Friday, November 28, 2008

Getting busy!

Lots of family visits coming leading into the holidays. It is nice to see some family thats for sure!

I haven't been coping well with stress lately. Feeling snappy and tired and irritable. I don't think that being cooped up in the house with that sickness help any of us!!! Trying to get in an hour of exercise during the day and it is helping immensely. My mood is just heaps better!

Elder son took a big leap this week and we used the learning funds to sign him up for a circus arts class! It is his first class ever at seven years old. He is really excited and a lot anxious as well. His sensory difficulties have made classes and playgroups and even attending regular fun shows and events absolutely miserable in the past. There are a couple of other neighbourhood boys in the group and some of the older homelearning girls in the neighbourhood are long time circus performers in the group. They learn juggling, poi,diablo, tumbling, hopp and ariel fabric along with developing characters . The course is for 10 weeks, 2 hours per class. I am crossing my fingers that this will be a wonderful experience!

The boys are getting stressed about Christmas. I both love and loathe this time of the year. My youngest came to me the other day and said " in the movies and books Santa has a sleigh full of wrapped presents. How come he only brings a stocking to our house?" . We can't afford anything extra at Christmas... literally the only gift we do is a stocking... from Santa. Usually we buy a family gift after Christmas of something we need if a relative kindly has given us a bit of cash. It has worked great for us so far. Christmas is truly for being with family and a midwinter celebration ( which I always explained to the kiddos as a celebration that people in history made to celebrate making it halfway through winter and pulling out some of the food stores to share with others so everyone can feel abundance... you know... days getting longer etc.) Anyways. It is weird for us. We truly can't afford to buy things for our relatives or give more than a card. People take offense at that like we don't care or love them. I dunno. This time of the year can be depressing even when I am not desiring to be a consumer.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Impromptu hike...

The neighbour came over to return a couple of baking pans and mentioned that he was about to head up into the woods. We were in the middle of sorting our bookshelves.... complete chaos... and begged to tag along! Went for about 8 km up to a beautiful waterfall and into an old copper mine. So amazing!

I finally decided to go into the mine myself and these are what were all over the walls. Only slightly creepy!!! Eeek!

Also had a chance to harvest some oregon grape root. I am going to try to use it to clear up my psoriasis over the winter. It was much easier to harvest now than it was in the spring. I still have some from that harvest but I have been using it reluctantly because I was afraid of running out. It is a lot of work to scrub and chop up before drying so I am so thankful that the actual harvesting part was a little bit easier!
On the reading list right now... A Midwifes Tale:The life of Martha Ballard based on her diary 1785-1812. Really really enjoying this book! I read almost half of it in my first sitting.

Friday, November 21, 2008

And the wintery storms begin!

No snow yet of course... being on the coast and all. There was a wind warning advisory out though for the area for winds up to 90 km/ hour! Pouring down rain and chilly. A good day to stay in and cuddle up. We did brave an outing in the morning to go to the library ( there was a book I was waiting for and desperately wanted before the weekend!) and post office. We were the only ones out!

We don't have plans for the holidays this year... we usually go down to my folks , but need new tires for the van and don't want to risk the drive in the wet on that highway. We witnessed someone spin out on tires that were too bare last year on the way down. The car was coming at us from the opposite direction doing donuts at 100 km an hour and slammed into the median right where it would have hit us head on.... pretty freaky and a good lesson. You never know though.... maybe the stars will line up just right and we will be able to make the trip anyways.

