Glimmerbug Handmade Art

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Jam Making

Weekend Wrap Up and Highlights: Berries, Jams and Best Friends

Kids, Our Country Home, PersonalJill AdamyComment
Starting to pick the blackberries, along with a couple of extra little goodies from our new garden.

Starting to pick the blackberries, along with a couple of extra little goodies from our new garden.

Each day we’re outside, we’ve got an audience of wildlife that watches us as we work around our yard. This little sweetie was out watching me as I picked green beans.

Each day we’re outside, we’ve got an audience of wildlife that watches us as we work around our yard. This little sweetie was out watching me as I picked green beans.

In the Garden

As the summer winds down and the hot days seem to be coming to a close, we’re slowing down on our blueberry picking (only about 4 quarts per day now)! Next up are all the vegetables from our little mini garden. We have never had a big veggie garden so when we decided to start one earlier this summer, we started small. Just a small little 4x4 raised garden that we found online. Figured it was a good, manageable start for me and the kids to tend to and see if it was something we could keep up with. We didn’t plant too much, just your standard: green beans, peppers, peas and tomatoes. So far, I’m happy to report, the green beans and peppers are flourishing! We’ve got quite an abundant crop going on over here and the kids run out there each day and joyfully pick what’s available. The tomatoes on the stalks are getting bigger and hopefully will be turning red pretty soon, as we patiently watch them grow.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that this house has 25 blueberry bushes that are quite mature, so the crop that we’ve been picking at since July has been nothing short of plentiful! If I’ve calculated correctly, we’ve picked over 60 pounds of those juicy little blueberries! They’re gorgeous, sweet and plump! Funny fact: We actually call the blueberry patch “Frannie Farmer’s Blueberries” because our oldest pug, named Frances, loves hobbling out there in the mornings to watch us pick and to be gingerly fed some sweet berries here and there by her favorite boy!

My 7 year old has the magic touch when it comes to our old pug, Frances. She’s a little picky about who feeds her by hand and loves it when he is out there picking blueberries because then she’s able to enjoy quite a few handfuls of her favorite treat!

My 7 year old has the magic touch when it comes to our old pug, Frances. She’s a little picky about who feeds her by hand and loves it when he is out there picking blueberries because then she’s able to enjoy quite a few handfuls of her favorite treat!

Blueberry Jam

We’ve never made jam before, and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at canning. It’s evaded me… til now. We just happened to move in next door to a lovely woman who is an expert at canning pretty much everything! So on Saturday, my 9 year old aspiring baker and foodie was invited to visit next door for a jam making lesson. And let me tell you, it came out DELICIOUS! And I’m not a blueberry fan! Talk about sweet and scrumptious. She was able to make 15 jars of jam and very proudly has labels for these jams so she can sell them and give them away to friends and family.

Beautiful and plump blueberries from our patch. So far, nearly 60 pounds picked (but we’ve also left a bunch for the birds who love them!)

Beautiful and plump blueberries from our patch. So far, nearly 60 pounds picked (but we’ve also left a bunch for the birds who love them!)

Here’s my little beauty getting ready to go pick more blueberries in the morning. She even got a little floppy hat to shield her from the sun on those super sunny mornings!

Here’s my little beauty getting ready to go pick more blueberries in the morning. She even got a little floppy hat to shield her from the sun on those super sunny mornings!

Learning to can and make blueberry jam with our lovely next door neighbor. She’s totally hooked on making jam now!

Learning to can and make blueberry jam with our lovely next door neighbor. She’s totally hooked on making jam now!

The rest of the weekend was spent with all of my favorite friends who we both unexpectedly ran into and stopped by for a visit. First off, my very best friend came over for a visit with the kids (who absolutely ADORE him and his son) so we had a great time, laughing and eating berries in the yard as the kids chattered on and on about school, summer stuff and then talked the 18 year old into reaching the higher berries on the trees!) What’s wonderful is that they love my BF almost as much as I do!

Next up was Saturday night with my best high school girlfriends for a BBQ and game night. So many laughs (how did I not piss my pants!) and always such an easy and relaxing time, sitting out on the porch swapping stories from the week and making plans for upcoming fairs and such. These are the aunties that my kids love spending time with (and getting spoiled by).

Finally, a nice quiet lunch out yesterday when we run into a wonderful friend of our family… and it’s the guy who we’ve always purchased our cars from. Nearly 10 years ago we met and he’s fondly known as “Uncle Teddy” now. It’s like we ran into Elvis! These kids were so so happy to see him yesterday and visit with him (we haven’t seen him much since he moved). It was an unexpected surprise that we all loved!

What I love about seeing all these wonderful people over the weekend is that each of them have embraced my kids as their own. None of them are related to us, yet ALL of them treat the kids as their own nieces and nephews. We’re so fortunate to have that and that these littles are growing up surrounded by such loving and positive people who adore them. They are the Uncles and Aunties that pay attention, play games, go to softball, baseball and field hockey games and just plain show their love and affection to these kids. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends and I’m thankful for them everyday.

So that’s it in a nutshell for our weekend wrap up. We’ve only got a few days left til school starts, devastating this mama by leaving me home alone without any little kids around. I will anxiously await the bus to arrive home that first day and hear all about the stuff that went on during the first day! Bags and backpacks are ready to go. Now I just need them to come home on the first day with smiles and giggles telling me about their day!

Have a great week!

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