Friday, December 28, 2012

My Life On the Farm as a King Cousin

The other night Erik was busy with school so I grabbed the remote and started channel surfing. There wasn't a whole lot on, but then I came across a classic, "Anne of Green Gables." It was starting in five minutes!  "I have to DVR this," I said as I was thinking of how I was going to cuddle up with my girls and introduce them to Anne with and "e" and the simple way of living that took place on Prince Edward Island. 

Erik quickly responded with,"Why?"

"What do you mean why? Because I love this movie. That's why!" I said with a "back-off" attitude. He was mocking me and ruining my feel good moment, he should know better than that by now. 

The truth is I want to live on Prince Edward Island. I want to be a King cousin and live in a simple but elegant home decorated with gorgeous frilly things. I want to wear fancy hats, dresses with lace and adorable leather boots with buttons up the side. There is a part of me that thinks there would be nothing greater than sitting on a big white front porch sipping on freshly squeezed lemonade, smelling the aroma of dinner from the kitchen window as I watch the children frolic in the island breeze. 

As my mind wonders the realist in me starts to come out and I start to think about the garden that's out back and how I'm going to have to tend that garden and grow those vegetables that are cooking in the kitchen. In the dirt. In the blazing hot sun. And how the dress I'm wearing is going to have to be washed after working in the garden. On a washboard. By hand. And how dirty the children are going to be after frolicking in the field and how they will need a bath. With water that I will have to boil. In a tub that I will have to fill. 

And let's not forget about Bessie the cow out back that has to be milked every morning at the crack of dawn. I'm not a morning person and getting up early to milk a cow sounds about as much fun as having my armpit hair plucked out one by one. I really don't think I'm up for that kind of commitment. 

I come to the conclusion that I really love my washer and dryer, my running hot water and the fact that I can drive in my car to the grocery store to buy bessie's milk. I will continue to dream of living on Prince Edward Island for all the positive reasons and then come back to reality when I realize I'm as cut out for farm life like Miss Piggy is for roller skates.

Even though I could never make it on a farm, I still allow a hint of my inner prairie-life to come out once an awhile. And when I say "hint" I might mean just a sliver of a hint. I might mean putting a few Pinterest ideas into action. Ones that are easy, don't require too much sewing and include all ingredients that I can find at my local grocery store! 

I am actually pretty proud of a recent discovery that makes me feel like I'm rolling up my sleeves and doing my part on the farm. I made my own laundry soap! I'm serious, I really did. It's easy, and it works! I'm hooked because this recipe requires no real skill at all, you just dump all the ingredients into a bucket. Also, it last forever, like six months or longer (we have nine people in our house). Everything you need to make it you can find at any grocery store. Here is the recipe I used. And it works awesome!

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax 

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda 

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz 

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle 

2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean 

1 container of laundry crystals (optional, but I love the added fragrance)

Directions: Grate the bars of Fels soap and then combine all ingredients!

I use 1/4 cup per load for our large front loader.

Here is a picture of what it looked like all said and done (before I added the crystals). Cool, huh?

The only thing that makes this next one somewhat prairie-like is that it involves pretty lace. I really don't think anyone on Prince Edward Island would approve of my new look. I would have all the townswoman gossiping about me and my ungodly ways the next time I ventured into town! 

At first I thought I was going to have to sew lace patches under my jeans, so I knew I was going to have to recruit my mom for that task. Then I realized, duh lace tights! I found them on Ebay. Seriously how cute is this? 

One of our favorite lines from Little House on the Prairie (I know, I'm mixing up shows here, but I also want to be Laura Ingalls!) is when Pa says, "There's nothing like a nice cup of coffee before bed." 

I couldn't do it Pa! Caffeine makes me crazy. I have realized that I function better off of caffeine. I have been off of it for a few months and I feel amazing. I don't wake up ready to bite someone that gets in between me and my coffee pot. My desire to be completely unproductive and take a nap every afternoon has ceased.  Here is a letter the girls wrote to me a week or so after I gave it up. 

It's really that noticeable!

I have a feeling this was not Ma or Pa's parenting style, but it pretty much sums up ours! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and here's to a wonderful New Year! I have a feeling 2013 is going to be great!

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