December 6, 2021


My aunt and cousin came from VT for two days.  Time together with family and friends is great!
I've made these vegan gingerbread cookies for years and years.  The recipe is here.
we made granola.  One chose cashews, the other almonds, we sprinkled cinnamon in, then drizzled melted coconut oil + maple syrup before roasting
Snowflake is 10 weeks old now.  Her little nails are sharp!  She likes to climb the chairs and see what's on the table.  Naughty, but so sweet.  This week, our girls come.  They're 18 and 20, one living with my mom, the other with my sister.  We'll string up cranberry + popcorn garlands, drink tea, nibble gingerbread, maybe make ornaments with the orange slices, cut a pine tree and decorate it!

November 29, 2021

Pine bundles

Welcome to our husband is building an entryway or mudroom this week.
We made carrot stew inspired by the Tawny Scrawny Lion story.
Our Nativity countdown garland that we made yesterday.  
My cousins came on Saturday and we had lunch together.  I made a pie using a kuri squash that I baked and pureed.
We lit a candle at my father's grave.  This is the 1st time I've seen it with snow and the whole place is more beautiful.
The Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown had a FREE event and just asked for a $10 donation per family!  We got this recipe of sorts, freshly printed at press and had to hold it carefully so it would dry.  The turkeys were fascinating and we helped walk them across the grounds as people used to do many years ago and take them to market.
Fresh layer of snow just makes everything prettier!
This is the copse of pine trees at the back of our property. We gathered pine cones and cut branches to bundle up and decorate our mailbox and doorway. I would like to make a garland using wire, but we got so much pine sap on our hands. It's hard to wash off and collects dirt. It does smell lovely.

November 22, 2021

Pie crust

I always make homemade pie crust, using the food processor.  I put flour, salt and butter in and blend it for 10 seconds until it's crumbly, then add the water and turn it on again,until it has formed a nice ball to roll out.  This will make 2 pie crusts, like for a pumpkin pie or a single apple pie with a crust on top.  So, if you're looking for an easy one, give this a try:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, only if using unsalter butter
  • 2/3 cup cold butter
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons cold water
We hiked to the falls and caves in Vanhornesville over the weekend.  We've gone in late spring and got in the water to wade around and cool off.  The stairs down to the most beautiful part was wobbly last time, now it's closed.

This turkey craft below, from our local library.  Always good to get extra writing practice and think of what we are grateful for!  My sister came to visit!!  She brought truffles from the chocolate shop where she works, cloudberry tea and this beautiful book, featuring saints, geared for children, but I'm learning so much from it.  The maps and dates are consistent, each page has an icon and illustration of the saint, and now I'm wishing for a 2nd volume!
I tried using 100% whole wheat in a pie crust for apple hand pies and they were too crumbly.
Last week was our first snow.  There wasn't even an inch here, but we gathered enough to make snowballs and a wee snowman.
Chicken footprints, one walked on top of the snowy log!

November 12, 2021

Quieter life

Each day I'm amazed at the beauty of nature.  Here, there are more opportunities than in our former suburban neighborhood.
Fr. Iov was a monk who helped my dad in becoming Christian, by working with him and teaching him to drive a tractor and work with the heifers.  He lived at the monastery for most of his life and passed away last week.  He is on the left in this old photo, where they are harvesting potatoes.
Yesterday we went to Denny's for breakfast.  All Veterans get a FREE Grand Slam meal as a thank you!  Our first time going out to eat since our move.  It's been 15 years since Rob has been out of the military.  When he was in the Middle East, he bought the 2 carpets we now use in our home.
Our days consist of milking our cow twice daily, baking bread, making soft cheese, walks in the field, caring for our chickens, chopping wood, prayer and simple homeschool lessons.  We looked at Venus and the waxing crescent moon this past week.  Our oldest son was really excited about seeing the planets and also the Big Dipper in the north sky.  He came in one evening and sat down to draw what he'd seen.
Our chickens are about 2 months old and run free during the day eating grass and insects.  
We got 2 kittens!  They will be barn cats when they're bigger.  We have seen some mice and had apples that we put in the basement that were nibbled and now composted.
My mom came to visit last week to visit and celebrate George's birthday. He just told me again this morning, "Grammie came to my birthday!"  Next, one of my sisters will come this weekend.  And our 2 daughters will be here in December to visit.  We miss being near family, but are really liking this quieter life.