Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Which I Rant About Plastic

I abhor plastic and try very hard to keep it out of my house and my life. Of course this is 2010 and well, plastic is EVERYWHERE!!! I bet if we looked around plastic is touching us 24 hrs a day. In some form or another plastic is always with us. Now, I am sure there are some instances where plastic is fabulous and necessary, like in a medical setting. Really! do we need all this plastic around all the time? Everything we buy is packed in it, practically everything we eat comes wrapped in it, our clothes contain it, our personals come in plastic, shampoo bottles, toothpaste containers, ect. Our bedding too, if your blankets are fleece, acrylic, or polyester, they too are basically plastic. It's all just so fake and junky. BUT, it's also cheap, which is why we keep buying more and more and more of it. Recently, I needed pillows for the little boys room. Target had decent polyfil pillows for $3.50 a piece, basically plastic pillows. They also had down and feather pillows for $29.00 a piece. Well, I don't know about you but I don't have $90 to spend on pillows! Now some would say, "Isn't it nice we have inexpensive alternatives?" Yes it is nice, but if we didn't have the plastic ones, the "real" ones wouldn't cost as much. Now the cheap pillows are just that, CHEAP they will not last long and when they are gross and smushed flat and after the we've given them to the dogs to lay on til there really nasty, then we will throw them away and they will sit in a landfill......FOREVER!! Yup all this plastic, poly-whatever doesn't bio-degrade, erode or otherwise leave our earth. Now I wouldn't call myself an environmentalist in the least. But plastic just sitting there forever and ever disturbs me!

As recent as the turn of the last century (1900), there wasn't any plastic. Folks' bread probably dried out a bit faster, but they were surrounded with all natural items, from their bedding, to their clothes, to their food, it was natural, no chemicals, no polys! No cling wrap melted into their food. And you know what? Things lasted a long time. They were made to last and people took care of what they owned. A married couple could be given a wool blanket for their wedding and it lasted them many decades! Kitchen items were made of metal and wood and also lasted decades or longer. This is why you can go to an antique shop and buy these things, some you can still use. Try that with a plastic cheese greater from 1978!!

So, plastic clogs up the landfills, doesn't last very long and is cheaply made. What to do? If you, like us desire a plastic-less life then you need to know it's going to cost you. Sometimes twice as much or more for a, shall we call them "natural", item.

Over the next several posts I will show you what we have done to make our house more natural and plastic-less. We'll start in the kitchen and move on from there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesdays Words of Wisdom

                                             Two children being themselves,
Joesph and Juniper,
He runs, swats at flies and catches toads,
She swings through branches of live oak,
Looks like a day to whistle a tune, spin a yarn
and jump and chase a loon,
If I was an angel or butterfly this would be the light I would run to!

The Wiyo's
"Under the Sun"

Take sometime today to live like a child and love every moment!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've neglected me wee bloggy!

Busy....that's all there is to it, I could list numerous excuses but suffice it to say, I've been crazy busy, no sleep, and enjoying the fallish weather we're having!!!  So now I am determined to get back at it!! 
First, because of our close proximity to Colorado, we are able to enjoy the changing of the leaves.  They are so beautiful.  What better time to take family pictures?  You'll notice, there is no Octavian.......he is sleeping in the van, we didn't want to wake him and we were sure we would be stopping again to take more shots.  Needless to say, we didn't stop again, until we got home!  Opps! 
Everyone, except Octavian of course!!
Ferran, Donagan, Rohan

                                                                       Goofy shot!!
The "Big" Boys:
 Kegan and Quinlan

The Girlies:
 Ileigh and Elsah

 We didn't look this happy after 4 more hours in the car!!  Good thing we took pictures in the middle of the drive!

Have a GREAT DAY and enjoy each moment of Autumn!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesdays Words of Wisdom

When tillage begins, other arts follow.  The Farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.
Daniel Webster

What We Will Work Towards

The following article is just what we want for our farm.  We love the self-sufficiency of the farm.  The ability to raise almost all your own food as well as how perfectly the "ecosystem" of the farm works together.  This article is long but a great snap-shot of how farming used to and, hopefully for us, will work!  Let us know what you think of it, is this something you would do?  Or does the thought of being responsible for your food production not appeal to you in the least?  We would love to know what you think!  Happy Reading!
         An Old-Fashioned Farm

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Open House Tour Childrens Bedrooms

Well, it's Thursday and that means the 4 Moms and 35 Kids Open House Tour.  This week we venture into frightening territory!  My children's bedrooms can be....well let's just natural disaster areas, unsafe for man or beast.  But lately we have been working on their rooms and we have seen some improvement.  Especially in the Little's room.  Wait let's back up and start in the beginning.  Don't forget to tours other bedrooms at Life in a Shoe.

