Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm not a "City Girl" anymore!



Earlier this week, our family accompanied my Dad on a two-day business trip to Atlanta. We thought it would be a fun mini-vacation... back to the city where my parents went to college and met, and where my sister & I spent most of our childhood before we all moved to the country.

Lights. Noise. Cars. Traffic.

Our hotel was in the heart of Atlanta, and although the area held fond memories (especially for my parents) we all soon realized how few places were "child friendly/family oriented"!
We went through the mall and let me tell you, I was surprised.
I used to love the mall-- the glitz, the people-watching, and shopping...but now that I'm "outside" of it, its so foreign and empty now!
LOL you should have seen the horrified glances as we strolled by the make-up counters...they didn't even 'attempt' to sell us anything~!!
The good news is that we stopped by a few secondhand stores and found a few treasures!
~

Basket $2
A full size wicker basket in "antique blue".
My mom picked up charming pieces of lace, linen and a patchwork pillowcase as well!
~

Lace shawl $2.50
My sister found this lovely shawl for me, and it's beautiful!
It's the perfect "stepping out" shawl--will easily dress up an everyday prairie dress :)
~
Chair $4
I couldn't pass this up--this small chair is in perfect condition!
I've seen worn ones at higher prices, but indeed, beauty is in the eye of the beholder :)
~

Waterbath canner $5
Although we already have a pressure canner, a waterbath canner is good to have on hand for sealing jams and jellies. Ah, I can't wait to start canning!
~

Porcelain Pie Server $3

It really pays to "just ask". This was originally $6 at an old atique shop, but I asked the cashier if he'd take $3, and he agreed! I'm thrilled--I'll be using this at my 18th birthday party!
~

It's Good to be HOME!


I quickly put on my prairie dress, laced up my leather boots,
watered my plants, and started baking bread.

"There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort."

Jane Austen

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring, Spring, Spring...

Welcome, Spring!



Fresh collards and kale from our urban garden
~

Mom planting a Nandina shrub in a new location
~

Fresh baked bread at the cottage
{I experimented and added molasses and irish oatmeal}
~


A small ladder built by my adventurous brother
~

My sister painting our front porch rocking chair
~
In the woods...
A tipi built by my creative sister
~




"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life." - John Burroughs

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Strawberries

I placed an early order for 25 strawberries a few months ago,
and after much anticipation, they finally came!! I couldn't wait to get 'em in the ground!


I decided to try 5 different varieties:
*SeaScape (everbearing)
*Chandler (junebearing)
*Albion (everbearing)
*Oso Grande (junebearing)
*Fort Laramie (everbearing)

Planting Bareroot Strawberries

Each bundle held 5 plants
I drew a 10 in. circle, then loosened the area


I made a mound in the center...


Dip the roots in water and place the plant on the mound
(I made sure the roots were "fanned out" before covering with soil)


Then I watered deeply around each crown~

I made homemade plant markers by cutting old blinds into 4-5 in. pieces.
Easy, and won't fade or wear out!


We helped my Dad to move the fencing (from around the house) to the field to place around the newly planted berries. The deer out here are vicious! :)

Two of the posts are tree limbs...old fashioned, eh?
3 days later...

One week later

It may be next year before we get an abundance, but I'm looking forward to having strawberries!


Sneak peek: I started my seedlings in the greenhouse last week, and I'm so excited! Here's a picture of 4 day old cucumbers :)


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Misty morning

My Dad encouraged us to wake up earlier so we could get more work done--but its so much more than that. I was left in awesome wonder of the hidden beauty a few hours in the morning bring. The smell, sounds, color...I didn't come close to capturing it!
I must admit, I'm not a morning person (more like a "night owl") but I think I may change my habits....

View from the kitchen window...

Blueberry plant
~
Wild ground-cover
~


Blossoms
~

New leaves!
~

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."
Psalm 90:14


Sunday, March 8, 2009

100th post!

" Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11
~
My dear readers, I wanted to take a moment to give you a ((hug)) and say 'Thank you!!' I've been so blessed by your encouraging comments and kindred spirits. My family is left in awe that so many people are interested in our journey of simple living! I take a peek into many of your blogs, and its so edifying to read the like-mindedness! I've been blessed by your emails as well! I love talking to you personally-'Tis so special to me. Please continue to stay awhile, I enjoy your company :)



Now....are you hungry?




My Messy French Muffins!
A must-have for an unhealthy snack at the cottage! :)

Cream 2/3 cup butter or shortening & 1 cup sugar



Add 2 eggs...


3 cups flour (I do 50/50 white flour and wheat flour)

1 TBsp baking powder & 1 tsp salt



1/2 tsp nutmeg (I add a pinch more)



Gently mix together ingredients



Pour 1 cup milk...



Stir until combined...



Fill muffin pan to 100% full (I like full size muffins!)



Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes



*This is the best part!* Dip the tops of each muffin in melted butter, then roll whole muffin in cinnamon sugar!


Oh. wow, you've got to try these!! Moist, buttery, and I love the simplicity of using only nutmeg..I guess that makes it french! :) Anyway, my family gives it 5 stars, especially my brother! Believe it or not, the muffins aren't really sweet, its the outside that satisfies your sweet fix. They keep really well (up to a week) if you don't eat them first :)