Summertime

My summertime creative muses……  a.k.a. a walk through my gardens.    If you were ever to visit my gardens you might see weeds and bramble or you might see flowers and vines……you might see icky bugs or butterflies ….. you might see work to be done or buried treasures……. I hope if you were ever to visit my gardens you would find the magic they hold.     Life is how you decide to see it!    Enjoy!

Peace Love and Joy

Judy

“Good Intentions”

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.    Fall is a busy time of year for us here on the farm with Harvest beginning late August and running through October if we’re lucky enough to have all of the crops in by then.

Harvest 2018 JudysTreehouseHarvest 2018 JudysTreehouse

And, with October comes time to batten down the hatches for winter; raking leaves, cleaning up the gardens, stowing away garden tools, yard decorations, porch furniture…..(although I must admit I wasn’t real good about all of that this year).

fall 2018 Judystreehouse

Followed by November which arrived with unexpected early snow showers.  And then there’s the beginning preparations for the upcoming holidays.

November 2018 JudysTreehouse November 2018 JudysTreehouseChristmas preparations

December arrives with joyous celebrations, family get togethers, last minute shopping, decorating, baking cookies, cooking, cleaning, visiting guests and parties; pure joy mixed in with maybe a little stress?

Christmas JudysTreehouse 2018 judystreehosue christmas decor 2018 beardstown il christmas parade 2018 snowman cookies 2018 judystreehouse christmas cookies 2018 judystreehouse Otis JudysTreehouse 2018

January, 2019 has come and almost gone.   Time really does fly.   Trust me, I’ve witnessed it!    It’s been cold this month……very cold…..extremely cold……bitterly cold!   We’ve had some snow……..a lot of snow……with a generous topping of ice.

JudysTreehouse Winter 2019 winter wonderland 2019 JudysTreehouse snowy farm 2019 JudysTreehouse red barn in winter 2019 JudysTreehouse cows in winter 2019 judystreehouse winter 2019 judystreehouse

My husband has done a fine job of keeping us “dug out” much to my dismay.    Me?   I wanted to stay cocooned in the soft blanket of white serenity and beauty that was surrounding us……..until the spring thaw!   If you live in an area with snow, you may understand; or, you may not.    But, if you do get to experience a snowy day or two and haven’t done so already take a moment to find the joy, it will take your breath away will all of its beauty.    Bundle up, go outside, breathe in the scent of the icy air and snow covered ground, listen to the quiet, see the sparkles of light on the icy surfaces.    It truly is a winter wonderland………

If you don’t “HAVE” to get out in it.    I understand, too, the potential dangers this beautiful, snowy world can harbor.

Beardstown Bridge 2018

For those of you who do not care for winter……..Think Spring!    It is just around the corner…..

Hippie Flower 2018 JudysTreehouse

Now January is coming to an end along with a lot of New Year’s Resolutions I would imagine.     I don’t do the New Year’s Resolution thing but I do have good intentions.    And, one of my good intentions this year is to post here a little more often.      Posting gives me a little time to reflect on events that have come and gone, times cherished, things I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done.   It’s a place to explore and share my creative spirit, some dreams, thoughts, ideas.   Just a little place to store a few memories and to share a bit of myself with those of you who may be interested in knowing a little bit more about the person behind JudysTreehouse.

So there you have it.    A few reasons (excuses) for my brief absence here along with my good intentions moving forward.

Do you journal or blog?    If so, isn’t it rewarding….both during and after?   If not, maybe give it a try…….you never know where your past journeys may take you moving forward.

Have a terrific day!

Peace Love and Joy

Judy

 

Glory Days

The summer days are ticking by.    Beautiful sounds, changing scenery, gorgeous colors, earthy scents!

I love summertime…………

And, I love taking walks.     I’ve started this quest to walk 500 miles…….just a few miles at a time mind you…..I’m not Wonder Woman……although, aren’t we all full of wonder!   Yes, we are.    Sometimes we just have to dig deep down inside to reminder ourselves.    I find walking is a great way to find peace of mind and gratitude for all of the beauty and greatness this life has to offer.

