As a kid I hated oatmeal. My mom always cooked it to death. By the time I got a bowl, it was mush. A sticky, gloppy bowl of flavorless mush. Now, I love oatmeal and my kids love oatmeal. There are a few simple super easy tricks to cooking good oatmeal. Using these tricks allows you to add a super nutritious, super cheap, and super easy breakfast to your repertoire. First start with whole oats, not the instant stuff. Then in a pot put water, a pat or two of butter and a bit of salt. How much exactly will depend on how much oatmeal you are making. Bring this to a boil and then add your oats. Cook for about two minutes. You want to cook the oats long enough that they are soft, but not so much that you have a mushy gloopy mess. Remove from heat and serve. We like to add fruit, maple syrup, raw honey, or brown sugar to ours. The great thing is that the additions make it different each time. If I am adding hard fruit like pears or apples I will either used some already canned or chop the fresh ones up and cook in the oatmeal water with the oatmeal to soften them a bit. They are also great for adding some flavor and sweet to the oatmeal. A bowl of oatmeal combined with a boiled egg is one of our favorite breakfasts. Blessings, Kat
Whisper Wind Country Store
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I admit it, I wear skirts most of the time. I own very few pairs of pants and rarely wear them. However, yesterday I was going to town and have a really cute pair of khaki pants that I thought would look nice with a sweater that I was going to wear. It was something different to change things up a bit. I was miserable all day and I am always miserable when I wear pants/jeans. In fact, last year when I did a major cleaning out of my clothes I got rid of all but 2 pairs of jeans that I kept for cold weather work on the farm. That wind can be brutal whipping up under skirts in 20 degree weather! I see women wear pants all the time and they don't look miserable, or are they? Do they just hide their misery in the name of beauty? Or are they truly comfortable wearing those jeans/pants? And then I feel really sorry for those poor souls who wear jeans that are about 3 sizes too small for them...truly they cannot be comfortable. I am not comfortable in pants that fit appropriately. And no pants ever seem to be flattering on me...no matter how appropriately fitted they are. I think I just need to make some more skirts and make some pantaloons for cold weather and ditch the pants thing altogether. No since in being miserable. Am I the only weirdo out there who can't stand wearing pants?! Just my little rant for the day! Blessings, Kat
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
As usual, money is tight for Christmas. We have never been those kind of people who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on Christmas anyway. This year I am making most of the children's presents, so I thought I would post the list of what I am planning on making in case it gives any of you ideas. I will also try to post tutorials as I make these things or at least pictures of what has been made.
Petunia (age 15)
2 pairs of earrings
1 pair of pajamas
hanging jewelry organizer
Photo/scrap book of our trip to Maine
Katie (age 6)
1 pair of pajamas
1 pair of legwarmers
Photo/Scrap book of our trip to Maine
So far this is the list. I might come up with some other things while I am working. I will update this as I go. Blessings, Kat
Friday, November 15, 2013
We all know that oatmeal is one of the healthier grains that we can eat. However, many people don't like oatmeal and my kids were some of the those people until I learned just a couple small tricks to cooking it. So here are my tips for yummy oatmeal that your kids will ask to have for breakfast. First, put some salt and butter in the water. Once boiling add the oatmeal (not instant) and then keep an eye on it. You want the oats soft but don't cook until it is mushy. Then serve with a dollop of raw honey or maple syrup, not sugar, and some fresh fruit on top. My kids gobble this up in the mornings and they are pretty picky eaters. Have a great day, Kat
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Well, I have now used both to help keep the drafts out of the house when the cold wind blows. Most years we have put bubble wrap on the windows themselves to add a layer of insulation. On the north side of the house we always put up window quitls as well, but we still would feel drafts. This year I made window quilts for all the windows and I must say the drafts are much much less noticeable. The house is staying much warmer. So, in my opinion the window quilts work better than bubble wrap on the windows. Yesterday, the wind was blowing pretty hard and we could actually watch the quilts move as the wind gusted outside. However, we didn't feel the draft and have stayed nice and cozy in the house. The one drawback is that they block so much light. I used light colored quilts on the south side of the house and some light does shine through. We can also open them to let in light during the day and solar heat from the sunshine. The house is also staying warmer at night with all the quilts drawn. So my vote is that window quilts keep the heat in much better and the cold out than bubble wrap. Blessings, Kat
