Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Start Small

John brought home 4 boxes yesterday that will work great for our garden. I was so excited I revamped my plans to include all 4 boxes. Our land lady said we could use the backyard so I have plenty of room. In the book Square Foot Gardening the author suggests starting small. I struggle with that concept. I want it all, now! After much thought I have decided to just do two 4x4 boxes this year. This way the children and I can get used to caring for a small garden and expand next year. This will be our first year with a "real" garden. Last year we grew a few pumpkins in the front flower bed after the daffodils and tulips were done blooming. The year before we grew a handful of peas, about 20 radishes and lots of cherry tomatoes in the little spot of ground just south of the front flower bed. I have high hopes for this year!

I will be ordering our seeds within the next few days. We are firming up our choices. Each of the children will get one square for their own. Jack is still undecided, he is leaning towards cherry tomatoes. Christy is going to grow calendula. She likes that she will have beautiful flowers in her square that will also be used for making a salve(something she and I both want to learn to do this year). Toby is going to grow watermelons. It was an easy choice for him. I am going to put strawberries in Hannah's square. She loves to eat them and I believe she will be so happy to have her own square like the other children.

As soon as I place our order I will post here with what made the final cut. :)

I am off to hang diapers up out on the line again. I am planning on Potato Cheese Soup and fresh sourdough bread for dinner tonight!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


You Are An INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.

Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.

You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.

You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

In love, you truly see relationships as an opportunity to connect and grow.

You enjoy relationships as long as they are improving and changing. You can't stand stagnation.

At work, you stay motivated and happy... as long as you are working toward a dream you support.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

How you see yourself: Hardworking, ethical, and helpful

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Manipulative, weak, and unstable

Monday, February 25, 2008

Spring Fever

I have it, bad.

This winter has been very snowy and cold. I love winter but I am definitely ready for spring. I cannot wait to dig my hands into the earth and bring forth life. Yesterday it was a balmy 51 degrees! As I was walking out to go to church yesterday morning I saw this:
Isn't it beautiful? I love the sweetness of new little plants just poking their way up through the ground. The front flower bed will be a gorgeous showing of daffodils and tulips.

When I was in the backyard hanging up the cloth diapers on the line I saw this:
Our first daffodil of the year! This is out by our dryer vent and this spot gets a lot more sun than the front flower bed.

And, this was a glorious sight to behold:
The first time the diapers have been out on the line all year. I cannot describe the pure joy I feel when I look at the cloth diapers on the line. I kept looking out my kitchen window yesterday just so I could watch them blow in the wind.

To top it all off I show you this:
My amazing perfected sourdough bread!

I have spent the morning planning our garden. I think we are going to try making and planting two 4x4 square foot beds this year. We have room to put one right to the south of the front flower bed and then we could put one in the flower bed. I was thinking that after the daffodils and tulips are done blooming we can but a box in it. I do not really like that idea though, but I am not sure our land lady will let us put the boxes in the backyard. The front area is kind of "ours" but the back is kind of "hers". If she will let us use the backyard we would put in three boxes back there. There is room for more but we do not want to start too big. It doesn't hurt to ask, right? I am conflicted about it though. The boxes would be so much closer if we did them on the side and I think I would take better care of them if they are just outside the front door(we do not have a back door so we walk all the way around the house to get to the back yard). Really not a big deal, but it might be better to start close. I do not know. I waffle. *grin*

Jack is getting ready to pull the few weeds we have. He is very excited to do it. Christy is making chocolate chip cookies. Toby and Hannah have croup and are miserable sick babies. It is freezing cold again today. *sigh*

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Some knitting finished projects to show you!

pattern: LTK Picky Pants
size: Medium
yarn: Peace Fleece
colorway: Kamchatka Sea Moss
needles: US 8
modifications: I knit the legs several inches longer


pattern: Dandelion Dreamers Sleepy Soaker Sack
size: Preemie
yarn: Patons SWS
colorway: Natural Green
needles: US 4 & 8
mosifications: I knit the ribbing with size 4 needles instead of the recommended size 6.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February Magic Ball of Yarn(MBOY)

I participated in a yarn swap this month. What you do is get some treasures and wrap them up in yarn and then send it to your person.

