You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

To celebrate our ten years of marriage up and coming on June 5th, I have decided to give away some of my husband’s lovely artwork to a lucky reader.  I know… I know… you can’t hardly stand the anticipation.  ;)  The winner will receive 2 official Haywood Art large postcards featuring the images seen below.  Each postcard is also logoed on the front and back and is suitable for mailing.

If you would like to be entered in the drawing, please leave a comment on this post or the page about this give away.  Your name and email will be placed on a sheet of paper and the beautiful Deladis Rose will draw the winning name from a basket.  The drawing will be held on June 5th and announced here.

In the meantime, take a look at John’s website for more information on his art and music dealings.  Let us know if you like what you see. :)

Cheeks Like the Bloomin Rose

Cheeks Like the Bloomin' Rose

The Carter Family

The Carter Family

The last two days have been a much needed break from the rain and enclosure we’ve experienced so much this season.  The girls have played on our back porch, which they love to do.  John cut our grass that had shot up with all the rain.  I worked the garden, and I have to say I finally have some faith that it might produce something for us.  It has been helpful to be outside as my mind has become kind of sluggish with all the thinking I’ve been doing.  I exercised outside today.  I love the smell of cool moist mountains.  It still didn’t give my mind a jump start and make me come back and produce a ton of words on my novel, but it gave me a change of pace.

We’ve been thinking so much about food and the way we are living our lives lately, and I’ve been nervous about the future of our food situation.  Things are seeming to fall into place though.  A lady gave my mom (a rural postmaster who gets many gifts of food) a dozen fresh eggs from her hens, which my mother in turn gave to me.  It may be a possible source for cheap eggs in the future.  I may get by on only buying 3 cartons of eggs this month.  A neighbor has some doodles (baby chicks) they are raising until they are ready for a new home, and then they are ours.  We are going to have to prepare the coop soon.  Then, it will be fresh eggs and happy hens.

Today, my husband staked off the garden to get ready to hang the pie pans that will hopefully deter the little critters (That and our dog has decided that defecating around the garden is a great idea.  I stuck the hoe in it twice yesterday.  Maybe the smell will help keep animals away.).  John also built a scarecrow and let Deladis help.  She drew its face.  A scowling one.  Yesterday, I was able to plant two more rows of corn.  We have potatoes, onions, cabbage and corn sprouted and doing well.  I have 3 rows of carrots planted and I have no idea how to identify their sprouts from weeds. :%    I hope they have sprouted.  I’m going to wait a little while before I replant those rows.  We’re going to finish this week out with rain, so I’ll have to wait until after that.

My brother killed a wild turkey on the last day of Kentucky’s season for hunting them, and gave us the meat.  It was so delicious!  He came to eat some, and offered to give me his domestic rabbits to raise and breed as a food source.  I’m still trying to figure out how I’ll feel about that.  Will I be able to feed a creature, look after it’s wellbeing, watch it give birth and nurse young, then kill it and eat it?  How would I explain it to the girls?  I’ve never kept an animal for the purpose of slaughtering it.  At least with hunting the animal has a fighting chance.  If it out smarts you, it gets to live.  Until the minute it dies it has lived the life it was meant to live.  The domestic rabbits would be a good source of fresh healthy meat for the family.  It is something I’m really going to consider.

I’m going to be looking into composting as well.  I don’t think the ground will need much help this year to produce a good crop, but maybe in the future.  I’ll have to have containers for it because any of the food we throw out gets eaten by either our dog or wild animals.  Not much of a compost pile when there is nothing there to rot.

With a garden, laying hens, and rabbits, we won’t have too much more to worry about buying from the grocery stores, and we would cut back on waste as well.  It is so wonderful to have land to work.  It’s meaningful, joyful work.  I think we might be on our way to sustainability.

shoes

Wish I could go back
And change these years
I’m going through changes
I’m going through changes

-Ozzy Osbourne “Changes”

Yes, folks.  I have been known to like some Ozzy once in a while.  I’m a rebel at heart. ;)  This is a love song, and I’m not writing about losing the best woman I ever had in this post.  I’m writing about going through changes.  Anytime we lose something we have to make changes to get our lives back in an order we can work with.  I lost a sense of balance between my mothering and my personal goals.  I was frustrated, and not succeeding at either.  The changes I made last week weren’t perfect, but they got me started.

