Friday, July 29, 2011

Fire Ants - OH NO!

So I have come to the ultimate conclusion, that I have to eradicate the Fire Ant nest. I guess my pacifism can only go so far? My older son was bit earlier today, and my younger son has had a severe allergic reaction we suspect from an insect bite. The yard is large. I do not really want them just moving a few yards away. What to do?!
This much is true - they must go. I will take another trip over to Farmer D's and maybe try out Mosquito Barrier if I can find it.
Feeling good that I got my tomatoes transplanted into our new garden. Planted some cucumbers, beans, and rainbow chard. They are just peeking through the earth. Let's hope they thrive. This is my first foray into growing vegetables from seed. Woohoo! N, is so happy to see the rainbow chard turn pink :).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yellow Jackets safely removed!

This week was exciting for many reasons, but the number one highlight for my family this week was a visit from a Georgia Tech professor, named Michael Goodisman. We have been doing our best not to kill insects in our home (mosquitos are still another story!) by keeping the house quite clean and taking all unwanted visitors outside. I am getting quite good at capturing flies. Even the baby is running around with a plastic container, saying "mama, fly!"This made the discovery of the yellow jacket nest in my garden heart wrenching. I knew they had to go, but my options were limited. All of them would result in the destruction of the nest. I spent one week trying to come up with the most green/ sustainable option, since they were in my garden but all of them still left me with a fear of being chased by angry yellow jackets.
I searched the internet  for  days hoping to find an answer and low behold - it showed up in the form of an article written in 2008 by a professor who studies the social behavior of yellow jackets. I unfortunately missed the excitement, but my husband and sons witnessed quite a show! They put the hive to sleep with ether and using a shovel removed the nest. They showed my family the queen and the grubs and the workers. And now my yellow jackets are living, in a lab, perhaps, but not eradicated and serving a purpose.
Here is a video about the Goodisman team and yellow jackets.
If you would like more information, go here.

It's not fair.

I am taking my Mom hat off for just a moment. Some days it is hard to remember the me that existed prior to my Waldorf media free existence. So the kids are finally asleep, and, yes I am listening to completely child inappropriate music. I am impressed at how many times people use the F word. Ah ha - but I used it more! Amazing how you can completely change your environment, and persona but still be true to yourself in such a short time. And even more how the concept of who you are, before you are there can be so different.
I don't even complain about things being unfair anymore, instead I am constantly weighing out fairness for my children...give yourself a this.
I am going to throw on my jumpsuit and pretend I am 23 again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happiness is a tumbling composter.

I am trying to be green. Every day. But I can fully disclose that having moved as much as we have, there are have been many moments when there was not enough time to recycle, reuse and repurpose. But today is a red letter day. Today we officially started composting. I have tried before, but always just ended up with a freezer full of food scraps. The open outdoor bins were never my style, since I have often lived in areas near water and am afraid of rats. My indoor bins just smelled.  I thought about a worm factory and fantasized about the Nature Mill. I do have to admit that although I can be brave I can totally wimp out when it comes to "ickiness." But I have started my weeding out my garden and I cannot wait for three months to pass and actually have compost to add to my soil! While weeding I got stung by a yellow jacket, which led me to discover a large nest in ground at the edge of my garden. We have been taking great strides not to kill the insects in our house, and instead take them out. It caused me great stress to think that I might have to destroy the hive. But low and behold, after a little research I discovered that a Georgia Tech professor will come to my home and remove the hive so that they can study their social interaction. hen I went and killed some flies at my Mom's house. Felt bad, but we were totally outnumbered. Promise you flies, if you use restraint coming into the house I will use restraint with my Mom's flyswatter!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rain, Rain...don't go away...

Oh the wonderful sound of rain as it pitter patters on our roof. When we lived in Piermont we had huge beautiful skylights under which we spent countless hours watching, birds and planes and the rain. Ahh. Why is it that we don't fully live in these happy moments? Why do we focus so often on the stressors, instead of letting go?This is my ultimate goal. To just let go and fully enjoy. Truly enjoy my children. I did have a lovely moment just now. My little one woke up and I nursed him back down, his small hand on my chest.
Tomorrow is a big day for us. I found a tumbling composter on craigslist. The person is really nice and is basically giving it to me. Which is lucky for us since we haven't really had the available finances to but a new one. But for me this means so many things. First we are reducing our footprint, but secondly I am officially gardening, which brings me directly to the idea that we may be here awhile. I am so tired of moving...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July is National Blueberry Month. WOOHOO!

Guess What? This picture reminds me of BLUEBERRIES!
 Yeah. This makes me really happy. I have a vivid memory of picking them at a family friend's house on Long Island, and then translated that experience into Blueberries for Sal, a scene from The Boxcar Children - blueberries and cream - yum! Of course, Violet Beauregard turning into a giant blueberry in Road Dahl's Charlie and The Chocolate Factory sealed the deal. But really what's not to love about blueberries?! So here are some quick ideas for Mamas on the move, who like me are looking for something EASY PEASIE, kid friendly and interactive. Blueberry Mint Lemonade - tahCha Tea House makes a really yummy version by the way. I have a hard time following recipes - so I suggest you too just go with the flow and experiment - you cannot mess this one up. Oh, unless you leave a metal spoon in the blender and turn it on. Then you are just out of luck :(. Don't do it!

Blueberry Mint Frozen Lemonade - what you need
A bag of Lemons (sometimes I get fancy and add limes!)
Agave to taste
A few sprigs of mint
Two handfuls of fresh blueberries

So here is what I do -
I juice about 6 lemons. My juicing secret - cut the lemon in half (obviously :)) then take a fork and as you are squeezing the lemon move the fork back and forth. Don't be afraid take some of that frustration  you have from two kids whining out on it - you will feel a hell of a lot better!!!
Make sure you get the seeds out. I usually pick them out first. If it looks a little spare I will do a few more. I like to juice the lemons and save any extra I have. I add filtered water at a 2:1 ratio. Sometimes a bit more depending on taste.
Then I add the Agave. Remember it is much sweeter than sugar, so add a little at a time and taste. But also keep in mind you will be blending it with ice, so you will be diluting it a bit.
Put the ice in the blender, add the blueberries and mint and pour your lemonade mixture over the ice.
Put the cover on the blender ;)!
I put the blender on the highest setting (usually liquefy) and let the kids push the pulse button. VoilĂ !
P.S. I tastes better through a straw.
Looking for a place to pick in the Atlanta Metro Area?
In Woodstock try - Berry Patch Farms - pesticide free! 786 Arnold Mill Road
Woodstock, GA 30188

In Canton try - The Berry Barn - an organic farm... Apparently you need an appointment to pick.
1310 North Lake Drive, Canton, GA. Phone: 770-343-9940.
I'm going NOW!!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

ooh! it's hot! and it has been a long time!

Okay. So no matter how hot that NYC pavement got, it can't compare to the scorching Southern heat. Last year this family was poo-poo'ing air conditioning. This year it is an entirely different story. In New York we lived outside in the summer, here we actually have to find a few more indoor activities. Or move to the beach. Move - that word just sent shivers down the spines of my family as they sleep. No worries guys! I am only talking about a vacation! A vacation that could be very unlikely!

In the news as well (Family News, that is!) I have started to work again. A HUGE deal!