Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dean's List

I got a letter yesterday from PSU.

I made the Dean's list last term! Go me!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Crafty One

Daphne is becoming very crafty very quickly, and we are having to scramble.

On Sunday, we were trying to watch the finale of a show we like to watch, and it was not meant to be. Daphne was running around causing all kind of havoc. She was pulling things of shelves, putting objects in the VCR, peeing on my sewing patterns and just generally demanding the attention that was not forthcoming!

When papa Bob came up a few weeks ago, one of the things that he brought up was a small chair that used to be Jared's. Daphne likes to sit in small chairs, and she was amused for weeks about being able to sit in the chair like everyone else.

Recently, however, another idea has occurred to her. She realized that the chair is light enough for her to carry and that she has the ability to stand on it to get up to something high.

I now look behind me often, and she is walking off with her chair and 2 minutes later, she is standing on it trying to food of the kitchen counter or the pin cushion off my sewing table.

She is becoming ever more crafty.

Last night as was wrapping things up to put her to bed, I looked in the kitchen, and she was standing on a cooler in there that she had drug in there so that she could get an apple.

We are scrambling to baby proof from Hurricane Daphne, and we are now closing ALL doors for ALL rooms that we are not currently in (including the bathroom because apparently the toilet makes a really good water toy!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Daphne is learning a new word now, "sock." Any time it is time to put on a shoe, she reminds us that perhaps a sock is necessary as well.

We also say the word, "food" when hungry (or even thirsty).

She is coming along on her talking.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Somewhere along the line, Daphne became incredibly aware of music.

Within the last week, she has started dancing to music anytime she hears it. She sways back and forth and lifts her feet up off the ground really high and smiles. It is an awful lot of fun.

She also nods her head, and sometimes, we wont even notice that we have music going on in the background until I look over and see her rocking out to it and dancing.

I'm going to have to post video because it is really cute.

Graveyard of Lost Things

I swear that one day I am going to find a graveyard of lost things. I have been missing a few things lately, but the list is quickly growing longer.

For one, my cell phone has been missing since the day that I got my new cell phone. I am convinced it is in my house, but in a search from top to bottom, it still has not appeared.

I have also been missing my flash diffuser. This is important and about 10 minutes before every wedding I go to, I search the house looking for it until I get up in sadness that I might have to spend another chunk of change to replace it.

Oh.. and there is always the snap press die that I had to reorder and am waiting anxiously for.

Daphne is also missing one pink shoe with a flower on it. I think she left it at my sister's house, but it is nowhere to be found there.

And so, I go through life anxiously awaiting when these things will show up. I imagine when we are packing up her room for college that I will find all these long lost things and we will have a good laugh.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Belly Button

Daphne now knows the word "belly button." She can show you hers any time you ask.

She also knows where her mom's belly button is, but rather than just point it out, she tries to blow bubbles on my belly every time I ask her where it is. It is really, really cute because she is just remembering what I used to do to her!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Yesterday was a very hectic day. We grabbed some pizza and decided to eat it in bed while watching TV (it was rather late and we were trying to get the baby to bed).

While watching "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" there was a lot of clapping. Every time, there was a clapping moment, Daphne would throw the pizza down and start clapping and then pick it back up again. It was so cute to see her realizing that there was clapping going on and that she needed to participate.

She was careful to put the pizza in the pizza box every time she was clapping, but toward the end, that consisted of actually flinging the pizza so she could get her clapping done.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Egg Cracker

A few weeks ago, Jared said that Daphne could help me start cracking eggs when she got older.

One morning, things were chaotic, and Jared needed to work, so I took Daphne while I cooked. I decided it was time to help her learn to crack eggs. She took the eggs one by one and mashed them into the pan until the broke and then she pulled them apart. I was actually quite impressed with how good she was at it.

What a fun little project to do. It brought tears to my eyes that she was actually learning how to do things to help. I'm looking forward to cooking with her in the future.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Snap Die

Dear Daphne,

You lost the die to my snap press. The replacement has come out of your allowance.

You little rat.



Monday, July 21, 2008

Teething Trouble

Daphne is getting her first set of molars in. Rather than be nice and get them one at a time, she has been getting all four of them at the same time. Teething is traumatic enough for a baby, but this was over the top. She often had to be held, and she would just sit and cry and cry with nothing that would console her.