This week has started off much looser than last week.  I have our menu planned through Thursday rather than the whole week.  I don’t have a new rhythm/schedule made out because I have decided that a rhythm is not a schedule of set times to do certain things.  I know, this sounds like I’m going back to a slack concept where I’ll get nothing done due to getting side tracked or procrastination.  No, I have certain attainable goals set for each day.  I took our former Waldorf Parent/Child teacher’s comment to heart.

Remember, rhythm is a breathing….times of play interspersed with times of work, inside/outside, rest/active…you get the picture. Whatever helps you breathe.

-Miss Angie

I am going to flow with the rhythm my girls set.  That is the only way I will accomplish anything for them or myself with any level of sanity or a sense of peace.  I don’t want to be fighting our needs from day to day, as they are ever changing, to stick to some schedule of how I think things should go.

For example, today is Monday.  On my old “schedule” I had this down for living room/laundry as my goal for housekeeping.  Instead of setting a certain time to do that, I did it as soon as I could after breakfast, when the girls were happily playing on their own.  It will probably fall around the time  as I had it in the old “schedule”, but it didn’t today.  We ended up with company in the form of musician Brett Ratliff who stayed to eat some yummy wild turkey my brother killed for us on Saturday.  I hate straightening up around company.  I think it is a bit rude, so I saved the bulk of my work until he left.  It worked out fine.

As far as keeping up with a time of day, I have distinct markers.  Mealtimes and preparing our meals will be a major factor in when and the order in which we complete the tasks of the day. Our mealtimes are pretty regular, though we vary whether our biggest meal is lunch or supper.  I am keeping a set bedtime for the girls.  Right now. we are experimenting as I believe both of my girls might not be getting enough sleep.  Tonight, they were in bed by 8pm.  The routine I had for bedtime will remain the same and baths will be every other day.  I will continue to get up earlier than everyone else on most days to insure I get writing and/or exercise time.  That is one thing that worked out really well.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, and I plan to be out in the garden.  We are going to look at chickens and maybe acquire a few.  Then, I’m off to the first meeting of a new writer’s group.  Action packed, but I think I can do all of that, get some writing done, exercise and do some more housekeeping all within a rhythm based on the needs of the day.  Changes aren’t all bad.  Really, I think most change is good.  I don’t want to look back to the formative years of my girls lives and see them as wasted in life’s chaos.  I want them to be memorable, nuturing times.  I’ll keep you posted as to whether this change is accomplishing the peace in our lives that I hope it will.

I’m not the best housekeeper by any means.  I won’t even say I’m good.  I’m a collector of books, movies, CDs, magazines, dishes, etc… and we live in a cabin that is very small.  We have only one closet, two small bedrooms, a bathroom (nice size), kitchen, and small living room.  Oh, did I mention John was  a musician and plays currently three different instruments of which he likes to keep a few of each type.  Then, there are his painting supplies, painting until they are sold or hung in a gallery, his books, CDs, magazines, and paperwork.

That brings us to the girls who are blessed to have amazing grandparents (3 sets) who want them to have everything they could possibly ask for, which results in this… their room after an hour of cleaning, and taking five boxes and several bags to Goodwill.

room3

room2

room1Where do I start?  I mean, finish.  It is my dream to give them a Waldorf inspired place of dwelling.  A place of simple beauty that holds the bare elements of nature.  But, I have no idea how to go about it in our tiny space.  I feel as if I should keep gifts they receive until it is obivous they should go.  They are sharing this room, but Deladis is the only one who sleeps there as of now.  I’m questioning the amount of books they have, but I so want them to love reading and be encouraged to explore books.  I’m taking any and all suggestions.  Thanks ahead of time. ;)

As wonderful days tend to do, they end.  I’m left looking at the areas where our rhythm failed us after our near perfect day on Monday.  I’m left looking at the windows of time lost to Ivy being cranky.  The joy falling from Deladis’s face as Ivy climbs my back and tries to take the book from my hands during our story time.  Wondering endlessly whether or not I have the girls going to bed too late or not.  I’m contemplating how one simple thing like an unplanned, but necessary trip to the chiropractor can throw things off for days.  Work left undone.  Like a bridge in a song, where the music floats off into a tangent… but the notes always come back around into the previous arrangement.

