Wednesday, October 30, 2013

End of the Road - But Not!

I've been thinking about this for awhile, and as is so often the case, my actions told me what decision I was making well before I consciously chose.

As some of you may know, I also post over at the Cauldron Born, with my husband Michael.  It is there were discuss our spiritual and religious ideas, and because we are pagan, I thought those subjects might not be particularly welcome by those who come here to enjoy recipes and crafty things - and likewise thought those who read there probably weren't interested by such 'mundane' concerns.

Well.... that's just silly, isn't it?  ALL of it is about the life we live and it is increasingly beyond me to be able to pick out where the separations are.  So enough of that.  I am going to end this blog, but the things I post here will be happening over there.

I do realize that some may be challenged by reading religious matters, for any number of reasons.  I hope that won't be too large a problem, but for those for whom it is, go in peace and be well!  For the rest, I hope you'll join us at The Cauldron Born, where the hearth is warm and all are welcome.

Thank you so much, all of you, for your kind words over the years!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October Decor & What's Cookin' Oct 14 - 20

My menu last week worked for about half the time -- my nemesis was (and has been since the dawn of time) getting things thawed!  Whole chickens, even small stewing chickens, always take much longer than I think it should, necessitating a last minute scramble to adjust dates and sometimes upending plans totally.

So, trying again this week!  Next week, we're heading up to Boston/Salem for a few days to enjoy our honeymoon, so I'm being a little cautious about having too many perishables to deal with.  I'm leaving Sunday's plan open in order to finish off anything that won't keep.

I didn't manage any pictures/recipe entries last week - I will try to do better this time.

Monday Oct 14
Taco Salad (no chips)
Salsa, Guacamole

Tuesday Oct 15
No-Grain Pumpkin Waffles
Stewed Apples

Wednesday Oct 16
Pork & Veggie Stir-Fry

Thursday Oct 17 (Meeting tonight)
Cottage Pie with Mashed Sweet Potato Topping
(prepare early to be cooked for dinner by Michael)

(thaw short ribs early, to be slow cooked tomorrow)

Friday Oct 18
Slow Cooked Short Ribs and Mushrooms

Saturday Oct 19
Curry Meatballs
Spaghetti Squash

Sunday Oct 20
Leftovers / Clean out the Fridge Day

Because of our trip, I am going to leave my Calendula Oil to infuse until I return, and work on the next stage of that project then.

Autumn Mask - Renee Olson
Spring Mask - Renee Olson

I had some exciting news yesterday - I won a pair of masks from Samhain's Sirens - aren't the beautiful?  Here's the best part - the maker of these beautifies, Renee Olsen, also posted a tutorial for making  them.  I am looking forward to trying my hand as these, next time I get myself to a craft store, and of course playing around with some Summer and Winter motifs!

I think the Autumn mask is going to do quite nicely added to our Samhain shrine, don't you?

 Today's Samhain's Sirens entry is a literary one - you'll find a recipe for spiced apple cider (yum!), just perfect for reading the posted short story, or dipping into today's giveaway: a novel by Wendy L. Callahan called "The Pain Maiden.  There is also a blog makeover on giveaway, so stop by today.  This contest ends tomorrow morning.

Head over to Pagan Culture as well, for the So Good So Grim Blog Party, going on from October 13th - 21st.  All sorts of spooky stories, artwork and other delights that speak to the good hiding in the darkness, along with some amazing seasonal giveaways.  I'm spending time over at The Cauldron Born talking about the dark(ish) side of Tarot all this week.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Calendula Oil & What's Cooking, Oct. 7 - 13

We've got some stormy weather and tornado watch today in the DC area - after a little burst of summer, the weather is about to turn firmly to Autumn, and suddenly the trees are a riot of color.

This is my favorite time of year - the colors, the scents.... everything is earthy and smoky and delicious.  And it is definitely time for me to be planning meals to maike sure we get plenty of this season's bounty while it's here.  I find that when I fail to plan our meals, they become decidedly make-do and uninspired.

