Friday, July 30, 2010

Green Friday


As you have probably figured out by now I am really into being more "green". I really am finding enjoyment in the simpler life style. I'm not sure why they call it simpler because ummm there is a lot of work involved. But that is a different story.

Anyway I thought Friday's are a great day to be green. Each Friday I would like to do a new post of very simple things people can do to live a little more green.

I would like to share the two most recent changes I have done in our home.

First I'm not sure why but the person who built our home was not thinking when they placed the hot water heater in the garage which is on the complete opposite end from our showers. Each morning when we would shower it would really bother me (yes I know I have problems) all the water that would go down the drain waiting for the water to heat up. So I figured out a REALLY cheap way to not waste 2.5 gallons of water per day. I have a five gallon bucket in my bathroom and when Kirk turns on the water he puts the bucket in to fill up while he is waiting for warm water. When it is hot he takes the bucket out puts a lid on it (drowning hazard for little kids) and then I water our potted plants with it and our flowers out front.

If you have not thought I went off the deep end just wait it gets better. We drink a lot of water around here. No juice or soda here. So there ends up being a lot of glasses of water left out being wasted so I water my indoor plants with that.

Second at Target I found for $2.50 green and silver small garbage cans. I thought it would be perfect to keep in our bathrooms and much easier for the kids to help recycle. Recyclables go in the green can and then everything else goes in the silver can. OK not totally eco friendly since I went out to purchase something new rather than making do with something around the house but it still is a good step in the right direction.

So I know it probably sounds a little crazy but it does make a difference. It makes a difference for us and for our kids. Even starting off really small by recycling helps.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guest Blogger

Today I am a guest blogger on one of my favorite blog site. Check out my post on homemade laundry soap here.

Also here is a powder laundry soap recipe. This one is great if you want something FAST but still want to save money and be more "green". Both soap recipes gentle even for sensitive skin.

Powder Laundry Soap

1 cup grated soap bar (Castile)
½ cup washing Soda
½ cup borax
Combine, use 1 tbsp for light loads
and 2 tbsp heavy loads

Great summer meal

This is a great meal to use up all the wonderful squash coming from your garden. As a side note everything in this recipe can come from your own garden/farmers market. Very simple meal!!

Summer Squash Quiche

Preheat oven 325

1 Pound summer squash such as zucchini or crookneck, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1/2 onion chopped
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 to 2 cups cheese, grated
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano

Steam squash until tender. Drain and then mash leaving slightly chuncky.

Combine egg mixture and herbs to squash and mix.

Pour mixture into a buttered deep-dish pie pan or other baking dish. Bake uncovered about 30-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.


I had Kirk BBQ up some corn from the Farmers market that was amazing. We just melted some butter, added montreal seasoning (Kirks favorite) and brushed it on the BBQ corn.






Thursday, July 22, 2010

Making do with what you have.

For years now I dream of having land. Where I can live off the land and live a simpler life full of God's creations and not get lost in "the world". Kirk laughs because I always say when we get land.... He keeps telling me to think about the future but not at the expense of the moment.

I can't help that I am just one of the those people that LOVE animals and I love being in nature. A perfect day would waking up making my family breakfast from scratch and then going outside with the kids, milking the cows, collecting eggs and the feeding the goats.

Here is a family that had the same dream as me and are doing it yet they have 1/10 of an acre. They have found a way to live completely off the land with what they have. Amazing!


Their back yard is beautiful! We would have to remove some trees to make this happen but would that not be wonderful? I could fill up my front yard with fruit trees..... Or do I just wait a few years until we have land? I have never been good with patience.




Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The yearly visit

Each year the same momma bird comes back to build a nest and have her babies. This year I was so bummed because I did not see her so I was afraid that something happened to her. Sure enough we found the nest and she has three new babies in there. They are so cute! I love it that she shares them with us.

loving the garden

One of my favorite parts of summer is the garden. Each morning I go out and collect eggs, harvest that days fruit and veggies, and then water the garden. I love it! I feel so at peace being out there. The color and smell of all the plants, watching them grow bigger each day and my favorite the smell of water falling over the soil. It is almost like the smell of a fresh rain.

The strawberries are going crazy. We get a bowl full everyday and we still can not get enough of their amazing taste. I am also collecting blueberries, raspberries, zucchini, yellow squash, and swish chard. There are so many veggies that are right around the corner from being ready. I planted 50 stalks of corn and I am hoping to get a lot of corn here soon. I can't wait until we have land so I can really spread out and hopefully provide everything we need from our own home.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Myla

I know I am just taking the easy way out but it is so much easier to post an update on Myla on my blog then to retell all our friends and family.

Since my last update on Myla a few weeks ago she finally went into remission (stopped spilling protein). It was a welcome relief since we were not sure why the steroids did not seem to be working. Well that relief only lasted a few days; this was the first time Myla had relapsed on full steroids. Since Myla was diagnosed one year ago, she has only relapsed on really low dose steroids or right when she comes off of them. We were completely surprised.

