Monday, August 30, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast and Supper Options

I haven't posted a meal plan the last few weeks.  We've been gone, had company, etc. But now we're getting back into a schedule again. I need it, for certain!  It's nice to have a break from it for awhile, but it makes life more stressful also, as I am not prepared, but still need to provide my family with 3 good meals every day. 

Lunch is served with Kombucha, Swedish Bitters and Fermented Cod Liver Oil

This week's meat is pork shoulder.

Monday: Pork Chops and Veggies
Tuesday: Liver and Onions
Wednesday:  Fried Rice and pork
Thursday: Pork Salad (I'm taking the general theme, but changing it all)
Friday:  Fish Cakes - Lard or no lard ~ Drew
Saturday: Pork and Potatoes
Sunday: Roast

Friday, August 27, 2010

Update on my Barefooting Adventure

I'm sure all of my faithful readers are waiting with baited breath to see how my poor, aching feet are doing.  :)

Well, I wish I could say that it's all better after walking around barefoot for the last few months.  But, my right foot is still a little sore.

And, as I told my sister, I think in starting this whole 'barefoot' thing, that I have opened a whole pandora's box of problems.  Ish, if it's not one thing, it's another.

I started out by walking a few blocks barefoot. I found a street that had relatively new sidewalks that were smooth, so I would walk, in my shoes, to that block and then take them off and walk it barefoot.  And then I started venturing a bit further out every day or so.  I can now walk a few miles barefoot with out too much discomfort.  It was a slow process and my feet still are pretty sensitive, although most definitely tougher, with more layers of skin on the bottoms.  I'd take a picture, but it wouldn't be pretty.  Feet seldom are.

I am a bit paranoid about people mocking me for being barefoot.  So I tend to walk in the mornings pretty early. :)  Hopefully I'll get more brave over time.

 About the same time I started walking barefoot, I also bought a pair of moccasins. The Run Amocs (above) that I bought did not fit me and Drew took them over.  And we haven't been able to afford another pair.  But we were able to buy me a pair of moccasins for $30 in the meantime.  Unfortunately, after a few months, they got a holes in them. I still wear them now and then with a pair of socks, but it's not really going to work long-term for me. My moccasins are similar to the one below, but without the sole.  It's just leather on the bottom, so it's mighty close to barefoot. 

I can not wear shoes with any kind of arch support, as it pushes on the arch of my right foot and hurts like crazy.  Thankfully, at my mother-in-law's store, I was able to find a pair of flat sandals that lace up, so I can wear them out and about when I need shoes that look nice.

I'm not sure if I will be able to have my dream of 'one pair of shoes' in my closet.  But I think the Run Amocs will be close to that.  I will need a pair of boots for the winter and a pair of shoes for church/dress up.  For now, my sandals are perfect for that.  And for walking/exercising, I would like to just go barefoot.  I can dream.  But nothing ever works out perfectly.  :)

But, back to my feet.  While reading up on barefoot running/walking and actually doing it, I realized that form is everything. And my form is terrible.  I have not been able to do much walking without pain in my back for years.  Pathetic.  Pain from walking?  But, walking barefoot, the point is to listen to your body and try to correct problems until you can walk/run without pain. 

I have come to the conclusion that I have LOTS of problems that need fixing. Isn't that the way it always is?

I have also come to the conclusion that I need to see a physical therapist to learn how to walk again, or, read up on the mechanics of physical therapy/bodily function and fix myself.  And since the 2nd is cheaper and more my style, that is the route I intend to take.

See, that whole Pandora's Box thing!  Body mechanics?  I have to study body mechanics and function?  I basically have to learn to walk all over again!?!  Ish.  Life is never simple.

