Saturday, March 26, 2011

water cycle lesson for young children

the other day it rained cats and dogs, then the next the skies were clear and sunny. i took it as an opportunity to teach the little ones i watch about the water cycle.

first we talked about where water comes from. three-year old bubby quickly grasped the concept that water goes through a cycle. he was excited about "ebaporation" and loved explaining the diagram print-out. we left two jars on the window sill, one uncovered, and marked them to see what will happen to the water left in the sun. bubby predicted the water in the uncovered jar will go up into the sky.=)

next we created a rainy window. the little ones colored white paper blue and helped me punch out holes. then we stapled and glued it all together. though they don't yet have the strength to use them, children are intrigued by hole punchers and staplers and enjoy helping adults squeeze and push them.

after the lesson, we made rain noises -  we rubbed our hands together softly to make light rain, slapped our thighs to make loud rain, then stomped our feet to make thunder! they loved it and wanted to do it again and again. most pleasing was that they were getting exercise indoors without running around like wild animals.=)

the magic school bus has some great videos, and i found the 30-minute segment wet all over at the local library. the dvd wouldn't play, which turned out to be a blessing because we ventured outside instead. it seemed too cold for outdoor play but when bubby suggested we go out for some vitamin d=), we bundled up and ventured out. after being in the sun a few minutes, we warmed up and had a blast. we were also able to observe that the huge puddles there the day before had already evaporated.=)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

raw hemp burgers, pizza crackers and nori snacks

some of my most joyful days are those spent in the kitchen chopping, mixing and dehydrating. on one recent d-day, carmella soleil's uncookbook, delightfully raw was my muse. as mentioned here about a jillion times, carmella introduced me to living foods through her blog, the sunny raw kitchen. then, as if i were dreaming, carmella was showing me the raw ropes in my very own kitchen! (you can read about our kitchen bonanza here: I, II, III)

carmella is a true raw alchemist - everything she touches turns to pure delicious. not only do her hemp veggie burgers taste incredible, they're packed with superfood nutrition (irish moss, hemp and chia seeds, walnuts). paired with fermented kraut and bubbie's pickles, the burger actually took on a cheesy flavor. eureka! a healthy raw cheeseburger, minus meat and dairy!=)

first i enjoyed my hemp burger on lisa's onion bread. next, i used organic collard greens as the "bun" and topped my patty with a slice of onion bread, homemade sauerkraut, bubbie's pickles and sprouts. both were out of this world!

onto some snackage...

delightfully raw has a recipe for italian flax crackers, which i tweaked a bit to create pizza crackers (added tomato and more nutritional yeast). they were really tasty, but a bit too chewy. next time i'll see if less flax meal and more whole flax crisps them up a bit.

these crunchy, garlic nori snacks and other sea vegetables are naturally high in potassium iodide and may make a good alternative to potassium iodide pills, which have been hard to get a hold of since news of the radiation leak in japan.

as you may know, potassium iodide (KI) can protect your thyroid gland against radiation damage. it seems that a little less than three sheets of nori contains the recommended dose for thyroid protection in a case of potential radiation exposure. (however, i recommend you do your own research and do what feels best for you!)

coming soon... i can't believe it's not tuna!=)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

miso veggie soup

a simple pick-me-up for a cold, dreary day.

2 cups filtered water
4 tsp miso
2 button mushrooms
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 kale leaf
fresh ginger root, to taste

slice veggies thin. heat water to a simmer and allow to cool a minute or two. stir in miso until dissolved. add veggies and enjoy your warm, healing soup.=)

Monday, March 21, 2011

first planting day

yesterday we planted our kale, spinach and pea seeds. we also transplanted about fifteen strawberry plants our neighbor was getting rid of. i've read it's best to transplant strawberries in the fall so they have time to set, but i'm hoping for the best with these babies.

our old strawberry plant has sent out a few runners, i was berry pleased to see...=)

and the echinacea is back with a vengeance - there's about six plants there!

little miss madj came out for more grass-munching.

her indoor wheatgrass is looking pretty good. the wheat berries were sprouted using the jar method. i waited 'til the roots were a little too long before spreading them on the soil, but i think they'll be okay.

if you juice wheatgrass, i'd love to hear what you use and your thoughts on it. i'm considering the healthy juicer - i like that it's hand-powered and inexpensive - but have read some poor reviews. i may just chew it like biggles!=)

music monday: vivaldi's spring

it's official, as of yesterday evening!

tweet, tweet, happy spring! 
may the greens grow abundantly and the season nourish your soul.=)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

'pay it forward' fairy gift from judy

thank you, judy! she's perfect and the basket is so lovely. what a gift to be able to create such beauty!

you can see more of judy's creations at once we were faeries.

for those participating with me in 'pay it forward', i'm brainstorming ideas now and hope to have the gifts finished and mailed by mid-april. we'll see. just know they're coming!=)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

a delicious debt...