Let's just say that the lovely person that had my name has made us very happy knitters in this home! Thanks Theresa!
The ball on the left is mine and the one on the right is Rain's.

Christy was so surprised and happy to have a ball sent to her!

The yarn is Peaches and Cream cotton and inside were lots and adorable sheep stickers(which Christy shared with her brothers and sister)and the cutest little hair clips! She loves it all! Christy cast on for a dish cloth last night:

My ball in all its glory:

The yarn is 500 yards of Henry's Attic Carrera. It is a 50% wool/50% silk yarn and just heavenly! Theresa kettle dyed it a gorgeous cocoa for me! The yarn is so beautiful!

The brown shades vary slightly throughout:

Can you see it? You really cannot capture the soul of fiber on a camera.

I am waiting for it to whisper to me what it wants to become. Any suggestions? Something for me.

Also included: Cute whale buttons, lots of yummy tea and chocolate!, lavender wool wash, a cute dragonfly keychain, some pretty little stitch markers, a beautiful pink and brown ribbon!, a lovely candle.........I know I am forgetting some things.......OH! a cute little sticky pad that will be great for marking my patterns..........what else?

Thank you so much! *grin*

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Seeking Simplicity


I really feel that our family needs to move forward in this direction. There are so many facets of our life we can simplify that I am having a hard time deciding where to start.

Along with simplifying I feel the call to be more green. I feel it all goes together, at least for us. We already cloth diaper and I knit all of the diaper covers we use(longies, shorts, soakers).

I have read of compacting and I am considering that. I only have a loose understanding of it but I think you make a Compact for yourself and family. Basically you are trying to reduce consumption and waste. You refrain from buying things new if you can avoid it. You focus on supporting local business. Anyways, I am butchering this I know. I will post more when I actually know what I am talking about.

De-cluttering is another thing we really need to do. We live in a small basement apartment. We are a family of 6 living in 900sqf. I like living in a little home. We are overrun by clutter though and our home will be so much more enjoyable when it is clutter free!

I have another sponge started for sourdough bread. My last attempt was pretty good but I am still working on baking the perfect bread.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A change of heart

I have knitting to show you, maybe tomorrow.

I mentor a study circle that meets via conference call on Saturday mornings. I just love this! We focus on understanding the atonement of Christ and internalizing it and applying it in our lives. This is the second time I have mentored this group and I am so grateful to the amazing woman I have had in my circles. We study scriptures from The Book of Mormon and work to apply the principles found in it.

Today we talked about trusting in the Lord and putting Him first. One of our past prophets, President Benson said "When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives" (President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1988, p.4).

They key is to really put God first. I challenged our circle to try that this week. To start each day by going to Him and asking for for His guidance. To ask to know His will and for a willing heart.

I am excited to see how this week unfolds! :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Finding a balance

Dinner was good last night. I ate one bite of the roast and didn't gag.

I am trying to find a balance here. I have found a lot of valuable information relating to traditional foods. I just do not believe it is all good for my family. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we have been given a revelation about our health. It is called The Word of Wisdom and is found in the Doctrine and Covenants- Section 89. I have found that most members of my church focus on the "don'ts". No alcohol, drugs, coffee, etc... But, and this is a BIG but, there is so much more revelation given in this section!

Grain is ordained to be the staff of life. Herbs and "as also fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground-" are for us.

Verse 10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
Verse 11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

Verse 12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
Verse 13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

Verse 14 All agrain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;

I love the Word of Wisdom! Here are the last few verses. I find them so beautiful and hopeful!:

Verse 18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
Verse 19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of dknowledge, even hidden treasures;
Verse 20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
Verse 21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

You can find the whole section here:
You will have to copy and paste, I cannot seem to post a link on this blog.

I am going to be revamping our diet to better meet the needs of our family and the revelation given to us.
1-Wholesome Grains are going to play a bigger role in our diets. I am going to keep working on my sourdough and hope to have something spectacular soon.
2-I am going to find a raw milk source and I hope to get cream too so I can make butter.
3-We are going to eat more fruits and vegetables.
4-Meat will be eaten sparingly but I will also prepare it in a healthy way. I am also going to find a source for healthy meat.

I know more inspiration will be given to me as we go. "Line upon line, precept upon precept......."

