December 20, 2015
I spent a bit of the morning taking pictures of our layers after chores were done. Eight of them have started laying now, and their eggs are absolutely amazing! Each morning we collect a beautiful assortment of blue, white and pink eggs. Soon the others will be laying eggs in various shades of brown as well. I really, really like this batch of chickens. They are friendly and well-trained, and the roosters are not overly aggressive. Jason has finished building their 'winter coop' which is located inside the barn. So far, the weather has been unusually mild so they are still happily free-ranging in the grass and bedding down for the night in their summer coop,which is free-standing in the pasture.
December 7, 2015
For my birthday in November, Jason built me this gorgeous wall mounted coat hanging rack!
Using only salvaged materials he gathered himself (barn board, railroad spikes, old rusty nails, even the handle from an antique iron) he whipped it up for me and had it on the wall the same day. I LOVE it! Instantly, our mudroom looked more cozy and welcoming :) I will gladly take a handmade gift over store-bought any day!
December 3, 2015
On December first, Jason and I went for a walk about the property looking for the perfect Christmas tree. We found one back behind the barn, and Jason cut it and brought it in while I prepared the space. Jude and Ollie were very excited, running around the living room and yelling, barely able to control themselves. Jason and I got the tree sturdily in place, and the boys helped me to hang the decorations, and all of this happened before noon!
That is a Christmas record for us, for sure!
When Isabella returned home from school she was blown away that the tree was up!
It made her feel very festive so she made herself a hot chocolate with baby marshmallows and promptly felt sick.
Regarding advent calendars, I had always had one when I was little. It was so exciting, opening up the little cardboard window and finding a different shaped chocolate each day! Isabella loves these cardboard ones so I continue to pick one up for her each year, but for Jude and Ollie I do something quite different. Jude, you see, has celiac disease and also other allergies including soy, so to find chocolate without soy lecithin or a chance of wheat contamination is pretty much impossible (aside from two chocolate bars we occasionally pick up at the health food store as a very special - and expensive - treat!). This year the boys were in need of more warm socks, so I contrived to pick up 24 of them and use them for an advent calendar that they can wear after!
Inside the socks are two little packages of gluten-free candies.
They were delighted to wake up and see the sock clothesline!
November 22, 2015
Last week we celebrated both Ollie's fourth birthday, and my own. Our actual birthdays land two days apart, but as mine fell upon a Friday, we had a double celebration and my Mom and sister drove up to take part in the special day. It was simple, really. The strict gluten-free atmosphere of our home dictates that Jason and I prepare meals ourselves, so that is what we did: Slow-roasted homegrown chicken and potatoes, gluten-free buns with butter, a mixed green salad with freshly made dressing, and for the grand finale, a two-layer chocolate and vanilla cake with gluten free cookie crumbs sprinkled on top of the icing, and ju-jubes decorating the cake's edge. Ollie was a happy birthday boy!
Sweet Ollie! How we love him so!
November 9, 2015
November 3, 2015
I finally added the newest works in my 'barnboard paintings' collection to my etsy shop!
Utilizing the antique floorboards from our heritage barn as canvases, with ink I paint such natural wonders as flowers and plants, mushrooms, feathers, birds and creatures of the forest.
For more info, please visit my online shop!
November 1, 2015
October 24, 2015
Here Jason is harvesting Prizehead Lettuce seeds. Knowing how to properly save seeds has got to be one of the most useful and important skills, really. Each different plant/flower/vegetable may need to be harvested or the seed collected in a unique manner. We save all our own seeds at this point, but still order heirloom varieties from organic sources if we want to try growing something new :) We have quite a few new ideas brewing for next spring's garden actually! It's only seven months away so we had better get planning! ;)
October 22, 2015
These photos are from a few weeks ago - maybe a month. We went for a family walk in the forest and before you know it we found ourselves in a gnome village! Everywhere we turned we saw a tree with a cute little moss-covered doorway! We are not strangers to the world of gnomes, so straightaway Jude and Ollie commenced to decorating the doorways with twigs and ferns in the hopes that the gnomes would return the favour by offering their friendship. We are set to return, bringing cookies, berries or home-baked muffins to tuck inside the little gnome houses. We are sure they would love that! :)
Faces on the tree!
Another friendly (fungus) face
The most peaceful of boys :)