Saturday, October 31, 2009

Market Day - Halloween

A drizzly Halloween morning at the farmers market. My husband and kids painted pumpkins while I did some shopping. Picked up 1/2 dozen pastured eggs, Arkansas Black apples, honey, a mix of cosmic purple and regular carrots, broccoli heads, green peppers, kale and green beans. Also had a great time visiting with a new vendor to the market - Mae Farm (Louisburg, NC). I can't wait to try their pastured pork bacon and pastured, maple sausage links!

Friday, October 30, 2009

This place is messy and loud and full of irresponsible choices.
This place where things are never where they are supposed to be...

But this place is also full of life.
This place is full of joy.

This place is full of amazing young people whom God fashioned and designed
for some glorious purpose.
What a privilege it is to be the ones who get to watch what
God is doing to draw their hearts to His.

~ Lysa Ter Keurst
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Market Day - October 24th

From the market - Kale, Cosmic Purple Carrots, Swiss Chard, Salad Greens with flowers, Broccoli, a dozen Pastured Eggs & 4lb Pastured Chicken

Only 4 more weeks left before our favorite market closes down for the winter

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


No one was created to work or function at an intense pace all the time. Our bodies and minds need rest and relaxation. We need to take breaks; we need to have fun; we need to do so on a regular basis.

- Joyce Meyer
The Secret To True Happiness

My company offers a wonderful paid time off program which gives each employee a bank of time to use in whatever way they choose. I'm using some of my time, to get an early start on the weekend.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Market Day - October 17th

A chilly morning at the market - 2 dozen pastured eggs, broccoli, okra (2 varieties), red potatoes, sweet potatoes, honey, 2 green bell peppers, butternut squash, Swiss chard, salad greens with edible flowers & green beans.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Victorious Thinking

Victory is mine,
Victory is mine,
Victory today is mine.
I told Satan to get thee behind
Victory today is mine.

During stressful times at work, I often feel defeated and overwhelmed. As I stared at the mountain of papers on my desk with a serious deadline approaching, I found myself going into that low place. But then a whisper from God popped into my head - VICTORY. Think victory. See yourself successfully completely the task. Praise God for victory over this obstacle. I took up my work with renewed energy. I even began to sing the chorus of "Victory Is Mine" in my head as I typed. With all the day's work completed, I was able to get a head start on next week's tasks. I've still got a few more mountains to climb before this hectic time is over. But I will go in Monday morning with an attitude of victory instead of defeat.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Reading

If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That's not gallons, but barrels. Small changes in buying habits can make big differences.

- "Oily Food" by Steven L. Hopp
from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Market Day - October 10th

5lb pastured chicken, kale, sweet potatoes, salad greens with edible flowers, 2 green bell peppers, butternut squash, string beans, handmade soap & fresh rosemary

We did a little market hopping today, visiting two markets instead of one. Since we were dropping off our daughter's friend who spent the night, we headed over to the market on that side of town. I wanted to get more acquainted with it as it's year-round and our usual market will be closing next month for the winter. There weren't many farmers there but I did pick up the pastured chicken, sweet potatoes, kale and soap. We then headed over to our usual market where I picked up the green beans (and had a good conversation about bread making with the farmer and his wife), butternut squash, salad greens, rosemary and peppers.

The butternut squash adds a bit of fall decor to the kitchen. At least until its eaten!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Note To Self

I'm heading into a particularly busy time at work. A few months ago, when faced with the same work craziness, I wrote myself a letter. The voice of a saner, calmer me to counsel myself should I face another stressful time. This morning as I scorched the beans I was preparing for dinner and found myself running around like a crazed person, I stopped and read the letter. Here's what it said:

Dear Mary Ellen,

It's that time again! The crazy meeting week where there's so much to do and not alot of time. Take heart; you can do it! We've been down this road before and made it through to the other side.

Right now, you're starting to feel tremendously overwhelmed. You're feeling frustrated by the lack of resources at work. You're getting easily upset at home as the stresses of the day are wearing on you. Take a deep breath. You've done this many time before. And each time, everything worked out fine.

Just take it slow and do what you can each day.

-Make a list of what needs to be done & prioritize it.

-Don't be afraid to ask for help. It hasn't been denied in the past.

-Stay hydrated & eat well. Drink plenty of water, don't skip lunch & save the sugar for the celebration at the end.

-Expect set backs - late information coming in, paper jams, low toner, not enough paper. Obstacles happen, and they've been overcome.

- See home as a haven. Leave the stress behind. Enjoy home for its treasures.

-Above all, ask God to bless the day & give thanks at the end of the day. Even the most stressful day has its gifts.

Don't let the situation or the environment drag you down. You can rise above it. It doesn't define you. You are a child of the Most High God. You have overcome!

ps. Have a cookie when it's all over. And maybe a beer!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Eating Local - A Simple Salad

Mixed Baby Greens with edible flowers (Piedmont Biofarm, Pittsboro, NC)

Arugula (Rocky River Farm, Siler City, NC)

Genovese Sweet Basil (our backyard container garden)

Chinese Chestnuts, roasted & sliced (Cloverfields Farm, Timberlake, NC)

I found this video on roasting chestnuts helpful!

-Combine and rinse greens thoroughly. Add to a bowl.

-Top with sliced, roasted chestnuts.

That's it - simple!

Local items purchased at the Midtown (North Hills) Farmers Market, Raleigh, NC.

Visit the Down to Earth forum to see how others are moving towards organic or local!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Market Day - October 3rd

From Saturday's market - 3lb grass-fed & finished beef (B2G1F), arugula, salad greens with edible flowers, 2 green bell peppers, local honey, 3 dozen pastured eggs, Chinese chestnuts and mini pumpkins for the kids (FREE!)

Yesterday afternoon we took a trip out to the State Farmer's market. It has a much different vibe than our smaller market we frequent Saturday mornings. It's a lot bigger, a lot busier and doesn't really focus on organic/organically-grown fruits and vegetables. However, we did find two farms selling grass-fed and pastured meats and eggs there. The prices were a bit cheaper and they are open all week and year round. I picked up a pound of grass-fed and finished beef and ground, pastured pork sausage while we were there. It's good to know there are other avenues available for meats and eggs when our usual market closes down for the winter.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Touches of Fall

I've been slowly adding small touches of Fall throughout the house.

Shopping the house - the candle, stones and holder from last year's Christmas centerpiece; shells and a small foam pumpkin from the Dollar Tree

I love seasonal decorating. However in years past, I've refrained from doing any because I thought it was too expensive and out of my budgetary reach.

A thrifted bowl, more Dollar Tree pumpkins and pine cones from the yard

But adding small touches using thrifted finds and items already around the house, let's me bring in a bit of Fall without breaking the bank!

How do you decorate for the season on a budget?