We have been getting good results using Bob's Redmill GF Biscuit and Pancake.
I'm still waiting for our swamp cooler to just fall off the side of our home onto the ground. However, until that happens this ancient swamp machine of at least 8 years continues to function. I replaced the pads for the first time this year and it's blowing some impressive cold air into our home. It's on for less than five hours a day as there is a thermostat hooked up to it. The power draw is about 1/5th that of a compressor based air conditioner. Works great until it gets humid.
We scored a sweet sewing machine from the Saturday yard sales. Wendy confirmed that it was semi-functional although we still have to do more testing to make sure everything we need it to do works. This is a 1930's Industrial sewing machine made by a company called Imperial in Japan. It's not super valuable, but for $7 it was well worth the money.
It's been a while since I filled the batteries that are part of our PV Solar system. We have 24 giant lead-acid L16's and they take about 8 gallons of water when they need to be topped off. Instead of using the old plastic watering can I decided to try a siphon system. This worked pretty well just using $3 in tubing combined with a little squeeze pump I found at a yard sale for $1. I'm transferring rain water from a 4.5 gallon plastic cubby.
Two years ago I had to order Dandelion root from Mountain Rose, this year I've harvested my own. We've got more dandelion than I've ever seen growing everywhere so it was easy. I dried the root, chopped it and put it in a jar. Throughout the year I make tea out of it for a liver cleanse. It helped our dog Sesame get through a near death vaccine poisoning in the Fall. I hope to harvest milk thistle this year too, the two work best when paired.
We just enjoyed a great Squirm Burpee show in Socorro last night with our neighbors Kyle and Jeannie. This group is out of Denver and has a awesome Burningman / Gypsy aesthetic along with a great juggling act. They performance was complete with a juggling act of chainsaws, bowling ball and a egg.
Wendy recently picked up a pair of scissors that I find noteworthy. They are loaded with features including:
- wire cutter
- twine cutter
- bottle opener
- power notch for light rope
- pointed awl tip
- tape cutter
- take apart knife
Mikey and I have both noticed our attachment to it. Having given up the find we both want to be sure that its excavation is properly handled. We want to know who and what it is. After all, a creature who died many millions of years ago remained alone and unnoticed until meeting us. There is an unusual connection. I admit, upon unearthing it I found myself rubbing the bone on my face, an odd form of connection that came quite intuitively.
The archeologist at the state level was quite nice and assured we can stay connected and receive future reports. I am wondering about finders rights to name it. Wouldn't that be neat? So Holy Scrap readers, what would you name a dinosaur? We're thinking scrapasurus.
Last year I pulled a three year old pear tree due to leaf curl. This year it's neighboring tree has it too. I read that copper sulphate is a remedy. Since leaf curl is a fungal disease that hides in the soil I am about to try my own remedy. Creosote is a local plant, an anti fungal. Just so happens its blooming right now so I harvested a bunch of it and soaked it in 5 gallon buckets of water. Tomorrow I will apply it to the soil. I also put some branches of the plant around the base of the trees. Fingers crossed. More as it comes.
We put on our bee suits and added a second super to the hive. We have had this on before, but took it off for the winter. They have never fully built out frames on this super. We feel that since the bee's are established and the weather has been mild that we will give them a chance to really shine this year.
Learn to Make Olive Oil (Castile) Soap in 6 Minutes, a photo by mikeysklar on Flickr.
We started to make soap and like so many DIY activities it is super easy and will save you money. Wendy explains how to make lovely round soap bars from olive oil, lye and water.
My Aunt Anne lives in Austin, TX. She is my mothers fraternal twin sister. Anne sent us this beautiful video of her garden which was filmed by PBS after a major drought. The theme is habitat. Making a place for the birds, bugs and other animals to thrive.
A new trail nicknamed side winder has appeared. It's about an hour's hike in then one must choose one of two further hikes. The trail is almost all uphill but it meanders and zig zags, thus the name, perfect for getting the heart rate up without over doing it. Every time we go we seem to have a social hour at the top. The return includes breathtaking views of T or C and Elephant Butte and a crystal cave. We were lucky to catch the colorful delicate flowers of spring.
Wendy and I have just completed one week without gluten or direct usage of refined sugar in our diet. Wendy treated us to a batch of chocolate chip cookies to celebrate this accomplishment. We used a off-the-shelf mix from Bob's Red Mill. This is a gluten-free product sweetened with beet juice. I'm digging the cookies. We also tried Bob's gf biscuit mix to make waffles which turned out to be the best waffles we had ever made. Now we are deciding on product to buy bulk gluten free all purpose baking flour. Does anyone have a favorite?
I'm still playing with different dips for our flax seed crackers. I liked using ricotta as it had a thick texture. This time I decided to try a sour cream / cream cheese blend to give it more of a dip taste. This one was a little light on thickness, but the taste was dead on.
Here is the recipe I used:
- 6 small sweet bell peppers roasted
- 2 large heads of roasted garlic, recipe follows
- 1 container of cream cheese
- 1 container of sour cream
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced
We had a slow intermittent link under our kitchen sink. It turned out that the little sprayer connection was not tightened down enough. Wendy quickly located and repaired it.
We are trying a diet change for a while. The primary goal is to eliminate as much gluten and refined sugar from our diets without starving. We have been doing this for almost a week and it's been smooth sailing. There are plenty of gluten free flours to choose from and when the weather is warm we enjoy having more raw foods in our diet. Today I made chipotle lime flax crackers in the dehydrator. Combined with a roasted sweet pepper ricotta dip they are delicious.
Here is the recipe for the flax crackers.
- 2 cups flax seed (soak in 4 cups water for 20 minutes)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 t chipotle
- 2 t salt
- 2 limes pressed
Combine and mix in cuisinart.
Dry on solid sheets in dehydrator for 12 hours at 108F.
Flip and dry on perforated sheets for 4 hours at 108F or until crispy.
For our ten year anniversary we decided not to haul camping gear and booked a room at the Gila Wilderness Lodge; a huge old lodge with a shared kitchen, living room, porch and hot spring. We enjoyed meeting the other guests but the lodge left us a bit disappointed. The folks who run it told us the place was from 40 miles from Silver City and failed to mention that because of the severely windy roads that would take 2.5 hours to drive. This sort of thing matters a lot when your driving in the dark far and away from a town or gas station and on dark windy roads. They put us in their smallest room, hardly big enough for Sesame to sleep next to us on the floor and difficult to manage; we found ourselves climbing over our luggage to get to the bed. Though breakfast came with the nearly $100.00 a night rate the high fructose maple syrup mimic product being served indicated to me the quality of the food being served. Next time we'll try out Casitas de Gila or bring along our tent.
The Gila was perfectly beautiful in spite of serious recent fires. We heard amazing stories about them told folks who live there year round; a generation of old timer fire fighters and Apache Indians worked together to protect a border that led to the homes of the small community that lives there year round. The fire came within 1/2 a mile of their door.