Sunday, May 30, 2010

Strawberries!!!!!

 Monday has escaped me. I can't remember what I did, but I know I had something going on. lol

Tuesday, I went and cleaned for my neighbor. Now that summer is here, they aren't going to be needing me anymore. Not on a regular basis anyways.

Wednesday we went to Parsons with grandma to decorate graves. We went to an antique store while we were there and they had tons of cool stuff! They had all my favorite corningware- blue cornflower. I had a nice set at one time but hardly used it and my neighbor's friend lost all his to mother nature so I gave him all mine.  I figured I could always find more again and I was right! I totally have to go back there when we get our house built so I can have room to store it all! They also had my favorite brown glass pots. And a room full of replacement lids for all kinds of things. Some of their prices were high for some things and other things were really cheap.

Thursday was co-op day. It was my first time helping at the divide here, but I was glad that I knew what to expect since I'd done it before in Kansas.  I think the other guy thought I was a wimp to help unload because when I asked him to hand me something down from the truck he handed me a container of yogurt! I'm not that weak! lol I helped unload the truck, divide the goods and helped weigh the dry items. That brought back a flood of memories since that's what I mainly did in Kansas. I miss you Dalton and everyone else from the co-op!

By the time I was done I was so tired! I am really loving though the fact that I can get organic produce for cheaper than I can get the conventional stuff at the store. I got some yummy organic avocados for $.57 each!! They were so good. My only complaint is I wish I gotten more!

So, Nick was finally able to take me to the strawberry farm on Friday. The day before apparently there had a been a lot of people because when I picked I had to hunt for them! It felt like an easter egg hunt. I'm hoping to go back next week when they've had a chance to grow and ripen. The one thing that I noticed when I squatted down to pick was how sore I was from the day before. Not just a little but a lot. If I hadn't wanted those strawberries so bad, I would have marched right back to the car, or called Nick to help carry me back!

My legs literally felt like jello and wouldn't stop shaking!  Ouch!! But I was determined and had about an hour of time to pick so I was able to pick 5 pounds in that time. Not bad since I went down almost a half row before I found some berries. It seemed I just got the bad rows, because the others that were there picking had buckets and buckets of strawberries. The last row I picked from was really loaded but by then it was time to go home. :-(

They have a share program where you get to keep 1/3 of what you pick. That's what I decided to do. I'm really glad they have that deal where you can do that.

Saturday- Nick had to work the evening shift but we spent all day together resting and relaxing. The weather has been simply gorgeous! We were using the air conditioning early in the week but with the new fans we bought we decided it wasn't necessary. There is already a nice breeze that blows through and with the addition of the fans it's almost a little chilly inside. A few times I thought I had to unpack my winter items and grab a sweater! The evenings have been so nice too. I love sleeping in cooler weather so this has been just perfect! I took off the "furry" sheets and are using some cotton ones now. Not that I find the furry ones too hot, because the comfortableness makes up for it, but I thought it was time for a change. Not to mention the fact that they drag the floor like crazy because it's the wrong size.

Oh, I also worked on the siding while Nick was at work. I got a lot done on the side of the house. And I'm glad because I'm ready to see this house get torn down. I'd like to get all the siding removed before July.

Until next time!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rain, rain, Go Away!

I am ready for some nice dry weather for a change. I was hoping to hit the berry patch last week but was so swamped that I haven't even made it over there. The season isn't that long either. And with all the rain that we've had, I can imagine it's one big muddy mess!

This week kept me very busy. I have been busy knitting up dish cloths to put on my etsy site which I hope to launch June 1st. Monday I went with Nick to work and was supposed to go to my knitting group but then got stuck at the library without my knitting bag which was in the car at the bus barn. I ended up not going at all because it was almost 2 o'clock by the time Nick was able to pick me up and some of the ladies leave at that time.

I know I need to get back into driving but I'm just not ready right now. And yes, mom, you were right when you said not to give up driving because now the thought of it scares the crap out of me! It's almost a dream I have when I think I used to drive a car, because I haven't for so long that it seems unreal. I just need to find a brave soul that wants to sit in the same car with me while I practice all over again! Being able to drive myself around town would make life go easier, so that is a goal I have for this year.

Anyways after Nick picked me up we ran a few errands and hung back at the library until 6:30. Nick's boss was retiring and they had a dinner planned for him that we went to then. We stayed a bit then headed home to rest for the evening.

