I know. It’s been way too long. We’ve been doing a bit of sprucing up around the farm and have moved over all the goodies here to my new blog Healthy Farm Girl. I’d love to have you come on over for a visit.
Currently, I’m blogging about a challenge my life coach has given me: 100 Days of Silly Moments.
I am suppose to do something silly for 100 days and record it on Facebook, Periscope, and my blog. I just wrapped up Day 3 and by far I think it’s been the most fun. Come on over and watch me do a Silly Dance. You are sure to get a giggle or two.
If you use Periscope, you are more than welcome to follow me at Kathleen Peters or @KathleenFarmGrl. I’ve been having a blast creating live videos about mayonnaise, goat cheese, and how to stop a nose bleed. Haha!!
I hope to see you on our new space. It’s still under construction, but soon we’ll have it looking amazing.
P.S. The new website for the new blog is www.HealthyFarmGirl or click here Healthy Farm Girl
I was watching a TED talk the other day about….you guessed it, food! I know, it’s baffling that I would even be a bit interested in food. I know. I know. I’m odd. But you love me anyway.
Anyway, this particular show was hosted by chef Jamie Oliver of Food Revolution. Don’t know what the heck I’m talking about?
Jamie had a show on TV called Food Revolution. He worked with schools to help them make more nutritious breakfasts/lunches.
In the video I watched, Jamie was holding up different vegetables (potato, tomato, radish) and asking children if they knew what it was. Let’s just say, I gasped out loud when the little tikes couldn’t identify them. And these were not 3 year olds, folks.
What in the world? How is it that these children don’t know what real food looks like? Something is not right.
Jamie goes on to interview everyday people to discover what they are eating/feeding their children. So many parents are only providing premade/frozen/in a box food. Their children have not ever seen them chop an onion or bake a potato. I am astonished.
Real Fast Food Made with Rice
So, in light of what Jamie is doing, I thought I would do my part and share with you some of my own real fast foods. Making your own food doesn’t have to be difficult or super time consuming.
First : Buy a bag of rice.
Please don’t buy a box of rice. That is highly processed and has little resemblance to the actual grain itself. Trust me. You can do this!
Follow the directions in that link or just cook your rice in water. It doesn’t have to be with chicken stock.
Third: Store your cooked rice in the refrigerator or freezer.
If storing in the freezer, a couple of cups in a ziploc bag works great.
Fourth: Make some quick delicious meals.
2-3 Cups cold cooked rice
2 celery stalks
1-2 cups leftover meat
2 scrambled eggs
Soy sauce to taste
optional: ginger (diced), garlic (chopped)
Chop a couple of carrot and celery stalks and an half onion. Place a few Tablespoons of oil in a pan. Cook the onion until it’s soft and kind of clear looking. Now add the other veggies. Cook until soft (5 minutes or so).
Grab some leftover meat and chop into small bites. I’ve used steak and bacon, but whatever you have will work fine. No meat in the fridge? No biggie. It will still taste delicious.
Add meat and rice to the veggies. Cook a few minutes until heated through.
Push the meat/veggie mixture to the side of your pan. Dump in scrambled eggs and cook until done.
Mix the cook egg into the meat/veggie mixture. Add a splash or two of soy sauce to flavor.
Get crazy and experiment with this EASY recipe. Add some sugar snap peas, sliced cabbage, green beans, green onion…show your kids what a vegetable looks like.
My family raves about my fried rice. And you know what I love about it? I don’t measure anything. That’s right, I just chop what looks good and throw it all in the pan. Sometimes it has bacon, some times it has no meat. I then taste as I go and add more seasoning if it needs it. This is truly fast food in that you don’t have to have all the ingredients I listed above. Just grab what you have and make it taste good. Honest. You can do this.
Next up in Real Fast Food is Easy Mexican Food on the Fly using, you guessed it, that rice you stored in your refrigerator.
I had the extreme privilege to be a guest blogger this week on my friend Teri’s blog, Teri’s Take. To me, this is the ultimate in compliments. For one, Teri is a successful entrepreneur (Knowledge Quest Maps), which makes her famous to me. If you are a homeschooler and you’ve not yet discovered her business, you best be boppin’ over there this instant.
She’s got maps, timelines, and geography curriculum. I first discovered her when using The Story of the World in 2001. Yep, Teri’s black line maps were embedded into the curriculum. My son was labeling the Nile River and the ancient cities of Ur and Babylonia on her maps. And now her business is so much more than just maps. I’m telling you, if you want History to come alive for your students, you have to check her out.
