Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Storage

In the good ole' olden days, the majority of people had things called root cellars where they stored their root veggies (potatoes, squash, yams, onions, etc) to eat all winter. People also actually canned food and used that to eat in the winter. People in the North didn't go to the store and buy tomatoes, corn, peppers, or bananas during the cold season. They just ate what you could store.

Totally NOT my root cellar, just a pic of an awesome one!

To me, the idea of eating what you can store/grow yourself is obviously appealing. I am so glad I have a butt load of canned pickles, beans, tomatoes, salsa, peppers, beets, and jam. I love that in our garage (where there is no heater) my onions, potatoes, beans, squash, and garlic are just waiting for me to make dinners out of them.

Totally my storage veggies (grown by and photo taken by TBoy)

However, I could do a better job of integrating some of my stored foods into our daily meals. I am pretty good about it though as we have squash for supper (I like calling dinner that, makes me sound all farmy and shit) a lot, which is totally awesome. And we eat potatoes like a freakin' Irish peasant. My canned goods could use more integration though. T uses pickles and peppers daily in his sandwiches and I try to eat the beans and beets daily but really I should be eating them more. Lord knows we have a good amount to sustain ourselves so I should look more into some pickled beet recipes...if they exist.

I do have some amazing squash recipes though! I know I have posted them on here before but you know what, now you get another....deal with it and eat it. It is f-ing delicious.

Storage Squash Lasagna (now the squash doesn't have to be storage squash but I like the idea)
Serves 8 - 10
adapted from Giada's recipe
 
Ingredients
1T olive oil
1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) butternut (delicata is also delicious!) squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2c water
1/4c butter
1/4c all-purpose flour
3c whole milk
1/2c veggie broth
Pinch nutmeg
3/4c basil leaves roughly chopped
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2c grated mozzarella cheese
1/3c grated Parmesan

Directions
 To prepare sauce:
1. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
2. Pour the water into the skillet and then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. 
3. Cool squash slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Season the squash puree, to taste, with more salt and pepper.
4. Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. 
5. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. 
6. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
7. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. 
8. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. 
9. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender (or food processor).
10. Add the basil and blend until smooth. 
11. Return the basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

Putting it all together:
12. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
13. Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish
14. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. 
15. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. 
16. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles.
17. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. 
18. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. 
19. Repeat layering 3 more times.
20. Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. 
21. Take off foil and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna. 
22. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Come On 2011

2010 was a good year. It was full of happiness, weddings, engagements, healthy gardens, vacations, and a new baby. On the other hand, 2010 also had its share of sickness, frustration, drowned flowers, and other general fuck-i-ness. In fact, it is f-ed right now.

Yes, 2010 is ending on the bad side.

No, I didn't get that job.

No, I didn't get/want a Christmas tree.

No, I didn't get my cowboy boots.

Yes, I just got back from Vegas (which was fun) but

Yes, it rained 90% of the time and

Yes, I almost cried when I walked all the way down the Strip with wet shoes and socks squishing water with each step.

It was jesus telling me I was a sinner.

Yes, I know people have lives way shitter than me but

Yes, I donated money/time to many organizations so I could feel sorry for myself when the time comes.

Anywho, I am tired from getting home at 2am and getting up at 7am which may be why I am whining.

But....I am VERY excited for more holiday vacations and visiting friends on December 31, 2010 to say "Fuck Off 2010, you started swell and got better but then you decided to shove your foot up my ass. See ya!"

New Year's Resolution: floss and smile.

Family in Vegas

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nervous?

I have a job interview tomorrow. It is in with the same organization I am currently in, just a different position.

People keep asking me if I am nervous. Am I supposed to be nervous? Because, I don't feel nervous. I am more like excited, confident, and (hopefully) prepared. I'm not overly confident or anything, just the perfect amount to sell myself.

Who knows, maybe tomorrow while I am waiting I will start sweating, get pit stains, and be super nervous but I certainly hope that doesn't happen. Which is why I am trying not to think about it. But...everyone is asking me if I am nervous.

It isn't that being asked that question is annoying, I just wish people wouldn't ask because I don't want to be nervous.

Instead, I have chosen to answer that no, I am not nervous. I am:

....Creative
....Excited
......Beautiful
........Intelligent
.......Personable
......A risk taker who knows my boundaries



And, who wouldn't hire someone with those traits? It doesn't matter that I might piss my pants tomorrow when they ask about my weaknesses. At least, I am confident now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Poop on Santa

I am so sorry but I am having a really tough time focusing on the holidays this year.

Usually I am so looking forward to decorating the house and giving gifts but this year I have too much other stuff going on to really care (and it might happen to do with the fact I have a raging headache but hell, I live in the moment). I don't have or need a tree and I told T I will be purchasing my own gift. Such a romantic, I totally know.

Although I might be the Grinch, I gotta say, I can't wait to see family (my baby sister included) and eat, drink, and be merry until the fucking cows come home.

So....this post is to warn you all of something. Something that may ruin your Christmas season and for that I am sorry (if I cared enough to be sorry).

The M/H Household holiday letter/card that makes your season a little brighter will not be coming to your house this year (and if you never got it, it is a gem). I don't have the energy to write it and I have addressed too many damn invitations and thank yous this year. I can't make myself look up your address one more time. I can't decide on which stamp to buy at the post office (although it is the arabic stamp year). I can't make myself force T to help me any longer.

I am so sorry you won't see my babies and hear them tell you about their year. They are all tired too. Every time I try to ask Stanley want he wants me to write he begins to say, "Please tell everyone about my new pink coll..." Then he continues with, "Hiss, spat, hiss, fuck you Simon!" I turn to Buk and ask what he wants me to say, "Mah, can I go sit on the couch? Sam gone and sit on my bed. (paw on my lap) I sweet."  When I try to ask Sam, he just walks away. Don't even get me going on Simon, he talks at about 100 words a second and the only words I can make out are "ball" "outside" and "piss smell good". He has been diagnosed with many learning disabilities and several behavioral issues.

