This is the early morning view from our kitchen sink window. I like to watch the birds taking baths and getting a drink of water in the birdbath that is seen top right in the picture.
I try to do my best to not discuss news or politics on my blog posts because we all get enough of it and it is terribly distressing. Sometimes I want to go on a rant just like everyone else. I feel that we are watching a sink hole that has no ending to how far it spreads and it just seems no end to the shocking things people do or say. I am actually scared at times at where this all is taking us. I am not scared for me but for the young people. This is all that I want to say about this because I want to talk about what I do to try and be calm during troubling times.
I try and focus on the things that I have control over. If nothing else I can go out and pull weeds or take in the beauty what is around me. This is one of our small arbors and has English dogwood and red honeysuckle growing around and over it. There is beauty in many things.
I regroup and bring myself back to basics. Yesterday I made a hot milk cake. It is a simple cake that can be eaten plain or with cream over it or peaches and cream, strawberries or whatever you want to put over it, it can even be iced. If it is eaten plain it is like a sponge cake. I will post the recipe at the bottom of this page, I may already have posted it before but will post it again.
I didn't have any milk to make the hot milk cake so I made some coconut milk to use in the cake and it worked very well with the coconut milk.
I make my coconut milk from organic shredded coconut that comes in the package. I use 2 cups of shredded coconut to 4 cups of warm water. Let the warm water and coconut rest in the blender for 10 minutes then blend well with a blender and strain into the pot that was used to heat the water. Pour into a quart jar or container and chill. The coconut fat will solidify to the top of the jar in the refrigerator. This can be shaken well or warmed.
I cook, do laundry, clean the floors or most anything. There is always something to clean or take care of to not worry about what is going on in the news. Some people are becoming depressed and low on energy but we can fight back by challenging ourselves.
I am focusing now about making sure things are turned off such as the lights or heat or air when it is not needed and doing my best to not being wasteful. Many times we forget that just the natural light coming through the windows during the day is all we need especially since we are normally only using one or two rooms at a time.
Keeping journals like we do recording our power usage by reading the meter each morning and recording what we spend will help to focus on other things. We cannot fix those things we hear about but we can fix home.
I like the challenge of figuring out ways to lower our water and electric bill and what I always find best is to not live like most others do today and live more like our generations from the past.
This Lavabo helps me to understand what it is I am suppose to do. The lavabo has a gentle flow when the lever is moved but the reservoir will empty quickly if we do not use the water sparingly.
A long time ago things did not flow to us. I did a post a good while back about the electric and water flow but I want to mention it again.
A Lavabo is and was used where there is no running water. It is a very good thing to have if you have only one bathroom. It could be used for washing up or brushing teeth instead of waiting for the bathroom to be available or it could be something to do to save water especially if there is a water crisis which seems to be happening these days in different areas.
It would be a good thing to use for teaching children about not wasting water and responsibility for disposing of the used water. Most anything coming from the Lavabo water could be poured outside onto plants. If a Lavabo was in a childs room I would use an enamel pan for a basin instead of the heavier ceramic basin and a bucket to carry the water out. I keep enamel buckets in each room.
We do not make people live like we do in our home, we just keep these things set in place should there be a need to use them or someone wants to use them.
Many people focus on the hard times of the past but there were many good times too. Families were closer, some literally closer as they had to make do with what they had.
Some families such as my husbands family lived together and his family had four generations living in the same household during the great depression and WW2. They still had fond memories about those times.
I have listened to many of the elders in my family talk about the work they did that we now do with modern conveniences.
They hauled water into the house instead of it flowing to them. They lit their oil lamps instead of flipping a switch.
If we were to haul water and light our lamps we would not take the water or oil for granted, I think we would be careful what we use. It is always best to know how to live without our modern conveniences so we are not miserable should we have a short or long term outage.
Many people do not care that we have come too far from our roots but I do care. I want to set examples of how to do things less wasteful and properly even if it is in small ways. People live modern today because they have been pushed along to thinking we are better off with the conveniences and the whole while they are making a pile of money off of us for buying into what they sell.
Our young people are watching and we have a couple of generations that have never had any clear and good examples that there are ways to do things without modern grid. Even if we have the grid we don't have to constantly use it or waste it. It is better to learn how to live more simple than to suffer should there be a situation the grid is down.
Our Grandson Sean has told us several times he likes how we live because it is very different than his normal world. He has said it in different ways while growing up. He just turned 21 this past weekend and you can't find many 21 year old guys that can make biscuits from scratch like Sean does. I don't know where the time has gone from when this picture was taken he was a boy and now he has been in college for a few years and is an official adult.
I can tell you that we only have one chance to raise our children and they will be grown before you can believe it.
So while all the craziness is going on around us, we can be busy making a home that will be a place of calm and restorative, entertaining and artistic, nourishing and fulfilling.
A long time ago I watched a man turn a empty yard into a beautiful landscape. He pruned hedges into sculptures and built incredible birdhouses in his workshop. He also worked a full time job and what he said has always stuck with me. He said, "While everyone else is sitting inside watching television, I am out doing this."
Hot milk Cake Recipe
(bake 350 oven, thinly buttered 8 inch pan)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sift together three ingredients above and set aside
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup scalded milk or warm milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift the first three ingredients.....
Warm the milk...... set aside...
Beat eggs until thickened and fluffy. That takes a bit of beating to do that and then add sugar slowly beating until all is light and creamy
Add dry ingredients folding in with a spatula or gentle speed of mixer, do not over beat, this batter should be light.
Now add butter and vanilla to warm milk to melt the butter then add it to the batter, it will make the batter feel slippery but mix together gently, folding it in with a gentle low speed mixer, whisk or spoon.
Pour into a 8 inch buttered pyrex pan or cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Enjoy, Grandma Donna