Monday, April 25, 2011

A womanly topic ~ environmentally friendly periods

Oh yes, what a topic.  This is for women, by a woman.  Besides suffering through inconsistent monthy/bimonthly/biweekly periods, I also suffered through sensitivities to commercial pads and tampons.  I thought what did they use before they had Kotex and Always?  In history books they used moss...none of that available...then they just used cloth rags.  WELL, in the 60's they were using the DIVA cup until big business discovered the money to be made in producing "disposables" we add monthly to the growing number of hardly degradable diapers in the landfills!  YIKES.  So I got me the DIVA CUP.
 Two sizes for women who have been pregnant, one for not.  No biggie.  My periods have never been the same.  Took 2 cycles to sorta get the hang of it, but I now take it everywhere and can function nicely in any setting.  Relax!  Check out the links.
This link you can use my coupon code "Jolenecouponcode" to get $10 off when you order $40.  I have never seen the Diva Cup for under $39 in Canada.  I had bought mine in a London Drugs.
The above site has tonnes of products as well, great for those of us living a little more remote!
Oh, see the money I am saving....ha ha!

1 week incubating chicken eggs Hova Bator

I had some doubts that the thermometer was working properly (oh the stress of it all!) and have now tested all the 49 eggs in the Hova-Bator.  I threw away 9 eggs, so have 40 eggs incubating.  The 8 I threw away had not been fertile, seemed to be more porous shells, and 1 had a blood ring in it.  The rest either all have veins or had some obvious movements inside them!  So Mother's Day means more hatching for us.  The last 20 chicks are doing wonderfully in their brooder in the barn.  Growing fast and needing a clean out today!

25th Anniversary for my folks

June 30, 1985-April 2011
25 years and counting up the fun!

7 granddaughters, 1 grandson.
Vedder River at Chilliwack BC

Celebrating my brother's milestone birthday and taking some family photos for a belated 25th Anniversary for our folks.  Aren't we a good lookin' crowd?!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another wee niece has arrived

I am officially an Auntie of 11...5 nephews and 6 nieces.

Such happy news, so why should it bring me to bittersweet tears?  I am so far far away!  My first niece was born the day after my sister died which seems hardly fair to her.  I was in Manitoba, my brother in BC, so I have missed out on all their five babies.  My husband was 4 siblings, so you'd think I'd be able to catch some them more right?  Two nephews were born before we moved away from Manitoba.  It was nice being able to bring some food by and we even got to child mind for one of them on occasion.  Then WE had the gall to move to more babies are being born...whole pregnancies go by without a squeeze and whole summers go by without being able to take nephews/nieces for walks or ice cream.  My heart breaks.

I had some wonderful Uncle and Aunts growing up who spoke life into me and I'm sure prayed for me lots.  All I am left with is to pray for them as well.  I keep thinking that someday I will have more funds available to send parcels without the concern over postage, to be able to hop on a flight and make it out for a visit.  Until then, I will sit home, remembering them in my prayers and praying the day comes sooner than later that I may hold and squish them all to myself.

Welcome to the family little one!
A little update~ I am relaxing after this post, I have seen some pictures of the little sweetie, Jade, so I am motivated and the girls and I have some things we want to get together to mail out for the little "sisters"...Suzie has a sister!

The empty nest syndrome!

Yes, we moved the little chicks out to the brooder pen empty nest syndrome has settled in.  No checking the sleeping chicks before I go to bed, no waking up to little peep peep peep!  The house is darker when I get up in the night to use the chicken light streaming out of the homeschool room!
I've started one more batch of eggs in the Hova Bator, but just now realized the temperature may have been a little I increased it.  Hope I didn't just waste a bunch of eggs and made them all rotten.

Here's some photos of the chicks at 12 days and 8 days old moving into the brooder pen.
Little Licorce likes to perch

They were unsure what to do with all the room they had at they are running around very happy!  My hubby made a collapsible enclosure for them with old plywood.  A pentagon shape, with one side that swings open.  Plywood on the bottom as well, it's important they have warm feet.  We put down feedbags, then shavings and they are scratching and fluffing themselves very contentedly.  
Temperature is good, under the heat lamp is around 100, but further away it gets cooler.  If they are hundled together all the time, they are cold.  If they are spread out that is good.  If they are lying there panting, way too hot!  haha

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My brother...turns the big 40 today!

