Search This Blog

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Love Story: The queen of the Roller Derby


Hello everybody.

Low-level frosts have covered the ground, the crisp smell in the morning air pinched my cheeks, there's not a single clod in the sky, but the weak sun hasn't warmed the day up. It's clear and bright, since we have moved to our Winter-saving Time during last night (I wonder; how many of you out there are like us, still moving all the clock front and back twice a year?)

Let me give you a fun little Love Story
about an interesting sport (yes it's a sport!)
not played over here: roller derby!







This was a cute tale, right?

You know: I don't mind the cold air outside, as long as there's no rain - lot can still be done. Of course, these days, to be outside all day long does mean one has to wear an extra layer of stockings underneath (don't giggle, they may be thin, but they are great as an insulation) :)
Have a nice day!
Marija

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Midweek magazines: Food and home notes


Hello everybody.

Well, I must say: I think that these past few days of sunny days are the last ones for the season. I do not think this late October days are going the be bathed in sunshine any more, our little town is walking into the times of foggy mornings and muddy boots.
This is the last call to roll up our sleeves and finish up the work. Yards need to be flat so that the shovel can glide over it as you're managing the snow. The ground needs to be tilled (or at least weed-free), all the tree branches turned into fire-kindle. As for the time ahead of us, one should better pick up some hobby, or get a nice pile of books (or, if TV is you preferred company, I'm sure there's a lot of content there, but I am not the one to write about it, since our TV and your TV are surely completely different in programs available)

To keep this interesting,
hare are some snippets from a booklet I've found on the web:




The thing with macaroni is something I learned as a kid. Grandma was always saying: "Not the whole lot! Put them slowly, and don't you rush, you'll make them all stick to each-other. good food takes time". :)
..
Have a good mid-week everybody!
Marija

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Strange lady walking around carrying a basket and picking up wild-fruits - the lost art of foraging


Hello everybody

Last night I have posted images on my Instagram account, from the latest trip into the wild. I went foraging, yes. When I came home I knew I would like to share the experience with the rest of you, but started wondering about what the world might imagine.
When you think of foraging, do you think of a slightly weird, survivalist-type person picking wild mushrooms, making nettles & dandelion stew and eating roadkill?!

There is no road kill here.
Actually, there is no road here. :)

For a someone as childish and picky-fingers like me, this is the best time of year. Step out of my front door, as I live in the country, and I'm never far from something edible. Walking near my home in my small town, I pass some apples, figs, berries, as well as ripening chestnuts and grapes. And, no one planted any of them. They have grown there, from seeds that fell, got their fair share of water, sunshine and peace. The shrubs, grasses and trees just stand there for anyone to harvest, in public streets, parks and scrub-land, and if you don’t help yourself, most will simply feed the pigeons or rot on the ground - completing the cycle of life in silence.

A shrub like this, perfect in every season:
it has hundreds of five-petal blooms in the spring,
the red buds full of goodness in late autumn
and on a sunny October day, like yesterday.. they are ripe & ready. 

Just like farms, nature puts out its biggest bounty in autumn. Foraging is an art, firstly of preservation the nature's resources. The tender ecosystems that we send ourselves into when foraging must be the fist thing on our minds.  destroy the environment by traipsing around on sensitive habitat, and decimate plant populations by greedily over-harvesting. If you’re going to forage, be ethical about it.

Rosa Canina in late autumn:
this is what the Spring flower grows into when left alone
the hips are picked (mind the thorns!), halved and dried
we make tea by boiling the dried hips in mid Winter 
and remind ourselves of the sense of Spring

I am like the vast majority of foragers, and I claim we do do nothing wrong: taking only as much as we can eat and the tree, bush or forest floor can spare. This is how we're showing respect and honoring the world around us. This is what caring is all about.

Please, remember these 3 small rules of foraging:

1. Honor the Law
Most places require permission from the landowner, even from public lands. Failure to get this permission can lead to fines and even jail time. These laws are in place to prevent over-harvesting and disrespectful damage to the land. To protect public land such as parks, roads, and sidewalks, most local governments consider taking plant material a form of vandalism or theft and treat it accordingly.

2. Honor the Land
When you're done foraging, the land you were on should look the same as (or better than) when you arrived. There should be no trace that you were there (but feel free to remove someone else's garbage on the spot) Fill and cover any holes you dig. Don't harvest along trails, go off away from where others walk.

3.Honor the Plant
Never harvest in ways that prevent regrowth/return of the plant. Never tear off leaves or bark; use a sharp knife because clean, smooth cuts heal quickly. Taking a few leaves and fruits from many plants is preferable to all the leaves from one plant.

