So much yumminess!

Word wants to correct my spelling to crumminess, but I won’t let it. I really did mean to write yumminess. Or is it Yummyness? I like the ‘i’ better 🙂

So last week I started a sourdough starter and although it took a while, we had sucess! I have my first loaf started – did you know it takes 5 hrs!!! I did’t quite plan for that :/ looks like I’ll be up a bit later than expected tonight. I also had so much starter, that I tried buiscuits! I used Daiya cheese ( non-dairy for those that don’t know) and the just green part of a leek as I didn’t have any grated cheddar or chives. They are super!!! next time I’ll plan it better and make sure I have sharp cheese and chives.

I also started my Kombucha yesterday, so I will be hoping for less vinegary and more tastey this time around. I snagged a couple of bags ( ok I grabbed 6) of green tea from work as I only had flavoured green tea and not enough black. Can’t wait!

My seedlings are all out enjoying the heat on my back deck and I am jealous of them! I am in the kitchen cooking up a storm, and they’re lolling around in the sun.  Oh, I almost forgot, I’ve been waiting to have some leftover bananas to try the 3 ingredient cookies I keep seeing on Pintrest. Today was my lucky day and I had enough for 2 batches! I did one with mini chocolate chips, and the other with chia seeds, dried cranberries and a pinch of pecans ( someone has been raiding my stash <:( ). I report that they are friggin awesome!! I don’t miss the sugar or flour or anything! These would even be awesome for breaky before a bike ride to work etc. So I will definitely be making these on a regular basis.

Other than that, a relatively quiet week. I didn’t get to write like I wanted to, but I did get a bit of quiet time, which I needed. A new term started with several new students and I can’t wait to see how they all do.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a menu made. I did, however, learn that life is very much like a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump says. I am struggling to find my place at work, and in life and decide what I want to do. Well, that’s not quite true, I know what I want to do, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to attain it. Change is hard. Contemplating it is also hard. Indecision is even more so. Sometimes, we just get frozen by decisions; our brains saying one thing, and our hearts another. The trouble comes when you have to decide if you’re going to listen to your head or your heart. Most people would say go with your heart, but that can’t always be the choice, since often long term goals take priority.

Take Scotland, for instance. I love that place ( well I don’t especially like Glasgow, but that’s just me). I would move there in a heartbeat! I can’t though, because I simply can’t afford it. but what if I could visit? I did a bunch of math and I would need about $6000 for the hubby and I to go. I tried to rationalize with myself ( hahah!) that if I could keep the cost below $3000, then we should be able to afford to go. However, we are in debt- a lot of debt- and that $3-6000 would go a ways towards getting rid of that, making our plans to move to the country realistic and attainable. But its Scotland! I really want to go! But I also really want to move to property and grow my own food etc. If I listen to my heart, we’re going as soon as I can arrange things. If I listen to my head, that money goes to pay off debt and get us on the road to self sufficiency. Decisions, decisions.

I still don’t know how I will answer that question. I tend to be a logical person who dreams of being a free spirit. I know that once we get our property and animals, leaving on a trip will be significantly more difficult. But as each days goes by, my need to get out of the city grows. I guess we’ll leave that bridge until we have to cross it.

In the meantime, enjoy the spring. Get out and get your body moving and focus your thoughts on good things, and try some new things! HUGS

Advertisements

Positive thoughts

That is how I’m going to face going back to work this week, by the power of positive thinking. At least I still have a job, at least I still have my health and the love of my family. That doesn’t mean that things are perfect, it’s a choice. I can choose to let the horribleness of the last couple of weeks bury me, or I can choose to go forward with a smile on my face.

I have been exploring some new things this week! I found a great website:http://www.walkerland.ca/ . They have tons of information, and it’s Canadian! I’ve also learned a bit more about seeds and making my plants thrive. Did you know that you should cut off the top of your pepper plants and let them grow back a second time before transplanting once the weather is warm? Me neither!  Have you heard of hugelkultur? Me neither, but I’ll be looking into that too!

One of this weeks tasks will be to get the seeds planted and on their way to being yummy food in our bellies this summer! I am also looking into starting my own food prep business. I figure why not combine a few of my favorite things to make life easier for people!

I am also considering running piano lessons in the afternoons if there are interested parties. So although Friday was a piece of crap, I have some new endevours to look forward to.

This week is a short post but I wouldn’t leave you without a menu for the week, that would be mean. I may be a bit of a kitchen nazi, but I’m not mean.

Saturday: we had turkey hash with basmati rice and brussel sprouts with bacon and raw veggies.

