Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Candy Sushi

The kids and I made this sushi for our ocean themed Muffin Tin Monday this week.

The kids love it when we make California rolls and tuna rolls for dinner, but for this treat lunch I thought that the candy version would be tons of fun. They helped with every step and really enjoyed making and eating them. They are VERY easy. The recipe and directions are in the link above.

My *terrible* but thrifty day

Yesterday was horrible. Started out with a wicked headache and ended with Alex puking all over his bedroom and continuing on until 3am, and there were cranky toddlers, flat tires, lost kittens, skinned knees, and extra shifts for Don in between. It was just flat out a horrible day.

After I got the sick kiddo into bed and the others settled back down (They were nervous for Alex. The poor kid really heaves.) I decided that I was going to finish the 52 napkins I cut out the other day to bring some sort of peace to the day. It took me a couple hours, but it was so satisfying after such an awful day. These are small napkins (8X10inches) with the edges just turned and zigzagged around. I got the idea from my friend Kristan, who has had a basket of these tiny napkins in the middle of her table for as long as I have known her. They are so convenient! Just grab and go... and they are easy to fold too. So I went and bought a sheet I liked at Goodwill, washed it and turned it into this set of beautiful napkins for my kitchen table. I think I got the Ralph Lauren top sheet for $3.99. Not bad for an entire set of 52 napkins! (There is still enough fabric to make 8 big ones if I don't like the little ones as much as I thought I would. I swear, used top sheets are the best yardage value around.)

And a word on split pea soup. Oh the joys of split pea soup! It is fast (esp if you have a pressure cooker), costs pennies, and is oh so good!

Unless, of course, you have the flu. Poor Alex says he will never eat it again.

ETA: for those of you who emailed me for the recipe:

Tiny Bo

She is teeny tiny. She can fit into a 16oz mug. But she is BOLD. She attacked Taio this morning. Jumped up and bit his front leg without warning while she was walking by. Taio didn't know what to do with her. He ended up just walking away with his ears stuck back like he was confused about what had just happened. It made me laugh though. She is just so little! I doubt she will ever weigh more than 5 lbs.

Samson is a regular sized 7 wk old kitten. Bo is just delicate. And oh so sweet... and spirited. And CUTE! OMGoodness! She has these sweet violet tinted eyes (that I really hope stay that color) and she looks up at you with her miniature face, and you just melt.

My blog is starting to look like a 12 year olds blog where they dedicate whole posts to their pets and how cool they are. LOL! I promise... more mature things soon. ;)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My web surfing break

Today has already been long and it isn't even noon. *sigh* Some days are just like that I guess. Woke up with a headache. Kids were not thrilled about homeschool (it happens). Baby is cutting two top molars and just unhappy about everything (that happens too). Don has to work this afternoon, and I have about a million things to get done with grumpy kids, and a headache.

These days happen.

BUT... thankfully there is chocolate and good tea on hand to get me through the day. And when that doesn't work, web surfing always will.

TipiTipi
The cutest designs I have seen in a while.

Wee Gallery
Wonderful wall designs! They even have a free iron-on's that you can print out of the cute little sheep they feature in their products.

Chrissie at Flip flops and Applesauce had a great idea the other day on how to make balloon balls, and then she did this fun game with them with her girls.

There was also Muffin Tin Monday. We have participated for the last few weeks and it has become a quick family tradition. I love that Michelle posts each of the mamas who participate and have made some really fun new blog discoveries through her Monday posts. The rest of her blog, Her Cup Overfloweth, is a great read as well and there have been so many great ideas posted that I find myself spending a lot of time in her archives.

