Sonja Draven

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since Jun 23, 2018
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Recent posts by Sonja Draven

From the past couple weeks:

Clean sheets. Warm enough weather and a low enough pollen count to open the windows. Fresh baked bread. Hugs. Lunch out with friends. Talking about everything and nothing with my best friend. Watching and identifying SO many birds out the window. Budding cherries on my trees. Sunshine after weeks of rain.
1 day ago
Great additions, Jack! Agreed.
2 days ago
This is all based on my experience:

Flour doesn't freeze solid because it's dry. You can open a bag, scoop out what you need and reseal.  Your goal in packaging it to freeze is keeping it as dry and sealed as possible. You want to keep moisture and freezer odors / taste out. I'll usually freeze in the original packaging (when available) inside one or two freezer bags. Squeezing as much air out as possible. Vacuum sealing is even better.

I think those containers could work too, especially as an outer protective layer. You definitely don't want tiny holes poked in the wrapping.
2 days ago
Yes, I've used it several times, including the no sweetener versions. It works quite well. I haven't made or eaten much jam the past few years so this year I probably will since it goes in cycles.

I'm happy you found this and hope you enjoy using it! I TOTALLY agree with you about how many jams and jellies are just too sweet. So many blackberry jam recipes ruined by more sugar than berries. :(
3 days ago
Brown rice flour is a lot more "grainy" than some other gluten free flours so for better texture, you want to mix it with other grains like oat and sorghum. Adding something like psyllium husk / powder helps.

The nice thing about brown rice flour is that it adds similar mouth feel as whole wheat so if you like the whole grain texture, it's a win. Especially in bread. But you do need the combo, imo.

The texture difference between brown rice, sweet rice and white rice flour is significant. The latter are much more gummy.

But if you're not baking, I'm not sure what to suggest to use it for.
3 days ago
I get what you're saying, C. It certainly would be convenient and less confusing for a newbie to be funneled into ONE location for everything, have one best way, etc. But in my experience, nothing is that way.

Think of cooking sites / blogs, for example. Not only are they splintered by food genres but you also have multiple newbie focused sites, keto / paleo / vegan / wfpb / gf, budget cooking sites, gourmet sites. Everyone has a different take on cooking.

There are thousands of sites on meditation, yoga, guns, prepping, books, investing. You name it, there's a site for it... None of them are centralized. Even the government's sites don't agree, with different agencies having rules or laws that contradict each other.

It means we have to do more research and experimenting in every area to figure out what works for us, but imo, that's what life is about. And permaculture is no exception.
4 days ago
I watched an interview recently with Brene Brown (I'll add the link if anyone needs it) where the most powerful part for me is when she talks about how marriage and parenting are never really 50-50. She said she and her husband have a system where they check in with each other to see where they are each out of 100. Together they need to add up to 100 to be healthy / function.

Ex. When she's touring, she might be at 20, but if he's doing great at 80, they're fine. But if he's got tough stuff at work and he's also at 20, they immediately figure out together what can be dumped, how they'll manage, etc. The numbers are affected by health, stress level, etc.

It spoke to me because it was SO human and team focused.

Elle, you seem like you have WAY too much on your plate and you're about 5. Even if your husband is super man, he can't sustain 95. I wonder what you can postpone for now....
6 days ago
This touches on some things from this thread and has been true for me.
1 week ago
One of the things we did as kids and that I have carried on with my nieces and nephews, is dress up adventures. Dress up in costumes and go fight the monsters, rescue people, etc. Everyone has different abilities (magic, fighting, scouting, etc) that they make up themselves, although younger kids sometimes need ideas. This could be done with super heroes, characters from movies, etc.

I am usually the leader and story teller just to help give a little structure and because the kids enjoy it like a bedtime story, but mostly I go with the flow and know when to wrap up because the kids are tired.

Costumes can be crafted from all sorts of things in the house or thrift store finds, weapons can be simple or ornate. You can pack fun birthday treats from home or take store bought treats you don't normally buy. (We never ate boxed cereal and we still remember fondly the time our gramma donated a box of it for our travel rations.)

We didn't have money as kids but we kept ourselves busy outside for hours with these adventures.  
1 week ago