So much for keeping up with the Joneses.
Yes, I'm lame, but it's been pretty busy here. We've had Lu's 2nd birthday -um, tears- with par-tay; we've enjoyed Halloween, not to mention the hubby and I have been working hard on our new business-not too much longer peeps! Then my birthday came and went in the dark of night-thank goodness, almost completely un-noticed, whew, so glad to be 29 again. We've had sickness, and had to argue our way out of certain vaccinations. Now, we are getting ready for winter in a house we have no idea how it's going to handle it. We have discovered a leak on the roof at our chimney-fixed. Shitty gutter downspouts. Heinous heaters and about to receive our first two cords of firewood since we can't rely on heaters or electrical to the aforementioned heaters. Then last night we found our carpet downstairs was wet -only about a 4ft by 6ft section along a wall and we found the culprit right away. So we think we've fixed why the water was coming in, but need to fix where the water was seeping in and it's where the wall meets the floor. Fun.
My three months of menus was thwarted when a couple of pages went missing and um...someone forgot to save them. So we had nine weeks of menus and they were partially successful. The next six weeks will be a bit more difficult and flexible, I will still prepare a menu, but with options.
Now, I've been using homemade laundry soap since last April and have loved it -there is no strong laundry smell, made from products that you can find in most grocery stores, and best of all YOU know what's in it. Crystal over at the family homesteadhas information on the products that you should use and the recipe that she's been using. I have researched and read tons of recipes and adjusted for our family's needs. Our family has sensitive skin and this has resolved those issues. It's is easy on your clothing and works really well with cloth diapers. Now for all you laundry loving fools, I have put together the recipe and pictures of the process below.
Homemade Laundry Soap
1 bar of laundry soap-Zote, Fels Naptha, Libria, Ivory
1 cup of Borax
2 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 cup of pure baking soda
3 gallons hot water
3-6 drops of essential oil -lavender is our fav
5 gallon bucket
*grate up the bar of soap-most other sites only recommend 1/3 of a bar, I use an entire bar because I make nearly 5 gallons of laundry soap at a time, double the amount-remember four kids +one husband whose job requires the occasional jont in the woods + one mama who bakes without concern for mess = very dirty laundry all of the time. *Zote is what I used this time, probably never again -it's a little strong smelling-I've used Ivory and it's very gentle
*boil 6 cups of water in a pot, stir in the grated bar of soap and simmer until completely dissolved -be patient and STIR it.
*Stir in Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, and baking soda to the water/soap mixture -return to simmer, stir and wait for it to dissolve. If it seems too thick, add a cup or so of water to it, it'll help it dissolve quicker and don't forget to STIR.
*in your 5 gal bucket add 3 gallons of HOT water - I save my milk & vinegar containers just for my detergent.
*add your dissolved detergent mixture to the 5 gal bucket and stir until it is mixed well. Here is where I also add in my essential oil -stir that in and smell the deliciousness that will soon be your laundry!
I have so graciously offered to host Thankgiving-the day after, which we have dubbed, Our Food Celebration. And so it being an open invitation, I have no frickin' idea who is showing up -enter smiley face with beads of sweat or are those tears? no matter. More of that to come, I'll try to post some of my menu and recipes soon.