Oh, he'll probably never know about this, so I hope he doesn't mind me saying his age!  Seeing as he is 40, must mean I am getting older too!  So how do I go about writing a post about my 1 and only brother?  Do I simply list off all his attributes and qualities that truly made him "MR. Nauce" ?

A sibling is like no other.  Who else knows exactly what you are talking about when remembering your family when you were growing up?  The vacations, the work, the fun supper meals?

I had the bestest big brother ever...he protected me.  He showed me how to make "moolah" by collecting beer bottles, old copper wiring, selling marbles back to your buddies, raising pigs, etc.  He was industrious and always thinking.  He had an appreciation for yummy food and had a laugh/giggle we all liked to hear.

I was quite devastated when he moved away when I was in grade 9.  BUT he remembered my birthday and though I don't keep score, probably hasn't since.

My brother and I have stood beside our Mom as children at our Dad's grave and later as adults and him a new Dad while we buried our sister.  No one else can identify and understand us like we can.  I hope he knows that I will always have his back.  My brother had a lot thrown his way and has overcome and is a wonderful husband and father of five.  He's not an old man, but for today, I may tease him about being so old!  ha ha. I know how many years behind him I am!

I was trying to find photos on our computer of my big brother and found some from Easter 2 years ago.
Happy Birthday Mr. Nauce from Gran

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baby Chicks 8 days and 4 days old

The 8 day old chicks are already getting their tail feathers.  I believe these are going to pretty chickens with speckled/colored wing feathers!  The baby bantams are looking smaller and smaller as the other chicks grow bigger.

Look at my feathers...and aren't I so cute standing in my feed dish?

2 tiny bantams standing beside the others, their favorite spot to cuddle up.  It's like the others are their Mom.

Looking up at another chick

This is "Pepper" Ruth's little one...regular feet.

See my tail feathers?

Last night this is how I left them when I went to a little fuzzy carpet.  Notice 4 are in the feed dish!  One's head is dangling out.

Mei's little "Cookie"...if you look closely your eyes really aren't playing tricks on you...his/her feet are growing fuzzy feathers!  Adorable yes!

Notice the size difference!  The little black one in the back is Kate's "Licorce"...also with fuzzy feet!  Her 1st licorce had a bad leg that could not be fixed. After many tears for all of us, she claimed another Licorce as her own, and left the 1st to chicky heaven.

Switching Banking Institutions ~ Yikes!

So we have delayed since our move to BC with switching our banking institutions to a local bank.  Before we moved from Manitoba to BC we put all our banking into internet/online banking and linked all the accounts together for ease of transferring money.  All our government cheques were automatically deposited, etc.  I could deposit into a bank machine at any CIBC or PC financial places.  It worked wonderfully.  I could pay all our bills online, which was a life saver as with our mail delivery, I often only received our bills within days of them needing to be paid.
We loved ING DIRECT for their ease of operations and have savings accounts there for the girls.  I deposited money into their accounts and they ALL received a $25 bonus!  So if you are looking for a basic interest paying (although it is low, everything is low right now) the bonus really helps!  GO to and use our referral code (ORANGE KEY) # 32040301S1. Yes, you and I both get the $25 bonus!  They have been so great to work with online!
We told ourselves that once our Manitoba house sold, we would close off all Mb accounts and open up something local.  So, now is the time.

We went to the Royal Bank in town and we were given such friendly service and chose them for their ease of doing TFSA (Tax Free Saving Accounts) with shares/stocks, etc online.  NOW the only thing that has been somewhat annoying, is having everything ON HOLD when we deposit.  The holds are 5 days right now because we are a new client with no history.  Policy.  Not too bad, but annoying when we wanted to do something with the money.

So, one more stage of finalizing our move is being done...requested our CO-OP equity from MB and also to close our banking there.  Guess it is for sure now eh?  BC is our life!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baby Chicks 6 days old

Wow they grow so fast!  Look at their wings now!

look at their pretty striped feathers coming!

Trying to compare sizes, wish I had a tiny scale!
trying to show how incredibly small they are

Ruth's little "Pepper" and look at the eyeliner on the one on the left!

