Sunday, May 27, 2012

A day of rest…

Sort of.

For the past week, Mr. Painted Quilt and I have been spending anywhere from two to four hours a day working outdoors and admittedly, we’re both tired.  We decided to take today off to relax and chill.


Our house is situated on approximately five acres of land, most of which is to the rear of the house, workshop and barn. 


When we purchased the house back in December of 2010, we knew that the grounds, almost non-existent flower beds and over grown and neglected shrubs needed a lot of work, some of which we started last spring. 

When I was diagnosed with cancer, many of our plans were put on hold.

This spring, when I was given a clean bill of health, we went at it with a vengeance.


The orange azalea and climbing hydrangea that we planted last spring are doing wonderfully.


So are the many perennials in the front garden.


To give you some perspective of our property, this is the walkway on the left side of the house.  The white building on the left is the workshop and storage area where the tractor, tools and gardening equipment reside. 

Beyond that is what we refer to as the “back 40”, comprised of about three acres of cleared land and an acre of bush. 

This past week we have been planting trees and evergreens back there and have tilled up two new flower beds and an area where we are going to plant about a dozen blueberry bushes.  Those new areas are still a work in progress and we’re hoping to finish them this week.


In the mean time, Les Girls have been growing rapidly.  Here they are at 8 days old…


and here they are this morning at 12 days old.  They are getting much taller and as a result, we’ve have had to move them from our mud room to the workshop and into a larger box. 

If you enlarge the picture you should be able to see their wings starting to feather out.  It’ll be another four weeks at least before we can transfer them to the chicken coop in the barn.


I’ve even been able to fit in a little sewing and stitching in the evenings…when I can keep my eyes open.  I joined a pin cushion swap on the Jo Morton Stitchers board and here’s what I’ll be sending off to my partner tomorrow.


Yesterday was market day and I was able to pick up some organic lettuce, cherry tomato and hot pepper plants.


Below are the tomato plants that I grew from seed.


In my travels, these perennials managed to follow me home and are patiently waiting on the potting bench for the new beds to materialize.


All of the rhubarb was gone about a week ago and look at what has appeared since then! 

I picked a slew of the larger stalks this morning and decided to make another batch of stewed rhubarb.


I ended up with about 6 cups of chopped rhubarb to which I added about a half a cup of water and one and a half cups of Splenda.


I then cooked the rhubarb over medium heat for about ten minutes…


until it stewed down…


then added a box of light strawberry jell-o powder…


and stirred it into the rhubarb mixture.


Serve it hot on top of vanilla ice cream or chilled on toast. 



Guess what we’re having for dessert tonight?



Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

So ambitious - both of you! Yes, chill today and have a big bowl of vanilla ice cream with some rhubarb on top - yum!

Karen said...

Thanks for sharing pictures of your gardens. I love the orange plants. Everything is beautiful.

Janet-Olde Crow Primitives said...

Your gardens look amazing. Thanks for posting the pictures.
Have a great day.

julieQ said...

Very pretty your back 40!!

Darlene said...

You and Mr PQ definitely need a day to chill and rest. Your persistence and hardwork are definitely paying off. Everything is beautiful.

Please set two extra plates - hubby and I are stopping by later for dessert. :-)

Vickie said...

Your yard is wonderful! Your little chicks are growing up fast! The rhubarb smells delicious! Have a great day!

gracie said...

It ws nice to visit your garden....the Girls are looking to darn adorable for words!I am working on the Friday Freebie...Spring Floral Needle case...loving it!

Lesley said...

You definitely deserve a day of rest. You have made your house a home, and your gardening is really paying off. Two crops of rhubarb is twice the fun. Your stewed rhubarb really looks yummy...I would prefer mine on ice cream please! Your swap partner will be so pleased to receive those treasures. Glad the Farmers Market had lots of edible treasures!

Marge said...

Love cold rhubarb sauce on Greek yogurt!

Susannah said...

Hi Kaaren, Your post is wonderful....chock full of interesting stuff! I think you and your husband are having a ball revamping your place to be your own. I love the looks of your house. I love it because it is an early one. And your gardens are glorious!!!! So beautiful with so many different textures. I really wish I lived next door to you. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend. I must go because I can hardly put one leg in front of another...I have been in the flowers beds and gardens for three days. I'm bushed! So, I know why you wanted a day of rest!

Denise in PA said...

Your gardens are looking good! Hubby and I were out this morning tending to ours (looks so puny by comparison - LOL!) Mmmmmm...that rhubarb looks divine!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

You will be rewarded ten fold with your gardening efforts! Everything looks lovely. Your gardening efforts will bring you endless hours of pleasure and delight.

The girls are growing and changing and it is fun to see their progress.

Love your Jo Morton--her fabric calls to me each time I visit a quilt or fabric shop.

GerryART said...

Life IS good ! ! ! !

expect us for dessert also, what can we bring?

Rosa Robichaud said...

