Skip to content

Insulation! Yaaa!

December 29, 2009

Our nearly 100 year old house has finally gained insulation in the attic, thanks to my husband, and several hours of cussing, thumping, banging, and one knee and 2 nails through the kitchen ceiling.   He is still laid off, and there are no signs of life in his field anywhere in the near, or slightly-distant future.  So, it’s time to “batten down the hatches” spending-wise.  Though our windows are only about 10 years old(my grandmother replaced them a few years before we moved in), you can DEFINITELY feel cold radiating from the glass.  I think the dorky plastic double-sided tape stuff you shrink on with the blow dryer is in order.  We’re already seeing and noticing results form the insulation, and it’s only half done.  There is now actually SNOW a few inches deep on the roof on the half of the attic that is finished.  There is NEVER snow on our roof, all our escaping heat and $$ quickly melt it away.   The total cost to do our whole attic(it’s a 1 1/2 story home) was only around $300, so hopefully we’ll re-coup that shortly in oil savings.   The kitchen is ALWAYS the hottest part of the house at night in the summer whether we cook in it or not, insulating out that 100+ degree air from the attic, and installing the whole-house fan I got at a garage sale for $20 should help that.

Jon installed lights in the attic too, so we can actually USE it.  There is alot of neat and not-so-neat stuff up there from my grandparents and my uncles and my mom when they were kids.  Vintage games, lots of old pictures, boxes and boxes of vintage Hot Rod magazines(Jon was telling me about an article on how to fix up a Pinto so the ladies will love it.  Just because Myth Busters proved you can polish a turd doesn’t mean you should).  There’s even some vintage porn up there(wonder whose that was??).  My hope is that all Jon’s ‘crap(I use that term in the nicest way possible) in the bedrooms upstairs makes its way into the attic, so I can have a room for Ian up there.  I keep telling him that before Ian turns 20 he might want to sleep in a bed and bedroom of his own.  That gives Jon 17.5 years to clean out one room or the other.

While we didn’t use green insulation(cost-prohibitive right now), we did use green “polyurethane” when we (well, when Jon, I was pregnant) refinished the wood floor in the one bedroom.  I can’t find the product on-line(that would be too helpful), but it is available at Baird Brothers Saw Mill in Canfield(it’s no on their site either).  That’s where we purchsed it.  The price was average with other floor sealing products, and it had NO odor to speak of.  None.  When I was pregnant I could smell things 7 miles away, but I could not smell that floor sealant, even when I went upstairs and poked my head in while Jon was using it.  The stuff is great.  If anyone is interested in the product which I cannot FIND online, drop me a line, and I will ask Jon to go out to the garage and get the name off the bottle.  It’s clear, there’s no stain in it, so you have to actually >like< your wood floor, ha ha ha….

The sky is really clear tonight, and the moon is reeeally visible out the window here in the dining room.  Ian loves to stand here and look out at it, and repeat his version of ‘moon’ over and over and over.  Guess I’ll go wake him so he can do that…


The Breast IS best…

December 27, 2009

I’ve been seeing breastfeeding bill boards popping up around lately.  There is on on 422 in Warren, and one on 224 in Boardman.  This is SUCH a great thing!!!  I nearly jumped out of the car with joy when I saw them.  Of course, this doesn’t mean diddley squat as far as actually GETTING people to breastfeed, but it’s a great thought(it’s the thought that counts, right??).

I had a tremendous struggle with Ian.  My grandmother worked in a hospital in her 20s and 30s and her JOB was mixing up formula all day.  Though that was 60 years ago, that is, of course, for her, the right way.  Her kids were raised on it, and they’re all fine(ummm, thats’ debatable).   I was raised on 2% cows milk(I always hope that since it was the 70s that there were no antibiotics or hormones in the milk I received, but hey…  truths not known can’t make you go slowly insane, right?).  My mom said it hurt too bad when she tried the first time(Really?  I found the first latch-on a joyful, painless experience, not unlike attaching jumper cables to your nipples.  That’s why I kept doing it.  There is video footage of Ian’s first latch on[face ONLY of course], and my mother still jokes about my eyeballs actually bugging out of my head when he latched on).   But then, she didn’t experience birth either, as the mid-seventies was a time when it was popular to ‘knock women out’ for their babies arrival.  She has no memory of it at all.   Between the 2 of them, my support was nil.  Jon was extremely supportive, and encouraged me to the best of his ability, but sitting and watching me cry in pain and frustration is not really his bag.   La Leche League was my hero.  I emailed the Warren rep so many times I don’t even know.   She even helped me through a plugged duct that happened a few weeks after I had stopped nursing.    The weaning occurred as soon as Ian had 2 teeth that occluded.  He drew blood, and I screamed SO loud, that was the end for both of us.  He was 9.5 months old.  I switched him to raw goat milk after that.

If it isn’t enough to convince people with biology that the breast is best, then how about with economics?  The US government spends over $600 million a year to provide formula for its WIC supplemental food program.  WIC actually provides free infant formula to 37% of all infants born in the USA.   I had heard and read that stat before.  When I googled to find the exact stat, I got this blog as a result:

If stats on cost, waste, and $ amounts of dr. visits prevented interest you, that blog post is you’re thing.  It’s got it all.

