Vintage Stencils for Winter

Reindeer and bear stencil or outline, followed by a parent and child which  were originally billed as an ‘Eskimo, his boy, and his dog.’  But today, it could be any parent and child with their pet dog:

reindeer shape polar bear stencil winter family stencils

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Vintage colouring page: Children Decorating the Christmas Tree

childen decking the christmas tree

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Lake Isle of Innisfree, by Yeats

I haven’t done this in a while, I think, so perhaps a explanation or a reminder is in order. From time to time I like to pick out a song, usually a folk song, and find different interpretations of it on youtube, sharing the same song by a different artist every night for about a week. I enjoy, and I know at least some of my readers do, too, because you tell me so, listening to the different approaches to old folk songs, the more disparate, the more enjoyable to me.

I didn’t choose a folk song this time, but one of my favorite poets, Yeats. I’ve done a poem set to music before- The Song of the Wandering Aengus.

This time I chose Innisfree, mainly because my son just read it for school. I really have failed at instilling a love of poetry in my youngest two, and I cannot tell you how much my failure wounds my mother-heart. But when he told me he’d read about Yeats today and I said, “Oh, my favourite,” he replied, “Yes, I know, so I paid special attention just for you. He was quite the mystic,” the wounds in my heart were soothed just a little.

sung by ‘Cherish the Ladies’

You can watch this clip to learn more about the remarkable collaboration that is Cherish the Ladies:

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Free Read

Stumbled over this while looking up something else, and it looked interesting enough, as an escapist read for Mom, to download to my Kindle:

The Tin Soldier


The lights shining through the rain on the smooth street made of it a golden river.

The shabby old gentleman navigated unsteadily until he came to a corner. A lamp-post offered safe harbor. He steered for it and took his bearings. On each side of the glimmering stream loomed dark houses. A shadowy blot on the triangle he knew to be a church. Beyond the church was the intersecting avenue. Down the avenue were the small exclusive shops which were gradually encroaching on the residence section.

The shabby old gentleman took out his watch. It was a fine old watch, not at all in accord with the rest of him. It was almost six. The darkness of the November afternoon had come at five. The shabby old gentleman swung away from the lamppost and around the corner, then bolted triumphantly into the Toy Shop.

“Here I am,” he said, with an attempt at buoyancy, and sat down.

“Oh,” said the girl behind the counter, “you are wet.”

Later in the first chapter:

For more than a decade Emily Bridges had kept the shop. Originally it had been a Thread and Needle Shop, supplying people who did not care to go downtown for such wares.

Then one Christmas she had put in a few things to attract the children. The children had come, and gradually there had been more toys—until at last she had found herself the owner of a Toy Shop, with the thread and needle and other staid articles stuck negligently in the background.

Yet in the last three years it had been hard to keep up the standard which she had set for herself. Toys were made in Germany, and the men who had made them were in the trenches, the women who had helped were in the fields—the days when the bisque babies had smiled on happy working-households were over. There was death and darkness where once the rollicking clowns and dancing dolls had been set to mechanical music.

Jean, coming back with the chocolate, found Emily with a great white plush elephant in her arms. His trappings were of red velvet and there was much gold; he was the last of a line of assorted sizes.

There had always been a white elephant in Miss Emily’s window. Painfully she had seen her supply dwindle. For this last of the herd, she had a feeling far in excess of his value, such as a collector might have for a rare coin of a certain minting, or a bit of pottery of a pre-historic period.

She had not had the heart to sell him. “I may never get another. And there are none made like him in America.”

“After the war—” Jean had hinted.

Miss Emily had flared, “Do you think I shall buy toys of Germany after this war?”

“Good for you, Emily. I was afraid you might.”

It’s all very much a piece of its time, hackneyed, predictable, with lines like, “She was handsome in a red-cheeked, blonde fashion,” but I like reading novels that were written in the early 20th century.

It’s also nice when, scattered amongst the cliches and expected stereotypes, one comes across a pretty little notion:

Emily Bridges had been a slender and diffident girl. She had kept her slenderness, but she had lost her diffidence, and she had gained an air of distinction. She dressed well, her really pretty feet were always carefully shod and her hair carefully waved. Yet she was one of the women who occupy the background rather than the foreground of men’s lives—the kind of woman for whom a man must be a Columbus, discovering new worlds for himself.

