Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Simple chicken curry

We love eating curry in Winter and I have been making a very tasty chicken curry lately that is easy  to prepare and suitable for the slow cooker.  If you don't have one, simple cook it on the stove.  Served with boiled rice or some crusty bread on the side, you have a delicious warming meal for a cold night.  I added baby bok choy from our garden but you could add anything you have growing or

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Project Genesis 7/1/10

I am thrilled that you are here today.
My goal is simple. For at least one day a month I want us all to
learn something new about our environment, and
educate ourselves to conserve our natural resources, restrict fossil fuels,
protect our food sources and consciously make change.

This will be a learning process for all of us, and I plan to be surprised by the ideas
put forth and the wisdom shared.

If you missed the rules, here they are again:

Project Genesis will link visitors back to your blog; however,

this is NOT the forum to exploit for give-away promotions,

to garner Followers or to link to your commercial enterprises.

The link should be DIRECTLY to your post contributing

to Project Genesis, not just to your blog.

There are numerous blogs and TV programs that show how to

recycle furniture and garage/thrift sale finds, so we'll leave that to them.

Not your original idea or photos? Provide credit where credit is due.

I reserve the right to edit ANY participants.

In other words play nice, please.

What are we looking for? Here are some jumping off points; but they

are by no means an indication of what is expected. Surprise me.


To get us started, I am linking to some videos that I think

should be required viewing for all consumers.

Click here:

The Story of Stuff Project

Four fabulous videos for you, your family, friends and students.

They're simple, short, easy to understand and very informative.

Please give them a look see.

Because I do not wish to influence the direction

Project Genesis may take, for this first post

I will simply share some changes I have recently made.

Darling Daughter has been after me for years to turn off the water while brushing my teeth. I knew I was wasting water but...but nothing.

No excuse acceptable. How much was I wasting?

The EPA estimates the average US citizen wastes

2 gallons daily on oral hygiene.

14 gallons per week - 730 gallons per year.

A family of four? 2,920 gallons per year.

When viewed that way, of course I would stop. I have.

Within 2 weeks I have reduced the amount of

my weekly garbage footprint from this:

to this half of a bag. Actually this is 3 pick up days.

I skipped two of them.

I did it by consciously recycling everything allowable,

(I started by checking here, then checked my local service)

and paying attention to the packaging of products I purchased.

It was so easy. I have always recycled, at least

three bins bi-weekly, but not religiously, if you get my drift.

My next step, will be finding quality biodegradable bags.

I can now afford to spend more, because I will use fewer.

I'm also considering ways for improved pet refuse disposal.

(Yes, I mean doggie doo. Currently it goes into recycled plastic bags,

then into the trash, I want a better solution)

So what can you tell us about what you know, what you are doing,

and what we should learn?

I truly am grateful for you being here.


Be sure and check out all the comments after each blogger's post.
There are fabulous ideas in there too!
Linky will be up for several days, so join us.
Don't forget to click on the link for The Story of Stuff.
You'll love it!

Simply living in the city

There is no doubt about it, when most of us think of living a simple life, we think of the country.  Hanno and I live on the edge of a rural town, an hour's drive from our State capital.  We have lived in Hamburg, Sydney, various regional towns and cities and, for 13 years, in an isolated mining town; this way of life is suited to all those places, it is not just for country folk.  I received an

On The Porch

Pretty sure I've blown out my knee - again-
So I'm sitting on the Porch
Trying to think Positive

Bought this guy from a street vendor for $3.oo when I was eight.
Bought it for my Dad. Don't know why I liked it then, or why I like it now.
He made the old barn wood frame and added some brackets
he had found on our property. He made it look special.
Dad brought it to me on one of his visits, after another bad diagnosis.
It is one of my cherished pieces.

Looking for me? I'm on the porch.

Please visit all the other White Wednesdays
over there at Faded Charm
hosted by Kathleen.


Create Change - The World Will Thank You

Monday, June 28, 2010

This is where I work

From an allotment in London to a small apartment in Sydney, today we see where Samantha works. I can't tell you how how much I love it when I find that young women, like Samantha, enjoy my blog and relate to what I write about.
Samantha writes"

"I am a 25 year old who lives in a small apartment in Sydney, Australia. I share my 2 bedroom flat with my husband and our cat. I have set our spare

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Project Genesis/Rules

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. Albert Einstein

Project Genesis

July 1, 2010

The birth of this idea was fostered by several events.

Frustration over recent ecological disasters and continuous reports

of the devastation of our planet.

A realization that blogging possesses power far beyond

decorative design, recipes and give backs that we all love and enjoy.


Convincing ourselves that someone else of higher power, authority, or

more commitment is taking care of this for us,

it is far too easy to let it slide, this "being green."

We have all experienced that moment of not wishing to

take the time to rinse out the mayo jar so that it can be recycled,

and instead we toss it into the trash. When faced with the extra

30 cents charge for recycled paper products or

organic foods, how often we all opt out.

