Saturday, October 2, 2010

a good laugh...

Ok, so what you do not see on this site is ... the phone calls I get.
My sister called and just laughed at me!

Yes, I live out of travel bags in my bathroom, and yes I see it as a good thing, not having to pack when I need to.  BUT ... she laughed because I have so many animals I can't possibly leave at a moments notice...

What is not taken into account is, as I get older, I am making sure to make arrangements for help with the animals.  It is only one more part of the dream that has yet to be accomplished BUT I can assure you it will be.

My dream!

To help someone as I was once helped.
Building a small but usable living space, near or attached to the barn, so someone can live in it, take care of my horses for me but still be able to have another job.

There are plenty of young people around here that would appreciate such a contract, and if not I am sure there will be others that would not mind not having bills ... having traded basic living expences for a short time of labor 5 days a week.

On with the dreams, and on with making it all happen.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Task...

I have a new task for living simple...

I am cleaning out closets... I started with the utility closet down stairs, it too is VERY small, and barely holds quilts, blankets, sheets, towels, and personal hygiene products.  I have it all organized now, but have to move on to other rooms.
There is no closet in the bathroom, this room too is VERY basic, very small and ... well needs help for updating standards, but it works.  The ONLY storage in the bathroom in the old open mirror.  This is not large enough to hold mouth wash.  There are no places for tooth brushes, so we live out of our toiletry travel bags.  It is not a bad thing!  Thus we are always ready for a trip, emergency or a night out at a moments notice.   I have most of my loose items in zip lock bags labeled.... lips,eyes, skin, cheeks etc... it works great!

But... the issues of closets comes in when you consider I am a woman who rarely gets rid of clothes and my closet is well ... smaller than your average hall / coat closet!   This can be disturbing!  So this is the next task I will document on this site.  Stay tuned as to HOW I do it, What I decide to keep or get rid of....

I am thinking I may have to take... "the French approach" to my clothes.  What is "The French approach"
and Quality not Quantity...
all things very hard for we typical Americans who want everything... but this is just the beginning of my thought process.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Simple house.

I live in a small house, smaller than your typical American house, but an average house world wide.
The house was built in the 30's  by a team of mules for a lady who choose to live by herself.

This is a great little house and it makes me live simple!

the simplicity of this house starts as soon as you walk in the door.

When me moved in Jerry had a "normal " sofa... but it barley fit in our living room
I had to search for a sofa that was more to the size of a human instead of the standard length and width now a days...
I got the smallest leather sofa made my what was mitchell gold ... which is now Mitchell Gold Bob Williams.  a great company!
and ONE chair.  This allows us to sit four in our living room, but still not perfectly, this I need to figure out.

Our bed didn't make it upstairs... It is down stairs for guest...
We had to purchase another bed that didn't need a box spring for support.

While the kitchen in the heart of any home.  My kitchen is well VERY basic to say it nicely.
I have but ONE plug!
Yes ONE plug in the entire kitchen!
But I have found this kitchen to be perfect for one person.  Jerry does not cook and thus it is my tiny room.
It has also encouraged me to be basic in my preperations of foods, get organized and  well ... stay on top of things.
I do NOT have a pantry... as the pantry was in the basement and Jerry took over that area for work

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paw Paw's Peach Cobbler.

As the cool breeze caught my attention....

Yet another childhood thought came to mind.  Paw Paw's Cobbler would be the perfect dish for these peaches.   Yes... as I wiped the table, the juice that ran down my arms, and the perfect RED pulp from the inside of the peach at the pit, was wiped from my fingers.

Oh the story of the cobbler, the "famous General Sherman Cobbler"  Just one more story told around the table, one more story of my history passed verbally over coffee, ice cream, cobbler,deer stakes and biscuits with gravy. 

The story is LONG... a LOVE STORY and a story of DEFIANCE, TRUE SPIRIT for ones country, and the tails of a country boy making a difference.  How can one story tell so much?  As with any story there are SEVERAL sides to all events... and depending on the subject in discussion... how it was applied and told to me again and again.  Which is exactly why it is so long, so perfectly etched in my mind.  So sit down and read as you relax with a glass of wine, coffee, or tea but what ever your choice... relax and learn a little more about the "inside" story of a common soldier in WWII that made a difference to his little unit, his stationed area... and the love of his life.