A few things really did work. A lot of the time, we could just give her a nice high dose of homeopathic chamomile. That stuff worked well. One time, at the height of her screaming, I gave her a dose of chamomile, and she just fell over and was sleeping in no time. Chamomile has been really nice to use, and I recommend it highly to any parent. However, it just didn’t seem to stay the dragons during this round of teeth.

After wining to my mom’s group online about my very sad baby, the owner of Pumpkin Butt emailed me and told me that there was something I had to try. In her store, she sells something called teething oil. It is a blend of a bunch of different oils that have proven to be therapeutic. A lot of moms just put clove oil on their baby’s gums. Though it does work, experimentation on an adult shows that clove oil hurts until it numbs all feeling for at least 24 hours. Not a good numb, more like a chemical burn numb. Not something I recommend.

I got some teething oil from Pumpkin Butt. It is the best $5 investment I could have made. Daphne likes the taste, and she likes the bottle, and when I rub it on her gums, that seems to calm things down incredibly.

A while ago, my friend sent me a link for some Amber Teething Necklaces. I looked at them at the time, thought they were cool and then closed the link. I started to think about it more, recently, and I decided to give it a try.

I bought two Amber Teething Necklaces and 1 bracelet. The total was about $20 including shipping. I got 2 so that I knew that if it worked and one got lost that I would not feel without while I waited for a new one to be shipped to me.

The SECOND I put the necklace on Daphne, we truly had a miracle on our hands. She calmed right down, and her temperament seemed to improve. She liked the necklace, though she was prone to chewing on it because it was a little long.

I SWEAR that I don’t believe in voodoo much, but this is one case where it really works.

You see, the child is not supposed to chew on the beads. The mere act of wearing them will do the trick. See, I told you it was a little voodoo.

Of course, the Europeans have been doing this for years, and it’s popular over there. Americans tend to be a little more stubborn about all things voodoo.

Here is some truth behind the voodoo. Apparently Baltic Amber has a high level of succinic acid in it. When the baby wears the necklace against his skin, the amber warms up, and the succinic acid can then absorb into the skin and be soaked up by the blood stream. Apparently, research has shown that it can calm a person down, stop them from drooling (always a benefit) and soothe the soreness that comes with teething.

That sounds logical. Daphne lent one of her necklaces to a friend to try out, and we found out very quickly just how much it does work. She had an awful time without her necklace while the baby she was lending it to had some relief from the teething. I have since been encouraging a bunch of mamas to try the teething necklaces for the teething pain.

I bought my necklaces from Inspired by Finn. They are made specifically for babies, so care has been taken to knot between each bead. If the strand were to break, the beads would not scatter everywhere for a curious toddler to eat! They are also made in smaller sizes. I got Daphne a 14” strand, and it worked very well for her.

She likes to look pretty, so the next time you see her, admire her pretty necklace.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Snap Press Help

Apparently, Daphne got a hold of my die for my snap press that allows me to put snaps on the diapers. It has disappeared. After searching the house, which included turning the couch on end and looking in the VCR player, we decided it was gone for good. Not only do I have to shell out another $12 for it, I also have to put my house back in order as well.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Retiring Outfits

Throughout her life, Daphne has had outfits that I have loved to put on her. They are the cute ones that I reach for first when it is time to dress her. They are also the outfits that get worn at 12 months despite the fact that they are 3-6 month outfits. They get a little more use and fit tighter.

As I was doing laundry today, I realized that one of my favorite outfits has to go. :( I'm shedding a tear now. I must find a new favorite outfit!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Doggie Sharing

Daphne had a cracker that she was eating, and then she decided she did not want it, and she threw it on the floor.

The dog came in with it in his mouth while I was folding laundry. He did not want to eat it, rather, he just wanted to hold it between his teeth and look happy.

When Daphne got wind of this, she quickly ran over and grabbed it from him and decided that she wanted to eat it again.

Boy, that's more sharing than I would like to see.

So, who got the cracker in the end? The chickens. Lucky them!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Daddy Daughter Conversation

Daddy: "What planet are you from?"

Daphne: "Shoe!"

Daddy: "Welcome to Earth"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Can you say SHOE?

