Monday, December 31, 2007

Snow, Nesting, Idea!!


There was a bit of a surprise this morning when I woke up. 8 1/2" of snow! That's not considered a storm where I live, though the media may paint it as one for the sake of a story. It's very lovely, nonetheless and once again, I'm gladly housebound. The picture is of the woods next door. Lovely!
I must be nesting because I've been rearranging furniture and staying up at night thinking about home improvements. Even this blog I'm not satisfied with the style and background color. So, bear with the changes, please. :)
One thing I always thought would be the bee's knees would be to have an official laundry room, preferably on the first floor. Right now I have a laundry area in the basement. I'm not complaining, not in the least. But, I am nesting and a laundry room always seems so charming to me.
Well, here's my idea. When we finally add the second storey on the house, we'll be knocking out the wall between the kitchen and the nursery to make an eat-in country kitchen. The nursery has a walk-in closet. It's not overly big, but it might be big enough. My first two thoughts for the closet were to either knock it out and square off the room completely, or turn it into a pantry. Both ideas have great merit. But now, I've added "laundry room" to the mix. Not only would I have the first floor official laundry room, but it would convenietly be right off the kitchen!
There are some glitches, though. I'd want at least one window in it and we'd have a bit of a mess getting the pipes where they needed to be. Still, it's another idea to throw into the Taigh Beag pot.
And just because my mind wandered this way, we're having hamburgers, fried potatoes and corn for dinner.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Resting

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, and I'm on a rest order from Hubby. I was all set to go to church, but pains in my lower abdomen (not womb-related, thankfully) and back kept me laying down. Hubby recommended that I stay home. Isn't he wonderful?!

He's also wonderful because I've been offered a piano for free! However, I lamented that we really have no place for it. Hubby is determined that I get that piano and is offering ideas for it's placement....one of which includes moving the TV to the basement. Now, THAT'S a motivation to get that basement cleaned out!

Anyone have any idea what it costs to get a piano tuned?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Resolutions, Laundry Detergent

Yes, I jump on the New Year's Resolution Bandwagon every year. And yes, every year, I usually break them. This year, though, I'm doing something different. I'm praying over them and trusting in the Lord to help me keep them. I printed out 10 of them and left 10 more spaces to fill in and I'm going to keep them in my Home Management Binder. Here they are:

1. Maintain a written budget.
2. Keep on budget.
3. No impulse purchases or odd spending without hubby's explicit permission, or with my own saved money for such purposes. (some may say I'm just doormatting myself, but this is an area that I struggle with and I need accountability.)
4. I love eating our and ordering out, but no more unless hubby asks to and we have the means.
5. Organize and declutter, especially the basement (I've got a head-start on this one!)
6. Keep on nutritional track.
7. Cut down on debt.
8. Avoid adding to debt.
9. Use cash more (and credit and debit less)
10. Find ways to reduce, recycle and reuse.

******************************************
I ran out of laundry detergent and was admittedly too lazy to make another batch. So, I grabbed a bottle of baby body and hair wash, baking soda and some borax. A respective squirt, handful and shake of the box and my laundry came out clean, soft and smelling lovely! I think I'm hooked! The nice thing is, I can get the baby stuff pretty cheap at the dollar store, or even Walmart or the local grocery store or discount job lot. My mom gets bottles free at the grocery store with coupons she accumulates. Of course, Bubby still has his own bottles for his baths.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post Christmas Post

I had a wonderful Christmas full of so many blessings! Bubby made out like a bandit. It helps to be little a cute and have a large family. Now, I have to go through all his toys because he simply has too many. I'm also obligated to get this basement cleaned out and get an official playroom going for the little guy! Many great gifts were given to me, but three really stood out: Hubby got me a gun! Yeah, that's right! The preggy chick is packing heat! He got me a .22 mag rifle. Hey, we live in the country and we've had our share of rabid and dangerous animals in the area. With our growing brood of little ones, I'm not taking any chances! I'm a Grizzly Mama, not a Deer Mama. I also got a food processor! Woo hoo!!! Thirdly, I got the non-fiction "Olive Trilogy" books by Carol Drinkwater (All Creatures Great and Small fame).

Today is definately post-Christmas slump. After days of activities and energy, I'm a tired nutritional wasteland. I look forward to getting back on track. The wrappings are getting cleaned up and burned in our furnace. The decorations are slowly coming down. I'm catching up on several days of lack of chores and house tidying.

Preggy report: HEARTBURN! I had it with Bubby. I had it so bad just before giving birth that even water gave me heartburn. I ate Tums like candy and had to sleep in nearly a sitting position. Bubby had a full head of hair, so perhaps this one will, too! 4 more weeks and I can find out what I'm having! I've also still only gained a few pounds. My starting weight was 123. After the Christmas feast on Sunday, I weighed in at 126. I'm ok with this because I'm showing well and eating balanced. I can't really eat any more because I'm not that hungry. Besides, Bubby keeps me active. It feels good to feel stronger in this pregnancy.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

There's Something In Me!!!

Just a couple nights ago I felt my baby! What a wonderful feeling it is to feel that flutter. I can hardly wait until they turn into kicks, bumps and turns. Just before Bubby was born and he was in the head-down position, his little rump was at the top of my tummy on the right hand side. I could literally pat his little pointed bum through my skin. Thankfully, Bubby never beat the wind out of me from the inside. He's certainly making up for it now! That child wears me out! He's so much fun and energetic. It's hard to keep up!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Reminded of why I don't eat at McDonalds

Today was a busy day for Bubby and I. There was a lot of errands to run and then we visited great-grandpa in the nursing home (before I get comments, he was cared for in the home, but his illnesses have gone too far. He needs 24 hour nursing care and the medical advantages such a facility offers). So, it was well past lunch and nap time, so I figured McDonalds would be cheap, fast and easy. It was cheap, it was fast, but it was DISCUSTING! Bubby barely touched his food. He spit out the fries and the cookies of his happy meal. All he ate were two pickles off his burger and half his drink box. I had a cheeseburger, small fries, fruit and yogurt parfait and water. When I got home, I downed a mug of chamomile tea because my stomach was off. Blech..... He loved his happy meal box and the bionicle toy that came with it. I guess I've eaten too healthy too long to enjoy fast food any more. Even the fruit and yogurt parfait was too sugary for my taste.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Enjoying My Hermitage

With winter storms constantly coming on top of the cold, the bother it is to get not only myself but my son bundled up, and illness after illness (I now have a sinus infection), I've been enjoying life as a semi-hermit. Granted, I'm still getting out every week, but I'm in a lot more which is good for me. Not only does it save money and vehicle wear and tear, but it keeps me disciplined to stay home. That is something I've been working on.

It's nice to stand in the living room at 9 am and realize there's nothing pressing to do and that I can just sprawl on the floor and play with my son! It's nice to open my check book and see days go by without a dime spent.

Tomorrow, my hermitage ends temporarily as I have many errands to run. Errands, I know will take two days to do. Then Sunday is church and family dinner. Monday, I go get blood work done. Tuesday is Christmas and all it's visiting. Wednesday, I hit after-Christmas sales to stock up for next year. Then, I can become a quasi-hermit again.

I plan to hermit for most of 2008 as well, since I'll be preggy, then birthing and caring for a new little one. I look forward to it.

I put in a decent start to the basement cleaning yesterday. I'm STILL organizing patterns. The box of stuff to sell or give away is about half full already! I may be rid of some patterns, too. Complete patterns I sell. I think it would be wise for me to limit myself to one file drawer of patterns.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Basement Work Begins

The time has come. I cannot put it off any longer. Hubby wants the space. I want the organization. Bubby needs an area to burn energy since it's mighty cold and the snow is too deep for him to go outside. Thus starts the Great Basement Clean-Out!

This is going to be quite the project. Here's the problem: Since we live in a small cottage with limited storage, anything that did find a home in the main living space was thrown down into our basement. Our basement is PACKED!

I'm trying to start with what I know. I have a box for keeping, a box to get rid of, and a big garbage bag for the trash. I'll work from there. It's going to be a lot of work and a lot of motivation will be needed.

I'm not kidding when I say, "pray for me!"

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Blessed Birthday!

Over the weekend was my birthday! It was a blessed one. I had a good day and spent time with family. I received many wonderful gifts, all of which I'm thankful for:

My parents gave me: scented candles, a dictionary (I asked for one), cosmetic pads, a metal spatula (they heard me lament over my lack of one) and stationary.

My oldest brother and his wife gave me: Josh Groban's CD Noel.

My older brother and his wife gave me: A box of my favorite confections, and a forced bulb kit.

My little brother gave me: an Alison Krauss/Robert Plant CD

My little sister gave me: Burt's Bees lip gloss, potholders

My dear hubby gave me: two unique and beautiful, feminine blouses that I can wear pregnant or not.

My sweet penpal gave me: a drawing journal and a graphite pencil kit

I am just so blessed!

ladyscott

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Busy Day, Wrapping Up Christmas Prep

Busy, busy, busy! We're expecting foul weather, so I grocery shopped early on top of Christmas shopping. Poor Bubby was out past his nap-time and was getting out of sorts in the stores while mommy made her choices. I treated him to Subway to make sure he had a good meal in his tummy. I always get their veggie delight subs on whole wheat.

Once home, I had to unpack the groceries and start working on all the gifts I had to put together. I also bought a cheapy wreath at Walmart and some bows and a string of lights for it. That got put together and hung in my picture window.

In my effort to keep my gift buying on budget, I managed to put together and nice gift basket for under $14.00 thanks to the Dollar Store and some coupons. The basket includes the basket itself, a box of gourmet biscotti, a wooden nutcracker ornament with candies, a bag of gourmet chocolates, a picture of Bubby in a frame and 4 Christmas-themed scented Yankee Candles.

The Dollar Store also provided me with stocking stuffers for Bubby. Hubby asked me the other day what we were filling Bubby's stocking with. I had no plans to fill it, but hubby wanted it filled. Bubby's stocking now contains: 3 bottles of bubble soap, sidewalk chalk, a bath puff with attached dog, and a farm scene sticker book.

