smithical

book review: deceptively delicious

Posted by in food, homekeeping

for several months now, i’ve been enjoying a perk of being a blogger: free books! i get a book in the mail quite frequently and i’m allowed to review it on my blog, or read it and keep it or give it away without ever blogging about it. i’m happy to report that after months and months and dozens of books sent to me…i just received two books that are KEEPERS and that i’m really excited about! the first of these two books i’ll review today. Deceptively Delicious by Jessica…read more

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chickens, part…?

Posted by in earthkeeping, family fun, farm

our life with chickens seems to stay so similar from day to day until something exciting happens – like a blue-green egg! and then i’m reminded just how fortunate we are to be living with these fowl.  i discovered today, that it is our beloved araucana, bettis (named for her thick neck, like the beloved, retired steeler, jerome bettis), that is producing the blue-green egg. both my mom and i discovered her in the nest box today, around the time the egg appeared. here she is in all her thick-neck…read more

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a near perfect day…

Posted by in family

…except for the fact that kenny and i were awakened at 5:30 by a pretty awful sound coming from the outside. we’re still not sure if it was an animal or made by a human, but neither of us could get back to sleep. so off we went downstairs to make the coffee at 6:00. but for the first time in several days (even weeks?), adam was in a cheerful mood upon waking up and throughout the morning. i’ve been wondering about his ears, but more sure it was his…read more

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preservation with thread

Posted by in crafty, family fun

on one of my first visits to kenny’s parents’ home (when we were dating or engaged…i can’t remember which), i remember spotting something hanging on their basement wall that caught my eye. when i asked kenny about it, he told me it was an embroidered version of a painting he did when he was about 5 years old. his grandmother recreated one of his paintings with yarn. i fell in love with the idea and tucked it in the back of my mind. a year or so ago, kenny’s mom…read more

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the sense of wonder

Posted by in earthkeeping, family fun

the first month we moved into our new digs here in the country, i took a composting class hosted by an environmental group in allegheny county where we were given a brand new composter (which is serving us well…we’ve been composting green and brown materials now for 16 months and it’s only 1/3 of the way full). the class took place at the rachel carson homestead which was the original home of who is known as the pioneer of the environmental movement, rachel carson. i found out that she wrote…read more

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sawyer cole is three!

Posted by in family fun

i can hardly believe it. each birthday that our boys hit, i’m just amazed at how quickly the past year went. i remember taking this picture, when sawyer was just a few days old:   and here’s our big three-year-old today. our rough-and-tumble yet super snuggly sawyer cole. we love you, sawco! happy birthday!

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Two Part Invention

Posted by in books, family, general

just after college, i read a book that gutted me, and continues to haunt me today the book was Two Part Invention by Madeleine L’Engle. it’s a beautiful telling of two people madly in love who married and raised a family all the while living life to the absolute fullest. at the end of the book, L’Engle’s husband, Hugh, dies of cancer, and i remember feeling just heartbroken for her as she described the death of her husband being like an amputation. i re-read the book a month before kenny…read more

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the troublemaker

Posted by in family fun

adam seems to have found the snack drawer already. and he’s already helping himself to his favorite snack (graham crackers). and i guess the quarter-of-a-sheet-o-crackers-at-a-time just ain’t cutting it for him. i should have known that he prefers to put four whole sheets in his mouth at once. rowan took one look at this photo and said, “what a troublemaker.” he’s wise beyond his years.  

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time to move on.

Posted by in family, friends

the end of summer seems so…heavy. take a look around you. the green leaves are weighing branches down. the gardens have candy-apple red (or ripe-tomato red) fruit hanging on plants shared with dead, yellowed (once green) tomato leaves. the weeds have overpowered every effort of weeding. shrubs, grasses, and plants look tired of their summer life…as kenny likes to say, they look “rode hard and put away wet.” they’ve had a good life in the hot sun. it’s time to rest for the colder months and re-awaken with vigor come…read more

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