right now

right now

Dec 12, 2009

This one's for all the moms...

Look what I'm doing on a happenin' Saturday night! That's right - entertaining FOUR boys under the age of 7 !! When did I become such a mom?! And hey girls, we will get our life back eventually, right? Granted, we will have fewer brain cells (kids suck them out of us), may not be as svelte and hip, but someone please tell me this won't be my Saturday night forever...

Boys roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate around the firepit - temps in the 20's but the sugar is good fuel! Me? - I'll take my Irish coffee instead, maybe by IV before the night is through since we already have one bloody lip and it's only 7 p.m.

Afterwards, trying to get them to settle down by watching "The Polar Express". It's not working...see the redhead on the couch poised in the "kick position"?

And what do you think Sailor/Hubby/Farmer is doing? Why, he's outside with a friend brewing a batch of Cream Ale and having a great ol' time. Payback's a bitch...!

Sending Virtual Calories Your Way!

I have been a busy girl today!

Molasses Cookies, Macaroons dipped in dark chocolate, Chocolate-Coconut Thingies, and Pumpkin Loaf

Dec 11, 2009

Our Christmas Prep!

First, I apologize for the horrid photographs! I am hoping Santa brings me a new camera, but it is doubtful at this point, lol. Until Santa can get adequate funds together, I am using my iPhone camera which is notorious for substandard photos. It's good for a lot of things, pictures aren't one of them!

It has been getting into the 28-32 degree range at night (finally!) so we had sufficient Christmas spirit to decorate the house. Here's a little tour of our preparations!

There's Finnegan decorating our skinny tree, everything must be skinny to fit in this house, lol!

Teaching Finnegan the art of stringing popcorn & cranberries!

On the right is Finn's bowl of pinecones and ornaments. I must admit it is just what I would have done! Our house is what I would call "modern-cabin" (an oxymoron, I know), so traditional red & green and excess stuff everywhere really doesn't match the house, so we develop our Christmas style as we go every year!

Yes, Mama Pea, that thing with the orange flag on it is exactly what you think it is, lol! My husband is not big on Christmas decor, but he does like this particular piece of winter on the shelf. Sometimes I catch him looking at it longingly, I wonder if he is waiting for the flag to trip on that imaginary muskie swimming around the living room!

For our table we just used pinecones, we have bags and bags of them, and Loch had a good idea to fill a glass with cranberries!

Here's a view of the kitchen, we have to decorate "up high" so we don't take up too much space, so I put this up in all the doorways. My husband laughs at my garish blue tinsel and lights on the back wall over our "homebrew bar". I was going for "dive bar"... what local small town bar doesn't have garish tinsel all over at Christmas, and globs of icicles and lights draped up around mooseheads and rack mounts LOL?

Here's the back deck, I always decorate the backyard instead of the front, since that is where we tend to entertain, as long as the weather cooperates and the wind is faint enough to have a roaring fire in the firepit.

Garish kiddie decorations are okay out here!

It will be a "Traditional Military Christmas" this year, that is, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day surrounded by friends and people we share no relation to whatsoever! Every person we know hails from a different part of the country, so it's always a tradition surprise at someone's house every year! It makes it fun, and it is very low stress and usually a pot luck affair, with stragglers showing up throughout as they get off duty, etc. It is always a collection of very different personalities thrown together by circumstance, and is always a time to meet new friends as well as those we have been stationed with for a long time. Although sometimes these are loose relationships due to frequent moving and deployments, military friends are those you can call on after 20 years of being apart and you are still welcomed with open arms and offers of help if needed. We all understand what it is like to be away from your family over the holidays, so we make our own gypsy family, and the kids will still have many memories of these Holiday Gatherings.

"Happy Decorating" to all! I am a sucker for holiday decorations and would love to see yours, keep the photos coming!

Dec 8, 2009

Odds & Ends

So that's what winter is for! The past 2 days I have been catching up on all neglected things around the house and miscellaneous suburban homesteading busywork. I finally did all my windows, and more importantly, my white shutters on all the windows that have been collecting dust and just bugging me in general (one of those things that nobody notices except me, lol)! I posted last spring about my "freezer inventory" list - well, that hasn't been updated in a good long while, like all summer, and as a result I have a freezer full of God-knows-what plus all the frozen veggies from the past summer, so that's done too! Now I can stop wasting money buying things that I already had in the depths of my little deep freezer. I highly recommend this if you store alot of garden veggies and like us, meat that we buy by the share. It's difficult to keep track of all the cuts otherwise!

This morning so far I have been tending to my laundry room - HA! Laundry CLOSET, that is. Since it is hidden by a curtain and the only unseen landing pad in the house, it was stacked sky-high with Christmas stuff, laundry supplies, tools, you name it - it goes here. It needed to be cleaned out since this is also my seed-starting/grow lights area, and that time is coming up swiftly! After organizing that somewhat, it was time to make laundry detergent. I did a post about making liquid laundry detergent, and it works great and is fun for the kids to help make, but this time decided to try homemade powder detergent. This stuff whips up in about 2 minutes so that is a definite time saver. I just finished washing a load and it appears to work just as well as the liquid.  The recipe I used today is as follows:

Powdered Detergent:
- 2 cups grated bar soap (I use Zote, Fels Naptha, or whatever laundry/plain soap I can find cheap) - just use a cheese grater on the fine grate size
- 1 cup Borax Powder
- 1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda! This can be hard to find in some areas, but I now go straight to an Asian or Mexican grocery store where I can always find it! Some people report WalMart always has it, but this is not true in my area)
- Optional: 1/4 cup of OxiClean (I don't use it)
- Mix all together and place in a sealed container. Use 1 tbsp per load, 2 if extra dirty - That's It!!!

Fabric Softener:
I just use plain vinegar with a few drops of essential oil added for scent. You do not need to use essential oil, believe me, your clothes will NOT smell like vinegar! I just use it 'cause it makes me feel pretty while doing my laundry LOL

I also want to add that I have reached my 1-year anniversary!!  That's 1 whole year since I have purchased store bought laundry detergent or household cleansers!!  

I have many other things planned around here this week that I won't bore you with because they all involve closets and cupboards and other unseen messes, but I am hoping to actually get out into the garden and tidy up a bit more this week also. I see out the window I have gorgeous salad fixin's just waiting to be harvested and now that incessant rainy yucky weather has slowed, maybe I can get motivated to get some mittens on and get out there!

Interesting Tidbit:  I balanced my checkbook the other day - let me add that I have been spot on to the penny since I first started doing this in high school - and .... I was $184.82 off ...IN MY FAVOR!  I have waited a few days and did it again.... still the same.  WooHoo!  Of course I won't spend it since I fear that some alien transaction will reappear at an inconvenient time, but hey, it's like an early Christmas. This good fortune will never happen again, lol!  I am also having trouble with the new post editor on the blog so if the fonts and spacing are off, I apologize.