Friday, June 25, 2010

independence days challenge year 3

the muse is coming back but for a different reason....trying to make money. my best friend just landed in new zealand 2 days ago and i am mourning the loss of such a good friend. although we'll stay in touch, it's not the same as seeing each other once a week and talking on the phone daily or every other day. my goal is to save enough money so that in about 3 years when she gets her homestead, i can go and visit her. so, i'm busting my butt to try to scrape together the funds for us to go. i have yet to see how much tickets will cost to fly there...i don't even have a financial goal in mind at this point, but every little bit will help.

i have been very good about spending most of my money on food at the farmer's market. i bought a side of beef and all of our veggies and fruits from the market and have only been getting the very bare necessities from the grocery store. it's nice to go in every 2 weeks and only spend about $30!

my new goal is to spend nothing unless absolutely necessary. i have slipped off the non-consumeristic bandwagon big time and need to climb back on and dust my britches off. no more thrift shop sprees (i had a big one right after my friend left, talk about shopping when you are depressed, i so fit that category!). less spending, more making is in my future. as much as possible i'm leaving the kids at home when i go to the farmer's market because they just want to buy, buy, buy....lemonade, breakfast from the nearby bakery, etc. it adds up to quite a lot.

Planted: nothing although i was gifted 3 celery plants that i need to plant asap before the goats eat them up. i love fresh celery!

Harvested: chicken eggs, milk, peaches (just 3...they won't be ready for another week), lamb's quarters, herbs, flowers

Preserved: made 2 batches of soap, made 9.5# of butter (froze  them) and 1 1/2 gallon buttermilk from locally purchased cream; purchased a side of beef from vendor at the market

Want Not: purchased 2 pillows at a garage sale for 50 cents each. one was a round one that fit a wicker chair that needed a round cushion. the other was a heavy down throw pillow with linen fabric and embroidered ferns on it. score! i am resisting temptation to purchase school pictures...they are ridiculously priced and so posed, i hate them but tend to break down and buy them for the grandparents....

Waste Not:  food scraps to chickens and/or compost (chickens dig in compost too). emptied out old preserves that had gone bad (previous wwoofers didn't can them right and they unsealed) to feed to chickens and now i'm slowly washing the jars; using the 'flopped' violet and dandelion jelly as syrup; walked to the high school to register my older 2 kids for school instead of driving (it's about 2 blocks away); used some st. john's wort tincture to dye a play silk (mixed with alum from the grocery turned a beautiful pale pistachio green color)

Community: sold eggs, milk and yogurt to locals, sold soap, wool, eggs, lamb's quarters, flowers at farmer's market (we are attending 2 a week this summer); bartered milk for veggies; have been purchasing all of our veggies and fruit from the farmer's market instead of the grocery store; purchased a side of beef from the market

Eat the Food: eggs, milk (yogurt and cheese), green beans, patti pans, onions, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, carrots from market, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary plus various herbs for tea: lemon balm, lemon verbena, catnip, motherwort, bergamot; peaches

Thursday, June 3, 2010

homeschooling update

we are still going full speed ahead with school. jaden would do it 7 days a week if i had the time to sit down with her.

she still won't read but i've been working on phonograms with her daily much to her dismay. she has a mental block on the last 8 or so sounds but i think she will get them soon enough.

math is another block. we have been working on skip counting....2's and now 10's. she's not grasping the concept very well so i've created extra worksheets then backed off and moved forward. i figure it will click sooner or later.

for science, i purchased a microscope for us. we've been looking at things under it and also following the pandia press r.e.a.l. science curriculum. i love it! we're studying the body right now.

history has been a lot of fun. we are using pandia press's history odyssey and doing ancient egypt. today she and her sister mummified a barbie doll and put her tomb in the flower garden, lol. we've been doing lots of fun egyptian stuff and i hope to wrap up egypt by having her help me cook an egyptian meal of foods they would have eaten during ancient egypt. she LOVES history pockets and wants to do them everyday. i purchased a papyrus plant for my water pond so she could see a real papyrus plant. when it gets bigger, i'll harvest some and we'll make paper from it. i also bought a paper making kit. i hope to break that out in the next few days so we can play with that. it should be a lot of fun!

art has seen a lot of water color crayons and some pastels and clay. some of the clay projects were tied to the history lessons, some just for fun. we are following the artistic pursuits but also plenty of free choice art going on!

life skills - jaden and sage have both been milking and adelena is getting in on it too now. i have turned over this chore to adelena and the wwoofer.

jaden helps with cooking, cleaning, setting the table and more.

Independence days challenge year 3

boy, time's just whizzing by. i'm happy to report that things are moving forward here. or at least moving...

Planted: 5 heirloom tomatoes, 2 zucchini, 1 cuke, 3 basil plants purchased from farmer's market (all my seedlings died), 2 rosemary, 2 thyme, 4 chamomile, 1 borage, 2 lavender, 2 lemon verbena, 1 cinnamon basil, 1 stevia, 2 raspberry, 1 blueberry purchased from local nurseries (plants that were locally grown), chamomile, calendula, cilantro, agrimony from seed, planted onions (better late than never, right?!)

Harvested: chicken eggs, milk, pie cherries, parsley, mulberries

Preserved: made 2 batches of soap, made 6# of butter (froze 5 of them) and 1 quart of ghee from locally purchased cream

Want Not: my best friend is moving back to new zealand with her family. while i am beside myself with sadness of losing a stay at home/homeschooling mama friend who understand me completely, i am happy for her. she can't take the majority of her appliances so i am cheaply purchasing several items: food processor, juicer, ex caliber dehydrator, stick blender, vacuum, single futon mattress (for the wwoofer bunkhouse greg is building) and crock pot that is larger than the one i own

Waste Not:  food scraps to chickens and/or compost (chickens dig in compost too). bought a 2nd bucket so one is marked chicken scraps and one is strictly compost (citrus peels, coffee grounds, etc). greg is building a dual purpose bunkhouse for our the winter it will double as a green house. we have a wood stove we purchased for my someday garage he can put in there if need be to heat it and it will be moveable so in the summertime, it will be parked under trees for shade and in the winter, flipped around so the windowed side will get lots of sun. 

Community: sold eggs, milk and yogurt to locals, sold soap, cherries, eggs at farmer's market (we are attending 2 a week this summer); spoke with a chef and owner of a local restaurant who is interested in purchasing my milk and eggs for her restaurant and store; bartered broccoli and asparagus for milk

Eat the Food: eggs, milk (yogurt), broccoli and asparagus from market, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary plus various herbs for tea: lemon balm, lemon verbena, catnip, motherwort, bergamot; mulberries (made pancakes with them)

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