Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm Weird, Are you?

Some of the writer's of blogs I frequent experience the same thing, but what about those of you reading this? I get weird stares/comments when I mention the following:
-I bought bushels of corn this summer just for the sole purpose of having my own frozen corn
-I saved the cobs instead of throwing them out so I could make a corn chowder this winter. I made it last night and it was awesome.
-I asked for a sock loom for Christmas and got one.
-I have a compost bin
-I really want chickens. Judy- I am really envious of your chicken tales lately.
-I make tortillas, English muffins, and bread from scratch.
-We use cloth napkins during every meal, not just when company comes over. And unless we are having a party that is over 12 people, you will never find paper plates in my house or our toy hauler.

These are just a few of the items that make me "weird"

I wouldn't trade any of it. The same people that think I am weird are also the ones that love coming to my house for dinner. Most people my age either don't like to cook or if they do cook it is usually processed foods that they are preparing. I cook about 80% of all our foods from scratch. Being able to work from home has allowed me the extra time necessary to cook this way. I have been making some wonderful breads lately, unfortunately I always forget to take pictures.

So, are you weird? I hope you are in this weird club with me because I love being a member!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Packing Boxes

I don't know if anyone actually reads my blog, but if you do I apologize for the infrequent blogging. It's time for us to move again. Three houses in 8 months since we moved here, I think that might be a new record. We got very lucky and we were able to rent another house in our neighborhood which I am very excited about. The rent is significantly more, but the house is almost twice the size so it will be worth it. We officially move in next Friday so we have been prepping by boxing up quite a few things. Since we are basically moving down the street I am hoping that when we bring something into the new house it will get put where it belongs. I have to leave for California at the end of the month for work so I am trying to make this move as stress free as possible.

I have been continuing to eat following the dark days challenge, I just haven't had time to take pictures and post about it. I am going to try and get my post up in time for the weekly round-up, let's see if I can get it done.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Challenge Update

I've really sucked at this eat local challenge lately. I didn't do enough research ahead of time and with the hustle and bustle of the holidays on top of a very busy month at work I just havent put together any complete meals with local ingredients. We have been trying to eat local items so now I just need to buckle down and make the effort to get a complete meal done.

My Christmas garden was a success. Even with very cold temperatures and multiple frost/freezes we were able to heat a huge salad with homegrown lettuce and spinach which made me a very happy woman. I did leave some leaves for the next few weeks, but the rest are going to need some time to get big enough for cutting. The lettuce and spinach is growing slowly, but it is growing which proves that with a cheaply built hoop frame you can grow successful year round in Oregon.

I better get back to work. Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful New Years.

See you next year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Griswold Family Christmas

I have always loved the movieNational Lampoons Christmas Vaction. The first Christmas my husband and I were together he gave it to me as a gift and we started the tradition of watching the movie every Christmas Eve in bed.

Last year we decided at the last minute to come up to Eugene for Thanksgiving weekend on a scouting mission. At this point we were doing everything we could to get up here and we wanted to decide on the area of town that we would want to look for a rental as we knew that we probably would have to do everything remotely when moving became a reality. While we were here we decided to get our Christmas tree. We saw a story on the news about paying 5 bucks for a permit to cut a tree in the National Forest, Griswold Family style. We decided to just cut a tree down at a family farm, by the way the best tree I have ever had. We did vow that if we were able to move up here that we would go into the forest for our tree.

Well, we are here and we made it into the forest for our tree. At 5 bucks a piece I rationalized that we should get three tree's and we would still only be paying half of what one tree from a farm would cost us. The best part about three tree's is that everyone got to pick out the tree they wanted, instead of searching for hours for the best tree that we both liked.

Here is my son posing with the tree that he picked out for his ornaments. He has a pretty big collection of the Dr. Seuss and Scooby Doo ornaments from Hallmark so it will be nice to have them displayed on his own tree.

Here is a picture of the tree I picked out for the front yard, it caught my eye because it has two trunks that connected at the base of the tree. I will post a picture of it when we get it completed, it will have white lights with red and silver ornaments that I have from when I used to have a stair banister to decorate.

This is a picture of the main tree for the house that my husband picked out. As you can see his measuring skills are off and the tree had to be taken back outside to get chopped down a bit. Since Ethan's ornaments were going on his tree and I had a tree to decorate outside I told my husband that he could have his own Star Wars tree. His mom and grandmother have been buying him the Hallmark Star Wars ornaments every year for probably the last 15 years. He has so many that normally he only gets to display half of them, but this year that is changing. And just to be clear, I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies and really don't have any interest to so I'm a pretty good wife to let the main tree be decorated this way.

