Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Babies!

I've met two other women online who are due this summer just like me! Babies!! I'm so glad my online gals are excited for me. It's rather sad that those around me here aren't. It's not that they're not happy. Rather than the cheers and hugs I received after announcing my pregnancy with Baby Girl, I get, "Oh." Just a simple, "Oh." It's gotten so bad that I don't even want to tell anyone else I'm pregnant, especially a certain person who only days before I found out I am pregnant told me she hoped God would hold off pregnancy for me. I guess I just don't understand, especially in the Christian community, the neutral to negative attitudes towards pregnancy and babies.

I'll admit, I wasn't aiming for pregnancy this early after giving birth, but every since we started "breeding re-enactors" hubby and I knew we'd take what we were given, when we were given them with such joy and thanksgiving.

I received a call today from Concerned Women for America. Apparently, Obama wants his first action as president to be passing into law the Pro-Choice Act which would completely make abortion in most, if not all forms Federally legal and even if Roe v. Wade were overturned, this law would make the overturning null and void. The law would also force all tax payers to somehow fund abortions. (They've already done that in the county just north of me. Tax payer money was used to pay for an inmate's abortion simply because she didn't want the baby. This went through despite an overwhelming majority of taxpayers and voters who were against this.)

They asked for a donation, but I don't do such things over the phone. I asked them to mail me information and assured them I'd post their website on my blog. Do your homework, contact your politicians, and pray fervently for the unborn in America.

www.cwfa.org

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beautiful Nausea

Hubby and I are so relieved! I have nausea! Things are looking up for this pregnancy! I'm also convinced that I'm having a boy. All signs point that way.

As I go through my first trimester, I'll let you know how I feel because I'm fairly convinced that taking dietary measures are helping me feel better. I cut way back on refined sugars and white flour. I've cut back on carbs and eat loads of proteins (eggs, cheese, nuts, etc). I'm eating more veggies. I'm drinking kombucha, raw milk, and Bulk Herb Store's Pregnancy Tea. I'm taking a multi-vitamin, B6, Cod Liver Oil, and Folic Acid.

My typical breakfast is two eggs, fruit and nuts.
Lunch is usually a salad topped with feta cheese and cashews.
Dinner is balanced.

There are many benefits to Bulk Herb Store's Pregnancy Tea, but one unexpected benefit for me is that it quenches my unquenchable pregnancy thirst. I drink plenty of water when I'm pregnant, but I always have an unquenchable thirst. This tea really stops that unneccesary thirst.

Well, I'm off to make a mug of that tea and a mug of Orange Spice tea for hubby!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Clean Slate

I'm not one to leave Christmas decorations up past the New Year. When Christmas is over, it's over. So, down came the decorations and out went the tree in record time. I got everything neatly packed away, taped up and labeled just in case we move. If we don't, at least I'm all the more organized for next year.

I did lots of cleaning and organizing today. I had to be creative with my exercise program, so I put in the new Sugarland cd and danced with the kiddos for 1/2 an hour.

It feels good to see the house so "open" again. While I enjoyed the coziness of the garlands and the tree and all the little twinkly lights, it's always nice to take everything down. It makes the house look lighter and brighter.

In preggy news, I'm still not sick nor am I feeling pregnant in any way. That's not good news. I'm not going to the doctor because they can't do anything anyway. In my second miscarriage, at 8 weeks an ultrasound showed the baby's heart beating strong. 3 weeks later, she was dead, so seeing a heartbeat isn't ensuring of anything for me. At least not this early. All I can do is wait it out and continue with life as normal.

I am eating a very healthful diet, taking appropriate vitamins and supplements for pregnancy and drinking Bulk Herb Store's Pregnancy Tea.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Preparations

Hubby and I agree that if he does secure a job southwards and we secure a house, then we're going to ask my little brother if he would like to come live with us and search for a better job for himself. *note to my sister---don't say anything yet to him!*

Even though we're still in limbo and nothing is definate, I've started a box of stuff that'll go towards our moving sale. If everything falls through, at least I'll have a really great garage sale in 2009!

I'm 6 weeks preggers and still no sign of morning sickness. While that's not completely alarming, the fact that I really don't feel pregnant is. I know it is early, but with my viable pregnancies, I was already feeling pregnant and sick by now. With my pregnancies that ended in miscarriage, I didn't feel pregnant and, in fact, felt great! I feel great, which isn't good.

I've been through 2 miscarriages before. While they sadden me, I am comforted by the Lord and in knowing that my babies are with Him. I also know that I am not done having children. I know I'll have more.

Of course, as soon as you go through a miscarriage, every subsequent pregnancy is put through a personal analysis that just ends in "will I, won't I" arguments with yourself. I am doing my best to just ignore it all and move on. There's no use getting worked up over something that might or might not happen.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Plans and Dream Shifted

I had made so many plans and had so many dreams for 2009 and the coming years. They've all changed. I'm not upset. I'm just taken aback. Everything I scratched down in notebooks and in my mind needs to be tossed out and room made for even bigger plans.

Right now, we're in limbo. We have to wait until after the first of the year.

Candy, I think it would be so cool to be neighbors with you! However, hubby doesn't have a job possibility in Oklahoma, though he does in North Carolina. We just have to see if the company will hire him. The foreman wants hubby to work for him, but it's up the company. The company is a union company. Even though hubby is already in the same union, sometimes they have ridiculous and impossible hoops to jump through.

One thing I am looking forward to if we do move is the massive cleaning and decluttering that'll go on while packing.

Oh, and I have chosen a house already and we hope it's still on the market if hubby does get the job. (And may the Lord bless us with a speedy and generous buyer for our current home.) We can't believe the for the same price we paid for our tiny cottage on half and acre, we can get a bigger house on acreage! I can hardly contain myself thinking about all the land (and longer growing season) to put gardens in. And my daughter would have her own room I could totally girl-out in! We might even be able to afford that horse hubby's been wanting for years!!

Prospects are so exciting, aren't they? And, no, I'm not becoming discontent with our current home and situation, because all this right here, right now is a very obvious blessing from the Lord.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Joining the mass exodus....

Hubby and I are seriously looking into moving out of the state we live in. In fact, many middle class, average American taxpayers are leaving this state. We're heavily taxed. Jobs aren't that great. The schools are horrible. Our politicians are massively corrupt and are planning on adding more taxes, fees, restrictions, regulations, etc. They don't strip away our personal freedoms outright....they just tax, fee and regulate them so much, we can't afford them!

Moving is going to break my mother's heart. It is going to break mine as well. I love where we live. I'm surrounded by family I can see at any given moment. I have love, support, help and prayers at a moment's notice from people I trust whole-heartedly.

Yet, at the same time I'm excited at the prospect of moving. The state hubby might have a job offer in has a VERY affordable housing market. We can get a 3-4 bedroom farmhouse on 2-5 acres of land for LESS than what we paid for our tiny 2-bedroom cottage on half an acre. To have another house to turn into a castle excites me. Hubby's excited at the prospect of having land to stretch out in....perhaps get a horse....start a hobby farm. I'm wondering who we'll meet. What friends we'll make. What church I'll go to.

But, oh, I'll miss my family.

I've been personally feeling the push to leave, though. Whenever I'd think about the daunting addition we planned for our little cottage, I knew it would take a miracle to be able to afford it. As I thought about it, I always felt this thought creep into the back of my mind, "Don't worry about the addition. You're going to move." As the State gets worse and worse, we're finding ourselves with little to no choice. So many things are changing around us, and not for the better.

At one point a few years ago, people talked about the United States being divided into "The United Socialist States of America" and "Jesus Land." There were even political cartoons with maps drawn out to show which states would be included with each nation. We're looking at moving to "Jesus Land" which suits me just fine! I just wish I could pack my entire family in my suitcase and take them with me.

Unexpectedly Expecting

Yep, only 6 months post-partum, and I'm preggers! Hubby and I are happy, of course. I'm saying it's a boy. The only problem is I'm having very few symptoms, which in the past meant miscarriages for me. So, it's a one-day-at-a-time deal. I'm also wondering if my vast reduction in carbs, particularly refined ones, and my consumption of Vitamin B6-rich raw milk and my daily glass of kombucha are warding off symptoms. Only time will tell. I was sicker with my daughter than with my son, so that's an indicator that I'm having a boy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ice Ice Baby, Haulin' Kiddos, Exercise

Yep, we're not just snowed in, we're iced in! Thankfully, our power didn't go out and I had a blast plowing the driveway with hubby's 4-wheeler! Everything is all crystal-sparkly! I'd take the kiddos for a walk in the woods, but it's too dangerous. While plowing, several branches fell. When they pop off the trees while covered in ice, it sounds like a gun-shot going off. I didn't flinch the first time because I thought it was a gun-shot. (You know you're a country-gal when gun-shots don't bother you!)

I've had people come up to me and tell me they can't believe I do my errands with my two children in tow. I don't think much of it. They're hardly apart from me! When the pediatrician asked if my daughter has separation anxiety, I couldn't answer because we're not apart. (When we are apart, she's with someone she's very familiar with, like Grandma or Daddy.) I'm just used to it. Sometimes, it is difficult, especially in winter weather or when things take longer than planned. It's also hard because some stores don't have shopping carts suitable for carrying an infant and a toddler and groceries.

