All posts by A Tree by The River Farm & Soaps

Mid-Winter Sun

The beginnings of Raw Milk, Oatmeal and Honey soap.

Girl creativity.  I-Cord bracelets!

Friends in Mid-Winter sunshine.

No-bake cookies made by a no-bake 15 year old boy, man.

Sunshine in a bowl.  Calendula flowers finding their way into a batch of China Sun soap.

These mid-winter days have been filled with glorious, warm sunshine.  I’m satisfied with the pace we’ve shared as a family…productive, yet relaxed and enjoyed.  Looking at the clock at nearly 5:30 only to realize it’s still light out brings reflection that these slow, winter days are to be cherished.  Soon enough, there will be long days spent outdoors, breathing deep the fragrance of new life.  Each season is a gift and presents its own purpose.  Lessons in finding peace through change abound.  I love the gifts of seasons.  So soak in these days and let the dreams of spring creep in.

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After the Storm(s)

 

 

Wacky weather has delayed my regular blogging, but it’s good to be back and there’s lots to catch up on!

I love snow and we just don’t get enough around here for my liking.  Usually, our snowfall comes quickly, but rain is usually right on its heels.  We ended up with around 8″.  Then, ice came.  It is so beautiful, but causes tremendous damage.  So thankful that our neighbors were safe with so many big trees around them.  Yards are covered in branches. So sad to see fruit trees destroyed and some favorite ornamentals.  Of course, branches breaking often means loss of power.  And such was the case for us for nearly two days.  Creativity kicked in and a makeshift light was created from a soda fountain cup.

Before the power went out, I was able to enjoy some warm, wintry, coziness with knitting and reading.  The second sock of my first pair just needs the heel turned and it will be fast-going from there!  Incredibly blessed as I stay caught up on my daily bible reading.

Finished reading The Pioneer Woman‘s love story, “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels”.  Now it’s on to The Help by Kathryn Stockett and I’m enjoying it immensely.  The Hunger Games keeps the kids on the edge of their seats as I read it aloud to them.  My Nook is getting lots of use and I love it!  So great to have a selection of reads in one, easy-to-tote place.

A sweet smile greeted me on the lid of cream cheese for a Starbuck’s Chonga bagel.  A perfect way to start out an all-day, once-a-month, grocery shopping trip.

This morning was brisk and cloudy, but dry.  Our yard was in desperate need of chicken poo patrol now that all the snow was gone.  That led to some other garden chores left undone from the fall.  A productive morning and now a cozy afternoon inside.  Taking the kids to see their friends’ play tonight.  And that brings us up-to-date!  May you enjoy the remaining winter and be warmed with plans for spring.

 

Living

Busy, but fun and productive days have been had around here.  Saturday took us on a hunt for more “seconds” apples, those deemed not good enough for fancy things and reduced in cost by the box.  Upon careful selection, we find them to be great for applesauce and pies!  A delicious, rustic-crust apple pie served with caramel sauce (by way of The Pioneer Woman’s recipe), topped with home-made whipped cream.  Oh my, I wish I had some more.

Saturday also produced a new batch of lemongrass soap, then an easy dinner of baked potato bar.

A little disappointed that I wasn’t willing to share the last piece of that apple pie on Sunday, he decided to make his own pie.  Yes, from scratch.  He is a well-rounded soul with multiple skills.  He went with a mixed berry and it. was. delicious.  His first pie crust, on his own, with only a couple questions along the way.  I’m so sorry I forgot a picture of the finished pie.  It was beautiful!

Today, I was surprised and thrilled that the same boy said he’d let me cut his hair.  It’s been years since I’ve done this and without fond memories.  But there is something just so fun about pretending you’re a hairstylist.  In the end, after some experimenting, we ended up with a “2” on the side and “6” on the top.  I’m not ashamed to say I think I did a fabulous job.  And only about 50 minutes!   I’ve tried to convince him that with regularity, I could only get faster.

Snow has been falling and we are in for much more over the next two days.  I love it and want to soak it all in as snow just doesn’t stick around long here.  I hope to get some shots of our snow play to share with you.

Warmth to you this winter day!

Soap in the House

 

An afternoon of soapmaking does a heart good.  A special project of getting stocked up on “nut-free” bars.  So many people suffer from severe nut allergies and with many tree nut-free oils with great properties for soapmaking, it just makes sense to offer something safe.  Our first batch of the new recipe, lavender, smells wonderful and we anxiously wait its cure time to come to an end.  The next few days will be filled with more soapmaking and stocking up on our new line.

Oh!  Did you see that last picture that snuck its way in there?  So good to see my boy picking up the sticks again as we enjoy time at our favorite yarn shop.  Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!

 

Refresh

Renewal and refreshing is what so many of us love about a new year.  I’m counted among them.  For me, it’s important to keep it short and simple.  Two categories narrow it down this year:   practical and spiritual.

I confess, I’ve been terrible about keeping my bath tub sparkling, well, really even less than sparkling.  For some reason, it struck me the other night and I was just fed up!  So there I was, at 10:30, scrubbing the tub, proclaiming this as the year for a sparkling tub!  Not too overwhelming, very attainable.  Practical.

As I thought about the spiritual aspects of a new year, two things were very clear.  First, that I needed to read through the bible in a year, a task I’ve tackled in the past, but it can never be done too much.

The second was simply to make God more visible in our family.  It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of internalizing our faith, our thoughts on God, our prayers, etc.  So this year, we will practice praying together more often, sharing in His word together (aloud), reporting how God has worked in our lives, declaring the beauty around us that moves us to worship Him and so much more.  He is a visible God, if we just allow it.  We look forward to the Year of Visible God in our family.  What’s ahead for your new year?

 

 

 

8 Quarts & More

Not much compares to good stuff coming from a busy kitchen and the satisfaction of puttin’ stuff by.  These last couples days, my humble little kitchen was hoppin’ and filled my heart with joy.

These beautiful, local, $10 box of apples went from this....
to this...
Apricot bars by my girl
to scrumptious anytime I want.
Oh my, homemade, almost as good as my favorite pub, reuben sandwich.

The heart of the home, where love grows as we share in the daily bread of life.  What’s happening in your kitchen?