Thursday, April 29, 2010

Get Your Goat: Today's Hip Cheese

I just about jumped out of my skin yesterday morning after seeing the heading cap in Arizona Living Food & Drink section - Get your goat: Today's hip cheese - written by Karen Fernau.

She writes: It's easy to understand why goat cheese has gone from novelty to staple in the blink of a decade. With its pristine white color and milked to pungent flavors, goat cheese is a natural fit for salads, soups, pizzas, dips, toast, bagels, baked potatoes and yes, even desserts. Versatility aside, goat cheese is higher in calcium and lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than comparable cow's milk products such as cream cheese.

"It's a rich creamy cheese that does not smack you in the face. It's these qualities that make it so very popular," said chef Cullen Campbell, co-owner with chef Brandon Crouser of Crudo in Scottsdale."

Sometimes called chevre (French for "goat"), goat cheese is today's version of 1980s - hip Brie.

The question is: have YOU tried goat cheese lately and if so how and do you love it?

In case you didn't know it the Phoenix Valley has its own goat cheese dairy. here in the Phoenix Valley (and our new, awesome friends) Wendell and Rhonda at Crow's dairy. Another dairy and new, awesome friends are David and Kathryn at Black Mesa Ranch in the Snow Flake, Arizona.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time for Lemonade

Sometimes we need to simply sit down and sip lemonade. Is it time yet?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Encourage Someone

Two Saturdays a month for a few hours, I hang out with three other women (all older than myself) drink coffee and talk. We talk mostly about the things God is doing in our lives.

This past Saturday, Joannie wanted to buy my tea. I smiled and said "sure." After waiting a few minutes, Joannie, while at the counter turns to me at the table (where I'm sitting with the other women) and says "Lylah, this woman has bought your tea."

Sometimes just a simple smile to a stranger is enough to make their day better. Lately, I've read and now have experienced the "pay it forward" act of kindness. Do you know a simple phone call to let someone know you've been thinking of them goes along way? How about encouraging your husband and letting him know how thankful you are for him?

How will you encourage someone this today. . . this week?

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Lovely Friday Breakfast

Friday morning was lovely. Friday morning was more than memorable.

Our breakfast table was graced with two precious people (a widow and a widower) whose lives have crossed path for the past twenty five plus years.

The tears flowed over waffles and blueberries as Michael and I listened in as they spoke in tender tones to each other sharing their personal story of loss, grief, regret and joy.

To lose a wife or husband is grievous and to not be able to share that grief only adds to the pain.

Perhaps this week you'll cross the path of someone who has lost their spouse. The best gift you can give them is to listen. Don't fix them but listen to them. Let them share their story. Ask them "how bad does it hurt today." You'll give them a gift of healing if you do.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Roman and Me

Roman's become my side kick since his mommy is struggling with that thing called morning, afternoon and evening sickness. I pretty much schlep this little toot most places here on our little farm. Lately, I've been showing him how to feed the chickens rather than grab them by the tail or neck and spin them around.

The other morning I juiced carrots and apples and since we work on recycling just about everything I knew they'd love these left overs and so off Roman and I went - heading toward the hen house.

My hens love the white bucket. The white bucket is their clue that very fun family left overs - which they prefer over their layena pellets. Most of the time they dive bomb the white bucket and or whoever is carrying the white bucket.

Roman was in hen heaven when they all - all - all came to the door. I just wonder what was going on in that little bald head of his.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This Weeks Garden Helper

Mother-in-laws sometimes don't make it into the mother-in-love relationship department , but mine did.

In the beginning we had some rocky years of learning who each other was and who each other wasn't. We even had a time where the contact was simply graced with cordiality alone.

It wasn't until we worked through some good relationship speed bumps of acceptance, understanding and forgiveness that love - sweet love started to knit my heart to hers and hers to mine.

Today, I would truly give my life for this woman.

A few weeks ago, I told her that I wanted for our home to be on the "top of her list" as the place to come to - should she need to shift gears and not live alone anymore. It's not because she comes for little visits, is this huge help by tenderly waters the garden and helping nail together old vintage fences - but it's because I love her deeply, want her to feel wanted and cared for - not because of what she can or can't do, but because of who she is.

And, because it's a good, honoring thing to do and because I love God.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Notebook on French Inspirations

We all know that the French have this way of inspiring - whether it be cooking, fashion, or living in the french life like Vicki Archer.