Today we met with her Nephrologists and the decision was made that she needs to have a biopsy done on her kidneys. She will need to have it done in Oakland, CA the first week in August. After they get the results back she will start a new drug called Prograf. From what I understand, Prograf is kind of like Cytoxin (the chemo drug) that she has been taking for the past few months. It will have just about the same effects on her immune system and also add to her discomfort. The biggest concern we have is that it is known to cause kidney damage. (Side note- Ummm I thought we were trying to help her kidneys) Her doctor said that they will monitor her kidneys very closely to try and avoid that from happening.

I guess it is just another bump in the road. We are just hoping from a quick remission so she will not puff up like a stay puff marshmallow again.

Capri

We are so madly in love with this baby. Capri is now 11 weeks old and is the perfect baby. Everyone scared me of how hard number three would be and so far no big deal. It really has seemed like she was just meant for our family and has fit in quite nicely.


She is a great sleeper and has been from day one. My other girls had to be nursed to sleep and this one just wants me to lay her down awake and walk away. I almost feel guilty about doing it because it gives me so much more time.


She is just a little peanut, at 10 weeks weighing in at 9 lbs 3 oz. We just can't stop kissing her!

New babies are just heaven..... even magical. Life is good.







Tuesday, July 6, 2010

saving resources

I always said that I would never hang dry my clothes. I thought it just added one more step to a already very busy, overwhelming task of laundry from seven people. It first started with hang drying Capri's cloth diapers and then I looked into how much energy it would save. I know I have become a nerd when it comes to food and "green" but I really have found a lot of joy in it. I love not being 100% dependent on someone else providing my food or even energy to dry my clothes.

Don't the little baby clothes look so cute on the line?

Something fresh

On Saturday I went to check out the farmers market in Citrus Heights and I was really impressed by the size and everything they had available. It is amazing how many farmer markets are available in this area.



Tonight I tried a new recipe and I really loved it! So don't be scared by the name. One of my friends ate it tonight that does not like beets and really like it.



Beet Casserole

5-7 beets
(trim all but 2 inches of greens and save for later)
bake or boil the beets until fork tender. Run cooked beets under cold water; slip skins and stems off, set aside.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 onions, coarsely chopped
(saute onions in oil)

Beets, cooled and grated
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Grate beets into medium bowl. Add cheese, onions, salt and pepper, and toss to mix thoroughly.

Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until bubbly and hot throughout and cheese is melted. Now take the beet greens and lightly stem and top with fresh lemon juice.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Patrick's Point

Last week we went to Patrick's Point to go camping for the week. Patrick's Point is in California, on the Oregon coast. We feel asleep listening to the crashing waves and woke up to seals barking. We last went here when Myla was four months old, we really missed it here. I think this was one of my most relaxing and enjoyable vacations. We went hiking, bike riding or playing at the beach. Kirk and all the kids would play and I would sit in a chair holding little Capri and enjoy a good book. It was perfect! I am still so sore from all the bike rides and hiking but well worth it.

Also right next to Patrick's Point is this really cute organic town called Trinidad that I just love to visit. It just feels like home there.



Paige is growing into such a pretty young lady. Everyday I am amazed at how old she is looking and acting.
I love Sariah's smile and the background is breath taking.

We love tide pools. Every time we go to the ocean we always have to check when low tide is and go and see what new sea life we can find.



The BEST fish and chips I have ever had! This is halibut and was so amazing. Our new favorite place to stop!

Dancing.....

This year Myla joined a great dance studio that she has just LOVED. This last week she participated in their dance recital. Myla is a lot like me, she can be very shy. She knew the dance routine very well be when it came down to her dancing in front of all those people it was not going to happen.

On Saturday Myla's aunt and family, grandma, grandma's long time best friend, dad, mom, and the brother and sisters were all there to see her shine. She was so cute, when she found out where her family would be sitting she spent the whole time waving to us instead of dancing. It made the audience laugh and ooohhhh and aaahhh. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen. We were so proud of her for even going out there even though she was scared.



Myla's dance teacher, Miss Jennifer. We really like her!!


OK so the flowers were a little over kill for a four year old but she had a great time and I am glad she had so much fun.

Up for a challenge??


Anyone want to try a new challenge? This is the perfect season to enjoy fresh produce, milk, and meat at your local farmers market. So here is the challenge, for one week enjoy only locally grown food. It is so easy here in El Dorado County but it involves a little leg work and some creativity. I dare you to see how good you feel!!


As a side note I am so in love with my garden. On the drive home from our vacation I could not wait to see how my garden had grown while I was gone. Even my little Sariah was so excitted about getting back home and picking strawberries. Tonight we sat out in the garden and enjoyed picking and eating very juicy strawberries. I love sharing this passion with my kids and making memories together. The great thing is you do not need a huge yard or even a yard to have your own garden.
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