While the kids worked on making their rooms presentable I made bread..yum.  It had been awhile since I had made bread. I think the kids missed it, they ate three loaves in about 2 hours!! 

Is there anything better than hot bread slathered with peanut butter and syrup?  Well maybe chocolate!

Ok, let's start with Ileighs room. She has a tiny little room and she is the only one who bunks alone.  We would put Elsah in with her but there simply isn't room.

Ileighs' bookshelves are what you see when you first enter her room.  They are full of all her beloved books and trinkets.  You can see her keyboard and her fiddle.  She is very good at piano and getting there with the fiddle! 

This is her spoon collection I'm not sure how many she has but this is only some of them.  They are from all over America as well as many countries of the world.

Here is her "old pictures" shelf. 

Who is visiting ILeighs' room?  Why it's Elsah Doe.  She loves to come and chat with her sister.  You can see Ileighs' hope chest and what we call "the Granny Chair".
If your brave enough we'll venture into the "Littles" room, oops Donagan just informed me that at 10 years old he is not a little and the only reason he does not room with the older boys is because the "littles" need him to help out with all their stuff.

The boys all sleep on these bunk beds.  Donagan on top and Rohan and Ferran on the bottom.  You can't see them very well but the quilts on the beds are all made by my Mom.  She does great work, I am so proud of her talent!

Donagan and Rohans' dresser.  The drawers are labeled so the boys know where things go.  So in theory they could put away their own clothes.  Well we all know how often that happens, mostly Ileigh or I put up the stuff!

Here is the shelf unit that holds all the boys important items that they don't want to get broken or chewed by babies or puppies, not that that ever happens in our home!  Below is Ferrans dresser. is the bright spot in the room, Elsahs little corner.  Mom made the quilt on the bed as well as the one on the wall.  Her triple bunk dolly bed was mine, made by my Daddy when I was her age!! 

The older boys consented to just two pictures of their room!

Kegan just recently refurbished his computer desk, I think he did a great job!  He stained the wood and spray painted the metal!!

Quinlan and Kegan have bunk beds too and they are forever switching who sleeps where!
This is part of a mural Dane is working on in their room, a Piratey theme!
So that's the children's rooms here.  They did a pretty good job, I think they were passable for this tour! 

Oh, I couldn't resist this pic of Elsah Doe, she loves her dollies SO much.!

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Potluck Saturday, YUM!

The Common Room is hosting a Potluck recipe link-up.  Ahh...... potlucks, I have been to many and brought food to that we home church we don't get to potluck much anymore!  Except on Sundays when we get together with my mom and dad then we sorta potluck I guess, one of us brings dessert and the other does the main dish.  Anyway we still take dinners to folks with a new baby or family who've lost a loved one.  And this is the recipe I usually make:

This is one of those "throw it all together, no measuring, taste it and see if it's right" kinda recipes, I will try and give some amounts though!
Pueblo Chicken
1 chicken boiled, de-boned and chopped.
or 2 large cans of chicken
While the chicken is cooking, prepare 4 cups rice, you can use Minute rice if you  like.
When the rice and chicken are done put them in a large bowl and add 1 16 oz container of sour cream, 1 or 2 small cans diced green chili, 1 can Rotel, or some of your favorite salsa, 2 handfuls grated cheese, 1 can diced olives, 1 onion diced (my mom would add 2-3;), Add garlic salt and regular salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add Cumin, yum, I LOVE Cumin.  Stir all and taste test, to see if you need more salt, ect.  This makes a TON of casserole, It will feed my family 1 1/2 times.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  This freezes nicely, and can be made a meal with torillas and salad!

Well Folks, We Have a Winner!!!

Barbara was correct!! It is an old Phonograph Player!!  It is an Edison Diamond Disc Player to be exact! 
It was made sometime between 1916 and 1924.  It sounds fabulous!!  We are having a great time listening to the 35 records that came with it.  The records can only be played on an Edison machine and they must be played using a diamond stylus.  They are a 1/4 inch thick and can be found rather readily on ebay.  We know our player is not period accurate for the 1880's but we think it will make our little farmhouse feel like home!!
Barbara, email me and let me know where to send your Mini Lantern!  Since there were only two other entries, except for an anonymous we decided to send both Kate and Mountain Home Quilts a Mini Lantern.  So if both of you ladies would email me with your addresses I will get your lanterns in the mail!!
Thank you to all who entered our first giveaway, we had great fun and hope to do many more contests in the future!
mamadear27 at gmail dot com