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Showing posts from June, 2009

Musical Muse

Today I figured out how to do a bunch of chords on the keyboard. Did I mention that Eric has been praying for a piano or a keyboard for a while now, and God provided one for us at affordable Thrift store prices...a REALLY good one, too. Along with a stand. So it has a spot against the wall in our dining room.

I've been enjoying resurrecting some very very rusty and non-existent piano memories from the one year of lessons I had as a teenager.

And so now I can slowly eke out the chords for pretty much all the songs I've written, since they are all things like A, am, D, dm, E, em, G, C, F, F#m...that sort of thing. So it's not too hard to listen to the notes on guitar and figure out the chords on the keyboard. And then I can sort of accompany myself. Lots of practice needed, but it was so fun that two hours flew by while I was doing that, and my arms sort of got crampy.

Well, I promise that I'm not very good at it, but it was fun.

Father's Day a Week Late

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Last week, 75% of our kids were at camp, so we decided to do Father's Day at our house today instead. The kids did a cute skit based on the Code Monkey song, and a can of Mountain Dew (anyone who knows Wes...), and here's the dinner I made:




Fried fish, local collard greens with garlic, local blueberries, homemade ketchup, and two pies: brownie pie (sweetened with low glycemic palm sugar) and apple custard pie (sweetened with stevia/erythritol blend) and a bottle of homemade Kombucha. I ended up adding the apple custard pie when I had too much pie crust dough, it only took seven minutes to put together.

Wes was kissing the back of my neck while I was cooking that dinner, so I think he felt loved and I know he liked the food.

Thanks for being such a wonderful Father to our children, Wes!

Kids, Mount Washmore, and Trimmed Fingernails

The kids are back from camp! I'm so happy, that I have little butterflies in my stomach. Don't get me wrong, after telling them get on that big charter bus (which was admittedly hard), and especially after I got phone calls that they'd arrived safe and sound at Antiochian Village, I proceeded to just let them have a good time, and to not worry about them at all beyond praying for their fun, health and safety.

God answered all my prayers, and now I'm being regaled with how one sibling shut another sibling into the stinky charter bus bathroom out of revenge for some familial meanness. Kids.

And of course, I have three large suitcases (a week's worth of clothes each) full of dirty stinky camp laundry to contend with. My youngest came home looking like she'd been wearing her outfit for at least a week, which, she informed me, was close to the truth, since laundry day for her cabin was on the first Friday of camp. But how that meant she didn't have clothes…

Playing with Beads

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I particularly like how all three bracelets look together. I've had fun.

New Opportunities

Pray for me. It seems that after a time of settling in, I have some opportunities developing in my life for service, that coordinate with stuff that naturally is going on around here.

One thing that's developing is that a bunch of us homeschooling moms have gotten together and formed a new group called Alphabet Soup Homeschoolers. We are each of us teaching our special needs kids at home and have been in need of support and encouragement. We chose the name Alphabet Soup because we wanted to include anyone who has special challenges, regardless of diagnosis. LD, ADD, ADHD, AS, Autism, Downs, etc.

It's really great to sit at the park and socialize with other moms who get it because they are in the same trenches. The opportunity to really serve is revolving around the fact that some of us think it would be a good idea to actually form a co-op social skills class for our kids. I really want to be involved in this effort, and am excited about the possibilities. Everything …

How I make Waffles

Marfa asks. I answer. I don't measure much of anything.

The night before my waffle making stint I soak about four cups of whole wheat flour in some water and about half a cup of whey. I don't measure anything. It should be thick-ish so that when I add the other ingredients, the next day, it's not too thinnish.

Next morning, add three or four eggs, a heaping tablespoon of baking powder and some coconut oil, blend it well.

It will be thinnish, but not too thin. A thinnish batter makes a lighter, crispier waffle.

Bake in waffle maker. Three and a half minutes in my case. You don't want them too dark as they will get toasted later. Let waffles cool, then freeze them.

It works better to freeze them on a flat tray and then put them in bags, otherwise they stick together. Ask me how I know. I broke a nail trying to pry them apart this morning. Sigh.

I usually toast them twice to get them thawed then hot.

Very good with maple syrup (or something sugar free …

Nerd Heaven

Yesterday I had the day to myself, which meant really I had the afternoon to myself. After cleaning up the house (yes, I vacuumed on my alone day!) which results always leave me happy, and after defrosting the freezer and making a huge batch of freezer waffles (which results also leave me happy), I decided to take myself to the thrift store.

One lovely blue 3/4 sleeve t-shirt with a v neck. 1 black Coldwater Creek twist skirt (the kind you twist up so that it has crinkles) and 1 book.

