Monthly Archives: October 2015

Crafting with Salt Dough

I Love Pagan Mamma’s Blog!! She has great ideas for family fun and excellent information.
The girls and I will make some salt dough skulls and other fun Samhain decorations.
Samhain Blessings. More on our Samhain celebrations later on. ❤

Ozark Pagan Mamma

Years ago I used to make goddess figurines and such with plasticized clay (like fimo or sculpey). This time around getting into crafting again, I don’t really have much of a budget for craft supplies. I also don’t like the idea of the permanence (plasticized clay is non-bio-degradable) and the artificial feel. (I don’t know if they still have them, but there used to be a warning label on the packages of some brands that said they could possibly cause cancer.)

Since I don’t have access to cheap clay, nor a kiln to fire it in, salt dough came to mind as a cheap and natural alternative. At first I thought it wouldn’t be strong and durable enough to make things to hang on the wall and last a while, but then I remembered a special recipe I had jotted down from a library book (sorry, I don’t remember the…

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What’s the White Stuff?

Ugh!!!

There it is…the fluffy white stuff was floating down to earth from the grey socked in sky. The weather man/woman was wrong!!! It said rain or showers for the day. This is not wet water… This is SNOW!

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Miss Flossy mooed softly at me when I let her out into the pasture after milking. I threw a pitchfork full of hay in her eating spot and gently told her that this white stuff wasnt supposed to be here yet. She sniffed her hay and looked around her, then at me. A soft moo escaped through her nose which I swear meant “Hay? Who stole all the green grass that was here?” I  laughed and responded with a pat on her forehead,” Sorry Miss Moo. Looks like you’ll have to dig for it.”

I fed and watered the Chick-a-Ladies, Pretty Boy and the 8 week old Littles. Checked on Sunflower and Granite(Seren and Milena’s Bunnies) and made sure the oys(Young Roos) had what they needed and then headed inside. I said good night to Bill and sat down to drink my coffee, when…

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Missy(Milena) decided she wanted to go outside. She has been waiting for snow since it melted in May! Yes, she is a crazy child. lol! So, I got her all dressed and sent her on her way. Not a minute later she popped her head back and yelled for Seren to come help her make a snowman. You know teenagers*eyeroll*, she didnt want to. *sigh* Which made Missy sad…what was I to do? I left my coffee to get cold and helped Missy build the first snowman of the year. She wanted me to help her make it wave to the people that drove by. I found a missed piece of Caragana pruning and we made a waving happy snowman. Rocks from my Ever-evolving rock garden for eyes, nose and buttons. She said I had to take a photo and show my friends on FB and here.  🙂

We headed back inside to attack schoolwork and get me a fresh coffee.  School consisted of a lot of me telling Missy to focus on her work not the snow that kept falling. I told her after lunch she could go back outside (3hrs is a long time to a 7 year old)…but she did it. And to top off her day, Seren pulled her around the yard in the sled. She can be a good big sister when she wants to be. 🙂  Odin got into the fun too…running top speed and ploughing his nose into the inch of snow and then settling into chewing a bone. lol

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I watched them through the kitchen window(ugh,which I really need to clean) and spaced out on the large fluffy falling frozen water drifting down. Pretty.

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I sure wish I didn’t have to see the road from here. *shrug* At least I am able to watch the girls play while I do my inside chores in the kitchen. It finally stopped snowing at 2pm and promptly start melting. Yep…slushy grossness.

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The daylight disappeared at 6:30pm with a glowing sunset.

The weather man/woman says it is supposed to rain/snow for the rest of the night. Bill is up and geting readyto head off to work. I hope for his sake and his crew it isnt too gross at the mill. Reality is that it is going to be one nasty-ass mess there….and he’s off.

The day is done…

Frosty Morning

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I woke at 5 am to -5*c  and crazy fog. I could barely make out the chicken coop that is about 15-20 feet from the backdoor. It is the little red light on the right side of the photo. Squint very hard….lol

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It was fun trying to do morning chores in this…cant wait for winter. Apparently the fog can get worse. Winter is on its way…

12:25pm – It has only warmed up to -1*c. Brrrr the yard looks white with all the hoar frost. I need to go out and check on water buckets….

Fears

We all have fears… I don’t know a single person who doesn’t. Some have strong fears that stop them dead in their tracks. Especially when they are staring the fear straight in the face. This is me.

