Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Cottage


It seems I promised in an earlier post that you would...
have a tour of our cottage


so, if you are interested in what our little home looks like...


here is how we live in our cottage


you have seen the front and back and much of the yard on which it sits


I did mention that we will be putting up a front porch in the future...
as soon as the bridge over the river is finished
we will need the bridge to bring over the items for the building of the porch


I love that this cottage versus the last one sits fully on the ground
makes life a little easier that way when one is getting older


coming in through the front door and to the left is the doorway to our bedroom


the bedroom is 10 by 10 square feet...
just enough for a king size bed and 2 small end tables
it's all we need in there


on the left of the room is my husband's "valet"...
where his town clothes are kept


just another view


to the right of the bedroom is the doorway to the bath area
we keep a pair of lace curtains in that opening; no door


the bathroom is also 10 by 10 sq feet

showers are what we like, no bathtubs
it suits us best to run off after work dirt on the farm...
not to sit in it


I love having a window to look out of when in the shower
and it brings in plenty light which is appreciated


this is the hallway in the bathroom
and of course, loving glass blocks...
we had the tile installer put those in for light

we just have a small sink for face and hand washing...
and a shelf on each side of it for toiletries


across from the sink is the closet for clothing
in lieu of dressers, we put in shelving for underthings


to the right of the closet is the linen closet that also holds bath supplies
it is simply shelving and I covered the opening with a lace curtain


the toilet area is very simple with a shelf across the wall


this room also has windows for light and openess


I also put up a small cabinet to hold various items



we are standing in the breezeway
this room is 15 by 20 feet
it is screened in and a metal grid was put in for security



in the breezeway, you can see the 2 doorways across from the bedroom...
that lead to the kitchen and dining areas


the left side of the breezeway leads to the back yard...
and you can see where we sometimes relax after a day's work

we often watch news we downloaded from youtube news channels...
documentaries and sermons
it helps our brains to start shutting down for the evening...
after lots of activities on the homestead



inside the right doorway...
we come into the dining area where we also...
have a tiny "den" area for my husband to put his feet up...
and listen to the radio


it's also a 10 by 10 sq feet room and the windows make it airy and light



so now, we are looking at our dining area and part of the kitchen


the kitchen is once again, 10 by 10 sq feet
just the right size for us


I made my own dish drainer with left over wood...
and bought a vinyl tray to put under it
I cut off the one end of the tray so the water could drain into the sink


in lieu of cabinets, we put in shelves
it saved up monies and I rather like the look of shelves in the kitchen
kind of makes it look a bit more old fashioned


we put in a medium size freezer and instead of a full refrigerator...
we got a small drink cooler (on the left side) to keep perishables
it does the job nicely and I make ice in the freezer


another view of the kitchen from the back of it


I love to hang my iron pots (my favorite kind) on the wall
I simply put thick nails in to hang them


I use the walls on either side of the screen door to the outside...
as a pantry


I had the carpenter make the counter tables unattached from the walls...
and with wheels to be able to move them around for convenience


another view towards my cooking area


my husband had just brought in the milk...
so I was straining it and putting it away

my dogs always get a little...
and so do I
so good fresh from the cow



this is the back from off the porch and where my herb garden...
is slowly being built up
my husband put a striped roof of solid and clear roofing for shade and light


I love this area
it's where I do laundry and putter around with my potted herbs
the dogs also love lying around in this area


to the left of the back porch is a home made seat that is large enough...
to actually nap on
which we rarely do but, it's nice to have a seat to relax on


I put in a tiny garden with blocks to carry some of the herbs


I have 2 grapevines planted along the edges of the herb garden
we shall see if they give us fruit in the future
they have been doing really well and growing fast


I do believe that is pretty much it
hope you enjoyed it and that this tour gave you a little of how we live...
in our little cottage

we live simply and with very little
we see no value in having things that do not have a use in our daily living

having too many things and too much of them can be a burden...
and it sure does make for less cleaning

if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section
I will gladly answer them
-jean


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Earthly Blessings


We had lots of rain in recent weeks


and while it gives us cooler weather and growing gardens...
after lots of water and mud...
it was nice to see some sun again streaming through the breezeway


with this much rain...
I kept busy in the kitchen with foods growing on our homestead



our citrus trees are producing some fruits at their young age


our banana and  plantain trees are promising


and the papaya trees are certainly full



the chicken coop is holding up the passionfruit vine quite well


it has only been growing from a two foot vine for 5 months


and while the chickens march around the homestead busy doing their thing...


I've been picking the passionfruit as they fall to the ground in their ripeness


these fruit are quite large and give plenty of juice from the pulp


I like to add some ginger to the juice for fun flavoring


I cut open the fruit...


take the pulp out into a strainer...


and use a thin stream of water to help strain the juice through...
as I gently mash the pulp to squeeze it out


once the juice has been strained through...
the seeds are discarded except enough to sow for more vines


I mince the ginger with a zester into the juice...


stir the ginger and juice together...


cover and let them steep for a few hours...
strain again and pour into a container for making juice...
when we want it



the sorrel (aka hibiscus roselle) has not stopped giving


and so, I have been busy picking some every day


it's a relaxing harvest as the calyxes are easy to pick off the stems


we have sold a few crates at market and still have so much more coming


I am drying the sorrel to store...
so my husband made a solar dryer for me...
and I put the handles on


it makes putting sorrel out to sun for drying much easier...
and the sun does a quick job of it, I must say

once they are dried, I put the sorrel in freezer bags and...
store them in the freezer for future use


I will be making jam and preserves from some of the sorrel still on the bushes


for now, I have been juicing them for drinking
I add cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves...
and raw honey for sweetness
so good!
wish you could have some



our goats have been a little naughty lately and going beyond their boundaries


we leave them to free range


and they take advantage of it...
going up into the woods a little too far...
sometimes making my husband look for them a little too long


love to see them peeking from between the trees up in the woods


we did get a little wiser and put bells on the adults
it does help to guide my husband to where they have gone

I used the bells that were on my garden decor...
as they are lightweight but have a loud enough clang to them


our kid goats are getting big and we sure do enjoy them



our vegetable garden is doing swell and I've had lots of tomatoes to use


I made some tomato sauce with them for meals of homemade gluten free pasta


putting in onions, peppers, garlic, seasonings...


cooking them down into a chunky sauce which we like better than pureed
I canned some and put some into freezer containers for storage



come down the road with me and see what came along


our Ms. Ruthie Moo Moo...


had her calf early November...
a sweet little heifer who looks like her momma


Ms. Ruthie had so much milk...
my husband went ahead and started milking her from the beginning

here, he is giving her some favorite treats as he gets ready to milk her



we've also had a few more puffballs hatch



and as I looked out my kitchen window while I worked...
this sweet little finch looked over at me from the papaya branch
I had to snap her picture


I framed her below with a Thank You, my dear Readers...
for coming back again to read my blog
the photo is yours to do as you please with it if interested


May your day or night find sweetness in the grace of the Lord...
and may this new year be most blessed with His mercies.