As a side note, I just have to say I LOVE Target! I love that they do have shopping carts that'll accomodate kiddos. I love that they have a very large "family bathroom." I love that they have better quality stuff than Walmart for the most part. I love their wider, more unique selection. I love that they don't pipe cheap music and ridiculous commercials through the store. It's nice and quiet. I love that their employees are very well trained, abundant, and have a high morale. They use headsets to communicate with each other rather than blasting through the sound system, "Joe, call on line one!" And I love that they're never as busy as Walmart, so I get through quickly and more peacefully. The store aisles are wider. The shelves are tidy. Things are better organized. And I've NEVER seen boxes piled up and shopping carts blocking things. Sure, they're a little more expensive (their formula is only a penny more than walmart's), but it's so worth the little extra money for the shopping peace.

I've been changing up my work-out routine a little. I'm not doing as much aerobics. I read that aerobic bouncing (step aerobics, etc) can jostling the ligaments around our hips and cause problems in the kegal area. We ladies have rather flexable hips to accomodate childbirth. Heavy aerobics can pull on those ligaments...and that just doesn't sound good to me.

My weight loss is at a complete stand still. While everyone says I look thinner, my weight hasn't budged, nor have my measurements. It is time to amp it up a bit. I've been cutting back on carbs and portion sizes. Yoga helped burn the last bit of baby weight after Bubby was born. I found a yoga segment on my pilates DVD. I love yoga, and am thankful for Denise Austen. She has great yoga but doesn't even hint at the religious part of it. I avoided yoga for years because of the religious part of it. It was hard to find a video that had just the moves.

Oh, by the way, my computer fixed itself somehow. It's slow and clunky, but as you can see, I'm back online.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snowed In

It looks like I'm going to be snowed in for a couple of days. Of course, I don't mind at all. I'm looking forward to it!

We already have our Christmas decorations up....except for our tree. That'll go up Saturday! The house looks so comforting when all the indoor Christmas lights are on.

We just got word that our town is looking to heavily restrict and regulate the use of outdoor wood boilers. We have one and under the proposed regulations, the town would have the power to make us turn it off and get rid of it, if they so choose. We're attending a public hearing on the issue soon.

Not only is this giving the local government too much power, but their reasons behind it are totally ridiculous. They say the environmental impact of these boilers is too heavy. Since when is burning wood an environmental hazzard!! God regulated nature itself to burn wood! Man has been burning wood since Adam and Eve needed it after eviction from the garden. They say it's the emissions from the chimneys and that oil is a better fuel to use. Never mind that they're completely ignoring the environmental impact of obtaining, refining, shipping and using fossil fuels! At least we're burning local wood, keeping local loggers in business and carefully managing our own woodlots and removing hazzardous trees and storm-felled trees.

Not one neighbor has complained about the smoke smell. Most people I know actually LIKE the smell of wood smoke. I could go on and on.....

It just irks me that with all the other problems out there and other zoning issues, once again government is picking on the average tax-paying Joe who just wants to afford to live a half-way decent life and take care of his family.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fowl Idea and more...

Hubby and I are actually considering raising quail! I'm excited! I have such a vision for our little bit of earth and raising quail certainly fits into that scheme. From what I understand, quail can't survive winters here, but they're usually bought as chicks in the spring and butchered in time for the holidays.

Hubby expressed a desire to be able to work at the farm next door in order to spend more time with his family. The very same desire has been weighing heavily on my heart and mind recently, even more so than usual. Right now we cannot afford it financially. It would take a miracle. I'm stepping out in faith this Christmas season concerning it. How can we put our heads together and make this work?! My mind is swimming and I honestly feel as if someone is deep within my chest screaming, "Cry out to God!"

Oh, if only the farm could at least pay him $20.00 an hour.

We've gone through some tough and stressful times recently. I am in awe of God's work through it all, though. We've been blessed, we're closer than we've ever been as spouses and as a family. We're more content than before.

Well, I best head off to bed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

CRASH!!

My computer crashed, so I won't be blogging as often as before.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A "Prize", Christmas, Proverbs 31

Thanks to Candy at www.myblessedhome.blogspot.com for awarding me a blog award! I'll have to post it on my blog later. I'm short of time this evening. As Bubby would say, "Mom got a prize!" (He may only be 2 1/2, but I'm very rarely "mommy." Instead, I'm "Mom." At least he doesn't call me "Kate" anymore! It was rather disconcerting and funny to hear him say, "Hey, Kate!" when he wanted me.)

I'm making Baby Girl's Christmas stocking. I made it a bit big, but it's still cute. I dug through my fabric boxes and found some red wool and vintage black velvet. I made a ladybug stocking since that's one of her nicknames. At Walmart, I found ladybug buttons, so I'm going to sew them onto her stocking.

Samplers used to adorn quiet corners of houses with comforting or convicting phrases or verses. Nowadays, we have paste-on words for our walls or painted-on verses or shabby-chic signage to hang about. Today, as I wandered about our little cottage doing here and there chores, I thought about what verses of Proverbs 31 would go where.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. (In my jewelry box)

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. (The budget section of my home management binder)

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (By the phone, where gossip tends to fall)

She seeketh woll, and flax and worketh willingly with her hands. and She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. (In my laundry/sewing area.)

She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. (My pantry)

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (In my kitchen, especially when I'm mixing up a bottle for Baby Girl at 1 am)

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. (If I had a garden shed, it would go in there)

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. (In the living room where I keep my exercise stuff.)

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. (By the nightlight I turn on before I go to bed....to make sure I've got my chores done before turning in and that I can see at night when I must rise)

She layeth her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff. (I'm not sure where to put this one....any suggestions?)

She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is of silk and purple. (I'd put this near my closet to remind me to dress nicely every day and not dress like a frumpy slob.)

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. (Not sure where to put this one, either. I thought about near hubby's "throne" aka his recliner.)

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. (When the season of young child-care is over, I'd like to reopen my at-home business and this'll go there.)

Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. (In the bathroom, when I look at myself in the mirror.)

She openeth her mouth with wiedome, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. (In a very prominent part of the house to remind me every time I see it how I should behave.)

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. (Probably in the living room, perhaps near the TV where so much time can be wasted, or by the computer.)

Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. (In the nursery.)

Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. (In my Bible.)

Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. (Bathroom mirror as well.)

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates. (Not sure...any suggestions?)

Must be off to study algebra with hubby!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reading Nook, Why Buy Toys?

Hubby cleaned out his stuff from the closet in the nursery, so I moved Baby Girl's dresser into the closet. This left a space in the nursery for a the next baby's cradle. (No, that's not a hint. I'm not preggers...yet.) To fill that space, I took the next baby's little dresser and put a lamp I got for $1.00 at a garage sale earlier this year on it. Then, I took my lady's arm chair out of the living room where it somehow became a magazine rack and put it in the empty corner. Now, I have a cozy space in the nursery where I can read books to my babies. Bubby loves it and he's not one to sit still through a book!

Out in the living room, I set up Baby Girl's pack-n-play so she has a safe place to wiggle and have tummy time without worrying about a 45 pound dog running her over or a big brother playing too roughly. (And mommy doesn't have to worry about any of big brother's toys finding their into her hands.) Bubby hated his pack-n-play, but Baby Girl is quite happy with hers.

I've admitted it. We buy toys because we want them, not because our children want them. Bubby has toys galore! Between aunts, uncles, cousins, grand-parents, garage sales and our wide circle of friends, we have a fair amount of toys for Bubby to play with. Less than most other families I've seen, but still quite a bit. The problem is, Bubby's gotten bored with many of his toys. So, I took a priority mail box, turned it inside out and cut out various doorways and labeled them (fire station, ambulance, hardware store, grocery store, auto mechanic, etc). I took masking tape and taped out roadways and parking lots on our living room rug. (Never mind that we had bought Bubby a rug that already has roads on it). He spent 2 hours playing with that box and taped roads!!

Everyone keeps asking me what they can get Baby Girl for Christmas. I have no clue. She doesn't need clothing (I can thank 2 older cousins, and a distant relative with a hobby of going to thrift stores for that). What toys could a 6 month old possibly need that Bubby hadn't already received? I'm at a loss as to what to tell them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gleaming Bathtub, Algebra Needed

FINALLY!!! Ever since we moved into our little cottage on the hill, I've been fighting the battle against soap scum and whatever else coated our bathtub and shower walls. I tried so many things and nothing could get rid of that nasty build-up and back down to the original shower and tub surface. A suggestion from an online acquaintence and a coupon for Ajax did the trick. I bought one of those plastic, no-scratch scouring pads for dishes and no-scratch Ajax and put in some oomph of my own and it WORKED!!

Ok, calling all homeschoolers out there. Do any of you have a DVD of algebra I could borrow (I'll pay shipping.) A CD-Rom won't work...computer's too slow and sick. A VHS won't work...I don't have a VHS player. If so, please e-mail me at scottlass at juno dot com.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Great Basement Clean-out / The Bible and Green

My wonderful, fantastic, handy, handsome hubby put in heating in the basement. He also did some major cleaning. The basement is warm, dry, smells so much better and there's space!! It is slowly turning into a livable, usable space, which is important to us because our house is so small.

I read a question on another website about what the Biblical basis is for going "green." I found this odd because do we really need a Biblical basis for every tiny little thing we do in our lives? Is there a Biblical basis for playing volleyball, going fishing for pleasure, watching a Jane Austen movie, or planting a flower garden? Of course, what we do as Christians should reflect our walk with Christ.

But, is there a Biblical basis for going "green?" In a round-about way, perhaps there is. After all, God made us stewards of His creation. A steward takes good care of his charge. Taking care of the environment by living more "green" certainly is good stewardship of the earth God gave us. Also, our bodies are temples. We are to take care of them. Going green can help our bodies. We are also to be good stewards of the blessings God gives us (monetary, material, real estate, etc). Being green is often a great way to save money and make good, full use of the things we have and the things we purchase.

Have you ever read the Old Testament laws God gave the Israelites about cleanliness, etc? They lived very "green."

