Good Luck Penny

Geez.  We had a really bad night yesterday.  We lost our precious Penny.  She was my favorite ferret.  Todd brought her home for me 4 years ago for Christmas.  She was a feisty little kit that loved to nip and play.  Her favorite thing to do was to steal pens out of my purse and hide them.  And to steal decorations off of the Christmas tree.    She loved to sit on your lap and drink tea from your013 cup.  We didn’t get to say good-bye.  Her death was totally unexpected.  She was our youngest.  She was supposed to be the last ferret standing.  I was going to get her a little skunk to play with when all the others had gone.  Now we are left with Jerry – the oldest and first ferret that we got.  Jerry is Todd’s favorite.  They have a love/hate relationship – Jerry loves to chew on Todd’s foot!  Jerry lost his brother Tom last year.  I know ferrets don’t do well all alone.  I hope that we are enough for him and he doesn’t succumb to the sadness ferrets get that I have read about.   Only time will tell.   We will miss our little good luck Penny.

Rest In Peace

Our day didn’t start out all bad.  Todd kept busy chopping all the wood that the tree trimmers left for us.  I’d say that we will have enough wood for this year and next. image Nothing like a warm roaring fire to take the chill out of the day.  We have wood stacked down on the front porch, on the side porch, in the yard, and a supply near the wood burner. And lots more to chop and split yet.  Yep, take that gas company!!!  We have all gotten pretty good at handling an axe and chopping wood.  We leave the chain-sawing to the big guy though.  I’m content to haul the logs.  I enjoy having all my limbs, thank you very much!

Lexie and I spent the afternoon making feather earrings.  She had seen a pair on Good003 Luck Charlie and wanted to buy some.  Lucky us!  We have a ton of chicken, duck, and guinea feathers that we can use to make our own!  And it’s much more fun than plopping    down a few dollars at the store for them.  We made a bunch of different combinations.  I think they turned out pretty well if you ask me.  I even made a pair for myself.  When you wear them, they are as light as a feather!!

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Here’s hoping that there are no more bad surprises before Christmas.  It’s a little hard to look forward to all the festivities when you have such a heavy heart.

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A Mouthful of Parabola

I spent 2 hours helping Nik with his math.  Usually I love math.  (Don’t hear that too often, do ya?!)  But when they are asking how to solve an equation to figure out the vertex of a parabola (or something along those lines)… I’m pretty much lost.  Give me fractions and your usual equations and I’m happy as can be.  Really, do people use these parabola thingies in day to day life?  When would you even need them?  I think I’ll call my dad – he’s PC230022 even more brilliant at math than I am.  Not that I’m feeling so smart now.  This is what happens when you study parabolas for too long!   I wouldn’t fret so much over it, but I know that I’ll need it again for Lexie.  We are homeschoolers.  Wouldn’t change it for anything.  We quit the brick-and-mortar schools about 4 years ago and it has been amazing.  I use the K12 online virtual academy program so that I don’t have to do all the lesson planning and they have excellent teachers to help.  So they get the school format with all the homeschooling benefits.  LOVE IT!!!  We went from having the teachers and school administration telling us that the kids were behind and needed special classes (which they give you the answers – you don’t learn anything!) to being advanced.  Go figure.  They just needed to start enjoying to learn again and to be able to take extra time on something if they weren’t getting it.  Schools and teachers are under so much pressure to hit benchmarks so that they can qualify for government funding that they can’t really “teach”.  All their pressures go right onto the kids.  I used to be afraid that my kids would be lacking because I kept them home.  Academically, they couldn’t be doing better.  Socially, well, they are some of the best behaved kids I know.  I’m not just saying that because I’m biased.  Since they are stuck with mom all the time, they don’t pick up all the behaviors that public school kids get.  Mom just won’t tolerate it.  They can hold intelligible conversations with adults just fine.  Lexie needs more interaction with kids her age.  Which we get through other homeschoolers and neighbors.  We are also joining 4H.  Nik could care less about other kids.  At first I was worried, but some kids just don’t need all the peer interaction.  He always was a bit shy.  He’s turning out just fine if I must say so!  They make mama so proud!!  And I love the flexibility of homeschooling.  Some days it is nice to take off and go do something.  No more worries of missing too many days without a doctor’s notice.  Nobody here gets sick much anymore.  Coincidence?  I think not.  No more dealing with bullies, peer pressure, expensive uniforms, class fees, strict schedules, and too much homework.  Of course, they are always here with me, so no break for mom.  But like I said, I love it.  And they seem pretty happy too.  Guess I’ll get back to learning those parabolas.  Reminds me of ebola – has the same side effects (ok – I’m exaggerating a bit)!

