Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Here's the Freaky Moon lying in wait in our back yard.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
When we had our baby bunnies, only one of four survived. The mom had stopped nursing them and was running from them and nipping at them every time she tried to nurse. I thought to put lansinoh on her but she nipped at me as soon as I touched her there so I abandoned the idea and let nature take its course. I could feel that momma was engourged and I searched the internet for what to do and discoverd that bottle feeding is almost impossible with bunnies. At the recommendation of few sites I got some goats milk and tried anyway. The one bunny that was strong enough to persue her momma relentlessly in search of milk is the only one that survived. A friend of mine's bunnies also had bunnies (hi Kim!!!) and the mom was doing the same thing. One poor bunny persued her around the enclosure only to have mom hop away as soon as she latched on. Well this poor momma was well on her way to being engourged too, so we did what any rational people would do let,
Apparently there is a favorite nipple worth fighting over.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
And then, coming soon for Christmas are the Wise Old Woods Queen and her husband the Woods King with unicorn. I will also be making a prince and princess and of course the little sister princess.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So first step make 1 gallon milk into yoghurt. This is easy (again thanks to Kim!!!). Bring one gallon of milk just to a boil. Do this carefully as it will boil quickly and wildly foam out of control all over the stove and take hours to clean, but I digress. Once to a boil, remove from heat. Stir in a package of non fat dry milk. This is optional. It makes it creamier. Then let it sit until it is cool enough to put your pinky finger in for 10 seconds. Stir in 3 T start (or you can use plain commercial yoghurt). Pour into two quart size jars, and pour the remainder into a glass pitcher. Put someplace warm for 6 hours.
Sweeten the two quart size jars with vanilla extract and honey. Add some sea salt to the pitcher. Line a collander with cheese cloth (doubled) or unbleached muslin (single layer). Put the collander within a bowl to catch the whey. Pour pitcher into lined collander. Top collander with a plate and put the whole shebang, bowl, collander and plate into the fridge for about 12 hours. The liquid that collects in the bottom is whey. Pour off the whey into a jars and seal tightly. You will need this for your bread.
I have discovered how to make 100 % whole wheat bread in my breadmaker that myhusband will eat (he likes the texture of store bought bread). It is light andfluffy and yummy. The secret is whey. Here's the how to:
Put the following in breadmaker and use whole wheat setting, light crust is best:
3/4 cup whey
1/4 cup + 2T water (hot water if your whey is cold from the fridge, otherwiseroom temp)
2T canola oil
2T molasses or honey
2T vital wheat gluten
3 c whole wheat flour
1t sea salt
So for the cost of 1 gallon milk, I have 2 quarts yoghurt, a crock full of cream cheese, and the ability to make whole grain bread that is not dense.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
The girls had fun. I learned how to knit. Well sort of. I hope I can remember it. Now I just need to figure out how to start something. Well maybe. I resisted the urge to buy wool as I know my mom is buying me some and some felting needles for my birthday. However, I did get myself some heavy duty hand lotion.
There was a petting zoo though the turkey was quite grumpy. Guess someone's a little too keeping track of the calendar these days...
The girls got to try their hand at what Salamander calls "balding the sheep".
Friday, October 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Note: I did not buy this bag from A&P. I did purchase it at the thrift shop for a mere quarter.
I have made my own bags from, that’s right FROM, 100% recycled post-consumer waste, that is, other people’s discarded drapes.
These bags are easy to make. Find some old fabric -- old drapes, blankets, and upholstery are very sturdy choices. Now, cut two rectangles of your desired size. This will be the front and back of your bag. I have used lined drapes which make for an extra strong bag and look nicely finished too. Next cut two rectangles, one with the height being the same as the height of your front/back pieces and the width being about 6 or 8 inches. These are your sides. Cut a final rectangle for the bottom that is the width of your front/back and the height being the same as the width of your sides. Now, sew the front and back to the bottom, then sew the sides to the bottom, and sew the sides to the front and backs. Fold down the top, turn it under and sew a hem around it. Then you can attach your handles, just cut a length of fabric, sew it in a tube, turn it inside out and turn under the edges and sew onto your bag however you would like your handles. There you go, a funky shopping bag in 30 minutes or less.
