Friday Night

“You know what, in hindsight, I think I made a bad decision today.”

Dad’s comment made everyone look up from the conversation and their dinner plates.  I, for one, had my heart in my throat.

“I was near a chocolatier today, and they had a sign in the window for chocolate-covered bacon, and I didn’t try any.”

Talk about a sigh of relief!

“And now I am just wondering about it.”

I glanced down at the plate still more than half full of bacon on the table.

“You know what,”  I said, “I’ll make you some.”

And so I did, after dinner.

And then I did something I really wasn’t sure that I’d ever do.

I TRIED CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON.

And you know what?  It was surprisingly good.

 

Has anyone else tried any bacon/chocolate combos?  What did you think?  Any bacon desserts?  Let me know!

 

P.S.  I made this soap this week, and it turned out well.  Mine is a little thick, but I could fix this.

The Garden

As I was walking outside today, I realized that I hadn’t walked through the garden just to look for awhile.  So I went to take a look.

This year we have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, asparagus, herbs, and some lettuce.  Everything seems to be doing very well!

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The garden

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We have some tomato blossoms…

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…and some tomatoes!

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Actually, quite a few tomatoes

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Asparagus

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Most of the asparagus looks like this

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Lots of butterflies!

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Busy bee in the thyme

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Thyme

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Cilantro

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Apple mint

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Butterfly!

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Lavender

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Our parsley is about two feet tall now!

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Orange mint

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Lettuce

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We have some cucumbers like this…

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…some like this…

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…and some with flowers!  Another butterfly

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I found this interesting cucumber blossom

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And had to take many photos of it!

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Look at all these little cucumbers!

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Climbing

Lately

I haven’t posted a good post lately.  I really feel like it’s been very “touch and go.”  No real substance.  Just a quick write-up with no real feeling, and then photos or a recipe.

So.  What have I been up to?

School.

Cooking.

Reading.

Placing our first Azure Standard order.

Using lots of coconut milk.

Eating chocolate.

Having fun with friends.

Ironing.

Poor little Lucy puppy has been scratching like crazy, poor thing.  And I had just given her flea medicine!  So we took her to the vet yesterday, and he put her on some medicine.  She seems to not be as itchy as she was, which makes me SO happy.  I really don’t like it when she doesn’t feel good.  My little puppy love.

The black flies/gnats have been bothering the chickens.  They buzz all around the chickens, and especially bother their faces, making it hard for the chickens to breathe.  If they get too bad, they can kill the chickens (we lost one a few years ago to them).

But there is an easy repellant: vanilla.  So today I mixed up some vanilla and water in a spray bottle and went out to spray the chickens. (Sometimes I think it’s like putting perfume on the chickens.  It is nice to have sweet-smelling chickens, though, so I try to dismiss that thought.  :))

At first I had the spray bottle on mist, but once the chickens found out what I was doing and decided that they didn’t like it, and then they started running.  So the mist no longer really worked.  Then I had a great idea:

Use stream.

This almost immediately made it more fun – it could be related to a first-person shooter game, but better, because it’s real.  It could be compared to a squirt gun fight – but better, because NO ONE SHOOTS BACK.  So I didn’t get wet.  And I wasn’t running that quickly (more fast-walking) behind that chickens to get close enough to squirt them.  It turns out that if you pursue the chickens for long enough, they just run into the coop.

Bonus round!

Now I have a whole bunch of chickens in a tight space to spray.  Talk about efficient!

School has been going really well.  I am loving it!  I thought that learning some of the more technical stuff (like anatomy and physiology) was going to be difficult, but I am not finding it that difficult at all.  The midwifery module that I am working on now is on caesarean sections and prevention. 

I just finished reading Joel Salatin’sFolks, This Ain’t Normal.”  I liked it.  It discussed how our culture, compared to history, really isn’t normal, from the food we eat to how we get entertainment.

I started working on the reading program from the library.  It’s been going pretty quickly, since I do so much reading, especially for school.  I am almost halfway done.

And I think that’s about it.