I think I'm most excited about the book. I started reading it, and it's interesting.

The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought by Thomas S. Kuhn.

Nerd heaven.

My Time is Not My Own

I have the old "praise chorus" running through my head this morning, from back at my Belmont Church (Charismatic, non-denominational) days..."I'm not my own, I'm thine. You purchased me, I'm thine. Bought with a price, the blood of Jesus. I'm not my own, I'm thine."

You see, I have the "day off". Three of my kids are at camp, and B is at her friend's house for a two night sleepover. Tomorrow I go pick up the girls and they come here for a two night sleepover at our house...so good times had by the girls this week. I hope to take them to the zoo, hopefully to the pool if the weather cooperates. We have some movies. Hope they don't get bored with each other.

But already my day off is filling up rapidly. I gave a friend of mine a ride to Matins this morning. I woke up at 6:24 and was lying in bed wondering if I could think of an excuse not to get my sorry carcass out of bed and go to Matins, since it was close to 1 am …
Yesterday morning we got up at 4 am so that we could get to Liturgy at 5 am. An extra Divine Liturgy was being held in the chapel so early because a big group of kids from St. Michael's were getting on a charter bus and heading off to camp. That's the advantage of having two altars and multiple priests in one parish.

I stood there in the parking lot with tears in my eyes. For some reason, it was hard to let them go. Bethany wasn't able to go to camp this year, because she's too sick. But of the others, I think I'm the most worried about Eric having a good time, as he is rather rigid and aspie-ish and high strung.

I know they arrived safely because I got a call from Ariana that they were there. She was over the moon ecstatic, and had lost a tooth on the bus ride. And I was so glad to learn that no one was left behind at the rest areas on the road. Terrible "mommy toughts" about bus wrecks and about the chaperones not doing role call after the kid…

Liver Strips

Here's a good way to fix liver:

Buy a nice beef liver from a farmer who raises grass-fed beef. These are very nutritious (the livers, not the farmers).

When it's thawed, rinse the liver under warm water, and slice. Cut each slice into strips.

In a bowl, mix some whole wheat pastry flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Dredge each piece in the flour mixture and pan fry in some non-hydrogenated lard.

These are so good! Five out of six people in my family eat these liver strips. (The other one ate a waffle. Sigh.)

I served them with potatoes, and peas and lacto-fermented sauerkraut. And I was so proud of myself for dragging my tired carcass into the kitchen to make a nourishig meal for my family when all I really wanted to do was to be whisked away to someplace like Pizza Hut and have my food brought to me.

But I didn't want us to spend our money on that. So I cooked. But the nice part is, someone else is doing all the clean up and I'm now done working for …

vague

There's been so much to do lately, that I have not been keeping up with my blog. And it's all piddly stuff. I guess God is calling me to be the queen of piddly stuff right now in my life. Meal preparations, laundry, getting kids ready for camp, cheering a friend up on the phone...that sort of thing.

And you know what? I have no deep thoughts on any subject. None. Except maybe that schizophrenia sucks. And I can't really blog all my thoughts on the subject, out of respect for privacy and all that. Wish I could.

Easy Bone Stock

More than one person has asked me recently to tell them how to make bone stock. I think I read how to make this in Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon. But at any rate, although I'm fairly new to the process, it it simple and here's how I do it:

After we've eaten a roasted chicken (or other type of meat), I pick all the meat off the bones to use for sandwiches. Then I put the bones in a crock pot and cover them with water. I might cut an unpeeled onion in half and put in there, perhaps some garlic, any leftover veggies that I might have had from the roasted chicken meal that we just ate.

To this I add between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of vinegar. The acid helps leech the minerals from the bones.

I turn the crock pot (which is big and rather full by now) on low. I let it go overnight, and throughout the next day.

My goal is to cook it until the bones are soft and crumbly (in the case of chicken bones) or if it's beef or pork bones, until the marrow has come out. I a…

The Food Revolution: More thoughts on food etc.

Last night while we were out on our big date, after dinner at a local middle eastern restaurant, and feeling very stuffed, and after driving down the road in an unfamiliar direction on a lark and getting to know the various sections of downtown and south Louisville (Finally Wes glanced over and said "Oh, there's Churchill Downs! I know how to get home now!") we ended up at Carmichael's book shop, where Wes bought me a copy of Michael Pollan's newest tome: In Defense of Food. I have a feeling it's going to mesh nicely, but not 100% perfectly with what I'm reading in Nourishing Traditions. I really get into the whole "food discussion". A topic which has interested me for years.

