Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tea Talk

Today I decided to partake in the lovely meme offered by Ruth Tea Talk I found via Judy's blog of inspiration ! I have to say I was skeptical of trying the meme thing . I tend to be very serious about the issue of commitment . Yet also I needed to remember who I am and that is actually a risk taker . Yes I am ! I think with my disocery of practicing prudence in my life I may have developed a tad a pich of fear in taking a little step , taking a chance . So here I am ready , open and willing to try my hand at tea talk . Today I can commit and most of all I am woman who loves tea & talk with friends so I am happy to partake .
I am having ~ a lovely cup of lavender tea , I purchase Ahmad Tea Ceylon loose black Orange Pekoe Tea from local east indian shop . In my small tea pot enough for 1 mug I place 1 T tea and a small pinch of lavender buds ( organic ) this tea is a very soothing to the soul kind of tea .

On my mind ~ true , real , beautiful friendships .

I'm feeling ~ relaxed, calm & hopeful because of the herbal bath I am going to have

" I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with the roughest courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest thing we know."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winter ~ Live , Play , Fun !

The ladies over at 4real are having a loveliness fair on winter burnout. Which I have to say I have not actually suffered from in many many yrs. Yes tired especially after a sickness or a life trial that suddenly pops up . I get drained and tired but burnout is awful ! I found my biggest tip on not arriving at burnout is keeping on top of cleansing myself , checking your emotional baggage often etc. I also learned absolutely do not try and be that other mum ! My lesson came from Mother Teresa , to just be me . Be the mum I am created to be ! The subject of true example came up with Mother Teresa . God uses beautiful like her and ourselves to be inspiring examples . He does not use us so we can become the same as each other . I am not asked to be or turn into Mother Teresa . I am asked to go on in my life by her being the example , the inspiration ! So if you visit another wonderful ladies blog be inspired leave feeling refreshed but never ever stay if you are left with a feeling of needing to compete , keep up to , or worst of all become like . I stopped visiting those blogs long ago . Not that they are not inspiring to many other women but they are not for me and there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying I can't handle that and leaving it behind ;-)
So another thing I learned was . Have fun ! Being a responsible adult does not mean we need to turn into grumps or prudes. Prudence has nothing to do with becoming a prude ;-)
So find little areas , things that help give you a boost . Live . I may appear creative but really I'm just a gal who gets bored and can't stand it . I also can't draw , paint or knit . But hey I love white glue and baking , not necessarily done together lol
Find your thing . I love dancing . I'm not a musician and I cannot sing but hey I've got rhythm !
We go thrifting and one of the cheapest finds we come out with always are records . yes ! old vinyl ! from stories on records to old K-tel greatest hits we love em .
I can say I used to not venture out of doors much at all in winter . Even as a child I would get cold very quickly and have to come in long before the other kids . However there was one difference between being a child and grown up when I looked at myself clearly . I had begun to develope a hate for winter . Yes I did . I noticed how my arthritis hurt so much more yr after yr. my eczema acted up far worse etc. I'd begun doing the pop from vehicle to building thing . I even began to think I suffered from SAD ! I am effected by weather and in tune with season very much be it the moons cycle or rain making my feet hurt . Yet where did this change come from . ? We have to look at ourselves and what is influencing us .
Cloudy days effect me badly so , light I need light . open curtains and blinds on cloudy days. I put a really bright light in our bathroom so having a nice herbal tub helps a lot with good lighting . I can honestly say the more I am creative and physically moving and have good circulation my pain has dimished incredibly .So how could I possibly be this nature lover and not be enjoying winter . It was just wrong ! As a child I loved being out in winter no matter how cold I got I did always have the best of fun !
I read about SAD and one of the biggest suggestions is to get out everyday . So what could get me out everyday . We made our bird feeder is what. The first yr no birds , the second a small flock , the third more and yes now more and more .
I can honestly say my biggest gift of getting outside in winter is the clothing ! This was the biggest difference from childhood to adulthood ! The clothes we wear ! So I found a pair of ski pants at the thrift. I began to put a scarf over my face . I also found a huge down parka with fur on the hood just like I had in jr. high ;-) . I even have moccasins again ! Yes dressing for winter is I have to say my biggest motivator of loving this season .
We do so much that does not cost us any money what so ever . Maybe gas money but that is it.
We drive out to my mothers now and stay in the winter . We go snowshoeing , hiking etc. having a winter fire is one of the best activities we love to do. Make bannock on the fire it is so much fun .
I guess what I'm saying is some of our burnout and drab experience is so much to do with how we live and our attitude in general.
It was hard to focus on winter being positive when the media here have begun to promote cold as bad . We now have just finished a blizzard and are left with sunshine & snowdrifts ! Just beautiful inspiration all for free!
I'm not kidding take a drive out with the kids , pack some hot cocoa , walk a bit in the woods , stop and crawl under a winter tree and sit . Just listen . It is sheer bliss ! Think of baking & crafts that are right for your family . I love from scratch but you know what I also cheat and buy Pillsbury dough every now and then and make pizza roll ups with the kids . fun is fun it should not leave you drained or burnt out .
Below are some of our winter pics , another fun activity of course is taking them ;-) enjoy and remember dress like you would a kid !