these succulent suckers set me back fifteen bucks. absent-mindedly, i grabbed 'roasted and salted' instead of raw macadamia nuts for a raw cream cheese recipe. d'ah well... i could think of yuckier mistakes.=)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

spring has sprung

we've been blessed with some nice warm sunny days for gardening. venturing about i found a patch of pretty wildflowers growing alongside our home...

and discovered the hyacinth bulbs planted last fall have sprouted!

the garlic bulbs have also sprouted, all but one.

the beds were turned and black gold (worm poop) was added. this is our third year composting and it's amazing to see how many worms and other creepy crawlies are feasting in our bins.

these carrots were left last fall because then they were too small to be picked. i wonder how they taste.

there were also some september kale babies...

and pansies!

biggles came out to enjoy the fresh air and munch on some grass. (don't worry, the vet said it's good for her. soon she'll have her own wheat grass to chomp.=)

i hope you're enjoying some spring weather where you are!

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" ~ Robin Williams


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a biggles update

it's been a while since our fur-baby has been on the blog. mrs. bigglesworth is about sweet sixteen now. the boys who found her named her, though john and i find "madji" to be a more fitting name now for a cat who flounces about like a queen.=)

ms. madj is doing well despite her health issues. as i mentioned before, in the fall of 2009 we learned she was in the early stages of renal failure. she also has arthritis in her hind leg. her kidneys are expressing toxins through her ears so she's deaf and has uncomfortable ear gunk. poor lil thing.

after many frustrating and painful trips to the vet, we decided to go the natural route. conventional vets seem to be so out of touch with senior cats, at least the ones we visited. they were all so rough with her! none of them considered her age or weak kidneys and pressured us into a rabies shot, which i politely declined each time as i knew her system couldn't handle a vaccine. two vets also misdiagnosed her ear gunk as ear mites and irresponsibly prescribed medication, though both times the tests for mites came back negative. sheesh! who gave these people a license?!

about a year ago we found madj's anal glands needed expressing and wanted a groomer to do it externally. in order for her to be seen, they needed proof of a rabies shot, so we caved. we also allowed the vet to express her anal glands internally - two terrible choices. it was gut-wrenching to see her in so much pain. she got so sick from the vaccine, but thankfully bounced back after a few days. that's when i said enough is enough and began researching alternative vets in the area.

car trips are torturous on account of her leg, so we were grateful to find a homeopathic vet a few towns over who offers phone consultations. dr. dym recommended natural supplements and feasible remedies for her health issues, and most importantly, encouraged us to just do our best to keep her comfortable in her twilight years.

dr. dym directed us on how to change her diet from fancy feast to pet guard, a natural brand he trusts and which ms. finicky finds to be tasty. when she won't eat her food we sprinkle a little nutritional yeast on top and she goes to town.

ms. madj also has a love for coconut oil. she begs for it and prefers the 'tree of life' brand. she turns up her nose to other brands, the sweet little snoot she is.=)

biggles loves playing with little yarn toys i made. though she sleeps most of the day, she's got some spunk left in her and wakes us up every morning, anywhere between 3 and 6 am. if we don't rise right away, she will stand up on her back legs and smack the blinds, knock everything off the nightstands, walk back and forth on us, and tap our faces. she's even knocked a jar of water from our headboard onto my head! she's lucky she's so cute!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

what the fuzz?!

the mystery's been solved... it was a fuzzy leaf, not a pupa!=)

the larger daisy bud reminds me of little shop of horrors.

"feed me, seymour!"

there's also a little bud on my echinacea plant, finally.

come on, spring!

Monday, March 14, 2011

music monday: a river flows in you

my tears fall for those suffering
all throughout the world...
and those near and dear to me
humans and animals alike...

A person who is beginning to sense the suffering of life is, at the same time, beginning to awaken to deeper realities, truer realities. For suffering smashes to pieces the complacency of our normal ­fictions about reality, and forces us to come alive in a special sense - to see carefully, to feel deeply, to touch ourselves and our worlds in ways we have heretofore avoided.” ~ Ken Wilber

"I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains." ~ Anne Frank

"Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." ~ Rossiter Worthington Raymond

"Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal." ~ Thomas Moore


today's cleaning day (boooo) and i'm taking a break to do something a little more fun...

Age: 30 (too old for silly surveys?=)

Bed Size: queen

Chore you hate: bathrooms

Dogs: love them and would adopt some if biggles would allow it.

Favorite color: love 'em all, especially turquoise.

Gold or silver: both please.

Height: 5'9"

Instruments you play: piano

Job title: dabbler

Kids: are my specialty, though i'm not sure if we'll have our own.

Live: in the now.

Mom’s name: regina

Nicknames: kel, kelly belly, nonns...

Overnight hospital stays: zero

Pet peeve: celebrity gossip, propaganda, mainstream media, billboards...