Tuesday, I went to the post office early that morning. I had promised to help my friend there clean the building as she was getting an inspection done. Apparently the lady is really picky and so I cleaned and scrubbed mini blinds for three hours. Then, I went home and cleaned my neighbor's house. In between all that I did several loads of laundry.

By the time Nick got home I was pooped. I had planned to relax by taking a leisurely bike ride, but instead I helped Nick move things out of the yard so he could mow. Needless to say, I slept like a baby that night. I do like going to bed after a good hard day's work so I'm not complaining. And I wasn't hardly sore at all either which surprised me.

Wednesday was supposed to be the B-I-G inspection at the post office. So, I waited until later that morning to get the mail, not planning to stop and visit for an hour like I usually do. Nick's had bus trips all week so far by the way.

When I got there, it was raining lightly so I was really careful not to track any mud in onto the freshly mopped floor. I had no idea the original color of the floors were so light colored! Anyways, my friend had gotten an email that morning (after she came back that night and spent several more hours cleaning everything) that the inspection lady was not coming after all. Aaagh! She's supposed to come sometime in June, so I told my friend I'd come back and help her clean again. That place is like a dust magnet!

So, I ended up staying longer on Wednesday and visiting with her. We ate some salsa the night before and I went back home and brought my friend some chips and salsa to try. It made a ton and we are already sick of it! It was delicious but we ate about 4 bowls! It's a black bean and corn salsa with tomatoes and extremely good! The only thing is that every batch turns out differently based on what ingredients I have on hand!

Wednesday night I dragged out my crochet hook and re-taught myself how to make crochet sudsy sacks. I'm so glad they are back now because they are a joy to make, don't take as long to make than my knitted ones and help me use up all my scrap yarn which I thought I was going to have to toss! Last night I made up 4-5 in less than 45 minutes! With the knitted ones they took me 2 hours EACH! I'm excited to have a huge stash made up before my etsy store opens.

I also have been teaching myself how to change colors in knitting which has been a fun thing to learn. Still learning how to do it as I type.

That catches me up to today which I will write about on Sunday or Monday. Nick will be here soon and I have yet to check out some books.

Until next time!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ballband dish cloth easier than I thought!

So... I've been busy knitting items for my etsy shop and I remembered a pattern I had stashed away that was on the inside label of the yarn I buy. I've seen it numerous times but I never looked at it up close. Well, I did when I first started knitting and it looked so complicated, I never bothered to read the pattern.

So I dug it out yesterday and read through the pattern and was still a bit unsure of some of the abbreviations and terminology. Nevertheless I began knitting it and found it was super EASY! And the abbreviations I wasn't sure about, "YF" and "YB" made me laugh.

All it meant was to move the yarn to the front and to the back. While it is an easy pattern, I have had to take it out three times. It definitely needs my concentration. (so no watching t.v. while trying to knit)

I will post up a picture of it when I get it completed.

Even though my site has no listings, the web addy is: www.noelwright.etsy.com

I'm hoping to have at least 10 listings by June 1st.

Better get busy knitting...

Monday, May 10, 2010

House shaped dish cloth

Nick recently bought me a dish cloth pattern and a new cone of yarn. I've been busy knitting all week trying to use up the cone of yarn to give me an idea of how many I can make with one cone. So far, I've made 6 and there is still a lot of yarn left. My guess is that I'll be able to make 8-9 dish cloths. Not bad!

I like the pattern. It's easy to knit, but it gets tiresome only because of how I copied down the pattern. I used index cards and there are so many cards to go through. And the way I wrote it down is a bit confusing too. I just need to get to the library to make a copy of the pattern.

Speaking of patterns, I'm planning on getting a three ring binder and making paper copies of my pdf patterns so I have one easy place to get to all of them. I plan on organizing them into categories too. Like free to share with others and copyrighted must buy your own copy.

I'm hoping to find one of those zippered pouches that fit in a binder to hold my pocket scissors and needle. Maybe a crochet hook or two.

Until next time!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spring rolls, chamomile and soap.

I made some fresh spring rolls for my friend who works at the post office. I was so excited when she said she'd try them. I love friends who try new foods. Especially thai food.

Not that the fresh spring rolls I made were Thai but I was just warming her up to trying new and different things before I spring some yellow chicken curry on her. Speaking of fresh spring rolls, this  brand is my favorite. They don't seem to tear as easily which is nice when you're trying to wrap them full of goodies.

