Thursday, August 28, 2008

How Rich We Poor People Are

My dear mother has a copy of "We Survived and Thrived." It's a collection of essays/articles from "The Good Old Days" magazine about how people lived and loved living in the 1920's, 30's and 40's. It is so interesting to read how people made do back then. I envy that they could get a hold of flower sacks and make dresses out of them. I love how they could keep a sweet little house with bits and pieces. It's so refreshing to read that even if their house was weather worn and worse for wear, the mother at least kept it spotless.

Then I think, "what in the world is our problem today!" If these people could live happily by the skin of their teeth, then why can't we? If these women could rise to the challenges of life back then and not only survive, but thrive, then why can't we? I plan on rising to the challenge, myself.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ABC's of Homemaking

I got this from Stephanie's blog.

Aprons--y/n If y, what does your fav. look like? Yes. Mine is a black and white vintage print with a bib front and a pocket.

Baking--Favorite thing to bake? I bake a lot of cookies. Hubby likes them for his lunches.

Clothes line?Yes.

Donuts--Have you ever made them? Nope.

Everyday--One homemaking thing you do every day? Dishes. I am the dishwasher.

Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freezer? Yes, but it isn't hooked up.

Garbage Disposer? Does the dog count?

Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource? Hmmm...I like vintage books, my grandmother's house, my aunt's house, and Candy's blog.

Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results? Hate it, rarely do it.

Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it? Yes, kitchen cabinet drawer.

Kitchen--color and decorating scheme. A soft green with yellow trim. Kinda garden-themed.

Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking? Having a comfy home to live in.

Mop--y/n? Yes, nearly every day.

Nylons, machine or hand wash? Rarely wear them. Even more rarely wash them.

Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check? My oven doesn't have a window, so I open the door.

Pizza--What do you put on yours? Many kinds of veggies.

Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? I usually go online.

Recipe Card Box--y/n? What does it look like? Yes. It's a Grandma's Kitchen box.

Style of house--What style is your house? 1950 Cottage

Tablecloths or Placemats? Placemats. They're easier to replace and wash than tablecloths.

Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland? An organized toxic wasteland....from right to left: box for recycling paper, box for papers to burn, garbage can, recycling can.

Vacuum--How many times per week? Nearly every day.

Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week? Not sure, but at least one every other day.

X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off? Yes I do. I have a marker board in the kitchen.

Yard--y/n? Who does what? Hubby cares for the lawn, I care for the gardens.

ZZZ's--what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Making hubby's lunch for the next day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Plastic Elimination Week Preliminaries

Finally, I'm making myself sit down and type about my Plastic Elimination Week.

Plastic Elimination Week begins on September 8th, 2008. The purpose of this week is to reduce, replace and eliminate plastics in our homes. Whether your purpose is because you feel plastics are bad for our health, or bad for the evironment, or you want to reduce the use of oil-based products, or you just want to declutter or make things more pleasing to the eye, then please join me and spread the word on your own blogs and websites.

Those joining are encouraged to make comments and suggestions on plastic elimination either here or own their own blogs. Participants are also encouraged to find ways to have the plastics they are discarding recycled or reused rather than just tossing them in the trash, which defeats part of the purpose of this week.

Throughout that week, I'll be posting on how I've been reducing, replacing and eliminating plastics around the house. I'll post ideas on how you can reduce, replace and eliminate plastics.

Our world depends on plastics now, so total or near total elimination is probably impossible. I bet even the Amish have plenty of plastics in their houses. There are things where plastics are better or do serve a purpose, but there are many other things where plastics are not only unnecessary, but perhaps even dangerous. I have a friend who's life-threatening cancer was caused by over-exposure to plastics.

So, if you're up to the challenge, please let me know in the comments section! And even if you're unable to join on the week of September 8th, then please at least make mention of it on your blog or website.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Busy Week!

Woah, have I been busy! This past week just flew by, but it was a good week. We had family to visit in the first part of the week. Then, I had cleaning and projects to do along with a rest period to keep my milk supply up. Wednesday, I spent all day shopping and running errands. Thursday, I took my Dad and Bubby and BabyGirl to the local zoo. Friday, we went to the farm next door and Bubby played for 4 solid hours! In the evenings, we walked back to the farm to watch Daddy work on the bins and silos, getting them ready for the harvest season.