I made my first purchase with the kiddos learning investment today. We decided on the Wildcraft game for my young naturalists . ( I think I am going to save it so we have something special to do on Christmas Eve.)Works well with my oldest who chose a bunch of field guides and outdoor adventure stuff last year. I have saved the kids ministry funding so far this year. We can meet the guidelines really well just using free resources. It is nice to save it until mid year and then make a trip to the teachers store. We are so lucky to have this program. We would still be able to homeschool really frugally without the funding, but it is so nice to be able to support them otherwise with things that enrich thier learning plans. I am tempted to go through the educational assessment to acess the special needs funding.... it would be nice to have acess to certain therapy options... I have done well on my own so far but go back and forth on the need for extra help. I just don't know that I want an autism label in thier ed profile yet even though it is becoming more obvious to outsiders that there is more going on with us . I just hate how peoples stereotype of aspergers gets in the way of people seeing the boys for how awesome they are. Like thier quirkiness becomes " part of the aspergers" rather than just being unique and really interesting to be around. I just worry that a label will somehow not be helpful at the moment..... ok got off on a tangent there! Thinking out loud. lol
I have no idea what we will use the funding for this year as we are following a completely child led model of learning. My oldest though may have an opportunity to purchase a used digital SLR camera from a couple of possible sources( It would be so nice for him to be able to learn to use a SLR without having to pay the pile of money for film development and with instant results to your experiments). He was asked yesterday by the editor of our local community website if he wanted to be a regular junior reporter/ citizen photographer for the site. We are so lucky to be in such a small community because so many people take an interest in the kids and really show care and take them under thier wing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I think that we got glutened. I wasn't sure because we have been sick and all... the kids have been so wild.My oldest is verbal stimming all day long ( he hums, but absolutely cannot control it) and my youngest has that pale look with huge dark circles and he is angry and miserable. We bought a new brand of oats.... I should know better, but after a couple of years of careful introduction of certain foods the kids didn't seem to be reacting to a certain brand of oats. The kids have been eating them for the past couple of years. Recently we switched to a super big box store grocery store because we just couldn't afford to shop locally anymore. I picked up the organic package of oats quite a few times and kept refusing to buy it, opting to make a special trip to get the ones we were used to. A few weeks ago we just picked up the darn bag of oats from the big store. I made a really nice batch of granola with it too trying to make a nice frugal breakfast option. Anyways, I think that it is contaminated with gluten. Which sucks because from experience it takes about two weeks for the kids to recover from a small exposure( and they regress in some areas which we have worked hard to get past).

Good reminder for how much going gluten free changed our lives. I don't think I could handle this all of the time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My little whipper snapper...

Started a photo blog tonight with/ for my seven year old lover of taking photos! Thought it would be a good place to pop his favourite photos that he takes as well as a forum to learn computer/ editing skills Take a peek if you'd like!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lazy Sunday.

Finally starting to feel a little bit better. Still having coughing fits at night, but my energy is finally building. I knew I must be getting better when I scrubbed the bathroom last night! Either that or it just hit that level of filth! I have been in bed for over a week! The toilet can not go that long without a thorough clean.

Went for a short walk in the woods today when my brother dropped by. Collected goodies for a wreath and some pine to make a vinegar infusion for cleaning. Spent the afternoon listening to music and making our wreath. I don't have any decorations or ribbon, so I wasn't sure what I would do with it this year ( something within my budget of $0 !!!) I rooted around in the craft bucket and found a bag of handmade paper scraps that papa was given by a client. We made 50 paper cranes out of it... I was going to go for 100 but got lazy! I strung each one individually. I think it turned out ok. Especially at zero cost and with no waste.

Thought it would be nice to make the house feel cozy. We have family coming to visit for the next two weekends. Pray for the grocery fairy cause we can barely afford to feed just ourselves right now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Finally got my hands on some kefir grains again! Luckily a generous online mama was able to send me some in the post. Sent her some home made curry powder to try to make it worth her while!( Thanks Sarah!) Love the stuff! So yummy. I didn't do it justice when I described it to be like" effervescent baby spit up"! LOL gross! It is so yummy chilled though, and in a smoothie. I love it with fresh orange juice ( since we are financially not always in the position to buy tropical fruit these days though a scoop of frozen juice concentrate will suffice!) a spoon of honey and a little bit of vanilla concentrate... it tastes like " melted orange ice cream" according to my littlest guy. I use any extra kefir for baking that calls for milk. My littlest guy who doesn't seem to tolerate plain milk very well seems fine with the kefir. See the pretty calendula? It is the very last thing in the garden that has survived the frosts.

