Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Beltane

Happy Beltane to witches and wise-ones, one and all! Spring is all around us and it feels so good. This is my favorite time of year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Seasoned: an online and print mag worth reading!

Sometimes I read trash. As in completely useless, superficial, empty crap that does nothing for me but somehow sucks me in. It could be a tabloid magazine or a silly blog, or those yahoo news articles that are like "Celebrity Learns of Her Own Divorce on Twitter." Totally devoid of any nutritional value for my mind, but such a guilty pleasure. 
Other times I read something so full, so packed with useful information and inspiring ideas, that I want to read it over and over and I actually miss it when I'm done. I have a feeling that Seasoned, a digital and print magazine written by a group of totally rootsy and amazing homesteading women/bloggers, will be one of these that feeds my spirit. It is published quarterly and includes an abundance of recipes, articles on living in a healthful and conscious way, homesteading in various environments and living situations, and tips for being in touch and in tune with the seasons! Doesn't that sound like a great read?! And it is all written and photographed and assembled and dreamt up by a group of inspiring people who really live what they write. 

Today one of the creators of Seasoned is hosting a giveaway on her blog and the winner will get two issues of Seasoned and a handful of other goodies that could each merit their own blog posts. I'm entering and I've got all my finger and toes crossed for this one. Wish me luck friends! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Remember our hummingbirds?

Well look at that, it's already mid-april and I haven't blogged in weeks! oops! It's easy to fall out of the habit of blogging, taking photos, writing posts. I've changed jobs which led to a substantial decrease in the time I spend on the computer, but excuses aside I really do miss this little blog of mine. 

A few updates are in order, and the first one that I owe you is on our little hummingbird hatchlings! 
Just as I was starting to feel anxious that there might be something wrong, that they were taking too long to hatch, that their momma had seen me creeping about and abandoned them, nature proved me wrong with the sight of two fuzzy, motionless, winged little babies. Over the next two weeks they grew so quickly. I could see their beaks getting longer and starting to hang over the side of the nest, then their little heads popped up with their wide and watchful eyes. They started to get so cramped in their tiny nest that their momma would perch in a different tree and watch them from afar because she didn't fit with them anymore. She was a good little momma, always buzzing around the yard eating it all up and then returning to her little babes to feed, feed, feed. 
They developed distinct 'personalities' (I use that word cautiously) and tendencies. One little guy would be tucked down into the nest, snuggled up tight and facing away from our house, while the other was much more mobile. It would always be turning around, rearranging its wings, and repositioning itself almost on top of the other bird. 
They have been out of the nest for about two weeks now. It happened one day when we gave a friend a ride to LA. In the morning as we were leaving we all noticed that they were perched on the branch next to the nest and I had a feeling that they were getting brave and starting to explore, but I was still surprised and concerned when we got back that evening and they were nowhere to be seen. I even checked the ground under the nest to make sure that no one had fallen. But of course they are fine and we even get visits from one of them and we are almost sure it is the more mobile, alert one from the nest. It still has brown feathers where the adults have iridescent blue or green ones and it is very brave with us. It gets very close and perches on one of the bean trellises in the garden. The whole experience was a treat every day and I missed them for about a week after they had flown. 

Here they are as little hatchlings! If you try you can see a little wing on the left and a little head on the right. 

And here they are getting bigger. They blend in really well (duh) but I tried to make them a little easier to see.. find the beaks and you will find the birds. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Garden Growing

Our seedlings made their debut a few weeks ago in their little planters on our kitchen table and some of them are finally ready to make the transition to the garden beds. So far the hardest parts about being gardners have been waiting for the indoor seedlings to sprout and knowing when they are strong enough to be planted outside. The tomatoes and basil are still so teeny tiny and frail that we think they might not be doing so well, especially in comparison to the sunflowers, peppers, and squash which sprouted out of the soil overnight like little green arms and have grown inches in a matter of days. 
Our strawberries and snap peas were starters that we bought so they are looking pretty robust! Sadly our first little berry was a bird snack for somebirdy else so we will have to wait to taste the next one. The sweet peas, romaine, parsley, spinach, and beets are all sprouting on their own little schedule so honestly we just water and wait. There's lots of wondering if this little shoot is a beet or a weed, and if this little sprout is lettuce or a volunteer from the last garden... it's so much fun and the suspense is killing me! 

I haven't gardened in a really long time and it has been such a special way for me to reconnect to my childhood and specifically to memories of my Grandma Jackie. It's also pretty much me and Joey's favorite hobby together lately and such a fun learning process. There is a wealth of gardening knowledge out there but sometimes all that learning the right way to do things is exhausting and you just have to put some seeds in the ground and trust the planet to do what it does. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Traveling East

Something very special happened yesterday. Joey and I both had a day off! To celebrate we made a day adventure to Vista, where we visited the brewer's supply store and stocked up on supplies for Joey's newest endeavor: hard cider! Then we ate at the Yellow Deli (disclaimer: we thought they were just a bunch of food-loving hippies, turns out they are quite a Christian bunch).  
Then up the foothills we went to Julian, where we cleaned out the day's supply of raw apple juice (for the cider project). 

I have never been on a weekday and Tuesday looked like a ghost town. Half of the shops were closed and there were about 25 people walking around instead of the 200+ weekend crowd. It was really nice to see it in a more quiet way. 

We walked up to the top of the hill through the cemetery and saw more blue jays and woodpeckers than I've seen in my entire life. The view from up there was nice and the afternoon sun was perfect for strolling around. 

We headed home very excited about our new brewing hobby and decided to make a space for the carboys in the bathroom closet. Stay tuned for a post about the whole process! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wedding Inspiration

No no no, I am not getting married any time soon. But by the amount of wedding table settings or floral arrangements on my pinterest you might think otherwise. The truth is I just find weddings to be really magical and inspiring. The idea of wedding planning is something that really draws me and I think about it a lot. It's a celebration that really allows for the right mix of all of my favorite things: love, family, friends, dancing, food, drinks, good spirits, and the magic of saying vows which to me looks more like reciting a spell when it's done right.
This Big Sur wedding featured over on Once Wed has my wedding heart aflutter. It is such an intimate reflection of the couple, and I love how the bride describes the reception, "We wanted the feeling of the dinner to be more like an other worldly feast from a lost time - enchanted and somehow bewitched!" So good!

All photos here