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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Easy Herb Garden

 This kit is pretty awesome if you have a tiny space or you just don't want multiple pots all over. It is a pop up style that can collapse and be stored easy when not in use. It houses tons of plants but my favorite is an herb assortment. So I have a kit for sale in super limited quantity. Complete with six packs of herb seeds! Each kit is 20$ and can either be picked up or delivered locally, or shipped free within the USA.














The proceeds from all of our kit sales this summer are going towards additional speech and language programs for Aidan so we thank you for your support! There will be other fun ones coming up soon too.














Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Birthdays get so weird

 I always have to do the kid math now. Like my age is based on how old Aidan is. I had him at 30 so I just count it out. Kinda weird that I actually have to stop and think about how old I am turning. And if you ask me mid year, no where near my birth month I probably have no clue. Birthdays lose importance as we age and have children. The celebrations nearly extinct and sometimes you get a cake. Way cooler if your kids are old enough to make cards and pick something nice to make for dinner. I haven't really ever been a big party animal on my own birthday but I love to throw a party for others. I don't know why that is but it just is. I loved last year when my sister threw me a theme party. That felt more acceptable than throwing it for myself. Maybe it's like not throwing your own baby shower, or not hosting your own engagement party. Social stuff is hard. I want to fast forward to when I am an old lady and those rules no longer apply. I will just do whatever.

 May is a great month for a birthday because gardening is in full swing by then and I am all happy and positive and things feel fresh and new. I was really meant to be a spring baby for sure. This year is a new leaf for me fitness wise and I am excited to break out my hoarded bin of summer clothes that will actually fit again. It's like getting a whole wardrobe for myself. I keep everything. It can sometimes be considered a problem ( depending who you talk to) but I have yet to be offered a spot on that show, so we're good. It does make it hard to buy me anything though, I was just told. And the yearly question from hubs made me actually sign up for Polyvore finally so I can combo this post as a Birthday Post and a Polyvore files post linking up with sixcherriesontop and others sharing their awesomeness. Here is my wishlist this year. And yes, those are a pair of SHORTS! Whaaaaaaat? I know. Knew me this summer I tell ya.










Ps. If anyone can tell me where that shirt originated I will give you several virtual high fives.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Onward and upward

  Though I am sad to say I predict that we will not raise enough to join our local farmers market this year, we are still rocking an awesome start to the garden. Having started almost everything from seed, and most seeds are from our harvest last year, we have over 30 kinds of veggies going now. The plants I have put into the beds already have taken off at a rapid rate! I have to give credit for that to the chickens and all the work they did all winter turning and fertilizing the sold in there. Really cheap labor I tell ya.

 So far we have an entire bed dedicated to over 80 kale and lettuce. The radishes, two kinds of beets and 4 kids of carrots are planted and greenhoused for a bit while they grow. And the trellises for our cucumber jungle are built and ready. I cannot wait for this massive crop to be big and amazing already!






  

 There are also some things I have started that will go out onto a farm plot that is a garden share type thing. Where many plant, we all tend in rotation and we all share the bounty. That is exciting too because I don't want to grow corn and pumpkins here where it takes all my valuable real estate with sun hogs or ground cover that need very little maintenance before harvest time. They are all germinating and popping up as we speak in a small greenhouse. It's amazing what can be accomplished with little money and utilizing sun space.




So the list currently for Feltifarm produce is as follows:

  • romanesco (cauliflower) 
  • husky cherry tomatoes
  • white corn
  • Cinderella pumpkins
  • yellow crook neck squash 
  • watermelon radishes
  • beets
  • butter lettuce
  • red romaine 
  • dino kale
  • lace leaf kale
  • arugula
  • dragon carrots
  • yellow carrots
  • danver carrots
  • lemon cucumbers
  • baby arm cucumbers (our own hybrid from last year and the name stuck) 
  • gherkin cucumbers
  • marketmore cucumbers
  • mini red bell peppers
  • mini yellow bell peppers
  • red plum tomatoes
  • Italian stewing tomatoes
  • zucchini
  • patty pan squash
  • yellow patty pan squash
  • butternut squash
  • snap peas
  • snow peas
  • purple bush beans
  • yellow wax beans
  • rhubarb
  • artichoke 
  • blueberries   

A variety of herbs too. 


