Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Great Pumpkin Challenge

I'm a nature lover and use natural materials over the fake alternatives.  My way is naturally beautiful and biodegradable.  Yes, I spend money every year on decor but I also support the small farmers in my area.  

When my eldest son was visiting he commented on how delicious those pumpkins are roasted.  He and his friends ate some that they threw on the hot coals of a camp fire and roasted.  So the day after Thanksgiving I brought them in  and put them in the basement to store them.  They usually just end up in my compost pile.

I cut the white one open today and it is by far the meatiest pumpkin I've ever encountered.  It took some time and muscle just to cut it open.  I thought I would just cut it and roast it for dinner but there was so much of it that I made pumpkin, potato soup and it's delicious.  

I made 2 big pots of the soup and still have this much leftover (below).  I'm freezing soup, and taking some to my parents.  I was thinking how it would be a great way to get our small town "Home of the Pumpkin Vine Nature Trail" to come together and have a community outreach/contest to see how many pumpkins we can make into food for a homeless shelter, or to feed the school children.  We have to teach them how delicious vegetables can be!  Something we can all work on for next year.
If you have any great recipes for pumpkin besides pie and soup, please share your ideas.  If you want to try my soup recipe here it is:

Halloween Pumpkin Soup!

10 pounds of pumpkin cut into chunks
2 white potatoes also cut into chunks
2 white onions chopped
2 carrots chopped
chicken stock or water

Sauté the onions and add the carrots and cook for a few minutes, then add the pumpkin and the stock.  I had one quart of stock and added enough water to cover the squash.  Add salt and pepper and a teaspoon of thyme.  Cook until soft.  Let cool for a little while then process in a food processor.  Top the soup with roasted pumpkin seeds to serve.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Morning Reflections

 I was raised in a Christian home and went to a Catholic school where we went to church everyday, except Saturday, and on that day we went to confession.  Then I raised my children in a pacifist church that taught love and compassion and how to utilize the gifts you were given.  I walk every morning but on Sundays I try to go someplace out of the ordinary.   I pass churches full of people on my walks, or today an Amish home full of people praising God.  I'm not against church  but I find myself more motivated by the peace I find each morning to have a more intimate relationship with our maker.  The one who created such a beautiful earth for us to live on with such an abundance of plant life and food.  It's easy to be thankful and full of gratitude when you are walking in such a peaceful place.

Then in the midst of chaos in Florida, Montana, Texas etc, and on the eve of 9/11, sometime  it's hard to know what to pray for. It's sad when you loose your place in this life that you created for yourself and family, a home. In the big picture it's very simple...

Most importantly save the people.  Give them courage and strength to endure whatever it is that's coming.  Houses and stuff can be replaced.  They really are not that important in the big picture.  I pray that you enlighten us and fill us with the  knowledge to know what to do in time of a crisis, or how each of us can help.  I pray that in the midst of all this devastation that the people that we are prejudice against come to our rescue so that we have a change of heart, and accept everyone who is different.

I pray that we all start to take better care of each other and this earth.  Who knows if it's global warming that's causing this, a conspiracy theory or whatever.  What I do know is that there is so much more we can do for this planet.  Think of it as a living body or even God.  We are killing it (and I don't mean that in a good way).  There are so many people I know that call themselves Christians and they don't take the time to be good stewards of the earth.  They want the organic food and the beautiful view but they don't do their part to help sustain this planet for future generations.  

If you were God would you be happy with the way the world is today?  So much hatred and killing, pollution, greed...
When it comes down to it, it's really pretty simple.
Love one another.  Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.  Honor this life by taking care of the earth, our world that's only ours to use for a short time.

The Amish worship in homes and make a day of it.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


My daughter came between two sons and never had a sister until she married.  Her husband has 3 brothers, which fit the personality of my tomboy daughter perfectly.  Oh, she's a girly girl, but can rattle off stats from a ballgame like nobodies business!  Today the youngest brother gets married so she'll gain a 4th sister-in-law.  

I know she feels so blessed by these wonderful young ladies in her life, and sometimes its kinda ironic how much they look or act alike.  As her mother I feel grateful that she became part of such a wonderful family.

The brothers wanted some "bro time" so they spent the night together at their parents, just like the old days and their mom made them all breakfast.  So Rose and Amanda spent some quality time together.  I asked if they would like to do a photo shoot and they were totally up for modeling some UMT jewelry and clothing.
Amanda lives in Chicago and has a very popular blog called Manda Carpenter.  If you need to be uplifted, or need a dose of reality she is brutally honest and sends out notes of encouragement monthly.  She's done lots of modeling and takes some great photos so I was thrilled to get them both on such a beautiful day.  We went to a small park in Mishawaka that I've always wanted to visit called Shiojiri Niwa.  Its a Japanese strolling garden.  It was full of people taking photos.  There was a wedding, a senior getting her pictures taken, baby twins with their mom with a photographer, and a quinceanera.  So many special occasions in one small area.  

