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The makeover has begun…..Oh my…going to be a noisy one for a few days…

Today was the first day of removing upstairs carpet…tomorrow the first hardwood will go down…a beautiful rich walnut in the guest bedroom and my office…separated by a full bath and hallway….wood for the hallway also…bath has slate tile so that will stay.

Some pics of the carpet being removed.
I have so enjoyed this flooring…it’s an old world design and part wool…

Many years of great service but it is time to go….No carpet downstairs, so this is it for flooring change. (Yippie)

Oh…except the stairway…those too will be converted to wood….
flooring flooring  stairs

Pickles      Pickles
This last week has been a wonderful Independence Day Retreat for me…
Lot’s of family time, friends, and “me” time!
I feel blessed and refreshed…
Today was a welcome back work schedule…..

This Bread&Butter pickle recipe goes back generations in my mothers family….probably yours also.

God Bless America…Independence Day Another birthday to be grateful for!

Thank you Lord for family and B&B Pickles!


I had a light bulb moment early this AM…I’ve looked through so many gorgeous colors and shades of those colors…my head is now full of paint pictures and swimming in …Indecisiveness!

However, I think I’ve hit on a solution….What is your thought on this idea?

I will use the color pallet of my personal style…( wardrobe, skin colors etc.) to design the pallet for Sage Hill House…of course inside these colors are many variations of shading…….

It’s a new option and one I like…now to make it fit!!

Sage Hill House

Spring is all about …renewal…

Lighter/brighter …warmer days…cool nights….

Suddenly it is a sparkling new season!

Why not start the journey with a lighter, brighter, sparkling…”you!”

Think about this…our first thought is Spring clean the house, the garden, work space…

Why not Spring clean the body!
A simple detox for a week is akin to sweeping the house of all clutter!

These blends used on a regular basis (once, twice, three times a week)
support the lymphatic system as well as the kidneys and liver.

(My two favorite Essential oil blends for deep, but easy and no stress on the system.)

Detox blend…

4 drops lemon oil
4 drops grapefruit oil
4 drops angelica root oil
Add to 4 tsp of base or carrier oil such as Almond…

Detox blend…

5 drops grapefruit
5 drops sweet fennel
2 drops carrot seed
Ass to 4 tsp of base or carrier oil such as Almond….

Massage into the soles of the feet and pulse points such as wrist, bends of the knees, palms of the hands, temples and back of the neck.

Add 10 drops to your bath…(warm to slightly hot)
A sauna bath is excellent a few minutes after applying the oils.

***Important***Drink plenty of water while detoxing (Spring or Mineral water)…regardless what method is used…otherwise you have swept up the toxins and left the in the middle of the house to redistribute!

TIP: Add to the detox routine the habit of drinking a good sleep support tea about 10 minutes prior to bedtime….Chamomile is the best….

Sage Hill House has not had a full face-lift in 15 years …time to lighten up…literally!
All of the furniture is antique, heavy and somewhat dark…no desire to replace that…all the walls throughout the entire house are the same color ( mystique) a pale lavender that bounces different colors depending on the light. ( this will be one of the changes)

Paints, fabric, flooring, linens, shower curtains etc., etc.

When we start looking to purchase these types of home items we must be aware…..straight across the board offerings will be loaded with irritants that can be avoided or at least minimized to a lesser degree of contamination. Organic, chemical free, sustainable, and cleaner collection of goods are out there…This will be a journey of learning for me, even though I’ve been on this path for 20 or more years, my research and work has revolved around food and personal care items……..making changes, choices, this for that…the trade-off’s, the benefit, and the fall-out!

A Cape Cod is a 4 square plan …not an open floor plan but the rooms all open up to each other from the same hallway, which allows the light to flow throughout and gives a more spacious look/feel/…keeps the flow running smoothly if the same color scheme is used throughout….not a difficult task, just deciding on that color scheme is the biggie……( in the summer months I use white cotton slip-covers on the LR furniture.)
Wood floors throughout downstairs…( will replace carpet with wood upstairs. Stairway will remain carpeted but a different pattern.)
Replace all window treatments….Blinds…have no curtains…
Considering curtains in the LR and inside shutters in the DR….
Color scheme now is in the greens, dark wine to light rose and white.

My sofa is a gem and no desire to replace ( shades of green/white and heavy fabric) some wood on base and front of arms.

Appliance’s are all Stainless Steel and new…no replacements….

Counter tops and kitchen wall around/under cabinets to be changed.

The now look….

Wall Colors
Color of walls in low or night lighting.


Wall colors
Wall colors in full daylight .


