This weekend I attended my oldest son’s college graduation. He plans to pursue a four-year degree in Communications with a minor in Youth Ministry. But, he chose a small two-year church college, which puts him in the unusual position of having a â€œpre-graduationâ€ on the way to his â€œrealâ€ four-year degree.
The road map for most college students doesn’t include this unusual mid-career crossroads. His plan forces him, in a sense, to stop, check for oncoming traffic and Continue reading →
I recently had the privilege of testing one of the new prototype Aladdin mantles. My mantle came from batch #6 of the prototypes. Aladdin is currently testing version #7 and (according to sources inside the company) is close to releasing it for production.
I carefully mounted my mantle on an antique #B burner. The frame was noticeably heavier than my old mantle. The weave was much tighter. (Aladdin has told me that batch #7 has a looser weave.)
Every Aladdin mantle has a blue coating that protects the mantle during shipping. In order to use it, you must burn off the coating. Always do this AFTER you mount the mantle on your lamp.
The coating burns fast, with a flame that may reach 3 inches higher than the mantle. This photo shows it near the end of the flare. After the flame goes out the mantle is very sensitive to vibration. (But, as promised by Aladdin, these new mantles seem much stronger than the old ones did.)
I was very satisfied with the brightness of the new mantle. However, Aladdin says that batch #7, now undergoing testing, burns even brighter thanks to the looser weave which allows more oxygen to circulate through the mantle.
Want to learn more about Aladdin and other great non-electric lighting products? Click here! To order mantles for your lamp, click here. To buy other non-electric lighting products, click here.
Vegetables are the main occupants in my one acre market garden, but the flowers that grace the borders and scattered rows play an important role as well. Having abundant flowers for the children to pick for our kitchen table along with bouquets to share with others is a blessing. However, being a rather practical person, I often struggle each spring with how much space to allow for flowers. Happily, I have found so many good purposes for flowers that I am nearly guilt free when I add a new peony to the border, plant another row of zinnias next to the tomatoes or line the path with nasturtiums. Continue reading →
Most people I meet nowadays are very much in approval of home gardensâ€”if they donâ€™t have one themselves, they tell me how they wish they did, or sheepishly why they donâ€™t.Â But even very skilled home gardeners who produce really good vegetables scoff or think Iâ€™m crazy when I talk about growing grains or pulses in a garden plot.
I donâ€™t have much experience with grainsâ€”Iâ€™ve helped folks tie sheaves of rye and Iâ€™ve cooked plenty with wheat berries that the farm I work on harvested just before I arrived hereâ€”but I look forward to sowing seed into a portion of my future yard and having it grow tall and beautiful.Â Pulses, on the other hand, Iâ€™m working with right now, and I must say, they are extremely easy to grow for anyone used to growing vegetables. Continue reading →
The allure of flowers is irresistible. Their delicate fragrances beckon, and their colors are candy to the eye. But have you ever considered nibbling a flower’s tender petals, just to find out whether their taste is every bit as tantalizing? If so, read on. It just so happens that there is a rainbow of secret flavors within a common backyard garden that is just waiting to inspire an entirely fresh array of hand-harvested fare throughout the summer to come.
Incredible and Edible
As their gorgeous colors suggest, flowers are high in vitamins and minerals, and they offer a piquant variety of flavors ranging from spicy to nectar-sweet. While flowers have been eaten throughout the ages, they were particularly popular during the Victorian era. One fanciful recipe of the time called for a peck of flowers pounded with ladyfingers, three pints of cream, 16 eggs and a little rosewater to create “fairy cakes” that were baked with a sprinkling of sugar on top. Continue reading →
As the weather begins to get warmer, outdoor projects become more popular and fun. Beautiful, elegant stained glass stepping stones can be expensive in home and garden stores. You can create your own at home for a fraction of the cost. Making your own stepping stones allows you to have complete control over every aspect, from the size and design to personalizing it. Colorful pieces of glass set into concrete allow you to add that special added touch–the serenity and peace of a stained glass window in your garden or walkway.
Things You’ll Need:
Stepping stone mold (available at most home and garden centers)
Clear Contact paper Continue reading →
Making fresh, homemade butter is simpler and easier than you might think! All it takes are a couple ingredients, some well-made equipment and a little time. Enjoy these basic recipes for homemade butter. Continue reading →