Winter Fire

This is the Christmas tree stand we found out at gramma's place . dh sandblasted it and painted it just in time to hold the tree this year !

These are my old snowshoes from childhood !

who could be in here during winter months ?

a slide is fun on a rock or

in a park !

make a prayer candle

or a necklace ! magnetics are so much fun !

venture out , who knows what one will find

or stay in and bake a bit

there is such free fun while out and about like breaking open dried cattails

Yes we love our fires !

Invest in a dog , they are so much fun and they also help you find birch bark lol

winter is the best time for finding dead fall , no mosquitoes and you can locate trees etc. because no leaves blocking your view

try making a little bannock

and yes it is yummy !

bring along an adventure boy if you can

again dogs are suppliers of much joy !

or read a book and another , and another .....

make a wreath

I starting ds14 wise owl making a bread of the week starting in Feb. throughout the rest of the winter . Kneading dough builds muscle and abs is my selling point on this activity ;-)

I also try and have potlucks and tea parties thru out the winter season

we do enjoy ourselves don't we

We also love feet !

be creative decorate your home with wonderful thrifty finds snow roll ! run dog run ! and then there was cake
and a bit more tea I am a sucker for hoar frost lol did I say dogs are fun or funny or possibly both lol last but not least begin to think about planting those indoor bulbs yes next month is ordering time !!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Thankful Woamn's Blessings

Don't you like the new image Judy has chosen for the thanful woman's book of blessings . It is so cheery . Today was a day I needed to add a bit of cheer into the mix ;-)
We've been having that awful el nino weather up here . Normally we in the middle of the country and the praririe have much snow and cold sunny weather . It is like mid march here . Cloudy and trab . I also awoke to ds14 having a horrid ear ache which is yes an ear infection !
I'd love to come here each time I partake in the thankful blessings and offer something profound and mind blowing with awesomeness . Nope . some days I am just stuck , plunk trying to pick up some pieces and get through so I can reach night time and lay my head down on that soft feather pillow . So where shall I find and add cheer ? Why with gratitude of course !
So here it goes
my # 1 is truely having been blessed with healthy children , remembering He gave me the children I could handle helps too at times
#2 knowldge of natural & herbal wisdom , this truely is a blessing as I realize how many people rely soley on the western medical system how blessed I am to have been given the opportunity to share with others
#3 the simple abundance book , I've just begun using this book again in my daily reading and began the practice of a gratitude journal , how much we forget how we take for granted the small simple blessing such as a reading light at night , or a roof with no holes , more then one pair of footwear etc.
#4 my little angelic adventure boy who surprised me yesterday with a lunch for my birthday . He paid for it with his own birthday money .
#5 struggle , yes once again I am ever so grateful for the struggles He has sent me . I fall , am weak and in the end am so very strong because of often these daily struggles we face .


