Showing posts from July, 2010

What Have I Been Doing ?

For the past week I have been busy working with Emery to transform our guest room into a proper girls guest room. One that a girl can find that sort of old fashioned moment of reprieve from the busy-ness of modern life.
We put up a wooden tongue and groove ceiling and painted it white, really giving the room that cottage feel to it and from that point on it was creating the space I wanted. I have always loved bed crowns but to me they are a bit costly, so I purchased a little black metal shelf at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off and then rubbed it with gold leaf. Tied on the drapes with ribbon and put some paper flowers around the top to dress it up just a tiny bit. I have filled the room with things dear to me and things I love to look at. In a way, this room is for me, as it will have my writing desk in it, by the window and am on the hunt for a cozy easy chair to put in the corner near the lamp as a place to read and gaze out the window at the birds or watch the wind tussle the cl…

Summer Afternoon

It's hot out today, 97 in the shade. There is a little breeze which helps make it bearable when you are out working. The goats have sought the shady spots in the pasture, just laying about chewing their cuds. The chickens seem to be seeking shelter from the sun under the trees too.
I hung clothes up early this morning, washing them late last night just before I went to bed so I could get them out on the line first thing this morning. This kind of summer heat can be hard on the clothes. The sun is so strong. Everything was dry in less time than it takes a clothes dryer to do the job. I hung out a pair of bright red long johns, made me dream of cold weather when such garments are a blessing to have on under your clothes. I had found them in a stack of clothes that somehow didn't make it up to the attic for storage. It made me smile watching them dance around in the breeze, the air scented lightly with the fragrance of the Italian pine mixed with the smell of sweet ripe peaches n…

Old Fashioned Green Living

This afternoon as Emery and I sat next to each other churning ice cream made from our goats milk and eggs from our chickens we talked about how so much of the talk these days is about Green living and its a good conversation to have, only its turned into some sort of marketing frenzy that has people spending lots of GREEN.
I made a lentil loaf today and covered it in the oven with a cookie sheet, no need for aluminum foil...after all what did your great grandmother do ? She used another pan to cover the one in the oven if what was being baked needed to be covered. And then what did she do in place of plastic wrap for storing food, simple really. I do it too. Most of my stainless steel bowls can be covered with a pot lid that is the same size or many mixing bowls that are used for storage too, can be covered with a dinner plate or a bread plate if the bowl is small. Imagine if we all went back to doing things this way, we would be living with a lot less plastic waste in the dumps. I sti…

Thoughts on the day so far

Milking to be done, other chores too. Laundry to be hung up. The unpleasant but necessary job of cleaning an abscess left by a wound on the goat. Mustang grapes to be trimmed back and the list goes on. Clouds hang in the sky like drooping laundry on a sagging clothes line, heavy with moisture. The humidity is visible and you can smell. Damp soil, wet leaves. With all this work to do I will have plenty of time to think, to pray, to muse. Lately I have been wondering why it is so many that call Jesus their Lord, live so unlike him in principle. Myself included. His words so simple and really not that many, if you take all his words from the New Testament, you will find they hardly make up a booklet, but they are profound and somewhat radical. Treat all men as your brother. Give to the poor, doesn't matter if you think they deserve it. Don't judge. Treat others the way you want to be treated....does that even mean in political discussions ?
There is a site that has just the words…

"As you simplify your life..."

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."
~Henry David Thoreau~

Living On One Income

Living simply isn't new to me, its just the way we have lived for nearly every year of our marriage, except for a few years in California and those years were not living our dream, just living where we were.
I get emails quite often asking about the how to's of living on one income, even when that income is not huge. Here is a repost from 2007 that explains some of the ways we have done it, even when the children were young. click the link below to find out how we did it and honestly, not much has changed since then. Children all grown, so we have more spending money, but we certainly keep it simple.
Living On One Income