Here's what's in the works for this week:

Leftover Hash (Tri-Tip Beef, Mushrooms, Potatoes, and Veggies)

 (stew a chicken in the crockpot)
Chipotle Pulled Chicken
Paleo Tortillas

Leftover Chicken and Veggies
Mashed Cauliflower

Bacon and Mushroom Quiche

Pork and Pumpkin Stew
Grain-Free Bread

(Farm & Farmer's Market for meat & produce)

(slow cook a stewing chicken for tomorrow)

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Stir-Fried Veggies

Today, I started on a project I'll be working on as a part of my Yule gifting - while I'm sure I'll be doing some purchased items, I really am wanting to try to keep most of our gifting handmade and personal.

So, as a part of that, I want to make up some healing salve that includes calendula as part of its properties.  Calendula is a variety of marigold, and is one of those herbal powerhouses that make a good addition to any all-purpose salve.  It is anti-inflammatory, soothing for burns and irritated or chapped skin and has some bug repellent properties.  It is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin and children to use.

Today's step was easy - I'm infusing some dried calendula petals (I got mine from Mountain Rose Herbs) in olive oil for the next couple weeks.  The ratio is easy - 1 part dried petals to 2 parts olive oil.  I used 1 cup of petals to 2 cups of oil - in a couple weeks, I'll be straining this out and making up some salve with it.  The oil itself could also be used as is, and it will keep for about a year.

The jar I used was a bit larger than necessary, so I used a baggie (weighted with some water) to hold down the petals below the surface of the oil.  After taking the picture, I moved the jar to a dark place until it's ready for the next step.

Before I go for today, I want to point you all over to Samhain's Sirens - today's lovely giveaway is two pairs of October themed earrings - one set is an adorable pair of witchy hats, and  the other a pair of pumpkins - just the thing for the Halloween fashionista!  Both of these were handcrafted and donated by Tess from "A Witch By Any Other Name".  Today's entry also includes a delicious medley of roasted veggies. Go check it out!

~ Lynda

Shared with: 
Menu Plan Monday, Busy Monday, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Craft-O-Maniac Monday, Creative Monday Blog Hop, Frugally Crafty Home Blog Hop, Homemade Mondays, Homestead Barn Hop, Made By You Monday, Monday Funday, Marvelous Monday, Motivated Monday, Natural Living Monday, That DIY Party, More the Merrier Monday.
Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Time to Sparkle, Tuesday Greens, Tutorial Tuesday, You're Gonna Love It Tuesday.
Fluster's Creative Muster, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Inspiration Exchange, Lovely Ladies Linky, Make-Bake-Create Party, Party Wave Wednesday, Penny Pinching Party, Show & Tell WednesdayWaste Not Want Not, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday.
DIY Accomplished, Fabulously Frugal Thursday, Home Sweet Home, HomeAcre Hop, Homemaking Party, Open House Blog, Home & Garden Thursday, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Transformation Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Thursday Treasures.
Be Inspired, Creative Friday, DIY Linky, Farm Blog Hop, Farmgirl Friday, Frugal Friday, Friday Favorites, Freedom Fridays, Old-Fashioned Friday, Pin-Me Linky Party, Pity Party, Show and Tell Friday, Small Footprint Friday, Thrifty Things Friday.           

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy October!

I didn't actually intend to take a long summer vacation from blogging here, but that is what has happened!  I'll be writing a 'What I Did On My Summer Vacation" entry here soon (hint: Michael and I got married!), but today, I'm taking advantage of an opportunity to kickstart myself back into updating by sharing with you Samhain's Sirens, a fabulous month-long Samhain celebration, chock full of music, recipes and giveaways.  Every single day between today and November 1st!

Today's kickoff is awesome!  Head over for a sweet Autumnal granola recipe, and enter for two fantastic giveaways - a $200 weblog makeover by PIP Designs and a stunning handmade blank book made by Lapulia Studios worth $332.98.

Come join in the fun!

~ Lynda