Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Our No Electricity Project (Almost)

Several weeks ago my husband came to me with an idea, one that I had already been thinking about. So when he presented it to me I was very excited and happy to agree to it. We decided to try going one week without electricity, well almost... We are such romantics and the "old ways" appeal to us so deeply. Our passion for living simply and without the intrusion of modern things and such, really has become a focus on our little homestead. So doing this didn't seem like such a stretch or burden to us. Knowing that winter is upon us and we don't have a fire place or wood burning stove we decided we would need to keep the heat on, especially for the kiddos. Living by candlelight and lantern in the evening hours and using a propane camping stove to cook on was the first step to cutting off and using less electricity. So out he went to Lowes the following day of us discussing this idea, to purchase a propane camp stove. We stocked up on lantern oil, we already owned two lanterns, and of course I already had a ton of candles. Yesterday was our first day of no lights and no oven/stove. It was interesting to say the least. I wrote down my thoughts about the evening in my journal to share with ya'll here...

Day 1 of Our No Electricity Project                   12/29/15

Is this what it was like for Sarah, from Sarah Plain and Tall? Living by lantern light in the evening hours? It's been difficult in this first day, mostly because we are so used to just flipping a switch when we enter a room. Walking from room to room with a lantern to the light the way is definitely going to take some getting used to. Even as I write this by candlelight I wonder how the rest of the project will go. There was at least one time this evening that I thought about nixing the whole idea, especially when my cornbread had a very black and crunchy bottom coming off our little propane stove. UGH!!! Note to self - Figure out a way to cook dinner without burning it to ash!!! Rising with the sun has a certain charm, mostly if you are a morning person which I am not, but wasted daylight is wasted time...Wait! Is this my new motto??? I seriously sound like my husband right now. It was fun though, eating dinner as a family with the lantern on the table, it really does give off more light than I expected. Well, I guess I better get some sleep - have lot's more to do tomorrow before sunset. And maybe we will get through this project without one of us burning the house down.....

 
 
 
 
 
Blessings~
T.
 
 
 
 






Monday, December 14, 2015

Spelt Bread

I just love a fresh, baked loaf of bread. It fills the house with it's sweet aroma, and sure tastes delicious with a little butter spread on it. Okay, okay, a lot of butter, who are we kidding. Today I made some spelt bread with some freshly ground spelt berries. I picked up a large bag of spelt berries at our local Country Store, a lovely, little place with many wonderful and unique goods.  A very sweet Mennonite family owns this place, and I frequently visit for some goods at a very low price that I cannot find at our regular grocery store. Normally I would guard this recipe as a great secret, but I am feeling generous today and thought I would share. It's that good folks, good enough to keep it all to yourself.

 
 Now, for a little history and health lesson....Spelt, also known as dinkel wheat, or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat cultivated around 5000 BCE. Spelt is extremely nutrient dense, more so than traditional wheat and has a wonderful nutty and light flavor. Ok, class is over.
 
 I have used traditional wheat in bread making a couple of times past and really am not a big fan. It is a little too heavy, spelt is lighter in texture and tastes better, that's my opinion anyways. So without further ado here is the recipe for this lovely, nutritious, loaf of baked heaven.

Tip - Keep your spelt berries stored in an air-tight container
 
Spelt Bread
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup ground spelt berries(this is 1/2 cup whole berries)
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 1 packet of rapid rise instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 cup oil (I use coconut oil)
 
In a glass measuring cup, dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of warm water(110 degrees). Add the packet of yeast and gently stir until dissolved. Place a tea towel over the measuring glass and wait about 5-6 minutes while the yeast activates. Once it has become frothy pour in the oil and salt. In a large mixing bowl pour in the yeast mixture, then stir in the flours. Mix with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined. Using your hands, knead the dough until soft, elastic but not sticky. Form the dough into a ball and place in a draft-free, warm place. Keep it covered with a tea towel, and allow to rise for one hour or until dough has doubled in size.

 Once the dough has risen punch it down and form it into a log shape. Place it into a well greased loaf pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, while heating allow your dough to rise one more time and when the dough has risen about an inch above the pan put it in the oven. Bake until the top is golden brown. Baking time may vary depending on your oven, so just watch it.  Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then gently transfer the bread from the pan to a cooling wrack. While it's still warm brush some softened butter over the top of the bread. This will keep the crust from drying out and getting too hard. Keep the bread stored in a bread box or wrapped in clear wrap. Enjoy!!!!


~Warmly,
T.
 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tis The Season to Slow Down

 
This time of year everyone seems to be in a great big rush, a blight to what this lovely time of year really should be. Everyone is scurrying about like mice in a maze trying to reach their slice of cheese, not stopping to really notice the quiet beauty all around. Our society is in a constant pulse of drive and go, go, go every second of every day.
 