Now if you are not inclined to sew, you can still get good shopping bags at yard sales in thrift shops for less than 50 cents:
For those of you not in the know (and I am counted among you – I looked it up) Wine Spectator is a magazine for exclusive wine connoisseurs. Don’ t you just love the irony! And the little Lands’ End tote pictured here is amazing – it is quite sturdy and holds more cans than any plastic or paper grocery bag ever could. In fact, it can hold four 29 ounce cans of tomato sauce AND six 16 ounce cans of beans.
Lesson Learned? Read the fine print people. Green might be the new black but some shades of green are blacker than they seem.
Hope you are inspired to kick the paper habit one product at a time!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The term congreenience is a trademark and the intellectual property of Sandy Westermann and may not be used without prior written permission and due credit to its owner. Not trying to get all weird about it but the last thing I want is some corporation getting hold of this and making money off my word. Coin your own words, Corporate America.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Oh yes. Half can be bad. Especially when you are a butterfly. From what we can surmise, she was hit by a car, half her wings remained in tatters on the gravel of the unpaved road. After a steady diet of sugar water administered by qtip she managed to hang on for several days.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Now see that big bin on the bottom? I can expand my red wigglers. Who knows where the top two bins will end up being used. Probably to hold books. And the stars? Oh somewhere on the patio wall will be great. Now, I have saved the best for last and without any further ado...the rustic bench.
UPDATE: Our neighbor (she's just not the type of girl to touch a turtle) just came to the door so we could rescue this guy from the road again. We put him back in our yard. I have thought of relocating him but I have read that they like to stay in the same territory from the time they are born. Looks like we'll have to be extra careful on the road.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
My experience with these things (yes, I am crazy, I do have experience in these things) tells me this is the pupa of a moth, a large moth. We actually found one quite a bit larger than this a few weeks ago but a certain child "forgot"where she put it. Note to self: keep mouth shut when sleeping.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Getting this pooch to be still long enough to take his picture was no small feat. This dog honestly touches more things he's not supposed to than my 2 year old, and he is much bigger than her. He can swipe things off my kitchen countertops with all 4 paws on the ground...and he is still growing. He came to us with the name Cooper and my 9 year old Latin student decided Cooper Mundi was a good fit -- he does wander about in all the wonder of a toddler. One of us was less than happy to welcome Cooper into the family. Pax is a little old (11) to tollerate 24-7 of His Puppiness.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Many people have come through our hallway since we brought them in from the cold in late October, completely unsuspecting that they were passing a writhing mass of red wigglers (eisenia fetida). There is of course one child who likes to “see people’s faces” when she tells them that “worms live in her closet”, so the winterized worms have not been completely covert. We started our vermicomposting bin last September. This is what I have learned:
- It is not easy to find the happy medium between fruit flies/smell and hungry worms. I would much rather err on the side of hungry worms.
- The cool, damp air space between the bottoms of the bins is preferred by the occasional cave centipede. Truth be told these things are just plain creepy and I only saw one but still I have heard they can give a nasty sting so I thought it worth mentioning.
- Apparently our worms reproduced in captivity, though I was unable to determine if any of the pieces of matter were eggs. Little baby worms are very small.
Now it is obvious we did not feed them enough. There was not nearly as much castings as I had hoped for. So today we made more bedding of torn cardboard and leaf litter and gave them a fresh meal. I am thinking they need to have food thrice weekly.
Preparing a worm farm is easy. We use two large containers, one which fits inside the other. We put bricks as spacers between the two containers and drill the inside container with small drainage holes. Within the small container we put shredded cardboard, old dry leaves, and a handful of sand (though gritty dirt will work as well). Mix it all through and wet it till its is quite moist but not dripping and there you have it.