As a warning, though, I don't believe we as Christians should jump on the "environmentalist" band wagon because I believe environmentalism is a type of "religion" and that band wagon is heading over a cliff. After all, many leading environmentalists believe humans are bad for the earth. On woman aborted her baby and got sterilized because she believes children are bad for the environment. Many environmentalists hold animals in higher regard than humans. Going "green" shouldn't consume every inch of us. However, we should be good stewards of the earth God gave us.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Emergency Prep.

Emergency Preparations have been on my mind lately. They're a reoccuring thought when one lives in the great Northeast. Winters can be unforgiving at times. I would love love love to find a small cast iron wood cookstove. My father found one at a garage sale for $25.00, but he didn't buy it and he didn't tell me until a few days later. AUGH!! I'd have put it in my basement so we could have heat and be able to cook should the power go out.

A great source for emergency preparedness supplies is Sportsmans Guide. You can get stuff like MREs, camping equipment, battery-less radios and flashlights, etc.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Little Bit of Everything

November hasn't meant an ease-up in our difficulties, but we're happily plugging away.

I've been working out every day this week. It's already paid off. I can get my engagement ring back on! That's no small feat. I was 105 lbs when I got engaged. I was skinny! Granted, I'm not 105 lbs now. Add about 30 lbs to that and you've got me. :) I also feel stronger and more flexible. I'm actually amazed at how strong I've gotten just in this past year and just in these past 2 months! Even hubby has squeezed my bicepts and said that I'm getting "ripped." Tee hee. It's all that baby lifting! It isn't uncommon for me to have an infant on one hip and a 2 year old on the other! Motherhood...my own personal gym. Anyhoo, I've been doing The Firm, Yoga and Pilates (I recommend Denise Austin as she doesn't get into the religious part of Yoga), and my own strength training. Some times I'll mix it up with step aerobics, my pregnancy workout (no, I'm not preggers, but I find it fun to do) or I'll go for a mommy-power walk (that's a power work with kiddos in a double stroller...so much easier now that they finally repaved my road!).

I found a recipe for baked parsnip french fries! I want to try it. I tried baked sweet potato fries and they just shriveled into nothing. Bubby has decided that all vegetables are "yucky" and he won't eat them. If a veggie does happen to enter his mouth, he literally starts to gag and heave. We're working on that. We had a break-through this afternoon when he actually took a few bites of a carrot stick and ate some of his corn on the cob. Oh, he does adore black olives and will eat them until he turns into one! Otherwise, on his food pyramid ketchup and pickles count as veggies. Potatoes will occasionally pass over his tastebuds if they're in the form of reconstituted dried processed mashes potatoes or home-made baked french fries or if he's really hungry, he'll eat a boiled potato or two.

I don't get it because I followed all the "rules" to ensure a non-picky eater and a veggie eater at that. He used to wolf down whatever was placed in front of him and he adored steamed mixed veggies, green beans, etc.

Our basement is so close to finally being heated! I went through every single box of baby clothes and was able to consolodate and organize. Now, I'm working on my pantry. I've been really careful with my grocery budget and working towards stocking up for the winter. It is only by the grace of God that I can feed my family, put gas in my car, buy formula and still have enough money for a few stock up items for only $100.00 a week!

My fishtank still sits unsold. Please pray that we sell it soon.

Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving? I am. I'm on mashed potato duty and green beans with cracker crumbs duty. I'm thinking of making a cake because Thanksgiving Day is Baby Girl's 6 month birthday! Although, who wants cake when there is pumpkin pie and my mom's famous crumb top apple pie!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President Obama

Hold fast fellow Christians. It's going to be a bumpy ride!

Friday, October 31, 2008

How Things are Going

Thanks to all of you who kept us in your prayers. Here's an update on how things are going. Hubby is doing fine. We still don't know if he actually has Lyme Disease, but he's on antibiotics anyway, though they'd make great diet pills. Hubby says they make everything he eats taste terrible! Thanks to a very generous blessing we received, we were able to make our mortgage payment without worry. We feel a bit more stable. To help make ends meet I'm hoping to sell off some of my tea cup collection. While I enjoy these pieces, they have outstayed their usage. I need the shelf they are on for other things now that Baby Girl sits at the table with us. I'm making room on my hutch for use as a buffet for when we take meals rather than spreading out the service dishes on the table. Our dining table is rather small.

We STILL have snow on the ground! Hubby will be turning on the outdoor wood boiler by Sunday so I won't have to be careful with the oil heat until May. We'll just turn the oil furnace right off. The nice thing is our house will go from 64 degrees to 72! When we bought the boiler, we bought one too big for our house because we plan on adding a second storey. Consequently, in order to keep the boiler from over-heating, we have to keep the house toasty warm. No complaints here!

Today, I'm hoping to make applesauce and more crabapple jelly. I have to see if I have any canning lids first. I also am going to mail out a package to my blessing-giver. I know she reads this blog, so keep an eye out for a box and please know we are ever so grateful!

I lament a bit about the snow. You see, just down the path behind my house along the treeline is a very large bittersweet vine. I was hoping to get out there and cut back the branches and sell the bunches. I'm pretty sure the heavy, wet snow destroyed their autumn beauty. I'm also hoping my elderberry bushes didn't get shocked and die. Thankfully, they're on warrenty until next autumn, so if they die, I should be able to receive two more for free.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Truth is sweet ~ Mushroom Pie

I'm in Ezekiel now as I read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. This stood out to me this morning:

Ezekiel 2:9, 10; 3:1-3 KJV

And when I looked, behold, a hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therin; And he spread it before me, and it was written within and without; and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Moreover, he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thous findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

The scroll was full of "lamentations and mournings" and yet when he ate it, it was "as honey for sweetness." It struck me that no matter how unpleasant God's Truth may be at times, no matter how hard His admonitions, trials, and even His wrath, it is still sweet as honey because it is Truth and it is Goodness and it is entirely in His hands.

Now for something savory....a recipe for Mushroom Pie

Enough pastry for a top and bottom crust in an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan and add chopped onions. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are just tender. Add two packages of mushrooms (washed and sliced thickly), cover, stir occasionally. Add 1 small can of mushroom partially drained, a splash of brandy and a hearty splash of cooking sherry, dried parsley, salt, pepper and 4-5 tablespoons of flour. Blend well and cook, uncovered until thickened. Add a bit of milk or cream to make a good gravy and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into the pastry lined pie plate. Top with pastry crust, crimp edges and cut slits. Bake in a 350 degree oven between 30-45 minutes (or until crust is cooked through.)

I credit a re-enacting friend of mine with this recipe. She uses baby portobellas and dried porcini mushrooms. For a more economical version, I use two boxes of fresh mushrooms from Aldi.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mouths of Babes

This past Sunday as I ushered my son out the door, he asked if we were going to the farm. I told him that we were going to church to worship Jesus. He responded, "Worship pizza?"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No Longer Afraid

Ok, I admit....I've been fraught with worry about how the world is turning and our own financial struggles. Today's sermon really helped me cast off fears and doubts.

The foundations are being laid for the rise of the anti-Christ. Many people become worried and fearful at the very thought. I do believe American must decline as a world power in order for prophecy to be fulfilled. I do believe it's going to get harder. But rather than being fearful like I was before, I'm actually excited. The last time the world quaked with the thunder of prophecies being fulfilled was during the time of Christ. I used to wonder at how amazing it must have been to live during Christ's walk on this earth. But we're living in the dress rehersals of His return!!

I wrote yesterday how I was gun shy about the future, wondering what we're going to get hit with next in our run of "bad luck." Now, I'm peeking around the corner, looking to see what God has in store for us!

I also realized that perhaps we're getting hit so hard financially because I'm a financial HOG. I keep it not only from hubby, but from God. That is a sin I'm repenting of and asking God to show me how He wants hubby and I to deal with finances.

I'm no longer going to be afraid of tithing. I'm going to pray fervently for it!

I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead. I'm looking forward to seeing how He moves in this family and in my church. I'm looking forward to stepping out of my shell and out of my laziness and lack of vision and my procrastination and getting to work.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our Odd October

First, our pressure tank AND well pump went at the same time.
Then, hubby's truck needed repair.
After that, hubby's chainsaw broke.
Next, a tree fell on hubby's truck.
Now, my truck is making funny noises when I turn the heater on.
Finally (hopefully), hubby's being treated for Lyme Disease.

We've gone from frustrated to angry to bitter to laughing insanely. *smirk*

I will say that we're getting a bit gun shy about the future. We're wondering what's going to happen next!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mac ~n~ cheese!

A healthier home-made macaroni and cheese really doesn't take that much longer and isn't that much harder to make than the boxed version. Here's my recipe:

Cook one 12-ounce box of whole wheat macaroni. Drain and set aside. In that same pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of white whole wheat flour, salt and pepper to taste and 1 cup of milk. Whisk until it's no longer clumpy and allow to cook, whisking occasionally until it's thick and bubbly. Reduce heat. Add 8 ounces shredded cheese, stirring in with a wooded spoon. Add 1/2 to 1 cup milk (just enough to make a thick cheese sauce) and continue stirring until all the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and add the macaroni. Blend well and serve.

I like to try different cheeses. Tonight, I made this with 4 ounces New York Cheddar and 4 ounces of Monteray Jack. I also added in some cooked ground beef and onions. Yum! Hubby also loves Swiss mac and cheese, but I couldn't find any Swiss cheese at Aldi, so I didn't make it tonight.

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Magazines for the Home

What happened to Better Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping. They really don't have much to do with their titles anymore, especially Good Housekeeping. Better Homes and Gardens caters to a more wealthy crowd and you need to live near several expensive specialty food stores in order to cook most of their recipes. Good Housekeeping is full of celebrity gossip and advice that seems to apply more to the modernist career woman rather than a woman who is a keeper of her home.

