Friday, August 31, 2007

Improvements with a purpose

Of course improvements always have a purpose, but the improvements I'm talking about has the semi-sneaky purpose of helping to convince hubby to let us keep some animals.

There's a shed on our property that sits where an old shed used to be. That old shed is a scattered heap around the new shed. It's a semi-shady area in an away part of the yard that would be perfect for critters. I've decided to slowly start cleaning it out in hopes to make it a suitable area for any animal my fancy may desire. I've kicked around the idea of having:

Pheasants (for eggs and meat)
Those chickens that lay pastel colored eggs
Milking goats
Miniature milking cow
Donkey

My efforts may not yeild the desired results of animal-ownership, but at least that area would be cleaned out and safer for Bubby and the dog.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Reading and a Trial


First of all, I wanted to share a picture I took this morning of dawn's earliest light. This is out my bedroom window. I did modify the picture by using the watercolor setting on my photo editor. It was the colors I wanted to capture anyway. I just love being able to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets nearly every day.

I saw a study somewhere that said something like 1 in 4 Americans hasn't read a book in a year. Or maybe it was only 1 in 4 Americans has read a book in a year. It's not often that I get to sit down and pour through a book. I've been blaming my busy-ness as a mother, but to be honest, I need to get back into the habit because a homeschooling mother should be up on her reading. So, I pulled a book off the shelf recently. It's an original 1907 copy of the book SUSAN by Ernest Oldmeadow. It's a really easy read, kind of like one of those laze in the shade on a summer's day reads. It is definately not high literature. But, it's cute and it's getting me into a habit of reading again. It's better than watching TV or a movie. Movies and TV give me night-long strange dreams that often leave me exhausted in the morning. Books tend to give me more pleasant dreams.
I've started a week-long trial period of reducing my time online. Thursdays don't count because that's the day I set aside for doing extensive computer work for my businesses and playing catch-up.
So, now I'm disciplining myself to only going online once a day and that's AFTER my chores are done. I usually pop on because I think of something and don't want to forget it. So, to avoid forgetting, I purchased a looseleaf notebook to write down everything I want to look up online.
We'll see how it goes. I'm eager to find more time in my days. I know it's there.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

3 Recipes To Share

Here are three recipes I used for recent dinners that got rave reviews from hubby. Two are my own creations, but the hash is a recipe from friends of ours.

SWISS AND BACON STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded flat
4 strips of uncooked bacon
2 slices swiss cheese (these are deli slices...you'll have to improvise if you use block cheese)
fresh herbs (I used oregano, thyme, chives and scallions)
salt and pepper
2 pads of butter

Lay 2 strips of bacon and 1 slice of cheese per breast on the rough side. Carefully and tightly roll of each breast and place them in a baking dish, seam side down. Top each breast with the herbs and a pad of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake, loosely covered in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or an hour or until chicken is done.

SHAFFER HASH

1 lb bulk breakfast sausage (do not use a sweet-flavored sausage like maple flavored. A sage sausage works well)

Several red potatoes, sliced fairly thickly (but not too thick) and then each slice quartered, or dice, but not too small. We need the potatoes to cook through, but we don't need them to cook through to quickly and burn or mash up

Medium onion (vidalia works great) chopped

Good sized sweet pepper, chopped

6 eggs, beaten well with a little milk

2 tablespoon worchestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Shredded cheese

Place the meat and veggies in a very large cast iron skillet with a little oil or butter. Stir fry on medium-high heat for a minute or two, then add a little water, reduce the heat, cover and cook. Let cook until the sausage is browned, but not cooked through yet. Add the worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Re-cover and let cook until the potatoes begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Just before potatoes are fully cooked, remove the lid if there's any liquid in the pan. When the potatoes are cooked through, add the egg and let sit until it begins to set much like an omelet. Then carefully stir through until the egg is cooked.

Serve with the cheese over the top. Also good with ketchup.

SAUSAGE STUFFED SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Good sized spaghetti squash
1 lb bulk sweet italian sausage, partially cooked
Spaghetti sauce
Mozzarella cheese

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Fill the cavities with the sausage and top with a generous amount of spaghetti sauce. Place squash halves in a baking dish and pour a little water around the squash. Cover loosely and bake in a 350 degree oven until the squash is just about cooked through. Remove cover, top with cheese and return to oven and cook until the cheese is melted.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My New Hutch


Here's a picture of my new hutch in my kitchen. Just please ignore the bag on top of the hutch. It contains a can of spray paint and hubby put it up there, so I don't dare move it. :b The purple folder on top of the hutch contains recipes I cut from magazines that I'm gluing onto stiff paper and organizing into one of the binders on the top shelf. The top shelf contains my recipe binder, my home management binder and a box of recipe cards that I might reorganize into one of the little drawers on the bottom of the hutch.