Monday, November 11, 2013
I apologize to all you good folks out there for just dropping off the planet for a bit. I have been re-arranging my life and then my mom got sick and this past month has been a little taxing to say the least. I haven't forgotten about you all, I just really needed a break and to re-assess how things were going for our family. We had been in the rut of always having projects to be finished and work to be done that I felt as if that was all that I did. So, I took a step back and have done some major changing around here. Life has a much more pleasant routine these days I must say. Major projects are finished. Now it is just a matter of some daily routines to keep the farm running smoothly without major daily input. Same thing with the house, daily routines so no getting behind. I am doing some sewing again and schoolwork is going much more smoothly. One of the major things that we had to review was how much time I spent on the road running my oldest here and there. It is a major part of the day to go to town and so we had to sit her down and set a limit on all that running around. We couldn't keep jumping in the car every single time a friend called. Sometimes they need to come out here rather than us running to them. So, I am really pleased with how things are coming together. I don't feel so stressed about getting it all done and my days go much more smoothly. I have some time for myself which is nice. I am back to working on my book and have written a few articles which will be sent off soon. Like I said I have been sewing again, mostly on my clothes. That is another area that I was getting very frustrated with. I have a very hard time finding clothes that fit me properly and frankly it had gotten to the point where I was feeling very dowdy and not me with my wardrobe. So, I am redoing my wardrobe to reflect my personality and to actually fit me properly. I am really excited about it. It is like going on a shopping spree without spending any money. I just pull clothes out of my closet and am making them into something completely different that fits my personality and my figure. My husband thinks that I am going through a mid-life crisis and he might be right. I have decided that all outside chores are done early in the morning and then I shower, dress, do my hair and...wait for it....put on make-up! So that I look presentable when he comes home. I think all of this is really his fault as I was working on a cross-stitch one day in a particular dress that is styled in a 1940s era style (I like vintage things) and he told me that I looked like his grandmother sitting there with her knitting. I guess I really did, but that is not what I want to portray. Anyway, I know vanity...one of the seven deadly sins. However, I don't want my husband thinking of his grandmother when he looks at me. Not that I want to be that middle age woman trying to hang onto her 20s either. I just want to look nice and look my age (ok maybe not completely...the wrinkles could go) and look like ME. Anyway, life is good again and I have some time to have fun and do things for myself. I needed that. I am so many things to so many people that somewhere along the way "I" had gotten lost and forgotten about. And the problem with that is that we change. Who I am now is not who I was 20 years ago. Me, myself and I have changed over the years as life has molded and shaped us. I will continue to change and who I am now will not be who I am in another 20 years. My likes and dislikes change, things that I feel are important change, LIFE changes and along the way it shapes and molds and modifies us along the way. Anyway, I am finding time to be creative again and that has me feeling very alive and excited. I never really realized how much I missed it. My studio is cleaned up and organized (it took 3 weeks to get that done)and I can go in there and work for a couple of hours and feel good....really good. So now, even with all the many hats that I wear to so many people I have reconnected with myself and that is fantastic.
I am still struggling a bit with my thyroid and adrenal issues and it doesn't help that I got off track as far as food goes. However, I am getting back on track with no wheat and am beginning to feel better. The joint and muscle pain are diminishing again and I am not stiff and sore all the time with swollen joints. I just take this one day at a time and do what I can to better my health.
