Making Changes

In November of 2009 I wrote a post titled Keeping the Home. In it I talked about cleaning schedules, and how I wanted to start cooking more from scratch. I was overwhelmed by the “real foods” movement, but felt like it was something I really wanted to get behind. I just didn’t know where to start. Since then I’ve done a lot of research, and even watched documentaries like Food, Inc. and Super Size Me. (If you haven’t seen either one, I highly recommend them!) That’s enough to scare the crap out of you! But rather than scare me it really made me decide on some solids changes we could make around here. The other day at the library I picked up a book titled Radical Homemakers. While I don’t think I could get as radical as some of these people, I appreciate what they are doing. It is an inspiring read for anyone interested in ecological and self-sustaining practices.

Some of the things I have tossed around (to myself, Steven and my mom) are:

1) Making our own bread (in fact, I made two loaves today, solo mio using my moms recipe that she used when we were growing up. The house smells so good right now and I am currently eating a piece, covered in butter and dripping in honey. Eat your heart out! lol!)

2) Joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We have found a local Amish farm in our area that is offering 115 shares in their CSA this year. It runs for 32 weeks out of the year (longer than most of the others offered around here) and you can also pay a little extra and get eggs each week. It equals out to about $2.50 a week for eggs but I’m willing to pay that for farm fresh, free range eggs! And I love the idea of supporting a local Amish family!

3) Buying share in a cow, a pig and some chickens. I love the idea of local, fresh beef, pork, and chicken. It is so much healthier and we’d be able to visit the farms they are raised on and check out the conditions they live in, how they are fed, etc. No more antibiotics or hormones in our meat! And once again, we’d be supporting local farmers which is so important!

4) Planting our own garden. We have crappy soil where we live, in fact most of it is rock! So we are going to build 3 or 4 beds and plant some of our own fruits and veggies to hold us over on weeks we don’t have CSA deliveries and to use for canning, freezing, etc.

I know this seems like a lot at once, but the CSA and animal shares are really easy, it just takes some money. So we’re going to use some of what’s leftover from our taxes for that. The bread making is pretty easy too, and will just become part of my routine a few days a week. The most time intensive part is waiting for it to rise (and then rise again!) but I don’t have to be standing there watching it, so it doesn’t affect me or what I can get done around the house. The garden will be the most time intensive, labor intensive part, but I’m excited to get our kids out there working alongside of us. It’s going to be a great learning, growing experience for our family. So that’s what we are planning on doing around here to live healthier and more responsibly. What are you and your family doing to live a better life this year?

Quick, Easy and Yummy

I have been in real cooking slump lately! I don’t know what is up with me because I usually enjoy making something yummy and healthy for my family. I have had no initiative lately! One thing I know, I have got to get back to menu planning! But I also know, days that I feel totally uninspired I have found some of my favorite, quick meals. Last night was no exception. It was time for dinner and that “What are we going to eat tonight?” question was looming over my head. I wanted dinner to be ready when Steven got home from work after picking Brianna up at dance class. As I looked around I found a few ingredients that looked promising.

I had a few cans of this:

A few slices of this:

And a can of these:

Thus tuna melt crescents were born! All I did was make up some tuna salad. (Mine for these was very basic: Miracle Whip, sweet pickle relish, some celery seed and freshly ground pepper) I unrolled the crescent rolls and then placed half a piece of cheese on the widest section of the roll. Next I spooned in some tuna salad and rolled them up. I stuck them in the oven at 375 degrees for the suggested baking time (basically until browned and cheese was ooie-gooie!). Since I said I was in a slump we ate them with chips, but we had the leftovers for lunch today (the boys and I) and I served them with mandarin oranges, some cottage cheese, pretzel sticks and chocolate milk. They were just as good today as they were last night! Definitely yummy, and something I will make again, especially since Lent will be upon us soon!

Update

I wanted to let you all know that Jonah is doing much better. A few hours after my last post he was released from the hospital and we came home. He is still a little puny, but is getting more active every day. Micah ended up getting sick late Saturday night, but he didn’t have it nearly as bad! Thank God! Brianna got sick Sunday night and is still running a fever, luckily her vomiting/diarrhea was very minimal. Hopefully the fever goes away today so she can go back to school tomorrow. I woke up yesterday morning sicker than a dog! Every joint in my body hurt so bad! I think I slept all day long! Luckily this morning I woke up feeling much better and was able to eat and hold down breakfast so that’s a great sign! Hopefully this is all on the mend and we can stay healthy until spring comes and we can open the windows and let all the sickies fly away!

