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Mishmashery

Posted by The Mrs. on December 29, 2013 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

My Tattler lids arrived! And in good time as well! I have 25# of "juicing" carrots sitting on my kitchen floor waiting to be canned and oooh say 10# of apples (about) For Christmas Eve breakfast I had crockpot apple butter making ( I used this as a guide to make it: http://www.simplycanning.com/canning-apple-butter.html) and everyone seems to really love it. I used 75% Fuji's and 25% Granny Apple Smith's. It came out just barely sweet enough-even my extra picky 2 year old loves this apple butter :)  However it seems like a full crockpot makes about 3 pints finished and 2 went to my inlaws on Christmas Eve. In light of how fast the remaining pint is being gobbled I may make more and break out both my full sized crockpots (I have 2 full sized crockpots and one that holds 3 smaller wells for appetizers). All in all-resounding success, so good it didn't even make it to being canned :lol:

Christmas has come and passed, as has my 5th anniversary with my husband and my youngest's first birthday. I can't believe how fast the years go. We had modest celebrations with good food and lots of love for all of the above and I can honestly say this year the Holidays have been truly wonderful. This was our first Christmas in our own house and I loved it so much! Each of the kids got quilts and we all got many books. I got "The Joy of Pickling" and a perfect little wood bread slicer guide for when I start making all our own breads-something I aspire to do-and I found a perfect little percolator coffee maker I gave my husband for when he feels like old fashioned cowboy coffee. And then there is what my parents got us oh my I am over the moon with excitement! They got us a nice builders hammer, a really nice tape measure, a circular saw and a sawzall!!! I cannot emphasize how incredibley exiting that is to me.  They taught me to read as a child and fed my love of books and now as an adult to give me the tools to BUILD is the best gift I could ever dream of so now I feel like I can create just about anything 8) First up is likely to be nicer rabbit nestboxes and shelves for our books, my fabric and sewing supplies, and canned goods. Then baby gates...either from cutting wood doors in half or making ones dutch barn style like this http://www.remodelaholic.com/2012/09/diy-barn-door-baby-for-stairs/ I love the solidity so my clever littles won't be able to shove things in between bars or slats and ruin them.

Sort of speaking of rabbits and nestboxes-our Californian doe had a litter of 8 on Christmas Eve but due to various things she is down to 5 kits today and a big part of that is why I want to build better nestboxes. Deeper then what I have to accomadate her size; with a roof/ledge on top for her to hop on and keep the kits from getting stepped on, and with an inverted angled lip so when she hops out of the box and kits are still attatched to her nipples while nursing they won't get drug out of the nestbox to get cold and die.  While I really hope she doesn't lose any more I feel like it is likely...it makes me so sad both with the loss of life but because these kits are my "pool" of which I need to keep the biggest fastest growing doe to expand my little meat herd. I really want better mothering instincts -raising only half of a litter or less is just not optimal and I need them to be optimized to feed my family and my pets.

Our Florida White doe is getting her nestbox just in time for the new year, it is her second litter (all of the first died) so I am hoping for much better success for her this time around. These will be purebred pedigreed Florida White kits as opposed to the above mentioned litter which is Californian/Florida White crosses.  I am hoping I might sell a few to offset the cost of cages and feed but wouldn't mind the cooking practice either :)

I also picked up that second batch of cloth diapers and washed them today actually using a diy cloth diaper safe detergent (recipe here: http://theecofriendlyfamily.com/2009/08/cloth-diaper-detergent/) I had to wash them, strip them (get rid of previous owner gookies and soaps/oils/residues) and wash them again. I know it is a great deal and I am still delighted but they were not taken care of as carefully as they could have been from what I have read...they had stains and a very certain strong aroma that I got out quickly but did put me aback for a minute. After looking all of them over I accepted the challenge and they are now perfectly clean and good smelling *happy dance* that detergent works well enough on those I used it on my regular laundry and it has been great with that too! I only made a little batch as the blogger suggests to try it out but I will likely make more when I run out of my mini batch. 

Anyways, toodaloo dears. The youngest will be up in a couple hours so I must go try to get some sleep now that I have rambled a bit on here. 

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas Happy Holidays and will have an great New Year's! 


First entry...Cloth diapering 0.o

Posted by The Mrs. on December 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

My first entry. How potentially nerve wracking! Today I am going to get 3  Bumgenius Diaper covers from a lady who posted them on Craigslist. 

"Great deal on Bumgenius pocket style OS snap cloth diaper covers. Elastic is worn out and needs to be replaced. Fully functional otherwise; some wear on the seams and outside of the diaper--just needing some love. No inserts. Asking $5 each or just $12 for the set of three. Save yourself some money--These cost almost $20 bucks new and are known to contain leaks and provide a trim fit. Gender neutral colors, no stains and very soft on your baby's bottom. Asking just $5/cover or $12 if you buy all three!"

I got all three and was so pleased! They looked nice and should fit both my children-one is 2 1/2 and the other is just turning one in few days and since both are wearing diapers/pullups that is great that they will fit both.  We spend on average depending on who buys the diapers and wipes (me or my husband) $60 to $80 a month in disposables. Plus any extra for powders creams etc. which is not a monthly expense they last a while but still...It just isn't cheap or sustainable. 

I briefly considered composting the insides of pee diapers to improve my practically non existent apartment garden like this instructable here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Recycle-Diapers-into-Great-Compost/ or this one here:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Reduce-diaper-volume-reduce-landfill.-Squeemish-b/#step1  but it seemed an iffy thing to try. I could do it but I don't know other then me who might be brave enough to try eating the food grown from any kind of human waste. 

So back to square one. Money going out and nothing coming back in from the expendature other then many (many) diapers in the trash. What about cloth diapering? When our son was born I heavily considered it but we were living with my parents and they cloth diapered my sister for a while and were not eager to have a dirty nappy bin hanging around even though many things seem to have changed since they used cloth diapers so it was a no go then. But now we live on our own and have a washer and dryer (greatest apartment housewarming gift ever!) and now we have two children in disposables so double the cost double the waste. I read about it some, watched some youtube videos and was so overwhelmed with this whole new cloth diapering world! I talked to my husband about switching and he agreed it would save us money and while it would be an adjustment it isn't the biggest one we have had to go through so sure lets try it (I love this man so much he supports so many of my "Crazy" ideas not  necessarily that he perscribes to but is willing to support me) so onward we go! I still need to get or make liners/prefolds etc. and there is another ad on Craigslist that I will probably persue so that other then liners our cloth diapering "Stash" will have cost us a grand total of 72.02 once I go get this other listing of diapers and accoutrements described as: 

 

Cloth diapers used but in good condition. $5 each or $50 for everything

2 diaper laundry bags (pink)

4 thirsty all in one diapers Size L

 

Diaper Covers with pre folds

2 bumpkins size L

2 thirsties size M

2 thirsties size L

7 thirsties size 18-40 lbs

 

Pocket diapers

1 fuzzi buns petite

1 thirsties size 18-40 lbs

3 happy heiny's one size fits all"

Needless to say I am exited! Now if cloth diapering isn't your cup of tea I understand, indeed I do it is not exactly mine either but the way I look at it is that my children poop and pee and aren't likely to ever stop so in choosing to cloth diaper I am reducing the disposable diaper waste going in the landfill, reducing my cost in dealing with my children's waste, and even more so on that-I can reuse cloth diapers for each child I might have and when I am done having children I can pass it on to another :) truly a gift that keeps giving! Now I think I have rambled on enough for one post so I will end this with pictures of the diaper covers I just got-white blue and green-basic colors thankfully! Aren't they so cute and so very useful?