The second shelf holds tea...well...mostly herbal infusions.

The drawer on the left has a hole drilled in the back of it and out the back of the hutch. It's wired so hubby's iPod and cell phone can be charged. The second drawer contains other adapters for things that need recharging. The third drawer is currently empty as are the other two drawers towards the bottom.
I keep the bottom shelf empty so I can work on it, or lay out my HMB. The two cabinets hold my most often used cookbooks.
From the kitchen, you're peaking into the dining room where you can see my hand-painted tree of life. The fish tank is empty because the fish are living in the pond outside until sometime in September. Then they'll be back inside.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pantry and Linen Closet

When hubby and I put the second storey on our house (by the grace of God), there are a couple of things I'd like to add to more greatly organize our home. One is a pantry in the kitchen and the second is a linen closet. I'd kind of like the pantry to be built in, but it would be ok with me if the linen closet was a stand-alone cabinet.

A pantry would keep all dried and canned foods together rather than divided at this current time into 3 cabinets. It would also eliminate the need for overhead cabinets which can brighten up a kitchen and be a life saver for the vertically challenged.

A linen closet would get Bubby's extra bedding out from in a basket under his crib and hubby and I'd bedding from being jammed into a storage bench in our bedroom.

Still, I can wait for these items. :) It's just nice to make plans.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Having Fun with DIY

I'm really having fun with this DIY house make-over! Now that hubby and I have started, we don't want to stop! Today, he mentioned the kitchen!

I'm happy just to have a new hutch in the kitchen that actually helped me organize and declutter the house even more!

Now, our house is a totally different color than it was before! Hubby's hard work really paid off. It looks so much nicer.

Other visions we have include an armoire for the bedroom, and I'd like floor to ceiling bookcases in the living room, but I'd settle for taller, narrower bookcases.

I'm also looking into building a root cellar on our property. Behind the garage is a steep slope that could easily be built up into a root cellar, but I'd have to look into the logistics and science behind it. It might not stay cool enough right there, although it's greatly shaded.

Our neighbor volunteered to help me expand, till and manure my garden this fall. Oh, the excitement!!! Yes, stuff like this excites me.

I like getting the house buttoned up for winter. Speaking of which, it dawned on me that it'll probably be smart to do a thorough cleaning of the house top to bottom before shutting ourselves up in it. It would be nicer to be buttoned up in a house that's not dusty and buggy and mildewy from the humid summer.

Oh, so much to do, but I'm enjoying being busy!

ladyscott

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hazy, Hot and Humid Saturday

Today was so muggy!

I got up at 6:30 am and got hubby's coffee on and fixed myself breakfast. While eating, I spent some time with the Lord and afterwards browsed through Nourishing Traditions. I have my own copy now. Then, I got washed up and dressed, did dishes, fixed the bed, sent hubby off to work and went online. I started the day off tired, so I figured I'd ease into it.

Bubby woke up at 8:30 and I got him breakfast and tidied up the house while he ate (my house is very small and I can go in every single room and not be too far from view from Bubby in case he chokes). Then, I got him washed up and dressed and set with a Bob the Builder video. He still looked sleepy and worn out and it was already hot. I figured a nice, easy day would be best for him, too. While he watched, I folded and put away laundry, stripped and fixed his crib, and made two batches of laundry detergent. When that was done, Bubby and I walked up to the farm to visit the animals and hubby. We spent a fair amount of time there, just chatting and walking around.

We walked home for lunch with sweetcorn, peppers and tomatoes. For lunch, Bubby and I had leftover penne pasta bake. He went down for a nap afterwards and Mommy cleaned up from lunch and went through the mail. Hubby came home for the day, and we started in on painting the house. I got hubby situated with the paint, supplies and a cooler of gatorade and water. He didn't want lunch. In the meantime, I let the dog out to play, I pulled weeds away from the walls of the house, picked through my garden, and did some scraping. Then, hubby had me do some trim work while he gave up the brush and decided to try his paint sprayer that came with his air compressor. That was a great idea because the job went by so quickly!

Bubby slept for 3 hours, so I spent some playtime with him and set him up with a snack and hubby up with more beverages. Then, we went outside to play a bit and watch hubby's progress. The dog was showing signs of being in the heat too much despite having a pond to jump in and I sprayed her down with the hose, so dog, Bubby and I all went inside to cool down.

I keep getting phone calls from a collection agency that's been in big trouble with the BBB and through private lawsuits for their unscrupulous business, so I researched them more online and reported them to the do not call list. Hopefully, they'll leave me alone because I'm up on all my payments and have no reason for a collection agency, phony or otherwise to call me.

When I was done with that, I started planning for dinner. Hubby wanted to order out so I didn't have to heat the house up. So, I called that in and spent some more precious playtime with Bubby.