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The New Thin Blue Line


If you don’t want to get probed, poked, pinched, tasered, tackled, searched, seized, stripped, manhandled, arrested, shot, or killed, don’t say, do or even suggest anything that even hints of noncompliance. This is the new “thin blue line” over which you must not cross in interactions with police if you want to walk away with your life and freedoms intact.

The following incidents and many more like them serve as chilling reminders that in the American police state, “we the people” are at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

Read it all and weep for our once great nation.

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FDA and Menstrual Pads as Medical Devices

This is an issue I’m still trying to wrap my head around and track down details, so if you have some, please share.  This is what I understand at this point:

Did you know that menstrual pads are considered medical devices by the FDA? That’s been the case, it turns out, for about three decades. Who knew? One more example of the messes created when the government writes more regulations in a month than most people can read in a year.  Why, if this has been the classification of menstrual pads (both disposable and reusable, corporate manufactured and home-made by your kids’ Sunday School teacher as her cottage industry) for years, is this suddenly an issue?  What’s the big deal?

So, they’ve been ‘medical devices’ for decades. But ObamaCare now puts a special tax on medical devices – and menstrual pads aren’t the only thing that the FDA considers a medical device.  Your toothbrush is a medical device. The fee doesn’t make anybody safer. It’s about funding Big Government.

So is it the fee that’s the problem, or the classification?  Well, why just one or the other?  For me, it’s both.

Admittedly, for most people, it’s the fee, because that’s hitting them immediately and where it hurts- cottage industries are having to scramble to come up with, probably, more money than most of them even make in a year.  It’s hitting their customers, people who love to support SAHMs while also using a more natural product, one that doesn’t add to landfills and fill our trashcans with products that attract pests.

It wasn’t an issue until now because most people had no idea that menstrual pads, reusable or otherwise, were classified as medical devices until the fee came up- which happened just this year. So the fee is what brought the classification to people’s attention, but it’s still a stupid classification that defies common sense.  Without the fee, most of us still would have no idea about it, because has time to read millions of pages of regulatory gobbledy gook? It really highlights the regulatory chokehold constricting the ‘land of the free.’

So, recently the FDA basically informed a lot of SAHMs that they were out of business- at least, that is the natural result of the regulatory window smashing – they issued the order to pay premarket fees in late 2014, giving companies until January 1st to pay nearly $4,000 or lose their right to sell their product legally in the United States.

More here:

The pads have been classified as a “Class 1 Medical Device” for years. However, recently the FDA started sending letters to an increasing number of Work At Home Moms and small businesses, demanding that they pay a premarket notification fee to continue the sale of their products. The FDA oftentimes finds itself faced with questions about products from competing firms. The pads do not require regular monthly purchases, and many mom bloggers and work-at-home moms (WAHMs) have used the pads as a means to speak out about the potentially dangerous and irritating chemicals placed inside many commercially available pads. The reusable pads produced by most companies are actually better for women as they do not contain the dangerous chemicals that are found in many disposable pads. Many companies sell pads that are made of fabrics that can be purchased at any fabric store. Typically the pads contain nothing more than cotton, minky, flannel, PUL, silk, and other similar products.

News of the payment requirement was made by a small company founded by a WAHM. The company was notified on Friday that it must pay more than $3800 in annual fees in order to sell their simple reusable menstrual pads as a “Class 1 Medical Device.” The owner of the menstrual pad company notes that the FDA did not once attempt to place charges on her product over the last seven years by requiring premarket notification fees on her company’s menstrual pads. In most cases I would personally blame the company for not investigating FDA regulations, but let’s be honest for a moment, this is a pad made of standard store bought fabrics, not a “medical device” in the eyes of most individuals.

The FDA is not claiming that reusable menstrual pad companies need to invest in further studies for their products to determine their safety. The FDA is not even claiming cloth pads are unsafe. Rather, that company’s must “pay to play” — handing over their hard earned money to the FDA in order to sell a product that really is not that much different than underwear, in fact it is just as non-obtrusive. The FDA argues that the money is needed to regulate the market from products that might contain dangerous chemicals and other components.

Making matters worse, the FDA issued the order to pay premarket fees in late 2014, giving companies until January 1st to pay nearly $4,000 or lose their right to sell their product legally in the United States. Keep in mind that many of the companies selling the pads are run by WAHMs and other small businesses. One company owned by a mother of six, was forced to ask their loyal customers to help fund its payment. Within 4 hours their loyal customers pitched in $320 of the $4,000 required to keep the company in business.