Valerie over at the Frugal Family Fun Blog has some wonderful ideas and I am really enjoying trying some of them out. I am particularly fond of her $5 Fridays. Every week she has a new idea that costs less than $5 and is guaranteed to keep your children occupied for at least an hour of your weekend. :)

And last of all, my personal links of what we have been up to. We have taken a little break from the furious house hunting. It was needed for my sanity. Lately we have really been into projects: We made fake sushi, my daughter designed and made a fairy house with her girlfriends, and we took a wonderful (and educational) trip to the grocery store. It's raining again today, but we have had some great weather and aside from the headache and toothaches of today, we are all doing really great. :)

That is all I have time for today. Toothache Logan is ready for a snuggle and a book. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Monday

Sorry I haven't put up Menu Monday in a couple of weeks. I have actually been off the wagon. We spend SO much more on food and groceries when I don't spend the hour to make this plan. It kind of amazes me. Consistancy is really hard right now. Lots of changes. All good, hopefully, but lots of changes all the same. Change slows us down.

So yesterday I made a point of making a menu. I have some special things planned for this week so I had to do my shopping a little early, but in the end, it worked out great!

Hope you all are having a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy Kids, Happy Kittens

The first night the kittens were here, we still had the neighbors dogs. That was interesting.

Since they have left, the kittens have calmed down and even started up their little motorboat purs when they are content. The siblings huddle together when they are nervous or tired, but slowly but surely they are starting to turn to the people in the house for comfort when they need it as well.

Taio and the Samson had a rocky start, but since they have sniffed noses with no hissing and Samson even attempted to play with Taio. Taio was having none of that and stopped the nonsense very quickly... but the fact that Samson was trying to play with him gives me hope of a later bond between the kittens and my wonderful, sweet, 11 year old baby.

The kids are so thrilled to have their own pets. I think these kitties will be treasured babies.

Right around Alex's age, I brought a kitten home from church camp. My mom wasn't too thrilled about it, but since my other cat had disappeared, she agreed to let me keep him. I had Julian for the next 16 years. He passed four years ago and it still tugs at my heartstrings when I think of him as a young kitten, and me dressing him in doll clothes and carrying him around in the pocket of my hoodie. I think that these memories of taking care of something dear will stick with my kids for the rest of their lives.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Funny for Saturday

This is for all those other mamas who spend their nights waiting for their husbands to put the controller down and come to bed.

Gaming widows... unite!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wishin' and hopin' ~ 17/52


This last two weeks has been enveloped with house hunting and a lot of wishes. This decision feels very heavy for so many reasons. Mostly, because I am a homeschooler, a homebody, and an avid gardener. So it isn't just the house, but the yard that has to catch my interest.

I keep finding perfect houses, in less than perfect yards... and perfect yards, with houses that we would have to put thousands into to make them work for us.

I feel like I am sending out seeds to the universe... hoping one takes hold.

Meet the babies...

Meet Samson and Little Bo, our new kitties.

If you have never read the charming story of Little Bo by Julie Andrews, I suggest putting it on your library hold list. It is such a cute story, about this cat named 'Bonnie Boadicea' who is the tiniest grey kitten in the litter of 6 sweet babies born to a champion Persian one stormy night in February. Our Bo was also last in a litter of 6 kittens, she is grey with white paws, the smallest in the litter born on a stormy night this February to the cat of a friend of mine. Her big brother, whom we also adopted, is twice her size easily, and is her protector already. Just like Samson in the book.


Look at him! He is all ready to take on our 21lb Main coon Taio for his little sister... isn't that totally cute?

And here is Little Bo. She is the tiniest kitten I have ever seen. She maybe weighs as much as a fast food taco. They have only been here for 4 hours... but already they are a part of the family. With a story behind their names and everything. (That is a thing with me... some day I will run down the list and tell you how I name our cats. ;) )

Soy estrogen, and Boys

A few people have asked me lately about soy estrogen and boys. A couple years back, the estrogen in soy was all the rage and it was said that boys were not really supposed to eat soy at all. This scare came right around the same time that they came out with the chickenless nugget, and the whole super-processed soy craze started. The truth is, yes, there is estrogen in soy. If your family eats obscene amounts of soy products and happen to have a little boy it could effect his growth and development. But frankly, if your family eats obscene amounts of anything it could effect a child's development.