Food arrived at 5:20pm. We devoured chicken wing pizza, breaded mushrooms and antipasto salad. After dinner, I cleaned up. Bubby pulled out his "Baby Prodigy" DVD and asked to watch it, so I put it in for him and discarded the pizza box and some junk mail. Our neighbor was over to see how hubby was doing, so I brought Bubby outside to see him. When our neighbor left, I brought Bubby inside for a bath and bedtime. Then, I gave the dog a bath and went outside to help hubby. A storm was approaching, so he asked me to help him clean up and get the paints together and put away. I did so and we made it in before the rain hit.

Once inside, I set hubby up with iced tea and icebox pie and The Quick and the Dead DVD. I sat down to paw through Nourishing Traditions until the storm passed. When it passed, I showered and hopped online. Now, I'm typing the post and will go to bed shortly.

Thus ends the Chronicles of Ladyscott.

The guys have fun, the girls.....

Yesterday, hubby, Bubby and I went to one of his friend's house for a lobster and clam cook-out. I spent the time keeping an eye on Bubby and playing with him and making sure hubby got his food since he was manning the grill. It was just so uncomfortable being a woman there and it had nothing to do with the men. The men were having a great time. They chatted, laughed, joked, teased and discussed at length how to get the lobster water boiling sooner. The women immediately formed cliques with those they knew best and spent the evening eyeing the other women. A few of them actually made an effort to chat with me beyond asking one question that was, "how old is he" about Bubby or remarking how cute he is.

This morning, I told hubby about this. The men were having a grand ol' time and the women just looked at me and would barely say two words. Hubby said that this is because I'm a threat. I'm the new girl in town. Sheesh, it feels like middle school all over again!!

Why should we care who's got a better figure, a prettier face, nicer clothes, handsomer husband or boyfriend, etc? Why am I a threat? The other girls had guys. I have my own loving husband. We weren't competition for a herd of bucks! In fact, the guys didn't even care! They were more interested in the lobster than the other girls!!

Why is it that the guys could kick back, relax and have fun, but the girls had to be so calculated, divided and aloof?

Now, I won't say I'm completely innocent here. I suffer from shyness and I never know what to say to people I have little in common with. I always feel stupid asking small-talk questions. This is something I need to work on. Perhaps next picnic when I see them again. I am open-minded enough to broaden my horizons to hold conversations with people of different interest, cultures and backgrounds. It is going to be a balancing act, though because in my experience, the three major topics of worldly women when they get together are: sex, complaining about the man, and complaining about the children. Despite my open-mindedness and eagerness to learn and discover, I'd rather not hold a conversation about those three topics.

Lighten up, ladies!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Frantic Friday

I'm typing my Chronicle early because I'm using my computer time to unwind a little. Besides, it's hot today, so I want to do some of the work on the house in the evening when it's cooler and Bubby's to bed.

I got up at 6:30 am and set hubby's coffee to perk and took a shower and dressed. After my shower, I had breakfast and spent some time with the Lord and then put my dining room back together after finishing the walls last night and started laundry. Then, I got Bubby out of his crib for breakfast and hubby and I had a chat about the house. I asked him about a hutch for the kitchen and he agreed that I should get the one I saw on craigslist.

After Bubby ate and hubby left for work, I let Bubby watch his Firetruck video and I scrambled around the house to get the bed fixed, a phone number off the internet for the hutch (and a newspaper peek and few peeks at some blogs and e-mails), get laundry hung up, wash dishes and call the lady about the hutch. Then, Bubby set to playing and I set to tidying. Soon, the lady called me and I told her I'd be there before noon.

A quick stuffing of stuff in the diaper bag and I grabbed the baby and the map and cell phone and headed to the farm next door where hubby was working and he joyfully babysat our son while I took a 45 minute drive out to the hutch. Ok, it was really an hour because I got lost twice. But the hutch was lovely and a good price, so I bought it and hauled it home. By this time, it was noon, so I fed Bubby and grabbed lunch for myself and put him down for a nap.

After his nap, I hauled the hutch inside and set it up. Then, I set to work drilling holes in one drawer and out the back to wire it for a cell phone and iPod docking station. Well, I can't find the adapters I need for the drill, so after wasting an hour searching, I gave up and came online to relax a little. I was starting get upset at every little thing.

The rest of today will be general house upkeep and redoing. I'm thinking leftovers for tonight's dinner.

I'll probably hit the sack around my usual 9pm.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Errand/Computer Thursday

Thursday is the day I try to set aside for my major errands and computer time.



