Lavender Linen Water

4 cups of distilled water

1/4 cup witch hazel or vodka

25 drops lavender essential oil (1/4 teaspoon?)

– – – –

1 cup water

1 Tbs vodka

6 drops lavender


1/2 cup water

1.5 tsp vodka

3 drops lavender

Published in: on April 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stove Potpourri


From our neighbor Kirsten Reilly

1 orange, sliced
2 Tablespoons whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 handful of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 or 2 short sprigs of evergreen (your Christmas tree won’t mind if you trim a little)

Put the ingredients in a small saucepan.  Cover with 2 cups water (or more) and set over low heat.  Refill water as needed.  Your home will smell heavenly!

Published in: on December 26, 2017 at 8:57 am  Leave a Comment  


From the San Jose Mercury News Sunday edition, by Jolene Thym

A great resource!

Published in: on December 11, 2016 at 8:12 am  Leave a Comment  

How to: Use a food mill

There are three plates to choose from – they have different sized holes.  Select the plate you want, depending on how fine a puree you want.  Put it in with the rough side up, pointing up like a mountain. Put the end of the crank arm (under the spring and blade) into the hole in the middle of the plate, and spin the bar around so the ends are near the clips on the sides.  Slip one of end of the bar into one clip, then press down on the other end of the bar and press it sideways a bit to guide it into the other clip.

To use the food mill, set it over a bowl (it rests on the handle and two supports).  Put the food into the bowl of the food mill and start cranking.  It should go pretty fast.  The pulp will be pushed through the holes in the plate and the skin and seeds will remain behind.  You’ll want to stop and empty that out once in a while.

If you want to try another disk, here’s how to change the disks:

The crank arm comes out of the middle of a skinny diamond-shaped bar that has a spring under it.  Push down on one end of the bar to clear the clip on the side, and swing that end to one side of the clip, then release.  Then you can easily remove the other end of the bar from the other clip.  Then pull up on the red knob and the bar and blade will all come out.  Then just push up from the bottom to remove the plate.


Published in: on August 27, 2016 at 5:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cajun Seasoning

3 Tablespoons Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

Published in: on February 15, 2016 at 8:41 am  Leave a Comment  

To Try: cold & flu symptom soothers

from Family Fun feb/mar 2016

Ginger Tea:
Grate fresh ginger and put it in a teacup of boiling water.  Cover the cup with the saucer and let steep for 5-10 minutes.  Strain out the ginger and add a little lemon and honey

Garlic Soup (a natural antibiotic):
Bring 8 cups of chicken, beef or vegetable broth to a slow boil.  Meanwhile, saute 1 chopped onion and 7 minced cloves of garlic in olive oil.  When the broth starts boiling, add the onion and garlic. Simmer for about a hour.


Published in: on February 6, 2016 at 6:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

2016 Girl Scout Nut Sale

This sale is now over.  Watch for cookie sales in a couple of months!  -11/30/16


A. Caramel Treasures in a Snowman Tin
Available by pre-order only
Gluten free
Creamy caramel centers covered in smooth milk chocolate, in a tin with snowmen on it.
6 oz tin,  $8

B. Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts w/Peanuts
Gluten Free
Cashews, almonds, peanuts, and pecans with a touch of honey.
16 oz plastic jar, $10

C. Chocolate Toffee Almonds
Gluten Free
Almonds coated in butter toffee, dipped in milk chocolate and dusted with confectioner’s sugar.
9 oz, $7

D. Whole Cashews
Gluten Free
A classic favorite roasted & salted with sea salt.
8 oz, $7

E. Dark Chocolate Caramel Caps w/Sea Salt
Dark chocolate covered caramel topped with sea salt.
6 oz box, $7

F.  Peanut Butter Bears
Gluten Free
Milk chocolate bears with a smooth peanut butter filling.
6 oz box, $6

G. Dark Chocolate Mint Penguins
Gluten Free
Rich dark chocolate penguins bursting with frosty mint.
6 oz box, $6

H. Fruit Slices
Fat Free, Gluten Free
Chewy fruit slices in an assortment of flavors.
10.5 oz, $6

I. Chocolate Covered Raisins
Gluten Free
The plumpest raisins covered in smooth milk chocolate.
10 oz, $6

J. Black Forest Trail Mix
Gluten Free
Dark chocolate mini cups, almonds, peanuts, cranberries, cashews, filberts and dried cherries.
7 oz bag, $6

K. Salsa Mix
Peanuts, salsa corn sticks, toasted corn, soy noodles, almonds & pepitas.
8 oz, $5

L. Cranberry Nut Mix
Gluten Free
A tasty mix of peanuts, raisins, cranberries, cashews, banana chips, almonds and walnuts 7 oz, $5

M. Butter Toasted Peanuts
Lightly toasted peanuts with a buttery flavor.
9 oz, $5

Contact us with your order via Facebook, email, or phone, by October 10, and we will deliver your order to you in early November and collect payment at that time.  Orders made after October 10 will be delivered in late November.  If you pay by check, please make it out to GSNC.

Thank you so much for your support!

Published in: on October 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm  Comments (5)  

Family Meetings

Everybody is really getting into (and getting a lot out of) our new Family Meeting thing.  We even have minutes now!

We post a piece of paper in the kitchen where everybody can write in items for our Agenda as they occur to them.  When we get a critical mass, or a topic becomes particularly timely, we decide to meet.

We meet in the living room.  No devices present, no lying down on the floor with the dog, just everybody sitting together and paying respectful attention to each other.

Today it was Anna’s turn as Moderator.

Our first item of business is always THANKS – where we thank each other for good things that people have done since  our previous meeting.

Then the Moderator proceeds down the Agenda and whoever wrote in the item leads the discussion.

The Scribe takes notes of decisions made or deferred.

New business is solicited after the Agenda is completed.

The Moderator officially adjourns the meeting when we’ve talked everything over.

Minutes, including action items and decisions are written up and reviewed by everyone shortly after the meeting.

Our recent meetings have resulted in scheduling time with friends, working out weekly menu ideas, refining screen time rules (when a friend comes over on a normally-screen-free day and you want to play on the WiiU together , you may select an alternate screen-free day), clarifying household expectations, etc.

Sam said today, “We are having a lot of changes in our life right now.  This is great!”


Published in: on August 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Birthday card keepsake

20140706-144449-53089259.jpgBirthday week is winding down here. Banners are put away for next year; gifts are being read, worn, and played with. A hole punch and a binder ring are all you need to create an easy-to-look-at card keepsake.


Published in: on July 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm  Comments (2)  
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Get Organized!


I am doing fine at remembering my own shopping bags these days, it was the produce bags I was always forgetting.  The other day I was feeling really bad every time I pulled another fresh plastic bag off the roll (one for onions, one for cilantro, one for apples… they sure add up!), and I decided to do something about it. So when I got home from the store, I tied several produce bags to the handles of my grocery totes, all ready for next time.  I now do this every time I get home from the store.


I like to cook ahead, which means I usually have lots of containers in the fridge, and it can get a bit overwhelming and frustrating trying to find what you’re looking for in there.  A couple of weeks ago I started labeling the front of each container.  We’ve found it so helpful that it’s really worth the tiny bit of extra time it takes.

Published in: on January 18, 2014 at 8:22 am  Comments (3)