Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to say happy Thanks giving. Today We are spending time with Mr. O's family. We don't celebrate this day in Venezuela, but since I've lived in the Pacific Northwest I've enjoyed spending time with loved ones. 

Have a great holiday weekend!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Frost is here

The Frost came one day without a warning, and all of the sudden it hit me: this year is almost over. The year ending happens every year, right? But the changes that happen in nature, will always amaze me. The warmth and cozy moist in the air from where I come from in Venezuela is a little bit different than this. I love both.

This year began for me with the announcement of baby Matia Zucchini, the biggest love I've ever experienced. 

Most of the days would go by in the garden or at the construction site. Mostly by myself, and my belly, and occasionally accompanied by Radar, Shatzi and Mr. O.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mushi in the backyard

 Hello dear mushroom lovers. I got to tell you about a recent fever I've been developing for the past year. It has to do with mushrooms. I had no idea about kinds, or names and properties, but I surely loved the flavors. Last year I started growing edible mushrooms at home, and that's where it all began...

I'll tell you more about that story another time, but today I just wanted to show you the mushrooms I've found all around the property where we live. It makes me feel so amazing to know that underneath the ground I step on, there's a whole net of mycelium that is way more diverse than I could imagine.

Here's just a handful of mushrooms I found. Please, help me identify the ones I haven't yet. My curiosity can no longer wait. I'll love you forever for that.

I  also love being a member of the Pacific Northwest Mushroom Identification and Information forum, since they've actually helped me identify some of the ones you'll see here.

Also check out the resources at the end of this post for further information on mushroom identification.

 These are a sort of Coral mushroom. Edible with laxative effects.

Oyster mushroom. Ate it for dinner (and dreamed about mushrooms all night).

Not sure what this one is called. Would you help me find out? 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Print this Poster 1: Take me Outside

This poster is just a reminder of getting outside, no matter how cold or wet it's getting. Free PDF download for you to enjot and put it on your wall, at the door, or to give to a friend.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dig a Ditch

The other day I went down to the site to help out digging the ditch, where water is going to be running from the well to the yurt. Mr. O. had been working on it for a few days by then, so I thought I'd give him a hand. I had no idea that digging a ditch could be so hard!

I got down there, with a shovel, and realized how difficult it was for me to scoop any dirt out. I couldn't help but wonder how on Earth Mr. O and his brother had been digging this ditch for the last week, almost every day, and they still had energy to do other things afterwards.

So after 20 minutes of trying to get some dirt out of the ground, I decided to be more useful, and went along the ditch and clipped all the roots that were in the way for them to continue digging.

We are learning how building your own place is a lot of work.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Re-establishing pack leadership

What a great week I had last week. I never knew working on chores and errands could be so fun. I'm loving this new domesticity.
Today I've been reflecting on a relationship I must nurture a bit more: my relationship with Radar.

He's a beautiful friend I tell you. He gets so exited when I come home and always wants to be on our side. He's the most loyal companion you can ever imagine. If you have a dog, and especially if that dog is a German Shepherd, you know what I'm talking about.

 He watches our chickens in the evenings, even from our other dog Shatzi. His bark is the loudest of all dogs I believe, and all the creatures in these woods are very familiar with it. He scares away the rabbits who come to the green house uninvited, and overall, he makes sure everyone is safe around here. His sense of pack is quite delightful.

But there's just one thing Radar has entitled himself to be. He is the pack leader, in his mind. You got to love the guy, he's super cuddly and all (and he'll lick Matia's face whenever I turn around), but sometimes it can be tricky for him to be nice to other threatening males, including Mr. O. Or to not knock you over to be the first one getting out the door. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Busy Hands

These days I'm finding out that I've created a new habit, one I'm not so proud of, to tell you the truth: I've been hoarding chores and lists to do.

Having a very active life and mind has lead my life to many rewarding experiences. I love doing-learning new things all the time. But sometimes I add too much to my shcedule and then I end up feeling overwhelmed.

We are getting everything ready for our move to the yurt, and by then I would love to have all unresolved businesses figured out.

So I'm taking a week off from these little space on the web to tackle all the things I keep postponing. Procrastination doesn't make anyone feel good, so designing a good plan to keep things in life in order will be crucial.

I'll still be around Instagram, keeping a little visual journal, and connecting with friends through Twitter, but box Cadeau will remain quiet for the next week. Any advise in designing this master plan? I'm all ears.

See you soon!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Good bye Chicko - Hello G. The Gray

It may be a little late for me to tell you this, but I can't keep this to myself anymore. 

Chicko has died.

