Foyer


Our little house is getting a makeover one room at a time.  It seems to be taking forever and it can get discouraging but I am reminded by friends and family how much we have done in the three years we've been here.

I've been contemplating what to do now that the living room is mostly done and I decided I was going to tackle the stairs on the porch.  In order to do the back bedroom we need to get the furniture out.   But the only place to put it is in the loft.  Access is impossible right now with the ladder/staircase we use to get up there.  It seemed like a good idea until I realized that we haven't done much with the foyer and its the first thing we see when we open the door.  It might go long way to improving morale.

Its a small triangle of a room.


So we want the flooring to be something that doesn't accentuate the geometry of the room.  I recently finished the fireplace with slate tile and liked the idea of continuing the slate look in the foyer.  


So naturally I went to Pinterest to get ideas.  Everything was so angular, square or geometric.  Until we found this one:


This is actually a sheet of seven tiles that appears random but that fits together like a puzzle.  Very cool.


My search starts online to see what prices will be like.  Actually, I consider for a very short while, that I could use the leftover tile from the fireplace and cut them myself.  Meh.  Time is money.  It's going to take about 28 sf of tile and at $15 a sheet I'm looking at $420 plus freight.  

For those of you who have never read The Jackrabbit Factor by my sister, Leslie Householder, you should take time to read it because it's amazing.  Without even thinking about it, this is the way I live my life.  This is how we came to be here in Gunlock and this is how I found my tile for the foyer for $59.  


I'd spent so much time searching for the perfect solution - the right price, color and shipping online but I wasn't having much luck.  So when I found myself in town I dropped by Carpets Plus and asked if they had this particular tile I was looking for. Whaddyaknow.  There it is hanging on the wall.  Its larger than I thought it would be and its even in the color I want.   The sales girl went over all the details and measurements with me then realized when she went to order it that it was discontinued by their supplier.  BUT, there is plenty in the warehouse for what I needed so I got the discontinued price.  Yippee!!

I'll post a picture of my foyer when its done.  It may be a while...I'm trying to finish a new chicken coop for the eight chicks we're raising on the porch.



My new adventure with goats

I'm a little embarrassed to say that its been a year and a half since I've done any updating on my blog.  But here's to a new day.


We have miniature goats.  They're adorable and so full of personality.  Every day I learn something new (like how on earth did they get through the fence this time?)  Goats are escape artists.  And Nanny isn't that small.  Well, technically she is.  She's a Pygmy but she can limbo like a champ.  I watched her shimmy under a portion of fence that was loose.  She really, really wanted to get to the other side because, well, she can.


It all started when we found ourselves in this beautiful little town of Gunlock.  Sweetie and I were feeling adventurous and bought two Pygmy goats thinking that they would mow the pasture for us.  Yeah, right.  We're noobs.  We still are after over two years but I have my favorite blogs (my list is below) and Facebook pages that teach me new things every day.


Last year our herd grew with the addition of a little family of Nigerian dwarf goats - Pearl, Frank and Stinky Pete.  Again being clueless, we decided to let Ninny and Nanny, our pygmies, have a little social call with Stinky Pete.  Now this is July, mind you, and if we had thought through this at all, we would have realized that December probably wasn't the best time to have two new sets of triplets. 


We worked hard to make sure their barn was draft free and warm, and thankfully, everything went smoothly.  We walked outside one morning to check on them and it took a good full minute to register that there were three of the most adorable brand new baby goats wobbling around Nanny.  Baby Goats!!!!  Ninny had her three days later.


Two months later, Pearl is standing outside with a new baby.  Wha.....  Pearl was pregnant???  Well.  Egg and our faces are in alignment.  BUT, Buttercup is the cutest, sweetest, most adorable little thing in the world!!!

So now we have twelve.  On one acre.  Yikes.  Twelve is too many.

Nanny, buckling, buckling, doeling
Ninny, buckling, buckling, buckling
(Five new boys and only one girl?  Come on!)
Pearl, Frank, Buttercup
Stinky Pete.

So we sell four little bucklings, and give the last buckling and Frank to Sweetie's sister.  She loves goats and has an acre too.

Down to six.  That's better.  My ultimate goal is to have a little dairy and make cheese.



My "go to" sites
http://www.weedemandreap.com/raising-goats-milking-goats/ (Great play on words, by the way)
http://fiascofarm.com/goats/
http://www.thegoatspot.net/forum/
http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/start

Do you have goats?  I'd love to have you share your stories with me!

Thoughts on pondering


My favorite Book of Mormon scripture passage (ok, one of my favorites) is in 3 Nephi when Christ appears to the Nephites in the Americas after his resurrection.


You can read the entire chapter here. And my favorite site to use as supplemental commentary is here. (The author of this site uses quotes by General Authorities to confirm and validate the doctrine being taught. Its a great companion for Sunday School classes too).

