Friday, April 29, 2011

New Growth !

Yes ! we have new growth happening around here !
I may not be planting a garden this yr but all my sweet little reliables are popping their heads up ☺
Rhubarb , doesn't it look so beautiful ? That colour !
my sweetgrass is up too ☺

as I wrote in my post a few minutes ago my rose bush is growing so very well !
 Last spring I took a shoot out to the lake and planted it . I checked on it in late autumn and it had taken !
I learned later from my Mother that , that is the same place my Grandmother had her tea rose bush !
I never knew that before !
So this year I am going to take bulbs & rose shoots out there to make a garden
This year is a no planting until well into May , usually in the old days Victoria day was the day you'd begin adding plants/seeds  to the garden

I counted 5 shoots !

There will be flowers and I am thinking to just chuck handfuls of seeds throughout the garden and see what happens .I can't not plant anything . seeds would be fine that way if dh & the roofers throw stuff all over it is no real loss anyway .
so Lily of course has popped up


peonie too

who is that ?

I am going to transplant all the boys strawberry plants into pots so they do not get squished

so look who I found !
He made my day ☺
so is he a johnny jump up or a king henry ?anyone know ?

In the whole garden this little fellow was so brave to come out and enjoy the sun ☼

The garden is not the only new growth , the people are experiencing it too !

I cleaned up the prayer space

we had our very first prayerful fire in a very long time

I cleaned up the front step

hung up the wool quilts & moose hides

Slop Pail

lol who likes compost ! jack jack
Who knew the topic of compost would become such a sophisticated concept !
were you like me and grew up with slop pail ?
I think I am sort of getting it that people who did not grow up with these concepts of a garden or slop pail etc. it seems so foreign and you must need be a master gardener in oder to know compost
nope !
we have a small yogurt or honey bucket in the kitchen I empty into a bigger slop pail.
People think well of course if you grew up in the country people had slop pails to feed the animals . no . my Mother & Grandmother had long not had animals but still always had a slop pail .even when not having a garden they had a slop pail and it just got dumped in the bush.
My family did not waste much your garbage was your garbage . items like fish guts would not go in the slop pail it would go to sled dogs or back into the lake or bones and such would be taken far into the woods because of bears .In the city we have put animal fat in and no horrid results my Mum just chucked everything in there and into her garden it went .
There are websites and books on composting , how it should smell in odour to have perfect chem levels and best results .
I just like to promote things like bread making , composting , midwifery , whatever . that common folk like you and I have done this all along .
Somewhere along the way it seems that was viewed upon as backwoodsie and not knowledgeable uneducated folk. Ignorance has nothing to do with where one receives or how they are educated . some of the most arrogant , ignorant people hold University degrees . I have always spoken of how our teachers come from all sources ☺
so you can do it too !

My Gramma always had a red slop pail , it has got to be at least 50 yrs if not older , it is still there at her old cottage . and yes we have always used it . My pail is blue but I think taken a bit more of a beating
My mother always grew up and taught us we had 3 different garbages , slop , burnable and throw out . It always just was that way .
People who would come out to visit just automatically wold throw their garbage in one garbage pail and we'd have to explain the 3 garbage . the looks we'd get !
so now it is called recycling & composting ?
really back then there was not as much plastic honey came in tins or jars , milk in bottles so left over garbage after burying it , burning or throwing to animals or gardens ,there just wasn't much left over .

we do have two big old barrels we throw slop into all winter , then come summer dh rolls them across the garden and tills it in .
I do have to tell ds21 he can not put his cigarettes in it though ! better yet pray he quits and takes up swimming or something .
okay you may not have barrels , you can buy the big compost bins . Get this people just used to have a compost pile . yep. in a corner of the yard or garden . much easier to turn then ! throw leaves and grass on top of it. Turn it and wet it down . speaking of which my Grandmother always had rain tanks set up on stands for catching water . I even throw the ashes from my fires on top of compost  .

so all winter long I throw slop around my rose bush
come spring I mix the left over leaves throw some other soil on top and it is fine .This bush loves it ! I've 3 new shoots come up this yr. so I will transplant another out at the lake ☺
so slop pail you can do it too  !

