Sunday, October 14, 2007

Detergent Check-in, Food, Book Review, and Pregnancy Update

Homemade Laundry Detergent: Squeeze does most of the laundering around here and I came to realize last week that he has been using 3 TBSP with each load. Ack! That might be why they smelled so super-fresh? When I wash, and I just measured what I was using, I put in 2 TBSP. I figured it was more than 1, but I didn't realize it was double the amount. I have yet to be able to experiment; and I managed to talk Squeeze down to 2 TBSP instead of 3. The one thing I can say with absolute confidence is this -- DIAPERS TAKE 4 TBSP. I didn't like how they smelled when I used 2 TBSP, so I doubled the amount. I am satisfied.

Food Today: I made granola, chicken stock, and my favorite soup, White Bean with Vegetables, Garlic, & Rosemary. I like it, I love it, I want more of it. Isn't that some kind of a fast-food slogan?? Gross.

Books: I finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver this past week. My goodness, but do I love this woman. And now I love her family as well. She has so much insight into life; things that when I read, I say, "YES!!" She is also a fan of Wendell Berry. She sighted him as a mentor in her Acknowledgements and said, "Everything we've said here, Wendell said first, in a quiet voice that makes the mountains tremble." Wow. As I've said before, Wendell, Wendell, where have you been all my life? And Barbara, I'm so glad to have your essays. I haven't read much of her fiction writing, but her non-fiction rules heavily.

She inspired my interest/intrigue with not only heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits, but also heritage animals, like the Bourbon Red Turkeys she raised with the end-goal of establishing a breeding flock. She also made "putting away food" for the winter sound enjoyable and exciting, not the drudgery that people might think it is. The little experience I've had with it, I have thought was very fun and rewarding. My hope and desire to follow in her footsteps and be able to put enough by to feed us throughout the year. I certainly have the fervor for it! But she doesn't just leave it to, "Move into the country and grow your own food." Certainly not everyone can do that. She encouraged the masses to buy in season and locally grown produce, dairy, and meats. With the amount of Farmers' Markets out there, and technology like freezers, this is definitely possible. Or be like my friend, Lyndi, and go with a CSA; you'll be supporting small farmers and getting top-of-the-line produce as well.

I can't urge you to read this book enough; it was thrilling. So interesting, packed full of humor and intriguing side-stories, and best of all: encouragement. As a nation, we really need to learn to eat differently. So much of our food is hyped up with preservatives and anti-nutrients. We eat from boxes, cans, packages, and bags. Truly, we are completely disconnected with where our food comes from. And what a shame! Our culture of eating has been built through many decades and several generations: too much work, not enough life. Preparing food takes time, but so does enjoying it (or it should). We need to work our way back to knowing how to cook, not just how to unwrap a factory-processed, preservative-packed, piece of crap pot-pie or pizza and pop it in the oven. It takes time, but the tides must be turned.

Pregnancy: My uterus has been tightening more noticeably with greater frequency within the last couple of days. Your guess is as good as mine as to when it will actually happen, though. I have another meeting with our midwives on Tuesday, as does Thelma Cheddar, if she has lasted that long. Poor woman, if she does. My official due date is October 24.


Anna said...

Oooh.. I've really been looking forward to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle since I read the advance praise for it. I'm glad that it won't disappoint!

How do you find so much time to get things done with a toddler and a new baby days away? I'm amazed!

Lyndi said...

just tried to find a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in CLICnet and they're all on hold or checked out. so is the public library. pretty cool that so many people are interested in it. I may actually buy it!

a. borealis said...

Hey ladies! This book is definitely worth buying: I plan to procure a copy for myself. Funny enough, I got mine through an ILL request at our local library. I was extremely pleased that they even had it, as their on-shelf selection is so dismal. I've even renewed it once, which means that no one else is going for it (sad).

Definitely buy it, though: her daughter has included all kinds of recipes throughout the book, and it would be perfect to loan out whilst trying to proselytize the masses.

Getting stuff done: LOL -- I suppose I am doing a lot. I feel really good this pregnancy; I'm able to do so much more than last time. With Diego, moving spontaneously was out of the question and I would have dreams about running, dancing, and jumping (because I missed it so much). I am more limber and have even broken into a run a couple of times when Diego has gotten himself into trouble. I could have NEVER done that last time. I think it is because I've stayed more active (chasing a toddler vs. sitting in front of a computer in a cube), but I think the biggest thing is that I weigh 30 lbs less. 160 vs. almost 190. I really think that made a big difference.

I've gained the same amount of weight with each pregnancy (about 30 lbs), but I started off much less due to nursing on-demand for 1.5 years. That really made a big difference.

It is so weird to think about being "days away from a new baby". It is still far away, so close for me. A complete abstraction.

ms said...

detergent: have you had any buildup with using so much for dipes?
book: i can't wait to read it! she is one author that i have actually finished the book (rather than it sit at my bedside table unfinished until i loose interest)
food: i think you should post what you are having for meals more often. you create great food!
keep it up lady!

a. borealis said...

I haven't noticed any build-up with the diapers...but I'm not washing as many or as frequently now that Diego is using the pot. I kinda doubt that there will be build-up, seems like the washing soda and borax wouldn't allow it.