Painted Desert lambs

Pressing Tinctures, A-Frame Greenhouse Repairs, and Painted Desert Lambs

Pressing Tinctures, Greenhouse Repairs, and Painted Desert Lambs

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2

Week 8: February 26, 2022

One way to deal with uncertainty and keep anxious thoughts at bay is to keep our hands busy.

Another way to deal with uncertainty and anxious thoughts is to pray, and I hope many of us are doing a lot of that, too.

On the hands busy side, I spent a couple of enjoyable hours pressing tinctures this week using a simple press made by a craftsman who sells on Etsy. The apothecary cupboard is restocked with echinacea and St. John’s wort tinctures for personal use, for sharing with family, and for trade and barter.

Sam and I put in 2 full days on repairs to our vintage A-frame greenhouse, with Sam as contractor and me as assistant. I am thrilled with the results! There is just one small problem, as you will see in the photos.

We welcomed new babies to the farm – and we ate well. Follow along with our week in pictures and feel free to ask questions.

Nora Scholly
Artist: Nora Scholly
frozen duck pond

An unusual cold spell for southern Oregon brought morning temps in the teens: 13-17F (-11c to -8c). No swimming today!

Jasper complains

“I would like to lodge a complaint,” said Jasper, the handsome polydactyl cat.

eggs in snow

Poopy eggs means it’s time to add fresh straw to the nest boxes.

Enchanted Forest Chai

A new tea blend creation: Enchanted Forest Chai.

Pressing Tinctures

pressing tinctures

This whole plant echinacea tincture uses leaf, bud, flower, and root in season to make better use of the plant, without waste and without killing the plant. You can find the tincture press here.

Greenhouse Repairs

greenhouse repairs

Sam tears off the old, 1980’s era greenhouse roof.

greenhouse repairs

Reinforcing the framework of the greenhouse on a budget.

greenhouse repairs

Tinted roof panels being installed in two overlapping layers.

new roof for vintage A-frame greenhouse

Finished. for now. Somehow we ended up with one mismatched panel – it is clear, the others are tinted.

mismatched roof panel on greenhouse

Side view of our vintage A-frame greenhouse. Or is it front view? Note custom-built door that Sam made with salvaged wood and the old hardware. Small space, endless possibilities.

Most of my Norwegian and scented geraniums died in the cold snap, even inside the greenhouse. The hanging baskets escaped and thankfully I have rooted cuttings of the ones that died. The lemon trees are unfazed.

Good Food

Shrimp Daikon Pho

Shrimp Pho (soup) with veggies a coconut broth and oodles of spiralized daikon noodles. Daikon is a long, white radish that spiralizes easily and is a neutral-tasting substitute for traditional rice noodles in this recipe. My favorite spiralizer, the Inspiralizer, has been discontinued. It is worth watching for on ebay.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with roasted garlic and homemade knoephla (puffy German eggs noodles) is the ultimate comfort food.

Crave-worthy Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Cauliflower rice is a pain to make, I will be the first to admit it. But oh, how delicious is this dish with cauli-rice, egg, scallions, and garlic, topped with toasted almond flour and fresh parsley.

tea station restocked

Tea station, restocked with my favorite teas, tea cups, and utensils. Watch this video for ideas for creating a tea station or coffee bar in your home?

Toby the magnificent

Toby, being magnificent.

Painted Desert Lambs

painted desert lambs

Babies! Triplet lambs for this third time mama, a Painted Desert ewe.

Painted Desert lambs

Day old Painted Desert lambs with coats reminiscent of marbles.

Painted Desert ewe and lambs

Mama with her parade of Painted Desert lambs.

silver muscovy nesting hen

This girl took over the nest when the mama who built it died unexpectedly. She is a Silver Muscovy.

Movie Night

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Looking for a new series? The Mysterious Benedict Society follows four orphans on an unusual mission. Full of vivid color, plot twists, and a sense of urgency, this one is aimed at both kids and adults and is eminently bingeable.

Once again, we’ve reached the end of another week at Chocolate Box Cottage. Thank you for visiting and if you have a few minutes, feel free to keep reading or investigate the links provided in the text. Blessings to you on your day today.



  • Hello, I live in Southern Oregon also and am trying to learn many things that you seem to have mastered. I want to learn how to make tinctures. Also I will probably need to build a greenhouse because of the growing season being so short here! I am so happy to have found a kindred spirit 💜

    • Hi Ruthie! I sometimes joke that I am “a keeper of esoteric skills,” and I am definitely still learning. It’s what makes life fun, right?


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