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Friday, February 26, 2010

Three years...

Tomorrow Ellen will turn three years old! What happened to all of that time? Where did the infant go? It's amazing how much they change, and how fast it all happens.

I remember driving myself to the hospital to get induced. I remember killing a cat on the highway at 4:30 AM on my way there, and crying the rest of the way to the hospital.

I remember not being given anything to eat but nasty Jell-O for 20-some hours until after she was born.

I remember snitching a granola bar or two from the overnight bag I'd brought.

I remember how the nurse didn't believe I was having contractions very often because the monitor didn't show them, but they were reallly low and concentrated in my back. I also remember this same nurse helping coach me and telling me what to do and how to breathe and all I could think was how I wanted to bash her one...she'd never had a baby before...who did she think she was telling ME what to do?! (haha)

I remember how at one point Ellen's heartrate dropped to 6 on the monitor and how the doc nearly went straight up.

I remember how thankful I was when her rate went back up immediately after.

I remember how Ellen pooped all over the doc when she finally appeared on the scene.

I remember how nervous hubby was when he finally had to hold her. Age 48 and never held a baby before.

I remember how that first week home with Ellen was the longest week of my life. All the new things to remember and do...and so little sleep.

Oh, Ellen...what memories you have brought me already. And you're only/already THREE!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Preparing for Spring

No, not cleaning, unfortunately.

This past weekend, and today, I planted a bunch of seeds; bell peppers and tomatoes. The peppers are pretty much an experiment. They are really hard to sprout. I will probably have to end up buying plants, but I planted a whole .20 cent pack...probably some 12-18 seeds, in hopes that at least ONE of them will come up.

I have grown hot paprika peppers from seeds from the Czech Republic before, a couple years ago, but didn't have much luck with them last year. Perhaps that was more due to Ellen's having knocked them off the porch than anything the peppers did or didn't do.

At any rate, I counted up that I have planted about 94 tomato seeds, from about 3 different varieties. I got a flat of those peat pot starter kit thingys...whatchamacallums... The lady there at Wal-Mart said they work really well, so I am hoping we will get something out of them.

Last year we had 49 producing tomato plants, so I figure we will do pretty well if even only half of what I have planted survive.

Now we just have to get all the clearing and tilling and suchlike done. This year, hubby strictly forbids me from planting the rows any closer than about 36 inches apart, so he can get the tiller down the rows.

Or better put, so I can get the tiller down the rows.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Word Verification and other annoying things...

OK. I wanted to avoid this but I have changed the comment settings to require a word verification. This is to avoid stuff such as the following:

I inclination not acquiesce in on it. I over warm-hearted post. Particularly the title-deed attracted me to be familiar with the unscathed story.

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Good day, sun shines!
There have been times of hardship when I felt unhappy missing knowledge about opportunities of getting high yields on investments. I was a dump and downright pessimistic person.
I have never imagined that there weren't any need in big initial investment.
Now, I'm happy and lucky , I started take up real money.
It gets down to choose a proper companion who utilizes your money in a right way - that is incorporate it in real deals, parts and divides the income with me.
You may ask, if there are such firms? I'm obliged to answer the truth, YES, there are. Please get to know about one of them:

The top two I left, just because they are funny and didn't have some dubious link attached to their comment. The last one did have a link to some money blog, which I deleted.

These comments mostly show up in older posts. At first I'd get one of these every few weeks, but now they are coming in with alarming regularity. Dunno if the word verification will stop it all or not. I don't want to have to do the approval thingy, but we'll see how well this works.

Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Going Green on the Dairy-part two

One thing I hate about cleaning the shower stall and bathtubs, sinks...etc, is the hideous stink of the cleaners. It would seem that if it doesn't have an odor strong enough to strip your sinus cavities, it doesn't have any cleaning power. And that includes just the straight vinegar that is supposed to strip away the lime and hard water stains.

I read an article awhile back that said that even though those spray cleaners are "supposed" to be safe, they will actually worsen any asthma or other breathing problems you may have, or potentially cause some.

So...while reading through one of my cooking magazines I came across this recipe for a cleaner:

Bathroom Cleaner

1/2 C liquid dish detergent
1/2 C baking soda
1/4 C vinegar

Mix together and use on sinks and bathtubs.

Not wanting to waste what liquid dish detergent I had on hand, I used some of the homemade liquid laundry detergent from my previous post instead. It did work quite well actually, even on the lime in the shower. One note I must make is to not let it dry. I don't think it does any harm, but it's just a bit harder to rinse off.

So, these are my two efforts towards the green movement. On top of this I also think I ought to get green points for being crazy enough to hang out my laundry to dry on the line when it's 10 degrees or less outside.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Going Green on the Dairy...part one

No...this won't be a gross green post. "Green"... as in, you know...environmentally friendly.