All you need is a little patience and this turns into food. I seriously love it so much.

 (this years seed starts)

(from last years yumminess)


 We will be offering a bit of a friends and family CSA or farm share for sale. Veggies eggs and maybe some canned goodies if people are into it. If you are local let me know if you want in. I think this will replace our market plan unless of course the sky rains money.

















Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Food Day Recipe #1 Poached Egg

 Poaching an egg!! Super hard sounding and super easy to do I swear. Eggs Benedict, crazy awesome pizza topper, or just over hash browns with some tomatoes and basil. You will be amazed at the things you can add a nicely done egg to. All will be meals you can get all show-offy about if you know how to do this. Don't feel bad, I learned last year. I just found the simplest way and added it to my cooking toolbox for life. Also, it makes you feel like the queen of brunch. Just add mimosas.


  First grab an egg.


Crack it into a small bowl or cup. This way you catch any shells and also it's so much easier to add to the water this way trust me. 




Wait for your pot of water to rapidly boil. Then TURN THE HEAT TO LOW. You want the water to be hot but also still. If the bubbles are rapid you'll have so much movement it will scramble your egg when you add it. And that's just gross egg soup. You pour your egg in when the water is calm and it will just sink into a pile and cook.
Wait till all the white is cooked. Only takes a couple minutes because the water is still hot. Then using a slotted spoon scoop the egg out. You will have some wispy egg whites floating around but that's normal and you just ignore those.




Top your prepared dish with it and a dash of salt and pepper. Voila!!!


Enjoy!



This was made using our farm fresh eggs right from our hens that day. The golden yolks are like a butter sauce and the whites are fully cooked and still have a fluffy texture. A poached egg has easily been my favorite thing to make with new home grown awesomeness. You can of course make more than one at a time in the same pot. I only do about four max because I end up overcooking them but that's me. You try it and see how you like yours!








Friday, March 14, 2014

Things that are free are always cooler.

 I am more excited this year than last year I think and I'm not sure how that's possible. I have been feeling great and the sun is shining. Getting out in the fresh air with a plan is seriously my absolute favorite way to spend my day. And yesterday I made a Thursday feel like a Saturday and made it my bitch like it was a Monday.

 Being a massive salvage junky and a recycling addict, this is probably one of my best scores so far. I am amazed at how much I can find for free or nearly free between craigslist, Freecycle, and ReStore in Beaverton. My yard is made up of so many things from these places it would blow your mind. Sure it's more like a treasure hunt to find exactly what you are looking for but if you are somewhat patient and keep your eyes pealed you can find gems. Ok in most cases rocks and you turn them into gems. Like this for example. I found these fence panels on feet!! On craigslist for free!! They are untreated cedar and perfect. I was figuring I would have to spend a pretty penny on lumber and fence wire to make this happen. I paid nothing. And made a ton of stuff with it! Check it out.







   This fence was really important for me to build because it keeps the chickens out of the planting beds but it is also in easy to move sections. I wanted to maintain the chicken space in different shapes and spaces every few weeks to make sure the lawn doesn't get depleted in one spot. It gives the greens to the birds and refreshes the lawn with fertilizer and aeration. So switching it up in rotation is great for both! Plus if I want to just fence off the Garden and let chickens roam for a bit I can do that too. It's really nice to have lucked out with panels randomly. What are the odds?




 I only needed the frame part for the fence project but after removing the inner planks I found uses for some of them. They combined with a free shipping crate to make a 4x3 raised bed.




  And a table top for my planting bench. Also from a 2$ cabinet from ReStore. Needs a paint job then its all set.




   Don't worry, all of the building was of course overseen by an extremely watchful foreman.




  The next FeltiFarm post will be plants for sure. We have already started the leafy greens that are cold hardy and I am sprouting seeds next. So excited for this season.