We went on a little trip to Florida to visit my family and friends, and while we were there, he disappeared. He was never late, always there, taking care of all the chicks from the coop. We were so proud of him. But one day, he never came back. 

We asume he was taken by the natural instincs of an owl, or perhaps an eagle (I doubt this was the case though, since he was really savy at divising eagles and taking the chicks to a safe spot). Either way, it's the circle of life. 

Here are some picture of Chicko. I thought you would want to see he was for real. 

A rooster with a lot of character...

...And voice.

Before Chicko's departure to his new life, we got two little chicks. 
And guess what? 
One of them turned out to be a beautiful rooster. We named him G. The Gray (G. stands for Gandalf, obviously). Bellow you see our new chicks when I first adopted them. This is an Instagram picture I took earlier in the spring. 

6 months later...

They still remain inseparable, but now G. the Gray has other responsibilities, now he must watch the flock. 
We celebrate him. 
But Chicko's picture will continue to exist in this little space on the web, to always remember him.

Bon voyage Chicko!

Friday, November 8, 2013

How to make Ghee

Let's start by saying that ghee is my favorite fat these days, along with coconut oil and flax seed oil. According to Ayurveda medicine, ghee is hailed for its pure vibration and nourishing influence in the body. It's considered medicine for the body and food for the brain. 

I love ghee, it tastes and smells great, it's a great source energy and I can feel how it nourishes me inside out. Also, since the protein and lactose are removed, I can eat it without making Matia feel sick (since I'm breastfeeding). 

Why do you want to make ghee at home? Well, I'm glad you asked. Making ghee at home ensures that you'll pick the best organic milk, who's cows have been grass fed and treated with love, and you'll be supporting your local farmers at the same time. Why not?

Lets start with organic heavy whipping cream, from a local farmer. I hope someday I can get it unpasteurized since it's much better. Put it in the food processor (blenders of any kind work just fine)and blend!

You blend and blend for a few minutes, maybe 3-4. At first you'll get whip cream. Keep blending until the solid part looks more yellow and solid, and you find that the milk has been divided into two: the butter, and the milk (buttermilk). Then stop the blender.

I use a piece of fabric to squeeze all the liquid, the buttermilk, from the butter out. This milk can be used to bake, or just drink. I believe is low in fat (since all the fat is in the butter). 

Now lets make the Ghee: I put the chunk of butter in a shallow pot, and heat on low heat until all the water has boiled off, and the protein (the white stuff you see on top) has turned into a light brown color. 

Stir often since it'll prevent from burning and sticking to the pot.

It takes a few minutes, depending on your flame and the pot you use, but you'll know it's ready when the yellow of the butter looks like gold, and the protein has clearly been separated from the fat. 

Let the golden ghee cool and solidify and store outside of the fridge. It'll be great for about year. 

Next: enjoy all the delicious flavor, aroma and health benefits of ghee. 

I guarantee you it wont last for a year on your shelf. I make ghee for my family once a week or so, since we use it for cooking and baking (its smoke point is 482°F) on our toast, oatmeal, rice, etc.

More health benefits: ghee can also be used as an oil for the body, to treat constipation. It stimulates digestion and aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals, helping strengthen the immune system. 

Have you ever made ghee? Do you have a favorite fat, oil? 

Yay for fat! happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

October Recap

Since I'm the main photographer of this blog, you'll mainly see the faces of Mr. O. and The Zucchinni. Which I'm sure you're loving by now, since you see them like every other day here. Maybe I'll start posting more pictures of me, so you get the full picture in this story. But anyways, here it is, October's recap. This is how we filled our days this month. 
We are getting ready for the season, and the Mountain (Mt. Baker, in case you were curious) is calling us. Ski swap rocked for that. 

The yurt was put up. This was a highlight for sure and we can't wait to move in. Next steps: putting the windows up, figuring out water and electricity and the actual moving. 

We went on little road trips around here, and observed and admire Along the Farmland. Check it out here, if you wish. 

Loving fall time, just like everybody else!

I had my first date... with myself, since Matia Zucchini is in the picture, so I went on the art walk, and entered a very interesting and HUGE second hand bookstore in town, and got myself some readings. I've especially been enjoying "The Cat's Pajamas" by Duffus. 

 Oh, and I've been also having dates with this guy, Radar. He loves running... So whenever we cross each others pass, I would just run with him: to the garden, back to the house, to the yurt spot, or even to the lake. Running, running, running. Isn't that dogs favorite thing to do? or maybe sneaking on your bed all muddy after a full day of running?

And of course, I couldn't forget, The Zucchi had his first Halloween party. Can you guess what he is dressed as?

                                                                      Welcome November!