Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks


Homegrown with Love: chicken sausage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing with homemade bread crumbs and chicken broth
, green beans, applesauce, Pumkin Pie,  Delicata squash, and grape wine..

 So thankful For Family, a roof over our head, and our *health*.. How blessed are we to bring this bounty from  our homestead to the table?

Wishing you and yours a wonderful and blessed Thankgiving!

The Cools

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Autumn chores

Another Beautiful yesterday in the holler allowed us to get some outside chores done. We anticipated butchering 13 birds, but once we did 2 realized that they indeed need another week or 2 to fatten up... The last batch we did were 11 weeks old. This batch is 11.5 weeks.. I do believe the cold is making it harder for them to gain weight, as they are eating like pigs!
On the bright side, getting 2 done allowed me to take some photos , so I can blog about how exactly you go about butchering a chicken, for those who are interested in possibly raising meat birds ( I will have this post up soon I promise!)

We decided to take 2 birds we were able to butcher and make some chicken sausage. Norah loved helping grind it up, and nearly did the entire 5 lbs herself. It was funny watching her use all the muscle to turn the handle . I am so glad she is able to participate in this and see where her food comes from!
11 More birds to process next week....

Robb was able to do a quick inspection through some of the hives, see which ones ( weak ones) needed feeding ( I will also be blogging soon about the dry sugar method of feeding bees)  and which were ok... Most hives looks fairly strong and only have 2.5 more months until they can start bringing in pollen.. c'mon bees you can do it!!

Our Garlic is starting to peek through the soil..

Love seeing signs of life near December,, its the little things that get us through the Winter here....

The Cools

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Break in the Weather

We have been cooped up in the house lately, with the weather being less than mild. The temperatures have been in the 30's ( for the high) and in the teens at night... Today started out chilly.. so we started off the morning with  Norahs Favorite weekend breakfast : (Homemade) Pancakes...{ see recipe Below}.... usually topped with butter and  and an endless variety of homemade Jam.

Norah is not the type to stay indoors, she is usually ready to run out the door and play at 8 am..  With no Saturday morning cartoons to watch or video games to play,, she is itching to go out and explore, play, run, and get rid of all that energy she has!I managed to keep her in for a few hours before we headed down to the creek.
Wilson Creek is right behind our house. We spend a lot of time down there, swimming ( when Its warm) digging for treasures, collecting rocks, catching crawdads, and just taking in the fresh air.

It was a balmy 50 degrees today.. warm enough to sit and read a book while Norah collected rocks for her nature collection. I am constantly grateful for the beauty that surrounds us here, and feel so blessed to be raising Norah in such an amazing place.

* Norah Janes favorite Homemade Pancakes*

1 1/2 cups Flour
3 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
1 Egg
3 tbsp. Butter

Melt the butter in a pan.. Mix the flour , baking powder, sugar and salt,, make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the Milk, Egg and butter.. Whisk.. If the mixture is too runny slowly add flour until you reach the consistency you like...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Artist Feature and Giveway with Molly Johnson Ceramics !

Today I am happy to bring you an artist Feature and *GiveAway* by Molly Johnson Ceramics.

(scroll to the Bottom for the Giveaway)

Molly Johnson is A mother  to 2 small children. She resides in Indiana with her husband Ben, where they are both Artists. When she is not caring for her little ones, she is creating art and working as an Instructor at  The Indianapolis Art Center…
 My Interview With Molly

What Inspires You  as an artist?


Being and artist, to me is about balance. Creating arts give me balance in life that I wouldn’t otherwise have.  I am also inspired world events and possibilities that arise along the way bring new ideas to the table as well.

How long Have you been working with Clay?

Ive been working with art ever since I can remember.  I've worked with many mediums including , drawing, pastel, and painting. I started working with Clay in 2002 where I attended Kent State University with a major in ceramics.

Why clay?

The teachers  and the environment is generally is what lead me to ceramics.  The teachers were very inspiring. The mode in making clay is also different than other crafts, to me it is very calming.
What advice to you have for others?
Keep making work. Keep Creating. Don’t distract yourself with who is seeing it or what they may think. Try new techniques and apply then to your own idea. Pay attention to other artists and see how their techniques have evolved and learn from them.

Some of Mollys past work

You can find out more about Molly Johnson Ceramics and purchase her art at the following Links Below.



Molly has been generous enough to offer up this beautiful Tumbler!

This stout little cup would make a great holder of flowers, brushes, pencils, or knick knacks of any kind!

Made on the potters wheel of a white stoneware clay, it has a shapely figure with two handles that each coil into three loops. Two glazes interact along the surface creating a cascading visual effect of waverly lines down to its foot. The colors range from a pale pastel blue to a beautiful blue- green with crystaline qualities. Truly a dainty little addition to any table top.

How to enter


Giveaway ends DECEMBER 1st, I will announce the winner on December 2nd!!!!

Good luck!




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sugar and Spice


and everything Nice....... That's what little girls are made of.. 

Starting to get a start on Holiday crafts and gifs.
I found this sweet vintage looking Mini suitcase at The Goodwill. Its the perfect size for my 3 yr old niece, I will be filling it with Handmade dolly clothes for her collection of baby dolls ( she is allllll girl and loves her dollies)....
I am still working on the scrap quilt, Ive finished sewing it together, just need to sew the binding and sew together... Thinking a  handmade Advent Calendar might be on the list too..................
What have you been working on?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

25 signs you might be Off the Grid

A little humor mixed with pure fact ( at least in our household)

25 Reasons you might be Off the Power Grid

1. You feel the need to ask permission to do anything that requires a heavy load,, even though you are adult.
2. You always decide what you want to eat BEFORE you open the fridge.
3. You know the coming weeks forecast better than anyone..
4. Your child constantly asks if they can flush the toilet.
5.your Christmas Tree lights have just been reduced to 3 strands .
6. on a cloudy summer day, you take a family vote to see who gets to take a shower.
7. You toast bread on the cookstove
8. when your husband comes home he asks " How many kwh the solar produced" not " Hi honey, what's for dinner.
8. Batteries In float mode is cause for celebration
9. not unplugging everything in the house before coming to bed is grounds for divorce
10. "not today honey, its too cloudy: might be a response to a question from your child.
11. you no longer own a hair dryer
12. there is a math equation involved with everything electrical.
13. strangers knock on your door to ask questions about your solar panels
14.Your child remembers to shut off a light when leaving a room
15. Your 6 yrs old knows how to use a washboard and wringer
16. you child dresses in front of the cookstove in the winter
17. you open a window to turn down the thermostat
18. running through a sprinkler on a summer day is not longer an option, instead you go to the creek
19. you praise the rain gods when your rain barrels are full and your garden is watered
20. you really miss having a Fan blowing on you in the summer
21.  you can not believe how much power a coffee maker uses, mind= blown. so you use a French press
22. you appreciate that your family members following the rule" if its yellow let it mellow" to conserve water, but think they sometimes get a little carried away
23. an interrogation may or may not begin if you forget to turn a light off after leaving a room
24. there are times of stress, insanity, and down right hilarity ..
25. You cant imagine living any other way :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Quiet Sunday




A chilly start to the morning, gave Norah and Bolt ( our other "child") a chance gather at the warmest spot in the house. The day was spent eating homemade cookies ( mostly by my 7 yr old) , working outside while the sun was shining,  and finishing up some labels for soap ( along with  making another batch of lavender ). It ended with a concert by Robb and Norah , and  confirmed my suspicion that my lil mama has some serious rhythm. :) A blessed, relaxing day on the Homstead.. Hope yours was filled with the same!

The Cools