Saturday, March 11, 2017

reading and resting

  • the weather- it has been an extremely wet winter this year, and although it isn't that cold... it feels exceptionally cold to us because we ran out of dry wood a few weeks ago. thank goodness we all have electric heaters in our bedrooms, and i purchased everyone down jackets for christmas. those things are getting us through quite comfortably. 
  • my "new" room- (first few pictures and last few pictures) in the fall we put new carpet throughout the house. we went from a light, easily stained color to a dark, multi-colored brownish gray... basically the color of a stain... it's wonderful. i decided to move everything out early to paint the ceiling and walls of our large bedroom and walk-in closet. my husband thought i was crazy (i questioned my sanity as well), but the room truly needed some fresh paint. i am so glad now, that i put the extra effort in. our bedroom went from my least favorite room in the house to my favorite. it is the children's favorite now too! well, the cozy changes and the fact that it's one of the largest rooms in the house with heat... hmm.
  • reading- right now i am reading "deep nutrition, why your genes need tradition food". the author, catherine shanahan, studied biochemistry and genetics, then went to medical school, and then studied ethnobotany and the culinary habits of her healthiest patients. a very interesting read. my husband ordered it to read himself but i opened the package when it arrived :) so he will have to wait (don't worry, he ordered about ten other books too. he has plenty of reading). i also ordered four new cookbooks. all pictured above... "the nourished kitchen", "broths and stocks", "fermented vegetables", and "mastering fermentation". i am just beginning to dive into those, but so far i am very impressed with all of them. i also read "the witch of blackbird pond" and "the giver" recently and LOVED them both, especially "the giver". 
  • food- i have really been enjoying this oregon food blog i have tried her cranberry ginger granolacarrot parsnip ginger soup, and red lentil soup. all were wonderful. i looovve that granola... wow... so good. i have finally jumped on the kombucha train. it's pretty fun. i have a lot of questions... do any of you ferment your own kombucha? i have many food goals for the near future... start making sauerkraut, kehfir, sourdough (with sprouted grain flour), find a raw milk source... i am going to start with those and then add new goals.
  • the new calf- she was born on my birthday. first time i got to witness the entire birth. also, they named her after me. so sweet.
  • my oldest daughter is now homeschooling. there was no problem with public school. we just decided we want to have each child homeschool for a year or two, one child at a time, and my husband decided this was her year. more on this later.
  • my moon garland. this was a fun project. i made a moon cycle out of clay, new moon to full moon back to new moon. i painted them with hammered silver paint, and strung them on twine. this project had been on my mind for months, so it felt good to actually get it out of my head and into reality. the idea came from a friend. we were supposed to get together and make moon garlands and then she was never able to visit. well, i couldn't stop thinking about my project so i just had to make it anyway.

i didn't expect this post to come out quite so long and all over the place. i suppose this is what i should expect to happen when i post so sporadically. at least with the bullets you can choose to read just the bits you may be interested in.
oh friends, spring is on the way. i am beginning to get lost in that late winter dream cycle... making far too many plans for the warm sunny days ahead. i am so excited for that spring energy, but i am also enjoying the restful dream filled end of winter.

Monday, February 20, 2017


all of these photos are from january.
there has been no more frost... only rain... lots and lots of rain.
my wreath is still holding up quite well.
the dolls are in the same state now that they were then... no progress whatsoever.
we have played the game "shadows in the forest" less and less as the days grow longer.
i decided to use these photos because they were already uploaded and ready to go. i put these up and was ready to write and post when my laptop crashed. it is still in a sad state, and i really hope it can be fixed. matt has set up a nice little desktop for us all in the house now. i am enjoying having a computer to use again, but i prefer a laptop and how it can be put away out of sight. i prefer all of my electronics that way. a small thin tv that i keep in the closet most days, a small laptop that fits in my desk drawer. there is something so freeing about removing them from sight. it's almost as if they aren't even there.
anyway, the reason this post is called "recovering" is because that is exactly the state we are in right now. an awful virus attacked this family over the last couple of days and we are finally in the stage of recovery. when i recall the last 48 hours there are moments that i actually laugh out load at some of the absurd events that took place. when four digestive systems decide to release their entire contents over the course of one night and there are only two bathrooms... things get pretty interesting. i was thankful that neither of the littlest ones were sick while the rest of us were. it would have been so hard to care for them too. i was lucky. i had a much easier time than the others and so i was able to kindof/sortof care for everyone. eislee was very fortunate. she was entirely spared. matt thinks it might have to do with the fact that she ate an entire bag of tangarines right before our exposure. i was commenting today that the optimistic thing about such a terrible virus is that once you make it through... just feeling normal is absolutely wonderful.