I am really looking forward to spring. I want to join a CSA and be a regular at the farmer's markets come summer time.

I am excited about our little garden. We have but a tiny patch of ground so I am going to be researching square foot gardening. I have much hope for the spring!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I have discovered Lost. I rented the first 3 disks of Season One a couple of days ago and I am hooked! I have finished those so I am going to head over to the video store this afternoon to pick up a few more disks.

I forgot about my new sponge last night until I was in bed cuddled with Hannah. My back was in spasms and I had a headache so I stayed cozy warm under the blankets. This morning it smelled like vomit so I threw it out and I will try again.

I have a chuck roast in the crock pot for dinner and broccoli and noodles in the oven for lunch.

Today I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sourdough Take One

I want to document how I made this batch so I can remember. I made a sponge in the morning with 1.5 cups starter and added 3 cups WW flour and 2 cups unbleached flour and 4 cups water. I let is sit for about 11 hours and then I added 4 cups WW flour and 1/2 cup water and 2 tsp salt. I kneaded it for 10 min and then oiled my dutch oven. I put the dough in the pan and covered it with a cloth diaper and let it sit overnight on my counter.

I woke up this morning to find my dough had risen over the edges of my pan. So, I squished it back in and let it rise an hour longer. I placed my pan on the back burner of my stove and turned the oven on to heat it up nicely.

This morning I preheated the oven to 400, slashed the top of the dough and cooked it for 10 min. Then I turned the oven down to 325 and baked it for 70 min.

The crust was pretty hard. I oiled my dutch oven with coconut oil but I still could not get the dang bread out in one piece.

It was so heavy my poor cooling rack was sagging! LOL! The inside was nice and chewy. Pretty sour though. I am not a big fan of sourdough but I will learn. :) It tastes much better with butter slathered on it. I think I will make a smaller loaf this next time. I started a new sponge with 1 cup starter, 1 cup WW flour and 1 cup unbleached flour, and 1 1/2 cups water.
*fingers crossed!*

In knitting news-I am working on Hannah's longies:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

My proofing box

Here is a picture of my lovely proofing box.

Here is the inside:

I now have 4 jars of starter and I have a sponge sitting on my counter. *HUGE grin* My mom and sister are each getting a jar of starter and I will ask my sister-in-law of she wants one as well.

Here is my sponge:

See that bubble? That little bubble in the bottom left corner? It is much easier to see in real life. My sponge has only been sitting out for about an hour and it already has one bubble! I cannot believe how excited I am about this sourdough experience(or should I say experiment?)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Traditional Foods

I am looking into the Traditional Foods way of eating. I have been a vegetarian for the last 17 years. Except when pregnant I crave meat so I eat a little chicken then. Really, I HATE the taste and texture of meat. It makes me nauseous to even think about eating meat, let alone to actually have it in my mouth. *shudder*

My health is in the toilet and I have been feeling for the last year that this is something I need to do.

I have sourdough starter in a proofing box that John made for me yesterday. We all went to the hardware store and John picked out several gadgets. He came home and a little electrical tape and fidgeting later I had a snazzy heat light on a dimmer switch. He cut a hole in the top of a styrofoam cooler and put the light through it. Viola! A proofing box! Now my starter is in a quart canning jar under the cooler. I am really excited about this. I LOVE to make bread and I love to bake and be in the kitchen. To be honest, I find that when I am making food for my family that is healthy I tend to say a little prayer over it. I do not do it consciously(most of the time)but I want to start doing that.

Yesterday as I was mixing up my culture(I ordered it from found my self saying a little prayer and thinking about the health and well being of my family.

Bread is the easy part for me, and I am going to start making yogurt. I am looking into raw milk sources and excited about that as well. I do not want to think about the meat aspect. LOL!

John and the children eat meat and they seem very excited about this change. :)

I figure even if I only eat one or two bites of meat to start it is okay. Baby steps.

We had tons of fun talking about how sourdough works and the children are just as excited as I am about watching our culture do its stuff. They are helping me monitor the temp in the proofing box.

I bought Nourishing Traditions and Wild Fermentation to read and when I ordered my sourdough culture I also ordered Classic Sourdoughs.

Wish me luck!