Tag: family

our sweet sunshine turned 8 today!

our sweet sunshine turned 8 today!


happy birthday to our girl! we had a fun day with some family parties to attend. we spent our driving and down time reading a great new book that she received from one of her friends at her birthday party yesterday.

tomorrow i will fill you in on the great harry potter birthday party that we had yesterday. hope that you are enjoying your lovely summer saturday evening.

Tags: books, family
more summer to come

more summer to come

here are some more photos of what we have done this spring that we hope will carry over into summer.

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{this moment}

{this moment}

{this moment}
5-28-2010 iphone 109
a photo~an extraordinary moment~no words~pause~savor~remember...

another thoughtful idea from soulemama

getting the lead out of your home safely

getting the lead out of your home safely

i love all these photos that i see on so many blogs and in magazines with the beautiful distressed paint on old or old looking furniture but it makes me very concerned. i'm all about saving the old but want to make sure that it is done safely. i worry so much about kids and adults being around potential chipping and dusting lead paint. lead poisoning is too common and very scary.

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if you live in a house built before 1978 or purchase painted furniture that you believe has been painted before 1978 you should assume that it has lead paint and take these precautions.

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first try to find someone to come and test your house for lead paint. It costs a few hundred dollars but it's so worth the money. the man that came to our house did swab testing and sent the dust samples to a lab. he also took some paint chips and also sent them to a lab. he did soil samples, sent them to a lab and water samples also to make sure there was no lead in our pipes. he also had this gun that he could point at painted areas and tell us if they had lead paint. this was amazing. i had him check several of our dressers that i was unsure of their age. he was really a wealth of information. we were really lucky to have someone who was so passionate about helping people find all the lead in their house and help them control the impact.

this website seems to have very good information. self help, inc. lead abatement program this website also seems to have good information on home lead testing from the minnesota department of healthhere are the risk factors for lead poisoning from the mayo clinic here are some of the complications that can arise from lead poisoning from the mayo clinic

here are some other tips that our lead inspector gave us:

lead is usually released in location where you have chipping paint or where to painted surfaces rub. so windows and doors and painted drawers are especially vulnerable. we had some windows in our old house that were near where are daughter played that we chose to never open for this reason.

have your children tested annually. our inspector has been working very closely with a pediatrician in our area and he told us that the government acceptable level is anything under 10 micrograms (a microgram is one-millionth of a gram) in a deciliter (1/2 cup) of blood b can cause damage over time, especially in children. he let us know that they keep moving the number down, he believes that very soon it will be moved to 5 and his belief is that is where it really should be.

he also let us know that when having kids tested it was best to have the blood sample come from their arm if possible. sometimes it is hard to get a clear reading from a blood draw from a finger.

children and pregnant women should not be in the house when you are working on the lead abatement.

you must always do the cleanup with soap and water. we would often clean our work space several times with soap and water (changing the soap and water often) to make sure that we were getting all of the lead dust.

never dry sand any paint that has lead or chance of lead, always wet sand there are these great sanding sponges that we use all the time and wear a hepa filtered mask~we purchased a few respriators they weren't real expensive, considering we have been working on the house for 3 years we would have spent a fortune in dust masks without the same protection or comfort.

always vacuum with a hepa filter.

lead dust is heavy and falls rather quickly. this is good to know that it isn't like drywall dust that takes a long time to settle. i'm not sure how long you need to wait to do clean up, but not as long as with drywall dust.

we had a window seat where are daughter played that had lead paint on it, our inspector suggested that we paint over it again to cover the lead and then also cover that with contact paper so that we would not have any paint chipping.

our inspector noted that we had paint in our basement. His suggestion was that we never have our daughter down there and that we have specific shoes that we wore down there and left them out of our living space.

one thing that our pediatrician suggested is that you should never use hot water from the tap for cooking because if you do have any lead in your pipes it would come out with the hot water vs. the cold.

sorry to welcome some of you to our world of lead neuroses. i really felt that i needed to share my information. i am not a lead specialist. please contact a professional and/or consult the links that i have included for more information. my list is just a suggestion of some additional precautions that you might take when considering lead abatement in your home. lead poisoning is very scary and serious. please take time to make sure that your family is safe.

hope this helps raise your awareness.

be well.

thistle-the magnolia warbler

thistle-the magnolia warbler

i've been away from blogging a bit trying to catch up with house projects and my family. i have so many things stored up and in process to share very soon. my hope today was to share a very exciting rescue story of our new friend thistle. we originally thought that thistle was a female goldfinch because we were having trouble finding any other information. my neighbor who seems to know all the birds in our region found this info on line and it is most definitely a magnolia warbler. thanks jill.

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yesterday my husband and daughter were sitting in our kitchen and that heard a very disturbing knock at the window. a very sweet little yellow bird hit our kitchen window. they let it be for a bit and it did not get up so they found a box to put it in and left it on the porch with a plants around it to protect in from any predators (we have several outdoors cats in our neighborhood). our new little friend named b thistleb kept hopping out of the box and landing on his back and getting stuck there. we decided to put him in this bird cage that i picked up on the curb one day for my girl. we thought he would be safer in there.

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thistle seemed to be better today. he was hopping around the cage and spending less and less time on his back. we were going to take him to wild wings a local wild bird sanctuary we were thinking that he maybe had a broken wing and/or a broken leg. when i picked my girl up from school wild wings was already closed so we planned to go out tomorrow. we came home and changed his water and went out to work in the yardb &when helen came back in she found thistle upside down in his tiny water dish. i think he must have fallen in there and couldnb t get out. the saddest thing is that she went up for her bath and when she was up there she asked me to check on thistle and that is when i found himb &i was so glad that she didnb t see him in the dish like that. my husband and i were so sad to have to tell her and we went up to let her know and she told us when she came in she found him in the dish and was afraid he was dead. so she already thought that he was dead but was afraid to ask. heart-breaking. itb s so amazing how quickly you can connect with an animal. we were all so sad. we had a little service for thistle and buried him in the backyard next to her fish starblaze that she buried last year. she requested that i take pictures of the service. i think that she wanted me to share them.

