Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Scrubby Love

I took this photo of Em on a Ruston Way walk last week. We had taken a nice long drive so she could experience busier highways and some bigger city driving. She did great. I can get good pics of her as long as she doesn't know I'm doing it. I love how this turned out, except Mount Rainier was visible with the naked eye, but the haze is just heavy enough to hide it with the phone camera (it's right by her elbow).

I've knit or crocheted almost all of my dish clothes and and scrubbies myself. Most of the scrubbies are worsted cotton and tulle. I love how they work, how well they wash up and how long they last. This week I'm experimenting with a new scrubby made from t-shirt yarn and tulle. So far I'm really pleased. Emma made a bunch of yarn from old t-shirts and I've crocheted a few baskets with it. I take mine on nearly every road trip we go on. It's really handy and strong.

I love the look and feel of my first t shirt scrubbies. I'll let you know how they wash up. I think they will be a new favorite for dish washing. I'm doing something looser with the cotton worsted and tulle for scrubbing veggies. Here's how I make them.

Materials needed: t shirt yarn, tulle cut in one inch strips, tied together and wound around something (I like using a wood clothespin),  size 15 knitting needles

1)    Hold the t shirt yarn and tulle strip together and
       cast on 8 stitches. 

2)    Knit rows until it's about 4 1/2 inches long

3)    Then cast off and weave in ends.

It's simple and super quick. I think they would be a great addition to a kitchen gift basket and they are very environmentally friendly. They can be used for dish washing or as a veggie scrubber.

Psalm 24:1 on etsy by Makewells

Hope you, too, can find fun ways to be greener this May!
Linda <><

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mothers Day Afterthoughts

At the end of our family's long Mothers' Day weekend I thanked my sweet husband and precious daughters for putting up with me and my 'plans'. My oldest said, "I love you, just not your plans! It would have been a lot easier to make you a card and get flowers!" Ultimately, I think she's glad we did what we did and her little sis is recovering. We didn't get many pictures with us, the little one doesn't like her pic taken. But the memories will remain in our hearts for all time. 

Doing the Free Them 5K made us all a little more aware of a world outside our own seemingly sheltered lives. We were able to exceed our team goal with folks donating over $500 in our team's name. Race day brought perfect weather, delicious food trucks, a petting zoo, cheerful participants and a sold out race. The girls learned that a 5K is no biggie and we are planning to do this one again next year.

Mother's Day was a bluebird day for hiking, or as my husband corrected me, climbing Mount Si. It was four miles up with an elevation gain of 3500 feet. We got some photos, but none with us. I promise we did it! We will have that memory forever! Luckily, the aches will only last a day or two. At the top is a boulder field and beyond it what they call the haystack. Even though we didn't attempt the haystack I feel like it was a major accomplishment. Here are some pics hubby and I got.

A view up Old Si trail
Mossy trees along the trail

View of North Bend area

Looking back at Snoqualmie Pass

View Back to Seattle

Here's Mount Si from Rattlesnake Ledge, on a hike we did last summer.

Feet selfie

The after hike plan was to eat cherry pie at Twede's Cafe in North Bend, the famed diner from Twin Peaks. It was crazy busy and we decided it should be rainy/misty/drizzly to get the true Twin Peaks ambiance, so we moved on and found a great little place, Chicago Pastrami, in Issaquah just down the road that had the best hot dogs. Now, I dearly love hot dogs, but I only eat one or two a year. I had just finished a ridiculous 8 mile hike so anything probably would have made me happy, but that Nathan's hot dog  with a Limonata and potato salad was a perfect Mother's Day meal!

At the end of the day, the best part of Mother's Day weekend was simply spending it with my dear family. God has blessed me with two grown daughters who put up with my hair brained ideas and a hubby just crazy enough to help me work out the details.

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord:
for this is right."
Ephesians 6:1

May your May be filled with joyful memories!
Linda <><

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Greek Salad with Farro and Kale

Greek salad is a quick, healthy salad with lots of variations. It's also one of my husbands favorites and can easily be made as a main dish. We've been creating this version or something like it quite a bit lately. Throw in some chicken to make it even more protein packed.

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
(or a pint of halved cherry tomatoes)
1 large cucumber, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup  Kalamata olives, halved (or to taste)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 big handfuls kale, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cup cooked farro
2 tablespoons dried oregano 
olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper
feta or crumbled goat cheese

Mix all ingredients up to the oregano and add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese. Serve intermediately or chill. It's better the second and third day. 

We also like it with brown rice or quinoa instead of the farro. I slice my onion with a simple mandolin slicer, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. There are no exact amounts to make this salad perfect. It's much better with home grown tomatoes, but I've got a long wait for that. I usually put the tomato and pepper starts in after Mother's Day. Here in the Pacific Northwest growing tomatoes is an art and the season is short. Wish me luck! And have a great Mother's Day weekend.

Doodle of our backyard on my daughter's Economic's notebook

Linda <><