Tuesday, January 20, 2009

~ Let It Snow ! ~

~~~ It's Snowing ~~~

Yippee ~ It's snowing ! We don't get much snow , so I'm excited. They're saying we'll see 3 to 4 inches . Curious J will be thrilled and might get to make a snowman.

I'm planning to make a large pot of vegetable soup and some homemade bread. I finally used my gift certificate , I won from http://www.peddlerswagon.com/ a few months ago. I got this wonderful old fashioned coffee percolator , it will come in handy for camping or power outages.

Little Froggy has been enjoying my pine cones I have displayed in a basket . I took most of them out and left about 10 for him , he likes dumping them out , putting them back in the basket and toting that big basket all over the place. With all the toys I have around here , he plays with pine cones (LOL). I love watching him play with them , nature provides us with many simple pleasures , if we take the time to enjoy them. I don't have to worry about lead paint or other harmful chemicals , it's all natural.

Hope you have a great day and enjoy some simple pleasures. I'm going to enjoy the " Snow Show " , may post more pics later.

~ Natural Blessings ~

Thursday, January 15, 2009

~ My Favorite Artist ~

~ Curious J disguised as a reindeer ~

Curious J paints a birdhouse I gave him for Christmas

I just had to share my favorite artist latest drawing , it's sooo ..... cute. He made this drawing earlier this week at pre-school.

Bottom left is Curious J sitting at the kitchen table , right above him on the left is Nana (me) making reindeer poo ( LOL ) . On the right , in yellow is Pa going to the store , he looks like a bee (LOL) , but it's his truck with big wheels that look like wings (LOL). I love his art , great work for a 4 year old.

This masterpiece hangs proudly displayed on my refrigerator , makes me smile each time I look at it.

~ Creative Blessings ~

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009 ~ Update on 3 Gifts Challenge ~


Rhonda Jean over at http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/ has issued a challenge to help the environment (Our Dear Mother Earth ). Her challenge is to pick 3 ways (gifts) to help better our World this year. Please visit her blog and read the post on Sunday Jan 13Th , it will tell you all about this challenge. I've been changing my way of living over the last few years , but there's so much more I need to do. I want my grandchildren and their grandchildren to have clean water , trees to climb , animals in their natural habitats and uncontaminated dirt to play in. Please think about this challenge and join us , as we help heal Mother Earth.

1. No more plastic bags ! ........... I have gathered some cloth bags to use at the grocery store and for other shopping. I need to make or get some net bags for fruits & veggies. I keep them in the trunk of my car , so I will always have one. I plan to put one in my purse for those quick trips or impulsive buys.

As you're driving down the road , take a look around. I've seen so many bags up in trees and along the side of the road. They look awful and threaten birds , marine animals and other wildlife. Just think about how many of those bags end up in the landfill and how long it takes for them to decompose.

Just last week I saw a blue jay with a piece of a white plastic bag , carrying it to make a nest. I wonder what effect it will have on the nest or the baby birds.

380 billion disposable bags are used each year in the United States , only 1 % are recycled. I wonder how many end up on the roadside or entangled with wildlife.

Update ~~ Earth Day 2008

I've did pretty well with this challenge so far. I have cloth bags I keep in the trunk of my car , use them mostly for grocery shopping. There have been a couple of times I forgot to take my bags in . I want to make some net bags for fruits and veggies.

Update ~~ January 2009

I will continue to use cloth bags , I still forget them sometimes. Once I had the bagger just put the groceries back in the cart , I rolled the cart to the car and put them in my cloth bags. I like doing it that way , I can bag all cold items together and other items together. I found a neat nylon shoulder bag , that is great for holding meats , cheese and butter. If I have any leaks I can wipe it down when I remove the meats. I never got my veggie bag holders made , but before Christmas as I was getting the decorations down from the attic , I found my old backpack from my girl scout leader days , it had some drawstring bags in it. We made them for camping , they were made with open weave dish cloths. They'll be perfect for holding fruits and veggies .

2. I'm using up my last plastic jug of laundry detergent and plan to start making my own. Rhonda has a simple recipe for making laundry detergent , better for the environment and no more plastic jugs to recycle or that end up in the landfill.

Update ~~~ January 2009

I made the gel type laundry detergent a couple of times , I wasn't satisfied with its cleaning power. So I tried another recipe I found on Rhonda's blog , the concentrated version and I'm pleased with the results.