Clarification Update: The original draft of this article spoke about the recent changes to the medical classification of menstrual pads. Please note that reusable pads have actually be classified as a Class 1 Medical Device for more than a decade. The WAHM’s notification from the FDA as now described in the article was based on their tightening grip over premarket notification requirements which are likely to cripple many of the smaller manufacturers (WAHMS, etc) or reusable menstrual pads. We apologize if that was not clear in the first originally published draft.

Initially when somebody pointed this out to me, I thought it was a mistake.  Then I thought that reusable cloth pads are exempt- but I read it wrong:

“Classification. Class I (general controls). The device is exempt from the premarket notification procedures in subpart E of part 807 of this chapter only when the device is made of common cellulosic and synthetic material with an established safety profile. This exemption does not include the intralabial pads and reusable menstrual pads.” (emphasis added)

A reader on FB  looked it up and found some companies hav  registered with the FDA and paying the user fees for a while now (Domino, Lunapads, and Glad Rags), so maybe what is new is the FDA cracking down on cottage industries.

Lunapads in 2008 wrote this:
“…we take on responsibilities and large expenses such as annual registration with the US FDA (menstrual pads are classified as medical devices and resellers must comply with a myriad of regulations) securing product liability insurance, paying for medical and dental benefit policies for our staff, and donating hundreds of pads to women and girls in developing nations – all of which adds up to a small fortune.” 

This is from this month (by Lunapads).

But at any rate, this is the first that that cottage industries heard about it, apparently, and they only heard when some of them got a notification from the FDA telling them they had a month to pay or play.  But I’m a little confused about that, too.

“FDA’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidances describe the Agency’s current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word should in Agency guidances means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.”

What does that even mean?  And how likely is it that a mom and pop level business can afford to ignore the FDA ?


The FDA claims that menstrual pads are medical devices, because they “are intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or to affect the structure or function of the body.”

Are any of these things true of menstrual pads?   Put another way, if this is an accurate description of pads and what they do, it is also an accurate description of toilets and what they do, or handkerchiefs and what they do.  All three are used to catch natural emissions from the human body for more convenient (and sanitary) targeted disposal.
Menstruation is not a disease.  Pads don’t change the structure of function of a woman’s body.

Okay, and if they are medical devices, are they tax deductable? If you have a Health Savings Account can you use that to purchase pads?

The regulations are inconsistent, as well:

“The degree to which these products are monitored by the FDA depends on their classification and level of risk, according to an industry spokesperson. Tampons and pads are classified as medical devices and subject to more regulation—particularly tampons because of the threat of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Other feminine-hygiene products like douche solutions and deodorizers are classified as over-the-counter drugs or as cosmetics, depending on the claims being made, and they are subject to less regulation. These are not generally reviewed by the FDA prior to marketing.

The FDA does routinely monitor dioxin levels in tampons, and the agency says concerns are largely unfounded. While the agency has found trace dioxin levels in these products, the risk of negative health impacts is “negligible,” it says.”

So these are medical devices, but liquids you spray or insert into and around your most intimate areas are cosmetics?  And underwear, which comes into even more daily contact with said intimate lady parts, are just clothing.  This makes no sense.

How did they get classified as medical devices in the first place? I have no idea, but I do have some totally speculative guesses.  The fact that they are classed as medical devices means they do not have to disclose their ingredients.  I can’t help but think that the corporate makers of feminine hygiene products see that as a good thing and I would not be surprised to learn that they lobbied for it.

One line of argument about this seems to be basically to shrug and say, “So what?  It’s been this way for a while now, so what’s the big deal.”

If any of you reading this feel that way, let me put this as tactfully as I know how:  ARE YOU INSANE?  Or do you just love fascism?

trust me said the boa constrictor of governmentThe fact that the government, OUR government, which is supposed to be a REPRESENTATIVE government, has a habit of acting as a boa constrictor on its citizens, constricting us in a bewildering array of pettifogging laws, rules, bureaucratic red tape, encroaching on every area of our lives, poking its nose in our bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, punishing people with entrepreneurial spirit that was once the bedrock of the nation, and does it so much and so often that we don’t even know about it and can’t do anything about it when we do- this is not proof that it doesn’t matter!!  It’s evidence that this has been going on too long, too much, and the government protects itself as an institution and protects its crony capitalist pals by creating so many regulations each year that nobody can keep up with them.   Honestly, it makes me think of this article on the Garner case (I know- they seem unrelated, but are they?  Aren’t both ultimately about the force of an overbearing government?):

 “There are people who think Eric Garner’s resistance means that he’s to blame for how he died,” wrote Walker. “And then there are those of us who think that just might be the most horrifying possible lesson anyone could draw from this terrible story.”

