The Happy Peasant Soaps

The Happy Peasant Soaps
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to Get Joy

Joy is in us, already. We simply have to remember that we CHOOSE joy over misery, over anger, over hatred and over violence. You are in charge of you and YOU can choose joy. You do not have to participate in anyone's negatively lived-out world. It is true! Join me in choosing joy for yourself. It is THE way to live...joyfully!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Best, Most Healthy Greens In The World!

I am sharing my personal recipe for steamed dandelion greens served with a warm salad dressing. This is, hands down, the healthiest thing you can eat this spring. It is safe for everyone and makes a good spring tonic, body cleansing and liver cleansing. Do not eat this if you have gallstones or gallbladder problems, as they can be exacerbated by the diuretic/cleansing properties of the dandelions.

If you do not have access to fresh dandelions that are not exposed to exhaust fumes or pesticides, you can buy them in the produce section of Whole Foods and Plum Market grocery stores.

Boil about a quart of water and throw in as many dandelion greens that you can cram in the pot. Put a lid on and boil on high for 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and drain. Replace lid to keep dandelions hot. While the dandelions are sitting. Prepare hot salad dressing.

Hot Salad Dressing

1/4 cup butter, melted in 1 quart pot

Mix following ingredients together well and add, slowly to melted butter:
1 1/2 C water, cool to lukewarm
1 beaten large egg
1/4 cider vinegar
3 T flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 sugar

Stir all together over medium low heat until thick.

Pour over greens and enjoy!
I usually place a sliced hard boiled egg or a poached between the greens and the sauce, for a complete meal. You can add whatever you peppers, cheese, whatever. Enjoy!

Maple Syrup Revisited

So, we finished our very first Maple Syrup harvest and it was...successful! I was shocked at how simple it was. Really, if you follow directions and have the time, it turns out wonderful. We gathered the sap from the trees every day while the temps were below freezing at night and above freezing during the day. On good days, we got at least 11 gallons of sap. Once the nights went above freezing, the trees stopped running their sap. But, that was okay...we were getting tired of lugging 60 pound buckets of sap around! Albert rigged his own cinderblock evaporator with an old stovepipe. We searched and found some used restaurant grade pans on Craigslist for a few dollars a piece and we gathered a pickup load of old branches from the woods. We were in business. Albert stayed with his boiling sap every Saturday and Sunday, bless his heart. He has some good stick-to-itive-ness for a 12 year old. He came in pretty darn tired most evenings.

When all was said and done, we have well over 2 gallons of pure maple syrup from our first season. Not bad for 7 trees!

I have posted pictures above that show the sap evaporating and cooking. Enjoy looking!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Am A Radical Homemaker

Who knew there was a name for it. Nice to know that others think the same. To the right is some hand ground, sourdourgh Sheepherder's bread with fresh honey & comb. It is a simple sourdough and an easy loaf to make and share. I will share the recipe and the sourdourgh starter recipe in my next post.

NY Times Magazine Meets Radical Homemakers : Chelsea Green

NY Times Magazine Meets Radical Homemakers : Chelsea Green

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Monday, March 15, 2010

"Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds you down or polishes you up depends on what you are made of."
— Unknown

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stripping Away The Layers

This afternoon it was cold and rainy, and I went upstairs to clean and organize the 'library', a huge middle room in the house that holds ALL our books...and there are a lot of them. I love books. As I was organizing, I realized that the center bookcase, which always houses my favorite of favorite books, no longer was up-to-date. It no longer held books that were in line with who I am today.

