Monday, 19 August 2019

Homemaking Mondays: It's In The Little Things


Hello!
I'd love to share with you some of the little things 
that have brought me joy this week.

The weather here has changed.  
We got a couple days of heavy rain, and when the clouds lifted...
there was snow on the high mountain tops.  
It was 5C in the morning...and yes we started our wood stove up
to take the chill off.  

That was followed by gale force winds!
It was incredible to have to really lean against the wind 
while doing chores outside. 
There were a few trees falling. 
Thankfully not in an area that needed to be cleaned up...
at our place at least. 

On one afternoon, while the winds had quieted a little bit.
I snuck out with my camera to take pictures of the flowers...
just because who knows what might happen to them. 

Thankfully they are all mostly intact at this time. 
I do cover them at night as the temps do drop down to or below freezing at night.


I have found some new favourites to hopefully add to the flower garden next year. 


As well as old favourites that always make me smile! :) 


These are called nemophelia "Baby Blue Eyes".  
They are so lovely and my children introduced them to me 
through the gardening program that they worked at this summer at our local community center.  
They seeded the flowers, watered, and cared for them. 
I bought some of their starter plants for our home. 


With having the wood stove on for heat...we might as well 
cook on it and save electricity right?  
I thought so...but with a newly started fire it doesn't give off enough heat to cook well.
With a hungry family...I got to thinking.
 I found that one of my skillets fit perfectly in the "hole" 
when I took the burner lid off to fill the stove with wood. 
Yup....cooks much better that way while the stove 
is getting itself going. No need to wait. :) 
Also my new favourite pancake is made with
unbleached flour and fresh ground oat flour. 
I told my family it was just like having oatmeal and toast for breakfast 
but in a different form.


While the stove was pipping hot, we decided that we needed some bread.  
I ground some spelt flour for the first time in awhile.
Oh does it taste delicious!  
I mix in some of the fresh flour with unbleached as we like fluffy bread.  
I make a pan of buns with three loaves of bread at a time.


Doesn't this look delicious? 
Yes, my son and I just had to try one before setting them aside to cool for supper. 
You know...quality control!


These are some of the little things that the Lord has blessed my home with. 
The things that give me pause to thank Him.  
Some people think that mundane lives are boring...but I think they are beautiful! 

Thanks for dropping by!

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer

Monday, 12 August 2019

Homemaking Mondays: Winter's Coming


Hello!
Welcome to Homemaking Monday! 
Sorry I'm a touch late today.  

I have been busy this week stashing food for the winter. 
I feel like a squirrel sometimes...for winter is coming! 
We've had a good frost already, and the mornings are so chilly 
that I wait a long time in the morning before uncovering my plants outside. 
The wood stove is lit to take the chill out of the air in the house.
The extra lap blankets are pulled out of their basket and snuggled under. 

I have been freezing a lot of things. 
I like to do this with most of my veggies at this time. 
Some day I'll learn to pressure can some of them, but for now frozen is great!
I learned to use a carrot peeler to peal butternut squash and then I cubed it and froze it
along with zucchini.  Then there were more herbs from the garden 
that got cleaned, chopped, and bagged. 
I had bought a large amount of bananas on sale last week. 
Some have gone into banana bread (some of which is in the freezer) and then the extra
bananas are frozen in portion sizes for making more bread with them. 

I have also been puttering about the yard picking up the odd pieces of wood for kindling.
Sawing up smaller branches/ sticks for the stove.
Then there is the spending time outdoors....while it's still nice! 
While indoors I've been crocheting more on that blanket I shared that I'd started.
It's coming along nicely...but I admit it's very warm to have it on my lap as it gets bigger. 

I'm working to use up all the sourdough starter discard that has been in the kitchen. 
I'm getting better at making bread with it.  