5 am, I woke up as usual and started the day as usual. At 6 am, I hopped online to work on my business http://reenactorclassifieds.homestead.com/ and get some other stuff done online. Then, I popped off the computer and started some housework. Bubby woke up and we had breakfast of fried eggs, bread and butter and homemade yogurt with dried dates mixed in. Yum! Then I got Bubby cleaned up and dressed and we left to start our errands:



Lowes: paint chips

Big Lots: floor tiles and green tea bags

Home Depot: paint chips (actually bought paint)

Walmart: return paint

Bank: cash checks, withdraw money

Parents' house: discuss Christmas gifts with my mom

Convenient store: milk and bread


When we got home, I got the mail, made lunch (salmon pasties, applesauce with raisins and cinnamon), put Bubby down for a nap, tidied up and did dishes, painted a sample swatch on the house, and hopped back online to look into expanding a different home business and digest lunch before I hit the dance floor (exercise).

BUT...I decided not to just do exercise. Sometimes, I feel exercise is a waste of time when I have very active chores to do. If it's sit-down stuff, like sewing, then I don't view exercise as a waste of time, but as a needed thing to get my blood flowing. So, I got to work on the little kitchen porch hammering up beadboard, and doing some demolition and clean up. I also painted a second coat of the sample swatch. When I finished this, Bubby was awake, so we all went outside for some fresh air. Bubby played and terrorized my tomato plants. He loves cherry tomatoes and doesn't care if they are green or red. I'm trying to teach him red ones only. I won't let him eat the green ones. My garden gave me half a peck of different veggies today. The cukes and zucchini are really slowing down.

Afterwards, we went inside and washed up. I started cooking some mixed veggies for Bubby's snack and popped in a CD to dance to. I made it through one song and Bubby was asking to watch a show. He hadn't watched anything all day, so I popped in The Tigger Movie for him. This gave me a great chance to start working on dinner. Good thing, too because Hubby came home early.

After dinner of zucchini stroganoff, I cleaned up, read the paper and took Bubby back to Home Depot. Hubby liked the paint swatch, so I bought 5 gallons and some other supplies, including a 5 gallon pail with a lid for my homemade laundry detergent. When Bubby and I got home, soaking wet because of a rainstorm, we relaxed before sending Bubby to bed. Then, I got to work clearing off and moving the dining room hutch to FINALLY finish the accents on our dining room walls. The painting is done. Now, I just have to erase the pencil marks. That'll be a tomorrow job. I'm too done in for tonight. I'll finish my evening online and go to bed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Project Wednesday

I should be titling my posts as follows:

Housework Monday, Sewing Tuesday, Project Wednesday and Errands/Computer Thursday. Friday and Saturday are left open for what hubby would like me to accomplish. Sundays, of course, are my God and family days.

Today, I got up at 5 am and followed my usual morning routine. At 6am, I skipped exercise because I wanted to make yogurt dough to sit for later, and make yogurt. After that, I showerd, dressed, went on the computer, put canned goods away, tidied the kitchen, set butter to melt for breakfast and got Bubby up.

For breakfast, we had cornbread, fruit and yogurt again. This time, I put butter and maple syrup on the cornbread. Bubby prefered it this way. He's going through a phase now where he refuses milk and yogurt. I've upped his butter and cheese intake to keep his calcium up.

After breakfast, I got Bubby dressed and cleaned up and his teeth brushed. Then we had playtime and I washed the dishes, counters and table.

At 8:30 am, I pulled out chicken and bacon from the freezer to defrost. I looked up recipes for dinner and ended up making up one of my own anyway. I brushed my hair (washed it today and it finally dried enough to brush it), did the finances, paid bills and went through paperwork. Afterwards, I tidied up, and worked on the dining room walls.

Then, I took Bubby for an interval jog/walk workout and then took him into the woods to look for sugar maples I might be able to tap next year. Next, we got the mail.

At 11 am, I started lunch. Bubby was hungry. We had hard boiled eggs, applesauce with coconut, raisins and cinnamon and bread and butter. Bubby had some other fruit, too. Then, I put Bubby down for a nap, finished the tree of life on the dining room wall, worked on the little porch off the kitchen (I used power tools, hooyah!), fixed mistakes on the dining room walls, revamped my master grocery list, tidied the porch, put re-enacting stuff away, wrote out a check I'd forgotten to post, and brainstormed some Christmas gift ideas. Bubby was up at this point, so we had snack time and I made a German potato salad for dinner and prepped some salmon for fish pasties for hubby's lunch tomorrow. Then, I tidied the kitchen and played with Bubby until it was time to make dinner.

Hubby came home before 5pm, but dinner was still cooking until 5:30. We had roasted mixed veggies, the salad and bacon and swiss stuffed chicken breasts. They were SO GOOD! Hubby gave me such praise! After dinner, I gave Bubby a bath and cut his hair. Next, it was cleaning up after dinner and then time to relax until Bubby's bedtime.

