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Monday, December 31, 2007

score.



So what did I do on my new year's eve. Well, I dropped the kids off at my SIL's ( thank you!) and went and got the royal treatment at this posh coiffures. Yeah baby, this place is HOT. Say this in your best french accent, SUPER CUTS. Only the best for me, I don't do discount. Nope, when I want to get glam, I go all out.


Anyway, hair came out fine. I am all about a shaggy looking do right now. So super cuts can really pull that off mighty fine. This way when I leave the house all disheveled like, it is stylishly so. You know, like bed head. On PURPOSE. I make it work. Tssss.


So yep, after the trim, I wanted to go to the Y, to get on the elliptical and treadmill. But they closed at 3 and I got there at 2:59. So, whatever, people have plans. fine. I'll just go to Staples or something.


But right near the Staples there is a Home Goods. So maybe I will just pop in, for a sec. I doubt they have anything. You know just a walk through. By myself. Because I am missing three big reasons why I never just browse and mosey.


So, down this one isle where I thought I would find nothing of interest because it was where there were pots and pans, and I was not feeling one bit domestic. Maybe because I was sans kids. Off track, hang on, oh! I found a really cool rustic hollowed out root bowl. Bizarre and random sounding, but so cool. It was 30.oo dollars!


You know you have seen these in catalogs for oodles more. Yes you have. I got a deal. I know I did and one day I will find proof. So then I figured, I will check out the kid toy area because I kind of miss the little buggers. Since we are doing a little mummy thing in our Story Of the World history Cd's, I picked up a mummy mining kit for K. Luckily, there was one for quartz and minerals to go along with the whole archeology theme for M. K is convinced he will be an archaeologist since Otie the dog dug up a whole set of clothes in the back yard. No bones though. I was bummed. Back to the store now, Switch! I also found a sugar crystal kit that looks like fun. All the kits were under 9.00. Not to shabby.


We did the mining kits last night. They were hard, you really had to whack and dig in like cement. I had to bust out a screw driver to pound the hell out of them. There was plaster and sand flying everywhere. The kids loved it. Especially when we started finding stuff. They would dust off the little treasures poking out all gentle and serious like with delicate brushes. I was laughing because I was whacking it with a frigging screw driver!


Anyway, I tore up the credit card at Staples man. The kids needed better art stuff, so I sprang for the Prang. Now they can go Picasso. My bill was LARGE. I had to restock pencils, I bought a huge industrial sharpener, Whee. I bought a lot of wacky things. It was fun. Stocking up the school stuff. You know glue, scissors, stapler, a hand crank flashlight that really works well, an emergency cell phone battery booster. Still school stuff. What if something goes horribly wrong on a "field trip"? Those things happen to real people. But not to me, because now I am prepared. Yep at Staples, for SCHOOL.


So anyway, Look at my pretty new bowl!(don't mind the dust, treasure mining remember?) It's my very last score of 2007. Happy new year everybody!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Out of paper towels.




I decided to stop using paper towels well over 18 mos ago. The decision was pretty much environmental. However, paying for something that I throw away factored in as well. Two bads, expensive and earth clogging. Hmmm... Paper towels are pretty crappy.



So, I bought two packages of "rags" from Costco. I had some old cloth diapers lying around as well. I prefer the mini towel rags that Costco sells though. They are more pliable and have more scrubbing power. I think its the way they are made. Diapers are smooth and thick for obvious reasons. The rags are thinner, and grittier, I use the rags to clean up pretty much everything. Counter tops, bathrooms, walls, spills, cleaning muddy dog paws on a rainy day, wiping down kids before leaving the house, so they look kind of presentable. I also use them as napkins for the kids when they are eating. When the kids are done, just wet them a bit and you can clean up mouths and sticky fingers.



The only thing I do not use them on is windows. I use those microfiber clothes. You can get them at Bed Bath and Beyond, but you will pay more. They can be sourced cheaper from Target or Walmart in the automotive section. This way no streaks. Seriously, you can spritz water on your glass and use the microfibers and no streaks. I'll get on natural cleaners another day.



We did away with paper napkins as well. I just have a lot of cloth napkins in pretty colors for when we have people over. Then I will bust them out to seem more civilized. Cuz normally, the kids use their sleeves, and A and I don't seem to need them.Because we are perfectly neat. All of the time. If we do, there's always a rag. We're not proud.



Since I do a load of laundry a day it seems, I just chuck the rags in the wash to round out a load. So although there is the water factor, better washing a full load than 3/4. And I'll tell you what, those rags LIKE to jump on in and help out.