I also managed to chat with my MIL about what to get FIL, the man who literally needs and wants nothing. I already got him gourmet popcorn, but MIL liked my idea of a dried fruit gift platter and yogurt covered pretzels.

This evening, I have Bubby's Christmas pictures to cut out and send out. I take a cute, posed picture of him with a disposable camera, get the film developed and then use the Kodak picture scanner at the store to make copies for family members. There's also a few more gifts to wrap.

So, I better get cracking!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's nice to have goals again

It's been a while. Summer and Autumn kept me busy. The harvest was plentiful and needed preserving. That left me little time for anything else. Then, becoming pregnant, though such a joy, I'm sure many a mother can relate that the goal of the first trimester is to just get through one day at a time.

Now, it's all behind me. I'm waltzing to Christmas music into my second trimester and joyfully enjoying the fruits of my harvest labor. Couple winter rest with the New Year, and I've got goals flying out of me! Granted, all the goals are pretty much intertwined, but they're happy goals I hope to acheive and maintain before my little one arrives late spring:

1. Go through all my collections. Keep an eye out for a possible online tag sale!
2. Reduce spending greatly.
3. Pay down debts.
4. Start an etsy shop.
5. Keep up on housekeeping and general homemaking.

It'll be nice to see these things come to fruition before my child birth and infant-rearing responsibilities put them on hiatus.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Busy Monday

It's been a busy day so far and it doesn't seem it'll lighten up any. I don't mind. It's nice to be this busy again and to be able to keep up! Laundry is almost done, too! It's been quite some time since I was able to get laundry done in half a day, let alone one day! I also cleaned the bathroom, bathed the dog, vacuumed, made a squash-nut bread and molasses cookies, took the garbage to the curb, burned cardboard and loaded the furnace, changed a lightbulb (it was outside and up a ladder), shoveled some of the driveway and path (just touch-up of what hubby couldn't finish this morning and it was only 1/2" of snow), and played with Bubby. It's 1 pm now.

The squash-nut bread emerged from an acorn squash I baked for dinner one night and it really did look unappetizing. No one ate it. Now, it's a yummy nut bread! I modified a recipe for pumpkin loaf. I my homemade unsweetened applesauce instead of the oil. I used whole wheat flour, 2 packets of stevia and only 1/2 cup of sugar (the recipe called for one whole cup). I added walnuts and raisins. Bubby helped.

Bubby also helped make the molasses cookies. Instead of butter and shortening (I'm low on butter and don't use shortening) I used coconut oil and applesauce. They came out chewy and yummy! Bubby had a molasses beard!

Tonight's dinner is homemade macaroni and cheese with ground beef and steamed wax beans or mixed veg.

Tonight, I think I'm going to curl up in bed with my brand new copy of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Going Well....

The doctor says everything looks great! I did get an ultrasound and my little one danced for me! As for possible complications because of my miscarriage D&C, everything looks good and it shouldn't be a worry. Baby is exactly on target.

Today, I wrapped presents. It wasn't as fun as I thought it would be because Bubby kept stealing the tubes of wrapping paper to bang into the floor and unroll. I gave him the empty rolls, but apparently, they weren't as fun. :)

I also had him sit for Christmas pictures and he was miserable. Usually, he likes getting his picture done. Oh well. I'm pretty sure out of the MANY that I took, one of them will be a good photo.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Decorating Today and Lunch

Today is Christmas decorating day! My friend is coming over to help and I hope hubby is really pleased and comforted when he walks in the door. One nice thing about Christmas decorating is that when you clean it all up in January (I usually don't wait that long), it's like instant declutter! The house looks so open.

I only have enough money to buy a gallon of milk today. Yet, I must feed my dear friend! She prefers not to eat meat, though she's not a strict vegetarian. In her current displaced situation, she's been eating poorly and I know she'd enjoy a healthful, delicious meal. I have romaine lettuce, tomatoes, baby carrots, havarti cheese and pecans. SALAD! I'll also boil some eggs in case she wants to add an egg or have an egg salad sandwich.

I have tea and oatmeal cookies on hand, too.

Can you tell I'm REALLY trying to curb spending and work with what I have. My mom has a saying that keeps running through my head, "I do the best I can with what I have."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dinner Dilemma

I have a little dinner dilemma that I think I've figured out. Hubby and I are expecting guests tonight. However, when I went shopping for the week, I didn't plan a meal for Tuesday let alone plan for two extra people. (We were supposed to go to their house for dinner.) So, this morning, I opened up my freezer and stared at my selection.

I couldn't do chicken. I needed the chicken for another meal. I couldn't do venison, because they don't have a taste for it. I couldn't do tenderloin because it was already promised for another couple for a dinner party. I couldn't do lazagna because I didn't have enough milk to make the cheese filling and I can't leave the house today. My only option was the stew beef, yet I didn't want to make yet another batch of beef stew. Then it struck me...

BBQ'd steak strips and boiled potatoes with a side of squash. Now, I just have to come up with a dessert.

Monday, December 03, 2007

We're not supposed to love sleep....

But surely the Bible makes exception for pregnant women! Tee hee. :) I'm pretty sure Little One is going through a growth spurt. I can feel my womb stretching and I'm quite tired. It doesn't help that I'm up quite often at night to go to the bathroom. The advice I got was don't drink anything after 6 pm. HAH! What else am I supposed to do if I'm so thirsty!? It's ok, though. I really don't mind. I am reminded how truly blessed I am to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. I was able to sleep in this morning (before Bubby woke up screaming and throwing up...he's fine now) and I'll be able to lay down at Bubby's nap time. Also, I can go to bed anytime after 7pm if I need to.

Our "major snow storm" turned into a mild mess. Still, the media made a big craze about it, but you look out the window and say, "so what!" There's not even anything much to shovel.

Today, I'm going to clean up the house the best I can and move a couple of bookshelves in preparation for Christmas decorating. Tomorrow, we're getting our basement waterproofed and Wednesday my friend is coming over it help me decorate the house.

Tonight's dinner is a treat for hubby: cheeseburger pie!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

One Roast=4 Meals, Christmas Card Time, etc!

Yesterday, I started cleaning out my basement and found the offending dead mouse. I'm so glad to be rid of it. It was in a box of fabric scraps and it gave me a great excuse to throw it away!

Ok, perhaps this isn't the best segway....dead mouse topic to food topic, but bear with me. :)

Thank God for His provisions! I was able to stretch one bottom round roast into 4 meals! The roast was a blessing to begin with. It was given to me by my neighbors (they raise their own beef cattle) for free!

Meal #1: Crockpot roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies. I placed the roast in a crockpot and poured an undrained can of mushrooms over it. Then I added some water and beef bullion and seasonings. I let it cook. Then, I made a gravy out of the broth.

Meal #2: Lots of leftover beef and gravy. I sliced up the beef and added it to the gravy. I made a batch of buiscuts and steamed some carrots.

Meal #3: I had some beef and gravy left over, so I threw it into a stockpot with water, celery, potatoes, carrots, onions, bay leaves, worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper. I topped it off with dumplings and we had a wonderful beef stew dinner.

Meal #4: I have enough beef stew left over for lunch! Pair it with a sandwich or cheese and crackers and YUM!

It's December 1st and for me that means it's time to start Christmas cards. I have over 50 to write and send. Thankfully, last year after Christmas, I was able to get cards at a deep discount, so I stocked up. I have plenty. This morning, I wrote out 10 cards.

The snow we were supposed to get was disappointing. We barely got a dusting. I had insomnia last night and was up from 1:45 am to 5:30 am (and then officially got up for the day at 6:30 am). We just got a light dusting between 2:30 and 3:30 am. Regardless, it's cold and windy today. It's a great day to stay indoors!

Today, I hope to clean out some more of the basement and I have to make cookies. Poor hubby went cookie hunting last night and came up empty. I'm not sure what to do for dinner again. Thankfully, I have next week planned out already! The only thing I forgot was yogurt and I think the batch I have in the fridge is bad. So now I have to do without. I'll have to alter my salmon pasties recipe. I need yogurt for the dough and cream cheese for the salmon. I think I can work something delicious out, though. :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

My Baked Ring Macaroni? Frugal Finds...

Yesterday, I was all set up to start making my baked ziti. I grabbed the last box of whole wheat ziti in my cabinet and discovered there was only about a cup of pasta left! I had a good chuckle and decided I couldn't look back, so I grabbed the brand new box of ring macaroni and hoped it would work. Well, it did. I just made sure not to cook the ring macaroni all the way through before popping it in the oven. It turned out well, though it could have used more moz. cheese. Yum! I used my homemade sauce, ground beef from my neighbor's cows, and homemade riccota-like cheese. The recipe is for homemade cottage cheese, but it actually turns out more like a riccota. I also put in locally grown broccoli and shredded carrots and plenty of parmesan cheese!

Yesterday, after a rather disappointing grocery shopping trip (it seems I buy so little and pay so much lately), I went to Goodwill to drop off some donations. While there, I found some good finds. Maternity clothing was 50% off! I got a pair of khaki slacks, a pretty pink long-sleeved dress and a pink sateen long-sleeved blouse. I also found a beautiful silk peignoir set for only $1.99, a gorgeous evergreen garland with a bow and pine cones for $4.99, a pretty basket to use for a Christmas gift for 99 cents, and a toy bucket truck for Bubby for $2.99. Oh, and a big bow with long streamers for Christmas decorating for $1.99. So, now I'm pretty much set for Christmas, and for maternity clothing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today....

Today is errand day. I'm glad because Bubby really needs to get out of the house. He's been bouncing off the walls! Next Friday, we get the basement waterproofed and then I can start working on the playroom! Oh!! I just remembered, they're spraying to kill the mold, mildew and must. I have to clean stuff out of the basement!! Judging by the amount of stuff I have down there, it's going to take me all week! What really stinks, literally, is that a mouse died down there in an impossible to reach spot so now it stinks. Today, I'm buying some Oust in hopes that that'll kill at least some of the odor.

It'll be so nice to go through everything and really clean out. What's even better is that I'm pregnant and nesting.