When the pain in my foot was not getting any better, I started researching and found this article on using a tennis ball for healing foot pain.  Drew had used that to help heal his foot pain a few yaers ago and last year I used it to help my left foot.  But my right foot had gotten so tender and sensitive, anything touching it hurt like crazy, and I couldn't roll it around on the ball.  But using this, I was able to only do it where it didn't cause shooting pain, until my foot relaxed enough that I could roll it around the entire foot (albeit gingerly  on the inside back arch part). And I tried to do it every day.  I had forgotten how much it helped when my left foot hurt.  After a month or so, I can say my foot pain is about 95% gone. Yeah!!  I still walk all wrong mind you. But it's nice to not feel intense pain every time I step on my foot. 

In my beginning research of body mechanics/physical therapy, the first two books I heard about and read were:

1.  Fit and Fabulous by Teresa Tapp
2.  The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion

I enjoyed both immensely and realized that I have a LOT to learn to get myself in order.

My ultimate goal is to be able to run barefoot, without pain and discomfort.  It's a lofty goal and I have a LONG ways to go in that direction.  I don't care so much about the running as I do about the fact that if I can get myself in that good of order, then I'll be very happy! 

So, I have added another area of study to my list.  I hope that I can use it to get my own body in order, and then to help with my children so they don't struggle with the same things I do.

Seriously, I need to learn to walk all over again?!?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Update on Oil Pulling

In April, I read Dr. Fife's Oil Pulling Therapy and decided I needed to give it a try.

I can't say I've seen 'huge' changes. But I have been relatively consistent with it for the last few months and definitely like what I've seen so far.

Here are some things I have noticed:

-I do not bleed when I brush my teeth.  If I have gone a few days with out OP, I start to bleed profusely again.

-My teeth are definitely whiter, although not a ton more so.

-It could be in my head, but there does seem to be less sensitivity to hot/cold in general.

-I love the feeling afterward. It feels so 'deep' clean.

I do still feel the need to brush my teeth most mornings for the bad breath and teeth 'scum' to go away.  Although that may just be what I'm used to, more then reality.  I still brush with a bit of baking soda. 

I love doing it and I love the results.  Now that I am convinced of it's general hygiene benefits, I need to figure out how to get the kids to do it daily also.  I so prefer this to tooth brushing in general.

In the morning, I take a spoon and dip it into my jar of refined coconut oil and then I just swish it around my mouth for 10-20 minutes.  The hardest part is not getting so distracted that I forget to swish.  Sitting in the mouth isn't harmful, but not real helpful either.  The refined coconut oil isn't strong at all, nor expensive, so it's a perfect option.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Does Technology Really Make life Simplier?

Not too long ago, I had a conversation about how much time it takes to prepare nourishing food.  And how difficult it is when you work full time.

I can't imagine working 40+ hours a week, commuting AND buying and preparing truly nourishing foods (forget about the research it's taken to get me to even know what  to eat and learn how to prepare it).  Maybe I could. I do hope I never have to find out.  :)  I like my 'job' of homemaker, wife and mother too much to have to find out.

But, it got me thinking, as usual.  I don't think that God meant for humans to live the frantic pace that we do today.  Stress is harmful to the body, and I don't think God meant for our bodies to deal with that kind of stress.  But he also knows that we need to eat foods that are properly grown and prepared. So what are we to do?

Once again, I go to the past and how things 'used to be'.  From what I understand, before the industrial revolution,  the vast majority of people's 'jobs' were food related. They raised their own food and bartered or traded for what they could not raise themselves.  It was a simple life. Albeit somewhat nerve-wracking.  If a drought or storm killed your animals and ruined your crop, you had no recourse for food.  I.E. No grocery store with food from a lab that would not nourish your body, but would be enough to give you energy and heat for survival.  So there is definitely a trade off in stress here.

But, if the father was out tending animals and the mom and kids at home tending the garden, preparing food and keeping house, then there was no need for outside 'work'.  Life was about survival. 

So it really is a trade-off.  Running around like crazy people.  Trying to make enough money to pay for our homes, taxes, food, entertainment, transportation, vacation, etc.  Or, living a simple life, trying to raise enough food for daily survival, doing things the 'hard way' and enjoying our relationships and surroundings with little stress outside of those 'basics'.

