Monthly Archives: April 2016

Fun in the neighborhood

On one of our neighborhood walkabouts…The girls became…

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 Women Warriors of the hill!

They then became Owl keeper and Owl…Seren Owl followed her Keeper( Milena) around the road. She was only allowed to walk along the cracks in the road, unless the Keeper said otherwise.

The game stopped when they happened upon Wee calves and their mom’s in one of the Rancher Neighbor’s fields. Then it is was “OOOOOooo’s” and “Ahhh’s ” all round. Then it was wishes the Flossy had a calf and wishes that we hadn’t had to send her to auction. I reassured them that maybe next year we would get another milk cow, but not to get their hopes up.

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Wee calves and mom’s…

We moved on our wandering way to the Palling Hall where we peaked in the windows. The girls hoped that maybe they would see fairies learning lessons on the blackboard or dancing on the floor. Maybe a ghost of a long passed resident of the area. But alas…nothing but a quiet dark building.

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This is the Palling Hall…taken on one our earlier walks.

Beside the hall is a swampy area with loads of Willows. Some of the Catkins were starting to flower. I am always so enthralled by the beauty of Nature. The abundance of differences. *sigh* amazing!!

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Willow

When we got home we did a bit of yard work. Worked up a sweat we did. I raked an area with really tall grass that we never got to cutting down last summer/fall. So, I decided that I would use it in place of straw. This grass has no seed heads, a bonus. Seren wheeled it all over to the other side of the yard and placed it over top of my experimental potato patch.

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Heave ho the grass to the experimental potato patch.

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A little baseball

After we had finished the Grass transfer, the sun was still shining so while Bill and I had a cup of coffee the girls played their version of Baseball. Lots of giggles and running happened. A perfect way to end a day.

When the girls took off their sandals to come inside for supper I cheered. Why? Because they had dirty feet and clothes!! Hahaha! Yep…Spring is here!! That means I can boot them out of doors and the real play/learning can happen. The imaginations can soar in infinite ways. Exploring can happen freely. Yes, I may even get some alone time! 🙂

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Dirty feet is the way feet should be at the end of the day!

❤ Drisana

Let the light in

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Time to fix a rotten door sill and put in a new door

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This is not looking good…

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While Bill fixed the door sill and figured out how to fix the issues, I removed all the icky brown indoor/outdoor carpet.

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Yay!! The faux wood paneling for the late 60’s is coming down.

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The original exterior wall of the house!

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We take precautions when dealing with mold…Respirator Man to the rescue!!

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The previous owners had a very big flood and forgot to clean up the stairwell wall…EWWW! It was hidden by the paneling.

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They also had a leak under the sink at one point. I’ve never seen Yellow mold.

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All moldy drywall dealt with. We will replace the drywall eventually.

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Time to install the new door! I asked for one with a window…:)

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The new door is installed. The rotten sill and insulation have been replaced.

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A very thick coat of foundation tar is put on to help protect the fixed area.

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TADA!!

The Cement pads are just temporary. We plan to build a small porch to help protect the door and this portion of the foundation. It will look so good when we’ve finished.

We are glad there was drywall behind the paneling. It has helped brighten the stairwell up so much. I kind of like the rustic look of the old exterior wall. We may sand it fill the spaces between the boards and seal it. We shall see….I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

I am so happy to have light in the back stairwell now. No more flipping on 2 lights to see during the day. I actually keep getting pissy because I keep thinking the girls have left the backdoor open or the lights on. Hahaha!

First renovation complete.

❤ Drisana

 

 

Some More Todd Strasser

Allo! Allo!

It’s been awhile. Practically a whole month since my last book review.

Okay, so those of you who have read my book review called “Adventures” with the book by Todd Strasser called “Can’t Get There From Here”, know who or partly know who I’m talking about.

During my last visit I happened across a whole bunch of Todd Strasser books and I read these two which I will tell you about…

First up is “Kill you last”. It’s about a girl named Shelby Sloan who has it all. Stuff like sports cars and shopping sprees. Her father is a fashion photographer. When three girls go missing Shelby’s dad is the main suspect and all because he did his job, took head shots of the to-be models.

Shelby’s also been getting violent and threatening e-mails which doesn’t help the matter. Shelby’s determined to make sure her dad’s innocent and find out whose the mysterious e-mailer.

“Kill you last” is better read by ages 12 and up, it is not violent(much) nor gory. It is a great read for people who like mystery and spookiness!

Next is “Blood on my hands” also by Todd Strasser.

Callie Carson was a normal girl, hanging out with Katherine the schools IT girl. They talk and act like friends and then things go wrong. When the two go to a keg party, Katherine goes missing.

Unfortunately for Callie, she’s the one who finds Katherine’s body, a knife in her side. Callie picks it up and is looking stunned when another party-goer happens upon her and does what all teens would do now-a-days…..Snaps a photo and posts it. Before Callie knows it the police are looking for her and she hides, even tries out a few disguises but in the end she is caught.

“Blood on my hands” is another great book, but it is not good for younger readers…but it is your decision, isn’t it? 🙂

Au Revoir for now!

Seren

Bread

I never found satisfaction in Bread Machine bread. I didn’t enjoy the taste or the texture either. So I taught myself to make bread with my own hands with some help from my Ex’s mom. I use a recipe I got from her mainly(see recipe below) but have tried and liked many other recipes.

