Friday, May 31, 2013

{this moment}

Today, I'm joining Amanda (soulemama) and Olive & Owl (a link to her site) with {this moment}.

A simple picture from the week. No words, no explanation, just a simple moment of time captured and shared.

Please feel free to share your moments as well! It's so fun to see what other beauty is captured in a weeks time!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

For More Than Just Grade School Art!

When I think of old/antique furniture, I imagine dinged corners, worn handles, squeaky joints, and crackled paint.  But so often now we see this trend popping up on newer furniture, calling itself shabby-chic or antiqued or cottage style. Whatever you want to call it, or whether it is in fact old or not, I'm in love the look of this finish! To me, it's whimsical, fun, and romantic. And for furniture, I couldn't ask for anything else. So when I embarked on this mantel adventure, I knew - as did Cam - that this was definitely the type of finish I wanted on our completed project.
I've seen people do this type of paint finish before and knew it could be done - fairly easily - at home but wasn't completely sure how to go about creating it. To be honest, I thought is was special kind of paint you put on top or your desired color that made it crackle. So I decided to do a little research.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Transfromation To Remember

Remember that awkward table 'thing' I purchased at a thrift store two weekends back...well, I'm finally ready to reveal what I have turned it into!

The table looked like a coffee table with a partial back on it. My best guess is that it was previously used as a side table that stood against a wall. It had beautiful square details on the face of it and it was structurally sound; a well-built piece of furniture. But I wasn't in the market for a side table. The only piece of furniture I have been looking for is a fireplace mantel, but have only managed to find those out of my price range...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Peace and the Mighty Morel

Memorial Day weekend. Campers and self-proclaimed BBQ experts are out in droves; families getting outdoors to make the most of this pre-summer holiday weekend, and to take a moment and recognize and thank those who have served, and are serving, this country. While it is a universally wonderful weekend, we all choose to celebrate it in our own way. Cam and I are a perfect example of this. He was invited to go on a 'guy's day trip' to pick Morel mushrooms and I was left to my own devices. We, of course, jumped at the opportunity to learn how to gather these precious mushrooms from, quite nearly, our backyard, so he decided to go!

Seeing how I found myself alone very early on Saturday morning, I decided to take the opportunity to do whatever I felt like doing. That happened to be paddle boarding! I loaded my board and gear, and headed to the lake. Only remembering half-way there that it was Memorial day weekend, I quickly discovered there was quite a bit more aquatic traffic than I had originally planned. But this fact didn't deter me. I set out to do something fun and I intended to keep this promise to myself! And I must say, it was so worth it!

Friday, May 24, 2013

{this moment}

Today, I'm joining Amanda (soulemama) and Olive & Owl (a link to her site) with {this moment}.

A simple picture from the week. No words, no explanation, just a simple moment of time captured and shared.

Please feel free to share your moments as well! It's so fun to see what other beauty is captured in a weeks time!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Homestead Update

This spring has presented me with several challenges which, I hope, are just more moments to learn. For one, the weather has been so extreme! We went from freezing temperatures at night with warm days, to hot days and warm nights, back to rain, snow, and cold temperatures. All of my cool weather crops bolted early because of the extreme heat and some are somewhat stunted in their growth.

Along with the other spring mayhem (wind, storms, and unpredictability) I am going to have to say the latest odd weather patterns have been the hardest for me. I want so desperately to plant but I'm afraid that if I jump the gun, I'll lose everything! So, as for now, the only thing I have allowed myself to plant are my cool weather crops. All of my more warm weather crops are safely nestled in the green house, in my western facing window, or still in their packages awaiting their move to the ever warming soil.

But amidst my uncertainty, the crops I planted early this spring - the ones somewhat stunted by the latest heat wave - have been providing us with a little bounty each day! I've been picking swill chard, spinach, bok Choy, and kale for our salads each night. My lettuces are just about ready to harvest and today I even picked a handful of radishes! Everything thus far has been, flavor-wise at least,  delicious. Pure and simple. I feel so blessed!

We aren't overrun by crops by any means. In fact, we have just enough! But what a blessing it has been. I love being able to step out into the back garden and pick just enough for dinner, and know that what we are eating is delicious and nutritious!

This Memorial day weekend, I am hoping to be able to plant the rest of my vegetable garden! I have a bit more tending to do to the soil, but other than that, I'm ready to get everything started...finally!

How is your garden fairing these days? What are you harvesting and what are you hoping to accomplish this long weekend? I'd love to hear, so feel free to share!!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Because Everyone NEEDS a Ceramic Lion!

