Monday, December 31, 2007

Send me your blog/etsy links

Hi Again!

If you are reading this blog and would like for me to post a link to your site, please email or comment to me your URL.


2:30 in the Morning

Nora is teething her top front four teeth in. Her upper gums are so red and sore, but luckily most of the teeth have broken through now at this point. But I am _so_ ready for this teething thing to be over with for a few more weeks.

Seriously, how do parents whose babies don't sleep through the night do it? I have been feeling like a zombie for the last week because she has been waking up sometimes 2-3 times a night!

I have such a hard time going back to sleep once I have been woken up. Perhaps is Nora did this all the time, I would learn to fall asleep faster- who knows?

All I know is that my baby who has slept through the night since she was a month old, is suddenly happy to be up and playing in the middle of the night. Tonight she woke up at 2:30am...It is now almost 3:30am. No sign of sleepiness again, yet. She will probably get sleepy about the time that I need to start getting ready for work.

In other News in the Alee and Nora world-

The laundry still isn't done. Well, more has been washed and dried, but none folded. I am having such a hard time just making my self get it done! This is silly! I need to just fold the gazillion load of laundry and then it would be over and done with- until the next load dried. But that load... Oh I know that I would fold it right away and put it in it's proper place...right? Hmm... It's a nice thought anyway.

But the kitchen was conquered last night. The dishes are done, the counter and stove wiped down and the microwave is cleaned out. Now all I need to do is clean the floor and that area of the house can be marked off the list for a little while.

Now as for the living room... There are a few things in here that I just have no other place to put them. We have a lovely stroller that goes with our carseat that I just don't know where else to put at the moment. And I have about 10 wire milk crates from an old dairy that are just sitting around. Hmm. I need to think of something to do with those- and soon. Then there are the 4 packages that I need to mail. Some to farmgirl sisters, and some to some boys who needed some extra help with Christmas this year (they get to have Christmas twice now!)

Doug and I talked a lot about our pending move last night. I am really excited to be getting closer to my family who I love very much. Doug is a little worried because I haven't gotten my degree yet, but I can continue my education in Montana. He is really excited to start his own store. I just pray that this economic depression/recession that we are in is over with by the time we get to Montana.

Hmm... maybe since Nora and I are up I should think about folding some laundry?

Oh and I hope you all like my blog! Thank you for all the kind comments so far!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

We have a Sock Theif in the House.

My husband wears my socks. And it drives me up the wall. It has gotten so bad that he has used up 20 pairs of my socks in the last 2 months.

Let me back up a minute. I am very particular about my socks. They have to fit (I wear a size 5-6 American women's). I like a nice snug sock with lots of cushion. I also like a sock that keeps it's shape through out the day. There is nothing worse than a limp, thin sock that gets all stretched out and floppy through out the day.

So I recently bought a package of white "No Nonsense" brand socks. They are fine- not perfect- but decent. It is the first package of socks that I have bought for myself in probably a year or more.

And what do I see? My husband stretching them over his big huge man feet! ARGH!!! NOOO!!! I can't wear them after that because it stretches the fabric out of shape and they become floppy even if they looked okay out of the dryer. *sigh*

So after he ruined most of the first package I bought a second package- and he started doing it again!!

So he is in the doghouse...or is that Sockhouse? tonight.

I need pink socks that he wouldn't dare wear! lol

How Clean is Your House?

I love this show on the BBC. Kim and Aggie are two cleaning Mavens who find the filthiest houses in the UK and help the owners clean them up. They are also huge champions of green cleaning, which you all know I love.

It is always interesting to me to see why people have let their houses get as bad as they have. Some people have not cleaned for over 20 years! Whenever I watch that show, it always inspires me to clean up my own house.

For my own cleaning arsenal here is what I use:

Cotton cloths (flannel) for Windows
Terry Cloth for scrubbing
Vinegar and water in a 1/4 ratio with a drop or two of "washing up liquid" (handwashing dish soap- biodegrable of course)
Homemade soap for scrubbing and germ killing
Baking Soda for scouring and odor elimination
I also rinse my floors with vinegar water- just a splish into the wash bucket is fine. It lets the vinyl shine very nicely.

