Friday, 11 July 2014

the creative longing inside us

I find myself compelled to write this morning breaking my self-imposed hiatus. Did this ever happen to you? An urgent feeling from somewhere inside to do what you love to do … such as work in the garden, bake, play an instrument, or write a few paragraphs. Whatever it is, it is insistent, quietly so at first, then nagging at you until finally you feel like you will burst if you don’t bake that cake, or perform that concerto, or write those words … anything that will quiet the restlessness - that creative longing that is so often born inside us. I’m happy to feel it!

Summer is full upon us in Gaia’s northern hemisphere. A comfortable routine begins my day. Rise at 7. Pull on rubbers {sometimes fully dressed, sometimes while still in my nightie}. Open the chicken coop, liberating the birds inside to range through the yard and compost pile for the morning. Refresh the feed and water.  

In a few hours the heat of noon-day will send them back to the coop to spread their wings and melt into puddles of white feathers under the fan … either there, or in the shade of our blackberry brambles.

One cockerel and 13 pullets queue up for a satisfying chest rub before they trip over themselves, and each other, in a clumsy tumble down their ramp. They stretch their wings and legs. First one side, then the other. Legs straight behind them in pointed, chicken yoga form. Salutation to the morning sun!

8:00 and Lavender, my companion rabbit, dives into her salad which is served in an old, chipped, white enameled bowl – the kind rimmed with a single, red stripe. Admittedly, a deeply scarred red stripe. I've often wondered what might have happened to it in its previous life to mar it so. The salad. Kale, roots still attached just as they were when I pulled them from the garden last evening, parsley and mixed greens. Yum! She nibbles them up before I finish writing this paragraph.

Mozart spills from earbuds onto my eardrums while I sip a glass of green tea … Oh! Peaceful morning!

It isn't always like this. Hurricane season arrived early last weekend with tropical storm Arthur noisily announcing his arrival and giving us a much wanted opportunity to test our emergency preps. Camping at its best, in my opinion; living without electricity, telephone or the internet while relishing my own comfy bed. Listening to gusts of wind howling and testing the window seals all night.

I loved it! And wished out loud to Renoman that it would last, but our electricity was restored in 26 hours or so. Others are still making do without I heard yesterday, day 6.

10:00 and now I’m off to do what I can to tidy the garden after Arthur’s damage, and sip a second glass of tea, and probably bake a cake. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

a breather

Friends, I’m writing today to say that for personal reasons I am taking a break from blogging. It's one of my favourite things in the world to do, but I need a breather. I’ll be using the time away from writing to process some things.

It’s been a struggle at times these past few months to stay focused on what I want to do for you here on this blog. There have been some really wonderful people who have helped me stay focused, and I am grateful to you, but I need to have a little rest and time to figure a few things out.

If you need to get in touch with me my email is Sue at thelittleacrethatcould(at)Hotmail(dot)com. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

homemade chicken soup

Requested by a reader, this is the homemade chicken soup that has evolved in my kitchen over the years. It is so nourishing and we love it, especially when it's paired with buttered biscuits and molasses.

3-4 lb frozen whole chicken
½ cup 9-bean mixture
1-3 tsp. sea salt with minerals
parsley, free hand
½ tsp each of ground sage, rosemary and thyme
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1/8 cup dehydrated diced sweet red pepper or ½ fresh red pepper, diced
dried kale flakes, free hand
1 cup frozen bone broth or left-over gravy, or a combination of the two, defrosted
¼ cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp. rice flour to thicken if desired

Put frozen chicken in soup pot. Half cover with cold water, no salt. Cover pot, turn on high and bring to boil.

Turn to low (I use #3 out of 10 on my stove). Simmer until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, or a leg turns loosely in its socket.

Remove chicken from pot. Add bean mix. Simmer until tender. Keep an eye on it. You will have to add water to cover the beans as they cook so they don’t boil dry.

When the beans are soft, add sea salt (I do not use very much salt, adjust to your taste), parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.  

Add onion, carrot, celery and sweet red pepper and cook until just under desired tenderness.

{While the vegetables are cooking pick meat off chicken.}

When the vegetables are just under desired tenderness, add kale flakes, bone broth and gravy, picked chicken meat, peas and rice flour. Simmer until veggies have finished cooking.

Serve with our favourite gluten-free biscuits fresh from the oven for a tasty meal.

Friday, 7 March 2014

random 5 friday

Random 5 Friday  
is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Nancy Claeys
5 random facts about life at my little acre
1. Good news this week! I had a clean bill of health at the multiple sclerosis clinic. No visible changes in the past year. Yay! I told my neurologist and the nurse practitioner that I felt like I had wasted their time. Grinning he said, we like having our time wasted.
2. Every year around this time my 3 sisters, mother and I get together for a pot luck and some girl talk. We eat, they drink wine and we share our joys and burdens, renewing the valuable ties of family and womanhood. Tonight is the night! 

Anna, me, Mum, Kate, Beth ~ 9 years ago

3. Lavender continues to entertain with her bunny performances. Her newest silliness is free-form 360s under her wicker shelf (a wicker breakfast tray I found at a thrift shop).

4. The AquaFarm I bought last month stands empty. I don’t know why Renoman is hemming and hawing about going to the pet shop to pick out a fish, but one thing I've learned from being dependent on others these past few years is to be gracious and patient. The fish will arrive eventually. If you aren't in my facebook community maybe you haven't have heard of an AquaFarm.

5. I went to pick Lavender up the other day to put her on her grooming table (a mat on top of the dryer) and she whimpered like a puppy. I think I heard my heart break. I had no idea that my single handed grasp was hurting her ~ it didn't when she was a baby. I promised to never to pick her up like that again. So, I'm turning to you, my friends. Any ideas how I can get her to the grooming table without picking her up by hand?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

wordless wednesday

two Sundays ago

this beach, 20 minutes from home, is one of mine and Renoman’s favourite places

sun sinks toward horizon in the pale, midwinter sky

sea grass is collected to nourish the soil in many coastal backyard gardens

too cold for a long stay, we didn't get to see the sunset that evening,
but left the beach feeling renewed