Gentleness is something I strive for, but I fear I am far from the mark. I am not meaning physical gentleness, that isn't a problem for me in any way shape or form, but gentleness of thoughts and words...well, that's a bit different for me. Weighing an independent spirit and a gentle spirit on the scale is not always easy to balance.
1 Peter 3 says so beautifully that..."3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." I know this verse is true because I have met a few gentle and quiet spirited women and they glow with such an inner beauty ! But for me, I know there runs deep within me this generational Yankee strong minded, Independence that roars with that saying..."don't tread on me" kind of mentality and that is not always the sort o…

Happy 4th Of July

The Name of Old Glory
by James Whitcomb Riley

Old Glory! say, who, By the ships and the crew, And the long, blended ranks of the gray and the blue, Who gave you, Old Glory, the name that you bear With such pride everywhere As you cast yourself free to the rapturous air And leap out full-length, as we're wanting you to? Who gave you that name, with the ring of the same, And the honor and fame so becoming to you? Your stripes stroked in ripples of white and of red, With your stars at their glittering best overhead By day or by night Their delightfulest light Laughing down from their little square heaven of blue! Who gave you the name of Old Glory? - say, who Who gave you the name of Old Glory? The old banner lifted, and faltering then In vague lisps and whispers fell silent again.
Old Glory,--speak out!--we are asking about How you happened to "favor" a name, so to say, That sounds so familiar and careless and gay As we cheer it and shout in our wild breezy way We-the crowd, every man of us, c…

Julia Child making omelette on an electric stove top

Just A Thought, I think we are spoiled

Sitting in the living room, sipping a piping hot mug of Barry's Gold tea and watching Julia Child cook. Its an old show, and there she is making wonderful, gourmet food on an electric stove top using rather cheap looking aluminum pans. Makes me think a bit about how so many today cannot imagine being able to cook in such a kitchen. Just proves, its not the stove or the quality of the pans that creates masterpieces in the kitchen, its the cook and a good cook can apparently turn out delights in less than a gourmet kitchen.
She had no fancy cabinetry behind her, and her counter tops were just formica or something like that, and using a GAS stove....aren't we spoiled !

Peace in my heart

For me, peace in my heart is a goal worth searching for, for working towards and for stopping in my tracks to see if its already there, just not being acknowledged in this busy world we all move about in.
Right this minutes, cinnamon candles burn brightly on the table, chasing away the gloominess of the day, and the sweetest music plays on my stereo that evokes within me a calmness and contentment that is far more precious than gold. A hammered dulcimer playing a melody that feeds my soul. This morning I walked past our garden, that seems to be struggling this year to do anything much. The ground too dry, too used up, and now muddy. Weeds however, never seem to be affected by such adversity. They grow to survive. Next year the garden will lay still, a year of rest and we will nourish it with minerals and other nutrients it so badly needs. Even in its sad state, the garden gives, not as much as we had hoped, but still if gives. How thankful we are that we live in a time when we do not h…

Cheese Making Day

With so much goat milk, I have been busy making ice cream and cheese. Today is Ricotta cheese making day, so tonight there will be lasagna on the table for supper.
I use the standard whole milk easy ricotta recipe. 3 Tablespoons of White Vinegar to two quarts of milk. Heat the milk to 200 F, then add the vinegar, heat up to 200 once again. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain the curds, hanging it in butter muslin. I use a clean hand woven dish towel. Works great. Let drain for an hour and then I lightly salt and its ready to use. Will be making bread using the whey. The chickens will get the leftover whey or maybe it will be the rose bushes Here are some photos of the process this morning. Heating the milk slowly to 200 F Lining a colander with a hand woven tea towel Vinegar to curd the milk with Getting close to the 200 F Right after the vinegar is added, the milk curdles the whey Hanging the cheese to drain the finished product which as I write this, is in the oven in the form of lasagna and br…

Little Folk Visuals

So many of you have emailed asking about the little felt book that I thought I would provide the link so you can see all the wonderful items available from this company.
I still have the Deluxe Bible set that we bought for the girls nearly 30 years ago and they look brand new. Have held up to lots of use. I used them every week to tell the girls the Bible story that went along with their Sabbath School lesson. It was a wise investment !
We also had many of the educational sets for homeschooling purposes.
If you happen to live near a Seventh Day Adventist Book Store, they are usually sold there too.
Just click the link below for information about ordering.
Little Folk Visuals