Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mindfulness....

I was in a really terrible mood all day. I mean REALLY terrible. Can't say why, exactly, but nothing pleased me. I cleaned the downstairs, did laundry, baked chocolate chip cookies, knit, and even watch a bit of an old movie. Still miserable -- sometimes the world is just too much with us, I guess.

So, I decided I needed to clear my thoughts by taking a walk and being mindful. As Thich Nhat Hanh said:

 Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future.
If we can acknowledge our fear,
we can realize that right now we are okay.
Right now, today,
we are still alive,
and our bodies are working marvelously.
Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky.
Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.


And the miracles I saw changed my whole outlook... 

Deer Trail Down the Bank..

Joe Pye Weed. I saw this as a specimen in New England. Here, it is a weed!


A bird's nest, empty, blown from a tree. I collect them. What a gift!

This lovely let me photograph it and then flew above my head as I walked. Angel? 
 
By the time I arrived back home, my spirit was quiet, my legs tired, a gentle moisture from the rain on my face. I was alive. My body worked. All is well.




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chores....

This week we are busy getting farm chores done. While it is hard to think about winter when it is 88-degrees, we know it is coming and we have to be ready.

The girls inspect limbs that will become kindling for the wood stove. 


Dead apple trees make the most wonderful smelling firewood!





Mister working on a pine.
Thoreau was right; wood does warm one twice!
Don't let the sky fool you; it was blistering hot!
Twilight walk. I love the evening light more than sunrise.
Uh-ho....too early to see this!

In addition to all the farm work, I am putting by garden goodies. My Grandmother's four gallon crock is full of cukes soaking in brine for icicle pickles. They are my favorite. Mister doesn't care for pickles, so the 14 pints will be Just Enough. Squash has been frozen and tomatoes are coming on in a week or so! Can't wait!

What have you been into this week? How do you prepare for winter?


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blush...

Welcome everyone who is dropping in from Rhonda's lovely post! I am flattered to have been featured on favorite place selections!

I hope you will enjoy visiting and come back soon!

Have a seat and enjoy your visit! 


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Projects, Pigs, Pals...

Pigged!
Feeding and watering the pigs is always fun! They are so cute and have such interesting personalities....and their favorite thing to do is to rub against me to scratch their backs. This means I leave the pig pen covered in mud. Sometimes, they put their noses against my legs to smell where I have been and I leave with a perfect oval with two small holes from their snout. Trust me. If pigs had thumbs, we'd be working for them...

Clara, more faithful than the pups... and won't be still...
Out of the 21 goats, Clara is the most faithful. Where ever I go in the pasture, she is right by me and will knock the others out of the way if they dare to get closer than she!

Me, 18, Monterrey Beach
Been cleaning out pictures this week during the particularly hot and steamy parts of the day. I found this picture and could taste the way the day felt to me.... Isn't it funny how a photograph can trigger such a tangible memory? I spent the better part of two years, three months of it on beaches, bumming around the country starting when I was 18. This day was cool, by beach standards, and the sun was sparkling, the sky astoundingly blue. Delicious...

Cutest booties ever...
Finished the baby blanket and sweater and had enough yarn left to make these adorable booties. Honestly, they knit up in less than 30 minutes and are the cutest things ever! And, since they took so little yarn, I see that these might become my go-to project for leftovers! I like to give pregnant students a little something handknit for their babies and these would be perfect -- fast, inexpensive, and useable!
Evening walks..
Every day ends with a lovely walk. The pups love the swimming that comes with the walk... I love the stillness to bookend my days...

Equipment repair
And, as always on the farm, one repairs rather than replaces. Installing new handles, a little scrub of a wire brush, some oil, and these are good as new. This week, I am teaching myself to change the oil in my tractor. It won't be today, however. The rain has poured all night and we have flash flood warnings. So, it is a "finish in the house" day -- touch up some paint in the upstairs bath, finish the three doors in the dining room, rough up the trim in the downstairs bath and repaint.

What are you into this week?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A few snaps ...

... from my evening walk.

I love how Day lilies turn to the sun, don't you?

Pork Chop has been in the mud; pigs do this to stay cool and to keep from sunburn.

Queen Anne's Lace lines our road

Moose gets a cool dip.

The bottom pasture is full of these lovelies... The Soil and Water folks planted them... Aren't they charming?

They just make me smile....

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Yum... dinner's served!

One of our favorite meals is meatloaf with roasted potatoes. Living on the farm, we raise our own pork, but purchase pasture-raised beef from a friend. Nothing can compare to the deliciousness of home grown meat. Add to that our own eggs and milk from a friend, and you have a meatloaf to die for. Sadly, I only have a picture of the one is progress; the done one didn't survive long enough for a picture. It is even better the second day --- if you have any left!






This recipe comes from Everyone's a Homemaker by Beverly Nye. I started making this when I was first married in a 19.... and have made it since... I wrote Ms. Nye at the time to tell her how fond we were of the recipe and she wrote me the sweetest reply. I wrote her again two years ago to tell her that, after 30 years, it is still our favorite meatloaf. Again, she wrote the kindest note... Give it a try; you are sure to never want to make another recipe again!

Beverly Nye's Meat loaf

1.5 lbs. ground beef
.5 lb. sausage (ours has extra sage 'cause that is how I like it)
3/4 c. milk
2 eggs
1/4 t. nutmeg (isn't that a surprise?)
1/4 t. sage
3/4 c. bread crumbs (I use Italian)
1 t. salt
1/4 c. chopped onions

Mix very lightly with your hands. Place in a 9 x13 pan and shape into a loaf.

Top with:

1/2 c. ketchup
1 t. mustard
3 T. brown sugar

Bake at 350-degrees for 1 hour.

Let me know if it become a favorite!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy July Fourth!

Friends came to spend the afternoon. So we set up the canopy, carried down chairs, and planned our menu!

Skewers were filled with a combination of meats, tomatoes, cheeses, and basil.

Caprese' salad (homegrown basil is heaven) on a skewer! Yum!

Leon was tuckered out after a full day of playing in the creek.

We played with bubbles. 
Sat in the creek. 
Floated with the pups. 
Ate. 
Ate some more. 
Enjoyed the singing creek. 
Told stories. 
And laughed. 
A lot! 

Tonight we head to Farmer's Fish Camp Road. 
There is a little spot at the crest of the mountain where we can
watch the fireworks in 
Independence, 
Sparta, 
Galax,
(and Mount Rogers, but theirs have been postponed)
simultaneously! 
Such fun! 

What a wonderful way to spend the day! 

How was your Fourth?