Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Dinner

I am so glad that today is over with. Twelve years ago today we got a call at 6:00am telling us thta my mother had died during the night. She waited until it was Easter morning. She was born on Christmas so I think it's important that she died on Easter. But since that day, Easter has always been a sad day for me. I don't ever handle holidays well. I am so far away from my family. I rarely get to see them. So holidays are hard for me. Today was also the first Easter since my Mother-In-Law died. That made it a doubly hard day. And of course you know this would be the day that my son decided to be a little terror. Before any of the sugar hit his bloodstream he was being a rebellious little guy. Every time I asked him to do something it was met with defiance. It seems that "No" was the word of the day. He finally went outside to play with his friends. At last it was peaceful in the house.

We made the cupcakes yesterday so all we had to do today was frost them. We also died the Easter eggs yesterday. The first thing I did today was make the Easter bread. After the first rising, I rolled the dough into two long snakes and then braided them together. Then I tucked a few eggs into the braids of the bread. Everything went well while the bread was rising. But when I baked the bread the eggs popped out. They were just laying on the pan beside the bread. I put the ham in the oven which was the easiest thing I made all day.

I started to make the veggie kugel. My Sister-in-law and her family are Jewish so I was trying to make something that they could eat since it is Passover. Fortunately I was able to shred the veggies with the food processor but it still took a long time. I searched and searched for potato startch to make the kugel with. I finally gave up and bought a potato kugel mix. I added the shredded veggies to that. It was okay but not something I will ever make again. Next came the Whipped potatoes. They were so yummy with cream cheese and chives and half and half mixed in. So good. Finally I made corn casserole. My Father-In-Law loves my corn casserole so I end up making it for every holiday.

It was a lot of cooking but the food was so yummy. We had a great time with our family. It was a warm and sunny day so the kids were able to play outside after dinner. Dakota was able to introduce his cousins to his neighborhood friends.

So, it's been a long day. I'm very tired and I'm about to go to bed. I told everyone after dinner that next holiday it's Chinese food for everyone.

Hope you had a great holiday.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Valley Shepherd Creamery Discriminates Against Homeschoolers

Today I took my son to Valley Shepherd Creamery for the Spring Lambing Tour. The tour had been arranged for us by a homeschooling mom. She made all the arrangements with the Creamery, telling them that this was for a homeschool group. They quoted the school discount rate for us as long as we met the minimum number of people attending. When we got there, we got there, we were told that the discount rate is only for school groups. We were told that we could still go on the tour but that we would have to pay the full price that individuals would pay if they were taking the tour. No discounts would be provided to us at all. Homeschoolers do not count. There were over 50 parents and children there to participate in this tour. Many of the families just turned around and went home. I drove an hour and a half to get to Valley Shepherd Creamery. My son was very upset at the idea of going all that way and just turning around and going home. So I paid the full price for my son and I to go on the tour. But the whole time we were there, all I could think of was the way we were being treated.

I have in the past planned and organized a trip to Valley Shepherd Creamery. I have been on other trips planned by other moms. We were always treated very well. What has changed at Valley Shepherd Creamery? Are they so big now that they don't need our business? Do they suddenly think that homeschooled children do not need educational opportunities like this? Perhaps they think that homeschooled children don't feel the same joy at cuddling a newborn lamb as children who go to school do?

I don't know what the reasoning was for the way we were treated today. But I know that this will be the last time I visit Valley Shepherd Creamery. Usually when we go there, we spend $50 to $60 on cheese to take home and many other things from their shop. Today we spent nothing. When I pass Valley Shepherd Creamery at the Farmer's Market I will not be stopping as I have so many times in the past. Valley Shepherd Creamery, you have seen the last of this homeschooling family.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog Posts

For those of you who may be missing my weekly educational posts, you can find them each Friday on this blog. I hope you will come over there and check it out.l

Earth Day

Friday is Earth Day. As I am thinking about Earth Day and what it means I'm wondering what more I can do to help protect our Mother Earth.

