Tuesday, September 30, 2008

~ My Weekend Visitors ~

We had some visitors that showed up this past weekend. They enjoyed rooting around in my front yard Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. I tried to shoo them away when they headed toward the garden , but they tried to come to me , I finally gave up and went back in the house. My hubby went around the neighborhood trying to find their owners , without success. The neighbor called animal control , hopefully they found the owners.

I've been busy catching up the wash and pickling more peppers. Today I'm going to pick more grapes. I want to make a couple more batches of grape jelly. I'm also determined to get that closet cleaned and decluttered today..............

Hope you have a great day !

~ Blessings ~

Monday, September 29, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

~~ Pine Oil / Red Oil ~~

I posted about the natural pine oil I made awhile back here http://feather-spirits.blogspot.com/2008/09/natural-pine-oil-furniture-polish.html. My Mom went to move a fan week before last and the blade hit her finger , gave it a good slice. She was talking about how everyone used red oil in the days , and its healing properties. Red oil has become a thing of the past , you can't find it at the stores anymore. I told her I had made some pine oil and we should try it on the cut , I read that pine has antiseptic qualities .

I applied some and put the bandage back on it. She called the next morning and was singing praises about the oil , she said it took the soreness out of her finger. She kept applying it and it healed wonderfully.

I love the thought of being able to clean/ dust and use it medicinally too. I don't have to worry about the grands , accidentally spraying it in their eyes ( using a squirt bottle ) or ingesting it because it's just olive oil with oils absorbed from pine needles. I made pine needle tea last year when I had a cold that wouldn't go away , it worked great too. I plan to do more study on the healing properties of pine , will let you know what I find.

~ Green Blessings ~

Friday, September 26, 2008

~ Weekly Wrap-up ~

It's been another busy week around the homestead. I didn't get much decluttering done. I had business in town that had to be taken care of this week. I did get 8 pints of grape jelly made this week , actually 4 pints of jelly and 4 pints of syrup. Four pints didn't set , so I guess I'll be experimenting with some syrup , any ideas ? I wonder how grape syrup
taste on pancakes , it'll probably be good.

Shadow has adjusted well , he plays well with the Grands. Little Missy yells pup-pup , each time she sees him.We have a wild kitten that has taken up residence too. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I've been feeding it and hope it will get use to me , it is staying on the back porch , but each time I go out , it makes a mad dash off the porch to the edge of the yard behind the bushes and starts crying. My husband thinks someone dropped it out Saturday night , he saw a car stop on the road in front of our house late Saturday night. The kitten was on our porch Sunday morning.

I finally got some fall planting done , hoping it's not to late. It's been kinda chilly this week , seems like Oct. instead of Sept. We're having a early fall , so we'll probably have a early winter too.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

~ Green Blessings ~


Monday, September 22, 2008

* Doing Not Thinking Challenge Update *

I started this challenge thinking , I wasn't doing , just thinking about doing. I now realize I'm doing , there's just so much to be done. I still haven't cleaned out the closet. I did manage to clean and declutter this shelf in the living room.

Last week I had pears and grapes to preserve , garlic that needed to be cleaned , house cleaning , meals to cook , washing and grands to take care of. I was going to make my grape jelly yesterday , but didn't get to it either. Wasn't feeling well yesterday morning , felt better after I napped about noon , so thought I would get the jelly fixed in the afternoon but I ended up taking my oldest daughter to the hospital. She was sick and throwing up profusely , since she's pregnant , they wanted her to come in and be checked. They gave her a bag of IV fluids at the hospital and said it was probably a GI bug.

So today I'll be making grape jelly , instead of cleaning the closet. I guess I'll keep doing and thinking I'm not doing enough (LOL).