I personally prefer the simple life, more so all the time.  When life gets complicated, I find it impossible to enjoy real life.  I feel like I am a hamster on a spinning wheel.  Always running, but never getting anywhere.

So, I am going to work harder at enjoying the real things of life, and worrying less about doing things like driving a 2 door car that is old and falling apart, and living in an old apartment in a yucky neighborhood, not going on vacations or going out to watch movies.

I'd rather be able to stay home and take care of my family with little, then work full time with lots. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Studying Up On Science

As I mentioned before, I want to give myself a 'Scholar Phase' Education before my kids get theirs.  For my own sake as much as theirs.  There are huge gaps of information in my brain that I would like to remedy.  Science being one of them.

Lucky for me, my father-in-law loves science and has quite a few books and magazines on the subject.  And, lucky for me, he lets me borrow his books with abandon.  So far, I have a pretty good track record of returning them. :)

I was praying about science (and math, but one thing at a time) and that God would help me find a way to get 'excited' about science and motivated to start reading.   And guess what, he did!  We had a speaker come to church in July and he spent the whole weekend talking about creation, showing pictures, graphs, etc.  It was just what I needed to spark the flame for me.  And, of course, my father-in-law bought some books that I was able to borrow.  Ahh, life is good!

So, while I am just starting on my journey of learning what others have learned about God's amazing creation, I thought I could at least jot down what I have learned so far.  And what I have read/seen.  I have a long ways to go. There are a lot of 'branches' that contain vasts amounts of research and info that I will probably never touch on.  But, it is an exciting subject and I plan on reading everything I can get my hands on, and passing along my new-found information to my kids, so they too can benefit and get excited.

Here are pictures of the books/dvds that I have been blessed to have access to, as well as time to read/watch.  They fall under the same general category, creation verses evolution.  And I have heard a lot of things repeated. Which may bore some people, but for me, it's of utmost necessity for it to sink in.  I didn't grow up blonde for nothing!  

I think I'm getting it!!  :)

I keep thinking 'oh, the kids have to read this when they get older'.   But then I remember that science is ever-changing and growing and learning. So we'll probably have to find more up-to-date books when they are ready to read.  Meanwhile, I look forward to staying informed and teaching them what I am learning., in their terms.  I really want to check these comics out and purchase them if we like them.  I love things like that-give the kids a taste and make them want more.  Isn't that what mentoring is all about? 

My father-in-law also subscribes to Creation Magazine and Acts & Facts and he has given me his old copies and plans to pass the new ones along as he reads them.  Which means I can stay informed without having to spend any extra.  Also, there are tons of articles, from their magazine as well as others.  I'm looking forward to having a search engine I can type in questions and find biblical answers from.  I could never do all that research, nor even research every researcher to make sure they have sound, biblical principles.  So I am thankful for AIG/CMI for doing that for me.

It is so nice to read/watch intelligent people who believe in the Bible and Creation.  And not only do they believe, but they have obviously studied the Scriptures and truly dug in to find out what it says.  And while I don't know their personal lives, I'm assuming that anyone that understands the Bible at that level, also lives it in their personal, day-to-day lives.

Creation is viable.  Evolution is touted as being the only viable solution for the earth's history.  But the facts don't add up.  Evolutionist have a pre-conceived worldview, which they use to interpret their scientific findings.  Granted, so do creationists.  But creation fills in a lot more blanks then does evolution.  One does not have to throw intelligence out the window in order to believe in a 6 day creation, and an earth that is approximately 6,000 years old, disturbed by a flood approximately 4,500 years ago.  Isn't that so cool!!

I'm also enjoying having my mind stretched and using this new information to fill in some blankets in regards to nutrition and the body.  It's exciting stuff. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, by Hirsh-Pasek, Golenkoff and Eyer

My cousin told me about this book and I'm really glad I read it.  Although I wish I had read it 7 years ago!

It's written by 3 moms/child psychologists and explains exactly why our children need to play and not be rushed from one class to another, or be forced to watch some 'brain enriching baby video'.  It's a great read for learning about child development in the first 5 years of life.

