Monday, May 23, 2011

Kitchen Pantry

I've got kitchen pantries on my mind.  Maybe it's because I don't have one.  I could fit one of these if I had another place to put my table.  Isn't it lovely?  You need 4 feet of wall space on either side to fit 24" cabinets on the sides of it.  When I remodel my kitchen in my head I totally have that.

But that involves serious construction.  Possibly the removal of a wall.  A load bearing wall.  But my neighbors removed theirs so it's doable.  Somehow....

The cabinets are working fine since we got rid of the dishes we don't really use.  Mostly I just want some dedicated space for 5 gallon buckets for food storage.  I'm feeling the food storage bug and I want to start canning and need a place to put said cans.  yeah, I could get a framed cabinet and save myself the hassle, but that doesn't fit 5 gallon buckets.  Building a closet does.

What does everyone else do?  We already have the cans under beds and in secret holes in the walls, don't tell me about that.  I want to know what you do with 5 gallon buckets of wheat!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Went Off Dairy

I'm more than a little depressed about it.  No ice cream.  No whipped cream.  No creamy cream.
And heaven help me, no cheese!!!

But I'm getting sleep for the first time in over a year.  Take THAT Dr. Jerk who told me she was screaming at night because I spoiled her and to just leave her be.  I actually really like our pediatrician.  But sometimes he's a jerk. ;)

I wasn't going to do it.  I had to go off wheat, dairy, and soy for Jack and I never wanted to do it again.  But then one of my friends had to do it for her new little guy and seeing how little she could eat with the soy reminded me how much I could eat JUST eliminating dairy.  Plus, I didn't know what it was until I tried giving my 1 year old (in 2 days!!!) some milk and saw how much it hurt her.  I had no interest in trying to "figure out" what it was.  Mostly I just love cheese that much.  I eat it daily.  Or I did.

I've had a surprising amount of people ask why I just don't quit nursing her since she's one.  I guess one is the new magic number.
I love nursing.  It's my reward for being pregnant (I HATE pregnancy so much).  My baby also loves it and refuses to give it up.  We're gonna be that weird duo nursing til she's 3.
Some of you thought I was serious, huh?

My consolation is I've lost 2 lbs this week.  Oh, and I'm sleeping.  Kind of a big one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Double Digging Revisited

To dig or not to dig?  I've read too many blogs about this subject.
Some people say not to; it disrupts the soil structure and makes for less healthy plants.
Others argue that by digging heavily or tiling and adding compost/manure/peat/old leaves...whatever... they have better production.

I can see a lot of value from the amend from above approach.  Ever moved a compost pile or even a pile of leaves and seen the dirt below?  It's gorgeous!!

Having now spent a good month double digging AND SIFTING, I can tell you I really don't love it.  But the reason I don't love it is the reason I have to do it.

I don't have soil.  I have rocks.  And a little clay.

No compost heap can fix that.

I think clay can be amended from above, but rocks....rocks have to be dug out, plain and simple.  But I'm tired and I still have 1 1/2 beds to do and I'm building another!
Am I just making more work for myself or is this a long term investment?  The clay is very rich and has a lot of nutrients so I like adding it back to the beds, but the sifting is so stinking tedious!

We're thinking or just removing a foot of our "soil" and putting it somewhere else in the yard then getting a truckload of compost from the city compost site and filling the beds with that.  Cost $35 vs. 3 full days work of digging and sifting.  Lazy? Probably.
Tumbleweed is so clingy now that I'm finding little time to work in the yard and I'm getting behind.  I think compost wins (now to get a truck....)

So I think the thing I have to remember when I find a new way of doing things, whether it's biointensive gardening, permaculture, or just standard row gardening is that I can't make it work perfectly in my yard.  There will always be rocks or bindweed or clay that is so solid even bindweed can't grow in it. There's no such thing as the perfect yard.

So for now I'm still digging.  I think I'll leave the sifting for the compost heap though.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Groceries

Okay, enough of the crazy spots posts!  Time to get back to business.
JOY!  Pure and simple.

It refuses to get warm here!  How about you?  The only thing coming up here is potatoes and I'm itching for a break in rain/cold to get some squash plants in the ground!

Yesterday my husband met a couple at church who paid off something like $80,000 in debt!  He kept telling me I need to talk to her.  I liked her, met her briefly, but missed the life story part.  Now I'm anxious for next Sunday to roll around.

One of the things they did was cut their groceries down to $80/month.

Can you imagine!?  I mean, I thought $200 was good for us, but I'm curious to see if I can halve that.  I don't know if they just have the one toddler or more kids, but apparently they eat a lot of oatmeal. :)

Besides the obvious beans and rice, what have you done to lower the grocery bill?

We're done potatoes in various forms (baked fries, baked potato night, potato soup).  I'm a big fan of vegetable soup night too.  I need to get back to baking my own bread, especially since Tumbleweed may have a wheat, dairy (or both) allergy and I want to try other grains.  I've been thinking a lot of about our food lately and this has really got my mind pondering...

How low can a family of 5 get their grocery bill and still eat healthy?  hmmmmmm

ps- Blogger restored my last2 posts but deleted your comments.  Sorry :(

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Other Special Snowflake

Tumbleweed's biopsy came back.........

POSITIVE!!!!
(spots at their worst)

Positive is actually good.  Because if I didn't know what was going on with her, I think I'd go crazy.  Well, crazier.

She has a condition called urticaria pigmentosa, (here's the wiki) and yeah, it's another "rare disease".
 (non-reacting spots)

Just like her sister's disease, she'll outgrow it and the blood tests showed that it's only in the skin so she'll be fine.  We can just plan on allergy issues with her.
And we can't get bee's now. :(  A lot of kids with this are really allergic to insect venom.

So there you have it.  A kid with PFAPA, one with UP, and the other....well, he's just a special snowflake anyway :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Been Busy

I haven't blogged much because last week we did this.

 Putting on the new paper.
 I let my 6 year old go up with dad.  I must be NUTS!
Pretty (and solid!) new roof.  Yay!!!

Much thanks to our neighbor who used to be a roofer until his back made him stop.  We are soooooo lucky!!!!!  Also, this is another circumstance where having a small house is nice.  Repairs cost less.

In other news it's allergy central around here.  Munchkin is allergic to grass.  She's been getting hives around her eczema.  I hadn't looked at her hazlewood necklace in a while but the wood had turned dark which means time to order a new one.  The bleach in bath water has REALLY been helping though.  

OH!
And she had a PFAPA episode.  I gave her the prednisone and within an HOUR she was fine!!!  Wohoo!!!!!

Tomorrow I take Tumbleweed back to the dermatologist to find out about the spots.  I'll write about that when we're back.

Only 2 1/2 weeks of school left.  I've planned out all my home school curriculum for the next year.  Am I just a little excited to be done???  You betcha!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Things I've Been Looking At

Jack has stomach flu, Munchkin has allergies, and Tumbleweed has a cold (her red spots have faded into light freckle-like spots) so we have been having a sick day.
So I've been looking at some fun things on teh internets.

Rethinking the table leaf


something potentially more affordable and still pretty cool:



Forget Murphy, check out a ceiling bed!  Actually, don't forget Murphy beds.  I'm a fan of those too.



funky bunk:  based in the UK, but ideas worth thinking of.  I LOVE some of these!