So please just read through this blog for all the highlights of 2010. There were many but I would like to end the year sitting on my couch (attempting to finish homemade gifts) and watching Mad Men. Please don't make me feel obligated to tell you again how I am going to be a farmer and how much I enjoy being married now, blah, blah, blah.

I know you will understand dear friend.

To leave you reminiscing about my past letters and hopefully forgetting that I ain't spreading holiday cheer, here are the pictures from the past M/H holidays together:
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

College Credit Closer to Farming Major

T and I just had our last Farm Class.

I have mentioned before that we had a class we were taking to learn about farming. It was a WSU class, so I guess I am a Coug now. Must run in the family. (but no, I didn't give a rats ass about the apple cup.) Anywho, after about 10 weeks or something crazy long (but didn't seem crazy long) we have more knowledge about farming and how that plays into our farm and what we want to do with our lives in the future.

 

Farming can be a job but is definitely something that consumes you whether you make it full time or not. So we contemplated how we see our lives and our land in the future.

When I began taking the class I decided I would never quit my job and become a farmess (female of farmer) because a) T makes me weed b) I don't know very much and would need lists c) T and I would be working together 24-7, good? bad? I don't know but we are newlyweds d) I like canning and canning doesn't make you money. But...after some awesome classes, guest speakers, and farm tours, I decided that maybe someday I will make farming a full time thing or at least own a restaurant. We are talking 5 - 10 years though.

Last week T and I had to prepare a presentation (he wouldn't let me make a video. ie middle school george washington report...god, I wish I had a video to post here). We made a pretty nice power point and told our class that we are planning to go to Ferndale Farmer's Market next year and then proceed to increase our own business in the future.


So there you go, we are going to Farmer's Market!

I still do see T being more of a farmer than me but at least now I am excited for my part in all that. He will need me.

Although, I haven't gotten my boots yet and I refuse to do any weeding, sowing, trimming, mowing, pruning, planting, and so on and so forth until I get dem boots. And they must be pretty.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Being Thrifty

In 2007, 2008, and 2009 I braved the mornings of Black Friday.

My Sis and I had a kick-butt system to know what we wanted, get what we wanted, and managed to spend less than 45 min in a store. Boo-yah!

However, after a couple years of trying to buy things with a) less packaging b) not from China c) less plastic d) lightly used and being saved from a landfill, I decided to forgo Black Friday for 2010. Sis was in California anyway but I knew Ma was up for the challenge if need be. Alas, I didn't have to desire to shop. I really didn't need anything and I am really trying to buy clothes used. I don't need brand-spankin' new clothes (only shoes).

When Friday afternoon rolled around I was chillin' at home HOME (with the rents) and got the itch to shop. I guess being home and it being the Black Friday made me get the fever.

It was decided that Ma and I do a lil' shoppin'. (after she took her afternoon nap.) We chose to go to Salvation Army (everything 50% off!) and Joann Fabrics to get supplies for homemade Christmas gifts. So it was a very Emily 2010 shopping trip. We ended up getting bags of clothes, home decor, and other misc stuff at SA for $44! Seriously, at a "real" store all that useful shit would have cost  well over $200.

So we Ma managed to spend a whopping $60 on Black Friday. I got about 6 items of clothing and great home decor.

I even got a new tv stand on Saturday!! (Not really a black friday special but all that purchasing got me wanting a new tv stand.) $50 Ikea TV stand/entertainment center on craigslist. Bye Gramma's oak entertainment center. You served us well. You will go to a great college student home after we post you for free on craigslist. (Free because it is ugly AND we managed to shatter one of the glass window things upon removal from the living room to the garage, that shit was heavy.)

All in all it was a great Thanksgiving weekend with family, shopping, and food. (I made pumpkin pie from garden squash, mushroom/potato casserole, vegan cranberry "jello", and a cheeseball. It was good.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rediscovering Ginger

I am rediscovering ginger.

Not this Ginger....
....but this Ginger
I am sure you know all about ginger and the health benefits of ingesting it. It helps digestion, upset stomachs, and dizziness. It probably makes you smarter too.

I was using ginger a lot in my cooking a couple years ago because it is in so many Asian recipes and I LOVE Asian food. Ginger is also used a bunch in "whole food" cooking, which I was doing a couple of years ago. However, this year I kinda stopped buying it and wasn't using it in dishes. I think it may be because I have so many go-to recipes now that I just plain forgot to add ginger. It wasn't part of my main shopping list.

Alas, I used a recipe two weeks ago and lo and behold it called for ginger. I realized I had missed ginger....a lot. I also learned a new way of cooking it....when you are cooking/frying your onions at the beginning of a recipe, throw in the ginger. It will be crunchy and delicious by the time you are done!

Now I am using ginger in so much food (stir fry, veggie dishes, sushi). I am sure my digestive system loves it.

Here is a helpful hint if you want to use ginger. Buy a big tuber (that is what they are called) and cut it up into various sizes then stick it in a baggie and put it in the freezer. It will last FOREVER. When you want to use it, take out the size piece you want, peel it (one side may have a little freezer burn but just cut/peel that off), cut it up and perfect. You have ginger that is in great shape and didn't go bad after a week of buying it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Breakfast Menu

I have really been thinking about this farm business.

While I am not a farmer, I am a "chef". I put chef in quotations because I think I can cook, and cook well, but I feel like a chef is someone who went to France and learned how to cook duck. I am more of an amateur.

I have decided that I want to start a restaurant in Ferndale. I am giving myself 8 years to do this. I was thinking the other day that Ferndale is pretty boring. There is bowling (good place to see old people), Hovander park (good place for minors to drink in the brush), Lake Terrell (good place to get shot), and Chihuahuas (best Mexican in Whatcom Co). However, there isn't a good local food restaurant, kind like Boundary Bay or something similar. There is no place for people to go listen to coffee house music or no place for teens to hang out in the evenings. Sure, we have Woods Coffee but 1) there coffee is bad 2) there don't actually have any cool things going on there.

