Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sexy Cajun Red Beans and Rice


Recipe: Sexy Cajun Red Beans and Rice


1 cup of wild rice
2 cups of bean mix
6 cups of chicken or veggie broth
1 T of season salt (Swamp Fire) (a seasoned salt like Tony Chacher will work- choose one with garlic and cayenne if you don't have access to our farm mixed swamp fire salt).
1 T of magic soup herbs (or 1/2 t of dried shallots 1/2 t chevril, 1/2 t of thyme, 1/2 t aleppo peppers, bay leaf.)
Soak bean mix for 8 hours.
Drain soak water.
Add rice and broth and spices.

Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. 2 hours or when the broth mostly absorbed is how long it takes.

Keep in crock pot on warm to serve buffet style. It is seriously good party food. Makes 8 or so cups.

Friday, 1 August 2014

A Healthy Ecology



Live the life you are in, not the life you wish you had? This idea popped in my head this week, as I looked in the mirror for the first time at my whole self and realised that I love the body I wish I had and not the one I live in, and maybe I'd have more fun dressing up if I would remember that when buying clothes.

This idea echoed through my week too. I let the kids swim in the pond. It is probably one of the cleanest bodies of water around, but full of algae and leaches and crawfish and turtles and fish......all which point to it being a healthy ecology. Huh. The kids get sick when they go to the "clean" public pool, but not when they swim here at home. I need to get over my weirdness about the algae making them all look like swamp things. It is good water and good fun. Swim in the water we have.......and you know, this summer the water and the pond are gorgeous.

My kids are gorgeous too and smart and funny. This summer is one for the books for sure.

Writing is also going well for me and photography. We have a great friend arriving fair week to stay with us and I am giddy about it! I feel actually calm for the first time a very long time, like, knock on wood, we have our footing now and the ground is solid and there are no more werebeasts in the woods going all awesome crazy nuts- or maybe there are but we are too busy to notice?

Speaking of wood beasts.....I am researching Iowa folklore and finding very few monsters. Lots of ghosts but just two monsters and one of them may as well be Minnesotan. I feel like I must be looking in the wrong places? If you know of a local swamp creature or giant demon bat thing or other historical beast whose lore is rooted in Iowa, speak up!

Other than our orange coloured pygmy rhinos or puddle sized pond dwelling octopuses, of course.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Selfies and Gypsy Farm Girl Punk

A couple years back my friend and inspiration Tiffany posted a selfie challenge. I started it. The one post I wrote sat gathering dust in my draft folder taunting me for near two years.

I could not even bear to look at myself in a mirror, let alone publish a picture of myself. Good grief. I gave a family member a whole lotta grief over flooding her wall with glamour shot and drunk selfies near daily. That's one extreme and my zero selfie policy was the other.

I wanted to find a healthy balance. First, I published that draft. Goodness it was well received, shared on social media about 200 times. Not the picture, the message. We are all superheros.

Still, I was in full on mama frumpy fashion and felt like a blurred out version of what might have been instead of a full person who is. How to even begin to address that?

Step one: decide what your style is. I used Polyvore.com to help me figure this out. For casual work days my style is Gypsy Bohemian- long skirts, chunky vintage jewelry, tall boots, and blouses. For farm days- jeans and punk rock t's or a cross over with the gypsy blouses. For dress up? Rockabilly vintage.

gypsy farm girl




Purple or red for hair no matter what. And earrings. I realised I love earrings. Just putting a pair on makes me feel prettier.

Once I figured that out, then I had to force myself to shop for myself. I started online, easier to do with kids constantly pulling at me. Then thrift shops. Most of my jewellery is vintage or handmade from friends.

Another bigger hurdle? I mean, other than budget? Ha. Buying clothes that fit me, buying clothes for my right now body not the maybe someday body. That means admitting I need size 10 bottoms and large tops. I will never again be a zero or a two or shop the small rack. I am ok with that.

Then, learning how to put things together with things I already have or to remember what things work with what. Polyvore helped with that too.

Here is what the result was Saturday night at the show (I was trapped in the bathroom with Isaac who was melting down from the over stimulation):










My goal now is to take a selfie a day. Sometimes that means I wll take one out in the pasture or with an arm full of kids or while cooking something fun. I am part of the story too. Not just the faceless narrator, leading others to beauty and self acceptance and adventure.

I am part of the story too.

More to come on this topic I am sure. Just you wait and see.