We have a lot of sunflowers this year. I love their bright, sunny blooms!
~ Making and Canning Salsa ~
Salsa . . . one of our favorite things to have canned, yet one of our least favorite to can. :) It's pretty labor-intensive with all the chopping that needs to be done in preparation. We have a handy hand-powered gadget that chops the peppers and onions into small pieces which makes that part go faster, but the tomatoes take quite awhile. It's still fun, though!
Leah and I enjoyed making it together one day last week, and the end result was 14 pints . . . .
Onions chopped with fresh cilantro on top (underneath were chopped green peppers and jalapeno peppers.)
Jars and lids washed and ready to go
All ready to start being simmered before canning
14 pints of Zesty Salsa!
And now I'm not the only canner in the family :) . . . last week, Leah canned the tomato sauce start to finish! She and Mom ran the tomatoes through the food strainer; the pulp/juice was cooked down; I helped her a bit to get started with the canning; and then she did the rest from there . . . .
29 halfpints of tomato sauce, and we'll be doing another batch soon (can you see the tomatoes in the background? They're immature tomato sauce. :)
Leah running the aforementioned tomatoes through the food strainer today . . . more tomato sauce is being made and we'll be canning it this evening (it's cooking down now.)
~ Sewing a Doll ~
With my Niobrara Farms Bath and Body business growing, I rarely make cloth dolls anymore as they are quite time consuming. Though someone contacted me the week before last and asked if I could make a special order one and shared the story as to why. I had a doll nearly done, so finished this one for her . . . .
It was special sewing it knowing who it was for and why it was being made!
~ Beekeeping ~
The busy beekeeper - and yes, he's so comfortable with the bees now and rarely gets stung, and when he does, rarely reacts to the stings, so he works the bees in short sleeves with only a veil!
All the work in the apiary has been keeping Dad pretty busy. Building equipment, inspecting hives, splitting and making new ones, etc. He's now up to 17 colonies (which includes both honey-producing hives and nucleus colonies.) He has researched, studied, and learned so much this year, and it is exciting to see how it's been playing out with the hives!
~ This and That ~
Our potatoes aren't ready to dig for storage yet, but they are ready for fresh-eating, so I dug some one evening in order to have baked potatoes with our dinner. So nice to have our own potatoes again! The store ones just can't compare.
Leah and Mom doing a puzzle on a rainy, Sunday afternoon - they love puzzles! This was one that Leah had given Mom for her birthday . . . a beautiful farm scene.
Stopping for smiles
The does and their kids lounging in the hoop house on a hot afternoon
Our buck Rimrock . . . he's kind of like a big teddy bear :)
Prairie being photogenic for half a second before she ran over to me - in fact, she was already in progress when this photo was snapped. :)
The abundant wildflowers are always such a treat . . . Growing in the wild, growing in our gardens, cut for bouquets and brought indoors . . . their cheery, colorful blooms are always so nice to see.
Speaking of cutting flowers . . . .
Cutting some Echinacea (or coneflowers) that bloom along our driveway
Pausing for a photo
A little, jumbled up bouquet ready to be brought indoors, arranged, and put in water
Lemon yellow squash . . . we have had so many of these this year! We've been giving lots away, and our goats have been enjoying them as well. And of course, we have been, too. :)
One of our new peach trees . . . it has grown a lot this year!
Watching the birds coming to the feeders while washing dishes is always enjoyable - this is a Tufted Titmouse here, ready to carry off its snack of a sunflower seed.
Playing the piano one afternoon . . . how I love sitting here playing (and oftentimes singing) to the Lord
"In Christ alone, my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
"What heights of love,
What depths of peace,
When fears are stilled,
When strivings cease!
My Comforter, My All in All,
Here in the love of Christ, I stand."