As usual, there was quite a bit I disagreed with, and worry that some parents who read it and take it at face value would be overwhelmed at times.  But the point of the book is that parents simply need to read and talk with their children daily, for them to gain the foundational skills they need for further education in their school years.

I'm amazed at how often this concept comes up.  And how many professionals in America and other countries, feel this to be true.  And yet, it's not to be found in most parenting magazines or at many schools.

The book is full of antidotes.  Both of the writer's experiences, as well as studies done by scientists/psychologists in trying to analyze and understand children of all ages better. 

They cover how children learn numbers (math), letters (reading), language and self esteem.

Some quotes:

"Play is vital to the development of children's mathematical thinking.  Unlike some forms of knowledge, mathematical knowledge, which deals with relationships between and among things, cannot be learned by hearing adults talk about it.  Experimental research on play shows a strong relationship between play, the growth of mathematical understanding, and improved mathematical performance...  Without play...children's powers of mathematical reasoning would be seriously underdeveloped"  A quote by Professor Ranald Jarrell, an expert at the University of Arizona.

"Is this the kind of knowledge that can be obtained from flash cards, or even from computer games that ask children to do comparisons between sets and simple counting and addition?  No.  What is needed are the gritty, day-to-day experiences of exploring, manipulating, sorting, dividing, and recombining that children have as they play with objects." 

"Children who are used to having all their time structured for them lose the resources necessary to amuse themselves.  Amusing oneself is healthy.  Living in your head a little and figuring out things you can do without classes, playdates or television is not a bad thing.  Children need to develop the ability to stimulate themselves.  This, too, is part of play, and some of our children seem to have forgotten how it's done!"

Like I learned in "The Knowledge Deficit", The Read-Aloud Handbook, and "The Power of Reading", the 100% more important thing we can give our children is our love and attention.  Reading to them daily, interacting with the text, asking questions, getting progressively more complicated books, playing with them and talking to them as if they are intelligent people, is what our children need. And that is just the thing we can give them!  They will learn math and language and reading and writing and spelling and social behaviors.  Simply by watching us.

So rather then going out and finding the perfect curriculum, maybe we need to take a good look at ourselves and our attitude toward life and our children, and make sure that our shadows will turn out the way we want them to.  And then, after we have our own lives in order, and we are able to look at our children's strengths and weaknesses, then we can find just the right book, or curriculum, or class, to help them shore up their weaknesses and strengthen and hone their God-given strengths. 

Check out my cousin's blog post on this book-it's full of great quotes and info.  

One more tool in my tool belt.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Power of Reading, by Stephen Krashen

This was another book that came highly recommended from Jim Trelease's 'The Read-Aloud Handbook'.  'The Power of Reading, insights from the research' by Stephen Krashen is exactly what the title says. He compiled loads of research on the effects of reading on learning in general.  It was a lot of quotes and numbers, which I am generally wary of.  But I did enjoy it.  It was a very easy read (I glossed over much of the numbers and tried to get the gist) and served as yet another encouragement to use books to teach my children.

It's so fun when I find these 'radical' ideas in main-stream writers.  It's really not all that 'out there'.  Textbooks are a relatively new form of learning.  Sort of a compiling of knowledge on a general subject (with obvious biased) for easy learning. Except, that is not how people learn.