I'm going to be moving the computer down there as well. Right now, it's on our unheated enclosed porch. Brrrr...... I really don't want it in the main part of the house because it's so big and clunky and unattractive. The basement is a perfect spot for it.

As for TODAY, I have to drop off stuff at Goodwill, go to the bank, grocery shop, and do a little Christmas shopping. I'll also stop by my parents' house and pay them a visit.

I haven't a clue what's for dinner. Thursdays, I usually do italian. Maybe I'll do a baked ziti. Yum!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

All Sorts...

On the preggy-front, I'm pooching a little, nausea has returned just a little, I'm more tired again but I've started exercising, and I see my doctor next week! I'll most likely get an ultrasound done. My doctor always does one early on to make sure everything is ok (baby and placenta are where they should be and developing normally). I'm looking forward to that first baby picture.

Hubby and I's credit card number was stolen and used to buy very expensive hotel accomodations in China. Thankfully, the card services were on top of things and notified me and I'm not responsible for the charges. The card has been cancelled. It's stuff like this that really makes me wonder about my debt and spending habits. I think it's a good kick in the pants for me.

On top of that, there was another funny charge on my card which prompted me to look into a website that hubby bought a book from for me for my birthday. It has been 2 months and no book and no response from the company. A little online research proved that the company is a fraud. Thankfully, I was able to get my money back. Hubby was so disappointed when I told him. He so wanted me to have the book. So, he gave me my Christmas present for my birthday yesterday. (My b-day is in December) He bought for me two very unique, feminine and downright BEAUTIFUL blouses for me!

It also looks like from here on out, we'll be celebrating my half-birthday instead. There are far too many December birthdays in my family, as well as an anniversary...not to mention Christmas, etc. It'll take some getting used to, but I like the idea of a June birthday party and spreading out the gifts. On the other hand, my half-birthday is around the time I'm supposed to give birth!

Yesterday, Bubby and I had our pictures taken for the church directory. We wore gray turtlenecks. He was sooooo cute and so well behaved! I can't wait for the proofs to arrive!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Finally Getting Things Done

Now that I'm feeling better, it's so nice to get things done. I was finally able to get outdoors and clean up the outdoor toys, put away the autumn decor, clean out some garden stuff, and finally clean out my bay of the garage so I can now park in it.

Today, Bubby and I bundled up (it was only 16 degrees this morning) and we did some Christmas shopping. Hubby and I have a budget limit per person we shop for since we have SO MANY people to shop for! Here's what I came up with:

My sister requested a nice shower caddy for college. I found a beautiful one at Walmart for under budget.

My mom requested new hand towels for her bathroom. At Big Lots, I was able to pick out 6 beautiful towels and had enough money left over for a lovely collection of her favorite confections.

For my nephews who are now sharing a room, I went to Lowes and picked out one of those rugs with the roads on it. It was $20.00 (under budget for the two of them), but I had a coupon for $10.00 off any purchase of $25.00 or more. So, I picked out a boot rack for $4.98 and a small package of wood screws to fix my dining room chairs. I spent a total of just under $18.00!

My brother loves a certain movie that I was able to get at Walmart for $5.88 on DVD!!

I also found for Bubby two wooden peg puzzles (he likes peg puzzles) for $5.00 for both!

Well, off I go to get more things done!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Afternoon off and Thanksgiving

Tuesday, my dear husband gave me the afternoon off by taking our son to Grandpa's house. This gave me a chance to just relax and rest and heal. I took a nice, steamy shower to break up the mucus. Then I went to bed. Then I got up and put together my Cold Season Kit ideas. After that, I knitted some, called my mom, jumped online, listened to a Bing Crosby Christmas CD and called my mom again. Ahhhhh.....

Thanksgiving was very nice this year. I was feeling better, but my dear mother had a bad cold. I'm glad I was able to go over early and give her a hand. Everything came out perfectly and all the dishes arrived at the table at the same time and piping hot. The 28 pound turkey was beautifully browned and perfectly moist. The coveted stuffing was so delicious, we were picking it out of the bird as soon as it came out of the oven. My dad did make his delicious sourdough bread. We had more mashed potatoes than we knew what to do with! And my mom was relieved that the gravy was not lumpy. For dessert, my sister had made a pumpkin cheesecake that was so good. We also had pumpkin pie and apple rum raisin pie. It truly was a blessed day. My father said a beautiful blessing over the meal, too.

There are just so many things I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for my salvation, my family, my steadfast loving husband, my unborn baby, that I could help my mother out, my home, hubby's job, our outdoor furnace, the mountains of food we had, my church, etc etc etc etc.....

I'm feeling better from the cold and from morning sickness. Now, I'm looking forward to getting some long-neglected chores done and prepping the house for Christmas! I don't "officially" start Christmas until December 1st. How about you? Answer in the poll!

Cold Season Kit

After this last barrage of colds, I'm determined as a wife and mother to have a Cold Season Kit to always be prepared. Bubby and I have each had 3 colds since August! Here's what I plan to have in my kit:

1. Chewable Vitamin C tablets
2. Tea Tree Oil
3. Plug-in Vicks
4. Quality Tissues
5. Natural/Herbal throat lozenges
6. Horehound drops
7. Garlic Pearls
8. Saline Nose Spray
9. Chicken Soup
10. Chamomile Tea
11. Concentrated Frozen Orange Juice (to make a warm orangeade for toddlers who won't drink tea and need something more than plain water)
12. Pedialyte
13. Vapor bath
14. Honey
15. Ice Pack (for sinuses and headaches)
16. Humidifier
17. Listerine
18. Herbal Ear Drops (for related ear aches)
19. Oral Gel (my teeth always hurt when I have a cold)
20. Clean Wash Cloths
21. Antibacterial lotion

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Winter, Turkeys, Laundry Room and more...

We've already had one snowfall this season. Granted, it was a dusting and didn't last past 10 am, but there was still snow. I'm looking forward to our first significant snowfall. I like being buttoned up in a warm house, watching the flakes gently fall and settle onto the shivering blades of grass. Plus, I can't wait to see my newly green painted house with a backdrop and covering of snow.

Today, we're having a "wintry-mix" as they call it on the news. Rain, sleet and freezing rain will fall for most of the day. Winter is definitely trying to get on in.

As I opened the curtains in the bedroom this morning, I saw 29 turkeys venturing across my backyard. I quickly grabbed my son and showed him the birds. He thought they were funny. It's nice to know if things go downhill fast, we have food walking through our backyard. Wild turkey tastes so good. My father shot on in time for Thanksgiving when I was a teenager. It was a smallish bird, so mom cooked up a small commercial turkey as well. I went for the wild bird and wish for wild turkey every Thanksgiving. The taste is so good. Some people don't like it, but I liked the nutty undertones.

My mom picked up some magazine back issues at the library. In one, there was a section on laundry rooms and ideas for making the room lovely. After all, the article says, we spend a lot of time doing laundry. We might as well enjoy the space we do it in. My laundry is in the basement. Now that we're getting the basement waterproofed, we'll be able to finish it. The waterproofing company guarantees for the life of our house that we'll be able to drywall and even carpet the basement! I don't plan on carpeting the basement, but I like the idea that I can add woodwork, or drywall and make a lovely little laundry room for myself. Hmmmm...ideas, ideas, ideas.

Yesterday was ruled by my cold. I'm doing better today, but still sick. I'm still a little congested and I feel I have a touch of bronchitis, too. Lots of steam, fluids and rest for me. I'm working on a cotton knitted scarf, so it's rather pleasant to put my feet up and knit. I'm determined to feel better by Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to my mother's stuffing. She makes the best stuffing!

Oh, and I hope my dad makes his sourdough bread. It's not at all Nourishing Traditions (starter is made with yeast and bread made with white flour), but it is so tasty. It's such a special treat. My contribution to the table is greenbeans with crackers (my sister's request), glazed carrots and cider. I'd like to do a dessert, but we already have 4 pies coming! Oh, I did promise my oldest brother that I'd bring a jar of my brandied peaches for him to try.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sorry I've been a snot....

No pun intended, since I have a cold.....

Really, though, I have been a whiny-complainy pregnant woman. But, it's not just the not feeling well. Anyone who's been pregnant can understand that. My whole attitude this pregnancy has been a negative one. I've been very down and out. What's really scary is that I read in some parent/baby/pregnancy magazine that cranky preggy women are more prone to baby blues/PPD.

The nausea and exhaustion are easing up. Now, I just have to beat this cold and I hope to feel so much better.

In other news, we're getting a basement waterproofed and humidexed. No more dampness. No more mildew, mold, must and general ick. My house won't have leporasy anymore!! I'll actually be able to have my son in the basement to play and my fabric stash won't get mildewy! It'll be pleasant to breathe the air in the basement, rather than dying for fresh air just by going down to switch laundry from washer to dryer! I'm very excited!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blah....

Bubby is still suffering from a cold. The doctor said this one will probably last another week. Now, I have a cold on top of severe preggy exhaustion...

Still, I'm a quarter of the way through this pregnancy!! I can't agree with my ticker (which seems to get more and more offensive...I'll have to switch from the humor ticker to the medical info ticker). I do not want to throw my grapefruit sized womb at my husband. I do, however, want to sleep for a couple of weeks and kick this cold in it's behind.

The other day, I did manage to rearrange the bedroom a little. I was given a table and moved it beside my side of the bed and turned it into a vanity. I moved my dressers and cheval mirror to the corner opposite and created a dressing area. The room looks so much neater now.

Well, I have guests coming from out of state today. So, I'm going to wrap up my online time and catch a quick snooze before they arrive. Thankfully, she's a midwife and mother of four and doesn't care that my rugs aren't vacuumed and dishes aren't done.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Book, other news...

My dear mother found this book for me at a second hand store. My parents have the same copy they bought at The Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, NY. I used to peruse their copy when I was a teenager but had forgotten about the book since. Now, I have my own copy!

It's "The Complete Medicinal Herbal" by Penelope Ody. I recommend it to anyone who's just getting into natural and herbal medicine and for the veteran herbologist alike. It's set up nicely, easy to read and understand and has an excellent index.

I have this little dream of having a beautiful, fragrant herb garden someday.