Daphne can!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Daphne and her daddy have been working on the word, "shoe". She finally got it about a week ago, and now she has an incredible respect for shoes because she can communicate about them.

Every time she sees a shoe, she points to it and says, "shoe." This included when we were in a store that had shoes, and often it is necessary for her to pull the shoes off the shelf and try to put them on herself.

I have a confession to make. I take her shoes off and leave them on the floor so I can hear her say the word, "shoe" when she sees them. I love being a mommy!

The Pool

We have been going to the Carlton pool almost every day.

The water is cool enough to cool you off but not so cold that it is unbearable. It has been so much fun to get to go and hang out whenever I want.

My friend Julie gave me a floatie for Daphne, so she has been sitting in it and enjoying herself. She likes to ride the water like she is sitting on a horse. It keeps her from getting too wet, but helps her have a good time at the same time. What fun!

Go to the pool and enjoy the summer (at least cool off).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Carlton Pool Schedule

A lot of people have been making their way to this blog looking for hours of the Carlton Pool.

The pool is open June 11th to August 29th

Public Swim
Monday - Friday 12 pm to 3pm and 5pm to 8pm
Saturday 12pm to 7pm
Sunday 12pm to 4pm

Family Swim
Sunday 4pm to 6pm

Fitness Swim
Tues and Thurs 8pm to 9pm

Mommy & Toddler Time
Tues/Weds/Thurs 11:30am to noon

Night Swim (Themed)
Fridays 8pm to 10pm

There are pool passes available

Family: In district: $77 Out of District: $97
Individual: In district: $65 Out of District: $81
Child/Student: In district: $49 Out of District: $61
Senior: In district: $49 Out of District: $61

General Admission is $3
My understanding is that children under age 3 are free, but I can't find that written anywhere.

The source for this is the Yamhill-Carlton Newspaper.

Hope that helps. See you at Mommy Toddler Swim!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Chair

Papa Bob was up to visit this weekend, and Daphne got a new chair as part of the deal. The chair actually came from Jared's room when he was a little kid, and it is now being handed down in the family.

Daphne loves to sit in the chair and just eat or talk or even just sit there. It is pretty cute to see.

Oh, and she is not willing to share her chair with anyone, so don't even ask.

Oregon Natural Foods Takes Off

This is my last announcment about my new blog.

I have decided it is time to split the two blogs apart, so if you want in on all of the good fun we are having here on the 1/10 of an acre farm, you'd better get on over to the Oregon Natural Foods blog site and sign up. I am working hard to post every day about the adventures here on the farm since something is always going on.

Check out our latest freezer adventures here.

The blogs are splitting, so no more double posts!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pleasant Valley Sunday

My friend Scott and I were talking the other day about how in todays world you live under the spyglass of everyone else. You are expected to be the same as everyone in your neighborhood. My recent post about the lawn sparked conversations about how our lawn is inadequate, and how we need to fix that.

For fun, he sent me these lyrics for Pleasant Valley Sunday.

They made me smile.

The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
serenade the weekend squire, who just came out to mow his lawn

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. gray she's proud today because her roses are in bloom
Mr. green he's so serene, he's got a TV in every room

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don't understand

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray, to places far away
I need a change of scenery

Ta ta ta...

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land

another pleasant valley Sunday...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shell Necklace

Daphne just walked up and pulled a shell necklace out of my unused printer. I guess she was storing it there for safe keeping.

Lay Eggs

I was hanging out the widow looking at the chickens today.

I told them that they had better start laying because I know the name of a good butcher if they don't.

I started to chant, "Lay eggs, lay eggs."

Daphne decided she wanted in on the action, and one of new things to say is, "lay eggs."

Did You Go Poop?

We are trying to potty train Daphne, so I am trying to be attentive to her potty signs.

Today at the Italian Resturant Daphne was showing some definite pooping signs. I walked over to her and whispered in her ear, "Did you make a poop?" She looked down at the floor and lifted her dress. Seeing no poop, she said, "No!"

We are still working on the potty training thing. She had in fact pooped!

Drawing Time

We are starting to do crafts and things here and there with Daphne, and she really likes to draw.

For father's day, we gave Daphne a pen and a Fathers Day card, and we let her draw her own card for Papa Bob. It was really cute.