More at


I guess I just don’t follow the logic of ‘it’s been that way for years, why now?” To me, it’s more, “IT’s been this way for YEARS? WHY DID WE NOT KNOW? STOP IT NOW.”

mock turtle weeping over government regsNow,what I do get is the lack of sympathy and some strong eye-rolling over the fact that some of those same people crying large mock turtle tears over this are in general fans of every larger and more encroaching, bone crushing, business killing, Boa Constrictor regulatory government.

To them, though, rather than shrugging and saying ‘why now?’  I want to say, “This is the natural poisoned fruit from your poisoned tree.  Do you think you are a special snowflake who should be exempt from the same regulatory burdens you are anxious to inflict on others?  THIS is what Big Government does.  THIS is why libertarians and conservatives- as well as true classic Jeffersonian and Jacksonion Democrats all favor smaller government, more personal responsibility, and fewer regulations.”

Only Politicians, Crony Capitalists, and Progressives love this tangled regulatory mess, and they only love it when it’s not their ox being gored.  Unfortunately, they never really make the connection, draw the obvious conclusions, and learn from their surprise.Their solution to the problems caused by overbearing government is just to request more government entanglement.  Hence, the petition.


This is a petition you can sign about it.  I’m not really expecting anything to come of that, because I don’t think anybody in Congress really represents constituents or cares about cottage industries or understands that a fee of 4K a year will put many businesses out in the cold or cares whether their legal definitions reflect anything in the real world or not.

What I’d like to see is the American public suing our Lords and Masters for being dunces, and kicking them out of power and downsizing the regulations- by about 90%.

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Vintage Christmas decoration to print, colour

vintage village house with soldier

You could just do a row of soldiers, like this (click to enlarge, set your printer to landscape):

row of soldiers

You can have them stand in a row, or, if you fold them in half back to back, paste them and make sure they are sturdy, tape them into a ring and put them around a candle.


If you wanted to combine this with a school topic and your children are younger, you could talk about patterns, suggest your child colour the soldiers in a pattern, have your young scholar recognize the pattern in how the soldiers are standing, ask if we were to continue the pattern, on which side will the next soldier be holding his gun?

Read Hans Christian Anderson’s story of the The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the ballerina.

Here are two different sizes of just the houses- decorate as desired so they don’t look like a row of ticky-tacky houses:

two christmas houses

four christmas village houses

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The hard work of combining clean eating with frugal living

vintage housewife grocery shopping at the butcher shopI’m going to share a few tips on clean eating on a budget, although I’m not an expert, I know some budgets cannot support it, and I’ve written about this before.

Because I have written about it before, long time readers know how I feel about the obnoxiousness of telling people it’s really not more expensive to eat this way, you just have to buy fewer five dollar lattes and leave all those expensive convenience foods out of your cart.  If you are not a long time reader, I guess we could sum it up by saying that advice like this makes me want to spit.

Real people on truly serious budgets have already been doing that, usually for years.

My ‘favorite’ bit of ‘clean eating isn’t expensive’ advice is the one where some chirpy soul tells you that you can take a 20 dollar pasture reared, grassfed chicken and make four or five meals out of it, ending with wonderful bone broth. It’s ridiculous because, of course, real people on truly serious budgets can do the exact same thing with a conventional whole chicken that cost them three dollars- and they have been, again, often for years.

So, I’m not going to berate you or try shaming you into  preferring ‘clean,’ organic foods over your store-bought cereals and Starbucks coffee, because I assume you already eliminated the latter two, if you ever even bought them on a regular basis. For instance, I am 52 and can probably count the number of Starbucks coffees I have had on my two hands with fingers leftover, and several of those were when I was treated by somebody else. I don’t think I am all that unusual in this respect.

