Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sping Cleaning

This week and next I am diving in and clearing the junk that has slowly taken over my life. It's a love/hate relationship. It's hard to get the motivation to clear out all the stuff that has accumulated over the last year and I hate going through all the stuff and trying to decide what to keep and what to throw out, but I love the feeling I get when it's all done. It's like a big weight gets lifted off my shoulders when the bags are all finally on their way to the DI.

I've made a list and am going room by room and when the dust settles we'll just see who comes off victor, me or the junk!

Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A change of scenery...

Are you tired of looking at that gross cow eye yet?

This is a self-portrait of my new do. Well, it's actually a couple of months old, but thought you might need a change of scenery! Usually I'm the one behind the camera so I have to take a picture of me now and then so that people know I actually existed!

We've been out of town so I haven't had time to post. I'll be downloading some pics of our extended Memorial Day weekend and after I get done spring cleaning I'll inundate you with my cute kids!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Eye's Have It

The joys of homeschooling--or, should I say, the good, the bad, and the ugly...this time it was a combination. We got to dissect an eye, ewwwww! My youngest daughter had been begging me for a year or more get a lamb eye for her, so when I ordered some science items the other day, we got an eye, not a lamb, but a cow. Here it is in all it's gory detail, and if you want to know more, you can read about it here.

Shall we get started?!

First you have to cut all the tissue away...

Love that formaldehyde smell...

There now, it's nice and clean. That stemlike thing on the back is the optic nerve.

This is the cornea. It's quite tough. Stronger than I thought, but am so glad!
Sorry for the blur, my son was taking the pictures (he's not used to my camera yet).

Here's the front half...lens and iris, looking at it from the inside.
Now for the back, this is the retina. It's just a tissue held in place by the
vitreous humor, a gel like substance inside the eye that holds the eye in shape.
The retina is attached to the eye by the optic nerve which is where your blind spot is.

"Eye see you!"
This is getting a little cheesy.

This is the lens. It's different that we thought it would be.
It's kind of like a mancala piece, and is layered like an onion.


Here's the back with the retina taken off. Animal eyes have the iridescent
shine to them so that they can see at night. That's what makes them
glow in the headlights, but it also distorts their daytime vision.

Here's the happy girl who started this whole thing...

What we didn't show you was her throw up pail...she used it about five times!

Now, how about some breakfast...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Food storage 101

Caution: This post contains wild, unsubstantiated rumors and shameless scare tactics. It is not for the faint of heart. Read at your own risk.

This year in our ward they started the "Noah Plan". Every week they hand out a flier with a few things to do that week to be prepared. The idea being that at the end of the year everyone will have their year supply and also be prepared with other emergency items. I can't do it that way. It's just another thing on my to-do list which is already miles long! However, getting one of those little fliers every week does it's job in that it keeps food storage at the forefront of my thoughts and the desire to be prepared begins to set in! Also, to add to that are a couple of rumors that I heard lately that finally pushed me past desire and straight into action. About these rumors--I can't back them up--you know how those things come around in the email and you're never sure if they are true or not. They are wild and unsubstantiated and you may not quote them as truth from me! I, however, don't care if they are true or not, because they did get me moving.

Rumor #1: Have you noticed that in the past few General Conferences they haven't talked much about food storage or emergency preparedness? Last Conference there was only one talk. A few days ago a friend sent an email to another friend (you know, a friend of a friend of a friend...) (I didn't even get the email myself, so this is just second hand information) that one of the apostles (and I won't say which one, remember, this is a rumor) was having a family meeting and his daughter (she was the one who allegedly sent the email) asked why the brethren weren't speaking about food storage any more. He replied that the prophet has asked them not to because it has been preached by them for 100 years and now it's the Lord's turn to do the preaching. Even if this were not true that one of the apostles said this, the idea presented itself into my brain that I don't want to suffer the consequences of the Lord's preaching! That kind might hurt!

Rumor #2: (From this same friend) She had been talking to a man who was in charge of the food prep program in a ward. He has studied the disasters that have happened of late and has also spoken to some of the "experts". First of all the big freeze in the east has wiped out the peach and blueberry crop as well as other food items. Also, apparently we get a lot of our wheat from Russia which apparently has had some crop failures lately. He said it is estimated that by 2008 the wheat imported to the U.S. will be half of what it is today.

