Living a little ‘Greener’ today

Today’s post is all about some healthy stuff. Now before you roll your eyes hear me out. 

OK, maybe I’ve been getting a little bit more involved with some of the greener choices lately – but honestly is that all so bad? Not only is it better for the earth but it just might also be better for you. Also I’m thinking that my dish soap might have cost me about $0.10 to $0.15 to make,  so that’s not all that bad is it? 

Enough of the speeches. So here is my Green Blog for the month. 

Homemade Dish Soapnow this is the first time I made this, but so far so good on the bubbles and stability of it. 

1 ¼ cup boiling water
¼ cup (tightly packed) grated bar soap. * I used my homemade soap :)IMG_2891

Dissolve soap in hot waterIMG_2892

Add 1 Tbsp washing soad (more for thicker soap) and stir

Add ¼ cup liquid castile soap and stir

Let mixture cool and add essential oils if you like (I added lemon)IMG_2893

Transfer to repurposed dispenser and if it’s too thick just add a little water to thin
Shake before you use itDSCN9918

The next thing I made was some breakfast cookies that don’t have any sugar in them. Check them out

No Bake Breakfast Cookies (Amy’s recipe)

Mix in a large pot on the stove:
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup honey 
6 Tbsp cocoa
¼ cup peanut butter
½ cup milk

I used local fresh honey - Yum!

I used local fresh honey – Yum!

Bring to a boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat.
Add:
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups quick oats
½ c ground flax seed (I used wheat germ)

Spoon on wax paper or parchment paper to coolIMG_2900

And last on my list is a detox method for your bath. Yea, after all that healthy stuff right? Well here is that mixture. What you do is to put it in your bath and after about 20 minutes you get out and take a quick cool shower. Oh yea, you’re supposed to drink a bunch of water before and after. I’m thinking this bath soak is on my to do list this weekend.

Detox Bath Salt

In a container (I used a canning jar) add 2 cups of Epson Salt, 1 cup baking soda, and about 10 drops of essential oil if you like.DSCN9917

Shake and then enjoy a nice warm bath

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Next Project

Life gets crazy doesn’t it? I mean we are all have about 50 more things on our list that we should do and it’s like a breath of fresh air when you actually could be getting close to getting one done.

That’s where I’m at right now. Kyle and I have been helping out with making the next book for our upcoming town’s festival – Irish Fest, and the clock is ticking to when we need to have it done. So we’re at the final stages of the game and it sure is a good feeling. The book team has worked really hard in making it as accurate as possible and with the most amount of information. What we’re hoping for is that in the future other people can use it as a reference for our town. But… we’re close to getting it done and my next thing that I want to work on is the old milk house on our farm.

I want to make it into a soap shed (Milk House Soaps) . Kinda cool name huh? Well, for now when I want to make soap I have to prep the kitchen and make double and triple sure that I get it all cleaned up. You know that lye stuff isn’t too good for you :)

And once I get the milk house all cool and everything I’ll switch it over for when we have the Daryl’s family Fun Day at our farm in June for the little girls. The girls try to find their own hiding spot away from the boys when they’re together and this soap shed will turn into a playhouse for one weekend of the year. By now I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself – she is a genius!

So my next adventure starts hopefully this weekend. I don’t know if you have ever done this, but I needed to clean out a different shed earlier this spring so that stuff was put in this milk house as a quick fix that wasn’t supposed to be a long term solution. Well, it’s kind of going on the long term solution thing right now so I better get started.

The milk house as it stands today.

The milk house as it stands today.

As I was thinking of what I need in there and how I should have it set up, at lunch earlier this week I was checking out some stuff on my phone and then I saw it. It was an old tin shelving unit. It was like a sign or something that I should get it. I Loved it! I also couldn’t quit thinking about it. To justify buying it, in my head I had it used in almost every part of our house along with the milk house. Score! That’s where I’ll use it. So I contacted the person and said I’ll take it and that I’ll pick it up tonight.

I had a ‘cash voucher’ from the boys that I was pegged to use on a Spa Day in town, but I thought this is something that I wanted to have and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if I used it on this instead. So after work I raced home to switch out the little car for the Pacifica. I didn’t really want to tell Daryl just yet what I was doing and that I might need the truck, and I was pretty sure that it would fit in the Pacifica. Key words here are pretty sure.

After grabbing a Diet Coke and my cash envelope – off I go. I was sure hoping that I liked this, I mean giving up a Spa Day right?

I found the store that had the shelving with no problem and when I walked inside – I knew that it was the right choice. It looked like it came out of someones garage or old store and it was going to be perfect. It has some gunk or grease on it so it’ll need some lovin’ before I use it, but it wasn’t bad.

Now will it fit in the car? The shop owners were helping me and when they saw that I had a car and not a truck – they looked at the car and then they looked at me and asked if it was going to fit. So I mustered up all my confidence and said – ‘You bet!’

