Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting better, catching up, and making yogurt!

Well.  So, how long does it take YOU to recover from the flu?

No, I'm not really talking about not-being-sick.

I am talking about-catching-up-on-everything-that-you-got-behind-on-while-you-were-out-of-commission.

For me, however long I am sick, that seems to be about how long it also takes to feel like I am caught up to life in general, after I am better.  So, had the flu for about a week and a half, and now, a week and a half AFTER I started feeling more well than sick, I now feel like my routines and general life activities are caught up too. 

Incidentally, Miss Baby is 9 months old now...and I am JUST NOW feeling as though I have undone all (or most of) the chaos that piled up while I was pregnant!  Whether it is early pregnancy when I get to live with my head in the toilet, or later when I seem to want to return to infancy myself (eat, sleep, cry, repeat!) - really not much beyond the bare necessities gets done. And sure enough, what took nine months to pile up took nine months to undo. 

Anyway, even though I've been way too tired to blog, things have been happening.  I've been making yogurt - did you think I forgot about my year toward sustainability project?

The yogurt is absurdly easy.  It takes about 15 minutes to put in the maker.  You heat the milk to 180 degrees:

Like my fancy double boiler?
Then you cool it to 112 degrees.  I use a cold water bath in the bottom of the double boiler for this.  Dissolve your starter in a little of the milk (or stir in some of your last batch of yogurt).


Put it in your yogurt maker.  For instructions on making without a maker...uh, try Google.  :-D


It incubates for about 8 hours.  Then you stick it in the fridge, and congratulate yourself on having found such a painless way to impress your friends!  ;-)  This is how many dishes you will have to wash:


Not bad!

Miss Baby loves it.  She and I eat it plain - I bought vanilla beans to try to make vanilla yogurt, but haven't done it yet.  If you have a good method for that, do share!


 Cheers!



Linking up at: Frugal Days Sustainable Ways  and



Saturday, March 3, 2012

Slow month for decluttering...

And, a slow month for blogging, too.  Sorry for being such a slacker.  My excuse is this wretched cold/cough thing wandering its way through the family.  I didn't even get it very badly, but it has really taken a toll on my energy level in the evening.  I'm a nighttime writer, so if I can't stay awake, it just doesn't happen.  Coffee probably could have produced some posts - but if I'm fighting illness I don't like to push it!

Anywho, I did do some decluttering in the room formerly known as the Frightening Bedroom of Doom.  Not much, but here it is:

Before:



I've posted that picture before.  I don't have enough bookshelves, and I can't really get rid of very many books.  It's an occupational hazard of being married to a philosopher/theologian.

Therefore, it is only reasonable that, since my shelves are doomed to be overloaded, that I also keep my Christmas ornaments, out-of-date prenatal vitamins, papers to be shredded, miscellaneous decorative items, and a good bit of dust on the shelves, as well.  Right???

Sigh.

Here's what I've managed so far:



Top three shelves.  Hey - it's something!  Slow and steady wins the race.  I will put something pretty up top, as soon as I decide what.

I was also supposed to be working on the dresser.  Umm, well...here's the before and after pics...





I'm not going to bother telling you which is which.  It doesn't really matter.  What does matter is that on the day I had planned to do something about it, we had a blast at the Children's Museum instead.  :-)  We had an awesome month of school, too.  Give and take, I guess.

On another homekeeping note, I have been reading a most delightful book on the subject:



This book is enormous.  It is also a warmly written combination of the why and the how of housework.  Any job that you encounter in homekeeping is likely to be described at length in here, detailed instructions as well as how this task contributes to a warm, welcoming home.  A blurb described it as The Joy of Cooking for housework, and I am finding that to be accurate.  If you want to be encourage to be a better homekeeper, and especially if you are encouraged by better understanding the why and how - you will probably find it as delightful as I have.

So, I hit a bit of a bump the road on my decluttering, but I'll be pressing on as able.  Not giving up is the most important part, even if progress slows or stops for a time.

Be blessed-




Linked up at: A Slob Comes Clean