Note the difference in sizes from 1 week to fresh to the bantams

Yummy Cinnamon Buns or Sticky Buns

Our family loves cinnamon buns and from the time our girls could stand they have been helping me spread the brown sugar, etc.  What an easy fun activity to do with them and get them interested in baking!  Nothing like the smell of cinnamon in a room to get the mouth watering!  I have read that men really like coming home to the smell of cinnamon in the home!
These ones got a little out of control

Cinnamon Buns or Bread  (makes 2- 9x13 pans)

1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup margarine or oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp instant yeast
3 cups warm water
8 cups (approx) white flour

Beat egg, add sugar and melted marg or oil.  Add salt, yeast and warm water.  Mix in flour until not sticky.  Let rise 1 hour.  Punch down. ( as in get your kids to punch it, or you can do it too)  My technique is punch it a few times, flip it over, punch a few times, etc.  You can now roll it out for buns, or let rise again for 1 more hour.
Now make plain buns, cinnamon buns or cinnamon bread.
Cut dough into 2 parts for cinnamon buns.  Cut into 3 or 4 parts for bread loaves.
~ Roll dough thin in a rectangle.  Spread with butter, add brown sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Roll up from longest end.  Cut and place in 9x13 pan with your sticky goop in the bottom.  Let rise.  Bake approx 30 minutes at 350F.
~ For bread just use brown sugar and cinnamon.  Place in a loaf pan.  Rise about 1 hour, bake approx 40 minutes.
***Sticky goop****
equal measures approx. 1/2 cup corn syrup, brown sugar and butter.
**** My variations****
Use butter in recipe.  Use milk in dough.  Add 1-2 cups whole wheat and flax for a little healthier, but hey, they are cinnamon buns!  Use cream in the goopy stuff.  Add pecans to the goop.

When you take the buns out the oven, cool for a little bit, then flip upside down on a cookie sheet and then slide back into pan.  That way the goop will not make them stick like cement to your pan when they cool and the goop drips down on them...yum yum in my tum!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2nd Incubator Hatching Chicks Day 20 the Hova-Bator

Well, the Hova-Bator is hatching our 2nd batch of chicken eggs, one day early.  Maybe the thermometer wasn't the problem with the 1st batch.  The temp. is at 100 and humidity around the 70 mark.  I heard a peep peep last night from a brown egg, so I quickly removed the turning rack that held them big end up.

"Licorce" makes his/her appearance.  Kate had a little black chick at my folks when she was wee little named Licorce...the pigs ate it.  Now we have no pigs, so this one is safe!

"Esther" is tired of waiting for her younger siblings to arrive and takes a nap by Mei's heart beat.

This is a pretty normal scene, Nana playing with the chicks of human and poultry decent.

This is the Duits' little chick, who arrives just as they were pulling into the drive way~  Perfect timing!  It seems lighter than the rest at the moment.

The feathers are coming in on the 1st hatch on April 8th, so 3-4 days old!

There were some eggs pipped in the morning at 4:30 am and at 7 am. Kate's was the first black little bantam chick at less than 10 hours since the first sign of pips.  Much faster.  2nd egg (our friends the Duits egg) hatched just as they were pulling into our yard around 3:30pm.  I was videotaping this one for them in case they missed it, but they got to see it all squiggly, wet and funny looking.  Ruth's little black bantam hatched at 6:10pm.
The Duits' white chick with red mask....adorable!

1st bantam out!  Licorce returns!


Kate's "Licorce" a few hours hatched

The Duits' little white chick actually has a red mask and is getting very pretty!  Ruth's is the spotted bantam.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

I had a request for the Peanut Butter Pie I had made in a previous post about reliving child hood memories.
Here it is C!