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Eats ! Yum Yum !

Yes for us as a family the winter season does tend to be more our feasting time of year . With seasonal celebrations , saint days and our birthday season begins in december and runs staright through til april so yes we focus on the topic of food quite a lot . As you may have noticed I post many pics not just on nature but also that of some yummy feasts we've had . So of course I'm back again thinking it'd be nice once again to share some of these fab recipes with you . Enjoy ! This is the fab wacky cake I mentioned in a post a few topics ago . It is wonderful moist chocolatey cake for birthdays . It is also the famous make with a kid cake recipe ;-) so I hope you will give it a try . here is the recipe
Wonderful Wacky Cake
1 1/2c flour
1c sugar
1/4c cocoa powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1T cider vinegar
1tsp vanilla
1/3c vegtable oil
1c cold water
powdered sugar and 1 doily
into a round cake pan sift flour, soda , cocoa, sugar & salt. shake the pan to level the ingredients . with a large spoon now make 3 large wells in the dry ingredients. In the first well place the vinegar, in the second , place the vanilla , in the third place the oil . pour the cup of water over the whole thing . stir now with fork until all ingredients are moistened and no lumps are present. cook at 350 until done about 20min . let cool 5 min before trying to remove from pan . once and removed let cake cool then place doily on top of cake . then take powdered sugar and sift over cake with doily . remove doily gently and your design will be there . This is a meatloaf cake made for our two dogs jack & lizzie on thier first birthday . I just made a regular meatloaf and added frozen veggies to it . Then cooked it in a round fruit cake pan . It was enjoyed by all not just the dogs ;-) This is a wonderful winter cassarole I put together one evning on w him . I was craving something non meat and had a craving for cheese & rice . So I cooked up 1c of brown rice , sauted onion with salt 7 pepper . I then added into the pan some frozen corn & peas . I sauted for a few more minutes then added in one can of cooked chickpeas . I then made a yummy cheese sauce about two cups . I then blended everything together , placed in a cassarole , topped with grated cheddar and cooked in a 350 for 30min . It came out absolutely wonderful .This is a pic of my birthday tea party we held just this past sunday . I had grapeleaf rools , humous , artichoke & basil spread crackers topped with smoked salmon , my friends dish of spanikopita & anothers carrot loaf , I made homemade lemon pie & a lovely gingerbread with lemon sauce . Yes it was heavenly ! Oh I almost forgot I splurged and bought a french brie circle and creamy harvarti . We ate this with sliced apple & pear . Oh so good. To top it off my friend Sheila showed up with this spectacular creamy berry cake covered in shaved white chocolate ! I try each yr to make 3 kings bread . It is so healthy and yummy at the same time . One first starts off with many good ingredients such as dried fruit , nuts , spices & flavourings. such as homemade vanilla my fav spice of all time is nutmeg mix it al together then we of course have great gramma's bread bowl I always use fresh yeast we then add in some other healthy ingredients when the yeast has bubbled , such as egg , milk & butter absolutely do not forget one beauiftul grandson ! stir it all up we then add in one granny set our dough aside to rise the bowl tends to keep its warmth so I do not place it under the oven lamp we then rol out the dough , spread with melted butter and add our fruit , sugar , spice mix this is then rolled up into a long tube , placed on the pan , slits cut across the top and then baked for a good 1/2 hr or so until done . We then take out of the oven & let cool . I then drizzle with thin powdered sugar icing , and if wanted one can sprinkle sliced almonds on top as well . This also goes well as a breakfast food ;-)
I'm hopinbg to try making scotch pies for the feast of St. Brigid as well as wild rice , bannock & duck for Louis Riel day . So Hopefully I shall get some more good eats up here yet .