Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

Celebrating Autumn

Living in the country has so many benefits…for me!  I realize that I am so, very different from most people but I feel like it allows me to do so many of the things that I’ve wanted to do for years…

…like taking time to celebrate Autumn with family.

We did just that on Saturday.  There were 15 of us and we pressed 36 gallons of cider, the kids carved pumkins and played in the leaves and we ate wonderful food.

I’m hoping that we have just had our 1st Annual ~ Bowe Family Celebration of Autumn!

   Now that we have had our practice run {which was a fairly spontaneous happening} we’ll need to invite the rest of the family and really get it on!

My brother slipped away before, after and a little during to get the trusses up on the little barn!

October 31, 2011 Posted by | autumn decor, family, home life, my neck of the woods! | 12 Comments

Oh, for the love of Autumn…

I seems that with everybody I talk to I say, “Isn’t this the most beautiful fall?” 

Since I don’t remember saying it here, I’ve just got to also share with you that I am in love with Autumn this year. 

It seems that so many of life’s sweet pleasures come in the form of simple joys!

Take notice of those simply joys in your life…and then smile!

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

– Albert Camus

October 26, 2011 Posted by | home life, my neck of the woods! | 4 Comments

You ought to try this…

This really is cool {and a bit groovy}!

Recently Mr T gave me a recipe for making our own laundry soap.  Have you heard about this?  It’s been around for a long time but we just discovered it.  For about $3.50 we can get approximately 180 loads of laundry washed in our top-loader.

It mixed up just like the recipe said it would and I’ve been using it. 

Now I don’t have to stand in front of the laundry soap aisle, shaking my head because I can’t believe how expensive laundry soap is.

You can find the recipe HERE.

October 17, 2011 Posted by | home life, sustainable living | 7 Comments

building a barn….{love}

I have wanted  my own barn nearly my whole life.

When I was young I loved playing in barns. 

I loved the loft. 

I loved the hay. 

I loved jumping from the loft into the hay.

But, I decided a long time ago that I would probably never have my own barn.

Then we got these funny little goats. 

Goats need a barn.

Since {at this point} we don’t plan to ever have more that two milk goats, we don’t ‘need’ a large barn so we are in the process of building a very small barn for our two goats and their spring kids.

The concrete truck just pulled away and I can’t wait to get it done.

We’re all pretty please with ourselves!

October 13, 2011 Posted by | farm animals, goats, home life, my neck of the woods! | 4 Comments

As the seasons change….

This has been my trusty Market Shopper.  It’s accompanied me to our local farmer’s market and a variety of other happenings lately.

I think that this Friday will be the last Market of the season.

I generally have mixed emotions as each season comes to an end.  I know for some it seems like summer ended a while back but I’ve still been hanging on to remnants of it.  We did have a pretty good freeze this week {30°} so that helps me to make the official transition to fall…which makes me long for a hard, cold, snowy winter!

My own garden/orchard is winding down too but I still have [some] apples and pears and lots of potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and [hopefully] some tomatillos [just waiting for them to do their thing…I’ve been told that you know they’re ready when they drop off the vine…if they don’t freeze first].

I really love pear.

I don’t find it as versatile for my family as apple but I still love it.

It’s a beautiful fruit!

I made this Pear Custard Pie this week.  Oh, so Yummy!…and it just got better on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day!  Next time I would make it a day ahead.

The goats and chickens are benefiting from the garden clean-up!

October 10, 2011 Posted by | garden, goats, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, market shopper, my neck of the woods!, news from home | 2 Comments

attempting the undones…

Upon returning home from my week away, attending {the most amazing} The Creative Connection event, my eyes wander to all of the undones in my life.  Last month felt like a whirlwind of life and now I can settle my mind and heart a little and just take it all in and yet keep going at the same time.

…one of the undones being, this fun little chandelier that was forced out of my chicken house because one of my Rhode Island Reds insisted on roosting on it every night…her little head tucked high near the ceiling of the coop.  silly girl!  I truly did not want to disturb her because she found that to be her comfy spot each night but her eliminations were landing right in the waterer…therefore causing unnecessary contaminations!

solution: remove the chandelier until I can come up with a better idea

This morning it just sits there as one of the undones that I now need to attempt to do!

It shall be a happy, happy Monday as I hope your Monday will be too!

p.s. I also find myself singing this happy Cinderella tune…

I’m in the middle of a muddle
In the middle of a muddle I am
I wanna have fun, I wanna have fun
But the work is piling high

I wish I were twins, I wish I were twins…

all of the lyrics are super cute {and somewhat meaningful}! 

September 19, 2011 Posted by | chickens, farm animals, home life, just plain fun | 3 Comments

…much love for ‘the apple’…

Oh, the goodness that’s wrapped up in an apple.

Such diversity, sweetness and nutrition…

When my kids were babies, homemade applesauce was there #1 staple food.  I had a sweet {older} friend who would help me can up some apple sauce each year for my sweet babies.  Since then, whenever I’ve canned sauce I think of my dear friend, with great appreciation, for helping this young mom in those early years when I didn’t live close to my own mom. 

I appreciate so much when ladies are willing to give of themselves to help younger gals learn these valuable skills.

