Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2 in 25!

The title is code for two new personal goals met.

1.  I'm doing the happy dance (w/ a hand on my pants to keep them up) because I hit the -25lbs
     AND the scale is still loving me. :))

2. I jogged 2 miles in 25 minutes!

Celebrating my success with a new pair of GW Boutique jeans.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mama's Big (padlocked) Tool Box of School Supplies

It's taken me a 8 years to figure out how to keep school supplies from disappearing in fewer than 30 days from the start of school.

This year I WILL hear happy contented children who have each found their own pencil to use.

There WILL always be pens, erasers, glue sticks, rulers, crayons, colored pencils, markers, post-it's, scissors, tape, etc. when we need.


This year they WILL be used. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bee Farming

Sorry I don't have any more pictures of the bee's arrival
 or the process of putting them into their new hive. 
I got stung. 
In the face.
 Right at the moment my dad dumped them into the box.
I was running away, swatting like crazy at the swarm of "gentle" bees that were 
going down my shirt, 
climbing into my ears, 
getting caught in my hair,
 and the millions hanging out buzzing & laughing at the crazy lady stripping in the barn. 

There was absolutely no time to take a picture, of anything. :)) 

So it appears that I'm mildly allergic to bee stings. My cheek is sporting a big bruise right where I got bit and I still can't smile about it. It hurts too much. 

BTW, I didn't take off enough clothing in the barn. 
There was a dead bee in my bra when I changed into jammies later. 

I'm really thankful I didn't get bit there too. 

YES I am rethinking the whole business of beekeeping. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Under Contract

We have a signed contract for the sale of our previous home. Praying hard that nothing happens between now & the closing.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ginger Tea

I had this once, a long time ago, at Big Bowl Restaurant. Divine. The other day I saw a recipe and gave it  the good ole' homemade twirl.

Ginger Tea Syrup
Peel, slice, and bring to a simmer in 1 cup of water with 2 teaspoons of stevia one, three-inch knob of ginger. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Pour over ice and dilute to taste. Or add seltzer water to give it a little bubble.

If there's any left store it in the refrigerator.

I like it strong. So I used double the amount of ginger and bit more water. Let your preferences guide you more than the recipe!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Wow, 83 degrees! 
Today was all about fencing. 
Himself learned from Grandpa how to fix the barbed wire. 
Then we got the horses. 
Opps, horse.  
The other horse decided to go back to the barn by herself. 
Petunia the donkey was very cooperative. 
She & Ringo are buddies. 
Ahhh, arrived at last. A fresh cool drink of water. Everyone can relax, right? 
Nope, right after this picture was taken Petunia slipped under the fence and took off at a trot. 
She was going back to Grandma's barn. 
Himself and I followed her on the ATV, caught her and I lead her back again. 
Grandpa & Himself are still out there tightening fences. :)) 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

CSI Farm, "Spring Melt"

I was called out of the kitchen this a.m. to investigate a crime scene in the front yard.

There were no eye witnesses . . . 
But we quickly determined the victim to be Mr. Snow Man, A.K.A "Frosty." 

The evidence: a carrot-nose, coal buttons, & stick-arms
 The weapon? 
Sunshine it was everywhere!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


What a glorious 60 degree spring day! No one wanted to be inside today. But I'd forgotten how muddy a spring day on the farm can be. Our yard would make any pig very happy.

I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter what I say or do the mud is bigger than any house rule I can make. And until the sun dries everything up I'll be battling mud daily.

Himself said at dinner time, "It's easy, the mud stay outside. It only comes in on the pets. The kids can take off their shoes outside the porch door."

I had no words. He doesn't get it.

I stood up the youngest and twirled her around quietly pointing out the mud smeared on her head, more on her rear, knees, and elbows. And then I pointed the rest of my dirty crew. Yes, their hands were washed for dinner, but that was about it!

And tomorrow -- RAIN. :(

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Who, who!

The International Festival of Owls was a blast! We saw Skreetch, Barred, Great Horned, Prairie and Snowy Owls during the Illinois Raptor presentation. They are such beautiful and intriguing birds that God has created.

The Owl Prowl was our favorite. We drove through the dark country side and stopped at various fields and roadsides to get out and call for owls. The weather was very windy and the owls weren't out. My  kids learned how to make the calls of all the local variety of owls so they can prowl for owls here on our farm. 

It was a very late night for all. Owls aren't awake in the day time and the festival started at 5:30 p.m. So I  was surprised when my baby woke up this morning at 7 a.m.. But you just have to smile when you hear her practicing her hooting. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Building Bee Boxes

I built two bee boxes today with my Dad and Sis. We're putting the two new hives at our farm. The new boxes still have to be painted white. White is a very pretty color to bees.
The live bees & queen bee are scheduled for delivery in April. I'm still not sure where to put these boxes. They need to be visible but kind of tucked out of the way and on an East facing slope of one of our hills. The early morning sun warms & wakes them up early to start their pollinating.

That pretty much means they'll be in the East valley where the pole barn, apple trees and my garden are located. Ideally it be nice if I could drive the truck & tractor near them as supers get heavy when they're full of honey. And a clear path to run if the bees are crabby is important too.

I remember going with my Dad once and the bees were cranky. They crawled up his pant legs and chased us back to the house. If I'd have had to trip over brush, down a hill, to get to the barn instead of the newly mown hayfield it'd have been a disaster!

Why am I doing this? Honey! It's amazing stuff.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thankful for ......

State provided health insurance.