So, I have decided to open a local restaurant that serves fresh, gourmet-y type food but that also doubles as a coffee shop with local music (totally Jazz on Thursdays) and hell, maybe even a poetry reading or two.

In order to do those things though T has told me I have to talk to a local and see if there has ever been a place that tried to do what I want to do and failed. I should probably find out if I am the only one who thinks my idea is brilliant. Maybe I am the only Ferndalian that wants local food, jazz music, board games, good coffee, and art without having to drive to Bellingham.

Anywho, to jump right into it here is my Sunday Breakfast Menu:

French Toast choice of vegan or not
Chicken Fried Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Biscuits and Mushroom Gravy
Breakfast Sandwich choice of  bacon or tofu
Tofu Scramble
Oh and everything comes with a side of home-fried potatoes
Coffee from Moka Joe

I would have a somewhat specialty restaurant with an emphasis on vegan/vegetarian food but daily specials of meat products. Open for breakfast and dinner on the weekends. Open for lunch and dinner during the weekdays. Appetizers only after 9p - 11p on Friday and Saturday.

You know, initial plans. Oh shit, I forgot vegan cinnamon rolls, that would be on the breakfast menu too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Skype Business

Okay, so, what is all this "skype" business?

About a month ago, I was really perplexed on what all the hype was about. Nothing sounded worse than skyping. It's like talking on the phone, blegh, but the person you are talking to can see you?! Gross. I don't want people to know I am rolling my eyes, planning my week, eating spaghetti, and watching a movie all while talking to them.

As I am sure you realize, talking on the phone just isn't my cup o' tea. I'd rather see (and by see, I mean hang out once a month) people or email. Seriously, I know emailing is lame but I just don't have the desire to talk on the phone for 30 minutes. I am a serious multi-tasker and talking on the phone while doing the dishes is really hard. Plus, people do always know when you are going to the bathroom and talking on the phone at the same time. I'd rather just save myself the embarrassment. On the other hand, emails take like 5 minutes, you get straight to the point and move on to other important business. Like You Tube dances.

I recently found out that my sister started using skype with her fiance while they are in different states. Okay. Cool. I suppose that is a pretty nice thing. But what really got me understanding skype was that I heard soldiers use it when they are on deployment to communicate with their families. Now that is cool. It is free and easy to use.

My mom on the other hand doesn't use it because she can't get passed the sign up phase. They ask for her name.*scammer alert*

So although I think the US military has got a great way to communicate with family, I think I will stick to just not talking to people.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Granola

Let me just take a moment to distract all granola/hippy jokes. Yes, I eat granola. Yes, I drive a Subaru. Yes, I eat organic. Yes, I recycle. blah blah. Funny, funny. There.

Anywho, I used to buy granola every week because I love it on my morning cereal and on my yogurt. However, granola, locally made, is $6.29/lb. Granola is pretty heavy stuff too. After ranting about how much T's cereal was, I realized I should probably take into account my granola. I figured it couldn't be hard to make.

Turns out making granola is hella easy to make and totally NOT expensive. You just have to figure out what kind of granola you like...dry, kinda soft, chunky, not chunky, etc. I really like chewy, chunky stuff with peanut butter, nuts, and cinnamon. So I took some recipes online, tweaked things here and there, and now I make granola weekly.

Granola
This recipe lasts me a little over a week

INGREDIENTS

1/2c sesame seeds
1/2c chopped almonds
2T dried fruit
1/2c flour
1/4c whole wheat flour
1/4c ground flax seed (I use an old coffee grinder to grind my flax)
4T butter
2T coconut oil
2T olive oil
1/3c honey
1/3c peanut butter
2 1/2c oats
2t cinnamon
2T milk (I use vanilla soy)
salt
agave

METHOD


Preheat oven to 250.
1. Melt your butter and honey and coconut oil.
2. Soften your peanut better.
3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. I use my mixer bowl.
4. Mix all ingredients together, minus the agave, (using your paddle attachment on a stand mixer) on a low speed until well combined.
5. Spread onto an oiled baking sheet. If you like somewhat chunky granola leave some chunks together.
6. Bake for 10 min. Then take out and lightly squirt agave onto top. Not too much though or the agave won't bake into the oats. Turn everything over.
7. Bake for another 10 min.
8. Take out of oven and let sit on the pan until cool.

Store in ziplock bag or glass jar.
Play with the recipe though or look at others online and see what you think.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Whoa is Me

I am tired. Seriously. Tired.
I am disappointed.

This election business has me pissed right off. I am a very rational person and I believe in democracy which is why I put my signature on petitions when people want things on ballots. I believe that if we vote on things, democracy will stand. That's cool with me.
However, what I am not cool with is lying. Yea, I used to do it when I was little, like all.the.time. But when I got caught enough times riding in my friends' cars *gasp* (even though I was 16), I stopped. This is why I have a problem with this 2010 election, some politicians just didn't stop, and still haven't.

I feel like people don't look at all the facts or research things for themselves. Rather, they read the voter pamphlet exclusively or listen to tidbits of things here or there. I mean, that is what happens, people don't have time to research everything and that is why I am frustrated with the bended truth.

Here is my beef:

Republicans were running on "big spending" "huge deficit" and "employment rates". When I heard Republicans saying Obama has raised the deficit and all that shit I seriously turned to T and said. Wait, what?! That is NOT true. Seriously. Bush created a bigger deficit when he was in office and there are MORE jobs today than there were at the end of the Bush administration. Why are they saying that?! I swear to you, I honest to goodness do not understand why everyone is talking about liberal politics when things are actually improving. Oh and don't even start me on the health care bill where 90% of Americans agree with the individual policies but when you ask them "do you agree with the Obama Health Care Reform", 75% of them say no. Does that make ANY sense?! People think the insurance industry shouldn't be allowed to deny people health care. Der.