Here's an exciting paragraph that I wanted to share with you guys. It's on page 14 of the paperback version, in the introduction:

"Most of my suggestions come down to strategies for escaping the Western diet, but before the resurgence of farmer's …

Blarch

Today I made the mistake of going to Target to try on some clothes. I thought I'd pick something cute up like a more current looking skirt or something. Big mistake, because I just got depressed about my looks and overweightness. Gotta love those oh-so-honest changing room mirrors that are angled so that you can see all the jiggles on your back, and how wide you are. Thankyousomuch, target!

I came to two conclusions: I'm fatter than I think I am, and I don't look good in trendy clothes. Who am I kidding? I'm probably too old for the Target trendy look (lots of loud funky prints and not enough modesty) anyhow. Who am I kidding?

So I did not buy anything. I thought about sneaking into Steinmart, where they have clothes for middle aged people, but decided not to spend the money, since it cost over forty dollars to fill up my minivan with gas.

Blech. Blarch. Pfffffft.

I'd better find a way to cheer up because Wes and I are supposed to go out for our big 17…

Sourdough Bread

About a week ago, I mixed some rye flour and water together and started a sour dough bread starter. It really was as simple as that. Every day, I added some more flour and water, stirred it, poured it into a clean bowl, covered it with a towel and let it sit.

It frothed, it looked scary, it smelled rather fermented. And so forth.

After the week went by, I added more water, salt, and a lot more rye flour and made it into a dough. I hated the texture, so my daughter ended up kneading it. Rye is so different from wheat, that's for sure. It kept sticking to my hands in an unpleasant grainy way.

After she kneaded it, we had this massive lump of very dark, dense, dough. We let it sit another day.

Today she formed them into loaves and baked them. We have some very dense, very sour loaves of rye sourdough in our fridge and freezer. (I'm thinking they need to be thin sliced, then toasted with butter, a slice of tomato and some cheese. That might salvage them.)

But bread…

My Day

In my Kitchen:

working on the sour dough bread, supposedly the starter was ready today, so I started to knead more rye flour into the starter to make it into loaves. I hated the way it felt on my hands, very different from wheat flour, so Bethany gladly helped me out. I have my doubts about whether it will turn out or not. Tomorrow will tell, when I bake it. It's supposed to sit for another day after you make the dough.

I really doubt it will be good.

Lentil soup for a too-late dinner. I felt crummy from waiting too long to eat.

Out and About:

A group of homeschooling moms got together at the park today while our kids got to know one another. Our purpose: a support group for moms with kids who have Asprger's or ADHD, learning differences (especially social learning differences/challenges). It was SO good to be with other moms in this particular trench. We were all like parched people at an Oasis of fellowship. Our aspie kids were all begging us to go home LONG bef…

Chicken Sunday

I bought a pastured chicken from the farmer's market on Saturday, and for Sunday dinner I roasted it in the oven, stuffed with some apple chunks, and some fresh basil under the skin, with olive oil drizzled over. Green beans, carrots and onions accompanied it on the roaster pan and into the oven.

Just like the grass fed beef tasted beefier, this chicken tasted chickeny-er, if that's possible. Very hard to describe. Chickeny-er is the best I can do.

I remember reading about something in French History, about someone (might have been either the goal of Napoleon, or the French Revolutionaries...can't quite recall) saying that their goal for the nation was a chicken in every pot on Sunday. I remember being astonished that perhaps a chicken would be enough for a week's worth of meat for a family.

But perhaps it is we who eat far too much meat? Out of that one chicken (about 3.5 pounds), I think our family will get at least three, if not four meals off the meat, and the…

Official First Day of Summer Break

and we cleaned the apartment from top to bottom. The kids did more work than I did. Woot!

It feels good to have a clean place. Now I have less than two weeks to get everyone's stuff ready for camp.

I have fabric for a blouse to sew, and lots and lots of labels to make and iron into people's clothes. And some shopping to do.

Plans for the summer:

-Kids to camp for two weeks (which means Wes and I are solo for two. whole. weeks.--unless we have to pick B up after one week, depending on how she's doing at camp.)
-Getting last year's school papers organized and filed
-purchasing next year's home school text books and supplies
-Kids to spend time with cousins and grandparents
-ADD/LD/ASD social group (and mom support group) to form, people to get to know, etc.
-lots of long healthy walks
-trips to the park, zoo, pool, library
-the enjoyable reading of good books
-more food renegade type of cooking and learning to do
-farmer's markets, u-pick berry patches, etc.
-cele…