Cloth in the Home update

My post Cloth in the Home  was a popular one around here, so I thought I’d give you an update, as it’s been 2 1/2 years! Back then we were two adults and a just about 2 year old in cloth diapers. Now our family consists of a potty trained 4 year old who likes to makes messes, a 10 month old in cloth diapers who, surprise, likes to make messes right along with his brother, as well as Marius and I. I am thankful for our washing machine. I have no desire to wash by hand! I hang what I can when it’s warm weather, and until April we lived in a place that didn’t have a dryer. We had a woodstove and an indoor clothesline that worked just dandy though!

Cloth Diapers

During the day, we’re still using the same cloth diaper ‘prefolds’ that my Grandma made us for Mac. Thats such a blessing! Hamish is a much heavier wetter than Mac was and we had to double them up by just a few months old versus Mac’s 6 months old for the same thing. They’re a terrific basic flannel diaper thats easy to use and wash.

cloth diaper

At night, we have hemp/cotton terry ‘flats’ that my sister sewed for her baby. We’ll be sewing some for Gingersnap’s  baby due in December, so maybe we’ll do a little tutorial seeing as they’re the easiest ones ever! They’re super absorbant which makes them suitable for night! With Mac, we didn’t have anything like this and honestly just used a disposable at night when he got past one. It worked for us then, but I’m glad to be using a cloth at night now.

Diaper Covers…we used to use thirsties duo wraps exclusively, but we found with Hamish they just weren’t cutting the mustard anymore. They were terrific no leak covers for Mac, but even with proper washing and hang to dry care they didn’t hold up as long as I thought. We invested in 6 Best Bottoms one size covers that are fabulous. Double layer PUL and snaps. I’m hoping I’ll never have to buy diaper covers again! Price wise, per cover they are pricier, BUT! A cover that you have to buy 3-4 sizes of costs you $10 each. A cover that you buy 2 sizes of costs you $15. These you buy ONE size of and they shipped to us for $19. So in truth they’re cheaper.

So sturdy.

IMG_6266

Dishtowels/cloths

Yup, still using the same ones from last time. I don’t know what I’d do without a big stash of dish towels and cloths! We use some of the rattier clothes for rags now.

dish towel

Draining Bacon

Last time, I said that paper towel for bacon was my exception. I didn’t have any one time, my friend Adrianne was over, and she told me that her family uses newspaper. So! Now we just save a newspaper for draining bacon. (I mean, I don’t save it and re use it, I just make sure there is one around in case the need to have bacon arises. I’m not joking, it is a need.)

Laundry Detergent

Well, we make our own now! We being loose, considering I make it and wash all the laundry…but you get what I mean. We were using Rockin’ Green, which is still terrific, but outside my budget. It’s much cheaper to make my own. I had a couple people voice about concerns about it not being a storebought, HE friendly one, specifically low sudsing one. Here’s my take on it; if you use Dr. Bronners bar, or an eco-soap flakes, this will be super low sudsing. If you use another brand of soap thats more conventional? I can’t promise you anything. So in my experience, with what I use, in my washer, I have no troubles.

So tell me! Do you use cloth alternatives to disposable products in your home? I know we’re not ‘hard core’ but we do what we can!

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Season your Cast Iron Barbeque

Popping in quick to show you how I seasoned my Grandma’s Cast Iron barbeque that we use all the time! I noticed it was sticking bad and it drove me nutso. I don’t want my fish/venison/chicken sticking!

I had this *Iightbuuuulb* moment where I realized that I could season it just like I season my cast iron frying pans!

Yesssss!

When your barbeque is cold, use your barbeque brush to scrape off all the stuck on bits.

Then, using your fingers, smear lard or tallow (the only fat I have experience with doing this. It works great!) onto the grill. You can render your own lard or tallow using the same process as lard.

Then, turn on the barbeque and you’ll want it to be at about 300 degrees. It will take a bit of playing to figure out where that is. Next, leave it on for an hour. Then, without opening the lid, turn off the barbeque (and your propane tank!).

Shazzam! That fish won’t stick now. I was so impressed with how well this worked. Unfortunately I’m going to have to do it again soon as it has been treated badly since, as well as never having been seasoned before. This made a drastic improvement though and was easy to do! I forgot to take an after photo…so you’ll have to be happy with the smeared on tallow picture before!

Enjoy and let me konw how it goes for you!

bbq

Got Fruit Flies? Lets get rid of them!

I have a confession:

I had fruit flies in my kitchen for a week before I decided to do anything about them. If I just ignore them they don’t bother me. But once I decide to get rid of them? Bring it on.