Where are the ironing tips? Where are the decorating on a real budget (not $25,000 for a kitchen)?

I don't get either of those magazines, though I sometimes receive previously read copies. I do get Cottage Living, which is quickly joining the ranks of other "home and garden" magazines where the average person can't afford to even think about such renovations and decorating. Besides, they're on this "subway tile" kick. To top it off, most of the time the "cottages" they feature have well over 2,000 square feet of living space! I thought cottages were cute and small and realistic, not 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms! I do like their gardening ideas, though.

Since we're obviously sorely lacking in realistic housekeeping magazines, I visit Christian housekeeping blogs. They offer great, real world advice. Do you have a housekeeping blog of your own or some you enjoy visiting? If so, please share them in the comments section.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sick Day

I'm having a rather productive sick day. Children and mommy have ANOTHER cold (grrrrr), so we're all in jammies. I hauled the computer upstairs and am cleaning out, catching up and I completed the newsletter I'm the editor of. I made a hearty rice, wild rice and root veggie chicken soup for lunch. Dinner will be pork.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Budget Menu

I don't have much left in my monthly grocery budget, so I've come up with a budget menu for the next 12 days. The 30th and 31st of this month I've left open for the time being.

Here's my budget menu:

Today, Saturday the 18th: I was supposed to make Chicken Strata, but I forgot to buy cream of mushroom soup. Rather than wasting gas to buy a can, I'm going to make a Fricasse of Chicken instead and serve it over brown rice.

Sunday 19th: hotdogs, homemade mac and cheese, steamed carrots from my garden.

Monday: Pork (that's in my freezer), smashed root vegetables made from left over roasted root vegetables, baked apples from my dad's trees

Tuesday: Drumsticks (that's in my freezer already), brown rice, squash from my trip to the farm.

Wednesday 22nd: If I have any left over chicken I'll make buiscuts and gravy. If not, I'm going to make a soup from whatever veggies I have in the house, some barley in my pantry and the chicken stock I made from the chicken feet I was given.

Thursday: Swiss mac and cheese (one of hubby's favorite dishes). If I have enough money, I'll get a good quality swiss. If not, I'll just use the swiss slices at Aldi. I'll add a side of steamed mixed veg from the bags of frozen veg you can get fairly inexpensively at the store.

Friday: Fish and chips. Boxes of battered fish fillets at Aldi aren't that expensive. The chips I'll make myself out of potatoes I have on hand. For a side dish, I'll make baked apples. Hubby loves baked apples.

Saturday 25th: Homemade pizza!

Sunday: Mushroom quiche and applesauce

Monday: We'll probably eat at my in-laws'

Tuesday: Another special treat for hubby, but not too expensive...Oktoberfest! Wurst, German potato salad, sourkraut

Wednesday: Mushroom pie....ooooohhhh this is good.

A few of these dishes are meatless, but they're favorites of hubby's so my carnivore shouldn't mind.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weird Week - WOW - McCain

Wow, this past week has been weird. It seemed every time we turned around something was breaking. First, hubby's truck needed calipers, roaters, brakes and a new steering column. Then, we lost our water pressure. Hubby replaced the faulty pump switch and the broken pressure tank only to find out that we STILL don't have water pressure. Tomorrow, the well guy is coming to pull up our well pump. I pray it's something simple and inexpensive. Next, hubby's chain saw broke. Thankfully, we still have our health, humor and most importantly our faith.

I read in the paper a few months ago that there is a new local chapter of an organization called WOW (Women of Worth.) The article basically stated that to be a Woman of Worth, you had to have a career. Apparently, at-home moms aren't worth it enough to be a woman of worth. That's ok. I don't need a worldly hen house to tell me whether or not I'm worth anything. Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies. Far above rubies...now that's worth something! ;b

Hubby's union sent paperwork on the two main presidential candidates (I wish they'd list EVERYONE who was running and not just Obama and McCain). The paperwork listed what each candidate believed, supported and planned on doing. It said that McCain supports economic globalization and wants to work towards that. Frankly, that doesn't sit well with me at all!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Seeking a Book

I am seeking "A Thousand Ways to Please a Family" (subtitled "with Bettina's Best Recipes") by Louise Bennett Weaver. I'd love to add it to my collection.

Elderberries, etc.

We had our first frost this morning. As the leaves make quick changes to a variety of autumn hues, a bit of green arrived in the mail. My elderberry bushes arrived (as did my heirloom garlic). I was disappointed that the nursery was out of blueberries, but planting those elderberries in the crisp autumn noon-day erased my disappointment. I have credit at that nursery now that I can use later this winter when I order my spring plants.

I haven't been online in a couple of days and it'll probably be hit and miss for a while. I'm just so busy! Plus, I'm trying to save money and running the computer requires energy. It is frustrating that every time I work very hard to save money, something comes up to eat that savings right up. I won't balk, though, because it is rather amazing that the Lord provides just enough when the goings get tough.

I went to the grocery store yesterday because they often have day-old meats marked down. I was able to buy a steak for hubby, some boneless pork sirloins and a roasting chicken. Add a carton of organic plain whole milk yogurt (to refresh my homemade yogurt batch) and I spent just over $14.00. It wasn't the greatest savings, but it wasn't retail either.

The best though was I loaded my children and my parents in my car and we went to a farm a few towns over. I got 20 lbs of potatoes, a half a bushel of acorn squash, a half a peck of turnips, a jar of cinnamon, and a pie pumpkin for $10.00!

Other blessings yielded this week include my MIL buying Baby Girl a pack of diapers (she's in cloth part-time, so this pack will last!), my in-laws treating us to dinner in their home and giving us their ample left-overs, and my FIL giving me money for gas, and a friend giving me a can of formula!

Praise the Lord for His provisions and thanks to my friends and family for allowing Him to work through them.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Finances

Hubby appointed me chief financial officer of our home when we got married. Even before we were married he often had me do his finances for him. That's the way it goes in our household, but frankly, I'm not entirely comfortable with it. I feel I have too much "financial power." I feel like I'm the current US government, and my hubby is the typical hard-working American man....just coughing up his hard-earned cash to the institution and not knowing much about it otherwise.

I've tried various budget books and budgeting systems, but I always fall behind and find that many budget books don't show full accountability. You just jot in a number under a title, but it could mean anything. Not only could hubby not figure it out if he asked to see the books, but I couldn't answer for anything or figure out why we overspent here and where the money went there.

So now I've simplified and just have to add in a large amount of self-discipline. I just took a sheet of loose leaf paper and inserted it into the budget section of my Home Management Binder and labled the paper thus:

Date, Transation Description, Minus, Plus

So now, at the simple glace at the page, hubby and I can see what days I handled money, where, how and why, and whether or not it was spent or incoming.

It's no longer, ok, my wife spent $100 on groceries this week, but what's she got to show for it? Now it's, ok, my wife spent $30.00 at Walmart on infant formula, diapers, and that power cord I asked her to get. She spent $25.00 at Aldi's on food for the week. She spent $20.00 on gas at the Mobile station and $25.00 at Hannaford to stock up on meats for the freezer.

Not only does it hold me fully accountable for every red cent spent (because I DO have a tendancy to impulse buy and over spend), but it also shows hubby exactly where I went and what I did for the days.

This isn't a "leash" or an "over protective" or "controlling" thing. It's to make sure he can fully trust me the way a husband should.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

More Reasons Why I Want to Homeschool...

While reading through the newspaper yesterday, I saw an editorial written by a minister of a local church imploring the local school district to stop having "mandatory" marching band practice on Sundays during the typical hours of church services. Apparently, to be a part of this marching band, students are required to not only practice during school hours, after school hours, but also on Saturday and Sunday!!

Now that school has begun, I rarely see my neighbor's daughters. They both play sports and are usually gone all day and often have games and tournaments all weekend. Some of these are hours away and some are overlapped so as soon as one game is done, they rush off 30 miles or so to the next one!! It's ridiculous! Even in my own church, I've heard people ask a parent, "Where's your son/daughter today? I hope they're not sick." And the parent answers, "No, they had [some school thing] today." (Now, 90% of the families with children in my church homeschool.)

Now, I was in drama club and we always had a Sunday show, but that was a one time deal and it was in the afternoon after church.

Another reason to homeschool.....my father was educating school groups on a field trip to a local 18th century museum. While telling true history and not "revised" history, he tried to make sure the students understood how behaviors back then should not be repeated today (such as youngsters drinking alcohol). Afterwards, when the students moved on, the teacher held back and Dad talked to the teacher about the presentation. Dad said that he tried to interject some morality in there for the students. The teacher told dad, "Oh, we don't do that. We can't impose morality on the students." WHAT!!!!!! We're not talking about specific religious beliefs. We're talking about general common sense stuff here!

Recently, I was thinking back to my own 9th and 10th grade history classes. I had the same teacher both years. I remember it was world history and she enthusiastically taught us about all the religions that were common in different parts of the world. We learned about the Tao of Pooh and colored in Ying Yangs and the points of this religion and the pillars of that religion. But, when we got to Chrisitianity, she stopped dead in her tracks. "I can't teach about Christianity," she said. I, and some other students said, "But we learned all about these other religions." She also told me that my father deserved to make minimum wage because he didn't go to college like she did. (He was drafted during the Vietnam War).

Ugh.....I am SO homeschooling!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Great Green Globs....

