Friday, June 28, 2013


Look Hutters!
The Little Girls have learned to blow up balloons! They are hyper-excited and spent many minutes giggling and showing off their new tricks to Great Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Zzuzzanne (Susanne).
What are you up to this weekend? We have fun, busy plans that will keep us out of our almost finished kitchen (the tile back splash is going in as I type this...eeek!) If you live in Northern California you know we are just beginning a week-long stretch of muggy heat. If you by chance have elderly neighbors, will you check in on them these next couple of days? Even if it is a wave hello or sly peek through the window? I just worry about older folks during hot spells...thanks. Happy weekend to you!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Berry Good.

I have been wanting to learn how to make jam for a while now. Each time I bring home berries from The Ranch, I think about what the process might be, do a little research and then stop...paralyzed by the intimidation of canning jam. Mostly I have been stumped by how to do exactly what I want to do when making jam. And what I want to do is make jam with only two ingredients; berries and sugar. I bit the bullet and got down to business. And let me just say, IT WAS SO EASY (This was my guide)! I used Marion Berries and Olallieberries, 7 -8 cups of berries to 2 cups of sugar--that's it.
We picked berries this morning with Jenny, Jackson and Hank at The Ranch.
At home, I rinsed then put super ripe berries in a pan with a little sugar.

After boiling for an hour with constant stirring.
Poured into hot disinfected jars, lids and rings.
Then into the boiling-water canner for 15 minutes. Done when sealed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Time With Grandma Is THE BEST!

The Little Girls spent last weekend with Grandma Margaret doing all their favorites. Grandma introduced two new games early Saturday morning; a princess game and BINGO!
They went to church and then on to Gibson Ranch to feed the hissing ducks.
The Little Girls frosted cupcakes and then went to Chuck E. Cheese Restaurant/Little Kid Heaven for lunch and games.
Savannah told me she was proud of herself for taking a photo with good ol' Chuck.
Thanks to both Margaret and Gordon for the photos and for loving on My Little Girls throughout the weekend!

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Fun 3 Months.

Today I collected the last of my belongings from my studio on Main Street. My studio mate, Penny, is expanding her business (The Parlor) by taking on an employee so she can use the space as her office/reception and I just don't have time to travel in order to create. I need my studio here at home, in my hut. So call it bad timing or good timing, I'll call it "an adventure in trying to make time for myself", ha! I will miss being a "townie" and feeling a part of the hubbub, the light in the room all day...oh the light..., the rad hardware store below (I could spend all day there), Penny popping her head in between appointments and chatting but I won't miss any attempt at intentional and organized creating (sewing, drawing, painting, making jewelry) which for me is quite challenging. I realize more than ever how I thrive when a new idea is organic and not forced. So my Honey Hut is full again and I couldn't be happier. (Plus, I kept worrying about The Fairchild building burning down by an unsupervised candle or a kitchen fire from the pub below.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Back on The Ranch today we picked more blueberries and the olallieberries are ripe now too. I'm counting down the days until my favorites are ready: marionberries.
Today is Tim and my 14th anniversary! When I told The Little Girls earlier in the week about our anniversary Savannah got super excited and said "YES! What Are we going to do? Can we go to sushi?" I LOVE how she wants us to celebrate all together. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Close Call.

The Little Girls ran into the house panicked Sunday afternoon. One of our little lovelies, Isabella, was very ill and the others were picking at her harshly. I immediately separated her from the others and read up on what to do for a sick chick. She was failing badly so I knew I had to act fast. The craziest thing I read, was to force feed the chick Gatorade then carry her around in a kerchief tied around one's neck. I did just that. I wore Isabella around my neck for two straight hours. Then we made her a cozy spot in a box and took her with us to my sister's house and on errands. When we got home, she was looking on the mend. That night I nervously reunited her with the brood. I am happy to report she is holding her own and thriving. I keep a close eye on her and she seems to know it, whenever I open the coup door she doesn't scuttle off like the others but instead carries on contentedly.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The County Fair.