So what have you been doing?

Lots of Lotion

I love lotion.  At least, I love making lotion.  I don’t use it a whole lot, mostly because I forget.

I first tried making lotion, oh, a year and a half ago.  And it didn’t quite work – the water and oils separated.

Then I thought about whipping it.  I had heard someone talking about whipping it while it cooled.  I thought, “Well, maybe that will keep the oils and water together.”

So right before our trip I whipped up a batch, using the same recipe that failed last time.  And I whipped it while it cooled.  At least, most of the time.

And it worked!  It made a lovely lotion with a gorgeous consistency.

When we got back, I made another batch of lotion, but this time I altered the recipe slightly to use some herbs and and essential oil that I knew where good for eczema.  The lotion came together as expected, and I think it does help with the itching, although my eczema patches seems to be growing (possibly), but this may have nothing to do with the cream.

On Monday I made this magnesium lotion for my mom (I’m using it too!).  I was amazed how it thickened so quickly with the stick blender.  I could see the color changing as I blended it.  As a side note, I think I used 3 parts sweet almond/olive oil, and 1 part shea butter/coconut oil with a little cocoa butter mixed in.

Then yesterday I made Tangerine Chocolate Hand Lotion for a friend’s birthday.  I was really happy with how it turned out – it smelled good enough to eat!

Here is the recipe, adapted from the one given to me by a friend.

Try making lotion.  It’s not hard at all.

Tangerine Chocolate Lotion

1/4 c. water
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. sweet almond oil (or other liquid oil, see note)
1/8 c. cocoa butter (I used the wafers)
1/8 c. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. grated beeswax (pellets would probably work)
11-12 drops tangerine essential oil (or whatever scent you want)

(Note:  You can use any liquid oil(s) that you want in place of the almond oil (1/4 c.) and any firm oils in place of the other firm oils (1/4 c. total). Just know that the color of the oils will affect the finished product’s color.  I wanted a whiter lotion, so I picked clearer oils.)

Melt the oils and beeswax together in a pot.  Meanwhile, combine the water and baking soda together in a pot.  As soon as it boils, combine it with the oil mixture, whisking all the while.  Transfer to a bowl, and let cool for a little while (I can’t remember – 15-20 minutes, maybe 1/2 hour?).  Add the essential oils.  Using a stick blender, blend for a few moments.  Let rest awhile, and smell.  How does it smell?  Does it need more tangerine oil?  Add and mix until it smells good.  If it smells good initially, just beat it once more.  Pour into a jar or other clean container.

Alternately, pour the warm oil/water mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer, and beat with that until desired consistency is reached, stopping to smell occasionally and add essential oils accordingly.

Enjoy!

 

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Making the eczema lotion – the herbs I used, chamomile and violet leaf

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The essential oils I used (glad I took a picture, otherwise I wouldn’t have remembered!)

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All done!

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Sibling Sayings 8

On Sunday Meiling, Drake and Noah were going to sleep out in the backyard in a tent.  They were all out there for a little while, but at about 10, Meiling came in.

She was scared of the paleontologists.   She said they were coming to get her.

The next morning:

Dad:  Do you know what a paleontologist is?

Meiling:  Someone who digs up dinosaur bones.

Dad:  Are you a dinosaur bone?

Meiling:  No…

Dad:  So why are you scared of the paleontologists?

 

 

Yesterday, when Meiling was doing her school, at the end of her name, she made a big swirly thing after the g.  She said it was like a rock.  Then she drew an asterisk after it.

Why?

She says she’s a rock star!

Senior Portraits

Last week my dear friend an awesome photographer came over and took my senior photos.  We had a blast, and I was thrilled with how they turned out.  I hope you enjoy!

All photos Sarah Serven Photography.

WARNING:  Lots of photos!

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Lucy came out with us for a little while

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Sarah brought a fun vintage camera to play with

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My neighbor had a fun vintage bike (see a theme here?)

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You’ve got to love barns

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Down in the hay barn

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We stumbled across this old-ish truck, which I was SO excited about

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