**We are still taking donations for our Farmers Market goal until May 1st if you are interested in contributing you may do so here --> http://www.gofundme.com/Farming-for-Our-Autism


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Marinate on this.

 I have been kicking around this idea of adding some recipes and how-to video snippets to the bloggity blog. Food is a massive happiness hobby for me so it would be extra fun and uplifting to share. I like to think I am a pretty good cook and I know I have skills under my belt that my Granny taught me from back when cooking IS what a woman did full time. So, that being said, I would love to know what you want to cook. What do you want to know? What foods to you eat that you wish you could make? Give me some to start with. Make my Julia and Julia dream come true. I do think I will start with a simple way to poach an egg because I made a how-to for a friend a while ago and she was stoked! Thus making me want to do this even more.

 I think I will attempt to dedicate Tuesdays to Food and my Foodies!! So kick ass recipe posts can be anticipated. Requests needed! Ready Go!!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Pride, Patience and Positivity

 I felt in my bones that I was starting to let that dark side we've been battling get to me. I was letting it grind at my nerves and cast shadows on my mood. That shouldn't be how it is. Rarely in my whole life have I allowed anyone or anything dictate how I feel. I am not a helpless being. I am a light and happy and snarky but positive person. I can lift a friend out of a rut or shine a humorous " look on the bright side" laughing spin on most situations. I usually say " It could be worse, you could be on fire" because it's so crazy people will laugh. And the other day I had to tell it to myself. Because it's true. I NEED to count my blessings and be grateful and thankful for what I have. Aside from a good man by my side and  a daughter that is so bright naturally that she pulls A's and B's with little effort. I have a brother and sister who have my back no matter what. I have best friends like sisters and brothers from other mothers. 

 I have been wrestling with my negative mood as of the last few weeks. Basically the hits keep coming and when they are out of your control or feel cruel it's hard on a family. There is a major difference between myself and some of my friends who have had equally hard or honestly, harder things. They have God. This may sound sort of weird to some. I am a very open minded and spiritual person. I have read many many many books of faith and I can see the good points in all of them, But I can't seem to identify wholeheartedly with any. I like to hear other people talk happily about their church experiences or how faith helps their lives. I am jealous. I wish at times like this I had that light in my heart they speak of. I feel like the stress would be different. I have my friends and my family and my hobbies. My yard is my church I guess. I can lose myself in the wholesome ritual of creating something worthwhile out there. I do however envy the knit community of a church. My family was never religious and my parents offered all of us four kids the open door to seek any faith we wanted, or none if that felt better. They were both from church going families and from what I gather they might have been what is referred to as the CREASTER types ( devoted Christians and Catholics around Christmas and Easter only). I attended many services with childhood friends including one with my Vietnamese bff where they pinned a red carnation on me to symbolize my newness to the church and I struggled being the absolute only white person in there and also fighting off the urge to vomit from the food poisoning I was enduring while I sweated profusely wondering to myself why hadn't I just gone home instead of embodying everything Hollywood portrays as a white devil ironically singled out by a red flower. I did not yack, but also I was not invited to return. I digress but my point is that I have tried church and I have given God a chance. It's not my thing. At times like this I wish somewhat desperately that is was.