I’m not going to try to convince you that in America at least, Clean Eating isn’t really isn’t more expensive any more than I am going to try to tell you the grass is purple or water isn’t wet. It’s more expensive. It’s not more expensive than buying all convenience foods, eating out a couple times a week and having high end steaks for dinner every other night. But you and I both know you are not in that demographic, or you wouldn’t be crying over your grocery budget when you try to help your family eat what you believe to be more nutritious food.

I’m not going to tell you it’s cheaper than developing heart disease or diabetes twenty years from now because I assume if you’re reading this, you’re probably looking at your food budget like an evil Sophie’s Choice- you can choose to starve to death now, or you can buy the more inexpensive foods such as beans and rice now and possibly get diabetes 20 years from now. I say go for the possibility of diabetes in the future rather than certain starvation now.

I’m just going to share some ways to help ameliorate those expenses for those who really want to make some changes and can afford to do so.  I encourage you simply to make the best of what you can do and just make yourself stop worrying about the rest. You may well have already tried all of these ideas. If that’s the case, then just make the best of what you can and don’t worry about the future. Let God take care of that. You can’t change what you can’t change. You are not a bad person if split pea soup and ramen noodle fritters are the foods you can afford to fix right now. You are not a bad person if .50 a person is all you can afford for groceries and you can’t spend five dollars per meal. Do what you can with what you have, nobody can ask more of you than that. You are probably your own worst critic here. Give yourself a break.

There are some helpful ideas here for prioritizing your food budget when shopping for ‘clean’ eating. But I have to laugh at anything calling itself ‘paleo poor’ when it has advice like this:

Some “best choices” are expensive (like wild-caught Pacific halibut, which usually runs upwards of $20 a pound). Skip it and find a less expensive but similar substitute, like cod or scallops. Fish won’t keep for more than a day at home, so don’t over-buy here, unless you plan to freeze it for later. And speaking of, frozen is often a good (and less expensive) option for fish and seafood. We buy flash-frozen sea scallops for $16 a pound, compared to $20 a pound fresh.

Or you could buy Aldi’s canned salmon for 2-4 dollars a pound, or skip the fish altogether unless it’s on sale.   The above advice is particularly ironic when the article begins by telling people that they just have to give up their ‘selfish food desires.’  Just… wow.

Okay- so you want to stop buying conventionally farmed meats (because I am starting from the foundation that a meat based diet is the healthiest option for human beings):

Looking for good meats: IF, and I say IF, you can save up and buy from a local farmer (or grow it yourself), that is usually your cheapest source. It still won’t be cheaper than conventionally farmed meats at the grocery store, with some occasional exceptions.
Here’s one way to find local farmers. Here’s another (I just used it and found a source for pork just ten miles from me that I didn’t know about).
If there is a university extension office, a 4-H program, a college with an agriculture department near you, try calling them and asking of any sources for pastured meats, dairy products (I know that’s not true-blue paleo, I don’t care).  One of the best deals on a freezer full of beef we found was buying an ag student’s project at the end of the year- his project was on grassfed beef.
If you have a local health food store, ask them if they know.
Try googling stuff like pastured pork, grassfed beef, free range chickens and your state, county, or town and see if anything turns up.
Get the word out- sometimes, that is how the exceptions turn up. Several years ago because we’d mentioned our interest in eating grassfed meats several times, a friend whose parents raised bison let us know when her parents had to butcher some of their bison early due to a drought in their state, so we were able to buy the grassfed, organic bison meat at a much lower price than is normally available.

Consider growing and butchering your own rabbits, or buying the meat from somebody else who does.

If you cannot do grassfed, keep in mind that in this country beef animals are brought up part of the time on pasture, but chickens and pigs are not.

Sheep raised in New Zealand are more likely to be grassfed as well, so New Zealand mutton is a better purchase, nutritionally speaking, shoudl you come across it.


If BPA in cans is a concern, read this list of companies/products that come in BPA-free cans (sometimes they are labeled, but not always).

