Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vintage Finds

Treasures from a local antique shop...

On top of my washing machine....

A few antique bars of Octagon laundry soap...
in the perfect enamelware bowl.

An ornate antique inkwell...

Now to find an old pen to dip in that inkwell.

I love to write with calligraphy pens and ink
in the old style.

Tonight I am writing a letter to a old friend.
Writing by the light of an oil lamp transports
me to another time and place.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gourmet Soda Crackers

Self sufficiency is something that excites me.
If I can make something, rather than buy it,
I am quite happy.

We have really tried to change our diet over the past few years.
Self-sufficiency and growing our own food helps this
When I do have something to buy, I balance my choices
by either buying local or organic...and both whenever I can.

I have tried to stop buying anything processed.
I have made my own bread this year...for the most part.
I make my own biscotti.

So, why not crackers??

I made these Italian soda crackers last evening.
They are quite good...flakey and crunchy...and simple to make.
If you are interested,
for the tutorial.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Asparagus Leek Soup

I had promised, on my farm blog,
to post a recipe for the soup that I
It is spring, and that means asparagus time!
What to do with all that asparagus??

How about Asparagus Leek Soup?

Here is what I did.....


2 leeks, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
5 large spring onions, sliced
20 large stalks of asparagus, cut into 1 inch segments
2 X 32 oz. organic chicken broth
2 tbsp. Herbs de Provence (secret ingredient in most of my chicken soups....always delicious!)

Simmer until vegetables are soft.

Another idea is to place cooked soup into blender to puree and then add some half and half.
Adding a couple of potatoes would be delicious, also.
Another idea would be to cook down a whole chicken first and add the meat to the soup.

This is a spice combination that I recommend adding to your spice cabinet.  It adds just the best flavor to soups.

You can find it at

However, you can sometimes find it at Marshalls or TJMaxx.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beautiful Monday

We are home!
Home is more wonderful than I ever imagined.
What a stark contrast last week was to this week.

I am still processing all that I experienced in Haiti.
I have tons of pictures to share...
and much writing to do.

I need some time for all of my thoughts and feelings to crystalize.
When that happens, I have another blog page that I will post my
thoughts and pictures about our most incredible (albeit difficult)
trip to Haiti.

But for now, I am so glad to be here...
with wash blowing on the line.

I have a mile long list of chores to accomplish today.
One of which was to paint the clothesline poles to match the
adorable little bird houses on the top of each one.
The house is bursting with the aroma of
freshly cut lilacs.
And soon that smell with be joined with the smell of freshly baking bread.

Oh, you have no idea how glad I am to be home!

I have been filled with many emotions since returning home.  The people of Haiti haunt my thoughts and dreams.  They made their mark on my heart....forever.  Writing will be a good catharsis.  But that will be on another page....on another day.  

To all of you who sent me words of encouragement, prayers, and thoughts....thank you.
You have no idea how much that meant to me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Til Next We Meet.....

Dearest Friends,

Just a quick note to say "see you soon" to those of you who check in on me from time to time.  Hubbs and I are headed to Haiti for a medical mission trip this Friday.  We will be working in a hospital in Carrafour ( a densely populated area of Port-au-Prince) for the next week....treating patients with chronic medical problems as a result of the January earthquake.

So many people have asked me if I am "excited" for this trip.  I find that this is a tough question to answer. Excitement does not describe my feelings....of which I have many.  There is a part of me that is anticipating this trip with the hope that I will be able to make some small difference for the short time that I am there.  There is a small part of me that is uneasy, maybe even a bit fearful, that what I see will be difficult to handle.  I do not look forward to seeing so many people living such desperate lives.  I do not look forward to seeing the ongoing suffering, the hunger, the pain.  These things, I know, will be indelibly etched into my heart.

I am glad to have the opportunity to dust off my nursing skills and once again put them to good use.

There is a small part of me that fears for my own  safety...the incidence of HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and many more diseases is incredibly high.  However, this fear is overshadowed by the knowledge that going is the right thing to do.

I have so many questions.....all of which will be answered, I am sure, in the coming week.

I am thankful for having been given this opportunity.  I am thankful for the life that I live.  My world is a happy one, free from suffering.  I am lucky, for this is not the case for so many others.  All of this makes me so acutely aware of how crazy this world is....that some should live lives of destitution and desperation, while others live lives of privilege.  

I pray, that in some very small way, I can help to make this world a better place....
I pray that some day all children born in any country of this world will live without hunger, without poverty, without their life being shortened by treatable disease.

I thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers.  I will share my experiences when we return home next week.

I am thankful for all of you who care about life is blessed by your presence.

And so with two suitcases full of medical supplies and two suitcases full of teddy bears, hubbs and I join 5 other physicians and nurses on this trip to the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, the 4th hungriest country in the world, where the average life expectancy is only 53 years.....amazingly, my age.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Vintage Lighting

If you read my blog occasionally, you will know that
I love all things vintage and antique.
If I need some special touch for the house,
I don't shop in stores....
I hit the antiques mall.

Wednesday Hubbs and I did a little antiquing.
It was my birthday, so I got to pick the
activity for the day.
Of course it was antiquing!

I was searching for the perfect oil lamp for my
guest bedroom.
You know, the fussy lavender bedroom.

A little searching, and 
I found exactly what I was searching for.

This lamp is a beauty.
It has wonderfully intricate cast iron work.

But, the best part of it is the mercury glass reflector.
It is almost impossible to find these lamps complete with the original
mercury glass reflector.

Hanging next to it (see top picture) is a cast iron
match holder.
Could there possibly be any more romantic lighting than this?
I can hardly wait for the sun to go down,
so that I can light it.

This lamp hangs above my turn of the century 
Thomas Edison Victrola...
...that still plays its very thick records....
by hand crank...

another one of my family treasures.
Here is the current display on the top of the victrola.
I love antiques, but antiques that still work and are useful
are my favorites.
I have decorated my home with items that could
actually save us if, heaven forbid, we lose power for
an extended period of time.
Or, if perhaps, someday I decide to get off the energy grid, altogether,
well, I suppose I am ready!
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