Quote from a movie: "has anyone seen my hose?" - a league of their own

Right or left-handed: right

Siblings: brother craig, sister krista

Time you wake up:  it depends, but i like to sleep late.

Underwear: um, yes?

Vegetables you dislike: i like all i've tried, though i'm not crazy about raw bell peppers. (edit: but technically, they're a fruit.=)

What makes you run late: daylight savings time!

X-Rays you’ve had: just dental.

Yummy food you make: quinoa salads, raw pizza, pb cups, kale chippies...

Zoo- favorite animal: not a fan of captured and caged animals, though when i was young the polar bears and monkeys were fun to watch. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

pay it forward

many of us were touched by the movie/novel 'pay it forward', a story of a young boy who did good deeds for folks and in return asked them to pass good deeds onto others. this sparked a mass movement of millions spreading love and goodwill throughout the world.

in the blogworld, it has caught on as a homemade gift-giving cycle. after all, who doesn't feel all warm and fuzzy receiving a handmade gift in the mail?

so here's how it works - the first five people to comment will receive a handmade gift from me, kelli, sometime in the near future. 

in return, you will do the same - write a post explaining 'pay it forward', then send a homemade gift to the first five visitors who comment. take your time.... they don't all need to be sent right away. the gift need not be anything extravagant - just something made by you to brighten someone's day.

this is a sweet way to create something from the heart and spread a little love and joy. i learned of this at judy's blog, once we were faeries. judy creates exquisite, magical sculptures which i simply adore. we hope you will join us!

for those who haven't met their inner crafter yet, here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing. or send a hand-written note with a doodle... anything created by you!=)

"It's not the gift that matters, but the spirit of paying it forward."

photo source

Thursday, March 10, 2011

a delightful discovery...

anne of green gables is just the beginning of an eight-book series! EIGHT! life is good.=)

the second book i'm reading now depicts anne's first year as a teacher! and look how lovely the copies are at the local library. i couldn't imagine prettier covers. i'm inspired to paint our bedroom a light turquoise...

though anne was a schoolma'am over one hundred years ago, i find myself relating, especially with this reply when marilla asks how her first day was: "My thoughts feel as if they had been all stirred up until they were thick and muddy."

some of my other favorite quotes thus far:

"After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." 

"Anne smothered a little sigh. She loved Diana dearly and they had always been good comrades. But she had long ago learned that when she wandered into the realm of fancy she must go alone. The way to it was by an enchanted path where not even her dearest might follow her." 

"I'd like to add some beauty to life," said Anne dreamily. "I don't exactly want to make people know more... though I know that is the noblest ambition... but I'd love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me... to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn't been born." 
(Anne of Avonlea) 

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive - it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?"

"There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting."

"It was November - the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul."
(Anne of Green Gables)

last two photo's source

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

for the birds

the kiddos and i made sweet bird treats today.

the recipe was halved and honey replaced corn syrup. we had a hard time getting the "cookies" out so we left the cutters on while they warmed in the oven, then placed them in the freezer for ease of removal.

three-year-old bubby also took photos of the bird treats with his camera, which i thought was super cute. then we watched beepers, tweeters and peckers (lol!) and did bird dances. fun day.=)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

raw soup, onion bread and sea spaghetti

spring is coming - can you feel it?! it's nice to be able to take photos of our dinner with natural light and birds chirping above.

tonight we had a warm raw soup and fried vegan chick'n patties on lisa's fantastic onion bread.

the soup consisted of spinach, cucumber, cilantro, celery, carrot, chia seeds and white miso topped with hemp seeds, cooked corn, black beans, and edamame. john and i both really enjoyed it. per carmella's recommendation we added boiling water and blended quickly. the cold veggies cool off the mixture to preserve the enzymes, but not so much that the soup isn't nice and warm.

during a shopping trip today i spotted spicy crispy vegan chick'n patties made by boca. when i missed burgers their vegan version really hit the spot. i had planned to make carmella's hemp burgers later in the week (and now bitt's zuki burgers) to go on my onion bread, but when i saw those chick'n patties i took the easy route for tonight's dinner. they were really tasty fried in a little bit of olive oil - they actually reminded me of wendy's or burger king. (there you go, clint!)

inspired by elizabeth, i gave lisa's onion bread recipe a try. oh my onion-y goodness, is it good! imagine a bread of onion rings minus the grease. i was especially pleased with how easy and inexpensive it is to create. (if you don't have a dehydrator, i bet this bread could be baked on low.)

in not so yummy news, we tried our sea spaghetti the other night. the verdict - not good. i really wanted to like these as they're so nutritious and easy to prepare, but the taste of chewy seaweed was too much for john and me. the addition of cilantro made it more palatable, but i still couldn't get past the texture. it's like seaweed fettucini, and i'm not usually a fan of the thicker pastas. please don't let this deter you from trying it yourself, though. many others rave about the stuff, but i'll stick to zucchini pasta or kelp noodles for gluten-free spaghetti!
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