We all headed in to see the local festival, Turkey Rama, today. Daphne was not thrilled with having to stay close with all those cool things going on, and it was a big relief when we saw a tent from Delphi there. Satori's Tia Elva was there, and she took some time to draw with Daphne, which totally made her day. Thanks Elva.

Kitten Hugging.. and sitting?

A while back, I introduced Daphne to the dog. They became fast friends, and Daphne learned quickly that he was a good candidate for riding.

When she is feeling in a really good mood, she heads over to the dog and sits on him and gives him a hug. He doesn't mind. In fact, I think that he really likes the attention.

We now have a cat in the house, and Daphne is determined to treat her the same way. She tries to sit and lay on the cat, and it is just funny to see the reaction she gets. The cat does NOT like the idea of being sat on AT ALL, so she hisses and growls at Daphne. Luckily, we have a very understanding cat, and no injuries to the baby have occurred, but I think it is pretty funny that she feels compelled to ride the cat.

As an additional note, Jared found Daphne in bed with the cat last night. She was just laying there hugging it. Despite the fact that the cat hated it, Daphne was the happiest baby in the whole world.


Daphne added another word to her vocabulary today--Papa!

Of course, Papa Bob is here to visit for the weekend, so we thought a good present would be to teach her how to say Papa. He was sure that she was not going to want to try, but after a bit, she really learned how to say it. She spent the entirety of a car ride repeating, "Papa, Papa, Papa!"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Love My Daughter

What a joy it is to have a baby to watch grow up. I am the luckiest mama alive!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Daphne is learning her vowels.

Back when she was learning to talk, I got the idea somehwere to teach her the vowels. She was already saying some of them.

After weeks and weeks of work, Daphne says A-E-I-O-U now. She is good at saying it, and she is so proud when she can say it. She claps and smiles and laughs. How beautiful.

Run Away Dog

Jared put Flaff in his spot outside and then went out to Delphi. An hour or so later, I heard the clinking of his collar. He was clearly out. Apparently, the decided that since no one was going to let him out that he was going to let himself out, and he went to explore the neighborhood. I got angry about it, but it was still funny that he went out on a morning jaunt on his own.

Standing on my Desk

Daphne can get up on my desk by furniture hopping.

Today, I spent a lot of extra time on my computer, so she was around the desk a lot. She kept climbing up and sitting on it.

It was so hard to keep her off. My desk is not entirely clean and free from important things, and it was hard to not get mad at her, especially when she grabbed onto one of my monitors and would not let go.

Goat Harvest

When I bought my milk goat, her kids were only a week old. She had three kids her first time--two boys and a girl. The lady I bought her from kept the girl, and I got the two boys.

At first, my intention in keeping the goats was so that I could raise them and sell them to a 4-H kid or a farmer that needed a brush goat. When the time to de-horn them came and went, I realized that I was not going to get a worthwhile price for them alive. I resolved to raise them as meat goats and butcher them for our family.

I was going to follow the French tradition of raising them for 10 months to 1 year and then butchering them when they were full-sized but still tender. That would have yielded a lot of meat.

As time went on, it was becoming clear that they did not fit on the farm. There was no real place to separate them from their mother at weaning time, and when I managed to do it, they were figuring out how to sneak milk. It was a lot of stress.

On top of it all, the owners of the farm are going to have a baby in a week or two, so they wanted the cores to be reduced. They have been downsizing a bit. I figured I would chip in since the goats were getting a little out of control.

I took the goats out to the butcher on Monday. Rather than be full Chevron, they are capretto sized. Perfect for roasting whole or piecing into roasts.

I was a little sad to see them go, and it is a little lonely when I go up to milk the goat, but I got 3/4 of a gallon of milk from her yesterday, and Jared brought me home a freezer full of meat today from the butcher.

Because I am butchering them so young, I have asked for all he pieces of the goat back so that I can use them. We will eat the liver. I will tan the hides with the brains and I will piece other scraps out to use as dog or cat food, or stew bones or something. I have plans, you will hear from them all.

the meat had not quite frozen up yet by the time I got it, and the bag with the skins and liver and other things in it needed to be handled by Jared. I just need to get a little more perspective on it before I go tanning the hides and eating goat for dinner.

