Sunday, May 10, 2009

We Have Moved!

I have been steadily blogging along on this blog since November of 2004. After a lot of look at my blogging style and where I want to go with the blog, I decided it was best to move it over to another blogging service that can help me meet some more of my goals.

Come on over to our new blog Oregon Natural Foods and see what we are blogging about. We will be talking about our photography ventures, our animals, our small plot of land, our children, our cooking and many, many other things.

Please change your feeds to now follow sorry about the inconvenience.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

My Life

I read in a book that it is best to refrain from complaining when pregnant. It helps have a healthy outlook on life and it also can really help with the delivery going easier. I totally agree with this, but I am a complainer, and there really is no two ways about it. Today seems to have been a particularly awful day in many regards, and I just thought I'd share for fun.

Everything started out really well. Daphne, Jared and I all went out into the garden and pulled up weeds and dug for carrots. Jared helped harvest 13 pounds of green onion tops and bulbs. The potatoes were in the same bed, so when the soil was turned, they came up. Daphne had a really, really good time finding the potatoes and putting them in the bucket to bring inside to eat!

I spent some time going around the back yard digging up the weeds that had started to take over. Once I could see the herbs in the herb garden I started to see how lovely they looked. They really took the winter well, and my Greek Oregano is already producing. It might be time to take the tops off it already! I have some marjoram that I was unsure if it was going to make it. It turns out that it flourished through the winter and should be a strong plant for this year. My chocolate mint has taken off, but it is mint, so what can I say? It makes a really, really great tea. I still have some dried herbs from last year that I'm brewing with some raspberry leaf for tea. I planted a sage plant also at the end of last season and it turns out that it is doing really, really well. I am excited to see how they progress through the summer. I had also planted Italian parsley at the END of the season last year. It made it through the winter beautifully, and the plant is really starting to flourish. I think it is time to cut it out and dry it (or put it in our fresh food).

I managed to plant some artichokes a few weeks ago, and they are outside looking incredibly happy. They are a long term future investment because they take about a year to produce a crop, but I'm trying to grow some veggies this year that I'm not going to be getting from the CSA. I am excited to see how the artichokes do.

The other plants I planted at the same time as the artichokes are not doing so well. There are some peppers, some eggplants and a few melons. I really didn't get the melons to germinate well, and the ones that did seemed to not grow well. I did put some healthy ones in the ground, but I think that a bit of cold got to them and what damage that didn't do, the slugs did do. There are a LOT of slugs out there, and I'm trying to find a solution. I hope that the plants really start to enjoy the weather that we are having and grow big and tall.

I exposed my grapes from the weeds that were trying to hide them. They have produced some wonderful leaves. I am hoping to be able to go out and harvest a few of them to use to make dolomathes (Greek stuffed grape leaves). Yum.

I really need to get out now and turn the soil in the remaining beds so that I can get some seeds int he ground. Perhaps I will feel like doing that tomorrow, perhaps not.

The Gestational Diabetes thing has had me all over the charts. I was completely devastated at first, but then I made an appointment with a Naturopath/Nutritionist. She really helped me figure out what I could eat. I felt like I had even more options available to me than I had before the news that I had Diabetes. The problem is that I am hopelessly addicted to sugar in all of its lovely forms, so the cold turkey quitting method has been difficult. I don't really mind eating foods that are a little more "healthly" "hippie" or "earthy" than normal, but I do miss my ice cream and many of the other indulgences. I still have an unopened box of ice cream popsciles in the freezer that I am having a hard time not going and eating right now!

I've got some good food ideas. I make a mash for breakfast that is a mixture of crushed wheat, oats, corn, kamut, quinoa and any other grain I could come up with. It actually doesn't taste to bad with a little agave nectar and some lactose free milk, but I feel like a total hippie eating it. It's not something I want to spend the rest of my life eating, but I do appreciate it for now. I also managed to make some granola for myself that doesn't have any sugar or maple syrup in it. It's not as good as the granola I usually make, but I don't feel like I'm missing out a lot either.

I actually discovered that I could eat frittatas and quiches. The main concern with the illness is the ability to eat enough foods of enough variety with enough protein. If I can't eat well enough I am at great risk of developing pre-eclampsia, which would pretty much guarantee that I need another c-section. I'm determined to keep this situation from becoming scary, life threatneing or to let it change my birthing plans. Being able to eat eggs in SOME form has helped a lot with me being able to get enough protein. I also got some hemp protein powder from the store that is pretty palatable with mixed with almond milk.

