Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Compost bin

I keep hearing about how easy composting is. We already cut down dramatically how much ends up in our garbage bins at the end of every week by recycling cans, bottles, paper and cardboard. Why not reuse some of our old food and turn it into soil? We buy tons of potting soil every spring to begin our garden. Composting just seems like the no nonsense way to be green and save money.

We have this old 55 gallon garbage can. We used it for garbage, but our garbage collector decided they're too heavy to lift and won't accept them as garbage bins. It had holes drilled in the bottom already to drain water out. All I had to do was drill some more on the sides. I added 3 shovels of yard dirt, old chopped apples, banana peels, a chopped moldy cucumber, strawberry tops and dry Cheerios to start it off.
I read online not to add any meat, dairy or salt. We also plan to use old leaves, houseplant clippings, etc. I may eventually add some worms from our yard. I found an old bin that I placed next to the inside garbage can to add our composting bin outside. I also read that you should water and stir things around in the bin, it's supposed to stay moist.

I'll keep you posted on our composting, as it's our first time, to let you know how it works out. We should have lots of nutrient soil to use next spring!

Camping!

We have gone camping a few times already this year. It's very enjoyable with kids. The boys will be 5 in September, and they beg to go camping every day.
The last place we went is 2 hours north. My twins will make the fifth generation of my family going to this campsite. It is located next to a creek delta that empties into the river. There are two islands in the creek.

There is also a pond with an island.
And it is all surrounded by mountains, with one great overlook.
The boys are in the bug and critter stage. There were plenty of crayfish for them to find, though they're not catching them yet themselves.

We heard many frogs, but weren't able to get close to any. There were so many worms, butterflies and spiders to keep them busy.

Guess where we'll be the rest of the summer?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring has sprung!

We've been plotting our garden for this summer, and started our lettuce, jalapeno and sweet red pepper seedlings today. We used empty yogurt, milk and sour cream containers that were headed for the recycling bin, poking holes in the bottoms. I found a short cardboard box that looks like it was maybe from a beverage case of sorts, lined the bottom with foil, and filled it with the seed cups.
My husband wasn't thrilled last year when I took over a specific patch of yard for part of our garden. We have a pretty small yard, and are limited by a black walnut tree in the center. If you don't know already, black walnut trees have toxic roots that go out about 80 feet from the trunk, which can poison any food you may grow, thus, poisoning you. Said patch of yard is pretty far away, but in a high traffic area of the yard. I was surprised when he offered to build me a container or two. I found this idea below, but I forget which site it came from.
But then while searching for said site, I stumbled across using a kid pool. They're cheap and easy to obtain, no construction required. So that's the route we're headed. We're planting so many other seeds this year too- gourds, mini pumpkins, white pumpkins, carrots, corn, red onions, cosmos, sunflowers, cilantro and catnip. The boys help out with us too. I had them make me some plant markers with craft sticks and clean and fill the dirt cups.

I also purchased a small ivy plant to satisfy my need for spring. I thought it would be cool to make a macrame hanger, it seemed easy enough. Check out this tutorial - http://skinnylaminx.com/2011/01/18/hanging-succulent-garden/


Macrame has been a bit of a theme. I've been making hemp bracelets, and purchased some beads. The boys picked out some skull beads, and I made them each a bracelet. This is the tutorial I've been using - http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Hemp-Necklace. I've made 5 so far, one being the most comfortable bracelet I own, perfect for daily wear.


Keep posted for a cheap, easy compost bin, the Hands-on Mom way.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Crock Pot Chili

I can bake and make things in a crock pot. I cannot make great chicken dishes. That is my curse, I suppose. Here's a super simple recipe that I make at least once a week. I change up the recipe depending on access to ingredients (I am a busy Mom!) I hope you enjoy it!

1 to 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
2 14-15 oz cans of pinto beans
1 can of your choice of diced tomatoes (with or without chiles), tomato sauce, or tomato paste (cut paste with water)
1/2 chopped medium onion, or 1 tsp onion powder
2 chopped jalapenos or fresh pepper of choice
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 garlic clove or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ancho chile pepper

Put all of the ingredients in crock pot. Cook on high up to 5 hours, depending on if beef is frozen, thawed, or cooked. Serve over cooked macaroni noodles with shredded cheddar, and jalapeno corn muffins.
This chili has a decent medium kick to it. You can change the amount of peppers to vary heat.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We Lived In A Time

I'm ever so busy, but I somehow manage to come up with new ideas! I came up with this truly unique twitter account. It's called "We Lived In A Time," and it's a sentence that starts off with aforementioned. Some can make you sad, but they're meant to inspire you to change the situation for the better. I'm really looking for people to share this and to add to the collection. Hopefully, a publisher may take interest. If you want to submit yours, use the hashtags #WLIAT #WeLivedInATime. Here are some that I've already written.
  • We lived in a time when you could get from Point A to Point B in the rain and not get wet.
  • We lived in a time when states had more people on welfare than people earning wages.
  • We lived in a time when you could real time converse with a loved one half way around the world.
  • We lived in a time when locking your keys in the car isn't such a big deal if you had the right technology.
  • We lived in a time when women could be in combat.
  • We lived in a time when public places didn't have recycle and compost bins, and stores used disposable bags.