Monday, January 18, 2010

Potty Training and The Farmer's Almanac

Yes, the two things are related. I never would have thought, but I am a true believer.

At the end of December we pulled out the panties and the potty chair and got everything ready to start…again. It was a no go. I had to do several loads of laundry on day because we only had 6 pair of panties. Day 2 was much better. Only a few accidents. Day 3 was non-existent; she refused to put on the panties.

I was talking to my mom about my frustration and she recommended that I check the Farmer’s Almanac. Do what? She explained that they have days that they recommend that you do things like this. Hmmm. We have a Farmer’s Almanac, but I thought it was for the weather and planting, not potty training. What did I have to lose?

I pulled out the Farmer’s Almanac and checked. Nothing. I read the chapter on how to read this book twice and I still couldn’t figure it out so I went to the internet. And guess what I found. This is awesome! It tells you the best days to do all sorts of things. I found it. There are 10 days every month that are the best for potty training. For January it started on the 12th.

I decided to give it a try according to the Farmer’s Almanac, so Tuesday, January 12th, we started again.

January 12 – 3 accidents, but went several times in the potty
January 13 – 1 accident
January 14 – 1 accident in a diaper while running errands (perfectly acceptable and understandable)
January 15 – More errands. Every store we went into she asked where the potty was. While at the grocery store I abandoned the cart with Mr. and we ran for the bathroom. The big potty with no little seat freaked her out and she couldn’t go. She finally had an accident in her diaper on the way home.
January 16 – 1 accident while trying to get to the potty.
January 17 – No accidents
January 18 – No accidents

I’m convinced. I recommend that everyone in need of potty training (or a million other things) give the Farmer’s Almanac a try. Please note that when I talk about our success I’m only referring to when she is awake. She still wears a diaper at nap and bed and she wakes up wet from both, but 2 diapers a day is a considerable improvement.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Homemade Coffee Creamer

This post is co written by my alter ego, El Cheapo. I started my search for a homemade coffee creamer recipe in an effort to save money. But after I found the recipe I realize that it's also Self Reliant, so to me it's a bonus.

This is super simple and yummy!

The base for the recipe is one 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk plus 1 ½ cups milk. Whisk together until combined. That's it.

Now comes the fun part...flavoring.

My first (and only) batch I made chocolate vanilla. I added 1 Tablespoon Cocoa and 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract. After I stirred these in I poured the mixture into my recently emptied store bought creamer container and shook it until the cocoa was incorporated.

I haven't tried any other flavors, but don't worry, I will. As I try other flavors I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Green Onions Grown in Water

I got this tip from watching Food Network's "Next Food Network Star" several months ago. The winner, Melissa D'Arabian, gave this tip in one of the episodes. She said that you can keep green onions alive in water and the green part will continue to grow. The tip caught my attention immediately, but I don't use green onions frequently, so I pushed it to the back of my mind.

This weekend it surfaced when I had to make a special trip to a grocery store that I rarely visit just for green onions. They were sold in bunches of 6 or 7 and I only needed a few, so I decided to give Melissa's tip a try.

I added them to a cute little bud vase on my counter on day one. They were perky and cute. All was well. On day 2, Mr. said, "Your onions are turning yellow and drooping." I had nothing to lose and decided to keep going.

Today is day 6. Look at the new growth emerging. It works!!! Maybe I'll use green onions more often if I don't have to make a special trip to the store to get them. And now that they're green, it feels kind of like Spring in my kitchen despite the frigid temperatures and piles of snow.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Introducing - 2010 Egg Counter

I don't know about you, but I'm very curious to see how many eggs we'll get this year. So I'm going to keep you posted along the way with an egg counter that you'll see on the upper right side of the page.

We currently have 11 laying hens. Remember those cute little babies that I introduced this fall? They should begin to lay in March. At that time we'll have 18 laying hens (hopefully).

Here's a recap of the first 2 days of the year:

January 1 - 10 eggs
January 2 - 6 eggs
Grand Total - 16 eggs

How many will we have by December 31, 2010? Only time will tell.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Brrrr...It's Cold Outside

While I'm unthawing after evening chores, I'll tell you a little bit about taking care of livestock in the frigid sub zero temperatures of the Midwest. The thermometer is currently at 9 degrees Farenheit, which is a huge warm up from -1 that it read this morning.

My parents asked this very question a couple of weeks ago during our last sub zero stretch. I think they asked out of curiosity, but mostly to be smart @$$3$ about the inevitable answer. In sucks!

So how is it taking care of livestock when the mercury doesn't even reach zero? The most obvious first answer is that the worst part is frozen water. But that isn't the worst part. Frozen water is not nearly as bad as the buckets of water that you have to carry out to them.


It's below zero and you're dealing with water so you can't wear gloves. So you're hands FREEZE! And as much as you'd think that is the worst part - it's still not.

The worst part about taking care of livestock in sub zero temperatures is that you're dealing with fresh water while not wearing gloves, so your hands freeze from the air and then they get wet and what do all of the animals' enclosures have in common? Metal latches.

I have a very real and very probable fear that my hands are going to freeze to one of the metal latches while trying to get in or out.

It's amazing what you can do with your hand tucked inside the sleeve of your coat. I've learned to open and close latches, but it's inevitable...I'm going to forget. I just hope that Mr. pays attention to the clock and comes out to check on me.