No more fabric sheets either ~ will use vinegar instead.

Update ~~ Earth Day 2008

I've had a problem finding washing soda , I finally ordered it off the internet. Just received it last week , will finish my laundry detergent and start making my own. I plan to ask my local grocery store about stocking it. I finished using my fabric sheets a couple of weeks ago and have began using vinegar.

Update ~~~ January 2009

I use vinegar when I plan to hang clothes out , it works well. One day I was at the dollar store and I found a dryer ball , decided to gave it a try , it works well in the dryer. I haven't bought anymore fabric sheets in 2008 .

3. Clean-up Mother Earth ~ I promise to recycle more , pick - up litter when I see it , buy items with less packaging when I can and buy more recycled items or items that can be recycled

  • Need to buy recycled garbage bags

  • Buy recycled paper towels ~ compost them ~ until I get a good supply of cloth napkins ~ purchase cloth napkins at thrift stores ~ give them a second life ~ buy 100% cotton so they can be composted when their life is through ~

  • Buy eggs in paper cartons ~ Get hens soon and have fresh eggs

  • Always consider buying the item with less packaging

Update ~~ Earth Day 2008

I have recycled more stuff , haven't found recycled garbage bags yet but I'm still looking. I haven't stopped using paper towels completely , but I buy the recycled ones when I can . I'm recycling the tube rolls to make fire starters. I have bought all my eggs in cardboard cartons and plan to recycle the cartons. Will soon be getting chickens and those cartons will store my fresh eggs. It's hard to find items with less packaging , so I have been buying items with containers that I can reuse. I do pick up litter anytime I see it laying around.

Update ~~~ January 2009

It has become second nature to recycle everything I can. I didn't find any recycled trash bags to use , but I'm definitely using less bags , since we recycle so many items.

I haven't given up paper towels completely , but we are using less. I have bought quite a few cloth napkins , we use them often.

I have bought all my eggs in the cardboard cartons , I'm saving some of the cartons for starting seeds . I will be getting chickens soon , looking to buy some anytime now , some of the cartons will be used to hold my fresh eggs. I try to buy items with the least packaging or containers that can be reused.

I have picked up any litter I come across , on the roadside , in a parking lot or elsewhere.

These are my 3 gifts to Mother Earth , but I'm sure I will be doing many other things to help heal her. I hope you will think about it and take this challenge. All these small things can really make a big difference , if enough people start doing them.

Earth Day Update ~~~ 2008

It's never to late to start making changes to save our Mother Earth , Earth Day would be a good start if you would like to take the challenge. I will be sharing some ideas on reusing and recycling this week on my blog , please share your recycling , reusing tips with us by leaving a comment.

Update ~~~ January 2009

I'm glad I took this challenge and I'm pleased I stuck with it. Most of these changes have become habits , habits that are good for ~ Mother Earth.

Thank-you Rhonda Jean for this wonderful challenge and the awareness it brings to the Our World. You are truly an inspiration and I'm so thankful I found your blog.

~~~~~ YOU make a difference in Our world !! ~~~~~

~ Green Hugs to You ~


Monday, January 12, 2009

~~~ The Lone Ranger ~~~

I let the guineas out into the fenced area yesterday to peck around for a little while. Shadow had followed me , as he does each day , I turned the guineas out and went to the field to play with Shadow.

I was throwing a stick for Shadow to fetch , when 3 of the guineas decided to fly out. Shadow got excited and chased them. 1 guinea ran and flew over some steel my Dh has stacked up , it burrowed under some ivy and honey suckle vines and leaves , I could only see a few tail feathers. I got to Shadow , before he got the guinea and took him to the basement.

I went back to round everyone up , the burrowed guinea was gone , I thought , I figured he had returned to the coop. But when I returned to the coop , (The Lone Ranger) was pacing around the fence , trying to get back in. The third guinea had flown back into the pen , but one was still missing. I got the guineas back in the coop and went to look for the missing guinea. I couldn't find it , I knew it wouldn't stray very far from the others , so I waited hoping it would come out. The Lone Ranger guinea kept flying up onto the coop and sit there clucking and raising a ruckus , boy they are noisy when scared. After awhile I decided I would go back to the house and check on them later , maybe it would come out of hiding. As I headed back to the house , I checked the spot he was burrowed in earlier , after closer inspection , I saw it. The guinea was completely burrowed down under the leaves and vines , so I went to the house and waited for it to come out.

