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Monday, September 21, 2009

Restless leg syndrome and "Why can't I sleep soundly?"

My husband suffered from my restless leg syndrome for a lot of years. When I get this, my legs feel like things are crawling in them and they are all jumpy. So, the poor guy feels like he is sleeping with Bruce Lee as I spin around and around in bed kicking everything in my way! A few years back I read that it comes from a lack of potassium and other nutrients. I also read that rooibis tea can help this condition, so I started using it every day. It really helped me. For the most benefit, I started drinking it as iced tea all afternoon and into the early evening. When I make it hot, I do add milk to it. Otherwise, I just brew it up in the morning and then add ice and drink it like that--no sugar at all. I started bringing it to school too, and notice that I am not all shaky legged at night. Any red tea with rooibis as the main ingredient should work. I use any kind that I find in the store, but my all time fav is Organic Asian Pear Rooibis tea made by Bigelow. Can't get it here, so have to order it online or wait until I go to Pennsylvania for some! Since I also have A LOT of trouble staying asleep during the school year, this seems to help a bit then too. If I could just find a good tea for my busy brain syndrome! :)

Kenny is a huge King Arthur fan, and loves Merlin!! We watched that series on NBC this summer (wasn't it cool?). We decided to go back upstate yesterday for the last day of the Renaissance Faire, and I took Ken's picture with his favorite King Arthur character.
I think Ken felt like a kid again going to get his picture taken with a legendary character. Don't we all need to revisit the best parts of our childhoods once in a while? Now we have it on record!!

Merlin looking over the faire from his hillside post. He gave Ken a piece of wisdom from that pouch at this side. It was such a lovely day to go upstate for the entire day. Now we really do have to wait for another year.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Renaissance Faire

The jousting match at the Faire! They have to compete in a variety of games, like catching rings on their lances.
Kenny competes in the strong man competition. He hits the bell up top every year.

Ken getting ready to throw his axes. He's ready to hit that bullseye.
His axes are all on his target! He hit more than anyone this time. Notice that my axe landed squarely in the middle of the red skull! I most definitely told my students about this on Monday (I might have exaggerated slightly about it).

I did, however, easily win the knife throwing contest! That is easy for me for some reason. Winning means I get a lovely little sticker and a skull and crossbones necklace. Yes, I wore it to school!

This is a picture of the human chess board. The queen decides where the players go and they have to fight it out.


More of the living chess game.

The maypole. Remember that when you were a kid? We don't do this in May anymore.


A dragon rising out of the lake.
A harpist. It was a lovely performance. We will not be able to attend the Faire this weekend, and since it is the last one for the year, we will have to wait until next summer to go again. It's a blast!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

All good things must come to an end...to bring more good things!

Every September I lament the loss of my free time and total relaxation; the ability to drag my chores and hobbies out throughout the day and get them done whenever. Now that I am back to school, I have to make time to sew, clean and do my canning, read books and cook. In spite of the sadness at having to leave my home and especially the river, it is also a happy time of new beginnings. As a teacher, my new year is really in September!! I love the fall, the changing weather, the new books and students at school and the chance to work with young people every day. I also see my friends during the day, which is a fun part of being a teacher.

My babies are getting big! Kenny and Rob made them a really big pen to hang around in during the day.
They were all running towards a bug!! Yesterday, before Rob left for college classes, he said a hawk was really pestering the chicks and trying to get to them. He brought them back into the house while he would be gone. I guess without me and the dogs roaming around all day in the yard, the hawk is looking for a happy meal! These chicken nuggets are not for sale!

My mother-in-law wanted to see a picture of my Kitchen Aid attachment for straining fruits and veggies. This is how the seeds, skins and stems come out of the machine. I feed this to the chickens. Looks kinda like poop coming out!
I put the tomatoes in the top part and they go down into the grinder to get separated for sauce. The good sauce comes out of the white thing and into a bowl. I tried to make sauce without cooking it down the other day, but when it was done canning, the water and sauce had separated and there was only about 1/3 of a jar of actual sauce in there. It was all on the top though, so when I go to use it later, it will be easy to get out of the jar. This time, I am cooking it down again before I can it. Next week I will be canning whole and crushed tomatoes. Then it's applesauce time!! I seem to sleep better when I work like this all day, so I don't mind all the work. Even after teaching all day, it is good. Makes it seem like it is still summer!




Saturday, September 5, 2009

Clean sweep!!


Every September, before I go back to work full-time, we clean the entire house inside and out. We clean the cars, the porch, even the dogs get a bath on that day!! This is the bathroom floor with the white rugs my mom gave me this summer. On this big cleaning day, the only thing I use in the bathrooms is bleach. We have a few mildew spots that pop up in the tiles on the shower ceiling and nothing else does the trick. Plus, I have to confess that although I generally clean with organic cleaners, the smell of bleach means clean to me!!


Every surface is clean and fresh. I made blueberry cupcakes for a snack since we were all so busy cleaning. Fruit waits on the counter by the stove. So does my roobis iced tea. That really does seem to do the trick for my restless legs (we always called it shaky leg before it had a real name!!)

Clean bathroom!! I love when the house is all clean!!

Rob powerwashed the house and the windows too. Nothing escaped a mop, hose or cleaning rag today. Good thing no one came over...they would have gotten the treatment too! Needless to say, I am really tired now. It's a good tired though from a day full of good work that really shows. We had shrimp with bacon and goat cheese for an appetizer tonight and for our main dish we had pepper steak. When we are done digesting, we will head over to Westhampton for an ice cream. Tomorrow we are going upstate for the Renaissance Faire!! A very favorite thing we do each September (sometimes we go a few times even though it is a 2 1/2 hour ride).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to school!! A few days left.

I love Halloween and creepy things. I put stuff up in September and leave it up all year. This lovely spider is hanging on my chalk board.
My cork board is covered with farmhouse wallpaper and is used to keep paperwork organized (for about one week--if you know me!!) I am trying a new system to see if I can keep it in order.

My bulletin board in the hall. I saw this idea online and adopted it for my room. Each of the plates has a good thought for life and a food image.

My tomato sauce is done. This took so much time!! Between the Kitchen Aid work (getting rid of skins, seeds, etc) and then boiling the sauce down to a halfway good thickness, it took days to do!! I did get 19 quarts though and will use it in the dead of winter to have fresh tomato taste when we need it.
Crock pot to cook the tomatoes so that I could put them through the food mill. Then I cooked it again in the crock pot (and some on the stove) until it was thick enough to use as sauce. It's a messy process, but now I am done and the kitchen is shiny again. The cool part was using all local tomatoes from my neighbor and all of the herbs and spices were from my own garden. You can't beat that.