First things first... while I pull down my book of family recipes mother (Judy Lain Goins Ross) put together for me.  All hand written and one of my most treasured positions.  The next recipe books I treasure are the ones published by Forest Grove United Methodist Church during my teenage years.  These books are all filled with the food I ate as a child, the things that frequented our family table, the gatherings at church, and the staples of my life.

Mother took the time to write the family things down... which is not easy as Nannie and Paw Paw never measured ANYTHING... Paw Paw cooked by taste, hence his larger physic in his cooking years.  Nannie cooked only by look as she never tasted half of what she made, and only got to eat it if any was left after everyone else ate.

The story...

Cecil E Lain... fell in love with a local girl Mable Nadine Knight.  His love for her was a force for him to be as much a man as he could be, and thus... like most men of his age he was desperate to show his true self and join in forces against evil. much stood in his way.  His Uncle had already sent in papers showing his necisity of staying home, working the family farm, store, and that the need for his assistance was great.  Uncle Vernon was above the age of draft.. Uncle Charles was already signed up.. Cecil (Paw Paw) was too young for signing up.  So he did what others did and ... made a plan.  He told Mable of his plan, she said fine, but she would not marry him till he came back.  So... Cecil accepted her decession and followed through on his taking care of business.

He lied about his age, signed up behind his begging mother's back not to do so...  told Mable as soon as he did it, told his mother only the night before he left! 

Paw Paw (Cecil) was gone for a time... never stated exactly how long... But he was finally granted a TWO WEEK PASS.  "When I got that pass", he said, "I knew exactly what I was going to do."  this was also ALWAYS the point he would look to his left ... always to find Nannie... as he got older, he got sweeter and sweeter, he would find Nannie and grin.   As time passed his grin was more and more profound.  You could see the affections oozzee from his eyes, the corner of his lips tilted up, till his ears blushed with sweet thoughts.  This was funny to me having grown up with him so stern, so profound of no personal affections expressed in my early years.  Dare you say an animal was in heat, the cat was driving you crazy... the world would fall off its axis.  But with time, with age, the story was as much about his love for Nannie not the defiance of wanting to get home, wanting his two weeks, thinking after fighting so long that he diserved his time in the states.

He got his pass!  and exactly what he was going to do ... was ... take his two week pass AFTER he got to his destination.  Not calculating his travel as part of the past, not to, and definately not from.  He was going home, staying for two weeks, and then he would go back to fighting.  THAT was Cecil E Lain.  THAT was my Paw Paw...

He knew there would be a price to pay... and there was... physical labor with a stern officer watching his every move digging "to China"... .  Then more to pay KP ,or Kitchen Patrol, cleaning the crap from others in and out, not a pretty job he said, but one he knew he diserved and expected nothing less.

As time passed and he was proving himself to be responsible with his lowed position.  He was allowed to cook for himself every once in a while.  One thing led to another, and he was asked to cook more often for those of higher rank.  Till finally one in charge asked if he knew how to bake.  I don't need anther cook he said, but I need a baker.  Can You Bake?   Of Course... was always the response told to me.    What is funny here, is the fact that my greatgrandmother only doated on her boys, they never need raise a finger in the kitchen, or house.  She made sure her boys were well fed if nothing else. 

He made buscuits... for everyone...  and everyone enjoyed.  To the point a letter was sent home to Paw Paw's parents.  (years later I saw this letter... he got it out for me only once!  It was typed on rice paper with a type writer you could see the different pressures of each finger as the keys struck the page.  THIS was huge for me to see, and later only appeared one more time in my adult years... NOW I can only hope the letter is with "their" things at my Uncle Steve's house.)  I have longed for a copy of this all my years, but have yet to get one.  Only time will tell...if the paper survives the time... History does have a way of being lost.

The story goes on...
General Sherman was expected in camp, Large Stakes, and great foods were expected...
PawPaw knew what he wanted to make, and asked everyone he could to help.  The briers were searched and wild berries brought back to camp.  It was perfect!  A blackberry cobbler was served to the General.  It was said to delight him. 