We had such a fun family day. Ethan and Doja had a blast running in the snow and we just enjoyed a family day that didn't involve chores or errands. This is definately a family tradition that we will continue to do each year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Must Be Crazy!

UPDATE: I found a company in our area that is sorta like a CSA. They have a website where you can order all sorts of different products from local farms within 50 miles of here. If I place my order by Monday morning it will be dropped off at the local brewery on Tuesday afternoon's. This is a win-win situation. I can get all of the local products that I need for the Dark Day's Challenge and I can have a beer while I pick up box of goodies. The local farms participating offer: meat, dairy, grains, veggies, fruits, honey, and other non-perishable items. I've placed an order for pickup tomorrow so once I get my box I will post some photo's of the yummy stuff we ordered. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that all of the items that are offered are either cheaper or the same price as what I would pay for it at the farmer's market or the local grocery chain.

I signed up for the Dark Days Challenge over at Not Dabbling in Normal. I always love a challenge but maybe I should have done some research before signing up. I have only lived in this State for 6 months and I have no idea what I am going to be able to come up with for meals with all ingredients from within 100-150 miles of my house.

At first I thought I was set. I have been to Bob's Red Mill in Portland and I knew that was within my mile range so I figured I was set in regards to flour and baking products, WRONG. The mill may be within my mile range, but I never thought about the fact that the grains probably didn't fall into that category. I guess it is time to start investigating because I have recently started making all of our bread products and finding a local source for flour would be nice.

We do have a winter market so I will have to go this week to check out what is available. I don't have a winter vegetable loving family so I am going to have to get creative. I do have three of my garden beds planted in winter lettuce and spinach, but I was really hoping to save most of that for a big home grown salad for Christmas dinner. Unfortunately with the prospect of having to move I delayed putting in the garden beds so the growth is rather slow, but they are growing.

If any of you live in my area and know of local meat and dairy sources please let me know, I would appreciate any help I can get.

Wish me luck. Worst case is we will be eating a plain spinach salad once a week, probably not a bad idea for the waistline that has grown since we got here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Time Flies

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted. Quite a bit has changed in the last few months. I started working in September when my son went back to school. I'm extremely lucky that I was able to get a job working from home, so I have a very short commute and I get to work in my pajama's. The downside is that I spend all day on a computer so when work is done for the day the last thing I want to do is play on the computer.

The summer garden was pretty disappointing, but it was still nice to be able to pick produce from the backyard. I put in a winter garden for the sole purpose of having a homegrown salad for Christmas dinner. I have three beds that are filled with spinach and winter lettuce that are protected by a poly tunnel, the growth is slow but I will be able to eat my own lettuce in December. We have had frost and very cold temperatures and I am amazed at how warm it gets under the tunnel.

Last month we were notified that we are going to have to move. We have been paying our rent, but unfortunately the landlord hasn't been paying their mortgage. We are still unsure of how long we have, but I do know this: I DON'T WANT TO MOVE. We finally got this house unpacked and pictures on the wall a few months ago. I feel like if we have to move we will be starting all over again with new friends and a new neighborhood, something that I don't want to do. We have talked about building a house on one of the empty lots in the neighborhood, but if we do that it will be a long time before I get my hobby farm. We have some decisions to make and we probably need to make them pretty quick.

That's enough updates for now, I'll try and get on here more regularly.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Challenge Update

What a week!! I did just over 75 miles for the challenge. It is now been over a week and a half since I drove my car, kind of weird. My legs are tired so we took it easy yesterday and stayed home. I was able to get a bunch of weeding done and we may just do the same today. It has been pretty warm so I would rather stay home and play in the pool than drag a 60 pound sled in almost 90 degree heat. I'm going to continue to ride the bike while the weather is still nice.

My son starts school in two weeks so it is time for me to get a job. I think my mother-in-law is going to be able to get me a job working from home, which would be fantastic. If this goes through I think I may try and commute my son to school one way each day. A good 14 mile bike ride every day will be good for getting rid of the beer gut that has grown since we arrived here in Oregon.

I should be picking the first tomatoes today which is very exciting, although it is pretty late in the season already. I think I may make some bruschetta tonight for dinner. It looks like I will have a bunch of tomatoes all ready at the same time which should be good because I am ready to start canning. I am going to see if we can go pick some blackberries tonight so I can make some jam. We still have enough strawberry jam from the batch I made in March to get us through until next year, but I would like the ability to have some variety. I'm also thinking of making some blackberry syrup to have for pancakes. Since blackberries grow like weeds here I am going to try and put up quite a bit of fruit. I know it sounds crazy that I made jam in March, but please remember that most things grow year round in California.

I'm off to go pick weeds, have a wonderful day.