And guess what? It did fit! SCORE!!

Can you say.. Close fit?

Can you say.. Close fit?

Now I had the steering wheel jammed under my… well you can about guess what,  and because the seat was pushed so far ahead my knees were almost literally under my chin. But I had the shelf in my car and we were heading home for the next project on my list. Sometimes you know that you just have to pay the price for making it work. And if that price is not really swallowing for about 30 miles because your knees were jamming in your throat – well so be it.

Once I got home, Kyle helped me unload it into the garage and then I showed Daryl.IMG_2876

I laughed when he looked at it and said ‘This is what you traded your Spa Day in for?” I just smiled and said  You bet!. I’m not sure if he’s a fan of it and it’s a good thing he didn’t know that I was originally going to put it in the house :)

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Mystery Photo 5-20-15

Ready?

Here is the clue IMG_2879

Posted in Wednesday's Challenge Photo | 2 Comments

Answer to Mystery Photo 5-13-15

Impressed! That’s all I can say Bruce is that I’m impressed!

Here was the clueDSCN9909

and here was the answer to the puzzle. Yup, it was the handle to an old chicken feeder. DSCN9909 - Version 2

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Just plain naughty!

Well it’s been about a week since I posted something bad about our dogs so I’m due right? 

What happened this week was that our little chicks are getting bigger and bigger as the days go by and they are drinking more water each day. Now the water that they drink out of is a mason jar tipped with one of those adapters on it. The water is stored in the mason jar until the bottom reservoir is getting empty and then it fills it back up again. Yup, pretty slick. 

But as the chickens get bigger, you’ll run out of water pretty fast and unless you want to be on ‘Water Guard’ all day, you want to go to the next step up in the water world and buy a bigger container. 

And that’s where the naughty dogs come in. 

Daryl came home from work and I didn’t think much about it. He was busy doing stuff outside. Pretty normal evening for us on the farm. But then while I was in the kitchen he came in and set a chicken waterer on the table and just shook his head. Now I wasn’t sure what was going on, but seriously it didn’t take a rocket scientist for me to figure out that something went wrong. 

What the problem was that he just bought the new waterer that night on the way home from work and set it down on the water pump in the yard and then he went into the barn. And the dogs must have been watching him from the house and just hoping that he was going to leave it set out. Because when he came out of the barn he said Kaiser had the piece taken apart and was running through the yard with just the water part. If you can imagine what that looked like, you can then almost see that this probably isn’t going to hold water anymore with all the teeth holes poked into the plastic. 

So Kyle and I was looking to see if it was junk or not and we decided to get out the duck tape. I have a friend that would put duck tape on some of the craziest things so why not try it on this? Seriously we weren’t out anything if it didn’t work. I mean now it was looking like a water can that was tipped when we first put water in it. Just spewing water from all sides of the container. 

Now the whole duck tape thing isn’t the best idea but it’s also not the worst idea. It’s holding water for now, but I’m thinking that we’ll probably need to see what else we can find for the little chicks. IMG_2868

Those naughty dogs! Good thing they’re cute.

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Mushroom Hunting Season

It’s mushroom hunting season around the area and this year seems like it’s going to be a bumper crop!

If you’ve never had fresh mushrooms before from the timber – well I’m kinda feeling bad for you. I’ll give the recipe later in the post and then you’ll know why they are sooooo good and you’re missing out!

Now if you’re asking yourself if I actually went out to the timber and found these mushrooms myself – well the answer is no. But my brother is an awesome mushroom hunter and every year he drops off about two meals worth for me to eat. The good thing about cooking them up in our house is that no one else likes them much except for me. Yea… can you say SCORE! Whoo hooo!!

What you have to do is to go find a certain tree (not sure which kind) and on one side of the tree (not sure which side) and in certain weather (I think when it’s sunny but not too hot) OK, as you can tell I’m not a good mushroom hunter. If I can’t find a mushroom patch in let’s say the first 10 minutes I would rather give up and look for frogs or something. Patience isn’t something that is a strong point for me.  But with two bags full and keeping a secret the good spots to hunt – I appreciate having my brother stop in every year with some for me.IMG_2867

So here is the recipe : I take the mushrooms and cut them in half and soak them in salted cold water overnight. Now I’m not saying that over the years I probably haven’t eaten an ant or some kind of small bug or two and if you don’t do this step, well you might be eating some ants also. So just for giggles I looked up on the internet how many bugs people actually do eat and man oh man am I sorry that I did!

Check it out  – “The Food and Drug Administration has surprisingly specific guidelines about exactly how many bug parts can be in certain foods. Your 8-ounce (226-gram) glass of orange juice, for example, can legally contain five fruit flies. There could be 50 aphids, mites or thrips plus some caterpillar larvae in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of frozen spinach. Thrips, tiny winged parasites that are up to an eighth of an inch long, hang out in apple butter, and frozen asparagus, broccoli and Brussels sprouts [source: FDA]. And that’s just for starters.”

