with my hands deep in the earth, the sun on my back, knowing that I am doing what I love, that my dream has finally become a reality.

Every dream you have belongs to you, and you alone. No one can take your dreams away from you, and no one can make them happen but you. So make your dream happen. Imagine that it's real, write about it, draw a picture of it, and most importantly, don't let anyone tell you that it's not possible, because anything is possible if you just believe in it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


So I have mixed feelings on the potato bag that I bought this last spring. The leaves on my plants started to yellow a week or two ago and have withered and died, with me still watering them on a regular basis, so today I decided to harvest any potatoes that may have grown. Unfortunately, most of the potatoes weren't full size yet. I did find two full size potatoes, but one of them was rotting and obviously isn't usable. I also noticed that the soil in the tops twothirds of the bag was relatively dry, but the soil on the bottom was extremely damp, and that the water wasn't draining out of the holes in the bottom of the bag. I'm not sure if I should somehow elevate the bag next time so that it has air circulating underneath, but I guess I'll just have to experiment. I've replanted the bag with a different variety of potato, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get better results this next time. I can't really complain though, since I did still get some potatoes out of it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

After making jam I still had several pints left, so I ad libbed a strawberry rhubarb crumble, and I thought I'd share the recipe.


5 rhubarb stalks
2 pints of strawberries
 1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon clove

For the crumble:

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter, lukewarm
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a dash each of nutmeg and clove

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut both the strawberries and rhubarb into bite sized pieces and combine both in a medium size bowl.

Mix in the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

Place mixture into a 9x9 ungreased baking dish.

For the crumble  combine the flour, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove in a small mixing bowl, and mix until it has a crumbly texture.

Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the strawberry and rhubarb.

Bake the crumble for 40 to 50 minutes, until the topping has become golden brown and the juices are bubbling.

It's that time of year again!

Time to make jam!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

They're Ba-ack

Every summer I end up getting just about eaten alive by mosquitoes. I'm not sure why, but they've always seemed to prefer me to anyone else I may be around. My mom always used to tease me, saying that it was because I had "sweet blood". I highly doubt that, but they're obviously attracted to something about me. So far, it's not even June and the tally reads Mosquitoes-3, Hannah-0. I have a feeling this is going to be a long, and itchy, summer.
Bring it on bugs, I can take you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Golden Sweet Cornbread

I found this recipe earlier today on and I absolutely love the end result and had to share it! You can see the original recipe here if you'd like, but I thought I'd write it down as well.

Golden Sweet Cornbread


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup sugar (I used half white and half brown)
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C), and grease one 9 inch round cake pan.
2. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl. Stir in egg, milk, and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour in prepared pan.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

I actually used a 13 x 9 inch cake pan and baked it at 350 degrees and it turned out perfectly.

Easy Sun Tea

Every year when the weather starts to get warmer and the sun stays out for longer periods of time, I make sun tea. Sun tea is extremely easy to make and, apart from the time left in the sun, only takes a few minutes to prepare.

What you need:

A pitcher or container of some kind for holding the tea

Several tea bags of your choice, preferably with attached strings.
( I used 6 black tea bags for 2.75 quarts/2600 mL of water.)


First, fill the container with water.

Then, unwrap the tea bags and put them in the container, with the strings hanging out.

Screw the lid onto the container so that the strings stay hanging on the outside of the container.

Set out in a sunny spot in the yard for several hours.

Here the tea is after a half hour out in the sun.
I tend to keep the tea outside for a longer period of time, because I like mine strong, but it depends on your preference. When the tea is strong enough, bring it inside, take out the tea bags, add sugar (again this is based on your personal preference), and either put in the refrigerator or pour into a glass over glass.
And there you have it, easy sun tea to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Like My New Boots?

Spring Planting

Spring weather has finally arrived, and I am so glad that I can finally plant things outside without having to worry about another snow... at least, I'm hoping there won't be anymore freak snowfalls this spring (fingers crossed). We are still getting heavier rains off and on, but it's springtime in the Pacific Northwest, and we've also had some nicer sunny days the last couple of weeks, which have been nice. I love when the weather gets warmer and we have light sprinklings of warm rain. 

Anyways.... this springtime weather has been getting me in the mood to garden and I have been slowly amassing the makings of a container garden for my back patio. For some reason, buying seeds seems to be somewhat addicting, and there always seems to be a new variety of heirloom vegetable that I've never heard of before and have to get, and it definitely doesn't help that a packet of seeds only costs a couple of dollars. I wonder if they have Seedaholics Anonymous meetings I could attend, or maybe a Plantaholics Anonymous, since I seem to buy a lot of plants too, like this miniature lemon tree:

and this tea plant

and I finally bought a female kiwi vine!!!

