Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Autumn Means Pumpkin Soup

Long ago and far away when I was single I read every food magazine I could lay my hands on. My friends were my cooking guinea pigs and they were thrilled to oblige. From those days comes my first ever food triumph. Pumpkin Soup.

I read the recipe from that Autumn's Bon Appetit Magazine and it took me three hours to make it that first time. Now it takes me less than an hour and I've learned to make a huge pot to freeze in individual portions. It is creamy and luscious. I top it off with the original lime cream. Scrumptious!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cloth Diapers - Are You Kidding?

Most of my friends have the same reaction when we discuss diapering options and I reveal my secret...I used cloth. Between sensitive skin and a limited budget it became clear early on that this was a better choice for our family. There is lots of research out there about why cloth is a better choice environmentally and why it should be the politically correct choice for everyone. It's not for everyone.

But it was definitely the right choice for our family. My mother encouraged me to check out this option and I am eternally grateful for the information.

There are two questions that I always get when I tell my friends and colleagues about my cloth diapering choice. Number One: Isn't that gross to clean out the poop in the toilet? Number Two: Did you use those awful pins?

Number One Answer: Truly. You wipe your child's bottom when you use a disposable don't you. It's the same poop. And, technically you are supposed to unload the poop from a disposable down your toilet as well. This water goes through a wastewater treatment plant. The purpose of this plant is to deal with the disposal and treatment of wastes and properly treats the water so that it may be safe again for the general public.

Number Two Answer: Pins haven't existed in cloth diapering for decades. Cloth diapers now come in a huge range of styles, sizes, colors to properly fit your child and your lifestyle. There are some great options out there.
It's pretty funny to me that the vast majority of those asking have no idea how far cloth diapers have come. They are convenient, cheap, and much easier than their disposable counterparts.

My pros list:
Convenience - It's much more convenient for me to throw a load of wash in my machine than it is to put three children in the car to drive to the nearest store that sells diapers.

Money - Even while accounting for electricity, water and the initial investment of the diapers themselves I found that cloth diapers were a much cheaper choice than any disposable on the market.

Comfort - My children seemed so much more comfortable and experienced very few rashes overall in the eight years total that we diapered in my home.

My cons list:
I couldn't think of any, but I always make my important decisions by making the pros and cons list.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Leaves Aren't The Only Things Changing Colors Around Here

Autumn seems early this year in my neck of the woods. In fact, I had hoped for a few more blissful weeks in my garden. It was not meant to be. But the irony is not lost on me that my one lonely Cubanelle Pepper seems to be in tune with the leaves.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Minimum Maintenance

While my children are in the heart of the new school year and I am losing my mind trying to return all of the paperwork to school in their designated backpacks in the background I am practicing the art of "minimum maintenance." It is a philosophy from a book I read long ago about spending at least a minimal time everyday on your home.

It's like the keeping up with the dishes instead of keeping up with the Jones'. Every day no matter how many practices, work, school, games, appointments, etc. I try desperately to accomplish the following two things. Number one: Keep the dishes going and Number two: Keep the laundry going.

Every day if I just unload and load the dishwasher and unload and load the washer and dryer the rest seems to come. On the weekends when I am home more I sweep and clean floors, sweep and clean bathrooms, and other heavy types of cleaning.

But for now, on the weekdays, it's minimum maintenance.