Happy Sunday friend!
Rain, rain, go away..... I really do hate to complain about rain since many in the world need it so badly.  It's just that winter rain arrives married with cold temps, mostly teetering between freezing and just above, making our homestead a large ice rink.  Rain during the other 3 seasons is welcomed with open arms.  Rain during the winter is welcomed with warm fires and a pot of soup.  It also gives me the perfect opportunity to enjoy a hot cup of tea (my non-coffee coffee as my husband calls it) with a swirl of oat milk while curled up with a book.  It hits the spot about right now.  I feel like in winter it's easier to live more intentionally and complete activities that make your soul happy.  It seems a natural time for reflection, planning, and dreaming.  Do you find the same?

Speaking of cold, Jay stocked his woodshop full of wood on Saturday.  He has a woodstove for heat and was running low.  Last year he didn't spend too much time there throughout winter but this year he has a new gig.  His hand-turned razors, shave brushes and stands have really taken off and I'm so happy they have.  He absolutely loves working with wood and he's really good at it.

Considering - purchasing a weighted dog blanket for Oliver.  Do any of you have any experience with this?  I would love to hear your opinion and experience if you do.  Ollie has always struggled with anxiety and I thought it might help.

Grateful - for the fact that Oliver is soooo much better.  He's even getting back to how he's always been.  He has always LOVED the pellet stove and was incredibly uncomfortable laying in front of it these past few weeks.  But now, as you can see, he is back to his happy, comfortable self, plopped right in front of it.  He's even doing well in the living room (on the couch is his favorite spot) as long as I'm there.  That is one thing that I don't think will ever change, he is attached to my side.  That's been ever since Emerson passed away a year ago and understandably.  Oliver has never been alone, always had a sidekick.  So, I am now his sidekick.

Cooking - Taco's for dinner tonight with homemade salsa (I make this weekly).  Although I try not to purchase out-of-season produce, I just can't help myself when it comes to tomatoes for salsa or tomato soup.  I made burgers for dinner last night (beef for Jay and lentil for me) with homemade french fries.  In the air fryer.  So.....here's the thing.  I've resisted buying an air fryer for 2 years.  I did NOT want another small appliance.  Our friends have told us over and over how much they love theirs.  The past 3 weeks at the farmer's market some vendor friends were discussing all of the things they make in their air fryers.  Ugh….. And everything they told me about, they were able to make without oil.  Homemade french fries, potato wedges, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, potstickers, homemade egg rolls, chicken breast, chicken wings, pork chops, homemade pizza, reheating pizza, taquitos, blah blah blah....and the list goes on.

And so I caved and ordered this one (affiliate link).  I love it.  I really do!  We have made so many things in it and use it to reheat almost everything.  I rarely use our microwave anyway (we usually reheat in the oven) and the air fryer has come in really handy.  It comes to temp super quick, keeps meat very moist, and adds a crunch without oil.  It's incredibly easy to clean and is about as noisy as the microwave.  The only things I don't like are how much plastic small appliances are made with these days, and that it doesn't come with much of a cooking guide.  I've been replacing plastic items in my kitchen little-by-little but it's nearly impossible to get away from all plastic, isn't it?  As far as the guide, the one it comes with covers some basics and I've found most everything else either by winging it or googling it.

I have even more plans with this little contraption.  I'm trying just about everything in it at least once, just to see if it's even better than the original recipe!

Overwhelmed - by the thought of attempting to organize our photos.  I really need to do this and have put it off for years.  Years I tell you!  I now also have all of the photos my mom had as well and it's, well, overwhelming.  About 18 years ago I scrapbooked for fun and for a living but I'm not interested in having those massive books anymore.  I've thought about a simple "regular" photo album, I've thought about Becky Higgins system, and I've also thought about just turning them all into printed photo books (except the vintage photos), but I continue to procrastinate making the decision.  Sigh..... Do you have a way of organizing them that you love?  I would be very interested!!

Hoping you had a lovely weekend as well!


Kathy said...

Glad you are loving your air fryer....I'm a bit like you...do I really need another appliance in my kitchen however glad you are making use of it. The wooden razors sound great..nice to see people are starting to appreciate more hand made items. As far as the photos go my only tips are as they are photos [the old fashioned kind] they are amazing and valuable vs the digital book kind like we are all doing now. I scrapbooked too 15 years ago and I ended up having 2-3 photos on a page and yet I took hundreds of photos a month and the storage of those 12x12 albums with the one page of 2-3 photos certainly isn't sustainable at all. Not sure how they are currently organized you could start by sorting them into photos to keep and photos to toss [ie perhaps the photo is of people you don't know who they are and they were of interest to your Mum but not you....in other words not sentimental to your life. If you don't want to toss that bunch now stick them in a shoe box with "toss at a later date" so they are at least out of the way. Then you can sort the photos into approximate years or decades again using a shoe box of your Mums photos. - as far as your photos go....spend 30 minutes each night or one hour a week sorting through a pile of photos - again same thing...toss blurred crappy photos that don't interest you now and then sort into decades/years into shoe boxes. Break it down into small tasks - grab a pile of photos and sort through for 30 mins...job done...then when you have another 30 mins do the same. The whole job seems so overwhelming so we don't start...maybe start with yours first.....even 15 mins a day grab a couple of shoeboxes - sort into keep and toss and perhaps the decade or year with little bits of cardboard dividers in the shoe box. Once you start in a simple manner you'll be on a roll. Some photos I've thrown out are photos of peoples weddings that I no longer see or have anything to do with ie work people from 15-20 years ago...that's of no interest to me now so in the bin. Hope that helps. Kathy

daisy g said...

So glad Ollie is feeling more himself. I don't think the weighted blanket could hurt. I know they have been recommended for kids on the autism spectrum for years.

I'd love some book recommendations. Reading when it's cold and rainy out is one of my favorite things. Do you read novels?

I've resigned to keeping all of our photos on Amazon Prime photos. They are there mostly for me, as I know my son will never be interested in looking at them, so it's no use to do anything else with them. It's very convenient though, if I want to print out some pictures to frame for the house, or just to look up pictures from a certain day in the past. Not sure if that's exactly helpful, but that's what I've done. I would start with the most recent pictures, and work backwards.

Have a superb week!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Kathy - thank you so much! A LOT of good info to think about. You are exactly right - with scrapbooking it was 2-3 photos per page so the albums are huge.... And yes, I do find that I need to go through them and purge because they don't all mean so much to us any longer. I really appreciate all of your ideas.

Daisy - the photos are only for me and husband too since we don't have children so I guess that's another factor I'm trying to consider when determining what to do. Thank you for the info!! As far as the reading, yes, I do read novels and I've been enjoying the blog The Modern Mrs Darcy for book recommendations.