Making Bread

My story about learning to bake bread is a LONG and sad one. When Jared was sick he was not allowed to eat any foods with gluten in them. That made it very difficult to bake bread. He really liked on type of bread that you could buy at the health food store, but it was almost $6 per loaf, and it tasted terrible (in my opinion).

My mission was to learn to bake my own bread so that I could not have to spend money on it, and I could make something edible for both of us.

Apparently, learning to make something complicated to begin with without the most vital ingredient turns out not to be such an easy task. I had bad loaf after bad loaf, and I was sure that I was never going to make it work.

Now that he is feeling much better, he can eat anything he wants. That means that gluten is back on the table, and I could start making bread the traditional way. Let me tell you, that sure made it easier! I went on making a loaf or two of bread for a few months.

However, I decided to grind my own grain, which meant that I was going to have to be making whole wheat bread. That is another thing that makes it complicated and more difficult.

I must say, that I have succeeded this time. The key was actually getting vital wheat gluten and putting it in with the flour. It has helped the gluten develop in the bread so that it could rise and get nice and fluffy.

Today, I looked up a recipe for sandwich bread because I was getting tired of making French loaves. The bread got really big and fluffy. When I cut the bread in half, it looked exactly like a loaf from the store. I was proud of myself.

I ate a nice big slice of it for dinner with jam on it. I was the happiest girl around.

The Long Ride

Jared had to head out to Delphi today, so we agreed that I was going to ride my new Ecobike up to milk the goat. It is about 20 miles round trip if you really get down and count it out. The problem is that the goat lives on the top of a mountain (Mount Richmond), and not only is it a very steep mountain, the road is a dirt road. That is not a good situation.

The bike, before I got on it, weighed 80 pounds. The bike weighs about 50 pounds, the baby 22 pounds and the milk was 8 pounds.

Because the bike is brand new, I am working on a new routine to get the batteries all charged up. I had to ride up to the top of the mountain on about half of a charge. As I was climbing the last big mountain, the bike died on me completely.

I thought I was going to die, that I would never get home and that I was doomed. It was 95 degrees outside, and I was in the heat of it, with no water.

Dumb, I know, I just didn't think it would actually happen. And so, I spent an hour and a half of the afternoon riding home up hills and mountains to get home. I made it home safe and sound, and you can bet that I was taking a cold shower within the minute.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's Provolone not Mozzarella

I have been stocking up on milk so that I could make some fresh Mozzarella. I have an entire meal plan surrounding the idea of having some fresh Mozzarella around. I was going to make Capri Salad and I was going to make fresh from-scratch pizza.

The recipe that I have calls for 4 gallons of milk, so I have been stocking up on milk to be able to make it. The recipe also is the same recipe for Provolone, only you are supposed to omit a step or two.

I was going along making my cheese while doing 100 other things as usual. I got to the step where you stretch the curds, and it turns out that I did not omit the step I needed to. I have Provolone, not Mozzarella.

Oh well, I can age Provolone over a long period of time and make it really last. Guess I need to stock up on some more milk over the next couple of days and try it again.

Floor Scrubbing

We have linoleum in one bathroom. the laundry room, the kitchen and the dining room. In total, it is probably about 500 sq feet of hard floor. I have a difficult time getting around to cleaning it because it takes some time. By the time I get it all swept up, someone has dropped carrot pieces on it or crunched Cheerios into the floor. If I get around to mopping it, it takes forever to dry, and it almost always ends up more dirty than I started with.

To say that it gets swept once a month would be a serious exaggeration, as terrible as that may sound.

Yesterday after having the baby pee on the floor and poop on the floor along with dog throw up and a cat that missed the litter box, I decided I had had enough. I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the entire 500 sq feet of it.

Today, I swept and mopped it while the baby was asleep. I just hope that it dries quickly because the kitten has been running back and forth on it. I have done the best I can do, that is for sure.

It has a good half-hour to dry before Jared heads out demanding I give him food. :)

It feels good to have it clean, and I may just keep it that way because I like to have a house that looks half decent!

Monday, July 07, 2008


Daphne is learning lots of new words. Every morning, when both her daddy and her have woken up, they go out and take the dog for the walk.

