Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy News

As I write this the snow is coming down en masse again. I believe we are to get 3-5 inches out here in De Soto. Getting home from Carbondale was a nightmare tonight.  I am consoling myself with a cup of hot tea and going through my seeds that I just got.  Yes, it's early but I am not actually planning on starting anything until this current snowfall melts out and even then, its going to be onion seed and brassicas.  I will try to get Helen to snap some pictures of the new grow-box that we made from our old fridge.  I still need to re-foil the grow-box out on the back porch.  I meant to get the pictures up of the Aerogarden as the plants are HUGE and I have my first marigold flower.

In other news, a gentleman in Carbondale has proposed for city to change the ordinances regarding chickens and goats.  I also found out he is part of The Permaculture Project.  Yep, I really need to talk to this guy! Alright, I have to go and finish my article for Homemakers Who Work.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Canners I need your help!!!

Im in a little panic, can anyone tell me if you can use a pressure or bwb canner on a glass top stove?  When I got my gear I had an electric with the metal coil burners. But then we got the free stove from my parents neighbors  and I didn't think a thing about it...til now!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shower and soap updates

Well we got the shower fixed today. $147 in total.  I haven't been in it yet as I let William and Dillon go first and took the opportunity to wrangle the kitchen back to submission.  I also ran the dishwasher so I wanted to let the hotwater heater catch up.  The dishsoap has been used also and truth be told Im not won over by it. I know you dont need bubbles to equal clean but there was glycerin in the formula so I expected some bubbles. If I put it directly on the loofah and then attack the pan it seems ok, but straight added to water and I start having doubts.  It does lovely as a hand soap though. As slong as it works I really dont care.  I would like to use the sink more and the dish washer less with soooo many bottles made from one batch it would be a shame not to.

The next adventure for me and Helen will be making homemade soap with lye and fats/oils. Yep, there will be pictures to share.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Well we came home from shopping to find out the shower faucet apparatus had broken. Right now as I type there is a huge hole in my bedroom wall where they are putting on an entire new set up. It was that or a new shower surround that I dont have money for. Supplies ran me and Helen $102 so far. Hopefully that is all cuz Im almost broke. We were suppose to go out to a friend's tonight, I've been looking forward to this all week, but we may not if we cant get most of this done.

In good news before the shower problem Helen, Bill and I had successfully tracked down and purchased the stuff for making bar soap and dishsoap.  We made up a batch of the dish soap before the water got shut off.  Here is the recipe:
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 2 cups shredded bar soap (we used Ivory)
  • 2 tbsp  liquid glycerin
  • 2-5 drops Essential Oil (we used geranium)
  • 5 drops Tea Tree Oil (as an antibacterial)
  • Large pot (we used the same enameled pot that we use for making the laundry soap)
Mix the warm water and soap flakes in the pot and dissolve it over low heat. (The finer the soap flakes the faster this will go) Continually stir while it is heating. Stir in glycerin and remove from heat.  Let cool until almost room temp and then add lemon juice (it says you can also sub with white vinegar) Mix in the essential oils. Pour mixture into bottles (Good thing I kept a LOT of old bottles)

As you can see by the picture below it makes quite a bit.  At first I was concerned as it was not thick but on cooling it does thicken up some.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I guess I was overdue..At 4 am I woke up with a rip roaring migraine. I called into work and burned a sick day. It was two hours and massive doses of meds later before I finally quit puking and passed out.  I don't remember laying down to bed.  I woke back up around 11am.  I got up for a while, groggy and zombie, ate what was presented to me and tried to wake up. I ended up going back to bed for another hour and a half before getting up for the rest of the day.

I am agitated and restless.  I want to be doing something productive or fun (or both) but cannot find something that I want to do. I'm tired of staying home all the time, I hate days like this.  I guess I should chalk it up to cabin fever.  There is a lot I could be doing getting prepped for the garden but my seed catalogs are not here :( I hate off days like this.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Funny thing I forgot to mention.....

We no longer have a working microwave.  We had one that was working but was starting to rust a little and though I really didnt want to we got rid of it for a microwave that Helen had in storage, less than a week later it quit working.  I don't want to buy a new one, if we plan ahead and use the stove top or (gasp) the toaster oven we shouldn't really need one. I dont really miss it. Im not sure how the rest of the house feels about it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New year, new crew

I've been working on those goals for the new year and though its still a work in progress here's what I have so far...
  • Grow at least 50% of our produce
  • Become more proficient at crocheting things
  • Lobby my village council to allow me to have some laying hens
  • To be more frugal, pay off my credit card again and get something into savings
  • To eat more organic, if not organic then local
  • To make more meals from scratch (including things like bread)
  • To build my pantry up and so I can shop less often

I am cautiously optimistic for this new year.  I have a lot of hopes and the biggest obstacle for them is me!! I know I can do these things, maybe not to the degree I want right away but they are not impossible ideas.

There were a couple changes lately here in the household and I wanted to introduce you to my new "crew" :)

This is Helen.......and the wall behind her she painted herself crafty person that she is, the swirls are freehand.  She was in the middle of reorganizing her craft desk when I shot this.

And this is Dillon, who just moved in on th 28th. I've known Dillon since I moved down here, Bill has known him longer.  Long story but basically he's like our son (we are the closest thing to parents for him) He's a good kid (lol hes 19)  AND he likes to garden :)

In good news today Bill got called back to work today to start at 3pm!! We are still trying to get him on at my workplace though as it would be better for him. Things will once again shift around in the house, and dinner will probably not be as phenomenal but we will be better off.  Keep your fingers crossed for us. 

Here are the updates from the AeroGrow I promised!

So far so good and everything has at least sprouted now.  One down side is that someone put a cover over all of it to block the light and when I pulled it down when I got home the tips of one of the calendula  sprouts had burned a little.  They have been instructed not to do that again.