Sunday, March 27, 2011


I decided to be better today! I got up, went upstairs, came back down and quickly crumpled back into bead.

Husband left around 9:30 to go pick up fertile eggs from 3 locations around our town.

While he was gone my cousin called informing us that our friend who has been struggling with Cancer and a broken back passed at 3am. My heart hurts for his wife and son that lived with and cared for him. His wife is my kid's Greek teacher and they have not had Greek class for the last 2 weeks because of our illness and his downward turn. Memory Eternal. May his soul dwell with the blessed.

I got in a nap and when hubby was done putting 158 eggs into the incubator to be hatched on Lazarus Saturday or Palm Sunday, I told him about our friend.

He told the kids and some cried. They have seen him more over the last 6 months at their house than we have. It's good, they need to see and fear death just as we all do. He told his wife in the last month or so that the only thing we can really be prepared for is death. He's so right.

After that my husband set up our nice new huge dog kennel (goat kennel) in the garage for our larger goat due to kid on April 13, but can go 10 days early or late. He visits her daily and noticed her laying down more and moaning more. Time to get our rear-in-gear and get all the things we need in order.

The phone rang a lot, the kids screamed, played and cried a lot and then it was time for church. I told one to go with hubby and the rest stayed home and took showers and cleaned up the kitchen.

When he got home he loaded the clean children into the van and drove to Fred Meyer to let them pick out their own dinners. I'm sure they just loved that. I don't think I've ever let them do that. He also got me some whole-clove garlic bread and grapes, a baby monitor to hook up to listen to the goat, and a bag of dark chocolates. He sure loves me.

I have an idea, I'll be better tomorrow!

Friday, March 25, 2011

This week

Sunday the kids were so happy to open the incubator and pull out some of the new chicks that had hatched. They are especially adorable when you hatch them yourself. Probably like when your own baby is just by far cuter than any other baby you have ever seen. It was amazing to watch and the fun should begin again this weekend with another batch. They sold them all very quickly and Papa will be taking over the sales and customer service end of things because apparently 12-yr-olds can do algebra but can't count chicks and will over sell them to your friends and family. Not as fun.

Pictures? No, of course I didn't take any pictures of the VERY FIRST BATCH OF CHICKS THE KIDS HATCHED OUT!!! That would be much too clever of me.

I've been feeling run down since last week but I had a meeting to go to with E on Tuesday night. By the time I got home I felt rotten and had a low grade fever. By the time I forced myself into bed it was a full on rough-and-tumble fever and I got out the big guns (huge polar fleece quilt) and hunkered down for the night.

Wednesday I slept all day, not a huge fever but needed to sleep. Right on through to Thursday late morning when I forced myself upstairs so my husband (now sick too) could have the morning in bed and I could get the kids to do chores and some school. I canceled the appointments I had and by 4:30 I needed a nap. Back to bed, hubbys turn. He made them spaghetti for dinner and got me some soup.

Friday I decided to get better. Sometimes that works. I got up, didn't feel like death, took a shower and then felt very tired. I got dressed went upstairs, got the kids to do some chores and school and snuck into my office where I have been neglecting customers all week. I had 8 new messages. I called back a few and hoped for message machines so I would not have to get into a long conversation with anyone. After a half hour I was done.

My brother-in-law had called earlier asking if we were better yet. Friday was Annunciation the day when Angel Gabriel comes to Mary to announce the news of carrying Christ in her womb. Because of this feast, Friday is also the only "Fish" day during Lent. I had agreed for the first time in our marriage to go out to sushi with my husband and so my brother-in-law wanted to bring my sister to try some out too. I said, "I'll try to feel better by then, I could take a Tylenol and we could try!" But at around 1:00 he called and said they wouldn't go, so I was relieved and ready to go back to bed. Hubby immediately went and picked two nice big salmon fillets out of the freezer and put them in the sink to thaw.

I got into bed, read some blogs and woke up 4 hours later having missed my friend coming over to say hi. (Sorry Jessie!!!!) I don't feel great but I felt like writing what is probably the lamest most boring blog ever!