Coconut stuff:
I am really, really fond of my Thai Kitchen Organic coconut milk in a can which I buy in bulk from Amazon. But you can use coconut cream. It makes almost 200 cups of coconut milk (around 190, to be more precise). Just stir a teaspoon into a glass of water. It will be slightly grainy, so whether you like this or not will depend on how you feel about texture and the ways you plan to use it. If you put it through the blender with other ingredients, it may not matter to you at all. If you figure out the savings, you may not care if it’s as grainy as a bag of sand (which it is not at all).  Because right now it’s just 13.99 for a 16 oz jar, or 21.99 for 32 ounces.  That is a huge savings! Consider that the cheapest coconut milk I know if TJ’s lite brand, and it’s a dollar a can.  This is much less than half that price.

coconut flour: I don’t buy it. I take unsweetened organic coconut and put it through my food processor or my spice mill. The latter does smaller amounts at at a time but grinds it down to a more flour like texture. The food processor leaves tiny nubbins, which is okay with me, I like the texture.But if you want flour, Tropical Traditions sells it in gallon pails for 17.50,

I bought Organic Shredded Coconut, Food Service Size, 22-Pound Bag last year and it lasted me almost an entire year- coconut is very light, so 22 lbs of coconut is a LOT of coconut.


Healthy weeds- it’s not the best time of year for most of us to do any wildcrafting of food, but when it warms up:

Eat your purslane.  It’s a weed, and it’s incredibly high in omega 3s, higher than any of the vegetables, (not as high as grassfed animal products, of course).  I think it’s delicious.  It’s a weed, so it’s free.

Eat your lambsquarters, daylily buds, dandelion greens, rose petals, violet petals, and nasturtiums as well.  I am not an adventurous eater of wild plants – I stick to the tried and true.


Dairy is not Whole30 approved at all, and in general it’s not paleo (there are exceptions).  I don’t agree that dairy products are not nutritious nor do I believe they are bad for all humans. Some people have trouble with them- one of our grand-daughters, the Equuschick, and one of the Two Little Boys have trouble with milk, but the rest of us seem to handle dairy just fine.  So we buy dairy products, although I prefer organic,  raw, nonhomogenized when I can get it.

One reason I would prefer organic:

Now, a new study evaluating organic milk produced in the U.S. finds that organic milk has about 62 percent more omega-3s, compared to milk produced by cows on conventional dairy farms. Cows raised on conventional farms typically spend a lot more time in a barn or confined, and instead of grazing, they’re fed a diet of animal feed that contains a lot of corn.

“We were surprised by the magnitude of the differences,” lead authorCharles Benbrook of Washington State University tells The Salt.

In America, for milk to receive the organic labels the cows have to spend at least four months on pasture.  Milk from animals that eat grass will be higher in Omega 3 than Omega 6 because Omega 3 is in grass and other greens, and corn is higher in Omega 6.

It’s not so much that omega 6 fats are downright bad for you, it’s that we need a better balance.  The American diet, largely because of our cornfed farm animals and over-reliance on corn oil (and other seed oils) in foods, is heavily imbalanced with too many omega 6 fats and far too few omega 3 fats.  So milk from grassfed animals will be higher in omega 3.  But it has to be whole.  Skimming off the fat reduces the omega3s.

Now, milk is still not your ideal source for good omega3 oils- that would be grassfed meat, eggs from pastured hens, and fish, especially wildcaught salmon.

My preference is raw milk- I cannot always get my preference. But sometimes I get raw for less than I can get organic.  In order to do that, several local families go in together and buy milk from a farm almost 2 hours away, and we pay for gas, too, for the person who picks it up.

I get raw cheeses at an Amish market a few hours away- a couple times of year one of the girls goes line dancing not far from the Amish market and she buys up a lot of cheese on sale and we freeze it.

Sometimes I order from a food co-op.  UNFI and Azure Standard are the two I am familiar with. They can tell you if there are any local food c0-ops with openings for new members in your area.

If I can’t have raw, I would rather have non-homenized in milk, and organic in milk and cheeses, and grassfed everything.  I can’t find the first locally- or rather, I couldn’t until just this week. The HG informs me that the newest grocery store in town carries it.

I’ve heard that Costco and Trader Joe’s both carry Kerrygold butter, which is supposed to be grassfed. Neither of the ones my friends go to have Kerrygold.  The TJ does sometimes have grassfed New Zealand cheese.

Switch up the foods you eat. Almost nobody I have ever met eats sardines or anchovies on purpose, unless their parents are recent immigrants from cultures where that is the norm, or unless they have been trying to eat whole, healthy foods. But they are healthy, nourishing, and cheaper than other sources. Sneak them into chowders by putting them through the blender with tomatoes or cooked carrots or cauliflower.

If you have more frugal ideas for  eating clean foods on an omnivorous diet, please share.


