As I talked about in my last update, I made home made butter from heavy whipping cream. I also made some yummy biscuits using whole wheat flour so that we could put the butter on and drool as we ate it - not surprisingly, it worked. The recipe that I used was from Alton Brown at the food network. I had done a search for buttermilk biscuits since that was a by-product of making the butter and I didn't want to waste it. Even without the butter on the biscuits, you can still taste butter because of the butter milk. Delicious! I added the recipe to the Recipe Page, so give it a try. You won't be disappointed.
Also I wanted to follow up on the first batch of butter I attempted to make with 'whipping cream' as opposed to 'heavy whipping cream' - I refrigerated it for a day in the metal mixing bowl so I knew that it would be incredibly cold. I still didn't get butter. I'm not sure if it's because of the difference in fat content or because I basically scalded the milk in the Vita-Mix.
I looked up the fat content of butter. According to this site butter is 80-82% fat.
As you know by now, we may seem a bit 'strange'... not many people have a garden hose in their shower then out the doggy door for watering their garden.
Well I've been wondering about shampoos. Trying to find one without sulfates has been a little difficult - though I found some, they aren't in every grocery store and when I go shopping I'm looking for everything at one place. So I'm toying with the idea to make our own soap (hmmm working with lye - locating lye anymore isn't easy either). I've also wondered about making our own shampoo.
I came across a web page on homemade shampoo and wanted to share it.
Method # 1 1. In a small dish or ramekin, mix 2T of baking soda with a couple of tablespoons of warm water, until it forms a thick paste. Add more water as needed – it should be a bit thinner than toothpaste. 2. Taking the paste into your hand, massage it into your dry scalp. Massage your scalp all over, for at least 30 seconds. (This will probably feel pretty good!) 3. Leave on your hair for a minute or two. Then rinse well. 4. In an old (and well rinsed) shampoo bottle, mix 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar to 4 parts Water. You can add essential oils or herbs if you like. 5. Coat your scalp and hair with the vinegar, and allow to sit for at least 30 seconds.
6. You can either rinse or leave it in your hair.
Method # 2 1. Use an old shampoo bottle (well-rinsed) or a squeeze bottle of some variety. Mix 1 part aluminum-free baking soda to 3 parts Water. Each time you use this solution, shake well to mix. 2.Squeeze the baking soda solution onto your dry scalp, then massage your scalp for several seconds. 3.Leave in for 1-3 minutes, and rinse completely. 4.In an old shampoo bottle (well-rinsed) or a squeeze bottle, mix 1 part Organic White Vinegar to 4 parts Water. You can add essential oils or herbs if you like – I add 1 cinnamon stick (which lasts through several bottles of mixture) and 1/2 t vanilla. This masks the vinegar smell, and leaves your hair smelling spicy and lovely. 5.Leave on hair for several seconds, then rinse.
July 3rd Kevin and I met Phil out at the farm to see if we could find post markers for the boundaries. Phil suggested that we either have a surveyor come out or find them ourselves. He even brought 2 shovels. Betty said that she remembers that when the fence was put up it was set so that it was slightly inside the property line so that there would be no problems later on. So there was Kevin and Phil getting all sweaty and digging while I walked around. One corner marker was located in the south-west corner, just over the fence and yes she was right, both sides of the fence are inside the property line. The other 3 corner posts couldn't be located, so now it's up to Kevin and I to figure out if we want to hire a surveyor or not. After a quick discussion we decided that even if the fence was outside the boundaries we wouldn't do anything about it unless there was a problem later down the road. So - $600+ saved by NOT hiring someone. Since we know that one marker is correct, we are going to assume for now that the other 3 are also.
Phil and I met with the home inspector. He was very courteous and allowed me to walk around the home with him as he did his inspection. He explained what he saw at each juncture and in every case told me how to go about getting it fixed. Some things will be easy, some a little more involved, but nothing that would be a deal breaker for us. Phew! The pipes are old and made of galvanized steel, this means that they've rusted and the holes are closing up - the fix is copper piping. A bit expensive yes, but he told me that I need to fix just certain parts now and leave the rest for later - much cheaper I think than changing out all the piping. The result of the pipes as they are is low water pressure. Also the water tank is about to go out. When he fired it up and let it cool there was pinging - this was from the metal debris heating - this tells him that the heater is on it's last leg - but for now it works.