Sunday: pork chops, turnip julienne, and kale salad

Monday: veggie chilli with corn bread

Tuesday: Basil chicken in coconut curry sauce with spinach salad

Wednesday: Chick peas mixed with chicken, potatoes, greenbeans, cauliflower in butter chicken sauce.

Thursday: say it with me! Pasta!!!!!

Friday: Pizza 🙂

Enjoy your week, be kind, smile in spite of adversity and I look forward to chatting again next week.

 

New year, new beginning

Tis January, the time for resolutions and plans to make this year better than last year. I’m not doing that, so if you wanted that info, you’ll be disappointed.

Instead, I will be continuing in same vein as I have been. Why? Because it’s mostly working for me. I will continue to try new recipes and sharing ones that I think are outstanding. I will continue to learn new skills so that I am prepared when the opportunity to change our circumstances comes. I will continue to be the best wife, mother and friend that I can be.

Am I perfect, or is my situation? Far from it. It never will be, but I don’t want perfection. Perhaps that makes me strange, but that’s how it is. Yes I like some predictability, but I also like the challenge of new things too. Whether it’s striving for great food combos, or writing that elusive story that’s finally going to get the interest of an agent or publisher. These things keep me alive!

This year, the hubby and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage, and that is something that I’m very proud of! There were many times along the road that we could have given up and packed it in, but we strive every day to keep it together, not for the kids sake, but our own. It’s a choice on both our parts to choose to keep working and striving for a better marriage but he’s worth it, and so am I. That is something that I have recently accepted- that I am worth fighting for, that I am important, and special. It wasn’t something I grew up knowing, in fact it was the opposite. But it’s something that is a very big part of me and learning that fact has left me free to be a better person.

I watched a show on Netflix (yes we finally go it) called the Minimalists. It’s mostly about being happy with less and not succumbing to commercialism. I had been aware of it, but after watching, I found myself noticing more the advertising etc that is shoved our way constantly. But how freeing to delete that email, or turn away from those “deals”! That too was freeing! Not that I was a mindless sheeple not thinking for myself, but taking a good look at what I had, and what I needed and making a conscious choice to be happy with it. It’s not as easy as you think! There were lots of times I wanted to buy something for myself, but then I reminded myself of how I wanted to only buy things I LOVED or NEEDED. I had to examine WHY I felt I wanted to buy something and how it would alter my life if I did buy it. I am happy to say that I replaced some baking dishes and bought myself a new flannel shirt with colours in it that I love. Yah me! I may not have a ton of clothes, or other ‘stuff’, but I make daily use of it all.

I wish you luck this year and you make your way through it. Be kind to yourself, and others. I look forward to sharing this journey with you!

In the kitchen

I do a lot of things in my kitchen. It’s where I make food ( obviously), where I soap and chat with my kids. I keep saying that I need to find a way to hook up my computer to voice recognition software so that while my hands are busy, my mind could spit out stories. Yes, I know there are programs out there, but the free ones aren’t great, and I can’t afford the ones that are. So, I guess I will just keep plugging away with my notepaper.

Ok, so on the soap and homemade topic, I tried a recipe to make mustache wax, and beard oil as my man has a good one going and has started twirling the stache. Some of you will say ew, but I grew up with a man who had facial hair, albeit not quite as much as my man, but still. I think it looks good on him! So, those recipes worked out great and he is happy with my creations. Yah!!! I will add that they smell damned good, which my man says is a good thing and it makes me want to sniff his face, which leads to kissing and so on :P. I also tried a new formulation for hair pomade. It too smells awesome! Boys seem to be happy with it and no ones’ hair is falling in their eyes, which I’m told is a good thing. I also, with the help of the girl, made 3 batches of soap using some new ingredients that we ordered from Candor Soaps out of London. We diligently wrote down our recipes and made some notes about scent and texture etc for future reference.

On the food front, I have spent some time trying some new recipes as I told you last time. I wanted to send you over to 84th and 3rd and let you peruse her wonderful creations. Spend some time lingering over the chocolate cake and frosting. Be amazed at the contents, and then don’t be squeamish about trying it. I even snuck it past my FIL and he loved it! Then when you have leftover icing, which you may have, bring some for lunch , or mid morning break, or afternoon break- just bring all the leftovers, you know you’ll eat it anyway, and besides, its all veggies!!! Ok so go check it out! Here’s the link http://84thand3rd.com/?s=chocolate+cake.

