{this moment} Will (and Gabe)

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Joining Soulemama in {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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{KCCO} Pants for Ishi

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I had a chance over this past month to work on a few sewing projects, including making these adorable pants for Ishmael. The fabric is soft and breathable and the pattern free and easy- just use a pair of pants the size you want,folded in half, adding a few inches for folding down the hem and waist- which is elastic.

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Ishi is quite independent (and vocal) when it comes to picking out his clothes, luckily these seem to meet his requirements. Just right for climbing,driving trucks, digging in the dirt, and, of course, hanging out with the dog. All in an afternoon’s work for this busy boy of mine!

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And I’d say he looks pretty darn cute in them too!

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{this moment} Miss Lala Bianca

DSCN2161Born to Rita on May 23rd 2013

Joining Soulemama in {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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{KCCO/Yarn Along} Finally….Ezra’s Finished Pullover

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Strange how some projects fly off the needles while others take far longer than I initially thought. A couple weeks ago I finally finished Ezra’s pullover, the one I thought would be done for Thanksgiving, then by winter Solstice, then by his birthday…. My slow progress didn’t faze Ezra though. He still loves his sweater and since it’s in fingering weight yarn it’s still cool enough for the warmer temperatures. The only downside is that warmer temps means that Megan is shedding- everywhere!- and the black yarn seems to attract it.

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His pullover is pattern  #12 Boy’s Pullover from Knit Simple Magazine, Spring/Summer Issue 2010, in size 4, minus the collar.  This one is knit in pieces and sewn together. See my ravelry page here.

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{In the Kitchen} Foraging

Now that spring is finally here all the wild shoots, blossoms and roots are resurrecting from the winter’s freeze. Over the winter I read several intriguing posts on foraging and using stinging nettle most notably from And Here We Are: nettle mead, and this post on nettle pasta, which is the one I used, although I made 6x the recipe and froze some for future use.

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There was plenty of nettle to be found and all of it was below knee height.  My little helper boys and I picked a whole lot, wearing a shared pair of gloves, until our bag was full and one by one they accidentally touched the nettle and poor Ishi fell hands first into a patch. Sting nettle really does sting. Growing up my brothers and I always called it seven minute itch as that’s about how long it really itches for- give or take. It was time to call it quits.

When we got back I sorted through, rinsed and then blanched the nettle. It only takes about 30 seconds for the nettle to wilt, then the stinging aspect is gone. It’s important to really squeeze the nettle as not to make the pasta too wet. By the way the green water from the nettle makes a great dark green natural egg dye.

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It was really very simple to make. Just like making regular pasta and it has that same great fresh pasta taste. I’ll have to try making spinach pasta next. After kneading a bit and resting the dough I rolled it out using a vintage cast iron pasta machine my older brother gifted to me. I’ll go a tad thinner next time.

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Here it is cooked and lightly buttered. To be honest the nettle didn’t give much flavor but it does add a lot of nutrients. I’m thinking of using part of the frozen dough as lasagna noodles.

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We’ve also been enjoying the spring by foraging wild blossoms for jelly and trying woodchuck (aka groundhog) for the first time in a pot pie.

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What do you enjoy foraging?

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As The Barn Comes Down

Earlier this week the boys and I took another trip back home, this time to install a  package of bees. The weather was fabulous (at least while I was working with the bees, not so much for the drive); the leaves were finally budding out and everything was starting to look green.

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Photo by my Mom

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Photo by my Mom

  Finally, I was able to see what progress had been made on the barn. Amazing! It’s really coming along. See The Parker Dexter Barn for lots of photos of how the barn used to look and the first stages of barn removal. There’s also this postcard of the barn Long Ago.

Here’s the barn in it’s current, nearly skeletal state:

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The barn removal is progressing nicely; the bees are in their hive…

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it’s finally spring! I think I can safely say we are all pleased.

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Photo by my Mom

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The Parker Dexter Barn

Before- when Struggling_along and I were first looking at the place.

The barn being cleaned out and stripped down.

The beginning of the barn being taken down.