Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tours of the Homestead- Part 1

I like to peek into other peoples homes. No I'm not a ppeping tom, but when I'm given an opportunity, I take it, so when I'm invited in I'll more or less descreetly take a look. Sometimes, I only get the see the hallway or kitchen.

Here's an invitation to peek into my home...

Here's my sanctuary, "the Master Bedroom"


Light and airy. It's a corner room with three windows. Two are facing west and one on the southside of the house. We have keep this feeling of light by only putting sheers on the windows. When were were newlyweds, we filled our home with hand me downs furniture. Mismatched and not always our taste but we were happy to accept kind offers from relatives and friends. When we were finally in a position to selecting a new bedroom set I found a bed with a "garden gate" look.




We have matching dressers and night stands. These were selected because they are a little more masculine looking.
I have the mirror dresser and Walt has the "tall boy". This is the top of Walt's dresser. He bought the picture long ago at a winery. He said the picture looks like a New York State small town in winter.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Walt likes to drink tea. Last year I dried a bucket of mint leaves to support Walt's habit. That ,supplemented with bulk teas and dries tea-herbs from the Natural Food store keep his tea pot full all winter. Today I mixed up a large batch of
Barefoot Garden Flower Garden Tea
* Rose hips
* Rose petals
* Lemon Balm
* Chamomile
* Hibiscus flowers
* Strawberry leaves
* Carnation petals

You can custom blend your own herbal tea to. For the best results, you want your tea to consist of three kinds of ingredients:

Leaves...Strawberry, blackberry, dandelion, Lemon Balm, violet leaves, young birch leaves, white pine needles
Flowers ... Consider using a colorful mixture of rose petals, dandelion blossoms, pansies, honeysuckle, clover, and violets for good taste and appearance.

Herbals... Combine chives, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, verbena, oregano,chamomile, dill,lemon balm, basil, marjoram, sage, nasturtium leaves, lemon verbena, and flowers, and mint with flowers such as lemon blossoms and lilac.

Weeds... Chickweed,chicory (flowers and buds),dandelions (flowers and leaves),goldenrod,lamb's quarters,plantain (or white man's footsteps, as the Native Americans called them),purslane,stinging nettle.

Steeping your herb tea
Put a fat handful of the plants you gathered in a big pot or sparkling clean coffee press free of all oils, and pour boiling water over them. Consider using dandelion greens and flowers for about half of the handful (resulting in a slightly bitter taste, but great for digestion; or use blackberry or raspberry leaves in bulk for a sweeter taste). Divide the rest of your tea fairly equally among plants listed in the categories above without any single ingredient dominating.
Use a glass pot; this allows you to see the green beauty of your herbs. Let them steep for a few minutes. Keep them warm on a warmer and enjoy your tea all day long. There is enough flavor left in the plants for at least one additional steeping.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Wed. Sept. 8



Outside my window... It's a day in early September, cool and rainy.

I am thinking... about all the things I have to do today, can tomatoes, bake bread, get dinner in the slow cooker, clean out refrigerator and take care of lots of other little things.

I am thankful for... the goodness of God. He has taken care of us and brought us work, clients and jobs time after time.

From the kitchen... leftovers from dinner, Flank-steak slow-cooked in a dutch oven, steamed pole-beans, birthday cake. leftovers from breakfast, applesauce pancakes and breakfast sausage links, bags of peeled, seeded and quartered paste tomatoes ready for canning, canning jars in the dishwasher.

I am wearing...a simple dress made of tee shirt cotton. It's hot pink with a thin beaded belt. Something easy to pull on early in the morning.

I am creating... need to finish up the pillowcases for camp.

I am going... to Cooperstown either today or tomorrow. I have to deliver a DVD to our client CDP. I will piggyback that trip with a visit to a winery for more winemaking supplies and maybe a specialty fabric store

I am reading... The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I am hoping... that the kids do well in school this year

I am hearing... cars driving on a wet road and the Glenn Beck Show on the living room radio.

Around the house... the usual clutter, but not too bad. I have so many "projects". Buckets of windfall apples, canning supplies, buckets of fruit fermenting into wine. labels I have printed for my various canned goods. Also I have to put away the sugars flours spices etc I bought in bulk from the Mennonite store.

One of my favorite things... my kitchen scale. It was a christmas gift from my children and I use it often.

A few plans for the rest of the week - finish the baskets I am donating for a silent auction to raise money for local homeless veterans.

Here is picture I am sharing... a label I made for my Blackberry Brandy.

You can read about the daily lives other great women here at the Simple Woman's Daybook.