Monday, April 25, 2011

fuel shortage , bad ?

I've been meditating on the whole fuel shortage issue the past week. As we plan to leave the city I am reminded how much the cost is in gas . How the times have changed , how people used to take the train , then at times the bus , then everyone wanted to drive . The train left , then the bus no longer goes out there . Local people talk about the train .It brought community together I guess .The car seems to have caused an unhealthy independence. No one need help their neighbour  as long as they can get to where they want to go.
I asked dh if we run out of gas can horses use the hwy to travel on . He said it is not the best ground for a horse to walk on even with shoes.
I of course dream of returning to MX but not convinced this would be a good thing . I do feel I would return for a purpose , to help preserve the forest and work in missions in Michoacan .
How long would it take for horses to get to central MX from Manitoba !
we usually have driven or taken the bus .
If we run our of fuel no more airplanes !
so is it bad thing a fuel shortage , for us and the planet ?
it seems when it is talked about on the news and by the media it is always presented as a negative . Yes economies would have to change drastically but really , that we would have to be more community focused and help each other more right here , would it be that bad ? Would it really be gangs of people robbing others ?
There would be alternatives to heating homes like geothermal & solar . we do have hydro here but I am not sold on hydro electric power . I've seen the damage to the lake & people etc.
I was mediating on people who travel to hide pain , for greed , for selfish reasons etc.
Mother Teresa came into my mind . She always said people should look after the homeless and hurting in their own homes, the homeless in their own city , province & country.
 Really check the why you wish to travel .Is God really asking you to travel , and if you really  believe  that you should know some of the why and the purpose. Like how we are not asked to go out and heal or protect others until we have looked after our own  .
I thought too are people prepared to stay wherever they travel to the rest of their lives if all of a sudden there was no way to travel again except over land and water by very slow means .
 Most people wish to return home eventually to their own bed etc.
 Yes we can justify our travel, to visit family etc. we need that time away , why be so conscious all the time , come on relax a little . well I honestly can't ever consider flying after learning how damaging jet fuel is .
After my mediation today I know I no matter how much I long for and miss MX , I'm not leaving here unless it is real purpose to help etc.
I plan once settled we will return to very little transportation and be more a part of our community wherever that ends up being ☺
so maybe I'm the odd one out but I'm thinking a fuel shortage could be a blessing for us and our planet .
which reminds me of another post of community which none of us can live without , rarely are we called to be hermits ;-)
Also I know I'm on the right path because get this Mother Teresa's reading for today , was yes , about helping & travel ! I will leave you with that .
Mother Teresa April 25th
You will find Calcutta all over the world if you have eyes to see.
The streets of calcutta lead to every man's door.
I know that you may want to make a trip to calcutta, but it is easy to love people far away.
It is not always easy to love those people who live beside us.
what about the ones I dislike or look down upon ?

Friday, April 22, 2011

earth day ~ homemade laundry soap & animal ministries

I thought I'd do another earth day post as it turned out to be such a good day of thanks for such a beautiful gift of the earth .
I always love that so many cultures had the  symbol of earth represents a mother giving life .
I always use the example of a nursing mother in regards to that giving life .If we were to remove that life source from a baby that child  would die .
I did not begin today even remembering it was earth day and barely remembered it was good Friday as our ds10 is very very ill.
He is very weak and tired and I knew we would not make an evening mass but he also needs fresh air and movement of his arms & legs as his circulation is poor  . He slept til after 12pm today .
he was also not up for the long way of the cross walk the city was doing downtown today.
while he slept I made my first batch of homemade laundry soap.!
I thought I'd first make the recipe from Adventures with my kids Stewards of God's Earth eco friendly cleaning supplies .I made the disinfectant spray but the laundry soap recipe was to much for my laundry soap bottle so I then looked up other recipes and made up my own .
You need 1 bar of castile soap , sunlight soap or zote soap or if your in the states they have this soap called fels napa I think.
I would love to make my own soap eventually too but I had zote still so used that .
you also need borax and washing soda , both are in the laundry soap area at the grocery
and lots of hot water , a pot for on the stove and a big gallon bucket or stainless steel pot for mixing , plus a container to store soap in after wards .

