Monday 26 December 2022

Homemaking Mondays: Rise and Shine


How many of us rise and shine in the mornings?
I myself am not a morning person per say but I have learned
that a cheerful smile given in the morning 
is a wonderful gift. 
A gift for the person receiving it and the person giving it.
As a homemaker it matters very much
how we greet our family each day. 
I have been reading a bit about how we as mothers
help to set the tone of our homes.
For me to greet everyone with a smile 
and often a hug in the morning 
is an important part of my homemaking.

This past week I found these two treasures at the free store.
A lovely pitcher that is so cheerful and I'll
be using as a vase for the most part.
Then this little enamelled bowl.
I love the script on it and it now tops my 
grain grinder where I usually keep a much less
appealing bowl for catching the grain.
Cheerful accents in the middle of winter to grace the kitchen.

Then there is the smell of the kitchen.
Yesterday I started some sourdough dough to proofing
and this morning I woke 
and got it baking in the oven.
I think that wonderful smells from the kitchen also 
help to set a tone for the home. 
I know not everyone is a baker 
but any delicious smells from the kitchen 
I believe help those in the home feel cared for.

Some other more less lovely aspects of caring for our homes
are doing maintenance.
Our kitchen drawers have been coming apart slowly and so
they need to be banged back into place and then secured
with some L clamps.
It's a simple task but I find that I do wait until I can't 
manage with just banging it back into place with my hands. 
I line the rough drawers with a special liner to keep from getting slivers. 

Thank you with dropping by! 
I hope you have a beautiful day
keeping your homes and caring for your families.

Love and Prayers,

Monday 19 December 2022

Homemaking Mondays: For the Family to Enjoy


It's a fine frigid day here. 
Sitting at -44C at noon.
The sun came up over the mountain 
and the light filtered through the fog 
in beautiful golden rays. 
It's like it turns the winter world aglow.

I am enjoying the warmth of being inside.
A good hot cup of tea while working in the kitchen 
is always welcome on days like today.
There is something special about hot drinks on cold days.
They do more then just warm our insides,
they bring a touch of gentle comfort that sinks deeper still.

I had some baking to do today for my daughter.
We enjoyed her birthday today she was home from work.
So a day early but still special. 
Chocolate wacky cake with peppermint chocolate frosting.
Then some grated chocolate and sprinkles of course.

This past week I also did a fun rosemary bread
on one of my bread making days.
I love focaccia bread but I'm terrible at following recipes.
So I just added some rosemary to the last bit of dough
then some extra olive oil to the flattened out dough.
I let it rise in a cast iron skillet.  
Punched down the dough some and baked in the skillet
for a lovely crispy crust.

It's a nice side for a meal.
I served it up with some of our regular bread
for not all the family enjoys the rosemary.

One part of homemaking that can be a challenge
but also a joy 
is finding things for all the family to enjoy.
Food is only one of those aspects of our homemaking
that takes some creativity.
When it's super cold out I find that my mind turns to the kitchen
more then when it's warmer out. 
Perhaps it's the added warmth of the oven
or the fact that food helps our bodies keep warm.
On days like these I enjoy puttering about the kitchen
although it doesn't take much for me
to find myself gravitating to that room. 

I hope you are all staying warm and cozy in your homes.
Enjoying creating those special spaces.

Love and Prayers,

Monday 12 December 2022

Homemaking Mondays: Sourdough and Sunshine


It's a lovely winter's day here.  
The sky is getting brighter and the blue grey hues
are lovely to watch as they change with the light.

As it's cold outside, it's warm inside,
especially in the kitchen.
This morning I baked some sourdough bread.
Just one loaf this time along with some crusty buns.
I baked two sourdough loaves yesterday.
Then there was just a touch of dough left so I made some 
cinnamon buns to munch on later today.
I like to do a big bake with sourdough and then tuck 
the starter back to bed in the fridge.

I also baked some buttery sourdough crackers. 
You can find the recipe over at Reformation Acres Blog.
They are a wonderful treat to munch on.
With or without cheese these crackers are delicious!
What do you like on your crackers?