Last week our children began their school lessons again.  
It's hard to start so early...but we did end early last year and it's good to 
get back into the swing of things again.  
I was able to also go to a class on backyard remedies
held just up the road from me.  
It was a great class on making tinctures and salves, and 
looking for plants around us. 
Through the whole class, I couldn't help but think on how
God has put them there for our use. 

Genesis 1:29
 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” 
 Genesis 9:3
 “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”

I thank the Lord for all that He brings into our lives and all that He teaches us. 

Oh, and the cake in the first picture was my youngest son's birthday cake.  
He requested a cheesecake...it was a chocolate orange swirl.
To make that, just add a touch of orange extract to the chocolate portion. 
My son picked the flowers from the garden for the top.
Then he asked for shepherd's pie for supper. 
I forgot to cook the corn to put in it....so it was served on the side.
Still very good. :) 
Homemaking can be wonderful...but there are times it just isn't picture perfect.


Thanks so much for dropping by!  
Praying you have a beautiful day!

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer

Monday, 5 August 2019

Homemaking Monday: Flowers to Cheer You!


Hello!  Do flowers cheer you? 
I find that I cannot help but smile when I see flowers.
What a gift from the Lord flowers are! 

This week flowers seem to be just bursting in my home.
I was given a few slips of geranium recently. 
One of them has brought a beautiful treasure to the dinning room window.
My snake skin plant has a few flower stems emerging. 
I've never seen it do this before.


There are tiny droplets of dew on them.


Then my sunflower in my greenhouse has brought a huge burst of colour!
It's the only one, but it has made fast friends with the bees. :) 


Then there are the violets. 
They are my ultimate favourite indoor flowering plant. 
I have a few different ones, and they are all starting to bloom.






Flowers seem to cheer my day as I putter about the home doing 
necessary things.  
Fresh flowers are wonderful and sometimes you can find them at a reasonable price. 
With potted flowers it's so nice that they are free. 
A special touch to add to your home if you like indoor plants.

Also this week we've been enjoying an abundance of blueberries!  
I found a great deal on them and it has been nice to share 
and to put some away for the winter needs. 





Then also bananas were a good price so we bought some extra to dehydrate.
They won't last long unless I hide them. Yum!


Then all the abundance of rhubarb, red raspberry leaves, and chamomile 
have been steadily been added to the pantry.  

It is so good to work in the gentleness of our homes. 
With little things like flowers to cheer us! 

Praying you have a blessed day!

Jennifer

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Comforts of Home


Hello!  I thought I'd share some of my comforts of home with you. 
I have started on a crocheted blanket.  
At first it was just to get my hands around some yarn, but then I started to think that this blanket would look great on my daughter's bed.  So I asked her and she agreed.  
I've worked through all the yarn I have at home and will need to get another ball to finish. 
I've missed working with yarn. 


I love to be home and care for my sourdough starter.  It's so nice to have this bubbling away on the countertop.  I am not one to like throwing away the discard so I've been making bread with it. 
Next I want to make sourdough crackers. 
I love being home to bake bread. 
In the dutch oven is my favourite way to make sourdough bread, although I use 
glass bread pans for my regular bread. 


I also bought some very beautiful flowers flowers from the children's table at the community market.
I loved all the delightful colour and it's been sitting on the kitchen table for a few days.  
Simple flowers can really cheer up a room.  


It has been quite cool which is to be expected as we near August here in the Yukon. 
Things are going to start to transition from summer to fall here. 
It also gives me great pleasure to know I have a wood cookstove to fire up and warm up the house.
Today I was able to start my very first fire in it!  
Oh it was lovely and hot...and didn't even smoke in the house at all. Ha! 


We still need to learn more about how to adjust the heat and burn times as we've never had a stove like this to use.  It has a nice big box in it so it'll be easy to fill and stoke for the night. 
I am so very much looking forward to cooking on it!  
In fact we heated water and then heated up our leftover soup on it at lunch time.  
Soon there will be things in the oven...as the temperatures will call for the stove 
to be on more and more. 


