Saturday, November 27, 2010

Before I Stow The Fall Decor...

I have been really bad about taking photos recently!  I don't know why, but I forget until an event is over, or I've put the decorations away... Old age?

I'm posting a few pictures I took on Thanksgiving.  The photos aren't very good.  I had the camera on the wrong setting.  I didn't check that either.  My bad!  These are just a few glimpses of my Fall decor.

My Phesant Pelt Wreath - Hand made by friend Patti

Pumpkin Collection*

* Nuts!  I didn't notice that my housekeeper had moved things around to dust.  You get the idea...

Sugar & Creamer Set - Given to me by friend Nancy

Table Setting**
 ** This photo was taken just before I was ready to place the food on the table.  Some of the centerpiece items and flowers had been removed.  I never got a shot with all the food or the "after" state of things.  I'm going to try harder next year!

Now, on the Christmas!  Let's see if I can remember the camera for this!

Friday, November 19, 2010

FDA 2, Citizens 0

If you have been a faithful reader of Refining Life, I have a favor to ask.  Please read this post, all the way to the end.  Indulge me.  I believe this is really important!

This is going to be a difficult post to write.  First, I am angry.  Then, I am sad.  And last, I'm frightened.  This usually means that I write way too many words trying to not only tell my story, but somehow also convey my emotions.  I am going to try to be as succinct as I can.  But don't look for a short post here...

I had grandparents who worked a small "Truck Farm" (See note at the end.) of what was probably about 2 acres, though it seemed gigantic to me as a 5 year old kid.  My grandma had a roadside produce stand and sold the most delicious corn, tomatoes & strawberries.  It was the money she earned and the food she grew that sustained them.  Since, although my grandpa worked, he drank most of his earnings.  (He was a great, fun-loving grandpa, not a great husband, I suspect.)

There were chickens for eggs & meat and always, there was fresh milk.  Grandma must have bartered with a neighbor, since I don't remember a cow.  Pretty idyllic place for a kid, right?  Yes. yes it was.  Just think, I was 5 years old then, almost 62 now.  I ate and drank unprocessed, REAL FOOD at my grandmother's table & lived to write about it!  Imagine that?  Now, just as I am finding my way back to TRADITIONAL FOODS, I may be in danger of losing the right to purchase them?

Farmers who are committed to continuing the tradition of sustainable, family farming are being harrassed by our government!  Their livelihood is threatened, their inventory confiscated.

"Not in MY country", you say?  Sorry to burst your on!

"Save Morningland Dairy", “Save Estrella Family Creamery”, “Stop FDA Tyranny Against Dairy Farms“, “Save Family Farms”, and “Save Farm Freedom”. 

Who ever thought we'd be seeing calls to action to save FARMERS?

1. Watch this 4 minute trailer for a Film due out next year called "Farmageddon".

Farmageddon Trailer from Kristin Canty on Vimeo.

2. Read this: Save Our Food Freedom and Right to Privacy! Stop S510

3. Then, read this: Hey, Where Did My Food Go?

4. Then go here: Wanted a Crop Mob of 50,000 to Save Artisan Dairy Farming

5. If, after reading and watching, you want learn more, check this out: REAL FOOD MEDIA  

Now, click the buttons below and contribute as your heart leads. 
Click here to lend your support to: Uncheese Party and make a donation at ! 
Click here to lend your support to: Help the Estrella Family Creamery and make a donation at !

I would love to have some of my blogging buddies along on my journey to discover health again...using traditional foods, and helping to keep these nourishing foods available for ALL OF US!
Note: From Wikipedia - Truck farming is the cultivation of vegetable crops for transport to local markets. It is very similar to Community Supported Agriculture in that it requires consumers to be more than simple purchasers of goods, but rather they must be engaged in the local economy as part of a healthy community.
Important truck crops include sweet corn, tomatoes, melons, onions, strawberries, potatoes, and green vegetables.  "Truck" was a Middle English word meaning bartering or the exchange of commodities.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Fungus Are Among Us!

We have lots of Oak and Almond trees on our property.  After it rains, we often see "fairy rings" of toadstools around a tree or two.

For some reason, we had dozens of them appear in the last couple of days!  One tree in particular has so many toadstools it looks like they're (Fairies) planning quite a shindig after the sun goes down!

I'm thinking I might just see them if I check out there about midnight!  What do you think?