This week I also wanted to have something 
different for supper. 
Do you get into ruts of making the same things over and over?
I do, so I looked at the store 
for something out of the ordinary.
I found some spring roll wrappers and thought
that could be interesting.  
I've made something with them in the past but it had been a long time.
I made a filling of rice, spinach, and then 
either diced chicken or ground pork.
I rolled them up and fried them in a bit of olive oil.
This way there were two options for the family to try.
I am pleased to say that they were enjoyed by all!

Along with the ups and downs of weather
we have gotten some heavy fog. 
Which I love...aside from the dangerous driving conditions.
It coats the trees and really any outside object with frost
including people and animals.
Even the spider webs on the railings get their fair share
of pretty frost to decorate them. 

The sun comes out but it doesn't go above the trees
where we are at. 
SO we get lovely slanted light through the trees.

Even on frosty days
our friendly squirrels come out
to raid the feeders for sunflower seeds.
They get all fluffed up like the birds to stay warm.

I made a plushy baby blanket 
for a sweet little boy this past week.
It was a Caron Cake yarn and it was "furry".
At first I was thinking it was kinda odd...but it turned
out to be so soft and warm. 
I did a granny square pattern as I find it easier to make
not knowing how far the yarn will go.
Plus I think the pattern is pretty.

I hope you are enjoying your day 
and your homemaking tasks. 
It is good to just 
take a few minutes each day to pause
and think about the simple pleasures the Lord 
has given us through homemaking.

Love and Prayers,

Monday 5 December 2022

Homemaking Mondays: Muffins to Munch


I hope you are enjoying a lovely day
keeping your home.
The temperatures dropped very cold
for a couple days but have come back up to
somewhat pleasant ones now. 
One thing I do love about the deeper cold
is that the sun shines in clear skies.
Now that it's warmer the clouds have come back.
It's still beautiful...but darker.

This past week I found a bunch of bananas on the discount rack.
SO banana muffins to munch on it was.
I like to add oatmeal and chocolate chips to mine.
They make delicious snacks and quick breakfasts as well.
I love lots of different kinds of muffins but I think 
these are my families favourite.
I often think that I will tuck some into the freezer for later...
but later never comes for them as they get eaten too quickly.

I finished up the little socks I was working on this week. 
I think they're so cute 
and I do really like the blue stripes.
I hope they do a good job of keeping little toes warm.

Now I'm on to another crochet project. 
I'm working on a granny square blanket for a little boy.
This particular is kinda "furry" but very, very soft.

This coming week will be my week to get my new planner in order.
I really like to buy the Blue Sky planners at Walmart.
They are reasonably cheep and have lots of workable space in them.
Plus they have a full month section for each month as well as 
the daily entry places.
One thing is that they don't have a very big space for contacts.
SO, I am dusting off our old address book and I'll
be updating it with all the current contacts we have. 
Plus with this I won't have to re-write the contacts in 
each year as I have been doing.

I love the idea of journalling and diary writing but
I am not a writer.
I find that having the larger spaces in this kind of planner
so helpful to jot down the happenings of life.
Little notes here and there to help me remember the 
goings and comings and plans that we have had over time.
Sometimes I write a lot...planning out meals and activities 
and then other times the pages are somewhat empty.
All going with the ebb and flow of life here in my home.
Quiet spaces are ok.

With the sunshine out for a bit I have found myself 
at the windows just watching.
The sun seems to move very quickly across the sky these days
and the light doesn't linger long. 
I love the golden glow it leaves on the snow.

SO what are you up to this week?
I hope you enjoy some lovely work in your homes
but also times to just rest and enjoy life.
Have you been baking muffins?

Love and Prayers,

Monday 28 November 2022

Homemaking Mondays: Socks and Old Plunger Sticks


How is your day going?
It's a snowy cloudy day here with light breezes.
The kids are out shovelling some on the driveway.
It's good to keep at it while it's still fluffy.
The snow is so beautiful and the evergreens laden branches
droop and when swaying in the breeze at times 
drop their burdens onto those who dared to be underneath them.
Good thing to remember to tuck that scarf well 
around your neck to keep the snow out. 