~ Autumn Blessings ~


Sunday, September 21, 2008

*~* Path to Freedom Contest , Pears and a Puppy *~*

I spoke about the website Path To Freedom ~ http://pathtofreedom.com/ ~ awhile back , they have a contest each month for their Freedom Gardeners. To enter the Tally ' Hoe ' Contest , you must sign -up at Freedom Gardens ~ http://freedomgardens.org/ ~ and guess how many pounds of food they will harvest for the month. I joined the Freedom Gardens site last week and made my guess of 907 lbs. I 'm the 1st place winner for guessing the closest lbs for their Aug. harvest. I won a 25.00 gift certificate ( YIPEEEE ) for their online store , they sell homesteading and green goods.

I made pear preserves this week and a couple of qts of canned pears. The grapes have been juiced , so I will make grape jelly this weekend.

Someone abandoned this sweet little puppy at my Sister's driveway last week. I saw him and fell in love , so meet ~ Shadow ~ the newest member of our homestead. I'm hoping he'll be a good dog for the grandchildren and a guard dog for the chickens when we get them.
I can't believe people still dump dogs and puppies beside the road. There are many programs out there to help find homes them , if they would take the time to do it.
I wasn't looking for another dog , but I guess the Universe had a different plan for me. We have a German Shepherd , she's 10 years old and will probably be very jealous of the newest edition. She doesn't get along well with other animals , she hates the cats and would kill them if she got a chance , we keep her in a dog lot and only allow her out on leash. I hate keeping her in a pen , but she's so aggressive. She has attacked the neighbors dog and almost killed it. She also attacked my cat ~ Buddy ~ , he fared pretty well considering , just a nasty bite. She doesn't seem aggressive against people , but I wouldn't trust her around the Grandkids. I hope ~ Shadow ~ is different , he seems calm maybe he'll remain that way.

~ Blessings ~

Friday, September 19, 2008

Kitchen Table = Sacred Object ~ Thought Provoking Post

( My Sacred Kitchen Table )

( Carved A )

( Dining Room Table )

( Kitchen Table Memories )

Kathie over at Two Frog Home wrote a post about the kitchen table , I loved this post and thought it was worth sharing , it was very thought provoking for me , please go to http://twofroghome.com/2008/16/100-things-31-kitchen-table-sacred-object/ to read her post.

I've never thought about the kitchen table as being a Scared place , but after reading her post I thought about it and realized , it really is the most Sacred place in my home too. Our kitchen table and dining room table hold many special memories and new ones are made everyday around it.

The photo above shows my old farm table I bought at an antique store about 6 years ago . It has the letter A carved into it , our last name starts with an A , I guess I was drawn to that table because of the A. Our dining room table was handcrafted by a friend my DH went to school with , he passed away a couple years after we got it , it's very Special to us.

~ Kitchen Table Memories ~

Family Meals & Prayers
Preparing Meals
Making Homemade Biscuits
Making Birthday Cakes
( The most recent ~ Fire Truck Cake )
Company , Coffee and Gossip
A Place to do Homework
A place to do Art / Finger Painting
Playing Board Games / Cards
Making a Table Tent
Carving Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween
Thanksgiving Feast
Making Christmas Gifts / Ornaments
Making Pinecone Bird Feeders
Valentine Cards & Ornaments
Working on Science Projects
Spelling Bee Study
Preparing for Cook-outs / Birthday Parties
Dying Easter Eggs
Making Cupcakes & Decorating
Making Cookies
Canning and Preserving Food
Serious Family Business
( Sometimes Tough Decisions )
(Crying ~ Laughing )

So many Special times and Wonderful memories are made around the kitchen table , it's definitely a Scared Place. Please share a memory about your kitchen table.

~ Kitchen Table Blessings ~

Thursday, September 18, 2008

~ Permaculture at Work ~

A couple of weeks ago , my herbs looked awful. Bugs were eating the basil and sages , everything except the rosemary. I've had a couple of spiders move in and rescue my herbs. The bottom photos shows a garden spider near the basil , you can barely see the other spider that's near the sages ( top photo ) , but it is casting a shadow you can see. You can click on photos to enlarge for a better view.

I thought this was a great example of nature doing what it's suppose to do aka permaculture , if we allow it to happen. My herbs look great again , the rain and the insect eating spiders have done a great job. Wish I had a before and after photo of how bad the basil and sage looked , the difference is amazing. Spiders get a bad rap , because they're really beneficial. I'm not a spider or snake lover , but I respect the job they do for us.