Mac said: “Mom, do fruit flies like jam?” “Yes they do Mac.” “They why aren’t they called jam flies?”

Touche Mac.

fruit fly trapIt’s pretty dang simple.

You start with a small ramekin, prep bowl, 1/2 pint or 1/4 pint jar.

In the bottom you put a couple tablespoons of old wine, vinegar, juice or maybe even fruit. It needs to attract them. This was some raspberry infused vinegar I made last year. It’s not my favourite, but the fruit flies seem to adore it so it’s a good use for it.

Stretch tight a small piece of saran wrap over the top. (I actually didn’t have any! When I ran out last I decided not to buy anymore. My Grandma gave me her roll to take a small piece off of!)

Using a small pokey thing such as toothpick, kabob stick or instant read thermometer (I used the latter) poke small holes for them to go in.

Thats in! Put it in a high traffic for fruit flies area. Open up the top, wash it out and replace your ‘bait’ every few days.

 

Other fruit fly removal/management tips include:

Vacuum them out of the air (for when your husband leaves breeding grounds of of banana peels and watermelon rinds on the counter overnight)

They apparently like to live in the drain. So leave the drain closed and pour bleach down the drain once or twice a day.

Make sure you don’t leave any fruit on the counter at all! Even fruit fly covers only work to a certain extent.

Wash off fruit as it comes into your house.

 

Now go forth and get those darn flies!

 

3 ingredient Laundry Detergent

Q: Whats more fun than saving money, with very little time output, on something you need to buy anyways?

A: NOTHING. Thats what.

I knew I should be making my own laundry detergent, but I just never did. Why did I not? Did I feel like I needed to spend more money or something? Sheesh. Get on this band wagon already!

We use this on: cotton flanelette cloth diapers, nice clothes, manure or blood covered clothes. (Note: If there is LOTS of blood, soak/scrub with an enzyme eater first). We use it for everything. J’adore. Maybe one day I’ll try soap nuts, it is on my to try list, but for now I’ve got boxes of borax, washing soda and soap flakes, so I’ll keep on keepin’ on.

Please note that Borax is NOT boric acid, so don’t get your panties in a wad.

laundry detergent

Laundry Detergent:

1 large bar of soap such as Dr. Bronners, homemade soap or Fels Naptha (latter not available in Canada) OR 1 cup soap flakes (I have a box my sister gave me that she got at a health food store)

1 c washing soda (NOT baking soda, BUT if you have loads of baking soda, you can make your own washing soda from it.

1 c borax

Grate the soap. Mix all three together. You’re done. Now use 1 tbsp per load. Good in cold or hot water, front load or top load machines.

This is how I wash my diapers: They all pile up in a bucket with NO water. When it’s full, I dump them in the washing machine and they go on a warm or hot rinse then spin. I have a very large washing machine, so while they’re doing that, I fill up the diaper bucket with the babies clothes that are in the regular laundry hamper. When the rinse is done, I top the machine up with the clothes, and then put it on a heavy warm wash with an extra rinse and spin. They then get hung or chucked in the dryer if I’m feeling Lay-zee. We didn’t have a dryer for the first 5 months of Hamish’ life. Those suckers all got hung!

Bathroom Update!

So the incubator is gone now. I bleached the bathroom with a enviro friendly hydrogen peroxide bleach.

 

Uhhhm *cough cough* WARNING: When using hydrogen peroxide bleach, beware of open cut on end of your finger?

 

Okay, we’re good now? Yup, okay, you’re not going to do what I do and end up with the end of your finger fizzing?

 

So I washed the floor, the counters, the bathtub, the sink the toilet. It felt really good.

 

Incubator OUT—-Cleanliness IN!

 

Except now we’ve got this issue again, but with the dehydrator! In a period of two days I got given a whole lot of green onions and parsley from a green-thumbed 75+ swiss neighbour and cases of mango went on sale. Being the crazy lady I am I bought 3 cases, aka 36 mangos. Also there is a case of mangos in my Mom’s cool room that she’ll probably forget about and I’ll end up dealing with!

So while it’s totally fantastic because Cowboy loves dried mango and this is sulphite and sugar free, my bathroom is yet again taken over. And he eats most of it the second it comes out of the dehydrator. So does Emilie. It’s a little ridiculous.

 

P.S. It’s totally fantastic also, how in the picture you can see me wearing black and it looks like I’m wearing a cute dress or outfit of somesort.