This past sock project I tried the german short row heel.  
Well I would love to say it went smoothly...
but in all honesty it was a challenge for me. 
I don't usually drop many stitches but I'll just say that
my little crochet hook kept me company on this project. 
I love how crochet hooks can pick up stitches so cleanly.
Well now my son has a new pair of socks to help keep his feet warm.
I have a few more to go although I'm taking a break
from big people feet to make some small boys ones. 
I have chosen the blue stripped yarn above and hope he will like it.

This past week has been what I would call "the usual". 
The regular routine of daily chores and meals.
We're starting to incorporate more soups into the menu. 
I made a vegetable leftover soup with leftover noodles, then
my daughter made some bacon mushroom cream soup.
I want to bake some savoury biscuits soon to go with our soups.
Do you like soup?

Oh one new thing for this winter is that our family have 
borrowed skis again from our community centre. 
One of my sons and I tried ours out across the lake 
and it was fun to go out on them again. 
It's nice that we can bring them home to ski around here
and then take them with us back there to use their trails.
The trails there are groomed and have lots of variety to enjoy.

OH....and old plunger sticks.  Were you curious about that? 
Well I have more wool socks that need to be hung up to dry.
I didn't have a place for some of my sock forms so I looked around
the laundry room corners and found this old plunger stick. 
So along with a couple nails we now have a place 
to hang them up to dry.
Our laundry room is unfinished so this worked well.
Not fancy, but functional.
Not everything in our lives needs to be Pinterest worthy.

Well I hope you have a wonderful day 
enjoying the beauty and functionality of your homes.

Love and Prayers,

Monday 21 November 2022

Homemaking Mondays: Shades of Winter


I do love the shades of winter.
The layers of frost on the trees, 
the shades of grey in the sky and the brightness
that comes when the sun shines.
We've had a bit more snow
and it is amazing how it brightens up the darkness of winter.

With winter comes different kinds of 
delicious foods and treats in the home. 
My family doesn't observe holidays but with the change
of what is available brings a fresh batch of ideas.
I love spiced breads and cookies.
Squash and other foods that come with winter storage.
More hot beverages and warm dishes. 
Sorry...salads are more for summer.

Some have asked how to make vanilla.
It's just as simple as this.
Take a few vanilla beans and cut them in half.
I also cut mine in half lengthwise to allow better penetration.
My husband bought vanilla beans for me off of Amazon.
Then cover with alcohol (like vodka) in whatever container you have.
I use mason jars as they are plentiful in my home and have lids.
Then you sit it in a dark place in your cupboard and wait. 
You can shake it every so often but it's not necessary.
Then after a couple month start checking it to see 
if it's got the flavour you want.
Oh, and it's good like with all pantry items 
to label it for what it is and when you started it.

While working in my kitchen I often pause 
to watch the birds and squirrels that come to the feeder
and also I think to watch us. :) 
Below this grey jay seemed keen on what I was doing in the kitchen.

This week I cleaned and re-organized the dining room hutch.
It's not a necessary part of homemaking,
but it is nice to change things up some.
I moved the candles about so that they can be lit without 
needing to be moved much or at all.
Then I was gifted a basket and so I tucked my tea set in there.
Easy to access and safe.

I had found this lovely towel at one of our local stores.
A local artist puts her work on tea towels
and it's beautiful and affordable.
I ironed it up and tacked it on the wall leading to the basement.  
There isn't great light in that space,
but it adds a wonderful splash of colour in a space 
that was before bare.

I also potted up some cuttings of this wandering jew plant.
My mother had sent up a plant with a friend from where she lived.
It got a bit damaged in the process getting home
so I just started yet another plant. 
I love this variation of wandering jew with the purple undersides to the leaves.
When I was young my mom's plant would bloom 
with these tiny delicate purple flowers.
I wonder if mine will to.