 

judystreehouse judystreehouse judystreehouse judystreehouse

You can join in and walk with me @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/doppelgangersforahealthylifestyle/

And, yes, I am still creating unique jewelry and gifts at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JudysTreehouse

unique gifts by judystreehouse statement necklaces by judys treehouse women's chokers by judystreehouse unique necklaces judys treehouse judystreehouse jewelry shopjudystreehouse cool giftsnecklaces by judystreehouse colorful butterfly earrings by JudysTreehouse

I have some really cool zodiac pendants and tiny birthstone gemstone necklaces in the works.   And, a few hand wrapped gemstone chokers waiting for a final hand polishing.    Coming soon!

handcrafted Jewelry by JudysTreehouse

And, I’ve made a few trips to the post office.   I enjoy creating the packaging almost as much as I do creating the items!

unique gifts JudysTreehouse Shop Jewelry and Gifts JudyTreehouse.etsy.com JudysTreehouse Handcrafted Jewelry for Women JudysTreehouse Unique Jewelry and Gift Shop unique gifts by Judys Treehouse Jewelry and Gifts JudysTreehouse

And, I have my flower gardens and vegetable gardens to tend.

judystreehouse flower gardens

And, I’ve been canning and preserving a bit…..made some sweet pickle relish last week and kosher dills on the agenda for this week.

judystreehousejudystreehouse summer garden bountyjudystreehouse canning and preserving

And, we have a new puppy, Spot, our outside security guard.    And, of course, Otis to keep an eye on things, too.

judystreehouseOtis Judys Treehouse

And, a little reading here and there.   A few short road trips.    Time with family and friends.    And, always something creative on the agenda!

So there you have it……..a little glimpse of my glorious summer days.    Hope you are having a great summer, too, and making the most out of every precious moment!

And, I hope you’ll keep in touch.    You can find me here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JudysTreehouse (“Favorite” Judystreehouse on etsy and you’ll see m new listings as they become available)

https://www.facebook.com/judystreehouse (“Like” and “Follow” JudysTreehouse on Facebook.    From time to time I’ll post items I have in the works, new items, fashion ideas, and just plain cool “shares” of things I find beautiful and interesting.”

https://www.facebook.com/groups/doppelgangersforahealthylifestyle/ (closed group but you can request to join to give and get health and fitness inspiration (no solicitors, please)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/thingsyoumightfindinatreehouse/ (public group…..just a fun place where I share cool, creative finds and ideas)

Instagram @judystreehouse

https://Twitter.com/JudysTreehouse

Thanks for stopping by.   Have a terrific Day!

Peace Love and Joy!

Judy

“My Old Farm Truck – A True Story of Gratitude”

A true story of gratitude.

Yesterday I was washing out my old truck.     It’s a 2007 Chevy Avalanche.    We bought it brand spanking new.    Today it’s showing very obvious signs of age; rust, peeling paint, a few dings and dents here and there, wear and tear on the interior, dirt so worn in it will never come clean.    My initial thought was I need a new truck; this thing looks like crap, people will think we’re yokels (well, maybe they think that anyway but I don’t really care because I like who we are)…….but, then my thoughts began to change; this truck has been so dependable, it still gets us to places we need and/or want to go; we don’t have to spend money on something we don’t really “need” at the moment; we’ve created memories with this truck; road trips, vacations, trips to the “big city” when our grandbabies were born, bamboozlers were born in this truck, up the hills and around the farm watching the stars come out at night.    I’ve always wanted an old farm truck.    And now I realize I have one; created and maintained with our very own loving hands and memories made right here on the farm!    I love my old truck with all of it’s perfect imperfections!

Harvest 2017

Harvest has started a bit late this year.    Little rain and cooler temps over the summer months delayed grain readiness (I know, probably incorrect terminology but you get it).     And now that soybeans and corn are ready to be cut and picked the rain has started……sigh!    But, we will persevere and with God’s help we’ll get this harvest picked, cut, stored or to market before it’s time to plant next year’s crops 🙂   Safety first!

Here are some pics from my “tractor cam” so far this season!    Enjoy!

judystreehouse
Cutting Beans
judystreehouse
whoops!
Soybeans at ADM
Soybeans at ADM
Harvest Sunset
Harvest Sunset
Harvest Moon
Harvest Moon
judystreehouse
My yearly hitchhiker! Spidey. Our agreement…Stay where i can see you and you won’t get squished.
judystreehouse
My yearly harvest selfie before I decided to chop off my hair.
judystreehouse
My yearly harvest selfie after I chopped off my unruly hair. I like it!
My Hard Working Husband!   LOVE!
My Hard Working Husband! LOVE!
judystreehouse
Getting a load of corn from the hill behind our house
Glamour Shot!
Glamour Shot!
JudysTreehouse
Picking end rows
JudysTreehouse
Picking more corn on the hill
Waiting for a load of corn.   Beautiful view behind our homestead
Waiting for a load of corn. Beautiful view behind our homestead
judystreehouse
The pleasures of Harvest. Sights, sounds, smells……lovely ZEN moments

Harvest Love!    Thank God I’m a Country Girl!     Blessed!

