The good

Sweet 30 !!

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday . Nothing fancy about the day itself. Just some good old quality time with my parents and a small family gathering at the barbeque lunch. When you’re working so much and you’re most of the time in a rush, you realize how precious these family gatherings actually are!

Mom makes the best banana cake !!!

The good

Two more cats!

What a wonderful and happy day it is today!! Matilda (the stray cat that roams around my mom and dad’s yard for a few good months now) came this morning at their doorstep with a most precious gift – her kitten!!

I literally cried with joy when my mom called this morning! A few days ago we were sure that Matilda is pregnant again and that she abandoned her cubs or that her babies got killed. How wrong we were!

As mentioned in the previous posts, we are not sure where she gave birth or to how many kittens, but we know for a fact that she got a rough time and a ugly bite from one of the other stray male cats.

Now we can declare that Matilda is officially part of the family, because today she was brave enough to truly trust us ; she marched right into the house, with her baby tailing after her, as soon as the door was open!

We welcome them with our arms open , and since she is a mommy and she is so protective of her kitten, Matilda and the little one were put in a separate room just to make sure that Arielle won’t cause any drama .

The good

Rain drops

Soft and dense rain embracing the nature for the last two days. The sound of rain soothes me and it is one of my most favorite sounds. Honestly, it feels more like autumn than summer.

This weekend I had time to sort out all of my photography and noticed how many I have made and how few I have posted on my Instagram! Now it’s time to sort out all the photos that I have made with my phone…

Cooking · The good

Happy Summer!

How’s everyone celebrating summer so far? Here some days are sunny, some are rainy. The weather is warm but not near to what we normally have here. Temperatures are not high and there’s plenty of humidity in the air. Some parts of the country are facing floods, not even close to what they’ve predicted for the year-drought.

We won’t be having any summer holidays this year and we won’t be getting any days off either. Husband is quite busy with his carpentry workshop and we are currently implementing part of the business plans that we’ve been working on for a while.

As for me, currently helping him to go in the direction that we both agree on with his part of the business. I’ve stopped my workshop for now, at least won’t be shipping internationally until this virus madness ends. The post office is way too slow and is causing unnecessary drama that is being added to our problems .

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of work to do! One reason why I love summer is because of all the herbs that need to be collected! So happy I was able to make lots of spruce buds syrup! Al ready sitting for two weeks now.

I also picked up plenty of Thymus Serpyllum to dry for tea.

This year I was also able to focus more on Dandelion. First time trying to make coffee from dandelion roots! Loved the smell and taste of the coffee so I collected MORE roots!

The process is quite easy: wash them, cut them in small pieces, roast them in a pan in the oven. The taste of the coffee it all depends on how much you roast the roots. Let them cool and put them in your coffee grinder. You can make the coffee with your espresso machine, I personally prefer to make it the traditional way- in a pot on the stove.

Then I also home made tomato sauce . I like to froze it in cubes, wrap each cube individually and store them in the freezer.

And because it is summer I’m oriented on greens and simple light foods. I don’t know why I’m losing appetite in summers, or better said – I eat less food and drink lots of water ,tea and fruit juices.

So yesterday I made this yummy tart with herbs from the garden : green onion, green garlic, orach and forest mushrooms.

The good

Mushrooms and spruce buds

The place that feels like HOME!

Hello, June!! You quickly came but it’s nice having you! Nice having a bit of sunshine after two rainy weeks . Nice being in the forest again!

When I hike I don’t always hike with something in mind. But the nature always gives something to me so I don’t leave empty handed. The forest always offers small treats to whomever visits; for some people these small treats are ignored or insignificant, but for me these are small precious treasures.

Pleurotus or Oyster Mushroom

So today I was treated with a hand full of Oyster mushrooms,and two more types of eatable shrooms that I sadly don’t know the name of in English.

What I really came for today was spruce buds for tea and syrup, and it turned out to be a productive day. I usually make a big quantity of syrup that will last for an entire year and I make for both my parents and in-laws too. So this is just part one from the spruce buds operation . Tomorrow is another day dedicated to this natural healing gem Hoping to collect more tomorrow.

