Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our snow bank is heating our house!!

Well kind of lol. Actually our Geo-Thermal is now up and running. It's been running all day, and our house is warm, so IT'S WORKING YAY!!! That means, our home has stayed 70 degrees all day, and it's only been in the 20's outside. We haven't used ANY gas...

(Ok that was suppose to wave, but maybe it won't)

So now our home is all green. Well after I get a better washer machine, that's NEW and saves water and all. (It's making a strange noise, not sounding so healthy right now. I hope it makes it.) So as of Jan 1, 2009 we are running without gas to heat our home. Our range and water heater are gas, but that's it!! I want one of those sign for my front yard that say

"This home is heated and cooled by the EARTH"

I'll keep track of our bill and be sure to report the difference. I will also get some pictures up of our project. I have some sorting to do.. I took a TON..

Hope you all have a Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow pictures!!

Our bird feeders in the back yard are always full of birds, unless of course, I open the door to take a picture LOL.
Note the glimpse of the bottom step you see. The snow is above it by a ways.

Abigail found an Oreo. Goodness did she like it LOL.

This was in a shallow spot between the house and camper. But still plenty deep.

The bird feeders and houses on our front porch attract lots of birds. It's so nice to sit and watch them while we do our school This one has a really pretty black and white one on it. They move so fast I had a hard time getting a good picture of them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dec. 23,2008

Well a little update, Yes a sugar free day or two is possible and YES you feel like crap (thanks for the warning Mandi). But I feel much better now. After you get over the hump of the de-tox of sorts I feel much, much better. The fog in my brain went away. Now staying that way, isn't so easy. It's so hard to not grab a cookie or two as a quick snack. So we went shopping and stocked up on some fresh fruits and vegi's. When your on the run and need to grab on the go, even harder. Fast food just doesn't offer much in the way of healthy food, but we all knew that right???

The pancakes where awesome. I've made them a few times since, I'm getting some strawberries to try in them. The possibilities are endless. I think that's why I love cooking so much. The possibilities go as far as you can imagine. I never take a recipe and follow it exact, why be normal???

Have any of you been stuck in this snow? I measured a minute ago and we have 13" of snow on the ground, most of it came down in one day. It's been snowing daily for the last week and we are expecting another 5-10" in the next day.. We've already got over 3 times more snow by this date last year. WOW, it's going to be a white winter. I'm hoping hubby gets that Geo-Thermal done soon... He's almost there. It's been sooo cold outside, he was welding and cutting in my backroom. I had to put up a blanket so the smells didn't get not the rest of the house. Hopefully by the first of the year it will be up and running. Doing it in his spare time, really makes it take longer. Can't wait, when that's done we will have a "green home". Between the Low-E windows, blown insulation (made from newspaper) and the Geo-thermal we are there!! YAY..

Here's another "green" idea.

What are they you ask?? Well we come from a family of hunters. Although hubby wasn't able to hunt this year (he had time, but opted for family time instead..) Many Uncles hunt and when they have as many as they want in there freezer, they offer them to family to process. Soo this year we got a deer from his uncle, cut it up and froze as much of the meat as possible. We use it just like beef. It's healthier since it's free range. On top of the meat we got, i boiled the bones and hard to clean pieces for broth. I buy it all the time, why not make my own. So we brought home the bones, neck and ribs and put them in a pan with some onion, celery, garlic and salt and pepper. I put it in the oven on 350 for, oh I don't even know how long, all day.. Used some cloth to strain it and pick the bigger chunks of meat from it. I than froze the broth. Well aside from alllll of that, I also kept the suet from the deer as we cut it. The fat is what they make those nice square chunks with bird seed you can buy at the store (they usually use cow, but pig and deer work as well). So I made my own. They have alll kinds of varieties, the citrus one caught my eye. Since we have a box of grapefruit, we saved the skins from them. After I melted the suet in the oven, mixed birdseed in it, I stuffed the peelings with the mix. I set them outside and froze them. I now have home made bird feeders. We love watching the birds on our front porch. Now with the cold weather it's even more important to feed them. So Suet bird feeders.... I put the rest in my large rectangular pan and later cut them into squares, I store them in the freeze and fill my wire mesh holders as needed.

This post is getting quite long. I guess I should post more often. So I'll add some pictures to the next post.

Here's a link to a previous post I wrote about the Christmas Holiday. If you are interested in seeing our point of view, you can find the post here.

To check out my blog on living healthy and green click here. I am trying to post a new green tip weekly. I will try harder to keep up with it. I have all these ideas, but they are getting left in my head LOL.

