It’s Only Natural

by Stefani on 23-May-2008

I knew the minute that we saw them that James would have to have them for his birthday.

His New Blocks

And OH they are so loved! My guy is already talking about saving his pennies so that he can order a couple more sets. You know, for "really BIG castles!" 

Boys aren't the only little critters that enjoying natural wood playthings.

Our girls got a new cedar roost yesterday.

Their New Roost

We found it on a walk in the woods yesterday and lugged it all the way home. It was most assuredly worth it, as they are clearly and undeniably a little giddy with joy over it. They hop on, hop off, hop on, hop off. If chickens could giggle, I know they would. I know it. 

It was Ellie who let us know that they would prefer a rough and natural branch to the smooth skinny dowels that we had been using. She was so right! So, for the others of you who are experimenting in poultry, grab yourself a branch! 

In other natural news, the garden at the Ranch is coming along.

Pickin' Beans


Cherry Tomatoes


That, plus squash from grandmother's garden meant a really yummy dinner! 

If you find yourself with some summer squash too, try this:

Cut it into thinnish, short pieces and toss it with pasta sauce, a little chopped onion, some mozzarella and some cooked italian sausage (we used three links, with the casings taken off). Pop it in a 350 degree the oven for 25 minutes or so, then top it with more cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and the squash is soft.

My guys (who are pretty picky about veggies) LOVED it. They swore that it tasted like a pasta dish. 

We hope your weekend is delicious too!
Meredith May 23, 2008 at 8:09 am

You might want to try this:
My husband and I LOVE some carbs, but we didn’t miss it in this dish.

Molly May 23, 2008 at 10:09 am

Oh, you are always so far ahead of me with seasons (just wait until winter though!). Love those veggies!

Molly May 23, 2008 at 10:09 am

Oh, you are always so far ahead of me with seasons (just wait until winter though!). Love those veggies!

kelly May 23, 2008 at 10:09 am

Great tip on the squash – thanks!

Mama Urchin May 23, 2008 at 11:33 am

Have a great weekend!

gonzomama May 23, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Thanks for introducing me to those blocks! I have been holding out until I found just what I wanted for the boy and those are it.

Lisa Clarke May 23, 2008 at 1:18 pm

I could see those blocks being a big hit at my house too. Thanks for the link! I’ll have to bookmark that page…

kris May 23, 2008 at 1:43 pm

we had to order those blocks too after seeing that picture ~ they are so great!
beautiful veggies too!

jessica May 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Your summer squash sounds delicious. I slice summer squash and zucchini and saute them with onions and diced tomatoes then put them in a dish with pepperidge farm stuffing on top with mozzarella and bake at 350 for 25 minutes…delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

OMSH May 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Stef, these have been on my wish list for the kids for a while. I figure I already wake up with Legos in my bed…why not WOODEN Legos.

Although having my kids play with MY LEGOS makes my heart sing.

Great veggie shots! YUM! NEXT YEAR I get my backyard garden. I simply cannot wait!

leslie May 24, 2008 at 8:15 am

thanks for the recipe for squash, i have a ton right now!!! i love to make lasagna, but this sounds much easier! i am waiting for the tomatoes to turn red, CANT WAIT!!!! i want to make your tomato pie!

Eva May 24, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Yes, those are great veggie shots. I’d love to have tons of veggies in a garden out back. All I have is kale.. but I’d love to have homegrown peppers.

Relyn May 24, 2008 at 10:35 pm

I always love your posts, and your pictures make me want to add more to our garden. But, today I wanted to share a book with you. I noticed your pie love. In fact, I’m currently reading Humble Pie because you featured it on your side-bar. Have you read Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, with Pie by Patty Pinner? I think it is just the kind of book you would love.

Tracey@Paper Dolls for Boys May 25, 2008 at 6:23 pm

I love that last shot so much.

We got a similar set of those blocks at a thrift store and they’ve been a big hit!

Julie@Letter9 May 27, 2008 at 11:32 am

Ooh, that recipe sounds great. What do you think about adding mushrooms?

Mary Smith May 27, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Isn’t it so great when kids are involved with the garden. They get so excited. I am really enjoying your blog a lot! Wonderful photos!

katharine May 29, 2008 at 6:18 pm

How do you have things coming out of your garden? we had frost just this past weekend.

Count me jealous.

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