Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice~

Nature does not seem to care that today is the darkest day of the year... 
well not this morning anyway... by late afternoon it will be dark.
It is glowing and beautiful here, the sun is knitting it's way across the top of our mountain, barely peeking over, and shining magically through the misty tree tops.

I took a walk alone this morning, something I rarely do alone... and had to take photos so I could share what I saw with you.

After tonight the days will start to be longer. A renewal. And a great metaphor for where I am right now...
I have been stuck. Becoming unstuck is sometimes painful, but necessary. Yay for transitions... and Yay for ruts. It's all about the journey, after all... and I plan to savor each step of it.

"It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey."  Wendell Berry

Yay for being stuck,... and Yay for our painful transitions... 
It's all about the journey, after all... and I want to savor each step of it.

around the orchard...

 down the lane...

to the front of the house, where my chicken babies are living right now... they come running towards me, I tell myself it's because they love me, but really they just want snacks.

around the house...

to the pond...
reflection in the water, off the slippery, slimy deck...

behind the pond to the tree line at the base of the mountain...

and inside my favorite giant cedar tree...

 where I thought about taking a nap, but its damp and mossy in there!
Great place to put a hammock... hmmm...

Have a magical solstice, love to all.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Loving Life...

Things have been quiet on the blog, but not in life.
We lost a dear friend to Melanoma last week, which just... well, it just sucks.
Life lesson is that life is short. and beautiful. even when it hurts.
That's all I have to say.

I leave you with some photos of life these past few weeks...

Making things sparkle with Jackie Sparkles...

Semi-frozen pond... pretty but. brrrrr (ugh).

Twig star...

Latest Hats~ Zoe's Thorpe hat and Ann's Earflap Hat from handspun~

Maureen is molting. She looks horrific and it's cold. Silly chicken.

Measuring the tree height. Tall man ruler.

Hauling to the tree shaker... where they shake out the critters and dead stuff.

MOM! Stop taking my picture!

Mamma likes the barn siding on the tree farm barn. 
Taking notes for OUR barn/studio renovation coming this spring.

Tree on car!

The tree is still in the barn, in it's stand, still bound, 
waiting for us to dig a hole so it can come inside... perhaps today?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Today I just want to post some things that make my heart smile.
In no logical order whatsoever...

Our chickens, posing for portraits...

This is Henrietta, the escape artist.  Pretty lady.

Picking apples in a friend's orchard... and making cider!

Lotsa apples...

 My happy man who loves his new cider press.

Morning gratitude walks... 

such beautiful things to see

Words to live by...

Kitty feet~ 

Being silly with friends..

My new chicken ornament... with glitter!!! love love love


Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Soup~

Yesterday I used the turkey remains to make a big batch of soup. With homemade egg noodles!
It turned out so delicious I wanted to share.

Here is a rough recipe... since everyone has different ingredients and different sized turkeys... plus I don't cook in measurements, I go more with my instincts, like my art!

Pick all remaining meat from the turkey bones and set aside.
Add the carcass to a large pot and cover with water. Our turkey was 21 lb. so I used a pretty large stock pot. I added two large onions (roughly chopped) and about 6 carrots (big pieces are easier to fish out later), as well as salt, pepper and some garlic powder.
Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and let it go for and hour or two, depending on how big your turkey is. I simmered it for almost two hours (probably more, I didn't time).

Remove the solids (I used a colander) and return the broth to the pot.
In a cast iron pan, sauté two onions in a blop or two of olive oil. If it seems too dry add some of the broth to keep it from burning. When the onions are clear, add 6-8 minced garlic cloves and seasonings (I used dried parsley, oregano and black pepper). Once all hot and mixed together well, add to the broth. Sautéing the onions and garlic give them a different flavor than boiling them in the soup.... more savory I think.

Slice carrots and add to the broth and bring to a boil to soften. Use your instincts as to how many carrots, depending on how much broth you have. I think I used 10-12 skinny carrots.

When carrots are soft, it's time to make your noodles!

I used this recipe, and it took four batches for my soup.  Since I did not have any tiny cookie cutters (on the list to buy), I used the top of a glass bottle to cut mine out. But I really like the idea of making stars or hearts so I am definitely getting some cutters....

Add noodles to the broth, making sure it is at a rolling boil. If they are thin and smaller they only take about 10 minutes to cook.  Once the noodles were in for a while I added the remaining shredded turkey meat (since it was already cooked it only needed heated, adding too soon makes it chewy and overcooked) and chard ribbons (chard cut into long pieces). The chard only takes a a few minutes to cook, so add them last.

SO good! Plus plenty to share with the friends and neighbors.

Add a crunchy salad and some homemake bread and enjoy!

It lights the whole sky~

This quote came to me from three different sources within 24 hours.
Love when that happens, it's pure magic!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mason Jar Bird Feeder~


Today we spent some time poking around our local farmstore, one of my favorite places!

We came across some chicken feeders that fit on a mason jar!!!
So I bought one and we rigged a bird feeder for our deck.

The base is a repurposed cement succulent planter...
(I cannot seem to keep succulents alive...shhh)

The feeder fit inside perfectly... 

We attached a 2 quart mason jar...

...and gave it a pie tin hat!

It is on the deck, filled with sunflower seeds, waiting for the birdies to arrive...
Still in test mode, if the pie tin keeps the rain out of the base, I will epoxy it to the base of the jar.
LOVE the way it looks on the deck!

So far, no birds, and the sun is going down... 
Tomorrow we will try to get pics of it with the birds.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Blog URL~


I just changed the url to this blog.
Wanted to let you know so you can change it in your blog feeds...

OLD url...

Thanks for your patience while I get my urls and blogs all in order.
I appreciate you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday Morning Studio Pics~

I give up. Actually I gave up years ago...
It's impossible to have the studio clean and tidy... there is always something dug out and spewn all over.
It means that creative energy is alive and active and zippity-zapping all over.
So here are shots of my studio this lovely morning in November... in all it's cluttery glory! 

 The light is a bit dim. We are having a typical PNW overcast sky...

  New Japanese tapes and paper, dizzying fabric and new yarns...

 Henrietta is our escape-artist chicken. (see her outside the window?) 
She has mastered jumping out over the fence. She is one wiley girl.
and a total pain... bad chicken!

  Flannels all washed and ready to be sewn into new jammie pants~!

  Paintings in progress waiting their turn...

  Book shelves crammed with yarn and fabric...

  Journal supply shelves...

  Great- Grandma Hanlin's quilt (that she made) awaiting repairs...

 Painting/sewing end of the studio... see my new inspiration board on the easel?

  Felted sweater bin spewed about... who did this?!

 My mom is here visiting from PA... here she is with the girls in my messy, messy kitchen.