I just hate being sick, fortunately I'm not sick a lot. As you can see I have a wonderful husband that takes good care of me when I am.

2010 meat chicks and pretty cute er rag-a-muffin gang

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kh. Barb's Seafood Soup

In December my sister introduced me to a delicious soup. It was published in the Saint John's Cookbook (blue spiral) and was submitted by Kh. Barbara Dunaway who just passed away in January. Memory Eternal.

This soup is very versatile and it's the spices that make it surprisingly good. I'm not a big soup fan, but this one sure hits the spot.

I'm posting this for Shelley as we were just talking about this soup the other day and I made it tonight for supper with some french bread and we shared it with a friend.

As usual I'll post the recipe and what I did or optionals in parentheses. I quadrupled this recipe so we'd have leftovers. Don't skimp on the spices when enlarging a recipe so much. Skimp on the Tabasco sauce, don't ever quadruple spicy stuff!!! Take it from me, I learned the hard way.

Barb's Seafood Soup
Saute in some oil:
1/2 c celery, chopped
1/2 c carrot, chopped
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Then add:
1 can stewed or diced tomatoes or 3-4 fresh tomatoes
4 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 cup water
1T parsley
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cumin
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T brown sugar
1 T vinegar
2 T catsup
1/2 tsp salt (this was my addition, you may not need it if you use a salty canned salmon)
3 dashes of Tabasco sauce (light if kids, put bottle on table with soup)
Simmer 30 minutes then add:
1/2 c rice (I also put in some millet, could add any grain)
Simmer 30 minutes more, check grain for doneness
Then add:
1/2 c zucchini, or spinach, or peas, or broccoli, or beet greens, etc or a combo of something (I put in beet greens and broccoli)
2 cups of cooked seafood (scallop, shrimp, crab, lobster, halibut, salmon, etc)
Cook 'till veggies are tender.

Serve with chopped tomatoes if desired and crunchy bread for dipping.

here fishy fishy fishy fishy fishy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

3 Bean Salad

In my quest for not spending so much stinking money at the store, I have been learning more about dried beans, how to grind them for flour and how to put them in things more often to make meals stretch farther.

One of my favorite salads is homemade bean salad because I like the dressing. I made it the other day and have been snacking on it. I used only the things I already had here at home. The dressing is what makes it good, so you really can add what ever beans or veggies you want. Mine was not as colorful as normal, but still very tasty...

I'll list the recipe and what I used:

3 Bean Salad (can make 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 7 or 9 or 10 but not definitely not 11 bean)
1 can French green beans (I did not have these, I soaked and cooked soy beans)
1 can white wax beans (I did not have these, I soaked and cooked garbanzo beans)
1 can red kidney beans (I had these but opted for pinto since when soaked and cooked they stay together better than my kidney beans do)
1 sweet pepper, diced (I did not have these, but yellow and red make a pretty salad, I used celery)
1 whole onion, cut into rings

1 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c oil
2/3 c vinegar
1 tsp celery seed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Combine all in bowl or jar, chill for 6 hours or so before serving.

I keep mine in a large jar in the fridge, it lasts a long time as long as you don't share it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Whining and itching and spring, oh my

Warning: This post contains an unusual amount of whining. While not saying that I don't usually whine, I'm saying there is more than normal.

I used to eat a lot of fruit one of my favorites was bananas.

In the last 10 years I have stumbled on a food allergy to them (and other fruit). It stinks!

My mouth gets itchy, stating at the roof of my mouth and working it's way down. Then my chin and my throat and neck and even my ears. I had to try again today, so I took an one inch piece and ate it and sure enough about 4 minutes later it started.

~sigh~ Woe is me.

Sus has her fever back today but oldest boy is better. The other kids seem fine, but I've been feeling fuzzy headed and yucky for the last couple of days. We have not been sick much this winter, so that's been nice, I guess it's our time now.

