Sunday, November 23, 2008

A poem, ( still trying to figure out a title)

My immortality lies

     in the scent of baby shampoo I inhale
     as I lay my head upon my 2 year olds toe- head fuzz,
     in the etch-a-sketch mustache
     of my fifteen year old

My great works, my masterpieces.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Breathing Time...

 This has been a busy week..hurrumph.

 On Sunday we went to church where I left with the commitment to make 2 Pumpkin pies to make for our Stone Soup Sunday; a fundraiser for our church's  low income heating fund.

 On Monday, hubby went hunting, harvested a couple of trees from the woods and put a couple of t1-11 panels up on the barn. So I held down the fort here. 

Tuesday we were up at 5:15 to bring hubby half way to work so he could ride his bike the rest of the way (15miles).  We do this on the days that I need the car.  We are a 1 car family. On  Tuesday I went into town to pick up Teen from his art class and run errands.

 On Wednesday, we were up early again.  Later that day Teen, Wee One and I went to church to help set up for Stone Soup and meet with our new Minister to discuss Religious Ed program. I then drove in the other direction to pick up hubby from work.  This one car thing is supposed to save us money, right?

 Because the wee one was up at 5:00 for 2 days in a row, he thought he would try for  third day...sigh. So Thursday was a cranky day for a certain  2 year old I love. Thursday was also a catch up day at home.  The home takes a real hit when no one is home.  How does that happen?

Today, Friday, I have committed myself to finish the socks I have promised some one.  Last sock of the last pair.  I have to make bread. Feed the worms. Bake 3 pie pumpkins so I can make those church pies tomorrow.  Think about Thanksgiving dinner and make a list of anything we may need.  There won't be much because most of everything we are cooking we grew ourselves.  Except the Turkey. I'm struggling with this one for some reason. Oh ,I know the reason.  The free range local turkey is 4.50 a pound and the only turkeys available are at least 14lbs. 61.20 for a turkey compared to the CAFO turkey at 10.00.That's a tough one.  We will have pumpkin pie from scratch; potatoes, squash, green beans from the garden;cranberry sauce made from cranberries foraged from a local wild bog, homemade crackers and bread,  homemade pickled things ,local goat cheese, local blueberry wine and apple cider.  I thought about just cooking a roast from our pig but it Thanksgiving without turkey? Sure it is. It is about gratitude after all.  But ...Is it Thanksgiving weekend without turkey sandwiches,  turkey potpie, turkey stew? I've done the local turkey for past Thanksgivings but things are a little tighter this year and that just seems like a luxury  this year.

Tomorrow is Saturday and it is my day to get away. MOM TIME!!  woohoo!!  It has been awhile.

I plan to leave early and go to the last farmers market of the season.  There will be monthly farmers market for those farmers who sell meat and cheese.  This is the last regular scheduled farmers market.  I went last week and got a bushel of apples for 8.00.  This week I want to pick up a couple of bags of onions.  We've eaten all the ones we grew for ourselves. ( note to self, plant more onions).  I will pick up the goat cheese for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Then I have to go to the library to drop some books off and photo copy something for a friend.

Then  I will spend a glorious morning in the sunroom  of my favorite yarn shop knitting Christmas presents and gossiping with the women who knit there.

After that I might run up to the goodwill and try to find some fitted sheets for the teens bed. The one on there now looks more like it could be a fishing net.

Then I will go home and have late lunch and make pies for Sunday.

Hubby has promised a chicken dinner for Saturday night. Yum!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A day in the life of the Independence Days Challenge

5:45 My slumber is is prodded to wakefulness by the squeaky cry of "Boobie, boobie". I am able to sneak another 5 minutes before snuggling on the couch with Wee one.  This shall go into local foods system.

6:10 Hubby comes in from chopping wood and heads into the shower.  Wee one is done with nursing and has discovered the pile of picture books from our trip to the Library yesterday.  I spend a few minutes reading to him as I wait for the water to boil for coffee; free trade that we get from our church.  Pour coffee through one cuppa filter for hubby in travel mug.  Pour second cup for myself in my mug that hubby gave me for our anniversary; made by local artisan.