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such a sad day here.

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so yesterday right after thistleb s accident my husband and daughter made a silhouette of a hawk to put on the window so that we wouldn't have another bird accident, this was not the first bird we heard hit the window.

Tags: family, nature
{this moment}

{this moment}

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a photo~an extraordinary moment~no words~pause~savor~remember...

another thoughtful idea from soulemama
{this moment}

{this moment}

{this moment}

4-7-2010 n 2 043
a photo~an extraordinary moment~no words~pause~savor~remember...

another thoughtful idea from soulemama


my sweet little girl has been making these little paper bunnies using her new wooden egg laying bunny as a pattern.
wonderful 1st spring weekend

wonderful 1st spring weekend

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thursday night we took the kids to dinner and belly dancing

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friday night we had my aunt over for homemade pizza friday and played some high stakes euchre check out the sweet breast cancer playing cards by bicycle.

the 1st day of spring was so wonderful.3-21-2010 n 016

we had beautiful weather here which was so excited especially since rain was predicted.

my daughter and her friend were out most of the day playing harry potter making potions and casting spells.

later they went to an egg hunt to celebrate the spring equinox, that is going to have its own post.

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i was trilled to work in the yard. after the construction here last year we did not have much chance to work in the yard. we had some grass seed sprayed, but as you can see we are going to need more seed this year. we did have the whole back yard regraded last summer and a french drain installed so we don't have our typical lake in the back yet.

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i'm on a search for good non-gmo popcorn. i found this amish grown red and blue popcorn. i thought it was really tasty a bit firmer popped (which i really like) and fewer hulls to get stuck in your teeth and throat. the yellow is the jarred non-gmo that you can find at the grocery store.

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this is a shot of saturday evening a new egg laying bunny, guiness and harry potter 7.

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here's my girl coloring and listening to harry potter while keeping warm on the floor vent, it was cooler here today. let's just say most of sunday was devoted to harry potter 7...we're so close to the end, in the last 100 pages.
another beautiful day, new soup and homemade pretzels

another beautiful day, new soup and homemade pretzels

another beautiful day here. outdoor play in the sunshine...what could be better? handing off the tax return!!! something to celebrate.

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another new soup, i can't wait to have these last two soups in the height of the summer with all the wonderful fresh local green veggies. i am hoping to start eating in season beginning this summer. i've been reading barbara kingsolver's book animal, vegetable miracle again. i started it about 3 years ago when we moved i lost the book. i took the book on cd out of the library last month and i just love it, her family is so inspiring. i think this book should be required reading for anyone who eats!

this recipe is adapted from multi-bean medley created by the american institute for cancer research they have some nice recipes there. i have changed this recipe a bit, it only called for 1 cup of broth but i wanted it to be more like a soup so i added about 5 cups of broth and modified a few other things.

multi-bean medley soup

1/2 pound of any type of green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise

1 pound bag frozen shelled edamame

2 tsp olive oil

5 green onions, sliced thin you can take it pretty far into the green

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

fresh rosemary sprigs to taste (i would have loved this but my love does not love rosemary)

1 can of small white beans, rinsed and drained

1 carrot, diced

1 celery rib, diced

5 cups of veggie or chicken broth (we were thinking this might be good with miso broth)

freshly ground pepper to taste

fresh parsley to garnish

we also added some sriracha sauce because we seem to put that in all of our brothy soups.

~bring 2 medium pots of salted water to a boil. add the green beans to one and edamame to the other. cook until they are just tender. drain and drop in an ice bath until they are cool then drain again. set aside.

~in your favorite soup pot, heat olive oil, add onions, garlic, bay leaf and rosemary. cook over low heat stirring until the onion is soft about 5 minutes.

~add white beans, carrots, celery and stock. bring to a simmer and cook, covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

~add green beans and edamame and simmer uncovered until heated through.

~season to taste with pepper, discard bay leaf and rosemary sprigs. finish with parsley.

honest pretzels by mollie katzen we have been wanting to make these for a while and today was the day!

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this has many steps and takes a while. as with all recipes it takes me 3 times as long as the recipe calls for. i did have some trouble with the dough it seemed very sticky. i tried to knead it and it just stuck to my hands so i tossed it back into the kitchen aid and just added a little more flour and let it run for a few minutes. i did not get the full zen experience of kneading by hand nor did i get the anxiety of the dough sticking to my hands and not getting to where i needed it to be.

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here is a little a note to those who have not made homemade dough before.

i had an a-ha! moment the other day when i was listening to animal, vegetable, miracle they were talking about making bread in the kitchen aid. i am just starting to learn to make bread at home and all the recipes say to mix the ingredients in a food processor, my food processor groans when i do this. so of course the power house kitchen aid with the dough beater (a-ha!) that must be what that dough beater is for! well this is great but i am sure that most have already figured this out.

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well the pretzels were pretty tasty. i think that we had a little too much water in the pot and it did not stay hot enough. next time we'll use a little less water and our widest soup pot.

my daughter told me "they were pretty good for a first try" i guess they were since she had three and probably would have had 6 if we did not stop her.

we tried a few rolled out in cinnamon and sugar instead of flour and then topped with cinnamon and sugar...pretty tasty.

we tried one with fresh shredded parmesan cheese...we were sorry that we only had one of those.

we served them with local mustard and yummy local honey.

as with most of mollie katzen's recipes...another success.