Week 9 has been going fairly well. I'm very tired, I suffer insomnia and frequent trips to the bathroom and bouts of nausea. Thank God! While it's bothersome to be incapacitated, I'm happy to know it's a great sign that all is well with my developing little one.

I'm also doubly tired because I was up most of the night with Bubby. He's sick with a slight fever, cough and he threw up yesterday. I've got him on rest, bland foods and plenty of fluids. He's doing well. No more throwing up, the cough is only occassional, but he still feels warm and his skin looks a little mottled. His appetite is better, though.

Oh! The other day when Bubby and I walked up to the farm, I found bittersweet vines not too far from my yard! I won't be able to gather any this year, but it's nice to know it's there. Perhaps next year I can use it for autumn decoration.



Thursday, November 08, 2007

Feeling better....

I don't know if it's just my time to start feeling better, or if some changes I've made have really helped me ease my nausea.

I've been cooking more simple, healthful meals. I've been eating more balanced meals. I bought some organic whole milk plain yogurt and ate what I could tolerate (not much), but soon started feeling better. Now, I've got a batch of homemade yogurt culturing! Yum and my stomach is thanking me. I also took a few days off of taking prenatal vitamins. That helped a fair amount. I'm now on Flintstone-type chewables and don't get absolutely sick off of them.

I also noticed that my prenatals and a lot of the processed foods I was eating contained soy. Soy has an estrogen-like effect. I wonder if that aggrivated my hormones that cause the nausea and actually made it worse?

I haven't any whey made yet, so I've been finishing off a box of bran flakes before I switch to oatmeal for breakfast (can't tolerate eggs yet). I've been eating a bowl of that with either bananas or raisins and whole milk for breakfast. Lunch has been loaded with veggies and I try to add a simple protein like cheese or tuna. For dinner tonight, I'm making homemade shepherd's pie with ground wild venison (topped with mashed potatoes made from potatoes from a local farm).

I do NEED eggs in my diet, but I just can't do them yet. However, I'm thinking of making a brown rice pudding with maple syrup instead of sugar. That'll contain eggs. I need to get off my preggy rear and make a loaf of sprouted grain bread because then I can get my eggs through french toast until I can tolerate them alone.

I also noticed that since I've been eating a more balanced and healthful diet, my cravings have really slowed down. I haven't craved anything recently.

Thanks Candy, Stephanie and Nourishing Traditions!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Stuff...

This morning as hubby was getting ready to leave for work, the daily delivery truck to the nursing home drove by the house. He always hits his jake brakes right in front of our house. As soon as he did, a little voice behind the closed bedroom door said, "Gack-oor!" It was so precious! That's how he says tractor and identifies any truck or tractor or construction machinery.

After a few very sick days, I'm doing better today. For dinner last night, I made a chicken and veggie stew. Tonight, my in-laws are taking us out to eat. I'll probably get the baked haddock. Simple, tasty, and good for me and baby.

I think tomorrow I'll make a chicken and brown rice casserole.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Junk

I've noticed quite blatently that I've been eating JUNK! Quick, easy, cravable junk! I think I need to get my creative juices flowing and get back on my NT diet. My baby will thank me.

Thanks, Candy. Your recent comment and recent blog post helped push this forward.

I have noticed that fruit, particularly citrus and beef are my two main healthy crave-ables.

So, this weekend, I'll work towards a healthier grocery list. I feel like I need some plain whole yogurt anyway. My stomach needs to repair after eating that Banquet lazagna. BLECH and double BLECH!

The funny thing is, I haven't gained any weight. I thought for sure all these carbs and sugars would have packed on the lbs. They haven't, but that may be due to the much smaller portions I can only manage. However, I do have this puffy, bloated look. I can't say whether it's pregnancy or diet related.

Tonight is my last junk meal. I'm making frozen pizzas.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fine Crisp Autumn Day

I've got an extra layer on today! It's crisp this morning, and I'm glad. I'll bundle Bubby and I up and go for a walk and visit the farm. My ticker says that the baby is doing his cardio, but I'm not. :) It's true! I've been so tired and sick that I've been prostrate. However, it's really starting to come back and bite me. I can't sleep at night because my muscles twitch. So, I prayed to my Savior and Healer that I'll have a good day today, wakeful and no nausea so I'll be able to get a little exercise in. Hopefully I'll sleep better tonight.

Last night, I made the boxed Banquet meal lazagna. It was discusting. I would have done better buying a large can of Chef Boyardee and cooking that for dinner.

Tonight, I think I'll make Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches. :) Yum!

Well, I better go pay some bills. Blech.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dinner Tonight

I have lazagna listed, but the thought of it just doesn't settle with me. I'm craving tacos, but I have no tomatoes. I'll have to run to the store the buy tomatoes and hard taco shells. I want hard tacos, not soft. The soft doesn't settle with me, either. Pregnancy is so strange! My food cravings and aversions make no sense whatsoever, but they're as real as the day is long.

With Bubby, I lived on white cheddar cheez-its, frosted shredded wheat and grilled cheese sandwiches. I remember craving pizza, blueberry waffles, veggie subs from Subway and milkshakes. This time around, it's a lot more varied and the cravings are stronger.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blessings

Yesterday, I talked to my SIL on the phone and was able to voice all my preggy concerns. She promised to pray for me and I prayed too. Soon after, I got a tummy ache again! This time I'm not lamenting it. I also feel a stronger sense that this time my pregnancy will be fruitful. I'll feel so much better once I get past week 11, though.

Hubby announced yesterday that he's taking 2 weeks vacation in November! Woo hoo!

My mom is coming over tomorrow to help me clean the house...and boy, does it need it.

My neighbor came over and gave me 2 grocery bags filled with ground beef, hamburger patties, a huge pork roast, a beef roast and stew beef.

Oh, and I'm not going to be fostering goats. My friend found a home for them.

I think I might actually put it to prayer to get rid of the fish and the tank. I truly don't want them. The fish were left to us by the previous owner of the house. The fish proceeded to breed. I now have 3 generations of gold fish in a 55 gallon tank in my 880 square foot house. I'd be happy not to have them anymore.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hmmmm.....

My preggy ticker says I'm morning sick. Reality says otherwise. I'm not. While some might say, "lucky," it actually scares me. I wasn't morning sick very long with my last pregnancy and I miscarried. However, with my last pregnancy, I was very bloated but otherwise didn't feel pregnant at all. I had a TON of energy, a great appetite and felt great. With this one, I'm very tired. Doing too much makes me sore and very sleepy. I can't eat much at one time and I usually feel ill when I'm hungry and after I eat (usually have to lay down to digest). I have to eat at regular intervals to avoid feeling ill. So, I'm guessing that I've been able to manage my "morning sickness" into just about oblivion. Perhaps it'll come back, too as hormones change. I'm only at 7 weeks. If I remember correctly, with Bubby I had off and on days.

So, I guess I won't worry. I'm too tired to worry.

Oh, can someone clean my fishtank? It really smells and I hate doing it. Better yet, can someone come take it away? :b

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Feeling Better

I took it all to the Lord and I'm feeling better. I can actually function now. Still, I have to be really careful with what I eat and when and I down plenty of Altoids. Altoids are a preggy staple for me. The real gingerale has done nothing for me and churns my stomach just to think about it. Strange. But, that's pregnancy. :) Now, I'm beginning to enjoy my pregnancy, but I'll feel so much better once I get past 11 weeks. Then, I'll be more sure that this pregnancy is a keeper and I won't miscarry like I did last time.

I got an issue of Cottage Living in the mail yesterday. That helped spur me on to tidy up the house a little. I still can't do too much. I'm still so sleepy and too much thrashing about sets my stomach off. Still, it's nice to get something done.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Housekeeping in the First Trimester

Ah! You may think this is some brave, super-mom keeping the house spotless while writhing in nausea and sleeping 15 hours a day post. But....it's not.

Housekeeping in the first trimester? Almost non-existant. I vacuum in the morning. I clean the bathroom with lysol wipes when I can. (Usually, if I feel the need to visit my porcelain friend, I grab the wipes and clean while I wait for my stomach to settle.) The kitchen....I do dishes once a day. I take the garbage out when I can't stand the smell anymore. I make my son simple meals. For dinner, it's packaged easy-to-make dinners like frozen lazagna and hamburger helpers. I put stuff away when I can. I do laundry when it desperately needs it, but I admit that Monday's whites are still dry in the dryer. My laundry is in the basement and walking down stairs really churns my stomach, and walking up them leaves me winded.

What's hubby doing, you may ask? Oh, he's just working 6 days a week to provide a living for his precious family. Can you believe he comes home as soon as possible every evening and greets us with so much love and happiness? Can you believe that this husband of mine kisses and rubs my tummy and asks how I'm doing and then baby-talks to our unborn baby? Sheesh...some men. *smirk* Of course he helps out, but he also has his "manly chores" to do (lawn care, lifting heavy things, and calling everyone we know ~ and we know a LOT of people ~ and proudly telling them I've got another bun in the oven). He researches baby names, talks about baby products, listens to my moaning and groaning about my tummy aches, graciously gives up the bed so I can thrash all I want all night long (I'm a very restless sleeper when pregnant), watches Bubby so I can rest.....Gee, I guess I need to find a better man. Wait! There isn't one! I've got the best! :)

Oh, this post was supposed to be about housekeeping....oh well.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cheerio and Seltzer Diet....

I've really had to lower my expectations of myself. I'm just too sick this pregnancy. I'm on a Cheerio and Seltzer diet. I can barely exercise at all, much to my great disappointment. I sleep for at least 12 hours a day. Otherwise, I spend a lot of a time prostrate. I love to cook, but cooking just churns my stomach. Food churns my stomach. Still, I have loving, hardworking hubby to feed and a sweet, caring son to feed. So, I managed to drag myself to the store today and buy enough easy-to-make/ready-to-make dinners for a week. Plus, I needed more seltzer and Cheerios.

I look forward to my second trimester. The energy, the nesting.....

My Pollyanna view of the whole thing is: at least I have a great excuse to rest, relax, and not have to do much at all!