6:30 Kiss Hubby goodbye as he heads to work.  His school provides breakfast to the staff.  Make breakfast for the rest of the gang.  Local eggs ( because our old chickens have stopped laying and our young chickens have yet to lay).  Homemade pumpkin bread toasted.

7:00 Everyone is gathered around the table eating breakfast.  I knit a few more rounds on the socks I am making out of Peace Fleece, a lovely merino/wool blend made in Maine.

7:30 Log on and read my favorite blogs. Two Frog Home had a link to Lizzy Lane Farm where there is a recipe for making homemade dish soap.  I have been pondering this for a while now. So I went to Wholesale Supplies Plus and ordered the liquid glycerin.   This would go under Prepped.

8:00  Took care of my morning beauty regimen.  Comb Hair, Brush Teeth, Rinse Face.   Wrestle a two year old out of his Pjs with the promise , "Yes, Tonight you get to wear your pjs again". Brush wee one's teeth.  Fold laundry from drying racks and empty load of laundry washed last night and hang back on the racks.  Okay, confession time.  I was using our dryer for the heavier items and sheets during the winter.  With the intention of getting rid of the dryer.  Fate has played her hand and our dryer is dead thus taking car of that appliance for us.  But now I have a dead dryer in my bathroom eating up precious space :(.  So I have sort  of reduced waste here, but still have no idea what to do with the dead dryer that would be earth friendly. Made beds, put laundry away.

9:00  Took the wee one out with me to stack the wood hubby split.   Wee one helps mama by bringing the light logs over to the stack.  He also helps me to collect any kindling and tinder that resulted from the chopping. We put this in empty feed bags and store in the back shed.  It begins raining so we head inside.  The homeschooled teen is feeding the livestock.

10:00 I set the wee one up in his highchair with some playdough and cookie cutters while I clean up after breakfast.  i must remember to look up the recipe for creme of tarter playdough. I want to give some to the small people in my life for Christmas. I prepare another batch of Kombucha. I am still trying to get this right. I have let it ferment too long  sometimes but I now have several mothers so I can get  several batches going.   Unintended Intelligence?  Managing reserves.  Teen is in his room reading a Library booksale book,  The Deep by Peter Benchly.    Wee one is done playing with playdough and sets up a nest of board books around the dog bed. He becomes very sad that Bear Lost his little red ball in the book he was looking at.   Time out for crisis management and hugs.

11:00 Time for wee one's nap.  3 stories and song while he is rocked results in a cherubic wee one  asleep.

11:30 Teen and I sit down to read aloud the Book EMBER by Jeanne Duprau.  A friend from church lent it to us.  I am going to do a book review on it for the bookstore.  We both agreed that it is off to a good start.  

12:00 Teen and I have lunch.  Last of the split pea soup ( split peas, stock and meat provided by the garden,  left over pig bone and meat bits, apples from local orchard, garlic, carrots, potato, spinach, onion, thyme,sage, parsley from our garden)  Also last of the homemade mac and cheese.

12:30 Teen gets working on his math work while wee one naps.  I plan the afternoon: make bread, find a recipe for bean veggie burgers to use up black beans and rice in Fridge , feed worms ( I will wait for wee one to help me with this), vacuum the rug, work on those socks, tidy kitchen.  But first a cup of herbal tea.

1:00 Wee one wakes from his nap.  Nurses, briefly, and sits down to lunch.  Cheesy noodles with fleck of spinach which he is able to pick around.  I read 2 stories and his big brother reads two books.  Feed worms with help of wee one.   He rips the white paper; that now does not have to be saved for recycling but will be repurposed as worm bedding.  Reducing waste.