(Sporting a lovely Slegg lumber work shirt of Cowboy’s and his uber comfy bamboo boxers. I just got up, give me a break here.)

 

So I just thought I needed to point this all out, how I am my own worst nightmare.

(trays waiting to have more mango on them)

 

Just a second, I’ll be right back, my 2 year old thinks he needs a tampon in.

So I only have 8 mangos left to do

But all’s well in our house and I’m slowly working away at it.

 

In also good news, our washing machine is working again! Yaaay! I’ve been using our landlords while they are away. Our dryer also isn’t working which sucks, but there is a laundry line.

 

Alls well Charlie Brown!

 

xoxo Kate

I (heart) lists.

Crazy mad love them. I make them for everything.

I’ve found that with Mommy brain, if it doesn’t get written down, it doesn’t get done. What do I have right now for lists?

Wednesday List

-Put away dishes

-wash dishes

-organize Mac’s bookshelf

-organize my bookshelf

-hang up wet fleece laundry

-put a load of rags on

-smoothie for lunch

-sweep living room

-make mashed potatoes

-make shepards pie

See how I put things like eat lunch on there? Yes it’s a no brainer, but I’ll also get going on something and forget to until later! Having it written down makes me do it sooner. I also add things during the day. Today is a really light list as I’m out for half of the day helping our friends, J+A with a couple farm chores.

To do in Town List

-Mail cheque to Jamie

-Bring blue Kiddie Pool to A.

-J+A’s @ 12.

-Foxglove (Farm and Garden Store) January King Cabbage, Perpetual Spinach and insoles for boots

-Empty wine bottles to Mom’s

-Grab diaper bucket and bottle liners from Moms

The last list I’m going to share with you? The one that makes the week easier? My loosely followed meal plan.

April 25- May 1 Meal plan

Monday 25

Lunch-Sandwiches

Dinner- French Toast w/ whipping cream and blackberry sauce

Thaw chili for tomorrow

Tuesday 26

Lunch- Smoothie

Dinner- Chili

Wednesday 27

Lunch- smoothie

Dinner- Sheperds Pie (Make extra mashed potatoes for Friday

Thursday 28

Lunch- smoothie (Why all the smoothies? I made a batch of yogurt that’s a little botched because I don’t like the texture but works great in smoothies, must use up 4 quarts of it!)

Dinner- Out at ECEBC dinner.

Friday 29

Lunch- smoothie (also, I have tons of frozen fruit from last summer)

Dinner- Salmon with mashed potato pancakes

Saturday 30

Lunch- Chicken Soup

Dinner- Pizza

Sunday 1

Lunch- Chicken Soup

Dinner- Mom’s for Fire/Meat Roast.

I also have a list of things I need to make ahead and freeze for Cowboy to bring to school with him next week for dinners and snacks. It’s his last week! Yahoo!

Batch Cooking/Baking

Pizzax3 (use up fresh mozza, feta and spinach)

Clam chowder (bring some to Poppa and Stepdad) (None of the woman in my family like clam chowder, only Cowboy, Stepdad and my Mom’s Dad, Poppa!)

Muffins

Chicken Soup (Chicken Carcass in freezer)

Egg Noodles (Want to try making a bunch and drying them)

At the beginning of the week I leave a few blank, because things come up, like just today my Mom brought up the fire/meat roast, so I just penciled it in. I also managed to get the pizzas made last night, so we’ll have one on Saturday for dinner.

So spill…do you make lists? What’s on your lists? Do you meal plan? I do it more because all of our meat is in the freezer that I need to plan ahead to what we’re eating. When I don’t manage to do that and I realize that it’s pretty much dinner time? That’s what we have tons of venison sausage for! Turn on the oven, unwrap sausages, pry them apart with a butter knife and they’re done in 35-40 minutes. Dinner! Well, plus veg and starch/carb.

Scary.

This is our couch. It’s been in this same place for about 3 months. Since we moved in.

I haven’t cleaned underneath of it. I sweep everyday, but everytime I went by the couch, I was scared! Finally I bit the bullet and pulled it out.

AHH! The real reason I finally pulled it out?

Oh cellphone, there you are. You died and I couldn’t call you to find you! Silly Macky hiding my phone.

Oh what else do we have here?

Oh Baby Beluga! I’ve been wondering where you were!

Balls? I thought we had *cough* lost them all. Turns out Cowboy didn’t get rid of them, Mac hid them!

Oh yes, that annoying cow that moo’s and his nostrils light up blue. Not to be confused with his monkey friend who’s eyes light up.

Let’s just leave it at that before I scare you anymore.