As mothers we set the tone for our homes, the tone that will affect our husbands and children. When we are stressed and feeling rushed, so does our family. Our children look to us on how to act in certain situations, and how to respond to life's uncertainties. How do you want your children to see you, to see this holiday? Hopefully with peace, love, joy, and the importance of savoring this time with family. If we are in a constant mode of rushing around, our children will get anxious and our husbands come home to an atmosphere of stress. Where is the peace in that? Let us slow down, let us take time to be with our husbands and children. Let us teach our little ones that there is much joy to be found in the stillness of winter. We don't have to always be doing and going, we can enjoy one another in the calm of this season. I encourage you today, to take the time during this season of cold weather and festivities of Christmas to just be still, and take it all in. Really be present for your family. Show them the joy to be had in the tranquility of being together.
 
~Warmly
T.
 
 


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Blog Design

 
 
Hello all! I wanted to let ya'll know that I now have a new blog design and would love for you to come and check it out...I hope to make this little web space of mine fun, easy to access and eventually add a small shop corner, where I will sell items I have made. I am so thankful for all of you that are apart of this blog and make it worth my while.
 
~Blessings
T.


Friday, December 4, 2015

A Word of Encourgement

This is the month of Christmas! I love this time of year, the colors, the smells, the gathering of family, gift giving, and so on. This time of year is so busy, probably one of the busiest months in the year. In all the hustle and bustle of shopping, baking, and decorating we must take some time to really meditate on the true reason for this blessed season. Jesus came to this earth and gave us the most precious gift - His life. His birth brought joy and peace to all, what a gift to mankind. Gifts are wonderful to get and fun to open, who doesn't like having something to open on Christmas morning? Most of the time it is something we might use a few times, then up it goes into a closet to collect dust. Just things, things that don't last forever. It may be that you don't have a lot of money this year to spend on physical gifts for everyone and you are worried about it. I want to encourage you today that in all of the gift giving this holiday, give the gift of a kind word to someone. Share the gift of God's love with someone. Give the gift of a warm hug and a bright smile. Give of yourself, helping others in need. These are gifts that will last forever! They don't cost a thing, and only take a moment to share. It might seem so simple but the impact may be life-changing. Jesus gave His life as a gift, lets keep the spirit of true giving front and center this Christmas. May the Lord bless you and your family this holiday. We pray abundant joy and peace upon your home.
 
~Warmly
T.
 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Abby Jo

Wishing my dear friend Abby Jo a wonderful and love-filled birthday today. Abby and I met through her blog, oddly enough. She is a kindred spirit and I feel so blessed to know her. She is a wonderful lady! Check out her blog at www.forgottenwayfarms.com
 
 
 
 
 


Friday, November 6, 2015

Essentials For Organizing A Small Home

Most of you that have been to my house know that it's not very big, I think somewhere around 1,300sqft. Although it doesn't have mega square footage it has a great, open floor plan and many nooks and crannies to hide all of our extra items that we don't want out in the open. I cannot talk enough about the importance of organization in a small home. When you are limited on space you must get creative and think outside the box. I am in the process of cleaning out and organizing our coat closet, that unfortunately over the last year has become more of a catch-all closet! I imagine that everyone probably has a catch-all place in their home. We have put our camping gear, luggage, coats, picnic bags, vacuum cleaner, old curtain rods, and such in there. It's time to clean it out and organize it! The dollar store is a great and inexpensive way to find little bins, baskets, tubs, etc. for organizing. Today I ventured there and found some great organizational bins to put my growing stash of Christmas d├ęcor and small gifts in. I also happened upon some storage bags, that are perfect for extra shoes, jackets, and blankets. These bags come in a couple of different sizes to fit your need. I highly recommend you visit your dollar store and check out what they have to offer in the way of organizing utensils. I have a before and after of our coat closet, only showing this to share some inspiration in this holiday season. We could all use a little inspiration when it comes to keeping our homes tidy and organized. Hope ya'll have a wonderful weekend.
 
Warmly~
T.

Dollar store bins - storage for small Christmas items
 
Storage bag  - seals and has a handle (I used this for Lily's jackets that are too big for now)
 
A cute little wire basket I will be using on my craft table for odds and ends
 
BEFORE - Chaotic, unorganized coat closet
 
AFTER 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Family Time

This past weekend we enjoyed having our extended family come and visit with us. Lily, our precious little daughter was dedicated at church Sunday, and all the family came for the special occasion. We had a lot of fun Saturday, took the kiddos to the pumpkin patch for some pumpkin pickin' and photos. Later that day we had some delicious food and games, what a wonderful time with us all together. I enjoyed having everyone at our home and I look forward to many more special get-togethers like this one.  Hope ya'll have a great weekend, enjoying the Fall weather.
 
Blessings~
T.