 

So, this was a bit different, right?
I hope you don't mind it - and I hope you'll join in on this vintage lifestyle of ours.
Marija

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Love Story: My broken engagement


Hello everybody

When most people think of coming of the winter, I imagine some of the first things to come to mind are rosy cheeks, self-burning fire, hot beverage and making a snow-man. For me, it much more about a desperate search for water-tight boots, that can handle deep snow, brown puddles and muddy hours while I'm doing much needed outdoor chores (but that’s just life when you live in a climate with heavy-duty winters).
This day, as it is hugged by the curtain of fog has reminded me of that.

To move away from winter-thoughts
I have for you.. the story. :)










I say: I liked the way this went own.
OK, on to my least favorite part of this weather: knowing how long it takes me to get dressed before going outside, with all the layers keeping my body safe and warm.. and knowing that from now on, I'll need to add even more, and more layers. Like an onion, yes. :)
...
Have a great Sunday.
Marija

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Waking up to a rainy day.


Hello everybody.

When it’s raining, do you ever feel like it’s never going to stop?
Studies have shown that people who live in warm, sunny climates are no happier that those in chilly, wet climes. Isolation and inactivity, moping around, listening to sad songs, staying in your pajamas until noon, skipping showers, or watching TV all day, are recipes for more depression and more distress. 


However, rain is a part of Nature's process of growth.  Just like nature needs the rain to grow, we all might need a little rain to relax, slow down and re-charge. I think we need our rainy days to grow, to flourish and to thrive too!
Personally, I like to get up and move.
Just because it's raining, it does not mean there's nothing to do here. It's not a pouring day, so a lot can be achieved, and there is a sense of peace in seeing how the rain darkens garden soil and changes up garden plants.

For those of you who get a bit more romantic and poetic on a rainy day
I have a poem:



I’m quite sure that there is no better feeling in the world than the way you will feel after spending the whole day outside in the rain, followed by a hot bath and then a nice hot cup of cocoa. 
Well, there's something to work hard for.
...
Have a nice Saturday.
Marija

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Midweek magazines: Lipstick comes to be as necessary as silk stockings!


Hello everybody

OK, deep breath: let's start with a *shout out* to all of you out there, who just happen to stumble upon this article. There is someone in need, someone very dear, very strong, and very much a Vintage Queen. Her name is Jessica, (you may know her from the delightful place called Chronically vintage).. Her only home has been a subject of an arson-attack and the blazing flames took everything away from her. 
Right now, she needs HELP.
Anything that anyone can give, would be so incredibly helpful to her (and her husband) - if nothing else, keep spreading the word about their donation campaign link on social media and/or your blog - because anything is better that standing still.
...

When you take a closer look at what might happen in a blink of an eye, everything else seems so trivial, doesn't it? However, it is the small tricks and minor details that make all the difference, actually. Those are the things we starts fights about. Those are the items that brighten-up our day, and those little details are the key to "keeping it together"
Do not giggle, but when stress hits the roof, looking down at clean shoes might actually be the most re-assuring moment that gives me strength. Same goes for a dull & windy day, when wearing a touch of lipstick gives color to everything. If you have seen me wearing tiny earrings while working outdoors; it's because this seemingly insignificant piece of jewelry gives me a feminine feeling (even when I'm stocking-up wood).

Here's an article about 
making makeup work for you:

OK, this is what I had to post before the article.
This is a makeup & hair-color dream! :)


See?
There's still some tricks we can learn from history.

Let me leave this post with a quote that conveys my thoughts:
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
....
Marija

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Snack smart: True blue smoothie


Hello everybody.

It seems like the minute the weather turns colder, we crave more to eat. 
Oh, but why? 
If you feel hungrier as winter draws near, you're not alone. No, no. Even though most of us spend our days in climate-controlled offices and homes, our appetites seem to change when the days grow shorter. Some researchers say it's our primitive impulses pushing us to stockpile calories for the winter ahead.
If you are trying to keep up the shape of your body, and not get the winter-padding (he, he - but, there's nothing wrong with getting it); the best way is to have at least one of our daily meals made out of highly nutritive fruits & vegetable blend.

I say: smoothie-days are ahead of us:

Whether it's pasta, coconut & chocolate cake or those holiday vanilla cookies, I like to say it's probably best not to deprive ourselves completely of the foods we love.
Have a great day.
and: what is your go-to snack on a windy day?
Marija

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Love Story: My dearest patient


Hello everybody

This has been a week of domestic work. Those jobs that are classified as "no fun", but are the essential part of our daily lives, and a winter preparation. Removing the anti-mosquito frames from the windows and replacing them with the second set of windows (double windows mean a lot on an old house in winter). Boxing-up as many dry branches as one can, before the rain finally sets down on us (then it rains for days on and, and everything soaks up the moist). Taking pelargoniums and begonias into a cold, yet protected, hallways - to prepare them for the winter sleep. Another task, quite important for the good start in the spring: clearing out the frames, the dead trees, and bringing in the nutrients into the garden,
Most folks no longer even think about these tasks, having central heating system, PVC full-seal windows and throwing away summer-blooming flowers.
Still, there is a job everyone should commit to: taking out our winter footwear. I doubt there are gong to be any sandy-wearing days this season. :)

Now, now..
before everything, a love story.
(you just might get a bot "love sick")  :)







Fabulous tale!

