Monday, April 24, 2017

waiting on spring

















I am definitely beginning to see the change, but it is coming slowly this year.
It is very hard to be patient. Here and there we get ONE dry/warm day and then it's back to rain.
Occasionally on dry days we will eat outside in warm jackets. Talking about how we like the way the picnic tables are now turning dark and gray, and what we hope to accomplish when the weather finally gets nice.

The kids are starting to play outside as though the weather were warm anyway. Over the weekend many of them played in the marsh until dusk, and then came back shivering.

Soccer has began again. We have four kids playing on four different teams again. I am coaching the youngest's team, and Matt is helping with the other three teams. Matt also helps out as a referee. We are getting into this sport pretty deep now, but it is really uniting digging deep together. Often Layla and Eislee come and help me with Ollie's practices. Matt takes Layla to Maiko's practices. We all watch each other's games and cheer. Last Saturday we were all out in the pouring rain together from 9am (the first game) until 2:30pm (when the last game ended). Next weekend everyone will miss their games. Maiko has a competition with his ROV club, and the girls and I are off to seaside for a little getaway with the grandparents. I am so excited for this little vacation.

I feel like I am getting the hang of kombucha making!
My favorite recipe for the second fermentation is lemon ginger honey. I juice the ginger and lemon. Then I whisk together 1 tbsp ginger juice with 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp honey. I have actually started using that little combo with whiskey and hot water to make toddys... so good. The girls and I also made a strawberry lemonade kombucha a few days ago and it has been quite a hit. We juiced strawberries and lemon. Then mixed 5 tbsp strawberry juice with 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp honey.
I am beginning to read up on sourdough now. That is going to be my next fermentation adventure.

*The purple desk was a craigslist find for Eislee. She has wanted a desk of her own for many years and that one was screaming her name.
*The last two pictures are of a little sensory bin I put together for my youngest two (although I notice the older two running their hands through it often. "It feels so relaxing!" my daughter says). Split peas, silver little espresso pitchers and serving spoons, little lambs and bunnies. Sweet spring.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Big News about the Big Dog










Ezra, the Great Pyrenees, is back at home with his original owner.
Looking through these old photos almost made me cry, but I do honestly think this is for the best.
We had Ezra for eight months, and although we enjoyed our time with him, a few things came to light that made me question if this was truly the right long term home for him. 
His original owner has been back at home for some time now (all alone) and seems to have recovered very well from his surgery. When i called to talk to him about my thoughts he said "Jenny, It's not a problem. I can come pick him up today." 
I was not expecting that. I was a bit shocked to have it all happen so fast. I had merely questioned if he should stay here, and then suddenly he was leaving. BUT, I felt this enormous weight lift off my shoulders after he left. A weight I didn't even fully realize I was holding. A weight I have been carrying for eight months.  That weightless feeling, combined with the owners eagerness to take him back, and Ezra's eagerness to go with him, AND the kids were completely okay with it all (that shocked me)... anyway... all combined... it really feels like the right thing. 

And we are still his top dog sitters.

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 http://dishingupthedirt.com/. 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

recovering








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.
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