Our cards arrived this week and we were able to end the painful experience with COBRA.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In a Nutshell

And in no particular order:





Death of a beloved pet

Major move



Swim Team

Swim Lessons




Sunday family dinners

No wonder the "February Mom Burnout" is more intense this year.  All of these scheduled activities and events are new since September.

Puppy Progress Report

Our dear puppy has been through a number of name changes. Himself finally admitted that he'd like to reuse the name Gypsy in honor of our previous guard dog friend, Gypsy I. So Gypsy it is.

Gypsy has not endeared herself to our kitty Rex. Poor Rex now finds himself in exile on the porch. He isn't yowling so we think he's actually relieved. They haven't made peace yet and Rex has been very twitchy about any sound or movement that might be a signal the the dog is chasing him. .

In the middle of the night last week there was a crashing sound. We didn't investigate because we didn't hear it followed by one of our children crying. In the morning we discovered an overturned cat box at the bottom of the basement stairs. It seems poor Rexy was so nervous that during a midnight poop he thought he heard the dog coming. We think he rode down the stairs in his enclosed litter box.

His ride scared him badly that he stopped using his box altogether. Instead he found a spot in the in the root cellar. Yes, the very same root cellar we vigorously cleaned because of cat poop from the previous tenants! Ugh.

So the porch is where Rex must stay until he relearns his litter box is his friend. He will probably come back into the house again. Oh yes, on the night of Rex's ride down the stairs Gypsy was sleeping quietly in her crate in our bedroom. :))

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Job!

Not employment. But a commission-based contract job.

Next week Himself starts this telecommuting job.

There's still an employment option that's "alive". One that is quite interesting and a good fit for his corporate skills. He's interviewed with them 3 times.

He did get a, "Dear John, we chose the other guy. But you were our second choice!"from another place he'd interviewed.

Thankfully it was after The Job details were firmed up and a "Go!"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gardening in 2012

I know what I want to grow. But I'd really like to just pick out what I want to grow and let someone or something map it out for me.

I used the free trial at I love being able to get a plant list that tells me when & which to start seeds to start indoors & outdoors. And it's great that it's all for my zone. But when it comes to mapping I'm lost.

I want it to pop out a plan for me to follow. And if I can get it to send me emails of what to do weekly that'd be even better!   I just can't, don't want to, do more than choose what I want to grow. Is there such a program or person?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Virtual Public School

We are contemplating enrolling our kids in our state's virtual public school for next year's schooling.

Why? Beyond the fact that this if February--homeschool burnout month. [Fortunately no homeschool catalogs have found there way to our new address. I think I might just have an old fashioned moment of the vapors if one arrives, ugh.]

I look at the pro's of virtual schooling and can get excited.
-- Someone else gets to give them the consequences for not meeting deadlines.
-- Individual responsibility for progress
-- Potential for taking a couple classes at the local public school like music, band, P.E., math, or science.
-- Credibility instead of, "Oooooh you  h o m e s c h o o l."
-- Keep the flexibility in our schedule to plan around our other activities and for field trips
-- The kids will still be at home so the momentum we have for character training will continue
--Flexibility for each kid in each subject. Ahead or behind in a subject, fine. They'll work at their own pace & learning level.

The cons? I was very surprised by the "homeschooler only" sentiment from the homeschool community. Apparently we will lose some of our homeschooling friends because the kids won't be registered home schoolers with the state.

And I won't be choosing their curriculum. Wait, that's also on my pro list! :))

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Coyotes beware, there's a new hound in town!

She's a 6 month old Australian Shepherd/Collie mix. 
She joined us last night. 
Snickers and her are well on their way to being friends. 
We'll know they've arrived when they pee together. :)) 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Triangular Shawl

I used Lion Brand Homespun (fiesta colorway) yarn.

It's a free pattern on Ravelry or, Easy Triangle Shawl.

I've actually made two. But I mailed that off to a friend last week. It was done in time to celebrate a mile marker for her, yay!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Deductible Met

Leave it to me to make sure the high deductible on our new 2012 insurance is met ASAP!

Of course, it was totally unplanned. But when a doctor says, "This isn't urgent, but I'd like to do it tomorrow." You just don't wait around, "Hmmmm, let me seee my deductible isn't met yet and I'm not ready to pay!"

OK, I dutifully report at 6:45 a.m. for check in at the hospital. My return home date is open ended depending on what they find. Could be just the outpatient procedure or a 6 week sentence. What's a gal to do?

Unfortunatley my twisted body wasn't cooperative and they were unable to push their probe down my throat. I have no memory of the experience. Just a very sore throat to verify that something happened.

I've slept most of the day. According to my husband I've provided a fair bit of amusement. Fortunately I'm the cooperative happy sort under the influence of more sedation than usually given for this procedure. I heard they even called in the supervisor. He was also foiled by my small mouth and fused neck.

Hurray for me! I'm not facing a 6 week sentence of inactivity. I think.

Still there's no answer concrete answer to the concern that caused this little medical field trip.

For now they're opting for, "Plan B" treatment schedule and a recheck in 2 months. Which means a few new medications and a lot more blood tests in my future, "Boooo!"

Now, would someone hurry up and feed me? My last meal was over 12 hrs ago and I'm not allowed to use the kitchen due to a supposed impaired judgement from the sedation. Evidently they're worried I might cut something that's not food. And the car keys seem to be missing......

:)) Happy New Year to me. I had hoped 2012 would be more gentler than it's predecessor.