I decided to shut down the garden for the winter. I spend a little bit of time each morning in the garden getting it ready for spring. By spending 30 minutes or an hour every day then I will be ready and there will be no major crunch to get it done so that I can plant. I have also decide that some of the area that I used to plant will be turned into a berry patch and I will no longer be doing a CSA so I don't need that space to grow veggies. I am planting the berries in large barrels because there is the chance that we might move and I want to be able to take them with me. We realized that most of our chickens were well on in years and that is why we have had so few eggs this year. Now, we have none as they have completely shut down. So we butchered several of the oldest hens along with the spring roosters that hatched. We will be replacing those hens soon with some pullets. The goats are doing fine. We have one last goat in milk and she isn't producing much at this point. She has been in production for 16 months now so I am surprised she is still producing anything. We have 2 that are going in the freezer this week and our buck might go in the freezer in another month or two. That will be hard for me as he is such a sweet boy and we have raised him since he was 8 weeks old. However, he hasn't been that great at getting the girls pregnant and I just can't keep extra mouths to feed. The rabbits are doing ok. The second colony is busy having babies, but the first colony is in limbo. It was the colony that got hit with coccidiosis and I lost several does, my buck and most of the babies. I do have a new buck and some replacement does in there now, but nothing is going on. It is getting frustrating. The two horses are doing good, Thunder actually is doing well on our current feed program and keeping some weight on. He is going into winter looking pretty good for such an old guy. We are still splitting all the wood from these trees that came down this last year so we are well set for firewood for a good couple of years. We probably will be splitting for the rest of the winter. We just keep it steady and don't try to overdo ourselves. I don't mind splitting some wood by hand a little at a time because it does help keep my muscles in shape.
Anyway, I guess that is about it for now. Have a great day and again I am sorry for being gone so long, but I really needed the break. Blessings from the farm, Kat
Friday, September 20, 2013
Wow, things have been a bit busy around here lately. School is officially in session although for us it is never fully "out" of session. The little one is doing well with her reading lessons and the older one is busy with high school, getting ready to take the ACT and thinking about life after high school. We are gearing up for the fair and trying to finish those fair entries that haven't been finished. The little one is working with her bunny for the rabbit show and both girls have decided that they will be showing goats next year. Not really sure how I feel about that since I maintain a closed herd and that blows that out of the water. I guess I will just have to get over it. We are anxiously looking forward to some rain this weekend as it has been really dry lately. It has been a crazy summer as far as the weather goes. Cooler than normal with rain everyday for weeks and then hot and dry with no rain for weeks. Fall is definitely setting in though and I am closing up the majority of the garden while working on getting the winter garden planted. Since I have decided to downsize the garden to fit just our needs I have the berry patches ready to plant in the spring and am getting the orchard area ready to plant. Sweet potatoes will be ready to harvest soon also and that will wrap up the summer harvest. This week has been busy putting up pears. I put up 36 quarts and 10 pints so far and the trees are still loaded with pears. I think I will be making some fruit leathers this weekend for the children. I took my Mom to a great little candy shop the other day just for a fun little outing. You can also get ice cream there and sit on the nice wide front porch. We had fun and brought home some fudge which everyone is enjoying. I am trying to get her out of the house more and take her to some places she wouldn't normally go. She can't travel far from home because of her pain issues so it can be a challenge coming up with places to go. I have been cleaning out and organizing the house to prepare for a relatively easy housekeeping winter. It will be enough of a chore keeping the fires going in the woodstoves and keeping that area clean without having to deal with extra "clutter". We almost have the run on the chicken coop finished so by next week we should be able to lock up the chickens permanently so that we can figure out who is laying and who isn't (most of them). That way we can determine who goes to the freezer and who doesn't. Right now we are getting very few eggs and it is a pain and an inconvenience not having eggs for breakfast. I admit it I am an egg addict. So that is really just about it for right now. Really not much going on other than getting ready for winter and trying to take some time to do things that I enjoy.Hope you are all having a blessed fall. Kat