I made my favorite peanut sauce and took some wasabi paste up there for her to try. She liked it and I sent some extras home with her so her family could try them.  I really like dipping it in the wasabi paste as well as the peanut sauce.

On my way up to the post office I happened to look down at the road. I was so excited to see the chamomile springing up along cracks in the road. I just hope that some is able to blossom into flowers and I can harvest some this year. Even better to find a source not near the road! I love the smell of chamomile.

Speaking of that time of year, the local strawberry farm is getting ready to open it's doors this week. I'm super excited as I've been drooling over the thought of eating fresh local strawberries. I haven't picked their strawberries since we lived in Missouri last and I just can't wait! The lady that has the strawberry farm also has a great store in town called Interior Motives.

This is the place we've been buying our Zum soap from. We were super excited to find a local store that sells it because we don't get to go to Overland Park very often. We like to hit the Whole Foods store when we visit my sister which hasn't been in awhile.   :-(

We like and use the patchouli soap. It's one of the few soaps I can use without breaking into a rash. I've heard they even carry laundry soap by the same company. Something I want to try really soon!

Another reason I like Zum soap is because it's made in Kansas City, Missouri. I would sure love to take a tour of the place sometime, but they don't offer any!  :-(

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chickens

So, the other day Nick and I were  out driving to get a bite to eat when a truck drove past us. It was like the kind that you see that hauls animals, commercially. I looked in expecting to see pig snouts looking back at me as sometimes is the case, when my eyes took some time to adjust. In the truck bed were stacks and stacks of chickens. Live ones. They were so tightly packed in that it was hard to see where each one was. There were beaks and feet sticking out all over the place.

It surprised me that the chickens were there in the open for all to see. It was sick!

And where were we headed? We were on our way to Taco Bell/KFC (intending to eat chicken) but after I saw what I did,  I decided not to have chicken after all.

This link shows a picture of what I saw under the title: Catching, Transport and Slaughter. The only difference was the chickens I saw were brown and they were in cages along the length of the truck not the back.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tropical Energy Smoothie recipe

Tropical Energy Smoothie from whfoods.org

This is a delicious way to combine fruit with protein to energize you any time of day. One serving provides you with a rich source of health-promoting nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, manganese, and iodine. Enjoy!

Prep and Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:

2 TBS tahini
1 medium ripe banana
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1-1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 medium papaya
.

Directions:
Scoop out flesh from papaya with spoon. Add to blender with rest of ingredients. Blend until smooth. Serves 2 (8 oz glasses each)

Got the latest Yoga Journal in the mail today. These recipes featured in the "Eating Wisely" article sound scrumptious!


Who to believe

It seems there is always someone claiming that some food is either good for you or not good for you on a daily basis. And it seems to change all the time. How many times have you heard that butter is good for you? And bad too? With all the talk out there, who can you trust?

For myself, I notice that even though it's quite confusing who to believe, there are always a group of people that say the same thing and it's what I've adopted into my lifestyle.

Eat fruits and veggies.
Eat whole grains.
Eat free range meat.
Stay away from processed foods.
Eat foods in their natural state.

Northern White Bean Roll Ups

Had these leftover for lunch today. Delicious! I wrapped mine in spring roll wrappers for a tasty alternative treat!


Northern White Bean Roll Ups:

1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cooked white beans
3 Tablespoons finely chopped tomato (I used 2 Tablespoons salsa)
1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic (I used 1/2 clove garlic chopped)
1 Tablespoon fresh minced parsley (I used a dash of dried parsley)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon herbed vinegar (I used white vinegar)
1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh oregano (I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
2 jumbo whole wheat chapatis or whole wheat tortillas

Combine rice, beans, tomato, garlic and parsley. In small bowl mix olive oil, vinegar, oregano and herbs and sea salt. Pour over brown rice mixture and combine well.

Lay Chapatis on flat surface and place half of filling on center of each. Fold sides in first and fold top and bottom toward the middle. Dot ends with water and press lightly. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap until ready to serve. When it is unwrapped it will stay together.
Makes 2 servings.

Never had a chapatis before. What is it?

It was so yummy served in fresh spring roll wrappers! I cooked the rice and beans seperately so it was hot for Nick. I prefer it warm or cold in the rice wrappers.

