Sunday, July 31, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Our landlord really did a great job of renovating both places, (for the most part.) (And this is a great time to mention that if you own a building that you are planning on renovating and have never lived in a small space or apartment before, please call me for a consultation before you knock down/build new walls or create bathrooms with out linen closets or place the AC control unit right next to the kitchen which is the hottest part of the house or create giant rooms with two plug options or…well, you get the idea. I will give you great, practical, experienced advice for a small fee and your future tenants will be most grateful to you for not putting carpet in the only space usable for a dining area in the house.
Not compared to the average American, young married couple, but it does look and feel like we have a lot. Books for one.
The cats miss the old place, but they are diggin' all of the hiding places in the new.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
And then there was this:
For just $5 I got to reminisce back to 5 years old and wallow in all the mushrooms, turtles, and fire-spitting plants I could remember! I impressed myself by being able to recall many of the hidden power stars, money boxes, free men and secret tunnel pipes after decades of not playing. And if that wasn’t enough to take up all the free time I have, I spent another $5 on the Nintendo game I always wanted but we never bought: Super Mario Bros. 3!
I literally felt guilty for the entire half hour I played. I wasn’t avoiding any work that needed to be done though. I think this was just a deeply engrained guilt that has been planted in me somewhere along the way that playing video games is a waste of time and completely unproductive.
So, I also made this today:
With the sweet honey butter, it was the perfect afternoon dessert.
By the way, is anyone reading this? A couple people have told me they are but I would love it if people would start commenting. It would be great to know who my readers are, so please comment every once in a while.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Yes, those are purple potatoes mixed in there.
My husband wooed me with these lovely spuds a few years ago while we were still dating. Who doesn’t love purple food?! For years they were incredibly difficult to find in our grocery store, until now.
They are sold in a lovely, little fingerlings bag of mixed potatoes in our meager but present organic section. We resisted the ultimate temptation to devour all of them and I set some aside to root. I know some gardeners don’t recommend this, but an experienced gardener friend gave me the “thumbs up” so I am trusting her and this man who seemed to have a good experience.
So, they have been decorating the corner of my kitchen for a few weeks now. Soon they will decorate the corner of my garden.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
I am ushering in Spring with this sweet little piece I have decided to call “Buds & Leaves.”
And on that note, Bluebonnets will be here soon!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Lent is the time spent in preparation for the cross of Jesus Christ. I find Easter Sunday significantly more joyful when the forty days before are spent in reflection and though it is difficult, repentance. I try not to rush to the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus by walking slowly through Ash Wednesday, the forty days of Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Often, Christians choose to “give up” something and/or take up a new practice during Lent to aid in being more reflective in this season of the Church.
Greg and I spent our Ash Wednesday morning driving to a town near Dallas. As a consequence, we missed all services in our town. After a full day in a dentist chair, (more on that later,) I got creative with some hotel matches, a soap dish and a little “blood of Christ.”
We were grateful for this website to aid us in our reflection as we marked each other’s foreheads in ash with a reminder of our plight without the grace of Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Being sick has led to being tired all of the time which has led to a cluttered and messy home. This cluttered and messy home is due to all of the craft and food projects I’ve been tackling while trying to nurse myself back to health followed by an unwillingness to clean up after myself. ::spoken in a whiney voice:: "I don't feeeeel goood."
I was also hit by a car yesterday morning while sitting at a stoplight. Fortunately, there was no one in front of me so the accident involved only me and the guy who was too emotionally distressed to realize there was a car in front of him. This was my first (well second, but I hardly count the first girl who hit my 10 years ago) wreck. I remember screaming from shock and not much else.
Unfortunately, I have a very sore neck and a headache since this happened. The other VERY unfortunate thing is that every time I eat or place my mouth in certain positions, I have a shooting pain up my right jaw. In all of my jaw problems the last twenty years, I’ve never felt anything specifically like that pain. I’m also just TWO WEEKS away from the biggest last step in the reconstruction process I’ve been in for five years. I’m so nervous that this will set me back. I’m praying otherwise.
I finished knitting another baby hat and sewing some cute napkins. (Pictures to come.) Otherwise I’ve been working on Suss Cousins’ Long Shawl Collar Coat in Hollywood Knits Style. It the first project just for me in a year and a half. Can’t wait to finish it and show you pics.
Until then, I love this pic I took the day we drove back from Florida.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Every review I’ve read about dehydrators said to not bother with cheaper models. This is the best so don’t waste your money elsewhere. I was happy to oblige except that this was such a price-y machine for our household budget. Normally, this is a $300 unit. E-bay didn’t ask anywhere near that amount though. The Excalibur Manufacturer posted these on E-bay as “Factory Blemished Models” with a significant discount. The factory blemish was…well, I don’t know what it was. I still haven’t found it. The website said it was only external scuffs but I have yet to notice where they are. I’m not worried about it though because it still has %100 10-year warranty.
First project: Greens I salvaged from the garden before the snow covered them.
Friday, February 4, 2011
which equals productivity.
I know you northerners are laughing but the truth is that those of us in the south simply do not know how to drive on icy roads. They only get that way a few times a year…not enough to build experience. We also don’t have snowploughs…a key ingredient for safer driving.
The day off also equaled pipes still frozen followed by some creativity.