"Nearly everyone in the US can read and write.  They just don't read and write well enough.  Although basic literacy has been on the increase for the lat century, the demands for literacy have been rising faster.  Many people don't read and write well enough to handle the complex literacy demands of modern society. The problem is not thus how to bring students to the second-or third-grade reading level; the problem is how to bring them beyond this.  
The cure for this kind of literacy crisis lies, in my opinion, in doing one activity, an activity that is all too often rare in the lives of many people: reading.  Specifically, I am recommending a certain kind of reading-free voluntary reading (FVR).  FVR means reading because you want to. For school-age children, FVR means no book report, no questions at the end of the chapter, and no looking up every vocabulary word.  FVR means putting down a book you don't like and choosing another one instead.  It is the kind of reading highly literate people do all the time.
I will not claim that FVR is the complete answer.  Free readers are not guaranteed admission to Harvard Law School. What the research tells me is that when children or less literate adults start reading for pleasure, however, good things will happen.  Their reading comprehension will improve, and they will find difficult, academic-style texts easier to read. Their writing style will improve, and they will be better able to write prose in a style that is acceptable to schools, business, and the scientific community.  Their vocabulary will improve, and their spelling and control of grammer will improve. 
In other words, those who do free voluntary reading have a chance.  The research also tells me, however, that those who do not develop the pleasure reading habit simply don't have a chance-they will have a very difficult time reading and writing at a level high enough to deal with the demands of today's world.
FVR is also, I am convinced, the way to achieve advanced second language proficiency.  It is one of the best things a second language acquirer can do to bridge the gap from the beginning level to truly advanced levels of second language proficiency."

That is the intro-and pretty much sums up his book.  He spends the first half of the book going over the evidence for FVR.  The second half are some suggestions using FVR and other reading programs to enhance over-all reading and writing skills.

"Studies showing that reading enhances literacy development lead to what should be an uncontroversial conclusion: Reading is good for you.  The research, however, supports a stronger conclusion:  Reading is the only way, the only way we become good readers, develop a good writing style, an adequate vocabulary, advanced grammatical competence, and the only way we become good spellers. 

There are two reasons for suspecting that this stronger conclusion is correct.  First, the major alternative to reading, direct instruction, is not of much help.  Second, research and theory in other areas come to the same conclusion. Researchers in early reading development have concluded that we 'learn to read by reading,' that we learn to read by attempting to make sense of what we see on the page.  In my work in language acquisition, I have concluded tha we acquire language in only one way: by understanding messages, or obtaining 'comprehensible input' in a low-anxiety situation.  This is precisely what FVR is:  messages we understand presented in a low-anxiety environment.  
If this conclusion is true, if reading is the only way, it means we have to reconsider and reanalyze what we are doing when we attempt to teach language and develop literacy directly, with drills and exercises.  All we are doing when we teach language this way is testing.  Traditional language arts instruction, in other words, is a merely a test, a test that privileged children, who grow up with books, pass and that less fortunate children fail." 

GOLD!!  Those paragraphs totally hit home with me.  I am one of those people who can not learn by hearing.  It has to make sense in a bigger picture.  'Direct Instruction' is useless for me!  And if you add to that any 'anxiety', I'm a mess.  I can't remember what I had for dinner!  I used to think I was stupid. But now I believe I was just taught wrong, and was not able to retain useless bits of info.  I am NOT willing to spend my days teaching my children useless bits of info, only to have them forget it later on.  I am, however, willing to spend all my life and energy on passing on important info to them, in ways that I can be confident they will retain and use for the rest of their lives.  That is a goal worthy of my very being. And scripturally, that is my job description (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). 

He goes into writing just a bit at the end.  He believes that reading the printed word not only broadens your vocabulary, but it also teaches you how to spell by giving you a mental picture to compare.  And he is a firm believer (as am I) that even your writing improves with reading, and not by simply practicing writing.

"Language acquisition comes from input, not output, from comprehension, not production.

When we write our ideas down, the vague and abstract become clear and concrete.  When thoughts are on paper (or computer screen for me), we can see the relationships among them, and can come up with better thoughts.  Writing, in other words, can make you smarter. 
Readers who keep a diary or journal know all about this-you have a problem, you write it down, and at least some of the problem disappears.  Sometimes the entire problem goes away."

That is one reason I try to review some of the books I read, here on my blog.  It really helps me to think through them.  It has greatly enhanced my retention of what I've been reading. Having to make sense of it on 'paper' so others can read it and learn from it.  It's a great process to enhance reading. 

He suggests a combination of teacher selected books, FVR and traditional learning for the classroom.  I think he's about right on!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Deconstructing Penguins, by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

This book was highly recommended by Jim Trelease in the Read-Aloud Handbook.  So I decided to check it out and see what the fuss was about. 