all the recipes said to grate the bar of soap .As I did this it did not grate it turned to powder and began to trigger my asthma ! so I just broke it with a knife into pieces.
I only used 1/2 bar of the soap as I was making 1/2 recipe
I put it in a pot on the stove with 3 large cups of boiling water and began to heat .I stirred this until the soap melted

in the big stainless steel pot I measured 3/4c borax & 3/4 c washing soda

I then added the soap mixture and stirred until it was all dissolved and then add 1 gallon of hot water and stirred and stirred . as it cools is when you can add essential oils but I chose not to. I want to have just that fresh laundry smell after I hang the wash ☺
once it was cooled I poured it into the bottle .
It is supposed to be okay in the HE washers too .
I will be able to make so many bottles as the boxes of borax and soda are really full still .
I am convinced that just as our friends in Europe do we can hang our wash all year long . I also feel we can do with far fewer clothing so that is my part to do better on keeping the earth our beautiful gift healthy ☺
God connected us all and He loves us so much that is what a young woman on the way of the cross said on the news so we are in turn to go out and also give love . We can do this by caring for all the gifts given .
This brings me to our little outing today . ds really needed this although he honestly did not walk far .
I would really appreciate prayers for him please .
To get out of the city and let the dogs run reminded me of a program we often listen to on Sundays on CBC radio called tapestry.
a few weeks ago they had a broadcast about Christian ministries with animals and also about Muslim butchers & meat farms and other talks regarding animals and religion . The pastor Michael Bruner was especially interesting to hear in regards to scripture and interpretation of scripture from when it was written in Greek first .Just as we know in Greek the word love had 4 different meanings where in the English translation it is replaced with just one word love . So the translation from Greek to now really seems to have missed the true meaning of dominion and other terms used .
there are some wonderful ministries out there .
Including these wonderful monks ! as I said in my last earth day post I so wish someone had told that young man he need not quit the seminary in order to care for elephants he can do both for God ☺ maybe we should write to him ;-)

Okay that should keep you busy lol
I'm going to let you enjoy our pics of the day we were so very thankful for

jack was very happy sniffing everything
jack & lizzie in sand pit

they go just nuts in this slushy snow

Dad stuck with our little adventure boy as he was walking very slowly

the hawks were having a great day lots of yummies in the open fields this time of yr I guess

the ice is breaking up

yes again he did his rolling around in the Slurpee

silly boy
I love the first look at the lake

a lot of sand came in this yr.

can you believe they went in the water !

yes they did !

it is so spectacular but also heartbreaking every time we have to leave it really pains my heart

okay my eyes are really granny eyes now. I said to dh "turn the van around that is a pony over there running down the road !" lol nope ! just one big fluffy dog
although I've not always been wrong we've found a bison wandering down a road on one of our outings ☺

yes they went crazy seeing the other dog however we joke with them and say
"look theres a telephone pole ! "
and yes they start barking, pacing and looking out the window lol

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Poutine , Chocolate , Trifle ?

I would love to hear what you all are planning for your Easter meal !
really what I'm most looking forward to is seeing our grandson mr. silly ridiculous ☺
We were hoping to have lamb but it is not in yet .
I have been having very strange cravings and Easter meal will not be based on those otherwise dinner would consist of poutine & several bars of lindt chocolate ☺
Instead dh said he will cook a chicken on the BBQ rotisserie these are so good and taste almost as good as MX chicken ☺
I am thinking a really big fresh salad & buns
really I do not want us to over eat so I'm going to leave it at that .
 Then for desert we will have the bestest strawberry/ peach trifle ever which I am posting the recipe too as it is so very easy .I do wish I had a picture to post I've never had the time I guess to take a photo of the trifle as it is always gone just like that lol
This is one of the fav things people at church ask me to make as it truly is so creamy & heavenly good
You could use any type of fruit or berry you like .I personally would love raspberry or blackberry but my family prefer strawberries .
I make this in a punch bowl and it needs to be made at least 4 hrs ahead so all the flavour can set in .
There is absolutely no alcohol in this recipe so all ages can eat it too ☺
I am just listing the ingredients not amounts as you can best estimate for the size of group you will be feeding . I make this in a punch bowl usually as we usually always have a large group .
angel food cake ( not pound cake ) broken into bite sized pieces

strawberries preferably fresh but frozen are fine slice berries and sprinkle with sugar and let sit for 1 hr.