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Some of our Christmas Books

  1. JOAN WALSH ANGLUND CHRISTMASA Christmas Book by Joah Walsh Anglund
  2. Skipping Christmas, by John Grisham
  3. Madeleine L’Engle, The Twenty Four Days Before Christmas
  4. Tasha Tudor’s The Night Before Christmas
  5. The Story of Christmas, pictures by Jane Ray, words from gospels of Mark and Luke
  6. The Story of Holly and Ivy, by Rumer Godden
  7. Drummer Hoff, adapted by Barbara Emberley and illustrated by Ed Emberley
  8. On That Night, Elizabeth Yates
  9. Christmas Comes Again, by John N. Then
  10. Silent Night, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
  11. The Story of Christmas, illustrated by Jane McCreary
  12. Maggie Rose, her Birthday Christmas, Ruth Sawyer
  13. Miss Read’s Christmas Book
  14. On Christmas Day in the Morning! Carols gathered by John Langstaff, illustrated by Antony Groves-Raines
  15. A Child’s Christmas in Wales, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
  16. Mince Pie and Mistletoe, by Phylis McGinley
  17. The Story of Silent Night, by John Travers Moore
  18. Christmas by Barbara Cooney
  19. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, (a small, stocking stuffer sized book)
  20. The Christmas Paintings of Norman Rockwell (also small stocking stuffer sized book)
  21. The Christmas Story from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke edited by Marguerite Northrup, distributed by The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  22. Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters by Patricia and Frederick McKissack
  23. the Spirit of Christmas, Creative Holiday Ideas, book six
  24. A Medieval Christmas, a Bulfinch Press book, lusciously illustrated with reproductions of medieval manuscripts- turns out to be the HG’s book. Possession, isn’t that 9/10ths of the law?
  25. Look-Alikes Christmas
  26. Told Under the Christmas Tree, illustrated by the Petershams, published in 1948
  27. Christmas is a Time of Giving, by Joan Walsh Anglund
  28. Christmas Festivals, a 1955 public school collection of songs, crafts, and stories for the midwinter holiday season- Hannukah and Christmas, composed by committee and written in consultation with B’nai B’rith and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
  29. Christmas in the Stable by Astrid Lindgren
  30. Babar’s Christmas
  31. A Happy New Year’s Day, by Rock Carrier, illustrated by Gilles Pelletier
  32. Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here, by Jean Craighead George
  33. Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia
  34. When Santa Claus Was Sick, an operetta in three scenes, written for public schools and amateur groups in 1931, written by Ruth Adkinson (words) and Pearl Booth (music)
  35. The Christmas Stories of George MacDonald, illustrated by Linda Hill Griffith
  36. The Bells of Christmas, by Virginia Hamilton
  37. Twas in the Moon of Wintertime, adapted by Roz Abisch, illustrated by Boche Kaplan- contains both lyrics to this charming and uniquely North American Christmas Carol, and a few pages of biographical information about the missionary priest who wrote it for the Huron Indians to whom he ministered.
  38. The Town in the Library, by E. Nesbit
  39. Corgiville Christmas, by Tasha Tudor
  40. The Little Match Girl, by Hans Christian Anderson, illustrated by Rachel Isadora
  41. The Church Mice at Christmas, by Graham Oakley (hardback)
  42. Katy and the Big Snow (not precisely Christmas, but you may have noticed we also have simple winter themed stories here as well)
  43. The Glorious Impossible, by Madeleine L’Engle, illustrated with frescoes from teh scrovegni chapel by Giotto
  44. A Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot, illustrated by Ruth Brown, Hardback
  45. Cranberry Christmas, by the Devlins, hardback
  46. The Forever Christmas Tree, Uchida
  47. Christmas in my Heart, volume 2, by Joel L. Wheeler- purchased solely because it contains the story of The Last Straw, by Paula Palangi
  48. The Nativity, a lovely pop-up by Borje Svensson, who adapted her watercolors from an 18th century Neapolitan Christmas creche.
  49. Silver Packages, an Appalachian Christmas Story, by Cynthia Rylant (her ‘When IWas Young in the Mountains’ reminded my dad very much of his childhood in Arkansas)
  50. Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
  51. Teddy Bear’s Christmas
  52. Tree of Cranes by Allen Say

There are also two or three picture books of The Nutcracker, but they weren’t in this tote. Dickens’ A Christmas Carol lives outside the totes all year long.


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william morris trellis wallpaper with know to be useful

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