Monday, October 22, 2007

What Our Feminist Foremothers Said About Abortion

In a letter to abolitionist and social activist, Julia Ward on Octover 16, 1878, Elizabeth Cady Stanton penned, "When we consider that women are treated as property, is it degrading to a woman that wae should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."

July 1869, Susan B. Anthony wrote, "I deplore the horrible crime of child murder...No matter what the motive, love of ease or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed...but oh!, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime."

1868, Matilda Electa Joslyn Gage (Native American activist, suffragist and abolitionist) wrote, "The subject lies deeper down into woman's wrongs than any other...the crime of abortion is not one in shich the guilt lies solely or even chiefly with the woman....I hesitate to assert that most of this crime of "child murder," "abortion," "infanticide," lies at the door of the male sex."

1990, Gloria V. Hefferan, MD described abortion as "the ultimate exploitation of women. It's no surprise that Playboy Foundation money competes with Rockefeller Foundation money to promote the concept of permissive abortion."

1963 Planned Parenthood pamphlet states, "an abortion kills a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Real Gingerale and Boston

I found a couple of things that help ease my "morning" sickness: real gingerale and Boston music. My favorite songs are Amanda and More Than a Feeling. For some reason, just listening to them keeps my mind off my stomach.

Hermit Christians

It upsets, and I dare say, angers me that Christians get into this Hermit-Habit. We go to our familiar church, sit in our familiar pews (and get a bent nose if some new face invades our church or worse, our pew), go home to our familiar houses and forget about everyone else around us.

When my father was forced into retirement after an on-the-job injury that wasn't his fault (he was safely parked and someone hit him), raising a family of 7 was very difficult. When he ended up in the hospital, a call was put out to provide meals for our family since dad was in the hospital and mom was with him (my brothers were old enough to watch the littles.) A local restaurant owner provided us with pizza every Saturday night for free. Otherwise, the only other person to step foward sent us a dish of baked beans. That was it!

The reasoning? "I have my own family to take care of." "We're worse off than they are!" "I can't be bothered, I'm too busy." "I don't know them very well." Etc, etc etc.

I think it's horrible that we can't bake a casserole for the widow down the road. Or help clean house for the new mom in the church. Or send a little note to the new family attending the church.

I think it's downright sickening that the church will pray for someone having hardship, but don't bother to help that person otherwise. We may pray for God to answer their prayers or help them out, but forget, WE may be their answer. A church that practices tithing and runs their finances Biblically should have enough money to give a financially burdened family something to help them along.

When my cousin lost her husband, money would anonymously appear in her mailbox. Or church members would shake her hand and leave a $20.00 in her palm.

For some Christians, it's just the cares of the world and keeping up with the rat race that blinds them to the needs of others. For other Christians, it's the business of running a cookie-cutter "Biblical" household that leaves no room for helping others. For still others, it's a complete lack of faith coupled with selfishness, "I can't make them a casserole. I only bought enough for this week for my family." It's the same mentality of those who donate old cans of saurkraut to the local food drive, but keep the Campbells Supper Bakes for themselves.

I urge every one of my readers to stop being hermit Christians before the end of the month, help someone out! Can't think of anyone? Ask your pastor if anyone in the church could use a hand. If no one's really in need that you know of, do something for a charity! Buy a bag of groceries for a local food pantry. Donate for Thanksgiving to a homeless shelter. Drop off a bag of dog food and treats to an animal shelter, or a bag of feed to someone who fosters animals. Drop off a bag of groceries to a local foster family. Send a cheerful, oversized card to a children's ward in the hospital or to a nursing home. Buy a coat for a child who needs one. Donate your gently used baby clothes to a Birthright or unwed mother's home. Drop off a box of diapers while you're at it. If you really can afford it, pay to have the heating tank filled for someone who can't afford it.

Do SOMETHING! Christians should be helping others.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Day Off ~ Off Day

Day Off:
Last night, Bubby wasn't breathing so well. He has a cold coupled with a possible allergic reaction to something he ate yesterday. So, I had him sleep on the sofa with me last night, keeping him upright. Needless to say, I got very little sleep. So, we're having a day off today. Lots of R&R for the both of us.

Still, when he goes down for his nap, I'd like to get at least one project worked on. I might clean out more of the basement or work on the beadboard for the mud porch.

For dinner tonight, I'm in the mood of pork schnitzl with homemade spaetzl(spellings?).

Off Day:

The news just keeps getting weirder and worse! Here's some of the news for the day:

The Governor of New York has made it legally possible for illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses.

The Governor of California has decreed that it is discriminatory for "Mom, Dad, Husband and Wife" to be used without also adding reference to alternative sexuality, especially in public schools.

A Yahoo headline says that sex with robots isn't far away.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bliss! And other news...

I received my first issue of the reinstated Victoria magazine in the mail today! Oh, how lovely it is, too. www.victoriamag.com I curled up on my sunny windowseat in my porch and went cover to cover.

Through the nausea, fatigue, food aversions, and gas pains, I'm smiling radiantly because I know all the former means my pregnancy is going very well. The food aversions and cravings really destroy any idea of going "low carb" this pregnancy. I'm going to start a sidebar list of my food cravings. It'll be a funny little way to chart my pregnancy.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Frugality....

The idea popped into my head yesterday to cover my grandma's chair in tartan material. Ebay didn't have any Scott tartan and it was just too expensive to buy outright. Then, I remembered that hubby has 3 great kilts packed away in the basement. Two are blackwatch and one is a tartan I can't recall the name of. So, I grabbed the lighter of the blackwatch and covered the chair in it. The blackwatch matches the rest of the living room and it looks so cozy and perfect for the cooler months! The best thing is that it was FREE!

Frugality is something I'm diving into for the winter months. I have a few rather impossible goals:

1. Use only 1 tank of gas per month
2. Keep electric bill under $80.00
3. Cut grocery bill to $180.00 a month

Also, now that I'm pregnant, I'm going to need the space in Bubby's closet for baby stuff rather than my clothes. (The closet in hubby and I's room is pathetically tiny. Hubby has all his clothing in it because he prefers shelving over drawers). However, buying an armoire or wardobe is cost prohibitive at this time. Buying a portable closet just isn't attractive. I believe that the master bedroom should be relaxing and beautiful. So, I designed a wardrobe that I can probably actually make myself for about $100.00! It'll have a wood frame with cedar top, bottom and shelf and it'll be covered in toile fabric with fancy trimmings. If I do get around to making it, I'll post a picture.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Goats, Preggy Dining, Anonymouses

Looks like I might become the proud caretaker of two female goats. A friend of mine needs to find a home for her two goats and hubby said we could take them in! I've got my work cut out of me. They need to move in before Thanksgiving and that spot out back needs cleaning and the shed needs to be divided and prepped for safe and adequate goat housing.

For Bubby's pregnancy, I allowed myself the pleasure of indulgences. I "ate for two" and gave in to every craving. I knew I was going to blow up like a balloon and that I'd have to work hard to get it off, but I was ok with that because I knew I could do it and I did do it. Not only did I go down to my pre-preggy weight, I lost 7 more lbs!

For this pregnancy, I'm really trying to stay fit and healthy with healthful meals following the Nourishing Traditions diet and exercise. So far, so good because I'm not bogged down with nausea (I get little bouts now and again, but it's still early). Here's today's menu for me:

Breakfast: whey-soaked oatmeal with walnuts, fresh apple, cream and a touch of maple syrup. Water. Cod liver oil, B6 and Folic Acid.

Lunch: A pinch of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal (my little cheat), roma tomatoes and chicken salad (chicken breast, walnuts, apple, cheese and mayo seasoned with paprika) Water

Snack: Probably a Fruitbu and homemade yogurt if I'm hungry at all, Water

Dinner: Brother is coming over, so I'm making homemade pizza with whole wheat crust. I load mine down with veggies. The men will get sausage. For dessert, I'm thinking of making an Angel Food Cake with homemade whipped cream and peaches. Water, 1/2 dose of a Prenatal Vitamin

Do to the general annoyance of some anonymous commenter(s) who insists on being ridiculous, I'm only allowing blogger registered users to post comments. I apologise to those anonymous commenters who are good and decent, but it really doesn't take much to join blogger and it's free and you don't have to start up a blog.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Book Giveaway!


Crystal at http://www.biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/2007/10/giveaway-10-copies-of-passionate.html is giving away 10 copies of this book! You must register by this Saturday, though!

My Grandma's Chair

My grandmother had a lady's chair in her bedroom. She eventually gave it to my parents who had it in their library room. Somehow, I ended up with it, and gladly so. I'm honored to have my grandmother's chair. However, the chair has seen better days. The upholstery is extremely threadbare and in the arms and seat, worn right through. A good portion of the horsehair filling is pulled out, no thanks to a curious dog.

When we were filling our house with loved ones to celebrate our son's first birthday, I grabbed some fabric I had stashed away and did a quick 1/2 slip cover ~ 1/2 reupholstering job on it. However, the fabric just doesn't go with the rest of the living room and really isn't suitable.

Reupholstering it is out of the question right now. The style of the piece makes it too difficult for me to do it myself and expensive to have it done professionally. Eventually, we will have it reupholstered, but for now, I need a quick and lovely and inexpensive fix.

I found a chenille throw at Walmart for an affordable price, but put it back on the shelf when I found it to be made in China and not really what I wanted. I'm hoping now to find something at an antique shop or thrift store. A store-bought slip cover wouldn't work either because of the unique shape of the chair.

I'm hoping for a nice throw, piano shawl, thin quilt or even a length of material to dress it up in.

A verse for the frugal-minded...

Luke 3:14 ".....and be content with your wages."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some Great Buys This Week

I can't ignore the sales this week! They're actually pretty good! I'm really trying to be more and more frugal. Here's what I'm buying today that really will save me money:

1 lb butter $1.88 (usually around $2.12-$2.23)

1 gallon whole milk $2.99 (usually close to $4.00)

1/2 lb roast beef lunchmeat $1.99 (usually around $5.00 and I don't buy it, but hubby needs lunchmeat for his work lunches and he loves roast beef. To save money, he only gets lunchmeat sandwiches every other week. On the non-lunchmeat weeks, he gets salad sandwiches (tuna, egg, etc) or peanutbutter)

1 lb American Cheese $3.99 (usually $4.99, but not the best deal. A couple weeks ago, it was $2.99. Still, we could use the cheese. If money is tighter than expected, I'll only get 1/2 a lb.)