Example of bed-room furnishings…


Furniture and floors
Counter-tops and wall-paper (blue) to be changed


Sofa colors
Sofa Colors

Family Favorite Salmon Cakes/Pattie’s

salmon patties

My first memory of these delicious little cakes go back to the late 1940’s… the WWII years when food was carefully chosen to get the most for the needs at hand….. shopping was not the event that we know today….many things were scarce are totally unavailable….. most people grew/raised their own food…..most men were in the war , away from home, farm, family….. A good memory from a not so good time.
My mother made a sauce of catsup, mustard, and pickle relish…when we had all ingredients…one would often be the choice…. a hot biscuit, sliced onion and the salmon patty was my favorite .

  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, undrained and flaked
  • 1 slice of bread, shredded
  • 3 Tbsp chopped green onion, including the green parts
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped dill weed, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
  • Several turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp grape-seed oilBlend all ingredients with a wooden spoon until easily to form a patty cake by hand.
    Heat a griddle pan slightly oiled and fry on med heat until brown and crispy or less cooking if crisp isn’t desired.

These are a childhood favorite…they can be served on a bed of greens with a spicy Cajun sauce …. Remoulade.. recipe below

On a bun as a burger with your choice of toppings…thick sliced onion and green tomato are yummy! or red tomato!

Served alongside your egg and asparagus brunch dining…

Or…one of my favorite ways is snacking while on the move….

A hot cup of herbal tea (or coffee) a couple of patty cakes and a walk through the gardens mid morning or early evening…..Oh yeah!!

Remoulade Sauce…

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup Creole Mustard
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil ( I cut back to 1/2 cup and use an alternative oil…grapeseed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely minced celery
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons minced green onion
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  • In a nonreactive mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mustard, vinegar, horseradish, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, the paprika, cayenne, and black pepper. On a cutting board, mash the garlic and the remaining 1/4 of salt together, using the side of a chef’s knife to form a paste. Add the garlic paste to the bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Combine the oils in a measuring cup with a pour spout, and while whisking continuously, drizzle the oil blend very slowly into the mustard mixture until a smooth, thick emulsion is formed. Whisk in the celery, green onion, mayonnaise, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Chill thoroughly before using; the remoulade will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

In the south March is the first of three busy months in the gardens.
Farther north it will begin in April…

Sowing…means planting seed into the ground.
Planting… is starting with seedlings that have been growing in a heated greenhouse or purchased from a garden center.

Depending on your location cool weather crops such as leeks,onions, Brussels sprouts, round leaf spinach, parsnips, parsley, radish, broad beans, lettuces, scallions,  (spring onions) and cabbage (red is awesome)

Warm weather crops can be started in a heated greenhouse now for planting out in May/or after the last frost date for your area.

Tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, cucumber, green peas (snap peas) and celery.

Now is the time to prepare your compost needs if you don’t have it started already.
Compost  done correctly is the only nutrients (fertilize) your gardens will need.

Best Compost….a balanced blend of green and brown yard materials….No roots and no seeding plants. (plants already gone to seed)
Kitchen scraps such as: coffee/tea grinds, egg-shells, and vegetable peels.
Composted manure from chickens or horses is best…if you don’t have access to that , purchase from a good supplier and know what is used in making it. (Organic is best)

***No meatbones, cooked food, oils, etc./these will turn your compost rancid and attract critters of all kinds.

Check your local County Co-op for your frost dates and zone…or google it!

Happy Gardening!

sage hill gardens

Bea's Beatitudes

Stress Healing Foods and How They Work~

When the mind and body goes through emotional issues the stress factor can and does leave us vulnerable to low energy, foggy mind, and binge or emotional eating/drinking…..

Our gut connects to the brain through the vagus nerve. This connection delivers nutrition (or toxins) to the brain based on the state of your inner ecology. So, if your intestinal system is loaded with trash…then your thoughts will directly reflect the same. However, if it is healthy and balanced, that will send positive vibrations to your noggin, and allow you to better handle adverse situations and circumstances so you don’t stress out.

(Reishi), also known as ganoderma lucidum, has been on the planet far longer than we have, and has adapted to situations that have left other plants, and animals, extinct.

Perhaps we can learn and benefit from this miraculous herb?

Reishi is a powerful grounding herb, and provides an adaptogenic quality that is passed on to those who consume it. So even though you don’t plan on adapting and surviving for the next 200 years, it could very well help you adapt and handle the stress of your morning commute, or that surly family member.

Some of the other positive effects of reishi, which may explain its benefits to stressed out individuals, is it’s antibacterial, viral, fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these conditions that are often found in the gut directly affects your ability to think correctly and therefore handle situations in a calm manner. When reishi helps eliminate them, that leaves a cleaner connection from your gut to your head, which enables you to think more clearly.