Voted in the local municipal election today. Couldnt decide which was more socially irresponsible... not voting, or exposing our sick ases to the masses! The neighbours encouraged us to vote. It is thier fault! My 7 year old asked me who I was going to vote for. When I told him that I was going to vote for councellors who cared about sustainable development and local environmental issues he rolled his eyes at me and said " of course they wont get in. Its politics, and what polititions care about is making money. Saving the environment isn't going to make anybody any money mom." My little cynic. Jaded already. Or maybe logical to a fault! I want to be a " cup half full" kind of person darn it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Must be on the mend...

I MUST be on the mend by now. I still feel like complete poo but , thinking positive, I must be on the mend. I am working with a good friend of mine who is a master herbalist. She has given me some pills that make my burps smell like vicks vapo rub! Surprisingly refreshing! Waiting a couple more days until I resort to antibiotics. Still spending most of the day in bed with warm tea and plugged in the rabbit ears for a little dose of mainstream entertainment. Too exausted to even read a book... I've resorted to watching home improvement shows, oprah, and celeberty gossip!lol Oh well. It should be short lived!

Went for a walk into town to the library ( hoping for a good book to come in. Ha ha!) to bring back the 15 overdue books and check the mail. The littlest guy was bopping along, bounding down the sidewalk , head down in his own little headspace. An elderly woman, trying to be playful, jumped out from behind a building to scare him. He ran in sheer terror into my arms and had a classic autie screaming fit. He was rocking back and forth in my lap, shrieking and yelling that people are stupid ( blush) and she got down to apologise. I let her know that it was alright and that it would be best if she just kept on moving... as I am trying to keep the fists and feet from flying in her direction. I know she was just trying to be playful and fun.... but you never know what kind of child you are scaring ya know?! I am sure that people don't try to go out and scare the autistic kids... but you can't always tell that kids on the spectrum are in fact on the spectrum!!! Sadly, I then get the judgement because of my childs" bad behavior". Usually he is coping all right these days , but when he is still recovering from being sick and just in a mellow mood, it's not the right time! It has taken him a good part of the day to recover.

Funny how people think that it is ok to get in a childs space in a way that they would never ever dream of doing to an adult.
I think that I may add a book list of what I am reading at the moment. On the go right now... both at once
~Plant Technology of First peoples of British Columbia. ... Awesome book about the first nations use of local plant materials. I use a lot of local plants medicinally but the feild guides were missing these practical uses ! Love this book!
~The Revolution will Not Be Microwaved. Sandor Ellix Katz. Loved his book Wild Fermentation. So wonderful to find a book that puts my philosophy about food into words. Love this guy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Still sick!

Seriously considered a visit to the doc today. Instead I stayed in bed all day. My sweet hubby took the entire day off today... I think I freaked him out pretty badly last night. I was coughing so hard I was vomiting and spitting up blood... Yikes! I have no voice whatsoever with that painful laryngitis and dry hurty cough. Papa called his boss this morning to see if he could come in a half hour late so that he could have time to clean the house a bit and get the boys ready for the day. His boss told him not to be crazy and to just stay home... that it sounded like we could use him here more. So the sweet man did all the dishes, folded tons of laundry, played math games and schooly stuff with the boys, took them to the playground and came in to take my snotty rags and feed me some vitamin c drinks every so often. Love that man!
Come on upswing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Soooo sick!

