Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Battling Beasts with Horns

Today I went on our farm milk run, since it was my week to go. I am thankful I only have to go twice a month, because sometimes I encounter things like this:


Other days my large-horned friends have greeted me like this:

Whatchoo lookin' at? 

And this:

Move along, lady, move along.

So today I saw that my van could not roll over the rope while it was 1-2 feet in the air. I also obviously did not want to hurt this guy, or give him cause to charge our van (Hmm, explain that to the body shop). So I got out of the van, with express directions to my children to stay buckled and not to get out no matter what, and walked toward this large-horned beast. I called out a couple times to see if anyone would hear me (it is a long lane), to no avail. I slowly crept closer, glad of my sweet ninja skills in a pinch, but when I was near the rope, he stood up! Aha, a fellow ninja. So I ran back to the van and shut the door. He didn't seem threatening, or like he was trying to intimidate me, but may have thought I had food for him? Now the rope was like two feet higher than before, since he was now standing there, stubborn as an ox. Hmph.

Finally I willed him to put his head down long enough for my front tires to roll over the rope, and prayed he would keep it down for the back tires too or we would be hamstrung and this what-I-thought-was-a-bull might panic. After telling the story to the farmer and both of us having a good chuckle, he told me these were oxen his son was training, and "he didn't think" they would charge. Hmm. So apparently caution was a good thing. And if you ever want to set a booby trap for people wanting to get milk at your farm, tie up an ox or two out front. It will work like a charm!

Wallpaper Madness

I'm whooped. No parade on Monday. No barbecues. No friendly get-togethers. Here's what we did all day:

We were going to texture the ceiling, but that did not work out as planned. It started sagging at the seams while we were doing our first go-over with the topping compound. I was thankful it happened sooner rather than later! (Like we have painted and moved all furniture back in and it starts drooping) Ah well. So here is what we had to do instead:

It came off pretty cleanly with some hot water/vinegar rolled on with a paint roller. So Robert rolled and I scraped. At times I could tear big soggy strips on, as long as it was saturated down to the second layer. So anyone who has ridiculous wallpaper on their ceiling? Try some hot water and vinegar. It will do the trick!

Tonight *we* finished laying bare the living room ceiling. Well, OK, I was the official (wallpaper) stripper the whole time, but tonight it was actually Robert who finished the last over-half of the living room by himself while I got the kids dinner, baths, watched the rest of Star Wars V with them, etc. You know, the things necessary for their development (An aside--at one point, both my older two had left the room at a "scary part" and my 3yo stayed with me and was like "Where'd everybody go?" She is fearless). So here is the fully stripped ceiling, don't blush:

I tried to really capture THE EXPANSE we were working with, haha. It was like the expanse of the heavens, but with much more plaster and sweat and tears than when God spoke the stars into existence. We were able to work together pretty well, and for that I was proud. Lots of painting to do, y'all!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Unbelievable flushing

Imagine going from this:

To this:

To this: 

To this:

All in the span of 24 hours! After 10 years, we finally have a toilet upstairs that flushes just r-i-i-i-i-ght. I tried to get DH to replace the floor and wall at the same time, but he says hold on, hoss. One project at a time. We are still working on the living room, so this was an added treat. I was plunging our old one at least 3 times a day, and the kids were banned from flushing it. They will have to get into the habit they have never had. 

Hallelujah, unbelievable flushing!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Laundry Load from Down Below

Down, deep below our house is a dark, slightly damp place that sometimes smells like cat litter and other cat products. But in this place, the idea is that I will get our clothes clean and dry and folded. Sometimes I forget about this place for a couple days, maybe three, and the clothes reach the second floor of our laundry chute and I sigh. "Didn't I just get this empty like a week ago?" I cry aloud with wonder and dismay.

Every so often, in this dark place of despair there is a laundry load that becomes my nemesis. A certain group of clothes that decides it will need to be washed at least three times. I discover it, slightly stinky, and start it again. Then I go through the day and sometimes forget again, and sometimes make a conscious decision that I am not going to do another thing before bed and leave it. Then it gets washed again the next day. Now, if you don't have trouble with this, you must be a rocket engineer, or have a washer and dryer right next to your kitchen in a fantastical place called "a laundry room." It is a Spare Oom that we do not have in our world. But I have discovered a little secret.

