Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why the violence?

So I have to sit back and think on things today. Just 2 days following the historic vote on Health Care Reform and I have to say I am deeply disappointed in what this country is becoming. I have a hard time believing some of what I am hearing, what I am seeing and really what I am believing.
For starters, I thought that our country was headed in the right direction in terms of racism. But I am not so sure anymore. To yell racial slurs at our congressmen made my jaw drop, but really was not something that I could not have expected.
To target a congressman because of his sexual orientation, again, made my jaw drop but again I could have expected it.
To call another a Baby Killer, this one I could not believe came out of the mouth of an adult to be completely honest.
But there are 2 things that happened that makes me seriously question what this country is becoming. Spitting on another adult, and resorting to breaking windows of offices of the democratic party. Neither of these are even remotely acceptable no matter what the subject is.
I don't care what your party affiliation, I don't care what your sexual orientation is, I don't care what you believe, these things are not acceptable from anyone, especially someone that considers themselves an adult.
I am very saddened as of late from what I am seeing, what I am hearing and what I am feeling. I hope that everyone can find a way to come together, because right now we are a very weak country because no divided country can be a strong one.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care Reform.....

I have to say that I am on the fence about how it is written, however I am one that believes that something had to change with our health care system. My MIL can hardly afford her insurance since her husband passed away, I know many people that are without insurance because they simply CAN NOT afford it.
While this bill is not perfect, nothing ever is and it is a start. There is still 4 years before much of it even starts. That is plenty of time for things to be worked out.
To me I wish that this issue had not needed to be politicized. If every doctor, nurse, clinic, hospital, insurance company etc would have done things in such a way as to treat the people using the services the way that they themselves would have wanted to be treated then we would not be in this situation. It is something that we learned when we were young, treat others the way you want to be treated. And the huge bills that people receive for services really is insane. Insurance premiums are ungodly high and it is because services that are covered cost so much. These can be things that take 2 seconds to do to 2 hours, it doesn't matter. When I go to see the dr because I have an ear infection that is killing me, it should not cost me 100.00 just to have them look in my ears. Then another 20.00 to get a prescription, and even with my "good" insurance it costs me 20.00 to see the dr and 5.00 to get the meds to take care of it. If these costs were better regulated we would not be in the place that we are today.

And on a side note I really wish we could have all see how Obama would have governed this country had he not been elected and taken office at a time when our country was in such a dire situation. No one can argue the fact that when he took office our country was in a spiral DOWN economically. It was started long before he was elected and lasted into the time that he was in office. However another thing that can not be argued is that while on his watch it is starting to get better.
And I feel this way about Bush as well, I don't blame his for the 9/11 attacks, I don't blame him for the way that things went down, he had to deal with the aftermath less than 1 year after taking office.

So that all being said, we all knew that something needed to change with Health Care, that has been being said for more years than most of us have been able to understand or care about what is going on, for many of us longer than we have been alive. Now that something has been passed, it gives way for passage of changes to the current bill that will hopefully in the end allow for something better to come around. I just really wish that all the representatives, both Dem and Rep could find a way to stop acting like they are in preschool, get along and work this out together. They both need to shut up, listen to the others, find a compromise and include things to make it better for everyone. And that is not a knock at either party, they both need to work better at getting along, its a fact. Illness does not care what party you are affiliated with, you will get sick no matter what you believe and EVERYONE deserves to be treated in a human manner, not left to wonder had they been able to afford health care, or been able to afford insurance, would they not be dying because they could have gotten help.

I am sorry that everyone is so upset about the passage of the Health Care package, I am sorry that it doesn't contain many of the things that this country seriously needs, and I am sorry that the country that I call home is so seriously divided that they can not work together to help each other.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The sweet days of Spring!

So spring is finally here in Iowa. The days are getting longer, we are having more warm days and surprisingly there are flowers starting to sprout. Most years this comes as no real shock but after the long winter that has been, you really start to question if it will ever come. This year as gone down in the record books as one of the worst winters Iowa has ever seen and its number 5 of the snowiest. That is something that we didn't have to make the books for but we can say that we have survived our first winter in our new house and it was not an easy one to survive!

So with the coming of spring there really is so much to do. Today the kids and I spent a portion of the afternoon outside playing and cleaning up the yard. So much trash blew into the yard with the snows that we worked on cleaning up. We surveyed the damages by the rabbits. We are hoping that we did not loose too many trees but it will really be touch and go this year. They had such a hard winter and ate so much bark from the young apple trees. So we shall see what the warmer weather brings with them. The roses are greening up and now I need to read up on how I am supposed to prune them back. The strawberries are coming back and it makes me long for the day that we can start picking and eating them. Oh so sweet and yummy.

But there is still a great deal of work to be done. We need to clean off all the flowers so that new growth can form and start cleaning out the stalls in the barn. So much of that will have to wait a bit longer until we can let the cows back out onto the pasture without fear of killing the grass that is trying to grow.
The chickens ventured out of the hen house and into the grass today. What a beautiful site to see them playing on the grass and enjoying some fresh air.