I was kicking myself for getting rid of the cookbook that this recipe was from because I thought I had lost this recipe forever. I was super thrilled to find I had kept a copy in my blog. Yay!

Faith

On the drive home from Nevada, we watched the lightning, listened to the thunder and watched the falling rain beat upon the earth.

I saw something I've seen a thousand times only in a different way. The road we traveled was dark. We could not see what was to come- only what was directly in front of us. That is until the sky lit up- a bolt of lightning before us and you could see the road up ahead.

It was just a quick glance. But a reminder of what was there. God spoke to me and said-

Sometimes you can't see what lies ahead. But I am there. I will guide you on unfamiliar paths. Paths that you may not know where they lead. Trust me to get you where you need to go. And as you walk in faith, I will show you glimpses of what is to come. To give you hope.


(I found this note cleaning out a drawer this weekend that I wrote when we lived in KS)

Raw Food recipes

I got these from a raw foods class I took in Kansas.

Cranberry Relish:

12 ounce bag cranberries
1/2 cup RAW honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice or 1/2 small lemon juiced
1/3 cup soaked raw almonds
1 stalk celery, chopped into sections
1 granny smith apple

Blend 1st 2 ingredients together, then add all other ingredients. Chill covered. Good for 3 days.



Super Salad
This is my favorite salad recipe.

1 tomato diced
1 carrot shredded
1 zucchini grated or spiralized
3/4 cup broccoli
3/4 cup cauliflower
2-3 green onions
1 cup red cabbage
5 leaves Romaine lettuce
1 bunch cilantro

Mix together for dressing:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Braggs liquid aminos
1 large clove garlic minced

Additional toppings:
Choose 1-3
Raisins 
Hemp seeds (definitely great!)
Nutritional yeast (yum!)
Herbamare/Spike
Dulse Flakes

Raw Granola

2 cups buckwheat (soak and sprout 1 day)
1 cup raw walnuts (soaked and rinsed, then chopped)
1 cup raw cashew pieces
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins
8-10 apricots snipped into small pieces

Process together the following (in small chopper)
10 pitted and chopped soft dates (no sugar added)
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoons cinnamon
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add 1/2 cup RAW honey to above mixture. Process.

Mix all ingredients together and dehydrate for 20-24 hours on teflex sheet at 100 degrees. Store in freezer bags in refrigerator. keeps several weeks.

Buckwheat Crunchies
These would be excellent sprinkled on yogurt or ice cream!

Sprout buckwheat for 1 day. Coat with honey. Stir together. Dehydrate until dry and crunchy.

Salty Snax
1 cup pumpkin seeds soaked overnight
1 cup sprouted buckwheat
1 cup soaked/sliced brazil nuts
1 cup sprouted sunflower seeds
1 cup walnuts soaked overnight

Marinate for 10 minutes in:
2 Tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/2 lemon juiced
1 heaping teaspoon dried chives, ground

Mix thoroughly and dehydrate on teflex sheet for 15 hours until crunchy.

Can add cayenne pepper to mixture if spiciness is desired.

Green Smoothie

Blend 1 cup water with fruits of your choice:
Banana, grapes, orange, apple, cranberries, blueberries, lime, mango etc.. Be creative!

Add these greens (all or some) while blending: romaine lettuce, cilantro, kale, zuchinni, celery (one stalk), parsley, spinach, etc... Blend until very smooth. Add ice if you like it cold.

This is my favorite way to get my greens!


Raw fudge
1 cup oats
1/2 cup carob powder
1/4 cup ground sesame seeds
1/4 cup ground sunflower seeds
1/2 cup RAW honey
2 cup chopped nuts

Mix by hand and press into oiled pan. Cut. Chill. Keep in refrigerator. Enjoy!

All seeds and nuts must be raw.

Strawberry Crepes
Crepes: Mash 5-6 bananas. Dehydrate in 1 inch by 3 inch strips overnight or 10-12 hours.

Cheese filling: (process together the following)
2 cups nuts (cashews/sunflower seeds soaked overnight)
1 large lemon, juiced
4 teaspoon or 2 dates seeded
2 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon water

Sauce: 1 1/2 cups strawberries halved
1-2 Tablespoons honey

Place filling along center of strips of banana leather and roll up. Assemble crepes on top of 1/3 of the sauce on place, not touching each other. Pour rest of sauce over tops of filled crepes. Garnish with halved berries.

