Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Exciting News!! Our new website is up!

Come and see our new site!
I am very, very excited about this…
The new blog address is www.PeculiarAmbitionsblog.com

And the website is...

And the new blog address is www.PeculiarAmbitionsblog.com/

It is still kind of rough, need to perfect the layout and get a logo up there.
And, the shop is still empty, but not for long!

So from now on the blog will be updated at the new address. 
So please change your feeds and readers so we don't lose you!

See you over there!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Life Happens~ January 2014

Life around here, January 2014

Fog in the orchard. 
Love how it shows just how craggly and awesome our old, old apple trees are. 

Paul and Eve hiked straight up our mountain on Christmas day to find Squaw Face, a rock formation that looks like the profile of a face.  
This shot was after the Yacolt Burn in 1902, a major forest fire.
They found her. She is directly south of our house, up the mountain, facing north. So cool. And creepy! 
She is too big to get a good photo of though, and now very mossy and ferny with trees all around her.
 This shot shows our teeny house, as seen from the top… and the fog in the valley.

 January has brough some heavy duty bread study for me. I am in love with it!
Made a sourdough starter from scratch and 
fed and fermented it for two weeks before attempting baking.
Been getting some yummy sourdough loaves, and am now simplifying the recipe to be less time consuming. So far so good! 
Started with the Tartine bread book, but now working out my own recipe and timing.

We harvested our last pig (Lulu) in December, and Paul built a smoker and cured and smoked our first bacon and hams. The smoker worked beautifully, but is temporarily in the driveway. It can be reassembled in a permanent place now that we are finished.

 Bacon hanging. 
 Smoker in action!

 Our over achiever homesteader breakfast, made from our own eggs, 
bacon, bread and apple cider.
We amuse ourselves.
The bacon seeds are very happy since we extended their pasture to include a large chunk of the woods.  
This photo was taken right after we released them into it. They walked the fence line the entire perimeter, then got to work rooting the deer poops and moss. Pig Nirvana.

This is Walter, who loves to talk and for some reason always has his mouth open. 
Such a character! He was very excited about some moldy oranges.

 Ruby is now six months old and just 5 pounds lighter than Stella (her big sister)!
This photo taken on the car ride home from her spaying appointment. She was drugged, drooly and pitiful. Next day she was back at her hyper cuteness.

Rainy day and my new lamp, rescued from our friend's trash. A bath and a new shade and it fit perfectly in our living room. Makes me happy every time I look at it.

I got reblondificated. It's not quite as light as it looks in this photo… 
there was a light was RIGHT over my head.
Not ready to fully embrace the ashy/whiting hair under there. 
Perhaps someday, but for now I still feel 
young and skippy and the blonde me I was in my younger days.

Sewing. Planning. Cats. So many cats in my head.

Knitting. Been on a hat marathon.

Ruby and Stella. 
Branch manager and Assistant Branch Manager.

Our old man walnut tree. It's been a foggy winter!
(photo taken by Eve)

Loved the silhouettes. Cats. Dog. Elf. Chicken planter. Mossy tree.

My word for the year. Cultivate.

 Heart bread bubble.

Today's sunny sunshine. 
We moved the egg layers and basked.

Bam! Sun in your EYES! Yay vitamin D!

Paul having a chat with the bacon seeds.

 More sun celebrating.

reenie out.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Make your own straw lid for a mason jar~

I have to admit it, (even though it is so very trendy right now)…. we use mason jars as glasses.
Only, we have been doing it since way-back-when it was a tacky, hillbilly thing to do. 
Funny, so much of what was once considered red neck/hillbilly is now "sustainable". 
But that rant is another blog post entirely, haha.

I take a jar of water with me at night and put it on my nightstand. This works great for when I am thirsty in the dark, but my darling cat finds the water so amusing and much tastier than her gigantic bowl of water in the bathroom. 

I have been eyeing the Cuoppw lids, but find them way too pricey for a chunk of plastic. 
So I donned my thinking hat and came up with THIS….

Introducing, Reenie's Straw Lid for a Mason Jar!

Cool, hunh?

Supplies needed:
A plastic lid, scissors, razor knife, marker and some jar lids to trace (aide or normal, your choice).

Trace the jar lid onto the plastic lid.
Cut it out.

Trim to fit inside a lid ring. Trim as closely as you can get it.
  Cut an "X" in  the lid with the razor knife. 
Just like a fast food cup lid… to hold your straw tightly.

Screw on the lids, add a straw and your favorite beverage and POOF!
You have a washable, upcycled jar lid!
(Don't forget to recycle the lid scraps.)

It is not watertight of course, since you cut a hole in the lid for a straw, but it slows down a spill if it gets toppled by a cat, and it keeps their cute paws out of you drinking water at night!

xo, reenie

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life Happens~

Autumn has arrived! 
The plants around the pond are turning gold and the Japanese maple is red.

My girls are now ladies.
So pretty and tall and smart as whips!

A new baby arrived in our circle/community and he needed a sweater.

Ruby is still rotten. And SMART. She pulls the gate over. brat.

Always knitting.

Always scheming and planning.

Beautiful organs from a pig harvest. We always marvel at the miracle and cycles of the life of our animals we raise to feed our family. So very appreciated.

Ruby and the turkey farts (as I called them).

The largest came is at a whopping 23 pounds!
Tucked into the freezer for Thanksgiving.

An our little Eve-ooo getting her SENIOR pictures taken!

AND, after some unfortunate kitty-peeing/territorial issues in the house, the cats are now having a daily playtime OUTside. Here is Ezmaralda on her first day out.

On her second day out she communed with the ranging hens.
She chased them once.  I told her if she catches one she can eat it.
I love how they match. It was my personal goal to have ALL black animals. 
But I so love the green eggs those brown Ameracaunas lay. So we compromise.

reenie out.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thrifted Afghan Love~

I am SO in love with this thrifted afghan.
I LOVE how the neutrals (ochre, taupe, black) POP the corals, scarlet, pink and turquoise.
love love love

It is getting a second bath, still smells of a grandma's house (think avon perfume and powders).

Here is a pic of my entire Goodwill score!
Wool coats and sweaters for critter making (getting felted now), the above afghan, a tapestry bag already intricately stitched but not assembled (to be made into something else, journal cover?), fancy hankies, a small loom, bag of wooden macrame beads and an old meat grinder! 
Fun times.
Good day.