The childhood song, "Great green globs of greasy, grimey, gopher guts, mutilated monkey meat, chopped up birdy feet..." is stuck in my head. The reason is because I'm getting big batch of chicken feet from a young lady who's butchering her chickens today. Chicken feet make a very rich, hearty, healthy broth. She's giving them to me for free since she was just going to throw them away.

After getting the bear meat and now the chicken feet, I'm beginning to wonder what other free meat I can get. If I had the time to do my own butchering, I could get all the free wild rabbits and squirrels I wanted.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Raw Milk, Mother's Milk, etc

Hurray!! I finally found a local farm that's certified to sell raw milk! I'm going to try to make a trip there some time next week! Oh, all the wonderful, healthy things I can do with raw milk (the way God intended milk to be before man poisoned it with pasteurization and homogenization).

Also, my Mama's Milk Tea came in from Bulk Herb Store today. It's really tasty. I don't even have to put any honey or sugar or stevia in it. I hope does it's job and increase my milk.

I can't believe baby girl will be 4 months old tomorrow! According to Nourishing Traditions, she can start egg yolk feedings at 4 months old. I bought some organic, free range eggs from a local homeschooled young lady yesterday.

I think some of my family is beginning to think I'm nuts with all this strange health food and against-mainstream baby care. I'm telling you, read Nourishing Traditions and it'll open your eyes to how literally sick and degenerative American children (and adults) are because of our mainstream diet thinking. Top it off with chemically crazy convenience items like disposable diapers and plastic everything and cheap paraben-filled lotions and soaps and it's no wonder cancer is rampant, dementia is growing, obesity has become the norm, and heart disease is a matter of when and not if.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cloth Diapers/Economy

Bubby isn't progressing as quickly as I'd like with the potty training. I've been using cloth diapers and cloth training pants while we're home. When we're out and at night, I put him in pull-ups. Thankfully, I found a large box of Huggies pull-ups at Big Lots for $24.00. I'm hoping they'll last him until he's fully trained!

Baby Girl is in cloth diapers part-time, too. I've only made her three so far, and they're used up in half a day, but they work well, so I'll make her more.

Things are just so expensive! I priced out what I'd need to make home-made formula and it's really expensive. The doctor's office gave me some free samples (enough for 3 or 4 days). That'll help. Oh, how I wish I could still nurse!

The media is abuzz with this whole fiscal crisis and bailout. It's hard to avoid and hard to not worry about it. I know the Lord will provide for us, but it is very real that we may have to really cut back. On one hand, it bothers me because I know it'll be an added stresser, especially on hubby. On the other hand, I'm up for the challenge and have already been taking steps to prepare for a possible economic depression.

I've always been drawn to a simpler life, a life closer to God's creation. I've sometimes wondered if it's God's way of helping me prepare for a time when the best way to survive is to be agrarian.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Daddy, can I have a pony?

I've been invited to a mom's day out (kids welcome, of course) to the horse auction next month. I mentioned it to hubby, but it doesn't look like we'll be able to get a riding horse now. The farmer who owns the farm where we'd keep it doesn't believe his draught horses will appreciate another horse. The oldest mare doesn't take well to other horses, except for her offspring.

On the other hand, a couple years ago, the farmer bought a pony for his grand-daughters. The pony can be ridden by small children, but it's also trained to be driven and can carry two adults. It's the sweetest pony, but the draught horses don't like it and the grand-daughters are losing interest. They're looking towards a horse they can ride.

Soooooo.....the farmer already said that my children can have use of the pony when his grand-daughters lose interest. I would LOVE to make that little horse my own and learn to drive it.

I've already made cutesy eyes at hubby about it. :b We'll see.

I've also been offered a miniature jersey cow, for a price. Ok, here's my country-girl dreams. I want a good-sized garden and herb garden, which I have. I want a cut-flower garden (working on that). I want a miniature cow to milk (or goats)...hubby says no. I would like to raise pheasants, too. Hubby refuses to have chickens.

Throw in a horse, and I'd be queen of the little patch of earth God blessed us with!

I have to get my household affairs in order, first. I can hardly care for animals when I can barely get my house running smoothly.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Grocery Budget, Little Helper

It is getting harder and harder to stick to a grocery budget. I'm also getting cheaper and cheaper. For example, yesterday I was at the local super Walmart buying some groceries. I wanted a loaf of italian bread for tonight's dinner. The loaf was nearly $4.00. It went back on the shelf and this morning, Bubby and I made a perfect sized loaf of delicious wheat italian bread....and I can pronounce the natural ingredients in it!

I now make my own sour cream (so much tastier than the store bought stuff and easy, too....just put 8 ounces of heavy cream -not ultra-pasteurized- in a clean glass jar. Pour in at least a tablespoon of cultured buttermilk, cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. It'll thicken after 48 hours.)

Bubby's been my little helper today. He not only helped me make italian bread and knead the sourdough and refresh the starter, but he also helped me wash the kitchen floor and dig another square for my 4-square herb garden.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jelly, Relactation, Insanity

Last night, I made no-commercial-pectin crabapple jelly. Yum! I can hardly wait until next year when I can preserve the bounty of my enlarged garden!

Here's an update on my relactation. A few days ago, it just wasn't working. Nothing but a few drops would come out and my daughter would refuse to even try to nurse. Then, while working in the kitchen after dinner, I felt a let-down! So, I gathered up my pump and the newspaper, ran into the bedroom, bundled myself up on the bed and pumped away while reading the paper. When I was done, I had 2 1/2 ounces of milk in the bottle! It was like a little ray of hope that I could relactate! I felt so happy to give my daughter that milk!

Then, last night when she woke for a feeding, I put her on and I had a let-down! In the morning, I had another one! I felt a bit heavy this noon-time and had a very slight let-down and managed an ounce by the pump. My daughter even attempted a feed and got a little mother's milk while in the Aldi parking lot! I still have to give her the larger percentage in formula. She averages about 4 ounces a feeding every 3 hours. It's a good extraction when I get an ounce.

Still, I was encouraged by saved sinner's comment of "something is better than nothing" when it comes to mother's milk. I'm praying fervently to be able to continue to give her my milk and in even greater quantities.

My son is driving me insane!! It's not entirely his fault. We've had an unusual week and the poor dear really does need some rough and tumble time. Instead, he's stuck with a momma who's tied down to nursing, pumping, hand-extracting and bottle feeding. I might see if hubby can take him to the farm this weekend and let him burn off some of this energy.

I keep promising myself and him that I'll get it all together one of these days!! What really knocks me out of routine are all these stupid errands! (I usually consolidate them to just one day a week, but like I said before, this has been an unusual week.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Blessing for Me, A Blessing for You

The blessing for me came in the form of the foreleg (arm?) of a bear! Hubby came home with this huge hunk of meat loosely wrapped in plastic and shoved it into the freezer. "What is THAT!?" I asked him. "Bear," he says in typical lack-of-detail masculine fashion as he walked out the door. So, around dinner time, I pull out the huge hunk of meat and hubby and I start butchering it (thankfully, it wasn't frozen yet). A few probing questions later and I learned that a customer of the farm next door went hunting in Maine and got a bear. He gave hubby the roughly butchered foreleg for free. I never had bear before, so I cooked up a small piece and it was DELICIOUS! We got around 7 lbs. of beautiful meat off that forearm and all for free!

Now, here's a blessing for you. This is what my pastor told the congregation yesterday, "You are a thought in the mind and heart of God!"

Isn't that just breath-taking? God thought you up! God thinks of you still!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More Nursing Retrospect

More Woman-Talk Ahead....

There are a few more reasons why my milk failed:

1. I never bothered correcting a poor latch-on because it didn't hurt me and she seemed to be nursing well despite it. Both Bubby and Baby Girl have a slightly convex upper lip between nose and mouth. It's an endearing feature, but their upper lip would curve in rather than flanging outward during nursing. She often would "click" while nursing. Now I know that this was a BIG faux pas!

2. She was a fast nurser and I was glad of it. Most of my nursing sessions lasted under 5 minutes!! She would drink away the let-down, switch sides and need a burp and then sleep for 3 hours. I'd be happy and get up and go start another project. Not good...not good.

3. With Bubby, I LOVED the Baby Whisperer books. Now, I feel like they contributed to many issues, including nursing. The author is against letting a baby comfort-suckle mommy because it makes them too dependant blah blah blah. So, I had it in my head to not allow Baby Girl to pacify herself on me. Consequently, she lost the comfort that only mommy can give, and I lost the stimulation and release of oxytocin that could have greatly improved the quality and duration of nursing.

Today, while I was dressing my hair for church, I looked in the mirror and realized that I look older, but that I looked...well...pretty. It dawned on me that my fight for thinness wasn't necessarily about health and well-being, but it was about vanity and trying to stay young. Part of it, too was that I didn't want to join the ranks of so many American women who "let themselves go" after having a kid or two. In the mirror this morning, I decided that it was ok to "age gracefully," of course still taking care of myself, but also realizing that I can't and shouldn't try looking like a teenager or college chick. I've gone from maiden to matron.

I want to be clear that not one of those rude comments I mentioned in yesterday's post were uttered or even suggested by my hubby. He loves ME.

Here's a question: I'm still making some watery milk. Not much, but some. My daughter actually nursed a little last night before dozing off again and I nursed her after church and then pumped 1/2 an ounce. Is it not futile? Can I relactate? I'm willing to give it a try. I'm thinking of checking out the health food store for a nursing tea.

PS. I also only just learned that women who have a hard time carrying their babies to term can have trouble lactating. All of my babies were premature or miscarried.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In Retrospect and Looking Ahead

Warning...woman-talk ahead.

Stephanie, thank you SO MUCH for your advice. I should print that out and keep it in my Home Management Binder for when I have baby #3. I did put your advice to work yesterday, but still nothing but a 1/2 an ounce of watery milk. But, it did get me to thinking and thinking HARD about what went wrong this time.