With the hot water...there had to be tea! 


Another comfort of home for me is seeing these lovely tomatoes on the window sill. 
They just make me smile...and my mouth water. 


The comforts of home....there is so much to that.  
Most of all, as I think about all the blessings in the home my heart swells with 
thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus for providing all of this!  
In all things in life what we see and experience needs to bring our eyes off of ourselves 
and up to the Lord for all that He is and all that He does!  
God is good! 
 Psalm 105:1-4

"O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.    

Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.    

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.    

Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore."

Love and Prayers, 
Jennifer

Monday, 29 July 2019

Homemaking Mondays: Putting Things By



Hello!
Do you enjoy putting things by?  I do! 

There is a joy and satisfaction of having food put up for your families needs. 
Food that you know what is in it, and food that is healthy for them. 

I have been making lots of jam.  Some for us and some for our community market. 
I know jam isn't considered healthy...but it is a great ingredient to homemade meals. 
I use the recipes on the Bernardin Pectin wrapper most of the time.
Although I combined a couple recipes for the new jam I made this year for the first time. 
It's blueberry/nectarine and it's SO good!
I would have made more, but my kids and I have been eating
 too many of the nectarines that were leftover from this. :)


 I have also been grinding up some pork loins that I found on sale at the grocery store. 
I look forward to this sale that comes around every few months.  
Just $1.99/lb for this meat!  
I pull out my meat grinder...and this time my girls helped me grind it up. 
Some will be used for sausage, some for tacos, some for chili and anything else I can think up. 
I also put some into chops to enjoy as well.  Our new favourite way to eat them is diced with Jill Winger's maple glazed pork chop recipe.   (Prairie Homestead Cookbook)
Pictured below is some of what we did today. 
So a little bit of effort and a great savings! 

I have been blessed with a nice freezer where I can freeze lots of food. 
We have rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries, herbs/onions, vegetables, 
and some meat in our freezer. 
What kinds of things do you have in your freezers?


Then with an abundance of fresh dill and cucumbers around we made some refrigerator pickles.  
I haven't combined enough ingredients for making dill relish..but that will come soon. 
I've never made refrigerator pickles before but oh they are so delicious and easy! 



If you've never tried refrigerator pickles I encourage you to try them!  
I made some with regular vinegar and some with apple cider vinegar. 
Both were delicious!


 I love being able to take the abundance of food available and stash it away for later. 
In a world where people take some things - like getting food for granted 
I want to make sure that we have what we need.  
We do live in the Yukon and there are times, especially in the winter where we can't always just go to town...and we live a ways out of the major city. 

Thank you for dropping by!
Love and Prayers,
Jennifer


Monday, 22 July 2019

Home Making Mondays: Washing Space


 Hello!
Today I'd love to share with you about my washing space.  
We have moved into a new home and it has it's own room set aside for laundry. 
This in new to me, but it's also a wonderful blessing. 
It has a full sized washer, dryer, and a sink.  
The last place we lived the washer/dryer were in the bathroom. 
It worked just fine there, but it's nice to have a place in the house
 set aside just for this task.  I know that this isn't a common thing in most homes.
The washer and dryer here are extra capacity (compared to my apartment size before).
Now I can wash twice as much laundry at once and 
it takes no time at all to do the regular laundry.
There are two little windows in this room and the natural light is so nice. 
There were no shelves in the room so I took a board we had, 
put a couple cloths under it and balanced it on the backs of the appliances. 
I now keep my clothes pins (which I can use on the indoor clothes line 
that hangs above the appliances), my laundry soap and the makings for laundry soap,
the dryer clothes and my paper towel supply on the shelf. 
Yes, I haven't gone paperless in this house. 
There are still things I use it for...but less all the time. 
My most used item I make from paper towels is homemade wet wipes.  
Not for babies, but for quick clean ups.  
I mix rubbing alcohol, a couple squirts of dish soap and water 
then layer folded paper towels into the solution in an old yogurt container.  
Works great to clean up quick messes.

