Friday, January 15, 2010

Why I love raw food...

I love raw food. I consider myself a raw foodist even though I frequently fall off the wagon, and I rarely have a day that I eat 100% raw. I am what you would call "raw till dinner". It is too much work for me to make 2 dinners at night. No, I don't eat raw meat. Yes, I would eat unpasteurized cheese if I had access to it.

Early last fall, I quit the raw food and went back to the conventional american diet. There were lots of reasons, including stress, but the main reason was my school schedule. It was difficult to carry my food in with me to school, and I was getting some crazy looks. So I caved, and started eating chips instead of peppers and tomato wedges.

3 days ago, I officially renewed my commitment to a better diet. I just love how quick the results come rolling in! 3 days of mostly raw and some pants that haven't fit me in a couple months are back on my hips. 3 days and my skin is clear. Literally... no more blemishes at all. You go to bed with those little bumps, and maybe one or 2 pimples, and you wake up and it's smooth... I would say like a baby's butt, BUT, baby's butts aren't really that smooth, and I have problems comparing my face to an ass. so.. smooth as something really smooth. For me this always happens the night after my 3rd day raw. You go to sleep your same old self, and wake up with a fresh new complexion! Love it!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Year in review? Not here!

All over the place I am seeing people look back on their accomplishments of the last year. Their favorite books, highlights, recipes, vacations and more. You won't be finding any of that in the Arevalo household. 2009 was a black swirling vortex that sucked me in. 2009 wasn't all that I wanted it to be. 2009 was hard, and grueling, and sometimes cruel. There were moments that I did not think I would make it through. But I did. 2010 is my first step in a different direction. 2010 is my fresh start. And every fresh start needs a theme song.

(So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me I’d like to think my lucky stars that
I’m alive, and well

It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you set and watch go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I’m alive

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out is a blessing can’t you see
Today is the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive, and well
I’m alive, and well

Stars are dancin’ on the water here tonight
It’s good for the soul, and there’s not a sole in sight
But this motors caught it wind and brought me back to life
Now I’m alive, and well

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out is a blessing can’t you see
Today is the first day of the rest of my life
Now I’m alive, and well
Yeah I’m alive, and well

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Garden Planning

Yes, I know, it is negative a bijillion degrees outside and the ground is covered in snow. I am spending my days dreaming of fresh veggies right from my yard. I have decided that gardening is something that I will be handing down to my kiddos so I am starting a garden journal.

In the first section I have calendars with planting dates, transplanting dates, harvesting dates and such. I also have a detailed garden layout plan, where I will be planting each item and how many will go into each square.

The second section has info about each type of seed. Latin names, sun requirements, how to know when it is best to harvest, When and where it was purchased and what I spent.

The third section is the section for lists, logs and recording. In no special order

  • Purchase Log
  • Weather Log
  • Catalog Wishlist
  • Seed Starting Log
  • Planting Log
  • Pest Log
  • Harvest Records
  • Preserving Records

Next will be the diary section where I will record my thoughts and views and gardeny actions, followed by a page for "What I want to do differently next year."

I think this is really going to help me track changes and trends and get better at gardening!

So I am planning an even bigger garden this year. Adan is going to have to build me 7 more boxes. Hopefully he is cool with that! It is going to be tricky to find a place for such a big garden this spring. Our yard is bordered in the back by a tree line. In the morning, our yard will be shaded by the house, and in the afternoon, the trees will be shading the yard. There is a place were the house shadow won't reach, but there is another tree in the yard that will shade the space at this time. I am going to have to offset the garden a bit so that maybe that tree won't shade everything. The rub with all this planning is that I won't know how it's going to work out until the trees have filled in and everything is already planted. I guess I am just going to have to use my guess as to how it will work out!

If you want the garden layout for this season, post in the comments and I will email it to ya!

