Thursday, March 12, 2015


Nesting. Nesting in all sorts of ways. First, an experiment in paint and stitch that turned into mostly stitch.  I got a teensy bit carried away with trying to create a realistic looking bird nest and completely covered most of the painting.  Back to the drawing board with this one :)

Prepping a garden bed for veggies this summer.  We are trying the lasagna method.  The boys had great fun hammering and nailing together scraps of lumber for the borders and not so much fun gathering humus rich top soil from the woods to fill it.  Dad and I reassure them that hard work will make men out of them.  I secretly hope it won't for some time yet. I'm not ready for them to leave the nest any time soon.

Making my grandmother's "hushpuppies" to feed the hungry menfolk after a hard day's work.  This is super simple Southern goodness.  Peasant food at its finest.  Just mix together one egg, 2-3 tablespoons of finely minced onion (I use scallions and sweet onions), 2/3 cup self-rising cornmeal mix, 1/3 cup self-rising flour, and enough buttermilk to make a batter similar in consistency to pancake batter.  Fry in shallow oil until crispy and golden brown.  Absolutely delicious - can be eaten alone or as a side for almost anything else.  I especially like them with collard greens and field peas.

Rain soaked ground and spring storms brought down a huge hickory which will be split and stacked for firewood next winter and grilling this summer. Nothing smells as good or makes meat taste as good as hickory smoke.

Spiders build the most amazing "nests".  This one is a towering labyrinth that makes me wonder how on earth the spider doesn't get caught in its own web. Absolutely amazing - and very effective.

And then there is the beginnings of a tree fort for the boys.  This is stage one, which is basically just a raised platform at this point, but is already being used quite a lot.  It's far enough away from the house for young men to feel as though they have a bit of privacy and a place of their own, but still close enough for me to hear them laughing and playing or screaming bloody murder if someone gets hurt.  They pack their book bags full of water and snacks and books and slingshots and head off to the woods when they finish their school lessons.  And I stand on the back porch with my binoculars and watch them laughing and talking and just enjoying being young and exploring the world a little bit on their own. And my heart fills up with gratitude and then I can't see anymore because my eyes get all blurry with tears and I go back inside and make their lunch.

Thank you, God. Thank you so much for this wonderful life.


Barbara said...

Special heartwarming photos and sentiments from top to bottom. I know your feelings about not wanting your boys to grow up. Mine are now in their 40s, one is 50. They do grow, and fast, no matter how hard we push on the tops of their heads to slow it down. Lol. I think it's one of life's hardest things, but we wouldn't have it any other way. The painting and needlework looks perfect. No need to start over!

Raewyn said...

Your photos are beautiful Starr, and it's so interesting to see a snippet of your life :-) Love your nest project and the hushpuppies sound delicious. Do enjoy your boys while you can - they all seem to grow up and spread their wings so quickly.

Jeri Landers said...

I think that nest is super fantastic! I love that you did it realistically and kept the painting simple. So tell me, I never use the newspaper, does it really stop the weed growth?

Valerie Gardiner said...

How lovely to see a glimpse into life in the woods and your boys learning how to live with nature. The tree house sounds great, giving them some independence but close enough to home to get help if they need it. I love the combination of paint and embroidery, looking forward to seeing more of these!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

There is always lots of nature lovin' going on at your house. Your boys have no idea how lucky they are. I love your stitched nest. It looks very 3D. And how great is a fort in the woods. My daughter had a 8 x 10 playhouse with kitchen and a front porch. She and her friends played there for hours. I always got a kick out of them when they took everything out and put it in the yard so they could sweep the floor. Great Memories.
xx, Carol

Wynette Vass said...

Love the paint and needle work combination!! Your project is beautiful and very fitting for the upcoming of Spring!

I can't wait to see all the delicious veggies you produce this harvest!

The slowly loosening of the apron strings is so hard for us Moms.

Love all the beautiful pictures. You are so lucky to have this moments captured and saved forever.

Valerianna said...

I love nesting... so springy looking there, whereas here, snow, snow, snow!

Mary Ann said...

I like the embroidery/painting combination. I think it's quite effective myself.

Jules Woolford said...

Beautiful post, I enjoyed seeing it all. What a wonderful world for your boys to grow up in - enjoy every minute! And we call the Lasagna method 'raised beds' here, how much more attractive is your name! I love the nest - it's beautiful as it is.x

Penny said...

This stitchery is lovely. Oh how I remember camping with our son, taking hikes, watching him play outdoors. These are such good years for a Mom and a Dad -- I'm glad you are savoring them.

International Directory Blogspot said...

Hello I'am Chris !
this is not a "spam"
I suggest you to publicize your blog by registering on the "directory international blogspot"
The "directory" is 18 million visits, 193 Country in the World! and more than 18,000 blogs. Come join us, registration is free, we only ask that you follow our blog
You Have A Wonderful Blog Which I Consider To Be Registered In International Blog Dictionary. You Will Represent Your Country
Please Visit The Following Link And Comment Your Blog Name
Blog Url
Location Of Your Country Operating In Comment Session Which Will Be Added In Your Country List
On the right side, in the "green list", you will find all the countries and if you click them, you will find the names of blogs from that Country.
Imperative to follow our blog to validate your registration.Thank you for your understanding
Happy Blogging
Thank you for following my blog - it is greatly appreciated! :o)
i followed your blog, please follow back

barbara judge said...

Your description of watching your boys go off into their wooded retreat was very touching. So much on this post is wonderful to read and view. Your photos are so artistic. And of course your breakfast goodies were appealing especially since I have not had my breakfast yet. I felt the nest painting with stitchery was perfect as it is. Great post. --- barbara