The good

A new addition to the family?

Arielle is not pleased with this new company !

This homeless kitten is visiting my parents for the last two months or so. She comes every morning and meows in the garden, she knows that my mom arrives with food when she calls.

Our Siamese doesn’t like it one bit! 😹

We believe that the cat is already pregnant, so this means more kittens! My dad made a special place for her into the barn, from hay and wool , a place for her to sleep and just in case she will give birth. My mom named her Matilda and my folks are willing to adopt her, but the cat is pretty wild and still doesn’t trust nobody.

Arielle seems to be very jealous, still they made contact today and rubbed noses for the first time, without Arielle clawing Matilda’s eyes out!

Arielle’s face says it all!

I can’t wait to see how she’ll react when she’ll meet our ginger boy for the first time tomorrow!

The good · Cooking

Home made bread

I did it!! Last night I tried to make and bake my very first loafs of bread! I have plenty of flour and 1 kg of fresh yeast , so I had to build up the courage and give it a try.

The bread was baked in the oven and the dough came out perfectly. Do excuse the dark photos. It was the best I could do at 2 am.

Basic bread recipe, nothing fancy. 1 kg all purpose flour, 4 spoonful olive oil, 2 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 20g fresh yeast, about 400-450 ml lukewarm water. This is the recipe that my grandma used to make. Wait until the bread is cooled and store it into plastic bags. This way the bread will remain soft and fresh. Sometimes my grandma woupd add 500g white flour and 500g rye flour.

I was so happy with the dough that I forgot all about the egg yolk for the surface of the bread. I had it ready on the table.

One thing is for sure – I am never gonna buy bread from the supermarket ever again! And I’m so eager to experiment with different recipes and flavors! At least I know that my oven can bake bread! My mom’s oven wasn’t suitable for this kind of task. Reason why back when I was at my parents we used to make bread with our bread machine. My mom doesn’t use it anymore so I decided to ask nicely if she is willing to give it to me. And she did , bless her heart!

This machine is at least 15 years old but in perfect condition. I’m missing the recipe book, so I’ll have to experiment a bit until I get it right.

I want to keep this machine as an option for when I don’t have time to hand make the dough and wait until it’s baked.

So far this experiment was a success.

The good

Birthday ,Super Pink Moon and Easter

Wanted to write a few quick notes because today it is a special day. It is my mom’s birthday and we just arrived back from her place . We had a lovely small family reunion. The weather was perfect, a sunny and warm spring day, so we had lunch out in the garden. I’m sorry that I didn’t got the time to home bake a cake for her birthday as I usually do . Instead I ordered her favorite chocolate cake!

I also bought a pot with pink roses, they are among her favorite flowers. I always buy my mom flowers in a pot, like me, she prefers flowerpots over fresh cut flowers. She prefers planting them in the garden rather than throwing them away afterwards .

Magnolia.

And speaking of her garden ; God, how I missed staying under the sunshine!! Being locked down surely isn’t doing any good for a human being! I sunbathed for hours!

Mirabelle plum.

The mirabelle plum and magnolia tree are in full bloom, as well as all the seasonal flowers!

Husband installing the telescope and checking the star maps.

And speaking of being locked down with all this virus madness; 3 days ago we snuck out and went to my parents and installed our telescope into the garden to watch the Super Pink full moon!

The Super Pink Full Moon of 2020

And what a magical scene it was!

That’s about it for now. I’d like to wish everyone a blessed and Happy Eater to those who celebrates. May your house and life be filled with light and many blessings!! I only get to celebrate Easter next weekend, as I belong on the Christian Orthodox part , but I know that many people celebrate this weekend.

Happy Easter!!
The good

Whatever the future might bring

In the short winter holiday we were able to put together our modest studio! It’s a small room, barely fitting two people and the equipment, but it’s perfect for the beginning. If this will grow we will consider to find a bigger place .

One week already passed, five more to go until we will seriously launch our small family business. All of our energy , love,time and hard work will go into it! In the mean time I’m continuing to work and try to finish as many orders as humanly possible with just two hands.