So really, if you have no new year resolution, think how you can reduce your footprint. In no time you'll be used to cloth, and you won't miss being out of paper towels. Try it, you might like it!-K

Waldorf Julie.








Meet my friend Waldorf Julie. Here is her blog:http://naturalplaygarden.blogspot.com/




It is her personal blog, where she discuss her Waldorf inspired journey with her family, in particular with homeschooling her son Ryan.




I met Julie close to two years ago at a home school meet up at a local library. We had a lot of similarities, and we just clicked. I was new to the Waldorf approach and was simply exploring it. Julie was a ton more experienced in it, and living it.




I am not Waldorf per se. We use some parts, but we are more eclectic, evolving unschoolers who use curriculum as needed. So contradictory, but that's me. A pinch of this, a smattering of that, and it always makes the best stew! Besides, E is to Waldorf like a swarm of angry bees is to a picnic. yeah.




She turned us onto handcrafts, especially felting. The kids prefer working wet soapy felt into balls and abstract shapes, and I like needle felting best.




It is something that I do randomly, but enjoy. It's relaxing and the results are always beautiful. Naturally beautiful because of the medium used. Plant dyed roving from sheep, sticks, acorns, and anything else reclaimed from Mother Nature.




She is brilliant when it comes to handwork. She has made 90% of Ryan's playroom. In fact Julie's playroom is the most peaceful and serene play spaces I have ever visited. We love going to Ryan's house because it is so lovely in atmosphere. It's a place to be real, reflect on natural existence, and drink tea. I drink a lot of tea. All of the time. Julie doesn't even get mad at me for drinking her tea. I love Julie. My kids love Julie and Ryan. Love.




It's hard these days to have your kids play with kids who you like, and also have parents that you truly enjoy. Julie is one of those friends.




Anyway, Julie makes the most wonderful fairies. Those are pictured above. The other 3 pics, are of things that Julie has helped me make, or inspired me to try. They look lovely in windows, children's spaces, rooms, wherever one would need a fairy presence.




She has her own shop on Etsy, she does special orders if you need a particular themed felt animal for your child or Nature table. They are always beautiful, always seeming perfect for your child. Hell, she is a knitter too, and knits the most wonderful creatures as well.




If you check out her blog, you will see her link to Etsy. It's always better to buy hand made from other Mama's, and Etsy makes that possible. Usually, actually always, I have never seen a lead recall. Nobody is importing wool from China.




Here is Stephanie's handwork site. She is a friend of Julies, who I had the pleasure of meeting at Julies Winter Solstice Advent Spiral ( see Julies blog, and see if you can spot M, K and E's photo there!). Stephanie makes beautiful crafts as well:http://www.elementalhandcrafts.com/ Check out her Santa, unreal! I love her crowns, I think they are so pretty. Anyway, support a Mama, screw Mattell! Handcrafts are perfect gifts anytime of year, but look particularly lovely in Easter baskets. And your kids won't lose brain cells if they lick them.-K

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Cont.






What a little knucklehead!-k

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Meet the Bockers.




As in Bock,bawk,bockk bockkk Bock bock.! Ha ha! That was my clever title of the month. Maybe?



So really, these are just our starter chickens. There were three, but Nigel, our high prey drive Dobie, ate one. BAD NIGEL!



They came to us via a new neighbor who we met while trick or treating on Halloween eve. We started talking. He had chickens, his Bro raised chickens, I want chickens, see how that goes. Anyway, a few days later he shows up with these three little chickens. He wants to give them to me, I want them, good deal. BUT, I have no place to keep them. No worries! He has an old rabbit hutch that he will modify and they will be fine. OK! We have chickens.



About an hour later he comes back with this cute hutch that looks like a mini barn. He winterizes it and tells me what to do with them. If you want to learn how to raise chickens, you have to have chickens. Why it's Chicken Immersion!



All was going well. Until we looked out the window and saw Nigel running around with chicken feet sticking out of his skinny face. Not funny, stop laughing.



So we get that all worked out, rig the hutch a little better, smack Nigel in the butt, I think he got the point.



So now we are left with the rooster, who K has named picklepuss (?). The hen has no name really. They are doing well. The dogs have gotten used to them, although Nigel will bark in their face now and then. He did break a window doing that. Loser.



This particular breed of Chickens are called Nankin. They are like Bantams. They are mini chickens. They will only get to be about 28 oz. So think little eggs. Cute.