To me it sounds like people are so divided because of the words Democrat and Republican which is why I would be upset when some people are just saying things to get votes and make one party distrust the other. Granted, this time around, no one really voiced the opposition to the fluffy lies. Some did try to explain that they inherited this mess (totally true) but they didn't do a good job explaining that things are getting better. Alas, people don't listen though when the TV highlight of the night is Sarah Palin strutting her stuff and using swear words to get those white middle class folks pumped up. (I do it to be funny. SP is NOT funny.) It makes me barf. Can we please get real information?!

I just want a world with health care for everyone and services for people in need and equal rights for everyone! I don't care if I am taxed to help people. I believe that there are great programs out there. And yes, I believe in the government, businesses, and non profits. I don't need $200,000 to be happy. I do believe that regulations need to occur because not everyone has good intentions and people should be held accountable. Yes, I voted for people of both parties in 2010, I saw good and non-bullshit from both parties. But, I am pissed. All I hear on the radio (I don't have TV) is how we will turn around the deficit and blah, blah. For CHRIST SAKE, the national deficit is NOT higher than what was inherited from 2008/2009 (same fiscal year)!! Perhaps you think things should have turned around faster but really? Really? Do you remember how ridiculous things were at the end of 2008?!

However, if you did vote on other issues though, its cool. I just wanted you to know that some headliners were complete crap. Stinky crap.

I feel a little better now and I hope things will get done in the next two years because I think we were just starting to get some good momentum going.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Girl Power

This isn't my normal witty post* but it is my inspiring "teach the children well" side.

I am a huge proponent of girls growing up with positive role models to make them feel loved and heard. I was raised almost perfectly, there was that time when my mom made me dislocate my elbow because she wanted me to do the spider crawl damnit, the crab crawl was not cutting it**. I had loving parents who made me feel like I was smart, pretty, and good at sports. Not all those things were true all the time but I did have a pretty good self confidence.

This article is about girls and what you should do to inspire them today, tomorrow, and this weekend. Girls really do need women to be positive role models and encouragers. In high school, I definitely had a fair amount of meat on my bones, I could have used an eyebrow pluck, and my hair was god awful but I didn't really realize any of my "flaws" until I was older and on my own with no one reminding me daily that I was fine the way I was. During high school, it was the women around me who made me feel like I was perfectly normal. Granted, someone should have stopped me from eating Jack in the Box three times a week and I am glad I changed my eating and exercising regimen in adulthood.

blegh of 2001

I would like to add though that if a girl is unhealthy (as in eating shit), it is also important to to teach her how to respect her body. It is important to introduce girls to physical activities and stimulate her mind. Not all of it is about looks....but it is a lot.

So read the article and go make a girl feel lovely. It doesn't even have to be a young girl, all women could use a feel good moment about their appearance.


*It wasn't supposed to be a witty post but apparently I can't help myself.
**Mom, I love you lots, more than my cats. I know you didn't mean to hurt me. I don't even remember the pain or anything. Plus, you know it is kinda funny. And...you are a parent, things happen and then your children get to remind you forever. You'll have a second chance in toddler class with the grandkids.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Brother or Sister?

I was thinking that Buk, Sam, Stanley, and Simon needed a new brother or sister. But even after typing all those names, I realized that probably is enough. Anyway, we were thinking that maybe Buk needed a new sibling pup to wrestle around with and Simon could use a younger doggie to pounce on. Since Gus left, we realized that maybe the babies were sad. So we started looking on the Humane Society website. Daily. I emailed T about twice a day with adorable dogs AND cats that I wanted to snuggle.


Then Gus came to visit (and will be back next weekend). Gus came inside, loved Buk for about 2 minutes and then went outside to play and came back within 10 minutes and had rolled in something dead. For christ sake! T and I ended up giving the boys cousin baths.

Although we love Gus like our own and he is SO precious, I decided we don't need another animal. That same week, I ended up taking Simon to the vet for shots and Stanley to the vet the day after because his face was puffy. Over $150 later (which isn't that much for animals) I decided our family was happy enough.

story of our lives; Simon trying to be funny and everybody else just pissed.

I don't need another dog to train and another bed for Simon to piss on.


Plus, Simon and Buk have become best buds and started sleeping/wrestling together. That then got Sammy's underoos in a twist and he sleeps with Buk on his bed now too. They are too sweet.





Don't judge me. on so many levels

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall

I LOVE the fall.
But, I say that about every season when it comes.

I am glad I live in a place with seasons.

I love the autumn because I eat more, cook more, read more, and craft more. I try to gym more.

It is about time to redecorate the house with those fall/winter items.
It is about time to start thinking about hosting another dinner party.
It is time to start knitting (and finishing the projects started from last year).
It is time to doing those DIY projects, or at least give them to T to do in his winter time.

It is time to go to the gym at least 3 times a week (usually 2) to burn off those cinnamon rolls or heavy creams that go oh-so-well with soup.
It is time to sit on the couch, after cleaning the house of course, and read under a blanket with the fire place (I say fire place because we have a gas one, boring, I know but you get what you get and it is better than nothing) going. (who knows how many times that will actually happen)

If I get to do all that, then I am so happy. If I get to do some of it, I need to take more Vitamin D supplements. If I don't get to do any of it, you will find me in my bed at 1pm curled in a ball.

It will be time to make these styrofoam peanut garlands soon enough.


All photos courtesy of Real Simple DIY projects

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hair Roll

For those of you that are interested, I am going to post what I have been doing with/to my hair and the results that have occurred each day:

- Day 7: Hair washed (with baking soda and acv rinse) last on Day 6. Put hair into pony tail. Later in the day I had to meet family and wore it down. The pony tail made my hair really flat, which was new. Tried to curl my hair and it didn't really hold. Not good in the end. Lesson learned: with no hair regimen, hair can gets straighter after pony tail.

- Day 8: Washed hair with 2 Tbs baking soda/water mix and rinsed with about the same amount of apple cider vinegar. Put the flax seed hair gel in my hair and blow dried (is that a word?) until semi dry. Let the rest air dry. Spent the next 5 hours outside in windy conditions. Needless to say, my hair went a little frizzy. Wind, no "real" hair products, and curly hair mix not. Flax hair gel is pretty sweet.