Golden Grahams Cereal $1.66 a box (usually hovering around $3.50-$4.00 and I don't buy it unless on sale, or I get the generic version. I get it for hubby. I don't eat boxed cereals anymore, except for the occassional treat.)

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast $1.69 lb (usually $2-something a pound, but I only ever buy it if it's on sale. This is the cheapest I've seen it in a long time. I'm going to stock up!)

Liverwurst $2.99 lb (usually around $3.99 a lb, but I might not buy it. During Bubby's pregnancy, my doctor recommended I eat liverwurst for increased iron since I nearly always run slightly anemic. I like it anyway, but I might not bother since I'm cutting carbs and not eating very much bread. Making a sandwich out of it is something I probably won't do then. Besides, I'm buying calf liver for dinner later anyway.)

Yep, good buys!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What we should be spending our time on

1. God. It is immensely important to spend time with the Lord each and every day. I find that if I don't, my day goes right down the drain. Everything else seems to fall into place more easily if I spend my time with my Savior every day.

2. Husband. Make sure the man you're supposed to be in love with feels loved! It's funny how the top two priorities in our lives are often the first two to be neglected when we get too busy.

3. Children. We wanted them. We gave birth to them. Now take care of them! Quit sending them off for other people to take care of. They only need a couple of extra curricular activities. They NEED to be with us. That also means turning off the TV, putting down the novel, and getting off the computer or phone when they need us to spend time with them.

4. Family. Thankfully, I was blessed with a very close knit family. It's easy to spend time with them. It is nice to stay in touch and not become strangers. I do need to improve in a couple areas, though. Some relatives are elderly and ill and I need to be with them more.

5. The Needy. Whatever happened to the days of knitting socks for soldiers, or making quilts for the homeless shelters, or baking a casserole for the lady down the road who just gave birth? Sometimes, I think in our trying to separate ourselves from the world, we easily become too reclusive or exclusive. Other people are just so busy in this fast-paced world, they barely have time for themselves, completely give up #1 and #2, basically ignore #3, markedly ignore #4 and don't even think about #5.

6. Ourselves. Notice I didn't put friends. For me, friends are family or they fall into #5 for when they need help or #6 when I've accomplished 1-5 and have time to do something for myself (ie. go to lunch with a friend). Yes, we ourselves are last on the list, but that doesn't mean we neglect ourselves either. We NEED to take care of ourselves.

So what does that mean? It means that none of these numbers should ever be neglected or discarded. That's right. With a complete re-evaluation of our lives, it IS possible to fulfill all 6.

Now, keep in mind, I'm not saying DAILY. There are times in our lives when some are set aside for a time because others need more attention. However, God should always remain #1 and never be neglected. For example, you've just given birth. Of course your new baby is going to take a lot more of your time and hubby will be in the background for a little while. But, don't make it a habit. Or, perhaps a major storm hit your area, so those in need suddenly bump up a few numbers. Or, your mother is sick and dying, so you have to leave your children for a couple weeks while arrangements are made for your mother. But, these are just temporary times. They should not be the norm.

Beautiful Distraction, Bringing the Past Forward

I've been rather distracted these last couple of days. I guess finding out you're pregnant does that to a woman. :) So, I'm not getting as much done as I'd like. It also doesn't help that the nesting instinct that hits me like a ton of bricks every pregnancy distracts me into alternative projects. For example, I've taken up knitting again!

Ok, I admit, I can't knit. I can purl. That's it. So, I'm purling a nice dish towel. Walmart sells "Peaches and Cream" cotton yarn and it's made in the USA. I found an "earth tones" skein and am using that. It's so pretty! Plus, the repetative clicking of the needles is rather comforting and restful for me. I feel so feminine and old fashioned while I'm knitting.

Something about autumn and winter brings the old-fashioned out of me anyway. Also, lately I've read other women's posts about thinking they were born in the wrong era or wishing that things were more like the past. I've come to realize something as I entered into the latter half of my twenties....instead of wishing, we CAN do more to bring the past forward in our own lives and homes.

A simple first step is to just turn off the electronics! It won't be hard to turn off the TV in a little while anyway. They're making the switch to digital and we don't have cable or sattelite. Already, the one channel we get barely comes in at all!

If you want instant vintage in your home, turn on a small radio (like a clock radio) to an "am" station that plays music from the 40's-60's. Oh, what a sound!

I'll see what other things I can come up with.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Nesting Already?

I'm so jittery! I can hardly sleep, I'm practically bouncing off the walls! Plus, I can't stand anything out of it's place. I don't mind, though. I'm getting plenty of housework done. There is scheduled rest times, too. There's nothing like curling up on my down mattressed window seat in my sun porch with old issues of Victoria Magazine.

I refuse to fear another miscarriage. I'm taking it one day at a time, but I'm optimistic. So far, it's going (symptom-wise) much like Bubby's. Thankfully, no morning sickness yet.

My family is so great! Today, after church, we got together and the 4 cousins were able to play. Everyone had a grand time. My parents' house was so gleefully noisy. The happy squeals of children is music to my ears. My dear mother made a huge pot of galumgies (spelling?) or Polish cabbage rolls. She also made a roast with veggies in the crockpot and two of her signature apple pies with crumb topping! Oh, it felt like the holidays! What a special occassion for all of us. I thank God so often for my loving, supportive family. I wonder how I got so blessed in such a broken world. Hubby's family isn't just broken, it's shattered. He finds refuge in my family and I'm glad for that. I'm also thankful I have two older siblings and two younger siblings. I can't imagine growing up and living life in a smaller family.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday

I didn't do too much today. I haven't been feeling well. I'm not sick. I'm just hovering around 60-70%. I ran my errands today and visited my parents. Then, while Bubby napped, I tried working on my business site, but an essential computer program crashed. So, I tidied a bookcase and got rid of some books and then went through my catalog pile and got rid of a pretty heavy pile of catalogs. For dinner, I made lazagna and used my homemade curdy-cheese. It was delicious and filling! I always make my lazagnas different. It depends on the ingredients on hand. Here's how I made today's lazagna:

I cooked one box of lazagna noodles. I spread a very thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Noodles, then half the curdy-cheese, garlic and italian seasonings, mozarella cheese, fresh spinach, parm. cheese, sauce, noodles, sauce, remaining curdy cheese, moz. cheese and parm cheese, cooked ground turkey with minced garlic, italian seasoning, noodles, remaining sauce, moz. cheese and parm cheese.

I baked it uncovered for about 20 minutes to half an hour. Yum!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I found space!

Wednesdays are usually home project days. Today's projects were: cleaning out the walk-in closet, cleaning out two cabinets in the kitchen and painting window frames. (This evening, I have to can applesauce.)

The projects went well. The closet is now a tidy, organized space and I was able to get rid of some junk. But the cabinets were a pleasure to re-organize. Both were stuffed full and in danger of avalanches every time the doors were opened. Also, I had things in each cabinet that really didn't make sense. Why keep most of my pots in pans in one cabinet, but some others in the other? The cabinet by the door, I decided would be better used for my least used items and as a sort of dry-cool storage (it butts up against two outter walls). The cabinet on the other end would be for my oft used supplies. For the winter, I plan to put a chair between the cabinet and the door for hubby to use to remove his slushy boots. Therefore, I didn't want to be moving the chair several times a day to get items out.

Overall, the re-organization went very well. I got rid of just a few items, but gained and amazing amount of space. My oft-used cabinet is so tidy and spacious now, I'm just thrilled and don't mind opening the door and putting things away. Plus, it'll be nice to easily pull out my bread machine without having to take apart an entire cabinet just to get to it.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Recommended Utensils, 1884

My mother picked up a 5 volume boxed set of little cookbooks of recipes from Early America through the young Republic and Ante Bellum through Victorian America and the Westward Expansion. In the Victorian cookbook, there's a "Facsimile of a list of minimum utensils recommended for every kitchen of the 1880's. From Miss Parloa's New Cook Book (1884)."

Utensils
The following is a list of utensils with which a kitchen should be furnished. But the housekeeper will find that there is continually something to be bought. If there be much fancy cooking, there must be an ice cream freezer, jelly and charlotte russe moulds and many little pans and cutters. The right way is, of course, to get the essential articles first, and then, from time to time, to add those used in fancy cooking:
Two cast iron pots, size depending upon range or stove (they come with the stove).
One griddle
One porcelain-lined preserving kettle
One fish kettle
Three porcelain-lined stew-pans, holding from one to six quarts
One No. 4 deep Scotch frying kettle
One waffle iron
Three french polished frying-pans, Nos. 1, 3 and 6
Four stamped tin or granite ware stew-pans, holding from one pint to four quarts
One double boiler, holding three quarts
One Dover egg beater
One common wire beater
One meat rack
One dish pan
Two bread pans, holding six and eight quarts respectively
Two milk pans
Two Russian iron baking pans, two sizes
Four tin shallow baking pans
One smaller dredger for salt
One, still smaller for pepper
One boning knife
One french cook's knife
One butcher's knife
One large fork
Two case knives and forks
Two vegetable knives
Four large mixing spoons
Two table spoons
Six teaspoons
One larding needle
One trussing needle
One set of steel skewers
One wire dish cloth
One whip churn
One biscuit cutter
One hand basin
One jagging iron
Three double broilers one each for toast, fish and meat
One long handled dipper
One large grater
One apple corer
One flour scoop
One sugar scoop
One lemon squeezer
Chopping tray and knife
Small wooden bowl to use in chopping
Four deep pans for loaves
Two quart measures
One deep, round pan of granite ware, with cover for braising
One deep Russian iron french roll pan
Two stamped tin muffin pans
One teapot
One coffee pot
One coffee biggin
One chocolate pot
One colander
One squash strainer
One gravy strainer
One strainer that will fit on to one of the cast iron pots
One frying basket
One melon mould
Two brown bread tins
One round pudding mould
Two vegetable cutters
One tea canister
One coffee canister
One cake box
One spice box
One dredger for flour
One for powdered sugar
Moulding board for good hard wood
Board for cutting bread on
One for cutting cold meats on
Thick board or block one which to break bones, open lobsters, etc
A rolling pin
Wooden buckets for sugar, Graham, Indian and rye meal
Wooden boxes for rice, tapioca, crackers, barley, soda, cream of tartar, etc
Covers for flour barrels
Wire flour sieve - not too large
A pail for cleaning purposes
One vegetable masher
Stone pot for bread, holding ten quarts
One for butter, holding six quarts
One for pork, holding three quarts
One dust pan and brush
One scrubbing brush
One broom
One blacking brush
Four yellow earthen bowls, holding from six quarts down
Four white, smooth-bottomed bowls, holding one quart each
Six cups, holding half a pint each
One bean pot
One earthen pudding dish

Monday, October 01, 2007

How to get more done in a day

Step 1: Get off the computer....

