Monday, February 27, 2006

Finally, they found it!!

Last week I hung a bird feeder with song bird feed in it from a hook under the eaves in front of the dining room window. I waited and waited, but no birds showed up. A chipmunk eyed it, but there's no way for him to get to it. I feed him dried corn.

This morning movement caught my eye and I looked in time to see my favorite bird at the feeder, a chickadee!! Later, a female blue jay arrived and feasted. Soon after that, a couple of male blue jays showed up! It's been Grand Central Station all day with birds flying to and from the feeder (and a few flew into the window...sheesh!).

I love all my critters. We get chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, deer, turkey, and various birds. I have my dog and many many goldfish. The rabbits don't get preferential treatment, though because they like to eat my garden. If we get too many, I'm allowed to trap them for food. I haven't yet, though.

I am a conservationist. I don't believe in killing animals for pure sport and to have them stuffed and trophied (although I'm not against stuffing a deerhead or mounting antlers or a turkey tail). I believe animals can be hunted for food purposes and some animals need to be put down if they're a nuisance, like the rabid raccoon that was in the area, or the mice spreading disease and filth. Otherwise, let them be beautiful! I marvel at God's creations.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Me at home....

It's a bumpy road, this whole issue about wives returning to the home. has a great article about this. It got me thinking about my own recent history.

When we got married, hubby and I thought it would be a good idea if I stayed home, but hubby wanted me to earn a living, so I had my own business. This business ate up my life and I topped it off with a complete lack of experience in organization and time management. The house was rarely tidy. I was usually frazzled. It wasn't working.

We had the opportunity to move and I quit my business. However, I still didn't manage my time well, and I wasn't very organized. My days seemed wasted, money was tight, and hubby and I would spend days hardly speaking to each other. Not because we were mad, but because we simply had little or nothing to say. He finally asked me to do something!!

I got a job! (Then I got pregnant just 4 days after starting said job). At first hubby was elated. I was bringing home a paycheck (measly as it was) and I was dressing nicely again and we had whole adult conversations each evening. Was this our answer? It seemed so great. Why didn't I work outside the home to start with?

But it soon became apparent that MY working outside the home really wasn't all that beneficial. Conversations became daily complaints about work. I was so overtired what little I managed to do before working outside the home, I couldn't do at all now. Despite being pregnant, I was getting hit on at work, and it kinda frightened me that I was the only one in the store and men would often come in. No security, no buzzer, no camera, no nothing to protect myself. As for the pay, as gas prices rose higher and higher, when all was said and done, I was making literally $5 to $10 a WEEK! It was hardly worth it. I was also getting increasingly pregnant and yearned to spend my latter half of the pregnancy in the comfort of my home.

Hubby and I agreed that I should quit and I did at the start of this year.

But working outside the home was beneficial. I realized like a slap in the face what I needed to do to be much more productive at home.

1. Create a schedule to stay on top of errands and housework.
2. Create a budget and STICK TO IT.
3. Listen to the radio, read the paper and call friends and family to help build conversation with hubby.

Just those three things have made my staying at home worth it not only to me, but to hubby. Home is not to be taken for granted. Staying home is not to be abused. In this day and age I see it as a privaledge. (I'm really not personally cut out to work outside the home)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Give it up

I definately have to give up the computer for a while. Originally, I thought about giving up the internet, but now it'll have to be the computer. I'm ALWAYS on it! I feel so guilty typing away at lightening speeds while hubby is right this moment out in the woods in the wind and snow cutting down trees just so our neighbors can heat their houses. What am I doing? Surfing the net, reading blogs, checking message boards, and typing in my own blog. How productive is that!? Not very.

So, I'll be cutting back the rest of this month and cutting out for much of March.

Keep checking in, though, because I will post once in a while on my progress, my pregnancy, my housekeeping, and my musings (especially if I have insomnia).

Time to follow my conviction.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Can and can't do favors....

Last Friday, we had a terrible windstorm that knocked down some trees in the woods next to our house. The trees fell across the access road and the top of one fell next to our garage. No damage was done. The woods are owned by the nursing home. My hubby offered to remove the trees and clean up the mess for free as a neighborly favor to the nursing home. He's fully certified and trained to not only cut down trees, but to take care of damaged trees and trees around high voltage power lines. The nursing home felt they had to refuse his offer for "insurance reasons." Isn't it sad that in the sue-happy world, a neighbor can't do a favor for another because they fear retribution should something go wrong?

But, as my hopes for favors done and given dwindled, they were quickly renewed.

Without a word, someone cleaned up the trees from the access road AND generously removed the top of the tree from our property. We later found out the farm on the other side of me was responsible for this! How neighborly!