the house is a disaster.
the amount of laundry and dishes is insane.
but i feel great... because i feel almost completely normal again.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

making merry

did i ever mention that the polar bear is here to stay?
he really is such a wonderful addition to our family. certainly lots of extra mess (just look at those dirty feet) but entirely worth the work. i have been trying to train him to walk into our walk-in shower for a nice bath/shower but he wants nothing to do with it. i know that after his first wash in that nice lukewarm water that he will love it. it's pretty funny. i lure him all the way in with little dog biscuits, then i sit one in the shower, and he immediately turns around and walks out the door. when you read about it everyone writes how these great pyrenees don't need bathed very often because their coats are self cleaning. and they are. but that means that all of that dirt flakes off all over the house. he comes in muddy, falls asleep on (hopefully the wood) floor, then in the morning there is a GIANT pile of dry dirt left behind. HA! luckily, i'm pretty much over it. i mean, i still let him in. i open the door to a big muddy dog. i look at him for a second and say "seriously ezra" then i open the door wide and with a slight sigh say "come on in". i'd say that's over it.

i went a little crazy with the holiday crafting this year. i think we found a few keepers though. 
  • first of all... the dolls that i am making for my girls are from this book, they are also the only thing that i am confident i will not finish in time. i plan to just wrap them up in whatever state they are in and let them open them. then we can finish them together.
  • the winter spiced coffee is my own recipe influenced by trader joe's "wintry blend". i searched and searched for winter blend coffee recipes and couldn't find anything that used whole spices so i created my own recipe which i will share at the end of this post. the adorable labels are a free printable you can find here. they are wonderful. lots of different shapes and sizes... all can be customized to say anything you like. this gift was inspired by this post which used the same labels with a chai tea mix.
  • the aromatic chest rub is a recipe from taproot's issue 9 : breathe i bought all of my ingredients from mountain rose herbs including the nifty 4oz tins. the labels are these ones from avery and the sweet deer print is a template that i used on their website. the web address for their free template program is actually on the package of labels. that was fun and easy to use... lots of cute designs... tons of christmas designs. i wish they had more label sizes. 
  • the lip balm is the tea infused lip balm from taproot's issue 12 : bread. i used sweet almond oil and infused it with traditional medicinal's gypsy cold care tea and ordered all ingredients except the tea through mountain rose herbs. used the 1/2 tins for these.
  • we also made this salve and used the 1oz tins for that. i infused the olive oil with lavendar and chamomile. 
  • made this peppermint bark (see what i mean about going a little crazy?) and i plan to put it in half pint wide mouth jars with the same printable label as the coffee.
winter spiced coffee recipe

will fill one 1/2 pint jar

1/2 cup coffee (ground)
1 cinnamon stick (broken into pieces... i used a hammer and a cutting board)
3-4 alspice berries
7 cloves
1/2 tbsp cardamom pods
1/2 tbsp peppercorns (use any color combination you like. i used a mix of red, white, green, and black)
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean

mix ingredients together and place in a 1/2 pint jar. brew as you would any other ground coffee. we like our coffee strong so i use one 1/2 pint to brew a full pot. 

i don't recommend this level of christmas crafting. i wouldn't have finished but i had already ordered everything. last year i didn't hand make anything. this year i went crazy. next year i plan to find balance.
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