I was doing so much right (exclusively nursing round the clock), so I was pretty shocked when I got my first post-partum period at 2 months. At 3 months, I had a huge hormonal shift that was like crashing into a brick wall. It seemed as soon as I hit that hormonal brick wall, my milk supply went down to nothing. So, I started feeding her more often, but she would still cry and fight. Quinoa, fenugreek, borage, eating enough food that I actually put on weight.....taking afternoons off for nursing and napping sessions. At 3 months I lost my let-down, too. I had a great let-down at the start. But once this hormonal shift occured, my let-down left.

But I don't think this was the ONLY reason my milk failed. I think stress was a big factor. My mom is a worrier. I don't worry so much, but I stress.

The contributer to stress was trying to do too much at once. I wanted to prove to everyone that having a baby isn't the end of sanity and that I could keep a household together and thriving. I also am a project person and I wanted so many projects done. Rather than putting everything on the back burner, I dove right into everything from garden expansion to basement clean-out to re-enacting. I figured so long as I nursed regularly, got enough sleep and ate enough, I'd be all right. After all, there are other moms out there who could do so much and still nurse. Our foremothers must have had to put up food for the winter and care for home and animals and sick children and tired husband and still nurse.

Another factor was trying to lose the weight. I wanted to do it as healthfully as possible, but the nags wouldn't leave me alone. It seemed everywhere I turned, even just a week postpartum, I was getting comments from people like, "you still look pregnant," "when are you going to lose the weight?" and "when are you getting your hot figure back?"

This was also one of the busiest and most stressful summers I've ever had. And what is it with people having us over instead of them making the trip to our house?! Next time I have a baby, I'm putting my foot down.

I missed a lot of church before I had the baby due to a danger of having a premature birth. So, as soon as I could, I started going to church again post-partum, bringing newborn and toddler with me. Hubby came when he could to help me.

I should have stopped all the running around when it was obvious my daughter didn't like to nurse in public. I was fine with it, but she rarely seemed to nurse well unless we were at home. Now that she's nearly 4 months, I see that she doesn't usually sleep well unless she's home. I wonder if this is part of her personality and character....a homebody or consistant type.

There is also a lot on my plate in just my every day needs existance. But, I heaped to overflowing.

I was trying to live up to everyone else's expectations and failing to live up to my own....to nurse for 6 months to a year.

But, it's over now. And now I know even better for next time.

So, in preparation for the future and successful nursing (3rd time's the charm!) for my next baby, I'm going to get myself as healthy as can be and in my post-partum preparations, I'm going to include an arsenal of nursing aids.

As for formula, I usually buy Walmart's brand. Avoid soy formula at all costs! Soy is highly dangerous for young children. Phytic acid in soy blocks the absorption of minerals. Protease inhibitors block the digestion of protein. Soy formula also has high levels of fluride, aluminum, MSG, and manganese that have negative affects of the brain and nervous system. The phytoestrogens in soy can cause delays puberty and adverse affects on manhood in boys as well as learning disabilities. In girls, it can cause early puberty (as early as 2 years of age!) {Read Nourishing Traditions}Unfortunately, ALL commercial formulas contain some amount of soy. I'd love to try my hand at a home-made milk-based formula, but I can't get raw milk where I live, nor can I find non-homogenized milk that's not ultra-pasteurized. I might try my hand at Sally Fallon's meat-based formula.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Plastic Elimination Day 3 / Sad Day

Here are some more things I'd like to find to be rid of some plastics in my house:

glass salad dressing bottle
metal fans (there are some nice vintage-style ones out there)
If my basement was dry enough, I'd love to get cedar boxes rather than plastic totes to store baby clothes in

I really need to go through Bubby's toys and throw out the broken ones. This'll also be good in preparation for Christmas and then his birthday. He has such a large family and friends who consider us family that he gets so much!

If hubby gets the new job he's looking at, we're going to get a new computer. I want a laptop. That'll eliminate a large amount of unsightly plastic around the house in the form of a monitor, keyboard and tower.

It's a sad day because it's painfully obvious that breast-feeding is no more (at best, reduced to what little watery milk I can squeeze out by hand). After 3 days of my daughter literally beating my chest with her little fists, pulling and fussing at me, having very few wet diapers and obviously dropping weight, I've given in to formula. I promise, I've tried every trick in the book to keep my milk supply up. It's not so much that I've given up on it, but my daughter has. She refused to nurse any longer. If you just looked into her eyes, they were sad, sunken and weary. I finally gave in and gave her formula. She sucked it right down with amazing enthusiasm and immediately returned to her normal self.

I'm sad because I was really looking forward to nursing her for 6 months to a year.

I'm still going to put her on to nurse every day, but if she refuses after a certain amount of time, I'm going to give her formula. It's not worth it to watch her failing to thrive simply because breast is best. I believe it with all my heart, but for some reason, I'm not able to now.

Formula is expensive. If you have unopened, unexpired cans (no soy-based, please) that you're not using, please consider sending them to me. I'm willing to pay for shipping. Just e-mail me at scottlass at juno dot com. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Plastic Elimination Day 2

Walmart has these really cute glass pumpkin containers in various sizes. I'm thinking of getting one for a cookie jar (rather than storing cookies in a plastic tupperware container) and maybe one for a cream cheese jar when I make homemade cream cheese rather than a plastic tub.

I'm also using mason jars to transfer things in plastic bags like baking chips, hubby's candies, nuts, etc.

While cleaning the bathtub today, I realized we can get rid of plastic net spongies and replace them with all-natural loofah. I can get a loofah at Big Lots for $1.00.

I did keep a few plastic containers for leftovers. Like I said in my prelim. post, we can't get rid of all plastic and in some cases, plastic is better. For example, I do NOT recommend using glass, ceramic or stoneware for your shower stuff. Keep your shampoos, etc in plastic.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Plastic Elimination

First of all, Candy, I even bought the most expensive kefir in the store thinking it was the best. It touted still having live active cultures in it. Maybe I'll try another brand. I'm just happy my kombucha from a store-bought bottle worked! I've got my second batch brewing right now. Also, I found out that if I use Brown Cow organic cream top yogurt as my starter for a new batch of yogurt and I put in just a little more than 1/4 of a cup, my yogurt comes out quite thick. I've had inconsistent results with Stoneyfield.

Tiffany, I do know about quinoa and I have a fair amount in my cupboard, but I haven't eaten it in a while. So, I'll have to set out a batch for sprouting tonight. I also learned that herbs can only work for so long, so I've finished up the fenugreek and started using borage. www.bulkherbstore.com has a tea that's supposed to be great for Mother's Milk.

I spent today at my parents' house while I waited for my grocery-getting to get fixed, so didn't have time to actually do some plastic elimination today. However, here are some thoughts of plastic things to get rid of and what I'm replacing them with:

plastic leftover tubs ~ glass jars and dishes
plastic lunch baggies/plastic wrap ~ waxed paper
plastic wash basin for dishes ~ enamel wash basin
plastic colander ~ enamel colander
plastic baggies for cheese ~ glass or stoneware cheese keeper
plastic milk jugs ~ glass milk bottles
plastic bags for homemade bread ~ wrapping homemade bread in a good linen towel and storing the bread cut-side down keeps it fresh for a week, it seems.
plastic herb jars ~ glass herb jars
plastic trash bins ~ metal trash bins

Other ways to eliminate plastics in your life:

~ don't buy plastic-based clothing (polyester)
~ cloth diaper
~ buy in bulk and use glass storage containers for your pantry

Vermont Country Store also sells and American Made vacuum cleaner that's mostly steel rather than cheap plastic.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Goings On


First of all, here's a picture of Bubby's toddler bed. I made the quilt, the pillow and the pillowcase. It was pretty much my first time quilting (I've dabbled before, but never finished a project) and I rather enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to doing more quilting.


It's been so busy lately with no signs of slowing down. Today, I went grocery shopping, picked a bowl full of wild cherries, made kombucha, sourdough starter, yogurt, whey and cream cheese, and catfish with brown rice cooked in turkey broth and grilled zucchini for dinner. I have a chance to sit down this evening while I have a load of laundry in and I'm waiting for my daughter's 9pm feeding.


I finally bought Celtic Sea Salt and I'm hooked! I'm not a person who usually goes for salty things, but the flavor of Celtic Sea Salt is so good!


It was a hard time finding multivitamins for Bubby. All the ones in Walmart had nasty stuff in them like aspartame and words I couldn't pronounce. The local heath food store had all-nature multivitamins for children made out of whole foods. They were costly, but worth it in the long run. It drives me nuts all the bad stuff that's in stuff we consider good for us, especially infant formula. Why in the world isn't there an infant formula on the market that contains absolutely NO soy!?
Speaking of formula, my nursing has it's up and downs. There's occassionally days when no matter how hard we both try, I have to give my little girl formula because she's so hungry. I hate doing it, but it's most important to make sure she's getting the food in her tummy. So, I've had to throw my weight loss to the wayside because it just diminishes my milk supply. These last few days have been better with exclusive nursing and definate signs that she's getting plenty.
Oh, and yes, I did manage to make a homemade SCOBY and kombucha. I picked up the goopiest kombucha at the health food store and made a batch of sweetened black tea and dumped the whole bottle in and let it sit for 2 weeks. I'm hooked now! It's nice to have something other than water to drink, and I know it's healthy for me.
My homemade kefir didn't work out, though. I think my mistake was I didn't let the milk warm up first. I just dumped some store kefir in a glass jar of cold milk and let it sit for 24 hours on the counter. All I got was icky milk with a skin on top.
Remember, next Monday starts Plastic Elimination Week!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How Rich We Poor People Are

My dear mother has a copy of "We Survived and Thrived." It's a collection of essays/articles from "The Good Old Days" magazine about how people lived and loved living in the 1920's, 30's and 40's. It is so interesting to read how people made do back then. I envy that they could get a hold of flower sacks and make dresses out of them. I love how they could keep a sweet little house with bits and pieces. It's so refreshing to read that even if their house was weather worn and worse for wear, the mother at least kept it spotless.

