Kitchen / Garden / Sanctuary - Urban Homesteading to Nourish Body + Spirit

Month: October 2012 (Page 1 of 2)

Preparing for the Snow


After what has been one of the hottest, most wearisome summers in my memory, it seems that the autumn season has finally, completely (mercifully!?) clunked into place. We had our first snowfall, which began on Wednesday night by way of a steady rain. I was delighted to see this, so armed with an umbrella and steaming tea in a to-go cup, I ventured out for an enchanting night walk. And an hour after I got back, the rain switched over to snow, falling fast and blowing sideways, blizzard style. By that time the two of us and the cat were all squashed together on the couch, side by side by side, vegging out in front of PBS. A cozy, snowy night.

The next morning, we awoke to the wonderland you see above. Cold and still and silent.

I love the snow because it’s so peaceful.


If we back up a little bit, though, Tuesday was a gorgeous day with temperatures in the mid-70s, and I was out in shorts and a tank top getting the last of the garden chores in order. It was a busy garden day and I was exhausted at the end, but the progress felt good.

Here are some pictures from my end-of-summer preparations:

The garden in early October just after our first frost nipped a few things.

Potting up the thyme to take inside for the winter

Red Siberian heirloom tomatoes -- I'll definitely grow these again

One of the leeks from the harvest

Cabbage and potatoes just harvested

The rest of the tomatoes, picked and ready to store.

Storing the green tomatoes in the coolest spot in the house (the coat closet).

End-of-season applesauce making

Bringing some of the garden stuff indoors

Tilled in our homemade compost and made a "nursery bed" for the garlic. I'll transplant them in spring to their usual spots around the perimeter of each raised bed. This nursery bed thing is a new thought I had -- never done it this way, but I'm counting on it working like a charm.

Putting the garden to bed

Dusk, my favorite

The first snowfall


Gratitude Sunday * October 21, 2012

~ I’m once again joining Taryn over at Wooly Moss Roots in her Gratitude Sunday tradition. ~

Gratitude Sunday is a time to slow down and remember those thankful moments that graced our week. One reason I love keeping a daily gratitude journal is because it helps keep things in perspective for me. Each Sunday, I open my journal and share some of those moments with you here. If you’d like to join in, just leave a comment!

Gratitude is powerful energy. I love hearing others’ gratitudes!


– That F is okay and more damage was not sustained in a bike accident he was in (which was the direct result of poor workmanship by a technician in a local bike shop). He has a broken bone in his elbow but thanks to his helmet, no head injuries. While sitting in the ER with him, I kept being so grateful that he was walking, talking, smiling… the way it all happened, it’s amazing it wasn’t much worse. He’s a tough cookie and I love him so.

– Writing gratitudes each night; it redirects my sometimes-wandering gaze to the good things around me. The past several weeks have been rough. There’s a lot I haven’t been grateful for and sometimes it’s really hard to stay positive. But at the end of the day, I remember again just how thick with blessings my life is. Everyone’s is… you just have to reprogram you brain to see them all. I really love picking them out because it’s such an uplifting mental activity.

– Special one-on-one time with my Dad last weekend. We went to our favorite nature spot and it was a gorgeous day and were treated to a rare and special sighting of hundreds of sandhill cranes! (deviating for some reason from their normal migration route)

– Feeling lighter after being in nature that day. In nature don’t you find that your worries and fears that seem so real and all-consuming… just sort of shrink into the background.

– Getting my studio finally FINALLY unpacked and cleaned up and set up! It took hours because there was crap strewn everywhere. And now instead of averting my eyes every time I pass this room, I actually want to be in it (matter fact I’m in it right now). See it in the photo below?

– Finding the sweetness in convalescence. This is a really hard one sometimes when I’m so flipping sick of “still recovering” (evidently it’s a looong process), and the constant worry and fear that I never will be back to my old self (ooo that’s a big one). Sometimes I desperately repeat “find the sweetness find the sweetness” but I can’t. And then other times when I slow myself to the appropriate pace, and embrace whatever’s going on at the moment, and look around at where I am, and who I have around me, I can find the sweetness and those moments feel so good.

– My evening walks. I love them. And the other night I brought tea along with me in one of those paper coffee to-go cups with the plastic lids. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?! Tea on a dusk walk in the Autumn. Three of my favorite things rolled into one.

– Gorgeous sunsets. I love dusk anyway, and the fiery sunsets have been such a nice bonus. I love the silhouettes of the bare trees, and the crows flying home to roost, and the slow crickets, and the mug of hot tea in my hands, and the closing of the day and the quieter, cozier, more inward energy of the evening.

– The warm weather we’ve had. I love still being able to virtually live outside each day. It does a spirit good!

– Going to the health food store with F. He walked while I slowly rode my bike alongside. I loved this so much. I also loved the slow pace and getting to see all the autumn colors in slo-mo.

– Homemade applesauce, warmed, with nutmeg and plain yogurt.


And what about your week? What has been good about it?



Los Angeles Sunset

A couple days ago my sister Julie was in the right place at the right time, and took this incredible photo of the sunset, the fingernail moon, and a huge owl that swooped in and landed on a nearby eucalyptus branch!!

I love it.


Homemade Arnold Palmer

Iced tea and lemonade — it’s a great combination!

I’ve been perfecting my AP recipe over the summer and I’ve got it just the way I like it. You may want to make slight adjustments according to your tastes of course.

(I find myself craving and making Arnold Palmers when I’ve got some extra nausea goin’ on and plain water doesn’t appeal. So keep it in mind for hydration during times of illness, too.)


Lindsey’s Homemade Arnold Palmer

1 tsp good quality black tea OR 1 teabag (for APs, my favorite happens to be Mountain Rose’s bulk Nepalese Black Tea)

3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (~ 1 medium lemon)

2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

1 cup cold water

1 cup ice, OR an additional 1/2 to 1 cup of cold water


Boil water for brewing the tea. (Decaffeinate the tea first, if you like.)

Then, in a mug or measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over the tea and allow it to steep for several minutes — only 1/2 cup because you’re making a concentrate.

While the tea is steeping, in a tall glass combine 1 cup of cold water, the lemon juice, and the honey or maple syrup. (If you’re using honey, you may need to dissolve it in a little bit of warm water first.)

Once your tea has steeped for at least several minutes, strain out the leaves and pour into your glass with the water/lemon/honey.

Add either 1 cup of ice OR 1/2 to 1 cup of additional cold water — depending on how cold you want it, how soon you want to drink it (waiting for the ice to melt, you know), and how strong you like it. I usually like mine not-as-cold, ready immediately, and on the more dilute side, so I add the full 1 cup of water in place of the ice.


It's lovely to take on picnics


Harvesting Our Apples

Well it’s been an awesome year for fruit here, since our usual blossom-killing frost mercifully did not occur this spring. And so “Make more applesauce” has been somewhat of a standing order on my to-do lists of late. What a blessing, to have so much free organic fruit! My mom’s recent comment in an email made me giggle, asking me what I’ll do with all my time once the apples are through!

The apple tree in the backyard is Red Delicious variety, but the apples are really not good for fresh eating, however they make great applesauce! So F and I harvested them all recently and I’ve been picking away at them, cutting out the wormy parts, peeling them, chopping, and then cooking and canning them.


What kind of fruit are you harvesting this autumn?


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