For two, she’s a great mom. We’ve had the privilege to work with her kids in our Theater Arts Group, and we are continually impressed with their character. They’re great kids. She may not know it, but Teri is one of those women in my life of whom I consider to be a homeschooling mentor. She has already graduated one high schooler and is well on her way to finishing up another. Yes, I watch what she does. I watch very carefully. I’m a stalker that way. Hee. Hee.
Okay, enough. Get to the point, Kathleen!
Yes, so sorry.
In the comments section of Teri’s blog, there came a cry for help.
Oh – I need your cards! Would you please share your list to “To-Do’s” so my family could have some “Ta-Da’s” without step-by-step instruction from Mom?! While I realize our homes are different, we seem so much alike that your list would be a great starting place for me! I love your magnetic whiteboard! Congratulations on training your sons! Their wives will thank you!!
A fellow woman is in need, friends. I love her already. And not just because she says my daughters-in-law are going to thank me some day (which of course soothes one of my uttermost fears that they will complain about me behind my back some day), but because she says it would be a great place to start.
Oh, my. She’s speaking my language. Little did this sweet woman know, this is my mantra. Just. Start.
Yep, that’s it, just start.
I’ve spoken at many events throughout the years, and this is the message that keeps popping up. If we will just put one foot in front of the other and not be dismayed or discouraged by the battle before us, we will succeed. Throw perfection behind us and just begin moving. I have found if I can just start, I end up propelling myself forward, energized to complete the task at hand.
Um, I’ll be stepping off my soapbox now. Sorry, I feel a bit passionate about this. You probably can’t tell.
So…., I must help my new friend. She wants to start. Yes!
Now, my kids are on the oldish side (12 and 16) and they’ve had much practice at cleaning various parts of our house. So, many of my cards don’t have too detailed instructions. But never fear, you can add your details to mine.
Cleaning For Company Cards
Sweep – under tables, behind chair and couch
Dust – coffee table, TV, TV stand, shelves, fireplace glass, side table
Clean Coffee Table – with Windex & paper towels clean glass
Neatly stack video games/movies
Put away anything that doesn’t belong in the Living Room
New hand towel – hang neatly, put old one in laundry
Hang bath towels neatly
Check to make sure there is enough toilet paper
Clean toilet inside and out – don’t forget under the toilet seat
Clean off counter – put away radios, electric razors, deodorant, books
Clean sink, counter, and mirror
Wipe top of trash bin
Make sure bath mat is hanging over bath tub
Wipe dust off top of bath tub
Sweep by front door and by the bedrooms
Pick up stuff off dressers, etc
Mom & Dad’s Room
Clean off countertop (all things not belonging to kitchen removed)
Clean stove top
Sweep Eating Area – move chairs and sweep under table and under bar
Sweep Kitchen floor
Clean mat under dog’s water bowl
Vacuum kitchen rug
I did combine some of these jobs onto one card of which I recommend. If the stack of cards seem too large, it might become overwhelming to the family. And then again, if there are too many tasks on each card, that might hinder traction. Balance, my friends, balance. I would shoot for a maximum of 5 cards per working family member (babies might have difficulties with that toilet brush).
Wondering why you would even want to make Cleaning Cards? Because it’s brilliant! Hee. Hee. Take a peek at my original article, Cleaning for Company.
What tasks are you going to add to your cleaning cards?
Recently I ran out of my favorite eye make-up remover (Mayelline Expert Eyes). When I went to purchase more, I couldn’t find it. So, I went to the Almay section and picked out one of theirs. Unbeknownst to me, not all make-up removers are created equal. So unconstitutional!
Now, I don’t wear much make-up to warrant ‘removing’ it before washing my face, but after my shower I always end up with raccoon eyes. You know, where my mascara bled all over to make me look like a bandit.
You know that look.
What I loved about My Expert Eyes is it took away my hooligan look without leaving a greasy feeling behind. I hate greasy. Ew.
Well, apparently Almay is into well lubricated looking eyes. I looked like I was always crying without the red nose. Hmmm. Not the image I’m going for. Although lately, most days homeschooling I feel like I could burst into tears. But who wants to LOOK like it?
And I’ll tell you what, I could not scrub that stuff off. Scrubbing? Yeah, not so much. Not suppose to scrub your eyes. That just makes wrinkles.
Oh, yeah. I already have those….
