Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekly Mileage

sunset over the mountains, but trees got in the way :) I pulled over too late- a hundred feet back was a much better view

I managed a total of 15 miles on the bike Monday and Wednesday. These days I don't sleep well (the boys have been taking turns waking up in the middle of night for random reasons), so anytime I'm up and functioning by 9 is a win for me. Monday I managed to get up, ride my bike, get ready, and get us out the door and on our way to the leather store by 11. I don't usually manage to exercise before we head out on errands, so this was a big win.

We didn't go for a hike Thursday because Sunshine was under the weather (we've been passing a cold around and it was her turn). I intended to hit the treadmill instead, but the heating and air conditioning guy came in the morning rather than the afternoon to check our AC (just the annual maintenance check), and it threw me off. By the time he was done, I was too deep into other projects to stop, change my clothes, and get on the treadmill. Gotta work on that.

Friday was the same as the last few Fridays- I ran errands after dropping Sunshine off at class and didn't have energy for a hike when we were done with them. I've got to just do the hike first, then run errands. Or move the errands to another day entirely, since I don't want to take tired boys to the store- they get too cranky.

Saturday we went to a pick and pull place looking for a set of roof racks for our CRV so we can strap Sunshine's kayak to the roof (didn't find one, but we're still looking) and then picked up the RV from the dealership, where it had been getting some maintenance work done. We got home with half an hour to spare before we took off again to a friend's house for a birthday party. By the time we got home, I was exhausted and ready for bed, so no running for me.

This weekend I'd hoped to get to bed earlier and catch up on sleep, but the boys conspired against me again. Late Saturday night, just as I was falling asleep, I heard the boys' door open, then a gagging sound and the unmistakable sound of vomit hitting the wood floor. As one does, I was up in a flash and hurrying to help River. Clean up was unpleasant, but at least he hadn't puked in his bed or on the rug in his room. He was up for a couple hours after that, running to the toilet, and then hesitant to go to sleep for fear of a repeat. Thankfully, no repeat and he was fine on Sunday.

Sunday evening after dinner, Ocean decided to get in on the puking action and threw up twice in the library. Mostly on the wood floor, but once was partly on the rug and once was partly on a stack of books and the boxes with our inflatable kayaks (our family Christmas present that I finally got around to ordering, and that arrived Saturday). Much more difficult to clean up than River's mess, but he managed not to puke in his bed, either, so it could have been worse.

Now we're waiting to see if any of the rest of us get this bug or whatever it is. At least it ran its course quickly in both boys.

Weekly Mileage
Monday- 6.50 miles on the bike
Wednesday-  8.50 miles on the bike
    total- 15.00 miles

4 hikes towards #52hikechallenge
53.91 foot miles towards #365milechallenge
75.00 bike miles towards #365milechallenge

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday Funny

Ocean is the only one of our kiddos who has colored on the walls (see this post for why), and the latest round was... thorough.

He tagged two pieces of furniture, two walls, a window, the floor, even one of the couch cushions.

A bit aggravating, but great use of color.

In his defense, he was more than willing to help clean up the mess. Mr M and I think it might be time to buy stock in magic erasers, which made short work of cleaning crayon off surfaces.

In other news, River has lost his unsupervised crayon privileges for a while. He left his crayons out where Ocean could reach them, and reach them he did.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Homemade Butter from Grass-fed Cows

my first pat of butter

A few months ago we started buying our milk from a local grass-fed dairy farm. It’s illegal in our state to sell raw milk, but it’s not illegal to drink raw milk from cows you own. Herdshares allow you to buy into a herd of cows, thereby giving you ownership. We pay a monthly fee towards the feed and board of our cow and receive a gallon of milk each week in return.

Since starting the herdshare I’ve experimented with making raw yogurt and have now experimented with making butter. When we lived in NY when I was in first grade we got milk straight from the tank at the dairy down the road. I remember mom had a butter churn paddle setup in a large jar (something like this, if I remember correctly, though I think mom's was larger). This one and this one look interesting, as well.

I thought about getting a butter churn, then I found this tutorial that uses a food processor. Since we have a food processor, I opted to give this method a try before investing in a butter churn. 

cream at the top, waiting to be made into fresh butter

a quart of cream poured off, with some still in the jug

Using the food processor is super easy and only takes a few minutes. I’ve been pouring off a quart of cream from each gallon and churning it in two batches in the food processor.

after churning, butter floating in the buttermilk  

buttermilk poured off into the jar, butter waiting to be washed

Washing all the buttermilk from the butter is the hardest part, but this last batch I used the food processor to wash the butter. After pouring off the buttermilk, I added cold water to the food processor, whizzed it around a bit, then poured off the water. I added cold water and repeated the process several times until the water was clear after whizzing the butter around. Easier than doing it by hand with a wooden spoon, but still the most time-consuming part of the process.

In any case, it’s easy to make butter when you're not churning it by hand for hours and hours :) And it’s fun to do something we’ve read about in the Little House books, just like maple sugaring and making maple candy, both of which are in mentioned in Little House in the Big Woods and which we’ve done as well.

my most recent pat of butter

Monday, April 9, 2018

Weekly Mileage

they still love their backpacks

Last week I managed a decent number of workouts- two days on my bike, a hike, and a walk around a local farm we visited. We went with our homeschool group, and the kiddos had a great time. River got to feed the goats.

Sunshine and I have agreed that we don't want to have a mama pig on the property (or a daddy pig, for that matter) when we have more acreage. We'll buy feeder pigs, fatten them up, then butcher them. Mama pigs are just too volatile. And they're huge. River (red hood) is standing next to the female pig below, and it was almost as tall as him. This pig doesn't currently have babies, but we got to see one that did, and she was very touchy.

We went on a walk around the farm and the small lake, and at one point we stopped and the farmer asked the kids to close their eyes, twirl around, and then point in the direction the wind was coming from. River was right on.

Isn't this the best treehouse tree ever?

We fed goats, said hi to the cute baby pigs, went for a walk, fed the chickens and turkeys, collected eggs, said hi to the baby chicks, and held the fuzzy bunnies. The kiddos also planted some seeds. It was a lot of fun! Ocean decided he'd rather steer the chair than plant seeds.

My Garmin only logged just over a mile because at some point it turned off. Just one of the things I don't like about this particular model: you can't lock the buttons to keep them from being accidentally pushed.

A lot of schools were on spring break last week, and the drive-in theater had a special Thursday night showing of Ready Player One and Lara Croft. They had different movies scheduled for Friday and Saturday, so we went Thursday. It was a late night, but we had fun. Though we realized that Ocean is in that awkward stage where theaters, even drive-ins, just aren't a great idea. River did pretty well, but Ocean struggled. We won't be taking him again to a theater of any sort for a year or two.

they play old commercials before the movie starts

Thursday was cool, 40s-50s, then Friday it was in the 70s. And then we had wet snow all afternoon on Saturday. Gotta love the schizophrenic spring we're having this year.

I'd planned on going for a run Saturday morning, but got distracted working on some projects, and it didn't happen. But my mileage total for the week is so much better than the week before that I'm not complaining. Now to have another good mileage week.

Weekly Mileage
Monday- 7.00 miles on the bike
Wednesday-  8.00 miles on the bike
Wednesday- 1.10 miles walked on the farm
Thursday- 1.21 miles hiked
    total- 17.31 miles

4 hikes towards #52hikechallenge
53.91 foot miles towards #365milechallenge
60.00 bike miles towards #365milechallenge

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday Funny

Ocean is our fearless little dude who is great at problem solving. Check out the video above and pay attention to how he positions his toes.