Fall in Northeast Minnesota








Colors are at their peak here in Northeast Minnesota.  We are having a beautiful fall with mild temperatures, which are perfect for hikes in our back woods.  Whenever I can carve a little time to get outdoors tromping through the woods I take full advantage.  Soon enough the snow will be here and the darkness of wintertime in the north will set in, but for now I am full of gratitude to experience this beautiful October.


a weekend with my boy


We could not pass up on the opportunity for free face painting at Barnes and Noble!

This weekend I had some solo time with my littlest one.  The big kids were off adventuring with dad and I got to spend some fun one-on-one time with this little monster on some adventures of our own.

We took a ride to meet Charlie and visit with his mama, papa and big brother.


Charlie was the baby I referenced when I wrote this article.  It was fun to follow my own advice and share some goodies (homemade bread, eggs and bacon) with my friends to give them some support and comfort as welcome Charlie as a new addition to their family.  



While we were admiring Charlie, the big boys had some fun playing.


Bo and I had a some fun adventures and a great weekend together!


Garden Notes 7/27 - a photographic garden journal







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Today I pulled what was left of our garden and spent the day drying and canning.  I pulled carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins, gourds, chives, oregano, lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, sage, basil, and peppers.

It was a full day of harvest and preserving.  I made one more batch of salsa and a large batch (12 half pint jars) of cucumber relish.  I am also drying herbs to use for cooking and to use in soap and other experiments (some tea and herbal tinctures).

It was a busy and productive day.  I am grateful of our bountiful garden this year and proud that my pantry shelves are full with wholesome goodness to be enjoyed over the winter.


Meet Gretta Skye


Introducing the newest addition to the homestead:  Miss Gretta Skye

We adopted her  into our family on a whim last week and now she is a part of our family.

It is nice to have another female in the house,

- and also fun to finally use this girl name which we never got to use.

This week we said goodbye to our current layers,  

we passed them on to some other folks in town as we are getting ready to move our new batch of layers into the coop.  We will be buying eggs for a couple of months until our new batch starts to lay, but we are saving a little bit of work in terms of chores.  Currently our chicks (now pullets) are sharing space with our meet birds  which are growing at a rapid pace and are set to be 'turned into meat' the last week of October.  Moving the new chicks to our chicken coop that has connection to electricity, will help tremendously when freezing temperatures arrive because we have a heated water warmer.

Other animal news - Checker our fiber bunny has moved into my kindergarten classroom.  He is now a kinder-bunny for the winter and is well loved - and entertained each day by the kiddos I share my days with.



September - How to help with a new baby

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The September issue of Minnesota Parent is on stands and available now.  I have been a bit delayed sharing this information here on my blog.  Life is busy, but good.

For this issue I wrote some tips on helping friends when a new baby arrives.

You can find the article through THIS LINK.

Be sure to check out the full issue for all of the other great content as well.

I am happy to share that my friends who I referenced in the article welcomed their new son Charlie into their home this week.  I am excited to meet him and to spread a little love their way as well.




Happy Birthday to our freckle face strawberry who turned 6 today!

We have had much excitement in the last 24 hours - a birthday and we also brought a kitten and 25 more chickens to our homestead.....more pictures soon!

garden Notes 9/13 - tomatoes!




I had a nice Friday evening date with several windowsills full of ripe tomatoes, boiling water and jars.

We have had a bountiful tomato harvest this year and the fall frost is holding off so there is likely more to come.   I have had some critters who enjoy taking bites out of our ripe tomatoes in my garden so my strategy has been to pick the tomatoes when they show signs of turning from green to red, then letting them ripen on our window sills.  

We have been eating BLT's, tacos, and tomato salads, but I needed to spend some time preserving a large batch of tomatoes, because they were starting to overrun the kitchen and dining room.....I should have taken a picture of our kitchen window that had tomatoes stacked three and four rows high!

The good news is that this task is complete (for now) and our pantry shelves are almost full.  We currently have 23 pints of homemade salsa and 10 pints of canned tomatoes.  Every year it seems to get a little easier that the kids are all becoming more independent, but at the same time everyone is eating a lot more!  But it feels good to have some homegrown produce to enjoy over our long Minnesota winter. 

inside my beehive - August








I spent a little time with my friends the bees late this afternoon, investigating their progress for the month of August.  I found lots of healthy bees!  

This particular hive is pretty frisky.  I try to emanate a sense of calm, but these bees tend to get aggravated easily and they show it by swarming around my head and face and hitting up against my veil...in large groups.  

So today's investigation was pretty quick, I just pulled out some frames from the top super, took some snapshots, then retreated to my garage armed with my smoker and bee suit.  My plan is to keep the honey in the hive for the bees going into the winter and we will see if they make it through.  I will probably check on them again at the end of September before I bundle them up for the winter. 

I will keep you posted on the progress!

bunny yarn






I have been harvesting fiber from our bunny "Checker" since we got him late last Spring.  Today I put a new spool on my spinning wheel and started spinning some super-soft bunny yarn!

This afternoon I carved out just enough time to spin about half of what I have been collecting so far.  My plan is to add to this spool until I have a usable amount, then dye it and knit it into something simple and functional like a hat, shawl or scarf.

It is great to have hobbies like this to lean into on cold and rainy afternoons, and it is ever so meaningful to have the fiber sourced from our own little fiber bunny.