So anyways be checking my ETSY shop for all the new merchandise.  

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!


Rosemary and Amanda

Sisters by marriage

friends for life

The young lady celebrating her Quinceanera

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Congratulations To Emily and Chris!

I could not be happier for these two lovely souls.  I've written a couple of posts about Emily here and here.  The couple that met while hiking the Appalachian Trail, then set out on a new journey to Live Large in a small bus.  They tied the knot in Oregon during the eclipse!  Guess what she wore?
Her favorite Urban Mountain Traders shirt!

The journey continues on and I can't wait to see where they go, but together it will be a beautiful journey!

I wish you all the best life has to offer.



Friday, June 23, 2017

Goodbye junk Evolution

It's the end of an era for junk E, and although it's sad, we feel ready to move on.  You can only do so much with space, time and money and we all gave it our best shot.  Gary of Carpenter Gothic will continue to sell his furnishing in our space and CircaArts Galley is still going strong.  Please continue to follow junk Evolutions page because the business is not ending and may Pop up at various locations and shows.  

As for Urban Mountain Traders,  I really do love working on furniture but my body is telling me to cool it.  So the items I do have will be at the new "Barn Door" in Middlebury.  I can take one item in and not feel like I have to have a whole display.  The owners will do all the styling, we just drop it off and it sells!   

My new love is sewing the shirts and making jewelry (much lighter loads!).  I've been invited to sell my clothing at Ignition Garage in Goshen, and I couldn't be more excited.  I think it will be a great fit for my clientele, and it happens to be one of my favorite music venues-right up there with Red Rocks!  If you are into vinyl or great stereo systems, this is the place for you, as well as some of the best music around for intimate concert settings.  The artist love it because it's an actual Listening room.  The Garage is also a satellite station for The Globe Radio 91.1, Goshen College Radio station, so they work together to bring some great talent to Goshen.  The owner, Steve Martin also has a live show on 91.1 on Thursday evenings called "One Guys Opinion".

My jewelry is available in my Etsy shop as well as The Old Creamery Antiques in Middlebury.  So you can see a theme here...I'm trying to stay as local as possible and avoid all the driving time.  So I'm inviting all my South Bend customers/friends to check out our wonderful little town in the country.  

I also volunteer as a tour guide for Krider's World Fair Garden/Park.  The tours take place Thursday at 10am and my tour will be next week on June 29th.  If you are into gardening The Michiana Master Gardeners, Garden Walk will be on July 8th and our garden will be in it.  

Having the opportunity to pursue my dream of opening a shop opened has been such a highpoint in my life.  We have met so many wonderful souls and it provided so many other opportunities for Linda and I  (writing for a local news letter, design work, wedding planning, hosting events, teaching classes, as well as my current job teaching at Ivy Tech)  I will be forever grateful to all of you that made it possible.  Thank you for your continued support.  The hardest part of leaving (once again) is the wonderful people you meet along the way.

Ignition Music Logo
Summer Aloha Shirts

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I'm Back!

After a much needed break (2 years) I'll be back at junk Evolution as Urban Mountain Traders starting on March 17 and 18th.

Life is to precious to be spent sitting....waiting.  We love the energy of special events like a First Friday or a weekend Art/Craft show, where it's a whirl wind of activity,  "Buy now or cry later" type of show.  

junk Evolution was about to throw their hat in the ringer and retire. Then Linda had the idea to shrink it down to a monthly market and we were all in.  The Market @ junk Evolution was born!  Beginning March 17th (Lucky St. Patricks day!) and March 18th the shop will be open 2 DAYS A MONTH.  That's where the Buy now, cry later part comes into play.  

We hope that it inspires us to have more time to be creative, and get back to the original "Evolution" of junk, not just struggling to keep the shop filled.  Our merchandise will be of the utmost quality, and we hope the shop will be new and different every month.  This will also give Char and Linda more time for Design work, so let us know if you need help with upcoming projects, Interior Design, party planning, wedding decor know how we love a challenge!

We are also partnering with the other shops at Hill and Colfax in this endeavor so CircaArts Gallery, Inspire Me!  and Piser Designs will also be open late on the 3rd weekend.

We won't be offering any refreshments because we are planning to meet you for an After Party at The General Store Cafe, just down the street on Jefferson.  We can't wait to see all of our customers and friends!
 We will keep you posted for more information as it develops.

Friday, February 3, 2017

UMT Style

For people who love ADVENTURE

New Flannels and jewelry are loaded into the Etsy shop.  
You can click to the link on the right side of this page.