I’ve been tagged

I was tagged awhile back by Aldra over at Conciously Frugal in a blog chain letter sort of thing…. the idea is to share some old posts that might be of interest to readers…. especially the newbies in the bunch. There are seven categories that we are supposed to find posts about but I don't really like to follow rules…. so instead you just get some really random bits of love that I've pulled together from my walk down memory lane.

 

1. According to google search, the two most common things that people search for and then find their way to this blog are quinoa patties and false ladybugs. For some reason, this makes me laugh.

 

3. Speaking of food, that page does get a lot of visitors. Hopefully those recipes are good enough to keep you coming back to make them again. Except maybe that weird thanksgiving soup I made forever ago…. (it was delicious, I promise… however definitely not beautiful.)

 

2. I think the most informative thing I ever posted about was a whole week of ramblings on why we homeschool. Lots of good comments in that week and a whole lotta love too. The first in the series is right here.

*(though my personal favorite was my less wordy backyard chicken series, we've since moved and no longer have chickens & I love looking back on that time… my have my babies grown!)

 

3. For total cuteness factor, this is the first picture I ever blogged (December 2008).

Mama & baby gnome.

Me & a very little Lukey

 

4. I ramble a lot, and you guys are all still here. Wether I'm feeling mindful, or in a funk, you listen & when I get all sentimental about teenagers you get all misty eyed right along with me. I love you for that.

This winter will mark three years of being in this space…. hanging out with all of you brings a smile to my face. Especially on days when I feel like saying, as Ani Difranco puts it, "I know I can't be the only whatever I am in the room." (so true!)

I never would have guessed this space would turn in to a little community and our lives would be intermingled in such heartfelt beautiful ways. So before I get all sappy (and you know I do). I just want to say thanks for being my peeps. For reals.

You guys rock.

xoxo

~Stephinie 

 

p.s. you should totally check out Aldra's blog, she's funny and regularly makes me choke on my coffee in laughter when I visit her.

 

~Mindful Monday~

egg

 

“There is one downside to truly fresh eggs, however: They do not peel easily when hard-boiled. But, if you cannot abide the extra minute or two it takes to peel a fresh hard-boiled egg, you probably need to reexamine your life.”

~Homesteading in the 21st Century by Goerge Nash & Jane Waterman

 

I’ve seriously loved this book. It’s bookshelf worthy, truly. The kind that you pick up again and again. {at least for the homestead dreaming/living types} I must say the tongue & cheek humor and honesty of the author(s) had me laughing out loud more than once. The above quote gave me an especially good chuckle…

However, we have found that if you poke your fresh eggs with a thumb tack prior to boiling and immerse them in icy cold water after their ten minute boil they are much, much easier to peel. And if ever again I grumble at bits of the egg white staying attached to the shell and lumpy sort of looking deviled eggs I hope to recall this quote and smile.

 

little things

Reading this reminded me to notice all the little good things that happen. The things that sometimes get lost in the midst of busy family days.

 

little things

 

Yesterday the littles & I managed to get dinner & dessert made, the house cleaned and the table set before 3 o'clock. Not exactly a small feat for us. There were a few mishaps and a few grumpy voices….. but we did it. And the three of us were pretty excited and proud to have pulled it off.

 

little things

 

We made the very anticipated trip to the airport to pick up big sister and they were so excited to have a surprise waiting for her at home. {flowers+dessert} We spent the evening talking about Jade's adventures and filling our bellies with good food.

Just some little things. Simple & so very good.

 

in {our} kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our kitchen is always a busy sort of place. Not only is it always in the making of food for an ever hungry bunch….. it's also always got some sort of fermenting, preserving, homeschooling, game playing thing going on as well. We often joke that we could add a few bunks and live happily all together right in this space. {Well, maybe a bathroom too.} Here's a peek into the last few days of food on goings in our kitchen….. all of which bring a happiness to my heart. Because after all, food is love.

Poppy & sesame seeds added to our homemade granola

Farm fresh eggs over wilted spinach with a side of peach salsa. It was intended as a side dish, right Rachel?

Croutons with dijon mustard and olive oil and butter…. from this book. 

Peppers (also farm fresh) in place of tomatoes in our salads 'cause tomato season is over here in the south. And croutons…. lots of croutons.

Our Last night of a table set for four….. so happy to pick up our girl tomorrow. (photo & table setting by Miss Sophia)

Quinoa with lemon, olive oil, fresh herbs & feta. Awesome.

Quarts of homemade chicken stock for use in recipes throughout our week.

Two helpers that talked and chopped and dropped bits on the floor for the dog…. mostly on accident (I think) while they helped their mama make soup.

Busy right? And in other foodie news we've decided to ditch wheat for a bit & reduce our grains in general. So if anyone has a decent wheat-free bread recipe that I can turn into those gorgeous croutons above (which thank goodness have been eaten), I would be forever grateful. And actually if any of you have traveled the wheat free road and found some great recipes…. please do leave a link to share. 

I'd love to know what kitchen on goings are bringing some happiness to your days.

 

happy friday

basil

 

I cut the basil back last night and ended up with this huge pile of it. It's amazing how such loot yields a mere 4 jars of pesto. Those precious jars sure pack a punch on homemade pasta come January. I've got about 7 of them in the freezer so far. 

Are you putting up anything in your house?

This basil is some of the last living bits in the garden these days. We've started seeds inside and have a lot more to start this weekend. My ideas always out number my space! But we're going to try some butternut squash, peas, beets, broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and lots of green leafy stuff. Including my beloved swiss chard. And since we're in the south we've got another chance at a round of green beans, cucumbers and some early yield cherry tomatoes. I see a very messy weekend in our future.