Then I think, "what in the world is our problem today!" If these people could live happily by the skin of their teeth, then why can't we? If these women could rise to the challenges of life back then and not only survive, but thrive, then why can't we? I plan on rising to the challenge, myself.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ABC's of Homemaking

I got this from Stephanie's blog.

Aprons--y/n If y, what does your fav. look like? Yes. Mine is a black and white vintage print with a bib front and a pocket.

Baking--Favorite thing to bake? I bake a lot of cookies. Hubby likes them for his lunches.

Clothes line?Yes.

Donuts--Have you ever made them? Nope.

Everyday--One homemaking thing you do every day? Dishes. I am the dishwasher.

Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freezer? Yes, but it isn't hooked up.

Garbage Disposer? Does the dog count?

Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource? Hmmm...I like vintage books, my grandmother's house, my aunt's house, and Candy's blog.

Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results? Hate it, rarely do it.

Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it? Yes, kitchen cabinet drawer.

Kitchen--color and decorating scheme. A soft green with yellow trim. Kinda garden-themed.

Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking? Having a comfy home to live in.

Mop--y/n? Yes, nearly every day.

Nylons, machine or hand wash? Rarely wear them. Even more rarely wash them.

Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check? My oven doesn't have a window, so I open the door.

Pizza--What do you put on yours? Many kinds of veggies.

Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? I usually go online.

Recipe Card Box--y/n? What does it look like? Yes. It's a Grandma's Kitchen box.

Style of house--What style is your house? 1950 Cottage

Tablecloths or Placemats? Placemats. They're easier to replace and wash than tablecloths.

Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland? An organized toxic wasteland....from right to left: box for recycling paper, box for papers to burn, garbage can, recycling can.

Vacuum--How many times per week? Nearly every day.

Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week? Not sure, but at least one every other day.

X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off? Yes I do. I have a marker board in the kitchen.

Yard--y/n? Who does what? Hubby cares for the lawn, I care for the gardens.

ZZZ's--what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Making hubby's lunch for the next day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Plastic Elimination Week Preliminaries

Finally, I'm making myself sit down and type about my Plastic Elimination Week.

Plastic Elimination Week begins on September 8th, 2008. The purpose of this week is to reduce, replace and eliminate plastics in our homes. Whether your purpose is because you feel plastics are bad for our health, or bad for the evironment, or you want to reduce the use of oil-based products, or you just want to declutter or make things more pleasing to the eye, then please join me and spread the word on your own blogs and websites.

Those joining are encouraged to make comments and suggestions on plastic elimination either here or own their own blogs. Participants are also encouraged to find ways to have the plastics they are discarding recycled or reused rather than just tossing them in the trash, which defeats part of the purpose of this week.

Throughout that week, I'll be posting on how I've been reducing, replacing and eliminating plastics around the house. I'll post ideas on how you can reduce, replace and eliminate plastics.

Our world depends on plastics now, so total or near total elimination is probably impossible. I bet even the Amish have plenty of plastics in their houses. There are things where plastics are better or do serve a purpose, but there are many other things where plastics are not only unnecessary, but perhaps even dangerous. I have a friend who's life-threatening cancer was caused by over-exposure to plastics.

So, if you're up to the challenge, please let me know in the comments section! And even if you're unable to join on the week of September 8th, then please at least make mention of it on your blog or website.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Busy Week!

Woah, have I been busy! This past week just flew by, but it was a good week. We had family to visit in the first part of the week. Then, I had cleaning and projects to do along with a rest period to keep my milk supply up. Wednesday, I spent all day shopping and running errands. Thursday, I took my Dad and Bubby and BabyGirl to the local zoo. Friday, we went to the farm next door and Bubby played for 4 solid hours! In the evenings, we walked back to the farm to watch Daddy work on the bins and silos, getting them ready for the harvest season.

This morning, I opened up my fridge and heard rustling. In the back, a plastic bag was moving. Hubby and I were invited to a lobster shindig last night, but I couldn't go....had to get the kiddos to bed. So, I sent hubby and he returned with 3 live lobsters. I recognized the blessing, but really wasn't thrilled. So, before 9 am this morning, I hauled up my stock pot, put it on the burner on my grill and got the water boiling. With heebie-jeebies and a bit of remorse for the poor living things, I managed to get them out of the plastic bag and into the pot. Then, once they were cooked and cooled, I hand-cracked them and removed the meat. A quick whirr in the food processor and I made a salad and a bisque out of the meat. While at it, I made a cream of asparagus soup, too.

So, this afternoon, we ALL took naps.

Next week looks like it's going to be just as busy, if not busier.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boots

Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots. ~Hoosier Farmer

(Taken from www.homeliving.blogspot.com)

I sometimes tease that the only way I'll have clean floors is when I teach my family to hover. :) I clean my floors nearly every day because my hubby is a boot-wearing man. I can always tell when he's been home and what he did because I can follow the dirt and mud-clump trail around the house.

You may be insisting that I simply can't be all sunshine and smiles over this. To be honest, it is a challenge of grace to be a cheerful wife when I'm mopping floors again and again. I admit that two days ago I felt a bit down when I loving placed fresh bath rugs on a sparkling bathroom floor only to have big, muddy footprints, dirt clumps and sand all over it within half an hour.

You may think my husband's horrible for not taking his boots off. But, you need to remember a few things:

1. I LOVE my husband.
2. Boots are a pain to put on and take off.
3. Hubby works hard every day, so what's the big deal about me cleaning floors every day.
4. It's been unusually muddy this year.
5. I'd rather have to clean my floors often then to not have a hubby at all.
6. You also have to add a toddler who loves his sand pile, and a dog with muddy paws to the mix, too.

So, scrub away I do. Woman's work is never done, but when it is, it's probably the day she finds herself all alone and that's sad.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stuff to look forward to

My sister-in-law has been giving me extra catalogs of homeschooling stuff. It is all a bit overwhelming as I look through them. So, this winter I plan to finally read Well-Trained Mind and start working on curriculum ideas. I've also just purchased The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich. My SIL says it'll help me understand how best to teach my son. He's obviously not a child who would do well under a public school setting. He's very hands-on. I can see him doing well under unschooling conditions.

This winter, I also hope to go through my fabric supply and just sew sew sew. What I can't use for myself I'll put on Etsy.

I'm also spreading the word that I'm hosting a Plastic Elimination Week starting September 8th. I'll post more about it, later, but please consider spreading the word through your own blog about it. I'd like to get as many people involved as possible. I think it'll be fun and interesting.

As for the sickies, Bubby is completely cold-free and I'm on the mend. Baby Girl is still a bit ill, but I'm sure by tomorrow she'll be on the mend, too. Thankfully, this has been a very easy cold to deal with. Praise God for that! Now, I have to get my Cold Kit stocked up.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Under the Weather

I have no clue why Bubby and I both get colds in August, but we do and we're fighting colds now. Bubby's on the mend, and I'm just starting. I've been taking large, but safe doses of vitamin C and cod liver oil. I've been drinking plenty. I've also been taking in extra kefir. Hopefully I can kill this virus and be well soon. Mostly, I hope Baby Girl doesn't get a cold.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Feeding Baby

I took the day off yesterday and nursing is back on track. Here's what I did. In the morning, I nursed every 2 hours instead of every 3 to help build up my milk supply. In the afternoon when Bubby went down for his nap, I curled up on the sofa with Baby Girl and just let her nurse and sleep as she pleased while I watched two shows (The Fanny Crosby Story and A Midwife's Tale...both are good but the latter had nudity in it that I was completely unaware of). In the evening, she nursed every 2 hours as usual.

Stress is what did it. They always say don't upset a pregnant woman, but that should extend to nursing moms as well. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to this, though. Not only do I have so much to do, but I want to do so much. I mean, even on my "day off" I scrubbed floors, did laundry, sewed a quilt, made a peach pie, cooked dinner on the grill, harvested from the garden, scrubbed the bathtub, paid the bills, organized a grocery list, walked the dog, and took care of the kiddos. The difference was I wasn't stressed out about it. The funny thing was, I got way more done than I imagined!

I hate pumping. Pumping helped sabotage my nursing efforts with Bubby. It did nothing for my milk supply except build up a ton of foremilk, leave me engorged constantly, and left Bubby so colicky, we both were miserable. If I HAVE to extract, which is very rare, I do it by hand. If I need to build up my milk supply, I just nurse and nurse and nurse my daughter. She's not overweight, she dictates what is needed, and we're both happy.

To answer the question about soy in formula, I got out the two sample formulas I have. Both are milk-based. The Similac Advance contains soy oil, and soy lecithin. In big bold letters after the ingredients list it say, "Contains milk and soy ingredients." The Enfamil Lipil also contains soy oil. Just read the ingredients list and you'll see whether or not the formulas contain soy. If I remember correctly, Nestle Goodstart and Walmart's Parent's Choice both contain soy as well.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Gloomy...

Summer days shouldn't be gloomy. It just isn't right. Yet, today is a gloomy day. I'm a bit glad, though, because it helps give me a day off. With it being rainy, I don't have to work in my garden or hang clothes out to dry. I kind of need a day off because I need to work on my milk supply.

