It’s chamomile/camomile harvesting time (Matricaria recutita)

My German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) has been growing very well this year. I had a few plants come up form last years seeds and I planted a few more to increase my harvest.Chamomille 2 (Matricaria recutita)

Head over to Not Dabbling in Normal to read the rest of my post

Sincerely, Emily

Posted in Flowers, Garden, Herbs, Seed Saving | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A look outside – what is growing out there

Spring, in term of nice Spring temperatures, seem to be a thing of the past in my area. We hit 100F a few days ago. UGH! Spring, in terms of things blooming and growing , is still happening.

There are so many things blooming and emerging out there. Some things are absent since we are so, so dry, but others seem to be thriving.mullein (verbascum thapsus)

Head over to Not Dabbling in Normal to read more.

Sincerely, Emily

Posted in Blooming Right Now, Flowers, Herbs, Texas Natives (plants) | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Cat Scratching Post Re-do

I am really tired of throwing away good money on cat scratching posts that don’t hold up very long. I have thought about re-covering the old, tattered, worn out ones for way too long….  I finally decided to do something about scratching post 01

Head over to Not Dabbling in Normal to read about my project.

Sincerely, Emily

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Simple, quick lunch

It’s a busy time. There seems to be a lot going on and I don’t seem to be catching up on certain things, but I am getting other things done. So anytime I can make a quick meal, it really helps.

Celery Leaf

Celery Leaf

Head over to Not Dabbling in Normal to read more.

Sincerely, Emily

Posted in Food, Garden, Local | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Fruit Fly Trap

As it warms up in my area, I am already starting to notice fruit flies in the kitchen. I certainly don’t miss having hem around in cooler winter months! They aren’t out in full force yet, but I know it won’t be long.

I understand the temptation for them with all the fermenting experiments on the count, so it isn’t like I a surprised they are around, but it just gets hard when you do to take a drink of something like ginger beer  and find a fruit fly floating in the glass AGAIN!

Last summer I tried a few experiments to try to control their numbers.

Head over to Not Dabbling in Normal to see what worked for me.

Sincerely, Emily

Posted in Little things, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Swap and Barter without money (Feb 2014)

Playing catch-up on my swap posts. This one is from Feb 2014.

Swap: Feb 2014

Swap: Feb 2014

This was another great swap. Lots of people, lots of fun things to barter for.

I came home with:

  • Goose eggs
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • non-GMO seed packets
  • homemade biscuits (in the foil packets)
  • fresh farm eggs
  • empty plastic bottle (to bring more ginger beer in next swap)
  • Canned local beef
  • Canned local turkey
  • 2-3 jars jam
  • homemade salsa (YUM!)
  • 2 jars local raw honey

Yup, all wonderful stuff.

Sincerely, Emily


Posted in Food, Local | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Funny cat: Blackie

Blackie is Mister Personality. He is always doing something adorable, cute, funny, sweet. 023I was over at the neighbors and noticed one of the water spigots had sprung a leak, so my neighbor needed to turn off the water to fix it.

Blackie was right there while he moved the concrete that covers the shut-off valve and had to get right in there to investigate things.

Funny boy!

Sincerely, Emily

Posted in Cats | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Bunching onions, sauerkraut, local lamb roast, and working in the garden

Bunching onions, sauerkraut, local lamb roast, and working in the garden….Bunching onions - going in the freezer

What do all those things have in common? …. Just more “not dabbling in normal” normal.

head over to Not Dabbling in Normal to read about what else I am up to….

Sincerely, Emily

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Swap and Barter without money (March 2014)

I am behind (really behind) in posting about the monthly swaps I have been going to.

I’ll get the ball rolling and make up for the ones that I have missed posting about. I will start with the most recent and work my way backwards.

We had nice weather for the March swap. The forecast mentioned rain, and I was hoping it would be rained out (because we need the rain!) It was a smaller group this month, and mixed in with many repeat swappers were some new faces.

Swap: March 2014

Swap: March 2014

At the end of the swap they have started a “social hour” where we can hang out, bring some food to share and have time to sit and talk and get to know each other more.

This month I bought home some new, and fun things.

  • Cabbage (locally grown)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • A bottle of mead
  • Sauerkraut (made with red cabbage)
  • Labaneh
  • Rabbit
  • Wild artemisia plant (2014 herb of the year)
  • Patty pan squash seeds
  • Comfrey plant (not in photo)
  • Shower sinus pucks (not in photo)

Last week I pulled a batch of sauerkraut out of the fermenting crock, and even though I have several cabbages ready to harvest in the garden, I was thrilled to get 4 more. And I am thrilled to have two crocks full of cabbage fermenting away, soon to be more sauerkraut! YUM!

I also made a barter for a rabbit (ready to cook.) I have been considering raising meat rabbits, but I’m not there yet (mentally – they are just so cute, or physically – no hutches, etc.) Instead I talked to the couple and we made a deal before the barter – I swapped two loaves of my black olive rosemary bread for a rabbit.

I missed seeing many of the new friends that I have made over the part year, but it was Spring Break week in our neck of the woods and many people were doing family things. Either way, it was another good barter day and I had a chance to meet some more new people.

Sincerely, Emily


Posted in Local, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Blooming Right Now: Rosemary (Rosemary officinales)

Rosemary (Rosemary officinales) grows really well here. It can handle the full summer sun, and is deer resistant! It is also drought tolerant and does well in many types of soil. rosemary bloomingHead over to Not Dabbling in Normal to read more….

Sincerely, Emily

Posted in Blooming Right Now, Flowers, Herbs | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments