Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Happenings....

Dearest Readers,


The snow fell hard against the windowpane very early this morning, awakening me, calling me to rise. But when my feet hit the icy cold floor, I retreated back under the layers of warm quilts, snuggled in and stayed in bed just a little longer.


Fires where definitely needed this morning to keep the chill at bay while morning chores were done.  Laundry sorted and started, meat for our dinner set out to thaw and more sewing on my robe in the craft room.


The sun came out just long enough to melt the little bit of snow that covered the sidewalk and further melt the abundance of snow that had fallen last week.  By mid-day the wind was howling and I was so relieved to be able to stay tucked inside my warm home and keep the home fires burning.



Dearest ventured out to referee a soccer game.  I always feel sorry for him when it is cold and windy...burrrrrr.  I was surprised that the field was ready for play, but Dearest assured me that not much stops soccer games!  He will be home soon and I will be sure to offer him something warm to drink and a chair by the fire while I get supper on the table.


Tonight's supper will be simple....Turkey Stir-fry over Rice.  Leftover vegetables, turkey and a simple sauce makes a very easy, very tasty meal when served over brown rice.  I just realized I need to replenish the cookie jar....hmmm....oatmeal cookies or chocolate chip cookies?


I still need to make a list of errands in town  for tomorrow...the post office, bank and a bag dropped off at Goodwill come to mind.  I try to make one trip into town each week and do as many errands as possible.  I buy my groceries on a separate day, as it is just too much to do in one fell swoop.


Well Dear Reader, I still need to whisk the folded laundry upstairs and put it away, so I will close for now.  I hope you have had a lovely day wherever you live!


Yours kindredly,


Shan



 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday on the Homestead.....


Dearest Reader,


Well, it wouldn't be spring in the Rockies without a deep, wet snowstorm to keep us snuggled-up here at Honey Hill Farm.  The storm started on Thursday and by Friday morning we had 16" on the ground.  Strong winds swirled the snow in every direction and we had deep, deep drifts making us glad we had a full pantry and plenty of firewood!


Today was sunny and Dearest and I managed to make our way to our local library.  We brought home a large stack of books to peruse at our leisure...it is one of our favorite pastimes.  I checked out a myriad of titles that covered everything from decorating with lace to gardening and canning. 


With both woodstoves blazing and my craft room "stove" chasing the chill away, it has been such a lazy dazy day of reading, cooking and a little crafting for Easter.



(This is the little stove that heats my craft room...it is electric and keeps this little room toasty and cozy!)


I have Green Chile Stew simmering on the stove for our supper.  I will serve it with some simple homemade bread and jam.  I don't have an actual recipe, as I use what I have on hand, but here is what I used today:


Green Chile Stew


30oz. frozen green chilies (canned would be fine)


1lb of meat...today I used ground turkey


2 cups of diced tomatoes


2 cups of (pre-soaked) pinto beans (today I used 1 cup beans and 1 cup of potatoes that where leftover from last night's supper)


1 cup chopped onion


Add any other vegetables you wish...the more the merrier


Seasonings:  Garlic Salt, Cayenne Pepper & Chili Powder


1 TBL. of sugar


8 cups water


2 TBL. of chicken bouillon (you could certainly use chicken stock, I just didn't have any here at the house today) 


cornstarch to thicken stew


Brown meat and onion, when done, pour off any fat.  In a stockpot, add 8 cups of water and all of the vegetables & chilies.  When water comes to a boil add the bullion, stir to dissolve.  After mixture has simmered for about 10 minutes add the sugar and spices (to taste). Add cornstartch if needed to thicken.


You will have to gauge how long you need to simmer the stew in order for your veggies to be done.  This stew is actually even better on the second day!


I think tonight we will put in a movie and I will do some stitching on my tea towels. Ahhh.....slippers, a hot cup of tea....bliss!



Yours very kindredly,


Shan






Thursday, March 19, 2009

Slow and Steady....

Dearest Readers,


It has been a slow and steady day here at Honey Hill Farm.  Dearest and I had to go into town and take care of the last bit of banking needed to finally close the business we sold in 2007. (It would never have occurred to either of us that it would take two long years to complete the process.)  We gave a little cheer and said a word of praise, once again, for this tremendous blessing. 


It was wonderful to return home and settle into my day...a little laundry churning quietly....pinto beans boiling on the stove, soon to be part of tonight's dinner of Bean & Turkey Burritos....a wee bit of ironing....and last but not least, making a favorite dessert....


