This second it looks like the sunflower head needs to be replaced. The whole thing is pretty empty now.
These shelves came to me in a moment of fate. I had walked in to the furniture consignment shop one hour after these were dropped off and cleaned up. I bought both, and within the next day (how long it took to pick them up) there were three people interested, and one even asked to be on a 'wait list' just in case I bailed on the deal. They are mine. lol...
It makes the whole room look smaller, which isn't great in our tiny house, but it also makes it look warm and cozy. And I hope a bit more organized day to day.
This is what I ended up with:Honestly, I LOVE this. It looks great. I didn't think I would when I put them up, and it took forever to get the mix right... but I love it now. I am waiting on some 5X5 pictures to be printed and then I will have the whole set all together.
Our homeschool stuff fits perfectly on one of the shelves, and this sweet little green shelf brings some warm color to this side of the livingroom, tying it in to the other side with the purple coatrack.
I am really enjoying the livingroom at the moment. :)
Honestly, there are some brands in the store that still hold high ideals. Organic Valley is one. They are an amazing company that is really trying to hold local food ideals. None of their food is shipped more than 300 miles from their factories. They process mostly local food from small(er) farms... and they highly support sustainable agriculture.
Earth Bound Organics is another one. They are based in CA, but they started out as a very small farm, and have tried to maintain these ideals as much as they can. They are organic, grown in the USA, and pay their workers a living wage.
The ones I would never purchase are Stonyfield Farms, or Brown Cow (owned by Stonyfield Farm). Them and companies like them are the reason why people have started to use the terms "Locavore" and "Beyond Organic". The huge organic companies are removing pesticide from our planet... which is wonderful. But the lives of the animals making your cheese and eggs are no different than the lives of the 'conventional' cow or chicken (meaning downright barbaric). The miles of single variety produce that they grow (and when I saw miles, I mean many hundreds of miles) creates an issue with mono-cropping.
For more info, here are some links:
Then came lunch. Black beans seasoned with tomatoes, cilantro, and onions that I made the other day for burritos (recipe post coming soon). Homemade pico de gallo, cheese, and chips on cafeteria trays. (See the peas ready to freeze behind them?)
Then we started in on Biology. We had a couple of black beans sprout when I was soaking them the other day, so I put them in a jar with some water and they are sprouting even more with little roots sticking out now. We have been drawing them for biology, and talking about the different parts as they come out.
After that, I put little Logan down for his nap. Art class is no place for the baby. As much as he would like it. We studied Van Gogh today in art. His techniques with texture specifically. Both kids were completely intrigued.
Right now I have a set of tomatoes in the oven with this gentle guide in mind to make some sauce for this winter. I dumped a bunch of pressed Carpathian Garlic in there... Alex said they were way too spicy. I hope they calm down after being baked for an hour and a half.
When Logan wakes from nap we are going to pick pears from my Aunts tree, and then I will be coming home and get them ready to can tomorrow. Then I have to make dinner, and bed will be soon after. It has been a long day.
But what a blessing to be able to do all of these things. I am grateful for my stamina. I am grateful for the help my children give me. I am grateful for my healthy body in which to put all of these wonderful foods that others could be allergic to. I am grateful for the sun that has been shinning, although coldly for the last three weeks after such a bleakly gray summer. I am grateful for my life. It is busy... crazy busy... but there is a lot of beauty there.
Anyway… it has been interesting.
Yesterday I came home with a big box of food from the farm. I had one huge cauliflower, a 2lb bag of green sugar snap peas, 5 cukes, two bunches leeks, 5 onions, 4lbs potatoes, a bunch of carrots, a bunch of red chard, two tiny romenesca, two bunches cilantro, one bunch dill, one bunch mint, and a half lb wild Chantalle mushrooms. At the end of the day, the guy next door to us at the market traded for two half pints of fresh local ice cream, (one of which will be gracing my kids bellies after lunch), another neighbor traded for some bone broth for me and some fresh cows cream cheese which Hannah took home. And yet another neighbor traded for pastries for a snack. And on top of all of that, I got sent home with an entire case of sunflowers that we had left over, and wouldn't last until the Tuesday Market, which Cyan graced all of our neighbors with bouquets before we ate dinner.
The above is not 100% local. The organic, single ingredient pasta that I have come to depend on for my husbands dietary 'needs' comes from Italy... and the balsamic vinaigrette came from California, but the rest? The goat cheese, the tomatoes (my gardens only real produce this year), and the beautiful golden beets from the farm are all amazingly from within 40 miles of my house.
Sweet and Tangy Pasta Salad
1/4 lb golden beets (red beets will do, but I don't like the way they stain everything pink)
1 lb tomatoes (plum or cherry work best)
2/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I use Paul Newman's)
4 oz soft goat cheese
1 lb rotini pasta (WW would work well here)
Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and douse with cold water reduce sticking.
Steam beets until fork tender. Slice tomatoes into bite sizes.
Add in the cheese and dressing, saving veggies for last. Toss with veggies (feel free to add others too! Baby spinach would be good tossed in, as would a host of other greens).
A surprise in the garden! You remember that volunteer pumpkin that I was ranting about a few months ago? Well, it looks like we may actually get two jack-o-lantern pumpkins out of it!
Gardening is always a journey.
They are days where you will always remember where you were. It is burned in your mind, as good as a stamp on time. Even as a small child (I was only in 1st grade watching Challenger), I remember watching the explosion and then, slowly, watching my teacher crumble to her seat and start crying. I don't even remember her name. But that moment is welded into my memory because of the momentous thing that happened.
And always, there is new life:
Here is sweet little Clover. She is just a year old and a dear friend of the family (Caplen's) daughter. She was delightful to watch with her big sister that night, running around with her sweet little diaper butt and big curious green/grey eyes. They both were a constant reminder that new life does happen, and that not all can be sad for long.
--Ford Prefect, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
and an intense capture. I was taking pictures of Logan swinging on the big kid swing for the first time and right as he was at the very top of the arc (about 4 ft up)... he fell head first towards the gravel. My ninja husband came in an caught him like the super-hero that he is. For the next hour, I totally had visions of an ER room visit to scrape the gravel out of my baby's face running through my head...