 As a conscious effort to fill my non-job-working moments with things that fulfill me and benefit my families situation I am setting aside my pride and asking things of people I never have before. I am asking for advice and so far have gotten some of the best feedback I ever have! Because I reached out and asked. I am asking for assistance, which is very hard for me to do. I have been the " I would rather live in a cardboard box than ask for a hand out" type all my life and have had to humble myself enough to grasp the bigger thing. It's not about just me anymore. Aidan is actually the one right now who has been suffering. He is in need of simple things like hearing tests, podiatrist visit to assess the severity of his toe-walking which can become a permanent physical impairment if not addressed, physical therapy for gross and fine motor skills, speech therapy for his delays, not to mention the swim lessons specific to special needs children that we are out of district and have to pay hundreds of bucks for if we want him to join, and my goal of a simple Zoo Pass for him to have outings this spring and summer especially when his school is not in session for long breaks. All of these things take the backseat when we are forced to be miserly and pinch pennies on a  budget. I just want him to have a shot a being normal-ish. I think that he deserves a fair shake. On average we can handle this load just fine, but recently we've hit a solid struggle and a financial drop off we've never faced before. So I am putting myself out there for odder jobs that take me away from home less, that utilize my skills and pay decently. I am reaching out to my community for a fundraiser for Aidan. I am slowing down to consider all the possibilities instead of tunneling my vision on the stresses only to be overwhelmed. And most important of all the things ever, I am keeping my chin up and making sure I laugh at the craziness of the times we are facing. Because this too shall pass. It's really only making the bond between my stepkid and I stronger. And reminding her of the knight in shining armor she has for a Daddy. Things will be better. I have always been a firm believer in putting good into the universe if you expect good in return. I cannot lose that. Everyone has a hard time at some point. Damnit, this too shall pass. 





Do you want to help? Here's how.

Do you know anyone needed wedding rings? Bride or Groom, I make them.

Are you local and want a landscape planned and planted with native species to be the best for our environment and super duper low maintenance? I know how to do that for you and can work with a budget easy peasy.

Do you need a baby nursery decorated? Maybe with a mural?

Want a painting for your home done? 

Or if you want to donate to our game plan you can do that here http://www.gofundme.com/Farming-for-Our-Autism




 No matter what, please keep posting your inspiring words about your faith and your family on Instagram and Facebook for me to read and be lifted. We don't all have the same stories or same God or same life but I do get quite a lot from you all. Makes me snap out of a funk sometimes.Thank you for that.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Update Post

 Some sort of update is due after such a cliffhanger last post. Verdict is, working does not pair well with Aidan and his developmental delays he has going strong right now. There are a few expenses that we really wanted to just payoff and knockout but, those will just have to chug along and/or wait while we continue the regularly scheduled program. I am giving myself credit for trying. Normally I feel like there is no try, only do ( thanks yoda). But with this one I really did give it my best. So many factors made it fall apart though. Working for a small business can sometimes be extremely disorganized or not the smoothest with scheduling, and we have a complex system to accommodate so I understand that was a rough cog in the whole machine. There are some really amazing things on the horizon though so I am not down or sad or even feeling like a failure. I put myself out there, it didn't fit right, and we can take a step back for now to reassess for a try down the road. A wise woman told me some great advice " you are not a tree". She is right. I am not rooted in one place and I can change my mind any time I want. So I did. And it feels better.

 Really, when it comes down to it, I do work primarily for the tiny boss man. He comes first. My hours at a job should not dictate how he grows and develops. If I can help it, I will be the one who is here for him and meets his needs so he thrives.


 I am logging our eggs the girls lay and planning my garden plot and sprouting seeds with Hallie. All of these things are so much more important than money. Money helps the life you live and the level of stress you have to endure. But money should not be the thing that makes or breaks your happiness. That shit comes and goes. The smiles and laughs and love is what fills the house with stuff that matters. Some people can have all the money in the world but be so empty and unhappy. I'd rather be happy and loved than rich.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Re-applying for real life. Because no, stay at home motherhood doesn't make every day Saturday.

 Today is Thursday but is always has a tendency to feel like Sunday for me. Aidan has school today but not tomorrow so it has that feeling of the last day of "free time" before a full day of work with him. I thought that blogging would be a good use of this time. Instead of cleaning if I'm being honest because let's face it, I loathe dishes. I hate to wash them. I hate to put them away. So, Hi. Hey there. I talk to you instead.

