Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flu again, and spring cleaning

I wrote about Flannery coming down with a cold.  It was a short, but intense cold.  Fever, body aches, extreme tiredness.  It almost resembled the flu we had 4 weeks ago.  But it was short lived.  I figured it was just a bad cold.  Then Saoirse came down with it.  She was only on day one when I last wrote.  It is now day 6 and she is over the acute phase, but is nowhere back to normal.  The three boys all came down with it within the same 24 hours.  They are on day 3.  It seems to me to be day 475!!!  High fevers, headaches, stomach pain, coughing, noses, aches/pains, etc.  Basically the flu.  I didn't really think it possible to get the flu a second time.  It turns out, according to one of our news stations, that there are 3 flu strains going around.  I find it odd that they were saying the local hospitals were preparing for a huge influx of flu patients in a weeks time (exactly when the boys got hit with it).  How did they figure they would be hit in a week?  Regardless, we are stuck with it.

Next day now....had to attend to a wee sick boy.  Now I'm coming down with it.  Oh joy.  I really do not relish having to dig out of the mess that always results when the big ickies hit.  Especially seeing as how I was making some progress with my spring cleaning.  Yes, I am aware that it is still winter.  But I learned my lesson last year.  Spring around here involves baby goats, chicks, trying to get back into a milking routine, starting and planting seedlings.  Of course the every day stuff still must carry on.  Last year I started spring cleaning right before all of the spring commotion started.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  That was a recipe for insanity :-)  One I wished not to repeat. 

So in the interest of keeping my sanity intact I've started some spring cleaning projects.  I've made some headway, but for the most part I'm in the stage where it gets worse before it gets better.  My goal is to carry on with our regular stuff and try to squeeze in a bit here and a bit there.  I kind of prefer to take a week off of schooling to do the spring cleaning, but I don't have that option right now.  My list is long.  It would be nice if I could prioritize, but I have to be extremely flexible since my time is so limited. 

Here is what I've been working on:

I pulled out all of our empty 5 gallon buckets.  They need to be washed out thoroughly and set aside until we need them.

I'm going through our closet, where we house our food storage, to make an inventory of what we have on hand.  This was after I had some 'help' by some little boys to gather the items that were scattered here and there around my room, the closet or elsewhere.  I am making a list in a notebook to tally how many of each item we have.  I plan on making a sheet where we will record what comes in, with the month and year written in the provided square.  Then when we need to take something out we will look for what is the oldest of our needed item, and check it off the list when we find it.  I started using a permanent marker to write the month/year on each item.  Not sure if I am making sense, but once I have my tally sheet completed I will share it.

More messes.  This shelf is right above all the food you see in the above picture.

This hasn't gotten too out of hand, but some food dust and such needs to be cleaned off the wooden board.  Plus I need to take note of all that I have under the board.

This is the ONE area that I got finished.  I really wished I took a before picture.  For a taste of what it looked like, just look at the below picture, the one of our medicine cabinet.  Just imagine that same chaos in the above picture.  On the right side, middle shelf you can see the 3/4 gallon plastic jar, currently holding coconut flakes.  I had a few more of those in there (below you will see where I moved them), but the weight of them was making the shelf bow.  You can still kind of see the curve in the above picture. We used to keep the tea on the top shelf, but it was being used constantly and the boxes started to be just thrown up there!  I would have put them on the bottom shelf, but I was afraid that the weight of the beans would have caused the same bowing that the other containers did.  On the bottom right you see some of our bulk foods (lentils, flax seeds, nutritional yeast).  On top is my stick blender, and a bunch of empty tins. The tins are used to house any active homeopathic remedy.

The monster of a medicine cabinet.  Oy, I am not looking forward to dealing with this beast.  I would love to throw out most of this stuff.  It always, ALWAYS gets trashed not weeks after I put it all in order.  The middle shelf houses first aid and supplements.  I think most of the supplements could be safely gotten rid of, but there are always those...."I might need this..."  The top left is for the animals, the top right is my homoepathy.  The bottom left is for creams and impliments (nail clippers, medicine cups, etc.).  The rest of the bottom is for pain meds, and tummy stuff.  I think our cold/allergy stuff has gotten strewn about.  I will be tackling this next.

Here are the other 3/4 gallon plastic jugs.  These jugs are what our coconut oil comes in.  After we go through the oil, I just wash the jug out and try my best to get the paper off the front.  Even though they are opaque and you can see what is inside, I labeled them.  I had just dehydrated almost two bags (6 pounds) of almonds (first I had let them soak over night).  There wasn't enough room for them in just one of the plastic jars, so I put the left overs in the glass jar.  Somehow, with all the mess and sickness I've gotten these things done and dehydrated a few things.  Not much, just small things, like a bunch of celery, Jeremiah found out...some canned pumpkin.  I found a recipe, GAPS legal, for a cup of creamy hot cocoa.  The secret ingredient was pureed pumpkin.  I had a large can, but only needed a wee bit.  So I threw the rest of the pumpkin on my dehydrator trays.  The next day I had them sitting in a baggie curing.  They were in large strips, just like a fruit roll up.  After I knew that they were thoroughly dry I planned on giving them a whirl in my blender to make pumpkin powder.  Well, Jeremiah came by and thought they were fruit roll ups.  Ha, ha.  Boy was he surprised!  He was a bit worried as well, wondering what on earth he had just eaten. 

