Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours...
We wish a very Merry Christmas!

May this season of peace, hope and love last through out the year!

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign. Christina Rossetti 1885

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Break and the Leaves

 My oldest is on Christmas break and I am loving having her home. We are doing all kinds of fun things together; reading stories, baking, watching cozy Christmas movies and shopping for all the last minute things we need before Christmas.  But most of all we are just spending time together as a family.  Which I LOVE...
Here is some pictures of our adventure yesterday with the raking of the leaves.
 I know it looks like Midwestern fall but for Arizona our "fall" comes in December and January.  It is weird and take a bit of getting use to...actually my internal clock is still on Midwestern time...I have never gotten use to it. But, I have learned to adjust to the different "seasons" in the desert and appreciate them.

We are going to be making fresh goat cheese this week, so I will keep you posted!
Merry Christmas! 
I hope you are enjoying good times with your family too!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Coconut Date Ball Cookies

These cookies kick off Christmas for our family! They are my Grandma Broome's date ball Christmas cookies. I don't know how long our family has been making these cookies but I have eaten them for at least 40 year!  They are super easy and yummy too. People are always asking if they are hard and as soon as I say no, they ask for the recipe. In my family, cooking is a recessive gene, I wish I had Grandma's that made homemade biscuits and pies but that isn't my reality.  So, I am content that I can have one recipe that reminds me of my Grandma and that I can continue in the annual tradition of my mother and my grandma of making these cookies and with inheriting that recessive gene for cooking I can be the mother and grandmother that bakes pies, does canning and makes homemade jams.  This is what you need:


Combine 2 beaten eggs (of course you know I am going to tell you  to get them from your own coop), add 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of chopped dates in a bowl.  In frying pan melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and add the mixture and stir constantly over low heat for 8 minutes.  Remove the pan from heat and add vanilla and salt, then add in the 2 cups of Rice Krispies (this is where we throw out the all organic diet--for Christmas sake) and add 1 cup chopped pecans then mix and drop by teaspoon in to a shallow bowl filled with flaked coconut and roll into balls.  Let set on wax paper for 30 minutes and they are ready to go!   Super easy even a child can do it!

Hope you enjoy them as much as our family has over the years!

Merry Christmas and let the festivities begin!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Time is Here...

Our Advent wreath is on the table...

The mantle is dressed and the stocking are hung by the chimney with care.

Our breakfast nook is prepared for the season. Fresh greens in our vintage Trouve chandelier, our count down chalkboard right there to daily remind my little ones of how many more day to go, and a fresh lemon cake for all those who drop by our little farm with Christmas greetings and stay for coffee.

Counting down the days...

We have all our children's favorite Christmas books out to curl up and read in front of the fire with some cocoa.

We have decked the halls and trimmed the tree.

But one of my favorite parts of decorating for Christmas is all the "old friends" I pull out to put on our Christmas tree.  Ornaments from my childhood, one's my kids have made, ones given to us to commemorate an event in our lives; engagement, marriage, births, anniversaries,places we have visited or lived.  Ornaments given by dear friends; some who are still with us, others who are not.  As I pull them out of the box, all the memories and stories flood my mind and I am back in time. This picture is of an ornament that is close to my heart.  It is me and my Dad's matching 1950's Rudolf ornament--now I do not have my Dad's ornament, I found the exact ornament in a junky antique shop here in Phoenix a number of years back but this ornament reminds me of the one that would be on my Grandparents tree when I was little and on my Dad's tree when he was a little boy.  When my parents come for Christmas one of the first things my Dad does is find the Rudolf on the tree. I always give it a place of prominence. I live with the hope of one day have a pair of Rudolf's on my that is from Detroit where my Dad grew up and the other one from a junky antique store in Phoenix.

Friday, December 10, 2010

And The Winner is...

Robbin is the winner of the Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens and the handmade Rooster ornament!  Email your address to me at and I will get it right out in the mail to you!  Thanks for participating!

Congratulations Robbin may this lead to may happy hens!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pictures from the Tour de Coops

As are some pictures from the big day!

Here is Linda and Cathy, our faithful Permaculture volunteers, at the entrance to our Little Farm

Here is our little coffee station for the tour goers right after you go thru the gate.

Here is the view from the entrance to the coop.  Notice the irrigation water...see we don't have it all together on the farm!

I am holding Clara, my Buff Orpington pullet, so the children can pet her.

Our irrigation values were leaking because of pressure in the line on the day of the tour, and our girls were eating the bugs that come up from the ground.  On the right hand side is our espalier apple tree hedge.

Just a picture of the back patio where the spiral staircase goes up to our roof deck where we have 180 degree mountain views but you'd never know it with all the trees in our yard.  Our yard looks like the Midwest, where I grew up, it is one of my concessions with my Arizona native husband.  I need trees...big beautiful trees...oh and deciduous too. 

People kept mingling long after the tour was over--That is a sign of a good tour!

Telling chicken tales...

A good day was had by all! 

Thanks for coming by our little urban farm! 
Don't forget to participate in our Tour de Coop giveaway!  I will be drawing the winner Friday!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tour de Coops Give Away

This is my chicken bible -- I refer to all the time!

We had a great Tour de Coops!  Meeting so many interesting, lovely, like minded people...this is why we LOVE being involved in this tour every year!

So in honor of the Tour de Coops and all the new friends we met, we are having a contest for a special "chicken treat" this week!

Every new follower /commenter this week (Dec.4-Dec.9th) will be put in a drawing to win "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens" and also a hand made, hand painted steel rooster ornament.  We will announce the winner this Friday on our blog!  This would be a great gift for you or a friend.
 Stay tuned...we will be posting pictures of the tour de coops and our little urban farm this week!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Getting Ready for The Phoenix Tour de Coops

For the past month we have been working every weekend trying to get this little farm cleaned up and ready for the Phoenix Permaculture Guild's Annual Tour de Coops.  But since Thanksgiving, we have been working like elves around the clock getting years worth of projects done which I LOVE!  Here are some pictures of our progress...  If you want to see the completed project, come by our little urban farm during the Tour de Coops on December 4th from 7:30am to 4:30pm and you can see it in all its glory.  You will also see me beaming with a smile from ear to ear because I know I will be enjoying the fruit of all this work for this entire spring and on top of that, I will spend that whole day talking about chickens, gardening, fruit trees and sustainable design-- all things I love!

Tickets are $10 for two, children under 12 are free and are available on the website or at the starting locations.

Here we are with one awning up and the second one on the way...

Here is my husband painting the patio--the plywood is to keep the chickens off the patio

We are getting closer...both awning up...patio painted

These awning came off my sister in laws new house and she didn't want them...I know...but the wonderful thing is she gave them to me and I have used every single one of them!!  They were made for me!

Finishing planting the annual color that we will enjoy till May--got to love this desert living!

The lawn is mowed--notice the adorable re purposed awning on my kids playhouse--it will be great when the long hot summer hits that slide

 Come join us on Saturday but if you can't make it...I will post some pictures of the finish product!

I have to go now and give Charlotte a bath and blow dry...yes, I am talking about my chicken but I can't discuss it now I have a lot to do before I have to drive the soccer carpool's all very glamorous over here on the farm!
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