Our Fighter!

These past few days have been so scary and so exhausting. Thursday evening I was at rehearsal and Steven came in. It was about 9:30 pm and he stood at the edge of the stage. One of my friends got my attention and told me that my husband was here. I went over to the edge of the stage and he told me that Jonah had been throwing up all evening and it now had blood in it! I ran over to the director, told him I had to go, changed out of my costume in record time and jumped in the car. We dropped Brianna and Micah off at home with my mom and then drove to the ER. We sat in the waiting room for a little while and then were led back to a room. The doctor came in almost immediately. They ran some blood work and then started an IV. He was very dehydrated. And he was so sick. He barely reacted when they did his IV! He absolutely broke my heart. Steven took a few pictures in the ER. Here’s what our little guy looked like:

In the waiting room

Waiting for test results.

   
IV on board. Waiting for overnight room. Can you tell mommy is tired and scared?
Wiped out and sleeping good!            
 At one point he started breaking out in a weird rash! It started on his stomach and then spread to his face. Around his forehead and around his ears were particularly red and splotchy. It was really weird and we still don’t know what caused it. After some Benadryl it went away, but it was scary for a while. These pictures don’t really do it justice!

By yesterday morning he looked like a completely different child! Seeing that smile did this momma’s heart good! 

He had some visitors throughout the afternoon and evening. I went home in the afternoon to take a nap with Micah. It felt good to sleep in my own bed for a while but I was anxious to get back to my boy. My brother Michael and my mom came to visit. So did his grandma Kim and Aunt Shelly. Later his cousin Kristi, who is also his Godmother (or as Jonah calls her his “Fairy Godmother”-lol) came to visit. She got him to eat some jello and got some good smiles out of him!

By yesterday evening his fever was back up (it was 103 when Steven left to come back home so I could come back for the night!) and he just looked miserable again. His face was looking puffy and a little swollen. The doctor now says he think it’s because he had more fluids on board then he was out putting. 

Now the IV has been unhooked to give him an incentive to eat and drink on his own. If he can eat and drink well this morning and afternoon we should be home this evening. I hope so. I know we’re both ready to get out of here! He has been such a trooper and I’ve been so proud of him! Now he’s starting to fight back though, which tells me he is feeling much better! It’s been an experience…one I hope we don’t ever have to go through again!

Oh, and the “official diagnosis” if you are wondering…well, we didn’t really get one. The nurses say it smells (the diarrhea that is!) a lot like rota virus. They say once you smell it you never forget it! But the doctor never ran an actual test because there really isn’t anything they could do even if it was rota virus. I wish they would have though..it would have been nice to know for sure!

My First Accident

Car accident that is! On January 13th the boys and I were in a car wreck on the way to pick up Brianna from school. We were coming off of an exit ramp when all of the traffic in front of us stopped because of cars trying to merge. I was able to stop safely, but then was hit from behind by another driver. The damage to our car was very minimal (although after the estimate from the car insurance company we were at almost $3000 worth of damages) but the other womans’ car was a mess. She only carried liability since her car was so old and had so many miles on it. Her car could not be fixed so she’s going to have to buy a new one out of pocket! Since she hit us from behind her insurance is responsible to the damages on our car (even though Kentucky is a no fault state-a fact that I hate!!!) Initially I thought we were all OK, but that night Jonah and I both started developing headaches. By the time I woke up the next morning I was so sore I almost couldn’t move. Steven took both of us to the doctor. Luckily Jonah only had mild whip lash and didn’t require any other care. My whip lash was pretty significant and I ended up on muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories. I thought that was going to be the extent of it, until my hand started to swell and bruise almost a week later. Come to find out, my wrist was broken! And wouldn’t you know it…it was my right wrist! And, of course, I’m right handed! So I’ve been in a brace constantly since I found the break, which has made it hard to do a lot of things, especially a lot of typing…if I don’t want it to take 3 hours because I’m chicken pecking on the keyboard! ;-P

I just wanted to let you all know that we are still here, and as my wrist gets better I’ll start posting again! I have a few more weeks in the brace and then I go back for follow up x-rays. Hopefully everything will be healed…my house work is really starting to suffer!!! 🙂