Also, yesterday, my kind, sweet, dear mother came over and washed the mildew off my bathroom ceiling for me! It looks GREAT!

So, I guess favors can be granted. :)


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Energy Crisis Avoided

I received my electric bill in the mail today! Huzzah, all my hard work paid off! It went down $10.00!! But I know I can do better, not much though, because they did mandatorily raise everyone's bill $10 to $15.

The bulb blew in the dining room a while ago. It was a 100 Watt bulb, so in order to conserve energy, I replaced it with a 60 watt bulb. I lived with it, but found it was too dim for the room. It's a dark room to begin with. Then, the 60 watt bulb in the kitchen blew, and I didn't have a replacement. So I removed the 60 watt bulb from the dining room and put it in the kitchen. I replaced the dining room bulb with a 100 watt, but found it too bright!! Finally, yesterday, I bought a package of 75 watt bulbs. Now I'm happy!!

Now the only energy crisis in this house hold is my zapped!!


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oops and the sofa

Ooops! Yesterday, I let my doggy out to play and had some cardboard to burn. I placed the cardboard in the brush pile and lit it. A gust of wind came up, threw out the flames and set the brush pile on fire too! Ooops!!! (Previously, the wood's been too wet to catch fire. Apparently, it wasn't yesterday.)

I frantically checked to make sure my doggy was fully occupied with her ball, waddled my 7 month pregnant self back up the hill to the house and fetched a pail of water and a rake. I wasn't worried about the brush pile. It needed burning anyway and hubby would appreciate my "extra effort." It was the 1" thick matting of very dry pine needles that had fallen around the brush pile and led straight for the woods, my garage and the house! So, I raked the needles away from fire, leaving only bare ground and carefully arranged the sticks so it continued to burn in the middle and did not spread.

I managed just fine and my doggy got plenty of exercise. She even tore some dead hanging vines out of the trees for me to add to the fire. At least I stayed warm while doggy played! :)

My sofa, how I love thee. Looks like I'll be spending loads of time on it from now until baby's born. My bed just isn't comfy enough.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Away for March

I've decided that starting in March, I'm going to try a little experiment. I'm going to stop coming on the computer except for when I NEED to, like typing a letter, or ordering something online (or I need to keep myself occupied during insomnia). My reasons:

1. To see if it helps save some money on the electric bill.
2. To help combat some online temptations I've been dealing with.
3. To gain extra time in my day for self-improvement and preparing for baby's arrival.
4. To spend the time outdoors cleaning the yard, provided we don't get any snow. :)

I'll let you know how it goes, though!


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Business Venture and The Pathetic Bear Company

The other day, I thought of a cute name for a gift shop. I'm not going to share it because I'm not willing to have it stolen. ;) But since I thought of the name, I've been feeling deep down that perhaps I should pursue it and bring my kid sister along for the venture. Definately something to pray about! I already have an at-home sewing business, but I've always had this little flame of yearning in my gut for a unique gift shop.

My sister is very creative and has taken up sewing. She can take the strangest fabrics, usually the junk people give me and I throw away, and turn them into something eclectic, unique and surprisingly stylish and nice. But, as all seamstresses can attest, we have our days where a project just doesn't come out as planned. My sister decided to make my son a teddy bear. The teddy bear didn't come out very professionally, so she stashed it in her sewing box. When she showed me said sewing box, she found the bear and told me that she made it for my son, but wasn't pleased with the results. "He's pathetic," she said. I grabbed the bear from her and said, "I LIKE pathetic!" I wanted to keep it for my son, so she sewed on some eyes and embroidered a little red heart on his chest. Then, as I joke I told her she should start "The Pathetic Bear Company." Her boyfriend actually kinda liked the idea. :)


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Funny Little Prayers

Yes, I pray funny little prayers. I'd like to share them with you.
1. Before I pull out of the garage, I always pray for safe travelling mercies and good gas mileage.
2. When I put gas in my tank, I ask God to bless what I can afford in gas and I thank Him for His provisions and that I'll spend the gas wisely. (I get frustrated behind slow-poke drivers and often gun-it as soon as it's legal to pass them. Needless to say, this uses a fair amount of gas.)
3. I try to remember to pray over the grocery money I have each week and that God will grant me wisdom to use the money wisely and still get more that I planned.

These are all quick little prayers I usually say while sitting behind the wheel of my car. The funny thing is I tend to notice answers to little prayers better than I notice answers to big prayers.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentine's Day

Hubby and I got each other the same thing for Valentine's Day! Nothing!! Tee hee.....