When I was 9 months old, I decided (on my own) that I wanted to eat nothing but mashed carrots and sweet potatoes. My mom says she could occasionally push some oatmeal with molasses down me, but for the most part, I ate mashed sweet potatoes and carrots breakfast, lunch and dinner. About 3 weeks later, she noticed that I was a little bit yellow around my lips and nose. Then, she noticed it in my fingertips and eyelids. She was alarmed of course, because discoloration of that kind is a sure warning sign for Jaundice. So, she took me to the Dr. and after careful and close examination the Dr asked her, point blank, "What the hell are you feeding this kid?" When she explained my new found love of sweet potatoes and carrots it all came clear. I wasn't turning yellow... I was turning ORANGE.

Soy is just the same. If your diet consists of a large range of things, but you happen to have tofu 3 nights a week for dinner... this most likely will not effect your boys development. In fact, I will go so far as to say that it will be healthier than the hormone fed chicken or beef you could be giving him instead. On the other hand, if he has a big glass of soy milk in the morning, soy milk in his cereal, chickenless nuggets with french fries fried in soybean oil for lunch, and Boca burger on a white bread bun for dinner... well, yes. Your child may have a problem. You may flood his system with soy and it may start to effect his development. No one was made to eat one plant that much.

In our society, you can get anything you want... anything... made from corn or soy. In fact, your entire diet could be based on corn and soy and unless you are paying attention, you wouldn't even know it! Most fast food eaters do not understand that nearly everything they are eating is corn. Every bit of it. The corn fed beef and chicken, the french fries cooked in corn oil and made with modified corn starch to hold them together, the high fructose corn syrup that makes up more than three quarters of their 36 oz soft drink. All of it. Corn.

Our bodies were not meant to eat anything this way.

But back to soy. It is important to not demonise a food for the way people use it. Soy beans are legumes. They are a wonderful source of amino acids that make up proteins just as the average pinto bean or black bean is. Eaten with rice, they make a complex protein that is usually very important for the vegan or vegetarian diet. It isn't a food to ignore or avoid unless it has been tampered with beyond recognition by humans.

A moment for GMO's. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. They are flooding our food chains right now. To the GMO corn to feed the cattle (that, FYI, are not supposed to eat corn in the first place) to the GMO soybean oil to fry our potato chips and french fries in. I wish that I could say that they genetically modify these foods to make them more nutritious... to make them better for you... but they don't. They modify these foods to make them resistant to poison. So they can pour copious amounts of whatever poison they want on the fields in which our food is grown, killing everything else living and leave perfectly 'healthy' soy and corn plants behind. Scary? You bet! If this is something you would like to avoid, here is a handy shopping list to help you. *Shopping list*

When you are buying your soy foods, these three questions will help you determine if it is safe or not:
  1. Does it have label saying "no GMO's" or "Organic" (which by Federal law can not have GMO's)?
  2. Are you eating many other foods with your soy products that are not made from soy?
  3. Is it a food that is unique to soy, like miso or tofu? (Just a tip, soy beans do not have mammary glands).

If the answers are 'yes', 'yes', and 'yes', then honestly, you are probably fine to feed this to your family without fear or side effects.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apple Cinnamon Bunt Cake

Can I spend some time making your mouth water? This cake was SO good! I hadn't ever done it this way before... I adjusted the recipe for my own tastes. The first time I made it, I used a 9X13 cake pan, and I followed the recipe exactly (which included quite a bit of white flour), but this time I changed the recipe and it was (personally) SO much better! (The recipe called for a bunt pan, but I didn't have one until this week. :) )

Apple Cinnamon Bunt Cake

Dry:
2 cups spelt flour
1 Tbs cinnamon
2 tea baking powder
1 tea salt
1/2 tea baking soda

Wet:
4 eggs
2 melted sticks of butter (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (buy the good stuff)

Toss in:
6 granny smith apples (or more if they are small)
Pealed and sliced.

