My quilting and family life journal

Pay it Forward

We should all remember to pay it forward to those in need.

More quilt-as-you-go blocks


I have manage to get a few more of my quilt-as-you-go blocks done for the King size quilt.

With all of the veggie prep from this years garden, this project is not moving along as quickly as I would like. Currently the dehydrator is running almost every day and we have been blessed with a large basket of fresh produce each day. I have also gone through several cases of jars of different sizes and the tree fruits are not in yet.

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The eggplant are large enough, and the wild berries ripe enough that some to them can be picked this weekend along with butternut squash. Now if the tomatoes would just ripen… Our family and friends will be very happy with pantery additions this season.

This season has provided us with a bumper crop of zucchini, to the point that it is keeping the dehydrator  busy and experimenting with new recipes high. The following low calorie (about 100 calories each), low fat, low sugar loaf is not only healthy but moist and tasty. I hope you like them as much as we do.



  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup carob powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 whole banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or other plant based milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare mini loaf or muffin pans and set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, carob powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.
  4. In another bowl, cream mashed banana with applesauce and sugar.
  5. Stir almond milk, vanilla and zucchini into the banana mixture until evenly combined.
  6. Add flour mix to the wet mix and stir until just combined.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pans and bake for 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Summers always seem to be our busiest times of the year. This summer especially since we needed to build a new hen house and expand the raised bed section of our garden.

new hen house

The new hen house is now complete and the young chicks are installed, we have three of the new raised beds done and 5 more to build. The existing vegetable gardens have been so productive that we have seasonal veggie dishes every night for dinner, green smoothies have become a morning staple and the dehydrator, pressure cooker, and canning pots have been working overtime. It has been an enjoyable yet exhausting season so far.

One of our favorite smoothies is a carrot cake one that allows me to use some great veggies and the mixed greens power that I make from some of the garden bounty.

Carrot cake smoothy


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp mixed greens powder*
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • Hand full of raw walnuts
  • 4-6 ice cubes

Mixed green power is made by taking the greens from vegetables plans like turnips, beets, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, and some kale and other greens that you have growing in the garden and dehydrating and then grinding the dried leaves into powder.

The fourth of July weekend we split a few cords of wood for the winter and then rewarded ourselves the following weekend with some kayaking on the Connecticut River. This past weekend we finished our chores up early enough that we were able to take the dog out to the river for a bit of swimming.

ginger in the water

Life is good…

This summer is moving by all to quickly. It is hard to believe that it is July already and we are starting to prepare for the fall an winter already.


Perennial garden on the side of the house


Native iris


Love these bushes, they get prettier each year


The spring perennials have played themselves out and the summer ones and veggie gardens are starting to show us what they are made of…


8 week old chicks in their new home


Camomile and a few of the tomato plants in one of the raised beds

Last week we were blessed with such wonderful weather that we were able to get the new chicks moved into their new home, harvest camomile, asparagus, kale, spinach, green beans , turnip greens and early turnips.


Small fennel, beets and squashes of all kinds have formed and cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant are flowering. Chard, carrots, beets, parsnips and corn are growing strong.  Mother Nature even give us a hand this past week by providing days in the 80s and providing rain late in the evenings to water the gardens.


First pot of green beans and potatoes of the season. Yummy.


First harvest of kale and turnip greens…prepared and put in the dehydrator


Summer herb pots and summer flowers starting to show their stuff


First patch of day lilies sharing their color


Even the hosta are starting to show off — better enjoy them before the deer get to them


Potted tomatoes and eggplant doing well


Basil doing wonderful this season. Have been harvesting from these containers and others for the past few weeks.


One of the four colors of astilbe in the gardens

The winter was so harsh that none of the apple and many of pear trees did not bloom this season, but the cherry, Asian pear and plum trees, as well as the raspberry bushes are outdoing themselves with fruit this summer.


Hope you had a wonderful 4th….

Summer Quilting Project

This summer I decided to to work on a quilt-as-you-go project on rainy and really hot days. I also decided to challenge myself by using only solid Kona cottons and developing a king sized quilt.


4 1/2 of the 35 blocks I will be making this summer. Each block design will be different but all all will will use a black background fabric

Designing and piecing quilts is a real joy for me, whereas quilting has always been a chore. Hopefully, the quilt-as-you-go process will help to improve my machine quilting skills while making the process much easer….



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