Actually, hubby and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day. It's too close to our anniversary and hubby and I believe that we should celebrate our love for each other every day and not just on Valentine's Day. Besides, we both can't each chocolate. :)

I get a giggle out of watching Valentine's Day from the outside. While looking through a grocery store's floral shop ad, I asked my husband, "Isn't Valentine's Day supposed to be mutual?" He said, "Yes." I asked, "Then why are all these ads only focused on what men can give their women?" He said, "Because men are the ones that need the help." :D

BUT, all day yesterday on the radio, it was all about what men are doing for their women. There was nothing, NOTHING on what women are doing for their men. Some may say that it doesn't matter so long as it involves...ahem....something private. But really, when do we women show our men how much we love them? Why do men have to buy the flowers and candy and dinner and stupid teddy bears and lingerie? What do the women do in return on Valentine's Day besides "that."

Women on the radio acted as if they totally deserved all this lavishness. One woman was upset her husband slid the box of chocolates across the table rather than get all mushy in giving it to her. Maybe he's sick of this one way street, too.

Maybe it's because men in general tend to be less romantic.

But I believe romance can be where you find it. Life isn't like the movies. A stroll through the woods for a creek-side picnic in the movies isn't the same as in real life. In real life you deal with achy muscles, bugs, muds and soggy sandwiches. What's romantic is being able to laugh at it and share that.

Sure, my husband has never bought me flowers. But he hand builds from scratch gardens for me to plant and putter in. Instead of paying $50.00 on a bouquet that'll die in a few days, he puts in hours and hours of back breaking labor to get our yard how we'd like it.

Hubby and I love each other and we don't need a holiday to help us show it. But really, we just don't bother with Valentine's Day because it's so close to our anniversary. Neither of us wants the hassle of shopping for yet another card.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Third trimester thoughts

Due to some circumstances in my third trimester, I'll be resting much more often. This has me a little anxious, because how can I keep my house clean and organized while staying in bed more? This'll take some thinking and tweaking. Here's what I've come up with so far:

1. I'm not on complete bed rest, so I can get up and do things and I should to avoid blood clots and muscle cramping. But I can't overdo it. I have 5 rooms I take care of at Taigh Beag. I can do one room a day.

2. The men in my house (hubby and my brother) will have to help me carry laundry up and down the basement steps.

3. I should shift my focus to sitting activities, such as sewing and increasing my education.

4. My sister and mother have volunteered to help with housework. I think I'll take them up on that offer twice a month.

5. I'd like to figure out how I can stock up on groceries so I don't have to shop every week.

This afternoon, I have some sewing to work on, but when I return to resting, I'm going to work on these 5 things and get them settled and organized.


Monday, February 06, 2006

The Theory of Stinky Dust

Does dust stink? I think so.

Today, I cleaned the master bedroom, which contained a rather large quantity of dust bunnies. They like to breed in hard to reach places that are even harder for a third trimester pregnant lady with heartburn that gets worse if she bends over to reach. Still, I managed and the room smells a lot better. Maybe it's the dusting spray I used. Maybe it's the clean laundry I just put away. Or maybe it's because those bunnies aren't being cooked under the radiator every time the heat comes on.

Just think of what those bunnies are made of, especially since I have a dog. That stuff has to be stinky!

So, if your house has an icky smell to it, check for dust bunnies.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

To blog or not to blog

It started with a post on the message board I'm on. One lady wrote in her concern about some of the other ladies being so open about who they are, where they live, etc. The internet is NOT a cozy, safe place. It came to a head when on the same message board and on a few blogs I read, ladies have been discussing in detail how they discipline their children. This resulted in many disagreements, uproars, outrage, and questions.

Now, we have every right to discuss what we want to discuss on our blogs. However, just because it's our right doesn't mean it IS right! After all, I wouldn't go into detail about my personal life and the personal life of my family with the stranger behind him in the grocery store checkout line. Why would I do it online? This isn't just about child rearing, either. This covers many topics.

Hence why I'm careful and have made it my goal not to get too personal on my blog. I don't mind people disagreeing with me, but there are some topics that are just too explosive. We all must be careful.

One thing that bothers me no end in our culture today is this whole "freedom of speech" thing. I always thought the freedom of speech meant what it did in the Norman Rockwell painting....that regardless as to whether you're a rich businessman or poor farmer, your voice could be heard in a public forum. I didn't consider freedom of speech to mean I could say whatever I want to whenever I wanted to.

We have the freedom of opinion, but I do NOT believe we have the freedom to voice it without reprocution. Even the Bible warns us many times, especially in Proverbs to watch our mouths.

Divulging personal information about our families opens us up to many reprocutions. That's a risk I am not willing to take.

The internet world does not contain my friends (except for a few exceptions where we use the internet to contribute to our already formed personal relationships). I don't know who's out there. And while I wave to you cheerfully, and lovingly, I keep one finger on the "disconnect" button.