Thursday, August 4, 2011

Keyboard Tounges or Mobile Blog Malfunction?

Sorry about the jibberish on the previous post. I got some comments that it might have been Zeke or Haddie playing with my phone. I wish it were. But actually I was trying to share a thought before I drifted off and forgot it, but it came up as just punctuation and random letters and numbers. Sorry for the confusion but thanks for the laughs to those of you who commented! Thankfully it is still in my phone so here is the cut and paste:

Having a blog is like music to me. I'd love to create something for others to enjoy and to have as a memory. A recorded memory of a time in my life. But I've found that I would rather enjoy what's already been created by others. It's time consuming to be pregnant and juggling two little busy bodies and feeding the whole brood and cleaning up after our messes, much less to upload interesting photos and share thoughts that... I... seem to forget before I have a chance to blog them. :)

For years I've said musicians need a crowd to play to. That's who I am a part of. I tried playing music in bands and much more enjoyed being in the crowd. Likewise, writers need readers. I enjoy being inspired by others and have some really awesome ideas and thoughts. They just rarely make it into or onto something. I'm busy loving my little family and cooking from scratch what I've been craving all week. So I hope and aspire to blog more often than I do but find myself just reading blogs instead. I like to read forums to find answers to my parenting delimmas, and blogs about sharing the gospel or simply look at pictures of DIY projects to get inspiration for decorating our little living area on this Earth.

So all aspirations aside, I'm freeing myself of the burden and regret of not having shared with the world what the Russells are up to on a more frequent basis. If you don't hear from us for a while, read this blog and find out what we're pondering. You're welcome to come over and see what we're doing. Or you can give us a call.

Love You World.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No AC = Better living?

Just a thought. While our AC was down and out and it was hot I was reading about how to cope. I've had no AC before, but being pregnant put a whole new spin on it at night time! My favorite coping skill turned out to be taking a cold shower and going to bed soaking wet. I didn't learn anything new in my research, but I did find out there is a whole movement of people who are choosing to have no AC because of the benefits of being acclimated to the environment you live in. Even our AC repairman doesn't use his! Interesting! Apparently before we had widespread AC, the government took the Summer off. I remember going home from school early because our schools didn't have AC. It all made sense and we've gone without AC for years in the Summer but night times are especially difficult with two little ones and a prego mama! But one thing I did employ during that time was cooking without cooking: making dinners without using the stove or oven. I've done this a little before when I was young(er) and on a macrobiotic diet before going strictly vegetarian (for 12 years!) to try and ease some digestive issues. It's a lovely concept. But I'm not strictly on any kind of diet these days. I have to have my artificial flavor and coloring popsicle in the evening! We did a lot on the grill, which was fun, and tried to find recipes that didn't require heat and included produce from our yard. I've continued the practice a bit since the AC has come back on (hooray! *see left side of photo above). So I've included my favorite recipe for a chilled dish at the end of the post. It was adapted from a recipe in the Nourishing Traditions book. Tip: make extra and freeze to enjoy the yummy freshness all year round!

In other news, Jordan is at 4-H camp this week. It's a camp where they learn about hunting, fishing, canoeing, and more outdoor stuff. And it's so hot! Poor thing. We miss him and wish there was a webcam where we could see what he was up to! But we pick him up Friday and will hear all the stories through the weekend I'm sure. In the mean time, Darryl has been working on finishing the basement, along with a small crew. Har har! They love love love helping Daddy do stuff. And I enjoy watching from the stairs near the draft of AC.

So since we DO have AC now, we've been indoors a lot more than normal. I tell Zeke, it's too hot for mama! I'm sad I can't take him outside as often as they both would like, but it's hard enough staying hydrated and keeping my blood sugar up without all the heat. So we've been finding lots of fun things to do inside like dance to Putumayo Playground music, blowing the best bubbles ever, and lots and lots of playing, reading, and crafts. And..... I cracked open the dress up chest I've kept for years. I've collected vintage dress up items for years (since I was a teenager) hoping one day to watch my little ones have fun with them. Today was the beginning of that fun! The photo above has Haddie dressed in a dickie and Zeke has on white gloves. The photo below is of super fun cat eye glasses frames. I have about a half dozen of those and should really sell them, but I had to keep this one pair for times like these.