I am not frustrated, only bemused.  I didn’t expect magic.  In all things there are flaws, and the flaws in our rhythm can be made better.  I’m going to press onward with what I have down a few more days.  As I see more of what is working and what isn’t, I can make changes.  I know I am not feeling as pressured even when our rhythm goes asunder.  I’m finding myself a more patient mother because even I need to know that there are other hours in the day and right now is the only right now we have.  Deladis seems more content.  She sleeps now beside me, us having to forgo the bedtime routine because Wednesday night church had us out too late.  I left church early without feeling guilty because Ivy needed to go and the good Lord understands babies, and mamas, and life – even when they interrupt prayer time.  To nurture and provide a comforting foundation for my children is my job right now, and I am determined to do well at it, as I am determined to be well-rounded and fulfilled in my personal life.

There is too much food in the refrigerator because I overcooked using our little menu… somehow.  It’s weird.  So, I only have to cook breakfast tomorrow.  Lunch and dinner are covered with our lovely leftovers.  I served Deladis two runny eggs this morning and she ate every last bite as did John and I.  Yes, I made six eggs.  I didn’t want to make us make do with just eating one.  Again, things to figure out and work to be done.  There are far worse things than an evening where it isn’t necessary to cook, though it has become one of the joys of my life.

I’m researching more into our way of eating, and trying my best to fit our dietary needs into our budget.  I believe I can do it.  As old habits are hard to break, food ruts are too.  I’m stuck wanting nuts and cheese at lunch eventhough those are two of the most expensive things on my store list.  I’m eating my leftovers, which are yummy too and looking forward to a week or so from now when leftovers become my new lunch habit.

Today, I don’t have all the answers, but I have a start and the will to try.  Another thing I have is time to get it right, and well, if time is up for me tomorrow then I did my best and someone else can pick up where I left off.  That’s what counts.  We may be a little off balance, but we can always recover if we are willing to try.

Here we are on Monday.  I have successfully completed the first full day of the rhythm I’ve developed to keep us all on track and happy.  Well, kind of successfully.  Both of the girls are asleep a whole hour before bedtime.

raremoments

They conked out during our quiet time.  I had been doing the bedtime routine since Saturday with bedtime at 9pm.  I don’t know, maybe it’s coincidence that they fell asleep today.  Maybe, I’ll need to make bedtime earlier.  I’m looking forward to the peace and “me” time I will have getting up an hour and a half earlier than the girls, so I’m trying to insure they sleep until 8am.

Here is a general outline of how our days will go.  Some days mealtimes are a little different because of John’s schedule, but the activities are the same.

  • 6:30am – Me Wake Up
  • 6:30-8am – Writing or Exercise Time
  • 8am – Wake Up Girls
  • 8-9:15am – Prepare and Eat Breakfast
  • 9:15-10:15 – Writing/Computer/Exercise Time
  • 10:15-12pm – Housecleaning (I’ve assigned a room a day and straightening up for Sat..  Laundry w/ the living room on Mon..)
  • 12pm – Ivy Nap
  • 12:30pm – 2pm – Writing and/or Deladis Time
  • 2pm-2:30pm – Lunch
  • 2:30-4:30 – Family Time (can include various activities even housework, gardenwork, outdoor play, etc… Just involves the girls and I am wholly present for them.)
  • 4:30 – 5:30 – Dinner Prep
  • 5:30-6pm – Eat Dinner
  • 6pm-6:30 – Kitchen Cleanup and Breakfast Pre-Prep
  • 6:30-7:30 – Quiet Time
  • 7:30-8pm – Bath
  • 8pm-8:30 – Storytime
  • 8:30-9pm – Bedtime Girls
  • 9pm-11pm – Writing Time or John Time :)

I’m happy with how today went.  I didn’t feel myself getting anxious and I was much more patient with the girls.  Having a menu to work with is saving time.  I am happy to report that I have 53 pages written on my first novel after today’s writing sessions.  I will have written this blog, given the living room a thorough cleaning, washed and put away three loads of laundry, cooked 2 meals from scratch, made popsicles with Deladis, made her a snack tray to graze on throughout the day, washed dishes, answered emails, danced with Ivy, and so on and so forth.  I’m amazed at what has went on today with no raising my voice, no feeling desparate, and the girls’ free expression of their age.  I hope it’s not an illusion and it will continue to work well most days.  I know some will be harder than others, but I hope they will all be better.

