For some reason, I get a mild case of 'spring fever' each year. It hits me full force in the fall! I can't remember how it was when we lived in Wisconsin but here in Southeast Arkansas, our fall is kind of like Wisconsin's spring weather- warm in the day and cool at night. Fall lasts longer than the spring and we can keep the windows open for a longer period of time. It seems like in the spring we have nice weather for maybe a month and then it's air conditioning time. We will have windows open from now well into December (last year I got pictures of us decorating the Christmas tree and the window was open in the background!). My 'fall fever' has been kicked into overdrive...I have a huge urge to PURGE everything. I've started with cabinets and I have the attic and garages next on my list. Maybe this is because we're so many people in one space, maybe I'm still tweaking the use of each area/space, maybe my OCD is flaring up again... whatever the cause, I don't mind because every corner is getting organized and cleaned. :)
I'm kind of in awe because usually 6 weeks postpartum I'm spending a lot of time in the chair nursing and not a lot of time sleeping at night. Angel Baby has thrown me for a loop, in a good way! I'd been praying and praying for an easy baby and my prayers have been answered! For a baby who is exclusively breastfed, I'm amazed that she's sleeping 4- 6 hour stretches at night and 2-4 hour stretches during the day. This has never happened before with the other babies! She is the only one of her 'kind' because the other three nursed every 1 1/2-2 hours around the clock for MANY months (maybe until introducing solid foods at 4-6 months?)! She's filling in nicely, I wonder if she'll get as pudgy as Princess did her first year. That girl was rolls on top of rolls! Very cute though, I must say...
Anyway, along with my purging and organizing comes my over-stimulated drive to cook, bake and create things in the kitchen. I like to think I am always busy in the kitchen (I am cooking for lots of mouths every day!) and always have something 'brewing.' But once again, the fall brings something out in me...more baked goods, more pies (I love pumpkins & cranberries in the fall), more coffee and hot tea (decaf for now) and lots more variety in breads and muffins. Maybe this comes about in the fall because we eat lighter in the summer because of the heat...
I also use our dehydrator a ton more in the fall and winter. Right now I have banana chips and slices dehydrating. I need a bigger kitchen or a space where I can 'extend' my kitchen. Over a year ago I got a huge 'lunch room' table for free. I set it up in our attached garage (the one that has now been converted into our toy/activity room. On that table is our water distiller, dehydrator, two crock pots, roaster, bread machine, commercial size rice cooker, etc. I wish it was closer to the kitchen though...
Along with my cleaning and organizing, I have painting on my brain. I've re-done every surface in the house with the exception of our bedroom/bath & the half-bath. I have visions of ripping down wallpaper and going crazy...I'm holding off though because I'm still trying to finish the sunroom. The floor is just about finished (only trim work left) and then I will spend a day and paint it. I'm excited to finish that room- it will be a dramatic change from what it was. I'm just thinking about how much energy I have in not being pregnant anymore... :)
I'm also brushing up on information related to healthy eating/living. Once again, I like to think we do a pretty good job throughout the year, but I really hone in the fall and winter to try and decrease illness and increase everyone's immunity. I'm reviewing one of my all-time favorite books/cookbooks (Nourishing Traditions) and have started another fascinating book called 'The Maker's Diet.' I'm excited to try a few new things I've learned- especially for the Liberian kids who's systems are still recovering from years of neglect. During the past three weeks (since public school started), we've been slammed with illness. Just about everyone in our house has a terrible, hacking cough and/or a cold. We all smell like garlic because this is primarily what I use to get everyone well- in record time. I make a garlic 'press' for the chests of those who are coughing (I apply it 2-3 times daily) and then we all get freshly minced garlic covered with raw honey 1-3 times a day. The little kids get a teaspoon full of honey and the 'big' ones get a tablespoon (usually a full clove of garlic each time). I've also used garlic oil diluted with olive oil for ear aches/infections in the past. Thank you, garlic, we are all on the mend!
I'll end today with a new muffin recipe I used this morning. It was from the side of a Malt-O-Meal box and they are called "Magic Muffins"- I alternated and adjusted some of the ingredients so it would be healthier.
1 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c. Malt-O-Meal cereal, dry
1/4 c. raw honey
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. olive oil
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. freshly ground flax seed (flax meal)
Happy eating & have a great week/weekend!