Happy weekend friends!

{ps – I've had a few folks tell me they've had trouble loading the blog lately, so I changed the reader to include the whole post. If you subscribe, you'll be able to see the whole thing….. but of course I do hope you still swing in to say hello every now & then.}

 

just life

I didn't actually mean to be gone so much in the past few weeks.

I looked back over these pages the other night and realized August has been a quiet place here. Which is exactly the opposite of what is going on in our home. But this week things seemed to settle down and into the low quiet hum that we're used to. (and when my husband reads this he'll laugh and say quiet!?) So it's my version of quiet…. boy am I in trouble when they all head out someday… that's the sort of quiet that causes a lady to get a couple of dairy goats and twelve cats.

The big boy is doing well. He's got his first few days of school under his belt and is enjoying his classes, meeting friends and even sending his dear mama an occasional text message. I have a whole new love for texting…. especially one like this: "Just listened to My Boy for the first time. Love you mom." If you have not heard My Boy by Neil Young…. you should. It's simple and beautiful and I just love Neil anyway. {However over the last few days it has illicted happy tears from my heart each time I've listened to it.} But Sam is excited and loving life and meeting like minded people and all of that is just so very good.

And that big girl of ours is just a week away from being home! She has had a ball running around with her old friends and hanging out on country & suburban farms. While helping with some caretaking duties she attempted to walk a goat…. which resulted in said goat walking her, she played at an open mic last night at a sweet coffee house and is visiting a Psychedelic Poster Exhibition at the local art museum. I can't wait to hear about the museum and even more so I can't wait to see how it influences her art. (But mostly I can't wait to see her smiling face at the airport next week!)

We're teaching Luke to play Uno and convincing him the game is about playing and not winning….. I don't think he beleives us. Sophie said to us "You know, I just don't feel old enough to be the biggest kid." And Joe & I felt just exactly the same way. The littles are well and busy building extravagent forts and castles of blocks and making parties for Joe & I to attend. It's been hot, so the only out of doors time is spent splashing in water and eating popsicles that melt in nano seconds. Which reminds me, we are the excited owners of a popsicle maker, a gift from my mom. You can make popsicles in under 10 minutes. Which is both ridiculous and totally fun. Lots of snacktime popsicles have made they're way into our days. Our new favorite is Key Lime.

Do you want the recipe? I thought you might…..

 

key lime popsicles

 

Key Lime Popsicles

1 cup of plain yogurt (whole milk is best)

1 ripe banana

zest & juice of 1 lime

honey & more lime juice to taste (we like ours pretty sour!)

~Blend everything in the blender & freeze in popsicle molds. This makes 6-9 popsicles depending on the type of mold you use. These are much more breakfast worthy than last week's cake

*The bright yellow color comes from a tablespoon of bee pollen, which I add to smoothies. It works really well in this smoothie and said to be a super food. I buy it here.

Anything new in your neck of the woods?

 

Mindful Monday

In the end, just three things matter: how well we have lived, how well we have loved, how well we have learned to let go. ~Jack Kornfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some snapshots of our Saturday.

Everthing went so well. Thank you for all your kind words from this post. My goodness did you all ever have me in tears of gratitude as I read those comments. Thank you.

 

fly

Watching your children become young adults and head out into the world pulls at your heartstrings in a way I never imagined. My heart tells me it was just yesterday that I was stroking the downy newborn hair of this sweet baby boy. The weight of him in my arms so small and yet alarmingly heavy at the same time…… like holding a tiny acorn and feeling the weight of the mighty oak in your hands. Some part of what our children will become seems be felt in a parent's heart in some capacity. It's a beautiful and humbling journey for sure.

We know the day will come. We can stuff the thought under the the never ending pile of laundry in the corner…… but the day will arrive just the same. Sooner or later it will be here.

I knew the coming of fall would bring the time for us to help a certain young man pack his bags & head out. To begin a dream realized…. to start his story. Even though every ounce of my soul is excited for him…. there is this wee little other part. 

The part that can best be described as that feeling you have when that two wheeled bike leaves your hands for the first time and you watch them peddle off…… all by themselves. There they go. Only this time it's bigger than that. This time it means a brand new quilt and a set of sheets, his own towels & cell phone and the biggest laundry basket I could find. ('cause I know how often teenagers do laundry)

Tomorrow morning we'll load up the car and drive north to drop him off. His sophmore year will be spent at a statewide magnet school. An amazing opportunity for this bright young person. A public boarding school that is a three and a half hour drive from home. And about a zillion miles from this mama's heart.

There are letters, care packages, phone calls, emails and even the tech savvy skype these days. He'll be home for holidays and one long weekend each month…. but this mama is learning a great big lesson in the art of letting go. And yet, when the worry sets heavy in my heart, I think of my own mama….. who has watched me start a life and a family always miles away from where I started. Who never sees her grandchildren nearly as often as she (or we) would like and still manages to keep in touch with them and nourish these amazing beautiful relationships….. and I take a deep breath and think to myself, I can do this. We can do this.

Fly my boy. Fly.

 

a chocolate hello

I'm not really here…… 

but I just wanted to hop on for a little chocolate-y hello.

I baked this up for my cousin's arrival and we loved it. Loved!

It's zucchini chocolate cake & it has been completely devoured. The vegetable content does make it breakfast food acceptble, right? Maybe?

 

zucchini chocolate cake

 

The recipe can be found here. See you soon…..

 

bikini babes

Bikinis, a pool and the 80's

Gramps, Kayte (yellow) and me (blue) summer of 1980

Thanks mama (in the pink) for the photo!

 

1980

 

laughing it up & getting totally hooked on pinterest together….

see you soon…..