Preheat oven to 350*

Mix dry together and wet together in seperate bowls. Pour wet into dry and mix well. Toss with sliced apples (which can be tossed with lemon juice beforehand, but is optional) and add the whole thing to a greased bunt pan.

Cook for 50 - 60 minutes or a stick comes out clean.

COOL COMPLETELY before taking out of the pan. Top with 2 cups powdered sugar, and 1 - 2 Tbs apple juice to make a frosting/glaze.

This is an AMAZING cake, and I didn't have a problem with the kids eating generous servings of it either. It's mostly apples... there are big chunks of apple throughout that practically melt in your mouth. YUM!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Felt Craft

The mama over at One Inch World came to my attention with One Pretty Thing with her felted ravioli (One Pretty Thing is still crazy easy to get lost on FYI. If you are a known craft addict, beware!). A little friend had a 4th birthday party today, and for his gift, I made him felted farfalle with a mini colander and a wood/felt sandwich. Here is the easy-as-pie tutorial. (BTW, whoever came up with that phrase was crazy. Pie isn't easy. Pie crust is a pain the butt!)

Isn't it just the cutest? I have to admit to being very proud of the gift with the weeks that we have had. :) It felt great to be able to finish something like this and put it all together for someone. It has been a while since I was away from housing stuff for more than an hour. I promised myself the next two days off... and today actually felt like a normal breath of fresh air.

Puppy Sitting


Amongst the million things I have to do this week, I was ask to puppysit on an emergency basis. See, my neighbor's grandma passed and she had to go out of town this week... but she has this brand new puppy. Like 7 wks old, and she couldn't leave it and her other dog at home. So I, with my no dog, just one cat household, took on two dogs this week. They have actually been really easy aside from the occasional poo pick up (which I make the kids do) and the whining at night (which I ignore).

It has made me realise that I am a cat person though. I like no maintenance pets. Dogs are not hard, but they are like kids... they need attention, and when they don't get it, they do things... things that you may not like. Cats... they don't care about you a lick. As long as they are fed and they are let out to use nature as they please, they don't get fussy. They could care less whether you pay attention to them, and if they really want something from you... like a pat or soft stroke... they will take it from you. Or attack your ankles until they get it.

Yep... definitely a cat person.

On that note... Cyan's rabbit ran away. This was actually a few weeks ago, but I hadn't posted about it because we thought that we would find her. My neighbor had seen her down the street and thought that she could catch her if she saw her again. She was a wild bunny before we got her, and I guess the wild called to her, because she figured out that she could move her food container and twice she got out and we caught her... this time we haven't. And it is closing in on a month of her being gone. It's sad, but I think she is gone for good.

Let's go to the Zoo, zoo, zoo...

with the kangaroo's, roo's, roo's... and the tiger's too, too, too...

I have had this song stuck in my head for weeks. (It is from Putt Putt Saves the Zoo for those of you who just can't place it.) We love our zoo. And lately, we have been there a lot. We have a membership, so can go for free when ever we want to, and man! With these beautiful days we have had in the last two weeks, getting out to see the animals at the zoo has been a wonderful adventure for our whole family. Yesterday we took our Muffin Tin Monday to the zoo, which was GREAT! All the animals are out, and I got some AMAZING pictures!


Before we went to the zoo, Don and I went jogging at Chamber's Bay. And just happened upon a pair of Kestrals defending their nest from a juvinelle Bald Eagle. Those pictures are in there too... must go look.

Hope you all are having a beautiful week. I know I am!

Monday, April 20, 2009

House hunting gone wild

We have gone through two tanks of gas, 15 ready made ice cream cones, and about 500 miles in the last week house hunting. We will pick a house that we like the look of off our listings the Realtor has sent us, put it in google maps, and drive to it... usually with all the kids in tow. So far, we have one bid on a house (which is a short sale so there is not really any hope of getting the house, but it was too good not to try) and have looked inside 6. We have driven around and looked in the neighborhoods of close to 50.