A few years ago I gave up on using paper towels. I had leftover scrapes of hemp jersey from my sandwich and snack bags so I cut that into squares or rectangles or whatever shape I had. We have been using them ever since. About the same time, I quit using paper plates, paper cups, plastic utensils and things like that. It only takes a few minutes to wash a dish. Why not do that instead of wasting all that paper and plastic? Our coffee maker has a built in reuseable filter so there is no waste there. We bought really cool glass straws from Dharma Glass Company. Ours are clear with multicolored dots on them. You can get them in different lengths and widths. Even some that have bent tops on them.

Sometimes I have a problem using cloth to clean up a really messy mess. Like when I make candles. Soy wax cleans up pretty easily but it is still something I don't want to load up a cloth wipe with. I solved that problem by using the paper napkins that we have accumulated from fast food places. I will never understand why they give you 15 napkins for one sandwich, but they do. So I use these napkins to clean up my wax mess. But I still don't want to just clean up the wax and then throw the wax filled napkin away. I use the toilet paper rolls and stuff the wax soaked napkins in them. Then I fill it the rest of the way up with dryer lint. When I have several of them, I melt old used candles and fill the toilet paper roll with candle wax. Now when my husband goes hiking, he has a quick fire starter that didn't cost anything and keeps all of the other stuff out of the landfill.

I take my refillable cup to Dunkin Donuts for my coffee fix. I want to take my own containers to the restaurant with me when I'm pretty sure I will have leftovers. But somehow I always forget. So this is something for me to work on. But we don't eat out in restaurants much these days. Another thing that I need to work on is to remember the bags when I go to the store. I never remember to put them in the car. I have these wonderful bags and then when I get to the store they are at home. So those two things I really want to work on over the next few weeks. Each time you take a bag to the store or take your own food container to the restaurant you are saving another item from going to the landfill.

What are you doing to help protect our valuable and limited resources? Do you have a plan for changes that you want to make? What is your plan for celebrating our great Mother Earth this Earth Day?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Random Thoughts

I looked out the window and I saw this mysterious bright yellow blob in the sky. What could it be? It's certainly not something we see everyday around here. Then my son comes running in and says, "Hey Mom, did you see the sun out today." Ahhhh, I think. That's what that bright blob is, The Sun. It's been such a long, cold, snowy, winter here that just does not want to quit. But at least for today it is beautiful outside. I've got the windows open and I'm enjoying 60 degrees and warm air.

That brings up another question I've been pondering. Why is it that when someone turns the heat down and it's 60 degrees in the house, it's freezing? But when the sun is out and it's 60 degrees outside, it's a beautiful Spring day? I mean, isn't 60 degrees 60 degrees whether it is outside or inside. Just wondering.

I got presents in the mail today. The mailman brought a package of bulky knit terry. Wow, what a great fabric this is. So thick and lush. I'm making new kitchen towels out of it. The old ones are so thin you can see right through them. After I opened the fabric and rubbed it all over I opened the other package I got in the mail. I got mugs. A couple of weeks ago I ordered new mugs from Moorefield Pottery.

(Don't tell the wonderful ladies at Brookhouse Pottery. I still love their stuff too.) But Emily, at Moorefield makes these wonderful Peace Sign mugs and Love the Earth mugs. She also makes a lot of different children's styles to. The children's mugs are so cute and tiny. I just love them.

So I get my medications by mail from the mail order pharmacy my insurance is connected with. Now every couple of months I get this big styrofoam cooler with medicine in it. They are about 18 inches square. And they have three or four ice packs in them. When I got the first one I thought, "These are so cool, I'll be able to use them for a million things." Now that I have the fourth one, I'm not so excited. My freezer is filling with ice packs. What am I going to do with all these coolers and ice packs? If you want one, just let me know. I'm sure I'll have enough for everyone.

Well, I think that's enough rambling for today. Maybe I'll go cruise Facebook for a while. The boy is outside playing and it's so peaceful in here.