I've been wanting the Learning Herbs Herbal Remedy Kit for several years now….

I've been wanting the Learning Herbs Herbal Remedy Kit for several years now. They just had a 50% off sale, so I got it. It really helps that Bella is almost as interested in Herbal remedies as I am. So I justified the kit as much as for her as for me.

This weekend we opened up the kit and started making stuff out of it. We got the Echinacea Tincture started – that takes 6 weeks. We also made the Healing Herbal Salve.

The kit came on Friday, so that night I put the herb mix into my crock pot to infuse and we went to dinner with friends. I let it cool in the crock pot over night and turned it back on in the morning to heat back up for the next step.

The girls and I made up the salve in the morning. I chose to use different containers than what came with the kit as I want to use the little tins with some other salves I've already got the oils made up for.

We also put a tincture and a glycerite I made earlier this year into a couple of the dropper bottles in the kit.

It's pretty neat to have my 5 year old tell me some of the properties of the plants as we are making the salve.

I've spent a lot of money at LearningHerbs.com over the last couple of years, but it's worth it. Not only for myself, but for my kids.

In album Home Made Salve

Some of the Learning Herbs Herbal Remedy Kit. I had already taken out and used half of it by this point that the photo was taken.

I used the crock pot on low to infuse my herbs into my oil. I think it runs just a little bit warmer than I want, but I can address that with either a mechanical timer to just on/off cycle it so it runs cooler or to build an actual heat controller for the crock pot.

I used my french press to separate the oil from the herbs. Works great.

My double boiler bowl is actually a dog bowl. Cheap stainless steel that won’t trigger an argument with my wife over her good kitchen gear.

I made a tin, 2 baby food jars, and the big jar that came in the kit. I chose to use the other tins in the kit for other salves. I can’t EVER follow directions.

More exciting than watching paint dry, watching salve cool.

A work of art!

The kit came with labels. A very nice finishing touch.

I stood up at a wedding last weekend with my oldest daughter as the flower girl.

I stood up at a wedding last weekend with my oldest daughter as the flower girl.
I didn't take many photos, but here are a few of what I took.

In album Reed Wedding

The flower girl…

Bella getting her hair done up the night before so she will be the prettiest flower girl in the morning.

Hamming it up for the camera.

I think he needed to keep the flowers for the wedding…

A groomsmen and the groom decorating the gazebo.

Flower boy? Not sure if the flower petals improve the photo or not.

White shoes, the only bare patch of dirt for a quarter mile… of course she is going to walk through it!

Flower girl and ring bearer.

Really… it’s wrong. What’s wrong with the water?

May I interest you in a glass of water?

Happy bride…

Legos!

The bride

Tuckered out baby. Nap time!

Toss the Bouquet

The RepRap revolution started 6 years ago, today.

6 years ago, today is when the first ‘child’ printer was created.

6 years ago, today, the RepRap revolution started.

RepRaps, or Reproducing Rapid Prototypers are 3d printers that are designed in such a way that you can use one to make a copy of itself. The goal is to be able to use ‘stuff’ that is easily available locally. Today, I could make one using parts bought from Radio Shack, Home Depot, Walmart, and junk inkjet printers sitting in people’s closets, and my existing 3d printer. It’s easier and cheaper to order parts of ebay, but I can cobble one together after a couple hour bike ride.

The hardware is open source –  that means I can download, view, edit, and distribute my changes to the machine for free & legally.

The software is open source – that means I can download, view, edit, and distribute my changes to the software for free & legally.

There are thousands of people who are actively making tweaks and adjustments to the printers & software every single day. Thousands of people who are making these 3d printers better, every day, just for the fun of it.

6 years ago today, the first RepRap begat the 2nd RepRap and the world changed forever.

My college, MSOE, had the largest Rapid Prototyping lab in the world at that time if memory serves correctly. They had millions of dollars in equipment. I remember walking past the glassed windowed RPC and looking at the cool stuff they where making there. Engines for GM, hands for NASA to fit gloves, skulls to solve murder mysteries.