I also have all my cleaning supplies in the laundry room.
As a house warming present to me, I bought
some new micro fiber clothes at Canadian Tire.
Then I also splurged on some new laundry baskets as some of our others were 
quite damaged.  Thankfully there was a big sale so it was an easy splurge.

There is a special joy in having these things to help us in our homemaking days. 
Sometimes just a new cleaning cloth is all it takes to make the task nicer.


 It has had me thinking of this special aspect of homemaking.  
There is a blessing in this task. 
Something special as we care for the basic need our family has for clean clothing.
Many people speak of this aspect of homemaking as drudgery...but
in reality it is all in how you look at it.  
Serving our families needs to come from our heart and our desire 
to serve the Lord in what He has for us to do.  
Take time while you clean, whether it be laundry, scrubbing your floors, windows, 
kitchens, or bathrooms. 
To think on things above...on scripture, on praying for the needs of others, or 
planning for the needs of your family that are coming up. 
There is no need to grumble or complain... take joy in being part of this important
need your family has. 

Awhile ago I purchased this cute sign that sits in my laundry area.  
It makes me smile when I walk in to start some laundry.
It was made by a single mom who was making signs to help 
provide for her children and still be home.


I'd also like to share with you this sweet printable that I found on a ladies blog a few years ago. 
I have it printed off, coloured a bit and pinned up in my laundry room as well.  
Mine is water stained now, but helps me to think on the things of the Lord as I work. 
You can find it on her post HERE about laundry.

http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2012/05/wash-day.html

Do you find joy in doing laundry? 
Do you have a special room or cubby for laundry?
Just remember to take joy in the task, 
 think on the things of the Lord as you work.  

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Simple Delights


Hello! 
I'd love to share some simple delights that I've had in my life this past week.

We buy fresh eggs from one of our neighbours and were gifted this sweet tiny egg! 
It was oh so tiny and we made a little nest for it in a little pot until we used it. 
When it was cracked out for "splat" or fried eggs...it 
had the tiniest little yolk you have ever seen! 
My son totally enjoyed it and said it tasted really good.


My children along with some friends have been exploring the water around our place.  
We live on a little marshy lake that connects to a larger lake.  


We have a couple canoes to use and have been amazed by God's incredible handiwork.
Through the massive clouds and thunderstorms, to the still serene water.


There are lots of birds in the little marshy lake by our place.
Lots of ducks of all kinds, and little sand pipers, swallows, and 
even a couple eagles that come through on occasion. 
It is amazing when the eagles show up.  The entire marsh seems to erupt in swallows!
They swarm the eagle and eventually encourage it to leave. 
If you click on the picture below you will be able to see 
the tiny swallows all in flight around the eagle 
perched on a dead tree in the middle.


In one of our trips out on the water we discovered this old beaver lodge.  
One of the many evidences of the abundant life around the area. 


We've been out walking in the woods behind our place and found great cranberry picking spots. 
So we'll be checking back closer to fall time to see how they are coming along. 

My daughter and sons have been finding the tiniest of frogs as well.  
God has amazed us in the big and small things of His creation! 

Psalm 104:
104:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.    
104:2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:    
104:3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:    
104:4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:    
104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.  
104:6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.    
104:7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.    
104:8 They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.  
104:9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.    
104:10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.  
104:11 They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.  
104:12 By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.  
104:13 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.    
104:14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;    
104:15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.  
104:16 The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;  
104:17 Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.    
104:18 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.    
104:19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.    
104:20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.  
104:21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.    
104:22 The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.    
104:23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.    
104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.    
104:25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.    
104:26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.  
104:27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.    
104:28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.    
104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.    
104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.    
104:31 The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.  
104:32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.    
104:33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.    
104:34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.    
104:35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.        


I had to share the whole Psalm...how awesome is the God of all creation! 

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer