Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Crazy Ninja

I have been going to gymnastics lately (I run to practice, practice for about 1 1/2 hours, then run home again), an activity that has made me rather sore. It has also got me thinking about Mark Witmer, the super intense gymnast that I met last year. Well, he hasn't been into the gym lately, but I did find some more videos of him trying out for the G4 American Ninja. Turns out he made it to Japan. Click on his name to go to his video.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Trav is crazy about gardening...

Goat's Milk Soap - batch #2

This first picture has nothing to do with gardening, except that Trav decided to build his own plant stand this year, to grow his own seedlings. With a sense of urgency (because Liz just sent him a gardening book specific to Minnesota that states he should already have his onion seeds planted), he rushed to mum and dad's for wood, which they generously offered to donate to cause. Anyways, when he was getting wood, mum sent some of the goat soap that we made over Thanksgiving week, home with him. It is now fully cured and ready to use. It is unscented, because we forgot to add the scents. (I think Dad prefers unscented, anyways.) This batch holds up better than our first batch, and I think it is because Mum cured the soap upstairs in the warm and dry sewing room, instead of leaving it in the cold, and sometimes moist, basement. Who knows though, really, it just turned out better, in my humble opinion. (*Just thought I'd slip the picture in. I think they turned out pretty nice, and we will keep experimenting.)
The Plant Stand

It's still kind of a work in progress. Trav just added all of the plants he had lying around, mostly because of the lack of space we have in our house, and lack of windows. Most of the big pots are spinach and the pepper plants Trav is trying to keep as bi-annuals. Some of them died, due to Scale bugs, that we thought were aphids, and obviously don't die when you spray them with "citrus killer". (*Note Mary Meow, underneath by the heater vent.)
Here's Trav's first tray of onion seeds, he's working on at least two more trays right now, and ordered some onions through Dixon Dale.
Onion Seedlings - stage 1

Last Spring - Hope for the future
It can't stay -30 forever. Can it?

Monday, January 19, 2009


Sorry this took so long in coming, but here's the recipe for yogurt in a cooler.

Ingredients: 1 quart (unpasteurized) milk
      1/4 cup fresh yogurt OR 1 package of freeze-dried yogurt culture
1 - heat milk to 180 degrees F
2 - cool milk 10 110 - 115 degrees F
3 - add culture/fresh yogurt and stir gently
4 - put yogurt into a container (such as a bowl) and then surround it with other containers of boiling water in a cooler
5 - let milk sit for 10 - 12 hours, changing hot water periodically (1 - 2 times) to keep the cooler around 120 degrees F
6 - add sugar, jam, vanilla, etc. as you want . . . add unflavored gelatin if you want a thicker yogurt (1 package OR 1 Tbsp)

** save 1/4 cup plain yogurt to make your next batch 
**experiment with the amount of fresh yogurt used as the culture to get desired consistency

Enjoy making yogurt!!

Love, Katie

Saturday, January 17, 2009

FIBER ARTS are so exciting... (research)

(Katie's laptop bag pre-felt. The pattern is from Interweave Knits, and this bag is made from 100% Norwegian wool from Christa's Yarn Shop in Beaches Corners.)

Katie inspired me the other day to look into classes spinning/knitting/dying. She suggested the Textile Center in the cities. They are a pretty neat resource for all things textile, but did not have exactly what I was looking for right now. You can check them out at:

I did do some research on other, more local resources. I need to check out the yarn shop in Decorah ( They don't have a very up-to-date website, but I am still excited to see their yarn and spinning selections. Everyone loves the co-op in Decorah, so there is no way it would be a wasted trip.

Two other websites I will add from Viroqua are Kindred Threads: and Ewetopia fiber shop: My knitting group toured Ewetopia and they have a pretty nice web page. Kindred threads has a great blog, so I actually added that as one we follow now - because there is tons of arty stuff on there. It is wonderful, so check it out.



Friday, January 16, 2009

Vermont or Bust!

I just signed up for cheesemaking classes in Vermont at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese. You can check out it's website at the URL included on this post (I think it is). I'm going for a week in March during Spring Break and then again at the beginning of June. Then I will be a certified (according to VIAC) cheesemaker. I'm just taking the classes to fulfill the beginner's Cheesemaking Certification program. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Go Packers!!!

Hello everyone!

I know that I have sadly neglected the blog thus far, but here I am. I was looking through pictures on my computer, and decided to post a few from the Packer game I went to. The Packers didn't make it to the playoffs this year, but better luck next year. Go Packers!!!
I did get to see the first starting game ever for Aaron Rodgers.
Also, below is a picture of Scott Wells. I also got autographs from Ruvell Martin and Ryan Pickett. We met KGB (no longer with Packers, but all time sack leader), and if we would have been 45 minutes faster, we could have gotten Donald Driver... Oh well.

Love, Becky

PS - currently working on some knitting projects, so hopefully I will have some new projects to post soon :)