Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Prodigal Returns

Our eldest son has made an unexpected, if not completely unappreciated return to our lives and household as of last week, after living on his own for 3 years.
3 years in which he did not always make the wisest, nor the healthiest choices, nor the most legal, but that's another story for another time.
So, after almost peeing myself, having a fit and falling in it, and very nearly hyperventilating, we collectively took a deep breath and set about welcoming him back into the house.
There are strict rules as to what is allowed and not allowed, what is negotiable, and what will result in immediate and permanent banning from the house, most notably being anytime an illegal act is committed or the monthly pee test does not come out cleaner than...well, I was going to say my kitchen floor, but we want it a whole lot cleaner than that! Geesh! Yep, that's right.We make our kid go do a monthly pee test for us,because,although we are loving parents, we are not stupid, nor are we naive.The kid did spend 3 years on his own, some of which was spent in less than ideal situations, after all.
So, how is it going so far?
Well, it's only been a week, but so far it has been going pretty darn good. There have been, and continue to be adjustments, but for the most part it has gone well. Hopefully this is an indication that Eldest has become the process of bettering himself, otherwise known to us as pulling your head out of you bum.
The volume in the house has definitely increased, and the food seems to be disappearing at an alarming rate, but there is another adult male in the house, and we all know they can eat!! Eat,fart and belch. Copiously.
He has begun looking for a job, and in the mean time will start working towards his GED next month and shadowing me at the horse rescue every week. Got to keep him busy!
So, we are settling into a new normal in the house and hopefully this will be the start of a bright new chapter for us all! Fingers crossed(and toes and what ever else you can think of...)

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Pollen Among Us

Although I love the warm weather and the beautiful sun we have been enjoying, not to mention the gorgeous flowers starting to bloom (our cherry trees are almost ready to bloom!), there is one thing about spring I do not enjoy: allergy season.
And,Oh, my allergy season is here and it has hit with a vengeance!
Both guys have severe tree pollen allergies, and now that the maple and pines have begun to unleash their yellow coated fury, allergies have kicked into high gear, along with the accompanying sniffing, sneezing, itching, sore throats and discomfort that makes sleeping difficult and outdoor activities fairly misserable. Even Girl and I have not been immune to the scratchy eyes and sneezing, abeit on a much lesser scale than Sniff and Snot over there. A few extra Kleenex and a couple spoonfuls of local raw honey and we're good.
The boys haven't fared so well. Boy is actualy doing pretty good, since these allergies don't send his excema into over drive like some others do. A new allergy medicine added to his regime, the spoonfuls of raw honey 2-3 times a day and a change of clothes every time he comes in from outside, plus limiting his outdoors until the worst has past and he seems remarkably unaffected.
Husband, on the other hand has steadfastly refused my repeated attempts to get him to let our allergist put him on some allergy medication, nor will he take any home remedy, preferring instead to cough,sneeze,itch and moan his way throught the day and night, waking me up periodically to tell me just how badly he is feeling. I don't think my three a.m. response was very comforting, although I do believe it was a quote from a book-in this case Go The **** To Sleep.
But after several near sleepless nights and my paitence wearing dangerously thin, I did finally convince him to take an over the counter allergy med, pop a couple herbal throat drops and take some honey. I think the last bit was only to cover the taste of the herbal drops, which, admittedly taste like gym socks dipped in ass. Not that I know what either tastes like, mind. But I've heard stories...
The effect? He was down for a rest and a couple of hours later, he is up and if not fully 100%, at least he is able to function for the most part. Yeah! Maybe we can both get some sleep tonight!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Food Rules-The Book

So I bought this little book by Michael Pollen-you know, the same guy who wrote The Onmivore's Dilema and In Defense of Food. It's basically a complilation of bits of common sense, housewife wisdom and healthy eating tidbits.
It is a nice, easy book and not a bad way to spend a nice afternoon,which is all it took me to read through.
Since we are trying to do much more whole foods type eating, I thought this would be an easy introduction for us all-and I love the way he is very laid back about most things-not in your face-you-must-eat this-or-die type sermons!

Monday, March 12, 2012

No School Days

Every once in a while, we take a day off from school, not because it's a holiday or vacation day, but for the simple reason that we can. Today was one of those "school free" days.
Everyone is having a hard time adjusting to daylight savings time, so I used that as an excuse to play hookie today! We normally school 10 months out of the year and generally don't do spring break at all, so I don't feel to badly taking a random day off once in a while-not that I would feel bad anyways, mind. I figure as long as we keep up what is legally required for school and I remember to occasionally feed my kids and they remember to occasionally bathe, we're doing just fine.
So what did we do today? Almost nothing! And you know what? It feels really good!
We planted a few plants, spread some straw, and walked the property. Did a quick inventory in the storage room. The kids pulled out some MadLibs and took turns writing marginally acceptable things while I caught up on domestics. Took a walk down to the lake.
Over all I would say this has turned out to be a great day to play hookie-so nice, I'm tempted to do it again tomorrow!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Growing Things

I've been restlessly waiting for the weather to get warm enough to begin my seeds, but in the mean time what's an anxious garden-a-holic to do?
Why, grow celery of course! I recently came across a great little article explaining how to grow your own celery from store bought celery, and just couldn't resist giving it a try myself.
Especially since it takes 2 minutes and zero effort on my part-my kind of project!
Basically this is what you do:
Buy your celery,bring it home and cut off the bottom end, about 2 inches from the bottom. You could skip the second step and do this in the store or your car, but people might be alarmed seeing a chubby middle age woman wielding a knife to poor defenseless vegetables. Then again, in my area, they most likely wouldn't even notice anything out of the ordinary.
Anyway, once you have removed the bottom off your celery, simply place in a container of your choice with a couple of inches of water and wait 3-4 days.
I chose used cottage cheese containers, because I like to keep it classy.
After a couple of days, you should see fresh little leaves beginning to grow from the center of the celery, and tiny new roots sprouting off the other end. Once your celery is growing, plant it with just the new leaves peeking out, fertilize well, and mulch with 3-4 four inches of well, mulch. I just used leaves from the compost pile. Again, I like zero effort. Don't forget celery likes to be kept pretty moist all the time!
You can plant yours outside in the ground-I chose to put my celery in a medium pot, because if left to it's own ways, celery will span out like the petals of a flower and take up a lot of space. I am going to solve this problem by setting a 2-liter bottle with top and bottom cut off over the plant, thus confining it to it own space. Plus I'm hoping to move it indoors when it gets cold and keep harvesting!
Celery can be continuously harvested I have been told-I have never done this, so I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully we will be getting celery until it freezes in the fall!
One added thing-I happened to have 2 celery bunches, one organic and one not, so I did this to both of them. The organic celery grow at almost twice the rate of the regular one,providing an interesting comparasin, even Hubby could appreciate. We wonder if the regular bunch had been treated somehow to prevent sprouting somehow. Hmm... Even Hubby mentioned the organic celery looked healthier than the regular one,so it must be true!
We'll see which one does better when I plant them both. Unless the squirrels eat them that is. Do squirrels even like celery?