From Alissa Cohen's book: Living on Live Food

All nuts mentioned must be raw, not roasted, salted etc...
Rutabaga Carrot Slaw
Shred 1 cup each:
Rutabaga grated outer coating
Carrot
Cabbage (red for color)

Mix in dressing:
1-2 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup cashew nuts or pecans
1 Tablespoon honey
1 small avocado
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt

Yum!

Sesame Cheese and Sesame Milk
1/2 cup pulp from sesame milk
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic pressed
1 Tablespoon Braggs liquid aminos

Mix last 4 ingredients together. Spoon into pulp one spoonful at a time until all pulp is coated. Sprinkle with tamari. Optional: add 1-2 cups soaked cashews and/or walnuts. Process together.

Tastes like cheese!
Milk-
1/2 cup hulled sesame seeds
1 cup filtered water

Blend for 1 1/2 minutes.
Pour through sieve over container.
Squeeze with spoon to get most liquid out.
Put pulp in strainer bag and squeeze to get more liquid out, Hang bag to air dry for 20 hours.

Blend liquid with 1/2 papaya or other fruit.

For those who need calcium but don't drink milk.

Shrek Juice
We enjoyed this tasty drink at a friend's house. Need a juicer to make it.

Put all through juicer:
2 apples
2 cucumbers
1 organic lime whole with peel and all.
1 handful of spinach leaves

Enjoy!

Now, I just need to get myself a juicer so I can enjoy this yummy drink again!

p.s. When it was made for us, the lime was not peeled. I suppose it helps to have an organic lime. 

Robins

The other day I was visiting my neighbor's beagles when I kept hearing this strange sound. I didn't know what it was no matter how hard I looked all over the place. Then on my way back home, I found a stick and tossed it into the pen for the pups. When I threw it, I heard a swooshing sound and saw a bird flying out of the area.

Upon further investigation, I noticed a bird's nest on top of one of the traps hanging from a nail by the pen. I felt bad for the bird. I wouldn't have thrown it had I known! I went inside and got my digital camera out. The nest was too tall to peer inside so I held the camera over it and took a video of it and a few pictures. This is what it showed:


Up until that point, I did not know what type of bird it was, but I guessed a robin. I was right!

The next day after a storm came through, there was a bird's nest on the ground in front of the camper. There was a baby bird with a few feathers on it dead as well.  It looked like it had just hatched. At first I thought it was one of the ones from the nest shown above, but it wasn't.

Well, the next day or so, I was over visiting the puppies and saw the robin fly back to the nest with a worm hanging from her beak. I didn't think much of it but then she saw me and flew off. I tried to peer in the nest and even thought at one point I saw something moving, so I ran back inside and grabbed the camera and took another video shot and a picture. The pictures are kind of fuzzy. I kept thinking the robin might come back and peck me on the head. Plus I was so excited my hands were shaking trying to hold it steady.


At first it looked like there was only one baby bird in there, and one egg, but after taking more pictures I saw that there were three there and one that hadn't hatched yet. I kind of expected it not to hatch, since it was sitting there all alone. I quickly went back in the camper and waited for the mother robin to come back. And what good timing, because it started pouring and lightning a bit. I was glad she was back with her babies keeping them warm.


Once the weather cleared up, she was out again looking for more worms for them. When I made a chirping sound and took another picture, their little beaks came open begging for food!


Later that week, I told the neighbor's kids about the birds. Eli their son wanted to see inside so he grabbed a ladder and peered in. He dashed off to find a worm to feed them. He tried to give it to the babies whole which wasn't working too well when I suggested that maybe the mother robin chews the worm up for them a bit. Not suggesting he do the same! (but rather let the mother robin do her job) The next thing I knew Eli began sawing pieces of the worm in half and promptly fed it to the babies which they gobbled up.

My stomach couldn't handle the sight of the worms being cut into parts so I went home.

But it was neat to see them anyhow. I look forward to watching them grow up. And learn to fly out of the nest.

I was kind of surprised to see how weird they looked just hatched. I guess I thought they would look similar to chickens after they've been hatched. These robin babies were featherless and their eyes were strange looking. I googled just now and found this interesting link.

Blessing bags completed.

The first batch of blessing bags have been completed. Here are the last of them. Next challenge is to make 25 more in a Christmas...