Speedy Brownies


2 cups sugar


1-3/4 cups flour


1/2 cup baking cocoa


1 tsp salt


5 eggs (thank hens for their cooperation)


1 cup vegetable oil


1 tsp vanilla extract


1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


(chopped nuts optional)


Combine first 7 ingredients; beat until smooth


Pour into a greased 9x13 pan


Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts (if added)


Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes


or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean


(High altitude bakers will need additional time)


This is a wonderful recipe and turns out delicious every time! It is a crowd pleaser and a terrific item for bake sales.


I did not even get started on my robe yesterday, sigh.....so I must continue to wear my "shabby chic" one.  I would take a picture but it is just to horrible to be seen.  Truly.


I hope you have a quiet evening, tucked inside, safe and warm.


Yours kindredly,


Shan


Note:  The picture at the top of this post is one that I found recently thrifting.  It is a hand-tinted picture and it looked so much like our youngest Darling Boy that I knew it had to come and stay with me.  It is just so sweet.




Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Blessings to You......


Dearest Reader,


Well Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I hope you are feeling the blessings all around you on this fine day......


Honey Hill Farm has been abuzz with all sorts of activity.  Spring cleaning has sprung and no room is safe!  It feels so divine to open up windows and let fresh air circulate, the sweet air making all things feel brand new.


Today, found me in the kitchen baking my favorite bread and making laundry soap. Don't you just adore happy-at-home days! In between, I have been trying to steam clean carpets and upholstery, as keeping the hearth fires this winter has brought in quite a bit of dirt and dust.


Dearest and I sat outside in the yard yesterday at our little round table, cold drink in hand, enjoying the fine weather and contemplating our garden and yard.  There is always much preparation for the upcoming growing season, but the rewards of fresh flowers and sweet, sweet tomatoes and other such produce make the effort worth our while. Our dear neighbor and friend drove by as we were basking in the sunshine and asked us if we thought it was summer!  Oh yes, we said, knowing full well that any day could bring a snowstorm here in the beautiful Rockies.


Tomorrow, I plan to cut out some fleece and make myself a new robe.  The fleece is a soft blue and I will use brown Victorian trims and cameo buttons.  It is a very easy pattern and should not take much time. I will be happy to post the pattern number and take a few photos when I am finished. I actually have other sewing to accomplish but set it aside when, upon looking at my reflection in my current robe, I let out a little gasp and knew it was time to make another!


Hmmm....well, that seems to be the extent of my last few days...gentle, simple and oh so wonderful! 



Yours kindredly,


Shan



Saturday, March 7, 2009

Simply Lovely Day......

Dearest Readers,


Today has been simply lovely....warm fires, the snow falling ever so lightly and the sounds of family scattered throughout the house.....


I spent the better part of the afternoon decorating for St. Patrick's Day. As there is really nothing in the shops that would do for my Victorian style of decorating, I busied myself with creating my own decorations.  



First, I gathered items that represent the Irish in my family... A picture of my dear Irish Grandmother, a green vase and a set of Irish salt and pepper shakers. Seeing that this was not much to work with, I took out one of my Victorian Blouses....it is covered with lace and looks very old. 


I gathered all of the purple colored flowers that I could find in my "stash" of decorations down in the cellar.


Finally, I went to this delightful website and copied oodles of St. Patrick's Day cards.  I printed them on some parchment cardstock and cut them out.....I then scattered them with abandon amongst the other decorations, stringing some on beautiful burgundy ribbon and hanging it across the buffet.




I sincerely relish "making do" and enjoy the challenge of finding things I already have on hand to capture a season or holiday....Dear Reader, I would love to hear how you decorate your homes during these difficult times.  I am always inspired by others and the clever means by which they enjoy their homes and families.  Do feel free to share.


Well, I will go now as I should attend the fires and make a cup of tea...and have a cookie....yes, just a simply lovely day.


Yours kindredly,


Shan

Friday, March 6, 2009

And The Winner is.......

Dearest Readers,


   It is with the greatest pleasure that I announce that our dear


                                Handmaiden


         is the winner of the Delightful Treasures Giveaway!


I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful comments and gracious friendship!  I plan on having another giveaway in the near future, so keep watch.


I hope you won't mind the dust over the next day or two, but I will be decorating my dear blog for spring.....


Yours kindredly,


Shan


P.S. Handmaiden, please e-mail me with your address and I will ship this parcel to you right away.  My e-mail is listed on the right side-bar.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just a Reminder......

Dearest Reader,


Don't forget to enter my Giveaway by 10:00pm MST today.  I will annouce the winner in my post tomorrow morning!


I can't wait to bless someone with these delights!


Yours kindredly,


Shan