I wonder if they've invited the gopher who lives in that hole?

There are several clusters like this in the ring.

The cows aren't nearly as excited about this as I am!

I think this is the "throne" for a Fairy Queen or Mr. Toad, one or the other.

I'm imagining the party-goers will arrive like this.

Do you have fairies in your garden too?


Friday, November 5, 2010

Online Auction Benefiting *VISUAL VAMP*

Not a decor item...but useful, just the same! ;o)

I am joining Laura at Decor To Adore in an online auction to support Valorie Hart aka *Visual Vamp*.  I have linked Laura's blog to the title above, so hop on over and read about this very worthy cause.

My three items for auction are from Tupperware.  Two are a must-have kitchen tools, the other is a a set of giftable canisters.

#1 - Tupperware Chop 'N Prep

 A faster, easier way to chop Turbo chop fresh herbs, vegetables, berries, cheeses and more in record time with this compact and earth-friendly product. Its easy-pull cord mechanism saves time and effort while eliminating the cost of expensive electricity. Plus, the Tupperware® Chop 'N Prep™ Chef is small enough to store in the cupboard, drawer or pantry. And it’s gift boxed for added convenience.• Includes airtight seal and insert with recipes. • 1¼-cup/300 mL capacity base.• In Chili/Snow White.• – Enhanced quality guarantee.  ($39.50 retail value)

#2 - Tupperware Winter Stacking Canisters

Great giftables

Store all those chilly-weather goodies in these festive canisters printed with a winter wonderland pattern. You can also use the entire set or individual canisters as gifts. They’re especially welcome when filled with goodies you make yourself.

Winter Stacking Canisters

• Set includes one each of 2½-cup/600 mL, 4-cup/950 mL and 6-cup/1.4 L canisters that stack together for easy storage.• In Pearl Oyster.• Dishwasher safe. ($40.50 retail value)

#3 - Tupperware Microfiber Towel Set

Our popular microfiber Holiday Kitchen Towel is superior to others for drying dishes, pots, pans or counter tops. That’s because it absorbs up to eight times its weight in water. Durable and reusable, it helps save you money on cleaning products and paper towels, protecting the environment from chemical waste and refuse.  ($18.50 retail value)

• 15 x 25"/38 x 63.5 cm.
• Set of two.
• In Brilliant Blue and Cool Aqua.

The Refining Life donation has a value of $98.50. The bidding for this offering will come to a close on Monday at 10 am. The collection will be mailed to the highest bidder at no additional expense.

Leave your bid in the comments and please bid high & bid often!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's new?

Wow!  I haven't posted in over a month.  I haven't visited any of my favorite blogs either. Not that I haven't wanted to, there's just been so much going on around here I haven't hardly had time to breathe!

My husband is STILL having dizzy spells.  The doctor STILL does not know what is causing it.  If we aren't satisfied that some progress on a diagnosis is being made after his appt. next week, we're demanding a new doctor! 

Then, my full-time job is crazy-busy!  I work for a large, multi-national corporation in the Electronic Manufacturing Services industry.  I am part of a Business Development Team, specifically, I'm a Proposal Coordinator.  I am able to work from home which has its advantages for sure.  The disadvantage is that I can work from home, ANY time of day or night.  Since we support all time zones globally, well, you get the picture. 

I also had to make a trip to Austin, Texas a couple of weeks ago, for my job.  I loved Austin, and it was good to be in the same room with my co-workers again.  However, business travel is never really fun for me!  That week seems lost forever.

With my husband's illness, church activities, my job, Tupperware, and now the Holidays all either on my plate now or looming large, the blog has suffered.  Deciding that "Refining Life" is important to me, a necessary, creative (maybe?) outlet and way to communicate with a group of dear friends, was easy.  Finding the time to keep up is more of a challenge.  But, I WILL make time, at least a couple of times a week.  If it's important, I'll find the time, right?

Now I did manage to get some fall decorating done just in time to start thinking of Christmas! :o)

I'm posting several photos.  My "good" camera isn't working for some reason, so these shots are taken with my cheapie.  They aren't great, but I'm sharin' them anyway!

Part of My Pumpkin Collection

My Pheasant Feather Wreath

Close-up of Hazel Blanche

The Dining Table

Beautiful Mums From My Girlfriend
Hope you enjoyed the photos.  I'll be around to visit y'all (learned that in Texas) today, sometime!