Look! Something shiny!
My friend, Mindy, posted in her blog today the merits of coconut oil. A huge fan of coconut oil myself, I took a gander at her material (not to mention that she has a giveaway for coconut oil right now). I love a good giveaway.
I’ve used coconut oil in candy, cooking, baking and even on my chapped hands. It’s awesome stuff.
Well, Mindy mentions in her blog that she uses it to remove make-up. What?? No way!
So, I just had to try it. And it works!
Here’s the before. Try not to notice the bushy eyebrows too much. I’m being vulnerable here.
Now, take a glob of coconut oil.
Okay, you probably don’t want this big of a glob, but hey, it looks pretty.
Now, shmeer (yes, that is a word) onto your lids and lashes.
Coconut oil liquifies at about 72 degrees, so once this stuff hits your face, prepare yourself for the melt-down.
It seems to literally melt the make-up off your face.
Then, with your tissue in hand, gently wipe away the crud.
No scrubbing required.
Can you see the difference? Okay, can I just say, taking a picture of your eyes close up like this is extremely difficult. You wouldn’t think so, but just you try it and see if you don’t come out looking cross-eyed. It’s hard! The boys got a huge giggle out of watching me take this. It’s all in the name of love for my adoring readers. Hee. Hee. What I will do for you. It must be love.
The best thing is about my new beloved remover, it doesn’t make me look greasy-eyed. Coconut oil soaks into the skin pretty fast. Yay. I win!
Go ahead and give it a try and tell me what you think. And if you don’t have any coconut oil hanging out in your pantry already, head over to Mindy’s blog Sweetness in the Small Stuff and sign up for her giveaway. I know I did.
If you don’t win, buy yourself a big old bucket of oil like me.
Yep, I really did buy 5 gallons of coconut oil. And that’s just the refined stuff. There’s another 1 gallon of unrefined in the garage. Yeah. I like coconut oil.
We call these babies, ‘swords’. Hey, what can I say? I have boys and one in particular resistant to eating green things. What better way to entice a young man…but with an tasty weapon? You do what you gotta do.
Yep, it’s that time of year again. Time to grow some yummy veggies.
In the area I live, west of the Cascade Mountains, it’s time to start the spring garden. In my search to learn when I should start planting what, I kept bumping into the name of a gardening expert on my region of the country. Steve Solomon is his name and he has authored Growing Vegetable West of the Cascades.
He knows all about our soils, abundance of rain, and lack of sun. And because he ran his own seed business (Territorial Seed) he is well acquainted with which ones grow best around here. I have most enjoyed his chapter suggesting the best seed companies to purchase from for the best germination rates (how many seeds per pack will actually become a plant).
In his book are projected dates to sow (plant your seeds). It turns out we live in a pretty unique area of the United States (mild wet winters and coolish dry summers) and our approach to gardening probably should be different as well.
So, I followed Solomon’s guide and planted spinach and sugar snap pea seeds this last weekend.
Yep, that’s them under that cover. I’ve learned from a bit of experience that the birds around our property love to eat my freshly planted seeds.
I don’t dare expose them to the world until they are strong enough to fight back. Hee. Hee. Basically, I’ll uncover them when they’ve got deep enough roots.
Don’t have plot of land to garden? <Mom> Plant some seeds in a flower pot. Think edible patio art.
Next month, I’ll sow some onion bulbs, scallions, and potatoes. And then it’s time to start those seeds indoors. Broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkin.
I had the most brilliant idea recently. No, really, it was. Well, is, I should say. You’ll think so too. Honest. It had to do with getting help with cleaning the house.
I don’t know about you, but I stress out a bit before a big event happens in our home. For one reason, hospitality is NOT a spiritual gift or talent of which I possess. My poor mom, of whom is Martha Stewart incarnate, must be saddened that she did not pass on to me her love for pretty things in the home. I plum missed out on that fabulous gene. Sorry, Mom.
The other reason is I’m not a detail-girl. Mostly, I just don’t see the dust and cobwebs…that is until there are guests in our home. Then, the veil seems to lift mysteriously and it practically stabs me in the eyes. ‘How did I never see it before?’ Oh, and then I am thoroughly embarrassed. I’m sure you’ve never experienced such a phenomenon yourself.
All that to say, cleaning house is a major event for me. I want to make sure the details are addressed. And since I don’t SEE them, I have to really stop and look for them. It’s a strain on the brain, folks.