This year we will be planting:
Early Snowball Cauliflower - 3
Farmer's Extra Early Cauliflower - 3
Red Russian Kale - 3
Cherry Belle Radishes - 32
Lettuce Blend Lettuce - 4
Green Magic Broccoli - 2
Green Sprouting Calabrese Broccoli - 2
Coronando Crown Broccoli - 2
Green Arrow Peas - 144
Purple Pod Beans - 144
Blue Lake Beans - 72
Sultans Beans - 72
Strawberry Popcorn - 24
Yellow Dent Corn - 24
Golden Cross Corn - 24
Boston Pickling Cucumbers - 2
Japanese Climbing Cucumbers - 4
Listada de Gandia Eggplants - 3
Bell Boy Peppers - 2
Sweet Pepper Mix - 4
Chocolate Beauty Bell Peppers - 2
Napoleon Sweet Bell Peppers - 2
Tolli's Sweet Italian Peppers - 2
Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes - 6
Roma Tomatoes - 6
Golden Rave Tomatoes - 6
Gurney Girl Tomatoes - 6
Sweet Baby Girl Tomatoes - 6
Aunt Ruby's German Green Tomatoes - 6
Yellow Pear Tomatoes - 6
Green Tomatillos - 2
Burpee Golden Beets - 16
Danvers Carrots - 64
Nantes Carrots - 64
Envy Carrots - 64
Paris Market Carrots - 64
Yellow Crookneck Squash - 1
Black Magic Zucchini - 2
Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash - 1
Burgess Buttercup Squash - 1
Waltham Butternut Squash - 1
Bibb Lettuce - 8
Iceberg Lettuce - 8
Jack o Lanturn Pumpkins - 2
Lumina Pumpkins - 2
Gurney's Giant Magic Pumpkin - 2
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce - 8
Buttercrunch Lettuce - 8
Bright Lights Swiss chard - 4
Crimson Sweet Watermelon - 3
Aunt Molly's Ground cherry - 1
America Spinach - 9
Teton Spinach - 9
Gurney's Giant Cantalopes - 3
Bidwell Casaba - 1
Charantais Melon - 1
Boule d' Or Melon - 1
Strawberries - 72

Holy beans, that is a long list!! Can't wait for harvest time!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fun with fabric!

Since we have moved into the new house, I have been trying to go room by room and finish any sewing decorating projects, like curtains or rugs or whatever. I finished the kitchen today!

I had purchased some coordinating fabrics for the old house, greens, and purple and pretty, and never got around to putting up the curtains or making the rug... I had that fabric for a year!!

I feel super proud of my self for finally using it up. I made 2 curtains for the entry way, in an olive green leafy print. The ties are in purple. I made a fabric strip version of a hanging curtain for the doorway to the kitchen and I made a woven rug. I even have enough fabric to make a rug for the laundry room!

So the story about the fabric strip curtain: From our front door you can go to your left and go down a short hall to the living room or you can go to the right and in to the kitchen. The door way to the kitchen is wide, and I hate that people entering our house are going to stare right into the kitchen! BUT I love the openness and the view right out to the street. So my compromise was this version of a beaded curtain.

The rug was also super easy. Same basic principle as the woven placemats you made in elementary school. I just cut strips out the length of the rug, and then more for the width, and wove them, under, over, under, over. Then i put on a binding, with mitered corners, like you would for a quilt. I am NOT good at sewing a straight line. That is my goal for this year. Figure out how to sew straight. Entonces, my binding doesn't look super great, but you can't tell unless you look close. Also this was my first time with binding and with mitered corners. All in all, super easy and a fun learning event. I finished it in 2 days, so definitely a weekend project.

I have embraced my mother's advice that perfection is in the little details, so my iron has become my best friend. I ironed all my seams, and measured them to make sure they were uniform. Yes, mom, I measured. All the fabric strips were ironed in so no raw edges would show. My ironing board is feeling a little worn. I think I may need to replace him.

It feels super good to be able to sew and to be tackling these projects that have been on the books so long! Entry way, done! Kitchen done! Next project, laundry room rug! Then on to the Living Room!!


Curtains in the entry way.

Fabric Strips laid out on the craft table

View of the fabric strip curtain from the front door.

Close up on the fabric strips

Weaving the rug

The finished product.

My sad, sad ironing board.