Saturday, December 29, 2007

* Santa's Green Gift of Heat *

Santa brought DH & I a Heatmor furnace for Christmas. We decided awhile back it was time for a cheaper heating source ( DH reasoning ) and I wanted to become less dependent on foreign oil/fuels.

This source of heat seem to be the solution to our problem. Dh didn't want an indoor wood heater. We live in a older home that is constructed of pine wood , our home would burn quickly if fire broke out.

Wood is a environmentally friendly , renewable resource that reduces greenhouse gases and doesn't produce extra carbon dioxide.
There are concerns about smoke pollution , but most of these units have emission controls that should help with that.

We will also heat our hot water with this , less electrial ( nuclear energy ) use is another plus for me.

Friday, December 28, 2007

* ~ * Something for the Birds * ~ *

The weekend before Christmas , Curious J and I made bird feeders. I was going to take pics but Curious J was wild with the birdseed , so I didn't get a chance. We made them for his Momma & Daddy , Nana (me) & Papa , Big Nana ( My Mom ) and his Aunt J and Uncle S.

We or should I say I , Curious J didn't like smearing the peanut butter on the giant pine cones ,so I had that job. He loved pouring the birdseed over the pine cones and playing with the seeds like sand. We attached a piece of yarn for hanging in a tree.

We put them in paper bags and I punched holes in the top and tied with twine and added a feather for decoration. Curious J didn't tell a single soul what we made , we just said they were surprises. I thought he would tell everyone what was in the bags , but he didn't.

We enjoyed making them and I'm sure the birds will like their treats. I hung mine outside Wednesday , but the birds haven't found it yet. Will try to take some pics , when they find it.

Everyone loved their bird feeders and Curious J looked so proud of his creation. His green and very messy gift ( birdseed everywhere , LOL ) was definitely worth that proud look.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

* * * Green Gifts * * *

This year I gave Green Gifts to my family and friends. I stamped the plain bags with a Christmas tree stamp I made. I added some canned goods , all homemade and from the garden this past summer , Kosher Dill Pickles , Salsa , Jalapeno Peppers , Strawberry Jam. A couple of jars wrapped in tissue paper were tucked in the gift bags.

I recycled some of my past holiday cards for gift tags.
Each tag said ....

Help me
Help Mother Earth

Please reuse your jars or return to me.

Recycle your bag next Christmas ( add your own decorations )
and pass it along.

Merry Christmas !

I'm looking forward to next year , wonder how many will actually decorate their bags and pass it along. I know one of my friends was really thrilled about it and said her bag would be heavily embellished next Christmas.

I'm not sure if I should have asked them to return the jars to me if they didn't reuse them , but I will use them and don't want them sent to the landfill. My ancestors were called Indian Givers because of this practice , but they believed if you were given a gift and didn't use it , the gift should be given to someone who would. It wasn't considered rude to ask for it back , if they weren't using it or for the person receiving the gift to give it back if they didn't need it. This wasn't considered ungrateful or rude , it was handled in a respectful way.

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I will be posting more about my Green Christmas in the days to come.

Monday, December 24, 2007

~ ~ ~ Merry Christmas ~ ~ ~

The Holidays are here and I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I'm sending , loving , peaceful and happy thoughts out to all my friends and family this Christmas season. Love you all and hope your Holidays are wonderful.

Time to head to the kitchen and get some cooking and baking done.

Merry Christmas !!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stellaria Media aka Chickweed ~ Lemony Chickweed Feta Salad

The herbal class I took ended Dec. 6th , I enjoyed taking that class and learned to identify several herbs. One of the herbs I learned about is Stellaria Media aka Chickweed or starweed , my backyard is full of this wonderful herb. It has a wonderful mild almost sweet taste and can be used like lettuce.

Sunday I harvested a basket full and made a lemony chickweed feta salad , it was delicious. My dh was hesitant about trying it but he did and actually liked it. My daughters loved it and I'm really impressed with the herb and salad. I will be trying more recipes with this herb.

I found the wonderful recipe at this website , Prodigal Gardens ~ Medicinal Herbs Aand Wild Foods , she has some great information and recipes on her site. Check it out if you're interested in herbs.

Friday, December 14, 2007

~ ~ Getting Ready for the Holidays ~ ~

I finally started decorating for the holidays this week. Decorated the tree Monday , I enjoy seeing the ornaments from the past and all the memories they evoke.
Strung the vintage lights around the front porch on Tues , those big bulbs have the most beautiful colors. I found some vintage replacement bulbs at the thrift store awhile back , I was thrilled. You can buy replacement bulbs new , but the colors just can't compare.

I'm planning to make goodie baskets for my family this year. Money is tight for everyone this season , so we decided not to buy gifts. I like the idea of giving something homemade anyway. I plan to start giving green gifts , so a goodie basket will be a perfect start. I will use items that can be recycled , the jars and shredded paper. The basket can always be reused.

The new babies are doing well , I will be keeping baby J today. Curious J is doing really well with his little brother , although there have been some moments of jealousy.

Hope everyone is doing well !

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

~*~ Christmas Stocking Swap ~*~

I joined a Christmas stocking swap that Peggy at Hidden Haven Homestead is hosting. I received my stocking last week from Kathleen at The Open Window. I've been so busy with grandbabies , sick dog and daily life that I haven't had time to post.
The stocking is beautiful and was filled with a cute pair of knit slippers , fall themed memo pad and recipe cards , Land of Lakes hot chocolate and a wonderful christmas card. Thanks Kathleen , I plan to curl up with some hot chocolate and watch a christmas movie one night this week.
I will be sending my stocking out by the end of the week.