Now, I'm online doing some research and typing this out. I'll go through the typical evening routine and go to bed by 9pm.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ladyscott's Tuesday

For some reason, the volume on my clock radio was turned way down, so I didn't get up until 5:04 this morning. As usual, I started hubby's coffee in the stovetop perk and did my morning devotionals and prayers until it was time for hubby to get up. I woke hubby up and served him his coffee. Then, I fixed the bed and tidied up a little while chatting with hubby. At 5:55, hubby had left for a work with a kiss from me and I exercised while watching the news, then showered, rinsed out the tub, dressed and had computer time until Bubby woke up.



7:20 am, Bubby and I had breakfast. Bubby had cornbread and molasses, which he promptly fed to the dog (he liked it last night!) fruit and yogurt. I had cornbread and maple syrup and yogurt with natural apple butter. Yum! Then, I vacuumed, got Bubby dressed, woped down the counters and table, did dishes and washed the sink.



8:30 am, chores continue as I decide to wash the dog's bedding and any other darks that would fit in the machine. I put dried laundry away and brought up canning jars from the basement pantry. Then, while Bubby played in the living room, I lint shaved the sofa, clipped my toenails, washed the floor in Bubby's room and washed the kitchen floor.



Bubby helped me put the mail in the mailbox. Next, I watered the mum, put Bubby's room back together and prepped for dinner.



After that, while juggling feeding a hungry Bubby, I canned salsa and pickles, put the wet clothes in the dryer, had lunch, cleaned up the baby and put him down for a nap, cleaned the kitchen, tidied the house, got the mail, painted a sample on the house exterior, worked on a sewing project, boiled eggs, and put the dried clothes and dog bedding away.



At 1:35 pm, I had a little computer time until Bubby woke up at quarter after 2. We had playtime, then went for a walk, watered the garden, did some yardwork, had a snack, tidied up, put canning stuff away, started dinner, made cookies, and started working on Christmas gift ideas.

A little after 5pm hubby came home and we had dinner. I started hubby's shower for him (he had a rough day at work) and we chatted while he showed and Bubby played. Then, I cleaned up after dinner, read the paper and got Bubby changed for bedtime. Bubby started getting into mischief, so he and I went into his bedroom to play. I started reading a book to him and he went into hysterics, so parenting ensued. By 7pm, he was calmed down and I was able to snuggle with hubby and finish the catalog browsing for Christmas gift ideas.

Now, I'm on the computer. Soon, I'll get off and get stuff ready for tomorrow and get myself ready for bed.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ladyscott's Chronicles Monday

I've joined Candy at www.myblessedhome.blogspot.com for a chronicle of my week.

Monday:

I was up at 5 am, a bit bleary-eyed, but that soon passed. I started the coffee perking on the stove and put together hubby's lunch. Then, I spent time with the Lord until the coffee was ready and then I woke hubby up. While hubby got ready for work, I started a few chores, including fixing the bed and dusting.

6 am, I started a new work-out program. It's a belly dance program, but I found that I didn't get the aerobic workout I wanted from it. So, I washed up, dressed and scrubbed the bathroom.

7am, I had computer time until Bubby woke up. Then it was breakfast, get Bubby set for the day, and start my chores: vacuum, shampoo carpet and sofa, dishes, brine pickles, work on dining room wall (painting accents), two loads of laundry, prepping for dinner.

By 10:30 am, I packed up Bubby and we went to renew Nourishing Traditions at the library. Then we went to Lowes and bought a new kitchen faucet, and beadboard and trim for the kitchen's tiny porch. Next, we visited my grandmother to give her a birthday card and a jar of my homemade strawberry jam. Afterwards, we took a not-so-quick trip to Walmart to get paint for the house exterior.

Bubby fell asleep on the way home, and it was 1 pm at this point. He was too tired to eat, but still hungry, so I gave him a bottle of formula to tide him over. He slept well and had a decent lunch when he woke up. In the meantime I: got the mail, painted a sample spot on the back wall of the house (hated the color), washed all the floors, picked through the garden, put out burnables, washed more dishes, tidied up the house, put up green beans, started dinner, called my mom for a chat, and enjoyed Bubby's company.

Hubby came home and he mowed the lawn while dinner simmered. (Chili and corn bread). I put the dry dishes away and then read the paper, picked up weeds out of hubby's way of mowing, and helped Bubby push his Cozy Coupe up from the backyard and into the garage. We had dinner, then it was time for Bubby's bath. Afterwards, he played for a bit while I tidied up after dinner. Then, he went to bed and hubby and I picked out a different shade for the house, and I took clothes off the line and put them in the dryer. It was just too damp for them to dry all the way on the line today.

Now, I'm online. At 8:30, I'll get off and get stuff ready for hubby for tomorrow and get washed up for bed.