January is almost at the end and we still have frosty mornings out here. Although winter went much more easier on us compared to last year.

I’m so glad that I’m still able to enjoy snow, even if it snowed for a couple of days only! Four showy days were enough, the snow was maintained by the cold.

Some fresh pine needles that I got from up the mountains. I love drinking tea during the winter! And one of my favorites is the tea made out of pine needles ! I like to add fir needles into the mix too and sometimes I add chaga mushroom powder to my tea.

I cannot forsee what this year is going to bring us. I can only continue to work as hard as ever , but this time do it together, and pray that it will be as good as the old year.

I’m living with the hope that all the hard work is going to pay off and no matter how many or how tough the changes and challenges are going to be we will be able to face them , together, with a smile on our faces .

The good

The beginning of 2020

I hope everyone is having a great start of the year! Make the best of it and may if be filled with health, peace and love ! Material things come and go! As long as you are both physically and mentally stable there is nothing that can stop you from achieving the material part .Be at peace with your inner self and it will be easier to accomplish your goals for the new year!

For me 2019 was a full year of hard work and some achievements. All this hard work will, hopefully, fully pay off starting this year. I can’t really complain about 2019, I can’t really say that I’ve learned anything new either. It was a good year for me personally.

Some big plans for this upcoming year. It will be the year when we will spread our wings and … we’ll see if we manage to fly. I will not lie, the future kind of scares me but I’m very optimistic too. I’m really looking with excitement for 2020!

Unlike last year, this year I enjoyed the winter holidays to the fullest! Nothing fancy, nothing out if the ordinary, quite the contrary – most might find it boring. The New Year found us talking about future plans in each other’s arms, laughing, dreaming, telling stories, remembering, drinking champagne and wine in bed, next to the fire place and Christmas tree. The cozy atmosphere was just too perfect and cherished by the both of us. It felt so warm and peaceful after such a long time!

We didn’t got the chance to go skiing or go to a mini trip as planned, however we did went up in the mountains for an entire day. We did it for the snow and it helped us reconnect and recharge our batteries even more. I wished so much for snow ! And the next morning we had a first snow fall in our little town to!

We continued to look after the stray dog for two more days. Meanwhile we named him Tanase and we managed to find a temporary place for him ,at least until the cold days are over.

In the second day of Christmas I had to take my mom to the emergency room, as she got intoxicated with food . My parents went to a Christmas dinner party and seems like my mom ate something worth of throwing away.

I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason! I do not believe in coincidence! At the hospital, while we were waiting for my mom to take her home, a feral orange kitten approached us.

He was so friendly and so cuddly!

He jumped on my husband’s shoulder and wouldn’t go down, intensely purring!

There is one detail that you are not able to clearly see in these pictures; the cat is missing the tail. That following night husband and I could stop thinking about the stray kitten. My heart was heavy and I regretted that we didn’t took the kitten home! We talked, talked and talked for hours! Until we finally agreed to adopt him and maybe even take him with us.

Our biggest fear was that if someone was cruel enough to cut off his tail ,then who knows what might happen on the New Year’s eve with all the drunken people, firecrackers and fireworks.?! So yesterday we went searching at the hospital, asked the guard, the staff but no one knew anything about any orange cat that’s missing a tail.

Last night we couldn’t stop talking about him , hoping that he is somewhere hiding , staying safe! Our hearts were so heavy but we didn’t had in plan to give up! This morning we went again to search for him and it was a success!

He immediately came when he saw us! So we officially have a new addition to the family. My mom agreed to foster him whenever we are not able to take him with us (traveling, vacations).

A few years back I adopted a siamese kitten .She was found in a box, along with her brothers and sisters, by an old couple. So they put an add in the newspaper. My parents got very attached to her , especially my dad. When we moved 3 years ago we didn’t had the heart to break them apart, so we decided to let Arielle stay with my parents.

Dirty paws on the couch and I’m not even mad!

Meanwhile, he is named J.J, James Junior. We took him home, fed him as he was starving, and while we were preparing for the bath he felt asleep on the couch. A new journey awaits for all 3 of us!