canned peaches in syrup ( do not drain off juice or syrup )

whipping cream ~ whipped with vanilla & sweetened

Devon cream
 ( be sure and buy enough cans of Devon cream if not making your own just so you will have enough , you can always store any extra cans as it is great on top pancakes, waffles , berries etc.)

basically you make this in layers beginning with the cake pieces . then spoon on some peaches with the syrup this replaces the alcohol , then layer on sugared strawberries , layer of whipped cream , layer of Devon cream . Layer the same way again , then again as many times as you can .last layers Devon cream should be on top . decorate with a few strawberries & peaches & a few plops of whipped cream . place in fridge for at least 4 hrs then set out room temp 1/2 hr.-1 hr.
any extras make an excellent breakfast by the way ☺
Enjoy !

Yummy Yummy Hot & Sour Soup

I hope you all are having a good week !
We have had a mix of sun , snow & rain here .
I was inspired this week as we did a shop in China town .It is always so nice during the week too as the shops are not so busy and the elderly people are out and about .
I first learned the recipe for Hot & Sour Soup from my friend Karen and that is still the basic recipe I use .
First off start with a really good stock . With it being lent I made the all veggie stock but let me say that of all the stocks the best soup result we eat is always made from turkey stock. Chicken is next in line ☺
 If using meat stock also shred your meat and add to soup stock .
ingredients needed are
dried Chinese mushrooms
black/white fungus ( whole or shredded )
miso (omit if using meat stock )
soy sauce
rooster chili garlic sauce
white vinegar
honey (optional)
slivered bamboo shoots
 sliced water chestnuts
soft tofu
frozen peas ( optional)
fresh sugar snap peas ( optional )
green onion
bean spouts

in the morning before assembling soak your black/ white fungus &  in boiled water .

this comes in big whole pieces or already shredded . if you soak the big piece you then cut it into strips once it is soaked and softened

In the morning also soak your dried mushrooms . I like to soak the mushrooms once for a few hrs then drain and re-soak again for another couple hrs.
when mushrooms are soft strain water off and cut them up into slices . discard the stems as they are just to tough .
Once fungus and mushrooms are strained and cut add right away to your stock .
The veggie type stock is basically water with several flavours added . In Hot & Sour soup I was told that plain black pepper is what makes it hot. Pepper does work good but I now use rooster brand chili sauce it is far better for heat .It also goes great with shrimp chips by the way .
I start with adding about 2 tsp to a pot .start with less rather then more and test before adding more .

soy sauce is good for that salty flavour and also gives the soup that nice dark colour . Use soy sauce even if using meat stock .

miso gives great flavour if making a veggie stock . I use a good 1/2c to the pot . Do not use miso if making meat stock .
white vinegar is what gives the best sour taste . I add about 1/2c and go from there adjusting to how sour you like it.
 I also add a bit of honey to our soup as I tend to like a little bit of sweet however it is not needed .
when you've added the mushrooms & fungus add the bamboo shoots

water chestnuts

soft tofu , this is best if you buy it fresh as it will not have preservatives added .There is always fresh tofu in china town .
 crumble it up as you add it to the stock
now would be a good time to add your frozen peas if you want them in soup .
cook the stock and ingredients simmering for about 20min making sure your flavours for hot , sour , salty , sweet are how you want them .
some people like to add corn starch to their soup to make it thick.I don't.
 if adding cornstarch take 3-4 T of cornstarch and mix into 1/4 -1/2 c water when smooth slowly pour and stir into soup. cook this for 3min then turn heat off
once soup has cooked for 20min turn off heat and add fresh bean sprouts
chopped green onion
take 2 eggs and whisk them up til fluffy. then slowly pour ans stir into hot soup. This is what gives Hot & Sour soup that white stringy look

It is very very yummy and like most soups it is best the next day ☺
Enjoy !