This morning, I opened up my fridge and heard rustling. In the back, a plastic bag was moving. Hubby and I were invited to a lobster shindig last night, but I couldn't go....had to get the kiddos to bed. So, I sent hubby and he returned with 3 live lobsters. I recognized the blessing, but really wasn't thrilled. So, before 9 am this morning, I hauled up my stock pot, put it on the burner on my grill and got the water boiling. With heebie-jeebies and a bit of remorse for the poor living things, I managed to get them out of the plastic bag and into the pot. Then, once they were cooked and cooled, I hand-cracked them and removed the meat. A quick whirr in the food processor and I made a salad and a bisque out of the meat. While at it, I made a cream of asparagus soup, too.

So, this afternoon, we ALL took naps.

Next week looks like it's going to be just as busy, if not busier.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boots

Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots. ~Hoosier Farmer

(Taken from www.homeliving.blogspot.com)

I sometimes tease that the only way I'll have clean floors is when I teach my family to hover. :) I clean my floors nearly every day because my hubby is a boot-wearing man. I can always tell when he's been home and what he did because I can follow the dirt and mud-clump trail around the house.

You may be insisting that I simply can't be all sunshine and smiles over this. To be honest, it is a challenge of grace to be a cheerful wife when I'm mopping floors again and again. I admit that two days ago I felt a bit down when I loving placed fresh bath rugs on a sparkling bathroom floor only to have big, muddy footprints, dirt clumps and sand all over it within half an hour.

You may think my husband's horrible for not taking his boots off. But, you need to remember a few things:

1. I LOVE my husband.
2. Boots are a pain to put on and take off.
3. Hubby works hard every day, so what's the big deal about me cleaning floors every day.
4. It's been unusually muddy this year.
5. I'd rather have to clean my floors often then to not have a hubby at all.
6. You also have to add a toddler who loves his sand pile, and a dog with muddy paws to the mix, too.

So, scrub away I do. Woman's work is never done, but when it is, it's probably the day she finds herself all alone and that's sad.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stuff to look forward to

My sister-in-law has been giving me extra catalogs of homeschooling stuff. It is all a bit overwhelming as I look through them. So, this winter I plan to finally read Well-Trained Mind and start working on curriculum ideas. I've also just purchased The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich. My SIL says it'll help me understand how best to teach my son. He's obviously not a child who would do well under a public school setting. He's very hands-on. I can see him doing well under unschooling conditions.

This winter, I also hope to go through my fabric supply and just sew sew sew. What I can't use for myself I'll put on Etsy.

I'm also spreading the word that I'm hosting a Plastic Elimination Week starting September 8th. I'll post more about it, later, but please consider spreading the word through your own blog about it. I'd like to get as many people involved as possible. I think it'll be fun and interesting.

As for the sickies, Bubby is completely cold-free and I'm on the mend. Baby Girl is still a bit ill, but I'm sure by tomorrow she'll be on the mend, too. Thankfully, this has been a very easy cold to deal with. Praise God for that! Now, I have to get my Cold Kit stocked up.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Under the Weather

I have no clue why Bubby and I both get colds in August, but we do and we're fighting colds now. Bubby's on the mend, and I'm just starting. I've been taking large, but safe doses of vitamin C and cod liver oil. I've been drinking plenty. I've also been taking in extra kefir. Hopefully I can kill this virus and be well soon. Mostly, I hope Baby Girl doesn't get a cold.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Feeding Baby

I took the day off yesterday and nursing is back on track. Here's what I did. In the morning, I nursed every 2 hours instead of every 3 to help build up my milk supply. In the afternoon when Bubby went down for his nap, I curled up on the sofa with Baby Girl and just let her nurse and sleep as she pleased while I watched two shows (The Fanny Crosby Story and A Midwife's Tale...both are good but the latter had nudity in it that I was completely unaware of). In the evening, she nursed every 2 hours as usual.

Stress is what did it. They always say don't upset a pregnant woman, but that should extend to nursing moms as well. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to this, though. Not only do I have so much to do, but I want to do so much. I mean, even on my "day off" I scrubbed floors, did laundry, sewed a quilt, made a peach pie, cooked dinner on the grill, harvested from the garden, scrubbed the bathtub, paid the bills, organized a grocery list, walked the dog, and took care of the kiddos. The difference was I wasn't stressed out about it. The funny thing was, I got way more done than I imagined!