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Another Cheesy post

I tried my homemade cottage cheese today. I used it in a ziti dish. It's rather like ricotta rather than cottage cheese. Hubby liked it. I thought it was good, too. Here's the recipe:

Cottage cheese:1 gallon 2%,1% or skim milk1/2 c. vinegar directions: Heat milk until ALMOST boiling, turn off heat. Add Vinegar, then cool a bit. Pour through a cheese cloth lined strainer, and set until the whey drains off. Great in lasagna, with pasta, with fruit, or plain. You can add salt if you want to.

I used whole milk, but am going to try it with skim.

ladyscott

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sleeping on Air

Yesterday, I replaced the spring mattress on hubby and I's bed with our air mattress. I topped it with a memory foam mattress pad and fixed the bed up really nice. Well, I can honestly say I slept better last night. I could lay still and comfortably. I was warm enough. I didn't feel all stiff and achy in the morning. I didn't feel dizzy and sick during the night. It is now the afternoon and I don't feel like I need a nap. Hubby says he'll let me know later if the air mattress gave him a better sleep.

If we do decide to stick with the air mattress, it will be rather funny having to re-inflate the bed every morning or two as part of redressing the bed. Still, it is so worth it to finally feel like I had a decent night's sleep. I even had good dreams!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More on Cloth Diapering, Plastic Reduction, Organization and a Big Project

I really like the AIO diaper I got from www.gracefulbabies.com. At only $9.00, I consider that a steal (and it comes with a doubler!). I have 3 fitted diapers that need vinyl covers over them, and 2 of my own homemade diapers that also need vinyl covers. I also have a goodly supply of chinese prefolds of varying qualities. It was hot yesterday, so Bubby drank a lot of water. Consequently, after 3 hours, his fitted diaper was soaked. He could feel it and was doing this cute little dance....pull on the vinyl and then dip into squats. Of course, I changed him. I do prefer the AIOs at this point.

I also part time washable wipe Bubby. For poos, I use disposable wipes. For urine only, I use soft cotton washcloths. I've saved money there. Rather than using nearly an entire $8.00 bulk box of wipes a month, I use only 2 packages of that box of 6. As winter comes upon us, I'll probably use less because I'll be traveling less and thus not using so many disposable wipes and diapers.

I've decided to rename my efforts "Plastic Reduction." That's far more realistic than "Plastic Elimination." I dare say that even the Amish have plastics about. Not only can't we avoid plastics anymore, but in some cases plastic is better and in other cases it's too cost prohibitive to get rid of our plastic models for metal, glass or wood versions. For example, as I thought about plastic reduction in the bathroom, I realized that glass shampoo bottles would be downright dangerous. I think they make metal dispensers that would work well, but would they rust and be a pain to keep clean? Also, I'd LOVE to replace my plastic fans with the reproduction "vintage" metal ones, but that's rather cost prohibitive right now. Also, most of my storage is plastic. What I'd love to do is have cedar chests and a small shed, but it isn't going to happen.

Frankly, if all you or I can manage is to keep our foodstuffs out of plastic, we'll have improved our health and eliminated the main consumption of plastic particles from our lives.

As as side note, did you know that 62% of the carbon in an American hair sample is corn-based? They attribute this to the amount of corn in our processed foods and the abundance of high fructose corn syrup Americans consume.

Back to plastic storage. I just purchased a big ol' rubbermaid box to store Bubby's outdoor toys in. Now they won't be scattered in various places, particularly, hubby's bay of the garage.

Now that re-enacting is pretty much over, I've got the big project of getting things washed, organized and put away. Boy, is it a big project! I have to redo the trailer and redo two closets. The trailer goes into storage for the wintertime, so I have to make sure I have everything out that I want out. It's going to take a day or two for the closets alone. But if I do it right, next year will run much more smoothly for getting ready for the season. That's my goal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Officially Cloth Diapering!

I have a couple of new initial phrases....you know how stay at home mom is SAHM. Well, my new phrases are PTCD and FTCD (part time cloth diapering, and full time cloth diapering). I am offically a PTCD SAHM!

I'm cloth diapering while home, but for trips and overnight, I'm still using disposables. I still have to build up my cloth diaper bounty.

Now, do any of you other cloth diapering moms, when you first started cloth diapering, feel better about what your child had on their tushy and feel a sense of at-home pride or satisfaction (you know, the feeling you get when your homemade bread is baking or you hang homemade curtains on your windows)?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cheesy stuff and ab-blasting

Ok, I'm hooked! Cheese curds are soooo good! Too bad they're rather expensive. I wonder if I could make them myself? I'll have to look at up. I'm also looking into making my own cottage cheese. I made a cheater version the other day out of nearly boiling milk and vinegar, but I haven't had the guts to try it yet. It looks like it would work best in lazagna or stuffed shells rather than eating it plain.

Regular readers of my blog will notice I've taken down my weight loss meter. That's because I hit a plateau and thought I was happy with myself. Well, my legs are in great shape. My arms, shoulders, back, etc are in great shape. But my abs....well....they could use a little work. I'm not sure if it is weight loss I'm seeking or just a great ab-blasting workout. Regardless, I'm watching my carb intake more and I'm looking into some videos that'll knock my abs into shape. Any ideas?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Localtarian, and more

There's a small, but growing movement in my local area called becoming a localtarian. It means doing your best to buy your food and products from local growers and suppliers. If you want a bookcase, instead of picking one up from Walmart or JC Penneys, go to a local furniture maker. If you want pears, go to a local orchard. Of course, this means following the seasons as well. I've taken to the idea myself since I save a bunch of money going to a particular local farm for produce. The orchard's prices are comparable or a little more expensive than the grocery store, but the flavor and quality is so much better. It is so nice to eat a fresh peach and not a hard, tasteless one from the grocery store.

I can get local grains, herbs, honey, maple syrup, eggs, milk, cheeses, and even peanut butter! Buying this way is not only healthier, but I don't have to worry about impulse buying of processed foods. Also, Bubby likes it better because he gets to go to farms instead of boring old grocery stores. Oh, I still hit the grocery stores, but as I become more adept at being a localtarian, I'll be a bit more scarce at grocery stores.

There's a lady in the area who's running a localtarian based website. However, she's vegan and she completely omits any local farms that sell meats. She also ignores any raw milk or any higher fat products that are staples in a Nourishing Traditions lifestyle. Looks like I'll have to do some research of my own.

Yesterday was such a pleasant Sunday. I went to church and Bubby behaved very well. The sermon was wonderful. For the first time in a long time, I was able to come home right after church rather than visiting family (work schedule change in the host family). I put Bubby to bed, had lunch, changed my clothes and wandered outside to putter. I like to putter on Sundays. I know some people are convicted to do no work on Sundays, but I can't just sit around. Instead, I don't allow myself to do any chore that causes me stress. Hence the puttering. I puttered in the pond. I fixed the waterfalls. I puttered in my garden by pulling up another tomato plant and watering the autumn crop of turnips, peas and spinach.

We're expecting lovely, mild, sunny weather until Thursday. I look forward to it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Home and Garden Magazines and more

Home and Garden magazines are dangerous. I received my latest issue of Cottage Living in the mail yesterday and after thumbing through it, I rearranged part of the house! It was a chain reaction that was bound to happen anyway.

When I got the hutch for the kitchen, I moved the smaller hutch to the porch and the bookcase on the porch went down into hubby's man cave. Since Autumn is upon us, I moved some of my herbs indoors and put them on the sun porch. They needed a perch, so I moved the small hutch to the window and placed the herbs on it. So, I had an open spot in the porch.

I dislike electronics in the bedroom, so I pulled out a wood folding table and placed it in the porch and moved the computer out there. Now that it's cooler weather, a computer can safely live out there and it makes a nice little office for me and a play area for Bubby. Also, if I get pregnant and suffer my usual insomnia, I can wile away the wee hours online without bothering hubby.

So, I moved the computer hutch to the basement. I might sell it. Right now I have a desktop computer, but my house is so small, a lap top is much better suited for it. Anyhoo, in the bedroom I rearranged a little of the existing furniture to make it look more relaxing. Plus, I added the game table that was in the porch into the bedroom. Hubby and I used to have backgammon marathons in bed. I'd like to bring that back.

All this because I opened a magazine. :)

I received a 60 day free trial membership to BJ's. I'm resisting the urge to go today. I want to go, but nows not the time to. Next week I can go shopping.

Denise Austin has a Yoga workout DVD that I like. It's been quite a search for one that doesn't have any reference to the religion behind yoga or one that doesn't have you meditating. I've avoided yoga for years because of my convictions in these areas, but the exercises are so beneficial. The results are amazing. Thankfully, Denise Austin's DVD is just about the exercise and nothing more.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Domestic Engineer

Now, this post is supposed to be tongue in cheek, but at the same time a little thought-provoking.

At-home moms are worth an estimated $136,000 a year. Now, what if "domestic engineer" really was a paid career (rather than a rewarding life)? Would you hear Donald Trump say, "You're Fired!"?

Lets look at some ways a professional needs to be...well....professional to be a success in their career. Do we wives measure up in our own career? Or would we be fired?

