Saturday, March 31, 2012

yesterday was full of splendid little moments...the ones where you feel fully alive and quite satisfied.

the temperature outside was absolutely perfect...
cool enough for a light sweater, warm enough for a cotton dress.
the sun shone, the grass was green and the flowers bloomed.
i left the back door open to let in a spring breeze as
i stood by the big kitchen sink, peeling potatoes and listening to a lovely melody.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the chicks are growing up!
it's amazing how quickly they change...feathers appear out of nowhere and little bodies fatten up.
one of the buff orpingtons has quite the personality...she is an adventurer, the brave one of the crew.
i often find her perching on the bin or sitting on the floor outside of the bin.

we decided to name the girls after queens and princesses:
the light brahmas are diana and kate.
the dark brahmas are victoria and mary.
the orpingtons are elizabeth I and elizabeth II.
we have yet to distinguish which one gets which name...
although the adventurous orpington is definitely elizabeth II, reigning monarch of this chicken kingdom.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

dressing table, vanity...
whatever you want to call it, i love the table a woman sets aside in her bedroom for all her pretty things.
this one is mine.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which G-d prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
eph. 2:10

Friday, March 23, 2012

flour tortillas from the river cottage bread handbook.

yesterday i made the easiest flour tortillas.
i have made tortillas before and did not love the results.
this time i found a winner!
i could not believe how easy these were to make and how great they tasted!
i don't plan on ever buying tortillas from the store again.
the recipe comes from the river cottage bread handbook:

2 cups AP flour, plus more for dusting (I used half AP/half whole wheat)
1 tsp fine salt
2/3 cup water (I had to add about a tbsp more)

mix together the ingredients to form a rough dough.
knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
divide into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a round. 
flour the work surface and roll the rounds out thinly (1/16 to 1/8-inch thickness). 
heat a frying pan over medium heat (no need to add oil) and have a clean tea towel ready.
once the pan is hot, lay a tortilla in it and cook for 30 seconds (until the underside is patched with dark brown) and then flip to cook other side.
once cooked, place in the tea towel to hold in steam (this keeps the tortillas soft). 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

trip to florida for a sweet wedding under the spanish moss.
unfortunately the only good photo i got of the entire wedding is the one above.
i came home to baby chicks that are starting to look like chickens...more feathers, more body mass.
i also came home to little seedlings popping out from under the soil!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


a paperwhite story.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

dark brahma.

buff orpington.

light brahma.

we did it.
i finally have six little chicks of my own!
it was kind of hard to choose which breeds but i think we did good...
they are all three supposed to be good layers and gentle.
the brahmas are especially fun because they grow feathers on their feet.
now we need to name them...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kitchen; Zero-waste home

On a recycling note, here is a link to Sunset magazine's feature on the Zero Waste Home.
You can also watch different videos about the home starting with this link.

i finally made my own laundry detergent using this simple recipe.
my laundry looks and smells clean so it has been working great so far!
and i am pretty sure i am saving a good chunk of change by making my own.
i went by southern states yesterday to buy pansies and just happened to stop and look at the baby chickens and ducks for sale.
we are still discussing things and have to make sure it is legal to have chickens in the village but i have high hopes our animal family will be growing soon!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

dirt under my nails.
garden boots on.
it feels good to be out digging and raking and weeding and dreaming of the spring to come.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

today i became an expert at using a circular saw.

here's how:
back in august jeremiah and i dug up a patch a ground for a garden.
well it turns out that patch of ground is also a mini swamp which is in no way a suitable place for little seedlings.
so this morning we woke up on a mission to solve that problem. 
the end result was six raised beds made out of bamboo.
besides there being a mini swamp on the property, there is also a bamboo forest.
i spent most of the day cutting bamboo into four foot poles while jeremiah constructed the beds.
we are pretty happy with the end product! 
i hope to get them filled with soil this coming week and maybe get a few early spring crops started as well. 

p.s. go heels!

Friday, March 2, 2012

a few ways jeremiah and i reduce waste in our home...

the most common way we reduce the use of paper towels is by using dish towels and rags. 
i always have a towel hanging for wiping off wet hands and another for wiping off wet dishes.
i also use a small rag for wiping off the countertops and little spills.
i change my towels every few days or right after one gets heavily soiled.

 we don't use paper napkins either.
i have an assorted collection of cloth napkins...
small ones for not too messy meals,
thicker napkins for messier meals,
and large napkins for wrapping up dry food (slice of bread, muffin, etc) for on the go.

another way we replace paper towels is with scrap rags and towels.
back in charlotte, i bought a large trash bag full of rags and towels from a thrift store for $5.
i have been using them since to clean up all sorts of spills and to do my basic cleaning.
i have small rags for the cleaning the bathroom, etc.,
medium size rags for spills,
and large towels for wiping off a wet puppy, cleaning big spills, etc.
i love this method and rarely use paper towels for cleanup.

a simple and very ladylike way to avoid using tissues is to use hankies instead!
i much rather blow my nose on pretty hankie rather than a scratchy tissue.
keep a large supply on hand for prolonged sick days.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

a garden grows...