Within five minutes of walking through the fair gates, we had accomplished The Little Girls' "To Do" List" of County Fair traditions.
1. Buy Cotton Candy.
2. Eat Cotton Candy.
3. Ask for more Cotton Candy.
4. Scope out the kiddie rides and look for the slide.
5. Get faces painted (highway robbery, by the way).
6. Head to the barn.

Typically we are excited about the barn because well, farm animals are cool. And at the fair, the pigs and cows are huge (and auctioned off, of course). But this year we were excited to see our friend Wrenna show her pet goat in all of her 4-H splendor.
After hugs and congratulations (she earned a Juniors pin), we made off for the rides.
The Botting and The Potter Girls.
Oh...Look at this awesome polka-dot hen. Of course I was so overcome with her beauty I forgot to take a photo of her card listing the breed, ugh. I WANT THIS CHICKEN! I've got to do some research for next time I buy chicks.
I farmer is showing.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Happy Weekend Honey Hutters!
Will your Father's Day weekend look like this?
We are tearing out our old tile kitchen counter tops and sink then installing new counter tops and sink which is tricky because Tim and I have NO experience with this sort of's about to get interesting around here. Also, I will happily escape the chaos here tomorrow night for Book Club. We are reading this. I LOVE this selection, it is so beautifully written. Oh and The County Fair is this weekend. Savannah's girlfriend Wrenna is showing her pet goat. We can't wait to see shy, sweet Wrenna step up and lead her charge into the arena.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ripe At The Ranch.

The onions and blueberries are ready for picking at my Dad's ranch. The smell of both while I walked up to the garden today made my stomach rumble and my mouth water. Oh Hutters, I wish we could all pick together and whip up a tasty Spring feast...


Just off Hwy 88 and Mormon Emigrant Trail is the abandoned Iron Mountain Ski Area. I have memories of this "resort" from my childhood, we lived just down the highway when I was quite young. Most of my memories are from summers after we had moved out of the area but returned to hike and pick gooseberries for jam. We stopped there on Saturday and had a look around.
The silence in this spot is deafening. Outside of the rare and occasional motorist passing, there isn't a man-made sound within 10 miles of this sight. It is amazing how nature takes over what we humans abandon, and disturbing to see how people destroy unattended property. The dumping of trash and burned out vehicles plus destruction to the buildings made me sick to my stomach. This ski area hasn't be operated since 1995 and even then it only served the public 14 out of it's last 28 seasons.
These carriers on this chairlift gave me the creeps. While the cables on the other three lifts had snapped leaving the remains on the forest floor, these were still intact. Had the Littles been able to hike this, Tim and I would have liked to explore the mountainside. We were curious what lay at the end of the line.
The hotel's roof was collapsed and anything salvageable had been pulled from the rooms. This corridor felt haunted.
We stopped by Peddler Hill, elevation 7000' to see the house I lived in as a child and the station my Dad worked at. The station was in great shape but the apartments not so. One of the units looked like it had be spared but the other three were ransacked. What you can't see in this view is across the drive looking up toward the station. This is where my Mom, Janet and Patty Martin grew a fantastic mountain garden many years ago. It is now very wild and grown over but with lovely lupine and paintbrush.
I couldn't hold back my tears looking at our old front door. This once was a happy welcome doorstep and inside protected a small and growing family from harsh winters. Our sweet St. Bernard Lou-Lou delivered 18 puppies in our garage here (only 9 made it). One of my favorite memories was going to visit my daddy on his break and picking out a hot drink from the vending coffee/cocoa machine. I also remember my parents having some wild parties when their friends from Napa would visit on weekends and my first try at roller-skating happened on the down slope of this driveway. We moved from here after Jared was born, when Shannon was 5 and I was 3 years-old.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hwy 88.

On Saturday we beat the heat by heading high into the mountains via Hwy 88. We were sure many other people would be doing the same but the old highway was deserted and each parking lot we pulled into, empty. 
We stopped at landmarks my parents used to take us Sattler kids to like, Shot Rock for a fantastic vista west and Silver Lake for a crystal clear swim.