HOMEMADE WHITE BREAD

1 cup   Water (Warm)

2tbsp   dry active yeast

1tsp     sugar

Put water and sugar into a large bowl, stir to dissolve. Sprinkle in the yeast and let sit for 10minutes.

3cups   warm water

1/4cup   sugar (I use honey a lot)

1/2cup   oil

4tsp      salt

8-10cups    white flour (I do half white and wholewheat)

Add all ingredients except flour into yeast mixture. Stir in one cup of flour at a time until a soft dough forms. Knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes. Place in oiled bowl and cover for an hour or until doubles in size.

Divide into four. Knead and form into loaves. Place into greased loaf pans, cover and let sit until doubles in size.

Bake for 40 minutes or an hour(depends on oven) at 375*

Mmmm…nothing like hot bread smothered in butter. I forgot to take a photo of the end product. Haha! I will update next time I bake bread.

❤ Drisana

Waste not…

It is an important saying in our household. We try to waste nothing. Water and food are the most important ones for us…

We cut up cotton shirts, pants, towels anything that is worn out but still usable in another form. Why waste good cotton cloth by throwing it in the garbage bag and throwing that bag into the bin at the Transfer Station. Makes no sense to me. I am trying to teach my children this >>>

Reduce. Reuse. Up-cycle. Recycle and the many other ways of reusing items.

The last time I did laundry I noticed that this fitted sheet was getting thread bare. I asked Milena if she wanted to do some cutting with my sharp sewing scissors. OF COURSE she did…haha! So with a stern warning about how sharp these scissors are and that she needs to stay focused on her task, (We have had way too many accidents with sharp objects and Milena)I ripped the sheet in half and removed the elastic and gave the halves to Milena to cut into approximately 1’x 1′(12cmx12cm) squares….sort of. 😉

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make a little snip…

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then rrrrriiip….

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Milena and her pile of new rags…

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Lovely “new” rags!

Milena was super proud that she got to use my very sharp sewing scissors and not cutting herself and helping to make the Earth a cleaner place.

We don’t use store bought chemicals, unless absolutely necessary. I have been making Lemon Vinegar cleaner for over 7 years now. I have tried Orange Vinegar cleaner, but I didn’t find it cleaned very well.

I also figure that since my hens won’t eat the peels and I hate just throwing them into the compost pile. I would give the Citrus Vinegar cleaner and have yet to look back. I can’t stand the smell of the cleaner/laundry aisle in the store. Neither can my daughters. We literally gag on our way down it.

I am excited to have my rag pile replenished and glad to have kept one more piece of usable material out of the landfill. 🙂

❤ Drisana

 

Silence is shocking

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This video kind of confused us at first. I didn’t read the back of the cover when I got it out of the library.

The film had no talking…no commentary. Only the sounds of the actual places shown. The sounds that the workers would be exposed to everyday. The squealing of pigs, machines, sprayers, water, the echoing hallways…. No explanation or subtitles to tell you what you were looking at…where in the world the farms were. We guessed Germany or Europe some where by the language of some workers and license plates.

It was intense at some points. The “silence” of videography is perfect…I suggest it to everyone. Yes there is blood and shocking scenes. I debated on letting Milena(8) see some scenes…but then she wouldn’t have gotten the full understanding without them. maybe preview before showing kids.

Seren says she’s going vegetarian. *note – I was vegetarian for 10 years*

I told her “that doesn’t solve the problems of the industry. Look how many chemicals are put on produce. So going vegetarian really isn’t any better. You need to learn to grow your own food. Do what we are doing now. Raise our own meat or buy from small farmers who we know and trust. Our beef comes from our neighbor who’s cows are grass fed during the summer and quality hay he grows for winter.We grow and preserve our vegetables and fruit as much as possible. We go to the store for those things we can’t produce ourselves. Read labels. Be informed. That is why I get this family to watch these types of shows.”

We have also watched:

  1. Forks Over Knives
  2. Food Inc.
  3. Plastic Planet

I know there were others but can’t remember the names of them. Time to do some more searching.

❤ Drisana

 

 

Bird Feeder Construction

A few weeks ago I found a couple of Prefabricated Bird Feeder kits at our local Home Hardware store in Burns Lake. Perfect hands-on school project to involve Dad. It took awhile to find the time to do the project but it finally happened.

Here are the steps I caught with the camera…

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Sorting the pieces

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Sorted and ready to go.

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Milena is waiting for her instructions

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Place pieces and draw a line along the inside edge so you know where to place the nails.

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Showing Milena how to prestart nails.

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Hammer time!

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Seren giving the little nails what for…

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Glue it and Nail it! (Funny faces are a must while waiting for help from the woodworking teacher dad)

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The bird feeders are coming together …just need to make the lid.

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Voila!

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Ready to find a place to put it and add some feed.

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TAaaaDA!!

We haven’t put them outside yet. The girls haven’t decided where they want to put them. We were thinking on some posts in the garden area to help with bug maintenance or in the yard near the windows so we can watch what birds come to feed even on rainy days.

I will be sure to add an update photo when they have finally decided on the placement.

❤ Drisana