Day six for me with hardly enough energy to get out of bed. Fevers, gross snot, no voice, such a sore throat and just general shittiness. My poor littlest guy is a day ahead of me and I just pray that it doesn't turn into pnumonia. Poor little bug. We have been keeping hydrated, vitamin c-ing ourselves, taking herbal teas, bone broths and resting a ton. Even have been trying hydrotherapy. We are exausted! Papa bear is in bed right now just getting it. Oldest has been flappy and crazy all week and is finally getting it now. He has always moaned with every single breath when he is sick. He has done it his whole life! To top it off he has a serious humming stim these days. I am super sound sensitive and it is almost sending me over the edge!We cannot afford to miss any work at all and I feel so bad that that is a stressor for him on top of being sick. There is absolutely NO WAY that he can work if he gets it as badly as I do. Fingers crossed that we can keep the boys out of the hospital. With the asthma issues I am never settled when they get a bad cold. Poo -pee-doo!

Good sign of impending winter... a bear got into the compost a couple of nights ago. It threw the top off, busted off the top slats of wood and took three fence sections with it. I wish I had seen it!

Oh yes! ... just cause I am curious! Who are you regular readers? I'd love to look at your blogs too! Write me a note to say you dropped by!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Out with a flu bug

It's been a long week of yucky sickness around here. Mostly just a cold type of bug with chills and fever. The littlest guy was barfy for a day. We are slowly recovering but if we exert ourselves the fever seems to come back.

A good friend of ours was getting rid of this dresser on freecycle this week. It had been on her porch for ages and she could smell mouse pee. I could smell it faintly but I wonder if she had some other association with the old smell of the dresser itself. Anyways... we rescued it. Toting it up the street on a skateboard! Realising that we have gotten most of our furniture this way. Our leather couch came from a wealthy neighbour and after hours of massaging the darn thing with shea butter( no joke) it looked gorgeous and rich again. I think it just needed some moisture and a good clean. Our desk came from another neighbour and weighs about 300 pounds. It is the old switchboard desk from a nearby island and still has the switchboard instructions inside one of the drawers. A thick plank wood coffee table that weighs about 100 pounds that I hauled home along with two kids in a stroller!Anyways. The list goes on from rescued linens, kitchenware and lots of other goodies. Even if we couldnt afford to buy any new furniture we live in such a cozy space because of these treasures. I feel so thankful! ... Back to the dresser. I bleached it and vinegared and essential oiled the darn thing and planed off the big sliver bits on the front. I got out the beeswax polish that I use for some of my woodworking and buffed it all up. It looks great to me!

Made a batch of purple cabbage sauerkraut today. My gluten free sourdough starter is starting to bubble... as is my ethiopian honey wine. Keifer is going on the top of the fridge and a crock of ginger carrots is lacto fermenting in the corner. I have
stock simmering on the back of the stove. Life is pretty darn good!

( I'll tell you about my missing ring in another post... but I'll keep things positive here!)
I didn't lose it in the sauerkraut!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Are we the only ones?

I was reading a thread on a parenting board that I frequent about kids with sensory processing disorder. Specifically about clothing preferances. My first son is classically sensitive needing loose collars, no tags and super soft clothes. Son number two is the complete opposite. He cannot STAND soft clothing. At all! No PJs, soft pants etc. All he wants is jeans and stiff clothing. Belted in and tucked in. It is a real issue for him. I did a good ol google search and nothing came up for this. Seems like we are the only ones! Here a pic of the little guy... one that was caught of him tucking! There is a LOT of tucking going on in this house! I prefer a more relaxed look myself!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Finally at the end of the bag of apples! Canned the final batch of apple butter and dehydrated another full batch... delish! Tried something new today as well... actually a couple of things. Started a batch of gluten free sourdough starter. Also canned 6 litres of spicy carrot pickles. Amazing how many carrots you can pack in those jars when you pack em tight. Good use of a big chunk of the 25 pound bag of carrots we got at the farm last week. Plus made lunch and dinner. It feels like I haven't been out of the kitchen all day!( truly only out for a quick walk and to do the kiddos learning observation reporting) All powered by too much coffee and peanut butter cookies and lack of sleep last night. I could use a nap!