2:00 clean kitchen. ho hum  Hubby started a fire in the stove this morning.  I let it burn down. Little chilly so put on an extra layer.  It was fairly mild outside today...and rainy. Managed reserves. Made a veggie, garlic bread using garlic and dried kale from the garden and local honey. Wee one just bombs around for a while emptying little basket and bins of toys.  Teen retreats to his room to read the book, Science.

3:00 I wrote a list of items that I want to bulk order next week.  25lbs of kidney beans from the Great Northern Bean company ( Maine Co.)  Local old fashion  general/ feed store is selling canola in gallon bottles for 15.99.  It is cold pressed and kosher and less expensive per quart than the stuff we usually use.  It's a balance. I should ask about molasses when I call the order into the store that orders this stuff for me.  Prepped. Debated the merits of picking up one's toys with a 2 year old.  Gave the wee one a snack of dried apple chips from this years preserving efforts. Filled little bins and baskets that were emptied of their toys.  Teen feeds the livestock.  I vacuum the livingroom rug.  It sounds so much better to say I am managing my reserves instead doing chores:)

4:00 punch the bread down and divide into loaves.  Made a cuppa tea and sat down with knitting for a few minutes.  Teen put dishes away and awaits arrival of kitty litter to clean cat box.

5:00 Husband comes home bearing a smooch, kitty litter, the mail. The first seed catalogue for 2009 arrived today from a Maine Company, Pinetree Garden Seeds.  It seems like they have a good variety of heirloom breeds. Oh goody, good reading tonight, and a fair amount of daydreaming about next years garden. Prepping. Well, and not really planting anything but hopes of planting.Dinner tonight will be black bean and rice veggie burgers with shredded carrot and corn from the garden, canned salsa from this summers garden, local sour cream and cheese. Homemade tortilla. This goes under cook something new. I ended up using egg to hold it all together.I didn't use catsup but salsa and  I didn't use the tempeh crisps.  

6:oo Finished cooking dinner.  Everyone enjoyed it and went for seconds.  Cleaned up after dinner and settled in for an evening with my family. Phew! A good and full day.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Independence Day Challenge

Okay, do I dare to scroll down to the bottom of the page and see if I completed everything on the to-do list?


I think it is best to revel in what has been done, than to beat up on myself about what I did not get done.

Planted:  rye grass in a pot for the kitties to have as greenery this winter. Although this is not really for our human consumption ,it does keep the kitties from eating house plants and then chucking them up.  So I look at this as house work mitigation.

harvested: spinach and kale. Still.

preserved: 7 quarts of beets

prepped: extra hydrogen peroxide. I like to keep a goodly supply of this on hand.  Hubby works with a lot of tools and has had minor injuries. But his last summer he had a serious injury that required 13 stitches.  I used nearly a whole bottle of peroxide to cleanse the wound before I rushed him to the ER. Stocked extra toothbrushes and TP.  We are pretty well stocked with  goods but this is a good time of year to think about taking advantage of loss  leaders.  Flour, sugar and other baking needs are on sale soon.   We are  just at the beginning of hard times and stocking up on basics is a hedge against inflation.

managed reserves:  turned compost piles but I still need to make one more pile before the snow flies.  I managed to mine the piles of clutter that have gather over the last few weeks and I have implemented several anti- clutter methods that I hope the troops can work with.  Cleaned out teen's drawers and thinned out the outgrown clothing.

local foods:  Well, we've been doing a really good job of eating from our stored food that hubby just buys milk, cheese and butter. However, the food cupboard that our church sponsors has run low of funds so we purchased extra soap, shampoo and toothpaste for the cupboard.  Our neighbor is getting eggshells from a local breakfast joint to give to his chickens and floats us an extra bucket whenever he gets the chance .  ( informal economy baby!!)

OOoohhhh Inspiration:  New Category for the IDC challenge....Informal Economy.

reduced waste:  working those compost bins, feeding those worms.  I will take the out grown teen clothes and save the good quality ones for the wee one. I will give the rest to the local thrift shop.

Learned something new:  I learned how to post pictures on the blog post.