We did have an inspection for the septic scheduled for July 6th, but then talking to Phil we found that our deal wasn't solid yet so we held off. (We now have a solid deal in writing.) The thing is that we are paying for these inspections, not the current owners - so we didn't want to go forward and have them back out after we paid all the money. The home inspection was $275 and the septic inspection will be over $600.
Currently the septic inspection is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13th at 8:00 AM.
The house is ours. The Brhel's moved out yesterday. We have the keys.
My sister Jenny knows a gal who is now cleaning for us. There is a travel trailer that was left for us - including pink slip and signature and it's very dirty. From there she is going to start on the house. If it was the other way around, the trailer might never get done.
The floors need to be replaced, the whole thing is in paneling (ick) and needs painted, covered - something, and I want the stove and refrigerator to be moved. Currently there is a separate dining area and kitchen with a pass through window between and this is where the stove and refrigerator are located. I'm going to have my brother tear that out and move them against the wall creating one open kitchen area... that will all get covered with laminate or linoleum. I think we might be able to move in for Christmas... if we are lucky.
But oh the treasures left behind. The family is old, Mr. Brhel is 85 years old and they are moving to Oregon downsizing from 4.8 acres to 1 acre - he said he couldn't take everything as much as it was going to kill him. And I'm sure that his heart hurt a little bit afterwards too. There are 2 table saws, a saw sharpening tool, a drill press, a chain saw that looks new, an extension cord that had never been used still in the packaging, tanks for welding, vice grips, an electric grinder, a band type sander, pitch forks, shovels, an axe, hand saws, the list goes on and on. It's going to be like opening presents as I go through it. So - why aren't we moved in? Illness...
If you don't have your health, you have nothing...
Two weeks ago I got up on Saturday as usual and headed to take care of the cutest little kids ever - Danica and Luke - while Mom and Dad trained for their upcoming marathon. Everything was fine but I had a headache when I got home. I had dropped Kevin off at work and had to go get him again, so my alarm was set.
When I awoke I knew something was wrong - I felt like I had a fever. I got Kevin and managed to get us home, then into bed. I figured a 24 hour bug and I would be fine. That night I was in excruciating pain. My head hurt, my neck hurt, my muscles in my arms, legs, back - everything felt like I'd been through a wringer. I had crazy delusional dreams. And I was so thirsty. I woke in the middle of the night to get myself some water and almost didn't make it back to bed. I was like a pin ball stuck in a machine being wacked around from wall to wall and stumbling everywhere. Sunday was more of the same and I called out from work for Monday. Monday the diarrhea started. Tuesday morning when I was worse I finally called a doctor who promptly sent me to the ER. I was in the hospital for 6 days.
They thought possible meningitis - my neck still is in pain - but I wouldn't let them do a spinal tap. The did x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs - I have some sort of big infection, a urinary tract infection, dehydrated, and some sort of unknown viral bug that attacked and went to town. (How can they not know with all the blood they took, the urine samples, the stool samples...) Anyway, colon is inflamed and the doc is afraid of infection, so no colonoscopy until 6 weeks. But definitely said I need one. (Fun, Fun - but at least unlike Kaiser, I get to have a twilight sleep)
I was discharged on Sunday - I'm still weak and this is Thursday and I'm still on antibiotics and pain meds for my neck. I'm hoping to go back to work on Monday... I need to get strong enough though.
So getting sick scared Kevin to bits. He (and a few others) thought I might not make it. (Yes, I was that sick). He told me that we can live off of his income but he'd like it if I stopped working. The farm will keep me busy enough. I can help out if Laura has a special project - that I can do from home, but he wants me home. Okay, Kevin is a very independent sort of guy, he likes me being independent - he's never showed concern like this before - never showed any sort of protection towards me. I like it.
I need to finish the project I'm working on first though - A huge inspection is coming up and I'm trying to get them prepared for it. After that, I'm ready to stop. The money has been nice and I'll miss that, but that's okay. I can find fun in creating things at home instead of buying them.
Let me tell you about Shellie
My sister Jenny has a friend named Shellie that I admire beyond belief. She's a Mormon woman, works a full time job, has 6 children - one with downs, cans almost all their food from her own garden and the animals that she raises. She slaughters the pigs herself. She teaches classes at the church once a month. The first one I went to was on water filtration. I missed this last one because I haven't recovered enough to go out much. She also started teaching classes at my sister's church (Baptist) every other week. I had gone to one of those classes also and it was on how to make ricotta cheese from a gallon of whole milk. It was the best tasting ricotta cheese I've ever had - you can find the recipe in the recipe section. I'd love to know if you try it and what you think.