Jesus spends time expounding scriptures and then perceives that they are weak in understanding.  He admonished the Nephites, 'Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand".  (3 Nephi 17:3)
"Of all the recipes designed to increase our spiritual understanding, this must be the greatest. Directly from the Savior, we are given a three-step instruction: 1) ponder, 2) pray for understanding, and 3) prepare your minds for more. Oliver Cowdery is famous for failing to translate because he skipped steps 1 and 3, Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me (DC 9:7-8, italics added).  (http://www.gospeldoctrine.com/)
"We might ask why the scriptures have to be pondered to be understood and appreciated. After all, we don't need to ponder newspapers or magazines. We understand them at a first reading. What makes the scriptures different?  An analogy might help. The scriptures are like a symphony. The problem with a symphony, if it can be called a problem, is that there is so much going on at the same time that an inexperienced listener feels bewildered, not knowing what to listen for, or how to make sense of everything. But the music lover knows what to do. He picks out a theme carried by the string section, compares it to a variation on that theme by the oboes, and hears the composer being playful or reflective or joyful. Unlike the novice, he hears and feels the effects of the details that give the symphony, in all its complexity, its power and impact." (Dennis and Sandra Packard, "Pondering the Word," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, p. 51)
President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
"We all do a lot of studying, but most of us don't do much meditation. We don't take time to think. I'd like to suggest that next fast day . . . everybody in this hall set aside an hour or two. Sit by yourself. Go in the bedroom and lock the door. Go out in the yard under a tree. Go in your study if you have one and shut the door, and think about yourself and your worthiness. Read from this great book [Book of Mormon]...There's a great word that's used, 'ponder.'
"'Ponder.' What do we mean by 'ponder'? Well, I think it simply means kind of quietly thinking things through. Ponder what you have read. Ponder your life. Are you worthy, are you living the commandments...?" (Church News, 01/06/96)
These passages made me think about how I spend my day. I don't ponder and meditate often enough,  but when I do, my day is so much more peaceful and there is less worrying about myself and more concern for others.

Another favorite scripture:  Psalms 46:10.  Be still, and know that I am God.

Painting the house - How about some input?

This shouldn't be this hard.  Its just paint, but I want this place to look charming.  I've got the exterior primed and painted and next week we'll take care of the trim and the door.  I thought I knew exactly how I wanted it to look but now I'm not so sure.  I'd like to know what your ideas are.

This is my house before the paint.  Very stark and white.  The green trim is way too green for my taste.


This is my yellow house now.  Next week the fascia and window trim will be painted as well as the door and porch posts. 

Since we're not able to do anything with the green roof we're working around it.  I love yellow.  But right now it seems a little too yellow without any of the trim painted.

Originally I was going to paint the fascia Saguaro Green.  (It really does look good against the green roof and the yellow house paint).  But I'm thinking it might need more soft white for the trim around the windows, door and fascia.  And what about the door?  I want to make a statement.  Help?

Martha Stewart Living Saguaro Green


These are a few houses that inspired me.






Ideas?


Zucchini Chicken Enchiladas

We still need to plant a proper garden.  I've spent most of this past year repairing and renovating our cute little house in the country.  But our friends down the street gave us two zucchini plants.  So we found a place to stick them in the ground not sure if they would grow.

Har.

Apparently we are untrained in the ways of zucchini.  I think its voodoo the way you can sift through those huge leaves and find nothing one day, but two days later the Godzilla of zucchini is staring you in the face.  


I've always liked zucchini but thanks to Pinterest, this year we've learned to love zucchini.  We've made zucchini noodles, zucchini cake, zucchini brownies, zucchini pizza bites, zucchini waffles and zucchini meatloaf.  But our favorite by far is Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats from skinnytaste.com


If I had taken pictures of how I made this, I don't think you'd want to even start.  I'm not a photographer, my kitchen is small and poorly designed and quite frankly it was a mess. 


Next time I make it I'll know what I'm doing.  But I like to cook so I don't mind the chaos.  Besides, the photos at skinnytaste.com are gorgeous.  

I'm also a "wing it" cook.  If I don't have the exact ingredients, I'll use what I have and adjust it as I go along.  So if you don't happen to have chipotle chili powder don't panic.  I didn't and it was delicious.  I also used a can of chili enchilada sauce instead of making it from scratch.  It was very bitter, but most chili enchilada sauce is.  I cut it with cream and brown sugar to take the edge off and it was great.

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 zucchini boat • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 116 • Fat: 3.5 g • Protein: 12 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 4.5 g
Sodium: 410 mg (without salt)

Ingredients:

For the enchilada sauce:
  • olive oil spray  (I used my Misto)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 or 2 tbsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce, more if you like it spicy
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the zucchini boats:
  • 4 (about 32 oz total) medium zucchini
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 3 tbsp water or fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Topping:
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar
  • chopped scallions and cilantro for garnish

Directions:
For the enchilada sauce: In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Addchipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Zucchini Boats: Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.
Drop the zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute; remove from water.

In a large saute pan, heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini and cilantro; season with salt and pepper and cook about 4 minutes. Addthe cumin, oregano, chili powder, water, and tomato paste and cook a few more minutes, then add in chicken; mix and cook 3 more minutes.

Place 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large (or 2 small) baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup chicken mixture, pressing firmly.
Top each with 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce, and 1 1/2 tablespoons each of shredded cheese.  
Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. 

Top with scallions and cilantro for garnish and serve with low fat sour cream if desired.


I'll definitely make this one again.














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