Time, finances, lack of understanding.

We all make excuses.

Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find - unknown

It is with these perceived stumbling blocks in our path,

that we falter, making small attempts, while always pondering

if we are able to do more, and if so, what?

The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.

Ralph Nader

Beginning July 1st and on the first day of each subsequent month,

I hope to meet you here.

On blogs we share every topic under the sun,

including recycling ideas. We will organize

these ideas, and expand upon them

in an inspiring and easily referenced site, once a month.

Friends leading friends, showing us the way, no more excuses.

Once a month, that's easy.

There are some ground rules I wish to

get out of the way right up front.

Project Genesis will link visitors back to your blog; however,

this is not the forum to exploit for give-away promotions,

to garner Followers or to link to your commercial enterprises.

The link should be directly to your post contributing to Project Genesis.

There are numerous blogs and TV programs that show how to

recycle furniture, so we'll leave that to them.

Not your original idea or photos? Provide credit where credit is due.

I reserve the right to edit any participants.

In other words play nice, please.

Still wondering what we'll be sharing?

A few ideas without "leading" you into any one direction.

Perhaps you can explain how you've made

recycling easier, more convenient.

Are you reducing your own or your family's

dependence on fossil fuels?

How do you reduce the amount of garbage you contribute to the landfill?

What should we be aware of in regards to product packaging?

How do you teach the children in your life to respect their environment?

How do you influence those around you in

your neighborhood and community to make changes for the planet?

Can you link others to responsible environmental

programs in your area? In other words, link us

to cool people with great ideas.

Big ideas - Small ideas - Your ideas.

Awareness to affect change.

If you have any questions please email me.

We'll figure this out together.

July 1st, the good stuff happens.

Create Change - The World Will Thank You


BFF Back Together

My new camera has this strange special effect on it.
This is the pic I got last night the first time I used it.
The girls in the kitchen.

That's the real pic but it filters the lines somehow
and this is what you get instead.

I haven't the foggiest idea how it works
Rose and Hannah left to right, crack me up!

Create Change - The World Will Thank You

Potato harvest

If there is one true thing I can count on, one thing that reconnects me with what is important and tells me, with certainty, that I am where I should be, it's gardening and pottering around outside.  The sky was bright blue, the temperature was about 20C and with two jumpers on I walked outside on Saturday to follow the call: "I'm digging potatoes!".  It gets to me every time; potato digging

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A post / post

The banner paper ripped, there was no more in a dark color;
so.... Mama regroups and hand tapes letters directly to the garage door,
where because they are so pale they barely show.
That was why I had planned on a dark paper background.
duh.'s the thought

Ding Dong, " Mama I'm home"

Way 2 Go!

This is where I work

Today we travel all the way to London UK to visit Dee on her allotment.  This is Dee's workspace, I'll let her explain.
Dee writes: "Hello My Name is Dee and I'm from London UK I have an allotment that I work on almost daily, basically its a piece of land I rent from my local council to grow fruit and vegetables. My plot measures approximately 1/16 of an acre.
Living in a flat with no garden

Sunshine Does Not Always Make Sunflowers

I planted sunflowers from seed this year. First time in 10 years.
I planned for vases full of their happy faces.
I was hoping for an abundance ready for Darling Daughter's room.
What I have so far is this.

A lone bloom with hopes for another.

(about 3" across)
Although pretty and perfect in every way except size and quantity,
there was no way it would look abundant.

I had asked DD what food she wanted me
to have ready for her arrival.

Did she ask for Mom's best recipes, favorite cookies, cakes?
She asked for the croissants and muffins from Costco.
( Yes, I pinched a croissant at 3 am)
While there, I grabbed some sunflowers.
Hope they open in time.

Now I'm off to decorate the garage door with her
Welcome Home Banner. I'll show you tonight or tomorrow.
I am counting the hours.
All her BFF's will be here within minutes of her arrival.
They always hang out here.
Noise and screams and squeals of laughter.
The fridge and pantry doors opening and closing all night.
Good thing I made the Costco run.
I love my kids. I love my kids. I love my kids.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Welcome Home

Darling Daughter is coming home.
Mama cannot wait.
She has excelled and flourished.

A small trinket made by Mama
because I love her so.

Big sigh....

Create Change - The World Will Thank You
Project Genesis July 1st


Whole orange cake

I love orange cake and am always on the lookout for a new recipe that improves on my current one.  This is it.  I made this cake last week after thinking about the recipe for about a month.  Yes, I know, over thinking, but I was trying to work out why this recipe would work and if it did, would it be bitter.  It isn't.  Orange cake is a great standby if you have an orange tree in the backyard

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coffee Tales

(if you're looking for WW post it is below)

Ever have one of those days when the universe smiles upon you?
OK I'm dramatizing, but I was so Happy I could have done a jig
and did do a little wiggle waggle in the car
on the way through the drive through.
I forgot the beginning.