As for furniture I just wipe it down with a damp cloth. For unfinished furniture I use a homemade furniture polish made of vitamin E oil, Olive Oil, Beeswax and lavender essential oil.

If you want to make my homemade furniture polish just blend in enough of the liquid oils to make the beeswax soft and spreadable. It also makes an ultra nourishing hand lotion/diaper rash cream!

Today I cleaned up the mess from the holiday presents. I will be the first to admit that I get a bit lazy around the holidays. Today is a day for catching up though, for tomorrow I rest and Monday I go back to work!

Friday, December 28, 2007

My Poor Baby Nora!

My poor baby Nora! She is having a wicked time with this most recent round of teething. She is not only getting her front two teeth in, but the ones next to them and possible the ones next to them! I can't quite tell because she hates it when I look into her mouth. I know for sure that she is getting four teeth in at once and possibly two more. One has cut through already and I am just waiting for the rest of them to hurry up and grow in.

It seems that once the teeth do cut through, they grow up pretty fast. Is that just me or is it like that for every kid? Or is it just that crawling/cruising babies who are into everything keep up so busy that time just flies by?

We returned the rental Jeep yesterday. I must say, it is weird to realize you prefer your 8 year old car to a brand new car. The Jeep Liberty is a nice enough car. I liked having power everything, the car key lock beeper thing, you could adjust the volume of the stereo from the steering wheel and so forth. I liked all those things. I especially liked the color and the fact that it was all nice and shiny. BUT... it has a weird center of gravity. I never felt like I could relax while I drove because it felt kind of "swishy" going around corners. It did not like ice. Maybe it was just too much power for me after my little Sunfire. Luckily, the Sunfire is getting it's new front end this morning and I should have it back by this afternoon.

Sure, the Sunfire might be old. The upolstery might be a little torn on the floor on the driver's side and it might have a few dents (okay a few big dents). But, it handles great in the snow and I have never gotten stuck while driving it. It has needed a few minor repairs, but over all it has taken one heck of a beating and kept on going! Here's to hoping it can make it for another few years.

I am definitely going to want a new car in the next couple of years, but I am going to be so picky. Driving the Jeep really has shown me a few things. For example- I will never buy a car in Spring, Summer, or Fall. I want a nice thick layer of snow, ice, slush and black ice on the roads when I am car shopping. That way I will know that the new car can handle it. Then as soon as I buy my car- the roads can clear up and the good weather can come back! :D

So back to Nora. We do cloth diapering as I think I already mentioned. When she was born she fit into the the "new born" diaper wraps for a long time and then we moved up to the next size. I'm not exactly sure how big they are supposed to fit, but I think we need to go buy the next size up. When I put her in the velcro ones and then sit her down, one side is popping open! So most of the time when she is just in her diaper- I will look down and realize she is only in her diaper and the diaper wrap is...somewhere...

Good thing we have a great Natural Living store here in town. It's called the "Natural Abode". I suppose if I didn't want to sew my own diapers I could buy theirs. They look nice, but there is something so nice about sewing your own diapers.

I think the thing I love the most about being a farmgirl is what I learn through my association with the ladies on the Farmgirl Forum. They inspire me to become a better me. And to learn more of the "lost" arts.

Before becoming a MJF (MaryJanesFarm) Farmgirl I hadn't ever really sewn before, I had never canned, and I honestly didn't think much about running up to Wal-Mart for every little thing. I must admit I was starting to get wrapped up in the "Keeping up with the Jone's" ratrace.

But I am now sewing my first quilt. I have been doing embroidery for several pillowcase swaps, I sew Nora's diapers, make my own soap, sell hand made items at the farmer's market, and I canned tomato sauce and homemade Spaghetti sauce this year. I also picked about 10 gallons of blackberries and made some wonderful blackberry pies.