- Day 9: Went to the gym in the morning. Apple cider rinse after work out. Put in Flax hair gel and blow dried (again word?), then curled the pieces that looked like shit. Good hair day in the end.


- Day 10: Took a shower at night on Day 9. Didn't use baking soda or acv. After shower put in the flax gel. Slept on it. In the morning, it was super curly and only needed a couple pieces curled. Best day so far. We will see how long it lasts.

- Day 11: Hair lasted 14 hours yesterday. Didn't look superb by the end but it didn't look awful either. Hair in pony tail today, husband wouldn't go to the gym in the morning and told me to go back to sleep instead. I did. Then I didn't wake up in time to take a full, hair-washing, shower.

Overall, I really don't feel like my hair is much different. I don't really notice I am not shampooing my hair. I like it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Side Project - No Shampoo

On Saturday, October 2 a good friend of mine, N.M. (Natural Mel), sent me an email. She explained that because I am a tree hugger and a cheapskate, she had an idea for me.

The idea: wait for it, wait for it.....*No Poo*.

Now, before you get too gross out, let me explain.


"No Poo" is short for "No Shampoo". It is a movement for people to not use shampoo and use natural cleansers and oils instead. This doesn't mean you don't clean your hair, let me repeat, this doesn't mean you don't clean your hair...the difference is that you don't clean your hair with shampoo because people argue that shampoo has harsh chemicals, such as sulfates, in it. It is true that some/most shampoos on the market have sulfates, however; I already use shampoo without sulfates so I was not sure that this experiment was really for me.

Instead of shampoo, you are supposed to give yourself a baking soda scalp massage (which some hairstylists use on scalps to get rid of hair product build up anyway) and rinse with apple cider vinegar (you know that is my favorite thing!). But, instead of embracing NM's suggestion, I wrote her an email back pretty much making excuses about why I couldn't do it right now. But, I knew I was making excuses and that bothered me.

So to make myself feel better, I did some research because I was curious/nervous about hair products. Could I still use them? I have frizzy (which no poo is supposed to help) curly hair and I was afraid that during the "transition period" (more to come on that), my hair would just be a shit show. After some research, I found some pretty interesting natural home recipes for hair gel, which I used and like so far. Turns out you can still put that regular hair product stuff in your hair, the baking soda will take it all out, but of course all the hippy dippies don't think you should use it. Which I think I will embrace.

My other excuse not to do "no poo" had to do with the transition period. Websites say that it will take 1 - 3 weeks for your scalp to stop overproducing oil. I guess because we dry our heads out with shampoo, our oil glands make up for that by producing a lot of oil. So when you decide to go No Shampoo, the first couple of weeks your head still produces that oil and then it finally settles down and gets into a natural rhythm. I told NM that I didn't want greasy hair at work but then after thinking about it, I don't wash my hair that frequently anyway (about 3 times a week because I don't want to dry it out) and I will just have to wear pony tails before revealing my new luxurious hair styles which really isn't so bad.

As you may have guessed, the day I got the email and told NM I wasn't going to do it, I started doing it because I couldn't not try it. It is too environmentally friendly and if it really improves my body, I HAVE to try. I am all for being healthier and not having so many chemicals in/on my body. So, Saturday night 10/2, I washed my hair to get all the crap out of it and now I am on day 7.

Day 2 - oh yea, I got my hair cut off too

Turns out my hair never, or hasn't yet I don't know, gone through a greasy period, it just is a little more limp/not as curly. I think I never had greasy hair to begin with. I wasn't one of those people that ever looked like I had greasy hair. My hair just used to feel dirty when it had product in it.

I am hoping that within a couple weeks my hair will be more curly and look better. Right now, I am trying to get used to working with it (it doesn't help that it is rainy). I still pretty much do the same thing but it does act a bit differently so I am seeing if that works out all right because, yes, I like having my hair look good. sorry.

I am also wondering what this will do for my scalp. During the winter my scalp gets really dry and itchy (I know, gross but you can't tell or anything) so I am curious if this will help. We shall see.

But, for a while, I am going to give little updates hither and tither about the process.

Who knows, maybe it will inspire you.


Day 5 - couldn't get my bangs to work that day

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Love for Men

I have somewhat of a problem and I have had it for years. Actually, I can tell you the exact moment I started to have this problem. Unfortunately, I don't remember what the year was but it had to be around 1995 (or whenever Home Improvement was popular).

My family was camping with the John H's (my uncle and his family) and I had a dream one night. The next morning my heart hurt. It wasn't an actual physical pain, it was more of a Tiger Beat thing. I don't even think I looked at Tiger Beat before this incident but I can sure tell you I bought them all in 1995/96 and again in 1999/2000. I had a dream.

I dreamt about JTT, you know, Johnathon Taylor Thomas. The 4 foot midget son from Home Improvement. In my dream he was so kind and had everything in common with me. We made a great pair.

I had the same dream about Nick Carter and Justin Timberlake later in life. (Well, I won't lie, Justin still visits me in my dreams.)

Sometimes famous people just bring the dork/nerd out in me. They make me act like a fool. If you don't believe me, read the letters I sent to JTT (which he did send a card back, thank you!), look at the pictures (or rather not) of my Nsync phase.

Recently though I have developed another "nerd" habit besides falling in love with pop icons. I look at the weather, a lot, and try to predict the weather of the day myself. My idol in my quest for a new career is Cliff Mass. He is the weather god of the Pacific Northwest. So, when I read that he was coming to Bellingham to give a lecture, I was beside myself. I was ready to go to the lecture by myself. I didn't think T would want to go (plus, what if I really ended up liking Cliff, I hadn't seen him before or anything).

