Thursday, April 16, 2015

Camping recap, days 2 and 3.

Rain coats are fun, but only for so long.

However, the sun came out early enough to start on laundry.

And, it warm enough to kick off boots while swinging.

First load of hand washed and line dried clothes.

The shower nears completion!
Day 2 started off wet and chilly, but quickly turned into a lovely day.  Our first entire day outside, and boy were we tired when it was over!
Day 3 we hit up our Wednesday play group and ran to the local raw dairy farm for milk and cream.  It was a cold night with a thick layer of frost on the ground, but we were surprisingly warm and snug under our wool blankets. 
We needed butter, but boy does it take longer without my mixer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Camping...for a month Day 1

We're getting work done to fix the chipping and peeling lead paint problem in our house. Again.  I"m not even going to get into the problems we had with last year's contractor.  Onwards and upwards, right? So we needed to move out for another month.  With all the work to be done around the farm in the Spring we crazily decided to camp in the back yard rather than rent or stay somewhere else. I finally have the laptop up and charging, and as long as I don't shift it at all I think I can give you all a visual of what our life is like.
First morning, "camping is fun!"

The kitchen

All set up!

Might not be pretty, but everything is in!

Braeden's 'nook'

The storage corner

First day faces

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saggie drawers saga, or how to get those pesky 2Ts to fit your skinny baby bottom.

This post is being written for my fellow ECers.  For you lay people just joining, EC stands for elimination communication.  It is a practice of acknowledging your young child's ability to express their elimination needs, and often offering a receptacle other than a diaper.   Oftentimes we ECers find ourselves with young children ready to be diaper free without an inexpensive source for underwear.  While a lot go nude, or without undies it is sometimes nice (not to mention cute) to outfit these little ones with their own sweet tiny undies.
I'm not much of one for giving detailed directions, as I am more of a throw away the directions and wing it type person.  If any part of this is unclear, or you want more detail please ask and I will do my best to oblige. 
The original undies, size 2T but extra stretched out by
the first boy.
Center part of undies, sides and binding cut off.

One side of undies, with the smaller new side traced out on an old tee shirt.

Sides attached

Leg gap before new elastic added.
Fit with elastic added. 

When deciding on the new side panel size, I reduced the waist measurement by 1", and the hips by 1.5".  Your measurements will vary, depending on what your child's measurements are.  You don't want either the waist or leg openings to be skin tight, but have approximately 1" of gap.  You'll be taking this up with the elastic.  Measure the elastic long enough for your waist or leg circumference plus a little extra for over lapping the ends. Stretch it to fit as you pin and sew, then there will be a slight gathering once finished. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Our medicine chest

While I haven't found the perfect pretty chest to store these in, here is a quick run down of just what I keep in our washroom.  This list won't include things like cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, garlic, various berries etc that live in our kitchen cupboards. 

Here is the run down of what and why. 

Manuka Honey - it's antibacterial properties are great for injuries, and it can be taken for viral infections as well.  Dr. Bob Sears just had a great write up on Facebook about why he uses it in his office to combat MRSA and other nasty infections. 

Buckwheat Honey - an alternative to  main stream cough syrups, this is our go-to for colds and coughs.  It's also anti-inflammatory. 

Diatomaceous Earth - we use this as a detox when the boys eat something yucky.  It is also on hand for tooth powder, and to be sprinkled as an ant repellant. 

Bentonite Clay - another cleanser and tooth powder ingredient.  This one we use both externally and internally.  We put it in their bath, and on their teeth as part of their tooth health routine.  It also can be used to absorb yuckiness if they eat something that doesn't agree with them or poisonous.  In addition it helps balance the body's PH levels.

*Activated Charcoal - our last in the line of stomach cleansers, this also is used for brightening our smiles.

Shepherds Purse - used for internal bleeding as a tea, or external injuries as a poultice.

Slippery Elm Bark - used as a tea for sore throats, coughs, intestinal complaints of both varieties, externally for burns.  ***do not take if pregnant, can cause abortions***

Magnesium Oil - for balancing the body's magnesium level.  Helps relieve cramping quickly, and I need to use it several times a day during my last trimester of pregnancy to help relieve prodromal labor. Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin, rather than taken internally.  We spray a little on the bottom of the feet before bed.  I make our own using magnesium flakes or Epsom salt.

Epsom Salts -  A base for my magnesium oil, I also add this to my water daily when pregnant.  Other than that we mostly add it to baths to relieve intestinal complaints, sore muscles, and to help the boys relax during baths.

Iodine - another detox solution, it also helps balance the body's PH levels and is in our tooth decay prevention regiment.

Astragulus - immune booster/cold fighter

Xylitol - cavity prevention.  The molecular structure of this birch-based sweetener makes the mouth inhospitable to the bacteria that cause cavities. 

Arnica - pain relief.  We use both internally and externally.

Licorice Root -  The boys are free to chew pieces of this whenever they want.  I use it as part of a healthy syrup to top off Saturday morning pancakes.  There are lots of healing attributes for this root but the ones we use it for mainly are as part of our tooth decay prevention routine, for colds and flu, heartburn, and other stomach complaints.

Juniper Berries -  mainly for congestion, but also for injuries and inflammation.

*Elderberries - another immune booster for colds and flu season including bacterial and viral infections.

Aloe - for burns, hair tangles, and as hair gel.

Pau D'Arco - an expectorant that can also be used for candida problems.  It is also an antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-parasite agent.