 ........aaannd back to my original topic.
So the weather has been nicer lately and yesterday I took the twins out in the backyard for a couple of hours to play and plant seeds. So far I have planted: Trionfo Violetto and Christmas Lima Beans, Snap Peas, Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce, a Mesculin Mix of lettuce Ragged Jack Kale, Russet Potatoes, and Lemon Balm, and I have lots more to plant!

 Of course, some of the seeds I won't be able to plant this year, things like pumpkins and melons, but I can always save them and use them sometime in the next few years. Being outside and getting my hands in the soil was nice though, and I think that Bella and London enjoyed shoveling the dirt and planting seeds, although they seem to have gotten more soil on the patio than in the pots, but at least they had fun. And I'm pretty sure they wore themselves out.....

I love my babies. :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nap Time

This is Joey, a cat that my mom is currently taking care of for a family member. He is a complete cuddle bug, and at the moment, seems to really be enjoying the electric blanket that he is laying on.
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be a cat, or any other animal, for that matter? Wouldn't it be great to be able to plop down anywhere and take a nap, whenever it struck your fancy? I know I wouldn't mind it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring - a poem


The song bird wakes me in the morn’

Chirps and trills bursting forth from his chest

His song expresses the joy of the season

Spring is here! Spring is finally here!

No more bitter cold or wind

The snow and ice have left for a time

Finally the bulbs and buds can sprout,

Without the fear of deadly frost.

Muted grays and browns of winter’s melancholy mood

Are replaced by the cheerful colors of new life

Yellows, pinks, purples, greens

Erase away the winter blues

The windows are thrown open,

Letting in fresh air in light

The sun has been away too long,

The air was turning stale

But thankfully the Spring has come

To save me from my ails

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mattocks and Lemon Balm

The last couple of days have been beautiful and I've been taking advantage of the nice weather and helping my mom and step dad with outdoor projects at their house. Wednesday was spent clipping raspberry and loganberry canes and burning debris, and Thursday I spent moving small logs and wood pieces, cutting back peony bushes, pulling and dumping weeds, and learning how to use a mattock. For those you that don't know, a mattock is much like a large pickaxe and is often used for digging into hard soil, as well as removing tree trunks. I got to learn how to use one by spending a good amount of time hacking away at the roots of a small oak  trunk. I finally was able to remove the trunk, but, needless to say, my whole body is going to be sore for the next day or two, since repeatedly swinging one of those over your shoulder is definitely a full body workout. I am perfectly fine with being sore tomorrow though, because I know that I'll have a reason to. Whenever I am sore as a result of doing some physical activity I actually almost enjoy it, because I feel like I've earned it and I know that I'm building muscle. That may make me a masochist, but oh well. On another note, I found a perfect little lemon balm plant that had started to grow right in the middle of my mom's strawberry patch, and since my mom considers thinks of these plants more as weeds than herbs, since they always sprout up and spread everywhere, I'm taking this one home to use in my container garden.
 Below are some pictures I took Thursday. For some reason they ended up kind of wonky looking though. I guess next time I should try using an actual camera instead of my phone.
The mattock
(aka my new favorite tool)

The hole that the stump had been in.
It looks smaller in this photo than it was
 (probably 3 and a half feet).

The offending stump.
(again it looks a lot smaller than it was :P )

A terrible picture of Bumpers the cat. I'll get a better one soon.

My new Lemon Balm plant :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Favorite Part of Winter...

When the tulips and daffodils starting sending up shoots. Eventhough we still have a couple of months of winter weather, seeing these always makes me think of and look forward to spring.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Look what I found...

It's a potato bag! I randomly found this yesterday while shopping, and I thought I'd try it, and use all of those potatoes that end up sprouting in the cupboard before I can use them. Although I'm not crazy about buying a lot of China made products, I thought that I'd try using this one and seeing how well it worked, and then trying to find a pattern for making my own from scratch. I'm excited though to see how this works. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Live the life you dreamed...

I had started to write a post about New Years resolutions and reflections on the last year, a few weeks ago, but with classes starting again and several other things keeping me busy, I never ended up posting it. I usually don't make New Years resolutions, because I prefer to make smaller goals throughout the year that are easier to accomplish, but this year I had actually come up with a few to follow that were aimed (as most resolutions are) at improving myself, through weightloss, healthier eating, etc.

However, sometimes an event happens that really makes you stop and think about how you live your life. How would you live your life if you weren't so worried about what other people thought about your decisions? What would you change about your life? If something happened to you or the ones that you love, would you have any regrets? Too often, we let fear of the unkown hold us back from doing the things that we'd like to do, or being the people that we would like to be. Then, for the rest of our lives, we end up looking back, thinking "What if?", and regretting not making certain decisions.

So my resolution for this year, and just for my life in general, is really to just live my life to the fullest; to not let fear keep me from doing the things I love and being with the people I love, and to live my life so that when it's all over I'll know that even if I have regrets, they won't be because I didn't try, because I didn't live. As Thoreau said " the life you imagined."