With winter only a few days away up here I am starting to have anxiety and panic attacks. I fear winter…and this is why.

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3 years ago I had very serious accident. It was late in February and I had to drive my oldest, Seren, to her FSA(Foundation Skills Assessment) test 30 mins over a mountain pass to another town. We, my daughters(9and4) and I, had a good day all in all.

On the way home there was a light rain and I decided to take it easy. The highway was pretty good for that time of year, but as you go up one never knows what the weather will be like. I am so thankful I wasnt going 90km/hr that is allowed. When we came to a passing lane on a corner half way up the last hill, I hit back ice.  When I hit that ice our truck started to fish tail. I took my foot off the gas and steered to keep the truck upright. I tried to keep us out of the oncoming lane and miss a small black car coming at us. I kept the truck out of the slow lane and out of the path of a truck pullng haybales on a trailer. I couldn’t get the truck out of the fish tail….

I had a split second to decide….black car and cliff or rock wall and deep snow. Snow and rock won! I steered as best I could straight for the snowbank. I hit with enough force to spin us 180 degrees and flip the truck and all onto our roof. The whole time my daughters cried and begged me to stop the truck from doing the sliding. I screamed at the top of my lungs”NO! NO! NO!”…”Im so sorry my girls. I’m so sorry!”

….We landed upside down on the roof of the truck with a whoomp of snow. When the movement stopped my daughters were crying and I was so dazed I was actually very calm. I know now it was the sock…

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I got Seren to undo her seat belt and she didn’t quite land gracefully on her feet., but she was not upside down which was a good thing. Being upside down in ones seat being held by a seatbelt is the most confusing feeling thing I’ve ever felt. I undid myself as quickly as possible . And held Milena up against her seat with my hand while I undid her 5point harnessed car seat> BEST THINGS EVER INVENTED!!! < and flipped her over onto her feet. By then I started blaring the horn hoping someone had stopped or would…

It felt like forever before we could hear people crunching in the snow but couldnt see them out the windows. The snow had completely sucked up against the windows. All except about an inch where Seren said she thought she saw a boot. Finally there were hands pushing away the snow and a scrapping sound of a shovel….Shovel?!

The door was pried open and a familiar face peered in…my mom’s boss was the truck hauling hay and he is with search and rescue. The black car I nearly missed had stopped and so did another truck. I handed my daughters out the door and someone took them to their truck to make sure they were okay and to keep them warm. I burst into tears….at this point….the rest of the evening was a blur.

We weren’t hurt and my faith in good people was restored for the moment. I never got to thank the others that stopped nor the couple that took care of my daughters…..

Thinking back on it a few days later, I remember the shovel…in the morning just before we left from home, I had thrown our bright yellow snow shovel into the truck bed, thinking I may get stuck in the snow on our 1km driveway….That shovel was what a man used to scrape the snow away from the truck to get us out….amazing in my eyes….

So, that is my story. That is my biggest fear…I used to love driving anytime of the year. 3 years later I am still haunted by this accident. I have a hard time being in the truck or any vehicle during the winter or on rainy days. And OMG if there is any type of sliding feeling my stomach climbs ou of my mouth.

People must remember to have compassion when others go through horrible things and then have to face their fears. I was and keep being told to just suck it up.

“It’s been 3 years. You should be over this by now….”

“I had an accident worse than that and im over it. You should be too….”

This is not how to help someone. That is not being supportive. I wish others could understand that I almost killed my children, myself and possibly others. It is not something you can just get over. I know that I shouldn’t dwell on it and I know i shouldnt beat myself up about it. I know that everything turned out okay in the end.

My advice to others is, “Stop before you say the above sentences and put yourself in the other persons shoes.”

(I’m sorry for any editing mishaps, I just cant read it for a 3rd time to do corrections)

Cheese….

Unfortunately I didn’t think to take photos of the first few steps of my cheese making process.

I milk Miss Moo…the most important step of this Yummy process. 😉

First off I strain the milk to rid it of any particles of hay or dirt…

I need 2.5gallons or 10L of milk. The recipe says to skim most of the cream off. Nah, I leave it in. In a large stock pot, the milk is brought to 48.9*c over medium heat. Do not go over that temperature or it with not work out!! Believe me 😦 I have ruined a couple batches before I caught on. Duh on my part.

Once it reaches the proper temperature I turn off the heat and add 2.5cups of vinegar add stir until the curds form and the whey is clear. Then let sit covered for an hour. Then drain the curds through a few layers of cheese cloth and hang to drain very well.