The hen has yet to lay an egg. The are still pullets ( young chickens). So hopefully eggs by spring.


I really want them for a biology project for the kids though.



In the spring, we will get a real coop and about 25 regular sized chickens for eggs, and eventually meat. Nothing like sourcing from your own backyard! I'll keep you posted.-K



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Chutney. And plugging for Sherri.






My friend Sherry Vinton of


http://www.therealfoodrevival.com/ gifted us with the most Divine homemade, home canned curried apple indian chutney or the like. It is outstanding. She said it was good with cheddar cheese, served on a cracker. She was right, and I am hooked.


Now this little jar of chutney will not be enough! I need so much more. It is that good, people. She already has my interest piqued with this whole canning bit she has going on. But this is the last straw. I will be the canning fool next harvest season that she is. Maybe we will have a canning play date?


So anyway, I made the most delish sandwich for lunch today. It inspired me take pictures of my lunch, because I have new camera. It was a wrap so I actually had to roll it up before I ate it. So inconvenient, I mean who has time for that? We had a really great rib eye grilled on Christmas, so I used some of the left overs with cheddar cheese. Heated that up till it was gooey, and just went to town with the chutney. AHHmazing!

Oh, and that picture of the puffy thing, lemme 'splain. That's what happens when you stick the wrap in the toaster oven and walk away. It reminded me of that bread from the Indian restaurant. But it tasted nothing like that.


Look at this, does it not make you hunger? (not the puffy bread) I mean it's a picture and all, but doesn't it look great? It was. A big fat "Thanks, dude!" to you Sherri. I hope your Christmas was all that it was supposed to be and more.


Oh , and Sherri has a worthwhile newsletter you can subscribe to here: http://www.sherribrooksvinton.com/ss_3_07.htm


and buy her book, it's great:



Have a nice day, try to find some chutney. Make a sandwich for lunch today, you know you want to.-K

Super stealthy.




So, while Christmas shopping this year. I gifted our family with an outdoor game camera. It wasn't meant to be a gift, really, just it was on sale the day after thanksgiving for cheaper than I have seen it before. Since I was racking up the plastic, I figured, whatever. It is this one to be exact: http://www.amazon.com/Moultrie-GAMESPY-Digital-Game-Camera/dp/B000W250TM/ref=pd_bbs_9?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1198687234&sr=8-9


Anyway, we can strap this baby on a tree and either, take still shots or video of whatever triggers the infa red beam. For us, this would most likely be a whitetail, but it can also be a fox, coyote, bobcat, fisher cat, or like my car. Well, see, we found deer tracks near the drive, so that's where I placed the camera. The kids and I checked on it two days later. The camera said it had captured 10 events ( pics). We brought the camera inside to hopefully see some deer, to only find my damn car going up and down the drive way.


Today, we are putting it deeper in the woods, where we found a deer trail. Hopefully, we will get some sort of wild creature on it. Notice the pictures of the Poop or scat as M and K the Jr. Naturalists refer to it as. There is also a hoof print, but squint when you look at it.


You know what is funny? On Christmas morning, M said, that we need to check our game camera to see if we caught Santa or reindeer images on it. Can't get by her, she is as clever as her Mom.


So in a few days, we will retrieve the camera. Hopefully, just maybe, I will have some kind of picture to share. Wish us luck!-K

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A very merry Christmas!





So Christmas this year was by far the most amazing and unexpected one. The kids had a blast. We, my parents, and A's sister and husband spent the evening with us. The usual Christmas eve commenced. We had a nice lamb dinner, played a lot of Christmas music, talked, kids ran around all hyped up on sugar and festiveness. Evening wound down, managed to get the kids down, boys were over sugared and exhausted which left them irrational and ornery. M was her usual checklist self, running around tying up loose end. The stockings! Carrots for the reindeer! Cookies and milk for Santa by the fireplace! Quick into bed, he is coming! She was easy.

I dragged A out of bed. He falls asleep while putting a child down. usually before his charge is a sleep. He groggily rose to meet my demand of constructing Santa's gifts. It is my "thing" that Santa's gifts have to be ready to go for instant play upon sight. Never wrapped, all pieces together, perfect instant gratification. Santa is magical. Why the hell would he give you a castle in a box in a thousand pieces? Ho Ho HA! Who can possible wait an hour while daddy tries to get it together while certain 3 year old is walking a way with screws and pieces trying to "help you" My mom and I ate candy and stuffed stockings, removing small toys from boxes for the same quirky reasons. Needless to say, we hit the sacks around 1:30 a.m.