A few weeks ago a cousin emailed me a recipe for homemade liquid laundry detergent. A pretty simple recipe. I tried it and actually like it, except for the fact that it separates and gets kind of clumpy. You have to shake it fairly vigorously to get it back to a liquid-y form. seems to work well, even on hubby's nasty chore clothes. Though I still do spot-treat them.

Here is that recipe:

(All ingredients can be purchased for under $5-6 for all! and will make several batches.)

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

1 quart Water (boiling) + 2 more gallons of room temp water

2 cups Bar soap (grated) Use Naphtha soap bar (other can be used, but make sure there's no oils in it; 2 cups is all but a small chunk of the Naphtha soap/ I used the whole bar)

2 cups Borax

2 cups Super Washing Soda (it’s an Arm & Hammer box found next to the Borax-must use exactly this!)

*Heat 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium-sized pan

*Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water, stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.

* Pour the soap water into a large clean pail or 5 gallon bucket and immediately add the borax and washing soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.

*Add 2 gallons of room temperature water (not hot / not cold) stir until well mixed.

*Cover pail/bucket leave overnight (will gel) Wait till soap has sat overnight before filling bottles.

*You may add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons once soap has cooled:
Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil. (I didn't see the need...the Naphtha I used was scented and that was enough to "flavor" the whole batch.)

*Shake bottle before each use (does separate when it sits)

*Use ¼ to ½ cup per load. For chore clothes I used 3/4 cup.

Save up and rinse out old bottles to store this in. It makes well over 2 gallons. I used a couple 1/2 gallon milk jugs as well as old laundry detergent bottles.

Note: soap isn't as sudsy as you might be used to but do not worry it has nothing to do with the cleaning power.

*Note to NOT try to do this whole process 15 minutes before time to make supper. It takes much longer than you might think to grate a bar of soap! And it takes even LONGER than that for said grated soap to dissolve..even if you DO keep the heat on.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lord, please let it last

Ellen's newest thing is helping set and clear the table at meal times. She is so cute about it. I set things down where she can reach them and she arranges them, to her specs, on the table. Sometimes she makes me righthanded and sometimes she makes hubby a lefty.
She has to talk herself through the process..."One spoon for Mama, one spoon for Daddy."

"One fork for Mama, one fork for Daddy."


I am hoping and praying that this phase will last until she is oh, about 20 or more. At least until she decides to move out of the house. My mom does not give that notion a good probability rating. But I can at least hope, can't I?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's always a first...

After over 5 years of living on the dairy here, there still seems to be "firsts" happening. Things that have never happened here before that is...even for hubby; and he has been running this dairy for well over 20 years.

A couple of years back he went up the road to check on a cow that was due to calve. There she was, standing there grazing, seemingly unconcerned about the calf that was dangling from her backside. It was almost all the way out, except for the back hips; the front hooves hanging just above the grass. It was alive and bawling occasionally. Hubby chased her with the 4-wheeler, managed to hop off and grab the calf, which fell out with no injuries. He said it was the beatin'est thing he'd ever seen.

The first time I came to visit, back before we got married, there was a calf here with no tail. It was a weird looking thing and ended up dying before it was a month old, I believe.

Way back before my time here he also had a calf born with no hair. He gave it to a vet, who said it died as well.

There was another first while I was here, but it was really bad and ended with a bullet, so I won't go into it.

Then yesterday another bad deal. A first calf heifer had a bad calving (calf died) and ended up with calving paralysis. She couldn't stand up. We don't have the equipment to treat this, even had she been worth treating. So today the neighbor is butchering a fresh beef. Hubby's never even tried to give away a downer like that, but this neighbor (who's only lived in the area 3-4 years) does butchering quite often, and was willing to take her. So that's that. I'm praying it never happens again, but you never know.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Then what do you do with them...?

Our electric co-op issues a periodical called "Rural Missouri." This latest issue had an article on "Shed Hunting."

This intrigued me.

People actually collect sheds. Go looking for them, take them home. It's perfectly legal, you just have to stay off of private property.

Shed hunting.

SHED hunting?

For reals? Surely not!

How do you hunt a shed? How do you claim them? Do you repo them from their owners? How do you get them home? Where do you keep your shed collection?

And hey! Get this: They train dogs to sniff them out! hahahaha...


No kidding!

Would you pay up to $6,500 for a fully trained shed hunting dog?

I obviously am in the wrong business. I need to start training dogs to hunt sheds.


By the way...

Here is a shed:

Shed antlers. This makes a little more sense. But my original question remains...what do they DO with them?