So, on Saturday night, our "date night" included a captivating lecture by Cliff at the local community college. I armed myself with my Dad's copy of the dude's book and was ready to learn. Dr. Mass is a pretty funny guy and had some interesting things to say about our weather up here in Bellingham. I learned a lot that I believe is actually quite relevant to our farm. However, he is a pretty normal Jewish (that isn't a bad thing, just an accurate observation) looking 45ish year old so T didn't have to worry about me leaving with the Dr (now that I am married, it is all about looks).

I still managed to embarrass myself that night though. Not only was I the 2nd in line to have him sign my book (right after a group of 3 kids), I decided to say something to Cliff. Jesus, what is wrong with me? I said something to the affect of, "I am so glad you came to Bellingham. You seems so excited in weather when you talk. It is inspiring." It was weird. What the hell am I inspired about? You can't be inspired about weather.

So I don't know, maybe Cliff knew I was starstruck. He IS on KUOW and has his own blog but the whole thing was embarrassing. Not to mention, my husband was standing right there listening to me talk, make no sense, and have a horrible nervous laugh.

Oh well. I really should start thinking about what I want to say to JT when I see him though.

Cliffy Poo

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beer De Root

My loving father made rootbeer for my wedding. I requested it. He came through with some great rootbeer that everyone loved. (I don't remember what batch people preferred though, was it B5 or R6?)

After the wedding, I guess some leftovers remained. When visiting my parents one weekend recently in Puyallup, my sweet father gave us some more rootbeer to take back home. I looked forward to the rootbeer floats.

Something my father forgot to remind us though (which honestly, I suppose I should have remembered) was that his rootbeer is deadly. Seriously, it could injured someone. It isn't that it is poisonous. It isn't that it grows mold. It is that it explodes. It explodes with force.

I really wish I had a camera set up at home so I could have caught this on video (and then sent it to America's Funniest Home Videos because Buk probably shit the bed), poor Buky.


So, we bring our tasty rootbeer home from good ole Puyallup and set it on the kitchen table. It is a warm September week so the house reaches 68 degrees during the daytime.

I guess that is too hot for the rootbeer.

Who knows when the rootbeer decided to go for Buk but sometime during the day, it exploded ALL OVER THE PLACE! T calls me when he gets home and says, "uh, the rootbeer exploded and it ruined everything on the table (which is a lot, you know that is where I store all my crap!). Also, there is glass all the way into the living room." Sweet jesus! I ask if Buk is bleeding, but T reports he seems okay, just a little shaken up about having to stay on his bed all day to avoid the horrible table monster.

So everyone is okay but we could have had some major bleeding if Buk wasn't so smart to stay put.

To punish the rootbeer, I then drank a rootbeer float.


There is a moral to this story....if you plan on making homemade rootbeer, just know it explodes and have fun picking up glass shards. This isn't the first time my father's rootbeer exploded.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Shit Kickers

T and I are taking a Small Farming class through the WSU extension in Bellingham. The class is only in it's second week and already has us figuring out where we want to go with our land. Although T already has an idea of what he wants to do, it is really helping me understand the process and help plan out our future.

By the end of November we will have our Whole Farm Plan somewhat laid out. It is pretty exciting.

But it sounds like our plan will not include me quitting my job to become a full time farmer. The reasons for this being: I like my career, I hate weeding, T has the real passion to be a farmer, someone has to make money, and T won't let me get cowboy boots.

In our Farm class a "small" farmer came in and gave a little talk. She had "work woman boots" on (a little different than cowboy boots because they don' have the pointy toe). It was really sassy/farmy/badassy.

I want some.

When I brought up the proposition of me obtaining some cowboy/girl boots, T said they looked dumb on the farmer that came to the class. What the hell? I want me some shit kickers and I want my husband to think I look like a badass farm girl when wearing them.

I guess he just really knows it is about fashion, not work. I might start trying to pull it off though.

He didn't like my idea of naming our farm Boot Farm either. What a SOB.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I can call you Betty, you can call me...Hippy

Warning, this post really isn't that interesting. It is more an example of how I try to "stick it to people" who piss me off.

Last week someone at work put this article by George Will in all the staff boxes (you know those things that hold paper, you know like those things that teachers get their papers from in the morning in the school office). Anywho, to get the full extent of this post, you are going to have to read that said article, or at least give it a good glance.

I felt that article was brought to everyone's attention in order for the distributor to justify his non-Earth friendly life to us environmentalists. Not to mention, he (or she, but it was a he) didn't double side his copies, nice touch.

I was ticked, yes.

I couldn't let it slide, you know that. He put it in EVERYONE'S box.

So....I looked online to try and find someone's rebuttal to this article. I found a couple but they weren't very strong arguments. It was mostly stuff like "George Will is an idiot" "Duh, the Earth doesn't care, it doesn't have feelings" and so on and so forth. Not the most educated arguments. Therefore, I was forced to create my own. Brought me back to my college days where I had to remember grammar. Well, I do have more of a flair now than in college (probably due to the graduation to wine instead of vodka) and I think my response turned out well.

The distributor even came up to me giving me a fist bump and said, "Out of 1 to 100, that was 1,000". I think that meant I won. Booyah!

I shall post my response for you now and if you need to stick it to someone by using my article go ahead and type a last name and "Ph.D" after By Emily.

If this article is too small for your weak eyes to read and you get the large-print books from the library, you can hit "fullscreen" or "download" in the article box and it will open bigger for ya.

Rebuttal

Thank you and Good Night.

p.s. you can now subscribe to FVW by entering your email on the sidebar. You will get email notifications when I post something thrilling and/or educational and/or snotty.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Easy Peasy Tomato and Japanesey Eggplant Sauce

I don't know about you but I am still trying to use up my summer harvest. This recipe suited our garden bounty perfectly!
This sauce I originally put on top of pasta but recently I also used it as pizza sauce and it was awesome.