Deconstructing Penguins is a small, unintimidating book.  Less then 200 pages, paperback and in an easy to read font and format.  I'm still a bit surprised with how much I learned from the book!

The authors, a couple from Connecticut who have a daughter, had decided they wanted to start a book club for their daughter and her friends.  So after researching, they decided to do it at the library and have the kids and their parents join.  The book is about their experiences, but even more then that, it is an awesome tool for learning how to  'deconstruct' a book.

I was blown away by the books that the young kids were reading and understanding.  Esp at the level they seemed to understand them.  It's a phenomal tool that I hope to hone in myself.

After doing Precepts Bible studies for 5 years, I realized that there is more to life/book/people then meets the eye. I also realized that digging deeper into things is a skill that does not come natural, but must be honed and practiced until it becomes second nature.  I can't say it's second nature with the Bible yet, but I'm slowly working on it.  I hope that by doing the same with books, my over-all ability to think and dig will become more sharp, and that will translate to my daily Scripture reading as well.

Back to the book though.  The title is a bit odd.  You understand it once you read the book, but still it strikes me as a strange title.  As no one would pick it up if they were looking to learn to run a book club, and just happened to see the name.  But, the first book they deconstructed was about penguins, and hence the name.

They essentially took you on a 'book club tour' of their clubs throughout the 5 years they had been doing them.  But more of a long-range tour. The characters (kids and parents) were adorable and well portrayed.   And they did a fantastic job of explaining with words and examples, how to deconstruct a book.

They explain to their book clubs at the first meeting that they need to look at books like a mystery, and try to solve it.

-First, locate the protagonist and antagonist.  They explain how to do this and give a number of examples.  They suggest you list character traits and try to understand the overall plot or theme of the book.  Every 'story' book has a conflict.  The protagonist pushes the conflict forward, while the antagonist pushes it back.  I had never thought of it that way. There was always good and bad in my mind.  But sometimes the protagonist is evil.  It depends somewhat on the author's point of view and the way he advances it.

-Second, figure out the location and setting.  They used the book 'Babe' to explain that the setting was a farm in the near present.  Future, past, present.  Earth, town, space.  Understanding where the book takes places is an important clue in solving the mystery.

-Third, identify the climax.  We think of the climax as the end, but often it's closer to the middle of the book.  It's 'that moment in the book to which everything is building, and after which events become inevitable.'  They show a diagram of how Shakespeare writes in 5 acts. The first is the introduction of characters, the second is them thrown into conflict together and it builds, the 3rd is the climax, where the protagonist is changed forever.  The 4th is the impact the climax has on the characters the the 5th  is where we find out what happens to everyone.

-Fourth, is figuring out what the book is really about.  And that is easier said then done. 'The highlight of almost any discussion is the discovery of what the author has implanted at the core of the book.  Peeling away each layer-character, setting, conflict-and finally seeing the truth is probably the most satisfying aspect of reading.'  They show how they walked the kids through Animal Farm by George Orwell.  And eventually helped them to see that the book was more then just a story about animals.  It was a depiction of the Russian Revolution.

-Fifth, they tried to get the kids to see how a person's point of view greatly affects the book.  Just because a book is famous, does not mean the author has the right point of view.  And they try to tie it in to things like the clothes the kids wear, ads, tv shows, clicks, etc.  Isn't that great?  And these are 'normal kids' in a 'normal school', learning these awesome lessons!  To do this, they use the book 'Bull Run' by Paul Fleischman.  It's about the American civil war and is told from 16 different people.  It's eye opening to see how the same scenario can be see so differently by different people.  Amazing stuff to grasp by the age of 12.  I'm just getting it at 32!

-Sixth, Poetry was discussed.  I do not appreciate poetry, but I want to!  Their love of poetry was definitely contagious though.  Makes me want to read some Robert Frost and Shel Silverstein. :)  They basically take the kids through the poetry one line at a time.  They talk about the author, as that is generally important to understanding the poetry.  They talk about how poetry often 'opens up' and goes from objective to subjective.  From tangible to something deeper.  Neat, eh?