Garden art/d├ęcor, vintage finds, rummage sales, thrift stores. To me, these are such simple and beautiful words describing some of my favorite things, outside of gardening of course, that so often overlap!
Since I had the privilege of spending several days with my mom - because she came to visit - we decided to take some time to do a little 'thrift-ing'! We both love it and having someone to spend the day with makes it all the more for one day, we went to any/all of the thrift stores and rummage sales our hearts desired. It was a long day on our feet but we enjoyed every moment immensely and found some really awesome treasures!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekend Renewal

Today, amidst the cool breeze and fragrant sagebrush, I found myself at a place of extreme peace. Not only because of my surroundings - which were of a caliber that only God could create - but because it was spent with two of the people who have taught me so much in mom and my husband (my dad would have made three but he was unable to be here).

I was so thrilled to be able to have my mom over for the weekend, sort of a belated Mother's Day treat! We've been so busy having fun and catching up that we have literally lost track of time! Today though, we decided to spend the gorgeous day out enjoying some of central Oregon's immeasurable beauty by hiking a nearby trail. It is one I've been on at least five times prior to today, but one so memorable I wanted my mom to experience it! This was our hike on the Tam-a-lou loop trail.

It was literally the perfect day for this hike. Since the first mile is all up hill, you can get a little over-heated if you begin too late in the day. So when we arrived, the sun was peeking through the clouds but the cool breeze was enough to keep it absolutely perfect!

As we hiked up, it was hard not to notice all of the new life that was springing forth from the late spring rains we've had. The flowers were abundant, as well as all the wildlife. Deer, cicadas, grasshoppers, lizards, snakes, hawks, finches, and bees were all busily working as we carefully strode through their home. It was so wonderful to see! We enjoyed 4 miles of this!

I think the most wonderful part of our little trek was simply the peace and company of being together. We were all so grateful to be able to hike the trail and be in each others company, that our surroundings just became the 'icing on the cake' so-to-speak.

Today was just one of the wonderful moments I've enjoyed this weekend! Having my mom here has reignited my creative juices which has given birth to some pretty awesome DIY projects...and I can't wait to share them! So stay tuned for that this week!

I guess the thing I wanted to share most was not so much how I spent my days here on my little homestead, but instead how I felt. Knowing, seeing and appreciating how many blessings fill each day is something I feel we all spend too little time doing. I want to change that! I hope to spend more time filled with joy and thankfulness, and surrounding myself with those who fill me with the love Christ wishes us to share, and sharing that love as well!

Beauty can always be found in the little things!


Friday, May 17, 2013

{this moment}...or {a moment}

Today, I'm joining Amanda (soulemama) and Olive & Owl (a link to her site) with {this moment}
(and in honor of Kathreen Ricketson and Rob Shugg {a moment}).

A simple picture from the week. No words, no explanation, just a simple moment of time captured and shared.

Please feel free to share your moments as well! It's so fun to see what other beauty is captured in a weeks time!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Simple Hardscaping

Hardscape (n): the manmade part of the grounds surrounding a building, as paved areas or statues. To a gardener, or this gardener, hardscaping is a unique and permanent aspect of the garden/yard. I think of ponds, pools, patios, porches, fire pits...the list is extensive! But I also consider paths to be on this list, which is often one of the easiest landscaping projects you can undertake (sometimes...some paths can be quite time and resource consuming). 

Monday, May 13, 2013


Have you ever had those days when you work and work, but at the end of the day you don't feel like you've done or accomplished much of anything? That's how I've felt lately.

If I stop and really think about it, I've been so busy recently that I haven't really had much of a chance to sit down and relax in the evenings. I'm working outside the home, coming back and doing household chores, eating, weeding, watering and trying to 'beautify' my front pots and back flower beds. But for whatever reason that feels so mundane.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I just wanted to take a quick moment and wish all mother's a very blessed and wonderful day! Mother's do so much, often unnoticed and under appreciated, so I want to express a most heart felt 'thank you!'  
God bless you all!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

{this moment}

Today, I'm joining Amanda (soulemama) and Olive & Owl (a link to her site) with {this moment}.

A simple picture from the week. No words, no explanation, just a simple moment of time captured and shared.

Please feel free to share your moments as well! It's so fun to see what other beauty is captured in a weeks time!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday: Lets Get Gardening!

It has officially been one year since I started this blog, and I cannot express how quickly it has passed by!