I think rosemary would probably make a great insect repellent , may try an infusion to experiment with. Anyone ever tried rosemary for insect repellent , the bugs don't seem to like it ?

~ Green Blessings ~


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

~ Feeling like Fall ~

Sunday afternoon I took a hike around the homestead. You can feel Fall in the air and the weeds are getting their seedheads. I picked some to make an arrangement , it has that wonderful Fall feel to it.
My sister brought me some grapes and a friend sent me some pears , so I'll be making some jelly and canned pears today.

~ May your day be Blessed ~

Monday, September 15, 2008

~ Doing Not Thinking Challenge Update ~

The closet still waits to be decluttered . I had grandbabies everyday last week and didn't get to it. Hope to get it cleaned this week.

I did some cleaning /dusting in the livingroom. Washed all of my " Friends of the Feather " collection and moved them to the mantle and a shelf. I'm getting rid of some other collectibles I had on the mantle , so I did get some decluttering done.

~ Blessings ~


Sunday, September 14, 2008

~ Quiet Weekend ~

It's been a very quiet weekend , my youngest daughter and her family have gone to the beach. It was just me and Little Missy yesterday , she's walking now. It's so cute , she just toddles right behind me.
I watched the news coverage on Hurricane Ike yesterday , it's so sad to see so many people suffering. It's hard enough to survive these tough economic times and now they have so much more to deal with. My Prayers and thoughts are with them.

Gas prices around here have gone up and many stations are sold out completely , this is causing more hardships on people in our area too. The small convenience store in our area is selling regular gas for 5.29 a gallon. My oldest daughter and I went grocery shopping today and we found gas for 3.89 a gallon , so she filled up. We saw one store that was sold out and I've heard about 2 more that are sold out.
Have gas prices increased in your area ?
I picked a few peppers and tomatoes from the garden. It's still to wet for DH to plow , don't know when I'll get my plants started.

~ Blessings ~

Friday, September 12, 2008

~ Natural Pine Oil Furniture Polish ~

I've been using natural pine oil to dust and polish my furniture. This is the first time I used it and I'm very pleased with results.

~ Pine Oil ~

White Pine Needles
Olive Oil

I took the pine needles and cut them into small 1/2 inch pieces , put in pint jar and added olive oil to cover pine needles. Put in a dark , cool place for 6-8 weeks or longer. Strain , and it's ready. I plan to use a different oil with my next batch , olive oil is to expensive for cleaning , I'll keep it for cooking.

I recycled a mustard bottle to keep my oil in , it works great.

~ Green Blessings ~

Thursday, September 11, 2008

~ 100 Foot Diet Challenge ~

Yesterday was a cool , damp , rainy day. Great day to make Roasted Chicken with Herbs and Veggies , something warm and yummy.

Chicken ~ Local Owned Grocery Store / All Natural
( Looking for Local Grown )

Carrots ~ LOGS
( Hope to grow some soon )

Onions ~ LOGS
( Hope to grow a Fall crop , we've eaten all the Spring crop )

Potatoes * Homegrown

Garlic * Homegrown
( Will plant more garlic next month , really enjoying have fresh garlic ~ tastes so much better than store bought )

Fresh Rosemary * Homegrown
( Hope to keep it growing in the basement this Winter )

Fresh Thyme * Homegrown
( It's great having fresh herbs for cooking )

Olive Oil ~ LOGS

This could be a total Homegrown meal if we raised chickens or at least find a local source.

~ Homegrown Blessings ~

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

~ Rain , Rain and More Rain ~

Wow , we've been blessed with rain the last three weeks. I really need to get my Fall crop in the ground , but it's so wet , I can't. Sometimes Mother Earth has different plans for us , maybe next week.

