25 February 2012


  Saturday morning is the best morning of my week. Our Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday, so Saturday morning is the one morning of the week when there is nothing on my "to do" list. I can lay in bed until noon if I like, but I seldom do since I don't want to miss a minute of this wonderful day!
  I actually plan for and work towards the Sabbath all week. There are things that I do Sunday through Friday that help me to have life ready for a down day. I have found that by accomplishing something every day towards Sabbath, I am  not only cutting down on the amount that must be done on Friday, but I am preparing my heart  as I work in anticipation of the day.
  Friday is Preparation Day, the day that allows my Sabbath to be peaceful and restful. I have planned, worked and shopped all week so that on Friday I can focus on baking, cooking and put the finishing touches on the house. At sundown Friday, all is ready for my day of rest.
  So here it is... Saturday morning. All the cares of life were checked at the door at sundown last night, they will be there to be dealt with at sundown on Saturday, but for a blissful 24 hours, we will have rest from the cares of this world. The world will of course, go on with it's hustle and bustle, "go here, get this done, take someone there..." , but here in my home we are insulated from the world, set apart. There is music playing on Pandora, I have written letters, played cards with my husband and  watched the birds at the feeder. I have food at the ready so whenever anyone one is hungry they can help themselves. We won't leave the house unless it is for a walk later in the day, so there will be no stress from swimming through traffic, or dealing with rude drivers. We won't be buying anything or conducting business. If the phone rings it will be screened. We will have time to think about pleasant things, time to rest and regenerate. We have an opportunity to meet with our Creator on the day that He established  from the very beginning for our own good ...the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath....
  To me, the Sabbath is the key to a simple life. In it I have time to see my life from a safe distance. I can decide what is important, I can let go of things that take my peace or stress me out. It is a time for getting out of the forest so you can see the trees. So whether or not you believe in keeping it for "religious" reasons, the principles of the Sabbath can work to your good and towards a simpler life. Why not try a day out of time? Work for six days and take the seventh off. Let your body and your mind have a day of rest and receive the benefits. Let me know how it goes!

12 February 2012

Lots of Changes Going on at Hearts Ease Cottage

  Hi all! I am in the process of reworking this blog. I am still debating whether or not to keep it on Blogspot...  I have a large quantity of material to be posted that I have been working on for some time, but have hesitated to post it since I didn't know what I wanted to do about location... for now I am reworking this blog, keeping this blogspot address and creating a "mirror" blog on Wordpress.
  My objective for the blog remains the same. I want to talk about living a "simple" life, growing food, raising animals, baking, cooking, homeschooling, putting food by, pantry keeping and much, much more.We have spent more than 20 years homesteading on a very small piece of property. We have used edible landscaping and intensive garden techniques to help us find room for 10 kinds of fruit, medicinal and culinary herbs and to squeeze in 10 3' x 20' french intensive raised beds, we have two goat barns, a chicken house, and workshop, as well as flower gardens and outdoor "rooms" for enjoying the gardens, birds and butterflies, all on a one acre piece of property.
 It is my belief that even the smallest piece of land can be encouraged to grow delicious fruits and vegetables, to provide goodness for the table and health to the body from fresh air, sunshine and hard work.. It is possible, even in the smallest apartment in the city, to have a flourishing "kitchen" garden, with no dirt and very little sunshine required to grow food just bursting with nutrition. I want to share what we have learned over the last 20 years and illustrate that no matter where you live, you can add fresh home grown food to your diet and live a simple life based on hearth and home.
  Our personal lives have had lots of changes over the last few years. Our needs have changed as well. We are in a new stage of life. Both of our boys are grown and have moved to their own places We had very bad news about my husbands health, which caused us to make a big decision and move to Costa Rica for a time to fulfill part of a "bucket list". Our year living in Costa Rica was wonderful, rejuvenating and memorable, but it exacted a heavy price on our beloved homestead. We lost two lovely mature standard plums to a freak accident while we were gone and most of the beds and the herb gardens were overtaken with couching grass. We have spent the last year and a half reclaiming the gardens and reworking the homestead to meet our new needs. As of this moment, the vegetable gardens are in prime condition for planting. We are establishing a new garden for permanent beds of asparagus, artichokes, Goji, strawberries, and other perennial edibles.  We are laying new pathways, establishing a koi pond, and have planted 100 azalea bushes to add beauty to our place and to attract birds to nestle in their branches.
  Our present life circumstances may have changed some, but our dedication to a simple life and to creating a lovely bubble of sanity in this crazy world remain the same. I am in the process of developing curriculum for  classes, writing tutorials and possibly an e-book or two, to share with you this year. I am excited about the way things are taking shape both on the ground and in this blog. I hope that you will stop by and see what we're up to. And as always, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you are doing to make yours a simple life.
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