Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I just finished baking two loaves of zucchini bread. The house smells so good right now. This summer I shredded & froze the zucchini in two cup measurements so it would be easy to make this bread. Here is the recipe...

Zucchini Bread

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease & flour two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans.


3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups grated zucchini

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups white sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (chocolate chips are good too)

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light & fluffy. Mix in oil & sugar. Stir in zucchini & vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, salt & nuts; stir into egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until done.

I guess I come by it naturally...

I have been hanging out clothes to dry on & off all my life. Since moving to the townhouse, I have had to be creative about it though. In the winter, the laundry room works great (even though it is very small) because the furnace is helping dry the clothes. We put up a shower curtain rod & use hangers to dry the shirts & I clip clothes pins on the hangers to dry socks & undies. I hang the larger items (sheets, blue jeans, etc.) in the garage on two clotheslines we put up. I also have a couple of wooden clothes dryers out there. I'm sure the neighbors think we're crazy! I usually end up only running the dryer for shirts right out of the washer & only for about 10 minutes to get the wrinkles out. I really don't want to iron. I figure I am using the electricty for the dryer instead of the iron.
I found these old pictures of my mom sorting & hanging clothes the other day...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Beginning

Where do I start? We are not what you might call "spring chickens". Mid-life is what I hope we are, being that we are in our 50's. What started our search for a different kind of life?

Steve lived in Colorado right out of college and led a ski bum/hippie kind of lifestyle for a short time. He read Mother Earth News, was interested in alternative building, etc. I was a hippe "wanna be" in junior high but that phase passed as I went to high school. A few years back, in search of a healthier lifestyle, I attended a talk on raw foods at the local health food store. That talk was all I needed. We started to eat raw, organic fruits & veggies right away. The asthma I had lived with since I was seventeen was under control within a month. No more meds. Not for asthma or allergies. Steve could stop taking his cholesterol meds too. Amazing. One thing led to another. Reading about gardening, the environment, starting to study natural medicine is what led us on the path to a better life. We tried to find a farm in our area in Illinois, but prices were too steep. We set a limit of 2 to 4 hours away from our home to find the place we dreamed of. Southwestern Wisconsin fell into that category. We started to look online at farm property. An Amish owned farm kept coming up as a favorite. But no electricity or water was a huge drawback. Steve kept saying that it would be too much work. I kept showing him the listing. While we were looking at other properties, the realtor said she could show us the farm. It was her listing previously so we could just stop by.

I didn't get my hopes too high, but after we saw the property in person, Steve was excited. This was it. We put in our offer.
That was the fall of 2006. We closed in March of 2007. Since then we have been going up to the farm on every available weekend to work on it. Yes, it's been a sacrifice in some ways, but a dream is a dream. We know some day it will be worth the countless hours we and other family members have put into it. We look forward to the day we move in for good. Sitting in front of the woodstove, enjoying the falling snow out the picture window while we read a book. That is what I see in the future. Home sweet home...