This shelf was a big mess as well.  This is after I pulled off a bunch of 'stuff'.  I had a few boxes of mason jars up there, that I moved to the laundry room.  I really need these shelves to be available for our dishes and bulk foods.  The bottom shelf and floor really need an overhaul.  Yikes.  Not just two days prior to this picture the shelf that has the large pink pitcher was filled with my gallon and half gallon glass jars.  They are now all being used for yogurt or the miriad of tea I've been making for our sickness.  Oh, and soaking beans and almonds.

I've shard a picture of my pantry closet before.  It was a huge mess as well.  I had recently gone to the local herbal store and bought some new herbs.  Isabella helped me make up a bunch of labels for their new homes.  I'm hoping to get the attachment to my FoodSaver that seals mason jars.  When I do, I will probably move all my herbs over to mason jars.  Most of them are in mason jars, but I try to recycle when I can.  I think some of the jars may be able to use a regular mason jar lid, but not all of the recycled ones. 

Sorry for the poor image.  I can not tell you how many times I've called our local herbal store to see if they have x, y, or z.  They came out with a new brochure and I snagged one and put it up on the inside of one of my cupboards.  I am hoping to make a bulk purchase through herbalcom.  They have the cheapest prices out there.  Most of their products have organic options as well.  This will save us a lot of money in the long run.  Not to mention they have free shipping!  You really can't go wrong with that combo.

That was the last of my spring cleaning pics.  I'm throwing in a few of the boys that I and Jeremiah took a few days ago.  We've had some rollercoaster weather in the past two weeks. Freezing temps, then upper 50's.  Today and tomorrow it will be in the low 30's, and in a weeks time it is supposed to be in the low 60's.  Oy.

This was the first or second day that the boys were sick.  There wasn't a whole lot of running around going on.  Jonah hung out on the truck or our large rock.

That didn't mean there was no fun to be had.  Monsters were still roaming around :-)

Poor Saoirse.  This was one of her bad days.  I think she ever so slowly walked the bike up the hill and rode down once.  That was all the energy she had.

Jed wanted to make some more mud snowmen.  Saoirse had taught the boys to make mud balls a few weeks ago.  They made a family of mudmen.

Jonah was being our ham.  We got quite a few silly, and a few good pictures from him.

Usually Aubrey is all smiles.  He did smile here and there, but not a whole lot.  And not long after this picture all smiles went out the window.  All the kids, except Aubrey...although I've been teaching him, know that if they hear a car coming down our road that they are to run off to the side of the road.  The boys were ahead of us, up the hill, they were just going up and down.  One of the kids said they thought they heard a car.  I didn't hear anything, but took a few quick steps forward to make sure.  A second later we all heard it.  The older two boys got out of the road, but Aubrey just stood there.  Jeremiah says he (talking about himself) hasn't run that fast in a LONG time.  He sprinted up to grab Aubrey.  As soon as our  neighbor started coming over the hill I was waving my arms and telling him to stop.  He immediately did so.  He was still very far from Aubrey.  But the poor baby was terrified. And I would say Jeremiah's and my heart were beating rather quickly as well. 


Sarah Faith said...

Though I love the look of negative space, you're underutilizing that closet/pantry space where your spices are by half! You could add a shelf in between most of those. That could free up more room for your other things that overflow.

Best of luck in organizing and getting healthy, hopefully for a good while! Hope you're remembering to take your CLO/ vitamin D. It is better than a flu shot!
God bless.

The Southern Peach-Girls said...

Oooh, yes, good idea! Right now I'm just trying to move things around to make things more accesable, and then I think adding in more shelving should be considered! I'd like to think it is just this nasty cold that prevented me from thinking about that option :-) ha! Oh, oh, CLO...hmmmmm, I need to do that! I have some in the fridge. Been there way too long, being unused. Not sure how to get it down! Any tips would most certainly be appriciated.


Sarah Faith said...

Have you tried following the CLO with a spoon of peanut butter? Also my kids find that a raw milk chaser is effective in cutting the horrid taste.

The Southern Peach-Girls said...

Oooh, no I haven't. I haven't even gotten around to giving it out!!! Oy. I was just outside watching over the boys with a note pad in hand, writing out a plan of action to boost our health to get over this bump. Right now only one of our kiddos seems to be "stuck" as she has some swollen lymph nodes. I've called the homeopath for her. But I know that this child in particular needs a lot of help. I think I am going to have to pick your brain for some ideas!


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