My good friend DD gave me some lovely laundry soap she made herself, and I have noticed that even if I leave a load all day and "rediscover" it that night, it doesn't smell musty, but pretty much normal. Like even better smelling than normal. She used lavender and wild orange essential oils in it (I think). I don't love lavender usually, but I do not mind it in this laundry soap, and it is much better than neglected, fusty clothes. Here is the recipe she uses, courtesy of the Duggars: Duggars' homemade laundry soap. Essentially you will need naptha soap (grated yourself), Borax, washing soda, hot tap water, and essential oils if you like them (I am telling you, they come in handy sometimes!). I am going to check with my friend again, because for some reason I don't think she grates the bar of soap, but has a different trick...but I will get back to you on that.

Supposedly it is much cheaper--this recipe will make 10 gallons! You do kind of have to swish/shake it around a second before you pour some in, because it is kind of a gel-like, liquid consistency. I have really liked it so far! Boo ya, laundry load from down below.

Friday, May 24, 2013

More On Anger

Hey, I have been pleasantly surprised by some new ways to think about how I talk to and treat my kids/family. I am not a screaming-all-the-time kind of mom. But I have my days where I do lose it, and even whole hormonal days of the month, and it's far from a good thing. The past two days, I have enjoyed deliberately keeping my voice calm and noticing when my blood starts to simmer (as in, catch it before it's boiling!). In this post at Orange Rhino, I loved reading how not being angry makes space and opportunities for lovely things like a child sharing his or her heart. When I "jump at" disobedience and assume all kinds of things, it can effectively "stomp out" my child's confiding in me, sharing with me, opening up to me. I have noticed that my kids do kind of breathe a collective sigh of relief when we are getting out the door in a reasonable, calm way, even if everything is not done perfectly, immediately and robotically like in my ideal mommy world. I would have been a good general of an army commando unit--go go go! Quickly boys! Get those boots on! (I don't have boys, only one boy not including my husband, but I've always wanted to say "C'mon, boys!" in a barking affectionate way. Maybe someday they'll have a little brother and I can nicely bark then). Anyway, I hope it encourages you that it is worth it to examine our behavior as moms, not just look at our kids' behavior under a microscope and dissect it. It's totally true--reason 3 not to yell--kids are people too.
Watch out, mom--we can fight back! Don't mess.

Anger and iHerb

I wanted to share this post today, because it was so perfect to read last night. I was "that" kind of mom yesterday, and didn't like it at all (much less did my kids like it). I decided today that I could remain calm and we could be late to ballet, or I could yell and we could be slightly less late. So I chose the right to remain silent. Let me know if it touches your heart as it did mine, and what you think you might want to do about it!

In it she mentions The Orange Rhino blog. The Orange Rhino challenge is interesting, but I definitely don't want a "no yelling" journey to be attempted in my own gimmicky, fleshly, striving kind of way. So I am tempted to sign up and hope that another program will save or change me, when it is only through the gospel of Jesus Christ that that will happen! I do really like her though and think she's done a great job tackling a subject us moms are so ashamed of and tend to skate around in very general, laugh-it-off ways. Like I just did, hmm...not sure what I will do with this challenge. I hate to start and fail and give up, hmm.

Also wanted to share my first I-Herb order (iHerb technically)--they were having some kind of sale through the end of May with 10% off or something (can't get it to work now that I'm on the website, another thing that makes you go hmm), which totally surprised me, and I also got to use this $10 off code on a $40 order, which getting to $40 also gave me free shipping (pause to take a breath--don't I sound like a kid who was in a candy store and just ran all the way home through Laura Ingalls fields to show her ma her peppermint stick?). All in all, I saved $17 on my order not including the free shipping savings, woot woot! I will share the $10 off code with you below, in case you want to share in the savings. I get some kind of rewards points if you use it, or something (hem, haw), but I was grateful to be able to save on my first order and I hope you are too. Very prompt shipping too.

In case you are voyeuristic with peoples' health food orders, I got NOW glucomannan powder to go with my Trim Healthy Mama book, organic coconut sugar, Nunaturals pure liquid stevia extract (alcohol-free), Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal (a girl can dream, can't she? No, I am putting it too lightly, we really do want another baby, very much!), and Kirk's Original Coco Castile shampoo, which I've been wanting to try for some time. Here's the not-so-top-secret-share-with-your-friends code: VZH589. Just put in the discount code box. You get $10 off $40 order, and you will also get $5 off on smaller orders. I did a lot of comparing and researching to come up with the best way to get said items, and was proud of the savings!! But as my husband always says, the best way to save our family money is not to spend it. Hmm.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Birth pains x 2

