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Class is in session! Remember all the zucchini bounty? They are the most prolific things known to man-and not that well-loved on the table by many either 😀 NEVER FEAR! I am here to help!!

Pick your zuccs smallish before the seeds get big and hard–

  • slice and saute in butter with a little onion and your fav herbs
  • bread with cracker crumbs/egg and fry-serve w/ sour cream for dipping
  • grate and hide in chili
  • grate and hide in ANYTHING-it tastes like whatever you add to it-no lie!
  • can it with pineapple juice-it tastes like pineapple
  • make zucchini pickles
  • make zucchini bread
  • make CHOCOLATE zucccini bread
  • make GINGER zucchini bread (gonna try this one this week!)
  • make zucchini cake
  • feed it to the chickens
  • try to get the cows to eat it
  • feed it to the geese-they want the grated kind-not chunks
  • let the boys hold them high over their heads and smash them n the ground for the chickens
  • put one under your vehicle tire as an object lesson to little kids about staying back!
  • give them to friends-then find new friends
  • fill enemies car trunks with them
  • play spin-the-zucchini (KIDDING PEOPLE!)
  • DO NOT try the after-dark neighborhood donation plan-no matter how desperate you get–TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! (see officer? I AM reformed-plus you took away my ski mask and wheelbarrow!)

The above are PAST uses-the following are NEW ones-just come up with this very week! We are nothing if not creative here at Dandelionend!

USE 1-archery practice!

USE 2: carve one

USE 3: WHA???….

And this concludes today’s class….are those flashing lights?….RUN KIDS!!!…I mean….class dismissed-yeah that’s it!

In case this post leaves any doubt about how we are functioning at Dandelionend Academy while our Principal is away-I offer the following pic of our schoolroom table to set your minds at ease:


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE add your uses for zuccs in the comments section: The best new use will get a PRIZE! (guess what it is??!)  😈


MAN! do I miss it! (and thus begins week 2 of RR training school a bazillion miles away) 😦

I’d show ya a bicep too-but this is hard enough on me!

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Yep! another planned C-section.  In and out-no complications, no meds beyond the spinal-easy as pie!  Lincoln Stone was born that morning  weighing in at 8 lbs  15 oz and huuuungry!  He BIT the finger of the person doing the APGAR exam-the 1 minute one!

Lincoln had/has red hair and a cute quirky sideways smile that I can never catch on camera-try as I might-he always “turns on” a different one!  He was my baby that did everything early-he was walking and running and climbing out of his crib easily by the time he was 10 months old.  A good thing since he had a brother join him when he was 11 months old!  He loves anything on wheels-the noisier the better.  He was disapointed that the airplane teeter-totter could not fly!  What did he ask for for his birthday?? ROCKET BOOTS! (“you-know-you put ’em on and turn the little knob on the side and then you can fly?”)

As a baby he daily reminded me of God’s goodness to me.  My babies all did that a lot-especially late-night/early morning feedings with just me, my baby and my God-amazing peaceful times!  Tears of gratitude were common in that quiet time of revelry.

Happy Birthday Lincoln Stone!!

All this talk of canning and 50’s housewives gave me one doozy of a hare-brained idea! I had 3 lugs of peaches to do up and had promised the girls that they could do them this time. We decided to do it up right and DRESS UP!! Laurel had a cool vintage-inspired apron that she made and Lily used a fav from my collection. Our day was made even more fun by a surprise phone call from a friend-she willingly changed clothes and came on over for some FUN!

Aren’t they cuute? I had a dilema myself…I knew I was supposed to be wearing heels…but Dandelionmom doesn’t DO heels. Here are my choices:

Oh yeah-the blog is hoopin with excitement now ain’t it? Hang with me-it’ll get better-not a lot probably… but you’ve come this far-might as well see ‘er through-you know? I know dandydad would prefer the western clogs-they are about all he wants me to wear ever! The flats are very comfy though and I will be on my feet in a skirt all day….my choice?…

I know, I know! I did put on nylons with them though… I’z just classy like that! I also dug around until I found some pearls and went with a spring-weight mint green cable-knit sweater–close enough I guess.

Here we go:

Get out the jars:

Now to peel the peaches:

plop in boiling water for a few seconds-then into cold water and slip off the skins:

Absolutely no horseplay permitted-this is serious business:

Peeling side by side:

Keep an eye out for obstacles and distractions:

Move your peaches to a safe place veeery carefully:

Get the water in the canner heating and prepare the syrup for on the fruit:

Fill the jars with fruit and hot syrup and load them into the boiling water:look pretty while you’re at it!

Keep your jar lifters in a safe place-they are a valuable tool-not toys!

Relax for 20 mn

Remove jars and listen for the telltale POP that is the sound of the cool air causing the hot ingredients to make a suction affect inside the jar-pulling down on the lid and vaccum sealing it (or something very similar to that)

And there you have it! Domestic bliss!  What was I doing while all that peeling was going on? Why whipping up some peach jam quick before the canner went on the stove of course!

To put it the way a township newspaper reporter would: “Miss Tammie visited Dandelionend during which time they canned peaches and enjoyed iced coffee.  A good time was had by all.”