Appearance: Who says looks don't count? To be bluntly honest, they do. I've never seen a lawyer appear in court wearing sweats. Now, there is something to wearing clothes appropriate to the job, but are sweats and frump necessary? We at-home wives should be dressed for success! Besides, getting dressed and ready for the day helps the day move along better and we feel better about ourselves!

Education: We all know that without that college degree, it's really hard to get a good paying job. It doesn't matter if someone majored in beer and partying, that piece of paper is what matters. My own hubby has been passed up for promotions because he doesn't have that diploma, when the reality of it is, when the diploma-bearing kid enters the job the first thing they say to him is, "Forget what you learned in college. It's worthless out here in the real world." And they have to train him anyway. However, as an at-home wife, we have the upper hand in that we can educate ourselves to our fullest potential. We can learn all sorts of domestic skills and general household well-being. Are you continuing your domestic education?

Experience: Employers like someone with experience. Many women today unfortunately don't have the experience with households. So, if you're not married or newly married, or returning to the home, start gaining some experience.

Financial skills: Your home is like your company. You try to keep it profitable and out of the red zone. Are you doing what you can to make sure things are financially ok? If what you're doing in the home were translated to a business, would you be fired for mishandling of finances? Would you be fired for sneaky spending or pulling funds from one account to serve your own purpose? Do you go above your business partner's head (husband) and spend money and just label it under "misc. expenses?" Be careful!

Work Ethic: Do you have a good work ethic? Do you cheerfully perform your tasks. Do you enjoy your job? Do you treat your co-workers (family) with respect and kindness? Are you eager to get your job done and feel satisfaction when you do? Work ethic is important, too. Someone with a poor work ethic is usually devalued in a company and eventually driven out or put out.

Leadership: In the business world, someone with leadership skills is highly valued. This someone steps forward during problems and gets the job done. This person involves the co-workers (family) without being a dictator about it. This person has good foresight and doesn't micro-manage. This person also listens and leads by example. Can you do that in your home?

Work Performance: Do you walk the walk or just talk the talk? Do you just "show up" to work and only do what's minimally required of you? Or do you take the job and run with it? Are you efficient? Are you effective? Are you an asset? Do you try to do more than what is required of you?

How do you measure up?

Can you think of any other analogies?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Evening Free

I've given myself the evening off. My ears have been ringing loudly all day and that usually means I'm headed for one of my "grand mal" dizzy spells. I can usually avoid it if I rest and keep my fluid intake up. I feel a little bad because I wanted to put up tomatoes and pickles this evening. However, it's better for me to add a couple hours of work onto tomorrow than go ahead and can tonight and possibly be incapacitated for 10 hours tomorrow. Besides, hubby mentioned today for me to be careful physically. He's afraid I'm going to get myself sick. So, that confirms it. Tonight, I'm resting. Right now, I'm blog-surfing. Later, I'll spend a little time primping myself, and then I'll settle in bed with a book. Sounds good. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Plastic Elimination

Here are three ways I'm eliminating plastics in my home:

1. Use freezer/butcher paper to freeze products.
2. Use wax paper to wrap sandwiches for lunches
3. Use mason jars to store foods and leftovers in the fridge and pantry

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Crazy Idea

Last week, I went to a farm to purchase 50lbs of potatoes and 1/2 gallon of maple syrup and met the farmer's wife. She's a sweet lady who's very down to earth and a conservative Christian. We chatted a bit about Nourishing Traditions and healthy living. During our conversation, she mentioned that it would be best for me to put the maple syrup into glass jars when I got home. Plastic gets into our food and alters the flavor. I remembered a friend of hubby and I's who nearly died from cancer suspected to be caused by an over-exposure to plastic. While he was going through chemo, he learned about the dangers of plastic, particularly in our foods.

So, today I had a crazy idea. I wonder if I could successfully eliminate as much plastic as possible in my home. Can you imagine how difficult that can be? I mean the computer alone, the fridge, Bubby's toys, even parts of my garments...plastic. Still, I might give it a go and see what I can eliminate.

The picnic was great, by the way. We all had a grand time. The weather was cool, but not too chilly and the food was excellent. Hubby picked out a Christmas tree while there, too. We have a string on it so we know which one it is when we come back for it in December.

Peachy Keen

Yesterday, after getting lost twice, I finally found a local farm that sells peaches for a reasonable price! I bought 1/2 a bushel. I'm going to freeze some, can some and can some pie filling, too. Bubby loves peaches and is very good at eating it like adults do.

Well, today is Saturday. I have a family picnic to attend, but I'm also going to do my best to keep up on my desire to have a clean house over the weekend. I'm a bit behind because yesterday evening was a mad dash to beat the rain and the dark to drain the pond and get the fish in to the aquarium in our dining room. One fish was dead, so we tossed it, but the biggest fish had 3 babies. All surviving fish are doing very well. Bubby discovered the full tank this morning and has been enthralled with it.

Well, gotta go bake a pie or cobbler and make a squash dish for the picnic.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Simplifying

Ok, I've pretty much got the organizing and tidying down pat. Now, I'm ready for the simplifying. I really just want to have what I need to live the lifestyle I enjoy and attain to. That means tossing out gels and lotions I never use, hair goodies I never use, clothes I rarely or never wear, shoes I don't need, etc. I'm also thinking of going through my books and getting rid of any fiction that isn't classic. Libraries are great for getting fiction books out, should I want to read them. I don't need to keep a supply for myself (except for a couple favorites I just can't part with). Classics, I'll keep for homeschooling.

I want to purge my cleaning supplies and only keep the things I need and use. I want to dump my cabinets and toss anything old and no longer a part of our diet. I want to know exactly what I have and what I need.

Well, I'm talking the talk. Let's see how I walk the walk.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh, what a night!

A bleary-eyed ladyscott is checking in. Last night, Bubby was all congested and had a hard time breathing. Every time his nose plugged up, he'd wake up crying, coughing and trying to de-booger. I put the humidifier in his room, but it didn't help much. I wanted to keep an eye on him and be able to quickly soothe him every time he woke up, so I ended up sleeping on sofa cusions on his floor. Oh, what very little sleep I got. He's doing much better this morning and is relaxing in his crib right now. I want him to get plenty of rest this morning....and I could use some, too.

Yesterday was pretty productive. I got my finances taken care of for the week. Bubby and I picked through the garden. I got two loads of laundry done. I baked yeasted buttermilk bread. Vacuumed, tidied, "homeschooled," exercised and even relaxed for 3 minutes with an old Victoria magazine. Lastly, I put up 2 quarts of ratattouille, 3 quarts of potatoes, 3 pints of beets and 2 quarts and 1 pint of tomato sauce.

Today, I'm taking it easy. I do have errands to run and the usual daily household chores and work to do for my web-based business. It's going to be a beautiful day today, so I'll make sure Bubby and I have some time in the great outdoors. Maybe we can go for a hike in the woods next door to our house.

Oh, one more thing. Bubby is so adorable! He's so eager to help. Yesterday, when I was folding laundry, he would come in for one of his items and take it to his room and put it in his drawer, then come back and repeat. I praised him up and down for being such a great helper. Regardless that I had to go into his room and refold the clothes and put things where they really belonged, I felt it was a small sacrifice for the lesson he was taught on helping. He also loves to help pick tomatoes. I've tried and tried, but I can't seem to get him to understand that the green ones stay on the plant. I decided to keep trying, but at the same time, sacrificing a few green tomatoes is worth it for the lessons he's learning and the encouragement he gets from helping Mommy.

He also enjoys rinsing dishes and now knows how to turn off the videos and shut the doors to the TV armoire. He also likes to help Mommy mail letters (he puts the letters in the box and raises the flag), he's very good at shutting doors behind him, and he's pretty good about cleaning up his toys either on his own or when he's asked to. He can follow two part directions for the most part.

The best part is, he enjoys all of this! Of course, he gets plenty of playtime, rest, good healthy foods, fresh air, and most importantly LOVE.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

After the Rain

For two days, we finally got much needed rain. I'm thankful, but I'm also thankful for today's sunshine and more autumn-like temperatures. I look forward to wearing a cardigan and throwing open the windows!

It is imparative that I go through the garden this morning. Today, I'm putting up as much produce as I can. Yesterday was my sewing day. I put together a diaper for Bubby and worked on some Bubby Hats. I came up with a new design for little girls that's really cute. I'll get a picture up as soon as I can.

I also made yogurt, set dough out for bread today and made mayonnaise yesterday. That was time consuming and rather cost prohibitive. A 12 ounce jar of mayo needs 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil. I think I'll just keep on buying it from the store.

I found a lady who makes AIO cloth diapers for only $9.00! www.gracefulbabies.com

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Not Wasting Food, Questions Answered

I like having a compost heap. I hate throwing away food, even if it's gone bad, because I know what a waste it is. However, having a compost heap, I don't feel so wasteful. At least my discarded food is being put to good use turning into organic matter for my garden and not rotting away in a plastic bag in our landfills.

I made a batch of yogurt the other day but my culture died so the yogurt was terrible. (There's not enough enzyme and good bacterias in pasteurized milk to carry the culture for many batches of yogurt.) I tried eating it anyway, but ended up with an upset stomach. 4 altoids later, I decided to throw it away. It'll make a great addition to my compost heap! I have a new batch "cooking" in the crockpot right now. I'll use a new batch of storebought yogurt to culture it.

Barbara asked how I changed the look of my blog. I clicked on the template tab and looked for the fonts and colors tab. Click on that and you can change away. I believe it depends on whether or not you have the new google blogger and which template you originally chose. I'm no computer whiz. Despite Candy's answers on her blog, I still can't figure out how to give myself some pretty wallpaper on my blog.

Julie asked my source for the statistics on salvation in the fatherhood post below. The statistics were given to me by a missionary to the Netherlands and the missionary did not reveal her source. Still, it makes sense to me. After all, when I see a lone child coming to church, they're usually with relatives or friends and parents rarely join them. When I see a mother coming to church, she may have her children, but no spouse and her children may be rebellious and unresponsive to the message. But when I see a father come to church, he is almost always accompanied by his wife and children. I'll see if I can get a source.