Tomato Eggplant Sauce

Ingredients
- 6 medium to large tomatoes
- 3 small japanese eggplants or 1/2 regular size italian eggplant
- 3 cloves garlic
- salt
- pepper
- dried basil
- oil

Method
Preheat oven to 400
1) Cut the tomatoes into quarters, put into a medium sized bowl
2) Cut eggplant into 1 inch thick slices, put in same bowl
3) Peel cloves and add them whole into your bowl
4) Season tomatoes and eggplant with salt, pepper, and dried basil
5) Add 1 - 2T oil to your bowl and toss
6) Put your veggies on a baking sheet and put in the oven and let roast for 30min
7) After 30min and the veggies have "wilted" a little but not burned, take them out and set them somewhere to cool for about 10 min.
8) Put your veggies in the food processor (this took two batches for me).
9) Puree the veggies until you get the consistency you want.

That's it. Enjoy this end-o-summer special on pasta, pizza, or maybe even a sandwich. You could add water or veggie broth to it if you want it a bit thinner.


Just a little summer reminder

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fresh Tomato Sauce

I haven't posted any recipes lately and just in case anyone uses them, I want to give two of my favorites this summer. We will start with Fresh Tomato Sauce. This was originally from Smitten Kitchen but I tweaked it a little.

Fresh Tomato Sauce
Serves 3

Notes
This took me awhile to perfect but I finally did it. The trick is in the skin of the tomato. Tomatoes have wonderful flavor in the skin and this is lost when you straight up puree tomatoes as you are supposed to only get the middle but, I figured out how to use both....
First things first, you still will need the tomato puree which means you have to get the good stuff out of the tomatoes. The first thing I tried in order to puree was my sauce maker. It worked great. Just cut the tomatoes and turn. But...then it started not turning correctly and I got frustrated so I had to think of something else. I ended up taking my tomatoes, cutting them in half and squeezing them as hard as I could. Seriously. I got the stuff I wanted. You do get some seeds but that really is no big deal, you don't notice it in the final product. Make sure you save the skins somewhere, you are going to use those in this recipe too.

Ingredients
- about 6 to 10 medium to large sized tomatoes
- 3T olive oil
- small onion chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic halved
- 1/2 carrot chopped
- 1/2 stalk of celery chopped
- salt
-pepper
- italian seasoning or dried basil

Method
1) Preheat oven to 400.
2) Prepare that tomato puree by squeezing the shit (literally) out of your tomatoes. Seeds are fine but you want to keep the skin. If some of the thick innards get in your puree, that is good, you just don't want all of them.
3) Put the skin of the tomatoes on a baking pan with some salt and pepper and when the oven is ready, let those roast for 20 - 30min (we will add them later)
4) Put your olive oil in a sauce pan and add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until soft, about 10 min.
5) Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and italian/basil seasoning. Cook for 3 more min.
6) Put your pan fried veggie mix in a food processor and chop until you get the consistency you want. (I like mine a bit chunky.)
7) Put your squeezed tomato puree and processed veggies in the saucepan and simmer for a good 30 - 45 min.
8) While your sauce is cooking, get out those roasted tomatoes and puree in the food processor, add it to the sauce mixture on the stove.
9) If 30 - 45 min rolls by and the sauce mix is too thin for you, put 2t of cornstarch and about 3 - 4t of water in a little bowl and mix well. Pour the cornstarch mix in the sauce and stir until thicker. You can do this again if you want it thicker.

This recipe has the basics but is a personal experimental thing taste-wise and ingredient-wise. Good luck. It tastes GREAT on top of pasta!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Don't Leave Me This Way

I had so much other stuff going on that I forgot to discuss a very important event in our family life. In fact, we have had so many family changes (wedding, vacations, goodbyes, announcements), that I figured it was a new chapter in life and time for a change. I hope you like the new look.

First big event: My Sissy has moved. Sissy moved in with T and I in 2008 when she graduated college. We were the Three Amigos and had good times together. Sissy also brought Gus into the family when she decided to get a dog while living with us. Gus and Sissy were part of this family, no question. Gus was our baby as much as he was Sissy's boy. Gus was a good brother, although we would always call them cousins, to Buk, Sam, Stan, and Simon. Everyone loved everyone.
Time to get sad:
Sissy has gone and started a new chapter in her life. She is off to grad school in Cali. Sissy has always been the smarter (as in book-smarter) Herold Angel. She got a car in high school for getting a 4.0 and playing 3 sports. I got a car in college when I got into the education program, which I promptly quit. I got what I needed. I have always known she would achieve more educational accomplishments than me and I want her to. She has got to use that brain of hers. And she is. I couldn't be prouder. Although she is no longer near me, I know we keep a great relationship. It is just like when I went off to college and left her home. Now she is gone and left me. I know how she feels now! I.miss.her.
However, not only do I miss my Sissy, I miss Gus. We all do. Although Gus shat his bed occasionally, barked at some people, and didn't listen about 78.7% of the time, we love him SO much. He may have had his bad moments but when he snuggled with Buk, played sweetly with Simon, tried to roll over for a treat but didn't make it all the way because he was so excited, or just plain looked f-ing adorable with his large beagle ears sticking out, he was the sweetest puppy dog one could have. Needless to say everyone misses Gus. I miss his warm body curling up in my lap and playing superman with him. T misses snuggling with the bug. Simon and Buk both really miss playing with Gus. Sam and Stanley could go either way really but I know they miss walking around with him outside. He was a familiar brother.
We are all dealing with it though. Occasionally we just go to our own corners and cry but we live.

Life altering event number two: This isn't really my news but my Sissy has got engaged. She got engaged to one of my friends and co-workers (we are going to name him BT for the purpose of this blog. Someday he will be included in posts) and I am so happy for them. Sissy has had some major changes, along with me too I suppose, and I am glad she has a-love-of-her-life to share it all with. However, hopefully she knows that BT is not invited to Disneyland with us. That is a sister thing.

BT likes sports. Sissy will be attending many more games in her future.
And no, I don't have permission to post this picture.