2 years ago, I got my first RepRap for as much money as the TV in my living room – http://mike.creuzer.com/2012/02/i-ordered-my-3d-printer-last-weekend.html. I ordered a kit of parts, and built it over the course of 2 days with help from strangers who where also putting their printers together at the same time.

6 years ago today, RepRaps started a revolution that made 3d printers accessible to me, in my home. My children will grow up never not knowing having having easy access to 3d printers. In their home. My dad remembers when he got indoor plumbing growing up, I remember when our house got it’s own phone number and not a shared number with several of the neighbors. My kids will never not remember a 3d printer or two in their house. This blows my mind. The paradigm shift in their thought processes is revolutionary – http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/07/bella-printed-a-missing-part-for-one-of-her-toys.html.

I’ve come up with a few ideas of my own – hybrid drivelines http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/04/delta-reprap-using-both-belts-and-spectra-fishing-line.html, hooking up my printer to my fish tank http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/01/watercooling-my-makergear-prusa-reprap.html, and a temp monitoring idea across the printer as a hole.

The people who have made the RepRap revolution possible deserve much gratitude. I’ve been able to meet in person many of the ‘key’ people who have made RepRaps possible – the (re)designers of the hardware, the (re)designers of the firmware, the (re)designers of the electronics.

Today, today is Mr. Bowyer’s day. Thank you. We will probably never meet in person, but you have changed my life & my children’s life. For that, Thank you.

We need to make another 3D printer because the kids don't like to share with…

We need to make another 3D printer because the kids don't like to share with each other…

In album 2014-03-30

Looks to me like they got an i3 in the works…

It all becomes clear when she starts talking…

She is not happy she has been served…

The kids love the 3d printers. It makes toys for them.

I handed Bella some of my pointless nails. Really, they are pointless. Flat tips.

She named the flowers George.

I spent last week at my folks, taking care of some chores that they couldn't…

I spent last week at my folks, taking care of some chores that they couldn't do while feeling under the weather.

Lots of wood cutting, cooking, shoveling, and the like. I have ran a chainsaw more in the last week than I have all my life.

It feels good to be able to help my folks out after all they've done for me. I just wish that they where healthy enough that I didn't need to!

The weather up north has been pretty bad. I don't remember ever seeing the roads as bad as they where. I am SO glad I took the time to put my good snow tires on. Nothing like waiting until March 1st to install your snowies!

I think I got enough chores done that they can rest and get healthy for spring.

We finished the trip with a day at the Mall of America. Let the girls have some fun at the amusement park.

In album Week at the grandparents

Mmore wood, ready to go to the house. I did over half a dozen trips like this.  The wood trailer is stuck behind a hundred yards of 3 foot deep snow.

Julie was SO EXCITED when she saw Dora. “DADO DADO DADO DADO” she kept saying. However, she just wasn’t having the photo op.

I picked up my birthday present from my wife! She knows me so well. She gets me 100 year old stuff. How awesome is that?

My saint of a wife cooked, and cooked, and cooked. Freezer meals. Meatloaf, lasagna, spaghetti sauce, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pies.

I’ve never seen roads so bad. There is over an inch of packed snow-ice on everything that isn’t a major highway. Some spots the snow banks on the side of the road have to be 15 foot tall!

I spent some time checking propane gauges. This one is good yet.

I was shoveling sidewalks. Well, where they ought to be at least. This was over knee deep for me. Other spots I was shoveling, I step off, and go waist deep – and never touched bottom.

The girls washed the windows with their faces…

Missing grandpa. He was in the ICU.

Getting artwork posted at a restaurant.

Cutting wood. My dad has the process down pretty well. No bending over, no working too hard. Haul the long pieces in, drop them into the saw horses, cut them to size, load them into the truck. There is a wood splitter  by the tailgate for the oversized pieces.

Fresh wood to be cut. This is stuff from a local saw mill. All red oak.

Fast-freeze hot food.  No shocking the freezer this way.

We went to the Mall of America to ‘finish off’ the week doing something other than taking care of ill grandparents. The backpack is full of our winter jackets.

Bella LOVED the rides. She did this one twice!