Our Weekend

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1. When I went through M’s baby clothes, I found that a LOT of them had yellow stains around the collar. She wasn’t a spitty baby, but she was happy to let milk dribble out the sides of her mouth as she ate. I knew the clothes were a little discolored, but the stains got even darker while everything was stored away. I tried this method for getting them clean, and it worked! I let the mixture sit on the clothes for an hour, as instructed, but then I rinsed them in a hot bath before putting them in the wash — I didn’t think our washing machine would appreciate having to deal with almost a cup of dish soap! The plain white Gerber and Carter’s onesies didn’t come totally clean, and the mixture left discolored spots on two solid-colored items, but otherwise everything looks as good as new! Those milk stains came out, as did some red marks on a pair of pants (something they were washed with bled on them ages ago). But the mixture was less effective on people-food stains, sadly. Still! That’s a lot of clothes ‘saved’, including that Oilily romper on the top, which I thrifted for less than $1 before M was born.

2. An egg.

3. Which I thought looked like a car after I cracked it. M agreed.

4. Cheese ‘straws’ — like we really need another vehicle for cheese in this house. But M and I agree that they’re delicious!

5. Some of my homemade cleaners, with the ‘fancy’ labels I made for them. I finally have everything I need to make everything I want. Except essential oils — but then I think to myself, Do I care if this smells like oranges/lavender/whatever? Nope.

6. The Fortnum’s hamper this year came with a huge jar of honey, honeycomb included. It’s really cool, but I can’t figure out exactly how to get the honey out without winding up with beeswax in my food. I guess I could fish out the comb now and just try to let as much of the honey drain back into the jar as possible. I do want to try to clean and melt the comb, to save the beeswax for other things.

7. Homemade (home-laid) egg salad on a homemade croissant. So good!

8. It never got above 0˚F (-18˚C) this weekend, but at least it was beautifully sunny! The indoor pets loved it, and even though neither of the chicken coops (the hens’ or the rooster’s) is heated, at least the sun can come in through the windows.

9. These two (Bear and Nova) still wrestle all the time. Don’t let their positions fool you — Bear is definitely in charge. I mean, she weighs a LOT more than Nova! But the dogs used to let her be the ‘dominant’ one when she was just a little cotton ball, so now she returns the favor. Beany doesn’t have time for the kids’ antics.

2016

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Happy New Year! Time to quit your celebrating and start getting serious about becoming a better person, FINALLY. To be honest, my only REAL personal goals for 2016 are to give birth to a healthy baby and to try to help both kids thrive. But there are some other things, too, of course:

1. Stop using commercial cleaners. I think this one should be pretty easy, as long as I’m serious about it. The book in the photo above has some good recipes for homemade cleaners of all sorts (along with a good explanation of why certain things work well for certain types of ‘dirt’). I’ve already emptied out my freezer-vodka to make window/metal cleaner (better odds of my using the vodka that way!). Paired with a microfiber cloth, it gets my black stove top SO shiny!

2. Start THINKING about how to eat more locally/seasonally. With another baby on the way, I have no illusions that I could put this into action this year. I’ll be lucky to avoid microwaving 90% of our meals come this spring! And I’m not planning to someday go totally hardcore locavore, but there’s a ton of room for improvement in our current diet. So I just want to start finding out where I can source various foods/ingredients (bread flour, for example). And thinking about what I can realistically grow in future years. I find the idea of eating locally quite challenging (especially in Minnesota, and especially in rural Minnesota, where there aren’t big co-ops just ten minutes away), so simply doing a bit of planning is a big enough goal for me right now.

3. Less screen time. I find this a much bigger challenge than M does — maybe she can give me some tips! We’ve had a couple of screen-free weekends, which were great. I think that would be my ideal: no screens each weekend. But sometimes I have to get work done during the weekend, and I have a hard time drawing the line if I’ve already got the laptop open. But less screen time would feed nicely into other things I’m always working toward — keeping the house tidier/cleaner, getting out more, etc — so it’s a good place to start.

How about you? What amazing goals are you TOTALLY going to accomplish in 2016?

(p.s. — The beeswax pellets and little tins are for the salve I’m going to make from this summer’s calendula. M saw the beeswax and said, ‘Chicken food!’ She’s a country kid, alright.)