Thank you for dropping by today! 
I hope you are enjoying the shades you find in your winters
wherever you live. 
Little things to make you smile and bring contentment 
to your time as a homemaker. 

Love and Prayers,

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Homemaking Mondays: Cultured Butter and Stuffed Squash


I'm a bit late this week but have not forgotten. 
It's been a lovely week which started out with deep cold 
and has ended in a chinook.
This week I learned to make cultured butter.
You just add some buttermilk/yogurt/kefir to your cream
and set out on the counter for 24 hours.
Then you make butter. 
Next time I'll chill the cream first but it still turned out great.
I used a piece of flour-sack cloth instead of cheesecloth to drain 
out the buttermilk and it worked well.
The flour-sack cloth is much easier to wash.
I didn't mold the butter but am just cutting off chunks 
and setting it in a nice little bowl for use. 
I made some fresh buns and it was perfectly paired with the fresh butter.
Don't you just want to take a bite?

It dropped deep cold when the moon was full.
It is beautiful to go walking in the evening when the moon
is full and you don't need flashlights or lanterns.
Off in the trees the moonlight brightens the snow
and gives a gentle glow to the forest.

This past week I also started a new batch of vanilla.
My husband ordered some vanilla beans off of Amazon for me.
Now we wait.
This makes so much more vanilla for a much better price
then buying it at the store.
Some staple items at the store are just getting crazy pricey.

I found a sweet treasure at the free store this week.
This little cheese dish was just begging to come home with me.
I used some spoon butter that I condition my wooden utensils with
to rub into the bare wood of the base.
Now it's ready for some cheese or maybe a delicious little treat?

This week I also tried a new squash dish.
I made stuffed acorn squash and I must say it was delicious!
It was made with Italian sausage.
THIS recipe is a definite do over.
Not all the family loved it but that's ok.
It's so easy to just add it as a side for those that do.

I hope you are enjoying your week and perhaps
finding some new special things to add to your homemaking.

Love and Prayers,

PS I know some are having trouble with the e-mail subscription
I'm not sure what is wrong but I'm going to try to figure it out.
Well I found that Feedburner is no I have added to the sidebar and you can try using that
if you'd like to subscribe by e-mail.

Monday 7 November 2022

Homemaking Mondays: Frost and Touches of Light


How is your Monday? 
It's a cool -15C and windy here 
and there is light gentle snow falling. 
The fresh snow is blown up in big swirling gusts
 across the lake and through the trees.
Quite entertaining to just sit at the window 
with a cup of tea just watching.
It's calling for much colder for Monday
so feeling like hibernating.

Today I discovered some new pretty patterns 
in the frost in our sunroom. 
Do you like frost patterns?
I find them as interesting as watching the clouds
shift and change in the summer sky. 
Another aspect of winter that I love. 

As the cold and darkness of winter envelopes us.
It's lovely to add little touches of light
in amongst our daily life.
So, like a candle on the stove in the mornings
or a candle or lantern on a table. 
Scented or not it doesn't matter. 
What we are after is that gentle touch of light. 
As the sun rises later in the day
those little touches of light from candles or lamps
give a gentle rise to the day 
while we wait for the sun to shine.

One aspect of light that for Christians 
is that of the Word of God.
It is nice to rise in the morning to ponder on the 
things of the Lord.
To let His light shine on the path of our days. 

"Thy word is lamp unto my feet, 
and a light unto my path. "
-Psalm 119:105

"Neither do men light a candle,
and put it under a bushel,
but on a candlestick;
and it giveth light unto all 
that are in the house. "
-Matthew 5:15

A fun little project I'm about to embark on is to clean up 
this sweet set of girl lamp and music box.
They were my mother's and I have very fond memories 
of listening to the music and enjoying the lamp
on dark winter days. 
I've never seen anything else like them 
anywhere but they are kinda a fun childhood
memory to keep...and listen to if I'm puttering about 
my room. 

