Showing posts with label yard and garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yard and garden. Show all posts

Friday, August 19, 2022

Always Jammin'

My husband is a jam making machine. Bowl after bowl of berries are picked off cane berry vines or blueberry bushes from our garden and back shrub row!

 And oh how we love and appreciate it. A batch is usually about four pint jars. If we have enough, he makes 2 batches after work or on a weekend day. After decades of making regular jam we switched to freezer jam.

We gave up most canning long ago except for making and canning applesauce and that is a chore and a half. But our young grandchildren love it so much and frankly the grown-ups too!

Alaskan company came for a visit this August, all four of my grandchildren came to pick berries and apples and now peaches are ripening as well.

Then there's so much berry picking! We grow strawberries, raspberries, logan berries, Marion berries (kind of an Oregon blackberry mix) and blueberries plus lots of wild blackberries!

Batch after batch after batch of jam! Our little grandchildren eat them off the bush faster than we can pick! 

Endless batches of homemade jam by my husband who somehow still works non-stop outside at our home building business,  inside with preserving our fruit from shrubs, trees, and vines!

And now, it's apple picking and apple sauce making and preserving time.

Hard, endless spring spring, summer and fall work but oh how delicious it all is!

2 batches preserved by hot water bath canning and 3 jars left out for fresh eating and sharing! 
And we've yet to pick our Gravensteins to make apple cider!

Endless mowing of fields and yards to keep our 2 5 acres habitable. It takes a full day in daytime hours to mow with lawnmowers and tractor! And that's from once a week to once over 2 weeks depending on weather and available chore time.

Summer is such a lovely time but far too busy, as well! Time to enjoy the fruits of our labors!

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, from my heart and with my hands

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Inward Garden

Deep within each of us lies a garden.
An intensely personal place this landscape grows from a rich place of ingredients--
Imagination, memory,character, and dreams--that combine in wonderful ways in our innermost selves.

Throughout most of our lives,
This garden remains hidden from view save for brief moments spent daydreaming or in quiet contemplation.
But many of us long to make this imaginative garden real; 
To sit in it,stroll in it, to palpably possess it on our land.
We seek to give form to our inner garden as an ornamental landscape--an outward garden in our own backyard.

Your outward garden lies upon the land--
a private landscape for watering, for dancing, for daydreaming.
Both gardens represent a personal paradise--a beautiful place designed specifically to capture the most positive and refreshing landscape memories;  
a that is both a sanctuary from everyday life and a place of rejuvenation;  a place available to you at all times.

Julie Moir Messervy
An Inward Garden

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Summer time..... and all of August's work and pleasures. 10 very large, seriously piled sky high wheel barrow loads of pruning the yard portion of our 2 1/2 acres of grassy lawn and fields.  A home that some jokingly call 'the farm' because of the free ranging chickens, the hard work we have to do keeping it up, our prolific garden, fruit trees and berry bushes.

So much hard, hard work but so much natural beauty even in the piled up pruning of twigs and branches, deadheading flower and shrub blossoms, endless weeding and raking.

I take off my work weary 'oh so worn out' gardening gloves, wash my dirty feet off with the garden hose, breathe a big sigh of relief that I finished today's chore list, and head inside to finish at least one of my many sewing projects.'s hot and it's humid and it has so many, long, long days of hard work just to keep up with yard work but it still feels so wonderful to be outside, working so hard, and getting it all done.....bit by by day.

Georgette, Penelope, and Matilda..our chickens.... follow me wherever I go, hoping I will finally sit down in the lawn chairs in the shade of a big tree...knowing that if I do, that's when the red wheat grains come out in their red and white plaid topped jar and the treat time begins.

Kermit, the cat, peeks out from the fern fronds with a gentle meow but is too lazy to move. That's how I want to be, laying around like a cat, being served special treats like the chickens, but there's always more to do, more to weed, more to water, more to pick, and don't forget to get the fresh eggs for the day.


And you wouldn't believe me if I told you about all of my sewing projects inside...or maybe you would ;) Let's just say its been one of my most productive and busiest summers....ever!

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska.  Sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, with small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort quilts for a variety of charitable programs. And best of all, sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in her Liberated Quilting Challenge and make and donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)    Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!