The part of the story never told to me, only read in the letter was how proud My Greatgrand parents should be of their son.  Making such great food, and bringing a slice of home to every man who came through their camp.  How Cecil.. their son helped the moral of each man he fed with true home cooking.  It was a gift to everyone.

Paw Paw did love to cook he loved to bake!  He thought of food from dawn to dusk, what will we eat next? as soon as the plates were empty.  Breakfast was his time of day.  Buscuits, Flap Jacks, and meat... every country boy loves his meat.

But these peaches, so perfect remind me so much of his perfect cobblers.  Try it!  as simple as it looks, you will not regret it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Color In The Tree

Today like any other day I drove to the barn and let the horses out. Checking them over and making sure they were ok before being put out to pasture. When I turned back into the drive at home a glare high in the tree caught my eye.

Such a beautiful peach! Oh are they ready! excited as a child as I parked the car.
As I walked over to the tree I scared away our outside pet. Walleee (the groundhog) was eating the peaches on the ground. While I had seen him on hind legs eating at the green hard peaches of spring... this time much was gone but the pits this time around.

I touched a peach ever so gentle and it fell in my hand.
They must be ready I thought and filled my shirt at the waste with fuzzy peaches.
I brought them inside, cut one open, and juice ran down my hands as I pulled it apart...

OH the softness on the tongue, the juice that woke my mouth up better than the coffee this morning.
I must do something with these!
As I started to cut them up, having to fight the birds, as they too could tell how perfect these tiny things were. I finally gave in giving each bird 1/2 a peach and went on with my cutting, peeling, and baking.

A child hood thought floated through my mind as I worked on my peaches. The memory of Aunt Alma cutting and peeling peaches for me as I sat in the other room talking with Uncle William. She too had picked them from a tree in the back yard. These peaches were given to me in a bowl with sugar sprinkled on top. As I ate them with my hands that day, a still folded crisp kitchen towel was placed in my lap to catch the juices. Just like now as I rest my arm on the towel as I cut over a bowl and feel the juices run down my wrist.

The cool morning breeze catches my attention...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Simple doesn't mean easy.

Any who said SIMPLE was EASY had no idea what they were saying, had apparently never tried to live more simple.     I try with everything I am, but I am far from simple.  I am about as complex as the next person.  There is never one side to a story and there are always several sides of anyone exploring the world, their needs, and experiences that makes everyone more complex each day.   There is so much going on in the world.  Everywhere you look there is something or someone telling what you need next.  What is going to make your life perfect. What is going to make your day easier.  And exactly what your kids need, your husband, your marriage and even what is wrong with you if you don't want what they have.

Even Julia Childs knew when she suggested the simplicity of cooking more like the French, it was going to be harder for the typical American to grasp having to peel a bag of potatoes to make a simple bowl of potato soup.  Not everyone is willing to do that, but I am willing to try.

It is all about the effort you put into something at the first in order to accomplish, enjoy and LAVISH the simplicity of life.

Dogs know when to take a nap, when to chase a rabbit, and when to watch it hop across the yard.  Watching sitting and following the eye of a dog at rest, not asleep, but resting because this is not the perfect rabbit.  Allowing the rabbit to fatten on grass just a little more.   Maybe tomorrow... as her eyes roll back, she takes a deep breath, yyyyeeeesss maybe tomorrow.
If you have a dog take a lesson from your dog, Can't sit in someones lap.... curl up on the sofa... take a nap, enjoy your day, your time, what ever it is you need to feel special today.

Even animals know simplicity... We are the only animal that pushes simplicity out of our lives and RUSH into what ever event someone else has deemed necessary for us, our children, our marriage, our lives, even our religions.

Take time for yourself.  What ever it is you like. Take Five Minutes of YOUR time, go outside, listen to the wind blow, watch the trees sway, sit in the sun, or close your eyes and take deep breaths.  Take time for YOU.   Forget the world... the entire world, and enjoy who you are!  For those of you who never relax or only take care of others this may be a little harder to do, but try... it will get easier over time, it will feed a part of you, that has not been nurished for sometime.

If you travel you see how other cultures are at a slower pace than typical Americans.  You have control, you have the ability to sit and lavish yourself in what ever way is perfect for you.