Friday, January 24, 2014

i LOVE white

i LOVE white. 
images courtesy of:
turning point 2, pretty stuff, and MiLady's Vintage Linens 
I love white in any form.  I find it's beauty and simplicity quietly refreshing.
I wonder then why I don't like winter more.  It's white, it's beautiful, simple, 
and refreshing.
images courtesy of:
turningpoint2, tiny white daisies, and media-cache
Winter surrounds us with a quiet sense of beauty.
the curious bumblebee 
I am striving to accept winter, to put away my dislike of it and embrace it in all it's forms.  But I think I might like it better if I didn't have to go out to work and could spend it more like this.
inspiration lane 
Gearing up for another weekend of snow and more snow.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Soup of the Week

On a cold winter day after shoveling snow, there is no better way to warm yourself than with Potato Cheese Soup.  I think it is my favorite winter soup.
With a tray of soup and a warm comfy throw ~ what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon watching football on the sofa.
Potato Cheese Soup
2 cups peeled, diced potatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2-1/2 cups boiling water
1-1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. steak sauce
2 cups milk
8 cheddar cheese, grated
Optional for garnish:
1 pound fried and crumbled bacon
1 bunch spring greens,chopped
Bring potatoes, onion, celery and 1 tsp. salt to a boil.  Cover and simmer about 15 minutes.  In saucepan, melt butter and blend in flour, stirring constantly.  Add remaining salt along with pepper, dry mustard, steak sauce and milk.  Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened.  Add shredded cheese and stir until melted.  Add cheese sauce to the potato mixture and simmer for five additional minutes.
Garnish with crumbled bacon and spring greens.
Serves 4 ~ 6
Note:  I usually use sharp cheddar cheese, making the soup more orange in appearance, but this time I used Kraft Jalapeno White Cheddar, which gives the soup an extra kick and warms the belly.  Sometimes I use Monterey Jack with hot peppers, or a mixture of Jack and Cheddar cheeses.
Hope you enjoy your Sunday afternoon.
Linking with
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Mod Vintage Life for Mod Mix Monday

Friday, January 17, 2014

Coping With Winter

Winter is my least favorite of all the seasons, but I am also finding ways to enjoy it more and more.  When I used to ski, I loved winter and it wasn't nearly long or cold enough.  I think that is why I liked skiing ~ it made me love winter for the first time in my life.
But I have long ago laid up my skis since I was never very good at it, and as I was getting older, I realized I'd better give it up before I broke something major.
Now I see winter as a rest from all the outside yard work and the external care that an older home requires.  It has become a "breather" for me.  An okay to curl up on the couch and "chill".
I also use winter to do some of those inside projects that I can't squeeze in during the warmer months.  Projects like reupholstering, making curtains, painting, and cleaning out the attic. Well, this is my current winter project that I have put off for over 10 years ~ stripping the paint off of my old doors, putting up new molding, and repainting. 
This is what my doors currently look like. (Yes, I still haven't taken down my Christmas decorations.)  You can imagine how many coats of paint a 60 + year old house has on it that makes the paint crack.

My house isn't large enough to have a hallway, but it has a cul de sac of sorts that consists of six doorways leading to various rooms.  One doorway is open to the living room and the other five open to bedrooms, the bathroom, upstairs and a closet.
I was going to do one door at a time from start to finish, but realized if I did it that way, it was very likely I would quit halfway through.  So I'm working on all six doorways and living with their unfinished state in order to stay motivated to finish the whole project.
Here is one of the doors during the stripping process that is done with a heat gun.  As you can see, it is quite a messy project.

It's amazing how much that pile of paint chips weighs when it is all bagged up.  It is a long and tedious process, so I only do one door a day or a couple door frames.  After you get all the paint off, then it all needs sanding.

I have finished up four doorways completely with two more to go.  
Today I removed the rest of the molding.
My two helpers are taking a siesta ~ their version of coping with a snowy winter day.

Wish I could show you a totally finished door, but that is a few weeks off yet.  I should be working on this project right now instead of writing about it, but I promise I will show you them eventually when they are all finished with new trim, floor molding and refinished floors.
How do you cope with the long winter?
Linking with
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Turning Over a New Leaf

New Year's resolutions are hard to keep and to be honest, I rarely stick with
 one of them long enough for it to become a habit or life style change.  
But every year I try again, because to stop trying is to stop growing.
I am coming to grips with the very real fact that if I don't start taking better care 
of my health and my body, it's not going to take care of me.  
Getting older can be such a pain ~ literally.
So I planned out a two-week menu of healthy meals and headed to the grocery store.  As I was putting the food away, I realized how beautiful the textures and colors are and couldn't help but snap a few pictures.
My body will probably go into shock eating all these beautiful fruits and vegetables, but eventually it will repay my efforts with more energy. 
We take our health for granted until we don't have it anymore. Once again I'm trying to turn over a new leaf with lots of leafy vegetables, fruit, water, and exercise.  So up on the menu for lunch today is a wonderful kale salad with pomegranate seeds, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs.

Even my chickens get fed fresh kale and cabbage every week.  
  It's pitiful that I feed them healthier than I feed myself. 
Is anyone else trying to improve their eating habits this year?
 I just wish it wasn't so expensive to eat healthy.

Friday, January 3, 2014


I have always been fascinated by photos of frost and its delicate beauty.  
I say "photos of frost" because I have rarely seen it myself ~ until this year.  
We seem to be having an extremely cold winter for mid Ohio and as the temp drops below zero, the windows in the chicken coop are exquisitely painted with it.

Most of the frost is accumulating on the French door of the green house 
and looks beautiful from both inside and out.

I suppose the frost has something to do with moisture from the chickens 
who are struggling to stay warm in these subzero temps.

"This is the scenery that feeds the soul and 
gives life to the senses."

This beautiful display is on a window with only a single pane of glass left and is a view
 from the greenhouse looking out towards the chicken run. 
 It truly does look like a fern ~ nature's beauty in its purest form.

"Stop and take a photograph."
Quotes from The Arvon Blog

Linking with The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays 
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