The rain is "hanging" over here (it's what we like saying when it looks like it's about to start raining, but hasn't decided to do it, yet) :)
There are jobs to be done.
Have a nice Sunday!
Marija

Thursday, 13 October 2016

It is time to start planting bulbs


Hello everybody

Raise your hand if you would like to have a flower-filled front garden in the spring. (I'm raising mine, on this side of the screen). Then, we all need to get digging now and plant our bulbs! 
Most of the bulbs require little, if any, maintenance once they're planted. And, if your winter isn't supremely blistering and cold, hardy bulbs can safely be left in the ground year after year. By doing a bit of dirt-digging now, we will surely be rewarded in the coming spring. 



Fall allows a “second season” of planting for spring blooming bulbs. Planting in the fall allows a jump-start to spring growth. The cool weather helps to make a more enjoyable experience for working outside in the garden and requires less watering. The cooler weather allows spring blooming bulbs to winter over, this is important in order for bulbs to provide beautiful spring cheerful blooms.
How far to dig? Each bulb species has its own planting depth. Follow the directions on the bulb packaging or use this rule of "green" thumb: Bury each bulb about three times as deep as its diameter. 

There's and adorable diagram for planting, 
take a look:
If you're planting bulbs in extremely cold areas, go slightly deeper.

I will not pretend to be an expert-gardener. I am still learning, and I have been learning ever since I was a child. Observing, helping out, reading, watching amazing array of documentaries and shows like "Gardener's world" - every method helps us develop ourselves and make our gardens bloom.
I have found this age old planting instructions, and I'm sure they will provide us all with some good advises and a view of gardening of the days gone by.



Bulbs are useful for adding color to spring borders. Tulips come in all shades, from dark purple to white, and bloom at a time of year when many plants offer muted colors. Other bulbs, such as snowdrops and scillas, are some of the earliest flowering plants in the garden, brightening up the short days of very early spring. They are one of the easiest and most rewarding garden plants to grow. So, I say: let's give it a try.
....
Have a great day.
Marija

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Midweek magazines: Mollie in the movies


Hello everybody

The gem among the questions: what's it like to work in the movies? Today, just because it's notoriously wet, cold and grey outside, I have for you one of the way to get an insider answer to this question. A funny answer, that is "written" by Hollywood's latest addition - so fresh, she is still learning to write "proper" English.
(in comparison to her, me - a foreigner - write just FINE)



I could have cut this article to scale,
but the text behind it was to hilarious, and therefore
it stays - to be posted, for your entertainment. 

I do hope you have had a laugh! )
This is one of those articles that one does not keep to herself. Laughter should be transmitted and shared - as much as possible. And, surely, we all know that this is not entirely an imaginary tale. There have always been some Mollies in this history of ours; and that makes the world a funnier place. Right? 
We should not get angry at the "Mollies" of today. They are here, among us, looking at our faces, from the theaters and TV screens. I don't know why they do the things they do. Some crash million-dollars worth cars into pavements, some throw eggs at photographers and then there are some formerly good-looking, now aged, movie stars who still feel the audience craves the look of their "liberal" scenes. But, I accept them, and live with it.
Happy Wednesday.
Marija

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Love Story: Love's priceless gift


Hello everybody

October, a month of the strongest changes in the seasons. And, for someone who has a garden or a homestead, this means that there is still plenty of work to be done.
There is one task all of us must do, at least once a week, at this time of year: clearing the leaves: from our porches, from in front of our gates, from our flower beds and lawns. Those fall leaves can be a pretty big nuisance, I know. I know. It has to be done, not only for the beauty of it, but to remove it from the places where you would not want the mold to start forming.
(I suppose you realize what's my job for today)  :)

Before everything,
let's arm ourselves with some heart-warming tale
of a troubled woman









Silly lady,
she has never taken a serious thought about money
and needs a few classes in managing her income.  :)

One honest request: to all of you out there who love autumn because there's a huge pile of leaves just inviting you to kick it as strongly as you can. Please, fight that feeling and walk by in peace. Remember: that pile have taken someone a fine time to collect. That moment of "sheer joy" when kicking the pile, means it'll fall apart all over the place and therefore it'll have to be collected and piled-up all over again. 
And, if you have failed to fight the urge, and the pile ends up blasted-away, invite yourself to give a hand (both of your hands!) to the certain Someone, and pile it back in place.
Thank you for caring. :)
...
Happy Sunday