Monthly Archives: April 2012

Rhubarb Blackberry Crisp


We seem to be in a rhubarb eating frenzy! I think we’ve made at least six rhubarb crisps in the last month alone.

I kid you not!

But when the rhubarb is abundant and this crisp is so easy to make my 11 year old can do it – why not?!

I took this particular version to church one Sunday night and brought home an empty pan. The blackberries added sweetness and such a pretty color!

If you don’t have blackberries – you can always substitute raspberries, strawberries, or just add more rhubarb.

By the way – I was totally serious when I said my 11 year old can make this. Buddy made the one in the picture!

Rhubarb Blackberry Crisp

3 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
6 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted

Toss the rhubarb, blackberries, 6 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of white sugar together in a bowl.

Place in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Combine the oatmeal, brown sugar, butter and remaining 2 cups of flour together in a bowl.

Spread evenly over the fruit and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. The top should be slightly browned and the fruit bubbly.

Serve with a scoop of ice cream or a large dollop of whipped cream!


I’ve linked this post with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

On the Garden Front

On the garden front – we’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news.

First the good news – look what we found growing in the orchard!

PeachesTiny little baby peaches growing on the peach trees! Aren’t they cute! These were new trees we planted just last year to replace the ones we lost to blight.

They were covered with blossoms this spring – then we had some cold weather. We were a little worried that it may hurt them- but so far it looks good!

There’s also teeny little baby cherries, baby apples, millions of blossoms on the blackberries and raspberries, and lots of rhubarb and asparagus.

Meanwhile – in the basement – we have flats of tomatoes that are growing fast and begging to be transplanted. It’s on my to-do list for the weekend. I just need some more potting soil from the Amish store.

Now for the bad news.

Do you see those pathetic plants in the flat in front of the tomatoes? Those are my broccoli plants. They look sickly. So do the cauliflower. The cabbage never even sprouted.

I think I will add replacement plants to my list for the Amish store.

Remember the super-hot ghost peppers I planted? Only 2 of them sprouted – and they’re not growing very quickly.

TurnipsAnd then there’s my garden spot. Oh. my. We may need to mow it before we can till it!

We planted turnips last fall as a cover crop that we could till under this spring. The only problem – they didn’t sprout last fall. They sprouted this spring.  And we didn’t get them tilled in – yet.

They also didn’t form turnips under the ground – just went to tops.

Hmm… wonder if the cows like them? What if we ran the cows through the garden for a day? They could eat the turnips and fertilize things at the same time!

Or- maybe not. 🙂

I’ve linked this post up with The Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage.


You know the outrageous price of gas can cause people to do strange things.

Take my brother-in-law…

Tractor 1
He modified his IH 240 tractor with two Swisher off-set mowers. When you factor in the 60 inch belly mower already mounted on the tractor – he can now cut a swath 15 feet across – with one pass.
Tractor 2He named this invention “The Mozilla” and can now cut the lawn in two rounds – although if the garden was up – he would have mowed down half of it.

Tractor 3He’s not sure how many acres an hour it will cut, or how much gas it takes – but it sure causes the neighbors to slow down and gawk when he’s out mowing!

Keeping Up With the Parents

Hey! I’m back! Did you miss me?! So what was I doing all last week that kept me from blogging?

Would you believe I was trying to keep up with my parents?

I’m not kidding.

Mom and Dad spent several days with us last week and I don’t think those two ever stop!

The big project of this trip was the stairwell.  When we replaced the plaster and lathe with drywall, it left an unsightly 1/2 inch gap between the existing stair trim and the wall.

stairwell before

The solution? Wainscoting.

I carefully stained and varnished every piece and Dad painstakingly fit them together just like a puzzle.

stair well afterI still need to stain and varnish the top rail – but it looks amazing!

When he finished the upstairs, he had enough to start the basement stairs.

Meanwhile Mom was on the sewing machine whipping up 2 skirts for me and teaching the girls how to make bow ties.

We still had time for a quick trip to town (which included a stop at the lumber yard!), several games of Bananagrams, revising my to-do list for Dagmar’s graduation party next month, and lots of party food sampling.


There’s nothing as wonderful as a finished project – especially when it involved spending time with those you love!

Thanks Mom and Dad!

A Little Bit Crazy

Sometimes I think we might be more than a little crazy.

Take Saturday night for instance.

We had plans to go to a free gospel concert about 30 miles away. We don’t get a lot of Christian concerts around here – and free ones are even harder to find! We really wanted to go.

But the forecasters had been calling for severe weather.

And the weather radio kept going off all afternoon.

But by the time we were ready to leave, the dark clouds had passed our house, leaving just a few drops of rain, and the sun was trying to come out.

3Things looked good – so we packed up and headed out.

The sunshine didn’t last long. We watched an ominous wall cloud moving quickly ahead of us.  The sky blackened as we drove right under the massive, whirling storm clouds.

Angel Girl made us stop so she could take some pictures because the sky was so incredible – in a scary weird “hold on to Toto” way.

1 By the time we reached the concert venue and got inside – the sky was black.

But for the next 2 hours we were oblivious to the weather as we enjoyed some amazing gospel country music from High Road III . Wow – can those girls sing!

As their three voices blended together in praise, I had goose bumps on my arms.

Absolutely beautiful music.

It wasn’t until we were on the way home that Dagmar got a text from a friend that while we were there, a tornado had touched down just 20 miles away.

We never even noticed!

I guess only crazy people drive from safety into the storm to see a concert.

But then again – that concert was crazy good!