We went back to making our own toothpaste.  I stopped for a little while during our move because it was so easy to pick up a tube from the store.  I forgot how easy it is to make your own.  It’s definitely not for everyone.  Homemade toothpaste doesn’t foam up and some people think that bubbles equals clean.  Not true at all.  We learned to wet the toothbrush first and don’t add water once it’s on there!  I like how clean my mouth feels compared to store-bought toothpaste.  My gums are healthier and my teeth aren’t as032 sensitive.  The kids prefer it too.  Daddy hasn’t come around to the taste yet (he likes bubbles).  We started making our own toothpaste to avoid the chemicals in the commercial toothpaste.  Fluoride is controversial.  I prefer not to use it.  Studies have shown that too much fluoride results in the weakening of bones and pitting of teeth.  My kids don’t have cavities and it’s not from using fluoride.  Brush your teeth, floss, and limit sugar.  Too much fluoride is not good.  Maybe there’s a link between the increase in osteoporosis and fluoridated water.  Just something to think about. Triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, alcohol, cellulose gum (sawdust), artificial colors and flavors.  Yummy.  No wonder you have to call Poison Control if you swallow more than you need for brushing. 

Homemade Toothpaste

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp zylitol (optional)
  • 12 drops essential oil (peppermint, spearmint)
  • 2 Tbsp water

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Mix up the first 4 ingredients and then slowly add the water.  Add the water to your desired consistency.  Place into a piping bag or small container.

Coconut oil is an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.  The zylitol is a sugar alcohol, so it won’t promote tooth decay, but helps to “sweeten” the toothpaste.  It also has a low glycemic impact which makes it safe for diabetics.  You can use any essential oil flavoring of your choice.  We prefer the “minty” ones.  I’m thinking of trying a little bit of clove oil next time.  Clove is highly antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial.  And it has been used for ages.   I’ll be careful not to use too much004, clove oil is also “numbing”.  HHhhmmmm…. maybe not a bad idea if you want to keep somebody quiet.  Nah, I don’t want to have to deal with the drool.  Look at how well it cleans our Buster Bunny’s teeth!!  He is one spoiled bunny.

Okay.  I am off to figure out how much toothpaste it would take to fill a tub that increases exponentially at a constant rate.  If you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know I have completely lost my mind with this crazy parabola stuff.

Deer in a Can

I can’t believe that we are into December already.  I swear that we just finished up the turkey a few days ago!  I really love Thanksgiving – 3 days of leftovers and no cooking!!  I hope everybody had a wonderful turkey day.  We had lots of good food and a little bit of down time.  The next day was spent putting up our tree and hanging the stockings with care.  We don’t do Black Friday.  Why would anyone want to start such a wonderful season with all that pushing, hurrying, and downright crankiness?!

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Tis’ the season for new adventures…..

I decided to go deer hunting for the first time with my husband.  Not exactly a glamorous date.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to sit still and not talk for that long?!  Not to mention, who really likes to get dressed up like a big orange marshmallow!?!  It wasn’t all bad, because I found myself out there again the next day!001

We didn’t get anything that time, but he did get his first deer this year.  Yay!  Not that I’m happy about ending a deer’s life.  But I am grateful for the wonderful meat that is now filling our freezer and I understand that this is how things work.   I would like to say that I’d have been able to pull the trigger if I had a clean shot.  Who knows though.  I still get sad at the thought of butchering the ducks!

009    The whole process of skinning, gutting, butchering, and processing the meat took us 4 days.  I shouldn’t complain too much.  Todd did all the really yucky work.  I got to turn the meat into hamburger011 and vacuum pack everything.  And we found out that chickens and guineas really, really like raw deer meat.  We got fed and so did the animals.  The whole experience made us feel very self-sufficient.  It’s definitely a good feeling!

 

Speaking of self-sufficiency… I finally finished canning all of our pumpkins.  And sweet potatoes.  28 pie pumpkins and 25 pounds of sweet taters.  Kind of killed my pumpkin cravings for now.  I spent 99 cents on each of the pumpkins and was able to get 2 quarts of pumpkin from each one.  I figure a 15 oz can of pumpkin costs almost $2 at the store.  That would be 4 cans of pumpkin for $1.  No BPA in the can linings and I’m guaranteed it’s all pure pumpkin.  It tastes so much better than a store bought can.  Plus we had a ton of pumpkin seeds that we roasted for snacking on and the animals were more than happy to take care of the guts and rinds.  The sweet potatoes were on sale for 17 cents per pound.  I think I got 12 quarts out of them.  It might be easier to pick up a can at the store, but I enjoy being able to can and store food.  Hopefully it will be food that we have grown ourselves next time!

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We were able to spend some time outside soaking up the sun the past few days.  The chickens came out in the yard to play and forage.  It’s all good!!  I love the farming life!!  The simple little things like watching a chicken scratch in the dirt and come running to you like you are the greatest thing in the world.  I heart chickens!

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OH, in case you were wondering about the post title.. Lexie asked me what the post was about and I told her deer and canning.  Deer in a can.  She started laughing and begged me to make it my title.  So who am I to say no?  Maybe somebody else will get a little chuckle out of it too!  I didn’t actually put any deer in a can.  I tried, but it just wouldn’t fit!