Yea… so gross. Kinda wish now that I didn’t look that up. 

Wow did I really get off the subject there. OK, back to the mushrooms. So I know that there are usually tiny ants in mushrooms so into salt water they go to soak overnight. Then the next day, you wash them off and your’e ready for the next step.

This step is to get out some crackers, butter, and eggs. IMG_2869Whip the eggs and crush the crackers. Now put some butter in the pan and then put some more in the pan. (Here is where the meal gets a little calorie heavy) After you dunk the mushroom in the eggs, coat it in the crackers and then fry it until golden brown in the butter. IMG_2871Now depending how many you’re going to do in a meal, you might have to replenish the butter in the pan at least once while you are cooking :)

Now a little salt and pepper to finish it off and bon appetit!IMG_2874

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A much needed getaway planned

Have you ever got to a point when even sitting in the hot bath tub just won’t let you relax? Well that’s the point that we’ve been at lately and it seems like the perfect time to run away for a little while and go someplace to relax.

And the timing couldn’t be better. Last fall I ordered Daryl’s birthday gifts and we (sorry .. Daryl :) ) was able to use the first one on Saturday. You see his birthday gifts were to go see two concerts this year and so we were off to the Cities to see the first one. The concert was Billy Joel along with the opening act of Gavin DeGraw. Yea, can you say Fun?

So Kyle helped us out with the chores and also to watch over the animals,  and with knowing that – we were off! It wasn’t the most perfect weather, but hey we were headed for a weekend get away and going to a concert. Life is good!20150516_140440_resized

We purposely booked a hotel out of the cities and took the light rail system to get downtown. It worked out just perfect. Once we got downtown, we found a small pub to grab something to eat before the concert and we only had to walk one block to get to the Target Center where we needed to get go. Seriously, I was kinda wishing it was going to be a little further because with all the food I ate,  I think I could have used the walk!

So we hung out the night with some of our closest friends at the concert, all 19,000 of them in a sold out crowd. Our seats were pretty high in the nose bleed area, but they weren’t the worst that we’ve ever had either. 20150516_205405_resized The opening act was Gavin DeGraw and then followed by Billy Joel. The concert lasted 3 hours and it was a great!.20150516_211100_resized

After a quick trip back on the rail system, we called our hotel and got picked up in no time. Like I said earlier, we purposely stayed out of town to stay away from all the traffic of driving your own car into the city and we decided that this was a very good choice.

While on the train I snapped a quick picture of the new Viking’s stadium that they are building. I’m not that much of a football fan, but it was pretty cool to see it being built.20150516_181220_resized

When we got home Sunday afternoon we wanted to see just how well our car did in that driving. It was windy and rainy so we weren’t quick sure how she was going to do. But we had exactly 329 miles that we put on and had used 7 gallons of gas. Not bad, not bad at all!

The rest of our Sunday afternoon/evening is filled with graduation parties to go to and that will be fun to catch up with some of our friends at those parties.

What a great weekend!

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The sun makes everyone feel better

When the sun shines it sure makes everyone feel so much better doesn’t it? Well we’ve been in a rainy pattern lately and even though I don’t think anyone should complain on the rain because we’re always looking for it come July – but when the sun came out this afternoon, it was sure noticeable that everyone just wanted to be outside just soaking up the rays.

Here’s a couple of shots that I took while the sun was out today:

First the chickens – they’re pretty lucky that Daryl isn’t home yet and wanted to use that tractor! There’s like a million spots to lay, but for some reason this was the best one today!DSC_0490

The next one is that of Sam the peacock. I like this picture because it shows just how long peacock tails really get. I thought that he was starting to loose his feathers, but by the looks of it, not yet. I started to run again (OK, that’s kind of a loose term) anyway, I’ve looked behind me more than once because I feel like I’ve got a lead anchor tied to my backside and now I know how these peacocks feel!  DSC_0491 - Version 2

And finally the dogs. Now I’m not sure if they’re enjoying the sunshine or if they’re just plain bored. My guess? Well I’d have to say it kind of looks like boredom to me :)DSC_0496

Posted in Farm animals, Our dogs | 4 Comments

Mystery Photo 5-13-15

OK, not that I purposely tried to make this one hard – but let’s see who can guess this one!

Here is the clue

DSCN9909

Posted in Wednesday's Challenge Photo | 3 Comments

Answer to Mystery Photo 5-6-15

By how fast last weeks photo was guessed – I’m thinking it might not have been too hard.

Here is the clueDSCN9798a

and here is the answer to the puzzle – it is our gravity wagon!

Whooo Hooo Elaine and Tammy!! DSCN9798

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