The kids are loving it. The first time we went to houses that were in Puyallup... which is about 20 miles from here and then farther out in county. So we stopped and got them ice cream because they were starting to melt down, and it has become kind of a tradition. I haven't gotten them full sized cones since that first day though. I discovered the joy of the snack sized ice cream cones from Drumstick. At one point I had qualms about buying a Nestle product, but if those ever were about to stop me from buying something, it isn't when we have four more houses to see and are 30 minutes from home with 3 bored to death kids in my van (and an even bigger conviction against fast food).

Since then though, I have found some ways to make our own, and we may be doing this in the near future:



Doesn't that look like crazy amounts of fun??? You can order them off Amazon.com.

As for the houses... we have seen some CRAZY stuff... one had a moat. Seriously, a triangle space of water that was at least 10 ft deep that had no seeable purpose or reason behind it attached to their house between the house and the back yard. Maybe they kept fish large enough for eating? Maybe they were just nuts... but whatever it was, it was a toddler death trap, so we veto'd that house really quick. Another (the one we put a bid on, actually) was so messed up I was shocked walking through. It was a BEAUTIFUL house... beautiful... nice garden space, decent yard size, amazing area... totally the type of house we would buy but usually fell outside of our price range. When we went in there, we found out why it was in our price range now. They had left stuff in the house, the house was filthy, and there were odd things glued to the walls. Like, Styrofoam balls painted with silver glitter paint. Glued to the wall. Odd... And then there was the puke. Yes. It looked like a little girl had gotten sick all over her shoes while they were moving and they had just left it there. How do I know it was a little girl who therew up on her shoes? The shoes were there too... covered in vomit that was 3 months old. *shudder* So gross! So the first thing we did was figure out how much it would be to re-carpet the ENTIRE house, and put a bid in on the house, sans the carpet pricing. If it goes through, great... if not, it wasn't meant to be... but wow. It was a stunning house someone had mistreated so badly. I would be happy to bring some good energy into that space.

Our house is out there. Whether it is this one or not is yet to be seen, but I know our house is out there.

A Monday funny



From Chani

Three months...


CREDIT CARD FREE!

Remember this post? We still owe on them, but we haven't used a credit card at all in three months. It is a habit now to not even think of using them or even think of getting them for good deals. There are some days that it made harder, but there was no way we ever went without what we needed. We haven't put a whole lot of extra on to debt due to this housing situation (we have paid over $2000 in gas bills since we moved here already), but my hopes are high that after we get a house, we will be able to really start ticking off that debt.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

16/52 ~ Searching for a home with Google Maps



I have spent more time in the last three weeks on Google Maps and Google Earth than I can even tell you. Basically, my house buying strategy is this:

#1: Find house that looks good on Windermere Real Estate website.

#2: Put it into Google Earth to see where the sun lies on the property so I know if I can garden in that space or not.

#3: Put the address into Google Maps to see if I can pull up a 'street view'. If I can, look around the neighborhood via the internet.

#4: Put the address into Google Maps directions so I can add it to our next outings and we can drive by and look at the house.

It sounds like a good system doesn't it? But so far, we have looked at about 25 houses this way and I am starting to feel really overwhelmed. That is a LOT of driving and a lot of area covered and I haven't even touched the tip of the iceberg yet. I just want something to jump out at me. Like when Don and I got together... when I knew... I just KNEW and we have been that way ever since. No wavering in that faith that we were meant to be put here together for this lifetime. I want that kind of security. That kind of surety. Do you get that with a house?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Oh My Heavens! That is CUTE!


I am not really a 'stuff' person. I don't like or use gadgets (not even really in the kitchen), I don't buy the newest and greatest of things (my phone doesn't 'do' anything like hook up to the Internet or show beautiful pictures... and it is 2 months old), and I usually get what I do buy second hand or when the one I have is literally falling apart and broken. But wow... every now and again something brand new jumps out at me for no apparent reason (well, except the OWL of course) and I feel like I have to have it. Crazy, as I don't have to have much of anything beyond new doses of food and I know it... but still...