TTYL, I'll post some winter pictures for you in my next post.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A sugar free day??

Is that really possible?? Well I'm going to try, but I already failed for today. You see I had a brownie before I decided to try. Yes, I know it's still early, but well they were really good, and left over from last night. Soooo....

Anyhow, that was my last bit of sugar for the day. I need to find out if going sugar free makes me feel better. I really think I am having issues with it being high. I've had issuse with it my whole life, but up until I got pregnant with our last and 4th child, it was always LOW sugar I struggled with. All thru the pregnancy I really had a hard time. Everything I've done my whole life is now the opposite of what I need to do. Usually after you have the baby the gestational diabetes goes away, and for a while I thought it was all good, but now i'm just not so sure. I wasn't actually diabetic while pg, but I was VERY close. I think I was just having a good day when we did the test, i had some scary days in there.

So since diabetes runs on both sides of my family, I am on a quest to get more information. I don't have time to read a ton of books on it, or the option of going to the doctor right now, so a little research online I hope will clear things up. What I need is a list of do's and don'ts to post on my wall. I've talked to my mom and MIL about it, but can't remember what they said. It's so opposite of everything I've done my whole life.

So i'm starting with taking out refined sugars, I think that's what there called. Cookies, BROWNIES [wahaha], sugar in my tea that kind of thing. I'll use honey and more fresh fruits and vegis. I can do this, I love fresh and use it as much as possible. Having 4 kids, makes it difficult, I have to drag them everywhere, either to the sitter or the store. I rarely can just leave alone. But I can do this..

For breakfast I am having some pancakes. I can't have the cereal and milk anyhow. Instead of using syrup, i added some fresh cut apples and some cinnamon to the mix. Well see how it goes.
The other thing I really have to work on, is eating enough. As a mom, I tend to push off feeding myself, i've got to much else going on and, well eating actually annoys me. I love cooking and baking and feeding others, but I just don't like to take the time to eat. That's probably how i've stayed thin my whole life, not always a healthy thin, I should add.

So here's to a sugar free day. I'll let you know how the pancakes taste and if you have any sites that are a good reference or info site, I'd be happy to see it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

cold days!

Well you know me, i can't follow a recipe for nothing. Not because I can't read, or understand what it says, but rather, well because I merely use it for a suggestion LOL.

So I made some hot cocoa mix. You see, we ran out of the store kind and with it being very snowy and all, we need some around here. Nothing else is better than hot cocoa to warm up the kids after they play outside. Nothing goes as well with some home made banana bread (tea comes in a close second). So I had to do something.

I stopped at Sav-A-Lot today while I was out. I didn't really want to venture all the way to Walmart with the snow coming down like it is. So I grabbed some chocolate milk powder, nesquik off brand kinda thing. It says to use milk, since there is none in the mix, it's only a mixture of cocoa, sugar, but no milk. Well I used this recipe as a guide and improvised the rest since I didn't have ALL of the right ingredients.

6 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 (5 ounce) package non-instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

I'm sure this recipe is a great recipe, but what if you only have 3 c. of powdered milk?? what if you don't have chocolate pudding mix???


Here's what I ended up doing

3 c. powdered milk

1 3.4 oz box of Vanilla instant pudding mix

1 c. powdered chocolate drink mix

1/4 c. creamer

1/4 c reg. sugar

1 c. cocoa (to make up for the vanilla pudding)

I put it in the blender and mix it up really good. Than we tried it and oh my was it good. Add some marshmallows and Peanut butter chips to it, or mint, or chocolate, YUM!! We all have our favorites. I have a container that holds all our our hot cocoa mix stuff. I found some Andres' mint chips for baking which works really well too.

So that's our solution to warm up.

Another result of the storm is the SNOW!! AHH I'm not to fond of snow myself. My kids love it, but I just don't like being cold, really. Our tree in the back fell down some more too. It missed the camper and shed, which is good. It is mostly rotten anyhow. We're planning on cutting it down eventually, this way it's coming down in pieces, at this rate we won't have to cut it LOL. We lost part of it last year as well. The roads here are pretty slick, there's been several accidents. 2 being in our family, not a good deal. Thankfully one of them just totaled the truck, the driver was fine. The other not so good.

Our prayers are with you Rob. He's in the hospital in Maryland. He will end up fine, but has alot of recovery to do. You just never know when it can happen.

So here we sit staying warm, hoping we don't get snowed in tomorrow. We'd like to go to church, but it all depends on the roads.

I better get this laundry folded, before it overtakes my backroom.