I did a few chores and went back out to check on them. I was going to catch it and put it back in the coop , it was still in the same spot but was about to come out , I could see its head peeping out. As I approached the guinea , it took off running out to the field were my Dh has 2 old trucks sitting , it was gone again and I couldn't find it. The Lone Ranger , whom I suspect might be the alpha male in the flock , kept flying up onto the fencing and coop , but he wouldn't fly down into the fenced area.

So I went back to the house after awhile , I kept an eye out from the back porch , waiting for the second one to come out of hiding. I went out around 2:30 and saw a hawk flying near the coop , I think he had spotted The Lone Ranger , so I needed to get him back in the coop. Dh said I should leave the gate open , maybe he would go back in that way , can't believe I didn't think of that. I opened the gate and walked around the fence , hoping he would go into the open gate , it worked like a charm. I shooed him a little and he went into the coop , the Lone Ranger was safe at last.

There was still no sight of the other fleeing guinea , so we went back to the house. I thought it would probably come out around dusk , so about 5:00 I went back out and sure enough it was pacing around the fenced area , but when it saw me approaching , it took off running again , but it didn't hide this time. I left the gate open , but it didn't work for this guinea. I finally opened the coop and the other guineas came out , the other guinea walked right in , to the flock. I shooed them back into the coop and locked them up for the night. Everyone was safe , I was happy.

I need to break Shadow from chasing them , I've got a training job ahead of me , but I'm hopeful I can break him from chasing them. I really wasn't expecting them to fly out , will be better prepared the next time.

I did this little folk art painting this weekend , it is my favorite photo of Shadow , from 2008 . He was playing with Curious J's tire swing , pulling the rope and swinging it. I'm going to frame it and hang it in the Grands room. I haven't painted a picture in a long time , it was relaxing and felt good to create some art.

Well , I haven't had much to say in the last week , but now I've wrote a book (LOL). I've got alot to do today , so I need to get off the computer. Hope your weekend was wonderful , full of adventure or simple Happiness.

~ Many Blessings ~

Saturday, January 10, 2009

< < The Story of Stuff Challenge > > 2009 Update

The story of stuff challenges us to think before we buy. As 2008 starts I'm making a promise to Mother Earth , that I will not buy stuff unless it is really needed and I will consider the way it is packaged before I buy.

We have to break this throw away habit , if the earth is to Heal and be better for coming generations.

I've tried to be greener this past year , but there is room for much improvement.

We've had severe drought problems this past year , so I've bought disposable plates and cups to conserve water. I bought plastics and styrofoam ( I know , shame on me ) , they are cheaper , sturdier and more readily available.

I promise to buy paper only , if I have to buy in 2008.

Disposable Diapers ~ I was going to buy the grands cloth diapers for christmas , but after thinking it through , realized with the drought conditions we have , it wouldn't be a wise choice.

Not sure what to do about this situation , any suggestions ?

Plastic or Paper ~ We don't hear those words anymore , they just put it in plastic.

I have gathered up some cloth bags to keep in the trunk of my car to use at the grocery store. I used them for the first time on New Year's Eve.

I have never liked throwing stuff away and have many plastic bags stored , need to find a place to recycle them.

I have to much stuff , recycling , give aways and decluttering will become my way of life for 2008.

I have made some good changes in 2007 and will make more green changes in 2008. Mother Earth needs our help , if everyone makes small changes , it will add up to a big change in the future.

Please checkout this website and consider taking this challengehttp://www.storyofstuff.com/

My art journal has taken a change toward green also , created this awhile back.

~ * ~ Hope your day is Greener and Peaceful ~ * ~

I took this challenge last January ~ I did well on this challenge and plan to make it a way of life. I didn't get all my decluttering done , but will continue getting rid of stuff this year.

It's a cold and frosty day here , but the sun is shining. It feels great to see the sun , it's been cloudy and rainy for about a week. I've been busy the last 2 days , catching up on the washing , actually got to hang a couple of loads out on the line.

I'm still deciding on my goals for the coming year. I plan to post about them soon.

~ Green and Peaceful Blessings ~

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

~ Herbal Study ~

I'm planning to start a new herbal online study course soon. This will be the Susan Weed course and can be completed at your own pace. I've really enjoyed learning about herbs/weeds this past year and hope to learn so much more in 2008.