Do you find.. weapons of mass destruction in the kitchen sink AFTER  washing dishes-totally oblivious to impending mortal danger!

This ones for balance!  They love as hard as they play!

You will never guess what our little girl (snicker) asked for for her sweet 16!  MUCK BOOTS!!  That’s right!  farmin’ chore boots! She’s that kind of practical girl!  She has been borrowing mine upon an occasion and they really ARE nice boots!  I had the little boys handle the wrapping job-it was the cutest thing!

markers and stickers and TAPE OH MY!

Happy Birthday Lolo!

ooops!-missed a spot!


I made stiff girl do this one!  -Before you think we are too weird-daddy and I did take her out to a greek restersaun restraunt cafe and Daddy gave her a Black Hills gold necklace.  And these ARE the original Muck boots-they are warm and cozy down to umpteen below zero and cushy-comfy like slippers-AND her feet have stopped growing by now so name-brand boots will last a good long time!


Sixteen sounds like a long time doesn’t it?? Waaaay back in the nineteen-hundreds! Nineteen ninety-two to be exact! I was TEN loooong HOT HOT days overdue with daughter number 1, the firstborn, trainer of parents. Shall we set the stage? High blood pressure at each appointment had the Dr makeing me lay on my side until it went down and then send me home. He talked inducement but it was all talk-I just kept waiting. I remember one long walk through the neighborhood with my hubby acting like a drill sargent (in hopes of triggering something)that left me in a puddle of tears-and craving yet another Big Mac 😀

We set up and induction after a little drama with a fill-in Dr who had us wait 2 more days until our Dr came back. The hospital? a smallish one in Iowa where the baby-place is only staffed if they have someone in or coming in. Sweet baby Laurel Anne came by emergency C-section at 7:30 in the morning after 24 hours of labor plus 2 hours of non-productive pushing and another hour of waiting for an She was 9 pounds and an ounce-plus face-forward with a fist beside her head (AH HA!) She had a wrinkled sort of gorilla look the first 2 days from all that wait and was very very red and sort of peeling…yep-the most beautiful little thing I ever set my eyes on! Future knowledge taught me that allowing the general anest…ia after baby was out was the hardest part of my recovery–who cares really-every minute of it was spent with a sweet girl in my arms. I did a LOT of sitting and gazing and melting as God welded this person into my heart.

Vivid memories from her babyhood? The first tiny white bonnet that looked so very sweet-until I took it off and found ALL of her short red hair inside of it! The way she always said whiksers and aminals. Her Daddy singing her to sleep every night-I would doze off hearing “Jesus loves me” and a version of Brahm’s with words that changed every night I would wake again later and hear “The Star Spangled Banner”-she tended to give in after most of the material was exhausted!–Her favorite proved to be “Swing Low sweet Chariot”–she would sing it amazingly clearly to her dollies (while holding them and swaying) at 2 years old. She talked early and often! Breakfast was a treat if I said cereal came with milk…and a spoon! She loved squash and carrots for her first baby foods-we gave her them everyday-good parents that we were—she turned a bit orange! (the Dr called it a vegetable tan!)

There you have it-the one that began it all-now getting ready to take Driver’s Ed! I love the gift you are to me Laurel Anne!


over my house-FUN for the boys! not-so-much for Laurel who had to cover very unhappy bees with wet sheets to keep them out of the pesticide-AND rewet the sheets constantly for 4 days! (spraying for soybean aphids)


our birthday gift to “the twins” (at the half-way mark between the days)  OURS seats seven and no honeybees died in the fly-bys! It also does the amazing trick of turning into a commercial jetliner, a WWII fighter plane, the Wright brothers plane, a stunt biplane and the Spruce Goose!


cuteness personified-nuff said

CANNING: update–22 quarts of peaches, 2 pints peach jam, 8 quarts of peas in the freezer AAAAAAND:  ready?…….16 half-gallon jars of green beans!  The story?  Our beans had about 2 jars worth on them but some extreeeemly generous souls offered us a picking from their HONKIN nice patch! (I dropped off the girls to do the work as I was up to my elbows in peach-pits at the time!)–LOTS and LOTS of niiiiice green beans!  A funny?  With my over-the-stove microwave-my pressure canner won’t fit on the stove-top!  I used the BBQ grill!! It worked great!  I was on my last canner full when I realized that the grill has a side-burner that would probably heat the thing faster than the burners so far under the grates! (I was thinking on-the grates because I have been planning to try my big Amish canner there soon)  I DO need to point out that everyone else also failed to notice the obvious–feels better being clueless if I have company!

Do you remember even a shade of the joy there was looking at your OWN very very chocolate with lots of frosting birthday cake?  The way you could barely keep from trembling in anticipation? The way that cake fulfilled your every hearts desire? (lots of army vehicles and everything  😀 )  Add in that you could share that with a brother-you are BOTH thrilled!  I want little-boy birthday JOY when i contemplate my Saviour–especially when I see HIM from a place of difficulty for me.  I want to be stopped in my tracks daily with a little thrill down my spin upon remembrance of Him.  I want to be able to share that joy with my brothers(sisters) and have it deepened and enhanced by sharing theirs.  There is so much MORE of my wonderful Lord-He is always satisfying and there is aways an infinite amount left to be enjoyed. Deeper, richer, higher, JOY!  Praise HIM!  My plan for this? More WORD, more poetry-a lot more seeing HIM everywhere–you know? hhhmmm…..more vocab too-so I can express things like I usetacould!