My poor daughter ended up gulping down 2 ounces of formula last night. I was feeding her every hour in the evening, but it was obvious very little was coming out of me. In between feedings, I hand-extracted milk (I do have an electric pump, but I get better results by hand) and I got very little (less than an ounce) and it was really watery. The poor dear was so very very hungry. So, I caved and gave her formula, but spent a good portion of the night hand-extracting to make sure I keep making milk. And I put her on to nurse at our usual nursing times.

I'm not sure why my milk is wasting away. I nurse on demand around the clock. I don't pump. I eat a varied, healthy, high fat diet. The scale isn't dropping, so I'm not losing weight. I drink plenty of water, but not too much.

The only thing I can think of is that I've been really stressed out lately and short of temper. So, today I'm relaxing more. Tomorrow, when I do grocery shopping, I'm going to buy some quinoa and fenugreek. Both are supposed to help milk supply. Of course, I'll continue to nurse baby girl on demand.

I only made it 4 months with Bubby, but I had a TON of misinformation about nursing, so I attributed it to that. This time around, I had much better information and nursing has been going fairly well. I was hoping to make it at least 6 months. However, it does seem that milk-making is not in my genes. My mother wasn't a very good milk-maker either.

Of course, I'm taking this to the Lord in prayer. Formula is not only expensive, but not really very good for our children. The soy base in every formula I've seen is NOT good. Soy is not a food, despite what people think, and it can be dangerous to our children. Soy can be attributed to early puberty in girls and delayed puberty in boys.

If you have to use formula, then don't stress out about it. Just limit or eliminate soy in other areas as your children grow.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Compliment

Hubby paid me such a charming compliment yesterday and I don't even think he knew it. It was the evening and we were resting in the living room. The house was cluttered and untidied from a very busy weekend. I looked around while nursing our sweet daughter and said, "I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. It's amazing how messy this house gets in one weekend." (I promise, it wasn't complaining.) Hubby sprung up from his chair and said with so much emphasis and excitement, "But, Honey, you don't understand. This house is lived in!" (We had a previous discussion about how people today are so busy chasing that dollar that they buy these expensive houses they can't afford, then work so much that they're only home to pick up their mail and go to bed.)

I suddenly felt a weight off my shoulders. My husband doesn't mind if things get untidied or worn out because it means we are living in our home and loving it. Of course, that's no excuse for leaving the place a wreak, but it's nice to have leave not to stress myself to sickness trying to keep the place perfect all the time.

That was a precious gift from hubby.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Basement Project

Here's one of the reasons I'm so busy! I'm a do-it-yourselfer and I'm currently making a unique seating area in the basement play room.

As I said before, lightening ruined our TV upstairs and we can't afford a new one just now. So, using some stuff around the house and discounted fabrics at JoAnn's, I'm making a nice love-seat opposite our downstairs TV.

I'm starting with storage bins of baby clothes. That's the base of the loveseat. On top of that is a sheet of plywood leftover from a project hubby did this spring. The plywood is being painted a farm and construction scene on one side and then another scene on the other side for Bubby's train sets. The plywood also acts as the base for the seating, which will be outdoor canvas pillows. I bought a few yards of outdoor canvas marked down at JoAnn and the rest will come from some sail cloth I've had laying around for years. To cover the bins, I have outdoor canvas that I'm going to staple to the sides of the plywood for skirting.

So far, I have some of the farm/construction scene painted and one pillow completed.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kitchen Window



I improved the inner view of my kitchen window at least with two lovely flower pots I got on clearance at Walmart. My son decided to harvest tomatoes that weren't ripe yet, so I have them in the window hoping they'll ripen up so as not to waste them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Feeling Better

When I recovered from yesterday's stress, I was in such a good mood and had energy, again. I've come to the conclusion that it's ok to have a good cry and even a small pity party, so long as you have the discipline to get up when your done and get on with your life with even more strength. To do this, your good cry needs some good prayer with it, too.

I had a good night's sleep and was able to get out before 7 am this morning and pull up a big patch of weeds at the end of the garden. I'm thinking today's project might be looking into improving the play area down stairs. Now that our TV upstairs has been broken, the TV in the basement is getting more use. (We can't bring the basement TV upstairs because it's HUGE and it doesn't fit in our TV armoire.)

If it doesn't rain, I'm going to get outside and do more garden work. When I was in Scotland, my host's house had a lovely garden. It was neat because their beds were down about 2 or 3 inches from the grass level. The grass was like a bridge, or raised walkway. I want to do that with my garden. It'll help keep the weeds out and it'll help hubby mow the edges of the garden.

I've also decided that next year I'm getting weed control matting for the garden. This weeding takes up way too much of my time and I always get behind on it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taking a much needed break

It's been so busy this summer and I'm starting to feel the weight of it. There's just so much to do and so much getting piled on top of it. I can't seem to keep things straight any more. Even my efforts to keep things straight are just an added effort I have to find time for.

I'm always multi-tasking. I blog when I'm on the computer for something else that I'm waiting to download, for example.

Things have really come down around me recently and I've tried to keep my chin up, but the stress has murdered me physically and worn on me emotionally.

It was the last straw last night when we arrived home from visiting my ailing FIL and found that the dog peed on the bed. I could have sworn I shut the door to the bedroom before I left! It was already after bedtime and I was stripping the bed and doing laundry and redressing the bed. Then, my daughter decided not to fall asleep and when she finally did, my son woke up screaming from a bad dream. I didn't get to sleep until after 11pm. Poor daughter had gas, so I was up a few more times a night before the alarm went off at 5 am. I could literally barely function and just barely made it back to the sofa to fall asleep for at least another hour.

Then, when the morning finally got rolling, my son decided to decorate the living room with his milk and cheerios. Twice, I had to call and argue with a credit card company, but what really threw me over the edge was finding out I completely forgot about my auto insurance payment and it was over due.

With children safely in their cribs, I let my emotion out with a good cry. I felt better on the inside afterwards, but physically I could barely function. As I wrote out the checks for the bills I had to pay, I could barely get the pen to move to make the letters and numbers.

So, my dear son asked to watch "Cows" (Baby Einstein MacDonald's Farm) and invited me to sit and watch with him.

A little rest mixed in with a little industry and amazingly things are getting done around the house.

I really just needed this rest, and I pray for a good night's sleep tonight. I really need that, too.

Monday, July 28, 2008

tagged


Julie at http://www.keepersathome.blogspot.com/ had this, so I copied it and Tag, you're it.

1. Who is your man? The Dashing Gentleman Above

2. How long have you been together? 8 years total, 6 years married.

3. How long dated? A year and a day...then we got engaged.

4. How old is your man? 34

5. Who eats more? Not sure.

6. Who said "I love you" first? He did.

7. Who is taller? Him

8. Who sings better? Me

9. Who is smarter? He's got more common sense and "street smarts." I've got more book smarts.

10. Whose temper is worse? His, but I'm a close second at times.

11. Who does the laundry? Me.

12. Who takes out the garbage? Me.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me.

14. Who pays the bills? He makes the money, I write the checks.

15. Who is better with the computer? Me.

16. Who mows the lawn? Him.

17. Who cooks dinner? Me.

18. Who drives when you are together? Mostly me, because we take my truck.

19. Who pays when you go out? Him.

20. Who is most stubborn? He'd say me and I'd say him. :)

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Me.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine. They're closer and my dad's retired.

23. Who kissed who first? I kissed him on the cheek first and he was so surprised that he gave me quite the kiss on the mouth afterwards. *blush*

24. Who asked who out? I dropped the major hint, but he did the asking.

25. Who proposed? He did.

26. Who is more sensitive? Me.

27. Who has more friends? Him.
28. Who has more siblings? Me, unless you count steps and halves then we have the same.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? He does, but he calls me "the boss."

30. How did you meet? At a re-enactment recruitment.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Looking Forward To A Productive Week

I enjoy being productive and I look forward to a productive week. I'm considering doing away with my 1/2 an hour of exercise in the morning this week in favor of getting chores done so I have time to take my little 'uns outside and get some yardwork done. There's so much to do in the garden and I want to start landscaping and turning beds for next year's plantings. I'm sure all that heavy work will suffice for exercise. :)

Other plans for this week includes going through ALL of my son's toys and organizing them. I'd also like to pull up all the boxed books in the basement and find homes for them as well.

I'm also considering turning the smaller walk-in closet into the re-enacting closet...but I'd have to find a home for the coats living in there now.

I'm also going to try my hand at beet kvass. My neighbor gave me a bunch of beets from her garden.

Those are my main projects for the week on top of my regular tasks and working on Bubby's quilt.

I love having projects! Between the cost of gas and not having a TV, I'm sure I'll get more done. My mom did give me a huge pile of Colonial Home and Country Living magazines, so I'll have to avoid the temptation of sitting out on my window seat and pouring over those.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Little Women Musings

This line from the movie, "Little Women" popped into my head today:

Laurie: "What do they do all day." (possibly paraphrased and in reference to the Little Women next door.)

I always have a smile at this scene because his tutor gives him some silly line which basically means he hasn't the faintest idea.

Then, I began thinking of all that Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy did:

They made their own clothing.
They kept the home spotless.
They worked and did charity efforts.
They tended the gardens.
They educated themselves.
They indulged in their own hobbies.
They played and imagined.
They took care of each other.

They did so much! I bet they rarely, if ever, flopped into a chair and moaned, "I'm bored."

They accomplished so much and were never idle. Spare moments were spent enjoying nature in a refreshing walk or scribbling away stories, or playing music, or painting, or enjoying children or reading.

No TV's. No sterios. No video games....just pure activity.

I like that.