(Passion flower)

The leaves and roots of many passion flower varieties contain compounds called beta-carboline harmala alkaloids. These alkaloids act as natural monoamine oxidase inhibitors that aid in the metabolism of the feel-good neurotransmitters, serotonin and norephinephrine.

This helps produce a sense of calm and well being, and helps reduce feelings of anxiety and stress by raising the levels of these happiness promoting chemicals.

Passion flower often comes in tincture or liquid form (tea), and has very few known side effects, which makes it a desirable way to relieve anxiety naturally.


Chamomile is a commonly known herb for its calming and mildly sedative effect. It has been used for hundreds of years by natural healers to help reduce stress and induce sleep.

Part of chamomile’s positive effects comes from it’s antibacterial nature, and another part comes from the simple engagement of our smell receptors and how it affects our brain.

Chamomile can be taken largely in tea form, but there are also significant benefits from inhaling its natural oils through essential oil products. This is effective because our 50 million smell receptors inside our nasal cavity connect to our brains limbic system – which is responsible for emotions, memory, and sexual arousal.

(Lemon balm)

Lemon balm is a perennial herb in the mint family native to the southern Europe and Mediterranean regions. It has been studied for centuries and has been known to relieve anxiety, promote sleep, and sooth agitation.

In a 2004 human study, lemon balm was examined for its effect on laboratory-induced stress in humans. 18 healthy volunteers took a single dose of lemon balm extract or a placebo, and their mood was assessed before the dose and one hour after, via a standardized stress-simulation test.

The higher dose ameliorated the stress induced by the test, and produced significantly improved self-ratings of calmness and alertness. Even the lower dose produced a significant increase in the speed at which the subjects could do math problems, without any reduction in accuracy.

Work in some of these healing foods and herbs for stress, and watch your mind and body start to heal itself.

Lemon balm and Passion flower are my go to favorites when I feel less than energized and joyful…..they really do work far beyond a quick pick me up!

Christmas As Seen Through The Eyes Of Dickens~

The Christmas Story…according to the Christmas Bible story, Christ came down to earth from heaven to be born at Christmas, because of his love for all humanity.

Christmas Through the Eyes of Dickens~(1812-1870)
( a cry for social justice )

Christmas in Scrooge’s day…in 1843 Christmas was much less commercial. Many people went to church, and many followed the ancient tradition of making merry. however, nothing was allowed for or geared to the working class or poor classes of people
We all know the heart-tugging story of  “A Christmas Carol” by- Charles Dickens…what many may not know are some of the historical facts that inspired this classic.

The English Christmas was at a low ebb when Dickens was a youngster.
his desire was to make it understood and to change how the working poor lived from day to day. Dickens loved his city and spent his life wandering the streets, by the time he was 15 he know it well…yet never stopped exploring and writing about its restless energy.

Much of today’s London was built in the 19th Century,
it was full of dark alleys and lanes, the streets were crowded, noisy, and very dirty.
Almost anything was bought and sold, the atmosphere was more akin to a modern third-world city than modern London. Many of the vendors were children-there were no child labor laws such as we have today. Many worked as young as 5-sweeping the streets.

The growth of the city exploded in the 1800’s and became know as “the Fever-Patch.” It was the first big industrial city in the world, and it was dirty, extremely polluted and unhealthy. disease spread quickly…there were four cholera epidemics in Dickens’s lifetime. plus regular outbreaks of typhoid, scarlet fever,, and other ills. Two hundred open sewers ran into the Thames River…and more than half of the London population took their water from it for cooking, laundry, bathing and drinking.

“A Christmas Carol” was written in 1843, as was the first printed Christmas cards. However in 1843 many very old traditions were still being celebrated. Some dated from ancient pagan midwinter festivals-which were celebrated long before the first Christmas. The latter part of the 1840’s began to see signs of new customs and ways that brought London out of the disgusting conditions it had become famous for.

The year after ” A Christmas Carol” was published , nine London theaters staged versions of this book…it has been a favorite of stage and screen ever since. The classic being the 1951 version.

After the success of ” A Christmas Carol” Dickens wrote a Christmas story each year for the next several years, including The Chimes,(1844) and The cricket On The Hearth (1845)-none were as popular as A Christmas Carol. It added a new word to the English language (“a Scrooge” is a miser…very few stories have done that.

Today’s Christmas is commercial in a way Dickens could not have dreamed of…but in part and thanks to him, we still feel that Christmas should be a time for family warmth, wholesome fun, kindness to others and especially children…his vision lives on~ RIP Charles Dickens.

Merry Christmas~

The Sage Hill Farms Family~