On a lighter note, my husband is currently building a permanent brooding box for chicks. The incubator has been closed up and in 5 days we can open it again. Hopefully the chicks will hatch and live and the kids will have some cute fluffy balls to sell to me and to our friends.

Also the sun is out a lot now, it's been so nice to have so much light! It's still chilly-ish, but slowly but surely melting the snow.

Our larger goat is due with kids April 13, but we're getting her garage "area" set up so she can kid inside. We splurged on a nice moveable dog kennel so we can set it up in there with straw. Our other one got her blood drawn yesterday so that I can send it in to get a pregnancy test. We think she's not pregnant still. :p

Things are busy, I feel crappy, but life is good.

oh, bananas, how I'd go bananas to eat you again

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mama, do people come into heat?

This morning the inevitable happened. My almost 13-yr-old daughter asked the dreaded question.

Mama, do people come into heat?

I was jotting down on the calendar at that moment that our goat, Lady, might be in heat because my daughter pointed out how the little boy goat (castrated) was trying to mount her and she was standing perfectly still. A big sign of girl goat heat.

I grinned big at the calendar thinking what a perfect way for her to ask about this subject. I knew it was only a matter of time, she has the animals life cycle figured out. But I didn't really know what to say, I am not one of those moms who know how to talk to their kids about this in a nonchalant way, she asked again.

Mama, do people come into heat?

Chuckling softly I turned around and casually said, "Hon, lets talk about this later." I have avoided this subject before by putting it off until another time when the kids were younger and just didn't need to know, but I know the time is near, perhaps today.

She was pouring the goat's milk through the strainer into the jar musing to herself and said, "I want to know how people mate. I know so much about animals but I don't know about people, I really want to know."

Lord, may she always be this innocent!

I had to mouth over her little, very acute of hearing, brother's head, "LATER!"

Her, "OK."

Lord have mercy on me.

Happy to sick to happy

This morning I woke like most mornings to the chipper sound of a 2-yr-old saying, "mama can I drink your water?" "mama I have to go potty, I want to go on YOUR potty!" "mama, can you make me some cereal?"

Her talking quickly turned into whining and more whining, and finally crying and lots of crying. "Mama, I want to snuggle with you on the couch, mama, hold me, mama I want the horsey song." Argh, what's up??

Then my 10-yr-old says, "Mama, I don't feel good." and in my current state of frustration I said, "Fine, just go back to bed then!"

I realized at this point something was awry.

I decided to take a mental chill pill. I didn't have any big plans today, I did have time to hold a sick daughter. My son came out later with a gigantic head ache and had him take one Tylenol. They both had a nap or two or three, I let them watch some movies and we had a very calm day all in all.

It's now midnight and my 2-year-old is feeling much better. Starting back into her whiny talk, but talking again not just sleeping and wheazing. She keeps coming into my room saying, "mama, I need a book" "mama, can I drink your water" "mama, I want some apple" "mama, can I sleep with you" "mama can I pee in your potty?"

Hopefully she'll go to sleep eventually.

Her horsey song.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Indian food

Friday afternoon I drove by the sushi restaurant in town and wished it was still the Indian place. I miss it right now.

Yesterday I did nothing; until it was dinner time and realized I had not thought of anything to make, so I hit up Manjula, my favorite internet Indian cook.

I used the "St. John Church Cookbook" and made Ser's Aloo Mattar (I'll list recipe below) and I made Manjula's Besan Puda (pancake like flat bread with veggies in them). The thing I left out were green chilies, I don't have any.

I ground the chickpea flour and rice flour for the Besan Puda in the coffee grinder and our flour mill and they were very good. I've made the Aloo Mattar before and it's good too.

Today after church I was wishing for more leftovers than we had so I decided to make a bunch more Indian food. I started with my Dal recipe that I posted about a couple weeks ago. Then I started a pot of white rice. I remembered watching the Cabbage Kofta video last night and thinking I had most of the ingredients not to mention that they looked delicious. On the dumplings I used powdered ginger, dried cilantro (not the same as fresh!) and didn't have a green chilie. In the gravy I didn't have fresh tomatoes and used sauce, didn't have hing, powdered ginger, no yogurt, and dried cilantro. The kofta's themselves were awesome, probably should have skipped the gravy but it was good for dipping the Besan Puda's. I made more today with no veggie this time.