I no longer run to big box stores for every little thing. I have found some great treasures at GoodWill. I feel so smart and happy when I find a perfectly good sweater or tea cup, and I know I am making those goods have a longer life instead of going to the land fill. And I save money. Also I have gotten some pretty nice designer clothes at goodwill for cheaper than I could buy a tee-shirt at Wal-Mart. Funny- Our GoodWill is right next to our Wal-Mart too!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

As I went to bed last night I knew it was snowing. Our bedroom was filled with a soft glow of light from outside which only happens when it is foggy or snowing out. Something about the water particulates in the air must reflect the ambient light back up and into the bedroom. It probably doesn't help that I have 4 strings of lights wrapped around railing of the stairs outside! What can I say- I love Christmas lights.

I remember as a child one of our family's Christmas traditions was to drive around the town to see all the fantastically decorated houses. We would listen to Christmas carols and sing along when we knew the words. Probably off-key. But it was lots of fun and it always seemed so magical!

This was of course before the time of huge inflatable snow globes in the front yard and most people didn't have animatronic decorations. But seeing all the houses lit up and glittering- It made Christmas be the best time of the year! I can't wait until we have our own house and we can really get into the Christmas spirit. It is hard to decorate for the holidays when you live in an apartment that doesn't let you put new holes in the wall or use the sticky stuff that holds things up. And it is especially hard to hang lights to the roof when you don't own a ladder. So our outside lights consist of a few strands wound around the railing of our stairs and some hanging around the door. I also wrapped the front door in wrapping paper and put some bows on it as well.

Anyway- Back to the snow. The world was beautiful this morning. Nice and fresh and whitewashed. Nora loves the snow. She thinks it is some pretty amazing stuff. We had to drive pretty carefully to work, but we made it safe and sound.

I love playing in the snow. There isn't anything like snow to make adults act like kids again! I remember building snow men and trying to build snow forts as a child. More recently I tried to build a little snow shelter for my dog.

Sky-dog loves the snow. She runs out and buries her head in it. She runs around with her face down in the snow like a doggie snow plow. She will get a load on her nose, toss it in the air and then try to catch it. She runs around like a maniac and tries to get us to throw snow balls at her. She is so much fun. Funny though, she didn't like the snow shelter I made for her a few years ago.

Doug and I had a nice relaxing holiday. He made chocolate chip cookies and for dinner he cooked a fabulous Prime Rib and we had a glass or two of red wine. Nora had some prime rib and mashed potatoes before going to bed.

Right now Northern Idaho is under a snow advisory. We are supposed to get another 2-3 inches of accumulated snow this morning. It looks like we have a chance of snow everyday this week until next Monday! Wow! I hope this moisture will help the farmers and I hope this storm continues on to Wyoming and drops tons of moisture in the mountains. They really need a good snow pack to feed the lakes and streams all summer and fall.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Interesting Happening in the Nation

I am not sure how far this movement will go for the Lakota people, and I am not quite sure how I feel about land borders changing. Here is a link to a press release:

Supposing that this does happen for the Lakota nation- I wonder what happens to the people who have been living on land for decades- even centuries- but who don't want to renounce US Citizenship. Do they get to stay but pay taxes to Lakota? Do they have to move?

