Saturday, November 27, 2010

We had a great Thanksgiving holiday! Richard and Audie were over and we also had another family over. Noel works with Ryan and they didn't want to risk the bad weather conditions to Utah so we invited them over. We ended up with 6 adults and 4 children that I cooked for and it came together really well. Noel deep fried the turkey and I made the standard mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, bread, green bean casserole, stuffing and relish. We ended up with 3 apple pies and 1 pecan pie. No pumpkin. I thought Richard was getting a pumpkin pie to bring, but was wrong. Not a biggie - I can always make one for Christmas dinner.

I had a great chat with Robin about the LDS canneries. We're interested in going to one to get some food dry-packed, like potato flakes, dried milk, wheat berries, oats, beans, stuff like that. I'm getting really antsy about food prices. I have this awful feeling that our dollar is going to crash and burn and I really want to be prepared with food and water supplies. Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but I'd rather be prepared. I want to get soaps and toiletries as well. In fact, a friend of mine makes soap and she's asked me if I want her extra lye as she's taken a break from soap-making for awhile. I might take her up on it and just work with it when the kids are doing quiet time. Lye is extremely caustic, I believe. But knowing how to make things, basic things, is a goal of mine. Things like toothpaste. I now have a recipe for tooth powder. Laundry soap I know how to make. Herbal shampoos I can do - and of course my medicines. Noel rolls his eyes at me sometimes, but I bet he'd be happy to have a wife that knows how to make soap if the store aisles empty during some catastrophe!

Anyway, having a husband who knows how to fix and make things comes in handy, too. I feel very secure having him as a helpmate. I know that he would be able to defend us (he should with all of the guns he has!) and put food on the table since I know he's shot small game before. He's strong and always healthy. Hardly ever sick! He knows a lot about fixing cars, computers, any type of machine really. He can make bullets from excess metal he has laying around. His tools come in handy and already neighbors come to him for help or to borrow things. I'm sure if we ever needed to do a lot of bartering we'd be in good shape with him knowing all the technical stuff and me knowing how to make things that people need health-wise. I'm not trying to toot our horns here, but just to say what a sense of well-being this brings to me. I'm really a very positive person and just thinking about things going wrong really rubs me the wrong way. It makes me feel better to know we're in a good position if things do go wrong.

If the time comes when we can move to a small farm, that would be icing on the cake. Room for a large garden, a shop for Noel, a basement or root cellar for canned goods, space for chickens and a family cow. Guess it's a good thing I know how to milk a cow (thanks Uncle John!) and make butter.

Okay, I'm going to wrap this up. I've got some FarmTown to play while the kids are gone/sleeping!

Monday, November 15, 2010

There are some days when I feel myself going slowly insane! How do people with 7 or 8 kids do it?? I know a lot of my frustration comes from my inability to come up with a way to keep the house picked up and organized. I seem to find it hard to put myself on a schedule. When it comes to McKenna's schooling, I'm good. But as far as laundry and general pick-up I'm pretty awful! I did manage to organize my upstairs bookshelf. That one thing has me feeling pretty good about today. Even if everything else is a mess. I was doing for awhile and that worked well - maybe I should try to get back on that.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is there anything better than fresh, homemade applesauce? With a little cinnamon and brown sugar it's simply divine! McKenna and I used our new apple corer that Noel brought home and we whipped up our applesauce in no time. And that was with Eli strapped to the front of me, too! :D

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quick post today - Noel took the girls for haircuts yesterday and I went for mine today. Stopped off at target to see if they had an apple peeler/corer. They don't. Noel's been bringing home big bags of apples since they're in season and I've done applesauce and will probably slice and dehydrate some also. Wouldn't mind canning some applesauce instead of freezing it. It takes quite a while to peel those apples by hand. Also looked to see if they had a pressure canner. Target didn't but BedBath&Beyond did. For $20. more than Amazon has it. And I'll get free shipping with buying through Amazon.

We're feeling under the weather a little - except Noel. Runny noses, sore throats. We've been taking our echinacea, elderberry and lozenges and hopefully that will kick this colds butt soon. I can't stand being sick.

Gotta get lunch for the girls - more later!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Well, cold and flu season is starting up! McKenna has been complaining of a sore throat last night and this morning so I decided it was time to make up my herbal sore throat pastilles. We made it a cooperative project and McKenna actually really likes helping me make my medicines which is really neat.

So, I brought out my mortar and pestle and we got started. The herbs I use are all from Mountain Rose Herbs and are exceptional. These people put great care into what they produce and where they obtain their herbs from.