If you have extra rhubarb, you might want to try this recipe.... it's on my main web site. *s*

LOVE reading your blog and watching "Les Girls" become "Les Ladies"... or "Les Gals"?

Rosa Robichaud
Saint John, New Brunswick

Unknown said...

My brother and I were remembering how our grandma used to cook rhubarb and strawberries from her garden into a stewed type topping and we would have it over corn flakes. Strawberry rhubarb really is the best tasting topping. Thanks for the memory. Marianne
PS I love your garden.

WoolenSails said...

The chicks are growing and still so cute. I love your new home and the property, you really found a wonderful home and neighborhood. Your partner will love the beautiful pieces you made for her.


Teresa said...

Your yard looks very pretty and I love the thought of fresh blueberries

Sandy said...

Your yard looks wonderful. I have my veggie plants to get in the garden, but it was 90 today, so will get started first thing in the morning. The rhubarb sauce looks heavenly...yummy!

Needled Mom said...

That is quite a job you have!!! No wonder you are tired, but it looks stunning.

The girls are growing so fast. They will soon need to be outside or else they will be flying all over the house. ;-)

Sue-Anne said...

Your home is so lovely Kaaren, thank you for sharing the pics of your gardens. I have never heard of a climbing Hydrangea before, will have to check out our local nursery next Spring.

Sandi said...

Hi Kaaren,

Looks like you two have been very busy, your place is looking lovely.

The girls are getting big!

I can see a project or two inspired by your garden or the girls coming up soon.

Enjoy some tea in the garden!

Janet O. said...

You put me to shame with your ambitious projects. I can barely keep up with our 1/2 acre yard.
Your swap partner is one very lucky woman!!
We had the rhubarb crisp for our dessert this evening--with homemade ice cream. Yumm!

Anneke said...

your gardens look wonderful already!
Love the pincushion and needlebook for your swap! You have accomplished a lot this week!

Abby and Stephanie said...

Such peaceful surroundings. Mr. Creations and I would love such property in our retirement.

Karen said...

Everything is looking so wonderful - and even tho your tired at night I bet it feels wonderful to be digging into the ground and planting such pretty things. Always an inspiration to stop by

Hugs - Karen

Anonymous said...

Hello Kaaren,

Glad to see you both have had a day of rest. Your gardens are looking so lovely. The chicks certainly are growing. The pincushion is wonderful I'm sure your exchange partner will love the gifts.Rhubard season is such a great time of year.
Hope you are feeling refreshed and ready to start a new week

Patty said...

Looks like some one has been very busy. Enjoy your day of

Louise said...

Your property is laid out very similar to ours but yours is more complete with plantings. There is something so therapeutic about gardening and yard work. I was just admiring your pincushion photo on the Jo list..very nice.
We are still enjoying the blueberries I picked last summer, they are huge!

Heartsdesire said...

Your house is so beautiful, Kaaren. And, yes, gardening is very hard work, especially when you have so much property. However, when you get to sit back and relax, there is such a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that it is well worth the effort. How cute are those chick? Looking forward to watching them grow into big girls.

antique quilter said...

I am amazed at how much you have accomplished. Do you have a herb garden too?

Claddaughquilting said...

Yum! My mouth is watering thinking of that rhubarb spread over ice your property, must be nice to sit out in the evening and enjoy the fruits of your labor! Loved the little pincushion too! Wish I was there!!

Laura said...

Wow Girl! I'm tired just reading your post! LOL! Hubby and I have six acres to care for, so I feel your pain and your pride in caring for your gardens! The little chicks are so cute! And, shame on me, I haven't harvested the rhubarb yet.

Candace said...

Oh Kaaren, I'm so happy to see how your garden is evolving! You and Mr. PQ have worked so hard! Everything is gorgeous! Soon you'll be on the local home garden tour! Les Girls are really growing fast, too! I think there must be a lot of love in your fertilizers!

Gmama Jane said...

What a lovely post, Kaaren. I felt like I had a visit with you and got a "flavor' for you and Mr. PQ as people. I have been retired for 3 yrs and My hubby retires officially in 2 weeks. We are so excited to have the time to work in our yard and farm. We have 17 acres total but 3 that we actually live on. However, it seems our gardening keeps expanding. I love rhubarb but it doesn't much like our southern warm weather. So glad you are well enough to work in the dirt! OH dear, I see that you still have word ID and now that blasted shaded box with a number. I just can't read these things so I will have to make this my last comment. BooHoo. I've made it my new rule to stop stressing myself and not comment on Word ID blogs. I LOVE your blog but my eyes are simply too blurry to read these fuzzy letters. I'll make one more try this last time.
Gmama Jane

Lori said...

I'm getting caught up after vacation. I LOVE your outdoor space. It is really beautiful and such a respite from the rest of the world. Nice work!
Can you tell me what pattern you used for your wonderful pin cushion? It is so sweet!