"The willingness to be and to have just what God wants us to be and to have, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else, would set our hearts at rest, and we would discover that the simpler the life the greater the peace." - Elisabeth Elliot in The Shaping of a Christian Family

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Visit to the Fiber Mill

Last week Sarah and I took a drive through the country to a fiber artist's heaven - Stonehedge Fiber Mill.

The small store filled with cheery colors of yarn, balls of roving (unspun strips of wool), and packages of wool batting as well as some knitting needles and patterns. It also contains a few finished products like a crocheted poncho and some knit hats and stuff.

Don't you just love these crazy colors?! And sure enough, it's called Crazy Yarn.

Sarah picked out some balls of roving to get and then learned that she could order some done up in a color she liked better.

So we were led into the spinning building where the spinning machines are, back into a storeroom where we could see what other colors were available. I wasn't quick enough to snap some pics of all the machines, but here's a quick look at some of that area.

After ordering a few balls of a blue-green, we headed back out to the shop, noticing some of the sheep grazing in the back yard.

This fun place processes a lot of fleeces for a lot of Michigan shepherds. I kept wondering which ones of the unprocessed fleeces, if any, had been shorn by a friend of ours at a farm open house we'd recently enjoyed.

After exploring East Jordan a little more and finding a fun junk shop which might provide some interesting touches to our remodeling, we headed home to let Sarah spin up what she'd bought. She hopes to sell her yarn at the Bellaire farm market this summer.

So if you want some handspun yarn, either sheep wool and/or angora, you know where to go. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

A New Breakfast Favorite

Cooking is not really my schtick. Still, I do enjoy gifting my family with good healthy food (and sometimes not-so-healthy food) that they find tasty. Sunday's breakfast was just that. And I'm going to share it with you even though I'm definitely not qualified to be a food blogger.

Here it is, a slightly modified egg and ham muffin bake whose name will henceforth be known as Frederick:

The amazing thing is that everyone, including those who are sick of eggs because we've been trying to do low-carb, loved these.

Here's the formula in all its simplicity:

Arrange thinly sliced sandwich ham in muffin cups in a bowl-shape. 

Add the secret ingredient...a little slice of cream cheese. (Cue the angelic choir.)

Drop an egg into each cup. You can scramble them a little, but I didn't.

Next comes cheese, garlic powder, Italian herbs, and onion powder. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes depending on how hard you like your eggs and if you scrambled them or not. Scrambled cook quicker.

A keeper great Sunday morning low-carb breakfast loved by all. Try it; you'll like it.

Adding link to http://simplelifemom.com/2017/05/16/homestead-blog-hop-135/

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Remodeling Begins

The house we're buying just doesn't have much living/dining space.

It does have a mostly finished, open basement which now serves as a family room, storage for the stuff we haven't yet unpacked, and has the laundry area. 

So, the plan is to turn the basement into two bedrooms and a sitting/library area and knock out the wall behind the piano in the current upstairs living/dining area which is a bedroom wall.

 This will make for a much larger living/dining area and make better use of the basement.

Today was the official start of it all as Lovey borrowed the excavator from his workplace (bless his boss, our nephew-in-law) and began digging out the space for two egress windows (for fire escape and light purposes). He began by digging up an overgrown bush in front of the house since I want to put in stuff that looks more like an English cottage garden. Then he moved to the end of the house and dug down about six feet by ten feet.

While he had the big equipment, he redid the fire ring for hotdog roasts as well as making the start of a pond that Roo wants to build.

And so the adventure continues. Follow along if you like.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Raising Rabbits

Meet Winston. He's my French Angora bunny. Handsome, isn't he. 

This one is Spinning Jenny (Jenny for short). She is Winston's lovely wife.

My daughter Sarah owns her and between the two of them and the two of us we hope that they will produce some kits around May 13th.

Meanwhile, Sarah gently combs them every other day and harvests the fur for her spinning. 

She spins on a two hundred year old spinning wheel that has been in the family for that long. It had been damaged by little children (yes, mine) but when she was regularly going to a wonderful art center where we used to live, one of the woodworkers there was able to repair it and get it back into working order. I'm so thankful and think that it is wonderful that the wheel is back in use again.

Try not to notice the unpacked boxes in the background.

Yes, that says 1813!
The raw wool on the spinning wheel right now is sheep wool which I was trying to spin, much to my dismay. I sure haven't gotten it down yet. But I will try, try again.

This gorgeous aqua and white mixed yarn is a combination of dyed sheep wool and white angora. It is soooo soft. She doesn't know what she's going to do with it yet, but may get into selling it after she feels more confident in her output.

Meanwhile, we're enjoying learning about rabbits and raising them. My youngest daughter, Faith, is raising a female lionhead and male lionhead/netherland dwarf mix. They are expecting their first kits on the 27th. She hopes to sell all but one female.

Getting most of the rest of the family involved, my husband and daughter, Ruth, made a luxury rabbit hutch this weekend with the idea that if Ruth enjoyed that process she could make more for selling. They're all learning accounting skills as well as taking responsibility for animal care.

It also gives us all something to do as we settle into a new area and don't yet know very many people outside of the multitudes of family up in this north country.

And fortunately, Charlie the cat whose nickname is George seems to tolerate the rabbits well.

Linked to:


Monday, April 10, 2017

Back At It

Hello again. We've been in our new home nearly three weeks and though we still have quite a bit of stuff in boxes, I consider us moved in. Since the plan is to remodel the house, I figure I'm only going to unpack what we need as we need it so it won't get in the way of the remodeling.

I did make sure to unpack the mental and emotional therapy equipment sewing machine and have gotten to use it a few times.

I whipped up some simple double-sided napkins to go with the simple pottery napkin rings I'd made at the art center where we used to live. Yeah, I know it's spring and the fabric is kinda autumnal, but it's nature-ish and it's what I just bought at the local craft store's going out of business sale. And I like it. So there.

Do you see the mosaic pot in the background? That was a housewarming gift from a friend from the years when we used to live here. Now I get to renew that friendship up close. And the gift is a perfect inspiration to me to try to make one like it.

It looks like cleverly cut old dishes put on with a gray grout. How hard can that be? Heh. Now to find the packed tools and such.

But first I want to find the rest of my UFOs (cleverly concealed as WIPs) so I can join Joy in her challenge to finish at least half of them this year.

Getting settled in this new house/old area has been interesting. It's handy to already know my way around, but some things have changed. For instance, we used to be members of two homeschool groups here. Only one seems to still be in existence and I'm not sure they're very active. So we'll keep looking and I'm sure will find some new friends. It's great to have so much family very close by, some of which are close in age to my girls.