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This entry is a departure from regular Townhouse Homesteader fare.  But it will tell you a bit about someone we want to homestead for.

Today, our little guy turned two.  Jon and I had been married for a little over 3 years when we found out that I was pregnant.  We were thrilled.  From the get go, we knew that I was not going to have a run of the mill pregnancy.  In the late 1990’s, I had experienced a hormone related pulmonary embolism.  As a result, I was going to have to give myself two shots of blood thinners every day, for the duration of my pregnancy.  We took that news in stride and continued reveling in our excitement.

For the first few months, everything went according to plan.  We eagerly anticipated the new arrival that was due on August 29th.  Ah, yes.  I did say August 29th and this entry is posted on June 11th

In the very early morning of May 26th, I woke up thinking I was developing an incontinence problem.  Within 30 seconds I realized that my water broke.  I went downstairs and called my OB/Gyn who advised me to get to the hospital ASAP.  When I went back upstairs, I woke Jon to tell him what happened.

Me:

“Honey, get up.  My water broke.  We have to go to the hospital.”

Jon:

“Can we just change the sheets?”

As soon as the grogginess faded, he hopped up and was all action.  We got to the hospital and, long story short, my water had broken and I was to be admitted until our little one arrived.  This certainly wasn’t in our birth plan.

Two and a half weeks later, he was born.  I was 28 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  Just a couple of weeks into my third trimester. 

He was big for a 28 weeker – 3lbs & 14 oz.  His lungs were extremely immature and he was sporting a vicious lung infection.  But he was perfect.  And he was ours.

He was a resident of our local NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for 82 days.  Two days after his original due date, he came home – on oxygen and a monitor – but he came home. 

Our journey home from the hospital came with none of the usual celebration of a baby homecoming.  Our parents seemed to realize that we just wanted to be alone with our baby.  In our home.  On our couch.  Without the beep of monitors and the busyness of nurses in the background.  To be the family we did plan on.

Today is his birthday.  He is still perfect.  One would never know that he was so early.  He was just so excited to meet us, that he couldn’t wait until August.

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Today I found myself with a surplus of bananas.  Correction.  A surplus of overripe bananas, perfect for banana bread.  I decided to bake a loaf and freeze the remaining bananas for another baking day. 

When I freeze overripe bananas, I just plunk them in a freezer bag.  They don’t come out looking like the prettiest fruit you’ve ever seen, but they work beautifully.

When the desire for banana bread calls, I let two whole bananas thaw, cut off the end and squeeze the fruit out. 

But on to the banana bread recipe…

Ingredients:

2 c. flour

1 c. sugar

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ c. butter

2 eggs

2 bananas – mashed

1/3 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°. 

Melt butter.  Use the wrapper to grease a bread pan. 

Stir sugar into melted butter.  Add two eggs and stir until well combined. 

Add mashed bananas.  Stir.

Add baking soda, salt and flour.  Stir until the dry ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour in buttermilk and stir until combined.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350° for 60 to 65 minutes.

Let it cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan.

Happy Homesteading,

Kris

Tips & Tricks:

If you don’t have buttermilk, combine 1/3 c. milk with 1 tsp. vinegar.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.

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Many of our readers know that living under the thumb of our homeowner’s association is something Jon and I struggle with on a daily basis.  I am never short of amazed at some of the rules and regulations that these folks set upon us.  It seems to be the way of these associations in our area.  Recently, a family in a nearby townhome community had to give up a seeing-eye puppy they were fostering because it violated the terms of their homeowner’s association bylaws.  No kidding.

So, every year, our board walks around to check that everyone’s back patio is compliant.  And every year, we get a letter explaining why we are not in compliance.  Once we didn’t ask permission to mulch and they considered that landscaping.  Big no, no.  The next year we were cited because we hadn’t weeded yet.  In fairness, we hadn’t.  But that was the year I was pregnant and when my water broke 3 months early and I was on bed rest in the hospital for 3 weeks, weeding just wasn’t on my mind. They’ll be coming around on Wednesday, so today Jon and began our patio’s annual spring transformation.  And, by golly, we are following all the rules because I’m sick of getting letters! 

A couple of years ago, I found an entry on Heavenly Homemakers about growing potatoes in a garbage can.  Really!  How awesome is that?  But we are not allowed to keep a garbage can on our patio, regardless of its contents.  But we can keep a big ½ barrel on my patio…

Yesterday, we purchased this beauty and 3 more just like it.

First we drilled ¼ inch holes in the bottom for drainage.

Next, we filled the bottom with about 5 inches of soil and added some water to make it moist.

In go the seed potatoes…

I just have to share a picture of these aliens close up.

Then we covered the seed potatoes with about 3 inches of soil and then watered them.

Now we wait.  I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Homesteading,

Kris

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Living under the tyrannical rule of our homeowner’s association board wears on us most of the time.  Well, all of the time.  Quite honestly, we are hard pressed to find a benefit.  But with the housing market as it is, we will be here for more time than we’d like.  We are always trying to accept the situation as it is.  Although, every so often it’s nice to passively fight back.

We are not allowed to plant anything in our front flower beds without the written permission of our board.  Yes, you read that correctly.  We cannot plant things on land that we own without consent of others.  That really gets my goat (which I also cannot have as it violates our bylaws).  So one day, I revolted!

Two years ago, I purchased a tiny bleeding heart plant.  Under the cover of darkness, well… 2:00pm – everyone else was at work… I planted it.  And it seems to have gone unnoticed.  Except to me, who smiles every time it blossoms and reminds me of the one time I was a rebel.

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After a week hiatus from my blog, I returned to find that Fine Frugality had nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award.  What a fine surprise!  Thank you for the nomination.  As a new blogger, I am touched that a more experienced blogger has become a fan.  

Fine Frugality is a great blog that focuses on finding the beauty in the ordinary and sometimes tweaking it into the extraordinary.  And as her name might suggest, there is an emphasis on being frugal.  I’m a huge fan of the waste not, want not idea and so is she!

So, here are the rules & regs for those who receive the Versatile Blogger Award:

1.  Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.

2.  In the same post, add The Versatile Blogger Award.

3.  In the same post, thank the blogger that nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.

4.  In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.

5.  In the same post, include this set of rules.

6.  Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

These are my nominees for the bloggers that I enjoy.  I hope that you become acquainted with their work.  I’d like to invite you to visit the blogs of:

Lightly Crunchy

Documenting Our Dinner

Frugal Feeding

While Chasing Kids

Pasta Princess & More!

Filing Away Cupcakes

Domestic Diva, M.D.

Emmy Cooks

Simply Healthy Homemade

Canadian Budget Binder

Trials In Food

Veggie Diva’s Kitchen

Life, In Recipes

Remember the Pudding

Fun & Engaging Activities for Toddlers

These are the blogs I often visit and very much enjoy.  Stop by.  I’m sure you’ll find them to be a good read.

I am also to share 7 random facts about myself.  So, let’s see…

1.  I am an only child.  As a kid, my favorite movie was The Parent Trap.  I was always excited to go to camp because I thought I’d meet my long lost twin sister.

2.  I read at least 1 fiction book every week.

3.  I have an irrational fear of sharks.  I can’t even swim in a swimming pool if it’s dark.  I told you it was irrational.

4.  I am a classically trained pianist.

5.  I am in love with the Adirondack State Park.

6.  I know all the words to every Barry Manilow song.  And I’m not afraid to sing them. 

7.  I have no cavities.

That’s all, folks.  I’d again like to thank Fine Frugality for her nomination for my first blogging award. 

Happy Homesteading,

Kris

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