I hate pumping. Pumping helped sabotage my nursing efforts with Bubby. It did nothing for my milk supply except build up a ton of foremilk, leave me engorged constantly, and left Bubby so colicky, we both were miserable. If I HAVE to extract, which is very rare, I do it by hand. If I need to build up my milk supply, I just nurse and nurse and nurse my daughter. She's not overweight, she dictates what is needed, and we're both happy.

To answer the question about soy in formula, I got out the two sample formulas I have. Both are milk-based. The Similac Advance contains soy oil, and soy lecithin. In big bold letters after the ingredients list it say, "Contains milk and soy ingredients." The Enfamil Lipil also contains soy oil. Just read the ingredients list and you'll see whether or not the formulas contain soy. If I remember correctly, Nestle Goodstart and Walmart's Parent's Choice both contain soy as well.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Gloomy...

Summer days shouldn't be gloomy. It just isn't right. Yet, today is a gloomy day. I'm a bit glad, though, because it helps give me a day off. With it being rainy, I don't have to work in my garden or hang clothes out to dry. I kind of need a day off because I need to work on my milk supply.

My poor daughter ended up gulping down 2 ounces of formula last night. I was feeding her every hour in the evening, but it was obvious very little was coming out of me. In between feedings, I hand-extracted milk (I do have an electric pump, but I get better results by hand) and I got very little (less than an ounce) and it was really watery. The poor dear was so very very hungry. So, I caved and gave her formula, but spent a good portion of the night hand-extracting to make sure I keep making milk. And I put her on to nurse at our usual nursing times.

I'm not sure why my milk is wasting away. I nurse on demand around the clock. I don't pump. I eat a varied, healthy, high fat diet. The scale isn't dropping, so I'm not losing weight. I drink plenty of water, but not too much.

The only thing I can think of is that I've been really stressed out lately and short of temper. So, today I'm relaxing more. Tomorrow, when I do grocery shopping, I'm going to buy some quinoa and fenugreek. Both are supposed to help milk supply. Of course, I'll continue to nurse baby girl on demand.

I only made it 4 months with Bubby, but I had a TON of misinformation about nursing, so I attributed it to that. This time around, I had much better information and nursing has been going fairly well. I was hoping to make it at least 6 months. However, it does seem that milk-making is not in my genes. My mother wasn't a very good milk-maker either.

Of course, I'm taking this to the Lord in prayer. Formula is not only expensive, but not really very good for our children. The soy base in every formula I've seen is NOT good. Soy is not a food, despite what people think, and it can be dangerous to our children. Soy can be attributed to early puberty in girls and delayed puberty in boys.

If you have to use formula, then don't stress out about it. Just limit or eliminate soy in other areas as your children grow.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Compliment

Hubby paid me such a charming compliment yesterday and I don't even think he knew it. It was the evening and we were resting in the living room. The house was cluttered and untidied from a very busy weekend. I looked around while nursing our sweet daughter and said, "I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. It's amazing how messy this house gets in one weekend." (I promise, it wasn't complaining.) Hubby sprung up from his chair and said with so much emphasis and excitement, "But, Honey, you don't understand. This house is lived in!" (We had a previous discussion about how people today are so busy chasing that dollar that they buy these expensive houses they can't afford, then work so much that they're only home to pick up their mail and go to bed.)

I suddenly felt a weight off my shoulders. My husband doesn't mind if things get untidied or worn out because it means we are living in our home and loving it. Of course, that's no excuse for leaving the place a wreak, but it's nice to have leave not to stress myself to sickness trying to keep the place perfect all the time.

That was a precious gift from hubby.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Basement Project

Here's one of the reasons I'm so busy! I'm a do-it-yourselfer and I'm currently making a unique seating area in the basement play room.

As I said before, lightening ruined our TV upstairs and we can't afford a new one just now. So, using some stuff around the house and discounted fabrics at JoAnn's, I'm making a nice love-seat opposite our downstairs TV.

I'm starting with storage bins of baby clothes. That's the base of the loveseat. On top of that is a sheet of plywood leftover from a project hubby did this spring. The plywood is being painted a farm and construction scene on one side and then another scene on the other side for Bubby's train sets. The plywood also acts as the base for the seating, which will be outdoor canvas pillows. I bought a few yards of outdoor canvas marked down at JoAnn and the rest will come from some sail cloth I've had laying around for years. To cover the bins, I have outdoor canvas that I'm going to staple to the sides of the plywood for skirting.

So far, I have some of the farm/construction scene painted and one pillow completed.