Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oxi-Clean the Green Alternative?

Okay, I am willing to admit it.  I am a nerd.  Hello, my name is Rebecca, and I am a nerd.  I enjoy learning.  I like edumacating myself when I can.  And I really LOVE not only know how something works, but WHY it works.  I like being armed with information.  So, when I saw something yesterday that I knew was wrong, but I didn’t know why it was wrong…  I decided to investigate.  However, I really must start this out by saying that I was an English major.  I have a bachelor’s degree in English…  I am not a Chemist.  In fact, I purposefully avoided Chemistry, because it just seemed WAY beyond my comprehension.  Until today.  

Oxi-clean.  What is it?  How do you make it?  And is it considered "green?"  

Since I am an English major and not a Chemistry major…  I am going to break this down to like a third grade level. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Goat Jokes!

This cartoon was just too funny not to share!  

By the way, have I mentioned today I love goats? 

Homebirth at the Homestead

The happy face of a homebirth baby!  Winnie- also known as #5
My family is known for doing things a little…  differently.  I mean, we are not your standard American family from what I can tell.  I fight the system, I have problems with the man, and I don’t particularly do well with rules…  then to top ALL that off…  I may be slightly impulsive.  (Keith just nodded his head in agreement)  So, when it came time that I was less than two months away from having our fourth baby, I made the huge, and probably radical decision, to have our fourth baby at home.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sustainability: Live Simply, Live Responsibly

Sustainability is important.  Until a few years ago, I really had never even considered it.  And then something changed.  I started paying attention.  Now, it drives everything we do.

There is a quote I like that says “We cannot simply think of our survival; each new generation is responsible to ensure the survival of the seventh generation. The prophecy given to us, tells us that what we do today will affect the seventh generation and because of this we must bear in mind our responsibility to them today and always."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Homemade Organic Potting Soil Recipes...

If you are anything like me, I tend to look at things and think "I could make that" or "I wonder how they made that, because I could make that."  I do it all the time!  But what about potting soil?  Have you ever looked at the price of store bought potting soil?  They are making a killing!  I am a fan of gardening, but it is really tough to try and get ahead in the garden if you are spending more on the garden than you do on the produce in the store.

Plus, if you make your own dirt mixture, then you KNOW what your garden is growing in.  And if you are anything like us, then organic is important.  So here are a few simple "recipes" for good dirt.

Terrarium, Terrarium... What can you see?

Today, the gardening mood hit me.  If you are a gardener by genetic makeup…  then you know what I mean.  My green thumb was swelling and the only cure for that was more cowbell...  Since I lacked the cowbell, the next best thing was soil and photosynthesis once a day for three days…  Of course, the weather dropped like twenty degrees today and it is July which also means, I have not been out as much as I would prefer to work in the garden.  Maybe that was the reason.  Perfect gardening weather.

However, it is not too wise right now to plant anything new outside in July.  That is just asking for disappointment and failure.  So…  we made terrariums!  Perfect!

Goat's Milk Banana Pudding... Yummy!

I have made a lot of banana pudding, but tonight I made it for the first time ever with goat’s milk.  I have to admit, I thought my banana pudding was perfect before…  but tonight I proved myself wrong.  It can get better, because it just did.  The difference?  Raw goat’s milk. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

When I see Heaven, this is what I see...

Heaven is a big red barn complete with hayloft, cows, horses, chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats, and a pig named Wilbur.

Heaven is a picket fence lining green pasture and wildflowers.

Heaven is a dirt road off a dirt road where the stars shine at night and I can see the Milky Way with only my eyes. 

Rabbit Soup! by Keith

Saturday morning after Rebecca left for the All Locals Farmers Market, I decided I wanted to try my hand at using the pressure canner on some soup.  I really felt like cooking a good Italian soup but I didn’t have any Italian sausage.  I did, however, have some rabbit in the freezer so I figured I could just grind it and make my own Italian rabbit sausage. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade Oil Lamp to Burn Your Midnight Oil...

You know what I love?  Fire.  Now…  I am not your typical pyro.  I only love fire when there is a real purpose for it.  I love candles.  I love a fire in the fireplace...  I also LOVE very MUCH...  oil lamps.  So tonight, we made oil lamps out of old mason jars, Starbucks bottles, and baby food jars.  There was also an old t-shirt- plus, a few other things.  But it was SO easy.

I wish I could claim this idea, but I can’t.  I not sure where I saw it originally, but it was one of those things that stuck out, and tonight I sought out to make them.  And this is how we did it.  In fact, my eight year old daughter, Autumn, helped.  She loves this kind of thing.
I am a fanatic about saving old jars.  Baby food jars are really great for a lot of things.  Tonight they found new purpose.  And I was also able to repurpose a t-shirt that I was just going to throw away. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

In my Garden by Ralph Waldo Emerson

   In my garden three ways meet,
Thrice the spot is blest;
Hermit thrush comes there to build
Carrier doves to rest.

The broad armed oaks, the copse's maze
The cold sea-wind detain;
And sultry summer overstays
When autumn chills the plain.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In the Beginning there were Chickens...

I got this CRAZY idea, so I called around and asked my question.   

By the way…  our motto at our house has always been and probably always will be “go big or go home.”

“Are there any zoning laws against having chickens in the backyard?”  I was told that there were not as long as there was no rule against it with the neighborhood association.  Well, we don’t have a neighborhood association (thank goodness) so that eliminated that obstacle.  Then, I am pretty sure I brought it up casually in a conversation or two with Keith, and he didn’t seem overly opposed to the idea.  Keith expects these kinds of things from me. 

Natural Sunburn Remedy and How to Grow It!

Needs to be replanted  Has lots of offsets.
Aloe vera.  One of my most favorite plants in the whole wide world.  English ivy is up there, too, but does not possess the same qualities as something like aloe vera does.  At least…  not that I know of yet.

What is aloe vera?  Aloe is a succulent plant that can grow really fast.  It does not need a lot of water, and in fact, does best when you put it into a terra cotta pot and leave it alone, only watering it after it dries out completely.  It does not need direct sunlight, only bright filtered light.  I have mine growing in a garden window that gets indirect sunlight through most of the day, but always stays bright.  I took mine outside this past summer thinking it would do okay outside but under my garden window and…  it didn’t.  It almost killed it in fact.  So, back in the window it went, and it started recovering.  It can get really big if you allow it.  Three feet high and three feet wide is very possible. 

Canning, and Cucumbers, and Pickles! Oh, my!

Pickles…  yummy. 

This week, we are making pickles.  I planned for this and so last week when I went to the Farmers’ Market I ordered a bushel of cucumbers, but I was only able to get half a bushel.  So, it looks like we will be doing this twice this season!  Yay!  That, by the way…  is a LOT of future pickles.  Last year, we only used less than half a bushel of cucumbers and still made over two dozen jars.  However, my family (there are seven of us so far, plus a baby on the way) can go through two jars of pickles during one meal of hamburgers and hotdogs…  plus, I am pregnant right now with all those crazy cravings and I tend to enjoy pickles a little more than I normally do.  Also, it is a great gift for visitors to the house or welcome gift for new people in the neighborhood.  Simply put…  You can never go wrong with pickles.