So the Herold-Marrs family is going through some changes (which is why I am changing my "mi familia" section of this blog. It reflects who is living on the farm and it is a step toward moving on and getting out of my crying corner). We are evolving and becoming a bigger family it looks like. Who knows what the future will bring but I know we will be smarter (well mostly Sissy and T who only reads text books...for fun) and one big happy family when we get there.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cantaloupe Kitty

I am home. Not sure how I feel about it. I guess I am ready to be a Farmer's Wife again.

I am happy to see my babies though. Simon met us at the airport with Nana and Papa. He purred and meowed at us most of the way home. He was saying he loved us.
Sam and Stanley came to greet us when we walked in the door and got love from both parents. They missed us too.
Buk, he is still getting spoiled at Auntie K's house. We will see him later tonight and he probably doesn't miss us.

Anywho, T picked some of our garden today...seeing as a shit ton is ready now that we are back. Some of his harvest this morning included some nice and delicious cantaloupe! Seriously, it is the best I have had, ever!

Cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew. Nope, we live in Washington, not Georgia. My Farmer is just amazing!

I was eating some delicious cantaloupe for breakfast (or more like lunch really, I am still on island time braddah) when Sam wanted back inside. We let him in and he asked for some love in which he jumped up on my lap. Sweet, I know. After some adequate petting, he began to smell what I was eating. It was at that moment that I remembered...Sam loves cantaloupe.

A couple summers ago we realized this when he would jump on the counter and eat cantaloupe rinds I had left out after cutting my own. It is a bit odd, I know. I even googled it but didn't really find anything. My theory is that Sam just liked to get his daily serving of fruit. I mean the cat is skinny as hell, he obviously likes to watch his weight which also means he likes to make sure he is getting his nutrition needs met (I guess eating shrews and mice in 2 min flat doesn't give you everything you need).

So, I gave Sammy some cantaloupe for breakfast. We ate together, it was a good mother/son moment.




Friday, September 3, 2010

Balls

I am a sister, wife, daughter, animal momma, co-worker, coach, chef, caretaker, healthy eater (let's add good eater while we are at it), rule enforcer, weeder, sleeper, candlestickmaker, vegetarian, reader, relaxer, runner, and hippy (the love-the-Earth kind).

Notice, a lot of those things don't require exercise. I only run because I eat too much.

I have always been a little lazy. I played fastpitch in high school because it didn't require much running. Volleyball, you had to run a mile. No thanks. Basketball, you had to run an ungodly amount of lines. Call me when you just have to practice dribbling. Soccer, hah, do I really need to go on?
In my adult days, I figured I better knock that shit off if I wanted to feel different. So I did. I forced myself and I am glad every year that I do what I do. However, other people may not be.

I may do a lot of things that seem extreme: marathons (half extreme), triathlons, Ragnar, etc. But let me point out that I do those things and train just to finish. I have never learned desired to push myself to the extreme level. That all started with gymnastics when I was little. I didn't want to compete. I don't know why, I just don't have the balls. I know, naturally, huh? But seriously.

Something that comes along with having no balls is that I am a complainer...go ahead and add that to the list.

Here is my situation:

I am on my honeymoon in Kauai. Having a great time but get sick (food poisoning) and didn't get to enjoy the outdoors like I wanted to. Haven't eaten for two days. Actually, not true, I did eat a can of veggie soup, two bites of rice, and some saltines.
We have this 11 mile hike planned that is a 5,000ft elevation gain. If you don't know how hard that is, go ahead and look it up, it's a fucking shit ton of elevation gain! The clencher is that we have this planned the morning I still haven't eaten anything AND we were planning on hiking in, staying on the gorgeous Hawaiian beach for one night, and then hiking out first thing in the morning.
But, I am sick so we say we will go 6.5 miles to the first campground. It will be fine.

So, I go, I am chugging along fine. The hills are killer but I've played in ultimate tournaments that feel the same on the muscles. We get to 6.5 miles and we are in the tropical trees at a river. Frankly, it looks a little like Mt Rainier in WA. god damnit! I am disappointed. We sit and I say these words, "Let's just go to the end, it's only 5 miles more."


That is when T should have slapped me but he really wanted to go to the end too....and...although he has known me for 12 years, he doesn't know the extent of my complaining. Never had the chance before, I guess.

Onward we go.

Not so bad.

Mile 8 and 9 are kinda fun, the trail is barely there and on cliff sides so if you trip, you are pretty much rolling down the hill.


Mile 10. I am hurting. My leg is sore and I lose it a little. I don't know how I am going to hike out of here the next day. I am really worried. Also, mile 10 is all downhill. Like not nice down hill, like roots and clay and knee killing pain.

But we get to the beach after a mile of shitay. It is beautiful and the sunset is amazing over the water. Boats drive by with people who paid money to ride the water. Helicopters fly over with people who made hella money ($300/person) to see the sights from above. You feel proud that you hiked all that way and have the best view of them all. You get to actually enjoy the scenery. Not fly/drive passed in a flash.


Day 2 rolls around. I AM THE SOREST I HAVE BEEN IN MY LIFE. My back hurts, my legs hurt, my butt hurts, my arms hurts, and (sorry) I haven't pooped in like 2 days because I haven't eaten anything. At least my calves are in good shape and I don't have a headache.

Onward, back, we go.

Here is something else you can add to my list....I am a horse back to the barn kind of girl.

The hike back of so fucking hard but I know there is a car, beach, milkshake, and fries all waiting for me when I finish. It is a LONG 7 hours hike and I bitch and moan up every hill and try to keep a good pace. Who the fuck cares that T may have pushed me a little during those last 4 miles? I don't! He even pushed after I told him I hated him. But maybe he was trying to push me off the cliff not up the hills...hm.

if you think I am smiling, you are sadly mistaken

Anywho, I made it. 2 days later and I am still sore. But I am so glad I did it and have the pictures to prove it. I told T I would never do it again but chances are he will want to go again and I will have to do it with him. Wifely duties. In the end though, I am so glad I did it, it was truly amazing!! Now, if only I had a T-shirt to prove it too. I always get those for my accomplishments.