Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A crisp 56 degrees this morning on the mountain when we got up at 6!! The forest is quiet. Just soft moonlight filtering through the trees. Max is out looking through the porch rails for wild creatures. Nothing to be seen, no noises this morning. Temps will probably hit mid 80's by afternoon. Thank goodness the oppressive heat is gone.

It's 8:30 and still 56.......sun coming through the trees and on our road so will begin to warm up very quickly.

Monday, August 30, 2010

This lone deer showed up soon after I threw nuts & berries birdseed out on the ground. The motorcycle trailer is down behind the deer near the shed and Maxine lays quietly under it hoping to see the squirrels up close. When she spotted the deer, her eyes were the size of half-dollars.

Last weekend made these 3 big shirts for the kindergarteners to wear during their art class at school. This is an adult woman's pattern so I went by the smallest size on the tissue pattern. I sewed all weekend because I wanted to get the shirts mailed off Monday morning. Yesterday I used the pattern again to cut out some material to make myself a shirt. It's a really nice style with pockets and tabs on the cuff. I didn't do any of that for the kids, made theirs plain. Actually didn't read the directions, just quickly put theirs together and used velcro in the front instead of buttons. That way it's easier for children and teacher. Today I started assembling my shirt, this time reading directions, and when I got to the collar, I realized I had put the children's collars on upside down......all three of them!
Close up of the upside-down collars
Yesterday Cliff decided to tackle the cluttered shed. He pulled everything out of the shed and look what he found...........two motorcycles hidden under the rubble!!!!!!
My sportster is on the left and his Dyna is the other one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mountain Temps

Last two mornings the temps have been 59 when I got up at 6. It's 58 now at 6:40. Maxine woke me at 5:30 this morning to go out on the porch and feel the crisp air. I do love taking my coffee outside in the morning, even in the dark.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Morn

Had the three deer visit us yesterday evening. Max was out in the front garden behind an azalea plant in "pounce" position as the deer stopped and ate the wet green leaves. They laughed at her as they wandered up the road and into our back woods where they stayed for some time grazing. We haven't seen as many wild animals this year, probably due to the long hot summer. I hear the wild turkey in the mornings but haven't seen them running through the woods or eating at the side of the road.

The other day as we were driving into town on Hedden Road where many of the farms are, we spotted one cow standing at the side of the road outside his fenced pasture staring at us. Cliff stopped the truck, rolled down the window and reprimanded the cow, "you're not suppose to be out here." The cow put its head down, turned around, jumped back over the fence and ran back to the other cows!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kindergarten Kids

Hayden, Sofia, and Grant start kindergarten on Monday morning. Can't believe these little munchkins will board the bus Monday morning with backpacks full of supplies, wave good-bye to Mom and Olivia, and begin their new journey..........each in a different classroom for the first time. Wish I were there to see them off then spend the day with Lauria and Olivia. Tomorrow I'll head to Wally World after we hit the gym and buy material for 3 painting smocks. Have to bake cookies and sew all weekend.

I remember when Mark went to kindergarten. It was the hardest on me because he was the last to leave the house and the house was so quiet and empty. "Life comes at you fast."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fat, Dumb, & Happy

hummingbird outside kitchen window
taken through the screen as the two birds flitted from this hanging plant to the geraniums in the window box.

temperatures most days near 100

Last week we joined our local fitness center. Temperatures and air quality provided great excuses to avoid any physical activity and we were becoming fat, dumb, and happy. When you pay for something, you're more apt to use it or the $$$ is wasted. So we've been pretty faithful in our trips to the gym. We allow the working folks to get their exercise in early then we have access to the machines without waiting. The swimming pool is available year round. In October the huge white dome goes up and the pool is heated for the winter.

The garden is just about finished producing, plants looks so sad. We're picking the tomatoes as they turn orange before they rot on the vines and I picked the last two lopes. Time to pull the weary plants and let the garden rest.

Yesterday afternoon as Cliff drove out Boulder Creek Road, a bobcat ran down the mountain, across the dirt road, and in front of him. What an awesome sight!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Laundry Detergent

Before going to your local water hole on wash day, don't forget your homemade detergent.

Washing Clothes for Pennies

3.1 oz bar Ivory soap (Ivory is natural but you can use soap of your choice)
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

5 gallon container
knife or grater
pot large enough to hold 5 cups of water
long stirring stick/spoon (for 5-gallon container)

Shave the soap into small strips and place in pot with 5 cups of water. Bring the water just shy of a boil and stir until the soap is completely melted. When the soap is just about melted, pour 3-gallons of hot water into the 5-gallon container and let it set until the soap in the pot is totally melted. Once all of the soap shavings are melted, pour the mixture into the 5-gallon container and stir.
Forgot to take shot of 5-gallon container. I had to use my large kitchen wastebasket.

Once the soap and water are thoroughly stirred (in the 5-gallon container) add the 1/2 cup washing soda and stir until dissolved. Once washing soda is dissolved, pour in the cup of borax and stir again until dissolved. Optional: If your prefer a fragrance, here is when you add a few drops of your favorite essential oils.

Now you have a huge container of hot soapy looking water. Cover the container, place it somewhere out of the way and let it set overnight. I set mine out on the porch overnight. Once it's cooled it will gel, but not uniformly. It will be lumpy and watery and won't look very attractive, but it works.

Store in smaller containers for your convenience. Usage: 1/2 cup per laundry load is adequate to clean your clothes. This homemade laundry detergent works well in high efficiency washing machines since it is low sudsing. If using high efficiency machine, stir to break up lumps before pouring into the receptacle. Very large clumps may not fully dissolve. It's all natural so does not hurt the environment. Because I read the directions over and over while doing this, it took me less than an hour. Next time will be less because it's so easy.

This recipe yields 442 ounces of laundry detergent, of which 4 oz. are required per laundry load, so you will be able to wash 110.5 loads of laundry.

I found this on natural-products.suite101.com It shows the cost breakdown at the end of this article. As of 2007, the cost per 1/2 cup = $.01

I've washed two loads using this recipe and it works as well as the commercial detergent.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 7

Temperature was 63!! at 6:30 this morning when I took my coffee to the porch.........what a joy! Sky stayed overcast for about 4 hours so we were able to enjoy the slightly cooler air as we shopped at our local farmers' market. Now at 2:15 PM, it's 90 degrees again.

Cliff is washing the motorcycles and running the engines in the driveway since we can't get down this road to actually take them out for a real run. There are always groups of bikes out over the weekend but we'd rather ride during the week when people work and there is less traffic. Hopefully next year we'll be able to get back out and ride.

This week is tax-free week and children go back to school on the 25th. I've posted my tutoring ad in the public library and will bring some to all the elementary school during teacher work days. I don't miss the hassle and stress of teaching but would like to work with kids on a less stressful level.