Saturday, November 23, 2013

Automatic Inspiration

Nothing like helping my sister and brother-in-law move into their cute 1920's Bungalow to inspire me to put some elbow grease into this little cottage of mine!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Newer or Fewer?

First of all, closet modulars do not make adequate bookcases for homeschooling.  While the cubby hole look is reminiscent of my own school days long since gone by, they are simply not strong enough to be stuffed with books.  I just had to prop mine with a 2" lean up with a small dresser.  Now that dresser is jutting out a little, just waiting for a toe; likely mine!

Still, I used what I had, but it is time to move on.  Not sure how.  Money for a bookcase in the size I need isn't easy to come by.  There's always a more pressing need, like food and doctor bills.  But, I do believe it is time to start shopping around for either an adequately enormous bookcase, or someone who can custom build an adequately enormous bookcase.

Because, newer bookcases are a nicer option than fewer books!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Vanishing Beauty

Last night as I scrolled through my facebook news feed, one of my friends posted THIS article.  It is about a woman who spends much of her time in Victorian garb and living as if it were the Victorian Era.  I found the article intriguing, but one bit stood out to me.

The article quotes Ms. Chrisman saying, "'People have mixed reactions,' she admitted. 'Some are enthusiastic and positive. The other day an old man ran out of a restaurant to tell me I made his day, he said: "You look beautiful."

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That made me think that in today's world, beauty is vanishing.  Instead, we have sexy or sloppy.  Just scroll down the sidebar of the page the article is on and you'll see what I mean.  Where is beauty?  Modesty, poise, loveliness....I'm not saying women need to go back in time and focus solely on their outward appearances.  Indeed, we are more than that.  But, I've even noticed our surroundings aren't necessarily as lovely as they could be.  Homes are more basic and functional.  I get that.  It's easier to care for.  We're not all Martha Stewart.  Pony tails and yoga pants work for me, too.  

But, sometimes, I wonder how much we've lost by beauty vanishing in the wake of comfort, convenience, sex appeal, and modern tech.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14, 1906

"I saw a Kingfisher fly across the little pool by the roadside below Olton station today.  The new Catkins are showing on all the Alder and Hazel trees now.  The sun had a most remarkable appearance just before setting tonight.  I never saw it look so large in my life.  It was deep crimson, shaded with purple which gave it a globular appearance, and it looked like a huge fire-balloon suspended against a curtain of grey cloud."

From The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pre-Christmas Purge

I usually clean and purge after Christmas, but I can see this year needing to have a clean slate before Christmas.  I hope to take one week and really focus on cleaning, purging and reorganizing.

One thing I started last year that I plan to continue with this year is purchasing totes I can label to store any new Christmas gift toys the children may receive.  That way, we're not scrambling to find ways to store new toys amid the holiday mess and clutter.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I've Found My Kitten Gray

There is an alpaca farm nearby, so I called on them first to find Alpaca yarn for my Something Soft and Kitten Gray.  They didn't have the shade I wanted, so a quick etsy search found me these skeins!  

I can hardly wait until they arrive in the mail.  I plan on knitting myself a scarf on obnoxiously large needles.  If that yields undesired results, I'll resort to my usual number 8's for scarves.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saturday, November 09, 2013

This Afternoon

I cleared this pile of sticks and brush out just in case we decide to use this space to put up a small barn and fenced area to house some goats.  This is the back point of our pie piece property.

Wearing my British Woolie Pullie (or is it Wooly Pully?)

Firewood, stacked by my oldest and I.  

And I moved the compost bin to the edge of our property so it gets more sun and makes more room for a possible fenced in area for goats....that's if we don't decide to move by next spring.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

When I Like French Music, I love it!

"La Seine" Vanessa Paradis and -M-.

In Miniatures

I always thought it would be neat to run a little hobby shop of beautiful, well-made, heirloom quality dollhouse miniatures.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Stove Top Baking Success!

I had success baking bread on my stove top!  

I dug through my shed and found a Griswold cast iron pot with no lid.  Hubby removed the bale handle for me and my inverted #8 cast iron frying pan fit nicely as a lid and gave height to the "oven."

I made my usual sized recipe of 3 cups of flour, but had to divide it in half and bake each half one at a time.  

I used one of my small round pyrex casserole bowls to bake the bread in.  Greased.

Inside the pot, I placed a trivet to put the pyrex bowl on.  I preheated the pot on the burner and preheated the frying pan on another burner.

Then, I placed the bread on the trivet and covered the pot, keeping the heat at medium.  

I didn't get a chance to time it, but it does take longer than in a conventional oven.  A long while later, I ended up with this!

It is a successful, tasty little loaf of bread!  The bottom has a good crust.  The top is weak, as is understandable with little constant top heat, but still cooked and firm enough to knife through without mangling the bread.  Hubby said it tastes better than when baked in the conventional oven!  It is time consuming, but it'll do for now until my new element arrives for the oven.