The rest of the book takes you through some examples of their book clubs.  Practicing what you've learned, to help you better put it into practice with other books.  They also have a list of books for 2-5th grade.  5th graders read Tale of Two Cities.  I'm impressed.  I couldn't get through the first chapter!

I would love to start or join a book club.  Esp for the kids.  I'm not sure if it'll happen, but I see that being more of a possibility today then before I read the book! :)  I hope to implement this type of digging/deconstructing, into our book reports.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How I Love Thee Baking Soda...

Let me count the ways.

1.  Cleaning my sink.. They are the best combination.  I leave the baking soda in a pretty glass jar on the window sill.  And when the sink gets dirty or has the annoying water stains (generally after doing dishes), I simply take off the cover, and sprinkle the baking soda all over the sink.  And then I take my wet dishcloth and scrub it. It works so well!  It's nice and sparkly in 30 seconds.  I get the rag really wet when I'm done and wash off the baking soda and it's clean, toxin free, and cheap!

2.  Scrubbing Pans.  I used to use the SOS pads, but they are so toxic, I couldn't justify them.  So one day I sprinkled some baking soda on a pan that I couldn't get clean.  I scrubbed it with a wet rag and I found it came clean.  Sometimes it takes awhile.  But basically, the baking soda acts as a scrubbing agent.  Kind of like ajax.  Exactly like Ajax, but without the horrible chemicals in it.  If it's really bad, I'll sprinkle baking soda and then pour some vinegar into it and let it soak overnight.  And then I'll rinse it out and sprinkle with more baking soda and scrub away until it's clean.  Even if there is any residual, I don't worry about poisoning us.  :)

3.  Scrubbing my bathtub/sink/toilet.  I used to use Ajax for that.  But it's horrible stuff.  So after realizing the scrubbing power of baking soda, I put some in a plastic container and now I keep it in the shower for easy cleaning.  I simply sprinkle it on after a shower (once a week, although with Dr. Bronners our only body care product, it doesn't get dirty much) and scrub with my plastic bristle cleaning brush.  It cleans it so well. For moldy type spots, I'll pour on baking soda and spray some vinegar or hydrogen peroxide for extra cleaning strength.  And, like with the pots, if I leave some residual, I don't worry about the kids taking a bath afterward. 

4.  Laundry.  I am still working on this one. I have tried various laundry detergents and have not LOVED any of them.  But they are all more expensive then less natural ones, so I have found that I can use half of the recommended amount and add equal amounts of baking soda. It cuts the price way down without adding any chemicals to the laundry. 

5.  General Cleaning.  I use it for cleaning the counter, table, stove and oven.  It works great for my Ball glass jars when they are particularly icky.  I pretty much use them for everything that needs a good scrub, but I don't want to exert as much elbow grease.  It does not scratch, but cleans really well. 

6.  Toothpaste. I have not bought toothpaste in a few years.  Nasty stuff it is!  But I do enjoy using baking soda as a toothpaste. I just keep it in a plastic container, wet my toothbrush and dip it in the container.  The kids enjoy it also. I've added dehydrated peppermint to it also and enjoyed it.

7.  Carpet Cleaner.  Every now and then I'll be disgusted by my carpet.  I'm not sure how much good it does, but I'll sprinkle baking soda over it and let it sit for awhile, and then vacuum it up.  It's supposed to freshen it up.

I love multi-purpose things!!  Esp when they are cheap and easily accessible.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast and Supper Options

Lunch is served with Kombucha, Swedish Bitters and Fermented Cod Liver Oil

This week's meat is hamburger.

Monday: Hamburgers
Tuesday: Liver and Onions
Wednesday:  Egg Salad with bacon and avocado over rice
Thursday: Potatoes and Hamburger
Friday:  Canned Salmon over rice
Saturday: Hamburgers
Sunday: Roast