Planning a menu for John and I is easy.  We aren’t picky eaters in most areas.  John has a fairly plain palate when it comes to breakfast – for instance, no veggie omelets.  However, I’m becoming increasingly worried about how my girls will fair with these adjustments.  I know it’s going to take some major trial and error.  Deladis will be an especially hard one to please.  Breakfast being more grain heavy will be hard for her.  She so loves her morning over easy eggs.  I hope she will eat what we have before she lets herself get too hungry and I have to feed her cheap food from the standard American diet just to get her to eat.

Menu for the week of May 4th – 10th: (This menu was planned based on my Sat. shopping trip and what I already had on hand.)

Monday -

  • Breakfast – Banana Bread/Sausage (Using very ripe bananas left over from last month’s budget.  The goal is no waste.)
  • Lunch – Nuts/Cheese…  Chicken Nuggets/Carrots for Deladis (I am buying some non-traditional foods for Deladis as she has become very picky since her stay in the hospital in February.  She has a short list of what she will eat consistently.  This bothers me and I want to improve her diet so much.)
  • Dinner – Pork Chops/ Fried Potatoes and Onions/ Appalachian  Soupbeans (Pinto)/ Cornbread
  • Special Preparations – Make chicken bone broth.

Tuesday -

  • Breakfast – Leftover Banana Bread/Sausage
  • Lunch – Leftover Soupbeans/Cornbread… Leftover Pork Chops or Bologna/ Corn for Deladis
  • Dinner – Roast Chicken w/ Potatoes, Carrots, Celery/Peas
  • Special Preparations – soak kidney beans for baked beans

Wednesday -

  • Breakfast – Eggs/Bacon/Yogurt… Oranges for Deladis (she’s dairy allergic)
  • Lunch – Chicken Salad (leftover chicken on baby greens)… Chili Mac or Spaghetti for Deladis
  • Dinner – Split Pea Patties/Cauliflower Rice/Baked Beans
  • Special Preparations – soak oats, soak black beans

Thursday –

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal/Sausage/Banana and Raisins
  • Lunch – Leftovers or Nuts/Cheese… Noodles w/ Earth Balance Margarine for Deladis
  • Dinner – Black Bean Soup/Cornbread
  • Special Preparations – soak whole wheat flour for pancakes, soak rice

Friday -

  • Breakfast – Pancakes/Sausage/ Yogurt and Maple Syrup
  • Lunch/Dinner – Leftover Soup… John has an art opening that evening so we are combining this meal.  Eat good.
  • Special Preparations – thaw salmon

Saturday –

  • Breakfast – Rice Pudding/Sausage
  • Lunch/Dinner – Leftovers and Finger Foods (We’ll be spending the day out and about mostly.)

Sunday -

  • Breakfast – Eggs/Sausage/Banana or Pineapples
  • Lunch/Dinner – Salmon Fillets/Fried Sweet Potatoes/Salad (We eat dinner after church so the rest of the day will be snacks.)

My main concern is the grains.  It certainly is after reading this on Nourished Kitchen, but I don’t see any way around it right now.  I’m debating on what is a more crucial choice to make about our egg situation – keep the current menu style or switch to purchasing conventional eggs so we can cut back on the grains for breakfast.  What is the lesser evil?  And poor Deladis…  I so hope we get our chickens soon.

If anyone sees anything I’m missing, or has any suggestions on how to feed Deladis better foods, or our overall dietary health as a family, please feel free to comment.  I appreciate advice.

I’ve got $269 a month to work with, and it has become necessary to plan a menu and stick to a grocery list.  I will have to cut back on certain food stuffs we purchase, and I will have to spend a bit more time in food preparation.  See my posts on food to learn more about the Traditional/Whole Foods way of eating.