It is interesting considering that this must be how the Native Americans must have felt when their land was being taken away. Let me know what you think about this!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!
I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas day today. Today is the day where all that hustle and bustle over the last few weeks finally comes to a peak- and now we will be able to glide through January with the next bit of excitement being Valentines Day. Okay, so New Year's might give us a bit more excitement, but I am ready for some quiet days- how about you?
This year, my husband and I are doing a minimalist Christmas out of necessity and I am realizing that I kind of like it anyway. Sure, I adore opening presents. Yup! Presents are lots of fun! But without the stress of trying to find that "perfect" gift for the guy that has everything...well, my December was much nicer for it!
Nora and I went out to the ranch yesterday. ( We got to play with the horses a little bit. Sweet Talla decided she likes Nora. It is always interesting to see the horse's reaction to a baby. Of course, I have to keep a close eye on their behavior and keep a good personal bubble around Nora because I don't want a loving horse to accidentally bump her to hard, or a curious weanling to think she smells good enough to nibble on.
Actually, the horses at the Ranch are very well trained. None of the adult horses would even dream of putting their mouths on you and even the weanlings are very good about it. But it is always good to stay alert and aware when you are handling animals that outweigh you by about 875 pounds!
Nora and I also helped make some Christmas cookies yesterday. They are called Candy Cane cookies. Oh Yum! White cookie dough and pink cookie dough are rolled into ropes and then twined together to look like candy canes. Then they are frosted with a peppermint frosting. Yum! I could probably eat...oh I don't know... at least 100? :D
After we played with horses and dogs, and made Christmas cookies, we went to another friend's house and had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner of Tamales. Very yummy. Then we exchanged a few lovely gifts. I would have loved to have stayed longer, but Nora started to fuss a lot so we decided it was time to head home.

Oh! I forgot to mention! On the way to the Christmas Eve party I slowed down and stopped the car because I saw a large shape next to the road. When my headlight hit it, we realized that it was a beautiful bull Elk! He jumped the fence he was standing by and then we saw a second bull and about three cows running across a pasture. Such a beautiful sight to see!
Today we are going to bake cookies as a family, and have a really nice Christmas dinner. I am going to make a tie blanket for the family so there will be a family present under the tree, and of course Nora has a present to open.
Luzy from the MaryJanesFarm chat Forum is a wonderful doll maker. I asked her to make Nora a traditional looking Raggety Ann doll. She did a fantastic job! I will take pictures as Nora is opening her present!
So have a wonderfully Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Favorite Websites

I thought I might share a few of my favorite websites with you. (If you haven't heard of the farmgirl movement or seen MaryJane's Products you are in for a treat!) (I go here to connect with all my farmgirl friends) (Home to amazing Straight Egyptian Arabians and where I get to go play occasionally!) (Great recipes and tips to live frugally) (Frugal living site) (A good reference for green Cleaning) (Reference to calculate lye for soap making) (Divine Butter Cookies) (Amazing Carrot Cake) (Cream Puffs! Yum!!) (Husband and Me, Spring 2001- Prom! LOL) (Child's tatted booties pattern)

Happy Christmas Eve!

There's my adorable Farmerette Nora sitting infront of a toasty warm fire a few days ago. She is getting be such a big girl! Can you believe she is officially nine months old now? I know I can't! When I pick her up, she is a heftly 20 pounds, a far cry from the miniscule 5.5 pound baby that she was when she was born.

Let's see... some of the changes she has gone through: She crawls, pulls herself up and cruises along furniture, she practices "talking", she has two bottom teeth and has two top teeth just coming in as I type. Sometimes I forget how little she was when she was born, and then I will come across one of her recieving blankets and I will remember how they were the perfect size (or even too big!) and now they are more snuggle blankets for her!

She still nurses, though she loves to each our food. One of her favorite foods is Grilled Cheese sandwiches. She also loves meat and fruits and veggies, though the fresher the veg, the better. I don't blame the least on that! She really doesn't like baby food.

You know what she really loves? MaryJane's Outrageous Outback Oatmeal. It has currants and SunFlower seeds in it. But babies don't digest currants and sunflower seeds all that well. Yeah....I didn't know that. Sometimes you can get a little too much information about your baby's digestive system when you change a diaper! LOL

Speaking of diapers, we still do cloth diapering. I was once the woman who proudly declared that she would always be the "Fun" Aunt and never wanted to have kids of her own. One of the main reasons? Diapers. Diapers are really not my favorite thing. That is until I started doing Cloth. I make my own which is it's own joy in of itself. I love going down to the fabric store and picking out the cutest flannels for her bum. Okay- so I know pure white would be best because it absorbs more- but who can resist flannel with sleepy elephants on it? Or teddy bears in pajammas that are sleeping on the moon? So cute!