I've been inspired by French hospitality, French pastries, French sweets, window shopping in France, French linens and definitely French homes.

I'm sure I could find lots more inspiration walking through this garden just outside this quaint home located in Le Buisson De Cadouin, in Dordogne, in the Aquitaine region of France.

It's a two bedroom home with a charming garden with views of the city. The for sale listing says it's a well restored stone house built in (get this) 1785. It's only 225,000 euros. It's lovely, isn't it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Walked Through My Garden Tonight and . . .

. . . took a few pictures to update you on the progress of beauty pauses.

Precious Hands

Have you ever stopped long enough to ponder what hands of loved ones have done an how the legacy of their hands might effect you?

When my Grandmother died, my dear Grandfather took her riding gloves and encased them in this frame. Grandmother was an Arabian horse lover and while living in upstate NY she volunteered at a school for children with cerebral palsy teaching them how to ride horses.

Just recently, I found the old garden tool. It was my grandfathers and am wondering if it might have been brought over from the farm of his childhood in Germany.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Girl Paints

Our kitchen counter has lots of uses. Besides making morning peach pancakes, it serves as an art center for one little budding artist.

How important it is to create beautiful moments, especially with little ones. And, how important it is to speak life and hope and future into the souls of little people.

I've been able to pick up on little things that each of my grandchildren have said and am moved to capitalize on those attributes in their hearts. For example, I tell one grandson he will be a judge and one granddaughter I say will be a veterinarian. And, this one, I say will be an artist. Today, with the biggest smile, she began to call herself an artist.

Our words have such power. There is an old Proverb that says there is life and death in the power of the tongue. I work on being that conduit of life to those around me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Goat Cheese

I can barely wait for my Lavender and Cinnamon to join us at the farm and to take their rich milk and start making cheese! I will probably have a goat cheese making class or two too!
EMBED-Artois the Goat Trailer - Watch more free videos

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adorable French Cottage

I am a lover of blue and mostly what is known as a Provence blue. It's a color that I'm drawn to, soothes my inner woman. So, when I look for homes for sale in France - it's the ones with blue touches that I enjoy most. Now, this is kind of funny, because many many homes in France - especially the country side - which is my preference most always have those touches of blue.

While in Basque Country last summer I would frequently drive from Donostia (San Sebastian, Spain) to St. Jean de Luz and to Biarritz, France. I never found it dull with the continuity of white walled homes and either cobalt blue and or red shutters.

French homes for sale touts this cottage as being "set in a beautiful and very peaceful countryside location." It's only a two minute drive from Mael Carhaix. It's got a spacious open plant combining lounge, diner and kitchen. Don't you wish you could see inside because it says it has a "stunning stone turned staircase to the first floor where there are three good sized bedrooms landing with space to create a second...whatever. I'm getting all kinds of to create sanctuary to quiet the rush of winds of life.

This home has outside gardens. I'm liking that one. It has matured trees, shrubs and flowers. Can you picture this with me?

Oh, the opening to this charming cottage? It touts a double opening with solid wood and part glazed windows on the doors that lead into the lounge. Wouldn't you LOVE to see this one? Me too. Oh well, and I apologize, I didn't save the link to the "for sale page."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lylah's Garden

Growing a garden as big as the one we're growing keeps me on my toes.

So far, today, I've given not even half the Heirloom tomatoes their weekly vita-mix.

Then, I got distracted with Roman (15 month old farm hand) filling my vitamin buckets with water and then proceeding to douse himself completely and enjoy the whole process.

Then, I noticed a section of my sugar snap peas needing some extra tlc, so I've dug up dirt to create a more or less water trough, then placed three small trellis and now I'm attaching string to coax those yummy peas to delight in growing up the trellis.

In between that, I couldn't help but hear the VERy - let me say it again - VERRRRYYYYY loud hens squawking away. The funniest site in the hen house today. Three hens in one box - all very determined to lay their load in the same box at the same time. What was even funnier (sorta) was a fourth hen waiting her turn. Take a number girls, pleasaaassseeeee.

So, if you wonder what's up with me - I'm in the garden - tending, pruning, grooming, singing and thanking God for the rich bounty and the miracle of a dead seed in the ground that when watered a bit - gives life and then has the potential to keep giving.

Seems to me, we have to die - to live.