To go for a walk, she needs to put her shoes on, so her dad asks her where her shoes are. She walks around saying, "Shoes, shoes, shoes" until she finds her shoes.

Additionally, at any other time of the day when she sees a shoe, she points to it and says, "shoe."

I guess this makes "shoe" a new vocabulary word!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pedal Across America

After my recent bike decimation, I was distraught. After searching for what to do, it became abundantly clear that it was going to cost more to fix the bike than it would to just replace it. Distraught, I got an email that turned things around for me.

The email notified me that I am the sole recipient of the Pedal Across America Bike Award. I am being rewarded for me serious dedication to decreasing my carbon footprint by using my bicycle to get around.

I was awarded with a new bike. This is not just any bike, it is an Ecobike Elegence. What is so eco friendly about the bike? Well, it has an electric motor on it for one thing! Living in this hilly country makes it awful hard to ride a bike a long distance when you are hauling a kiddo with you. If only I could have the extra umph that would help me get up the hills, I could pedal happily for hours!

I went up to the bike store on Thursday to pick up the bike, and it was definitely love at first sight. The bike is beautiful and has everything I ever could have asked for in a bike.

I took her on a Maiden Voyage on Saturday. It was a 20 mile ride. We went over all terrain, gravel, dirt and pavement. We also went through the rain. My conclusion, the bike is fantastic, it has a lot of power when you need it, and it really seems to work wonderfully. I have a crazy new love of bikes, which I find to be fantastic.

Thanks George, for sponsoring the Pedal Across America Award!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

I hope you had a good 4th of July. We went out to Delphi as a family, and we got to take part in the fun and games.

Jared played softball for the first time in almost 10 years. He had a lot of fun, and he got to use the glove he bought at Toys-R-Us when he was just a wee boy.

Daphne got to hang out with grandma, and she got to see lots of our friends. She even spent some time with her godfather, which was wonderful.

I got to chat about sustainability and how I think the world should work, I had a lot of fun.

Most importantly, we got to eat lots of good food, and have a good time.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Go Green-Get Rid of Your Lawn

Compliments of Oregon Natural Foods

I think that lawns are incredibly wasteful. If you drive down our block, you can tell for sure that our neighbors are definitely interested in having beautiful green lawns. You can also tell that we don’t believe in a manicured lawn. We are a part of a homeowners’ association that requires that we have a lawn, so we can’t get rid of it, but that doesn’t mean that we have to take care of it. First of all, our front lawn in a joke. It isn’t even 5 feet wide, and it only takes 2 swipes with the mower. I’d rather turn it into am herb garden, but again, we aren’t allowed to do anything but leave it as a lawn. What am I to do?

Well, nothing, yet. I haven’t come up with a solution. As it is, the grass has not been watered since nature did the job a few weeks ago. Slowly, it is turning brown, and it has a bunch of bald spots showing up just to make sure we know that we are neglecting it. I am not about to run out there with the hose and give it life either.

I think that it is wasteful to invest all of that clean water on a lawn. Sure, it is nice to have greenery around the house, and it is very nice to have something to play in, but the lawn doesn’t serve a purpose. I would rather invest the water into watering the vegetable garden, which is actually going to produce a viable product for me. I even will go so far as to take care of part of the lawn in the back because my rabbits graze on it, and I find that to be useful. I guess what I am saying is that it doesn’t get taken care of around here unless it can feed me or support me.

Besides, haven’t you heard the commercials that encourage us to limit our watering of our lawn because of all the resources we use? When we took care of the lawn, I was watching how much water we were wasting every second day as the automatic sprinklers came on, and I decided that I was going to stop watering my lawn, that was last August, and I haven’t regretted it one bit.

Besides, we have only been paying a water bill for a year. Before that, someone else was always picking up the tab on the water. That means that we are much more aware about what we are using, and we are more likely to conserve our resources. It makes sense to use that we don’t just waste a bunch of clean water It isn’t all about the bills though. I am interested in conserving the resources that we have as a community living on this one and only Earth that we get to be a part of.