This is what I felt tonight when I came across this bottle web surfing (another thing I don't really do, but I was totally sick of house hunting) and I thought: "Heck, I absolutely, must buy this bottle. Even though I have one for each child already, and I have my own. I need it. Must have it."

So, being me, I didn't buy it. I posted about it.

But I might. I just have to think on it a bit.

My best friend has often referred to me as the 'New Hat, Old Hat' bear. If you haven't seen that book, read this and you will have a bit of a taste of shopping with me. (It is amazing that she puts up with shopping with me at all.)

Guess it would be a good idea to tell you where I saw it huh? It is EarthLust brand and one of their online retailers is Spring. I honestly love all their bottles. Don't need them... but look at these!


The only person in the house that I could justify getting a new water bottle for is Alex. His had a tragic demise after he thought that he would put it in the freezer with water in it to allow the kinks and dents to be pushed out. I told him the possibilities, like the bottom popping out and it not being able to sit right, or the top breaking... but I wasn't even prepared for the strength of frozen water:


Yes my friends, that is a HUGE rip in a stainless steal bottle. Craziness huh?

Family ~ 15/52


This is the shadow of my family on an ideal family day. We drove around, looking for our dream house, and then went to the Spring Fair. Don with Logan on his shoulders, baby animals are everywhere to 'ohhh' and 'ahhh' at, Cyan and Alex, both happy and content, and, of course, the shining sun, so rare here in the very grey Pacific NW. A beautiful day... and a beautiful shadow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spontaneous Gratitude for this sunny day

Sunbathing cats.

Left over Easter candy.

Unexpected close encouters with wild animals.

Edible weeds.

Backhoe jammies and rain boots.

Bubbles.

Wooden trains and enough sun to play with them outside.

What a beautiful afternoon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One day I am going to feed you fried dandelions for dinner!

Sounds like a threat doesn't it? lol! Well today, thanks to this post (I made up my own recipe), that threat came true!

Dandelion Batter

1 cup spelt flour
2 eggs
1 tea sea salt
1 1/2 tea Spike seasoning
2/3 cup of milk or enough to make the batter kind of runny.

Mix it all together in a large bowl.
Wash and spin dry the dandelion flowers.


Dip in the batter, and fry in hot oil (we used coconut oil)




Allow to cool on paper towels, and eat away.


The kids absolutely loved them! They didn't last until dinner. Weeds... who would've thunk?

Menu Monday

For the last four months I have been perfecting my menu and shopping techniques. Now I have a menu day, a shopping day, and rarely go anywhere in between. I outlined the whole plan here.

My family has really been into cooking lately. This can be really great... or really not so much. But that is another post entirely...

Variety and the Seasonal Eater

Every nutritionist will tell you that variety is an important part of a healthy diet. You are born with an urge to try out new tastes. One of the first reflexes you have puts new things strait into your mouth. It seems from the outside that a healthy diet is harder if you are a local/seasonal eater in most places... and to a point, it's true. I don't have a whole lot of fresh fruits and veggies in February when around here, the ground is frozen solid. However, there are a few things I do to counter that February slump that have helped keep our diets optimal and our variety up.

Storage: The trick for me has always been storage. Eating what you have stored, however, is a acquired habit. It doesn't happen overnight. Nor does storing enough food for the entire season. Each part is a process.

This year we actually ran out of a few things! This last summer, the amount of food that we consume jumped much more than I assumed it would. At the start of the summer with my family (my kids then 16 mos, almost 7 yrs, and almost 12 yrs) I was feeding 2 adults, and 2 children. By the end of the summer I was feeding 3 fully adult sized portions, and 2 fully kid sized portions (because, of course, Logan didn't stay a baby forever). So my storage for this winter was off. It isn't an exact science... but if you calculate it out before you look for produce to buy in August or September, it will be much easier to adjust to what your family personally needs.