Kids were sleepers due to the late night. All the adults were awake before the kids! We let them sleep in as long as we could, so we could just hang out and drink some much needed caffeine. Finally, M appeared around 8, quickly followed by K. I grabbed the camera and video, and we woke up poor little E. Who hasn't quite grasped Christmas. When we told him that Santa came, he looked confused. When we mentioned that there were gifts, something clicked.

They raced down stairs. We pathetically trailed behind looking through view finders, we ooh and ahhed at the right moments, directing them to their designated gift from Santa. M scored a wooden barn and some Breyer horses. K, a Skull fortress castle and some figures, and E a 3 tiered wooden parking garage with heli pad, 'Copter and a few cars too. Maybe it is there for the wooden hospital we did not purchase?

They were thrilled. Stockings were ceremoniously dumped and the sound of squeals and candy wrappers filled the air. Then it started hopping. M spied the tree. Eyes wide, PRESENTS!

Have you ever watched a dog agility contest on T.V? We seriously could have been the audio for one. Imagine loosing visual on animal planet during Purina agility extreme. That was us. E, E E here's yours! K, here K, it's right here. M other side, keep going, go on, go. Insert shredding paper and panting. Yelps of delight. E, E! Over here, c'mon, K, look, look it's yours! M, the green one, green, yes! That was us in a nut shell. So MUCH FUN!

Top toys for each. Quick run down- M- another webkin, littlest pet shop play thing, moon sand. K- Spiderman hand shooter thing. He was ECSTATIC., castle, E- Wooden forklift, razor scooter, Memote troll car ( figure it out, Moms).

Then, things go strange. For some reason, my Dad wanted to give us our gift upstairs over coffee. I figured it must be a good one. So we sit drink, and are presented with two boxes. Both A and I have our own to open. We open the first one, inside was a note, saying that this was a one time gift, we open that one, and the other it said that dad took a one lump retirement sum, OK, so at this point I say oh, maybe this year you gave us a XXXX dollars. We usually get a hundred. This brought about an interesting smirk. Then inside this box is a smaller box, no note. We open that, to finally find a folded check. OK, so now I have a feeling that something is different, cause I'm all clever like that. A and I coordinate our check unfolding procedure. We unfold it to open, pupils dilate, jaws drop, speech stutters. I manage a "No".

Not like a no I don't want it. But the unbelieved No. The I cannot, we cannot, because one is not comfortable accepting this from people who they knew, busted butt with manual labor their whole lives type of a what, NO!

But we did accept, and they were so happy to give this gift not only to us, but also to my Bro and his wife. Crazy good. Yes, good for us, the receivers. But my parents were so thrilled to do this. They worked hard all the time, to be able to do this for their kids. What a rush. I would like to do this for my own one day now. Just to see my kind of reaction on their faces. Truly priceless.

This ends my Christmas recollection of 2007, a pretty good year for us all.

P.S. I got my camera!

P.P.S- Edited from my original version because my Mom said to.

Monday, December 24, 2007

So I had a blog once









A
long while back and people other than me, actually read it. Life with three little ones was busy and it fizzled away. I pretty much am 99% sure that tomorrow morning, I will be unwrapping a new camera! So my archaic one, that was such a PIA, will now become my kids. So, with my camera in tow, I will try to take pics as regularly as I used to and update this blog often.




Anyway, I'm K. I'm a Mom among other things, who is married to A, and we have 3 cool kids. M who is is 6 and a girl. Two boys, K who is 4, and E who is almost 3.




We just recently moved to a rural town. We live in the woods on 8 acres, with a few creeks ( with frogs!), lots of trees, some chickens, 3 dogs, some parrots and some G.pigs, a leopard gecko, fish, and a cat. In the spring we hope to get some more chickens, some bees and some nigerian dwarf goats. A hopes to build some raised beds and get his hands dirty with some fresh organic produce.




To make us sound more hick/hippyish, our kids are unhomeschoolers. Those of you familiar with homeschooling know just how many approaches you can take with that. We are all over the map with our style. Mostly child directed, with a few randomnly done cirriculums thrown in. I guess our term would be called " UnCharlottechildledwelleductedexperientalwaldorf experience" I don't really know, as it seems to change with the kids needs. Next year, it will have a whole new ring.




So anyway, I hope some people and family will drop by to see what we have been up to. We are not terribly exciting, not too boring either.




So then, have some happy holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Winter Solstice or what ever you are enjoying. Stop by now and then. -K