Archive for February, 2012

Snow Day

Posted on February 29th, 2012 by Tonia 8 Comments

This is the view- or lack thereof- out of my kitchen window right now. Winter finally decided to make an appearance, and- after three and a half months of pitifully warm and snow-less conditions- we’re happy to see it. Us northerners get very nervous when our seasons don’t act normal. We expect full-blown-no-bones-about-it SEASONS around here. Summer is hot, fall is crisp, winter is cold and snowy, and spring is melty and that’s the way we like ’em.

We’re stocked up on TP, I downloaded an audiobook, and the fridge is full of food. Bring it on, blizzard.

**Update: Just got a hilarious text message from our neighbor Sarah saying that Bob realized they were out of beer so he harnessed up their dog and is skijoring to the grocery store. We know how to survive around here. I ran out into the snow in my PJ’s to get a picture…

Buying Bulk

Posted on February 27th, 2012 by Tonia 6 Comments

In an attempt to save money, Mike and I have started ordering some of our cooking and baking supplies in bulk from United Natural Foods, Inc. Although our local co-op has a great organic bulk section, the choices are pretty expensive {the other day, we filled a bag of bulk granola and were shocked at the checkout when we discovered we had just bought $25 worth of granola! We pledged to make our own granola from now on.}

UNFI is a much more economical option, plus we use/waste less packaging. For example, instead of continually buying the local co-op’s 3 lb bags of dog food, we can get the UNFI 15 lb bag.

Of course we still shop at our local co-op for produce and perishable items because we like to buy the locally-grown/produced options that they stock {nothing beats fresh Sassy Nanny goat milk cheese, made about eight miles from here}, but it sure is nice to cut back on the {scarily enormous} amount of money we spend on staples like flour, rice, chicken stock and oats.

We re-evaluated our household budget recently, and our motivation to try to grow most of what we eat was renewed. Food, especially high-quality organic food, is expensive! We will save so much money if we learn to successfully grow/raise/preserve the majority of our year-round diet.

Is it spring yet? I’m so ready to hit the dirt and make it happen.

{Image source}

Barn Dance Benefit

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 by Tonia 1 Comment

Who can say they genuinely like it when their mom calls in the middle of the week and says, “Hey, maybe I’ll come there for a couple days.”?? Me. I like it. My family is made up of four awesome folks who I love spending time with.

And, as if being born to cool people wasn’t enough, I married into an amazing family too. Before I knew them, if you had asked me what I wanted in my future family-in-law, I would have said, “A family that enjoys doing things together- eating meals, playing games, going camping, and just hanging out.” Well, I got exactly what I wanted, plus they’re loving, supportive, and genuine.

Both our sets of parents always have our backs, no matter what crazy thing we’re on to next. The kind of support they give is priceless, and neither Mike nor I would be who we are without the unwavering faith our parents have in us.

And now it’s our turn to be the supporters. Mike’s mom has Polycystic Kidney Disease {PKD} and will need to undergo a transplant in the near future. Her niece offered to donate a kidney and turned out to be a near-perfect match {as perfect as anyone can be without being an identical twin!} We’re all so incredibly thankful to this brave woman for doing this for our mom. It’s a huge relief to know she has a donor lined up.

Mike’s parents have health insurance that will cover some of the cost of the operation, but there’s still a huge amount of money unaccounted for. So our siblings and cousins began brainstorming ways to raise money for them, and {maybe because we’re all feeling creaky/stiff from a long, cold winter} the idea of a barn dance was the winner. I can’t wait to dance the night away with my family and friends. We hired THE BEST folk-dance band around! It has been really fun to see the RSVPs pouring in on the Facebook event page we set up.

We also set up a donation page where you can give a little something if you wish. Your contribution is GREATLY appreciated, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts! It’s really comforting to be able to share this news on the blog and think about all the good thoughts and prayers that will be floating through the air to our family from all corners of the earth. :)


Posted on February 22nd, 2012 by Tonia No Comments

Sometimes it’s nice to not lug along our big camera everywhere we go. But then, when a picturesque moment happens, I wish I had. Here’s a montage of cellphone snapshots that occurred recently while the real camera was left home:

1-3: Vanilla, honey, pistachio milkshakes + Damages Season 1 marathon with Mike= perfect evening // 4: New glasses! Now I look as smart as I am! Bahaha… // 5: “Raising Backyard Pigs” class at the UW-Extension office // 6 & 7: A night of good convo, raucous laughter, playful dogs wrestling on the rug, and sipping old-fashioneds at the yurt with Jen and Trevor.