And then, of course, I would really like the family to help out with this monstrous feat. Okay, I am exaggerating a tiny bit (our house is only 1400 square feet). Because I live with people of the men group (husband and two sons), they don’t see the dust either. Let’s just say, we’re not a good combination when it comes to a neat house.
When it’s time to spruce up the place, all three men come to me to ask what they are to do next. And then my already taxed to the max brain warns me of its impending doom (it’s gonna blow!) Too many details. The trees! The trees! There are too many. I can’t see the forest.
I had a history professor in college that had the nerve to say that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees, which was exactly the truth at the time. I think she actually saved my life. It was then that I figured out why History was difficult to study. I was trying to cram in all the names, dates, locations, but they had nothing to stick themselves to. I needed to first have the jist of what was going on globally, per se, before I could understand the local stuff. –Oh, how I do digress. There is an education blog in there dying to get out.
Back to the helpful men in my life. The other drain on my brain is wondering if they truly know what I mean by ‘pick up the Living Room’. I’ll be very vulnerable for a moment here, but I tend to get a bit bossy and rather grumpy if they don’t pick up the room to my expectations. Yes, it can get ugly at my house. Very ugly.<sigh>
So, one day before the grey matter had a chance to expand beyond it’s boundaries, I had a bit of genius strike. What if I made little cards with detailed instructions for each job that needed to get done? The family would no longer have to ask me, ‘Now what?” They would then only need to grab a little card from the pile and follow its detailed instructions.
I would no longer have to stop in the middle of what I was cleaning to muster enough energy and brain power to think of what to have them do next. And then I could gather up all the little clean up cards and save for the next time we had company. I would only have to think once. Brilliant!
And my friends, just recently, two of my men went through all of those cards in one hour. Oh, yes. You read that correctly. My house was shiny clean, top to bottom in 60 minutes. And not one person had to ask me a question. It was almost as if since they knew there was an end to those cards, they worked harder. There was no lagging. It was a beautiful sight to behold and a blessing beyond belief to me.
And so, I just had to share it with you.
By the way, I set up the ‘Cleaning For Company Cards’ on our white board in the kitchen. It think the fam decided they liked the visual of seeing those cards disappear as jobs were completed.
This morning, upon entering the barn, I found the animals acting peculiar. Okay, actually, this is normal behavior, just a bit frustrating for the farmer since all were not doing what they are ‘suppose’ to.
The first act of nonsense was this young thing. Chai thinks she is still 18 inches tall and has to stand in the feeding trough to get to her food.
Then, her momma decides the Orchard Grass in the Llama Feeder is much tastier than the the grass in the 2 other goat troughs. Sigh.
Then, these Yay-hoos show up. This is a GOAT barn, people!
Oh, for all that is good in this world…that is not a chicken roost!
Our fearless guard llama is hiding around the barn because I walked past her while she was eating out of her trough. Oh, brother.
And here some chickens decide the dogloo is their personal hang out.
And lastly, why not eat the llama’s grass? It’s in the barn, isn’t it. And you said it was a GOAT barn.
And to all this tomfoolery, I just sigh. Apparently, I didn’t spell out the rules completely to these fine animals. It’s my fault really. If I had just been a better communicator.
It’s Monday and it feels like we should get another couple of days to recoup from our busy weekend. Whew! I’m exhausted. I made myself get up at 6:30 AM to go grocery shopping. Blech. There was not even a spare moment the last 2 days to even contemplate visiting the Food Stuff Emporium of Horror. I don’t know if I’ve ever expressed my extreme distaste of the establishment we refer to as the ‘grocery store’, but let me just say this: if Renaissance Man and I ever hit the jackpot…we are SO paying someone to buy our groceries. Yep. I don’t need a bigger house or a cool car. I need a personal assistant to run all my errands.
On my way home from the shop of ‘This is Such a Waste of My Time’, a small miracle occurred. It started to snow. Now, if you aren’t from these here Pacific NW parts, this may seem less than astonishing, for after all, it is January, for Pete’s sake. By the way, who in the tarnation is Pete? Just wonderin’.
Snow is a rare phenomenon in the Portland area. And we get a bit giddy when it shows up even in small quantities. To say that my mood was immediately lifted is a bit of an understatement. It was like a sunny day during the rainiest month of the year. Hmmm. I don’t actually know what month that would be. They all seem to run together…November through June. Anyway, I arrived home with a new leash on life. A bounce in my step. A drive to go outside and have fun.