So my recipe is not really mine. I decided to use the one on the Learning Herbs website and it is as follows:

1 T rose petal powder
1/2 T powdered sage
2 T marshmallow powder
1-1/2 T warmed honey

The rose powder acts on inflammation and pain. It's an astringent and is cooling to the throat.
The sage is antimicrobial and an astringent and works to kill pathogens and also to tone tissue. The marshmallow is a demulcent and can help relieve a dry cough as well as boost the immune system.
The honey is antimicrobial and is great for soothing a sore throat. We use local raw honey that we get from Middleton, a town over. It's made from millet instead of clover but we really enjoy it. Noel likes it better than clover honey.

So I had McKenna powder the sage in the mortar and pestle and the other ingredients were ready to go. We mixed them up with the honey and then instead of rolling them into balls I thought we would try pressing them into my candy molds - flowers! After they came out of the freezer we popped them out and dusted them with some cinnamon and rose powder. They will last about 2 weeks in our fridge. We had a little sample before shaping them and they taste pretty good. I'm sure the honey helps! :) We'll have to keep you posted on how they work on her sore throat.

Monday, November 08, 2010

So I told Noel how I felt later on last night and he apologized to me. Then we sat and had one of those great conversations that seem like they could go on all night long. He's a good guy, my man!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

This is a blog for venting, just remember that! I love my husband to death but sometimes he can be a bit of an ass. Today is one of those days when I just can't do anything right and by the end of the day I feel like a worthless bit of flotsam that he just tolerates. I try to tell him that something he said hurt me and I get a justification instead of an apology. I don't even argue - I just go to bed. Until I realize that I need to get it out, even if it's just typing this entry.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The last couple of days I've been busy making salves and tinctures. I thought I'd share.

Since we're headed into winter and we're inside a lot more I decided to make a tincture of St. Johns Wort today. Besides being good for burns and skin irritations in salve form, St. Johns Wort is also good for anxiety and depression. Since I tend to get a little more depressed during the winter I'll use some of the tincture in my teas. In addition to that, I also have some echinacea tinctured from last year that's helpful for colds and coughs.

I've also made up some salve of calendula-infused olive oil and coconut oil for Eli. It smells simply superb! Coconut oil is very healing on rashes and as an added bonus I can use the leftover oil for cooking. It's apparently very heart healthy!

When our first cold comes around I'll be posting a pic of the sore throat drops I'll be making of sage, rose and marshmallow.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Today was spent dropping books off at the library, washing cloth diapers, making a diaper rash salve for Eli's butt out of cococut oil and beeswax. That was really fun, actually. I love playing witchdoctor, LOL. We had an art class and a phonics class for McKenna today. We've been getting into the swing of homeschooling this year and while it's been a little intimidating the rewards are worth it. She's starting to read short sentences and is so proud of herself.

Things on my to-do list:

Clean up the garden
Sell some cloth diapers on Ebay
Fold laundry
Make sore throat pastilles (which should be yummy - made of rose, marshmallow and licorice powders) Once I get some slippery elm I'll have enough ingredients to make my cough drops.

Enough for now - love and kisses to all!
Part 2 of our trip!

In Connecticut we met up with Noel's side of the family. His mom and sister picked us up from my sisters place in the Adirondacks and we headed to his Aunt Roseanne's house. She very nicely put us up there for the week and it was so comfy and much nicer than a hotel would have been. Besides, the kids would've missed out on that fur rug in front of the fireplace! O-lala!

So we all got together for pictures on Tuesday I think it was (I'm already mixed up on what we did on what day) at Wal-Mart. Noel's grandpa was there and we had his mom and his sister and her family - Jay and Alyssa and Savannah. We got some pretty cute pics there.

Annie spent the nights with us at Roseannes place - she slept in the spare room with the girls. Everyone was curled up together and apparently very comfy - Noel and I had a nice double or queen which was nice. Even now that we're back from CT Madelaine wants to sleep with her sister in McKenna's twin. I'm happy to let her do that as they'll be in the same room in the next couple of months anyway what with Eli moving into his own room eventually.

We did the Big E in Massachussetts while we were there and we pigged out on maple sugar and cream donuts and cotton candy and you name it. The girls went wild for the funhouses and we have tons of pics of that. Alyssa, who is ten, I think wanted to go on the free fall so her Aunt Sarita reluctantly agreed and we had a blast! We went twice as a matter of fact! We did ferris wheels and the kids did the slides and the carousels and we checked out the little chicks hatching and the huge Clysdale horses and some incredible artwork.

This whole time Eli slept all through the nights and wouldn't you know he decides to get me up twice a night when we got back to Nampa.

We did a birthday party for McKenna on a Sunday and all the family came. Noel has 5 aunts and so we met up with them and their kids and took pics in the backyard. Had dinner at a really nice seafood restaurant one night and I ordered the Maryland crabcakes, which I haven't had in a long time. I would have gotten lobster or crab legs, but they were REALLY expensive and Noels mom was paying. We did get clam strips for the kids which really brought back memories and they loved them.