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