Once drained and to my moisture liking I add 3tsp of baking soda and salt…

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Curds. Salt and Baking soda added.

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Getting ready to melt the curds down using a double boiler. *note to self find a bigger double boiler!* I add a 1/2 cup cream and 2tbsps butter and melt it down over medium heat. Then add curds slowly mixing well.

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Slowly melting down…It takes a lot of patience and stirring(you can melt it using a microwave, but I dont have one and dont like them.)

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More stirring…Yay!! The curds are all stringy and gooey 🙂

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I then pour the mass of gooey melted cheese curds into a glass loaf pan. Yes that is a bread bag. I find buttering the pan does work for me when I go to remove the block of cheese. The bag works because it forms to the pan well and I just have to tug on the bag to release it. I dont sell the cheese…only for my families consumption.

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TADA!! A block of mozzerella type cheese. Yum! From raw milk for my cow, milked by my hand. Processed into cheese to feed my family and myself.

Next on my “To Try” list is hard cheese and cream cheese. First to save up…Yule/Christmas is just around the corner…hint hint hubby…

<3 Sunrises in Northern BC

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I am in awe almost every morning at 7am, when I go out to milk Flossy (Miss Moo) and the sun slowly peeks over the mountains. The colours in these photos do nothing to portray the absolute brilliance of their true reality. Alas my black berry phone camera is all I have on me at this time of day.

The colours are so breathtaking and different. Some sunrises look as though they have set the sky on fire and are licking the clouds with the suns rays. Some start out as dull gray and slowly fringe the clouds with the pales pinks and then it intensifies to a bright neon pink. Purples that look black at first only to lighten to the palest lavendar. Oh when the sky is such a brilliant blue the colours take on a whole different feel and become so surreal….So much beauty….

I sometimes wish our property was the one up on the hill instead in such a low spot. I am so grateful to get to see the sunrises that I do see. For I am blessed to see through these failing eyes. I suck in every sunrise I can and dont take for granted the beauty Mother Nature has given me to witness.

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(all photos taken with my blackberry)

Transitions

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Homeschooling has been so trying lately.

Here in British Columbia my daughters are technically considered DL(Distance Learners). My daughters are enrolled with a school and recieve a litte funding that helps purchase cirriculum and materials/resources that are required to complete the cirriculum. Homeschoolers are students registered in a school but don’t follow a cirriculum and don’t recieve the little funding given to DL schoolers. Homeschoolers are not required to follow the BC Ministry of Education standards, where as DL’s are. That’s why we get funding. Anyways….

After 4 years of being enrolled with a Christian school(only choice that fit our lifestyle when we lived off-grid and didnt have constant internet access) I finally had enough of trying to include the required Bible study and the feeling of being stiffled. So,  I withdrew the girls and enrolled them with Selfdesign. Best decision Bill and I have made in regards to the girls schooling lately. I even got the go ahead to change schools from Seren’s Dad. 🙂

The transition from a very formal/traditonal school mindset to one that is open-minded and encourages child-led/interest learning has been rough. I want to head to child-led and interest learning…I have to stop everything we are doing and restart. I have to come at my teaching from a totally different angle. I am excited yet the phycho worrier in me is screaming.

“YOU’RE GOING TO SCREW UP YOUR KIDS!!!”

I know I won’t…this is the way kids learn best:

  • through play
  • exploring their world
  • at their own pace
  • real life experiences
  • learning at their pace
  • no pressure to be perfect

The way things are run and what is expected of me differ greatly between schools. I have way more reporting with the new school and how they do other admin stuff is a little more complicated. The amount of time I am behind the screen irks me. I hate constantly being online. EVERYTHING is online with this school. UGH!! The biggest benefit is the wonderful support I get from our LC(Learning Consultant). She answers all my stupid questions. She is genuinely interested in hearing from the girls and what they have to say about what they want to learn and are learning.

Dont get me wrong, the support teacher we had for 4years at the other school was great and we are still in contact. You can’t, not become friends over that long of a period of time.

The year will fly by it always does. The first two or three months are always the most trying. Add in a school change and it can be even more frustrating. 🙂 I can do it!! I have done it for 4 Years…I’m definitely not going to give up yet. I have 5years to go with Seren and 9years to go with Milena. We will make the rest of these years awesome as possible.