Joseph Budget, Nourishing Traditions, Day-to-day

Have you ever heard of theJoseph Budget? It's based on the story of Joseph in Genesis when he was appointed Pharoh's right hand man in charge of overseeing Egypt through the famine. Joseph ordered that during the time of plenty, a fifth goes into storage. Therefore, 20% of our income should go into our storehouses (savings). With 10% going to the Lord in tithe, that leaves us with a working budget of 70%. I'm still trying to figure out how to work this budget, but it's one I'd like to attain to. Then, when the car needs repair or a medical bill comes in, we have the money in our savings to pay it rather than relying on those stupid credit cards.

I'm really liking this Nourishing Traditions lifestyle. Hubby's beginning to notice the difference, too. Hubby: doesn't feel like he needs to eat as much anymore to keep his strength up in his heavy labor job. Me: I've lost weight and gained muscle. I don't look flabby or sickly. Even my skin has cleared up and I've been trying to clear it up since I was 12! Donald: Grew 1 3/4 inches in the past 3 weeks! Call it coincidental, but when he got off baby food and onto whatever hubby and I were eating, he literally stopped growing. As soon as I started him on Nourishing Traditions, he immediately went into a growth spurt! Before, he was below the 5th percentile in height. Now, he's at the 5th percentile. I switched him from whole milk to my homemade whole milk yogurt, and now he doesn't have diarreha anymore. I'm liking this!

Later this evening, I'll be posting how my day went as per the suggestion on Candy's website. (www.myblessedhome.blogspot.com). I like doing these because it always spurs me on to do more and budget my time better.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Modern Me


By request, here is a picture of me in modern clothing. This picture is a few month old. I was 11 weeks pregnant and I miscarried the next day, so I don't exactly look my best. My face is really pale and drawn and my eyes a bit sunken, but, it's the most recent pic I have.

Yogurt Success!

Thank you, Candy for your recipe!! I made yogurt for the first time today. I was going to do it earlier this week, but when I looked at the recipe, I didn't realize the 5.5 hours between start to towel. So, I got my ducks in a row yesterday and voila! Yogurt! It smells SO good. It needs to cool yet, so I'll eat some this afternoon.

Also, I do have Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready and The Well Trained Mind. Great books! I'm so eager to homeschool! There's so much I want to teach my son, especially our rich local history.

Well, it's time to go start my day. Laundry today, and since it's a nice day, I'll take my son up to the farm.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sleepy, but Satisfied

After a good morning, I'm exhausted. Bubby has given up his morning nap in favor of sleeping in an hour and taking a nap after lunch. Thankfully, he spent the morning occupying himself and not getting into too much mischief while I put up the majority of the produce I had picked.

After lunch, I tucked him into his crib without a fuss and laid down on my bed. I was laying there in prayer and thinking about Augusts in my youth when I'd lay out on the almost too-warm porch, surrounded by Victoria Magazines........Suddenly, I woke up with a coughing fit (residual cold symptoms). It felt good to nap, and I could have gone longer, but I wanted to get online and check out a few things (cloth diapers, plumbing question).

I'm hoping to run out to the farmer's market this afternoon. Plus, I need to go to the bank and pull out money for hubby.

For dinner, we're having steak florentine, fried potatoes and scallions, and corn on the cob.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"School"


Knowing who I am, I feel that I need to start "schooling" my son "officially" come September. I need to be able to get into a routine, tweak things, and ease him into a lifestyle of learning before I actually do start homeschooling. Today, I came up with a small curriculum of sorts appropriate for my 1 1/2 year old. It'll only be a few minutes a day, but I feel best for the both of us. Even if it does nothing but establish a routine of learning and accomplish together-time, it'll be a positive experience.


Here's what I've come up with:


Language: Reading stories, Alphabet

Math: Counting, Patterns

Art: Scribbling, Shapes, Colors

Music: Songs, Sounds, Instruments

Other: Picture exploration, flash cards, imitation, naming games, Slow and Steady

Well, I'm off to search for more cloth diapers!

August Musings

Despite the heat of the afternoons, the mornings have a crispness that reminds me that autumn, and subsequently winter, is coming. I have this strange urge to stock up and hunker down. Hubby does too, as he comes home from work with loads of wood for our outdoor furnace. I look forward to the apple harvest which will be starting shortly.

Now that I'm working on a Nourishing Traditions lifestyle, my kitchen must reflect that. By that I mean I need to clear off counter space so I have room to work without looking or feeling cluttered. Microwaves are no-nos in Nourishing Traditions, but I don't think hubby would go for disposing of our microwave. I'm not ready to let go, either. I think I'll wait until it breaks down on it's own. Already, half the buttons don't work. I thought of putting it on top of the fridge, but the idea of retrieving hot foods from overhead just doesn't sound safe.