This week I also pulled out this globe 
that goes on top of a plant pot. 
I've not done well with growing plants in it
so I thought it might be 
better used as a candle globe instead. 
I have it sitting on my kitchen island counter
between the kitchen and dining area.
It provides a nice bit of light in the mornings 
or evenings as you pass by.

What do you like to do 
to add some extra touches of light to your home?

Thanks for dropping by! 
Love and Prayers,

Monday 31 October 2022

Homemaking Mondays: Winter Coziness


Winter has come to stay and one day there were swans 
and ducks on the lake and the next
morning it was frozen over for good.  
It has been snowing lightly for a few days now 
and the sky is a lovely soft grey. 
It adds a light chill to the edges of the windows
and I'm glad that we have plastic covering our biggest ones.
The entryway rug is now wet from 
snow being tracked in. 
Now it's a challenge to get past the entryway to the 
downstairs with dry socks.
Or in my case wet feet.  I still like to be barefoot
until it gets too cold to do so. 
No more laundry on the line so the dryer 
is working more. 
It does add a nice warmth to 
the downstairs so that is good.

It's been a time for soups 
and roast chicken dinners. 
Cozy foods.
Spice bread has been made again
and I have one more pumpkin to cook up.

With the growing darkness
I've been using candles more.
First thing in the morning I love the softness
candle light adds to the room.
At night we have some low lights in areas 
we're not using as much. 
Since the butter churn isn't functional to make butter
we added some tiny lights to it 
and it makes a fun little lamp in a previously dark corner.

I've begun to tackle more knitted socks.
I'm learning to do a german short row heal this time.
I knit while the boys do their morning lessons.
I found a cool engineering book
that highlights one hundred of the major inventions 
over time.
The boys are going to pick a few of them to study in more depth.
It's nice to be able to do things like this together.

I hope you are having a lovely day homemaking! 

Love and Prayers,

Monday 24 October 2022

Homemaking Mondays: The Snow Has Come


Well the snow has really come and the ground is quite frozen
on top so it'll be sticking around a bit more. 
I love how snowy days turn the lake a pastel green. 
The birds are coming back to the feeders more now
and it's nice to get re-acquainted.  

This week has been lovely and the last touches
of winter prep are being done. 
The last one for me is to switch out the entryway 
to the winter things.

This week I received a lovely gift
from my parents through some of their friends.
They sent me some of the old things that 
they had that they were not using anymore.
I'm glad to have a couple extra pairs of sock stretchers,
and my mom's old butter bowl with paddle and block maker.

Then they also sent up the old butter churn.
I like to make butter at times and thought it would be 
so nice to put it back to good use.
Unfortunately the glass of the original churn got broken
although a new glass was found.
The glass is too big to make the churn functional
but it's still beautiful and I love having it. 
Perhaps one day I'll find the right sized glass for it.
I do have fond memories of using the churn
and it still works smooth as butter.

This week I learned something new about canning
that I'd not thought of and that is that you can put both meat and beans
in the canner at the same time as they require the same amount of time.
So...never will there be a partial load in the canner for these items.
I canned up some sausage, ham, chickpeas, and kidney beans.
I did the no soak method for the beans and they turn out lovely to.
Plus they are faster and I could make the right amount 
of jars to fill the canner.

With the lower light and coolness I think it's spurred 
the violets to blooming. 
Anyone need an african violet?
I couldn't help saving all the starters and have 
more then enough for myself. 

 I also am making a batch of jerky. 
It's still in the oven and fingers have torn off little edges
but it's still not quite ready.

In the kitchen this week I have finally 
gotten to covering up this space.
The cupboard doors were so warped when we moved in
that I took them off.
They are right under my main work space
so lots of flour and "stuff" gets 
filtered down into the drawers.
I just hung up a string with hooks but it seems to work well.
I got this curtain from the window 
as I took them down for the winter because
it's brighter in the kitchen that way.
I did put up a lacy white valance on the window 
so it's got something there but it's bright.

How has your week been? 
Have you been getting ready for winter?
Have you made something new in your kitchen?

I hope you have a beautiful day of homemaking!
Love and Prayers,