But more on that later, for now enjoy these:
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
So yesterday was a sneak peak at what that kind of life might look like for us. Greg went to work for a couple hours and then came home since their office closed. He was able to get a lot of schoolwork done, which was a plus for him. I spent the morning cleaning up the kitchen and living room and then baking some pumpkin bread with some of my preserved pumpkin purée.
(The recipe from Simply in Seaason is very tasty. I substituted all of the oil and some of the pumpkin purée for applesauce. I also substituted a 1/4th of a cup of white flour for ground flax seed.) I then spent time delivering the bread to some friends and had an impromptu visit while one friend ate lunch with her boys. What a delight to get to drop by a friend’s house in the middle of the day and get invited in for a visit.
I came home to a warm lunch my husband had prepared and then spent some much needed time sorting photos that date back to 1987.
I was almost done with my photos when a friend knocked on the door. She had her two kids with her at work all day since their school was canceled and she had another friend’s sick child with her. She needed some help getting them all down for naps. I hoped in her car and rode the two minutes to her house and shortly there after was rocking a baby to sleep in my arms while singing What A Wonderful World.
At home I finished sorting photos and finished knitting a baby hat
while my husband put dinner on the table. We finished a couple loads of laundry and then nestled down for the evening as the temperatures dropped even further. It’s a good thing we did all of those dishes and laundry because this morning we woke up to frozen pipes and rolling brown-outs. We nestled in a little longer.
Surprisingly, work was not canceled today but we did go in a little later. I took a shower at a friend’s house and another friend has offered her mother-in-law suite for us to stay in until we get flowing water.
I have yet to express any of my religious beliefs yet in this blog. I can say here though, that I believe that God calls us to a life lived in community. It is a rare gift to get to call upon and be called upon by a community of people in times of need. We live such independent lives in this culture and are afraid to rely on anyone else for fear of imposition. I plan on breaking that trend. This life cannot be lived in isolation. I for one am grateful for that chance to have an impromptu lunch with a friend, rock a baby to sleep and borrow a shower.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
We had dinner with our friends outside on Friday evening and the weather could not have been more perfect.
Thin layers + fire-pit + Yankee Pot Roast = Perfect
This is just a teaser though. We'll have another winter blast in the middle of this week. Living in Central Texas means that anything goes for weather. Who could forget our snowy Easter of 2007? It isn't often that you get to see snow on bluebonnets!
Stay tuned in the next couple weeks for:
v My first batch of Kombucha.
v A cute little knitted baby-hat for a friend’s newborn on the east coast.
v A finger labyrinth burned into a piece of wood.
v A knitted head-band/neck warmer. (A great, quick project to keep my interest long term.)
v Some harvest from my garden.
v Four knitted baby-blankets for two friend's babies and two nieces all of which are between 6 months and 2 years late.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
This picture tells a pretty cool story. Each person in this picture (me being the exception) was the first born on the maternal side. Five generations of first-born females. This even goes back one more generation. My mom has a picture like this one that has my sister as baby and my great-great grandmother in it. It is a rare and special gift that my nieces get to know their great-great-grannie.
It is a gift that I get to know my great-grandmother.
Happy Birthday, Grannie! I love you.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
So after months of overcoming my fears as well as timing everything correctly so I wouldn’t be up at 3:00 in the morning, I prepared to make some yogurt. I’ve made some before with a friend and hers turned out just fine. Of course she had been making it for years.
I decided to use a crock-pot method for ease my first time. How difficult could it be? There are two ingredients and about five steps including “turn on your crock-pot” and “wait”. There isn’t even any temperature checking. I used this recipe
http://www.nourishingdays.com/2009/02/make-yogurt-in-your-crock-pot/ and several people commented on how easy it was.
We get our milk raw in a co-op from http://www.norsrawmilk.com/. It’s the kind that’s never been touched by a machine except the milking machine, which I’ve witnessed firsthand. No pasteurization, no homogenization, no hormones, steroids etc. It is simply beautiful grass fed cows producing lovely milk with the cream that rises to the top for my coffee.
If you look closely you can see the separation.
So armed with my crock-pot, raw milk, and yogurt starter (also from Nors Raw milk,) I set to work.
v Turn on crock-pot and pour milk. ü
v Heat on low for 2 and a half hours. ü
v Turn off crock-pot and let milk cool for 3 hours. Oops.
(My husband says he’s going to buy me an apron one day embroidered with the word: “Oops” across the front. It’s a common word heard when I’m in the kitchen.) I accidentally skipped this step. I realized I skipped it but not until after I also put my spoon that had already been dipped in my starter into my heated milk thinking that I was about to mix them soon anyway. So I backtracked and simply turned off the crock-pot and hoped for the best.
v After 3 hours remove some milk and mix in starter. ü
v Mix in heated milk. ü
v Wrap in towel. ü
v Let is culture overnight, 8-12. ü
I woke the next morning hoping to find a pot of smooth, creamy, tasty yogurt. Instead I woke to a soppy, runny, smelly mess.
I have a couple of theories. The yogurt I used had once been frozen. Perhaps the bacteria died in the freeze? Also, the yogurt that I used was already kind of thin and runny. Perhaps it was not fully yogurt? (My milk farmer made it from his milk.) Fortunately, it was only a $5.50 mess-up. I am sad that I lost a half-gallon of milk, though.
I’ll let you know if the next time ends in a success or another massive failure.