 There have been a few changes in this momlife scene. I have posted before about job hunting/pondering. I have been offered a job! details later because I am somewhat scared to put it in factual detail before I have all the factual details. I tend to jinx things that way. This is a change for our household. Dynamics are going to shift and my feelings about this are all over the board and the jury is out on whether I like it or not. Reality set in when I interviewed. Feeling somewhat out of practice I felt desperate, or rather, I felt like I sounded desperate. It was awkward. To me and not the boss apparently because I got the offer but still. So new for me because not to be cocky but I know I interview well. It's the upside of being an easy talker. I public speak and interview well because I am a story teller and shallow sharer. You get to know me sorta. But I like to be friendly and laugh and make it warm and fuzzy yet still arms length and professional. I knew I nailed it because she hugged me at the end of a two hour chat that was supposed to be a 30 minute Q&A. I will love it there. I knew it in my bones when I walked around pretending to already work there as I waited for boss lady to finish on a phone call. I like to imagine myself cleaning the dust that complacent employees have long since deemed unimportant. Facing products and smiling at customers already is automatic. I know what my strengths are and where I fit in. Whenever I have had that feeling before an interview I know in my gut I would have that job. I have never been wrong. I think it may actually set the tone for the meeting itself and make me just feel at home. It's like a subconscious harnessing of my chi beforehand which pretty much kills the nerves or butterflies. The whole experience was just what I needed. I cold called this place. I talked to the owner and asked him if he wanted to hire me. I got a call from his wife for an interview. And then I got the job. He actually had said " I didn't think I was hiring until you asked me".

 I have already been away from home more often because I am going back to the gym finally. A hiatus doesn't feel good I've learned. Muscles under mush is what I've become. Crazy how one can be strong but so tired. The treadmill is great but I actually came up with a tremendous way to get more lazy people into the gym and keep them there past January 31st (cheers to resolutions but seriously). Put a Oregon Lottery video poker machine on every machine!! Winner winner lean boneless/skinless chicken dinner!! I mean, I'd stay wayyyy longer for sure. OOOoh even better, coax miserly folks in with a free membership. Make all the money from the video crack. Amazing. You're welcome Gym industry. You can have that idea.


 New yard and garden post tomorrow. Or maybe later today if the boy is wonderful. I have fun stuff in so many stages of happening.



  I haven't done a word of the day in a long time.

Falsie  : When your child tells you a completely fabricated story in a tone that sounds totally legit. Example "Seven presents for Mommy. It's Mommy's Birthday."

It's not my birthday. But him saying ALL of that sure makes me feel like it is.( And then I just had the sinking worry about missing out on all of those moments while being at work!!!! Shit!!!)


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Try new things.

  I have been in a bit of a moody rut and as much as I like to blame the weather, it's me. I re-read my recent posts and I need to be a more positive, bright version of me. Pity parties aren't nearly as fun to read about as creativity or humor. My bad. I will buck up and be brighter I promise.

 One of my new projects is a search for products that benefit the boy. He is a picky eater now which comes with the territory I am finding. Each article I read is repeating so much of the same information that there has got to be at least a thread of truth running through it all. Gluten is rough on a kid on the spectrum. Cows milk can effect him too. We have long since cut out cows milk and he has solely been drinking Coconut Milk since 18 months and we saw a physical change we could measure and pinpoint. I am not saying I am getting crazy crunchy or vegan anytime soon. I am not cut form the cloth of a gal who can make that a household thing ( kudos to those who can though). But I can cater to the boy better. Especially if it adds protein and daily greens to his very very lacking diet. I am putting out my feelers to find actual foods first and then possibly supplements to enrich his nourishment. The brain needs to be fed if we expect progress. Reviews to follow for sure.

 Another new thing is the amount of home grown eggs we are collecting from our girls. We are up to a dozen every three days! Some may say I have gone overboard with the chickens but they have so many purposes I am thankful for. They probably the most fascinating pets I've ever owned. Besides eating all the slugs and spiders ( no joke, we are literally rid of those pests now) and giving waste that makes excellent fertilizer for the garden come spring, these hens lay an amazing food source that Aidan enjoys eating. Egg toast is one of the more predictably consumed foods. The freshest eggs we can find right here in our yard every single day. Rain, shine or even snow. So much better for him than store bought eggs by a landslide. And I think they are prettier.


( No need to adjust your monitor color. The two lower left are blueish and the rest are champagne pink tones! )




 Soon I will be partnering with the Autistic Love Society on a very special fundraising project. So many good things in the works I can feel good about.