Titus 2:4-5… These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

[picture taken by Trisha Love]

Now that this little man is 4 months old, he’s going to be loving some of Nana’s home~made apple sauce.

I wish I could decide what I want him to call me.  I know…I should just let him decide but I don’t want to be called ‘grandma’…that just doesn’t set well with me…so he might need a little encouragement….Nana…Grammy…Nona…Nanny….It’ll come…one way or another…sooner or later!  🙂

This is a favorite charm.  It’s round and chunky and reminds me of a candy drop.  Both sides have fun, vintage fabric that came from my Great Grandma’s fabric stash.

If you have some old, cherished fabric, this would be a fun way to preserve and share a snippet of it…

September 5, 2011 Posted by | family, garden, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen | 1 Comment

The land gives so freely!

What’s on your {late} summer reading list?

I have my favorite little spot to sit in the living room and I have a stack of wonderful books and magazines piled up all around me.  Any chance I have to sit down, I grab one and start looking for the next fun thing that I want to make, can, dehydrate, freeze…

My interests seem to evolve and change but they also seem to keep moving in the same direction.

Living off the Land!

I can’t get enough…it makes me get all excited!

Yesterday I ordered #3 & #5 crocks for sauerkraut, pickles, etc…

the laundry and housework has been very patient…so has Mr. T!

Look what I drug home over the weekend {along with a whole lot of other things}.  Oh, I’m so excited…it’s just so beautiful!

really, I promise…it is! 

A number was randomly chosen and we have a winner for my birthday give-a-way….Rosie!

Rosie is a local gal so I can’t wait to have this grand excuse to get together for coffee, tea, food…good conversation!  🙂

Oh, the comments that were left on this post…all of them made me smile…most of them made me cry just a little!  Thanks for sharing from your hearts, ladies!

August 31, 2011 Posted by | garden, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, sustainable living | 4 Comments

Summer Grandeur…

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
— L.M. Montgomery

This has been a favorite summer for me!

I’m going to guess that it has much to do with that ‘gentle’ process of aging that none of us can avoid.

I believe that I have learned to enjoy the simple joys and pleasures in life more than ever.  And, because we were able to move to this beautiful country setting 3½ years ago, it has allowed for a more restful, less hectic life {which I fully embrace}.

I’ve made a quiet resolve with myself to keep it that way!   […so far, so good]

Another one of life’s simple pleasures that I cannot ignore is the power within a seed.

It amazes me each and every year.

And, it causes me to be impressed with myself {that’s always fun}.

Most of my garden is the result of seeds that I put in dirt…with my own little hands.

Many of my herbs I purchased but most everything else came up from seed: corn, green beans, peas, carrots, kale, lettuce, spinach, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, flowers.  Plus, we have a nice variety of things that come back each year: raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, horseradish and a small orchard with apples, plums, pear…

With fresh local lamb and beef filling our freezers plus the abundance of fish that we caught in Alaskan waters…oh, ya…and that fresh goat’s milk…we have been eating so well {too well}.  Everything is fresh and yummy…not to mention, oh, so healthy!

All of this makes summer so busy and so wonderful in a very worthwhile and fulfilling sort of way.

I have a few sunflowers that are nearly twice my height…

Do you remember the chickens {Silkies} I had in my booth at the Farm Chicks sale? 

Because the little one {the black one} was so little I didn’t want to put them in with the other chickens so I just let them have free-range of my garden.  I wasn’t sure how that would work.  I told them that if they got into my strawberries then they would have to leave.   They have done great.  They just kind of hang out in the potato patch.  I brought home a rooster for them recently and they literally are all inseparable.

Poppy, Nel and Papa Jack

I still haven’t forgotten that there is a give-a-way…go over HERE and sign-up…I’ll draw a name in a couple of days.

August 29, 2011 Posted by | farm animals, garden, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, sustainable living | 2 Comments

Goat love :~)

I never, never saw myself as being a milkmaid to goats.

However, I did dream of having a milk cow for a very, very long time.

Once I realized that goat’s milk tasted just like cow’s milk {this, of course, depends on the type of goat and what they are eating}, milk goats seemed to be the acceptable compromise.

I have been loving these little critters and the wonderful milk I’m getting…two times each day!

My milking stanchion was broken for a while so it wouldn’t hold in Bella’s head.  She would eat her grain while I began milking but when the grain was gone she would pull out her head and nuzzle my neck and nibble on my ear.

This is a very fun and silly picture but I’m so ticklish that it would just make me crazy.

Last week while nibbling on my ear, she managed to slip the back off of my diamond stud.  I had to dig that little golden fleck out of her mouth.  After that she seemed even more and more determined to get it off of my ear.

Silly girl!

I get about 2 cups each time I milk.  Most goats would give more but it’s actually a nice amount for us…for now.

I’ve experimented with making some cheeses. 

We make ice cream on a regular basis. 

I eat yogurt every morning from the milk and I’ve made some soap.

Which reminds me….there’s a give-a-way in the works.

Make sure to head over to my last post, leave a comment there and you’ll be entered in to that give-a-way!

source of photos: Tres Birds Photography

August 16, 2011 Posted by | farm animals, goats, healthy living, home life, in the kitchen, sustainable living | 2 Comments