My parents showed up right in time to have some with us, it was a great Sunday meal with lots of leftovers.

Ser's Aloo Mattar, serves 4
(means potatoes and green peas, I like Ser's version since I have all the spices on hand)

2 lg potatoes, peeled and cut into sugar cube size pieces, soak in cold water
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c fine diced onion, saute both in
2 T oil, then add:
1 c chopped tomato (I use canned)
1 t salt
1/8 t ground cloves
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground cardamom
1/2 t turmeric powder
1/2 t ground coriander
pinch cayenne (opt, we don't add)
-cook 5 minutes-
-add well drained potatoes, stir for a minute, add:
1 c water
-cover, cook med heat 10 min-
1 1/2 c defrosted peas, add
-cover cook 15 min, till potatoes are soft-
-mash about 1/2 the pot-
Serve with rice and other Indian food, YUM!

I didn't take any pictures, but my Indian food is not photogenic. Manjula is a joy to watch, I bet she will inspire you too.

photogenic Indian food

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lent and bread

Clean week kicks my butt in so many different ways. It says, "Ok, Anna, we're starting Lent, so lets throw as much as possible (but only as much as you can handle) your way and see how you juggle and handle it all."

This week has been crazy to say the least. I won't go into detail because there's WAY too much. It's been a Days Of Our Lives sort of week but in a churchy, country, homeschoolish way. That should not, however, lead you to believe that any was pure or good.

One thing I do like about clean week is that whether I have been on the bread bandwagon or not I start again in clean week. The fasting rule for clean week is NO FOOD from Sunday night to Wednesday after liturgy. Of course we don't even try for that level, but I do tell my kids that that's the rule and I try to teach the kids they're lucky to get any food and it will help them get through Lent if they have a much stricter clean week. This goes for me and hubby as well, there is really a lot of good fasting food out there, so the first week is boring food at our house.

I like eating bread but I hate how it doesn't stick to my ribs, so I'm always looking for more ways to sneak in some protein. In some of my grain and bean research I've basically discovered the more variety you can pack into food the better it will fill you up and be good for you. Don't go overboard! Once I ground up 1/4 c of lentils to add to some cookies and the dough was HORRIBLE, my husband about fell over after taking a huge spoon. The baked cookies tasted much better, but after more research many un-cooked beans have a very strong flavor.

Tuesday I made what in my mind I called "Health Nut Bread" here's what I did...

Start with the basic recipe:
4c warm water + 4tsp yeast + ~1/2 c. sugar + 4tsp salt ....proof
Collect goodies to add...normally I add whole oats about 1/2-1 cup, but that day there was about 2cups of cooked oatmeal that wasn't going to be eaten so I added that. I also had 1 cup of cooked chick peas on hand so I blended them and added those too.
Keep in mind the chemistry that works in bread. I'm not an expert but I know you need extra gluten to get the non gluten ingredients to rise.
Spelt and Kamut are high in gluten and so I grabbed those and milled 1 cup of each and a 1/4 cup of millet. I even milled a 1/4 cup of brown rice.

I added a bunch of "Prairie Gold" wheat berries flour I'd ground on Monday.
I ground 1/4 c of flax seed in my coffee grinder and added that instead of oil which I would normally add in a "regular" recipe.
I ground more spelt and kamut to add later. I think I used about 1/2 wheat and 1/2 spelt/kamut. With the other flours thrown in. For some reason I always use these two grains together. They are very light in color and can substitute white flour, but cost more (at least in Alaska where we pay for shipping)...but are not refined white flour which I'm sure is not "good" for us but the way I figure it it's still better than buying only store bought bread.

Let it rise, keep an eye on it, it only took 20 minutes to get to here, but I think I added a touch extra yeast as I wanted a quick rise.