I’ve made the following adjustments to my food choices:

  • Purchase organic fresh fruits and veggies only from the Dirty Dozen list.  Frozen veggies will suffice in place of fresh ones to save money.
  • Make my own sausage out of ground turkey, chicken, pork, or lamb, whichever I can find at the time.  With sausage $2.29 a pound and bacon $4.99 for 12 slices, I have to cut back there.  We eat meat every morning for breakfast.
  • Cut back on egg use.  (Ultimate goal is to get our own chickens.) Organic eggs are $3.49 a dozen.  We easily use 6 a day.  I will be adding more grains in our breakfasts and more potatoes.  I worry about Deladis here as she loves eggs, but I hope her tastes will warm to the new menu as we go.
  • Use more potatoes and rice to try to avoid using too much wheat.  Limit grains when I can.
  • Use more beans and lentils.
  • Buy more whole chickens and ground meats.  They go further, and you can make bone broths for soups.
  • Buy local honey instead of organic.  Should have been doing that anyway.  Local benefits allergies more.
  • Make Deladis’s rice and/or nut milks myself.
  • Do not buy outside of the store list.
  • Purchase a yogurt starter culture to make my own yogurt.
  • Purchase a sourdough or attempt to make a sourdough starter culture for bread making.  I will be making our bread from here on out as we will be eating more breads.
  • Purchase grains, nuts, spices from the Mennonite Bulk Foods store.
  • Do not buy baby food purees or pre-made snacks for Ivy.  I will make my own purees for her, or she will eat from what we are eating.

I went grocery shopping Saturday and spent $105.33.  With what I already have in the freezer and cupboards, I’m hoping to make what I purchased last most of the month.  I know I will have to replenish dairy products and breakfast meats.  I did find that I cannot make sausage any cheaper than I can buy it.  I can actually buy Swaggerty’s MSG free sausage for cheaper than making my own.  The bacon we have to cut back on.  One or two packages a month will have to be enough.  It’s too bad, because I so love cooking with bacon fat.  I have not bought my oats, nuts or spices yet as the bulk food store was closed.

I also bought a few things that were not on my list.  They were on sale and I rationalized the purchases.  I hope those decisions don’t come back to get me.  My goal was to stick to my list.

Saturday’s Purchases and Prices: Things crossed out will be purchased later.

  • organic whole milk (1 gallon) – $3.85
  • organic half and half (2 pints) – $1.49 (The organic wasn’t in stock.  I bought only 1 pint of regular.)
  • organic eggs (2 dozen) – $6.98 (I have six more left over in the fridge.  I’m going to try to stretch that to cover the whole month.)
  • organic raisins – $2.79
  • oats
  • nuts
  • honey
  • Babybel cheese – $2.99
  • Bacon – $4.99
  • Whole Chickens (2) – $12.23
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • old bay” seasoning, rosemary, fennel, tarragon, coriander, cardamon, fenugreek, green peppercorns, file powder
  • organic green peppers (2) – $1.46 (organic wasn’t in stock. :( )
  • red peppers (2) – organic is not available here – $4.38
  • onions – $1.88
  • juice for the girls – $6.33
  • 2 lbs. ground beef – $8.50 (I have one pound in the freezer to add to this amount.)
  • pork chops (optional as we have plenty of rabbit in the freezer) – $3.02
  • expeller pressed flax oil
  • organic salad greens – $3.49
  • organic petite carrots – $1.50
  • mandarin oranges – $2.00 (4 cans)
  • brussel sprouts (frozen) – $1.79
  • lemons (6) – $1.98 (organic wasn’t in stock.)
  • 4 tomatoes – $5.81 (organic not available in fresh tomatoes)
  • cilantro (fresh) – $.99
  • rice milk for Deladis until I figure out how to make it – $7.00 (1 gallon)
  • sour cream – $2.73
  • ketchup for Deladis until I figure out how to make it – $2.49

Purchases not on my list.

Salsa (2 jars) – $5.98, Anchovys – $1.45, Sardines $1.00

I’m happy with this list and how much I purchased for the price.  Maybe I’m kidding myself in thinking we won’t run out of food or money to buy more before the end of this month, but it doesn’t seem that way so far.  I will post my menu for this week on Thursday, and tell you how food preparation is fitting into our rhythm.