I have learned so much in this year! I've learned to be a better gardener, a more creative and resourceful homesteader, a more spiritual woman, a handywoman/Mrs. Fix-it, a creative cook at times and at others, a comforting chef, but most importantly I've learned a lot about myself! And that has truly been reward enough!

Being the birthday of this simple little blog, I was hoping something wonderful would happen between life and work...but this is what I came home to today...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A New Use: Rhubarb Vinaigrette

As I mentioned Thursday, my rhubarb is growing beyond belief! I have a definite go-to recipe for this time of year, my rhubarb bread, but I've been looking for something new and unique. Something beyond strawberry-rhubarb pies, cobblers, cookies, and relishes, to make good use of this very prolific spring produce. After much research I finally stumbled upon a recipe that peaked my interest so much that I had to try it that very night! It was a recipe for a Rhubarb Vinaigrette.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Outside Our Homestead

This weekend has been entirely too much fun. For about three hours I was able to put aside my homesteading duties and go out for some much needed fun and relaxation! It wasn't long or far away, but the time I was able to spend with my husband and the outdoors was more rewarding than anything else I could have dreamt of. This morning...we went paddle boarding!

Friday, May 3, 2013

{this moment}

Today, I'm joining Amanda (soulemama) and Olive & Owl (a link to her site) with {this moment}.

A simple picture from the week. No words, no explanation, just a simple moment of time captured and shared.

Please feel free to share your moments as well! It's so fun to see what other beauty is captured in a weeks time!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My First Spring Haul!

Today, as the sun shone brightly around my garden, I couldn't help but stand I awe! Everything is
 growing beyond my expectations! So much in fact that I could hardly believe this is my garden!

My Bok Choy, that I started from seed and planted out last month, is thriving! It is strong and healthy, and soon I'll be able to harvest it to eat! I cant wait!! What makes this even more rewarding for me is the fact that I've never grown this wonderful vegetable before...and now, it's looking better than ever!

My asparagus' are peaking their tiny heads through the warming garden soil. Soon I am hoping to be able to eat a few...hopefully more than the three we harvested last year! :)

My cherry bushes, plum tree, raspberries, strawberries, and gooseberries are all setting their flowers - after pollination - getting ready to produce summer fruit! This year will be the first year - if all goes well - I will finally get cherries and plums! It has been four years of nurturing these plants and it looks like this year I will finally be rewarded!

One of my biggest moments today was being able to harvest my first crops! I went out and picked the first of my spinach. It was wonderful! The flavor of fresh grown and picked spinach is so much more intense and was the highlight of my sandwich at lunch!

I was also able to pick a batch of my rhubarb. I am going to use the bulk of what I picked today to make some of my family-favorite rhubarb bread (recipe here). But I also found a new recipe that utilized and highlighted this much overlooked produce: rhubarb vinaigrette! It was simply amazing! The tart rhubarb paired with sweet honey and tangy red wine vinegar...quite the symphony for the taste buds! (I will be sharing this recipe soon...hopefully this weekend!)

Here in the high desert, I have learned to never waste or take the beautiful days for granted. They feed my garden as well as my soul! I have learned so much over the past year, and I know this is only the beginning! If this is what my garden is already providing me with, I can't wait for the warm summer months ahead!

Thanks for reading and sharing in my excitement! It's my passion...I hope you learn and grow with me!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1: May Day

Today was May Day. Many - ok, most - overlook it, mainly probably due to the lack of information about the day. I've always seen May Day as a celebration of spring, and envision children playing around a may-pole. It wasn't until today that I learned more about this little holiday.

Here in the U.S., it has become a tradition on this day to put a basket of flowers and goodies on someone's front porch, ring the bell, and run away. If you are caught you get a kiss. We are celebrating the beauty and onset of spring. I must say though, I've never partaken in this tradition...but I would love to get a basket of fresh spring flowers on my porch!

It is also a day in which we are to - should is the better word here - recognize and appreciate workers, ALL workers (however, I think this is something we should do on a daily basis!).

But for different countries, this day means something different. I'm always fascinated about other cultures so a little research was definitely something I whole-heartedly grasped! The best place I found for information about, and history of, May day was Wikipedia. I found it fun and interesting to learn a little bit about the beliefs, traditions, and celebrations of this - in my book - beautiful reminder of spring!

No matter how you feel, or don't feel, about May Day, I hope we are all thankful for the blessings we find in our lives. Whether big or small, magnificent or okay, happy or solemn, may we always take comfort in the fact that we are in a place of God's divine creation...and for a reason! Let us be continually thankful! I know I am!

Happy May Day!