Goldenseal Root - used in teas for colds and flu, as a wound antiseptic and on newborn's cord stumps.  It can also be used for upset stomach, intestinal complaints, and whooping cough.

Clove Oil - not an essential oil, but used in tooth paste and painful teething or tooth complaints.

The next three are the store bought items we have.  Rather than talk about what I use them for I've put their links in.

Badger Baby Balm -

Cape Cod Bug Repellant Lotion -

Hyland's Teething Pellets -

The rest are essential oils.  I don't support any specific brand, nor am I an oil expert.  These are what we have collected so far, and our particular uses for them.   There are plenty of 'experts' when it comes to oils.  For specifics, please ask them not me.  I am much more comfortable and versed in the use of herbs.

Calm Time Spray - My own blend of essential oils that we use during extended tantrums and before bed when needed.

Tea Tree Oil - one of our go-tos.  We use this for viral and bacterial infections.

Cinnamon Bark - Mainly used in our toothpaste.

Citronella - Mainly used in our bug spray.

Lemon - Used in our bug spray and in deodorants.

Citronella - Used in our bug spray and in deodorants.

Lavender - Used for bug bites, in baths, for headaches, and in boiling water to keep the house calm.

Eucalyptus - Used in bug spray and in deodorants.

Rosemary - Used in bug spray and in deodorants.

Thyme - Used in deodorants and topically on cysts.

Peppermint - Used in toothpaste, bug spray, and as a room cleanser.

Basil - Used topically on cysts.

Sandalwood - Used in deodorant.

* items are not shown in the photo.

I highly recommend that before you use any herb or essential oil that you do your own research as I am not any type of trained professional and am sharing what I use these items for, and am not prescribing or diagnosing anything. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

A messy garden.

I've posted photos of my gardens on Facebook, and I'm sure some people have thought something along the lines of 'why is she spending time on Facebook when her garden needs weeding?'  Here's the thing about my gardens. 
It's intentional.  Most of it anyway.  The crab grass not so much...but everything else? I totally let grow.  I let the purslane, the plantain, the chickweed and others grow.  It's great. Then you know what I do? I harvest it and eat it! Yup. Those nasty weeds that make my garden look messy are for our benefit.  

Here are links to just some of what is growing around our property for us to harvest.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Feeding a Family of Four - Gardening Part 3, companion planting and perennial vegetables.

Let's talk saving space and time.  Well, technically saving space will save you time weeding, so let's talk about saving time. Companion planting saves room in the garden.  Instead of planting a tomato vine every 3 feet, and having to weed in between you can put other vegetables that compliment the plant in the open space and have less area you need to weed.  There are many different plants that can be planted near each other, so this is just my short list of how I'm changing my garden plot for 2015 to maximize space. 

Pepper plants between tomatoes.  If our basil needs thinning, I will transplant some of it in the free space between peppers and tomatoes.

Peas on a trellis with spinach underneath. 

Cucumbers on a trellis with lettuce underneath.

Summer squash on a trellis with Radish underneath.  If the dill needs thinning those will be transplanted between radish rows.

Arugula planted between rows of beets.

Chard between broccoli plants.

Collards between Cauliflower plants.

Brussels Sprouts will be planted in the peas place after they have been harvested.

We have a hillside that needs to be planted to keep us from having to manage.  I'm planning on putting our perennial garden here.  In it will be Kale, Asparagus, Horseradish, Walking Onions, Sun Chokes, Day Lillies, Rhubarb, and eventually lots of berries and larger herbs for healing. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Feeding a family of 4, part two: Rotational Planting in the Garden.

That last list was huge, and fairly overwhelming.  It would also take up a huge piece of yard, and be hard to put away everything at the same time. 
Thanks to rotational gardening you don't have to! There is a lot of information out on rotational gardening, and I found most of it completely overwhelming.  It's taken me quite awhile to wrap my head around how to successfully rotate my garden due to the fact that most information online is zone specific without actually telling you what zone they're gardening in. 
Here are the notes I've gathered to accompany my list of what and how much I aim to grow in our gardens.  We are in zone 5B, but this list should be flexible enough to fit to your own planting schedules.

*Note, I've added bok choy and cauliflower to my master list, but have not amended the previous blog post.

Arugula: 2 plantings, 10 plants each. Early Spring and Mid Summer.
Beets: 2 plantings, 40 plants each. Mid Spring and Late Summer.
Bok Choy: 2 plantings, 10 plants each. Early Spring and Mid Summer.
Broccoli: 3 plantings, 10 plants each.  Early Spring, Mid Summer, Late Summer.
Cabbage: 3 plantings, 10 plants each.  Early Spring, Mid Summer, Late Summer.
Cauliflower:  2 plantings, 15 plants each.  Mid Spring and Late Summer. 
Carrots: 2 plantings, 75 plants each.  Mid Spring and Late Summer.
Lettuce: 2 plantings, 25 plants each. Early Spring and Late Summer.
Radish: 3 plantings, 20 plants each.  Early Spring, Mid Summer, Late Summer.
Spinach: 2 plantings, 50 plants each.  Early Spring, and Late Summer.
Turnips: 2 plantings, 20 plants each.  Early Spring, and Late Summer.
Potatoes: 2 plantings, 25 plants each.  Late Spring, and Early Summer. 

While the gardens will still be large, by doubling and tripling up when I plant it will cut down on the overall space, and stretch out the amount of time I have to plant in. 

Up next: Companion planting and perennial vegetables to save space and time.