From The Tractor Seat “The Apple Worms”

Another little bit from the storybook I created for my grandsons, Alej and Christian.

Written by Judy Rebman
The Apple Worms by Judy Rebman

The Apple Worms

 

  • I picked an apple from the tree
  •  a worm popped out and said to me
  • You are invading my privacy.
  • This is my house, can’t you see”
  • “You silly old worm,” I said to him,
  •  “It’s not a house that I’m pickin
  • An apple it is I’ve picked from this tree
  • and I’m pickin more, just wait and see”
  • “Now hold on there for just a minute
  •  and I’ll explain why I’m a tenant.
  • I’ve selected this tree for its prime location; next to a creek you see.
  • With sunny mornings and afternoon shade, it’s a perfect locality.”
  • “Why Mr. Worm, I’m so sorry
  • to have invaded your so called privacy
  • But you’ll have to move on and relocate, there isn’t time to waste
  • I’ve apples to pick and pies to bake so its best if you make haste.”
  • “You silly girl I demand you move on to a different kind of tree
  • Each apple here you soon will find is a home to my very large family
  • We’ve lived here for many, many years and have staked our rightly claim
  • So move along, get out of here, we were fine before you came.”
  • “Very well, I’ll move along I do apologize
  • I didn’t mean to cause you harm, I just didn’t realize
  • That an apple could become a house for a wormy family
  • Have a nice day, I’ll be on my way, I’ll go find another tree.”

From The Tractor Seat

November, 2013

By Judy Rebman

“Hot Rolls”

For years I have been trying to bake the perfect loaf of bread or the best pan of rolls.     G’ma Ida’s recipe is good.      Sometimes they come out perfect, sometimes they go flat…..whooomp, whooomp, whooomp…..(I think it’s all in the mindset and the touch…..think happy thoughts and use a light hand!)

Treasures!   Grandma Ida's Hand Written Roll Recipe
Treasures! Grandma Ida’s Hand Written Roll Recipe

Then, there’s a roll recipe I found in “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart, page 266-267 which is awesome and I’ve been successful in creating soft, fluffy rolls using this recipe.

The bread Baker's Apprentice Recipe Book
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Recipe Book

And, finally……be still my heart!    A recent recipe I found for Artisan Rolls.   Crusty on the outside, great texture on the inside, and oh so delicious!   But, could it be so simple to make these most awesome doughy delights????    Absolutely!

Artisan Bread Dough Rising
Bread Dough on the Rise
Second Rise.....Ready for the Oven
Second Rise…..Ready for the Oven
Artisan Bread Rolls
Hot Rolls
Artisan Rolls.....watch out for grubby hand snatches!
Artisan Rolls…..watch out for grubby hand snatches!

I found the super easy and delicious artisan roll recipe here:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/364017582372638481/

And here’s Grandma Ida’s “No-Kneading Bread Rolls” recipe

  • 1 cake Fleishman’s yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in a cup of lukewarm water.   Place sugar, shortening and salt in a large bowl and add boiling water.   Stir until ingredients are dissolved.   When lukewarm add yeast (yeast water mixture in step one).   Stir in flour.

“I (G’ma Ida) start with 3 cup flour.   It will take more flour.   Stir enough flour to make a soft dough.   You will have to add enough flour so you can handle the dough.  You will have to knead them a little.   Put in a large bowl.   Let rise until double then make in rolls.   Mine are better in rolls than in a loaf.   I don’t use the egg.  I think they are better without the egg.  They should be in a warm place and be covered.   If you want them to raise fast set in the oven and put a pan of boiling water under them.   The steam make them raise fast.   Hope you have good luck.   Grandma”

Don’t be afraid!    Give these a try.    Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread or the taste of a fresh hot roll with melting butter (and maybe some apiary honey from “Earls Apiary, Rushville, IL” or some homemade jam/jelly shared by a sweet neighbor or friend).

Small Town USA Honey and Jelly
Local Harvested and Homemade Honey and Jelly

Enjoy!     Fall Comforts!

 

 

 

Another tidbit – From The Tractor Seat

Bucks under the apple tree
Bucks under the apple tree

Apple Tree

  • I had a picnic lunch today
  • I picked an apple from a tree
  • And then I sat down on the ground
  • and munched my apple happily
  • I watched the clouds up in the sky
  • as they slowly floated by
  • A gentle breeze blew through my hair
  • Heard crickets chirping everywhere
  • The trees were green, the sky was blue
  • the sun was out to warm me
  • A perfect day, a perfect world
  • and lunch beneath an apple tree

 

  • From The Tractor Seat
  • September 27, 2014
  • By Judy Rebman

Simple Pleasures Bring Great Joy

The weather here in Central Illinois has been almost fall like the past few weeks.