If your worms are happy they will not attempt to escape. We have never had an escapee. Note, worms do not like oak leaves and they do not like citrus and tomatoes. These create an environment too acidic for worms and they will try to get out. Feed your worms small amounts as your colony builds. We cover the inside container with a piece of cloth which has eliminated fruit flies. If you start to notice an odor, you are feeding them too much. If you chop your vegetable matter into smaller pieces the worms will eat it faster.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.
Seven random things about me.
1. I hate plastic and I have even before they determined it to be bad for you and before children made it a safety issue I used to remove medication from their plastic bottles and put it in pretty glass or tin containers.
2. I don't watch tv.
3. My life seems sureal at times -- I never thought I'd have 4 children.
4. I am crazy enough to want more children.
5. I always root for the underdog. Always.
6. It is very difficult for me to wear synthetic fabrics. I kinda think they are like plastic.
7. I like wearing wool sweaters.
Okay now send this on to what 5 no 7 more people? Huh? But Jilly aready sent it to all the people that I know that have blogs. Looks like the buck stops here.
We were addressed by Senator Lance and Assemblywoman Karrow (gotta love her) who gave us their support and vowed to fight against Corzine's plan to close state parks.
If you are a NJ resident I strongly urge you to sign the petition to recall Corzine. He showed disregard for the safety of NJ when he travelled 90 on the Parkway and continues to disregard our well being by taking away our parks where we go to enjoy fresh air and nature. Just go to http://www.recallcorzinenow.com/ and download and print a petition. Don't forget to have your neighbors sign.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
- Dishwasher – getting rid of this item can lower your electric bill, lower your water consumption (especially if you use the gray water from your dishes to water your garden), and contribute to the peace of your home.
- Clothes dryer – getting rid of your dryer will lower your electric bill drastically. Clothes can be line dried in the summer and dried on racks within the home in the winter. You will also save water as you will be more discriminating in washing only things that are truly dirty if you KNOW you will have to take the care to dry the items. Having your children help hang the clothes to dry drastically reduces the amount of clean clothes that wind up on the floor or in the laundry. Forget the fabric softener too, its mostly chemicals that the water supply can do without. Instead fill your softener dispenser with vinegar. That’s right, plain old cheap white vinegar. This deodorizes clothing, and reduces the “stiffness” of line dried clothes.
- Video games and toys with batteries. If it can play by itself then we don’t need it. Interaction and creativity are superior toys.
- Microwave oven – the safety of these things are debatable in many ways. And it hums. And bings. Those are contenders for the most annoying noises in the world.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The BEST Green Smoothie Recipe Ever.... even your 2 year old will love it!
5-6 oz spinach
2 apples, cored not pealed
1 or 2 bananas
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup pure cherry juice
Make my recipe, link people to my recipe, but please DON'T steal my recipe and take credit for it yourself -- that would be mean!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
It seems that someone thinks that if you bury something deep enough it will go away. You can see in the left side of this photo that the poisnous lead paint is chipping off to be included in the mulch that people put on the gardens from which they feed their children. Ironically we live in a world where foreign toy manufacturers are forced to recall millions of toys and small town officials can knowingly poison their residents.
I went to borough hall again and was assured that the offending items would be sorted out prior to mulching. I was not informed of any intent to remove chips of lead paint from the mulch. About an hour later I returned to the dump to take some more photos and I passed the department of public work's bulldozer leaving the commons. I tried to snap his picture but I was driving. This time they managed to deeply bury the poisons they illegally dumped.
There is honestly no need for this. There is a transfer station less than 5 miles away where such materials could be disposed of properly. It seems the borough did a whole lot of unnecessary work to bury these materials when it would have been easier to remove them AS THEY PROMISED.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This is when the administrator promised to have the offending material removed from the dump site. I am certain that the borough does not have the appropriate permits to be dumping toxic materials there.
I will be checking back soon to see if this has been remedied. I am organizing a citizen's action group to police the leaf dump and promote public awareness of the illegal dumping here and other places in town. Please email me email@example.com if you are a resident and you would like to be part of the citizen's action group to address illegal dumping. Just because it is what it is, doesn't mean we have to put up with it!