All that said, I really miss my sugar. There is some lemonaide in the fridge that has been tempting me a lot lately because it as almost 80 degrees today! I also had just made a batch of chai ice cream before I got the news, so I've been pawning it off onto anyone willing to eat it!

I DID take the liberty of making my own sugar free-dairy free totally diabetically OK ice cream the other day. I made it with coconut milk, almond milk, vanilla extract and agave nectar. The texture isn't quite like ice cream yet, but I'm going to try a few different variations to see what I can do to fix that. I actually had the idea of mixing in a banana at some point to see if I can get a flavor other than just plain cocount. The good news is that I have something satisfying for the time being, so I don't feel totally left out, but I'm still having total withdrawls from sugar.

My doctor said that watermelon is totally OK to eat so I bought two personal watermelons the other day and have been scarfing them down. I love, love, love watermelon right now, so it is working. The good news is that it does nothing to the blood sugar and is pretty much nutritionally invaluable as a food, so I do no harm by indulging!

After all the gardening got done this morning, we came in to discover that the dishwasher is leaking. Jared was working on fixing it, but he had a meeting in Portland all afternoon so he had to take it apart and dash off. My kitchen has been spotless recently, so it is hard to take the fact that there are dirty dishes everywhere and that the dishwasher may not be up and running for a while. It is REALLY gross under the sink and the dishwasher, and I really just wish the problem would go away. I'm hoping it can be fixed soon.

While I was doing some other outside errands, I put my little chicken outside to be with the bigger chicken. I did buy one more laying hen this year to replace one of the ones that I had lost from last year. She has been kind of the odd one out everywhere. She grew at the same time as the chukar, but then she got too big and decided when she was hungry that she was going to start pecking at them. After finding 2 bloody chukar one morning, I removed her. I tried putting her with the meat chickens, who were born the same day she was, but they are about 3 times bigger than her, and they really would kill her. I then tried putting her with my big laying hens. God knows that introducing a new chicken is a problem when done at any time, but it turns out that she is just small enough to get herself caught in odd places. After waiting a few more weeks, I put her outside with the hens and kind of forgot about her.

When I went back out to feed the meat birds, the neighbor next door said he had something to say, and yelled over the fence that he had some problems with the chickens that I needed to handle immediately. I have no problem being told something is not working, but the dude didn't even have the balls to come over and knock on the door. He had to do it through the fence, and I didn't even know he was talking to me for the first minute or two. Our neighbors use to love our chickens, so I don't know what the deal is, but I already had plans to revamp the chicken space this summer, so hopefully, I'll work on that and they can mind their own business. I was upset though because he was swearing at me over some really dumb points and he didn't have the guts to come and actually try to have a conversation with me.

Moving on, when I finally got Daphne down for a nap, I was totally exhausted so I sat around for a while feeling totally bored and totally overwhelmed at the same time. I know that I have a list of things to do, but none of the things on the list were really dire. I just felt bored and sad and lonely while getting nothing done at all. It is also REALLY uncomfortable to sit in a chair for longer than 5 or 10 mintues, so I have to kind of keep moving all day, which makes me totally exhausted by the end of the day.

Oh... we still have ants crawling all over our house no matter how clean I keep it. They are boring holes through the caulking and getting in. I've got them MASSES under control, but they still are really proving to be annoying little creatures. I'm not sure that I'm beyond digging up where I know one hive is and pouring posion down it.

I took a bike ride over to the spinning wheel store in town (I know, how cool is it that we have a spinning store in town?). I needed to get something to be able to process some wool to spin, but it turns out that they were out of stock on what I need, so I have to wait to have it special ordered. Grrr. How annoying. Daphne also was into running around and touching everything, which can wear down on the nerves quickly.

I tried to clean the car today but the sun was beating down on me. I feel like the outside could use a really good scrub. The last few times I've gone through the car wash it has done a really, really bad job, so its time to do it myself, I'd just really appreciate a nice shiny car.

Jared came back from California, and the car was totally trashed, so I tried to clean it up a little bit, but there is stuff everywhere, so it is going to take a few rounds to get everything handled. Then I'll be able to clean the interior and feel like a better car owner. The car is one of my favorite posessions, so I feel so much happier when it is clean and taken care of.

