Christmas Quilt #1, Rail Fence

This quilt has been in the making for a long time. I got the scraps, already cut into strips, at a rummage sale — oh, probably about eight years ago. Within a year or two of that, I had the top made — only to set it aside due to the busy teenage years of my […]

Grape Juice Recipe – for canning

To make the juice: In clean, sterile hot jars, place 1 Cup cleaned, de-stemmed grapes 1/2 – 1 Cup sugar Hot-boiling water to within 1/2 inch of top Put on lids and rings, and process for 10 minutes.   To use, strain, into a pitcher. It’s been a while since I made this, but I […]

Free Cutting Boards

For years now, I have had access to a renewable source of free cutting  boards. Is a cutting board company giving me free boards to try? No. Is my mother repetitively gifting cutting boards to me? NO. Did I receive 22 cutting boards as wedding gifts? No. But around here, buying ice cream by the […]

My new favorite measuring spoons

Lately, I’ve been enjoying using adjustable measuring spoons. I’ve had two of them in my kitchen implement drawer for a long time, but had forgotten to use them. I am realizing cleaning one’s kitchen drawers can unearth treasures. They’ve  got markings, and you slide a little “dam” to the marked lines for the amount needed. (The […]

“Where She Belongs” by Johnnie Alexander

This contemporary romance is layered with many interesting elements. Not only do we go along for the ride fixing up an old house, but we unearth family secrets, feuds, and deal with a rapacious developer trying to wrest the property away from our heroine. Shelby, is a widow. She moves back to purchase her family’s […]

An Excellent Woman: Hannah K. of Hannah’s Homestead

Hello, readers! Susan Karsten here. Following is my interview of Hannah Kooiman, one of the most talented ladies it is my privilege to know these days. She farms, gardens, cooks, cans, mothers, teaches, crochets, and so on. Read on to find her bio at the end. Thanks! So Hannah, what’s a typical day like for […]

Perennial Gardening — so fun! Revamped the Flower Bed in the Backyard

Too bad I did not take a before picture, but here’s the after. Nothing in bloom right now, but I got serious, and spent three hours this afternoon to accomplish a much-needed project. I moved probably ten plants including coneflower, Jacob’s ladder, Dutchman’s breeches, and coral bells. Yanked out straying lamium and fireworks plant, and […]

Interview with Hannah of “Hannah’s Homestead” An Excellent Woman

Hello, readers! Susan Karsten here. Following is my interview of Hannah Kooiman, one of the most talented ladies it is my privilege to know these days. She farms, gardens, cooks, cans, mothers, teaches, crochets, and so on. Read on to find her bio at the end. Thanks! So Hannah, what’s a typical day like for […]

Parenting Thought: Trust your Mothering Instincts, post by Susan Karsten

To write this post, I paged and paged through a book, looking for the quote. It resonated strongly with me. I couldn’t find the quote, but I shall try to reconstruct its thoughts. I wish I had this thought when I was in the beginnings of the struggle to learn how to deal with, and […]

Chocolate Sauce for Ice Cream – Home Made Gift #4 in a series

Recipe: This was a recipe originally from a TV chef called “The Mystery Chef”, and it is soooo ggggoooooddd. Coffee-Hot Fudge Sauce 3/4 C mini semi-sweet choc. chips 1/4 C butter 2/3 C sugar 4 t instant coffee crystals 1 5-oz. can of evaporated milk Place chocolate and butter in small pan over low heat, […]