Ok, these may be true, they may not. But in thinking about being prepared I was reminded of a story I read in I Walked to Zion (so this is a true story, but I am paraphrasing it). A family was crossing the plains and the father had a hunk of meat in the handcart near the back where his young son was pushing the cart. The poor boy was so hungry and the meat was right there in front of his face. He finally gave in to the hunger and cut a little piece of meat which he chewed for as long as he could before swallowing it. He did this a couple of times during the course of the day. When the family stopped for the night the dad saw that the meat had been eaten from and asked who had done it. The boy confessed that he had been so hungry that he just couldn't help himself. The man, instead of berating the boy, sat down and cried because he felt so badly that he couldn't provide proper nourishment for his children.

Shameless Scare Tactic: I think there are few things in life worse than not being able to care and provide for your children. As I considered that story I thought how awful it must have been for those pioneers caught in dire circumstances to have to see their children going hungry and even starving to death. Some of them had no control over the situation. Yet what I think would be more awful than that is to watch my child starve knowing that I could have prevented it!

Getting a food storage isn't as hard as it used to be. The guidelines have changed a bit from what I remember and it's very do-able. The criteria is as follows:

  1. A three month supply of the food you regularly consume
  2. Drinking water
  3. A financial reserve
  4. A longterm supply

The long term supply consists of wheat, white rice and beans. That's it! Those are the staples. You could survive on that if you had to! However, after getting that it is recommended to get sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, baking soda, and cooking oil and also foods with Vitamin C and other essential nutrients (a few canned goods)...or even a year's supply of multivitamins. Something to offset the blandness! I'm going to can some M&M's next time around!

Now some people have the idea that you have to know how to cook with all the stuff. Really, you don't unless you want to learn how to live more frugally. Here's my take on it. Buy a couple of cookbooks, including the one the church puts out, and store them with all your stuff. If you can read a recipe great, then when/if the time comes that you need to make food from it, you'll be set. If you are able to use a little of it, then you can replace it as needed. I use my wheat when I bake, but I don't bake every day. I buy bread from the store. However, I do know how to make bread and also muffins and pancakes, so if I had to make my bread everyday I could. I can rotate sugar, milk, salt, oil and baking soda because they are things I use regularly anyway, but wheat and other grains can last up to 30 years.
I look at it as insurance. If, in 30 years, the stuff I haven't used has gone bad, then I will throw it out and buy more. At that time I won't have any kids around and so will have to buy a lot less! But meanwhile, if some impending disaster comes, I have that insurance. We may be eating wheat grass and sprouted beans after the first 3 months, but hey, we'll be alive!

Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Feel Good!!!

My oldest daughter has been bugging me for the last few months to please get the food storage done "so that I won't die when the next disaster happens!" So I told her to make it a Personal Progress project and get it done! She's busy taking inventory and making lists for our 72 hour kits, and today we went to the cannery and canned 400# of wheat, 150# beans, 75# sugar, 75# dry milk, and 2 cans of dried onions. So we're about 1/3 of the way there on our food storage (yes, we need 1200# of wheat for our bunch as well as 400# of other various grains...whew!). We also helped a friend do 800# of wheat. It took us about 4 hours so we went to Leatherby's Ice Cream Parlor afterward for a well deserved icecream sundae!

We'll make a couple of more trips and we should be stocked for a year.

We're gonna get it or die tryin'!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

I was pampered this morning with breakfast in bed...light and fluffy waffles, crisp bacon, eggs done to perfection, sweet strawberries and fresh squeezed orange juice--with a bouquet of flowers to boot! Ahhhh, life is good! And now I can smell dinner cooking downstairs while I am up here just lazing around.

I'll take it while I can, knowing that tomorrow I will back in the saddle again!

Hope all my sweet sisters have a nice day. When I say sisters, of course that includes all my sis's-in-law...those brothers better be pampering you or they'll have to answer to me!

I tried out a new look on my blog, hoping that it will entice me into making entries more often! We'll see how that goes...