So, I gathered all the books from around the room that were who I am today, including my father's collection of Kahlil Gibran books,

I then proceeded to place my father's picture and his Mason books in this special spot. It was then that I became aware, all at once, that we spend our entire lives layering and covering up who we are when we are born into this world. When we are born, we come as an already programmed, complete package. And, anyone who has more than one child can tell you this is true. This little person comes out into the world, ready to go, and already making facial expressions and gestures that will be their's for life. We are who we are...there is no changing it. Why we spend the majority of our days layering, searching, building, buying, seeking and pretending...when we already have everything we need to be who we are, is beyond my comprehension. However, I am content to be who I came into this world to be. I am stripping away the layers, and it feels wonderful and light.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Walking The Fence

When I woke up this morning, the world was muted with a mist of early spring. I was bone weary. Too much done, too little sleep. My usual 2 extra strong cups of coffee were somehow not sufficient to jump start my battery and so, unusual for me, I had a third. Weary still, I put on my cracked and worn knee boots and grabbed my barn coat, buttoning only the top button on the way out the door. I trudged through the empty corn field, littered with last harvest's stalks and cobs, some rows my feet sinking inches into the dirt, some rows staying afloat on top of the corn and stalks. As I reached the edge of where our woods run the length of the field, I eyed my destination, the corner of the field where our woods meets our neighbor's woods.

Here, I noticed old weathered fence posts, running the length of the back of the woods, something I had not noticed before, and as I chose the woodland side over the field and headed progressively north, I was aware that I was entering a caverna magica
of the forest. The trees in the section were especially grande and high, arching their ancient backs and fronts toward and away from each other. I could here their conversations to one another, sighing with the wind of time. Mossy creature entrances of every proportion lurked around backsides of secret trunks and the birds were deafening in their song. They were definitely much much ahead of us people in their preparation for spring, knowing their time and place. I looked down often, and said to myself, "you must quit looking down, but look up". And, lo, as I looked down at that moment I found the most magnificent rock, molten together of glass like shards of some mica like substance I had never witnessed before. I placed it in my coat pocket. On the ground, the wild geraniums, dandelions and chickweed had a fair head start from the vegetation that is seemingly still non-existent back at home.

Bending down frequently, I collected woodland debris for a project I am working on, and headed deeper into the woods. A cool mist of cloud fog touched my face as it rolled by, and a trio of blue jays squawked and jabbered to each other.

Now aware that coffee was no longer a necessity for my awareness and awakening, I walked alongside deer prints, coyote prints and raccoon prints in the melting islands of snow and headed back home through the angle of the woods. I will try and share a bit of my woodland debris project with you when it is finished.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Returning To Your Roots, Part II


It is

busy season slow season. I am

part of the season

one leaf, fall

or broken twig by deer,


this existence is essential

manifest yourself in layers

begin to become

like pulling fruit from overset trees

overfill my mind and hands

far seasons are nothing more than a nomad in the desert

dry river bed

survive in the rainy season

emancipation joy

in the drought

Stubbornly Following Your Own Way

Art, especially the stage, is an area where it is impossible to walk without stumbling.
There are in store for you many unsuccessful days and whole unsuccessful seasons: there will be great misunderstandings and deep disappointments…you must be prepared for all this, expect it and nevertheless, stubbornly, fanatically follow your own way.

-Anton Chekov

Returning to your Roots

Friday, March 5, 2010

Late Hour Gypsies

Listen the seasons creak and turn one into the other.

Listen carefully.

You will hear, in the sweetest dark of night, the late hour gypsies dancing...dancing on the dirt. Put your ear, you anchored to this world...put it to the ground and hear the sound of fiddle driven feet, czardas whirling people who laugh at the turning. Stars twinkle from afar and the night is black as ink among the knarled old oaks.

Winds sift through, you will feel them as they carry on.

If you cannot help but join in their dance, you will not only hear, but see.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Small Town Girl Goes NYC!

Hello everyone. Well, you just never know, do you? It turns out the magazine article I wrote for Jill Peterson's brand-spanking new country magazine, A Simple Life, landed me my 15 minutes in the spotlight in the New York Times!

Antiques: A Rustic New Magazine. When you get to this web page, just scroll down past the article about the subway titled ‘Tile by Tile, a Mural Is Saved’ and you will see the article on the magazine which is titled: ‘Rustic New Magazine’.

I am thankful to be a part of such a creative new venture!