I stuffed 60 more jalapenos on Monday , last night I made applesauce in the crockpot. My apples aren't so great , the birds are feasting on them.
I'm getting a few though , so made some applesauce for me and the Grands. A few jars are better than none , I suppose.
My Mom's neighbor has offered us free grapes , not sure what kind they are. Hope to make some grape jelly or maybe juice and wine , depending on the type of grape.

I haven't got that closet cleaned yet , forgot I had told my sister-in-law , I would watch my niece yesterday. I'll have the Grands the rest of the week , so may not get to it this week either. Oh well , it's definitely not going anywhere , it'll still be there when I get to it.

So , how's your week going ?

~ Many Blessings ~

Monday, September 08, 2008

~ Doing Not Thinking Challenge Update ~

The bedroom is almost done , it's all decluttered except the closet. Tomorrow I will tackle the closet , I'm hoping to get the closet finished and declutter my dining room table.
I didn't get the closet cleaned last week , because I was multi-tasking. I was working in my bedroom , cleaning & decluttering the last corner , preparing jalapenos and stuffing them to freeze. I got behind on laundry while I was sick and was trying to get it caught up and preparing for the storms.
There's always something else that needs to be done , other than the task at hand. My bedroom looks and feels so much better , I actually enjoy going in there and not feeling like I'm in a jungle of clothes. It's been a slow process , but well worth it.

~ Blessings ~

Saturday, September 06, 2008

~~ Bye Bye Hanna ~~

Hanna came a shore as a tropical storm and didn't cause much damage. Some are without power in our area , but we were very Blessed. We got a lot of rain and some wind , but didn't lose power.

My oldest daughter , her husband , Little Missy and my Mom all stayed overnight. We cooked a huge meal last night and enjoyed the time together. My youngest daughter and her family came over too.

The sun is shining today and everything is back to normal , the only sign of the storm is the overflowing pool. Thank-you , for your Prayers and good thoughts , they were deeply appreciated and I am Grateful for having each one of you as a Friend.
~ Special Blessings to You All ~

Thursday, September 04, 2008

< Getting Prepared >

Tropical Storm / Hurricane Hanna is heading our way , so I've been busy getting prepared. Forecast says we may have heavy rains and some wind , so I'm making sure we're ready for power outages. When Hurricane Fran came through , we were without power for over a week.
Yesterday I filled up water jugs , cleaned and filled up the oil lamps. I 've been trying to get all the laundry done and checking supplies.
Today I will be finishing laundry and anchoring outdoor items and cleaning the basement up just in case. Need to make sure we have charcoal , and some dry wood stored.
We'll prepare for the worst and hope for the best , Praying she'll move through without major damage.

~ Blessings ~

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

~ Creating a Soul Collage ~

I took a little break from everything last night and made a soul collage. I did it a little different , shut my eyes and picked 3 magazines from a stack I keep in my art room for making these collages.

Two of the three were a challenge , an L.L. Bean holiday catalog , mostly clothes and a vacation guide , mostly food ads. The best mag was a National Geographic which I got most of this collage from. I did challenge myself , that I would use at least 1 pic from each magazine.

I ended up with a Fall theme about nature. As I read my soul collage , this is what it said to me. It's amazing what you can see and learn about yourself in these collages.

I am the one who .......... finds water soothing to my soul.

I am the one who ......... needs to connect with nature often.

I am the one who ........ is like a squirrel , harvesting and preparing for a long road called winter.

I am the one who ......... is nourished by nature.

If you would like to learn about soul collage , check-out this website ~ www.kaleidosoul.com/.

Monday, September 01, 2008

* Doing Not Thinking Challenge *

( Before )

It's Monday again , time for an update on the challenge. It's such a slow go for me , between company , canning and taking care of the Grands , I don't have much time for deep cleaning and decluttering. I can see my dresser and chest , I've sorted most of the clothes. It looks and feels so much better already , it'll be wonderful when it's done. I'm hoping to finish my room today or tomorrow. I've got one more corner and the closet to clean and organize. Since DH is home today , doubt I'll get much done.
At the rate I'm going , it may be Dec 15th 2009 before I finish (LOL).
Hope the challenge is going well for everyone else.

~ Blessings ~