I took Daphne to town to run some errands. I needed to get some basic car parts, air filters, windshield wiper blades, etc. They had everything I needed, except they only had one wiper blade for our other car. I tried driving the car in the rain and the dark when Jared and Daphne were in California, and I was afraid for my life. I have to call them and have them special order the wiper blades for the car on Monday, which means another trip back to the store. How udderly annoying. They were nice enough to put the new blades on the Matrix for me, so that makes my life a lot easier.

I stopped to get some presents for Mother's Day. Daphne decided she was hungry and thirsty and really lost her manners. The rest of the shopping was hell. When I got home, I was so happy to be able to take her out of the car because she was screaming and being grumpy about simple little things. I managed to get a quiche in the oven and get outside to take care of some animals.

I re-bred all my rabbits, and it is time for them to kindle again. My angora bun, Daisy should have her litter on Monday and I have a meat rabbit that should have her litter on Tuesday. I am excited for both litters because I think that I have enough experience at this point to really make this a successful endeavor. The angora buns are a bit of an experiment. I have been trying to breed her off and on for a while now, so having a real litter to deal with should be great. I checked and she is pregnant, so now I just have to wait. I love her fiber, but I'm not very happy about the fiber on the buck. I'm hoping that her fiber will dominate the litter, and then I will have some nice buns to keep, but I doubt it. I found out that she is 99.25% German Angora recently. It makes sense, she has a lovely coat, and she really does exhibit the German characteristics, I was just not sure because there was no data on her pedigree. I'd love to breed her to a 100% German buck and keep some of the kits that we get. She used to be the biggest problem rabbit, but she has started to come into her own recently, and she is my favorite sweetheart. I'm very surprised. It would be nice to have some German buns out that are quality stock. I'm hoping to make this happen soon.

I realized that I probably should be clipping my other angora rabbit (my mature buck) Poe soon, so that's another project I have to tacle. His fiber is just not as fine as I am seeing from any of my other Angoras, so I am a bit worried about what I am going to end up with to spin. Only the clipping will tell. He has a great disposition, I'm just not sure that I want to see his wool quality in my stock. I'm still learning a lot though.

So, I put nesting boxes out for my rabbits, and I feel like stalking them until I see some baby rabbits to play with!

I had a hard time feeding Daphne tonight because she was just running around and not really interested. I did get enough bites into her. However, as I sat down to do something else for a minute, I heard her over on the floor pouring water onto the floor and sucking it up with her lips. She then poured a full litre of water all over the floor while she was trying to fill up a little ounce cup. She's been doing these kinds of things all day, and all I can say is that I was happy to put her in her cradle and walk away for the night.

I still have a bunch of things to get done tonight, but it really is looking like I'll probably spend the time watching a movie and being totally lazy. These are the days of a woman in her third trimester, what else can I say.

I've got lots planned for tomorrow with some other really big ideas, so stay tuned.

Thanks for listening to 3000 works from a complaining woman.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

There's The Wall

I worked really hard while Jared and Daphne were gone. I had almost forgotten what it was like to not have things move around mysteriously in the house. I was also able to follow a train of thought and do things one after another without interruption. It really was different than the way I do things these days.

After working hard from 6 am to 10 pm every day, it became clear that I was really running out of steam. I even took one evening off and went to a friend's birthday party.

On Sunday, I really started to feel the stress of all the work I had been doing. I was feeling a lot of pain and pressure in my pelvic floor, and I was actually considering taking a nap for the first time in a long time.

I laid down to take a nap, and still wasn't feeling better when I woke up. Things got progressively worse, and by bedtime I was feeling very dizzy and unwell.

Monday didn't go much better, so a phone call to my midwife ended in the fact that I needed to come and see her.

I drove over to her house (we live close) last night and she checked everything out. On the plus side, things were looking really, really good. The baby is growing and lively, and is even vertex at this point (wahoo)!

The bad news is that I failed a glucose test, which means that I have gestational diabetes. Oh boy. That means that in addition to the food aversions I already have, I've got a lot of new food restrictions I get to deal with over the next couple of months. I'm not really looking forward to this at all.

Moma, You're Smart

I was teaching Daphne to spell her name this morning in bed. She has it mostly down except for the first two letters.

As I was repeating over and over D-A-P-H-N-E, she stopped me and said, "Mama, you're really smart."

I think she's right!