So, my friend Paula gave me a Starbucks card today after
I finished pruning her bushes.
Yes, it seems I'll add that to my repertoire of services.
SORRY off the track again.

After I ran my errands I decided to make use of the card with a frappuccino.
I know, it's too many calories, unhealthy ( lalalalalala, I'm not listening).
When asked what I wanted I sighed and said I cannot have what
I really want since you stopped serving the Dark Chocolate Cherry....
and she says " but no, we still have some, what size would you like?"
WELL, you may wonder why I was so chatty with a Starbucks gal,
whose name is Sam by the way, but until darling daughter returns
I crave human conversation, and look what occurred
because of my chatty cathyness.
Again, I DIGRESS....

The point is I had a Vente Dark Chocolate Cherry Frap today and I am happy.
SO Happy...TOO caffeinated but Happy.
I have to skip dinner of course but Happy.
Although all my other Starbucks ( that's embarrassing)
have stopped serving the DCC fraps,
Sam says their joint has more syrup under the counter.
I asked her to put my name on it.
Since Sam and I are now BFF's, do you think she will?

Thank you universe.


This is where I work

This post is another in the series, This is Where I Work.  Today's workspace comes to us from Mel who lives in Canada.  Mel is also one of the moderators on the Down to Earth forum, so it's lovely for me to get to know her a little better.

Mel writes:
"Life for me here in Canada is never dull. One husband + two kids + 3 dogs = chaos. While I don't work outside the home, I work very hard inside

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Don't be scared

Thank you all for your kind messages of support.  We will all miss Bernadette very much.

They've scared us all, you know.  I doubt it was their original strategy, but it is now.  When you see advertising for cleaners that promise to kill bacteria that harm our families; when you hear that some people throw out perfectly good food

Be My Guest

I love company.
If you stay at my home you have the choice of two
guest rooms. This is one of them

As the mirror says Simplify- Look Around

Your bed is vintage with great patina.
(Erin, the woven coverlet is from Franklin)

Layered with pillows and down and feathery comforters

Book-ended with lamps for reading and a vast selection
of decorating books. You may never get to sleep.

Even with all the inspiration from books, you will eventually
succumb to the bed, sinking in to the extreme comfort.

Dark drapes allow you to block out the desert morning sun.

Sleep tight. Breakfast is served at your convenience
in the garden.

Please visit all the White Wednesday Bloggers
Hosted by Kathleen at Faded Charm

Create Change - The World Will Thank You

Simple Thanks

My most heartfelt and sincere thank you to all who stopped by oldgreymare during the Where Bloggers Create Party over the weekend. I treasure all your sweet comments and emails . Connecting with kind and generous souls is the benefit of this blogdom.

A simple thank you from me to you.


Create Change - The World Will Thank You

Monday, June 21, 2010

RIP Bernadette

 In respect for my good friend there will be no post today. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Soap making - deconstructed

I made a new batch of soap on the weekend.  It's the olive, rice bran, coconut oils mix I usually make but soap may be made with many different oil blends so be guided by a soap making book, if you have one, or any number of the excellent soap making sites on the web.  Once you find a blend that works well for you, stick with it; I am sure that soap will serve you well for many years.
Bowl of

Friday, June 18, 2010

Where Bloggers Create II

oldgreymare studio IS
and only
9 1/2' x 9 1/2 '

Now, you may wonder how I ever got
this many large cabinets, an overstuffed chair
and 2 tables in such a small space.

I do too!

When I decided to go all white downstairs,
all my primitives of color
came up to the studio and were stacked
and wedged in to make my cozy space.

Organizing for a living means everything
has it's own special place
and is returned back there. (eventually)
My favorite "Z" gate in my favorite green
and "pooh" to make bad days better

The room is naturally dark, thus the twinkle
lights that rim the ceiling.

Once I was primarily a quilter and many fabrics remain.
I plan to pick up the needle again soon.

Of course TV with DVD
for favorite classic films

Snowflake afghan made for me by dearest Viola,
the 93 years young woman for whom I did home care.

Many an idea and friendly chat initiate from this chair.
The unfinished knitted sock is very symbolic for me.
Reminds me I can do anything I set my mind to.
Also reminds me to let go when I cannot finish or win.

Just for fun

Trois Anges

Tools and trims at my fingertips.

50 drawer apothecary in the hall just outside the loft,
holds tons of trim, stamps, punches and ephemera.

Infant shoe lasts- just enough to fill the ledge.

One can never have enough twine.

One can never have enough tins.

I made the small basket about 15 years ago
and always vowed to make another
with more even and equal points.
I'm still proud of this anyway.

The radiometer belonged to Dad
It is near the window so it will spin.

Inside the drawers - more tins
for more organization

The room is too small to obtain panoramic view
so only snippets and bits.
Thank you so much for visiting.


Create Change - The World Will Thank You
Project Genesis July 1st

Now, off to the next Studio!

Where Bloggers Create II
Hosted by Karen Valentine