You can even skip the first rise if you're in a hurry, but I always let it rise just for a bit.
Cut up and put in pans, these loaves only rose another 20 minutes in the pan and I put them in the oven.

I didn't get a picture of them when they were done. Tastes just wonderful and the kids (and hubby) don't have a clue that there was left over oatmeal and beans it it. :)

Crazy food retards

This kind of talk drives me crazy.

I just don't get people who really think that the fat in milk or meat is actually bad for you. I know that that's what they have been thinking and now they are starting to realize they were wrong, but they can't wrap their heads around it.

It's not the article that drives me nuts is how we look to the TV and news to tell us what's healthy or unhealthy for us on a day-to-day basis. It was my good friends Shelley and Steph that woke me up to the fact that lard has a good place and hydrogenated vegetable oil really does not.

After that thought realization last year everything; the world; our food makes more sense to me now.

What foods are healthy, etc? How's about we make, grow and kill our own food and then we don't have to worry about weather a certain fat is bad for us or a carbohydrate is bad for us, etc.

Everything in moderation, right? (Wait, I thought I didn't know the meaning of that word...) Well perhaps I do. It does not mean I put it into practice, but to me common sense plays a big part in food intake. If I eat a bunch of junk from the store I'll get fat and be I really need a scientist to tell me that?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I do not know this word of which you speak

I don't really understand the word, limit...or moderation.

My sis told me that Fisherman's wool yarn was on sale at Fred Meyer yesterday. She also told me that onions are 50 cents a pound right now.

I picked me up a 50 lb bag of onions.

I bought the rest of the yarn (normally $12 and I got it for about $4.80.)

Now all I need to do is learn how to knit or crochet.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Saturday's suprise

Here's what my girls suprised me with yesterday for lunch.
egg in toast
proud girls

Friday, March 4, 2011

Children after my own heart

Observations of their mom:

K (12 girl) reminds me of me and all the times my mother said, "you're as slow as molasses in January" My daughter strives to be just as slow and get distracted just as easily as when I was young.

A (10 boy) loves to sleep in just as much as me, I wonder who would win a sleeping in contest if we had one, I really don't know. He also can pack away sweets just like his mama.

M (9 boy) I'm not sure he got any traits from me as I think he's a re-incarnation of my husband, but perhaps I can take some credit for how smat he is??? Hmm, probably not.

E (7 girl) is a little she learns new math skills she puts them to good use. Today she was "doodling" her math problems on a large piece of paper calculating how much milk we would get during Lent. She's also never wrong and has an excuse for everything...a little too much like me I think.

F (5 girl) can kick booty in chocolate eating contest. She went to a little girls tea party yesterday and she's the only one who finished her gigantic chocolate cupcake...then the birthday girl gave her hers and she brought that home to work on too.

S (2 girl) is simply an Imp. I don't even know what that word means, but it seems so fitting. People say she looks like me and I'll take that since she's incredibly adorable with her perfect blue eyes, curly light brown hair and perfect teethy smile (when she wants something). It cracks me up when people say she's so should hear her when she doesn't get her way. As for her personality, she definitely has one, it's more dominant than F, she reminds me a lot of E at that age...I'm afraid we're going to get a run for our money when she's a teenager.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby Leprechauns and their inventors.

Notes taken over the course of the day:

My 7-yr-old told me this morning that she really wanted to have a baby leprechaun. My oldest has convinced all the kids that if they believe in leprechauns (yes I've told them they're not real) that they can be they all want them and a pot of gold now.

Later said 7-yr-old finished her 2nd grade math book and graduated to 3rd grade...she forced me to go and get it out of the box in the garage so she could start right away.

At the moment she's supposed to be clearing off her desk but instead she's laying on the floor kicking the spinning chair around with her 5-yr-old sister riding in it.

I asked what the smell in the living room was...did someone fart? My 5-year-old says, "I know she (youngest) farted because I don't see any poop."

My 10-yr-old son is now apparently the boss of this house...and very grumpy if you tell him otherwise.