My Portfolio

I left Greece when I was 7 months pregnant with Daphne, and I never really managed to get all the photos in my portfolio matted and put together professionally. They have been sitting for over a year in half matted piles. It is a project that takes a lot of focus and concentration, and it is also something that can't be done with kids around. Daphne is not allowed around because she could totally destroy the photos of she decided to touch or rearrange them.

While Jared and Daphne were gone, I set up all my matting supplies and spent hours on end matting my photos.

The good news is that my portfolio has been completely matted and put together. It feels so good to take care of the art treasures that I spent over a year to create!

I even took the time to mat some photos that had been taken of me modeling. Many of the photos mean a lot of me because they document the time I spent in Greece. I was also at my thinnest point just before I got pregnant with Daphne. It reminds me of what to make my way back to as soon as I have this baby in a few weeks (its not too far away).

I also managed to set aside some photos to hang up in the house on display. As soon as I work funds into the budget and get the gumption to drive to IKEA, I can go and get the frames to hang the photos up. it will be nice to have something more than blank walls for a change.

I must say that I am really proud of myself for this.

1 Month Late

It seems that Spring seems to be taking its sweet time getting here. I know that rain is a component of the whole spring thing, but it seems that we have only had a few nice days spread out here and there in which going outside is even possible!!!

Yesterday, I had to drive for a bit, and there was a point that it was raining so hard I considered pulling over and waiting it out. There was so much water on the road I was hydroplaning, and the windshield wipers on the fastest setting did nothing to improve visibility. I am glad I made it home safely.

Sadly, the forecast says rain all day every day until Friday. I guess it is a sign that I had better get some sewing done eh?

March is supposed to be "in like a lion out like a lamb." April started with roaring wind and cold showers. April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but we're already 5 days into May, and I see no sign of flowers, only showers.

Dear God,

Please stop the rain.

Shiny New Floors

As I have been going around room to room, I would steam clean the floor as the last action. It is hard to schedule because it is best if the floors don't get walked on for 12 or so hours while they are wet.

While Jared and Daphne went to California this weekend, I took the opportunity to finish cleaning all the rest of the rooms and get to the floors.

In Jared's office, I actually had to take his desk apart piece by piece and clean under it. The desk then got cleaned and put back together. It looked GREAT when I was done, but it sure was a lot of work.

The day they came home, I got up early and managed to finish cleaning the rest of the floors in the house. The carpets in the whole house now look brand new!

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Kitchen--Die Ants Die

Since Jared and Daphne were going to California this weekend, I have been working hard to get a lot of things done before they go and while they are gone. I do have a long list of things that need to happen before the house is "clean and organized". My plan is to get the list done and then be able to relax and hang with Daphne as the weather gets much nicer.

The other day I decided it was time to clean the kitchen. We have been having a huge ant problem that has been driving Jared and I crazy. The caulking is really bad in our house, so the ants come and go freely through the holes they can find. They are all over any food they can find.

The kitchen needed to be cleaned badly and it needed a bit of reorganization. I am having a hard time doing things that involve bending over. Since a lot of the stuff I use is on the bottom shelf, I decided to remedy that so that I didn't have to be in pain while working in the kitchen.

I spent 19 hours in the kitchen cleaning behind this and that, laying down new shelf liners and scrubbing everything I could find, and it looks great. I've actually been able to cook and clean in there with very little problems.

I do still have a few shelves that I need to clean off and rearrange, but I don't think that is going to take long. The most important thing is that it's yet another room in the house that is in a state of cleanliness that I no longer have to worry about!

Windows are CLEAN!

My to-do list has included cleaning the windows, both inside and out, for a very long time. I thought that this was going to be one of those "nice to do" things that never really got done, or that got done sloppily.

While Nico was here, she did go around with a squeegee and cleaned all the windows. However, the squeegee left marks, and the windows behind the screens didn't get cleaned.

I explained last week that I had gotten very gung-ho about getting the windows cleaned in the front of the house, and they looked really good, but I was not excited about the remaining windows. Two of them are behind Jared's desk, and I actually had to disassemble to desk to get to them.

After feeling really ambitious yesterday, I managed to finish the rest of the windows. I bleached out the mildew in the tracks of the windows. I scrubbed the fly specks off the windows. I took the curtains down and washed them. I even figured out how to take the blinds down and clean them thoroughly. The windows look GREAT, and I am so happy to have that done. I can't wait to find the to-do list under all the junk and actually get it crossed off.