Saturday, December 30, 2006

Number Three

I mentioned a while back that we had had two semi-big financial drains (right before christmas!) hit us, and that I was worried about what the third thing would be (since bad things happen in three's). Well, we got home from visiting family and discovered that our furnace wasn't working (right after christmas too!). We got it fixed fairly quickly- we were wearing extra layers for about a day, so it could have been worse. One of the motors died.

There's number three. Hopefully we can take it easy now.

I read somewhere that you should save 1% of your home's value each year to pay for repairs and things. Not a bad idea. If I didn't have to pay so much more in taxes this year, I might be able to do that! :)

Rearranging the household budget is one of my favorite activities (I already said that I was weird) so this will be interesting to try to work in... Better to be prepared than surprised.

Yogurty Yogurt

A few weeks ago I attempted to make homemade yogurt. The result was a nasty rubber-cement consistency that immediately went in the garbage (it was so bad, I didn't even try to feed it to the chickens). I'm not sure if the problem was with temperature or that I let it "yogurt" for too long. Maybe both.

For christmas, my sweet Mr. (who puts up with all my strange habits- and even adopts some of them himself- you should see him herd the chickens...) bought me a yogurt maker. It should actually be called a yogurt incubator, since that's the only thing it does. You still have to boil the milk and mix in the starter, then refrigerate and flavor.

My first batch in the yogurt maker was a big hit. The boys were really excited about it, and could hardly wait until it was done (you'd have thought yogurt was some rare treat). A little tart, because I only used about half the amount of sugar in the berries, and slightly runnier than store-bought yogurt (the Mr. said it was like a smoothie), but very tasty. I think if I use less water in the berry/sugar mix it will stay thicker.

My second batch just went into the fridge.

I'm very happy.

My next batch will be with powdered milk.

I wish I had taken a picture of the yogurt in the little jars when I first poured the berries on top. It looked like some sort of fancy dessert.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Give me (and you) a break...

I've had a couple of experiences lately that have been rather frustrating. It seems that there are many many people in the world who expect everyone around them to accept their weaknesses (or ignore them maybe) but that are not willing to do the same for others.

Why are we so hard on each other? I was reading an article on LDS.ORG that was about strengthening marriages, but the point can be applied in any relationship no matter how minor. I don't think most people go around with the intent of hurting others. Most hurt feelings occur from misunderstandings. If we choose to assume the best in people and talk out problems if they arise instead of choosing to be offended and hurt, life would be a lot less complicated.

Christmas is a nice time of year because so many people are a little kinder. At costco a couple of days ago, I was rounding a corner with my huge costco-sized cart and nearly crashed into a grandfatherly sort of man. I apologized because it seemed like the polite thing to do, and this man looked surprised and said that there was nothing to be sorry for, and gave me a big smile. How hard was that? Not very.

On a somewhat-not-very related note, I ran across this post in a local blog A Liberal Mormon. It seems like a group of people who believe the teachings of Christ (be kind, help those around you, etc...) would be a group that could really do some good, but they choose to be confrontational and their goals seem so misdirected. Apparently the former leader of the group, Reverend Joel Hunter, has resigned because he felt that poverty, aids, and global warming should be added to the group's issues. There's a nice quote from him: My position is, unless we are caring as much for the vulnerable outside the womb as inside the womb, we’re not carrying out the full message of Jesus.

Some people choose to be offended easily, and some people choose to distort perfectly good messages of love and kindness. If only everyone had parents like mine, people would be a lot less crazy. Of course, it's not really my place to say who is crazy and who is not, is it...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Something Scary!

There was an article in today's paper about children suffocating in their car seats. It's a little scary since car seats are so convenient with small babies. You strap them in get them in the car, and then they can stay in the car seat when you're running errands or even after you get home if they've fallen asleep- which is pretty common.

The article suggests only using the car seat in the car, even if it means waking a baby that is napping.

My second son sat in his car seat a lot. I was busy with his older brother, and he was a really mellow baby. He would just sit there looking around, so until he got fussy, I let him stay there. I guess I won't be doing that again. It's a good thing for another reason too, son #2 has a flat spot on the back of his head. The dr. kept saying it would pop out, but it hasn't. Maybe less time in a car seat is beneficial for head shape too.