Best Ever Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

The garden will be put to bed this coming weekend ( I think I said that a couple of weeks ago- but I clearly never got to it). This year we’re going to start our own seed ( not sure if I said that already too?). I have cleared off a shelf and it awaits trays of containers. Still trying to decide on growing greens through the winter. I know we could do it, but is it worth the trouble? We’re a larger family so we might and its a big might, have enough for one salad every two weeks or so. The man says I may not turn the whole main floor into a greenhouse ( bugger nuggets 😦 ) so will have to decide soon how that’s going to go.

I have a few testers for the beard oil and shaving soap ( yes I know I already talked about that and now I’m jumping topics and confusing you-deal with it- this is how my mind works). When I get some feedback, I will need to decide if I will make a business out of it. I was kinda waiting to see the lay of the land etc, but I think that I should just jump on it. For me, though, that’s a scary prospect. I don’t like to fail, and I would be taking a real risk putting myself and my product out there. I will ponder some more and see what the gut says after feedback.

We have gone back to regular dishwasher detergent. This particular batch just didn’t seem to be making the cut. We may revisit it later, but I went with a green product, so I don’t feel as bad about using it.

I would normally put up the menu plan, but its already Wednesday and you’ve probably already made yours. I will tell you that I’m going to upset our usual pattern tomorrow and we won’t- yes you read that right- won’t be having pasta tomorrow! Hold onto your hats!! We’ll be enjoying baked potatoes with chilli on them. Not sure if the world will end, but we made it through not having soup on Monday with no catastrophe’s so I’m hopeful!!!

Have a great couple of weeks! Be kind . No ripping people’s heads off. No foot stomping temper-tantrums. No snide comments , just send out good energy and see what happens. HUGS

 

Brrrr

We had one scorching week a couple of weeks ago, and now we’re back to fall, flannel, fires and soup! Good grief!

Oh, and you know I was saying how much I was disappointed in the dishwasher detergent I made, well it turns out it was my dishwasher, not the soap. Our dishwasher died, and our son was nice enough to purchase us a new one ( I say he just didn’t like the prospect of having to handwash the dishes- the boys don’t appreciate the aromatherapy the same way I do). Anyhow, I made a powdered version and we are back to sparkling clean dishes! Yah!!!

We are also getting low on shampoo soap, so I made a new batch this weekend. I tried a new combo, so we’ll see how it works in a few weeks when I can try it. I also tried some herbal infusions – in this case lavender buds- for a batch of soap. I was a bit disappointed that the smell didn’t carry through to the soap, nor did it have an even remotely purple colour. I will have to do some more research on that.

Got to meet a couple of new people- coworkers of my hubby, who are moving back east. Laura does glass art jewelry and they are amazing! Here is the link if you are interested: https://www.facebook.com/laurapenneyglass/ . I also have a good friend who carves and has her own side business doing graphic design stuff which I hope to take her up on. Her name is Fiona and you can find her here: https://www.facebook.com/fiona.plunkett.

As for writing, I will apologize as I have done nothing towards getting book #3 ready to publish 😦 I have been cycling to work, which is good, and I’m sure my body will thank me, once its done swearing at me, but its meant that I have had no time to write in the mornings, and none in the evenings. I have hope that once my body adjusts to this new routine,  that I will be able to stay awake past 9 pm and get some work done. For now, I am done beating myself up over not being able to do it.

Be kind to one another today, even that jerk who has to pass you on the blind corner and who’s wheels are super skinny and who’s bike could probably be picked up with one hand. Spread good karma my friends!

 

Adventures in Learning- Part 1

So the purging last weekend was not as difficult as I expected. I got rid of quite a bit. My strategy was that if I wasn’t going to be using it in the future, and hadn’t used it lately, it was to to go. Knitting patterns, and sewing patterns, books and clothes all went into the bags and boxes.

I had a friend come over to help me deal with my scrapbooking things. I had invested a lot of $$ into those items, but between work, writing, life etc. hadn’t sat down to do any of it since my last child was a baby. I did’t see myself having time to do it in the future, so rather than give it away, which is usually how I like to deal with things, I gave it to her to sell. I then used some of that money earned to buy the things I’d need to accomplish this weekend’s goal

How to make candles!

So this weekend, my daughter, and one son, will be making beeswax tapers. Find information on the internet is no problem, however it can be quite varied.  I decided to call my supplier Voyageur Soap and Candles, to see if I could just get information from people who’s job it was, and they were a wealth of good information.

Stay tuned as we explore lots of other learning projects all designed to prepare us for our homesteading journey!

Now to make a menu for the week :/