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This blog chronicles the adventures I share with my husband, daughter and son. It is also a place to share what I am learning as a homemaker, gardener, book lover and homeschooling mother. Welcome.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

carrot soup

Our squash harvest wasn't overly abundant this year, so I've been missing the soup I regularly make in the winter with that vegetable. It came to mind last month that a friend mentioned how much she enjoyed carrot soup, which is similar in texture to squash soup. I looked up a recipe, which I now can't find the link to, but listed below is the basic recipe (it's easy to memorize).
Since we have a large stash of tomatoes and carrots in the freezer, this has been a convenient lunch to prepare for me and the children.

Saute chopped onion in olive oil.
Add 2 C. crushed tomatoes with juice and 1 pound chopped carrots.
Cover with water or chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Simmer until carrots are tender.
Pour mixture into blender and puree.
Add 1/2 C. of sour cream and blend. 
Serve with salt & Parmesan cheese.

(It's common to add garlic and ginger to saute with the onion 
and add herbs to the finished soup, 
but I've been keeping it simple.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

warmth & light

Nature to a saint is sacramental. 
If we are children of God, 
we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. 
In every wind that blows, 
in every night and day of the year, 
in every sign of the sky, 
in every blossoming 
and in every withering of the earth, 
there is a real coming of God to us 
if we will simply use our starved imagination 
to realize it. 
-Oswald Chambers-

From the patio doors
I could see a glimpse of bright red in the bed of strawberry plants.
Although our weather has been Spring-like
I knew the plants wouldn't be bearing fruit just yet,
but I still had to go out for myself and see.
Color in February,
other than the consistent grays and browns,
needs to documented,
even if it is simply the mottled hues of reds
on a strawberry leaf
drawn to the surface by warmth and light.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

5 of 50: lake vista recreation trail

This weekend we were able to hike our fifth trail of the year, the Lake Vista Recreation Trail at Blue Springs Lake. This is the best online map I could find. It is also called the Blue Springs Multipurpose Trail. 

This was a new-to-us trail, and one we didn't really enjoy! It is a part-paved, part-gravel trail. Many of the gravel portions have deep rivets from erosion making it difficult to walk. The unseasonably warm weather had many people on this trail, both bikers and walkers (and I have an idea it is well-used anyway due to the trail head's easy access location near two main roads). We had to be very aware of the bikers, and as Jesse said later it wasn't enjoyable hiking having to be so wary of potential bikers coming around a bend. The trail is lined with trees, but it's not a canopy so for most of the trail we didn't have shade. We obviously prefer enclosed, narrow, woodland trails to this type.

The trail is a five mile loop, but to complete it you have to walk on the edge of two busy streets, which isn't our style, so we walked in and out the same path making for a 4.6 mile hike. Although this wasn't our favorite path, I am grateful for such warm weather in February and the ability to be active with my family. For some reason on the drive home my mind reminisced to the days when we had to organize our schedule around the children's nap/quiet time needs, whereas now we are so mobile that naps aren't needed and quiet time can be found on a car drive. Each season of life with children has its own gifts to be received in its own unique way; there are challenges as well, but I try to consciously choose receiving those as gifts too!

Monday, February 13, 2017

4 of 40: rock ledges trail


natural home decor

This weekend found us hiking our fourth hike of the year. We returned to the Rock Ledges Trail at Lake Jacomo where a few years previous we had memorably gone off trail and returned to the trail head through brambles. We came armed with GPS this time and carefully followed the trail provided online.

The trail is supposedly a 1.5 mile loop. What you actually find is that the trail hasn't been maintained (just like a few years ago) so that the place to turn and loop back to the trail head is non-existent or overgrown, but in any case, is unable to be found. Since I wasn't in the mood for brambles, we turned back to retrace our steps. Jesse, however, cannot resist exploring and was intent on finding the other portion of the trail. So he and Roone walked through brambles parallel to me and Ella (approximately 50 yards between us) and and eventually did find the trail. Ella and I climbed to join them and exited the trail on the final portion of this loop.

This portion does not look used (whereas the initial path is well-worn), but does appear that work is being done to make it accessible. Our final mileage was 2.3 miles. Our experiences with this trail find the map and trail markings outdated. It is a nice path, enjoyable to walk and if it were actually a fully accessible loop with clear information it would be one we'd return to more often. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

feels like spring

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose form the dreams of its wintry rest.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

No, it's not Spring, yet;
but the temperatures in the 60's and the sun shining
transported us there.


For this break from the cold and gray, 
for this beauty in the minutiae
I am grateful.