After debagging the groceries (notice I did NOT say putting them away), I set out to find adventure. Well, really, it was time to do my chores. Geared up with my trusty new iPod Touch with its awesome camera/video camera, I headed out to spend some time with some of my favorite critters.
The first to greet me was Stella Noche, our rescue guard llama. She was covered in snow, but no worse for the wear. Being that in her natural habitat she would reside in the snowy mountains of South America, I think she can handle the cold. And because my dear llama friend is a bit camera-shy (she isn’t a big fan of people), I gave her some personal space and took this shot. I know it’s difficult to see her face, but if you look real close, she’s smiling. No, really.
As I entered the other side of the fence, the flood gates opened and out poured all four goats, anxious to examine this small pink rectangular object I was pointing at them. Some sniffed, some glanced, but mostly there was disinterest, except for this little guy…
He mostly thought it was curious that I was kneeling down and wanted to check out all my smells. My face to be exact. And yes, I did give him a little kiss on his muzzle. I couldn’t resist…you know…it was snowing.
I then proceeded to the barn, milked the goats, and gave Stella her grain.
Well, let’s just say, I tried to give Stella her grain. Sadie had other ideas.
I hope your Monday was full of adventures. Tuesday’s freezing rain here looks promising.
It’s been so long, friends. The spring and summer chores have abounded and sucked up all my free time. But I’m back.
And now comes one of the hardest parts of keeping goats. Selling them. Ugh. I’ve been procrastinating doing this even more than last year. But it’s time for the little ones to move on to their new homes.
We’ve so been enjoying this batch of kids too. They’re are even sweeter than last year’s, which doesn’t even seem possible.
And oh, so cute.
Part of my hesitation may be from trying to decide if we’ll keep one. I’ve gone back and forth all spring. But then in the last few weeks Little Miss Chai has been tugging at my heart. She looks so much like her momma, of whom I love, and she seems drawn to me. She meets me at the barn gate while I’m milking the adult goats and waits patiently for her tiny handful of grain. I’ve not officially decided to keep her, but let’s just say she’s not going on craigslist just yet.
And then there is this guy! Isn’t he gorgeous? I love his markings. He is the most gentle goat. As soon as you rub his neck or face, he freezes (does NOT move an inch). If I had more property and more money to feed them, I would keep them all.
Well, except maybe for Miss Noisy the Beautiful (Cinnamon).
But even Miss Noisy is so friendly and nice; she just has more to say than the others. I love her coloring.
So, you see, this is why I procrastinate. Oh, and some of the stinky people on craigslist that flag my posts and say mean and nasty things might have something to do with it.
But even so, I must forge ahead, do the deed, and pray that I find them all the wonderful homes they deserve.
My family has been so fortunate over the years to have had a myriad of veteran homeschoolers help us forge our way along this nontraditional path. And now my kids are old enough that I feel like it’s time to start giving back.
So, last week, the boys and I hosted a Farm Field Trip. Some mommas (and a daddy) from our local homeschool group asked if they could come to our farm to see our animals.
It was great. I told the boys this was our way of returning all the blessings we’ve gotten from others over the years. And even though they weren’t too excited that I volunteered them for this new venture, they ended up kind of enjoying themselves. Okay. Promise you won’t tell them I said that.
To see my boys taking responsibility for these young kids was a so rewarding. They really are amazing young men. Can you tell I’m pretty proud of them?
Not too long after our field trip began, the boys and I discovered that I may have over-planned (who me? over-plan?) a bit. These cuties wanted to experience the farm, not be lectured about it. Smart kids. I finally figured that out and stopped talking so much. I know. Miracles can happen.
So, it was good that I had some experiential plans as well.
The favorite part, by far, was getting to hold a day old baby chick. It just so happened that we had picked up our meat chickens the day before the field trip. And I’m so glad it worked out that way. Because, really when you’re 4 years old, who cares about what chickens eat or how you milk a goat, you just want to hold that little yellow puff of complete cuteness.
Yeah, a few babes found their way to the garage floor out of a young one’s (or two) hand, but they don’t seem to be any worse for the wear. They just seemed to know they were serving a higher purpose.
But really, I’m pretty sure if you asked any of these kiddos, the highlight of the morning was the trampoline. Yeah. It made me giggle too. Reminded me of being at a one-year old’s birthday party. Surrounded by gifts galore, the baby just wants to play with the wrapping paper. As it should be.
All in all, for my young men, it was a solid experience in serving.