Emma just started middle school, and she is adjusting quite nicely. Steve and I? Not so much. We went from elementary school to class representative, spirit week, first dance, and oh, by the way can you drop me off at the game.... whaaat!?!? I told her to slow down to give us some time to process this, but she turns 12 at the end of this week. Time marches on.... So she needed a few things for this spirit week. Everyday is a different theme and the kids are dressing up. That meant a short road trip to Asheboro to visit the local thrift shops (thank goodness she inherited her thriftiness from us).
Our first stop was a junk shop in town named "Antiques". The shop looks like a retail version of "Hoarders", but I mean this in the most sincere and friendly way. I didn't catch the old fella's name that owns the place, but Claire got his autograph (illegible). You see, he showed us his racing photos and according to him he is the last surviving driver from the very first NASCAR race. Floor to ceiling were the treasures and we walked away with a little something for everyone. Emma came away with some vintage cowboy boots ($6), hat and belt($4) for cowboy day. Steve found a pair of garden shears and I scored two mayonnaise jars of antique buttons ($8). He threw in a cheese grater for me to grate my soap, and a platter sized belt buckle for Emma's outfit. Awesome. I only wish I would have taken pictures so I could recapture that hour in the scrapbook.
Our next stop was Goodwill in Asheboro where we found a mod dress and knee boots for 60's day and a suit and heels for career day. She had those cowboy boots and hat on ALL DAY, and only took them off to put on her pajamas. Emma was walking on cloud 9 with all of her treasures and did not stop thanking us all the rest of the day. She was happy and we still had a little change in our pockets. A good day.
Well, enough of that. Back to the projects:
Steve rebuilt the carburetor on his cub cadet and tilled up some of the garden to plant. He was thrilled to get in his seeds he ordered from Southern Exposure Seeds. He plans to put down some cover crops to overwinter and put back some nutrients in the soil. He also spent about two hours working on the old Universal sewing machine for Emma. This machine is close to 50 years old and we bought it at an estate auction shortly after moving here for just $2. We spent 60$ getting it serviced and another $20 for a manual from ebay. It still needs some tweaking, but Emma is only playing with scraps making clothes for their dolls.
And me. I made some homemade laundry detergent with borax, laundry soda and some of my grated soap bits. I've yet to try it as I am going to try to use up what I have. I've looked into making some dish detergent and shampoo, but again living in the country is wonderful but it's not very convenient for shopping. Thank goodness for the internet and home delivery. I'm looking at ordering some citric acid for dish powder and possibly potassium hydroxide for shampoo. I bought a book on making liquid soaps at MENF last week to hopefully learn how to make shampoo:
The ingredients are hard to find without ordering online, but I did try the no poo method today. I mixed a bottle of "shampoo: consisting of baking soda and water and a bottle of conditioner using apple cider vinegar, water and a few drops of EO for scent. It feels nice and clean, but I'll give it a few days before I give you my verdict.
We also tried a no-knead bread recipe found in one of MEN publications: http://www.motherearthnews.com/shopping/detail.aspx?itemnumber=5623
Making homemade bread is something I've enjoyed for years, but having a full time job it's difficult to fit in making fresh bread on a work day. This pleasure is reserved for leisurely days like we've had this weekend [sic]. The recipe was so incredibly easy I think I can pull one of these loaves off everyday. Saturday's loaf was unbleached white flour and today's was half whole wheat and half unbleached using King Arthur's flour. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/ Everyone LOVED the bread, however who doesn't love fresh bread? The girls preferred the wheat version to the all white, so that was a big plus. It was so easy: the five minute prep time and the 8-14 hour rise time fits into my work schedule. I'm going to give it a try in the morning.
Our lunch today was omelets made with our chicken eggs with climbing spinach, tomatoes and onions from our garden with the whole wheat no-knead bread. We are just about to sit down to a dinner of meatballs and pasta. The meat we buy is from a butcher in Asheboro that sells local, grass fed beef: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fresh-Cuts-Butcher-and-Seafood/187577638657. We rolled in some ground venison from last year and made the sauce with some whole tomatoes we canned this summer and some dried herbs. We fought over the last crumbs of the bread from lunch.
Finally, the girls just came in from walking in the woods. They've been collecting rocks and wood for the fire ring for their camp out this weekend. Both girls are having a friend over and they are going to camp out in the yard for Emma's birthday. I suggested the front yard but Steve has strategically placed the tent site so its within earshot and view of our bedroom window. He did so just in case any young boys get any ideas.... what?!?!