Herbs in the Rafters

DRYING HERBS IN THE KITCHEN CEILING

DRYING HERBS IN THE KITCHEN CEILING

The rafters are beginning to fill in the great room kitchen. I use dill, rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano in cooking. Once they are dry, they are crushed and placed in canning jars for winter storage. It is a really colorful display because of the hanging everlastings I also use to fashion dried wreaths in the fall. As of July the lamb’s ear, yellow yarrow, lady’s mantle, rose hips, hops, larkspur, white yarrow, roses, bay laurel, tansy and sour dock are harvested. In the next months I will add the wormwoods and golden rod.

Fresh dill in my bread & butter pickles is delicious. Next on the canning agenda is pickled bean salad to preserve some of our green beans. I love having a full pantry.

FRESH DILL FROM THE GARDEN

FRESH DILL FROM THE GARDEN

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A ROOM WITH A VIEW

VIEW FROM THE LOFT

VIEW FROM THE LOFT

The view from the third-floor loft looks down on a summer garden more green than the typical Illinois July. Consistent rainfall has blessed us with vivid flowers and lush lawns. No summer burnout this season. How delicious to think fall color will refresh the green palette before drought does.

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Harvesting and Putting By…

Homemade Salsa Simmering on the Stove

Homemade Salsa Simmering on the Stove

8 Pints Ready for the Pantry

8 Pints Ready for the Pantry

One day all I find in the garden are blossoms. I return to find an apron-full of cucumbers and 4 quarts of green beans. And so harvest season begins.

The basil and cilantro are ready to pick in the herb garden and I purchased several pounds of tomatoes–a batch of homemade salsa for the canner sounds like a plan. My recipe marries the tomatoes with sweet onions, sweet peppers, fresh jalapeno or chili flakes, cilantro, a touch of basil, lime juice, cider vinegar, tomato paste, minced garlic, salt, cumin, and ground black pepper.

Looks like blanching green beans is next on my list and pickles are in my immediate future… I will be canning and “putting by” from now until after apple season. No hill for a real climber!

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Recycle – Reuse – Repurpose

Ready To Tear Down

Ready To Tear Down

My brother, sporting tool belt, is ready to take down the old Model T garage on our father’s property. The small building has unusual triangle-shaped windows that were boarded up long ago and a weathered white side door. We are saving all the doors to recycle for decorative purposes. The outside of the building was sided with tin panels, which Bud is also going to salvage. The support beams are 2 X 6’s that will be saved for other building projects. It is a lot of work but old buildings often contain better material than we use today.

We will load up our truck this summer and transport the doors to Wisconsin to be used in our daughter and son-in-law’s finished basement. They are finishing part of it like a rustic fishing shack. One of the doors has two old license plates nailed to the back which makes it especially charming. Vintage is “in.”

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Field Lillies

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Field lilies grow along the roads of central Illinois in swaths of orange blooms. They are a free-ranging perennial bulb producing cheerful blooms. In comparison with my oriental lilies they are not as large or spectacular but I love them none-the-less. I do not think they are indigenous to our state. I first dug mine from along an old road outside Groveland, the site of an early homestead. Other large roadside beds seem to harken from early farmsteads or deserted foundations. At one time they were planted by pioneers. Now they belong to everyone.

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Goodbye Blooming June

Summer At Home

Summer At Home


June is the most gorgeous month in the garden. The oriental lilies are spectacular but there is something to say about the sheer profusion of the simple orange field lilies.
Lilies Around the Bird Bath

Lilies Around the Bird Bath


"Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my close up..."

“Mr. Demille, I’m ready for my close up…”

You are never too old to climb an apple tree, at least the first rung…

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Reclycling An Old Chair

New Look For An Old Chair

New Look For An Old Chair

The upholstery on this antique chair was water-stained and outdated and the dark wood wasn’t a cheerful addition to our sunroom. Solution? A new paint job and bright fabric in place of the murky gold/green covering.
1. I removed the old braid from the entire chair and also removed the fabric from the top portion of the front in order to have a template to cut new fabric. I chose a small red check to add to the red accent color in the run room.
2. I painted the chair with one can of Rustoleum Flat White Enamel. Instead of re-upholstering the back of the chair, which was still in good condition, I also spray painted the fabric. The result is a canvas-like effect.
3. I covered the seat first. Cut the fabric larger than the surface to account for the depth of the cushion and to give you enough material to fold the edges under. This makes for a nice clean edge. I then tacked the edges down well using small upholstery nails and a tack hammer.
4. Do the same for the top front of the chair. The one place that gave me a problem was the seam between the seat and the back/front. I pinned the fabric in place but I’m sure there is a better way to secure it. If you know of a way, please comment below. All other seams were tacked securely but the depth of this seam did not allow me to connect with something secure to attach the fabric to. The small parts of the top/front were also difficult to pull tight without being able to secure the bottom better so the smoothness is not as nice as I would like it.
5. The final step is to glue on new braided trim which I found at Hobby Lobby. I used an all-purpose glue stick and hot glue gun to do this.

I am still learning. This is my first attempt at upholstery. Because the chair was given to me, the project cost about $20 for fabric, paint, glue sticks and trim. It provides additional seating in our bright sun room.

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