Peanut Butter Pie

1 baked 9 in. pastry shell                              
3/4 cup powdered sugar                              
1/3 cup peanut butter                                      3 egg whites
2 cup milk                                                       1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar                                                  1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cornstarch                                          6 tbsp sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
 1 tsp vanilla

Mix powdered sugar and peanut butter until crumbly.
Set aside 2 tbsp of this for on top of meringue.
Place in bottom of baked pie crust.
Scald 2 cups milk.
Mix the 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks in small bowl.  Add some scalded milk to this, then add to remaining milk, to ensure it is creamy smooth.
Cook until thickened.  Add butter and 1 tsp vanilla.  Pour over crumbs in crust.
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla until soft peaks form.  Gradually add 6 tbsp of sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks form.
Spread over filling, top with crumbs that you had set aside.
Bake 350F for 12-15 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned.
**** The only thing I did differently was use more egg white so I got lots of meringue!  IT IS SWEET and we eat it with a bowl of popcorn!*****

Video link of chicks hatching day 22-23

this is a video of the 1st chick hatching

This is little Joel & Victoria hatching video
The above is how we play with them on a Sunday afternoon!
and again below...

Someone please comment if you could see these!  It worked for me, but don't know if you will be able to.  I can't upload a video to blogger, but I can to facebook.
Thanks for the feedback!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chick hatching... Joel & Victoria Osteen...hee hee

Here is a video, hopefully it works, of the 1st and 2nd chicks hatched for us...they quickly became known as Joel & Victoria (Osteen) from Lakewood church in the USA.  Joel is an encourager, and he was hopping around encouraging the rest of the chicks to hatch!  ha ha!   Victoria is still the lightest golden- blonde of the batch.  Our girls thought of this as we watch them on TV every Sunday at Mom and Dad's.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The great Chicken Update! Day 22 and counting!

We started to see some developments at around 4pm on April 7th.  I had written down the 7th for the 1st hatch.  So here's the breakdown as of 1 pm on April 8th.  Our temperature may have actually been a little lower than 99, so our hatch is a little slower???  We finished April 9th.  Way too long!

1st pip ~ April 7th 4 pm  hatched "Joel" at 7:30am  Joel is big and boisterous and has a little black line down his head and looks like he is wearing black "Cleopatra" eye makeup.
2nd pip ~ April 7th 6 pm. Mei's marked egg.  Started from the pointy end "breech"...I moistened it a little as the feather's were stuck to the membrane and within 1 hour it hatched at 12:45 pm April 8th.
3rd - 6th pips ~ by 10 pm April 7th.
7th & 8th pips ~ 6:30am and 7 am.
3rd pip hatched April 8th at 10 am.  Joel encouraged Victoria ( Osteen) to come of the egg.
The rest of the eggs are taking their sweet time.  I think the incubator may have some temperature variations within it.  Tonight should see some more action.
Kate's photo through the ventilation hole.  She thought the photo was weird, I think it's cool.

I finally got a shower in, girls were laughing at my hair.  In my defense, I just took the towel off and the girls called me to "quickly come look at this!"

First coming out, all balled up tight.

What was the chicks home for 21 days!

The tooth is on the left, this little one made it out safe and sound

On the left you'll see a plastic's from my Pampered Chef perfectly over the fan area, as some chicks were getting caught (not hurt though)  Thanks Gab!

Kate and her friend made this cute sign!  "Chick Hotel"

One of my all time favorite pictures...he's posing!

For follow-up, we lost 15 hoo.  They were all mature, but either pipped and died or didn't pip at all.  It was so incredibly sad.  We put so much effort into getting everything right.  We knew it was to be a learning experience and that maybe the incubator would have some problems.  As far as my research tells me, my thermometer may have been reading higher than it was.  If I do this again (besides next week, when the Havo-Bator starts hatching) I would calibrate the thermometer.  If the temperature is too low, they take longer to mature and may be weaker.  ALSO, incorrect positioning may have been the reason lots of ours just couldn't pip out.   I believe God gave us animals and us brains to take care of them and use them for our benefit...eggs, meat, enjoyment, etc.  We so loved our little eggs, so it was hard to see some die.  We felt like we were partnering with God in this venture, and although we have sure learned a lot, we felt like we let Him down...we most likely caused some of His beautiful little creatures to parish.  There is a saying that goes something like this "You can tell a man's heart in the way that he treats his animals".  We felt just sick about losing some eggs.  I haven't been able to eat hardly anything, so happy everything is now over until the next ones start.  I just want to be a good steward of all God gives me.
The chicks are beautiful and cute and I will fall asleep listening to them Cheep Cheep Cheep again tonight!
I'll see if I can figure out how to upload a video of a full egg hatch tomorrow!
Thanks for all your interest and encouragement and advice everyone!