Here we go!  My friend, abroadermark, posted this very good idea and I am once again shamelessly copying it!  Unaltered and undusted here stands before you my blogging/billpaying/homeschooling/ebay-shopping/e-mailing spot in all her glory!!  YES-that IS a zuchinni -Anner likes to carry them around-he calls the yellow ones nana!  The little scraps of paper are a list and my current book-out-of-print quest.  The pretty snifter holds Gamma Betta our schoolroom Betta fish (he used to be in a double tank with one of those see-through walls–but Delta Betta died 😦  ) I just cleaned his bowl so he was on the desk-usually he lives out of sticky hand range!  That fabric-looking pile is felt-cut-outs waiting to be put in their file for story-telling–we cut here and there for a week or so and then file.

In the interest of full-disclosure I am going to OPEN THE DRAWER! Brace yourself (I had to to pull it out)

YIKES! huh?  It’s actually worse if you lift up our Dandelionend Academy “bookplates”!

I DO NEED all that stuff!–that funky yellow thing that looks like netting?  It is called a yarnbra (HUSH-I didn’t name it!)–THE best thing in the world for a mama who likes to crochet that has small children and/or pets in the house!

There ya go!  I showed you mine…will you show me yours??  😯

FYI–I DO have pretty places too–I look out my kitchen window a lot -here is the sill…

and THIS makes me happy! I admit to leaving my canned things out a little tooo long in their pretty polished jars in tidy rows-almost better than flowers!

We poured our Kombucha into bottles today!  It’s goood! Very like sparkling cider–highly recommend!  It is supposed to get better being stored nice and cold and sealed to get fizzyer-I am excited!

Now for some fun…

The Sebastopols need a gang name-they are ready to RUMBLE!  The smooth guy on the right is dash-he came in the hatchery surprise with 2 ducks (both named Dot-get it?) (they are behind the Redneck greenhouse)  See the cat-food pan behind them?

Meow Mix!

Need any dirt moved?

The log cabin block! I would link to the history of this that I found-but I can’t find it back! 🙄 From what I remember-the log cabin block is built around a center square that is traditionally red-the fireplace in the cabin being in the center. The logs build around the edges in a circular way–2 sides are the same for each layer ??(just look at the picture :D) The colors on one half of the block are “cool” of “light” for the side of the cabin behind the fireplace and the other 2 sides are “warm” or “dark” for the front….. I used white background prints for my cool sides and colored background prints for my warm…I only have 3 red fabrics so none available for IN the blocks! We needed to make 8….

They were fun!-of course I HAD to try one with a different fabric for each and every piece!

I think it’s knifty! (in a chaotic seagulls-at-the-dump sort of way!)

My  future??

Cooking, freezing, eating and rehoming Zucinnis-of many shapes and colors! Plus beans are coming on and peas have a picking or 2 left. AND THESE:

YUM!!!  Home-canned peaches are a big fav around here-I did 7 quarts yesterday of the ripest ones -the rest want a little more time.  I have officially canned enough to know that I am in love with my Amish canner!!  It covers 2 burners and holds many more jars PLUS heats much faster!

Enough cucs came in yesterday for a small batch of Bread and Butter pickles so I have those going as well-soon they will be coming like crazy and I can try some of my new recipes!

Kombucha update soon!

WELL…..It would indeed be my birthday too-if we were biological twins!  😆  Since we are that much rarer breed of twin-the CYBER_TWIN our dates are a bit off 😉

Ya’ll know who I’m a talkin’ too?  It’s abroadermark AKA Old Woman (as in-in a shoe).

It’s the 4th anniversary of her …ahem  d-hth birthday to be specific!  Let’s all show some b-day love and hop over and leave a comment on whatever witty thing thang she happens to have to say today (by today I mean 8-2-08–not right now since Ima goin ta bed afo midnight!)

This is the woman who was first (OK-ONLY) volunteer in my “down with wheelies” brigade-the gal who loves her birkenstocks was willing to support a pal in a wacky crusade (that would have WORKED I tell ya!)  She mothers, she chaufers, she teaches, she sings, she cooks, she cleans, she laughs, she cries, she shares, she empathises, she talks, she listens, she prays, she LOVES.  She is open, transparent, sympathetic, passionate,steadfast, welcoming.  She desires her God-and everything HE plans for her.  To embrace hardship and be grateful for it and where it brings her is a gift she can teach us all.  She steps out of personal pain and helps others’ with their burdens.

It is physically impossible to have a short conversation with her!  She is hilarious AND she can spell! 😯

Plus-she’s pretty cool!

Let’s pop over to the ol’ blog and do a little Happy-Birthday dance!!  (ya think she made us a cake??)