We're enjoying the Summer and hope you are. Stay cool, with or without AC! <3 The Russell Bunch

Pink Gazpacho
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup whole grain bread crumbs (I used oatmeal as a sub)
5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
5 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste (I just used sauce as a sub)
sea salt and pepper
croutons, for garnish
green onion, finely chopped, for garnish
cucumber, peeled and finely chopped, for garnish

Mix ingredients to salt and pepper and blend adding water as needed to make a puree. Chill well before serving. Serve with croutons, finely chopped green onion and cucumber.

I like to also serve with steamed shrimp and cocktail sauce and a nice summery beverage. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eating Our Yard

Yum! It's that time of year! Garden fresh veggies. We've lived in this house almost seven years and the garden has grown and grown, although I'll have to get the dimensions from Darryl. We're far from Dervaes status yet, but working on it! Truth be told, the past three years living on this property has been up in the air with the new county jail being built. Now that it's started we've thrown caution to the wind and let our back yard be mainly garden. We spend the majority of the time there - but that is another blog for another day. Currently we have (still!) kale, cucumbers, squash, beets, carrots, tomatoes*, potatoes, green peppers, cabbage, jalapenos, onions, and a variety of herbs in season! Soon we'll have blueberries, figs, and even later apples, grapes, sweet potatoes and blue pumpkins! We compacted the garden to have such a full variety and it's been working out quite nicely. We hope to have more room for more in the future so we can store and share and have more crops like corn and peaches. It's so nice to just go out in the back yard and pick wonderfully organic produce and bring it in to prepare for lunch or dinner! I'd like to have a goat and a couple chickens (as pets while we live in town *wink wink*) so we can have eggs and dairy. Eventually....

The kids love helping Daddy and Mama in the garden. Jordan enjoys the conversation more so than the labor, Zeke enjoys the manly labor, and Haddie enjoys the dirt. We all enjoy the end result. We're currently eating a lot of squash casserole and cucumber salad. I've included the simple recipes below for your cooking pleasure. 

On a side note: if you live near by and you have an abundance of produce from your own garden that you don't want to go to waste - donate it to BOLO! We have plenty of families who would love to have fresh garden produce. 

*The tomatoes are just beginning to ripen.

Squash Casserole
8 yellow squash, sliced
1 onion, sliced
8oz sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
Pepperidge Farm stuffing
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the squash and onion until tender. Drain and squeeze out excess moisture. Mix with sour cream and cream of chicken soup with salt and pepper to taste. Put in casserole dish and cover with stuffing. Cut butter on top of stuffing. Bake on 350 until stuffing is golden brown. 

Cucumber Salad
cucumbers, peeled and sliced
tomatoes, sliced
onion, sliced
white vinegar
sour cream
salt and pepper

Note: This recipe you got to wing a bit because I don't really measure it. I used to work at a bagel bakery as the prep cook and so I know how to eyeball this recipe but have scaled it down so don't have exact measurements. I base it on how many cucumbers I use. Also I like to peel the cucumbers with a little peel still on for color. 
Add cucumbers, tomatoes and onion to bowl. Pour 1:3 water. Add a big dollop of sour cream, salt and pepper and some fresh (or dried) dill. Mix and chill before serving. Great for cookouts!


Blogging Aspirations

Wow has it really been almost a year since we blogged last? I must be blogging in my mind and never getting around to putting them online. Mainly due to computer issues (both Darryl and my laptops crashed and the PC given to us is sorta slow) and life with two babies - and one on the way! Well I have been inspired to share with the world what we're doing and hope to do. I don't know why. Like I need one more task, one more thing to keep up with, one more distraction, one more burden. But it would be fun to keep a log of our life and things we're doing in case someone wants to read about it. So with that said, I'm going to take a nap and blog later. Ha! Hopefully!