Why else did I go on this ‘rant’, aside from the billboards?  Yesterday, we met with Jon’s Dad’s side of the family.  Jon’s cousin has a son who will be 1 year old in January.  Jon’s other cousin(not present yesterday) also has an almost 1 year old, a daughter.  Now, the little boy is just SOMETHING.  He’s a little wonder.  He’s adorable, active, personable, he’s got it all.  Mom is a SAHM, and he is just beginning to start on ‘real foods’.  He’s been solely breastfed.  In October, we met the little girl for the first time.  She totally seemed in a ‘daze’.   The eye contact, the personality…  it just wasn’t there.  The little boy was at that same party in October, and though they are only weeks apart, they are really MILES apart.  Why does it seem like you can always spot a formula-fed baby by they way it sits and stares at you with it’s mouth hanging open??  Is it just us(me & Jon)???   Maybe I just don’t understand, and never will.   I guess I’ll just sit back and be thankful that I am the person that I am and I did enough research to know the right thing to do, and I did it, even though it wasn’t fun.

So I Started A Blog…

December 26, 2009

So, I finally decided to start a blog.  Since I’m so horrible at remembering to write things down as I notice them with Ian’s preferences as far as learning, maybe if I blog it all, it will help me.  Or maybe I’m just a loser 😛  Anyway, I live in NE Ohio with my husband, and our 2 year old son.  We have 13 pets, too.   We had our son at  home, and he has yet to actually be touched by a doctor(aside from the dentist I work for).  We are currently somewhere in the middle of deciding exactly how he will be schooled, we just know it will happen under our roof.   Fortunately, my grandmother is still around and kicking quite well, so ‘Boy-o’ spends his days with his grandma and great grandma, who live together, while I’m at work.  He also spends many days at home with his daddy when he’s laid off.   I’m very thankful for each day that the Boy-o and my grandmother have together, as I have many fond memories of growing up with her, and I know that he is the center of her life now.   I look forward to him  having memories of great-grandma playing the same stupid board games over and over and over with him as she did with me(how did she ever tolerate that???).  Though I’m not sure he will ever sit still for as long as I did when I was a kid.  We’ll see 🙂

There are alot of things in the world that make me nuts, and alot of things I like to complain about.  I try to, as Ghandi once said(I think it was him), “Be the change you’d like to see in others”.   I used to use Facebook as a kind of ‘soapbox’, but I got tired of being attacked…  The second time someone told me to keep my kid the hell away from the rest of the world, I bailed.  It’s so much better for me as a person to avoid those kinds of situations.  It’s hard to remain positive and put on a positive demeanor for your kid when you’ve just ‘had it out’ with someone over some cyber-thingy.  I just can’t deal with it anymore.  My time is too precious now, and every minute of it I have goes into improving my son, whether it’s one-on-one time, reading about this or that, or whatever.  At least with my own blog, I can post and gripe about all the things I want to, feel like someone who cares about it might actually read it someday, and no one(hopefully) will lurk and attack me for my views.  But then, since this is my VERY first attempt at this, I could be completely wrong.  I guess I’ll find out.  So far in our quest to ‘be the change we want to see in others’, we’ve done completely away with 10 or more individual ingredients in our foods, in other words, if this or that ingredient is present, we flat out don’t buy it.  We don’t use any health and beauty aids with certain ingredients in them, or that have been tested on animals, so that leaves us with mostly home made choices.  Ninety percent of the things we use are made by this woman: ,  and they are BEYOND excellent.  She lives about an hour from us.  What else…  We’re going to try REALLY hard to start homesteading this year.   We’ve been purchasing raw milk from a few different sources primarily for Ian, since he weaned at 9.5 months, and we’ve contemplated doing our own goat milk.   There are a few people who’ve been helping us, and we’ve decided on breeds for chickens and goats.  Next step woud be to start building shelters.   Aside from a direct protest of the food industry, I think it would be an unbeatable learning experience for the Boy-o.   We already buy many of our foods from local sources, a homestead would be about the only next-best-thing.  As a protest to consumerism, we purchase ALOT at second hand stores, garage sales, Craigs List, etc.   I’m sure there are other things, but they’ve become such a part of my life that I don’t think about it anymore.  OH– we use nothing to clean with but vinegar and alcoholfor about 95% of household chores.  I use soapnuts for my laundry.  They rock!!!  More thngs I forgot that are part of our ‘change’…  See if I remember more before I’m done 🙂

Things that you can find gripes, groans, informative links and tirades about on this blog in the future:

Vaccines(pet and people); food additives/obesity epedemic/ADHD, etc; pet foods and recalls; human foods and recalls; birth; school; perhaps the ocassional political post(I’m completely irked by republicans, and getting totally fed up with democrats too.  Next time, I’ll write my dog in for every office, at least I KNOW he cares); big pharma; milk, and why we aren’t allowed to drink it raw without gov’t approval; how mad I am that I can’t live without my cell phone, but how I also can’t afford to live with it; and whatever else might happen to strike a nerve with me on any given day.

Bare with me as I learn to work this thing.  It should be fun.