Monday, June 30, 2008
sister-in-law's house. The products are working really well and smell great!
Here are the recipes:
Super Safe Soft Scrub:
3/4 c. baking soda
20 drops lavender essential oil
20 drops rosemary essential oil
5 drops sweet orange essential oil
2 Tbsp. unscented biodegradable cleanser (we used Dr. Bronner's)
1 Tbsp. distilled water (don't use tap... use distilled!)
1 Tbsp. vinegar (add LAST!)
Put every thing in order into a bowl and stir. We put it into a tupperware-type container for easy use.
Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner:
2 Tbsp. unscented biodegradable cleanser (again, Dr. Bronner's)
1 c. baking soda
1/4 c. distilled water
25 drops tea tree essential oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar (LAST! to make it foam)
Mix the first two ingredients together with a fork to work out the lumps. Then add the essential oil, stir. Add the water and vinegar last. You may want to add a little more water to get the consistency right in order to put it into a ketchup-type bottle for easy squeeze action into the toilet. Shake the squir bottle well before using and squirt inside the toilet, on and under the rim, and on the seats. Scrub.
All Purpose Counter/Glass Cleaning Spray:
16 oz. distilled water
80 drops sweet orange essential oil
40 drops lavender essential oil
20 drops rosemary essential oil
1/4 c. white vinegar
Mix in a spray bottle. Shake before each use.
16 oz. baking soda
20 drops lavender essential oil
20 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
Mix in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Sprinkle on carpets before vacuuming.
No-more-itchy skin bath:
Fill the tub with water, add the carpet deoderizer (it's natural!!), stir and put the kids in the tub. No more itchy kids!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I had seen it growing, but wasn't exactly sure what it was. I didn't plant it. The compost pile did. Actually, there are several of these volunteer plants growing, most likely pumpkins or squash of some sort. I think back to what I scooped and flinged into the compost bin last fall and compare that to the way these leaves look. The blossom makes me very suspicious that it is indeed a pumpkin.
Some brussel sprouts... going crazy! Notice the brick paths, scavenged by my Dad from a downtown building project's reject pile, carried lovingly in canvas bags, trip by trip until we had enough for this path and the perimiter border around my yard. Thanks, Dad!
Friday, June 27, 2008
These photos were from Afton State Park. We started with a kid-bike ride and then found the river. We couldn't tear the kids away from the water for the rest of the morning. Lunch on the beach was mostly sand-coated. Good for the digestive system, right?
Thursday, June 26, 2008
A few weeks ago we went to the Velodrome, a bike racing track, in Blaine at the National Sports Center. The NSC Velodrome is one of only three outdoor wooden tracks in the US. It is made of 42 miles of ultra-durable African Afzalia wood. Ron really digs velodromes, knows where they all are throughout the US, and had been wanting to catch a race for a long time. We packed up the kids and some cold beverages and caught the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic. Very fun and kid friendly.
Louise got a front row view of the track.
Gus and Berik, future racers, or at least future cold-beverage drinking fans.
This orange-red wall caught my eye. Love the contrast with the yellow staircase.
If Gus were a musician, I'd suggest this photo for his album cover.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
If anyone's interested, I can share the recipes. We made the soft-scrub, a counter spray/window wash, carpet deoderizer and a toilet bowl cleaner.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I found a recipe in the Star Tribune last summer for a rhubarb custard pie. The author was a purist of sorts, didn't like to mess around with strawberries or other potential invaders.
I happen to like rhubarb with most anything, but as I had nothing else to mix it with, I followed her recipe but used these lovely brown eggs from a local farmer near the cabin.
Monday, June 9, 2008
The bountiful harvest, waiting to be cleaned and readied for work.
The recipe is from Dianne French, my dear friend Stephanie's mother. When Stef and I lived together, we ate this jam daily. At every meal. Our favorite way was to take a piece of bread (not toast) and spread it with Old Home Fat Free Vanilla yogurt, then slather on a thick coating of this lovely jam. Very sweet, but very, very yummy!
I had been wanting to make it since I first received the recipe from Dianne, maybe, oh my, 11 years ago. Unfortunately, I started the process at about 11 pm one night, too late at night to call Dianne to ask questions about the recipe. Is it a large box or small box of jello? (small) Should I pay attention to the instructions on jelly/jam websites that say not to double the recipe? (yes, but I went ahead and doubled it anyway.) When I put it in the canner, is it really ok to only boil for 5 minutes? (Yes, but she only freezes hers. Hmmm... that would take A LOT less time.)
I went to bed a happy jam maker at 1 am with only a small blood blister on one finger and 12 jars of red goodness to show for my dedication.
You have to let the chopped rhubarb sit overnight mixed with the sugar. It helps the rhubarb juices to release.
Cherry pie filling, jello, rhubarb and sugar. What's not to like? I wanted some vanilla ice cream to pour it over.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
My parents own a cabin in Siren, Wisconsin. We've been going to the cabin for over 25 years. I barely remember my life before we had the cabin. It was an old fishing resort that was purchased by 10 families, most with kids, so it has always been a wonderful place to visit for kids.
The second generation of kids has fallen in love with the place, just as we did. Over Memorial Day Weekend, Ron had a lot of catching up to do at work and was hoping to spend some time at the office. I had other plans. The kids and I drove up with my parents on Friday night, stopped at Culver's Custard for a little "hangaber" dinner, then headed to Clam Lake. The boys couldn't have been happier with our weekend plans.
They love the cabin for many reasons... the lake, the double bunk beds that they get to share with Gramma and Poppa, the constant supply of red licorice, the buckets of wood scraps they get to build with, worms, bugs, playing with the other kids, but mostly, fishing. Yes, fishing. Neither Ron nor I am into fishing, though I once pulled in a big northern when I was a kid. Fortunately my Dad can be persuaded to pull out the rods for his grandkids and get excited about the possibility of a few fried sunnies for dessert after our main dish. For the past, well, 25 years or so, the fishing off the dock has been less than fruitfull. This weekend was a different story.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
This year I wanted to try another recipe, perhaps for something easier. I found a lovely recipe in Country Living magazine, maybe in the April issue. In the magazine there were several different versions of the frosting, including this one featured on the website in yellow. I can't seem to find a picture of the one I copied... but maybe I could scan the photo from the magazine itself?!? The recipe is found at the same link.
It was supposed to be a four layer cake. I stayed up 'til 1 am working on it, making sure that both of the two layer pans were perfectly baked. I went to bed totally exhausted but satisfied, knowing that I had finished the tricky part and would enjoy the decorating during nap time the following day. Friday morning we drove Carl to school. Before we left, I made sure that the cakes were covered up with a towel and far from the edge of the counter. While we were gone, the counter surfer, aka Molly, was engaged in a little surf's up activity. She nabbed one of the layer pans off the counter and ate the pan clean. Hmmmm. Maybe I should know better by now? This isn't her 1st time attacking a special cake in our house. Fortunately, the recipe shows that the cake is just lovely as two layers, so I went for it. Here it is in process. Mmmm.
Friday, June 6, 2008
We did the work early last week and I'm almost done. Just a quick trip to Ikea this week and I'll be done. I'm so excited!