On page 10 of the Ball Blue Book it has a chart for planning how much food to grow and/or preserve for your family. It lists how many servings you would have per week, and then times that by 52, and you have how many quarts you need for the year. For example, we can peaches each year. This last year we ate 3 quarts of peaches each week until they were gone. (The year before that it was 1 or 2... that is how much it changed this last summer. Teenagers really throw the food prep for a loop!) So for this next year I am planning to can 70 quarts, or 5 boxes of peaches. I do the same calculation for green beans, blueberries, tomato sauce, beets, snow peas, dried herbs, etc.

The Ball Blue Book only lists the things you preserve by canning, but I have modified the planning to everything I need... freezing, drying, and canning. As the time gets closer, I will have more details about the food preservation, low sugar canning, and other tips for keeping your local harvest beautiful and yummy all through the winter. Basically planning ahead allows us to have variety in the winter months so we are not buying blueberries from Chili, or strawberries from Mexico in January.


Variety and how important it is... or not. The truth is, you don't have to eat a thousand different kinds of foods every day to stay healthy. For thousands of years our bodies were adjusted to eating what was around our local area. Our bodies crave things that are in season. When the sun is out, our bodies naturally want lighter, more sweet foods... and when the winter cold closes in, our bodies turn to heavy meals that usually have quite a bit of protein in them to keep us warm. It is important to keep those seasonal feelings alive in our bodies.

Even a hundred years ago, beef was rarely a summertime meal, and chicken was never found in January. Cows were slaughtered in the late fall to boost the winter months with a high protein source, and chickens were culled in the summer when people found out just how many roosters they had. Egg layers took the months of Dec -Feb off and started up again in March and a huge celebration took place to honor them. Cows had babies in the spring and by April had enough milk to feed the neighborhood, but were never over taxed and so therefore, to keep the cow healthy, no one had tons of milk in the winter when the cows were pregnant. Everything has a season. Even meats, milk, and eggs. A letter to Sally Fallon (the author of Nourishing Traditions) says:

"Traditional diets didn't rely on refrigeration or long distance transport. As advocates of Weston Price's work, we need to pay more attention to the seasonality of food; even milk, meat, and eggs.

Left to her own devices, a dairy cow will breed so that she calves in the spring. This way both she and the calf will have plenty of high quality feed to rebuild and grow with so they both will go into the following winter with plenty of vigor and stored nutrients with which to meet its harsh temperature and poorer quality feed. (Similarly, a hen will not lay eggs in the middle of winter unless subjected to artificial lighting.) Our modern eating habits push a farmer to breed her cows so they'll calve in the fall. When children go back to school, we expect milk for our breakfasts and milk sales go up. This is completely backwards!" ---Read the rest of the letter here.---

I am not saying, by any means, to stop eating chicken just because it is winter... but to be conscience of the natural cycles of the plants and animals from which we get our foods. And the cycles in which we have our cravings as well.

Monday, April 13, 2009

HAPPY EASTER!!

We had a great holiday here in the Rose Garden. It started early with Easter baskets.

Logan's filled with his fishing set, a airplane bunny toy, a small chocolate bunny, and two eggs filled with a few organic jelly beans.

Cyan's is filled with her chocolate bunny, an egg of jelly beans, the Small Backyard Bird Book, Mary Poppins, a homemade charm braclet, and two things of natural nail polish.

Alex's has a wooden treasure box with a celtic knot on it that is filled with a $10 bill, a chocolate bunny, the Big Backyard Bird Book, and an egg with jelly beans.

After all of the appropraite "oooo's" and "ahhhh's" the kids and I made two spinach and mushroom quiche for our breakfast. The family showed up around 10/10:30am and we had a bit of breakfast and mimosas. After breakfast was the Easter egg hunt.

The easy finds for the littles,

and the not so easy for the biggers.

It was a wonderful day. :) I hope you all had a beautiful holiday!