Are there options, yes. I found a great option. There are companies that are developing eco-friendly lawns, and I am very interested in them. I am told that this is not for the faint at heart, nor is it for the neighbor who heads out with Round-up every time they see a dandelion. The premise is that there is a mix of seeds of plants that grow natively in the area you live in. That means that they can tolerate the weather of the region and they require little to no watering. Additionally, they are made of plants that don’t usually grow up to be very tall, so watering isn’t always necessary either. I love the concept, and I found one local company that I like that has developed some lovely lawns.

The Company is called Pro Time Lawn Seed. For a mere $25, I could reseed all of the greenery on my property into an eco friendly alternative that I wouldn’t have to mow or water. Sign me up! As soon as I budget the money (probably at the end of the summer), this is the product I will be buying.

Mean Green

This post is compliments of Oregon Natural Foods.

I am a big fan of Good Eats. Watching the show has definitely gotten me to think outside of my normal range on food. I have even been willing to try foods that I would never have considered a few years ago.

Greens are one of those foods. I have a market share at the farmers market, which means that I have a certain amount of money available each week that I get to use. I will make another post about this at a future time, but the point is that I have lately been “forced” to get produce that I may not have otherwise gotten. Last week, I ended up with two bunches of chard and a bunch of kale. My plan was to cook the greens over very high heat until they wilted. I wanted to add some flavors that might stave off the reminder that I was eating greens. I was never a big fan of greens, even when I saw them sitting there looking edible every time I walked into a restaurant when I lived in Greece.

I cut out the center rib of all of the greens and then used my kitchen scissors to cut the leaves up into edible chunks. While I did that, I got my enamel Dutch oven out and put about a half cup of olive oil. I let it sit and heat while I cut the greens because you want the pan to be smoking hot.

As soon as I got the greens cut up, I shoved them all into the pot and put the lid on. It was a very tight fit, but greens cook down a LOT when you cook them over high heat, so I was determined that stuffing them in the pot would work. After a minute or so, I added some salt and some rice-wine vinegar. As they cooked down even more, I added even more salt and then what little bit of teriyaki sauce I had in my fridge (if I didn’t have that, I would have just put some brown sugar and some soy sauce in). For some protein, I put in the last bits of some corned beef that I had in the fridge.

After the greens totally wilted, I pulled them out and put them in a bowl. I was expecting to be chewing them and hating them all the way, but both Jared and I were surprised that they actually tasted quite fantastic. We cleaned our bowls without a problem.

I’ve even go some left over that I am going to cook some orzo into and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Operation Mean Green was a success. We can eat greens in this house now! It does help that Alton Brown did a show on it to get me to be brave!

The Circus

The circus came to town this past week, and Jared and I had been intending to go for some time.

Each day, we said we were going to go and then something got into the way. Last night, at 8, I decided to pack the whole family up and get out there. Of course it was past Daphne's bed time, but I thought that she might enjoy it.

We we did have a genuinely good time. There was a lot of acrobatics and other cool things rather than elephants and tigers, which was OK with me. They did have a miniature horse going over jumps, and Daphne was enamored by her.

I am glad we went. We had a lot of fun, and we even got to eat a little cotton candy!

Water Birth

I was listening to Dr. Laura Slessinger yesterday on the radio. She advised a pregnant woman to not give birth at a water birth center for fear that something terrible would happen. I felt that her response was clouded by her own traumatic birth, and that she lacked the facts.

The activist in me would not calm down until I wrote a letter and sent it off. I thought I would share it with you since God knows that it will not make it onto her program.

Hello Dr. Laura,

I listen to your show often, and I respect and appreciate your opinion. I feel that the work you do strengthens families everywhere, and I know for a fact that it has strengthened my own.

Yesterday, you were talking to a caller who said that she wanted to have a water birth at her local water birth center. Her insurance wouldn’t cover it, and she was unsure if she could afford it. Your advice to her was that she should just birth in the hospital for fear that something would go wrong and that she should not desire to buy things that she cannot afford.

I must say, that I differ in opinion with you on this. The staff at a water birth center are well trained in the business of pregnancy and birth. Under many state laws (and common sense), they are only able to accept low-risk pregnancies, and if at any time something comes up that puts that client in the high risk category, their care is transferred. That includes while the mama is in labor. If there are signs that show that something is trending in a bad direction, a transport happens before anything negative can occur. It is actually statistically safer to give birth at a birth center than at a hospital.