Cooks something new: It was hubby's birthday today and I baked a cake from scratch. It tasted yummy.  I admit, I have been a big fan of the box cake mix and tub o' frosting.  So I was taking a chance that it would turn out okay ...and it did!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Make Do Magic

I am a goddess.  You may not know that by looking at me.  The rings under my eyes and the gray hairs slipping from my braid do not betray my extraordinary powers.  But my unassuming appearance is the mark of every great goddess of myth who ever walked the earth.  My powers have the ability to bring joy to a toddler at times of peril.

Let me share just one small feat.  

This past summer my family and I volunteered for a community garden that donates many pounds of fresh organic veggies to low income seniors.  The wee one ( our mythic hero) would ride in his chariot from door to door as we dispensed our goods. As we return to the garden to bring the reusable bags back to the garden shed, the wee one would stop and flirt with some of some of the senior sirens that sit on their park bench to watch the sun set.

One evening while I was finishing up, teen took the wee one to visit these veggie vamps.  One bestowed upon him  a yellow, plastic, remote control car without the remote control.  Such treasure!  Such manna! such plastic....*

Such plastic soon broke when the body broke from the carriage. The tragedy and sorrow  of one truck obsessed 2 year old knew no bounds that day.  All day, we pondered how we could fix it and when would dad get home to "goo" it. 

And then  divine powers of inspiration intervened and a magic roll of duct tape appeared .....

* yeah, I know, plastic. If given the choice I use nice wood toys but this was so big and Yellow and I have saved it from the landfill.  Later when hubby got home, he pointed out that the carriage was on backwards and that most cars wheels don't steer from behind.  He, however, is a mere mortal :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I am seriously going to do everything on the to- do list this week....seriously

     Well, I need to make this to do list because I have no idea what I need to do.  I have a vague idea (the incredible amount of clutter on the counter is a good place to start) but I've been so busy lately that things have piled up....( housework deferred?).  I have found myself with the unexpected pleasure of just taking care of the regular everyday stuff like housework, unfinished crafts, ritual cooking, end of season garden chores.  There is no wood to stack, no food to preserve (except those beets!), no knitting for a craft fair, no work at the bookstore for a couple of weeks.  I get to think about getting ready for the holidays,  spending time with my kids, maybe a date with my hubby, craft my Christmas presents.  I have a busy end of November ahead of me.  I am giving a sermon at our UU church, I have a craft fair the beginning of December and the bookstore will probably want me for some holiday shifts.  The teen begins a leadership program and the Junior Maine Guide program so there will be more time in the family taxi.  But for the next couple of weeks... I get to catch up and I am reveling in the idea! Okay, I admit it, I am weird.

To do:
Can some of those beets and find some recipes to use the rest.

Manage my reserves.  I must check my winter squash and make sure that there are no soft spots. I will also check the canned goods and plan the menu for the week using preserved food.  We have done pretty well with this but meals have not been very inspired lately.

Sew PJs.  I have several pairs of pj bottoms I want to give as Christmas presents.  They are cut out I just have to sew them.

Finish special order of knitted socks.

Tend the compost bins.  Bin number one  has finished compost that I need to side dress the hops and grapes with before I mulch them. Bin number two needs to be turned into bin number one. Bin number three need to be turned into bin number two.  And I need to make a new pile in bin number three with the last of the raked leaves, garden waste  and mucked stalls.

Top to bottom  house cleaning.  You know the spider webs that have wrapped around the aloe plant and caught those last diehard fruit flies. The dried soybeans when hubby was shelling them and spilled them and keep showing up every time you sweep the floor. The pile of summer clothes that have yet to find their way into the box in the closet ( we may still have an Indian summer..yeah sure...).  Wash the shower curtain because It  can stand on its own and may have voting rights if you don't stick it in the washer soon.

Hang the curtains that you did wash.  The neighbors really don't want to see your business.

Well, that is one thing per day for a week.  That should do it.  I hope.