The A.C. has been turned off!

Open windows tease and tantalize all of my senses;  a cool breeze, fluttering curtains, fresh air, scents from my gardens, sunshine on my hardwood floors, shadow art, crickets, locust, and frog bands warming up for the night, dinner on the front porch with veggies and herbs from my garden…….. A few of life’s simple pleasures bring me such joy……..

View from my front porch...one of my favorite hangouts!
View from my front porch…one of my favorite hangouts!

Being outside on my porch.   Seeing the peaceful beauty of butterflies, bugs and hummingbirds (to name a few) as they flutter and fuss around my front yard garden.

Happy chics!
Happy chics!

Watching my chicks and fancy rooster waddle and cluck around the yard.   They are such a hoot!

One of my giant mums.....going to be spectacular this year!
One of my giant mums…..going to be spectacular this year!
My fall garden....Indian corn, sunflowers, pumpkins and gourds, oh my!
My fall garden….Indian corn, sunflowers, pumpkins and gourds, oh my!
Love Zinnias.......a must plant every year!
Love Zinnias…….a must plant every year!
Mums......must have for fall.   This one will showcase lovely purple blooms
Mums……must have for fall. This one will showcase lovely purple blooms

My gardens!    Ever changing and preparing for fall.    Mums, Indian Corn, Sunflowers, Gourds, and Pumpkins!     And my zinnias…….a must have every year!    Bursts of bright colors and the butterflies love them!

earthy treasure hunts.....tiny bird nest blown from a tree
earthy treasure hunts…..tiny bird nest blown from a tree
cool spider home
cool spider home

Amazing and intricate architecture in nature!    Like this little birds nest I found on the ground and cool (albeit creepy) spider webs!

Cool Halloween Decor!    Love to celebrate the seasons!
Cool Halloween Decor! Love to celebrate the seasons!

Magazines in the mail advertising cool stuff!      Especially for Halloween and Christmas!    Two favorites for decorating!

Shadow art and other eye catching creations from the sun streaming through my windows

glass jars and plants in a window create two beautiful displays!
glass jars and plants in a window create two beautiful displays!
Love the shadow art through my lace curtains
Love the shadow art through my lace curtains
Sunrise on the farm....in the boys room!
Sunrise on the farm….in the boys room!
shadow art.    Captured this pic a few weeks ago.   Angel!
shadow art. Captured this pic a few weeks ago. Angel!
A room full of rainbows.  A joint effort between Mother Nature and My Suncatchers!
A room full of rainbows. A joint effort between Mother Nature and My Suncatchers!
Otis......capturing a few rainbows!
Otis……capturing a few rainbows!

Dinner Al Fresco!    With someone I love!

Dinner Al Fresco!
Dinner Al Fresco!

Enjoying the fruits of my labor!

Garden bounty and gifts from my chicks
Garden bounty and gifts from my chicks
pickles every year!
pickles every year!
corn from gardens past.....
corn from gardens past…..
freezing and preserving and enjoying year round freshness
freezing and preserving and enjoying year round freshness
pickled tomatoes and green beans
pickled tomatoes and green beans

These are a few of my favorite things!

Every day we are blessed with the abundance that God has created for all of us to enjoy!   Life is full of simple pleasures!

Carpe’ Diem!

Peace, Love, Joy and Enjoy!

 

Pickles?? Yes Please!!!

On today’s agenda……Yep!   It’s pickle time here!

Cucumbers from this year's garden
Cucumbers from this year’s garden

It’s amazing what a little rain will do.    Friday I just found a few little guys out in the garden.   Now it’s Monday and Wowzer!   I picked a peck to pickle!   And blooms galore!   Some of these guys got almost too big.   But not to worry, they will find their way into one of my pickle jars.

We have a few favorite recipes and I’ll share the links below but today I am making Claussen Copycat Pickles!    It’s one of our favorites and an every year must make!

And, another bonus!   I am totally thrilled.    My dill came in just as my cucumbers started producing!   Yea!     In years past, my dill patch, which I continue to struggle with every year trying to get an abundance, was usually ready before my cucumbers resulting in…….sigh……having to use  dried dill weed or dill seed.     But, not this year!     This year I will have these pretty little dill heads to showcase in my pickle jars.     Flavor and a lovely, earthy presentation!

this year's dill patch
this year’s dill patch

And, while I’m on the subject of pretty and presentation; while picking cucumbers this morning I noticed that one plant was producing funky shaped cukes!    Not that I mind but I was curious as to causation.