Sorry, some technical problems here. Not sure why post below was cut off--my blog must be having birth pains from being dead so long. Testing 1-2-3. I was blessedly consumed with a birth for the past 2 days (hence the x2 part), so I will officially start the 60-day challenge tomorrow, as long as I can get things functional again. The birth was amazing--picture a birth tub on a deck out under the stars, with tiki torches blazing and deer quietly grazing (where you can hear them but it's too dark to see them). That was the night before last. As the doula, I went out the previous night too to see how she was handling contrax and chillax with her and hubs, but she slowed down again come morningtime. 7:30 that night she started again and it was the real deal. I was so happy and privileged to be a part of welcoming this precious girl into the world! Mom did awesome, and baby was nursing like a champ within the hour. I was a little slaphappy from being up two nights in a row for long, weird hours, and after the birth my midwife and I were seriously belly laughing on the couch together. Was so fun. I love her, loved working with her again at a birth, and loved this family!
Who wouldn't love ME??

Sunday, May 19, 2013

60-Day Blogging Challenge

Cheeseslave is having a 60-day blogging challenge, and I feel that I have sufficiently neglected this one and that I can stop now. Ready, set, GO!

Oh, and before I go, here is a video to get you inspired about life, liberty, and Wal-Mart: I am an uplifting video that will put a smile on your face. I don't shop at Wal-Mart unless I am desperate, but if Mr. Willie was at ours, I would be sorely tempted. It is a new favorite song here among the desperados.

Monday, October 24, 2011

GAPS diet

"Look, Ma, two hands!"

That's it--get every drop of goodness, baby.
Whew. I have not been able to post any of my fabulous journey with the GAPS diet, complete with mess-ups and grease-splattered photos, because I have been up to my elbows in squash and bone broth. It has been empowering though, to realize that I have been able to do this. My kids have eaten soup for breakfast for almost a month. And have had sauerkraut, kefir, veggie juice (they already liked that), bone broths, homemade mayonnaise, meat-off-the-bone, kimchi (only my adventurous 6 yo who is addicted to horseradish so I know has a spicy mouth), and every type of soup you could imagine, often blended in the old-school Vitamix 3600, or invented from scraps in the fridge. We were late to nature class this morning because I didn't finish making THE SOUP until 10 minutes before we had to leave, and for some reason it doesn't work to scarf down soup. God made it to be savored. And, um, it doesn't travel well in the van. Maybe that will be my contribution to the GAPS world--dehydrated soup pellets, or soup brittle. If it looks like dipping dots, kids will like it! Wait, it might need to have sugar in it too. Hmph.

I had the stomach flu last week, and was laid exceedingly low. DH had to pick up the GAPS pieces, and many of the elements were missed, and some starches were consumed. But I can see a (negative) difference in behavior this week, and my 2 yo's contentment/attention span which means that it had been making a difference BEFORE. Somehow I am telling this in the most confusing way possible, but we'll just keep muddling through. And at the end of the day her cheeks would not be flaming red while we were stricter with doing the diet, although she still has the keritosis bumps on her cheeks, arms, thighs, calves. And this week, ze cheeks, zey are red again! DH did the best he could, and I have to hand it to him for giving them broth and meat and veggies pretty religiously (maybe low on the veggies but who's counting).

I think with this diet, it helps we all (me and kiddos) have meat-loving, fat-needing type O blood. I think grains are hard on us, so later if we add in potatoes, sweet potatoes and other beans we might still be OK, although the disaccharides in these are supposed to keep our guts from healing (they are too hard to digest, so stay undigested, and feed bad pathogens/bacteria in the gut, which create holes in the lining of the gut). I need to read the book so I can explain this better! Sorry y'all.

He is less impressed with soup for breakfast.
And don't look now, but my desk is in a surprising lowly-piled state behind him. Yes, I said low!! Don't judge.
It counts as low if it doesn't look like it's going to fall over and bury a little person.
I didn't even include a picture of my 6 yo because she had already finished her soup and left. She has always loved soup and veggies and meat so I was not worried about her on this diet a'tall. She'll drink a spoonful of sauerkraut juice STRAIGHT UP. All that to say, follow this this week if you are interested in the GAPS diet. I have a plethora of websites and links I could share, but Kimi at Nourishing Gourmet is kind of summarizing/examining things this next week, so I thought I'd jump on her train. Maybe you'd want to join in the conversation!?? Do I sound freakishly excited for you to do that? I have been a little bit isolated this past month, haha. Next time I'll write more about why we started the diet and what I am (was?) hoping to accomplish. What am I doing? What am I eating? Hey, sometimes just Chipotle. I'm no superhero.
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