I’m functioning today on four eight ounce cups of coffee instead of my usual two.  The last two days of writing, reading, and meeting my writing Superhero, Gurney Norman, has been rewarding.  It has left me exhausted.  That and the girls both being poor sleepers.  Ivy sitting up in bed at 4am saying “goggie” over and over while kicking Deladis.  Deladis is having an allergic reaction to her vigorous play with our Dalmatian, Lars and was itching all night long.  Yes, it was a lovely night.

So, far Saturday is a quiet day and I am using it to compile my thoughts on a rhythm for our days.  I’ve asked mamas from two online forums I belong too, and I have used the comments I’ve gotten here to make a list of things to keep in mind.  I have gotten two days of rhythm down on paper so far.  It is already making me feel more at ease.  Hopeful.  I have also used this uneventful morning to make a store list and plan a loose menu for the week.  I’ll be making the 45 minute trip to Hazard with the girls on my own today as John will be playing a Kentucky Derby party at an establishment in Lexington, Kentucky.  We’ll see how that goes.  It’s an interesting experience to have to drive all over God’s green earth to find the groceries you need.

The following list are things I’m thinking about while developing a rhythm for our household.

  • Times should be kept loose.  Use the clock only as a guide for what happens next.  Some things may take longer than planned, or not as long as planned.  Bedtimes are the only thing in the rhythm that might benefit us to follow to the letter.
  • The needs of my children come first.  With their needs met they will generally be happy and I will find that the time I do get to spend with my husband or alone will be more productive and enjoyable.
  • Try to predict repeating behaviors in the girls.  For example, Ivy likes to nap about 3 hours after waking in the morning.  She likes to eat directly after nap.  Deladis likes 3 small meals and 3 large snacks in a day.  Make sure she has easy access to appropriate foods.  Late afternoons are a trying time.  Reserve that for time with the girls.
  • Prioritize my exercise routine.  It might benefit me to have a scheduled time to wake up on days I want to get extra writing time in, or on days I want to do Ultimate Taebo.  I can work on cutting a yoga routine down to smaller chunks of time and focus more on individual poses and their relationships to each other than an hour long routine.
  • Do not stress if I don’t get in all the writing time I planned for.  Some days I will get more than planned, some less.  It will balance out.  The important thing is to work at it daily.
  • Cut down on blog posts and think more about the quality of writing there.  I’m thinking I will post 4 times a week.  This will give me more time for fiction writing and working on my novels.
  • Computer time needs to be cut back.  Utilize the time wisely and do not get sidetracked from the goal.
  • Wash dishes after every two meals.  This can be done with Ivy on my back if she is out of sorts at the time.  Deladis often likes to help with dishes.  This will also put me washing dishes once a day instead of twice.
  • Choose a major chore to do every weekday in order to keep an orderly house.  Ex.  Monday – cleaning living room/laundry
  • I’ve decided a formal preschool time with Deladis is not necessary.  (She won’t like this, but I’m replacing it with more time with her, so I think she will be okay with it after we fall into the rhythm.)  Instead, I plan to include her in my activities of housework, gardenwork, cooking, etc…  I also plan to include a evening “bedtime” story, and crafts/outside time during set aside family time.  More library time.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff… Yes, trite phrase I know, but it’s true.  Don’t just plow through the day, but look at each day individually and keep everyone’s needs in mind.

You’re probably thinking at this point, what did their days look like before?  Partially organized chaos is your answer.  No more, no more.  From this list, I’m creating a loose schedule of our days.  I plan to follow the same schedule every week until I see another need arise, or the needs of my girls change allowing for more or less time doing certain activities.  I will post our schedule as soon as I finish it.  Tomorrow’s post will be about meal planning on our new budget.

Categories

About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

May 2009
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Please Ask

I ask that you please ask for permission before copying any pictures from this site. I don't mind using quotations in part from the text (please link to this site), but if you would like to use a whole text, please contact me. I want to be generous, but I would also like to know who is using this content. Thank you!
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 845 other followers