I already put the coffee maker away because I percolate coffee on the stove now. Otherwise, on my counters I have: papertowels, sugar and stevia, a toaster oven, basket of onions, recipe box, scale, recipe books, whey sieve. I went through my cookbooks and my little-used ones I'm not parting with will go up in a cabinet above the fridge. The onion basket will probably be emptied (mostly dried onion skins now anyway) and onions will get an onion bag in a cabinet separate from the potatoes. That should free up enough space.

I'm also on a mission for finding cloth diapers, a non-aluminum coffee percolator, and an affordable Nourishing Traditions book.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Recovery

I was sick all weekend and still recovering. I had a cold. (Don't you dislike summer colds?) My ears are plugged up and the inflammation is throwing me into dizzy spells. The medication I have to take for the dizziness makes me sleepy. Today, I'm doing what I can and taking it easy otherwise.

Still, I can't take too long because my garden is pouring forth it's blessed bounty!

I also have more butter and buttermilk to make, as well as cream cheese and whey and I'm going to try my hand at yoghurt-making as well. I got the recipe from Candy at: www.myblessedhome.blogspot.com . I have to make bread for Bubby, too.

For now, I better go change the bathroom garbage pail. I smell old poopy diaper.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Beautiful Day!

The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect and I'm ahead of schedule! I even cleaned my kitchen sink (and it really needed it, too). I love days like these. I just want to bask in them. The only thing wrong about today is that I have a sore throat. Thankfully, it's not bad, but enough to irk me. I really detest sore throats. I've been lozenge-sucking, and gargling with listerine, warm salt water and hydrogen peroxide.

Well, I was going to browse online with my spare time, but I think I'll make better use of it by cleaning out that desk!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Less-stress prep

There has GOT to be a less-stressful and less involved way to prep for a re-enactment. Every time one comes up, I spend a week prepping and otherwise going insane to make sure everything is ready. Although, I will say I'm doing a bit better this time around. Still, I feel all zany. There's just SO MUCH to remember and plan. 3 people to pack for, 13 to feed, two meals I'm responsible for....

Every event, I seem to get a little more organized. One day, I'd love to just pack the food and go. I think it would be wise that as I clean up from one event, I prepare for the next. Although, I don't know when we'll be re-enacting again this year.

Refreshing whey drink and To Do

I made this drink yesterday based on the recipe in Nourishing Traditions and it's quite good and refreshing:

1/4 cup whey (buy Stonyfield organic whole milk yogurt and place in a towel-lined seive and let the whey drip into a bowl for several hours...what's left in the towel is delicious cream cheese)
juice of one lemon (2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice)
1 cup water
1 stevia packet

Mix and enjoy!

TO DO:

Time with the Lord-Done
Exercise-Done
Finish laundry (too muggy for it all to dry yesterday)
bake bread for Bubby
pack re-enacting boxes
sew a new shift for Bubby
sew hubby's caftan
put up broccoli and perhaps start saurkraut
splash in the pool with Bubby

Dinner tonight is either going to be salmon spread with crackers and celery or keilbasa with baked beans and saurkraut. It depends on how hot it gets. If it's too hot to turn on the stove, then I'll do the salmon spread.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Blessings from the farm

I just got back from going to that farm. I took my mom with me and we had such a fun little time driving out to the farm. I spent a grand total of $14.95 and got:

Bushel of broccoli
Bushel of red potatoes
3 cabbages
6oz dill seed
4 oz pickling spice
3 oz mustard seed
2 oz. celery seed
1.9 oz. tumeric

Not bad!

My mom picked up 3 cabbages. We're going back in a few weeks to get more potatoes! I'm going to be checking out some other farms, too. It's nice to support local farmers, get something organic and locally grown, and save money!

The Ant and not the grasshopper

I think a LOT of ladies are busy this time of year. Many of the blogs and message boards I visit have been dead. There's just so much to do. I, myself am the "Ant" rather than the "Grasshopper." (I believe Aesop)

I've been putting up some more produce and really pouring over Nourishing Traditions! I made my own cultured butter and buttermilk the other day! There's just something cool about it!

Thanks to my FIL, I know about a farm several towns over that has bushels of broccoli for $7.00, cabbages and red potatoes. Hubby's eyes lit up when red potatoes were mentioned. This afternoon, I think I'm taking a ride up to make some purchases.

A discount grocer about 15 minutes from my house has 4 lbs of strawberries for $4.99. That's pretty cheap for around here.

Well, Bubby's awake and it's time for lunch and to hang another load of clothes out. I'm late on clothes today because it was raining this morning.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I Found One!

There is a Nourishing Traditions discussion group. You can join at:

groups.yahoo.com/group/discussingnt

Today, I'm going to try cultured buttermilk and butter. With the buttermilk, I'm going to make bread for Bubby.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Groceries and Nourishing Traditions

My grocery bill was a bit steep this month, but I had a lot of expensive stocking up and starting up to do. After all, coconut oil alone was $7.19! Yogurt is well over $3.00.

