waterfalls and gratitude

Of Waterfalls and Gratitude

Of Waterfalls and Gratitude

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2

Week 24: June 18, 2022

Half of me is grateful for ample ☔️rain, the other half is worrying ☀️summer will be too short to ripen heat-loving garden crops like tomatoes, peppers, squash, beans, and melons. Silly, isn’t it? Because half grateful is really not.

waterfalls and gratitude

The waterfall we drive over every week on our way to and from church reminded me that God is not stingy. It – the waterfall – does not work to be worthy of filling, it merely accepts the rain God sends.

Determined to see, really see, with fresh eyes I saw much to be grateful for.

Many of our fruit 🌳trees were burned by late frosts and will not bear fruit this year, but we have a freezer full of wild blackberries and huckleberries we did not plant or tend, which can be turned into homemade fruit leather, and an abundance of green herbs for food, tea, recipes, and remedies – free for the taking! (I just have to stay ahead of Sam and the weedeater.)

Want to learn to make really great fruit leather? See my method here: Best Fruit Leather Recipe with 20 Tips for Success.

Having problems making good fruit leather? See my guide here: Fruit Leather Troubleshooting Guide.

Gardening brings a good kind of tired. Here I am working hard to harvest herbs ahead of Sam.

garden snail

I took a moment, actually several, to watch a snail. Have you noticed a snail is never in a hurry?

Heaping basket of plantain, raspberry leaf, mint, self heal, red cover, and wild chamomile proved tempting to the chickens. I think they viewed it as a buffet. I did manage to get the herbs arranged on dehydrator trays and set them to dry at 100 F ( 38 c) in my Excalibur dehydrator.

Last summer’s extreme heat (110-117F for what seemed like forever) hastened the death of half a dozen big pine trees on our property. The power company came this week and felled 3 that were completely dead and even as we mourned their loss we couldn’t help but be thankful for the warmth they will provide our home when fed to the wood stove.

Gravenstein apple tree and great mullein

One of my two favorite apple trees, a Gravenstein, plus a grouping of great mullein, Verbascum thapsus.

Wild irises and barbed wire separate our pasture from the neighbors’. Pretty little clover blossoms open fuchsia pink and fade to blush.

chicks under heat lamp

After seeing the price of eggs in the grocery store, we decided we needed a few more laying hens to offset what we lost to predators this winter.

This week’s video is especially for you if you own an Ankarsrum Assistent mixer and want to bake large batches of whole wheat bread. I walk you through my treasured family recipe that I have baked for over 20 years and show you all the “little” things that help you produce your best bread ever. Bread that is soft and fluffy and makes great toast and sandwiches. Bread your family will love!

Own a Bosch Universal or a KitchenAid? I made videos with printable recipes for you, too! Visit my channel by clicking the video above and locate your video.

Chicken Burrito Bowl freezer meal

Chicken Burrito Bowl, assembled recently during a freezer meal prep session and cooked in the Mealthy multipot. (Like an Instant Pot)

Tea blending

Blending a special tea for a special friend who is sick with an awful cold. I can’t express what a nice feeling it is to open my little apothecary and find all the ingredients are there waiting. I learned the skill of tea blending by taking an absolutely wonderful course!

Though Darkness Descent by Janet Joanou Weiner

Though Darkness Descend is the riveting true story of the Huguenots in France in the 1600’s by Janet Joanou Weiner. First book in a trilogy and I am eagerly awaiting the second! (Free on Kindle as of Sept 14, 2022)

Jasper thinks deeply

Jasper leans on the windowsill, thinking deeply about life.

Each of us has experienced a staggering amount of change and loss in the past 2 years, much of it uninvited and unwelcome.

And yet if we push ourselves to look deeper we will certainly find that there has been good in the middle of it all.

Please tell me: what good have you found in the midst of the last 2 years’ change and loss? Let me know in the comments, I respond to every one.

Blessings,

Michele

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