I did all of my prenatal care at a water birth center with midwives. I went there when I was in labor, and after many hours of hard labor, I was transported to the hospital where I eventually had an emergency c-section. The midwives I worked with were competent enough that I never felt unsafe, and no negative result occurred.

Even though it was necessary for me to transport, I will have my next child at a water birth center. Did you know that Jimmy Carter was the first president to be born in a hospital? Yes, it was that recently that we gave up having our children at home in favor of a hospital. I am not saying that a hospital does not have its place, I am very glad it is there for the true emergencies, but the method of birthing in American hospitals is less than ideal.

In fact, the C-section rate in America hovers around 30%, which is 1 in 3 moms. The World Health Organization standard for c-sections is 15% and some countries have gotten it down below 8%. This has been done, in Holland for example, by taking birth out of the hospitals and having it managed at home or at birth centers by trained midwives. As the c-section rate climbs in America, so does the maternal death rate, which makes it increasingly more dangerous to birth in a hospital.

It sounds like you had a traumatic birth where medical intervention was necessary. I am sorry that it turned out that way for you, and I assure you that all births are different. I know many, many women who have had safe births outside of the hospital without complication.

It does matter the method of birthing. If a mom ends up having to have a c-section, as I did, she has to undergo a recovery from a major surgery in addition to dealing with all the hormones and the stress of a newborn baby. It did not facilitate bonding with my baby, and I had to overcome some incredible obstacles. I feel sad for America that 1 in 3 new moms have the same outcome. I think that you would be pleasantly surprised if you were to go to a water birth and watch the immediate bonding that is able to take place, I think it does matter that a mom is in a quiet and supportive environment that allows her to get her bearings after such hard work.

The cost of birthing at a water birth center can be equivalent to what the out of pocket at a hospital would cost. They are very reasonable to work with people on payment because they are passionate about what they do, and they understand that the process of care in birthing is an important factor in the mother-baby relationship. This point can easily be solved by the persistent and determined.

I hope that in the future that you can encourage other callers to seek to have a sane birth wherever they feel safe and comfortable.


Christine Anderson

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Potty

I finally gave in recently, and borrowed a potty chair from a friend so that I can potty train Daphne.

She has been wearing diapers on a very limited basis since I found out she is allergic to strawberries. She still has a blister that will not go away, so until everything is healed up, no diapers for her. This sometimes results in her peeing on my floor. Respectfully, she almost never pees on the carpet, she pees on the hard floor, where it is easy to clean up, but it is still peeing on the floor.

I saw Daphne trying to sit on the potty chair, and I was sure that she had to go pee. She was trying so hard. I finally deduced that she had just gone pee not 4 feet from the potty chair, and she was trying to make it work.

A few hours later, she had to go pee again, and she tried to get into the potty chair, but she just missed, and she ended up peeing on the floor right next to it. I think we are getting very, very close.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Disappearing Cat

Julie has gone on a trip to LA for 2 weeks, and she asked me to watch her animals. Her kitten, Moses has come to stay with us. She is a very young kitten, so she is full of energy, and mischief.

As we were getting all the animals settled, she was following us around, but when Julie was about to leave, we couldn't find the cat. We thought that we heard meowing under the house, but every time I went under to find her, we could not find her.

We gave up, and I came back several hours later.

It turned out that she was under the house. She had crawled up by the laundry vent and was sitting between where the metal rests on the cinder blocks for the foundation of the house. It was awful hard to get her out, but she was happy that we did rescue

The Cat or the Kid?

Jared lost his phone, and after looking high and low for it, we found it.

It has been pushed of the window sill where he had set it, and it had fallen down between the couch and the wall.

When he found it, he asked me to come take a look so that we might find evidence to discover if it was the cat or the kid that was the culprit.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I do laundry in spurts around here, so when it is time to do laundry, there is a lot of laundry to do.

Yesterday, I had all of the laundry splayed out on the bed, and the baby was sitting there among the laundry trying to help me fold it (but mostly being really grumpy).

I am house sitting a kitten for a friend while she is out of town, so she runs around the house causing all kinds of trouble. The kitten (Moses) decided that she needed to play with all the laundry as I folded it up.

Between the two of them, it was hard to get anything done, but it sure was a comedy.