And with that the end of a beautiful spring day has arrived. We did some cleaning in the house and now the kitchen will be cleaned up and some relaxing will be done. Until the next day that we can get outside and enjoy ourselves....goodnight.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cooking From Scratch

Something that is very important to me is to provide my family with the healthiest foods possible and one way I am able to do that is cooking from scratch. At least that way I know what has gone into the foods that they are eating. It started with our main meals being made from scratch, very very little is processed foods. We have gotten to the point that all of our eggs are from the farm and we have the feed custom ground for them. Our milk is now fresh from the farm as well. We grow our own animals for butcher as well. In the summer we have a large garden and preserve as much as we possibly can. This winter I have added to the list our bread as well. It started off with making our bread for the house and once that was to the point that I felt that I could add something more I went searching. The next thing I made was homemade french bread for with spaghetti. It was wonderful. I was on a mission. What else could I make that my family enjoys to reduce what came processed from the store?
I found it.......BAGELS. Now I was really nervous before I made them the first time. Its not normal in my book to take the dough you have made and boil it, how in the world was this possibly going to turn out good when I have just boiled my dough? But I took the plunge and all I can say is YUMMO. My family loves them! I can't even keep a batch of them in the house more than 24 hours when I do make them and to me that says something!
Tonight I made English Muffins and while they are not exactly what I think of from the store, they are DELISH if I do say so myself.
So I thought that I would include the recipe for the Bagels tonight for anyone looking for an easy recipe that is very good and healthy for your family as well.

Brooklyn Bagels
4 to 5 cups all purpose flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1.5 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)
2 Tablespoons Honey or Sugar (I use local honey)
1 egg white
1 teaspoon water

Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl.
Stir in hot water and honey; beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; continue to work in flour until dough is stiff enough to knead. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes)
Cover with a bowl and let rest 15 minutes
Divide dough into 12 equal parts (I find this is too small and divide mine into 8 to 10 equal parts) Shape each into a flattened ball. With thumb and forefinger poke a hole into center. Stretch and rotate until hole enlarges to about 1 to 2 inches.
Cover; let rise about 20 minutes
Boil water in a large shallow pan, about 2 inches deep. Reduce heat. Simmer a few bagels at a time 3.5 minutes each side. Remove from pan; drain on a towel about 5 minutes. Place on a greased baking sheet; brush with mixture of egg white and water.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until done.
To serve, split and toast.

Hope you enjoy!
We plan to make some variations of these into some flavored bagels for the family but for now they are still enjoying the plain ones so that is what I have been making!

Monday, March 1, 2010

What happens to the days?

This is a question I ask myself daily, WHERE DID MY DAY GO? It seems I am never able to complete even half of what I would like or need to do in a day. Between nursing the littlest one, feeding all of them and trying to pick up behind them it seems that 90% of my day is gone. The other 10% gets spent taking care of the animals and figuring out what is the most important thing that still remains to be done.

Take today for example. We got up, fed the kids, milked the cow and did the chores. By this point it was time to start thinking about what to have for lunch. Throw the food in the oven to cook and get the dishwasher started. During that time make the phone calls that need made and pick up as best you can behind 3 children 5 and under. Lunch is now ready, feed the kids and get them and the mess cleaned back up and it is now time to get the oldest ready to go to preschool. Out the door she goes with her dad and into bed with the youngest to nurse him to sleep. He is up and now its time to check your emails and get things ready for the afternoon. You see its dance night so when the oldest is done with preschool we have a 30 minute drive to another town for that. So pack the diaper bag, fill out paper work and make sure that the dance bag is ready for dance. When the 2 youngest children wake from naps it is time for a small snack, a dose of medicine to help one feel better and time to head out the door to pick up their sister. At this point we head to town to go to the library to grab some books and off to dance. After dance which ends at 5:45 we head for home. Dinner was supposed to be served about 15 minutes ago so the children are all in meltdown wanting to eat NOW. Stop at the fast food chain and pick up the worst meal you can possibly feed your family and hurry on home. Once home, sit down to eat all the time thinking that this cannot possibly be good for anyone, but hey the kids are happy right. Give the kids a chance to run off a bit of energy all while trying to prevent the melt down that will occur if anyone looks at the other wrong and then time to get ready for bed. Once I get the 2 littlest off to dream land its time for a book and bed for the oldest. Ahh the sound of silence. That few minutes in the day when you sit back and say WOW I MADE IT THROUGH ANOTHER ONE.

Now that leads me to the rest of the evening. I know that I should be picking up the toys, changing laundry, emptying the dishwasher and probably even scrubbing my floors, but you know what, I am tired. I need a break from the day and a chance to regroup because just like today, tomorrow will be a busy one.

And someone close to me once asked me if I could really stay busy all day once my kids were in school....ya I am pretty sure I can and my animals may not have to deal with stalls that seem to ALWAYS need cleaned!!!!

Night all