Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Outside My Windows

Here is what I see when I glance out my windows. It is still a bit hazy here this morning. The hills are hiding in the mist. Soon—too soon—the view will be primarily shades of white and gray, covered in a blanket of snow. Therefore, I am trying to soak in all the greens and blues that I can, bracing myself for winter….

August 31, 2010 005 August 31, 2010 001 August 31, 2010 002 August 31, 2010 003 August 31, 2010 004

Hope you are enjoying what is left of summer!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Simple Woman’s Daybook

For today:
Outside my window…a gray, windy morning.
I am thinking…of ways to rearrange my studio/office.
I am thankful for…a quiet morning.
From the learning rooms…catching up on last week’s assignments interrupted by haying.
From the kitchen…buttermilk pancakes (left from yesterday), bacon, blueberries, and coffee.
I am wearing…chambray tunic (actually a mini dress, but for my purpose: a TUNIC), black yoga pants, black driving mocs.
I am creating…painted clothes pins, paint samples on fabric, dishcloths.
I am going…to the Amish bulk store (if I can convince myself to go out in this weather).
I am reading…Emerson.
I am hoping…for clarity.
I am hearing…the washing machine spin and the click-clack of the keyboard as I type.
Around the house…piles in the studio/office (in the middle of reorganizing for more efficiency…creative flow) and a neglected basket of towels waiting to be folded.
One of my favorite things…a space of my own.
A few plans for the rest of the week…finish organizing studio so I can get creative, dealing with whatever the garden has for me once the rain stops, making a Christmas gift list/planning projects.
Here is a picture for thought I am sharing…
Thanksgiving 2009 010 Autumn is just around the corner….

For more Daybooks visit: The Simple Woman's Daybook

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Morning Breakfast

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Buttermilk Pancakes
Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons real maple syrup
Put dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to mix. In a small bowl, mix: melted butter, eggs, buttermilk and maple syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir to mix. DO NOT OVERMIX….small lumps are okay.
Cook on a prepared griddle (medium heat). Makes approx. 12 pancakes.
*NOTE: I have also made these pancakes using all whole wheat flour (2 cups total) with great results.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Priorities, Balance and Chaos

From Webster's 1828 Dictionary:
PRIOR'ITY, n. The state of being antecedent in time, or of preceding something else; as priority of birth. The priority of Homer or Hesiod has been a subject of dispute.

1. Precedence in place or rank.
BAL'ANCE, v.t. To adjust the weights in the scales of a balance so as to bring them to an equipoise. Hence,…
2. To weigh reasons; to compare, by estimating the relative force, importance, or value of different things; as, to balance good and evil.
3. Confusion; disorder; a state in which the parts are undistinguished.

Lately I have felt out of balance. I suppose we all have those moments. Unfortunately, this was starting to become more than just a moment. It seemed to be my new reality. The longer this feeling lasted, the more chaotic my thoughts became. The more chaotic my thoughts became, the more chaotic my surroundings became. The more chaotic my surroundings became, the more chaotic my thoughts became. Thus was the merry-go-round of my life for the last few months. Yes. Months. I occasionally have those out-of-balance moments, but they are just that….moments. This was dragging on…and on…and on. Panic was starting to set in. What if this really was my new reality?
Time to take a deep breath! Time to figure out what was behind all this chaos. Time to get back to basics. Time to prioritize. First: Where had it all started going wrong? Out came the journal. Writing and writing and writing. Reading what I had written. Realizing that much of my mind chaos was brought on by things that I cannot change. Step next: Distinguish between unchangeable circumstances and the things in which I have some control. In this step also came the realization that I was mad at God and mad at my husband for the circumstances that I cannot change. Stop and pray. Pray for forgiveness. Pray for the ability to accept those circumstances (wish I could say that I have accepted them, but it is a process.). Pray for guidance for the next step….the next baby step.
Time to take control. I realized that somewhere along the way, I had allowed my routines to fly out the door. So I grabbed my Homekeeping Journal and updated it. Some of you may be the type that can just jump in and do what needs to be done. I am NOT one of those people. Even on my best day I am easily distracted. Therefore, in order to keep order in my home, I NEED a written schedule/routine…..a place marker of sorts. When I find myself running around from project to project, finishing NOTHING, I go back to my Homekeeping Journal, find my place, and start again.
Homekeeping Journal 1Homekeeping Journal 3
Part of updating my Journal was converting it from full-size housed in a binder to half-size housed in my much loved, but unused, Day-Timer. It was unused because I could not find filler-pages that corresponded with MY life. Now it is customized. ;-)
Now I had a daily plan. My life would magically regain its balance. Right? Wrong. See when I had organized my schedule, I had not accounted for this:
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Or the massive amount of green beans. All of which needed to be prepared for freezing.  The garden definitely had to take a place near the very top of the Priority List; if not, it would become just a pile of rotted produce. House Beautiful had to wait. Instead House Liveable would have to do. After all, this is real life.
So I open my Homekeeping Journal to Tuesday’s page, but I ask myself: “Is there anything NOT on the schedule that needs to take priority?” Today, that would be the rest of the zucchini, followed by those cucumbers! (not to mention what has been growing in the garden overnight). While I don’t feel completely in balance, the scales are moving toward that goal. Prayerfully, with Journal and flexibility (priorities) in hand, I face my day, working toward A Well-Kept Home.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I’ve been waiting for this ALL summer.


 Southern Perfection 001

Southern Perfection 002

 Southern Perfection 003

 Southern Perfection 004

Yum. Lunch. This tomato is a Caspian Pink (heirloom variety). I suppose I could say more, but I’d rather eat. So I’ll let the pictures do the talking.


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