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

Month: December 2012 (Page 1 of 2)

A Good, Beautiful Tree

Thanks to an afternoon with my mom and her car (thank you Mom!!!), we’ve got a big beautiful charlie brown tree in the corner of our living room. I think one of the very best parts of Christmas is having a real live tree in the house.

This morning, to the soft sounds of Christmas music I remember from childhood, I strung the lights and laid out the ornaments. It’s cloudy today — a rarity that I cherish in this very sunny climate. Clouds make the day cozy and peaceful.

Tonight my Honey and I will decorate.

Assuming the ornaments remain intact till then…


Surprise Snowfall

I love surprises!

Last night I kept looking out at the streetlight, expecting to see snow falling. We weren’t forecast to get any (that I knew of), but the color of the light and clouds were what I always associate with snow. But I didn’t really think twice because it’s been such a stingy year for precipitation and the weather forecast was nothing but little sunshine icons. And so once again, life is at its best when you have zero expectations!

I woke up this morning and I gasped with a big smile as I saw what had fallen overnight! They were snow clouds!!

The sun in shining though, so it won’t last long.

But there’s nothing like snow and cold to remind you what season it is, and I’m thinking it might be time to get a tree pretty soon…


Gratitudes * December 10, 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!


– Getting some things done that have been lingering too long; that felt good.

– Being able to stop and rest when I need to. Now I just need to get better at the “stop” part; it’s hard when there’s so much stuff I’d rather be doing. I find resting to be rather boring!

– Sun baths on the floor with my cat.

– Speaking of my cat, I can hear her snoring next to me in her cat tower as I write this. Is there anything cuter than a snoring cat!

– Well, this is cute…

– Making fish oil capsules. I was pleasantly surprised with how well that idea worked; I’ll have to post instructions soon.

– Enjoying a clean house. Your environment can really affect you, can’t it…

– Just being home.

– A bit of snowfall! It amounted to only about a piddly millimeter but it was so Christmasy to peek out the curtains and see snowflakes falling in the glow of the streetlight.

– Setting up my Christmas town! (click the picture to enlarge)

– The Christmas season in general. Christmas Day itself doesn’t hold the excitement or mystique that it used to of course, but just the season itself… I love it. The lights, the decorations on peoples’ homes, the darkness, the rich beauty, the lighted trees in living room windows, the music, the snowfall, the smells of fresh pine boughs and spiced cider and cloves and woodsmoke outside in the frosty night air. It’s a season for the senses, and I love it. And I love how you can make Christmas exactly what you want. How you don’t have to participate in the crowds, the craziness, the spending, the cheap commercialism, the stress, the expectations. You can create your Own Little Personal Christmas Season.

– Resting on the couch yesterday and turning on the radio just in time to unexpectedly catch Hanukkah Lights on NPR — an hour of Hanukkah stories. That was really enjoyable.

– Laughing hysterically at some older Robin Williams standup comedy shows that My Honey found on youtube and broadcast onto our TV. Now THAT was REALLY enjoyable!!


And you? What were some gratitudes from your own week?


Stewed Figs


If you find yourself with some fresh figs on hand, try stewing them. They’re a nice little treat.

Cut them into pieces, and cook in a saucepan with a bit of water. Add a good squeeze of fresh orange juice if you like, and maybe a quick dash of salt.

Simmer, covered, until the figs are tender and the water is nearly gone — about 15-20 minutes.

I tossed a sprig of fresh rosemary into this batch. It added a nice flavor but don't use too much or let it cook for too long or it will impart a bitterness.

Serve plain… or topped with pepitas… alongside yogurt… or on a salad.


Breakfast Salad


I love salads for breakfast!

I chop everything into small pieces, including the lettuce, and eat the whole salad with a spoon.

This particular breakfast salad contained:


Romaine lettuce




Dried Cranberries


Stewed Figs


Apple Cider Vinegar

Freshly squeezed Orange Juice

Nama Shoyu Soy Sauce


(and no oil, although you could certainly add some if you like)


Absolutely delicious!!!


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