Everything I draw or create , seem to be herb related lately. Thought I would share this drawing I did on New Year's Day , my first creation for the Create Every Day 2008.

Monday, January 05, 2009

~ Looking back at my Simple Plans for 2008 ~

I'm a little behind on looking back at 2008 , but what can I say except , I'm a busy Nana.

No Resolutions , just plans and lifestyle changes ...... Sooo , how did I do ?

Spend special time with each grandchild individually ~ Creating Memories ~ Bonding ....... I did well on this goal , it was easy.

Learn more about HERBS ~ grow more herbs ~ eat more herbs ...... I did learn more about herbs , although I didn't do the study course I had planned to do. I enjoy herbal study , will continue learning about them this year.

Eat healthier ~ Hopefully lose some pounds ....... I did lose a few pounds , didn't weigh myself , but could tell in my clothes , good enough for me.

Start plants from seeds ~ For garden ....... Started tomatoes and peppers from seed , they did well. Plan to start most of my plants from seeds this year.

Grow more veggies ~ Lettuce , Carrots , red cabbage ~ ....... I grew leaf lettuce and red cabbage , didn't get the carrots planted.

Buy a Pressure Canner ~ ....... Didn't buy a Pressure Canner , I used my sister's instead. It was the first time I had used a pressure canner by myself , my late MIL always worked the canner when we preserved the garden goods. My SIL said I could use my MIL's canner , so we have to dig it out of the storage building before canning time. I may need to replace the gasket.

Get a rabbit ~ Need manure for compost ~ ...... My uncle gave me a rabbit , so I have my manure.

Get some chickens ~ Fresh eggs ~ Manure for compost ~ ........ Didn't get this accomplished for 2008 , but the chicken coop is ready now , will be getting chickens soon .... Yippee !!

Organize kitchen cabinets ~ refrigerator ~ ......... I did get some of my cabinets organized , but didn't get them all done.

Meal Planning ~ One pot meals ~ ....... I didn't do well on this goal , no meal planning and no more one pot meals than usual.

Conserving water ~ Extreme drought conditions this past year ....... I still do all I can to conserve water , one thing I started was keeping some jugs in the bathroom to fill while we're waiting for the water to get warm.

Living Green ~ Using cloth bags ~ recycling more ~ buying less ...... I've did well with all of these goals.

Story of Stuff Challenge ~ http://storyofstuff.com/ ....... This challenge was the same as my goals above , but gave me another reason to continue changing my way of life. I will continue to do what I can to help Mother Earth.

Create Every Day 2008 ~http://www.blogger.com/www.creativeeveryday.com

Make more Art from recycled stuff ~ Altered Art

Create more Soul Collages ~ Pictured above is a soul collage I created back in the fall.

I didn't create everyday , except maybe in my mind. I did manage to create something every month almost , I didn't create anything last February. My dog was sick and died , I guess I was mourning.

Spend more time enjoying the outdoors ~ hiking ~ fishing ~ exploring

Live , Laugh , Love ~ Always ....... I did spend more time outdoors and enjoying life 's simple pleasures.

I'm happy with the results , now I need to decide on my goals for this year. I did a few more challenges last year and will be posting about them soon.

~ Simple Blessings ~

Saturday, January 03, 2009

~ Happenings on the Homestead ~

It's been hectic around the homestead for about a month now , everyone was sick a week or two before Christmas , then came the gift wrapping , cooking , holiday celebrations and the new Grandson. He's home now and doing well , Little Missy was quite jealous the first day , but she's getting better. I'm glad things are settling down and getting back to normal.

DH has been home for almost two weeks , he moved the compost bin for me. I had him put it near the chicken coop , so I would have easy access to it. He built 2 frames for raised garden beds , I plan to start an asparagus bed in one. The other one is divided into 2 sections , it will be for lettuce and spinach. The garlic is starting to sprout up , it's about 2 inches tall . The weather has been mild here so far this year , but we've had plenty of rain , it's wet and muddy everywhere.

The guineas are doing well in the chicken coop , they came out of the coop a couple of times last week and pecked around the ground in the fenced area. I made a higher roost for them , they seem to like it better.

I'm thinking about my goals for 2009 , and reviewing the goals and challenges from 2008. I will post about them next week , hope you're having a wonderful weekend .

~ Many Blessings ~


Thursday, January 01, 2009