This year's vegetable garden.
This year’s vegetable garden.

This year I planted late.   (and, whoa is me because I didn’t start a garden journal this year as I usually do so I don’t have specifics at my fingertips to help me analyze…..note to self, next year, document!)

I planted four hills with three seeds each.    (Those are my cucumber plants on the right along the fencing.   I planted my rows north to south.   Last year, this area had tomatillo plants.   I rotate my crops every year).

The first planting didn’t take except for one small plant at the north end of the fence.   I left that plant and replanted more on that hill and the other three hills.

This area of the garden gets the same amount of sun throughout the day.    The same amount of water when I water (which was twice this year with a sprinkler.   And, of course, when (if) it rains, the plants get the same amount of rainwater.

The seeds were old seeds (two or three years old).     Same variety from the same package.    (Boston Pickling Cucumbers are usually what I plant…..again with the lack of journaling…….smacks forehead here!)

Anyway, just found it interesting that all of the cucumbers from the three hills on the south have pretty, straight cucumbers.    That one hill to the north has more curved and a funky one or two.    Not that looks matter, mind you; the taste is still delish.     Just an interesting observation this morning.

The funky bunch!
The funky bunch!

Enough about cucumbers and gardens for now.    Back to the good stuff!

Here are some recipes I’ve come across over the years.    I did not create these recipes; I take no credit; I am merely sharing.

These are just some of our favorites.    Of course when preserving and canning make sure you follow the proper guidelines.

Claussen Copycat Pickles!     Our most favorite.      These stay crunchy because they aren’t processed.    They are crisp and sour and salty perfection.    They keep for a long, long time.    We are still eating some from last year; over a year in the fridge (Yep, we have more than one refrigerator.   It’s a home garden/farm necessity here).   I pretty much follow the recipe exactly except I add a few peppercorns to the jars.     Cut the cucumbers however you like; sometimes I do slices (thick and thin), spears, chunks, halves, and small whole.

http://www.food.com/recipe/claussen-kosher-pickle-copycat-249520?soc=socialsharingpinterest

This is a recipe for sweet pickle relish.   Makes me want to fix hotdogs for dinner every night!   It is very similar (if not exactly the same) as the one I use.   Mine is from a “Ball” cookbook (my cookbook is definitely showing signs of wear and tear; I’ve had it for ages).      Sometimes I add jalapenos to my recipe for a little sweet heat!

http://www.food.com/recipe/sweet-pickle-relish-130781?soc=socialsharingpinterest

This recipe is for Sweet Lime Pickles.     This is Greg’s favorite; “like Grandma Ida used to make”.    These are a must have for Greg each year.     The lime makes them super crunchy and these pickles are super, super sweet, almost like candy.

http://www.cooks.com/recipe/yw2666u4/sweet-lime-pickles.html

This recipe for refrigerator pickles I’ve had for years.   I don’t know where I found it or who gave it to me so I can’t give credit where credit is due.     There are similar recipes out there but I couldn’t find this exact one so I’m just going to jot it down here for you.

These are sweet but not overly so.    I make them in a big glass jar (looks pretty).   Good all on their own as a side salad.     I don’t make these with the intention of preserving them.      Just make a batch and eat ’em till they’re gone.

Refrigerator Pickles

  • 7 cups sliced cucumbers
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 1 green pepper cut into thin strips
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard seed (I’m a freak for mustard seed; I always add more)
  • 1 tsp celery seed

Mix together the cucumbers, onions, green pepper, and salt.   Let them stand for one hour.   Do NOT, do not, do not drain off the liquid that forms.

Bring the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and celery seed to a boil to dissolve sugar.  Let cool.    Pour over cucumber mix.    Let stand in fridge for 24 hours.   Enjoy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Make someone’s day!    A gift from your garden or something homemade from your kitchen is an unexpected delight!     Share the joy of gardening and abundance!

Have a terrific day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is the first batch today!

Scrubbed and ready to go. I do cut both ends off.
Scrubbed and ready to go. I do cut both ends off.
The jars and lids have been washed and sterilized. Waiting for the brine to cool.
The jars and lids have been washed and sterilized. Waiting for the brine to cool.
Jars are packed and ready for liquid.
Jars are packed and ready for liquid.
All jarred up and absorbing flavors. Now the wait! But its so worth it!
All jarred up and absorbing flavors. Now the wait! But its so worth it!

Ended up with 5 quarts of Claussen Copycat Pickles, one batch of refrigerator pickles, and of course some munching along the way!