We do flat fold diapers, though I did make some contoured ones. Making contoured diapers for a 5.5lb baby is just not worth it. Now that she is bigger though- I might try it again. The flat folds are really nice though, because I have only had to make two sizes- a 22 inch square that lasted until about 6-7 months old and now I am doing a 30 inch square. The best part of using cloth, though isn't just the monetary savings (which save us hundreds of dollars a month) or the evironment savings (disposable diapers are toxic to produce and take over 500 years to biodegrade) but the best part is that our house doesn't smell like stinky diapers. Since I wash diapers once a day, they never sit around long enough to get funky. We have never had to bother with a Diaper Genie or even special diaper pails. We even travel with them! We travel to Wyoming by car and plane a few times a year and even on the plane we used cloth diapers.

We went to Spokane yesterday to visit some Farmgirl friends. I got to meet Audrina (Farmgirlwannabe) and her lovely mother. I also got to spend time with Teresa (Lavenderfields Dreamer) and her mom Carol Sue (Carol Sue). Sky-dog came with and had fun exploring the house and cleaning up the crumbs that Nora dropped everywhere.

On the ride up, I knew Nora was going to get hungry so I thought up a (I think) rather clever rig. I had a container of milk for Nora to drink and a long skinny length of plastic tubing. So she in effect has a really long straw. So I set the container of milk in the cup holder by me and she got the end of the straw. It worked perfectly! Yay! Next time I am going to get a clothespin or some thing to clip the straw down though. She did pull it out and fling milk everywhere once or twice! LOL

We will probably head out to the horse ranch today ( You have got to see these horses! They are so beautiful! This is the one I want to someday own. Her name is Talla. In this picture is was about 3 months old and now is about 9 months. Nora and Talla were born just a couple weeks apart! She should stay this beautiful bay color and I love the white markings on her face. She has the sweetest temperment and literally floats when she moves. She is so graceful! I will have to see if I can get permission to upload a video of her for you!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My First Posting

Hello All!

Many of you might know me from (

I guess to start of my new blog, I should let you know a little about myself.

I was born in a small town in Wyoming where I had a wonderful childhood in a loving family. I have 3 older sisters who I count as some of my best and closest friends (now that we are all adults) and two wonderful parents.

I was very much the tomboy when I was younger. I hated dresses, my knees were constantly skinned, and I loved roaming around half wild more than anything.

I have always loved the outdoors. I have a natural affinity with most animals and have always dreamed of somehow incorporating something to do with animals to finishe the sentence "When I grow up I want to . . ."

I "helped" my dad and grandfather build our smallish log cabin as I grew up. I remember lots of weekends ending with coffee and cherry pie at a local restraunt. It was lots of fun. Usually my "helping" was really me roaming the woods. I learned to read deer tracks and entertain myself with a (if I may say so) fantastic imagination.

Once I learned to write- no piece of paper was sacred. I love to write down stories, poetry, draw or paint. My mom is a wonderful artist in just about every medium possible. I someday home to be able to come close to some of her skills in the artistry department.

Currently, I live in the Pacific Northwest. I am hoping to move closer to my hometown soon, though. We moved out here for college (my husband and I). But we are finding that our hearts want us to be closer to our family.

We had a wonderful thing happen to us this year. Our daughter entered our lives and has changed everything for us. She is a constant joy and source of great entertainment.

So on this blog, you will probably find me posting a lot about those things that are important to me. Watch for posts on how to be frugal, practical natural mothering, gardening, organic and responsible living/eating, crafting, and farmily adventures. Please post comments and suggestions for future posts! I always love feedback!

I will probably host give-aways and drawing occasionally, and with an pending move I will probably be downsizing! Stay Tuned....

With love...

Farmgirl Alee

My Beautiful Nora Girl

Nora's Musings