Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Friday, November 30, 2012

O Christmas Tree!

This is our first "Log Cabin Life" Christmas (we've celebrated many a Christmas here at the cabin) so we wanted to get our Christmas tree fresh from our woods.  There is something very special about searching for the 'just right' tree to spend the holidays with, and cutting it yourself makes it just about perfect! 

Please let me introduce you to this year's much loved Christmas tree...
...it's a Charlie Brown tree, no doubt about that, but it makes us love it all the more.

This is how we came to find our tree.  Over the river (creek) and through the woods we went. We hiked. We searched. Through more woods.  We climbed every mountain (OK, not every mountain, but we sure did cover some territory).  Our conversations went something like this...Johny (J): "how about this one?", Lise (L): "too scraggly"...J: "how about this one?", L: "there's no green on it, it's dead" (we actually had one of those a few years ago, it was a dead hemlock that was going to have to come down anyway, so we cut it and used it...it had no green to speak of but we loved that tree)...J: "how about this one?", L: "hmmm, it's just not right"...J: "you do realize these natural trees on the mountain are not going to look like the trees grown on a Christmas tree farm?", L: "yes, I know, but...".  Eventually, after much up hill hiking and searching...J: "hey, look at these, if we can't find one here, we aren't going to find one" and after some pause..."look at this one, it's perfect!", L (after studying 3 in the area that all had something to offer), "OK, agreed, this is the one!".

And so Johny gleefully began sawing...
...and carrying Tree (now capital T) down the mountain through the woods and eventually over the river (creek)...literally.  I asked him to smile, he said "I am".

This is the view Tree had prior to our bringing it home.

 This is Tree (still naked) in it's new home, drinking up lots of water. Not bad looking a'tall I'd say! 

This is Tree all dressed up!  I love the hand quilted tree skirt Johny's mom made many years ago.  She also made many of the ornaments!  I must admit, as the branches have taken on the weight of the lights, they are drooping a bit, but Tree is beautiful exactly the way Tree is!!!

In honor of our Charlie Brown Tree, I am sharing this link to one of my favorite Christmas songs...Charlie Brown - Christmas Time is HereClick on the link to listen and watch the video.

BTW, the basket on the wall has lights, red and silver balls, and strands of curly silver things that catch the lights.  A homemade holiday wall accompaniment made from this and that...we like it:)

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lise's Buttermilk Banana Nut Bread

Time to bake again!  I didn't realize how much I missed it until I was busy measuring, mixing and smelling the deliciousness baking!

Today I bring you my buttermilk banana nut bread.  I decided to make this because the grocery store was selling big bags of overly ripe bananas for $1.99, so banana bread it is!  Not sure what other banana goodies I'll be making, but if you have any favorite recipes, please feel free to share!

Lise's Buttermilk Banana Nut Bread

1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup raw sugar and brown sugar (equal parts to make 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup softened butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups very ripe mashed bananas (very ripe means the skins are totally brown and the fruit is very soft and browning; this will give you naturally sweet, delicious banana bread)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 greased and floured 9x5 loaf pan

Begin by combining all the sugars and butter.  I like using the 3 types because it gives a little richer taste to the banana bread.  Because you are combining the 3, the butter and sugar will not cream together; you can still see the sugar crystals.

Add the eggs, one at a time; now the mixture will get creamy.

Mix the baking soda into the buttermilk, then add to the mix.

Now sift the flour and baking powder together then add it to the mix.

Mix in the banana, vanilla and chopped nuts (my bananas were not quite as ripe as I like them to be; I like them when I can see the bruising/browning in the fruit).

Pour the batter into the already prepared pan, and put it in the oven at 300 degrees for 90 minutes or so.  The bread is ready when a toothpick stuck into the middle comes out clean. 

Cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pan.  

This will make 1 loaf; you can double the recipe if you like. 

I have to share my new measuring spoons with you.  Well, they aren't new, they were at the river house and since I bake so much here at the cabin, I decided this was a much better home for them.  Funny, but these make me smile every time I use them!  They say Love, Dream, Joy, Laughter...what's not to love about them!  It's the simple things...

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Time for Christmas Decorations!

Everything went well with the dentist today, thank you to all who were concerned.  He was patient, kind, and interested in what I had to say as we waited for my mouth to numb.  Really, it wasn't so bad.  Don't get me wrong, I did use medication he prescribed to keep me calm.  And yes-in-deedy, it worked!  Of course, I'm a little sore, but nothing unbearable.  Remember my comment about preferring to give natural birth rather than have a dental procedure...I am reconsidering, LOL!  I will have a follow up appointment in January to get a full exam and possibly a treatment plan (ew, but I liked Dr. P McGuire, so I am good with seeing him again) and I look forward to having my mouth be whole and healthy without any little cracks and such getting in my way:)

Once I got home, yes, a little woozy from the medication, I tried to get back on track with my to-do list.  Here are some of the things I wanted to share with you...I do dare admit it took a while for me to be back to myself!

These are our Christmas snowflake lights we installed this afternoon.  They run along the front of the cabin. LOVE them!

This is my new snowflake wind catcher.  LOVE it too!  It reflects speckles of the sun into the cabin as it twirls around; I tried to capture those shots but nothing worth sharing, unfortunately.

This looks like some internal organ, but it is the internals of the wood burning stove.  I thought the picture was interesting enough to share, odd as it may be.  Notice the flame on the right side, the white stuff to the right is really hot wood and the red is wood that is burning but not engulfed in the heat.  Fire is amazing to watch in action, as long as it is in an enclosed or safe environment.  