Did I ever tell you when my other son was 7 (or 8) he filled an Otter Pop tube with his pee and drank it (to be like Bear Grylls from Man vs Wild). It both grossed me out and impressed me at the same time.

Currently said boy is calling the older two made up nicknames that he learned in Navajo out of "The Dangerous Book for Boys". They are properly perturbed. I asked him what his names meant...they are "turkey, jerk, jackass and tooth".

this is sort of how I feel now

Just what will chickens eat?

The kids were helping me unload some groceries tonight and I asked two of the older kids to bring in the 50lb bag of rice. It was taking them a while and then my husband hollered, "Anna! NOW!" So I ran up to see what the fuss was and they'd dropped it out in the drifted snow on the way in. It ripped clean up one whole side and half of the rice was on the ground. I gave him a big pot and he scooped up most of the good stuff off the top.

He asked me if the chickens eat uncooked rice, I figured sure, but I'd better check.

Thank God for the Internet.

Turns out that's what chickens in China eat, so if it's good enough for Chinese chickens it should be good enough for ours.

Here are 2 of our girls.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How lame

Am I when my hubby tells me the Northern Lights are out, but I'm WARM in my bed and it's blowing bone chilling COLD out there... yes, I'm going.

Our silly old lives recieves the Stylish Blogger Award

I was surprised and very flattered to see that Granny Miller from nominated Silly old me for the STYLISH BLOGGER AWARD.

Thank you Granny. I'm shocked and so flattered.

The STYLISH BLOGGER AWARD is a fun way to spread link juice across the web and it’s an opportunity for Bloggers to share a few things about themselves that their readers might otherwise never be aware of.
In order for me to accept the award there are two “rules”:

1.) I must divulge seven things about myself
2.) I need to pay the Stylish Blogger Award forward to fifteen other blogs.

Some things about me:

1. I don't like animals much. Yes we have many and no I don't want to cuddle them all. I like to cuddle my kids, especially in bed in the morning when they keep me warm.

2. I never wanted to homeschool. It was a condition of going further with my husband in our then courting relationship. He was raised with it and I agreed that it did sound better for the kids. I have not regretted the decision, though it's been very hard sometimes.

3. I don't really like cooking. The hardest part is thinking of what to make, after that it's not so bad.

4. I'm usually late. I wake up late, I get places late and I go to bed VERY late. Maybe when I grow up some day that will change.

5. I think of brilliant ideas while I'm pregnant. Sometimes I can't sleep because I keep getting so many ideas for different things. I started my now business while pregnant with number 4. I like being pregnant too. I actually loose weight and have tons of energy. I call it my diet. I think it's from naturally eating right and eating the things my body needs/craves.
6. Currently my kids are yelling at each other about who should get ice cream first and for whom, etc.

7. My desk is really cluttered.

My list of award "winners" many have much more followers than I do, but I like them...I decided to be different and say who or why I posted them.

Curmudgeon With A Gun (my dear husband who's super smart and opinionated)

Just Another Mama Blog (my very oldest friend, since we were babies)

Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska (Greek Orthodox woman who wrote a cookbook lives in Greece and Anchorage)

The Woman and the Wheat, an experiment in giving (just a really cool site, she amazes me)

Up North, Over Yonder, and Out of My Mind (my friend who taught me what GMO meant)

Alaskan Rambler (Our friends who decided to travel to Mexico...these are their stories.)

The Last Frontier (this is a REAL Alaskan living in the bush, what a life!)

Up North Following a Dream (New follower and new to AK)

Finding Joy on the Journey (Friend from HS)

Sticks65 Bushcraft, Camping, Travels & the great outdoors (What's better than an English/Irish outdoors man?)

Hey What's For Dinner Mom? (Alaska mom with great recipes.)

 A Stuffed Hungry Soul (Friends from HS)

Dim World  (Warning, this blog is not for the faint of heat. This is a man I grew up from a very young age and is dear to me.)
Close to Home (Mom, Orthodox book writer, great picture taker, often has the words I need to hear.)

 The Essential Balance (friend from HS, she's a Pilates instructor and just started blogging)