I found out that I don't digest whole pasteurized homogenized milk very well. Weird, because I can digest skim milk just fine. However, I think it might be where I get the milk. The milk from local farms doesn't seem to bother me as badly as milk from Aldi. So, I'm going to lay off of it for a while and try some other stuff, including evaporated goats milk that's reconstituted and almond milk.

My search for milks and creams that aren't ultra-pasteurized has come up quite short. I did find a heavy cream at a local gas station that's just regular pasteurized and it didn't say that it was homogenized, although it probably is. I have one more local resource, and then it's off to the Amish or the co-op.

I also discovered that white flour may have contributed to my impacted wisdom teeth that I had removed. It may also have contributed to a family member's scoliosis.

Today, I made my own cream cheese and boy is it delicious! I got a quart of Stonyfield Whole Milk Plain Yogurt and put half the quart into a dishtowel lined seive and let the whey drain out. I placed the whey in a sterilized glass mason jar and the cream cheese is in a clean plastic tub. I'm going to use the cream cheese to make my dad's salmon spread recipe that's just to die for.

Thanks to Candy for reassuring me about the milk thing in my last post. I wish there was a Nourishing Traditions discussion board now or something.

Also, I hope Stephanie invites me on her blog because I want her preggy shake recipe!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Nourishing Traditions Diet Month

August is the month I'm trying the Nourishing Traditions Diet. I have organic whole plain yogurt to make whey and cream cheese with. I found coconut oil to cook with. The only thing I can't find is organic milk that's non-ultra pasturized and non homogenized. Not even goat's milk. Raw milk is virtually impossible to get in NY State. One family even had their children taken away from them because they fed them raw milk (which is just stupid because what farm kid hasn't had raw milk and what Amish family doesn't drink it?).

I found rapadura-type sweetener and stevia. I cannot find adequate bread, though. I'll have to make bread for Bubby, but hubby doesn't like my homemade bread. It's too dense for his taste. He's a wonder-bread kind of guy, so I'll buy him wheat bread and pitas.

I have been using NT techniques for nearly 2 weeks now and I haven't blow up into a fat blob. In fact, I'm more toned and muscular (but not lumpy-muscular). I feel better, too.

The big test is to see if hubby loses weight. Not that he really needs to. He's sexy. ;)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Discontent and seeing things from hubby's point of view

There comes in time in I'll dare to say every marriage that things become routine and the wife feels unappreciated and would love a compliment. This is the time when instead of focusing on herself, she could fish for compliments by focusing on her hubby. This involves being open minded enough to not nit-pick about the logistics or fairness of the matter, but to just joyfully go forth and do what needs to be done.

What I mean is, how many can raise their hands and say that their husband doesn't seem to notice that they keep his closet in perfect order, but he certainly notices when a few catalogs have been left on the chair by the door for a week. A wife expects an appreciative husband because she spent an hour organizing his closet just the way he likes it and instead he mutters about the catalogs on the chair. Well, why can't he pick them up? Why doesn't he see the hard work I put into his closet? Open your mind and joyfully and without question dispose of the catalogs and make it a point to keep the chair clear of clutter. As strange as it seems, he'll appreciate you more for spending 2 minutes moving catalogs than spending an hour on his closet. Why? Probably because you've acknowledged that you've listened to his gripe, saw his concern and acted upon it in love towards him. Men appreciate having what they say and want happen. We all do.

Now, before you go off on how strange, silly and unfair and perhaps even immature that is, keep in mind that we wives aren't so different. Hubby goes off to work day after day and we don't even bat an eye. I can probably even say that many of us are practically shooing him out the door so we can start our days and routines. However, we get all snippy when he leaves a wet towel on the floor. (The hook's right there!) It's the same scenario.

How many women smirk because hubby handed them a diaper while she's changing the baby and he expects all sorts of praise and thanks for going out of his way? We laugh, but it's true. But, we're the same in hubby's eyes. How many of us women expect praise and thanks when we notice the oil needs changing in the car and we take it to the express lube? We think, "Well, that is going above and beyond. Car maintenance is hubby's department." Well, he probably thinks the same about diaper changes!

You might think, "The baby's different. That's his kid too!" But he might think, "Yeah, but the car is yours too!"

This is supposed to be an amusing post with a couple of points:

1. Remember to try to see things from hubby's perspective. It can save a marriage from some arguements.
2. If the praise has gone stale in your house, revive it by praising your husband and by doing something he'll notice and care about.

I'll watch hubby as he passes through the house and see if he wrinkles his nose at something. Perhaps it is an untidy desk, a pile of toys, a dusty radiator or something of the like. The next day before he comes home from work, I'll clean it up. When he notices and a glimmer comes to his eyes, though he may not say anything, that's compliment enough for me!