Thanks to all my family and friends who cared about my going to the dentist today.  You gave me strength and the ability to manage my day.  I hope that all of you who have upcoming dental experiences share my same positive results.  And trust me, if you believe you need them, go with the relaxation pills...makes a world of difference!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Home Sweet Home

It is so great to be back at the cabin!  As Dorothy would say, "there's no place like home".

The weather was perfect for our return...we could open up the windows and air out the place for a bit.  The sky was blue and the trees bare and welcoming.  We are still waiting for our birds to return...it usually takes a day or two before they realize there is seed in the feeders again.  After we had unpacked everything, we made a cozy fire, ate an early dinner, and found ourselves in bed earlier than usual. 

This morning looked like winter.  Another welcoming feeling for us...we do love winter!
I have to admit, the weather on the river was perfect while we were there...cool, sunny, breezy...exactly what people who live in Florida live there for.  But we love our mountains and the winter...so bring it on!!!

It is great to be home!

Want to know what I am not happy about?  I have to go to the dentist tomorrow to have a filling with a small crack fixed.  (I would rather give birth, have done it twice, naturally, that's right, no medication, and would rather do that again than get a tooth fixed...OK, birth means then you have a child to take care of for the rest of your life, so maybe not quite giving birth...but I so don't love going to the dentist...I really liked him, he was really very nice and understanding, and he did prescribe something to keep my nerves in check and my sweat glands from over producing...)  So think of me tomorrow morning, and wish me well.  I shall gain strength from my friends 7 year old daughter who had to have 2 root canals in one day...she survived!  

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Guided Home By The Moon

We are back at the cabin, woo hoo...it sure is good to be back!

I was escorted by the almost full moon as I drove the first leg of our trip; the substantial moonlight made the drive easier.  I kept looking at the moon in it's glory and decided I had to take a picture.  So I stopped at the side of the road and this is what I got...
...the stripes on the bottom of the photo are 2 other vehicles passing by...there weren't many on the road, but these 2 were in the right place at the right time, I really like how this photo turned out!

My moon escort also put me in the mood for reminiscing (yes, while listening to Christmas music, have to continue my tradition you know!).  This trip was like a whirlwind for me, lot's of traveling in a short time; while I found myself filled with many memorable moments, I found myself going from one emotion to another.

It started with my thinking about Liam and how quickly he is growing...time passes so quickly...I'm so glad I had this 1:1 time with him and I can't wait until the next time I see him!  Then my thoughts moved to Thanksgiving and how wonderful it was (though I missed Liam, Jessi and Erin who were with their dad's side of the family this year).  That led me to remembering this photo taken by my sister-in-laws mother Nan at our Thanksgiving gathering.  This is now the core of my immediate family...my brother Bobby, me, my dad, my sister Denise and my brother Roger.  I love this photo because it is all of us together.  I am so grateful that Nan thought about taking it.  I am saddened by it because my brother Marc, who passed last January, is not in it with us and we don't have a photo of the 5 siblings and dad except for those when we were very young (we do have annual family photos that include him and all other family members present at the time).  Of course, my mom is absent as well, as she passed 25 years ago.  But it is such a poignant reminder of how precious life is.   
 Life passes by
In the blink of an eye
You may want to take care and notice...

I don't believe in coincidences.  I do however believe that things occur in life that are serendipitous, meaning occurring just as they should when they should.  When I think about my post today, the photo of the moon, my thoughts of life passing by quickly, and our return to the cabin, I know that today has unfolded perfectly.

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mike Wins The Space Coast Marathon

Today was the annual Space Coast Marathon, a race run along the Indian River.  This morning our friend Brucie had a little breakfast so we could cheer for all the runners as they passed by, but one in particular...Mike Hensley...he is our friends Dick & Ursula's son-in-law.  And cheered we did...he WON the race!  2:32:14!  WOW!  (this photo by Dick Glenn, proud father-in-law) 

This is Mike and his wife Marielle waiting for the start of the race (they are the two on the right; Marielle wasn't racing, but did run the 1/2 marathon course).  (this photo by Dick Glenn, proud father-in-law)

As I mentioned earlier, a small group of us met at Brucie's house to enjoy the marathon.  We stood around drinking coffee, chatting, eating some good breakfast nibbles and enjoying the brisk morning.  Of course, we were also waiting for Mike to pass by!

Finally, the motorcade approached...I am standing in Brucie's yard, quite near Brucie & Ursula in the photo above to capture the image below...the race literally went right in front of us!  (All my race photos were taken from about the same spot.)
 This guy looks serious, doesn't he?
And here comes Mike, woo hoo Mike!  He is in the black shirt, #1002.  It looks like the guy in the red shirt is ahead of him, but he was not entered into the race and only ran a portion of it.
Look at that determination!  (this photo by Dick Glenn, proud father-in-law)

This is Marielle, Mike's wife, cheering him on and getting ready to ride along with him to the finish line.  She had a camera strapped to her forehead so she could capture every moment!
There goes Mike, he's passing walkers from the 1/2 marathon route; they cheered him on recognizing him as the first marathoner to pass them!

 This is proud Ursula (mother-in-law) getting the happy news that Mike won the race...what a smile!

 Marielle, Dick and Mike at the finish. (this photo by Ursula Glenn, proud mother-in-law)

It was great fun to watch the race and cheer the runners on...and there were a few with interesting running gear...

Besides watching the race, we have been preparing for our return to the cabin...we are looking forward to being back!  Home Sweet Home, here we come!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,